Councils and pressure group unite against Heathrow expansion

HACAN's booklet makes disturbing reading for residents

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Low Flying AirplaneLocal councils are calling on the Government to shelve its plans for more flights at Heathrow as part of a nationwide day of action against airport expansion held on Thursday 12th January 2006.

This date was also chosen by HACAN to publish a booklet setting out its concerns at the impact of further airport expansion on people in south and west London.

Entitled 'No more quiet periods', the booklet warns residents that ending the current 3pm 'turn-round' when planes switch runways will deprive them of any daytime relief from the noise of aircraft landing overhead.

Using the two runways in parallel for take offs and landings could add an extra 80,000 flights year at Heathrow and breach the legally imposed capacity limit for the airport.

A cap of 480,00 flights was imposed as a condition of the Terminal Five planning consent. Even without the additional terminal the airport is already handling 470,000 flights a year.

The group's Chair, John Stewart, said �The proposals to end runway alternation are just part of the Government�s relentless determination to bring more planes into Heathrow regardless of the consequences for the residents under the flight path. It is the half day�s peace and quiet which makes life bearable for many residents in West London. It�s their lifeline. I�m sure they will fight tooth and nail to oppose mixed-mode.�

According to Hounslow Council’s lead member for aviation, Cllr Ruth Cadbury, the immediate threat facing Hounslow’s residents is the proposal to increase the number of flights at Heathrow by changing the way the airport’s runways operate.

Cllr Cadbury said “Local residents are deeply disappointed that the Government hasn’t given up its obsession with expanding Heathrow for the New Year. Instead, it is resolved in its plans to deprive hundreds of thousands of residents of their last remaining vestige of peace.  Introducing mixed mode will mean more planes, more pollution and more noise. It is airport expansion by the back door, and will bring 1,000 extra flights to Heathrow every week.

“The borough, along with other authorities around Heathrow, can no longer support the never-ending expansion of the airport. It is time to look beyond Heathrow for a sustainable solution to the country’s insatiable demand for air travel.”


Consultation on the proposal for dual use of the existing north and south runways is expected to start in March 2006.


January 12, 2006