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NIMBYs to blockade LHR ?

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NIMBYs to blockade LHR ?

Old 14th Nov 2002, 22:51
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But if I'd chosen to buy or rent a house knowing it was next to one of the busiest industrial waste incineration plants in the world I'd be very surprised if people didn't remind me of that when I objected to the inevitable expansion.
In fact I've lived under or near the Westerly flightpath for 30 years. South Kensington, Putney, Fulham and now Chelsea. My choice. I'm told the volume of traffic has increased. I don't know, but it's what I expected and I still chose to buy in West London.
We're a long way from LHR and I've never heard my neighbours even mention aircraft noise yet, when I read the anti's propaganda, I read that we're all kept awake by night flights!

no jacket
Property prices have gone up almost everywhere in the country, especially London. An identical house not situated 1 1/2 miles south of the southern runway will probably have gone up by a similar percentage, but it would be still be more expensive - unless it was 1 1/2 miles from jumpseater's industrial waste incineration plant or some similar attraction.
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Old 15th Nov 2002, 05:48
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M4 Heathrow Traffic Protest

Has anybody seen any sign of the threatened traffic blockade at M4 Junction 4 this morning?
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Old 15th Nov 2002, 06:48
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When I was at work last Tuesday I'm sure there was a piece of paper saying it had been scrubbed, or the venue changed.
Old 15th Nov 2002, 07:44
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Old 15th Nov 2002, 20:01
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As an aviator and a resident of Richmond, (5nm EGLL 27L) I'm concerned at the poor quality of debate on this thread.
All those who oppose Heathrow expansion are not moronic NIMBYs for whom protest is just a knee-jerk reaction. With all respect to esteemed contributors, the simplistic notion that all those who buy/rent around Heathrow must take their lumps is specious drivel.
Many of my neighbours have lived in this area since before the jet age, but even more recent incomers have legitimate grievances. What do you say to someone who bought at a time when there was an absolute promise of a 240,000-movement cap, or when there was an absolute promise that Terminal Four would be the last development at Heathrow? They weren't to know BAA couldn't lie straight in bed.
What do you say when they ask why the population of Scotland and northern England is forced to travel for a day to the south-eastern extremity of the UK in order to catch flights back over their own homes to reach North America? What do you say when they ask why avtur is tax-free, allowing even incompetent airlines to stay in business with dismal load factors?
Anybody who thinks they're attacking jobs should sit down and work out how many jobs would be created by having a less concentrated infrastructure.
The self-righteous belittling of their position is not enough. They do have a point, and the two companies who decide where traffic goes in the UK cannot hold onto that privilege forever.
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Old 15th Nov 2002, 20:45
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Well said t'aint! There is never any harm in trying to see things from the other side of the boundary fence. It should not be a them vs us but a stark examination of the options.

I agree completely that any needed expansion should be moved to a more central location. Spot on!
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Old 15th Nov 2002, 21:43
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All those who oppose Heathrow expansion are not moronic NIMBYs ...
No they are not. I reserve that epithet for those who feel that causing deliberate disruption to public services is a reasonable way to air their grievances.
... for whom protest is just a knee-jerk reaction.
a common characteristic of a NIMBY.

FWIW I don't support LHR expansion. In fact I think it reached critical mass some years ago. As others have posted, this is just the latest manifestation of the complete lack of any concerted policy. I have watched from near and far over the last 40-odd years the same saga played over and over, followed by ad-hoc, patchwork solutions. Promises from the government, any government or its agents, generally have a lifespan not extending beyond the next election. Anyone putting more faith in them than that is bound to be disappointed.
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Old 15th Nov 2002, 21:57
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fl, I think with respect you may have missed my point, I was talking hypothetically about a new waste plant, not an expansion of an existing one, which is what the new runway proposal is to those affected.

I wouldn't expect there to be too many complaints from your listed areas, from my experience, because of the relatively busy urban area's which you describe. However those complaints that do come from those areas I would expect to come from affluent, professional backgrounds. Closer in to the airport you will see a wider spread in the socio-economic background, hence a more concentrated and vocal opposition. In a previous life I regularly dealt with complaints from 10nm away when the aircraft were at 3,000ft on approach, and still waking the complainant, including 146's! . I also suspect that because the traffic was there when you moved, and you are interested in aviation, you are far less likely to be disturbed by any increase. Those outside our industry are far less likely to be so tolerant, and the lay public do indeed notice changes even of relatively small magnitude!.

A new runway north of Heathrow will put many thousands of departures/arrivals across an area currently 'unaffected' by Heathrow. Therefore you would be looking at traffic arriving approximately 70% of the time across the north of London from Islington westwards. This is a whole new selection of customers for the BAA complaints section to deal with, who may feel that they have justifiable reason to object. Many of the locals there have been bowled curved balls by sucessive governments regarding capping and and expansion of Heathrow, it is now that the BAA and various politicians are beginning to reap what they sew!
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Old 16th Nov 2002, 00:38
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If it is the case that some areas previously completely unaffected by aircraft noise would be affected by the expansion, then I did miss that and can understand why they might try to stop the expansion.
I'm afraid I remain unsympathetic to those who bought under the existing flight paths or close to LHR. An increase in traffic was inevitable.
I have some sympathy for those neighbours of my friend t'aint natural of Richmond who bought their houses before the jet age, but they must be quite small numbers, even in geriatric Richmond . Won't that particular issue gradually resolve itself as nature takes its course, t'aint?.
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Old 16th Nov 2002, 06:57
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Flying Lawyer

An increase in traffic was inevitable.
Are you saying that all those promises made by QC's,representing BAA at previous enquiries, with regard to caps on flights were not true?

I take it then that your position is never to believe what you are told by any lawyer!

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Old 16th Nov 2002, 08:07
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FL (et al)
Although I'm a supporter of aviation in all its forms, as a helicopter pilot I'm particularly sensitive to noise concerns, and I have have no tolerance for the braying self-justification that characterises the take-it-or-leave-it attitude of some people in the industry. These protesters have a point, and if it is not addressed, it will one day overwhelm us.
As it happens, I was one of those who bought at the time of the Terminal Four inquiry, when the QC for the GLC won the concessions mentioned in my previous post. The fact that the same QC, Sir Roy Vandermeer, turned up as the Inspector on the Terminal Five inquiry gave some people reason to think he'd hold BA to its promise (the promise was made by BA - you'll remember that BAA was the most vehement objector to Terminal Five until it was privatised). On the first day of the Terminal Five inquiry, BAA promised there would be no new runway at Heathrow.
It's often hard to argue with people who feel aggrieved at their treatment. I agree with them that Heathrow is in the wrong place. I can think of few other major airports that are as badly sited in relation to nearby populations. LAX maybe. I agree with them that too much UK traffic is channelled through Heathrow, in the absence of a policy on air travel. I agree that there are too many empty seats being hauled over their heads, and (my personal apostasy) I agree that fuel should be taxed.
It is not enough to say that we were here first, therefore we should be allowed to expand ad infinitum just as long as we can force traffic into our asset. Most of my neighbours are happy to put up with a level of disturbance commensurate with the requirements of London and the south of England. Most of them accept my arguments that aircraft today are much quieter, and that (pro tem) they no longer have their biggest bugbear, the 10pm Concorde. They are not inherently unreasonable people, and deserve a fair hearing.
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Old 16th Nov 2002, 14:48
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I don't think objections from people living near the airport should be ignored or dismissed as irrelevant. They are relevant and should be put into the balance with all other arguments for and against. Objections from people living in Inner London are silly. Witht the exception of Concorde, aircraft noise is barely noticeable.

Jet II
No, I'm not saying "that all those promises made by QC's,representing BAA at previous enquiries, with regard to caps on flights were not true?"
Firstly, I don't know precisely what was said.
Secondly, 'promises' are not made by barristers personally, but by barristers on behalf of their clients. A barrister is employed to put forward his client's instructions. If there is any dishonesty, it is the client who is being dishonest.
'never believe a lawyer'?
If I say something is the truth, you can safely believe it.
If I say "My instructions are ...........", they are just that. I'm merely acting as the client's spokesman. I don't know if it's the truth, and I'm not personally vouching for it.

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 16th Nov 2002 at 19:06.
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Old 18th Nov 2002, 11:31
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Cartoon removed

Following my earlier post, I received numerous emails from pilots and cabin crew asking to be associated with my letter to John McDonnell MP. Many said their views were shared by others, and I have no reason to doubt that is so.
The predominant theme was disgust that a Member of Parliament should be associated with a cartoon which made light of the use of force to achieve an objective. Several said they were circulating the link to show that an MP with many LHR employees in his constituency seemed to think the use of force was a proper subject for humour.
On the other hand, a number of contributors to this thread take a different view of the cartoon.
I hope the text of my email reflected the spread of opinion:
Dear Mr McDonnell

I am a barrister specialising in aviation law and am constantly in close contact with the aviation industry. I write in a private, not professional, capacity.

I think you should know that the cartoon which appears on the 'No Third Runway' page of your website is causing widespread distress, primarily amongst pilots and cabin crew. The mildest comments fall into the 'bad taste', 'insensitive', 'irresponsible' category. I needn't trouble you with the more extreme comments.

Not suprisingly, there is constant reference to, and condemnation of, the fact that the cartoon appears on the website of a Member of Parliament.

Most people accept that you are not actually advocating the use of force to achieve your objective, but it is open to misinterpretation and provokes 'There's nothing funny about terrorism' comments.

Of course people understand the 'Men in Black' weren't terrorists but, in the current climate, a cartoon depicting the leaders of a group fighting the third runway armed with guns and rocket-launchers to fight the "invaders" is at best unfortunate.

You may well consider your critics to be over-sensitive. Perhaps they are, but the fact is that those who fly for a living, whether as pilots or cabin crew, do feel sensitive post September 11th last year, especially as airliners are so vulnerable to the use of force by extremists.

Please do not dismiss your critics as opponents of your campaign. As you probably know, even amongst those employed in the aviation industry, opinion is divided upon whether there should be expansion at Heathrow or elsewhere in the country.

I should also make it clear that I am not merely reporting the views of others. I entirely agree with the criticism, and am frankly amazed that someone in your position should associate himself with a cartoon which is at best in bad taste, and at worst insensitive to the feelings of those most vulnerable to attacks.

You're the politician, I'm not. But you should know the cartoon is being used, and circulated, to undermine your credibility. You may wish to consider whether the cartoon adds anything to the force of your arguments, and balance any perceived value against the distress it causes to many in the industry.

Perhaps the way forward is to remove it because it is open to misinterpretation, stressing that no offence was intended?

Yours etc"
I received a formal acknowledgement from Mr McDonnell's PA and the cartoon has since been removed - coincidence or not, I am unable to say.

Tudor Owen
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Old 18th Nov 2002, 13:46
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Thumbs up

Well done, and thank you Sir!

I heard John McDonnell MP on Radio 4 yesterday lunchtime. They introduced him as the Chairman of the 'Socialist Campaign Group' of Labour MP's so no surprise when he supported the Firemen's Union and blamed the government for the strike.

Strange company your friend with the socks keeps Unwell-Raptor!

If it's not too much trouble, I've got a difficult letter I need to send .........
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Old 18th Nov 2002, 21:17
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May I congratulate you FL. A beautifully composed, balanced and restrained letter.
Seems to have done the trick.

Personally I would prefer to see other airports expanded rather than Heathrow, but the cartoon was insensitive and in very bad taste.
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