Massive park to counteract airport growth
New £105m green space is planned
A HUGE area of green space four times the size of Hyde Park has been proposed for west London by Heathrow Airport, if expansion goes ahead.
The multi-million pound investment expected to benefit communities around the airport would see the transformation of Colne Valley Regional Park in Denham, near Uxbridge, to ‘reduce flood risk, protect biodiversity and wildlife habitats’.
It would also create new outdoor activities for families to enjoy say airport bosses.
Heathrow director of sustainability Matt Gorman said: “Heathrow expansion is an opportunity to provide once in a generation improvements to the physical environment for the communities around the airport.
“Our new plan means this airport can be worldleading in environmental performance and guarantee that those most impacted by expansion get both the greatest benefits and fair treatment.”
The £105m plans to create a new public parkland would include wet meadows for flood protection, pastures for grazing animals, bridleways, a cross country course, natural ponds, sports facilities, gardens, allotments and even a mountain bike trail, which would benefit people living in the surrounding boroughs to the airport.
A public consultation would be part of a stringent planning process if Heathrow expansion gets the green light.
With improvements on the southern part of the Colne Valley Regional Park, and new green areas to the east, north and south of the airport, Heathrow said it will work with Colne Valley Regional Park Community Interest Company (CIC) and Friends of River Crane on developing this vision if the airport is chosen to expand.
The Colne Valley Park stretches from Rickmansworth in the north to Staines and the Thames in the south, Uxbridge and Heathrow in the east to Slough and Chalfont in the west.
Heathrow will look to improve the quality of habitat for watercourses to the east of the airport on the River Crane, which runs from Harrow to Isleworth.
To the north, there is an opportunity to create wetland areas with public boardwalk access, an improved cycle network connecting with local boroughs. And to the south, potentially new and enhanced green spaces would include new, publicly accessible sports facilities. IF YOU’VE ever fancied working as an air hostess or even flying a commercial airliner then 2016 could be your year.
British Airways has announced plans to recruit 2,000 flying crew including 350 pilots and 1,600 cabin crew.
It’s in line with the carrier’s growing fleet of 13 new Boeing 787s and A380s arriving this year.
All recruits will be trained at BA’s new Global Learning Academy at Heathrow which is equipped with 15 simulators, as well as short and long haul aircraft training cabins.
BA director of flight operations, Captain Stephen Riley, said: “It’s a great time to be a British Airways pilot.
“We have excellent opportunities for new pilots with the British Airways Future Pilot Programme entering its fifth successful year, as well as the very best experienced flight crew from other airlines and the military.
“We’re extremely proud that we have more female pilots than ever before, and we are continuing our recruitment campaign to encourage more women to apply to fly commercial aircraft.”
Once the posts are filled it will be the first time in BA’s near 100-year history its air crew will exceed 20,000 people. There are three main channels to become a pilot; through BA’s cadet scheme – British Airways Future Pilot Programme – for 18 to 55-year-olds with no previous flying experience necessary; direct from other carriers; or as an experienced pilot from the military.
Cabin crew applicants must pass a series of online tests to secure a place on the course.
British Airways’ director of customer experience, Troy Warfield, said: “Not only do we have fantastic new training facilities, new aircraft with fresh cabin interiors, but also new routes to every corner of the globe.
“Cabin crew are integral to the success of our airline and we are very proud of the service they provide our customers.”