Letters to the Times on UK airport capacity and south east runways
demand which reports show is now dropping
Gatwick is now working at 75 per cent capacity and Stansted at little more than
50 per cent. The Government’s policy of building no new runways is absolutely
justified. The policy is also justified on economic grounds — it makes little
sense to waste money building new infrastructure for a demand, mainly for leisure
flights, which is artificially stimulated by low taxation. The revenue lost from
no fuel tax and no VAT is four times the revenue received from air passenger duty.
Chairman, Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
is right for the Government to rule out the expansion of Heathrow from its future
strategy. There is no overwhelming economic case to expand the airport.
runway was not critical to the
than the size of Heathrow.
out if the proportion of transfer passengers using Heathrow fell. However, transfer
passengers use routes that are already highly profitable:
financial viability of the route — Bishkek,
the slots to reduce the number of short-haul leisure flights, which are clogging
up the runways, and to invest in a high-speed, affordable rail system that allows
rail to become a viable option for many of these short-haul trips.
of our oil and produces more than 25 per cent of our carbon emissions. Alone among
the major sectors of energy use, its consumption and emissions have been growing,
not falling. Yet it is an essential component of our economy, and demand is growing
and the population is rising. Our transport infrastructure is ageing and it has
not been enhanced for some time. For all these reasons, not only do we need a
strategy for airports (
and town planning.
with demand. Our railways are not only the most heavily supported from the public
purse in Europe, the fares charged are the highest in
ambitious plans to reduce carbon dioxide production, which we have no realistic
hope of meeting. Our electricity generating capacity is decreasing and power cuts
are inevitable when the economy starts to grow again.
far too short-term to be interested in the timescales of planning for the next
20, 40, 50 years and beyond. The emperor is not only naked, he has terminal pneumonia.
your report. Manston has a runway that can accommodate the largest aircraft and
is only one question to answer: “When is Manston scheduled to take off?”
East, such as Southend and Manston? With prevailing westerly winds, approaches
would be over the sea, except for the last two or three miles, and departures
could route out over the
to be confident of getting to Heathrow in time to catch a flight.