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'No 3rd Runway' campaigners protest on eve of Heathrow's 70th birthday

Dozens of campaigners have staged a noisy but peaceful protest at Heathrow today against plans for a third runway at the airport.

The Government is considering two options for expansion. But it's claimed the 18 billion pound scheme would be an environmental disaster.

The protest comes on the eve of the airports 70th birthday. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

Campaigners against Heathrow's expansion stage protest

Protestors release balloons against plans for third runway Credit: ITV News Meridian
Campaigners protest on eve of Heathrow's 70th birthday Credit: ITV News Meridian

People campaigning against plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport have held a protest today on the eve of the airport's 70th birthday.

Critics say if it's given the go-ahead, the noise would be a disaster. 70 red 'No 3rd Runway' balloons have been released from the Green in Harmondsworth, the historic village that is threatened if a new runway is built.

Protestors release 'No 3rd Runway' balloons Credit: ITV News Meridian

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Heathrow campaigns for another runway

Heathrow is campaigning for another runway Credit: ITV

Arguments saying why Heathrow should be expanded will be outlined today. It's Chief Executive is due to state why the site is right for another runway. Last week the Transport Secretary was urged to commit to a clear timetable of when a decision will be made.

Gatwick expansion 'would deliver economic benefits'

Gatwick Airport says expansion there is the only way forward Credit: ITV

Gatwick Airport has responded to the Transport Committee Third Report 2015-16: Airport expansion in the South East.

The Transport Committee’s astonishing statement that the arguments ‘for and against airport expansion have changed little in a quarter of a century’ ignores the significant change within the aviation industry following the break-up of the BAA monopoly in 2009 - and the worsening of air quality in the UK which has repeatedly halted Heathrow’s plans in the past.

In one key respect, however, the committee is right to say that nothing has changed - Heathrow is still undeliverable. Fortunately, there is now a credible alternative at Gatwick that can mean Britain finally gets on with it.

The opportunity to end decades of delay and false starts can only be achieved by giving the green light for Gatwick expansion. Gatwick is the only scheme which can actually deliver the economic benefits airport expansion would bring without the dramatic and unacceptable impacts on noise and air quality.

– Gatwick Airport

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New report: another runway would not mean more noise and emissions

A new report claims another runway would not mean more noise and emissions Credit: ITV Meridian

There was fury under the Heathrow and Gatwick flightpaths today after a new report said another runway would not mean more noise and emissions.

It's claimed new environmentally friendly planes, changes to the way they fly and more people travelling by train will lead to no worse effects for hundreds of thousands of people.

But campaigners against expansion say it's utter nonsense.

ITV Meridian spoke to John Stewart from the Against Airport Expansion group, and Peter Hind from the Independent Transport Commission.

Drone flown just yards from passenger jet

A drone was flown just yards from a passenger jet landing at Heathrow Credit: ITV News

A drone was flown within a few metres of a passenger jet landing at Heathrow Airport, continuing a recent spate of near-misses.

The pilot of the Airbus A319 stated that the drone may have been just 20 feet above and 25 yards to the left when it passed by the aircraft on September 30th.

Officials said that the drone was flown against Civil Aviation Authority regulations because it did not have permission to be above 400 feet within the Heathrow CTR control zone. The incident was put in the most serious risk category

Drone flew "within yards" of Heathrow passenger plane

A safety report from the Civil Aviation Authority today reveals a drone was flown within a few yards of a passenger plane landing at Heathrow Airport. It brings to six the number of recent incidents.

The pilot of the Airbus A319 said the drone may have been just 20 feet above and 25 yards to the left when it passed by the aircraft in the incident last September.

He told the UK Airprox Board - which investigates incidents - that it was not possible to take avoiding action and the incident was put in the most serious risk category.

Concerns over drones flown near Heathrow and other airports Credit: ITV News

The plane was flying at an altitude of 500 feet and was on the final approach to the airport on September 30 when the drone was spotted.

Officials said that the drone was flown against Civil Aviation Authority regulations because it did not have permission to be above 400 feet within the Heathrow control zone.

The space between the drone and the jet had been reduced to about a wingspan - described as "the bare minimum" - and that "chance had played a major part" in the avoidance of a collision.

A police investigation was launched but the drone operator has not been found.

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Christian Sloan: First Vietnam waterfall victim named

Christian Sloan was one of three Brits who died at the popular waterfall spot in Vietnam. Credit: Family handout

One of the British tourists who died climbing a waterfall in Vietnam has been named locally as Christian Sloan.

The 25-year-old from Deal in Kent died along with two women, aged 19 and 25, at the Datanla Waterfalls in the Lam Dong province.

Local reports suggest the three were with an unauthorised guide when the tragedy happened.

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