London's Heathrow Airport will finally get a third runway

By David Flynn , October 25 2016
London's Heathrow Airport will finally get a third runway

Heathrow Airport is finally set to see a third runway, with the British Government today announcing approval for the expansion.

The airport's proposed will see construction of the additional runway and a new Terminal 6 to the northwest of the existing airport perimeter at a cost of A$28.25bn (£17.6bn), opening around 2025.

It's expected to boosting capacity by hundreds of thousands of flights each year, and comes as the airport hovers at 99% capacity.

PREVIOUS | London's Heathrow Airport is among the world’s busiest airports, but nobody would suggest it comes anywhere near close to being among the world’s best airports.

An ambitous £16 billion (A$28bn) expansion plan – including a third runway and new terminals – could change all that.

Heathrow Airport's multi-billion makeover would see the construction of a new Central Terminal Area (shown below), which would be flanked by new Heathrow East and Heathrow West terminal precincts.

The Central Terminal Area would serve as the airport’s front door, with easy access to public transport, hotels and a business park.

Terminal 2 would be expanded into the footprint of the old Terminal 1 to form the Heathrow East mega-terminal, with Terminal 3 making way for a new airport hotel and “passenger and business facilities”.

Heathrow West would be comprised of Terminal 5 and the forthcoming Terminal 6 (below).

An underground transit network would connect all three zones, with a series of satellite terminals located between the East and West terminals in a “toast rack” formation.

Lobbying has intensified for approval of a third runway at the iconic airport ahead of a decision next month by UK Prime Minister Theresa May whether to expand Heathrow or rival Gatwick.

That additional runway for Heathrow is costed at a further £17.6 billion (A$30.8bn).

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2014

Total posts 38

Answer: No.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2014

Total posts 38

Reason: British hospitality

05 May 2016

Total posts 585

I would prefer Heathrow to be expanded as that's the airport I would be flying into.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 216

Yea as long as Changi, incheon and Chep Lap Kok are around I don't see that ever happening. 

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

I'd find that very hard to believe. From the current shambles to number one, don't think so.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

29 Jan 2011

Total posts 159

No mention of what is to happen with Terminal 4.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 994

No known publicly released plans for T4. It isn't in the 'way' of any of the planned works with it on the south side of the airfield beside the cargo terminal.

The current plans are for Terminals 1, 2 and 3 to be rebuilt into a new T2 based on the T5 plans, a 3rd runway to the north or north west of the current north runway and a new T6 between the current north runway and the new one.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

It could remotely become one of the best in the world once the 3rd runway and 6th terminal get built, but we all know that wont happen given the folded arm brigade that is the british public.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 109

I honestly don't understand because they recently re-did most of the terminals like T3.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 994

Same here. It's been known for years that T3 will be removed and replaced by an expanded T2. I don't understand why the airlines and airport have been investing so much into a building that won't exist in 3 years.

22 Jun 2013

Total posts 98

Like you and Packetman21 say, T3 is pretty modern (relatively speaking). Furthermore, why on earth would Qantas be building its own new T3 lounge only for the terminal to be knocked down so soon. 2019 surely can't be true? Even though I know this has reported in some circles.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 994

The long term plans for the eastern part of LHR (T1-3) has been known for years. The 2019 date for the closing of T3 was given in May 2016 when T1 was about to close.

Either the airlines know something the media and public don't (and the airport doesn't seem to want to announce), or they have gone into lounge upgrades knowing they'll only be around for a few years.

However, with the T1 building still not having been touched and the T2 extension into the space occupied by T1 seemingly on hold, it is possible T3 might be around for longer then has been publicly announced.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 580

Yes think T3 or probably more correct to say parts of T3 will be around beyond 2019. I reckon it will be done similar to how they built the new T2, where some of the old T2 gates were connected to T1, whilst the terminal building demolished, and now parts of the old T1 form part of T2, also waiting for demolishion and rebuilding to take place.

Wouldn't be hard to connect the newer peir of T3 to T2 to enable the main terminal building to be demolished and the older northern gates.

As for the money that has been spent, most of the upgrade work at T3 (new peir and rebuilding the terminal building) happened a good 10 years ago now, circa 2006/2007. Yes there has been constant work going on since, but frankly it is just make-up on a pig to get it to last a few more years. So don't think the money was such a waste, it will have seen 15-20 years use before being bulldozed.

And lounge refurbs and the new Qantas lounge, yes maybe expensive for a few years use, but what is the alternative? Let cusomers use second rate facilities, or jump ship to other carriers?

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 313

Got chatting to a guy only last week in China who works in Chengdu and goes back to Scotland every 28days and has been using BA through T5. He is moving his entire business now to Qatar through Doha because of the consistent awful transfer delays at T5. He said he waste more time transferring at T5 than it takes to fly domestic UK. He likes BA but hates T5 so much and apparently the transfers at Doha are just a breeze. 

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 994

Maybe T5 will get better if they ever built it out to what was planned with T5A, B and C being extended and T5D being built.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2014

Total posts 12

It would be good if something could happen. Flew into Heathrow two weeks ago to transit onto a flight to another European port. We had in excess of the recommended minimum amount of time for a transfer from T3 to T5. But used that plus more for the transfer, mainly standing in queues.  We only made the transfer because the incoming flight was early, giving us more time. 

Then when I went to access the BA lounge (I am One World Sapphire) the lounge guardian initially refused me entry on the basis that I was "Qantas Blue and not Sapphire" (? you work that out), and upon scanning my boarding pass and seeing that I did have entry rights, then only grudgingly allowed entry. No level of customer service here! 

Is it the stated aim of the developers to build the world's best terminal?

I know it makes for a fantastic talking point, but are we setting up this project for failure by raising the bar to levels not even within the scope of the project outcomes?

Not questioning editorial decisions or poetic license - just wanting to discern the facts from the hyperbole.

13 May 2016

Total posts 13

English arrogance will forever be the biggest hinderance to Heathrow, or any other of our airports achieving acceptable standards, nevermind 'world class'.
The average person still believes BA's advertising campaign from the 90s that BA is 'the world's favourite airlines'.

Not to mention the fact we love a good queue, so we specialise in providing these at every opportunity in our airports. Always adds to the fun.

Customer service in England is rarely even a concept and is such a large redevelopment is planned I would be surprised if it was completed within 5 years.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Just bite the bullet get a third runway underway at Heathrow! 

Heathrow is a good example of planning pitfalls for other cities where demorcacy thrives and the authoritarian rule of the state is limited/non-existent.

1) Planning should allow for expansion based on long-term capacity trends

2) Planning legislation should allow for the incorporation of clauses in leasehold and freehold property that explicitly define the primacy of airport expansion and development - Buyers beware

3) Similarly with residential property, appropriate planning legislation should enshrine the primacy of airport operations with respect to noise, development and expansion. People choose to live by airports - if you can't cope, don't live there. Buyers beware.

National and local governments need to provide certainty, transparency and clear priorities through approrpriate legislation and planning frameworks that leaves no doubt that on balance, when an area is designated for airport infrastructure, all other considerations are secondary.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 127

I completely agree, but it would be easier to make that case if these airports were truly public entities. When you privatize vital infrastructure like LHR or SYD, it's hard to get people on board given that much of the benefit of expansion goes to the owner/operator.

Incorrect. The question of ownership does not in any way detract from the benefits and public utility of airports to society and the economy.

Expansion of the airport benefits society directly, regardless of who owns the infrastructure. Just because a corporate entity benefits from expansion does not mean the public does not.

This notion that because infrastructure is not owned by the state, any change is beneficial only to private owners/shareholders is marxist theory taken to an abusrd level. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Platinum

29 Aug 2014

Total posts 38

For British, it will be almost impossible to beat Singapore's Changi Airport or Seoul Incheon Airport in Korea.. learn from Singapore, Korea, or Hong Kong.

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 48

Its a dream. In reality, its a nightmare. Never mind the parts that you see, its the parts that you don't see ... the baggage areas, the jetways, the empty hallways. Ugh. Never.

Changi's expansion plans will be completed before Heathrow can get approval to start planning anything. See : https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2016-02-11/changi-airport-outlines-expansion-plans

Heathrow's dream of their "Central Terminal Area" will look like a hold when compared to Changi Airport's Jewel : https://www.jewelchangiairport.com/

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Jun 2014

Total posts 36

Found customer service excellent in london, though was being serviced by mainly eastern europeans.  Going to go down hill fast with the brexit

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 48

Take your pick : London Heathrow's "Central Terminal Area" or Singapore Changi Airport's "The Jewel" which will be ready in 2018...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=118&v=BLlB0WaNiaM

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 138

Fortunately I rarely have to transfer in LHR so the queue and double security check aren't such a problem.  But anyone who complains strongly about T5 or the brand new T2 probably isn't going to be happy with most aspects of their lives.

Yes, there are some distances.  It's a big airport.  The fact that you can now walk to the satellite terminals rather than having to wait for the stupid train is help.

17 Dec 2013

Total posts 9

I need to check my calendar.....it is the 1st of April already?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 170

Good Update (all be it a long way off)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 254

Which Emirate is paying the bill? Or is it the Qatari's money? :)

13 Nov 2015

Total posts 51

The more sane, rational option would be a second runway at Gatwick.  It's shovel ready, much less expense, and without the complexity of the Heathrow option. Pretty straightforward at Gatwick, but the Heathrow option will be double the cost of the estimate and years, if not 2 decades to complete. Consider the white elephant mega disaster of the new Berlin airport, still not open after 5 years and 6 billion Euros over budget.  They should make Heathrow a OneWorld alliance airport, along with SkyTeam and make Gatwick all StarAlliance.  That would have solved some of the problems.  Not every single plane on the planet needs to park at Heathrow.  What is it with this business?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Nov 2014

Total posts 34

Gatwick is bad because it is quite far away from London and is quite a hassle to get too if you don't live in the south. The beauty of Heathrow is that it is next to the M4, 10 mins away from the M3 and 15 mins away from the M1. It has London Underground, Heathrow Express, and connect services.


Plus Gatwick was always built with low cost carriers in mind. Heathrow is a full service airport.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 580

All easily solved with some investment at Gatwick. Maybe extend the M23 closer to London city. Besides all depends upon where you are going and what you are doing. There is a sizeable market in the south of the UK and of course Gatwick is connected to London and the south by exising railways lines.

And whilst Gatwick may well have built its reputation on charter flights and LLC's, these days full service carriers fit in nicley. When I live in the UK, even despite living in west London (Notting Hill area), Gatwick was my prefered airport. Though yes never drove there. Only time I ever did that was on a holiday where we were staying with friends at Shenfield where on the M25 Gatwick was 15 miles closer than Heathrow T3.

PS would love to see you get from Heathrow to the M1 in 15 minutes. It is the best part of 25 miles from T5, so closer to 30 minutes in good traffic. And the M40 at 10 miles, maybe 15 minutes on a good day.

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Hope they get on with building it asap.

27 Aug 2013

Total posts 25

By the look of that last graphic, planes will be using the  taxiways for take off at Heathrow too


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on London's Heathrow Airport will finally get a third runway