What The Future Holds for Europe’s Busiest Airport

Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 10.37.50 AMDebates regarding the future of Europe’s busiest airport, Heathrow, have been surfacing. Business leaders in London assert that the city is losing its draw as an international destination in part because airports have not been allowed to expand. Mayor Boris Johnson’s solution is to tear down the airport, redevelop the land as a residential community and construct a new international airport roughly 50 miles away on the other side of London; a project that would take years to complete and is estimated to cost nearly $100 billion. Here, Zintro experts in international business discuss if such an investment is worth the cost.

Sanjeev Goel, a business process excellence and strategic partnership expert, asserts that “unless the mayor has invested in land on the other side of London, there can be no greater folly than to consider tearing down Heathrow for another airport.” In addition to the enormous cost of such a project, “the most critical point is that an airport is not just a landing strip in isolation: It involves connecting roads, railways and is a critical part of the entire town development plan including various zoning areas for the population and the supporting infrastructure, supporting ancillary businesses and so on.”

“However,” continues Goel, “if the plan is to gradually ease the congestion at Heathrow by providing for other airports in the vicinity, then the idea for a new airport 50 miles away is fine; but only for ‘decongesting’ Heathrow, not for ‘tearing it down.’”

Sanjeev Sharma specializes in strategic business development and global alliance management. Sharma feel that “instead of closing the present airport and making a new one at a huge cost and time frame, it would be a better if authorities concentrate on building onto or upgrading present airports which can connect people easily to London.” Furthermore, “resources can be [distributed] to nearby cities that connect to London. Upgrading those airports would be less costly, less time consuming and would also help build the economies of other nearby cities.”

By Gabriela Meller

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