Heathrow will claim, in its runway submission to the Airports Commission on 16th May, that it can offer the shortest journey times (compared to Gatwick or the Thames estuary) to cities such as Sheffield, Bristol and Manchester and will do the most to bring growth to those regions by connecting them to international markets. Heathrow is arguing that the arrival of HS2, Crossrail, upgrades to London Underground’s Piccadilly line and the proposed rail link to the Great Western line will make access to the expanded airport much better, even with a 3rd runway. Heathrow will factor the rail links into its plans, even though only Crossrail is under construction and the other lines are only at various stages of planning. HS2 was voted through the Commons this week, but the plan to link it to the airport is on hold. HACAN says the airport’s owners have missed the point on this, as all the rail and road links will struggle to cope with the extra number of passengers that will use Heathrow if a 3rd runway is build. A new runway would mean another 260,000 or so flights a year. It is likely that the extra journeys generated by a 3rd runway would threaten gridlock on local roads and public transport networks.”
Heathrow ‘misses the point’ in surface access claims, says campaign group
The campaign group HACAN, which oppose the expansion of Heathrow Airport, has claimed that the airport’s owners have missed the point with their announcement today that new rail links such as Crossrail will give it the best connections of any airport in the UK to all areas of the country, including the regions,.
HACAN chair John Stewart said: “Heathrow may well become the best-connected airport in the country but today’s announcement misses the real point. All the rail and road links will struggle to cope with the extra number of passengers that will use Heathrow if a third runway is build. A new runway would mean another 260,000 or so flights a year. Today’s announcement by the airport misses the real point. It is a half-truth”
Stephen Joseph, the director of The Campaign for Better Transport, which has done work on the future surface access needs of Heathrow, commenting on today’s announcement, said “Our research showed that the public transport improvements planned around Heathrow are needed just to keep pace with London’s growing economy. We await the airport’s new proposals with interest, but the risk is that extra journeys generated by a third runway would threaten gridlock on local roads and public transport networks.”
Later this month Heathrow Airport intends to submit their views on access to the airport to the Airports Commission which is looking at proposals for future airport expansion in London and the South East.
The FT article to which this refers is below ( extracts):
May 2, 2014
Heathrow focuses on rail links in case for expansion
By Jane Wild (FT )
Heathrow will argue that new rail links such as HS2 and Crossrail will help it build on its position as the best-connected airport to the UK’s regions, as it steps up its campaign to be allowed to expand.
Heathrow will argue [to the Airports Commission in its submission, due on 16th May] that it offers the shortest journey times to cities such as Sheffield, Bristol and Manchester and will do the most to bring growth to those regions by connecting them to international markets. It will make HS2, Crossrail, upgrades to London Underground’s Piccadilly line and the proposed rail link to the Great Western line part of its case.
Colin Matthews, chief executive, said: “Heathrow is already the UK’s best-connected transport hub. It is in a better location for most UK passengers and companies than other options for airport expansion.”
Heathrow said it was confident it could factor the rail links into its plans, despite work having begun only on Crossrail. The others are at various stages of planning. HS2 was voted through the Commons this week, but the plan to link it to the airport is on hold.
Not all regions have offered support. Birmingham chambers has previously attacked Heathrow’s claim it would benefit the whole country, saying it misunderstood businesses, which want to use their local airport.
Campaigners warned that the railways would be strained by the millions of extra passengers a third runway would bring.
New aviation Minister, Robert Goodwill. has visited Leeds Bradford airport and commented that a new rail link to the airport is “obviously desirable”. Mr Goodwill was at the airport for a whistle-stop tour, as part of a day of discussions with council and business leaders. One of the items to discuss was the possible improvement of road and rail links to the airport. This has been under discussion for several years. The local paper reports that “The Minister is visiting regional airports across the country in the wake of a new Government study, which has identified the six national congestion hotspots most in need of investment.” He said he could understand why the airport is so keen to get improved rail links, to ease travel. But quizzed on if and when the Government would be ready to invest in the region’s airport, he said he was “rather reluctant to put a timescale on that decision”. “We have to look at other airports and priorities as well….. There is a study ongoing and it will depend on the price tag, the deliverability and planning issues.” At present most people go to Leeds Bradford Airport by car or by taxi.
Aviation Minister drops in to discuss new airport rail link
1 May 2014 (Yorkshire Post)
New aviation Minister Robert Goodwill has admitted a new rail link to Leeds Bradford airport is “obviously desirable”.
Mr Goodwill was at the airport yesterday for a whistle-stop tour of the facility, as part of a day of discussions with council and business leaders.
Top of the agenda was improved road and rail links to the airport.
The Minister is visiting regional airports across the country in the wake of a new Government study, which has identified the six national congestion hotspots most in need of investment.
“Coming from Yorkshire as I do, I understand the importance of regional airports, or local international airports as I think they should really be called,” he told The Yorkshire Post.
“A rail connection into the airport is obviously desirable. I am the MP for Scarborough and many of my constituents see it as [more] convenient to use Manchester airport, despite the fact it’s twice as far away, because they can get on the train at Scarborough and get off it in Manchester.
“And therefore I can understand why John (Parkin, the airport’s chief executive) is so keen to get a rail connection here, so that people an get on the train, change at Leeds or Harrogate and come into Leeds Bradford by train.”
He praised the airport’s “phenomenal” facilities and its increasing capacity.
But quizzed on if and when the Government would be ready to invest in the region’s airport, he said he was “rather reluctant to put a timescale on that decision”.
“We have to look at other airports and priorities as well,” he said. “But I have recognised the issue of surface connectivity at Leeds Bradford. There is a study ongoing and it will depend on the price tag, the deliverability and planning issues.
“But business leaders, council leaders and local MPs make it very clear to me that they see this as a priority we need to look at. I have come here today.
“If it wasn’t something we are taking seriously, I would not have.”
John Parkin, chief executive of the airport, said connection issues had been driving the regional debate on transport planning for a while.
He said the fact the Minister was visiting the region and speaking to stakeholders on the issue “tells you much”.
“Whilst no one can say what the outcome of major piece of national work will be, we are getting attention, and that’s important,” he said.
New Leeds Bradford Airport rail link planned for spring 2012
7 November 2011 (Yorkshire Evening Post)
A new rail link for Leeds Bradford Airport could get the provisional go-ahead as soon as spring next year, the YEP can reveal.
Harrogate Chamber of Commerce has asked Transport Secretary Teresa Villiers for a decision, in principle, on a proposed new rail system connecting Leeds, Harrogate and York.
The plans include a new station – Leeds International Airport Parkway – based near the Bramhope Tunnel, between Horsforth and Weeton, which would connect to the airport by a park and ride scheme. New stations with park and ride schemes are also being put forward for Pool, Butterskye Bar and Arthington.
If Ms Villiers agrees in principle, it is hoped detailed costings and other design work could begin in earnest.
Brian Dunsby, chief executive at the Harrogate Chamber of Commerce, told the Yorkshire Evening Post the new system would bring massive benefits to the region.
He said: “It has massive economic consequences for the region.”
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Mr Dunsby added: “The airport is poorly served by rail and we need to improve connections from towns like Harrogate and Leeds.”
The Chamber’s plan also involves electrifying the line – putting in a ‘third rail’ – and increasing the speed of the trains so that extra stations are possible without extending journey times.
The rail line would be serviced by reconditioned former London Underground trains when they are decommissioned in 2014.
However, the current plans fall short of those outlined in the airport’s own ‘masterplan’ which had envisaged the construction of a railway line north of the airport from the west, at Guiseley on the Wharfedale line, to the East, the Harrogate line between Horsforth and Weeton.
Leeds city councillor, Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said: “The station would undoubtedly help the residents of Yeadon. There’s road congestion and many visitors park up and leave cars for weeks-on-end to avoid car parking charges at the airport. But we need to consider all options, the scheme proposes an electric third rail system and there may be problems getting other types of trains to run on it.“
Simon Bowen of Friends of the Earth gave the proposals a cautious welcome. He said: “We welcome the plans but the airport will remain a major traffic generator because it plans to increase passenger numbers to five million over the next five years.”
Harrogate Chamber of Commerce expects a decision on its outline proposal from the Department for Transport by Spring 2012.
Protesters – from the villages of Harmondsworth and Longford (to be destroyed by Heathrow’s 3rd runway plan) played a protest football game on the green outside the Houses of Parliament. This was to highlight the “broken promises” of David Cameron over his “No ifs, no buts, no third runway” commitment to no expansion at Heathrow at the last election. The residents of the 2 villages feel they have been “kicked into the long grass” over new Heathrow expansion plans. The villagers travelled from west London too Westminster with Channel 5 TV cameras in tow, to set up their jumpers for goalposts on the green overlooked by Parliament. The team wore England shirts, with past quotes from senior politicians affirming cross-party opposition to a third runway emblazoned on their backs.The football organiser said “We will practice our kicking into the long grass, and our U-turns. The Conservative Government made promises that there would be no third runway before they were elected, and now it looks like they are going back on their word. If we can’t believe them on this issue, how can we believe them about anything?”
Anti-third runway campaigners put the boot in at Westminster
Protestors played a football game on the green outside the Houses of Parliament, to highlight the “broken promises” of David Cameron over his ‘no ifs, no buts’ commitment to no expansion at Heathrow
HEATHROW villagers who feel they have been “kicked into the long grass” over new Heathrow expansion plans had a protest football game outside the House of Commons.
The group travelled to Westminster this morning (Friday), with Channel 5 TV cameras in tow, to set up their jumpers for goalposts on the green overlooked by Parliament, and take a stand against the government’s changing stance on a third runway.
The team wore England shirts, with past quotes from senior politicians affirming cross-party opposition to a third runway emblazoned on their backs.
Amongst them is David Cameron’s now-infamous pledge in 2009 that a third runway would not go ahead, “no ifs, no buts.”
Two Heathrow expansion options – a third runway to the north west of the existing airport, over Harmondsworth and Longford, and the extension of the northern runway to the west – are being considered by the Airports Commission, set up by the government to assess and recommend the best way to increase hub airport capacity in the south east.
The Commission is due to advise on their preferred option next summer, after the general election.
A second runway at Gatwick is a third option on the table.
The protest was organised by Harmondsworth resident Neil Keveren, who said: “We brought with us people from all the villages that would be affected. We will practice our kicking into the long grass, and our u-turns.
“The Conservative Government made promises that there would be no third runway before they were elected, and now it looks like they are going back on their word.
“If we can’t believe them on this issue, how can we believe them about anything? We have been ignored for too long, and we just want to exercise our free speech and let our political leaders know that they should stand by their word.
“Sipson has been reprieved this time, but Harmondsworth and Longford would be destroyed.”
Luton Airport operators LLAOL have announced that Eric Pickles, Secretary of State at the DCLG, has decided not to call in Luton airport’s expansion plans. This means Luton Borough Council can now grant planning permission for works designed to achieve a doubling of annual passenger capacity. Local opponents of the expansion are horrified and saddened. Earlier a local opinion poll showed some 70% of the public who responded to the consultation over Luton Airport Expansion said “NO” to it. Local community group opposing the expansion, HALE, commented that the application is effectively large enough to be a NSIP (Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project) as it could perhaps add 10 million passengers per year. NSIPs have to be called in, as their scale and the extent of their influence warrant proper scrutiny, in detail. The airport and the government, have failed to take proper account of the local impacts of an extra 9 million passengers per year on local transport infrastructure, and the effect of noise from 60% more flights. “The throwaway comment at the end about being a good neighbour is meaningless …” Luton Council gave consent to the plans in December but Eric Pickles asked to review the decision.
Luton airport tramples on views of local residents
1.5.2014 ( HALE - Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion)
Luton Airport operators LLAOL have this morning announced that Eric Pickles, Secretary of
State, has decided not to call in the expansion plans, meaning that Luton Borough Council
can now grant planning permission for works designed to achieve a doubling of annual
Reacting to the news, Andrew Lambourne from HALE said “The government is hell-bent on
expanding airport capacity in the South East, come what may. Regardless of the fact that
70% of the public who responded to the consultation over Luton Airport Expansion said NO,
ignoring the fact that aviation is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases, and
despite the application technically constituting a nationally significant infrastructure project,
Eric Pickles has failed to call this application in for proper scrutiny.”
He continued “The airport’s announcement this morning mentions everything except the
key local issues: the effect of an extra 9 million passengers per year on the already crowded transport infrastructure, and the effect of noise from 60% more flights. The throwaway comment at the end about being a good neighbour is meaningless unless the airport takes seriously the concerns about noise and puts in place measures to make a difference. That means a Noise Action Plan which has some real bite.”
HALE (Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion) is a campaign group committed to opposing plans to expand Luton Airport which will export further noise and pollution to Hertfordshire. It represents communities all around the airport. See www.hale.uk.net
The Luton Airport press release said:
Planning Application Consent
1 May 2014 ( Luton airport)
London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (“LLAOL”) and its new owners, Ardian and Aena, are pleased that the Department for Communities and Local Government has confirmed that Luton Borough Council may proceed to grant consent for its planning application.
Our application to develop the Airport has been subjected to intense and rigorous scrutiny over the past 12 months from neighbouring Councils, independent third party specialists and by the Local Planning Authority, who twice extended the period required to review the plans.
Before the plans were formally submitted, proposals to improve the Airport were subject to two public consultations. 65% of respondents who took part in the consultation on LLAOL’s development plans said they supported proposals to develop the Airport. They all stated their support for the economic benefits to Luton and the wider region, and the need to generate 5,100 new jobs, including a contribution to a reduction in youth unemployment.
Construction will take place over three phases and will:
- Expand, modernise and remodel the terminal building to accommodate and equip:
Up to 20 security passenger screening lanes;
15 immigration passenger screening lanes;
Up to 8 international and 1 domestic passenger reclaim belts;
Increased retail, catering, circulation and seating areas;
A new two-storey pier.
- Dual the road from the Holiday Inn Roundabout to a newly configured road system in front of the Central Terminal Area;
- Build a new parallel taxiway to unlock capacity for an additional 6 million passengers a year from the existing runway;
- Build a new multi-storey car park.
Glyn Jones, Managing Director of the Airport said: “We are delighted that after a thorough process, the Council can proceed to grant planning permission for London Luton. We see this as a real vote of confidence in the Airport and its future, underlining the determination of our new owners, Ardian and Aena, to develop and radically improve London Luton and deliver a better airport experience for our passengers in the years to come. The opportunities it brings for the local economy in terms of jobs and investment are significant, and Luton can now press ahead with making its local airport bigger and better, while remaining a good neighbour.”
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
London Luton Airport is one of the UK’s largest airports and carried 9.7 million passengers in 2013. The Airport directly and indirectly employs over 600 and 8,000 staff respectively and is a key economic driver for the region. easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Monarch, Thomson, EL AL, Atlasjet, Blue Air, TAROM and Carpatair operate from the airport, departing to over 100 destinations including services to Europe, Africa, and Asia, with onward connections to Mumbai, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Beijing and Bangkok via Tel Aviv.
Campaigners against the expansion have said it will bring an unacceptable increase in noise and air pollution.
The airport, which currently is the UK’s fifth largest, handled 9.7m passengers in 2013.
Airport managing director Glyn Jones said the government’s approval was “a real vote of confidence in the airport and its future”.
Expansion plan features:
Up to 20 security passenger screening lanes
15 immigration passenger screening lanes
Up to eight international and one domestic passenger reclaim belts
Increased retail, catering and seating areas
“The opportunities it brings for the local economy, in terms of jobs and investment, are significant and Luton can now press ahead with making its local airport bigger and better, while remaining a good neighbour,” he said.
Andrew Lambourne, from Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion, said: “An extra nine million passengers a year can’t just be swept under the carpet – local roads are already crowded.
“Planes will be taking off earlier in the morning and later at night.”
The council said its December decision was subject to a range of planning conditions addressing concerns over noise, night flying and other environmental issues, including road improvements.
Comment from a Luton resident, already badly affected by Luton airport noise:
In a passable imitation of Pontius Pilate the announcement from [Eric Pickles '] office says:
The Government is committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues, and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible.
To have denied the many communities adversely affected by the airport’s expansion the thorough examination of the proposals, and the many assumptions and assertions on which it is based, by the independent Planning Inspectorate is “shameful”.
To quote Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli; “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” And so it is when opinion polls are done, and the organisation that commissions the poll wants a particular result out of it. Heathrow often gets Populus to ask people in boroughs near Heathrow what they think. They usually ask similar questions each time. One asks “Taking everything you know into account, do you currently support or oppose expanding Heathrow?” Over all boroughs surveyed, 26% strongly supported this; 22% somewhat supported; 11% somewhat opposed; 23% strongly opposed. See link So 48% support, and 34% oppose, with 18% neither supporting nor opposing. The figures were broadly the same a year earlier (with 46% supporting, but 43% opposing, and 10% neither supporting nor opposing). Heathrow says this is large, and growing, support. It is difficult to interpret the figures, as Populus only publishes a small bit of its results, with no methodology, such as the script of the interviewer, tone of the questions etc. Questions need to be asked about what information is given to people by Populus before they are asked their views.
It found that only 42% of people expressed an opinion on the issue: of those, 25% of people said they were more likely to vote for their local councillor if they support expansion and 17% more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes expansion.
On the wider issue of support for a 3rd runway, people in the boroughs around Heathrow remain split, with just under a half supporting it and just over a third opposed.
The fact that a third of people stubbornly refuse to back expansion will worry politicians. It adds up to a lot of people: over half a million in total. (Each borough contains about 250,000 people. The 7 boroughs Populus surveyed contain about 1,750,000 people in total. A third of that is 525,000).
The results are similar to the previous polls carried out by Populus. But remain out-of-kilter with other polls.
Last year referenda and polls carried out in three West London boroughs found that 72% of people were opposed to a third runway at Heathrow. That is also the message MPs get on the door step. Questions need to be asked about what information is given to people by Populus before they are asked their views.
One quarter of local residents ‘more likely’ to vote for local councillor if they back Heathrow expansion
23 April, 2014
25% more likely to vote for their local councillor if they support expansion, 17% more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes expansion
48% support Heathrow third runway, 34% oppose
57% feel positively towards Heathrow, 37% neutral, only 6% negative
Local residents in west London, Spelthorne and Windsor are more likely to vote for their local councillor if they support Heathrow expansion than if they oppose it according to new research from independent polling company Populus.
The research suggests that far from being politically difficult, supporting a third runway at Heathrow could actually be a vote winner for local councillors. 48% of residents said they supported expanding Heathrow, while 34% were opposed.
57% of voters said they feel positive towards Heathrow, while 37% feel neutral and just 6% feel negative towards the airport.
The research is significant because it covers a statistically representative sample of those who stand to be most affected by Heathrow expansion and who have traditionally been perceived as opposed to growth. It confirms that a large proportion of people in local boroughs support the airport and its plans for a third runway.
Only one local authority – Richmond – had more residents who opposed expansion than supported it, all other areas saw many more people supporting than opposing a third runway.
Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s Chief Executive, said:
“A third runway at Heathrow has traditionally been seen as the best option for the UK but politically difficult in West London. This research suggests that the political costs of supporting a third runway at Heathrow have been overstated.”
“Far from being a political challenge, there is widespread local support for Heathrow. Many more people around Heathrow support a third runway than oppose it. More than 100,000 jobs depend on Heathrow and people want to see the airport flourish.”
Notes to editors
Populus interviewed 1,000 adult residents (18+) in seven London Boroughs local to Heathrow Airport by telephone between 25 February and 23 March 2014. In total, 7,000 residents were interviewed. Results were weighted to be demographically representative of all adults in each borough.
Selected polling results:
[Question asked]. “Taking everything into account, based on what you have seen, read and heard, how positive or negative would you say you feel towards Heathrow Airport? On a scale of 0-10, where 0 means very negative, 10 means very positive, and 5 is neutral.”
Windsor and Maidenhead
“Taking everything you know into account, do you currently support or oppose expanding Heathrow?”
Windsor and Maidenhead
” If your local councillor supported Heathrow expansion, would it make you more or less likely to vote for that candidate, or would it have no impact?”
Windsor and Maidenhead
More likely to vote for candidate if they opposed expansion
More likely to vote for candidate if they supported expansion
Heathrow Airport claims it has significantly more local support for a third runway than in 2010, when the Coalition put an end to its expansion plans in the face of fierce opposition from residents, councils and environment campaigners.
The West London airport held a public consultation in February and March on its latest plans for a third runway, to the north-west of its current site. It will submit improved proposals next month to a government-appointed commission investigating the thorny issue of aviation capacity.
José Leo, finance director of Heathrow, said he felt the airport “definitely” had more support from local communities despite continued opposition from a number of high profile groups, including London’s Mayor Boris Johnson.
The airport says a recent opinion poll of more than 1,000 local residents by Populus showed 48pc are in favour of a third runway while 34pc oppose.
Although the same level of polling was not carried out last decade, a spokesman for Heathrow said the airport would have expected last time that a majority of residents in local constituencies would have said they opposed a third runway.
Mr Leo, who was speaking after Heathrow’s first quarter financial results on Monday, said: “Over the last two months we have been engaging in a significant, extensive and intensive consultation with the communities around us.
“One thing we have discovered – and obviously that will be included in our submission [next month] – we have more supporters than the headlines would say because normally people remain silent when they want these things to happen but they are very vocal when they oppose.”
Mr Leo added: “We are learning from the potential errors and gaps from the former proposal – the one which was dropped in 2010. We think the [new] north-west runway option is much more consistent with the need to be responsible in terms of noise and impact on local communities. It will be a very different proposal from the 2010 one and I think this is recognised locally.”
However John Stewart, chairman of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN), said the two third runway campaigns cannot be accurately compared as the same level of data was not collected last decade on how many people supported – and opposed – expansion.
He said: “They [Heathrow] are in no position to make inaccurate comparisons with 10 years ago.”
Heathrow will submit its refined proposals to the Airports Commission, which is chaired by Sir Howard Davies, on May 14. Its latest proposals will address claims about the potential impact on the M25 of building a north-west runway.
The airport on Monday reported a significant reduction in its first quarter pre-tax losses, from £196m to £15m, and a 31.8pc increase in adjusted operating profit to £319m on revenue of £576m, up 10.8pc.
However Mr Leo insisted the first quarter result was exceptional and operating profit is likely to grow at a more moderate rate of 8.5pc over the full year.
Heathrow has been at loggerheads with airlines over take-off and landing charges, which are passed on to passengers via ticket prices.
Until March 31, Heathrow was able to raise fees by 7.5pc above inflation every year but a new settlement with the UK’s airports regulator, which came into effect on April 1, will limit annual increases to inflation minus 1.5pc until December 31 2018.
“This is not what we expect for the rest of the year,” Mr Leo said of the first quarter results.
On Saturday 26th April the Charlwood History Group visited a number of fine historic buildings (18 of them are listed) which would be demolished if a new runway were to be built at Gatwick. The group visited the area which would be demolished, or made virtually uninhabitable, if a 2nd runway was to be built. The loss of these wonderful old buildings would be very sad, and a travesty. The Chairman of the Charlwood Society said: “If this were ever to happen it would be a tragedy for our local district, and for our heritage. We must see that it never happens.” Of the 18 listed buildings, there are 5 that are listed by English Heritage as ‘Grade 2 star’ which puts them among the 6% most important historic buildings in England. Some of the stunning and important buildings under threat are Charlwood House, Rowley, the Beehive, Hyders and the Church of St Michael and All Angels. Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, joined the party for part of the tour.
History Group appalled at possible demolition of ancient buildings
28.4.2014 ( GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)
At Charlwood House
On Saturday 26th April the Charlwood History Group visited a number of fine historic buildings which would be demolished if a new runway were to be built at Gatwick.
Patrick Cox, chairman of the Charlwood Society said: ‘If this were ever to happen it would be a tragedy for our local district, and for our heritage. We must see that it never happens.’
40 members of the Society packed into three mini-buses for a tour of the area where a new runway is planned. According to Gatwick Airport eighteen listed buildings would need to be demolished. That includes five buildings listed by English Heritage as ‘Grade 2 star’ which puts them among the 6% most important historic buildings in England.
Among the ancient buildings visited were
Charlwood House, a magnificent Elizabethan building.
Rowley, dating from around 1200, and owned at one time by the Culpeper family whose grand-daughter Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, was executed when she had an affair with her cousin Thomas Culpeper.
The Beehive – the first Gatwick terminal built in 1936 when the aerodrome had grass runways. ‘It is ironic that this airport building now listed as of great historic interest would be destroyed by a new runway,’ said Patrick Cox.
Hyders, now renamed the Gatwick Manor Inn, recorded as the home of Richard ate Hyde in 1263. During a break for tea, the History Group were able to admire the open hall built in the days before chimneys were invented.
The church of St Michael and All Angels. Now sadly surrounded by warehouses and radar masts, the church is all that remains of the village of Lowfield Heath demolished in 1974.
All the buildings were in the Parish of Charlwood until a boundary change in 1974 moved them into Crawley.
The tour was led by local history enthusiast, Brendon Sewill who, as Chairman of GACC, is leading the campaign against a new runway.
Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, joined the party for part of the tour.
The Charlwood History Group is a part of the Charlwood Society.
Keith Taylor MEP says the Lydd airport area, in his European constituency, could be revived in a way to generate jobs and green growth – but not by expanding the airport or using it for yet more holiday flights. He is concerned about the low, and declining, number of airport jobs generated by ultra-low-cost flights, and that better employment could be generated on the site, with lower carbon emissions. Keith says the arguments for Lydd Airport expansion centres on an economic case that simply doesn’t stand up. In reality, Lydd’s remote position, and relatively inaccessible by public transport, means it already faces a competitive disadvantage compared with Gatwick. He says: “With the nuclear power station at Dungeness on its last legs, I believe it’s time to turn the peninsula into a green energy zone. I’d like to see schemes like the Marsh Millions built on to offer local green business incentives to set up shops in the area, and provide people with jobs to build a life on.” Lydd could be at the forefront of a new economic model, of economies refocused on tackling climate change.
Keith Taylor, Green MEP on Lydd airport: We must look at fate of Manston and think again
IT looks likely that Manston Airport will be shut down. It hasn’t seen the increased demand anticipated by management, and may well set a precedent for Lydd, another of the southeast’s smaller airports.
The arguments for Lydd Airport expansion centres on an economic case that simply doesn’t stand up.
Airport bosses, who are desperate to lengthen Lydd’s runway and expand the terminal building, claim that an improved airport will be good for jobs.
Sadly for the people of Shepway, the reality is that jobs at an expanded airport are likely to be few and far between. Lydd’s remote position, relatively inaccessible by public transport, means it already faces a competitive disadvantage compared with an airport like Gatwick.
But other factors also suggest that the airport won’t be the huge source of jobs proponents claim.
For starters, there’s a worrying trend in airports across the UK: the number of jobs generated by the airline industry is falling. As super low-cost travel has spread, the check-in process has become increasingly mechanised and jobs at airports are being shipped out to private contractors.
The belief that a Lydd expansion will create jobs is underpinned by an assumption that the number of people flying will endlessly increase. But, once again, it seems airport bosses are guilty of wishful thinking.
Since 2003, government forecasts for the number of people flying have been revised down four times. Indeed, the UK has enough airport capacity to cope with a 60 % growth in demand; as such, Lydd expansion cannot be depicted as a response to a lack of supply in the face of overwhelming demand.
On top of the shallowness of arguments for expansion, it’s worth looking closely for a moment at the threats that come with Lydd expansion.
For me, as a Member of the European Parliament for the region, my number one priority is the people who live in my constituency. That’s why these plans, which will see larger jets flying closer to people’s homes and to a local school, are so worrying.
On top of the threat of increased noise and air pollution, is the potential devastation that this expansion could bring to the RSPB’s wonderful Dungeness nature reserve.
It’s clear to me that Lydd Airport shouldn’t be expanded, but should be replaced with something more beneficial for the community.
Shutting down the airport might sound radical, but with decent jobs becoming increasingly scarce in the industry, and with airport noise posing a major health threat, it’s wrong to assume that expansion can provide what the community needs.
With the nuclear power station at Dungeness on its last legs, I believe it’s time to turn the peninsula into a green energy zone. I’d like to see schemes like the Marsh Millions built on to offer local green business incentives to set up shops in the area, and provide people with jobs to build a life on.
Only this week, the UN spelled out the desperate need for countries to refocus economies on tackling climate change – I believe that the Lydd area could be at the forefront of this.
For me, the argument against airport expansion at Lydd, and indeed for the closing down of the airport, is a hopeful one.
We need to oppose airport expansion because we value clean air for our children, and because we believe that we can create well-paid skilled jobs for people in the area.
I hope that politicians of all parties can get together to think of ways to build the local economy without relying on precarious jobs at an airport that’s unlikely to take off.
Lydd airport has appointed a consultant for its expansion, but result of 2 legal challenges still awaited
April 4, 2014
Lydd airport has put out a press release, giving the impression that it is already getting on with building its 294 metre runway extension (plus a 150m starter extension). However, in reality, it has merely appointed some consultants. The airport is still waiting the result of the legal appeal against its planning application. There were two separate legal challenges against the application; one from the RSPB and one from the local community group, LAAG. If the appeal of either is accepted by the judge, the planning consent could be quashed. If that were the case, and one appeal won, the planning application has to be re-determined on the subject matters under question. Lydd is saying it has appointed Capita to design and manage its runway extension. Capita helped design Crossrail, and its job at Lydd would be to provide project, cost, construction and design management services for the airport as well as civil and aviation design services. Lydd says it is nearing completion of a number of pre-commencement conditions required to enable planning permission for the runway extension to be implemented.
The hearing is over. The timing of the judgement is unknown – it could take weeks or months. It depends on the Judge’s workload.
It only takes one party to be successful to quash the Secretaries of States’ decision – i.e. LAAG or the RSPB. If both parties lose their appeals, the airport’s development goes ahead, although it is possible that a qualified judgement(s) could ultimately lead to further restrictions on the airport.
The judge has no power to make a decision about the case itself. His role is to rule on the soundness of the government’s decision. If it is unsound and the decision is overturned, it must be re-taken. The mechanics of this are still not clear – whether this will be undertaken in the form of another public inquiry to re-examine the issue(s) at fault, or via consultation.
Legal challenge against Lydd airport expansion plans at the High Court by RSPB and LAAG. 21st to 27th January 2014
RSPB on 21st and 22nf. LAAG on 23rd and 24th
January 21, 2014
A legal challenge to the decision to allow expansion at Lydd in Kent is being heard on 21st and 22nd January, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. A public inquiry was held into the applications by Lydd Airport in 2011 at which the RSPB raised concerns about the impact an expansion would have on the nearby protected wildlife area of Dungeness. The inspector found in favour of the airport’s proposals – and his report was subsequently endorsed by the Secretaries of State for Communities and Local Government and for Transport. After careful consideration the RSPB issued a legal challenge to the final decision based on the inspector’s report. The RSPB believes the stakes are too high to risk the future of one of the UK’s best and most important places for nature without testing the basis for this decision which they consider to be flawed. Dungeness is one of the most important wildlife sites in the world and it is protected at global, European and UK levels. It is home to many threatened species and is also a crossroads for migrating birds stopping off on migration. The Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) have a separate appeal which will be heard after that of the RSPB. They have concerns about the airport’s proximity to the nuclear power station. LAAG did not want to disclose further details of its case until the court hearing.
The Evening Standard has reported that Lord William Bradshaw, who co-chairs the little known Liberal Democrat parliamentary committee on transport has said he backs a Gatwick 2nd runway. Lord Bradshaw, who is a former railwayman, has said Gatwick should be allowed a 2nd runway if “it pays for an upgrade of the Brighton-to- London rail line” … and because it offers “real improvements on the rail journey to London” for the residents of Sussex. Eh? A runway to improve rail services?? The Liberal Democrats have traditionally said they would not back a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick. Their policy has been somewhat muddled and confusing over the past few years, with talk of a hub, and no net new runways. However, in the past they have been consistent in saying that the UK’s carbon targets are at risk if aviation is allowed to expand. They may now be wavering, and no longer to be trusted in their rejection of new runways. Nick Clegg’s party now says it wants to see reassurances about environmental considerations – whether carbon emissions or local air and noise pollution – written into the final Davies report. A much weaker position.
Nick Clegg is reported as saying, on 19.12.2013, on the LibDem website:
“My point of view has always been why I’ve always opposed certainly the plans that I’ve seen in the past for the expansion of Heathrow is because of the environment effects. I’m not going to endorse any plan of airport expansion which would increase the existing levels of noise and air pollution and would breach the climate change targets that we’ve all signed up to.”
Bill Bradshaw started his career as a railwayman in the 1950s, rising through the ranks to become Operations Superintendent of the West of England Division, Divisional Manager Liverpool, Chief Operations Manager at Crewe, Director of Operations and General Manager at Paddington. On leaving the railway he became successively Professor of Transport Management at Salford University, a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and Chairman of Ulsterbus. Latterly he had been a Board member of Lothian regional Transport, a member of the Strategic Rail authority and the Commission for Integrated Transport. He has been interested in politics from an early age, becoming an Oxfordshire County Councillor in 1993. He is Vice-Chairman of the Thames Valley Police Authority and served on the Thames Valley Police Authority for thirteen years.
Bill is currently Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport.
Gatwick is winning growing Liberal Democrat backing to build a second runway to boost Britain’s links to the rest of the world.
Lord Bradshaw, who co-chairs the Lib-Dem parliamentary committee on transport, argued that the Sussex airport should be allowed to expand if it pays for an upgrade of the Brighton-to- London rail line.
Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg has hinted he may support another Gatwick runway if the Davies Commission into the UK’s airports recommends it instead of a third runway at Heathrow.
But he faces a battle persuading Lib-Dems to overturn their party’s policy, which opposes airport expansion in the South East.
Former railwayman Lord Bradshaw said Gatwick was “the best option”. He added: “Go for Gatwick because they have something to offer the residents of Sussex — real improvements on the rail journey to London.
“The environmental pollution is a problem wherever but it’s a lot worse at Heathrow.” He said many Lib-Dems could be persuaded to support a runway at Gatwick if the economic arguments were properly made.
It could be built in three or four years, he added, quicker than a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary, as proposed by Mayor Boris Johnson.
Former Lib-Dem minister Jeremy Browne has also backed a second runway at Gatwick as an interim solution before a longer-term plan for a new hub airport on the north Kent coast.
The airports commission is due to publish its verdict in September.
Liberal Democrats have sent a strong message to their coalition partners that they are “not for turning” on the issue of building a third runway at Heathrow.
Delegates at the party’s autumn conference in Brighton also voted overwhelmingly to reject London Mayor Boris Johnson’s “fantasy” plans to construct an airport in the Thames Estuary.
Dr Julian Huppert, Lib Dem MP for Cambridge and co-chair of the Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport, told members it was time for the party to set out an aviation policy which “balances the need for growth with the clear environmental threat that we face”.
He said: “Aviation is the fastest-growing contributor to our emissions, we simply must not build airport capacity which would force us to miss those carbon reduction targets, it’s as simple as that.”
Dr Huppert claimed passenger numbers could be increased without building new runways anywhere in the country, arguing there was space at existing airports in the UK, including Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham and Manchester which had usable capacity. He said: “We don’t need to build new capacity, we need to use it better.”
There was a “clear need” for Britain to have a global hub airport in order to remain competitive and the party should look for a better option, Dr Huppert said. He added: “Our long-term vision is a new hub if we can find somewhere that’s better than we already have, but only if we close other runways to make up for it, so there’s no net increase in runways or total capacity.”
“Boris Island”, he argued, was “not a proper suggestion”, adding: “It is, simply put, a bad idea. The location is wrong, the cost too high, the environmental damage too great, and that’s just the start of the problems.”
Dr Huppert turned his fire on Labour, claiming they did not have a policy on Heathrow and branding them “irresponsible in government, irresponsible out of government”. He also criticised his party’s coalition partners over their aviation policy, saying the Conservatives “were wavering all over the place, their party is astonishingly divided”.
Lib Dem Transport Minister Norman Baker said if a third runway at Heathrow was built it would generate more extra carbon emissions each year than Kenya and cause “untold extra misery” for hundreds of thousands of people in west London.
He said: “Now it seems some Conservatives are buckling as well – well the Lib Dems are not buckling. We said in our manifesto we were against a third runway, we said it again in the coalition agreement and I’m saying it again today: There will be no third runway at Heathrow on our watch.”
Lib Dems underline opposition to new London runways
Heathrow is “an extremely badly-located airport”, the Lib Dem motion says.
Liberal Democrats have stressed they will not support new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted airport.
The party says it is “pushing for a new aviation strategy” which will balance the need for growth with environmental concerns.
It will ask party members to endorse the policy at its annual conference.
A government consultation over expanding airports in south east England has been delayed amid reports of disagreements on how to go ahead.
The Liberal Democrats have long opposed a third runway at Heathrow, the cancellation of which formed part of the coalition agreement.
But Chancellor George Osborne and other Conservative MPs are reported to be warming to the idea – with speculation that this is the reason the consultation has been postponed.
Boris Johnson, who supports a new airport in the Thames Estuary, has accused the government of “pussyfooting around” on airport expansion.
He told the Evening Standard: “The attempt to try and long-grass it for three years into the other side of the election is just not realistic. Totally mad and it won’t work.”
The Liberal Democrats’ strategy, which will be debated as a motion at Lib Dem conference, claims that efforts to improve the UK’s aviation network are overwhelmingly focused on London and the south east.
It says the party will push for better use of the existing airport capacity in the south east and at regional airports to meet short-to-medium term demand.
A new airport in the Thames Estuary is rejected “firmly”, but the party says it wants an “independent evidence-based study” to research alternative locations for a hub airport – which would be environmentally friendly and accessible from all parts of the UK.
It also rejects the “mixed mode” use of runways at Heathrow – where the existing two runways are used for both take-offs and landings.
Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, chairman of the party’s transport committee, said: “Aviation has the potential to become one of the greatest threats to the global environment. Unmitigated expansion of aviation would cause the UK to miss its carbon reduction targets.
“Successive governments have failed to come up with a clear strategy which supports the aviation industry while mitigating its impact on the environment and local residents.
“Enough is enough. The public deserve an airport policy which balances the benefits from aviation with the harms it can do to the environment globally and locally. That is exactly what we’ll deliver.”
The government’s consultation was meant to start in March this year, but was then delayed until the summer, and is now unlikely to go ahead until the autumn.
Nick Clegg has refused to rule out a second runway at Stansted or a brand new airport in the Thames. The Liberal Democrat leader says he’s keeping an open mind about airport expansion.
In what’s being seen as a shift in his position on the issue – Nick Clegg has refused to rule out a second runway at Stansted or building a brand new airport in the Thames.
This appears to be at odds with Julian Huppert’s motion, presented at the Lib Dems’ Brighton conference.
His motion reinforces the party’s opposition to new runways at London’s airports – when there is already space at existing airports for a 60% expansion.
The call for long term airport expansion has been growing over the last year and the government has started to listen.
The government has just appointed an independent commission to advise on what should be done.
By voting so strongly for this motion our party members and supporters have left the public in no doubt where we stand on this crucial issue”
Dr Julian Huppert MP(Lib Dem) Cambridge
Among the options most favoured by the industry are a third runway at Heathrow, a new runway at Stansted or the so called Boris Island hub airport off the Essex coast.
The Lib Dems have always been opposed to any further expansion – but now their leader seems to be sitting on the fence – telling us we should wait for the independent commission to report.
Meanwhile, at their conference, the Liberal Democrats backed a motion proposed by the MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, to continue to oppose any more expansion in the South East.
“We acknowledge that there are benefits to aviation and we want to maximise those benefits while at the same time protecting our environment and meeting our carbon emission targets,” he says.
“But we must not allow the total number of UK runways to expand. Flight movements above the Committee on Climate Change cap would pose an unacceptable risk.”
The policy also makes it clear that the party has a long term vision for a new hub airport – if an appropriate location can be found – but without an increase in runways or total airport capacity. [This has always been a very muddled, unclear policy. AW comment ].
The party firmly rejects Boris Johnson’s Thames estuary airport.
Dr Huppert asserts: “By voting so strongly for this motion our party members and supporters have left the public in no doubt where we stand on this crucial issue.”
While Mr Huppert wants to balance the industry’s benefits as a driver of jobs and growth with its environmental damage, Mr Clegg’s comments seem to suggest that the party leadership’s view is changing.
Campaigners living near Stansted and the Thames will have to make their minds up as to which way the Lib Dem wind is blowing.
For years Nick Clegg’s party has been vociferous in its resistance to any expansion of London’s major airports on environmental grounds.
That position has made the expansion of Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted all but impossible under a coalition government.
Before the last election Mr Clegg warned: “A third runway at Heathrow would be a disaster for the local area as well as a disaster for the whole country.”
But on Tuesday the party struck a different note on aviation by referring to this policy in the past tense. “Our position has always been against airport expansion in the southeast,” said a spokesman.
Asked to explain what this meant, he added: “The door was nailed shut, it is no longer nailed shut, but it is hardly open.”
Another senior Lib Dem said the new position was not “glorious”, but added: “All parties are using this report as an opportunity to reposition themselves, this is not any party’s finest hour.”
Nick Clegg’s party now says it wants to see reassurances about environmental considerations – whether carbon emissions or local air and noise pollution – written into the final Davies report.
The news will be welcomed by business groups, while alarming environmental campaigners and grassroots activists.
Joss Garman, deputy political director at Greenpeace, warned: “If Nick Clegg adds Heathrow to his list of U-turns it would rank alongside tuition fees as a monumental betrayal of trust.”
A Tory U-turn on Heathrow would be ‘catastrophic’ for Mr Cameron- Zac Goldsmith, environmentalist Conservative MP for Richmond
Mr Miliband used to be opposed to the third runway, so much so he nearly resigned as energy secretary in the previous government.
But with shadow chancellor Ed Balls backing an expanded Heathrow hub, the Labour leader has dropped his previous “implacable opposition”.
Mary Creagh, shadow transport secretary, appeared open to the idea of a new Heathrow runway on Tuesday.
“It is good to see that the original Heathrow proposal for a third runway, of which we were sceptical, has been taken off the table and that this work is taking place within the context of our ongoing climate change commitments,” she said.
Behind the scenes both George Osborne, the chancellor, and prime minister David Cameron are now minded to press ahead with the Heathrow third runway if the Tories win a majority in 2015.
Zac Goldsmith, the environmentalist Tory MP for Richmond, said a Tory U-turn on Heathrow would be “catastrophic” for Mr Cameron given how he had promised to block the airport’s expansion.
A fighting fund has been set up in an attempt to save Manston airport . A large public meeting has been held, to back the airport’s attempts to stay open, somehow, and raise money for the fund. Its aim is not clear. At the start of the meeting MP Sir Roger Gale revealed that he and fellow MP Laura Sandys had held meetings with a potential buyer for the airport. Sir Roger said the outcome of his negotiations with a “significant potential investor” will become clear in the next 4 – 5 days. There is a Save Manston Airport group, and a Why Not Manston? group. Among the ideas presented for the survival of the airport was the suggestion that Manston could become an aircraft recycling facility. The airport may already have a licence to carry out aircraft breaking. It was also suggested that Manston could become a specialist in aircraft painting, or that it could be run by the Council [and cost the council a fortune from its losses?] The issue of the noise, directly over Ramsgate, from old and unduly noisy freight planes using Manston remains a key local issue. As a functioning airport, it is just not in the right place.
Manston airport fight fund launched
April 27, 2014 (Canterbury Times)
CROWD: Packed Manston meeting
A FIGHT fund has been set up to save Manston airport after a donation from a former Pfizer worker.
At a Save Manston Airport public meeting held at the Winter Gardens today, pharmaceutical program manager Rebecca Baty kicked the fund off with a pledge of cash.
Ms Baty had already paid for the hire of the Winter Gardens hall for the meeting and said she would double that amount to start a fight fund to promote the airport.
The IT expert, who now works for Roche in Basel, Switzerland, said she did it “because I have the money and can.” She went on to challenge members of the audience to also pledge cash.
Many of the several hundred people packing out the hall stood to say they would contribute to the fund.
At the start of the meeting MP Sir Roger Gale revealed that he and fellow MP Laura Sandys had held meetings with a potential buyer for the airport.
He said: “We are now in a very delicate stage of discussion and negotiation which will either succeed or fail. It may become clearer in the next four or five days. Half an hour ago I held in my hand a letter from a significant potential investor, who I am satisfied has the money to make a bid. It hasn’t been made but the money is there.
“I met with Ann Gloag before Easter and I think we reached an understanding that she wants to sell the airport. The buyer must be able to pay, not necessarily the asking price but a realistic price. But it is no use coming back in three months time when someone else has failed so a buyer must also have the money to give the airport a fair wind and give it a couple of years to give it a firm footing.”
Sir Roger was due to attend a further meeting about Manston at 3pm today, another with the airport working group at the House of Commons on Monday and will also meet “an interested party” in London on Tuesday.
Other speakers on the panel were Save Manston Airport interim chairman Keith Churcher, group founder Dan Light, Thanet Ukip leader Roger Latchford, Lib Dem parliamentary hopeful Russ Timpson, Nicholas Reed from Why Not Manston and Wendy Fraser, also from Save Manston Airport.
There were also speakers from TG Aviation, the Hurricane and Spitfire Museum and David Foley, from east Kent’s chamber of commerce.
Ruth Bailey, from Save Manston Airport, handed Sir Roger a 15,211 signature petition which he promised would reach the “right place.”
Among the ideas presented for the survival of the airport was the suggestion that Manston could become an aircraft recycling facility.
Mr Timpson, who previously worked for BAA airport operator, said Manston was the only site in the country with the licence to carry out aircraft breaking.
He said: “ There are 11,000 aircraft with nowhere to go to be recycled because there is no purpose built site. Manston is the only place in the UK with the approvals to do this. A purpose built facility would be a major revenue stream.
“We could be taking planes apart, linking with East Kent College for training and apprenticeships and then, when those people are qualified, they could service operational aircraft.”
Mr Timpson also suggested specialising in aircraft painting and looking at a council owned and run airport like that in Newquay.
Suggestions from the panel, and audience, included public and council ownership of Manston, a new referendum on night flights and backing for a Parkway train station.
Speakers in the crowd included former EU Jet and Air Atlanta worker Gary Easton, who said aircraft breaking skills already exist on the isle, Minster resident Danny Day who said any future 106 agreements must include protection for the Spitfire and the Manston museums and Mr Foley who said the airport could make £1 million a year in profit if run properly.
Thanet council leader Clive Hart defended his position on Manston airport saying he had always supported it. But on the question of night flights he added: “Our manifesto was to support the airport but also to support the residents of Thanet.”
He said a cabinet advisory committee was on stand-by to renegotiate the 106 agreement – which bans night flights from the airport – but added: “It would be madness to tell someone running the airport they could have as many night flights as they want, we cannot do that at any environmental cost.”
It’s so obvious what is going on here. Everything has always been put down to the scrapping or re-negotiating of the 106 agreement. ‘Oh it is so restrictive’, ‘Oh we cannot keep the airport open unless we have night flights’. It’s all a sham to get the 106 lifted. Scaremongering to get what they want.
Business above environment and residents ! Councillor Hart, don’t be fooled by this and Roger Gales interests in the airport, being nice to you ! Stick to your morals and keep the running timings as they are on the agreement otherwise we will have the noisiest airport in the Country at night, and nothing will be able to stop that once it’s re-negotiated.
The fact is that the airport is underused during the day by passenger aircraft, when they can get a company to use it. Company after company have failed to make a go of it, all ending with losses.
Commercial freight using the noisiest aircraft will be all that happens there, and it will happen during the night keeping half of Thanet awake. No other airport authority in the Country allows noisy freight at night out of respect for their neighbouring residents, that’s why they come into Manston at present ! I don’t believe we should have to put up with it if nobody else has to.
There is a good reason for this. If the airport cannot sustain any daytime flights then it is unfair to expect and allow noisy night flights at it’s residents expense. Mr Gale and party, stop living in Manston’s past like dinosaurs but look to the future, without environmental damage to your constituents.
Stobart Group’s aviation division has suffered another blow, just a month after a High Court judge quashed its plans for Carlisle Airport. Flybe and easyJet have axed routes from Stobart’s Southend Airport. Flybe has cancelled flights to Cologne after only one week in response to an announcement from Ryanair that it is launching a route from nearby Stansted to Cologne. Meanwhile, easyJet has reduced the number of planes based at Southend from 4 to 3, scrapping flights to Krakow and winter services to Jersey and Palma, Majorca. Flybe’s routes from Southend are operated by Stobart Air’s aircraft under a franchising agreement. Flybe’s other new routes to Rennes and Caen, Munster, Antwerp and Groningen will continue. Stobart had hoped the new routes would carry 200,000 passengers in 2015, rising to 700,000 by 2017. Stobart’s plans for Carlisle Airport had envisaged daily flights to Southend and Dublin, but that is held up by the legal challenges though Stobart will submit another planning application.
BLOW FOR STOBART AS AIRLINES SCRAP ROUTES
24 April 2014 (North West Evening Mail)
Stobart Group’s aviation division has suffered another blow, just a month after a High Court judge quashed its plans for Carlisle Airport.
Carriers Flybe and easyJet have axed routes from Stobart’s London Southend Airport.
Flybe has cancelled flights to Cologne after only one week in response to an announcement from Ryanair that it is launching a route from nearby Stansted to Cologne.
Meanwhile, easyJet has reduced the number of planes based at Southend from four to three, scrapping flights to Krakow in Poland and winter services to Jersey and Palma, Majorca.
Flybe’s routes from Southend are operated by Stobart Air’s aircraft under a franchising agreement.
The airline’s other new routes to Rennes and Caen in northern France, Munster in Germany, Antwerp in Belgium and Groningen in the Netherlands, will continue.
A Stobart Air spokesman said that Flybe’s decision had been taken “for commercial reasons”.
Stobart had hoped the new routes would carry 200,000 passengers in 2015, rising to 700,000 by 2017.
Aer Lingus Regional also operates from Southend under a similar franchising agreement with Stobart Air.
Stobart’s plans for Carlisle Airport envisaged daily flights to Southend and Dublin.
Those plans are on hold following a successful legal challenge by Irthington farmer Gordon Brown.
A senior planning judge last month overturned a planning consent granted by Carlisle City Council to redevelop the airport on the grounds that viability forecasts were defective.
Stobart Group intends to submit another planning application.
Flybe scraps flights to Cologne from Southend Airport after Ryanair starts route from Stansted
Tuesday 15th April 2014
FLYBE has cancelled flights from Southend to Cologne after only a week as rival Ryanair announced flights from Stansted. It feared losing passengers to Ryanair. Stobart Air, whose fleet Flybe uses in Southend, is trying to find a replacement or increase capacity on existing routes after claiming it would double the number of passengers using Southend Airport to more than two million in two years. Cologne, Germany’s fourth largest city, was the best-known of six new routes Flybe announced from Southend on Thursday, April 3, and flights were due to start on June 5. But the regional carrier jettisoned the route on Thursday after Ryanair revealed it would start 28 flights a week between Cologne and north Essex from October 28. The Echo understands Ryanair was planning Cologne flights well before Flybe announced the route, but Flybe’s decision to shelve the new destination was purely down to fears over competition from its rival. Flybe’s other new flights, to Rennes and Caen in northern France, Munster in Germany, Antwerp in Belgium and Groningen in the Netherlands, are still available. http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/11147164.Flybe_cancels_flights_from_Southend_Airport/
Southend airport hopes it will reach 2 million passengers per year by 2015, up from below 1 million in 2013
Southend Airport is now expecting to carry 2 million passengers by 2015 – five years earlier than originally planned. It had said, only two months earlier, that it would reach 2 million passengers per year by 2020. Passenger numbers at Southend were 970,000 in 2013 and are predicted to be 1.3 million this year. By contrast, before the arrival of easyJet, there were some 42,000 passengers in 2011. A £10m extension to the airport terminal was formally opened by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin in February 2014. The extension marks the end of a £120m revamp by the Stobart Group, which bought the airport in 2008. The growth in numbers of flights has caused a lot more noise for local residents now finding themselves over-flown. The local community group, SAEN, say they will continue to oppose the airport’s expansion plans, due to the noise nuisance – and particularly if the airport tries to alter its operating hours. There is also more road congestion, as the airport is only served by one small road.
Southend Airport: Flybe to start 6 new routes to Northern Europe
25 March 2014
Another airline has announced it is to start flying out of London Southend Airport. The airport has signed a deal with Flybe to create six new routes to Northern Europe. The destinations will be revealed next month. The deal is expected to bring 60 new jobs and 200,000 extra passengers to the airport. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-26733977
Stobart Group sells stake in its truck brand to focus on biomass energy and Southend Airport
March 7, 2014
Stobart Group is to sell a controlling interest in its trucking business to the Isle of Man investment firm DBAY in a £280million deal. Stobart Group will sell a majority stake in Eddie Stobart Logistics to focus on biomass energy and expanding Southend Airport. Stobart will get £195.6million in cash from DBAY, as well as a 49% stake in the new company. William Stobart will head the new business and will own 6% of it. Markets gave the deal the thumbs down, sending shares down 7.75p to 141.75p. The sale includes a complex arrangement under which DBAY can use the Eddie Stobart brand for 4 years without paying. Then it can either buy the brand for use only in transport and logistics for £15million, pay £50million to use the brand however it wishes, or can pay £3million a year to license it. Stobart believes the trucking business has little room for growth and is selling it to focus on fast-growing Southend Airport and get into biomass generation. It believes the airport can increase passengers from 1 million a year to 5 million without much more investment. Click here to view full story…