Third runway could lead to a fourth, say anti-expansion group
7:00am Saturday 6th October 2012 in News
An anti-airport expansion group of local authorities has warned that allowing Heathrow Airport to build a third runway would inevitably lead to demands for a fourth.
The 2M Group, consisting of 20 councils including Wandsworth, belives the ‘hub’ airport model needs high volumes of short-haul ‘feeder flights’ to attract enough passengers to fill its long haul services.
But because the hub adds more long haul routes to its schedule, it needs to accommodate even more feeder flights to fill the extra seats.
Both types of flights have to arrive within the same time window so passengers can make swift connections.
This pattern leads to high peaks of demand throughout the day.
During these busy periods the airport is under pressure to land very high volumes of planes - leading to demands for additional runway and terminal space.
2M warns that these pressures give hub airports an insatiable appetite for expansion and that BAA’s current bid to reopen the third runway debate would be followed by demands for further additional capacity including the possibility of a fourth runway.
Speaking on behalf of the campaign group, leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said: "History shows that the airport has an unquenchable thirst for expansion. "A successful hub will always want to grow - but you simply cannot keep adding new runways in this part of the country. It blights the lives of too many people.
"Expanding Heathrow would be the wrong decision on every level."
In 2010 the Group led a successful High Court challenge against the previous Government’s plan to add a third runway.
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. Find out more at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/aviation