Aviation report ‘short-sighted and misleading'
Published: Friday 31st August 12
Wandsworth Council says a Parliamentary report on aviation policy is short-sighted and grossly understates the impacts of aircraft noise on millions of people living under the Heathrow flightpaths.
The document was published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Aviation which does not hold any statutory powers.
It advocates expanding capacity at Heathrow which would severely increase the levels aircraft noise endured by millions of people living under the airports easterly and westerly flightpaths.
Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia and spokesman for the 2M Group of local authorities said: "The report is hopelessly short-sighted and Heathrow-centric. It's clear this group has fallen completely under the aviation lobby's spell and chosen to ignore the millions of ordinary people whose lives would be blighted by these ill-conceived recommendations.
"Any form of Heathrow expansion has been categorically ruled out by the three main political parties, and for very good reasons. The last time a government tried to expand the airport we took them to the High Court and had the scheme thrown out on environmental and noise impact grounds. Those issues are just as acute today and any attempt to reopen the case would be met by the same opposition."
The report also calls for a "full assessment made of the impact of mixed mode" operations. Cllr Govindia added: "I can't believe this group can have any appreciation of the impact of aircraft noise on people's lives and the value of the half-day's respite provided by runway alternation. All the councils under the flightpath are resolutely opposed to any attempt to introduce mixed mode which would bring to an end the current quiet periods of the day."
The report also fails to address the impact Heathrow expansion would have on CO2 levels around the airport which already exceed EU legal limits.