The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has put out a report called Aviation 2040, which postulates four scenarios showing how UK air transport and airport infrastructure could look in 2040. Needless to say, the scenarios paint a bleak picture.
Society has become acutely aware of the effects of advancing climate change and air travel has suffered as a result. Those who need to travel by air do so discreetly for fear of vilification. Environmental lobbyists and civil society groups denounce air travel despite technology gains. Video-conferencing has drastically reduced business and personal travel. Oil prices reach a historical post-Peak high… many regional airports close and international airports are nationalised.
They even helpfully provided a timeline:-
2013 – The World reaches official Peak Oil
2016 – “Stay British” media campaign to promote domestic tourism
2018 – Boeing launches aircraft with radically reduced carbon emissions
2019 – UK government introduces personal carbon accounting
2023 – BAA sets up rail franchise
2025 – British Airways re-nationalized
2026 – Boeing and Airbus merge
2028 – Pope uses Easter address to tell the faithful to stop flying
2037 – Boris Island damaged in North Sea surge
2039 – Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow only international airports in operation within the UK
Peak Oil in 2013 - a bit hasty, perhaps? And why drag the Pope into a discussion about the airline industry? Even more sacriligious – a merger of Boeing and Airbus?
Marcus Morrell, of ARUP Foresight Innovation and Incubation – which participated in the development of the report along with ICE, made it clear that that these were not predictions. He said that instead they “represent a range of possible outcomes that may play out over the coming decades. Although fictitious, they are drawn from the expert opinions of key industry stakeholders…”
You can download the full report here – www.ice.org.uk/aviation2040