The best place to move for… air­ports

The Guardian - Weekend - - Space | Let’s Move To -

Air­ports are our dirty se­cret. We hate them. Car­bon foot­prints. Noise. Pol­lu­tion. Se­cu­rity queues. An­other bloody Caviar House. But we love what they do: 21 July 2017 was UK airspace’s busiest day ever with around 2.4 mil­lion hol­i­day­mak­ers head­ing abroad. We like air­ports close, but not too close. Too close and you get noise and pol­lu­tion. Air­ports dampen prop­erty prices next door, but raise them once you can’t hear or smell the 747s, as Heathrow’s hin­ter­land in Berk­shire, or Manch­ester air­port’s in Al­trin­cham or Knutsford show. They’re a nec­es­sary evil, es­pe­cially if your job means nip­ping to Dundee ev­ery other week, or you have a se­ri­ous Skyscan­ner/planespot­ting ad­dic­tion; in which case you’ll just move clos­est to the near­est air­port with the cheap­est/fewest head­bang­ingly early flights.

In the­ory, air­ports com­pete for cus­tom, but this makes sense only in places like the south-east or Scot­land’s cen­tral belt, where there’s a choice. Nev­er­the­less, schemes like Sky­trax’s World Air­port awards rate them. Heathrow is, ap­par­ently, our “best”, fol­lowed by Lon­don City and Gatwick. Which? begs to dis­agree. No large or busy air­port scores highly in its league ta­bles. In­stead Don­caster Sh­effield tops the bill with 87%. “Peace­ful,” re­ported one pas­sen­ger, “with no sense of rush or pres­sure.” It’ll never catch on. TD

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