Candidate for Windsor
Working Hard For You
Windsor MP welcomes Government pause for thought

The Windsor MP welcomes the Government for delaying its decision on airport expansion.

The Government has said that it will wait to hear more evidence before choosing which airport will be given permission to build a new runway but that at the moment it is leaning towards expanding Heathrow.

Adam has been a long-term opponent of Heathrow expansion and has run a campaign against a third runway since he first became an MP in 2005.

Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, commented:             

“I very much welcome the Government’s decision not to authorise a third runway at Heathrow given the cost to the taxpayer, the pollution and carbon emissions and the fact that 68 times more people are affected by expansion at Heathrow compared to a second runway at Gatwick

“If we are going to limit our ambitions to a single new runway in the South East then the Government would do well to rule out Heathrow expansion today and allow Gatwick to proceed. This would cost the taxpayer nothing and it can be built straight away without the risk of legal holdups.

“Gatwick is clearly the better of the two available short-term options environmentally, economically and politically

“Despite concerns over delay, it is better to make the right decision than an early decision.  This pause for thought will give the Government to reflect on the titanic body of evidence against Heathrow expansion, which is not in the national nor local economic interest and would entrench the existing market dominance of Heathrow Airports Ltd when Gatwick would deliver a cleaner environment, lower cost flights and blight far fewer people with noise

ENDS

Notes to editors: 

  1. Adam has been fighting against the third runway since he was first selected as the Conservative candidate for the Windsor constituency. Find details of his activity here;

 

Windsor MP welcomes CAA’s call for a ‘rethink’

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has called for a ‘complete rethink’ of the airspace patterns before either Heathrow or Gatwick is given permission for a new runway.

He has warned that unless air flight patterns are modernised the expanded airport may be unable to use any of this additional capacity due to lack of airspace.

Mr Haines compared the situation of expanding an airport without redesigning airspace to ‘building a brand new car park and forgetting to build the access road to it’.

 

The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the announcement:

“Most sensible people realise that a third runway at Heathrow is nonsensical because it is already the most expensive airport in Europe, in breach of pollution regulations, requires billions of taxpayer subsidy and could only operate at half capacity. We now discover that it is not guaranteed that Heathrow can use any additional airport capacity.

“To remain a great trading nation we will need to be able to handle many more flights in the coming decades to keep up with demand. However, it is essential that the airspace we currently have is accessible and used as effectively as possible”

“Heathrow is permanently stymied by its archaic location; a relic of the day before mass air travel. This country will need 4 or more extra runways over the next 50 years to remain a great trading nation. That simply isn’t possible at Heathrow.”

ENDS

 

Adam’s Parliamentary Questions reveal Heathrow plans

I have been fighting non-stop against the calamitous proposals for a third runway, and the steady rise in aircraft noise from our neighbour Heathrow Airport Ltd, since I became an MP in 2005.

Over the past 11 years we’ve won some big battles. Ruling out expansion in 2010. Forcing restrictions on night flights. Bringing an end to invasive flight path trials. And so on.

The Government is expected to reach a final decision on airport expansion later this year and, while aircraft noise remains a real issue for all of us, this is the most important fight of all.

The colossal weight of evidence against Heathrow has been presented again and again.

Heathrow will not bring value for money, will not meet legally-binding environmental targets and will not cater to our long-term aviation capacity needs, and is thus not in our national interest.

Opposing Heathrow is not NIMBYism, it is a decision that will have a national impact.

In response to a recent Parliamentary Question I asked (44201) the Government confirmed that they will consider overall plans to improve air quality and its legal commitments before making a decision.

Given that Heathrow is already in breach of its legal commitments with two runways, the idea that it can reduce NO2 emissions in the local area whilst expanding its air capacity by 50% is clearly a nonsense.

If releasing the additional capacity from an additional runway is made dependent on meeting binding, real world air quality milestones, then we may soon find that an expansion at Heathrow won’t release any new capacity at all.

This alone means that expanding Heathrow would be questionable if it was the only choice. Combined with the fact that there are many clearly more cost-effective alternatives that are less damaging to local communities, it ought to be bottom of our list.

You have my commitment that I will continue to fight tooth and nail for the best deal for my constituents regardless of what decision is taken.

I am delighted that, in response to a further Parliamentary Question (44199), the Government has confirmed that they are considering a strong package of measures to mitigate the impact of runway expansion on communities.

This builds on a recommendation by the Environmental Audit Committee last year that, regardless of whether a third runaway is granted to them, a Community Engagement Board must be created to restore trust between Heathrow and the local communities that it blights.

Whilst it will come to a relief to residents that the Government is considering how to help  local communities deal with the costs of runway expansion – and the effects of noise pollution – this yet again demonstrates how cost ineffective expanding Heathrow is compared to Gatwick.

Heathrow’s noise pollution already affects 7 times more people than any other UK airport. Expanding Heathrow will affect 837,000 more people, expanding Gatwick will affect 37,000. Heathrow is permanently stymied by its archaic location from a time before mass air travel.

With our withdrawal from the EU it is more important now than ever before to demonstrate that Britain is open for business and increasing our long term air capacity must be integral to that aim. But it is more important to make the right decision that to make a hasty one.

I would urge the Government to make the right choice and back expansion at Gatwick.

 

Parliamentary report on airport expansion

Windsor MP welcomes parliamentary report on airport expansion

Today, the Windsor MP has welcomed the findings of a key parliamentary committee on airport expansion.

The report raised serious concerns about the ability of Heathrow to stick to legally binding emissions and air quality targets.

The report concluded that the third runway should not go ahead at Heathrow unless the Government could demonstrate how it could fit into the UK’s environmental targets and obligations.

Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, commented:

“This report is yet another nail in the coffin for the case for Heathrow expansion.

“A third runway at Heathrow is a sticking plaster that goes against the growing body of scientific evidence that Gatwick is the more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective option for a new runway.

“I’m delighted that the report recommends a ban on night flights if a third runway is built, but this just further proves that Heathrow is in the wrong place. To get the most out of a new runway we should be building it where it can be operational for as many hours a day as possible. This is simply not possible at Heathrow, which already inflicts substantial noise on sixty eight times more people than Gatwick.

“The Government has a clear obligation to answer the serious concerns about Heathrow’s case for expansion. I will continue to raise this regularly with Ministers.

“With threats of legal action, it would be unwise for the government to give Heathrow the green light without a proper strategy.”

Heathrow is the wrong solution to the problem of airport undercapacity. It is already Europe’s noisiest and worst polluting airport. The idea that expansion would alleviate this is ludicrous.

Adam Afriyie says Thames Estuary option must be included in the final report

Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, today warned the Airport Commission against dropping the Thames Estuary option from its final report.

The Davies Commission published four studies of the plan to build a new airport in the Thames Estuary on Friday. These studies suggested that the plans for a new airport might face some technical environmental and financial difficulties.

Adam Afriyie said:

“I urge the Airport Commission to include an offshore option in the South East shortlist for its final report. Eliminating this option would be a short-sighted decision, based on technical difficulties that can be overcome if we truly want a long-term solution to our aviation needs.

“In the next 30 to 50 years, the UK may need as many as five extra runways to cope with increased airport demand. There is ample space for this expansion around the Thames Estuary, and a new offshore airport would provide us with the long-term capacity to become a great trading nation again – without imposing noise and pollution on a large number of people living under the flight path.

“So, the Airport Commission now has a prime opportunity to help make an important decision that is in the long-term interests of the country. Sir Howard Davies must not let this opportunity slip through his hands. It is the opportunity of the century for Britain.

“Let us remember, there is simply not space for this type of expansion at Heathrow. We’d need another two or three runways within a few decades or so. Heathrow expansion is a short-term sticking plaster solution that it is not in the local, regional or national interest.

“People, like the shareholders of Heathrow Airport Plc, have always pointed out technical difficulties that face building a new airport in the Thames Estuary. But, if the decision is right for the country we can rise to the challenges.

“The Mayor of London, Sir Norman Foster and others have shown that a large proportion of the necessary funding could be raised from private investors, and that there are many innovative solutions to the other challenges.”

Contact

Notes to Editors

  1. Mr Afriyie’s website: http://www.adamafriyie.org/
  2. Mr. Afriyie’s article in The Telegraph arguing in favour of a Thames Estuary airport: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/aviation/9531940/Why-Im-backing-Boris-Island-by-Windsor-MP-Adam-Afriyie.html
  3. Copy of consultation documents on Thames Estuary option: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/inner-thames-estuary-airport-studies