Breakingviews

Heathrow offers quaint lessons in infrastructure

July 1, 2015

After at least six years of heated debate, a British government-appointed panel has backed the idea of a third runway for London’s largest airport. China has built 44 new airports in that time. The UK’s deliberative approach has advantages, but now it’s time to start building.

New London air hub plan needs public money to fly

December 1, 2011

Heathrow is a jam-packed embarrassment for those who promote London as a global financial centre. A brand new four-runway hub in the Thames estuary is appealing but expensive. Even using rosy forecasts, it is hard to see an all-private enterprise earning a decent return.

Memo to UK’s new air strategists: let numbers talk

September 6, 2012

After years of make-do-and-mend, the UK is once again arguing about London’s airport capacity, and possible expansion at Heathrow. Most people seem most keen to rubbish plans they dislike. The right approach is more positive. Analyse all ideas robustly: then make a decision.

Heathrow needs decisive capacity fix

January 21, 2013

Snow has exposed the London airport’s lack of slack when problems arise. Passengers’ expectations of a zero-failure service are hard to shift. But if Heathrow can’t build another runway, it needs to be radical. That may mean operating its infrastructure at lower capacity.