Heathrow - Terminal 5 (Supplementary) [4]

Session date: 
December 19, 2001
Question By: 
Darren Johnson
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Terminal 5 being given the go-ahead makes the prospect of a third runway far more likely now, and there is real concern about that - particularly among Londoners, who were extremely disappointed that you gave your tacit approval to Terminal 5 and did not come out against it, because of the huge environmental implications. Could we not have a commitment from you as Mayor that this time, in view of the huge environmental damage that the third runway will do in terms of noise, pollution and climate change, rather than just sitting on the fence you will lead the campaign against it? That is what people want, and I think it is what they are looking to you as Mayor to do - to stand up and lead the campaign against that third runway.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Heathrow - Terminal 5 (Supplementary) [4]

Answer for Heathrow - Terminal 5 (Supplementary) [4]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

There are two problems with that. One is that I am going to be responsible for taking a planning decision on this. I do not know what the legal situation would be if I were to lead a campaign against a particular option, but I would clearly be subject to legal challenge. But we know that the study on runway capacity to serve the south-east which was published in 1993 concluded that, from the environmental perspective, Heathrow is clearly the worst of all options, with more than 140,000 additional people under the 57 LEC noise contour - which is 15 times worse than the next runway option.

The report also said: "A third runway at Heathrow would involve the demolition of 3,300 homes in the villages of Harmondsworth, Sipson, Harlington and Longford and is on this criterion by far the least attractive option." So in the period of debate, which will now be several years, about where another runway is going to go in the south-east, those who advocate it being at Heathrow have a huge hill to climb to overcome the environmental problems that are clearly spelled out in an independent report nearly a decade old.