18-Jul-2013 12:19 PM

Heathrow unveils a new approach to third runway

UK's London Heathrow stated (17-Jul-2013) it is submitting to the Airports Commission three options for solving the lack of hub airport capacity in the UK. These see a third runway placed to the north, north west or south west of the existing airport. The airport said, "All three options are quicker and cheaper than any rival hub option, delivering extra capacity by 2025-9 and for GBP14-18bn. All three put millions more people within easy reach of the UK’s hub airport than non-Heathrow options and all three protect the thriving businesses and plentiful jobs that surround Heathrow". The airport noted each option has its particular benefits, but it believes the two westerly options offer clear advantages as they deliver a full-length third runway while minimising the impact on the local community from noise and compulsory house purchases. The airport noted while there is still more work to be done on the precise details of the westerly options, each option would raise the capacity at Heathrow to 740,000 services p/a (from the current limit of 480,000). That would cater for 130 million passengers, allow the UK to compete with international rivals and provide capacity at the UK’s hub airport for the foreseeable future, Heathrow said. It also estimated a third runway would provide benefits to the UK worth GBP100 billion present value and each of the options could be turned into a four runway solution should the demand increase in future. As part of the submission, Heathrow also unveiled ten key commitments. If the government supports a third runway, Heathrow will:

  1. Connect Britain to economic growth - by enabling airlines to add new flights to fast-growing markets;
  2. Connect UK nations and regions to global markets - by working with airlines and government to deliver better air and rail links between UK regions and Heathrow;
  3. Protect 114,000 existing local jobs and create tens of thousands of new jobs nationwide - by developing our local employment, apprenticeships and skills programmes and supporting a supply chain throughout the UK;
  4. Build more quickly and at lower cost to taxpayers than building a new airport - by building on the strength the UK already has at Heathrow;
  5. Reduce aircraft noise - by encouraging the world’s quietest aircraft to use Heathrow and routing aircraft higher over London so that fewer people are affected by noise than today;
  6. Lessen noise impacts for people under flight-paths - by delivering periods of noise respite with no aircraft overhead and providing noise insulation for people in high-noise areas;
  7. Treat those most affected by a third runway fairly - by ensuring compensation greater than market value is offered to anyone whose home needs to be purchased;
  8. Keep CO2 emissions within UK climate change targets and play our part in meeting local air quality limits - by incentivising cleaner aircraft, supporting global carbon trading and increasing public transport use;
  9. Increase the proportion of passengers using public transport to access Heathrow to more than 50% - by supporting new rail, bus and coach schemes to improve public transport to Heathrow;
  10. Reduce delays and disruption - by further improving Heathrow’s resilience to severe weather and unforeseen events. [more - original PR]

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