Sponsored Post: The plan for a quieter Heathrow expansion

Heathrow drives the economic competitiveness of London and the South East. Its uniquely attractive catchment area, in turn a result of Heathrow’s connectivity, results in Heathrow’s airlines flying more premium seats per aircraft than any other major hub. The Thames Valley is home to the European headquarters of ten of the top 30 global brands: an economic powerhouse dependent on access to global markets.

We at Heathrow Hub believe that our scheme has significant advantages over every other proposal under consideration.

embed-image-2Heathrow Hub is an integrated air and rail facility which would double the number of Heathrow’s available aircraft slots, allowing more flights while also reducing delays and improving the airport’s resilience and efficiency. The extra capacity could reduce noise impacts by reducing the airport’s opening hours, allowing early morning arrivals to land two miles further west (reducing noise over much of London). It also creates opportunities for noise mitigation, by allowing some slots to be used to facilitate runway alternation, and would be compatible with innovative noise reduction techniques like quieter approaches and steeper climb-outs. Crucially, few (if any) new areas will be brought into the airport’s noise footprint. The scheme would also be cost effective: the cost and the airport user charges would be much lower than that of any other new airport. It would also be entirely privately funded.

embed-image-1The scheme involves extending both of the existing runways up to a total length of about 7,000 metres and dividing them so that they each provides two, full-length, runways, allowing simultaneous take-offs and landings. It also includes a new passenger interchange immediately north of Terminal 5, directly connecting the airport with the M25 motorway, Crossrail, the Great Western Main Line and, as an option, an alternative HS2 route via the airport.

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  • Peter Andrews 12th Nov '13 - 4:38pm

    What are the current lengths of the runways and what is the risk of planes overrunning from the first runway into the second runway?

  • “Heathrow drives the economic competitiveness of London and the South East.”

    No it does not. It is one factor among many. That’s like saying the only reason Paris is the economic hub of France is because of Charles de Gaulle Airport or that Frankfurt exists because of its airport. Not true.

    “The extra capacity could reduce noise impacts by reducing the airport’s opening hours”

    Note the word “could”, to which I would add “but probably won’t”. As if the airlines are going to accept the operational problems of further opening hours restrictions. It’s just not going to happen.

    Expanding Heathrow is simply compounding existing problems and digging us even deeper into the pit we currently find ourselves in. It’s just a very bad idea which could spread blight and pollution across vast swathes of West London.

  • jenny barnes 12th Nov '13 - 9:04pm

    This seems similar, but probably not as good, as the Centre Forum idea of 4 runways to the west of the existing ones. Combined with a switch to exclude noisier aircraft, and a steeper glide path for narrow body jets, the net noise foot print remained about the same. http://www.centreforum.org/index.php/mainpublications/462-bigger-and-quieter
    The report analyses the other options in some detail. Well worth a read, rather a knee jerk rejection.

  • Peter:
    – A 747 needs 3000m to take off, fully laden. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_747#Specifications)
    You can land on a shorter runway – 2100m-ish as per New York Newark Liberty International. (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080326081716AA1uXcN)

  • Peter:
    Heathrow’s current runways are 3902m and 3658m (http://www.ukaccs.info/profiles.htm )

    It would seem that Heathrow Hub would extend these to an overall length of 7000m before division. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Heathrow_Airport#Future_expansion )

  • peter tyzack 13th Nov '13 - 9:20am

    ..747..Tim? But the A380 carries more passengers, with less fuel, is quieter and needs a shorter runway. The new generation of Airbus planes will reduce the need for any further expansion, together with shifting the tax on flights from ‘per-plane’ to ‘per-passenger’ to ensure flight slots are efficiently used.

  • Toby Fenwick 13th Nov '13 - 11:20am

    Would this be the same Heathrow Hub promoters who have reportedly bought options over the land on which it would be built? See today’s Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/12/heathrow-hub-quieter-four-runway-airport

  • “Heathrow Hub is an integrated air and rail facility”

    Does that mean rail links westwards are planned, to replace the current hour long bus link to Reading train station ?

  • Michael Parsons 14th Nov '13 - 9:55am

    Where London ends, England begins. With the end of Empire we have inherited a capital city far too large for us, where most of us are priced out, and where the economics are those of a (nice) foreigners’ way-station: the national social need is to cut it down to size.., rather than try to rotate round a single hub in a sort of monocycle economy.

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