Heathrow launches consultation on expansion plans
The proposed expansion at Heathrow will see the M25 diverted and redirected through a tunnel to make way for the development of the third runway at the airport.
Heathrow has launched its 12-week statutory consultation on expansion, the latest milestone in delivering this national infrastructure project, as the preferred masterplan for the project is unveiled.
The Airport Expansion Consultation runs from 18 June until 13 September 2019 and gives the public the opportunity to provide feedback on Heathrow’s proposals for the future layout of the airport, including the new runway and other airport infrastructure such as terminals and road access. The public will also be able to have their say on plans to manage the environmental impacts of expansion, including a proposed Heathrow Ultra Low Emissions Zone, Heathrow Vehicle Access Charge and a proposed 6.5-hour ban on scheduled night flights.
The Airport Expansion Consultation also reveals plans for the airport’s growth in phases – from the runway opening in approximately 2026, to the end masterplan in approximately 2050. This incremental growth will mirror the forecasted growth in passengers and help airport charges remain close to 2016 levels, delivering more affordable fares for passengers.
In addition, the consultation is seeking feedback on:
- 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 the existing two runways
- Heathrow’s preliminary assessment of the likely impacts of expansion on the environment and local communities
- Heathrow will set out the airport’s plans for mitigating the effects of expansion, including property compensation, Noise Insulation Policy, a Community Fund, and plans to mitigate against environmental effects including new measures to reduce congestion and emissions and a ban on scheduled flights at night.
The plans revealed in this consultation incorporate the extensive feedback gathered from the airport’s first public consultation on expansion, which took place from January to March 2018, and the Airspace and Future Operations Consultation held from January to March 2019, as well as from continuous engagement with local communities, local authorities, airlines, environmental stakeholders and other interested parties.
Responses to this consultation will inform Heathrow’s application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) – the planning consent required for the project – which is expected to be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport next year.
The consultation will be Heathrow’s largest and most innovative public consultation to date, with 43 consultation events to be held during the 12-week period. As part of this consultation, a website will also be available with all the information about Heathrow’s proposals, videos to help explain the plans, and an online feedback form to assist as many people as possible to participate and have their say. Hard copy consultation documents will be available to view in 42 different locations across local communities. Heathrow has also invested in new technology to bring the plans to life, including a physical model of the future airport which features augmented reality, sound booths to demonstrate the effect of noise insulation on properties overflown by aircraft, and a CGI fly through video.
Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion, urges local people to participate in the consultation. She said: “Expansion must not come at any cost. That is why we have been working with partners at the airport, in 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 your views.”