BAA calls for long runway at Heathrow

Sunday Times   15.9.2007

BAA has begun lobbying for a full-length new runway at Heathrow ahead of the
expected launch next month of a consultation document on expansion of the London
airport.   The move represents a switch for BAA, which has in the past advocated
only a short extra runway, suitable for the small aircraft used on short-haul

Heathrow’s existing runways are full-size at about 4,000 metres and a full length
runway would allow more flights by larger, long-haul aircraft.   BAA declined to
comment, but industry sources confirmed the change in policy.   The government
is expected to publish a consultation document on the expansion of Heathrow next
month.   This will cover proposals for more flights on the airport’s two present
runways, and for a third runway.   Both plans are expected to be bitterly opposed
by local residents and environmental groups.

The consultation is the result of a government white paper on the future of air
transport issued four years ago. It said that while there was an economic case
for expanding Heathrow, it could not proceed until local air-pollution issues
were addressed. Stansted was chosen as the location for the southeast’s first
new runway.

Meanwhile BAA has appointed Merrill Lynch to conduct a review of the future of
World Duty Free, its airport retail business.