CAMPAIGNERS against a third runway at Heathrow are heartened following the Transport Minister’s comments in a parliamentary debate.

Huw Merriman said yesterday (30) that Heathrow was focusing on recovery following the impact of the pandemic on the aviation sector.

This had an impact on any financial contribution from the private sector.

Mr Merriman cited the Government’s commitment that Heathrow expansion remained a private-sector project that had to meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being in the best interests of consumers.

Campaigners believe that, if the project is now officially stalled, a memorandum of understanding should be passed to forbid expansion for a specified number of years.

This would give neighbouring communities, like the airport villages of Harlington, Sipson and Harmondsworth, a rest from the ongoing blight they face from continued threats to their homes.

Paul McGuinness, chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “If even the Government acknowledges it’s now very unlikely to happen, peace of mind should be restored to the vast numbers who live around the airport and beneath its flight paths.”