KPMG: UK airport capacity expansion is urgent
One of the largest professional services companies in the world, KPMG, has been reacting to the news that the ‘Boris Island’ airport proposal has been turned down.
London Mayor Boris Johnson's plan to build a new London airport in the Thames Estuary has been killed off by the Airport Commission looking into where, when and how to expand capacity in the southeast of England.
Led by Sir Howard Davies, it rejected the plan for a new four-runway airport on the Isle of Grain. The Commission is now considering whether it is better to build a third runway at Heathrow, extend existing runways or build a second runway at Gatwick.
Commenting on the Airports Commission’s decision to reject the plan for a Thames estuary airport, Richard Threlfall, KPMG's UK Head of Infrastructure, building and construction, said:
“The Thames estuary option, for all concerns raised, is a radical and visionary solution to the real capacity and connectivity problem.
“We’ve been talking about the capacity issues since the 1960s and we could still be talking about this in 2060. From a business and economic perspective, the conversation has gone on long enough and a decision on the solution needs to be made.”
James Stamp, Head of Aviation at KPMG, added: “For UK PLC, the decision not to proceed with the Thames estuary project must not kick a decision on the overall solution into the long grass.
The need for additional capacity and connectivity is a real and present danger to the UK's global competitiveness. What we want to see is cross-party political commitment to action.”
KPMG LLP, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany