London industry leaders tell Heathrow Airport: We want 136 more departures and arrivals a day - and more night flights

Airport is currently capped at 480,000 movements a year and operates at 98 per cent of this limit

Travel Correspondent

Heathrow airport should handle 136 extra departures and arrivals every day on the two existing runways, and add more night flights: that is the demand from industry leaders in the capital.

The business lobbyist London First has alarmed anti-expansion campaigners by calling for a 10.5 per cent increase in the number of aircraft movements.

Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, said: “ In the absence of a long-term plan for new runway capacity, we have no choice but to make the assets we have work more intensively”.

Europe’s busiest airport has a legal limit of 480,000 take-offs and landings a year, and operates at 98 per cent of this cap. However, the airport has plenty of unexploited capacity. At present almost all arrivals and departures are segregated, with one runway used for arrivals and the other for departures; at 3pm each day, the flows are switched in order to alleviate noise for local residents.

London First wants to see “mixed mode” at Heathrow, with both runways used for landings and take-offs - a much more efficient use of the two precious strips of concrete. Gatwick, the world’s busiest single-runway airport, can handle up to 54 movements per hour, 10 more than the capacity on each of Heathrow’s runways using segregated operations.

An increase in slots at Heathrow could see links re-established to regional airports in the UK, such as Inverness, Liverpool and Cardiff.

London First also calls for restrictions on night flights to be eased. saying :“There is clearly demand from airlines to provide early morning arrivals from key business destinations in Asia and elsewhere”. At present the first departure from Heathrow is scheduled for 6am, with the last at 10.50pm; arrivals are given slightly more leeway. But the report calls for private jets banned from Heathrow, saying such flight “fill the buffers in the schedule that are there to help the airport recover from delay”.

Campaigners against expansion of Heathrow are dismayed at the prospect of “mixed mode” operations. John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which campaigns against noise on behalf of residents under the flight path, said: “The big concern of local people is that they will lose their half day’s break from the noise. It is this which makes life bearable for so many people.”

London First says the number of people affected by Heathrow’s noise is just 250,000, one-eighth the figure 30 years ago.

Neither the airport’s owner nor its biggest customer, British Airways, would comment on the report. But Heathrow Airport Ltd’s director of regulation, Emma Gilthorpe, sits on the London First Board.

The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is set to make long-term recommendations on aviation policy in 2015. Because of the time required to build any extra capacity, Davies is also obliged to report on “immediate actions to improve the use of existing runway capacity in the next five years” by the end of 2013. Heathrow is to submit its own proposals on short-term solutions next week.

London First also slammed the speed and quality of rail links from central London to both Gatwick and Stansted. The organisation wants the journey time to the Essex airport to be cut by 17 minutes to half-an-hour, and calls for the ticket gates recently installed at Gatwick’s station to be removed.

Video: MPs back Heathrow expansion

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
    Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

    Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

    The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
    Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

    Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

    The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

    Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

    Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport