Published on Friday, December 20, 2019

Heathrow warns third runway will be delayed by at least a year

Heathrow has said its plan to build a third runway will be delayed by at least a year after the Civil Aviation Authority rejected its request to quadruple spending.

The airport says the new runway will now not be completed until sometime between early 2028 and late 2029.

The airport asked the CAA for permission to increase spend from £650m to £2.4bn despite the fact it has not yet gained permission to expand.

But the CAA said it was concerned passengers would end up bearing the cost if planning permission is not granted.

The CAA agrees that more runway capacity is needed and has agreed an increase to £1.6bn.

CAA group director of consumers and markets Paul Smith said: "The sooner a new runway comes into operation, the sooner these benefits can be realised.

"However, we have also been clear that timeliness is not the only factor that is important to consumers.

"Passengers cannot be expected to bear the risk of Heathrow Airport Limited spending too much in the early phases of development, should planning permission not be granted."

A Heathrow spokesman said: "The CAA's announcement is an important milestone in expanding Heathrow and connecting all of Britain to global growth.

"We will now review the detail to ensure it will unlock the initial £1.5bn-£2bn of private investment over the next two years at no cost to the taxpayer.

"Whilst this is a step forward, the CAA has delayed the project timetable by at least 12 months. We now expect to complete the third runway between early 2028 and late 2029."

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