March 3, 2008
The government consultation on increasing capacity at Heathrow airport has now closed. See the link below to download AEF’s submission.
Our response focuses on the environmental questions posed by the Department for Transport, namely those relating to noise and air quality. We argue that on both these fronts any increase in air traffic could easily result in a breach of minimum standards and we demonstrate how, in order to make expansion at the airport appear compatible with environmental restrictions, a string of contentious assumptions have been made (the discovery of whole new ‘families’ of quieter engines, for example) . Even without considering the impact of aviation on climate change, we conclude, it would be irresponsible to plan for any increase in air traffic movements at Heathrow.
In the course of the consultation, 18,000 objections to the plans were lodged [we were since told it was 70,000], and campaigners organised a series of public meetings and events, culminating in an end-of-consultation rally attended by 3000 people (requiring last minute opening of a second room to accommodate everyone). Peaceful direct actions during the final week of the consultation included banners being hung on the tailfin of a BA plane and on the House of Commons.