I read with incredulity the proposal to build a new international air hub at Cliffe (NCE 7 November). Has not the time arrived to confront the obvious? Heathrow is an airport of great national importance and its geographical position at least gives access to some of the rest of the country.
Proposals for expanding it provoke all sorts of outcry about noise and quality of life for residents living close by - witness the inquiry into Terminal Five.
What will it cost to buy the residents out? What will it cost to have a non-residential zone around the airport that takes account of the current and projected noise path of additional runways and terminals? Indeed the land made available from such purchases would have a significant value for commercial development next to the airport.
The cost, I suspect, would be a small fraction of starting at a completely new location with no local infrastructure at all, imposing more noise paths over another part of the country.
Ranald Crook, ranald_crook@hotmail. com