Extra runways in London, or move flights out of London?

by Ken McEwen, Ken McEwen Public Relations

A regularly recurring news item at the moment is the verbal battle between Heathrow and Gatwick about an additional runway.

First it was Heathrow making all the news with their plea for additional capacity. Then it was Gatwick saying that their option was better and, in today’s paper, they are making the pitch that it would be better for the North of Scotland for Gatwick to get the increased capacity.

Better still would surely be to encourage direct flights to international destinations from regional airports.

I recently got a flight tracker app for my mobile phone. Living on the flightpath of a busy airport, it is interesting to be able to open the app and identify the plane, or helicopter, that is whizzing overhead.

air traffic

But, what is really noticeable is when you zoom the app out from Aberdeen to reveal the frenetic activity around hubs like London, Amsterdam and Paris.

Does it really make sense to encourage people to take two flights – one to get to a busy airport and another from there to their destination?



Clearly there are many cases where the onward flight would not be viable without consolidating passenger numbers at a hub.

But, any move away from flying Aberdeen passengers to the overcrowd airspace in London, just to make an onward connection to (say) Houston, would be a step in the right direction.

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