Yesterday saw the British government vote in favour of an expansion to the London Heathrow airport, in terms of passenger traffic, the airport is the biggest in Europe and the 6th largest in the world; it currently operates at 98% capacity. Currently, the airport’s 2 runways accommodate the arrival and departure of an incredible 1’293 aeroplanes, per day
It’s predicted that the expansion to Heathrow airport will be worth $74.5 billion per year and the extension has been widely supported by a large number of London and Britain’s business leaders, the expansion will create as many as 77,000 additional local jobs over the next 14 years. The announcement will help support plans by U.K. airlines to invest $75 billion in more than 900 new aircraft by 2034, according to ADS Group Ltd., an aerospace industry group.
However, the expansion is not likely to be something we see in the near future. It is unlikely that any new runway capacity would be operational before 2025, construction is not likely to begin until 2020 or 2021, the Airports Commission has said.
The decision has been hugely controversial with the British ministers being split on the decision, foreign secretary Boris Johnson has been one of the more vocal in opposing the plan and still questions whether the extension will actually ever happen. A number of the local councils have opposed it over fears of increased noise pollution, which is already a serious problem. Nevertheless, after yesterday’s vote, it would have to be assumed the extension of Europe’s biggest airport will be great for British trade.