The UK’s London Heathrow Airport has increased the amount to be paid towards residents’ noise insulation costs to £700m, in its efforts to convince the Airports Commission to approve a third runway at the facility.
The latest move would be nearly treble the earlier allocated budget of £250m, which would compensate for the impact of aircraft noise, which has been the prevailing issue in stimulating local opposition to the airport’s expansion.
The new proposal would cover a zone based on the 55dB noise contour, the preferred measure of noise used by the European Union and the Mayor of London.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland Kaye said: "We designed the new approach to expanding Heathrow to minimise noise to local residents, but we also need to mitigate the impact on those who are still affected.
"Today’s announcement does that, and is based on the feedback we have received from local residents over the last few months; it will reduce the impact of noise and treat local people fairly.
"Now we want to work with local communities to ensure that the opportunities from expansion – up to 40,000 new skilled jobs at Heathrow, 10,000 apprenticeships, tackling youth unemployment – benefit those who are most affected by expansion."
Overall, a total of 160,000 houses would be eligible for insulation in areas from Windsor in the west to Richmond in the east. More than 35,000 homes in Hounslow would be entitled for full costs of the noise insulation package, with all homes in Heston and Cranford eligible.
The scheme also covers all homes within the towns and villages of Wraysbury, Datchet, Sipson, Harmondsworth, Harlington, Colnbrook, Brands Hill and Stanwell Moor.
Heathrow has already prepared a compensation scheme covering 40,000 households, while they may claim more under the latest proposals.
Heathrow’s revelation comes as the Airports Commission’s final public consultation for new runways nears conclusion on 3 February, upon which it could mull over three options, including two separate schemes for an expanded Heathrow or a second runway at Gatwick.
Image: Heathrow’s latest scheme comes as public consultation for new runways is set to conclude on 03 February. Photo: courtesy of LHR Airports Limited.