Heathrow application to Planning Inspectorate for DCO now delayed from summer 2020 to “towards the end of the year”

Heathrow had originally intended to start its DCO (Development Consent Order) application by the middle of 2020. Now that the CAA has restricted the amount Heathrow can spend on early development costs, the timetable has slipped. Instead of hoping a 3rd runway might be read for use by 2026, that date is now more like 2029.  Heathrow says it plans to hold another consultation from April to June, and then feed responses from that into its DCO, which might be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate towards the end of 2020. That is perhaps a 6 month delay.  Some time after the middle of January, the Appeal Court ruling on the legal challenges, against the government’s approval of the Airports NPS, are expected. The DfT was intending to publish its Aviation Strategy in the first half of 2019. This is now delayed due to changes on carbon emissions, with the UK changing from an 80% cut on 1990 levels by 2050, to a 100% cut (ie. “net zero”) and advice on aviation carbon from the Committee on Climate Change.



Heathrow confirms planning application in 2020 alongside new delivery timetable and public consultation

January 7th, 2020

Heathrow press release, so check it for spin and greenwash ….

Heathrow has announced it will launch an eight-week public consultation to finalise its proposals for airport expansion following the recent decision by the UK’s aviation regulator, the CAA, to cap early spending on the project.

Heathrow outlines timeline for submission of expansion planning application towards the end of 2020

The airport announces it will hold further public consultation to finalise airport expansion proposals following the recent Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) decision to cap early spending
An eight-week consultation will run from April through to June

Capping spending has prolonged the construction period of a new third runway and means Heathrow will need to undertake refreshed modelling of key aspects of the plan – including public transport to and from the airport – to evidence that Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) targets can be met.

The consultation will run from April through to June ensuring that communities can review and feedback. Heathrow will be writing to local authorities in the coming weeks with more information, offering them the opportunity to feedback on our approach to consultation. Responses will feed into the final planning application, to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate towards the end of 2020.

Heathrow’s submission to the Planning Inspectorate will detail how the airport will expand and connect all of Britain to global growth, whilst meeting the requirements of the ANPS. It will also restate Heathrow’s commitment to ensuring an expanded Heathrow meets strict environmental targets, delivers tens of thousands of new high-skilled jobs and honours our commitments to local communities.

If Heathrow’s plans are approved by the Secretary of State on the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate, the third runway is expected to open between early 2028 and late 2029.

Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion Emma Gilthorpe, said, “This country is ready for a decade of infrastructure delivery underpinned by expansion at Heathrow. We are keen to ensure our plans continue to be supported and shaped by local people as we prepare to deliver the economic boost Britain needs.”

In the coming weeks, Heathrow will announce dates and locations for consultation events as it also prepares to become one of the first major international airports to operate carbon neutral infrastructure.



See also:


Expansion was originally promised in 2026, but could now be completed in ‘late 2029’

By Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent (The Independent)    @SimonCalder
19 December 2019

Heathrow’s owners have blamed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for delaying the opening of the planned third runway at Britain’s busiest airport.

Expansion was originally promised for 2026.

But Heathrow Airport Limited says that, after a ruling by the CAA on development costs, the additional runway will not be ready until some time between early 2028 and late 2029.

In order to deliver the controversial third runway by 2026, Heathrow wanted to spend £2.9bn (at 2014 prices) in advance of planning permission being granted.

But a CAA paper on the early costs associated with expansion describes the 2026 target as an “aggressive schedule”. Were planning permission not to be granted, it says, airport charges and passenger fares might rise because of the “sunk costs”.

Paul Smith, group director of consumers and markets for the CAA, said: “We believe that more runway capacity at Heathrow will benefit air passengers and cargo owners. Its timely delivery is required to prevent future consumers experiencing higher airfares, reduced choice and lower service quality.

“The sooner a new runway comes into operation, the sooner these benefits can be realised.

“However, we have also been clear that timeliness is not the only factor that is important to consumers. Passengers cannot be expected to bear the risk of Heathrow Airport Limited spending too much in the early phases of development, should planning permission not be granted.”

The airport squarely blamed the authority for the postponement. A Heathrow spokesperson said: “The CAA has delayed the project timetable by at least 12 months.

“We now expect to complete the third runway between early 2028 and late 2029.”

That estimate could mean it is three years late.

The Heathrow spokesperson added: “We will now review the detail to ensure it will unlock the initial £1.5-2bn of private investment over the next two years at no cost to the taxpayer.”

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG – parent company of British Airways, which has the majority of operations at the airport – said: “We need a fresh look at the environmental viability and total cost of expanding Heathrow.

“The airport has a history of spending recklessly to gold-plate projects and paying guaranteed dividends to shareholders while minimising the environmental significance of expansion.”

Growth at Heathrow was not mentioned in the Queen’s Speech on Thursday. The prime minister, whose constituency is adjacent to the airport, has long said he opposed a third runway.

When Boris Johnson was first a candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in 2015, he vowed: “I will lie down with you in front of those bulldozers and stop the building, stop the construction of that third runway.”

But he was absent in Afghanistan from the parliamentary vote on Heathrow’s expansion, which MPs overwhelmingly endorsed.

The Conservative manifesto said of the third runway plan: “It is for Heathrow to demonstrate that it can meet its air quality and noise obligations.”

A leading landowner and hotelier at Heathrow, Surinder Arora, has proposed a rival terminal – known as Heathrow West – if and when expansion goes ahead.

He told The Independent: “Expansion moving forward is good news and we welcome any development which takes us closer to it being delivered.

“However, it’s also imperative that the CAA looks at our own Heathrow West plans and doesn’t assume Heathrow Airport Limited is best placed to deliver the new terminal when expansion progresses.

“We believe that only competition will end Heathrow’s current monopoly, which denies passengers the best pricing or customer experience.”