Campaigners  ‘plant’ 2000 black paper planes outside Parliament

On January 5th, the day Parliament returns, campaigners against a third runway at Heathrow ‘planted’ 2000 black paper planes in Victoria Gardens in Westminster at 10am to highlight the fact that 2016 will be a grim year for residents if a new runway is given the go-ahead.   The campaigners expect around 2000 flights at day will use the airport if it gets a third runway, up from 1350 a day at present.

HACAN black planes

(photo by Phil Weedon)

HACAN was joined by people from groups in Chiswick and Ealing as well as Stop Heathrow Expansion, which represents people in the Heathrow Villages whose homes are under threat, Friends of the Earth and residents west of Heathrow (1).

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “2016 is likely to be the year when the Government makes a decision about a new runway.  It will be a grim year for Heathrow residents if the Government decides to go for a third runway at Heathrow.  Our New Year’s message to the Prime Minister is we will fight to the bitter end to stop a third runway happening.”

Just before Christmas the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that a decision about a new runway, expected in December, would be deferred for at least another six months.

The Department for Transport is still looking at the options for a third runway at Heathrow, a second runway at Gatwick and the plan put forward by Heathrow Hub to double the length of the existing northern runway at Heathrow.

(1). The organisations represented were HACAN, SHE (Stop Heathrow Expansion), CHATR (Chiswick against Third Runway), ENAG (Ealing Noise Action Group), Friends of the Earth as well as residents living west of the airport.