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Heathrow claim 60% of MPs back 3rd runway. Survey actually reveals it was only 55 MPs out of 95 interviewed. Not 650.

Heathrow airport has commissioned a survey by highly respected polling company, Ipsos Mori. They wanted to see how many MPs back a 3rd Heathrow runway. There are 650 MPs in the House of Commons.  Heathrow is proudly claiming that “58% of MPs back a third runway at Heathrow”.  So that means the survey found that 390 MPs thought that ?  Really? Amazing!  But that is NOT the case at all. The Ipsos Mori survey only in fact interviewed 95 MPs. They say they interviewed 143, but then cut the number back to 95. These were, in theory, “interviewed to closely represent the profile of the House of Commons” – quite how is not explained.  What the survey actually found was that  just 55 MPs (58% of 95 MPs) said they backed a 3rd Heathrow runway. And when only these 55  MPs – not the whole 95 – were asked if they thought a 3rd Heathrow runway would get parliamentary approval, only 44 thought it was likely (of these only 18 thought it was very likely).  This really is taking liberties with polling. Heathrow’s rather extravagantly claim that the poll “explodes the myth that Heathrow is politically undeliverable” looks frankly threadbare … and a bit desperate?
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Below are part of two of the Ipsos Mori tables, showing the answers to the questions on runway building. The interviews were conducted face to face, but we do not know the exact interview script.

The tables are at http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Polls/MPs-survey-2014-airport-capacity-tables.pdf

Only 95 MPs were interviewed on this questions, not 143.

Answering the question:

“Thinking once more about hub airport capacity. Of these options, which ONE do you think is the BEST option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK?”

Ipsos Mori poll of 95 MPs

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for the question about how many MPs think a 3rd Heathrow runway could get parliamentary approval, only the MPs who had said Yes to Heathrow (in the table above) were questioned. Just 55 MPs.

Ipsos Mori poll of 55 MPs


This is the Heathrow airport press release:

9 in 10 MPs who back a third runway at Heathrow think it would get parliamentary approval

  • 58% of MPs back a third runway at Heathrow, 13% support a second runway at Gatwick to solve the issue of hub airport capacity
  • 88% of MPs think a successful hub airport is critical to UK economic success
  • 91% of those MPs who back a third runway at Heathrow think it would get parliamentary approval

A new survey of MPs by independent polling company Ipsos MORI explodes the myth that Heathrow is politically undeliverable. The poll shows 91% of those MPs who back a third runway at Heathrow think it would get parliamentary approval.

The poll also shows that a third runway at Heathrow is the overwhelming choice of MPs from the options left on the Airports Commission’s shortlist. 58% of MPs think that a third runway at Heathrow is the best option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity, compared to 13% for a second runway at Gatwick. Just 13% think the best option would be to do nothing.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said:

“More and more people are backing Heathrow as the best solution for the UK hub capacity crisis. The countries Britain needs to trade with are changing fast and only a hub airport can provide direct access to these markets.

“There is growing momentum and support for a third runway at Heathrow. This week alone, Britain’s biggest business organisation – the CBI – has come out in support of a hub airport; the Airports Commission has said that it recognises the need for a hub airport but has ruled out a new airport in the Thames Estuary; and now this poll shows MPs back a third runway at Heathrow as the best solution for the UK.”

On Monday, the CBI described the UK’s lack of hub capacity as a “ticking time bomb” and said that UK business wants action and politicians to commit to spades in the ground by the end of the next Parliament. They published research showing that while all airports have a role to play in growing the UK’s connectivity, not all airports play the same role. The track record shows that it tends to be hub airports that deliver the new connections to emerging markets that we desperately need.

Notes to editors

Detail of polling questions

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Having a successful hub airport is critical to the UK’s future economic success

Agree

88%

Disagree

7%

Base: All MPs asked (95), summer 2014

Thinking once more about hub airport capacity. Of these options, which ONE do you think is the BEST option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK?

A third runway at Heathrow

58%

A new Thames Estuary airport

8%

A second runway at Gatwick

13%

Lengthening one of the runways at Heathrow

4%

Do nothing / Use existing airports

13%

Don’t know

4%

Base: All MPs asked (95), summer 2014

And in your opinion, how likely or unlikely would each of the following options be to get parliamentary approval?

Likely

Unlikely

A third runway at Heathrow

91%

9%

Base: All MPs who think a third runway at Heathrow would be the best option for solving hub airport capacity (55), summer 2014

Methodology details:

  • Fieldwork dates: 9 June – 6 August, 2014.
  • 143 MPs were interviewed (58 Conservatives, 66 Labour, 15 Liberal Democrats and 4 from other parties).
  • An initial sample of 421 MPs were contacted to ensure that those interviewed closely represent the profile of the House of Commons.
  • Interviews were conducted face-to-face.
  • The total sample interviewed is closely representative of the House. Based on those asked each question, data have been individually weighted where necessary to reflect the true balance by party and ministerial or spokesperson position.
  • Sometimes the percentage result for “Total MPs” may be greater than the sum of the percentage results for Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, as it also includes results from other parties. Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories.
  • All answers are in % format. Data is weighted.

http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3442/MPs-attitudes-to-Heathrow-Airport-expansion.aspx

http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/9-in-10-MPs-who-back-a-third-runway-at-Heathrow-think-it-would-get-parliamentary-approval-9b8.aspx


Some papers enthusiastically reported this story, without looking very carefully at the Ipsos Mori survey itself. For example:

 

Three in five MPs back third runway at Heathrow, new poll suggests

Heathrow hails Ipsos MORI survey but protest group HACAN says the shortage of poltiicians responding means it counts for little

Nearly three in five MPs back a third runway at Heathrow, according to the results of a new poll.

Of the MPs responding to Ipsos MORI’s summer survey, published yesterday (Sunday, September 8), 58 per cent said they supported a new landing strip at Heathrow.

That was more than four times as many as the 13 per cent who said a second runway at Gatwick was the best option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK.

Of the remainder, eight per cent supported a Thames estuary airport, which waslast week ruled out by the Airports Commission , four per cent wanted a longer northern runway at Heathrow and 13 per cent said no action was needed. The other four per cent said they didn’t know.

Of those backing a third runway, 91 per cent said they thought it would get parliamentary approval.

Heathrow today hailed the findings of the summer survey, which sought MPs’ views on a wide range of issues, claiming it ‘exploded the myth’ a third runway was politically undeliverable.

The airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye, said: “There is growing momentum and support for a third runway at Heathrow. This week alone, Britain’s biggest business organisation – the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) – has come out in support of a hub airport; the Airports Commission has said it recognises the need for a hub airport but has ruled out a new airport in the Thames Estuary; and now this poll shows MPs back a third runway at Heathrow as the best solution for the UK.”

However, anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group HACAN said the poll counted for little as only 143 MPs, or just over a fifth of the 650 sitting in parliament, had responded.

HACAN chairman John Stewart said: “Very little can be read into this poll.  Only 143 out of 650 MPs were polled.  Of those that were asked just 84 supported Heathrow expansion.  That is far from a groundswell of support for a third runway.”

The group said people had been queuing up to show their support for the protest group at yesterday’s Brentford Festival , where it had a stall. A map at the stall showed the predicted flight path for a third runway passing over the centre of Brentford.

Hounslow’s two MPs, Seema Malhotra and Mary Macleod, have both said they are opposed to a third runway at Heathrow.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/three-five-mps-back-third-7735845

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Lib Dem Pre-Manifesto 2014 – definite opposition to any new south east runway, taking account of climate impact

The Liberal Democrats have launched their Pre-Manifesto 2014, and it contains an emphatic statement against any new runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted – and no estuary airport. Their policy: “Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK as a whole by prohibiting the opening of any new runways unless others are closed elsewhere.”  It is thought that this position will not be popular with big business, which wants expanded airport, and ever increasing aviation – with little consideration for the climate impacts.
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This is the text, relating to runways, from the Lib Dem Pre-Manifesto 2014:

(Page 22  link )

“Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern
and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation
to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will
carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway
capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of
the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from
the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any
expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport
in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise
pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK
as a whole by prohibiting the opening of any new runways unless
others are closed elsewhere.”


 

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Nick Clegg rules out London air expansion plans

Kate McCann (City AM)
9th September  2014

LIBERAL Democrat leader Nick Clegg has ruled out airport expansion in London if his party is elected in 2015.

Launching the party’s draft manifesto yesterday, Clegg vowed to oppose any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick, as well as a new airport in the Thames Estuary because of air and noise pollution. The party is also against any net increase in the number of runways across the UK. The plans will cause concern among business leaders, who have been calling for airport expansion in London for years. On Monday, the Confederation of British Industry called the lack of capacity a “ticking time bomb”.

“We’ve learnt our lesson from tuition fees – and we’ve learnt it the hard way. There will be no repeat of that mistake,” the Lib Dem leader promised, adding that 75 per cent of his party’s previous manifesto pledges were successfully negotiated into the coalition agreement.

The manifesto includes around 300 pledges, some more controversial than others. Plans to move towards the legalisation of some drugs for personal use is a key proposal, as well as a plan to build 300,000 new homes a year and 10 new garden cities.

http://www.cityam.com/1410224208/nick-clegg-rules-out-london-air-expansion-plans


 

This manifesto commitment means, in effect, the LibDems would veto the expansion of any airport – whether Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted – during the next parliament if the Lib Dems formed part of another coalition government.

The Lib Dems have arrived at their position after a lengthy debate, on the basis of the impact of aviation on climate change and the effect of Heathrow’s expansion on voters in southwest London. The party has several seats in the area including Twickenham and Kingston & Surbiton and has previously held Richmond.

Before the 2010 election Nick Clegg warned: “A 3rd runway at Heathrow would be a disaster for the local area as well as a disaster for the whole country.”

There is thought to be some opposition to the no-runways position, within the party, from MPs who believe (rightly or wrongly) that planes will become “cleaner and quieter”.  The reality is that planes will become very slightly more fuel efficient, and very slightly less noisy, but not enough to make much difference, and these improvements will be cancelled out by growth in air traffic.

Many LibDems are stuck between a desire to be environmentally responsible, and the ever-present push for economic growth, regardless of its consequences.  One said: “I believe Lib Dem’s ambitions for a greener future must also fit with our vision for a stronger economy and a fairer society – and that means looking for opportunities for growth across the whole country. …. We don’t yet know how technology will improve air travel: carbon emissions may fall faster or slower than currently predicted, and our policy response must be flexible to accommodate the evidence as it emerges. . . There is a real chance we risk prejudicing decades of growth by nailing down excessively restrictive plans for airport growth now.”

The Lib Dems said at the time of the interim report from the Airports Commission in December 2013 that they were “not opposed in principle” to new runways in the south east.

But they are now back to opposing runways, in the so-called “pre-manifesto.”

 

 


 

Earlier:

 

Lib Dem MP Lorely Burt defies party over runway extensions

Member for Solihull says she wants to leave the door open for expansion of sites such as Birmingham Airport

Lorely Burt

 

A Midland MP has put herself on collision course with her own party by rejecting calls for a ban on new airport runways.

Lorely Burt, Liberal Democrat MP for Solihull, has defied the party by saying she wants to leave the door open for the expansion of airports such as Birmingham Airport, which published proposals for a second runway last year.

She is to take on activists who want future governments to allow “no net growth” in runways, in a debate at the party’s conference in October.

The runway ban is to be included in the party’s pre-manifesto, launched by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

This is an early draft of the General Election manifesto for next year’s poll.

It is due to be debated at the conference, to be held in Glasgow, where policy proposals will be put to a vote.

Ms Burt, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, is to propose an amendment to strike out the ban and highlight the importance of airports outside London for regional jobs and growth.

However, she is likely to face opposition from activists who argue that preventing new runways will protect the environment.

Writing for the Birmingham Post, Ms Burt said the Lib Dems’ ambitions for a greener future “must also fit with our vision for a stronger economy and a fairer society”.

“It would be short-sighted of us to rule out new routes for airlines offering a chance to explore new markets and encourage investment,” she added.

“There is a real chance we risk prejudicing decades of growth by nailing down excessively restrictive plans for airport growth now.”

Birmingham Airport last year published plans to build a second runway, allowing it to expand into a truly global airport capable of dealing with 70 million passengers each year – as many as Heathrow handles now.

The proposals were submitted to the Airports Commission addressing a shortage of capacity in the UK.

The commission last year decided not to shortlist proposals for expanding Birmingham but said there was likely to be a case for considering the airport as a potential option for expansion by 2050.

Under the plans submitted to the commission, the airport would also have an additional terminal and see up to 500,000 take-offs and landings annually.

The plan has a heavyweight coalition behind it, with business leaders, local councils and MPs all firmly on board including MP Mark Garnier (Con Wyre Forest), Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group.

An Aviation Commission set up by the Government is considering whether to allow a new runway at Heathrow or at Gatwick Airport.

Birmingham Airport has urged the commission to give a greater role to airports in other parts of the country.

http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/regional-affairs/lib-dem-mp-lorely-burt-7715790

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Formula 1 boss’s fury over new Heathrow aircraft noise – at least with Formula 1 people know where the noise is

A significant Formula One car racing engineer, who lives in Sunninghill under a Heathrow flight path test route, has joined an increasing band of residents complaining about the new flight paths over Bracknell and Ascot. He describes them as “intolerable”.  The chief technical officer at Formula One team Red Bull Racing has hit out at Heathrow after its new trial flight paths started last Thursday, for 5 months. The aims of the trials are to try to reduce ‘stacking’, speeding up departure times to cut departure intervals, so increasing airport profits. He said though having lived in Sunninghill since 1997 and the noise has never been an issue before. “It is pretty intolerable because currently we have planes flying over our heads at 11pm at night …. it’s very antisocial really. ….I can’t even sit in my garden and socialise with my friends because it is just too noisy. There has been no proper consultation…” Realising he himself works in a very noisy industry, he said “… with Formula One is that there are no new race tracks being built anywhere, so people who buy houses next to race tracks know what they are getting.” There is an active petition in the Ascot area against the flight path trials, with around 2,400 signatures today. 

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To view and sign the Ascot are petition visit :  Change.org – Ascot flight path petition

A TOP Formula One engineer has joined an increasing band of residents complaining of Heathrow Airport’s new flightpaths over Bracknell and Ascot, describing them as “intolerable”.

Photo owned by Rex Features

Adrian Newey, the chief technical officer at Formula One team Red Bull Racing, who lives in Sunninghill, has hit out at the airport’s bosses after its new trial flight paths started last Thursday.

Over the next five months, airport bosses and air traffic controllers are experimenting with flight path changes and new technology systems in a bid to reduce ‘stacking’ in the air and speed up departure times, putting more planes in the air at a faster rate.

Mr Newey, speaking exclusively to the News, said: “I have lived in Sunninghill since 1997 and it has never been an issue before.

“It is pretty intolerable because currently we have planes flying over our heads at 11pm at night, which is not ideal when I am in bed early due to an early start – it’s very antisocial really.

“It is just not pleasant. I can’t even sit in my garden and socialise with my friends because it is just too noisy. There has been no proper consultation with us either.”

Referring to the fact that he himself is involved in a noisy sport, Mr Newey said “I am involved in a noisy sport but the thing with Formula One is that there are no new race tracks being built anywhere, so people who buy houses next to race tracks know what they are getting.”

Mr Newey’s partner Amanda Smerczak has started a petition against the changes, asking the Government to stop them. It has so far attracted nearly 900 signatures.

Passenger jets have started passing over residents’ homes as low as 3,000ft.

There are six different trial routes for aircraft taking off from Heathrow, of which three affect our area. Some aircraft pass over Ascot and parts of Bracknell – including Martin’s Heron, Great Hollands, Birch Hill and Crown Wood.

Another to the north passes over North Ascot and the racecourse, while a further one to the south goes over Sunningdale and Lightwater.

The trial will last until January 26.

There will be a public consultation in 2016 and Heathrow’s ‘noise team’ has been briefed to deal with complaints.

Martin’s Heron resident Nigel Dumbrell, vice-chairman of the Harmans Water & The Parks, Martin’s Heron & The Warren Neighbourhood Action Group, said he was in his garden on Sunday and that the noise was ‘unbelievable’.

He said: “This is a new experience for us and is just not on. There must have been at least 20 planes flying low on Sunday.

“The aircraft were so low you could see their undercarriages.”

He added: “The airport did not warn us about these new flightpaths. We are happy to work closely with other NAG [Neighbourhood Action Group] and community groups in the area about this issue.”

Despite residents accusing the airport of a lack of consultation, a Heathrow spokesman said its proposals had not been kept under wraps and were accessible online.

There is a petition ready to sign aiming to stop the flight path trial immediately.

To view and sign this petition visit :  Change.org – Ascot flight path petition

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http://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/bracknell/articles/2014/09/08/103481-formula-1-bosss-fury-over-heathrow-aircraft-noise/

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Earlier:

Heathrow flight path changes / trial inflict more noise misery on Ascot area and 3 villages area

Heathrow airport and NATS are experimenting with flight path changes and new technology systems for Heathrow flights. The aim is to reduce ‘stacking’ of aircraft waiting to land, and to speed up departure times, getting more planes in the air per hour – in order make the airport more efficient (or more profitable). There is a series of trials, over a period of years from 2012 to 2017, advertised on Heathrow’s website. They are to inform the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) consultation. One trial, for departures to the west, started on 28th August and will last till January 2015. It will test how sharply aircraft are able to turn on take-off and how fast they can climb. The results will be factored into Heathrow’s revision of flight paths that are required under the European ‘SESAR’ programme. The reality for people being over-flown is that there are now more aircraft passing over Ascot, Sunningdale and Sunninghill, and these planes are low (around 3,000 feet) and climbing. The gaps between planes are also shorter than before. A petition has been set up by people in the Ascot area, to get the trial ended immediately. The new noise barrage has created new fears in those areas of the impact of a 3rd runway.

Click here to view full story…

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And

Conservative Councillors urge residents to speak up against noisy flight plan changes

10 SEPTEMBER 2014

Conservative Councillors in Ascot and the surrounding areas have urged residents to speak up against Heathrow’s trialled changes to their flight plans which have resulted in increased noise levels.

On the day the Davies Airport Commission reported interim findings that keep Heathrow expansion firmly on the table, Councillors in Ascot have urged residents to make their views about the airport’s flightpath trials affecting their area known.

Cllr Lynda Yong (Con, Sunninghill & South Ascot) said: “These changes came unannounced by Heathrow. The number of complaints I have received over the last few days as a result of the noise has been more than I have received in the entire twelve years I have been elected.

“Residents are extremely upset and my advice to them is to let Heathrow know directly about their concerns. I will be working with fellow councillors to see what the Council can also do in response to Heathrow’s actions.”

Cllr David Hilton (Con, Ascot & Cheapside) added: “Many people in the area depend on Heathrow, but Heathrow has to be reasonable. I urge those affected by the noise in this trial to write to  noise_complaints@heathrow.com. The more complaints they receive, the lower the probability that the trials will become permanent.”

The Conservative Authority has a good track record of standing up for residents who suffer the consequences of noise caused by Heathrow through innovative projects to monitor excessive aircraft noise, including the mobile phone app “WideNoise” throughout last year.

Cllr Carwyn Cox (Con, Hurley & the Walthams) Lead Member for Environmental Services commented: “Ascot residents should make their voice known to Heathrow Airport and highlight the disruption the aircraft noise creates. The Council will also collate any representations received in order to incorporate important resident concerns into its ongoing consultation with both Heathrow and the independent Airports Commission, as this is a worrying development for the residents who are being affected by the changed flightpaths.”

http://www.rbwmconservatives.com/conservative-councillors-urge-residents-to-speak-up-against-noisy-flight-plan-changes/

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Campaigners call on CAA to suspend consultation on City Airport flight paths

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Campaigners call on CAA to suspect consultation on City Airport flight paths

Campaign group HACAN East has written to the Civil Aviation Authority to ask it to suspend the current consultation being carried out by London City Airport into flight path changes in East London (letter copied below).  

HACAN East argues that the tens of thousands of residents who are in line to get more planes if the flight path changes go ahead are not being told about them.  London City is proposing to concentrate the flights taking off from the airport in a narrow corridor. 

Areas directly under the favored flight path will be Bow, Hackney Wick, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone, Barkingside and Colliers Row.   City Airport is currently consulting on the proposed changes but is not leafleting the areas that will be worst affected.

The changes are part of a wider reorganization of the airspace across London and the South East which is been overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).  New computer technology can now guide aircraft much more accurately when they are landing and taking off.  It gives airports the option of varying the routes the planes use in order to give all residents some respite from the noise or of concentrating all the planes on one route. 

London City has chosen to concentrate the aircraft.

HACAN East chair John Stewart said, “Quite simply, London City is creating a noise ghetto.  No wonder they are afraid to spell out to the residents what is in store for them. Nobody is telling the residents what will be in store for them.”

Stewart added, “We have written an official letter to the CAA, which oversees the consultation, calling for it to be suspended.

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The City Airport consultation documents can be found at  http://www.londoncityairport.com/londonairspacemanagement 

The consultation started on 4th September and runs until 27th November 2014.

Responses to the consultation should be emailed to lamp@londoncityairport.com


Letter to the CAA

Dear Sir/Madam,

 I am writing to you to express our concerns about the shortcomings in the current LAMP  [London Airspace Management Programme] consultation being carried out by London City Airport.

 We believe they are serious.  The consultation makes it clear that the future flight paths will be concentrated over particular areas yet there is no guarantee in this consultation that the residents who will be impacted will be made aware of this fact and offered the opportunity to respond.

 London City identifies the key stakeholders who are being consulted as “The London City Airport Consultative Committee (ACC) which includes representatives of Local Authorities, community representatives and other organisations that have expressed an interest in the activities of the airport; members of the National Air Traffic Management Committee (NATMAC) which includes representatives of all types of airspace users; airlines that operate from London City Airport”.

 As far as we are aware neither the consultative committee nor the local authorities have plans for a door-to-door leaflet drop to the tens of thousands of residents who will find themselves living under the concentrated flight paths.  We are not even certain it is their job to do so.  It is probably the role of the airport.  We are also not aware of any public meetings being organized in the affected areas.  For example, we believe parts of Leytonstone will be badly affected.  Who has told the residents?

 If your powers allow you to do so, we would urge you to order all stakeholders to be fully consulted during this consultation or to suspend it and require a fresh consultation to take place.

 Yours sincerely,

 John Stewart

Chair HACAN East

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See also:

London City Airport accused of creating a “noise ghetto” with proposed concentrated flight paths

London City Airport have started a consultation on airspace changes (4th September to 27th November) as it wishes to alter flight paths. The change will be because instead of less accurate navigation by aircraft, they now can fly using a very accurate form of satnav for planes. This is referred to as RNAV, meaning precision navigation, by which aircraft can all fly a course accurate to within a few hundred metres. The effect is concentration of flight paths, so most fly the exact same route, and anyone living under that route gets all the planes, and all the noise. Campaign group HACAN East has accused London City Airport of failing to spell out to tens of thousands of residents in East London that they are in line to get many more planes overhead if proposed flight path changes go ahead. The consultation does not make this clear. Areas directly under the favored flight path – and the concentration -will be Bow, Hackney Wick, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone, Barkingside and Colliers Row. The effect will be to create a noise ghetto. Air traffic controllers like concentration of flight paths. However, it is often better – less unfair – to share out the noise burden, so many people get some flights, rather than a few getting them all.

Click here to view full story…

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More news about the airport at 

 London City Airport News.

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London City Airport accused of creating a “noise ghetto” with proposed concentrated flight paths

London City Airport have started a consultation on airspace changes (4th September to 27th November) as it wishes to alter flight paths. The change will be because instead of less accurate navigation by aircraft, they now can fly using a very accurate form of satnav for planes. This is referred to as RNAV, meaning precision navigation,  by which aircraft can all fly a course accurate to within a few hundred metres. The effect is concentration of flight paths, so most fly the exact same route, and anyone living under that route gets all the planes, and all the noise.  Campaign group HACAN East has accused London City Airport of failing to spell out to tens of thousands of residents in East London that they are in line to get many more planes overhead if proposed flight path changes go ahead. The consultation does not make this clear. Areas directly under the favored flight path – and the concentration -will be Bow, Hackney Wick, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone, Barkingside and Colliers Row.  The effect will be to create a noise ghetto. Air traffic controllers like concentration of flight paths. However, it is often better – less unfair – to share out the noise burden, so many people get some flights, rather than a few getting them all.

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London City Airport creating a “noise ghetto” with proposed flight path changes

7.9.2014

CAMPAIGNERS ACCUSE LONDON CITY AIRPORT OF CREATING A NOISE GHETTO WITH PROPOSED FLIGHT PATH CHANGES

Campaign group HACAN East has accused London City Airport of failing to spell out to tens of thousands of residents in East London that they are in line to get many more planes overhead if proposed flight path changes go ahead. 

London City is proposing to concentrate the flights taking off from the airport in a narrow corridor.  Areas directly under the favored flight path will be Bow, Hackney Wick, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone, Barkingside and Colliers Row.  

City Airport is currently consulting on the proposed changes but is not leafleting the areas that will be worst affected (1).

The main consultation document is at  London City Airport RNAV Replications 

The changes are part of a wider reorganization of the airspace across London and the South East which is been overseen by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).  LAMP – London Airspace Management Programme. 

New computer technology can now guide aircraft much more accurately when they are landing and taking off.  [Like satnav for planes]. It gives airports the option of varying the routes the planes use in order to give all residents some respite from the noise or of concentrating all the planes on one route. 

London City has chosen to concentrate the aircraft. 

HACAN East chair John Stewart said, “Quite simply, London City is creating a noise ghetto.  No wonder they are afraid to spell out to the residents what is in store for them.  The contrast with Heathrow couldn’t be more marked.  Heathrow are planning to consult widely on the changes and to use the new technology to share out the noise burden.”

Stewart added, “We will be officially reporting London City to the CAA because of the poor quality of their consultation.  They simply have not made clear to people what is in store for them.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

(1). The consultation documents can be found at http://www.londoncityairport.com/londonairspacemanagement.  

 It started on 4th September and runs until 27th November 2014.  Responses to the consultation should be emailed to lamp@londoncityairport.com

http://stopcityairportmasterplan.tumblr.com/post/96861365085/press-release-london-city-airport-creating-a-noise

The London City Airport website says of their consultation:

From 4 September to 27 November 2014 London City Airport (LCY) is consulting on proposals to modernise its flight paths, to allow the introduction of Area Navigation (RNAV**), superseding the ground-based navigational systems used today.  The consultation is a statutory requirement according to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations.

The London City Airport proposal seeks to replicate the existing conventional flight paths with equivalent RNAV routes.  The concept is not optional – a legal mandate is being introduced by the Civil Aviation Authority which will require all aircraft to be equipped to navigate using RNAV by November 2017, and a mandate for the airspace to provide RNAV routes is expected to be effective by winter 2019. 

The proposed changes are key to achieving network efficiency and reducing delays in the south and are an important part of the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP), NATS’ wider programme to modernise the air route system over London and the south east.


Right arrow London City Airport says:

http://www.londoncityairport.com/londonairspacemanagement

What do these proposals mean to people living, and businesses located, near to the airport?

Aircraft departing from, and arriving at, London City Airport will continue to fly along the same routes as they do today. However, because these will become RNAV routes, the aircraft will fly them more accurately, meaning they will be consistently closer to the centreline of said route.

This has the effect of reducing the overall area overflown, but it will increase the concentration of over-flights in some areas beneath the centreline of the given route.

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Is London City Airport alone in this concept?

London City Airport is not alone in changing over to RNAV routes. The proposed changes are an important part of the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP), a  wider programme to modernise the air route system over London and the south east that is being led by NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic services. This is essential for the delivery of the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), the Civil Aviation Authority’s blueprint for modernising airspace by 2020.The undertaking of LAMP and the introduction of RNAV routes at airports is not optional – a legal mandate is being introduced by the Civil Aviation Authority, which will require all aircraft to be equipped to navigate using RNAV by November 2017, and a mandate for the airspace to provide RNAV routes is expected to be effective by winter 2019.

Right arrow 

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Why is the consultation required?

While the London City Airport proposal is for replication of existing flight paths to make them RNAV compliant, the CAA’s Airspace Change Process and the CAA Policy on RNAV replication of conventional procedures state that formal consultation is required to ensure that the London City Airport Consultative Committee has the opportunity to provide feedback.

Right arrow 

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What is this consultation not about?

This consultation only concerns aircraft arriving to/departing from London City Airport. It is not related to air traffic growth in general nor changes to the ground-based infrastructure at London City Airport.

This consultation is specifically not about the permission that London City Airport has to increase its flight movements to 120,000 per annum, nor is it about the City Airport Development Programme planning application which is with Newham Council for determination.

This consultation is also not concerned with RNAV as a future tool, any other or future development, any aspect of Government airport or airspace policy or the establishment of controlled airspace.

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Right arrow 

Who are the stakeholders in the consultation?

This is a public consultation, however the key stakeholders are:

  • The London City Airport Consultative Committee (ACC) which includes representatives of Local Authorities, community representatives and other organisations that have expressed an interest in the activities of the airport
  • Members of the National Air Traffic Management Committee (NATMAC) which includes representatives of all types of airspace users.
  • Airlines that operate from London City Airport.
  • [Note - this does not mention local residents and those to be overflown, with a concentration of flights overhead, and therefore substantially more noise].
  • —–

Right arrow 

What happens to the responses to the consultation?

Responses to the Consultation are used to prepare a formal submission to the CAA Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG) regarding proposed routes.

Right arrow —

When does the CAA SARG decide on the outcome of the consultation?

Following consultation, London City Airport will submit an Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) to the CAA. The CAA will make a decision within 16 weeks of the submission of the ACP. This is expected to be during the summer 2015

Right arrow —

Where can I go if I have concerns regarding how the consultation is being carried out?

This consultation is being conducted by London City Airport. The CAA SARG will oversee the consultation, to ensure that it adheres to CAA process and government guidelines. If there are any complaints about how this consultation has been conducted, these should be referred to:

Airspace Business Coordinator
Airspace, ATM and Aerodromes
Safety & Airspace Regulation Group
CAA House
45 – 59 Kingsway
London
WC2B 6TE

E-mail: airspace.policy@caa.co.uk

Please note that this address is for concerns and complaints regarding non-adherence to the defined consultation process. The SARG will not engage with consultees on details of this consultation. Response to the nature of this specific consultation should be addressed to London City Airport. The SARG will receive details of your response as part of the formal ACP submission for this proposal.

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** RNAV is explained by NATS to mean:

Precision RNAV, otherwise known as RNAV1 is a capability that uses the aircraft’s Flight Management System (FMS) to fly routes with an accuracy of 1 mile or better. In practice this is a minimum standard and the aircraft actually fly very much more accurately than that. The advantage over conventional procedures is that routes can be designed to optimise trajectory for fuel burn, noise, air traffic control capacity and safety without being constrained by the position of traditional ground based navigation aids.

With aircraft being able to follow a defined route much more accurately, it is possible to concentrate them over a smaller area, radically reducing the number of people exposed to aircraft noise. The problem of course is that those under the new departure route could potentially experience more noise.

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It is explained by London City Airport as

RNAV is an advanced, highly accurate method of aircraft navigation.  RNAV (Area Navigation) is the ability of an aircraft’s Flight Management System (FMS) to navigate by means of waypoints defined by latitude and longitude, rather than by conventional ground based navigational aids. Basic Area Navigation (B-RNAV ) has navigational accuracy ± 5 nautical miles either side of a routes centreline and its capability is mandated in UK controlled airspace currently.

The RNAV (technically known as RNAV1) has an accuracy of + 1 nautical mile either side of the centreline which allows better track keeping and as such the replicated route’s proposed for London City Airport are all designed to this specification.


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An AirportWatch member commented:

My recollection of the Southend & Gatwick airspace change proposals had to take account of London City, in quite a complicated way, and interweave etc., accordingly.
Hence my limited perception would be that closing LCA would enable flights for other airports to fly higher and cause less disturbance to those on the ground.
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HACAN to distribute 50,000 copies of newspaper “Third Runway News” setting out reasons against it

HACAN has proudly launched a new local newspaper, called “Third Runway News,” a new publication which provides residents of west London, east Berkshire and north Surrey with the facts about what an expanded Heathrow Airport would mean for them. It is 4 pages in full colour, illustrated – link at Third Runway News.  HACAN is a residents-led campaign, and by contrast with the millions of ££s that Heathrow airport has for its publicity, benefits from the work of local volunteers. The new newspaper has been designed by a local HACAN member, not by a hugely expensive professional design company.  The paper asks people to get in touch to say which of the many impacts of a 3rd runway they are most concerned about. These include noise pollution, air pollution, increased car traffic, loss of their home – or loss of the value of their home, or impacts on children and schools from aircraft noise. Meanwhile Heathrow airport have massive adverts, containing extravagant claims for “benefits” of a 3rd runway, (with no supporting evidence), such as “120,000 more jobs” and “£100 billion of economic benefits (not time-scale indicated)” and “loss of £125 billion per month in last trade” for every month without the new runway.  Really??
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HACAN to distribute 50,000 newspapers outlining reasons why a 3rd Heathrow runway should not be built

5.9.2014  (HACAN)

HACAN has proudly launched Third Runway News, a new publication providing residents of west London, east Berkshire and north Surrey with the facts about what an expanded Heathrow Airport would mean for them.

Read the illustrated 4 page newspaper: ThirdRunwayNews-digitalversion (temporarily hosted on the site of S.H.E Stop Heathrow Expansion,our sister organisation).

Third runway news

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page one (of four) of Third Runway News.

HACAN is a residents-led campaign and indeed this newspaper was designed by one of our local members, not by a hugely expensive professional design company.  HACAN relies on donations and membership fees to fund our activities.

Unlike some other campaign organisations, we are not bankrolled by Heathrow Airport!

Whether it is noise pollution, air pollution or increased traffic, there are plenty of reasons why a third runway should never be allowed to take off. This newspaper explains why.

Find your village or town in the yellow banner running across the top of each page and spread the word around your neighbourhood today!

Will it affect you

 

For much more information on our campaign and activities, email us on info@hacan.org.uk

[HACAN = Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise]

http://hacan.org.uk/hacan-to-distribute-50000-newspapers-outlining-reasons-why-a-3rd-runway-shouldnt-be-built/

 

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Heathrow airport adverts

By contrast, Heathrow (with millions of ££s to spend on its PR campaign) has recently put out a new set of adverts.

Below is one of them. Judge for yourself the accuracy of these claims (for which no backing evidence is given).

Heathrow advert Sept 2014

Heathrow advert text

 

 

 

http://your.heathrow.com/new-adverts-release-taking-britain/

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Prime Economics: “Out of thin air – the economic case for a 3rd Heathrow runway” – takes apart the claims made by Heathrow

Prime Economics, a group of independent economic thinkers, has taken a look at Heathrow’s claims about the economic case for a 3rd runway. They are not impressed. While Heathrow (see its latest advert) says: “If we want Britain’s economy to keep growing, we need to grow Heathrow”, the reality is very different. Among Heathrow’s dodgy 3rd runway economic claims, they say: “• It will bring economic benefits of £100bn • It will bring 120,000 new jobs • Every month the problem goes unresolved is costing the British economy £1.25bn through lost trade”. Prime Economics says “the evidence for each of these is very thin and hypothetical …. The link between trade and airport capacity is at best indirect, and certainly opaque. At a macroeconomic level, the impact is simply invisible.” They say “Economies depend on many factors, and hub capacity is one of the least significant, at least once you reach a decent threshold of scale.” They pick to pieces the £1.25 billion figure; the idea that the UK needs flights to every destination in every country; and the hub competition between EU countries. “The current debate assumes exponential growth both of our economies and of our travel into the indefinite future. This will not happen … Airports …are not the main drivers of economic success nor of national well-being.” Well worth reading.

Click here to view full story…

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Woodland Trust asking Gatwick respondents to send a photo of themselves, to prove to Gatwick they are real people

Gatwick carried out a consultation, that ended on 16th May) about its 2nd runway plans. There were some 7,700 responses (the vast majority against a new runway) and of those, 4,092 came through a campaign by the Woodland Trust. However, in its analysis of the consultation responses, Ipsos Mori decided to discount these responses, as they had been generated by a campaign and were sent in electronically. It is too convenient for the airport to discount over half the responses in this way. The Woodland Trust is now asking everyone who backs their campaign against Gatwick destroying areas of ancient woodland for its runway, to send in photos and details of themselves, in order to prove to the powers-that-be that they are real people, their opinions are real, and there is no reason for their consultation responses to be invalidated.You can add your photo, and a brief comment, on the Woodland Trust website here. The Trust is rightly appalled at suggestions by Gatwick that they can justify destroying ancient woodland by just offsetting it, through planting 3 new saplings to replace each ancient tree – or translocating woodland soil to new locations for new saplings. Neither even partly replace the richness, quality and diversity of true ancient woods.
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Click here to upload your photo, on the Woodland Trust site.

Say NO to ancient woodland loss at Gatwick

Map of land at Gatwick airport

Gatwick’s owners need to see the real people behind genuine concerns for ancient woodland.

The Woodland Trust says:
Thank you for all your responses to the consultation into a new runway at Gatwick Airport. Over 50% of all responses received were generated by our campaign. As a result, the impact on ancient woodland and the existing wildlife corridors from each of the three new runway options has been pushed to the forefront of the debate.

However, a post-consultation report suggests the views we helped submit to the official consultation were collected as part of an ‘organised campaign’. We need to make sure they are counted as individual submissions.

New plans also continue to include fundamental misunderstandings about the ecological impact a new runway will have, as well as worrying ideas like ‘offsetting’ irreplaceable ancient woodland.

Better understanding of this precious woodland is crucial to its future, so we’ve invited Gatwick’s Airports Commission Director to visit nearby Edolph’s Copse with our conservation experts to see ancient woodland close up.

We also want to make sure your views are taken into account, so we’ll personally hand him a hard copy of the 1,058 additional comments our campaign generated.

You’re a real person; help us prove it to Gatwick’s owners

To further emphasise that the submissions our campaign generated came from real people, with unique views about the impact of a new runway, we are asking you to send us a selfie with a special message to Gatwick’s owners. We’ll take these photos along to our meeting to make sure your views are heard.

Show your face for ancient woodland – add your photo to our website.

http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/campaigning/campaigns/gatwick-expansion/

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4092 responses were facilitated by the Woodland Trust’s campaign – more than half of the total number Gatwick received – and all expressed concern about three areas of ancient woodland that will be lost or severely damaged by the plans. Respondents included customers of Gatwick and local residents.

Concern has been raised locally about whether these responses have been properly considered by Gatwick’s owners, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

The Woodland Trust is satisfied that respondents’ calls for the airport to think carefully about ancient woodland protection have been heard, but is alarmed that in an apparent attempt to alter its plans, GIP has made inaccurate, and in some instances completely inappropriate, proposals that neither avoid, nor fully compensate for the loss and damage that would be caused to ancient woodland – an irreplaceable habitat.

Woodland Trust Campaigner, Katharine Rist, said: “Thanks to thousands of people raising the issue, ancient woodland is mentioned extensively within Gatwick Airport’s report. But Gatwick’s new proposals to deal with loss and damage to wildlife corridors and precious habitats are misguided at best. We hope to speak directly to the owners of Gatwick and help them understand the complex nature of ancient woodland and why best practice would actually be to avoid any loss of this irreplaceable habitat in line with the mitigation hierarchy.”

Gatwick’s report cites the need to ‘offset’ (1) the loss of ancient woodland and proposes to do this by planting three new trees to every one lost in an ancient wood, which it describes as ‘meeting best practice’.

Katharine continued: “Ancient woodland is not solely about trees. It is a habitat of national significance – a unique ecosystem containing complex soil structures that have lain undisturbed for hundreds, potentially thousands, of years. It is crucial GIP fully understand what it is putting at risk. Both the Woodland Trust and DEFRA agree it can not be ‘offset’. Planting new woodland at three times the amount of ancient woodland lost will never result in a habitat of the same biodiversity value.”

‘Translocation’ is also cited by Gatwick as a possible solution to ancient woodland loss. This method requires a woodland habitat first to be felled, and then the top layer of soil dug up and relocated by lorry to another site to use as the basis for new planting. The Woodland Trust has seen no evidence of successful translocation despite several Freedom of Information requests to Government departments (2) and considers it a salvage operation at best.

A suggestion was even made in the report that the Woodland Trust might take on ownership and management of land that had been used for offsetting the loss of ancient woodland, which goes completely against the charity’s stated aims.

The Woodland Trust will continue to oppose any airport expansion that results in the loss of ancient woodland and to lobby for the protection of ancient woodland around Gatwick Airport. To this end, it will be attending the GATCOM meeting in October and hopes to see Gatwick’s plans improve significantly before they form part of any further consultation.

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(1) Biodiversity Offsetting

There is currently no best practice when it comes to biodiversity offsetting for other habitats since Government is yet to publish its response to the consultation it held last year, or publish the results of the pilot studies that ended in April.

The maximum metric currently advocated by Defra for biodiversity offsetting is 30:1. Defra agree that ancient woodland can not be offset because it is irreplaceable and suggest that where loss is deemed unavoidable a ‘bespoke’ scheme should be used. Therefore, the Trust believes that any bespoke scheme should take 30:1 as its starting point and planting should be sensitively sited, taking full account of the principles set out in the Lawton review and endorsed by the Natural Environment White Paper of “bigger, better, and more joined up landscapes”.

(2) Translocation – FOI requests

The Woodland Trust has asked for monitoring records from a site translocated as part of HS1 (the Channel Tunnel rail link) but, despite being referred to by ministers as a ‘success’, no monitoring records can be traced.

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Earlier:

Woodland Trust highlights loss of 3 areas of ancient woodland for Gatwick runway

6.5.2014

Though much of the area that would be flattened and covered in concrete and tarmac for a 2nd Gatwick runway – and associated building – would be fields and grassland, there are also three areas of ancient woodland.  The Woodland Trust has assessed the woods that are threatened and found that they  are significant and have important local biodiversity value. The current Gatwick consultation on its runway options (there is only one of the options that the airport wants, and the consultation has no proper way for respondents to say they oppose any new runway) barely recognises the impact a new runway will have on this irreplaceable habitat. The fact it will also wipe out the last remaining ecological network for wildlife around the whole of the south side of the airport is ignored.  The Woodland Trust is urging people to respond to the consultation, either by just saying NO to any of the options, or giving more detail in the response boxes to reflect the proposed destruction of these valuable bits of high quality woodland.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=21208

 

with more detail of how the Woodland Trust encouraged their supporters to respond to the Gatwick consultation, to help protect woodland (and other habitats) at threat.

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Prime Economics: “Out of thin air – the economic case for a 3rd Heathrow runway”

Prime Economics, a group of independent economic thinkers, has taken a look at Heathrow’s claims about the economic case for a 3rd runway. They are not impressed. While Heathrow (see its latest advert) says: “If we want Britain’s economy to keep growing, we need to grow Heathrow”, the reality is very different. Among Heathrow’s dodgy 3rd runway economic claims, they say:  “• It will bring economic benefits of £100bn • It will bring 120,000 new jobs • Every month the problem goes unresolved is costing the British economy £1.25bn through lost trade”. Prime Economics says “the evidence for each of these is very thin and hypothetical …. The link between trade and airport capacity is at best indirect, and certainly opaque. At a macroeconomic level, the impact is simply invisible.” They say “Economies depend on many factors, and hub capacity is one of the least significant, at least once you reach a decent threshold of scale.” They pick to pieces the £1.25 billion figure; the idea that the UK needs flights to every destination in every country; and the hub competition between EU countries. “The current debate assumes exponential growth both of our economies and of our travel into the indefinite future.  This will not happen … Airports …are not the main drivers of economic success nor of national well-being.” Well worth reading.
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Out of thin air – the economic case for a 3rd Heathrow runway

By Jeremy Smith,

3rd September 2014  (Prime Economics)

When I last twice travelled directly to Guangzhou, by China Southern Airline out of Heathrow, the flight was nearly full. But not – by visual impression at least – full of thrusting British entrepreneurs keen to visit the most vibrant economic region of China, thanks to this direct link from Britain’s hub airport. More like ordinary Chinese workers and some visitors. No – increasing trade is a more complex issue by far.

Which is one of many reasons why I was truly jaundiced reading Heathrow Airport’s advertisement yesterday, which compiled a list of highly dubious claims as to the benefits to all of us in the UK of a 3rd runway at Heathrow. I have no doubt that a 3rd runway there would be of benefit to the shareholders of Heathrow Airport, and might conceivably be nicer for passengers, but the specifically economic case for choosing Heathrow over say Gatwick – or indeed Boris Island – is still as thin as ever.

Yet we are being bombarded with phony or super-fragile statistics trying to bludgeon us into thinking that the UK will collapse economically overnight if those 3,500 metres of tarmac are not built tomorrow morning on Heathrow’s green and pleasant land.

Two years ago to the day we produced a short paper “Why the economic case for a 3rd runway at Heathrow still won’t fly”, and 2 years on, it still doesn’t. 

Heathrow’s dodgy claims

Among the dodgy economic claims by Heathrow Airport for the 3rd runway:

• It will bring economic benefits of £100bn
• It will bring 120,000 new jobs
• Every month the problem goes unresolved is costing the British economy £1.25bn through lost trade

The evidence for each of these is very thin and hypothetical – like money, created out of thin air. The link between trade and airport capacity is at best indirect, and certainly opaque. At a macroeconomic level, the impact is simply invisible.

Let us look at the overall national GDP figures in recent years for the main European countries with major hubs – the UK (Heathrow), France (Charles de Gaulle), Germany (Frankfurt), Netherlands (Schiphol), Madrid…

From Eurostat, here in the first column is the average % change per country in GDP between 2003 and 2013, the period when Heathrow’s competitors have been swiftly expanding their hub capacity while Heathrow has been, we are told, capacity constrained. And in the second column, the average % change in GDP from 2008 to 2013

2003-13 2008-13
UK 1.4 0.03
Netherlands 0.9 -0.25
France 1.0 0.11
Germany 1.2 0.73
Spain 1.1 -0.97

See a clear pattern? See how a rapid rise in hub capacity grows your economy faster?  Er, no. There is simply no pattern to be discerned.

Economies depend on many factors, and hub capacity is one of the least significant, at least once you reach a decent threshold of scale. Over the whole 11 year period, the UK has “grown” on average faster than its “competitors”. Since the great crash of 2008, Germany has grown on average faster, and France a teensy weensy bit faster, than the UK, while the Netherlands – with rapid growth in capacity and destinations at Schiphol – has slumped and Spain has spiralled downwards. (If we look further afield at at JFK New York, its passenger numbers are tiny in comparison with Heathrow.  Yet New York’s economy still seems to be standing.)

You may have noticed that the hub-constrained UK seems to be increasing GDP more than the Eurozone-constrained but hub-growing rivals in 2014, with the UK almost certain to leap ahead of France, for example, if one averages GDP changes from 2008 to 2014.

Heathrow Airport’s favoured consultant economists, Frontier Economics, contend that with a full unconstrained hub in Heathrow, UK GDP would grow by around 1% per year – hence the silly statistic above that claims we are losing £1.25 billion per month because the “problem” is not “resolved”. But they do not back this up with any firm evidence. It is pure – and implausible – hypothesis.

The other statistic – economic benefits of £100 billion (over what period, the ad does not say) is around 6% of UK GDP – a big change if ever achieved over a single year (the chance of which is zero).  But since there is no evidence of overall economic national economic gain from new hubs, please maintain due scepticism.

Heathrow still Europe’s No.1 passenger hub

The truth is that Heathrow remains Europe’s largest hub airport, in terms of passenger numbers passing through, and its “competitors” are only slowly catching up – if at all.  Combine with Gatwick, the London capacity and throughput is hugely greater than any other European capital. Here are the latest figures from the Airports Council International for the 12 months to end of May 2014 :

airport passenger numbers 2013-4

For all the scare tactics, Heathrow is still way ahead of other EU hubs, with 10 million more passengers than Charles de Gaulle, 14 million more than Frankfurt, and 19 million more than Schiphol.  And what is not explained is why it would matter if another European country’s hub caught up with London, since “big hub” does not equal “better economy”.

CBI joins in the propaganda

Alas, the CBI have also leapt in (in what looks like an engineered lobbying exercise) using the same flawed logic as Heathrow Airport:

“With the UK’s hub capacity at Heathrow already full, the UK is falling behind on direct flights to emerging markets. … [T]he UK’s EU competitors with their own unconstrained capacity are creating connections to new destinations within the BRICS such as Xiamen in China and Recife in Brazil, as well as links to the major markets of the future, like Peru, Indonesia, Taipei and Chile.

Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:

“The Chancellor has set businesses ambitious targets for increasing the UK’s exports, and there is simply no way of achieving these goals without upping our game in emerging markets. Our analysis last year demonstrated that connectivity is the lifeblood of trade, but it also highlighted that the UK is already falling behind, so every day we delay making a decision, makes matters worse.”

Again the meme, “every day we delay makes matters worse..” as if repetition makes it true.

What is never explained by the propagandists is that each country’s hub serves a set of destinations that has in part a historic logic.  Thus Paris serves the French ex-colonies, Heathrow the British ex-colonies and the Anglosphere, while Frankfurt has more flights into Russia.  Of course it is a good idea to have more flights to China and fast-growing economies, and Heathrow is indeed weak in China direct flights.  But it is stronger than the other hubs in its India links.  Each hub has relative strengths and weaknesses, and they can’t all fly everywhere.

Cooperation not competition for the EU hubs

What is wrong, indeed dangerous, is the whole notion of a competitive race between EU hubs. The Heathrow ad says

“While Britain wrings its hands over the site of a new runway, our competitors in France, Germany and the Netherlands are rubbing theirs.  They have the hub capacity.  They have the will to grow it. And they have the wholehearted support to take what could be Britian’s.”

Twaddle.  It is physically impossible for all countries to have a spoke and hub system that links to every big city in every country.  It is even more undesirable to do so, in terms of the global environment and climate change. At the margins, there will be some competition for routes.  But in essence, the EU hubs need to cooperate.

From the perspective of a British resident wanting to travel to another continent (say, Asia), unless you live in a big city and are able to travel to another big city directly, you are likely to need to travel through a hub.  But whether it is in the UK or elsewhere is of frankly little importance.  So whether you change at Heathrow, Schiphol or Singapore is neither here nor there – it depends on timing, convenience and quality of experience. And this is so whether you are a tourist or businessperson.

You can succeed even without a hub!

Many countries are successful economically without having a major hub airport.  Take Sweden and Austria for example.  As Europeans, we need to use cooperation and common sense when it comes to transport infrastructure.  Not simply pretend that we can forever scavenge for finite, minuscule economic benefits that we try to steal from each other.

It is for government and the aviation industry, at UK and EU levels, to agree a strategy for which destinations across the world are deemed strategically important – whether for trade or other purposes.  The use of our airports should reflect this national and European interest, not just “market forces”.

The current debate assumes exponential growth both of our economies and of our travel into the indefinite future.  This will not happen as there are natural limits imposed by the earth’s resources.  Airports are important and need to be pleasant and reachable places for business and leisure.  But they are not the main drivers of economic success nor of national well-being.  Resist the self-interested lobbyists!

Appendix

Among the many dubious economics-related points made by Frontier Economics, the following chart has puzzled me in particular.  It comes from their September 2011 “Connecting for growth: the role of Britain’s hub airport in economic recovery” report which was “prepared for  Heathrow”.

London and Paris economies

This gives London’s population as 13.3 million, taken from OECD figures, I presume for metropolitan regions.  This includes Greater London (Boris’s bailiwick) plus significant parts of south-east England.  Its regional GDP is given as Euro 390 billion.  Paris, by comaprison, has a population of 11.7 million, which presumably is that of the Ile-de-France region (though the source year is not given), and the regional GDP is a mere Euro 190 billion, or just half that of London (but with 5/6ths of the population).  The source is said to be Eurostat for the whole set of information.

On 21st March 2013 Eurostat published a short release on “Regional GDP per capita in the EU in 2010″, in which it gives the Ile-de-France GDP as Euro 588 billion, with an average GDP per head of Euro 49,800.  London’s GDP is also given, as Euro 362 billion (of which inner London including the City is Euro 250 billion) but this is for the GLA area alone, which has a population of around 8 million not 13 million; the GDP per head is a little below Paris’s at Euro 46,300.  If you add the entire south-east (which goes well beyond London’s natural economic region) this would add a further Euro 244 billion of GDP, or a total of London and south-east of Euro 606 billion, a little more than Ile-de-France’s but with a larger population.

So if my reading of Eurostat’s figures on regional GDP are right, it must mean that Frontier Economics’ figures in this imporant chart are completely wrong.  Even though they provide no year for their figures, the difference is so extraordinary that it could not be accounted for by annual changes.  What is even more suspicious is that Madrid’s GDP is also given as Euro 190million (surely this is a misprint for billion?), though it has only just over half of Paris’s population.

Yet their chart is entitled “London’s population and economic clout position it to be Europe’s premier hub airport location” – an honour which, on my understanding of the true facts, should be shared with Paris and the Ile-de-France.

If as appears to me Frontier Economics have got their facts wrong on this chart, and given that there are clear accessible sources for the information as they present it, then it further enhances my doubts about their economic statistics and estimates in general – on which Heathrow Airport rely in their propaganda.  If (despite my doubts)  Frontier can demonstrate with sources that they are right on the numbers in this chart, I will of course acknowledge this fully and prominently.

 http://www.primeeconomics.org/?p=3209#more-3209

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Prime Economics say of themselves:

RIME is an economic think-tank that promotes understanding of the nature of credit, and its role in determining macroeconomic outcomes. Fundamental to our approach is an implicit and explicit restoration of ethics in relation to money and credit.

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Call for all affected by Gatwick noise to ask their councillors if they back a 2nd runway. If “Yes” – don’t vote for them

In a letter published in the West Sussex County Times, Sally Pavey – who is the chair of the local residents’ group CAGNE writes about the need for elected representatives to do more for people suffering from Gatwick flight paths. People who have now found themselves at risk of being under a concentrated PR NAV flight path need their elected representatives to work on their behalf. CAGNE was formed due to the flight path trial, called in the jargon, “ADNID” that took place for 6 months, ending in early August. Sally questions the democratic process that permits this insult to the quality of life of thousands of inoffensive citizens, in order that the foreign big-business owners of Gatwick can make more profit. She asks how democratic the airport is, when the only consultation done on flight path trials is through the GATCOM and NATMAG committees, at neither of which the public can speak. Sally urges local residents to “ask those that seek to represent you, ie parish councils, district councillors, West Sussex county councillors and your MP, a simple question. Do you support a second runway at Gatwick Airport? Yes or No. And if the answer is Yes, do not vote for them.”
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LETTER: Second runway is election issue

5.9.2014 (West Sussex County Times)

With so many residents now complaining about the noise from aircraft taking off and landing at Gatwick Airport shouldn’t those that we voted into a position of power start listening to us?

CAGNE, (Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions) formed out of the Gatwick Airport ADNID trial route, oppose a second runway at Gatwick as it would mean even greater number of planes in the sky above our homes and invites residents of West Sussex to join with them in objecting.

The ADNID trial has not gone away, as it appeared in the flawed Gatwick Airport new flight path consultation that discriminated against those it actually seeks to consult, with 120 pages of aviation jargon and inaccuracies.

The consultation will now go to the CAA and it will be down to the CAA to decide if the consultation is valid. If they do then Gatwick can identify the route they would like to progress and the Secretary of State can sign it off without consulting us again!

Where’s democracy when it comes to big business wanting to gain greater profits to please off-shore owners? According to the CEO of Gatwick recently, we’re an ‘environmental cost it can afford’.

The ADNID trial masked the introduction of PBN (Performance Based Navigation) this is sat nav for planes, where planes follow a concentrated route and this Government introduces it with no research into the impact that it has on people’s lives. Evidence from the letters in this newspaper, its coverage and emails CAGNE receive,  PBN is having a devastating affect on people’s quality of life

In other countries PBN is used to benefit the population below as it is possible to fly planes with such precision but, no, Gatwick have been allowed to place it where they wish, with no prior consultation with residents.  No surprise there – we were not told about the ADNID trial as Gatwick use GATCOM to say they consult.

GATCOM is financed by Gatwick; the aviation adviser is paid by Gatwick and apart from a few councillors and GACC [Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign] the rest of the committee is made up of those that work for Gatwick, ie trade unions, customer services, airlines, baggage handlers, and Gatwick Diamond which seeks to benefit greatly from Gatwick expanding.

You can attend a GATCOM meeting and watch – but you are not allowed to speak. How is this consulting the residents?  Did your council ask for your opinion about PBN or ADNID?

And NATMAG, another group that Gatwick claim to consult through that deals with aircraft noise, is conducted behind closed doors. That means we, the people who have to suffer the noise, are not allowed to attend!

If the consultation document is anything to go by, how can we expect our councillors to understand the aviation jargon filled proposals placed in front of them by Gatwick?  [The consultation was very widely deemed to be almost impossible for non-experts to either comprehend, or correctly respond to].

Gatwick simply have to blind the councillors with aviation jargon, which they do not have background knowledge to fully understand, and then do a sales job. Then they have achieved their aim,  ie. more planes in the sky over us, the hard working taxpayers!

I urge residents to ask those that seek to represent you, ie parish councils, district councillors, West Sussex county councillors and your MP, a simple question. Do you support a second runway at Gatwick Airport? Yes or No.

And if the answer is Yes, do not vote for them.

It was not long ago that the West Sussex Liberal Democrats voted to support the second runway at the vote brought forward by the leader of WSCC with only three days’ notice and no chance for independent groups to make representations or for any councillors to consult residents. And if I remember rightly the LibDems also wrote in this newspaper of how they aimed to change national policy to support a second runway.

And UKIP, what is your aviation policy? You keep writing about the pressure that a second runway would put on our already struggling infrastructure but answer the question. Do you support a second runway at Gatwick? Yes or No.

CAGNE oppose a second runway at Gatwick because it will destroy this rural area forever and bring a huge number of additional flight paths over us all. And it will be us, the taxpayer, that will pay for the infrastructure to support an airport larger than Heathrow with 97 million passengers and 122,000 inward migrated workers all looking to use the roads, railway, hospital, GPs, schools, affordable housing, etc, etc.

Join CAGNE www.cagne.org and say NO to a second runway and, as Horsham District Council will vote in the autumn whether to support a second runway, ask your councillors now if they support a second runway at Gatwick?

SALLY PAVEY

Chair of CAGNE, Mayes Lane, Warnham

http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/letters/letter-second-runway-is-election-issue-1-6274647

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For other recent news stories about Gatwick, see 

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Heathrow flight path changes / trial inflict more noise misery on Ascot area and 3 villages area

Heathrow airport and NATS are experimenting with flight path changes and new technology systems for Heathrow flights. The aim is to reduce ‘stacking’ of aircraft waiting to land, and to speed up departure times, getting more planes in the air per hour – in order make the airport more efficient (or more profitable). There is a series of trials, over a period of years from 2012 to 2017, advertised on Heathrow’s website. They are to inform the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) consultation. One trial, for departures to the west, started on 28th August and will last till January 2015. It will test how sharply aircraft are able to turn on take-off and how fast they can climb.  The results will be factored into Heathrow’s revision of flight paths that are required under the European ‘SESAR’ programme.  The reality for people being over-flown is that there are now more aircraft  passing over Ascot, Sunningdale and Sunninghill, and these planes are low (around 3,000 feet) and climbing. The gaps between planes are also shorter than before.  A petition has been set up by people in the Ascot area, to get the trial ended immediately. The new noise barrage has created new fears in those areas of the impact of a 3rd runway.

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FAMILIES in the Ascot area could be in for a loud shock over the next five months because changes to Heathrow flightpaths will mean more planes going overhead.

Airport bosses and air traffic controllers are experimenting with flight path changes and new technology systems in a bid to reduce ‘stacking’ in the air and speed up departure times, putting more planes in the air at a faster rate.

There will be different trial routes for planes taking off from Heathrow, with some aircraft passing over Ascot, Sunningdale and Sunninghill – scheduled to start some time in September.

This will impact on communities because passenger jets will be passing over their homes at 3,000ft.

Times between takeoffs have been shortened, and the increased number of passenger airline departures will last until January 26. There will be a public consultation in 2016 and Heathrow’s ‘noise team’ has been briefed to deal with complaints.

Details of the flight alterations have been unearthed by the Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale Neighbourhood Plan Delivery Group and published online.

Royal Borough councillor David Hilton (Ascot and Cheapside) says he has already had complaints in advance of the ‘trials’ and has alerted Windsor MP Adam Afriyie.

Cllr Hilton said: “This could be Heathrow’s way of increasing their traffic capacity and we are obviously worried about what will happen. This is not like popping outside your front door to have a look at Concorde.

“Heathrow can undergo trials without consultation and appear to be concentrating more aircraft in narrower channels than they have done in the past.

“Obviously many people in this region depend on Heathrow but Heathrow has to be fair and reasonable and we are worried in case too many planes are channelled in narrow air corridors.

“There appears to have been increased activity since June and I have received five or six complaints. One Jumbo flew very low over Winkfield.”

The campaigners’ newsletter says: “There will be six new routes, three of which will track our area.

“The purpose of these trials is to reduce the intervals between take-offs by using more departure routes which diverge more significantly from each other than current ones.”

The group’s map shows new routes passing at 3,000ft south west over Cheapside, another west of the Ascot Racecourse and a third south west over Sunningdale to Lightwater.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said its proposals have not been kept under wraps and are accessible online.

She said: “It is all part of the airspace modernisation strategy which has not been upgraded for 40 years.”

A Heathrow website article says: “This has the potential to reduce holding times on the ground to reduce delays on departure.”

A spokeswoman for NATS Holdings – formerly National Air Traffic Control Services – said: “Basically it is upgrading technology and streamlining old designs.”

http://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/bracknell/articles/2014/08/23/103090-flightpath-experiment-spells-more-noise-overhead/

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Ascot area residents’ petition to end new Heathrow flight path trial

1.9.2014

Residents in the area in and around Ascot (not far from Heathrow) have a Change.org petition asking that the new Heathrow flight path trial, which started in the last few days, should immediately be ended. It is causing considerable noise nuisance, and making life there unpleasant.
Residents can see the planes very clearly from their gardens, and the noise is so loud now it disturbs any conversation they have outside.

Petition to end the flight path trial

The noise has increased massively since early July and is especially loud since the 28th of August 2014.  Residents can see the planes very clearly from their gardens, and the noise is so loud now it disturbs any conversation they have outside.  Residents are now opposed to any more expansion at Heathrow and call for an IMMEDIATE end to the flight path trial!

What if the 3rd runway is given the go ahead – this noise will be a permanent feature unless we voice our concerns. We need over100,000 signatures and we all want the same result – the government to stop the trials affecting our area, whether it’s, Ascot, North Ascot, Windlesham, etc.

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Aircraft Noise petition from  Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot

Stop the Flight Path trials

In the 3 Villages area (Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot) residents have been impacted both by the latest trials – that started on 28th August 2014 – as well as those which ended on 15th June.

With local feelings running high, people in this began a campaign and now also have an online petition with links from their website at  www.aircraftnoiselightwater.co.uk

Following contact with John Holland-Kaye in early August, the campaign has secured a meeting with Cheryl Monk, (Head of Community Relations and Policy)  to which residents of all affected areas are invited (both 3 Villages and Ascot will attend) – to be held on 15th October (time and venue to be confirmed).

There is a  Change.org petition to the Heathrow complaints team, here   They say: 

“Flights are passing overhead, lower, louder and later than ever before disturbing all aspects of everyday life.   Flights continue as late as 11.30pm and as early as 6am – a period when a reasonable person expects the right to peace and quiet.

“Local residents are now opposed to any more expansion at Heathrow and call for an IMMEDIATE end to the flight path trial!”

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Indicative timeline for planned trials at Heathrow to inform the London 
Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) consultation.
2012 – 2017   includes flight path trials in 2014, 2015 and 2016

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow_Noise/Downloads/PDF/indicative_trial_timeline.pdf

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