The Heathrow expansion may actually happen

Here's why it's been such a controversial 20 year (you read that right) battle

The debate over a new runway at Heathrow has been going on for as long as it'll take to build the thing. It's now been approved by the 'cabinet' (i.e. top dogs in politics) - now it's got to be voted on by MPs.

What it means: 85 million people fly through Heathrow every year. For two decades, people have been talking about adding another runway.

Some say it'd be a disaster: Britain is supposed to be cutting its carbon emissions 80 per cent by 2050, and this won't help. It'll be a nuisance for nearby villages, with some houses even being knocked down (though owners will be compensated 125 per cent of the house's value). That means people who might never even use the airport are having to shoulder a pretty enormous life change as a result of it.

And although it's being funded privately (by businesses, not government), that cost will ultimately be paid by passengers in the form of pricier tickets.

Others (like the government, obviously) are more optimistic. It'll create 60,000 jobs, they say, and meet long-standing demand for more flights from southeast England – in other words, no more crazy crowded airports. They'll be giving £2.6bn in total to residents of the area in compensation, and promise they'll still meet carbon emissions targets.

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