Senior Tory politicians have launched a new Heathrow Airport flight path campaign that shows that over one million Londoners will be affected by the noise from any Heathrow expansion.
The campaign was launched by Zac Goldsmith MP for Richmond Park, Boris Johnson MP the Mayor of London, and Rt Hon Justine Greening, MP for Putney and Secretary of State for International Development.
At the launch, the MPs unveiled a map showing large areas of London that will be impacted for the first time by an expanded Heathrow.
Heathrow Airport, by a significant margin, is already the largest noise polluter in Europe. Currently over 725,000 people are affected by noise, likely to increase to over 1,000,000 people if a third runway is built.
During the consultation process, Heathrow Airport Ltd submitted indicative flight paths maps to the Airports Commission in the event of expansion.
The blue area on the map illustrates the flight path corridors for an expanded Heathrow Airport, based on the respite option indicative flight paths Heathrow submitted to the Airports Commission. It is unclear which of these flight paths are to be used for arrivals or departures and what type of navigation will be used, so industry standard practice of drawing 1.5km Noise Preferential Routes around each flight path to provide an approximation of where planes might fly have been used.
Heathrow have not released their final flightpath plans yet so the map is subject to change.
In the next few weeks the Airports Commission is due to make its final recommendation to the Government as to whether Heathrow or Gatwick should be expanded.
Mr Goldsmith said:
“Implacable opposition to Heathrow expansion stretches from the affected Boroughs to the very heart of Government, and as countless hundreds of thousands of new residents are made aware of the threat they face, the campaign can only grow. We have won the arguments on pollution, congestion, cost and competition, but the bottom line is that politically Heathrow expansion is undeliverable.”
Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip and Mayor of London said:
“Zac Goldsmith has run a determined campaign to save London from the huge environmental damage a new runway at Heathrow would cause. The website he is launching today will bring home to Londoners how many more houses, schools and hospitals will be overflown if this undeliverable plan is approved. The Airports Commission must realise that, if it is mad enough to recommend a third runway at Heathrow, the backlash from Londoners will ensure it is never built.”
As well as being the MP for Richmond Park, Mr Goldsmith is seeking permission from the people of Richmond to run for Mayor of London in 2016. If he gets the permission Mr Goldsmith is expected to be the Tory candidate and will have a very real chance of succeeding Mr Johnson as Mayor.