Unite has welcomed a “masterplan” to expand Heathrow Airport that will lead to the creation of 77,000 new jobs.
According to the plan, published today (18 June), a third runway will be built by 2026 with the full expansion completed by 2050.
To accommodate the Heathrow expansion, rivers will be diverted, roads moved and the M25 rerouted through a tunnel under the third runway.
Proposals to protect air quality, such as an ultra-low emission zone, are also included in the plan.
The masterplan has been published as a part of a public consultation, which closes on 13 September this year.
It contains an architect’s visualisation of the completed expansion, including the M25 tunnel beneath the new runway.
A phased approach to construction is proposed, with the third runway being completed by 2026, while the remaining infrastructure – such as road access and new terminals – scheduled to be finished in 2050.
Unite welcomed Heathrow Airport’s expansion masterplan as an important step on the road to securing much needed airport capacity and tens of thousands of new jobs for generations to come.
Unite London and Eastern regional secretary Peter Kavanagh said, “Heathrow’s expansion masterplan is an important step on the road to creating 77,000 new local jobs and 5,000 new apprenticeships, as well as other benefits such as increased investment and better infrastructure.
“Importantly, the masterplan includes proposals on how Heathrow’s expansion can be done sustainably with welcome proposals for an ultra-low emission zone and on air quality in and around the airport.
“As the biggest union representing workers at Heathrow, Unite will engage positively with the consultation and ensure the project delivers the promised benefits for working people in London and right across the country.”