Does the South East Need More Airport Expansion Essay

652 Words Dec 8th, 2014 3 Pages
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Does the South-East need more airport capacity?
What are the arguments in favour of expansion?
Heathrow currently runs at close to 100% capacity with demand for air travel predicted to double in the next 25yrs. With this increase in demand, Heathrow arguably will not be able to cope without a third runway.
Heathrow needs extra capacity if it is to reach the levels of service found at competitors elsewhere in Europe in countries such as Germany in the Frankfurt Airport, or it will be overtaken by its rivals.
The third runway will boost the economy by a predicted £7bn a year to the economy, according to airport owner BAA. Some say a third runway is the only solution to the congestion at
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Arguments against expansion
One argument is that we need to reduce, not increase, emissions. Heathrow generates 50% of UK aviation emissions. This makes 6% of total world emissions, according to Department for Transport figures.
There are also a number of negative externalities associated with the expansion plans: Noise and air pollution would increase through expansion. The planes fly over houses on its approach to Heathrow, leading to noise pollution. A third runway could mean an extra 200,000 flights a year over London.
Many of the new passengers that would use the extra runway are unlikely to spend money in London and the economy around Heathrow: according to former BA boss Bob Ayling, “they would spend little or nothing in London, only boosting airline profits.”
To make way for the runway, Sipson - a village of 700 houses - would be demolished and hundreds of acres of greenbelt land would be destroyed.
Alternatives to expansion
However, here are better long-term alternatives. The mayor of London has supported a completely new scheme in the Thames Estuary, which could become a major dedicated hub airport named Boris Island. With growth of internet and tele conferencing, it is possible that business will adapt and limit the growth of business trips rather than expensive travel. For historical reasons, Heathrow is badly located. It is the only major airport with flight paths over a large capital city.

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