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Another runway at Heathrow

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Another runway at Heathrow

Old 10th Jul 2014, 08:57
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I believe the best solution would be to close LHR after building a new airport from scratch. An additional runway would just make the place even more difficult to operate from. BA has to compete with the very best in the world, but it has to do so with the the anvil of Heathrow tied to its back. With BA and the UK in mind, I believe the solution should be radical. The first thing to do is to accept that LHR will have to close in its current form (or maybe altogether - letting it stay open is like keeping 97 year alive on a life support machine) and that it's replacement will be elsewhere. Why? Because if you travel from say BPK where my parents live, you have to give yourself a buffer of something like two hours to allow for congestion. Parking will add another 90 minutes or so have you seen his much that costs! To travel from the City or the West-end, which many do takes well over an hour. But the rail connection from Paddington takes the biscuit. Prices start at 21 for a single - but how do you get to Paddington? Basically, it's location is appalling and it has insufficient room to perform.

I believe the best place would be somewhere in the north west, say in the sea near Liverpool or Blackpool. Then, this airport should be planned as a multi-site complex with as many processes as possible handled offsite.

Radical solutions to check-in, parking, transfer, security could be applied. Like there would be no on-site parking. Ditch the shopping complex and have the transfer lounges remotely located as well. Have maintenance performed offsite. Place the main (remote) terminals over a rail line (that is not a spur or branch line). Have on-train (and on-bus) check-in and "security" performed off-site as well. Then the further growth of the airport will not restricted by the land.

The runways should be placed sufficiently far apart to enable simultaneous CAT III landings. Other innovations I would suggest would be no cul-de-sacs, air-co/cabin heaters, fuel and FEP on every stand with one man TBL tugs as a default. And while you are at it, make every ground vehicle with the exception if the RFF vehicles, electric.

When open, chop up Heathrow and turn it into a small regional airport for commuter planes for people who wish to fly to Hounslow or Hillingdon (or better still, close it altogether).

But I'm a lucky person, because this will not happen. The punch-drunk, terminally wounded, ageing pub fighter called Heathrow gives me a job. Because it is so poorly situated, so unpleasant to use and has so little capacity, many people choose not to use it. Instead, they fly from other regional airports to other hubs, one of which is home to my employer.
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Old 10th Jul 2014, 09:19
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Thanks Anna List, you have answered my original question. Good old pprune !
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Old 10th Jul 2014, 23:12
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Airport in the sea, terminals "...over a rail line (that is not a spur or branch line)...". Do you mean the west coast main line near Warringtion or Preston?

How can there be "...no on-site parking...", where do you park if arriving by road (e.g. shift staff travelling when the trains are not running, or there's engineering work)?

"...Ditch the shopping complex and have the transfer lounges remotely located as well..." how then can the airport operator make money?

What happens to Blackpool and Liverpool airports?

Lovely bit of fantasy, but it's hardly a good business proposition, so who do you imagine would pay for this nonsense?

Which carriers do you imagine would be prepared to use this "white elephant" airport?

Let's face it, carriers won't shift to the estuary (should it ever be built), hence Boris wants Heathrow closed, do you really think they'll go to Liverpool or Blackpool?

Do you really think that Heathrow's owners would be pouring in money to rebuild terminals if the airport was likely to close in the next 30 years?
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Old 11th Jul 2014, 09:40
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Heathrow barely functions well on a good day. Only because of an incredible, almost super human effort on an hourly/daily/weekly basis by the operations staff does it function at all. It's status in the world will continue to diminish because it is incapable of being expanded.

But let's ask a simple question first. Why does Heathrow exist? The answer is simple, it is an airport. Everything else is ancillary. It is not a shopping centre, it is not a parking franchiser, it is not a food court but rapacious management appear only to focus on these elements. The operations side of the organisation, the bit involving aircraft, appears to be treated as an inconvenience. But if we accept that an airport is place where people arrive and depart by aircraft and not a retail opportunity, then we can make some progress.

So let's put in a measure of success. For passengers using an airport as a terminal, I'll suggest that this should be a measurement of how long it takes you to get from where you start/finish your journey (home, business, hotel, resort etc.) and the aircraft being just airborne. For transfer passengers is should be measured from landing to airborne. Hence proper high speed public transport connections, remote and travelling check-in and freedom from on-site parking.

Location: Yes, on the west coast mainline.

On-site parking: None. But there will have to be a proper 24 shuttle from staff parking to their place of work. Having multiple remote sites will reduce the impact of engineering works and mechanical hiccups.

The operator runs the remote terminals, possibly in conjunction with other retail centre operators. But make these places public access. So instead of having an airport with shopping centre, have a shopping centre (or two or three) with an airport.

Liverpool and Blackpool will be able to close as well.

It will pay for itself but I'd expect a lead from a government. Remember, LHR (together with LPL & BLK) will be sold off with planning permission say for lots of lovely "affordable housing."

Carriers: Any who want to use an efficient airport that will give them access to easy transfers and connections to the rest of Britain.

Will people go? At the moment, millions of people travelling to and from the UK via CDG, AMS, DUS, DXB and regional airports because they can't use LHR. If your measure of performance is time door-to-door, then Britain (or what's left of it after Jockland departs) and London will be better off.

That LHR is spending money doesn't surprise me - probably on more shops to further increase the retail opportunities for its poor victims enduring yet another delay. Quite what it will do for the place on a foggy day at peak hours is not so clear. But there is no vision for the future, just more if the same.

Will it happen? I doubt it. But what is certain is that longer LHR stays open, the more certain my future becomes.
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Old 11th Jul 2014, 11:46
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"But let's ask a simple question first. Why does Heathrow exist? The answer is simple, it is an airport. Everything else is ancillary. It is not a shopping centre, it is not a parking franchiser, it is not a food court but rapacious management appear only to focus on these elements"

unfortunately if it's run by a private company a pure airport doesn't make enough money to cover the running costs never mind any return on capital

If you run it as a Public service it is either a permanent drain on the taxpayer (think Prestwick) or you set the fees to the airlines and passengers so high it hits usage

That applies wherever you put the thing.
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Old 11th Jul 2014, 22:57
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But if it can't function as an airport, its shops won't be used. Instead, the tills in the shops in DXB, CDG, FRA, AMS etc. will jingling away. But as retail (who buys luggage airside?) is considered to be part if the deal, the remote terminal complexes will solve that issue. Furthermore, as extortionate airport rentals won't have to be paid, other attractions could be bolted on to the terminals to make them attractive and sexy places to be in their own right. That can't be said for Heathrow. I'm sure I saw a sign near the exit in C4 that said "Please wipe your feet."

Heathrow has to increase its capacity to thrive but it's location means that is not possible. Therefore, start again but quickly. The clock started ticking 20 years ago.
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Old 11th Jul 2014, 23:09
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Piltdown Man, you cannot be serious (to quote John McEnroe)!

So what's the answer? there is only one answer: expand Heathrow.

It really is that simple, there's plenty of room north of the present airport, where urbanisation hasn't occured. Co-incidence? or safeguarded for the longest time for airport expansion?


Heathrow has to increase its capacity to thrive but it's location means that is not possible. Therefore, start again but quickly. The clock started ticking 20 years ago.
No, the clock did not start ticking 20 years ago, the ship sailed 40 years ago.
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Old 12th Jul 2014, 09:49
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Frank, I think you are with the majority. Which means my job is safe!
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Old 12th Jul 2014, 10:05
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many other large cities manage with two (or more) airports - no need to expand LHR (unless you are BA) - just use Gatwick, Stansted, City, Southend & Luton more
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Old 12th Jul 2014, 20:04
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No chance of building an airport in the Irish Sea Piltdown. Have you seen the amount of ironmongery between Anglesey and St. Bees Head? It will soon be possible to walk to The Isle Of Man.
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Old 14th Jul 2014, 20:50
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Frank, I think you are with the majority. Which means my job is safe!

Good, PM. All jobs should be safe. Low unemployment means a successful economy.
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Old 21st Jul 2014, 22:16
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H24 ops is really not a viable option since the majority of maintenance and repair is carried out between 23.30 and 05.00 local. Try operating aircraft around large areas that have been closed for the night period.
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Old 22nd Jul 2014, 13:13
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Originally Posted by tankiebootneckdad
H24 ops is really not a viable option since the majority of maintenance and repair is carried out between 23.30 and 05.00 local. Try operating aircraft around large areas that have been closed for the night period.
Every other UK airport that is significantly H24 (Gatwick, Manchester, etc) manages this without issue.


no need to expand LHR (unless you are BA) - just use Gatwick, Stansted, City, Southend & Luton more
The fact that none of these supports any long haul operation of consequence (Gatwick has a few), and that when the restrictions that required certain transatlantic flights to use Gatwick was lifted just about the whole lot walked out overnight to Heathrow maybe gives a bit of a clue. There is NO VIABLE MARKET at those airports for such services.

Since Adam was a babe the industry has been pretty simple. Cargo at night, pax during the day.
This old chestnut again, just not true. Heathrow has a limited number of night slots, over time all the cargo operations have gone from those, they are exclusively used for early long-haul arrivals. What all-cargo operations remain at Heathrow tend to operate in the early evening.


You're unlikely to find any TfL documents addressing airspace changes resulting from Heathrow expansion
That's probably because TfL have no responsibility for airspace.

There is however huge current investment by TfL in the Crossrail project, one of whose key attributes is to provide a tremendous improvement in access from all across Central London, Canary Wharf, etc, out to Heathrow, improving both journey time and frequency. It's one of the biggest step forwards that Heathrow will have had for years, and TfL are fully in charge. It will also doubtless spell a longer-term end for the Heathrow Express rip-off.


BA has to compete with the very best in the world, but it has to do so with the the anvil of Heathrow tied to its back.
Well, of course, when the "new Stansted" opened in the 1990s, all big shiny terminal and empty runway, BA could have transferred their whole operation there from "the anvil". The fact that they sensibly never touched the place should give you a bit of a clue about the commercial side of moving to "new airports".

And Boris Island is about double the distance again from London. In fact, in ATC terms would it have an impact on Amsterdam ?


Go H24, or we'll have your house for a new runway". Simples
As I understand it, the vast majority of houses in Harmonsworth etc have already been bought up by Heathrow or their agents, and are just then rented out pending a decision. The same approach is used on new road projects, as each house over time goes up for sale it is bought, and rented out in the interim, by the time work is ready to start there's very little left to argue over.
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Old 22nd Jul 2014, 16:02
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many other large cities manage with two (or more) airports - no need to expand LHR (unless you are BA) - just use Gatwick, Stansted, City, Southend & Luton more
Honest to God, there are hundreds of pages on these board explaining in detail why the commercial reality blows that sort of over simplified statement into touch. I'm sorry BA let you go but time to move on.

The other large cities you speak of have particulars that are not applicable here. New York for instance does have a based hub carrier at Newark but EWR is not as slot constrained as LHR so UNITED can maximise the opportunity. Paris has one hub airport at CDG and one point to point airport at Orly, much as LHR and LGW co-exist. However Air France remains an extension of the French state which is why they enjoy a much larger piece of real estate at Roissy (CDG).

In this country, it's all short term commercially driven with little strategic forethought which is why Toulouse builds A380s and Filton is closed. France built on Concorde whereas Britain thought the future was all in service industries.

Last edited by Skipness One Echo; 22nd Jul 2014 at 16:17.
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Old 22nd Jul 2014, 21:20
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Isn't it almost inevitable that in the end LHR will get its third runway because it simply has to have it and perhaps LGW will be given the opportunity to expand with a second runway too rather than it being a 'one or the other'?
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Old 22nd Jul 2014, 22:35
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H24 ops is really not a viable option since the majority of maintenance and repair is carried out between 23.30 and 05.00 local. Try operating aircraft around large areas that have been closed for the night period.

Every other UK airport that is significantly H24 (Gatwick, Manchester, etc) manages this without issue.
Every other airport in the UK is also nowhere near as busy.




There is however huge current investment by TfL in the Crossrail project, one of whose key attributes is to provide a tremendous improvement in access from all across Central London, Canary Wharf, etc, out to Heathrow, improving both journey time and frequency. It's one of the biggest step forwards that Heathrow will have had for years, and TfL are fully in charge. It will also doubtless spell a longer-term end for the Heathrow Express rip-off.
Yet another reason why Heathrow is not closing in the forseable.


Paris has one hub airport at CDG and one point to point airport at Orly, much as LHR and LGW co-exist.
Very much so, except in one respect: number of rwys (4 parallel at CDG, 2 parallel at ORY).
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Old 22nd Jul 2014, 22:44
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Originally Posted by Fairdealfrank
Every other airport in the UK is also nowhere near as busy.
MAN and LGW certainly are overnight.
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Old 23rd Jul 2014, 09:27
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Isn't it almost inevitable that in the end LHR will get its third runway because it simply has to have it and perhaps LGW will be given the opportunity to expand with a second runway too rather than it being a 'one or the other'?
Nothing is "inevitable" apart from death and taxes.

But it's looking increasingly likely that LGW R2 is more than a "perhaps".
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Old 23rd Jul 2014, 16:31
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But it's looking increasingly likely that LGW R2 is more than a "perhaps".
Instead of or as well as a third at LHR? If it's the former, disaster and problem not resolved; if it's the latter, excellent.
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Old 23rd Jul 2014, 18:02
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Instead of or as well as a third at LHR?
"The Commission has therefore concluded that there is a clear case for one net additional runway in London and the South East, to come into operation by 2030."

https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...rim-report.pdf
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