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Airports decision: Heathrow Hub backers to fight on

Backers of the alternative proposal for expanding Heathrow have vowed to fight on despite Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission endorsing the official Heathrow Airport plan today.

Heathrow Hub said it welcomed the decision by the Airports Commission to select Heathrow Airport as the location for expanding UK airport capacity.

But it said the Commission had not fully understood its proposal and that it would continue to press ministers to ensure they understand that their proposal is cheaper and more deliverable.

The Heathrow Hub concept involves extending Heathrow’s northern runway and splitting it in two, effectively creating a third runway without adding additional noisy flightpaths.

The Hub option would provide slightly less capacity and offer less noise respite for those close to the airport, but the proposal has significant advantages, including being £3bn cheaper than the official third runway option and potentially demolishing only 242 homes compared to 783 for the third runway.

Captain William ‘Jock’ Lowe and his fellow Heathrow Hub directors, said: “Heathrow Airport is the correct location for expansion for the UK. Our economy, our national transport infrastructure and our international connectivity will be vastly improved by the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

“While we obviously still believe our own concept to extend the runways is superior to Heathrow Airport Ltd.’s third runway option, we congratulate [Heathrow chief executive] John Holland-Kaye and his team.

“We recognise that the Commission has spoken but we will continue to liaise with ministers and civil servants to ensure our proposal is properly understood as a cheaper, simpler and more politically deliverable option.

“From the beginning we have maintained that Heathrow is the answer and, while we still believe our proposal is cheaper, simpler and more politically deliverable, we are relieved that the Commission has made the correct decision in terms of location. Heathrow is where the airlines want to be; it’s where the demand is.”

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