Heathrow expansion 'cheaper'

Expanding Heathrow would be cheaper, quicker and better for the economy than creating a new hub airport, according to a report from Heathrow bosses.

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VIDEO: Heathrow boss 'Cheapest option to build third runway at Heathrow'

A report out today claims that replacing Heathrow with a new hub airport would leave passengers, taxpayers and business worse off. It says a third London airport runway is essential if capacity is to be increased.

The study will be presented as evidence to the Airports Commission and argues against a new airport in the Thames Estuary, Isle of Grain or Stansted.

Earlier we spoke to John Holland-Kay, development Director at Heathrow.

Why build from scratch when we can build on existing strength, says Heathrow CEO

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said today:

"Britain already has one of the world's most successful international hub airports in Heathrow.

"Expanding Heathrow will put Britain ahead in the global race, connecting UK business to growth more quickly and at less cost to the taxpayer than any other option for new capacity.

"Heathrow is better located for passengers, business and jobs. Why build from scratch at a new hub when we can build on the strength that already exists around Heathrow today?"

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More capacity at Heathrow better for passengers

Adding capacity at Heathrow better for passengers says new report Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Adding capacity at Heathrow would also be better for passengers and for jobs than anew hub airport at Stansted or in the Thames Estuary. Expansion could be delivered around seven years quicker than the time taken to build a new hub airport says the report by Heathrow bosses.

Creating a new airport would increase travel times for 90% of hub passengers, with the economic cost of longer journeys amounting to a possible £26 billion.

Adding capacity at Heathrow would also be better for taxpayers, with a new airport needing around £25 billion of public money, the report claims.

More than 76,000 people directly employed at Heathrow would face re-location or redundancy if Heathrow was replaced by a new airport.

The report also said that the area round Heathrow in west London was home to 202 of the UK's top 300 company headquarters.

Mayor Boris Johnson is one of the leading supporters of a new Thames Estuary airport and vehemently opposes the building of an extra, third, runway at Heathrow.

Labour backed the third runway plan in 2009 but the expansion was scrapped by the coalition Government, which has now set up an Aviation Commission under former CBI chief Sir Howard Davies to look into the whole question of airport capacity.

Today's report has been compiled by Heathrow Airport with architectural and planning consultants AECOM and Quod.

The report will form part of Heathrow's submission to the Davies Commission.The commission will publish its interim report by the end of this year and its final report in the summer of 2015.