A year later the fight still goes on
PROTEST PLANNED TO MARK ANNIVERSARY OF HEATHROW THIRD RUNWAY DECISION
IT has been nearly one year since the Prime Minister declared Heathrow Airport as the government’s choice for airport expansion in the south east.
To mark the first anniversary of the announcement, which was met with mixed reactions across London and its home counties, a protest against a third runway will take place today (Wednesday).
MPs including John McDonnell, Ruth Cadbury and Zac Goldsmith will join campaigners by “planting” 700 model red planes in College Green, opposite the Houses of Parliament, and will hold up a red plane in protest.
The number of planes represents the extra flights which would operate each day from the west London hub airport if expansion goes ahead.
On October 25 last year, Theresa May announced the government’s preferred option for airport expansion, which kick-started the process for a third runway at Heathrow.
Meanwhile, MP for Brentford and Isleworth Ruth Cadbury has secured an adjournment debate in Parliament, also on Wednesday.
Protest events will be held across London and Surrey, in Ealing, Osterley, Hammersmith, Teddington, Harmondsworth, Sipson, Kennington, Lightwater and Englefield Green.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) which gives a voice to residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said: “We have a simple message: 700 extra planes a day can only mean a lot more noise for a lot more people.
“In total over 2,000 planes will be using Heathrow every day flying over some of the most densely-populated areas in Europe.”
The government published a draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) on February 2 and a 16-week public consultation was held.
The feedback is now being analysed.
In September this year, the government announced a further consultation to include updated evidence on revised aviation demand forecasts and air quality.
Earlier this month, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling signalled at the Conservative Party Conference that Parliament will vote on the proposal for a third runway in spring of 2018.
The Department for Transport is due to announce a consultation on updated air pollution figures and passenger forecasts.
If Parliament votes in favour of a third runway next year it will become government policy, giving Heathrow the go-ahead to draw up detailed plans to go to public consultation.
Final approval will be determined at a planning inquiry and, if approved, construction could begin in early 2021.