BAA agrees to cap flights at Heathrow

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Just days before the expected announcement on Heathrow's third runway, and the BBC reports that BAA has agreed to an independent watchdog to monitor the airport and cap the number of flights. It claims it wants to use the new capacity to reduce congestion. What a load of nonsense: it's just a trick to get runway alternation lifted and the village of Sipson turned into runway three.

This is just like Stansted, which was subject to a cap on the number of flights, put in place when they airport was converted to passenger use. Last year BAA applied to have it lifted, and the Government just gave its permission. Similarly Heathrow's expansion was once limited to the fourth terminal, then the fifth. Even BAA used to claim that they didn't want a third runway - now they won't deny wanting a fourth.

The third runway and runway alternation must be a line in the sand. Any expansion at Heathrow - even if just to reduce congestion but not overall flights - cannot be allowed to go ahead. Sipson must not be sacrified to help BAA do its job properly - and if it is, then everything we've worked for will be lost, as the number of flights will just rise anyway once the tarmac is on the ground and the damage already done.