The question of how London will resolve its looming airport capacity crisis just won’t go away, and the UK’s Conservative government appears to be ruing the day that it resolutely ruled out any question of allowing construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
Air transport and the environment
The U.S. House of Representatives helped stoke a threatened trade war with Europe, passing legislation October 24 that would prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the European emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Business aircraft operators planning to fly to Britain for next summer’s Olympic Games are being encouraged to make early requests for mandatory landing and takeoff slots at airports in what will be heavily restricted airspace in the southeast of England.
Anyone in the air transport sector who remains unconvinced by the clarion calls for aviation to be held accountable for its impact on the environment will surely accept that sustained increases in the cost of jet fuel have removed any remaining doubt about the imperative for the industry to make more efficient use of this life-blood commodity.
Farnborough Airport may be packed with an odd assortment of aircraft for this week’s show, but ordinarily it is strictly business. Under the ownership of TAG Aviation (Chalet K15-16), the former Ministry of Defence site has been transformed into one of the London area’s leading business aviation gateways.
There was no disguising the subdued, even solemn, mood of Europe’s regional airlines as they gathered for their annual general assembly in Salzburg, Austria, from October 1 to 3. At 6.3 percent, passenger growth for the first half of this year is markedly down from the double-digit growth enjoyed in recent years and, more seriously, yields are down right across the industry.
The British government has cleared the way for new runways to be built at London Heathrow and Stansted Airports. In a long-awaited white paper released on December 15, transport secretary Alistair Darling provisionally approved the construction of a second runway at Stansted Airport in the 2011 to 2012 time frame and the addition of a fourth Heathrow runway in the 2015 to 2020 period.