Everyone in southeast London will welcome the decision to refuse permission for Heathrow to operate mixed-mode take off and landing. Mixed mode would have meant that planes would have been flying at lower altitudes across London which would have meant more aircraft noise for people in Greenwich.
The government has also given permission for the owners of Heathrow, British Airports Authority, to build a third runway subject to a full planning inquiry. The government has set out strict criteria for meeting tough environmental targets before any extra flights can be introduced.
Speaking in the Parliamentary debate on the future of Heathrow, Clive told the House, “The government should not give BAA a green light to build this third runway. The government has set out very strict criteria for Heathrow to meet. We should insist that BAA demonstrate that they can meet these requirements before any permission is given.”
“The Government has already stated that the new capacity at Heathrow would be released only once the strict air quality and noise conditions are shown to be met on the basis of independent assessment and enforcement. It is important that these environmental safeguards are made legally binding. We are all very concerned about climate change and if we are to have confidence in these safeguards, then they must be independently assessed and the outcome of that assessment should not be allowed to be ignored. If the government is to allow the third runway then Heathrow must be made to meet the highest environmental standards of any airport in the world. ”
Clive also welcomed the announcement of a high-speed rail link between central London and Heathrow. He has suggested to the government that they should also consider creating a dedicated rail line to take freight off the passenger network.
“This could improve reliability and allow more trains to travel faster than is currently possible because of the congestion caused by dual use on the existing network where passenger services and freight trains compete for track space,” explained Clive.