The public consultation on the planned third runway at Heathrow has been reopened due to new evidence.
Since the initial consultation on the draft Airport National Policy Statement (which ran from 2nd February – 25th May 2017), the Department for Transport has published a series of fresh reports into the impact of expanding the west London hub, including updated noise analysis and a new air quality plan.
As a result, in September 2017, the government announced the need to conduct further consultation on a revised draft Airports National Policy Statement, stating: ‘This was to take into account new evidence that was unavailable when the original draft was first published. In particular, this relates to updated aviation demand forecasts and the government’s national air quality plan.’
The government’s preferred scheme for meeting the need for additional airport capacity in the south-east of England is a new north-west runway at Heathrow Airport but the sustainability appraisal expects the plans to have a negative effect on air quality, noise and biodiversity – which is why it is of the utmost importance that we have our say on the revised draft.
The Guardian reports:
‘London’s airports are forecast to be full by the mid-2030s with Heathrow already operating at capacity and Gatwick at capacity during peak times.
This has left the government with the dilemma of either being framed as anti-business if it does not act to address capacity, or anti-environment if it goes ahead with expansion.
This may also undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% on 1990 levels by 2050, as legislated by the Climate Change Act.
Cait Hewitt, the deputy director of campaign group the Aviation Environment Federation, claimed the “scale of this reconsultation” showed that the government’s case for Heathrow expansion was unconvincing.’