1. Introduction

1.1. This second consultation of this year is about a huge expansion of Heathrow Airport. It is open now, and until 13 September. You can respond online https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/ - see the guidance below - or by email to ‘feedback@heathrowconsultation.com’.

1.2. On Friday 19 July, Heathrow will present their scheme at 20 Cavendish Square, W1G 0RN, from 2-8pm. There you can find out more and also pick up a ‘Feedback Form’.

1.3. The scheme - see the map attached - has been criticised in the press as being massive overdevelopment. It is proposed that

* The number of flights arriving or leaving should increase by 58%, from 476,000 last year to 756,000 by 2050.
* Passenger numbers would increase even more sharply, by 77%, from some 80 million last year to 142 million in 2050.
* Cargo capacity is doubled from 1.7 to 3.4 million tonnes annually. Flights can be passenger plus cargo, or cargo only. Thus it is implied that, within the overall increase of 58%, cargo only flights will increase proportionately more.

1.4. The proposed third runway, situated to the north of the existing two runways, would be of full length and would be built out over the M25, which would have to be diverted in new tunnels situated to the the west of its current alignment. This would add some £12-18 billion to the cost, taking it to some £30 billion overall - nearly twice the cost of Crossrail. This additional cost is to be largely funded by tax payers, it seems. It has been predicted that airport landing charges would need to increase, in consequence, by some 50%.

1.5. Heathrow proposes two huge new car parks, said to to be the biggest in Europe. One, to the north, would have a capacity of 24,000 vehicles and the other to the south 22,000 vehicles. New rail connections, to the west and south, are planned but are not yet assured or costed, and will be funded by taxpayers.

2. ‘Early growth’.

2.1. The new runway would come into operation by 2026, but Heathrow also plans more intensive use of the existing two runways from 2022, an increase of some 25,000 flights, almost entirely very early in the morning.

2.2. This might seem a comparatively small number in proportion to 476,000 but for arrivals the increase would be concentrated in the early morning, from around 5am overhead, for an hour or so. At that time there are few departures, so that changing the runway used for departures to ‘mixed mode’ (both arrivals and departures), would allow a concentration of the increase in arriving flights early in the morning, probably on alternate mornings when the northern runway is being used in ‘mixed mode’.

2.3. In the usual situation, when the wind comes from the west, so that the final approach to landing is in the westerly direction, the earlier part of the approach to that runway would probably use new flight paths with a steeper final descent, see 3.2 below. In that way two parallel approach paths would be avoided over most of the approach, but not for the very final approach. For those living under the very final approach, ‘early growth’ would require loss of the respite that they now enjoy on alternate mornings. For more detail on ‘respite’, see section B3, below, which is on ‘early growth’, and section B4 on ‘runway alternation’ (as it would be after 2026, with a three runway airport).

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