London mayor Ken Livingstone has vehemently opposed plans to create a third runway at London Heathrow airport on environmental grounds.

Speaking during a visit to a village which will be demolished if the third runway is approved, Livingstone called for airport expansion in London and the south east of England to be halted immediately.

He argues that the third Heathrow runway will lead to higher carbon emissions levels, increased noise and air pollution, greater road congestion and the destruction of green space and residential properties.

Livingstone says: “On every test; environment, economic and quality of life, the argument for expanding Heathrow has not been made and I don’t believe it ever can.”

A spokesman for London Heathrow airport operator BAA says: “We think the extra runway capacity at London Heathrow is urgently needed and would provide great economic benefits to London, but we also recognise that the airport has an impact on the local community – that why a consultation is underway.

“The benefits it will bring and the impact need to be balanced.”

During his visit, Livingstone met with a number of groups which are opposing the runway development.

No Third Runway Action Group chair Geraldine Nicholson says: “We warmly welcome the mayor’s support for our campaign and hope that his example will make others in Government wake up to the environmental and political folly of a third runway at Heathrow.”

The UK Government’s public consultation on the third runway is due to close on 27 February.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news