Our two existing runways are full. A new north-west runway will enable a greater number of flights. We have carefully considered a range of options for its length and location.
In accordance with the draft Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS), the new runway will be located to the north west of our two existing runways between Sipson in the east, Colnbrook and Brands Hill in the west and Harmondsworth in the north.
Minimising effects on these communities is a very important consideration as we refine the length and position of the runway. The area in which the new runway will be located is shown opposite but we have not yet determined precisely where it will begin and end.
We have short-listed three options for the new runway with the length varying from between 3,200 and 3,500 metres (pictured below ). Further work is required to precisely locate the runway end locations and how they sit in relation to the Colnbrook and Sipson communities. A runway of approximately 3,500 metres would have the closest runway end locations to both Colnbrook and Sipson.
Click on the above image to see an expanded version.
This option would enable the largest commercial aircraft to take-off and land. It could also allow an expanded Heathrow to be more resilient as well as enabling aircraft to be higher over our local communities on landing and take-off which could reduce noise for them. Runways shorter than 3,500 metres will need less land, providing an opportunity to move either one or both runway ends away from Colnbrook and Sipson, also reducing noise for local communities.
However, they may not provide the same flexibility in how we operate, potentially resulting in longer aircraft taxiing times and more variable passenger journeys. This is something we will need to carefully assess and would welcome your feedback. Therefore, we have not yet discounted the possibility of a runway shorter than 3,500 metres.
The height of the runway will vary over its length. This is a common feature of runway design. At the eastern end adjacent to Harmondsworth and Sipson it will be at ground level. As it crosses the M25 it will be on an embankment at a height of approximately 3 to 5 metres. At its western end near Colnbrook it will again be close to ground level.