London, July 9 (IANS) An Indian-origin businessman has submitted plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport here which he claims to be five billion pounds cheaper than the airport’s current scheme.
Surinder Arora, the owner of Arora International Hotels, has put his proposal to the government’s public consultation on Heathrow against a 17.5-billion-pound plan for which the British ministers have expressed a preference.
Arora Group’s proposals include changing the design of terminal buildings and taxiways, and reducing the amount of land it is built on, the BBC reported.
“We appreciate this is a politically sensitive issue but it is merely an option with additional savings of 1.5 billion pounds, whereas the rest of our proposals save up to 5.2 billion pounds without the need to amend the runway location,” Arora said.
“We want passengers to be at the heart of our plans and the current monopoly at Heathrow, which over-charges airlines and in turn raises fares for passengers, is not the right model for the future,” he added.
“One of the options we have proposed to government includes a possible shift of the runway so that it does not impact on the M25 and M4, as we know the M25 junction being affected threatens the deliverability of the whole project,” the hotel tycoon said.
Heathrow said it was already considering some of the ideas, and wanted to lower the cost too.
“Heathrow’s expansion proposals are supported by the government and have widespread cross-party political, business and union support,” an airport spokeswoman said.
Construction will not begin for at least three years, and it could be delayed by legal challenges over the runway’s environmental impact.
Arora, who migrated to Britain at the age of 13, concentrates on hotels near airports to provide rooms for aircrew. He currently owns hotels that provide a total of over 5,500 bedrooms, including franchises from Hilton and Holiday Inn.
In 2013, The Sunday Times Rich List estimated his worth to be 356 million pounds.