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Heathrow aims to exceed commission conditions for expansion

Words: Laura Edgar

Heathrow Airport has announced that it will meet and exceed the conditions set out in the Airports Commission’s recommendation to expand the airport.

In the report released last summer, the Airports Commission concluded that expanding runway capacity at Heathrow is the best option to “provide the type of capacity which is most urgently required – long-haul destinations to new markets”.

Today (11 May), John Holland-Kaye, chief executive, Heathrow, has written to Prime Minister David Cameron, setting out a “world-leading, ambitious and affordable plan which balances the huge national and local economic gain from expansion with the environmental impacts”.

In the letter, Holland-Kaye said the airport has acted now to allow Cameron and the government to “make the right choice”.

Submitting the plan “will enable you to choose Heathrow and secure a stronger economy and Britain’s place in the world”.

The plan, made in response to the commission’s report and recommendations includes:

  • Introducing a ban by the government on schedule flights between 11pm and 5.30am, increasing from five hours now to six-and-a-half hours.

  • A proposal that the Environment Agency should be given the role of an independent aviation air quality authority to scrutinise measures Heathrow will introduce to ensure expansion would be in accordance with air quality rules.

The full list of proposals can be found on Heathrow Airport’s website. 

Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport, said the plan is a “desperate last throw” from a project that has “repeatedly failed”.

“Heathrow can promise many things, but they cannot wish away the reality of its location. An expanded Heathrow will newly impact hundreds of thousands of people currently not affected by aircraft noise - an expanded Gatwick would impact less than 3 per cent of this number,” he said.

Image credit | iStock