Sunday Times says Osborne pushing for mixed mode at Heathrow for 60,000 more flights per year

The Sunday Times writes that the Coalition is discussing the potential of increasing the number of flights at Heathrow by up to 60,000 per year by using mixed mode on both runways. It says George Osborne has been promoting this idea,  to increase capacity without building a 3rd runway by adding over 1,000 flights a week and 20m passengers a year. The Times says discussions have been held on this between George Osborne, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander. Liberal Democrats are against it, and apart from the immense upset the extra relentless aircraft noise would cause to hundreds of thousands of Londoners being overflown, there are very real problems of air pollution around Heathrow, which already breach EU limits. The industry is publishing another study tomorrow, putting its economic case for more south east flights.

Heathrow may get 60,000 more flights

by Marie Woolf and Mark Hookham

24 June 2012  (Sunday Times)

Full article at:
GEORGE OSBORNE has been championing plans to increase drastically the number of flights at Heathrow — without building a third runway.

The chancellor has secretly been pushing proposals that would see more than 1,000 extra flights a week and as many as 20m more passengers each year.

Behind the scenes, Osborne is understood to have argued that the permanent use of so-called “mixed mode” flights — allowing both runways to be used all day for both takeoffs and landings — would help kickstart the economy and boost competitiveness.


Tomorrow, a study commissioned by councils and business leaders in the southeast will say that a “significant increase” in flights is required to prevent London losing its status as a “global city”.

The report, by Parsons Brinckerhoff, an engineering firm, concludes that while “extremely contentious”, the best long-term option is to build a third runway at Heathrow. It proposes the introduction of mixed mode as one of a series of short-term measures to increase capacity over the next 10 years.


Full Sunday Times article at



Heathrow mixed mode would be resisted by DfT which has been warned it faces EU fines if changes lead to a breach of air pollution limits.