Today, Heathrow completed the first stage of its search for innovation partners. This initiative sets out to encourage fresh thinking around how Heathrow delivers the expanded airport.
As Heathrow enters the delivery phase of the project, following an overwhelming vote of support in Parliament, the airport has announced over 80 potential innovation partners have come forward with Expressions of Interest, that will vie for the opportunity to help deliver one of Europe’s largest, privately funded infrastructure projects. Over the past six weeks, companies have expressed interest in sharing ideas around sustainability, service innovation, building design, cost efficiencies and commercial concepts.
Launching the search back in April, the UK’s only hub airport invited any UK business, entrepreneur or leader to share their ideas on how to make this multi-billion pound project even more efficient, sustainable and affordable. Since then, Heathrow has hosted a working session where the over 100 interested parties in attendance could put questions to the Expansion leadership team ahead of submitting their ideas.
Emma Gilthorpe, Executive Director of Heathrow Expansion said: “Following an overwhelming majority of cross party MPs showing their support for Heathrow expansion, the team is focused on delivering our commitments and ensuring the project is implemented in the most responsible way. This includes making sure we have the best technology and delivery methods available to us when building the new runway and associated infrastructure. The response to our call for expressions of interest has been extremely positive and I am really excited to move to the next stage, where we will compile a long list form all the great ideas put forward.”
The list of those being taken forward will be announced in late August and, from there, remaining potential innovation partners will be invited to submit a business case and implementation plan demonstrating the feasibility of their idea.
Gilthorpe concluded: “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 masterplan in early 2019 ahead of preparing our 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.”
The expansion of Heathrow Airport will see every corner of the country benefit from the project as it injects billions of pounds of economic growth into Britain, whilst creating 40,000 local jobs. Doubling its cargo capacity, Heathrow expansion will ensure the country remains on the global stage, as an outward looking trading nation, during the period Britain readies itself for Brexit.