Heathrow Hub, the group promoting expansion at Heathrow through the extension of its Northern Runway, has presented to the Transport Select Committee alongside Gatwick Airport, suggesting phased expansion at both airports is a better solution than the Gvernment’s preferred option of a third runway at Heathrow.
Jock Lowe, Director of Heathrow Hub, and Nick Dunn of Gatwick presented proposals for their respective phased expansion schemes, which they say can be paused or stopped if demand or environmental targets are not met. They explained Heathrow Airport North West Runway (NWR) scheme is the only proposal not able to deliver phased construction.
Together, Heathrow Hub and Gatwick explained what they see as serious flaws with the draft NPS, which they feel misrepresents the economic benefit of both the Heathrow Extended Northern Runway (ENR) scheme and Gatwick, and fails to mention that the ENR scheme can offer more respite than the third runway proposal as they say it can offer curved and staged approaches.
Jock Lowe, a former pilot and flight operations director, told the committee that the complex airspace required for the HAL scheme to be delivered, on which the economic benefits for expansion depend, makes its delivery “remote”; an assertion supported by Gatwick.
They also answered questions on their thoughts on the impact on the UK’s regional airports, the cost and delivery risks associated with R3, air freight capability and the impact of the rise of low fare / long haul on the future economic case.