Page last updated at 01:46 GMT, Saturday, 31 May 2008 02:46 UK

Protest against Heathrow's growth

Aeroplane flying low over houses on approach to Heathrow airport.
People from Athens are coming to join the protest

Organisers are claiming thousands of people will take part in a march and rally on Saturday against the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

Demonstrators from all over the country are expected to descend on the west London airport for the protest.

They will walk from Hatton Cross to Sipson, the village that will be lost if plans for a third runway go ahead.

At Sipson, the protesters will gather in a field to form a huge "no" that should be visible to passing aircraft.

MPs, local council leaders and environmentalists are due to address the crowds and bands will play at a protest being called the Make A Noise Carnival.

Heathrow has never before have seen a spectacle like this
John Stewart

John Stewart, the chairman of Heathrow anti-noise and anti-expansion group Hacan, said: "Heathrow has never before have seen a spectacle like this.

"Thousands of people will be demonstrating against Heathrow expansion.

"Coaches will be coming from as far away as Manchester and Southampton and we will be joined by campaigners from Athens Airport in Greece.

Local economy

But Lord Soley, campaign director of pro-expansion group Future Heathrow, said opinion polls showed local people were in favour of expansion.

"Local people know that the airport is vital to the local economy and supports jobs and business," he said.

"A third runway will only go ahead within environmental limits on noise and air quality.

"Airlines will only be able to fly more planes from Heathrow if they buy cleaner and quieter aircraft."

A poll released on Thursday showed 18 of Labour's 44 London-based MPs were opposed to expansion at Heathrow.




SEE ALSO
Heathrow expansion, in graphics
23 Mar 08 |  UK Politics

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