BATTLE lines over the future of Heathrow are being drawn as the UK comes out of lockdown.

According to a survey, the experience of fewer flights has had a positive effect on the lives of people living around the airport. It was initiated by the No 3rd Runway Coalition. 

At the same time, Boris Johnson’s plan for an infrastructure- led economic recovery prompted calls to get airport expansion back on track. That message came from the GMB union and the Back Heathrow campaign.

The most common theme from the No 3rd Runway survey was the beneficial effect of fewer flights on mental and physical health, through a reduction in noise, and reduction in air pollution.

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Paul McGuinness, chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “This survey presents a picture of just what will be lost, in quality of life terms, when flights resume at Heathrow.”

In contrast, Parmjit Dhanda, executive director of Back Heathrow, said: “If confidence and growth is to return to the economy and if the Government is serious about a global Britain, then Heathrow must be at the heart of those plans.”

David Simmonds, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heathrow and Regional Airports and MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, said: “This research confirms that an increase in overhead flights will greatly disrupt residents’ enjoyment of their homes and outdoor spaces.”