Seems to me that all three airports need extra runways not least for safety reasons. After all, a mile of runway is a very much cheaper than a new motorway or high speed rail link. There also seems to be plenty of room on the West side of Heathrow – may have to build over the M25 but that needs extra capacity at that point too.
Seems to me that the main problem actually is how to handle the people, car parking, security and baggage. I came through Stanstead yesterday (Wed 10th Sept) and all the escalators were switched off because the volume of people meant people could not get off the top. It was horrendous and an airport I will avoid in future – I will just pay the extra cost of flights from Heathrow – or better still Bristol, Manchester or Birmingham.
Surely someone could think of a better way of moving people from their train, bus or car to their plane? After all the whole thing grew up initially because only the very rich flew – and they never carried their own bags always having porters even at railway stations.
I have also never understood why the economics of operating an airport means that regional airports cannot compete – places like Exeter, and Cardiff for example. The hassle of having to travel to London to get the best price seems illogical to me.