4.Topic B3, part, Topic: ‘Future operations’, Sub-topic ‘Runway alternation’

Guidance: this topic is about what would happen after the opening of the third runway, situated to the north of the existing two. Instead of the present two-day cycle of runway alternation, there would be a four-day cycle, and those beneath the approach for landing on runway three would have relative silence (‘respite’) on only one day in four. Those further away, like ourselves, could also hear aircraft preparing to land on each of the other two runways, as well as those landing on runway three. In the afternoon and evening, the approach routes to landing would change so that ‘respite ‘would be on another day in the cycle, again only one in four.

To see this in detail, look below the first diagram at ‘the four different mode allocations’ and then at the four small boxes beneath. Click on the right hand one, called ‘mode allocation four’. On day 4, runway three is devoted to departures only in the morning, so there would be no aircraft landing there, in the usual westerly direction. In the afternoons and evenings, this situation would occur on day 3 of the cycle.

‘Have your say’. We suggest you object strongly to there being relative silence on only one day in four, in place of the present one day in two. Remember that, with runway three in operation, flights would start passing overhead from 5.15 in the morning, on the other three days, and could also approach runway three up to 11 pm, for landing there.

Link to question: https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/topics/runway-alternation/
(Sample answer on page 9)

5. B4 (Topic: Managing the Effects of Expansion: Sub-topic: ‘Environment introduction’ /’‘Air quality’ (including carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions/climate change)

These are sub-topics to the sixth main topic in the list, ‘Managing the effects of expansion’. The first two are asterisked, meaning that both have space for ‘Have your Say’. Carbon emissions and Climate change are further sub-topics, not asterisked, which for convenience we take together with either ‘environment introduction’ or ‘air quality’. We suggest, however, that you respond separately on the topic ‘Noise’, see below.

Guidance: in general, what Heathrow say about air quality relates to construction and the impact of aircraft on the ground, conveniently ignoring the effect of there being 58% more flights in the air. There is reference to the prospect of hybrid aircraft (jet plus electric, battery powered), but these are in their infancy, with experiments so far on only very small aircraft, all depending on jet engines to provide sufficient power for take-off. The weight of the batteries will always reduce efficiency, by comparison to pure jet powered aircraft.

There is also reference to IATA’s plan to reduce net GHG emissions for the industry as a whole by purchasing carbon credits from other industries, which goes against the overall target of reducing carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050, which requires an early start on the path towards their reduction.

There is no reference to the report of the UK Committee on Climate Change, whose objective of net zero by 2050 has been accepted by the Government. In its references to the aviation industry, that report indicated that further policy measures are needed in order to reduce the rate of growth that is now indicated for the aviation industry as a whole.

The plans for Heathrow to grow by 58% in terms of flights is wildly incompatible with all these objectives. A complementary reduction would be needed in the rate of growth of flights at other UK airports. What plans are there for this? Apparently, none. Even if so, why should those living under flight paths to and from Heathrow airport suffer a much higher increase in their exposure to pollutants than those living near to other airports?

‘Have your Say’: You could draw on the points made above
Link to question: https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/topics/air-quality/
(Sample answer on p.10)

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