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Heathrow Hub extension ‘is lowest risk’

Independent developer Heathrow Hub said its proposal to almost double the length of Heathrow airport’s northern runway was the simplest of the proposals shortlisted by the Airports Commission.

The body wants to create a third take-off and landing strip at Heathrow so the airport can maintain its hub status with minimum disruption.

It said in a summary of its technical submission to the Davies Commission: “Our analysis suggests [extending the northern runway] has greater and more secure economic benefits, is innovative and is lower risk than alternatives.

“The operation provides an increase in runway capacity, is safe and can be accommodated by the air traffic control provider. The scheme also gives significant improvements in public transport and surface access and construction can be phased to match demand growth.

“The land take required for implementation of the plans is small. This not only reduces costs but also minimises the loss of existing residential properties.”

Heathrow Hub added that its plan would see no new homes come under the airport’s noise footprint. It said the extended runway could be open by 2023.

Heathrow and Gatwick also submitted their detailed plans in the past week.

The commission has not ruled out a new airport in the Thames Estuary but further work is being done on this submission ahead of its consideration for formal shortlisting.

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