LONDON – Heathrow Airport announced that its third runway plans have been delayed once again, this time for another year.
This is due to the UK’s Civil Aviation (CAA) rejecting Heathrow’s spending plans.
Heathrow Airport is still to get the planning consent and was looking to raise spending from £650 million to £2 billion, for all the planning involved.
The CAA rejected this as they think passengers will take on more of the cost of Heathrow loses the bid for a new runway.
Heathrow now expects the third runway to be completed towards the end of the next decade, around 2028 and 2029.
A Heathrow Airport spokesperson said in regards to the announcement, “The CAA’s announcement is an important milestone in expanding Heathrow and connecting all of Britain to global growth. It increases certainty for our local communities and for the job creation, increased trade and lower airfares that expansion delivers.”
The added, “We will now review the detail to ensure it will unlock the initial £1.5 – 2 billion of private investment over the next two years at no cost to the taxpayer.”
“Whilst this is a step forward, the CAA has delayed the project timetable by at least 12 months. We now expect to complete the third runway between early 2028 and late 2029.”
Paul Smith, group director of consumers and markets at the CAA also said, “We believe that more runway capacity at Heathrow will benefit air passengers and cargo owners.”
“Its timely delivery is required to prevent future consumers from experiencing higher airfares, reduced choice and lower service quality.
“However, we have also been clear that timeliness is not the only factor that is important to consumers. Passengers cannot be expected to bear the risk of Heathrow Airport Limited spending too much in the early phases of development, should planning permission not be granted.”
Previously the CAA granted Heathrow approval to increase their planning budget from £265 million.
The new runway in London debate has been going on for years, with London Heathrow and London Gatwick both seeking to win to the bid.
Heathrow is currently the preferred option the UK Government has picked, but they are yet to be given the green light.
Brexit has impacted the expansion significantly.
Once Brexit is out the way in 2020, the bureaucratic wheels may begin rolling again on the expansion and it may finally come to a close with the winner gaining the green light, which will most likely be London Heathrow.