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Airport operator BAA has said that it wants to build a third runway and a sixth terminal at Heathrow by 2017. The airports operator said the decision reflects increasing confidence that further growth is possible at the airport within the environmental limits on noise, air quality and surface access. It will mark the start of a battle with local and environmental campaigners - including local councils and London's Mayor - who oppose any expansion.

The move represents a big change for BAA, which has steered clear of publicly backing such a huge expansion of Heathrow until now and has previously concentrated on winning permission for a new runway at Stansted - for which a planning application is expected later this year.

BAA says it needs to expand Heathrow as it is vulnerable to foreign competition. It has 2 runways operating at 98.5% of permitted capacity compared to Frankfurt's 3, Paris Charles De Gaulle's 4 and Amsterdam Schiphol's 5 - all of which operate at less than 75% of their capacity. It adds that the number of destinations served by Heathrow has fallen from 227 in 1990 to 180 today while Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam have all increased their destinations and can offer new slots to emerging economies.

BAA Heathrow chief executive Tony Douglas, said: 'Heathrow is at the heart of the UK economy and one of our country's most important assets. We do not underestimate the impact that Heathrow's expansion would have on some local communities, but the decline of the UK's only hub airport would also have real and lasting effects.'

Tough environmental limits were set out in the government's 2003 Air Transport White Paper to limit Heathrow's expansion. Ministers will launch a consultation on the future of Heathrow in the autumn, but in a statement that will put in motion a battle with local and environmental campaigners, Mr Douglas confirmed yesterday that 'BAA will be campaigning for permission to grow'.

BAA wants to combine construction of a new runway with the conversion of its existing two to mixed mode - allowing take off and landing. Mixed mode would increase traffic movements to a maximum of 540,000 a year and the new runway would take that to 792,000.

A new runway would be built to the north of the existing northern runway towards the M4 motorway and would require a sixth terminal to avoid planes having to cross the other two runways to reach passenger facilities.
http://www.uk-airport-news.info/heathrow-airport-news-140607b.htm
 

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Waste of time. Why focus on a 3 runway airport (at max) when you're competing with 4/5 runway airports?? I believe it may be a losing battle, not to mention the enviornmental problems.

By 2017, those other EU airports will have expanded further leaving LHR in the dust. The only solution is a brand new airport with 4/5 runways in a remote area. Why settle for a 3 runway airport as your world gateway??!!
A global world class hub requires more runways than 3 - therefore a new airport will be required in SE England - as Stansted and LHR will not be connected as one hub. I believe that forthcoming UK governments will see this and turn to a off-shore or greenfield site given the importance of connectivity to the economy. The piecemeal development of LHR / STD is unwise IMO. I wonder why no one here see this. The fight against the protestors/residents will cost time and money. They need to turn to an area where there are less people. I suggest somewhere on the coast of Essex or off the Kent Coast.
 

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Off the coast of Essex with a fast train connection to the docklands and central London would be a nice idea.

However, whilst its being built a 3rd runway and T6 are needed... I grew up under the Heathrow flight path but I know how important it is to London and the South East.
 

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Waste of time. Why focus on a 3 runway airport (at max) when you're competing with 4/5 runway airports?? I believe it may be a losing battle, not to mention the enviornmental problems.

By 2017, those other EU airports will have expanded further leaving LHR in the dust. The only solution is a brand new airport with 4/5 runways in a remote area. Why settle for a 3 runway airport as your world gateway??!!
A global world class hub requires more runways than 3 - therefore a new airport will be required in SE England - as Stansted and LHR will not be connected as one hub. I believe that forthcoming UK governments will see this and turn to a off-shore or greenfield site given the importance of connectivity to the economy. The piecemeal development of LHR / STD is unwise IMO. I wonder why no one here see this. The fight against the protestors/residents will cost time and money. They need to turn to an area where there are less people. I suggest somewhere on the coast of Essex or off the Kent Coast.

There is always this option.....

http://www.teaco.co.uk/
 

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The problem is in this country, we have an obsession of making what we have better when sometimes a replacement is better. The same was with the railways- most countries built new systems; we just improved ours. They can't just keep expanding Heathrow- its surrounded by urban area and the roads around are congested. It would be better to relieve it with other airports and upgrading others.
 

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If London gets a shiny new airport in the Thames Estuary, what would happen to the existing airports? If Heathrow closes then 70,000 local jobs will go, not to mention about the same number again working in supporting industries or in the Thames Valley/west London corridor which is highly reliant on Heathrow's proximity.
 

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The current expansion plans in Heathrow would allow the airport to double in terms of passenger flow, i.e. 120 mio p.a.. This is not just because of the third runway, but thanks to the improved terminal capacity (T5) and larger planes being deployed.

This gives a lot of scope for the next 20 years. The question is what after that. I think the government already answered that question. Stansted will slowly take over from Heathrow and that's why BAA has to construct a second runway in Stansted first. Just look at Google Earth, in Stansted there is place for 5 runways. It is better location than the Thames Estuary from an environmental perspective.

Obvioulsy Stansted is not ready for that, its connections to central London are too weak right now. These will be improved gradually as they expand Stansted (it is condition).

The only missing piece is the infrastructure to get fast from Heathrow to Stansted, such that if your plane gets cancelled in Heathrow you can just take one from Stansted and vice versa, and as well in order to continue to capture a decent part of the transfer market in order to finance the maximum number of destinations being served from London. Yet all that is required for that is that the future HST network in the UK runs through both airports. That seems desirable in any case to limit the number of internal flights. I am quite sure that once both Heathrow and Stansted have an additional runway and other expensive projects such as Thameslink and Crossrail are completed, HST will be on the agenda. And when HST is on the agenda, part of the challenge will be to imrpove accessibility to airports, and linking up Stansted with Heathrow will certainly be part of that.

That's how I read the airport future. I may be wrong, but at least it seems logical.
 

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I worry that they make LHR the gold standard hub with all these new fancy terminals and high levels of investment, that there will surely be great reluctance to move to stansted once the extra capacity is required. LHR will be too entrenched in the pscyhe of the public, don't you think?
 

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I worry that they make LHR the gold standard hub with all these new fancy terminals and high levels of investment, that there will surely be great reluctance to move to stansted once the extra capacity is required. LHR will be too entrenched in the pscyhe of the public, don't you think?
No, Stansted will have as many runways (2) as Heathrow before Heathrow gets its third. Stansted will also have a second terminal at the same time. The main problem of Stansted remains access from Central London. The Stansted Express is weak in comparison to the HEX or Gatwick Express. Furthermore, the access by road from Central London is not great, mainly due to the North Circular being such a mess. To get onto the M11 from Westminster, you either take the M1 in NW direction and then do 40 miles on the M25, or you cross Westminster and the City to the Docklands to take the M11 from there. If there were a North Circular worth its name you would not have that problem. I don't know how they will resolve access to Stansted, but clearly that is critical if they want to turn it into the prime hib. But as already said, they have at least a decade for that.
 

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No, Stansted will have as many runways (2) as Heathrow before Heathrow gets its third. Stansted will also have a second terminal at the same time. The main problem of Stansted remains access from Central London. The Stansted Express is weak in comparison to the HEX or Gatwick Express. Furthermore, the access by road from Central London is not great, mainly due to the North Circular being such a mess. To get onto the M11 from Westminster, you either take the M1 in NW direction and then do 40 miles on the M25, or you cross Westminster and the City to the Docklands to take the M11 from there. If there were a North Circular worth its name you would not have that problem. I don't know how they will resolve access to Stansted, but clearly that is critical if they want to turn it into the prime hib. But as already said, they have at least a decade for that.
Simple solution: quadruple WAML to Stansted, BAA builds a new big railway station at Stansted and Crossrail runs services from T5 at Heathrow to the new Stanstead railway station.

i.e. BAA, Crossrail and Network Rail plus Transport for London and the Department for Transport will all have to co-operate and quit trying to off load the financial risks. This will cost money. It cannot recover its cost commercially. The Department of the Treasury will pay!

Transportation Systems (i.e Air/Rail/Roads) can't be privatized when there is more than one agenda

And for good measure Crossrail should electrify all the way to Reading
 

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Simple solution: quadruple WAML to Stansted, BAA builds a new big railway station at Stansted and Crossrail runs services from T5 at Heathrow to the new Stanstead railway station.

i.e. BAA, Crossrail and Network Rail plus Transport for London and the Department for Transport will all have to co-operate and quit trying to off load the financial risks. This will cost money. It cannot recover its cost commercially. The Department of the Treasury will pay!

Transportation Systems (i.e Air/Rail/Roads) can't be privatized when there is more than one agenda

And for good measure Crossrail should electrify all the way to Reading
In terms of better access from Central London, is there no way to divert the Stansted Express to Thameslink and to get those trains to run a bit faster?
 

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In terms of better access from Central London, is there no way to divert the Stansted Express to Thameslink and to get those trains to run a bit faster?
Thameslink uses the Hitchin branch off the GNER. It joins the WAML far north of Stansted.
 

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Its fine that Stansted becomes the future airport, as you say. Do you think it will ever get the big full service airlines there?
 
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