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AEF reacts to Government launch of major consultations on Heathrow expansion and airport change

02/02/17 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Cait Hewitt // cait@aef.org.uk // 0203 859 9371

The Government has today announced that it will be launching major consultations on Heathrow expansion and on airspace change.

Initial reaction from Cait Hewitt, Deputy Director at the environmental group AEF[1] is below. We will be putting out more detailed comment when the consultations are published.

“These proposals tinker at the edges in terms of how noise is measured, communicated and spread out, and the Government still maintains that we will somehow have London’s air quality crisis resolved before a new runway makes it worse again.

But the fundamental question about whether this endless growth in the number of aircraft flying in and out of the UK can in reality be delivered without compromising climate change targets (which are being quietly ignored) or sacrificing public health and wellbeing – that question is still not being answered.

The Minister argued today that we need expansion because of Brexit, but in fact the same spurious argument about creating new business routes was being put about long before 23rd June last year. Heathrow is not the only London airport. If people were desperate to fly here to do business and couldn’t get in to Heathrow then any of the other London airports with spare capacity would surely be delighted to lay on those flights.

The UK public voted in favour of leaving the EU. But they didn’t vote for the Government to ride roughshod over our quality of life, and the health of our children, in order to satisfy the aviation industry’s insatiable demands for growth.”

—ENDS—

Contact: Cait Hewitt 0203 859 9371 / cait@aef.org.uk

 

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