MP Demands to Be Heard on Heathrow

As report reveals less than a third of businesses back third runway

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Mary Macleod, MP for Brentford & Isleworth, has urged the Airports Commission to grant a full oral hearing to west London MPs.

The Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, has been set up by the Government to review the scale and timing of any requirement for additional aviation capacity in the UK and is due to present its full findings in 2015.

Mary has campaigned for many years against the third runway at Heathrow. Recently she pressed the Transport Secretary to bring forward the findings of the Airports Commission so that a “new, innovative solution to capacity needs” can be found as soon as possible.

Mary said “It is vital that the Airports Commission hears from those people whose lives and well being are affected every day by the noise of planes at Heathrow. That’s why I have written to Sir Howard to request that west London MPs, who have been elected to represent the views of local residents, are given an oral hearing by the Airports Commission in the same way that airlines and airport operators will be. The issue of aviation capacity is not purely about economics, it is also about quality of life - the voices of local residents must be heard”.

This came about at the same time that a report by the Institute of Directors revealed that less than a third of businesses back a 3rd runway at Heathrow. Nevertheless the report, Flying into the Future, calls for two new runways to be built at Heathrow and one additional runway at Gatwick. It says that 59% of its members feel the lack of runway capacity at Heathrow is having an adverse affect on business.

John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said: "The Institute of Directors must know it is politically unrealistic for three more runways to be built in the South East. This report is no more than a Christmas fantasy."

"Although the Flying into the Future argues for more runways, it has come out against mixed-mode at Heathrow. Mixed-mode is where planes would land and take off on the same runway throughout the day, removing the half day's break from the noise people in West London currently enjoy. The report argues: "the small increase in capacity is not worth the large increase in noise for residents."

December 5, 2012