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 119.

    Get rid of the medias foreign corespodents and the paparattzi and you wouldn't need another runway

  • rate this

    Comment number 118.

    Stansted & Luton - how far from London?
    Boris Island- rubbish weather factor, SS Montgomery, Air Traffic nightmare - most expensive option.
    Gatwick- lots of room for new runway & infrastructure but surrounded by banker/upper class nimby.
    Heathrow- no room to build- second most expensive option.

    Given Dave's track (!) record on HS2 he will get this decision wrong

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    113.It_s yerself
    "Why do we need HS2 then? It's a service OUT of London that will connect the South to the Midlands/North. It makes companies in those areas an easier accessible place and therefore more attractive to visit for foreign businesses.

    A nice concept but looking at the current Virgin service in the morning ALL the traffic is from the North to London, and not vice versa.

  • rate this

    Comment number 116.

    The strain on infrastructure leaving Heathrow and Gatwick can be reduced by giving them their own benefit offices.

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.

    Trains are the answer! I live in London, and have worked a lot in Edinburgh and Paris recently. Both journeys are quicker than a flight, when you take into account the having to check in time, etc. Plus on a train you can work. And taking the sleeper from Edinburgh/London saves a hotel cost and gets you there first thing in the morning.

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    Oh it's in the South East. Dave and Boris don't want to upset Tory voters oh no, not after the fiasco with HS2.
    Well guess what? The rest of the country doesn't care, so build both Heathrow's third and Gatwick's second. That would bring airfares down and totally clog up all major transport links to the South East.
    I'm all for it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    102. The original Pete
    Why do we need HS2 then? Is it just another service to London paid for by the rest of the country?
    No - it's a service OUT of London that will connect the South to the Midlands and the North. It makes companies in those areas an easier accessible place and therefore more attractive to visit for foreign businesses. It makes Britain as a whole more competitive

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    The people who brought/buy property next door/near to Heathrow obviously didn't/don't notice it was there at the time I suppose?Come on ,lets be realistic,travellers and especially business people want to fly to London not Stanstead,Gatwick and especially not Luton! There are millions of cheap houses here up North,it's quieter and nicer especially more so than the slums around Heathrow,move then!

  • rate this

    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

    Comment number 110.

    London London London , yawn.

    What about the rest of the country ?

    Once HS2 is complete we will be more divided than East & West Germany was

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    We need at 24hr airport for the 21st century. And it needs to be built now Russia says it wants to partner with private companies to make the missions happento get the most benefit for our pound.

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    Once Heathrow gets it third runway for 'bucket&spade' flights, Gatwick could be sold as it would be redundant, & the area used for housing and a big MALL for Sunday worship. Anyone from the North can get a flight to Heathrow, so saying its hard to get to (comment 81) is wrong... Stop messing around, for UK to compete, get another couple of runways at Heathrow or else Europe and Dubai will dominate

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    Heathrow's proposed compensation scheme is a joke.

    I live in Brixton. It's over 20 miles away from Heathrow. Yet this morning I can't hear myself think in my flat due to jets going over every 90 seconds. It's Hellish.

    Given that noise pollution from Heathrow affects many areas of London, they need to think about compensating the entire city.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

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

    Why does this underlying arm-twisting suggest to me that the transport system is never going to be up to the job? The result of putting all your eggs in one basket perhaps?

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    And forget that people living north of London might want to fly somewhere…with HS2 a Birmingham airport expansion would be almost as fast to reach from central London as Heathrow and Gatwick and the rail fare might even be reasonable compared to Heathrow Express!

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    I completely disagree with the number of people who will be affected by noise pollution. I live in Greenwich and we are plagued by aircraft noise as the flight paths for landing start miles from the airport. These companies do not do their surveys properly. Also there is no point in expanding the airports if transport to them is poor. I prefer to fly from city airport to a Europe, it is quicker

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    London, has cornered the market in, planes, trains and automobiles.

    SPEAK UP, cough, cough.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    Global Yawning

    "Whether you like it or not, London is where the majority want to visit, and do business."

    Why do we need HS2 then? Is it just another service to London paid for by the rest of the country?

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    Hooray - Heathrow has finally figured that those objecting to a new runway would be quite happy to "quietly disappear" with a bag of cash. "Here's an extra £200k for your house, Sir". "Thanks, BYE!".

    As for complaints about noise, don't live near an existing school and complain about the lunchtime noise! Greedy people just worried about their house value...

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    I've changed my mind, ban all foreign holidays and make people spend their money in this country. Probably best to ban all buisness trips as well, use skype or some other video conferencing software


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