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Heathrow Plans to Add 25,000 Flights Even Before New Runway

  • London airport wants to rejig use of existing two airstrips
  • Project could prove controversial among local residents
Heathrow airport
Heathrow airportPhotographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
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London’s Heathrow airport aims to boost capacity even before a new runway opens, employing measures including a rejigging of the way two existing landing strips are used to add 25,000 aircraft movements a year at Europe’s busiest hub.

The project, revealed Tuesday as part of a consultation process on the 16 billion-pound ($20 billion) third runway, may stir controversy by introducing disruption for local residents years before that strip comes into use in 2026. The extra flights would represent about 5 percent more than a current cap.