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Heathrow Airport, Third Runway, UK

Mott MacDonald has supported Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) in producing their third runway masterplan submission to the UK Government Airports Commission.

Thank you for all your hard work towards winning expansion for Heathrow Airport.

Andrew Macmillan, Strategy Director


We were appointed by HAL to lead the development of the third runway masterplan, define the associated surface access strategy and support the environmental assessment of the scheme.

As part of the work, our team has integrated work from other disciplines such as airspace, town and country planning, legal, business case and programme, in order to form a coherent plan. We've also supported HAL in their engagement with the UK Government Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, as well as in their consultation with local communities.

The masterplanning process has involved identifying a range of three different runway options for Heathrow Airport and to come up with a shortlist of feasible options which were then submitted to the Airports Commission for assessment.

The 3R north west masterplan was one of three schemes shortlisted by the Airports Commission, which we developed into scheme design and submitted for final evaluation. The Commission is due to make a final recommendation on the preferred airport capacity solution by August 2015.

Value and benefits

  • Our airport team developed the concept of end-around-taxiways to enhance runway capacity.
  • We proposed a reduction in runway separation which has reduced the number of homes impacted by 20%, enabled a Grade I and a Grade II* listed building to be retained and saved the client approximately £1B.
  • We identified an innovative Terminal 6 and Terminal 5 solution which enabled the terminals to share a single railway station, provided a bypass taxiway system to eliminate the main airfield bottleneck and enabled the creation 16 contact gates along the face of Terminal 6.
  • The third runway masterplan will increase capacity on the M25 by providing seven lanes in each direction and will also enhance flood storage capacity for the Colne Valley.
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