Skip to main content

Heathrow Airport

Volume 473: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of additional (a) tube, (b) rail and (c) car movements to Heathrow Airport that will be generated by the opening of a third runway; what assessment she has made of the impact of these additional journeys on air pollution; and what financial contribution BAA will be expected to make to offset the effects of the third runway on (i) pollution, (ii) noise and (iii) congestion. (192368)

[holding answer 7 March 2008]: Our forecasts suggest that, compared with a ‘do nothing’ option in 2020, a third runway in 2020 would attract the following additional air passenger trips: 1.2 million a year on the underground, 2.3 million a year on heavy rail and 10.2 million a year on the road (including taxis). There is more detail in the supporting technical report on Surface Access published alongside our consultation document and available on the Department’s website at:

Emissions from surface access transport have been fully taken into account in the modelling of local air quality impacts. Our assessment is that the critical limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulates (PM10) can be met with a third runway in 2020, subject to appropriate constraints.

Funding the necessary infrastructure and any mitigation measures required as a result of the development would be a matter for BAA, as the airport operator, in light of the planning process.