Developing a sustainable framework for UK aviation: Scoping document March 2011
A response to the DfT by MSP Solutions Ltd.
SE UK aviation demand is forecast to grow beyond available capacity within some 15-20 years and there are a number of indications that UK could significantly suffer in terms of business activity and associated trade, employment and income if an inadequate aviation framework were not in-place. This concern is reinforced as European competitor airport hubs such as Paris (CDG), Amsterdam (AMS) and Frankfurt (FRA) continue to ensure surplus capacity is always available. Thus they will be capable of attracting larger numbers of UK passengers who will become increasingly dissatisfied with a highly congested UK airports system. To remain competitive in the international aviation market, London needs at least one large airport with sufficient capacity to handle the future demand for the growing international premium/business air passenger demand for both longhaul and shorthaul routes on a single site. It should also be noted that world-wide aviation experts all agree that a single “hub” airport is by-far the best solution for major cities and there are no examples of successful two-hub city airports.
What London currently has is a distributed 5-airport system, LHR, LGW, STN, LTN and LCY with no single airport able to cope with the same number of future air transport movements (take-offs and landings) that could be handled by the major Continental European Airports such
as Amsterdam (AMS), Paris (CDG), Frankfurt (FRA) and Madrid (MAD). MSP Solutions believes that the expansion of the London Airports System with 2 new runways one each at LHR and STN as proposed by the previous Labour Government was fundamentally flawed, as a best, it only provided a medium term fix to increasing capacity at the key London airport LHR. From a hubbing viewpoint the previous BAA 3rd LHR runway proposal was far from ideal for easy flight connections. It was surprising that the scheme was supported so strongly by the airlines.