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Old May 29th, 2006, 10:50 AM   #1
samsonyuen
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Heathrow...to be phased out?

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/5024770.stm
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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 May 2006, 23:42 GMT 00:42 UK
Heathrow 'should be phased out'

Heathrow: A "truly great planning catastrophe"
Heathrow airport should be phased out and replaced with a new international hub to the east of London, a planning charity has claimed.
The Town and County Planning Association argues 30,000 homes could be built on the "catastrophically" planned west London site instead.

A Thames Estuary hub would stop plane noise over London and further expansion of Heathrow displacing villages.

The group said the swap should happen over the next century.

The report also claims that a high-speed rail link, from the new site, would be an alternative to "environmentally damaging short-haul flights".

'Logistically impossible'

In the paper, Heathrow's 60-year history was condemned as "a series of minor planning disasters that together make up one of the country's truly great planning catastrophes."

The report's authors Tony Hall and Sir Peter Hall said passengers who fumed at the "long taxiing operations culminating in a take-off queue, or at long periods spent in the four holding areas" might well echo Dr Johnson's famous remark about a dog walking on its hind legs.

"It's not that it is done well, but you are surprised to find it is done at all," wrote Dr Johnson.

They also said it would be "logistically impossible" for the airport to be phased out in a short time scale of five or ten years.

A housing development at Heathrow could be worth more than £6.8bn, they said.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #2
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I would hope so in the future.

I would be in favour of an airport east of the city... (I would like 4 East-West runways, 2 for takeoff and 2 for landing, with 4 or 5 large terminals)

But of course, you would lose that fantastic approach over London.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #3
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No chance in hell of Heathrow ever being phased out- Its an enormous driver of West Londons economy. Its also worth considering a brand new airport out in the thames estuary would cost billions & billions of pounds. Whats more likely is Stanstead & Gatwick will gradualy expand & Heathrow will get another terminal & new shorter runway.

Had Heathrow not been built on its current site & a new proposal for an airport out East was proposed instead it would make sense but its about 50 yrs to late for that.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 01:44 PM   #4
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what they also fail to mention is that not having heathrow would mean that anybody from west of london would have to travel all the way round to this new one, or stansted or gatwick. It would be ridiculous to have all 3 main airports to the east (or north/south east) so that those in w london have to drive even furhter thus adding even more traffic to the m25. It's a poorly researched and badly thought out idea
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Old May 29th, 2006, 01:53 PM   #5
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I wouldn't say its poorly researched, Peter Hall is a 'god' in this field. A gradual shift over several decades is something I'd like.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #6
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A combination of Terminal 5, the Heathrow East project, a third runway, and potentially an additional terminal, could see Heathrow become one of the best planned airports in the world. Having the airport to the west of London gives better access to the rest of the country than any location in the Thames Estuary. Heathrow has fantastic transport links being right next to the widest section of the M25 and close to the juctions with the M1 and M4. You can get to central London in just 15 minutes on the Heathrow Express and also use the Tube. I really don't see the problem in knocking down a few houses to make way for expansion. This guy is saying that Heathrow's site could yield up 30,000 houses.... well so could any given site in the Thames Estuary.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #7
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I think the main problem is that the flightpaths are in the wrong place and the area has become far too densely populated and detrimental. This is all ironic of course because nobody would be there without the airport, but if air pollution levels are dropped further, a congestion charge is placed around all approaches to the airport, noise levels reduced further, Airtrack is built and a new HSR/maglev connection to the UK and Central London then Heathrow would have a role in the future of London and the UK.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 02:18 PM   #8
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As I said in "Transport and Infastructure", when London and the UK has such a demand for air travel, with London being the most important city on Earth for it, it is extremely unlikely that such a huge airport will be destroyed for the sake of a few homes. What is more likely is that after the third runway and sixth terminal, it will cease to be feasible to expand and somewhere like Stansted will become London's second airport, in the way that Charles De Gaulle has expanded so much recently.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_taylor
I think the main problem is that the flightpaths are in the wrong place and the area has become far too densely populated and detrimental. This is all ironic of course because nobody would be there without the airport, but if air pollution levels are dropped further, a congestion charge is placed around all approaches to the airport, noise levels reduced further, Airtrack is built and a new HSR/maglev connection to the UK and Central London then Heathrow would have a role in the future of London and the UK.
It doesn't need any of this stuff. Crossrail would be useful as it would link across London (rather than just Paddington) but the last thing Heathrow needs is to be made more expensive, and thus less competitive, by introducung congestion charges. Maglev to central London is not feasable and completely uneccessary given that it already takes just 15 minutes to central London on the Heathrow Express. All Heathrow really needs is new runways and terminal buildings. More than anything it needs runways, runways, and runways.... Heathrow is now completely slot constrained and many routes out of London are being dropped or being started from other European airports because of this chronic slot contraint problem. It's no good saying expand out of Stansted instead because Stansted offers no opportunity for BA to hub. To be competitive an airline needs to keep all of its operations, both short-haul and long-haul, at one site, and that site is Heathrow.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #10
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I think it's very very unlikely that Heathrow will be phased out anytime soon. It's a huge employer for the area and with new construction projects like T5 still underway it would be extremely expensive to transfer its operations to the East of London, although ultimately that would be preferable, with the new homes growth in that area in the coming decades.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey
It doesn't need any of this stuff. Crossrail would be useful as it would link across London (rather than just Paddington) but the last thing Heathrow needs is to be made more expensive, and thus less competitive, by introducung congestion charges. Maglev to central London is not feasable and completely uneccessary given that it already takes just 15 minutes to central London on the Heathrow Express. All Heathrow really needs is new runways and terminal buildings. More than anything it needs runways, runways, and runways.... Heathrow is now completely slot constrained and many routes out of London are being dropped or being started from other European airports because of this chronic slot contraint problem. It's no good saying expand out of Stansted instead because Stansted offers no opportunity for BA to hub. To be competitive an airline needs to keep all of its operations, both short-haul and long-haul, at one site, and that site is Heathrow.
More capacity can be made out of Heathrow, but there are limits. After all the current terminals are re-built, a 3rd runway and new T6 - then what! Heathrow can't expand after that unless you turn half of West London into Heathrow. Your scenario is fine for 2020. I'm looking after 2030, because if we put all out eggs at Heathrow and it stalls, we'll be stuck for another two decades before anything else could be built and that is something that we should be looking at now and between 2012.

My maglev line wouldn't be just to Central London, it would be part of the north-south line to ensure that you could increase public transportation usage from the futher areas where people might have originally drove in. You totally forget the point that the likes of Crossrail, Heathrow Express, etc.... to Heathrow don't go further - they don't link up to Reading. If you want to go to Heathrow by rail from Reading, you have to go to Paddington and then back out again on the Heathrow Express. That or you change at Ealing Broadway for the District Line, go to Acton Town and then get onto the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow. Heathrow is only good if you live in West London. If you live in the west beyond Heathrow, the only way without hassle is by car.

Without a congestion charge around Heathrow, the capacity will be further constrained because nobody will be able to get to the airport unless we start building double decker motorways - cars are an inefficent mode of transport and the vast majority of car traffic into Heathrow could be excluded.

Remember also that most European airports are located outside the urban area, have large tracts of space for future expansion and little people living close-by. A Hong Kong type scenario would be benefical beyond 2030.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 04:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey
It's no good saying expand out of Stansted instead because Stansted offers no opportunity for BA to hub. To be competitive an airline needs to keep all of its operations, both short-haul and long-haul, at one site, and that site is Heathrow.
Is that true? Gatwick is a large hub for BA but withstanding that, Stansted could be built up as a site for airlines other than BA to fly to. There's much more space for expansion - the 2003 White Paper on aviation proposed that there should be a second runway at Stansted by 2012 leading to an increased capacity of 80m/year. Heathrow needs runways but there's only space for another small one. After that you're going to have to talk about demolishing Slough...

A congestion charge is only viable when, and if Crossrail is built, but people complained it would affect business in the centre of London and as far as I can tell those claims were largely unfounded.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #13
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"Heathrow is only good if you live in West London. If you live in the west beyond Heathrow, the only way without hassle is by car."

While this is true I live just outside Reading and it is so easy by car that this doesnt matter. And the main point is that if you took heathrow away and put it in the thames estuary then it would be a nightmatre for all those people in the west of england to get to. I've discovered that it is actually easier for me to fly from birmingham airport than try to get to gatwick, which should be easier, so how would one even further east help?? Yes it may be better for flight paths, but there is a reason there isnt anything there already! If there is too much pressure on Heathrow then smaller airlines should move to an expanded stansted etc while BA take more space at heathrow, but moving the whole thing would make it incredibly difficult for many people, i mean how would that many people get to the thames estuary without causing havoc in the m25!
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Old May 29th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #14
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I would imagine the environmentalists/locals would also be very anti a whopping great airport bulk on the Romney Marshes/Thames Estuary, and it would a logistical nightmare bulding new motorway, rail link ect.

It's not like Hong Kong where they had no option to close the old Kowloon Airport and completely rebuild the new one on reclaimed land away from the city.

Best option is to expand the existing airport, build a smaller shorter runway for the short haul flights and gradually replace the existing terminals.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James21
"Heathrow is only good if you live in West London. If you live in the west beyond Heathrow, the only way without hassle is by car."

While this is true I live just outside Reading and it is so easy by car that this doesnt matter. And the main point is that if you took heathrow away and put it in the thames estuary then it would be a nightmatre for all those people in the west of england to get to. I've discovered that it is actually easier for me to fly from birmingham airport than try to get to gatwick, which should be easier, so how would one even further east help?? Yes it may be better for flight paths, but there is a reason there isnt anything there already! If there is too much pressure on Heathrow then smaller airlines should move to an expanded stansted etc while BA take more space at heathrow, but moving the whole thing would make it incredibly difficult for many people, i mean how would that many people get to the thames estuary without causing havoc in the m25!
Yeah but that is what I was making a point of - the car is the serious way of getting to Heathrow from say Reading. The car is.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenL
Is that true? Gatwick is a large hub for BA but withstanding that, Stansted could be built up as a site for airlines other than BA to fly to. There's much more space for expansion - the 2003 White Paper on aviation proposed that there should be a second runway at Stansted by 2012 leading to an increased capacity of 80m/year. Heathrow needs runways but there's only space for another small one. After that you're going to have to talk about demolishing Slough...

A congestion charge is only viable when, and if Crossrail is built, but people complained it would affect business in the centre of London and as far as I can tell those claims were largely unfounded.
Gatwick is only a hub for BA because they are constrained at Heathrow. Gatwick (unlike Stansted) is also just about close enough to allow for transfers to Heathrow. The other airlines will not accept Heathrow being given to BA whilst they are forced to operate from Gatwick or, worse, Stansted. Virgin Atlantic consider Heathrow essential for their survival (BA managed to bankrupt all previous competitors by maintaining it's monopoly on Heathrow) and the American airlines are already extremely pissed off that only British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, and United Airlines can offer Trans-Atlantic services from Heathrow under the Bermuda II agreement (Continental, Delta, US Airways, BMI etc are at a huge disadvantage being forced to operate from Gatwick instead). Heathrow is already now down in 4th place in Europe in terms of the numbers of routes served. Just a few years ago it was number one. The hubbing options from Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam are much better than Heathrow. This is because of one reason and one reason alone - NO ******* SLOTS!!! Heathrow has been completely slot constrained for more than a decade now and British airlines and aviation are now incapable of expanding their services to keep up with European competitors. Aviation is a vital plank of what makes London Europe's premier world city and the only way London can maintain a competitive edge is if a new runway is built at Heathrow. It's not a lack of money. BAA could fund it ten times over. The taxpayer doesn't have to pay a penny. It's just a total failure of planning leadership from government. Britain's 20th century history is littered with the remains of once world-class industries that did not innovate and invest sufficiently to stay competitive. Unless the government pulls its ******* finger out then we will see our world beating aviation industry go the same way.

Last edited by Monkey; May 29th, 2006 at 05:23 PM.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #17
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One thing I've heard from reading Airliners.net is that Heathrow if it really needed could use both runways for landings and takeoffs at the same time, which would increases the amount of aircraft it could handle, but I don't think the situation is that desperate yet at Heathrow, or is it? Even though doing this would mean changing noise pollution laws so....
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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #18
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Whilst I agree to some extent a smaller third runway will not completely alleviate Heathrow's problems by any stretch of the imagination. And that, and another terminal, is all there's space to build. After that there really is no option but to accept Heathrow is full.*

If Stansted had a 80 million capacity, I doubt airline companies would mind that much because it would be a serious hub airport. Or am I missing the point?
Space around Stansted:

Bloody unlikely, but it could be possible to connect a much larger Stansted to Heathrow by Maglev or if necessary a branch of Crossrail for transfers?

* Although there may be a limited amount of space in between the A4 and M4 it they could something a la Charles De Gaulle and build the railway over the road?
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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by london-b
One thing I've heard from reading Airliners.net is that Heathrow if it really needed could use both runways for landings and takeoffs at the same time, which would increases the amount of aircraft it could handle, but I don't think the situation is that desperate yet at Heathrow, or is it? Even though doing this would mean changing noise pollution laws so....
Of course it's that desperate. BAA and the airlines have been pushing for that for years. They have some political suport and are trying to get it through Parliament. However it only allows for a relatively small increase. Ultimately they have to add more runways at Heathrow.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #20
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it might be a mistake, as in there will not be much room for further expansion. However this would of been the case anywhere in this country, its rarther small, yet its a massive cultural/financial and transportation hub.

Can't see it being phased out.
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