2M Believes Heathrow Wants Four Not Three Runways

HACAN vows to fight "tooth & nail" against the third runway

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The all-party 2M Group says Heathrow's new proposals for a third runway will be followed by demands for a fourth.

The airport has today revealed plans for three potential locations for its next landing strip:

* A South West option which require demolition of the 850 properties in the Stanwell Moor area

* A North West option in the Harmondsworth Moor involving demolition of 950 pproperties

* A North option, very similar to the previous plans for a thirds runway, involving demolition of Sipson and parts of Harlington

At present 725,000 people live under the Heathrow flights, according to the European Commission. That is, 28% of all people impacted by aircraft noise across Europe.

2M, which is a campaign group of more than 20 councils affected by Heathrow, is also challenging the airport's claims that it can reduce noise suffering while increasing the number of flights over London.

The councils say that noise nuisance data used by the airport is 30 years out-of-date and understates the number of people who suffer under the existing and proposed flightpaths.

Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council and spokesman for the 2M Group, said:
“Heathrow might be offering a choice over where their next runway goes but we they won’t stop until they have four. Some parts of London and the Home Counties may escape the new flightpaths this time round but the peace won’t last for long.

“To claim they can reduce noise while increasing the number flights over London is a complete sham and won’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. They grossly understate the number of people who suffer under their existing flightpaths and continue that trend with these projections. We calculate that around three million people will be affected by aircraft noise if the airport expands to four runways.

“They offer nothing new to solve the surface access and air pollution issues which scuppered their previous third runway plan in the High Court. This is a fight they can’t win.”
Heathrow revealed its latest expansion plans in a submission to the Government's aviation commission.

2M has consistently argued that Heathrow will not stop expanding if granted a third landing strip. Its main European rivals have four or more runways and Heathrow will seek to match their capacity. Charles de Gaulle, Heathrow's nearest rival, has four runways. Frankfurt and Barajas (Madrid) also have four and Schiphol ( Amsterdam ) has six.

HACAN, representing residents under the Heathrow flight paths, vowed to ‘fight tooth and nail’ against the proposals for a third runway released by Heathrow Airport. The campaign group welcomed the measures announced by the airport to cut noise but argued that these will be negated by the huge increase there will be in the number of planes using Heathrow if a third runway is given the go-ahead. Heathrow today confirmed that flight numbers will rise by nearly 250,000 a year to a total of 740,000 if a new runway is built.

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “We will fight any proposal for a new runway tooth and nail. We owe it to future generations to stop a 3rd runway. While we are encouraged by Heathrow’s plans to try to reduce noise, the additional runway will put a 250,000 extra planes a year in the skies over London and the Home Counties and will negate these efforts”.

July 4, 2013