AIR­PORT’S EX­PAN­SION BLOW

Growth ‘un­de­liv­er­able’ due to pol­lu­tion lev­els, says re­port

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HEATHROW Air­port ex­pan­sion is likely to be ‘un­de­liv­er­able’ be­cause of as­so­ci­ated pol­lu­tion, a re­port has claimed.

Ni­tro­gen diox­ide lev­els at the air­port are al­ready in breach of the EU Air Qual­ity Di­rec­tive, although man­age­ment blame traf­fic on the M4.

En­vi­ron­men­tal ex­perts have now con­cluded in a re­port that build­ing a third run­way or ex­tend­ing an ex­ist­ing one at Heathrow would de­lay the UK’s abil­ity to com­ply with NO2 lim­its, sub­ject­ing the gov­ern­ment to po­ten­tial fines.

The re­port, en­ti­tled ‘Cur­rent and Fu­ture Air Qual­ity around Heathrow Air­port – Im­pli­ca­tions for its Fur­ther Devel­op­ment’, has been com­mis­sioned by ri­val Gatwick Air­port and writ­ten by con­sul­tancy firm En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­sources Man­age­ment (ERM).

The Air­ports Com­mis­sion has been tasked with ad­vis­ing the next gov­ern­ment on whether to ex­pand Gatwick or Heathrow in or­der to in­crease flight ca­pac­ity.

The re­port said: “If the com­mis­sion were to se­lect one of the Heathrow schemes, there must be a sig­nif­i­cant risk that it may sub­se­quently prove to be un­de­liv­er­able.”

Heathrow claims im­proved rail links will re­duce emis­sions.

A spokes­woman added: “We will in­cen­tivise staff and pas­sen­gers to use our en­hanced public trans­port net­work, re­duce staff car park­ing spa­ces and look at a po­ten­tial con­ges­tion charge to help re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple trav­el­ling to the air­port by car.”

Gatwick claims it has guar­an­teed not to breach EU and UK air qual­ity lim­its if cho­sen for a sec­ond run­way.

It has launched a PR of­fen­sive by pub­lish­ing a doc­u­ment ti­tled ‘Over the Limit’, out­lin­ing its case against Heathrow’s ex­pan­sion and is dis­tribut­ing 400,000 leaflets warn­ing of the noise im­pact of a third Heathrow run­way.

n ‘SIG­NIF­I­CANT RISK’: The re­port against Heathrow was com­mis­sioned by ri­vals Gatwick

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