London Assembly votes unanimously for ban on increase in flights at Heathrow

The London Assembly has launched a pre-emptive strike on BAA by unanimously calling for a ban on any increase in the number of flights at Heathrow.

The move comes in response to growing fears that, following the Government’s decision to reject a third runway, the airport operator may try to increase the number of flights from its London airports by other means.

Hounslow’s assembly member, Tony Arbour, who seconded Murad Qureshi’s motion, said: “In the past Whitehall’s promises to limit Heathrow’s expansion have proved less reliable than a budget airline flight.

“We want the Secretary of State for Transport to say to BAA ‘thus far and no further’. The residents of London cannot be expected to tolerate any more flights in our already crowded skies.”

The full motion, which was passed on Wednesday, blocks moves such as mixed mode operations – planes landing and taking-off on the same runway at any time or period of the day – more night flights or expansion at London’s airports.

It read: “This Assembly notes the long standing opposition of the parties in the coalition government to any increase in flights, mixed mode operations, night flights or expansion at London’s airports, and calls on the Government to firmly and openly reject any increase in the number of flights at BAA’s London airports.”

A BAA spokesman said: "We will spend some time reflecting on the new Government’s intention to change airports policy.

"We continue to believe that new airport capacity would strenghten the UK’s global trading links.

"At the last night flights consultation in 2006 we did not seek any increase in flights during the night period and our position has not changed since then."