ABTA welcomes today’s announcement by the Airports Commission that Heathrow Airport should be allowed to build a third runway. Increasing airport capacity is essential to the UK’s growth and global competitiveness; we are pleased that this recommendation has been arrived at through fair, transparent, and thorough processes and consultations.
Today’s announcement is the first step towards the delivery of urgently needed capacity at the UK’s hub airport and we now look forward to the Government’s response.
We call on Government to work across party boundaries and create a robust political consensus which will deliver this recommendation for UK businesses and passengers. ABTA will be working with the Government, as well as the opposition front benches to help build consensus.
The Airports Commission has that recommended a new runway for the region should be built at Heathrow and not Gatwick. It says the Government should take also take "firm action" to rule out further expansion at the airport.
It also wants a ban on night flights, a highly controversial issue in the Thames Valley.
Sir Howard Davies who has spent two years looking at plans to expand Heathrow, Gatwick and for a new airport in the Thames Estuary says Heathrow is best.
In a 242 page report he says Gatwick put up a "credible option" but Heathrow is best placed. It will create 70,000 jobs by 2050.
Of Gatwick the report says:
"The scheme is feasible but the additional capacity would be more focused on short-haul intra-European routes and the economic benefits would be considerably smaller."
The report says at Heathrow there would be a boost to the economy of £147 billion over 60 years and add 40 new destinations. Around 800 homes would be demolished.
The plan is for a new runway north of the airport near to the M4 which would run over the M25 in a tunnel. A scheme known as Heathrow Hub, to extend an existing runway is ruled out because it would bring less benefit.
A third runway at Heathrow would be "unlawful", its rival Gatwick claimed today.
It says expansion at Heathrow would breach strict European air quality limits. Gatwick, meanwhile, claims it would meet all limits with a second runway and expansion should be in Sussex.
But Heathrow has hit back saying it would put measures in place to mitigate and the airport is the best place for expansion with tens of thousands of new jobs boosting the local economy.
The row erupted on the final day of consultation on pollution by the Airport Commission, which will make a recommendation on a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick in the next few weeks.
Heathrow Airport has revealed it is operating on a knife edge every day - because the site is so busy, that it sometimes works close to full capacity.
Managers have said they are now introducing radical new measures to reduce daily delays and the massive chaos caused during bad weather and when things go wrong.
The changes include the installation of computer technology used by Formula One racing. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.
Revised plans have been announced today for a third runway at Heathrow with radical plans to put extra lanes on the M25 near its junction with the M4.
The new runway will run over the M25 which would be put in a tunnel.
Airport managers say it will be able to add extra lanes to ease the worst bottleneck on the country.
They also announced they would be place the runway further south than in previous plans to reduce the number of homes to be demolished from 950 to 750.
Those hit will get the market value and 25% of the value of their property on top. Heathrow also announced plans for direct rail links from Reading and connecting to the South West Trains network. A new runway would double flight numbers to more than 700,000.
The M25 is set to become Britain's first 14-lane motorway if a third runway is built at Heathrow Airport.Read the full story ›
Gatwick has said its expansion plans are cheaper and far more beneficial than Heathrow's.
Heathrow and Gatwick airports have both unveiled revised expansion plans to the Airports Commission in a bid to secure permission to build a new runway.
The west Sussex airport said expansion at Gatwick would deliver the following benefits:
- Will achieve £40 billion more in economic benefits to the UK than expansion at Heathrow
- Expansion will deliver more than 120,000 jobs in London and south east England
- Fewer people will be affected by noise pollution
- Around 10 million more passengers would be able to travel with a second runway at Gatwick each year than with a third runway at Heathrow
The Airports Commission is considering the following expansion plans:
- Heathrow Hub
- Thames Estuary
Heathrow Airport today announced what it calls an "improved third runway proposal that has been shaped by feedback from local residents and businesses."
The airport has been consulting with residents since its plan for a new runway to the north-west of the current site was short-listed by the Howard Davies Commission in December.
The feedback identified aircraft noise, air pollution, safety, road-traffic congestion and jobs as the top concerns.
As well as addressing these issues in the new proposals, Heathrow has put forward plans which it said would bring maximum benefit to the local and UK economy, adding £100bn of economic benefit to the UK as a whole and creating 50,000 new local jobs.
ITV News Meridian understands a section of the M25 will be put in a tunnel if plans for a third Heathrow runway get the go-ahead. In an announcement later, the airport will back a new runway to be built between the existing airport and the M4.
A full-length runway would need to go over the M25, which is twelve lanes wide at that point.
Heathrow will say while the tunnel is built drivers will continue to use the existing road and switch when the tunnel is complete.
A new rail hub with links to HS2, Reading and the south is also planned. Under the scheme up to 1,000 homes would be demolished. Heahthrow says it proposed to offer those affected 25 per cent more than the value of their homes. Full plans will be announced later.