Plans have been announced for a total investment of €4.7bn (£4bn) into Heathrow and Gatwick to improve facilities amid debate over the future of airspace in South-East England. The Heathrow investment project, which will cost €3.5bn (£3bn), involves improving its infrastructure over a five-year period by completing works on Terminal 2 and also starting to extend the building.
New taxiways and stands will also be built at Heathrow to improve capacity for larger aircraft such as the Airbus 380, as well as a proposed new integrated bagging system. Colin Matthews, chief executive at Heathrow, said:”We have invested billions of pounds in new facilities such as Terminal 5 in recent years and passengers say they have noticed the difference. Our plan for a further £3bn of private-sector investment will further improve the airport for passengers.”
The owners of Gatwick Airport have also said they will invest €1.2bn (£1bn) between 2014 and 2019, subject to clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority. The proposed project will include a series of improvements including a revamp of the check-in areas, an expansion of the departure lounge and a new €30m (£26m) security area in the North Terminal. There are also plans to redevelop Pier 1, the oldest pier in the UK, into a two-storey building at a cost of €214m (£184m).
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has appointed a team of experts to develop plans for a multi-runway hub airport in the southeast of England. The team includes: Zaha Hadid; Atkins; Pascall & Watson; Oxford Economics; York Aviation; Professor Peter Tyler; Ernst and Young; and Ashurst.