Thursday, June 28, 2018

Streeting Backs Third Runway at Heathrow

On 25th June MP for Ilford North, Wes Streeting, backed a third runway at Heathrow. The Government got a majority of 296 after the debate in Parliament. The third runway now officially becomes Government policy. But it will be some years before it is built. The local authorities, backed by Greenpeace and the Mayor of London, are preparing a legal challenge. They have six weeks to submit it. Heathrow Hub, the rival expansion scheme, will also mount a legal challenge.

The courts would be expected to hear the cases in the autumn. Heathrow will start drawing up its detailed plans for the new runway. This is part of the DCO (Development Consent Order) process. These plans will be consulted on next year with a view to going before a Planning Inquiry in 2020. Heathrow would be looking to get final permission in 2021 and open the new runway in 2025.

Green MEP for the South East, Keith Taylor, said "MPs have today revealed their contempt for the reality of the climate crisis. Conservative MPs in hock to their corporate paymasters and Labour MPs beholden to their union backers have cast aside the most urgent issue facing Britain, and the planet, today."

Caroline Lucas MP, the Green Party co-leader, said that Heathrow expansion puts a “wrecking ball” through Britain's climate policies. Lucas, said that a vote in favour is “willingly waving the white flag to catastrophic climate change”.

Boris Johnson, former London Mayor and current Foreign Secretary was unavailable for comment.


Closer to home HACAN East will be fighting to ensure that, if a third runway is built, the people of East and SE London will not lose out. The Government has laid down that a third runway can only be built if there is a tougher night flight regime – a break of 6½ hours instead of the current 5 – and, wherever possible, periods of respite for all communities. They are gearing up their campaign to make sure that includes East and SE London. As a start, there will be a series of catchy videos to make the case. We will let you know when they are available.

Meanwhile the report by the Civil Aviation Authority into London City Airport’s controversial concentrated flight paths is still not out. It was expected last summer. The CAA’s website now says they hope to publish it before the end of this month. The reason for the delay is not clear. The CAA is required to assess the first year of operation of the new flight paths which were concentrated in February 2016 and to make recommendations. The new concentrated flight paths caused a four-fold rise in complaints to City Airport. People have also written in large numbers to the CAA. And last year HACAN East presented the CAA with a cake covered in concentrated flight paths to remind them of the impact of the flights on communities across wide swathes of East and SE London.

▪ You can track the flight paths of City Airport planes on https://travislcy.topsonic.aero/

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