£1.5bn Heathrow East terminal delayed

21.1.2009   (Contract Journal)

By Grant Prior  

BAA has confirmed that the construction schedule on its £1.5bn Heathrow East
project has slipped until the end of this year.

The news came as the government gave its backing to ambitious plans to build
a third runway and sixth terminal at the airport worth up to £7.6bn.
The airports operator confirmed the concerns of contractors, first revealed in
CJ last summer, that delays were hitting the Heathrow East scheme.
A BAA spokeswoman said that full construction work would not start until the
end of 2009.
She added: “Enabling works are going on at the moment and we are moving as fast
as we can.”
The job was originally scheduled to start in late 2008 and to be ready in time
for the 2012 Olympics.
But it has been hampered by the T5 opening fiasco and funding problems.
Industry experts believe BAA could struggle to finance the new runway and terminal
plans, which are due to get underway from 2015 and create 60,000 construction
The overall Heathrow expansion project announced last week is expected to increase
the airport’s capacity by 50%.
Alongside the new Heathrow proposals, Secretary of State for Transport Geoff
Hoon announced plans to improve the high-speed rail network linking the airport
with London and the Midlands.
BAA welcomed the new plans, but described the timetable for a completed third
runway and sixth terminal by 2020 as “ambitious”.
One contractor said: “The bottom line is that BAA is struggling to raise funds. That has had an impact on Heathrow East and will be a decisive factor in any
future plans.
“It’s all very well talking about this, but you need the money in place to get
it started.”

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