British aviation has gotten two pieces of “good news” recently. An increasing number of MPs appears to be aware of the intense public dislike of the Air Passenger Duty. As many as half have decided that there should be some review of the tax, and a growing minority sees it to be having a direct negative effect on the economy. So, while no action is as yet planned, there seems to be a growing consensus that at some point they should perhaps agree to set a time to look at it. I think in the world of politics, this is a way of saying that you hear the uproar but really hope that someone else will stick their neck out and propose some course of action.
And, the contentious battle over runway capacity in the southeast of England now has a date when discussion of alternatives may once again be possible – 2015, with a new government. Note that again there is no real stated agenda, simply the realization that in 2-plus years, haggling may recommence. Judging from past exercises, on this date it may be possible to propose another committee to look at the problem, state that it exists, and then decide to recommend either additional runways at Heathrow and/or Gatwick or to move ahead on plans to replace the current airports with something or other in the Thames.
Given that once approved, any of these solutions will require considerable time to be actually implemented and completed, one can hope that the new facilities will be opened by Will and Kate, surrounded by their children and grandchildren.
Though scarcely alone in being slow to improve its aviation infrastructure, the UK does appear to have perfected the ruse of endless discussion with no discernable purpose or outcome. And they have jacked the old adage “no news is good news” to be “good news is no news.”