As of today, Heathrow’s statutory consultation on the proposed expansion of the airport (with the addition of a third runway) gets underway. This consultation closes at 11.55pm on Friday 13 September and will contribute to Heathrow’s finalising of their application to the Planning Inspectorate, the process by which permission is sought to expand Heathrow.
It is almost exactly one year since the vote was held in Parliament to support the Airports National Policy Statement which supported a new runaway at Heathrow as the preferred option for increasing airport capacity in the South East. As those of you who were in touch with me at the time (and have been subsequently) will recall, I supported the Government in this vote given the national significance of this project. I have long called for airport capacity to be increased in some form for many years, and whilst I had been supportive of plans for a new hub in the Thames Estuary initially, it became clear following years of assessment and review that that the only option was expansion at Heathrow. After decades of can-kicking, it was important that a decision on airport capacity was finally taken.
Of course, concerns remain about what expansion will mean for air quality and the environmental consequences the operation of a new runway. I am fully aware of these well-founded anxieties. Like many in the constituency, I live under the flightpath and as the father of two young children, I have long been concerned about the danger of poor air quality to their health and that of future generations to come, and it would be naïve to think that the expansion of Heathrow does not raise serious questions.
To this end I will continue to work with local amenity groups and Westminster City Council to ensure that Heathrow are aware of the strongly held views of local residents when it comes to night-time flights, noise and air quality issues when it comes to changes at Heathrow, as well as any changes to flightpaths which may impact us here in the Cities of London and Westminster.
As such, I would encourage anyone with thoughts or concerns about what changes at Heathrow might mean for you, or if you have any ideas which you think officials should consider, to contribute to this consultation. The consultation can be found on Heathrow’s website here: https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/
I have picked out some of the key areas of interest that have emerged from conversations I have had with constituents over the last few months to which you can respond directly. Please find these below.
Ban on scheduled night flights: https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/topics/night-flights/
Further to the consultation website, you can write to Heathrow at:
Freepost LHR AIRPORT EXPANSION CONSULTATION
Or email them at:
You can contribute to as much or as little to the consultation as you want.
In addition, Heathrow are hosting a number of events across London and the South East where you can speak to staff from Heathrow and find out more about the consultation and the proposals. The event being held in the constituency is taking place on Friday 19 July at 20 Cavendish Street, W1G 0RN and is being held 2-8pm. You can find out the details of these public events here: https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/events/
You can also visit Barbican Library and Charing Cross Library at any time to review the consultation documents. Heathrow staff will not be present, so you will have to follow up with them separately if you have any queries (firstname.lastname@example.org).