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Gatwick or Heathrow? The great airport debate continues...

It's almost 50 years since the Government recommended a new airport be built for London and the South East. Two years ago, it seemed that the argument had been settled when a Government-backed Commission said Heathrow should get a new runway - to cope with the huge demand for flights.

People living near Gatwick felt they could breathe easy when that recommendation was made. But once again the spectre of more noise pollution in Sussex and west Kent reared its head.

It comes as a new study has revealed that Gatwick would ultimately be better for the national economy - and less damaging to the environment. Our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby had been following the latest developments.

Heathrow criticised for failing disabled passengers

Heathrow told it must improve its level of service for passengers who are disabled

Heathrow is under fire for failing in the service it gives to thousands of disabled passengers who use the airport every year.

It has been rated among the worst airports in the UK for disabled passengers and told it must improve.

A survey by the Civil Aviation Authority of thirty airports rated it in the bottom four with a "poor" rating. The regulator said the airport had "fallen short of expectations."

Gatwick and Southampton were rated good but failed to get into the very good catogory.

“UK aviation should be proud that it continues to serve a rapid increase in the number of passengers with a disability.

Our surveys, along with the airports’ own studies, have shown high levels of satisfaction among disabled passengers and we have seen some examples of excellent service where assistance is well organised and delays are minimal. However, East Midlands, Exeter, Heathrow and Manchester have fallen short of our expectations and we have secured commitments from them to make improvements. We will monitor their implementation over the coming months to make sure that services for passengers with a disability or reduced mobility continue to improve.”

– Richard Moriarty, CAA Director of Consumers and Markets


Baggage problems cause disruption at Heathrow

Heathrow Airport is having problems with its baggage systems at terminals 3 and 5. Passengers are advised to pack essentials in their hand luggage - and check before travelling.

Heathrow Airport is advising passengers to prepare for disruption Credit: PA

"Heathrow is currently experiencing an issue with its baggage systems which is affecting airlines operating from terminal 3 and terminal 5. Other terminals are unaffected. This may mean passengers will travel without their bags and we advise them to pack essential items in their hand luggage. We are currently investigating the issue. We are sorry for the disruption and are working hard to get the system running as soon as possible."

– Heathrow Airport spokeperson

All BA flights grounded at Heathrow and Gatwick

Severe delays at Heathrow and Gatwick Credit: Jodi Rilot

British Airways has cancelled all flights from Gatwick and Heathrow as computer problems cause disruption worldwide.

Passengers have been told not to travel to the London airports because of "extreme congestion" at the terminals, with all BA planes grounded before 6pm on Saturday.

We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide.

– BA spokesperson

Man jailed for trying to smuggle £600,000 of heroin

Adam Wimana admitted importing 6.74 kilos of the Class A drug Credit: Border Force

A man has been jailed following the seizure of £600,000 worth of heroin by Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport.

Adam Wimana, from Berkshire, admitted importing 6.74 kilos of the Class A drug, worth £630,000 and was sentenced to five years and fourth months imprisonment at Isleworth Crown Court.

He was also handed a two year Travel Restriction Order which come into effect on his release.

The heroin had a street value of £630,000 Credit: Border Force

British national Wimana, 46, of Peel Court, Slough, was intercepted at Terminal 4 on 11 January having arrived on a flight from Nairobi, where he had travelled from Zanzibar.

Officers searched one of his suitcases and noticed it remained heavy once the contents had been removed.

On examining it they discovered drugs concealed in the top and base of the suitcase. A field test provided a positive reaction for heroin.

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