Business lobby group, “London First” calling for airport action – including better rail/road links to Gatwick and Stansted

Chief executives of 25 of London’s leading businesses will tomorrow confront  Sir Howard Davies to demand immediate action to fix Britain’s (alleged) “airports capacity crisis.” Members of lobby group London First say that British business will fall behind without three fixes for its airports: an immediate rise in the number of flights operating at Heathrow, an independent “noise regulator” to protect residents, and investment to improve road and rail links to Stansted and Gatwick. Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, said: “Debating the pros and cons of new airports and runways is all very well. But the more pressing concern is what we are going to do right now to increase our connectivity with emerging markets and grow our economy.” Among those attending the meeting will be bosses of CitiGroup, CLS Group, Nomura, Linklaters, Ernst & Young and 3i Group. “London First” is an aggressively pro-growth lobby organisation, whose stated mission is to “make London the best city in the world in which to do business.”  It has consistently pushed for Heathrow growth, with more aircraft noise for London residents, over recent years.
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Businesses call for airport action

MATTHEW BEARD, TRANSPORT EDITOR (Evening Standard)
2 September 2013

Chief executives of 25 of London’s leading businesses will tomorrow confront Government aviation supremo Sir Howard Davies to demand immediate action to fix Britain’s airports capacity crisis.

Members of lobby group London First say that British business will fall behind without three fixes for its airports: an immediate rise in the number of flights operating at Heathrow, an independent “noise regulator” to protect residents, and investment to improve road and rail links to Stansted and Gatwick.

Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, said: “Debating the pros and cons of new airports and runways is all very well. But the more pressing concern is what we are going to do right now to increase our connectivity with emerging markets and grow our economy.”

Among those attending the meeting will be bosses of CitiGroup, CLS Group, Nomura, Linklaters, Ernst & Young and 3i Group.

In December, Sir Howard will release an interim report proposing short-term fixes before making his full report in 2015.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/businesses-call-for-airport-action-8794627.html

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More on what London First want at 

http://londonfirst.co.uk/campaigns/aviaton-capacity/

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From London First’s website:

How improved rail links can unlock London’s spare air capacity

Today, Monday 2 September, the London Assembly has recommended improving rail links to London’s main airports as a way to unlock spare capacity, specifically at Gatwick and Stansted.  London First supports this as one of many a short-term solutions to the UK’s air capacity crisis.

Read ‘Flight Path to Growth: The case for increasing London’s air capacity’

 We recently submitted a series of recommendations to the Airports Commission, one of which was for the Commission to call on Government and Network Rail to deliver a step change improvement in the capacity and quality of rail services to Gatwick and Stansted.

Read London First’s full submission to the Airports Commission here

Rail services to Gatwick are hampered by poor quality rolling stock and uncertainty over the future of non-stop services, while Stansted suffers from historic underinvestment in a slow service that does not operate at times of peak demand. Both should be brought up to the same standards as those serving other airports, notably Heathrow, to strengthen these airports’ ability to attract airlines and passengers and maximise use of London’s available capacity as an interim solution.

Read more on London First’s campaign to increased aviation capacity for London

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“In our view, the current cap on ATMs at Heathrow
should be lifted with mixed mode runway use
and credible measures to alleviate the effect
of increased noise;, while at the same time
Gatwick and Stansted should be deregulated
to spur greater competition.”   – London First.   link

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Earlier:

“London First” calls for more intensive use of Heathrow runways with mixed mode in submission to Airports Commission

9.5.2013“London First” is an aggressively pro-growth, pro London business lobby organisation, whose stated mission is to “make London the best city in the world in which to do business.”  It has sent in a submission to the Airports Commission, calling for expansion of Heathrow and the ending of runway alternation. This would mean both runways being used for much of the day, in “mixed mode”.  London First believes that fitting some 10% more fights into Heathrow will solve the UK’s economic ills, and takes a dashingly cavalier attitude to the impact of the extra noise on the quality of life of Londoners overflown. They appear to either not understand how aircraft noise impinges on the lives of those under flight paths, or deliberately seek to underplay the problems, and exaggerate the small reductions in noise that aircraft manufacturers have achieved. They use noise figures from the time of Concorde to give the impression there has been a huge noise reduction. London First also recommend that Gatwick and Stansted be allowed to compete more effectively, and have better rail services, to take some business from Heathrow.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1258

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“London First” gets their letter, signed by over 40 business people, in the Sunday Times

4.3.2012This is a second letter, this time in the Sunday Times, with a load of business people adding their voice to the lobby group, London First. They are asking Justine Greening to include Heathrow in the forthcoming aviation consultation.  What they really want is a third runway at Heathrow.  If needs be, they say extra noise from a new Heathrow runway or Heathrow expansion should be mitigated. The myth is again pushed that – in some unexplained way – the UK will suffer economically if there are not enough direct flights to China. There is never any evidence presented to back this up.  In reality, Heathrow has excellent connections to the world. Where there are few flights to a destination, it is because there is not enough demand. Many of Heathrow’s flights are predominantly filled with leisure travellers, eg. the approximately 21 flights per day to Miami from Heathrow.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1339

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London First report wants 3rd Heathrow runway, and mixed mode on both its runways, as well as a new south east hub airport

1.2.2012London First, which calls themselves “an influential business membership organisation with the mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business” have today produced a report called “London, Britain and the world: Transport links for economic growth”.  The report says that an expanded at Heathrow as the “only credible option” for the capital.  It accuses the government of being unwilling to consider “politically difficult solutions”. London First believes the connectivity of London is key in its success, and that “congested roads, overcrowded trains and aircraft circling above the South East waiting for permission to land at Britain’s only hub airport, Heathrow, are all signs of our critical strategic transport infrastructure operating at its limits and lacking resilience when put under pressure.” They are calling for significant improvement in London’s connectivity, both with the rest of the UK and with emerging international markets. They want easier planning and suggest varioius recommendations “to deliver short, medium and long-term improvements to London’s road, rail and air links.” They are asking for an expanded Heathrow, flights landing and taking off on both  Heathrow runways (mixed mode) and a new south east airport ……..http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=7722

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