New Third Runway Plan Will Spare Chiswick
Heathrow Airport now looking to expand south of existing site
The prospect of another flight path over Chiswick receded further this week with the revelation that the operators of Heathrow Airport now favour a third runway to the south of the existing site.
The previous plan was to construct the extra runway north of the current two runways. This would have meant that the flight path would have been directly over areas such as Bedford Park and Acton Green.
Previous plan would have meant a flightpath directly over Chiswick
Now Heathrow Airport (formerly known as BAA) wants to see a third runway built close to the village of Stanwell Moor, just south-west of the exiting airport. In leaked news suggests that the airport operator will submit plans next month to the Airports Commission for a new runway this area and that they are to drop their plans for the northern option which would have led to the demolition of the village of Sipson. Heathrow Airport’s submission may contain other options but this is thought to be their favoured one.
A new runway to the south-west of the airport is likely to require less demolition of properties. Heathrow Airport will also argue that the new flight paths will overfly fewer communities. To the east of the airport places in the firing line would be Feltham, Twickenham, Ham, Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common and Tooting. To the west, the areas around Windsor Great Park would be most affected.
At this point the coalition Government is against Heathrow expansion but there are concerns that the Conservative party may not adopt a manifesto commitment to block a third runway. If these reports are confirmed they significantly reduce the chances of a major increase in air traffic over the Chiswick area.
It is expected that the plans for a third runway will be accompanied by the noise mitigation measures Heathrow Airport published last week. These included steeper descent approaches, less noisy planes and the naming and fining of the noisiest aircraft.
Heathrow Airport is expected to argue that at this stage they have no plans for a 4th runway. They also intend to retain runway alternation on the existing runways.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which represents residents under the existing flight paths, said: “This is a clever plan which Heathrow hopes might neutralize opposition amongst some of the communities and local authorities which successfully opposed a new runway to the north of the airport. It would create less noise disturbance than a northern runway but we will oppose it because a whole new runway of planes will be massively disturbing to vast swathes of people across London and the South East. Flight numbers will rise from 480,000 a year to over 700,000.”
June 7, 2013