A third runway would probably mean a flightpath directly over Chiswick

Residents living in the London Borough of Hounslow are the worst affected by the noise, pollution and congestion caused by Heathrow Airport. A third runway will mean that the whole borough will be under the flight path, affecting every resident with aircraft noise and pollution. The number of flights will increase from 480,000 to 655,000 with a plane passing over Hounslow every 60 seconds.


  • In July 2002, the Government began the consultation on the future of air transport with the document ‘Government Consultation on the Future Development of Air Transport in the UK: South East’. This document sets out a number of options for increasing runway capacity in the South East and considers in some detail the possibility of a third runway at Heathrow. The closing date for the consultation is the 30th November 2002.
  • The new runway will be 2000 metres long to be built south of the M4. The current two runways are 4000 metres long.
  • Smaller aircraft will be confined to the new runway pushing heavier and noisier aircraft onto the existing runways.
  • The existing runways are used in single mode. The new runway will be used for both take off and landing.
  • At least 260 properties and around 230 hectares of Green Belt Land will be destroyed to build the runway. This area is in the borough of Hillingdon, home to Heathrow Airport.


  • The Government believes it will have economic benefits for the whole country.
  • The government estimates that an additional runway will create 49,000 more jobs. However there is no indication that these jobs will go to local people. It is also thought that the number of jobs will decrease in 2030 due to automation/mechanisation at the airport.
  • Greater capacity will mean that more people can fly for cheaper fares.
  • Businesses will benefit with quick, easy and cheap national and international travel.


  • Up to three runways at Stansted.
  • A new airport at Cliffe on the north Kent coast with four runways.
  • A new airport at Alconbury in Cambridgeshire, mainly for freight.



  • New parts of the borough will be under the flight path, which means that more than 200,000 residents will have to deal with greatly increased aircraft noise, which is already at an unacceptable level.
  • Flights serving the third runway will be flying directly over Chiswick and Brentford. These areas are not currently under flight path but do already suffer from noise from the flight path over Kew. With the third runway the noise will be intensified and constant especially when aircraft are landing.
  • Isleworth, Hounslow, Heston, Cranford and Feltham are already under the flight path but will nevertheless suffer from an increase of aircraft noise. This will be mainly due to larger, noisier aircraft flying to and from the existing runways. However noise from the third runway will also affect these areas.
  • The consultation document opens the door to landing and take offs on the existing runways, which means that the Cranford Agreement (no departures over Cranford) would have to be scrapped as would runway alternation. At the moment one of the existing runways is used for departures and the other for landings. Having both take offs and landings on one runway will intensify noise nuisance considerably.
  • The regulation of night noise is dependent on the result of the Government’s case in the European Court. The Government appealed against the European Court’s ruling on night flights. If night flights were allowed to continue this would have serious consequences for Hounslow.


  • With a new runway 35,000 people living near the airport will be exposed to unacceptable levels of nitrogen dioxide. Hounslow is already one of the most polluted areas in the UK, with nitrogen dioxide levels exceeding those in central London.
  • Parts of the Feltham, Bedfont and Hanworth will experience higher levels of nitrogen dioxide, which could lead to higher respiratory illnesses in the area.
  • Up to 10,000 homes could be lost in Hounslow if the Government takes the view that it is acceptable to compulsory purchase properties due to unacceptable levels of pollution. Some of these properties may be in the Cranford area but the Government’s document is not specific where.


  • At least two additional rail links will be necessary, a cross rail link through central London and a shuttle service between Ealing and Hayes Gateway. No funding has been secured for these links, which means that the runway could proceed without these links. This will exacerbate overcrowding on the Piccadilly Line and local roads.
  • Part of the A4 will have to be buried in a tunnel to allow aircraft to cross over to the new runway.
  • A link will have to be built within a tunnel from the M3/A316 to Hatton Cross.

Hounslow will be gathering information on the effects the additional runway will have on the borough and will be identifying issues that will need to be brought to the Government’s attention. Residents can fill in survey cards, obtainable from all libraries in the borough, or express their views on Hounslow Council's on-line questionnaire.


· Contact your local MP or MEP and let them know what you think.

Ann Keen MP
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Tel. 020 7219 5623
Fax. 020 7219 2233

Alan Keen MP
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Tel. 020 7219 2819
Fax. 020 7219 0985

Robert Evans, Member of European Parliament (Labour)
Labour European Office, 16 Charles Square, London N1 6HP
Tel. 020 7253 1782
Fax. 020 7253 9614

If you are involved in or know of a special interest group please pass on this information.

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