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

    Comment number 479.

    Why would you even try put more people true the southeast....this place is so overcrouded and unlivable already....one of the worst corners in Europe to live and work....

  • rate this

    Comment number 478.

    We should move to a duo of super hubs

    Stanstead should be the hub for Asia and Heathrow for the North American market. Both should have 2 runways and both should have proper rail connections and extensive european connections.

    this is the only sensible solution medium term and also provides a clear strategy for the future.

    We must use stanstead more as it is currently a waste.

  • rate this

    Comment number 477.

    These grand schemes are based on projections of increasing demand that assume that oil prices will only rise 14% by 2030, and in line with inflation thereafter. It's cloud cuckoo land. Even on those mad projections, the most of the third runway's extra capacity will remain unused in 2030 and beyond. By the time any third runway is finished, demand will have fallen away. Get a grip. Invest in rail.

  • rate this

    Comment number 476.

    Close Heathrow, Gatwick, London City and Luton.

    Expand Stansted into a massive world class airport with excellent transport links.

    The valuable land from the closed airports could solve the Londons housing problem and they already have great transport links. It could almost make the whole change self funding as well as meaning no more aircraft noise in London.

  • rate this

    Comment number 475.

    So Heathrow has at last come clean and stated that noise is the major problem. Perhaps it will now consider compensating the many millions in London suffering from the noise by either buying up their houses or installing double glazing. Rough guesstimate about £50bn

  • rate this

    Comment number 474.

    Two new plans for the London airports incompressible for me and we closing Manston airport.

    The building of the two runway mast start from scratch and will take years.
    Manston runway is ready to be use it only need a railway connection to the fast line from Kent to London and a new terminal all achievable in fare less time of the building of the above .
    And will create jobs in the area

  • rate this

    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

    Comment number 472.

    I used Heathrow Airport once It's not the most integrated of Airports. For instance, having to take a bus shuttle between Terminals was not a good idea when this was first designed. In a nutshell this airport has got to be one of the worst of the worst design Why not have a central Airport for UK that is easily accessible further north Go to Frankfurt to see how a proper Airport should be built.

  • rate this

    Comment number 471.

    They downgraded the only viable and sensible way of expanding Heathrow, as in the Policy Exchange/Centre Forum ' analysis and report - to expand westwards and build two new runways - forget a third runway it simply is not viable and in no way creates a 'hub airport. Suggest everyone reads this report as it's the only real alternative to a totally new hub airport. Now 'Heathrow' wrong as well!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 470.

    They wont extend Manchester airport as it's cover by Scottish air space - and guess where that's going to go after the YES vote..

  • rate this

    Comment number 469.

    Can someone clarify:
    1. Why one scheme will knock down 750 homes in an area where there is allegedly a housing shortage?
    2. Who is stumping up the money to pay the homeowners market value + 25%? I hope this is private money, or money derived from the local area.

  • rate this

    Comment number 468.

    More investment into the Southeast will be only counterproductive....

    More and more companies leaving London as it is no longer payable and workable,,,,

  • rate this

    Comment number 467.

    WHY do we persist with the idea that the ONLY place that merits investment/expansion is the South East?? I'm 46 & we've heard arguments for this runway since I was a kid!!!
    How many passengers arrive into LHR/LGW only to travel to other parts of the UK? - expand Birmingham, Manchester, spread investment, reduce congestion in the M25 area & get it done in less than the 30 years its taken already

  • rate this

    Comment number 466.

    I wouldn't even allow my pet parrot to fly out of Heathrow or Gatwick even if they were awarded expansion rights. Both are like cattle markets and smell very similar. There are loads of more suitable sites for expansion. I'm more than happy to use northern airports thankyou.

  • rate this

    Comment number 465.

    le'ts just demolish London and turn it into an airport.
    in fact, eveything within the m25 or even south of manchester should be an airport.
    maybe then Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited, (formerly BAA), will be happy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 464.

    With the Government hell bent on HS2, why are we even given any credit to these London Airports? Should we not be looking at the Midlands, with it's vastly under used airspace, not congested like Heathrow and Gatwick. Plus if the Midlands Airports, from Manchester, Birmingham and East Midlands can expand and cope, this gives more validation to the HS2 project.

  • rate this

    Comment number 463.

    Please like to champion the closure of Heathrow and its noise pollution to millions of Londoners. We must champion the development of the Thames Estuary Airport:


  • rate this

    Comment number 462.

    A congestion charge to use the airport is ridiculous it is why I stopped using stansted

  • rate this

    Comment number 461.

    Surely the best way to avoid interfering with locals around Heathrow is to build the new runway underground????!!!!

    Then all that soil and rock could be moved the the Thames Estuary and used to build Boris' island at the same time. In fact, block the Thames so that London won't flood.

    It's BRILLIANT!!!!!!

  • rate this

    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.


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