London City Airport already has consent to increase the number of flights per year to 120,000. The airport is now planning to submit a planning application to Newham Council in spring 2013 to allow “major infrastructure changes” (not including a runway extension) that could allow the airport larger planes. It wants to be able to handle aircraft the size of the Bombardier C-Series, [110 to 130 seats] so it can have flights to medium haul destinations like the Middle East and the east coast of the US by 2016. The plans are apparently “in their early stages, with the airport set to consult with local residents in the coming weeks.” The airport, which currently handles around 3.2 million passengers a year, and some 73,000 flights. It has ambitions to increase capacity to 10 million travellers and 120,00 flights annually. The airport announced separate plans for €19 million investment on buildings, gates etc last month, with work starting in early 2013.
LONDON CITY AIRPORT ‘PLANS TO FLY MEDIUM HAUL’ WITH BOMBARDIER C-SERIES
14.12.2012 (Airport World)
Planned changes to London City Airport (LCY) will allow it to handle aircraft the size of the Bombardier C-Series, [110 to 130 seats] putting the city centre airport within range of the Middle East and the east coast of the US.
Major infrastructure changes would mean LCY could boast routes to medium-haul destinations from 2016.
The proposals are in their early stages, with the airport set to consult with local residents in the coming weeks.
The airport, which currently handles around 3.2 million passengers a year, has ambitions to increase capacity to 10 million travellers annually.
The City Airport Development Programme (CADP) aims to “prepare LCY for the future” and will help safeguard thousands of jobs, the airport said.
Crucially, the changes will not see any new runway or an extension to the existing runway.
The airport intends to submit a planning application in Spring 2013. LCY currently handles 70,000 flights per year, but this could increase to 120,000.
If the application is approved then the changes will be brought about in 2016. LCY said it had not put a cost on the project as yet.
The airport announced a separate €19 million investment last month.
Plans include the refurbishment of the Western Pier, with new departure gates and improved lounge facilities, re-development of the International Arrivals Hall and enhancements to baggage handling zones. Work will begin in early 2013.
The Bombardier CSeries is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jet airliners that are being developed by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace. Models are the 110-seat CS100, and the 130-seat CS300.
London City Airport expansion plans take off in cloud of criticism
A £15 million expansion programme announced by London City Airport to mark its 25th anniversary has been criticised by campaigners over the increasing number of flights—double the restrictions imposed when it first opened.
Airport bosses celebrated a-quarter-of-a-century in expanding business yesterday with plans announced for more flights, new departure gates and passenger lounge facilities, including upgrading the International Arrivals hall.
The work is expected to take off early in the New Year.
Airport chief executive Declan Collier said yesterday: “The investment means we can absorb some European air traffic from other airports in the South East that are beginning to feel the strain.”
But the expansion year-on-year goes against the original planning when the airport was opened by the Queen on the former quayside in the Royal Docks on November 5, 1987, campaigners stress.
Only four airlines operated from the airport in 1987, with flights to just three destinations—Plymouth, Paris and Brussels.
Today, 25 years on, 10 airlines fly to 42 destinations across the UK and Europe, as well as twice-a-day to New York.
Hacan East, which represents families living under the flight paths across east London, has accused airport bosses of broken promises.
The government inspector at the original airport public inquiry in the 1980s restricted aircraft to quiet turbo-props rather than the jets that campaigners say proliferates today, and flights limited to 30,000 a year, Hacan pointed out.
“The airport has failed the families,” claimed campaign chairman John Stewart. “It’s just not believable that it had any intention of keeping the promises made 25 years ago. We’ve had a-quarter-of-a-century of expansion based on deception.”
[Map showing location: Map indicating how many homes are close to the airport]
City Airport, just three miles from Canary Wharf and six from the City, currently handles 70,000 flights a year—more than double when it opened—with plans to increase to 120,000 flights carrying 10 million passengers.
It also celebrated its millionth flight this year as well as its 36 millionth passenger.
Some 3.2 million passengers are expected this year to pass through the airport, with its 20-minute check-in and 10-minute arrival from tarmac to public transport links.
LONDON CITY AIRPORT’S PLANS FOR LARGER AIRCRAFT AND INCREASED CAPACITY
13.12.2012 (Airport World)
London City CEO Declan Collier with staff from the airport
London City Airport (LCY) is planning major infrastructure changes to allow larger aircraft to take off and land at the airport.
The City Airport Development Programme (CADP) aims to prepare LCY for the future and the airport is to consult with nearby residents over the next few weeks.
The plan will help safeguard thousands of jobs, the airport said, as well protect the airport’s role as “the international gateway to East London”.
Airport bosses hope the improvements will also act as the catalyst for the on-going regeneration of East London.
Crucially, the changes will not see an increase in flight movements above the level permitted by the London Borough of Newham.
Neither will the proposals mean any new runway nor an extension to the existing runway.
The airport intends to submit a planning application in Spring 2013. LCY currently has permission for 120,000 take-offs and landings per year.
If the application is approved then the changes will be brought about in 2016. LCY said it had not put a cost on the project as yet.
The airport announced a separate €19 million investment last month.
Plans include the refurbishment of the Western Pier, with new departure gates and improved lounge facilities, re-development of the International Arrivals Hall and enhancements to baggage handling zones. Work will begin in early 2013.
The airport currently handles 70,000 flights per year, but this could increase to 120,000, carrying as many as 10 million passengers annually.
Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, said: “With the investment we’ve announced and further infrastructure work over the next three years, we can reach our permitted capacity, maintain our high standards and absorb some European air traffic from other airports in the South East that are beginning to feel the strain.”
In 2012, its 25th year of operation, LCY celebrated its millionth flight, welcomed its 36 millionth passenger, hosted an anniversary visit from the Queen and was named best airport of its size by industry peers at the Airport Council International Europe Awards.
The airport was officially opened by the Queen on November 5, 1987. This year, 3.2 million passengers are expected to travel through the airport.
LONDON CITY AIRPORT ANNOUNCES €19 MILLION REDEVELOPMENT PLAN
London City Airport has announced €19 million of investment on its 25th birthday.
Plans include the refurbishment of the Western Pier, with new departure gates and improved lounge facilities, re-development of the International Arrivals Hall and enhancements to baggage handling zones. Work will begin in early 2013.
Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, said: “With the investment we’ve announced today and further infrastructure work over the next three years, we can reach our permitted capacity, maintain our high standards and absorb some European air traffic from other airports in the South East that are beginning to feel the strain.
“LCY is valued by business travellers for its location, being the closest airport to the City, West End and Canary Wharf, as well as its convenience in terms of access and speed of transit – 20 minute check-in, door to gate and 10 minute arrival, tarmac to train.”
The airport (LCY) currently handles 70,000 flights per year, and has permission to increase numbers to 120,000, carrying as many as 10 million passengers annually.
In 2012, its 25th year of operation, LCY celebrated its millionth flight, welcomed its 36 millionth passenger, hosted an anniversary visit from The Queen and was named best airport of its size by industry peers at the Airport Council International Europe Awards.
London City Airport was officially opened by The Queen on November 5, 1987.
In its first year of operation four airlines offered flights to three destinations – Brussels, Paris and Plymouth.
The airport is currently home to 10 airlines flying to 42 destinations across Europe, as well as a twice-daily New York service.
This year, 3.2 million passengers are expected to travel through the airport.
Judge allows Newham green light to London City Airport expansion
20th January 2011
A High Court judge refused to overturn Newham Council’s decision to expand London City Airport. Residents, represented by FoE’s Rights and Justice Centre, took the council to court in November 2010 after it decided to allow a 50% increase in flights. Fight the Flights argued that Newham Council failed to consider changes to Government policy on climate change and did not properly consult boroughs and residents in the surrounding area. Click here to view full story…
Newham Council’s decision to expand London City Airport by 50% will increase flights from the airport from 73,000 to 120,000 a year. The decision was made in October 2008.
Some very old London Ci ty Airport news – bit of history:
London City Airport – Air France-KLM agrees to buy VLM
25.12.2007 (UK Airport News)
Air France-KLM is to buy Belgium’s VLM, the biggest airline operating out of
London City Airport. No financial details were released of the surprise takeover
coup, which is subject to regulatory approval. However, the French airline is
reported to have beat off rival interest from BA, which also operates from London
The move will see VLM, which operates over 100 flights a day using a fleet of
18 Fokker 50 aircraft and one BAE 146, with the Docklands airport a hub for most
of its services, link up with the Dublin based Air France subsidiary CityJet.
The takeover will make Air France-KLM the dominant player at London City, the
small but fast-growing airport located close to the financial districts of the
City of London and Canary Wharf that specialises in lucrative business travellers.
The Dutch-French airline, the world’s biggest by turnover, will control around
half of all the takeoffs and landings at the airport. Given current flight restrictions
(which the airport is applying to increase) London City is virtually full at peak
hours, making it almost impossible for rival carriers to launch new services.
All three leading European airlines, Air France-KLM, Lufthansa (which includes
Swiss), and BA, have made expansion at London City a priority during the last
year and have been competing hard in head-to-head competition. If the takeover
is approved, the French carrier will acquire a powerful presence on an important
part of BA’s home turf and in particular in the market for business passengers
flying on short-haul UK and European routes out of London, the biggest aviation
market in Europe.
Four weeks ago BA announced that it would increase its flights from London City
by 32% next year, raising its fleet serving the airport to 12 aircraft and increasing
its network to 9 destinations by adding Nice, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Warsaw.
It is understood that BA had shown keen interest in taking over VLM, but lost
the deal to its French rival.
Direct flights between Yorkshire and Heathrow have been reinstated with the first BA service after an absence of 32 years,using a A319. There will be 4 flights per day, and the region’s business community is said to be enthusiastic, as it provides quicker access to Heathrow’s 170 destinations around the world. Tony Hallwood, commercial director at LBA, said: “It opens up the region to the rest of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Flights on the new route, which take 80 minutes, cost from £55 one way, including taxes. The Chamber of Commerce Chief Exec said “These new BA services connect Yorkshire to the whole of the world through Heathrow – and now the whole of the world will find it easier to get to Harrogate.” The airport wants to increase passenger from 3 million to 3.5 million over the next 18 months or so and to 4.5 million within the next 5 years.”
New Heathrow route links district to world trade network
12 December 2012 (Wetherby News)
By John Grainger, Business editor
Direct flights between Yorkshire and London Heathrow were reinstated on Monday when the first British Airways service touched down at Leeds-Bradford Airport (LBA) after an absence of 32 years.
The new service, which will run four times a day, has been warmly welcomed by the region’s business community, as it provides quicker access to Heathrow’s 170 destinations around the world.
Tony Hallwood, commercial director at LBA, said: “In the Harrogate area there are lots of SMEs that want to access new markets and when we’ve spoken to companies around the region, the one route they’ve said they want is Leeds-Bradford to London Heathrow.
“It opens up the region to the rest of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
“We realise that a thriving regional economy needs good air links to London and the South East and our aim is to make the price as competitive as possible.”
Flights on the new route, which take 80 minutes, cost from £55 one way, including taxes. [By train from Leeds to Kings Cross is about 2 hours 15 minutes, and about 3 hours 35 minutes from Leeds to Heathrow. With no checking in time. Details About the same price, perhaps less, by train depending on when booked].
The inaugural Airbus A319 was met by a welcoming committee including MPs and MEPs, airport senior management – and the chief executive of Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Brian Dunsby.
Mr Dunsby said: “These new BA services connect Yorkshire to the whole of the world through Heathrow – and now the whole of the world will find it easier to get to Harrogate.”
Mr Hallwood said that around 10 per cent of the airport’s passengers came from Harrogate and the surrounding area, and that the new route is expected to see Harrogate-based passenger numbers grow by 20-15 per cent.
He said: “We’ve just spent £11 million improving our airside facilities to best-in-class standard, and we now have the facilities to increase passenger numbers from 3 million to 3.5 million over the next 18 months or so and to 4.5 million within the next five years.”
Mr Dunsby added: “There is already an excellent Airport Express Bus Service to and from Harrogate every hour whilst we are also campaigning hard for an airport station on the Harrogate line as part of the electrification project.”
But the move was condemned by environmental groups including Greenpeace, whose senior campaigner, Joss Garman, said: “You can hop on a train to do this journey. It’s exactly these kind of short-haul flights, easily reachable by other less polluting ways to travel, which clog up Heathrow. The aviation lobbyists look as disjointed as the government’s transport policy if they’re going to applaud needless flights like this and then complain about Heathrow being full.” [By train from Leeds to Kings Cross is about 2 hours 15 minutes, and about 3 hours 35 minutes from Leeds to Heathrow. With no checking in time. Details ]
The new service follows BA’s acquisition of BMI and its Heathrow landing and take-off slots in April and will see streamlined connection services aimed at the business and tourism sector. Details …
Terminal Passengers at Leeds Bradford airport over recent years:
Yorkshire-Heathrow flights restored after 18-month interval
27.6.2012 British Airways opens Leeds Bradford-Heathrow route after period in which carriers withdrew link twice in as many years in what some people regard as an encouraging move for the region’s economy. British Airways will run four services a day between Leeds Bradford and Heathrow from 9 December, ending a period of uncertainty which has seen the link broken twice in as many years. Details …
Pakistan International Airlines has breached night-time flying rules at Leeds-Bradford Airport. It has had 8 breaches of night-time rules in the last year. It is now being asked by Leeds City Council to give a formal commitment to introduce quieter planes, and timescale for doing so. Two years ago the Council served a breach of condition notice on the airport after warning that further contraventions by Pakinstan Airlines would not be tolerated. Improvements were made, but there are still breaches. Councillors agreed to support the approach of continued dialogue rather than formal action at this stage. At Leeds Bradford there is a restriction of planes at night that have a noise quota count greater than 1. Leeds Bradford Airport is reviewing the designated night-time quota period of 2300—0700 as it wants to make the night period shorter, from 2330 - 0600.
An airline which has breached night-time flying rules at Leeds-Bradford Airport is being asked to give a formal commitment to introduce quieter planes.
Leeds City Council is asking for a commitment and timescale from the airport and Pakistan International Airlines after eight breaches of night-time rules in the last 12 months.
Two years ago the Council served a breach of condition notice on the airport after warning that further contraventions by the airline would not be tolerated. Improvements were made, and a report last year showed no recent problems.
But a report to the Council’s latest Plans Panel South and West showed eight breaches, and now the Council wants to see a commitment on the introduction of quieter and more reliable B777 aircraft for the PIA flights.
Reasons for the contraventions included snow and the late arrival of the incoming flight.
A report to the panel said: “Members need to be aware that LBlA has some of the most stringent night-time noise restrictions of all major UK airports and are currently the only airport not permitted to allow aircraft to depart during the night-time hours that have a noise quota count greater than 0.5. “The majority of the main airports in the UK allow noise quota count of 4.0 during the night-time period.” (It appears that the noise quota count is 1.0, not 0.5).
Members heard that the airport had continued to work hard with the airline to minimise night-time breaches.
The report said: “As members are aware, the outcome of these previous discussions are that the number of PIA flights from LBIA has been reduced, and the time that they depart from LBIA has been moved forward by two hours. “The result of these ongoing discussions and the changes made is that the numbers of breaches that have occurred have been reduced over time although the performance over the past 12 months is a retrograde step.”
Councillors agreed to support the approach of continued dialogue rather than formal action at this stage.
EPNdB means “Effective perceived noise level. Its measurement involves analyses of the frequency spectra of noise events as well as the maximum level.”
Maximum Jet Aircraft Movement
The only aircraft allowed to operate at night (2300-0700) at LBIA are those aircraft
which have a QC of less than 1 for departures or a QC of 1 or below for arrivals (i.e.
only the quietest aircraft types). In addition to the restrictions based on QC, the
conditions set limits on the absolute number of night-time aircraft movements
allowed in any season. These limits currently stand at 2800 for summer and 1200
for winter. Aircraft listed as exempt in the quota count system are not included in the
limit on night-time movements.
LBIA is reviewing the designated night-time quota period of 2300—0700. Consideration is being given to a re-designated night-time quota period of 2330- 0600, which would be in line with most other major UK airports. In the meantime
existing restrictions will remain in place.
More than nine out of ten flights out of Leeds-Bradford International Airport are on course when they fly over Burley-in-Wharfedale, a forum was told tonight.
Bosses from the airport agreed to give a presentation at the Burley Neighbourhood Forum after concerns and a spate of complaints from villagers.
For years they have claimed aircraft leaving Runway 32 at Leeds Bradford have not been ‘track-keeping’ as they fly overhead.
But last night David Smillie, the airport’s head of airside operations, told the meeting LBIA’s track-keeping had improved considerably during the past couple of years with 93 per cent of all flights staying within the ‘noise preferential route’.
The route, which cuts across to the west of the airport and extends to an opening of 1.5km between Burley and Menston, is narrower than the usual 3km opening allowed at most regional airports around the country.
And he said 90 per cent of complaints about track-keeping last August were unfounded, with reasonable explanations for the other ten per cent.
“We have done extremely well to get most of our aircraft in that area,” Mr Smillie said.
“I think part of the issue is when you look up into the sky, the ability to track aircraft from the ground is very difficult.
“We do understand that and look into complaints as best we can.”
Carl Lapworth, LBIA’s director of operations and engineering, reminded about 100 residents at the forum of the rules for night flights. He said 4,000 movements of planes were allowed between 11pm and 7am during every 12-month period, with 2,800 of those between April and October and 1,200 between October and April.
But Mr Lapworth did concede the rules and the airport’s noise action plan dated back to the 1980s and would be reviewed in the future.
Earlier he told the forum LBIA contributed £98.5 million to the region’s economy per year, with 2.85 million passengers and 2,500 direct and indirect employees.
Mr Lapworth said the airport wanted the figure to rise to five million passengers to add 2,000 jobs and contribute £200 million to the economy. “It’s an important thing to say every successful region is supported by a successful regional airport,” he said. “We’re trying to make it a much better airport for everybody.
Leeds Bradford Airport warned over late-night flying
16.4.2010 (Leeds Guardian)
* Council tells airport to sort out problem with late-running service after planning consent breaches * Meeting discusses controverial Guiseley mill plan, Headingley student flats and Horsforth extension
Bosses at Leeds-Bradford International Airport have been told to stop breaching planning rules over noisy night-time flying.
A late-running Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight to Islamabad has created all 32 breaches in the rules, which are aimed at protecting residents in neighbouring Aireborough, Horsforth and beyond from being disturbed by late-night flying between 11pm and 7am.
Councillors on the plans west committee have decided to write to the airport, warning them that further breaches will not be tolerated and demanding action to tackle the problem.
The airport says it is to bring the departure time of the long-haul flight forward, there will be fewer departures and the airline will use a quieter type of aircarft. LBIA is also working on a noise action plan for all flights. Problems with PIA included late arrival of the aircraft, technical problems and security incidents.
But councillors weren’t satisfied.
Labour councillor Elizabeth Nash said:
“Why should people have to put up with this? All those people who objected to the extension of the runway at Yeadon warned this sort of thing would happen and they were right.
“If this issue is not resolved, we will ahve to get tough on them.”
Between November 2007 and October 2008, 15 flights breached planning consent; between November 2008 until October 2009 there were 10 flights; and from November 2009 until February 2010 there were seven. The flight is scheduled to arrive at 7.25pm and depart at 9pm.
Planning chief Martin Sellens said that planner had tried to work with the airport, which had been trying to resolve the situation through negotiations through PIA.
“My feeling is we should not take out enforcement action yet but there should be a threat there. We should write to them and let them know that this issue must be resolved.”
Councillors agreed to write to the airport demanding action over the PIA flight and threatening enforcement action if the problem wasn’t resolved. The council will also ask how traffic departure times are monitored and will ask for regular updates on the airport’s noise action plan.
Further breaches at Leeds Bradford airport ‘won’t be tolerated’ by council
16th April 2010 Leeds Bradford airport is being warned that further breaches of night-flight rules will not be tolerated. Leeds planners have agreed to formally warn Leeds-the airport after considering a report which detailed 32 incidents over the past year when aircraft have breached the deadline. The vast majority involved Pakistan International Airlines and its predecessor Shaheen Airlines. The council wants a firm timetable for tackling the problem. (T & A) Click here to view full story…
Leeds Bradford Airport under scrutiny over late-night flying
13th April 2010 Councillors will this week consider a report which details 32 breaches of planning rules (7 between Nov 2009 and Feb 2010) over noisy night-time flying at Leeds Bradford International Airport. A late-running Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight to Islamabad has created all the breaches in the rules, which operate to reducenight flying between 11pm-7am. (Guardian) Click here to view full story…
French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler,partner of Francois Hollande, is at the centre of a fresh political scandal after meeting opponents of a the planned Nantes airport, in defiance of the Jean-Marc Ayrault, the prime minister’s, support for the project. Ms Trierweiler is being accused of trying to undermine the PM;s authority by consorting with the protestors in Angers. Ms Truerweuker was happy to chat to 3 opponents’ representatives, who also asked her to deliver a letter of protest to Hollande. Ms Trierweiler has caused various controversies, such as supporting gay marriage, and is unpopular with the right wing. Her opponents also say her job as a journalist is ‘incompatible’ with her role as the President’s partner.
Approachable: Ms Trierweiler, 47, chatted with the protestors in Angers, western France, this weekend and was even asked to deliver a letter to her partner, President Francois Hollande
French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler is at the centre of a fresh political scandal after meeting opponents of a new airport – in defiance of the prime minister’s support for the project.
Ms Trierweiler is accused of trying to undermine PM Jean-Marc Ayrault’s authority by consorting with the protestors in Angers, western France, this weekend.
The new multi-billion pound airport in Nantes is due for completion in 2017 and has even been dubbed the ‘Ayrault-port’, a play on the prime minister’s name, because of his fierce backing.
But socialist President Francois Hollande’s 47-year-old partner was happy to chat to three opponents’ representatives, who also asked her to deliver a letter of protest to her boyfriend, activist group Greenpeace said.
It is the latest in a catalogue of blunders by Ms Trierweiler, who was recently branded a ‘meddler’ and ‘nothing more than the president’s mistress’ by one right-wing MP.
Opposition MP Xavier Bertrand has now described her meeting with airport opponents as ‘very serious’.
He added: ‘This was not an innocent gesture. What is she trying to do, further undermine the position of Jean-Marc Ayrault?
‘And if so, was it her idea or the president’s?’
Last week, outspoken French MP Bernard Debre issued another dramatic put-down of Ms Trierweiler after she gave her public support for gay marriages.
He wrote on his website: ‘Madame Trierweiler, self-proclaimed First Lady, is nothing more than the President’s mistress.
‘What is she meddling in? What right does she have to speak out?
‘When one is in her position, after the blunders she has already made, it would be much better it she shut up.’
……..The rest of the article just continues about Ms Trierweiler and why her opponents don’t like her ……………
Ayrault-port: Ms Trierweiler was accused of trying to undermine the authority of PM Jean-Marc Ayrault, pictured, who is fiercely backing the project
The 68-year-old MP for Paris also said her job as a journalist was ‘incompatible’ with her role as the President’s partner.
He added: ‘She might well want to get into politics, but she should stop being a journalist and define her position at the Elysee Palace.’
The First Lady has been the target of repeated media attacks since her boyfriend was elected president in May.
She was at the centre of accusations she tried to wreck the political career of Segolene Royal – the mother of Mr Hollande’s four children – by tweeting her support for a candidate standing against her in the parliamentary elections.
Ms Royal lost the election and later said she had been ‘stabbed in the back’ by Mr Hollande’s girlfriend.
The French leader’s former partner of 28 years went on to accuse Mr Trierweiler of costing her a place in Mr Hollande’s cabinet.
Ms Trierweiler also faced humiliation last month when her boss at a French magazine said she would be sacked at the end of this year.
Unpopular: The First Lady has been the target of repeated media attacks since Mr Hollande, left, was elected president in May.
Glossy weekly Paris Match’s owner Arnaud Lagardere described her as ‘an unpinned grenade’ who has caused him ‘nothing but trouble’ and said he would not be renewing her contract in January.
Mr Lagardere’s comments were published in a biography of the millionaire media tycoon by journalist Jacqueline Remy.
Ms Remy said it was suggested to Mr Lagardere in June that having the French First Lady as an employee would surely help him get ‘the ear of the president’.
But he is quoted as replying: ‘Are you kidding? Up until now, she’s caused us nothing but problems.’
He went on: ‘She’s like an unpinned grenade.’
Paris Match would be ‘letting her go’ next year to avoid any ‘conflict of interest’, he added.
She is also demanding £70,000 in damages over a book that alleges she cheated on her husband with two lovers at once.
Ms Trierweiler was the shared mistress of left-wing President Francois Hollande and a right-wing minister while she was married, the biography called The Troublemaker claimed.
A separate book about Ms Trierweiler called Between Two Fires, by investigative journalist Anna Cabana, describes her ‘a cocktail of jealousy, vengeance and political calculation’.
In a third book about her called The Favourite, journalistLaurent Greilsamer writes: ‘As I see it, you have shown yourself to be not normal, snooty, infatuated, explosive, unpredictable. And visibly dangerous.’
Thousands of demonstrators against Nantes airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes
The Monde.fr with AFP | • Updated
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At least 5,000 people according to the organizers, 2300 according to the police, marched Saturday, December 8 in the afternoon Nantes protest against the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of the city.
The demonstrators gathered behind a banner head marked “airport = capitalism immediate stop” , before beginning to march, to 15 h 30, the streets of the city center, chanting slogans like “No, No, not at the airport “ , “Vinci emerges resistance and sabotage” , “neither state nor plane, self” or “Ayrault resignation” .
In the procession, which was to go to the prefecture, signs also mentioned “no concrete yes mushroom” , “flights are canceled Vinci” , “Vinci emerges” , “We do not let go” , also found an AFP photographer.
“The procession is impressive, it is about a mile long” , said Dominique Fresneau , Co-Chair ACIPA, the leading association of opponents to the airport.
The event is also part of a European day of action against “harmful projects” .Between 300 and 400 people were also shown against Brest on Saturday morning at the airport, behind five tractors Confédération Paysanne.
The airport project Notre-Dame-des-Landes is intended to replace the existing airport in 2017 from Nantes Atlantique . His concession was entrusted by the State to the Vinci group.
Giving evidence at the House of Commons Transport Select Committee, on aviation strategy, two senior staff from NATS discussed the idea of perhaps introducing a steeper approach angle for planes coming into Heathrow. At present, all airlines come in at a 3 degree angle, but at London City airport, planes approach at 5.5 degrees. However, many planes such as A380s would need to level out to a 3 degree slope some 6 miles or so from touchdown, so there would be no change for people living very close to the airport. There would be a small reduction in noise for those living from around 15 to 6 miles (approx distances) from the airport. This idea has been suggested by Emirates, as a way to be able to land more of their A380s at Heathrow and to land them until 1am each night and again from 4am. This would not be acceptable to most London residents being overflown. Andrew Haines, the chief executive of the UK CAA, told the hearing that although the idea went against the grain of international convention, “the idea ‘certainly had merit’ and that it was ‘definitely worth looking at’.
This map shows the trajectories of all aircraft over London on 5 August 2012 (25,000ft and below) as a density heat map.
A concept promoted by Middle East carrier Emirates to bypass restrictions on night flights at capacity constrained London Heathrow by landing its A380 fleet at steeper angles is to be pursued by UK air traffic control NATS.
Speaking today before the UK Transport Select Committee, the NATS chief executive Richard Deakin said that although the concept needed to be examined in far more detail in terms of the technical aspects of aircraft like the A380 flying such an approach, it had already received ‘top level’ attention within the organisation.
“I don’t believe there are any A380s anywhere that fly those steep angles into airports thresholds. We would need to do some technical modelling around the feasibility of that. Clearly more work need to be done by ourselves and with the CAA, the airport and the airlines,” said Deakin.
Andrew Haines, the chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, told the hearing that although the idea went against the grain of international convention, “the idea ‘certainly had merit’ and that it was ‘definitely worth looking at’.
He told the hearing that the only exception to the three degree standard sanctioned by global aviation rule-setting body ICAO is permitted for obstacle clearance. “The challenge with this is that where [steeper approaches] happen at London City Airport, for example, the landing gear is lowered early which creates more noise. The principal benefit of a steep aproach is to reduce noise. That is the thing we would need to resolve as well as the safety issue so that you can still make a stable approach.”
Emirates estimates that steeper descents into Heathrow would reduce noise by between 15%-20% and that the measure could allow its aircraft to fly in and out of the hub until 1am every day, restarting flights after 4am.
The UK currently imposes tight restrictions on night flying at Heathrow between 11.30pm and 6am, when on average 18 long-haul flights use the airport between 4.30 and 6am.
Emirates president Tim Clark said earlier this year he believed that he could increase the number of daily A380 flights from London to Dubai from five to seven using new take-off and landing methods despite the London airport operating at near full capacity.
The aircraft would fly into Heathrow at a 5.5-degree angle, rather than the usual three degrees, landing a kilometre further down the runway, away from homes near the airport. [What NATS actually said was that the planes would have to level out some distance - perhaps around 6 miles away from touch down, and complete the landing at a 3 degree slope. AW comment: so this would mean no difference to the noise for those most affected by the loudest noise, those within perhaps 5 - 6 miles of the runway].
Clark believes that new quieter aircraft such as the A380 should be granted a reduced night curfew, enabling Heathrow to increase the number of flights beyond the current annual limit of 480,000.
“If you can demonstrate that the noise profile of aircraft is that much quieter, why not look at that as a means of growing capacity at constrained hub airports?” Clark told the Financial Times.
The UK Government is currently consulting on a new night flight regime at Heathrow.
NATS chief executive Richard Deakin said an approach angle of 5.5 degrees would double the height of aircraft passing over some southwest London suburbs. Campaigners have previously warned that around 500,000 people are affected by night flights and that steeper approaches would not help the problem.
Almost a quarter of a million Londoners living under the Heathrow flight path could see levels of noise pollution fall by as much as 25% amid plans to bring aircraft in to land at a steeper angle.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of the company that owns British Airways, said Londoners could enjoy a “significant” reduction in jet noise if it is successful in attempts at tweaking the angle that flights come in to land from 3 degrees to 3.2 degrees.
“Noise reduction will make a big difference to London,” Walsh said. “We’re looking at steeper flight paths and moving the normal touch down point forward, so that we fly over higher altitudes for more of the landing route and disperse the noise.”
Walsh added: “Changing the traditional, 3-degree flight slope to 3.2 degrees will have make a significant difference.”
The airline boss said BA’s new fleet of aircraft — it will be flying new Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A380 super-jumbos from next year — would also cut noise.
“They are significantly quieter,” he said. “The measures could make quite a difference to those who live close to the airport.”
The initiative comes a month after Heathrow started a trial of managing flight paths for aircraft landing between 4.30am and 6am. It is trying week-on/week-off noise relief for neighbourhoods including Clapham, Bermondsey and Westminster.
Parliament TV: Aviation Strategy (the first section of the very interesting video of the evidence session, by Simon Hocquard, Operational Strategy & Deployment Director, NATS, and Richard Deakin, Chief Executive Officer, NATS deals with changing approaches to Heathrow, among other things)
Speaking at an evidence session of the Commons Transport Select Committee, on Aviation Strategy, Simon Hocquard, Operational Strategy & Deployment Director, NATS, said that as the prevailing wind in the south east of England is from the west, for some 75% of the time planes taking off from an estuary airport would fly, heavy and relatively low, over London. They could be persuaded to fly around London, to avoid subjecting London residents to the noise, but this would increase cost to the airlines, fuel burn and carbon emissions. He also said that a 4 runway estuary airport would have difficulty working in conjunction with other existing south east airports, but the actual problems, noise etc had not yet been modelled, and NATS had not yet been asked to model these issue. The Committee also heard from Richard Deakin about the possibilities of aircraft approaching airports at a 5.5 degree angle, till some 5 – 6 miles or so from the airport, and then reverting to the usual 3 degrees descent. This would limit noise for those further from the airport, but not for those living under the final miles of approach.
The importance of airspace, the invisible infrastructure that underpins UK aviation, was emphasised today by Richard Deakin, NATS Chief Executive Officer, as he gave evidence to the Transport Select Committee Inquiry on Aviation Strategy.
Richard Deakin CEO NATS
Mr Deakin said that the function of airspace was too often overlooked in the debate around future airport capacity in the south east of England, telling MPs that “airports only work with efficient airspace to support them.”
Delays to aircraft attributable to NATS so far this year have averaged just 1.6 seconds despite it handling more than 22 per cent of European air traffic. The average air traffic delay across the whole of Europe is almost 33 seconds.
The south east of England is one of the busiest and most complex areas of airspace anywhere in the world, accommodating flight paths for the five major London airports, and a number of smaller airports, within a very small geographic area.
Mr Deakin said: “Changing any of those routes has a consequential impact on others. Adding one, two or even four runways, and certainly a brand new airport, would have implications for the flight paths serving other airports in the region and inevitably require major airspace redesign.”
It was also Mr Deakin’s view that a 4-runway airport in the Thames estuary could not co-exist with Heathrow and London City as they operate today; from a cost and complexity of change perspective addressing existing infrastructure constraints would be preferable to building an entirely new airport.
Mr Deakin added: “It is already a challenge to support current, let alone future demand growth, and airspace is just as constrained as the infrastructure on the ground.” He added that NATS has offered to support Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission in the New Year as they consider different airport proposals.
Airspace may be invisible, but it is structured in a very detailed way to ensure aircraft fly through it safely, efficiently and with as little fuel burn and associated CO2 emissions as possible. NATS’ air traffic controllers are responsible for ensuring that minimum distances between aircraft, both vertical and horizontal, are maintained.
Parliament TV: Aviation Strategy (the section of the very interesting video of the evidence session, by Simon Hocquard, Operational Strategy & Deployment Director, NATS, and Richard Deakin, Chief Executive Officer, NATS – on the Thames Estuary airport starts at around 16:30:00 )
In a fresh blow to Britain’s aviation policy, Richard Deakin, the chief executive of the National Air Traffic Service, raised serious concerns that a new Estuary hub would be unworkable, warning it could not co-exist with either Heathrow, London City, Northolt or Southend airports.
Mr Deakin, Britain’s top-ranking aviation official, also reveals that the Mayor of London has so far failed to consult him over a “Boris Island”, which could cost £70bn.
A four-runway Estuary airport would only work “in isolation”, Mr Deakin believes. It would not only interfere with London’s current network of airports but also would also cause problems for Dutch air traffic and Schiphol airport.
“You may find that, in isolation, the airport works well but that actually the challenges of integrating it into the surrounding network of Southend, London City, Northolt and Heathrow are insurmountable,” Mr Deakin said.
“If you have four runways in the Thames Estuary, the approach and departure pattern would be right over the middle of London, where you have also got London City, Northolt, Heathrow and Dutch airspace traffic coming in from the east.”
The aviation expert cautions that a “Boris Island” would have particularly grave consequences for Heathrow. Although he stops short of saying Heathrow would be forced to close, Mr Deakin says capacity at the hub, owned by BAA, would have to be cut dramatically.
“That would be a difficult conversation for the airlines based there,” he said.
“Hands up, who wants to reduce capacity at Heathrow? There’s a huge amount of investment going in there at the moment with new terminals. It’s British Airways’ hub. So it’s a big question for BA chief executive Keith Williams.”
Mr Deakin’s stark intervention in the aviation debate comes amid fears that the Government will seek to delay stating its position on the airport debate by making a “call for evidence” which does promote any options.
The Government is due to publish the call for evidence alongside its long-awaited Aviation Policy Framework by the end of the summer.
Sources say the policy framework is unlikely to tackle sensitive issues around aviation capacity and will instead focus on broader areas such as carbon emissions.
The Government has firmly stated that it opposes a third runway at Heathrow, but BAA will be allowed to make its case for expansion as part of the call for evidence.
“You can’t prejudge what sort of evidence you receive,” said one government insider.
Sources say Transport Secretary Justine Greening is hoping to reach cross-party consensus on aviation capacity to deflect some of the pressure on the Conservatives over Heathrow.
Some in the industry fear that the Policy Framework may also be delayed until September.
The Guardian reports on the battle against a new Nantes airport. On 11th December a French judge will decide whether to authorise a fresh round of forced police evictions of the squatters who live on the area of the proposed airport. Previous attempts to dislodge protesters brought hundreds of French riot police who fired teargas and rubber bullets, some climbing trees and teargassing people down from tree-houses, sparking dozens of injuries and what locals described as “war scenes”. In recent months, police swoops have razed wooden huts and vegetable gardens, immediately inspiring hundreds more squatters to arrive from across Europe to rebuild the camps and strengthen the protests. The protesters, including farmers, locals and green politicians, argue that building a brand new airport for France’s sixth largest city, which already has an award-winning airport, is both an environmental disaster and a waste of public money during an economic crisis. Support groups have sprung up across France.
Dairy farmers, locals and eco-warriors face eviction over plans to build second airport in Nantes on top of precious woodland
“This is a special place; it’s a shame it is at war,” sighed Marie and Alain as they sat at the wooden table of their historic stone farmhouse gazing out at the autumn colours of the forest of Rohanne.
Yet they were proud their idyllic view was now punctuated by scores of tents, yurts, rainbow camper vans and makeshift wooden cabins as a growing front of local dairy farmers, residents and international eco-warriors unite against plans to build an ambitious second airport for the western French city of Nantes.
The vast stretch of woodland outside the tiny village of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, six times the surface of Monaco, is now Europe’s biggest open air squat, according to the local police chief. Road signs spray-painted “Defence Zone” and bails of hay as roadblocks ring the proposed construction site.
On Tuesday a French judge will decide whether to authorise a fresh round of forced police evictions. Previous attempts to dislodge protesters brought hundreds of French riot police who fired teargas and rubber bullets, some climbing trees and teargassing people down from tree-houses, sparking dozens of injuries and what locals described as “war scenes”.
In recent months, police swoops have razed wooden huts and vegetable gardens, immediately inspiring hundreds more squatters to arrive from across Europe to rebuild the camps and strengthen the protests.
The protesters, including farmers, locals and green politicians, argue that building a brand new airport for France’s sixth largest city, which already has an award-winning airport, is both an environmental disaster and a waste of public money during an economic crisis. Support groups have sprung up across France.
“We are the resistance,” said Alain, an electricity technician, who has rented his farmhouse for 20 years and whose dairy farmers ancestors have been rooted here since the 17th century. But the kitchen sits on the exact spot where the planned control tower will go. He, his partner, Marie, and their children should have left in July to allow the house to be demolished. They stayed, and are now considered squatters. Marie, a secretary, said: “Some of the environmental protesters living in self-built wood cabins have been here for years with their families and children. They refuse to give up and so do we. I can’t believe the French left is acting like this, refusing to listen to the ecological arguments, and sending in totally disproportionate force against us.”
From the house, a long, muddy walk deep through the forest leads to a series of intricate, makeshift roadblocks, manned at all hours. In a clearing, 40 tractors are chained together to protect the entrance to the Châtaignerie, a forest camp and communal living headquarters, with elaborate wooden huts. Volunteers are dishing out vegetable soup, activists are discussing schemes to plant vegetables, there is a bar, sanitary block and communications office with pirate radio frequency. If, as protesters say, the codename for the gendarmes’ eviction operation is Operation Caesar, the squat is a kind of Asterix village, surrounded on all sides but holding out.
If a court this week orders the Châtaignerie camp to be forcefully evicted, locals fear another stand-off and injuries. At the heart of the camp, Camille, 42, not his real name, used to work in the French film industry. He was an activist during the Heathrow airport expansion protests and has been squatting in the Notre-Dame-des-Landes forest for a year and a half.
“All we can do is be present,” he said. “We want to produce our own food, be auto-sufficient, show an alternative way for society.”
Plans to build an airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, 12 miles (20km) north of Nantes, date back 45 years, and so does the opposition. At first the idea was a Nantes international air hub, which would compete with Paris and host Concorde, but that was dropped. The current plans are for a €556m (£446m) airport which would open in 2017 and host 9 million passengers a year in 2050.
Socialists say it is crucial for jobs and the development of the fast-growing city of Nantes, tucked away near France’s Atlantic coast. Yannick Vaugrenard, Socialist senator for Loire-Atlantique, argued that without proper infrastructure, the area would be the “far west” of Europe, and the crucial new airport would respect the environment.
Opponents, including the Green party, which has two ministers in the government, say the project will destroy crucial humid woodland and hedgerow habitats and is totally unnecessary because Nantes’s current airport, to the south of the city, was not at saturation point and could be expanded.
The row has become a major thorn in the side of the government. The Socialist prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, is a former mayor of Nantes and personal champion of the project. He is facing record unpopularity and to shelve the airport plans would be too much of a capitulation, observers say.
“This airport will happen,” he told Paris Match last month. But Ayrault’s latest attempts to call a six-month truce in which a new scientific report is conducted alongside a “dialogue commission” have not calmed the mood.
Demonstrators marched on the streets of central Nantes again this weekend.
“This airport is the prime example of what we shouldn’t do anymore: it’s about global warming, damaging the environment and setting the wrong example for society,” said Julien Durand, a retired dairy farmer leading opposition in the village from a tiny drop-in centre near the town hall.
He backed local farmers who went on hunger-strike against it earlier this year. “In times of financial crisis, does Nantes need a new airport? No,” said one village protester. Françoise Verchère, from the Parti de Gauche, leading a protest group of local politicians, said: “This the worst possible choice of site for an airport because we now know this type of important, humid wetland must be preserved.”
Notre-Dame-des-Landes has become a national symbol, inspiring struggles against all types of development projects from transport to shopping centres. In a farm shed on the airport zone, a 23-year-old northern European treehouse activist, who wouldn’t be named, was preparing to move back up to trees if police arrived this week. He had been squatting here for two years, after similar action in England and Scotland.
“The problem is this airport would be a ticket for even more urbanisation. Occupation is the last line of defence.”
Useful article in English about the protests at Notre Dame des Landes, against a new Nantes airport. It says since mid-October, the number of occupiers has grown from 150 to as many as 500 at any given time. Today, they appear ubiquitous on the roads, in the fields and in the woods, building tents and cabins. With media attention now focused on Notre-Dame-des-Landes, Ayrault has pledged to form a commission to reopen talks on the airport. It is unclear what the commission will be able to accomplish. So far, the many evictions have made Notre-Dame-des-Landes headline news across the country, drawn increasing numbers of occupiers and strengthened links between the squatters and the farmers, who are determined to stay put. “We cannot fight and look for another farm,” says Marcel Thébault. “We can do one or the other, but not both. So today, we have not looked for another farm”. “If we fight, the main reason is not because it is our farm and because we have put in so much work here. It’s difficult to leave a farm, but we could do it if the project was good. But on every level, [this airport] is bad. Also, we are so many together to fight this project. So, we stay.”
The French Prime Minister’s plan to build a new international airport near the western city of Nantes is facing growing opposition and increased media attention. RFI visits the contested countryside near the small farming community of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
Barricades, anti-airport graffiti and security checkpoints mark the drive into an otherwise typical stretch of countryside. Police helicopters hover above day and night, while on the ground, squatters from around France and abroad circulate in camping cars or walk with their dogs between the various campsites.
Tensions between occupiers and security forces have calmed follow two high-profile evictions in October and November. The first eviction led thousands of protesters to arrive on 17 November in support of the long-running campaign against the Socialist government’s plans for a Great Western Airport to be built here: 13,500 according to the police, 40,000 according to the organisers.
“When it was just the farmers, politicians and local people, we felt alone in the countryside in the far west of Europe,” says Isabelle Loirat, a Nantes city councillor with France’s centrist MoDem party and co-president of the group of elected officials opposed to the airport. “It changed when those young people arrived. First, the opposition started to be very different, and then the media became interested.”
Since mid-October, the number of occupiers has grown from 150 to as many as 500 at any given time. Today, they appear ubiquitous on the roads, in the fields and in the woods, building tents and cabins. “We respect their way of fighting,” says farmer Marcel Thébault. “The violence comes from the police and not from the young people, and now the relationship is very good between the young people and the farmers.”
Marcel and his wife Sylvie expect a court to order them off their land by the year’s end, so that AGO-Vinci, the public-private partnership charged with developing the airport, can begin converting their land in January. As the date approaches, the occupiers and farmers have grown closer. “Since October, some of them have set up around here,” says Sylvie. “We showed them a few places where they could build some cabins or set up a camper. ”
“For me, squatter isn’t a pejorative term, since we’ll all be squatters in January,” says Sylvain Fresneau, a fifth-generation dairy farmer and president of the group of farmers resisting the airport. Like the Thébaults, Fresneau has refused to negotiate a buy-out deal with AGO-Vinci. “We have good relations. Even though there are so many of them, they’re clean and respectful.”
Fresneau has lent the occupiers a shed usually used for farm equipment for use as a meeting place and workshop, as they reorganise and build new cabins. Inside, dozens of activists mill about between mountains of clothing, food and medical supplies sent by more than 100 support committees across the country. A meeting room has been converted into an infirmary, and the walls are notice boards announcing upcoming assemblies. Loudspeakers relay bulletins from Radio Klaxon, a pirate station that broadcasts information across the area.
“What’s happening here is extraordinary,” says Cyril Bouligand of the regional Farmers’ Union, who works with the occupiers and other opposition groups. “Many battles have come together. We’re not looking for compromises. We want real dialogue, and not the false arguments Jean-Marc Ayrault has been giving for 10 years.”
The ‘Ayraultport’ and ‘zad’
The airport is so closely associated with France’s current prime minister and former mayor of Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, that opponents call it the “Ayraultport”. First proposed in the early 1970s, the idea remained dormant until the 2000s, when Ayrault championed the project as part of a plan for the economic development of the Nantes region. As the scheduled building date approaches, the project’s critics, including the Green party, the Socialists’ coalition partners in the national government, are calling on the Socialists to explain the economic and environmental logic of spending 600 million euros to convert 1600 hectares of rural land into an airport for a city that already has one.
“It will have even wider consequences,” says Fresneau. “More farms will have to move to develop infrastructure, roads and traffic. These consequences haven’t been considered.”
With media attention now focused on Notre-Dame-des-Landes, Ayrault has pledged to form a commission to reopen talks on the airport. It is unclear what the commission will be able to accomplish, since the Socialists are determined to proceed with construction plans, and the opponents say there is no room to negotiate about a project that councillor Loirat calls “completely stupid”.
“Even if we have different means, we’re all united in saying the airport is useless and unnecessary,” she says. AGO-Vinci argues the current Nantes airport is heavily congested and too close to the city, while opponents claim it could be expanded and modified. They also say economic development could be encouraged in a less costly way by boosting traffic at other regional airports in Rennes, Brest, Dinard and Lorient, all currently operating at reduced capacity.
The opposition’s combination of political, legal and popular pressure on the project’s developers has taken on an added dimension with the squatters’ territorial occupation of the so-called Zad. Officially standing for Zone d’Aménagement Différé, the legal term for a geographic area marked for a developing project like the airport, the acronym itself has been renamed theZone à défendre, or the zone to be defended. Along with the occupation comes the squatters’ own critique of the Socialists’ determination to bring the project to life.
“We often say that we are not only against an airport, but the world that goes with it,” says a man calling himself Camille, a common French name which is used by some of the occupiers to speak collectively. “A few leaders decide for everybody what’s going to be on this territory, and the people who live here cannot decide what they want for their own lives. They try to pass that off as democratic, but the people at the bottom have no power and basically have to shut up, in their opinion.”
Others are more open to speaking of their personal motivations, including Patrick, who came from Brest in Brittany after seeing the violence of the most recent eviction. “I don’t think I could vote again in my life,” he says, chopping carrots and turnips in the makeshift kitchen in Fresneau’s shed. “I voted for Francois Hollande, and it makes me sick to have done this, because it’s a Socialist government that ordered the police to be so violent.”
The chestnut grove
Patrick refers to the early morning eviction of 23 November, when 500 police dismantled the cabins built during the previous week’s mass demonstration in an operation that Interior Minister Manuel Valls likened to “stopping a cyst from growing”. Police dismantled the squatters’ structures in a handful of locations, including the Chestnut Grove, a woodlot near the geographical centre of the area zoned for the airport.
“It was a strange moment,” says Igor, walking across a patch of torn-up ground and damaged woodland after agreeing to act as a guide to the emblematic site of the occupation. “Some people were speaking with cops, others were running because of the tear gas. There are tensions between us and the cops, and the result is here.”
Further into the Chestnut Grove is a collection of eight cabins containing dormitories, showers and food supplies, where sixty activists are finishing a day’s carpentry work and preparing to spend the night. The site is a veritable fortress, encircled by forty-five tractors lent by local farmers in the week that followed the previous eviction. “One tractor from each farmer”, according to Marcel Thébault.
Igor himself arrived from southern France in mid-November, drawn by the environmental activism of the occupation. “People see what happens here and they understand that we’re not terrorists,” he says with a laugh as he gives a tour of the cabins, which are built with recycled materials and heated by natural means. “We want to change the patterns of this absolutely crazy society. This airport is not a sustainable project. If we want to fight it, we have to prove it’s possible to live in a different way, and this is what is happening here.”
The cabins sit on private property with the permission of the landowners, but were erected without building permits, leading the police and AGO-Vinci to submit a request for a third eviction, on which a court will make a decision next Tuesday. Although the wall of tractors and a heavily-barricaded service road make for difficult access, security forces could begin removing the Chestnut Grove’s cabins as early as the following morning.
So far, such evictions have made Notre-Dame-des-Landes headline news across the country, drawn increasing numbers of occupiers and strengthened links between the squatters and the farmers, who are determined to stay put. “We cannot fight and look for another farm,” says Marcel Thébault. “We can do one or the other, but not both. So today, we have not looked for another farm”.
“If we fight, the main reason is not because it is our farm and because we have put in so much work here. It’s difficult to leave a farm, but we could do it if the project was good. But on every level, [this airport] is bad. Also, we are so many together to fight this project. So, we stay.”
Conservative councillors in Northumberland and Newcastle have said the time has come for the North East’s 7 local authorities get out of the airport business and offload their shares. They could then avoid cuts to council services and jobs. The councils between them, including Northumberland and Newcastle, own a 51% stake in Newcastle airport, but have also had to spend £68m to help refinance its debts. In exchange the authorities receive on average just £500,000 a year in dividends, as well as a say over bigger airport issues. The ownership of the airport has been particularly controversial after a former airport chief executive to walk away with a multi-million £ bonus. At the hearing, which the airport lost but is trying to appeal against, a judge made repeated references to the councils’ lack of experience in running an airport.
Newcastle airport is owned by seven local authorities (51%) and AMP (49%). The seven local authorities are: Durham County Council, Gateshead MBC, City of Newcastle, North Tyneside MBC, Northumberland County Council, South Tyneside MBC and City of Sunderland
Councils should sell Newcastle Airport stake to save jobs and services
5.12.2012 (The Journal)
SCATHING cuts to council services and jobs could be avoided if city leaders sell off their stake in Newcastle Airport, it was claimed today.
Conservative councillors have said the time has come for the North East’s seven local authorities get out of the airport business and offload their shares.
The councils between them, including Northumberland and Newcastle, own a 51% stake in the airport, but have also had to spend £68m to help refinance its debts.
In exchange the authorities receive on average just £500,000 a year in dividends, as well as a say over bigger airport issues.
The councils’ stake in the airport has come under greater scrutiny following a high-profile court case over the legal advice which allowed a controversial former airport chief executive to walk away with a multi-million pound bonus.
At the hearing, which the airport lost but is trying to appeal against, a judge made repeated references to the councils’ lack of experience in running an airport.
Now Conservatives in Sunderland have said enough is enough and called for a sale.
These calls follow on from North Tyneside elected Tory mayor Linda Arkley, who has already refused to have any part in the airport refinancing.
Conservative group leader Robert Oliver said: “In 2007, Leeds-Bradford Airport was sold to Bridgepoint, a private operator, for £145m but the Yorkshire councils retained a special share in the airport, to protect its name and continued operation as an air transport gateway for the Yorkshire region.
“Likewise, Newcastle Airport should be run by real executives, expert in the airport sector, not secretive councillors who have little knowledge of the industry and who do not report back to their respective councils.
“Additionally, there are grave concerns about the wisdom of borrowing large amounts of money which could ultimately come back to the taxpayer to support the airport at a time when local authorities are facing financial challenges.
“North Tyneside has already declined to be part of the refinancing, as it does not believe it is a local priority and now other local authorities in the North East should follow. A sale of the local authority shares could also net councils a huge windfall at a time when they are under financial pressure as well as freeing up borrowing for more local projects such as city centre regeneration.”
A spokesman from South Tyneside Council, which leads the seven councils dealings over the airport, said the partnership of civic leaders continued to underpin a strong business. He added: “We have recently overseen a successful refinancing process that has enabled us to significantly reduce the level of external debt in the business, which has also reduced interest payments.
“As part of the process, six of the local authorities (South Tyneside, Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, Northumberland and Durham) have made a loan to the airport. The loan is repayable.”
27.10.2012 (FT) AMP Capital, a global investment manager with holdings in Melbourne and Launceston airports in Australia, is to buy a 49% stake in Newcastle International Airport. AMP had been up against 3i, the UK-listed private equity group, and French infrastructure investor Antin, but is understood to be paying in the region of £150m, including £65m to pay down the airport’s £298m net debt. Another £68m has been injected by LA7, a consortium of 7 local authorities that hold 51% of the airport, the UK’s 11th biggest. The minority stake was held by Copenhagen Airports, which paid £195m for it in 2001. One aviation specialist said the prospects for growth at Newcastle airport were checked by a relatively low-income catchment area. Click here to view full story ….
Newcastle Airport loses bonus battle with Eversheds
2.10.2012 NEWCASTLE Airport has lost its battle with a city law firm over multi-million-pound bonuses. The airport had claimed Eversheds Solicitors had failed to prevent two executive directors taking higher-than expected bonuses. A spokeswoman for Eversheds said: ““The judgment clearly states that Eversheds acted in good faith on the basis of instructions which it was entitled to accept. Furthermore it adds that the real reason Newcastle Airport suffered loss was because its non-executive directors failed to carry out their obligations to the company.“ Newcastle Airport International Ltd are suing Eversheds over bonuses awarded to former chief executive John Parkin and his then finance chief Lars Friis for securing a £377m mortgage deal linked to a re-financing package with the Bank of Scotland. Initially Mr Parkin was paid £6m and Mr Friis £2.5m, but the pay-outs were reduced later in an out-of-court settlement. At the heart of the dispute are the two contracts that underpinned the deal, which resulted in the duo receiving bonuses totalling 3% of £162m. Article …
Debt fears by North Tyneside Council mean no loan for Newcastle Airport
July 21, 2012 North Tyneside Council have opted not to follow the region’s other local authorities in making a loan to Newcastle Airport, which is the North East’s biggest airport. The airport needs to refinance its near £300m debt. Seven local authorities in the North East own 51% of the shares in the airport and 3 of them have agreed the size of their contributions. But North Tyneside has said it is not willing to incur additional debt at a time when local authorities are being asked to make huge budget cuts. The other 6 will have to make higher contributions and hope they will get higher pay-outs in due course, if the airport gets back into being profitable. The other 49% is owned by Copenhagen Airports, which is looking to sell its stake. Annual passenger numbers using Newcastle Airport in 2011 were 4.3 million, compared to 5.6 million at their peak in 2007. Click here to view full story…
Firms reap rewards from Newcastle to Dubai air link
16.6.2012 Businesses in the North East say they are benefiting from Emirates’ Newcastle to Dubai link, new research claims. The flights, which launched in 2007, now carry around 80,000 passengers a year with 11.5m tonnes of cargo imported and exported in their hold. And in three years it is possible it could go from a once-a-day to a twice-daily service as has recently been introduced in Glasgow. With a new, much larger, £186m Airbus 777-300ER the current Emirates plane has 278 seats while the new one has 428 of which 42 are business class. “But now we want to increase passenger numbers by 15% this year and 20% next year – from 80,000 people to around 120,000 or 130,000 – and we definitely think that is achievable.” Click here to view full story …
Newcastle Airport: Private firm to sell 49% stake
May 31, 2012 Copenhagen Airports is selling off its 49% stake in Newcastle Airport, but the seven local councils (LA7) which own the rest say their share is not for sale. These are Durham County, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland Councils . Copenhagen’s Australian backers are pulling out of foreign airports and Newcastle is the last one it has a share in. They have owned part of it for 11 years. The leader of the LA7 group said “The airport is a major asset for the region, employing 3,000 people, and generating hundreds of millions of pounds for the North East every year.” The airport has started trying to refinancing it debts. It has until December 2013 to repay a £320m loan taken out in 2006. It had 4.3 million passengers in 2011 compared to 5.6 million in 2007. Click here to view full story…
“Tangled Wings” tells the story of Gatwick from its opening in 1936 to the present day, as seen from the nearby village of Charlwood.
The author, Brendon Sewill, has lived in Charlwood all his life and has held key posts at the centre of government, at the centre of the banking industry (when it was respectable) and at the centre of several national environmental bodies. He brings this experience to bear on the relationship between a small but historic village and an ever-expanding brash noisy airport.
Part autobiography, part village history, and part an account of the tangled development of British airports, make this full size book an easy read. And there are plenty of fascinating illustrations.
With the press full of speculation about where a new runway or a new airport should be built, Tangled Wings is a valuable contribution to the national debate.
“This book tells – with characteristic humour and insight – the story of how one village has stood up to its airport neighbour, and with its behind-the-scenes glimpses of the ins and outs of both local and national politics, it will be of interest to readers both with and without a personal connection to Charlwood.”
Tim Johnson, Director Aviation Environment Federation
*** To order – £10 + £3 p+p - see below ***
By Brendon Sewill
Price £10.00. (+ Postage £3.00 per copy).
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