Many people feel that the UK is losing its position on the world stage, which might sound to some as if we're somehow shrinking. But the facts are that other economies, such as China where seven airports are built every year, are growing in a way that's almost unimaginable to us. We have to decide what role London will take, and how relevant it will be over the next 50 years.
Airports, conducive to boosting trade and travel, are also a source of nuisance to their neighbours. The challenge has always been how to maximise airports' economic impact, while minimising the effects they have on the people living around them. But who should act as the impartial judge to balance contradicting interests in the case of a dispute?
Without any reassurances from the independent Commission, communities will look to politicians to provide them. The Airports Commission has failed for now to achieve its purpose to take the politics out of the airports debate. Has this week's announcement really given the green light to a new runway or just reopened the political debate?