A recent poll by Regional and Business Airports Group highlighted that 68% of neighbouring residents were not aware that the RAF Northolt military airfield was reopening for commercial use.
Back in September 2017, the Assembly unanimously agreed a motion to call on the Mayor to work with local residents in doing everything possible to campaign against Northolt becoming a commercial airport, and now the London Assembly is urging the Mayor to actively oppose commercial flights, including by immediately writing to the aviation minister and local MPs in the area, and publishing all their responses on the GLA website.
Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, who proposed the motion, said:
“RAF Northolt’s £23 million runway renovation and rebranding as 'London’s VIP Airport' clearly shows an intention to transform Northolt into a commercial airport.
“It is time for those who run the airport to come clean with residents. They should reveal their plans and undergo the same assessments and public consultation that any other commercial airport would be required to do. Until then all commercial flights should be suspended.
“Hiding behind the lack of accountability facing a military airport is not acceptable. A commercial airport should not come about by stealth.”
The full text of the motion is:
This Assembly notes the motion it passed unanimously on the 7 September 2017 calling on the Mayor to work with local residents in doing everything possible to campaign against RAF Northolt becoming a commercial airport.
This Assembly further notes the recent £23million runway renovation, which was undertaken with no public consultation at this RAF airport and that this renovation enables greater use by commercial aircraft.
This Assembly also notes a recent poll by Regional and Business Airports Group highlighting that 68% of neighbouring residents were not aware that the airfield was reopening for commercial use.
This Assembly believes commercial flights at this airport are not acceptable, especially when planning and public consultation processes have not been undertaken, as would be required at any other commercial airport.
This Assembly reiterates its long-standing opposition to RAF Northolt airport becoming a commercial airport by stealth and urges the Mayor to actively oppose commercial flights, including by immediately writing to the aviation minister and local MPs in the area, and publishing all their responses on www.london.gov.uk.
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