New British leaders cancel third Heathrow airport runway

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Britain's new coalition government has cancelled controversial plans to build a third runway at London Heathrow airport, according to a joint policy agreement published Wednesday.

As well as cancelling the expansion of Heathrow -- the world's busiest international air hub -- the new government said it would refuse any additional runways at London's other two main airports, Gatwick and Stansted.

The former Labour government reiterated its support for the construction of a third runway at Heathrow in its manifesto for the May 6 election, but the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were opposed to the expansion plans.

Residents of the area of west London where Heathrow is situated strongly opposed the plans, fearing it will greatly increase the noise and pollution from planes.

The new government is a coalition of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats.

© 2010 AFP

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