Third Runway Threatens "Flight Path Down Chiswick High Road"
Terminal 5 approval leads to widespread belief that a third runway is next
Concerns are growing locally that the approval of Terminal 5 is to be followed by an announcement of plans for a third runway at Heathrow. It is almost certain that this runway would be sited to the north of the existing terminal buildings close to the M4. This could create a flight path directly over Chiswick bringing up noise levels to the those currently experienced by areas like Kew and Richmond.
A third runway would probably mean a flight path directly over Chiswick
Local campaigners were disappointed that Stephen Byers didn't sweeten the pill of the approval of the new terminal with a commitment not to build a third runway. Many observers now feel that the new runway is almost certain to be built once Terminal 5 is operational. There was also no commitment to end night flights, only to review the matter in 2003.
The following comment was posted on the forum by a site member prior to the recent news. "Although BAA have stated they have no plans for a third runway, British Airways submitted a proposal to the government in May 2000 for a third runway located to the north of the existing runways and between the A4 and M4. Depending on exactly where between these two roads the runway is located the approach path (which commences approximately seven miles from the runway) could well be over Chiswick High Rd. Anyone familiar with the what it is like on Sheen High Rd when aircraft are approaching on the South runway will appreciate the implications."
A spokesman for Hounslow Council said they would be firmly opposed to a third runway on behalf of all residents. "It would be an environmental catastrophe for over a million west Londoners. We backed local residents in their ten year fight against a proposed Terminal Five, with a principal argument against a third runway." Describing the decision as "devastating" leader of Hounslow Council, John Connelly said that they would continue to press for a firm commitment not to build a third runway at or near Heathrow and a package of safeguards for local people that include a ban on night flights and a reduction in flights. He pointed out that previous limits on the number of flights at Heathrow had been breached and said that he would be pushing for guarantees.
Hounslow Council also reveal details of plans for a light rail link between Chiswick and Heathrow - see separate article.
Christopher Darke, general secretary of Balpa, the pilot's union, said: "By the time T5 is built, five years from now, it will already be full to overflowing. Approval of T5 must just be the start of a huge investment programme in the infrastructure of the aviation industry. Most urgently we need more runway capacity."
If people are concerned about the ending of runway alternation or the possibility of a third runway at Heathrow they can write to Mike Fawcett, Aviation Division, DETR, 72 Marsham St,SW1, with a copy to the Aviation Minister, David Jamieson, Eland House, Bressenden Place, SW1.
This article was contributed by a member of this site. CW4 is very happy to publish articles contributed by local people and has no editorial line on any issue.
11 December 2001