Heathrow slashes third runway expansion costs by £2.5bn


Heathrow Airport has unveiled options for cutting the expenditure on a third runway expansion by £2.5bn.

The revised £14bn plans would be £2.5bn lesser than the plans submitted to the Airports Commission in 2015.

The revised plans would not compromise on Heathrow’s local commitments or passenger experience, the airport authorities stated in a release.

The airport intends to achieve the cost reductions by repositioning new buildings over existing public transport and baggage infrastructure; technological advancements; and more efficient phasing of capacity construction.

Instead of a dedicated terminal or satellite building between northern runway and the new northwest runway, the airport plans to build additional capacity at both Terminals 2 and 5 to hold an extra 16.5 million passengers.

It plans to utilise technological advancements such as checking in online and using electronic gates at passport control to reduce the amount of terminal space required to process passengers without compromising on experience.

The airport also plans to incrementally increase terminal capacity in blocks to better match growing demand.

The airport will launch a 10-week public planning consultation from 17 January to 28 March 2018 to enable the public to send feedback on the expansion proposals.

The consultation will consist of two parts – the first on infrastructure design options for an expanded Heathrow and the second on the future design principles for airspace around Heathrow.

Heathrow’s executive director expansion Emma Gilthorpe said: “The Secretary of State set us the challenge to deliver an expanded airport for Britain with passenger charges staying close to current levels.

“We have now identified potential savings of £2.5bn and are increasingly confident we can meet the affordability challenge.

“We are looking forward to presenting detailed options on how to do it in our consultation in January, and while we will continue to work to reduce the cost of expansion, we will not compromise on our local commitments.”

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