LondonNet News Headlines
30/06/03
Airport Expansion Takes a Knock
- Protestors unite against new runways

THE GOVERNMENT'S wish to build new runways at London's airports has taken a knock with the news that groups opposing expansion plans have united.

There had been reports that protesters against schemes to add runways to Heathrow would argue that adding capacity to Stansted or Gatwick would make more sense, but such reports appear to have been misinformed.

"The government was hoping to divide and rule," said John Stewart of AirportWatch. "This show of unity demonstrates they have completely failed."

Despite the unity of opposition, it is thought the government will decide on at least some form of expansion of London's airports as demand for air travel is expected to increase over the coming years. Anti-expansion groups argue that demand should be dampened down via taxation.

"If aviation fuel - at present tax-free - was taxed at the same rate as petrol used by cars, the existing airports could cope with future demand for air travel without any new runways anywhere," said Brendon Sewill, chair of the Gatwick group.



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