Heathrow Hub

Heathrow Hub is a smart solution to expand the UK’s airport capacity by extending and splitting Heathrow’s existing runways, rather than creating a new one. Maitland was appointed as an adviser to Heathrow Hub in 2013 as the Airports Commission geared up to publish its interim report into Britain’s airport capacity.
Challenge

To raise the profile and credibility of the relatively unknown challenger, Heathrow Hub, against almost 60 other contending bids, including from Heathrow and Gatwick airports so that it would be shortlisted as an option by the Airports Commission.

Insights

The question of airport expansion in the South East has been a politically toxic decision for decades. However, through the Airports Commission process, there was finally a chance to overcome the many vocal objections and introduce a practical solution at the UK’s main hub airport without creating an unwanted third runway.

Strategy

  • Develop an integrated communications programme to complement Heathrow Hub’s formal technical submissions to the Airports Commission.
  • Generate media coverage and broaden political support in the run up to the 2015 General Election.
  • Run a high profile national advertising campaign in print media to underpin the campaign and reach out to a wider audience.
  • Embrace social media channels to disseminate key messages and information.

Outcome

Against all odds, Heathrow Hub was one of three plans shortlisted by the Airports Commission as a solution to the UK’s shortage of runway capacity. It remains in the running to this day.