More airports, please

Coming back from Embedded World at Nuremberg to London City Airport it is a reminder of how agreeable an experience flying used to be, still can be, but rarely is.

Used as one is to three hour check-in times at Gatwick, Heathrow, and big airports everywhere, it was a shock to look up the check-in times for City Airport and find a statement that ‘passengers are advised to check in ten minutes before flight departure times’. Ten minutes! It was a luxury to have a late breakfast on Thursday, check out of the hotel at 10am, and get to Nuremberg airport with loads of time to make an 11am take-off. This should be the future of flying, just as it was at every airport back in the 1960s. The thought of what the check-in times are going to be like for the new mega-Airbus, or what it’s going to be like in a departure lounge with 850 other people, or arriving at a foreign immigration hall with 850 others, is daunting. Whether or not we need bigger aeroplanes, we certainly need more airports. More airports would spread airport jobs around more widely, bring tourism to out of the way places, help local business, and would mean you fly more point-to-point routes than the via routes where you spend hours like a zombie in limbo-land trogging round huge airports to make a connection. Every civic authority should be thinking airports.

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