The suggestion that the previous government failed to address questions surrounding air quality (Report, 20 October) does not reflect the progress that has been made on the issue since December 2015. Since then, the government’s air quality plan, updated modelling undertaken by Heathrow and an independent study by Cambridge University have all shown that baseline air-quality levels around the airport will have significantly improved by the time a new runway is built, as the nation’s vehicle fleet gradually becomes cleaner.
The Airports Commission’s analysis concluded that a third runway at Heathrow can be delivered in accordance with EU air-quality limit law, and would have less impact on health receptors (where people live and work) than a runway at Gatwick would have on the community in that area. A new runway at the UK’s hub airport represents an opportunity to deliver significant improvements to air quality around Heathrow: the redesign of local roads, support for sustainable transport and the opportunity to introduce an airport emissions charge all have the potential to bring improvements in air quality.
Source: Guardian Environment