Economist says “West is Best” for airports

heathrow planeAn article in The Economist has pointed at expansion at Heathrow as the best solution to the UK aviation crisis.

The Economist article evaluates a number of the options, and calls on Sir Howard Davies to quickly rule out the idea of a new Thames Estuary airport as too expensive, and too disruptive to the economy. As they say, many of the companies based around Heathrow are there because of the airport, and to have them up sticks and move to Dagenham would cause significant economic hardship in the Thames Valley and West London, and cost a great deal of money in new infrastructure and facilities.

However, the influential magazine does not favour a third runway. The best option, it says, is to expand Heathrow “not to its north, but to the west, by building up to four new runways over what is now a reservoir”.

Moving the runways a mile to the west and building more could double Heathrow’s capacity – putting the expansion where airlines want it, and where business is positioned to exploit it, without the requirement for massive public subsidy – while moving the airport further from the bulk of the people affected by noise, although closer to a number of powerful and influential residents and lobby groups in Windsor and surrounding areas.

“Going west is best”, as the article concludes.


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