The idea of expanding Heathrow airport first came about under Gordon Brown in the last Labour government, until it was kyboshed when the coalition government came to power in 2010. However, the idea again resurfaced last year when the Airport Commission recommended the plan to expand the airport. That being said, the expansion of Heathrow is actually one of two different options available when it comes to general airport expansion in the South East. MPs could instead opt to give Gatwick airport a second runway - with either plan offering a viable option.
Unlike many Conservatives, I've actually always been in support of airport expansion in the South East, whether that be through the form of Heathrow or Gatwick. That's because increased airport capacity brings with it increased business opportunity and isn't that what being a Conservative is all about? Evidently, George Osbourne doesn't support that notion, as it begins to look increasingly likely that we're not going to get any form of South East airport expansion at this point.
That view was recently echoed by Andrew Tyrie MP, who commented that the public was being left in the dark over airport expansion proposals. Whilst this back and forth between MPs and the government continues, the public are getting further and further away from increased airport capacity in the South East.
In general though, I just don't understand why the government are doing their best to stall on a plan that is sure to only boost the economy of the South East and the country as a whole. In fact, the only matter which could contributing to that said stalling is that this is a plan which was first put into action by a Labour government. Conservatives are very proud politicians with David Cameron and George Osbourne being no exception, so it is pretty clear why they wouldn't want to pick up loose baggage, if you'll pardon the pun, from the last government. However, their lack of willingness to do so could be starving UK business of a potential boost.
Countries around the world are increasing their airport capacity at a rate faster than ever before, whilst the UK is stuck bickering over one airport expansion. If the UK wishes to remain a global economic player, we need to quickly get over this partisan bickering. Whether it's Heathrow or Gatwick, I'd just like to see some form of airport expansion put into traction and allow our economy to flourish as a result.
That being said, I can still understand the side of the opposition to airport expansion. Whilst it allows more people and business in and out of our capital, it also brings with it increased noise pollution. Don't get me wrong, I really do feel sympathetic towards those living in proposed airport expansion zones, but as many have pointed out, it's not the end of the world. In fact, specialist sash windows are even available to counteract the increased noise pollution as a result of airport expansion.
Sometimes, compromises need to be made for the sake of economic growth, whether that be for politicians or the everyday people that such an airport expansion would affect. The Conservatives are doing a fantastic job at putting Britain's economy back on track, but they can't continue to stand in the way of a plan that would undeniably boost British business and go some way to support exactly what they set out to do.
For now though, we can only hope that the government will make the right choice for British business and the economy in general, by taking a proper look at airport expansion in the South East.