Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Your Flight is Leaving From Tunnel Three

A second airport for Sydney has been in the news a bit lately.  For Sydney this is rather like saying fish have been in water a bit lately.  When the Wright brothers finished inventing the aeroplane the very next thing they turned to was whether or not Sydney should have a second airport.  For literally my entire adult life this topic has been the subject of vigorous debate.  Vigorous debate being so much easier than actually making a decision one way or the other.  Naturally over the course of twenty five years if we didn't need a second airport at the start of the debate we probably do now or will by the time we finish building the damn thing.

As things stand at the moment there are two basic positions; the first states that there is no need whatsoever (prominent among this group are the people who own and run our current airport strangely enough), the second more or less feel that we do need a second airport but are terrified of a political backlash from people who don't several square kilometres of concrete and avgas in their backyard if they actually go ahead and build it.  Its difficult to tell which side needs the other more.  As long as the debate continues nothing as scary as a decision needs to be made.  Nobody in the political spectrum actually wants to state we don't need a second airport for fear of being proved wrong in six months time.

Since the only long term solution to increasing air traffic that doesn't involve a second airport means lifting the curfew on the one we currently have I am firmly in favour of a second airport (have I mentioned I live near a flight path?).  Nevertheless I am keenly aware of the political difficulties attendant on building it and deeply sick on the policy of perpetual debate which we seem to have at the moment.  Therefore I've bent my brain to the task of solving this knotty problem once and for all.

Lets build the airport underground!  Think of the benefits; nobody's property values would have to drop, planes could fly (or at least taxi) day and night and a lot of tourists would probably come just to visit the worlds first subterranean air transport hub.  Of course there will be difficulties to overcome.  We will have to dig shafts so that new arrivals can get out (this is not mandatory in my view but others might think it is).  We will have to ensure these access points are within walking distance of a bus stop (this will require more thought than is usually put into transport infrastructure in this state). We will need some way of getting rid of the exhaust fumes (vents situated in the poorer suburbs should work perfectly well) and somewhere for travellers to park their cars.  That last one can be fixed by putting the airport under a shopping mall.

With all the major problems sorted out all we have to do is work out how to put a toll on it to fund the PPP which will inevitably be called upon to build it and equally inevitably will need to be bailed out when they go bankrupt.  I suggest we fund the airport by selling the drugs seized by customs and robbing everybody as they go through passport control.

Alternatively if you don't like the idea of an underground airport we can simply concrete over Sydney Harbour and land planes on that.

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