It is curious because the greatest noise coming out against the third runway at Heathrow is from Richmond and Putney. In fact they would be less affected than the good folk of Acton and Brentford.
With regard to Hortholt, the people greatly affected would be in Harrow, Wembley and Uxbridge.
Any use of that air station is limited to the size of the aircraft and not whether they are military, private or commercial.
Of course, FLYBE is interested in using Northolt simply because its aircraft are smaller jets and turbo props so could use the air station easily. Any other operator would be a similar sort of airline (e.g.Eastern, Aurigny, BMI Regional and Blue Islands) but all minnows in comparison.
Let us put an end to the procrastination and hypocrisy being bandied about, especially the latest excuse, pollution.
I remember reading somewhere that only 2% of the air pollution in London up to 1500 meters(?) is caused by aircraft. The greatest polluting agents are cars and other ground-based combustion engined vehicles.
The two airports LHR and LGW should be given a free hand to develop an additional runway in each case free from government intervention but subject to the due planning process, which would be a different political battle.