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Heathrow plans make Boris look expensive

Today’s announcement by Heathrow Airport of three options for a third runway make the three East of London options submitted earlier this week by Boris Johnston look totally unaffordable to airlines and passengers, according to the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK).

Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR UK, said “Boris’s figures of up to £70bn or more do not stack up well against the Heathrow plans of £14bn to £18bn, that can be delivered sooner and at a cost that can potentially be funded primarily by airlines and passengers, not the UK taxpayer.

“We have now seen major proposals from The Mayor, Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport, in advance of the Airports Commission deadline this Friday. A survey of BAR UK airlines revealed that 89.8% favour expansion of Heathrow with only one airline known to support a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

"Airlines are also not rushing en masse to support expansion of Gatwick instead of Heathrow, since 47.83% indicated they are most likely to operate to another international hub or destination if they cannot get slots at Heathrow, thereby putting London’s hub status at risk. This debate is not a battle between Heathrow and the rest of the UK’s airports, but a battle between Heathrow and the other international hubs vying to topple London from its enviable position as the world’s leading aviation hub.

“BAR UK has not seen any proposal so far that can deliver the UK’s hub airport capacity quicker, at the right cost, or in the right place for airlines and their passengers, better than expanding Heathrow.”

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