Boris thwarts City Airport plans

31.7.2008   (Wharf.co.uk)


00jul31protest1web.jpg

A DECISION on London City Airport’s bid to increase flight numbers has been delayed
by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

About 50 people turned up at Newham Council’s planning meeting in Stratford on
Wednesday, July 30, held to debate the airport’s application, but were told the
London Mayor had intervened at the last minute.

The application could see the number of flights at the airport rise from 80,000
to 120,000 each year.

Mr Johnson wrote to the committee just before the meeting to ask them to delay
a decision on the plans, as he wanted to wait for research from the National Air
Traffic Services on the possible impact of increased flights on the proposed Thames
Gateway Bridge.

The committee unanimously agreed to the postponement and will now review the
application in September.

Speaking at the meeting, John Fannon of Newham Council’s planning department,
said: “The Mayor has made a number of points and asked the committee to defer
its decision. He has concerns about safety in terms of alignment with the Thames
Gateway Bridge.

“There’s a study by NATS into this risk due to be reported on soon. Officers
have considered on balance it’s reasonable to defer a decision in light of the
Mayor’s request.”

Mr Fannon added the Department for Transport had said the NATS report is due
to be completed in a month.

He added the Mayor had said in his letter that this does not mean he is against
the airport’s application.

The council then refused requests to debate the application from the public.

Outside the meeting, those against the airport’s plans were happy with the delay.

Greenwich resident Jenny Bates said: “It’s quite ironic as we have been opposing
the Thames Gateway Bridge, which Boris has also said he wants to scrap, but this
is still good news.

“It should give more people time to find out about the airport’s plans and realise
how it would affect them.”

Anne-Marie Griffin from Fight The Flights pressure group said: “It’s good news
the Mayor is looking at safety issues.

“We haven’t seen the letter, but they said there are concerns around the Thames
Gateway Bridge.

“Now we want them to look at wider safety concerns.”

http://www.wharf.co.uk/2008/07/boris-thwarts-city-airport-pla.html

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City flights decision is delayed

31.7.2008   (BBC)

A decision that could allow thousands more planes to fly from London City Airport
has been deferred.

Flights at the east London site would increase from 80,000 to 120,000 a year
if Newham Council’s planning committee had given the go-ahead.

The delay follows a request by London’s mayor that the decision be delayed until
after a study by the National Air Traffic Services (Nats) is published.

Campaigners say the plans would create “excessive noise levels”.

London City Airport made its name as a business airport serving Canary Wharf,
but has seen rapid growth in the past few years towards leisure flights.

Huge impact

“This expansion will create economic activity in the area and provide opportunities
for employment for another thousand people,” said Charles Buchanan from London
City Airport.

But critics said the expansion plans would have a huge impact on residents’ lives.

Anne-Marie Griffin from “Fight the Flights” campaign group said:   “It would mean
excessive noise levels will go over an additional 46,000 residents across Newham,
Greenwich and Tower Hamlets.”

The NATS study, commissioned by the Department of Transport, is looking at how
the proposed expansion might impact on the town planning case for the Thames Gateway
Bridge proposals.

Linking Newham and Greenwich, in east London, the £385m bridge is part of plans
to regenerate a 40-mile-wide area of land in London, Essex and Kent.

No date has been set for when the council will next examine the airport’s proposals.

 
 
see also
 

Boris thwarts City Airport plans

 

 

 

 

31.7.2008   (Wharf.co.uk)


00jul31protest1web.jpg

A DECISION on London City Airport’s bid to increase flight numbers has been delayed
by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

About 50 people turned up at Newham Council’s planning meeting in Stratford on
Wednesday, July 30, held to debate the airport’s application, but were told the
London Mayor had intervened at the last minute.

The application could see the number of flights at the airport rise from 80,000
to 120,000 each year.

Mr Johnson wrote to the committee just before the meeting to ask them to delay
a decision on the plans, as he wanted to wait for research from the National Air
Traffic Services on the possible impact of increased flights on the proposed Thames
Gateway Bridge.

The committee unanimously agreed to the postponement and will now review the
application in September.

Speaking at the meeting, John Fannon of Newham Council’s planning department,
said: “The Mayor has made a number of points and asked the committee to defer
its decision. He has concerns about safety in terms of alignment with the Thames
Gateway Bridge.

“There’s a study by NATS into this risk due to be reported on soon. Officers
have considered on balance it’s reasonable to defer a decision in light of the
Mayor’s request.”

Mr Fannon added the Department for Transport had said the NATS report is due
to be completed in a month.

He added the Mayor had said in his letter that this does not mean he is against
the airport’s application.

The council then refused requests to debate the application from the public.

Outside the meeting, those against the airport’s plans were happy with the delay.

Greenwich resident Jenny Bates said: “It’s quite ironic as we have been opposing
the Thames Gateway Bridge, which Boris has also said he wants to scrap, but this
is still good news.

“It should give more people time to find out about the airport’s plans and realise
how it would affect them.”

Anne-Marie Griffin from Fight The Flights pressure group said: “It’s good news
the Mayor is looking at safety issues.

“We haven’t seen the letter, but they said there are concerns around the Thames
Gateway Bridge.

“Now we want them to look at wider safety concerns.”

http://www.wharf.co.uk/2008/07/boris-thwarts-city-airport-pla.html

 

 

Read more »

East Midland Airport claims airport complaints down

29.7.2008   (This is Leicestershire)

One person complained 2,000 times about airport noise in a year, it has emerged.

The person contacted East Midlands Airport an average of five times a day during
2007, managers said.

They were among 13 residents responsible for more than 6,300 complaints about
the Castle Donington airport last year, according to a report.

Complaints about noise were made about flights during the daytime and night.

The leader of a campaign group calling for an end to night flights at the airport
said he was not among the most persistent callers – but said people were right
to complain.

Steve Charlish, of Demand East Midlands Airport is Now Designated (Demand), has
campaigned for air traffic restrictions for years.

Mr Charlish said: “If people don’t complain then they will have to reap what
they sow.   It’s important that people keep complaining. This is one of the noisiest
airports in Europe.

“It’s only going to get worse. People are losing sleep night after night and
it affects health.”

People living under the flight paths, or close to the airport, have complained
that their quality of life is being wrecked by night flights.

Last year, nearly 20,000 planes flew over the area between the hours of 11pm
and 7am – an increase of 2,000 on the previous 12 months.

The airport does not share the same restrictions as Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted
– which are not allowed to have planes take off or land at night.

The total number of complaints was 7,128 in 2007 – the vast majority about noise.

The figure is down from 8,000 complaints the year before, while the overall number
of people complaining dropped from 580.

An airport spokesman said: “We take complaints seriously.

“We log, investigate and respond by letter to every complaint. In some cases,
we visit the person to better understand how aircraft affect them.

“Feedback like this has helped us change the way aircraft operate.

“We’re pleased there were fewer complaints last year and the number of complainants
fell even more steeply.”

The figures came from a community and environment investment report, which said
the airport had installed noise monitoring equipment in the past year. Most aircraft
follow a “continuous descent approach” which reduces noise.

A noise penalty scheme for those who break thresholds has been made tougher,
leading to an extra £11,000 of fines invested into the local community.

The airport’s annual report, also said the amount of waste it recycles more than
doubled from in 2005 to 318 in 2007.

link to article

 

 

Reader comments

 

 

I omitted to add that the airport complaints telephone number is 0845

1088540 and the e-mail contact is environment@nottinghamema.com It is

easy for someone who is not disturbed by the racket created by aircraft

to take sides with the party creating the noise and thus denigrate

those seen to be raining on their parade. The complex mixture of

frequencies created by aircraft noise makes it almost impossible to

habituate and thus ‘get used to it’. The Chairman of the North-West

Leicestershire Planning Committee recently dismissed countless

professionally refereed research projects into aircraft noise

disturbance by saying that ‘people only hear what they want to hear’.

We can thus expect an unbiased decision on the runway extension then?

If empathising with those affected (or should that be ‘afflicted’?)

with aircraft noise is too difficult, try to imagine the effects of an

HGV operator setting up business in your road or street and operating

all night and every night without any let-up. Then try to imagine your

frustration when your repeated complaints are met with what are

effectively complaints that you bothered to complain!

GRAHAM STOCKS, LEICESTERSHIRE CPRE, Quorn

Lack of effective noise controls was of course an attractive feature

for the airport’s present owners and when the Manchester Airport Group

made its bid for EMA, Cllr. Brian Harrison, Chairman of Manchester

Airport at the time, said: “These acquisitions are a good deal for the

shareholders and will yield a good return as well as expanding the

group’s range of activities – especially with the cargo prospects at

East Midlands, an airport site that is one of the least environmentally

constrained in the country.” What is not generally realised here is

that revenue from our regional airport supports Council Tax levels for

Manchester City Council and its nine satellite boroughs (Salford,

Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside, Trafford, Bury, Bolton and

Wigan). Manchester City has a 55% holding and the rest is shared

equally among the other authorities. This quote appeared in an article

titled ‘The Empire Builders’ in the Manchester Evening News on February

20th, 2001: ‘[Manchester Airport Group] board members believe further

expansion outside Manchester can win business from the overcrowded

capital. They say it could boost profits and help cut council tax bills

for the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities which own the airport.’

Part of that expansion is a plan to extend EMA’s runway yet again,

although the reasons for the large capital expenditure have not been

made clear. This plan has been ‘on ice’ for eight years and it may

possibly have something to do with Heathrow off-loading short and

medium-haul flights. The question of what the runway extension is

actually for was put to an airport representative and the reply was,

?As a big capital business we have to meet customer satisfaction.? This

of course is no answer; in 1997, the Competition Commission reported

that Manchester Airport’s ‘…target IRR [internal rate of return] on

new investment was at least 10 per cent in the case of capacity-related

projects and at least 15 per cent on other projects. This had been set

to ensure that MA covered its cost of capital and made an adequate

return for its shareholders.’ Obviously, there is something very real

out there that we’re not being told about and it will undoubtedly mean

more flights and more noise – and more revenue to offset Greater

Manchester’s Council Tax levels. So, I take my hat off to those doughty

individuals who have not succumbed to ‘complaints fatigue’ or

browbeating by EMA. This refers to the fact that many of us, myself

included, tend to give up reporting to the airport after a while,

following night after night of interrupted sleep due to aircraft noise.

The reason for giving up is that the feedback merely states that

aircraft were ‘operating normally’ and no further action is taken. A

typical weekday night at EMA sees 75 to 80 aircraft movements between

the hours of 11pm and 7am – try to find another UK civil airport with

anything even approaching this ridiculous level of operations, the

effects of which are felt across not only Leicestershire but E. Staffs,

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire too. It is therefore in the airport’s

interests (for which read ‘Greater Manchester’) to minimise complaints

regarding adverse environmental effects. If this means marginalising

‘serial complainers’ and not publishing an airport telephone complaints

number in directories it is to the airport’s financial advantage in

that complaint statistics are a Key Performance Indicator, reported

back to the Government.

GRAHAM STOCKS, LEICESTERSHIRE CPRE, Quorn

 

 

Why isn’t EMA’s online Webtrak working properly today ? – there’s no data for
yesterday’s flights (Tuesday 29th), and Monday’s stop at 7pm. It’s useful for
whether checking noisy aircraft have followed the published routes.
Dave,  Derby

 
 

What a boring life someone must live if all they have to do is ring up EMA 5
times a day for a year.   I bet they must be on a call free tariff
david,  market harborough

 
 

Hi, Can any of you people tell which number I call to register my support for
the expansion of this airport? Having a major international airport in the region
is essential for the local economy, and restrictions on its operation or expansion
must be prevented, at all costs.
Steve Sutton,  Leicester

 
 

I can’t speak for other people but I moved with my parents to my present address
in 1951, my great-grandfather having bought the terraced property in 1899. We
are a tad more than eight miles as the crow flies from EMA’s runway. Unfortunately,
when we get settled anticyclonic weather, sunshine and blue skies aren’t the only
benefits since we get two streams of aircraft passing over the village. This volume
of aircraft throughout the night passing over your house isn’t much fun…
Graham Stocks,  Quorn

 
 

Why is it that people who live near an airport complain about the noise. ! was
the airport not there before you moved into the property. If you dont like it
dont live there.
skyblue,  leicester

 
 

I have given up complaining about the noise from the low flying planes and so
have some some of my neighbours. The airport is not interested in doing anything
about the problem. Other airports like Birmingham fine airlines who cause a nuisance.
Daniel Grimley,  Queniborough

 
 

I have always wondered whether people who live near the airports & complain,
do they actually fly anywhere. If so they are hypocrites
s p,  leicester

 
 

Readers might be forgiven for thinking that East Midlands Airport is being feather-bedded
by powers on high in that it beats any other UK civil airport hands down for night-time
noise. The controlling local authority, North-West Leicestershire District Council,
has consistently failed to place any planning controls on noise brought about
by this airport’s activities at night.
GRAHAM STOCKS, LEICESTERESHIRE CPRE,  Quorn

 
 

EMA are lying – I have made more than 20 complaints about noise low flying aircraft
and night flights. EMA have refused to log a single complaint. I have documentary
evidence of this so am happy to stand by the charge of lying. To K.    Please don’t
tell people to move when they were there before the EMA changes to flight paths
and heights took place and had no issues with aircraft noise upto 3 years ago..
Why should individuals be persecuted from their own homes by a greedy irresponsible
“business”? I thought that the right to a private life and a home were entrenched
in British tradition as well as legally enshrined in the EU Human Rights Act as
signed up to by the UK but not adhered to!?
mike byford,  staffordshire moorlands

 
 

Same guff in the Derby press – Which aircraft operators attracted the most complaints
?
Dave,  Derby

 
 

EMA, pennbury, education under-funding, police under-funding… is it just a
co-incidence that leics, a safe tory county, has to put up with so much neglect
under a labour govt or is it indicative of a failing in our system of govt?
avtar,  oadby

Read more »

East and south east London residents are prepared for a battle over London City Airport

30.7.2008   (Fight the Flights press release)

London Borough of Newham Meet To Decide London City Airports Application to Expand
Flights
 
London City Airport’s (LCA)  application to expand flights by 50% to 120,000 flights
per year is to be considered by the London Borough of Newham   (LB Newham) today,
30th July at Stratford Town Hall.   Fight the Flights, campaigners  and local residents
will be present to voice their concerns and request  a public inquiry into the
application.
The Case Officer has recommended approval, despite an unprecedented amount of
objections received by the council and  the  opinion  that the application is deeply
flawed  by the estimated evidence it uses for noise levels and employment figures
which can only be viewed with scepticism.
Campaigners and residents  are furious that no actual, reliable noise data has
been collected by the  airport for over 6 years, despite it being a requirement
of the Section 106.  
This makes   a mockery of claims by the airport, and the London Borough of Newham  that  LCA
has to operate within ‘strict controls’.   Neither LB Newham nor LCA have made
any effort to take accurate, reliable and consistent noise readings for the purpose
of this application.   Residents are already paying the price  with the introduction
of more  noisier jet planes operating out of LCA.  
A 50% increase in flights will mean a 50% increase in noise and  will  make the
areas in and around the airport unliveable due to the noise  and air pollution.
In addition  LCA currently claim to have ‘created’ over 2,000 jobs and claim they
will ‘create’ a 1,000 more.   We find this claim to be purposely misleading.  
The airport in reality directly employs just over 400 people. The other jobs
added on to this figure are those in the local community which LCA claims to have
created by it’s presence in East London whilst overlooking the effect of other
businesses such as the ExCel Centre on surrounding job growth.  Job growth is
not guaranteed, and LCA have failed to provide LB Newham with annual  evidence
of how many Newham residents they actually employ which again was a requirement
of the last planning approval.
If  Newham Planning Committee approve the 50% increase in flights  at today’s meeting  they
will be sentencing  46,000 additional residents to excessively high noise levels
in the most densely populated area of England,  on the basis of flawed data.    The
noise management programme which the LB Newham advise residents will insulate
homes against the effects of the increase of noise does not extend to any properties
built or given planning permission after 1997 due to building regulations from
that time.
Fight the Flights will continue to look to the Government Office for London (GOL)  and
the Secretary of State to ‘call in’ the application and instruct a public inquiry.  
GOL are currently monitoring the application and will be making a decision  in
the coming weeks.
Campaigners are not ruling out following the plans of the Heathrow protestors
and  will consider other  ways to get Newham Council and the Government to  listen
and respond, such as taking direct action  if they continue to feel that their
concerns are not being  taken seriously.  
Notes to Editors
1. Fight the Flights is a coalition group of resident campaigners from across
the boroughs in South and East London who are objecting to the expansion of flights
from London City Airport.
2. London City Airport wish to increase flights to 120,000 this year and to 176,000
in their next application. This is part of the airport’s masterplan.
3. LCA is situated in Newham,  the most densely populated area in the country,
in the middle of the regeneration areas for  1000s of new home to be built under
the Thames Gateway plan.   It also  has the highest levels of mortality in under
30s with asthma in the country, the worst housing shortage of the London Boroughs,
and is the second most socially deprived borough in England.
4. LB Newham has consistently failed to  enforce the Section 106 conditions which
were applied to the airport at the time of the  last planning application.   A formal
complaint has been submitted by a resident on this issue and the Council have
admitted their failure to enforce the section 106.

Fight the Flights

http://londoncityairportfighttheflights.blogspot.com/

Read more »

Plan for third Heathrow runway is white elephant, Professor Sir David King warns

30.7.2008   (Guardian)

Patrick Wintour

Government plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport were branded a white
elephant yesterday by the former chief scientific adviser Professor Sir David
King.

King suggested that government plans to expand British airport capacity were
both short-sighted and economically unsound.

In an interview for the Ecologist Film Unit, he said: “I’m looking at this from a marketing point of view – if we’re moving
towards decarbonising our economy this must mean that alternative means of transport,
land transport, will be favoured over air transport.

“This must mean that by pricing carbon dioxide, by putting fuel tax on aviation
fuel as well (which is the British government position), that we will drive people
toward land-based travel rather than air, and investments in new runways will
turn out to be white elephants.”

Sir David has previously described climate change as “a far greater threat even
than global terrorism”.

At the Farnborough air show business secretary John Hutton insisted the government
could support an expansion of aviation.   He said: “We will help make flying greener
rather than restricting people’s opportunities to fly altogether.

“So we will take the necessary decisions on airport expansion to ensure the UK
has the transport infrastructure it needs to continue to attract business from
across the globe.”

His comments come less than two weeks before this year’s Climate Camp at Kingsnorth
power station, where demonstrators will gather to protest against the plan for
a coal-fired station. The campaigners have received high-calibre intellectual
backing from a report from the left-leaning thinktank IPPR.

The report claimed that the EU’s goal of reducing emissions from the power sector
and heavy industry through its emissions trading scheme would collapse if the
go-ahead were given to  7 new coal plants in the UK and up to 75 across Europe.

The thinktank said that even if only a proportion of these were built the EU
target of a 21% reduction by 2020 would be achievable only through widespread
deployment of the untried technology of carbon capture and storage.

The UK must propose a Europe-wide freeze on coal investment for a minimum of
two years in order to reach carbon emission targets, the report added

link to article

Read more »

‘Plane Speaking’- Scottish communities respond to Government airport expansion plans

29.7.2008     (AirportWatch Scotland)

AirportWatch Scotland, the organisation recently set up to oppose expansion at
Scottish airports (1), will be holding a series of public meetings in Edinburgh
and Glasgow next month (2).   The meetings are expected to attract local residents
and environmentalists concerned about the plans to expand Glasgow and Edinburgh
airports. The purpose of the meetings is to enable local residents affected by
the airports to influence the National Planning Framework which the Government
expects to approve later this year (3).

Dan Glass, spokesman for AirportWatch Scotland, said,   "We hope that these meetings
will be a chance for local residents to express their views about the proposals
to expand Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. We know that there is already a lot
of concern amongst people under flight paths in places like Drumchapel in Glasgow
and Cramond in Edinburgh about the noise from the planes.   It can only get worse
if the expansion plans go ahead. And it also makes no sense from a climate change
perspective. Aviation is the fastest growing contributor to CO2 emissions in the
UK.  If the Scottish Government is serious about dealing with climate change,
it should oppose these airport expansion plans.

Glass added, "Our plane speaking meetings will be an opportunity for local people
to speak their minds. So far, their voices have been ignored."

Professor Frank McManus, Chair of the Scottish branch of the UK Noise Association,
said,  "Make no mistake about it.   The noise climate will get worse if these plans
go ahead.   Planes may be getting a little quieter but the sort of growth that
is being talked about will wipe out any of the benefits for local people."

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

(1). AirportWatch Scotland is a not-for-profit umbrella movement bringing together
national environmental organisations, local communities, and individual environmentalists.
We aim to campaign against airport expansion, particularly on the grounds of climate
change and noise.

(2). 1)  Dates and Venues All 7.00-9.00pm

August 12th – Kirkliston Community Centre, 16- 18 Queensferry Road , KIRKLISTON
, EH29 9AQ

August 13th – 13th court room, Clydebank Town Hall. Address: 49 Dumbarton Road
Clydebank G81 1TX ;

August 14th   – Martyrs Church , Broomlands Street Paisley , PA1 2LS – on the
corner of Broomlands street and King Street

August 18th –   The Millennium Room in Cramond Kirk Hall, 18 Cramond Glebe Road,
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, EH4, Scotland

August 19th   –  Kirkliston Community Centre, 16- 18 Queensferry Road , KIRKLISTON
, EH29 9AQ

August 20th –  The Napier Hall, 312 Dumbarton Road , Old Kilpatrick G60 5JH

August 21st   – Martyrs Church , Broomlands Street Paisley, PA1 2LS – on the corner
of Broomlands street and King Street


(3). The National Planning Framework Process

We want to empower local communities and individuals concerned about aviation
expansion. In particular, we want to ensure that the voices of communities directly
affected by planned airport expansion are given due weight over the next critical
four months when the Scottish Government will be finalising and agreeing it’s
‘National Planning Framework’, which will provide the legislative framework for
major infrastructure projects.

The final consultation will be a sixty day period in the Autumn parliamentary
session where members of the public can feed into the consultation through MSPs.

This will be the first step in empowering local communities to develop their
own campaigns in the fight to prevent the expansion proposals. This will help
influence the Scottish Climate Change Bill, the National Planning Framework and
equip communities with life-long skills to challenge runaway climate change and
the other downsides of airport expansion and the institutions which perpetrate
them.

 

How can you help?

1.      Get involved with the campaign and invite everyone you think may be interested
to the ‘Plane Speaking’ near your home. Publicise in all media outlets. All support
is of great use- if you have experience with creating publicity, liaising with
workers and trade unions or anything else, please do get in contact. Especially
if you’ve got time on your hands. Come to the next meeting on Wednesday 16th July
or the next one (see www.airportwatch.org.uk/scotland) as I’m sure there will be many more. Please reply to this email to say whether
you’ll be attending. If you have upcoming meetings which you would like someone
from AirportWatch Scotland to attend, just ask.

2.        Give us advice. If you’ve got experience with campaigning on airport-related
issues or supporting community projects or think there are particular people that
we should speak to or should be involved then please pass on this email to them
or reply offering any of your suggestions.

3.       Join the organising list. This is not a public list and is for people actively
involved but if you think this might be you then reply to this email saying you
want to join the list.


AirportWatch Scotland

Please see  www.airportwatch.org.uk/scotland   for more information and up to date news

Read more »

Switch flights to City Airport ‘to ease pressure’ – says report

29.7.2008   (Evening Standard)

Amar Singh

Heathrow was dealt a blow today as an influential report called for more flights
to operate out of a rival airport.

The “Aviation Services and The City” report said more short-haul carriers should
fly out of London City Airport, if the capital wanted to retain its status as
one of the world’s financial centres.

The report by York Aviation said that while a third runway at Heathrow is the
“obvious” solution to airport congestion, it would have a detrimental effect on
the environment and suggested that London City Airport could schedule more short-haul
and business flights to relieve the pressures on Heathrow.

The report states: “London City is assumed to be able to grow in line with its
master plan. As such, it is likely to become a major valve for businessfocused
short-haul services pushed out of Heathrow. This should mean both a substantial
deepening and broadening of the network offered from the airport.” The recommendation
will place further pressure on Heathrow’s owner BAA, which has faced criticism
from some of its clients affected by delayed moves caused by the Terminal 5 fiasco.

London City Airport, which made its name serving Canary Wharf, has received the
go-ahead from Newham council for a 50 per cent increase in the number of flights
permitted. It will now be able to increase air traffic movements from 80,000 to
120,000 a year and has been commended for employing more than 2,000 local people.

A growing number of Heathrow’s clients have moved flights to the east London
hub, which is posting a 20 per cent rise in passengers each year and is popular
for its easy access to the City.

Airline Luxairmoved its entire operation from Heathrow to London City this month
saying it was more ” convenient” for business passengers. Air France purchased
Belgian business airline VLM last year to gain a stronger foothold in City Airport
and SWISS is increasing flights to Zurich from the terminal.

BA, which added four new services this year from London City flying to Barcelona,
Warsaw, Amsterdam and Nice, is also launching a business classonly service to
New York next year.

Richard Gooding, London City Airport’s chief executive, coined the term “Heathrow
Refugees” previously for the extra passengers at City who were shunning the west
London airport.

Business group London First has called for Heathrow to remove transfer flights
and said the airport’s problems were jeopardising the UK economy.

 

I’M A CONVERT – IT’S SO EASY

Varun Sharma, 36, is presenter of Inside Luxury Travel on The Travel Channel.  
 He lives in Pimlico with his wife.

“I’m a Heathrow refugee – it’s an airport that I now avoid as much as possible
– but I’m also a convert to London City.  When City Airport opened initially I
thought it was appalling.   The first sign of a cross wind and there would be delays.  
But they are a lot slicker now.  I use it for nearly everything I do out of Europe.  
I am a keen golfer and the fact that you can get up to St Andrews within two hours
is very appealing.   It’s really easy as you can park your car and be in your plane
within .. [??] . minutes.   I still have to rely on Heathrow for long-haul but
I’m tempted to pick up a KLM flight from Amsterdam so I can avoid it.”

link to article

 

 

Read more »

Heathrow expansion protestors may disrupt airport

28.7.2008   (Telegraph)

Militant opponents of Heathrow’s expansion are drawing up plans to disrupt the
airport, throwing the travel plans of hundreds of thousands of passengers into
disarray.

David Milward

‘Direct Action’ training camps are being set up as protestors belonging to an
array of groups prepare to intensify their campaign against moves to increase
the number of flights in and out of Heathrow.

These camps will be held over the next few months in readiness for a series of
demonstrations and flash mobs targetted directly at Heathrow over the Autumn.

The hardening of the tactics was agreed at a meeting of anti-Heathrow activists
over the weekend.

They threatened to pursue their strategy if the Government decides to allow Heathrow
to have a third runway or even gives the airport permission to increase flights
by allowing both runways to be used for take off and landing – a system known
as mixed mode.

Those present at the meeting included activists from the militant Plane Stupid
organisation, the Climate Camp which was held at Heathrow last year, local residents
and the Heathrow Association for the Control of Airport Noise (Hacan)

“The message that came across very clearly from the conference is that people
are utterly determined to stop any further expansion of Heathrow.  They don’t
want a third runway or a sixth terminal and they don’t want more planes on the
existing runways,” said John Stewart, Hacan’s chairman.

“People at the meeting said they wanted to disrupt the airport.   They were from
Plane Stupid, Climate Camp and HACAN. They were supporters of these organisations.

“We are not a direct action organisation, but it is difficult to have control
over what individuals do.”

According to Mr Stewart the training camps would look at a series of techniques
such as “locking on” – chaining oneself to a gate or door.

Plane Stupid is the most militant of organisations and already have a track record
of disruption, having already tried to invade the runway at Nottingham East Midlands
Airport.

Activists have also chained themselves to the doors of the headquarters of BAA,
Heathrow’s owners.

However last year they were prevented from disrupting the airport during the
week long Climate Camp by a High Court injunction last year.

A spokesman for BAA said: “Any organised attempt to disrupt passengers as they
go about their daily lives is not acceptable. We will do what we can to ensure
that does not happen.

“We work very hard with police and other agencies to understand what threat is
out there, but we do not give into any detail about our contingency planning.”

article

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Heathrow: report says a third runway is ‘obvious’ solution

28.7.2008     (Telegraph)

Building a third runway at Heathrow airport is the “obvious” solution to airport
congestion, despite the environmental impact, a report has concluded.

The detailed study, commissioned by the City of London Authority, rejects an
expansion of Stansted and says building an airport in the Thames Estuary is not
a credible option.

Despite “local environmental impacts” and strong opposition from business leaders,
Heathrow is the “obvious preferred candidate” for extra capacity, it says.

The “Aviation Services And The City” report says building the third runway comes with a “significant” environmental
costs but the alternative, expanding Stansted, would be a less effective solution.

Failure to increase the number of flights and reduce problems at Heathrow could
threaten the city’s role as a leading world business centre, the report says.

The authors York Aviation concede that creating a third runway at Heathrow is currently “deeply unpopular”
with business leaders because of delays, traffic around the airport and security
issues.

They say improvements to current services are necessary to tackle such concerns.

Building an airport in the Thames Estuary is not thought credible by business
leaders, they say.

The authors write: “The survey and analysis undertaken in this study reinforce
the requirement for good access to air services as an essential attribute supporting
London’s role as the world’s leading business and financial centre.

“The obvious preferred candidate for expansion to meet the City’s needs is Heathrow,
through delivery of the third runway.

“However, this option appears to have the most significant cost in terms of local
environmental impacts.”

“Expansion elsewhere, most obviously Stansted, appears to have fewer environmental
implications but would be a sub-optimal option in terms of the City’s economic
needs.

The report was welcomed by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Policy director Dr Helen Hill said the report “proves beyond doubt” that the
third runway was “essential” for business.

“London competes day-in day-out to attract business from around the world but
we are starting to lose ground to other major cities because Heathrow is stretched
to breaking point.”

“We urge the Government to take this report to heart and accept that the economic
case for expansion is unequivocal.”

article

 

see also

 

Report blow for fast rail-link campaign

Yorkshire Post

Building a third runway at Heathrow Airport is the “obvious” solution to airport
congestion, says a report published today.
A detailed study rejects building more airport capacity elsewhere around London
and says the idea of a new airport in the Thames Gateway is not thought credible.

Commissioned by the City of London Authority, the authors say Heathrow is “deeply
unpopular” with business leaders because of delays, traffic around the airport
and security issues.

However, as revealed in the Yorkshire Post, an all-party alliance of local authorities
unhappy with expansion at Heathrow has called for a super-fast North-South rail
link to be built as an alternative, reducing connecting flights by encouraging
more business travellers from the North to travel to the Continent by train.

A line proposed by Harrogate-based senior railway engineer Colin Elliff, could
replace about 30 per cent of Heathrow’s 645 flights a day, stopping the need for
a third runway and opening up more of the North to businesses.

The 2M Group backed by 20 local councils presented its rival proposals last week.

In response to the latest call for a third runway, Friends of the Earth transport
spokesman Tony Bosworth said it should be scrapped in favour of fast rail links.

He said: “Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of UK carbon dioxide
emissions and airport expansion will make it extremely difficult for Britain to
meet its targets for preventing climate change.”

The City of London report says business needs improvements to current Heathrow
services and expansion in the future.

Failure to increase the number of flights could threaten London’s role as a leading
business centre, author York Aviation says.

Building the third runway comes with a “significant” environmental costs but
the alternatives, expanding Stansted Airport in Essex or building an airport in
the Thames Estuary were not credible, the report, Aviation Services And The City
concludes.

The report was welcomed by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Policy director Dr Helen Hill said it proved beyond doubt the third runway was
“essential” for business.



http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Report-blow-for-fast-raillink.4329803.jp

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London City airport could be set for more flights

27.7.2008   (Telegraph)

By Alistair Osborne

 

London City airport is this week expected to learn that it has won planning permission
for a 50% rise in the number of flights it is permitted to handle.

In a rare example of planning approval for UK airport expansion, Newham Borough
Council is expected to rubber-stamp the findings of one of its inspectors, [planning
officers] Sunil Sahadevan.

He filed his report last week, recommending that Newham councillors grant planning
permission for the airport to raise maximum air traffic movements from 80,000
to 120,000 a year.   The council, which meets on Wednesday, may impose certain
conditions, for example over noise levels.

The rapidly growing London City made its application in response to the Government’s
Aviation White Paper, which required airport operators to maximise use of existing
runways.

In seeking permission, the airport has capitalised on its role as a prime creator
of local jobs – an issue that has played well with the local council.     Some 2,000
people currently work at the airport, 70% of whom live within a five-mile radius.    
The airport reckons the extra flights could create 1,000 new jobs.

Raising the number of flights will leave London City on course to handle 3.9m
passengers by 2010, though the move is only an interim step to raising capacity.

London City, which was sold in 2006 for about £750m to insurer AIG and Global
Infrastructure Partners – a joint-venture between GE Capital and Credit Suisse
– is working on a further planning application to raise capacity to 8m passengers
a year.

This envisages relocating the terminal, adding more taxiways and raising the
number of aircraft stands from 18 to 29. There are no plans to extend the runway.

London City, which made its name as a business airport serving Canary Wharf,
has seen rapid growth over the past few years as major airlines, including British
Airways and Air France, add services.

Passengers increased 23% to 2.9m last year and the airport expects 3.5m in 2008,
boosted by four new services by BA alone – Barcelona, Warsaw, Amsterdam and Nice.
Next year BA plans to launch a twice daily business class-only service to New
York.

London City is also benefiting from congestion at other London airports. Chief
executive Richard Gooding has coined the phrase “Heathrow refugees” for travellers
opting to switch to the east London airport.

Rupa Haria, London City spokesman, said: “We once were 100% business travellers
but now we have an increasing number of leisure passengers.”

Traffic has averaged near-20% growth every month this year, despite the economic
downturn and turmoil in the aviation industry caused by the rocketing oil price.

The Government is dragging its feet over the go-ahead for new runways at BAA’s
Heathrow and Stansted airports.

In its report into the potential break-up of BAA, the Competition Commission
noted: “The comparison between BAA’s record at Heathrow and Stansted and London
City’s appeared stark.

“Throughout its 25-year history London City had concentrated on people, local
businesses and local government.  In the local community, the airport was a ‘face’
that was recognized and which had a number of friends.”

article

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