LONDON – The debate over the £19 billion scheme for the third runway at Heathrow airport has been a long-running row which has grown into fierce opposition within the last couple of months.
We shall not be moved, Heathrow Airport management has stuck to its original course of action, while ignoring constant protests and public discontent and insists that expanding Heathrow will provide the growth, jobs, experts, and connections to make Great Britain greater still.
Sir Richard Branson Urges Heathrow Expansion, and Says “Britain Is ‘being Held Back Massively”.
The billionaire founder of the Virgin Group has accused politicians of neglecting to back the expansion project at Heathrow because they are more concerned about their own jobs rather than doing “what is right for the UK”.
The entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson urged the Government to be ” bold and brave on big infrastructure decisions like this”.
Hounslow Council, on the other hand, has been accused of “throwing in the towel” over the Heathrow expansion after it promoted the “opportunity of a third runway”. In response, Hounslow Council leader Steve Curran stated its stance on Heathrow had not changed but said it needed to be prepared if the government approves the recommendation for a third runway later this year.
Meanwhile, twelfth century St Mary the Virgin sits right in the middle of flight paths in the village of Harmondsworth, Middlesex and under blueprints for the expansion of the airport, most of the buildings in the village will be demolished but the 951-year-old grade II listed church will be spared. Protesters say there would no longer be anyone to use it.
Amid mounting concerns and opposition from the whole community Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary predicts the government will ditch the £16bn plan for a third runway at Heathrow.
“Trying to Expand Heathrow Is like Trying to Build an Eight Bedroom Mansion on the Site of a Terraced House. It Is a Hub Airport That Is Just Simply in the Wrong Place” – Justine Greening
London Mayor Boris Johnson has been a vehement opponent of Heathrow expansion and has said
that the New Heathrow runway will negatively affect public health. In his report ‘Landing the Right Airport’ presented in March, Boris Johnson evaluated damages caused by the new runway to be between £20bn to £25bn during the next 60 years.
Both Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan, respective Conservative and Labour candidates to succeed Mr. Johnson are also on the bandwagon and are campaigning against a third runway. This controversial debate has also resulted in Downing Street issuing an instruction to ministers asking them not to discuss the proposed third runway at Heathrow airport.
The North West Runway Will Be Two Miles (3,200m) Long, Making It Big Enough for Any Aircraft in the World to Use It
The commission, which was ordered by the government coalition, stated that the Heathrow expansion is ‘the best answer’ to easing the pressure on the UK’s crowded air terminals and that it will not increase noise above current levels, but will generate up to £147 billion in GDP impacts over 60 years.
Furthermore, if the plan for the third runway is approved, it will provide 740,000 flights a year, putting it on equal footing with Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam.
A decision on whether to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport has been delayed until summer 2016, the government has confirmed.