Heathrow claims increased support for expansion

Heathrow claims increased support for expansion

Image via Shutterstock

More people living near Heathrow support building a third runway than those who oppose it, the airport claims.

In a revised submission to the Airports Commission, Heathrow says 48% support expansion while 34% oppose it.

“Because we’ve listened and made changes to our plans, our neighbours now feel much more positive towards Heathrow,” the submission says.

It suggests that the new proposal “takes noise levels back to those of the 1970s”.

At least 30% fewer people (compared to now) will live within Heathrow’s noise footprint even with a third runway.

The revised scheme puts forward a third runway to be operating by 2025, 300 metres south of its proposal published last year.

“It’s no surprise to learn that aircraft noise is the top concern of people who live near Heathrow,” the airport says. “So we’ve moved our runways further south and closer to the existing runways.

“That reduces by 12,000 the number of people affected by significant noise, and means that 200 fewer homes will be subject to compulsory purchase. The new location also avoids the need to redevelop the M4/M25 junction.”

But Heathrow said the plans would involve tunnelling a new section of the M25 and adding new lanes that let drivers bypass traffic leaving the M25 or M4 for Heathrow.

“A third runway gives us an opportunity to redevelop some of the most congested junctions on the M25,” it says.

Confirming an improved compensation package to affected householders, as previously reported by Travel Weekly, Heathrow adds: “We intend to be fair to those who are most affected by expansion.

“We’re setting up a fund of £550 million for noise insulation and property compensation, and proposing to pay 25% above market value to anyone whose home is subject to compulsory purchase.”

The document, issued as Gatwick detailed rival proposals for a second runway at a lower cost of £7.9 billion, suggests a third runway at Heathrow costing £15.6 billion would bring £100 billion of benefits to the UK economy.

“The present value to the UK of additional trade, foreign direct investment and tourism alone would be £40 billion GDP,” according to Heathrow.

Expansion would protect 110,000 existing jobs and create another 123,000 with just over half being local.

“The benefits to UK regions go much further. With a third runway, Heathrow would have the capacity to take Britain further by connecting many more regional airports and businesses to trade-winning, long-haul routes,” the proposal says.

“A third runway at Heathrow will provide up to 260,000 more flights a year, add 40 new destinations and cut fares. For a decade, the airport has been at capacity while demand for flights has been rising.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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