HEATHROW will ask 120,000 households and businesses around the airport for their views on expansion, it has announced.
Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews today outlined plans for a six-week consultation about a third runway.
Speaking at the Runways UK conference, he said the exercise would help the airport refine its own plans for a new landing strip to the north-west of the existing two.
Participants will not be asked whether they want a third runway, but can have their say about how it should be operated to minimise aircraft noise were it to get the go-ahead.
“We know that opinion is divided locally about whether a third runway should go ahead or not, but everyone has an interest in making sure that if a third runway does happen it is developed in the best way possible,” said Mr Matthews.
He added that the results of the survey would be shared with the Airports Commission, which is examining the need for new runways in the UK. Last month it shortlisted three options for expansion – two for a third runway at Heathrow and one for a second at Gatwick.
Heathrow is due to resubmit revised proposals for a third runway to the commission in May, and the consultation results will be used to help draw up those plans.
The consultation will begin on February 3. As well as a postal survey, people will be invited to have their say online or at a number of roadshows around the airport.