Why London’s capacity issue needs to be resolved – fast

Written by on December 17, 2013 in Airports, Featured on App with 2 Comments

Why London’s capacity issue needs to be resolved – fast (Picture: david mckelvey on flickr)

The battle over capacity issues in London’s airports continues.

We’ve discussed 4 unusual blue sky ideas to solve airport capacity and the idea of a whole new London Britannia Airport – but where do we stand now?

A third runway at Heathrow and new runways at Gatwick and Stansted are three shortlisted options proposed to increase air capacity.

The Airports Commission will have a report put together for us by Summer 2015.

As it has been with the HS2 high-speed rail project, the airport expansion debate has been heated – Boris is fully against a third runway and hopes for his new airport or Boris Island to be the solution of choice.

So while we wait for the verdict, here’s some stats for your to take a look over.

  • 2012: Heathrow had 69,983,139 passengers – that’s 32% of all passengers at UK airports
  • Heathrow average delays: 14.36 minutes, beaten only by Manchester at 14.69
  • Paris Charles De Gaulle has fewer passengers but 4 runways compared to Heathrow’s 2
  • Heathrow accounts for over half the freight dealt by UK airports – that’s 1,464,390 tonnes
  • Heathrow Airport is at 99% capacity

Some evidence submitted in the London Assembly report earlier this year suggests increasing aircraft size would allow it to increase capacity.

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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About the Author

About the Author: I'm the Content Manager for transport at Terrapinn Digital. A socially adept transport enthusiast with a particular interest in the marketing of it all. You'll spot my posts on Blue Sky and Total Rail. .


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  • David Abrahams

    No-one has thought about using the existing runway at Northolt, my first ever flight was on a BEA Viking from there to Manchester in the early ’50′s.

    • Lorna

      You’re right, they are just focusing on the big 3- Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. Of course there’s always the problem of connecting the runway to the city… In the 4 unusual blue sky ideas to solve airport capacity article, someone mentioned the idea of a Maglev connecting all the airports. This could connect Northolt and the other airports!

      Thanks for your comment David