Heathrow and the ‘aviation mafia’


The Guardian, 9 June 2018:

Climate change is a good reason for opposing a third runway at Heathrow. Air pollution is another. The chief executive of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, has circulated local residents reassuring them that he takes this issue very seriously. In fact Heathrow uses diesel generators to refuel around 40% of its planes. It has been offered renewable energy generated locally but turned down the proposal as it was slightly more expensive. So pollution and sustainability do not seem to feature in Holland-Kaye’s business decisions.

Nor it seems in the government’s. The real reason for Chris Grayling’s announcement is that Brexit will free the UK from the EU air quality directive; and we already know that Michael Gove’s new Environment Agency has no regulatory teeth. It can issue advisory notices regarding pollution levels at Heathrow, but the government will be immune from prosecution. Those who have hitherto failed to comprehend the cynical rationale behind Brexit need look no further than Heathrow.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Chair, Help Rescue the Planet

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