In Manchester we have the council investing in the expansion of Manchester Airport, promising it will bring jobs and improve the local economy. Neither is true, especially when the majority of people who work at the Airport do not come from Manchester. And Airports suck money out of the local economy, with people flying and spending their money abroad. Manchester City Council has made very little progress towards a low carbon future, even though Siemens has it one of it’s Headquarters in Manchester.
Walking into Westminister tube station, members of parliament currently find themselves surrounded by a phalanx of purple adverts announcing that “The road to economic growth is … a flight path”. This is just the most visible manifestation of a massive business-led campaign arguing the importance of increased airport capacity to the UK economy.
At one level you have to admire the chutzpah of the British Airports Authority (BAA) in making this argument. New airport capacity is irrelevant to UK economic recovery and will not provide a single additional job before the end of the decade. With business passengers making up only 12% of total UK flights it is also clear that absolute capacity constraints are not a material business issue. But at least BAA’s opportunism is understandable…
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