Heathrow Crash 'Vindicates' Friends of the Earth Safety Campaign
Group gave evidence to Terminal 5 public inquiry back in 1998
Following this week's events when a BA airplane had to make an emergency crash landing at Heathrow, Nic Ferriday, spokesperson for West London Friends of the Earth, said "We have been saying for 10 years that the government must take account of the 'societal' risk of a crash at Heathrow.
"This is the risk of fatalities on the ground on the ground if an aircraft crashes. The risk is proportional to the number and size of aircraft and the population overflown. This means that Heathrow is by far the most dangerous airport in the country. Each expansion, such as Terminal 5 or Runway 3, increases the risk further."
Friends of the Earth gave evidence to the Heathrow Terminal 5 Public Inquiry as far back as 1998.
A leaflet issued six weeks ago and handed out to the public at the Heathrow expansion consultation events. It listed public safety as a major argument against a third runway:
"Heathrow is by far the most dangerous airport in the country in terms of total or 'societal' risk.
Nic Ferriday concluded, "We have been accused of scare-mongering when we talked about public safety. But nobody has denied that expansion of Heathrow will increase the risks for the residents of West London.
"By huge good fortune, nobody was killed on this occasion. But there could hardly be a more dramatic reminder of what might happen next time. If the aviation industry, British Airways, BAA and the government continue to lobby for Heathrow expansion and Runway 3, it will show in the starkest terms how they put profits of the aviation industry above the safety of West London residents."
January 21, 2008