Options for third Heathrow runway
Heathrow chiefs have put forward three options for a new third runway at the west London airport, saying that any of the proposals will be good, and essential, for Britain.
Each option will allow Heathrow to move from 480,000 flights a year to 740,000, but the airport's bosses said fewer people would be affected by noise than at present.
However, each of the options will mean compulsory purchase of some properties, and some property demolitions, while there might have to be major work done on the M25 to accommodate a new runway.
There will also need to be a sixth terminal at Heathrow, with a new runway meaning the airport will be able to handle 130 million passengers a year rather than the current figure of 70 million.
The Heathrow executives, outlining their proposals in London, said they did not think there would be a need for a fourth runway at Heathrow until at least 2040. These are three runway options:
:: North-west - A 3,500 metre-long runway to the north-west of the airport with passengers accessing it from a new Terminal 6 (T6) and an extended Terminal 2 (T2). The building of the runway would affect the villages of Harmondsworth and Longford with 950 properties facing demolition. Part of the M25 would have to be put in a tunnel. The runway would cost £17 billion and could be completed by 2026.
:: South-west - a 3,500 metre-long runway covering an area of reservoirs and needing the compulsory purchase of properties in Stanwell Moor and 850 possible demolitions. Passengers would access via T6 and an extended T2. The construction would be complex and challenging and would take longer and be more expensive than the other options. It could be ready by 2029 at a cost of £18 billion.
:: North - This would be the quickest and cheapest option but would allow only 700,000 flights a year with a runway only 2,800 metres long. Passengers would access via an extended T5 and extended T2. A total of 2,700 properties could be demolished, with the villages of Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross affected. This runway could be finished by 2025 at a cost of £14 billion.
The Heathrow executives said a third runway would provide benefits to the UK worth £100 billion and would not only safeguard 114,000 existing jobs but create 70,000 to 150,000 new ones.
Heathrow development director John Holland-Kaye said closing Heathrow and siting a new runway elsewhere - an option favoured by London Mayor Boris Johnson - would represent "the biggest mass redundancies in British history" from which it would take "more than a generation to recover."