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Perching here and gathering my thoughts ...

No need for Heathrow's third runway

20 January 2009 ~ 14:00

The UK Government recently gave the go-ahead for a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport, probably the busiest airport in the world.

Now, while I don’t deny that the airport is overcrowded (it has been described as ‘unfit for the purpose,’ although a new terminal, Terminal 5, was only recently added last year), I do question the need for another runway, which will involve the levelling of an entire village and 700 houses in the village of Sipson.

The case has been made on the basis of increased passenger capacity in the future. Now I’m not one of those people who think nobody should be allowed to fly. I fully understand the need for air travel. However, when you consider that the current ‘Credit Crunch’ has revealed the fact that most people have been living beyond their means for the past 10-15 years, I do believe that future numbers of travellers has been over-estimated.

You can take myself and my husband, just as a typical example of overspending. Indeed, we’re a classic case. Over the last few years, our flying has increased dramatically. In fact, in 2006 I think we took more than 8 foreign trips by aeroplane.
This has been funded by credit cards, paid back by loans, and obviously it was going to get to the point of no return.

We ended up re-mortgaging our property to the tune of £40,000. And nowadays, we’re lucky to fly two or three times per year. Therefore, if many others are in our position (think of all the people expected to lose their jobs and the predicted 3 million unemployed the UK is supposed to achieve by 2010), then I really don’t see the need to double the number of flights at Heathrow. This is a World crisis, and not just the UK is affected.

Will all the protests, I doubt the third runway will ever end up being built. But if it isn’t, I don’t consider it the disaster some would have.

Stored nuts | Future acorns