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Heathrow putting environmental limits first

Heathrow Airport has announced details of plans requesting that the Government appoint an independent assessor to guarantee public confidence in noise and air quality limits should expansion of the airport get the green light.

The move is seen as Heathrow making the concerns of the public their top priority over raising the number of flights from the airport.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA, said: "We have listened to the many arguments around expansion at Heathrow. Although the economic case remains compelling, we understand that we can only increase the number of flights if we can safeguard levels of noise and air quality.

"By calling on an independent assessor to scrutinise the airport's performance against these limits, we are providing an uncomprimising assurance that we will operate Heathrow Airport within the limits laid down by Government. If we don't, the number of flights in and out of Heathrow could be capped.

"We are also announcing today that we would take advantage of mixed mode to increase the number of flights in and out of Heathrow at peak times only when punctuality has improved to an agreed standard. Today, Heathrow operates at 99.7% capacity, reducing resilience when problems arise. The extra flexibility offer by mixed mode and the third runway will enable Heathrow to match the reliability of its international competitors."

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Published by: Michael Johnson

Published on: November 26, 2008

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