New runway for UK's Heathrow Airport approved

By Richard High16 January 2009

The UK Government has approved construction of a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport. The project is part of a UK£ 9 billion (€ 10,1 billion) scheme to expand the airport, which could also include a sixth terminal and take capacity from 480000 flights per year to 702000 by 2030.

Work on a new runway, which could face a public enquiry, is unlikely to start until 2015 and could take at least 10 years to complete. Among the more controversial aspects of the preparatory work is expected to be the demolition of some 700 homes.

Besides the runway, Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon also announced the UK government would increase investment in public transport in and around the airport. This, said Mr Hoon, could include the possibility of new high-speed rail links from the airport to London and beyond to Scotland.

A feasibility study carried out in 2007 concluded that this could cost up to UK£ 30 billion (€ 33,8 billion).

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