Charting Heathrow’s third runway from its backing by the Airports Commission to its parliamentary approval – and what comes next for the project.
Sir Howard Davies, chair of the Airports Commission, releases his report concluding that Heathrow represents the most suitable location for a new runway in the South-east. The commission backs the development of a third runway at the west London airport over a second runway at Gatwick.
Heathrow chooses its advisory partners for the third runway proposals. Arup is contracted to advise on the design and technical contract; CH2M Hill on programme management work; Mace on construction; and Turner & Townsend on information management.
The government approves Heathrow’s third runway expansion, leading Richmond Park’s MP Zac Goldsmith (pictured) to resign in protest.
Heathrow chooses seven companies to design its expansion, as exclusively revealed by Construction News. Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Atkins, Grimshaw, Mott MacDonald, Jacobs and Quod will be known as the integrated design team and are each awarded four-year contracts.
The government publishes a draft National Policy Statement (NPS), for which a 16-week public consultation gets under way. The NPS sets out regulations that Heathrow must comply with to get a development consent order (DCO).
Heathrow begins the hunt for locations to host four construction hubs – and for the construction firms to deliver them. The hubs will be responsible for preassembling and consolidating components for the expansion before they are transported to the airport.
The government’s 16-week public consultation ends, having garnered 72,239 responses.
The High Court rejects Heathrow’s bid for Crossrail trains to be charged for stopping at the airport. These payments to Heathrow would have totalled £42m a year.
Heathrow the new M25 improvement
Hotel operator Arora Group, one of the largest landowners at Heathrow, submits alternative proposals for the airport’s expansion to the Department of Transport that it claims would reduce costs by £6.7bn. It suggests cutting back on terminal design and taxi systems; reducing the site area by 20 per cent; axing the terminal 2 expansion; eliminating the passenger transport systems; and moving the runway so it no longer impacts the M4 and M25 (pictured).
Heathrow scraps proposals for a new terminal to lower costs. Instead, it will invest in extending terminals 2 and 5 phasing its work over a 20-year period. Plans for baggage facilities and an underground train are also omitted from the expansion proposals within the airport’s half-year results.
The new draft of the government’s NPS and the public’s responses are published. The new NPS states Heathrow must introduce six more domestic air routes by 2030; more support for affected communities; legally binding noise targets; and increased payments to local homeowners. The NPS states that a second runway at Gatwick would cause less environmental damage. Public consultation on the revised draft begins.
Heathrow reveals the 65 companies and local councils on the shortlist to be involved in delivering the offsite hubs, including Balfour Beatty and Laing O’Rourke.
Bison Laing ORourke Heathrow Terminal 2 car park 5
Heathrow announces it is slashing costs by £2.5bn by building a “mini terminal 5” and phasing the construction over 15 years. In addition to the mini terminal, Heathrow is considering expanding terminal 2 (pictured) and terminal 5 buildings to help meet passenger demand. The total expansion is now valued at £14bn.
The public consultation on the NPS draft closes on 19 December.
Heathrow launches public consultations addressing measures to protect residents from noise, sound and disruption, as well as focusing on design principles for airspace around Heathrow. A total of 35 consultation events subsequently take place.
Heathrow’s 10-week public consultation ends.
5 June 2018
The final NPS backed by Cabinet, with MPs ordered to vote on it in parliament.
25 June 2018
MPs vote unanimously in favour of expansion at Heathrow, with 415 MPs voting in support and 119 voting against.
Heathrow will bring forward a planning application that complies with the planning policy framework, written in the NPS.
Heathrow will submit a final proposal to the Planning Inspectorate as part of a development consent order (DCO). After a public examination period, the transport secretary will make a decision on the DCO.
Date main construction work on the third runway was expected to begin according to the Airports Commission.
Heathrow Airport third runway expansion
Expected completion date of the new runway.
Airport’s overall expansion fully operational.
Heathrow third runway timeline: 2015-2028