There is a strong feeling that London needs more aviation capacity and so there is a need to make a decision about building places where more planes can land and take off. This is a straightforward matter; we must first decide if London needs more runways or airports and if so how large should they be and where they should be located.
Straightforward decisions are the hardest of all. Decisions which are finally balanced can be easier to make. Making any decision means that we have to focus very carefully on the plot. Sometimes we all lose the plot. Governments tend to lose the plot more than other institutions because they have a process of decision making which involves complexity and then simplification. When making decisions you have to find out all the facts. You can never find out all the facts because the facts are inconveniently complicated. It takes a long time to discover the facts and you can be sure that you will never achieve knowledge of all the facts, just most of them.
Once you have most of the facts you must then try to discover what options are available to you in your decision making process. There can be many options and although you will discover most of your options you can never be sure of discovering them all. Once you have discovered most of your options you must then make a decision. The previous complexity will be resolved in one simple policy.
Whatever you decide will not please everyone. You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time.
No doubt billions will be spent on deciding to build and then building new airport capacity in London. All over the world billions more will be spent on building new airport capacity. I think those decisions lose the plot and that expenditure could be put to better use. If those billions were spent on developing aircraft with greater carrying capacity, needing shorter runways and operating with greater fuel efficiency more quietly I expect human ingenuity will create a position where we can have more flights with less environmental impact than building new airport capacity. It seems we have lost the plot, probably because we are looking at the problem from the wrong end of the telescope.
Filed under: climate change Tagged: | airports, decision making, decision making by government, decision making process, fuel efficiency, London Airport, process of decision making, runways, transportation