Professor examines need for 'mega-hub' airport in Europe

The approval of a third runway at Heathrow Airport in London has met with mixed reactions.

International Airport Review asked John Wensveen, a professor in Purdue’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology, to offer his perspective on the decision. Wensveen conducted a study titled “The Optimal Air Carrier Hub Location for Europe in the 21st Century” between 1996 and 1999, and he updated his research this year.

His findings have remained the same: there is a need for a mega-hub airport not in London but on the European mainland. Both the original and updated study indicated Heathrow cannot accommodate a third runway based on a number of variables. In fact, the study found sufficient room does not exist at most airports for additional runway development.

If a single location were to be selected, the study recommends Lille, France, because it offers the highest centrality of any airport capable of accommodating future runway development.

Read Wensveen’s full article on International Airport Review.