The expansion of Heathrow Airport is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and permission to build the runway and other airport-related facilities will be granted via a Development Consent Order (DCO) in accordance with the Planning Act 2008. The process was introduced specifically to streamline decision-making process for projects of this scale and national importance, making it fairer and faster for communities and applicants alike. The whole process can take up to 12 months.

Once the DCO is granted, it will contain most of the consents and powers that HAL needs to build and operate the third runway. It will include requests for a range of powers and authorisations, including powers for the compulsory acquisition of land.

For more information on how the DCO application process works, visit the Planning Inspectorate's website:

Indicative timeline to date

Heathrow expansion timeline chart

Source: Information collated from HAL and PINs (2018)