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AEF launches Heathrow study

March 8, 2006

A new AEF report has found that it would be virtually impossible to meet air pollution limits and noise targets if a third runway were added at Heathrow.


A new AEF report, commissioned by Heathrow-area MPs, local authorities and the Mayor of London, has found that it would be virtually impossible to meet air pollution limits and noise targets if a third runway were added at Heathrow.In advance of work being carried out at the Department for Transport, ‘Emissions: Impossible‘ argues that even the present growth of the airport up to the cap of 480,000 ATMs is probably unlawful, since air pollution limits are already being exceeded.

Abandoning runway alternation would be a further derogation of the Government’s duty to maintain air quality, while any predictions showing that a third runway could legally be built rely on wild assumptions about technology and ambitious traffic reduction measures – funding for which is but a distant prospect.

The report also investigates the ‘noise climate’ around the airport. AEF suggest that this is currently deteriorating, despite the Government’s promise to the contrary. If runway alternation were ended, it might be possible to keep within the ‘average noise’ contour target, but this would simply show the inadequacy of this measure, since annoyance would self-evidently increase. If a third runway is built, it is unlikely that even this inadequate target could be met.