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Arora sets out plans for rival Heathrow expansion bid

Heathrow 17581396798706 cropped

Arora Group has submitted a scoping document to the Planning Inspectorate setting out plans to expand Heathrow airport.

The submission of the 400-page document, is a formal indication from Arora that it will later apply for a development consent order (DCO) to expand the airport, a spokesman has said.

Arora Group, is one of the largest landowners at the airport. It says its expansion plan is less expensive than the third runway scheme proposed by Heathrow Airport Limited.

The firm’s owner, Surinder Arora, has claimed that increasing capacity to 130M passengers per year would cost HAL £31bn, compared to £14.4bn under Arora’s proposals. Heathrow says its plans would only cost £14bn.

Arora Group is spending approximately £100M on its own plans, according to its owner.

Under its proposals, Arora will focus on adding new terminal capacity between Heathrow Terminal 5 and the M25, avoiding the need to redevelop existing terminals.

In addition, Arora’s application does not cover the third runway, which would still be installed by HAL under its proposals.

Whether or not Arora Group is ultimately granted a DCO will be decided by the transport secretary.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “Heathrow expansion is an opportunity to connect all of Britain to global growth and the Department for Transport has stated that Heathrow Airport Limited is the only credible promoter of the expansion programme.

“The Arora Group’s plan appears to solely be about building a new terminal which will not deliver on the commitments we have made to Britain and our local communities.”

In May last year, HAL chief executive John Holland-Kaye also likened Arora Group’s proposals to “the emperor’s new clothes”, claiming its expansion plans showed little substance.

However, Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee in February last year that Arora Group’s scheme is a “very credible alternative” because the company builds facilities “at a fraction of the cost of Heathrow”.

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