As per previous.
Suggesting that in someway I am criticising ATC is well below the belt, that was not the inference of my comment and its outrageous to suggest such.
I am unclear of your motives for suggesting such, but happy to support my comment in more detail here.
Commercial imperatives is pushing more and more traffic into the South East, BUT I just do not see how the present system is sustainable.
Personally I feel we should have had a infrastructure in place whereby LHR
had 4 runways, to handle all demand in the South East 30 years ago, we would probably need 2 more now.
What in effect has happened is a fragmented, piece meal approach where individual airports in relatively close proximity have developed by stealth.
ATC would actually be the FIRST to suggest it is much safer to control arrivals/departures on 4 runways located in the same place.
In the last 25 years as LHR
became more and more constrained, traffic ebbed and flowed to LGW
, they then built STN
which everyone thought would be the new London airport, very few of the LHR
based legacy airlines set up additional routes/frequency, those that did quickly retrenched to LHR
, split services mean increased costs, especially when the other airport is in the same City. Fortunately it's completion did coincide with the boom in LCC
s. Luton has prospered to The North, as has London City to The East, but if that wasn't bad enough or indeed good, depending on point of view we also NOW have SEN
is in effect surrounded !
Average annual baseline traffic growth at all these airports is growing and whilst technology is keeping pace allowing tighter separation, the airspace cannot possibly be infinite ?
What is the plan for robust capacity planning?
Is growing demand at these airports constraining LHR
Will one runway at LHR
make the difference required , I doubt it.
If demand continues to grow it simply will not be enough.
If passenger growth continues at an average of say 8%-10% 2013 it theoretically would handle an additional 7m pax next year, assuming terminal capacity was in place and there were no other additional restrictions.
...in 2014 another 7.7m, then another 8.3m in 2015 and so on !
By the time a 3rd RW
is built it will have been far outpaced by demand. If you build 2 runways you need even more terminals.
I have no idea what the answer is, you cannot legislate nor would anybody want to but I just cannot see how you can just let the market grow at an unstoppable rate. Hence my comment.
For connectivity and the fact that London is an economic juggernaut EVERYBODY wants to go into LHR
, business demands it, they are winning over MP
s, media etc re more runways but supposing there was an incident resulting in a major accident, what then ?
You can bet your life that all the MP
s suggesting further expansion and increasing movements would do an immediate about turn and would be wringing their hands suggesting the market should not have allowed this frenzy in terms of ever increasing traffic.
My argument is simply that a significant amount of this traffic 10%-15% is destined for OR originates in the catchment area of Manchester and yet continually the argument seems to be if we do not build more runways in the South East and specifically at LHR
we will lose traffic to Amsterdam, Paris etc
team at Birmingham have come down the home straight lately and made similar claims in terms of capturing market share, BUT crucially unlike other "regionals" it is Manchester that already has the "basis" of demand, it certainly has capacity if managed correctly, it has significant domestic feed AND
its within an hour of the UK
s largest cities, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Liverpool.
As I said I have no idea what the solution is, but rest assured it is no criticism of ATC I just think it is madness that total UK
demand is funnelled into such a small area and year on year there is this "expectation" that ATC manage this operation smoothly and efficiently without any increased possibility of risk.