|More Commercial Flights Proposed For RAF Northolt|
Plans to generate more income for defence budget
It's being reported that RAF Northolt - one of the armed forces oldest airfields - could be used for more commercial flights in a bid to generate more money.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is looking into the future of the air base and has said that due to financial pressures on the "defence budget in particular" it needed to generate a greater income.
Options which had been discussed previously included selling off the site.
Now it appears the MOD favours increasing fllights from 7,000 to 12,000 each year. This could mean up to 40 flights per day of aircraft carrying up to 30 passengers.
RAF Northolt, was established in 1915 and is still used by visiting dignitaries and is the home of the 32 (Royal) Squadron.
The Queen takes most of her flights from the site, and it has been used by visiting US presidents.
Ealing North Labour MP, Steve Pound, says:
This has been a threat to Northolt for as long as I can remember and for the oldest airport in the UK ,the only completely secure location within the M25 and the home of the Royal Flight the case for commercial expansion is just not made.
''Thousands of extra car journeys around the Polish War Memorial and the A40/West End Lane junction are threat enough but the additional noise generated by this massive percentage in traffic will place most of my constituents in an acoustic sandwich between Heathrow and RAF Northolt with the ceaseless hum of the A40 as a backdrop.
'' I don't know if Her Majesty gets to have a say in this proposal but there is little evidence of any public consultation in Northolt and that looks to me like a done deal being dumped on Ealing North. I sense some serious opposition brewing! ''
30th April 2013