Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Runway and Sixth Terminal Plan for Heathrow

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Runway and Sixth Terminal Plan for Heathrow

Article excerpt


MINISTERS are considering proposals for a sixth terminal at Heathrow as part of a massive expansion of airport capacity across the South-East.

The move would trigger new controversy just eight months after Heathrow's Terminal 5 was officially approved following one of the bitterest and most protracted planning wars ever waged.

This week Transport Secretary Alistair Darling will outline the Government's options for boosting airport capacity over the next 30 years - including a key proposal for a short new third runway at Heathrow for use by domestic and European flights.

This is likely to be built between the M4 and the A4, resulting the demolition of thousands of homes.

Senior industry figures have already begun arguing the planned new runway will need a new terminal - a move likely to cause an even bigger row than the one over Terminal 5.

Richmond Park Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Tonge, a leading campaigner against expansion at Heathrow, told Mr Darling to stop any plans for a sixth terminal, which she said would "lay waste" to south-west London.

"I'm tearing my hair out - and that's an understatement," she added.

Mr Darling's much-delayed consultation paper is also expected to propose two new runways at Stansted Airport, but is thought to rule out any enlargement at Gatwick for the foreseeable future.

In another move certain to spark a row, he is set to suggest building a new international airpoort at Cliffe on the Kent side of the Thames estuary.

However this will be coupled with a warning that the project would need huge spending on infrastructure to make sure transport links are adequate.

Mr Darling's report is also likely to spell out plans for extending the runway at Luton to enable it to cope with intercontinental flights.

Of all the proposals, the planned new airport at Cliffe is thought to be the least likely option, not least because it would spark a major legal battle with environmentalists. …

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