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Published on Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Heathrow launches fight-back campaign after poll shows local support for expansion



Heathrow claims a new poll shows more local residents support the airport than oppose it and almost half of those questioned favour its expansion.


The poll of 6,000 residents in Hounslow, Richmond, Hillingdon, Windsor and Spelthorne, found:

  • 60% of residents feel positive towards Heathrow compared to 6% who feel negatively
  • 66% say that the benefits of Heathrow outweigh the disadvantages for their community
  • 46% support expanding Heathrow, compared to 43% who oppose expansion


Heathrow is the 12th most important issue in determining which candidate to vote for at the next general election, with jobs and the economy the most important issue, it said.


The area with the most aircraft noise, Feltham and Heston, is the area which is most supportive of the airport expanding, according to the poll carried out by Populus. 51% of people in Feltham and Heston support expanding Heathrow compared to 39% who are opposed.


Heathrow director of corporate affairs Clare Harbord said: "This research shows that most local residents back Heathrow. Anti-Heathrow campaigners claim that everyone living near Heathrow is opposed to the airport, but that simply isn't true.


"The recent report by MPs on Parliament's Transport Committee lays bare what the Mayor's plans for a new airport would do to this region: it says an estuary hub airport would require the closure of Heathrow - a course of action that would have unacceptable consequences for individuals, businesses in the vicinity of the existing airport and the local economy."


The airport claims 114,000 jobs in the area depend on Heathrow, representing one in five local jobs in the five boroughs closest to Heathrow.


It added: "If Heathrow closed then people directly employed at the airport would have to be re-located or would be made redundant.


"It would be Britain's worst ever mass redundancy with job losses greater than when MG Rover closed its factory at Longbridge in 2005 (6,500 jobs), or during the worst year of UK pit closures in 1984 (30,000 jobs).


Heathrow announced today that it will provide seed funding for a new community campaign "to provide a voice for the thousands of local people who support Heathrow".


Plans for the campaign are in their early stages but it said it  will seek to establish itself and start identifying and recruiting support before the end of the year.

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  • Increased capacity yes, but why Heathrow?

    Increased capacity is undoubtedly necessary for economic growth and prosperity in the UK. Moreover through cowardly political delay we are falling further behind where we need to be However, no cogent argument has been advanced for why it has to be at Heathrow. Expansion of Heathrow would provide a typically short-sighted, short term sticking plaster, Heathrow is the wrong airport in the wrong place through an accident of history. Advocates of expansion at Heathrow are rather hoist on their own petard when they use evidence of other international airports with four or more runways and more coming down the track. Their solution will always leave us trailing in the wake of such competition. Unless of course their hidden agenda is a fourth, fifth and sixth runway at Heathrow. Let us for once have a bold plan to deal with this problem for the next 50 years not the just the next 10.

    By Gareth Crump, Thursday, June 13, 2013

  • You have got to be joking!!!

    I don't know how they managed to get these results, I for one just do not believe it. Build Boris's Airport in the Thames Estuary, with high speed rail connections to London and everywhere else, we built the Channel Tunnel, so this should be a piece of cake. It's the only sensible option

    By Terry Ellis, Wednesday, June 12, 2013

  • Please expand Heathrow

    We live in Chiswick and feel that expanding Heathrow is a necessity as Britain is losing out on developing incoming business from the BRIC economies that is going elsewhere because of a lack of capacity. Plus People are using hubs like Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris and Madrid instead of London, as a large percentage of passengers are looking to fly on to somewhere else, and capacity constraints mean that we are losing business to the other hubs.

    By Richard Earl of Bradford, Wednesday, June 12, 2013

  • David Tarsh

    This is an incredibly imortant survey finding and is the turning point in rescuing the UK economy. For years politicians have felt they must pander to voters under the flight path on the assumption that those voters are truly represented by the most vocal. But that is not so. Jobs are more important. This poll is actually not alone. Residents in Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Wandsworth also feel the economy is more important than the aviation noise they are already willing to accept and they said so when their local councils asked too. If anyone can appreciate how vital the expansion of Heathrow is to the UK economy and recovery from the financial crisis it is those of us in and around the travel industry. We need to make sure that argument is heard.

    By David Tarsh, Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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