BAA given Heathrow runway deadline
government proposals unveiled on Thursday.
and local residents, should come into operation as soon as possible after 2015.
Both BAA, the owner of Heathrow, and
These included the setting-up of a company to explore construction of a high-speed
rail line linking central London, Heathrow and the West Midlands. A programme
of motorway widening, at a cost of £6bn, was also promised.
application for a new runway to be operational "early in the period between 2015
was ambitious. It is likely to take up to two years to prepare the planning application
to build the runway and a sixth terminal. The cost for these is estimated at £9bn.
than 700,000 a year from the present level of 473,000, although there will be
an initial ceiling of 605,000. Passenger numbers could rise from 67m a year to
about 120m by 2030.
at the Terminal 5 inquiry not to build a third runway as the price for winning
outright opposition to the third runway since autumn’s party conference.
opposition from local residents, environmental campaigners and local authorities
that could reach a level of direct action seldom seen in the UK.
to make room for the runway, which will be located to the north of the existing
only two runways compared with four at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Madrid, five
at Amsterdam Schiphol and three at Frankfurt.
in continental Europe. Business organisations also say that inferior service quality,
poor performance, delays and a dwindling network of destinations at the only UK
hub airport have undermined the status of London as a global financial capital.
provide up to 60,000 jobs in the construction phase.
so-called mixed mode operation, which could have raised capacity by about 10 per
cent in the short term.
met for the runway – which will be 2.5km long compared with the 3.9km and 3.7km
of the existing runways – to become operational.
than 220,000 flights, pending a review in 2020.
FT EDITOR’S CHOICE Editorial Comment: Long-haul fight – Jan-15 Graphic: Traffic at UK airports – Jan-09 Lobbyists raise pressure on Heathrow – Jan-12 Hoon braced for legal challenge – Jan-15 By Michael Peel and Jim Pickard
both critics and supporters agreed on Thursday.
some or all of the environmental groups, councils and other opponents of the project
who spent Thursday poring through Department for Transport documents detailing
to failures in the planning process.
had "done it in the right way", he expected a challenge. "We expected judicial
reviews frankly whichever way the decision went, those unhappy with the decision
were always likely to resort to the law."
supporter of court action. "I am deeply concerned that the proper processes of
coming to this decision may not have been followed, and will support a legal challenge,
should this prove to be the case," he said.
observers, who see a challenge to the decision-making process as a main plank of any lawsuit. In 2007, Greenpeace successfully torpedoed the government’s first attempt to
replace Britain’s ageing nuclear capacity by arguing in the High Court that ministers
had failed to hold a proper consultation on the plan.
officials fully considered problems such as noise, air quality and surface access
to the affected area.
rights under European law, echoing arguments used in a High Court case launched this week by shareholders
of Northern Rock, the nationalised bank
delay the execution of the compulsory purchase orders needed for the third runway.