Heathrow authorities announce new expansion plans

Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport reveals a ‘masterplan’ for expansion. According to the plan, a third runway will be constructed by 2026, to be completed by 2050.

For the execution of the plan, rivers will be diverted and roads will be moved. Rerouting of M25 through a tunnel is also among the proposed changes for the expansion plan. Visual illustrations from architects, display the running of M25 from underneath a new tunnel, through a new runway.

As per the plan, the runway will be constructed in the first phase by 2026. The rest of the airport infrastructure, along with the construction of new terminals and access will be completed by 2050.

Previously, Heathrow’s expansion plan has faced severe oppositions. However, this time around Heathrow sources report that they have consulted with local communities and other stakeholders. According to reports, public consultation is open until September 13.

The opposition has been raised by local and environmental groups, who are objecting to the increased level of noise and pollution, in addition to the escalated percentage of UK’s carbon emissions, owing to the growing number of flights. In response, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, Emma Gilthorpe, said, “We have been working with partners at the airport, in local communities, and in government to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly – with environmental considerations at the heart of the expansion.”

Reports suggest that last month, campaigners backed by Mayor Sadiq Khan lost a High Court challenge. Extinction Rebellion also intends to disrupt expansion plans of the airport. The public will be able to cast their vote on a website and on other 43 consultation events for twelve weeks.

The revamp plan will also reconstruct the existing car parking into a single site. The first phase of the airport expansion is alleged to cost £14bn and the total cost is estimated to £30bn.