700 planes appear across London on Heathrow decision anniversary

Press Release

Stop Heathrow Expansion

"An Extra 700 a day"

700 planes appear across London on Heathrow decision anniversary

25 October 2017


For Immediate Release


Marking the first anniversary of the government's decision to "accept the recommendation of the Airports Commission" to expand Heathrow, 700 model planes were planted in public places around London and beyond, this morning, to highlight the 700 extra daily flights that would overfly communities were Heathrow to expand (1).


Residents and members of Stop Heathrow Expansion, a member of the No 3rd Runway Coalition (2), gathered at the end of the southern runway to highlight what those living in Harlington and Sipson, who would be at the end of a third runway – with deafening noise over their home and community both day and night (photo attached).


Other residents' groups, from the No 3rd Runway Coalition, planted red planes in parks and greens across the city, including in Ealing, Osterley, Hammersmith, Teddington, Kennington, Lightwater and Englefield Green.


The events come as the Government prepares to launch a further round of public consultations on the proposal to build a 3rd Runway at Heathrow, on this occasion in respect of Air Quality and updated Passenger Number Forecasts (3).


Were the proposal to secure parliamentary backing - far from certain with many Conservative MPs implacably opposed (including Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson and Education Secretary, Justine Greening) and Labour now indicating opposition - a coalition of London Councils have promised to challenge the proposal in the courts (4).



Jackie Clark, Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said:

"Like so many other communities across London, there is deep and heartfelt opposition to any further expansion of Heathrow. 700 extra flights each day can only bring more misery to the hundreds of thousands of Londoners living under current flightpaths, as well as new misery to communities overflown for the first time, as well as the environmental consequences.”



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Notes to the Editor


(1) Heathrow expansion would mean an extra 260,000 flights each year, taking the total to 740,000 per year (an increase of 54%). This equates to 700 extra flights per day. 


(2) The No 3rd Runway Coalition, formed earlier this year, unites community groups, councils, NGOs and environmental organisations opposed to the expansion of Heathrow Airport.


(3) On 7 September 2017, Secretary of State, Chris Grayling announced a “short period of further consultation on the revised aviation demand forecasts and the government’s final air quality plan”. because some of the conclusions of Sir Howard Davies’s 2015 Airports Commission had proved inaccurate (e.g. that Gatwick would not handle 46 million passengers a year until 2040 - by 2017, it already handles 45.2 million; that Gatwick would nit handle 50 long haul flights until 2050 -  by 2017, it already handles 70).


(4) The legal challenge is being fought by Wandsworth, Richmond, Hillingdon, Windsor and Maidenhead Councils, alongside Greenpeace and Hillingdon. 


(5) The projections of economic benefit for Heathrow have been downgraded since the publication of Sir Howard Davies' Airports Commission, with the Department of Transport stating (in October 2016) the maximum Net Benefit (i.e. when costs of building have been taken into account) to be no more than £0.2bn to £6.1bn over 60 years (equating to just £1.60 per head of population each year, over 60 years).

Stop Heathrow Expansion