RICHMOND HEATHROW CAMPAIGN - January 2021
FoRG is a founder member of Richmond Heathrow Campaign (RHC) which represents three amenity groups in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames: The Richmond Society, The Friends of Richmond Green, and The Kew Society, which together have over 2000 members. See www.richmondheathrowcampaign.org
Three principle issues face residents:
- Expansion of Heathrow with a 3rd runway or by mixed mode which reduces runway alternation and hence respite from noise,
- Airspace modernisation which may change flight paths and intensify aircraft noise,
- Night flights which should be banned between 11pm and 7am,
For fuller comment please visit the web site of Richmond Heathrow Campaign.
Recent news (December 2020) concerns the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Heathrow's appeal and concluded that the Transport Secretary was entitled in 2018 to ignore the UK's climate change commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change and that the decision to progress Heathrow's expansion to the planning stage is lawful. Full Press Release on RHC website.
But much has changed since 2018, not least because of Covid-19. The December 2020 Climate Change Committee’s 6th Carbon Budget makes it much harder for Heathrow to expand without reducing capacity at other airports, which is contrary to the government’s levelling-up of the UK regions. Heathrow should give up its impossible ambition and focus on making Heathrow a better airport and re-enforcing London as the best served city in the world with its five airports. Better surface access, more passengers per flight and replacement of international-to-international transfer passengers with UK passengers would be a good start. Reducing carbon, air pollution and noise, including no night flights, is crucial.
More than two million people, including Richmond and Kew residents, are exposed to Heathrow's aircraft noise and attendant health risk. One certainty is the opposition to Heathrow's expansion from community groups, NGOs and local councils is stronger today than ever with the environment playing a much bigger part in society's goals.
RHC continues to oppose expansion of Heathrow - focussing on the impact of Heathrow on climate change, on the negative economic benefit to the UK and the absence of benefit to the UK aviation market. RHC also continues to oppose concentration of flight paths arising out of airspace modernisation. The DfT is currently consulting on Night Flights (closes 3 March 2021). RHC will be responding and arguing the case for a ban on night flights between 11pm and 7am.