I don’t know if you watched Question Time on BBC One last week, oh you did. Well for those who didn’t, the show was being held in the brand new Terminal 2. Now I thought that Terminal 2 had been in existence well before the construction of Terminal 5. You’d think that wouldn’t you. Well apparently it has been re-built and will apparently eventually cover Terminal 1 and 3 as well. Fun little fact there. Anyway, because of where they were they used it as a chance to YET AGAIN discuss the construction of a third runway at Heathrow and the construction of Boris Island, or the “London Britannia Airport” as it has now been dubbed. So as a fan of the hit show MegaStructures and also someone who is very much interested in Large Buildings and Aircraft particularly of the large variety as well as having had enough of a load of complaining hippies talking over and over again about why a third runway is bad for the environment (yet not mention how useful it might be for the economy, or maybe they are saying they just don’t want a job) I thought I would give my own analysis as well as opinion as to what I think they, as in the airport people (whatever they’re called) should do. So let’s start with the third runway.
That’s what I honestly think. The largest and busiest in the United Kingdom and the third busiest in the world and yet for a currently four soon to be 5 terminal airport, there is only two runways. How is it supposed to cope or even reach maximum capacity if it all the terminals are restricted to 2 terminals? That’s a case of two and a half terminals to one runway. Surely the largest of those terminals should have at least one to itself allowing the other four to share one runway each? Now it has always been the case that one thing has stood above most about Heathrow and that is noise pollution. Heathrow is in a busy area, it is not really on the outskirts of London at all, it is in a built up area. But most of that area is housing and people have complained for years about the amount of noise being produced at the airport. Now I can understand that, who would want to live in that, all the sound being produced, I bet you don’t you get much sleep. So in the case of those living in the area I can see why a third runway would be a problem. Fair enough. So I think in that case then it should be the case that instead of a third runway at Heathrow, why not a second at Gatwick instead? I don’t hear anyone complaining about that, I am actually surprised that a second runway at Gatwick does not exist at all. Second largest and busiest in the UK, why not?
While it is the case that a third runway will cause a lot of sound problems as well as a lot of dreary talk from hippies about global warming and whales – even though I don’t know what giant metal birds and their giant concrete nests have to do with whales? But on the up side, a third runway will create a lot more available uses for traffic at the airport and as such will create jobs to service such traffic and increase income from the airport. So theoretically a third runway; or if not that, a second at Gatwick should help to boost the economy for years to come. So, for the benefit and prosperity of the UK, it should be built. Now as for Boris Island.
When I was first shown pictures of the proposed Boris Island, (so named due to it being put forward in some capacity by London Mayor and coolest man in UK politics, Boris Johnson) several years ago, I liked the idea of it. Based on Hong Kong International Airport with two terminals with a runway for each one and build it in the Thames Estuary. I have always liked the idea of it, but over the years they have over thought about the idea. It has gone from a relatively small airport design to something so big and costly that they are now suggesting that if it gets built that they close down Heathrow. Now I can understand that a six runway is better than a two runway airport. But I don’t understand why Heathrow should be closed. What would the point in that be?
Closing down an airport that cost billions to build for one that’s going to cost billions to build and create a giant waste ground in the middle of a built up area that will be unable to serve only one purpose, being an airport. While it does bring up development ideas and possibilities of real estate and entertainment, which could take years to do, and knowing what this country is like, years before anything is approved. So it would more likely become a giant play park for kids and immature youths of all ages as well as a possible scene for drug dealing and other immoral crimes. The only way of preventing that would be to immediately demolish everything once it was closed down, but as stated before, it would take years to approve even after the closure of the airport. It will look a lot like that episode of Top Gear with that Airport in Spain.
What I think should be done is easier. Build Boris Island in its original format, two runways, two terminals (and maybe include the connection to the new London Gateway Port to possibly include an ocean liner and cruise ship dock too, just an idea), build it in the Thames estuary and instead of closing down a fully functioning and large airport, close down a much smaller one; London City Airport. Boris Island is very close to that side of the city and if it were to be able to cope better than London city, close that one down instead. That way, there will be two large airports assisting both a large city and the country instead of one, and real estate opportunities for close to the city center will pop up quickly instead of a 5 mile wasteland.
While that is a more brief overview of what I think they should do, I believe it is a lot more valid an idea than the one they, as in government and airport people are seemingly wanting to go through with in both directions. In the end it is really up to them, but I think they are going about the whole thing the wrong way and in many respects need their hands banging together. But as once again stated previously, it will be a long time, more than 20 years probably, before anything is approved.