The government has insisted that the multi-billion-pound expansion of Heathrow Airport is still on track, despite relaunching a public consultation on its proposals for a third runway
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said the case for Heathrow’s £16 billion expansion, which is being overseen by Grimshaw, was ‘as strong as ever’ and the government was on track to publish its final proposals for expansion next year, ahead of a parliamentary vote in the first half of 2018. Benoy is working on the commercial strategy and masterplan for the major scheme.
The comments come after the Department for Transport launched a new public consultation on its revised draft Airports National Policy Statement, which includes the Heathrow plans, based on fresh analysis carried out by the department.
The revised analysis revealed a number of changes to previously presented evidence, including new data on environmental impacts of building runways at Gatwick and Heathrow, as well as estimations on the economic benefits both airports would bring.
The new findings suggest Gatwick would surpass Heathrow as the airport with the biggest long-term economic benefit.
The latest report said Gatwick would bring wider benefits to passengers and the economy over 60 years, with its economic contribution estimated at £74.1-£75.3 billion for the period, compared with £72.8-£74.2 billion for Heathrow.
The first draft document published by the government last October forecast Gatwick’s economic benefits to be £52.4-£53.7 billion and Heathrow’s to hit £59.2-£61.1 billion.
It also stated that a second runway at Gatwick would have a lower risk of breaching air-quality standards compared with Heathrow.
Grimshaw partner Jolyon Brewis said: ’We are pleased that the updated National Policy Statement re-affirms the Government’s support for Heathrow’s expansion.
’As concept architects for this seminal project, we continue to work on realising our client’s vision to increase the UK’s much-needed aviation capacity in a sustainable way.’
Last year, Heathrow Airport confirmed it would not be building a new terminal as it pressed on with its huge expansion plans. In 2015, Grimshaw won a competition to draw up designs for a ‘hub airport of the future’ as part of Heathrow’s ambitious £16 billion growth plans.
Grimshaw has been contacted for comment.