Heathrow may back 3rd runway play by Arora, destroying even more homes than NW runway scheme

Heathrow have backed a new plan for a 3rd runway, which appears to cut construction costs for the scheme at the expense of the loss of even more homes and communities, in an attempt to persuade politicians to vote through the scheme in 2018. The scheme, proposed by the Arora Group is for a 500 metre shorter runway, a bit further east. It might cost £6.7 billion less than Heathrow Airport’s own North West Runway plan. John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO, said : “it would not surprise us if we do something with him [Arora] as we expand the airport.” The Arora plan would bring parts of Harlington inside the new airport boundary, along with the whole of Sipson. It would also leave Longford village boxed in and sandwiched metres between two runways. The total number of homes that would be set for demolition would be much closer to a thousand, even higher than Heathrow’s own proposal of 783 homes lost. The plan would bring the new airport boundary closer to the original scheme put forward by BAA in 2009, which was successfully defeated in the High Court. That plan proposed a 2,200-metre runway across Sipson and Harlington. Residents in the Heathrow villages are upset, as this causes yet more uncertainty, worry and fear about their future. 
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Heathrow back new runway play destroying even more homes

4 December 2017 (Stop Heathrow Expansion press release)

http://heathrow.thearoragroup.com/proposal/smarter-runway-modifications/

Heathrow Airport have backed a new plan for a third runway, which appears to cut construction costs for the scheme at the expense of the loss of even more homes and communities, in an attempt to persuade politicians to vote through the scheme in 2018.

The scheme, proposed by the founder of the Arora Group, Surinder Arora, would bring the runway further east and reduce its length by 500 metres, costing £6.7bn less than Heathrow Airport’s own North West Runway plan.

John Holland-Kaye, the company’s CEO, revealed today that “it would not surprise us if we do something with him [Arora] as we expand the airport” before adding “he is an important local stakeholder and it would amaze me if we don’t do something together” (1).

The plan would bring parts of Harlington inside the new airport boundary, along with the whole of Sipson. It would also leave Longford village boxed in and sandwiched metres between two runways (2). The total number of homes that would be set for demolition would be much closer to a thousand, even higher than Heathrow’s own proposal (3).

Jackie Clark-Basten, Chair of campaign group Stop Heathrow Expansion, said“People’s lives are being played with. This proposal by Arora and now backed by Heathrow shows that Heathrow is acting out of desperation in order to get this runway, with little care as to who and how they blight people who previously thought they were not going to face losing their home.

 “Despite Heathrow spending millions over the past 5 years telling politicians how much different this proposal is from their previous proposal, it is looking more and more similar.”

The plan would bring the new airport boundary closer to the original scheme put forward by BAA in 2009, which was successfully defeated in the High Court. That plan proposed a 2,200-metre runway across Sipson and Harlington.

Christine Taylor, Harlington resident whose home falls within the proposed Compulsory Purchase Zone for the first time, said: “This is ludicrous. Despite Heathrow claiming the last third runway proposal is totally different, it may turn out very similar to the original proposal we fought off last time.

“Clearly a third runway is undeliverable and endless versions and proposals serve only to show their desperation, as we head towards a parliamentary vote.”

Ends.

Notes for editors:

  1. Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2017 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/12/03/heathrow-may-work-rival-runway-expansion/
  2. Map of the Arora Scheme http://heathrow.thearoragroup.com/proposal/smarter-runway-modifications/
  3. http://heathrow.thearoragroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Response-from-the-Arora-Group.pdf

http://stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/press-releases-1/2017/12/4/heathrow-backs-new-runway-plan-destroying-even-more-homes

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See earlier:

Holland-Kaye not ruling out Heathrow working with rival bid, by Arora, on building 3rd runway scheme

Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye has said he is not ruling out some form of collaboration with the team behind the Arora group bid to build a 3rd Heathrow runway.  Surinder Arora, a rich businessman who owns 16 hotels, a golf course and his own private airfield, is the largest single landowner on the site marked for Heathrow expansion. In July he put forward a plan, with US engineering firm Bechtel, in which he claimed the expansion could be done for £12.4 billion (shorter runway, bit further east) – roughly £5 billion cheaper than Heathrow’s initial estimate. Heathrow has since altered its plans to bring down construction costs, as airlines and investors are opposed to the sky-high costs.  Now Heathrow may also try to work with Mr Arora’s company in some way. Holland-Kaye said: “It would not surprise us if we do something with him …” but would not speculate on what. Heathrow and the Arora Group are currently working on two  Heathrow hotels. The 2nd DfT consultation on the Airports NPS (for the 3rd Heathrow runway) welcomed competing bids for the work and stated the Government did not have a preference for who constructed the 3rd runway as long as it met the specifications outlined by the Airports Commission.  Jock Lowe is still promoting his “Heathrow Hub” scheme, for an extended northern runway, which is claimed to cost around £10 billion.

Click here to view full story…

Rival Heathrow expansion consortium, Arora, upbeat as Government opens door to competition

The Telegraph reports that the government has said it welcomes competition in the construction of the nation’s airports. Hotel owner Surinder Arora had earlier this year proposed a cheaper way to build a Heathrow 3rd runway, cutting about £5 billion off the price. Government documents related to the expansion had previously assumed Heathrow would be in charge of the construction project and choose which contractors it wanted to help it fulfil the scheme. But the DfT says in the revised consultation on its Airports NPS (National Policy Statement) that it would welcome competing bids for the work. The NPS consultation says: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Airports NPS does not identify any statutory undertaker as the appropriate person or appropriate persons to carry out the preferred scheme.” And there could be “more than one application for development consent, dealing with different components individually”. The Telegraph believes a key difference, if a body other than Heathrow did the building, would be that the party behind the construction would receive the associated income it generates from passenger and airline charges, as well as retail rental payments. But there could be more risks, more costs etc.

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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.

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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).

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/07/aroras-plan-for-a-cheaper-3rd-heathrow-runway-means-putting-it-further-east-ie-more-noise-for-london/

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