The Government seems determined to go ahead with expanding Heathrow Airport despite massive public opposition.

Hundreds of people living near the airport would lose their homes and many more would be affected by increased pollution and noise.

There is no business case to make for the expansion of Heathrow. The majority of passengers taking off from London airports are leisure travellers. A significant number of people landing at Heathrow are transferring to connecting flights rather than investing in Londonís economy.

Proper consideration has not been given to high speed rail links as a viable alternative to domestic flights.

Meanwhile plans to introduce mixed mode at Heathrow Airport must not be allowed to slip underneath the radar. Proposals to substantially increase the number of flights at what is already one of the world's busiest airports by using the two existing runways for both takeoffs and landings have been buried in the small print of a government consultation document.

The current arrangement where departing aircraft use one runway and arrivals the other gives people living under the flight paths much needed respite from the noise when the runways are swapped each day.

Ditching this system would mean a longer approach into Heathrow for thousands more flights and misery for millions more people across the capital who do not currently experience too much intrusion from aircraft. As well as the impact on health and environmental concerns, more planes flying lower over the city as they approach the airport is an increased security risk to central London.

The expansion of Heathrow airport is a flight of fantasy which must not be allowed to take off.


Chairman of transport and environment committee

London Councils