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MPs press for quick decision over airport expansion

A passenger plane prepares for take off at Gatwick Airport Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Nearly 60 MPs, including the leader of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, are pressing for a speedy decision by the next government on whether a new runway should be built at Gatwick or Heathrow Airport.

Graham Brady told the Independent on Sunday: "It is critical we address the issue of airport infrastructure as soon as possible - we've clearly put off a decision for decades now.

"It's important we make sure there is at least one new runway built in South-east England to prevent us falling behind other countries in terms of trade."

The paper reports that concern is growing in the House of Commons that the main parties have not made a commitment to backing the final option selected by the Airports Commission led by Sir Howard Davies. The commission is due to report in the summer.

Unidentified drone in near miss with passenger jet at Heathrow

Air safety inpectors have investigated the first near miss between a plane and drone Credit: PA

The first near miss between passenger plane and a drone has been investigated by air safety inspectors.

The UK Airprox Board will publish its findings on Friday following the incident at Heathrow Airport.

The owner of the drone has still not been identified raising fears over the potential risks drones could pose to commercial airlines .

The incident is expected to be recorded in the report with a risk rating A, defined as a serious risk of collision, which is the highest of five categories.

The report, seen by the The Sunday Times, said the pilot of the Airbus A320 spotted the drone, which failed to show up on air traffic control systems, at 2.16pm on July 22 while flying at an altitude of 700ft.

Earlier this year the airline pilots' association Balpa demanded better protection for the public against the risks of drones.

It wants drones, officially known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), which share airspace with passenger and freight airliners, to meet the same safety standards as piloted aircraft.

This would include only being flown by operators with pilot-equivalent training.


Plan unworkable, unrealistic and unaffordable

ITV London today revealed Boris Johnson plans to spend an extra £2m on lobbying for a new airport in the Thames Estuary. The mayor has already spent over £3m of London taxpayer's money in an attempt to persuade government that his plan should be taken forward.

Dr Onkar Sahota, Labour London Assembly for Ealing & Hillingdon said his plans could create 'economic chaos' for his constituents in Hillingdon and Ealing.

His plan is unworkable, unrealistic and unaffordable. “His plan for a new airport would wreck west London’s economy and create economic chaos for my constituents in Ealing and Hillingdon.

We do need to make sure that Heathrow works for local residents, this means no ‘mixed-mode’, no additional night flights and different flight paths to reduce noise.

These are sensible workable policies that will make a difference and maintain jobs and the local economy.”

– Dr Onkar Sahota, Labour London Assembly for Ealing & Hillingdon

Economic impact of mayor's plans would be "devastating"

The Mayor of London is proposing to spend billions of pounds of public money to forcibly buy and then close Heathrow, immediately putting 112,000 people out of work. He would do this to build an expensive new hub airport at a further cost of £112bn to the taxpayer. The economic impacts of this at both a national and regional level would be devastating.

– Heathrow spokesperson

Mayor remains optimistic about estuary airport

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