Heathrow has a Plan B says Ruth Cadbury
Last week’s ruling by the Court of Appeal that the proposed expansion of Heathrow is unlawful is a setback for the airport authority, but Ruth Cadbury MP says the airport has a Plan B.
The Appeal Court ruled their proposed expansion was not legal because it did not meet the Government’s international commitments on Climate Change. Heathrow is appealing the decision in the Supreme Court.
Whether it manages to challenge the ruling successfully in the Supreme Court or whether it has to revert to its Plan B, either way their ‘insatiable appetite for more flights’ will mean more planes over Chiswick, she argues.
Statement on Heathrow expansion by Ruth Cadbury
‘The Court of Appeal has ruled that the Government should have taken the climate change implications of the Paris Agreement into account when drawing up the National Policy Statement which outlined its plans for a third runway. The Court has not said there will be no third runway but is inviting the Government to reconsider and amend the NPS in order to take account of the Paris Agreement. It is widely assumed that Prime Minister Boris Johnston, a long-standing opponent of Heathrow, will amend the NPS to kill off a third runway. The Government has made it clear that it will not appeal against the appeal court decision to the Supreme Court. Whilst Heathrow Airport will do so, it might struggle to overturn the judgment if it does not have Government backing.
‘Whilst I believe that Runway 3 is increasingly unlikely to happen, we haven’t stopped Heathrow’s insatiable appetite for more flights. I have no doubt that Heathrow are already working on option B – to try to get more flights on the existing two runways. In the last but one consultation Heathrow offered the option of putting additional flights on the existing runways as an interim measure while Runway 3 was being built; by using IPA (Independent Parallel Approaches). This means having additional flights joining the approach path later (from the north over Acton etc and from the south over Kingston & Richmond).
‘My take is that they will now go for this option as their way of getting more flights in, without the hassle & cost of another runway. This will mean we lose the current night flight regime, which effectively means we currently have no flights between 11.30pm – 4.30am and only 16 flights 4.30-6.00 am. We would also lose the alternation regime, which gives those living under the existing flight paths eight hours respite (for the 70% of the time the planes are landing on Westerly operation).
‘So we must continue the fight by saying “NO Expansion” for all the reasons we have been opposing the third runway; climate change, additional noise, additional communities affected, more road congestion, more air pollution……
‘Meanwhile; consultations on night flights and and Aviation White Paper are still awaited’
For more information, the AirportWatch website is full of up-to-date information.
Ruth Cadbury is the MP for Brentford & Isleworth and has just been reappointed to the Transport Select Committee.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Cautious welcome for Heathrow decision