HC Deb 15 July 2003 vol 409 cc152-3W
Mr. Randall

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of people living in areas surrounding Heathrow airport where nitrogen dioxide levels exceed EU limits; and what estimate her Department has made of the number of such people in 2010. [122157]

Mr. Bradshaw

From our national air quality modelling, current forecasts suggest that we are unlikely to achieve the mandatory EU limit value for nitrogen dioxide set for 2010 around Heathrow. However, we do not have estimates for the number of people exposed to nitrogen dioxide levels in excess of the EU limit value at any airports at that point.

The Future Development of Air Transport in the UK: South East consultation document (DfT, February 2003) showed predicted exceedences of the nitrogen dioxide objective for Heathrow based on. modelling carried out as part of the Government's SERAS study. That modelling predicts that there would be 35,000 people exposed in 2015 if a third runway were to be built. falling to 33,000 in 2030. If no new airport were to be built, 14,000 people are predicted to be exposed to an exceedence of the nitrogen dioxide objective. Further modelling for SERAS, which is also reported in the consultation document, based on a more optimistic view of improvements in engine technology and assuming positive action by the aviation industry to reduce emissions indicated that the figure of 35,000 in 2015 might fall to 5,000.

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