Mar 26 2012 By James Cracknell
HAYES and Harlington MP John McDonnell has said he is now more worried about the threat to use RAF Northolt as a commercial runway than he is about the Heathrow villages.
Following weekend speculation that the third runway was back on the government's agenda, Mr McDonnell dismissed it as "the last death throes of the aviation lobby".
The Labour MP was speaking to the Gazette on Monday afternoon prior to an appearance in the House of Commons, where he was due to ask a question to ministers about how much access the aviation industry has had to the prime minister.
He said: "This is the last death throes of the lobby for the aviation industry. I don't believe any serious politician or party would go back and look at the third runway.
"It is dead in the water, but I am concerned that this continues to blight the area every time it is mentioned."
And responding to speculation that the runway at RAF Northolt in Ruislip could be used as an alternative option for airport expansion, Mr McDonnell said: "Logistically it would be a nightmare to link it to Heathrow but they seem to be so desperate that they want to use Northolt as an excuse to expand.
"It is a real risk."
He said this had now become the main threat in Hillingdon from the aviation industry. A report from the Department for Transport on its new strategy for expanding airport capacity in the south-east is due in the summer.
For more reaction to this story see Wednesday's Uxbridge Gazette.