BAA has unveiled a draft masterplan for a third runway and a sixth terminal at Heathrow airport.

The Terminal 6 plan, which has been submitted for public consultation, could lead to the loss of up to 700 homes in the area. The expansion will affect the local Heathrow villages of Sipson, Harmondsworth and Harlington, although no commercial property will be replaced. If approved, the third runway is scheduled to be built between 2015 and 2020.

The new plan outlines further developments, including a third runway at Heathrow. Presumably this new runway and 6th terminal will create a number of new jobs at Heathrow, both during construction and when open.

BAA has confirmed that any potential development could affect up to 700 houses. BAA Heathrow will formulate 'property blight schemes' to assist those whose homes are affected by the plans due to Terminal 6 and the third runway.

London Assembly Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, Geoff Pope, said:-

"With the publication of the latest report on Heathrow expansion people now know what is at stake in the coming weeks and months. As the aviation industry begins to increase its lobbying for more of the surrounding area to be bulldozed for Terminal 6 and the third runway, local people must gear up for an almighty battle against an influential and affluent business giant.

"The campaign will not be made any easier with Rod Eddington, the former Chairman of British Airways, who led the campaign for a third runway, being at the helm of Government thinking on the future of transport of the UK.

"If Ken Livingstone does oppose expansion of Heathrow and has the sort of influence on central Government that he claims, he must use all of it to persuade Ministers that further expansion of Heathrow is neither an option nor an answer."

Why Heathrow Expansion?

The main argument for expanding Heathrow is to boost Britain's economy. Heathrow is the biggest airport hub in the county which enables it to attract transfer passengers therefore support a wide range of regular and direct flight destinations. If you count the number of passengers moving through Heathrow it is the world's busiest airport and the government has claimed that the airport's connectivity helps London and the South East compete with other major European cities for economic investment which leads to positive economic growth across the whole country.

Without Heathrow expansion the government argues that the country could lose these significant benefits - as the airport is already pushing 100 percent capacty with no room to grow - or handle any knock ons from disruption. The government estimate this expansion will bring £5.5bn of economic benefits over a period of sixty year, but the British Chambers of Commerce put the figure closer to £30 billion and believe the country is losing between £900 million and £1.1 billion every year of delay.

Concerns About Heathrow Terminal 6

Heathrow Terminal 5 was opened in summer 2008, surrounded by chaos, confusion, lost bags, and upset travellers.  However, it now seems to be working much better and our experiences in the terminal have been pretty good. It's clean, spacious and has pretty good amenities. However, as local residents the arrival of a third runway and then Heathrow terminal 6 worries us... there's already enough noise from the first two runways at Heathrow. Heathrow Terminal 6 - do we really need it?  And a third runway?

In early January 2009 the likelihood of a third runway and the arrival of Terminal 6 rose dramatically when the Government, gave approval for Heathrow's expansion - with transport secretary Geoff Hoon making the statement.  Opponents claim that the 3rd runway will breach European limits on air quality due to come into force in 2015.

BAA then had to apply to the local authorities around Heathrow airport for planning permission - for the third runway and sixth terminal to cater for another 35 million passengers - due to the increase in take-offs and landings from 480,000 flights a year to 720,000 by 2030.

Other changes to local infrastructure will see a new tunnel will take the A4 road under the new Heathrow taxiways, and the current M4 motorway spur will be moved. The government also promises a new major rail connection at Heathrow airport as part of a high-speed rail network linking Heathrow, London, Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland.

The £10bn airport expansion will head towards the M4 and new flight paths will be created over West London and Berkshire.

The Labour MP Martin Salter has said: "There will be attempts to sweeten the pill, but it is difficult to conceive of measures that can mitigate the environmental effect of increasing flights out of Heathrow, over one of the most densely populated parts of England, by 50 per cent."

Gatwick or Heathrow Terminal 6

Tim Jeans, Managing Director of Monarch airlines, said that he believes that Gatwick is a more suitable airport to expand and that adding a third runway to Heathrow may result “tumbleweed blowing down the runway at Gatwick” due to British Airways moving more of its flights to the West London airport.

However, speaking to the Standard in 2016, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said "We shouldn’t settle for second best. London's success is built on global connections. And in the 21st century that means having a successful hub airport to maintain and develop our long-haul links to key emerging markets... Heathrow is the only airport that can be the hub our city needs."

Artist's impression, released by Heathrow

The airport’s new chairman Lord Deighton has revealed Heathrow is exploring dropping plans to build a 600m long, 14-lane tunnel for the M25 motorway under the runway and a transit system around the airport. It could also scale-back the proposed Terminal 6 central development area in a bid to deliver needed extra airport capacity earlier so that Britain can be connected to growth quicker and cheaper.