Right, time to dip back into the aviation debate…
It was pleasing to finally see the Tory-led coalition government finally accept Labour’s proposal for an independent commission to review aviation capacity. You do still fear that vested interests and the short-termists could yet win the day.
I have been banging the drum in earlier blog pieces for a new international airport hub close to the current Birmingham Airport site alongside the HS2 Birmingham Interchange station – check the aviation category…
Now if i continue my logic, why not go further? Manchester Airport and East Midlands Airport will both be very close to HS2 stations (i suspect) (as we will see when the Phase 2 routes to Manchester and Leeds are announced later this year (i suspect) ).
You could leave Heathrow, well improve it but not expand it in terms of flight paths; you could do the same with Gatwick and Stansted and Luton as well.
You could then develop Birmingham, Manchester and East Midlands into major national hub airports on the scale of Gatwick or more so. These 4 hub airports (bear in mind Germany has 6 hub airports) would be more than sufficient for the long term future of aviation capacity for the UK.
Our national high speed rail network will connect these 4 airports – you could have air/rail shuttle services for:
Heathrow – Birmingham – Manchester and Heathrow – Birmingham – East Midlands
This will then allow you to have air/rail ticketing, journey planning and information and again explains the logic behind my call for an integrated aviation/national high speed rail network policy – see http://wp.me/pUjxw-3i
High speed rail services allow us to look at aviation differently. By integrating our future national high speed rail network into aviation policy we not only manage to obtain more flexibility but can access more capacity as well as improving the ability for more people across the country to access flights and the related benefits without long journeys (usually by car) to the airport; it also brings markets closer to more of our towns and cities – spreading the opportunities and benefits should be the role of strategic transport planning rather than just providing more and more capacity in the least creative and sensible way possible right???