Some promising news from the Tory party conference in Manchester, where they've pledged to dump plans for Heathrow's third runway as part of their election campaign package. "We are absolutely firm on our opposition to expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted," shadow transport minister Julian Brazier told the Evening Standard today. "It will definitely be in the manifesto."
It's great to hear their commitment being reaffirmed as it shows how isolated the government is on this issue. But there's a long way to go between promising to include it in the election manifesto, being able to form a government and then actually getting round to reversing the decision. Reports from the conference say that the Heathrow pledge in Theresa Villiers' speech received a polite smattering of applause, but her promise to crackdown on cowboy clampers roused the audience further still. Make of that what you will.
Brazier went on to say their transport focus would instead be on high-speed rail (good) and regional airport expansion (not so good). Blocking expansion at Heathrow but shifting the extra capacity to airports around the country isn't a better policy, it just moves greenhouse gas emissions around the UK. It doesn't matter where they get belched out, they all contribute to climate change.
Tom Kelly is also quoted. He's head of corporate affairs at BAA, and was a Downing Street press officer in days gone by - I hope that revolving door didn't hit him on the way out. He's all of a lather over the fact that Heathrow has lost 14 domestic routes in the last 10 years, and two just this summer.
Unfortunately for Tom, the link between flights, passengers and routes is not quite so simple. Since the early 1990s, the number of both passengers and flights from Heathrow has increased and yet the number of routes served has fallen. Even with the addition of Terminal 5, Heathrow is servicing less routes than it was 20 years ago.
And finally, another blow for domestic and short-haul air travel came from BBC Worldwide, who've banned employees from flying on business when they can take the train instead. So where exactly is this extra demand for domestic flights coming from, Tom?