Greenpeace response to Heathrow expansion calls

Last edited 28 August 2012 at 12:29pm
28 August, 2012

Responding to the re-emergence of calls for the expansion of Heathrow airport, John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: 

“It’s high time the aviation lobbyists realise their runway plans aren’t going to fly. The Prime Minister has personally promised that it won’t happen, and the Transport Secretary is firmly against it too. 

“And airport expansion would lead to a rise in noise, pollution, community destruction as well as greenhouse gas emissions. It is spectacularly ill-timed given that these calls for another runway have come as scientists have announced that Arctic sea ice has melted to a record low due to climate change. 

“If Heathrow wants to free up more slots for long haul then it can stop expanding services to Manchester and other cities close to London where there are rail services. It’s not a shortage of capacity but how that capacity is being used that is key to the solution, alongside technology like teleconferencing. 

“The aviation lobbyists need to stop wasting their time regurgitating arguments that they have comprehensively lost and face the facts.” 

The former Chief Executive of British Airways said that building a third runway at Heathrow would be a costly mistake that is against Britain’s economic interests (1).

If a third runway at Heathrow airport were to be built, the airport would become the single largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the UK. Unrestrained airport expansion would make it impossible for the UK to play its part in tackling climate change. 


Greenpeace press office: 020 7865 8255 


1. ‘3rd runway is a flight of fallacy’ – Bob Ayling, The Times, 4th May 2008

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