A report from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership says that a third runway at Heathrow is the best option for expanding airport capactiy around London.
The Greater South East Airport Capacity study, prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff for SELEP says that R3 would provide capacity at a location which passengers would use.
The report says that not only would R3 be cheaper than a Thames Estuary airport, it would provide capacity uplift that would be taken up by passengers and airlines, which it says would not be the case if we inststead rely on regional airports to pick up slack around a constrianed Heathrow.
The report also suggests mixed mode operations as a short term fix – where both existing runways would be used for take of and landing. At present, due to noise restrictions, they are only used for one or the other.