Coffee House

Will Howard Davies recommend the Heathrow Hub after the next election?

7 March 2014

4:00 PM

7 March 2014

4:00 PM

As Patrick McLoughlin makes clear in his interview with The Spectator, Sir Howard Davies’s report on where in the south east new runways should be built will be published soon after the next election. The plan is that the new runways will then be approved and construction under way by 2020; meaning that there’ll be no chance for people to vote against them at a general election.

Strikingly, the Heathrow Hub option — which would extend the northern runway and then turn it into two runways — is rapidly gaining support in Westminster. Part of its attraction of is that the scheme would also enable you to extend the southern runway and turn that into two runways, creating — in effect — a four runway airport. Politically, there is also some appeal in avoiding simply building a third runway at Heathrow.

We’ll have to wait and see what Davies proposes. But I think the Heathrow Hub option is an increasingly likely one. ​

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Show comments
  • Daniel Maris

    Here’s an example of Davies’ wonderful “judgement” – cosying up to the Ghadaffis:

    “From 2003 to 2011, Davies served as Director of the London School of
    Economics and Political Science. He stepped down from the position on 3
    March 2011 following concern over the institution’s decision to accept funding
    from a foundation controlled by the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and other LSE Libya Links.” (From Wikipedia)

  • Daniel Maris

    The point is that there is plenty of capacity at Heathrow for it to be a “hub” airport if that is considered so important (I’m sceptical). All we have to do is increase the capacity of our regional airports, which should be easy to do in comparison. It will have the added bonus of meaning that people from the midlands and north don’t have to travel down to Heathrow to start their holiday air journey.

  • hestonlad

    It is a shame that the current “consultation” process being stage-managed by Heathrow as to where residents want their noise is not informed with either proper information as to how the Heathrow hub might reduce night noise by landing planes further west, nor by any information on how many new areas of West London will be affected by take-off noise as flightpaths have to change to accommodate a third runway operating with east winds.

  • fathomwest

    Sir Howard Davies is an astute man and I reckon he may well recommend the hub BUT I have a sneaky feeling he will say that the Estuary (Boris Island) Plan has many advantages and leave it open for politicians to decide on one or the other.

    • Athelwulf

      ‘The Davies Commission has shortlisted a plan for a new 3,500m-long runway to the north-west of Heathrow’s existing runways, after the airport submitted three optional locations.’

      BBC web site 17-12-2013

      This is right up against the junction of the M5 and M25 Motorways. Is that so clever?

      The proposal to extend the current northern runway westwards would mean extending it over the M25 Motorway. Again, a far from ideal solution

      The proposal for a new South-west runway would mean constructing it over the King George VI and Wraysbury Reservoirs as well as the M25.

      Plan here:

      • Daniel Maris

        It will horrendous traffic delays in the area for 5 years. I think you mean M4 BTW.

        • fozz

          Nothing new in that I’m afraid.

          • Daniel Maris

            Apoologies – make that “even more horrendous if that were possible…”

            • fozz

              Doesn’t bear thinking about. A vile prospect to add to the vile experience of the M25 at any time.

      • HookesLaw

        Is not the point about increasing capacity at Heathrow that it will make congestion around the M25 there even worse than iot is now?
        There may be sense in adding a runway to Heathrow but only to make it more efficient as an airport and not to significantkly increase its capacity. But once any runway is built then surely capacity will follow.

    • Daniel Maris

      Astute? Astute!! Can we have some examples of his “astuteness”. I think he’s been wrong on all the big things.

      • fathomwest

        Daniel you are so angry. Calm down dear. I have had many dealings with Sir Howard. His only fault is that he is an avid Manchester City supporter. You, I am informed, support Leyton Orient.

  • rtj1211

    And the connectivity to this hub from the rest of the UK??

    Or don’t the SE care about that any more??

    The connectivity comes from HS2, which the SE NIMBYs are implacably opposed to.

    So come on: explain how a Heathrow hub serves the rest of the country.

    If you can’t, why is it going ahead??

    Other than fascists in London think the world revolves around them and them alone……

    • HookesLaw

      ‘fascists in london’ yawn yawn yawn.

    • IainRMuir

      “SE NIMBYs”

      And a few in Cheshire, I understand.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    The centralist hub model is dead. Ryanair proves it.

  • ButcombeMan

    Heathrow has always been the answer. Cameron painted himself into a corner over it. His failure to resolve the runway capacity problem has held the recovery back.

  • starfish

    More votes for UKIP

    I do wonder if there is any common sense in the three major parties

    Heathrow’s creaking infrastructure and overstretched connections to the rest of the UK cannot be the foundation of more expansion

    I think the Manston idea is worth looking at (especially linkages to existing HS lines and the channel ports)

    Failing that develop another hub around Birmingham or Manchester

  • In2minds

    “there’ll be no chance for people to vote against them at a general election” – So it’s bollocks to democracy then?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Pretty much, yes. It’s revealing how easily the Speccie kid lets that loose, as unfiltered Londonistan bubble attitude. Now perhaps the kid understands why his mate Dave’s head is going on a spike, shortly .