LB Hammersmith & Fulham say that a third runway at Heathrow Airport is “the wrong answer to the right question”.
Leader Cllr Nicholas Botterill has said that extra air capacity for the south east of England is needed, but a ‘pint sized’ third runway, that could not take fully laden 747s or the big A380 Airbuses, is not the answer to trigger economic growth or increase the capital’s air capacity.
A third runway north of the existing pair at Heathrow would be shorter than the existing two, according to plans published in The Independent and elsewhere, and would only be able to handle smaller planes. Proponents of expansion at Heathrow point out that this could accomodate shorthaul and domestic flights currently taking up space on the main runways, freeing up slots for more long haul.
Cllr Botterill however favours an Estuary Airport, because he says it would cause extra noise and pollution, but still not create a ‘fit for purpose’ hub airport.
Cllr Botterill says: “The decision to locate the UK’s main airport at Heathrow was taken over 65 years ago at the end of the Second World War and it is simply now in the wrong place. Britain is an island and it makes no sense for thousands of planes to roar over densely populated areas where millions of people live when they could be making their final approach over water if the airport was closer to the coast.”
The council is conducting a poll on the subject to test public opinion.