Airports for ghost planes

Posted on September 14, 2013


On October 6-7 I’m invited by the World Bank to the World Routes Strategy Summit 2013, which will be part of the Routes conference in Las Vegas. The summit will be chaired by the famous BBC World Television news anchor Aaron Heslehurst. (The program for the summit can be downloaded.) This is the third time I’m invited to the Routes Strategy Summit, 2011 – Berlin, 2012 – Abu Dhabi. In July there was an interesting article in The Guardian that I probably will refer to in the panel discussion, “Why does Britain want to build airports for ghost planes?” From the article:

There is a real possibility that if the commission approves any of the extravagant schemes put before it, Britain will be building ghost airports for ghost planes. Already, in another transport sector – road traffic – the volume seems to be peaking much earlier than the Department for Transport forecast. If this happens, the department could be sued by investors in privately financed road schemes who take their money through tolls or shadow tolls. Perhaps one day the UK will be littered with schemes like Spain’s Ciudad Real airport and its 4,000m international runway, upon which, since April 2012, only birds have alighted. Or the twin towers of Benidorm’s In Tempo, Europe’s tallest residential building, which was supposed to absorb a booming tourist industry but which remains unfinished and empty. “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Stand in the desert …”

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