Dual use runway could result in up to ten extra flights per hour

British Airways is one of three airlines backing a plan to increase flights to Heathrow by 10 extra flights an hour. Proposals are being considered to allow the two existing runways to become dual use. This would allow planes to land and takeoff from the same runway. At the moment the two runways are used for separate operations and switched during the day at 3pm to allow residents some relief from take-off noise.

Ministers will have to decide later this year whether to give the go ahead to a third runway at Heathrow. If this went ahead the number of flights would be expected to rise to more than 655,000 a year. When Terminal 5 was approved a limit of 480,000 was set.

The transport department has already said that the third runway proposed for Heathrow would be used for both landings and take-offs throughout the day.

Cllr Lister Leader of Wandsworth Borough Council said, "Ending runway alternation won't just mean extra flights. It will spell the end of any kind of relief from landing noise for hundreds of thousands of people in south and west London. If this intensification of use for the existing runways is allowed we can be absolutely certain that people in Putney will suffer throughout the day from 4 in the morning to 11.30 at night."

The current consultation on the airport capacity proposals, which now include Gatwick, ends on June 30th 2003.

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20th March 2003

Associated articles

Council urges expansion at Gatwick & development at the Cliffe site. 10.03.2003