Fresh consultation announced on airports NPS

The government has announced a further consultation period on the policy statement that will guide the planning decision on Heathrow's third runway in order to consider 'updated evidence'.

Heathrow: airports NPS is intended to assist delivery
Heathrow: airports NPS is intended to assist delivery

In a written statement to Parliament today, transport secretary Chris Grayling said that an initial consultation held earlier this year into the draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) was clear that further work was underway by the Department for Transport "to update the evidence base, including revised aviation demand forecasts and the government’s final air quality plan".

The minister said that it was "intended these documents would be presented for consideration during the initial consultation, but the timing of the general election meant this was not possible".

Grayling said said that there is now "a need to conduct a short period of further consultation to allow this updated evidence to be taken into account".

He said that this is expected to begin later this year.

In a statement in July, Grayling said that the government expected to lay any final NPS in the first half of 2018 for a vote in the House of Commons, signalling an extension to the timetable for designating the statement.

Grayling had previously said in February that the government expected to lay a final Airports NPS before Parliament "for debate and an expected vote in the House of Commons by winter 2017-18".

Today’s statement said that Grayling did not expect the additional period of consultation to impact on the timetable announced in July.

A statement of principles in agreed between Heathrow Airport Limited and the secretary of state for transport in October last year had committed the government to designate an NPS on airport capacity which supports the development of the expansion of Heathrow "by no later than 31 July 2017".

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