Davies Commission dismisses
‘Boris Island’ proposal

On 2nd September the Airports Commission announced that the Inner Thames estuary airport proposal had not been shortlisted.

The main reasons given were:

  • The high cost - of the order of £1,000 for each man, woman and child in the UK
  • Environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time-consuming to surmount

The two proposals for Heathrow expansion and the one proposal for Gatwick - described below - are now the only options the Commission is evaluating.

RHC submits two more responses
to the Davies Commission

Over the past couple of months, the Richmond Heathrow Campaign has submitted two more responses to discussion papers issued by the Airports Commission.

  • Discussion Paper 06:
    Use of the UK’s existing airport capacity
  • Discussion Paper 07:
    Delivery of new runway capacity

A summary of these responses, together with links to all related documents can be found on our Airports Commission responses page.

Heathrow Expansion and the Airports Commission

In December 2013, the Airports Commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies released its interim report shortlisting the options that would be considered to meet future UK aviation needs. The three options were:

Heathrow Hub proposal for extending Heathrow's Northern Runway
A second Northern Runway
at Heathrow


Heathrow Airport's proposal for a new North-Western Runway
A new North-West Runway
at Heathrow


Heathrow Airport's proposal for a new North-Western Runway
A new Southern Runway
at Gatwick



The Richmond Heathrow Campaign’s position is that expected future passenger demand can be met with predicted larger aircraft and by substantially reducing transfers at Heathrow, most of which neither increase the number of destinations served nor benefit the wider economy. No additional runways need be built.

In particular, we are opposed to any expansion at Heathrow, which would increase noise misery for many in West London or blight new areas of the city. Instead, Heathrow’s operations should be managed to meet existing national and international public health guidelines. This includes the abolition of all night flights.



Night Flights Consultation

The Richmond Heathrow Campaign responded to the government consultation on night flights ending on 31 January. You can see further details on our Past Consultations page. The proposed three-year regime to October 2017 makes no material attempt to reduce night-time noise. The Davies Commission has even recommended more arrivals before 6am.

We say the Government should introduce a new 5 year regime with a Heathrow Night Flight Ban. At the very minimum there should be reduced average noise levels, further limits on the noisiest aircraft, and no scheduled flights before 5:30am (instead of the current 4:30am). These measures are needed to reduce the negative noise impact on people’s health, quality of life and human rights and to achieve World Health Organisation standards by the prescribed year 2030.

We say steps should be taken to revise the Heathrow regime now, in time for further consultation and decision before the general election in 2015, with implementation no later than October 2015 for a 5 year term.

We say there should be no additional flights before 6am, even for a trial period. Reducing stack sizes and reducing the need to use both runways can be achieved by managing flight arrival times and smoothing schedules later in the day rather than increasing average night noise and early flight arrivals before 6am.

We are currently assessing whether the Government has followed its own rules in extending the current regime without change to 2017.

Can you help us?

The next nine months will be critical to the challenge of Heathrow’s expansion proposals, short-term proposals and night flights. We are keen for more people to help develop the arguments and promote the campaign. The issues include noise, pollution, surface access, project financial viability, safety etc. No particular expertise is necessary as guidance is available from an experienced RHC team but interest in gathering evidence, or technical issues, aviation, the law, economics, finance or journalism would be most useful.

If interested, please get in touch. You can email us at action@richmondheathrowcampaign.org