I am writing in response to Councillor Daniel Moylan's letter headlined Fantasy Flight must not fly,in the Fulham Gazette.

BAA is aware that the decision to expand Heathrow Airport has been a very difficult issue,particularly for residents who will be directly affected.

We intend to work closely with the local community as the planning process proceeds and provide as much information and support as possible.

However, Councillor Moylan states that there is no business case for a third runway.Yet, Heathrow expansion has support from the CBI, GMB, Unite,TUC, London Chamber of Commerce, London First, West London Business and theThames Valley Economic Partnership as well as many individual firms.

Furthermore, he claims that transfer passengers add nothing to London's economy. To those who wonder what value the UK derives from a passenger who flies in from Seattle,changes planes at Heathrow,and flies out again to Bangalore, the answer is surprisingly simple: without transfer passengers the UK would not have flights to destinations like Seattle or Bangalore.

These routes would simply not be economically viable without the high proportion of transfer passengers that support these flights. And that is true of many other flights as well.

Two thirds of flights at Heathrow depend on 25-40 per cent transfer traffic.Therefore, transfer passengers underpin two critical factors - network diversity and frequency.

Unsurprisingly, these are critical concerns for business travellers who make up 40 per cent of Heathrow's originating traffic.

Transfer traffic also underpins Heathrow's hub status, which is vital to business and a key component in ensuring that the UK remains internationally competitive in the long-term.

It also allows citizens of the UK to have direct routes to their friends and family abroad.

Councillor Moylan also asks that plans to introduce mixed mode operation must not be allowed to slip under the radar.In fact, the Government categorically ruled out mixed mode at Heathrow in its announcement on January 15, and runway alternation will remain in place.

Finally, the Government has clearly stated that a third runway will not go ahead unless strict environmental limits are met: no more noise overall than in 2002, air quality better than it is today,  and unless there are improvements to public transport.

To help assure the public that these environmental limits will be adhered to, the Government has appointed the CAA and the Environment Agency to have independent oversight of the limits on noise and air quality respectively.

If for any reason the limits are not being met, both organisations will have statutory powers to limit the number of flights on a third runway.


Via email

We have every right to object

A W THOM'S letter from his 'safe house' in Spain looks set to infuriate people not just from Sipson, but from all across west London.

Thom asks: 'Why do people purchase property near an airport and then complain about safety and noise?'

Noise, danger and air pollution from Heathrow affect around a million people in west London; is your correspondent suggesting that no-one should live there?

It is also worth pointing out that residents of Sipson and the

other threatened villages, such as Harmondsworth, do not live right by Heathrow. Heathrow is moving to them, not the other way round.

The residents have every right to be incensed about a third runway because they were promised by BAA and the Government that there would no Terminal 5 or Runway 3.



Flight paths are a madness

LORD Soley (Letters, January 30) is wrong.

London Docks declined because they were in the wrong place to cope with the container revolution and the transport access it needed.

The same is true for the old Covent Garden and Billingsgate markets. After they were moved, the areas they came from were regenerated and are now more healthy and prosperous than ever.

Heathrow is also in the wrong place. No one in their right mind would build a new airport with the flight paths directly over a major centre of population. But that's what the new plans amount to.

The extra 120,000 flights a year to be allowed at Heathrow are more than any UK provincial airport other than Manchester now has.

In 2008, out of 22 serious incidents involving commercial aircraft across the world, 12 occurred during take-off or landing. The risk of a major catastrophe over London, however slight, is not one that should be increased by adding such a large amount of overflying.

This is apart from the fact that the area cannot absorb the extra pollution and surface transport a third runway and sixth terminal would create.

These are already intolerable, as anyone looking at the facts should acknowledge.

Lord Soley and the Government should think again.


Chair, Ealing Borough Liberal Democrats

Ealing W5

Stacked planes higher, quieter

I WOULD like to slightly disagree with the point of view of my good friend Steve Pound.

The stacking of aircraft flights over west Middlesex has never been a real issue in Ealing as these flights are higher and quieter than take-off flights.

Nor have the flights landing on the north runway at Heathrow. These two are more of a problem for people living in Hounslow, Isleworth and Brentford.

But the biggest problem facing Ealing if the third runway goes ahead is the proposed take-off routes.

At present Ealing is plagued by flights from the north runway, and if you believe the BAA take-off map, Ealing would see a new, wide flight path. Which would put most of Ealing borough under a flight path from Heathrow.

Most of us over 40 years old still remember in wet weather the flights that used to use the cross runway at Heathrow. Aircraft every two minutes over Perivale, Greenford and Southall.

Hour after hour and very noisy. Especially for those who did not have double glazing - and there was also the very pungent smell of aviation fuel.

One question I would like to ask is, will BAA pay for all affected homes, schools etc to have adequate sound proof double glazing, as aircraft are still fairly noisy and a blight to anyone living near them?

Despite the pluses if the third runway goes ahead, such as new jobs etc, I know one thing - I am not looking forward to living under a flight path, like the poor people of Hounslow.