D-DAY has arrived for the residents living near Heathrow as the Government has officially announced its support for a third runway at the airport.
Secretary of State for Transport Geoff Hoon stood up in the House of Commons this afternoon (Thursday) and delivered a speech outlining the Labour party's stance.
It was the decision many in Hillingdon were fearing ever since the plan was first announced by BAA in the wake of the construction of Terminal 5.
However, far from throwing in the towel opponents of the plan say the strength of feeling has been galvanized and vowed the fight will go on.
Leading the charge are the borough's three MPs who have stood side-by-side, irrespective of party, to oppose the plan at every turn.
John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington, said: "This is a disgraceful decision.
"The Government has completely ignored the democratic views of the people, not just locally but I believe in London and the vast majority of the country as well.
"Having said that, I still don't believe the runway will ever be built. It is still a plan dead in the water. I am calling for an immediate vote on this in the House of Commons and there I feel the true weight of opposition will be felt.
"We continue to fight using every mechanism at our disposal, including demonstrations, meetings and even direct action."
Uxbridge MP John Randall said: "This announcement has caused a great deal of upset both locally and nationally. It flies in the face of all the arguments against a third runway.
"This was not an unexpected outcome and we will continue to fight on. I feel the best chance we have of victory now is for a change of Government as the Conservatives have vowed a third runway will not happen under their leadership."
Ruislip Northwood MP Nick Hurd added: "This is a bad decision based on the most flimsy of cases. The Government appeared to have ears only for the interests of BAA.
"They have completely undermined all their fine words on Climate Change. Is it over? Of course not. The 'Fat Lady' will sing at the next General Election."
Richard Barnes, London Assembly member for Ealing and Hillingdon as well as Deputy Mayor of London and Hillingdon Councillor, also added his voice to the ground swell of dissent.
He said: "This decision is a total outrage in a democratic country. The expansion of Heathrow is opposed by nearly everyone who lives near the airport and the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.
"In making this decision the Government has completely ignored the evidence that a third runway will mean worse air pollution, greater noise pollution not to mention the huge increases in carbon dioxide.
"It is the wrong decision and it has probably sealed the Government's fate at the next general election."