Heathrow Airport: new runway, doubling of freight capacity planned

Heathrow Airport from above

Heathrow Airport has at last begun talking to the freight industry, and in its new expansion plans submitted to the UK Airports Commission, it is expected to stress the key logistics role that Heathrow holds within the UK economy: the submission stresses that 65% of the UK’s AUD760bn air freight exports already travel via Heathrow, and that expansion of the airport’s cargo capabilities is essential for maintaining and improving UK export competitiveness.

In fact, the airport claims its importance to the UK economy goes further than the cargo: “Expanded Heathrow critical to UK economy. Over 100,000 new jobs created. Economic benefits of at least £100bn. Forty new long haul destinations.” are the headlines. The submission goes on to say:

“Improved expansion proposals published by Heathrow are the only way to connect all of the UK to growth.”

Heathrow has announced, in its ‘improved’ plan to expand the UK’s hub airport, that it will create “more than 100,000 new UK jobs and at least £100bn of UK economic benefits by connecting all of the UK to global growth.”

The figures are part of Heathrow’s revised expansion plans that were submitted to the Airports Commission. The submission follows discussions with local residents and businesses, the public, businesses around the country, passengers, airlines and elected representatives across the UK’s nations and regions.

“Heathrow is the UK’s only hub and the only option that will connect the whole of the UK to new emerging economies, bringing jobs and prosperity to the country. It is deliverable, fundable and will create a world-class global gateway to make Britain proud. And it proposes to go further than any other large-scale UK infrastructure project in compensating for its impact on surrounding communities.”

Key elements of Heathrow’s proposals include:

More than 100,000 new jobs created. This includes 50,000 new jobs in the local Heathrow area, plus a further 20,000+ across London and another 50,000+ across the UK.

At least £100bn of UK economic benefits, better than any other airport expansion option.

Doubling cargo capacity to improve UK export competitiveness. 65% of the UK’s £400bn freight exports already travel via Heathrow.

New rail access to Wales and the West through the Western mainline, the South and South West through Southern Rail Access, and the North through HS2. Total rail capacity will treble from 5,000 to 15,000 seats per hour.

A Taskforce for Regional Connectivity will be established to develop proposals for how regional air links to Heathrow can be improved. Additional capacity will provide space for flights to cities such as Inverness, Liverpool and Newquay.

Investment in airport infrastructure will create jobs across the UK while a new runway is being built

A total compensation fund of over £550m (AUD 1bn) has been allocated for noise insulation and property compensation. This is more generous than previously proposed for a third runway and proposals for most other infrastructure projects. (Proposed residential property compensation includes 25% above market value for properties subject to compulsory purchase; stamp-duty costs on a new home; legal fees paid).

A third runway will be delivered by 2025. If only Max-More Wilton could match all this…

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