So far as airport expansion for London is concerned, let us face FACTS:
FACT: If the people of this country want to keep their living standards, a rapid expansion of aircraft handling capacity HAS to take place. Failure to construct sufficient capacity will ensure that the airports of Amsterdam and Frankfurt will gain and the Dutch and German economies will benefit and the British economy will suffer.
FACT: ANY proposed expansion of ANY airport ANYWHERE will meet with the most vociferous campaign against it. This will be from an alliance of local residents who will be affected and the Green brigade – activists from organisations like Plane Stupid and Plane Mad.
FACT: China will have 82 new airports by 2015. The former Tory Minister Timothy Yeo has correctly stated that many Chinese business people and tourists will want to fly direct to Europe from several of these airports and that London is their preferred choice.
FACT: From the point of view of a typical foreigner, London is their favoured location from which to conduct business and/or to live. WHY? Paradoxically for the same reason that some British Gazette readers who live in rural Britain may well feel somewhat “out of place” when they visit their nation’s capital: they notice that London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on Earth. But think; you as an Anglo Saxon or Celtic person may feel surrounded by for want or a better word, foreigners; but to a foreigner, this only makes them feel more “at home!” Some readers may not like London as it is today but it is a FACT and one that is NOT going to change. London is STILL a major financial centre and is regarded as an INTERNATIONAL city.
FACT: London’s four existing airports; Heathrow, Luton, Stanstead and Gatwick are not in perfect locations and Boris Johnson’s Thames Island Airport proposal is lunacy. Does not this man realise that bird strikes are a significant aviation hazard? Presumably not!
The British Gazette’s solution: There IS a location that is suitable: the former USAF base at RAF Upper Heyford that was closed in January 1994. Since that time the airfield has been abandoned. It is the opinion of the British Gazette that this redundant airfield should be the basis for a new large international hub airport not only to serve London but also Birmingham (England’s second city) due to the site being halfway between the two cities. Along with building a large airport – with at least SIX runways – Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has six runways – new high capacity road and rail links should be constructed to the airport to link it to BOTH London and Birmingham. This would mean expanding the area to be covered with concrete and tarmac north and east towards the villages of Somerton and Ardley. An additional entrance/exit on the M40 should be built. The new airport should be called London Birmingham Airport and when operational, flights to and from Heathrow airport should be restricted to short haul flights (within the UK and Europe) and use by private/executive jets and commercial helicopters.
Of course, the British Gazette’s proposal will meet with absolutely implacable and furious objections by the Tory voting local residents of this area of Buckinghamshire. They will be joined by the above mentioned Green activists as well as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace – and let us not forget the RSPB who will have been appointed to represent the local wood pigeons!
There is however a problem with the British Gazette’s proposal. The three-letter location identifier for the new airport. The most logical is LBX for “London Birmingham. “LBX” is however already in use by two other airports: the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport (formerly Brazoria County Airport) that has assigned “LBX” by the USA’s FAA but has been assigned the identifier, “LJN” by the IATA, which has assigned LBX to Lubang Airport in the Philippines).
Lubang Airport is an airport that serves the general area of Lubang Island, located in the province of Occidental Mindoro in the Philippines. It is the only airport on the island, but is one of three airports in the province. The airport is classified as a community airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
Given that Lubang airport is and will be a minor airport and the new London Birmingham airport would be one of the world’s major hub airports, the British Gazette is of the opinion that the International Air Transport Association would be amenable to a change of identifier for Lubang airport.
So far as the Federal Aviation Administration is concerned, we would suggest to them that the identifier “TJX” is used for the Taxas airport. But will the FAA do any favours for us Limeys?
This opposition will of course ensure that the development of Upper Heyford WILL NOT take place. For such a development to take place it would require the country to have politicians possessing courage and who would be prepared to place the nation’s interest before their own party’s interest. And that is this country’s problem: we don’t have such people in Parliament at this time, nor are we likely to have in the future.