"London's main airport is bursting at the seams. A third runway and a sixth terminal are not the answer to the congestion."
"Expansion looks like the obvious answer to the well publicised problems of an international airport that is both the world's busiest and the one most loathed by those who use it. However, obvious answers are not always the best. Additional capacity would be quickly filled. Rival airports, notably in continental Europe, already have the capacity and room to grow that Heathrow will always lack. Higher prices for Heathrow's capacity, and more competition from other London airports, may be a better answer"
"In 2003 it published a White Paper on air transport. This advocated two new runways in the south-east by 2030, but the government committed itself only to a second runway at Stansted. A 1979 planning agreement prevents the building of a second runway at Gatwick before 2019. A proposal for a new airport in the Thames estuary was dismissed as too risky and too unkind to birds."
Heathrow's underlying problem is that it has been in the wrong place all along. “Heathrow's history”, says Sir Peter, “is a series of minor planning disasters that together make up one of the country's truly great planning catastrophes.”
"At Heathrow, passenger traffic has been flat for two years or so. But this is probably because some transfer passengers, put off by the airport's squalor and the “one bag” rule imposed by the British government in 2006, switched to less crowded, friendlier hubs."
"In short, Heathrow can never be the competitive global hub the government says it wants it to be. Almost every other country faced with a similar question has chosen to move its hub airport further away from the capital, to where there is space to expand."
"A case could be made for the CAA eventually getting out of price regulation if BAA no longer owned Gatwick, the only existing British airport with the potential (given a second runway), to compete with Heathrow."
In short: give it up expanding Heathrow, expand the other London airports instead, split up BAA, allow Heathrow to increase prices, and consider an all-new major hub away from the city, maybe in the Thames estuary. Let the debate begin
Will cost billions and take 20 years to cut through the red tape and NIMBYs. The Labour Govt are too spineless to take a stand because they are worried they'll lose a few greeny votes and those of the locals.
Jbernie From Australia, joined Jan 2007, 880 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 15139 times:
Other than seeing the complaints about Heathrow I don't really follow the ins and outs of the proposed developments so don't shoot me down for asking this....
Has there ever been a proposal to move LHR to a location outside the city where there would be no size restriction and then link the airport to major cities by high speed rail with carriages designed for airline passengers? Once the new airport was built and all operations transferred the land could be reclaimed for housing/business projects to help cover the costs involved. (similar to Denver's Stapleton redevelopment).
CHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62 Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 15084 times:
Quoting Jbernie (Reply 2): Has there ever been a proposal to move LHR to a location outside the city where there would be no size restriction and then link the airport to major cities by high speed rail with carriages designed for airline passengers?
No such site exists in the South of England. And if it did - it would be full of tree hugging greenies who think we should all go back to horses and sailing ships.
Quoting Jbernie (Reply 2): Once the new airport was built and all operations transferred the land could be reclaimed for housing/business projects to help cover the costs involved. (similar to Denver's Stapleton redevelopment).
Such a development would take 25 years and cost more than the GDP of a decent percentage of the EU member states. It will run vastly overbudget, be obsolete before EIS due to inept planning and be finished three years late. To give you a (sarcastic) idea of how f*cked up things are in this country, i'll c&p a joke post I made re the timeframe for redevelopment of what is now T1/2.
No idea when T2 closes, but the words "20 years too late" spring to mind.
Lol so true.
Terminal 2 is due to disappear when construction commences on Heathrow East; as however BAA seems to be in a bit of refinancing bother at present, the start date for this might be delayed.
I don't think the government will allow them to delay too much. I'm sure they don't want an unfinished terminal for the 2012 olympics.
LOL finished by 2012?
This is Britain we are talking about.
My predicted timeframe:
Oct 2008 - stop using T2.
June 2009 - Submit public tenders for various designs for its replacement.
July 2009 - All designs rejected by local residents.
August 2009 - A rare and previously thought to be extinct breed of dust mite is discovered in T2.
Late-August 2009 - A charity single entitled "Save the Mites = Save our future (and our Children's future)" is released by two ex-Pop Idol nobodies. It goes straight in at number one.
September 2009 - Local residents set up an action group called T.W.A.T.S - (Team Worried and Against Terminal Success) which pickets Parliament to demand that the area is left for animals to graze on, as anything other than this course of action represents what basically amounts to Planetary Homicide. They lodge their formal complaints to the planning commission, which rules that in light of the new complaints against the massive expansion of Heathrow airport and the obvious and irrefutable damage replacing the terminal building will do to London’s green belt, that all previous planning permissions and tenders are null and void. A new planning process is started.
October 2009 – T.W.A.T.S chain themselves to a chainlink fence on the airport perimeter and are forcibly removed by police.
November 2009 – T.W.A.T.S climb in the roof of T5 and splash red paint all over the place to illustrate the murder of the green belt. One tries to break a window and falls to his death. “Stinky” as he is known, of no fixed address, is immediately Martyred. The local Government releases a statement expressing their sincere sorrow at his death. His wife/partner “Crusty” also of no fixed address, sues BAA for having lax enough security to let them in in the first place, and is awarded three million quid in damages. She cuts her hair, has a bath, moves to Kensington, sets up an advertising firm and buys a Range Rover.
December 2009 – Local residents not affiliated to T.W.A.T.S pre-emptively sue the Government for millions because of the emotional hardship so brutally inflicted on their lives by the grim edifice of the new terminal, in whatever form it may take. A Government investigation board is appointed to appoint a committee to do a study of the plans.
June 2010 – Committee appointed.
October 2010 – Committee convened for half an hour.
April 2011 - Committee convened for an hour and ten mins.
November 2011 - Committee convened for a seventeen minutes.
December 2011 – Preliminary findings are released. They say – “It is the opinion of this Committee that a public enquiry should be convened to assess the lawsuit brought by local residents. Once this is complete planning process may begin on the new terminal”
June 2012 – New committee convened which meets for three mins in a bar in Whitehall before taking a treasury credit card to Spearmint Rhino. Signs are put up all round the now derelict and crumbling T2 site that say that BAA is ‘Caring for your future’
November 2012 – T2 blows down in a moderately strong wind. A national day of mourning is held for the dust mites which it is presumed all perished. A charity single rework of Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’ is released, sung by Jason Donovan and a class of primary school kids from Bromsgrove, entitled “You weren’t just a dust mite to me (Give peace a chance)” – its rockets straight to number one.
December 2012 – Work begins on clearing the site. Local residents complain about the noise of the drills and diggers (over the noise of the planes) which are causing emotional problems and successfully get an injunction to prevent the contractors from using any mechanical tools at all. The rubble is moved by hand. Local residents win more millions in compensation, because BAA should never have allowed the building to collapse in the first place.
December 2013 – the site is cleared. The fourth appeal of the planning permission is in the process of being dealt with in the High Courts.
April 2014 – The local residents take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in The Hague.
June 2014 – Final design, an award winning masterpiece of modern design and technical genius from Sir Norman Foster is dismissed on costs grounds. A rival bid from Botchitt & Scarper Ltd is accepted. The commission expresses ‘concerns’ that the design does not have any gates, and that the water feature and timber decking in and around the hard stands are unnecessary.
November 2015 – Work begins.
December 2016 – Work finishes. BAA make a massive glitzy launch and much is made of the fact that it came in with no work overruns and actually early. Rather less is made of the fact that the work is 395% over budget.
March 2017 – Structural engineers state that the building is unsafe. It transpires that the contractors had just poured tar over the ground and stuck beams into the tar. The site foreman, a Paddy O’Murphy, went on record as stating that “It was fine mate, its fine for people’s drives, and its fine for de terminal tingy dat we’re doing for ya’s. Do ya like Dags?”
April 2017 – Botchitt & Scarper Ltd is found to be a fake company. Nobody at the planning commission bothered to do any due diligence because they all had their drives done as a bonus. The new T2 falls down in a light breeze. An Al-Qaida carbomb is blamed.
May 2017 – Local residents sue again for emotional distress caused by the length of the planning process.
July 2021 – A new terminal design is approved.
May 2027 – The new T2 is opened. It was fifteen years late and cost more than nine-billion pounds all told, or 30% more than an entire brand new airport in the Thames Estuary.
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
You missed the catch here.
- Any expansion/new airport in a populated area will be blocked by NIMBYs and the cost of relocation.
- Building a new airport in an open area will be blocked by environmentalistss.
This is not unique to the London area. Check out NY metro, Los Angles or the San Fransisco Bay area.
787EWR From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 204 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 14747 times:
Quoting R2rho (Thread starter): In short: give it up expanding Heathrow, expand the other London airports instead, split up BAA, allow Heathrow to increase prices, and consider an all-new major hub away from the city, maybe in the Thames estuary. Let the debate begin
Here is a really stupid idea, but what the heck, I'll say it anyway. Use Heathrow for an International traffic only airport. By this I mean, limit the traffic to international carriers only. BA, should obviously be allowed to operate from there, but only internationally and a few domestic destinations. To handle ongoing traffic, establish high speed, frequent trains(not quite as big of an environmental issue) between Heathrow and the other 3 airports, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton. If you want to fly to any destination in Western Europe, you need to transfer to one of these airports. Of course, you will need to strictly enforce slots at these airports, perhaps forcing airlines to use bigger planes and less frequencies. THis plan is of course, far fetched, but it would reduce traffic while also utilizing resources at the other facilities.
Luton is 30 miles from London(according to it's website). It's limitations is the 7100 foot runway (No 747, 777 or A340 for you). According to Wikipedia, the airport management indicated that they supported the governments plan to expand but community groups opposed it. However, the recent closure of a major factory in the area might sway some of their minds.
Stansted is 30 miles from London. It has a 10,000ft runway. Again, there is talk of expansion which is being limited by local groups. Stansted recently submitted planning for a second runway, but....
Bottom line is London has 4 major airports within 30 miles of it's city center. Would be ideal for British citizens, except for the fact that London is, realistically, the financial and commercial hub for western Europe(No offense to Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt) and everyone wants to travel in and out of it.
PanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 9 Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 14732 times:
Chris, thank you for publishing that masterpiece again!! Even the members of Monty Python would be impressed with that...
Heathrow is the perfect example of the old saying, "when you try and please everyone, you end up pleasing no one". Travellers are CONSTANTLY screwed, neighbors want it closed down ("won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?"), British Airways' reputation takes a beating everytime there's a fiasco...who else?
The only people who ARE pleased are the terrorists who have made the western world so security OVER-conscious that ludicrously stupid rules are implemented with no forethought, planning, or common sense. Could someone please explain how the "one bag" rule makes us all safe from terrorism if the "one bag" consists of stuffing three bags into one to get through security and then removing them all once through security? Or how a country expects to tell travellers, "sorry, no checked luggage will be accepted for the next few days. Thank you for flying, and have a nice day...NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!"
And yet, the world fawns over Heathrow as if it were a trip to the moon. While I understand that its proximity to downtown London makes it THE airport of choice, and the number of non-stops scheduled from LHR is staggering, the image that always comes to mind for me is a poorly maintained limousine - yes, it is desirable, but if it is breaking down all the time and you cannot depend on it to function as other limousines do, then why are you bothering?
Both CDG and FRA have their issues, however, the near total catastrophic shut-downs that have plagued LHR recently should make it the last place anyone would want to change planes. AMS is gaining quite a reputation as a decent connecting point for its simplicity and connectivity; similarly, ZRH is well-suited as a transit airport. MAD seems to be taking the lead in expanding its operations to match demand for southern Europe - what other European airports function well for transfers?
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
Simply Brilliant. You should send this to the economist.
London has never really made sense to me. It would seem that having so many airports (LHR, LCY, STN, LGW, LTN, did I forget any) is really overkill. I understand that there is enough traffic, but wouldn't building one facility or maybe have two do the job? Why isn't LHR expanded at the expense of shutting the other airports down save LCY and LGW. This way, you reduce traffic, noise and other externalities that airports bring. London needs an airport, so tough luck to those who live near it. I think that consolidation is much more valuable.
Moscow is having a similar problem I think. With 3 major airports right now all undergoing expansion, yet a business community much smaller than London's, I don't see the purpose for having so many airports, but hey, Washington DC has 3 civil commercial airports, NYC also does, and LA greater area has a bunch.
Visityyj From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 519 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 14385 times:
Quoting Jbernie (Reply 2): Has there ever been a proposal to move LHR to a location outside the city where there would be no size restriction and then link the airport to major cities by high speed rail with carriages designed for airline passengers?
Yes, it was the Roskill Commission and nominated 5 potential sites in 1971 (yes, 1971 !).
None were developed except for Stansted, although that was a limited expansion of the existing airport not the greenfield site identified by Roskill.
I expect the same non-appearance of the 3rd runway at LHR. O/D traffic is where the future for LHR lies, anybody who willingly uses it to connect onwards to Europe is seriously uninformed.
Commavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 10617 posts, RR: 62 Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 14334 times:
Yeah, it's a sad state of affairs for such a wonderful country with such wonderful people!
Heathrow is, indeed, a national disgrace and it is most disgraceful and disgusting of all that Britain has allowed the economic viability of one of its most important economic engines - namely, Heathrow - to be hijacked by these ridiculous, stupid, misinformed NIMBYs and tree-huggers (the sort who climb on top of airplanes and unfurl banners, and storm the ticketing lobby of new terminals, etc.).
The article was interesting, but as more and more time goes on, I find less and less in The Economist that I can agree with. I personally disagree completely with their assessment that expanding Heathrow is not the answer.
My opinion is that expansion of Heathrow is precisely the answer.
Sure, Heathrow likely won't ever have the number of runway that Paris, Amsterdam or Frankfurt do, but that's alright - it can still have more than it does now. Just because Heathrow is way behind its continental competitors in terms of runway/terminal capacity now doesn't mean it has to stay that way forever.
A third runway at Heathrow is, to me, a no-brainer, and should begin construction tomorrow. Beyond that, I also think Heathrow needs to, at the very least, redevelop Terminals 1 and 2 into the new Heathrow East structure starting - again - immediately.
No more waiting, discussing, talking, ruminating, debating, hearings, counsels, forums, discussions, etc. Enough is enough already.
Awthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 396 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 13720 times:
Quoting Commavia (Reply 9): No more waiting, discussing, talking, ruminating, debating, hearings, counsels, forums, discussions, etc. Enough is enough already.
It is already too late. Massive business has been lost to better organised European hubs and the UK economy has already been affected by the failure to positively address the runway shortage in the South of England. In saying this, it is no excuse for giving up. It is time to arrest this decline before it worsens.
However, sadly, bureaucracy and the UK planning nightmare will unfortunately mean that it will be many years before London catches up with where it should be now in 2007. Therefore It will infinitely be a game of catch up and thats what I mean be saying that it is already too late.
Jcavinato From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 516 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 13436 times:
The one bag rule has caused me to avoid LHR with 18 business class trans-Atlantic round trips in the past three years. Absolutely stupid on their part, so I voted with me feet via Eurostar. I have choice, and that choice is to avoid this BAA bunk.
Awthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 396 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 13388 times:
Quoting FlyLKU (Reply 13): Only Heathrow is Heathrow. It may not be the best airport in the world but it is unique and my favorite of them all to visit. ...bet I'm not alone in that!
Yes, despite what I have said in the previous post, I still personally like travelling through LHR. I love the variety of airlines from far afield which are always seen. I use BMI from Belfast City (BHD) regularly and have flown out of LHR on Iberia and Lufthansa from Terminal Two and Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Qatar from Terminal Three. The latter were all late evening flights and consequently suffered no delays.
The only occasion that I flew out of LHR with BA in recent years was on 3rd March this year (short haul to Barcelona) and although I was pleased to get a B763, the delay both in the terminal (30 mins) and after boarding (60 mins) was the first I had really experienced the negative side of using LHR. Also coming back from the same trip I used Iberia from Madrid. The only delays on the whole four screen departures board at Madrid were those to LHR. A little bit embarrassing!
Ordfrbdl From France, joined Aug 2007, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 13227 times:
Quoting United787 (Reply 11): What London needs is King Daley. I know you already have a Queen but Mayor Richard Daley would be able to ram a Heathrow expansion through no problem!
LHR kinda looks like the European version of ORD already, doesn't it?
I know the NIMBYs in the North wouldn't like it, but if you're looking to efficiently route pax who are connecting through the UK (i.e. do not really need to be in London), how is the capacity at MAN doing? Any potential for growth in GLA? And, to switch islands, how about developing DUB or SNN? I mean, EI has a decent trans-pond network as well as a good intra-European one.
Just my tuppence worth....
From CDG to BDL, now posting from between ORD and DPA...
This is so true LOL! I remember waking up one morning to the front page of the Trib and the sudden realisation that Chicago had one less airport because he had bulldozers destroy Meigs Field, literally overnight! What was even funnier were the aircraft parked there overnight that had to be removed by road because there was no way to get them airborne.
WunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 29 Reply 19, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 12637 times:
What continues to strike me as completely un-understandable is the fact that in a 5-page article about LHR, the Economist could not be scr3wed to mention at least ONCE possible alternatives to short-haul air transport.
No figures whatsoever about short-distance flights in and out of LHR who occupy the exact same amount of airspace and gates and slots as inter-continental flights, but with 70 people on board instead of 300.
The fact that there is no high-speed (300 km/h and above), high-capacity (triple or even quadruple tracks if needed) railtrack between London and Manchester/Birmingham is puzzling, especially in a country that already has high-speed trains (too bad it's only over 130 kilometres). But is beyond puzzling, and downright staggering, is that there simply is no project of such an infrastructure.
How many slots out of LHR for flights to MAN, BHX, NCL or LPL? How many could be easily transferred (and most of the time bettered) onto rail?
The cost of the infrastructure is very comparable to that of a new airport/runway/terminal (about €12m/km). What about thinking outside the square (or the airport), for once?
There goes your need for a third runway or 25th terminal.
Planesarecool From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 4106 posts, RR: 12 Reply 20, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 12597 times:
If they wanted to bring LHR up to any sort of efficient hub standard, then a third and fourth runway can be the only real option. The area to the north of the current Heathrow site is about the same size as the Heathrow site itself, so fitting two more parallel runways and a 6th terminal shouldn't be a problem. Of course, with the issues of getting one additional runway, which i can almost guarentee won't be open until long after 2020, proposing a fourth would get the ill-informed tree huggers out crying for the government to be thrown out and all airports to be completely closed down. It makes me sick that a few idiots can prevent the building of something that is going to benefit not just people in the UK, but across the world.
It's simply embarressing that the UK and London's three busiest airports combined have the same amount of runways as CDG alone, despite carrying almost 3 times as many passengers.
And why shouldn't they? If you told me that suddenly my apartment which had never been anywhere near a flightpath would now be directly under one, I guess I would take the issue seriously.
This is the difference between increasing aircraft movements at a given infrastructure already in existence, and creating them where they never existed.
This is where I would recommend caution to all NIMBY bashers. I have no sympathy for people who decided to go live underneath final approach at CDG, LHR or NRT. But I certainly understand very much people who chose NOT to go live there but suddenly find themselves substantially impacted by newer developments of these infrastructures.
Treating both sides fairly, regardless of the myopic, megalomaniac fantasies of the "it's vital that [insert appropriate airport name] remain a premier world aviation hub" fan club.
25 Adam42185: i thought they used the taxi way to take-off.... ?
26 CXfirst: I think that the British Government should have a public vote. There should be a couple of options including- - a third runway and a 6th terminal - hi
27 WunalaYann: I think you are right. My only concern is that the vested interests with the most money would be able to finance the heavy-hitting communication camp
28 Incitatus: I agree with the Economist. The whole place needs to be bulldozed, including whatever sections are being built right now. London cannot live with its
29 SashA: I agree the new terminal should be build outside London. Maybe even construct an island like many in Japan and the successor of Kai Tak in HK. This wa
30 MMEPHX: I gave up on LHR a long while ago. It is an utterly overcrowded mess, and a lovely new Terminal isn't going to fix the real mess of lack of overall sp
31 Lufthansa411: I think that what the Economist is saying is correct. You cannot solve HUGE problems with tiny fixes. A third runway is just putting a tiny bandage on
32 HZ747300: it's the perfect place for a megaport, I agree! with a high speed train, where you can check in downtown up to 24 hours in advance! Can't tell you how
33 XJETFlyer: LHR needs to be expanded in a large way. But building other airports is a joke. LHR is a fine established jewel. Continue the progress and understand
34 MetalInyoni: The problem is all issues are localised i.e. the NIMBY's in LHR are different from those at LGW or STN. IF they could all negotiate together and agree
35 VS773ER: CHRISBA777ER, you are a legend. How can you be so so right about this toilet of a country!!!!!!! I wholeheartedly concur How can you be so so right a
36 Killjoy: Since we're all bashing LHR here, I'd like to comment that the final insult to travelers is what I think is a weird attitude problem. Perhaps lack of