News December 2008

Time to give up on runway three – John McDonnell

30th December 2008         John McDonnell comments that the Heathrow campaign is increasingly exposing the
existence in Britain of a corporate political complex. The interests of big corporations
have so permeated government that its major decisions are indistinguishable from
the boardroom demands of the leading companies. Even in the face of an immensely
broad coalition of opposition to Heathrow expansion, parliament is to be denied
a vote on the issue. (Guardian comment)         Click here to view full story…  


Labour faces backbench revolts against Heathrow 3rd runway and privatised post

30th December 2008         Loyal Labour MPs warned the government of a double rebellion early in the new
year, predicting it will lose a Commons vote and suffer party resignations if
it does not back down on proposals to part-privatise the Post Office and build
a third runway at Heathrow. Labour MPs told the Guardian they were prepared to
vote against the government even if it meant sacrificing the partial recovery
Labour has been enjoying against the Conservatives. (Guardian)         Click here to view full story…

Labour MPs plan Heathrow revolt

21st December 2008         MPs opposed to construction of a 3rd runway at Heathrow are planning a massive
cross-party revolt in the new year in a final effort to halt the project. Plans
are being formed to force a vote in parliament, against Gordon Brown’s wishes,
in which dozens of Labour rebels would join the Tories and Lib Dems to oppose
the plan. A Commons defeat for Brown would send a clear message that expansion
was being pushed through, despite huge public opposition. (Observer).   Click here to view full story…

Protesters in plot to shut down Heathrow terminal for a day

19th December 2008         Hundreds of demonstrators are planning to disrupt departures from Heathrow’s
Terminal 1 by invading the check-in area. The sit-in, organised through Climate
Rush by internet and activist networks, is timed to put pressure on the Government
ahead of an imminent decision on whether to allow a 3rd runway at Heathrow. Hundreds
will host a picnic on the floor of T1. If enough people turn up, it is likely
to lead to the cancellation of flights. (Evening Standard).     Click here to view full story…

Labour MPs urge third runway vote – EDM 339

18th December 2008         41 Labour MPs have backed calls to put plans for Heathrow’s 3rd runway to a Commons
vote. In total 97 MPs have signed Early Day Motion 339 from Labour MP Martin Salter
asking the government not to proceed with the controversial plans. Ministers are
due to decide on the new runway in January but the cabinet is split on the issue.    
Click here to view full story…


Heathrow 3rd runway would ‘drive coach and horses’ through mayor’s green plans

17th December 2008           Boris Johnson warned today that a 3rd runway at Heathrow airport would “drive
a coach and horses” through his plans to reduce London’s carbon emissions by 60%
by 2025. The mayor used a question-and-answer session with the London assembly
on his draft budget to urge members to join him in opposing the airport expansion.
He has been criticised for the lack of targets for reducing C02 emissions for
the functional bodies under his control. (Guardian).       Click here to view full story…


BAA told to sell three airports

17th December 2008         The Competition Commission has said it will require BAA to sell Gatwick, Stansted
and Edinburgh airports. The watchdog says the decision is subject to a final consultation
but is necessary to improve levels of service at UK airports. “Under separate
ownership, the airport operators including BAA, will have a much greater incentive
to be far more responsive to their customers, both airlines and passengers,” the
Competition Commission said. (BBC).   Click here to view full story…

Mandelson throws his weight behind third Heathrow runway

16th December 2008         Mandelson waded into the Cabinet row over Heathrow by "strongly" backing the
business case for a 3rd runway. Downing St also admitted that Heathrow expansion
had been discussed "numerous" times by Cabinet, highlighting how controversial
an issue it had become for them. Just 24 hours after Hilary Benn warned that EU
pollution laws must not be breached by a 3rd runway, Business Secretary Mandelson
is fighting the case for a bigger Heathrow. (Standard)         Click here to view full story…


Going nowhere at Heathrow – Caroline Lucas on Guardian Comment

 16th December 2008         Caroline Lucas says peaceful protests are the only way to highlight dissatisfaction
with the government’s airport policy and its climate impact. The government has
no action plan on achieving targets under the EU Air Quality Directive. The Stansted
protest demonstrated, more clearly than any strongly-worded letter, the level
of frustration and anger at the proposals to expand aviation and the government’s
shirking of its environmental responsibilities.         Click here to view full story…


Willie Walsh says “Be realistic about Heathrow expansion”

16th December 2008         Willie Walsh gets to give his view on Guardian Comment. According to Willie,
“Let’s face reality. Rejecting growth at Heathrow would not make the slightest
practical difference to the future of the planet.” And “We must see things in
perspective. If we closed every UK airport tomorrow, we would reduce global C02
emissions by 0.1%. And if we decide not to build a third runway at Heathrow, we
will not reduce absolute emissions one iota.”           Click here to view full story…

Heathrow Airport’s former chief executive lied to get Terminal Five

15th December 2008       The past and present bosses of Heathrow Airport have spun a web of lies in order
to get a third runway, it has been revealed. John Stewart, chairman of anti-expansion
group HACAN hs sourced letters and interviews in which BAA’s previous chief executive
lied to get a 3rd runway. Sir John Egan has been quoted as saying in a letter
to residents towards the start of the Terminal 5 Inquiry in 1995: "T5 does not
call for a 3rd runway." (This is Local London)         Click here to view full story…

Cabinet split over proposed Heathrow third runway

14th December 2008           Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, has broken cabinet ranks to warn that
Heathrow’s controversial expansion plans should be rejected unless noise and air
pollution are dramatically cut. He said Heathrow has a "problem" with air quality
even before the construction of the proposed 3rd runway, new technology was not
likely to solve the noise or air pollution problems – and failure to cut emissions
was "not something that we can contemplate". (Sunday Times)       Click here to view full story…

Heathrow next, warn activists who caused Stansted chaos

9th December 2008         Environmental campaigners have vowed to step up direct action against British
airports after protesters breached the security fence at Stansted. Members of
Plane Stupid, which campaigns against climate change and air travel, chained themselves
to a makeshift barrier close to the airport’s runway. A spokeswoman for the group
said it intended to repeat the action at Heathrow, where plans are under consideration
to build a third runway. (Guardian)     Click here to view full story…

There is no case for Heathrow’s third runway

7th December 2008         The Observer Editorial notes the cabinet has realised opposition to the runway
has broadened. It no longer emanates exclusively from the standard alliance of
eco-campaigners and local objectors, and includes Ed Miliband and Hilary Benn,
as well as the Conservative party. All have made it clear they believe that a
third Heathrow runway and the resulting expansion of Britain’s aviation industry
do not represent sensible use of resources. (Observer)       Click here to view full story…

95% of businesses feel Heathrow expansion will make little or no difference to

5th December 2008         Only 4% of British businesses believe they will benefit from expanding Heathrow.
95% said it would make little or no difference. In contrast, 23% of businesses
believe they will be helped by a new high-speed rail line to the North, as proposed
by David Cameron. This proves how wrong the Government is to say that British
business is crying out for Heathrow expansion. In fact, only a tiny proportion
of businesses stand to benefit. (Restore UK)         Click here to view full story…


Decision on Heathrow 3rd runway delayed

5th December 2008         The decision on whether a 3rd runway should be built has been put back till January.
It has been reported the cabinet is split over the runway plan. Theresa Villiers
accused the government of “dithering on the future of Heathrow”, adding: “Opposition
to a 3rd runway is gathering momentum every day. “I suspect this postponement
is an indication that Gordon Brown is finally starting to realise that he is on
the wrong side of the debate on Heathrow.”         Click here to view full story…

Decision on Heathrow 3rd runway delayed till January

4th December 2008         A decision on whether a 3rd runway should be built at Heathrow has been put back
to January 2009, the Department for Transport has said. The decision had been
expected before Christmas. It had been reported the cabinet was split over the
issue – the Tories and Lib Dems oppose a 3rd runway and some Labour backbenchers
have called for a rethink. Mr Hoon said the government had made it clear it supports
a 3rd runway – “subject to environmental controls”. (BBC)       Click here to view full story…

Decision time nears for third Heathrow runway

2nd December 2008         The government is expected to give the go-ahead for a new runway at Heathrow
within days, despite last-ditch protests by environmental campaigners. The imminent
decision comes amid business complaints about the lack of capacity. A 3rd runway
would increase its flights by nearly a half, according to BAA. Expansion is bitterly
opposed by thousands of west London residents, who resent the congestion, noise
and disturbance caused by the sprawling airport. (FT)       Click here to view full story…

Protesters to target Heathrow with music, jams and action

2nd December 2008       Militants trying to stop the expansion of Heathrow are planning a series of direct
action protests in the New Year. They will carry out co-ordinated attacks designed
to cause maximum disruption, and want to make the Government pay for “broken promises”
by targeting leading MPs and Heathrow officials. Plans included jamming roads
with cars on a go-slow, chaining themselves up at the airport, blasting loud music
outside MPs’ homes, and more. (Standard)         Click here to view full story
For Heathrow Airport stories from September, October and November 2008
Heathrow News Sept to Nov 2008
For Heathrow Airport stories before August 2008  
Heathrow News before August 2008