Heathrow and Gatwick unveil updated runway plans

13 May 2014 by GrahamSmith

Heathrow and Gatwick airports have both submitted revised expansion plans in a bid to secure backing for a new runway.

Heathrow said its £17 billion third runway would boost the UK economy by £100 billion and create around 100,000 jobs.

Gatwick's plans are considerably cheaper at £7.8 billion — the airport claims its expansion is the only option that will help bring down fares.

Both plans will be presented this week to the Airports Commission, the government-appointed body tasked with recommending which airport should have a new runway by 2030. The recommendation will not be made until 2015 after the next general election.

Heathrow said its revised plans for a £17 billion third runway to the north-west of its existing site would bring around £100 billion worth of benefits to the UK economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs across the country. The runway would run over the M25 with the motorway being placed in a tunnel.

As part of its plan, LHR has allocated £550 million for noise insulation and property compensation to local people.

Residents would be offered 25 per cent above market value plus stamp duty costs and all legal fees, in relation to purchasing a new home. Under the new proposal around 750 homes would need to be compulsorily purchased.

The airport has also proposed a car congestion charge for people travelling to the airport. Heathrow said a charge would reduce traffic congestion levels and improve air quality for local communities, while raising money for public transport improvements (see news, May 2).

Gatwick will submit its 3,200 page proposal tomorrow. It will claim Gatwick is the "obvious solution" to meeting the UK's need for airport expansion.

The airport has calculated it would cost £7.8 billion to build a second runway by 2025, and that the additional infrastructure should result in airport landing charges about one-third of those at Heathrow.

The airport claims a second runway at Gatwick will ensure the UK economy is better off by up to £30 billion over the next 30 years. It would also result in lower fares, greater efficiency and innovation and create more than 120,000 jobs.

Gatwick said the alternative is "returning to a market with one dominant player where passengers will end up paying more for less choice and less convenience".,

Tom Newcombe

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