London mayoral candidates unite in opposition to Heathrow expansion

London’s incumbent mayor Ken Livingstone and the arch-rival who’s vying for his job, Boris Johnson, may be poles apart politically, but they have something in common: they both oppose further expansion at their city’s biggest airport.

On a recent visit to one of the villages that would have to be demolished if proposals for a third runway at Heathrow became reality, Livingstone spelled out his fierce opposition to expansion, saying: “It is vital that all airport expansion in London and the South East, including Heathrow, is halted now as it is contrary to growing evidence on the role of aviation in contributing towards catastrophic climate change.”

Boris (pictured below) has gone one step further, according to this report in The Times, and is calling for Heathrow as we know it to be demolished and moved lock, stock and barrel to a set of artificial islands in the Thames estuary.


I think Boris’s plan is far-fetched and pretty unrealistic, given how long it took for Terminal 5 to be built let alone how long it would take to bulldoze Heathrow and move it eastwards. Plus I don’t see how moving one of the busiest airports in the world to a different location would lessen the environmental impact in any way.

The third runway debate is reaching fever pitch here in London – what are your thoughts? Should they or shouldn’t they build one? And if they don’t build one, what is Heathrow’s future in comparison to other global hubs?

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One Response to London mayoral candidates unite in opposition to Heathrow expansion

  1. John Band 25 February, 2008 at 5:00 am #

    Since there are few votes in a third runway, it’s unsurprising that both candidates oppose it. But UK plc needs good international connectivity. The only way to give business what it needs and keep flights under control is a major national railway expansion, which the national government has no intention of committing to. So the planning process will be forced to give approval for Runway 3 and T6 eventually anyway…

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