Heathrow to launch final public consultation ahead of expansion

Since the High Court dismissed the legal challenges to the expansion of Heathrow, the airport has launched a consultation to seek feedback on the expansion masterplan.

Heathrow CGI releases images of expansion ahead of public consultation

The projected pictures of the Heathrow expansion

Heathrow has announced that its statutory 12.5-week consultation on its expansion plans will launch on 18 June 2019.

This step is the latest delivery milestone for the infrastructure project, and the responses received will feed into a final planning application. To mark the news, the airport has released a series of new images showing an illustrative example of a new terminal infrastructure, as well as a panoramic shot of a future Heathrow.

The airport’s June consultation will be its largest and most innovative engagement exercise yet. Heathrow has invested in new technology to show the public its current proposals, including a model of the future airport which uses augmented reality, and a sound booth to be used at certain locations which features virtual reality to demonstrate the effect of noise insulation on properties overflown by aircraft. Having listened to feedback from previous consultations, Heathrow will hold events in more locations than previously and, in addition to an extensive national publicity campaign across newspapers, radio, billboards, digital and – for the first time – Spotify, will be contacting 2.6 million households directly in the vicinity of the airport with a leaflet encouraging participation.

Projected Heathrow expansion image

The consultation follows the High Court’s dismissal of legal challenges against Heathrow expansion. The debate on Heathrow’s plans – and its commitments to grow sustainably – has been had and won, both in Parliament and now in the courts.

Heathrow has consistently demonstrated best practice by holding additional consultations at earlier stages of its project development to ensure feedback is incorporated in its plans, and to be as transparent as possible about its emerging proposals. The plans revealed in this consultation include the consolidated feedback received in the Airspace and Future operations consultation that concluded in March, and previous consultations in 2018, as well as from Heathrow’s continuous engagement with local communities, local authorities, airlines and other interested parties.

The upcoming consultation will seek feedback on four key areas: 

  1. Heathrow’s preferred masterplan for expansion: Proposals for the future layout of the airport including the runway and other airport infrastructure such as terminals and road access. The masterplan will reveal the airport’s growth in phases – from runway opening in 2026, to the end masterplan in approximately 2050. This incremental growth in infrastructure will align more closely with forecast passenger growth, and help airport charges remain close to 2016 levels – ultimately resulting in more affordable fares for passengers.
  2. Plans to operate the future airport: How the future three-runway airport will be operated, including important elements such as night flights, as well as how potential additional flights before the new runway opens could be operated on our existing two runways.
  3. Assessment of impacts of the airport’s growth: A preliminary assessment of the likely impacts of expansion on the environment and local communities.
  4. Plans to manage the impacts of expansion: Setting out the airport’s plans for mitigating the effects of expansion, including property compensation, the noise insulation policy, a Community Compensation Fund, and measures to mitigate against air pollution, carbon, and other environmental effects. 

Inviting people to participate in the consultation, Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion, said: “Heathrow’s expansion is a project of huge national and local significance, and it is critical to our country’s economic growth. An expanded hub airport will allow the country to access more of the world, create thousands of jobs locally and nationally and open up new trading routes. But we can’t deliver these plans alone. We urge everyone to have their say in this consultation, to shape our plans, and help us deliver expansion in the fairest and most sustainable way.”

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