Heathrow Unveils New Third Runway Options

Heathrow FinalsHeathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) has submitted 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.
HAL says all three options are: “quicker and cheaper” than any rival hub option, delivering extra capacity by 2025-9 and for an estimated £14-18bn.  It claims all three options put millions more people: “within easy reach of the UK’s hub airport than non-Heathrow options” and adds: “all three protect the thriving businesses and plentiful jobs that surround Heathrow.”
HAL states each option has its particular benefits, but says it believes the two westerly options offer clear advantages.  They deliver a full-length third runway while minimising the impact on the local community from noise and compulsory house purchases.
HAL says its north west option performs better on noise and residential property impact than the north option whilst: “costing slightly more and taking slightly longer to build.”  It adds the south west option further improves the situation for local residents but increases the cost, timescale and construction complexity.  It points to the north option as being the quickest and cheapest, but offers the least noise benefits and has the biggest residential property impact.
HAL says it has looked at many different ways to solve the UK’s lack of hub airport capacity before gradually deciding on its final three options released on January 17.
Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s chief executive, said, “After half a century of vigorous debate but little action, it is clear the UK desperately needs a single hub airport with the capacity to provide the links to emerging economies which can boost UK jobs, GDP and trade.  It is clear that the best solution for taxpayers, passengers and business is to build on the strength we already have at Heathrow.  Today we are showing how that vision can be achieved whilst keeping the impact on local residents to an absolute minimum.”
HAL says its two westerly options are radically different from the “old, short third runway” proposed when it was known as BAA.
Each option would raise the capacity at Heathrow to 740,000 flights a year (from the current limit of 480,000), thereby accommodating 130m passengers.  HAL says this will allow the UK to compete with its international rivals and provide capacity at the UK’s hub airport: “for the foreseeable future.”