Green light for new London runway?

Green light for new London runway?

The UK’s Airports Commission, appointed by the Government to draw up recommendations on the need for additional runway capacity in the South East of the country, has published its conclusions.

Its remit has been to maintain the UK’s status as a hub gateway and it has unanimously thrown its weight behind a new runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The outcome is clear and one which the airline industry broadly supports. Even easyjet, the largest airline customer at Gatwick, is in favour of the proposal. But it is only the end of the beginning. Now the politicians have to decide whether they will act on the recommendation and give the green light to the building of this much needed runway.

Aviation plays a key role in global 21st century economies and is an essential facilitator of trade and tourism. Given that the UK is already falling behind other countries and that Heathrow has now been overtaken by Dubai as the world’s busiest international airport, the decision is urgent.  There is a possibility that this decision  will have been taken by the time of this year’s WTM but  if not, then certainly by the end of the year.  Let’s hope that come the WTM this is something we can discuss in a positive light with our airline industry panellists.

However, even if the Government does act positively on the Commission’s recommendations, there are many challenges ahead including planning applications and probable objections.  A new runway will not be seen until at least 2025.

It’s ultimately airlines who decide where to fly and if capacity is not available in the right place in London they will simply send their planes elsewhere.

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Director, John Strickland, is a graduate of the University of York and has held senior positions with a number of airlines including British Caledonian, British Airways, KLMuk and Buzz. John was instrumental in the decision by KLM to establish the low cost operator Buzz and in its selection of new routes. His 36 years of experience have exposed him to the business models of regional, global, legacy and low cost carriers. JLS Consulting was established in 2003 and now serves a growing range of clients including airports, airlines, investors and those whose businesses require strategic insight on and advisory services concerning the air transport sector. John regularly devises and chairs panel discussions and interviews senior executives at industry conferences and events. Media work is undertaken for numerous global media organisations including the BBC, CNN, Sky, Al Jazeera, and business specialists Bloomberg and CNBC. John also contributes to a wide range of respected written publications including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires, Business Week, The New York Times, Gulf News, Reuters and AFP.

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