Friday, 7 November 2008

Have your runway and eat it

BA's chief executive is engaging in a blatant piece of having it both ways over Heathrow. According to the Guardian, Willie Walsh
said the need for an expanded Heathrow had become more important over the past few months because the UK will need a bigger hub airport when the economy recovers.
So the recession and consequent drop in demand for air travel is a reason to expand capacity at Heathrow, even though it is unlikely that flights would be able to increase (under "mixed mode" operation) until 2012. But:
Walsh added that a 2% cut in winter flights at Heathrow this year did not undermine the case for adding a new runway to an airport that is 98.5% full throughout the year. "There is no link to the third runway. This is a short-term capacity reduction that reflects a short-term reduction in demand. A third runway is for the long term."
There's a mistake in the Guardian piece by the way. The early day motion has been signed (at present) by 121 MPs, not 40. The latter number is/was the number of Labour MPs who have signed.

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