Heathrow bids to make third runway 300m shorter

Heathrow Airport has proposed making its third runway 300m shorter in a bid to cut costs in its development scheme, according to the Guardian.

The northwestern runway would be reduced in length by 300m to reduce costs to £15bn as a way to help ensure the plans go ahead. The government has supported expansion of Heathrow but says this must not mean higher fares for passengers.

The plans have also been amended to incorporate the third runway traffic within the two existing terminals, rather than building a new terminal. Heathrow claims the third runway can be delivered for £14.3bn, £2.5bn less than the original price. Construction would be delivered in phases to reduce expense and disruption.

With a shorter runway the nearby M25 would still need to be moved 150m to the west, but the airport now proposes that a shallower tunnel could be used in combination with a slightly ramped runway.

Heathrow has also said it will award higher compensation to those living in affected areas, enforce a six-and-a-half hour ban on night flights and stay within air quality limits.

It is expected that a parliamentary vote will be held on the expansion plans at some point this year as a national policy statement on aviation is put forward for debate.

Emma Gilthorpe, executive director for expansion at Heathrow said: “We need feedback to help deliver this opportunity responsibly and to create a long-term legacy both at a local and national level. Heathrow is consulting to ensure that we deliver benefits for our passengers, businesses across the country but also, importantly, for those neighbours closest to us.”