LondonNet News Headlines
|New London Airport On the Drawing Board|
- Ministry moves to meet anticipated huge expansion in air traffic
NEW London airport is one of the options being considered by the government to meet an expected upsurge in air traffic over the next two decades.
Although there has been a sharp drop in passengers since September 11, most transport experts agree that the long-term trend is upwards, with London air passenger figures set to double over the next twenty years from the current 100 million a year.
Transport Minister Stephen Byers is expected to bite the bullet of environmental protests and argue the case for three new runways in and around London to cope with the increase in demand. Impetus to the scheme has been provided by fears that if London doesn't expand its capacity, rival European airports such as those serving Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris will take up the slack.
"There's a feeling that if you don't do something to meet demand, the demand will go elsewhere," said one Transport Ministry insider.
Options include new runways at Gatwick and Stansted, London's second and third biggest airports, though the most exciting is the prospect of a wholly new facility. A mystery site along the Thames estuary is already said to have been earmarked.