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Contest launched for controversial Heathrow third runway masterplan

The search has begun for a design team to mastermind the highly contentious expansion of Heathrow Airport

BAA is looking to appoint a team to produce a ‘comprehensive masterplan to examine the potential expansion of Heathrow Airport’ - including a third runway and a new sixth terminal.

A tender notice was issued on behalf of airport owner BAA via the procurement body AirportSmart this week.

Released as an open competition, the tender is divided into three lots: masterplan and lead design, civil engineering, and airport facilities planning.

The contract could be awarded to one organisation, or three, a source close to the project said.

Among the architects expected to throw their hats into the ring include Foster + Partners, Pascall and Watson, and 3DReid - which has already drawn up masterplans for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stanstead airports.

A number of years ago architects YRM worked on a feasibility study for a possible sixth terminal - however the practice insisted at the time plans had only been prepared as internal ‘option’ documents for British Airways (BA) in response to the government’s South East Runway Access Study consultation.

The government gave the official ‘go-ahead’ for a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow in January this year.

The expansion is expected to require the complete demolition of the nearby village of Sipson. Protesters responded to the government go-ahead by staging a ‘flash mob’ at Terminal 5.

‘They’re actually moving forward quite slowly,’ said John Stewart from campaign group Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (Hacan). ‘It suggests they’re very wary about putting too much money into the project before the next election.’

Pre-qualification closes for the tender on 27 July. For further information contact

Readers' comments (1)

  • Please consider boycotting this project. We all now know the impact of flying on climate change and we know that oil is a finite resource. For more information about the impact of flying read

    Don't bid, boycott!

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