Tag Archives: heathrow

Heathrow and Saudi banks – where Boris invests London taxpayers’ millions

Well, well. Boris is against Heathrow expansion, isn’t he? You have to then wonder why his office is investing millions in Heathrow airport. According to the Independent on Sunday, the Mayor’s office invested £3.54 million in the airport just two weeks ago. Liberal Democrat Assembly member Stephen Knight is quoted:

The GLA said that notwithstanding Mr Johnson’s trenchant views on Heathrow, it remained a suitable investment. But critics of the Mayor, who is ultimately responsible for GLA investments, said there was a clash between the mayor’s public position and his officials’ investment decisions.

Mr Knight said: “Only Boris Johnson would not be able to understand the total contradiction between publicly opposing a third Heathrow runway, whilst behind the scenes pouring millions of pounds of London taxpayer’s money into Heathrow bonds, which will help finance such an expansion.”

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LibLink: Caroline Pidgeon: It’s time to follow the money on the debate over Heathrow

So, David Cameron is putting off the evil day when he has to make a decision about Heathrow. Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon has reiterated her opposition to a third runway:

Londoners will be angry at delay when the obvious conclusion is that expanding London airports will be too polluting and too disruptive. If the evidence doesn’t support a third runway then the answer must be “No!”
“Sadiq Khan is as flexible on airports as a pair of flip-flops: he used to support Heathrow, now its Gatwick. Who knows how long before he flops back to supporting Heathrow?

Zac Goldsmith is isolated from the Tories on this issue and powerless to intervene. They have saved his blushes today but the Tory plane is landing on a third runway at Heathrow for sure.

Only the Liberal Democrats are firmly opposed to airport expansion. There is underused runway capacity around London that we should exploit by improving train connectivity and speed to central London.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments

A longer read for the weekend: Tim Leunig on how to increase airport capacity in the UK

leunig bigger and quieterCongratulations to Tim Leunig — these days a senior adviser in the Department for Education, but until recently chief economist at the CentreForum think-tank — whose report Bigger and quieter: the right answer for aviation was the winner this week of the economic and financial category at Prospect Magazine’s Think Tank of the Year Awards 2013.

Tim’s report, published jointly by CentreForum and Policy Exchange, examined all the options for increasing airport capacity in the UK. It supports placing four runways immediately west of the current Heathrow site, doubling the existing capacity to 130 million passengers, and cementing it as Europe’s premier hub:

We argue that the first best solution is to build four new parallel runways, arranged in two sets of pairs, immediately to the west of the existing Heathrow airport. These would run above the M25, and Wraysbury reservoir. The Poyle industrial estate and a relatively limited amount of housing would need to be demolished. Clearly the problem with Heathrow at present is noise. Moving the runways west reduces noise over west London, since the planes will be higher over any given place. We will reinforce this noise reduction by banning the noisiest planes. This is not possible in the short run, but could be achieved by 2030, a plausible date for this airport to open.

In addition, narrow bodied planes will be required to land more steeply, as they do in London City. Again, this means that they are further up when they are above any particular place, reducing the amount of noise that reaches the ground. Finally there would be an absolute ban on night flights.

Interested in reading more? Here’s the link, and below’s the full document…

Bigger and quieter: the right answer for aviation — Tim Leunig for CentreForum / Policy Exchange (October…

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The Independent View: One hub or none – the choice for the UK

A recent Lib Dem voice poll asked ‘Do you support or oppose building a third runway at Heathrow airport?’ and it was not surprising to me, knowing the history of Liberal Democrat aviation policy, that 79% opposed this proposition. But this jumps the gun. Firstly, what is a hub airport and why is it valuable to the UK? Secondly, we need to understand if there is a problem to solve, and to define that problem. And then finally, what are the realistic options on the table that should be explored that will solve the problem.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Opinion: A four runway hub airport?

Flying isn’t something most people do for fun but connections are good for business and prosperity. Thankfully the Committee on Climate Change says that aviation can expand without risking our ambitious climate change targets.

Hub airports are particularly important. They draw in passengers from a range of places, making flights to many destinations viable. The one flight from Wuhan to Europe – to Paris – relies on transfers at Charles de Gaulle. That flight gives Paris a head start in attracting the European HQs of firms from Wuhan. I want …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 80 Comments

What Lib Dem members think about the third Heathrow runway and increased aviation capacity

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Big thumbs-up to party’s continuing policy to oppose third Heathrow runway…

LDV asked: Do you support or oppose building a third runway at Heathrow airport?

    12% – Support
    79% – Oppose
    9% – Don’t know

The Tories may be preparing to U-turn on a third runway in readiness for their 2015 general election manifesto, but Lib Dems remain resolutely opposed to a further …

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Catherine Bearder MEP writes…The simple Lib Dem approach to aviation

Why was I not surprised?

The knee-jerk, short-sighted reaction of Tory backbenchers to dwindling airport capacity was simple: Bung another runway onto the sprawling tarmac at Heathrow.

The airport already pumps out pollution and noise affecting hundreds of thousands of people and a moment’s respite lasts 90 seconds until the next jet swoops from the skies.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 58 Comments
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