1)      Heathrow Airport is wholly owned by foreign corporate interests, principally, Qatari, Chinese, Canadian and Spanish. There is zero British control over Heathrow’s corporate management. The bottom line for this airport is always profit with absolutely no regard for either the environment, local development or the British economy as a whole.

2)     

The concept of a Hub Airport is a nonsense. Heathrow as a hub airport has virtually no impact on the well-being of the British economy. A few extra cups of coffee in transit and some duty-free shopping amounts to very little. The real airport hub in Britain consists of London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stanstead, London Luton, London Southend and City Airport. The trick is to link these six airports together with free and frequent public transport. In other words, the real is hub is not Heathrow Airport but London itself.

3)      The corporate owners of Heathrow Airport repeatedly claim that an expanded airport will have no impact on the air or noise pollution over West London. This is a transparent lie. An extra 5000 planes flying over West London every week will have a devastating effect on both air quality and noise pollution. These planes will be flying over some of London’s most densely populated areas. Furthermore, this increase air traffic will blight some of the most treasured parts of West London including Kew Gardens, Richmond and the Thames corridor. It is already a national scandal that children in many London schools are being forced to breathe highly toxic air. An expanded airport will simply exacerbate this health outrage.

4)      The corporate owners of Heathrow Airport insist that a third runway will have no impact on traffic congestion in West London. Anyone who is forced to navigate either the M4 or the M25 will know that West London is approaching gridlock on a daily basis. An expanded airport will make things worse, much worse. It takes thousands of buses, taxies, trucks and lorries to service an airport. The bigger the airport, the worse the congestion.

5)      The corporate owners of Heathrow tell us ad nauseum that the airport is operating at full capacity and it needs an extra runway to service the new emerging markets. Nonsense! What Heathrow Airport must be forced to do is to divest itself of the bulk of its short haul flights and concentrate primarily on long haul destinations. That way there will be more than enough capacity for the foreseeable future. If the government shifted its considerable subsidies from air travel to rail travel, the vast majority of short haul flights could be absorbed by a reliable and affordable rail network. This won’t happen whilst the corporate interests hold sway over the national interests.

6)      The foreign corporate owners of Heathrow Airport tell us that a third runway will increase connectivity to the rest of Britain. Another lie. In fact, the opposite will be true. A recently commissioned government report has shown that rather than increase regional connectivity, the northern airports will lose a significant percentage of their local flights. Under the Heathrow expansion plans the regional airports will contract rather than expand.

7)      The supporters of an expanded Heathrow slyly tell us that an expanded Heathrow will have no effect in the battle against climate change. Whilst the battle against climate change is an international battle, each country must do its bit. Britain, although not in the same league as the United States, India and China, it is still the sixth largest economy in the world and what it does or doesn’t do in the existential battle against global warming does matter. Post Brexit, we may indeed need expanded connectivity with the rest of the world, but this cannot be at the expense of the global environment. What is urgently required is a rational and environmentally sound transport plan but whilst most of Britain’s transport infrastructure is in the hands of the corporates, no such plan can come into effect.

8)      Our political leaders will eventually make a rational and principled stand against Heathrow expansion. A joke! Where is David – ‘no ifs, no buts, no third runway’ - Cameron now? Nowhere to be seen. Where is Boris – ‘I’ll lay in front of the bulldozers’ – Johnson at this critical moment? Slinking out of the country rather than stand up and be counted. Where is Michael – ‘we will have a green Brexit’ – Gove when we need him to make a stand. Silent and complicit in this corporate outrage. And why won’t Corbyn attempt a three-line whip against Heathrow expansion? Because the big Trades Unions have bought into the myth of thousands of extra Heathrow related jobs. It’s a corporate lie. Jobs will continue to diminish in the airport industry, as in most industries, due to the next wave of automation including driverless vehicles and atomised freight handling. Hats off to those politicians who have defied the corporate interest and their own party machines to take a principled stand.

End JPK Copyright 23/6/18

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