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Heathrow reveals third runway proposals

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Heathrow Airport has unveiled three options in its latest bid for a third runway.

In a submission to the Airports Commission today (17 July), the west London airport argued it could building an extra runway either to the north, north west or south west of the existing terminal for between £14 billion and £18 billion - significantly less than building a new airport elsewhere.

According to the AJ’s sister title Construction News, the Heathrow expansion would come in at almost a quarter of the price touted by London mayor Boris Johnson for his preferred option to solve the capital’s so-called aviation crisis, namely a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

Earlier this week Johnson said a mega-hub airport on the Isle of Grain - an idea originally suggested by Norman Foster in 2011 - could be built for between £50 and £65 billion.

Heathrow’s owners said the southwest option had the lowest impact on local residents from noise and demolition of houses but was the most expensive. Meanwhile the north option was the quickest and cheapest but generated the most noise and resulted in 2,700 homes being lost rather than the 850 in the south west plans.

However the south west option would mean 1,416,000 cubic metres of flood zone storage in areas deemed most likely to flood being lost rather than 6,000 cubic metres under the northern plans. The airports prefers the two western proposals.

It said the new third runway plans were different to those rejected several years ago.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s chief executive, said: “After half a century of vigorous debate but little action, it is clear the UK desperately needs a single hub airport with the capacity to provide the links to emerging economies which can boost UK jobs, GDP and trade.

“It is clear that the best solution for taxpayers, passengers and business is to build on the strength we already have at Heathrow. Today we are showing how that vision can be achieved whilst keeping the impact on local residents to an absolute minimum.”

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