LONDON — In an exciting update regarding Heathrow’s expansion, the airport’s management has proposed making their third runway 300 meters shorted to cut costs in its development scheme.
According to news from U.K newspaper The Guardian, the 300-meter reduction would reduce costs to £15 billion to ensure that the plans go ahead.
The reduction of costs would also have to factor in the movement of the M25 motorway. With the runway becoming 300 meters shorter, it would mean that the M25’s movement distance would be shorter, to around 150 meters west of the airport.
On top of this crucial update, the amended plans have seemed to rule out another terminal. When the third runway is built, it is believed that they will incorporate that new traffic within the distance of the two existing terminals at the airport.
With these amendments, the cost is driven down by around £2.5 billion to a total of £14.3 billion, with the plans to be carried out in phases to reduce expense and disruption to travelers on the M25.
Within these costs, the airport has said that compensation will be awarded to those living in affected areas, as well as keep enforcing the six and a half hour ban on night flights to stay within air quality limits and also to reduce noise pollution in the unreasonable hours of operation.
Heathrow has consistently pushed for feedback, and as Emma Gilthorpe, the executive director for expansion at Heathrow mentions, “When the government announced its support for Heathrow expansion it made a clear commitment to keeping Britain open for business.”
“We want an expanded Heathrow to be the world’s best airport, ensuring that our country and its future generations have the infrastructure they need to thrive. We need feedback to help deliver this opportunity responsibly and to create a long-term legacy both at a local and national level,” she added.
This year’s focus for the British Parliament will be on the national aviation policy statement. A vote will be held so that the final expansion plans can be amended and perfected to meet the needs of all parties affected by the third runway’s development
Heathrow is already helping out Parliament as the airport has already announced a 10-week consultation that will “seek the views on options to deliver and operate an expanded airport, alongside principles of new airspace design.”
The Parliamentary vote will set out the policy framework to Heathrow’s final planning submission before work can go ahead.
All parties are requesting feedback on the following options:
- Three shortlisted options for the new north-west runway with length varying from between 3,200 and 3,500 meters.
- Potential locations to expand terminal infrastructure: east of Terminal 2, west of Terminal 5 or a new satellite terminal by the new runway.
- Proposed alignment of the M25: repositioning it approximately 150 meters to the west, and lowering it by 7 meters in a tunnel and raising the runway height, so it passes over the M25.
- Options for changes to local roads and possible modifications to two junctions leading to the M25
Concerning its airspace design, the airport released in a press statement that “Changes to airspace will ultimately improve resilience and punctuality for passengers while reducing noise, emissions and the number of late-running flights for local communities. At this early stage, future flight path options are not being consulted on.”
Overall, it shows that in the politics of this expansion, Heathrow wants the green light greatly.
With capacity being at 98% for a decade, the airport on an operational basis needs this expansion.
On top of the £211 billion in economic benefits, the new runway will enable relaxing capacity percentages and will allow the airport to take in an extra 260,000 flights every year.
In order for this to happen, the concessions that Heathrow has offered already may be essential to the fast-track planning approval that they may need.