Heathrow airport says it has completed the first phase of a search for innovation partners to help it build its third runway.

The new runway plan was approved by MPs in a controversial vote last month, sending the airport into the delivery phase of the project.

Heathrow says it received more than 100 expressions of interest from companies looking to share ideas with the airport around sustainability, service innovation, building design, cost efficiencies and commercial concepts.

The search was launched in April and Heathrow invited any UK business, entrepreneur or leader to “share their ideas on how to make this multi-billion pound project event more efficient, sustainable and affordable”.

Heathrow says the list of proposals being taken forward will be announced in late August. The remaining potential innovation partners will be invited to submit a business case and implementation plan to demonstrate the feasibility of their ideas.

Emma Gilthorpe, executive director of Heathrow Expansion, commented: “Now we have had the stamp of approval from government for our north-west runway scheme we can press ahead with finalising the scheme. We have been refining our plans as a result of a wide range of stakeholder feedback and we will launch the final public consultation on a preferred master plan in early 2019 ahead of preparing for development consent order submission in 2020.

“We have been exhaustive in our exploration of options and mitigations throughout this process and it is only right that we put our thinking to the test one final time. By asking the best in Britain to challenge our thinking, we will ensure no stone is left unturned in the delivery of excellence for our customers and communities.”

Back in May, the Arora Group, which owns much of the hotel property surrounding the airport, submitted a renewed independent proposal for building terminal facilities at a lower cost than the estimate for Heathrow to develop new facilities itself.


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