Heathrow hopes prematurely announcing “client partners” to build its hoped-for runway will boost its chances

Heathrow does not have any sort of (public) consent from the Government to build a third runway. It had hoped to be given the “nod” for its runway in December 2015. But the government realised there were too many environmental and economic problems that the Airports Commission had not dealt with adequately, and no decision could be made. The government is how hoping to make some sort of statement – probably in mid July.  There is a likely major legal challenge from 4 local councils to the airport’s plans. Nevertheless, in an act of bravado (desperation?) Heathrow has announced that following “a competitive process Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend have been chosen to work alongside Heathrow Airport Limited to deliver Heathrow’s expansion as partners in the Programme Client….With the programme’s client partners now on board Heathrow is ready to begin the process of expansion as soon as Government gives the green light.” … “The client partners have been tasked with ensuring the programme is delivered to the highest industry standards in planning, innovation and quality.” Quite what the contract is between Heathrow and these firms is not specified. Critics say Heathrow is jumping the gun, and “counting some very expensive chickens before they are hatched”. Gatwick is also trying the same sort of thing.
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Heathrow expansion programme “ready to go” as client partners announced

15.3.2016 (Heathrow press release)

  • Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend win bids
  • Heathrow ready to deliver expansion as soon as Government gives green light
  • Heathrow Expansion would boost UK economy by up to £211bn, while creating 180,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships

Heathrow has announced today the four winning bidders to assist in expanding the airport. Following a competitive process Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend have been chosen to work alongside Heathrow Airport Limited to deliver Heathrow’s expansion as partners in the Programme Client.

Last July the Government’s independent Airports Commission unanimously and unambiguously recommended the expansion of Heathrow and said that it could be done within environmental limits.  With the programme’s client partners now on board Heathrow is ready to begin the process of expansion as soon as Government gives the green light.

Heathrow’s expansion programme will focus on creating a world class, sustainable hub airport which is commercially attractive to both Heathrow’s shareholders and the airlines.  It will be tasked with developing a skilled, nationwide supply chain that can expand the airport on-time, on-budget, to world-class standards whilst spreading the benefits right across the country.

The client partners have been tasked with ensuring the programme is delivered to the highest industry standards in planning, innovation and quality.

……and then there are glowing publicity statements from the “lucky winners.”

http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Expansion-News-23/6059


Heathrow ‘jumps gun’ and awards runway contracts

By Graeme Paton (The Times)
March 16 2016

[extracts below….]

Heathrow faced claims that it had “jumped the gun” over a third runway yesterday by awarding contracts worth millions in an attempt to kick-start the project.

The move will ensure that the airport can proceed immediately with work on a £17.6 billion third runway in the event that ministers approve the project in late June or July.

Yesterday, John Stewart, chairman of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, said the contracts meant that the airport was “counting some very expensive chickens before they are hatched”. “All that we have heard is that Gatwick is still a viable option as far as ministers are concerned and Heathrow has been given no guarantees to justify this action,” he said.

A spokesman said that between £4 million and £5 million would be spent drawing up detailed design and technical plans, advising the airport on construction, information management and overall management of the project.

Last month, Gatwick also invited companies to bid for up to £200 million of design and planning work in preparation for a second runway, although final awards of the contracts will not be made until late August, after a decision on airport expansion has been reached.

At the weekend, Justine Greening, the international development secretary, said that the Cabinet was preparing to reject Heathrow, adding: “It’s like trying to build an eight bedroom mansion on the site of a terraced house.”

Full article at

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4714254.ece

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See earlier:

 

Gatwick begins search for contractors for £75m planning work for its (pipe dream) 2nd runway project

Heathrow and Gatwick continue to slug it out, in their runway battle. With neither willing to accept reality, both are bigging up their confidence in their imminent expansion, and runway success. Gatwick has now announced it is searching for bidders to carry out £75 million worth of design and planning work in preparation for a 2nd runway. The work is separated into three frameworks: airport planning services (especially for infrastructure associated with the runway); architectural, structural and building services projects, and multi-discipline design and engineering for projects greater than £5 million.  Gatwick says the work is part of £2.5 billion worth of transformation spending that it aims to have completed by 2021. Gatwick’s Development Director hopes this will impress the construction industry, and make them eager to get lucrative work. The runway works in total are expected to cost perhaps £9 billion. But Heathrow is apparently close to choosing preferred bidders for its four pre-collaboration packages on its 3rd runway.  It is thought the firms include Arup, Atkins, Jacobs and Mace. Recently a number of the UK’s biggest construction firms wrote a letter to chancellor George Osborne urging him to approve a Heathrow runway. Gatwick says the contractors were ”misguided” in writing the letter, as Heathrow’s runway bid is “destined to fail.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/02/gatwick-begins-search-for-contractors-for-75m-planning-work-for-its-pipe-dream-2nd-runway-project/

See also

22.2.2016

http://www.gatwickdiamond.co.uk/resource-centre/news-archive/2016/02/new-frameworks-build-gatwick%E2%80%99s-readiness-for-runway-decision.aspx