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Author Topic: Heathrow Third Runway  (Read 717 times)
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« on: February 27, 2020, 01:55:34 PM »

Statement from the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead on the Heathrow appeal outcome 27/02/20

Cllr Johnson, leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead said: “We are pleased with the outcome handed down today which will force the Government to do the right thing and review the Airport National Policy Statement (ANPS), ensuring that any proposed airport expansion does not contravene the Paris Agreement and further impact the environment.”

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Roger
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 02:38:21 PM »

That is good news. Mad idea using Heathrow.
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grumpyoldgit
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2020, 04:42:17 PM »

It isn't good news at all - and it's only mad if there's a better alternative. Heathrow is bursting at the seams, and there appears to be no plan B. Climate protests notwithstanding, the demand for air travel and air freight is going to increase, not diminish. If we don't have a viable international hub airport like almost every other developed West European nation, the UK's global competitiveneness - and consequently, our economy - will suffer. If that's the outcome, prepare to be poorer as a consequence.
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Watchman
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2020, 06:06:52 PM »

There are some 40,000 unused acres around Gatwick.
Gatwick is grossly under-used and under developed.
Heathrow is congested - fact.
There are houses (not empty fields) around its perimeter.
Heathrow flightpaths affect several towns, both large and small - polluting them with both noise and fuel exhausts.

It would be both stupid and grossly negligent if the Government append yet another runway to the existing infrastructure.
The sensible path forward is to make use of the immense open spaces at Gatwick - build two runways if necessary -

and leave Heathrow alone.
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grumpyoldgit
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2020, 06:38:49 PM »

The problem with the Gatwick proposal is that you'd inevitably end up with two hubs with inadequate links - this has already been proposed and rejected. Although I was against it at the time, the ideal solution is something like "Boris Island" - sited away from major population centres, where a really large hub airport, designed and built from scratch, could be built.

None of this is easy, and this country has a woeful record of infrastructure neglect. We've been dickering over the Heathrow dilemma for at least 40 years, and we're still nowhere near a solutiion. In some other countries - admittedly under economic and political systems somewhat different to ours - a project of such strategic importance would have been planned and executed in just a few years.

I strongly suspect that I'll be pushing up the daisies long before anything significant gets done about this. Of course, if Saint Greta of Thunberg is right, we'll all be underwater by then. Bring back seaplanes?
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Birdman
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2020, 10:05:35 AM »

I must admit I have struggled to see the 'commercial benefit' of this huge 'hub' facility. The argument seems to be that we dare not lose out on the sort of traffic that results in someone getting off one plane, sitting in a lounge for an hour or two and getting on another plane to somewhere else. At best the local economy earns the profit on a coffee and a newspaper. The airport owner (Chinese or Spanish now?) then earns lots of landing fees which goes straight out of UK Ltd. Meantime everyone within 20 mile radius gets 10 years of construction misery and umpteen years of more noise! If Greta et al is right of course at least our soon-to-be Mediterranean climate will mean fewer needs for holidays abroad so flight numbers will decrease. Let's wait for that, then the overall number of flights would even out! (PS - as to cost, now HS2 is two and a half times as expensive as thought even before it starts, does that now make it HS5??!!)
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grumpyoldgit
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2020, 09:59:38 PM »

Birdman, I think your view of the commercial benefit of a major hub airport is, how shall I say, incomplete. Airlines around the world mostly operate their networks on a "hub and spoke" basis. The point of a major hub airport in any country is to encourage travellers - both tourists and business people - to view the city it serves as a favourable destination, and yes, for some, as a transit point. The economic argument goes something like this: if Frankfurt or Amsterdam, say, are much easier to reach by air, they will attract a significant percentage of passenger and freight traffic, at the expense of the UK economy. If Heathrow continues to operate at dangerously close to capacity, airlines - and their passengers and freight customers - are likely to choose a hub in another country where the chances of catastrophic systems breakdown are much less; in such cases, the German and Dutch economies would be the beneficiaries. Now that we are about to operate as an independent nation once more, avoiding this outcome becomes even more important.

There is no question that airports sited within or close to densely populated areas cause disruption. However, they also provide local people with jobs, and develop around them a network of support businesses. The two hubs solution proposed by Watchman could take pressure off Heathrow, and develop the job opportunities and support network around Gatwick. I remain convinced, however, by the argument that this would do nothing to enhance the appeal of the UK as attractive destination.

My view is that if a viable solution to increase Heathrow's capacity can be agreed upon, this should be done, in order to increase capacity in the short to medium term. Whether or not that is going to happen - and the recent Court ruling is by no means the end of this saga - then despite the negative impact on West London - which would be significant in terms of job losses and business failures - then something akin to "Boris Island" should be planned and executed in as short a time as possible. Heathrow would in all probability then cease to operate.

The worst possible outcome - and I hate to say this, one that is highly likely - is that a succession of attacks on government policy launched through the Courts will cripple any attempt to improve our transport infrastructure, especially if it involves air travel. As far as I'm concerned, the justice system exists to ensure we live in an orderly society, not for casual use by any protest group that wants to disrupt the business of government to impose their ideology on the rest of us. We elect politicians to carry out that business, and they must be free to do so.
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Birdman
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2020, 08:01:11 PM »

Hmm, all very interesting, but none of what is said responds to the basic issue raised concerning 'pass-through' passengers. What commercial benefit? Huge cost of implementation, increase in traffic and pollution, and no tourist dollars entering the local economy. Increase in landing fees for BAA in the large part exported to foreign owners. And when did this specific expansion of Heathrow become a government policy? The proposal was derived by the airport operating authority, Heathrow Airport Holdings. Whilst having varying levels of acceptance by successive governments, it was only one of several options being considered. So, visiting tourists yes, but why the urgency to try and support pass-through traffic which we can't handle without huge expense, especially at a time when there are far more important needs for finance. In fact every seat taken by someone who is NOT destined to visit UK is one less tourist we CAN attract. Sorry, I just don't get it.
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grumpyoldgit
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2020, 02:27:23 PM »

Worth a read.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/02/28/global-trade-policy-no-heathrow-third-runway-joke/



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Roger
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2020, 02:39:46 PM »

This is from Airport Watch
It is deeply odd, not to mention highly unsustainable, that Scottish fish are not exported from Scottish airports – and why they are flown to London, for their onward journey. It is also ironic because Scottish farmed salmon not only cause serious problems for the few remaining wild salmon, but also for the waters where the farms are located. And the farms are largely owned by foreign companies, so not British at all. The largest grower is the massive Marine Harvest Scotland, based in Norway. So Norwegian company damages Scottish environment, to ship fish by air to London, and then across the world.  And Heathrow wants another runway so it can do more of this sort of thing.  Weird world  …
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 02:28:41 PM by Roger » Logged
grumpyoldgit
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 11:31:51 AM »

She may not have chosen the most appropriate example to illustrate the point - but the point remains valid: other countries will benefit at our expense if we do not expand airport capacity in this country.

We are an island nation, a trading nation - if we make ourselves less accessible - and thereby limit our ability to trade - we will all suffer the consequences.
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