Arora’s plan for a cheaper 3rd Heathrow runway means putting it further east. ie. more noise for London
Surinder Arora, a hotel magnate, wants to get the 3rd Heathrow runway built quickly, and has made some suggestions of how it could be done more easily – and at least £5-6 billion more cheaply. But his scheme, for a shorter northern runway, means there would be even more noise pollution over London than from Heathrow’s own £17.6bn proposal. Heathrow airport did not, apparently, know of his plans till he went public with them. If the new runway was shorter (3.2km not 3.5km) and moved a bit east, to Sipson, there would be cost savings. But this could mean noisier flights over London as aircraft may have to fly slightly lower over London by something like 300 feet or so (at a guess). One of Heathrow’s reasons for its own location for the runway was to get this 300 ft or so height gain, claiming it would make all the difference to noise levels. The 2009 scheme, by Heathrow, for a much shorter 2.2km runway failed in part because of noise concerns, as did a plan for a 2.8km runway rejected by the Airports Commission. Willie Walsh of IAG, and Craig Keeper of Virgin Atlantic, want the cheapest scheme possible, to keep their costs down, and avoid having to increase the cost of their air fares. Amusingly, the Heathrow airport runway plan involves demolishing one of Mr Arora’s 5 hotels at the airport, two of which are under construction. Mr Arora says he was not informed by Heathrow (Willie Walsh claimed the same, for his head office building).
Tycoon’s Heathrow runway bid ‘could be noisier than airport’s plan’
By Ben Martin
9th JULY 2017
A hotel tycoon’s bold bid to build a cheaper third runway at Heathrow risks causing more noise pollution over London than the airport’s own £17.6bn proposal, it has been suggested.
Surinder Arora, a major landowner around Heathrow, blew open the airport expansion debate this weekend after submitting two plans for another runway to the Government that he claimed could knock up to £6.7bn off the cost of the controversial project.
It puts him at loggerheads with Heathrow, which was not informed of his intervention in advance. The tycoon, who has partnered with US construction firm Bechtel, put forward his alternatives as part of a public consultation on Heathrow expansion.
One of Mr Arora’s proposals, which would deliver the biggest savings, is to shorten the proposed runway from 3.5km to 3.2km and move it to the east. However, this could mean noisier flights over the capital compared with Heathrow’s plan, in part because aircraft may have to fly lower for longer over London, it has been argued.
“One of the reasons Heathrow moved it westwards was to try and reduce the noise over London,” said John Stewart, the respected chairman of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise. “If he moves it back east and its a shorter runway, then actually it does increase noise levels, how significantly I don’t know.”
The Airports Commission recommended that Heathrow be allowed to press ahead with its plan for third, northwest runway.
A 2009 bid for a much shorter 2.2km runway failed in part because of noise concerns, while a proposal for 2.8km strip that Heathrow put to the Airports Commission was also rejected.
However, Willie Walsh, the chief executive of International Airlines Group which owns British Airways, described the proposal as a “welcome alternative” to Heathrow’s own “costly” scheme and urged the Government to “look closely at Arora’s proposal”.
Craig Kreeger, the boss of Virgin Atlantic, said the proposal offered “fresh thinking”
The Government-appointed Commission in 2015 recommended an another plan submitted by the airport for a northwest runway
Heathrow’s project would involve demolishing one of the Mr Arora’s five hotels at the airport, two of which are under construction. His firm Arora Group owns more than 200 acres around Heathrow, which would be affected by the airport’s plan.
The tycoon rejected suggestions that he is intervening because his properties and land portfolio would be hit by another landing strip.
“This is not about my property,” he insisted.
A Heathrow spokesman said it continues “to develop our plans to improve passenger experience, reduce the negative impact on local communities, and lower the cost.
The Department for Transport: “The Government has made clear that it believes a new northwest runway at Heathrow is the best scheme to deliver the economic and connectivity benefits this country needs.”
Airport hotel tycoon, Surinder Arora, wants Heathrow runway built soon – but a bit cheaper
A wealthy hotel tycoon, Surinder Arora, has submitted plans for a 3rd Heathrow. He has been a long time backer of a runway, and says his plan would be £5 billion cheaper than what Heathrow is offering (costing £17.5 billion). He has put his proposal to the government’s public consultation on Heathrow (the NPS consultation actually closed on 25th May.) Heathrow has been trying to find ways to make their runway + terminal scheme cheaper, as the airlines are not keen on paying the higher charges that would be needed. Ticket prices would rise. (ie. lower airline profit). The Arora Group’s proposals include altering the design of terminal buildings and taxiways, and reducing the amount of land to be built on. They know the alterations to roads, including the M25 and the junction of the M25 and the M4, are massive problems and “threaten deliverability” of the runway project. They therefore want to “shift the runway”. Where to? All this shows how very uncertain the runway plan has become, and the immense doubts – especially on money. Heathrow said they would welcome views on various options “in the public consultation later this year.” The plans must first be assessed by the Commons transport committee, be amended by the DfT and then voted on in Parliament …. it is not a quick process.