Cash to be diverted from cancelled third runway project

BAA today published a revised capital investment plan for Heathrow airport in the wake of the cancellation of plans for a third runway.

The coalition government’s announcement that it would not support construction of a third runway has allowed BAA to divert to other areas funds allocated within the present five-year period.

Capital expenditure in the five years to 31 March 2013 will still average £1bn a year, with the total expected to be within the original £5,137m figure.

The Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow has received a large spending boost as a result of the reallocation of third runway funds, with spending set to rise from £25m this year to £296m in 2012.

BAA said it would discuss with the airlines other potential future uses of the funds no longer needed for the third runway.

The main area of spending in the present five-year period is the construction of a new Terminal 2, which will be home to the Star Alliance airlines.

Other major projects under way include the development of an integrated baggage system across Heathrow.

Longer-term capital investment beyond 2013 may include the development of a new passenger transfer product, based on track transit or automated people-mover technology, that could link all terminal and satellite buildings.

There may also be further expansion of the new Terminal 2 beyond the phase now under construction, taking over the site of Terminal 1, which would then close.

In terms of surface access, investment plans are expected to focus on Airtrack and Crossrail.