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M65 - Airport Expansion Motion

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    M65 - Airport Expansion Motion - TSR Conservative & Unionist Party
    This House condemns the construction of a new airport upon the Thames Estuary in London. Such a measure would be unjustifiably expensive and not in the interests of British taxpayers.

    The House supports the BAA Ltd. funded pursuit of expanding London Heathrow Airport via the construction of a new runway. Heathrow is currently operating at 99% capacity and risks losing it's competitive edge over foreign international airports. Expansion would bring great economic advantages to the United Kingdom by increasing connectivity to the rest of the world thus allowing the South East of England to better compete for business investment opportunities with the rest of the world. The British Chamber of Commerce anticipates that the additional runway would help bring an extra £30 Billion to the economy of the United Kingdom between 2020-2080.

    The House also supports the Ivy Bidco Ltd. led expansion of Gatwick Airport with another runway also being constructed there. This too would have beneficial effects on the British economy.
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    There is currently a RL review into aviation.

    The residents of the affected areas would not be pleased by this.
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    The pope is catholic.
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    (Original post by Morgsie)
    There is currently a RL review into aviation.

    The residents of the affected areas would not be pleased by this.
    While generally a supporter of localism, in this case the people living nearby knew that an airport existed and also knew that if successful then it would logically be expanded.

    In this case for the good of the nation those people would be overruled.
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    (Original post by Metrobeans)
    M65 - Airport Expansion Motion - TSR Conservative & Unionist Party
    This House condemns the construction of a new airport upon the Thames Estuary in London. Such a measure would be unjustifiably expensive and not in the interests of British taxpayers.

    The House supports the BAA Ltd. funded pursuit of expanding London Heathrow Airport via the construction of a new runway. Heathrow is currently operating at 99% capacity and risks losing it's competitive edge over foreign international airports. Expansion would bring great economic advantages to the United Kingdom by increasing connectivity to the rest of the world thus allowing the South East of England to better compete for business investment opportunities with the rest of the world. The British Chamber of Commerce anticipates that the additional runway would help bring an extra £30 Billion to the economy of the United Kingdom between 2020-2080.

    The House also supports the Ivy Bidco Ltd. led expansion of Gatwick Airport with another runway also being constructed there. This too would have beneficial effects on the British economy.
    This motion should be rejected.

    First of all, it is already established that Britain needs a new hub airport - it is no longer a valid option to expand Heathrow. A Thames Estuary hub would provide London, Britain and even Europe with the proper capacity to trade with developing nations through air travel, an industry that is only going to expand and innovate further. A new runway at Heathrow would be a poor stopgap - a consequence of short-term thinking. The exact same can be said for Gatwick expansion.

    Building an airport in the waves would allow for easy integration with European rail infrastructure, while ridding the planners of constraints when it comes to incorporating new technology and designs. It would also be a greener option - being in the sea would allow for the hub to incorporate a wave energy generator that could easily power the airport, and also a new tidal defence system that the South East needs if it is too avoid flooding. It's worthwhile noting that no significant land would be used - minimising the risk of environmental damage.

    The cost has not been estimated yet, though it is unlikely to be too extravagant given the attractiveness of such an airport to investment from China, India and the aviation industry as a whole. In fact it'd probably be much less expensive than projects like HS2, even despite being vastly more beneficial.
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    Heathrow doesn't have a "competitive edge". It succeeds thanks to its proximity to London in spite of itself, not because of it. It's an awful airport, and you can't hope to keep adding lego bricks to it and expect it to get better. This motion sounds a lot like it was written by people who've never been to an actual, modern, busy airport. I flew to Beijing International a few years ago, and the difference is monumental. When an airport is designed from the ground up for the demands of modern day international aviation, that's when it has a "competitive edge". Repeatedly building more and more terminals on a sprawling site is not.
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    What about Luton and Stansted?

    Birmingham Airport is planning a slight expansion.
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    (Original post by JPKC)
    This motion should be rejected.

    First of all, it is already established that Britain needs a new hub airport - it is no longer a valid option to expand Heathrow. A Thames Estuary hub would provide London, Britain and even Europe with the proper capacity to trade with developing nations through air travel, an industry that is only going to expand and innovate further. A new runway at Heathrow would be a poor stopgap - a consequence of short-term thinking. The exact same can be said for Gatwick expansion.

    Building an airport in the waves would allow for easy integration with European rail infrastructure, while ridding the planners of constraints when it comes to incorporating new technology and designs. It would also be a greener option - being in the sea would allow for the hub to incorporate a wave energy generator that could easily power the airport, and also a new tidal defence system that the South East needs if it is too avoid flooding. It's worthwhile noting that no significant land would be used - minimising the risk of environmental damage.

    The cost has not been estimated yet, though it is unlikely to be too extravagant given the attractiveness of such an airport to investment from China, India and the aviation industry as a whole. In fact it'd probably be much less expensive than projects like HS2, even despite being vastly more beneficial.
    I don't think it is established that Britain needs a hub airport. Just think into it a little deeper. London is currently served by Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City and even Luton at a stretch. Does it really need a sixth airport? Are the taxpayers ever really going to get a reasonable return on what would be a multi-billion pound investment that such a move would be? I don't think they would. Expanding our current airports is more than enough. And what is great about that move is that it will be entirely privately funded under this motion.

    You say the cost of building a new airport would not be extravagant, but it most definitely will be. I love Boris, but it's a crazy idea. Building an airport in the middle of a river just bleeds money from it's very conception.

    Expanding our current airports allows us to better cope with the increasing demand that our aviation infrastructure will face in the future without having to screw over the taxpayer at the same time. Best of both worlds.
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    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    Heathrow doesn't have a "competitive edge". It succeeds thanks to its proximity to London in spite of itself, not because of it. It's an awful airport, and you can't hope to keep adding lego bricks to it and expect it to get better. This motion sounds a lot like it was written by people who've never been to an actual, modern, busy airport. I flew to Beijing International a few years ago, and the difference is monumental. When an airport is designed from the ground up for the demands of modern day international aviation, that's when it has a "competitive edge". Repeatedly building more and more terminals on a sprawling site is not.
    Heathrow seems fine to me - what exactly is wrong with it (and I have been through many international airports). And who really cares about how amazing the airport is? It's more than adequate and it's proximity to London is surely the only thing that really matters?

    (Original post by Morgsie)
    What about Luton and Stansted?

    Birmingham Airport is planning a slight expansion.
    I think they are a bit too far from London to really be new hub airports and correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they mainly serve the Europe region - I haven't seen many flights from them to places like the US/Asia advertised (though thinking about it, that can be easily changed - presumably it just doesn't happen because Heathrow and Gatwick are far more convenient for most).

    When HS2 is built though, Birmingham could be viable. The journey from the airport to London would take around 40 minutes which compares favourably with Heathrow and Gatwick
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    (Original post by cambo211)
    The pope is catholic.
    I thought bears were. And the pope does his business in woods...?
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    What are the disadvantages of building on the estuary?
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    (Original post by bun)
    I thought bears were. And the pope does his business in woods...?
    Rookie mistakes.
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    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    Heathrow doesn't have a "competitive edge". It succeeds thanks to its proximity to London in spite of itself, not because of it. It's an awful airport, and you can't hope to keep adding lego bricks to it and expect it to get better. This motion sounds a lot like it was written by people who've never been to an actual, modern, busy airport. I flew to Beijing International a few years ago, and the difference is monumental. When an airport is designed from the ground up for the demands of modern day international aviation, that's when it has a "competitive edge". Repeatedly building more and more terminals on a sprawling site is not.
    I wrote this motion (with assistance from the party of course; credit where credit's due) and I can confirm that I have been to what you call an "actual, modern, busy airport". I've been to many, many airports, too many probably. Sure, Heathrow isn't amazing, KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) is my favorite. Its a real feat of architecture, very beautiful in its design.

    But we don't need that, and we certainly can't justify throwing tons of money at the problem to achieve something like that. We just need an airport which does it job well. Heathrow can do that and can do a very sufficient and efficient job at it, especially with sufficient updates.
    Terminal 1 and 2 are currently being replaced with a brand new terminal. Terminal 3 is undergoing multi-million pound improvements, Terminal 5 is brand new of course. It's not as though we just have a decades old airport standing there, the majority of it is fairly recent these days.

    It doesn't need to be brand new to stand up to the rest of the world. It's a lot like a computer, you can shell out every two years for a completely new one or you can make continued updates like increasing the RAM, hard drive, etc. The latter is better because you can get it to be just as good as the new one for a fraction of the price.
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    (Original post by cambo211)
    Rookie mistakes.
    I'll learn eventually
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    What are the disadvantages of building on the estuary?
    It's incredibly expensive, will take a long time, the infrastructure isn't there to support it, lots of birds in the area (don't mix too well with jet engines! plus their habitat would be destroyed), there's a shipwreck packed with explosives nearby and I believe there is an enormous liquid gas complex on the shore where the island would be sited.
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    What are the disadvantages of building on the estuary?
    Cost - As a hub airport there would be a few terminals and runways, Hong Kong airport for example cost around $20 billion

    Location - It's in the middle of the estuary which means you need road and rail links further pushing up costs

    Potential wildlife issues - The proposed location has a bird colony and even if you ignore the hippie argument we know that birds and planes do not go well together, at the very least this issue will push back the timetable

    M25 extension - To accommodate the extra traffic and transport links you would likely need to expand the M25 nearby, wider links possibly needed on main roads in Kent and Essex

    Time - Heathrow will be at full capacity by 2019, the chances of building even starting by then are minimal

    The sheer cost of the airport and all the infrastructure changes and additions would likely mean a large degree of government investment from the taxpayer as opposed to runway extensions which will largely be paid for by the airport owners, not to mention that before it gets built Heathrow will already be at capacity.
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    Oui, bien sûr

    Yes of course :smug:
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    Constructing a new airport in the Thames Estuary is the best option. Further irregular and piecemeal expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick will displace far more local people and will disadvantage far more with noise pollution. A full relocation to the Thames Estuary could allow the development of a brand new, four-runway airport that will allow Britain to compete against emerging economies for the next century. Yes it's a massive initial investment, but we have to ask ourselves whether Heathrow is going to remain fit for purpose. I think not.

    Paris, Hong Kong and many other cities have successfully relocated their main airports. London can do the same.

    Check out Norman Foster's excellent plan for not only an airport but a regional transport hub. An investment of £50 billion here would be of far more benefit than HS2, which costs £20 billion less and arguably has a far lower cost:benefit ratio.

    Let's think big! Britain can once again lead the world in amazing infrastructure projects, creating employment for a generation of new architects, engineers and builders.
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    Constructing a new airport in the Thames Estuary is the best option. Further irregular and piecemeal expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick will displace far more local people and will disadvantage far more with noise pollution. A full relocation to the Thames Estuary could allow the development of a brand new, four-runway airport that will allow Britain to compete against emerging economies for the next century. Yes it's a massive initial investment, but we have to ask ourselves whether Heathrow is going to remain fit for purpose. I think not.

    Paris, Hong Kong and many other cities have successfully relocated their main airports. London can do the same.

    Check out Norman Foster's excellent plan for not only an airport but a regional transport hub. An investment of £50 billion here would be of far more benefit than HS2, which costs £20 billion less and arguably has a far lower cost:benefit ratio.

    Let's think big! Britain can once again lead the world in amazing infrastructure projects, creating employment for a generation of new architects, engineers and builders.
    http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/J...AL_low_res.pdf

    I shall not deny that the idea laid out is not interesting however i am very skeptical that the private sector or foreign nations would contribute such a significant amount, not to mention that when taking into account the road network (not mentioned) the cost will be even higher.

    Even without such a concern, a project of this magnitude would not see a completion date until between 2025-2030 and Heathrow and Gatwick will have reached full capacity before that point, thus requiring the runways anyway.

    I stand by the motion.
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    I'd like to point out, to both people that quoted me, that we don't need to spend a penny. Why is everyone's first solution - even, apprantly, the Tories - for the government to pay for everything? I don't know if you noticed, but all of our primary airports are privately owned. Indeed, BAA recently had to sell a load because they were so good at owning them. The channel tunnel proved that massive (indeed, that was monumental in its scope and complexity) infrastructure projects can be completed by the private sector, using private money. The only reason this is even a government issue is because of the huge levels of legislation surrounding the legal ramifications of setting up an airport. But there's no reason why it needs to cost the taxpayer a penny. This is true of whatever route we go down, btw, not just a new airport.

    (Original post by callum9999)
    Heathrow seems fine to me - what exactly is wrong with it (and I have been through many international airports). And who really cares about how amazing the airport is? It's more than adequate and it's proximity to London is surely the only thing that really matters?
    If that actually were all that matters, then yeah, there's be no problem with constantly putting new runways and terminals at Heathrow. But the whole layout of an airport has huge ramifications not only for passenger enjoyment and ease (which, as much as we'd love to say is irrelevant, really isn't - as a place of international business, if an employee can spend an hour less in an airport than they have to, this is beneficial to a company. Likewise a holiday maker, and it's one of the main reasons I prefer to go to France via Eurostar than air - It doesn't need to be like that) but also efficiency. If you design an airport around the needs and capabilities of todays flights (ie far more frequent sequentially on the same runway) then you can get a lot more flights out of the same amount of space. The more you add to Heathrow, the harder and harder that's going to get to organised. The longer it takes passengers to get to their gate, the longer period you have to allow for them to do so, meaning they have to check in even earlier. The further bags have to go. The less cohesive-a consumer area you can have (you end up having 53 WH Smiths because people are so spread out) which, again, ends up taking up more space than it needs to.


    (Original post by Jarred)
    I wrote this motion (with assistance from the party of course; credit where credit's due) and I can confirm that I have been to what you call an "actual, modern, busy airport". I've been to many, many airports, too many probably. Sure, Heathrow isn't amazing, KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) is my favorite. Its a real feat of architecture, very beautiful in its design.

    But we don't need that, and we certainly can't justify throwing tons of money at the problem to achieve something like that. We just need an airport which does it job well. Heathrow can do that and can do a very sufficient and efficient job at it, especially with sufficient updates.
    Terminal 1 and 2 are currently being replaced with a brand new terminal. Terminal 3 is undergoing multi-million pound improvements, Terminal 5 is brand new of course. It's not as though we just have a decades old airport standing there, the majority of it is fairly recent these days.

    It doesn't need to be brand new to stand up to the rest of the world. It's a lot like a computer, you can shell out every two years for a completely new one or you can make continued updates like increasing the RAM, hard drive, etc. The latter is better because you can get it to be just as good as the new one for a fraction of the price.
    I echo both of my points above - firstly, that there's no need for "us" to pay for anything. Secondly, even if you know terminal's down, you can change the grand layout. Can you rebuild air ports every two years? No. But Heathrow's layout was principally designed during WW2. 70 years for an airport is a good innings - but there's a reason we aren't still using Croydon airport, once one of the busiest in the world.

    Things like this are outdated by the time they've had their ribbon cut, and upgrades can keep them relevant for a long time, but there always comes a point where the cost/benefit of doing so lags behind starting again. I believe that time is now.
Updated: March 13, 2012
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