The airport’s submission to the Davies Commission, which is looking at raising airport capacity, outlined a runway to the north, north-west or south-west of the existing airport.
It said a new runway could be in place by 2029, allowing 260,000 more flights.
‘Global hub status’
According to Heathrow’s submission, building a new runway would deliver extra capacity at the airport by 2025-29 and would allow it to operate 740,000 flights a year – up from the current limit of 480,000.
The plans would “maintain the UK’s global hub status for the foreseeable future” and “protect the thriving businesses and plentiful jobs that surround Heathrow”, it said.
Heathrow’s preferred option would be to place a new runway to the north-west or the south-west of the airport.
This would “deliver a full-length third runway while minimising the impact on the local community”.
The submission also detailed how a new westerly runway would help reduce noise pollution because planes would not have to fly so low over London.
It predicted that, even with a third runway, there would be 10-20% fewer people affected by noise under its new plans.
The option of building north of the airport would be the quickest and cheapest, the airport acknowledged – but it would also be the noisiest and have the biggest impact on residential property.
Each of the options would mean the compulsory purchase of some properties and some property demolitions, as well as potentially major work on the M25.
The submission also outlined the need for a sixth terminal at Heathrow as part of the plans – which would enable the airport to handle 130m passengers a year, rather than the current figure of 70m.
Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: “After half a century of vigorous debate but little action, it is clear the UK desperately needs a …….
17th July, 2013