Sadiq Khan backs Gatwick runway (+ London City Airport expansion) knowing he’d have no chance of being Mayor backing Heathrow
Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan (MP for Tooting) had decided he will back a 2nd Gatwick runway, knowing he would have no chance of being elected mayor if he did anything other than oppose a Heathrow runway. He has done a publicity stunt, charm offensive, visit to Gatwick, being given the celebrity treatment. His view is to prevent the noise, air pollution, congestion etc problems caused by expanding Heathrow, and instead make “Heathrow better, not bigger”. Previously he backed a Heathrow runway, until realising he could not maintain that line and have any chance of being London Mayor. He has also recently said he would consider allowing the expansion of London City Airport if he took over at City Hall. Boris had blocked expansion earlier this year, on noise grounds. The London City scheme, if approved, would increase the number of flights from 70,000 to 111,000 per year, doubling the annual number of passengers by 2023, as well as extending the terminal and building a parallel taxiing lane. He said London City Airport was “a special case because of its size and economic impact.” Bearing in mind his support for Gatwick, he appeared oblivious of the irony of this statement: “I think what you can’t do is play politics with decisions about people’s jobs and business.”
London airport expansion: Sadiq Khan ramps up support for second Gatwick runway over Heathrow
20 November 2015
by Lauren Fedor (City AM)
Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan will today up the ante in the London airports row by coming out stronger than ever in making the case for a second runway at Gatwick.
The Tooting MP will meet with senior executives at the Sussex airport to conduct a charm offensive aimed at laying out his pro-Gatwick position.
Khan is expected to reiterate views made in City A.M. in June, when he said that the answer to the capital’s airport capacity conundrum lies in “expanding Gatwick and making Heathrow better, not bigger”.
Critics accused Khan of a U-turn as he had previously backed a third runway at Heathrow. However, Khan is expected to say that competition between the two airports will benefit businesses and outline his vision for a rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick.
Zac Goldsmith, his Tory mayoral rival, is also a staunch opponent of Heathrow expansion.
Stop City Airport ✈ @StopCityAirport Nov 18
Overseas Hedge Fund Owners GIP will be pleased with @SadiqKhan.
He is backing expansion at both their airports, Gatwick and London City.
Stop City Airport ✈ @StopCityAirport Nov 18
Sadiq Khan is monopolising London Airport expansion to a single company. Global Infrastructure Partners who own Gatwick and London City.
Sadiq Khan would reconsider block on City Airport expansion
5.11.2015 (The Wharf)
Labour’s mayoral candidate is against expansion at Heathrow but says the Docklands hub is an exception because of its size and economic impact
Labour mayoral candidate – and former transport minister – Sadiq Khan has said that he would consider allowing the expansion of London City Airport if he took over at City Hall.
The £200million expansion was approved by Labour-run Newham Borough Council earlier this year but Mayor Boris Johnson stepped in to veto the work. He said the increased number of flights would create a noise nuisance.
The City Airport Development Programme would lift the ceiling on the number of flights from 70,000 to 111,000 a year, doubling the number of passengers by 2023 a year, as well as make major adaptations to the airport to extend the terminal and build a parallel taxi lane.
The changes, the airport says, are necessary to accommodate a new generation of aircraft which is more fuel efficient and will add £750million a year to the economy. The airport, which predominantly serves Canary Wharf and the City, is currently accepting bids to buy the business from its US owners which could generate £2billion.
Mr Khan, who has previously come out against Heathrow expansion, worried about air quality, said that the Docklands hub was a special case because of its size and economic impact.
“What I would do if I was mayor of London is reconsider the decision by the mayor of London to oppose the plans.”
“City Airport is very small in comparison to major airports like Heathrow and Gatwick and would remain so even after this expansion.
His view is in contrast to that of his main rival for City Hall. Conservative candidate and environmental campaigner Zac Goldsmith said he was “very strongly inclined” to follow the Johnson line.
London City Airport is appealing against the overrule and Mayor Boris Johnson has set aside £525,000 to defend his decision. The appeal will be heard in March.
“We need to make sure that key environmental and noise tests are met, but the proposals would provide the City with a capacity boost and I’m willing to look again at this.”
Labour mayor contender Sadiq Khan rejects building third runway at Heathrow
JOE MURPHY, POLITICAL EDITOR (Evening Standard)
No to Heathrow: Sadiq Khan opposes a third runway because of the effect on noise and air pollution
Labour mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan today came out against a third runway at Heathrow, saying that London’s premier airport should be made “better but not bigger”.
His move opened clear air between him and Labour rivals Dame Tessa Jowell and David Lammy. He branded the pair “ultra-Blairites” for backing the extra runway pushed a decade ago by former Labour premier Tony Blair.
“Tessa and David will argue Heathrow’s case, but I am arguing London’s case against its expansion,” he said. “People must ask themselves who best represents London’s interests.”
Announcing his stance in an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Khan said he believed a bigger Heathrow should be ruled out on the grounds of “awful air quality”, noise and inadequate infrastructure.
His move comes a week after Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith entered the mayoral race with a vow to halt the third runway.
Mr Khan suggested that voters would focus more on Mr Goldsmith’s other policies and wealthy background if they were opponents, because they agreed over Heathrow.
“I like Zac,” said Mr Khan. “But Londoners will have to ask who is best to understand their aspirations. Who best understands the housing crisis, or the need for affordable transport? I cannot wait for battle to commence.”
Mr Khan’s interview also pre-empted the looming report by Sir Howard Davies’s Airports Commission. Mr Khan said he could think of nothing the commission might say to change his mind.
“I’ve seen independent evidence that up to 4,300 people are dying prematurely because of air quality,” he said. “I’ve spoken to experts who have told me that children’s lungs are under developed because of air quality. I’ve spoken to residents in the parts of London affected who have told me about the consequences of noise pollution.
“I cannot agree with Tessa and David that the benefits of expanding Heathrow exceed the costs to Londoners.” Of the other Labour would-be mayors, both Diane Abbott and Christian Wolmar are against a third runway at Heathrow.
Mr Khan’s said he had “thought long and hard” about the aviation capacity crisis. He stressed he was “not anti-aviation”, but thought jobs and an economic boost could be achieved best through a second runway at Gatwick and a high-speed rail link between the two airports. It would allow more flights and passengers could check in at either airport and transfer between them quickly.
“I’m not saying we should expand Gatwick at the expense of Heathrow – it’s really important to make Heathrow better,” he said.
Asked how he would respond if Davies recommended Heathrow expansion, he declared: “I’m a fighter. I would fight to make the government rejects it.”
Asked about the rumoured proposal for an independent noise monitor, he said: “I’m not sure how that can address the issue of teachers in West London having to stop teaching when an aircraft takes off.”
Mr Khan was a Transport Minister under Gordon Brown when the third runway was Labour policy but he said things had moved on with the recent Supreme Court ruling that the UK was breaching air quality limits.
He agreed that Heathrow expansion was a “Blairite policy”, saying: “I suspect that’s why Tessa and David are in favour of it. As ultra-Blairites they will have to argue why they think Runway Three should go forward.”