Plans for runway are ‘challenging’
A REPORT by the Airports Commission shows plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport face ‘formidable’ problems, a campaign group claims.
The Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise ( HACAN) sent a briefing to MPs and local authorities on Monday last week, aiming to help explain the commission’s findings, which were published this month.
HACAN said the commission’s analysis showed the project could bring economic benefits, but also that there would be ‘significant’ obstacles.
Among the finding’s highlighted by the group were:
Nearly 800 homes would need to be demolished
Big improvements to the surrounding motorway network would be required, including putting sections of the M25 inside a tunnel, at an estimated cost of around £5billion
70,000 new homes would be required
Air pollution could exceed the EU legal limits
HACAN chairman John Stewart said: “The Airports Commission makes clear the problems of building a third runway at Heathrow remain formidable. My feeling is that, whatever economic benefits it might bring, the obstacles are so big as to frighten off any future government from giving a green light to expansion.”
The commission has been tasked with finding the best option for increasing airport capacity in south-east England.
The three options being considered are building a third runway at Heathrow, expanding one of Heathrow’s existing runways, and creating a second runway at Gatwick.
Earlier this month, the commission published its analysis of all three proposals and opened its findings to a public consultation.
Heathrow Airport spokeswoman Paloma Aguilar said: “The Commission’s independent appraisal has made it clear that Heathrow could not only deliver over 41,000 more jobs for local residents by 2030 with expansion, but also ensure reduced levels of noise for those living near the airport.”
See Letters, pages 15-16
n AERIAL VIEW: Heathrow Airport’s latest plans for expansion Contributed