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 59.

    I hate airports; Get there way too early, then they abuse you and treat you like a criminal, you can't take your bottle of water on board, but you can take the one they sold you (funny that).

    And you pay for all this abuse.

    If any other organisation treated their customers like this you'd take your business elsewhere, but there is no elsewhere - that's what they abuse passengers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    heathrow will just keep proposing a new runway, no matter how many times they lose. after all, they only need to win once. the plebs in the way will lose in the end. how dare they get in the way of heathrow making money? they should be happy to get their pittance, it's a charity sop to get rid of the troublemakers who think they own their homes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    As a resident of the North it grates but it's the truth,London is the worlds financial centre,big business needs to fly from /into London and get into the City as fast as possible,Heathrow needs to expand,we enjoy our freedoms and indulgent views because we are rich,stop the wealth creation and kiss goodbye to frippery such as 'green policies' etc..

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Great - a congestion charge!

    I can get to Heathrow T1,2,3 in 8 minutes, by public transport takes an hour. T5 takes just over 10, by public transport nearly 90 minutes.

    For me, that will result in 100 hours of wasted time every year.

    And then the cheek to charge me for being dropped off at the airport..

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    I don't understand where all of these people arriving are supposed to go when they get here. The train lines (mainline and tube) into London are already pretty full most of the day. Crossrail will help, of course, but building extra airport capacity is pointless without building other infrastructure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    So even the likes of Athens and Istanbul have had the foresight to scrap their old unfit for purpose legacy airports and start afresh with new technology. Yes environmentalists and people who live up north dont want a Thames Estuary Airport but with our growing population we have no choice. Imagine saying we will never build another new road as we have two perfectly good ones already!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    It's a clear demonstration of how skewed our national economy has become to the South East.

    Until there's a political will to break this cycle and force an equitable distribution of both jobs and prosperity, this sort of thing will only get worse. And HS2 isn't the answer either.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Listen to all the eco warriers declaring their resistance to our maintaining London as one of the world's most visited cities! Airports are a necessary part of the economy of our country and used by all. Gatwick and Standsted are impossible to get to, disorganised and messy. Heathrow is already arguably blighted, well connected, world known and central. Obvious choice

  • rate this

    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....

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    Had the BA 777 dropped out the sky the other side of the airport perimeter, the expansion of Heathrow would not now being debated.
    Heathrow is in the wrong place.
    How can we allow planes to fly over some of the most densely populated areas of London.
    Heathrow needs to close and a new site found.
    Boris Island is probably the best of a bad situation, and that was originally proposed in the 70's

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    They never give up. Which is sad as they are planning for the next 100 years? What happened to, new technology and different forms of transport remember the films depicting the future? Sad we are still using 1940’s Technology.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    The South East needs more aircraft capacity to cope with its ever growing population and London's status as a global city. Creating a 'hub' airport to the east of London is the only real long-term solution but the politicians continue to avoid the debate on this.

    Gatwick, is probably the interim solution, as the runway can be built relatively cheaply and it will affect fewer people locally

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    Boris Island Airport - simples!

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    We need to take all forms of congestion away from the south east. The rest of the country needs the investment to be used to reduce the many forms of disparity that the south east currently enjoys. A bit of long term planning here please.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Well. I live under a flight path and since I enjoy travelling I am prepared to put up with the impact of what I do. So should everyone else. That is why airports should be built as close to the centre of a city as possible and not hidden away outside. That way, we can decide when we build things like this whether the environmental impact is worth it. Ergo third runway LHR = right answer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    Would love to see Foster & Partners Thames Hub airport http://www.fosterandpartners.com/data/reports/Thames%20Hub%20Vision%202011.pdf with its holistic approach to utilities, clean energy, flood defines, rail and air traffic. Just building it would do wonders for the UK economy and knowledge base. Once complete huge benefits across the regions, We need some Victorian vision and can do attitude

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    Living in Sussex there are planes circling waiting to land at Gatwick 24/7.... sometimes you can see 4 or 5 up there at once. Yes they are quite noisy but you get used to it. Certainly there are a lot of very rich Tory supporters round here too that don't mind it either or even really notice. Having a long drive or a gate doesn't mean anything in this context except that some will be jealous.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    Couldnt agree more. HS2 and a new airport more centrally located should all form part of a future transport/business strategy including road links.
    It will take however a politician of vision, one who thinks of the future, rather than what gets them in for another term, and this may well be the sticking point!

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    I just can't understand why it is necessary to fly more and more often. I haven't flown for around 40 years, and probably never will. Skype etc enables most people to meet without leaving their homes. Foreign holidays are optional. Re Heathrow and Gatwick - both are hard to access from the North. Luton would seem a more logical location for those not living in the South East.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    The mantra about the predict increase in capacity and the demand will come is a lie. Where is the fuel tocome from for these planes.

    Is that what we strive for a nation the complete destruction of the environment to line teh pockets of a few European businessmen.


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