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Topic: Re:Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again
Posted by: Roland Gilmore
Date/Time: 24/03/13 09:52:00

To say the estuary airport preferred by Londonís Mayor would be environmentally disastrous is alarmist and fundamentally untrue. There are a number of estuary airport proposals under consideration (at least six) and not just one. The Davies Commission is looking at all of them.

It is highly unlikely that the Foster plan (an airport attached to the Isle of Grain) would ever be granted permission because of environmental damage and inconsistencies with plans to connect it to HS1 (the existing channel tunnel rail link) however; an artificial island scheme could and should be approved. The reality is that the risk of bird strike is far less for an island scheme than it is for those attached to the mainland where there are bird sanctuaries and natural habitats of international importance. The likelihood of bird strike has been proven to be less at the island airport site than exists currently at Heathrow! Bird populations and marsh habitats are located to the banks and shoreline of the estuary and not in what is currently open water. The area proposed for the island airport scheme is located in an area where there are no bird migration routes.

The statement that expansion of Heathrow is "sensible" rests solely on vested economic arguments. Heathrow's current advertising campaign and pressure on Davies is testament to that. It ignores the greater environmental damage that expansion of Heathrow would bring; in particular a worsening of air quality that already exceeds the old WHO and EU limits let alone the reduced limits that will be introduced this year.

It is not environmental cost that could scupper an island airport scheme but the capital cost however; "in-principal" funding for the island scheme was aggreed some years ago.

The largest container port in the UK with a technology & business park attached is currently under construction at Coryton on the Essex side of the estuary (an ex-oil refinery site). This has been created by building a coffer dam and filling it with sand and silt from the estuary. The same process would be used to form the island for an airport. Hydroelectric tidal power would provide most of the airportís energy needs so what exactly makes you think that creating an island for an airport is more environmentally damaging than expanding Heathrow?

You are right to point out that politicians have been devolving responsibilities away from parliament for decades (notably, 80% of our laws are now devised by the EU) and by arm's length regulation have tried to disassociate themselves from taking responsibility and being directly accountable for setting policy. Devolving responsibility for assessing proposals and making recommendations for air transport provision in the SE of England is just one of them. One danger is that air transport provision is looked at in isolation from other imperatives such as the need for a second Thames Barrier. The latest climate change predictions are now suggesting that a second barrier will be needed much earlier than previously thought (the end of this century). This may suggest a better alternative is to integrate a new airport further east then the island airport proposal; as part of a barrier scheme.

Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Heathrow Third runway - again22/03/13 15:40:00 Lucille Grant
   Re:Heathrow Third runway - again22/03/13 16:41:00 Dave Roberts
      Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again22/03/13 18:26:00 Tim Henderson
         Re:Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again22/03/13 19:27:00 Roland Gilmore
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again22/03/13 23:08:00 Maggie Morris
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again22/03/13 23:56:00 Victoria Diamond
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again23/03/13 14:06:00 Dave Robertson
      Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again23/03/13 18:37:00 Jane Eades
         Re:Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again24/03/13 09:52:00 Roland Gilmore
   Aircraft noise thresholds24/03/13 08:59:00 Catherine Schade
      Re:Aircraft noise thresholds24/03/13 09:22:00 Lucille Grant
      Re:Aircraft noise thresholds25/03/13 11:03:00 Tim Henderson
   Re:Heathrow Third runway - again06/06/13 13:48:00 Tim Henderson
      Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again08/06/13 01:01:00 Bunny Payne
         Re:Re:Re:Heathrow Third runway - again08/06/13 22:05:00 Tim Henderson

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