‘Back Heathrow’ community campaign begins

A new campaign, ‘Back Heathrow,’ has been launched to give voice to local residents and public who support Heathrow airport.

A community campaign with initial funding by Heathrow Airport, ‘Back Heathrow’ will fight for the jobs and businesses that are dependent on Heathrow. Rob Gray, who lives locally and has previously worked for the Aviation Foundation, has been named as the Campaign Director.

The campaign follows a survey published in June, which revealed that more people in local communities around Heathrow back the airport than oppose it. Meantime a statement from the Mayor last month said that his plans for a new hub airport would require the closure of Heathrow.

A new website, backheathrow.org, has been launched for the campaign, and starting this week over 400,000 newspapers will be delivered to local communities surrounding the airport. The campaign will now begin the process of identifying and recruiting local support.

Rob Gray, Campaign Director for Back Heathrow, said, ‘I am delighted to be joining a campaign to give a voice to the many thousands of local residents who back Heathrow and whose businesses and jobs depend on the future of the airport.’

Heathrow Director of Corporate Affairs, Clare Harbord said, ‘One hundred and fourteen thousand jobs will be lost to the local community forever if Heathrow were forced to close – that’s one in five local jobs in the five boroughs closest to Heathrow. The threat to these jobs is now very real.’

‘Under the Mayor’s plans, the choice is not between a third runway at Heathrow or no third runway. It’s between a third runway at Heathrow or no Heathrow at all. So now is the time to back Heathrow.’

The campaign has already received significant public support with local business people and residents voicing their opinions and concerns.

‘Everybody in this area benefits from the airport whether it be a local greengrocer or a big company. Where I was born in Feltham, everybody worked at the airport whether they worked for a cleaning company, a catering company, a transport company or for one of the airlines. It means so much for the local economy,’ said Neil Martin from Parker Car Service in Isleworth.

‘I have many friends who work at the airport and a lot of friends whose children or parents work there so it’s a lot about generations. Heathrow is our community, I can’t imagine what would happen if it wasn’t there,’ Sarita Sudera, a Security Officer at the airport from Heston, said.