Everything You Need To Know About Heathrow’s New Runway


With 4 terminals, 2 runways and over 80 airlines operating from London Heathrow, it’s easy to see how a third runway could help elevate the airport. However, the plans for the third runway have caused a lot of controversy. With MP’s voting in favour of the new addition, here’s what we know so far about Heathrow’s future third runway.

A controversial decision

The decision itself was met with varying opinions. The idea to expand Heathrow has been ongoing since 2009. Reasons for the opposition include the effect it could have on the air and noise pollution within the UK. Plans for the third runway would also come at the cost of people’s homes and villages. The development plans would also potentially cause serious interruptions to the busy M25 motorway. Whilst those behind the plans now look to the future, and their next steps towards the expansion. The people opposing these plans will continue to fight against Heathrow’s third runway.

Expansion of travel

With a third runway in place, this will increase the number of flights leaving from Heathrow. In 2017 Heathrow reported that 78 million passengers travelled from the airport. Their three most popular destinations being New York (JFK), Dubai and Dublin. Heathrow state in their proposal that with a third runway the airport “will provide up to 740,000 flights a year” that would be a 56.1% increase on the number of passengers that travelled in 2017.

Who’s paying and how long will it take?

Approval for the future third runway still has a long way to go, the house of Commons may have voted in favour of the expansion but there are several more processes including public consultation and approval from the UK’s planning Inspectorate before work would be able to begin.  If this is granted, the runway would look to open in 2026.

The cost of the future expansion has been marked at £14 billion, that is £2.5 billion off the original figure that was expected. Heathrow revealed this could be done by increasing the capacity at the current terminals rather than building a brand new one and with the use of technology ensuring less room would be needed during the general airport process. The government has stated that this will be funded privately and the cost will not fall to the UK taxpayers.

Where and who will be affected?

The plans for Heathrow’s third terminal comes at a heavy cost, with a £14 billion price tag the third terminal will also cost residents nearby their homes and villages. The villages of Longford and Harmondsworth would be completely knocked down to make room for this expansion. Residents within these villages will lose their houses and be forced to move away from the place they have called home.