Heathrow’s expansion programme has passed its first delivery milestone and is advancing on schedule as the government published its draft National Policy Statement on a third runway at the UK’s hub earlier.
Now begins 16 weeks of public consultation across the country on the draft NPS, before submitting a final version for a vote in parliament this coming winter.
Heathrow executive director for expansion, Emma Gilthorpe, said: “The launch of the government’s national policy statement consultation is an important milestone in the delivery of Heathrow’s expansion plans.
“We look forward to working with the Government, our local communities and our airlines throughout this consultation period to ensure Heathrow expansion is affordable and benefits all of Britain.”
Heathrow is encouraging all stakeholders and those with an interest in the project to visit the department for transport’s website for further information on how to respond to the consultation.
Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, said: “This excellent news will cement Heathrow’s reputation as a leading global airport.
“It is a tribute to all who work at Heathrow, including the many thousands of Unite members, that it will continue to develop, and in view of the UK’s need to recast its relationships with the world following Brexit, this is a much-need investment for the national economy.
“We look forward now to the delivery of the project and the creation of the jobs that will result.”
Once designated by parliament, the NPS will provide the planning policy that will apply to a third runway at Heathrow and set out the policy tests that the project must meet.
Later this summer and in addition to the government’s NPS consultation, Heathrow will launch its own Phase 1 consultation to gather feedback from stakeholders on options for the Northwest Runway Scheme.
The feedback will inform the next phase of design for the scheme which will then be further refined following a Phase 2 consultation in the summer of 2018.
A final proposal is expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate as part of an application for a Development Consent Order in the summer of 2019.
Heathrow is committed to delivering an expansion plan that minimises the airport’s impact on local communities, is affordable for our airline partners and delivers benefits to all of Britain.
Responding to the publication of the government’s National Policy Statement, Virgin Atlantic chief executive, Craig Kreeger, said: “We support Heathrow expansion provided that it delivers for passengers a transformative increase in airline competition and genuine value for money.
“We will study the Government’s National Policy Statement to ensure its provisions do just that.
“With passenger charges at Heathrow already the highest in the world, it is simply untenable to increase them further to fund expansion.
“As tens of millions more passengers start using the airport when the runway opens, our customers would expect charges to fall over time to more internationally competitive levels.”