Heathrow not willing to accept a ban on night flights, saying it constrains links to regional airports
John Holland-Kaye is hugely confident that he will get a new runway, saying he was now “80%” sure that David Cameron’s decision would be for Heathrow. The Airports Commission suggested a condition that there would be a complete ban on flights between 11.30pm and 6am due to the unacceptable noise of night flights. Mr Holland-Kaye says night flights were not something to “throw away lightly”. Heathrow currently is allowed 5,800 night flights per year, meaning an average of 16 arriving each morning, typically between 4.30am and 6am. British Airways wants to keep night flights, and is Heathrow’s largest airline. Last week Mr Holland-Kaye said shifting night flights to later slots would damage connections to the rest of the UK. “If I talk to regional airports, they all want to see early morning arrivals into Heathrow. They want a flight that comes in from their airport before 8 o’clock in the morning so people can do a full day’s work, can do business in London or can connect to the first wave of long-haul flights going out. You are very quickly going to use up all of the first two hours of the morning if we have a curfew before 6 o’clock, particularly as we then have to move the 16 flights. That really constrains the ability of UK regions to get the benefits from an expanded hub. So it is not something we should throw away lightly.” Heathrow’s links to regional airport would actually fall, with a 3rd runway, according to the Airports Commission.
Heathrow boss wants night flights
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, gave his strongest indication yet that it would challenge a curfew
By Graeme Paton Transport Correspondent
….. Extracts ….
Heathrow was accused of trying to “rewrite the rule book” on a third runway last night after suggesting that it might fight a proposed ban on night flights.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, gave his strongest indication yet that it would challenge a curfew, claiming that the move would “constrain” the airport’s links with the rest of the UK.
He also said he was “80 per cent confident” that the government decision on a new runway in the southeast — expected in weeks — would favour Heathrow over Gatwick.
Full Times article at
Senior Conservative party sources told The Daily Telegraph that the move was expected to be announced unless it was delayed by the political controversy over whether to bomb Isis in Syria.
The sub-community is thought to have added new restrictions on noise and pollution – along with a pledge not to allow a fourth runway – in a bid to soften the blow on those campaigning against the expansion of Heathrow.
Below are some extracts from comments below the article:
A third runway at Heathrow will give a short boost for job opportunities in the area but before it is finished even with full scale night flights the whole process will start again with the planning for another runway.
A worrying indication of what is to come, and a perfect example of the disgusting attitude of Heathrow’s management: they expect to be able to dictate terms, and hang anyone who doesn’t support their “vision” or questions their duplicitous statements.
The management at Heathrow cannot be trusted one millimetre. Nothing that they have ‘agreed’ can be assumed to take place, any more than Cameron’s assertions can be taken as policy. The two together could railroad an agreement and then produce the worst scenario for everyone concerned (including passengers), simply on the basis of cost.
Based on the current plans, I could be a net winner; and less sceptical people in my position would vote for them. However, the real plan (realignment of the runway; night flights; more immigrants taking work at the airport and demanding housing etc in the most densely populated part of the world) could be a disaster in the making.
Airports Commission report shows fewer, not more, links to regional airports by 2030 with 3rd runway
The Times reports that analysis by Transport for London (TfL) of the Airports Commission’s final report shows that, with a 3rd runway, Heathrow would only serve 4 domestic destinations by 2030, compared to the 7 is now serves. It would serve only 3 with no new runway by 2030. (The Gatwick figures are 7 domestic destinations by 2030 with a 2nd runway, compared to 10 now). Heathrow has been claiming that its runway will be important for better links to the regions, and improved domestic connectivity by air. The Heathrow runway has been backed by Peter Robinson, the first minister of Northern Ireland, Derek Mackay, the Scottish transport minister, and Louise Ellman, the chairwoman of the transport select committee – on the grounds that it would help the regions. The Commission’s report says: (Page 313) “15.8 ….without specific measures to support domestic connectivity even an expanded Heathrow may accommodate fewer domestic routes in future….” The Commission cannot see effective ways to ensure domestic links are not cut in future, as less profitable than long haul, but they suggest public subsidy by the taxpayer for these routes. This is by using PSO (Public Service Obligations) which could cost £ millions, is a bad use of public money, and may fall foul of EU law.
John Holland-Kaye again will not commit to no Heathrow night flights (11.30pm to 6am) at Environmental Audit Committee hearing
When the Airports Commission final report was published on 1st July, one of the conditions of a 3rd Heathrow was that there should be no night flights. The report stated: “Following construction of a third runway at the airport there should be a ban on all scheduled night flights in the period 11:30pm to 6:00am” and “the additional capacity from a third runway would enable airlines to re-time very early morning arrivals.” Already by its statement on 6th July, Heathrow was trying to cast doubt on the conditions, with John Holland-Kaye saying: “I’m sure there is a package in there that we can agree with our local communities, with the airlines and with Government.” Asked directly again, at the Environmental Audit Committee session on 4th November, if Heathrow would accept no night flights, he said Heathrow “we are not in a position to do that yet.” It had not yet accepted a ban on night flights, and the airport was “confident we will be able to find a way forward” in discussions with airlines and government, and it could “significantly reduce” night flights. Mr Holland-Kaye instead talked of the alleged economic benefit to the UK of flights between 4.30 and 6am. He was asked by Committee members whether the government should agree to a Heathrow runway, (perhaps by December) before Heathrow firmly committed to the no night flights condition. Mr Holland-Kaye could not give an answer.
Heathrow may oppose ban on night flights, and ban on 4th runway, as price for 3rd runway
Heathrow is to press the government to loosen the conditions attached to a 3rd runway going ahead, unwilling to agree either to a ban on night flights or on a 4th runway. These were two important conditions suggested by the Airports Commission, to make a 3rd runway acceptable to its neighbours. However, Heathrow sees the conditions as negotiable, and John Holland-Kaye brazenly said he was confident Heathrow would be given the green light to expand and that “it wouldn’t make sense” for the prime minister to oppose a new runway now. Even if Heathrow does not agree to important conditions. Holland-Kaye wants to have a “conversation” about conditions with government. It is used to trying to have “conversations” with local residents, in which the airport generally manages to get its way, with only minimal concessions. Heathrow does not want lose lucrative night flights: “We have a significant number of routes to Hong Kong and Singapore. That’s getting key trading partners into the UK to start their business. It’s very popular because it’s an important route.” Holland-Kaye said the airport would “comment later on the package of conditions as a whole”, but he noted that “we do have the ability, physically” to build a 4th runway.