Heathrow runway expansion: Green spaces design revealed

Third runway concept Image copyright Grimshaw Architects

New designs for Heathrow Airport which include open green spaces and large expanses of glass have been released as part of its continuing bid for expansion.

It is described by architects Grimshaw "as setting a new standard for the future of aviation".

Plans include the third runway and easy access to the new Crossrail link.

The airport is competing with Gatwick for government permission to expand increasing capacity in the south east.

A decision on an extra runway for Gatwick or Heathrow has been delayed until "at least October".

Image copyright Grimshaw Architects
Image caption New concepts for a potential Heathrow airport expansion include glass canopies and green areas around the new Crossrail link
Image copyright Grimshaw Architects
Image caption The Crossrail terminal would be underneath new terminal buildings designed by Grimshaw Architects

The new plan was designed by architecture firm Grimshaw, which was chosen from a shortlist of four of the UK's top architects.

Partner at the company Andrew Thomas said: "We look forward to developing a design that provides an authentic and uniquely British sense of place.

"Our concept will deliver an outstanding passenger experience by building upon the airport's rich history."

A video fly-through released by the company shows indoor trees and roofs showing large expanses of sky above check-in areas.

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Media captionThe designs include a new central terminal and third runway

Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said: "At a time of uncertainty, a £16bn privately funded infrastructure investment will create jobs and growth across the UK."

But Gatwick Airport has continued to put its case across for a second runway, arguing it would lessen the impact on air and noise pollution.

Chief executive Stewart Wingate said: "The enormous pollution - both noise and air quality - that Heathrow inflicts on hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions - it's this issue that politicians are going to have to grapple with.

"If you look at Gatwick, we have a tiny fraction of the environmental impact of Heathrow, yet you get all of the same economic benefits, all of the same connections to short-haul and long-haul destinations, all at a cheaper price."

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