Talk of a new airport for the UK has got the press buzzing, the environmentalists riled and politicians jumping onto opposite sides of the fence. Why? Because building a new airport is an expensive business, but is it something that the government can afford not to do?
First of all it’s important to realise that the UK does need a new airport. That’s because some of our existing international airports, like Heathrow and Gatwick, are reaching their optimum capacities. They’ve also been told that they can’t expand beyond their current capacity.
However, the implications for not building an airport could be vast. If the government does fail to act, then it could be losing out on millions of inbound tourists and business visitors, and therefore, potentially billions in holiday spending money.
Thinking about the benefits of a new airport is easy. It is inevitable that any airport, whether that be one in the Thames Estuary as recently suggested, or elsewhere, will bring jobs to one lucky area. It will also bring many associated transport, freight and travel jobs to the surrounding towns and villages.
Destinations surrounding a new airport could feasibly also expect new and improved infrastructure to aid the traffic to a new airport. So locals could expect long-awaited bypasses, extra motorway lanes and so on.
In the case of the proposed ‘Boris Island’ airport site in London, it’s even touted that a new rail link between the north and the south of England could join to it. The same sort of thing could happen if there were to be an airport elsewhere.
One major consideration of any airport proposal would be to consider which direction the live air traffic would travel in. It’s important to keep the air quiet and as pollution free for nearby communities, so this could too affect the placement of an airport.
It’s certainly a difficult balancing act trying to find the right location for a new international UK transport hub, but undeniably it’s an issue that needs resolving in the immediate future in order for the UK economy to prosper.