LONDON - As Britain prepares for its divorce from the European Union one of the biggest plans once the situation is finalised is that of negotiating new and more lucrative global trade agreements. By doing so one area to see new investment is the plan to increase passenger traffic at London's Heathrow airport.
New plans include the expansion of Terminal 2 and a new southern access tunnel for traffic going into Central Terminal Area.
Just recently announced by Heathrow chief John Holland-Kaye is the £16billion expansion with portions of the financing going to create offsite manufacturing. Mr. Holland-Kay elaborated that creating an offsite construction plan would allow Britain to “lead the pack in global construction.”
He also stated: “The global construction industry is set to be worth £15trillion by 2025 – that’s a huge prize that Britain deserves a bigger share of and Heathrow can help.'
“We want to use Heathrow expansion to not only upgrade Britain’s infrastructure, but cultivate a new world-leading sector and drive growth across the whole country.” By creating off-site construction into the future: "Boosting off-site construction will help make expansion more affordable and environmentally friendly and give Britain a lasting legacy of expertise that it can sell around the world – helping Britain lead the pack in global construction.'
Its been reported by Construction News that Heathrow will begin to look at locations for the planned the four construction hubs that will feature good connectivity, access to supply chains and use of local skills. Its expected that results of the hubs will aid in reducing costs and for less emissions to the environment. The use of hubs has already been in place for the housing market but Heathrow would be the first large scale infrastructure project to use hub system.
In the future these types of logistics hubs could benefit the UK construction industry by almost £15billion by 2020.
Mr. Holland-Kay points out: “We want to use Heathrow expansion to not only upgrade Britain’s infrastructure, but cultivate a new world-leading sector and drive growth across the whole country.
"Boosting off-site construction will help make expansion more affordable and environmentally friendly and give Britain a lasting legacy of expertise that it can sell around the world – helping Britain lead the pack in global construction.“
As the Heathrow expansion advances so does the controversy both environmentally and politically for a proposed third runway. Former London Mayor and current Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has supported the the plan for a third runway and its expected that a new runway would over time generate £61billion in economic revenue and up to 77,000 more jobs. Along with an additional runway would be the construction of a new sixth terminal with the cost of this expansion at £17.6billion.
The idea of a new runway has not surprisingly brought south London residents, protestors and others out campaigning against it. Its reported that once the runway is completed in 2025 that 50% more air traffic over neighbourhoods and the noise as well as environmental impact would be unbearable especially for south London residents.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Heathrow already exposes more people to aircraft noise than Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich and Madrid combined. A third runway would mean an extra 200,000 people impacted, exposing 124 more schools and 43,200 more schoolchildren to an unacceptable level of noise.”
In its response Heathrow states: “Expansion of Heathrow is the only option that will connect all of the UK to global growth, helping to build a stronger and fairer economy. We await the full details, but Heathrow stands ready to work with government, businesses, airlines and our local communities to deliver an airport that is fair, affordable and secures the benefits of expansion for the whole of the UK.”
As Mayor of London Boris Johnson pushed for a new airport equipped with four runways to be built on London’s east side where projected residential growth would be the highest for the city. It is projected that London’s population will surpass 10 million by 2036.
Known as the Thames Estuary the costs were projected by the Airports Commission to be £70 billion to £90billion. The costs would have been far more than upgrades for the two currently operating air airports of Gatwick and Heathrow. Sir Howard Davies of the airport commission put those costs by taxpayers at £30billion to £60billion.
One of the most important aspects was the effect on the local environment the new airport would have made. In a report by the Airport Commission the conclusion was that "very significant impacts" on current protected habitats, which would have been a "high legal hurdle to overcome".
It was also concluded that south London City Airport would have been put out of operation due to air traffic control issues. Along with transport needs as the airport would have been located 30 miles from London, gas terminals locations, noise, consideration of closing Heathrow and logistics problems eventually the plan was dismissed.
The entire project is pending for approval by Parliament which could vote this year or in 2018 whether or not to begin development.