Is a third runway for Heathrow a good idea in the long run?

  TopCat® 16:49 28 Aug 12
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Answered

Having read much comment on this topic in the newspapers and listened to various opinions on radio and television, I believe a third runway is long overdue for Heathrow.

Taking all the pros and cons into account I believe London would struggle to hold its position as the major business and financial hub of Europe.

Admittedly, I live a long way from London Heathrow so am not affected by the current noise or pollution, but with the promise of more environmentally friendly planes coming there in due course, these problems would certainly be minimised as is practicable. third runway

I do note that the Transport Secretary's constituency lies under the Heathrow flight path and voiced her objection to the proposal before becoming minister.

Any other opinions on this? TC.

  john bunyan 17:30 28 Aug 12

I know there are many contra arguments, but I think the "Boris Island" proposal for a totally new replacement for Heathrow in the Thames Estuary has merit - with 3 or 4 runways. The sale of the land at Heathrow should pay for it. It would obviously take years but Kia Tak (happy memories of hairy landings there) in Hong Kong did a similar and I believe successful transition to a new airport.Short term more intense use of Stanstead, Luton, and night flights may be needed.

Boris Island

  Forum Editor 17:51 28 Aug 12
Answer

A third runway isn't just a good idea, it's essential if Heathrow is to maintain its status as the world's busiest international airport.Seven out of the top ten business routes in the world have Heathrow at one end.

The airport is operating at the limit of its capacity, and if airlines can’t fly from Heathrow, they will fly from another international hub instead, taking their business outside of the UK. Heathrow's importance to the UK economy is huge, and it must expand if that is to continue.

But then I would say all that - I don't live near to the proposed site of a new runway. It's a tricky issue, to say the least.

  Woolwell 19:19 28 Aug 12

If a brand new airport is built, eg at the Isle of Sheppey, which is large enough and is provided with enough very good rail and road links then it surely it could replace Heathrow with airlines moving to the new airport. Both Hong Kong and Singapore have moved their international airports. The problem may lie with the timescale needed to build a brand new airport. By the time it is completed Heathrow could have lost some of its business. It seems that this is a decision that should have been taken a few years ago.

  morddwyd 19:29 28 Aug 12

It's not just slots on the ground though is it?

London already has some pretty crowded airspace, and another runway will add to it.

Like most, though, I don't see any alternative if London is to keep its high profile as a business hub

Stansted, Gatwick and Luton don't have the same cachet as Heathrow.

It is, to most international travellers, London Airport

  Aitchbee 19:36 28 Aug 12

How difficult is it, to construct some landing strips (say 30)...on a flattened piece of land, with tarmacadamed runways. What's so complicated about that?

  john bunyan 20:10 28 Aug 12

"How difficult is it, to construct some landing strips (say 30)...on a flattened piece of land, with tarmacadamed runways. What's so complicated about that?"

Only that near Heathrow many hundreds or more houses and businesses would have to go, that's all. I am gobsmacked!

  Aitchbee 20:31 28 Aug 12

The houses and businesses and the people (& workforces) could be relocated locally...a year would do it.(Compensation would have to be sorted out beforehand, of course.)

  oresome 20:39 28 Aug 12

It comes down to quality of life balanced against economic sustainability and economics has a major influence on quality of life, so it's not an easy equation to balance.

Not on the same scale, but when I moved into our present house, I awoke to the sound of farm animals in the distance. Now I hear the constant noise from a recently built motorway and the yapping of dogs left at a nearby kennels whilst their owners fly to sunnier climes.

One persons convenience is anothers nuisance.

  canarieslover 21:03 28 Aug 12

john bunyan

The irony of the situation is that many of those houses and businesses would not have been built there if Heathrow had not been built first. It was so convenient for them to be close to the jobs at the airport and the obvious transport on the doorstep for business exports. The airport's success has generated a lot the community that surrounds it but now that it needs to grow even bigger they are not prepared to accept it.

  Bing.alau 21:21 28 Aug 12

If they (London) can afford the Olympics then they should be able to spend a few billion on moving the airport to somewhere else. Just as Hong-Kong did. Mind you it is in effect Britain's Airport and not just London's, so we should all be in on the deal. Then again it could always be moved up to Liverpool. We have room for it, and it would be welcome for the work it would bring. We could always use Manchester's airport as extra runways...

I didn't know Singapore had moved theirs though. I thought they just moved over a few hundred meters from Paya-Lebar to Changi's old RAF airfield and developed that into one of the best airports in the world.

If they can do it so can we.....

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