Heathrow’s greatest weakness has always been the number of people it affects due to its archaic location.
It already affects more people than any other airport in Europe. Indeed, 24% of people in Europe affected by aircraft noise are under Heathrow.
The recent decision on airport expansion is deeply disappointing. Yet in some ways it’s understandable given the groupthink surrounding a third runway to which the Airport Expansion sub-committee has been subjected.
We need new airport capacity and we need it fast. But it needs to be introduced in the most cost-effective and least environmentally damaging way possible.
We are getting closer and closer to a decision on airport expansion.
The argument against expansion at Heathrow, when there are so many preferable alternatives, has been made time and time again. As someone who has campaigned against Heathrow for more than a decade, I can’t even count the number of debates I have spoken at, petitions I have signed and local community groups that I have visited. Now, more than ever, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. That is why I have decided to support an Early Day Motion (EDM) proposed by my colleague Zac Goldsmith; someone who has likewise campaigned against expansion at Heathrow for many years.
The letter below has gone out to constituents in response to queries about what is being done to tackle the airspace changes, that have increased noise over parts of the constituency.
The focus is:
- Pressing for a consultation on, and change to, NATs Guidance on airspace strategy.
- Asking for NATs to have responsibility for the level of ground noise imposed by aircraft
- Urging the use of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) to mitigate noise
- Calling for air traffic controllers to monitor flights up to 7,000 ft, rather than just 4,000 ft.
The letter can be read in full below. Click to enlarge.
Heathrow update letter (July 2015)
While it is disappointing that the Commission’s first recommendation for a third runway at Heathrow reflects a backward looking view of aviation world, there is good reason for optimism. Gatwick remains on the table as a credible and commercially viable option.
With the door open for Gatwick we may finally be closer to a decision and I will be urging the Government to take the opportunity of a generation to choose Gatwick.