Council leader slams Heathrow expansion aviation report
12:00pm Friday 31st August 2012 in News
The leader of Wandsworth Council has slammed a Parliamentary aviation report on airport expansion describing it as "short-sighted" and "Heathrow-centric".
Councillor Ravi Govindia blasted the document, published recently by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Aviation, because he says it grossly understates the impacts of aircraft noise on residents.
The group back proposals to expand the capacity at Heathrow airport despite the inevitable increase of aircraft noise which will be endured by millions of people living under the flightpaths.
But Coun Govindia, who is also spokesman for the 2M group of local authorities, said they will take the fight all the way to the High Court again if necessary.
He said: "The report is hopelessly short-sighted and Heathrow-centric.
"It’s clear this group has fallen completely under the aviation lobby’s spell and chosen to ignore the millions of ordinary people whose lives would be blighted by these ill-conceived recommendations.
"Any form of Heathrow expansion has been categorically ruled out by the three main political parties, and for very good reasons.
"The last time a government tried to expand the airport we took them to the High Court and had the scheme thrown out on environmental and noise impact grounds."
The report also fails to address the impact Heathrow expansion would have on CO2 levels around the airport which already exceed EU legal limits.
Coun Govindia added: "Those issues are just as acute today and any attempt to reopen the case would be met by the same opposition."
The 2M Group is an all-party alliance of local authorities concerned about the environmental impact of Heathrow operations on their communities.
The group, which took its name from the 2 million residents of the original 12 authorities, now represents a combined population of 5 million people and was successful in 2010 in overturning plans for a third runway at the airport.
The membership is made up of the London Boroughs of Brent, Camden, Ealing, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Richmond, Southwark, Sutton and Wandsworth.