25 May 2010

UK Cancels Major Airport Expansion

BAA - the Spanish owned company that controls STN and LHR - has canceled the two major projects for the London area which will have a major impact on the future of airline traffic in the UK.

LHR T6 and the 3rd runway was always going to be a battle. In my view the alternative of a new airport would be a better bet. However Stansted cancellation of the 2nd runway is both short sighted and a clear mis-read of the market by the politicians.

Accepting that you will never make all of the people happy all of the time comes down to a decision of what is the optimal solution for the country as a whole. The nature of the UK will be that the infrastructure of ground transportation such as high speed rail between the mainland and the UK will never give the level of support and value than the continued growth of airline traffic. Stansted is a classic case. It is in the middle of the country side and very few people are actually impacted. Whereas LHR is a different proposition. Even Gatwick's second runway is viable - more so that LHR's 3rd runway.

The UK government cannot simply abandon two runways and expect no economic impact.

With no mitigation strategy by the UK coalition government this will have to wait for up to 5 more years before the issue is addressed again.

As we have seen the fragility of the Channel Tunnel continues to blight traffic to and from the Mainland of Europe. The UK needs a balanced mix of international transportation links. Without it the country will be seriously disadvantaged.

I urge the UK Government to re-open the solution for the need of additional runway capacity in the UK.


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