MANY Londoners will be relieved to hear that BAA has decided to hold back their plans for a third runway at Heathrow.
For those living in the immediate vicinity of the airport, whose homes and communities are threatened with destruction, this decision will have lifted a dark cloud hanging over them for seven long years. And all those who would suffer from the increased noise and traffic will perhaps be able to sleep a little more soundly.
However, BAA has not scrapped their plans entirely and if the aviation business picks up again, the third runway application may reappear.
Local residents need and deserve reassurance that this threat is over once and for all.
Like them, I await a public statement from BAA that the third runway will not go ahead, no matter who forms the next Government.
Residents around other London airports are also living with threatened expansion.
London City Airport is seeking to increase its air traffic capacity by 50 per cent and at Stansted, plans for a second runway mean it could handle a higher volume of traffic than currently passes through Heathrow.
Both of these plans could have devastating consequences for local residents and those under their flight paths.
We need now a firm commitment from the Government and the Tories to put an end to airport expansion: this problem must not be simply transferred elsewhere.
Investment in high-speed rail, and other technologies like teleconferencing, is vital to reduce demand for flights and curtail escalating carbon emissions.
If we do not curb aviation growth overall, we will fail to meet our vital commitments on climate change.
London’s Green Party MEP