BAA has said it hopes to launch a public consultation on a third runway at Heathrow within a year, as the Bow Group backs expansion.
BAA are still working on a planning application for another runway, despite the formal opposition of both main opposition parties, but will not submit anything prior to the expected May 6 election date.
Meanwhile, think tank the Bow Group has produced a report saying there is a need for Heathrow expansion, and that the third runway can’t be replaced by high-speed rail, reports the BBC. Lord Heseltine is the author of the foreword to the report, and although he doesn’t mention the runway issue, the association of a figure now growing again in influence – he is a Cameron adviser on urban policy – with airport expansion is interesting.
The Bow Group also say extra capacity is needed at Heathrow, and that any new high-speed rail network needs to link directly to the airport, and not via a spur.
The issue will likely be drawn into the general and local election campaigns when the judicial review opens involving 2M Group and others next month.
BAA told the Hounslow Guardian it expected to be in a position to consult with local residents and all other interested parties in the second half of 2010.
A spokeswoman for BAA said: The timing of any planning application and its component parts are not influenced by anything other than the requirements of the infrastructure planning commission (IPC) and the large volume of work needed to put together a robust and compelling application.”