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Heathrow Airport expansion: Why is it taking so long?

The government has given the go-ahead to a third runway at Heathrow, but this doesn't mean the building of the runway is set to take place immediately.

It is just the latest chapter in a saga which has gone on for almost 50 years - ever since the Roskill Commission was set up to look at a third airport for London in 1968. Third runway at Heathrow approved How the cost of delays stacks up Heathrow's death sentence for villages So what happens now?

While the government has decided on its preferred option - Heathrow - there will now be a statutory public consultation process before a final decision is made and put to MPs next year. If all goes to plan, the planning process should be over by 2020 - which is a big if, given the scale of opposition.

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