I visited Heathrow Airport just recently and it was a reminder of how much has changed or not. Having visited the airport since 1966 I have fond memories of it.
I first flew into the airport in 1966 on a Bristol Britannia Turboprop- a turbo propeller aircraft. As the plane was not a jet we had to fly in the clouds and through a thunderstorm. With marked turbulence-it was a memorable flight!. We arrived at terminal 1 (since demolished) and left on the M4 motorway which was only completed 5 year later. ( How things change) Here is a little clip about the Bristol Britannia
There was another memorable trip in the 1970’s when I went on PanAm747 across the Atlantic (The airline went bust in December 1991 in part as a result of the Lockerbie crash)
Then in the 1990’s I was lucky enough to fly home across the Atlantic on Concorde. This was due to overbooking for the original flight on a 747. I was very (un) happy that that flight was fully booked! Sadly Concorde’s last flight was on 23 October 2003.
This visit we used the car park and the POD parking service for transfer to terminal 5- very futuristic driver-less vehicle that delivery 4 passengers .
Here it was like old times – Nero Coffee overlooking the runways and a rare place to actually see planes. We even saw a British Airways 747 in the old livery of BOAC to commemorate the airlines 100th anniversary.
So why am I mentioning all this. Well here are just a few highlights of the history of aviation and we need to look to the future.
- first ever flight was on 17 December 1903
- first scheduled passenger flight 1 January 1914 between St Petersberg and Tampa
- first Jet airline was the De Haviland Comet in 1949
- Concorde first flight was on 21 January 1976 and last flight 24 October 2003.
The expansion plans for Heathrow have a long history as well. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33285659
- the first public enquiry to expand Heathrow was held in 1968 and after 3 years they recommended Cublington in Berkshire.
- in 1971 Maplin Sands in the Thames estuary was recommended and again in 2008 by a certain Mr Boris Johnson ( Mayor of London)
- In June 2019 the plans for a third runway at Heathrow were unveiled https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/18/heathrow-third-runway-expansion-plans-revealed
In the meantime KLM has started an advertising campaign to fly responsibly– as a recognition of the impact of aviation on global warming.
For this reason we also have climate activists aiming to close down airports by flying drones near them. These same people would, I expect, claim exemptions for the flights required for their holiday trips or to those global climate change conferences in far flung parts of the world.
It was therefore just as well that we recently visited St Panras station, departure point for the Eurostar trains to Europe (Brexit permitting).
Nearby was the headquarters of Google- reality vision goggles anyone? It seems that the UK is at the forefront of this mode of “travel” which will be the future for many. Not sure how the Google staff get around Europe- train, commercial planes or maybe private jet- so much simpler check in process.
It you are curious which way we are travelling think the films “Total Recall” or “Running Man” with Arnold Schwarzenegger
In view of the tendency for there to be rain in Britain at the exact time of ones holiday. We will soon be issued by the Department of the Environment with a copy of the song “Singing in the rain”– to keep our spirits up during our scarce holiday break. This does not apply to those who are MP who are deemed needed an extra 5 weeks prorogation/leave from scrutinising the Government over its Brexit plans!?
Look at life and try to sing even if there are puddles.
A few quotes I found on Google summarise this situation
“Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein
“As I look back on my life, I realized that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” Anonymous
“What good is living a life you’ve been given if all you do is stand in one place.” Anonymous
I hope that this helps you smile where ever you are.