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London to China Flight News - Will They Build a Third Runway?
2010 saw environmental activists and west London suburbanites living under the flight path of European’s busiest airport rejoicing after plans to expand Heathrow were blocked by Britain’s new coalition government.
As the coalition searched two years later for a way to kick-start a slow economy, the push for expansion is back with a vengeance. New pressure from the ranks of the Conservative Party emerged as the latest existential threat to the fragile alliance with their Liberal Democrats partners.
According to campaigners for the controversial build of a third runway, Britain is falling behind European rivals in the battle for lucrative routes to China because of constraints on Heathrow’s expansion. The case was bought up by an aviation umbrella group of Members of Parliament from all the main parties claiming the restrictions were detrimental to Britain’s economic potential.
A senior Conservative politician, who reignited the issue with a call for David Cameron to show “whether he is man or mouse," claimed the problem is so severe the Chinese government is also pressing for more slots at Britain’s flagship airport that often has the cheapest international flights out of the UK.
"An immediate go-ahead for a third runway will symbolize the start of a new era, the moment the Cameron government found its sense of mission," Tim Yeo, chairman of the House of Commons energy committee, wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
Tim Yeo, a former opponent of the expansion, argues that European Union carbon emissions caps will force airlines to use more environmentally friendly planes, said there was no direct links to three Chinese cities, Chongqing, Chengdu and Wuhan, with a combined 50M residents between them.
Jeremy Clegg, an expert on trade relations with China based at Leeds University, said the Chinese-British relationship was full of potential: “Although it does have some world class manufacturing, Britain doesn’t have the technological lead of a country like Germany, which is much admired by the Chinese because it is precisely the type of industry China wants to get into.
“That said, the Chinese are attracted toward Britain as an easy place to do business in terms such as transparency and rule of law. So if Heathrow expansion was based on the hypothesis of linking up with emerging markets like China, because they are the only growth