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Yes to third runway at LHR!!

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Yes to third runway at LHR!!

Old 20th Sep 2002, 16:29
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Yes to third runway at LHR!!

Having watched BBC London News' report this lunchtime about the possible third runway at LHR, I got to thinking:

Does pprune have an official position on this?
Why don't we voice it? (The media often pick up on things said on here)
Don't let those compaigning against expansion have a bigger voice!!!

What do people think? After all, pprune is for those in the aviation industry, who better to campaign for expansion than us!!
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Old 20th Sep 2002, 16:39
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There’s an online poll concerning the Governments proposals for new Runways/Airports in the UK here.

Mb

Last edited by Milly Bar; 20th Sep 2002 at 17:02.
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Old 20th Sep 2002, 17:40
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I don't think it's for PPRuNe to have an "official position". Who would decide what "our" official position would be? Danny? I don't think Danny would want to force his opinions on the rest of us. (Well, some of his opinions, maybe, but not in this context )

If you have an opinion, post it! (I mean this in the general sense, not specifically with regard to this thread, because you already have!) Once enough people post on any subject, the general feeling amongst the industry (assuming that PPRuNers are representative of the industry) will be well represented.

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Old 20th Sep 2002, 19:12
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Talking

Heathrow already has a third runway its at London (Birmingham) Airport the taxiway is marked M40 you can't miss it!
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Old 20th Sep 2002, 20:01
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LHR has 3 operational runways already!
and all within the airport boundry!
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Old 20th Sep 2002, 20:06
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The 3rd parallel-ish runway must be a dead cert. If you look at the 1st page of the SIDs on the Jeppesen of LHR it's on there already.
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Old 20th Sep 2002, 21:03
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The world is changing faster than the government, the airlines or anyone else involved in aviation strategy can plan.
Too much has been invested in hubs, supposedly serving the entire country. Low cost airlines are prospering not only because they're cost effective, but because they tend to fly from where the people live to where they want to go to.
My family live in southern Scotland, a day's journey from Heathrow. Increasingly they choose to travel to places they can reach from Edinburgh, Newcastle or Glasgow. For long distance, Amsterdam and Dublin are easier to reach than Heathrow, and you don't get ripped off in quite the same way.
The majority of the UK population live nowhere near the UK's three main airports. Is it possible that dinosaur airports will go the way of dinosaur airlines?
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Old 20th Sep 2002, 21:21
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Sir George Cayley
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IMO the parallel RWY at LHR decision should wait until a full open skies policy is in place across all UK airports.

I say this because the 3 London Airports traffic figures are artificially inflated by regional pax denied point to point services from their airports because of government bilateral agreements, BAA policy and a certain airline's parochialness.

As an example take the UK - Japan air service agreement. Correct me if I'm wrong but Heathrow is the only airport offering direct services (BA, VS & JAL). Given the extent of Japanese investment throughout the UK in Scotland the Northwest and Wales is it right that all flights from these areas begin with a domestic flight to LHR?

If one were to subtract all the UK regional pax forced to use the London Three plus all the intercontinental transfer pax funnelled through London due to bilaterals, what effect would that have on the BAA's growth predictions.?

For years Aviation Ministers and BAA Chief Execs have stated that Heathrow is the airport of choice for passengers but funnily enough I've never met a traveller that agrees!

I believe there will be more jobs created for both pilots, cc and ground support staff through enhancing the availability of services from the whole of the UK not through centralisation at the capitals airports.

Sir George Caley

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Old 20th Sep 2002, 22:23
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Sir George

I expect you are factually correct however as things currently stand:

Movement capacity at Heathrow balances exactly with the approved slots. If anything happens to reduce that capacity, even for a short period of the day, the Heathrow ATC staff come under a great deal of pressure for the rest of it.

Just the other evening we were forced by Tower staff numbers to go to 4 mile inbound spacing for a couple of hours. We had been landing low 40s per hour with virtually no holding. As soon as we opened up the gaps delays started to build and were sustained at over 20 minutes for some time.

In my time at Heathrow I have seen long term runway closure (hours) caused by aircraft incidents on a number of occasions, VIR, KLM, DLH. I have witnessed Heathrow sustain 62 per hour off the remaining runway for 4 hours, in awful weather. That sort of pressure leads to danger and it is not right that the ATC system is being asked to make up for Governments' unwillingness to give us the SPARE capacity we need. Spare is somehow seen as waste rather than a safety bolthole.

The first hour of the day often sees landing rates sustained in excess of 50 per hour as we land both runways... but through a single final director. That is nearly 20% more than he would usually handle with no additional r/t or thinking capacity.

On safety grounds alone Heathrow needed additional runway capacity 5 years ago. Irrespective of what decision HMG comes to over future growth, Heathrow must have additional capacity now. Corners are already being cut.

Point 4

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Old 21st Sep 2002, 07:49
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I guess that If they build a third parallel at Heathrow that will force the closure of Northolt. Any space out there for 14 000 biz jet moves?
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Old 21st Sep 2002, 08:26
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I have to agree totally with Sir George - I have never met anyone who wanted to travel through LHR, it is in the wrong place for the majority of the country and is exremely difficult to get to reliably due to the massive congestion on the roads in that part of the southeast.

On just the enviromental grounds any extra runway must be stopped - have you seen how much of central London would be under tha new flightpath.

As for the safety argument - if the capacity is such that movements become dangerous, then reduce the capacity (ie less slots). What will you do when the extra capacity generated by a 3rd runway is used up - build a 4th?

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Old 21st Sep 2002, 10:11
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The solution

Build an airport at Cliffe
Why continue building on congested ground at Heathrow, with a grid locked road network and less than desirable flight paths, when Cliffe has potential for a great road, rail, sea network , with approaches/departures over the water.
Look at the evidence, there is only one logical answer to the shortfall in capacity for airtravel in the future...It's on the Hoo peninsular!
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Old 21st Sep 2002, 10:46
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Sir George,

So, are you suggesting that airlines operate city to city flights from smaller airports (eg: Edinburgh to NY or Newcastle to Tokyo)? Main problem with this is not enough demand at the smaller airports to support their own service (and hence hub airports have developed) and also these airports don't have large enough runways! Why spread out the noise pollution when it can be kept relatively confined to a few areas?

Also, whilst LHR might not be the best loctaion for a lot of UK residents, if it cannot maintain its current status, people will use Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome or Madrid as their hub instead! The current system ain't likely to change, so isn't it better that Britain prospers, rather than lose business to foreign countries.


Jet II,

It may just be me but I would personally prefer to travel on a British (or english as first language) airline. If I need to fly to a hub then I'd prefer it to be in my own country! I've flown to Toronto via Paris - saved myself £60! But what with the 2 hour layover in CDG and the lack of inflight entertainment in english (although I found Air France's service to be of a high standard), I would have preferred to fly direct from LHR or LGW, especially on the return leg when the last thing I wanted was to sit around CDG for 90 minutes when I was desperate to get home and get to bed!!

Also, the current congestion at LHR isn't caused by too many slots, too many aircraft or even ATC, it's caused by lack of gates and stands for the aircraft. Nearly every arriving flight at LHR goes on to a stand very very very recently vacated, or in a lot of cases, has to wait for their stand to become available! T5 will not massively increase LHR's capacity, it should simply ease congestion on the ground by having more stands available.

Also, as capacity will not be changing a lot, the third runway will simply distribute the current movements across an additional runway. The third runway is also only planned to be 2000feet (only big enough for light and medium aircraft), which if you know about how atc control departures from airports (by grouping similar sized a/c together to reduce the vortex separations) will make LHR more efficient and reduce the time a a/c is sitting on the ground, burning fuel whilst it queues to depart.

Last edited by AlphaCharlie; 21st Sep 2002 at 10:57.
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Old 21st Sep 2002, 12:10
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Does anyone know of a site where detailed informantion on the third runway proposal is published?
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Old 21st Sep 2002, 12:11
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AlphaCharlie,

Do you mean a 2000 metre Runway?
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Old 21st Sep 2002, 14:37
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lhr third runway

lhr was originally planned on a star of david pattern(if you ever watch dr strangelove there an overhead picture of lhr in the generals office), and the runways were built but i dont know if they were ever used. personally i would build the 3 extra runways at stn and shut lhr down. and as for northolt i think the politicians like having their own little airport where they dont have to meet the electorate.
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Old 21st Sep 2002, 15:29
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Cliffe

The government would be backing a loser (in my humble opinion) if it were to try and push through the Cliffe option. If they argue that the bird sancturary will not be disturbed then they would leave themselves wide open to the air safety lobby. Well would you fancy ingesting a flock of wading birds into your engines. If the birds will in no way be disturbed and as the wetlands are home to several thousand wetland birds this must be a very significant risk. Any publicity of this risk will have an adverse effect on passenger confidence.

Infrastructure in the region is good for the amount of traffic using it at the moment. But the development of the Hoo peninsula is high up on the list of objectives in the Medway Local Plan and is being pushed by the Thames gateway organisation. Projected traffic figures could make the infrastructure have the same sort of problems as the M25/M4 junction has now. The Hoo peninsula is surrounded on three sides by water leaving open only one side (bridges excepted) for the traffic flows into and out of the site. Not really an ideal place for an airport then.

Would be interested to hear pilot's views on the impact that the airport at Cliffe would have on existing flightpaths in the area.

Would love to see the UK really attempting to compete with Schiphol, CDG et al to maintain their position as a competitive international hub.

DeepC
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Old 21st Sep 2002, 16:12
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AlphaCharlie

If you re-read 120.4's posting you will see that he is saying that the problem is too many slots for the runway capacity.

As for the argument that LHR must be bigger than any european hub - the UK is the 4th biggest economy in the world and can support a large aviation industry on its own. With the growth in air travel by the residents of the UK there will be a need for more capacity - but to say that we must continue to be the biggest transfer hub for Europe does not take account of the fact that transferring large numbers of PAX does not make enviromental sense. You yourself AlphaCharlie say that you would prefer point to point routes.

London has 3 major international airports - if LGW and STN were each given one extra runway this would total 6, enough for any forseable growth in the medium term. This option would also spread the load on the infrastructure of the South East.

If you do go ahead and build an extra runway at LHR, it will not be long before there will be a clamour to have it rebuilt to a full length runway, then there will be the requirement for it to have its own terminal - where does it stop (we have already seen the backpeddling over commitments given during the T5 enquiry and the thing isn't even built yet!).

There is already zero unemployment in the surrounding area so any increase in jobs (T5 and the extra runway estimated at up to 15,000) will require more people to come and live in the most congested part of England with the added load on the crumbling infrastructure of the South East.
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Old 21st Sep 2002, 17:39
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Firstly, yes I did mean 2000 metre runway (not 2000 feet).

Jet II, yes I do prefer point to point flights, but guess what, I live 15 miles north of LGW and 20 miles from LHR, so at present I do get point to point flights. I was trying to say that it would be a shame to lose those flights to another airport and therefore have to travel via a hub. My other point was that whilst hub to hub travel exists, isn't it better than the UK maintains a major hub airport!!

I also think that LGW should be an option for expansion! I know that there's an agreement with locals until 2019, but come on...
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Old 21st Sep 2002, 18:56
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The ideal would be to shut LHR and go massive at STN. It would satisfy many needs e.g. Noise and polution over a heavily populated area and reduce the danger of accidents over the same. From an ATC point of view it would free up a huge chunk of airspace and allow the TMA to 'breath' by reducing the interaction of routes between the airports. But it is politically unlikely.

If memory serves, each arrival into Heathrow gets an average of a couple of minutes delay. 230,000 arrivals each year adds up to a lot of holding and there is a significant environmental cost to that. Holding at low level burns much fuel and consequently adds significantly to the CO2 in the environment. Have the environmentalists considered that an additional runway would all but remove that completely?

It has been written that when a mid-air occurs it will most likely be in one of the Heathrow holds. It seems that a majority of the incidents happen there. A third runway would see their use all but disappear.

Heathrow needs a piece of airspace 40 miles by 25 miles to meet two runway capacity and it is now suggested they build 4 parallels just east of Detling? Where is it suggested we put the traffic that is already using that airspace and the airpsace which feeds it? From an ATC point of view, Cliffe is a non-starter.

Aside from all that and irrespective of the choices HMG makes for the future the issue of loading on LHR still needs to be addressed. O'hare has seven runways and uses 4 at any time, at a rate of 35 per hour. That is 140 movements per hour and about 75 m pax. Heathrow pushes nearly 100 per hour off is two available runways (96 is the recent record and that only contained 40 inbounds) and does about 62 m pax. O'hare (7), Schipol (5), CDG (4) and most of the other "majors" all have runway redundancy which protects their capacity from strong wind or closure.

In each of the last 2 quarterly bulletins from the Local ATC examiners there were in the order of 22 incidents in TC. Over 50% of them occured on just one of the 12 sectors - Heathrow and it is a growing trend. That ought to be sounding alarm bells loud and clear, but it seems nobody is listening.

The T5 enquiry was told that "just" 8 % additional movements would satisfy its needs. Where are they expected to go? Even if it were theoretically possible to fit them in where has the idea of a safety bolthole gone in this service that is supposed to put safety first?

As I said yesterday, on safety grounds alone LHR needed runway redundancy years ago and it is negligent of us to have ignored that. Lets hope we continue to get away with it.

Point 4

Last edited by 120.4; 21st Sep 2002 at 19:01.
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