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News

Last day to comment on additional 25,000 planned flights from Heathrow

Categories: East Sheen,East Sheen News,Environment

Heathrow’s latest public consultation on expansion is closing tonight, at 11.55pm on 4 March 2019. It is seeking feedback on changes to Heathrow Airport’s airspace and future runway operations.

Richmond Council, along with four other councils is fighting the airport expansion, saying 25,000 extra flights would be disastrous for the borough. 

The Heathrow eight-week public consultation is asking for public feedback on issues such as noise, runway alternation and night flying relating to its two existing runways, as well as the proposed controversial new third runway.

Heathrow is also revealing for the first time the geographical areas where the proposed new flight paths could be positioned. Richmond Council has been pushing for this information for years to ensure that residents could see the true impact of expansion on their lives.

Richmond is part of a coalition of councils and others – including the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Hammersmith and Fulham, as well as the Mayor of London and Greenpeace – that are seeking a judicial review of the Government’s decision to give policy support in the Airports National Policy Statement (“NPS”) for a third Heathrow runway. The group is challenging the Government on grounds including air pollution, climate change, noise and surface access impacts. The hearing is set to begin in the High Court on March 11.

The five local authority leaders say there are five key facts which are either missing or not spelt out clearly in the airport’s current publicity material.

  • KEY FACT 1 – The number of people already affected by noise from Heathrow is more than all the major European hub airports put together.
  • KEY FACT 2 – The combination of arrivals and departures and new flightpaths will mean seven-days-a-week noise for hundreds of thousands of people.
  • KEY FACT 3 – In many west London boroughs and Home Counties areas the number of communities newly exposed to noise will mean virtually no part of those boroughs will be safe from noise.
  • KEY FACT 4 – The current eight-hour respite which people in west London enjoy when aircraft switch runways will be slashed to just four hours.
  • KEY FACT 5 – The airport is backtracking on the Airport Commission’s recommendation for a night flight ban between 1130pm and 6am as a condition of support for a third runway.

The Department of Transport’s green paper on its aviation strategy that has pledged greater capacity at UK airports, with passenger numbers set to increase by 53 per cent over the next three decades. 

This could lead to further runways at Heathrow with the document concluding that the Government’s preferred approach is an NPS to set out the criteria but not name specific airports, so leaving it to the industry to determine whether and when to bring forward applications.

Click here to access the consultation.

Author: Bori Kiss

Bori has been a member of the ESV team for a few years now. She loves long walks in Richmond Park and coffee that's not too hot to drink.