Campaigners target airport investors to warn them off risky investment in politically undeliverable 3rd Heathrow runway

Heathrow’s investors are to be targeted as part of a campaign by residents, MPs and local authorities who argue a 3rd runway in west London will be “politically undeliverable”. Campaigners will highlight the potential risk to shareholders of spending millions of pounds developing detailed plans for a new runway, when they are likely to face the same level of fierce and determined opposition that led to a previous scheme being ditched in 2010. MPs, local authorities and anti-Heathrow campaigners have met to draw up a plan of attack. These include Zac Goldsmith MP, John McDonnell MP, representatives of Richmond, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Wandsworth councils and HACAN. The main shareholders at Heathrow now are Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial (25%), Qatar Holding LLC (20.00%), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (13.29%), the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (11.88%), Alinda Capital Partners (11.18%), China Investment Corporation (10%) and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) (8.65%). The 3rd runway is also strongly opposed by Boris Johnson. Daniel Moylan, the Mayor’s chief aviation adviser, said: “The Mayor shares HACAN’s view that the expansion of Heathrow is neither acceptable nor politically deliverable.” A report by KPMG for the Airports Commission indicated the funding problems for either a new Heathrow, or a Gatwick, runway.

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Campaigners target airport investors over Heathrow site

Anti-Heathrow expansion campaigners have met MPs and local authorities to draw up a plan of attack to highlight the potential risk to shareholders of spending millions of pounds developing detailed plans


By Nathalie Thomas (Telegraph)
27 Jan 2014

Heathrow’s investors are to be targeted as part of a campaign by residents, MPs and local authorities who argue a third runway in west London will be “politically undeliverable”.

Campaigners will highlight the potential risk to shareholders of spending millions of pounds developing detailed plans, when they are likely to face the same level of opposition that led to a previous scheme being ditched in 2010.

Anti-Heathrow expansion campaigners have met MPs and local authorities to draw up a plan of attack, after the Airports Commission last month shortlisted two possible options for expansion.

The commission, set up by the Government to solve the thorny question of airport expansion in the South East, won’t deliver its final recommendation until 2015. However, airports are currently refining their proposals before a public consultation later this year.

Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) has met MPs including Zac Goldsmith and John McDonnell, as well as representatives of Richmond, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Wandsworth councils.

They intend to stress to shareholders, who include Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial and one of the UK’s largest pension funds, that their investment plans will face strong protests.

Campaigners also plan to hammer home their belief that a third runway is “politically undeliverable” even if it is recommended by the Commission’s chairman, Sir Howard Davies.

Protesters believe the issue of noise will be insurmountable, despite arguments by third runway promoters that noise pollution will lessen due to developments in aircraft technology.

John Stewart, chairman of HACAN, said: “The last Labour government failed to get through its plans for a third runway. The opposition from residents, environmentalists and politicians of all parties was just too great. Three years on, the prize which Heathrow Airport wants above all else remains politically undeliverable.”

Daniel Moylan, Boris Johnson’s chief aviation adviser, said: “The Mayor shares HACAN’s view that the expansion of

Heathrow is neither acceptable nor politically deliverable.”

But a spokesman for Heathrow pointed to a poll conducted by Populus which found that people in west London are more likely to vote for their MP if they support Heathrow expansion than if they oppose a third runway.

Heathrow’s chief executive, Colin Matthews, claimed the findings showed the political cost of supporting a third runway had been “vastly overstated”.

Sir Howard last week revealed that the Coalition told his commission to deliver its findings after the General Election in 2015, although he believed a report could have been published earlier.

The commission last month narrowed down the options for airport expansion to include a third runway to the north-west of Heathrow’s current site. A second proposal by Heathrow Hub, a company backed by City financier Ian Hannam, to extend the airport’s north runway and then effectively split it in two, also made the cut.

A second runway at Gatwick was the third option to make the shortlist.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10597907/Campaigners-target-airport-investors-over-Heathrow-site.html

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Owners of Heathrow:

January 2014  ”Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited is in turn owned by FGP Topco Limited, a consortium owned and led by the infrastructure specialist Ferrovial S.A. (25.00%), Qatar Holding LLC (20.00%), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (13.29%), the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (11.88%), Alinda Capital Partners (11.18%), China Investment Corporation (10.00%) and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) (8.65%) “

 

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The KPMG report

 

Scale of taxpayer contribution needed for Heathrow or Gatwick runways shown up in KPMG report for Airports Commission

18.1.2014

A report dated December 2013 by accountants, KPMG, for the Airports Commission, says a 3rd runway at Heathrow could require £11.5bn of government support, (ie. money from the taxpayer) while a 2nd runway at Gatwick may need as much as £17.7bn of taxpayer contributions.  An airport in the Thames Estuary would need even more from the taxpayer – maybe £64 billion. The report contradict claims by airport operators that an extra runway could be financed either exclusively or predominantly by the private sector.  Gatwick has said it could build a 2nd runway for £5bn to £9bn with no government aid. Heathrow has raised the prospect of £4bn to £6bn of taxpayer support to improve rail and road links, but has argued that a 3rd runway, at a cost of £17bn, would be largely funded by the private sector. The KPMG analysis also highlights the potential burden of building a new runway on passengers, who would pay higher ticket prices. KPMG says these would have to rise by 136% at Gatwick to repay the money borrowed. That would mean charges at Gatwick rising by 2.5% above inflation every year from 2019 to 2050. At Heathrow charges would need to rise by 13% initially and then by 2.5% above inflation. Repaying the money takes till 2050. Unless charges for passengers rise enough, the public (many of whom do not fly) will have to stump up the funds.

 http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=19422
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The KPMG report is at:

Airports Commission – Interim Report                                                                                 – 0 Paper – High-level Commercial & Financial Assessment of Selected Potential Schemes   – 10 December 2013. By KPMG,

Report is also available from the Airports Commission website, via the link to Long-term options: consultancy reports at:                                                             https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/airports-commission-interim-report   

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