Approval of one of the most controversial runways in history has been granted by the government today.
Plans have been given the go ahead but with restrictions designed to protect the environment controlling noise and pollution and pacify green campaigners.
The decision has been greeted with legal challenges from the environmentalist such as Greenpeace who have stated, “This new runway cannot and will not be built. If it’s a green light it will shred the last vestiges of Brown’s environmental credibility. An expanded Heathrow would become the single biggest emitter of CO2 in Britain. Labour MPs will lose seats over this as the anti-runway movement grows and grows. We’ll fight it every step of the way because the lives of millions of people depend on us all slashing carbon emissions.”
The new run way is planned to last five years with demolition of a village to make way for increased capacity at Heathrow.
The move is welcomed though by many working within the airport, Airline official, union and business leader as well as parliamentary officials
Although claims made Richmond council that the air traffic will increase with or without the new construction by a third regardless. The decision not to build it would only result in longer waiting times before take off and a greater congestion on single flight paths.
Leader of Richmond Council, Serge Lourie said of the proposed alternative plan to copy Gatwick’s single runway that accommodates at least 50 landings and take offs an hour for much of the day, “The impact on local residents of this ‘maximum use’ policy will be just as bad as a third runway. Using both runways will mean aircraft will be flying directly over the borough from 6am to midnight every day, allowing no respite for residents.
John Stewart of HACAN added: “If people thought a third runway was bad, the damage caused by all-day flights on existing runways with no switch at 3pm will be far worse. There will be a huge outcry in west London if people see this expansion by stealth being imposed on them. It’s a real risk because we know how hard it is going to be to fund a new runway.”
“All of us involved in the campaign for fresh thinking on government aviation policy will be urging London MPs to maintain opposition both to a third runway and maximum use of existing runways.”
Heathrow currently sees 480,000 flights per day.