Just in case anyone has never looked at the geography around Heathrow, or has forgotten that it is a densely used and densely populated area, below is a map. There is nowhere to put a fourth runway, even if a third could be crammed in at Sipson.
And the Observer also reports this:
Tory MPs press George Osborne to build more runways at Heathrow
Sajid Javid, Osborne’s parliamentary private secretary, is backing the Free Enterprise Group seeking extra runways
- Nicholas Watt chief political correspondent (Observer)
Amid signs that the chancellor is pressing David Cameron to drop the Tories’ opposition to a third runway at Heathrow, Osborne’s parliamentary aide and other close colleagues are to demand a major expansion of the airport.
Sajid Javid, the chancellor’s parliamentary private secretary, and Matt Hancock, his former chief of staff, are among four Osborne allies to support a call by the Free Enterprise Group of Tory MPs for a third and fourth runway to be built at Heathrow.
The report says: “The government should grant planning permission for both a third and fourth runway at Heathrow. Britain’s hub airport, Heathrow is currently at 99% capacity, and London’s other airports are nearly as full.
“Demand is predicted to double over the next few decades. If new aviation capacity is not found, London’s position as a world business hub will be damaged. Heathrow is almost unique among major world airports in only having two runways, with no plans for further construction.”
The decision of Hancock to support the call is particularly significant. The MP for West Suffolk was Obsorne’s chief of staff before the last election when the Tories rejected a third runway at Heathrow and endorsed a high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham initially, later to northern England.
The party argued that the new rail line would obviate the need for a third runway by reducing the number of flights to the north of England and Scotland, thereby freeing up capacity at the airport.
Osborne is understood to be coming round to the idea that dramatic steps need to be taken to improve airport capacity in the south-east. At the same time, the chancellor is understood to believe that the delicate state of the public finances raises questions about the proposed high-speed rail line.
Justine Greening, the transport secretary, who is a strong opponent of a third runway at Heathrow as MP for the nearby seat of Putney, is due to publish a paper on air capacity in the south-east of England. Relations between Greening and the chancellor are said to have chilled in recent months.
The chancellor may be attracted by the idea of a third runway because the extra runways would be built largely from private funds.
The report, which is also signed by Osborne’s allies Jesse Norman and Nadhim Zahawi, says: “No option for aviation expansion is perfect, but this option would allow Britain to rapidly build on its strengths, rather than take the speculative risk of a completely new facility. BAA would have the option either to build both runways simultaneously, if this proved cost efficient, or to stagger the construction. This would both give the industry more strategic certainty about its future, and be more honest with locals about what to expect.”
Free Enterprise Group of MPs Propose to Demolish East Bedfont and Stanwell to build 4th Heathrow Runway
JUL 8 2012
Posted by andrew lainton
Kwasi Kwarteng is going to learn a swift lesson – you dont stay a prospect for promotion by proposing to demolish four villages. A hub 4 runways airport would require demolition of four villages – Sipson, Harlington and Harmonsworth (the short runway would require deomiltion of Sipson and part demolition of Harmondsworth) and to the South the far larger villages of Stanwell and possibly East Bedfont. In another Osbornite Omninshambles they wont be able to put this off until after the next election, the blight and mass protest will force that, humiliating Osborne. Link to blog …
Comments from AirportWatch members:
The silly season has definitely begun.