Letter: The answer to Heathrow's terminal trouble lies in the east

CHRISTIAN Wolmar ('Big guns line up for Battle of Heathrow', 25 September) says opponents question BAA's promise not to build a third runway. What more can we say? We have publicly asked the Secretary of State to rule it out. We have said we do not believe it can be environmentally defended, nor do we believe it is politically possible. To us it is inconceivable that it will happen.

Second, he quotes a Surrey County Council officer as saying BAA is only interested in profits for its shareholders. If that were so it would abandon Terminal Five and the remainder of its pounds 1m-a-day developmental activity so that shareholders could pocket the profits now at the expense of the long- term interests of the country. It is because the company accepts its responsibility to develop its airports to meet 21st-century needs and standards that Terminal Five is proposed.

Michael Maine

BAA plc

Gatwick, West Sussex