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FoI request reveals TfL has spent £1.4 million so far, with a budget of £3 million, on promoting Thames estuary airport (or Stansted)

Figures from Transport for London (TfL) – obtained from a Freedom of Information request – show Boris Johnson has spent £1.4 million promoting the idea of a Thames Estuary airport. Some £1.2 million has gone to paying consultancy fees, for work such as looking at environmental impacts of an airport and the infrastructure that would need to be built. £15,000 was spent on hiring College Public Policy, a consultancy group, to help with TfL’s submission to the Airports Commission. In contrast,  Medway Council budgeted £50,000 in 2012 to fight against the airport, although it is not clear how much of this was spent.  Boris backs building the airport, which would be the world’s biggest airport, at Grain. This would have 4 runways and operate 24 hours a day.  “Boris has been throwing away public money on his flight of fancy and it needs to stop” – Mark Reckless MP. TfL say in May 2011, £200,000 was set aside by TfL to consider the options for expanding the country’s aviation capacity. A further £3 million has been budgeted by TfL up until April 2014, of which there is around £1.7 million remaining. 

 

 

Mayor Boris Johnson spends £1.4m on promoting ‘flight of fancy’ of Thames Estuary airport

by Alan McGuinness  (Kent Messenger)

Boris Johnson has spent £1.4 million promoting the idea of a Thames Estuary airport.

Figures released by Transport for London [see details of FoI request below] reveal the London Mayor’s huge financial commitment to pushing a project which would irrevocably change the Towns.

Since 2010 a total of £1,435,682 has been spent by TfL. The bulk of the cash, around £1.2 million, has gone to paying consultancy fees.

This has been given to companies which have carried out work looking at issues such as the environmental impacts of an airport and the infrastructure that would need to be built.

In May 2011, £200,000 was set aside [by TfL] to consider the options for expanding the country’s aviation capacity.

A further £3 million has been budgeted [by TfL] up until April 2014, of which there is around £1.7 million remaining. This means the total spending could rise to £3 million.


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Boris Johnson to release study into Thames Estuary airport

Boris Johnson to step up campaign for Estuary airport


Boris’s bill easily dwarfs the resources of the anti-airport campaign. Medway Council budgeted £50,000 in 2012 to fight against the airport, although it is not clear how much of this was spent.

In the current financial year, £15,000 was spent on hiring College Public Policy, a consultancy group, to help with their submission to the government’s Airports Commission.

The revelations come ahead of an interim report by the commission due in December.

This will include a short-list of the best options for expanding the country’s aviation capacity. A full report with final recommendations is due after the 2015 election.

Mr Johnson backs building the world’s biggest airport at Grain. This would have four runways and operate 24 hours a day.

Other options put forward by the capital’s mayor are building an airport in the Thames Estuary itself, or expanding Stansted Airport in Essex. Cliffe has also been proposed as a site by former Cathay Pacific executive John Olsen.

MP for Rochester and Strood Mark Reckless, who had a meeting with the commission’s head Sir Howard Davies this week, said: “Boris has been throwing away public money on his flight of fancy and it needs to stop.”

He pointed out that despite the expenditure, the Mayor had managed to get his figures wrong in his submission to the commission. The cost to the government of building an airport at Grain is calculated at £25 billion, when in fact the figures listed add up to £39 billion.

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway_messenger/news/boris-spends-14m-on-flight-6248/

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This is the text of the FoI request response, sent on 16th September:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/mayor_of_london_spending_promoti_2

TfL Ref: 0743-1314
 

Thank you for your emails received by Transport for London (TfL) on 26
July and 16 August 2013 asking for information about how much money has
been spent by the Mayor of London promoting plans for a Thames Estuary
airport since 2008.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Environmental Information Regulations and our information access
policy.  I can confirm that we do hold the information you require.

In May 2011, the Mayor of London issued a Mayoral Direction (MD806) to TfL
to assess issues associated with the Government’s aviation policy review,
which was announced in October 2010. This direction secured a budget from
within TfL of £200,000 for that work of which £150,000 was spent on
technical consultancy support, (including three full time staff) and
£50,000 on the preparation and printing of technical publications, across
the 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years.

In November 2012, the Mayor issued a further Direction (MD1080) in
response to the Government’s announcement setting up the Davies Commission
in September 2012. This Direction secured a budget from within TfL of £3
million up to April 2014. Copies of both of these Mayoral Direction forms
can be found at:
[1]http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor-assembly/…

As a result of work undertaken by Transport for London (TfL), the Mayor
believes there are three strong options for a new hub airport serving
London, all located east of the Capital. These are:

·         Building a new hub airport at the Isle of Grain (inner Thames
Estuary)

·         Building a new hub airport in the outer Thames Estuary

·         Enlarging Stansted airport

At the time of your request invoices and payments totalling £28,828
(excluding VAT) have been approved to be paid from the £3 million budget
agreed in November 2012 in the 2012/13 financial year.

At the time of your request invoices and payments totalling £1,206,854
(excluding VAT) had been approved in the 2013/14 financial year.

The consultants we have engaged to provide support on aviation are listed
in the table below. Expenses are also paid to a group of respected
individuals who provide independent peer review advice to TfL.

There was no expenditure between 2007 – 2010.

Consultants Invoices paid

(01 Nov 2012 – 26 July 2013)
Lot 1 – Airport infrastructure

Atkins £166,335

Pascall and Watson (sub contracted to Atkins)

Zaha Hadid Architects (sub contracted to
Atkins)

Lot 2 – Surface Access £227,555

Atkins

Lot 3 – Environmental impacts £73,095

Atkins

Lot 4 – Socio Economic impacts

Ramboll

Oxford Economics (subcontracted to Ramboll) £86,770

Lot 4 – Socio Economic impacts

York  Aviation £44,799
Lot 4 – Socio Economic impacts

Cambridge Econometrics £7,430

Lot 5 – Commercial £292,979

Ernst & Young

Lot 6 – Legal and regulatory £171,970

Ashurst

Client side support

Atkins £26,682

Geoff Copley £7,425

Guy Lavis Consulting £42,891

Innovacion £46,251

Regeneris £9,000

Peer Review expenses £10,500

Stakeholder engagement £22,000 (approx)

Total £1,235,682

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would
like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

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A FoI request was sent to the Greater London Authority on 27th June 2013 , asking:

“I would like to know how much money has been spent by the Mayor of London promoting plans for a Thames Estuary airport, also known as Boris Island, since he was elected in 2008.

“If possible I would like a breakdown of spending by year and a breakdown of each item of spending.

“Please note, I do not require any information that might break Data Protection laws or identify staff. “

but received the response (below) on 24th  July 2013.

“The Greater London Authority does not hold the information you request. The Mayor
has asked 111 to investigate the feasibility of a Thames estuary airport, and therefore
you may wish to request to ask TfL to reply to you directly.”

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Read more »

Opposition in Kerala in south west India to building of a new airport at Aranmula

In Kerala, in the south west of India, there are plans for a private company to build a large new airport, for low cost airlines, at Aranmula. The site is within 100 km of two international airports – at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.  These airports bring in tourists to Kerala, and it is intended that it brings in pilgrims to a nearby site. The land at Aranmula is greenfield, and there are plans to take at least 350 acres, and perhaps much more for an aerotropolis.  Local people fear it could destroy paddy land and damage the region’s water source. They also fear it could harm the town’s ‘heritage’ tag and damage the structure of a temple located just a few hundred metres from the project site. There are concerns that the airport would not be profitable, due to its two neighbours, which are not full. The airport has aroused intense opposition over the past two years, and there have been many protests. The opponents have a Facebook site, and have been feeling they are alone in their fight, being unaware of the extent of other airport opposition elsewhere in the world. The Indian government recently announced it  proposes to build 17 new airports in 11 states. 

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The opponents of the Aranmula airport project have a Facebook page at

Save Aranmula Punnackadu Kuzhikala kidangannoor


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Links to some other Indian campaigns against other Indian airport campaigns

Other Indian airport campaigns

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An airport too close for comfort

2.8.2013
Site development work in progress for the proposed Aranmula airport in Pathanamthitta. — Photo: Leju Kamal
Site development work in progress for the proposed Aranmula airport in Pathanamthitta. — Photo: Leju Kamal

The economic feasibility of the proposed greenfield international airport at Aranmula in Pathanathitta district has come in for sharp scrutiny as it falls within 100 km of the two international airports at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram and the possibility of the new airport not generating enough business to sustain itself.

Rajya Sabha member K. N. Balagopal pointed out that most of the airports in the country, barring a few in the metros and the ones like Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, were making losses and the proposed one at Aranmula would be no exception. He felt that the project could make profits only through real estate development and not through airport operations.

He questioned the claim that the airport could make profit catering to pilgrims to Sabarimala and air travellers to Pathanamthitta. He said operations involving the Boeing kind of aircraft would require over 6,000-foot airstrips, which were clearly ruled out in this case.

P.T. Nandakumar, chief executive officer of the KGS Group of Companies in Kerala, which is promoting the airport at an estimated investment of Rs. 2,000 crore, told The Hindu on Thursday that Ernst & Young had done the feasibility report for the project. He did not divulge the details.

He said since there was no public investment involved in the project, there was no need to make the details public. The traffic projections and the economic model of the airport had been worked out, he said.

However, a senior official of the Airports Authority of India said the Aranmula airport might not be a feasible project to a large extent given the current conditions.

The official said the three airports in the State had not reached their saturation levels and air traffic growth in the State was not good enough to warrant another airport now. With little economic activities in the State, the “viability of the project is a distant dream”, he said. He pointed out that better road connectivity could solve the problem for Kerala. The two international airports in the State are located within roughly 100 km of the proposed airport.

The State government will have sweat equity of 10 per cent, valued at approximately Rs. 130 crore, in the company promoting the project with a debt-equity ratio of 2:1 (Rs. 1,300 crore of debt and Rs. 700 crore of capital and promoters’ contribution).

Details on the KGS group website claimed that the proposed airport would generate 1,500 direct employment and 6,000 indirect employment.

The airport project has also been conceived with a view to tapping the pilgrim population of around 60 million (as per 2011 figures) that visit Sabarimala every year as well as the large number of emigrants from the influence area of the proposed airport. Tourism potential in the districts nearest to the site is also expected to attract passengers to fly through the proposed airport.

The KGS group claimed that majority of the NRI and NRK passengers from Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi airports originated within 50 km radius of the Aranmula airport site.

It said that air traffic in Kerala had multiplied five times over eight years — increasing from two million to 10 million. The promoters of the airport also take heart from the figures for the share of Kerala in the country’s air traffic. Though Kerala has only 2.75 per cent of the Indian population, the international aircraft movement in Kerala is 15.28 per cent of the overall international aircraft movement in the country as in 20112-12.

An aviation industry insider said the Aranmula airport promoters had worked out a business model centred on budget travellers. So the cost of building the airport would be less than building an airport for luxury or business travellers.

A senior official familiar with airports operations said returns from infrastructure projects like an airport could not be calculated just as it is done in other industries. Infrastructure projects have substantial longevity and returns will depend on the quantum of initial investments yielding profits over a long period of time. The official also said statistics on airports-population ratio in the developed world showed that Kerala could have 10 airports.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/an-airport-too-close-for-comfort/article4978786.ece

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Check out the website  http://thiruvaranmula.blogspot.co.uk

There is also a detailed blog giving a great deal of background information and history of the Aranmula project, with a lot of photos at  Aranmula airport : an investigation

One extract from the Aranmula blog:

The remaining part of the hill which was bull dozed to fill up the paddy fields and the wetlands. Abraham Kalamannil, a local businessman bought this hill and the adjoining paddy fields and wetlands in 2002. The stated purpose was fish cultivation in the wetlands. But later, he bulldozed these hills and filled up the wetlands and announced his plans to set up an airstrip here, which later morphed into an international airport project.

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There are plans for another two greenfield, domestic, airports in Kerala – at Wayanad and Anakkara. This is the website opposing the airport and other unsustainable development at Anakkara http://saveanakkara.com/

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‘KGS Aranmula to be low-cost international airport’

T. E. RAJA SIMHAN

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The site of the proposed Aranmula International Airport. — T. E. Raja Simhan
The site of the proposed Aranmula International Airport. — T. E. Raja Simhan
CHENNAI, JULY 10th 2013:  (Business Line)

The upcoming KGS Aranmula Airport in Kerala will be India’s first low-cost, private international airport and hopes to attract budget airlines, said Gigi George, one of the three promoters of Aranmula International Airport Ltd which is building the Rs 2,000-crore airport.

“We want to be profitable from day one. We do not want to be lavish on having fancy buildings like others,” he told Business Line.

“We plan to approach budget airlines such as AirAsia, Tiger Airways, Air Arabia and Air India Express to operate at Aranmula,” he said. These airlines target non-metro destinations.

The airport spread over 700 acres is being built in Aranmula, Pathanamthitta district, which is Kerala’s pilgrimage capital. It is located in between Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi international airports.

CONTROVERSY

There is a strong opposition to the project among the local people who fear it could destroy paddy land and damage the region’s water source. They also fear it could harm the town’s ‘heritage’ tag and damage the structure of the Parthasarathy temple located just a few hundred metres from the project site. This was, however, refuted by George.

Aranmula has been declared as a global heritage village by the UNESCO. The temple town is famous for the Snake Boat Regatta held in the holy river Pampa and for the metallic mirror.

AIR TAXI

While the airport will be ready for commercial operations in a year or two, George said air taxi operations to Sabarimala from Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad will commence in December 2013. Sabarimala is an hour’s drive from Aranmula. The airport’s prime land has been levelled up to 12 feet. This should be sufficient for air taxi operations, which is available in places such as Haridwar and Rishikesh. The service will facilitate pilgrims to visit Sabarimala in the morning and return in the evening as a package, he said.

Aranmula airport has the location advantage of being close to tourist destinations of Alappuzha backwaters (35 km) and high ranges of Kumily and Thekkady tiger reserve.

A majority of non-resident Indians and non-resident Keralite passengers of Thiruvanthapuram and Kochi airports originate within 50 km radius of Aranmula. Around 40 per cent of Kerala’s air traffic hails from the airport influence zone, he said.

DELAY

The project witnessed delays due to a case filed against it in the National Green Tribunal. This was, however, dismissed by the Tribunal. The company also had to wait for transfer of 52 acres of land from the State Government.

George said with all the hurdles cleared, the company now plans to start work on the runway. The airport is designed to cater to aircraft such as Airbus A-320 and Boeing 747. The terminal building can handle nearly 1,000 passengers at a time, he said.

Indian Oil is likely to set up a fuel farm at the airport, he said.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/logistics/kgs-aranmula-to-be-lowcost-international-airport/article4902118.ece

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Indian Government proposes to build 17 new airports in 11 states

ET Bureau (Times of India)

Aug 7, 2013

India-airport-map

http://www.india-briefing.com/news/india-build-17-regional-airports-2017-6812.html/

 

NEW DELHI: The government has proposed to build 17 new airports in 11 states, an expansion plan that will partly address the Indian aviation sector’s growing capacity challenges and improve air connectivity in under-penetrated states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation KC Venugopal informed Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the airports have been proposed for construction during the 12th Five Year Plan. 

Karnataka is the biggest beneficiary of the government proposal with as many as four airports to come up in Gulbarga, Bijapur, Hassan and Shimoga.

Goa will get a second airport in Mopa and Kerala a fourth in Aranmula. Airports for Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand will be built in Itanagar, Kishangarh and Deoghar.

The expansion, though significant, pales in comparison with China’s. The head of that country’s aviation watchdog said last year that as many as 70 new airports will be built by 2015.

Aviation consultancy Capa said India is under-prepared for major airport capacity challenge and requires investments worth $40 billion in 50 greenfield airports by 2025. Passenger traffic will grow to 452 million by 2020-21 from 143 million in 2010-11 and scheduled airlines’ fleet will expand to 1,030 aircraft from 430 in the same period, it [Capa] said in a report last year

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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Government-proposes-to-build-17-new-airports-in-11-states/articleshow/21675677.cms
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Earlier:

No government acquisition for Aranmula project: Revenue minister

18.7.2013 (Times of India)
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:

Revenue minister AdoorPrakash has reiterated that the Aranmula airport project was aimed at the development of Pathanamthitta district and nearby villages.

He told a news conference that a majority of MLAs [Member of Legislative Assembly] who oppose the project now had taken initiative for the airport five years ago. “They are the people who colluded for filling 250 acres for the project. This itself shows that those who protest now have clear vested interests. Also, it has to be remembered that the protest was even stronger during the time of Nedumbassery airport construction, which later went on to change the face of the nearby villages and Kochi,” he said.

Prakash said the government had not taken any decision to acquire additional land for the project. “Acquisition of land is the sole responsibility of the company involved in airport construction. At the same time, the government will demand market value for the land owned by the state and acquired for the project during the LDF rule,” he said.

The minister alleged that people who protest against the project are not residents of Aranmula or even Pathanamthitta. “A majority of residents are supporting the project,” he claimed.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/No-government-acquisition-for-Aranmula-project-Revenue-minister/articleshow/21151038.cms

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Earlier:

Government may go ahead with Aranmula plan

17.7.2013 (Times of India)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite the opposition from the 72 MLAs [Member of Legislative Assembly] including the UDFMLAs for Aranmula airport project, the government is determined to go ahead with it.

The government is considering an application from the KGS Group seeking an exemption for the 200 hectares of land that it had acquired for the project. Sources said it is gearing up to go ahead with the project and has taken stock of the court cases in connection with the project.

The state government has the discretionary power to provide necessary exemption for the project both in terms of exemption from the purview of land reforms act as well as from the ambit of the wetland and paddy land conservation act 2008, according to government sources.

The state government would provide necessary exemption if at all the application will be rejected at the lower level.

A meeting was convened by chief minister Oommen Chandy, which was attended by chief secretary E K Bharat Bhushan, revenue secretary T J Mathew and land revenue commissioner M C Mohandas, in order to take stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, the state land board is awaiting the disposal of the case relating to the takeover of the excess land, from the Kerala high court.

The land board had declared 136 hectares of land owned by Abraham Kalamannil, from whom the KGS Group had purchased the land, as excess and had initiated the process of taking over the land.

However, only 82 hectares out of this land could be taken over, and the high court had stayed the proceedings.

Now that the matter is pending before the court, any decision can be taken only after the disposal of the matter by the court, where the petitions submitted by Abraham Kalamannil as well as the KGS Group are pending, said the state land board sources.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/Government-may-go-ahead-with-Aranmula-plan/articleshow/21115047.cms

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PM’s intervention sought against Aranmula airport project

15.7.2013 (Times of India)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A cross section of socio-political and cultural leaders, including six MLAs from the ruling front, here on Saturday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention against the controversial Aranmula Airport project here.

In a memorandum sent to PM by post, around 2000 signatories pointed out several reasons that prompted them to come out against the airport project to which the state government has extended all support.

Of the 72 MLAs who joined the drive, six were from the ruling UDF combine. They are V D Satheesan, T N Prathapan, Ahmed Kabeer, Palode Ravi, C P Mohammed and M V Sreyams Kumar. Writers M T Vasudevan Nair, ONV Kurup, justice V R Krishnayyar and film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan were among the other prominent personalities who signed in the petition.

Poet and environmental activist Sugathakumari, CPI leader and MLA Mullakara Rathnakaran, BJP state president V Muralidharan,StatePresident of BJP and Aranmula Heritage protection Committee chairman Kummanam Rajasekharan led a people’s march to the Aranmula Post Office, on Saturday, and formally sent the petition to the Prime Minister, with copies to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Union minister forEnvironment and Forest Jayanthi Natarajan and Defence minister A K Antony. Addressing the march, Sugathakumari said the project would be opposed at any cost.

The petition highlighted the alleged gross violations carried out by the proponents of the project as well as the state government, and demanded that the central government should reject environment clearance to the controversial project.

“The proposed airport aims at taking into possession wetlands, paddy fields, flood plains of the holy river Pampa and the levelling of the neighbouring hillocks. An eco-system including natural age-old hydrological system would be destroyed, and even the immediate cost in human suffering would be invaluable. It is justice to nature that is being violated, and justice to people that is trivialized”, the memorandum said.

“This project has no moral, scientific or legal grounds for its existence. It is impractical, anti-people, and would cause irreversible damage to the environment. In consideration of such realities, we humbly request that the environment clearance for the Aaranmula Airport Project be rejected, and that your excellency would kindly instruct the Government of Kerala to totally drop this project”, said the memorandum.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/PMs-intervention-sought-against-Aranmula-airport-project/articleshow/21083709.cms
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MLAs sign mass memorandum to PM against airport project at Aranmula

13.7.2013

PATHANAMTHITTA: People from different walks of life, including 72 legislators, some from the ruling Congress-led UDF, today signed a mass petition urging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to withdraw central approval for the private greenfield airport at Aranmula in the district on the ground that it posed a threat to the environment.

The MLAs, who signed the petition included AICC secretary V D Satheesan, M V Shreyams Kumar (SJD) and T N Prathapan (Cong), known as “green” legislators.

One of the MLAs, C P Muhammad (Cong) later clarified that he did not sign the memorandum though he shared the concern of his colleagues over the ecological threat posed by the proposed airport, being developed by an investors’ consortium KGS Group.

The project has acquired most of the central clearances and enjoys backing of the UDF Government, which has also a nominal stake of 10 per cent in the venture.

A local resistance group called Aranmula Heritage Protection Council, which has the support of various political parties and cultural outfits, has been campaigning against the project arguing that vast stretches of paddy fields will be lost if it is allowed, causing serious environmental problems.

The promoters of the project, however, rejected this contention holding that much of the land acquired for the airport has been lying fallow for decades.

They have justified the need for the airport on the ground that area has hundreds of NRIs working in various parts of the world and is also close to Sabarimala temple, which attracts devotees from all over the country and abroad.

The petition was sent by registered post by campaigners in the presence of the leaders of the movement, including poet and environmental campaigner Sughathakumari, after converging near the famous Aranmula Parthasarathi temple on the banks of the river Pampa.

A copy of the petition has also been forwarded to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, they said.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/MLAs-sign-mass-memorandum-to-PM-against-airport-project-at-Aranmula/articleshow/21056771.cms

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.Village Action Council vows to disrupt Aranmula airport work

January 15, 2013

Thiruvananthapuram: Construction work for a proposed airport at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district by a private group has run into trouble with the local Village Action Council announcing that it would disrupt any such work.

Aranmula, which had been declared as a heritage village by the Centre and United Nations Development Programme, would cease to exist if the project came up, The Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council patron Kummanam Rajasekharan said.

He claimed that the plan of the KGS group, promoters of the private airport project, was to develop an aerotropolis centring the airport for which at least 3,000 acres would be required. 

“This will not be allowed by people of Aranmula. We will disrupt the construction work if it is started this month as announced by KGS group,” Rajasekharan said, adding the construction would sound the death-knell for the culture and heritage of the ancient village.

He alleged the state government had acted in haste to accord sanction to the project.

As per an RTI reply the Council had received, the Centre had not yet given ‘in-principle’ approval to the airport project. No environmental impact study was conducted by any government agency and the objections raised by Assembly committee on environment was overlooked, he said.

The reports prepared by the company’s own consultants were taken as the final word, he alleged.

Rajasekharan said the people had no other way but to resort to a confrontationist approach if the work starts this month.

All those opposed to the project would be brought together and a meeting would soon be convened to chalk out future course of action.

Any construction work would be disrupted with the support of all parties against the ‘anti-people’ project, he added.

He challenged Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to reveal the clearance obtained by the KGS company from the Centre and announce the area of land demarcated for the project.

The state government had last week given sanction for the project and decided to hold 10 per cent shares in the company to be formed for the airport.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/kerala/village-action-council-vows-to-disrupt-aranmula-airport-work_823110.html
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Much earlier:

Protest continue against Kerala’s fifth airport

 December 13, 2011,
Villagers stage a march protesting against the proposed private airport project in Aranmula on Saturday. Photo: Leju Kamal
A file photo of LDF's joint agitation against Aranmula airport at Aranmula. Photo: Leju Kamal
Police trying to block the agitated BJP-BJYM activists who were trying to barge into the private airport company office in Aranmula on Monday.Photo: Special Arrangement.

Aranmula, Kerala: As protests against the setting up of a private airport at Aranmula in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district go on, promoters of the greenfield project have dismissed the allegation of land grab and said vested interests are behind the controversy.

Since last week, people living around the site of Kerala’s fifth airport are protesting against a notification issued by the state industries department declaring 500 acres of land spread across the Mallappuzhasserry, Kidangannur and Aranmula villages as an industrial area.

The promoters, Chennai-based KGS Group, have acquired 350 acres and are looking for some more. The protesters are demanding that the government cancel the notification in the larger interests of protecting hundreds of villagers.

“We are demanding transparency, especially in the land transactions. They claim that they have purchased 350 acres of land, which we have found out is not true. The villagers are also surprised to know that the previous Left government had notified 500 acres of land near here as an industrial area. People are against eviction and that is what the villagers are up in arms against,” said CPI (M) legislator A Padmakumar, who is leading the protesters.

But Gigi George of KGS said it was absolutely baseless to say that the group went ahead with the project without having land in the airport’s name.

“The truth of the matter is that 350 acres of land have been registered in the name of KGS Aranmula Greenfield Airport. The only thing that has not happened is that the mutation of the land that has been registered has not taken place. The district collector has given direction to the Revenue Department last month to complete the mutation,” George said over telephone from Chennai.

The KGS Group has also pointed out that even though the 500 acres have been notified as an industrial area only industries connected with the airport would come up in the area. 

“There will not be any eviction or compulsory acquisition or displacement of any houses, commercial areas or worship places,” said the group in a press release.

The airport at Aranmula is billed as a boon to Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki and some parts of Alappuzha districts, which together receive around 21 per cent of foreign tourists and 14 per cent domestic tourists who come to the state.

Padmakumar said villagers were not against development and they just wanted transparency in the land deal.

He said the district collector was likely to call a meeting of all stake holders of the project on Dec 23. “Let us see what happens at the meeting.”

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Country’s first private airport to come up in Kerala

September 26, 2012

ThiruvananthapuramKGS Aranmula International Airport Ltd, which is developing India’s first private airport at Aranmula, Pathanamthitta district, has received clearance for the project from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), according to the executive director of the developer.

“A team from the AAI visited the site of the airport and gave full clearance for the project. TheRs.2,000-crore airport project is expected to offer a significant development boost not only to Aranmula and Pathanamthitta district, but also to the entire region,” said P.T. Nandakumar, Executive Director of KGS.

This airport, once complete, will facilitate the pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple, as the airport will come up near the temple.

A statement from the developer on Wednesday said recent reports of protests against the airport were based on rumours.

“There was a local shutdown to protest the inclusion of KGS Aranmula Airport project in the recent Emerging Kerala meet. The project was not included in the Emerging Kerala investment meet,” the statement said.

Mr Nandakumar said that the KGS Group was committed to preserving Aranmula, which has been identified as a heritage village by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the implementation of the Endogenous Tourism Project.

“The airport project does not involve displacement of families. Land for the project has already been acquired. Fears on these grounds are completely unfounded,” said Mr Nandakumar.

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Other Indian airport campaigns

Website opposing Mopa Airport, (2nd airport for Goa – tourist magnet) but it seems it is at least partially motivated by supporters of the established Goa airport at Dabolim, and campaigning for expansion there to go ahead. Unlike the Facebook groups it does not seem to be about preservation of communities and farmland.  http://makamopanaka.com/
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Airport Group Website
Anakkara (proposed) Save Anakkara Forum http://saveanakkara.com
  Fight Against the Airport Project in Anakkara http://anakkaraairport.blogspot.in/
Aranmula (proposed) Save Aranmula http://savearanmula.blogspot.co.uk/
  No To AranmulaInternationalAirport http://thiruvaranmula.blogspot.co.uk/
Mopa (proposed) Say No to MopaAirport http://saynotomopa.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Facebook groups

Anti AnakkaraAirport Movement https://www.facebook.com/AnakkaraAirport
Save Aranmula From Land Mafia https://www.facebook.com/SaveAranmulaFromLandMafia
Aranmula Airport SCAM https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aranmula-Airport-SCAM/465972836755142
Anti Airport Cell for Aranmula https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anti-Airport-Cell-for-Aranmula/228946233852578
Say No To MopaAirport https://www.facebook.com/pages/Say-No-to-Mopa-Airport/440698899332348
Oppose MopaAirport https://www.facebook.com/groups/155500017868949/
Maka Naka Mopa (No To Mopa) https://www.facebook.com/makanakamopa
   

 

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Give Nimbys an incentive to back infrastructure projects, says new report by consultants

A new report called “Building Blocks: How Britain Can Get Infrastructure Right” produced by the Management Consultancies Association puts forward recommendations on how the UK should build more infrastructure. Such as airports. One of their proposals is that “Nimbys” (people who, for whatever reason, don’t want new building or infrastructure in their area) would have less to protest about if local communities were given a cut of increased business rates ensuing from infrastructure projects.  They want to change the situation at Heathrow with opposition to a third runway, or the HS2 rail link. They hope that giving a share of tax proceeds to the people most directly affected would stop them opposing schemes.  Head of transport at Arup, said: “Imagine how the relationships between the local authorities around Heathrow Airport and the debate over a third runway would have played out if the tens of million in business rates that the airport pays every year had gone directly to them.”

 

Give Nimbys an incentive to back infrastructure projects, says new report

Nimbys would have less to protest about if local communities were given a cut of increased business rates ensuing from infrastructure projects, a new report will argue on Thursday.

British           Airways first Airbus A380 Superjumbo flies over Hatton Cross           as it is delivered to London Heathrow airport
British Airways first Airbus A380 Superjumbo flies over Hatton Cross as it is delivered to London Heathrow airport Photo: REX FEATURES

By Alistair Osborne, Business Editor (Telegraph)
19 Sept 2013

The proposal is one of 21 recommendations from the Management Consultancies Association, whose members include the major accountancy firms and infrastructure specialists, such as EC Harris and Arup, which advise on large transport, energy and telecoms schemes.

Seeking to incentivise local communities to back projects, rather than protest against them as has been the case with the Heathrow third runway or the HS2 rail link, the MCA calls for a share of tax proceeds to flow to the people most directly affected.

“A devolution of economic benefits through the tax system would far exceed the institutionalised ‘bribery’ of Section 106 agreements or ad hoc incentives such as those for fracking or nuclear power,” the report suggests.

“It would start to alleviate localities’ perception that they have all of the pain of infrastructure with little of the gain.”

Currently section 106 agreements allow for a supermarket chain, for example, to offer to build a local community facility in return for permission for a new store.

But Paul Connolly, author of the report, said that was only a “one-off” benefit. “If communities were given a larger share of the increased business rates that flowed from a new infrastructure project, they would have a continuing benefit. They could use the proceeds to build new social infrastructure that might compensate for any environmental damage from a project or to cut future council tax.”

Alexander Jan, head of transport at Arup, said: “Imagine how the relationships between the local authorities around Heathrow Airport and the debate over a third runway would have played out if the tens of million in business rates that the airport pays every year had gone directly to them.”

The MCA report is also the latest to back an independent infrastructure office, free from the political cycle to take long-term decisions – along the lines of the commission proposed earlier this month by former Olympic Delivery Authority chairman Sir John Armitt.

It also calls for an extension to the Government’s £40bn guarantee scheme and for the National Infrastructure Plan to detail precisely how each scheme should be financed, including what the state is not willing to fund.

Mr Connolly said the Government needed to improve how it presented projects to potential investors. “If you wanted to borrow money from your bank manager, you would put on your best suit and bring a business plan,” he said. “You wouldn’t turn up half-cut and rambling. But that’s how projects tend to be faced off to investors.”

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The report says:
Government should define what infrastructure is for first, then determine what projects to back. It should focus on projects likely to reap the greatest benefits, using experts to investigate and determine those benefits. This approach would bring clear principles to otherwise contentious matters like the future of UK airports. It would help government produce better infrastructure business cases.
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Think Tank report urges government to up its game on infrastructure

Infrastructure consultants say government needs to go further and faster to bring UK infrastructure up to scratch…

A new MCA Think Tank report published 19th September 2013 welcomes the government’s current focus on infrastructure, but urges it to do more to close the UK’s infrastructure gap.[1] It calls for clear thinking about what infrastructure is for and better use of the UK’s world-class infrastructure expertise. It also argues that a powerful independent Office for Infrastructure to advise and guide government on infrastructure policy and priorities is an idea whose time has come.

The Think Tank gathered the views and insights of many of the UK’s leading infrastructure experts and firms. It hosted an expert roundtable, attended by Paul Skinner, Chairman of Infrastructure UK, the Treasury body in charge of UK infrastructure. The Think Tank distilled these expert insights into its report, Building Blocks: How Britain Can Get Infrastructure Right.[2]

The report makes 21 recommendations to achieve better infrastructure planning, funding and delivery. It also shows where infrastructure advisory experts already provide world-class support to initiatives like the Olympics and Crossrail, and how government and industry can make better use of them.

Key recommendations include:

Better Planning – A new independent Office for Infrastructure should be established.

Infrastructure is not an end in itself. It is an enabler of growth. Government should define what infrastructure is for first, then determine what projects to back. It should focus on projects likely to reap the greatest benefits, using experts to investigate and determine those benefits. This approach would bring clear principles to otherwise contentious matters like the future of UK airports. It would help government produce better infrastructure business cases. Currently, government struggles to win public support for major projects, like HS2, because it doesn’t focus early and clearly enough on outcomes: what infrastructure changes for the better in the real world. Public bodies sometimes spend money late in the day on experts who help refocus or rescue badly designed projects. By getting these experts in at the outset, including specialist infrastructure consultants, government would save money and promote infrastructure success.

Better Funding – The Treasury Guarantees Scheme to support investors should be extended. Government should also make clear what the funding model is for each project in the National Infrastructure Plan.

Private investment is needed to close the UK’s infrastructure gap. But investors are not coming forward in the required numbers. They need clarity and certainty. This clarity should include how long-term service revenues from assets – and thus investor returns – will be generated. If those revenues are likely to depend on public spending, Government should make clear what it will fund – and what it will not. Crossrail has succeeded to date because of exactly this sort of clarity. Infrastructure experts can also help government’s ambition to get more pension funding into infrastructure by advising funds, who may be new to this terrain, on how to target their investments.

Better Delivery – To help reduce tensions and delays in the planning system, communities affected by infrastructure projects should get a greater share of the benefits, including a larger slice of business rate income.

There should be specific, designated delivery structures for major infrastructure projects within departments, agencies and local authorities. They should be appropriately resourced. The Olympics and Crossrail show the benefits of these sorts of structures, where experts are specifically recruited and rewarded to deliver projects. The model should be extended to the devising and commissioning of projects, to avoid errors in project design that are expensive to eradicate.

Paul Connolly, Director of the MCA Think Tank said: “By focusing clearly on what infrastructure is for, Government can prioritise the projects it backs. New build will be needed. A shift of just 1% in government’s revenue spend towards new investment will realise £70bn extra for new projects over 10 years. But getting the best from existing infrastructure also matters. 1% more output from Government’s existing assets each year over the same period would be equivalent to £30bn of new investment. Taken together, these measures would double the Government’s investment programme.”

……… and it continues …………..

About the report

MCA member firms which contributed to the analysis and recommendations in this MCA Think Tank report included Accenture, AECOM, Arup, BDO, Boxwood, Concerto, Deloitte, EC Harris, EY, KPMG, LCP Consulting and Mott Macdonald.

 

http://www.mca.org.uk/news/think-tank-report-urges-government-to-up-its-game-on-infrastructure

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Some details of how much European governments bail out failing national airlines

There is currently a consultation under way, on EU guidance on state aid to airports and airlines. This consultation ends on 25th September, unless it is extended. A paper by Rose Bridger, in July, sets out details of the extent of state aid to failing airlines across Europe. There are truly remarkable sums involved.  The EU regards bail outs for failing airlines as restructuring aid, rather than merely aid for infrastructure or new route development. Some of the cases that Rose has located information on are for national flag carrier airlines. For example, the Hungarian national airline, Malev, received well over €300 million; Scandinavian airline SAS received a €400 million credit facility from three governments; Latvian airline Air Baltic got at least €100 million in share capital; Air Malta got well over €180 million over several years; Polish LOT airlines has had at least €100 million, and likewise for Estonia Air and Czech airlines. Support for airlines brings a disproportionate benefit to wealthier citizens, who fly more. Continued bailouts to airlines exacerbates the financial instability caused by excessive debt.

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European governments bail out national airlines

Monday 8 July 2013
by  Rose BRIDGER 

Since the economic downturn took hold at least 13 European governments have bailed out flag carriers, attempting to rescue the airlines from spiralling debts and teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. The financial support packages have been approved in the face of austerity programmes – mass redundancies and cuts to welfare, health and education – which have hit the poor the hardest. Moreover, support for airlines brings a disproportionate benefit to wealthier citizens, who fly more. Continued bailouts to airlines exacerbates the financial instability caused by excessive debt.

State aid to Malev, Hungary’s national airline, in the form of state takeover of loans, deferral of tax and social debt, cash facility and stakeholder loans, totalled ‘tens of billions of forint’ between 2007-2010. Then, in 2011, the Hungarian government allocated €277.5 million in budget funds for a capital injection, and borrowed €16.3 million. In January 2012, the European Commission ordered Malev to repay €305 million in illegal state subsidies, and the following month the airline ceased operations with outstanding debts of €206 million.
Scandinavian airline SAS is half owned by the governments of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The European Union is questioning whether a €400 million credit facility to rescue the carrier from bankruptcy, half of which was provided by the three governments, breached rules on state aid to airlines.

• By September 2011, Slovenia’s Adria Airways debts reached nearly €70 million. Shareholders approved a debt to equity conversion of €19.7 million and the airline received a €50 million cash injection from the government and the state run PDP Corp.

• The Latvian government stepped in to prop up the national airline, airBaltic, in 2009, with a share capital injection of €22.7 million. But the airline continued to make losses, of €135.6 million between January 2008 and June 2011. The government stepped in again to increase support for the carrier. In September 2011. A closed cabinet meeting agreed to allocate €81.2 million to increase share capital.

• The European Commission approved €130 million in state aid to Air Malta in June 2012. Previous government support for the airline included a state loan of €52 million in 2010.

• The Cyprus government increased beleaguered Cyprus Airways’ share capital by an additional €31 million in July 2012. This sum topped up €23.9 million of government support in 2011 and €15 million in the first half of 2012. Air France-KLM, appointed as consultants to review the business, concluded that the airline would require a further €73 million to continue operations into 2013.

• In September 2012 the European Commission approved €100 million in state aid, a debt to equity swap, to government owned Czech Airlines.

State aid to Estonian Air between 2009 and May 2013 included three capital injections to the value of €57 million. In May 2013 the Estonian government announced a plan for a new bailout of €40 million. The European Commission asked the government to freeze bailout payments pending a final decision on the legality of the payments under EU competition rules, but €16.6 million had already been granted to Estonian Air.

• A €100 million state bailout package to LOT Polish Airlines, agreed by the government last December, was approved by the European Commission in May 2013. LOT has been posting a loss for five years. Losses of 38 million in 2012 were the highest since 2008. But the bailout is proving insufficient to keep LOT afloat (the usual description for propping up a firm with financial support, the word ‘aloft’ would be more appropriate). On 20th June 2013, Business News Europe reported that LOT had applied for a second bailout, a loan of €88 million.

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These counties’ flag carriers, supposed national assets, are national liabilities. It is interesting that a considerable amount of the financial support has been approved by the EU Competition Commission, which maintains that, while financial support to established airlines breaches EU competition laws, emergency support for rescuing and restructuring firms is permitted. The definition of ‘emergency support’ has been interpreted generously as many of the airlines have received financial support repeatedly over long periods.

Croatia joined the European Union on 1st July 2013. This is likely to facilitate the accession of neighbouring Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. All four countries have also provided financial support to their flag carriers in recent years.

Croatia Airlines was handed a €106 million government cash injection in November 2012. But by April 2013 debts stood at €131.4 million. The airline has been reliant on government subsidies since 1991

Bosnia-Herzegovina’s BH Airlines is subisidised by the Bosniak-Croat Federation, to the tune of nearly €3.6 million per annum. This proved insufficient for BH, which was grounded in March 2013, its accounts frozen because of outstanding debts. But BH was soon back in the air because of a government deal to partially repay debts with the sale of two of the carrier’s aircraft.

Serbia’s JAT Airways is attempting to form a partnership with UAE’s Etihad Airways. A deal is unlikely without support from the Serbian government, which in March 2013, stated that it was prepared to take on €170 million of debts, pay leases for six aircraft and secure redundant workers’ severance payments.

Montenegro Airlines, heavily in debt and short of cash, was granted €9.6 million in government loans in April 2011 – to buy new aircraft, maintain its fleet and start new routes.

http://www.uecna.eu/spip.php?page=article&id_article=18

Rose Bridger

Rose Bridger works on environmental issues in the UK in the areas of policy, practical projects and community development. She has been a consultant for the local food sector and campaigned against air freight expansion for a number of years.

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Other articles by Rose Bridger are at http://www.uecna.eu/spip.php?page=auteur&id_auteur=2

Her book,

Plane Truth: Aviation’s Real Impact on People and the Environment [Hardcover], is due to be published in October 2013.

As aviation charges ahead to become one of the world’s fastest growing industries, with passenger numbers and cargo volumes projected to double in the next 20 years, Plane Truth sounds a highly informed note of scepticism.


Rose Bridger provides a comprehensive account of aviation’s impact, including how new airports are gobbling up farmland and wildlife habitats and inflicting noise and air pollution on communities. She reveals the extraordinary level of subsidy for the industry, from government expenditure on infrastructure to tax breaks, which helps to support the industry in the face of rising oil prices and the global economic downturn.

Plane Truth demolishes industry claims that fuel-efficient aircraft and alternative fuels can enable growth without increasing climate change and reveals the symbiotic relationship between aviation and the wider socio-economic problems facing humanity.

Amazon   and  Macmillan 

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Also

Bankrupt Alitalia to get € millions of state aid from Italy’s state postal service

Date added: October 14, 2013

The near-bankrupt Italian airline Alitalia is to receive an emergency capital injection from Italy’s state-owned post office. Italy’s government did not say how much Poste Italiane SpA, the Italian postal service, would be investing – but it might be up to €100 million. The Italian government hope the link between Poste Italiane and Alitalia would lead to a synergy of logistics, in passengers and cargo. Italy’s civil aviation authority had warned just hours earlier that the airline risked being grounded if new financing was not found urgently. Alitalia needs some €455 million to stay afloat. The Italian government justified what amounted to state intervention saying Alitalia was considered a national asset. It filed for bankruptcy in August, as high staff costs, industrial relations issues and surging oil prices further dented its finances. It is being suggested that Alitalia might be able to merge with Air France-KLM to help get it out of its financial problems. Alitalia went bankrupt in 2008, and was re-launched in 2009.

Click here to view full story…

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See also

 

Consultation on rules for European Commission state aid to airports and airlines

Date added: September 18, 2013

Under the European Commission, state aid is granted to various sectors of the economy. However, a key issue is the impact it has on distorting the market, and giving an unfair advantage to those companies or organisations receiving it. Airports and airlines are one sector that receives large amounts of state aid through the EC. The Commission’s DG Competition is tasked with overseeing state aid. There have been earlier sets of guidelines on state aid to airports and airlines, but there is a current consultation – due to end on 25th September (which may be extended). The exact amount of state aid given to the aviation sector is somewhat shady, but is at least €3 billion, for those subsidies that are fully notified.There have been widely publicised cases, such as that of Ryanair at Charleroi airport. Transport & Environment have produced an easy-to-read briefing on the state aid situation, and people are urged to respond to the consultation. The state aid gives the aviation industry unmerited subsidy, and helps to encourage very high carbon travel.

Click here to view full story.

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Aviation lobby form new pressure group, “Runways UK” with large conference in January

The aviation industry must be a bit alarmed about its prospects of getting another runway, or more than one, in the south east of England.  It has formed a new lobbying organisation, this one being called Runways UK, in order to fight its case and put pressure on government and political  parties to get building, after 2015. They plan to hold a large conference (“an entirely impartial event”) in London, on 16th January 2014, which they are calling the inaugural Runways UK. This will be shortly after the Airports Commission makes its interim report, in December, on whether new runway capacity is actually needed, and which schemes to short list for further detailed consideration. The conference will be very pricey, if the cost of sponsoring part of it is anything to go by. Tickets are not yet on sale. They intend to hold a similar conference annually. The lobby group says of its advisory board that it  ”comprises a combination of luminaries, appropriate institutions and associations and commercial partners” including its Chair, Baroness Brenda Dean (trade unionist), Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, and Michèle Dix, Managing Director of Planning at TfL. Plus many aviation lobby executives.

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Runways UK: Airport Infrastructure for a Future Britain

the information below is from their website at http://www.runwaysuk.com/about-runways-uk

Runways UK is centred around the aviation capacity issues currently facing the United Kingdom

On 2nd November 2012 the Government launched an Airports Commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies, an eminent British economist. The role of the Commission is to examine the need for additional UK airport capacity and to recommend to government how this can be met in the short, medium and long term. It is due to submit its final report to government mid-2015, however an interim report is due by the end of 2013, which will deal with the following:

  • making an assessment of the scale, nature and timing of the UK’s airport capacity needs
  • producing recommendations on making the best use of existing capacity within the next 5 years
  • identifying those proposals for the medium term and for providing new capacity in the long term which merit further exploration by the commission, in advance of its final 2015 report

The inaugural Runways UK will take place shortly after the release of this Interim Report. This one-day event is about reconciling government, infrastructure and the transport industries together under one roof, in a neutral environment, to debate its output and help catalyse the solutions. Specifically it will provide a platform for the short-listed concepts to present their schemes publically in a structured and comparable format which will enable delegates to assess each one against the Commission’s own sift criteria. Each scheme owner will be rigorously challenged against these criteria by both a panel of independent experts and the audience.

Going forward Runways UK will become an annual event which will evolve with the progress of the Commission initially and thereafter with the development and delivery of the solutions it identifies as viable options for meeting the UK’s international connectivity needs in the short, medium and long term.

 

Runways UK

This inaugural event is timed to be the first public forum for discussion and debate following the release of the Airport Commission’s interim report due to be published in December 2013. In excess of 50 potential long term solutions were submitted to the Commission by the July deadline. In the report that number will be whittled down substantially to a short list of those options which are considered to merit further development into 2014. The format of Runways UK is to line up, on a neutral stage, the owners of these short-listed schemes. Accordingly we have agreement from a number of these scheme-owners to be on standby to speak at the event.

The event will attract a uniquely large and inclusive gathering of key stakeholders and interested parties. It will be an opportunity for a serious and rigorous debate of the options on a level playing field and its overarching aim is to improve delegate understanding of key issues and thus help to move the debate forward towards a consensus.

Runways UK is being advised by a high level advisory board of individuals representing all interested parties.  This is being Chaired by The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Dean of Thornton-le Fylde.

Advisory Board

The Runways UK advisory board is designed to be a microcosm of the event itself.  It comprises a combination of luminaries. It comprises a combination of luminaries,[sic]  appropriate institutions and associations and commercial partners. Its role is to help shape the content and personality of the event as well as to ensure fair representation of the interests of all parties. The membership of the Runways UK Advisory Board is currently:

  • Chair, The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Dean of Thornton-le Fylde  (formerly Chair of Freedom to Fly!  - see article by her in 2002 below)
  • The Baroness Valentine, London First,
  • Michèle Dix, Managing Director Planning at TfL
  • LGA Representative
  • Jason Prior, Chief Executive of Planning, Design and Development at AECOM
  • Paul Harwood, Principal Strategic Planner for London and the South East at Network Rail
  • Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, Chief Executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering
  • Paul Wait, CEO Guild of Travel Management Companies
  • Dr. Andy Jefferson, Programme Director Sustainable Aviation
  • Philippe Forest, Country Manager UK & Ireland, International Air Transport Association
  • Michael McGhee, Founding Partner of Global Infrastructure Partners
  • Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of The Airport Operators Association
  • Dale Keller, Chief Executive of Board of Airline Representatives UK
  • John Green, Chairman of The British Aviation Group
  • Barry Humphreys, Chairman of British Air Transport Association
  • Hugh Boulter, Aviation Consultant (ex-BA Commercial and Operational Planning),
  • Paul Le Blond, President International Air Rail Organisation

 

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Freedom to Fly, which no longer exists, was set up to lobby for an expansion of airports in the aviation white paper, which set out a framework for the development of airports in the UK.

By Brenda Dean, in 2002:

We all benefit from more air travel

The chairman of the Freedom to Fly Coalition says that the government must push ahead with expansion plans if Britain is not to lose the economic and social benefits of more air travel

Airport debate: Observer special

The number of people using UK airports has tripled in the past 20 years. Though the rate of growth is slowing, the Government forecasts that demand will double within the next 20 years. But our major airports are quickly getting full. Experts suggest we will need three new runways in the south east and more capacity elsewhere in the country to cope with rising demand and keep the economy on course. That is why the Government has launched a major consultation on where new capacity could be located.

The freedom to fly is something which we have grown to value. Air travel has opened up new horizons, both for business and holidaymakers. In 1977 we took 7 million holidays abroad. Now we take 38 million holidays abroad each year. Today ordinary people can contemplate taking the family to the Med, have a romantic weekend in Venice or even visiting grandchildren in Sydney. Flying is no longer the preserve of the wealthy.

Air travel also makes Britain accessible to tourists from overseas. Foot and Mouth Disease and September 11 brought home how valuable tourism is to Britain, to our major cities, to rural areas and a range of activities from hotels to theatres. 15% of young people flying to the UK are coming here to study, benefiting our universities and widening the exchange of views.

But air transport is also vital for the UK economy. Time is money. Modern businesses rely on fast, reliable transport both of people and high value, time sensitive goods. The UK’s highest growth industries especially, such as pharmaceuticals, communication services, finance, insurance and consultancy, depend heavily on good international transport links.

Business leaders have ranked external transport links in the top three factors in deciding company location. The wide range of destinations and frequency of flights from the UK have helped the UK become the number one European destination for inward investment.

These benefits cannot be taken for granted however. Today, many of the UK’s airports are straining to cope with this rising demand and lots of us have felt the consequences: it is harder to avoid delays, overcrowding and inconvenience. Congestion causes longer flying times, adds to pollution and prevents growth. Meanwhile Charles de Gaulle in Paris now serves more destinations than Heathrow. In fact while we were labouring through the cumbersome inquiry about a fifth terminal for passengers at two-runway Heathrow airport, the French, Germans and Dutch were busy building the fourth or fifth runways at Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Schipol.

The challenge for the Government is to maximise the economic and social benefits of air travel while mitigating harmful effects and environmental costs.

Of course growth must be responsible and sustainable. All human activity affects the environment. There is general agreement that aviation like all industries should meet the environmental costs it imposes, on a fair and equitable basis. Unfortunately there is a wide and sometimes wild range of estimates of what these costs amount to. The costs can be dealt with through cutting out problems at source, mitigation (e.g. noise insulation) and compensation. That is why we must encourage the aviation industry to be greener by design. And many believe that a system of tradable permits would be the best way to reduce global emissions for aircraft while permitting people to enjoy the benefits of air travel.

Britain’s air quality has vastly improved since the days of ‘pea-souper’ smog. But new tougher limits are being set by Europe. There is no argument these have to be met and everyone must be signed up to meeting them.

The system of compensation in Britain has fallen behind other countries leading to blight, worry and delay. Whatever option for new runways are chosen, there will need to be detailed discussions with the local community to minimise problems and recompense people fairly and promptly.

What will happen if capacity is not increased? The price of tickets would rise. Indeed anti-air travel campaigners want to impose £6 billion of extra taxes on air passengers – that’s about £60 on a return ticket, £340 on for family of four flying to Majorca. That would price many lower income people out of flying.

Choice would be restricted. Delays would increase. And the economy would suffer. Inward investment would be deterred. And jobs would be at risk.

The Government should be congratulated for thinking about the long term future and grasping this nettle, when so many of its predecessors dithered and delayed. It will be tough to decide where to put new capacity. As consumers, business people and workers we benefit from the freedom to fly and a strong economy. But we must also look after the environment.

Whatever the Government decides it will not be able to please everyone. But at least people will be able to plan ahead, knowing what the future holds. And let’s hope the Government strikes the right balance between the economic, social and environmental issues, the national interest and the local concerns which will be best for Britain in future decades

· Brenda Dean chairs the Freedom to Fly Coalition which is [was]  a broad-based campaign bringing together air users, business, tourism, trade unions, airports and airlines. Its goal is to support sustainable growth in air travel.

See www.freedomtofly.co.uk for more information.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/nov/03/greenpolitics.uk

….. so she hasn’t changed much over the intervening 11 years …………..

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Consultation on rules for European Commission state aid to airports and airlines

Under the European Commission, state aid is granted to various sectors of the economy. However, a key issue is the impact it has on distorting the market, and giving an unfair advantage to those companies or organisations receiving it. Airports and airlines are one sector that receives large amounts of state aid through the EC. The Commission’s DG Competition is tasked with overseeing state aid. There have been earlier sets of guidelines on state aid to airports and airlines, but there is a current consultation – due to end on 25th September (which may be extended). The exact amount of state aid given to the aviation sector is somewhat shady, but is at least €3 billion, for those subsidies that are fully notified.There have been widely publicised cases, such as that of Ryanair at Charleroi airport. Transport & Environment have produced an easy-to-read briefing on the state aid situation, and people are urged to respond to the consultation. The state aid gives the aviation industry unmerited subsidy, and helps to encourage very high carbon travel.

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Background to State air for airports and airlines:

On 3 July 2013 the European Commission published revised draft guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines. The guidelines need to be urgently reconsidered as they risk further distorting competition, wasting scare public resources and expanding billions of euros in climate harmful subsidies.
Transport & Environment (T&E) have produced a short (and easy to read) briefing on state aid for airports and airlines.  It is at State Aid for Airports and Airlines
T&E have written to Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, (who is currently responsible for competition under the second mandate of President Barroso) outlining T&E’s concerns in relation to the draft guidelines. It is at Letter to Commissioner Almunia.
T&E hosted an event, in Brussels, called ‘Citizens, Aviation and Competition: State Aid for Airports and Airlines’ on Monday 16 September.
The current consultation on state aid to airports and airlines closes on 25th September, but T&E and others are asking for it to be extended.  The email address for submissions is: stateaidgreffe@ec.europa.eu, with the reference ”HT.2635″.
State aid to various sectors comes under DG Competition in the European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/overview/index_en.html
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Key points about State aid to airports and airlines:

  • Aviation should not receive state aid except in very limited circumstances (e.g. remote islands, for example in the north of Scotland). It is not appropriate to give it to airports to subsidise cheap Ryanair holiday flights, or trips to second homes.
  • Aviation is the most climate intensity mode of transport, per unit time travelled, and it has significant impacts on citizens’ health across Europe, largely through noise pollution b ut also by  local air pollution, (and indirectly, by adding to the burden of more CO2 on the global climate).
  • Aviation is already receiving the indirect subsidies of being VAT and fuel tax free: this has recently been estimated to be worth €39 billion per year in the EU.  The UK has Air Passenger Duty, which goes some small way to compensate for the lack of VAT or fuel tax, but other European countries have even more under-taxed aviation sectors.
  • At the moment aviation receives at least €3 billion a year in State aid, and that is just the subsidies that are know about and properly recorded. The figures are not made transparent or clear, and are not easy to ascertain.
  • There is much unreported State aid so the Commission must make sure that ALL State aid to aviation is notified to the Commission, and that it is easily accessible in a publicly-available database.
  • Day-to-day operating aid is a hugely distortive form of State aid and should not be allowed. Operating aid is just one of the forms of State aid that is given; others are for infrastructure costs to airports, and the other is start up aid to airlines for new routes.
  • Past illegal aid should not be made legal retroactively, as this sends the signal to the industry to disregard the future guidelines as well and disadvantages those parts of the industry that actually complied with the past law
  • No airlines should get aid for start-up routes –if airlines are not prepared to take the risk of whether a route will be profitable then it is clear that taxpayers should not either. At present, State aid is often given to airports or airlines that a prudent private investor would reject. This is only acceptable if there is a strong social need for flights (eg. for an airport on a small island, with slow or difficult alternative transport).
  • It is clear that much taxpayer money across Europe has been wasted on airports. Only the Commission can ensure, through levelling the playing field that this does not happen in the future. The revision of these guidelines is the perfect opportunity to do so.

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Details of the state aid and its problems are in the T&E briefing at State Aid for Airports and Airlines

There is also an interesting paper, from Germany, about the state aid that has been received by Leipzig/Halle airport.  State aid to airports_20130916_IGN Germany_Position

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Earlier:

EU Takes Aim at Airport Subsidies—and Ryanair

By  (Business Week)
July 05, 2013

Ryanair airplanes waiting at airport gatesPhotograph by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg  - Ryanair airplanes waiting at airport gates

In a move that could shake up the business model of low-cost airline Ryanair(RYAAY), European Union antitrust regulators want to phase out most governmentsubsidies for unprofitable European airports. The plan could lead to higher operating costs for carriers that operate out of smaller, secondary airports; Ryanair, Europe’s biggest discounter, flies almost exclusively to such airports.

“Airport overcapacity gives airlines an opportunity to shop around for subsidies at taxpayers’ expense,” EU antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia said earlier this week. “Just like other economic activities, airports should recover their operating costs from those that use them, namely airlines and passengers.”

The move could lead to another dust-up between Brussels regulators and Ryanair’sflamboyant Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary. In recent months they’ve tangled over  issues ranging from passenger compensation for canceled flights to Ryanair’s failed effort to acquire fellow Irish carrier Aer Lingus (AERL:ID).

EU antitrust regulators currently are investigating at least 23 cases, 19 of them involving Ryanair, in which airports eager to attract flights allegedly provided subsidies to airlines (for example, by providing discounts on gate fees). In some of the Ryanair cases, authorities have said the airports went even further, providing direct cash payments to the airline.

Regulators claim that an airport in the French city of Montpellier made payments totaling €798,000 ($1 million) to a Ryanair subsidiary in 2010 and 2011. The payments were supposed to be for advertising and marketing to attract tourism to the region. Government audits found that the services consisted of placing links to local tourist information on Ryanair’s website.

Such payments are “a mere vehicle to grant further discounts” to the airline, EU regulators said last year in a case involving similar payments made to the Ryanair subsidiary by the Klagenfurt airport in Austria. “The Commission has serious doubts whether a market investor airport would have commissioned marketing activities for the same price,” the regulators wrote in a letter to Austrian authorities.

Ryanair maintains that it receives no subsidies. “The European Court in the Charleroi case in 2008 ruled that Ryanair’s arms-length airport contracts do not constitute state aid,” spokesman Robin Kiely said in an e-mailed statement, referring to a case involving a Belgian airport served by Ryanair. In that case, a ruling against Ryanair by EU regulators was overturned by an appeals court, but the regulators subsequently reopened and expanded the case.

The plan announced by Almunia would require state aid to most airports to be eliminated over a period of 10 years. The rules are “markedly stricter” than existing guidelines, Totis Kotsonis, a lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright told Bloomberg News. “The aviation sector has to depend on its own resources and not expect the state to subsidize it forever.”

The Association of European Airlines, which represents most of the region’s major carriers, has sparred with Ryanair and other discounters over the subsidy issue. A spokesman tells Bloomberg Businessweek that the association “welcomes the announcement” that government aid is to be cut back. Subsidies are causing “competitive distortion,” he says, “and there is no transparency.”

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-05/eu-takes-aim-at-airport-subsidies-and-ryanair

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New long-distance Dreamliner 787 and A350 nullify need for larger Heathrow hub, says Zac Goldsmith

Conservative MP for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith, has said a massive increase in smaller, more fuel efficient planes during the next decade blows apart Heathrow’s argument for the need for a single hub airport. The 9-fold increase in the new generation of planes – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350, which can fly non-stop from London to the northern edge of Australia [eg. Darwin - but not as far as the main cities in southern Australia] will have a massive impact on the way airports are run. The new planes, nicknamed “hub busters”, can fly more than 1,000 miles further non-stop than older planes, and will reduce the scale of passenger demand needed to make long-haul routes viable as they are smaller and need fewer passengers to transfer in from other planes, to fill them up. This will encourage airlines to bypass hub airports to serve direct connections – and is an important factor for the Airports Commission to consider. It means better use could be made of existing airports for point to point direct flights. “This ….moves us away from the traditional hub and spoke transfer model, and towards a model where air travel, even over very long distances, is primarily non-stop.”

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Innovations and technology nullifies Heathrow need, says Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith

16th September 2013

By Amy Dyduch (Richmond and Twickenham Times)

Opposition: Mr Goldsmith is against Heathrow expansion
Opposition: Mr Goldsmith is against Heathrow expansion

A massive increase in smaller, more fuel efficient planes during the next decade blows apart Heathrow’s argument for the need for a single hub airport, Zac Goldsmith has said.

The nine-fold increase in the new generation of planes – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350, which can fly non-stop from London to the northern edge of Australia – will have a massive impact on the way airports are run.

The planes, nicknamed hub busters, will reduce the scale of passenger demand needed to make long-haul routes viable and encourage airlines to bypass hub airports to serve direct connections.  Conservative MP Mr Goldsmith said the development was an important factor for the Davies Commission to consider and suggested better use could be made of smaller airports.

The MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston said: “This signals a dramatic technological shift that moves us away from the traditional hub and spoke transfer model, and towards a model where air travel, even over very long distances, is primarily non-stop.

“It absolutely blows apart the case for a mega hub, and strengthens the case for a constellation of competing airports each with improved transport links connecting them to central London.”

Heathrow has long argued the need for a single hub airport – a claim supported by Boris Johnson, although he does not want to see a third runway built.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “It’s not true that new planes will remove the need for a successful hub airport and airlines are not about to change their fundamental business models.

“90% of 787 orders are from network airlines operating a hub model and the first 787 at Gatwick will be flying to leisure destinations because that is the market served by point to point airports like Gatwick.

[A Heathrow spokesman said] “The 787s at Heathrow will use transfer passengers to support routes to long haul business destinations such as Guangzhou, New Delhi and Austin.

“A successful and expanded hub airport is the only way for the UK to connect to emerging economies around the world and benefit from the trade, jobs and economic growth those routes bring.”

 

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The Boeing 787 Dreamliner

is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 210 to 330 passengers. Boeing states that it is the company’s most fuel-efficient airliner and the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe. The 787 has been designed to be 20% more fuel efficient than the 767 it is to replace.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_787_Dreamliner
So far there have been 83 deliveries, and in total (for the 3 models of the 787) there are some 936 orders. (498 or the orders are for 787-8s and 388 for 787-9s)
The 3 models are the Dreamliner 787-8, the 787-9, and the 787-10. So far all the Dreamliners sold are the 787-8 model.
The 787-8 with 3 classes of passenger can take 242 passengers. (The 787-9 can take 280).
The range of the 787-8 is around 9,440 miles and the range for the 787-9 is around 9,700.
Data taken from Wikipedia page:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_787_Dreamliner
dreamliner pax and range
The distance from London to Singapore is around 6,750 miles.
The distance from London to Darwin, N Australia is around 8,620 miles.
The distance from London to Tokyo is some 5,950 miles
The distance from London to Shanghai is about 5,720 miles
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 by comparison

The Boeing 747 

Data taken from Wikipedia page.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747

747 pax and range
the 747 can carry some 366 passengers, in 3 classes in the 747-100B or 747-200B  and some 420 in 3 classes, in the 747-300 or 747-400.
Their ranges vary between 6,100 miles to 8,350 miles.
ie. the range of the 787 is around some 1,000 miles or even more, greater than that of the 747.
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 Details of the Airbus 350 are at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A350_XWB
with the A350 having a range of some 8,840 miles to 11,000 miles.
and around 270 to 320 passengers, in 3 classes.
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An NGO message for the ICAO Assembly: Introduce a global market-based measure now

The Assembly of ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organisation) takes place in Montreal between 24th September and 4th October. A decision on how to deal with global aviation emissions needs to be taken – if aviation globally was a country, it would rank 7th highest, after Germany. It is widely acknowledged that a market based measure (MBM) would be the most effective mechanism through which to do this. James Lees, from the Aviation Environment Federation, and Bill Hemmings, from Transport & Environment, writing in GreenAir online, say the solution to aviation’s runaway emissions is a “global MBM decided on now and to be introduced by 2016. It is no longer an option for continued disagreement in ICAO to prevent action on aviation’s contribution to climate change. At a time when President Obama has said so much about leading the way [on climate], the White House must finally ensure that the US becomes the global leader for action at the ICAO Assembly. It is time for everybody to take responsibility, stop shielding such a high emitting industry and act…now.”

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An NGO message for the ICAO Assembly: Introduce a global market-based measure now

from ICSA, T&E, AEF

An NGO message for the ICAO Assembly: Introduce a global market-based measure now | ICSA,T&E,AEF
17 Sept 2013

by James Lees, at AEF and Bill Hemmings, at T&E

– In his groundbreaking speech on climate change this June, Barack Obama asked “whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late”. His own administration answered the question with a resounding “no” when they pushed to delay decisions on the regulation of the aviation industry’s ballooning CO2 emissions. President Obama spoke of the need for the United States of America to maintain its role as a global leader on climate change.

At ICAO’s special Council meeting in Montreal earlier this month, his administration ensured that the international community continued to avoid acting on aviation’s contribution to global warming – currently at 5% and rapidly growing. The time has now come for the White House to lead the international community into taking action at the forthcoming ICAO Assembly, urge James Lees and Bill Hemmings.

Of course a decision requires support from many contracting States, but the draft ICAO resolution considered by the Council strongly reflects US interests. On a global market-based measure (MBM), weak wording alluded to the possibility of a decision on a measure in 2016 and nothing more. On regional measures, where the subtext is aviation’s future in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), any environmental credibility was nullified by US insistence on limiting emissions covered to those within regional airspace. If all 191 member states of ICAO decided to take part in such regional schemes, only 22% of international aviation emissions would be captured.

Lobbying from officials of the “greenest ever President” would suggest that MBMs must be bad for aviation. On the contrary, there is a consensus from industry, scientists and NGOs that a global MBM is now urgently needed to limit and reduce aviation’s vast emissions. While industry has promoted the importance of technological, operational and alternative fuel measures, it now acknowledges the necessity of market-based measures at least in the short-term. In fact, as well as being cost-effective, research has shown that a global MBM is essential for the industry to meet its long-term target of 50% emissions reduction by 2050.

While ICAO has understood for over a decade the important role that a global MBM can play, a lack of action drove the EU to include aviation in its own emissions trading scheme (the EU ETS). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the EU’s decision to include all emissions from flights in and out of the EU led to confrontation over alleged infringements of foreign sovereignty – led particularly by the US. To deal with pressure from dissenting countries, the EU put its faith in the ICAO process and announced it would limit coverage of its scheme to intra-EU flights for one year – known as the stop-the-clock exemption – so that ICAO could work out a global MBM. A postponement of a decision on a global MBM until 2016 means that President Obama’s newfound commitment to tackle climate change has actually seen the rug pulled from under attempts at ICAO to promote MBMs either globally or regionally.

The US strategy on international aviation goes against everything Barack Obama held dear in his climate change speech given aviation and his own industry’s huge (North American aviation emissions amount to almost a third of global aviation emissions) contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. If aviation were a country, its CO2 emissions alone would rank seventh in the world, just behind Germany. These emissions are set to double by 2030. A global MBM is the only approach that could limit and reduce these emissions immediately.

The cumulative nature of CO2 means that delaying action on an MBM will lead to further build up of CO2 in the atmosphere and even greater climate change impacts in the future. A recentreport showed that if a global MBM was introduced immediately, it could reduce the climate change impacts of aviation’s emissions by as much as 31% in 2050.

The solution to aviation’s runaway emissions is simple and exactly what we will be pursuing at the ICAO Assembly: a global MBM decided on now and to be introduced by 2016. It is no longer an option for continued disagreement in ICAO to prevent action on aviation’s contribution to climate change.

At a time when President Obama has said so much about leading the way, the White House must finally ensure that the US becomes the global leader for action at the ICAO Assembly. It is time for everybody to take responsibility, stop shielding such a high emitting industry and act…now.

James Lees is the Research and Communications Officer at Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), a London-based environmental NGO working on aviation. Bill Hemmings is Aviation and Shipping Programme Manager at Brussels-based Transport & Environment (T&E).   AEF and T&E are founding members of the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) and will be pressing the concerns of civil society at ICAO’s triennial Assembly in Montreal at the end of September.

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1743

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Earlier:

Barack Obama should practise what he preaches about climate change

Grand speeches on fighting global warming are meaningless if US keeps blocking EU’s efforts to cut carbon emissions

by 

theguardian.com

When President Barack Obama gave his long-awaited climate change speech in June, [YouTube 36 mins] many US environmentalists bought the notion that a green giant was awakening in the White House.

“Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm,” Obama warned climate laggards then.

Here’s a problem though. One environmental foot-dragger President Obama could have addressed this comment to is … President Obama.

On Wednesday, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) is expected to approve a US-backed text that would restrict Europe‘s efforts to make airlines pay for their emissions under its carbon trading scheme, and stall global efforts to charge airlines for their pollution until 2016 or later.

In recent years, Europe has tried to make aviation pay under itsemissions trading system (ETS), and with good reason.

Airlines are the fastest growing source of global greenhouse gas output. Already responsible for 5% of the world’s annual global warming, by 2030 their emissions are projected to double from 2005 levels.

Yet last November, Obama signed a Congressional act authorising the US transport secretary to prevent US airlines from participating in the ETS.

It seemed an odd move for a president who supported the ‘cap and trade’ principle which underpins the scheme. The US has only rarely authorised such prohibitions, such as when Congress banned investment in apartheid South Africa, or outlawed compliance with Arab nations’ boycott of Israel.

But the aviation situation is very different.

Only six countries emit more CO2 than the air industry does each year. Obama’s act allowed the US to hide behind three of them – China, Russia and India – all playing political games at the Icao in the run-up to talks on a 2015 global climate deal.

Washington has finally emerged to push for Wednesday’s text blocking any global carbon pricing mechanism until 2016 at the earliest. It also insisted that states and regional blocs only charge for emissions over their own land airspace – thus omitting the 78% of emissions that take place over water.

This formula underpins the thinking behind the expected Icao text, which restricts the ETS to emissions over European airspace.

It is no surprise that the US position seems to have won the day. Kicking the can down the runway has been the Icao’s default setting since it was tasked with cutting emissions under the Kyoto protocol in 1997.

The EU has pledged to restart its aviation-charging scheme if Icao fails to come to an effective agreement, as now seems likely. Yet it will now have the threat of a trade war hanging over it if it does so, unless it restricts the carbon charges to EU airspace. It’s an absurd situation, when you consider Obama’s climate rhetoric.

Europe’s politicians should baulk at the situation, but appear to have been cowed by lobbying from the aviation industry that the carbon charging scheme will result in economic costs for the continent. But if Europe allows the ETS to hollow into a husk that is unable to meaningfully reduce emissions, it will rightly spur calls for more radical action against the international aviation industry.

The dissonance between the US position on tackling emissions from aviation and Obama’s language in June – “Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution. Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices. Invest! Divest!” – could hardly be greater.

The EU must stand firm and insist on actions, not words, to curb aviation emissions. US environmentalists must also move beyond ‘greenest-president ever‘ soundbites and try to hold Obama to his rhetoric.

This, after all, is the president who said that office-holders such as himself “will need to be less concerned with the judgement of special interests and well-connected donors, and more concerned with the judgement of posterity.” It’s time Obama heeded his own advice.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/04/barack-obama-climate-change-carbon-emissions

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Ryanair added 138 jobs per extra million passengers 2011 – 2013, but claim 1,000 jobs are created per additional million passengers

Ryanair is putting out statements that in its deal with MAG at Stansted, to increase the number of Ryanair passengers by 50% over 10 years, that it will – allegedly – create 7,000 new jobs. This claim is based on an outdated, and very frequently trotted out, assumption that some 1,000 new jobs are created for each additional 1 million passengers flying on an airline. The full service airlines, flying a lot of first class passengers on long haul flights, have a high ratio of staff to passengers. The cheapest low cost flights, offered to European destinations by the no-frills airlines, do not.  Recent figures from Ryanair’s annual reports, show that between 2011 and 2013, Ryanair had an extra 7.2 million passengers, but only 996 more staff. That works out as about 138 new Ryanair  jobs per extra million passengers. Recent figures from EasyJet’s own data show that in 2012, for each additional million EasyJet passengers, there were 41 new EasyJet jobs. There will be some extra airport jobs, to support more flights – but the level is nowhere remotely near 1,000 per million. That figure is exaggerated at least 5-fold, or more.  In reality Ryanair creates as few extra jobs as possible, because it shaves costs to the bone.

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Ryanair employment data

Data below taken from the Ryanair 2012 annual report  and the Ryanair 2013 annual report 

Ryanair employees 2011 to 2013

 

So for an extra 3.5 million passengers between 2011 and 2012, Ryanair employed 621 more staff. That comes to 177 more staff per million extra passengers. 
And for the rise of 7.2 million passengers between 2011 and 2013, Ryanair employed 996 more staff.  That comes to 138 more staff per million extra passengers.
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EasyJet employment data:

Number of staff at EasyJet (from EasyJet data - see link ):

8,446 in 2012 (so 2.6% more staff than in 2011) 8,228 in 2011

Number of Easyjet passengers:

58.4 m pax in 2012  (so 7.1% more passengers than in 2011) and 54.5 m pax in 2011

so there were:

6,914 passengers per  EasyJet staff member in 2012 and 6,624 passengers per EasyJet staff member in 2011

ie.  145 staff per million passengers at EasyJet. in 2012 and 151 staff per million passengers at EasyJet in 2011

EasyJet said they had 3.9 million more passengers in 2012 than in 2011.

So per additional million passengers:

If there were 3.9 million extra passengers, and 158 extra staff, then there were about  41 more staff per extra million passengers.

The budget airlines really are not great at generating a lot of extra jobs.

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RYANAIR DEAL AT STANSTED
19.9.2013 (Stop Stansted Expansion)
Michael O’Leary’s claim that an extra 7,000 jobs will be created by its latest deal with Stansted Airport owners Manchester Airport Group (MAG) has been described by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) as wild exaggeration of the worst kind because it could raise false hopes and it could also be seized upon by developers in their attempts to justify the need for ever more local housebuilding.

The reality is that this Ryanair deal for the next ten years will do little more than return Stansted to its 2007/08 peak, at which time the airport employed about 2,000 more people than today.

Highlighting the airport’s recent employment record, SSE points out that if the Michael O’Leary school of logic were to be applied, Stansted would have lost over 6,000 jobs in the past five years, in line with the fall in annual passenger numbers from 23.8 million to 17.6 million.

“Quite plainly – and thankfully – that scale of job losses has not happened,” said SSE’s economics adviser Brian Ross, “Michael O’Leary’s claim that 1,000 jobs are created for every extra million passengers is a wild exaggeration. In reality, low cost airlines generate about 300 jobs – including indirect jobs – for every million passengers”.

SSE has also expressed surprise at the about-turn which MAG appears to have undertaken to prop up falling passenger numbers. The airport has planning permission to handle 35 million passengers and 264,000 commercial flights annually and is currently operating at only half those levels.

“When MAG bought Stansted it said that it wanted to make the airport more broadly based, with more airlines and more destinations”, Brian Ross continued, “Ryanair already accounts for three quarters of all Stansted’s passengers and this deal will entrench Ryanair even deeper as the dominant airline at Stansted and reinforce the airport’s reputation as nothing other than a mecca for cheap leisure flights, especially since it comes on top of a similar deal that MAG did with easyJet a few months ago. In other words, this is just more of the same and MAG has done exactly the opposite of what it said it would do at Stansted.”

Brian Ross concluded: “In one respect however we can fully understand MAG’s decision to strike a deal with Ryanair: Stansted has run up losses of £206m in its past three financial years and in the past 12 months it handled its lowest number of flights for 14 years. Something had to be done and, ultimately, it’s a commercial decision for MAG to decide how best to use Stansted’s spare capacity.”

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NOTE TO EDITORS 

The £206m loss quoted above is for the financial years 2010-2012 inclusive, taken from Stansted Airport Ltd financial accounts, available from SSE upon request.

Stansted Airport’s latest traffic statistics can be found here.

Ryanair operations typically generate about 300 jobs (of which 138 are directly with the airline) for every million passengers handled, which suggests that an extra 7 million passengers per annum would generate about 2,100 jobs.

Despite the fall in the number of airport jobs in recent years – and the wider economic downturn – local unemployment levels continue to be remarkably low, amongst the very lowest in the UK. In August 2013, the total number claimants in the two local districts of Uttlesford and East Herts combined was 2,010 – just 1.6% of the potential working population, compared to a UK average of 4.4%.

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/press463.html

 

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7,000 new jobs for Stansted Airport as Ryanair reveals 10-year deal to increase passenger numbers by 50%

17 September 2013  (Harlow Star)

 by SINEAD HOLLAND

Ryanair aircraft at Stansted AirportRyanair aircraft at Stansted Airport

AN estimated 7,000 new jobs could be created at Stansted after Ryanair this afternoon (Monday, September 16) announced major growth over the next 10 years.

[This really is not true - the figure has been bandied about for years, but the real figure is more like a quarter.  Airlines and airports are cutting jobs to increase profits. The 1,000 figure was an exaggeration even many years ago, and it completely out of date now.  See below for some EasyJet jobs figures. These show that for each extra million passengers added by EasyJet in 2012, there were about 41 additional EasyJet jobs.  
See data below.   AW]. 

The long-term agreement with Stansted owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG) will see the Irish budget airline increase the number of passengers it serves there by 50 per cent.

From the current level of 13.2 million passengers (Ryanair passengers) a year in 2012, the number will grow to more than 18m by 2018 and then to nearly 21m by 2023.

Stansted Airport is already the biggest single-site employer in the East of England region. Some 10,200 people currently work for the 190 companies based there, including 1,300 employed by Stansted Airport Ltd (MAG).

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “This deal will see our Stansted traffic grow by over 50 per cent … in return for lower costs and more efficient facilities at Stansted.

“This agreement proves how UK airports can flourish when released from the dead hand of the BAA monopoly and is the first dramatic initiative by MAG to reverse seven years of decline, during which Stansted’s [total passenger] traffic fell from 23.8m to 17.5m.

“As Stansted’s biggest airline, Ryanair looks forward to a decade of growing traffic, routes and jobs at Stansted.”

The 7,000 new jobs are estimated by Ryanair on the basis of research at international airports which shows 1,000 new posts are created for every one million extra passengers a year. [This claim is just  nonsense - Ryanair creates as few extra jobs as possible, because it shaves costs to the bone]. 

Stansted’s single-runway capacity is 35 million passengers per annum – about twice its current level.

As part of the deal, the low-cost, short-haul carrier will encourage other airlines to fly long haul from Stansted, a press conference at Rubens Hotel in Buckingham Palace Road, London, was told.

The long-term growth agreement comes seven months after MAG completed its acquisition of the airport.

Ken O’Toole, MAG’s chief commercial officer, said: “The new long-term agreement between Ryanair and MAG at Stansted shows that competition really does work, and it represents great news for both passengers and UK businesses.

“The deal secures a new and exciting era for both Ryanair and Stansted, and we’re delighted to be supporting the airline’s growth over the next 10 years.

“We acquired Stansted in February believing we could significantly expand the services on offer by competing more effectively to make the most of the airport’s untapped potential and spare capacity. We were confident Stansted would grow if we offered great value to airlines, increased passenger choice and better services and facilities.

“Today’s announcement, coupled with our £80m investment in the terminal, confirms that Ryanair shares our confidence and shows how we are succeeding in transforming Stansted under new ownership.

“Stansted has a really bright future in providing international connectivity for the UK.

“Over the next five years, MAG wants to make Stansted the best airport in London, so we will continue to compete hard to win business from airlines in our drive for passenger growth and to provide customers with even more choice.”

Ryanair, Stansted’s largest airline serving more than 140 destinations during the past 12 months, has also announced four new routes from the airport for next summer.

The new destinations – not currently served from Stansted – are Lisbon in Portugal, Bordeaux in France, Dortmund in Germany and Rabat in Morocco.

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Ryanair pledges to cut fares at Stansted

Ryanair’s share price soared yesterday as the no-frills carrier announced a growth deal at Stansted which could boost the airport’s long-haul prospects.

The share price had fallen earlier this month after a profits warning, but news of the partnership with Stansted’s owner Manchester Airport Group (MAG) made international headlines and helped the shares rise by more than 4% to €6.44 in London.

The 10-year deal will see Ryanair increase its traffic at the Essex airport by over 50%, from 13.2m passengers in 2012 to more than 20m annually, in return for lower costs and more efficient facilities.

Reports also said the airline will offer cheaper flights from the airport, with Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, telling The Mirror: ‘We will be cutting our average fares to deliver this. We are the good guys.’

He said: ‘This agreement, which will create over 7,000 new jobs in Stansted, proves how UK airports can flourish when released from the dead hand of the BAA monopoly and is the first dramatic initiative by MAG to reverse seven years of decline, during which Stansted’s traffic fell from 23.8m to 17.5m.’

The Daily Telegraph noted how the deal ends a seven-year ‘stand-off’ between Ryanair, which accounts for 70% of Stansted’s traffic, as the airport’s former owner BAA ‘refused to countenance a commercial deal’.

The Guardian pointed out that Stansted recently signed a similar five-year growth agreement with easyJet and is in discussions with other airlines, including those with long-haul routes.

‘As part of the agreement, Ryanair said it would work with the airport to support connections with long-haul flights, although O’Leary did not provide details,’ added theGuardian.

However, The Daily Mirror reported that The Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group was opposed to the agreement.

Its economics adviser Brian Ross said he did not ‘understand the business logic’ behind the deal.

He told the Mirror: ‘It will simply entrench Ryanair even deeper as the dominant airline at the airport and reinforce Stansted’s reputation as nothing more than a cheap flights airport.

‘When MAG bought Stansted, it said that it wanted to make the airport more broadly based, with more airlines and more destinations.’

The Financial Times said the discount on fees for Ryanair was not disclosed, but analysts at Citibank estimate that Ryanair currently pays the airport a total of €8.40 per passenger, and a 10% discount would deliver savings of approximately €11m a year.

Ken O’Toole, MAG’s chief commercial officer, commented: ‘Today’s announcement, coupled with our £80m investment in the terminal, confirms that Ryanair shares our confidence, and shows how we are succeeding in transforming Stansted under new ownership.’

The airline also released its Stansted summer 2014 schedule with 120 routes, including four new services to Bordeaux, Dortmund, Lisbon and Rabat.

http://www.e-tid.com/ryanair-pledges-to-cut-fares-at-stansted/86162/

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MAG / Ryanair 10 year growth agreement at Stansted to increase Ryanair passengers by 50% in 10 years

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and Ryanair have announced a new long-term growth agreement which will see Ryanair increase its number of passengers at Stansted from just over 13 million a year,  to more than 18 million by 2018 and then to almost 21 million passengers a year by 2023.  In return it wants lower costs and better facilities. MAG bought Stansted from BAA in February 2013. Ryanair is Stansted’s largest airline – with 140 + destinations during the past year; it has now announced 4 new Stansted routes for summer 2014. The new destinations – not currently served from Stansted – are Lisbon, Bordeaux, Dortmund and Rabat. MAG said they are confident Stansted can grow, though it has had consistently declining numbers of passengers for several years. MAG believes it can compete more effectively “to make the most of the airport’s untapped potential and spare capacity.” MAG says “Stansted has a really bright future in providing international connectivity for the UK”  - (which broadly means more holiday destinations for cheap flights, taking more Brits to spend their money abroad.) Ryanair can be very fickle.
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M.A.G and Ryanair sign ten-year growth agreement at London Stansted

M.A.G and Ryanair have signed a ten-year growth agreement at London Stansted.

Manchester Airports Group and Ryanair have today announced a new long-term growth agreement which will see the airline increase the number of passengers it serves at Stansted Airport from just over 13 million a year to more than 18 million by 2018.

The new growth agreement, which will see Ryanair serve almost 21 million passengers a year by 2023, comes just six months after M.A.G completed its acquisition of Stansted .

Ryanair, Stansted’s largest airline serving over 140 destinations during the past 12 months, has also announced four new routes from the airport for summer 2014. The new destinations – not currently served from Stansted – are Lisbon, Bordeaux, Dortmund and Rabat in Morocco.

Ken O’Toole, M.A.G’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The new long term agreement between Ryanair and MAG at Stansted shows that competition really does work, and it represents great news for both passengers and UK businesses. The deal secures a new and exciting era for both Ryanair and Stansted, and we’re delighted to be supporting the airline’s growth over the next ten years.

“We acquired Stansted in February this year believing we could significantly expand the services on offer by competing more effectively to make the most of the airport’s untapped potential and spare capacity. We were confident Stansted would grow if we offered great value to airlines, increased passenger choice and better services and facilities.”

He added: “Today’s announcement, coupled with our £80m investment in the terminal, confirms that Ryanair shares our confidence, and shows how we are succeeding in transforming Stansted under new ownership. Stansted has a really bright future in providing international connectivity for the UK.”

“Over the next five years, M.A.G wants to make Stansted the best airport in London so we will continue to compete hard to win business from airlines in our drive for passenger growth and to provide customers with even more choice.”

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s Chief Executive, said the deal will see Stansted traffic grow by over 50pc, from 13.2m in 2012 to over 20m p.a. in return for lower costs and more efficient facilities.

“This agreement proves how UK airports can flourish when released from the dead hand of the BAA monopoly and is the first dramatic initiative by M.A.G to reverse seven years of decline, during which Stansted’s traffic fell from 23.8m to 17.5m,” he said

“As Stansted’s biggest airline, Ryanair looks forward to a decade of growing traffic, routes and jobs at Stansted. We have also released our Stansted summer 2014 schedule with 120 routes, including 4 new routes to Bordeaux, Dortmund, Lisbon and Rabat, which have gone on sale today on the www.ryanair.com website.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/mag-ryanair-signed-ten-year-growth-6030366

 

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News Release (Ryanair)

16.9.2013

Ryanair Agrees 10 Year Growth Deal At Stansted

TRAFFIC TO GROW BY 50% FROM 13.2M P.A. TO OVER 20M
 
SUMMER 2014 SCHEDULE RELEASED WITH 4 NEW ROUTES
(BORDEAUX, DORTMUND, LISBON & RABAT)

Ryanair and Manchester Airport Group (MAG), today (16 Sep) announced that they had concluded a  10 year growth agreement at London Stansted Airport, which will see Ryanair grow its traffic at Stansted by over 50%, from 13.2m passengers in 2012 to over 20m p.a. in return for a package of lower costs and more efficient facilities at Stansted. This agreement will account for up to 25% of Ryanair’s 5 year growth plans to 2019. Ryanair expects its Stansted traffic in year 1 of this 10-year deal to grow from 13.2m to over 14.5m.

Ryanair has today released its Stansted summer 2014 schedule (at www.ryanair.com), with a total of 120 routes, including 4 new routes to Bordeaux, Dortmund, Lisbon and Rabat, which will feature:

  •     43 based aircraft in Stansted (up from 37)
  •     120 routes (up from 116)
  •     4 new routes to Bordeaux, Dortmund, Lisbon & Rabat
  •     Over 2,000 weekly flights (up from 1,800)
  •     Traffic growth from 13.2m to over 20m p.a.
  •     Up to 7,000* new jobs created at Stansted over a 5 year period

Ryanair celebrated the launch of its Stansted summer 2014 schedule (and 4 new routes) by releasing 100,000 seats at prices from £14.99 for travel in October and November, which are available for booking until midnight (24:00hrs) Thur (19 Sep).

In London, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“Ryanair is pleased to have agreed a new 10 year growth deal at London Stansted with MAG. This deal will see our Stansted traffic grow by over 50%, from 13.2m in 2012 to over 20m p.a. in return for lower costs and more efficient facilities at Stansted. This agreement, which will create over 7000 new jobs in Stansted, proves how UK airports can flourish when released from the dead hand of the BAA monopoly and is the first dramatic initiative by MAG to reverse 7 years of decline, during which Stansted’s traffic fell from 23.8m to 17.5m.

As Stansted’s biggest airline, Ryanair looks forward to a decade of growing traffic, routes and jobs at Stansted. We are also pleased to release our Stansted summer 2014 schedule with 120 routes, including 4 new routes to Bordeaux, Dortmund, Lisbon and Rabat, which have gone on sale today on the www.ryanair.com website.”

MAG’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ken O’Toole said:

 “The new long term agreement between Ryanair and MAG at Stansted shows that competition really does work, and it represents great news for both passengers and UK businesses. The deal secures a new and exciting era for both Ryanair and Stansted, and we’re delighted to be supporting the airline’s growth over the next ten years.
 
Today’s announcement, coupled with our £80m investment in the terminal, confirms that Ryanair shares our confidence, and shows how we are succeeding in transforming Stansted under new ownership. Stansted has a really bright future in providing international connectivity for the UK.”

* ACI research confirms up to 1,000 ‘on-site’ jobs are sustained at international airports for every 1m passengers

http://www.ryanair.com/en/news/ryanair-agrees-10-year-growth-deal-at-stansted

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UK’s CAA postpones regulatory decision on Stansted airport

Tue Sep 17, 2013 (Reuters)

Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority said on Tuesday it would defer making a judgement on how to regulate London’s Stansted airport in future following the airport’s new 10-year deal with Ryanair which was announced on Monday.

“Following the Ryanair deal and another agreement between (Stansted’s new owner) Manchester Airports Group Plc and easyJet announced earlier this year, the CAA will issue a consultation to invite stakeholders to submit representations on how these agreements may affect the market power assessment,” the regulator said in a statement.

The Civil Aviation Act 2012 sets a market power test as part of the process for periodically deciding whether a UK airport’s user charges need to be regulated in the future. The determination for Stansted was due to be published on October 3, along with the two other main London airports, Gatwick and Heathrow.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/09/17/uk-stansted-regulation-idUKBRE98G0XO20130917

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but a rather different tone from Ryanair 6 months ago:

 

Manchester Airport Group confirms Stansted takeover deal – and Ryanair cuts its Stansted flights

March 1, 2013

The Manchester Airport Group (MAG) has now completed its £1.5bn acquisition of Stansted, from Heathrow Airport Holdings. MAG already owns Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports. Stansted’s main traffic is budget airlines such as Easyjet and Ryan Air flying to Europe, and Ryanair accounts for around 70% of its traffic. MAG wants to return Stansted’s passenger numbers to what they were 5 years ago by 2018, as it is now 47% below capacity and has been losing passengers for years. MAG wants to improve the shopping experience at the airport to encourage passengers to spend more before they board flights. They also intend to lobby transport chiefs about improving rail links between Stansted and London in the medium-term. On the day of the take-over Ryanair announced that it had been planning to expand its routes from Stansted by 5% from April, but would now cut them instead by some 9% or 1 million passengers per year, allegedly due to a 6% increase in charges (or the recession?)    .

Click here to view full story…

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FERROVIAL/BAA HIKES STANSTED FEES BY 6% FROM APRIL 2013 IN A PARTING GIFT TO MANCHESTER AIRPORT GROUP & A PARTING SLAP TO STANSTED’S AIRLINES & PASSENGERS

RYANAIR TO CUT ITS STANSTED TRAFFIC BY 9% IN RESPONSE TO THESE UNJUSTIFIED & INFLATION-BUSTING INCREASES
28.2.2013  (Ryanair’s website)

Ryanair, Europe’s only ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC), today (28 Feb) announced that it will cut its London Stansted traffic by 9% over the coming year (from 12.5m to 11.4m) after the Ferrovial/BAA Stansted monopoly announced a further unjustified increase of Stansted’s already high charges of 6% from April 2013, despite the fact that Ferrovial/BAA has sold Stansted to Manchester Airport Group (MAG) who will take over the airport sometime before the end of March.

Ryanair has called on Stansted’s regulator, the CAA, to investigate whether this unjustified and unwarranted 6% price hike was a “sweetener” by Ferrovial/BAA’s sale of Stansted, which raised £1.5bn in proceeds for Ferrovial, despite the fact that Stansted’s traffic has declined from 24m p.a. to 17.5m p.a. over the last 6 years.
Ryanair, which had planned to grow its Stansted traffic by 5% from April 2013, will now cut frequencies on 43 of its routes and reduce its weekly operations by over 170 flights, with the loss of 1.1m passengers (-9%) and over 1,100* jobs at Stansted,  in direct response to this unwarranted and unjustified 6% price hike. Ryanair called on the CAA regulator to explain why Ferrovial/BAA is allowed to hike charges by 6% when UK inflation is less than 3% and Stansted’s traffic continues to decline.
Ryanair also called on Ferrovial/BAA to reverse this unjustified and unwarranted price increase before the sale to MAG is concluded and further called on MAG to confirm that it will not permit any further price increases at Stansted unless, or until, the traffic declines of the past 6 years (during which the Ferrovial/BAA monopoly has doubled Stansted’s fees) are reversed.
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said,
It’s bad enough that Ferrovial/BAA has doubled prices over the past 6 years and presided over record traffic falls at Stansted, but it appears that the CAA now rewards this commercial failure by allowing Ferrovial/BAA to again raise fees in 2013 to compensate for its traffic declines in 2012.
Given that Ferrovial/BAA has now agreed to sell the airport to MAG, it is impossible to understand why the BAA monopoly is again raising Stansted’s prices from April 2013 when it clearly won’t be running the airport from that date. Ryanair and other Stansted airlines now must ask was this surprise price increase part of a “sweetener” package to persuade MAG to pay £1.5bn for Stansted? Are passengers and airlines at Stansted again being hit in order to boost the sales proceeds for the Spanish giant, Ferrovial, from the sale of BAA Stansted?
As the London Times has previously commented, the appropriate response to a traffic decline would be to lower prices and grow volumes. Instead the Ferrovial/BAA monopoly, as it runs down the runway trousering £1.5bn from the sale of Stansted, is imposing a further, unjustified 6% price increase one month in advance of MAG’s takeover of Stansted. There’s something very smelly about the timing and the scale of this price increase, which is more than double the rate of UK inflation.

Ryanair believes that this price increase, which will clearly be of no benefit to Ferrovial/BAA, was part of a “sweetener” to MAG in order to boost the sale price of Stansted Airport. The CAA must now investigate the reasons for this price increase and take action to protect Stansted users from this latest example of price gouging from Ferrovial/BAA. 

* ACI research confirms up to 1,000 ‘on-site’ jobs are sustained at international airports for every 1m passengers  [This really is not true - the figure has been bandied about for years, but the real figure is more like a quarter.  Airlines and airports are cutting jobs to increase profits. The 1,000 figure was an exaggeration even many years ago, and it completely out of date now.  AW]. 

http://www.ryanair.com/en/news/ferrovial-baa-hikes-stansted-fees-by-6-percent-from-april-2013-in-a-parting-gift-to-manchester-airport-group-and-a-parting-slap-to-stansted-s-airlines-and-passengers

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