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Heathrow's Third Runway Delayed

January 18, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox

The Guardian is reporting that BAA has shelved plans for building a third runway at Heathrow until after the general election, a year after the government controversially approved expanding Britain's largest airport.

BAA secured government approval for its plans a year ago this week under protest from environmental groups and local residents. For the last seven years, a loose coalition of Sipson villagers, more seasoned environmental campaigners and celebrities have been battling BAA's plans to expand northwards. The company says Heathrow and the UK are greatly hampered by a main airport with only two runways—Charles de Gaulle in Paris has four, while Amsterdam's Schiphol has six.

But now, BAA has confirmed it will not press ahead with any formal planning process until after a general election. With the proposal opposed by the Conservatives, it is likely to be shelved indefinitely.

The airports operator told the Guardian in a statement that it would not be "in a position to consult with local residents and all other interested parties" until the second half of 2010.

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