Shortening the proposed third runway at Heathrow by 300m could save £2-3bn, it has been claimed.
The main proposal for expanding Heathrow includes a new 3.5km runway that would mean diverting the M25 through an underpass.
International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of BA, Air Lingus and Iberia, has said billions could be saved by shortening the runway by 300m so it does not conflict with the motorway.
IAG said the additional costs could be passed onto airline operators and said diverting the M25 would cause “years of disruption” on an already congested road, impacting motorists and local communities around Heathrow.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “The airport has yet to produce a business plan that assesses the financial implications and risk of bridging the M25. We will not pay for a runway that threatens both cost and delays spiralling out of control.”
IAG made the comments in its response to the government consultation on airport policy, which closes for submissions today.
The government under Theresa May launched the consultation after throwing its weight behind a third Heathrow runway last autumn. Although the runway still needs approval from Parliament, Heathrow’s procurement team have already launched their £16bn spend programme.
A Heathrow spokeswoman said all major infrastructure projects needed to balance a number of factors including risk, quality, affordability and time. “In each of these areas we have engaged expert advisers and consulted our airlines to ensure we get the right balance and the best outcome for our passengers, our local communities and the country as a whole,” she said.
She added that all proposals were subject to change.
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