Expanding airport capacity in the south-east is abet on the future of travel
EVEN before Sir Howard Davies, an economist mulling where to put extra airport capacity in Britain rejected the idea of building a big new hub in the Thames Estuary, the backlash had begun. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London and an enthusiastic supporter of the Thames plan, spluttered in advance, then branded the decision “myopic“. NIMBYs opposing the expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick groaned, knowing that the remaining options all involve building or extending runways at one of those airports. Sir Howard's final recommendation, due in 2015, is sure to run into heavy fire. To make 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 airports presently serve quite different parts of the market. Some 37% of passengers at Heathrow transfer between flights. Nearly a third of its customers are on business. By contrast, only13% of Gatwick's customers are business travelers. 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 and restaurants run by Michelin-starred cooks to entice rich passengers. At Gatwick, recent improvements reflect its popularity with holiday goers: a wider lane at a spruced-up security gate has been set aside for families, while an area in the southern terminal is now reserved for elderly passengers, with comfy seats and a small duty-free shop.
The airports' managers also hold entirely different views about the way the airline industry will develop, and its place in the broader economy. Much of the argument for expanding Heathrow rests 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 to businessmen. If the capacity crunch persists, domestic flights are more likely to be delayed or cancelled. European airports will pick up those passengers instead. “That's our GDP leaking out,“ says Jon Proud love, 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-cost airlines has been explosive, points out Sir Roy McNulty, chairman of the Gatwick group. People are travelling in different ways, with more “self-connecting“ to keep costs down. Although connections with emerging markets are important, Europe and North America will remain Britain's largest trading partners, he argues. London will be a destination in its own right, but a 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 aircraft which could offer “hub-bypass“ services, flying people directly from one city to another. British Airways (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 some secondary 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 six already in stock.
Sir Howard and his team will have to base their final recommendation on a good deal of guesswork about future trends that perplex people in the airline industry. That will make it easier for politicians to argue over their decision—particularly the ones who answer to the residents of west London, rattled by jets arriving at and leaving Heathrow. And as Sir Howard considers 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's plans have run into strong opposition from civil rights campaigners.
2.want to 想去;想要
例句:The difference between who you are and who you 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.