A report from the Airports Commission, published today, puts the cost of expanding Heathrow and Gatwick airports significantly higher than current proposals.
For the two plans put forward to expand Heathrow, the Commission predicts it will cost £3-4bn more, and for the second runway at Gatwick, £2bn more.
The findings come as a major blow for the London Gatwick Obviously campaign and Heathrow’s We’ll take Britain further campaign, which are both in full swing and visible across London.
Twitter reactions to the news are mixed:
True costs of Heathrow and Gatwick expansion starting to emerge. Expect further escalation. In the end, a new airport will look cheap.
— Daniel Moylan (@danielmgmoylan) November 11, 2014
pretty clear we should build new runway at Gatwick and keep Heathrow as a hub. Davies suggests it – key is it’s also politically deliverable
— Chris Deerin (@chrisdeerin) November 11, 2014
Davies says airport expansion will cost more than expected (and that’s before you consider environmental costs) http://t.co/VfgB5BxEUX
— James Murray (@James_BG) November 11, 2014
The Commission’s report marks the start of a 12-week consultation period where the public is invited to comment on its analysis of proposals from Heathrow and Gatwick to build a new runway at each airport respectively.
With Boris Johnson’s Thames Estuary airport officially out of the running, the competition is fierce. Expect some toxic debate.
Chairman of the Airports Commission, Sir Howard Davies, made it clear today that the Commission was still very much undecided and said: “We have not yet taken a view on which proposal strikes the most effective balance between the assessment criteria. It is important first that we provide an opportunity for this evidence to be examined, challenged and improved.
“This consultation gives everyone with an interest in the issue of airport expansion that opportunity.”
The consultation invites comments on: the cost of each proposal; the effect that noise will have on surrounding communities; property loss and construction; and the economic benefits and environmental impacts.