Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Create New Super Airport or Double Size of Heathrow'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Create New Super Airport or Double Size of Heathrow'

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil Deputy Political Editor

A "SUPERHUB" airport with four runways could be built in the home counties or west London under plans drawn up for Heathrow bosses.

The blueprint includes options for a huge new airport close to Maidenhead or Oxford, or doubling the number of runways at Heathrow, to handle 140 million passengers a year.

It was seized on by aviation experts as giving the first detailed insight into Heathrow's thinking about airport expansion in the South-East.

A document called Heathrow 2025, Masterplan Options & Indicative Layouts, obtained by Aviation Week industry information service, outlines 10 options. They include plans for a fourrunway airport at White Waltham in Berkshire, near Maidenhead and Bracknell, or at Haddenham in Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, about 15 miles from Oxford.

Alternatively, there is a proposal for Heathrow to have one extra runway to the east and another to the west, or four runways slightly to the west of the airport which would involve tunnelling the M25, filling in a local reservoir and using the existing terminals.

The study was commissioned by Heathrow from consultancy Mott MacDonald and also includes four different proposals for a three-runway airport -- three at the existing airport and one to the west, over the M25.

Plans are also outlined for take-offs and landings on both existing runways, rather than alternating their use.

John Stewart, chairman of anti-airport expansion campaign group Hacan, called the revelations "utterly dramatic. Nobody expected Heathrow would be looking so far afield. It must mean they don't feel at all confident of being able to win the argument about expanding the existing airport."

Heathrow stressed it had not yet backed any of the proposals in the report, believed to have been compiled six months ago. …

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