The debate over London's aviation future has become as crazy as this week's weather. The airport operators want a third runway at a cost of up to £18 billion, situated in one of three different places, any of which would mean more air pollution, more noise pollution, and the threat of tens of thousands of homes being demolished.
The Conservative Mayor of London now wants to close Heathrow altogether and build a new city there. Meanwhile, senior Conservatives in Parliament say we should actually be building a fourth runway there.
The Liberal Democrats continue to provide the only rational and consistent approach: we are opposed to a third runway, we have blocked it in this Parliament, we were the only Party to vote against it in the Select Committee, and we continue to oppose all night flights.
Heathrow without the misery of night flights, together with Gatwick and Stansted, already have the under-used capacity to function as an international 'hub' without the environmental outrage and noise pollution disaster that expansion at Heathrow would bring. The economically viable and environmentally sustainable option is to put investment into public transport and links between those airports. This will make Heathrow the international airport of choice with Gatwick and Stansted (and indeed the scandalously underused regional airports) taking over shorter flights to free up long haul capacity.