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M25 could become Britain’s first 14-lane motorway (with 600 metre tunnel under runway) in Heathrow expansion plans

If Heathrow got its way and somehow managed to get permission for a 3rd runway north west of the existing two, the M25 is set to become Britain’s first 14-lane motorway. Heathrow wants taxpayers to bankroll £1.2 billion of road and rail improvements including a 600m motorway tunnel under the new runway. ( Earlier estimates were £3-5 billion, according to Colin Matthews, at public meetings). The M25 would be widened to 14 lanes on a two-mile section from Junction 14, next to Terminal 5, to the junction with the M4.  The proposal is likely to provoke a furious reaction from environmental campaigner s and from road users and motoring organisations. Heathrow said the 600 metre tunnel would be built in parallel without disruption to the present motorway – a claim Gatwick said was unbelievable. Stephen Glaister, of the RAC Foundation, warned: “Even a day or two’s disruption on that vital stretch of road is a big issue. ”  Others have commented about the economic cost of delays caused by years of motorway disruption and hold-ups. Also the terrorism danger of a huge tunnel for vast numbers of cars, if a bomb was set off.

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M25 could become Britain’s first 14-lane motorway

under Heathrow expansion plans

 (ITV)

The airport wants taxpayers to bankroll £1.2bn of road and rail improvements. Photo: PA Wire

 

The M25 is set to become Britain’s first 14-lane motorway if a third runway is built at Heathrow Airport.

The airport wants taxpayers to bankroll £1.2 billion of road and rail improvements

including a 600m motorway tunnel under the new runway.

The M25 would be widened to 14 lanes on a two-mile section from Junction 14 next to Terminal 5 to the junction with the M4.

The proposal is likely to provoke a furious reaction from environmental campaigners.

The motorway plan was revealed as Heathrow bosses made their final submission

 to the government’s airports commission.

http://www.itv.com/news/london/2014-05-13/m25-could-become-britains-first-14-lane-motorway-under-heathrow-expansion-plans/

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Heathrow bids to tunnel M25 under third runway

The £15.6bn plan digs 600-metre-long, 14-lane motorway under proposed new runway
  • 13 May 2014 19.10 BST

Heathrow expansion plans

Heathrow’s proposed third runway. Photograph: Heathrow Airport/PA

Heathrow would tunnel a 14-lane stretch of the M25 underneath a new third runway in an attempt to make its expansion plans work, the airport has announced.

It unveiled a revised £15.6bn plan for Britain’s biggest airport on the deadline for submission to the government’s Airports Commission, which will choose between Heathrow and Gatwick for an extra runway in south-east England.

Gatwick said its £7.8bn scheme for a second runway and new terminal was the only politically deliverable option.

The third Heathrow runway, which would allow up to 260,000 extra flights a year, would be slightly south of the site previously outlined to the north-west of the existing airport perimeter. The revised location would mean two historic buildings and 200 homes would be spared demolition in the village of Harmondsworth, where 750 homes would be destroyed.

A 600-metre, 14-lane tunnel would replace an existing section of the M25, passing under the runway. The taxpayer would contribute £1.2bn towards improved transport links. The airport said it would be built in parallel without disruption to the present motorway – a claim Gatwick said was unbelievable.

Stephen Glaister, of the RAC Foundation, warned: “Even a day or two’s disruption on that vital stretch of road is a big issue. Access roads need to be sorted out too. There’s a potential benefit in widening the motorway. This is not something that can be done on the cheap – but I feel that Heathrow have understood and are willing to bear the cost.”

The airport said the revised runway plan would mean 12,000 fewer people would be affected by significant aircraft noise by 2030. The total affected could fall to 165,000, with quieter planes landing further west on a steeper path.

But John Stewart, the chair of opposition group Hacan, said: “What these claims don’t take into account is the fact that it is the sheer volume of planes which disturbs people. It is an Alice in Wonderland fantasy to argue that over a quarter of a million planes extra a year will not bring greater noise problems for most residents under the flight paths.”

Heathrow will attempt to win over residents by setting up a £550m fund for compulsory purchase and improved noise insulation packages. It has also promised green space and flood protection.

John Holland-Kaye, who will succeed Colin Matthews as the airport’s chief executive in July, said it would “put a green ribbon around Heathrow”.

He said a shortage of capacity meant passengers were paying over the odds at Heathrow, and a third runway would stop fares spiralling further. A new runway would contribute £100bn to the national economy and connect all of the UK to global growth, he said.

But Gatwick said the economic benefits would be even greater if an additional runway were built at the West Sussex airport rather than Heathrow. The development would allow more passengers to fly, and lower fares through greater competition, the airport said.

Stewart Wingate, the chief executive of Gatwick, said: “What we’re trying to achieve is a more competitive airport market. After decades of dither and dather, it’s important that ours is deliverable. Heathrow just can’t be delivered. As the mayor says, politically Heathrow is just too toxic.

“Why would you choose to fly a quarter of a million more planes every year over one of the world’s most densely populated cities when instead you can fly them mostly over fields? Why tunnel part of the busiest motorway in Europe – the M25 – causing serious traffic disruption, when you can build on land already set aside for expansion? The choice is an obvious one.”

Gatwick said the significant noise impact of a second runway would affect only 14,000 people.

However, Holland-Kaye said: “Do we choose to be at the centre of global growth or at its margins? Do we choose to be Champions League or Championship? Only Heathrow can deliver the jobs and growth we need.”

Airlines also questioned whether expanded airports would mean lower fares. EasyJet, the major airline at Gatwick, said its calculations suggested that increased landing charges would exceed profit margins on existing fares. Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s chief executive, said that passengers should only pay for what they use and need, and not subsidise future infrastructure now. Instead of lower fares, she said, “we are nervous that the opposite could happen”.

Three alternatives have been shortlisted by the Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, to add capacity in south-east England.

An alternative Heathrow development has been proposed by the Heathrow Hub group, to lengthen and in effect split the two existing runways. It says its plan could spell the end to night flights, and would not mean new communities suffering noise disruption. It also proposes a major new passenger facility nearby, connecting Heathrow to national rail networks.

Boris Johnson’s Thames Estuary proposal is still being considered for a possible 11th-hour reinstatement, and was not required to submit full plans to the same deadline. The mayor’s aviation advisor, Daniel Moylan, said that the new detail showed Heathrow had “understated the costs and disruption and that is starting to unravel. This is all about private shareholders without considering the public welfare. Until now Heathrow has been saying you won’t feel a thing .. Now they’re talking about a congestion charge and admitted that you need to put the M25 in a tunnel.”

AA final recommendation on Britain’s next runway will be made after the 2015 general election, although no party has pledged to implement Davies’s findings.

Environmental groups warned that said a new runway was not a foregone conclusion. The World Wide Fund for Nature said: “There remain very serious issues about whether building a new runway is realistically compatible with the UK Climate Change Act.”

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/13/heathrow-tunnel-m25-under-third-runway

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Some of the comments under the article:
Why tunnel part of the busiest motorway in Europe – the M25?
Why indeed?
They should have crossing gates, like they have at Gibraltar airport.
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Because unlike Gibraltar airport, the gates would have to be lowered every 30 seconds or so.

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I think the concept of a fourteen lane motorway is lost on most people. A good percentage of drivers cannot cope with an 8-lane version; many regularly ignore the highway code and laws – to the detrement of the safety of others.

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I’ve read several reports, and they all fail to indicate where the £15.6 billion (Heathrow) or £7.8 billion (Gatwick) is coming from (in fact, they all read like rewritten versions of the same press release).

The Gatwick guy is keen to point out that his bid is only half as ridiculously expensive as Heathrow’s, which shouldn’t be of any consequence if the money is a normal business loan. So I’d guess that “the taxpayer would contribute £1.2bn towards improved transport links” isn’t the only public subsidy the airports’ owners will be getting in our wonderful ‘free market’ system.

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Let’s just turn the whole island into a giant airport. Or alternatively, let’s just stop flying about quite so much. Is it all really necessary?

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No it isn’t when you consider a huge proportion of flights are holidays

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I presume this is a late April Fool?

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Is there any thought going into the future patterns of how people will do business and work – i.e. working from home, video conferencing, use of screen sharing technology.
I know people will still want to go on holiday but I project a big dip in buiness travel. Especially as the government may try and tax businesses to shy away from doing it to reach carbon emission targets.

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If they have £15Bn to spare, then it could be spent on most of the other airports and conurbations round the country, or maybe use it for building some social housing; lets have a moratorium on any further development south of Watford for the next ten years and get some economic balance into the country.

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Be cheaper to build a new capital city somewhere with more room for an airport.

Or, just cap the number of slots to that which current capacity can comfortably support (a bit less than todays air traffic) and auction them, with some of the proceeds going to build better rail links.

Make flying shorthaul more expensive (as well as slower, which it already is for most under 2 hour flights) than rail travel, and people will switch to rail.

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The M25 is already one of the slowest roads in the country much of the time, so ten years of major disruption is going to take London’s orbital car park towards closed for business!

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Wouldn’t it be a perfect location for a terrorist attack? You can’t get much closer to Heathrow and by exploding a tanker or something in the tunnel would not only knock out the runway but also block the main access route to Heathrow and presumably half the emergency teams’ access too

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The area around London Airport is one of the most densely utilized parts of London, precisely because there is an airport there. The construction process of increasing its size by one third, and the subsequent increase in land utilization, will make it hell on earth to get there, hell on earth to live there and hell on earth to work there.

I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT WE DO NOT DO THIS!

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What part of “No third runway at Heathrow” do these people not understand?
No matter how many times expansion plans are rejected, some organisation or other interested body comes up with yet another scheme involving an additional runway wrapped up in some grandiose plan.
The objections are well documented, and yet there seems to be no end to the “expansionists” determination to make Heathrow even bigger.
It seems to be a case of “no matter how many times you reject our expansion plans, we will keep on submitting applications until you give in and agree”. Complete lunacy

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Gatwick submits its 2nd runway plans to Airports Commission – little detail published, but loads of spin

Gatwick is submitting its proposal for a 2nd runway to the Airports Commission. Unlike Heathrow it has not produced a glossy version for the public, but says it has produced a 3,200 page “evidence-based” report. They claim it would produce more economic benefit to the UK and not cost the taxpayer anything.  By contrast the KPMG report done in December for the Airports Commission said it might cost the taxpayer up to £17.7 billion. Gatwick claims: “The economic benefit to the UK of this enhanced competition will be £40 billion more than Heathrow’s 3rd runway.”  Gatwick tries to make out their runway is an obvious choice, and say of their rival Heathrow: “Why tunnel part of the busiest motorway in Europe – the M25 – causing serious traffic disruption, when you can build on land already set aside for expansion?”  They say: “The Gatwick proposal is best placed to align with key future trends – including continued market share gains by Low Cost Carriers, the spread of new technology hub-busting aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, and the rapid rise of new hubs in the Middle East and Far East.”  Loads of positive spin, absolutely ignoring all the negatives associated with building an airport the size of Heathrow in semi-rural Sussex.


Gatwick fine the size it is

Gatwick airport says:

Only Gatwick can deliver a new runway and a market that works for all passengers

13 May 2014 (Gatwick airport press release)

  • Expansion at Gatwick will enable more people to fly to more destinations – 10 million more passengers each year will be able to travel with a second runway at Gatwick than with a third runway at Heathrow
  • Expansion at Gatwick will generate more competition, keeping fares low, and delivering £40 billion more in economic benefits to the UK than expansion at Heathrow
  • A new runway at Gatwick can be delivered around five years earlier than a third runway at Heathrow at no additional cost or risk to the taxpayer
  • Expansion at Gatwick will deliver over 120,000 jobs in London and the South East, rebalancing the economy away from an overheated M4 corridor
  • Gatwick’s location South of London means far fewer people will be affected by noise – a second runway at Gatwick would impact only 14,000 people compared to the 240,000 people impacted by noise from Heathrow today

London Gatwick will tomorrow submit to the Airports Commission a 3,200 page, evidence-based report that shows clearly why expansion at Gatwick is the obvious solution to meeting the UK’s connectivity needs for the next generation.

A second runway at Gatwick will enable more people to fly to more destinations, earlier. It can be delivered more cost effectively, with a higher degree of certainty and much less planning, construction and financial risk.

Expansion at Gatwick will increase competition to destinations around the world from London’s airports which will deliver extra capacity at a lower cost and lower fares for all passengers. The economic benefit to the UK of this enhanced competition will be £40 billion more than Heathrow’s third runway. Furthermore, in contrast to the Heathrow case, this can be delivered at no additional cost or risk to the taxpayer.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick said: “As we reach this critical point in the aviation debate it is clear that the Airports Commission has a very real choice to make: expand Gatwick and create genuine competition in the market with lower fares for everyone, or move back to a London airport market dominated by a single player and saddle the next generation with higher air fares.

“Why would you choose to fly a quarter of a million more planes every year over one of the world’s most densely populated cities when instead you can fly them mostly over fields? Why tunnel part of the busiest motorway in Europe – the M25 – causing serious traffic disruption, when you can build on land already set aside for expansion? The choice is an obvious one. Expand the best and only deliverable option – Gatwick – and create a market that serves everyone.”

London Gatwick’s case for expansion builds on the strengths of the existing network of airports, which already serves London and the UK. It is the best solution on the grounds that:

Expanding Gatwick creates the market that works for all passengers

A two-runway Gatwick in competition with a two-runway Heathrow will encourage greater competition between airlines and airports, spur innovation, drive greater cost efficiencies and result in lower fares for passengers. Considering the effect of competition alone, we calculate that the UK economy would be better off by up to £30 billion over 60 years.

The alternative is returning to a market with one dominant player where passengers will end up paying more for less choice and less convenience.

Expanding Gatwick will deliver greater economic benefits for the whole of the UK

Expansion at Gatwick will give the UK the greatest economic boost, more quickly, and more flights to more destinations from London.

It will deliver an overall economic benefit to the UK of around £40 billion more than expansion at Heathrow and at no additional cost or risk to the taxpayer.

Expansion at Gatwick would attract new businesses creating an additional 120,000 jobs across London and the South East.

Only expansion at Gatwick will address the demands of the future and help maintain Britain’s leading position in the global race

Aviation is changing fast. It is important that any decision about where future runway capacity should go is one which best enables the UK aviation sector to adapt to market trends of the future rather than the patterns of the past.

The Gatwick proposal is best placed to align with key future trends – including continued market share gains by Low Cost Carriers, the spread of new technology hub-busting aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, and the rapid rise of new hubs in the Middle East and Far East. It is most likely that such trends will continue to reduce the relative importance of traditional transfer traffic through London, and will confirm that seeking to install a single dominant hub is not the best solution for the UK’s future needs.

Only Gatwick can cater for all airline models – full service, low-cost and charter – with affordable charges and facilities that enable fast and efficient aircraft turnaround times. The best choice is to build at Gatwick and develop a future proof solution that can support growth of all airline models.

The alternative is to build at Heathrow which excludes the low-cost business model which has transformed the market over the past decade and continues to be the main driver of innovation.

Only Gatwick is the deliverable option

What the UK needs above all is certainty that additional runway capacity will at last be delivered. With Gatwick now firmly at the centre of this debate there is greater certainty that a new runway could be built.

Gatwick’s second runway is a straightforward construction project, building a new runway on land already set aside for runway expansion. Unlike Heathrow, it doesn’t involve putting the busiest stretch of the busiest motorway in Europe into a tunnel, which would cost the UK in excess of £1bn in disruption.

The lower construction risk means a second runway at Gatwick could be built for £7.8 billion – considerably less than the cost of a new runway at Heathrow. This would result in airport charges (£12-15 per passenger at today’s prices) that would be around a third of the price of Heathrow’s and an operational second runway by 2025.

Many fewer homes will be under the flight path than at Heathrow but to support those most affected, Gatwick has introduced Europe’s most progressive noise and insulation scheme. If a second runway is built, Gatwick will also compensate those most affected with an offer of £1,000 per annum towards their Council Tax.

The many planning, environmental, surface access and political difficulties associated with Heathrow means there is considerable doubt whether another runway would ever get built – giving the Gatwick option much greater certainty.”

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Gatwick says:

” Key statistics for a second runway Gatwick Airport

Notes in [...]  are comments by AirportWatch, not Gatwick airport

Flight movements An additional 260,000 flights by 2050 [per year]
Passenger numbers 95 million passengers per year by 2050
Gatwick can serve all airline business models Low cost, legacy, and charter
Speed of delivery Operational by 2025
Construction cost £7.8 billion
Economic benefit £40 billion more than Heathrow
Contribution to UK taxes £15 billion
Job creation 122,000
Airport charges £12-£15 in today’s prices
Additional taxpayer funds 0
Airport congestion charging 0
Rail access Gatwick is already the most connected airport by rail. Post-expansion, there will be a direct link to 175 stations and more than 1,000 with one change  [How is Gatwick not paying anything towards these rail improvements, from which it benefits?]
Rail service frequency Gatwick’s rail capacity will be nearly tripled. Frequency of trains doubled. A train to Central London every 2.5 minutes
Noise impacts today Gatwick: 3,650 people in 1,600 homes

Heathrow: 240,000 people in 100,000 homes [Gatwick means those within the 5 7dBALeq contour].Noise impacts with expansionGatwick: 14,200 people in 5,500 homes by 2050Gatwick will compensate Council Tax payers£1,000 per annum (index-linked)   [Gatwick's press release said this would be up to 4,100 households - not by any means all those affected.  Link ]Homes required to be removed166Business premises affected286

List of airlines publicly supporting growth at Gatwick so far: Norwegian, Monarch, Vietnam Airlines, WOWAir

For a summary of Gatwick’s case for a second runway please click here

Footage for media
 - a broadcast-quality CGI animation of Gatwick with two runways and general b-roll footage is available to download here

Images for media - CGI images of Gatwick with two runways and portrait images of CEO Stewart Wingate are available to download here

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/News/Only-Gatwick-can-deliver-a-new-runway-and-a-market-that-works-for-all-passengers-8fc.aspx

 

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The short 2-page document is at:

A second runway for Gatwick: the strategic argument” (summary) – 13 May 2014


 

In this strategic fit argument summary, the section on Environment is copied below:

Notes in [...]  are comments by AirportWatch, not Gatwick airport

 Environment

Gatwick’s plan for a second runway will result in much lower noise and air pollution impacts affecting less than six per cent of the people currently affected by noise at Heathrow.

Around 3,650 people living in 1,600 homes around Gatwick are affected by aircraft noise today. At Heathrow, on the same basis, almost 240,000 people living in 100,000 homes are impacted by aircraft noise – more than the total number of people impacted by all other major Western European airports combined.  [This means within the 57dB contour only ].

Many fewer homes will be under the flight path than at Heathrow but to support those few that are affected, Gatwick has introduced Europe’s most progressive noise and insulation scheme. If a second runway is built, Gatwick will also compensate those most affected [only at most 4,100 housholds, not all of them] with an offer of £1,000 per annum towards their Council Tax.

Gatwick is pursuing several industry-leading initiatives to drive down carbon emissions and would continue to meet the legal air quality standards which Heathrow regularly breaches today.

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and its bit on People says:

 People

Gatwick will cause the lowest level of housing loss, and will have the least impact on people’s quality of life.

Gatwick’s impact on the local community will continue to be much lower than Heathrow’s, which already has major adverse effects on quality of life. Nine hundred and fifty homes – including an entire town – will need to be demolished to expand Heathrow as opposed to the removal of 163 homes at Gatwick.

Gatwick will remain committed to continuing its work with the local community to ensure that it benefits from the new opportunities offered by an expanded Gatwick airport, and to ensure that adverse effects are avoided wherever possible and otherwise mitigated.

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GACC says the public misled by Gatwick’s “consultation” – with far higher figures in airport’s submission to Airports Commission

GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has now studied the new runway plans announced by Gatwick Airport Ltd on 13 May. Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC said: “They are horrendous – much larger in scale than in the recent consultation. The proposals will so infuriate local people that they will be determined to oppose the runway scheme at every stage. Any hopes that the airport may have had of building a new runway on time will have disappeared.” The new plans are set out in a 3,200 page document that has been sent to the Airports Commission but which has not been published. The Gatwick press summary shows that the new airport would be bigger than anything previously envisaged. The maximum number of passengers per year has gone up to 97 million compared to a maximum of 87 million in the consultation. That would make Gatwick much bigger than Heathrow today (72 million in 2013), and nearly three times as big as Gatwick today (35 million). The new plans show utter disdain for the 6,000 people who have visited the runway exhibitions during the past months “consultation”, and for the thousands more who have responded online. It is clear that Gatwick’s owners had already decided on their preferred option. GACC has been proved 100% correct it was a phoney consultation.

Click here to view full story…

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“Heathrow Hub” submitting their 3rd runway plans to Airports Commission

On the same day as Heathrow airport published their promotion document for the public on their 3rd runway plan, “Heathrow Hub” have also put out a press release about their scheme, which they will also submit to the Airports Commission this week. The idea is to build another runway, at the western end of the existing north runway. Heathrow airport itself is not keen on this option, partly as a runway exactly in line with another is not a layout used at any other airport, and partly as it gives no chance for half a day of noise respite for those overflown. Heathrow knows the respite periods are of huge value to those suffering from aircraft noise. However, Heathrow Hub say their plan could expand Heathrow’s theoretical capacity by approximately 220,000 flights per year, and it would create approximately 19,000 jobs ( Heathrow says theirs would create 100,000 jobs !) They say their scheme has the benefit of few homes being destroyed, and planes landing 2 miles further west being a little higher (so slightly less noisy) on approach over London.

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Heathrow hub north runway

No third runway and an end to night quota flights

13th May 2014   (“Heathrow Hub” press release)

- No “third runway” to the north of Heathrow, instead extend existing runway to add capacity
- A potential end to night quota flights as part of world class noise mitigation strategy
- Major new passenger facility connecting Heathrow to national rail network via 30 trains an hour
- Up to £45bn of economic benefits for the UK and 19,000 jobs
- No closure of the M25 and a new junction to disperse traffic impact

Heathrow Hub has finalised a second, detailed submission to the Airports Commission.

The Heathrow Hub concept already shortlisted in December 2013 envisages extending the existing northern runway to create two separate sections; one for taking off and one for landing. In addition, the scheme proposes a substantial new passenger facility to the north of the airport, which would connect Heathrow to Crossrail and the Great Western Line as well as providing a second access point for road travellers arriving from outside London.

A dedicated APM (automated people mover) would move customers to the airport terminals in around 5 minutes.

Following extensive consultations, it is clear that the key issues for airport expansion in the South East are noise, surface access, cost and location. The Heathrow Hub proposal confronts these directly and has allied innovation and technology, with common sense and simplicity, to produce a superior proposal which is both pragmatic and achievable.

Heathrow is one of Britain’s world class assets. The combination of pent up demand, the airport’s large regulated asset base and the fact that Heathrow Hub’s proposal is expected to be the cheapest on offer, mean that expansion could be readily financed by the private sector.

Our plan seeks to expand theoretical capacity by approximately 220,000 flights per year, increasing the routes available for travellers, improving choice and competition and ending the current stalemate over Heathrow Airport’s third runway.

Assuming approval is recommended in 2015 we believe the new runway extension could be completed by 2023. Our initial modelling suggests our proposal could deliver up to £45 billion of economic benefits, with up to £10 billion resulting from the new passenger facility. We also believe our plans would create approximately 19,000 jobs and safeguard the future of Heathrow [which really is not in  doubt].

Our proposal is future proofed by offering an option to extend the southern runway, delivering possible further resilience and noise mitigation options for Heathrow. [They do not appear to realise that a 4th runway cannot be fitted with the carbon target for aviation, within the U K 's 2050 carbon target. As determined by the governments advisers, the CCC - Committee on Climate Change].

 

KEY FEATURES OF LATEST SUBMISSION

Noise mitigation and communities

Heathrow Hub is developing a world-class noise mitigation strategy for Heathrow. This includes

- Potentially curtailing or ending night quota flights arriving after 4.30am and before 6am by making available more capacity later in the morning

- Or moving the touchdown point 2 miles to the West on the new runway extension in the critical early morning arrival period, thereby removing large areas of West London from the noise footprint

– An enhanced respite mitigation strategy, harnessing existing technology to create targeted and varied approaches and alternation in order to further disperse noise.

- No new households would be brought into the noise footprint under the Heathrow Hub proposal, a significant benefit to the hundreds of thousands of people in West London areas including Hammersmith, Chiswick, Brentford and Ealing.

- A much lower number of local homeowners affected compared to Heathrow Airport Limited’s proposal. Our current estimate is that some 250 dwellings would have to be compulsorily purchased, a fraction of those in Heathrow Airport’s proposal.

Surface access

Heathrow Hub has developed powerful surface access solution for Heathrow Airport, including:

- The connection of Heathrow to the national rail network through the construction of large new passenger facility on land identified to the north. This would more than double the proportion of passengers arriving at Heathrow via train from 19% currently to 42%

- 30 trains per hour based on Great Western and related services, enabling swift direct connections with regional centres; additional rail access to the south

- Remodelling the road network around Heathrow – partial tunnelling and bridging a stretch of the M25

- Enhanced junction 13 and a new junction to the new passenger interchange, dispersing traffic impact

- No closure of the M25, as incorrectly claimed by some. The M25 road works would not affect existing traffic, which would be switched to the new section overnight.

- Car parking, bus, coach and hotel facilities at the new passenger facility

 

Jock Lowe, the longest serving Concorde pilot and one of the promoters behind the Heathrow hub concept, said:

“Our proposal gets more compelling with every stage of the Airports Commission process and provides an innovative yet simple solution to the question that has vexed policy makers in recent years. It is clear that Heathrow is a jewel in Britain’s economic crown and it should expand both for the South East and for those seeking regional connections to international destinations, and it is evident that it is the location of choice for travellers and airlines alike.

“Our proposal is the most efficient, cost effective and politically realistic of the three proposals shortlisted by the Airports Commission. We offer the best solution to local communities concerned about noise or compulsory purchase of homes; and via our new railway and passenger hub can at last connect Heathrow to the national rail network and better accommodate the arrival of new passengers.

“By any measure, Heathrow is a world class asset. It is the airport of choice for both passengers and airlines. Connectivity and flight schedule frequency are unrivalled in the UK or Europe and Heathrow has not only retained high quality airlines but attracted new ones. Heathrow’s continued success is crucial to London, the south-east and the UK as a whole: it is the natural location for a new capacity

“Heathrow Hub is independent and because of that we are able to apply some creative thinking to solving this important infrastructure issue for the whole country.”

Note to editors
A map is available on the Heathrow Hub website, www.heathrowhub.com. The executive summary will also be posted after it has been formally submitted to the Airports Commission on May 14th 2014.

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What Heathrow’s 3rd runway proposal says on noise (not very convincing)

Heathrow’s publicity document on its 3rd runway plans has quite a lot on noise, as Heathrow realises that the noise generated by its aircraft is a key political topic, and is perhaps the main issue that would stop the runway. Having a new runway would mean the number of annual flights could increase by up to 260,000 per year (compared to the current 470,000 or so). This would inevitably create a huge amount more noise. But by only considering the people within the loudest noise contours (noise averaged over many hours each day) – the 57dBALeq countour and the 55dbLden contour – and not those who experience aircraft noise, but not quite as loudy, Heathrow claims fewer people will experience noise. This is manifestly not the truth. There may be slightly fewer, by massaging the figures, in the noisiest contours. But there will be many more experiencing aircraft noise, if not at the most intense levels. Already people miles from the airport, outside any current contour, are troubled and disturbed by aircraft noise.  The document provides various maps and charts to try and make their point. The concept of respite periods is key in Heathrow’s attempts to win over the over-flown public, and those yet to be over-flown.

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Extracts from the Heathrow press release, relating to noise :

Press release  (13.5.2014) at    link …….

“We’ve listened to local views and developed a significantly different expansion proposition to 2007, and an improvement on our initial proposal in July 2013:

  • By 2030, at least a 30% reduction in the number of people in Heathrow’s noise footprint to deliver the lowest noise levels since the 1970s.
  • 12,000 fewer people will be affected by significant noise by moving the proposed runway farther south.
  • A total compensation fund of over £550m allocated for noise insulation and property compensation.

John Holland-Kaye, Development Director and Chief Executive Designate of Heathrow said:

“ ….. We have worked closely with local residents, listened to their concerns and improved our plans. Our submission reduces the number of properties that would need to be purchased and the number of people affected by significant noise. We would establish a fund to enhance local amenities and compensate residents more generously than previous UK infrastructure projects.”

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“Heathrow’s 10 commitments

If Government supports a third runway we will:

  1. Reduce aircraft noise and lessen noise impacts for people under flight paths

by encouraging the world’s quietest aircraft to use Heathrow, routing aircraft higher over London, delivering periods with no aircraft overhead and allocating £250m to provide noise insulation

That’s all there is …..

In the Heathrow document “Taking Britain further” here are the relevant extracts on noise:

 http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowAboutUs/Downloads/PDF/taking_britain_further.pdf

  •  (Page 20)

People expressed a clear preference for a scheme that would continue to provide periods of relief from noise over a scheme that would not expose new people to noise but would end periods of relief from noise.”

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( Page 23) We have located the runway further south which reduces noise impacts and protects more homes and important heritage sites such as the Great Barn and St. Mary’s Church in Harmondsworth. The number of people affected by significant noise will reduce by at least 12,000 compared to our submission last July. . (Page 30) “Locating the runway further south allows noise impacts to be minimised By locating the third runway further south 12,000 fewer people are exposed to high levels of aircraft noise. In total at least 30% fewer people will be affected by significant aircraft noise than today. Our consultation showed local people have a preference for flights to be routed so that there are significant periods of relief from noise rather than an approach that does not expose new communities to noise but does not provide respite from noise.”

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(Page 38) “A third runway should only go ahead within environmental limits

People have legitimate concerns about what the environmental impact of a new runway would be. A third runway should only go ahead within strict environmental limits on noise, local air quality and within the UK’s climate change targets. .

There isn’t a choice between more flights or less noise

There isn’t a choice between more flights or less noise. Heathrow can deliver both. Heathrow is significantly quieter than it was in the past. Since the early 1970s [that is because Concorde was spectacularly noisy, and when it went, the noise levels went down significantly. The reduction is far less, if Concorde is removed from all the figures. AW comment] both the area and the number of people within Heathrow’s noise footprint have fallen around tenfold, despite the number of flights doubling. Our proposals for a third runway at Heathrow will see noise reductions continue. Even with a third runway, we estimate that in 2030 there will be at least 30% fewer people in total within Heathrow’s noise footprint than today. This is based on the Government’s preferred 57dBA Leq noise measurement. Using the 55db Lden measurement preferred by European policymakers would deliver a reduction of about 45% in the number of people exposed to noise. In addition, there would be a 60% reduction in the number of people exposed to night noise. This would deliver the lowest noise levels around Heathrow since the 1960s.

A new runway location and landing approaches to reduce noise 

Our proposal sites a third runway one nautical mile further to the west than the previous proposal for a short third runway [Sipson]. Every mile further west an aircraft lands means it is flying approximately 300 feet higher over London on its landing approach. We plan to use steeper landing approaches and have aircraft touch down 700 metres further along all runways than they do today. This will mean that aircraft will be flying higher as they approach Heathrow, reducing noise impacts for all local communities.

Quieter aircraft

We charge noisier aircraft more to land at Heathrow and quieter aircraft less. We propose a phasing out of the noisiest aircraft (known as Chapter 3) and no Boeing 747-400 aircraft by the time a new runway opens. 90% of aircraft at Heathrow will be ‘next generation’ technology like the Airbus A380, Boeing 787 and Airbus A320 NEO by the time the new runway opens. We also support the introduction of ‘green slots’ where new capacity is only given to airlines willing to operate quieter aircraft

[This completely ignores, conveniently but rather under-handedly, the fact that people are affected by aircraft noise at much lower levels than 57dBALeq  or 55dbLden.  People complain frequently, and genuinely, in areas now with lower levels of noise.  The Heathrow plans depend on areas with noise below 55dbLden being considered not to have a noise problem. In reality, thousands more people would be overflown at these levels of noise - even if not at the really noisy 57dB level. AW comment]. . Heathrow noise Larger version   http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowAboutUs/Downloads/PDF/taking_britain_further.pdf   Page 38 .  

(Page 39) “There are different options for redesigning airspace

Adding a third runway at Heathrow would require airspace to be redesigned. This would include the redesign of arrivals and departures flight paths for Heathrow. The main objective when redesigning airspace would be to minimise and where possible reduce the impact of noise. “However, there are choices in how airspace could be redesigned to achieve this objective. The table to the left (see below) illustrates how many people would be affected by noise compared to 2011 if airspace was designed in three different ways. “While we recognise that determining which approach should be pursued is ultimately a matter for Government we believe that maximising periods of noise relief offers clear advantages. This approach would cut the number of people inside the noise contour by at least 30% while delivering the periods of relief from noise which people expressed a clear preference for in our recent consultation.”

 

Heathrow noise numbers table

. (Page 40) “Periods of respite from noise for every community

In contrast to the previous proposal for a short third runway we have maintained the principle of runway alternation. This provides periods of respite from noise for all communities around Heathrow. Our consultation showed local people have a preference for airspace to be designed so that there are significant periods of relief from noise. People consider this to be a more important consideration than exposing people to noise for the first time.”

“We are not proposing extra night flights, and there will be fewer night flights on existing flight-paths

Night flights are an important part of operations at a hub airport but also a significant concern for local residents. Of the major European hub airports, Heathrow has the strictest limits on operations between 11pm and 6am and the fewest flights. Our plans do not propose any extra night flights and would reduce the number of night flights on existing flight-paths. Because we are proposing to rotate use of the runways at night.” Heathrow 5 steps to noise reduction . Heathrow  new and old noise 1 “This means that residents under existing flight  paths would have night flights only every third week rather than every other week at the moment. This means that areas such as Richmond would experience fewer night flights with a third runway than today.

“New noise insulation and compensation   (Page 41)

“Heathrow currently operates one of Europe’s largest noise insulation schemes. More than 40,000 properties are eligible for some form of noise insulation. In areas of high noise or in areas experiencing a significant increase in noise we believe that free noise insulation should be offered to residents. Over the last 20 years Heathrow has spent £30m on insulating homes, schools and community buildings from noise. Our previous proposal for a third runway allocated £90m for noise insulation. Now, we are proposing a £250m fund to pay for free noise insulation and  compensation for people in high noise areas if a third runway goes ahead. We will now work with a panel of local community representatives to develop more detailed proposals for noise insulation and compensation before consulting more widely in the summer.

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A fair property compensation scheme

We are committed to treating those most affected by a third runway fairly. We recognise that the compulsory purchase of 750 homes is a significant undertaking and that such circumstances deserve exceptional compensation for residents. We are proposing that anyone whose home needs to be compulsorily purchased will receive 25% above unblighted market value compensation plus legal fees and stamp duty costs on their new home. We will be asking for further views on whether this represents a fair package of compensation in our consultation. For the houses lost to the airport development, we will help fund replacement housing schemes within land already earmarked for development by local authorities

 http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowAboutUs/Downloads/PDF/taking_britain_further.pdf

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What Heathrow’s 3rd runway proposal says on carbon emissions and air quality (very little)

Just taking the parts on carbon emissions and air quality from Heathrow’s promotional document for its 3rd runway, the claims can be seen to be ambitious, or perhaps unrealistic.  Tellingly they forget to  mention carbon emissions in the press release, other than to say there is one of their 10 “commitments” (no indication how these are to be enforced) that they will “Keep CO2 emissions within UK climate change targets”. This appears to be largely on hopes of more efficient operation, plus planes as yet unbuilt, carbon trading systems as yet  not in existence, and new fuels (they don’t actually mention biofuels), which also do not exist.  On local air quality standards, which the Heathrow area currently often breaches, Heathrow says it wants a local congestion charge to reduce vehicle journeys, a lot more public transport (paid for by taxpayer?) and another commitment (enforcement?) to “Increase the proportion of passengers using public transport to access Heathrow to more than 50%”. They also depend on road vehicle engines in future emitting less NO2 than at present.

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 Extracts from the Heathrow press release, relating to carbon emissions and to local air quality :

Press release  (13.5.2014) at    link

…..

  • New section of M25 to be tunnelled and upgraded alongside the existing section, increasing capacity and reducing congestion without disrupting road users.

Heathrow’s 10 commitments

If Government supports a third runway we will:

  1. Increase the proportion of passengers using public transport to access Heathrow to more than 50%

by supporting new rail, bus and coach schemes to improve public transport to Heathrow and considering the case for a congestion charge

  1. Keep CO2 emissions within UK climate change targets and play our part in meeting local air quality limits

by incentivising cleaner aircraft, supporting global carbon trading, and increasing public transport use

That’s all there is …..


In the Heathrow document “Taking Britain further” here are the relevant extracts on carbon emissions and local air quality:

 http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowAboutUs/Downloads/PDF/taking_britain_further.pdf

Page 43
“We will cut carbon emissions from airport energy use by 60% compared to today
The Airports Commission’s interim report and the Committee on Climate Change have found that a third runway is compatible with the UK meeting its climate change reduction targets. We are also committed to making the construction and operation of a third runway as low carbon as possible. The airport [ie buildings etc on the ground - not flights] in 2030 will produce 60% less carbon from energy use compared to 2010. This will be achieved by a combination of technologies including ground source heat pumps, thin film photovoltaics, and combined heat and power.”
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Heathrow CO2 emissions chart to 2050

[By contrast, the Committee on Climate Change had a less unrealistic scenario for future UK aviation emissions. ]

CCC aviation emissions forecasts 2009
” Expansion should only go ahead within strict limits on noise, local air quality and within the UK’s climate change targets. There isn’t a choice between more flights or less noise. Heathrow can deliver both “
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 “We believe there is a case for introducing a congestion charging zone  (Page 36)
Once public transport improvements have been delivered, we believe there is a case for reducing vehicles journeys to Heathrow by introducing a new congestion charge zone. This would improve air quality and reduce congestion while raising money for public transport improvements.
“The charge would discourage passengers from using cars and subsidise public transport for those who adopt more sustainable travel plans. The charge would only apply to those travelling to the airport – not those using surrounding roads like the A4, A30, M4 or M25. We envisage that there could be exemptions in place for the greenest vehicles,
the local community and for taxis. Funds could be ring-fenced to pay for transport schemes and local community improvements. Heathrow will be able to deliver more flights without increasing the traffic on the road due to the airport”
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 “Better air quality than today  ()age 42)
We can add capacity at Heathrow while meeting all air pollution limits. New public transport options will provide an alternative to travelling to the airport by road. A congestion charge would provide a new mechanism for managing demand and ensuring there will be no more Heathrow-related vehicles on the roads than today. Those vehicles that are travelling to the airport will be cleaner. Combined with new aircraft technology this means that levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) would be within EU limits. Levels of fine particles (PM10 and PM2.5) are already within the limits and would continue to be with a third runway.
“We will operate a Clean Vehicles Programme to promote low and zero emissions vehicles among airport companies. In addition, we host the UK’s first publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling site and are increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points at our passenger car parks.”
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Heathrow publishes glossy 48 page document promoting its north-west 3rd runway plans

Heathrow airport has released a glossy 48 page document, for the public, promoting its north-west runway option. The document is very high on spin, aspiration, laudable future hopes and intentions of all sorts – but  very thin on any detail of how these might realistically happen.  Wishful thinking, writ large. For instance, on carbon emission, there are hopes of huge cuts through aircraft not yet invented, fuels also not yet in existence, and carbon trading – not yet in existence.  Heathrow makes 10 commitments, but gives no detail about time-scale or who would enforce these commitments, or what would be the penalty for failing to deliver them. There are hopes of better air quality near the airport, 100,000 new jobs, £100 billion (no time scale given – probably over years ….) to the UK economy,  and a lot on listening to the public. There are some very carefully chosen sentences about the increase in aircraft noise and numbers affected. Heathrow says it will reduce aircraft noise etc ….”by encouraging the world’s quietest aircraft to use Heathrow, routing aircraft higher over London, delivering periods with no aircraft overhead and allocating £250m to provide noise insulation.”  
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 The 48 page document is at  “Taking Britain forward”

Heathrow says:

“Expanded Heathrow critical to UK economy. Over 100,000 new jobs created. Economic benefits of at least £100bn. Forty new long haul destinations”

13 May, 2014 ( Heathrow airport website )

TBF - 3rd runway day rgb

Improved expansion proposals published by Heathrow today are the only way to connect all of the UK to growth.

Heathrow says:

Heathrow today announced an improved plan to expand the UK’s hub airport that will create more than 100,000 new UK jobs and at least £100bn of UK economic benefits by connecting all of the UK to global growth.

The figures are part of Heathrow’s revised expansion plans that will be submitted tomorrow to the Airports Commission. The submission follows discussions with local residents and businesses, the public, businesses around the country, passengers, airlines and elected representatives across the UK’s nations and regions. Heathrow is the UK’s only hub and the only option that will connect the whole of the UK to new emerging economies, bringing jobs and prosperity to the country. It is deliverable, fundable and will create a world-class global gateway to make Britain proud. And it proposes to go further than any other large-scale UK infrastructure project in compensating for its impact on surrounding communities.

Key elements of Heathrow’s proposals include:

  • Every nation and region of Britain to be connected to global markets:
    • More than 100,000 new jobs created. This includes 50,000 new jobs in the local Heathrow area, plus a further 20,000+ across London and another 50,000+ across the UK.
    • At least £100bn of UK economic benefits, better than any other airport expansion option.
    • 40 new direct, daily routes to fast growing economies such as San José, Wuhan and Kolkata.
    • Doubling cargo capacity to improve UK export competitiveness. 65% of the UK’s £400bn freight exports already travel via Heathrow.
    • New rail access to Wales and the West through the Western mainline, the South and South West through Southern Rail Access, and the North through HS2. Total rail capacity will treble from 5,000 to 15,000 seats per hour.
    • A Taskforce for Regional Connectivity will be established to develop proposals for how regional air links to Heathrow can be improved. Additional capacity will provide space for flights to cities such as Inverness, Liverpool and Newquay.
    • Investment in airport infrastructure will create jobs across the UK while a new runway is being built

 

We’ve listened to local views and developed a significantly different expansion proposition to 2007, and an improvement on our initial proposal in July 2013:

  • By 2030, at least a 30% reduction in the number of people in Heathrow’s noise footprint to deliver the lowest noise levels since the 1970s.
  • Located farther south, the updated runway proposal affects 200 fewer homes, preserves historical buildings in Harmondsworth and maintains the existing M25/M4 junction.
  • New section of M25 to be tunnelled and upgraded alongside the existing section, increasing capacity and reducing congestion without disrupting road users.
  • 12,000 fewer people will be affected by significant noise by moving the proposed runway farther south.
  • A total compensation fund of over £550m allocated for noise insulation and property compensation. This is more generous than previously proposed for a third runway and proposals for most other infrastructure projects. (Proposed residential property compensation includes: 25% above market value for properties subject to compulsory purchase; stamp-duty costs on a new home; legal fees paid).
  • Improvements in schools, publicly accessible green space and flood protection for local communities.
  • A deliverable, world-class hub and global-gateway to make Britain proud:
    • Heathrow offers the fastest, most cost effective and most practical route to delivering new hub capacity. Costs are estimated at £15.6bn, all of which would be privately funded. Government support for surface access improvements would be required and is estimated at £1.2bn.
    • A third runway would be delivered by 2025.
    • A third runway has local support. 57% of local people say they have a positive view of the airport compared to just 6% who have a negative view. 48% of local people support Heathrow expansion compared to 34% who are opposed. And in the last six months 20,000 people have joined Back Heathrow to campaign in support of the jobs and opportunities that expansion would bring.
    • A new Heathrow West and Heathrow East layout would mean two, easy to navigate points of entry, improving passenger experience.
    • A single transit system to bring connection times in line with competitor hub airports.
    • Heathrow has successfully delivered £11bn of infrastructure safely, on time, on budget and to high quality without affecting the operation of one of the world’s busiest airports. The new Terminal 2, which will open in June, has been the safest construction project in the UK and has used a UK-wide supply-chain.

John Holland-Kaye, Development Director and Chief Executive Designate of Heathrow said:

“Expansion at Heathrow matters to the whole country. Only Heathrow will connect all of the UK to fast growing international markets. The plans we are submitting to the Airports Commission demonstrate major economic benefits from a third runway for the whole of the UK.

“Expansion at Heathrow has national and local support. We have worked closely with local residents, listened to their concerns and improved our plans. Our submission reduces the number of properties that would need to be purchased and the number of people affected by significant noise. We would establish a fund to enhance local amenities and compensate residents more generously than previous UK infrastructure projects.

“Our plans are deliverable. Heathrow offers the fastest, most cost effective and practical route to connect the whole of the UK to growth and we have proven our ability to deliver a world-class hub that will make Britain proud. Building on Heathrow’s existing strength will connect the whole of the UK to growth, keep Britain as an ambitious global nation and help the UK win the global race.”

Notes to editors

Why expansion at Heathrow is critical now

There is a compelling case for a third runway at Heathrow.

As an island trading nation, good international transport links have been a source of competitive advantage for the UK. Now that advantage is being eroded. Our global hub airport is full, and is unable to add flights to fast growing destinations.

Britain’s other airports have an important role to play but cannot compete with foreign hubs which make long-haul flights viable by mixing transfer passengers, direct passengers and freight.

So Britain faces a choice.

We can have the confidence and vision to develop our own hub into a world-class gateway for the 21st century, or we can accept that in future much of the world will not be able to fly to Britain direct.

Heathrow’s proposal is deliverable – environmentally, practically, financially, and politically. It offers a different and improved approach from the previous proposals for a third runway, with less noise and less environmental impact.

The potential prize to be gained by taking a positive decision is huge: thousands of new jobs, more trade, more investment, and more growth. With new rail and air links the whole country will benefit.

Britain already has one of the world’s most successful hub airports in Heathrow. Building on this strength will connect the UK to growth and help the UK win the global race.

Heathrow will take British people and businesses farther with the long-haul routes it provides that no other UK airport can.

Heathrow will also take Britain further by supporting the trade, inbound tourism and investment that will deliver the jobs and economic growth we need.

It’s time to make a positive decision for future generations and for all of Britain.

Only Heathrow can connect the whole of the UK to growth.

Heathrow’s 10 commitments

If Government supports a third runway we will:

  1. Connect Britain to economic growth

by enabling airlines to add new long-haul flights to fast-growing markets

  1. Connect UK nations and regions to global markets

by working with airlines and Government to deliver better air and rail links between UK regions and Heathrow

  1. Protect more than 100,000 existing local jobs and create more than 100,000 new jobs nationwide

by developing our local employment, apprenticeships and skills programmes and supporting a supply chain throughout the UK, including during construction

  1. Connect exporters to global markets

by doubling Heathrow’s freight handling capacity

  1. Build more quickly and at lower cost to taxpayers than building a new airport

by building on the strength the UK already has at Heathrow

  1. Reduce aircraft noise and lessen noise impacts for people under flight paths

by encouraging the world’s quietest aircraft to use Heathrow, routing aircraft higher over London, delivering periods with no aircraft overhead and allocating £250m to provide noise insulation

  1. Treat those most affected by a third runway fairly

by proposing compensation of 25% above market value, all legal fees, and stamp duty costs for a new home for anyone whose home needs to be purchased

  1. Increase the proportion of passengers using public transport to access Heathrow to more than 50%

by supporting new rail, bus and coach schemes to improve public transport to Heathrow and considering the case for a congestion charge

  1. Keep CO2 emissions within UK climate change targets and play our part in meeting local air quality limits

by incentivising cleaner aircraft, supporting global carbon trading, and increasing public transport use

  1. Reduce delays and disruption

by eliminating the routine use of aircraft stacks and further improving Heathrow’s resilience to weather and unforeseen events

  • Report ‘Taking Britain Further’ is available on the Heathrow website.
  • The document (48 pages, glossy, very  low on real detail) is at

  • Heathrow 3rd runway May 2014 “Taking Britain further

  • http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/Expanded-Heathrow-critical-to-UK-economy-Over-100-000-new-jobs-created-Economic-benefits-of-at-lea-8cf.aspx
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  • What Heathrow’s 3rd runway proposal says on carbon emissions and air quality (very little)

    Just taking the parts on carbon emissions and air quality from Heathrow’s promotional document for its 3rd runway, the claims can be seen to be ambitious, or perhaps unrealistic. Tellingly they forget to mention carbon emissions in the press release, other than to say there is one of their 10 “commitments” (no indication how these are to be enforced) that they will “Keep CO2 emissions within UK climate change targets”. This appears to be largely on hopes of more efficient operation, plus planes as yet unbuilt, carbon trading systems as yet not in existence, and new fuels (they don’t actually mention biofuels), which also do not exist. On local air quality standards, which the Heathrow area currently often breaches, Heathrow says it wants a local congestion charge to reduce vehicle journeys, a lot more public transport (paid for by taxpayer?) and another commitment (enforcement?) to “Increase the proportion of passengers using public transport to access Heathrow to more than 50%”. They also depend on road vehicle engines in future emitting less NO2 than at present.

    Click here to view full story…

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  • What Heathrow’s 3rd runway proposal says on noise (not very convincing)

    Heathrow’s publicity document on its 3rd runway plans has quite a lot on noise, as Heathrow realises that the noise generated by its aircraft is a key political topic, and is perhaps the main issue that would stop the runway. Having a new runway would mean the number of annual flights could increase by up to 260,000 per year (compared to the current 470,000 or so). This would inevitably create a huge amount more noise. But by only considering the people within the loudest noise contours (noise averaged over many hours each day) – the 57dBALeq countour and the 55dbLden contour – and not those who experience aircraft noise, but not quite as loudy, Heathrow claims fewer people will experience noise. This is manifestly not the truth. There may be slightly fewer, by massaging the figures, in the noisiest contours. But there will be many more experiencing aircraft noise, if not at the most intense levels. Already people miles from the airport, outside any current contour, are troubled and disturbed by aircraft noise. The document provides various maps and charts to try and make their point. The concept of respite periods is key in Heathrow’s attempts to win over the over-flown public, and those yet to be over-flown.

    Click here to view full story..


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  • Heathrow still has a mountain to climb in persuading politicians about its 3rd runway

    Writing in a blog, the day Heathrow submitted their runway plans to the Airports Commission, John Stewart (Chair of Hacan, the community group for people affected by the noise from Heathrow flight paths) says Heathrow still has a mountain to climb. Their revised 3rd runway plan shows they understand the need to pull out all the stops to make it politically deliverable. They appreciate that unless there are enough “goodies” for voters living under the flight paths and around Heathrow, governments will continue to be reluctant to commit to a 3rd runway. It is the proposals to deal with noise and community destruction that most politicians will be interested in. The view in the “Heathrow villages” of the offers of slightly higher than necessary payments to those facing compulsory purchase of their homes is that it will take much more than that to quell opposition. Heathrow does now acknowledge that aircraft noise is a problem outside the discredited 57 noise contour but few are really persuaded there would be less noise with 260,000 more flights per year. Whether Heathrow can do enough to persuade politicians that a3rd runway is politically deliverable is still open to real doubt.

    Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick chairman says 2nd runway would benefit UK by just £667 million per year

 

Sir Roy also ignores the other inconvenient fact that air travel contributes to a loss to the Treasury of the order of £10 billion per  year, as it pays no VAT and no fuel duty. The only tax paid by air travellers is APD, which for any European flight (most of those at Gatwick) is only £13 per passenger for a return trip.

Gatwick second runway will deliver £40bn benefit to Britain – says its (biased!) Chairman, Sir Roy McNulty

Gatwick chairman claims expansion at rival airport Heathrow will lead to a “political roadblock” similar to 2010 when the Coalition scapped previous third runway plans

A Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet comes into land at London Gatwick airport

Both Heathrow, Gatwick and Heathrow Hub will submit their final plans for additional runway capacity to the government-appointed Airports Commission this week.             Photo: Alamy

Britain will be £40bn better off if Gatwick Airport is chosen as the location for the UK’s next runway over rival Heathrow, according to claims published today.

Sir Roy McNulty, chairman of Gatwick, has branded Heathrow a “politically toxic” monopoly as Britain’s two busiest airports prepare to make their closing arguments in the battle over expansion rights. Both Heathrow and Gatwick will on Tuesday publish their final plans to the Airports Commission, an inquiry led by former Financial Services Authority chairman, Sir Howard Davies, into where best to build the next runway in the South East of England.

In an article published on The Telegraph’s website, Sir Roy launches a pre-emptive strike, claiming policymakers will hand Heathrow’s investors a “powerful monopoly” which will raise prices for passengers if the West London hub is permitted to build a third runway.

Sir Roy, who is a former chairman of Britain’s airports regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, also casts doubt on the ability to deliver a third runway at Heathrow even if it is selected by the commission due to political sensitivities. Choosing Gatwick will lead to “more vigorous competition” in the market, more flights and lower fares for passengers, the airport chief argues. Gatwick is preparing to publish an impact study, drawn up by consultants at Oxera, which values the economic benefits of choosing its second runway plans over Heathrow expansion at £40bn over the next 60 years.

“Each time Heathrow has been chosen it has faced a political roadblock,” Sir Roy writes. “The reasons for that are very simple but worth restating. Heathrow is in the wrong place for expansion which makes it politically toxic. In the modern age it has not been considered acceptable to have another 270,000 flights a year over a central London flight path – with all the resulting noise and environmental impact – at a time when, today, noise at Heathrow is greater than all European airports combined.”

Gatwick claims it will be in a better position to cater for low cost airlines, the fastest growing segment of the market, than Heathrow, whose customers are predominantly legacy airlines which make use of transfer traffic to fill long and medium-haul flights.

The Airports Commission has short-listed three options: a second runway at Gatwick, Heathrow airport’s own expansion plans, and a maverick idea cooked up by former Concorde pilot Captain William “Jock” Lowe. The Heathrow Hub scheme involves extending the airport’s existing north runway and dividing it in two.

Heathrow Hub will also submit its final plans to the commission, which will include recommendations on how to avoid closing the M25 during the day while a new route for the trunk road is constructed.

Over the weekend, Heathrow launched a charm offensive with local communities, announcing a £550m noise insulation and property compensation fund to placate residents who are concerned over the impact of a third runway. Heathrow is proposing to buy around 750 properties, which will have be demolished if its third runway plans go ahead, at 25pc above their market value and pay for stamp duty and legal costs.

A spokesman for Heathrow last night dismissed Gatwick’s claims that Britain would be better off if the West Sussex airport is allowed to expand to two runways.

The spokesman said: “Heathrow supports competition and choice which is why we are not opposed to a second runway at Gatwick. Gatwick’s argument that in future passengers and airlines can have any choice as long as it’s Gatwick is the opposite of competition.

“Frontier Economics estimates that removing capacity constraints at Heathrow could cut average ticket prices by £95 today and by £300 in 2030. That price cut for UK passengers and business can only be delivered by expanding Heathrow.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10823204/Gatwick-second-runway-willl-deliver-40bn-benefit-to-Britain.html

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Scale of taxpayer contribution needed for Heathrow or Gatwick runways shown up in KPMG report for Airports Commission.                As much as £17.7 billion for Gatwick?

January 20, 2014

A report dated December 2013 by accountants, KPMG, for the Airports Commission, says a 3rd runway at Heathrow could require £11.5bn of government support, (ie. money from the taxpayer) while a 2nd runway at Gatwick may need as much as £17.7bn of taxpayer contributions. An airport in the Thames Estuary would need even more from the taxpayer – maybe £64 billion. The report contradict claims by airport operators that an extra runway could be financed either exclusively or predominantly by the private sector. Gatwick has said it could build a 2nd runway for £5bn to £9bn with no government aid. Heathrow has raised the prospect of £4bn to £6bn of taxpayer support to improve rail and road links, but has argued that a 3rd runway, at a cost of £17bn, would be largely funded by the private sector. The KPMG analysis also highlights the potential burden of building a new runway on passengers, who would pay higher ticket prices. KPMG says these would have to rise by 136% at Gatwick to repay the money borrowed. That would mean charges at Gatwick rising by 2.5% above inflation every year from 2019 to 2050. At Heathrow charges would need to rise by 13% initially and then by 2.5% above inflation. Repaying the money takes till 2050. Unless charges for passengers rise enough, the public (many of whom do not fly) will have to stump up the funds.

Click here to view full story…

 

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On Gatwick’s 2nd runway plan, the KPMG report (Dec 2013) says (Page 18):

“The capital cost of developing the scheme is estimated at £16.6 billion (comprising £14 billion of on airport costs and £2.6 billion of off-airport (surface access) costs). Whilst this capital expenditure is spread over 21 years, and much of the cost is back-ended (the first five years sees only £0.9 billion expenditure), the anticipated revenue assumptions do not allow debt to be repaid as there is insufficient income to cover the interest on the debt. This is after assuming revenues are indexed at 2.5% from 2019 the period beyond the current regulated cap. Further, at four times the current RAB value, it seems unlikely that the RAB model could be used as an effective means for raising finance for this option.

In order to repay total debt by 2050, aero revenue charges would need to increase by 136% and rise by 2.5% inflation year on year from 2019 and that would give rise to peak borrowing of £13.2 billion.

Alternatively an initial rise of 209% with no further inflationary rise would also see a reduced debt of £8.5 billion fully repaid by 2050.  However, that analysis assumes that the airport pays for 100% of the off-airport capital expenditure. Assuming that it makes no contribution to those off-airport costs the revenue is still insufficient to meet interest costs but the increase required to repay the on-airport related debt is a 112% increase in aero revenues from 2019 and indexed at 2.5% thereafter. In that case peak borrowing would be £11.1 billion which could be reduced to £6.9 billion if the initial rise in aero revenues were 171% with no inflationary rise thereafter. Any increase in revenue above that would theoretically allow a contribution to the off-airport capital expenditure.

Whilst the cost of this scheme is low in comparison to the brand new hub options, it is still too large under the revenue assumptions provided to repay the capital cost and would therefore need some form of revenue increase, subsidy or grant from Government. Without a clear economic rationale it is unlikely that the remainder of the funding would be attractive to external investors or third party debt providers so the extent of the Government subsidy may need to be sizeable. It is noteworthy that the cost of the scheme is a few billion pounds less than Crossrail which has some private sector contribution at the margins but is in essence wholly funded by Government.

To derive a proxy figure for potential Government subsidy to support the schemes (as an alternative to simply raising revenue) a breakeven analysis on the capital expenditure costs has been approximated. Reducing capital expenditure by £17.7 billion, the scheme is viable in the base case and this £17.7 billion is therefore an approximation of the level of Government support that might be required. The additional borrowing requirement would fall to a more manageable £1.7 billion.”

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Airports Commission - Interim Report - 0 Paper – High-level Commercial & Financial Assessment of Selected Potential Schemes   - 10 December 2013. By KPMG

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Heathrow plans £550m sweetener which it hopes will head off opposition to 3rd runway

Heathrow airport says 950 homes in the Harmondsworth area would be demolished (compulsory purchase) if it got its north-west 3rd runway option. The media are talking about Heathrow offering substantial compensation for 750 homes. Link  Heathrow is saying it will also pay large sums for sound insulation from a £550m fund and it would spend at least £250m on soundproofing homes and schools – compared with only £30m it has spent n the last 20 years.  If Heathrow paid out at the level Gatwick has offered  - £1,000 equivalent to Band A Council Tax – to each household within the 57dB contour, it would be about £245 million per year.  Link However much sound insulation is put in, or however many financial sweeteners, the noise is still heard if the windows are open or if people are outdoors, eg in the garden. Heathrow is still trying to work out which is less unpopular – giving more noise compensation to fewer people, or less compensation to more.  John Stewart, Chair of Hacan said of Heathrow’s money offer: “Their new-found generosity is a clear sign that they are still not confident that they can get a third runway approved, agreed and built.”  


 

There are some to-the-point comments to the article. Many worth reading. Link.

Heathrow plans £550m sweetener to head off opposition to third runway

Big payouts to buy up blighted properties and provide sound insulation for homes and schools under new flight path
Around 750 homes would be compulsorily purchased at 25% above market value. Photograph: Invicta Kent Media/Rex Features

Heathrow is to spend hundreds of millions of pounds in an attempt to buy off local opposition to a proposed third runway, with plans to use a massive new fund to compensate homeowners and insulate homes and public buildings against aircraft noise.

With the airport set to publish detailed plans on Tuesday for a new runway to the north-west of its current perimeter, it is prepared to pay premium prices for properties in its path as well as to offer unprecedented sums for sound insulation from a £550m fund.

Around 750 homes would be compulsorily purchased and demolished if the scheme goes ahead. Heathrow would offer an exceptional 25% over the unblighted value of the houses (averaging £250,000) along with legal fees and stamp duty incurred for the purchase of new homes.

Allowing for a potential 15% rise in house prices, Heathrow would expect to spend at least £250m on soundproofing homes and schools – compared with only £30m it has spent on insulating properties in the last 20 years.

The third runway at Heathrow is the bookmakers’ favourite to be selected from three airport schemes shortlisted by the Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies. An alternative Heathrow development proposed by the Heathrow Hub group, which owns options on land nearby, and a second Gatwick runway are still under consideration, along with the possible 11th-hour reinstatement of a new Thames estuary airport thought up by London mayor Boris Johnson.

A final recommendation will be made after the 2015 general election, although no party has pledged to implement Davies’s findings.

Noise has long been a pivotal issue around Heathrow, with surrounding boroughs such as Hounslow resisting expansion. Many residents report being woken daily at 5am by the first arriving flight, while teachers in schools under the flightpaths say lessons are frequently rendered inaudible by incoming planes.

Heathrow is planning another public consultation in July to decide how the money should be divided up. The size of the fund could conceivably see grants for insulation in areas beyond the “noise contour” of what was traditionally considered persistent disturbance.

A source said: “We want people to work with us to decide how that should be implemented. There are choices to be made on whether we focus resources on high noise areas or spread them thinner and further, whether it should be residential or community buildings. Do we insulate all schools to a gold standard, or would schools rather spend the money on better facilities?”

On Tuesday, Heathrow will publish a 400-page document setting out a revised plan for the third runway, slightly farther south than set out last year but still obliterating most of the village of Harmondsworth. The airport will also include a report from a public consultation underlining its belief that the alternative Heathrow Hub proposal – based on former Concorde pilot Jock Lowe’s vision of elongating the two existing runways for landing and takeoff, would be even more fiercely resisted locally, as it would jeopardise periods of respite for residents under the flightpaths.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said: “We are committed to treating those most affected by a third runway fairly. Since the previous runway plan was rejected in 2010 we have listened to ideas for how we could improve our proposals. We recognise that the expansion of Heathrow deserves an exceptional compensation scheme. That’s why we’re going further than statutory schemes or government guidance.”

John Stewart, of Hacan (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise), who chaired the coalition of anti-third runway protests last time round, said Heathrow’s move would mark “a whole new approach”. He said: “We’d always welcome generous terms of compensation and mitigation, but this has all the desperation of trying to buy off the opposition. Whether this will actually get Heathrow the third runway they desperately desire is very much open to question. Their new-found generosity is a clear sign that they are still not confident that they can get a third runway approved, agreed and built.”

But, he admitted: “Heathrow are playing a much cleverer game – we’ve never seen this sort of approach. For us, it’s a tougher and very different challenge.”

Heathrow is also proposing a congestion charge for drivers going to the airport, in an attempt to address concerns about air quality. While Heathrow constantly breaches EU limits for nitrogen dioxide levels in the air, it stresses that road traffic causes similar pollution around London.

The charge would aim to keep car use at current levels, even if a third runway was built, although Heathrow says it would only want a scheme to be implemented once upgrades to public transport links had been completed – including Crossrail and a new link to the Great Western mainline.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/10/heathrow-sweetener-third-runway

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A few of the comments below the article: (many are well worth reading – a cut above the  usual level of commentary ….)

Another runway for the south of England? Does the English Parliament know that anything actually exists north of Watford? Is there not a big modern under-used airport in Birmingham?

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Sound insulation doesn’t work when windows are open.

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Air conditioning doesn’t work when windows are closed!

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Didn’t Cameron say ‘no ifs, no buts’ in relation to there not being a new runway at Heathrow? ……
Yes, but it was one of his ‘Cast Iron’ guarantees, hence meaningless. ……
Cast iron can be melted down again.

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The M25 is already hellish around Heathrow and another runway will make it even worse. The congestion charge will not work. It will just be another cost added on to your flight, if on business then the company will pay it, and if on leisure trips it will just be added onto the parking cost.

And it will make the south east even more crowded than it already is.

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he public transport links into Heathrow are a disgrace. It is ridiculous that the only direct rail routes out of the airport go east, and one of those is per-mile the most expensive in the world, while everyone else must make do with similarly expensive buses which are at the mercy of the horrendous traffic in the area… Traffic which largely results from dire public transport.

BAA now have advertising campaigns aggressively promoting car usage and parking at the airport. It is hard to imagine a more socially-irresponsible airport owner than then current one.

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So Heathrow acknowledges that car traffic generated by their airport breaches EU regulations, but are only prepared to act if we give them a third runway – they must be aware that the World Health Organisation has classified road (and aviation) air pollutants as being carcogenic and already on average each person in England dies 6 months earlier due to this pollution.
It is clear they need to clean up their act, and sort out the noise and air pollution from both ground and air traffic before even considering expansion.
In Denmark each ticket has a one euro levy for sound insulation, funny how those europeans consider their citizens quality of life more valuable than ours.

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So compulsory purchase orders are OK when you want to extend an airport but wrong when you need land to build houses?

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Meanwhile a nice little airport in Kent is going to be shut down and turned into a housing estate.

Why are we not encouraging domestic and short haul European flights to dealt with by smaller airports like Manston to free up capacity at the bigger airports for the bigger long haulers.

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‘Aviation is a growth industry’….what about the little matter of the pollution that emissions from jet aviation activity causes? Aviation cannot grow ad infinitum…best to get used to that.

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Government lied in 1945, and after, saying that this would be a military airport only (or very largely) for the protection of London.

Prevailing wind direction means that the normal approach to Heathrow is over London. This is dangerous. There have been two near disasters in the last few years (BA flight from China nearly crashing into Hounslow, making the runway end by a few yards, and another BA flight mistaking the Bath Road for a main runway).

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The aviation lobby in the UK are pathetic…everything is subservient to the need for ‘more and more runways’…for what, and at what cost? They bleat on about it being essential for business and commerce, whereas in fact most jet aviation is based on cheap flights leaving the Uk, taking money away from the UK economy, to be spent on foreign holidays.

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How much of this expected air traffic is carrying passengers who want to visit the UK? How much is carrying passengers who just want to transit to other destinations? How much must we pay to ensure the convenience of foreign travelers?

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It is absurd environmental recklessness that Heathrow (never mind the other London airports) has countless flights to such destinations as Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow. Once such shamefully inefficient and wasteful uses of resources have been eliminated then we can decide whether there is really any call for more runways.

BA insist new runways are necessary to maintain ‘connectivity’: Yet over the years they have axed direct flights to various capitals including Caracas, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Kathmandu. More likely they simply want to pile even more flights onto the already well-served but lucrative Business/First-heavy routes like New York.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again under the European Convention on Human Rights the Compulsory Purchase Act is illegal and incompatible with the Convention. So if people refuse to sell there is nothing the government can do.

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How would they stop noise intruding on people’s gardens and school playgrounds? Or what about when people might want to open their windows such as on hot days and other times? Paying for air conditioning would also mean paying the running costs and also the effect of running it on the environment.

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I often wonder if tjhere isn’t a deliberate plan to keep everything in London. Infrastructure for Manchester and Leeds airports is almost non existent. I imagine Birmingham and Liverpool are similar as will be other northern airports.
My sister has been high up in a few global companies which have thought of locating out of London but when there is no infrastructure it is pointess. Fly from NY to Manchester and the choice of getting to Leeds is a crap train service and a taxi service to get to where you want to go which ,if you are passing through the university zone, takes a lifetime. Leeds/Bradford airport has a taxi service or bus.
Not exactly infrastructure. Just imagine how a president of one of the biggest companies in the world sees the world outside London.

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What new runway? West London is just not having it. End of.

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All those billions of pounds needed to expand Heathrow and for what? A few extra passengers waiting in lounges and buying a coffee before jetting off again! Great ideology.

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The ruling classes still think everyone is motivated by money, buying people off, what use is insulation if you want to sit in your garden, what about people who have good well paid jobs in the area and don’t want to move, these houses in my view would be un-saleable. All I can see is, the authorities are happy to see residents under noise house arrest. Is there nothing in this country that matters anymore only business and money.

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Sound proofing homes…! ? Sound proofing never works satisfactorily. If it does, people living in the flight path of planes will have to breathe their own breath over and over again. And never go out.

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The conclusion is obvious – since LHR finds it impossible to stay within air pollution standards, it shouldn’t be a hub.

The EU and UK are not there to look after the interests of the International Airlines Group, BA’s private sector owner, and protect them. IAG is a mere economic artefact, it can deal with the consequences by lower growth, lower share price, lower executive compensation or all 3. There are several of other big airports not too far away which can act as hubs, even for UK traffic: AMS, BRU, DUB, GLA, CDG. This needs to be thought through in European rather than national and collaborative rather than competitive terms.

New York has 3 airports, is economically at least as strong as London, has 4 airports but no intracontinental hub anything like LHRs. There’s no reason why London should not be similar.

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Let’s kill off the idea of a third runway completely; there has been more than enough development in London and the south of England and it’s time there was more investment in the Midlands and North, and I don’t mean the waste of space that is HS2. There is more than enough capacity at the other regional airports in England, it being the case that it is often cheaper and more convenient to travel from these than having to drag oneself down to either Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton or Stanstead.

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Corporations will win in the end , if Dave dosen ‘t pull his finger out they will buy themselves a more compliant Prime Minister . There are big bucks to me made from this small piece of real estate. If it means shitting on the plebs under the flight path so be it. Our Judiciary may have been bought and paid for , thank goodness for the EU to put a spanner in the works .

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What possessed the Queen to build Windsor Castle right under the flight path?

precognition?Will she get free soundproofing or sell for the 25% over market values ,and costs of replacement elsewhere?

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Heathrow business case looks shaky if it had to give almost £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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Heathrow hopes to buy off Harmondsworth with about £320,000 per property demolished

Heathrow is to spend hundreds of millions of pounds in an attempt to buy off local opposition to a proposed 3rd runway, with plans to use a massive new fund to compensate homeowners and insulate homes and public buildings against aircraft noise. Heathrow knows noise is a key reason why its runway is politically toxic. It also knows the bad publicity of destroying Harmondsworth and Sipson, and making other areas un-liveable. Now – publicising its runway plan tomorrow – Heathrow is proposing to pay the market price, unblighted, of homes plus 25% and the costs of legal fees, moving costs and stamp duty of buying a new home. For a £250,000 property, homeowners would receive £312,500 compensation, plus £7,500 stamp duty costs and legal fees. [About  £320,000 each - for a £250,000 house.  ie  £304 million for the 950 houses Heathrow would demolish].  This of course does not cover homes nearby, where life would become unpleasant. Heathrow is planning another public consultation in July to decide how the money should be divided up. There might also be more money for noise insulation in areas beyond the  usual”noise contour” (57dB) and help for schools. 
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Heathrow isn’t being particularly generous in offering moving costs, legal fees etc. That may be what they have to do for compulsory purchase. Compulsory purchase is legally complicated.  Link

Heathrow plans £550m deal for third runway residents

Heathrow
Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports, with 69 million passengers a year

Heathrow Airport has set aside £550m to compensate residents who will be affected if a third runway is built.

The airport said owners of 750 homes that would need to be demolished would be offered 25% above the market value of their properties.

Other residents will be compensated for noise pollution.

The airport will put its proposal to the Airports Commission, which is considering a number of options.

Heathrow Airport’s proposal also offers to pay stamp duty and legal fees for residents who have to buy new home.

For a £250,000 property, homeowners would receive £312,500 compensation, plus £7,500 stamp duty costs and legal fees. [About   £320,000 each - for a £250,000 house.  ie  £240 million for 750 houses.  There are 950 houses, so that would be £304 million ].

Colin Matthews, Chief Executive of Heathrow, said the airport had sought ideas for better compensation since a previous runway plan was rejected.

“We recognise that the expansion of Heathrow deserves an exceptional compensation scheme.

“That’s why we’re going further than statutory schemes or government guidance.

“People will receive fair compensation in the event that Heathrow expansion goes ahead,” he said.

Busiest airport

Under previous proposals for a third runway, £90m was allocated for noise insulation and compensation.

Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports, handling more than 69 million passengers a year.

Options floated by the Airports Commission, which is is looking at the future of air travel in the UK, include creating a third runway at Heathrow, or extending the northern runway to the west.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson supports the building of a new airport in the Thames Estuary and is opposed to expansion at Heathrow.

The commission will report after 2015.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-27363445

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“The third runway would be constructed on the site of Old Slade sewage works, Harmondsworth Moor, Harmondsworth, and Longford. The location to the west limits the number of properties that would have to be demolished compared to building a full-length runway on the previously proposed site. Properties in Longford and Harmondsworth would be subject to compulsory purchase under the option, but the communities of Sipson, Stanwell Moor, Harlington, Cranford Cross, Colnbrook and Poyle would be preserved. In total around 950 residential properties could face demolition. We are working to see whether this option could be developed to reduce the number of residential properties affected and to preserve the Tithe Barn and St Mary’s Church in Harmondsworth.”

 Heathrow press release link


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Heathrow plans £550m sweetener to head off opposition to third runway

Big payouts to buy up blighted properties and provide sound insulation for homes and schools under new flight path
By , transport correspondent

Heathrow plane

Around 750 homes would be compulsorily purchased at 25% above market value. Photograph: Invicta Kent Media/Rex Features

Heathrow is to spend hundreds of millions of pounds in an attempt to buy off local opposition to a proposed third runway, with plans to use a massive new fund to compensate homeowners and insulate homes and public buildings against aircraft noise.

With the airport set to publish detailed plans on Tuesday for a new runway to the north-west of its current perimeter, it is prepared to pay premium prices for properties in its path as well as to offer unprecedented sums for sound insulation from a £550m fund.

Around 750 homes would be compulsorily purchased and demolished if the scheme goes ahead. Heathrow would offer an exceptional 25% over the unblighted value of the houses (averaging £250,000) along with legal fees and stamp duty incurred for the purchase of new homes.

Allowing for a potential 15% rise in house prices, Heathrow would expect to spend at least £250m on soundproofing homes and schools – compared with only £30m it has spent on insulating properties in the last 20 years.

The third runway at Heathrow is the bookmakers’ favourite to be selected from three airport schemes shortlisted by the Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies. An alternative Heathrow development proposed by the Heathrow Hub group, which owns options on land nearby, and a second Gatwick runway are still under consideration, along with the possible 11th-hour reinstatement of a new Thames estuary airport thought up by London mayor Boris Johnson.

A final recommendation will be made after the 2015 general election, although no party has pledged to implement Davies’s findings.

Noise has long been a pivotal issue around Heathrow, with surrounding boroughs such as Hounslow resisting expansion. Many residents report being woken daily at 5am by the first arriving flight, while teachers in schools under the flightpaths say lessons are frequently rendered inaudible by incoming planes.

Heathrow is planning another public consultation in July to decide how the money should be divided up. The size of the fund could conceivably see grants for insulation in areas beyond the “noise contour” of what was traditionally considered persistent disturbance.

A source said: “We want people to work with us to decide how that should be implemented. There are choices to be made on whether we focus resources on high noise areas or spread them thinner and further, whether it should be residential or community buildings. Do we insulate all schools to a gold standard, or would schools rather spend the money on better facilities?”

On Tuesday, Heathrow will publish a 400-page document setting out a revised plan for the third runway, slightly farther south than set out last year but still obliterating most of the village of Harmondsworth. The airport will also include a report from a public consultation underlining its belief that the alternative Heathrow Hub proposal – based on former Concorde pilot Jock Lowe’s vision of elongating the two existing runways for landing and takeoff, would be even more fiercely resisted locally, as it would jeopardise periods of respite for residents under the flightpaths.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said: “We are committed to treating those most affected by a third runway fairly. Since the previous runway plan was rejected in 2010 we have listened to ideas for how we could improve our proposals. We recognise that the expansion of Heathrow deserves an exceptional compensation scheme. That’s why we’re going further than statutory schemes or government guidance.”

John Stewart, of Hacan (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise), who chaired the coalition of anti-third runway protests last time round, said Heathrow’s move would mark “a whole new approach”. He said: “We’d always welcome generous terms of compensation and mitigation, but this has all the desperation of trying to buy off the opposition. Whether this will actually get Heathrow the third runway they desperately desire is very much open to question. Their newfound generosity is a clear sign that they are still not confident that they can get a third runway approved, agreed and built.”

But, he admitted: “Heathrow are playing a much cleverer game – we’ve never seen this sort of approach. For us, it’s a tougher and very different challenge.”

Heathrow is also proposing a congestion charge for drivers going to the airport, in an attempt to address concerns about air quality. While Heathrow constantly breaches EU limits for nitrogen dioxide levels in the air, it stresses that road traffic causes similar pollution around London.

The charge would aim to keep car use at current levels, even if a third runway was built, although Heathrow says it would only want a scheme to be implemented once upgrades to public transport links had been completed – including Crossrail and a new link to the Great Western mainline.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/10/heathrow-sweetener-third-runway

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Some recent news stories on  Heathrow and its noise:

Heathrow suggests congestion charge for vehicles – to try and keep within air quality limits

Heathrow will announce its north- west runway plan on Tuesday 13th May. They have no interest in the Jock Lowe Heathrow Hub option. Heathrow is aware that as well as noise, air pollution is a show – stopper issue for their hopes of a new runway. Hence they are now suggesting to the Airports Commission that there should be a congestion charge for people travelling to Heathrow by car – after the public transport has been set up (largely at public expense). Some of the money raised may go towards public transport. Heathrow is trying to make out there will not only be no more noise caused by a 3rd runway, but no more road vehicles than now. They depend on emissions standards for NOx for new cars becoming tighter in future. Expansion of Heathrow would mean massive road congestion in the area. The Standard reports that Heathrow is moving its planned north-west runway slightly south, in order to avoid the M25 and M4 junction. To make way for the new runway to the north west of the airport, Heathrow will build a 600-metre tunnel taking traffic under the M25. A tunnel would run alongside the motorway – and be part-funded by Government.

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow business case looks shaky if it had to give almost £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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ANASE study on attitudes to aircraft noise to be updated to show real impact of Heathrow flight paths

February 24, 2014

The Sunday Times reports that on 26th February the researchers who worked on the ANASE (Attitudes to Noise from Aviation Sources in England) study of the effect of aircraft noise will publish an updated report. The 2007 ANASE was an expensive and extensive study, looking at what levels of aircraft noise annoyed people being overflown. It found that, contrary to the “prevailing wisdom” the widely used 57 decibel contour was not the actual threshold of community annoyance. In reality, much lower noise levels caused annoyance, and also upset and disturbed people. The research suggests that significant annoyance starts at about 50dB. The reality is that many areas (including Putney, Battersea, East Sheen, Barnes and Ealing), which are not included in the 57dB contour are badly affected by aircraft noise.The ANASE study was shelved, partly due to methodological criticisms. Now it is being updated and published by councils opposed to an increased number of flights over London, if Heathrow was to be allowed another runway. Researchers say subsequent European research into aircraft noise backs its initial ANASE findings.   Click here to view full story…

 

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Even if only 10% of those newly overflown by a 3rd Heathrow runway are deeply disturbed by the noise, that is 15,000 more people

February 11, 2014

In a recent blog, John Stewart considers the issue that is key for Heathrow airport – noise – and how it can affect people differently. Some people are much more bothered and distressed by it than others. The airport is currently carrying out focus group research in an attempt to find more about these differences. Currently there are over 725,000 people under Heathrow flight paths; a 3rd north-west runway would add around another 150,000 = total 875,000. What is much less clear is how many of these people are, or will be, deeply disturbed by aircraft noise. Research from Germany indicates that about 10% of people are much more noise sensitive than others. It is know that people will be more annoyed by noise if they believe it is not good for them. Also if they feel they have no control over the noise or cannot stop it getting worse. Noise is less disturbing when people believe the authorities are doing everything they can to reduce the problem. Heathrow believes around 10% of those who would be newly over-flown by a new runway’s flight paths would be deeply disturbed. The numbers are huge. 10% means an extra 15,000 people. Considering those under flight paths for all 3 runways, 10% means 87,000 people (out of the 875,000 overflown). Even 5% is 43,000 people seriously upset by the noise. That is a pretty terrifying statistic.

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Heathrow plans £550m sweetener which it hopes will head off opposition to 3rd runway

10.5.2014

Heathrow airport says 950 homes in the Harmondsworth area would be demolished (compulsory purchase) if it got its north-west 3rd runway option. The media are talking about Heathrow offering substantial compensation for 750 homes. Link  Heathrow is saying it will also pay large sums for sound insulation from a £550m fund and it would spend at least £250m on soundproofing homes and schools – compared with only £30m it has spent n the last 20 years.  If Heathrow paid out at the level Gatwick has offered  - £1,000 equivalent to Band A Council Tax – to each household within the 57dB contour, it would be about £245 million per year.  Link However much sound insulation is put in, or however many financial sweeteners, the noise is still heard if the windows are open or if people are outdoors, eg in the garden. Heathrow is still trying to work out which is less unpopular – giving more noise compensation to fewer people, or less compensation to more.  John Stewart, Chair of Hacan said of Heathrow’s money offer: “Their new-found generosity is a clear sign that they are still not confident that they can get a third runway approved, agreed and built.”  
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Heathrow ads plastering English county names over the globe deemed bad taste (at best)

Heathrow has a new variant of its advert, showing a map of the world, and a slogan implying that Heathrow is essential for travel anywhere outside the UK. The latest variant of the map is odd. In place of the names of countries, Heathrow has replaced them with the names of UK counties, or even things like “M4 corridor” (repeated many times), “The City”, Canary Wharf (many times)  and  the Western Isles, as well as “Devonshire” (sic), Cornwall, Shetland etc etc. Much of central Africa is shown as “South Yorkshire” and much of South America as “Cambridgeshire”. India is portrayed as “Clwyd”.  And so on. This is intended – by the bright ad-man responsible – to indicate “If we want growth in the future, we need to keep  Britain firmly on the map.”  That, it says, means Heathrow.  However, there is concern about the colonial over-tones of the advert, and it is being criticised as insensitive and patronising. One commentator writes: “I’m sure all they wanted to do was create a quirky advert with a patriotic theme. Basically, they missed the mark.”
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http://your.heathrow.com/heathrowconferencelounge/

Heathrow’s plane crash of an advert

Written by: 

May 10, 2014  (The Boar)

 ( excerpts) ……………..

Enter Heathrow Airport’s latest ad campaign, released on the 3rd April. It’s doesn’t fall into the racist or culturally appropriative categories; rather, it seems to have picked an entirely different, rather antiquated category; ye olde colonialism. It’s doesn’t point fun or imitate one particularly minority; instead, it decides to anglify the whole world, something which is equally offensive and equally stupid.

Heathrow counties advert May 2014

At first sight, it doesn’t exactly incur some sort of ethical apoplexy, but it certainly raises an eyebrow – the kind of facial expression where you don’t know whether a comedian’s joke goes beyond the line of what’s appropriate, and you wonder if you’re meant to laugh.

The advert shows us a map of the world, with various countries, cities and seas renamed as UK counties and cities. Saudi Arabia is now Warwickshire; Europe from Spain to the Russian border is Gloucestershire; India is Clwyd and most of North Africa is South Yorkshire. China has been divided into Derbyshire, Grampian, The M4 Corridor (also the name of the West Coast of Mexico, because who would want to waste such a great name on just one part of the globe?) and Lancashire, among others.

The advert shows us a map of the world, with various countries, cities and seas renamed as UK counties and cities.

It’s supposed to symbolise Heathrow’s belief that “If we want growth for the future, we need to keep Britain firmly on the map” (not Northern Ireland though, apparently, even though there’s a County Fermanagh in Russia, China and Peru).

Instead, however, it looks like an artistic impression of Imperialism Revisited; “British Empire 2.0”. It’s exactly what happened when Britain first expanded its empire, naming some of Australia’s territories New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria and littering the colonies with its own names, the most famous arguably being the change from New Amsterdam to New York.

Heathrow does its own version of this, tugging on the patriotic heartstrings to make us think that they can help us relive the glory days, when we ruled the world.

Heathrow counties ad Turkey etc zoomed   Several comments on Twitter on this to  the effect that: ”   out of touch in their latest advert, using names of counties on their map that were abolished in 1996! “

 

But the empire wasn’t glorious it all; it was bloody and brutal. If you weren’t being oppressed or exploited, it’s probably because you were a victim of the latest genocide. For that reason, looking at Heathrow’s map of Africa doesn’t inspire patriotism within me, nor a desire to use their airport. Instead, it makes me think of what the poster would be for a futuristic sequel of Roots. This time, we’re not supposed to sing the National Anthem on ships; now we’re supposed to tweet #BritainsHeathrow on planes.

The advert comes under a month after the Air France ad campaign which was slammed as being borderline racist, in which French models dress in Japanese, Chinese and West African garb. It spawned a huge outcry on twitter and numerous social media websites, lambasting its perversion of multiculturalism and fetishization of other cultures.

(see  http://reappropriate.co/?p=5038  )

Air France is selling their new routes with an ad campaign featuring White women in cultural drag.

air-france-beijing

http://reappropriate.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/air-france-dakar.jpg

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Air France has launched a new ad campaign featuring White women in cultural drag.

For that reason, looking at Heathrow’s map of Africa doesn’t inspire patriotism within me, nor a desire to use their airport.

Both Air France and Heathrow are prime failures of an attempt to define themselves as pioneers of globalism whilst simultaneously priding their own national identities to arouse its native audiences.

The former tried to achieve this harmony by making French models sexy citizens of the world, the latter by imagining citizens of the world as belonging to Crown dependencies. You simply can’t expect to reach a symbiosis between globalism and patriotism; the two completely juxtapose each other. So, if you’re an airport or airline advertising executive, your work’s cut out for you.

Surely, though, it’s possible to release an ad campaign which isn’t so plain dumb. Something which doesn’t offend people of other nations as they see their home countries emblazoned with Strathclyde or Canary Wharf. Something which doesn’t try to trick you into wanting to paint the Union Flag on each cheek and walk down The Mall singing Rule Brittania as it implicitly suggests that we conquer the world and reclaim the lands we deserve in the name of His Royal Airport the Heathrow of Hillingdon.

It’s obviously accidental, and I’m sure all they wanted to do was create a quirky advert with a patriotic theme. Basically, they missed the mark.

But what it shows is that when it comes to topics such as ethnicity and multiculturalism, today’s atmosphere is a particularly fraught one. When one engages in discourse concerning these matters, one walks a particularly thin tightrope, and the bigger your name, the higher the odds are that you’ll fall off.

http://theboar.org/2014/05/10/heathrows-plane-crash-advert/#.U26uVvldXCt

 

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