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20 - Sep - 2014

Heathrow Airport pollution a ticking time bomb.

Public discourse in London and the UK may be geared towards the Scotland vote for independence at the moment but the thorny issue of pollution at London’s Heathrow international airport seems to be defying the current political temperatures.

A study by MIT suggests that 50 deaths annually are caused by pollution directly while causing death to an additional 110 indirectly. This figure is estimated to climb to about 150 deaths from direct exposure of pollution from Heathrow if a third runway is built to facilitate expansion. This however is a small figure compared to another study conducted for the Greater London Authority which showed 4000 people annually de from air pollution in London which is attributable to Heathrow.

These studies paint a gloomy picture even as plans to build a new car park incinerator and flood pit have been thrown into disarray by stanwell residents. The residents say they don’t want their children and their people to be polluted again. Plans for the flood pit elicited concerns of flood waters contaminated with plane fuels and chemicals flowing through Stanwell Moor, which already sees its fair share of flooding whenever the heavens open. Additional construction, for airport expansion will make the situation worse.

Plans to build an Airport at the River Thames estuary have hit a dead end. The plans which had been backed by the London Mayor Boris, would have achieved 60% reduction in the amount of pollution emitted. This is due to the south easterly London winds which would blow the emissions from the airport, over the English Channel and to the North Sea.

Other options still available that don’t involve expansion or relocation of Heathrow include building a second runway at Gatwick. Proponents of expansion of Gatwick international airport argue that its location away from dense population and having enough expansion capacity as reasons why Gatwick is the answer to Heathrow’s problems.

By Airport Pickups London