Big News for Heathrow Travelers

For anyone who has ever tried transiting through London’s Heathrow Airport, you know that it can be a challenge.  It’s a hodgepodge of 5 terminals, and some airlines can operate out of various terminals.  Add to that the need to take a bus between terminals, then clear security, AGAIN, and it makes the journey more like a nightmare.  Because of that fact alone, we’ve always either included a super long layover when we fly through Healthrow or try and avoid it all together.

Well, things are hopefully going to be changing in the near future.  Today Heathrow Airport put out plans for the “future of Heathrow,” pending government approval of course.

Heathrow's Expansion, Looking good!

Heathrow’s Expansion, Looking good!

The expansion would involve an over 16 billion pound (21 billion dollar) private investment that they hope to generate over 211 billion (277 billion USD) in benefits and over 180,000 jobs.  Pretty ambitious goals to say the least.

They released a pretty cool CGI video with details of the expansion, it’s about 4 minutes long and if it comes to pass, I’d be slightly more excited to considering transiting through LHR.

Heathrow Expanded Area

Heathrow Expanded Area

The idea is to merge Terminal 5 and a new Terminal 6 area and hopefully reduce the time it takes planes to move all over the airport.  They’ll want a new runway capable of handling A380 and competing with other large European airports.  They’ll also be looking to add upwards of 40 new destinations, I’d imagine from the increased gates and capacity that a new terminal would entail.

Even more interesting to me is that they’re including almost a billion USD to people in the affected area to move out of the area.  That’s right.  They KNOW it’s gonna be noisy, so they’re offering over 25% above market value for homes if you’re willing to uproot and get the heck out of dodge.  If you decide to stay, they’re going to create a HUGE green space and park, supposedly about 4x the size of Hyde Park in London.

I, for one, am thinking this might be a cool opportunity to do some plane-spotting!

If the artist rendering is anything like what the new terminal would look like, I’d say it’s one of the most beautiful terminals I’ve ever seen.

Terminal 6 design

Terminal 6 design

The website goes into a ton of details, and even includes a link for you to email your MP (if you live in the UK) and has a lot of specific data gathered from their market reports.

Check out the page here and learn more about the expansion.

What have your experiences been flying through Heathrow?  Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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