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NCE Live News Updates 17 May 2013: Heathrow reiterates need for third runway

Heathrow Airport has today told the Airports Commission that there is “no quick or easy solution” to ease the UK’s lack of hub airport capacity.

5.30pm: J Murphy & Sons has today acquired elements of contractor Daniel’s subsidiary Land & Marine which, along with its parent firm, went into administration on Wednesday.

These include the trading name, plant assets and a number of existing contracts.

Murphy said that the firm’s activities in the energy, process engineering, petrochemical, marine and aviation sectors would complement Murphy’s in the wider infrastructure sector.

“This is in line with Murphy’s strategy to expand its business into adjacent and related markets and is an exciting development for both organisations,” it said in a statement.

11am: US firm Fluor has signed a $185M (£121M) programme management contract for the £3.2bn Sharq Crossing programme.

Qatar’s Public Works Authority awarded the contract in January.  The Sharq Crossing, also known as the Doha Bay Crossing, will comprise bridge sections connected by an immersed tube tunnel to create a route under the bay.

The project is due to be completed by 2020.

10.30am: Transport Scotland has released new road closure proposals ahead of A82 Pulpit Rock improvement works starting later this month.

A series of overnight closures and one week of full road closure have been proposed to allow the works. Previous proposals were for a 14-week full road closure.

“By its very nature, Pulpit Rock presents geographical and engineering challenges,” said transport minister Keith Brown. “The road is strategically important as a key route between the Highlands and islands and the central belt, while its natural beauty attracts many tourists. Any solution has to ensure the needs of all users are met without distracting from its vital role to the local tourism economy.”

10am: The Court of Appeal has this week dismissed an appeal over Twickenham station’s redevelopment, ending an 18-month delay.

Richmond Council’s Planning Committee granted planning for Network Rail and Kier’s proposals to improve the station. The works include a new entrance, ticket hall, lifts and flats.

“This Council and other key stakeholders are investing millions of pounds into improving Twickenham after a generation of neglect,” said Richmond Council leader Lord True. “It is time to proceed.”

9.30am: Heathrow airport has rejected use of the “mixed mode” approach to eke out extra capacity in the short term because of the noise impact on local community. But it has reiterated its key point that the airport needs a third runway to satisfy capacity needs in the long term.

Heathrow has two runways which normally operate in “segregated mode”, with one used for arrivals and the other for departures. This gives communities at one end of each runway predictable respite from noise. In “mixed-mode”, both runways would be used for both arrivals and departures, meaning local communities would have noise throughout Heathrow’s hours of operation.

Instead it has proposed a range of short-term measures that could improve reliability and reduce noise. None of the measures would result in more flights at the airport, which already operates at 98% of its 480,000 flights per annum cap. The measures include redesigning airspace and changing operating procedures.

Heathrow’s chief executive Colin Matthews said: “The Airports Commission has a challenging task in its bid to find short term solutions to long term problems. The only real solution to a lack of runway capacity at our hub airport is to build another runway.”

“We are not proposing the use of mixed mode as a short-term measure because of the impact on local communities of ending periods of respite from noise. We are listening to local residents’ concerns and we are working hard to develop new long-term solutions that can deliver additional flights whilst also reducing noise.”

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