Plans for the third runway at Heathrow Airport may include planes taking off from a runway “ramp” over the M25 motorway, the transport secretary says.

Chris Grayling said the ramp would be similar to runways near motorways at other airports around the globe, and would be a cheaper and quicker alternative than building a tunnel for the M25 beneath the runway. He argued these plans would result in less disruption to drivers as the runway is constructed.

The government finally made a decision to approve plans for a third runway at Heathrow on Tuesday after years of delays. However, the plans remain controversial. They have been attacked by cabinet ministers Boris Johnson and Justine Greening and have caused Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith to resign.

The plans are also being challenged in the courts by local councils that represent areas beneath the airport’s flight paths.

The Department for Transport claims that the new runway will benefit the wider UK economy by up to £61bn and create 77,000 jobs over the next 14 years.

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