Heathrow Airports Holdings Ltd has begun preparing for a third runway by launching an initial tendering process for the £17.6bn expansion, despite not being given the green light yet.
The Government has yet to officially back the third runway at Heathrow after the Airports Commission gave it the nod over rival Gatwick earlier this year.
The cabinet is still divided over the issue although recent reports suggest there has been some softening of anti-Heathrow stances at the top table.
Heathrow has invited expressions of interest in four key skill-sets that will be needed to deliver the expansion programme:
- Programme Management
- Information Management
- Construction Advice
- Design and Technical advice
Interested parties have until the 16 October (Friday) to respond with short-listed companies due to participate in a formal invitation to tender in November – aiming to conclude early 2016.
A source at Heathrow said the airport needed to be prepared to kick-start expanding Heathrow as soon as the Government gives a green light, with this expression of interest helping it bulk up on some core competencies.
Heathrow is aiming to start work by 2020 with completion set for 2025.