I was having a conversation with my son the other day and I explained just how clear the skies are now that Heathrow is all but closed. He couldn’t quite believe that the megahub would have such an impact on people living some 150km from the airport but it does (did?). Everyday overhead tens of thousand of people would pass not really paying any attention to what was happening below more concerned with what to watch or whether they should have a second drink so soon after takeoff?
Of course it wasn’t just aircraft from Heathrow but also those approaching Birmingham airport that would pepper the skies from time to time. You could always tell the difference as they were much lower and heading in a westerly direction as opposed to the north and eventually the bright lights of New York or the west coast. It wasn’t just planes from British airports that filled the skies of course. There were also flights from mainland Europe. You could tell the difference as they were on a different heading to the Heathrow.
It would all start just after six every day as the first flights once more made their way into the wide blue yonder leaving their ephemeral contrails behind them …But no more.
Well they return? In some shape and form I am sure but I am less convinced of the numbers after what we are going through right now. How many people will want to be stuck in a tightly packed tube for several hours with other people coughing and spluttering just so they can go and sit on a beach somewhere? Or is that business trip really worthwhile given that you have been able to achieve just as much by Skype or Zoom or whatever video conferencing software used? Then of course there is the whole question of just how badly all those contrails are wrecking the environment – is that trip really worth all of that?
Will they return to our skies once more? Of course but I suspect in nothing like the numbers now and perhaps, just perhaps, the world might be a little better for that.