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Heathrow Expansion Update

Monday 12 December 2016

On 25 October 2016, the Government announced its decision to expand airport capacity at Heathrow. This week Heathrow Airport has issued a community bulletin to 4,000 local homes informing them that planning for the third runway was underway.

Following on from our report in November however, the Government is yet to publish a thorough proposal detailing the development.

Chairman of the Treasury Committee Andrew Tyrie, has now written to Philip Hammond regarding the economic case for airport expansion, requesting clarification on previously unanswered questions and urging the Chancellor to release plans for the expansion prior to the 2019 application submission.

He stressed that: “Parliament is being asked to vote on the biggest infrastructure project in a generation. It is crucial that it has all the tools at its disposal."

Commenting on the correspondence between himself and Philip Hammond, Tyrie said: "The Chancellor should publish the cost-benefit analysis over shorter appraisal periods, and under the different 'demand scenarios' proposed by the Commission. This is not a new request. The Treasury Committee has been asking for this information since November 2015.

"The Government's revised economic case, published alongside the announcement of its decision to expand Heathrow on 25 October, also raises a new question. Of the four investment measures used to evaluate the proposals, only the seldom-used Net Public Value measure presents a clear case for a third runway at Heathrow. The Chancellor needs to explain how much weight was placed on this measure when making the decision to expand the airport, and why.”