Heathrow Expansion

The entire London Airports’ system is forecast to operate at maximum capacity by 2040. 

In July 2015, the Airports Commission (an independent body set up by the Coalition Government in 2012 to evaluate capacity and future requirements) concluded that a North West Runway at Heathrow Airport would be the best option to increase aviation connectivity and capacity. This, combined with a package of supporting measures, would provide the greatest strategic and economic benefits.

On October 25 2016 the Government announced that it had approved a new runway at Heathrow Airport. This new runway will be the first full-length runway in the South-East since World War Two.  The planning framework of the project will be set out in an Airports National Policy Statement, and a draft version was released on February 2017.

The Department of Transport released a list of the key benefits of creating a third runway which include:

  • Economic: The benefits of increased flight capacity to the UK economy is estimated to be £61 billion over 60 years (Airports Commission’s analysis).
  • Passenger: Increased capacity to deliver flights - could potentially reduce airfares -  and offer a greater selection of destinations.
  • Freight: Increased capacity to carry more freight.
  • Employment:  The new runway could create an estimated 77,000 new local jobs by 2030 with significant benefits for the five boroughs nearest to the airport – Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Slough and Spelthorne.