IAG complains paying unblighted price + 25% + costs is too generous for those forced to leave their homes
IAG claims Heathrow’s proposed compensation package for residents being compulsorily purchased for the runway is too generous. For homes to be bulldozed, and for up to 3,500 that Heathrow admits would be too unpleasant to comfortably live in, Heathrow says it will pay “un-blighted” market price + 25% + legal costs and stamp duty. That amount would scarcely buy those forced to move an equivalent home, in a suitable area – let alone compensate for loss of community, home, local attachment etc. IAG made its complaints in its response to the Transport Committee call for evidence on the draft Airports NPS. IAG says “While IAG wants to see people properly compensated, [Heathrow] has gone far beyond the usual amounts offered for public compensation. … In doing so, it has no regard for its airline customers who are paying for this as for all elements of the development and has not consulted IAG or others on the topic.” This has angered local councils which have collaborated to launch a legal fight against the proposed 3rd runway once a plan is confirmed. IAG is using the threat of raising air ticket prices against the government. Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, said the Government was now “left trying to sell a scheme which the local community detests and the airlines refuse to mitigate”.
Full submission by IAG to Transport Committee can be seen at
British Airways owner complains Heathrow residents’ compensation ‘far beyond’ level required
By Bradley Gerrard (Telegraph)
14 APRIL 2017
A war of words has broken out between the owner of British Airways and Heathrow after the airline company claimed the airport’s proposed compensation package for residents affected by the planned expansion is too generous.
The airport has pledged to pay what its chief executive John Holland-Kaye called the “unblighted” market price for properties set to be compulsorily purchased plus 25pc, as well as legal and moving fees including stamp duty.
But International Airlines Group, which also owns Aer Lingus and Iberia, has written to the Government as part of its response to the consultation on the Heathrow expansion proposal and claimed the pledged compensation scheme is too generous.
“While IAG wants to see people properly compensated, [Heathrow] has gone far beyond the usual amounts offered for public compensation,” it said.
“In doing so, it has no regard for its airline customers who are paying for this as for all elements of the development and has not consulted IAG or others on the topic.”
The comments from the airline group have angered local councils which have collaborated to launch a legal fight against the proposed third runway once a plan is confirmed.
Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, said he thought the airline was now “clearly threatening to raise ticket prices” and suggested the Government was now “left trying to sell a scheme which the local community detests and the airlines refuse to mitigate”.
Richmond Council is working alongside Wandsworth, Hillingdon and Windsor and Maidenhead local authorities – the latter being Prime Minister Theresa May’s constituency. Greenpeace and one resident are also working with the councils.
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “The Government and Airports Commission have been clear that expansion should only be allowed on the basis of a world-class compensation package.
“We look forward to meeting this test and will continue to work with our stakeholders to develop an affordable and financeable package that strikes the right balance for local communities and airport users.”
IAG also said it thought it was “unlikely” airlines would be able to operate domestic services on a commercial basis based on the current costs for the new runway.
A DfT spokesperson said the consultation sets out the benefits and potential impacts of expansion and it welcomed all views. It added the plan came with a “world-class package of compensation” to support local communities.
See also, from the IAG response to the Transport Committee:
Willie Walsh adamant Heathrow must have arrivals well before 5.30am – then full on for next 2 hours
International Airlines Group (IAG), which is Heathrow’s biggest customer, has submitted its evidence to the Transport Committee, to its inquiry into the Airports NPS. IAG does not agree there should be a ban on night flights of six and a half hours, that the NPS and the DfT are proposing – hoping that would overcome local opposition to the runway. The WHO says for good health, people need 7 – 8 hours sleep, and more for some age groups. Therefore even six and a half hours is not enough. But IAG says …”the NPS does not recognise the operational flexibility required for flights to connect and deliver the associated benefits. The Government should therefore avoid unreasonable restrictions on night operations that would prevent economically valuable connections.” … from small changes IAG has made “Local communities have therefore benefited … from a reduction in noise while no additional night movements have been granted at Heathrow in return.” … if Heathrow opened at 7am, that would be 2 hours later than Frankfurt … to make the best use of the new runway, increase connectivity etc … “the first arrivals will need to be scheduled to have landed and be on-stand ready to disembark passengers by 05:30, with a high arrival movement capacity in the subsequent 1-2 hours.”