Heathrow airport has set out a 30-year vision for its future, which includes building and bringing into operation a new third runway by 2026.
The airport on Tuesday (18 June) published its latest masterplan for the period through 2015, in which it sets out how it intends to deliver expansion.
A 12-week consultation is under way, giving the public and stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on the airport’s key proposals.
These include the new runway itself, airport infrastructure, road and rail connections, mitigation in respect of emissions, vehicle access charges and night flying, among other factors.
Heathrow’s vision is divided into four phases; the first, through to 2026, includes delivery of the new runway, some road and rail alterations, including the M25, and work on waterways and a “green loop” surrounding the airport.
Phases two (through 2030) and three (through 2035) promise further infrastructure improvements, as well as new parking, hotel and office capacity, and are expected to deliver the bulk of necessary works on Heathrow’s terminals, particularly at Terminal 5.
Phase four is nominally 2050 and beyond, by which time Heathrow expects to have completed the majority of its proposed expansion objectives.
Key infrastructure works in phase one will include re-routing the M25, likely via a tunnel under the new runway, and creating new road and rail links to allow the works to be carried out.
The statutory consultation runs until 13 September.
It also covers Heathrow’s plans to tackle and reduce emissions, partly via a new ultra low-emission zone and restricted vehicle access with charges graded by each vehicle’s green credentials; sets out a vision for noise respite and six-and-a-half hour ban on night flying; assesses options for new public transport access and positions it as the preferred method of arriving at Heathrow; and considers how best to limit the impact of expansion on neighbouring communities and the environment.
Delivery of the new runway is expected to cost around £14 billion and is being funded by Heathrow itself. Further works through 2050 will likely more than double the cost of expansion.
Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, said: “Expansion must not come at any cost. That is why we have been working with partners at the airport, with local communities and in Government to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly – with environmental considerations at the heart of expansion.
“This consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on our preferred masterplan, so it’s really important that as many people as possible take part. We look forward to hearing their views.”