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Heathrow stakes claim as Commission deadline nears

Heathrow stakes claim as Commission deadline nears

An expanded Heathrow would be the UK’s best value-for-money infrastructure project according to new analysis of Airports Commission research and HM Treasury data.

In a speech to the Aviation Club, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye argued politicians could have confidence that expanding the nation’s airport hub would be a phenomenal investment in the future of the UK and create an economic legacy for the next generation. 

Independent analysis of the Airports Commission’s most optimistic scenario by research company QUOD shows that a third runway at Heathrow would have a benefit cost ratio of up to 10.2, making it by far the best value approved or proposed infrastructure project in the UK.

The Airports Commission has assessed that Heathrow expansion would create up to £211 billion of economic growth and 180,000 jobs across Britain. 

It also finds that expanding the UK’s only hub would require a public contribution of £3.9 billion for surface access improvements.


Using the Commission’s scale of economic benefit, from its more conservative central case to the most optimistic, an expanded Heathrow would have a BCR of between 4.1 and 10.2, making it “very high value for money”. 

Heathrow believes that only £1.2 billion in public contribution would be necessary – which would triple its value for money.

Holland-Kaye revealed the analysis alongside a new vision for the UK’s only hub airport – to deliver the best airport service in the world.

Over the last ten years, Heathrow has invested over £11 billion of private money to build Terminal 5 and the new Terminal 2 – taking the airport from one of the lowest rated in the world to being ranked by passengers as the eighth best airport and for the first time ahead of Amsterdam as the best in Western Europe.

With Terminal 1 closing at the end of this month, Heathrow will enter the next phase of its transformation – doubling the size of Terminal 2 to allow for the closure of Terminal 3 –giving Britain a world-class, efficient airport to compete with other leading global hubs.

John Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow expansion would create an economic legacy for future generations by connecting the whole country to global growth.

“The return on investment for the UK is phenomenal and our politicians can be confident in making a quick decision.

“Let’s get on with it.”