Heathrow and Gatwick airports have put forward plans for expansion to the Airport Commission, in order to increase the UK’s airport capacity by 2030.
Over the weekend, it was announced that Heathrow airport was planning to offer around £550 million compensation to residents, considering that around 750 homes will have to be demolished to make room for the expansion.
Its report also said that a number of properties would get soundproofed, in order to minimise the noise, while homeowners will be offered 25% above the market value of their properties if they need to go.
Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said, “We are committed to treating those most affected by a third runway fairly. Since the previous runway plan was rejected in 2010 we have listened to ideas for how we could improve our proposals.”
Gatwick argues that building a second runway would be cheaper and more beneficial than a third at Heathrow, creating 120,000 jobs and affecting far less people in the process. Gatwick also said that more passengers would benefit from lower fares if the expansion were granted to it.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick chief, said, “It is clear that the Airports Commission has a very real choice to make: expand Gatwick and create genuine competition in the market with lower fares for everyone, or move back to a London airport market dominated by a single player and saddle the next generation with higher air fares.”
The construction of a third runway has been met with criticism from environmentalists, who claim that the measure would make the UK miss climate targets and worsen air pollution.
Photo: Hugh Llewelyn via flickr