Wednesday, 10th October 2012
UK: Bigger and Quieter : The right answer for aviation
Source: Policy Exchange (UK)
Bigger and Quieter: The right answer for aviation examines all of the options for increasing airport capacity in the UK. It supports placing four runways immediately west of the current Heathrow site. This would double the existing capacity to 130million passengers, cementing it as Europe’s premier hub. If this was politically unfeasible, then a four runway airport at Luton would be the next best option.
The report says that the UK needs a new hub airport located in the South East which has spare capacity to accommodate the likely increase in demand, especially to cope with the rise in middle class travellers from emerging markets.
It doesn’t rule out the current proposal to build a third runway to the north of Heathrow, but claims that less people would be affected by aircraft noise if the four runways were instead located 3km to the west of Heathrow.
To reduce the effect of noise the report proposes:
A complete ban on the noisiest aircraft at all times, rather than just at night. Airlines would have to ensure their fleet complied with new decibel measures by the time the new runways were ready for use
Imposing a complete ban on night flights. The increase in the number of slots available would mean no planes would arrive or depart between 11pm and 6:15am
Landing narrow bodied planes at a steeper angle as they already do at London City airport. This again means they are higher over any part of West London on their descent. For example, a plane would be 925m rather than 260m above Hounslow
In addition, moving the airport west means planes will be higher over London than at present.
+ Direct link to document (PDF; 548 KB)
By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
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