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British Government OKs Heathrow Airport Expansion in London

The British government has approved plans to build a new runway at London's Heathrow Airport—a controversial project that will, according to its opponents, greatly increase air and noise pollution and require the leveling of entire neighborhoods in a densely populated area on the west side of the city. 

After years of discussion and delay, the administration of Prime Minister Theresa May described the expansion as "momentous" and much needed in order to accommodate business travelers and tourists pouring into the United Kingdom. The government is also eager to demonstrate that it can still function effectively following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

Those living in the path of the proposed construction, however, are understandably none too pleased about losing their homes. At one point there were alternative plans to expand Gatwick Airport south of London instead, but they were rejected.

In any case, the matter is by no means settled. The government's decision will be studied further and put to a vote by Parliament in a year or so.