The Inspector who conducted the Terminal Five Inquiry has spoken out against the Government plans for a third runway at Heathrow. In a rare interview, Roy Vandermeer told BBC London (1): “At the moment I have not for my part seen enough to persuade me that I would be altering my recommendations about the 3rd runway, were I doing it now. But that’s not to guarantee I wouldn’t, but I have not seen the material that would make me convinced that I would change my mind”.
Roy Vandermeer recommended the go-ahead of Terminal Five after the longest Public Inquiry in UK history, lasting nearly four years. But he said the 5th Terminal should only go ahead on the condition that the number of flights were capped at 480,000 per year. The Government accepted the cap when it gave Terminal 5 the official green light in 2001.
The Government now admits that a third runway would mean over 700,000 flights using the airport.
John Stewart, chair of the campaign group HACAN, said, “Just how many knowledgeable people need to speak out against expansion before the Government will listen. It is time Gordon Brown listened to independent experts rather than forever being swayed by the self-interested, siren voices of the aviation industry.”
Notes for Editors
(1). The interview was shown on Friday 25th January 2008 on BBC London.
For further information contact John Stewart on 0207 737 6641; or 07957385650