Heathrow-Gatwick Rail link proposals
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
When plans for a proposed high speed Heathrow-Gatwick rail link reached the ears of our airport parking team we were a little curious as to how the news would be received by those concerned-and so far the plans have received a less than favourable reception, especially from International Airlines Group’s chief executive Willie Walsh.
Mr Walsh whose group is owner of British Airways said the proposals (which is believed to be underdeveloped by the Department for Transport) would face “significant challenges”.
An outline of the proposal which has been dubbed ‘Heathwick’ was mooted over the weekend of 8-9th Oct and costs for the scheme have so far been around the £5bn mark. More detailed proposals are expected to be published in 2012 in line with the governments next review of aviation policy.
Mr Walsh believes that creating what in effect would be a super air hub was not the answer, and he warned that shelving plans for a third airline funded runway at Heathrow would be a “huge mistake” in years to come.
He continued: "It is sub-optimal, it is not an efficient way of doing things.
"I don't know how long it would take to develop, I don't know how much it would cost. It would clearly be significantly greater than the previous options that have been rejected. I struggle to see how it would be funded.
"The beauty of the third runway at Heathrow was that it was very clear who was going to fund it. It was going to be funded by the airlines flying in there.