The global economy, coronavirus and Heathrow

Published: 02 Mar 2020 Average Rating: unrated Print

Author: Tim Cummins

The decision by the UK Appeal Court to block the development of a third runway at London Heathrow may at first sight have little to do with coronavirus. But in fact, are we starting to see a convergence of forces that will fundamentally reshape social values and the global economy?

Much is being written about the extent to which the Heathrow decision undermines Britain's claims to being at the forefront of the global economy. But in fact, the reverse may very well be true. Does the UK actually need this expansion and, if so, does it need to be at Heathrow?

Fundamental questions

As coronavirus proves, 'the environment' is about much more than our physical surroundings. This, together with the growing urgency of reducing climate change, potentially represent ground breaking shifts in public opinion and behavior. Among them will be a review of existing supply chains and a questioning of the need for so much travel.

One possible consequence is that capacity increases at Heathrow will quite simply be unnecessary and the Appeal Court may have saved the UK from major disruption and expense. But even if extra capacity is needed, the push for economic regeneration outside London suggests Heathrow is the last place it should be built. What about Birmingham, to take advantage of the investment in high speed rail? In fact, anywhere but the already congested and transport constrained South East of England.

Events sometimes move fast and in unexpected directions. They offer opportunities to step back and think in fundamentally different ways. It may be that we are at this juncture right now – and it points to the need for critical reassessment of major commercial decisions and the core framework of today's patterns and methods of trade.


Related Discussions

erdemir engineering management and co...
2020-02-09 09:11:49

Force Majeure due to Coronavirus

Can coronavirus considered as a force majeure in contract management ?
Replies: 8

Occidental Petroleum Corporation
2019-02-12 17:17:02

Cloud Contracting

I am interested in perspectives on various issues and contracting approaches for the use of cloud services, particularly from niche providers who may, in-turn, actuall...
Replies: 2
2020-03-11 05:47:57

FM Event - Foreseeability

Can someone please clarify for me: Australian Jurisdiction Where, in a FM clause, it defines an event which does not constitute Force Majeure as "any circumst...
Replies: 3

Marshall Denning
2019-06-12 10:55:59

8 payment schemes

Jacko mentions there are 8 different payment schemes - do we know which?
Replies: 1
2019-01-03 10:38:17

ADVICE NEEDED: difficult contract management position - customer & shareholder contracts

Hi, My company outsources key services to another company (Company X). However, we also own a portion of Company X as it was set up as a joint venture. I am the contr...
Replies: 4

2016-09-12 11:46:35

Extension of Time and Liquidated Damages on construction contracts

If there are concurrent delay events on a construction project by Employer as well as Contractor,can the contract provision on EOT(Extension of Time) and Liquidated da...
Replies: 2

Inspire Integrated
2018-07-19 06:47:37

Change Order Process for Service Contract

Hi, We are in the process of executing a service agreement with a client. The contract which is a new project has the ability to expand with various contract variation...
Replies: 5

2018-05-15 13:47:24

Terminating a Contract

We have a contractor for a service and we are looking to part ways with the vendor. The contractor has emailed us and said they are no longer interested in performing ...
Replies: 8
2017-08-23 09:33:18


Dear House, How can a Party demonstrate WILLFUL MISCONDUCT of the other (defaulting) Party. What are the evidences required to make recovery for damages accruing from ...
Older entries »
Replies: 2