New anger over airport runway plans

CAMPAIGNERS opposed to expansion at Stansted Airport have accused operators BAA of "duplicity" over its recommendations for the airport. Last week, the airport operator announced it supported proposals for up to two new runways to help accommodate increased passengers in the southeast and to aid the country's economic growth.

CAMPAIGNERS opposed to expansion at Stansted Airport have accused operators BAA of "duplicity" over its recommendations for the airport.

Last week, the airport operator announced it supported proposals for up to two new runways to help accommodate increased passengers in the southeast and to aid the country's economic growth.

The Government is currently considering up to three extra runways for the Essex airport.

But the Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign has claimed the revised runway layout would achieve virtually the same capacity with two extra runways as the Government's three extra runways proposal.


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Stop Stansted Expansion chairman Norman Mead accused BAA of "stealth tactics".

He said: "The Government's most extreme proposal for Stansted was for three new runways giving a total capacity of 129 million passengers a year - twice the scale of Heathrow.

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"BAA appeared to be saying last week that this was unsustainable but now that we have seen the detail of their submission, it is obvious that they are trying to achieve that same capacity – but with two extra runways rather than three.

"It will add even more uncertainty for thousands of families who already feel threatened. This is applying for a second Heathrow by the back door."

The group claimed the small print in the plans showed the airport operator was suggesting a new runway to the north should be staggered 2,500 metres from the north-east end of the existing runway rather than 1,300 metres as outlined in the Government proposals.

It said: "BAA acknowledges that this would provide more capacity – but declines to state how much".

However, a spokesman for BAA denied it said the proposed northern runway "should" be staggered.

He said: "In assessing the technical aspects of the government's proposal it has advised that it "could" be if the government wishes to increase the capacity of the runway. This decision rests with the government.

"BAA is acting in a responsible way by assessing the government's options in detail in this way, given its considerable experience in the successful building and operation of airports world wide. This will ensure that the government comes to a reasoned decision which is deliverable."

Meanwhile, a report out todayclaims Government targets to reduce greenhouse gases cannot be met without moves to curb polluting emissions from aircraft.

Building new runways to cope with demand for more flights would only make things worse, according to the independent think tank, Institute for Public Policy Research.

The Government has set a target to cut the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050.

However, the report claimed by that time outpourings from aviation alone could breach the target.

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