LONDON (AP) – Britain’s government has given the go-ahead to expand London’s Heathrow airport despite concerns about air pollution, noise and the destruction of homes in the capital’s densely populated western neighborhoods.
The Department for Transport said in a statement Tuesday that the decision “underlines its commitment to keeping the U.K. open for business now and in the future and as a hub for tourism and trade.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling says: “The step that government is taking today is truly momentous. I am proud that after years of discussion and delay this government is taking decisive action to secure the U.K.’s place in the global aviation market.”
The decision is only the first step, though. The government’s recommendation will be studied further and Parliament will vote in about a year.