Free Enterprise Group hopes paying Londoners enough compensation would allow 3rd Heathrow runway

The FT reports that BAA expects to have to compensate residents affected by noise and air pollution, if it is allowed to build a 3rd runway. The Free Market group of Tory MPs have suggested that this compensation is the way BAA could go ahead the runway.  They hope this money will change the balance of opinion among those overflown, if people get a large payout.  The French take the approach of giving compensation, in order to get large infrastructure projects approved quickly. George Osborne is understood to be in favour of a 3rd Heathrow runway, as the cheapest and quickest way to satisfy the airlines. The other option is just noise insulation for more homes – which, of course, has no effect if the windows are open, or if people want to be outside, or in their gardens under a flight path.  BAA pays the current costs of insulation, but  “is interested in exploring whether the government should also contribute. “


Payment scheme likely if Heathrow grows

By Andrew Parker and George Parker

(Financial Times)

1.8.2012

FT article at


The FT reports that BAA expects to have to compensate residents affected by noise and air pollution, if it is allowed to build a 3rd runway.
Free market Tory MPs have suggested that this compensation is the way BAA could go ahead the runway.  “Everyone has their price,” said one MP. (see http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=908  ) They hope this money will change the balance of opinion among those overflown, if people get a large payout.  The French take the approach of giving compensation, in order to get large infrastructure projects approved quickly.
George Osborne is understood to be in favour of a 3rd Heathrow runway, as the cheapest and quickest way to satisfy the airlines, and solve the alleged lack of airport capacity that they and their supporters continually complain about.
The FT says:  The option of constructing a third runway at Heathrow is expected to be left open in the next Conservative manifesto, potentially costing the party thousands of votes in west London and other areas near the airport.
The other option is just noise insulation for more homes – which, of course, has no effect if the windows are open, or if people want to be outside, or in their gardens under a flight path. BAA’s existing noise-related compensation schemes for noise affected residents are paid for by the company and funded through the landing charges that it levies on airlines.
The FT says:  BAA ” accepts that any new compensation regime tied to a third runway was likely to be paid for by BAA, although it is interested in exploring whether the government should also contribute. “
Kwasi Kwarteng, Tory MP for Spelthorne, is one of the key MPs pushing this idea.  He says even paying compensation, it would cost a lot less than an estuary airport. He publicity about building a 4th runway and demolishing part of his own constituency went down like a lead balloon, and got him a lot of very bad publicity. (see http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2117215_mp_says_stanwell_runway_idea_just_a_discussion )
Kwarteng only proposes bribing some 5000 people. That is hardly enough to overcome objections to the third runway.