It’s frustrating enough when your own personal bandwidth drops off at home and the final ten minutes of the latest Netflix blockbuster gets disrupted. But for UK aviation the apparent lack of bandwidth in the UK Government to address the ongoing capacity/runway issues in the South East of England is just another delay to a failed process.
Last October, the UK Government identified Heathrow as the preferred location for additional runway capacity in the South East. Indications were that the formal approval process would be completed within eighteen months, many within the industry thought that was optimistic but what do we know! After all past performance is never an indicator of future performance, is it?
With no apparent consultative progress, it then comes out that the forecast on which the decision was made to support Heathrow over Gatwick was “incorrect”. Technical jargon for getting people from outside of the industry to prepare forecasts with limited knowledge of how the market works. Experienced forecasters could see flaws in the case presented.
Clearly the UK Government has some issues to resolve at the moment, but when - or if - Brexit is eventually finalised the UK will need trading partners further afield than just the EU and logically we might need some more capacity to allow flights to those markets. Allowing Heathrow and Gatwick to proceed with their development plans as they see fit might be in the best interests of everyone but realistically it’s looking more likely that there may be no new runway capacity decisions for London in this Parliamentary term as politicians and mandarins alike have their attention elsewhere.
For UK aviation this will just be another “gift” to overseas airports and airlines as traffic connects elsewhere.