“The world is waiting for Heathrow,” according to Emma Gilthorpe, Executive Director, Expansion at London Heathrow Airport commenting on UK parliamentary approval for development of a third runway at the airport. Now a date has been set for its opening.
Speaking to Airport Operator magazine, as published for the Airport Operators Association’s annual conference in London yesterday, October 29, the director stated that the new runway is set to open on 2026.
Gilthorpe stated: “Since the vote a few short months ago we have already made some exciting progress.
We plan to submit our DCO application in 2020 and remain on track for runway opening in 2026.”
Gilthorpe also speaks on sustainability and not developing Heathrow as a “choice between the economy and the environment.”
“We want the area surrounding Heathrow to be a great place to live in,” Gilthorpe discusses and points towards quieter planes and quieter airport design ultimately reducing noise around Heathrow.
Although Heathrow’s 2.0 strategy sets out Heathrow as a “great place to live,” there is a lack of concern regarding how current residents, whom will be massively affected by the construction of a third runway, will be compensated by Heathrow and how their future will be changed by the development of the airport.
The discourse surrounding a third runway at Heathrow rarely mentions this; at last year’s AOA conference, shadow secretary of state for transport Andy McDonald noted that compensation for relocated residents near Heathrow should be given a ‘like for like’ package at the very least.
Gilthorpe concludes by stating, “As our plans progress, we remain committed to working with our communities, airlines and wider stakeholders, at each stage, to improve our plans and ensure we get the best scheme for everyone.”