This debate always makes me chuckle. We are talking about a Third
runway at LHR, the seventh busiest airport in the world, and until 2015 was the third. An airport full for the last 15 years. We are not talking of a seventh or eight runway as you have at many other airports around the world, we are talking about the same amount of runways as ZRH currently has. Not expanding just means moving routes and investment abroad for no benefit in the fight against climate change, and a cost to the UK economy. London is a big city, its inevitable it will need a bigger airport.
Its only in the UK where we keep talking about how ‘difficult’ it is to build a new runway. Everyone else around Europe and the world scratches their head in mystification looking at us, not understanding why we wouldn’t just get on with it. All across the world people chuckle and sum it up as the UK being a laughing stock. The sad thing is politicians have made a big thing about only building ONE runway, prompting people’s thoughts and the press to be anchored on this mindset. Of course that runway needs to go where the airport is full and demand far exceeds its capacity, LHR. There is no rational case to expand airports which are not full and have spare capacity. They may be full some time in the future, expand them then.
People need to travel less to keep the earth green.
Or A and B and co need to manufacture planes which are more environmentally friendly. People ARE and WILL fly more going forwards. That's a fact. The answer to the environmental issue is not to ban expansion and take the ability to fly out of the reach of the poorest, but to make it sustainable.
And airlines need to behave in more environmentally sensitive ways, and Government rules and legislation need to assist.
If you speak to representatives from the 'poorest' nations, their priorities are food, health, and environmental impacts on those two. Cheap air travel for the rich ranks nowhere. And increasingly, it seems there are teenagers who feel the same way, even in 'rich' countries.
I was speaking in regards to the poorest in the UK whom will be priced out of the restricted supply and subsequent increase in fares, but if you want to make the point about poorer nations the point still stands. Access and connections to the rest of the world is a vital driver for investment and income. There is a reason why developing countries are expanding airport capacity at a breakneck rate and it is to attract inward investment. The best way to bring food to tables, income, better healthcare is to advance an economy.
The ‘teenagers’ fight against climate change is a valid cause, even if aviation is a very small fraction of this, but not expanding LHR isn’t the answer to their cause. The discussions should be aimed at Airbus/Boeing and co. If the planes don’t producer CO2 then what is the issue? Same as motorway expansion. An extra lane on the M25 doesn’t create more pollution, combustion engine cars stuck in traffic does. The extra lane just gets people home quicker. The focus should be to move to green energy, not against infrastructure for a growing population.
Why is the Mayor of London so actively opposing something that would be so beneficial to his city? Does he believe that airport delays are like terrorism, just part and parcel of living in a big city?
Because Sadiq Khan is completely out of touch with the majority of the people he represents (I say this in a non-partisan manner). This is the same Mayor who thought banning Uber would be a vote winner to support the black cabs, only to receive the inevitable backlash across the board that he was out of touch, prompting what is a climbdown. Same with LHR, fighting expansion is not a vote winner when tens of thousands of jobs and more connections are going to be created.
For once in his life, Boris is right. Anyone who thinks a third runway at LHR is a good idea has probably never lived or worked, or even tried to travel on the motorway, near Heathrow - other than maybe in the middle of the night. It's total lunacy and being an aviation enthusiast or occasional user of the place doesn't change that. The airspace and infrastructure around it simply cannot cope with more traffic. And there *will* be more traffic if a third runway is built.
If south-east England needs more runway capacity, then extra ones at Gatwick and Stansted make far more sense and would cost less. In fact, I think both of those could be built for the cost of the one at LHR, and with less resulting problems. The push for it to be LHR has nothing to do with more total runway capacity in the south-east and everything to do with the vested interests there trying to get a bigger piece of the same pie, when what we need is a bigger pie.
None of the airlines want to fly from the other airports...
There is a shortage of affordable housing in the south of the UK but there are loads of empty cheap houses further north but nobody wants to live in them because they are in the wrong place. You cannot force people to move north in this country and its the same with the airlines.
Exactly. LHR has been full for 15 years for a reason, LGW is still not full with its one runway.
As for all the ‘try to force capacity to LGW’ where there is not the demand yet anyway, hypothetically where would all those cars from the Midlands driving down go past en-route, on the M25-oh yes, LHR. There is a reason why LHR became the biggest hub.
I actually have nothing against an additional runway for LGW in addition, but build it in the future, after the third runway at LHR, when LGW is full-i.e. when it makes sense.