London Heathrow gets third runway green light

2A21C1CB00000578-3145475-image-a-37_1435733479008The UK Airports Commission today recommended that London Heathrow gets a third runway to help solve the nation’s capacity crunch.
Welcoming the decision, Heathrow airport chiefs pledged to work the government to make it happen, praising the Airports Commission for recognising that the benefits of a third runway at Heathrow are “significantly greater, for business passengers, freight operators and the broader economy” than the downsides.

Heathrow said the Commission’s findings accept the unique role that it plays as Britain’s only hub airport and that its expansion is the only solution that can help British businesses compete for global growth, and support a truly national recovery built on exports, skills and investment.
The Commission also reckons Heathrow’s new plan can be delivered while reducing its local and environmental impacts, confirming that it can be delivered within carbon and air quality limits and with significantly fewer people impacted by aircraft noise than today.
John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow Airport said: “This debate has never been about a runway, it’s been about the future we want for Britain. Expanding Heathrow will keep Britain as one of the world’s great trading nations, right at the heart of the global economy.
“Our new plans have been designed around the needs of local communities and will meet carbon, air quality and noise targets, and provides the greatest benefit to the UK’s connectivity and its long term economic growth.
“We will create the world’s best connected, most efficient and most environmentally responsible hub airport at the heart of an integrated transport system. The Commission has backed a positive and ambitious vision for Britain.
The Commission has urged the government to make an early decision on its recommendations, warning that “further delay will be increasingly costly and will be seen, nationally and internationally, as a sign that the UK is unwilling or unable to take the steps needed to maintain its position as a well-connected open trading economy in the twenty first century.”

FRONTRUNNER: Heathrow Airport Northwest Runway The Commission has concluded that the proposal for a new Northwest Runway at Heathrow Airport, in combination with a significant package of measures to address its environmental and community impacts, presents the strongest case. The scheme proposed by Heathrow Airport is for a new full length runway (3,500m) to the north west of the current northern runway at Heathrow. This proposal differs very significantly from that supported by the government before 2010. It provides a full-length runway, maximizing the potential to improve capacity, connectivity and resilience, and it is sited further to the west, which has the benefit of reducing its noise and wider community impacts. The horizontal separation between the new runway and the current northern runway is 1,045m, allowing it to operate independently of existing runways. When the proposed alternation pattern is factored in this would allow a forecast operating capacity of 740,000 air transport movements per year and would offer a level of continuing respite for local communities while enhancing the airport’s resilience.