I wonder how much the British can learn from the French?
For a start they have taken France’s number one famous export of champagne and learned how to produce the best in the world of that.
But I fear they have not yet got to grips with their airports and the planning and building of them.
Following a recent trip to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, France’s international hub on the outskirts north east of the capital. I am still to be convinced that London airports will ever catch up its European neighbours of The Netherlands, Germany and France if it does not get some runways built and soon.
The crazy politics of the UK is preventing or in fact allowing any runways to be built in and around London for at least another year and then that is just to make the decision yet alone build what could be required.
The travel world knows that capacity is and will run out in the near future and that there is a need to improve things and build, so why not get on and do it?
London Heathrow is operating virtually at capacity now, it may be the busiest in Europe but it has no room to manoeuvre and airports like Charles de Gaulle are waiting to take that crown very soon, it seems.
While the politicians procrastinate in London, over in Paris for example they have a choice of four runways whilst Heathrow only has two and Gatwick the next closest only has one but wants a second and is pretty well ready to build one if only it was allowed.
Airports like Paris CDG have room to breath and expand even if the financial situation is not ideal at this current moment in time. But sadly in the UK it looks like the choices are restricted and is potentially losing market share and GDP to the French.
With runway capacity and an infrastructure that allows passengers from Schengen and non-Schengen countries to quickly transit to their onward terminals they do offer a fantastic choice of destinations and that is from just one airport.
London airports do need runways and should that be at Heathrow or Gatwick or both the politicians just have to get on a make a decision or the battle of the skies could already be lost whilst the UK politicians are talking the French are doing!
With its terminals at Heathrow scattered around the airport complex I find it hard to see how it could work as efficiently as a major hub like the one I saw in Paris but the one thing that has to be addressed is that the politicians have to stop talking and take some major action or they will leave the UK at the gate!
I attended the behind the scenes tour of Charles de Gaulle airport as a guest of Air France UK, who’s central hub resides within the CDG airport. Whilst I received complementary flights, Air France UK flies 16 times a day from London Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle, with return flights starting from £89 and £53 for a single. All comments and opinions are, as ever, my own!