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Liverpool Airport’s expansion master plan to be reviewed on environmental grounds

Premium Analysis

Liverpool Airport never really fulfilled its potential after being overlooked as the English northwest region’s primary international gateway 60 years ago.

But in recent years, under (majority) private sector ownership, it has managed to secure a niche as a low cost airport with two of the biggest hitters in that segment, easyJet and Ryanair, taking up most of the capacity.

It is quite recent, but just pre-pandemic the airport's 'Strategic Vision' and master plan statements identified a new goal – that of being ‘the airport of choice’ for the northwest.

But that is a tall order when Britain’s third busiest and six times bigger airport is less than 50km away down the motorway.

Nevertheless, the coronavirus pandemic has been something of a leveller, and if Liverpool is ever to do it, now is the time to go for it.

But apart from the additional traffic it would bring, such ambition has to be matched by infrastructure spending, and firstly the city council must understand fully what the impacts of that would be on its perception from an environmental viewpoint. That is why it is a laudable decision to review the airport’s expansion master plan from the environmental perspective. What might not be so laudable is for the council to sell its small stake.

As John Lennon, after whom the airport is now named, once said, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

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