3rd runway: what will speak louder?

TUC, trade union representing seven million workers, defends new runways and says that Heathrow should come first.

Read also: New runway would mean demolition of 3,000 homes and a new flight path over Brentford, Chiswick and Hammersmith


Residents urge government to avoid the third runway:
Brackenbury Residents Association is concerned about traffic congestion, noise from overflying aircraft and pollution.

TCU Web site


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The consultation about the future of the air transport has just closed on the 30th June with TUC's support. With 69 affiliated unions, TUC represents nearly seven million working people.

TUC responded last week to the consultation saying that "the demand for air travel will grow strongly over the next thirty years. The result will be that London and the South East will need three new runways by 2030. Taking into account all the evidence, the TUC believes that Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick will each need one new runway. It is clear that expansion at Heathrow should come first."

The West London airport must remain the UK's hub airport, says the TUC, as it suggests a slight alteration to the sitting of the proposed third runway to preserve the historic centre of Harmondsworth. It says also that any increase in capacity at Heathrow must be within the current constraints on night flights. To ensure that greenhouse gas emissions targets are met, the TUC also proposes the introduction of a tradable emissions quota system across all industries.

The trade union says that the Government should opt for three new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted to secure 80,000 new jobs for London, the South East and the East of England, and guarantee that the UK remains at the heart of future air travel in Europe.

The TUC remembered "that environmental and community organisations may be unhappy" at the idea of the region gaining three new runways, but says that the costs of doing nothing, or not doing enough, are too awful to contemplate. Unless the UK can expand its airport capacity, there is a danger, warns the TUC, that airports in Germany, France and the Netherlands will lure airlines away, with a devastating effect on UK jobs and the UK economy.

New runway would mean demolition of 3,000 homes and a new flight path over Brentford, Chiswick and Hammersmith. Residents in Hammersmith are also concerned about traffic congestion, noise from overflying aircraft and pollution. The Brackenbury Residents Association has responded to the consultation urging government to avoid any option that involves a third runway or further capacity increases at Heathrow

TUC also says that simply building new runways will not be sufficient on its own and that the UK will only remain at the forefront of aviation travel if rail links to all airports in and around the capital are enhanced.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'The future prosperity of the UK and the South East are heavily dependent on the ability of our aviation industry to grow. If limits are placed on UK airports' growth, business will simply go elsewhere. Too many jobs and too much investment are at stake to allow the brakes to be put on expansion now.'

TUC South East Regional Secretary Mick Connolly said: 'With the growth of low-cost airlines, more people are travelling by air, more frequently, than ever before. The Government's own figures show that a block on expansion could see the cost of air travel rising beyond the reach of ordinary working people, and a loss of 73 million passenger journeys. This cannot be allowed to happen.'