Heathrow and Gatwick unveil revised expansion plans

 
Heathrow sign Heathrow is one of the world's busiest airports

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Heathrow and Gatwick airports have both unveiled revised expansion plans in an attempt to secure permission to build the UK's next runway.

Heathrow has proposed improved compensation worth £550m for those affected by its plans for a third runway.

Gatwick has said its plans will keep fares low and create 120,000 jobs.

Both have submitted their plans to the Airports Commission, charged with deciding how to expand UK air capacity.

Computer generated image Heathrow Airport is proposing a new third runway

The government-appointed body will choose between a second runway for Gatwick and either a third runway for Heathrow, or extending the northern runway to the west.

However, it will not make its recommendation until 2015 after the general election.

'Fair' treatment

Heathrow has promised that the owners of 750 homes, which would need to be demolished to make room for a third runway, would be offered 25% above the market value of their properties.

Other residents would receive improved noise insulation, it said in its report for the Airports Commission.

"We are committed to treating those most affected by a third runway fairly. Since the previous runway plan was rejected in 2010 we have listened to ideas for how we could improve our proposals," said Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews.

The revised report also suggests a congestion charge for those dropping off passengers at the airport by car.

The airport plans to consult local people on its revised proposals this summer.

Map: Gatwick options Gatwick identified three options for a second runway, but the Davies Commission shortlisted Option 3, which would allow fully independent operation.
Gatwick case

In its report, Gatwick argued that its expansion plans would cost £7.8bn and were cheaper and more beneficial than Heathrow's.

It said 10 million more passengers each year would be able to travel with a second runway at Gatwick than with a third runway at Heathrow

The airport also calculated that a new runway at Gatwick could be delivered about five years earlier than a third runway at Heathrow.

It added that its location, south of London, meant that just 14,000 people would be affected by noise, compared with the 240,000 people affected at Heathrow.

The chief executives of London's two largest airports put the case why their site should be expanded

"Why would you choose to fly a quarter of a million more planes every year over one of the world's most densely populated cities when instead you can fly them mostly over fields?," said Gatwick's chief executive Stewart Wingate.

Heathrow Hub

Heathrow Hub, the group proposing an extension of Heathrow's existing runways to add capacity, also submitted a revised proposal to the Airports Commission.

It argued its plans would mean a potential end to night quota flights and would create up to £45bn of economic benefits for the UK and 19,000 jobs.

Jock Lowe, one of the promoters behind the Heathrow hub concept, said: "Our proposal is the most efficient, cost effective and politically realistic of the three proposals shortlisted by the Airports Commission."

 

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 473.

    There is only one real option. It has to be Heathrow.

    Extending Gatwick is a red herring, businessmen in transit through London do not want to change between Airports.

    A completely new Airport is attractive in principle (the cost is frightful) but what about the hundreds of thousands who are employed at Heathrow and will not want to relocate

    Extending Heathrow is the only sensible option.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 460.

    Well if we ban all the domestic flights from Heathrow, then we would have plenty of extra international capacity. Problem solved.

    As of the car issue, fix up the public transport, trains buses etc then ban all cars from the airport.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 393.

    I used to travel from Heathrow on average twice per month.
    I found the cost of parking outrageous and the time to get from car to gate increasing so I made every effort to fly from Luton or Birmingham.
    Imagine the taxi time to a 3rd runway at LHR - it will be equivalent to the flight time to Paris. Gatwick is my preferred choice these days but the overcrowded motorways are a nightmare.

  • rate this
    +123

    Comment number 111.

    I live in Staines, near Heathrow and to be honest, extra planes doesn't bother me, I've already got used to the existing ones. What is annoys me is that despite the ridiculous inflated housing market, lack of school places, lack of hospital beds the gov STILL thinks investing only round the M25 (i.e. this and HS2) is the way to go. Invest in the Midlands and North, get some balance in our country.

  • rate this
    +62

    Comment number 51.

    I fly a lot on business and am embarrassed by the state of the UK's main airports, they are overloaded and increasingly decrepit. Most countries had the foresight in the last few decades to build new airports outside their main cities. But not the UK, we are focused on the 1970s, look at education, energy strategy, financial systems, government....

 

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