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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

News
people

Life and Style
fashion

News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
Life and Style
Passing on: George Washington died alert, aware and in his own bed. This is the kind of of death most people would like to have
health
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tv
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
Latest stories from i100
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

    Recruitment Genius: Tyre Technician / Mechanic

    £15000 - £16800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Tyre Technician / Mechanic is...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Receptionist / Warranty Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion the Largest Independent Motor...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Holiday Homes - £100,000 OTE

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game