Heathrow Hub, the independent proposal to expand Heathrow Airport via an Extended Northern Runway, has formally complained to the Competition and Markets Authority about the behaviour of Heathrow Airport regarding airport expansion.
The complaint, submitted on Heathrow Hub’s behalf by its legal advisers DAC Beachcroft, contends that Heathrow Airport has abused its dominant market position as the nation’s only hub airport by effectively and unfairly vetoing the extended northern runway (ENR) plan. Heathrow Hub say Heathrow Airport declined to provide the necessary written guarantee that, if selected by Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, it would work on standard commercial terms with Heathrow Hub to implement the concept.
Heathrow Hub claims the consequences of Heathrow’s actions are that consumers and airlines will have to fund the what they say are higher costs of Heathrow Airport’s “complex and risky” third runway scheme, and wait longer for the benefits of expansion than if the Heathrow Hub scheme had been chosen.
The remedy sought by Heathrow Hub is that the CMA requests Heathrow Airport provide a guarantee or, failing that, the CMA conducts a formal investigation into Heathrow’s behaviour, using its powers under the 1998 Competition Act.
Jock Lowe, director of Heathrow Hub, said: “Our scheme is cheaper, quicker, quieter and easier to build than the 3rd Runway. After years of trying to work co-operatively with Heathrow Airport and the Department for Transport, we have decided it is time to take the gloves off.
“The consequence of Heathrow’s veto and the flawed process run by the DFT is that consumers and airlines are being saddled with its unnecessarily complex, noisy and expensive 3rd Runway which will take years to build.
“We hope the CMA will inject some rigour and common sense into the process so that this vital piece of national infrastructure can be delivered quickly and cheaply while taking account of the important environmental impacts on local communities.”
Parliament is due to vote on Heathrow expansion in the summer. Heathrow Hub says it has submitted a revised draft National Policy Statement to the Department for Transport so its scheme could be implemented.