Plans for run­way are ‘chal­leng­ing’

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­

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

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