5th November 2003
Campaigners Unite Against BAA Expansion Ambitions
Heathrow and Stansted campaigners have joined together to reaffirm their combined opposition to an extra runway at either airport following reports that BAA wants to see a second runway at Stansted within 10 years and a third runway at Heathrow within 15 years, by which time it believes the latter’s air pollution problems can be overcome.
In a joint statement issued by HACAN ClearSkies and Stop Stansted Expansion the two campaign groups said:
“BAA is struggling desperately to keep its own airports in the frame for new runways in the face of overwhelming opposition and the prospect of legal and regulatory challenges to its expansion ambitions. The reality is that the environmental impacts of expanding Heathrow or Stansted are wholly unacceptable and would be contrary to a raft of national and European regulations. Neither option would be deliverable.
The White Paper is about planning for the future and full consideration will have to be given to a series of measures before new runways are built. These include:
* Removal of aviation’s wholesale tax exemptions which result in the underpricing of air travel and artificially high demand
* Better utilisation of existing airport capacity throughout the UK
* The possible option of an offshore airport in the Thames Estuary
* A commitment to rail/air substitution for short haul travel
Assessment of locations for any new runways needs to be made on a case by case basis, not an ‘either/or’ scenario. When considered on such a basis it is evident that neither Stansted nor Heathrow would be suitable for an additional runway.
BAA may have a monopoly on London’s main airports but it doesn’t have a monopoly on expansion options or on advice offered to the Department for Transport. Ultimately, it is the government, not BAA, that will decide the strategy for the future development of air transport and the company would do well to remember this.
HACAN ClearSkies and Stop Stansted Expansion are committed to pursuing action through the courts if necessary to protect their communities from the overwhelming negative impacts which additional runways would have.”