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IPCC report says transport contributes 27% of global CO2 – and could double by 2050 under BAU

The latest UN IPCC report alerts global leaders to the growing threat of uncontrolled transport emissions. The UN’s climate panel says that transport is set to become the world’s biggest source of CO2 emissions unless lawmakers take strong action now.   They say “The transport sector accounted for 27% of final energy use and 6.7 GtCO2 direct emissions in 2010, with baseline CO2 emissions projected to approximately double by 2050.” The report states: “Without aggressive and sustained policies (to cut CO2 from cars and trucks), transport emissions could increase at a faster rate than emissions from any other sector.” Progress is being made in the EU on cars, but not much on trucks and vans. As actual car performance on CO2 on the road is not as good as the theoretical level, the EC plans to introduce a new test that closes loopholes in the current system in 2017. Air travel is only given one short mention that increased use of high speed rail should replace some short haul flights. There are some very guarded comments on biofuels (written by large committee!) which mention “the risks of increased competition for land need to be managed.” [BAU = Business as Usual].
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Transport to become largest source of CO2 emissions if politicians don’t act decisively, UN experts warn

 April 13, 2014 (Transport & Environment)

The latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published today alerts global leaders to the growing threat of uncontrolled transport emissions. The UN’s climate panel says that transport is set to become the world’s biggest source of CO2 emissions unless lawmakers take strong action now. The report states: “Without aggressive and sustained policies (to cut COfrom cars and trucks), transport emissions could increase at a faster rate than emissions from any other sector.”

Commenting on the report, Greg Archer, Transport & Environment’s clean vehicles manager, said: “Thanks to EU regulations CO2emissions from new cars are now falling, but the progress on trucks and vans is glacial. The IPCC report stresses the urgency of taking new initiatives to tackle vehicle emissions, but the European Commission’s response is to repeatedly delay promised strategies to regulate car and van emissions after 2020 and to start addressing soaring emissions from trucks.”

The IPCC report confirms that regulations such as Europe’s COstandards for cars are very effective in driving down climate-changing emissions. Analysis by T&E shows the introduction of COlimits for cars in Europe tripled the annual rate of fuel efficiency gains [1]. But T&E warns that around half the improvement measured in official tests is actually being delivered by vehicles on the road. The European Commission plans to introduce a new test that closes loopholes in the current system in 2017, which is facing fierce opposition from carmakers.

Ambitious vehicle regulations are also the most effective way to drive the market for e-mobility (electric and hydrogen cars). These have the potential, when powered with renewable electricity, to simultaneously lower carbon emissions and reduce noise and air pollution, which destroy the health and shorten the lives of millions of Europeans.

“Current EU policies to encourage the uptake of electric cars are ineffective and muddled. The new Commission needs to come up with a strategy to reduce all emissions from cars, vans and trucks after 2020 and integrate this with sustainable forms of urban mobility. Ultimately, these policies will put European businesses at the forefront of a global shift to non-polluting vehicles”, Greg Archer concluded.

Footnotes:

[1] Prior to the regulation in the period 2000-2007, CO2 emissions in the EU went down by just 1.3% a year. From 2008 to 2013, the average annual rate of improvement has been a 3.5% (http://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/how-clean-are-europes-cars-2013).

http://www.transportenvironment.org/press/transport-become-largest-source-co2-emissions-if-politicians-don%E2%80%99t-act-decisively-un-experts

IPCC Press  Release about the Working Group III report 

IPCC press release

 

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The report – the third in a series by the IPCC designed to highlight the climate crisis now facing the planet – is intended as an urgent wake-up call to nations to commit around 1-2% of GDP in order to replace power plants that burn fossil fuels, the major cause of global warming, with renewable sources.


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Below are extracts from the section on transport, from the report’s “Summary for policy makers”
Page 24
Transport
The transport sector accounted for 27% of final energy use and 6.7 GtCO2 direct emissions in 2010, with baseline CO2 emissions projected to approximately double by 2050.
Technical and behavioural mitigation measures for all transport modes, plus new infrastructure and urban redevelopment investments, could reduce final energy demand in 2050 by around 40% below the baseline, with the mitigation potential assessed to be higher than reported in the AR4

Integrated urban planning, transit‐oriented  development, more compact urban form that supports cycling and walking, can all lead to modal shifts as can, in the longer term, urban redevelopment and investments in new infrastructure such as high‐speed rail systems that reduce short‐haul air travel demand (medium evidence, medium agreement). Such mitigation measures are challenging, have uncertain outcomes, and could reduce
transport GHG emissions by 20–50% in 2050 compared to baseline (limited evidence, low
agreement). [8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 12.4, 12.5, Figure SPM.8 top panel]

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Strategies to reduce the carbon intensities of fuel and the rate of reducing carbon intensity are constrained by challenges associated with energy storage and the relatively low energy density of low carbon transport fuels. 

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The cost‐effectiveness of different carbon reduction measures in the transport sector varies significantly with vehicle type and transport mode (high confidence).

The levelized costs of conserved carbon can be very low or negative for many short‐term behavioural measures and efficiency improvements for light‐ and heavy‐duty road vehicles and waterborne craft. In 2030, for some electric vehicles, aircraft and possibly high‐speed rail, levelized costs could be more than USD100/tCO2 avoided (limited evidence, medium agreement). [8.6, 8.8, 8.9, Figures TS.21, TS.22]

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Regional differences influence the choice of transport mitigation options (high confidence).

Institutional, legal, financial and cultural barriers constrain low‐carbon technology uptake and behavioural change.

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Mitigation strategies, when associated with non‐climate policies at all government levels, can help decouple transport GHG emissions from economic growth in all regions

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More from the Guardian on the IPCC report:

Summary

  • The IPCC report, Migating Climate Change, was released today. It detailed the path by which the worst effects of climate change can be avoided and global warming, including how the world can avoid breaching the 2C limit agreed by world leaders in Copenhagen in 2009.
  • The report is from the last of three IPCC working groups, the first two looked at the the state of climate science and the impacts of unchecked climate change.
  • It was produced by 1250 international experts and approved by 194 governments.
  • The report found that carbon emissions were still growing and the rate of growth was increasing.
  • However mitigating the effects of climate change would only limit global consumption growth by 0.06% - a relatively tiny amount.
  • If we want to limt temperature increase to 2c by the end of this century, there would have to be large cuts in emissions, said IPCC chair Rajendra K Pachauri.Tripling to nearly quarduraling of zero to low co2 energy supply will almost get us there.
  • A business-as-usual scenario will lead to 3.7C to 4.8C rise in temperature before 2100.
  • Working group III co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer said the report contained “hope, modest hope” and that “it does not cost the world to save the planet”.
  • Renewable energy was seen as the major energy production platform in a sustainable future.
  • Carbon capture and storage, nuclear, bioenergy and shale gas were mentioned alongside renewables as necessary contributers to the global energy mix.
  • Last-minute objections from rich countries scrapped a proposed section, which called for hundreds of billions of dollars every year to be paid to developing countries by developed countries.

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Also

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/12/ipcc-report-world-must-switch-clean-sources-energy

and

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/12/un-urges-increase-green-energy-avert-climate-disaster-uk

 

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Study suggests London City Airport site could be put to more economically & socially efficient use by closing airport

A new report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) makes the case for closing London’s City Airport and redeveloping the site to create more jobs, boost local business and build new homes. The report looked at the actual contribution, and the restrictions, caused by the airport on the surrounding area, and it has come to some     conclusion that may seem surprising. They found London City Airport creates little value to the UK economy – despite occupying 500,000 square metres at the heart of London. Its direct contribution in 2011 was £110m – compared to £513 million generated by the nearby ExCeL Centre.  It provides relatively few jobs, and restrictions on development near the airport due to  the public safety zone and height restrictions in the nearby area limit many potentially more efficient uses of the land.   Local residents bear all the costs but reap few of the benefits – the average salary of a London City Airport passenger is over £90,000, while 40% of Newham residents earn less than £20,000. Only about 28% of the airport jobs go to Newham people.   London’s transport no longer needs City Airport – City Airport’s passengers account for just 2.4% of London’s total flight demand. These passengers could be readily absorbed by Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted.   By 2019 Crossrail will allow City workers to reach Heathrow in just 30 minutes.
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Close London City Airport – new NEF report

10.4.2014

The report is at:

 

“Royal Docks revival - Replacing London City Airport”                  London City Airport NEF report April 2014

 

A new report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) makes the case for closing London’s City Airport and redeveloping the site to create jobs, boost local business and build new homes. Some key points:

•        City Airport creates little value – despite occupying 500,000 square metres at the heart of London, its direct contribution to the UK economy in 2011 was £110m – less than a fifth of the nearby ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre.

•        City Airport costs jobs – the airport has never delivered on initial jobs promises and its safety crash zone limits business development across a 3 mile area.  The extra 1500 jobs from current plans to expand City Airport compare poorly with the 9,000 jobs expected to result from the nearby Silvertown Quays development.

•         Local residents bear all the costs but reap none of the benefits – the average salary of a London City Airport passenger is over £90,000, while 40% of Newham residents earn less than £20,000.  Some 18,000 local residents suffer high levels of noise pollution and poor air quality.

•         London transport no longer needs City Airport – City Airport’s passengers account for just 2.4% of London’s total flight demand, and its numbers could be readily absorbed by Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted.   By 2019 Crossrail will allow City workers to reach Heathrow in just 30 minutes.

 

The need to cut noise, pollution and carbon emissions and tackle economic and social inequalities demands urgent reform of how aviation is managed in our cities.

New research from NEF exposes London City Airport as an outdated and unproductive use of precious inner city land and calls for it to be closed at the soonest opportunity.

There are more productive things we could do with London City Airport

The airport represents a missed social and economic opportunity for the Royal Docks area. Alternative developments for the Royal Docks would outstrip City Airport on economic value. Despite its much larger footprint, the airport’s direct contribution to the UK economy in 2011 (£110 million) is just a fifth that of the nearby ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre (£513 million). City Airport’s own estimates suggest a contribution of £750m per year to the UK economy, but the majority of this is generated through inbound passengers’ spending which would be retained if passengers were directed through other airports.

The airport also punches below its weight on job creation, supporting the equivalent of only 1,900 full-time jobs. In contrast the ExCel is predicted to support 53,000 across the UK by 2017. Only 27% of jobs created by the airport go to local Newham residents, well below the target 35%.

The airport can be closed without loss of transport capacity

Crossrail will vastly improve access to London’s other airports once completed in 2019. Travelling from Liverpool Street to Heathrow will take half an hour, just 4 minutes longer than the journey to London CityAirport.

Other London-area airports have capacity to take on City Airports passengers. City Airport is a niche airport, catering for only 2.4% of London’s total aviation demand. With the exception of Luton, every other London-area airport has enough spare capacity to single-handedly absorb London City Airport’s passengers, although of course in reality the displaced passengers would be spread between them.

 

The benefits of London City Airport are enjoyed by a small, wealthy minority

The benefits of London City Airport accrue mainly to its wealthy business clientele. Three quarters of inbound journeys end in Canary Wharf, the City of London or the City of Westminster, and the average salary of the airport’s users is £92,000. This contrasts starkly with the deprivation in surrounding Newham, where residents have lowest average incomes in London, 40% earning below 20,000.

The environmental costs of City Airport land squarely on neighbouring communities. Air pollution is a major problem across London, but Newham is particularly badly affected. Death rates in the borough from chronic heart and lung diseases – commonly exacerbated by air pollution – are among the highest in London.

Significant levels of noise are experienced by 18,000 people around City Airport. The World Health Organisation recommends a noise level of no more than  50 to 55dB for residential areas, but in the Royal Docks area every local school experiences noise at levels of 57dB.

Helen Kersley, lead author and economist at NEF said:

“Given our current dire shortage of homes, as well as the UK’s international commitments to cutting its carbon emissions, we must seriously question the logic of locating an airport on precious inner city land.London City Airport places a significant environmental and social burden on neighbouring communities, and gives back very little in return.”

“Now is the perfect time to think about alternatives. 70% of the world population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050 – London can lead the way in demonstrating how we can reduce carbon emissions, live within our environmental limits, and achieve a fairer distribution of economic benefits.”

 

John Stewart, Chair HACAN East, said:

“We have no doubt that the replacement of the airport with alternative businesses would benefit the local and national economy. The development of community land trust model of ownership would complement many of the exciting new developments which have taken place in the area in recent years”.

“This ground-breaking report from NEF shows that closure of the airport would not only help residents in East London blighted by noise and air pollution, but would bring benefits to the economy.  It makes complete economic, social and environmental sense.”

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1.      The New Economics Foundation (NEF) is an independent think tank that specialises in innovative economic thinking – www.neweconomics.org

2.      The Royal Docks revival report waslaunched at an event on Thursday 10 April 2014 at The Crystal, Royal Docks.

 


 

 

The report is at:

“Royal Docks revival - Replacing London City Airport”                  London City Airport NEF report April 2014

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London City Airport ‘should close’, think tank says

London City Airport
10 April 2014 (BBC)
London City Airport says if it closed, 2,000 people would be out of work

London’s City Airport should close and its site be redeveloped to create jobs, boost local business and build new homes, a think tank has said.

The airport accounts for just 2.4% of London’s total flight demand, the report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) said.

Its passengers could use Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted, NEF claimed.

A London City Airport spokeswoman said the airport “facilitates inward investment and economic growth”.

‘Gives very little’

The report by NEF claimed: “City Airport creates little value – despite occupying 500,000 square metres at the heart of London, its direct contribution to the UK economy in 2011 was £110m – less than a fifth of the nearby ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre.”

NEF economist Helen Kersley said: “Given our current dire shortage of homes, as well as the UK’s international commitments to cutting its carbon emissions, we must seriously question the logic of locating an airport on precious inner city land.

“London City Airport places a significant environmental and social burden on neighbouring communities and gives back very little in return.”

A London City Airport spokeswoman said: “The only airport in London provides a direct route to the capital’s business, financial and political centres, facilitating inward investment and economic growth.”

She added closing the airport would put 2,000 people out of work, prevent the creation of a further 1,500 jobs by 2023 and remove £750m a year from the economy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-26965052

 

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London City Airport Worth More as a Building Site, Study Argues

By Kari Lundgren  April 10, 2014 (Bloomberg)

London City Airport, the closest terminal to the capital’s financial district, contributes little to the U.K. economy and should be closed, according to a report today from the New Economics Foundation.

The airport added about 110 million pounds ($184 million) to the U.K. economy last year, compared with the 513 million pounds brought in by the ExCel exhibition and conference center across the River Thames, according to the study. The facility’s passengers, who account for about 2.4 percent of London airport traffic, could easily be absorbed by other terminals, they said.

Located 6 miles from London’s main financial district on a former dockside, London City is favored by business travelers on short-haul trips. The average income of its passengers is 92,000 pounds, in an area of the capital where 40 percent of people earn less than 20,000 pounds, NEF said, citing data from a planning statement on the local Newham council website.

“We must seriously question the logic of locating an airport on precious inner-city land,” NEF economist Helen Kersley, the report’s lead author, said in a statement. “London City Airport places a significant environmental and social burden on neighboring communities.”

London City handled 73,713 flights and 3.4 million people in 2013, ranking as Britain’s 15th largest airport. While the facility puts its annual economic contribution at 750 million pounds, the bulk comes from spending by inbound passengers and would stay in the U.K. if flights went elsewhere, the NEF said, refering to figures in the hub’s Transforming East London study.

Air France Sale

Opened in 1987 and majority owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, London City’s biggest operator is Air France-KLM Group (AF)’s unprofitable CityJet Ltd. arm, which the carrier is seeking to sell to turnaround specialist Intro Aviation GmbH.

Today’s report is not the first to call for the closing of a London airport. In July, Mayor Boris Johnson said the government could buy Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub, for 15 billion pounds and use the 1,220-hectare (3,000 acre) site to build 100,000 homes, creating an entirely new borough that would help ease a national housing shortage.

The NEF is an unaffiliated, donation-funded think-tank that seeks to promote social, economic and environmental change, according to its website.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-09/london-city-airport-worth-more-as-a-building-site-study-argues.html

 

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ACI report says small airports with under 1 million passengers per year in danger of making losses

According to the 2013 ACI Economics Report, which is to be released shortly, some 67% of the world’s airport’s operate at a net loss. The report says that globally about  80% of airports handling less than 1 million passengers per year have average net losses of 6%. Of the airports that made a loss in 2012, 93% of the handled under 1 million passengers. It therefore appears that the small airports are very fragile.  ACI World’s director general, said: “While the industry as a whole is profitable, with airports posting net profit margins in the realm of 13%, a significant proportion of airports are actually in the red.  Industry profitability is primarily generated from the 20% of airports that carry the bulk of passenger traffic. Size matters.”  In the UK some of the airports with below 1 million passengers in 2013 were Cardiff,  Southend, Exeter, Doncaster/Sheffield, Bournemouth, Blackpool and Durham Tees Valley.  ACI also advocated more arrangements between airlines and airports on the level of fees and charges, and less government regulation.
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THE BULK OF THE WORLD’S AIRPORTS STILL OPERATING AT A LOSS – NEW ACI ECONOMICS REPORT

 by     (Airport World)

The profitability struggle faced by the world’s airports was one of the topics under the microscope in the opening session of this year’s Airport Economics and Finance Conference in London.

According to the soon-to-be-released 2013 ACI Economics Report, 67% of the world’s airport’s operate at a net loss.

Indeed, 80% of airports handling less than one million passengers per annum report average net losses of 6%.

And of the airports that made a loss in 2012, 93% of the handled under one million passengers.

The figures prompted ACI World’s director general, Angela Gittens, to remark that “size really does matter”, when it comes to profitability.

“While the industry as a whole is profitable, with airports posting net profit margins in the realm of 13%, a significant proportion of airports are actually in the red,” says Gittens.

“Industry profitability is primarily generated from the 20% of airports that carry the bulk of passenger traffic. Size matters.”

In other news, ACI Europe today unveiled fresh analysis on competition within the aviation industry.

This new analysis is the latest chapter of a debate about airport competition which began in June 2012, when Copenhagen Economics and Dr Harry Bush, former UK airport regulator, published the first-ever comprehensive study of Airport Competition in Europe.

That study provided quantitative evidence of the significant extent of airport competition. In particular, it looked at the shift in the airport-airline dynamic resulting from the cumulative impact of aviation liberalisation, new and evolving airline business models, digitally empowered passengers and commercially driven airports.

The new analysis paper released today builds on these commonalities with the objective of moving the debate on airport competition forward.

It refines the way in which the market power of both players should be assessed and considers the impact upon their respective negotiating positions.

And, most notably, it advocates for a more innovative approach to airport regulation in Europe based on trigger regulation or price monitoring – which limits regulatory intervention and incentivises airports and airlines to develop better commercial relationships based on long-term contracts.

ACI Europe’s director general, Olivier Jankovec, comments: “Today, price-cap and other traditional forms of regulation are polarising the airport airline relationship over the single issue of airport charges.

“We need to break the constant cycle of accusation and counter-accusation. That means we need get to a point where we can just do what other industries are doing: negotiate long-term contracts with airlines that best suit each other’s interests.

“This is what trigger regulation is about, as it is essentially based on the threat to regulate – and leaves airports and airlines free to focus on their commercial dealings rather than on lobbying their regulator.

“This could potentially open the way for expanded cooperation on many issues, including service quality or incremental commercial revenue generation.”

http://www.airport-world.com/home/general-news/item/3774-the-bulk-of-the-world-s-airports-still-operating-at-loss-new-aci-economics-report

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In the UK the main commercial airports with under 1 million passengers (2013) were:

 

 AIRPORT
 Air Transport Movements in 2013 % change from 2012  Terminal passengers in 2013 % change from 2012
CARDIFF WALES 14,026 0.4               1,057,088 4.3
SOUTHEND 9,476 30.4                  969,941 57.2
GUERNSEY 33,006 -2.8                  856,768 -0.6
ISLE OF MAN 20,373 -11.4                  738,459 6.2
EXETER 12,529 3.7                  738,157 6.2
DONCASTER SHEFFIELD 4,296 -1.9                  689,761 -0.5
BOURNEMOUTH 6,832 -4.9                  659,021 -4.5
INVERNESS 10,012 -3.5                  607,266 1
CITY OF DERRY (EGLINTON)  3,011 -3.3                  384,973 -3.3
SCATSTA   13,174 -3.3                  298,308 -2
BLACKPOOL      10,289 7.1                  262,757 11.7
HUMBERSIDE    11,676 -6.7                  234,787 0.5
SUMBURGH    9,199 30.1                  209,747 40.9
DURHAM TEES VALLEY   4,329 3                  159,311 -3.3

 

From CAA airport statistics

 


 

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France: The UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populair) has used and abused lobbying to save unnecessary airports

The issue of small European airports receiving substantial government subsidies  continues to be highly controversial. A French article (imperfect translation into English) says dozens of airports in France are not profitable and only stay in business due to public subsidies, and that this is continuing because of the intense and effective lobbying of the right wing party, the UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populair – which Sarkozy used to lead). Small airports have been kept afloat, though making large losses, and sometimes when they are ludicrously close to other airports.  In the Languedoc-Roussillon region, which has the second highest largest number of flights by low cost airlines, the subsidies continue as there is fear a cut  would drive away the no-frills carriers and the tourists they bring. allocation rules. The state aid rules were recently announced, and were dismissed by T&E as giving “carte blanche to airports and airlines which are guilty of mismanagement in the past”. The subsidy system continues to give substantial benefits to Ryanair, which is a key recipient. 

 

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Imperfect translation into English. Original French below.

The UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populair) has used and abused lobbying to save unnecessary airports

by ROMAN BERNIER (REPORTERRE)

April 4, 2014

Dozens of airports in France are not profitable and only work due to public subsidies. The European Commission wanted to put this right. But failed because of intense and effective lobbying – by the UMP. [The UMP is a centre-right or right-wing party which unites the traditions of Gaullism, Christian democracy, classical liberalism and radicalism. The former leader of the UMP was  Nicolas Sarkozy. He was replaced in 2012 by Socialist François Hollande. Since the November 2012 national congress the leader of the UMP party has been Jean-François Copé, ] 

It all began in 2012. Input from all sides by the heavyweight air transport industry, the European Commission agreed to consider the issue of subsidies to regional airports. Investigators handling the case will be amazed by what they discover.

Runways hopelessly leak profitability, lack of transparency in contracts, tax havens and airport infrastructure sometimes only a few kilometers from each other … More than four years after the revelations of the Court of Auditors on the management of Airports in France, it seems that the practice persisted throughout.

In Brussels, the Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Amulnia, means “to order” : it’s time this stopped. This is the commotion of fighting in the ranks of French airports, who fear the closing of the tap of state aid. Therefore, intensive lobbying is taking place to fight against European war machine. And in the space of two years, the European position will change dramatically.

Languedoc-Roussillon frontline

This is a record of the metropolitan area of ​​Carcassonne, dated December 19, 2012, that one finds the first evidence that lobbying is at work at the European level in order to influence the position of the European Commission and the French State on airports.

In a section entitled “Motion of support to Carcassonne airport in Cathar country” , we learn that the Languedoc-Roussillon region is designated as “leader to coordinate the actions of lobbying the French Government or Europe ” . Nothing surprising about that: the Languedoc is the second region after Ile-de-France for the reception of low-cost airlines, fond of small airports under public subsidy which do not mind to pay on the nail companies which are displaced for them. However, any decrease in public manna might deter low cost carriers and turn them away, a danger that small airports can not afford if they want to survive.

So they take measures with a clear editorial line and three angles of attack:

- estimate the profitability of airports not in terms of operating income but their role in the local economy
- protect airports with less than one million passengers against new European guidelines,
- get to be able to make the necessary infrastructure investments once the exploitation refers to planning land use.
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However, if the Languedoc region pulls out the PS (socialist party), it is within the UMP that networks will be more engaged. To wear the colors of the Pays d’Oc, a man is appointed; Franck Proust, MEP specialist in transport and ancillary deputy mayor of Nîmes Métropole who on April 3, 2013, started the very expensive expansion work of the airport.

At that time, Mr. Proust still defends in front of the cameras the idea of ​​merging airports and reducing their number. Three months later, things will change dramatically.
When UMP gets involved

In July 2013, the Commission unveiled its proposals to overhaul the system of state aid to airports. The axe falls: over 200,000 passengers, an airport must fend for itself. It is severe, too severe for the Languedoc-Roussillon region which alone has 11 airports, which depend on public support, and only five of which deal with more than 200 000 passengers (per year).

An ideal candidate to lead the revolt in the halls of Brussels, Franck Proust takes the subject. On July 9th, through a statement, the MEP, former Liberal freshly converted to the joys of the welfare state, accuses Europe of condemming regional airports with their new allocation rules . Calling on them to consider the positive impact on the development highlighted by several studies, once again a revision of state aid is needed.

The deputy mayor of Nîmes calls for a rally on September 17th, 2013 at the European Parliament, organized by the Union of French Airport and ACI Europe, Council of European airports.

At the national level also, the UMP is organized. Surprisingly: Jean-Paul Fournier, vice president of the UMP since February 2013, is also mayor of Nimes. He ran for re-election in 2014 and the Commission’s investigation would blemish his record.

Through two senators, Bernard and Jean Bizet Saugey, the opposition party published September 9, 2013 a resolution against European- repeating arguments already incurred by the Languedoc region in 2012: far from denying grants and financial aid granted to low-cost airlines, it is preferred to highlight the positive economic impact for the regions – forgetting knowingly that this is debatable.

The great reversal

Building on the success of its initiative to Parliament and supported by the pundits of the UMP, Franck Proust managed to get, at the end of 2013, a petition of fifty MEPs, including political figures like Brice Hortefeux or Rachida Dati.

The movement can no longer be ignored, especially as Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for service and relay the UMP with the Commission seems to be sensitive to the arguments of his political family. Franck Proust thereafter thanked him in a statement , “hailing its actions’ and ‘thanking his unfailing determination ” . Perhaps it was this support that enabled him to meet José Manuel Barroso on the 4 February 2014 to negotiate new regional aid.

Strong from the support given by his political family, the member succeeded without difficulty in convincing the EU executive to join its position, especially to weigh the heat of the Socialist Joaquin Amulnia.

Two weeks later, the new guidelines on air travel are published. They include, to general surprise, a special scheme for small airports with less than 700,000 passengers. Better, surveys of the Commission laying on State aid granted to 28 European airports will be judged on the basis of the new rules, which are much more flexible and advantageous for airports.

For Bill Hemmings, Head Aviation at NGO Transport & Environment, these guidelines do not just “legalize subsidies” ; they give “carte blanche to airports and airlines which are guilty of mismanagement in the past”.

According to an airline expert cited by the Tribune , it is especially an open door to the low cost airline, Ryanair, which would have received aid at European level for many years.

Mere coincidence? At the 5 airports in Languedoc, Ryanair operates a monopoly.

http://www.reporterre.net/spip.php?article5630

 

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Original French:

 

 

L’UMP a usé et abusé de lobbying pour sauver les aéroports inutiles

ROMAN BERNIER (REPORTERRE)

vendredi 4 avril 2014

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Des dizaines d’aéroports en France ne sont pas rentables et ne fonctionnent que grâce aux subventions publiques. La Commission européenne voulait y mettre bon ordre. Mais a échoué, à cause d’un lobbying intense – et efficace – de l’UMP.


Tout commence en 2012. Saisie de tous les côtés par les poids lourds du transport aérien, la Commission européenne accepte de se pencher sur la question des subventions accordées aux aéroports régionaux. Les enquêteurs en charge du dossier seront stupéfaits par ce qu’ils découvrent.

Plate-formes sous perfusion sans espoir de rentabilité, absence de transparence dans les contrats, paradis fiscaux et des infrastructures parfois à quelques seulement kilomètres l’une de l’autre… Plus de quatre ans après lesrévélations de la Cour des comptes sur la gestion des aéroports en France, il semble que les pratiques ont perduré dans l’ensemble.

A Bruxelles, le Commissaire à la concurrence, Joaquin Amulnia, entend« mettre de l’ordre » : il est temps que cela cesse. C’est le branlebas de combat dans les rangs des aéroports français, qui craignent de voir se fermer le robinet des aides publiques. Dès lors, un lobbying intensif se met en place pour lutter contre la machine de guerre européenne. Et en l’espace de deux ans, la position européenne va changer du tout au tout.

Le Languedoc-Roussillon en première ligne

C’est dans un procès-verbal de la communauté d’agglomération de Carcassonne, daté du 19 décembre 2012, que l’on retrouve les premières preuves qu’un lobbying est à l’œuvre à l’échelon européen et ce afin d’infléchir la position de la Commission Européenne et de l’État français sur les aéroports.

Au sein d’un paragraphe intitulé « Motion de soutien à l’aéroport de Carcassonne en pays Cathare », on apprend que la région Languedoc-Roussillon est désignée comme « chef de file pour coordonner les actions de lobbying auprès du Gouvernement français ou de l’Europe ». Rien de surprenant à cela : le Languedoc est la deuxième région après l’Ile-de-France pour l’accueil des compagnies à bas coût, friandes de petits aéroports sous perfusion publique qui ne rechignent pas à payer rubis sur l’ongle les compagnies qui se déplacent jusqu’à eux. Or, toute baisse de la manne publique risquerait d’écarter les transporteurs, un danger que les petits aéroports ne peuvent se permettre s’ils veulent survivre.

Ils prennent donc des mesures, avec une ligne éditoriale claire et trois angles d’attaque :

- estimer la rentabilité des aéroports non pas en terme de résultat d’exploitation mais de leur rôle dans l’économie locale,
- prémunir les aéroports de moins d’un million de passagers contre les nouvelles lignes directrices européennes,
- obtenir de pouvoir réaliser les investissements nécessaires sur les infrastructures dès lors que l’exploitation vise l’aménagement du territoire.

Or, si la région Languedoc est encartée PS, c’est bien au sein de l’UMP que les réseaux seront les plus mobilisés. Pour porter haut les couleurs du pays d’oc, un homme est tout désigné : Franck Proust, eurodéputé spécialiste des transports et accessoirement maire adjoint de Nîmes Métropole qui a inauguré, le 3 avril 2013, des travaux d’agrandissement de l’aéroport très coûteux.

A cette époque, M. Proust défend encore devant les caméras l’idée d’une mutualisation des aéroports et d’une réduction de leur nombre. Trois mois plus tard, les choses vont changer radicalement.


Franck Proust -

Quand l’UMP s’en mêle

Juillet 2013, la Commission dévoile ses propositions de refonte du système des aides publiques aux aéroports. Le couperet tombe : au-dessus de 200 000 passagers, un aéroport devra se débrouiller par ses propres moyens. C’est sévère, trop sévère pour la région Languedoc-Roussillon qui dispose à elle seule de onze aéroports, qui dépendent des aides publiques, et dont seuls cinq accueillent plus de 200 000 passagers.

Candidat idéal pour mener la révolte dans les halls de Bruxelles, Franck Proust s’empare du sujet. Le 9 juillet, par le biais d’un communiqué, l’eurodéputé, ancien libéral fraîchement converti aux joies de l’Etat-providence, accuse l’Europe de condamner les aéroports régionaux avec ces nouvelles règles d’attribution. Appelant à considérer l’impact positif pour le développement souligné par plusieurs études, il exige derechef une révision des aides.

Le maire adjoint de Nîmes appelle à un grand rassemblement le 17 septembre 2013 au Parlement européen, organisé par l’Union des Aéroport Français et l’ACI Europe, conseil des aéroports européens.

A l’échelle nationale aussi, l’UMP s’organise. Rien de surprenant : Jean-Paul Fournier, vice-président de l’UMP depuis février 2013, est par ailleurs maire de Nîmes. Il brigue un nouveau mandat en 2014 et l’enquête de la Commission ferait tache sur son bilan.

Par le truchement de deux sénateurs, Jean Bizet et Bernard Saugey, le parti de l’opposition publie le 9 septembre 2013 une contre-résolution européennereprenant les arguments déjà exposés par la région Languedoc en 2012 : loin de nier les subventions et les aides financières accordées aux compagnies à bas coût, on préfère mettre en avant l’impact économique positif pour les régions – en oubliant sciemment que ce dernier fait parfois débat.

Le grand retournement

Fort du succès de son initiative au Parlement et soutenu par les grands pontes de l’UMP, Franck Proust réussit fin 2013 à obtenir une pétition d’une cinquantaine d’eurodéputés, parmi lesquels des personnalités politiques comme Brice Hortefeux ou Rachida Dati.

Le mouvement ne peut plus être ignoré, d’autant plus que Michel Barnier, commissaire européen au service et relais de l’UMP auprès de la Commission, semble être sensible aux arguments de sa famille politique. Franck Proust le remerciera par la suite dans un communiqué« saluant son action » et« remerciant sa détermination sans faille ». Peut-être est-ce soutien qui lui a permis de rencontrer le 4 février 2014 José-Manuel Barroso afin de négocier de nouvelles aides régionales.

Fort du soutien accordé par sa famille politique, le député réussit sans peine à convaincre l’exécutif européen de se rallier à sa position, surtout de pondérer les ardeurs du socialiste Joaquin Amulnia.

Deux semaines plus tard, les nouvelles lignes directrices sur le transport aérien sont publiées. Elles intègrent à la surprise générale un régime spécial pour les petits aéroports de moins de 700,000 passagers. Mieux, les enquêtes de la Commission portant sur les aides d’Etat accordées à 28 aéroports européens seront jugées à l’aune de la nouvelle réglementation, beaucoup plus souple et avantageuse pour les aéroports.

Pour Bill Hemmings, responsable aviation de l’ONG Transport &Environment, ces lignes directrices ne font pas que « légaliser les subventions » ; elles donnent « un blanc-seing aux aéroports et aux compagnies aériennes qui se sont rendues coupables de mauvaise gestion dans le passé ».

Selon un acteur du transport aérien cité par la Tribune, il s’agit surtout une porte ouverte à la compagnie low cost Ryanair qui aurait bénéficié d’aides au niveau européen pendant de nombreuses années.

Simple coïncidence ? Sur les cinq aéroports du Languedoc, Ryanair opère en monopole.

 http://www.reporterre.net/spip.php?article5630

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See earlier:

 

European Commission Commission adopts new guidelines for state aid to airports and airlines

20.2.2014

The European Commission has now adopted new guidelines on how Member States can financially support airports and airlines in line with EU state aid rules. The EC says the guidelines are “aimed at ensuring good connections between regions and the mobility of European citizens, while minimising distortions of competition in the Single Market.” The aim is to ensure fair competition for flag carriers down to low-cost airlines, from regional airports to major hub airports and avoid overcapacity and the duplication of unprofitable airports. Aid is allowed if there is  seen to be a genuine need for accessibility by air to a region.  Operating aid to regional airports (with less than 3 million passengers a year) will be allowed for a transitional period of 10 years under certain conditions, in order to give airports time to adjust their business model. Airports will less than 700 000 passengers a year get more favourable treatment. Start-up aid to airlines to launch a new air route is permitted provided it remains limited in time. The formal adoption of the new guidelines in is expected by March 2014.

 http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20007

 

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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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Read more »

Heathrow 3rd runway – for “the sovereign wealth funds which control the business & want the best possible return”

A piece in the Observer,  written by an  un-named author, keen on a Heathrow 3rd runway, sums up the both the undesirability of a new Heathrow runway and its impossibility. Here are a few quotes from it.  Its title, on he resignation of Colin Matthews, sums up its style: “Heathrow needs a flashier pilot now.”….” But Matthews’s operational success has made him the wrong person for the next phase of the job – not least for the sovereign wealth funds who control the business and want the best possible return. And that means a third or fourth runway.” …. “The airport’s owners needs a leader who can persuade the public – particularly in west London – as well as the three main political parties, that a new runway is in Britain’s best interests. This will require showmanship.”…. “With many west Londoners in marginal constituencies unlikely to ever be won over by the case for a bigger Heathrow, ministers and opposition leaders will need persuading that the political cost is worth it.  So the new Heathrow chief executive will need charm and political nous.”
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Heathrow needs a flashier pilot now

6.4.2014 (Observer)

Rigorous, tightly controlled and rather unexciting, the Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews embodied in his personal qualities everything that passengers expected of Britain’s biggest airport itself. Apart from the 2010 snow fiasco that should have cost him his job, he kept Heathrow out of the headlines and got the airport working again after standards collapsed in the wake of Ferrovial’s takeover in 2006.

So Matthews will walk away this summer – having announced his departure last week – with deserved plaudits, led by the 75% of passengers who now rate the Heathrow experience as good or excellent.

But Matthews’s operational success has made him the wrong person for the next phase of the job – not least for the sovereign wealth funds who control the business and want the best possible return. And that means a third or fourth runway.

Matthews brought his mastery of detail to the expansion debate, but when combined with that metronomic rigour it gave the impression that he had been making the same argument for six years. Heathrow’s contribution has run on autopilot. The airport’s owners needs a leader who can persuade the public – particularly in west London – as well as the three main political parties, that a new runway is in Britain’s best interests. This will require showmanship.

The independent airports commission has already gone some way to giving a post-2015 government the political cover for a volte face on expansion, which will be a considerable turnaround given that the main parties are opposed to a new runway.

With many west Londoners in marginal constituencies unlikely to ever be won over by the case for a bigger Heathrow, ministers and opposition leaders will need persuading that the political cost is worth it.

So the new Heathrow chief executive will need charm and political nous, as well as the ability to keep an eye on an operation that, when it goes wrong, is instantly rebranded as one of Britain’s most derided institutions. Energy bosses need not apply.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/apr/06/fca-wrong-big-finance-seeking-redress

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 Earlier:

 

Heathrow airport boss Colin Matthews to leave some time after June – replacement later this year

April 2, 2014

Heathrow has started the search for a new chief executive after announcing that Colin Matthews is to stand down after 6 years in charge. Colin Matthews took up the job in March 2008 after the shambolic Terminal 5 opening. As well as operating Britain’s main international hub airport, his successor faces a tough political challenge of trying to persuade the 3 main parties to back a 3rd Heathrow runway. Matthews said that “once Terminal 2 has opened later this year (due 4th June), I have decided the time is right to pass on the baton. “He said he would be 70 by 2026, when a new runway (if it ever got built) would open, and it would not be possible for him to see it through till then. The Guardian considers the most prominent internal candidate to be the development director, John Holland-Kaye, who is charged with the Terminal 2 revamp. However previous appointments have come from outside the airport group. Matthews will remain in place until his successor is in place to ensure a smooth transition.

Click here to view full story…

 


 

 

Heathrow business case looks shaky if it had to give £100 million + per year noise compensation to households

April 3, 2014

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia says Heathrow’s business case is beginning to look very shaky. Heathrow’s owners would have to spend £100 million every year to households around the airport if it is to match Gatwick’s new noise compensation offer. In its PR efforts to win over local opposition, Gatwick has offered to pay £1,000 each to existing homes inside a 57 decibel catchment around the airport, once (if) a 2nd runway is built. This would include 4,100 homes, and the cost would be £4.1 million per year. Wandsworth calculates payments on this scale would cost Heathrow about £100 million per year. Gatwick has also offered to pay up to 2,000 qualifying local households a one-off grant of up to £3,000 towards noise insulation. If Heathrow was to match the terms of this scheme it could cost the airport a further £210 million per year. M r Govindia said the Airports Commission must give proper consideration to the “real noise impact of an airport set in the most densely populated part of the country. ….Once you weigh the real environmental costs – and those for improved surface access – against the claimed benefits of an additional runway, Heathrow’s business case begins to look very shaky.”

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

Gatwick’s 1st runway consultation exhibition – met with spirited opposition by those to be badly affected

Gatwick airport has started a period of 6 weeks of consultation on its plans for a 2nd runway. The consultation is something of a PR exercise,  as the Airports Commission has only short listed the wide spaced runway option. Gatwick Airport is, for some reason best known to itself, including the narrow spaced runway (which it does not want) in the consultation options.  There is a series of exhibitions planned, by Gatwick airport, in a number of towns and villages over the coming weeks, with the first today in Crawley – the town which might be the worst affected by a 2nd runway. There was spirited opposition by people fighting plans for a new runway, and especially those who have recently found themselves under a  new “trial” flight path.  Feedback from the exhibition was that it was well attended, by several hundred people, many of whom appeared to be against a new runway.  One of their questions was how to fill in the forms, to clearly convey their opposition to any runway – there is just one box  people can tick, on the last page, in Section D, “None of these options.”
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New group, CAGNE ( Communities against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) outside the first Gatwick airport exhibition at Crawley

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Members of CAGNE and GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) talking to members of the public on their way into the Gatwick exhibition in Crawley 

There was spirited opposition by people fighting plans for a new runway, and especially those who have recently found themselves under a  new “trial” flight path, which has been instigated (for 6 months) by GAL and NATS, without any prior notice or consultation with those now badly affected.

Feedback from the exhibition was that it was well attended, by several hundred people, the majority of whom appeared to be against a new runway.  One of their questions was how to fill in the forms, to clearly convey their opposition to any runway. The forms only have one box, somewhat concealed in section D, by which respondents can tick “None of these options.”

There were people – around 300 – queuing outside the venue at 11am. There was a lot of interest and support for the campaigners against a new runway.

People were not aware there was a box they could tick, to demonstrate their opposition to any new runway.  Campaigners were able to explain to many people that the “None of the above” box was on the last page, (Section D,  and also that people need to be careful how they fill in the detail which comes before it – several multiple choice sections.

Wandered about listening to peoples reaction, a significant number were somewhat taken aback at the scale of the development proposed. A 2nd runway with a new terminal would bring Gatwick to around the size of Heathrow today.

Many people were definitely against a  new runway, though there were a number who supported the runway plans, whatever  the consequences.

Speaking as the consultation on the options for a second runway got underway, CAGNE Chairperson, Sally Pavey said:

“Gatwick do not seem willing to give residents new flight paths route maps that a new runway would demand, you have to ask why?”

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Consultation contains no proper NO option:

In the consultation, the ONLY option through which someone can express their opposition to any new runway is a tiny option in section D.  As copied below:

Gatwick consultation NO option

 


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The consultation response form is at

https://research.ipsosinteractive.com/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll

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Details of the consultation:

Gatwick consultation published: A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’

Date added: April 4, 2014

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has put forward 3 options for a 2nd runway at Gatwick and is now asking for comment from the public to its consultation. They key omission in their consultation is a proper option to say NO to any new runway. A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’ at the start of the response form. As it is, there is a small box buried in section D with the option of “None of these options”. Gatwick is asking people to choose between a narrow spaced runway (something the airport does not want, as it would not be practical – so it cannot be considered a serious option) and whether a wide spaced runway(1045 metres south of the existing runway) should be used for both landings and take offs, or for just landings or take offs, at one time. The Airports Commission has effectively already ruled out the narrow spaced runway, so its inclusion in the consultation seems to be a bit of a PR exercise. The purpose of the consultation is to help Gatwick get their runway plans approved, and if possible, keep public opposition to a minimum. Consultation ends 16th May (which is the date all runway proposals must be submitted to the Airports Commission).

Click here to view full story…

 

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There will be a series of exhibitions:

Exhibition dates

Crawley, Sat 5 April
Rusper, Mon 7 April
Smallfield, Tues 8 April
Ifield, Weds 9 April
Lingfield, Fri 11 April
Felbridge, Sat 12 April
Epsom, Tues 15 April
Crowborough, Thurs 17 Apr
East Grinstead, Tues 22 April
Reigate, Weds 23 April
Crawley Down, Fri 25 April
Horley, Sat 26 April
Charlwood, Mon 28 April
Dorking, Thurs 1 May
Edenbridge, Fri 2 May
Horsham, Sat 3 May

 

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Read more »

Gatwick consultation published: A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has put forward 3 options for a 2nd runway at Gatwick and is now asking for comment from the public to its consultation. They key omission in their consultation is a proper option to say NO to any new runway. A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’ at the start of the response form.  As it is, there is a small box buried in section D with the option of “None of these options”.  Gatwick is asking people to choose between a narrow spaced runway (something the airport does not want, as it would not be practical – so it cannot be considered a serious option) and whether a wide spaced runway (1045 metres south of the existing runway) should be used for both  landings and take offs, or for just landings or take offs, at one time.  The Airports Commission  has effectively already ruled out the narrow spaced runway, so its inclusion in the consultation seems to be a bit of a PR exercise.  The purpose of the consultation is to help Gatwick get their runway  plans approved, and if possible, keep public opposition to a minimum.  Consultation ends 16th May (which is the date all runway proposals must be submitted to the Airports Commission).
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Gatwick airport says, of its consultation:

https://research.ipsosinteractive.com/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll

This consultation will run from 4th April to 16th May 2014

Gatwick Airport Limited has put forward three options for a second runway at Gatwick Airport and is keen to receive your feedback on these options. Before answering any of the consultation questions, please read the consultation document entitled “A Second Runway for Gatwick” which is available at www.gatwickairport.com/consultation

As part of this consultation, we are asking stakeholders, the local community and any other interested parties to give us their views and complete this response form.

Please note that the character limit for each open ended question response is 4,000 characters. If you want to provide a longer answer than this for any of the questions, please email it to the following email address: gatwickrunwayconsultation@ipsos.com, or post it to the address below.

Please ensure you include your name and address so we can include any additional comments you make with your original response.

If you are unable to complete this response form online, please e-mail your response to   gatwickrunwayconsultation@ipsos.com

or send in a paper version of your response to the address below:

Freepost RSLG ATKL LBAE
Gatwick Runway Consultation
Ipsos MORI
Research Services House
Elmgrove Road
Harrow
HA1 2QG

If you would like a paper copy of the response form, please call 0800 2600 538 or send an email to consultationqueries@gatwickairport.com

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The consultation response form is at

http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/New-runway/Second-runway-consultation/

Click on the “Have Your Say” option.

online response form


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No proper NO option

There is no proper way in which anyone filling in the form can say they do not support any new runway. The only place on the response form where this is possible is a box buried in Section D which gives the option of “None of these options” to the three schemes proposed.

Gatwick consultation NO option

The local community group opposed to a new runway, GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) says this is “difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’. “  Brendon Sewill, Chairman of GACC, commented: “They’re frightened too many people would vote ‘No new runway.’ ”

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GACC describes Gatwick consultation as “plush and bogus” – it gives no proper chance to say “no” to a new runway

April 4, 2014

The consultation published by Gatwick Airport today is described by GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) as ‘plush but bogus.’ It is plush because no expense has been spared in an attempt to make a new Gatwick runway look inevitable. But it makes no economic or environmental sense to build a new Gatwick runway when Stansted is not forecast to be full until around 2040. It is bogus because the Airports Commission has already ruled out Option 1, the close-parallel runway. GACC’s objections remain as strong as ever. They will campaign vigorously against any new runway. The consultation document contains no maps showing future flight paths – which is an issue of huge significance to local people. It also ignores the inconvenient issue of necessary increases in landing fees, to pay for a runway + terminal. The consultation is deeply flawed, as it gives no proper option to oppose any new runway. There is merely one small option of “None of these options” buried in its section D. That is difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’.

Click here to view full story…

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The main consultation questions 

A. Questions about the development

A1 To what extent, if at all, would you say you are personally concerned about each of the following potential impacts of a second runway development at Gatwick Airport?

They ask for ” Very concerned; Fairly concerned; Not very concerned; Not at all concerned; No views either way; Don’t know” on the following topics:

Air quality
Flood risk
Impact on business premises
Impact on ecology/wildlife
Impact on community facilities
Impact on homes
Impact on open space
Noise
A2 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about the potential impacts of a second runway development at Gatwick Airport?
There is a text box for key comments.

A3 Thinking about a second runway development at Gatwick Airport, to what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

They ask for “Strongly agree; Tend to agree; Neither agree nor disagree; Tend to disagree; Strongly disagree; Don’t know” on the following topics:

It will benefit the local economy (Section 2.5)
It will benefit the regional economy (Section 2.5)
It will benefit the national economy (Section 2.5)
It will create jobs related to Gatwick Airport (Section 2.5)
It will create other jobs in the local area (Section 2.5)
It will improve public transport for people in the local area (Section 2.3)

A4 Thinking about a second runway at Gatwick Airport, to what extent, if at all, do you think the following would benefit you personally?

They ask for comments on “A great deal; A fair amount; Not very much; Not at all; Don’t know” on the following topics:

Benefits to the local economy (Section 2.5)
Benefits to the national economy (Section 2.5)
Creation of jobs related to Gatwick Airport (Section 2.5)
Creation of other jobs in the local area (Section 2.5)
Improved bus services in the local area (Section 2.3)
Improved rail services to and from Gatwick Airport (Section 2.3)
Improved road connections (Section 2.3)
Wider range of flight destinations from Gatwick Airport (Section 2.5

A5 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about the potential benefits of a second runway development at Gatwick Airport?
There is a text box for key comments.

A6 To what extent do you support or oppose Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals

They ask for “Strongly support; Tend to support; No views either way; Tend to oppose; Strongly oppose; Don’t know” on the following topics:

Providing noise bunds and noise walls to limit ground noise (Section 2.1 and 2.2)
Providing embankments / planting to screen airport development (Section 2.1 and 2.2)
Diverting the River Mole to the west of Gatwick Airport (Section 2.1 and 2.2)
Measures to limit the risk of flooding on the airport and in the local area (Section 2.1)
Seeking to replace lost open space and community facilities (Section 2.1 and 2.4)

A7 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals to mitigate the impacts of the development?

There is a text box for key comments.

B. Questions about surface transport

B1 To what extent do you support or oppose Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals.
They ask for “Strongly support; Tend to support; No views either way; Tend to oppose; Strongly oppose; Don’t know” on the following topics:

The route of the A23 to the east of Gatwick Airport
Reconnection of local roads, cycle paths, footpaths, bridleways
The M23 at Junction 9
The M23 airport spur road
The local buses and coach services
Gatwick rail station including improved access for local residents to local rail and bus interchange facilities

B2 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposed Surface Access Strategy for a second runway development at Gatwick Airport?

There is a text box for key comments.

C. Questions about airport related development

C1 To what extent do you support or oppose Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals

They ask for “Strongly support; Tend to support; No views either way; Tend to oppose; Strongly oppose; Don’t know” on the following topics:

Accommodating all airport related development within the boundary of Gatwick Airport
Protecting existing woodland where possible
Locating all cargo and aircraft maintenance facilities in a single location on the northern apron of Gatwick Airport
Identifying land for replacement of lost industrial and commercial premises

C2 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals for airport related development?

There is a text box for key comments.

C3 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have on the subject of runway crossings?

There is a text box for key comments.

Gatwick consultation NO option

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There will be a series of exhibitions:

Exhibition dates

Crawley, Sat 5 April
Rusper, Mon 7 April
Smallfield, Tues 8 April
Ifield, Weds 9 April
Lingfield, Fri 11 April
Felbridge, Sat 12 April
Epsom, Tues 15 April
Crowborough, Thurs 17 Apr
East Grinstead, Tues 22 April
Reigate, Weds 23 April
Crawley Down, Fri 25 April
Horley, Sat 26 April
Charlwood, Mon 28 April
Dorking, Thurs 1 May
Edenbridge, Fri 2 May
Horsham, Sat 3 May

 

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Related documents

These are the documents Gatwick airport has published, along with its consultation:

Our main consultation document ‘A Second Runway for Gatwick – Our 2014 Runway Options Consultation’ gives full details of our runway options and contains all the information you will need to respond to the consultation. We also produced a summary document ‘Consultation Summary – An introduction to our Runway Options Consultation’.

Consultation Summary: ‘An introduction to our Runway Options Consultation’
Consultation Document: ‘A Second Runway for Gatwick – Our 2014 Runway Options Consultation’
Consultation Document layout plans and noise contour plans
High resolution noise contour plan for Option 1
High resolution noise contour plan for Option 2
High resolution noise contour plan for Option 3

Other documents

Other documents, which do not form part of the consultation, are provided here for information purposes only:

Property market support bond summary document
Home owner support scheme summary document
Noise insulation scheme summary
Report by David McMillan – December 2013 flooding
Access Gatwick (airport surface access strategy)
Decade of Change (main document)
Decade of Change (latest annual report document)
Gatwick 2012 Masterplan

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GACC describes Gatwick consultation as “plush and bogus” – it gives no proper chance to say “no” to a new runway

The consultation published by Gatwick Airport today is described by GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) as ‘plush but bogus.’  It is plush because no expense has been spared in an attempt to make a new Gatwick runway look inevitable.  But it makes no economic or environmental sense to build a new Gatwick runway when Stansted is not forecast to be full until around 2040.  It is bogus because the Airports Commission has already ruled out Option 1, the close-parallel runway.  GACC’s objections remain as strong as ever.  They will campaign vigorously against any new runway. The consultation document contains no maps showing future flight paths  - which is an issue of huge significance to local people.  It also ignores the inconvenient issue of necessary increases in landing fees, to  pay for a runway + terminal. The consultation is deeply flawed, as it gives no proper option to oppose any new runway. There is merely one small option of “None of these options” buried in its section D. That is difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’.  
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Plush but bogus

4.4.2014 (press release from GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

The consultation published by Gatwick Airport today is described by GACC as ‘plush but bogus.’

Plush because no expense has been spared in an attempt to make a new Gatwick runway look inevitable.  But it makes no economic or environmental sense to build a new Gatwick runway when Stansted is not forecast to be full until 2040[Forecast published by Airports Commission.  January 2014]

Bogus because the Airports Commission has already ruled out Option 1, the close-parallel runway.  As GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill, said: ‘Gatwick is inviting the public to bet on a horse that has been declared a non‑runner – something that no honest bookmaker would ever do!’

GACC’s objections remain as strong as ever.  We will campaign vigorously against any new runway because we believe that making Gatwick larger than Heathrow today would alter the character of Surrey, Sussex and west Kent for ever.

We will be examining the documents in detail and will point out any defects in the design.  We note already two serious omissions -

-  no maps showing future flight paths; and

-  no indication of how much landing fees would need to rise to cover the cost.[ see below - study by Brendon  Sewill ]

Originally Gatwick Airport said that there would be no box for people to tick if they wished to vote for no new runway.  GACC protested strongly and the airport have half relented.

There is now a box labelled ‘None of the above’.  But it is difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’.  As Sewill commented: ‘They’re frightened too many people would vote ‘No new runway.’

 www.gacc.org.uk

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The consultation is at http://www.gatwickairport.com/consultation/  and the form can be filled in online.

Respondents may wish to go through all the options in all the sections, giving their opinion about what effect a  new runway would have. They map prefer to simple put a comment in the first comment box that is available (most is must multiple choice) to say they oppose a new runway, and then tick the NO option in section D.

People can also contact the consultation team at Gatwick to say they oppose any of the three options, at:

Tel: 0800 2600 538
Email: consultationqueries@gatwickairport.com and/or  at gatwickrunwayconsultation@ipsos.com


 

Consultation contains no proper NO option:

In the consultation, the ONLY option through which someone can express their opposition to any new runway is a tiny option in section D.  As copied below:

Gatwick consultation NO option

 


Study into ticket price rise

A research study by Brendon Sewill, published by the Aviation Environment, March 2014 found that the cost of a new Gatwick runway would require airport charges (landing fees etc) per passenger to rise by £50 per return flight.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20374


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The Airports Commission produced air passenger forecasts for 4 scenarios, in January 2014. Two of these are for there being no new runway in the 2020s (ie. their “constrained” forecasts). These have higher passenger numbers at Stansted – understandably – than forecasts with a new Heathrow / Gatwick runway.
Even these forecasts only show Stansted up to 35 million passengers (at which it would be at capacity) by 2039.

See Airports Commission forecasts 2014  and their spreadsheets showing passenger forecasts at :

 

Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon traded, capacity unconstrained    Download CSV 9.26KB

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Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon traded, capacity constrained     Download CSV 4.03KB

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Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon capped, capacity unconstrained    Download CSV 4.05KB

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Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon capped, capacity constrained Download CSV 4.06KB

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Details of the consultation:

Gatwick consultation published: A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’

Date added: April 4, 2014

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has put forward 3 options for a 2nd runway at Gatwick and is now asking for comment from the public to its consultation. They key omission in their consultation is a proper option to say NO to any new runway. A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’ at the start of the response form. As it is, there is a small box buried in section D with the option of “None of these options”. Gatwick is asking people to choose between a narrow spaced runway (something the airport does not want, as it would not be practical – so it cannot be considered a serious option) and whether a wide spaced runway(1045 metres south of the existing runway) should be used for both landings and take offs, or for just landings or take offs, at one time. The Airports Commission has effectively already ruled out the narrow spaced runway, so its inclusion in the consultation seems to be a bit of a PR exercise. The purpose of the consultation is to help Gatwick get their runway plans approved, and if possible, keep public opposition to a minimum. Consultation ends 16th May (which is the date all runway proposals must be submitted to the Airports Commission).

Click here to view full story…

 

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A new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick would mean big increases in passenger fees – New report

March 10, 2014

Who pays

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has submitted a new report to the Airports Commission which casts doubt on the feasibility of building a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow. So far there has been little realistic discussion about who will actually pay for the proposed runways. The new study,Who Would Pay for a New Runway” by Brendon Sewill, shows that a new runway at Heathrow would be likely to mean an increase in landing fees and other airport charges from £19 per passenger now, up to £31. At Gatwick there would be a larger increase, up from £8 now to £33.60. The study points out that with all the London airports separately owned, unlike in the days of BAA, the cost will have to fall only on the passengers using that airport. If an expensive runway (and terminal) is built, the options are either that the passengers pay for it – or that it has to have public subsidy. A report for the Airports Commission, by KPMG, concluded that a new Heathrow runway would need a subsidy of around £11 billion, and a new Gatwick runway a subsidy of nearly £18 billion. However, the Government is reluctant to commit public funds, and new EU guidelines ruling out subsidies to major airports. That leaves landing charges – will passengers put up with that, or vote with their feet by using cheaper airports?

Click here to view full story…

 

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European Parliament votes to continue with partial inclusion of aviation in weakened ETS – for intra-EU flights only till at least 2016

The European Parliament voted on 3rd April to alter the ETS so that, instead of airlines being charged for all the carbon of flights into and out of the EU, the scheme will only cover carbon emissions for intra-EU flights.  This is the “Stop the Clock” (STC) deal, which started in 2013.  It means charges for CO2 emissions will be made for flights by European airlines, and for the very few by non-EU airlines between European airports. This severe  weakening of the ETS has been caused by relentless pressure from foreign powers (USA, China, India and Russia as the main opponents), and means the ETS will only cover a small fraction of total aviation carbon emissions associated with flights to and from all European countries.  The vote on 3rd reverses the position taken by the European  Parliament’s environment committee last month, when it rejected the change to intra-EU flights only, and very narrowly voted on a compromise that would have required non-EU flights to still pay for their CO2 emissions within EU airspace.  The “Stop the Clock” weak version of the ETS will now run until the end of 2016 and the agreement allows for a return to the original full scope of the scheme from 2017 should an agreement at ICAO to implement a global market-based mechanism from 2020 not be reached at its Assembly in 2016.

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The decision will now go back to the Council for adoption at a meeting of ministers on April 14 before the legislation is published in the Official Journal of the EU by the end of the month.

 

MEPs back deal to change ETS rules for aviation

By Dave Keating  (European Voice)

3.4.2014

The change, demanded by foreign powers, will mean only intra-EU flights have to pay for CO2 emissions in EU airspace.

MEPs voted today (3 April) to back a deal reached with member states to alter the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) so that foreign airlines will not have to pay for the CO2 emissions they emit in EU airspace. The change was demanded by China, Russia, India and the United States.

The vote reverses the position taken by theParliament’s environment committee last month. The committee rejected the change and sided instead with a compromise idea from the European Commission which would make non-EU flights still pay for their emissions within EU airspace.

The foreign powers have been lobbying European capitals to change the law, which was agreed by MEPs and member states in 2008. After aviation came under the scheme on 1 January 2012 as planned, the foreign powers said that making airlines pay for emissions from flights that either land or take off at an airport outside the EU is a violation of national sovereignty. Airbus has also been lobbying national capitals and MEPs – fearful of losing order from China in retaliation, according to sources.

After the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreed a timeline toward a future global mechanism to reduce aviation emissions in September, the European Commission proposed a compromise that would exempt emissions taking place outside EU airspace, but still make foreign airlines pay for their emissions taking place within EU airspace. The Parliament backed this approach.

However this ‘partial retreat’ was not good enough for the foreign powers. They demanded that their airlines be completely exempt. The UK, Germany and France agreed, and demanded that the ETS law be changed to completely exempt any flight that lands or takes off outside the EU. Centre-right German MEP Peter Liese, leading negotiations for the Parliament, agreed to this demand on the condition that this arrangement ends at the end of 2016, when ICAO is next scheduled to meet.

The environment committee rejected Liese’s deal last month. With a temporary exemption for foreign flights set to end next month, there were fears that if the full Parliament rejected the deal today it could spark a trade war.

Following today’s vote, Liese suggested that the Parliament is still leaving with some dignity intact. “Negotiations have been very difficult, but in the end, we succeeded, also in Parliament,” he said. “Parliament could not accept the Council’s wish to ‘stop the clock’ until 2020. We have the next International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly in 2016, and if it fails to deliver a global agreement, then nobody could justify our maintaining such an exemption for another four years. Our system will then automatically snap back to full scope.”

However environmental campaigners were furious with what they called an ‘EU surrender’.

“European governments and politicians have chosen to effectively scrap the only law in the world that attempts to curb aviation’s soaring emissions,” said Bill Hemmings, aviation manager with green transport group T&E. “Regulating emissions in European airspace is not only our right, but also our obligation – something those who cried wolf about a ‘trade war’ seem to have forgotten.”

Small European airlines which operate only in Europe also condemned the change. Both the European Low Fares Airlines Association and the European Regions Airline Association say it is unfare to charge intra-EU flights to charges while foreign airlines in the same skies are exempt. But the European Airlines Association, which represents large airlines which operate routes that leave Europe, welcomed the adoption.

The vote passed at plenary level because the full centre-left S&D group did not take the same position as their counterparts on the environment committee. Centre-left MEPs were allowed a free vote on the issue. The liberal ALDE group was also split on the issue. Liberal MEPs on the environment committee such as Chris Davies from the UK and Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy from the Netherlands tried to convince their colleagues to vote against the deal, but in the end were unsuccessful.

“We should not allow the EU to be bullied by the Chinese threatening trade wars over what we do in our own airspace,” Davies said last week. “Here we are going into elections. What is the point of getting elected to the European Parliament if we’re simply going to do what the Chinese tell us?”

 

http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2014/april/meps-back-deal-to-change-ets-rules-for-aviation/80416.aspx

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Feisty exchanges over Aviation EU ETS as European Parliament votes to continue with ‘Stop the Clock’

 

Thu 3 Apr 2014

(GreenAir online)

The European Parliament today voted in favour of a compromise agreement brokered between Parliament rapporteurs and EU member states, represented by the European Council. The vote will see a resumption of the ‘Stop the Clock’ (STC) scope in which only intra-European Economic Area (EEA) flights will be covered by the Aviation EU ETS, rather than the proposal by the European Commission to also include emissions from international flights within EEA airspace.

Despite the large majority in favour of the compromise – 458 for, 120 against and 24 abstentions – the vote was preceded by feisty exchanges between MEPs in a debate on the issue. STC will now run from 2013 until the end of 2016 and the agreement allows for a return to the original full scope of the scheme from 2017 should an agreement at ICAO to implement a global market-based mechanism from 2020 not be reached at its Assembly in 2016.
Speaking after the vote, the Parliament’s lead rapporteur, Peter Liese, said he was not entirely happy with the outcome of the negotiations with the Council but it had been correct to adopt the compromise. A failure to have reached a compromise could have led to the end of the whole Aviation EU ETS directive as member states would have been unlikely to implement the airspace approach, although this was challenged by his Environment committee (ENVI) Chairman, Matthias Groote, who believed a better deal could have been struck with the member states.

Liese told the Parliament in the debate last night that it had been far from easy to find a compromise between the various Parliamentary committees and the Council on the issue but all sides had moved. “I changed my original proposals to find a compromise although my colleagues and I are not all of the same opinion but we have managed to achieve a great deal.”

He said the agreement with the Council was to limit the scope to intra-European flights for four years from 2013 and from 2017 revert to the full scope covering all international flights arriving and departing from Europe depending on whether ICAO reached a satisfactory outcome on a global MBM.

Liese said an ICAO agreement in 2016 had to lead to reduction in emissions and must be non-discriminatory and apply to all states, “so a second Kyoto won’t do”. He said he and his colleagues were sceptical of ICAO reaching such an agreement unless there was a successful conclusion to the UNFCCC COP meeting in Paris in 2015 that all countries signed up to.

Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told the Parliament that it was regrettable that the Council had not supported the Commission’s airspace proposal. “The Commission fought for and would have preferred a higher level of ambition,” she told MEPs. “It would have been better for Europe’s self-respect and reputation, and even better for the climate. But we are where we are and the compromise provides a basis for continued European regulatory action to reduce GHGs from aviation and provide much-needed legal certainty for all stakeholders before the compliance deadline.

“In return, we expect our international partners to recognise the constructive and flexible attitude the EU has shown and will now focus all attention on making progress on delivering a critical global deal by 2016.”

She said from contacts with third countries there had already been a positive response to the compromise reached.

She added the decision taken at the ICAO Assembly last year was as a result of European pressure and must now lead to the adoption of a global measure from 2020. “The Assembly in 2016 must therefore pin down the details of a fully-fledged global market-based mechanism for international aviation.”

She told the MEPs: “I share some of the frustrations around this file but I hope you will vote for this compromise text without further amendments.”

MEP Jacqueline Foster said she would support the compromise “under duress” but told Hedegaard the original proposal had been “a stupid and ill-conceived idea and nothing more than a tax on industry that had threatened much-needed jobs. We are global traders, not global dictators.” In a scathing attack on the Commission’s handling of the issue, she told Hedegaard: “You came across as arrogant and incompetent. You’re approach was naive and it was patronising.”

Eija-Riita Korhola, rapporteur on the file for the Industry committee (ITRE) said the Commission had been too ambitious with its proposal and an example of how things could go wrong. “Hopefully, this will not be repeated in future.”

However, a succession of MEPs said they could not support the compromise deal with the Council and would be voting in favour of the airspace proposal, including Matthias Groote, a shadow rapporteur alongside Liese.

Groote said ENVI had rejected the compromise as there were too many negative points but the 50/50 split on its vote showed how divided Parliament was on the issue. He added Europe was “genuflecting” to other powers.

On behalf of the Greens, Satu Hassi said it was a brave attempt to reach an agreement with the Council but she could not support the compromise. “It’s a shame the EU is taking a backward step due to pressure from Russia and China, whipped up by airlines.”

An angry Chris Davies, who had a feisty exchange with fellow UK MEP Foster, said the threats from China and others had left Europe looking weak and support for the compromise would be “absolutely shameful”, adding: “Of course we want a global deal but ICAO has been talking about wanting a global market-based mechanism since 2001. We have as much chance of getting one in 2020 as there are fairies in the bottom of garden. We are going to have to take national and regional action and this [airspace approach] is exactly the kind of initiative we should be taking – it sets a good example to the world and shows European leadership. The Council has completely let us down.”

However, with the Social Democrat group split on the issue and the centre-right EPP group, the largest in the Parliament, behind the compromise trilogue agreement, the vote proved a comfortable victory for Liese, himself a member of the EPP group.

The decision will now go back to the Council for adoption at a meeting of ministers on April 14 before the legislation is published in the Official Journal of the EU by the end of the month. Aircraft operators still included in the scheme will not have to report their 2013 emissions until the end of March 2015 or surrender emissions permits until the end of April 2015.

The scope of the EU ETS will be reduced still further with the exemption of small aircraft owners, such as business jets, with intra-EEA CO2 emissions of less than 1,000 tonnes. Also excluded are flights between EEA airports and the outermost regions of EU member states and also Switzerland.

Reaction to the vote from European airlines has been, at best, mixed, while environmental NGOs expressed their disappointment:

Association of European Airlines (AEA):

“Although AEA welcomes that the EP has taken a realistic approach which provides clarity for airlines for the next three years, we would have preferred legal certainty and planning stability until 2020 when the global market-based mechanism is due to come into force,” said Athar Husain Khan, AEA’s CEO. “The new scope puts an additional burden on airlines primarily serving intra-European routes but by amending the aviation ETS, the EP has paved the way for further progress at international level. AEA fully supports the ICAO process as it is the only way to ensure a global solution for a global problem.”

European Regions Airline Association (ERA):

Simon McNamara, Director General of the ERA, said: “By agreeing to this compromise, rather than suspending the entire scheme, Europe is penalising and damaging European operators flying intra-European flights. The scheme’s coverage is also reduced to only around 20% of EU aviation emissions which destroys any environmental credibility. ERA’s members will be hit hard by what is an extremely disappointing ruling.”

Boet Kreiken, ERA President, added: “ERA’s position has always has been that the entire scheme should have been put on hold for all flights pending a satisfactory agreement at ICAO level on a genuinely global scheme. We continue to support the objectives of addressing aviation’s impact on the environment and the role ICAO should play, but implementing a purely intra-European ETS until at least 2016 is not good news.

“This decision will mean that Europe’s citizens taking intra-European flights will have to pay more for their flights. The bottom line of Europe’s airlines will also be hit resulting in less money available to invest in environmentally efficient aircraft and procedures. The end result will damage the very environment and citizens that it is supposed to protect.

“This decision illustrates clearly that Europe does not yet have a true aviation policy. ERA is looking forward to working to develop with the European Commission and other stakeholders an integrated vision for aviation that is coherent, consistent and fair to Europe.”

European Low-Fares Airline Association (ELFAA):

A statement said: “ELFAA registered its disappointment at the outcome of today’s vote in the Parliament to further extend the very reduced scope of EU ETS to 2016. The casualties of this political compromise are the environment (less than 20% of EU aviation emissions being captured by intra-EU scope); intra-European operators; and European consumers who alone bear the cost penalty of this highly discriminatory outcome, with no meaningful environmental gain.

“ELFAA now calls on the Council to re-think their position on the draft trilogue agreement to further extend the discriminatory ‘Stop The Clock’ until 2016, failing which, ELFAA will have no option but to reactivate its currently stayed legal challenge against such discrimination.”

Transport & Environment (T&E):

Bill Hemmings, T&E Aviation Manager, said: “Just when the IPCC’s latest report shows how climate change is already affecting every aspect of human life, European governments and politicians have chosen to effectively scrap the only law in the world that attempts to curb aviation’s soaring emissions. Regulating emissions in European airspace is not only our right, but also our obligation – something those who cried wolf about a ‘trade war’ seem to have forgotten.

“If no meaningful progress is made in ICAO in 2016, the pressure on decision-makers to stand by their promise to revert back to a full aviation ETS will be overwhelming.”

WWF:

Jason Anderson, Head of European Climate and Energy Policy at WWF European Policy Office said: “A continuation of ‘Stop the Clock’ in order to achieve a global agreement at ICAO is making the environment pay the price as aviation emissions coverage in the EU ETS will now be reduced by 75%. The EU has compromised too much in pursuit of this aim, with no guarantee of success.

“What we need to see now is the BRICS, US and other countries to take a more constructive role within ICAO to ensure the adoption of a market based measure for aviation, ideally one that generates revenue to help developing countries take climate action. We also need to see the airline industry continuing to stand firm in their support of global and regional measures to reduce aviation emissions. Only then will the EU’s sacrifice not have been in vain.”

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1844

Links:

European Parliament – roll call of votes

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Some earlier news stories about the ETS:

 

EU Parliament ENVI committee narrowly votes against compromise of extending ETS “Stop the Clock” to 2016

March 19, 2014

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) has very narrowly voted to reject a deal to exempt long-haul flights (those into and out of Europe) from paying for their carbon emissions until the end of 2016 – the so-called “stop the clock” measure. This is intended to prevent the EU from bowing to international pressure from the USA, China, India etc. Currently only intra-EU flights are included, (no long haul) so the only aviation carbon that is being paid for is from these flights. The aviation ETS is the only international climate measure in place today that tackles aviation’s soaring CO2 emissions. The compromise of an extension to 2016 would effectively have dismantled the ETS, and was not the best way forward. The vote was a clear signal to political leaders in member states, industry and foreign countries that the EU’s sovereignty is not to be undermined by external bullying, and threats of trade sanctions. The next stage is for a vote in the full Parliament on 3rd April. If the Parliament agrees to reject the compromise, then the existing law would automatically apply, requiring all flights using EU airports to pay for all their emissions.

Click here to view full story…

 

EU compromise on inclusion of long haul flights in the ETS faces opposition – vote on 19th March

March 15, 2014

A number of EU politicians plan to vote against a deal to exempt long-haul flights, to and from Europe, from paying for carbon emissions until the end of 2016 in an attempt to prevent the EU from bowing to international pressure. The European Parliament’s 71-member Environment Committee will vote on March 19 on a deal brokered by EU diplomats earlier in March to extend a so-called “stop the clock” measure exempting intercontinental flights from regulation under its ETS. The vote on the 19th will be a preliminary indication of whether the proposal can win enough support in the full 766-strong EU Parliament, a step required before it can become law. If there is no agreement by the end of April, this is likely to reignite tensions with Europe’s major trading partners (US, China, India) and risk a trade war. Failure to reach agreement on continuing to allow flights into and out of the EU not to pay for their carbon emissions would be good news for environmentalists, as it would mean that an existing law that requires all aviation to pay for emissions would automatically apply. There is a lot of internal European politics involved.

Click here to view full story…

 

 

Vote on ETS in European Parliament on 19th March on whether “stop the clock” continues to 2016 or 2020

March 13, 2014

MEPs on the European Parliament’s environment committee will next week (19th) be faced with a difficult choice on aviation and the ETS – accept a humiliating surrender to America, Russian and Chinese bullying, or risk a trade war with grave economic consequences. Last week negotiators reached a deal to exempt non-EU airlines from paying for their CO2 emissions, in deference to pressure from Washington, Moscow and Beijing. The EU “stopped the clock” on the scheme, except for intra EU flights, and a decision on the next stage has to be made on when, and if, the carbon emissions from flights to and from the EU can again be included. Sticking with “stop the clock” gives advantages to hub airports just outside EU airspace, such as Istanbul, at the expense of EU competitors. The Parliament is demanding that the exemption should end in 2016 rather than in 2020, and the text agreed with member states says only an ICAO agreement which reduces emissions – rather than just halting the rise in emissions – would meet the conditions to allow carbon from flights to and from the EU to continue to be excluded. The UK wants the 2020 date. If the agreement is passed in the March 19 ENVI meeting, it will be presented at the Parliament’s plenary session on April 3 for a full vote by MEPs. If passed, the regulation will come into immediate effect.

Click here to view full story…

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Concerns over UK tourism as Europe improves Schengen visa system

The European Commission has unveiled proposals to make it easier for legitimate tourists and business people from countries such as China to visit countries which are part of the 26-nation Schengen agreement. The UK is not a member.  The EC believes the plans, speeding up and simplifying the application  process, could encourage an increase of up to 60% in trips to Schengen nations from China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the Ukraine. The EC hopes this would increase a large increase (€130 billion over 5 years perhaps) to the EC countries, and increase (they say 1.3 million) jobs in tourism and other related industries. Some businesses in the UK that benefit from high spending non-EC tourists have lobbied for years for the UK to join the Schengen visa, which covers 26 other European countries. At present visitors have to obtain a separate UK visa, which is a bureaucratic and time consuming process. Some businesses fear the UK will lose out on high spending tourists if the UK system stays the same, but the Schengen visa process is simplified. The tourists are, of course, not deterred by any lack of airport capacity – as has been claimed.
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Concerns over UK tourism as Europe improves Schengen visa system

The European Commission wants to make it quicker and easier for tourists from countries such as China to apply for Schengen visas, which allow entry to 26 countries excluding the UK.

Paramilitary policemen stand in attention and salute while Chinese national flag is lowered at sunset

China is now the biggest source of international tourism income. Photo: AP
By , Leisure & Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)

2 Apr 2014

Businesses have warned that the UK is in danger of losing out on an even greater number of high-spending Chinese tourists to rival economies on the continent, as the European Commission seeks to speed up and simplify the Schengen visa application process.

The European Commission has just unveiled a raft of proposals to make it easier for legitimate tourists and business people from countries such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia to visit countries which are part of the 26-nation Schengen agreement. The UK is not a member.

The Commission believes the plans, which include reducing the maximum amount of time to process a visa from 15 days to 10 and simplifying the application form, could encourage an increase of up to 60pc in trips to Schengen nations from China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the Ukraine.

This could deliver a €130bn boost (£108bn) over five years, according to the EC, and generate an additional 1.3m jobs in tourism and other related industries.

Businesses operating in the UK have long campaigned to update the UK’s own visa rules for visitors from China in particular, who are now the highest spending tourists in the world, according to a study by the UN World Tourism Organisation.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, responded in the autumn with proposals to improve the UK system, including a pilot programme that allows selected Chinese travel agents to apply for a UK visa using the Schengen form, but companies have continued to raise concerns about how Britain is missing out on vital tourist pounds.

According to the UK China Visa Alliance, a coalition of tourism companies and retailers, nine out of ten Chinese visitors to Europe only apply for one visa and the overwhelming majority, 82pc, opt for a Schengen visa.

Companies fear the proposed improvements to Schengen, which also include allowing online applications and a new “touring visa” allowing trips of up to a year, could drive even more business to competitor countries in Europe.

British Airways’ parent, International Airlines Group, said: “Europe is opening its doors to high spending Chinese visitors. Our European competitors understand that they bring wealth and investment. While the UK claims to be ‘open for business’ it makes it very hard and expensive for the Chinese to do business here. This is costing us jobs and growth.”

Simon Vincent, president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, at hotels giant Hilton Worldwide, said: “It’s vital that Britain can compete with the Schengen countries for overseas visitors and this announcement underpins yet again why improvements to the UK visa system are so important. These need to be driven through quickly and effectively so that the UK does not lose valuable tourism business in a sector worth well in excess of £100bn per year.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/leisure/10740220/Concerns-over-UK-tourism-as-Europe-improves-Schengen-visa-system.html

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Three of the comments  under the article: 

The UK is one of the top destinations in the world because it is a great place to visit for so many reasons. Do we really believe that we need to make it even more easy than it already is to get a tourist visa to maintain our popularity? Do we want to be the McDonalds of tourism? We have more history and value than most countries, let’s not sell it cheap. Visitors appreciate the quality of our offer and will make an effort to be here.

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The alternative, as we all well know, is hundreds of thousands of people arriving in the UK on Schengen visas and never returning. That’s why we’re not in it. I don’t believe it damages tourism. If it does it’s a small price to pay. By the way, getting a Schengen visa is no picnic.

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Half the time we are complaining that the UK borders are too lax and half that we are missing out because we are making them too tight. Probability is that we have them about right

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More about the Schengen visa system:

The Schengen Visa has made traveling between its 25 (26?) member countries (22 European Union states and 3 non-EU members) much easier and less bureaucratic. Traveling on a Schengen Visa means that the visa holder can travel to any (or all) member countries using one single visa, thus avoiding the hassle and expense of obtaining individual visas for each country. This is particularly beneficial for persons who wish to visit several European countries on the same trip. The Schengen visa is a “visitor visa”. It is issued to citizens of countries who are required to obtain a visa before entering Europe.

The purpose of the visit must be leisure, tourism, or business. Upon the issuance of the visa, the visa holder is allowed to enter all member countries and travel freely throughout the Schengen area. It is strongly recommended to plan your journey within the timeframe of the Schengen Visa as extensions can be very difficult to obtain, thus forcing you to leave to stay in compliance with the Schengen rules and regulations. A Schengen visa allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen countries for a maximum stay of up to 90 days in a 6 month period. The first step in the application process is to Apply theSchengen Application Guide.

The following 25 countries are Schengen Visa members:
  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. (Liechtenstein)
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland
  27. Schengen Visa Countries
All Schengen countries are in Europe. However, it should not be confused with the EU (European Union). Schengen and European Union are two different agreements between European countries. A total of 25 countries, including all European Union countries (except Ireland and United Kingdom) and three non-EU members (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland) have signed the Schengen agreement. However, only 15 countries have implemented the common border control and visa provisions.Important: The Schengen Visa holders are not allowed to live permanently or work in Europe. Schengen Visa holder only have the right to travel as a temporary visitor to the member countries.

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Visa policies and high air taxes are ‘inhibiting’ Britain

A report from the World Travel & Tourism Council claims the UK is not taking the potential of the travel and tourism industry “seriously enough”

By Nathalie Thomas, Leisure and Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)

19 Mar 2014
Britain’s “prohibitive” visa regime for tourists and the Government’s inertia over vital infrastructure projects are “seriously damaging” the economy, according to a major report published ahead of the Budget.

Policies such as Air Passenger Duty and the visa processing system for Chinese visitors have come under attack from the World Travel & Tourism Council, (WTTC) which accuses Downing Street of not taking the tourism industry “seriously enough”.

Its report, which charts the contribution made by the tourism industry to economies around the world, concludes that damaging policies in the UK, also including high levels of VAT for hotels and restaurants, are “inhibiting” Britain.

The travel and tourism industry, which includes everything from airlines to cultural attractions, made a direct contribution of £57.3bn to the UK economy last year, 3.5pc of the country’s total GDP, according to the WTTC’s 2014 Economic Impact report.

If the benefit to suppliers is included, that contribution rises to £170.5bn, according to the WTTC, or 10.5pc of UK GDP.

However, the council warns that growth in the UK’s travel and tourism sector is likely to slow this year, to 2.8pc from 3.4pc in 2013, as high taxes on air travel and visa policies hold Britain back.

David Scowsill, president and chief executive of the WTTC, also warns that proscrastination over infrastructure schemes, such as new runways and the HS2 rail link, are damaging the UK’s ability to compete for vital income from the global travel and tourism trade, which is worth $7 trillion (£4.2 trillion).

The WTTC has assessed 184 countries as part of its research and is in a unique position to compare policies in the UK with those elsewhere in the world.

Mr Scowsill said: “The UK is not taking the potential of travel and tourism seriously enough and is losing out [on] vital income and potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs at a time when creating employment opportunities for young people is vital.

“A composite of issues are contributing to a quelling of demand: Air Passenger Duty is the highest air tax in the world; the Government has ruled out a lower VAT rate for hotels and restaurants; a lack of long-term planning in airport infrastructure; and restrictive visa policies.

“This means the UK is losing out on potential visitors to some of its European competitors, who are implementing more forward-thinking policies.”

Mr Scowsill compared the UK’s tortuous debate over where to build extra runway capacity in the south-east of England – which won’t produce a decision until 2015 – with China’s infrastructure policies.

“They are busy building 69 new airports in China over the next five to 10 years so that no person in China will be living more than a 90-minute drive from an airport.”
He added: “The UK is not good at taking long-term infrastructure decisions.”

Mr Scowsill also warned Britain is still missing out on its “rightful share” of Chinese tourists – the highest-spending travellers in the world – compared with rival economies such as France and Germany. He said the UK’s visa processing regime remains uncompetitive compared with the Schengen system, which allows entry to 26 nations in the European Union but not Britain, despite improvements announced last year by the Chancellor, George Osborne.

The improvements, which included a pilot scheme allowing some Chinese travel agents to use Schengen forms to apply for UK visas, are a step in the right direction, Mr Scowsill said, but he added that visas remain a “real constraining factor” for Chinese visitors coming to the UK.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/leisure/10706775/Visa-policies-and-high-air-taxes-are-inhibiting-Britain.html

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