Just who is Bassam Mahfouz kidding?(Gazette, January 9).
The Government made up its mind on Heathrow expansion years ago. This is all part of the culture of disinformation which is characteristic of the history of the airport.
BAA have already admitted to lying about the third runway during the Terminal Five enquiry and now we have Geoff Hoon pretending that Heathrow can be expanded without breaking noise and pollution limits. Even Harry Potter would have difficulty pulling this one off.
Nor is this the end of the matter.
BAA have already admitted they want a fourth runway as well. I'm told by people working at the airport that they also eventually want 12 terminals handling over a million flights a year. This would involve destroying thousands of homes and would make life unbearable for the millions living around Heathrow. Steve Pound has expressed his dislike at being bullied by men with beards and sandals; the real bullies however are BAA and the airlines. People should not delude themselves that this will bring much real benefit to the UK economy; more than a third of passengers at the airport are transfers and will not spend their money outside Heathrow, and increased automation will mean that no great jobs bonanza is on offer. That Gordon Brown is supporting expansion shows where his priorities lie.
I do wonder about the Faustian pact he has struck with BAA and the airlines. They get to increase their profits and he gets to lose votes and seats. Aren't Labour getting a raw deal over this?
They aren't the only ones. Ealing residents (along with many others) will also be losers if the third runway goes through.