Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Indian-origin hotelier wants independent process for Heathrow expansion

London: One of the UKs leading Indian-origin hoteliers, Surinder Arora, today welcomed Parliaments go-ahead for the expansion of London's Heathrow Airport but also called for an independent process to determine the best project to deliver it.

At a crucial House of Commons vote yesterday, MPs approved controversial plans to build a third runway at the west London airport by 415 votes to 119. While the vote has been welcomed by businesses as a historic decision, environmental groups have concerns over its impact.

The vote to build the runway at Europe's busiest airport came after decades of bitter debate.

Arora, who had unveiled his own plans for the so-called western hub of the airport last month, welcomed the vote as a step in the right direction.

"This stamp of approval from MPs for Heathrow expansion is a vital further step but there now needs to be an independent process to determine who can best deliver each element of the expansion, said the founder and chairman of the Arora Group.

He stressed that his groups plans to deliver the full extra capacity via a Westerly campus deliver significant cost savings and break the current monopoly at the airport, which "overcharges" airlines and passengers.

Costs must be kept down for the expansion to work and Heathrow's track record should be a cause for concern," Arora warned.

The Punjab-born hotelier believes his plans, designed by architects Corgan, offer the best value for money, with an estimated cost for the airport expansion of around 14.4 billion pounds. The competing scheme, from the existing airport company Heathrow Airport Limited, reportedly comes in at around 31 billion pounds.
26/06/18 Aditi Khanna/PTI/India Today
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