Heathrow third runway - three options presented

17 July 2013
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
Heathrow officials have announced three options for the construction of the third runway

Heathrow officials have announced three options for the construction of the third runway

Heathrow officials have introduced three options for a third runway at London’s biggest airport, opposing London Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans to create a new hub elsewhere.

They said they believe that, despite the proposals introduced by the Mayor earlier this week, expanding Heathrow would be by far the fastest and cheapest way to deal with the increasing air traffic demands in the UK.

The plans, including construction of a sixth terminal, would enable Heathrow to increase the annual number of passengers from 70 million to 130 million.

The three options include two 3,500m-long runways accessible via Terminals 6 and 2: The £17bn north west runway, which could be completed by 2026, would require the demolition of 950 properties in Harmondsworth and Longford and putting part of the M25 in a tunnel. The £18bn south west runway would take up to 2029 to be built and would involve the demolition of 850 properties and compulsory purchases in the area of Stanwell More.

The third option – the £14bn 2,800m-long north runway, accessible via Terminals 5 and 2, would accommodate fewer flights. Despite being the cheapest, the construction would entail the demolition of 2,700 properties in the villages of Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross. This option offers the shortest completion time and might be operational by 2025.

All options are claimed to allow the increase of Heathrow's capacity from 480,000 flights a year to nearly 740,000. Heathrow’s bosses said each of the proposals would lead to decreasing the amount of people affected by aircraft noise at present. Despite having said the fourth runway wouldn’t be required until at least 2040, the plans were created in order to allow possible future expansion if the need arises. The fourth runway would cost an extra £8bn-£14bn.

"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 (gross domestic product) and trade,” Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said.

"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."

It has been said the third runway would generate revenues worth some £100bn and would not only safeguard 114,000 existing jobs but create 70,000 to 150,000 new ones.

On the other hand, if any of the options favoured by Mayor Johnson is selected, the result would be "the biggest mass redundancies in British history" from which it would take "more than a generation to recover," said Heathrow development director John Holland-Kaye.

The Heathrow officials believe that further advancement in aviation technology will eventually lead to a substantial decrease of noise in the vicinity of the airport. They said that, as a result, even with a third runway, there will be 10-20 per cent fewer people within Heathrow's noise footprint in 2030 than today.

The Heathrow runway proposals will be presented to the Whitehall-appointed Airports Commission headed by former Financial Services Authority chairman Sir Howard Davies.

The commission will also receive this week proposals announced on Monday by Mr Johnson who favours three sites for a four-runway, hub airport - on the Isle of Grain in Kent, on an artificial island in the Thames Estuary, or at an expanded Stansted Airport in Essex.

An original third-runway plan to the north of Heathrow was given the go-ahead by the Labour government in January 2009, with work expected to start in 2015 and be completed by 2019.

But when the coalition government came to power in May 2010, the third runway scheme was ruled out.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Analogue Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)
    • Uppsala (Stad) (SE)

    The Swedish Institute of Space Institute (IRF) in Uppsala search for an analogue electronics engineer.

    • Recruiter: Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Robotic Systems Engineer

    Premium job

    National Oceanographic Centre
    • Southampton, Hampshire
    • £45,271 to £49,207 per annum

    Responsible for technical oversight and project management of internally and externally funded innovation centre projects.

    • Recruiter: National Oceanographic Centre

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer - Water

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful Water and Environment Unit is recruiting an electrical engineer....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful water business continues to win and deliver a fantastic amount of work....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Electronics Engineer

    York Instruments
    • York, North Yorkshire

    Senior electronics engineer to work as part of a team developing an MEG imaging system; working with the engineering team and external contractors.

    • Recruiter: York Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Control Engineer

    Bank of England
    • Debden
    • Competitive

    We’re looking for a qualified engineer with experience of computer programming for engineering systems and instrumentation.

    • Recruiter: Bank of England

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶


Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T