Consultation Begins on Heathrow Master Plan

Public's views on layout and operation of new airport sought

CGI of new airport buildings

Heathrow’s Master Plan will be launched this Tuesday (18 June), kicking off a 12-week consultation that will outline decades of growth plans.

The consultation will directly inform the airport’s Development Consent Order (DCO) application – the final pitch to the Secretary of State for Transport – which is expected to be submitted next year.

This will be the public’s chance to have their say on the layout of the airport, including the location of new terminals, the third runway, planned for opening in 2026, and road layouts.

Feedback will also be sought for a proposed Heathrow Vehicle Access Charge and six-and-a-half-hour ban on scheduled night flights from 11pm to 5.30am – an hour longer than today.

There will also be proposals for how the number of flights will increase on the current two runways before the third is actually built.

The airport’s decades-long growth plan will also be under consideration, with works stretching out to 2050.

A press release from the airport said: “This incremental growth will mirror the forecasted growth in passengers and help airport charges remain close to 2016 levels, delivering more affordable fares for passengers.”

Compensation schemes for those affected by the expansion will also be released in more detail, as well as noise insulation policies, a community fund, and plans to mitigate against environmental effects.

The release also said the plan would include measures for reduced emissions, noise reduction and a proposed ban on certain night flights.

The company called the consultation its “most innovative and largest consultation to date”, and it will run from 18 June until 13 September.

There will be 43 consultation events to be held during the 12-week period.

A website will also be available with all the information about Heathrow’s proposals, videos to help explain the plans, and an online feedback form.

The airport said: “Heathrow has also invested in new technology to bring the plans to life, including a physical model of the future airport which features augmented reality, sound booths to demonstrate the effect of noise insulation on properties overflown by aircraft, and a CGI fly through video.”

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion, urged local people to participate.

She said: “Expansion must not come at any cost. That is why we have been working with partners at the airport, in local communities and in Government to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly – with environmental considerations at the heart of expansion.

“This consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on our preferred master plan, so it’s really important that as many people as possible take part. We look forward to hearing your views.”

On 25 June 2018, MPs voted to approve the Airport’s National Policy Statement, which provides policy support for Heathrow expansion, by 415 in favour to 119 against.

Prospective Prime Minister Boris Johnson – previously a vocal critic of the expansion – also seems to have softened his stance.

Despite previously saying he would lay down in front of bulldozers to stop the expansion, at a hustings last week Mr Johnson seemed to have softened his stance and simply said the decision had been made in parliament.

Ged Cann – Local Democracy Reporter

June 17, 2019