Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Future of London airports in fantasies

While launching the investment plans and rise in airport charges (BBC News 12 Feb), Heathrow bosses revealed their expectations that passenger numbers will increase ‘from just under 70m now to around 72.6m by 2018-19’ (previous forecasts were more courageous expecting that Heathrow will accommodate 78m passengers in 2013). The indecency of these ‘expectations’ comes from the fact that no growth at Heathrow is possible because it is already over-congested in the air and on the ground with no physical space for expansion (more in Beyond Heathrow Disruptions). It’s been bearing a title of the most disrupted world airport for quite some time, contributing to the increase in environmental toxicity through air and noise pollution. The chances are that passengers will be those to strike a balance by avoiding potential troublesome travel experiences and saving Heathrow from even more troublesome future. 

On the other side of the battle front, aimed at resolving the London airport crises is the Mayor of London with plans to build a new airport on the southeast of the city, often called ‘fantasy airport’. 

If I would have to choose between those two (extreme!) fantasies, I would pick the second one. Firstly, because I like smooth travel and secondly, because I am inclined to believe in stories that are more likely to end happily (even if not ‘ever after’).