25 June 2008
Third runway for Heathrow to stay competitive
Heathrow Airport is working at capacity and a third runway is necessary for it to keep its role as a competitive airport. Calls for Heathrow to cut the number of transfer passengers have been rejected as it would affect the economy of London and the UK as a whole. More than a third of people flying from Heathrow are transfer passengers, with Frankfurt airport being the only other airport in Europe carrying more transit passengers. Forcing people to use other European airports to reach the rest of the world would heavily affect the economy, according to the BAA, Heathrow's operator.
The decision on the third runway is expected later this year and it is facing opposition and criticism from environmentalist groups, local residents, who already have dozens of airplanes taking off and landing over their heads every day, and even the leader of the opposition, David Cameron.
Business lobby groups have recommended that before any decisions are made for further extensions to the airport, there should perhaps first be cuts in the number of flights in and out of the airport and operation changes, actions that could relieve some of the pressure from the incredible traffic the airport is functioning under.