Plans for extra Heathrow runway are already obsolete says University of Leicester academic

Dr Simon Bennett from the University's School of Business has told a Commons Transport Select Committee that plans to build a new runway at Heathrow are ‘already obsolete’.

Dr Bennett, Director of the Civil Safety and Security Unit in the School of Business, submitted written evidence to the Committee’s inquiry into airspace management and modernisation.

The Transport Committee launched its inquiry to identify the need for change to current airspace structures and potential barriers to implementing these changes.

In his evidence, Dr Bennett suggested that the UK is falling behind other European nations and that further runways at both Heathrow and Gatwick were needed to reduce the environmental impact of air travel in the UK.

Dr Bennett said: “I recommend that two new runways be constructed at Heathrow, and one at Gatwick. The current plan to build just one additional runway at Heathrow is already obsolete.”

According to Dr Bennett, the lack of runway capacity means that aircraft are required to hold at low altitude.

‘Stacking’ of aircraft in this manner causes air pollution, a problem only likely to grow with 3.1 million flights a year expected in the UK by 2030.