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Francis Maude says it is intolerable for some people to be very intensively overflown, “to the extreme detriment of their lives”

Francis Maude, MP for Horsham, wrote that the ADNID trial has been almost six months of intense misery for many of his constituents. He has been liaising with the airport, the CAA, NATS and the Secretary of State for Transport on the trial and its impacts. Gatwick is aiming to increase potential take-offs at peak times from 55 to 58 per hour from its single runway, and to do this it claims to need more focused flight paths, allowed by better aircraft on-board navigation systems. Gatwick says it needs to use new NPR routes, rather than the established ones. Government policy is that the decision about new routes, which rests with the Secretary of State, will be based on reducing the numbers of people overflown, in a simple headcount exercise. But there are local circumstances which allow for other considerations – background noise, altitude above sea level –  to be taken into account, and Francis says “this is our best hope of seeing off this threat.” Sharing of the noise misery burden may be tolerable but ” What is intolerable is when fewer people are very intensively overflown, to the extreme detriment of their lives.” He adds: “I have sought reassurance that the consultation being run by IpsosMori will be independently scrutinised by the CAA, using the raw data if necessary.”  
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Gatwick Update

Thursday, 7 August, 2014
(Francis Maude’s website)

Tomorrow, Gatwick’s ADNID trial will end just one week before its scheduled date, after almost six months of intense misery for many of my constituents.

It began on 17th February without prior warning, and although it may be a plausible argument that advance notice might have coloured people’s perception of it, there was no doubt that by 8am on that Monday morning many residents - in Warnham particularly - were shocked beyond belief by the new intensity of the flights.

Since then I have been back and forth to the airport, the CAA, NATS and the Secretary of State for Transport who has written to me again following our recent meeting. The full text of the letter appears on my website, [AirportWatch is still trying to track this letter down .... so far without success .....] but the main points are these:

•London airspace is hugely busy and complex, and needs more capacity

•Gatwick is aiming to increase potential take-offs at peak times from 55 to 58 per hour from its single runway, and to do this it claims to need more focused fight paths, allowed by better on-board navigation systems

•As part of this goal, it is claimed that a new Noise Preferential Route must be adopted, and the current consultation (which ends on 14thAugust) aims to collect data on which of three routes is most preferred by local residents

.•Government policy is that the decision about new routes, which rests with the Secretary of State, will be based on reducing the numbers of people overflown, in a simple headcount exercise. But there are local circumstances which allow for other considerations to be taken into account, and this is our best hope of seeing off this threat. I continue to argue that within a few miles of an airport most people expect to be aware of planes, but as long as the nuisance is equitably shared, it is bearable and a trade-off against the convenience of having an airport nearby (for businesses as well as travellers). What is intolerable is when fewer people are very intensively overflown, to the extreme detriment of their lives

.•I also argue that as heights are counted above mean sea level, which does make sense as the only realistic datum, communities in elevated positions should have that elevation taken into account

.•As there seem to be many complaints about the airspace consultation itself, I have sought reassurance that the consultation being run by IpsosMori will be independently scrutinised by the CAA, using the raw data if necessary.  

You are urged to respond to the consultation at

gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation before 14th August,

and also write to the airport and to the address below if you have concerns about the presentation and methodology of the consultation, and its accessibility by ordinary members of the public.

To:

Airspace Business Coordinator – Airspace, ATM and Aerodromes                                                Re: Gatwick Airspace Change SID Consultation                                                                                Safety and Airspace Regulation Group                                                                                         CAA House                                                                                                                                                  45-59 Kingsway                                                                                                                                  London WC2B 6TE

Email: airspacepolicy@caa.co.uk

I very much hope that we can achieve a fair result for all residents in Surrey and Sussex when this process is complete.

http://www.francismaude.com/news/gatwick-update

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Gatwick Airport’s document on the ADNID trial

http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/cttee/gat/gat100414i11a.pdf





The CAA have also published their April Board Meeting Minutes and these include a section on the ADNID trial in the Chief Executive’s Report :

“6. As part of the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) initiatives, Gatwick airport and NATS are trialling new departure routes. The ADNID Standard Instrument Departure trial has attracted many complaints from residents in Warnham, which is an area of a “high level of tranquillity” within 2 Km of the trial route. CAA is encouraging NATS and Gatwick to proactively manage communications with those affected and is also challenging NATS and Gatwick to ensure that the trial is ended as soon as sufficient data is available. It was confirmed that the CAA had handled the initiation of the trial in accordance with the Air Navigation Guidance issued by the Secretary of State. Should NATS or Gatwick wish to propose an airspace change that included the ADNID route it would be subject to full consultation requirements. The Board acknowledged the levels of local interest and the fact that an absolute level of noise is not a measure of public irritation and that different groups of people have different expectations of acceptable levels of ambient noise.”


https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/1743/CAABoardRedactedMinutesApr2014.pdf

A member of AirportWatch comments that it is not clear that the “initiation of the trial” was in accordance with the DfT Guidance. The CAA are supposed to determine the extent of the necessary consultation before the trial on the basis of the impact assessment provided by the trial sponsors. I don’t believe there was one.

Gatwick’s document on the ADNID trial is at
http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/cttee/gat/gat100414i11a.pdf

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Francis Maude said, slightly earlier:

Summer 2014 – The Latest Trial: 

The ADNID trial ends on Friday, just one week early. I regret that we have not been able to bring about its earlier demise.

Many of you have expressed your exasperation at the way in which it was inflicted, and I know that most of you on this address list have also registered your views with the CAA, Gatwick Airport, NATS, the Department for Transport, Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council.

I have continued throughout the trial period to focus on two things:

-          Promoting the essential fairness of dispersing flights rather than concentrating them, even if the latter is apparently justified by claiming fewer numbers of people being overflown

-          Challenging the assertion that there needs to be any new Noise Preferential Route in order for Gatwick to achieve a modest potential increase in hourly movements as a single runway airport.

I recently met with Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, and attach a copy of his letter to me following the meeting. I also attach a copy of my County Times article which appears this week.

I would urge you to respond to the flightpath consultation before it closes on 14th August if you have not done so already. If it is your view that no new NPRs should be adopted, you may offer that view, although it is not immediately apparent.

Many of you already know that after the recent roadshow by Gatwick Airport to determine which of three options was the favourite plan for their second runway site, very many more people opted for no second runway at all than the total of those who expressed a preference for one of the second runway options. Depending on the way in which the figures are interpreted, this ranges from twice as many to 5.6 times as many.

Many of you have also reported that you find the consultation too long, and far too technical for a layman to complete. I understand that Gatwick claim to have tried to achieve a balance between giving too much technical information and not giving enough, but if you still have serious concerns about the methodology and design of the consultation, the Secretary of State offers a route for you to express those concerns.

This debate is by no means over yet.  I cannot express a preference for one scheme above another, in public or private, as it would be invidious for me to support an option that advantages one group of constituents at the expense of others.  I am able to ensure that the voices of all my constituents are being heard loud and clear, so that the ultimate decision-makers are in no doubt at all about the effects of their decisions.

Best wishes

Francis Maude

http://www.francismaude.com/content/no-second-runway

 

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Francis Maude also says:

No to second runway

The Horsham Parliamentary constituency benefits enormously from its close proximity to Gatwick Airport.  Many people work at Gatwick and commute from it – it’s a key part of the regional and local economy.

A regular visitor to Gatwick, Francis is keen for it to flourish - but only as a single runway airport.

A legal agreement preventing a second runway is due to expire in 2019 and Francis has long campaigned against future plans being developed.  He is a supporter of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign and chairs a group of local authorities and MPs who are all against a second runway.

Adding another runway would increase Gatwick’s capacity from 45m to 80m passengers a year and would require a new town the size of Crawley to be built in the area.  There would be many environmental implications, already struggling local infrastructure would be further challenged and many more local residents would suffer from noise pollution.

When, in December 2009, BAA sold Gatwick to Global Infrastructure Partners, Francis was quick to point out to the new Board that the local community did not want an additional runway and that the airport could expand without one.

The Board later ruled out a second runway and Francis spoke out about how pleased he was that the campaign had met with early success.

In Dec 2013 The news from the Airports Commission led by Sir Howard Davies announcing that Gatwick has been short-listed by the Government as a potential 2nd runway option is disappointing for those of us concerned about a second runway at Gatwick.

Building a second runway would have huge environmental impacts with noise pollution the greatest, and this is seen to be the biggest single concern about its feasibility although the commission report does describe significant improvements in aircraft fuel efficiency and noise footprint. The second concern is the need for much improved local infrastructure and for many more houses to be built in an area where local councils are already struggling to meet the targets, the paradox being that the provision of these houses would ensure that many more families would be subject to the noise pollution. The Commission report suggests that Gatwick, London City and Luton are all forecast to become full by 2030 across a range of scenarios regardless of whether or not there is an additional runway, and by 2050 the carbon capped forecast is predicted to have risen still further to more than 95% of available capacity. The good news is that work of the Commission is not yet done, and has so far only confirmed this need for increased runway capacity somewhere in the south. It has shortlisted two options for new runways at Heathrow and one at Gatwick, and more work is to be done on the option of creating an entirely new hub airport in the Thames estuary. It is inevitable that when the decision is made there will be as many people frustrated and disappointed as will be excited at the prospect of growth in the local economy. I will continue with other West Sussex MPS to ensure that the voice of local people is heard throughout the decision making process

 

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Birmingham delighted to get daily flight to India, largely for tourism and VFR

 Birmingham airport’s is encouraged by a decision by Air India to increase the number of flights between Birmingham, Delhi and Amritsa from 4 per week to 7 per week. This will start from November, when its 18th Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is inducted into service. Birmingham has now had direct flights to India for one year, after having none for 5 years. Though some passengers are on business, the majority are tourists and people visiting friends and relatives in India. Having three more flights per week will mean an extra 1,500 seats a week, as the Air India Dreamliners have 256 seats (256 x 3 x 2 = 1,5360.  Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive, said “The West Midlands receives more foreign direct investment from India than any other region outside of London and Birmingham’s VFR (visiting friends and family) market grew by 71% in 2013, now attracting more visitors from India than any English city other than London.” The runway extension, that opened in April, is enabling more flights to longer haul destinations. The flight path trials, due to the runway extension, are causing real concern and distress to those south of the airport, now finding themselves seriously overflown.
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Birmingham Airport’s global aspirations boosted as Air India extends services

6.8.2014 (The Business Desk)
 

By Duncan Tift – Deputy Editor, West Midlands

BIRMINGHAM Airport’s aspirations to be a global hub have been boosted with a decision by Air India to boost its services from the facility.

Air India has committed to increase its Birmingham-Delhi-Amritsar operation from four flights per week to daily services from November, when its 18th Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is inducted into service.

The decision coincides with the first anniversary of the renewal of flights by Air India between Birmingham and the sub-continent following a five year absence.

Announcing the growth plans, the airline’s Commercial Director, Pankaj Srivastava, said: “Since starting our four times weekly Dreamliner programme from Birmingham Airport last year, we have handled more than 80,000 passengers on board 210 flights, serving business passengers, tourists and people visiting friends and relatives.

“Air India is committed to develop and grow in this market and once we have taken the delivery of our 18th Dreamliner aircraft in November, we hope to launch the daily operation from Birmingham Airport.

“This will provide an extra 1,500 seats a week and give passengers greater choice, flexibility and opportunity to travel from the convenience of Birmingham Airport to Amritsar and Delhi, and onwards on Air India’s extensive global network.”

Air India’s current schedule operates from Birmingham each Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday on its 256-seat B787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely thankful to Air India for recognising the demand from travellers needing the flexibility of daily services from Birmingham.

“The West Midlands receives more foreign direct investment from India than any other region outside of London and Birmingham’s VFR market grew by 71% in 2013, now attracting more visitors from India than any English city other than London.
“It’s therefore not surprising that the route has been such a success in its first year and I am certain that a daily service would make the Birmingham route even more appealing to Midlands’ travellers.”

 

http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/652779-birmingham-airport-s-global-aspirations-boosted-as-air-india-extends-services.html?news_section=19036

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More recent news about  Birmingham airport, and the flight path trials – as well as the airport’s aspirations, see

 

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Thousands of Londoners would hear a plane “every 90 seconds for 13 hours/day” if Heathrow 3rd runway is built

Heathrow knows it cannot get a 3rd runway unless it can somehow persuade people that there will be less noise from 50% more aircraft than there is today. In order to try and achieve this miraculous result, some massaging of figures is needed, and some clever use of statistics. In reality, it is likely that with three runways, tens of thousands of people in west London would lose half of their daily “noise-free” period (from runway alternation – switching runway at 3pm).  HACAN, the group campaigning against the noise impacts of Heathrow, and thus against Heathrow’s expansion, say some areas would have planes passing overhead every 90 seconds for a “nightmarish” 13 hours a day.  HACAN discovered the noise data “buried” in an appendix to one of Heathrow’s reports sent to the Airports Commission and “slipped out” before the holidays. It appears likely that residents under the southern flight path, including areas such as Richmond, would lose almost 4 hours of their 8 hour quiet period. People living under the current northern flight path would continue to get about 8 hours of respite but HACAN claim this would be spoiled for many because they would hear aircraft from one of the two other runways on either side of them.
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‘One plane every 90 seconds for 13 hours if Heathrow third runway is built’

Noise pollution: a jumbo jet comes in to land at Heathrow

4.8.2014

Tens of thousands of people in west London will lose half of their daily “noise-free” moments if a third runway goes ahead, campaigners said today.

Some areas would have planes passing overhead every ninety seconds for a “nightmarish” 13 hours a day, anti-expansion group Hacan claimed.

The warning comes after Airports Commission chief Sir Howard Davies signalled that his report, due next summer, will recommend at least one new runway for the South-East, with Heathrow and Gatwick shortlisted for expansion.

Hacan said it discovered the noise data “buried” in an appendix to one of Heathrow’s reports sent to the Davies Commission and “slipped out” before the holidays. http://your.heathrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/01-Heathrow-3RNW-Air-and-Ground-Noise-Assessment.pdf  14.7.2014 

Residents under the southern flight path, including areas such as Richmond, would lose almost four hours of peace, it claimed. They currently enjoy an eight-hour break when the planes switch runways at 3pm, but this would drop to just over four hours.

People living under what is now the northern flight path would continue to get about eight hours of respite but Hacan claimed this would be spoiled for many because they would hear aircraft from one of the two other runways on either side of them.

John Stewart, chairman of the pressure group, said: “The prospect of 13-hour flying is nightmarish. Quite simply, many communities are going to be hammered if a third runway is built.

“Heathrow Airport hasn’t hidden the information but the fact that it is buried in an appendix shows how reluctant they are to spell out the implications of a new runway.”

A Heathrow spokesperson responded: “We have sought to maintain the principle of runway alternation and have submitted several flight path options to the Airports Commission.

“This includes a scenario that optimises periods of predictable respite, which local communities have told us is more important than exposing new communities to noise. If a third runway is recommended, we plan to consult with local communities on how respite could be delivered.”

The Conservatives are likely to drop their 2010 pledge to rule out a third runway when they publish their 2015 manifesto. The Liberal Democrats are expected to continue opposing  Heathrow expansion but are debating whether to drop their opposition to Gatwick having a second runway.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/one-plane-every-90-seconds-for-13-hours-if-heathrow-third-runway-is-built-9646184.html

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HACAN – www.hacan.org.uk


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Heathrow’s list of documents submitted to the Airports Commission is at

http://your.heathrow.com/britainsheathrow/downloads

The reports submitted on 14th July are:

Heathrow 3RNW – Air and Ground Noise Assessment PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Air Quality Assessment PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Biodiversity ASsessment PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Carbon Footprint Assessment PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Water Quality and Hydro-ecology Assessment PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Assessment of flood risk PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Sustainable Drainage Assessment PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Geo-Environmental Assessment PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Resource Efficiency PDF 14/07/2014
Heathrow 3RNW – Introduction to Tech. Assessments PDF 14/07/2014

….. and there are many from May 2014 and earlier.


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Earlier – implausible claim by Heathrow airport:

Third runway at Heathrow ‘to cut noise levels for up to 325,000’

Heathrow airport today published official figures to hit back at claims from London Mayor Boris Johnson that it had underestimated the noise of a proposed third runway.

It claimed that 28 to 45% fewer people would be affected by aircraft noise when the three-runway airport reached full capacity by 2040.

This would be the equivalent of 200,000 to 325,000 fewer people suffering under the flight path, according the figures based on the EU’s 55 decibel “Lden” measure and verified by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Using the same measure, the Mayor claimed in May that Heathrow had understated third runway noise using 2030 forecasts when the expanded airport would not be at full capacity.

Mr Johnson, who wants to shut the west London airport and replace it with an Estuary hub, said Heathrow had not taken population rises into account and was too optimistic about technological advances making planes quieter.

The new noise figures come as the Government is tomorrow due to publish its plans for a short-term fix to the aviation capacity crisis short of a new runway. Heathrow also published indi- cative flight paths which it says proves its case that an airport can be expanded in tandem with noise reduction.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow sustainability director, said: “The CAA’s modelling shows we can cut aircraft noise while delivering the long-haul flights Britain needs to prosper. The flight paths we are publishing are indicative only and will be subject to debate and consultation if a third runway is approved.”

John Stewart, of anti-expansion group HACAN, said: “I remain very sceptical about these claims that as many as 45 per cent fewer people will be affected by noise, despite flight numbers increasing by 280,000 a year.

“My feeling is these numbers have been rushed out to counter Boris Johnson’s potential damaging recent revelations that Heathrow’s previous noise claims were based on the third runway being just a third full.

“I suspect the only way they can cut the numbers affected by 45 per cent is to concentrate planes over particular communities so as to free others from noise. It’s the noise ghetto solution.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/third-runway-at-heathrow-to-cut-noise-levels-for-up-to-325000-9604772.html

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Gatwick CEO says planes over Reigate “could be from Heathrow” …? Just as likely to be Gatwick ….

Many residents living near Reigate have recently reported increased aircraft noise.  This may have been due to planes arriving at, or departing from, Heathrow. That is the claim from Gatwick Airport’s chief executive Stewart Wingate, who has assured residents the offending noise is not due to flight path changes at his airport. The Heathrow “WebTrak” website shows (approximately – not 100% accurate) the positions and tracks of aircraft arriving at, or departing from, Heathrow. The Gatwick “Casper” website also shows the tracks of planes arriving at, or departing from, Gatwick. Both these websites show aircraft in the vicinity of Reigate. The WebTrak record suggests planes stacking, waiting to land at Heathrow, at about 9,000 to 9,600 feet. Planes taking off from Heathrow, flying near Reigate,  would be a bit higher than 6,000 feet. Planes taking off from Gatwick are also shown in the area close to Gatwick, at 5,500 to 6,000 feet. So it appears people in the area south of Reigate may be subjected to planes using both airports.

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Heathrow Airport’s Flight Tracking – Webtrak

Please note that there is a delay of 24 to 48 hours on the flights shown on WebTrak due to UK aviation security restrictions.

 

Gatwick Airport’s Flight Tracking - “Casper”

by which flights taking off and landing can be seen, with a time delay.

http://flighttracking.casper.aero/lgw/


 

Heathrow webtrak  Reigate 3.8.2014 

Section of screenshot of some Heathrow flights on 3.8.2014 from WebTrak showing a plane (red) arrival, waiting to land at Heathrow. These planes are at an altitude of around 9,000 to 9,600 feet

Heathrow take off Reigate 2.8.2014 from WebTrak

 

Section of screenshot of some Heathrow flights on 2.8.2014 from WebTrak showing a plane (green) departing, having taken off from Heathrow. These planes are at an altitude of around 6,200 feet.


 

Gatwick's Casper flight tracks map Reigate

Section of screen shot from Gatwick’s”Casper” website, on part of 3.8.2014 showing tracks of planes departing from Gatwick, flying south of Reigate.  Planes taking off and flying over Reigate would be at an altitude of approximately 5,500 to 6,000 feet. http://flighttracking.casper.aero/lgw/


Comment from a local resident:

GAL (Gatwick Airport) are reported to have said it is all Heathrow traffic´which is rubbish. I quite often check overflights over Redhill and there is as much Gatwick traffic as Heathrow traffuc – and it is usually lower.  An Emirates A380 at 3,000ft climbing isn´t peaceful !

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Gatwick CEO: ‘Planes over Reigate could be from    Heathrow’

4.8.2014  (Surrey Mirror) By Chris Madden    chris.madden@surreymirror.co.uk

Aircraft disturbing residents in Reigate could be coming from Heathrow. That is the claim from Gatwick Airport’s chief executive Stewart Wingate, who has assured residents the offending noise is not due to flight path changes at his airport.

This week, the Mirror has received a number of letters from residents of Reigate complaining about aeroplanes waking them at around 5am. Gatwick is currently trialling a new flight path which allows aircraft to take off in a straight line – but airport bosses say they are climbing to the south west of the airport, over Warnham in Sussex. Mr Wingate said any appearance of more planes over Reigate was nothing to do with the test.

Though some Gatwick routes do currently pass close to the town, they are not new flight paths. “They are probably from Heathrow,” he said. “We, at Gatwick, haven’t got a [flight path] over the countryside at Reigate.”

The six-month flight path trial, which involves planes heading south away from the airport, began in February. It is being used to test new tracking technology which should make it easier for planes to fly directly along tighter, designated paths rather than in broad swathes as they do currently. No consultation was held for this trial because it is not a permanent change and is being used only to test new technology.

However, this route is one of those being considered in a separate airspace consultation being carried out by Gatwick.

The airport is currently consulting on new approach and departure flight paths – or noise preferential routes (NPR). The new proposed routes are narrower than the current corridors used by planes flying around Gatwick and could see more aircraft passing over a narrower area.

The Gatwick flight path trial ends on August 15 and the aim is that the new technology being trialled will help pilots fly along the newly defined narrower corridors. Maps showing the proposed routes – which were drawn up following an initial consultation in the spring – can be seen on Gatwick’s website.

Mr Wingate said: “The policy in the country is that airports are encouraged to take narrower flight paths over fewer people.” The first phase of the NPR consultation, earlier this year, allowed residents to outline areas which should be avoided. Now residents have two more weeks to have their say on proposed routes which could lead to more planes over Salfords and Sidlow, but a reduction over Redhill and Charlwood.

Heathrow had not responded to the Mirror’s request for a comment before we went to press.

Visit www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation for details. http://www.surreymirror.co.uk/Gatwick-CEO-Planes-Reigate-Heathrow/story-22040126-detail/story.html

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Heathrow campaign, HACAN, will not be taking part in the consultation on noise compensation, for a 3rd runway

On 21st July Heathrow published a consultation on how it hopes to persuade thousands of people, who would be badly affected by increased aircraft noise from its operations, to accept money as compensation. It is offering £550 million, if it is allowed to build a 3rd runway, in various schemes. The £550 million is a one-off, not an annual sum. The aim is to buy off opposition. The existence of the consultation aims to convey the impression that a 3rd runway is inevitable, and that Heathrow is being stunningly generous. Neither is true. The community group dealing in particular with noise due to Heathrow,  HACAN, has had numerous complaints from residents who are furious about the assumptions being made in the Heathrow consultation. They do not like being steamrollered into discussions about compensation for something they deeply oppose.  HACAN will not be taking any part in the consultation, and not encouraging its members to do so. They feel the compensation discussion “puts the cart before the horse”. Providing Heathrow with assistance in how best to win over residents, whose quality of life will be reduced by a new runway, is not in the interests of those overflown, now or in the future.
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Consultation ends 12th October

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Campaign group refuses to discuss airport’s £550m runway compensation

Consultation “puts cart before the horse”, says Heathrow campaign group leader


 

Heathrow has launched a 12-week consultation on how the airport should shape a proposed £0.5bn compensation package in the event a third runway gets built but opponents have slammed the scheme saying it “puts the cart before the horse”.

The consultation is part of Heathrow’s updated submission to the Airports Commission where it committed to spending more than £550m for new noise and property compensation schemes, if the third runway gets approved.

The campaign group Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) has come out against the entire debate and said it will play no part in the process.

The consultation, which began on July 21 and runs until October 12, will seek views on how that compensation fund should be used.

Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We believe our proposal to expand is the right way to deliver the capacity Britain needs to connect to fast growing economies around the world.

“This must go hand in hand with treating those most affected by a third runway fairly.

“This consultation provides local people with an opportunity to let us know their views to develop the right compensation scheme.”

In all around 180,000 households and businesses will be contacted in the coming weeks with details of how to take part.

However, HACAN has hit out at the whole process after it said “furious” residents had complained to the group about the matter.

HACAN chairman John Stewart said that residents felt they are being steamrollered into accepting the fact that a third runway is inevitable before the government has even made a decision on the future of Heathrow.

He said: “We get a constant stream of emails from people throughout the year but rarely have we been deluged with so many angry emails as we have had this past week over this consultation.

“People are simply not prepared to discuss compensation arising from a third runway they simply don’t want.”

Mr Stewart added: “HACAN works with Heathrow Airport on issues like flight paths which can improve the quality of life for people affected by the existing Heathrow but we will not be responding to this consultation.

“We believe this consultation is putting the cart before the horse.”

To view or take part in the consultation, visiyour.heathrow.com/consultation.

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/campaign-group-refuses-discuss-heathrows-7546667

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Heathrow’s website says:

Heathrow Public Consultation

Help shape Heathrow’s proposals for property and noise compensation

21st July – 12th October 2014

Heathrow has launched a new public consultation to help us shape the proposed compensation scheme as part of our updated proposals for a third runway at the Airport. The consultation provides an opportunity for local residents and businesses to give us their views on the principles behind our compensation proposals.

Our vision is for Heathrow to be a globally competitive world-class hub for the UK. Growth at Heathrow will provide the international connectivity that supports economic growth and maintains the UK’s position as a world economic power.
The benefits will be local and national. A third runway will create thousands of new jobs, increase trade and tourism, and boost spending in the wider economy.
But we understand that people living around Heathrow have concerns about airport expansion. In developing a third runway at Heathrow we must balance the wider benefits of a successful hub airport with the effects on our local communities.

A new runway, built on land beyond the current airport boundary, will have an impact on local homes and businesses. Flight paths for the new runway will expose new people to aircraft noise.

That’s why we’re committed to treating those most affected by our proposals fairly.

We’ve already said that we’ll spend £550m on new noise and property compensation schemes if the Government supports a third runway.

But we want to hear your views on the principles behind our compensation and mitigation schemes. We’re still at an early stage and we want to hear your views before we make those decisions.

Taking part in the consultation

community consultation front page crop 

[The consultation document is at   http://your.heathrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Property-and-Noise-Compensation-AW-200dpi.pdf

The consultation survey and this consultation booklet contain information on our proposals that you might find helpful to read before you complete the survey. If you would like to be sent a copy of the consultation booklet and survey, please let us know by emailing us or calling the Heathrow Community Relations team on 0800 307 7996.

You can also learn more and let us know your views by visiting one of the public exhibitions we are hosting at venues across the local area during the consultation period. We’ll have copies of the consultation survey that you can complete at each exhibition.

You have until the 12th October 2014 to take part.

We really do want to hear your views on Heathrow’s future and hope you’ll take the time to tell us what you think.

http://your.heathrow.com/consultation/

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On Property Compensation, Heathrow says:

http://your.heathrow.com/consultation/about/property-compensation/

Property compensation

We’re committed to treating those most affected by our third runway proposals fairly. That’s why, in our May submission to the Airports Commission, we promised to set aside £550m to cover the costs of property and noise compensation if the Government supports a third runway at Heathrow.

From this fund, £300m will go towards compensation for homes and small businesses bought to make way for the new runway. For anyone whose property is compulsorily purchased, we’re proposing to pay:

  • The ‘unblighted’ market value of the property;
  • Plus a 25% above-market value ‘home-loss’ payment;
  • All legal costs for moving;
  • Stamp duty towards a new property.
  • During this consultation we are seeking your views on a number of issues related to the operation of a property compensation scheme, including eligibility for a ‘home loss’ payment, compensation for those who rent their property and compensation for those who would be moved closer to the boundary of an expanded Heathrow.
  • (Based on their north west runway proposal).
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  •  On Noise Compensation, Heathrow says: 
  • Noise Compensation

    • We’re committed to treating those most affected by our third runway proposals fairly. In addition to the £300m allocated for property compensation, our revised north-west runway plan also includes £250m to go towards noise compensation.We will use it to mitigate the effect of aircraft noise on homes in the highest noise areas and in areas exposed to significant new noise.
      ‘Noise compensation’ is a broad term covering three elements of mitigation:

      • An offer to buy people’s homes
      • Help with the costs of moving home
      • Noise insulation for people’s homes.

      This consultation provides an opportunity for you to let us know your views on what would constitute a fair approach to noise compensation, how noise impact should be measured and how we balance compensation for those who are newly affected by noise with those who are already impacted.

      We already have several schemes in place that meet or exceed Government guidelines. They provide noise compensation to over 40,000 homes around Heathrow (“Our schemes to help you“) . Compensation mostly takes the form of good-quality double glazing and loft insulation in people’s homes.

      We accept that if a third runway is to be built, we’ll have to offer an even better noise-compensation scheme. This consultation will help us develop that scheme.

      The big question is how the available compensation fund should be used. We want to hear what you think makes a fair compensation scheme.

    • http://your.heathrow.com/consultation/about/noise-compensation/
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    • Consultation summary document

      The consultation document  or summary sets out in detail the issues being considered by Heathrow as we shape our proposed compensation package and provides further information on our initial ideas for property and noise compensation. This consultation will be used to guide how the £550m Heathrow has promised for compensation, is spent.

      If you would like to request a hard copy of the consultation document along with a Freepost consultation survey form, please contact our team using the details on the Contact Heathrow page.

    • The response form is at   http://baa.force.com/compensation
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Boris plans London infrastructure plan costing up to £1.3 trillion for London by 2050 – consultation

London mayor Boris Johnson has set out plans for more than £1 trillion investment in the capital’s infrastructure. Launching a consultation on his 2050 London Infrastructure Plan, Boris said the city could lose its global status without a major improvement programme. His plan includes at least one more Crossrail scheme, a hub airport in the Thames Estuary, an orbital road tunnel and 9,000ha of new green space. Bonkers as it sounds, without all this Boris says London “will falter.” The Mayor intends to establish a London Infrastructure Delivery Board consisting of representatives of London’s main infrastructure providers. Arup has estimated the total cost of the plan at up £1.3 trillion, although Johnson wants to find ways to reduce this. The consultation on the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 will run for three months, and closes on 31st October.  The Mayor is expected to publish a final report in early 2015. The population of London is forecast to increase by 37% by 2050, to more than 11 million people. In the transport section, Boris is still plugging his Thames estuary airport, despite the highly negative reports produced recently for the Airports Commission.
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New Civil       Engineer

Boris plans £1 trillion infrastructure programme

30 July, 2014 (NCE New Civil Engineer)

 By Greg Pitcher

Boris Johnson

London mayor Boris Johnson has set out plans for more than £1 trillion investment in the capital’s infrastructure.

Launching a consultation on his 2050 London Infrastructure Plan, Johnson said the city could lose its global status without a major improvement programme.

His plan includes at least one more Crossrail scheme, a hub airport in the Thames Estuary, an orbital road tunnel and 9,000ha of new green space.

Johnson said: “This plan is a real wake-up call to the stark needs that face London over the next half century.

“Infrastructure underpins everything we do and we all use it every day. Without a long term plan for investment, and the political will to implement it, this city will falter.”

The Mayor intends to establish a London Infrastructure Delivery Board consisting of representatives of London’s main infrastructure providers.

Arup has estimated the total cost of the plan at up £1.3 trillion, although Johnson wants to find ways to reduce this.

The consultation on the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 will run for three months, and the Mayor is expected to publish a final report in early 2015.

Civils firms backed the report.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “Our industry has long argued that long-term visibility of workload is essential if we are to play our part in delivering world-class infrastructure in an efficient and timely manner.

“An infrastructure plan for London which has cross-party support will encourage innovation, better resource allocation, an improved skills base and a more stable workforce throughout the construction sector.”

The mayor’s plan has also won support from a wide range of senior industry figures.

The population of London is forecast to increase by 37% by 2050, to more than 11M people.

http://www.nce.co.uk/boris-plans-1-trillion-infrastructure-programme/8666581.article?blocktitle=Most-commented&contentID=-1

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London Infrastructure Plan 2050

The Greater London Authority (GLA) website says:

We have created the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 to help guide the city’s long-term growth in ways that will set new high benchmarks for the 21st century.

We are consulting with Londoners on the city’s future infrastructure demands in terms of:

  • What infrastructure will we need?
  • Where will it go?
  • How will we deliver it?
  • How will we pay for it?

Find out more about the Infrastructure Plan 2050 and have your say by completing our consultation questions.

The document sets out what infrastructure London requires. It is the first ever strategic attempt to set out London’s infrastructure needs, how much it might cost and how we pay for our needs. The aim is to prepare for, and benefit further from, London’s growth: bringing fresh thinking into the city’s infrastructure needs now, in order to meet them more costs effectively in the long term.

By its very nature, infrastructure underpins everything you do. You make London and we want to hear from you. Let us know what you think by completing the consultation questions by 31 October 2014. If you prefer a standalone document please send it to infrastructureplan@london.gov.uk.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Jeremy Skinner (Jeremy.Skinner@london.gov.uk)
Suzanne Moroney (Suzanne.Moroney@london.gov.uk)
Madalina Ursu (Madalina.Ursu@london.gov.uk)

Summary documents

Supporting documents

Previous documents


On Airports, the Transport Supporting Paper says:

“We believe that the key output to achieve will be an increased range of key international destinations served directly from London.

The connectivity that aviation in particular creates is central to many global companies’ location decisions. It is essential that London has a world class hub airport.

The Mayor strongly believes this should be in the Thames Estuary to provide the capacity required to ensure London has direct connections with the rest of the world. This could:
– Be open by 2029
– Make London & UK the best connected city & country in the world
– Unlock growth across the UK regions
– Make air services reliable and resilient


 

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Mayor of London issues stark wake-up call on capital’s infrastructure requirements

30 July 2014 (Mayor of London’s press releases)

London is set to exceed its record level of population within months and risks losing its position among the world’s elite cities unless a major programme of infrastructure investment is put in place to allow the capital to continue to operate efficiently and successfully. That is the verdict of the Mayor who launched a consultation on a 2050 London Infrastructure Plan today (30 July).

The London Infrastructure Plan 2050 is the first attempt to set out the full range of infrastructure requirements for the capital over the next half century, during which time the population of London is forecast to increase by thirty seven per cent to more than 11 million people. The Mayor wants to consult with Londoners, national Government, the wider southeast and beyond on the plan, which he describes as a wakeup call to the stark level of investment and thought that needs to be put into ensuring the capital does not falter.

The plan builds on the Mayor’s campaign for greater fiscal devolution to cities, which has brought together London’s government and the Core Cities Group – representing Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield – to jointly make the case for devolving locally-raised taxes to cities, allowing for investment in much-needed local infrastructure and boosting the whole of the UK’s economy. The Mayor believes that model for investment set out in the plan could also be suitable for all of these cities, and others, providing a blueprint for how they might invest in locally-decided priority infrastructure needs.

Although London currently leads the world in the finance, commercial, cultural, scientific and media sectors the capital is in danger of being overtaken by competitors who are already strengthening their infrastructure. The Mayor argues that a clear economic rationale underpins the need for a long term infrastructure plan, as rising prosperity for all depends on increased productivity, which itself relies on good infrastructure. However, infrastructure can only be delivered, improved and maintained through planned, sustained and targeted investment.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This plan is a real wake up call to the stark needs that face London over the next half century. Infrastructure underpins everything we do and we all use it every day. Without a long term plan for investment and the political will to implement it this city will falter. Londoners need to know they will get the homes, water, energy, schools, transport, digital connectivity and better quality of life that they expect.”

If London’s population increases as forecast the plan explains how the city will be faced by a series of serious challenges to its infrastructure:

  • Demand for public transport is forecast to increase by 50 per cent with increased demand for Underground and rail services likely to increase by 60 and 80 per cent respectively.
  • Demand on energy supplies is set to increase by 20 per cent during a period where demand on electricity supplies is forecast to more than double.
  • Thames Water projects demand for water will exceed supply by 10 per cent in London by 2025, rising to 21 per cent by 2040.
  • With an increasing school age population more than 600 new schools and colleges need to be provided.
  • To meet the demand for housing around 50,000 new homes a year must be provided.
  • With Heathrow already operating at 98.5 per cent of its capacity, a new four runway hub airport in the Thames estuary must be provided to meet London’s wider social and economic needs.

The Mayor will establish a London Infrastructure Delivery Board composed of senior representatives from all of the main infrastructure providers in London to utilise their expertise. The draft plan sets out detailed descriptions of how the challenges facing London might be met. They include:

  • Plans to improve transportation by maximising and extending Tube services. Crossrail 2 must be approved and further Crossrail projects may be required. Working with Network Rail, there is also huge opportunity to double capacity on the capital’s rail network. A series of new river crossings are needed and an inner orbital road tunnel should be built. A new four runway hub airport should be located in the Thames estuary, to the east of the capital.
  • Green infrastructure needs to become considered as much a part of the city’s vital systems as our other utilities. An extra 9000ha of accessible green space needs to be provided in both traditional and new ways. Green spaces need to be better planned, designed and managed to deliver benefits including more space for walking and cycling, flood mitigation, improved air quality, enhanced biodiversity and a cooler urban environment.
  • With Broadband now considered the fourth utility the Mayor wants to see greater action taken to raise the UK and London’s connectivity to world class levels. He recommends working with the telecoms industry on a city wide connectivity mapping exercise that would be used to develop property connectivity ratings. A connectivity advisory group will be established and they will consider measures including opening up access points such as bus stops and street lights for digital providers and bringing planning applications for communications infrastructure within the Mayor’s responsibility.
  • With energy demands at risk of outstripping supply and key developments such as those at Nine Elms at risk of delay as a result, the Mayor argues a strong long term plan to use energy more efficiently and bring in new capacity where we can is vital. A short term investment of £210m on electricity substations is required but in the long term changes to the regulatory regime must be considered as well as plans to supply a quarter of London’s energy from local sources and exploit the capital’s waste heat resource.
  • A more integrated approach to water management would help deal with demand for water which is predicted to exceed supply from as early as 2016. The plan outlines how innovative tariffs and better leakage detection could help plug the gap. He also encourages Thames Water to develop 25 year plans for wastewater, drainage and flood risk management.
  • The Infrastructure plan also outlines plans to deal with waste by moving to a circular economy where goods are designed to be reused and recycled. Many of the world’s largest companies including Renault, Vodafone and Philips are already making the shift to that form of thinking. But by 2050 it is the Mayor’s aim that very little waste will require disposal, which would result in £5 billion of savings from 2016 to 2050.

The London Infrastructure Plan 2050 also discusses how growth might be accommodated in the capital. The plan suggests improving rail links to other urban areas in the southeast but the Mayor rules out building on the green belt as the large amounts of brownfield land within the capital should allow London to accommodate its growth, at least until 2025, within existing boundaries.

The full costs of delivering and maintaining the infrastructure London requires would result in a sharp rise in costs and a public sector funding gap. Arup estimate that the total investment in London’s infrastructure between 2016 and 2050 could amount to £1.3 trillion, although the purpose of consulting on this plan is to help agree priorities and how to reduce costs. Capital costs would rise significantly compared to existing funding levels and the Infrastructure Plan examines a number of ways of plugging the gap.

Fiscal devolution is vital and would give the city greater financial control over its transport, housing and other investments, and provide a base against which to borrow prudently. Public sector land and other assets could also be utilised more intensively, effectively and efficiently. Combined with better integration and procurement, costs could be reduced by up to £100-150 billion. It is also clear that while the public sector must always play a role in delivering infrastructure projects there is also plenty of scope for collaboration on major infrastructure projects with the private sector.

A consultation on the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 will run for three months and the Mayor is expected to publish a final report in early 2015.

David Tonkin, Atkins’ chief executive officer for UK & Europe, said: “People from all over the world want to visit, live and work in London and it plays a key role in the economic prosperity of the UK. World-class transport, utilities, energy and digital infrastructure are vital to maintaining this position and this long term, cross-sector investment plan is the vehicle that will help deliver these.

“As a company which helps cities all around the world to create a better future for its people, we applaud the GLA and the Mayor of London for taking this step to develop innovative and integrated proposals to repurpose and reuse existing infrastructure, while adopting and applying new technologies and techniques.”

Tony Travers, director of the London School of Economics, said: “The London Infrastructure Plan is a necessary step towards understanding the needs of the ‘10 million city’ which London will soon become.  The capital’s railways, housing and schools will all require substantial investment just to accommodate the additional one and a half million Londoners who government statisticians forecast will live in the capital within 15 years.  In reality, with higher densities will come a disproportionately greater need for investment. The Plan makes it possible to draw up proposals for developing schemes and raising resources.”

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Head of the Centre for Communication Systems Research, University of Surrey, said: “London should be the first capital city in the advanced economy countries to deploy 5G broadband network to alleviate expected capacity crunch by 2020s. This will give the sensation of infinite capacity.

Zach Wilcox, Centre for Cities, said: “London’s fast growth brings with it many benefits, but it is also faces increased pressure in terms of transport capacity, housing and utilities infrastructure. The capital needs a long-term, integrated plan that links up infrastructure systems across the city—and city region—to support its continued success.”

Sir Alan Wilson, Professor of Urban and Regional Systems, University College London, said: “The pressures of population growth and London’s continuing development as a world city demand some hard thinking about future infrastructure. This report is a significant step in developing a comprehensive strategy. It will bring into focus the decisions that have to be taken in the short run to benefit the long run.”

Steve Fox, BAM Nuttall CEO, said: “We are encouraged by the visible commitment made by the Mayor and the GLA to improving London’s infrastructure. It’s a strong signal to the industry and it gives confidence to major infrastructure contractors such as BAM who are heavily invested in London projects in setting our future business strategy. It means we can invest in people, training and our local supply chains across the capital to support the Mayor’s London vision in the longer term.

“We fully support the introduction of a London Infrastructure Delivery Board that will be able to influence and assist industry and the GLA by providing expert knowledge and advice. Having been involved significantly with HS1, Crossrail and the Olympic Park Development, which are huge success stories for our industry, we know that by working together we can all deliver a more successful outcome.

“The Mayor and his office have demonstrated leadership in developing procurement models that improve collaboration across our industry leading to added value and we welcome this approach. It is only by customer, contractor, designer and supply chain working together at a sufficiently early stage to develop the business case that we will see gains in overall delivery.”

Civil Engineering Contractors Association Chief Executive, Alasdair Reisner, said: “Our industry has long argued that long-term visibility of workload is essential if we are to play our part in delivering world-class infrastructure in an efficient and timely manner. An infrastructure plan for London which has cross-party support will encourage innovation, better resource allocation, an improved skills base and a more stable workforce throughout the construction sector.”

André Gibbs, Partner at Argent, said: “Cities are for people, and new and replacement infrastructure must in all ways be planned, designed and implemented with the experience of the citizen at its heart.

Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone UK Chief Executive, said: “We share the Mayor’s strategic vision for the capital, and will work with him and the boroughs to provide Londoners and visitors with access to very best mobile data network. The future success of the capital depends on advanced communications and we are investing £200 million over the next two years to deliver a world-class network across the city on top of the £1 billion we have committed to spend nationally this year.”

Alexander Jan, a director of Arup, commented: “The Mayor has today launched a consultation on what is an unprecedented policy response to meet the needs of London’s population, which is growing at a rate of two-thousand every eight days.  Infrastructure investment activity will be required on an industrial scale not seen since Victorian times.

“Only a concerted, properly resourced plan combined with proper devolution of tax raising powers to London government can secure the commercial success of London.  This approach is essential to maintain the quality of life for Londoners now and into the future.   Arup is delighted to be working with the GLA on this prestigious project.”

John Dickie, Director of Strategy at London First, was a member of the advisory group that assisted the GLA with the plan. He said the 2050 Infrastructure Strategy was a: “big and ambitious plan that came with a big and ambitious price tag.

“The Mayor estimates we have to more than double London’s infrastructure spending – from an annual average of £16 billion in 2011-15 to £38 billion in 2016-50 – if London is to tackle the backlog of historic under-investment and keep up in the global race.

“We must prioritise ruthlessly and plan and deliver these investments efficiently; but we can’t shrink from the fact that we will all have to pay more. The costs can be shared across users, taxpayers and others who benefit directly –  but they cannot be wished away.

“And make no mistake: with London growing by 100,000 people a year, if we don’t deliver this extra investment then the capital will be a bigger but not better place in the future.”

Cllr Claire Kober, London Councils Lead Member for Infrastructure and Regeneration, said: “London Councils welcomes the start of a debate about London’s long term infrastructure needs. With the challenge of continued population growth, infrastructure investment needs to ensure that London remains both a competitive world city and a liveable one for all its different communities. To meet this challenge, Whitehall must devolve power to London government and allow greater financial independence.’

 http://www.london.gov.uk/media/mayor-press-releases/2014/07/mayor-of-london-issues-stark-wake-up-call-on-capital-s

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Court orders end to 2 flight paths over Brussels, which have been strongly opposed since February

 In response to the heated opposition by thousands of Francophone residents of Brussels, and the successful “Pas Question” campaign, a court in Brussels has ordered that two of the new flight paths over the city should be stopped. These are a flight path called “Canal” and one called “turn left” from the airport. These flight paths came into operation on 6th February this year, under the “Plan Wathelet” and reflect the complicated politics of Belgium. The judgement, by the Brussels Court of First Instance, must be applied within 3 months or otherwise there is a penalty of a fine of €50,000 per day. The ordinance imposes in effect a return to the situation prior to February 6th. The association “Pas Question” describes the judgement as an “immense relief” that what they describe as a nightmare of living with the aircraft noise for 175 days has ended. They expect the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Mobility to take “immediate” measures required to implement the court decision and change flight paths away from heavily populated routes. There need to be impact assessment studies, and consultation, before flight paths are changed – a broader solution for all residents affected by the airport.
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July 31, 2014 (L’Echo)

 

…. Imperfect translation from the original French …..

Deleted flight path routes from the Wathelet plan: Details of the judgement

The Brussels court has ordered the cessation of the use of two flight paths which over-fly Brussels under the Wathelet Plan.

The Court of First Instance of Brussels has ordered the cessation of the use of two flight paths over Brussels under the Plan Wathelet.
These routes are:
“Canal Road” that crosses Brussels and
“left turn” which over-flies in particular Etterbeek, Ixelles, and Audergem Watermael Boitsfort which are two new flight paths introduced on February 6th 2014.

→ see the judgement in its entirety : Jugement du Tribunal de premiè…

 

This judgement must be applied within 3 months under penalty of a fine of €50,000 per day.

As a reminder, the Brussels Region had joined the municipalities of the Brussels Capital Region and associations to introduce, in May, an environmental cessation action before the justice. The federal minister in charge of the case, Ms. Fonck, does not envisage an appeal.

The ordinance imposes in effect a return to the situation prior to February 6, 2014, when the distribution plan of flights from Brussels Airport, also called “Plan Wathelet,” came into force. This decision applies to both contested routes: that of “Channel” and that the “left turn”. These two routes are not deleted.

A “huge relief”
The association “Pas Question” has described as an “immense relief” the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Brussels. Pas Question expects the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Mobility, Catherine Fonck, to take “immediate” measures required to implement the court decision and change flight path routes.

“For the citizen movement, Pas Question, and hundreds of thousands of Brussels citizens who have been unjustly over-flown since February, this is a huge relief, and the end of the three months in which they lived a nightmare for already more than 175 days”, the association said in a statement.

To know
“Pas Question” expects that the consensus was formed before the elections between the Francophone parties to develop a new plan to divide up flight paths from Brussels Airport to bear fruit.

“This new plan will take time but will inevitably respect the principle of avoiding the most densely populated areas and be set up after an environmental impact study,” she added.

No surprise
The decision by the court has not surprised the mayor of Brussels Auderghem and Minister Didier Gosuin. “It was expected. Since February 6, we say that these orders are vitiated by numerous violations of legal texts whose origin lies in the absence of an impact assessment study and of consultation,” he said.

“Now we expect the federal government to correct its mistakes Secretary of State Catherine Fonck cancels orders. A caretaker government is still bound by the duty to execute court decisions. I daren’t believe that it will apply the penalties, otherwise what is the signal that we give people? “said Mr. Gosuin, the commune was party to the proceedings.

The new regional government switched gears

The Brussels Minister-President and Minister of the Environment, Rudi Vervoort and Celine Fremault, said Thursday their satisfaction following the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Brussels in the case of over-flying the capital. They want the federal government and two trainers striking flight paths in the plan that came into force on February 6 goes hand in hand with the immediate establishment of routes that take into account of the criterion of population density and of safety, in accordance with agreement of the regional government.

The region was one of the applicants in this case along with several municipalities of Brussels. The two ministers stressed the willingness of the Brussels Region to work in a spirit of co-operation and partnership with the federal government to find “a sustainable and balanced solution.” They insist in particular on two measures, the elongation of the night period from 22h to 7h (instead of 23h to 6h) and the creation of an Independent Supervisory Authority including regional representatives.

In addition, in accordance with the agreement of the Brussels government, the Minister of the Environment will require the actual collection by all possible legal means of fines imposed for violations of the noise regulations by the airlines. It ensures also the expansion of the Brussels network to provide for the acquisition of mobile sound meters that will meet the demands of Brussels communes to measure objectify the situation with aircraft noise in their area.

It will take more
Evelyne Huytebroeck (Ecolo), former Brussels Minister of Environment, said had arguments that carried the day,” says Ms. Huytebroeck on the initiative, with several Brussels communes and associations of the action. “This is a victory for the associations which have been particularly combative. Personally, I feel a great satisfaction.”

Even if only the cancellation of the two flight paths “Canal” and “left turn” was sought, “it will take a broader solution for all residents” she added.

This will include for example:

lengthening the night (22h at 7am rather than 23h to 6h)
revision of standards relating to wind
the decline of some flight paths
the creation of an independent institute

 

http://www.lecho.be/r/t/1/id/9529369

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Original in French:

31 juillet 2014  (L’Echo)

Routes supprimées du plan Wathelet: les détails du jugement

 l’utilisation de deux routes de survol de Bruxelles prévue par le plan Wathelet.

©Photo News

 

Le Tribunal de première instance de Bruxelles a ordonné la cessation de l’utilisation de deux routes de survol de Bruxelles prévue par le plan Wathelet.

Il s’agit de:

“la route du canal” qui traverse Bruxelles et du

“virage à gauche” qui survole notamment Etterbeek, Ixelles, Audergem et Watermael Boitsfort,

soit les deux nouvelles routes aériennes introduites le 6 février dernier.

→ voir le jugement dans son intégralité (en pièce jointe).

Ce jugement doit être appliqué d’ici 3 mois sous peine d’astreinte de 50.000 euros par jour.

Pour rappel, la Région bruxelloise s’était jointe à des communes de la Région bruxelloise et à des associations pour introduire, en mai, une action en cessation environnementale devant la justice.La ministre fédérale en charge du dossier, Mme Fonck, n’envisage pas de se pourvoir en appel.

L’ordonnance  impose en fait le retour à la situation antérieure au 6 février 2012, quand le plan de répartition des vols de l’aéroport de Bruxelles, appelé aussi “plan Wathelet”, est entré en application. Cette décision s’applique aux deux routes contestées: celle du “Canal” et celle du “Virage à gauche”. Ces deux routes ne sont pas supprimées.

 

Un “immense soulagement”

L’association “Pas Question” a qualifié d’”immense soulagement” le jugement rendu par le tribunal de première instance de Bruxelles. Il attend du Premier ministre et de la secrétaire d’Etat à la Mobilité, Catherine Fonck, qu’ils prennent “immédiatement” les mesuresqui s’imposent pour appliquer la décision de justice et modifier les routes aériennes.

“Pour le mouvement citoyen Pas Question, et les centaines de milliers de citoyens bruxellois qui sont injustement survolés depuis février, c’est un immense soulagement, et la fin annoncée d’ici 3 mois du cauchemar dans lequel ils vivent depuis déjà plus de 175 jours!”, a déclaré l’association dans un communiqué.

 

A savoir

“Pas question” attend que le consensus qui s’est formé avant les élections entre les partis francophones pour développer un nouveau plan de répartition des vols de l’aéroport de Bruxelles porte ses fruits.

“Ce nouveau plan nécessitera du temps mais devra inévitablement respecter le principe de l’évitement des zones les plus densément peuplées et être mis en place après une étude d’impact environnemental“, a-t-elle ajouté.

 

Pas de surprise

La décision rendue par le tribunal n’étonne pas le bourgmestre d’Auderghem et ministre bruxellois, Didier Gosuin. “C’était attendu. Depuis le 6 février, nous disons que ces arrêtés sont entachés de nombreuses violations de textes de droit dont l’origine réside dans l’absence d’étude d’incidences et de concertation”, a-t-il ajouté.

“Maintenant, nous attendons du gouvernement fédéral qu’il corrige ses erreurs que la secrétaire d’Etat Catherine Fonck annule les arrêtés. Un gouvernement en affaires courantes est toujours tenu par le devoir d’exécuter les décisions de justice. Je n’ose pas croire qu’il faudra appliquer les astreintes, sinon quel est le signal que l’on donnera aux citoyens?”, a souligné M. Gosuin, dont la commune était partie au procès.

Le nouveau Gouvernement régional embraie

= Le ministre-président bruxellois et la ministre de l’Environnement, Rudi Vervoort etCéline Fremault, ont dit jeudi leur satisfaction à la suite de l’arrêt du tribunal de première instance de Bruxelles dans le dossier du survol de la capitale. Ils demandent au gouvernement fédéral et aux deux formateurs que la suppression des routes contenues dans le plan entré en vigueur le 6 février aille de pair avec l’instauration immédiate de routes qui tiennent compte du critère de densité de population et de sécurité, conformément à l’accord de gouvernement régional.
La Région était l’une des requérantes dans ce dossier aux côtés de plusieurs communes bruxelloises. Les deux ministres rappellent la volonté de la Région bruxelloise de travailler dans un esprit de concertation et de partenariat avec le gouvernement fédéral à la recherche “d’une solution durable et équilibrée”. Ils insistent en particulier sur deux mesures, l’allongement de la nuit de 22h à 7h (au lieu de 23h à 6h) et la création d’une Autorité de contrôle indépendante incluant des représentants régionaux.
Par ailleurs, conformément à l’accord du Gouvernement bruxellois, la ministre de l’Environnement exigera la perception effective par toutes les voies juridiques possibles des amendes sanctionnant les violations de l’arrêté bruit par les compagnies aériennes. Elle veille par ailleurs à élargir le réseau bruxellois en prévoyant également l’acquisition de sonomètres mobiles qui permettront de répondre aux demandes des communes bruxelloises afin d’objectiver la situation sur leur territoire.

Il faudra plus

Evelyne Huytebroeck (Ecolo), ancienne ministre bruxelloise l’Environnement, s’est dite “très contente” de la décision du tribunal. “Nos avocats ont eu des arguments qui ont porté”, constate Mme Huytebroeck, à l’initiative, avec plusieurs communes bruxelloises et associations, de l’action. “C’est une victoire des associations qui ont été particulièrement combatives. Personnellement, je ressens un très grand contentement”

Même si seule l’annulation des deux routes “du canal” et “du virage à gauche” était demandée, “il faudra plus largement une solution pour tous les riverains” a-t-elle ajouté.

Cela passera par exemple par:

  • l’allongement de la nuit (de 22h à 7h plutôt que de 23h à 6h)
  • la révision des normes de vent
  • le recul de certaines pistes
  • la création d’un institut indépendant

 

http://www.lecho.be/r/t/1/id/9529369

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Earlier:

Convoluted Brussels coalition and flightpath politics cause public furore

Thousands of people in Brussels are up in arms about a new overflight plan that started on 6th February, causing parts of the city subject to the thundering noise of planes using Brussels airport. The Belgian government has only a couple of weeks left to find a solution for a problem that dates back many, many years. As the airport is close to densely populated parts of the city, its flight paths would always over-fly a lot of people. The political choices of who should have to suffer the noise are complicated. Should the burden of the noise be shared between various areas? The flight path change is reported to be because, with the May elections this year, Melchior Wathelet (Sec of State for Environment, Energy, Mobility etc) of the Francophone Christian Democtrats (cdH) decided to do a political favour for the party’s vice prime minister, Joelle Milquet, by tweaking the flight paths over some municipalities, to help with votes. The Wathelet Plan decision can be blocked, under the constitution, for 60 days. That ends at the start of July. It is likely to be the out-going coalition that makes the decision. Lots of politics ….. parties will assess how the vote affects their political chances ….

Click here to view full story…

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Russian airline, Aeroflot, to challenge fines for non-payment of EU ETS charges for 2012

The European Emissions Trading System charged airlines, during 2012, for their emissions while flying into or from European airports, in EU airspace. For non EU countries, a European country administered the payments. The payments from Russian airlines are administered by Germany. Three Russian airlines paid in full for their emissions. However, Aeroflot did not. Now Germany has confirmed that Aeroflot is being fined for its non-payment. Aeroflot has sent a “protest” letter to the European Parliament and is preparing to lodge an appeal at being asked to pay a €215,600 fine.  Aeroflot says: “In response to the IATA recommendations and like other air companies, Aeroflot has prepared a protest letter to the European Parliament” …and they are “preparing to file an appeal on the unacceptability of issuing fines against the air company.” The payments are only for 2012, before “stop the clock” brought an end to payments. The compromise deal agreed by the European Parliament in early April 2014 means that, until 2017, only flights between EU airports will be regulated, not flights to or from the EU. 

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The German Emissions Trading Authority has confirmed that indeed Aeroflot has been fined by Germany for non compliance.

Russia’s Aeroflot to Appeal Environmental Fine for Flights Over Europe

25.7.2014

MOSCOW, July 25 (RIA Novosti)

Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot has sent a “protest” letter to the European Parliament and is preparing to lodge an appeal after the EU ordered it to pay a 215,600 euro ($290, 335) fine for greenhouse gas emissions during flights over the territory of the bloc’s member states, Izvestia newspaper reported Friday.

Aeroflot Director General Vitaly Savelyev said this unilateral decision has been criticized in the aviation community. Russia and other states that are not part of the EU have been “placed before the accomplished fact – flights in Europe’s airspace are to be on a paying basis.”

“In response to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recommendations and like other air companies, Aeroflot has prepared a protest letter to the European Parliament,” Savelyev said.

“Besides, we are preparing to file an appeal on the unacceptability of issuing fines against the air company,” he added.

Aeroflot CEO said environmentally friendly airliners make over 80 percent of Russia’s aircraft and Aeroflot’s fleet is the most modern in Europe, with a plane’s average age not exceeding four years.

“A for the EU initiative, such measures have nothing in common with the fight for environment. The European Union has simply introduced payment for flights in its airspace,” Savelyev said.

Experts believe by 2025 Aeroflot would have to pay up to 800 million euros ($1 billion) in line with the new measure. “Who will tell us where these funds will go?” Savelyev said.

http://en.ria.ru/business/20140725/191246005/Russias-Aeroflot-to-Appeal-Environmental-Fine-for-Flights-Over.html

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Germany Levies Fines on Aircraft Operators Over Emissions

Germany ordered 61 aircraft operators from countries including Russia and the U.S. to pay fines for breaching European Union emissions-trading rules.

The penalties are the first since the EU included aviation in its carbon market, the world’s largest, in 2012, drawing protests from the U.S. and emerging countries. The emissions-trading system allows sanctions at the EU level and by individual governments for actions including failure to submit emissions permits to cover greenhouse-gas discharges.

German regulators sent sanction letters, which order the recipients to pay fines, to 17 operators in Germany and 44 in other countries in and outside of Europe for not observing ETS rules in 2012, a spokesperson for emissions trading at the German environment agency said yesterday.

Total penalties amount to 2.7 million euros ($3.7 million), said the spokesperson, who asked not to be identified according to agency policy. German officials declined to name the recipients of the sanction letters.

Emitters that fail to surrender the required number of permits face fines of 100 euros per metric ton of carbon under EU law. Member countries can also impose further penalties. EU emission permits for delivery in December rose 0.2 percent to 5.48 euros a metric ton at the ICE Futures Europe exchange as of 1:15 p.m. in London today.

EU governments have delayed the decision on penalties, risking the credibility of the ETS, according to the Transport & Environment green lobby. The group earlier this year asked authorities in the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany to take steps to ensure airlines comply with the EU carbon rules.

‘Equitably Applied’

“We now need to see details of all offenders to ensure the law has been fairly and equitably applied,” said Bill Hemmings, Brussels-based sustainable-aviation manager at Transport & Environment.

Germany is responsible for overseeing about 500 aircraft operators under the ETS, including international airlines such as Delta Air Lines Inc., Air China Ltd. and Russia’s OAO Aeroflot, as well as companies or individuals who own an aircraft. Operators have one month to object to the sanction notices, according to the agency.

In the U.K., officials said there are no formal deadlines for the issuing of civil penalties in emissions cases.

“The regulators will publish details of penalties issued in relation to a failure to surrender sufficient allowances in the event of any such penalties being issued, and once the appeal process is complete,” a spokesperson for the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change said by e-mail.

International Agreement

The inclusion of aviation in the EU cap-and-trade program sparked opposition from countries including the U.S., India, China, Russia and Brazil, which said any curbs on discharges from airlines should be regulated by an international agreement.

The EU subsequently agreed to freeze emissions-trading obligations for flights into and out of Europe and keep them only on flights within the bloc in 2012. The program originally covered the entire length of flights originating or ending at EU airports. Earlier this month, the EU prolonged the exemption and decided to spare carriers ranging from U.S. Airways to Air India Ltd. the need to pay for emissions from foreign flights for an extra four years, through 2016.

Carriers in the ETS are given free emission permits making up 85 percent of the industry cap and have to buy the remaining 15 percent at auctions.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-30/germany-levies-fines-on-aircraft-operators-over-emissions.html

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See also the report by Sandbag on airlines in the ETS

http://www.sandbag.org.uk/site_media/pdfs/reports/Sandbag_Aviation_and_the_EU_ETS_2012_171213_1.pdf

It shows on page 26 that 3 Russian airlines were fully paid up.

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SSE welcome Stansted’s Development Plan consultation as an opportunity for an open debate on its one-runway future

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is calling for an open debate about Stansted Airport’s long term plan, due to be published later this week. Manchester Airport Group (‘MAG’), which bought Stansted from BAA 18 months ago, will publish its ‘Sustainable Development Plan’ (SDP) for Stansted, setting out what it intends to do with the airport over the next 20-25 years. The SDP will initially be published as a draft for consultation, with a final version of the plan expected towards the end of the year. SSE welcomes this initiative by MAG and wants to encourage maximum public participation in the consultation process. It is understood that the SDP will be based on Stansted remaining as a single runway airport. This will be a great relief for the vast majority of local residents but it still leaves scope – within Stansted’s existing planning permission – for the airport to handle almost twice as many passengers and twice as many flights as it does today. (Up to 35 million passengers and 264,000 flights). SSE wants to see a gradual phasing out of night flights at Stansted and the return of some 270 homes bought near the airport, for a 2nd runway, to private ownership. 
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An opportunity for an open debate on  Stansted’s future

30.7.2014 (Stop Stansted Expansion)
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is calling for an open debate about Stansted Airport’s long term plan, due to be published this week. Manchester Airport Group (‘MAG’), which bought Stansted from BAA 18 months ago, will publish its ‘Sustainable Development Plan’ (SDP) for Stansted, setting out what it intends to do with the airport over the next 20-25 years. The SDP will initially be published as a draft for consultation, with a final version of the plan expected towards the end of the year.

SSE welcomes this initiative by MAG and wants to encourage maximum public participation in the consultation process. MAG will be making ‘roadshow’ presentations in a wide range of locations over the coming weeks and this will be an opportunity for local residents to let MAG know about any concerns they have about the current and future operation of the airport.

Importantly, it is understood that the SDP will be based on Stansted remaining as a single runway airport. This will be a great relief for the vast majority of local residents but it still leaves scope – within Stansted’s existing planning permission – for the airport to handle almost twice as many passengers and twice as many flights as it does today.

Night flights have long been the main bone of contention for those living around the airport and beneath its flight paths where ambient noise levels are low. SSE wants to see a gradual phasing out of night flights at Stansted and this issue will be high on our agenda in the consultation on the SDP.

MAG’s continued ownership of about 270 properties around the airport – mostly acquired in connection with the now-aborted second runway plans – is another highly contentious issue for many local communities around the airport, who want them returned to private ownership. The forthcoming consultation and roadshows will give those communities most affected an opportunity to persuade MAG to do the decent thing in this regard.

SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented “We welcome this consultation on MAG’s long term plan for Stansted. It is being described as a ‘Sustainable Development Plan’ and we very much hope that’s what it genuinely is. Provided it respects all the current planning limits and confirms MAG’s commitment to Stansted continuing to be an ‘Airport in the Countryside’, there should be considerable scope for a constructive dialogue.”

 

NOTES TO EDITORS
Stansted handled 17.8 million passengers and 131,900 Air Transport Movements (ATMs) last year. It has planning consent for 35 million passengers per annum (‘mppa’) and 264,000 ATMs. Stansted handled 24mppa in its peak year, 2006/07.

SSE submitted evidence to the Airports Commission last week (25 July 2014) in response to the Commission’s Discussion Paper on ‘Utilisation of the UK’s Existing Airport Capacity’. Much of this SSE evidence is pertinent to the Stansted SDP – see the SSE Evidence here. This is SSE’s eleventh evidence submission to the Commission – see the Airports Commission page here.

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/press478.html

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SSE calls for end to night flights at Stansted Airport as national survey backs more runways

Written by SINEAD HOLLAND

28.7.2014 (Herts and Essex Observer)

Stansted Airport - aerial view of main terminal building
Stansted Airport – aerial view of main terminal building

ANTI-expansion campaigners are pinning their hopes on a new long-term development plan for Stansted Airport having just one runway – as a new national survey backs building of more terminals and airstrips.

In the next week Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which bought Stansted from BAA 18 months ago, is expected to publish its Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) for the Uttlesford hub, setting out what it intends to do over the next 20 to 25 years. The plan will initially be published as a draft for consultation, with a final version expected towards the end of the year.

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) chairman Peter Sanders said: “We welcome this consultation on MAG’s long-term plan for Stansted.

“It is being described as a sustainable development plan and we very much hope that’s what it genuinely is. Provided it respects all the current planning limits and confirms MAG’s commitment to Stansted continuing to be an ‘airport in the countryside’, there should be considerable scope for a constructive dialogue.”

He said it was understood the SDP would be based on Stansted remaining as a single-runway airport, although within existing planning permission there is scope to handle almost twice as many passengers – around 35 million a year – and twice as many flights as today.

SSE will be pressing for an end to night flights for those living around the airport and beneath its flight paths where “ambient noise levels are low”.

MAG’s continued ownership of about 270 properties around the airport – mostly acquired in connection with the now-aborted second runway plans – is another contentious issue and SSE says the forthcoming consultation and roadshows will give those communities most affected an opportunity to persuade MAG to “do the decent thing in this regard”.

A Stansted Airport spokesman said: “We will shortly launch a period of consultation with local communities and key stakeholders on our Sustainable Development Plan to consider the benefits and effects of how the airport might develop to make full use of the existing runway and look forward to that period of engagement to help us inform our plans.”

SSE’s calls come as a new public attitudes survey published by the Department for Transport, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, found that 57% of the British public – up from 47% in 2010 – agree with the view that “in order to boost the economy, new terminals and runways should be built”. Only 17% disagreed.

Gavin Hayes, director of pressure group Let Britain Fly, said: “While our politicians procrastinate on the issue of airports expansion, the British public increasingly agrees that Britain needs new runways to boost the economy and secure future jobs and growth.

“Indeed, this survey shows how strongly attitudes have shifted in support of airports expansion over the last four years. So if voters get it, why don’t our politicians?

“We believe it’s now time for our political leaders to listen to the public they represent and give a clear public commitment to build new runways – it’s a no-brainer.”

http://www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk/News/Uttlesford/SSE-calls-for-end-to-night-flights-at-Stansted-Airport-as-national-survey-backs-more-runways-20140728175632.htm

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Caroline Spelman MP calls for end to Birmingham flight path trials

Meriden MP Caroline Spelman has demanded the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, calls a halt to Birmingham Airport’s flight path trials across her borough, since 1st May, after being handed a petition with over 1,500 signatures. The petition, which has been signed by a number of local action groups, calls on Transport Secretary to intervene in the trial following complaints over noise. The airport has been trialling two options for new flight paths for the past 6 months as part of the new runway extension. But residents claim the aircraft are not sticking to the routes accurately, causing planes to fly closer to their homes. Caroline Spelman says the fact the planes are not flying the accurate routes has invalidated the trial, and a review is needed of what has gone wrong. “. If the airport plumps for a compromise route which is different from the original two options there would need to be a further consultation.”  The airport claims its new runway extension, as well as creating distressing noise and disruption for several thousand people, will ” deliver global connectivity and thousands of new jobs in the future for local people.” The CAA will finally decide on the flight paths.
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MP calls for end to Birmingham flight path trials

Work starting on the runway
The flight path trials are due to continue until October

Conservative MP Caroline Spelman has called for the transport secretary to stop flight path trials being carried out from Birmingham Airport.

The airport began a six-month trial for two potential new flight paths in May, as part of a runway extension.

But some residents claim noise levels have increased and have organised a petition calling for a rethink on the flight paths.

Ms Spelman called for Patrick McLoughlin’s “urgent intervention”.

Meriden MP Ms Spelman said it was “very hard for the community to tell” which flight paths were better or worse for residents.

“I think we need the transport secretary to intervene and review what has gone wrong here. We have had three months of trials and they aren’t going very well.

“The airport isn’t able to fly these routes accurately and we can’t afford to just let these trials drag on where it is not working properly.”

Caroline Spelman
Ms Spelman said the flight path trials were not working

Dave Ellis, from Balsall Common Action Group, which has organised the petition, said noise levels had increased.

“The noisiest planes are outgoing ones because they are fully laden and there’s some new routes coming in,” he said.

The airport, which has been contacted for a comment, is expected to submit its findings to the Civil Aviation Authority following the trials.

Work to add an extra 400m to the existing runway began in November 2012, after years of planning.

Airport bosses hope the longer runway will allow it to provide flights to more long-haul destinations.

The airport insisted it would assess the impact of the trial once it had ended.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-28541377

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MP demanding a halt to airport flight path trials

Caroline Spelman has demanded the Transport Secretary calls a halt to flight path trials across Meriden.

Aeroplanes landing at Birmingham International Airport as seen from Bickenhill

 

Meriden MP Caroline Spelman has demanded the Transport Secretary calls a halt to flight path trials across the borough after being handed a petition with over 1,500 signatures.

The petition, which has been signed by a number of local action groups, calls on Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to intervene in the trial of the new flight paths from Birmingham airport, following complaints over noise.

The airport has been trialling two options for new flight paths for the past six months as part of the new runway extension. But residents claim the aircraft are finding it difficult to stick to the routes accurately, causing planes to fly closer to their homes.

“I sympathise with the disruption to people’s lives from the noise nuisance and consider that the inaccuracy of the aircraft trying to fly the new routes has invalidated the trial,” the MP said.

“I want the Transport Secretary to call a halt to the trial and review what has gone wrong. If the airport plumps for a compromise route which is different from the original two options there would need to be a further consultation, but I hope this time the airport will consider trialling the option proposed by the community to minimise the noise nuisance.”

A recent statement from the airport said: “A trial to test the actual impact of two potential flight paths has been in operation since May 1st and follows a full consultation period last year with the local community on the two options, known locally as Option 5 & 6. The consultation gave local people the chance to give their views and the trial is in order for the airport to understand the actual impact of the options, rather than theoretical modelling, before submitting its final findings to the Civil Aviation Authority.

“The new flight path, to the south of the airport, is required as a result of the runway extension, which is now open and will deliver global connectivity and thousands of new jobs in the future for local people.

“The airport is aware of a petition circulating in the community and is recording and responding to all correspondence received by residents.”

http://www.solihullnews.net/news/local-news/mp-demanding-halt-airport-flight-7520151

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2,000 join outcry over ‘noisy’ Birmingham Airport flight paths

Residents flock to sign petition claiming recent trials have made their lives a misery

More than 2,000 villagers living near Birmingham Airport have signed a petition calling for a rethink on flight paths following an outcry over noise levels.

Residents in Balsall Common, Hampton in Arden and Catherine de Barnes claim their lives are being made a misery by trials launched in May.

The tests have been held in advance of new flight paths following the opening of the airport’s runway extension.

The petition, backed by Meriden MP Caroline Spelman, will be submitted to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. It calls on the Government to order a rethink by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The protest campaign was boosted by a public meeting last week at the Heart of England School, in Balsall Common, which attracted around 300 people.

David Ellis, of the Balsall Common Action Group, said: “It is really crazy. We used to accept noise but we are now getting twice the noise we had before. We know we can’t change things as they stand and we have to accept that is the law, but, on environment issues, the Secretary of State can order the CAA to call it in and look at it again.

“There is a lot of ill-feeling in the area. I was staggered by how many people attended the public meeting.

“I do not think that the airport realise that it is not just Balsall Common – it is also Hampton in Arden and Catherine de Barnes. Caroline Spelman is as angry as we are over this.”

An airport spokesman said: “A trial to test the impact of two potential flight paths has been in operation since May 1. The trial is in order for the airport to understand the impact of the options, rather than theoretical modelling, before submitting its final findings to the Civil Avitation Authority.

“The new flight path, to the south of the airport, is required as a result of the runway extension, which is now open. The airport is aware of a petition circulating in the community and is recording and responding to all correspondence received.”

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birmingham-airport-flight-paths-petition-7467128

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Earlier:

Battle of Balsall Common’ over plane noise, from Birmingham flight path trial, goes to Parliament

The Battle of Balsall Common – which has triggered waves of complaints of noise nuisance from planes taking off at Birmingham Airport – is to go to Parliament. Angry residents are raising a protest petition to be sent to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, to ask him to look at this trial, and call it in. People affected say their lives are being made a misery by trials launched in May in advance of new flight paths being made permanent. This has happened because of the runway extension. People are deeply angry and anxious, because these flight paths are away from the NPR routes (Noise Preferential Routes), which everyone has known about for years. People have checked, in the past, to ensure they have not chosen to live near an NPR. Now, areas which nobody could have guessed would be overflow have planes overhead every few minutes. Campaigners took to the streets of Balsall Common last weekend to get signatures, in a bid to force a Government rethink of the new flight path. David Ellis, of the Balsall Common Action Group, said: ““We are told they are over 3,000 feet but that is not the point – the noise is the problem.” There will be a public meeting on July 16th on the problem.

Click here to view full story…

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