The ongoing saga of London’s airport issue is starting to reach crunch point. This week will see Heathrow submit its proposal for a third – or maybe even fourth – runway to the Davies Commission, the body which will recommend to government how the UK’s capacity issue should be dealt with on a short, medium and long term basis.
It’s a decision which will affect far more than one would first assume.
The fact is that the current situation is simply not sustainable. Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport is running at 98% capacity and money will either have to be spent expanding it or an alternative found elsewhere. There are a few alternatives being tabled and talked about: from building the four runway site on the Isle of Grain to ‘Boris Island’ or even sharing the load across London’s other airports and the UK’s secondary cities of Manchester and Birmingham.
However, whatever option is taken, the fact remains that Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris are all breathing down the necks of London and the UK’s position as one of the most prominent hubs in the world. If London did concede its position as a hub then it would be the UK’s economy that would suffer and, with the emergence of the BRIC and Asian economies, it has never been more important that the UK is as well connected as possible.
This week, across a series of features, we will look at all of the options available to the UK’s airports and put the case of each respective party to you.
A decision will have to be made regarding the future of the UK’s airport industry and it’s a outcome which is likely to affect all of us.
What would you choose?
Join the debate with the #LondonDebate hashtag on Twitter.