Wednesday 8 May 2013


We posted a news story on our LinkedIn page yesterday about business travellers wanting another runway at Heathrow Airport. Richard Charman, research manager at HRG, posted a reply. See below. Food for thought, isn't it? We'd love to hear what you think - @btshowlondon or Business Travel Show group on LinkedIn. 

If you look at the IoD's own member research - it shows a significant regional split on where expansion should be focused. Having read numerous submissions my gut feeling is that Gatwick may be given an additional runway, Manchester Airport will get an additional runway, Birmingham Airport will have a significantly expanded runway by the end of 2014, Boris Island or similar will be promoted as a long term alternative to Heathrow, by the Government, whilst expansion at a number of other airports will also be permitted. It is already happening at Llydd Airport. 

Personally, I would like Heathrow Airport expanded to accommodate two more runways but, I do not see how the Government can get that through Parliament or the courts because of the environmental impact. The promotion of one additional runway might be acceptable - but some argue that is only an interim not, a long-term solution. The likely outcome of the Davis Commission exercise is an attempt to direct development to a number of airports around the country to try and encourage balanced airport expansion because this implies balanced economic development - such simplistic logic ignores failed attempts to get airlines to use Stansted which is currently a white elephant used many by low cost airlines.

Such a scenario could do a great deal of harm to UK earnings from aviation and encourage expansion at airports outside the UK. We are already suffering significant political and economic damage as a result of the imposition of Air Passenger Duty which should be abolished or as a minimum reduced significantly.
By Richard Charman


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