Heathrow - Air Traffic (Supplementary) [16]

Session date: 
July 16, 2002
Question By: 
Sally Hamwee
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


You said that you would take some persuading to favour any expansion or a new runway at Heathrow. Can I suggest that you go further than that and actually oppose any expansion at Heathrow, given the comments of Inspector in the T5 Inquiry? He said that the evidence he had demonstrated that a third main runway at Heathrow would have such severe and widespread impacts on the environment as to be totally unacceptable, and he put a limit on flight numbers. We all know the issues of noise and pollution, ground access and so on.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Heathrow - Air Traffic (Supplementary) [16]

Answer for Heathrow - Air Traffic (Supplementary) [16]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

My instinct is to go in that direction, but it would be better if we could achieve a broad London consensus about what we want, as Londoners, in terms of runway policy. I would rather step back and take some time for that to be considered. I will certainly want to hear from the local MPs in the area whose constituents suffer from the problems of noise and pollution around Heathrow. I would also want to hear from those MPs and Assembly Members who represent the East End and the Thames Gateway because I do think, if there is to be an increased capacity, it should be around the area where we expect the most dramatic growth over the next 20 years. Given that others have created airports that are in an estuary, not taking land, not bringing all the problems of flight paths coming right over people's houses, it does seem to me the size of the Thames Estuary does give us that option. It is something we should be looking at and it should be there in the report.