The debate over London's airport capacity is continuing at a pace after Heathrow announced proposals for a third runway over the M25.

Europe's largest airport and third busiest in the world has outlined three options it believes will resolve the ongoing discussion about air traffic in the English capital. The airport has submitted plans to the Davies Commission and officials have stated that it would be "quicker and cheaper" than building a rival hub airport. The proposals include increasing airport capacity and creating a runway to the north, north-west or south-west of the existing facility.

If given the go-ahead the new landing strip could be in place by 2029 and allow for around 260,000 more flights. Heathrow's preferred two options include building to the west of the airport but would pose the most challenging and each costing between £14 billion and £18 billion to complete. The airport believe that the expansion but be able to provide a significant boost for local businesses and generate more jobs for the area.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow's chief executive, said: " It is clear that the best solution for taxpayers, passengers and business is to build on the strength we already have at Heathrow. Today we are showing how that vision can be achieved whilst keeping the impact on local residents to an absolute minimum.”

There has been much speculation surrounding the future of Heathrow of late with a number of different plans being mooted it a bid to increase the capacity of London's airspace without increasing pollution.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson recently unveiled three alternatives to relying on Heathrow as the main hub. Mr Johnson outlined Thames Estuary, The Isle of Grain and an extension of Stansted airport as a way of reducing noise pollution and protect the environment.

The Thames Estuary project, dubbed Boris Island, would see the creation of an artificial island effectively removing the problem of noise pollution. All plans would mean that Heathrow would be closed leaving the "opportunity" to create a new town with a population of around 250,000, the Mayor added.

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