The main airports of London and Paris count among the most economically significant in the world. It is inevitable that decisions made in the name of the environment will impact on them, but it isn’t always in the ways that might be expected.
Heathrow is already the UK airport which sees the highest level of environmental protest, and a recent manifestation of it came as a result of the decision to award it a third runway, which generated protests and legal action – not so much about noise of emissions from aircraft, but about those from the additional road traffic that would be generated.
Another major change affecting air travel that has been revealed is in France, where the Minister for Transport Clément Beaune has announced the publication of a decree banning domestic air services on routes where there is an alternative method of travel of less than 2.5 hours by train.
While the French government has put that ban on air travel on selected routes, in London, Heathrow Airport will soon become part of a congestion charging scheme that will discriminate heavily against users of older vehicles, whether they are passengers or workers.
In the rush to net zero there are going to be losers as well as winners, and airports will always be at the heart of events.
This is part two of a two-part report.