UK airports are seeing lots of new investment. Expansion is good, but will Brexit end up being a spoiler for Heathrow and Gatwick?
London’s Heathrow Airport plans to increase the number of flights by 5 percent before opening a third runway as part of a 16-billion-pound ($20 billion) expansion plan, the Times reported, citing a spokeswoman.
The airport expects to add 68 more take-offs and landings a day in the next few years, which would exceed an existing flight limit set two decades ago when Terminal 5 — home of British Airways — was built. The Times said 25,000 new flights a year are planned.
Heathrow, west of London, also is requesting a ban on night flights when a third runway is built. The airport operator plans to build a two-mile runway to its northwest to allow the number of flights to grow to 740,000. The current limit is 480,000, the Times said.
A public comment period on plans for the airspace and future operations will start Tuesday and continue until March 4, according to the Heathrow website.
After decades of delays tied to concerns about extra noise, increased pollution, the demolition of homes and the impact on roads, construction of Heathrow’s third runway could begin as soon as 2021. The new landing strip is expected to open in 2026, lifting annual capacity to 135 million travelers from 2017’s 78 million.
Separately, the Financial Times reported Saturday that U.K. ministers are considering a wider drone-exclusion zone around commercial runways after Gatwick Airport, south of London, was closed for more than 24 hours when drones were sighted.
The government will publish a draft bill in May that would extend to 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) the no-fly zone, from the current 1 kilometer.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Subscribe to Skift Pro
Subscribe to Skift Pro to get unlimited access to stories like these ($30/month)Subscribe Now
Photo Credit: Heathrow Airport is planning a major expansion of flights. Sean O'Neill / Skift
Business Travel’s Prospects Underscored by London City Airport’s Fragile Recovery
A record-breaking day for passenger numbers, with bankers once again rubbing shoulders with tourists in the terminal. But the good news stops there, because business travel traffic is proving impossible to forecast in the short term, and pre-pandemic levels aren't pegged to return until at least 2025.
Matthew Parsons | 1 week ago
EasyJet Reportedly Rejected Wizz Air Takeover Bid
CEO Johan Lundgren wants to steal market share from the likes of British Airways and Air France-KLM as they restructure their short-haul operations, but is the money enough to give it a headstart against Ryanair?
Sarah Young and Paul Sandle, Reuters | 3 weeks ago
The New Wellness Imperative for Long-Haul Travel
It's time to recognize long-haul travel for what it is: an endurance event. For those making the trip instead of the Zoom, there are new imperatives that premium brands need to serve up to cater to these travelers. Hint: it doesn't look like the luxury of the past.
Colin Nagy, Skift | 3 weeks ago