Heathrow and Gatwick battle for runway expansion

Bosses at the UK’s two busiest airports have laid out multi-billion-pound plans in the bitter battle to be the site chosen for runway expansion.

Heathrows plan for a third runway is a 15.6 billion project. Picture: PA
Heathrows plan for a third runway is a 15.6 billion project. Picture: PA

Heathrow’s plan for a third runway is a £15.6 billion project that will also need £1.2bn of government money and could create 100,000 jobs. The revised plan issued yesterday will reduce the impact on local residents. Supporters of the Heathrow proposal include Inverness Chamber of Commerce which said the move would provide improved connectivity for flights from the north of Scotland.

The £7.8bn plans at Gatwick would see a second runway built at the west Sussex airport, creating some 120,000 jobs directly and indirectly.

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Initial plans by both airports made it on to a shortlist chosen by the Whitehall-appointed Airports Commission. The revised plans are now being submitted to the commission which will make a final recommendation in summer 2015.

Also on the short list is a rival Heathrow scheme put forward by Heathrow Hub, a group of civil engineers which includes former Concorde pilot Jon Lowe.

The CBI said it was vital the UK government was ready to make a decision when the final proposal is made by the commission.

Nicola Walker, CBI director for business environment, said: “We want to see all political parties commit to the findings of the Davies Commission – the UK cannot afford to kick the can yet further down the road on aviation.”