Following the problems with the opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow, speculation surrounding the airport expansion plans has been rife. With a decision set to be made before the end of 2008, the biggest hint that a third runway will be built has been provided by John Hutton, Business Secretary for the government.
When asked about the possibility of expanding Heathrow, Hutton stated: "The British people would not forgive us if we shirk responsibility to do what's right because we wanted an easy ride from green lobby groups."
This suggests that the government will be ignoring protesters and will be expanding the largest european passenger airport to accommodate the third runway. The controversial development could mean up to 3,000 people will lose their homes with a number more living in the flight path.
Hutton has previously stated that the government will make 'difficult decisions' regarding Heathrow's future, although critics will claim that the consultation process has been virtually non-existent. Hutton appears to be edging towards the BAA opinion that Heathrow needs a third runway to cope with increased passenger demand.
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