Court of Appeal halts LHR third runway

Old Feb 27, 20, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by ahmetdouas
It's not about financing necessarily, it is about will to get things done. LHR is very strategic, and the UK govt voted to pass a third runway, so money or no money the govt is definitely involved!

The money is easily there, 10's of billions in the scheme of things is nothing, its the hidden agendas that are backstabbing this from going ahead.
It will remain to see how it plays out, but the Tories haven't a track record of backing the expansion unequivocally - and BoJo himself has famously managed to avoid voting for it in the House of Commons.

The government has recently committed to a considerable investment in HS2, so a large new commitment to LHR sounds unlikely from the Tories. And they are the party of low taxation/spending. aren't they?
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Old Feb 27, 20, 5:42 pm
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Originally Posted by peter h
It will remain to see how it plays out, but the Tories haven't a track record of backing the expansion unequivocally - and BoJo himself has famously managed to avoid voting for it in the House of Commons.

The government has recently committed to a considerable investment in HS2, so a large new commitment to LHR sounds unlikely from the Tories. And they are the party of low taxation/spending. aren't they?
Yes I am sure, HS2 is very 'low spending'.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 6:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Soupdragon62
Does any other country tie itself up in such knots so regularly about major infrastructure projects?
Canadians are doing their very best to be world leaders in that area. Nobody shoots themselves in the foot more successfully.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 7:21 pm
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Question from an outsider: why is this such a big national issue in the UK? It seems fairly important, but I would have thought it'd be a local land use and infrastructure matter, not something of much concern elsewhere.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 11:34 pm
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I am in favour of a third runway. I am not in favour of a PM who says he will lie in front of bulldozers only to press ahead anyway and end up not doing it properly.

I'd like to make one simple point about the world. Yes, we must worry about climate change. This means we must prioritise our carbon footprint and such. But my belief is that air travel has brought the world closer together. Specifically, it has enabled people from a diverse array of cultures to understand each other better, and adapt accordingly.

I think that air travel is one of the most important things we can spend our, if you like, 'climate tokens' on. It upsets me that people think that 'leisure' travel is unimportant. I want a world where we understand each other and I think that inexpensive, accessible air travel facilitates this.

I don't appreciate air travel being so unfairly targeted as opposed to, say, cars.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 11:39 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey
Question from an outsider: why is this such a big national issue in the UK? It seems fairly important, but I would have thought it'd be a local land use and infrastructure matter, not something of much concern elsewhere.
There are many factors here, there are some that should be national issues and some that probably shouldn't but are. I'll list some of them, but not necessarily entirely objectively or within their complete/complex context, because that would be quite difficult to do.
  • Heathrow is maxed out, it can't really fit any more flights. It also can't build another runway on its current footprint.
  • Proponents argue that Heathrow connects the UK to the World, and connectivity is important to things like GDP at least to some extent. The more connecting passengers from other places BA can funnel through LHR, the more cities like BNA/PIT/PDX to give US examples it can profitably fly to, improving connectivity. An expansion would also improve links (frequencies, destinations) to other parts of the UK, helping better distribute the positive effects.
  • Planes on final approach from the East fly over some quite nice parts of (Outer) London, and the well-off residents there are complaining over the noise and pollution caused. A third runway to the NW of LHR would mean additional parts of Outer London with similarly well-off residents would also be affected. Being fairly rich/educated/well-connected means they complain very effectively. They've also had several decades of practice by now, as the issue is long-standing.
  • To complicate matters further, these parts of London were marginal constituencies for a long time. Think Ohio and Florida in US presidential elections; any future (Conservative) government depended on winning these constituencies, so for a long time any given government didn't want to alienate voters there. This isn't as true with the electoral map after the 2019 election, but Boris himself represents a nearby constituency and has long opposed expansion.
  • Expanding to the East would be prohibitively expensive, having to demolish too many houses. Expanding to the West would be more difficult from an engineering point of view as the area is wet and riddled with reservoirs. Assuming engineering challenges were overcome, fewer voters would complain about the noise, but constant low overflights of Windsor Castle are also politically difficult, Elizabeth Windsor being the Head of State and all.
  • On top of all this, there are environmentalist groups who don't like planes because they run on fossil fuel. New runway, more planes, more CO2 they say. And the government promised there would be less CO2. While such groups would normally be quite small, they have a powerful ally in the much of the middle class resident in (Outer) West London mentioned above.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 2:15 am
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Originally Posted by Kgmm77
Whilst Im sympathetic to the argument that the 3rd runway could significantly reduce hold times in the air and reduce emissions, its hard to see the ROI of the project meeting any kind of reasonable hurdle rate without a substantial increase in traffic.

Also, as weve seen mostly recently in DUB, where the airport secured planning approval for a new runway by agreeing to a (ridiculously restrictive) set of hours and traffic limits, then went back to seek to relax them even before a sod was turned on the site.
Indeed. Let's not be deceived by two fatuous arguments:

1) That a third runway will be built whilst applying a new restriction on overnight flights from 11:00pm to 5:30am
2) That a third runway will mean that utilisation reduces down to 80-90%

These are fantasy land that would not be securable. Spare capacity is lost revenue. Considering the investment required and the fact that Heathrow is a profit making private business it is clear that:

1) Any commitments on overnight flights being restricted are useless as they would not be secured in law.
2) That higher utilisation = higher landing charges = higher revenue/profit

Though I'm not keen on Boris even he knew years back that the idea of expanding Heathrow was politically and socially undeliverable. In the intervening years since this vote was taken the wind of public opinion has changed even further on climate change, noise and air pollution.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 2:24 am
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Originally Posted by xarantine
As contrails7 said - if you live near an airport, expect plane noise. What did they expect?
What's your definition of close....? 1 mile, 2 miles? 5 miles?

Just worked out - I live 15.25 miles away from Heathrow. I'm regularly awoken in summer by the 4:30am heavies coming in from Asia etc, together with aircraft for half the day coming over. It is still a considerable noise I can assure you. I do not regard myself as living 'near an airport' yet the effects are well felt.

Here's an image showing a distance of 15.25 miles around Heathrow and I'm sure others living further out than me are also affected.

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Old Feb 28, 20, 2:40 am
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To be fair, the expectation is that a longer night period (incorporating a strict curfew, not just quota) would be one of the planning conditions of the DCO.

HAL themselves have requested this, as they agree it needs a legal framework.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 2:55 am
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Originally Posted by David_Doyle
Indeed. Let's not be deceived by two fatuous arguments:

1) That a third runway will be built whilst applying a new restriction on overnight flights from 11:00pm to 5:30am
2) That a third runway will mean that utilisation reduces down to 80-90%

These are fantasy land that would not be securable. Spare capacity is lost revenue. Considering the investment required and the fact that Heathrow is a profit making private business it is clear that:

1) Any commitments on overnight flights being restricted are useless as they would not be secured in law.
2) That higher utilisation = higher landing charges = higher revenue/profit

Though I'm not keen on Boris even he knew years back that the idea of expanding Heathrow was politically and socially undeliverable. In the intervening years since this vote was taken the wind of public opinion has changed even further on climate change, noise and air pollution.
HAL's charges are fixed by the CAA in order to give them a framework-based rate of return. I'm not sure that expanding utilistation would mean zero benefits (some elements of their income are unregulated I think) but if HAL are able to open more slots then the CAA will inversely reduce their charges to control their profits.

That is a different dynamic to the infrastructure build itself, where effectively growing the investeted capital base allows HAL to leverage its own returns and also probably benefts its owners because some of the spend goes profitably to them.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 3:08 am
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I think the big picture here is that the world has changed since this process began. Even if it is ever formally approved, the environmental pressure on HAL and the government will be so great it will never get built.

When you add in the Tories need to be seen to be spending money in the north, whatever the rights and wrongs, whatever the logic, this project just will never get off the ground.

Ill wager we never see a new runway built in the South-East of England again.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 3:09 am
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Originally Posted by David_Doyle
Just worked out - I live 15.25 miles away from Heathrow. I'm regularly awoken in summer by the 4:30am heavies coming in from Asia etc, together with aircraft for half the day coming over. It is still a considerable noise I can assure you. I do not regard myself as living 'near an airport' yet the effects are well felt.
It must have been terrible for you when they decided to build LHR 15 miles from where you live
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Old Feb 28, 20, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA
It must have been terrible for you when they decided to build LHR 15 miles from where you live


I know, right?

It's when they had 6 (!) runways though that things were really bad. Mind you, that was 80 years after my house was built, and before the Thames was put in.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 3:41 am
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Originally Posted by David_Doyle


I know, right?

It's when they had 6 (!) runways though that things were really bad. Mind you, that was 80 years after my house was built, and before the Thames was put in.
Thankfully the plan for 10 runways was never acted upon........
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Old Feb 28, 20, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA
This country

What will be first, HS2 or LHR3?
When BER opens.
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