Expand Heathrow: don't build more


Expanding Heathrow would be cheaper, quicker and better for the economy than creating a new hub airport, according to a report from Heathrow bosses.

Adding capacity at Heathrow would also be better for passengers and for jobs than a new hub airport at Stansted or in the Thames Estuary, said the report.


Expansion at Heathrow could be delivered around seven years quicker than the time taken to build a new hub airport.

Creating a new airport would increase travel times for 90% of hub passengers, with the economic cost of longer journeys amounting to a possible £26 billion.

The report said that adding capacity at Heathrow would also be better for taxpayers, with a new airport needing around £25 billion of public money.

More than 76,000 people directly employed at Heathrow would face re-location or redundancy if Heathrow was replaced by a new airport. The report also said that the area around Heathrow in west London was home to 202 of the UK's top 300 company headquarters.

Mayor Boris Johnson is one of the leading supporters of a new Thames Estuary airport and vehemently opposes the building of an extra, third, runway at Heathrow.

Labour backed the third runway plan in 2009 but the expansion was scrapped by the coalition Government, which has now set up an Aviation Commission under former CBI chief Sir Howard Davies to look into the whole question of airport capacity.

The report has been compiled by Heathrow Airport with architectural and planning consultants AECOM and Quod. It will form part of Heathrow's submission to the Davies Commission. The commission will publish its interim report by the end of this year and its final report in the summer of 2015.

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: "Britain already has one of the world's most successful international hub airports in Heathrow. Expanding Heathrow will put Britain ahead in the global race, connecting UK business to growth more quickly and at less cost to the taxpayer than any other option for new capacity."

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