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Richmond Heathrow Campaign submits alternate options report
Richmond Heathrow Campaign has submitted a proposal to convince the Airports Commission to seek an alternative option to a third runway.
The local pressure group, chaired by Peter Willan, submitted the proposal, which explores options for increasing the number of passengers per aircraft as an alternative to increasing the number of flights.
With airport capacity at Heathrow set to expand, Richmond Heathrow Campaign has argued there has been little focus on increasing the number of passengers on planes and more debate around a more extensive use of runways and more runways to accommodate the flights.
The submission read: “If our ideas are viable, we believe that they would be less controversial and less costly than the development of additional runways, at Heathrow or elsewhere in the London area.”
They argued passenger growth rates could be slowed if aircraft were more heavily taxed, meaning an easier and cheaper solution to airport capacity.
A Department for Transport (DfT) spokeswoman said: “Previous attempts to tackle the question of airport capacity have failed, often due to a lack of consensus on the evidence. We do not believe that a rushed decision can be a solution.
“We know that to stay ahead we need to plan for the future and build a strong political consensus, which is why we have asked Sir Howard Davies to conduct a detailed, independent review of all the options in order to develop a lasting solution to maintain the UK’s global hub status.”
By the end of the year, Sir Howard, who plays cricket for Barnes Common, will have delivered a shortlist of credible proposals as well as identifying ways in which the DfT can make better use of the capacity that already exists.
As part of its final report in summer 2015, the commission will provide evidence to help the Government prepare a national policy statement.
Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who has long opposed Heathrow expansion, has organised a rally at Barn Elms Playing Fields on April 27.
Mayor Boris Johnson will attend the rally, which people opposed to the third runway are invited to join.
The Richmond Park MP said: “I want ministers to be left in no doubt that if they give expansion a green light, they will face a campaign on a truly massive scale.”