Heathrow consultation, our response

11 September 2019
Dear Sir/Madam

As a group which is concerned about air pollution and the poor quality of our air locally in Brentford we object to the proposal to expand Heathrow Airport by adding a 3rd runway. The main impact of increasing the current flights by 700 more planes a day will negatively affect over 650,000 people in West London with a vast increase in greenhouse gas emissions and significant ‘noise change’. In addition, the increased quantity of surface traffic as a result of a further runway would significantly increase traffic running through Brentford which, being a major arterial route for London is already highly congested with traffic running through residential areas.

A Climate Change Emergency has been declared in the UK and worldwide, there is a necessity to decrease the use of airport transport rather than an increase in levels. We need to decrease our use of fossil fuel with the detrimental impact its emissions have on human health, both locally in terms of Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulates and on a wider level in terms of Carbon Dioxide which is affecting global climate change.

Airplanes emit particles and gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, hydrocarbonscarbon monoxidenitrogen oxidessulfur oxideslead, and black carbon, and the proposed escalation in air plane usage in the skies over West London is highly unacceptable.

DEFRA refer to research showing that both particulates and nitrogen oxides can travel downwind for a very substantial distance (up to 40 kilometres). The Air Quality Expert Group of DEFRA say in their report of 2018 entitled “Ultrafine Particles (UFP) in the UK” that at “a location such as Heathrow Airport, where aircraft tend to approach the airport from the east (flying over the London conurbation), there is potential for considerable exposure to UFP from aircraft”.
UFPs are minute particles emitted into the atmosphere from combustion. They are described by DEFRA as “Emissions of UFP arise primarily from combustion sources and especially transport-related sources which burn sulphur-containing fuels. Emissions from road transport affect all areas with major roads, emissions from shipping are important on the main shipping routes, and emissions from aviation are significant in the vicinity of major airports”.
UFPs are particularly harmful, penetrating deep into the lungs and from there into the body – something acknowledged by DEFRA in its report. Particulates and Nitrogen Dioxide together can be very harmful and affect breathing. Together they cause more than 28,000 deaths per year.
Air Quality Brentford

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