‘Heathrow Hub’ is an integrated air and rail facility which would double the number of Heathrow’s available aircraft slots, allowing more flights while also reducing delays and improving the airport’s resilience and efficiency. (TAP – sales pitch alert)
The extra capacity could reduce noise impacts by reducing the airport’s opening hours, by allowing early morning arrivals to land two miles further west (reducing noise over much of London). It also creates opportunities for noise mitigation, by allowing some slots to be used to facilitate runway alternation, and would be compatible with innovative noise reduction techniques like quieter approaches and steeper climb-outs.
Crucially, few (if any) new areas will be brought into the airport’s noise footprint. The scheme would also be cost effective: the cost and the airport user charges would be much lower than that of any other new airport.
It would also be entirely privately funded.
The scheme involves extending both of the existing runways up to a total length of about 7,000 metres and dividing them so that they each provides two, full-length, runways, allowing simultaneous take-offs and landings.
It also includes a new passenger interchange immediately north of Terminal 5, directly connecting the airport with the M25 motorway, Crossrail, the Great Western Main Line and, as an option, an alternative HS2 route via the airport.