Heathrow in pledge over a fourth run­way

Agree­ment on night flight ban if ex­pan­sion ap­proved

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HEATHROW Air­port will agree to a ban on night flights and will rule out a fu­ture fourth run­way, in a bid to get David Cameron to ap­prove ex­pan­sion at the air­port.

The hub air­port says it will meet and, in most cases, ex­ceed the con­di­tions set out in the Air­ports Com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tion for a third run­way.

In July last year, the in­de­pen­dent Air­ports Com­mis­sion unan­i­mously rec­om­mended ex­pand­ing Heathrow, af­ter a three-year, £20 mil­lion study into the best op­tion for main­tain­ing the UK’s global avi­a­tion hub sta­tus.

The com­mis­sion rec­om­mended that there should be a ban on all sched­uled night flights from 11.30pm to 6am, fol­low­ing con­struc­tion of a third run­way.

Heathrow say they will in­tro­duce a legally bind­ing ban on all sched­uled night flights for six-and-ahalf hours when the third run­way opens. Cam­paign­ers have re­acted with anger, how­ever, ask­ing why those liv­ing near the air­port should be­lieve it will keep its prom­ise not to ex­pand this time, af­ter be­ing let down be­fore.

A spokesper­son for the air­port said: “We will sup­port the ear­lier in­tro­duc­tion of this ex­tended ban on night flights by the govern­ment as soon as the nec­es­sary airspace has been mod­ernised, af­ter plan­ning con­sent for the third run­way has been se­cured.”

John Hol­land-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, has writ­ten to the prime min­is­ter set­ting out the plans on Wed­nes­day May 11 which ‘bal­ances the huge na­tional and lo­cal eco­nomic gain from ex­pan­sion with the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts’.

He said: “You set up the Air­ports Com­mis­sion and it unan­i­mously rec­om­mended ex­pand­ing Heathrow. You de­manded am­bi­tious plans from my team to de­liver ex­pan­sion with a bold and fair deal for our neigh­bours.

“Today, I am proud to sub­mit a com­pre­hen­sive plan that meets and ex­ceeds your de­mands. This is a big com­mit­ment from us, but it is the right choice for the country, lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and jobs across Bri­tain.

“We have acted now to let you and your govern­ment make the right choice in the long-term in­ter­est of our country. It will en­able you to choose Heathrow and se­cure a stronger econ­omy and Bri­tain’s place in the world. Ex­pand­ing Heathrow can help Bri­tain win thou­sands more jobs and en­sure that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions have the same eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity that we have en­joyed.”

Heathrow says it is com­mit­ted to work­ing with airlines to de­liver an ex­panded Heathrow that is af­ford­able for pas­sen­gers and airlines, while giv­ing the fairest deal to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

As well as a night flight ban, its for­mal re­sponse to the com­mis­sion in­cludes ac­cept­ing a com­mit­ment from the govern­ment rul­ing out any fourth run­way, a pro­posal for the En­vi­ron­ment Agency to be given the role of an in­de­pen­dent avi­a­tion air qual­ity author­ity and es­tab­lish­ing an ed­u­ca­tion and skills task­force.

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