HEATHROW is probably the world’s most congested airport. It operates at 99% capacity; a plane lands or takes off there every 45 seconds. Most jets must circle London for a while until an air traffic controller can find them a landing slot on one of the airport’s two runways. No surprise then, that Heathrow would like to build another runway to ease the strain. Many businesses and passengers would like that too. But in the wake of the Brexit vote it is, alas, now much less likely.

David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, dithered over whether to expand Heathrow for years. The idea of a third runway plays badly with Conservative MPs in posh constituencies under the flight path. Nonetheless a report that the government commissioned on how to increase air capacity around the capital was finally published last year. It looked at three options, including building a second runway at Gatwick, the capital’s second-biggest...Continue reading