Jim Fitzpatrick

More commotion in the House of Commons

Adding Capacity at Heathrow

Has the Minister bitten off more than he can chew? Beleagured Jim Fitzpatrick, already under fire for letting BA and BAA cock up the opening of Terminal 5, was attacked by MPs during a Commons debate on the third runway.

The debate has many classic moments, but can you top this for Parliamentary panto:

Jim Fitzpatrick: ...despite the criticisms of some, I am firmly of the view that this consultation — albeit on a subject that many feel passionately about — has been conducted in an exemplary manner.

Heathow: not 700 but 4,000 homes destroyed

Map of Sipson

Just when you thought the expansion couldn't get any worse; yesterday's Westminster Hall debate revealed that the third runway could see up to 4,000 houses destroyed, with 10,000 people forced out of their homes.

John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington, made clear that this was not going to be the last we hear of Heathrow in Parliament: "We shall apply regularly for debates on different aspects of the matter, so I warn the Minister not to plan any lengthy holidays next year, and certainly not to plan any via Heathrow".

You say consultation. We say sham!

Tin of Sham

At a packed meeting yesterday afternoon the combined forces of the anti-Heathrow expansion movement heard something they'd always suspected. The consultation, due out today, will be a sham. The Government has made its mind up; like it or not, Heathow expansion is going ahead.

We had gathered to meet with Aviation Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, in a final face-to-face before the launch of the latest consultation on the third runway. Plane Stupid, of course, was not invited, but I snuck in to hear just what Fitzpatrick (coincidentally also Environment Minister for the Department for Transport) had to say.

Minister hides Heathrow noise report

Jim Fitzpatrick's hidden report

Rising noise levels are causing massive discomfort to people living under Heathrow's flightpaths, according to a leaked report which Aviation Minister Jim Fitzpatrick has been sitting on.

The report, Attitudes to Noise from Aviation Sources in England (ANASE) was ordered six years ago but kept under wraps since the DfT saw a draft in July. In a damming blow for proponents of the third runway, it has challenged the current measure of noise-related discomfort (57decibels), arguing that "significant annoyance" occurs at 50db levels.