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George Osbourne wants a third runway at Heathrow. Good for him but could we have another super-airport instead?

So it seems that George Osbourne is a supporter of a third runway at Heathrow airport which isn’t exactly the biggest shock in the world. It does shock me as to why this issue has become so big but who am I to argue with the media bandwagon?

First of all Tim Yeo’s position that the third runway is of such vital importance that he questioned whether the PM was a man or a mouse was exciting until it came out that he had a horse in this race that would mean that any third runway would probably be financially beneficial for the aforementioned MP. And some people wonder why the electorate think that MPs are all just in for it for what they can get…

Sadly some are but not all of them. I hold that point of view dear and don’t see them all as pigs snuffling about in their own troughs. One of those who seemingly isn’t is Zac Goldsmith who won the Richmond Park seat for the Tories in 2010 who today has let it be known that if the Tories officially backed the third runway then he wouldn’t be able to stand by that and therefore would not defend him seat. Of course he could stand as an independent or as a candidate for another party – if Richard Morris is right it’ll be UKIP – but in a way it is nice to see someone take a stance that they wouldn’t back something to such a degree that they wouldn’t stand under that banner.

I have no idea what the economic fallout is regarding whether Heathrow has a third runway or not. All I know is that more direct flights between London and the rest of the world is apparently a good thing. However in this day and age I don’t understand why expansion in aviation is important as the internet age is hear and people can communicate very easily via the world wide web. A friend of mine is being flown out to Washington DC tomorrow morning and flying back late tomorrow night. So a trip to the USA for a two-hour meeting and then turning round and coming straight back home. What is the point?

I know face-to-face meetings are the best way forward but the speed at which technology is evolving means that by any time that the third runway gets completed then communications will be a further 10-15 years along and look at how we communicated 10-15 years ago and you wonder where exactly we’ll be in 15 years.

Having said that though The Independent on Sunday are reporting that a world-leading infrastructure firm is looking into sites to build a brand new four-runway airport within thirty minutes of London. So we might not see a third runway at Heathrow but we might get a brand new super-airport with four runways. Not exactly sure the Lib Dems will be delighted by this but it is just a feasibility study at the moment and could rival the so called ‘Boris Island’ idea.

So all in all the aviation industry is both in a state of flex but also frozen – something that is really quite impressive. With the coalition in place no new runways are being built in the South East but come May 2015 the political landscape could be very different and if it is different then more air travel is all but inevitable – the big question is where would it be and whose house prices are going to crash.

Still come tomorrow no-one will care about this as the reshuffle will happen and unless Justine Greening is replaced by someone who is desperate to get a move on and David Cameron wants to throw the coalition agreement out of the window then this is a moot story for the next three years. Still a fun one to muse over though…

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One Comment

  1. They could even try expanding airport capacity outside the south-east, and giving another region a chance just for once.

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