Letters to the editor
After 50 years, Heathrow is losing its economically critical position for the UK, as Europe’s principal intercontinental transfer airport.
If Britain is to retain its aviation status, Heathrow needs an immediate plan for more runway capacity to fill the gap until a new airport is operational.
There may be an interim solution, Northolt Airport, less than five miles away. Although in 1952 it was the busiest airport in Britain it is now under-used. It has a 5,542m runway and a notional airport infrastructure. Road links are good — M4/A312 and Western Avenue, which could be the route for an overhead high-speed monorail shuttle, working as Gatwick’s North Terminal/South Terminal rail shuttle, but quicker and quieter.
Planning difficulties would be less: Northolt is already an airport, currently under-used by the MOD. Overseas there are many airports shared by military and civil aviation and already air traffic control cooperation exists between the two.
Difficulties and problems there may be, but these often generate better, more creative solutions.
Bridge Studios, W6
29 February 2012
20 January 2012