Heathrow responds to Airports Commission conditions, third runway can now be approved by PM

Heathrow has today announced it will meet and, in most cases, exceed the conditions set out in the Airports Commission’s recommendation for Heathrow expansion.


  • Heathrow will exceed the overall package of conditions the Commission set
  • Measures include support for early introduction of ban on scheduled flights for six and a half hours every night after expansion planning consent received, and airspace modernisations
  • Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye writes to Prime Minister will plan to enable Government to make right choice for Britain – delivering up to £211bn in economic benefit and 180,000 jobs with third runway

In July last year, the independent Airports Commission unanimously and unambiguously recommended expanding Heathrow, after a three year, £20 million study into the best option for maintaining the UK’s global aviation hub status.

“The right choice for the country” – Heathrow CEO writes to PM

Today, Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye has written to the Prime Minister setting out a world leading, ambitious and affordable plan which balances the huge national and local economic gain from expansion with the environmental impacts. Highlighting Heathrow’s place as a “cornerstone” of Britain’s economic security for the last 70 years and a symbol of an outward looking country, he said:

“You set up the Airports Commission and it unanimously recommended expanding Heathrow. You demanded ambitious plans from my team to deliver expansion with a bold and fair deal for our neighbours.

“Today, I am proud to submit a comprehensive plan that meets and exceeds your demands. This is a big commitment from us, but it is the right choice for the country, local communities and jobs across Britain.

“We have acted now to let you and your government make the right choice, in the long term interest of our country. It will enable you to choose Heathrow and secure a stronger economy and Britain’s place in the world.

“Expanding Heathrow can help Britain win thousands more jobs and ensure that future generations have the same economic opportunity that we have enjoyed. “

 Affordable for passengers and airlines, and gives fairest deal to local communities


Heathrow is committed to working with airlines to deliver an expanded Heathrow that is affordable for passengers and airlines, whilst giving the fairest deal to local communities. Its formal response to the Commission includes:

  • The introduction of a ban by Government on scheduled flights for six and a half hours between 2300 and 0530 – an increase from five hours today – and supporting the earlier introduction of the ban after planning consent is received and airspace is modernised.
  • A proposal for the Environment Agency to be given the role of an independent aviation air quality authority, to provide transparent scrutiny of the measures Heathrow will introduce to enable it to expand only in accordance with air quality rules
  • Establishing an Education and Skills Taskforce that will identify how best to develop the airport’s future skilled workforce and to create a legacy for UK infrastructure projects.

Download the full response, here.

New architecture concept images released of expanded Heathrow

Today, we’ve also released pioneering new concepts created by four of the UK’s leading architecural practices –  Grimshaw, Zaha Hidid, HOK and Benoy -that bring to life Heathrow’s vision for expansion of Britain’s global gateway. Read more…

Zaha Hidid's concept for Terminal 6 and satellite Terminal 6B , from above.

Find out more:


  • Information on the Airports Commission conditions can be found via the Airports Commission Final Report (July, 2015, pg 10-11), available here: ;
  • Information on Heathrow’s proposals and apprenticeship creation plans can be found via Taking Britain Further, Volume 1 (Heathrow, 2014) available in the Downloads section of this website.
  • The full text of Heathrow’s response to the Airports Commission conditions can be accessed here.
  • Information on Heathrow’s noise mitigation scheme proposals for runway capacity expansion are available in the press release, here . More details are also available  in section 2.3 of our February 2015 consultation submission to the Airports Commission. The report, entitled ‘Airports Commission’s Initial Assessments – Consultation. Heathrow Airport Response’, is available here:
  • Information on Heathrow’s compulsory purchase offer, please see the following press release, here. Heathrow’s compulsory purchase and noise insulation schemes are subject to regulatory approval.

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