Since 2007 we have been working with organisations committed to preventing the further expansion of London’s Heathrow Airport by means either of an additional runway or the more intensive use of the existing runways.
The first phase of our work involved helping to make the case to the Labour Government not to allow the introduction of so-called “Mixed Mode” operation at Heathrow. Mixed Mode would allow aircraft to take off and land from the two runways simultaneously, thus depriving local people of the respite from noise created by the present alternation of runways half way through each day. In 2009, the Government confirmed that it would not permit such a change to take place.
However, it remained the last Government’s policy to permit the construction of a third runway at Heathrow, so we worked with the alliance of objectors to undermine this position within the Labour Party, to move the Conservatives to a position of opposing the third runway, and to amplify the opposition of the Liberal Democrats to the proposal. This work helped to ensure that the Coalition Agreement creating the present Government in 2010 enshrined the rejection of both the third runway and mixed mode operation.
With renewed attention back on airports policy, we are continuing to advise organisations working for a better rather than a bigger Heathrow.