An alternative proposal for expanding Heathrow could save £6.7bn, a property group has claimed.
Arora Group, which concentrates on properties and hotels near airports, commissioned a number of consultancies to conduct a review of Heathrow’s expansion. It said its proposal would cost less upfront and make Heathrow’s future operational spend more efficient by increasing competition and passenger choice.
Surinder Arora, founder and chairman of the group, said: “We want passengers to be at the heart of our plans and the current monopoly at Heathrow, which overcharges airlines and in turn raises fares for passengers, is not the right model for the future.
“We are now calling on the government to consider more carefully how competition can improve Heathrow's offer to passengers, and how airlines at the heart of these plans will benefit passengers.”
Heathrow has not yet responded to a request for comment, but told the BBC it was already considering some of Arora Group’s ideas.
Arora Group’s submission to the government’s consultation on Heathrow expansion, which it made public over the weekend, suggests that a redesign to the terminals and airplane taxiing layout could alone could save £1.7bn. It also said the expansion of Terminal 2 and the new internal passenger transit system were not necessary, saving £1.1bn and £1bn respectively.
The group’s proposal also calls on any changes to the M25 to be avoided, echoing earlier calls by BA owners International Airline Group. Arora said any impact on the M25 “threatens the delivery of the whole project” and avoiding this could save £1.5bn.
Arora Group also used its proposal to call for rules on transport to and between terminals to be relaxed, allowing hotels to put on shuttle bus services.
Heathrow Airport’s own proposal, which the government supports, is set to cost around £17.1bn.
The government launched the consultation on expanding Heathrow in February after deciding last year to support a third runway over other airport expansion options. Any expansion needs to be approved by Parliament before it goes ahead. The consultation is now closed.
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