Beware Heathrow Consultation !

Heathrow Airport has finished its roadshow of of consultation events on Airspace changes, but the consultation continues on line: https://afo.heathrowconsultation.com/  It closes on 4th March.

It is a slick professional presentation, but don’t be fooled. The word “modernisation” is used, but the aim is to cram in thousands of more flights.

Heathrow wants to add 25,000 more flights pa with the existing two runways. But they are doing their best to hide that from you by burying this bombshell halfway down page 13 of one of the consultation documents. People coming out of the consultation events did not realise this until we told them!

With more flights on existing runways, all the options they give for airspace arrangements just confuse and hide the fact that 25,000 more flights would create more noise, as well as more air pollution and more congestion.

It is by no means certain that a third runway will go ahead. (It is being challenged in the courts. Also, Heathrow cannot easily afford it and are looking for government subsidy.)

A third runway would mean over 50% more flights – 260,000 extra flights pa. But Heathrow hide this crucial fact from their displays and consultation documents.

With 260,000 more flights, a large number of people of new people would experience regular flights overhead. Those that already suffer regular flights are being offered less respite.

All the options Heathrow give for airspace arrangements just confuse and hide the fact that a third runway would create even more noise, as well as more air pollution, more congestion and more climate change.

You do not have to answer the questions that Heathrow poses, if indeed you can find them online (there are 10 not including sub-questions).

If you do answer, be careful. Some of the questions are leading and your answers could be used by them to claim that you support expansion.

All the options mean more noise overall than without expansion. The only difference between the options Heathrow offer is that one particular option may give one community bit less noise at the expense of others.

We suggest you make a general response to the effect that you are strongly opposed to 25,000 extra flights pa with two runways and are even more strongly opposed to a third runway with 260,000 pa extra flights on the grounds of noise, air pollution, congestion and climate change.

You could add that you want to see changes which are win/win for all communities, eg quieter aircraft and compensation for noise impacts. Not flight path changes which just push noise around from one community to the next.

Consultation closes 4th March. 

A detailed response by West London Friends of the Earth is shown here.  Please use freely! If you don’t wish to spend too much time on this, there is short response on page 4.  You can respond by email to feedback@heathrowconsultation.com

But however you respond, make clear that you are strongly opposed to 25,000 extra flights with two runways and are even more strongly opposed to a third runway with 260,000 flights on the grounds of noise, air pollution, congestion and climate change.

 

Community Engagement?

Heathrow Community Engagement Board (HCEB) held a ‘Question Time’ on 23th Jan in Brentford.  The panel consisted of 5 members, but the only one who in any way represented residents’ interest was Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth. Thank you, Ruth!  3 others – John Holland-Kaye from Heathrow, Tim Johnson from the Civil Aviation Authority and Caroline Low from the Department for Transport (DfT) – are a cabal trying to push through a third runway.

Caroline Low from the DfT again tried to mislead the public by claiming “huge economic benefits” from Heathrow expansion. Despite the fact that her own department has published figure showing negligible benefits! (See ‘Economics and Costs‘ page, linking to detailed briefing.

John Holland-Kaye, trying to counter concerns about (proven) health impacts of noise and air pollution, argued that jobs are a health benefit.  This builds on Heathrow’s massive campaign of deceit and mis-information about jobs that would be created by a third runway and ignores the fact (noted by Ruth Cadbury) that unemployment is already low in the area.

Rachel Cerfonyne, head of HCEB, highlighted “lack of trust” as being a big issue.  It’s not hard to see why there is such a lack of trust!

The massive imbalance in the panel also caused attendees to question how independent the oft-claimed “independent” HCEB really is.

Heathrow and Grayling deceit on access to Heathrow

Data from a London TravelWatch  report exposes Heathrow and government deceit on surface access to Heathrow.

Heathrow Airport has claimed there will be no increase in road traffic,  despite that fact passenger numbers would go up nearly 50% with a third runway. But to achieve this, a massive increase in the % of people travelling by public transport is needed.

There is no evidence that this will happen. The TravelWatch report confirms government figures that between 2007 and 2017 the percentage of people accessing the airport by public transport rose only 1% (from 39-40%). At that rate of improvement it would take approx 250 years for Heathrow to hit the 65% that would be require to prevent an increase in road congestion!

Heathrow is refusing to pay for the road and rail schemes necessary to prevent more congestion. And Transport minister Chris Grayling says no taxpayer’s money will be used to improve access to Heathrow.