In a report submitted to the Davies commission, Heathrow has put forward plans for the expansion of what is already the UK’s busiest airport.
Heathrow centred its proposals on these job creation and economic growth. It says its plans “will connect the UK to the growth it needs more quickly than any other option” , adding that the expansion would help “meet the UK’s long-term needs, not just the short-term”.
The report also outlines “commitments” to reducing CO2 emissions by “incentivising cleaner [aircrafts], supporting global carbon trading and increasing public transport use”.
However, its plans do not wash with green campaigners. Friends of the Earth senior campaigner James Thomas said, “Heathrow airport’s naked self-interest threatens to create further misery for communities living under its flight path and undermine UK efforts to tackle climate change.
He added, “The argument that more airport capacity is essential for Britain is nonsense, London already has more flights to the world’s top business centres than its European competitors.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson recently revealed proposals to build residential homes in the area . The commission, which is chaired by Sir Howard Davies, will look at both Johnson’s and Heathrow’s suggestions.
The debate has reared its head despite some MPs’ disapproval of the plans last year, including Justine Greening, then transport secretary, who said expansion at Heathrow was “not a long-term solution”. Prime mPreviewinister David Cameron has also voiced opposition.
Heathrow’s website says the airport sees some 471,000 aircraft movement a year. Current expansion plans would see this figure increase dramatically.