Airport integrity is still pie in the sky
AS Heathrow Airport celebrates its ‘70th birthday’ next week, it is worth bearing in mind that from the time it was conceived to the present day it has been mired in deception.
It was born in the war, when Churchill was conned by various ministers to think that it would be for a military facility – it was never used as such and never meant to be. It was built under wartime provisions, so no planning inquiry was necessary and owners of several farms were simply told to move out.
The duplicity continued with the building of terminals 4 and then 5, when residents were assured each time that there would be no further developments at Heathrow if these were built.
Now a 3rd runway is proposed all sorts of doubtful promises are being made. On air pollution Heathrow says “new capacity will not be released unless we can do so without delaying compliance with EU air quality limits.” But if Heathrow has a hugely costly new runway all ready for use, does anyone suppose it would be kept idle just because of some EU regulations?
On noise Heathrow says there will be “a clear and legally binding noise envelope”. The envelope could be whatever suits. Oh, and the promise there won’t be a 4th runway. Does anyone believe that? MAGGIE THORBURN West London Friends of the Earth