Heathrow press releases

11 November, 2014

The Airports Commission agrees: More local jobs and reduction in noise through Heathrow expansion

Aircraft flying over Terminal 5


  • 41,000[i] additional local jobs with expansion
  • Up to 31,000[ii] fewer local jobs than today without expansion
  • Less noise than today
  • £112-£211bn[iii] of economic benefits overall

The independent Airports Commission has assessed that Heathrow could deliver over 41,000 more jobs for local residents by 2030 with expansion, while also ensuring reduced levels of noise for those living near the airport. It has also found that the airport would sustain up to 14,000 fewer jobs by 2030 than today and up to 31,000 fewer jobs by 2050, if it were not able to expand.

Launching its public consultation, the Commission’s appraisal of the expansion of Heathrow concluded that it can be delivered while reducing aircraft noise for local residents. It says that “When compared to current noise levels, fewer people are predicted to be affected across all metrics.”[iv]

Heathrow expansion would result in a “positive impact” on night flight noise in the future[v], according to the Commission. This is thanks to improvements to aircraft technology and the capability of early morning arrivals to land further to the west.

The Commission puts the overall economic benefits of a new runway at Heathrow at £112-£211bn, a significantly higher figure than previously estimated by the airport. It says the value to the economy of choosing Heathrow over Gatwick could be as much as £97bn[vi].

The analysis also shows Heathrow will deliver more new jobs throughout the UK than a new runway will at Gatwick. The Commission says expanding Heathrow could deliver 179,600[1][vii] new jobs by 2050. Heathrow expansion would deliver 130,000 more jobs than would be created by a new runway at Gatwick.

The Commission accepts its work in some areas is incomplete. Its analysis of road traffic and air quality emissions does not account for mitigation measures proposed by Heathrow. These include the airport providing incentives to use public transport, reducing staff car parking spaces and introducing a congestion charge for people travelling to the airport by car. The Commission says it believes these measures can be effective in meeting air quality limits. Once the Commission has modeled these mitigation measures, Heathrow is confident it will confirm that air quality limits will not be exceeded and there will be no need to widen the M4 due to airport expansion.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye says: "Expanding Heathrow will bring new skilled jobs and apprenticeships, while fewer people are affected by airport noise - a real win-win for local people. However there is a price to be paid for not expanding, with 14,000 fewer people employed at the airport over the next 15 years than today. Now is the time for local people to back Heathrow and make sure politicians deliver for Britain."


Notes to Editors:

For Heathrow’s full noise and sustainability technical submissions to the Airports Commission, please visit:




[i] Airports Commission Business Case and Sustainability Assessment, para 8.5

[ii] Airports Commission Local Economy Impacts Assessment, page 25

[iii] Airports Commission Consultation Document, Para 3.128

[iv] Airports Commission Consultation Document, Para 3.138

[v] Airports Commission Consultation Document, Para 3.137

[vi] PWC, Economy: Wider Impacts Assessment, Table 11 on Page 74 and Table 29 on Page 122 put the economic benefits of Heathrow at £211bn and economic benefits of Gatwick at £114bn in a ‘global growth’ scenario.

[vii] Airports Commission Consultation Document, Para 3.129



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