My thoughts on Heathrow

I was a little perplexed to read some recent Labour propaganda which claims that I support a third runway at Heathrow. I have been consistent in my opposition to a third runway and you can check the Council’s official voting records to confirm this.

The future of Heathrow Airport is one of the main issues facing local residents, with many people rightly concerned about the prospect of a new northern flightpath over Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush.

My priority is to ensure that any changes to Heathrow do not increase aircraft noise over the area and I will continue to campaign against the on-going scourge of night flights. However, I do believe that Heathrow is an important economic asset to west London and to the wider economy, with direct employment at the airport and with airlines, and many international businesses located here in part because of the proximity of the airport.

Therefore I would like to see it thrive as the main international hub in the UK. The concept of “Boris Island” would have been fine if we were building the city from scratch but it was unrealistic geographically, economically and logistically.

Of the three options that were considered by the Davies Commission, I could not support the plans for a third runway to the north of Heathrow as it will mean a new flight path right over the centre of Hammersmith and clearly this is unacceptable.

If elected I will campaign for the Government to look again at the “Heathrow Hub” concept. It will allow the airport to increase its capacity by extending one of the runways westwards but not create a new flight path over the Hammersmith area. Indeed, because planes would sometimes be landing 2.5 miles further west on that runway they would be considerably higher and therefore quieter as they fly over our area on the current flight path. This option has the benefit of allowing Heathrow to modernise whilst limiting and even reducing the noise impact locally.

Furthermore, I will fight hard to ban night flights landing at Heathrow and will ask the airport authorities to look at noise reduction measures such as a steeper landing angles and putting down the aeroplane flaps and undercarriage closer to the runway. I have been assured by pilots that all of these are possible and would make a significant difference to noise levels.