Heathrow Airport (formerly known as BAA) wants to see a third runway built close to the village of Stanwell Moor, just south-west of the exiting airport (1). In leaked news it emerged today that the airport operator will submit plans next month to the Airports Commission (2) for a new runway in the Stanwell Moor area. Heathrow Airport’s submission may contain other options but this is thought to be their favoured one. They will drop their previous plans for a new runway north of the airport which would have demolished the village of Sipson.
A new runway to the south-west of the airport is likely to require less demolition of properties. Heathrow Airport will also argue that the new flight paths will overfly fewer communities. To the east of the airport places in the firing line would be Feltham, Twickenham, Ham, Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common and Tooting. To the west, the areas around Windsor Great Park would be most affected.
It is expected that the plans for a third runway will be accompanied by the noise mitigation measures Heathrow Airport published last week. These included steeper descent approaches, less noisy planes and the naming and fining of the noisiest aircraft.
Heathrow Airport is expected to argue that at this stage they have no plans for a 4th runway. They also intend to retain runway alternation on the existing runways.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which represents residents under the existing flight paths, said, “This is a clever plan which Heathrow hopes might neutralize opposition amongst some of the communities and local authorities which successfully opposed a new runway to the north of the airport. It would create less noise disturbance than a northern runway but we will oppose it because a whole new runway of planes will be massively disturbing to vast swathes of people across London and the South East. Flight numbers will rise from 480,000 a year to over 700,000.”
Notes to Editors:
(2). The Airports Commission was set up by the Government last year to assess whether more airport capacity is required in London and the South East. Proposals for new runways or airports need to be with the Commission by 19th July. The Commission will publish an Interim report at the end of this year in which it will short-list the proposals it intends to examine further. Its final report will be published in summer 2015, two months after the next General Election.
For more information:
John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650