Society calls for rethink over runway

EXISTING capacity at Stansted airport should be used to its maximum before any expansion is considered at all, according to Suffolk Preservation Society.

Richard Cornwell

EXISTING capacity at Stansted airport should be used to its maximum before any expansion is considered at all, according to Suffolk Preservation Society.

The society is calling for plans for a second runway to be shelved because it says the extra air traffic would destroy the tranquility of the county's countryside and add significantly to growing climate concerns.

SPS said people across the region already suffer considerable noise disturbance - which will get worse if another runway is built.

“The expansion of Stansted airport is not just a local Essex issue but one which has ramifications across the whole of the east of England,” said society director Richard Ward.

“We support the efficient utilisation of the existing capacity at Stansted Airport rather than taking more land, or demolishing listed homes and hamlets to expand what is currently an under-utilised airport.

Most Read

“Efficient use of the site would be a sustainable way forward and would help prevent even more aircraft noise from further eroding Suffolk's quiet open spaces.

“Air noise, not only in the vicinity of the airport, but across the region, is already giving discomfort and disturbance to many people, destroying their opportunity for peace and adversely affecting their quality of life.”

The society is also concerned about climate change. A second runway is predicted to increase Stansted's emissions by the equivalent of 11 million tonnes of CO2 a year.

The society has already written to air management company NATS asking if stacking of planes could be avoided by keeping aircraft on the runway for longer at the start of journeys.

If this is not possible, SPS would like to see aircraft stacked over the sea prior to landing, rather than land.

“Holding aircraft at the end of their journey is both disruptive, wasteful on fuel and adds to climate change problems, and is the worst possible way of dealing with the phasing of the landing of aircraft,” said Mr Ward.

BAA is preparing for a public inquiry into a second runway. It says there will be “huge social and economic benefits” from the project for the region and country.

Is a second runway at Stansted needed? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk