As has been widely reported, Sir Howard Davies’ Airport Commission has backed a third runway at Heathrow, saying it will add £147bn in economic growth and 70,000 jobs by 2050.
The Commission addresses concerns about noise and air pollution by recommending a ban on night flights, a levy to fund noise insulation for homes and schools and some sort of legal commitment on air quality.
Kensington and Chelsea has been an opponent of a third runway for some years. Some of our residents already suffer from plane noise, although nothing like on the scale of those directly under the flight path. And our air quality is some of the worst in the country. We do not want to see those problems made worse.
There are larger questions too, one of which is whether the skies over London can safely accommodate yet more planes.
Until our concerns have been convincingly addressed we will continue to oppose the third runway. But our transport experts are now studying the Commission’s hefty report in detail.
In any event, the die is not yet cast; the Government has made plain that it will take the final decision itself about how to address the issue of extra air capacity for London.