Heathrow look­ing to seal the deal

N Re­duc­tion of night flights n No fourth run­way n Levy on driv­ers sim­i­lar to conges­tion charge

Staines Informer - - FRONT PAGE - Amita Joshi and Kather­ine Cle­men­tine

HEATHROW Air­port has promised to re­duce night flights in an at­tempt to boost its case for a third run­way.

The air­port an­nounced the mea­sure on Wed­nes­day last week as part of a pack­age de­signed to re­duce the im­pact of ex­pan­sion on lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and the en­vi­ron­ment.

The plans in­clude in­creas­ing the lim­its on night flights, from the present 11.30pm fin­ish and 4.30am start, to 11.30pm and a 5.30am.

The hub air­port also agreed to ac­cept any gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to rule out build­ing a fourth run­way in the fu­ture.

The pledge to meet and ex­ceed the con­di­tions set out by the Air­ports Com­mis­sion’s re­port comes ahead of a gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion ex­pected this sum­mer on whether to ex­pand Heathrow or Gatwick.

Last year, Sir Howard Davies’ com­mis­sion unan­i­mously rec­om­mended ex­pand­ing Heathrow, but only if it met all of its strict en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions.

Writ­ing to David Cameron, the air­port’s CEO John Holland-Kaye, said: “To­day, I am proud to sub­mit a com­pre­hen­sive plan that meets and ex­ceeds your de­mands.

“This is a big com­mit­ment from us, but it is the right choice for the coun­try, lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and jobs across Bri­tain.

“We have acted now to let you and your gov­ern­ment make the right choice, in the long term in­ter­est of our coun­try. It will en­able you to choose Heathrow and se­cure a stronger econ­omy and Bri­tain’s place in the world.

“Ex­pand­ing Heathrow can help Bri­tain win thou­sands more jobs and en­sure that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions have the same eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity that we have en­joyed.”

Other pledges in­volve cre­at­ing an ul­tra-low emis­sions zone for air­port ve­hi­cles by 2025 where ve­hi­cles ac­cess­ing the air­port will be charged to tackle air qual­ity.

Mr Holland-Kaye said mo­torists will be charged a fee if they do not meet the stan­dards to ‘en­cour­age low emis­sion tech­nol­ogy and fund sus­tain­able trans­port’.

Pick-up and drop-off ve­hi­cles will pay a fig­ure ‘sim­i­lar to conges­tion charges’ in the plan. The fees will only ap­ply to those driv­ing within the con­fines of Heathrow.

Mr Holland-Kaye said of the money raised, around £50 mil­lion will go to­wards ‘na­tional rail projects’.

“We don’t want to tar­get lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

“We don’t have a full, ready to go scheme yet. It needs work as it’s still early days. It gives peo­ple an in­cen­tive to drive lower emis­sion ve­hi­cles. We didn’t need to do this, but we’re tak­ing the lead, go­ing be­yond what the Air­ports Com­mis­sion have rec­om­mended.”

The an­nounce­ment comes along­side the air­port se­lect­ing four of Bri­tain’s best avi­a­tion ar­chi­tects to bring to life Heathrow’s vi­sion for ex­pan­sion.

Short­listed ar­chi­tects, which in­cludes Grimshaw, work from the late Zaha Ha­did, HOK and Benoy, were chal­lenged to re­de­fine what an air­port should be with bold sus­tain­able ideas and in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies.

Im­ages re­vealed how each ar­chi­tect chose to por­tray the ex­panded air­port, ahead of the next phase of the ten­der process, which will fur­ther test their cre­ativ­ity be­fore a fi­nal con­cept de­signer is se­lected in July.

Ar­chi­tects’ vi­sions of what an ex­panded Heathrow could look like. Main im­age HOK. Be­low: Grimshaw and in­set, Zaha Ha­did.

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