Pilot Proposes Longer Heathrow Runways - Report

March 11, 2013

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A plan to solve the capacity problems in the UK's hub airports by doubling the number of flights at London Heathrow Airport has been put forward by a leading pilot, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Captain William 'Jock' Lowe, who was Concorde’s longest serving pilot, is proposing that the airport's existing northern and southern runways be extended from 3,900 metres and 3,700 metres to 7,500 metres.

The GBP£7.5 billion (USD$11.2 billion) plan, which would mean moving part of the M25 motorway, would allow aircraft to land and take off at the same time increasing the passenger capacity from 70 million to 140 million, according to the report.

The newspaper, which said that this type of mixed mode plan is highly contentious, reported that the scheme would increase the number of flights from 480,000 a year to almost one million.

The idea is competing with rival plans including the creation of a new airport in the Thames estuary and expanding London Gatwick Airport.

(Ken Symon)