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John Holland-Kaye comments on Heathrow expansion plans

3rd May 2018

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“We welcome the fact that the Arora Group support a northwest runway at Heathrow, but we’re bemused that they have chosen now to release new plans which look a bit like the emperor’s new clothes – the more you look, the less there is to see. Not only do their proposals now cost more, but they show a complete lack of understanding of airport operations and disregard for those living closest to the airport. If these were serious plans, they should have been submitted for public scrutiny to the independent Airports Commission years ago, along with 50 other competitive proposals. The fact that Mr Arora didn’t do so then, makes you question his motives now.

“I have met with Mr Arora several times to see how we can work together to deliver the integrated hub airport capacity that Britain needs. Each time he has refused to engage with us. We have now set up a competitive process for potential partners to make a material contribution to expanding Heathrow in a way that is sustainable, affordable and financeable.  If Mr Arora really wants to help make Heathrow the best connected hub airport in the world and keep Britain at the heart of the global economy, this is his chance to do so.”

On background

The expansion plans that Heathrow has proposed cost £14bn and will deliver capacity for 130m passengers per annum. The cost of Arora’s unproven plan has already increased from £10bn last July to £14.4bn today – and with neither experience delivering complex airport infrastructure, nor any detail on how the Arora Group plans to compensate local communities and mitigate the impacts of the scheme – the real cost is likely to be even higher. By contrast, Heathrow has already worked with stakeholders to refine our plans and reduce the overall costs of our project by £2.5bn and we will continue to focus on delivering further savings.