Heathrow Expansion

Lufthansa 747-400 on approach to LAX

Lufthansa 747-400 on approach to LAX

Despite their environmental harms, I tend to think airports are a pretty good idea.  The Great Park is okay, but building a small airport at the former MCAS El Toro for general aviation traffic would have been preferable and would have reduced the number of runway incursions at John Wayne.  Administrators at John Wayne tend to  blame the small planes but ignore the larger structural problem of combining heavy commercial and general aviation traffic at a tiny airport.  Instead of building a bunch of soccer fields and a giant balloon, it would have made sense to move general aviation traffic to El Toro, safely out of the way of the commercial flights at John Wayne.  Small recreational aircraft and charter planes wouldn’t have to deal with the constant “Caution wake turbulence” advisories from John Wayne Tower, and they would be able to clear the foothills that El Toro airport opponents claimed would doom any takeoffs.  The larger planes at John Wayne would have been safer without all the runway incursions.

While I tend to argue in favor of additional runway capacity, I do have to appreciate some of the tactics being used against Heathrow’s proposed third runway.  One of the more creative ones:

Greenpeace has quietly bought a field close to the site of the third runway, right in the middle of what would be the expanded airport.

The plan is to parcel it up into tiny squares, and sell them online to people across the world.

“The airport will have to buy the land back from Eskimos and people living on remote islands,” said one Greenpeace activist.  [BBC]

Awesome.

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