Procrastinating politicians

By | Category: Travel rumblings


This morning, easyJet announced that passenger numbers have risen by 7.4% in the last six months. If 7.4% doesn’t sound a great number than I should tell you that it equates to an extra 2.1 million passengers. In the last twelve months this has meant the airline has carried an extra 5 million passengers and is searching for 450 pilots to help the airline continue to grow.

easyJet isn’t alone in seeing more of us flying. Ryanair carried 900,000 more passengers in April 2016 compared to the same time last year and IAG (which includes British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus) carried more than 1.1 million people in April compared to the same time last year. Heathrow saw an additional 1.58 million passengers last year and Gatwick, 2.16 million.

It all goes to show that air demand is growing.

Yet the UK government is still messing about with making a decision on where and whether to expand airport capacity in the south east. It says that it is awaiting the results of an environmental review but has it really required all this time?

Cynics would say that politicians and fighting shy of a decision because of political fall-out. Others say politicians want to get the local and regional elections plus the EU referendum over and done with first.

or Gatwick?

or Gatwick?

And while this procrastination continues, Heathrow and Gatwick get busier and delays grown within the terminals as people try to get through and in the air as planes get stacked.

Last week, the market research organisation, YouGov issue results from a survey suggesting that the majority of residents living in the areas surrounding London Gatwick Airport are still in support of constructing a second runway. As the organisation points out, three separate YouGov polls, the first for more than a year, show that the majority of residents living around Gatwick (49%), and those throughout both West Sussex (53%) and Kent (47%), continue to support the expansion of the airport.

The numbers are tight and no margin of error is provided but it shows that both Heathrow and Gatwick are slogging it out in their fight to grow.

How much longer do we all have to put up with claim and counter-claim before the government announces its decision?

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