Heathrow and Gatwick go head-to-head over funding for new runway

Heathrow and Gatwick airports have both unveiled their latest expansion plans to accommodate increased air traffic in bids to gain funding for the UK’s next new runway.

The Airports Commission will choose between building a second runway at Gatwick, or a third one at Heathrow.

Heathrow’s £15.6bn plans include a 14-lane segment of the M25 being built under the location of the proposed third runway, and promises over 100,000 new jobs and economic benefits worth £100bn.

The airport’s plans also include a budget of £550m for increased compensation for the owners of 750 homes that would have to be demolished if the runway goes ahead, and to fund improved sound insulation for thousands of other affected homeowners.

To combat high levels of road traffic, the airport has also proposed a congestion charge for cars dropping off passengers.

Meanwhile Gatwick argues that building a new runway there would cost £7.8bn, and could take an additional 10 million passengers than the third runway at Heathrow would allow.

Gatwick says that their expansion plans could be realised 5 years earlier than expansion at Heathrow and said that 14,000 people in the vicinity would be affected by the increases in noise pollution, compared with 240,000 near Heathrow.

Jock Lowe, one of the promoters of the Heathrow plans, said to the BBC: “Our proposal is the most efficient, cost effective and politically realistic of the three proposals shortlisted by the Airports Commission.”

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “Why would you choose to fly a quarter of a million more planes every year over one of the world’s most densely populated cities when instead you can fly them mostly over fields?”

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