25/5/14 for immediate use
New figures published by the London Mayor ‘blow out of the water’ Heathrow Airport’s oft-repeated claim that overall noise levels will fall if a third runway is built. They show that Heathrow’s claims assume the new runway will be only operating at one-third capacity. They also argue that Heathrow is also over-optimistic about the introduction of quieter aircraft. The Mayor’s figures, based on a study he commissioned from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), show that, if a third runway is built, over a million people will be impacted by noise, up from 725,000 today.
The new figures are part of a report on the Estuary Airport the Mayor submitted to the Airports Commission on Friday (1). It shows that 31,500 people would be impacted by noise from an Estuary Airport operating over a million flights a year compared with the 725,000 people currently affected by a two-runway Heathrow, with around 470,000 flights each year. It is estimated a two-runway Gatwick with around half the flights of an Estuary Airport, would impact around 15,000 people.
HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “These new figures from the Civil Aviation Authority blow out of the water Heathrow’s claims that a 3rd runway can cut noise levels. They could be a game-changer as they show that Heathrow still has not found a way to deal with the politically toxic problem of noise.”
The CAA study shows that, if a third runway was built at Heathrow, people would be disturbed in new areas of London and the South East.
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The Airports Commission, set up by the Government in 2012, to assess options for airport expansion is currently looking at the merits of building a third runway at Heathrow, a second runway at Gatwick, or an Estuary Airport on the Isle of Grain in Kent. It is expected to consult on its proposals later this year before publishing its final report two months after the 2015 General Election.
Notes for Editors:
For further information: John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650