"The approval, announced by transport secretary Geoff Hoon in an especially heated session in parliament, came despite mounting opposition from residents, lawmakers and environmental campaigners."
"Mr. Hoon said an additional runway for Heathrow would create thousands of jobs and add needed capacity to keep Europe's busiest airport competitive. But critics of the extension argued that the runway would increase the noise to unacceptable levels for many residents living close by and harm the environment."
"Protests against the airport extension gained momentum recently with a group of campaigners, including Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, buying a piece of land earmarked for the third runway."
"Many of those opposing the plan, including many of the ruling Labor Party's own members, said the government should invest in a high-speed rail network instead of expanding Heathrow. The rail lines would help reduce the needed domestic flights."