Expanding airport capacity in the south-east is abet on the future of travel
EVEN before Sir Howard Davies, an economistmulling where to put extra airport capacity in Britain, rejected the idea of building a big newhub in the Thames Estuary, the backlash had begun. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London andan enthusiastic supporter of the Thames plan, spluttered in advance, then branded thedecision “myopic”. NIMBYs opposing the expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick groaned,knowing that the remaining options all involve building or extending runways at one of thoseairports. Sir Howard's final recommendation, due in 2015, is sure to run into heavy fire. Tomake matters worse, he and his team must hazard a guess about the future of air travel.
Heathrow and Gatwick are both full, or close to it, and want to expand. But the two airportspresently serve quite different parts of the market. Some 37% of passengers at Heathrowtransfer between flights. Nearly a third of its customers are on business. By contrast, only13% of Gatwick's customers are business travellers. Most are going on holiday. Just 7%transfer there—a proportion that has fallen by half over the past decade.
Heathrow's shiny new Terminal 2, which opened in June, is full of expensive shops andrestaurants run by Michelin-starred cooks to entice rich passengers. At Gatwick, recentimprovements reflect its popularity with holidaygoers: a wider lane at a spruced-up securitygate has been set aside for families, while an area in the southern terminal is now reserved forelderly passengers, with comfy seats and a small duty-free shop.
The airports' managers also hold entirely different views about the way the airline industry willdevelop, and its place in the broader economy. Much of the argument for expanding Heathrowrests on the idea that hub airports are, and will remain, vital. Without further expansion,boosters argue, fewer flights to far-flung places such as Wuhan and Xiamen will be available tobusinessmen. If the capacity crunch persists, domestic flights are more likely to be delayed orcancelled. European airports will pick up those passengers instead. “That's our GDP leakingout,” says Jon Proudlove, the general manager of air-traffic control at Heathrow.
机场经理对飞机行业的发展方式及其在更广阔的经济领域的地位也是各执己见。扩建希思罗机场的主要观点是枢纽机场现在很重要，将来也很重要。支持者们反驳，如果不扩建的话，几乎没有多少飞机能前往武汉、厦门等地，这对商业人士来说是非常不方便的。如果要开启前往这些地方的航班，国内航班很可能会延误或取消。欧洲的机场将接受这批游客。希思罗机场的空管经理Jon Proudlove 说：“我们的GDP就这样溜走了”
Not surprisingly, Gatwick takes a different view. Over the past ten years the growth of low-costairlines has been explosive, points out Sir Roy McNulty, chairman of the Gatwick group. Peopleare travelling in different ways, with more “self-connecting” to keep costs down. Althoughconnections with emerging markets are important, Europe and North America will remainBritain's largest trading partners, he argues. London will be a destination in its own right, buta British hub may not be able to compete with the mega-hubs emerging in the Middle East.
Boosters for a second runway at Gatwick point to the rising number of orders for aircraftwhich could offer “hub-bypass” services, flying people directly from one city to another. BritishAirways (BA), the largest British carrier, has ordered 18 Airbus A350s and 36 Boeing 787s,which efficiently ferry a smaller number of people over longer distances, making somesecondary markets more viable. But betting on orders is tough: BA also has six huge A380son order, each of which flies around 500 passengers between congested hubs, to add to sixalready in stock.
Sir Howard and his team will have to base their final recommendation on a good deal ofguesswork about future trends that perplex people in the airline industry. That will make iteasier for politicians to argue over their decision—particularly the ones who answer to theresidents of west London, rattled by jets arriving at and leaving Heathrow. And as Sir Howardconsiders his options, both Heathrow and Gatwick grow ever busier.
1.run into 偶遇;偶然碰见;撞上
例句:But the government'splans have run intostrong opposition from civil rights campaigners.
2.want to 想去;想要
例句:The difference between who you are and whoyou want to be is what you do.
3.such as 例如;诸如
例句:We dislike people such as him.
4.compete with 竞赛;与竞争
例句:Charles has never felt the need to compete with anyone.