Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, is encouraging the public to join the collective response by the No 3rd Runway Coalition (N3R Coalition) opposing expansion at Heathrow. The N3R Coalition are an umbrella group representing nearly every major anti-3rd Runway pressure group.
The N3R Coalition is asking members of the public to download and sign a document expressing their opposition to a 3rd Runway at Heathrow. Anyone can let the government know about their concerns by downloading the template here, signing it and emailing it to RunwayConsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk.
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
Notes to editors:
- 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;
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.”
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, 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.”
Notes to Editors
- Mr Afriyie’s website: http://www.adamafriyie.org/
- 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
- Copy of consultation documents on Thames Estuary option: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/inner-thames-estuary-airport-studies