Snowy airports

In December the United Kingdom was covered in snow. As snow goes it was not as bad as the conditions that prevail in some parts of Europe every winter.  Virtually every other northern European country has had such snowfall most years and copes well. Their airports are kept open. In the United Kingdom Heathrow Airport closed down because snow fell. Continue reading

The flawed consultation about the third runway at Heathrow

When I have to travel abroad for business I have to fly and when I fly I use Heathrow. I always used British Airways as my airline of choice but being messed around by the strike and finding their standards in some respects deteriorating, I now am open to all reasonable offers.

Heathrow is a very crowded airport but to ameliorate its crowding the Government proposed a third runway be built. As you might expect those around the airport opposed the new runway on as many grounds as they could think of. After all they suffer already from the noise and dirt pollution of one of Europe’s busiest airports.

My own position was to support a third runway, but only if the overall number of flights using Heathrow remained the same, thus leading to emission savings because the airport would no longer need to stack up planes. Of course promises to build a third runway but not to have more flights would be broken as soon as they are made, so on that basis I do not support a third runway.

Now the government set about getting approvals for the runway and one of the key things that a government must do in these cases is to have a public consultation.

In my experience public consultations are simply a way that the government uses to allow those opposed to its policies to set off steam; the decision is never remotely likely to be influenced by what the public say when being consulted and you can usually gather this by seeing the questions that are asked in a public consultation. Continue reading