Airport expansion articles

Against Heathrow expansion

Caroline Pidgeon AM joined Vince Cable MP speaking at a rally organised by HACAN against expansion at Heathrow on Tuesday 3rd March.

"Given that there are 725,000 people affected by noise from Heathrow – no other airport in Europe comes close to this figure. AND a new runway would mean an additional 150,000 people under the flight path. It is simply unthinkable that a third runway could be built at Heathrow" commented Caroline.

Other key messages from Caroline's speech include:

"Existing capacity in the south east must be used more effectively. In summer 2012, 47% of runway slots at Stansted weren’t used, 51% at Luton, and 12% at Gatwick. Instead of a new runway at Heathrow, we should be prioritising improved rail links to the airports that already have spare capacity. It’s good to see that the line to Stansted will be four-tracked in the not too distant future."

"Even at Heathrow, though it is full, we know the terminals can handle a further 20 million passengers a year. Heathrow could look to shift to more long-haul flights or larger aircraft to increase passengers."

Assembly rejects Heathrow expansion

Despite opposition from the Conservatives, the London Assembly has voted to reaffirm its opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport and suggest that more use could be made of spare capacity at other airports serving the South East. It was reacting to the interim report published by Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission and the options proposed for expanding Heathrow and Gatwick.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who proposed the motion, said: “I am really disappointed to see Heathrow back on the table. Airport capacity in London is currently under-used, in fact some London airports have more than half of their runway slots free. Rather than inflict further misery on the residents of West London, the Davies Commission should rule out expansion of Heathrow and focus on better use of capacity at other South East airports.”

Commercial lobbying, not common sense is leading the aviation debate

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the proposed recommendations from Sir Howard Davies on expanding airport aviation, said:

“For the Davies Commission to advocate a third Heathrow runway in its proposed options means that it lacks any credibility in going forward.

“There is a great deal of spare aviation capacity in London and the South East. By showing so little interest in an intelligent use of this spare capacity the Davies inquiry has totally lost its way.”

Assembly report says London's airport capacity is underused

Airport capacity in London is currently underused, with some of London's airports having more than half their runway slots free, says a new London Assembly report. Even Heathrow – at 99 per cent runway capacity – might potentially fly an additional 20 million passengers every year if larger aircraft were used.

The Transport Committee’s report – Airport Capacity in London – suggests existing airport capacity in London, including at busier Heathrow and Gatwick airports, could be used more effectively.

Its reasearch shows:

Assembly says no to revival of third runway at Heathrow

The London Assembly today made clear its continuing unanimous opposition to the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Following recent reports that the prospect of an expanded Heathrow could be revived, Assembly Members backed a motion urging Mayor of London Boris Johnson to join the Assembly in lobbying London MPs to oppose a third runway and to work with government to find alternative solutions to airport capacity issues in London and the South East.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who proposed the motion, said:
“In 2010 the Government was right to axe plans for a third Heathrow Runway and the same arguments against expansion still hold good today.

Campaigning in Richmond against Heathrow expansion

Caroline spent a morning in Richmond town center, and at Kew station, on Easter Saturday getting signatures against a third runway at Heathrow and talking to local residents about transport tissues with Munira Wilson our local candidate and Brian Paddick, as well as other local activists such as Robin Meltzer, Shas Sheehan and Cllr Stephen Knight.

HACAN keeps up night flight campaigning

Caroline met up with John Stewart and the team from HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) at their stall in the Oval Farmers’ Market on Saturday.

Caroline chatted with John about the night flight concerns and the impact it has on a wide area including Vauxhall and Camberwell.

“It was good to see John and to hear about HACAN’s hard work around flights from Heathrow”, said Caroline

Caroline backs court challenge over Heathrow third runway

Caroline Pidgeon has backed a High Court action launched by local authorities, green groups and residents' groups, challenging the government's decision to approve a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow Airport.

The coalition’s lawyers will be claiming in court that the consultation process was fundamentally flawed, that the decision to expand Heathrow is at odds with the UK’s overall climate change targets, and that the number of measures introduced to pass the plans through Parliament mean the expansion is fundamentally different to the proposals on which the Government consulted the public in 2007. The Transport Department’s lawyers are now claiming the new measures were not part of the decision to expand Heathrow.

If the coalition wins, the decision to proceed with the runway may be overturned.

London Assembly takes a stand against Heathrow night flights

The London Assembly today sent a clear message that they are totally opposed to any attempt to allow night flights during the 2012 Olympic Games or at any other time.

A unanimously agreed motion urged Mayor Boris Johnson to write jointly with the Chair of the London Assembly to the Secretary of State for Transport and his relevant counterparts in the opposition parties to express their concerns.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who amended the motion, said: "Many more Londoners than you might expect are affected by night flights. For example recent research from HACAN suggests that half of the top 12 boroughs affected by night noise are in east or south London.

“If night flights are allowed for the Olympics, it could set the precedent for the future. This motion sends a clear message that the London Assembly is against the derestriction of night flights and relaxation of noise controls.”

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