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Heathrow third runway: 5,000 new jobs, 25,000 more flights - and a congestion charge

Heathrow Airport says it will create 5,000 new jobs over the next five years if it gets approval for a third runway. It also plans a controversial congestion charge and a ban on night flights before 0530.

The airport revealed radical expansion plans today ahead of a possible third runway that could open in 2025. The plans will be subject to consultation and Government approval.

It will also spent tens of millions of pounds on insulation and other measures to help reduce nose for residents.

Heathrow wants a third runway Credit: ITV News

Overall flight numbers will rise by 25,000 a year with four million more passengers. The airport says new technology will allow this without causing more delays for existing flights.

The airport says the measures will help keep Britain competitive after Brexit with new links from airports in the UK and around the world and it will help boost the economy.

The measures are dependant on a third runway being approved. Gatwick, meanwhile, wants its plans approved - for a second runway - rather than Heathrow.

Heathrow's flight path passes over homes in Berkshire Credit: PA Images

While the restriction on night flights will be welcome the 25,000 extra flights a year will be seen as extra noise and misery for hundreds of thousands under the flight paths by critics.

Here are the main points from the proposals to be implemented by 2021 ahead of a third runway being approved. Full details will be revealed at the Tory conference on Monday.

  • Estimated 5,000 new jobs.
  • £1.5 billion pound boost to the economy after Brexit.
  • 25,000 extra flights a year. New technology and better use of existing runways will achieve this.
  • Four million extra passengers a year.
  • Congestion charge considered. This could be a new drop-off charge, increased car parking charges or a scheme similar to congestion charging in London. This is to help reduce emissions, fund new public transport initiatives and ensure fifty per cent of passengers arrive by public transport by 2030.
  • No night flights before 0530 which is an hour later than at present
  • £60 million spent on noise insulation for homes under the flight path
  • New monitoring equipment to ensure noise levels are not broken.
  • Better facilities for cyclists, electric cars and green transport.

New airline route from Southampton to Antwerp

Here in the south we're well connected to the rest of the world. Having the likes of Gatwick and Heathrow on the doorstep makes international jet-setting easy.

Even smaller airports like Bournemouth and Southampton have flights to more than 40 destinations, from Leeds to Lanzarote.

It's great for the region's economy and experts think it could get even better, thanks to a new route from Southampton to Antwerp.

Andrew Pate has been to Belgium to find out more.

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Airlines announce new routes

The first domestic services to be run by Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic are among a number of new routes being flown by UK and overseas carriers from Britain in 2013.

Among the routes announced is travel from Manston Airport in Kent with KLM/Air France.

Virgin Atlantic Credit: PA Images

Virgin will be operating a total of 24 domestic flights a day out of Heathrow starting from the beginning of April. The airline will be flying six daily returns to Edinburgh as well as three daily returns to Aberdeen and to Manchester.

Also, from April, a third daily flight between Heathrow and Atlanta, USA, will be operated by American carrier Delta - the airline waiting for regulatory clearance to take a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic.

British Airways Credit: PA Images

From the end of March, British Airways will begin flying from Gatwick to Colombo in Sri Lanka and will also start Gatwick services to the Canary Islands' destinations of Lanzarote and Tenerife.

BA will also begin flights between Heathrow and Alicante in Spain and Palma in Majorca in Spring 2013.

From April 2, KLM/Air France will start twice-daily services between Manston airport in Kent and Amsterdam's Schipol airport.

The announcement, made in November 2012, was greeted enthusiastically by the area's two Conservative MPs Sir Roger Gale (Thanet North) and Laura Sandys (Thanet South).

"This move really does connect Kent with the rest of the world," said Sir Roger, while Ms Sandys described the new route as making the area "a more attractive place to invest".

Air travellers heading for the Far East from Cardiff will be able to get to Fukuoka when KLM starts flights to the Japanese city, via Amsterdam, in the Spring.

The three-times-a-week service will be the third KLM operates to Japan from Cardiff after Tokyo and Osaka.

Among new easyJet routes in 2013 is Manchester to Moscow, with the low-fare carrier starting four-flights-a-week services on March 28.

The airline, which is also starting Gatwick-Moscow services in 2013, hopes to carry around 60,000 passengers in the first year of Manchester-Moscow flights.

EasyJet is also starting, from June 20, thrice-weekly services between Southend in Essex and Newquay in Cornwall.

Just a few days later, on July 4, easyJet starts three-times-a-week flights between Liverpool and Newquay.

Then, on July 5, easyJet commences a twice-weekly service between Liverpool and the French city of Nantes.