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Increased capacity at Heathrow (The Times)

    CPS author and Concorde's longest-serving pilot Captain Jock Lowe wrote to The Times on the Heathrow Hub proposals

    To view the letter at its original post, visit The Times website

    Sir, We have put forward a pragmatic, sensible and affordable scheme to increase the capacity at Heathrow sufficient to cater for expansion for decades to come. It will allow noise mitigation in addition to the very considerable reduction in noise which new aircraft can and will generate.

    So the claim by Boris Johnson (letter, Oct 28) that Willie Walsh will not meet with the Mayor to discuss the plan for a new East London airport is the pot calling the kettle black. Mr Johnson does not appear to be willing to listen to proposals other than his very expensive idea.

    We will be very happy to meet with him to outline our far more practical and affordable submission.

    Our Heathrow Hub concept suggests simply extending both runways at Heathrow to the west and making the obvious but sadly missing link to the mainline national railway system. Available capacity would be doubled, although a significant percentage of the slots could remain unused for noise alternation protocols. Also, early morning flights can land much farther down the extended runway so reducing noise to a large area of west London.

    Our estimate of total cost including road diversions and a station is approximately £12.5bn, which is much lower than all other suggestions and would be funded from private capital. What is more, Heathrow is already one of the safest airports in the world and this scheme will make it even safer.

    Our proposals meet all the criteria laid down by the Davies Commission. We have written to Mr Johnson to ask for a meeting but to date have heard nothing. Perhaps he already realises that our scheme has great merit but it would be beneficial if we could discuss the topic face to face.

    Jock Lowe
    Heathrow Hub

    Date added: Thursday 31st October 2013