# Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The new runway that has been proposed for Heathrow could be ready by 2015, five years earlier than previously expected. The government is looking to rush the planning process through as quickly as possible to try and prevent opponents from blocking the expansion. Ministers have asked BA to submit a planning application as soon as possible to try and get the runway completed by 2015. The new Infrastructure Planning Commission which is due to be appointed this year is likely to make the final decision on the expansion of the airport rather than the current practice where a planning inspector makes a recommendation to ministers. This is expected to make the planning process much shorter. The Conservative party have already said that if they win the next election they will scrap plans for the new runway. However, blocking the plans will become much more difficult once the planning process is under way.