Heathrow’s future: Crossroads for the West London economy

Monday May 12PWL1403_Heathrow_150(w)x100(h)

To see the write up of the event, click here

2pm – 5.30pm Heathrow Academy

This is a crucial moment for the aviation sector in the UK, and for our national economy. The recommendation that Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission will give after the next General Election could shape the economic future of the whole country. Nowhere will this be more keenly felt than in West London. With the interim recommendation that additional capacity is needed – at least one more runway – and the fact that a new estuary airport remains on the possible list, the economic impact of the decision in West London and the Thames Valley could not be clearer.

Should a new airport be built, Heathrow would close. Reports suggest up to 250,000 jobs could go in the area.

On the other hand, expansion of Heathrow would bring more jobs – around 75,000. But there are those that argue another runway would negate the economic benefits with environmental impact and additional surface transport congestion.

The debate continues, and this event will help you understand the key issues, opportunities and threats. How feasible are the expansion proposals on the Davies shortlist? What would their impact be in jobs and economic terms? And what about the alternative? What happens if Gatwick is allowed to expand instead – can a two runway Heathrow survive and prosper? And what if the estuary wins, and Heathrow is to close – how could the region plan for continued success in the wake of the most significant economic change in UK history?

Hear from speakers on all sides of this complex debate as we seek to inform and influence this crucial decision.



2pm Opening from the chair – Antony Oliver, Association of Consulting Engineers,  former editor of New Civil Engineer

2.10pm Heathrow: Where do we stand?
The current state of play on Heathrow’s proposals to the Davies Commission – what can they do for West London? Nigel Milton, Heathrow Airport

2.30pm Heathrow Hub: The difference
What is different about the extended runways of the Heathrow Hub idea? Does it offer differentially better connectivity for the UK, with a wider spread of the noise contour? Can it improve connections to other UK cities? Captain Jock Lowe, Heathrow Hub

2.50pm Replacing Heathrow: what could be done?
If Heathrow were to shut – the only possible outcome of a Thames Estuary airport being built – then anything up to 350,000 jobs could go in west London and the Thames Valley. Yes, we could build homes on the site, but who would live there? And which employers would replace those who would leave to be near another airport? How would the transformation be managed, and who would pay? Let’s talk delivery. Richard de Cani, TfL Director of Strategy & Planning

3.10pm Q&A

3.20pm Coffee 

3.30pm Surface Transport – what improvements to the road and rail network are planned, or would be desirable around Heathrow to accommodate the increased traffic from an expansion? What are the answers to the feasibility and cost? Can congestion be relieved on the road network? Simon Earles, Head of Surface Access, Heathrow Airport

3.45 Education – what would the different education systems required for an expanded Heathrow, or a closed Heathrow? What would the local skills portfolio need to be for the likely employment landscape? Andrew Ward, Brunel

4.00pm Where do the councils sit – moderated panel discussion featuring speakers from the Local Authorities  Cllr Colin Ellar, LB Hounslow, Pat Hayes, Executive Director of Housing & Planning, Ealing Council

4.45pm Employment – what are the likely effects of the various options for the West London and Thames Valley employment landscape? Colin Stanbridge, London Chamber of Commerce

5.00pm – Closing Q&A

5.15pm – Close, and drinks