Sarah Olney’s submission to the Heathrow Expansion Draft Airports National Policy Statement

The government announced that the “Airports National Policy Statement: new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the South East of England” is the necessary first stage in the process of getting consent for a Heathrow 3rd runway.


The text associated with the draft NPS says little new, but is rich in statements like: “..proposals show this Government is not only making the big decisions but getting on with delivering them” and “…will ensure Britain seizes the opportunity to forge a new role in the world after Brexit ….”

No real practical, enforceable constraints appear to be placed upon Heathrow, other than “Planning consent will only be granted if the new runway can be delivered within existing air quality limits and climate change obligations.” The only noise body offered is the “Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise” – ie. a Commission, with no powers, not an Authority with powers.

  • The local Lib Dems have been campaigning against heathrow expansion since the 1970s. They were founding members of the Heathrow campaign group HACAN.
  • In the 1980s the local Lib Dems won the campaign to reduce noise by getting aeroplanes to alternate between runways.
  • The Lib Dems successfully fought to keep night flights to a minimum, restricting the number of movements permitted until 2017.
  • In 2008 Susan Kramer, while MP of Richmond Park also campaigned against the expansion of Heathrow. Follow this LINK for more on her protest with HACAN at a cross party anti Heathrow demonstration in Lampton Park, Hounslow.

Sarah Olney continues without wavering the 40 year Lib Dem fight against the expansion of the 3rd runway :

The Government believes there is the need for additional airport capacity in the South East of England by 2030.

Sarah's views against this have been submitted and can be read in full HERE

On the expansion of Heathrow Sarah Olney commented:

"Heathrow expansion diverts growth from the rest of the UK and reduces overall UK growth. Providing additional capacity in the South East will exaggerate the current regional inequalities in the UK and limit the growth of the regional airports with the resulting benefits to their regional economies.

"Two-thirds of all UK flights go to/from the south-east of England even though only one-third live there and four of the UK’s five busiest airports are based in the South East. It would greatly benefit the regions of the UK if investment in airports was instead diverted to airports outside of the South East.

"Air Pollution levels already exceed the official safe levels in areas around Heathrow.  With another quarter of a million or so planes using the airport if a third runway is built, is it really feasible that air pollution levels will fall even with quieter and cleaner planes coming on-stream?  Vehicle traffic is the big problem.  It is likely to require radical measures, such as scrapping/reducing diesel vehicles, to enable air pollution targets to be met.

"This concentration at Heathrow negatively impacts airport connectivity and competition. It has a negative impact on the UK as an aviation hub and on most UK airports, some of which may not survive, and on local economies and employment. This outcome works against the Government’s aim of re-balancing the UK economy."

Sarah's views against expansion of Heathrow can be read in full HERE

Some previous postings -these are a record of service and refer to a time before parliament was dissolved.

Sarah Olney - Heathrow expansion plans show government desperate over hard Brexit [LINK]

Ed Davey - Liberal Democrats have stopped Heathrow expansion before, and we can again [LINK]

Susan Kramer - while MP of Richmond Park with HACAN at a cross party anti Heathrow demonstration [LINK

Forty years of Lib Dems campaigning against Heathrow [LINK]

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