The supreme court has overturned an appeal court judgment earlier this year that minister had failed to take into account the UK’s commitments under the 2015 Paris climate accord
Now the airport operator can advance its plans to seek development consent, one of several hurdles to be cleared before construction can start.
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “This is the right result for the country, which will allow global Britain to become a reality.
“Only by expanding the UK’s hub airport can we connect all of Britain to all of the growing markets of the world, helping to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in every nation and region of our country.
“Demand for aviation will recover from Covid, and the additional capacity at an expanded Heathrow will allow Britain as a sovereign nation to compete for trade and win against our rivals in France and Germany.
“Heathrow has already committed to net zero and this ruling recognises the robust planning process that will require us to prove expansion is compliant with the UK’s climate change obligations, including the Paris Climate Agreement, before construction can begin.”
Heathrow expansion will be privately funded, with no cost to the taxpayer and will address the fact that Heathrow has been operating at full capacity for many years.
Civils contractors welcomed the decision. Civil Engineering Contractors Association Director of External Affairs Marie-Claude Hemming said: “While the aviation industry has been badly hit by the pandemic, we believe this will be a temporary phenomenon and will quickly be reversed once COVID-19 vaccinations have been widely rolled out.
“Looking beyond the pandemic, it is extremely important that this nationally-significant infrastructure project is delivered, rather than being kicked into the long grass as it has been so many times before.
“Today’s decision is just one of many steps towards delivering this strategic project, and we will continue to support Heathrow and its supply chains in its innovative and efficient delivery.”