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Rising number of passengers’ electronic items with lithium batteries is increasing fire risk on planes

There remains concern about the manner in which defective lithium batteries can catch fire and explode. There have been several incidents where items such as laptops and mobile phones have overheated, in planes or in airports. In June last year, police at San Diego International Airport noticed a passenger’s bag was smoking as it journeyed around the carousel. Inside, a lithium-ion battery had touched a screwdriver and both had melted. In September 2012, a flight attendant and two passengers were burned when they handled a mobile phone and spare battery that overheated during a flight.  In April 2012 a lithium battery inside someone’s personal air purifier caught fire at 28,000ft. A recent estimate said that the average small plane carrying 100 passengers could have 500 lithium batteries on board when you tot up all the watches, laptops, cameras, e-readers, tablet computers and suchlike. The CAA say the huge growth in people carrying lithium batteries on aircraft poses a growing fire risk. In general, batteries bought from respectable retailers are regulated and safe, as long as passengers pack them in their bags properly. But there is a higher risk from cheap, copycat batteries bought online. Some can develop faults. The EU is slowly increasing access to the internet during flights, increasing the number of phones, and tablets on board.
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Batteries on planes pose ‘increased fire risk’

By Richard Westcott   BBC transport correspondent

4 February 2014  (BBC)

David Crowder of BRE Global Limited demonstrates the dangers of faulty batteries

In June last year, police at San Diego International Airport noticed a passenger’s bag was smoking as it journeyed around the carousel.

Inside, a lithium-ion battery had touched a screwdriver and both had melted.

In September 2012, a flight attendant and two passengers were burned when they handled a mobile phone and spare battery that overheated during a flight.

In April 2012 a lithium battery inside someone’s personal air purifier caught fire at 28,000ft.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report says “a flight attendant described a shooting fire from a passenger’s device at about the same time that the captain felt a small thud”.

The battery lay burning in the aisle until the quick-thinking flight attendant put it out with wet towels then shoved it into a cup of water to cool it down.

And all that is just on American aircraft.

‘Significant risk’

A recent estimate said that the average small plane carrying 100 passengers could have 500 lithium batteries on board when you tot up all the watches, laptops, cameras, e-readers, tablet computers and suchlike.

Now the UK’s safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has told the BBC that the huge growth in people carrying lithium batteries on aircraft poses a growing fire risk.

Geoff Leach, the manager of the CAA’s Dangerous Goods Office, told me that batteries bought from respectable retailers are regulated and safe, as long as you pack them in your bag properly (see box).

But he is very worried about cheap, copycat batteries bought from dubious sources online, batteries that could develop a fault with dramatic consequences.

Explosive

Lithium batteries look harmless enough, but they pack a hell of a punch if they overheat.

We have been filming at a place called the “Burn Lab”, which belongs to the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

No prizes for guessing what happens in the Burn Lab, by the way.

They set up a test for us, to create deliberately a fault in a number of batteries by heating them up to 300C.

Clearly, we were forcing them to fail so you don’t need to worry that your legitimately bought battery will suddenly combust, but the results were explosive. Literally. Just look at the film.

Sizzling mess

A tiny camera battery no bigger than a box of matches made us all jump out of our skins as it went bang, then flew 5m across the lab.

We cleared out of the building for the laptop battery test. It exploded several times, leaving a sizzling mess behind.

Bag search at airportAirport security allow just about every type of personal electronic device on board after checking but threats from their batteries remain

The CAA has been working with its US counterpart, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to produce a series of videos showing aviation professionals and the public how to pack batteries safely and what to do if they happen to smoulder or even catch fire.

The films will eventually go online, to be watched by cabin crew, luggage handlers, members of the public and people sending things in the post (don’t forget that a lot of post goes on aircraft, even within the UK, so ask at the Post Office if you are sending a device with a lithium battery inside).

Rare

Many airlines already train their staff on how to put out lithium battery fires.

The CAA aren’t the only ones to have voiced concerns over lithium batteries. Earlier this year the highly respected Royal Aeronautical Society produced a report that talked about the risks from batteries bought from questionable sources on the “grey market”.

At the end it concludes: “The risk of future fire-related incidents or accidents has increased due to the proliferation of lithium batteries and other risks.”

I would like to stress that lithium battery fires on aircraft are a very rare event, when you think how many billions of them are flown around every year. But one fire is one too many. Talk to pilots and many will say that fire and smoke are their biggest fears.

No-one is suggesting that the authorities ban lithium batteries from aircraft.

In fact, the European Union is slowly paving the way for passengers to access the internet during flights, a move that is sure to increase the number of phones, and tablets on board.

Plus, many pilots now use electronic tablets instead of big thick paper books on the flight deck.

But regulators, along with the Royal Aeronautical Society do want to raise awareness across the industry and among the public, spreading the message that lithium batteries are powerful and you need to be careful about where you store them and where you buy them, especially if you are getting on an aeroplane.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25733346

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How to avoid battery blow-up

  • Carry batteries where you can get to them – in your hand luggage, not your hold luggage
  • Put a tape over the metal terminal of any spares or wrap in a plastic bag
  • Keep them away from other metallic objects
  • Be careful where you buy them in the first place – if they’re a lot cheaper, there may well be a reason

Related BBC Stories

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Birmingham business leaders condemn Airports Commission for not recognising Birmingham Airport’s economic potential

Business leaders in Birmingham have criticised the Airports Commission’s interim report, released on 17th December,  for overlooking the “crucial role” Birmingham Airport could play, in allegedly supporting the local and national economy.  The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) said the potential for the airport to capture thousands of new passengers was not being considered.  It has written to MPs Louise Ellman, chair of the Common’s Transport Select Committee, and committee member Chloe Smith to outline its view.  The GBCC would like to invite Ms Ellman and other members of the Transport Select Committee to visit businesses in Birmingham “to showcase how Birmingham Airport can help drive the export-led recovery.”  The GBCC says it is pleased that Birmingham Airport has been identified as a long-term option for development. They say that “the catchment area for Birmingham Airport is home to half a million businesses (approximately 25% of British business) and has the largest share of manufacturing activity of all airport catchment areas.” Also that the Commission  “could have gone much further in exploring the role of both HS2 and other economic assets across the West Midlands.”
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Business leaders condemn government report for not recognising Birmingham Airport’s economic potential

3rd February 2014 (The Business Desk)

By Duncan Tift – Deputy Editor

Business leaders in Birmingham have criticised a government report on the future of UK airports for overlooking the “crucial role” Birmingham Airport could play.

The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce said the potential for the airport to capture thousands of new passengers was not being considered.

It has written to MPs Louise Ellman, chair of the Common’s Transport Select Committee, and committee member Chloe Smith to outline its view.

GBCC chief executive Jerry Blackett said he was disappointed the recent Airports Commission interim report had overlooked the crucial role Birmingham Airport played in supporting the local and national economy.

“I would be delighted to invite you and other members of the Transport Select Committee to visit businesses in Birmingham to showcase how Birmingham Airport can help drive the export-led recovery,” he told the MPs.

“While we are pleased that Birmingham Airport has been identified as a long-term option for development in the Airports Commission, we believe that the report has not demonstrated a modal shift in UK aviation policy and has not fully examined the role of aviation in supporting the rebalancing of the UK economy.

“The catchment area for Birmingham Airport is home to half a million businesses (approximately 25% of British business) and has the largest share of manufacturing activity of all airport catchment areas.”

The potential of the airport to attract new business has never been better underlined than the decision by low cost carrier Flybe to increase the number of flights it makes from the airport.

In one of its largest ever investment in regional services, the airline is launching seven new flights from Birmingham, siting three new jets at the airport and creating 50 new jobs.

It says the expansion is warranted because of the potential of the airport to attract the new business.

The move has also established Birmingham as its largest regional base.

Blackett adds: “In 2008, the value of West Midlands exports stood at around £16.8bn. By 2012, this had increased to £22.6bn, with exports to Asia growing rapidly. The Birmingham Airport runway extension, opening later this year, will put the airport in the top six longest runways thus enabling longer haul flights.

“Businesses in the Birmingham Airport catchment area are exporting more goods to emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East than any other airport. As we have seen, the burgeoning middle-class in China has driven demand for products by West Midlands manufacturers, such as Jaguar Land Rover, and this will rapidly increase demand for air connectivity. We need to ensure that this growth story is not stifled by a lack of access to emerging markets.”

This was a point made by the head of the West Midlands UK Trade & Investment organisation, Paul Noon. Speaking at the announcement of the new Flybe flights he said the expansion of the airport was good news for businesses looking to tap into new opportunities in Europe.

Blackett said the interim report also omitted a detailed examination of the transformational effects of HS2 on Birmingham Airport and the regional economy.

“Birmingham Airport’s close proximity to the HS2 Interchange Station means it would benefit substantially from the HS2 connectivity packages and transport improvements that have been proposed by Birmingham City Council and Centro, thus expanding its catchment even further,” he said.

“The Airports Commission report could have gone much further in exploring the role of both HS2 and other economic assets across the West Midlands, such as UK Central. We feel that the Airports Commission interim report largely represents conventional thinking. As such, we would encourage you to visit Birmingham businesses to highlight the challenges and opportunities to develop a regional airport strategy.”

http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/573291-business-leaders-condemn-government-report-for-not-recognising-birmingham-airport-s-economic-potential.html?news_section=19036

 

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Earlier:

 

Airports Commission publishes interim report with 2 options for a runway at Heathrow and 1 at Gatwick. Estuary still being considered

December 17, 2013

The Airports Commission’s interim report has put forward 3 options for a new runway, and have kept their options open on an estuary airport. There would only be one runway, not two and they consider this should be in operation before 2030. At Heathrow the choices are a north west runway, 3,500 metres long, destroying Harmondsworth; and an extension westwards of at least 3,000 metres, of the existing northern runway. They also consider a wide spaced Gatwick runway to the south. The Commission also says “there is likely to be a demand case for a 2nd additional runway to be operational by 2050.” They claim this is “consistent with the Committee of Climate Change’s advice to government on meeting its legislated climate change targets.” Stansted is ruled out, and on the Thames Estuary they say: “The Commission has not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options because there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage. It will undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other short-listed options.” The report also contains recommendations to the government for immediate action to improve the use of existing runway capacity. Among others, these include better airspace organisation and surface transport improvements such as enhancement of Gatwick station, a rail link from the south to Heathrow, and a rail link between Heathrow and Stansted.    Click here to view full story…

 

Airports Commission: interim report  (228 pages) 

Various associated papers are also at                        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/airports-commission-interim-report

Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 3 technical appendix    PDF, 1.41MB, 116 pages  contains a section on carbon emissions from pages 64 to 72.

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Birmingham Airport publishes proposals for its future growth – including 2nd runway – to the Airports Commission

July 26, 2013      Birmingham Airport has made a submission to the Airports Commission on its future growth plans. It hopes to grow from 9m passengers a year now to 70m, (the size of Heathrow currently) while allegedly reducing the number of people affected by night noise. They are aware that the Commission is looking at the number affected by noise in the proposals submitted. Birmingham airport says its current runway extension will allow it to handle 27m passengers a year and it has the potential for a 2nd runway to be built some time after 2030 – if the demand required it – costing under £7 billion. The airport estimates that by using the new runway for night flights, it would remove over 13,000 people from the 57dB night noise contour. Birmingham airport say they have support from a large number of businesses in the area, and are well placed for business travellers who are keen to avoid Heathrow and get direct flights to Birmingham. “We have recommended to the commission a network of great long-haul airports to serve Britain’s great cities. Our proposals show that Birmingham Airport is in a position to sit at the heart of this network, serving a valuable catchment area and relieving pressure on congested airports in the South East.”      Click here to view full story…

 

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New £53 million platform opened at Gatwick airport station with £50 million more future government funding for more station improvements

Gatwick’s new £53 million station platform has been opened.  Transport Minister Susan Baroness Kramer formally opened Platform 7 and its associated facilities.  First Capital Connect, hopes having this new platform will mean better services for passengers going to the airport, and that it will unblock a bottleneck on the Brighton main line.  With some 14 million people arriving at, or departing from the airport by rail each year, (about one third of passengers) improvements were necessary for the “passenger experience.”  The Brighton Main Line is one of the busiest routes in the UK and the new platform at Gatwick should mean fewer delays for passengers using the line, as well as those getting off or on at Gatwick.  The news coverage of the opening is characteristically gushy. This is part of a large redevelopment of the airport station – the Gatwick Gateway. Baroness Kramer said: “Gatwick makes a vital contribution to the UK economy and we must make sure facilities are upgraded for the benefit of passengers. That is why we have committed a further £50 million [taxpayer money - see below] towards the complete redevelopment of the station.” Stewart Wingate said the improved station “will allow us to compete even more for passengers and airlines wanting to come to London and the South-east region.”
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New £53 million platform opened at Gatwick Airport Station

3rd February 2014 (Redhill, Reigate &  Horley Life)

Gatwick’s long-awaited “crucial” new £53 million platform has been opened. Transport Minister Baroness Kramer formally opened Platform 7 and its associated facilities this morning, signalling the first step in a “major redevelopment” of the lynch-pin airport station.

Rail chiefs hope the new platform will improve services for passengers going to the airport, and will unblock a bottleneck on the Brighton main line.

The ceremony marked the culmination of more than £80 million of investment in the line over the New Year.

It also marked a triumph over adversity for rail operator Network Rail, whose workers battled through the recent storms and floods to finish the major project on time and on budget, as well as renewing signalling equipment at London Victoria, and replacing rails at Stoats Nest Junction, near Purley.

Baroness Kramer said: “Gatwick makes a vital contribution to the UK economy and we must make sure facilities are upgraded for the benefit of passengers. “That is why we have committed a further £50 million towards the complete redevelopment of the station.”

She added: “ I am delighted to open this new platform and thank staff for their work during horrendous weather.”

Tim Robinson, Network Rail’s route managing director for Sussex, said: “Managing growth is a challenge, but a good one to have. “Gatwick Airport is significant not just as an important station for passengers, but an important part of the UK’s infrastructure. “We recognise that and this £53 million investment is crucial to keep trains flowing and improve the experience of passengers from all stations in the region.” More than a third of Gatwick Airport’s 35 million passengers a year arrive by train, and that figure is expected to rise, along with demand along the railway in Sussex. Growth on the line is currently hitting 7% per year and is expected to go up by 22% by 2020.

Chris Burchell, managing director of Southern, which provides services in south London, between central London and the South coast, through East and West Sussex, Surrey and parts of Kent and Hampshire, said: “Running around 2,300 train services per day over some of Britain’s most congested track is always a challenge. “This major investment will improve the flexibility and reliability of the network in this critical section of the Brighton Mainline. “ He said: “As a result, passengers should see an improved travelling experience to accompany our other efforts to drive up service quality on our trains and stations.”

Gatwick Airport Station, which is operated by Southern and also served by First Capital Connect, is directly linked to 129 stations, and a further 700 can be reached with just one change.

Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick chief executive, said: “London Gatwick is already the best connected UK airport by rail and this upgrade will benefit the broad range of people that the airport station attracts, from tourists to the business traveller.”

He said: “ It will allow us to compete even more for passengers and airlines wanting to come to London and the South-east region.”

He added: “This is the first step in our vision for a further major redevelopment of the airport station – the Gatwick Gateway. “We recognised that with over 14 million people arriving or departing by rail, that an investment had to be made to improve the passenger experience in and around the airport.”

First Capital Connect managing director David Statham, said: “The Brighton Main Line is one of the busiest routes in the UK and the new platform at Gatwick is fantastic news for passengers. “This part of the line can be frustrating, particularly during disruption, and this work should mean fewer delays.”

The new station platform is the latest in a long line of developments and improvements at Gatwick, the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world.

Its current owners, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), the majority shareholder of a group of international investment funds, unveiled a £1 billion programme of improvements designed to transform the passenger experience at Gatwick in 2010. Since then, Gatwick has scored a string of airport firsts and innovations, including the opening of Jamie Oliver’s first airport restaurant and a Harrods branch, has won a number of key international routes, and has had millions of pounds worth of improvements already spent on it.

http://www.redhillandreigatelife.co.uk/news/10983005.New___53_million_platform_opened_at_Gatwick_Airport_Station/


 

Gatwick Airport rail station opens a new platform, signalling improved experience and reliability for passengers and commuters

3 February 2014 (Gatwick airport press release)

London Gatwick has today opened Platform 7 at its Gatwick Airport rail station, as a £53m joint project with Network Rail is completed. Transport Minister Baroness Kramer was on site to officially open the platform that will deliver greater reliability for airport passengers and commuters.

This exciting project was made possible thanks to a joint campaign between Gatwick Airport, local business groups and airlines who backed the delivery of this new platform and helped secure the investment needed.

The new platform and section of rail line will allow for fast trains from both London Bridge and London Victoria to travel through the station more quickly, with Gatwick contributing £7.5m to the project to ensure the upgrade could take place.

Passengers and commuters can already travel between Gatwick and London Victoria in 30 minutes, Gatwick and London Bridge in 28 minutes and be in the financial district of Canary Wharf in under 45 minutes. Signalling upgrades will allow for more reliable travelling times in preparation for service improvements associated with the Thameslink Programme upgrade, which increases the number of trains and range of destinations from Gatwick from 2018.

The project also incorporates wider benefits that will allow for a better passenger experience throughout the airport. The station concourse itself has seen a major refurbishment with new flooring providing an open and light space.

Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick Chief Executive, said: “London Gatwick is already the best connected UK airport by rail and this upgrade will benefit the broad range of people that the airport station attracts, from tourists to the business traveller. It will allow us to compete even more for passengers and airlines wanting to come to London and the South East region.

“This is the first step in our vision for a further major redevelopment of the airport station – the Gatwick Gateway. We recognised that with over 14 million people arriving or departing by rail that an investment had to be made to improve the passenger experience in and around the airport.”

Baroness Kramer, Transport Minister, said: “Gatwick makes a vital contribution to the UK economy and we must make sure facilities are upgraded for the benefit of passengers. That is why we have committed a further £50 million towards the complete redevelopment of the station. I am delighted to open this new platform and thank staff for their work during horrendous weather.”

The project is part of a wider planned redevelopment of the airport station that was boosted by the Government announcing that it will contribute £50m of funding to kick-start the redevelopment – The Gatwick Gateway.

Today’s opening is also the beginning of a rail improvement programme that will see on-going upgrades over the next four to five years at Gatwick Airport station.

The Thameslink programme will provide an additional 50% capacity by 2018 following the introduction of new longer trains and infrastructure improvement that will deliver direct links from Gatwick to Peterborough and Cambridge.

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/

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Public funding for station  upgrading:

London Gatwick welcomes Government funding for the redevelopment of Gatwick Rail Station

4 December 2013

London Gatwick today welcomes the Government’s announcement that it will contribute £50m of funding to kick-start the redevelopment of Gatwick’s rail station – The Gatwick Gateway.

The announcement, made today as part of the revised National Infrastructure Plan, recognises Gatwick’s important role in UK aviation and the need to ensure a world-class railway station for both existing and future passengers.

The Government’s funding commitment follows a letter from the Independent Chair of the Airports Commission Sir Howard Davies to the Chancellor, which recognises Gatwick’s success in increasing the number of long haul destinations served, and includes a series of recommendations on improving surface access to enable passengers to more effectively access new and existing routes.

Of the 35 million passengers using Gatwick airport each year, 14 million arrive or depart by rail; making it the busiest airport station in Britain. Not only does the airport provide the fastest routes into the City and West End, it also connects directly to over 120 stations throughout London and the South East.

This connectivity will be further improved upon completion of a £53m project to improve platform capacity in early 2014 [platform opened on 3.2.2014] and with the introduction of the Thameslink franchise later that year.

As passenger numbers at Gatwick continue to grow, with new airlines flying to more destinations, the redevelopment will be vital in ensuring a world-class passenger experience both now and in the future. The airport’s analysis with Network Rail shows that a station with this number of passengers requires a concourse at least double the size of the existing facilities just to meet the current demand.

The National Infrastructure Plan also outlined a number of further measures for surface access at Gatwick, including accelerating a Network Rail study into the Brighton Mainline, incorporating the Gatwick to London route on a planned trial of smart ticketing and including access to Gatwick in the Highways Agency study on local motorways.

Commenting on today’s announcement, London Gatwick’s Chief Executive Stewart Wingate, said:

“We are pleased that the Airports Commission has taken on board our recommendations on how to ensure growth at our airport in the short and medium term and maintain the UK’s position as one of the best connected countries in the world.

“This new funding is a welcome and positive first step toward delivering the new Gatwick Gateway rail station. We have worked well with Network Rail on our current rail improvement project and are looking forward to working with them, the Treasury and the Department for Transport to leverage this initial investment.

“Gatwick currently has the highest percentage of passengers accessing the airport by rail of any UK airport and as we continue to grow the number of global routes served by legacy, charter and low cost airlines, the package of measures announced today will help us deliver a world-class passenger experience for Britons and visitors alike.”

John Dickie, Director of Strategy & Policy, London First said “The rail station at Gatwick has been neglected for far too long. For many visitors, it’s their first impression of the UK so we welcome this plan for improvement. Alongside enhanced services under the new rail franchise and the many improvements made to the airport itself, this is a key step in improvements that are good for Gatwick, good for London and good for the UK.“

Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive of Gatwick Diamond Business, said “This is more great news for the airport and for the Gatwick Diamond area. The station is currently undergoing a £53million refit and we should start to see the benefits of the new Platform Seven in 2014. This money will go some way towards developing further public transport access to the Airport and I look forward to learning more about the plans.”

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/News/London-Gatwick-welcomes-Government-funding-for-the-redevelopment-of-Gatwick-Rail-Station-87e.aspx

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Heathrow consultation starts – 140,000 leaflets distributed – as airport hopes to minimise opposition on noise increase

Heathrow airport has started its 6-week consultation, to ask people living near the airport how they can “improve” on their runway plans – and reduce opposition to it as much as possible. The airport is sending out 140,000 short (12 page) booklets, to many neighbouring  boroughs, but not Richmond (where there is fierce opposition). The thrust of the consultation is on noise. It is extremely simplistic, and should not really be considered as a proper consultation. Except for people motivated to write a lot of their own text, there is no simple way to say “No, we do not support a new runway” in the consultation response form itself. There are no questions along those lines. The form only has two questions –  the first asking respondents to rank a list of criteria; the second asking if people think it is more important to have fewer communities living under flight paths affected more badly, or more communities affected a bit less. There is stunningly little detail.  Colin Matthews says: “This consultation is to make sure we correctly understand what local people value and that we can take their views into account as we refine our proposal.”  Everyone with an interest in Heathrow and its runway plans should reply to the questionnaire, and tell Heathrow just what they think, in the space for responses in Question 3. The consultation ends on 16th March.
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Heathrow consultation starts today

3rd February 2014

By Amy Dyduch (Wimbledon Guardian)

Wimbledon Guardian: Shortlisted: Plans for a new runway 
Shortlisted: Plans for a new runway

Heathrow’s six-week consultation asking for views on a fourth runway [sic !!?? - means 3rd] at the airport has launched today.

The airport wants feedback on its north-west runway plan, which has been shortlisted by the Davies Commission.

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

“This consultation is to make sure we correctly understand what local people value and that we can take their views into account as we refine our proposal.”

Richmond Council leader Lord True said: “We know what the residents of this borough feel; no new runway, no more night flights, no expansion of Heathrow.

“They proved that by turning out in their tens of thousands at our referendum last year.

“Faced with the recent dismal report by the Davies Commission we need to be united and unequivocal in our opposition to expansion.”

For the consultation questionnaire, visit heathrow.com/localcommunity.

http://www.wimbledonguardian.co.uk/news/10983262.Heathrow_consultation_starts_today/

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Consultation document

(12 short pages including many maps and diagrams).

This is the entire “interactive consultation document.”

http://user-0lbfwdw.publ.com/HAL-Community-Consultation

How to respond:

People can respond online, or they can ring a number to have a phone interview. Those who receive the booklets through the door can respond on the Freepost form, or they can attend one of the public exhibitions that are planned.


 

This is the entire online consultation response form content:

Shaping Heathrow’s north west runway proposal 

A public consultation: 3 February – 16 March 2014

Question 1

What factors do you think are the most important when planning a new runway?
All the factors listed below are important to local residents to varying degrees. Your response to this question helps us understand your priorities.

Please rank your top five in order of importance from 1 to 5 (1 = most important)

Aircraft noise
Aircraft safety/risk
Air pollution
Construction impact
Flooding
Historic buildings
Jobs/local employment
Loss of homes and businesses
National economic benefits
Public transport
Range of national/international flight destinations
Road-traffic congestion
Viability of local communities
Wildlife/ecology

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Question 2

Which of the following statements best matches your attitude to noise relief from aircraft and the number of communities living beneath flight paths?

- Providing periods of significant noise relief for all communities is more important than limiting the number of communities living beneath flight paths.

- Limiting the number of communities living beneath flight paths is more important than providing periods of significant noise relief for all communities.

- Don’t know

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Question 3

How can we improve our proposal for a new runway?

Please use the space below to tell us your ideas or to mention any other factors not covered by Questions 1 and 2.

 

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There is the opportunity of saying a lot more, in response to Question 3. The document says:

Heathrow question 3

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The consultation response form, such as it is, is at http://www.heathrowairport.com/about-us/company-news-and-information/airports-commission/local-community/consultation-response-form


 

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Shaping Heathrow’s north west runway proposal

A public consultation – 3 February to 16 March 2014

3.2.2014 (Heathrow airport website)

In December 2013 the Airports Commission, an independent body set up by the Government, included Heathrow on its shortlist of options for additional runway capacity in the UK.

Of the three proposals Heathrow Airport submitted, our option for a runway to the north west of Heathrow is the one that’s been shortlisted for the further detailed consideration.

There’s still much work to do to refine our proposal before the Commission makes its final recommendation to Government in 2015. As part of this work, we are now consulting with residents and the businesses likely to be most affected.

Since we first published our outline plans for a new runway, we have welcomed comments and feedback from local residents. We really do want to hear your views.

This consultation provides another opportunity to say what you think about our proposal and the issues that are most important to you.

This site contains information on our proposal for a new runway at Heathrow, the next steps in the Airports Commission process and how you can help us shape our proposal.

You can complete the consultation response form right away by using the link to the right of this page. You may find it useful, though, to learn more about the consultation by reading the interactive consultation document.

You can also use the links on the left to find out more about our proposals and the public exhibition sessions we will be holding across the local area during the consultation.

The public consultation runs from 3rd February to 16th March. I hope you will take this opportunity to get involved and let us know your thoughts on the future of Heathrow.

Regards

Colin Matthews

http://www.heathrowairport.com/about-us/company-news-and-information/airports-commission/local-community

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Compensation

On the issue of property compensation the consultation document says:

Heathrow property values and compensation

http://user-0lbfwdw.publ.com/HAL-Community-Consultation#11/z 

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John Stewart, chairman of anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group HACAN, has branded the consultation a ‘PR exercise’. The real issue is whether a new runway is needed in the first place.

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Ryanair makes a loss in 3rd quarter of 2013 and Michael O’Leary plans to do less colourful publicity stunts

Ryanair made a loss in the final three months of 2013 as lower fares and the weakness of sterling against the euro hurt trading. Ryanair’s average fares were 9% lower in the quarter than a year earlier,  leading to a €35m loss for the quarter. The loss came despite a 6% rise in passenger numbers, due to promotions and lower fares. Their ancillary” revenues – including reserved seating, priority boarding and credit card fees – rose by 13%. In November, Ryanair said full year profits for the  year ending in March would be down on 2013 – the first annual profits fall in 5 years. To try and get over their bad public image, Ryanair are now allowing a free small second carry-on bag, a 24-hour grace period to correct minor booking errors, reduced boarding card and airport and bag fees, and allocated seating (costing €5) on all flights. After 20 years of dressing up in jester outfits and causing an outcry with claims such as “Germans will crawl b*****k-naked over broken glass to get low fares”, O’Leary has decided to step out of the public spotlight. He will make only very “rare” media appearances, as Ryanair tries to present a new, friendlier image… “he simply doesn’t need to be doing what he has been doing any more,” ” analysts feel it is an important part of [Ryanair's] evolution to move on from its previous raucous image.”
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Ryanair makes loss as low fares and weak sterling hit

3.2.2014 (BBC)

Ryanair made a loss in the final three months of last year as lower fares and the weakness of sterling against the euro hurt trading.

The no-frills airline said average fares were 9% lower leading to a 35m euro (£28.8m) loss for the quarter.

The fall came despite a 6% rise in passenger numbers, which chief executive Michael O’Leary attributed to seat promotions and lower fares.

“Our Q3 loss of 35m euros is in line with previous guidance,” he added.

Despite the profit drop, the airline said “ancillary” revenues – which include reserved seating, priority boarding and credit card fees – rose by 13%.

Ryanair said bookings in the fourth quarter were “significantly” ahead of last year, but prices were still weaker.

In November, the company warned full-year profits to the end of this financial year were likely to be down on last year – a first annual profits fall in five years.

New attitude

Ryanair said it had now finished implementing a series of initiatives aimed at improving passenger experience, including a free small second carry-on bag, a 24-hour grace period to correct minor booking errors and reduced boarding card and airport and bag fees.

It said it also now had allocated seating on all flights, charging passengers five euros to select their preferred seat. It said uptake of this had “grown significantly”.

“It now appears that sales of reserved/allocated seats will exceed the revenue loss from cutting airport and bag fees,” it said.

In September, Ryanair pledged to reform its “abrupt culture”, following shareholder concerns that customer service issues were hitting sales.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26013111

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Michael O’Leary takes back seat amid Ryanair losses

Outspoken chief to step out of spotlight as airline tries to present a friendlier image

Michael O'Leary takes back seat amid Ryanair losses

Ryanair surprised markets last year when it issued two profits warnings in close succession 

By Nathalie Thomas  (Telegraph)

1 Feb 2014

Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, has called time on his colourful “Pony and Trap show” publicity stunts as the low-cost airline prepares to report its first third quarter loss since 2010.

The outspoken chief executive is stepping out of the public spotlight and will make only very “rare” media appearances, as Ryanair tries to present a new, friendlier image.

The self-styled ultra low-cost carrier has been rolling out a string of improvements, including fully allocated seating on all of its flights, which came into force yesterday.

Michael Cawley, Ryanair’s outgoing deputy chief executive and chief operating officer will present third- quarter results on Monday, which are expected to show a quarterly loss for the three months to December 31.

The consensus view among analysts is that Ryanair made a loss after tax of €35m (£29m), down from an €18m profit at the same point the previous year.

Although most airlines make losses over the winter, it would be the first time Ryanair has been in the red at the third-quarter stage since the closing months of 2010, when it made a €10m loss.

Ryanair surprised the markets last year when it issued two profits warnings in close succession and downgraded forecasts for the full financial year from a range of €570m-€600m to €510m.

The airline then embarked on a publicity blitz, launching a seat sale and promising to do away with all of the fees and rules that “unnecessarily bugged” passengers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10612431/Michael-OLeary-takes-back-seat-amid-Ryanair-losses.html

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Ryanair moves on from the O’Leary ‘pony and trap’ show

Michael O’Leary’s role as ‘the face’ of Ryanair is coming to a quiet end

Michael O’Leary has been attacking rivals and bureaucrats even since he became Ryanair chief executive in 1994

Michael O’Leary has been attacking rivals and bureaucrats even since he became Ryanair chief executive in 1994 Photo: Justin Thomas
 1 Feb 2014 (Telegraph)

On the surface, it appeared to be business as usual. As a small huddle of photographers and journalists gathered in a basement room of the Montcalm Hotel near Moorgate in London, there were no signs that they were in for anything other than the usual Michael O’Leary treatment.

It was November 21 and the flamboyant chief executive of Ryanair had barely been out of the headlines during the preceding fortnight.

The low-cost carrier had rocked the markets on November 4 when it issued its second profits warning in as many months. O’Leary was creating a media storm like never before, with promises of a new “touchy feely image” and an end to draconian hand baggage and other rules that were “unnecessarily bugging” passengers.

In fact O’Leary had dominated so many column inches and airtime that month, including a memorable BBC Newsnight interview with Kirsty Wark where they sat knee-to-knee on airline seats, that it occurred to many City reporters not to bother with a seemingly prosaic meeting about new routes from Stansted.

As O’Leary took his seat in the Montcalm and rattled off a list of the latest Ryanair destinations at characteristic speed, punctuated with the usual quip or snipe, little did those gathered realise that this would be one of the last times they would witness what the airline boss himself refers to as his “pony and trap” show.

After 20 years of dressing up in jester outfits and causing an outcry with claims such as “Germans will crawl b*****k-naked over broken glass to get low fares”, O’Leary has decided to step out of the public spotlight.

The new “touchy-feely” Ryanair, which on Saturday introduced allocated seating across all of its flights, is promising a more “corporate” feel as it seeks to convince passengers that it has changed.

“Michael will step back. He will still do some rare media interviews but he simply doesn’t need to be doing what he has been doing any more,” said Ryanair spokesman Robin Kiely.

Last month Ryanair announced its first major reshuffle among the senior management since the airline, which flew 81.4m passengers in 2013, listed as a public company in 1997.

The restructuring included a raft of promotions, notably for David O’Brien, the airline’s previous director of operations, who has been elevated to chief commercial officer.

It was also announced that the carrier had recruited a chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, who previously held the same role at Moneysupermarket. Jacobs will take over from O’Leary as Ryanair’s main spokesman.

The restructuring was, in part, triggered by the impending departure of the deputy chief executive and chief operating officer, Michael Cawley, who will on Monday presents Ryanair’s third-quarter results to the City for the final time.

But could O’Leary’s decision to step away from public life also be the first step in an eventual succession plan?

“Clearly he is bringing in new people with new and fresh ideas to help that process [of transforming Ryanair] along and I think for sure he’ll have it in the back of his mind, ‘as and when I do leave this airline, I want to leave it in the best shape possible’, ” said Dónal O’Neill, airlines analyst at Goodbody.

Ryanair insists that O’Leary, who has been chief executive since 1994, will still be as involved as ever with operations. “He’s not going anywhere. In terms of his position, he is still as involved as he ever was,” said Kiely. “You can see with the customer service improvements and the changes to our policies and practices, he’s very much driving that.”

However, the carrier does concede that in future Ryanair will be less of a “one-man show”. For decades, O’Leary’s colourful stunts were an easy way of generating free publicity but it did mean that in many customers’ minds, his name was synonymous with the airline.

“It’s fair to say Michael does polarise opinion, but at the same time it was great PR generation over 20 years when we were moving into new markets, to send Michael out dressed up as something controver-sial and generate column inches after column inches,” said Kiely.

“We don’t need to do that any more. We have 81m customers, we’ve reached the biggest route network in Europe and as part of our evolving business model he is taking himself out of the frontline.”

Gerald Khoo, transport analyst at Liberum, said it would unsettle investors too much to have both Michael Cawley and Michael O’Leary depart in quick succession. The duo, plus the chief financial officer, Howard Millar, were seen as the driving forces behind the company. “I don’t think, purely on that basis, Michael O’Leary is going anywhere any time soon,” said Khoo.

Although Ryanair is unlikely to ever be boring – it has recently moved into new Google-style headquarters complete with a slide – analysts feel it is an important part of its evolution to move on from its previous raucous image.

O’Leary himself admitted that easyJet, which ended the stampede at boarding gates and introduced allocated seating in November 2012, “wiped the floor” with Ryanair by spotting much earlier a desire among customers for good service, not just the lowest fares.

Ryanair believes it can bridge the gap with easyJet in terms of how the two airlines are perceived in six to 12 months.

Tomorrow Ryanair is once again expected to hit the headlines as a consensus of analysts’ forecasts points to third-quarter losses of €35m (£28.7m) compared with an €18m profit at the same point previously. However, most airlines make losses over the winter before the key summer months.

Insiders stress it still has the lowest cost base in the industry, allowing it to beat competitors on price.

Although it is too early to tell whether Ryanair’s new touchy-feely image is striking a chord, Anand Date, analyst at Deutsche Bank, says the share price, which closed at €6.31 on Friday, suggests “some optimism” that the outlook for the airline’s fourth quarter could be upgraded. The shares crashed to €6.03 after the first profits warning in September and to €5.33 following the second.

In the autumn, Ryanair will receive the first of the 175 Boeing 737-800 planes it ordered in March as part of a plan to grow to more than 110m passengers a year over the next five years. Half of that growth will come from expansion at primary airports – a significant departure from Ryanair’s roots of selling cheap tickets to secondary airports.

While last year’s profit warnings came as a surprise, Khoo is optimistic O’Leary can turn it around. “With Ryanair there is nothing fundamentally flawed or irreversibly broken and this is a company which has a long history of adapting and thriving in the face of change,” Khoo said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10611981/Ryanair-moves-on-from-the-OLeary-pony-and-trap-show.html

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Aviation Environment Federation response to DfT’s 2nd stage consultation on night noise

The DfT places restrictions on night flying at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. These are reviewed every few years, though in 2012 it was decided to just extend the restrictions until October 2014. There have been two phases to the current consultation, for changes after October 2014, with the first consultation ending in April 2013 and the second phase ending on 3rd February 2014.  The DfT believes it should take “account of the findings of the Airports Commission before making any changes to the night restrictions regime.”  They therefore propose not making any significant changes till October 2017. The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has responded to the DfT’s 2nd stage consultation. They comment that  there is a need for an evidence-based target to inform a long-term night noise policy. This should be to reduce night noise below the threshold recommended by the WHO to avoid damaging health impacts. Improvements are needed soon, and therefore they oppose the intention not to make changes before 2017. Greater emphasis needs to be given to the health impacts, on which there have been more studies. There also need to be supplementary metrics to measure the impact of night noise and the  performance of the existing night noise regime. 

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AEF response to the DfT’s second stage consultation on night noise

Jan 31st  2014  (Aviation Environment Federation)

The AEF has responded to the DfT’s second stage consultation on night noise at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

In it we highlight the need for an evidence-based target to inform a long-term night noise policy which should be to reduce night noise below the threshold recommended by the WHO to avoid damaging health impacts. We state that short-term night noise regimes should be making in-roads towards that target and so we oppose the DfT’s proposal to extend the existing night noise regime until 2017.

We responded in April 2013 to the first stage consultation and emphasised the importance of recognising WHO recommendations on the noise exposure thresholds for avoiding health impacts. While we welcomed the increasing seriousness that the Government is affording to the health impacts of aviation noise, we were disappointed that these did not inform either the regime’s proposed environmental objectives or changes to the regime itself.

We made several recommendations for improvements that should be considered when the regime’s environmental objectives are next reviewed, as well as the need to introduce supplementary metrics to measure the impact of night noise and the regime’s performance.

Links

AEF response to 2nd night noise consultation

Stage 2 night noise consultation document

Stage 2 night noise consultation annexes

Stage 2 night noise consultation impact assessment

DfT webpage on the consultation

http://www.aef.org.uk/?p=1691

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This is the list of questions asked in the second consultation:

Consultation document questions
Q1: Do you agree with our preliminary view as to the new studies on health effects?
Q2: Do you have any further views on the costs and benefits, including health impacts, which we should take into account in our decision?
Q3: Do you agree with the proposed environmental objectives?
Q4: Do you agree that the next regime should last until October 2017?
Q5: Do you have any views on the revised dispensations guidance?
Q6: Do you agree that we should maintain the existing movement and noise quota limits until October 2017? If not, please set out your preferred options and reasons – this could include the noise and economic impact of any alternatives.
Q7: Do you have any comments on our forecasts to October 2017?
Q8: Do you have any views on how the benefits of quieter aircraft can be shared in future between communities living close to the airport and the aviation industry?
Q9(a): Do you agree with extending the operational ban of QC/8 and QC/16 aircraft to the entire night period (23:00 – 07:00)?
Q9(b): Do you agree with our assessment of the costs and benefits in the draft IA?
Q10: Are there any other changes to the regime which we should consider?
Q11: Do you have any further comments on the scope for trialling new operational procedures which have potential noise reduction benefits in the period up to 2017?
Q12: Are there any other matters you think this consultation should cover?
Q13(a): Do you agree with the locations of the proposed new noise monitors at Heathrow? If not, are there alternative locations you would favour and why?
Q13(b): Do you agree with the proposal to apply runway-specific limit adjustments for easterly departures at Heathrow? If not, please give reasons.
Impact Assessment questions
Question 1: Do you agree with our assessment of how movements and quota usage are likely to change over the period to the end of the summer season 2017 at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted?
Question 2: Do you agree with our assessment of the costs and benefits of option 1 at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted? Would you expect there to be any additional costs and benefits?
Question 3: Do you agree with our assessment of the costs and benefits of option 2 at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted? Would you expect there to be any additional costs and benefits?

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DfT environmental objectives on noise Jan 2014
Table above is from Page 23 of the DfT consultation document  to which the response below refers.
Below is a small section of the  AEF response:

Q3: Do you agree with the proposed environmental objectives?

First environmental objective: Limit and where possible reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night.

3.1 The objective: We strongly believe that the government’s overall objective on aviation noise, which is reflected in the first environmental objective, is effectively meaningless without a baseline or quantifiable target.

3.2 Assessment criteria: The consultation document suggests using the area and number of people within the 6.5 hour night quota period contours and particularly the 55dB contour. We believe that the LAeq metric used to produce the 6.5 hour night contour is useful for looking at trends over time in the average night noise. However, it is not effective for measuring the impact of the noise at night on communities. To measure this impact, two important factors that should be considered are loudness and the frequency of these loud events. To measure this, alternative metrics are required as outlined below.

3.3 Alternative metrics: We suggest the use of the LAmax noise metric to measure loudness and the likelihood of sleep disturbance such as awakenings; the L90 metric, which reflects the background noise for 90% of the time, to measure background noise (a combination of the LAmax and L90 will show the relative intrusion – for example, a lower LAmax may still be regarded as intrusive in areas where background noise levels are particularly low); and the NA (number above) metric to examine the frequency of events above a given noise threshold. We would recommend measuring NA63 as it is consistent with the recommendations on night noise exposure made by WHO Europe.

3.4 Measurement period: Notwithstanding our suggestion on alternative metrics, we would like to add our support to make the night quota period consistent with the commitment made in the APF to produce eight hour night noise contours. Monitoring and addressing the number of people within noise contours for the entire eight hours would better aid assessment of how many people are affected by night noise and would be more in line with EU noise mapping requirements and WHO recommendations.
Second environmental objective: Reduce sleep disturbance resulting from use of the noisiest types of aircraft

3.5 The objective: We would like to question what this objective seeks to achieve. If the objective seeks to reduce the number of the noisiest aircraft operating in night periods then that should be a standalone, albeit related, objective while reducing sleep disturbance should be another. We outline our reasoning below. We would recommend two new objectives: to reduce sleep disturbance in the night period; and to reduce the noisiest aircraft operating in the night period.

3.6 Assessment criteria: The consultation does not present any information to suggest that reducing the use of the noisiest aircraft (QC/4) will lead to lower sleep disturbance. The WHO recommends an LAmax limit of 42dBA indoor to prevent sleep disturbance, which translates using the WHO’s calculated average attenuation level to 63dBA LAmax (see footnote 4 for a full explanation). If QC/2 or below aircraft continue to emit noise above the LAmax of 63dBA then monitoring the number of QC/4 aircraft operating in the night period will not necessarily contribute to reducing sleep disturbance. While we support the removal of the noisiest aircraft without question, it may not be sufficient as an assessment criterion to achieve part of the objective.

3.7 We would further like to add that there is a well known challenge of reconciling the noise classification metric (EPNdB)16 used to produce the Quota Count with perceived noise on the ground and the findings of social surveys. This supports our conclusion that the proposed assessment criterion is unfit for purpose.

3.8 Recommended assessment criteria: To assess our two proposed objectives, we suggest that the DfT continues to monitor the number of movements of QC/4 aircraft as this is a relatively easy exercise and is fit for reducing the noisiest aircraft operating in the night period. To monitor steps towards reducing sleep disturbance, LAmax levels should be monitored for consistency with WHO recommendations.

Third environmental objective: Maintain a stable regulatory regime pending decisions on future airport capacity and, at Gatwick and Stansted in particular, to allow growth in movements up to existing night movement limits and within noise quotas

3.9 We do not regard this as an environmental objective and it should be removed. We refer you to our answers to Q6 for comments on the proposed regime.

 

Fourth environmental objective: Encourage the use of quieter aircraft during the night quota period so as to maintain the historic reduction in noise emitted per aircraft movement during the night quota period

3.10 The objective: We support the use of less noisy aircraft in the night period but it should not lead to an increase in the overall number of noise events that continue to exceed WHO Europe guidelines. Achieving the proposed objective would suggest that each individual aircraft may emit less noise but more aircraft could fit within the noise quota. As we outline in our answer to Q8, communities would not benefit from individual aircraft being marginally less noisy if it permits more flights at levels still likely to cause sleep disturbance. We suggest amending the objective to: encourage the use of quieter aircraft during the night period so as to reduce the overall impact of aircraft noise during the night period.

3.11 Assessment criteria: The assessment criteria proposed permits the objective to be achieved through gradual fleet turnover so that the average QC points per movement will continue to decline without intervention. We draw attention to our point with regards to the second environment objective that QC points do not directly reflect noise impacts on communities and need to be supplemented with the additional metrics we propose above.

3.12 Additional comments: As well as addressing the health impacts associated with night noise, we would like to highlight the increasing sensitivity of communities to aircraft noise and we would recommend that environmental objectives should be reviewed to take into account existing and new dose/effect studies.

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See also

Stop Stansted Expansion calls for reduction and phasing out of Stansted’s night flights

February 3, 2014

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has made a detailed submission to the DfT consultation on night flights, calling for Government action to end the scourge of these flights. The government consultation proposes that Stansted should continue to be allowed 12,000 flights a year between 11.30pm and 6.00am. This is more than twice as many as are permitted at Heathrow and far more than are needed. The 12,000 cap was set in 2006, when Stansted was still expanding rapidly, and a 2nd runway was planned. However, today Stansted is handling 30% less traffic than in 2006. Logically allowing Stansted 12,000 night flights a year can no longer be justified. SSE argues that those living under Stansted’s flight paths should have the right to an uninterrupted night’s sleep, ie. a full 8 hours and not just the 6½ hours covered by the current restrictions. Stansted handled just over 8,500 night flights last year – well below the Government limit of 12,000. SSE is pressing for the limit to be cut to 7,500 night flights from October 2014 and then further reduced by 500 flights each year until night flights are totally phased out. The recent announcement by British Airways that it pulling the plug on its cargo operations at Stansted means that reducing the number of permitted night flights at Stansted from 12,000 to 7,500 should now be easily achievable.

Click here to view full story…

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Earlier:

Second stage consultation on night flying restrictions for the major London airports announced.

11 November 2013
(DfT website)

The government announced on 26 March 2012 an extension of the restrictions on night flying at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports for a period of two years until October 2014.

Our subsequent first stage consultation closed on 22 April 2013 and gathered evidence on options for the next regime. We are grateful to all who took the time to respond to this.

I am announcing today (11 November 2013) the publication of a second consultation which sets out our proposals for the next regime.

Many of the respondents to the stage 1 consultation suggested that we should take account of the findings of the Airports Commission before making any changes to the night restrictions regime. The commission’s final report is due to be published in summer 2015, preceded by an interim report at the end of this year.

As noise impacts are a key consideration for the commission, we agree that it would not be sensible to make any significant changes to the current regime before the commission has completed its work and the government has had time to consider its recommendations. We therefore propose to set a 3 year regime to last until October 2017 which will retain the main features of the current regime, in particular the numbers of movements and noise quota permitted.

I will place a copy of the consultation in the libraries of both Houses.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/night-flying-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted

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Gatwick hopes that by giving another 1,000 homes double-glazing it will defuse opposition to a 2nd runway

Gatwick airport continues to spend a lot of money in attempting to get backing for its 2nd runway and soften up opposition. It has now set up a new scheme – starting on 1st April –  to give people overflown more double glazing and house insulation, to attempt to cut some of the noise.  That, of course, does not work when the windows are open, or when people are outside – in a garden, or elsewhere.  Gatwick says it is expanding its noise insulation scheme, to cover over 1,000 more homes across Surrey, Sussex and Kent. People will be able to apply for up to £3,000 towards double glazing for their windows and doors as well as loft insulation;  ie the scheme could cost Gatwick some £3 million in total. They are now taking the 60 Leq contour, rather than the 66 Leq contour, as in the past – hence increasing the catchment area.  They are also extending the area covered by 15km to both west and east of the airport.  Stewart Wingate said “We understand that the public’s tolerance to noise is much lower than it was”… Gatwick is pushing hard to compare the noise problem it causes with the much larger noise problem caused by Heathrow, where flight paths go over many more densely populated areas. They ignore the issue of the low level of background noise around Gatwick, compared to background noise in a city or large town. 

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Gatwick's new noise scheme boundary
Image at http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/Images/Gatwick-s-new-noise-scheme-boundary-492.aspx
Imagine this huge noise area, doubled, 1 – 1.5 km south of the existing runway, if Gatwick was allowed a second runway.

 

Gatwick Double-Glazing Pitch Seeks Noise Edge in Heathrow Battle

By Robert Wall  (Bloomberg)
February 03, 2014

London Gatwick airport sought to put noise reduction at the center of a campaign to be chosen as the location for a new runway ahead of the U.K.’s Heathrow hub with a pledge to upgrade more than 1,000 homes with double glazing.

Gatwick will provide 3,000 pounds ($5,000) per house — about 3 million pounds in total — to fund measures including loft insulation and enhancements to windows and doors, the airport, owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, said today.

Gatwick’s campaign for local backing comes as Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, begins distributing booklets on its rival growth plan to 140,000 households and businesses. A government commission into runway capacity in southern England, led by Howard Davies, highlighted the two sites as best-suited to the expansion required to maintain London as a major air hub.

The Gatwick plan “takes into account both the increased sensitivity people have towards noise levels, as well as the frequency of how many times they might be overflown,” the airport said. While the extension of noise-control measures could double the number of homes involved to 2,000, some 70,000 would have to be covered if the same criteria were applied in Heathrow’s much more densely populated hinterland, it said.

Heathrow Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Colin Matthews said in a separate release that its six-week consultation beginning today will seek to determine what local people most value so that the expansion plan can be refined accordingly.

Noise Baseline

Heathrow revealed last month it was looking at shifting one proposed location for a third runway further south to reduce an overlap with the M25 highway that circles London and avoid destruction of historic buildings including a barn built in 1426 said to rival Westminster Abbey for architectural merit.

Even then, constructing an additional landing strip would involve demolishing 950 homes.

Gatwick said it has widened the catchment area for homes qualifying for insulation by setting the baseline at 60 Leq — a measurement of decibel levels over an extended period — rather than 66 Leq previously.

The noise contour has also been extended along flight paths by 15 kilometers (9 miles) east and west of the airport.

Gatwick, Europe’s busiest single-runway airport, said that with a second strip its noise would affect 11,800 people, less than 5 percent of the number already impacted by Heathrow today. It also argues that growth would be swifter and less costly than at Heathrow, which has broad airline backing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Wall in London at rwall6@bloomberg.net

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-02-03/gatwick-double-glazing-pitch-seeks-noise-edge-in-heathrow-battle

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Noise exposure contours for Gatwick Airport 2012

PDF, 3.8MB, 43 pages

Noise exposure contours for Gatwick Airport 2011

PDF, 4.23MB


.Gatwick new noise contours for insulationAbove is a very rough drawing of approximately what the noise contour – requiring sound insulation etc – might look like with the addition of a second runway to the south (rough line in red showing indicative outer margin of area even the airport acknowledges is very badly affected).  Drawing from AirportWatch, not from Gatwick airport, though based on the Gatwick map above..


 

Airport says: “London Gatwick announces most innovative noise mitigation scheme in Europe”

3 February 2014 (Gatwick airport website)

  • Ground-breaking scheme increases noise boundary by 15km each end of the runway
  • Number of homes which will now be eligible has increased by over 40%
  • Community must come first says Gatwick
  • Gatwick challenges Heathrow to match scheme on the day Heathrow starts community consultation

 

Today, London Gatwick has announced it is significantly expanding its noise insulation scheme, making it the most innovative of any airport in Europe. The new scheme will cover over one thousand more homes across Surrey, Sussex and Kent. They will be able to apply for up to £3,000 towards double glazing for their windows and doors as well as loft insulation. This will mean that over 40% more homes will be protected from noise than are covered with the old scheme.

The major changes to the scheme are two-fold. First the noise boundary for the scheme has increased by using a lower level of noise from 66 Leq to 60 Leq as a baseline with the boundary line drawn flexibly to ensure entire roads and communities are included. Secondly, the noise contour boundary has been drawn along the flight paths by 15km to both the east and west of the airport. We are not aware of any other airport in the world offering a scheme of this magnitude.

Crucially, the scheme takes into account both the increased sensitivity people have towards noise levels as well as the frequency of how many times they might be overflown. If the new scheme is taken up by all eligible households in the Gatwick area it would cover around 2,000 homes. As a comparison, if the same scheme was applied to Heathrow it would have to cover around 70,000 homes due to the fact aircraft have to overfly densely populated areas of London. A similar scheme at Heathrow would extend to Windsor in the west and Putney in the east, covering landmarks such as Windsor Castle and Kew Gardens.

The impact of both the level and frequency of aircraft noise on local communities needs to be a critical issue for the Airports Commission’s assessment of the Heathrow and Gatwick runway proposals. Gatwick’s noise impacts are already significantly lower than at Heathrow. With a second runway, the number of people impacted by noise at Gatwick would be up to 11,800. This is equivalent to less than 5% of the people Heathrow impacts today¹. Heathrow currently impacts more people than all of the other major European airports combined² and under their current expansion plans over 700 additional flights could use the airport each day.

Commenting on the proposals Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick CEO, said: “The leadership position we have taken on aircraft noise today shows the importance we attach to our local community as we continue to compete and grow from a single runway, but also as we plan to build a second. We understand that the public’s tolerance to noise is much lower than it was which is why we are now extending our noise insulation scheme to cover the 30km flight path east and west of the airport.

“It is crucial that the UK has a deliverable, quick and affordable solution to where the next runway will be. Gatwick can give the UK the economic benefits it needs at an environmental cost it can afford. The role of local communities is critical and must not be over looked. As Heathrow starts to consult its local communities about a third runway they should break their silence about noise and think seriously about following our lead.”

Independent noise expert Dr Ian Flindell said: “Extending the boundaries of Gatwick’s new noise insulation scheme to include more people at lower sound levels is a very innovative departure from existing practice, and demonstrates a huge commitment to the surrounding community. It appears to be among the most generous of similar schemes I have seen across other European airports and possibly worldwide. Aircraft noise can be a very serious issue for many people living near airports, and anything that the airport can do to mitigate this problem is entirely worthwhile.”

 

Notes to Editors

High resolution versions of the Gatwick and Heathrow maps attached to this release can be downloaded here:

Gatwick high resolution map
Heathrow high resolution map

¹ The CAA’s annual noise contours show that Heathrow impacts around 239,000 people today.

² Source: Dft Draft Aviation Policy Framework Consultation July 2012.

Changes to Gatwick’s Noise Insulation Scheme include:

  • Leq is a measurement used to express the average sound level over a 16-hour, 92-day summertime average.
  • Contours based on 60 Leq, which has been improved from the previous 66 Leq. This automatically widens the contour area covered.
  • Noise at 60 Leq level can be compared to listening to a conversation a short distance away. In comparison, 66 Leq is more akin to hearing a vacuum cleaner a short distance away.
  • The east and west boundaries have been expanded by 15km each way from the point of aircraft touchdown. This covers a significantly larger area at each end of the runway, where local people suffer from noise from approaching aircraft.

 

Gatwick offered all local households eligible for the previous scheme the opportunity to comment and feedback on it before designing the new scheme, as well as local authorities and Gatwick’s consultative committee GATCOM.

Gatwick will write to every household eligible under the new scheme in advance of 1 April to outline the process for applying for scheme.

About Dr Ian Flindell

Dr Ian Flindell is widely known across Europe as an independent acoustics consultant and as a teacher and researcher at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR).

He is a recognised expert in subjective acoustics, specialising in the assessment and management of environmental noise, particularly around airports, and has contributed to the development of standards, regulations and methods of assessment.

Dr Flindell has been an expert witness at major airport development public inquiries (for British Airports Authority plc) and co-authored the UK government report (for Dept. of Transport) ‘Attitudes to Noise from Aviation Sources (2007). He has also managed ISVR’s contribution to various EU projects including ‘Sound Engineering for Aircraft (SEFA)’ and ‘Community Oriented Solutions to Minimise Aircraft Noise Annoyance (COSMA)’.

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/News/London-Gatwick-announces-most-innovative-noise-mitigation-scheme-in-Europe-8ad.aspx

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NOISE INSULATION SCHEME EXPANDED AT LONDON GATWICK

Written by   (Airport World)

Gatwick's new noise boundary scheme

Gatwick’s new noise boundary scheme

 

London Gatwick has announced it is significantly expanding its noise insulation scheme – which it says will make it the ‘most innovative airport in Europe’.

The new scheme will cover over 1,000 more homes across Surrey, Sussex and Kent, meaning more than 40% more homes will be protected from noise than are covered with the old scheme.

And householders will be able to apply for up to €3,500 towards double-glazing for their windows, and doors as well as loft insulation.

As part of the new scheme, the noise boundary has been increased by using a lower level of noise from 66 Leq to 60 Leq as a baseline, with the boundary line drawn flexibly to ensure entire roads and communities are included.

Secondly, the noise contour boundary has been drawn along the flight paths, by 15km to both the east and west of the airport, and Gatwick says, it is not aware of any other airport in the world ‘offering a scheme of this magnitude’.

The scheme is also said to take into account both the increased sensitivity people have towards noise levels, as well as the frequency of how many times they might be overflown.

If the new scheme is taken up by all eligible households in the Gatwick area, it would cover around 2,000 homes.

Gatwick says the impact of both the level and frequency of aircraft noise on local communities needs to be a critical issue for the Airports Commission, who will recommend next year, whether Heathrow or Gatwick should have an additional runway built.

gatwick

Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick CEO, says: “The leadership position we have taken on aircraft noise today shows the importance we attach to our local community as we continue to compete and grow from a single runway, but also as we plan to build a second.

“We understand the public’s tolerance to noise is much lower than it was, which is why we are now extending our noise insulation scheme to cover the 30km flight path east and west of the airport.

“It is crucial that the UK has a deliverable, quick and affordable solution to where the next runway will be. Gatwick can give the UK the economic benefits it needs at an environmental cost it can afford. The role of local communities is critical and must not be over looked.

“As Heathrow starts to consult its local communities about a third runway they should break their silence about noise and think seriously about following our lead.”

The extended noise insulation programme will roll out from April 1, 2014.

http://www.airport-world.com/home/general-news/item/3629-noise-insulation-scheme-expanded-at-london-gatwick

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Gatwick throws down gauntlet to Heathrow over noise insulation

Gatwick extends insulation scheme to cover more households, and challenges Heathrow to follow suit

Gatwick's map showing the wider area covered by its new noise insulation scheme
Gatwick’s map showing the wider area covered by its new noise insulation scheme

Gatwick is extending its noise insulation scheme to stretch 30km and has challenged Heathrow to follow suit, as the battle for an extra runway hots up.

As Heathrow launched its consultation about plans for a third runway at the airport today, Gatwick announced it would offer noise insulation to an extra 860 homes within the 60 Leq noise contour.

The airport, which itself wants a second runway, challenged Heathrow to match its offer – meaning it would have to cover an estimated 70,000 households, from Windsor in the west to Putney in the east.

Gatwick's map showing which new areas would be covered were Heathrow to copy its more generous noise insulation scheme
Gatwick’s map showing which new areas would be covered were Heathrow to copy its more generous noise insulation scheme

 

Heathrow already offers free sound proofing measures, including double glazing, ventilation and loft insulation, to some 40,000 homes under the flight path.

Gatwick’s current scheme covers just under 1,200 homes within the noisier 66 leq contour. It claims the new offer, covering a total of 30km of rural land from east to west, will be the most generous in the world when it is rolled out in April 1 this year.

Gatwick’s announcement marks a fresh intensity in the fight for a new runway, with the Airports Commission having whittled down the options to a shortlist of three: two at Heathrow and one at Gatwick.

Gatwick’s chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “The leadership position we have taken on aircraft noise today shows the importance we attach to our local community as we continue to compete and grow from a single runway, but also as we plan to build a second.

“We understand that the public’s tolerance to noise is much lower than it was which is why we are now extending our noise insulation scheme to cover the 30km flight path east and west of the airport.”

The Leq scale is used to measure average noise over an extended period; 66 Leq is comparable to that from a vacuum cleaner, while 60 Leq is that of a nearby conversation.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “Around 40,000 homes are eligible for noise insulation under Heathrow’s current noise schemes.

“Our proposal for a third runway would see fewer people affected by noise than today due to quieter aircraft and new flight paths. We have said that if government supports a third runway at Heathrow then any areas which do experience new noise or a significant increase in noise should be eligible for free noise insulation.”

Heathrow today launched a six-week consultation about its plans for a new runway to the north-west of the existing two.

Booklets are being sent to 140,000 homes and business around the airport asking for people’s views on the new runway’s operation. These will be used to revise its final proposal, due to be submitted to the Airports Commission in May.

People will also be able to have their say at a series of exhibitions, with locations including Brentford Holiday Inn on March 6, from midday to 8pm, and Hounslow Civic Centre on March 8, from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

John Stewart, chairman of anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group HACAN, has branded the consultation a ‘PR exercise’, claiming the real issue is whether a new runway is needed in the first place.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/gatwick-throws-down-gauntlet-heathrow-6662545

 

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Stop Stansted Expansion calls for reduction and phasing out of Stansted’s night flights

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has made a detailed submission to the DfT consultation on night flights, calling for Government action to end the scourge of these flights. The government consultation proposes that Stansted should continue to be allowed 12,000 flights a year between 11.30pm and 6.00am. This is more than twice as many as are permitted at Heathrow and far more than are needed. The 12,000 cap was set in 2006, when Stansted was still expanding rapidly, and a 2nd runway was planned.  However, today Stansted is handling 30% less traffic than in 2006. Logically allowing Stansted 12,000 night flights a year can no longer be justified.  SSE argues that those living under Stansted’s flight paths should have the right to an uninterrupted night’s sleep, ie. a full 8 hours and not just the 6½ hours covered by the current restrictions. Stansted handled just over 8,500 night flights last year – well below the Government limit of 12,000. SSE is pressing for the limit to be cut to 7,500 night flights from October 2014 and then further reduced by 500 flights each year until night flights are totally phased out. The recent announcement by British Airways that it pulling the plug on its cargo operations at Stansted means that reducing the number of permitted night flights at Stansted from 12,000 to 7,500 should now be easily achievable.
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Government  must act to end night flights 

31 January 2014   (Stop Stansted Expansion)

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has made a detailed submission to the Department for Transport (DfT) calling for Government action to end the scourge of noisy night flights.

SSE’s submission is in response to a Government consultation which proposes that Stansted should continue to be allowed 12,000 flights a year between the hours of 11.30pm and 6.00am. This is more than twice as many as are permitted at Heathrow and far more than are needed.

The 12,000 cap was set in 2006 at a time when Stansted was still expanding rapidly. The Government anticipated that a second runway would soon be built and that more night flights would be needed. However, today Stansted is handling 30% less traffic than it was in 2006 and its plans for a second runway were cancelled in 2010. In all the circumstances, allowing Stansted 12,000 night flights a year can no longer be justified.

Stansted handled just over 8,500 night flights last year – well below the Government limit.
SSE is pressing for the limit to be reduced to 7,500 night flights from October 2014 and then further reduced by 500 flights each year until night flights are totally phased out. The recent announcement by British Airways that it pulling the plug on its cargo operations at Stansted means that reducing the number of permitted night flights at Stansted from 12,000 to 7,500 should now be easily achievable.

SSE’s submission also argues that those living in the vicinity of Stansted and under its flight paths should have the right to an uninterrupted night’s sleep, which should mean a full 8 hours and not just the 6½ hours covered by the current restrictions on night flights.

SSE has also highlighted the particular disturbance caused by night flights at Stansted because of its rural location where background noise levels are generally very low. The submission also calls for an immediate ban on aircraft using reverse thrust at night except in emergencies.

Martin Peachey, SSE’s noise adviser, commented: “For years the Government has been promising that it will bear down on aircraft noise at night. However, night flights at Stansted are still increasing, not decreasing. It’s time to reverse that trend and set a firm timetable for phasing out night flights altogether.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS
. SSE’s submission can be viewed online at: http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/night_flights.html

The current consultation relates to night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, and can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flights

This is the second part of a two-stage consultation process which began in January 2013. The new arrangements will come into force in October this year.
www.stopstanstedexpansion.com

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Stansted: Campaigners call for end to airport’s night flights

by Andrew Hirst (EADT)
Monday, February 3, 2014
Campaigners have called on the Government to bring an end to the “scourge” of noisy night flights at Stansted Airport.

The Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) group believes the current cap of 12,000 night flights a year, which is twice the amount permitted at Heathrow, is “far more than needed”.

SSE’s noise advisor Martin Peachey said: “For years the Government has been promising that it will bear down on aircraft noise at night.

“However, night flights at Stansted are still increasing, not decreasing.

“It’s time to reverse that trend and set a firm timetable for phasing out night flights altogether.”

The group made its submissions in response to a Government consultation which proposes to maintain the 12,000 flight limit between the hours of 11.30pm and 6am.

SSE believes the limit is outdated, having been made at a time, in 2006, when the airport was still expanding rapidly.

With Stansted handling 30% less traffic than it was in 2006, and plans for a second runway cancelled in 2010, the group claims that allowing 12,000 night flights a year “can no longer be justified”.

The submission also argued that those living in region had the right to a full eight hours sleep, rather than the six and a half hours included in the definition of a “night flight”. It also highlighted the particular disturbance caused at Stansted because of its rural location and the very low levels of background noise.

A DFT spokesman said: “Aviation plays an important role in the UK economy, but the government recognises the impact night flights have on people and expects the industry to reduce noise and minimise demand for night flights where alternatives are available.

“We will consider carefully all responses to the current consultation on night noise, which ends on Monday 3 February, and will respond in due course.”

Stansted Airport’s Chris Wiggan has previously said: “As the UK economy improves and passenger and freight movements continue to grow at Stansted, it is vital that government recognises this potential and retains our full night flight quota limit.

“Whilst we understand that night noise is an impor-tant issue for airport commu-nities, a reduction in the limit would have a damaging effect on the UK economy and only serve to transfer movements to airports with greater environmental impacts.”

http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/stansted_campaigners_call_for_end_to_airport_s_night_flights_1_3277522

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Member states should follow MEPs and back airspace emissions proposal

MEPs on the Environment Committee have stood up to political pressure from member states and industry by voting to endorse the European Commission’s proposal for an aviation ETS covering all of Europe’s airspace. Although the proposal regulates only 35% of airline emissions compared to the original EU ETS, it crucially captures a portion of long-haul flights – where most of aviation’s greenhouse gases originate. The proposal would see an end to a restricted ETS covering just intra-EU flights. Bill Hemmings, aviation manager at the European Federation for Transport & Environment, said: “By backing coverage of airspace, MEPs are ensuring the system captures emissions from all flights – both intra-Europe and long-haul over European territory. The decision also reinforces EU sovereignty, something a number of member states seem reluctant to uphold …Any EU measure to fight climate change needs to be enforced. It is untenable that France, Germany and the UK are failing to enforce the 2012 legislation. This should be a precondition before talks between Parliament and Council members on agreeing changes to the ETS.”
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Member states should follow MEPs and back airspace emissions proposal

Vandaag – do 30 januari 2014 (Transport & Environment)
MEPs on the Environment Committee today stood up to political pressure from member states and industry by voting to endorse the European Commission’s proposal for an aviation emissions trading system covering all of Europe’s airspace. Although the proposal regulates only 35% of airline emissions compared to the original EU ETS, it crucially captures a portion of long-haul flights – where most of aviation’s greenhouse gases originate.

The proposal would see an end to a restricted ETS covering just intra-EU flights. The restriction, known as ‘stop the clock’, was enacted as a temporary measure in 2012 to give the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) time to act on aviation’s large climate impact. But last October ICAO voted against any regional measure by Europe and in favour of a potential global deal, which may only start in 2020.

Bill Hemmings, aviation manager at the European Federation for Transport and Environment, said: “By backing coverage of airspace, MEPs are ensuring the system captures emissions from all flights – both intra-Europe and long-haul over European territory. The decision also reinforces EU sovereignty, something a number of member states seem reluctant to uphold.

The governments of France, Germany, and the UK want to continue ‘stop the clock’ and restrict the ETS to intra-EU flights until 2016 or even 2020 in the mistaken belief that excluding long-haul carriers will lessen enforcement problems. But these same EU regulators have already failed to enforce breaches by the same Chinese, Indian and Saudi carriers operating intra-EU flights.

Bill Hemmings added: “Any EU measure to fight climate change needs to be enforced. It is untenable that France, Germany and the UK are failing to enforce the 2012 legislation. This should be a precondition before talks between Parliament and Council members on agreeing changes to the ETS.”

http://verkeerswereld.nl/milieu/member-states-should-follow-meps-and-back-airspace-emissions-proposal/

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Aviation EU ETS up in the air as European politicians, member states and airlines differ on future direction

by Peter Liese, John Hanlon, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Martin Callanan, Jacqueline Foster

Mon 27 Jan 2014 (GreenAir online)

With a decision required by EU institutions before the end of April, there remains strong disagreement over the future direction of the Aviation EU ETS, not only within the European Parliament and EU member states but also between European airlines. MEPs in the Parliament’s transport and industry committees voted last week to water down the Commission’s proposal to regulate emissions from all flights within EU/EEA airspace. The environment committee, which leads on the issue, is due to vote on Thursday (Jan 30) and largely backs the proposal. Rapporteurs on the three committees are now attempting to seek a compromise. Meanwhile, the three trade associations representing European airlines differ too on the future EU ETS scope. A clash is also looming between Parliament and member states on the earmarking of EU ETS auction revenues.

Last Thursday, the environment committee (ENVI) held a debate on the issue and although there were disagreements between MEPs on the way forward, there appears a majority in favour of supporting the Commission’s airspace proposal. However, the Aviation EU ETS rapporteur in the Parliament, Peter Liese, accepted concessions would have to be made on all sides and a compromise reached between the committees before the beginning of the trilogue process with EU member states through the Council.

He said the transport committee (TRAN) wanted the ‘Stop the Clock’ intra-EU/EEA scope to be extended. “That is something we should at least consider but, on the other hand, we cannot accept this continuing until 2016.”

One area of consensus, said Liese, was over the issue of earmarking of EU ETS auction revenues for climate-related funding and clean R&D. Although Parliament’s position was clear on this, he said, member states had refused to hypothecate revenues and this was a justified criticism from third countries.

Liese told the ENVI meeting: “We have to be very careful what message we are sending out. We are meeting a lot of resistance. Airbus is fighting tooth and nail against this airspace proposal. If China threatens to cancel a contract, then we appear to do what the Chinese want us to do.”

Supporting Liese’s own amendments of the Commission proposal, MEP Chris Davies believed the EU should accept the political repercussions and said he was unconvinced by what was coming out of ICAO.

Satu Hassi, for the Greens in Parliament, said the willingness to compromise had gone too far. “We shouldn’t give a signal to the world that if companies and other countries disagree with our legislation then we change it,” she said, adding that the EU was in danger of being seen as “an economic giant but a political dwarf”.

Noted Dutch MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy: “This goes much further than climate change and aviation – this is about Europe’s credibility. We said we would give ICAO one year to come up with serious developments towards a global solution but ICAO failed. Where is your credibility if you threaten but don’t carry it through afterwards?

“With Airbus, this is economic blackmail and it won’t end with them. We should support the Commission, the Parliament should stand strong and we should never surrender to economic blackmail.”

Speaking against the Commission’s proposal were British Conservative MEPs Martin Callanan and Jacqueline Foster.

“Airbus employs thousands of people across Europe. Why create problems for them for a relatively small principle and the small amounts of money involved,” said Callanan. “We can stand on our principles but we do need to be aware of the practical implications.”

Foster criticised the Commission’s climate directorate (DG CLIMA) for its “dogma” over the Aviation EU ETS and was concerned over the consequences of moving in a unilateral direction without agreement from third countries. “We have had billions of dollars of Airbus orders held up over this issue – quite frankly, this is unacceptable,” she said. In view of the ICAO Assembly outcome, she called for the application of the directive “to be suspended indefinitely”. A restriction to intra-EEA flights should also be resisted, she said, as it led to a lack of a level playing field for European airlines, which she believed had originally been deemed illegal by the Commission.

In a statement to the ENVI committee on behalf of DG CLIMA, Elina Bardram said the Aviation EU ETS was a complicated and challenging dossier that involved politics and principles, which was highly unusual.

Referring to the ICAO Assembly resolution adopted last October, which she deemed a significant success, Bardram said: “Some countries read the paragraphs relating to states adopting interim measures before 2020 as implying mutual consent. The EU categorically disagreed with that interpretation and entered a reservation. We will, of course, continue our efforts to reach consensus but we will not decide our laws on the basis of what is desirable from the perspective of third countries.

“Our proposal is a genuine effort and best attempt to align with what was decided at the Assembly. We have made specific provisions to accommodate the least developed countries. We have also reflected the discussions prior to and during the Assembly when many of our partners, including the major aviation nations, actually proposed an airspace approach. In doing so, we have significantly contracted our ETS legislation in anticipation of a global [market-based measure] outcome. We felt the contraction of environmental ambition was acceptable because we do believe the measure will happen and we want to give it the best chance of success.”

Bardram said the extension of the intra-EU/EEA scope to 2014 under the Commission proposal would give enough time for technical adjustments to be made before implementing the airspace approach.

The number of different proposals that had been put forward boiled down to a political choice and negotiation, she said. “The key criteria in assessing the options are administrative simplicity, stability, permanence and whether they constituted good regulation. We feel the Commission proposal meets this. There is a question of political acceptance and that depends on how far we are willing to go to accommodate.

“It’s no secret that since the Commission airspace proposal was made there are some partners, particularly the industry, who have expressed concern but it is not currently clear what alternative they would fully be in accordance with. Our proposal is both legally and technically sound and it ensures a level playing field. All operators on the same route are treated equally.”

Whilst IATA, which represents international airlines on a global basis, would wish for a complete suspension of the EU ETS pending the introduction of a global scheme, European airline trade bodies have expressed differing views.

The Association of European Airlines (AEA), with a membership of 30 major airlines serving extra-EEA routes, welcomed last week’s vote by the TRAN committee to scale back the Commission’s proposal and urged MEPs on the industry committee (ITRE) – which has since voted in agreement with TRAN – and ENVI to follow suit.

The decision by TRAN, said the AEA, demonstrated understanding that European airlines could be exposed to retaliatory measures from third countries. “AEA welcomes that TRAN restricts the scope of the aviation ETS to flights within the European Economic Area,” it said in a statement. “This move reduces the risk of international controversy and confirms that global issues such as emissions from international aviation need a global solution.”

Added AEA CEO Athar Husain Khan: “The aviation ETS must not hamper progress at ICAO towards a global agreement on reducing emissions from international aviation.”

The AEA said there was uncertainty about the situation in the years 2017 to 2020 and as airlines needed long-term planning stability, it urged clarity.

On the other hand, Simon McNamara, Director General of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), which represents intra-European regional carriers, argues that trying to capture international flights, even in EU airspace, would re-ignite the former dispute with non-EU countries. “But, equally, an intra-EU only scheme would be bad news for Europe and intra-European airlines,” he said.

“The sensible option would be to suspend the EU ETS for all flights and focus on ICAO delivering a global scheme by 2016. However, European idealism about the environment has prevented that happening. It seems as if we will have to choose between one of the two options, and neither of them is ideal.”

Representing low-fare carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet, two of Europe’s largest in terms of passenger numbers, the European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA) has lobbied since the EU ‘Stop the Clock’ decision in late 2012 for restoration of the full scope of the Aviation EU ETS directive.

Failing reversion to full scope, the EU should implement the ETS to at least cover emissions in European airspace, demanded ELFAA Secretary General John Hanlon at a press conference held on Thursday with Peter Liese, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy and Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment.

“To prolong the one-year-only ‘Stop the Clock’ as the basis of the ETS is not only discriminatory but environmentally ineffective, capturing only 20% of EU aviation emissions of CO2, while letting long-haul flights off the hook,” he said.

In the event of an interim reduction of the full scope, Hanlon called for a reassessment of the environmental efficiency benchmark of the scheme which, he said, favoured long-haul operations. “Failure to review the original benchmark, which was designed for a radically different scope, compounds the discriminatory effect on intra-Europe operators.”

Hanlon said ELFAA had supported the EU ETS from the beginning and as its airline members wanted to continue growing but also demonstrate that the growth should be environmentally sustainable, a market-based mechanism was therefore needed until new technology could offset emissions growth.

“Our sector has grown enormously and we have the biggest shortfall in allowances but we’re up for that. However, the scheme must be environmentally effective to do the job, equitable and non-discriminatory. So we believe the EU should have stuck to its guns with its full scope. At least what the EU should do now is to stick to the Commission proposal.”

He urged Parliament to resist political pressure. “If you yield on EU airspace and fall back on intra-Europe, the next argument you will be facing is that the ICAO Assembly resolution requires mutual consent, so don’t assume that the states opposing the EU ETS will be happy to continue to be included in an intra-EU scope. You will be looking at an ever-shrinking scheme and facing a significant challenge for the right of the EU to legislate and to its integrity.”

Although she welcomed the willingness to compromise between the MEPs, DG CLIMA’s Bardram told the ENVI meeting there was a pressing timeline for an agreement in order to conclude the co-decision process with the Council (representing the member states) by the end of April.

However, Liese and Gerbrandy cautioned at the press conference that it may be difficult to reach an agreement with TRAN since the mandate of its rapporteur was to negotiate only on the basis of a ‘Stop the Clock’ extension until 2016, whereas ENVI was unlikely to vote for more than a one-year extension, based on the Commission proposal. A failure of the Parliament and Council to reach an agreement before the end of April, reminded Liese, would see an automatic return to the full scope of the EU ETS directive.

Trilogues between the EU institutions will take place during February, followed by meetings of the Environment and Transport Councils (member states) in March, with a vote by the Parliament during its April 14-17 plenary session.

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1815

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Links:

Video of the ENVI committee meeting

Video of the TRAN committee meeting (Aviation EU ETS starts 16:01:24)

Video of the Liese/Gerbrandy/Hanlon/T&E press conference

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Scrap HS2 and move Leeds Bradford Airport next to M1 says Wakefield council

Calls for a new airport for the Yorkshire region have emerged as a Wakefield council urged the scrapping of HS2 in favour of a wider package of transport improvements. Wakefield councillors voted to oppose HS2 scheme which would see high speed trains passing through the district to a new stop in the centre of Leeds. The council wants a broader debate on the future of transport in the North including alternative proposals for high speed rail, investment in the road network and a possible long term replacement for Leeds-Bradford Airport. This would be better connected to major roads and rail lines and with room to expand over the longer term. It is thought that the current location of the airport is poor, and does not encourage more to use it. Some consider it may make better economic sense to invest money in improved transport links to the existing airport.  Those considering moving the airport say looking 20, 30, 40 years ahead there might be a better location so the airport is better linked to HS2, built on land around the M1, A1 and M62. However, a new airport could cost £5 billion. Who is going to pay for that?
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Calls for new Leeds airport

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  • by James Reed
29 January 2014 (Yorkshire Evening Post)

A NEW airport to serve Leeds could be needed to make sure the city thrives in the coming years, according to council leader Keith Wakefield.

Discussions are underway over whether a new airport should be built that connects with the proposed high speed rail line into the city and major roads.

Council leaders in West Yorkshire are concerned that Leeds-Bradford Airport’s location makes it hard to reach and could limit its growth.

Talks are at a very early stage but it is likely any new airport would be on land around the M1 and A1.

Coun Wakefield said: “We want Leeds and Yorkshire to be as ambitious as any other region.

“The existing operators of Leeds-Bradford have been very good and increased passenger numbers but if we are to make sure aviation is a key part of our transport strategy we have to recognise there are limitations on the existing location.

“If we are looking 20, 30, 40 years ahead there might be a better location so it can link with HS2 and create a transport hub.”

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box has also called for a new airport to be considered as part of wider improvements to transport in the region.

Tony Hallwood, aviation development and marketing director at Leeds-Bradford Airport, said: “Leeds-Bradford can meet the long term need for air travel in Yorkshire and we can continue to grow at a fast pace.

“That would be assisted through road and rail links from across the region. We could invest in those now and we could be ready to deliver over the next four or five years. A new airport could be decades away.”

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/calls-for-new-leeds-airport-1-6404971

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Scrap HS2 and move Leeds Airport next to M1 says council

Leeds Bradford Airport could move to the M1 corridor

Leeds Bradford Airport could move to the M1 corridor

  • by James Reed Political Correspondent (Yorkshire Post)
30 January 2014 

CALLS for a new airport for the region have emerged as a Yorkshire council urged the scrapping of HS2 in favour of a wider package of transport improvements.

Wakefield councillors yesterday voted to oppose the HS2 scheme which would see high speed trains passing through the district to a new stop in the centre of Leeds.

Council leader Peter Box called for a broader debate on the future of transport in the North including alternative proposals for high speed rail, investment in the road network and a possible long term replacement for Leeds-Bradford Airport.

The Yorkshire Post understands early stage discussions have been held over whether Leeds-Bradford, which has long been criticised over its location, can ever match the area’s long term economic ambitions.

Questions are being asked about whether it makes better economic sense to invest money in improved transport links to the existing airport which may have limited scope for growth or consider the more radical option of a new airport on a site better connected to major roads and rail lines and with room to expand over the longer term.

Coun Box said: “What Wakefield wants to do is to campaign for what we need and not what we have been given.

“What we need is greater connectivity. We need investment in our highways network to go alongside improving rail, including east-west links, and we need investment in a new airport.”

He pointed to an alternative plan, known as High Speed UK, as an example of how high speed rail could be built in a different way and improve connections between more towns and cities.

High Speed UK, devised by rail engineers and backed by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, would follow the M1 corridor with a spur heading west from Leeds and Sheffield across the Pennines to Manchester and a further heading north to Scotland.

Leeds City Council remains supportive of HS2 but is also among those suggesting that there could be a case for a new airport.

Coun Wakefield said: “We want Leeds and Yorkshire to be as ambitious as any other region.

“The existing operators of Leeds-Bradford have been very good and increased passenger numbers but if we are to make sure aviation is a key part of our transport strategy we have to recognise there are limitations on the existing location.

“If we are looking 20, 30, 40 years ahead there might be a better location so it can link with HS2 and create a transport hub.”

Talks are at a very early stage but it is likely any new airport would be on land around the M1, A1 and M62 and connected to a new high speed rail line.

Tony Hallwood, aviation development and marketing director at Leeds-Bradford Airport, said it was the fastest growing UK airport last year and would continue to grow this year by offering eight new destinations.

“Leeds-Bradford can meet the long term need for air travel in Yorkshire and we can continue to grow at a fast pace.

“That would be assisted through road and rail links from across the region. We could invest in those now and we could be ready to deliver over the next four or five years. A new airport could be decades away.

“A new airport could cost £5 billion. Who is going to pay for that?”

The Government is pressing ahead with HS2 with work due to start on the first phase between London and Birmingham in 2017. Services on the second phase of the project stopping at stations at Meadowhall and New Lane, in Leeds, are due to start in 2032.

Mark Goldstone, head of policy at the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “HS2 must be viewed as part of a wider integrated transport network for the Leeds City Region and we need to be thinking now about how each part of the region benefits from the increased capacity it will provide.

“There is little point being able to get into and out of Leeds city centre more efficiently by HS2 if there is poor connectivity onwards to Bradford, Wakefield or Huddersfield for example.

“We are hopeful that the proposed Combined Authority with access to significant funding for regional transport schemes should address some of these connectivity issues.”

HS2 Ltd, the Government company developing the project, is currently consulting on the route it will take through Yorkshire and the North West.

In its current form it will split north of Birmingham into a Y with one section taking trains to Manchester and another going through the East Midlands before arriving in Yorkshire.

It is proposed that trains will stop at a new station at Meadowhall before heading north to a point east of Leeds where one spur will head into the city centre and another will continue to a point eight miles short of York where it will connect with the existing network.

North Yorkshire County Council has expressed its support for HS2 but questioned the decision to have a second station in Leeds and the difficulties that could cause passengers connecting using existing services.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “HS2 is set to boost the economy in West Yorkshire by around £1bn a year.

“Wakefield could also benefit from released capacity as result of journeys moving on to the high speed line and we are eager to hear from the council about how this could be used.

“But HS2 is just one part of the plan. Westgate Station has recently had a £8.6m upgrade to improve facilities and access, while plans for Kirkgate are set to completely renovate the station.”

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/politics/scrap-hs2-and-move-leeds-airport-next-to-m1-says-council-1-6405296

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 CAA aviation statistics 
 
Number of passengers (thousands) at Leeds Bradford airport in recent years:
2013    3,314,000  (up 11.6% on 2012)

2012    2,968,700  (up + 1.1% on 2011)

2011    2,937,000  (up + 8%  on 2010)
2010    2,723,934  (up + 6.7% on 2009)  
2009    2,552,614 (down -10.8% on 2008)
2008    2,860,447 (almost no change since 2007)
2007    2,860,000  (+3% up on 2006)
2006    2,787,217
2005    2,608,721
2000    1,573,056
1996    1,050,608

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