Three’s a crowd?

I am interested in the high publicity that the third runway at Heathrow is getting, especially as I don’t have any strong opinions one way or the other.

However I don’t understand why it would have not have been easier and cheaper to build a second runway at both Stanstead and Gatwick providing London with the runway capacity of places like Paris and Amsterdam. These would be geographically spread to ease the impact on one area. With this extra capacity I am sure airlines such as Virgin would have been keen to move to Gatwick completely and BA could take over more slots at Heathrow. All have existing railway links which could be upgraded for faster trains and then consumers would have the choice of which airline to choose, not only for the flight but the whole experience.

Why is it necessary for example to fly all the budget airlines out of Heathrow? If it is such an important hub for business in London then surely all the national carriers should fly into there and independent airlines should use Gatwick and Stanstead. At least they would get a better service as they won’t be bullied by the larger carriers and their handling staff.

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