This year has seen significant developments in the campaign for a new runway at Heathrow airport.
Heathrow launched two of the biggest ever consultation exercises as the planning stage for the proposal edged forward. The planning application is now expected next year after the airport digests responses to its consultation on its ‘master plan’.
The latest polling undertaken by Populus in August shows that in 16 out of the 18 constituencies around the airport more people support than oppose the new runway.
The Back Heathrow campaign has been boosted by several council surveys that showed strong support for expansion among its residents. In February, a surveyof Hounslow residents revealed a significant shift in local opinion in favour of Heathrow’s new runway. It showed that 59% of residents overall supported a new runway – up from 44% in 2016.
In June, another residents’ survey– this one in Ealing, revealed that that a large majority of its residents now backed the scheme with 69% of residents backing expansion.
What factors are in play to keep support for a new runway consistently strong? Back Heathrow has always stressed the economic benefits of such a massive infrastructure project and the arguments remain persuasive: 5,000 new apprenticeships, 40,000 new local jobs and over 180,000 across the UK, and much improved public transport links.
This economic boost to prosperity is worth billions and has the potential to end youth unemployment in local boroughs. Good for residents, their families and the wider community across London and the UK.
A second factor that has gained traction locally is the idea that you can have expansion and tackle the challenge of climate change. A combination of technological innovation; more efficient aircraft and tough government regulations on carbon and air quality will ensure our country meets its targets on sustainability.
For more information about our campaign visit Back Heathrow’s website: www.backheathrow.org
Parmjit Dhanda, Executive Director, Back Heathrow