Heathrow 3rd Runway, All Sorted Then…….
But not quite. The same vote was taken nine years ago, in fact the subject was first raised over 25 years ago yet we’re still waiting. Even once the decision is made, will the arrival of a “swampy” like creature delay runway construction further as the builders move in? The truth is that Heathrow’s third runway still remains a long way from happening. The way it is going we may well see personalised drone travel before any flights take off from Heathrow’s third runway.
This summer, London’s major two airports will operate at maximum capacity. New airlines, routes and international trade are being frustrated at every IATA Slot Conference. Yes, Manchester has been very successful in the last two years and new services from UK regional airports should be part of a co-ordinated UK strategy towards aviation development. Finding room at either Heathrow or Gatwick is like being in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve!
At Heathrow the peak hour squeezes some 89 movements this Summer whilst Gatwick manages a staggering 52 in an hour on one runway. One movement every 69 seconds is far better than any late-night Saturday curry could ever achieve! It also highlights why we need more runway capacity in London. Simply put, London is closed for new business, unable to develop more trade or create more jobs without that capacity; it is an economic no-brainer.
In 2012, Heathrow was the third largest airport in the world. Since then every two years it slips one further place down the list, now occupying 6th place in 2018. By 2026, the most ambitious date quoted for a 3rd runway opening, it will have slipped to 10th based on the current trend.
Yesterday I got up at 04:00 on one of the longest days of the year and went to Heathrow to be interviewed for the BBC Breakfast programme. My 21-year-old daughter came along for a look at what happens. She listened to the interviews, spoke to Ben Thomson, the BBC journalist, and in the car on the way home said in that daughter way “well that’s not happening, is it?” Sitting on the M25 car park I thought to myself wise words from one so young.
In the future, I know someone will explain to me why it took over 40 years for the UK to decide it needed more runway capacity in the South East and a further 20 years to build it. Whilst Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Madrid, Istanbul and others expanded, London just watched….