Tame that Heathrow monster, Gordon!

March 1, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Posted in Aviation, BA, BAA, British Airways, Curfew Tower, Flights, Gordon Brown, HM the Queen, Long Walk, Ruth Kelly, The Queen, Transport, Virgin Atlantic, Windsor, Windsor Castle | 2 Comments

British Airways flight arrival to Heathrow passing Windsor Castle Curfew Tower 17 February 2008

As recently as 2001 [BAA and BA] had agreed that a new runway was “totally unacceptable”, but this was a tactic to secure permission for terminal 5. It was blatant corporate mendacity, like BA’s claim that a third runway would reduce carbon emissions. Now they claim to want a terminal 6 and a fourth runway. Will they, we wonder, be content to leave the Queen safe in Windsor Castle?

from The Sunday Times column on March 2, 2008:

Defy the flying monster for once, Brown, and stop this runway

Please read the entire article—it’s a great piece of cogent journalism by Simon Jenkins.

Also in tomorrow’s paper, Dominic O’Connell explains the pinch BAA is in since the audacious Ferrovial acquisition, which was followed by the Competition Commission inquiry and the credit crunch, and how these concerns are acting together to crush Ferrovial’s ambitions for Heathrow and Gatwick:

Squeeze on BAA could be terminal

Then there is another comment:

This is really plane stupid

and in the business transport section another column on economic outlook as it relates to the British transport quagmire:

If transport does not work, businesses struggle

Thankfully, national quality newspapers are covering the aviation-climate situation from many angles this weekend. Eventually, we need to be able to see Ruth Kelly and Gordon Brown in public and hear them telling us in clear confident tones that Heathrow will not be expanded, climate change targets will be met, high-speed rail will be improved, and broadband communications, video conferencing and telecommuting will be encouraged and incentivised. That should suffice … for starters.

P.S. Of course, then I wish they would go further to declare that Heathrow will be the world’s top executive airport, catering exclusively to the needs of international businessmen. Heathrow should focus all its efforts on giving priority to medium- and long-haul flights that cannot be served by high-speed rail, while Gatwick and Stansted concentrate on leisure travel that cannot be served by high-speed rail and/or ferries. Business and consumer requirements are so different that the two different market sectors need to be separated and served independent of each others’ needs—they pull in opposite directions. The whole situation at and around Heathrow shopping centre/construction site airport has become such a mess that there is a lot more than remodelling of terminal buildings required. Surface access has to be improved. (With two railway stations in our small town, and proximity to Heathrow, we cannot even get a train to the airport from Windsor. This flabbergasts all our guests—totally!) Above all, business travel should be as smooth and swift as possible, and long-haul arrivals should have priority over short- and medium-haul flights. Allowing mass leisure traffic to clog business pathways is daft.



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  1. Hi inel

    Have you heard of this little up and coming conference?;

  2. Hello matt,

    Yes. I am ignoring the event in New York 2-4 March 2008. In any case, HI plan to hold an equivalent event in London next year, so NY would host their penultimate stand 😉

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