London Assembly Members have said the new Government’s decision to abandon plans for a third runway at Heathrow must not lead to additional flights at BAA’s London airports.
A motion unanimously agreed by AMs yesterday welcomes the decision not proceed with plans by the previous Government to build a new runway at Heathrow but makes clear the Assembly “would strongly oppose any increase in the number of flights from its airports in and around London by other means, such as mixed mode operations, more night flights or expansion at London’s airports.”
The motion continues: “This Assembly notes the long standing opposition of the Parties in the coalition government to any increase in flights, mixed mode operations, night flights or expansion at London’s airports, and calls on the Government to firmly and openly reject any increase in the number of flights at BAA’s London airports.”
Labour AM Murad Qureshi who proposed the motion said the Heathrow decision had “come as a tremendous relief to the hundreds of thousands of Londoners whose health and quality of life would have been damaged by the expansion of the airport.”
However Qureshi warned “that relief should not be undermined by any back door attempt to increase the number of flights using existing runways at Heathrow or Stansted.”
Tony Arbour AM, who seconded the motion, said: “In the past Whitehall’s promises to limit Heathrow’s expansion have proved less reliable than a budget airline flight. We want the Secretary of State for Transport to say to BAA ‘thus far and no further’. The residents of London cannot be expected to tolerate any more flights in our already crowded skies”