Third Runway ‘Won’t reduce stacking’

"Experience shows every time Heathrow gets extra capacity it's quickly filled up"

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Councils opposed to Heathrow expansion say there is no evidence that the additional capacity from a third runway would be used to reduce stacking around the airport.

The 2M Group was responding to a recommendation from the Transport Select Committee in a report published today, 14th July, on the use of airspace.

MPs want the Government to set targets for cutting stacking and making the air traffic management system at Heathrow more resilient.

But Hounslow Council's lead member for aviation, Cllr Barbara Reid, speaking on behalf of 2M, said, “Experience shows us that every time Heathrow gets extra capacity this is quickly filled up. None of the expansion at the airport has ever been used to improve noise conditions for people under the flightpaths.

“The cost-benefit case made by the Department for Transport for a third runway depended on it being used for extra flights, not reducing congestion in the sky.

“The history of Heathrow is a long saga of broken promises. Most people concerned about the environmental impact of expansion would be very wary of entering into some form of deal with the Department for Transport and the aviation industry.

“The way to improve resilience at the airport is to reduce the number of short haul flights by investing in a national high speed rail network. If a line was built to Scotland this could mean around 100 flights a day could be switched to rail.

“We recognise that stacking and flightpath congestion mean more noise for many people in and around London and burn fuel, but so would more planes. The amount of carbon emissions produced by stacking is less than one per cent of that generated by a third runway. You can’t mitigate one environmental problem by creating another that is 100 times bigger.”


July 15, 2009