Heathrow in pledge over a fourth runway
Agreement on night flight ban if expansion approved
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.