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Heathrow Airport

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what mechanisms his Department has planned for the determination of planning applications in respect of the expansion of Heathrow airport in circumstances in which his Department’s proposed special administration regime for major airports is in use. (287905)

The preparation and timing of any planning application for a third runway and associated terminal facilities at Heathrow airport are a matter for the airport operator. Such a development would be likely to meet the 2008 Planning Act’s threshold for a nationally significant airport infrastructure project. The planning application would therefore be subject to consideration by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission if received after March 2010 when the relevant threshold in the Planning Act is due to be commenced.

As part of a recent consultation on proposals to reform the economic regulation of airports, the Department for Transport sought views on a package of proposed measures to strengthen the financial resilience of airports in order to protect consumers. We are currently considering responses to the consultation and will announce our decision in due course.