London’s Heathrow Airport shelves third runway plan: UK report

London: London’s Heathrow Airport is shelving plans to add a third runway and will examine other options to handle more passengers, The Sunday Times of London reported.

Chief executive Thomas Woldbye has begun the processing of disbanding a team focused on the project, the newspaper said, citing sources it didn’t name.
The airport, which saw passenger numbers rise about 29 per cent to 79.2 million in 2023, will review proposals including extending the use of buses to deliver travellers to aircraft and other measures to boost runway efficiency, according to the report.

Heathrow Airport did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent outside usual office hours.

The longstanding push to develop an additional runway at Heathrow has been snarled by legal challenges by groups including local residents and environmental campaigners, as well as by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Heathrow last week reported its first annual profit since 2019.

Heathrow is focusing on short-term measures to expand as well as studying longer-term projects such as the new runway, Mr Woldbye said on Feb 21 in an interview.

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment is considering buying into Heathrow and would join Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Qatar Investment Authority as major shareholders, people familiar with the matter said last week.