London Heathrow Airport third runway U-turn ahead

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  • jetplane


    @ jetplane – 17/07/2013 09:56 GMT

    The points that Simon Jenkins (someone I usually abhor) made about the impact of further Heathrow expansion (err, where and with what operating hours?) were reasonable. Where he appears to have come off the rails is in blithely assessing that an additional runway at Gatwick will do and end of problem. Perhaps he should stick to his CPRE or is it National Trust duties.


    AD & jetplane….after reading it, I’m some what under whelmed by the article…. and as always when I read columns in newspapers I try and work out the target audience !

    His political points are well made….. the runway arguments less so, especially his point to point ,point !!…..

    Surely 787 /350 P2P traffic suggests even more long haul flights not less……Just look at the US market. as a classic example…

    Years ago it was just flights to primary cities, then super hubs like Minneapolis & Denver opened up…..we still fly to super hubs…and now we also fly tP2P to Seatle and soon Portland !!


    Having had a glance at the BBC article – it says a 3rd runway could be ready by 2029. I thought I had misread that. The rest of the world must be laughing at how slow we deliver infrastructure projects. Not saying this is going to happen but 16 years for a 3rd runway. Almost has bad and as slow as HS2 (I believe both are required). What an utter joke. A 3rd runway shouldn’t take more than 5 years tops. Where is the leadership and sense of urgency in this country? 2029 sounds more like a date for a 4th runway (or a brand new airport)


    Tim….2029 LOL

    It’s almost Fawltytoweresque……but as we’ve debated our inability to deliver such projects before on this forum…..

    And remember, you need to usually add on a few more years for enviromental protests, lawyers making money, contractors making even more money, strikes. plagues of locusts etc…so probably more like 2032…..the date 2029 is project management speak, the same way 9.99 is retail speak for “its a tenner you suckers” !!


    Just C&P’d from Sky News

    These are three options:

    :: North West – A 3,500-metre-long runway to the northwest of the airport with passengers accessing it from a new Terminal 6 (T6) and an extended Terminal 2 (T2).

    Building the runway would affect the villages of Harmondsworth and Longford, with 950 properties facing demolition. Part of the M25 would have to be put in a tunnel. The runway would cost £17bn and could be completed by 2026.

    :: South West – A 3,500-metre-long runway covering an area of reservoirs and needing the compulsory purchase of properties in Stanwell Moor and 850 possible demolitions. Passengers would access the airport via T6 and an extended T2.

    The construction would be complex and challenging, and would take longer and be more expensive than the other options. It could be ready by 2029 at a cost of £18bn.

    :: North – The quickest and cheapest option, but would allow only 700,000 flights a year with a runway only 2,800 metres long. Passengers would access via an extended T5 and extended T2.

    A total of 2,700 properties could be demolished, with the villages of Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross affected. This runway could be finished by 2025 at a cost of £14bn.

    I’m going to bet that option 1 is given the go ahead, along with LGW 2 …….we just need to put up with 3/4 years of procasternation !!

    The SW option would be our version of the Polder @ AMS …so not really a goer !


    Have just read this: it is about extending both runways instead of building a third one. Looks good. But is it really feasible?

    Ditch New Airport Plans, UK Think Tank Recommends
    The Center for Policy Studies in the United Kingdom has submitted a recommendation to the Government aimed at boosting the UK’s airport capacity to meet future demand, by building upon the existing infrastructure at London Heathrow.
    Authors, Jock Lowe and Mark Bostock set out their “Heathrow Hub” plans for an integrated air and rail facility which would nearly double slot capacity at Heathrow while also mitigating noise and environmental concerns.
    It would involve:
    Extending both of the existing runways up to a total length of about 7,000 meters and dividing them so that they each provide two full-length runways, allowing simultaneous take-off and landings; and,
    Providing a new transport interchange immediately north of Terminal 5, directly connecting the airport with the M25 motorway, Crossrail, the Great Western Main Line and, as an option, an alternative High Speed 2 (HS2) route via the airport (should the HS2 project proceed).
    The report urges that the average airport user charge would be only GBP24 per passenger (compared to Heathrow’s current GBP18), whilst Lord Foster’s Thames Hub proposal would require a charge of at least GBP62. This figure would be higher still if an airport was built on the Thames Estuary, as recommended by the London Mayor Boris Johnson.
    The “Heathrow Hub” has five main advantages, the report says, namely:
    Doubling the number of Heathrow’s runway slots would allow more flights while also reducing delays and improving its resilience and efficiency. Importantly, this would also allow some runway alternation throughout the day;
    Significant new runway capacity could be completed within five years;
    The extra capacity could allow the airport to open later in the morning and possibly allow innovative noise reduction techniques. Very few, if any, new areas will be brought into the airport’s noise footprint. In addition, early morning arrivals could land more than two miles further west, reducing noise over London;
    The cost and the airport user charges would be significantly lower than that of any new airport – an issue critical to the UK’s competitiveness. It would also be entirely privately funded;
    By at last connecting Heathrow to the national rail network, it will reduce road congestion and improve regional access to the only hub airport in the UK.
    The proposal has been submitted to the independent Airports Commission, undertaking the Davies Review, which is scheduled to make an interim report by the end of this year.



    @ canucklad – 17/07/2013 12:02 GMT

    You missed out the four horsemen of the Apocalypse….

    As a resident of NW London, and “enjoying” my back garden outbound plane spotting, what had me rolling around with amusement was Matthews’ (of HAL) assertion that “this would be it…” with a third runway. Now just how many such assertions have been made by BAA and its successors across the decades?! If they get to build a third (either NW or SW) runway, future inhabitants of SW/W/NW London can look forward to the “Heathrow is now too big to move” line of argument that will then be deployed to justify building the fourth runway either across the reservoirs or adjacent to the M4. I’d pretty much wager my house on the probability of such an application in future (albeit that I may well either be 182.88cm under or plant fertiliser by then).

    [EDITED after initial posting]

    @ canucklad – 17/07/2013 08:29 GMT

    ….A perfect metaphor for this governments transport policy……talk the talk without the walk the walk !!

    In fairness, the dithering has been going on for decades now and spans not just SE hub runway capacity but extends to rail, road and electricity generation infrastructure where successive governments of red and blue complexions have played “pass the parcel” with anything in the “too difficult to make a decision” category. And the explanation for that is two-fold. Transport etc was made an ideological issue by both the Labour and Tory parties and they preferred to wage war over this fertile ground to making lasting decisions. Secondly, your ordinary Brit is utterly hypocritical when it comes to infrastructure developments: great idea in theory unless it happens that it’s going to take place in proximity to their locality in which case it’s “everyone to the barricades!”. If I had a quid for everyone who ticked a box for “better transport infrastructure” and who then opposed a planning application in their locale, I wouldn’t need to win the Lottery. The essential truth is that it’s not just about political vacillation, it is about each of us.

    Hello Anthony

    I used to live in NW London and I only noticed the late evening departures. They did not disturb my sleep as I was working like a maniac!

    Living under a flightpath is not for everyone, but I know I would rather hear a climbing 747 than a domestic next door!


    Hi AD… I totally agree with you’re your above points…

    And unfortunately, it’s your…(albeit that I may well either be 182.88cm under or plant fertilizer by then). That saddens me….And not for the obvious personal reasons…

    I’m not wanting to speed up your or my demise, as it happens I do agree with you about OUR politicians need to win the very next election (regardless of hue) ……. I just wish our trusted leaders could agree on making certain contentious vote losing issues as a no go area …shared responsibility for tough decisions…..Alas : ((

    Having lived in West London, I’m not sure that the noise issue is nothing more than a smoke screen….


    And another nail in the coffin for a Boris Island/Thames Estuary hub…..

    The FT reported “Air Hub to east of London leaves Thames Valley Cold”

    The CBI director for Thames Valley employers has noted that access to Heathrow is vital for their businesses and was a key reason for many locating there. “If it were to move to the east, then they would have to move too, but they would move outside the UK, probably to somewhere like Schiphol airport, or Paris or Duseldorf”.

    The Thames Valley is one of the UK’s strongest economic regions which provides a home to global IT companies such as Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett-Packard as well as world leading engineering including most F1 teams. In addition there are hundreds of consultancy and business services groups.

    Heathrow is “one of the key reasons why the economy to the west of London is as wealthy as it is”.


    Indeed. Heathrow needs to stay, even if a new airport is built elsewhere.


    Boris Island / Thames Estuary Airport is being sunk/rejected by the Davis commission BT reports.

    Methinks Davis 2015 report will advise a R2 at LGW plus Short R3 at LHR, though the FT reckons an extended R1 (North) and/or full length R3 at LHR could still be preferred.

    Rejecting an Estuary solution is imo wise as it would have led to 23-30 years of managed decline for LHR which would be a catastrophe for UK plc. Also the mega cost is just not justifiable.

    With Boris pitching for the Uxbridge parliamentary constituency, one wonders what tack he will now take as many of his potential constituents will have their employment connected with LHR.


    Big Dog, Boris announced that he was going to devote himself (at one election) to just one role: Mayor of London. That he subsequently announced that that is not the case has, as far as I can see, caused him no embarrassment whatsoever. The notion of Boris standing previously “fixed” policy positions on their head in order to curry favour with Uxbridge voters is as easy as getting into bed, turning over and then getting out of bed on the opposite side.

    Can someone explain to me how it is that a politician for whom consistency and integrity are almost entirely alien values can be as popular as he, ostensibly, is? Or is it that the electorate is genuinely stupid, err, sorry, I meant gullible?


    And there we have it……
    No Boris Island…..Just about as predictable as the sun setting tonight.
    So now its time for some more shilly shallying by all the politicians involved.
    As I said earlier…fawltytoweresque !!

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