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Heathrow repeats plea for third runway to solve aviation deadlock

Heathrow is today submitting to the Airports Commission three options for solving the lack of hub airport capacity in the UK.

These see a third runway placed to the north, north west or south west of the existing airport.

All three options are “quicker and cheaper” than any rival hub option, agues Heathrow, delivering extra capacity by 2025-9 and for £14-18 billion.

All three put millions more people within easy reach of the UK’s hub airport than non-Heathrow options and all three protect the thriving businesses and plentiful jobs that surround Heathrow.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s chief executive, said: “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 and trade.

“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.”

Heathrow claims a third runway will be the quickest way to relieve deadlock

Each option has its particular benefits, but Heathrow believes the two westerly options offer clear advantages.

They deliver a full-length third runway while minimising the impact on the local community from noise and compulsory house purchases.

The north west option performs better on noise and residential property impact than the north option whilst costing slightly more and taking slightly longer to build.

The south west option further improves the situation for local residents but increases the cost, timescale and construction complexity.

The north option is the quickest and cheapest, but offers the least noise benefits and has the biggest residential property impact.

The two westerly options are “radically different” from the old, short third runway proposed by BAA in the last decade and have been informed by the recent proposals by Tim Leunig.

In its proposals last week, Gatwick Airport made its play for a second runway, arguing London would be better served by a constellation approach, with three, two-runway airports surrounding the city.