BAA points to 6,000 jobs if Terminal 5 is built

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The Independent Online
THE GO-AHEAD for a fifth terminal at Heathrow would create or safeguard up to 14,000 jobs and delay the need for another runway in the South-east for at least five years, BAA, the owner of the airport, said yesterday.

According to documents being submitted to the Government today by BAA, building the new terminal would create 6,000 jobs and protect 8,000 existing jobs at Heathrow.

The estimates are contained in BAA's statement of case in support of its planning application for Terminal 5.

A public inquiry into the planned terminal is expected to begin in spring 1995 and last up to two years. The site for the proposed building is currently a sludge works located within the airport perimeter.

BAA also claims that the number of people affected by noise will have fallen from 500,000 now to 300,000 once the terminal is completed.

Provided planning permission is obtained, the terminal will open in 2002 and increase Heathrow's capacity by about 30 million passengers a year.

According to BAA, Heathrow currently supports about 70,000 jobs - 50,000 on site and 20,000 among off-site suppliers and service industries.

BAA employs only 3,500 people directly at Heathrow. The remaining jobs are among airlines, retail concessionaires, taxi and coach operators and the like.

The Department of Transport recently published a report saying that the South-east would not need another runway until 2010 - five years later than previous estimates - and possibly 2015.

BAA said that it could accommodate the 30 million extra passengers expected at Heathrow by 2013 using the two existing runways. But if a new terminal were not built then these additional passengers would be forced out to other airports, requiring more runway capacity.

Sir John Egan, chief executive of BAA, said that Heathrow and the businesses it supports contributed pounds 3bn to the economy.

'Terminal 5 will ensure that Heathrow retains its position as the world's number one airport in the face of increasingly fierce competition from Europe,' he added.

'If we can't meet that competition then we run the risk of losing our customers and the jobs they bring.'