Supporters and opponents of Heathrow expansion have been quick to give their verdict on the Court of Appeal’s decision that a third runway would be in breach of the Paris climate change agreement.
Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives (Bar UK), said it was a disappointing decision.
"We would urge the government to review its Airports National Policy Statement in light of this court ruling and commit to sustainable growth in UK aviation,” he said.
"The ball is back with the government now. The ANPS doesn’t need a full rewrite. It can be amended to meet the needs of the country which are still very much real – but we do have to deliver that in a sustainable way.”
Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, which represents UK-registered airlines, said: “The Sir Howard Davies Airports Commission spent several years looking at airport capacity in the South East and was clear Heathrow is the only game in town, with other schemes being considered and ultimately rejected.
“The economic prize is enormous if expansion is done right, with airlines ready to respond to the unlocking of new capacity by creating new routes and helping to connect the UK to new markets and destinations, and Heathrow to regions across the country.”
Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots’ union Balpa said: “We understand the challenge that the aviation industry faces when it comes to climate change but also recognise the vital contribution to the UK economy that the industry makes.
“Without expansion we will see further congestion, stagnation in the sector and will struggle to keep pace with global competitors.
“We urge the government to ensure that Heathrow expansion fits within its Paris climate obligations and does so as quickly as possible. We need to get this done.”
However, Jock Lowe, of Heathrow Hub, which supports an extension to the airport’s northerly runway - permitting take-off and landing on the same tarmac - instead of building a third runway, said: “This is our ‘we told you so’ moment.”
He called the £38 billion third runway plan “effectively dead”.
“There was always a huge risk that the unnecessarily complicated and expensive third runway would fail on environmental grounds and that Boris Johnson would stop it, and so it has proved.
“There is only one realistic solution to Heathrow expansion – our cheaper, greener, simpler, quicker and quieter proposal to make the most of the existing assets by extending the northern runway.”
Responsible Travel’s Justin Francis said he was “absolutely thrilled”.
“It’s fantastic to see that our commitments to zero carbon 2050 actually means something. The fact that this is the first ruling in the world to be based on the Paris agreement will, I believe, prove a hugely inspiring and impactful moment in history.”
Francis said Heathrow’s carbon output was the same “as Croatia’s entire economy”.
He added: “Governments around the world must work together to reduce the demand for air travel based on kerosene- rather than unquestioningly increasing supply - and instead invest and commit heavily to a de-carbonised future for aviation.”
Greenpeace, which was involved in the legal challenge, said the ANPS was “fatally undermined by ignoring climate commitments”.
It added: “No amount of spin from Heathrow’s PR machine can obscure the carbon logic of a new runway.”
IAG told the BBC: “We have always said the environmental impact and cost of Heathrow expansion needs independent review. The airport cannot be trusted. Its original £14 billion cost for expansion is now £32 billion.”
Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, represents thousands of workers at Heathrow airport and in the wider airline industry.
Diana Holland, Unite’s assistant general secretary, said: “Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk if the government does not take immediate action to ensure the Heathrow expansion goes ahead.
"However, Unite is adamant this must not be at the expense of the environment."
She said the airport must become "entirely carbon neutral" before any construction work begins.
“Urgent action is needed to tackle the climate emergency that we all face but that must be through a just transition which does not demonise particular sectors or industries."