Julian Bray writes: Heathrow Airport has as a neat ploy to swing the vote for expansion its way, agreed to reduce night flights, as well as curtailing noise and pollution, in a bid to get its third runway off the ground. I even took to the airwaves on Share Radio, to rubbish the original report publication.
It comes ahead of a widely-anticipated government decision on whether to expand Heathrow or rival Gatwick, later this summer.
Drilling down , its not that much of a concession, some might even say its a cynical PR pitch for those not up to date with aircraft development; as new generation aircraft jets are not so noisy and the NATS Air Traffic control service is introducing a new "first come, first served, funnel like landing system" which should eliminate the need for stacking, as aircraft will be accepted from literally all directions, and not just waiting then joining a pre-determined line as they currently do.
It seems ages since the Airport Commission, chaired by Howard Davies, launched its completed report and said Heathrow should be expanded, but with severe environmental restrictions.
The government had second thoughts and demanded further work. The new Mayor for London Sadiq Khan, is now also firmly on record as saying that he favours Gatwick, possibly fearing disruption to the substantial ethnic communities of Southall and environs.
Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, in a letter to David Cameron said: “Today, I am proud to submit a comprehensive plan that meets and exceeds your demands. This is a big commitment from us, but it is the right choice for the country, local communities and jobs across Britain."
“We have acted now to let you and your government make the right choice, in the long term interest of our country. It will enable you to choose Heathrow and secure a stronger economy and Britain’s place in the world."
“Expanding Heathrow can help Britain win thousands more jobs and ensure that future generations have the same economic opportunity that we have enjoyed."
What the Heathrow chief does not say, is that the Heathrow plan will attract a huge public multi million additional funding bill, as the surrounding feeder road, motorway and tunnel networks will have to be modified to accommodate the new runway. Gatwick on the other hands contains little in the way of major urban disruption, but it will wipe out a whole village and an excellent pub!
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