Sir Rod Eddington's Report (Supplementary) [12]

Session date: 
December 13, 2006
Question By: 
John Biggs
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

As you know, you will have the unequivocal support of the Labour Members in opposing a third runway at Heathrow, and a sixth terminal.

In assembling the case for that you will have to respond to the concerns of the Corporation of London and the City financial services. You say London's that position is enhanced and not threatened by the number of destinations that can be achieved. You will also have to answer the many Londoners with overseas connections who see cheap and accessible travel to other parts of the world as part of the deal they have in living in London. They are fairly substantial cases. It does not alter the fact that we agree with you, but how are you going to address those concerns?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Sir Rod Eddington's Report (Supplementary) [12]

Answer for Sir Rod Eddington's Report (Supplementary) [12]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Clearly we do not want to do anything that damages the dynamism of London's economy. We do not want to damage the strong family and community links between London communities of Bangladeshi and Pakistani or African origin who, fairly regularly, visit their relatives abroad and their relatives come here.

I will circulate this chart to Members. At the moment we have something like 140 million passengers using our airports a year. Something like 80 million of those are short haul leisure. The clear pattern is that about half the people in Britain never get on an airplane. The real growth has been fuelled by people in the social classes A and B having much more regular use of short haul. It is the people who have a second home in France or Spain and go over five, six or seven times a year.

In a world which did not face global warning, that would be very nice. In a world in which global warming is the biggest threat humanity has faced since the destruction of Nazism, I think it is a luxury we cannot continue to afford.