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The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:03 am

A succinct summary of the ongoing 70 year battle to build the third runway. Full article here:
http://www.economist.com/blogs/economis ... xplains-11


Since 1946 more than a dozen commissions, policy documents and white papers have investigated where to put a new runway near London. But all the proposals they came up with have been defeated by NIMBYs, tight budgets and legal challenges: at Heathrow in the 1940s; Cublington in Buckinghamshire in the 1960s; Foulness in the Thames estuary; Gatwick, south of London, in the 1970s; and at Heathrow again in the 1990s and 2000s
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:38 am

One thing I don't understand is the reluctance of Britain to wipe the slate clean & consider a new airport. Take for example Maplin Sands/Foulness - in today's money it would have cost around 8 billion pounds which in my mind would be incredibly reasonable given the traffic throughput of London's airports.

Why is the British government so reluctant on spending money on infrastructure that in the long run would increase government revenue?
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RickNRoll
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:42 am

I'd buy a ticket to the Foulness airport!
 
Planesmart
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:48 am

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Why is the British government so reluctant on spending money on infrastructure that in the long run would increase government revenue?


Having been involved at least three different times in reviewing existing and/or new London airports, aside from electing Government's for three years (far too short for long-term infrastructure projects), unfortunately there are vastly more interest groups involved than just the Government. Dictatorships work well for big projects.

Where politics are concerned, but not for personal development, you can be harmed more by trying and failing, than never trying in the first place.

With the resources required for Brexit, discussions of new airports and runways, will simply be orchestrated distractions.
 
vrbarreto
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:09 am

Also any projects seem to run over budget and way over time... Example the Thameslink programme due to be completed in 2018 was originally called Thameslink 2000. Shows you how much it has been delayed. The logical decision is to build a runway on Boris' mop and power it from the hot air coming from his mouth.
 
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:43 am

I had understood that the decision was to have been made (or announced) today, though I guess that this is not the case now? Any better idea of when it will be announced.

I am guessing that when it is, there will be a significant amount of political sugar coating to accompany it, together with (I'm hoping) more solid information about the proposal to create ring fenced slots of UK domestic flights.

Expect a big fight; Zac G is already "promising" it won't be built, though BoJo seems to have fallen in line.
 
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Channex757
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:01 pm

The sensible option would be the Kai Tak-Chep Lap Kok one. Use some of the money coming in from the bank rescues to build a new airport out somewhere else and connect it to the national rail and motorway network properly.

Then as soon as it is open, do as Hong Kong did. Close LHR totally. Sell off the valuable West London land for redevelopment after decontaminating it. That land alone will offset most if not all of the cost of London Churchill (or whatever they call it). It's a big project but no more expensive than this silly HS2 thing going on at the moment,
 
Noshow
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:04 pm

Heathrow is a fortress hub and guaranteeing a certain BA dominance and control. Open some "unlimited capacity" new airport and competitors might blow the old heirs away.

A smart move would have been to move a new airport closer to the coast line and to continental europe. Not too likely to happen after Brexit plans now.
 
vrbarreto
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:11 pm

kaitak wrote:
I had understood that the decision was to have been made (or announced) today, though I guess that this is not the case now? Any better idea of when it will be announced.

I am guessing that when it is, there will be a significant amount of political sugar coating to accompany it, together with (I'm hoping) more solid information about the proposal to create ring fenced slots of UK domestic flights.

Expect a big fight; Zac G is already "promising" it won't be built, though BoJo seems to have fallen in line.


Well if Heathrow goes ahead Goldsmith's promised to resign his seat in protest.. So I suppose there are some benefits to a third runway at Heathrow.

Bojo is probably in all the camps at the same time if his views regarding Brexit are anything to go by.

Personally I would favour a second runway at Gatwick.. There's more space for it... The Thameslink programme when it is finished will provide a whole load of 12 carriage class 700 trains linking it with the South Coast and all the way to Bedford along with the link to Luton airport.. Once Crossrail is completed, Farringdon will become a hub for North-South-East-West rail traffic
 
bennett123
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:19 pm

Www.bbc.co.uk shows the decision postponed until next week.
 
mysterzip
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:28 pm

vrbarreto wrote:
Also any projects seem to run over budget and way over time... Example the Thameslink programme due to be completed in 2018 was originally called Thameslink 2000. Shows you how much it has been delayed. The logical decision is to build a runway on Boris' mop and power it from the hot air coming from his mouth.


I second your statement and being across the pond and living in NY, any decision becomes bloated due to unions, mismanagement and corruption. This is due to bidding and the few major construction companies here in NYC know exactly how much a project would cost them due to their extensive experience. So they lower their bids on purpose and then blame the unions or strict deadlines to cover the rest of the expenses. While my knowledge of UK politics is somewhat limited, I expect no less from the Empire.

It's a shame for residents that live in Heathrow's shadow to be displaced. I'd feel angry in their position too, but the fact is, just as with JFK and LGA over here, we live in a big city. At some level, you have to compromise or move out. The airports have been here for far longer than you have, most likely.
 
Noshow
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:44 pm

What a global variety:
While London takes forever to decide, Berlin takes forever to build a new airport.
 
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:06 pm

The ME3 thank the London NIMBYs. If LHR had full capacity for more efficient banking, there would be a tremendous number of added flights to India, China, and Africa. Instead those connections are elsewhere.

I've stopped worrying about London. If my next vacation needs to start elsewhere, it isn't that big of a deal. With the A321LR, a huge number of new destinations will open up TATL and if that means skipping LHR or another big European hub, that isn't a big deal. For example, my parents now take the MIT cruises through Europe and fly a chartered flight from BOS directly to a Baltic port (as MIT alumni, pre-cruise there are lectures they'll attend).

Before they had to fly via a European hub and contribute to the hub city's economy. Usually staying a few nights in a hotel. But lack of hub expansion forces point to point. And a lie flat J seat with a meal is really all they need for a flight. So now a Baltic hotel gets their money. Cest la vie.

London is so past needing a new runway it is just sad.

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Noshow
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:50 pm

Going to London as a final destination via LHR is okay to me. Connecting within T5 works nice as well. All the other variants made me miss connecting flights due to long ways and lines so I try to bypass LHR and connect elsewhere.
 
JHwk
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:07 pm

Maybe Brexit is just a really effective way of eliminating the need for the third runway.
 
Noshow
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:12 pm

There is Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, City and more airfields that have been developed aside from LHR. There is much of a choice now and LGW has won bigger industry names as well.
It's part of LHR's DNA to be and stay crowded. And this is what some big players prefer as expansion means more competition for them.
 
Turnhouse1
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:23 pm

Channex757 wrote:
The sensible option would be the Kai Tak-Chep Lap Kok one. Use some of the money coming in from the bank rescues to build a new airport out somewhere else and connect it to the national rail and motorway network properly.

Then as soon as it is open, do as Hong Kong did. Close LHR totally. Sell off the valuable West London land for redevelopment after decontaminating it. That land alone will offset most if not all of the cost of London Churchill (or whatever they call it). It's a big project but no more expensive than this silly HS2 thing going on at the moment,


The problem with that idea is that as London is in the South East corner of the UK, the best site for an Airport is to the North West of London (somewhere around Hemel Hempstead would be ideal) as it accommodates both London and the rest of the country. Connecting Boris Island to the road and rail networks would be hideously expensive, Basically a second HS1 from Paddington/Euston/King's Cross, widening the Northern section of the M25, a second Dartford Bridge etc. Heathrow could increase capacity with Mixed Mode operation of the existing runways, but that's about as controversial as building a 3rd runway.
 
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:56 pm

I remember DFW in the later 70s...airport was bang in the middle of nowhere......look at it now? I do not believe a new airport is economically feasable.......just too expensive...even just a 3rd runway is north of 20BN...imagine how much a brand new one would cost (estimated cost of Dubai is 62BN $$
 
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:14 pm

The Economist article isn't the best. It has ignored the role of the Civil Service under-estimating the increasing demand for air-travel over the decades and believe it or believe it not, the belief by politicians and senior Civil Servants that the development of VTOL aircraft would negate the need for extra runway capacity. The article also ignores the fact that the South of England is short on space and the lack of Regional Policy in terms of even economic development across the UK rather than being London centric. This said, there are only so many words you can cram into a newspaper article! My own person view is that Gatwick should be expanded, coupled with a new high speed rail link to London.
 
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speedbored
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:15 pm

Seems our spineless politicians have now pushed back making a decision for at least another year:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37692903
 
Amiga500
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:18 pm

G-CIVP wrote:
The Economist article isn't the best. It has ignored the ignorance of the Civil Service



Fixed that for you. ;)
 
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VCEflyboy
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:36 pm

No politician wants to be remembered for mass protests. They want to be remembered for their portrait photo cutting the ribbon.
At this stage even the airlines operating in and out of LHR do not have any interest in changing the status qui as their investment worth hundreds of millions in LHR slots would evaporate overnight and competition would stiffen up quite a bit.
 
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:29 pm

Planesmart wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Why is the British government so reluctant on spending money on infrastructure that in the long run would increase government revenue?


Having been involved at least three different times in reviewing existing and/or new London airports, aside from electing Government's for three years (far too short for long-term infrastructure projects), unfortunately there are vastly more interest groups involved than just the Government. Dictatorships work well for big projects.
.


It's interesting to compare/contrast the UK and Dubai. The UK has a great geographical location for all the TATL flows and could be cashing in on it if there was someone in charge who made it the biggest priority. Instead it's one of many priorities, and making the investment to do a new runway at LHR will benefit a corporate entity, not the UK government. I suppose Dubai fills the role of dictatorship your post envisions. They are making money now with DXB and investing in it to keep it functional for a few more years, but also are investing in DWC so they have infrastructure in place for the following decades. All the billions made by DXB and EK flows into the Emir's pockets, and if things go off kilter he gets a bail-out from one of the other Emirs.
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:45 pm

Revelation wrote:
Planesmart wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Why is the British government so reluctant on spending money on infrastructure that in the long run would increase government revenue?


Having been involved at least three different times in reviewing existing and/or new London airports, aside from electing Government's for three years (far too short for long-term infrastructure projects), unfortunately there are vastly more interest groups involved than just the Government. Dictatorships work well for big projects.
.


It's interesting to compare/contrast the UK and Dubai. The UK has a great geographical location for all the TATL flows and could be cashing in on it if there was someone in charge who made it the biggest priority. Instead it's one of many priorities, and making the investment to do a new runway at LHR will benefit a corporate entity, not the UK government. I suppose Dubai fills the role of dictatorship your post envisions. They are making money now with DXB and investing in it to keep it functional for a few more years, but also are investing in DWC so they have infrastructure in place for the following decades. All the billions made by DXB and EK flows into the Emir's pockets, and if things go off kilter he gets a bail-out from one of the other Emirs.


Japan isn't a dictatorship but it's far easier for them to get a new airport (KIX) than the Brits. Heck, even DEN managed to get a new airport in the period that the British government faffed about LHR/LGW.
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:58 am

Revelation wrote:
It's interesting to compare/contrast the UK and Dubai. The UK has a great geographical location for all the TATL flows and could be cashing in on it if there was someone in charge who made it the biggest priority. Instead it's one of many priorities, and making the investment to do a new runway at LHR will benefit a corporate entity, not the UK government. I suppose Dubai fills the role of dictatorship your post envisions. They are making money now with DXB and investing in it to keep it functional for a few more years, but also are investing in DWC so they have infrastructure in place for the following decades. All the billions made by DXB and EK flows into the Emir's pockets, and if things go off kilter he gets a bail-out from one of the other Emirs.


As we can see here, the brits are quite happy to shoot themselves in the foot by stifling economic growth with over regulating. Shame they decided to blame it on Brussels and the EU.
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:36 pm

zkojq wrote:
Revelation wrote:
It's interesting to compare/contrast the UK and Dubai. The UK has a great geographical location for all the TATL flows and could be cashing in on it if there was someone in charge who made it the biggest priority. Instead it's one of many priorities, and making the investment to do a new runway at LHR will benefit a corporate entity, not the UK government. I suppose Dubai fills the role of dictatorship your post envisions. They are making money now with DXB and investing in it to keep it functional for a few more years, but also are investing in DWC so they have infrastructure in place for the following decades. All the billions made by DXB and EK flows into the Emir's pockets, and if things go off kilter he gets a bail-out from one of the other Emirs.


As we can see here, the brits are quite happy to shoot themselves in the foot by stifling economic growth with over regulating. Shame they decided to blame it on Brussels and the EU.


Blaming anyone else for all your (imaginary) problems turns out to be a hobby for 52% of the population.
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Re: The Economist explains: Why it has taken 70 years to build a new runway for London

Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:27 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Japan isn't a dictatorship but it's far easier for them to get a new airport (KIX) than the Brits. Heck, even DEN managed to get a new airport in the period that the British government faffed about LHR/LGW.


Yet those same Brits were the ones who launched the new HKG, which included blowing up an island, lots of landfill, major highway/rail bridges, etc. It's strange that they can't achieve in the motherland that which they can in their colonies...
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The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own

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