Election Promises » Heathrow
Saying NO to the third runway at Heathrow
I am very happy that one of the first decisions made by the Coalition Government was to stop the third runway at Heathrow and pledge to keep runway alternation, which allows local residents some respite from aircraft noise.
The Coalition Government has shown strong leadership on the issue of expansion of Heathrow and must continue to do so. The reasons for cancelling the third runway at Heathrow remain the same and there is cross-party support for this. Already, almost 30% of those people affected by aircraft noise across the whole of Europe live under the Heathrow flightpaths. Air pollution levels in the area also frequently exceed EU agreed limits.
Night flight restrictions are set and closely monitored by the Government and are reviewed every five years. The current restrictions end on October 2012, however, the Government announced a two year rollover of these earlier this year. I understand that there will be a public consultation on the next night flights regime later in 2012. This will be an opportunity for residents to make their views known to Government.
The Government is obliged by European Law to develop a Noise Action Plan for Heathrow airport and this is in the final stages of approval. British Airports Authority (BAA), who manage the operations at Heathrow airport, has also recently published a consultation document outlining the steps it plans to take to mitigate against noise, such as providing financial support for the cost of double glazing and insulation. There is some good news as BAA plans to extend the geographic boundaries for residents and community buildings that qualify for support and to increase the level of support for those who are most affected. However, we must ensure that residents and community buildings most impacted by aircraft noise from Heathrow airport get schemes that are comparable to the very best in the UK and in other countries.
You can find out more information about my campaigns on night flights here.
Most recently, I have been working with other West London MPs, such as Zac Goldsmith, to communicate your views to the Government. My campaign will now focus on four things:
1) keeping up the campaign against the third runway;
2) highlighting the importance of runway alternation;
3) campaigning to reduce night flights; and
4) encouraging constituents to respond to the consultation on operational freedoms.
I will continue to do all I can to try to reduce aircraft noise as well as trying to ensure adequate noise insulation for those who continue to be affected.