Business of the House
Ian Taylor (Esher and Walton, Conservative)
Heathrow is a fixture and is important for the south-east economy as well as that of the rest of the country. Therefore, it needs to be efficient, and on that basis I welcome the Secretary of State's decision. The issue is an emotional one, but my constituents will benefit, particularly if stacking—one of the consequences of lack of capacity at Heathrow—is reduced. Secondly, I welcome his efforts to constrain the environmental effects, because that will pull through new technologies—modern aircraft such as the A380 have a much smaller noise footprint over a given area. But will he comment on the alternatives offered by rail? The problem is that rail transport per kilometre and per passenger gives off more CO2 than an equivalent use of aircraft. If energy is consumed on the basis of what we produce currently from gas and coal, the CO2 emitted is far greater. At least the French have nuclear energy, which reduces the impact of their rail travel.