With more talk of Airport Expansion in South East England, I thought this might be a good time to chat about what might actually end up happening. So as I see it this is what I think might happen. Option 1: A new runway/terminal at Heathrow, I some how think if this does happen they will go with the Northern Runway proposal, but I think the South Westerly option would be better longer term and gives more scope for any future projects. If this happens, there has been talk that easyjet would start up a base there, which I really can't see happening. I think they are simply backing the Heathrow expansion so space frees up at Gatwick. I think some carriers would move to Heathrow from Gatwick as a result, or at least move some more flights over. (Like TAP, BA, Virgin Atlantic ect) As well as a few more destinations in Asia/South America and Africa! And I can't help but think more flights to the Middle East and the US. But I think this would take up a lot of the new capacity. As a result of moves I think IAG would transfer most Gatwick European routes to Vueling. And low cost carries would have slightly more space to expand at Gatwick. Thus further making Heathrow a national carrier hub and Gatwick a low cost hub. Option 2: Expand Gatwick with a new runway/terminal. If this happens there is talk of further expansion of the railway station, so could see more services there. Yes expansion at Gatwick would help easyjet ect and yes it would force more national carriers to have routes at Gatwick compared to Heathrow, which could push up costs to smaller carriers. It would more than likely create a dual site national hub (Heathwick) which I don't think is ideal, as it would cause longer transfers and make London loose more international traffic to the massive Dubai! Heathrow might loose out as Gatwick might undercut then to get large carriers to move there, which could be bad. But I think some low cost airlines might decide to move to Stansted. Option 3: Expand Stansted, this option would create a massive airport with Capacity greater than that of Heathrow. But would airlines actually want to move there? Low cost airlines might decide to but that wouldn't help international capacity greatly. Although MAG seem to be doing a good job at Manchester so you never know. Another thing for Stansted it does have rail links to London and Birmingham. I think honestly expanding Stansted would be the cheapest and best long term but only if it was to take over from Heathrow as the main international hub, which lets face it won't happen! Option 4: Expand Manchester This does have benefits as it is more central located and a lot of people can access it easier than London. Manchester does already have the two runways which is good. So I think the more likely outcomes there are a new terminal (focused just on international traffic) as well as the expanded railway station/improvements to allow intercity trains to call there. This could be a good shorter term proposal to fully utilise current airport capacity before creating more. Also would take some passengers away from Heathrow/Gatwick. Option 5: Expand regional airports This could be a good option to deal with Short/Medium haul demand. For example Durham Tees Valley is located in a good position to serve the North East, it is close to a railway line (which is getting busier). It has a decent sized runway too. But can't help thinking it's days are numbered. There is Bristol airport which is still pushing for further expansion. A small runway expansion here would create a major benefit as currently large aircraft are unable to land here, even though there is demand. Otherwise in the Southwest there is Exeter and Newquay airports which are good but the best location for an airport in the South West (Outside Bristol) would be Plymouth, yes Plymouth City Airport closed but this was due to it being too Small. So I would love to see a good sized airport there to replace Exeter (and Newquay, if Newquay becomes a spaceport) Then there is the issue of Birmingham! It is a tough one, even though Birmingham it self would be a large market Easyjet doesn't have a base there. Which when you look at is for a good reason. If they did have a Birmingham base it would have a negative impact on Manchester, Bristol and Gatwick bases which are in a good location to serve a large proportion of the UK. Overall: I think what will happen is a new runway at Heathrow, along with further improvements to regional airports. I also think if Heathrow gets another runway the government will promise that it won't be expanded ever again.