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Another runway at Heathrow

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Another runway at Heathrow

Old 10th Jun 2015, 08:34
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Attaching a derogatory label to leisure travellers does not remove these passengers from the equation. Leisure travellers include some very wealthy people, by the way. And they tend to linger around the terminal longer than business travellers, spending their money as they do. Airport operators like that. These customers aren't a nuisance to be brushed aside to a second-rate facility.
It wasn't meant as a derogatory comment but is a phrase used when talking about a specific type of traveller. I will be one myself on Monday when I fly out from Gatwick to Majorca bucket and spade in hand.

All this to up LHR's capacity by a measly one-third. Whilst the direct cost may be financed directly by the BAA, the necessary infrastructure upgrades in the areas immediately surrounding the airport will not be.
The infrastructure is already being upgraded. Crossrail will allow people to connect to LHR far easier whilst also creating a much needed improved service into London from the west. The M4 around LHR requires major improvements mainly due to the A3/M3 and the existing link from the M4 into LHR is already a problem that needs sorting out. The ground to the north of Heathrow in largely wasteground and expansion will be a benefit to the whole area not just the airport. If BAA is willing to finance a big chunk of it in conjunction with the new runway then so much the better.

There isn't a *need* to bring in connecting pax from the regions. There is a *desire* to do so, but that is a different thing entirely. If that desire cannot be satisfied at a reasonable financial cost, then better that it does not happen at all. The regions offer substantial and growing long-haul capability from airports such as MAN, BHX, GLA, EDI, NCL. And most prominent destinations worldwide can be reliably accessed with just one change at a hub. Whether that be LHR or AMS/FRA/DXB/IST/ORD etc is largely irrelevant to regional travellers.
The desire comes from the passengers, MAN is only the 'gateway to Yorkshire' due to it being the only option. Travelling from North Yorkshire to MAN for a flight is a huge pain and being able to buy a ticket from Leeds, Doncaster, Humberside, Teeside etc. that connects easily through LHR would be a better option for many. You are right in saying it matters not whether that connection is in London or Amsterdam but it does matter to UK PLC. Flying three quarters full 757/767 over the atlantic from various airports to a hub elsewhere just doesn't make good business sense when passengers from all over Europe could be brought into LHR and put onto larger aircraft to more destinations.

You should urge the government to invest afew billion directly into Yorkshire infrastructure instead. Now that would be really helpful.
Such as HS3? I can see that will face major planning issues and complaints from the NIMBYs up there, however if there was a business case for something as strong as the case the LHR expansion then it should and probably would be under consideration.

Are you aware of the Proposed York Potash tunnel? It is a huge project with a viable business case funded by a private company that is under threat from the North Yorkshire moors association. It is no use complaining about lack of investment when people do not want the end result.

This thread still seems to be a confusion of the need for LHR expansion as a viable business case for Heathrow and a presumed need for a new runway in the South East. The owners of Gatwick are using the publicity surrounding LHR to further their own interests. The Gatwick runway just does not have any bearing on the case for expansion at LHR.

Please can we lay to rest the idea that the south east of England is desperate for a new runway anywhere else.
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 08:51
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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Nigel Lawson said on the Today programme that the Government was committed to accepting whatever the Davies Commission recommends.

Can that be true?
I believe so. I also believe it has been the case for some time within the Tory party and the rest is just political bluster. Why was the report put off until after the election?

Boris Island was a white elephant from the start. How much money was spent on that piece of Boris spin I wonder?
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 11:10
  #183 (permalink)  
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Nigel Lawson said on the Today programme that the Government was committed to accepting whatever the Davies Commission recommends.

Can that be true?
Only if they already know what the answer is!
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 15:29
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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Why not civilianise Northolt and re-align the runway to suit air traffic routes in and out that dont clash with LHR. Link Northolt to LHR by a tube extension and Northolt becomes the runway for regional traffic.

Less land to grab, less planning problems, increased use of an under utilised airport infrastructure.

Not ideal, perhaps. But then no solution to the need for a brand new hub airport somewhere around about Oxford to suit both London and the Midlands is!
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 16:29
  #185 (permalink)  
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The reasons for Northolt not being an option are in other threads and the Search function will help you find them. One of the key points is: You would then be closely overflying a suburb of London that has long had a low number of flights, of small a/c and only during daylight hours - unless an emergency. Try upsetting another suburb full of rich voters?

Secondly, the costs of building a rapid transit across 100% developed land (leave alone under it)?
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 16:44
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Response to Felixflyer

The desire [to connect via LHR] comes from the passengers

I hate to break this to you, but I detect ZERO desire from Northern passengers to change planes at LHR. They sometimes tolerate this out of necessity, but they categorically don't desire it. Primarily they want a non-stop flight from their own region. In the absence of this, transfer via a relatively hassle-free hub (which LHR is not) is preferred.

MAN is only the 'gateway to Yorkshire' due to it being the only option

MAN is not the only option. LBA already has regular BA flights to LHR offering a range of onward connections. LBA also offers frequent KLM departures to its AMS hub, as do nearby HUY and MME. MAN is the 'gateway to Yorkshire' because it is comfortably the best of the three main options on offer.

Travelling from North Yorkshire to MAN for a flight is a huge pain and being able to buy a ticket from Leeds, Doncaster, Humberside, Teeside etc. that connects easily through LHR would be a better option for many.

That is a matter of opinion. York, Leeds, Sheffield and Doncaster offer fast hourly through trains direct to Manchester Airport Station in the heart of the terminals complex. It could hardly be more convenient. Quick connections are available from other Yorkshire towns and cities. The road journey from Manchester to Leeds is almost entirely motorway. No journey option is 100% hassle-free, but these choices compare very favourably with the existing BA Shuttle to LHR (check-in, security) and transfer there (second security search, possible terminals transfer).

it matters not whether that connection is in London or Amsterdam but it does matter to UK PLC

If the UK is genuinely missing out on a profitable business opportunity, then that does matter to UK PLC. However, if the cost required to provide that hub capability is wildly excessive (and arguably uneconomic) then it is best to invest scarce capital in alternative projects which better serve the national interest.

when passengers from all over Europe could be brought into LHR and put onto larger aircraft

This sounds like us trying to dictate to passengers what we think is good for them rather than listening to what their travel choices are telling us. Customers are actively selecting non-stop P2P services from their own region where this choice exists, except when price discounting via a hub is too profound to ignore.

Such as HS3? I can see that will face major planning issues and complaints from the NIMBYs up there

Yes, HS3 would be a very welcome innovation for the North. And in common with all major infrastructure initiatives it would undoubtedly face some opposition, but plenty of positive support too. At this stage, HS3 is a very early concept. We don't yet know whether it will be a new-build line, a major upgrade of an existing route or a combination of the two. It is not costed or funded. But it is exactly the sort of project that the regions should be putting forward for investment. There are other proposals of merit concerning regional infrastructure which also deserve public support.

if there was a business case for something as strong as the case the LHR expansion

The case for LHR expansion is only strong from an operational perspective. From a financial perspective, the case is extremely weak as the LHR proposals are stratospherically over-priced at the point of delivery.

Are you aware of the Proposed York Potash tunnel? It is a huge project with a viable business case funded by a private company that is under threat from the North Yorkshire moors association. It is no use complaining about lack of investment when people do not want the end result.

I'm pleased you have raised this, as the mining industry is something of a pet-topic for me. Warning to other readers: we're wandering a bit off-topic here (some may wish to skip the next couple of paragraphs?).

There are very significant differences between permitting a mining project and approving an infrastructure project intended for public use. Extractive industries have a terrible public image, being widely associated with dirt, pollution and danger. This largely dates back to our impressions of labour-intensive Victorian-era coal mines with visions of blackened faces, slag-heaps and appalling disasters. And you can throw in greedy absentee entrepreneurs and downtrodden salt-of-the-earth workers. This is the image which must be overcome when a new-build mining proposal is put before a community.

Mining today bears little resemblance to its Victorian counterpart. A new-build mine in this era will be very highly mechanised, employing perhaps less than 5% of the staff required in the early days. And many of these will work in the office monitoring equipment. This is actually a mixed-blessing, as the new mine will offer comparatively few employment positions to the host community. Those jobs which are required often need highly specialised skills which must be imported. So, in the case of an application like that of Sirius Minerals (which you reference), local opponents perceive little direct benefit coming their way, whilst fears of the area facing ruin loom large. Add to the mix the spectre of remote elite shareholders ("the rich") making off with the profits, and you have a recipe for protest and unrest.

The mining industry is accustomed to allaying this innate prejudice. They will accept numerous environmental protection clauses as part of the permitting process. They will make section 106 contributions to benefit local projects (in Sirius' case 175M is proposed). They will sponsor community projects. Landscaping commitments will be agreed and financed. And eventually, after a rigorous process has been seen to be negotiated, after a series of challenges, after the lawyers have made their cut, a permit will be granted. Because a world-class mineral deposit - a very rare and precious discovery - cannot then be 'undiscovered' if it is deemed inconvenient. Once it is discovered, everybody knows it is there. And eventually - even decades later in some cases - the project will be permitted and developed.

Public infrastructure projects are not directly comparable, although there are some similarities. An airport development is seen as an unwelcome neighbour by many. It stirs up images of noise and pollution hell (to those unfamiliar with the reality in 2015). So it will stir strongly-motivated opposition from eco-extremists and some local residents. But there will be support too from local business leaders and residents who will use the facility or work there. So it is a much more two-sided debate than a mining project which stirs near-universal opposition. But one major difference is this: a mineral deposit is located where 'mother nature' put it; an airport location is a variable ... interested parties can propose alternative sites which will still do a job for the users.

The truth is that many more people want the end result (of investment) when they can see something in it for them. Airports, passenger railways, motorways, shopping centres all fall into this category. Mining projects - for the vast majority of people - do not. So in the latter case, the public must instead be persuaded by the direct benefits which the mine will bring to their community via sponsorships, direct investment in general infrastructure and environmental improvement measures.

Please can we lay to rest the idea that the south east of England is desperate for a new runway anywhere else.

Unfortunately not. Whilst we are all clear that this represents your personal opinion, leading figures representing LGW profoundly disagree with you. They deserve a full and comprehensive hearing as part of the Davies Commission process.
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 17:23
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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Shed, I'm delighted you took the trouble to reply to the felixflyer posting, especially his assertion that for Yorkshire folk, MAN is the only option at present, which it plainly is not, and with a hint of MAN being 'the airport of last resort'.

Then there was the expectation or assumption that folk from all over Europe, rather than using direct viable long haul services from their own airports, should be persuaded to fly via what he hopes would be the new super-hub 3 runway airport at Heathrow, whatever the inconvenience.

If I may say so felixflyer, you may think the case for R3 is irrefutable, but it is only an opinion, no more or less valid than those who are against or not convinced. Opinion should not be expressed as fact or assertion.

As a Northerner, I accept that there is a strong case operationally for a third runway given that LHR is 98% capacity now. However, I feel the arguments against, such as cost and road congestion for example, while not necessarily overriding, cannot lightly be dismissed as some are prone to do.

Again, only an opinion, but I think the argument that the UK would financially lose billions because airlines would go to AMS, FRA, PAR etc. is exaggerated to support the case. And why should passengers from the UK regions who seem perfectly happy to use hubs like Amsterdam or Dubai at present (and use MAN, LBA, NCL or GLA to get there) suddenly be expected to switch to LHR in such numbers as to make more long haul services from LHR viable?

I believe the case is more finely balanced than some are prepared to accept.
And as an aside, how many more daily flights to New York do you want?

Last edited by MANFOD; 10th Jun 2015 at 18:35.
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 20:20
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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Some very interesting comments on both the LGW/LHR threads. If this was a free market solution rather than ultimately a political one, then you'd probably build more capacity at both, LHR is for all intents and purposes full, whilst over at LGW with just a single runway, the busiest single runway in the world, there is still some quieter periods.

The politics will be key of course, the politics probably favour LGW, there are no marginal seats around LGW for the Conservatives, Boris will apply huge pressure to avoid a yes for LHR ditto Zac, who is now standing as London Mayor, of course giving the green light to LGW will not solve LHR's capacity issues but will provide a quicker and less expensive capacity jump to the South East.

Having read the Gatwick submission in full ( a boring standby day !!) it has much merit, the simplicity of the layout is key and the last thing the M25 needs is another major construction project of this size in West London, no underground public access under airport facilities, one motorway access point, centralised car parking are but a few of the public benefits, sadly it doesn't solve the LHR question
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 20:46
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Excellent posts by Shed and MANFOD, I must confess I'm struggling to see how l 2 flights a day from LHR to Teesside, Humberside and say another 3 into Leeds is going to bring a tsunami of riches ?

If LHR feels benevolent why not bung them a couple of million each....in fact let's go wild how about an outrageous 50 million each.....

still 850million left in the coffers !

Multiply this by wait for it a factor of at least 20 and we getting somewhere with in spitting difference of the outlay !

As for the LHR CEO promising his counterpart at Leeds the earth well sorry I think BA might have a view on that !
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 21:12
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Alconbury ticked all the boxes for a new airport but, a certain Prime Minister resided under the flight path.
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 21:29
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The politics will be key of course, the politics probably favour LGW, there are no marginal seats around LGW for the Conservatives,
Marginal seats are not an issue because Heathrow expansion is not an issue that determines peoples' votes.

In Brentford and Isleworth, Conservative Mary McLeod made much of her opposition to Heathrow expansion in her election literature, trotting out that well-worn tedious soundbite "make Heathrow better not bigger". She lost.

In Twickenham, Libdem Vince Cable opposed any airport expansion anywhere anytime, toeing the official Libdem line. He lost.

In Richmond Park, Conservative Zac Goldsmith, well known throughout the UK for his opposition to Heathrow expansion, won with a thumping 23,000+ majority.

On the other hand in Spelthorne, Conservative Kwasi Kwarteng, a well known advocate for Heathrow expansion increased his majority.

Ditto for Labour Fiona MacTaggart in Slough.

So no correlation there. There are many reasons why individual MPs won or lost, Heathrow expansion is not one of them. Similarly, the lack of marginal seats at Gatwick also has no bearing on the issue.


Boris will apply huge pressure to avoid a yes for LHR ditto Zac, who is now standing as London Mayor, of course giving the green light to LGW will not solve LHR's capacity issues but will provide a quicker and less expensive capacity jump to the South East.
Indeed, they've allegedly postponed a decision till next year.

The increased din of cans being kicked down the road is now much much louder than aircraft landing or taking off at Heathrow.

Having read the Gatwick submission in full ( a boring standby day !!) it has much merit, the simplicity of the layout is key and the last thing the M25 needs is another major construction project of this size in West London, no underground public access under airport facilities, one motorway access point, centralised car parking are but a few of the public benefits, sadly it doesn't solve the LHR question
......and that is the point!


Alconbury ticked all the boxes for a new airport but, a certain Prime Minister resided under the flight path.
Are you kidding, way too far out!!
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 21:41
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To those who either ignore, or dismiss, the EGLL hub argument (or reason for an extra runway there), I would just like to say that those of us in the Channel Islands would absolutely love to see an extra runway there, & the re-introduction of services from the C.I. to Heathrow.
Gatwick just doesn't have the connecting flights to most of the long distance destinations e.g. the whole of the Far East, SE Asia, India & Pakistan etc., Australia, NZ, South America, the whole of Africa, the Middle East, Canada, USA, Caribbean or Central America.
&, before you say "Emirates", all of their connecting flights operate via Dubai, whereas you can go to all of these destinations on the same a/c from EGLL.
ALL that involves is a coach journey to Heathrow to/from Gatwick both before & after your long distance flight ! What an absolute pleasure that is !!!
An extra runway at Gatwick would do nothing for us; & nor would it solve the hub requirement problem at Heathrow.
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 22:30
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kcockayne - Sceptics are dismissing the LHR hub argument on the grounds of cost, not operational desirability. Do you honestly suggest that upto 40Bn should be spent at LHR to spare a small minority of passengers an occasional one-hour transfer aboard a luxury coach? Have you stopped to consider just how much money forty thousand million pounds actually is and how it could be otherwise used for the benefit of the UK? For one-thousandth of this sum [40M] you could subsidise scheduled services from JER/GCI to hubs at AMS, DUB and MAN for years to come. No coach journeys required. And rather better value all round.

LHR doesn't have a hub requirement problem. It is a substantial hub already. LHR has a desire-to-expand-in-the-face-of-economic-logic problem. That is quite different. And Gatwick R2 would do nothing for you in the Channel Islands? Well, with all due respect, LGW R2 does not purport to be the answer to Jersey's dreams. But it can function very successfully in accommodating the growth in leisure travel demand originating in London and the SE. That is an identified need which can be practically addressed.
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 22:38
  #194 (permalink)  
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kcockayne's view would be echoed by the Isle of Man residents who found their airline to LHR bought by BA (twice!) for the slots.

Which reminds us that this problem has deep roots ...

Shed-on-a-Pole
I hate to break this to you, but I detect ZERO desire from Northern passengers to change planes at LHR. They sometimes tolerate this out of necessity, but they categorically don't desire it. Primarily they want a non-stop flight from their own region. In the absence of this, transfer via a relatively hassle-free hub (which LHR is not) is preferred.
Indeed - because that is the lesson they have learnt the hard way over the last 30 years. Just imagine IF Heathrow ...
  • had been expanded in the 70s and 80s and 90s
  • had now got four runways
  • had links throughout the UK
  • that feeder carriers had not been bought by BA just to get their slots
  • (which means that LGW would be quieter now and have more capacity)
  • had all the long haul connections
  • had been expanded as a proper hub with better terminal layout and not the ad-hoc way in which it was/is done
  • had have tube and mainline connections sooner, rather that coaches to railway stations
  • etcetera
Because then it WOULD have been the hub of choice! Then it WOULD have been easy for folks to txfer at LHR, to connect from the UK via plane or public transport and with more jobs and revenue staying in the UK.

Then the Euro hubs would not have picked up all the traffic, the LCCs would not have so easily picked up much of the other traffic. It is the utter failure of ALL governments that LHR is a minor hub and will remain so. For (as I have said too many times) it is all too late, far, far too late.

What will happen is that LGW will get the runway because it is politically easier and LHR will continue to be a maxed-out, awkward to use, minor hub. I do not expect to see even R3, because the politicians have failed.

Fairdealfrank
The increased din of cans being kicked down the road is now much much louder than aircraft landing or taking off at Heathrow.
Correct and nicely put! In the late afternoon today, in North London, I heard the sound of an a/c climbing out of LHR and taking the Northern route. I looked up and (from the sound) was expecting a 777 size - but it was a BA 380!
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 22:52
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Shed

I was simply putting the viewpoint of C.I. Residents forward, which are both valid, & which have a relevance to the situation ( &, as has been pointed out, are also highly relevant to IOM residents).
We would like Heathrow developed, & we ARE allowed to say so !
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 23:07
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kcockayne - I never said you weren't allowed to say so. I haven't gagged you. But I did address your erroneous claim that sceptics were ignoring / dismissing the EGLL hub argument. I AM allowed to do that (to adopt your 'offended' tone). We object to the prohibitive cost. Are you CI residents offering to pay up for it? Thought not.

It seems that you would like to see LHR developed with no regard to fiscal responsibility. That is your right. But it is my right to point out the folly of your stance if you choose to get angry about it. You would do better to lobby the CI government for a subsidised service to alternative hubs at a small fraction of the cost.
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Old 11th Jun 2015, 06:15
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Mr Lawson can say what he likes. He is not in government nor trying to steer his party thru "turbulence ".

Don't hang your hat on his comments they mean nowt !

In the same way that the public do not see airports as a big deal neither do politicians given the NHS, economy etc.

Hence the reason it has now been diarised for 2016, give or take another couple of years.

Last edited by Bagso; 11th Jun 2015 at 11:14.
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Old 11th Jun 2015, 06:23
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I don't agree. I think that the relatively unimportant priorities of the CI & IoM neatly encapsulate exactly what is the actual problem & solution to the argument regarding the London Airport situation, & , if not at Heathrow, then at somewhere else in the South East, that an airport is needed which can provide the service which is required (not just by us) & for it to be able to grow.
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Old 11th Jun 2015, 07:57
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Kcockayne

I'm with Shed on this one, there are many places across the UK that have poor access to LH flights, if its a huge problem then move or have a car share scheme on then numerous biz jets flying between JER & Biggin

Perhaps Boris was right all along, go for a new super hub with 4 runways somewhere away from West London, it will take 50 years to build and by that time the UK will be 100m population
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Old 11th Jun 2015, 08:18
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Originally Posted by kcockayne View Post
I don't agree. I think that the relatively unimportant priorities of the CI & IoM neatly encapsulate exactly what is the actual problem & solution to the argument regarding the London Airport situation, & , if not at Heathrow, then at somewhere else in the South East, that an airport is needed which can provide the service which is required (not just by us) & for it to be able to grow.
For interest, I've just had a look at the Jersey Airport timetable following your comments. It appears the same difficulty arises with Paris, in that flights go to Orly rather than CDG. Are you similarly proposing investment to allow a very small population access to another international hub?

On a general LHR hub point, I personally would never, I repeat NEVER, book domestic UK to anywhere via LHR - and would not book on a BA flight from DUB either - because, quite simply, those rotations are the first to be ditched whe there is a problem of any sort. A third runway will only be a short term solution to this, as the domestic / IRL services are small beer and any slot guarantees will be of short / medium term only (much like the current IAG assurances over Aer Lingus slots - with the sleight of hand that there is no mention of the existing BA operation!). The only way to prevent the current scenario of long haul displacing domestic would be to build a third runway suitable for no larger aircraft than an A321 / 737 with fuel for 500 miles. Otherwise, you will be back to providing a connection point for long haul passengers whose main contribution to the UK economy is buying a meal in the transfer lounge.
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