Heathrow expansion could unlock new China connections

There are still plenty of opportunities for Parliament and other bodies to challenge the third runway. Photo credit – Pixabay

Heathrow expansion could unlock new China connections

The future of London’s Heathrow Airport is in the balance.

With only two runways, the UK’s largest airport is effectively full. Prime landing and take off slots are so valuable at Heathrow that they trade between airlines for tens of millions of pounds.

Although the British government officially supports a third runway to be built at Heathrow, it takes a very long time for large infrastructure projects to gain full approval in the country.

What’s more, there are still plenty of opportunities for Parliament and other bodies to challenge the third runway.

This would be bad news for the British economy – especially in the wake of Brexit.

British politicians have been trying to put a brave face on Brexit, saying that the UK is ‘open for business’ and ‘ready to become a world leader in free trade.’

These things can hardly be true if the largest airport in the British Isles is full and unavailable for new routes.

Most significantly, it’s currently very difficult for airlines to launch new connections between Heathrow and China due to the capacity issues.

With cultural and trade relations between the two countries at a record high, it’s astonishing that just ten destinations in China are currently directly accessible from the airport – the most Western geographically of which is Xi’an.

If common sense prevails, and the third runway is built, a vast array of new connections could be unlocked.

Rupert Reid

Pilot and Senior Broadcast Journalist at Panda Radio. You can find him on Twitter @rupertreid