(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Thu, 3 May 2018) London, Uk – –
Hotel magnate Surinder Arora has revealed detailed designs of new terminal buildings he hopes to build and operate as part of his ongoing battle to steer Heathrow’s expansion.
Mr Arora, the largest landowner at the airport, launched his rival plan for an expanded Heathrow last year with the help of former British Airways boss Sir Rod Eddington but has now unveiled full details.
These include a new building to receive passengers, which will have access to the existing Terminal 5 as well as a new Terminal 6 to help deal with the 130m passengers a year that MPs want the enlarged transport hub to handle.
It will also boast a bridge that will house shops and restaurants and will link the terminals to new gate buildings.
The proposal has been designed by leading airport architect Corgan and Mr Arora reckoned his entire scheme would cost £14.4bn compared to the £31bn he claimed the Airports Commission had estimated Heathrow’s would cost.
Mr Arora said his previous estimate of £12.4bn for his scheme related to only one phase, which would have had capacity for 115m passengers, but the latest iteration can cope with 130m passengers.
Heathrow said last week it would be inviting outside companies and entrepreneurs to pitch to build parts of its scheme to help it reduce its expansion costs. But it stopped short of agreeing that if a third party built a terminal, that company would also be able to operate it.
This is likely to remain a point of friction between Mr Arora and Heathrow. The hotelier would only build his scheme if he was able to operate the terminal because this would entitle him to a portion of the £22.50 Heathrow currently receives per passenger through a mixture various things including landing charges, car parks and retail rents.
“We are behind the expansion of Heathrow but we cannot do it the old way,” Mr Arora told The Telegraph.
“We don’t want to delay the scheme and in fact have been looking at ways to move it on quicker but what we won’t do is let Heathrow railroad the government, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and airlines into letting them do it their own way.”
The subject of competition at Heathrow was touched upon several times by the Transport Select Committee before it published its report on the expansion proposals last month.
Mr Arora said there was currently a “difference of opinion” between the CAA, which does not think it has the powers to enforce competition at Heathrow, and the Department for Transport, which thinks existing legislation could be used to ensure a third party could run a terminal.
In a consultation document released by the CAA earlier this week, the regulator said it “welcomed the initiative” Heathrow had shown in collaborating with third parties.
The CAA has submitted a report to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, which will “advise him on how well Heathrow is engaging with and responding to” outside parties on the scheme.
In a statement, Heathrow said: ““We welcome the fact that the Arora Group support a northwest runway at Heathrow, but we’re bemused that they have chosen now to release new plans which look a bit like the emperor’s new clothes – the more you look, the less there is to see.
“Not only do their proposals now cost more, but they show a complete lack of understanding of airport operations and disregard for those living closest to the airport. If these were serious plans, they should have been submitted for public scrutiny to the independent Airports Commission years ago, along with 50 other competitive proposals.”
By Bradley Gerrard