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Underground costs lead Heathrow to seek savings

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Heathrow airport is set to unveil options to cut the cost of expansion by up to £2.5bn but says that the revised £14bn option does not compromise its local or passenger commitments.

The initial plan included a new terminal between the the airport’s northern runway and planned third runway to the north-west of the airport but it is understood that the cost of tunnels to connect this new facility have led to the change in design.

Heathrow now proposes to reposition new buildings over existing public transport and baggage infrastructure. This includes building additional capacity at both Terminals 2 and 5 rather than a dedicated terminal or satellite building between today’s northern runway and the new northwest runway.

The airport has also said that it is looking at more efficient phasing of the capacity construction work to incrementally increase terminal capacity to better match growing demand.

“The secretary of state set us the challenge to deliver an expanded airport for Britain with passenger charges staying close to current levels,” said Heathrow executive director for expansion Emma Gilthorpe. “We have now identified potential savings of £2.5bn and are increasingly confident we can meet the affordability challenge. We are looking forward to presenting detailed options on how to do it in our consultation in January, and while we will continue to work to reduce the cost of expansion, we will not compromise on our local commitments.”


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