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Motts eyes Heathrow expansion works

Heathrow r3 north west option cropped

Mott MacDonald is keen to work on the next stage of Heathrow expansion, New Civil Engineer can reveal. 

A source confirmed that the consultant will throw its hat into the ring for more work on Heathrow’s expansion scheme when the next stage of procurement starts early next year.

The consultancy giant has been working on Heathrow’s expansion masterplan as part of the airport’s integrated design team (IDT), along with Arup, Atkins, Mace, Jacobs and Amec Foster Wheeler (now Wood Group).

Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) is starting to finalise its expansion designs after MPs backed the third runway in the Commons this week.

Procurement for the first expansion-related projects such as moving the M25 will start in roughly six months’ time.

Offsite construction will be key for bidders – last week Heathrow expansion programme director Phil Wilbraham told New Civil Engineer how he will be looking for designers to show they will make best use of Heathrow’s four logistics hubs.

Components for expansion will be constructed at the offsite hubs before being transported to Heathrow and assembled on site.

Wilbraham said: “We want the thought process from the designers and the contractors to be ‘let’s do as much of this as we possibly can at the factory’, because it’s safer and high quality, and then we really just want to assemble on site. So construction is a word that dies and assembly is a word we start using.”

While other members of the IDT have not confirmed whether they will bid next year, Heathrow stressed it has not yet gone to market for suppliers for expansion.

Heathrow is working on its final masterplan ahead of a public consultation early next year.

Since the Parliamentary vote backing the expansion plan took place, four London boroughs, mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Greenpeace have announced that they will seek a judicial review of the project.


Next few days: The Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) is officially designated. From then, opponents to expansion have six weeks to lodge a legal challenge. The process could take around six months.

Early 2019: A public consultation on Heathrow’s final masterplan will take place. From there, designs will be streamlined before a planning application is made.

2020: Heathrow will launch its development consent order (DCO) application.

2021: Construction starts.

2026: The earliest the third runway will be operational.

2035: The latest all expansion capacity will be released.


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