There is a much better way…
There is a real and viable alternative to the outdated ‘traditional hub and spoke model’ which Heathrow’s expansion plans are based on. Introducing the ‘New Regional Hub’ model will enable the UK to benefit from a fairly distributed, well integrated and sustainable transport infrastructure that:
- distributes cargo to suitable airports
- avoids the draining of business from regional airports (estimated as a minimum loss of 170,000 flights per annum)
- supports nationwide economic growth
- allows all airports rather than only Heathrow to prosper within the Climate Change CO2 target
- reduces the unnecessary extension of M25 and unjustifiable transport of cargo by road across the country
- reduces the need for unnecessary regional flights in and out of airports
The Heathrow 3rd Runway (North West Runway (NWR)) scheme would enable passenger growth to rise by 63% between 2016 and 2050, compared with a 53% rise without expansion.
This equates to a net UK increase of 6% or 26 million passengers per annum (mppa) by 2050 compared with no expansion. The passenger growth with no expansion is facilitated by growth in non-London airports and higher utilisation of existing London airports. Projections show that passenger growth would be broadly similar across the Heathrow and Gatwick expansion options by 2050.
In addition the ‘Better Way’ also involves:
- Reducing demand by increasing use of technology which offers real alternatives to business travel. Multinationals including Vodafone and CapGemini have committed to WWF’s 1 in 5 Planes initiative, reducing their business flights by 20%. Please follow this link for the CapGemini example.
- Reducing regional flights by investing in and incentivising more sustainable rail travel.
- Increasing passenger numbers rather than flight numbers by maximising existing and future spare airplane capacity across the South East through improved slot allocation/usage and penalties for ghost flights/under- utilised flights.
This ‘Better way’ will reduce the unnecessary regional passenger and cargo travel by plane and road in the UK, and therefore reduce the overall air pollution levels ( CO2, No2, PM and SOx).