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Another runway at Heathrow

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Another runway at Heathrow

Old 23rd Jul 2014, 19:28
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Thanks for the quote DaveReidUK. It is the perfect Civil Service reply to a political question and exactly what the govt wanted.

If one did not have full confidence in the British Way of Life, one might suspect that the answer was written before the inquiry openened.
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Old 24th Jul 2014, 18:11
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Thanks for the quote DaveReidUK. It is the perfect Civil Service reply to a political question and exactly what the govt wanted.

If one did not have full confidence in the British Way of Life, one might suspect that the answer was written before the inquiry openened.
That would be classic "Yes Minister", and possibly not that far from the truth?
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Old 19th Apr 2015, 17:52
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Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow' - General Election 2015 - UK Politics - The Independent
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Old 19th Apr 2015, 21:11
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This is bull

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow' - General Election 2015 - UK Politics - The Independent

What a load of nonsense. If Zac was going to resign and force a by-election, it should have been when the Airports Commission was appointed. This was the time when Heathrow expansion was put back on the agenda, albeit in a "kicking the ball into the long grass" way.

As for Conservative MPs around Heathrow losing their seats, only Mary Mcleod in Brentford and Isleworth and Angie Bray in Ealing Central are vulnerable because of their slender majorities. Their fate will be actually be determined by the numbers that vote UKIP by taking votes away from Conservative and Labour.

Maidenhead, Richmond Park, Spelthorne and Windsor will be easily retained by the Conservatives, as will the Labour seats: Feltham and Heston, Hayes and Harlington, Slough and Southall. The other seat is Twickenham where Vince Cable should hold on.

As for the comments by the pollsters, not one mentioned the blindingly obvious that people are bored rigid with an election campaign that started before the European elections last year. Any movement in the polls will probably happen in the last week when peoples' minds are concentrated and maybe the two main parties will see their share of the vote harden.

As for Heathrow expansion, it is not an election issue for about 99% of the local electorate. To pretend otherwise is misleading.
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Old 19th Apr 2015, 21:18
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Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow' - General Election 2015 - UK Politics - The Independent
The Independent really should know better than that.

PPCs (which is what Zac is following the dissolution of Parliament on 30th March) tend not to say "I will", since that's tempting fate, but "I would" (ie assuming I'm elected).

And, as the article makes clear, Zac did indeed say "I obviously would" (trigger a by-election if the party gives a green light for expansion) although you could argue that his re-election is a shoe-in for the Richmond Park seat.

Having heard him speak on a number of occasions, I would be inclined to believe him.
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Old 19th Apr 2015, 22:28
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I wouldn't say that The Independent had to 'know better' - it seems that they found a candidate willing to say something different and told the story? If he gets elected and if the Tories hold the balance of power and he then resigns because he didn't like soemthing they did - it would make not one jot of a difference to anyone.

He has all the money he needs so does not need the patronage of the Tories. He can safely become an independent or move off into wherever his pals offer him a 'consultancy'. He can, therefore, afford to say something now as a marker for the Whips if the Tories are in the driving seat.
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Old 22nd Apr 2015, 15:59
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He has all the money he needs so does not need the patronage of the Tories. He can safely become an independent or move off into wherever his pals offer him a 'consultancy'. He can, therefore, afford to say something now as a marker for the Whips if the Tories are in the driving seat.
The party whips can't persuade, bribe, threaten, blackmail, etc., a handful of independently minded MPs who just refuse to toe the party line. Once the whips realise this they tend to get left alone. They usually have strong feelings on one or more issues or are just serial rebels. Perhaps Zac Goldsmith is one of them.

The question is: could he resign, cause a by-election and then stand for election as an anti-Heathrow independedent? No anti-Heathrow organisation has ever fielded a candidate in a local or general election, so there are no precedents.

Why is this? Clearly the anti-Heathrow organisations know something. Could it be that Heathrow expansion is not the potent issue that changes votes?

It certainly won't be in this general election.
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Old 22nd Apr 2015, 16:55
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Clearly the anti-Heathrow organisations know something.
Out of interest, what organisations are "anti-Heathrow" ?

I'm not aware of any, with the possible exception of the Mayor of London's kitchen cabinet (though his views don't reflect those of the London Assembly).

Are you getting confused with organisations that oppose Heathrow expansion ?
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Old 22nd Apr 2015, 22:48
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Out of interest, what organisations are "anti-Heathrow" ?

I'm not aware of any, with the possible exception of the Mayor of London's kitchen cabinet (though his views don't reflect those of the London Assembly).

Are you getting confused with organisations that oppose Heathrow expansion ?
Off the top of my head, HACAN comes to mind, it has been campaigning on "noise" issues for many years, long before expansion came back onto the agenda.

AFAIK, and this could be wrong, it is part of the vocal anti-Heathrow minority most of which lives miles away from the airport.
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Old 23rd Apr 2015, 07:03
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Off the top of my head, HACAN comes to mind, it has been campaigning on "noise" issues for many years, long before expansion came back onto the agenda.
Unless you're suggesting that they are being disingenuous, HACAN's position (per their website) is "to stop further expansion of Heathrow and to cut the noise people hear from the existing airport".

That's rather different from wishing that Heathrow would cease to exist, in fact the second of those two aspirations is shared by pretty well everybody, including the airport itself.
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Old 23rd Apr 2015, 20:27
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Why are the British so afraid of taking a big innovative leap these days?

There was a time when the British led the way in exploration, technological innovation and bold decision making.

Now, we have a range of political parties who don't seem to have the ability to think or look outside of their small insular world.

In Dubai we have an airline that did not exist 30 years ago, and which is now arguably one of the largest in the World, and whose Government are building a new 6 runway airport, not to supplant the existing airport but to complement it.

In the UK we have an airline that seems to have lost the will or nous to think of expanding, and politicians who are arguing and have been for the last 30 years over whether their seats will be safe if they make the wrong decision over a single new runway in the "Sarfeast". Meanwhile, Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt are gaining passengers and freight at the expense, not of Heathrow, but of UK plc, of which most of us are members.

If only, in the UK we had the vision to build a new airport with the capacity to cater for passengers and freight well into the 22nd. century, wherever that may be. Shock, horror, it doesn't have to be in the "Sarfeast". In fact, it would make far more sense economically and environmentally to build it away from London. It could always have an HS3 link to the Capital!

OTB
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Old 24th Apr 2015, 06:19
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Runway Capacity

At least this finally this came up on last nights BBC News.

But what a turgid piece of journalism it was, if this is the best the BBC economics editor can do I would get the crayons out.

Briefly it seemed to consist of a quick skim read of the Telegraph and Guardian, some garphics and a couple of opposing views and hey presto.

The rotund businessman in one corner "we need more runways blah blah"
and a fruity environmentalist in the other , "Well British Telecom Skype....."

It was utter rubbish.

No mention of the cost
NO mention of the ROI
No mention of the infrastructure which will effect the M25
No mention that there will be a significant number of new MPs voting on this in just a few weeks, they won't even know where their desk is at Westminster let alone be conversant with airport runways

and whilst we talk politics no mention of the SNP and Scotland vote !

If Labour get into bed with the SNP you could actually have Scottish MPs driving this. They may want independence BUT they also want connectivity to Heathrow, oodles of cash have been spent in propaganda in convincing them its a good thing (this despite them seemingly not having a clue that they ALREADY have a mass of shuttles from LHR to GLA, EDI and ABZ) .
A new runway will barely make one iota of difference to them.

We could end up getting a runway in the S East based on the Honorable members for Wick thinking they will also be getting a new shuttle !

The BBC - Election 2015 making it clear
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Old 24th Apr 2015, 10:12
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Bagso, tell me one thing.

What is it you actually want to see happen?
And I don't want a thousand words, just top level in terms of if we decide not to allow our one hub airport into a manage decline, how do we deal with the fall out in terms of UK based connectivity and jobs.

What's your realistic, best course forward?

Note : Runway capacity and hub capacity are not the same thing so let's not conflate them yet again.
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Old 24th Apr 2015, 10:38
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Skipness - I see that you are again demanding answers from others on this topic. Can I gently remind you that the question I asked you relating to LHR expansion still remains unanswered by your goodself. Please refer to post number 1564 (05 April) on the Manchester thread to refresh your memory.

Bagso and myself have shown alot of goodwill in addressing your previous challenges re the LHR debate, but you appear to have little appetite for defending your assumptions in return. Your considered response would be greatly appreciated. Healthy debate is a two way street.
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Old 24th Apr 2015, 14:41
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Skipness - At this point, I think the board may benefit all round if we concentrate our minds on more constructive grounds for discussion. May I invite you to put this unfortunate Delta JFK misstep behind you and instead concentrate your mind on the question I put to you in the final paragraph of post #1552.

Time for something a little lighter for our bank holiday musings. So permit me to run a special Easter Sunday parable by you. Afew years ago you recall visiting Manchester and feeling hungry. You remember buying a great sandwich with all the trimmings for 1.72. Your friends at the bank tell you that the same sandwich bought there today today would cost you 2.53.

Now you find yourself in London, and this time you're even hungrier than you were back in Manchester. That sandwich would be the perfect remedy. But there is a problem. The shop in London tells you that the same sandwich there will cost you around 200.00, although that price-tag seems to increase by the week. And even worse, the sandwich can only be sold on a supporting foil tray. 'Trays for London' tell you that they reckon this will cost you another 200.00.

Fortunately, those nice guys at the council tell you that they'll get their ratepayers to stump up 100.00 towards the cost of the tray. They will divert the funds from the more deprived peripheral areas of the borough which everyone seems to have forgotten about. So the cost to you will be 300.00 and the council will stump up 100.00 for a total of 400.00. But you are really hungry. And that sandwich would really satisfy a pressing need. And all your mates in Europe are getting nice sandwiches already.

You are told there is a chippy midway between London and Brighton. They'd do you a pack of chips for just 80.00. But you think their chips are greasy and wouldn't satisfy your hunger the same. It's all so frustrating. Your friend in Istanbul is buying an entire banquet for 80.00.

You know that sandwich is the one you really, really want. You've had two of them there already and they're yummy. The greasy chips near Brighton are alot cheaper (though still relatively expensive). And you don't fancy them anyway.

So what do you do? Do you buy the 400.00 sandwich? Or the 80.00 greasy chips? Or do you say: "Hang on a minute. None of this is even close to being worth the money! Let's keep the money and spend it on something much, much better for the same price."

So ... back to reality. Manchester's 23L/05R was delivered for 172M, or 253M in today's money. LHR R3, we are told, is facing costs of upto 40,000M if the latest TfL estimates are taken into account. So I ask you: what is the price-point at which you say: "LHR R3 is operationally desirable, but at this price I just have to face reality and say NO WAY!"

I'll accept an answer to the nearest Billion! ;-)
You don't do brevity do you...two secs

At what price point (both in direct costs and considering additional expense required for external supporting infrastructure) do you believe that LHR R3 becomes too prohibitively expensive to pursue? There has to be a number above which alternative options, however sub-optimal operationally, become the only sensible course of action from a financial perspective.
I am not close enough to the project to give you a number as you well know. The Channel Tunnel was a financial black hole in construction but I don't think we should go back to a world where we fly wide bodies across the channel instead of trains into Kings Cross. What both opponents and supporters, you included, are doing is blatant conflating. What TFL has to spend to support LHR expansion or what Highways Agency needs to spend to change any nearby section of the M25 should not just be lumped willy nilly in absolute volumes and added to the cost of Runway 3. Let's see what Howard Davies has to say. Too many people are shrieking maximum or minimum numbers extrapolated from their own a***. btw the cost of Runway 2 at MAN didn't exactly lead to enormous growth requiring tremendous invesment in infrastructure on it's last legs did it? #conflating

Accepting you cap LHR capacity where it is, tell me honestly, do you see Delta adding capacity at MAN or AMS. STAR coming en masse to MAN, or FRA. Skyteam to MAN or CDG. I think you make some good points but you're avoiding the harsh realities of how this market works. What's the next step forward for the UK having sent a clear message to market the UK won't be expanding hub capacity, I strongly challenge your idea that the likely outcome is more point to point to the regions when they can get a very good deal on a continental hub with an entrenched alliance. Let's wait and see what the review says.

Selling sandwiches is not the same as selling airline seats btw.

Last edited by Skipness One Echo; 24th Apr 2015 at 15:10.
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Old 24th Apr 2015, 17:41
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OK, Skipness. Lots of answers to questions I never asked and no answer to the one I did ask. Never mind. Let's take your points in turn.

"I am not close enough to the project to give you a number"

Well, I didn't ask you to tell us the final costings for LHR R3 delivery. I asked you to name the price above which you consider the construction project too expensive to pursue. To identify a price level above which the benefits made available by R3 would be insufficient to justify the cost of delivery. It is possible to address this question without knowing the final price-tag anticipated for the project.

The Channel Tunnel. I'm pleased you brought up the subject. This project was delivered in 1994 at a price-tag of 4.65 Billion which represented a cost overrun of around 80%. A quick run through the inflation calculator gives us an equivalent price-tag of 8.46 Billion today. Even the most conservative projections for the cost of LHR R3 are double this ... and that is for a strip of concrete, not a 31.4 mile tunnel under the sea! If you accept the highest price projections, LHR R3 will cost upto 5 times the inflation-adjusted price of the Channel Tunnel. Does that represent good value for UKplc? #genuinequestion

Conflating. OK, so you want to consider the direct costs of LHR R3 in isolation. Please re-read the second quote you imported from my earlier posting. Note the statement: "both in direct costs and considering additional expense required for external supporting infrastructure". So, as you see, I invited you to consider both scenarios. That is clear differentiation, not conflation at all. #notconflatingactually

However, let us be crystal clear here. Those Highways Agency / TFL costs DO matter. We can't just conveniently ignore them to make our preferred measure look more appealing. #obscuringthetruecost

The contribution of MAN R2. Please note that I have never argued that this project resulted in "enormous growth". It was actually introduced at a very challenging time for the industry. What R2 has done is make available an increase in peak-time slots at MAN of around 50% over and above the single runway constraints. As you know, peak slots are the most profitable and the most sought-after by airlines with good reason; MAN has been able to satisfy demand for these to the greater benefit of the region. The remaining spare capacity on R2 is a valuable resource which will pay dividends in the North for years to come. #R2valuableasset

Prospects for Delta / Star / Skyteam. Firstly, I have NEVER suggested that MAN will become a substitute for any continental hub in the Transatlantic market. Please don't imply that I have argued anything so ridiculous. MAN is the ideal gateway to serve the densely-populated conurbations of Northern England and a proportion of long-haul business originating in neighbouring regions. The airport competes for Transatlantic services based upon that premise, not as a substitute for other markets. Virgin / Delta will be committing four aircraft daily to MAN ops this Summer [2 x B744, 1 x A333, 1 x B752, plus A346 support in peak months]; United offers 2 x B752 daily; American Airlines offers three widebodies daily [2 x B763, 1 x A332]; Thomas Cook operates A332 aircraft to JFK, MIA, LAS, Orlando; Thomson operates to Orlando also. Plenty of scope for expansion, but not exactly a shoddy portfolio. Canada and the Caribbean are also served.

"You're avoiding the harsh realities of how this market works".

Really? How so? At no stage have I argued that MAN is an alternative to expanding LHR. I have consistently argued that MAN is the best solution for serving the North of England, nothing more. I have also stated that the *operational* case for expanding LHR makes sense and I am happy to repeat that now. My objection has ALWAYS been the price-tag for providing that operational upgrade. I contend that the financial cost cited for providing LHR R3 is so stratospheric that the operational benefits derived are blown out of the water by the investment required to deliver them. I understand 'the harsh realities of how this market works' very well, and it boils down to this: cost of delivering LHR R3 exceeds benefits to be derived therefrom by an order of magnitude! #inconvenienttruth

"... your idea that the likely outcome is more point to point to the regions"

Once again, Skipness, that is not the argument I have made. My objection to LHR R3 is specific to the cost of the project. I do not suggest that MAN is the alternative. MAN is the best solution for travellers originating in or visiting Northern England. It will attract business on that basis, as it should. However, I should clarify that an expanded LHR could suck NW-originating long-haul business away from MAN to a greater extent than it already does. That is more a case of LHR serving as an unpalatable substitute for MAN's core demand rather than the converse.

"Selling sandwiches is not the same as selling airline seats".

Thanks for that insightful pearl of wisdom! I would never have guessed. At no time have I implied any similarity, BTW.

So ... any chance of telling us the price-threshold at which you believe the cost of delivering LHR R3 exceeds the value of the operational benefits to be derived from the completed facility?

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Old 24th Apr 2015, 20:20
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Why are the British so afraid of taking a big innovative leap these days?
We are a mature country, fat and lazy. Every country reaches this point of being risk averse and frightened of upsetting anyone - such as newspaper owners.

You can look at other countries when they reached their 'End of Empire' for examples and also consider some of the big, fat, mature global companies who do not innovate but play it all safe so as not to upset the stockholders. Of, if you wish to stay in the spirit of PRRuNe () consider which airlines take risks and which do not.
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Old 24th Apr 2015, 21:58
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For want of repeating myself I have always argued that "operationally" I have no issue with an expanded LHR. The specific point of my last post was the reporting of said expansion in the South East by the BBC in the context of this as an election issue.

It was dumbed down woeful lowest common denominator reporting !

The success of any project has to take into account various factors and in this regard thee absolute measure is "price point", this is critical here and yet it was stunningly omitted by the BBC ! It was the economics editor for goodnesssake !

What of inconvenience, the M25 will be a car park for years , that is an absolute fact ! The infrastructure on which LHR relies will be turned into a bomb site !

AND yes there IS The Heart Of Midlothian Question !

Somehow the LHR propoganda machine has convinced Scotland that it will lose out if LHR or indeed LGW are not expanded. Many Scottish MPs have seemingly swallowed this codswallop !

Which airports serve LHR ?

MAN NCL LBA - England
GLA EDI ABZ - Scotland

The latter 3 have more flights and in some cases higher capacity !
Not one Scottish MP will be able to quote figures, they are fighting a battle that does not exist !

That is dangerous, given many of them do not understand the difference between 1m and 1Bn they are being let loose on a project which could impact massively on Manchester but make not one iota of difference to the Scottish economy !
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 03:30
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Sorry to be pedantic it is the Mid-Lothian question, Heart of Midlothian are a football team!
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 09:50
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Originally Posted by compton3bravo
Sorry to be pedantic it is the Mid-Lothian question, Heart of Midlothian are a football team!
Actually, it's the "West Lothian Question" named after one Tam Daylell. a Labour MP, back in 1977 - and to date, not answered!
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