New Airport Options Announced By Heathrow

HACAN vows to fight 'tooth and nail' against third runway

Heathrow Airport today (July 17) revealed three possible sites for a new, third runway but has ruled out a fourth runway until at least 2040. The anti-airport expansion campaign group HACAN has vowed to fight " tooth and nail" against any proposals for a third runway.

The options, which were presented to the government-appointed Airports Commission currently looking at airport capacity in London and the South East are:

  • A South West option which requires demolition of the 850 properties in the Stanwell Moor area
  • A North West option in the Harmondsworth Moor involving demolition of 950 properties
  • A North option, very similar to the previous plans for a thirds runway, involving demolition of Sipson and parts of Harlington.

HACAN, the campaign group which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, vowed to ‘fight tooth and nail’ against the proposals for a third runway.

Heathrow said the options being put forward were significantly different from the previous proposal and would seek to strike a better balance between the need for growth, the local employment benefits and the impact on local communities. 

Two of the options propose building a new runway to the west of the existing airport which would reduce noise over London since aircraft will be higher over any given place, according to the airport.

The campaign group welcomed the measures announced by the airport to cut noise but argued that these will be negated by the huge increase there will be in the number of planes using Heathrow if a third runway is given the go-ahead. 

Heathrow today confirmed that flight numbers will rise by nearly 250,000 a year to a total of 7 40,000 if a new runway is built.

The airport has ruled out a fourth runway until at least 2040.  It is not convinced there will be the demand for four runways.  But it has said that, if a fourth runway was required, one of the options for a third runway would be used.  A fourth runway would result in a total of around a million flights using the airport according to HACAN.

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “We will fight any proposal for a new runway tooth and nail.  We owe it to future generations to stop a rd runway.  While we are encouraged by Heathrow’s plans to try to reduce noise, the additional runway will put a 250,000 extra planes a year in the skies over London and the Home Counties and will negate these efforts”.

At present 725,000 people live under the Heathrow flights, according to the European Commission.  That figure represents 28% of all people impacted by aircraft noise across Europe.

The airport authorities have said expansion will create 70,000- 150,000 new local jobs and protect 114,000 existing jobs

"All three options will see noise reductions at Heathrow continue, with around 10-20% fewer people affected by airport noise", said Heathrow. According to its submission;


  • The north west option sees a full-length runway constructed on the site of the Old Slade sewage works, Harmondsworth Moor, Harmondsworth and Longford.  The location to the west limits the number of properties that would have to be demolished compared to building a full-length runway at the previously proposed site. Properties in Harmondsworth and Longford would be subject to compulsory purchase. We are working to see whether this option could be developed so that the Tithe Barn and St Mary’s Church in Harmondsworth could be preserved in their current location. The population within Heathrow’s noise footprint would be 15% lower with three runways in 2030 than at Heathrow now, partly because of the location further to the west.


  • The south west option performs better still on noise and residential property impacts. A full-length runway would be constructed over King George VI and Wraysbury reservoirs, with properties in Stanwell Moor being subject to compulsory purchase.  The population within Heathrow’s noise footprint would be 20% lower with three runways in 2030 than at Heathrow now.


  • The north option is cheaper and quicker to build than other two, but has fewer noise benefits and a comparatively higher impact on property. It would see a slightly shorter runway constructed over the villages of Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross. Harmondsworth conservation area, including the Tithe Barn and St Mary’s Church would be preserved in their current location. A total of 2,700 residential properties would need to compulsorily purchased. The population of Heathrow’s noise footprint would be 10% lower in 2030 than at Heathrow now.

Heathrow has said it believes the two westerly options offer clear advantages.

“We understand the uncertainty and anxiety these proposals will cause for residents.  People want to know whether these proposals will go ahead or not.  We would encourage the Commission and the Government to short-list options and make a final decision as quickly as possible to minimise the uncertainty.” 

A public helpline for residents seeking more information about the proposals has been launched. That number is 0800 307 7996. Residents can also go to or email for further information.




July 17, 2013