700 extra planes a day if third runway built
The appalling prospect of 700 extra aircraft movements at Heathrow EVERY DAY if a third runway is built has been highlighted today by the planting of 700 model planes by groups fighting the expansion.
The planting took place on 25th October to mark the first anniversary of the government's decision to "accept the recommendation of the Airports Commission" to put its backing behind Heathrow's North West runway option, one of three options put forward by the Airports Commission. The other options were an extended northern runway at Heathrow or a second runway at Gatwick Airport.
Campaign groups taking part in the "700 extra planes a day" event are all members of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, which is helping to co-ordinate residents' groups and liaise with politicians, union representatives, councils, NGOs, environmental organisations and others who oppose another runway being built at Heathrow.
Expanding Heathrow with a third runway would mean an extra 260,000 flights each year, increasing flights by 54% to 740,000 a year - which equates to 700 flights each day.
The plane planting took place early on Wednesday morning but a group of residents living in the Heathrow Villages staged a planting on Tuesday afternoon so they could include take offs on the northern runway, which already causes high levels of noise.
They wanted an image to draw attention to the fact that family life is disrupted by aircraft noise and 700 more flights each day would make residents feel like they live at the end of the runway.
The brief photo opportunity involved unloading a truck containing the props, including a sofa, table, lamp, crockery and even a cake onto a grass verge on the opposite site of the road to the airport.
Meanwhile other residents, young and old, made their way to the meeting point - with some never quite making it due to the location, which was not publicised beforehand for obvious reasons. No one was as relaxed as they look, with aircraft screeching overhead, heavy goods vehicles thundering past and the airport police arriving very quickly to find out what was happening.
There was another activity in the villages on Wednesday morning when a group from Grow Heathrow, a community of environmentalist in Sipson, took banners to the road bridge over the M4 spur. This spot is well known because of the large model aircraft that sits on the roundabout below.
Few people realise that a large part of Sipson village was destroyed in the 1960s to make way for the building of that road and the bridge and because of the increasing noise of the jets making normal life close to the airport difficult. Two of the casualties were the church, St Saviours, and the village primary school. A new school, Heathrow Primary, was created at the northern end of Sipson village, which was considered safe from the airport. This is now one of the schools threatened with destruction if aircraft use a new third runway.