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US conservation groups to sue EPA over delays in finding aviation emissions an endangerment to health

US conservation groups have filed a notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its perceived failure and unreasonable delay in addressing aviation’s growing emissions. The dispute goes back over 6 years to when the groups first petitioned EPA to carry out a mandatory duty under the Clean Air Act to determine whether aircraft emissions cause or contribute to air pollution “that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare”. The mandate was upheld in a court ruling in July 2011, and in 2012 EPA acknowledged its obligation to conduct an endangerment finding and indicated it would begin work. However it has not yet done anything. EPA said it would “review and respond accordingly” to the notice but that it was currently working through ICAO on an international CO2 efficiency standard for new aircraft types.  But green NGOs are sceptical of this process, and its chance of making any significant cut in overall emissions. The move was supported by European group, T& E who commented that the amount of aviation emissions in the US is huge and “their effective regulation is long overdue.”
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US conservation groups to sue EPA over delays in finding aviation emissions an endangerment to health

Thurs 21 Aug 2014 (Green Air online)

Conservation groups have filed a notice of intent to sue the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a perceived failure and unreasonable delay by the government agency in addressing aviation’s growing aviation emissions. The dispute goes back over six years to when the groups first petitioned EPA to carry out a mandatory duty under the Clean Air Act to determine whether greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from aircraft engines cause or contribute to air pollution “that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare”. The mandate was upheld in a court ruling in July 2011, and in 2012 EPA acknowledged its obligation to conduct an endangerment finding and indicated it would begin work, but has yet to take any steps in the rulemaking process. EPA said it would “review and respond accordingly” to the notice but that it was currently working through ICAO on an international CO2 efficiency standard for new type aircraft.

The 180-day notice was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth, which is being represented by Earthjustice. In their letter of notice to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the organisations point out EPA has found GHG emissions do indeed endanger public health and welfare, and had taken action to regulate them from other sources, including motor vehicles.

They add aviation is one of the fastest-growing sources of CO2 pollution, accounting for around 11% of CO2 emissions from the US transportation sector and rising at three to five per cent a year. “Because of the significant role that aircraft play in global climate change, and in light of the exponential growth projected in air travel, the United States must lead the way in regulating global warming pollutants from these sources,” said the letter.

Commented Martin Wagner, an Earthjustice managing attorney: “There is a real opportunity to curb global warming pollution from the airline industry. But the industry won’t do it on its own. EPA must act now to ensure that the airline industry operates more efficiently to play its part in protecting our families, our communities and the environment from the devastating effects of climate change.”

The move was supported by European NGO Transport & Environment (T&E). “We welcome this action by US civil society,” said its Aviation Programme Manager, Bill Hemmings. “North American domestic aviation CO2 emissions alone exceed all the rest of the world’s domestic emissions combined, so their effective regulation is long overdue.”

A spokesperson for EPA told GreenAir: “As the suit is received, EPA will review and respond accordingly.”

She added in a statement: “EPA has been publicly working on the development of international CO2 standards for four years at ICAO, which are expected to be finalised in early 2016. If these international standards were to be incorporated domestically, EPA would first need to propose an endangerment finding for aircraft GHGs under the Clean Air Act.

“Right now, the Agency is taking action on climate change by implementing the President’s Climate Action Plan and taking on the largest sources of carbon pollution first. We have already put in place light duty vehicle standards for GHG emissions and now are working on a second round of standards for heavy duty vehicles. We are also in the process of finalising standards for power plants, the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States.”

Work towards approval of a CO2 certification standard for new types of aircraft is ongoing in ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), which is currently preparing a cost-effectiveness analysis of various levels of stringency. It is expected to reach a recommendation that will be approved at the February 2016 CAEP meeting, before consideration and adoption by the governing ICAO Council.

“We are pleased that EPA and the Federal Aviation Administration are actively participating in the ICAO work,” a spokesperson for US airline association Airlines for America (A4A) told GreenAir. “In light of US airlines’ strong record of fuel efficiency and carbon emissions reduction, and EPA’s direct role in the ICAO work, threats to sue EPA to force additional regulatory action are unnecessary.

“Our global coalition supports agreement at ICAO to develop a CO2 certification standard for new type aircraft to be approved in 2016 and to work on a potential global market-based measure to serve as a ‘gap-filler’ should we not be able to achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020 through concerted industry and government investments in technology, operations and infrastructure.”

Environmental NGOs also support the development of an international CO2 standard but have been critical of the process so far. T&E’s Hemmings said the standard had little prospect of reducing emissions beyond what would have been achieved without regulation. “This is because ICAO intends to limit the standard’s stringency to 2016 technologies operational in 2020, which will largely have been overtaken by the time the standard takes effect,” he maintained. “Efficiency standards have played an important role in reducing emissions in other transport sectors and their role is even more important in aviation.”

Against an ICAO annual global efficiency improvement goal of 2% – the industry has committed to a lower 1.5% target through until 2020 – T&E claims the historical industry trend of aircraft efficiency improvement is showing a declining rate and is currently around 0.6% per year.

A4A points out US airlines improved their fuel efficiency by 120% between 1978 and 2013, saving in the process 3.6 billion tonnes of CO2, and in 2013 carried 17% more passengers and cargo than in 2000 while emitting 8% less CO2.

Dan Rutherford of US-headquartered environmental research non-profit International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) agrees – up to a point. “The fuel efficiency of US domestic operations improved strongly from 1990 to 2008 – an average of 3% per year – due to improvements in new aircraft efficiency and rising load factors.”

However, he added in a blog posted in May: “In recent years, gains from new aircraft in the United States have fallen, raising the risk that efficiency improvements will stall completely as the marginal gains of filling every available seat drop off.

“We first identified the trend of falling improvement for new equipment back in 2009. It’s driven by a lack of new types and by prioritisation of aircraft performance, notably range and speed, over fuel burn improvements. Due to the time lag between new aircraft delivery and penetration into the in-use fleet, this slowdown is now evident at the airline level.

“Since that 2009 report, new aircraft types like the 787-8 have been brought into service, and manufacturers have announced a number of project aircraft – for example the A320neo, 737 MAX and 777X – that may eventually start to reverse this trend.”

Friends of the Earth analyst John Kaltenstein said: “As time runs out to head off global warming’s worst effects, President Obama has to push the aviation industry to cut carbon pollution. Airlines can clearly operate much more efficiently but federal rules are critical to reducing their dangerous emissions.

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1967

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Links:

Letter of notice to EPA (PDF)

Friends of the Earth

Center for Biological Diversity

Earthjustice

Environmental Protection Agency

Airlines for America (A4A)

Transport & Environment

International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)

 

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European scheme to try to cut airport energy use for heating, ventilation and air conditioning by 20%

Airports tend to be inefficient buildings which use a lot of energy, mainly for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).  Energy used for HVAC can be half of the total airport use.  A European programme hopes to get European airports to cut their HVAC energy consumption by 20%, over 3 years,  largely by using better fault detection and diagnostics, with an energy action plan based on the international management standard ISO 50001.  They hope to detect if equipment is on when it is not needed, when the settings are wrong, poor positioning of sensors and poor maintenance.  Airport buildings are vast, especially with the extra space given over to lucrative retail – the sheer scale means high energy use to keep the temperature correct. An EU study shows the 500 airports in the 28 European member states emit as much CO2 as a city of 50 million people. As the industry intends to grow at a fast rate, pressure is bound to grow on airports to improve the energy performance. Two Italian airports, Fiumicino in Rome and Malpensa in Milan, are being used as pilots to see if the scheme would work. The energy use of airports, and their CO2 emissions, are part of the total emissions of the aviation  industry.
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Polluting the planet before you take off

London's Heathrow airport: A European airport may emit as much greenhouse gas as a city of 100,000 people Image: Fingalo Christian Bickel via Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Brown  (Climate News Network)

Airports are disastrously inefficient buildings which belch greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and contribute hugely to climate change, a European study has found.

LONDON, 7 August – Airlines are under increasing pressure to use more efficient aircraft to reduce the damage the industry is doing to the planet as it continues to grow.

In its defence the industry says it produces only 2% of the world’s carbon dioxide, and 12% of the total from the transport industry, and that it is therefore a tiny problem compared with private cars which produce 74% of transport’s CO2.

But in this battle of statistics the role of airports, the vast air-conditioned waiting rooms and shopping malls containing thousands of waiting passengers, has not so far been taken into account.

Now a European Union study has shown that Europe’s 500 airports in the 28 member countries together emit as much CO2 as a city of 50 million people.

The paper says airport buildings are disastrously inefficient structures which produce large quantities of greenhouse gases. Big airports each have emissions equal those of a city of 100,000 people.

With new airports and vast terminals being built across the planet at an ever-increasing rate to provide for booming international tourism as well as business travel, pressure is bound to grow on the industry to improve its performance.

In a bid to try to curb the problem the EU has begun a three-year programme costing more than €3 million (US$4m) to try to get the continent’s largest airports to be less wasteful of energy. The plan is to cut emissions by 20% over the period the programme runs.

Cheap and easy

The problem is the heating, ventilation and air conditioning plants which consume half the energy used in each airport. The EU’s solution is to use computers to control the plants so that faults are detected immediately and waste is kept to a minimum by careful management.

Two Italian airports, Fiumicino in Rome and Malpensa in Milan, used by 55 million people a year, agreed to act as pilots to see if the scheme would work.

The engineers concentrated on the large air conditioning units, chiller plants and cooling towers at the airports. They found equipment running when it was not needed, incorrect heating and cooling settings, poor positioning of sensors and poor maintenance.

Just by simple inexpensive measures like re-setting heating controls and replacing faulty sensors, each airport could save 3,500 tonnes of CO2 and €70,000 a year, the study found.

The project coordinator, Nicolas Réhault, head of group building performance optimization at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany, said the same software could be applied to other complex buildings and save large quantities of energy and the subsequent emissions.

False comparison

He explained: “Airports are very complex infrastructures. We have gained a lot of know-how on how these infrastructures work. This can be replicated to other highly complex buildings such as hospitals and banks. And it could be downscaled to simpler things, too.”

Already Airports Council International is so impressed by the results that it has undertaken to demonstrate the results of the pilot project to the biggest 400 of Europe’s airports in an attempt to get them to adopt the system.

The project will no doubt help the European Commission’s goals in reducing is overall carbon dioxide emissions. But this focus on airports’ wasteful use of energy will also increase pressure on the industry to improve its performance.

Already the simple use of quantities of emissions from each source – aircraft, trains and cars, for example – is not a fair comparison of their contribution to climate change. For example, aviation is said to be more damaging because its emissions are high in the atmosphere and cause contrails which trap heat.

Environmental groups are likely to factor in the role of airports in increasing emissions when lobbying governments to take some action on aviation in future climate talks. - Climate News Network

 

http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2014/08/polluting-the-planet-before-you-take-off/

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From the European Commission, CORDIS (Community Research and Development Research Service)

http://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/93078_en.html

CASCADE: REDUCING ENERGY USE BY AIRPORTS

Airports are big energy consumers – and that’s before a plane takes off or lands. The daily electricity and thermal energy used by a large airport compares to that of a city of 100,000 people.

CASCADE: REDUCING ENERGY USE BY AIRPORTS

There are around 500 airports in the 28 European Union member states and even the smallest one consumes energy like there’s no tomorrow. The goal of the EU’s three-year CASCADE project – ICT for Energy Efficient Airports – is to help airport managers reduce their energy needs and cut the CO2 emissions caused specifically by their high-consuming heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) plants by 20 % in the short term.

The nine CASCADE partners , funded with EUR 2.6 million from the EC’s 7th Framework Programme , aim to do this by means of new software, coupled with an energy action plan based on the international management standard ISO 50001, and algorithms for fault detection and diagnostics. Using the CASCADE system, faults can be detected quickly and automatically before the systems are damaged or fail, or too much energy is wasted, and thus help airport maintenance teams implement corrective actions and improve the performance of equipment in the plants.

It’s perfect timing for airport managers, as they are under pressure to help the EU meet its 20-20-20 goals (one of them being to cut domestic emissions 20 % by 2020) by economizing in energy management. And for this they need tools which provide adequate support. CASCADE provides them with such a tool, integrating it with the existing ICT solutions already installed at airport facilities.

HVAC SYSTEMS CONSUME 50% OF ALL ENERGY AT AIRPORTS

Rome’s Fiumicino and Milan’s Malpensa airports, the two biggest in Italy, agreed to act as pilots, dedicating personnel and resources to the project. Some 55 million passengers use these airports every year. Around half of the energy they use is consumed by heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, so reducing this by 20% will significantly reduce overall energy consumption at the airports.

‘We are not targeting the whole airport infrastructure,’ said CASCADE coordinator Nicolas Réhault , head of group building performance optimization at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany. ‘Our objective is to save 20 % energy on these targeted systems by optimizing savings and with the knowledge we gain we then want to replicate the solution at other airports.

Focusing on the HVAC systems – especially the large air handling units, chiller plants and cooling towers the airports use – the project team installed hundreds of new sensors, meters and advanced data loggers at the two airports to step up measurement of parameters such as temperature, pressure, flow rates, electrical consumption, etc.

Engineers using this new measurement framework can control and benchmark equipment performance and optimize user behavior. Coupling this to fault detection tools, they have been able to root out problems in scheduling (equipment running when it’s not needed), incorrect heating and cooling settings in different areas of the airport, poor positioning of sensors or actuators, lack of calibration or maintenance, unbalanced pipe and duct systems, and so on.

After the first six months of the pilot phase, the CASCADE system has already detected some control and sensor faults in large air handling units that provide Fiumicino Terminal 1 with fresh air. Estimated savings of 500 MWh, which corresponds to about 3,500 tons of CO2 or 70 000 EUR a year, are achievable just by implementing low-investment measures like resetting the controls or replacing faulty sensors, the researchers found.

SOFTWARE COULD BE APPLIED TO OTHER COMPLEX BUILDINGS

Interest in the project has extended across the EU. Airports Council International has committed its support to the proposal by providing a channel to demonstrate the results to 400 of the 500 EU-28 airports. The CASCADE consortium hopes that through its network other airports will integrate the CASCADE software tool into their energy management plans.

There will be other applications for the CASCADE software, as Nicolas went on to explain. ‘Airports are very complex infrastructures. We have gained a lot of know-how on how these infrastructures work. This can be replicated to other highly complex buildings such as hospitals and banks. And it could be downscaled to simpler things, too.’

http://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/93078_en.html
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Work on Carlisle airport revamp for freight centre could start in 6 weeks, if there is no legal challenge

Work on the redevelopment of Carlisle Airport could begin in 6 weeks, unless there is another legal challenge to the planning approval granted by Carlisle City Council councillors. Their development control committee has given the scheme – which includes the creation of a huge freight distribution depot – full approval. It was the 4th time that the matter has gone to committee for decision. Work can start, if there is no application by opponents of the scheme for a judicial review of the planning approval. That application would have to be lodged within 6 weeks. The planning law has recently changed, so the council did not need to consider whether the airport would be commercially viable, nor whether Stobart would actually keep the airport open – rather than just use the land for freight storage and transfer. One key opponent, Peter Elliott, has stressed that the runway should be realigned, to take it away from Irthington village, due to safety. Supporters of the scheme hope it will create jobs, but that is uncertain. Stobart shareholders had previously been told that the huge freight distribution centre would reduce rather than create jobs. Stobart hope 40,000 people per year would fly from Carlisle to Southend Airport, plus 20,000 per year to Dublin.
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WORK ON CARLISLE AIRPORT REVAMP COULD START WITHIN WEEKS

Work on the long-awaited £20 million redevelopment of Carlisle Airport could begin in six weeks – provided there is not another legal challenge to the planning approval granted by councillors.

The city council’s development control committee has given the scheme – which includes the creation of a huge freight distribution depot – full approval.

It was the fourth time that councillors have given the project a green light.

The only thing now likely to stop the development proceeding would be an objector applying for and securing yet another judicial review of the planning approval.

Anybody wishing to do that must lodge the application within six weeks.

This week’s special meeting of the committee came after a change in the law gave fresh impetus to the airport plan: new case law means councillors were not obliged, as they were previously, to consider whether the airport would be commercially viable.

Nor did they have to make planning permission conditional on a promise to keep the airport open.

While there was little debate about the latest application, several members of the public did exercise their right to speak.

The first to do so was former helicopter pilot and aviation director Peter Elliott, one of the scheme’s most outspoken opponents.

He showed the meeting a dramatic projector image of a helicopter crash in the US city Seattle, suggesting that granting permission to the scheme could produce a similar result and “endanger life”.

“I think it is a statistical certainty that there will be an aircraft which will crash within the next 50 years,” Mr Elliott claimed, adding that it was a statistical probability that this would happen during take off or landing. He said that all he wanted was for the runway to be realigned, to take the flight path away from Irthington village.

Dale Ransley, speaking for Irthington resident Charmi McCutcheon, said there was nothing in the report prepared for councillors which prevented Stobart from closing the airport, and doing this as soon as possible made “complete business sense”.

Crosby-on-Eden resident Mike Fox, who is also a Stanwix Rural parish councillor, said Stobart shareholders had previously been told that opening the freight distribution centre – measuring 241m by 151m – would reduce rather than create jobs.

He also suggested Stobart could close the airport before work to upgrade the runway even began.

The meeting also heard from Stobart officials, including the firm’s estates manager Richard Butcher who said: “Stobart genuinely want the airport to succeed – not only for our own business aspirations but also to make a significant contribution to the growth of the Carlisle and Cumbrian economies.”

Stobart Air boss Julian Carr predicted 40,000 people a year would fly from Carlisle to Stobart’s existing Southend Airport, and a further 20,000 a year to Dublin.

In the debate on the issue, the main contribution was from Councillor Ray Bloxham, who represents Longtown and Rockcliffe. He said the development would have a “heavy effect” on the area’s roads.

He called for restrictions on HGVs travelling through villages of Irthington and Ruleholme, and for central reservations to be introduced to improve safety at the junctions for those villages on the A689 next to the airport.

After the plan was approved, Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler said: “We believe the flights we have identified will be sustainable, and our customers often want air freight.

“Our business plan has always stacked up. Ideally, we would like to see work start in a couple of months.”


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See earlier:

Carlisle CIty Council gives go-ahead to Carlisle airport overhaul – largely to be a freight centre

Plans for the £20 million overhaul of Carlisle Airport have been given the go ahead – again. A special meeting of Carlisle City Council took place on 18th August, with councillors asked to approved Stobart Group’s proposals for a massive freight distribution centre and revamped runway. One councillor expressed concerns over potential traffic congestion but no councillor voted against the motion to approve officers’ recommendations. The Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler said that work could begin within “a couple of months” – provided there are no legal challenges. The decision came despite the High Court quashing a previous planning permission decision, as new case law has since emerged which means that the need to take into account the viability of the airport is no longer relevant. However, opponents of the plans are questioning the legality of the council decision. Local people are asking for this decision to be called in. This freight depot proposal is deeply opposed by a large proportion of the local community. There is concern that the proposal was permitted because Tinkler showed a film, of Stobart employees begging for consent to be granted, at the planning meeting.

Click here to view full story…

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Indignation in Frankfurt at the approval of the 3rd Terminal, for yet more flights and more noise

Frankfurt airport protesters continue their huge gatherings on most Monday evenings (they have a break in the summer, and do vigils instead). There have now been 108 Monday protests and 34 vigils, with around 1,000 at the protests and around 100 at the vigils. After the news that planning had been granted for a 3rd Frankfurt airport terminal, there were far more people than usual at the vigil, with around 500, mobilised by the news. It was “the first Monday after the Tuesday,” and people were deeply angry at the news, and that it had been broken in August, in the holiday period.  The terminal enables the airport to grow, with more flights and more passengers. That means more noise misery for the thousands who already find the over-flights unacceptable. Opponents want the right to sleep, which they say is a fundamental right that is destroyed by aircraft noise. It is unacceptable for people to be rudely woken from their sleep at 5am and that they can no longer sit in the garden when the weather is good is described as “a monstrosity”. “We do not want to live like this.”  Opponents hope the decision can be reversed, when there is a proper study of the surface transport infrastructure required for a new terminal. .

 

Wave of indignation

 From    (fr-online.de) 18.8.2014

[Imperfect Google translation from the German, below].

About 500 people hold in Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport vigil. Photo: Andreas Arnold

At the vigil in Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport, far more people than usual.The approval granted planning permission for the third terminal mobilized the expansion opponents.

It is “the first Monday after the Tuesday,” says Erwin Stufler of the citizens’ initiative against aircraft noise in Mainz. Since the start there have been 108 Monday demonstrations against the airport expansion and 34 Vigil, who carry on the protest during the holidays. Is common that more than 100 people participate in these vigils. After last Tuesday, as the Frankfurter Supervision issued the building permit for the third terminal on the grounds of the Frankfurt airport, was mobilized vigorously, and actually come in the evening about 500 expansion opponents into the terminal first “We realize that people are absolutely angry” and “pissed” – also because the permission “hewn out in the summer holidays” was. “We realize that it goes to the point that the political opponents of facts creates,” says Stufler, the da Costa and protest veterans Roger Treuting organized from Rüsselsheim a small panel discussion while standing with the airport architect Dieter Faulenbach.

He had “never thought that in my country violates human rights” would. The right to sleep is a fundamental right that is destroyed by aircraft noise. That people were being torn 5am clock from sleep and could no longer sit in the garden when the weather is “a monstrosity”. Hofmann recalled “the general law of self-defense”. The people under the approach and departure routes befänden itself “in an emergency”. He urged the expansion opponents to defend themselves “stronger and more aggressive.” “We do not want to live like this.” Airport would not be sufficient, but will be dismantled. The airport does not belong to this place, not in the region. ”

The fifth track

The airport expert Dieter Faulenbach da Costa holds the location of Frankfurt Airport inappropriate. In the planning decision for the airport expansion in 2007 was on the page 789, that the first phase of construction of Terminal 3 in 2013 would come into operation. “The predictions were all wrong.” Da Costa asked if it were not at the time now, “stop and think about whether there are alternatives.” In the opinion of Roger Treuting,, who protested even as a student against the airport’s expansion, airport operator Fraport manages the building the third terminal needs the creation of a 5th railway. After the Runway West Terminal 2 was built, then the fourth runway. New capacities are always created, which were then served/filled up by the continued expansion. The Left Party politician Janine Wissler appealed to the expansion opponents, not to be persuaded, “now that nothing more was to change”. Many expansion opponents are pinning their hopes on the initiative presented by the Rhein-Main report, according to which the construction should not have been approved because the issue of transport/road infrastructure was not cleared up. Ursula Fechter of the BISachsenhausen, criticised the fact that the Frankfurt Director of Planning Councillor Olaf Cunitz have not even taken the opinion knowledge.

http://www.fr-online.de/flughafen-frankfurt/mahnache-am-frankfurter-flughafen-welle-der-empoerung,2641734,28159840.html .


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Opponents ofthe 3rd Terminal, are at  “Kein Terminal 3″  (No Terminal 3) campaign on Facebook  .


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More older news stories about Frankfurt airport at


Earlier:

Frankfurt Airport given planning permission to build Terminal 3, to increase passenger number

Frankfurt airport currently has 2 passenger terminals with a capacity of approximately 65 million passengers per year, plus 4 runways. In 2009, the German government decided there should be a new Terminal 3 in order to handle the expected passenger flow of 90 million per year by 2020. The new terminal is scheduled to be built by Fraport, south of the existing terminals. Fraport has now announced that it has been granted approval of its planning application, by the city of Frankfurt. However, it still needs a demand assessment. The building of a new terminal has been deeply controversial, and has been strongly opposed – as it is a means by which the airport can grow substantially. Fraport hopes the first phase of construction will start next year. Fraport say the airport will reach its maximum passenger capacity of about 64-68 million passengers a year by 2021 and that the new terminal when finished will allow it to serve up to 25 million more. Opponents say the airport already creates too much noise and does not need to be expanded. The CDU and the Greens said in their coalition agreement at the end of 2013 that they were in favour of looking at alternatives to building a new terminal. Opponents say they will keep fighting the expansion plans.

Click here to view full story…

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Global bird culls by airports, to deter bird strike. Hundreds of thousands gassed, shot and poisoned

 

The issue of bird strikes for planes is an emotive one.  Some collisions do little damage to planes, but hitting a large bird can disable an engine, or worse.  While birds and planes co-exist, some strikes are inevitable. Rose Bridger has been looking into this subject for years. She says shortly after the Hudson incident in 2009, New York’s 3 main airports began culling Canada geese. This escaped public attention until June 2010, when wildlife officials rounded up nearly 400 birds and gassed with CO2 in a nearby buiding.  In fact, the geese that downed the plane were not locals, but migrants from northern Canada. By autumn 2013 geese were being rounded up from municipal properties within a 160 square kilometre area. After a non-fatal (for the plane) collision with a flock of geese at Schiphol in 2010, 5,000 were gassed in 2012. The area where geese are deemed a hazard to aircraft was extended to cover a 20 kilometre radius around the airport, and a further 10,000 geese were gassed between January and July 2013. In January, the New York Port Authority announced plans to eliminate the entire population of 2,200 wild mute swans. And there are many, many other examples. Airports should not be built in or near important bird habitats and migratory flightpaths.

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Airports’ global bird slaughter – 100,000s gassed, shot, poisoned

By Rose Bridger

18th August 2014

Airports around the world are waging a war on birds, writes Rose Bridger. It’s meant to prevent aircraft bird strikes. But in fact, fatal (for people) collisions are rare – and even killing thousands of birds does little to reduce the number of strikes. Best fly less, and keep airports away from birds!

The most effective way of minimising bird strikes, aside from constraining aviation growth so that skies are not so crowded, is not to build airports in or near important bird habitats and migratory flightpaths.

Aircraft share airspace with birds, so collisions, or ‘bird strikes’ as they’re known in the trade, are inevitable. A bird strike in New York, the ‘Hudson Miracle‘, seared the threat to aviation safety into the consciousness of air crew and passengers alike.

On 15th January 2009, Canada geese were sucked into both engines of a US Airways Airbus 320 shortly after take-off from New York’s La Guardia Airport. The speed of the aircraft magnifies the force of impact of the collision and both engines lost power.

Disaster was narrowly averted by the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, who saved the lives of all on board by successfully ditching the plane in the Hudson River.

Collisions with aircraft are almost always fatal for birds. When they are sucked into and minced up in engines the species might only be identified by DNA sequencing analysis of remains. When birds collide with the nose, wings or fuselage of a plane they leave blood smeared dents. Birds can smash through the windshield of small aircraft, leaving pilots spattered with blood.

Culling geese

Shortly after the Hudson incident New York’s three main airports – JFK, La Guardia and Newark – began culling Canada geese. This escaped public attention until June 2010, when wildlife officials rounded up nearly 400 birds in Prospect Park and took them to a nearby building, where they were gassed with carbon dioxide at a lethal concentration.

Residents’ shock the following day, when they found the park devoid of geese, triggered the establishment of GoosewatchNYC, a lively campaign for co-existence with urban wildlife and humane alternatives to culling.

Campaigners pointed out the futility of killing the geese. DNA testing revealed that the geese in the Hudson bird strike were not resident birds, but a migratory species which had flown south from northern Canada.

GoosewatchNYC drew attention to the carnage that would be necessary should authorities attempt to eliminate the risk of aircraft collisions with migratory birds: “In order to guarantee preventing a repeat occurrence would essentially require killing every bird on the eastern seaboard.”

While not adopting such an extreme policy, authorities increased culling. By autumn 2013 geese were being rounded up from municipal properties within a 160 square kilometrearea.

On 6th June 2010, a collision with geese brought down another plane. A Boeing 737 departing from Schiphol Airport, carrying six crew and 156 passengers, was seriously damaged when it struck a flock of geese. The pilot struggled with the controls when the left engine lost power and caught fire, but managed to land the safely back at Schiphol.

Investigators discovered the mangled carcasses of 24 geese in the landing gear and the electronics compartment. Seven more were found dead on the runway. Geese are attracted to agricultural land around the airport, and, in 2012, 5,000 were gassed.

Bird protection groups suggested planting crops that would not attract geese, but the area where geese are deemed a hazard to aircraft was extended to cover a 20 kilometre radius around the airport, and a further 10,000 were gassed between January and July 2013.

Airport kill lists

Community opposition to bird culling in New York intensified in December 2013 when snowy owls were added to the kill list. After five bird strikes at JFK involving snowy owls, in the space of just two weeks, three were shot.

In response to an online petition urging a cease fire, that quickly garnered 63,000 signatures, the Port Authority stopped killing snowy owls and committed to adopting non-lethal alternative methods. Now, snowy owls will be trapped and relocated, the most humane option, but only feasible for managing small numbers of birds.

The first ever snowy owl to be spotted near Honolulu Airport’s runways was not so lucky. Attempts to frighten it away with flares and catch it in a net failed, so a wildlife official shot it.

New York Port Authority’s reprieve for snowy owls was not extended to other species. In January, it announced plans to eliminate the entire population of 2,200 wild mute swans, aside from a few to be held in captivity.

Conveniently for the airports, landowners and authorities concurred in the view that the mute swans are ‘pests’ – and promulgated the view that, in addition to posing a risk to airliners, the birds attack people, destroy vegetation and pollute water because their droppings contain E-coli.

GooseWatchNYC founder David Karopkin pointed out that the swans had been living in the state for almost 200 years and demanded that the ‘outrageous’ plan be scrapped. Within a few weeks 50,000 people had commented on the plan and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that it would be revised.

But airports’ culling practices have exacted a heavy toll on many species of birds. In May 2014 records showed that, over a five year period, JFK Airport wildlife control officers hadshot 26,000 birds.

More than 1,600 of these were from 18 protected species that airports did not have permission to kill including red-winged blackbirds, snowy egrets and American kestrels. In spite of the slaughter, the number of collisions has not declined.

To the south, in New Jersey, the picture is similar. 6,000 animals, mainly birds, have been killed in the name of air safety. Here too, the number of collisions with aircraft has not declined.

Over on the west coast, five airports in the San Francisco Bay area shot 3,000 birds in a two-year period up to May 2013, including 57 red-tailed hawks. Medium-sized birds such as gulls, ducks and hawks, and even small birds including starlings and blackbirds are also targetted, as dense flocks can being down a plane.

Worcester Airport in Massachusetts shoots small birds including swallows, horned larks and snow bunting. Sea-Tac (Seattle-Tacoma) Airport’s wildlife hazard management programme involves killing ‘invasive’ species, including 2,000 starlings per year.

Between 1990 and 2012 bird strike investigations throughout the US identified the remains of no less than 482 species, including loons, starlings, grebes, pelicans, cormorants, herons, storks, egrets, vultures, hawks, eagles, cranes, sandpipers, pigeons, owls, turkeys and blackbirds.

But the number of bird strikes has continued to rise since the Hudson incident, reaching 9,000 in 2012. The real level is probably double this amount because airlines are not required to report minor incidences. The continued rise in bird strikes gives credence to the opinion of a number of experts, who argue that culling is ineffective, creating vacant habitats that are rapidly populated by other birds.

Shooting, poisoning

In the aftermath of the Hudson incident airports around the world adopted a hard-line approach to birds.

Lishe Airport, on China’s east coast, which had previously dealt with migrating egrets, stopping to feed on nearby grassland, with gunshot sounds and capturing them in nets began spraying rat poison on the birds’ food sources and shooting them.

Changi responded to the post-Hudson panic by inviting the local gun club to shoot birds including white-bellied sea eagles. Following a public outcry Changi stopped shooting birds and stepped up its efforts to keep them away, by eradicating their food sources, covering up water sources and installing ‘anti-perching devices’ slopes and spikes on top of buildings, and dispersing them with lasers.

Yet airport artwork appropriates avian imagery; 1,216 bronze droplets connected to motors form the world’s largest ‘kinetic sculpture‘, moving to create a hot air balloon, a kite, a flock of birds and other flight related shapes.

Outdoor artwork at Auckland Airport includes five albatross sculptures crafted from cast iron. This whimsical installation belies the airport’s brutal approach to birdlife.

When the airport conducted its first black swan cull this July, 788 were shot from a helicopter. The swans had moved to the area because their habitat – lakes several kilometres away – was destroyed. Intensive agriculture, especially dairy herds, removed aquatic vegetation which served as their food source.

In Britain, red kites, distinctive birds of prey with angled wings and a forked tail were reintroduced to the Chiltern hills after being hunted almost to extinction. Sometimes they wander onto RAF Benson airfield, where a ‘considerable programme of non-lethal measures’ failed to prevent four collisions over the last two years. The airfield has been issued with a license to shoot red kites if there is a risk of collision with aircraft.

At least shooting kills the majority of birds quickly. At Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport, in Houston, United Airlines poisoned hundreds of birds by laying out corn kernels laced with a toxin. The poison, a nerve agent, was not fast-acting; birds took up to an hour to die. Videos taken by airport employees showed pigeons and great-tailed grackles suffering convulsions.

Perhaps the cruellest method of destroying birdlife is the enlistment of another species, by the Beijing Air Force. Two monkeys were trained to remove birds’ nests, because of concerns over millions of migratory birds flying northwards during spring. Each monkey can remove between six and eight nests a day; by May, they had removed a total of about 180.

Deterrence methods

For the most part, airports use a variety of methods to make sites inhospitable to birds and frighten them, only resorting to culling should these measures fail to keep them away. Fruit trees, grasses and other plants that attract insects and small mammals that birds feed on are removed.

Sometimes vegetation is simply replaced with asphalt. Detention ponds, built to protect the airport from flooding, are covered with netting or hollow plastic balls, have steeply sloped sides and are surrounded by quarry ‘spalls’ – sharp edged stones that are painful for birds to walk on. Beyond the airport boundary, water sources that birds need for drinking and food might be filled in or covered up.

After a plane collided with two peacocks Sri Lanka’s new Mattala Airport in January, authorities began destroying habitats - removing vegetation and closing water holes, having recognised that culling would be met with protests. Yet, like many airports, Mattala is adorned with artwork suggesting an affinity with birdlife; on the approach road there is a giant metal sculpture of peacock.

Vancouver Airport’s wildlife control programme comprises predatory falcons trained to chase them away, bright lights, strings of tinsel, patrol boats and pyrotechnic noise makers. But the airport still uses shotguns. In 2010, 1,987 birds were shot, more than double the average over the previous five years. Yet the number of bird strikes for the year, 217, was higher than the average of 189 over the previous five years.

Biotechnologists in New Zealand have come up with a more comprehensive approach to habitat management. A grass that repels birds has a ‘symbiotic fungus’ growing within it, which reduces the population of insects that attract birds, and makes birds sick if they ingest it, so they don’t return.

Test plots at Christchurch, Auckland and Hamilton airports have reduced the number of birds by 95%, so this must surely be considered a success. However this also demonstrates that such approaches to reduce the risk of bird strikes will also impact on wider biodiversity.

A growing number of airports use avian radar to detect birds. It is effective at distances of up to 9.5 kilometres and can even identify species. But it tends to be used in conjunction with deterrence measures.

For example, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport also uses propane cannons, pyrotechnic shells fired from a handgun with a range of sounds to target different species and falcons. However this arsenal of dispersal methods is of limited effectiveness – last year planes collided with 333 birds, the main victims being doves.

Few fatalities from bird strikes

The manner in which airports are stepping up the slaughter would suggest that bird strikes are a major cause of serious air accidents. In fact, the vast majority of afflicted planes land safely. About 5,000 collisions with birds occur every year, but airliners are built to withstand the impact.

The Hudson bird strike, so alarming because an emergency landing on a runway was not possible, was a highly unusual occurrence of birds being sucked into both engines.

Furthermore, only a small proportion of bird strikes result in fatalities. Since 1988, wildlife strikes, predominantly birds but also animals wandering onto runways, have destroyed about 229 planes worldwide. More than 250 people were killed, but this is a small proportion of deaths caused by air accidents.

In 2013 alone there were 265 air crash fatalities, and that was the safest year on record. Over the last ten years the annual average was 720 fatalities. The majority of serious air accidents are caused by mechanical failure, bad weather, pilot error, or a chain of events involving one or more of these factors. More human lives could be saved by increasing efforts to address these aspects of air safety.

Keep airports away from birds!

And the most effective way of minimising bird strikes, aside from constraining aviation growth so that skies are not so crowded, is not to build airports in or near important bird habitats and migratory flightpaths.

The threat to birds and air safety is a key reason for opposing any new airports, or airport expansions, in areas important for birds. One such is Istanbul’s third airport, which has already commenced on wetlands and forests to the north of the city.

Another – still at an early stage where it may be successfully combatted – is the proposed new hub airport for the UK in the Thames estuary, widely known as ‘Boris Island’ thanks to the strong support given to it by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

As highlighted by RSPB, which is “vehemently opposed to the construction of an airport in the Thames Estuary and that includes any and all of the latest proposals that have come forward”, the proposed airport would devastate valuable – and highly protected – habitat that supports hundreds of thousands of year-round and migratory birds.

The Thames Estuary contains a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and five Special Protection Areas (SPA), sites protected under EU law. All of the proposed airport sites conflict with one or more of them.

 


 

More information on RoseBridger.com.

Rose Bridger (@RoseKBridger) is the author of Plane Truth: Aviation’s Real Impact on People and the Environment, published by Pluto Press.

 

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2520695/airports_global_bird_slaughter_100000s_gassed_shot_poisoned.html

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Nakuru, Kenya film

Good short video (2 mins 30 seconds) about a proposed airport at Nakuru, in Kenya, stopped in 2012 because of the remarkable and unique local birdlife on the lake, that attracts a lot of tourists. The bird life (malibou storks, flamingoes etc) would have been completely incompatible with an airport.

You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sginnH6WRUU


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Monday, 18 August 2014

[The original article contains sixvideo clips and images]

Airports are waging a war against birdlife

Here is some additional information, with videos, to accompany my latest article for The Ecologist, (see above)  about collisions between aircraft and birds (bird strikes).

Since a serious air accident was narrowly averted in New York on 15 January 2009, when the pilot landed a plane in the Hudson River after geese were sucked into both engines on departure from La Guardia Airport, awareness of the risk to air safety has been heightened. The video below shows the moments immediately after it landed in the river, note the remarkable speed of the evacuation as the plane filled with water.
Yet for all the furore over the problem of bird strikes the fate of birds is rarely mentioned. Many thousands are killed every year, when they are sucked into planes’ engines and leave blood smeared dents when they hit the nose, wings or fuselage of an aircraft. Birds can also be injured and killed by the jet blast from aircraft, as at Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu, where the carcasses of two black kites and a spotted owl were discovered in March. These are just two of the 39 species of birds flying around the airport, at which there were 22 bird strikes in 2013 alone, and a fatal incident in 2012. Nineteen people were killed when a bird strike caused engine failure on a plane departing for the Mount Everest region. There have been many instances of large birds crashing through the windshield of small aircraft, splattering the pilots with blood. This harrowing video shows the moment when a Canada goose crashes through the windshield of a Cessna plane shortly after take-off from a small airfield in Illinois. Fortunately the pilot made a safe emergency landing and he and the co-pilot were unharmed.

Airports around the world have stepped up efforts to keep birds away from planes, deploying a bewildering array of methods: habitat management to make vegetation and water bodies unattractive to birds, and deterrence programmes such as loud noises, lasers and predatory falcons trained to frighten them away. But when these methods fail, or are inadequately implemented, airports frequently resort to culling birds. In the aftermath of the ‘Hudson miracle’ geese are culled over a wide radius around New York’s main airports. The geese are shot or gassed. Another approach, preferred by many bird advocacy groups, is to coat goose eggs with vegetable oil to stop them hatching, undertaken at many airports including Winnipeg and Vancouver.

A non-lethal bird control method is to trap and relocate them. But this is only used for small bird populations, typically rare species which have been afforded legal protection. Since 2001, Sea-Tac Airport has successfully trapped and relocated 400 young raptors to an appropriate habitat in northern Washington. Boston Logan Airport traps and relocated snowy owls, and New Yorks’s main airports were persuaded to adopt this approach in the light of a campaign against an announcement that wildlife officials would begin shooting snowy owls, after three bird strikes involving this species.

Another method used by some airports to kill birds is poisoning; An employee at New Plymouth Airport in New Zealand was appalled when he discovered that corn chips laced with poison were being laid out to kill birds considered a risk to planes, including sparrows. Video evidence of birds being poisoned emerged recently, when members of staff at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston witnessed the effects of United Airlines’ poisoning pigeons and great-tailed grackles, in cooperation with Houston Airport System. Birds are shown suffered convulsions and it took up to an hour for them to die. The poisoning at Bush Airport was not a one-off, it takes place on an annual basis.

Smaller birds can also endanger flights. The video below was taken at Manchester Airport in 2007, at the start you can see a bird, a crow, being sucked into the engine. The plane made a safe landing but it appears that the airport began to take a more hostile approach to birdlife. In 2009 Manchester Airport informed that National Trust of its intention to shoot 800 rooks nesting in nearby woodlands, but announced a reprieve in response to a petition from local residents.

In May, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) made an unsuccessful attempt to stop BAE Systems culling 1,100 black-backed gulls on the Ribble estuary, on the north west cost of England, in order to allay safety fears at nearby Warton Aerodrome. A judge ruled against an appeal, permission to kill the birds, almost one-fifth of the breeding population, was granted in addition to existing consents to cull 200 pairs of the same species of gull and 500 pairs of herring gulls. UK military airfields’ attitude to birds may harden further in the light of investigators’ confirmation that a fatal US Air Force helicopter accident on 7th January 2014 was due to a multiple bird strike. The helicopter crashed into saltmarshes in Norfolk, killing all four crew members. At least three geese crashed through the windscreen and another struck the nose of the plane.

New habitat management and deterrence methods only promise partial solutions to bird strikes. A system using low-frequency sounds, below the range of human hearing, to deter birds, has proved effective in tests. Hopefully,this will prove effective within airport sites, but it is unlikely to be feasible over the far larger areas where birds pose a risk to aircraft, on the take-off and landing flightpaths. 3-D printed robotic replicas of birds of prey – eagles and falcons – to frighten away target species. Again, this will only be effective in the immediate vicinity of runways.

It is clear that new airports must not be located near major bird habitats and migratory routes. Devastation of birdlife is a key factor in vigorous opposition to proposals for a new airport in London’s Thames Estuary and on forested land to the north of Istanbul, where construction has commenced and a recent protest was met by riot police. In other instances, sanity has prevailed. The Georgian government has abandoned plans for an airport on marshlands in Poti and, construction of an airport in Nakuru, Kenya, has been stalled in recognition of the risk to air safety and birdlife including storks, pelicans and flamingos, as shown in the video below.

Birds do pose a risk to air safety, but, as explained in the article, the war that is being waged against them by airports is an over-reaction. The vast majority of stricken planes land safely and only a small proportion of serious air accidents are due to bird strikes. Airports should make every effort to keep birds away through habitat modification and deterrence, before resorting to culling, and more air accidents can be prevented by focussing on programmes to address the mechanical failures and human errors which lead to a far greater number of accidents and fatalities.

http://www.rosebridger.com/2014/08/airports-are-waging-war-against-birdlife.html#.U_OHk_ldXCt

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Earlier:

 

Report for Airports Commission on environmental impact sinks Boris’s estuary airport plans

Boris Johnson’s dreams of a massive airport in the Thames Estuary have had a major setback, from the new report produced for the Airports Commission, looking at the environmental impacts. The study shows it would cause huge environmental, financial and safety risks and would cause “large scale direct habitat loss” to hundreds of thousands of migrating birds. The cost of creating replacement habitats could exceed £2 billion and may not even be possible. Even if replacement habitat could be found, planes using the airport would still be at a “high risk” of lethal bird strike. In order to counter this risk, even larger areas of habitat would need to be destroyed to secure the airport. The report also found huge regulatory hurdles to any potential estuary airport going ahead. Under environmental regulations,the airport’s backers would have to prove there were “imperative reasons of overriding public interest (IROPI)” for placing the airport in such an environmentally sensitive area. Even if that could be proven, they would also need to demonstrate that all of the habitat displaced by the airport could be placed elsewhere. The report found that while this was “technically possible,” it was highly uncertain, as such a large scale displacement had never been attempted before.


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Belfast boy wants alternative home for geese facing cull for safety of Belfast City Airport planes

A 10-year-old boy – Jack McCormick – has appealed to Belfast’s Lord Mayor to have geese, considered to be posing a threat to low-flying aircraft, moved to another park. The Lord Mayor has promised to raise the issues in a meeting with George Best Belfast City Airport. “I am an animal lover and would hate to think of anything bad happening to the grey geese at the park,” Jack wrote: “My papa takes me to a great park in Gilnahirk …. It is big, but it has no geese or any animals. Why not move some of your geese from Victoria Park to the park at Gilnahirk? I would make sure that they were well-looked after. If you can’t move them to Gilnahirk, could you not move them to other parks around Belfast?” The authorities prick the eggs so they don’t develop. Jack said (children aren’t stupid!): “Last year I noticed that there wasn’t that many goslings but this year I’m hoping there will be an increase,” he said. “I don’t want any of them to die just because of being near an airport. To be fair, the geese were there first, and then the airport was built there.”

Click here to view full story…

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Daily Mail claim of sharp rise in birdstrikes not borne out by the facts from CAA

The Daily Mail, it being the “silly season” with no news, had done an article on an alleged increase in the number air birdstrikes by aircraft between 2009 and 2012. However, the data published by the CAA up to March 2013 do not bear out the Mail’s claims of a doubling in three years. The CAA produces data on reported birdstrikes, and on confirmed strikes – the latter being a much lower number than the former. For instance, in 2012 there were 2215 reported birdstrikes, and 1404 confirmed strikes. Some of the increase in reporting may be due to changed reporting requirements of incidents to the CAA. The species hit most often in recent years have been various species of gulls (together the largest group), then swallows, skylarks, swifts and woodpigeons, then pigeons and kestrels. The number of birdstrikes rose significantly after 2008, when the CAA introduced a new system through which all strikes can easily be reported online. It has been mandatory for all strikes to be reported since 2004.

Click here to view full story…


Airports using a biotech high alkaloid endophytic form of grass to deter insects and birds

A form of grass – with the trade name Avanex – has been developed by a firm in New Zealand, Grasslanz Technology and commercialised by PGG Wrightson Turf. It has been designed to be endophytic, which means it incorporates a form of fungus that produces a high amount of alkaloids. This makes the grass distasteful to insects, and so the areas sown with this grass have no or few insects, and consequently few birds. The grass can be toxic to animals and comes with health warnings about livestock eating it. However, airports are enthusiastic to use the grass in order to deter birds and hence the risk of bird strike. The grass has so far been trialled in New Zealand airports since 2010 and found to cut bird numbers by large amounts, making airports very sterile areas, which is what the airport operators want. However, the blurb says “The grass could also be used at sports stadiums, golf courses and even domestic lawns,” so the company wants to use its biodiversity-destroying product even more widely.

Click here to view full story…


CAA data shows 1529 birdstrikes in 2011, up from 1278 in 2009

The CAA reports that bird strikes are on the increase throughout the UK, with 1529 reported last year – up from 1278 in 2009. For Scotland the CAA has said bird strikes have risen at Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness airports over the past 2 years, with an increase in wild flocks and air traffic blamed. Bird strikes have been blamed for bringing down huge aircraft in the past, including the incident in 2009 where an Airbus A320 was forced to ditch in the Hudson river in New York. Glasgow Airport reported 8 strikes this year involving large birds, up from the usual annual average of 3. The Herald Scotland gives information about increases at Scottish airports.

Click here to view full story…


“More geese may have to be culled” at Leeds-Bradford Airport

The airport’s operations director says more geese may be culled to ensure the safety of planes. He said urgent action was needed from time to time, and recently met with residents protesting against the killing of geese at Yeadon Tarn last year. He said measures such as egg picking were already in place – but sometimes it was necessary to react quickly to a particular problem. The airport already used scaring tactics to deflect the geese but had a duty to ensure safety. “We have got to be prepared if suddenly a flock of geese descend and set up a roost somewhere in the locality, and then decide to fly across the airport. We have got to be able to deal with that.”

Click here to view full story…


Leeds Bradford Airport bosses vow to change Canada Geese cull

Airport chiefs, who ordered a cull of 10 Canada Geese at a Leeds beauty spot, YeadonTarn, have said they find other ways to control the population. There was no local consultation about the cull beforehand.Food and Environment Research Agency officers shot the flock, which was deemed “a significant risk to aircraft”, in September by closing the green space to dog walkers in the early hours. Plans for an £11million expansion of the airport, which could be completed by this summer, had sparked further fears of culls. A meeting took place recently between the airport and angry local residents.

Click here to view full story…

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Birds of prey and robot bird being used to keep birds away from airports

East Midlands airport is to use the assistance of an eagle owl, owned by GB Pest Control, to help keep pigeons away from flight paths. They see traditional methods as equally effective as chemical based pest control or shooting, and far better for the environment. In the Netherlands, a company has produced a remarkably life-like flying robot bird, the Ro-Bird, which flaps realistically and is apparently effective in chasing off birds.

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

Carlisle council gives go-ahead to city airport overhaul – largely to be a freight centre

Plans for the £20 million overhaul of Carlisle Airport have been given the go ahead – again. A special meeting of Carlisle City Council took place on 18th August, with councillors asked to approved Stobart Group’s proposals for a massive freight distribution centre and revamped runway. One councillor expressed concerns over potential traffic congestion but no councillor voted against the motion to approve officers’ recommendations. The Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler said that work could begin within “a couple of months” – provided there are no legal challenges. The decision came despite the High Court quashing a previous planning permission decision, as new case law has since emerged which means that the need to take into account the viability of the airport is no longer relevant. However, opponents of the plans are questioning the legality of the council decision. Local people are asking for this decision to be called in.  This freight depot proposal is deeply opposed by a large proportion of the local community. There is concern that the proposal was permitted because Tinkler showed a film, of Stobart employees begging for consent to be granted, at the planning meeting.
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Carlisle council gives go-ahead to city airport overhaul

Monday, 18 August 2014 (News & Star)

Plans for the £20 million overhaul of Carlisle Airport have been given the go ahead – again.

Carlisle airport photo
Carlisle airport

A special meeting of Carlisle City Council took place this morning, with councillors asked to approved Stobart Group’s proposals for a massive freight distribution centre and revamped runway.

Councillor Ray Bloxham expressed concerns over potential traffic congestion but no councillor voted against the motion to approve officers’ recommendations.

Speaking to the News & Star after the meeting, Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler said that work could begin within “a couple of months” – provided there are no legal challenges.

The decision came despite the High Court quashing a previous planning permission decision, as new case law has since emerged which means that the need to take into account the viability of the airport is no longer relevant.

However, objector Mike Fox said the “devil was in the detail” and questioned the legality of the council decision.

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Have your say

There is a lot of money in air freight. the transport of food goods and horses. Good luck to the Stobart group,  I would think passenger numbers would be few as we in Cumbria and the Borders are not briming with people.

Let’s hope there is a legal challenge. This needs to be stopped as soon as possible before that area is used simply as another Stobard depot and not an airport .

http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/carlisle-council-gives-go-ahead-to-city-airport-overhaul-1.1155741


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Work on Carlisle airport revamp for freight centre could start in 6 weeks, if there is no legal challenge

Work on the redevelopment of Carlisle Airport could begin in 6 weeks, unless there is another legal challenge to the planning approval granted by Carlisle City Council councillors. Their development control committee has given the scheme – which includes the creation of a huge freight distribution depot – full approval. It was the 4th time that the matter has gone to committee for decision. Work can start, if there is no application by opponents of the scheme for a judicial review of the planning approval. That application would have to be lodged within 6 weeks. The planning law has recently changed, so the council did not need to consider whether the airport would be commercially viable, nor whether Stobart would actually keep the airport open – rather than just use the land for freight storage and transfer. One key opponent, Peter Elliott, has stressed that the runway should be realigned, to take it away from Irthington village, due to safety. Supporters of the scheme hope it will create jobs, but that is uncertain. Stobart shareholders had previously been told that the huge freight distribution centre would reduce rather than create jobs. Stobart hope 40,000 people per year would fly from Carlisle to Southend Airport, plus 20,000 per year to Dublin.

Click here to view full story…

 


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STOBART GROUP’S CARLISLE AIRPORT PLANS SET TO BE GIVEN GO-AHEAD AGAIN

Stobart Group is poised to again get the go-ahead for its £20m Carlisle Airport overhaul – without the pressure of proving it can make commercial flights a success.

Carlisle Airport photo

Carlisle Airport

Councillors are being recommended to approve the transport giant’s proposals for a massive freight distribution centre and a revamped runway at the airfield at a special meeting on Monday.

They are also being advised that a legal agreement obliging Stobart to keep the airport open is not necessary.

That advice comes on the back of new case law, which has emerged since a High Court judge quashed a previous planning permission decision, which means the need to take into account the viability of the airport when considering the distribution centre is no longer relevant.

Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler, however, insists the firm remains committed keeping the airport open, running passenger flights in tandem with its other operations and that its plans are based on a robust business case to make the airfield a success.

He said: “Nothing has changed for us.”

Mr Justice Collins stopped the development in March after Gordon Brown, a farmer who lives opposite the airfield, sought a judicial review. He found a defect in viability forecasts.

When it tabled information for the revived application, Stobart offered a £250,000 subsidy for scheduled flights to London Southend and Dublin through Aer Arran – now Stobart Air, the airline in which Stobart Group has a 45 per cent stake.

But, in a new twist to the long-running saga, success for the scheme may no longer be dependent on whether the Carlisle-founded company can prove the flights will be profitable and keep the airport open.

And a new set of independent consultants commissioned by Carlisle City Council to look at the case afresh believe Stobart’s plans for passenger flights could secure the airport’s future in the short to medium term.

Opposition, however, remains and viability of these operations is heavily disputed by experts employed by Mr Brown, who has described the weight of evidence for refusing the application as “overwhelming”.

A report to councillors states: “Based on the likely estimate of passengers, the council’s aviation consultant considers that there is a realistic prospect of developing a public transport/commercial route, with particular regard to Dublin, for both the operators of the airline and the airport in the short-medium term.”

On the issue of whether legal conditions should be attached to the future of the airport, if the distribution centre is given the go-ahead, the report adds: “In these circumstances it is not considered reasonable for the council to require the applicant to enter an agreement obliging them to keep the airport open.”

Airport Planning and Development, the consultants employed by the council, described projected passenger demand for flights from Carlisle as “realistic”

York Aviation, acting for Mr Brown, however, says Stobart’s projections for passenger numbers are out of date and that any subsidy would have to be greater than the 250,000 promised by the firm.

The consultant concluded: “I remain of the view that air services are unlikely to be operated or, if operated at all, not sustained for more than a year or so.”

Stobart’s first airport scheme was passed by the council in 2008 and the third planning application was approved in February last year.

http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/stobart-group-s-carlisle-airport-plans-set-to-be-given-go-ahead-again-1.1155399

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Call in the application

A local organisation, Radiation Free Lakeland, is asking for the application to be called in.

They say:

 

Please write to Development Control NOW asking them to call in the Carlisle Airport Expansion decision.

Development Control Carlisle City Council :  dc@carlisle.gov.uk

Cumbria CC Development Control Chair: Alan.Clark@cumbria.gov.uk

Vice Chair:   Lawrence.Fisher@cumbria.gov.uk

ANTI NUCLEAR GROUP URGE CALL IN OF CARLISLE AIRPORT EXPANSION

Radiation Free Lakeland have today urged Carlisle City Council’s
Development Control Committee to call in their decision to overturn a High
Court ruling to squash plans for the expansion of Carlisle Airport.

The letter sent to Carlisle City Council and to Cumbria County Council says:

Dear Development Control and Regulation Committee.

Radiation Free Lakeland urge you to call in the decision to grant Carlisle
Airport a huge expansion for freight and passengers.

There has been a huge and it has to be said unaccountable push to smooth
the way forward for this commercially unviable expansion which aims to see
650 passenger and 1,560 cargo flights each year by 2025 and an average of
276 heavy-lorry movements each day.

This decision has huge implications not just for the whole of Cumbria but
for our neighbours

We urge Development Control to call in the decision to give Carlisle
Airport an expansion and to refer the decision back to Cabinet and to the
full Council for the following reasons:

1. Carlisle Airport appears to be registered to carry radioactive freight
over a populated area and in the near vicinity of Sellafield.

2. This development would ensure a huge increase in air traffic in the
near vicinity of Sellafield. The potential for terrorist attack or human
error is hugely increased

3. The county should not have been held to ransom by Stobarts threat to
move out of Cumbria should the airport not be given an extension. What
exactly are Stobarts links to the nuclear industry?

Please call in this decision as a matter of urgency.

yours sincerely

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Comments from local residents on the Stobart proposal:

I object to Stobart’s industrialisation of countryside that Carlisle City Council has given consent to, against previous court rulings won more than once at huge expense.
This is for a huge lorry depot, with a new roundabout on farmland, a huge 5 storey building, up to 300 lorries daily (through the night too), huge light poles with all-night lighting – visible for many miles around from the Gelt and Irthing Valleys to the Pennines.
Also the promise of expanding the small and insignificant airfield into a freight airport with a runway pointing directly into the unspoiled and quiet village of Irthington, and removal of trees between.
Also the displacement of a local farmer, Gordon Brown, who fought this for years before and who, with his father before him, has rented the fields where the odious depot and roundabout will be built.
Stobart is determined to get its way.  So much so that he has threatened Carlisle and Cumbria County Councils with withdrawal of Stobart’s HQ from Cumbria if they don’t approve the inappropriate ‘development’.
It is understood that Carlisle City Council accepted this after Tinkler played them a video of his employees begging them to approve the development or they would have to leave Cumbria – Tinkler would relocate.
This is just blackmail to get a development in a rural location, unfit for purpose, to satisfy Tinkler’s wish to make money from the site, against the wishes of the local people, the Government’s own guidelines, traffic management sense and at the expense of our beautiful countryside – a great and important asset to Carlisle and Cumbria.
The press said there was no opposition at the council meeting  from councillors, apart from one. They just sat through a film of Stobarts with all the employees on, one after another, pleading for the expansion as they didn’t want their family to have to move from Cumbria - if Stobarts didn’t get this they would have to relocate.
It is  understood that Tinkler is determined to build his depot in this unsuitable location because he personally sold it for £12 million to his own company (with a £10 million profit apparently). He is putting undue pressure on the council to accept it, against the wishes of local people (other than Stobart employees).
The development will harm wildlife, preservation of the Hadrian’s Wall route, preservation of Cumberland’s remaining unspoilt scenery and the value of our way of life.
It is wrong for the council to have approved this because Tinkler threatens to leave Cumbria if his development plan is not permitted.
It is also wrong that so much money has been spent fighting this before, and winning, but that Tinkler can just come back and do it again.  It is wrong that big business can trample people so easily, through the English planning system, with the apparent collusion of the council.
The planned development will mean a huge five story building, huge wire fences, huge all-night light poles, 300 thundering juggernauts a day, a new roundabout in the middle of the country and the destruction of hedges and trees.  The area will be entirely urbanised and ruined.
This idea that it’s all to help Carlisle by providing an airport is ridiculous.  We have Newcastle airport so near, and even then most people drive elsewhere as local airports don’t fly to many holiday destinations – what hope of Carlisle being able to support a commercial airport?
People of this area are under the impression that they’ll be able to jet off to Spain from Carlisle and this is almost certainly not the case. The airport “carrot” has been used to garner public support, like the threat of pulling out of Cumbria has been used as a stick.
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There are two press articles about allegations about Stobart below:

 

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Responses to the Gatwick airspace consultation (closed 16th August)

On 23rd May Gatwick launched a consultation on airspace changes it proposes. This is part of the airspace change programme to “modernise” flight paths, in line with the UK Future Airspace Strategy published by the CAA. The consultation was widely regarded as inadequate, badly written and presented, and effectively almost impossible for ordinary people – unused to the jargon and the technicalities – to either understand or respond to. The consultation finally ended on 16th August. Many organisations, and MPs, have asked for the consultation to be considered void, due to its deficiencies, and re-done to include maps, showing all proposed flight paths at Gatwick for arrivals and departures up to 10,000 feet. These were not included before, making responses difficult. These are some of the consultation responses sent in from local councils and parishes, representing their members. They all comment negatively on the quality of the consultation. One comments: “The air travel industry appears to be in total denial of the collateral damage which would be caused by these proposals”
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The Gatwick airpace consultation

Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL)  consultation on their plans to redraw many of the flight paths around Gatwick.  They call this Phase 2 of the consultation.  Link

This is Gatwick airport’s summary (2 pages) of their consultation 


 

GACC’s guidance

GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) produced a detailed and excellent document, deciphering the badly written consultation document, and setting out the important facts to help people to respond to the consultation. GACC notes on Airspace Consultation Phase 2  -  July 2014


 

GACC’s consultation response

GACC are demanding that:

- Gatwick Airport should scrap the proposed new routes;
- the CAA should declare the consultation void, and insist on a new consultation, with proper maps, to include new arrival routes;
- the Government should veto any new routes, and should issue a Direction that Gatwick (and other large airports) must provide full compensation for people whose houses are devalued by new concentrated flight paths; and
- the Land Compensation Act should be amended to include new ‘motorways in the sky’.

GACC response


 

High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group (HWCAAG) response

In summary, they say:

  • We oppose the realignment because there is insufficient information to make a reasonable judgement. Being under a realigned flight path would blight any community.
  • We propose a further round of consultation after the realignment has been decided.
  • We propose multiple routes on a rota basis (not a multiple of 7)
  • We propose that CDA is enforced.
  • We propose that height levels of aircraft should be maintained at the maximum height through the controlled area in accordance with safe landing.
  • We propose that given the aims of AONB, NT and other heritage properties in the group area they suffer unduly from visible and noise impact of aircraft and should qualify for greater respite.
  • We propose that affected individuals and communities and businesses should be compensated financially.
  • We propose that a new metric for measuring aircraft noise and impact is found that takes account of tonal change and ambient noise.  The current measure is obsolete.
  • We propose no increase in night flights and preferably a reduction to no night flights.
  • We oppose a second runway at Gatwick.
  •  The Chiddingstone Parish Council response to this consultation can be found here.The HWCAAG response to the consultation can be found here. 

 

The Slinfold Parish Council response

Slinfold Parish Council’s response to the Gatwick Airport Consultation.

They agreed at a council meeting to reject any of the current options to change Gatwick departures from RWY26 to the south.

Due to a list of errors and inaccuracies, they are asking for the consultation to be re-done.


The Warnham Parish Council response (from Warnham, Slinfold and Rusper councils)

The first part of their response, on 7.8.2014 is  here

Their further response on 14.8.2014 is  here

Among other comments, they say:

“The GLAC (Gatwick Local Area Consultation) documentation is technically complex, it makes a number of unsubstantiated and sometimes contradictory statements. It offers weak or overly complex supporting material.  It deploys dubious or misleading rationale in a number of areas and finally proposes a limited number of ‘take it or leave it’ options without any adequate attempt to explore or explain the need for the options proposed. Neither does it seek to explain any alternative strategies or mitigation techniques available or planned by GAL, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) or the CAA. WS find this entirely unreasonable and completely unacceptable.”

“Also that Warnham Parish Council and the Slinfold Parish Council “will be recommending to the DfT and the CAA that airports proposing any form of development, including airspace changes, are obliged to set aside a fund to provide for the conduct of the fully independent assessment, analysis and reporting of any proposed options, for use by affected stakeholders.”


 

Kent Council Council response

Response for KCC from David Brazier, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Kent County Council

They appreciate the stress and nuisance that Gatwick over-flying is causing to parts of Kent, and to the heritage attraction sites such as Hever Castle, Penshurst Place and Chartwell.


 

Alfold Parish Council response

Alfold is south west of Gatwick, 5 miles from Cranleigh.  Response

They say:

We cannot accept any change in NPRs for departures until GAL presents the facts, well
researched, accompanied by meaningful statistics and details. We insist that more
research be done into the impacts of new routes on communities overflown. This must
be presented in a comprehensible way to the public.

And they add: “We understand the Chief Executive of GAL has been
asked to provide a simplified version but he has refused. As the CAA is monitoring this
consultation for compliance, a copy of this response will be sent to Dame Deirdre
Hutton.”


 Withyham Parish Council’s response

A narrowing of the broad swathe approach to one around 500m wide is an unjust and intolerable proposal, for whoever ends up under it. Retaining the current dispersal of flights over a wider area is preferred.   Response  here 

Among many comments they say:

“The Council notes that no population assessments have been done prior to making this proposal.  Withyham Parish Council is appalled that a potential life altering and health damaging decision is being proposed without any proper assessment of the effect on the people most affected. The Council question whether this is in fact a proper consultation due to the lack of definitive information on the narrowed flight paths.”

and “Withyham Parish Council believe that Gatwick have failed to place sufficient weight to the quality of life of any population living under a flight path or the effect that such a narrow aerial motorway would have on the health and well-being of the population of this Parish which will be severely affected.”

 


 

Sevenoaks Borough Council response

Sevenoaks response   

They appreciate that the noise is an intrusion into the lives of thousands of people in the area, and also disturbs the tranquillity of the AONB. They note their disappointment that their recent application to join Gatwick’s Consultative Committee, GATCON, was rejected.  They comment on the lack of maps illustrating the flight paths proposed. They say aircraft noise over the AONBs should be reduced.


 

Horsham District Council response

The response is at LAMP follow-up consultation response August 2014 Horsham Council

They comment:

 Horsham District Council is opposed to all of the proposed options A, B and C as they will all result in detrimental implications for those newly overflown. We do not support any of the options and we trust our response will be interpreted in this way.

 

They also say:

 

“All the options proposed will have seriously deleterious implications for those communities both under and close to the new routes as they will be affected by a new intrusive noise which disrupts peaceful enjoyment of one’s property and more importantly adverse effects on health.”

 

and “The forecast effects for the years 2016 and 2020 on Leq and SEL and those for the calculated population count changes do not show the significance of the disturbance and misery which will be experienced by newly affected communities.”

 

Also a  follow-up letter from Councillors Vickers and Rogers clarifying the Council’s position. LAMP Consultation, Horsham DC Follow-Up Letter, August 2014

Horsham’s Gatwick Aircraft Noise page


 

 

Speldhurst Parish Council response

They say they endorse the comments made by the neighbouring parish of Penshurst.

Speldhurst response

They add:  “The air travel industry appears to be in total denial of the collateral damage which would be caused by these proposals. The [High Weald] AONB with its low ambient noise levels relies heavily on national and internaitonal tourism for its sustainability, and further noise intrusion will inpact irretrievably on the local economies  …. and hitherto tranquil surroundings.”


…… and there are many others …….

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MPs who have spoken out against Gatwick’s flight path trial, and against a second runway at Gatwick:

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Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel & South Downs, joins others in speaking out against noise nuisance from ADNID trial

Click here to view full story…


Mole Valley MP Sir Paul Beresford joins the battle over Gatwick aircraft noise

Click here to view full story…


Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark urges Gatwick CEO to “go back to the drawing board” on flight paths

Click here to view full story…


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

Click here to view full story…


Crispin Blunt MP investigates recent increase in aircraft noise in Redhill area due to changes to Gatwick flight paths

Click here to view full story…

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Frankfurt Airport given planning permission to build Terminal 3, to increase passenger number

Frankfurt airport currently has 2 passenger terminals with a capacity of approximately 65 million passengers per year, plus 4 runways. In 2009, the German government decided there should be a new Terminal 3 in order to handle the expected passenger flow of 90 million per year by 2020.  The new terminal is scheduled to be built by Fraport, south of the existing terminals. Fraport has now announced that it has been granted approval of its planning application, by the city of Frankfurt. However, it still needs a demand assessment. The building of a new terminal has been deeply controversial, and has been strongly opposed – as it is a means by which the airport can grow substantially. Fraport hopes the first phase of construction will start next year. Fraport say the airport will reach its maximum passenger capacity of about 64-68 million passengers a year by 2021 and that the new terminal when finished will allow it to serve up to 25 million more. Opponents say the airport already creates too much noise and does not need to be expanded. The CDU and the Greens said in their coalition agreement at the end of 2013 that they were in favour of looking at alternatives to building a new terminal. Opponents say they will keep fighting the expansion plans.
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kein t3

Fraport given building permission for Frankfurt airport expansion

BERLIN 

12.8.2014  (Reuters)

The city of Frankfurt has approved airport operator Fraport’s building application for a much-debated new Terminal 3 at Europe’s third-largest airport, the company said on Tuesday.

Airport expansion is a hot topic in Europe at present. A long-planned new airport in Berlin has been beset with delays and accusations of fraud, while in Britain, Heathrow and Gatwick are competing for the right to expand.

Fraport estimates the investment cost will be more than €2 billion (£1.60 billion) for the first phase of construction, which is due to start next year.

The company expects the airport in its current form to reach maximum capacity – of about 64-68 million passengers a year – in by 2021 and that the new terminal when finished will allow it to serve up to 25 million extra passengers a year.

Anti-airport campaigners, meanwhile, maintain that the airport just outside Frankfurt already creates too much noise and does not need to be expanded.

Campaigners in Frankfurt, who also want to see a night flight ban extended by two hours, had hoped that the new ruling coalition of conservatives and greens in the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is situated, would do more to prevent expansion of the airport.

The CDU (Christian Democratic Union) and Green parties said in their coalition agreement at the end of last year that they were in favour of looking at alternatives to building a new terminal.

But while the building application has been approved, the project still has to undergo a demand assessment, the Hesse conservatives said.

“The state government is holding continuous talks with Fraport on this matter,” a spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.

It is not yet clear when this assessment will be finished, a Fraport spokesman said.

Frankfurt airport served just over 58 million passengers last year, up 0.9% on 2012, but Fraport predicts growth of between 2% and 3%  this year.

The new terminal would be built in stages, with the first phase aimed at providing capacity to serve an additional 14 million passengers a year.

Fraport’s shares were up 0.8% by 1214 GMT, outperforming a 0.4% fall in the MDax index for medium-sized companies .MDAXI.

The state of Hesse owns about 30% of Fraport and the city of Frankfurt holds 20%.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/12/uk-germany-fraport-airport-idUKKBN0GC16L20140812

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Third terminal approved for Frankfurt Airport to meet rising passenger demand

The City of Frankfurt has issued a building permit to build a third terminal at Germany’s Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to help boost the airport’s ability to cope with rising demand for air travel.

18 Aug 2014 (Out-Law which is part of Pinsent Masons, a UK law firm)

FRA’s owner and operator the Fraport Group said the capacity of the existing two terminals to cope with an increasing number of passengers is expected to be “exhausted” by 2020, with growth already exceeding projections.

Fraport said long-term traffic forecasts issued by the German transport and digital infrastructure ministry indicate that the number of passengers will grow by an annual average of 2.5% by 2030, which makes aviation “Germany’s fastest-growing mode of transportation”.

However, Fraport said FRA “has already exceeded this value, posting average passenger growth of 3% in recent years”, as a result of “FRA’s significant international hub function”. Fraport said current trends point to passenger numbers continuing to rise, with growth reaching 2% to 3% by the end of 2014.

The modular construction of the new terminal will be implemented in phases, with the first phase to be completed “no later than 2021”, Fraport said.

The first phase will include the central terminal building and two piers designed to serve up to 14 million passengers each year. When fully completed, the new terminal will provide a total of 50 aircraft docking positions.

Fraport said the construction project, on FRA’s southern side, “is an integral part” of the airport’s expansion programme. FRA’s baggage conveyor systems and ‘Sky Line’ elevated passenger train network will also be expanded to link the new terminal to the existing terminals and airport rail stations.

Planning for the passenger terminal is focused on using “highly efficient energy standards” and the design of the building’s technical systems “will completely eliminate the need for external heating”, Fraport said.

Fraport’s executive board chairman Stefan Schulte said the group would continue to analyse passenger data to “assess requirements for future terminal capacity”. He said: “The deciding factor is that we will continue to be able to provide our passengers with the necessary capacity and a wide range of flight connections with the best possible services and processes.”

Schulte said: “German companies are very successful on the global market, which secures and creates jobs and prosperity in Germany. Prerequisites for this success are direct, fast and reliable flight connections to the rest of the world. This is the role of Frankfurt Airport for the region, the (federal) state of Hesse and Germany as a whole.”

Figures posted by Fraport earlier this year for fiscal year 2013 (4-page / 224 KB PDF) showed that revenue increased by 4.9% to €2.56 billion compared to the previous year, while the group’s operating profit rose to some €880 million, which was an increase of 3.7%. Passenger numbers at FRA increased by nearly 1% to more than 58 million. Fraport said cargo traffic at FRA also “developed positively”, rising by 1.4% to almost 2.1 million tonnes.

In July 2014, Fraport recorded the busiest passenger month in FRA’s history with almost 5.9 million passengers served. “Despite weather-related cancellations during the reporting month, passenger traffic advanced by 2.3% compared to the same period last year,” Fraport said.

http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2014/august/third-terminal-approved-for-frankfurt-airport-to-meet-rising-passenger-demand/

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Opponents will continue fighting the airport’s growth.  On hearing of the planning permission for the 3rd Terminal, the “Kein Terminal 3″  (No Terminal 3) campaign on Facebook  said (approximate translation):

The planning application for Terminal 3 is approved – but our protest and our resistance are not finished yet!

The Working Group on aircraft noise and environmental invites people to the
1st Joint conversation about possible information and protest actions to “race day of the airport” on 24th August.2014 on the racecourse for an exchange of views on the current situation in the fight against airport expansion and for a liveable region.

When? Thursday, 21.08.2014, 19.30  to about 21.00 hours.

Where? In the “Hirsch” in 60599 Frankfurt-Oberrad, Offenbacher Landstrasse. 289

Why not combine the pleasure of horse racing with a little information and protest against the destruction of our region through the airport’s expansion?

Who is motivated to present some information and mark our protest after the recent betrayal of the voters of the Greens “urban society”, when given the 8/24/2014 opportunity.

Last year, Fraport has advertised with the following text:
“Race day is supported by Fraport AG, which are also a sponsor for the main race.
As operator of the busiest airport in Germany, the largest local workplace of the Federal Republic and the economic engine of the Rhine-Main region, Fraport AG plays an important social role. Fraport AG is committed to the region and contributes to the attractiveness and quality of life in the Rhine-Main area …. “(2) ..

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Stop Stansted Expansion supports call to take part in flight path consultation, and says changes should be postponed

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) welcomes NATS’ call to local residents to have their say and respond to the proposed transfer of traffic on departure routes from Stansted Airport.  The proposed change involves switching daytime traffic from the existing south-east (Dover) departure route to the existing east (Clacton) route (see map).  The consultation closes on 8th September.  Traffic on the Clacton route would double if this proposal were implemented.  NATS’ own figures show 1,470 fewer people would be overflown, but 2,400 people would be overflown more intensively.  NATS says that the driver for change is network performance and to avoid Heathrow traffic congestion. SSE says significant changes to Stansted’s airspace are likely to come in the next airspace review phase scheduled for 2018/19.  If there is a new south east runway, that will mean significant redesign of Stansted routes in future. Therefore SSE says there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes are implemented. They recommend that NATS’ proposed changes should be postponed until the airspace redesign planned for 2018/19.
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SSE supports call to take part in flight path consultation

18.8.2014 (Stop Stansted Expansion – SSE)

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) welcomes NATS’ call to local residents to have their say and respond to the proposed transfer of traffic on departure routes from Stansted Airport.

The proposed change involves switching daytime traffic from the existing south-east (Dover) departure route to the existing east (Clacton) route.  The consultation closes on 8th September.

NATS says that the proposed change would result in reduced CO2 emissions and reduced delays for Stansted and other airports.  SSE has calculated that the reduction in CO2 emissions would be less than 1% and an even smaller percentage if long haul routes came to Stansted.  For delays, NATS’ performance in 2012 was the best on record with Air Traffic Control (ATC) delays averaging just 1.6 seconds per flight.

Traffic on the Clacton route would double if this proposal were implemented and, according to NATS’ own figures, for local communities living around the airport, 1,470 fewer people would be overflown, but 2,400 people would be overflown more intensively.  NATS says that the driver for change is network performance and to avoid Heathrow traffic congestion.  This currently keeps Stansted’s southbound Dover traffic lower in the south of Essex, the Thames Estuary and sometimes well into Kent.

SSE also draws attention to the fact that significant changes to Stansted’s airspace are likely to come in the next airspace review phase scheduled for 2018/19.  Additionally the Government is expected to decide next year on a further runway in the South East.  These developments are anticipated to involve a significant redesign of Stansted routes including improved noise reduction procedures such as Continuous Descent Approach.

SSE urged caution when this NATS consultation was launched in mid-June and said that there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes are implemented.

Peter Sanders, SSE’s Chairman, says “SSE is not convinced that these conditions have been met and we recommend that NATS’ proposed changes should be postponed until they can be assessed in the context of the much more significant airspace redesign planned by NATS for 2018/19.”

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/

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The summary of the proposal, (just two pages) from NATS, is at 

  • Download the summary leaflet (PDF)
  • Images below taken from the summary leaflet. [The area within the black dotted line will get fewer flights, and the area in the continuous black line will get more flights]
  • Stansted proposed flight path change July 2014

NOTES

NATS’ Departure Route Proposal at the London Stansted Airport Consultation can be found at http://www.nats.aero/environment/consultations/lamp-stansted-sid-consultation/

SSE’s guidance on the proposed changes to Stansted departure routes can be found at http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/documents/SSE_GUIDANCE_FOR_NATS_DEPARTURE_ROUTE_PROPOSAL_Final.pdf

SSE’s position and recommendations on the changes proposed by NATS can be found at

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/documents/NATS_Stansted_Departure_Routes_Consultation-SSE%20Position.pdf

SSE Campaign Office

Tel:   01279 870558; info@stopstanstedexpansion.com

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SSE’s RECOMMENDATIONS
SSE concludes that it should recommend opposing the proposed change on the basis that:
 it offers negligible benefits.

 it has adverse noise impacts overall for the local community living within 20 miles of
the airport under the flight paths below 7,000ft.

 it cannot be assessed in the context of the next LAMP phase which will involve a
significant redesign of the Stansted routes.

SSE is recommending that this proposed change is postponed until the next LAMP (London Airspace Management Programme) phase when significant airspace changes will be proposed for Stansted and after the Government has made its decision on the Airports Commission’s final report. In so doing, the proposed change would be able to be assessed in the context of the whole airspace plan and include Continuous Descent Approach for all arriving aircraft to the easterly runway.
6th August 2014.

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http://www.nats.aero/environment/consultations/lamp-stansted-sid-consultation/

The NATS consultation says:

NATS Departure Route Proposal at London Stansted Airport

This consultation is about a change to the use of existing London Stansted Airport departure routes heading to the southeast and east of the airport. It is driven by NATS at the air route network level, and supported by Stansted Airport which has a focus on low level routes in the vicinity of the airport.

This consultation is part of a wider programme to modernise the route system over London and the southeast; known as the London Airspace Management Programme or ‘LAMP’.

LAMP is being progressed by NATS which provides air traffic control for the route network across the whole of the UK. It involves collaboration between NATS and individual airports in the development of, and consultation on, changes to airspace management; collaboration ensures that modernisation achieves both network and local benefits.

What is this consultation about?

This consultation is for a proposal to formalise the use of existing alternative routes for Stansted Airport departures heading to the southeast and east.

No new routes are proposed – only different usage of existing routes. It would not involve changes to the airspace structure in the vicinity of Stansted Airport.

This consultation describes the proposal and its objectives in detail. It provides maps and data indicating areas that would see fewer overflights, and those that would see more.

Benefits

The benefits of this are:

  • Reduced CO2
  • Reduced delay (for Stansted and neighbouring airports)
  • Reduction in the number of people regularly overflown during the day

Achieving these benefits would also mean that some people would be overflown more often.

Airlines may already choose to fly the alternative route, and are expected to do so increasingly in the future to avoid congestion. This proposal will ensure that the benefits of the alternative route are maximised.

The consultation opens 9am Monday 9th June and closes 9pm Monday 8th September 2014 (twelve weeks).

Consultation documents

Feedback

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Earlier:

Plan to redirect Stansted Airport departures to reduce Heathrow congestion

Air traffic control service NATS proposes to redirect the majority of Stansted departures from an established southerly route, to an existing route to the east of the airport. “At the moment, departures from Stansted heading towards the South East are kept lower for longer when compared to the route heading east because of Heathrow arrivals.” The changes would only affect daytime departures. This is to reduce congestion above Heathrow. Arrivals are not affected. NATS has started a 12-week consultation on the proposals. Martin Peachey, noise advisor for Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group said: “We basically support the proposal because NATS say it should reduce the amount of people flown in the day and reduce CO2 emissions. It would remove day time departures for a large area to the south but it would double the amount of flights to the east so that would need to be carefully studied. …. There will be winners and losers.” The changes are part of the NATS’ London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP).

Click here to view full story…

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Monarch airlines plans to slash workforce by 1,000 jobs, up to 30%, to compete with Ryanair and EasyJet

Up to 1,000 jobs, about one third of its work force, will be cut at Monarch as it tries an overhaul to reposition itself as a low-cost airline competing with easyJet and Ryanair. Monarch is currently controlled by a wealthy Swiss-Italian family,  and has been undertaking a strategic review of its business in order  to attract new investors. It will drop its charter flights and focus on short-haul scheduled flights. It will cut its fleet of aircraft from 42 to 30. It will keep its focus on holiday destinations like Spain, the Canary Islands and Turkey but add more European cities and skiing destinations. Overall, it will fly more frequently to fewer destinations. Monarch has its HQ at Luton airport, is made up of Monarch Airlines, tour operator Cosmos Holidays and an aircraft maintenance division. They will no longer fly from East Midlands Airport. Monarch’s MD said “We’re on a trajectory of changing from a charter airline to a scheduled European low-cost carrier.” They recently ordered new planes, at the Farnborough air show.  This is a £1.75bn order for 30 new Boeing 737 aircraft to be delivered by 2020. They carried about 6.8 million passengers in 2013. .

Monarch airlines plans to slash workforce by up to 30%

18 August 2014  (BBC)

Monarch Airlines
Monarch chief executive Andrew Swaffield said it would be “difficult” to continue to operate long haul flights with only two aircraft

Monarch Airlines may cut as many as 1,000 jobs as part of a major strategic review that aims to cuts costs and may lead to the end of long haul flights.

The airline will instead aim to compete with low cost airlines Ryanair and Easyjet and concentrate on short-haul flights to Europe.

The job losses amount to around a third of the airline’s workforce.

The airline has not yet officially announced the cuts, but sources told the BBC jobs would be lost.

Despite increased capacity the airline said passenger demand was flat.

It is retiring three Boeing 757s this Autumn and will have replaced its whole fleet in the next five years.

In July, it confirmed a £1.75bn order for 30 new Boeing 737 aircraft to be delivered by 2020. It is likely to mean a reduction in the size of its fleet from 42 to 30, although the airline does have an option with Boeing to buy a further 15 aircraft.

A statement released by Monarch on Monday said: “The company has previously stated that the new management team is conducting a strategic review of the group’s businesses, including in relation to their operations, ownership and financing.

“That review is on-going and further announcements will be made upon its conclusion or as otherwise appropriate.”

Strategic review

In an interview with Travel Weekly, Andrew Swaffield, who took over as Monarch chief executive in July, said:

He added he expected Monarch to be competing with Easyjet and Ryanair within the next year to 18 months. Mr Swaffield added it was “difficult” for Monarch to operate a long-haul business with only two aircraft.

Earlier in August, Monarch announced it will stop flying from East Midlands Airport next year.

The company began operating from East Midlands after low-cost airline BMI Baby ceased trading in September 2012.

It currently operates 34 flights a week from the airport to nine destinations, mainly in and around the Mediterranean.

A spokesman said the decision came after a review of services. The final Monarch flight will take place at the end of April 2015.

Analyst Howard Wheeldon said the change in strategy at Monarch would come “as little surprise” for many given the strength of competition, high costs and industry overcapacity.

He added many believed the “continuing rise in airport passenger duties….have and will continue to depress and further damage the UK airline industry”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28833343

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More about Monarch on Wikipedia at 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_Airlines

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On 3 November 2011, Monarch received a £75m rescue package for the airline. It was then announced that Monarch were to launch of 14 additional routes serving new destinations in Italy, Croatia and Greece from their bases. The new flights commenced at the start of the 2012 summer season. Monarch also received two Airbus A320 aircraft to support the increased level of activity. The addition of these aircraft also marks the first stage of a medium-term plan to increase the fleet size to 40 aircraft in support of the airline’s goal to carry 10 million passengers annually by the time the final stage has been fully implemented. Growing the fleet to enable an increase in passenger numbers will allow the airline to spread its fixed costs over a higher level of output, thus resulting in greater economies of scale.[55][56][57]

On 3 May 2012, Monarch announced that they were to open a new base at East Midlands Airport in Autumn 2012, to replace some routes previously flown by Bmibaby, who ceased operations completely on 9 September 2012.[58]

On 8 May 2012 the airline announced operations from Leeds/Bradford with 2 new winter destinations, Munich and Grenoble. They also announced plans for a large expansion in summer 2013. [59] On 10 July 2012, it was announced that Monarch were to launch a new base at Leeds/Bradford with 12 new destinations.[60] The base opened on 22 March 2013.

On 13 December 2012 Monarch announced that they have come on board as a new sponsor for Leeds United AFC, working in partnership with Leeds United to promote Monarch’s new base and routes at Leeds Bradford Airport.

On 1 July 2013, Monarch announced an order for a further two Airbus A321s. The aircraft are due to be delivered in April and May 2015 and are to be fitted with sharklets.[61]

On 12 December 2013, Monarch announced that Monarch Airlines had returned to profit in year ending October 2013 and announced that passenger numbers were up 9.5% to 7 million and in line to carry over 10 million by 2016. In the same announcement Monarch confirmed that it plans to order 60 new aircraft in an order worth $6 Billion for delivery up to 2024 and would announce the successful tender in Q1 of 2014 from either Airbus/Boeing and Bombardier.

On 14 August 2014, Monarch announced the closure of their East Midlands base.[62]

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