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Heathrow gears up for third runway consultation blitz

15 May 19 The multi-billion pound expansion of Heathrow Airport starts a new stage in its planning next month with the launch of the statutory public consultation.

The new third runway will be built across the M25 motorway
The new third runway will be built across the M25 motorway

The consultation on Heathrow’s plans for a third runway will start on 18th June 2019 and run for 12 and a half weeks.

For its propaganda blitz, Heathrow has invested in new technology to show the public its current proposals, including a model of the future airport that uses augmented reality, and a sound booth to be used at certain locations that use virtual reality to demonstrate the effect of noise insulation on properties overflown by aircraft. 

Armed with bruising experience of previous consultations, Heathrow will be holding events in more locations than previously and will be campaigning with leaflets, newspapers, radio, billboards, digital and even Spotify.

The plans revealed in this consultation include the consolidated feedback received in the airspace and future operations consultation that concluded in March, and previous consultations last year, as well as from continuous engagement with local communities, local authorities, airlines and other interested parties.

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The upcoming consultation will seek feedback on four key areas:

  • Heathrow’s preferred masterplan for expansion: proposals for the future layout of the airport including the runway and other airport infrastructure such as terminals and road access.
  • Plans to operate the future airport: how the future three runway airport will be operated, including night flights
  • Assessment of impacts of airport expansion on the environment and local communities
  • Plans to mitigate the impacts of expansion, including noise and air pollution, and property compensation measures

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, said: “Heathrow’s expansion is a project of huge national and local significance, and it is critical to our country’s economic growth.  An expanded hub airport will allow the country to access more of the world, create thousands of jobs locally and nationally and it will open up new trading routes. But we can’t deliver these plans alone. We urge everyone to have their say in this consultation, to shape our plans, and to help us deliver expansion in the fairest and most sustainable way.”

After feedback from this consultation has been incorporated, Heathrow aims to submit a final proposal to the Planning Inspectorate in 2020. The decision on whether to grant the development consent order will be made by the secretary of state for transport following a public examination period led by the Planning Inspectorate. 

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