Plans for a third runway would be contingent on noise levels remaining no higher than in 2002, air quality improving, and public transport being enhanced, BAA conceded.
Nonetheless, the submission urged the government to approve a development said to be in the UK’s economic interests, promising that the growing environmental concerns surrounding it could also be answered.
All the leading London mayoral candidates, the National Trust and an array of environmental groups have strongly opposed the case for a third runway, with concerns over noise pollution, carbon emissions and irresponsible development being brought to bear.
The government, originally in favour of the development, is now said to be alarmed by the strength of public opposition, but BAA claimed that extra plane emissions could be offset as airlines find their emissions capped and are forced to invest in green industries.
BAA was unequivocal about the economic benefits to the UK, stating: "In an increasingly globalised and competitive economy, in which companies can move operations more freely than ever, Heathrow – and its ability to compete with European and Middle Eastern hubs – is increasingly important."