London Assembly opposes any increase in flights at BAA’s London airports.

18.6.2010 (
            See also page on
            about City Airport, including video clips

The London Assembly has unanimously called for a ban on any increase in the number
of flights operating from BAA’s London airports.

In a motion agreed today, the Assembly expressed concern that following the Government’s
decision to reject a third runway at Heathrow, BAA may try increase the number
of flights from its airports by the back door.   Members said BAA might seek to
do this by operational and regulatory changes like allowing mixed mode operations and
increasing the number of night flights
. [1].    

Murad Qureshi AM, who proposed today’s motion, said:

"Axing the proposed third runway at Heathrow has 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. But that relief should not
be undermined by any back door attempt to increase the number of flights using
existing runways at Heathrow or Stansted. A shift to mixed-mode operation at Heathrow
could see another sixty thousand flights a year in London’s skies, we urge the
Government to resist any such attempt to get around their decision to halt Heathrow
expansion. "

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"

The full text of the motion reads as follows:

“This Assembly welcomes the government’s decision to refuse a third runway at
Heathrow and the BAA announcement that it would not seek planning permission for
a further runway at Heathrow.   However, this 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

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.”

Notes for Editors:

1.           Mixed-mode operation consists of planes landing and taking-off on the
same runway at any time or period of the day.

2.           The motion was agreed unanimously

3.           View the webcast here.

4.           As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London
Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.