Airports: what next?

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Airports are on everyone’s mind at the moment, what with the significant Court of Appeal judgement on the 27th Feb 2020 on Heathrow’s third runway. Wow. There are some judgments that simply take the breath away. The government’s decision not to challenge the Court of Appeal judgment is probably not a surprise given our PM’s known opposition to the project. What next?

There is no doubt that the judgment has wider ramifications, already there has been much discussion of its implications and we already have a challenge to HS2 and a possible challenge to the National Planning Statement on road networks. As the Urgenda case did in 2018, the Heathrow decision shifts the conversation, opens up the possibilities for climate change litigation. The confirmation, if it was needed, that the 2015 Paris Agreement has to be considered in future decisions, having been ratified by the UK. Indeed should have been when the government was setting its long term policy on Airports in 2018, namely the Airport National Policy Statement. David Hart QC, ELFs chair gives a clear distillation of the judgement here in his latest blog.