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NEWS Last modified on May 13, 2014

London Heathrow reveals revised third runway plans

London Heathrow unveiled its proposal today for a third runway that it will submit to the Airports Commission tomorrow – including the creation of a new east and west layout and a single transport transit system.

The revised plan the gateway’s hopes the Sir Howard Davies-led commission will select over rival runway bids, to be submitted by Gatwick and the independent Heathrow Hub group, was detailed in London today at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

The fresh project follows discussions with the local community, passengers, airlines, businesses and politicians, since Heathrow submitted its initial northwest runway proposal last July.

Heathrow says it should be chosen as it is the UK’s only hub and the only option that will ‘connect the whole of the UK to new emerging economies, bringing jobs and prosperity to the country’.

It claims more than 100,000 new jobs will be created if a third runway is built, and will result in at least £100bn of UK economic benefits.

The gateway says an additional runway would see 40 new direct and daily routes to fast growing economies such as San José, Wuhan, Kolkata and improved regional links to Inverness, Liverpool and Newquay along with the doubling of cargo capacity.

The estimated cost of the project remains at £15.6 billion, all of which would be privately funded, and government support for surface access improvements would be required, it estimates at £1.2 billion, and 2025 has been set for the project’s delivery.

Heathrow’s fresh plan would see the airport restructured, it says to create a new Heathrow West and Heathrow East layout, meaning easy to navigate points of entry to ‘improve the passenger experience’.

A single transit system for trains, buses and other modes of arriving transport to bring connection times in line with competitor hub airports would also be developed, while new rail access would be created to Wales and the west of the UK - trebling rail capacity.

CEO Colin Matthews, explained at the briefing: “We cannot fit all of our flights into Heathrow, and a new runway will connect the UK into the global growth. Heathrow is the best answer for growth in the UK.”

In his opinion the UK’s needs a point-to-point hub airport, which Heathrow already is, but it needs to be expanded to compete with other gateways that are stealing a march.

“The fight is not between Gatwick and Heathrow, it is with Dubai, Paris CDG, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam. If we had a new runway, it would move us into the game.

“We need to build up our hub strength. There is no shift away from hubs (in the world) - it is only here we are constraining the hubs,” Matthews says.

Changes to the July 2013 submission include by 2030 at least a 30% reduction in the number of people in the gateway’s noise footprint.

The third runway has also been moved 200 metres further south, so it affects 200 fewer homes down to 750 from 950, preserves historical buildings and maintains the existing busy M25/M4 junction.

A new section of the M25 would be tunneled and upgraded alongside the existing section, increasing capacity and reducing congestion without disrupting road users.

The hub says 12,000 fewer people (177,000 to 165,000) would be affected by significant noise by moving the proposed runway further south.

A compensation pot of more than £550 million will also be allocated for noise insulation and property compensation, and the proposed residential property compensation includes 25% above market value for properties.

Heathrow says it will also stump up cash to make improvements to schools, public green spaces and flood protection for local communities.

The gateway says UK carbon emission cutting targets would also be met with the development, by incentivizing cleaner aircraft, supporting global carbon trading and increasing public transport use to 50% from 40%.

Development director John Holland-Kaye, who will take over as Heathrow CEO in July from Matthews, says the choice for a new runway is simple.

“Do we want to be connected to global growth, or to be disconnected? Do we choose to Champions League or Championship - and do we have the ambition?”

He explains: “Expansion at Heathrow matters to the whole country. Only Heathrow will connect all of the UK to fast growing international markets.

“The plans we are submitting to the Airports Commission demonstrate major economic benefits from a third runway for the whole of the UK.

“Our plans are deliverable. Heathrow offers the fastest, most cost effective and practical route to connect the whole of the UK to growth and we have proven our ability to deliver a world-class hub that will make Britain proud.

"Building on Heathrow’s existing strength will connect the whole of the UK to growth, keep Britain as an ambitious global nation and help the UK win the global race.”

The independent Heathrow Hub group whose proposal for extended an existing runway at Heathrow, has also submitted a revised proposal to the Airports Commission.

It argues its plans would mean a potential end to night quota flights and would create up to £45 billon of economic benefits for the UK along with 19,000 jobs.

Jock Lowe, one of the promoters behind the Heathrow hub concept, says: "Our proposal is the most efficient, cost effective and politically realistic of the three proposals shortlisted by the Airports Commission."

The commission will also decide by the autumn whether to add Boris Johnson’s ambitious multi-billion Estuary Airport proposal in the Isle of Grain in Kent to the shortlist by the autumn.

Sir Howard and his fellow commission members will give their recommendation on where a runway should be built in the south East after next year’s general election.

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