‘A MEGA PROJECT WITH A MEGA IMPACT ON
Heathrow today launched a three month consultation into its plans for a
controversial third runway which it hopes to open in 2026. The consultation includes proposals to build
the new runway over the M25 as well plans to re-route local rivers, replace
utilities and bring in changes to the road network.
In the consultation the airport
also sets out its plans to mitigate the effects of expansion, including
property compensation, noise insulation, a community compensation fund as well
as measures to deal with noise, air pollution, carbon, and other environmental
It does not, though, reveal the
location of the new flight paths.
Heathrow, in conjunction with the air traffic controllers, is still
working these up following an airspace consultation earlier this year. A further consultation on flight paths is
expected in 2021 when the detailed routes will be revealed.
Today’s consultation does ask for
views on noise envelopes. These will
provide the framework within which Heathrow will be allowed to grow. They will set the noise parameters which it
The consultation also provides more detailed information on how
Heathrow is proposing to implement the 6.5 hour night flight ban it is required
to introduce as a condition of building a third runway.
There are also more details on
runway alternation (which provides for periods of respite from the noise) and
on plans to replace westerly preference with managed preference (1).
Heathrow is asking for views on its controversial proposal to bring in
an 25,000 extra flights per year in advance of a third runway opening.
John Stewart, the chair of HACAN, the campaign group which opposes a third
runway, said, “What hits you is the scale of these proposals. The impact on local people could be severe
for many years to come. Disruption from
construction; the demolition of homes; the reality of more than 700 extra
planes a day.”
The consultation is a statutory requirement of the Development Consent
Order (DCO) process. Heathrow intends to
put its final plans before a Planning Inquiry in summer 2020. The inspectors overseeing the Inquiry will
make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport in 2021. The Secretary of State has the final decision
on whether or not to give the expansion plans the go-ahead.
Notes for Editors:
(1). At present Heathrow operates
‘westerly preference’ whereby planes land from the east not only when a west
wind is blowing but also if there is an east wind of up to about 5 knots. Heathrow will be proposing a move away from
westerly preference to managed preference.
This will allow the direction of the planes to be switched (wind
permitting) more often. If the wind is
medium – strong planes must land and depart into the wind but there is more
leeway when the wind is less strong. Managed preference would allow more
flexibility than is permitted by westerly preference. For example, it could allow communities to be
given some days of relief during a very long period of east or west winds. It would also make it easier to adhere to the
information: John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650