Heathrow Airport will construct a third runway by 2026 and complete its expansion by 2050, according to its "masterplan" published. The plan includes diverting rivers, moving roads and rerouting the M25 through a tunnel under the new runway.
Heathrow's expansion has faced fierce opposition, but the airport says it has engaged with local communities and other stakeholders. The proposals are now open to public consultation until 13 September.
The masterplan is illustrated in a visualisation from the architects, showing the M25 running in a tunnel underneath the new runway. It proposes a staggered approach with the new runway to be built in the first phase by 2026, with the rest of the airport infrastructure - including new terminals and access - to be complete by around 2050.
Local and environmental groups have argued that expanding Heathrow and building a third runway would mean unacceptable levels of noise and pollution, as well as adding to the UK's carbon emissions from the increased number of flights. In response to those criticisms, the plan also outlines a new low-emission zone for the airport, meaning additional charges for those who drive a more polluting vehicle to the airport.