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Heathrow plans staged opening of third runway to cut costs

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London's Heathrow airport has unveiled final plans for the development of a third runway as Europe's busiest hub seeks to boost flights and stay ahead of rival bases in Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

[LONDON] London's Heathrow airport has unveiled final plans for the development of a third runway as Europe's busiest hub seeks to boost flights and stay ahead of rival bases in Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

The runway should be opened by about 2026, with the full project to be finished by 2050 as part of a phased addition of capacity aimed at maintaining airport fees near current levels. The plans also propose an ultra-low-emissions zone, and a 6 1/2-hour ban on scheduled night flights.

Visual representations of the fully expanded Heathrow show the new runway spanning the busy M25 highway that circles the UK capital. The airport has worked on plans to avoid costly tunnelling by having the strip slope gradually upwards to cross the road via a bridge.

The new runway has been a controversial development for activists and lawmakers, but overcame a bid by environmental groups to block construction last month. A protest by activists from the Extinction Rebellion campaign was abandoned over the weekend, the green group said in a statement.

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