The UK government has promised to “confront” the issue of a lack of airport capacity in the London area when it releases a new report this summer. Creating a third runway at Heathrow could still be an option, even though British governments have ruled this out in the past. London Heathrow already operates at 99% of its capacity on an average day, while Gatwick runs at full capacity at peak times.
“We cannot cut ourselves off from growing markets,” Chancellor George Osborne said, adding that the UK would not be “left behind by China, Brazil and India under this government”.
Colin Smith, head of airports at PricewaterhouseCoopers, explained that a number of different options would be looked at, including the practicality of establishing a new airport for London. “If London continues to lag behind in airport development, then it would be ‘giving away’ business to other trade centres such as Frankfurt and Paris, who would be servicing emerging market economies far better than London,” he said.
[Photo © BAA Airports Limited]