Developing Heathrow

By | Category: Travel news
panoramic view of Heathrow

Heathrow showing, to the north, where a new runway might go but Arora is suggesting other possibilities.

The development of Heathrow to incorporate a new runway has already caused considerable controversy.

A little bit more was added by the announcement from a company called Arora that owns hotels including some near Heathrow. They have come up with an alternative development plan which costs about the same as that now proposed by Heathrow itself after it decided to shave £2.5 billion from their original plan.

Why should any of this matter to passengers?

Because somehow, we are going to end up contributing in some way. At present we pay a levy for using the airport which is added to the price pf a ticket. The Heathrow management might want to increase that levy to help pay for it whereas people like Willie Walsh – the boss of IAG that owns BA, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling – doesn’t want to see any increase because he might have to pass it on.

We passengers just want a resolution to the issue. Now that the government has decided to support expansion that expansion should take place so that the misery of passing through the airport is reduced. And by misery I mean the problems of getting there, getting onto a plan and getting out of the airport once you return. In a world where everything has to be about improving the “experience” Heathrow isn’t fun. The new runway and buildings may improve things but delaying them will prolong problems. The Arora intervention might just do that.

But why should Heathrow take any notice of Arora? It is not as if Arora owns the airport. But they argue that others could develop terminals and some airline bosses agree.

Heathrow says that the plan by Arora shows “ a complete lack of understanding of airport operations and disregard for those living closest to the airport,” yet the plans have been drawn up by a company, Corgan,  with experience of designing terminals in China and the USA so to claim a lack of understanding seems a bit of an exaggeration.

It looks like we are back to mud-slinging time rather than getting on with it time. And it will be passengers who suffer.

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