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Heathrow commits – now Government needs to take the runway decision

Heathrow has hit the headlines today by announcing that it will meet or exceed all of the conditions set out by the Airports Commission inquiry last year.

Back in July, the independent Airports Commission recommended expanding Heathrow, after a three year, £20 million study into the best option for maintaining the UK’s global aviation hub status.

The measures Heathrow has now agreed to include:

  • A legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights, between 11pm and 5.30am, when the third runway opens;
  • Agreeing a legally binding ‘noise envelope’, supporting the introduction of an independent noise authority;
  • Compensate those who would lose their home at full market value plus an additional 25%.

Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, said:

“Heathrow has taken tough decisions and addressed the concerns of local residents with further restrictions on night flights and tighter control of emissions. This should remove the last rational objections to Heathrow expansion, which is essential if British businesses are to be properly connected with the emerging cities around the world.

“Heathrow has offered some significant commitments. Now Government needs to respond in kind by taking a decision before the summer ends.”

David Leam, infrastructure director at London First, said:

“Heathrow’s new commitments on night flights and air quality will enable government to focus on the terms on which expansion should take place, rather than re-running the tired old arguments about whether expansion should take place at all. This vital infrastructure project will drive jobs and growth across the country and is long overdue.”

Gavin Hayes, Director of Let Britain Fly said:

“The strong mitigation measures announced by Heathrow should be welcomed by all sides and should be a game-changer in the airport expansion debate, demonstrating that a new runway will not only deliver much-needed jobs and growth, but also ensure there is a new settlement for local communities that will make life better for people living near the airport.
“After years of dithering the ball is now firmly in the Government’s court to get on and make a final decision on airport expansion as swiftly as possible – with this package of measures now on the table it’s decision time – there can be no more excuses for delay.”

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