Expert says third Heathrow runway would not exceed pollution limits


Paul Miles

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A new study carried out over two years estimates that pollution around Heathrow Airport is on track to drop and would not exceed limits if the third runway is given the go-ahead.

The independent study was carried out between 2012 and 2014 by Professor Rod Jones, of the University of Cambridge chemistry department.

Pollution was measured with 40 sensors in and around the airport which could differentiate between aircraft and vehicle emissions.

Prof Jones delivered his findings at Innovations in Environmental Monitoring at the University of York on September 22.

He predicts there will be a fall in levels of poisonous nitrogen dioxide (NO2) by the time a third runway at Heathrow would be delivered.

This would mean a third runway would not exceed pollution limits.

He states that although a third runway would increase aircraft pollution, ‘background’ NO2 levels from vehicles are predicted to ‘fall significantly’.

This is partly down to an increase in electric vehicles.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “This study is the latest independent evidence which confirms the Airports Commission’s analysis that a third runway can be delivered within tough environmental limits.

“Heathrow expansion will make Britain stronger and fairer for everyone – now is the time for the Government to make the right choice and back Heathrow.”


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  • Pursuer

    19:07, 08 October 2016

    Another biased & ill thought article. Remind me how many electric vehicles travel to & from Heathrow? Very few I suggest. Yes there are some in & around the tarmac area but it is not these which affect the population within the Heathrow rotating flight path. If Heathrow were to go ahead, then it would dovetail with the other proposed nonsense the SMART M4 roadworks. Result traffic chaos and more air & noise pollution. If more aircraft will land more road vehicles will travel to & from Heathrow, but passengers will take an eternity to travel anywhere when they land due to traffic congestion. There seems to be a lack of joined up thinking somewhere. Oh and by the way what will power the electric vehicles? Well electricity of course and where does that come from? Well polluting power stations naturally. Now haven't we read that UK National Grid is on a knife edge of capacity so all these electric vehicles may well have nothing to power them having helped to drain the fragile power reserve.



  • BryanTomlinson


    15:03, 08 October 2016

    The expert, Chris Tall-Ball, gathered out of date readings and then added a big helping of future guesswork. If Cambridge University now produce experts that say increasing the M25 to 16 lanes to accommodate extra Heathrow traffic will not increase air pollution, they should shut the place down and replace it with a runway or three.



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