Heathrow Airport is to benefit from a £3 billion investment programme which will be spread over the next five years.

It is part of the £11 billion that has been provided since 2003, and will form part of the airport's business plan for 'Q6' which covers 2014 to 2019 helping to accelerate a host of improvements. One of the main aspects that will be covered in the plans is the completion of Terminal 2, which is expected to be opened next year. There will be upgrades to check-in and baggage facilities ensuring that passengers have a smoother experience when using the airport for long-haul flights.

Heathrow bosses stated if the spending proposals, which will come from private-sector money, are approved then it will help to accelerate the airport's commitment to reducing pollution. Heathrow is located near to a number of residential areas and officials stated that the investment will help them to increase the provision of pre-conditioned air which will allow aircraft to switch their engines off while on the ground reducing the amount of noise they cause.

The money will also go towards Heathrow improving stands and taxiways to accommodate more A380s. These modern aircraft are much quieter and fuel-efficient than the older planes that are currently in operation and Heathrow reinforced its standpoint of cutting down on noise which can impact on local communities.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said: "We have invested billions of pounds in new facilities such as Terminal 5 in recent years and passengers say they have noticed the difference.

"Our plan for a further £3 billion of private-sector investment will further improve the airport for passengers. The plan represents good value for money for airlines and passengers and comes at no cost to taxpayers."

Heathrow is the busiest airport in the UK and is currently the third most-used in the world, with almost 60 million travellers passing through in the past year. Only Beijing Capital International Airport in China and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the US can boast higher numbers.

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