Call for Additional Capacity to Heathrow

CAA “ a cheerleader for the London airports lobby” says Hounslow Council


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Hounslow Council has criticised the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) this week after recommendations to the Government published in a report entitled Aviation Policy for the Future

The report outlines a series of proposals put forward by the CAA to the Government calling for additional capacity in the area to “deliver significant benefits to consumers and wider benefits to the UK economy.”

Aviation Policy for the Future also sets out a raft of measures that the CAA could take to tackle the issue of noise nuisance caused by airports including
environmental policy, surface access issues and council tax relief for nearby residents.

The report was published during the Government’s current consultation on aviation policy in the UK headed up by Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers MP.

The London Borough of Hounslow is the London borough most directly affected by noise from Heathrow Airport.

Cllr Corinna Smart, Hounslow’s cabinet member for environment said:

“With the publication of this report, the CAA appears to have exceeded its task as the independent safety and economic regulator for aviation in the UK to become little more than a cheerleader for the London airports lobby.

“The timing of this report, coinciding with the Government’s own public consultation on aviation policy, is quite extraordinary, and many of the recommendations outlined have deeply worrying consequences for the future of aviation in our borough and beyond.

“The CAA has neither the duty nor the competencies to make judgements on such matters as environmental policy, surface access and even council tax relief for those affected by noise. The report also remains silent on the current BAA consultation on noise insulation and mitigation taking place at the moment.

“We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the CAA to clarify why it is increasingly using its influence in favour of the pro-expansion lobby and disregarding the thousands of people who live next to Heathrow and other airports.”

January 18, 2012