An expanded Heathrow could be less of a nuisance to local communities than the airport in its current form, Sir Howard Davies has insisted.
Davies’ Airports Commission today recommended the government allow a third runway to be built at the West London transport hub.
The proposal has long faced high profile opposition from groups including campaign body Hacan and mayor of London Boris Johnson.
But Davies said today: “The airport could be a better neighbour because it’s bigger.
“We could ban night flights – making planes land after 6am, which isn’t possible at the moment.
“The new northwest runway could also take the early landings so those planes would fly higher over London.”
A third runway would also allow more predictable periods of respite from noise, and a ‘noise envelope’ could be agreed to prevent Heathrow becoming any louder than it currently is, the report said.
Other measures recommended to the government by the commission included holding Heathrow to its pledge of spending £1bn on community compensation, and introducing an aviation noise levy on airports to fund measures to make schools and other buildings less susceptible to noise disruption.
Heathrow should compensate all those who would lose their homes to the expansion at 125% of market value plus reasonable costs, the report urged.
The commission also called for a Community Engagement Board and an independent Aviation Noise Authority to be set up.
“A bigger Heathrow would not inflict noise nuisance on more people than the airport does today, and the people affected would be far better compensated,” said Davies.
“Expansion and the mitigation of the airport’s local impacts go hand in hand, as the former can provide the financial resources needed for the latter.”