There have been several comments from environmental groups to the government aviation policy consultation. Below are those from RSPB, from AirportWatch, and from Stop Stansted Expansion. The RSPB said “The government has also delayed consultation on the economic arguments for a hub airport until later this year, and in doing so has harmfully segregated the debate. We cannot consider the economic arguments for expansion and specific hub proposals without taking into account the environmental impacts such as noise, pollution and climate change. We need a bold new vision for the UK’s wider transport strategy. Instead of thinking about aviation expansion, the government should be investing much more in improving the UK’s surface transport network, in new technologies for efficient and electric vehicles, and in using existing airport capacity better.”
Aviation expansion will be fatal for UK’s climate commitments
Dunlins flying over Cliffe Pools
Aviation expansion could threaten UK wildlife and lead to rocketing greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the message from the RSPB after the Government launched its consultation on the environmental impacts of aviation today [Thursday 12 July, 2012].
Aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, with this country already one of the world’s biggest producers of carbon per head through air travel.
By 2050 aviation could account for one quarter of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet there are no targets to reduce this, and these emissions are still not counted in UK’s carbon budget system.
What’s more, the consultation confirms that new and expanding airports are on the horizon, which would see emissions rise to alarming and unacceptable levels, and may threaten valuable wildlife habitats such as the Thames Estuary.
Chris Corrigan, RSPB South East Regional Director, said: “Today’s announcement confirms Government’s continued pursuit of economic growth regardless of the cost to people, wildlife and our environment. Ultimately, this will only stoke the flames of opposition and cause needless damage to our fragile environment. The RSPB is calling for a new approach that properly values the environment and ensures that unbridled growth in aviation does not undermine our climate.
“Climate change is the greatest long-term threat facing birds, wildlife and people. If we don’t act now to limit our emissions, we’re putting our special places and species at grave risk as well people’s homes and livelihoods.
“The government has also delayed consultation on the economic arguments for a hub airport until later this year, and in doing so has harmfully segregated the debate. We cannot consider the economic arguments for expansion and specific hub proposals without taking into account the environmental impacts such as noise, pollution and climate change.
“We need a bold new vision for the UK’s wider transport strategy. Instead of thinking about aviation expansion, the government should be investing much more in improving the UK’s surface transport network, in new technologies for efficient and electric vehicles, and in using existing airport capacity better.”
- The RSPB is Europe’s largest conservation charity, working to save and support the UK’s urban and rural wild life and wild places. With more than a million registered supporters, we speak out for nature, champion development which brings economic growth alongside a healthy environment for people and wildlife, and aim to bring people closer to nature. www.rspb.org.uk/london.
- Aviation and our climate Domestic and international aviation emissions amount to about six percent of the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This represents 21 per cent of the UK transport sector’s GHG emissions and compares to 43 percent of transport emissions emitted by cars. Aviation’s emissions have grown substantially in past decades, doubling from 16.9 million tonnes of CO2 in 1990 to 34.7 million tonnes in 2009. This reflects the demand for aviation growing faster than fuel efficiency improvements (Source: Department for Transport, 2011).
- Aviation emissions are increasing rapidly and in climate-warming terms are at least twice as damaging as other emissions, meaning their impact is substantially greater. This is because nitrogen oxides, water vapour, soot and contrails all lead to additional warming, especially when released at high altitude. To limit the impact of aviation on our climate, Government will need to halt air travel expansion until it can be demonstrated that we can keep emissions from flying to within those needed to reduce the UK’s emissions by 80% by 2050, as enshrined in law by the Climate Change Act (2008). Without this, the scale of the cuts required in the rest of the UK economy to offset a continuing rise in aviation emissions would be potentially crippling. Instead, demand for flights can be managed by encouraging the use of lower carbon modes of transport and removing the substantial subsidies that the industry currently enjoys such as tax-free fuel, and the absence of VAT.
- The RSPB believes that an airport in the Thames Estuary is unacceptable because:
· Building an airport in the estuary would be an act of environmental vandalism.
· It’s home to hundreds of thousands of birds and welcomes hundreds of thousands more on migration every year. Aviation industry experts estimate the likelihood of bird strike with aircraft is 12 times more likely within the estuary compared with any other UK airport.
· The estuary is unique and so large that it could not be recreated anywhere else in Europe, so mitigation is not possible.
· The argument for a massive increase in aviation capacity cannot fit with the UK Governments targets to reduce emissions.
- More details of the RSPB’s campaign against an airport in the Thames Estuary can be found on our website: http://www.rspb.org.uk/noestuaryairport
- Find out more about our work in London by visiting our blog page, or follow us on Facebook.
Paul Outhwaite, RSPB Public Affairs Manager on 01273 763607 07736 477 528 or email@example.com
Matt Williams, RSPB Climate Policy Officer on 01767 693 046, 07854 575 690 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Webb, RSPB London Communications Manager on 020 7808 1246, 07921 740 753 or email@example.com
Aviation policy paper disappoints on climate change though much else to welcome, say campaigners
The Government has once again disappointed on climate change but there is much else to welcome, although its strategies on quality of life considerations have been left far too open to interpretation – was the response from AirportWatch (AW) to the Government’s draft aviation policy published today.
AW, the national umbrella organisation opposing unsustainable airport expansion, said that the Government needs to act much more forcefully towards adopting the Committee on Climate Change’s advice to include aviation (and shipping) emissions within the Climate Change Act targets and to return aviation emissions to 2005 levels by 2050.
The group particularly welcomed the move to devise an overall framework before considering detailed proposals to increase capacity. A consultation on capacity would be completely invalid without first taking into account environmental and quality of life considerations, they said.
The group stressed that the Government must not automatically assume that further airport capacity is needed when its own forecasts show there is currently enough capacity, even in London and the South East, until at least 2030. Requirements for capacity after that date would require further evidence on future oil prices, climate change targets, the impact of business trends towards videoconferencing and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
However, the group broadly welcomed the Government’s recognition of the tourism deficit*, the numbers of people affected by aircraft noise, particularly at Heathrow, reassessment of how noise disturbance is measured, raised fines for airlines in breach of noise regulations, commitment to optimise airport slots and that biofuels may not be the solution to aviation emissions.
AirportWatch Communications Director Susan Pearson said:
“The Government’s aviation strategy document is showing some willing to address quality of life issues around which any national aviation policy must be framed but has fallen down badly when it comes to climate change considerations. Unfortunately the impacts of climate change are likely to define all our futures, which is why any aviation strategy must be robust on this issue.
“The Government must remain firm in the face of siren calls from the vested interests of the aviation industry to increase capacity at any costs when there is currently no genuine evidence that the UK will be struggling in the next two decades. The UK is now one of the best connected countries in the world with direct connections to over 360 international destinations.
“The Government has followed the logical step of devising a framework before seeking evidence on capacity – a move away from the lobbying by proponents of aviation and a direction that must be continued.”
Notes for editors
1] Aviation accounts for at least 13% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions (if radiative forcing is included – about 6.5% without it). Radiative forcing caused by jet emissions high in the atmosphere is recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as causing more effect on climate due to non-CO2 effects (NOx and water vapour) – about twice the effect of CO2 alone. By 2050 could account for one quarter of the UK’s total green house gas emissions.
2]. AW Key Facts Briefing: http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/AirportWatch_Aviation_Briefing_22.6.2012.pdf
3] CCC recommend aviation should be included in the UK’s carbon budgets, http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1656
4] Heathrow night flights: Ministers to consider economic impact of sleep loss http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2020
5] How Aircraft Noise is measured, and the flaws http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/downloads/Briefing3_HowAircraftNoiseMeasured_flawed.doc
6] Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommendations on aviation emissions: http://www.aef.org.uk/?p=1430
7] New report challenges myth of airport capacity crisis: http://www.aef.org.uk/?p=1423
8] AirportWatch is an umbrella movement uniting the national environmental organisations, airport community groups, and individuals opposed to unsustainable aviation expansion. Its members and supporters include the Aviation Environment Federation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Campaign for Better Transport, the Woodland Trust, the World Development Movement, Action Aid, the National Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – and many more.
……… and see initial analysis of the consultation at AirportWatch’s initial comments on the Government’s Aviation document
TIME FOR THE ‘GREENEST GOVERNMENT EVER’ TO HONOUR ITS PROMISES
12.7.2012 (Stop Stasted Expansion)
The Government’s long awaited new aviation policy framework was published in draft form today [12 July 2012]. Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) will now need to consider this in detail and formulate a response to the Government in due course
SSE’s key message to the Government is that future aviation policy must be built around quality of life and climate change considerations and that the Government should not pander to the vested interests of the aviation industry who simply argue for expansion at all costs. We expect the Prime Minister to honour his promise that this will be the “Greenest Government ever.”
A key aspect of this will be to keep aviation emissions in 2050 at the 2005 level of 37.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) as recommended by the Government’s own Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and to include aviation emissions in the UK’s national carbon budgets.
SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented: “This will inevitably mean that unbridled expansion will no longer be the order of the day for the aviation industry.”
SSE will also expect the Government to fulfil its promises at a local level by adopting policies to reduce the impacts of airports upon the local environment and local communities.
Peter Sanders added: “Stansted Airport is located in what is otherwise a tranquil rural area and so it is not surprising that aircraft noise is the main issue for most people, particularly aircraft noise disturbance at night. We will therefore be pressing the Government to implement a much stronger noise policy – including clear progress towards a total ban on night flights.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
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The lives of thousands of residents’ would be blighted if the Spelthorne MP’s plan to demolish parts of Stanwell to build a 4th runway at Heathrow go ahead, say those living under the threat of airport expansion. The report, co-written by MP Kwasi Kwarteng, advocates two more runways for Heathrow Airport, one on the traditional site of Sipson, to the north, and the other in his own constituency to the south. This has led to opponents labelling the proposals “political suicide”. Geraldine Nicholson is chairman of the No Third Runway Action Group explained that residents in Spelthorne could expect blighted lives, broken down communities and death to the soul of their towns, if the plans were taken seriously. Like Sipson, which has suffered from years of blight, and dismantling of the community, from threats of a 3rd runway. It is astonishing for an MP to want to ruin a large part of his own constituency.
MPs’ Heathrow report suggests Stanwell runway
By Chris Caulfield (Get Surrey)
July 12, 2012
THOUSANDS of residents’ lives will be blighted if the Spelthorne MP’s plan to demolish parts of Stanwell to build a fourth runway at Heathrow go ahead, say those living under the threat of airport expansion.
The report ‘Policy Bites: Seven Shots in the Arm of Britain’, co-written by MP Kwasi Kwarteng, advocates two more runways for Heathrow Airport, one on the traditional site of Sipson, to the north, and the other in his own constituency to the south.
The plan to build a runway in Stanwell, which has a population of around 10,000, has led to opponents labelling the proposals “political suicide”.
Geraldine Nicholson is chairman of the No Third Runway Action Group and is one of the lead campaigners against expansion plans.
She explained what residents in Spelthorne could expect if Mr Kwarteng’s plan for a fourth runway went ahead.
Mrs Nicholson said: “The failed plans to build a third runway totally destroyed Sipson and residents of Spelthorne will have their lives blighted and communities will be broken up if this goes further.
“When BAA brought out its bond, to buy homes in the town to pave the way for its demolition, it killed the town and left those in neighbouring Harmondsworth and Harlington suffering 10 years of blight.
“This is what the people of Spelthorne will have to look forward to. I think they call that political suicide.”
The report was published by The Free Enterprise Group of Conservative MPs, also including Esher and Walton MP Dominic Raab.
It suggested planning permission should be granted for two additional runways at Heathrow so it can become a “truly world class hub” with runways to the north of the airport by the M4 or to the south in “the villages of Bedfont and Stanwell”.
The fourth runway, the report continued, would “incorporate Ashford Football Club”.
Gareth Coates, general secretary of Ashford Town FC, said: “We have written to Mr Kwarteng saying we were surprised and to ask for an explanation.
“I don’t feel an MP should write a report advocating the demolition of a great portion of his seat. It is astonishing that we have been earmarked as a potential runway.
“An MP should be representing his constituents and I fail to see how relocating 10,000 residents plus the club and demolishing their homes is in any of their interests.”
The report has put Spelthorne Borough Council, which declined to comment on the matter without first speaking to Mr Kwarteng, in something of a quandary as it publicly supports the demolition of Sipson to build a third runway – and the arguments for a third runway are the same as for a fourth.
John Stewart, chairman of HACAN – Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise – said: “If Spelthorne, which has openly backed the third runway, now comes out against a fourth runway, it becomes the ‘NIMBY’ council of England.”
Mr Kwarteng was unavailable for comment. (Too cowardly – people are speculating?).
Free Enterprise Group of Tories now want not only a 3rd Heathrow runway, but a 4th too. By demolishing 4 villages.
This gets dottier by the day. The group of free enterprise advocate Tory MPs, called the Free Enterprise Group, is to publish a new report, which calls for …. wait for it …. not only a 3rd Heathrow runway, but also a 4th. Some members of the Free Enterprise Group are close to George Osborne, with Sajid Javid MP one of his ministerial aides. The Sunday Telegraph says the private sector has suggested that it would finance a third runway. The Free Enterprise Group’s paper suggests a 3rd runway could be built to the south and west of the airport on the town of Bedfont and Stanwell, a town with a population of 12,000. It is striking that many of the Tory MPs proposing this have constituencies near here. One of their members, Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne, was good enough to comment that “it was vital that residents were compensated for the loss of their homes” and “Even if you gave every resident £500,000 it would still be cheaper than Boris Island.” Meanwhile, Heathrow continues to use its valuable slots for flights to leisure destinations.
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The government has been forced to step into a row over who should pay for policing Leeds-Bradford Airport. Justine Greening will rule on the issue after police and airport bosses failed to reach agreement despite months of talks. Under the 2009 Police and Crime Act, parliament said airport operators should pay for specific policing costs caused by their activities. West Yorkshire Police last night refused to comment on the current level of policing at the airport, how much it costs or whether it is adequate.
By Sam Casey
The government has been forced to step into a row over who should pay for policing Leeds-Bradford Airport.
Transport secretary Justine Greening will rule on the issue after police and airport bosses failed to reach agreement despite months of talks.
Under the 2009 Police and Crime Act, parliament said airport operators should pay for specific policing costs caused by their activities.
West Yorkshire Police last night refused to comment on the current level of policing at the airport, how much it costs or whether it is adequate.
But Assistant Chief Constable Jawaid Akhtar said: “Our primary concern is the safety and security of the public who work at or use the airport. We need to have sufficient police officers working at the airport to achieve the aim of protecting the public by mitigating the identified risks.
“It is now a matter for the secretary of state to determine the level of policing. In the meantime, in the interests of public safety, we have continued to police the airport while balancing this with the many other competing demands.”
Steven Rollinson, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Authority’s specialist policing committee, added: “The legislation is in place to ensure that policing arrangements at airports are sufficient to mitigate the risk to security and that the policing costs are met in full by the airport operator.
“Members of the specialist policing committee are clear that cost should not be the over-riding factor in any decision.
“It should be the safety and security of the travelling public, those who work at the airport and the wider community.
“We and the force want to ensure that the airport is properly policed.”
The airport declined to comment.
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Peter Mandelson says Heathrow can be massively expanded even with Committee on Climate Change carbon targets, and “more flights need not be at the expense of tackling climate change.” He says “politics and the search for partisan advantage make decisions about big infrastructure projects difficult. Local communities and pressure groups usually oppose them. The economic benefits of new developments are long-term and spread widely, while the drawbacks are more immediate and tangible for those affected.” And “ministers should take the ultimate decision with due accountability to Parliament and the public.” But “My proposal would be for the parties to hand the issue to an independent panel of wise people which, working to a clear timetable, would assess the evidence and recommend the best approach.”
Only the wise men can land an airport policy
July 12 2012 (Times)
The Heathrow decision must be removed from party politics. Set up an independent panel
Air travel, competitiveness and prosperity are intertwined. Future growth in demand for air travel may not be quite as fast as in the recent past, but it will rise steadily as business gets more global and leisure travel from the Bric nations increases. Over the past 40 years passenger numbers at UK airports have grown sevenfold to 210 million. Figures published by the Department for Transport forecast an extra 125 million passengers by 2030 and a further 135 million by 2050.
And more flights need not be at the expense of tackling climate change. The independent Committee on Climate Change has concluded that, with aircraft fuel-efficiency improving, our climate targets could be met even with UK flights rising to 3.4 million by 2050. Flights from a third Heathrow runway would make up less than a fifth of the extra flights compatible with the 2050 climate target.
Future growth in demand, economics and climate change point firmly to the desirability of building new airport capacity. The question is whether politicians will take the decisions that are needed.
How can we avoid delay and procrastination? Of course, ministers should take the ultimate decision with due accountability to Parliament and the public. But identifying the options and building consensus behind the most rational choice will not be achieved by passing the file from one ministerial desk to another as Parliament punctuates the process with fractious setpiece debates.
Some of the politics has to be taken out of the situation and the ground prepared for an objective decision. My proposal would be for the parties to hand the issue to an independent panel of wise people which, working to a clear timetable, would assess the evidence and recommend the best approach.
remove the issue from party politics. If something like this does not happen, we will see politicians circling around the issue for decades to the cost of the economy and the environment.
Lord Mandelson was Business Secretary, 2008-10
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Several thousand people in western France have held a 5 day meeting at Nantes, against GPII (les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposés). People came from other countries, to share their struggle against huge infrastucture projects such as the plans for a huge new airport for Nantes, at Notre Dame des Landes – a fertile farming area. They regard these large projects as unnecessary, wasteful of public funds and socially unjust, undermine local culture, and are environmentally destructive or dangerous. They also fear such huge schemes exclude people from decision making. Most of these projects take up farming land, making it less likely an area can have food sovereignty.
July 12, 2012
Great success of the European Forum against GPII (Useless Major Projects and Imposed)
Coordination Project Opponents Airport Notre Dame-des-Landes welcomes the success of the 2nd European Forum against the Grands Projets Useless Imposed held at The Paquelais-Vigneux of Brittany, near Nantes (44) from 7 to 11 July 2012.
Over 8000 people attended the five days of workshops, discussions and conferences.
The quality of interventions and the remarkable work of interpreters and the organizing team have helped to make this forum a while extremely strong landmark in the convergence of struggles in Europe.
All participants, including foreign delegations, leave motivated and determined to continue in that direction.
The closing statement (attached) to be proposed for validation to instances of different organizations, is a valuable foundation for future exchanges at European level and beyond.
Appointment is already made for the European Social Forum in Florence from 8 to 11 November 2012, a day of decentralized actions and coordinates December 8, 2012 (3rd European Day against the Major Projects and Useless Imposed), the World Social Forum in Tunis in March 2013 and the third against the GPII Forum in Stuttgart in the summer of 2013.
After Rio + 20, the defense of a world solidarity continues to Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
Grande réussite du forum européen contre GPII (Grands Projets Inutiles et Imposés)
La Coordination des Opposants au Projet d’Aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes se félicite du succès du 2ème Forum Européen contre les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposés qui s’est tenu à La Paquelais-Vigneux de Bretagne, près de Nantes (44) du 7 au 11 juillet 2012.
Plus de 8000 personnes ont participé aux 5 jours d’ateliers, d’échanges et de conférences.
La qualité des interventions et le travail remarquable des interprètes et de l’équipe d’organisation ont concouru à faire de ce forum un moment extrêmement fort, qui fera date dans la convergence des luttes en Europe.
Tous les participants, et notamment les délégations étrangères, repartent motivés et déterminés à poursuivre dans cette direction.
La déclaration de clôture (ci-joint
) qui sera proposée pour validation aux instances des différentes organisations concernées, est un socle précieux pour de futures échanges au niveau européen et au-delà.
Rendez-vous est d’ores et déjà pris pour le Forum Social Européen de Florence du 8 au 11 novembre 2012, une journée d’actions décentralisées et coordonnées le 8 décembre 2012 (3ème journée européenne contre les Grands Projets Inutiles et Imposés), le Forum Social Mondial de Tunis en mars 2013 et le 3ème Forum contre les GPII à Stuttgart à l’été 2013.
Après Rio + 20, la défense d’une planète solidaire se poursuit à Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
JULY 12, 2012
Closing statement of the second against the Major Useless Imposed Projects Forum
We, participants in the second against the Major Projects Forum Useless and Imposed (GPII) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes (France) from July 7 to 11, 2012:
- support and express our full solidarity with the struggle of the people of Our Lady of the Landes region, and all who support it, in France and beyond, against the proposed new airport for the city of Nantes;
- denounce the crackdown on activists and residents,
- reaffirm our mutual support to all struggles against GPII in Europe and worldwide.
We came together to identify, list, fight the big projects that we recognize unnecessary, wasteful of public funds and socially unjust and environmentally destructive or dangerous, and that exclude people from decision making. Most of these projects, devourers of farmland and natural areas, do not allow food sovereignty. They undermine cultural diversity.
This second forum brought together some forty collectives and organizations including fifteen of Europe and beyond. More than 8,000 people participated in various workshops. It was very rich exchange of perspectives and actions, sharing experiences and building alternatives to major projects and for other choices. We decided:
- coordinating our struggles at European level and beyond by:
- the creation of a permanent working group has a warning function and mobilization,
- the pooling of our experiences,
- the pooling of resources (European website …)
- the creation of a European group of scientific, technical and legal;
- study the desirability and feasibility of a European Citizens’ Initiative
- our participation:
- the European Social Forum in Florence on November 8 to 11, 2012
- World Social Forum in Tunis in March 2013
- the organization:
- a day of decentralized actions and coordinates December 8, 2012 (3rd European Day against the Major Projects and Useless Imposed)
- 3rd Forum of GPII in Stuttgart in 2013
Our concrete struggles, their convergence are emerging today the concept of Major Projects and Useless Imposed. We want to explain and popularize this concept broadly. We leave the forum more than ever motivated and determined to pursue our goals and continue to link our struggles.
Massive “Save The Planet” and “STOP” human frescoes by Nantes protesters against “projets inutiles”
July 9, 2012 The airport campaigners at Nantes have produced a spectacular visual image, created by hundreds of people in a green field. Their message, in English this time, to get to a wider audience than only France, reads “Save The Planet” and “STOP!” They are opposing not only the unnecessary and highly damaging airport planned for Notre Dame des Landes, but have joined with other campaigners from other parts of Europe opposing other bits of, what they call “projets inutiles” (useless projects), which they describe as “white elephants”. Some of these are HS2 in England; a rail line in Stuttgart; and the Lyon-Turin TGV in Italy. Susan George, attending the protest, said these bits of infrastructure were damaging and costly for communities, and there are better things to do. Click here to view full story…
Anti airport campaign at Notre Dame des Landes protests against inadequate public inquiries
June 22, 2012 Several public inquiries are to be held into the proposed airport at Notre Dame des Landes, at Nantes in western France. These have been hastily announced, to start on 21st June with insufficient notice. They inquiries are only due to last for 4 weeks, and the timing coincides with a busy farming time of year, and the holiday season. Opponents are protesting that the inquiries should be held in September, and should last for 8 weeks in order to fully take account of voluminous evidence papers. Opponents tried to prevent the commissioners entering the town hall, and there were scuffles, use of police force and tear gas, and an arrest. The protester are continuing to try and get the inquiries delayed. Click here to view full story…
Nantes airport building plans, set back by 2 years by the hunger strike
May 14, 2012 The hunger strike at Nantes, against the Projet d’ aéroport du Grand Ouest, Notre-Dame-des-Landes, ended last week. Now the legal procedures continue, against compulsory purchase of land from farmers and others living in the site, some 30 km north of Nantes, where the airport would be sited and where work would have soon started. The Mayor of Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, had been a keen supporter of the airport for years. He is still very much in favour of it. There is bitterness that he did not once visit the hunger strike over its 28 days, until pressure was put on him by Francoise Hollande’s office to meet one of the campaign. The planned airport would be the main airport for Western France and have up to 9 million passengers per year eventually (current airport has 3 million passengers). Click here to view full story…
After 28 days the Nantes hunger strike ends, with concession from authorities to reconsider land expropriations
May 9, 2012
After 28 days of hunger strike, which Michel Tarin endured to the end, and 5 others fasted for slightly shorter periods, the strike has ended. At last there have been concessions from the local authorities that the compulsory purchase of land owned by farmers and other local residents will be suspended for the time being. The expropriations will not now go ahead until the outcome of several legal proceedings that have been filed against the proposed airport. It is likely that these legal challenges will take up to two years, giving the campaigners two more years in which to continue their opposition. The hunger strikers ended their fast with bowls of soup, and though exhausted, they are delighted with the result. Drinking their soup together, surrounded by a huge an efficient network of support, the hunger strikers emphasized the quality of support they received each day and the climate of affection and solidarity that has buoyed them up during their ordeal. Click here to view full story…
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The government will today publish its consultation on future UK aviation policy, covering noise, night flights, carbon emissions, air quality and regional airports. The more controversial part, on expanding south east airport capacity, with perhaps a new runway, or runways, has been so contentious, and caused such internal difficulties for the coalition government, that it will be postponed till an unknown date in the autumn. The line the industry and the media are all taking on the news is to bemoan the delay in dealing with the south east because expansion is, allegedly, so important to business. The media are also disappointed that for them the “sexy” part of the consultation has been delayed, particularly as many of them are under the impression that the Government will name airports, which is unlikely. The delay to the second part of the consultation is not a huge problem, but the current consultation is absolutely key, because it is the basic document which will set overall policy; if and where expansion is needed (the second paper) will fall within that framework.
Below is some of the media coverage of the announcement of the delay.
2 July 2012 (BBC)
Airport consultation delayed by coalition tension
A consultation on expanding airports in south-east England has been delayed again amid reports of tensions within the coalition over the issue.
The consultation had been due to be announced later but is now unlikely to go ahead until the autumn.
The Lib Dems are opposed to expansion, and the coalition agreement rules out new airports in the region.
But there is speculation that Chancellor George Osborne is warming to the idea of a third Heathrow runway.
Several Tory MPs are also openly supporting the plan, says BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott.
They have been accused of trying to delay everything until after the next election, when they believe they could be in power as a single party.
It is another delay for a consultation that was meant to start in March, then delayed until the summer, and is now likely to wait until the autumn.
It was dealing with some of the thorniest issues in aviation, including whether to build a third runway at Heathrow airport in west London, or perhaps build extra runways at Stansted or Gatwick.
Some concerns have been expressed about the environmental impact of a third runway at Heathrow and the potential for it to damage people’s quality of life.
Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, a well known environmentalist, said he would not stand as a candidate for the party at the next election if it supported a third runway.
London Mayor Boris Johnson also opposes a third runway at Heathrow, but has campaigned for a controversial new airport in the Thames Estuary which has been dubbed “Boris Island” by some.
However, another aviation paper dealing with noise, emissions and regional airports will go ahead on Thursday.
Rows in the Coalition delay airport plans until at least autumn
By JASON GROVES and RAY MASSEY
12 July 2012
Justine Greening’s consultation on the Heathrow expansion will be delayed until the autumn
Plans for a major review of airport capacity looked set to be shelved last night because of bitter infighting within the Coalition.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening was due to publish a long-awaited consultation today on whether to expand Heathrow or build a new airport in the South East to maintain Britain’s position as a global ‘hub’.
But sources said the vital review, which is already four months late, will be delayed until at least the autumn following a last-minute intervention by Downing Street.
Instead Miss Greening will simply publish a bland ‘Aviation Policy Framework’ on emissions, noise levels and regional airports.
Last night it was unclear if the delay had been ordered to appease the Liberal Democrats or to paper over the Tories’ own divisions over airport expansion. But it prompted a furious reaction from the aviation industry and business, with senior figures warning it will cost jobs.
The International Airlines Group IAG, which controls British Airways, Iberia and BMI and whose chief executive is Willie Walsh, issued a statement saying: ‘While we prevaricate, other countries like China and Middle East states storm ahead.
‘They understand that aviation is a key economic driver for growth and jobs. Every delay is another step backwards for Britain.’
The delay also risks fuelling perceptions that the Coalition has become so riven with infighting that it can no longer take strategic decisions.
George Osborne initially said the ‘call for evidence’ on airport capacity would be published in March. In the Budget that month the Chancellor said the Government would publish the consultation in the summer.
Heathrow: Business leaders believe that without airport expansion London will lose its reputation as a global hub
Transport sources said the consultation was ready for publication and Miss Greening is thought to have been keen to release it immediately.
Airport policy has been a source of friction within the Coalition. David Cameron controversially ruled out a third runway at Heathrow before the last election – a stance confirmed in the Coalition agreement.
Nick Clegg went further, ruling out any airport expansion in the South East.
London’s Tory Mayor Boris Johnson, meanwhile, is pressing for a £40billion airport in the Thames Estuary, dubbed ‘Boris Island’.
There’s strong opposition to a third runway on environmental grounds
Business leaders, and many Tories, believe that without airport expansion London will lose its reputation as a global hub, leading to the loss of billions of pounds to the economy.
The Free Enterprise group of Tories last week called for two new runways at Heathrow. Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron have both hinted that they may consider a rethink in the party’s next manifesto.
Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: ‘Aviation strategy must be at the heart of a credible plan for growth, not a political football.
‘Businesses are tired of indecision and equivocation on aviation.’
Mike Carrivick, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, said: ‘Delaying important decisions until later in the year demonstrates a lack of courage and the paralysis afflicting strategic policy-making within the Government.’
Last night Mr Cameron’s spokesman said: ‘I expect us to say something about aviation policy shortly.’
Labour’s transport spokesman Maria Eagle said: ‘Ministers must end their dithering.’
South East England Airport Capacity: Decision To Delay Third Runway And Boris Island Consultation Slammed
PA/Huffington Post UK
The government is expected to publish an aviation policy framework document on Thursday, but an eagerly-awaited consultation on south east England airport capacity needs has been postponed.
It means the announcement by Transport Secretary Justine Greening will not include the setting out of such options as extra runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted airports.
And there will be no discussion, for the time being, on two Thames Estuary new-airport plans – the “Boris Island” scheme backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson and the £50 billion project put forward by architect Lord Foster.
There may be some regional airport options in the policy document but Ms Greening is expected to confine herself to such aviation matters as noise levels, night flights and emissions.
The postponement on the consultation on how the UK can best maintain a global hub airport has infuriated airlines and businesses.
Their anger has been fuelled by the fact that the policy document and consultation had already been put back to the summer from their original announcement date of March this year.
Mike Carrivick, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, which represents many airlines, said:
“Delaying important decisions until later in the year demonstrates a lack of courage and the paralysis afflicting strategic policy-making within the government.”
He went on: “While this government struggles internally to establish a clear and defined hub airport policy for the future, competing nations will continue to take away the trade and commerce that should be welcomed in this country.
Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The government has spent years working on a strategy for UK aviation, so reports that there will be yet more delays beggar belief.
“Businesses are tired of indecision and equivocation on aviation.
“Ministers can’t tell businesses to look for new opportunities in emerging markets like Brazil and China, and then fail to provide the basic infrastructure needed to get there.”
He added: “The consequences of inaction are stark. If the government does not act swiftly to increase capacity in south east England, strengthen our regional airports, and support the development of more connections to emerging markets, the UK will lose both investment and jobs.”
Institution of Civil Engineers director general Nick Baveystock said: “The ongoing delay in addressing our hub capacity issues is disappointing and only adds to the frustration and uncertainty.
“When it comes to the UK’s airport infrastructure needs, there are some tough political and public choices, but the UK’s reputation is on the line.
“We must ensure there is sufficient capacity to improve connectivity and maintain our competitiveness. Hopefully the autumn consultation will put all options on the table for consideration, so we can secure the best outcome for the environment, society and the economy.”
Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns Andrew Pendleton said: “Industry spin about the need for aviation expansion is deeply misleading.
“The reality is we don’t need more airport capacity in the south east – London already has more flights to the world’s top business centres than any of its European competitors.
“Building more airports or runways will have a devastating impact on local communities and our environment and undermine UK efforts to tackle climate change.”
Other business leaders and trade union bosses condemned the Coalition for delaying the consultation on airport capacity needs.
In a letter to The Times, they argued that the indecision over expansion to airports in the south east was leaving the UK lagging behind international competitors.
Eight signatories including Simon Walker, director general of The Institute of Directors, the TUC’s general secretary Brendan Barber and John Longworth from the British Chambers of Commerce, wrote: “If we stand still then our international competitors will sweep up business opportunities and overtake us….It is beyond doubt there must be some sort of expansion in our airport capacity.
“The UK can not afford to ignore such a pressing need, and this issue must not be kicked into the long grass.”
Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, said: “Difficult decisions on the location of additional hub airport capacity cannot be avoided. The UK is already at a competitive disadvantage.
“How much longer are we going to leave Heathrow running at 99% with planes continually stacking, whilst our global rivals who have spare hub capacity expand their links to growth markets?
“It’s simply not good enough.”
Meanwhile, Lord Mandelson, the former Labour business secretary, argued that an independent panel should decide if and where new runways can be built rather than politicians.
In an article for the newspaper he wrote: “If something like this does not happen, we will see politicians circling around the issue for decades to the cost of the economy and the environment.”
Government accused of ‘playing into Europe’s hands’ over airport expansion
The Government was today accused of “playing into the hands of our European rivals” after again delaying a major consultation on the UK’s aviation crisis.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening had been due to announce the full consultation on how to maintain a global hub.
The Government was expected to examine options including expanding Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted as well as Boris Johnson’s favoured solution of building a new airport in the Thames Estuary.
But the consultation will now be delayed until the autumn.
The aviation policy paper she will shortly publish will now be restricted to proposals on emissions, night flights, noise levels and regional airports.
The Standard understands that Ms Greening is ready to launch the full consultation now and is very disappointed at the latest delay.
The Mayor today launched a scathing attack on Downing Street and said it is “vital” that the aviation crisis is immediately addressed.
Mr Johnson said: “It is extremely concerning that the Government is to delay even further the vital work required to develop the aviation strategy this country desperately needs.
“It is crystal clear to the business and aviation sectors, and to anyone who travels to Heathrow, that more capacity is required, but every further day of Government delay plays into the hands of our European rivals, who have already built mega four runway hub airports of the type we need in this country.”
Tory MPs also told of their disappointment today.
MP for Spelthorne Kwasi Kwarteng, who had called for major expansion of Heathrow, said: “I’m disappointed that this consultation hasn’t come out.
“I want there to be a solution. We need aviation capacity and there should be an answer. What I think is very difficult is the fact there has been no movement at all and we haven’t heard anything.”
Some insiders believe the latest delay is a bid to allow David Cameron to make a major U-turn and leave the door open for expansion of Heathrow in the party’s 2015 manifesto.
There have also been suggestions that it could allow the Prime Minster to move Ms Greening – who as MP for Putney campaigned against a third runway – in an autumn reshuffle.
A spokesman for airline group IAG, owner of British Airways, said: “It is incredibly frustrating that we seem to have stumbled over our own feet before we’ve even started.
“This doesn’t just hand the advantage to our European rivals – it gives it to our global rivals as well. You look at places like China and they understand the importance of aviation to their economy and their global standing.”
Mr Johnson is concerned that the Government will introduce so-called “mixed mode” flights at Heathrow as a short term solution.
Mixed mode would allow both runways to be used all day for both takeoffs and landings – meaning 60,000 more flights per year.
Mr Johnson added: “It would be utterly unacceptable to try and alleviate this fudge by proposing that Heathrow’s already congested runways take on thousands more flights through a mixed mode arrangement.”
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “The Department remains committed to publishing its Aviation Policy Framework and Call for Evidence later this summer.”
and many more similar stories from other sources ….
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The Times reports that part of the aviation policy consultation will be published tomorrow but that the call for evidence on airport expansion will be delayed until September. The consultation released on 12th July will be restricted to proposals on emissions, night flights, noise levels and regional airports. Justine Greening is expected to announce, tomorrow, that the Government is ready to listen to arguments on expanding Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted, or building a new hub airport in the Thames estuary — but not yet. The delay is due to the internal political problems the coalition has on the airport issue, which it is finding hard to resolve. It is speculated that the Tory MPs keen on a 3rd Heathrow runway see the delay as evidence that the Government is coming round to accepting their case – in spite of Justine Greening’s firm opposition.
DfT have now confirmed that they will be issuing a consultation paper on aviation, looking at regional airports, night flights, noise and emissions tomorrow.
Aviation expansion plans grounded until autumn
by Roland Watson, Political Editor (The Times)
Published at 12:01AM, July 11 2012
Full article at http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/transport/article3471770.ece (££)
It will now be September at the earliest — nearly a year after George Osborne announced the policy — before the Department for Transport is ready to take evidence on where to build airport capacity around the capital.
One Tory MP said that the delay was “pathetic”. It paves the way for the Government to push for more flights on Heathrow’s existing two runways. There could be up to 1,000 extra flights from Heathrow if both runways were used all day for take-offs and landings.
The Tory faction, led by Mr Osborne and supported by Mr Cameron, are engaged in a protracted about-face that is likely to result in them using the 2015 manifesto to — at the very least — leave the door open to a third Heathrow runway.
But the position of Ms Greening, who stood in Putney, southwest London, on a ticket rejecting expansion at Heathrow, is a complicating factor.The delay will raise questions about whether Mr Cameron will seek to move her in an autumn reshuffle.Some Tory MPs who support more runways at Heathrow interpreted the delay as evidence that the Government was slowly manoeuvring itself towards accepting their case.
Mr Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement last November that the Government would make maintaining a hub capacity in the South East a priority. The Treasury said that the consultation would begin in March.This was delayed after Boris Johnson made appeals to Mr Osborne amid fears that if attention were focused on his support for a new airport in the Thames estuary it could lose him support during his bid to be re-elected as Mayor of London.
Full article at http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/transport/article3471770.ece (££)
A Risible Delay
The Government is poised to delay even the submission of evidence on the need for airport expansion. This is not in Britain’s interests
The last 2 paragraphs say:
So the news that the new aviation strategy outlined by the Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, consists of delaying even the submission of evidence till the autumn — almost a year since the process was announced — is not so much unwelcome as risible. It looks very much as though the Government is desperate to escape being forced to the inevitable conclusion that its manifesto commitment was wrong for the country and that it needs to be changed.
It does not help that in Ms Greening Mr Cameron appointed a Transport Secretary with a vested local interest in resisting airport expansion. Or that he is tied to partners with a similar commitment to hers. But this — as was the case with fees — is about what is good for Britain. That is the Prime Minister’s most important constituency.
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The airport campaigners at Nantes have produced a spectacular visual image, created by hundreds of people in a green field. Their message, in English this time, to get to a wider audience than only France, reads “Save The Planet” and “STOP!” They are opposing not only the unnecessary and highly damaging airport planned for Notre Dame des Landes, but have joined with other campaigners from other parts of Europe opposing other bits of, what they call “grands projets inutiles imposés” (useless imposed mega-projects), which they describe as “white elephants”. Some of these are HS2 in England; a rail line in Stuttgart; and the Lyon-Turin TGV in Italy. Susan George, attending the protest, said these bits of infrastructure were damaging and costly for communities, and there are better things to do.
Airport: a draft European resistance
Sunday was marked by the realization of a new human picture, this time written in English, to be understood beyond France’s borders.
by Marc Roger
(Sorry about imperfect translation into English).
Sunday morning, after heavy rains the night before, the scope of tla Noië-Verte is still muddy. But critics of the airport of Notre Dame des Landes are soon smiling. At 11 am, the sun comes back, they estimate that 3,000 people already on the “human fresco” area. This is the third edition, and the flight plan is developed. Long before the arrival of ULM dedicated to photos, opponents have drawn out the message on the ground. “Save the planet. GPII Stop ! “ Translate: “Save the planet, stop the unnecessary large projects imposed. “Commonalities
Opposition to the Airport of the Great West ( l’Aéroport du grand ouest) is looking towards Europe. And vice versa. The English show their mascot, a white elephant, “symbol of such cumbersome useless gifts” , in the future high-speed HS2 line from London to Birmingham. Struggling against the Lyon-Turin TGV, the Italians in the valley of Susa have not much to do with the images of violence on which the television dotes. Sabine, 48, is a doctor, and Claudio, 63, retired.“They want to impose a new line with an international station at Susa, when the current line has been electrified and modernized. As it is little used by travelers, they now argue it is for freight… “
Coming from Stuttgart, Elsbeth, 65, described the damage that will cause the city to the new station half-buried. The old “model station in a cul-de-sac” , will be razed. “All this to save a few minutes. In reality, behind there is a large real estate project. Public money will benefit the bankers and other investors “
The Nantes countryside welcomes the dozen foreign delegations and French who are searching for “much stronger alliances” . The Italians had launched the first forum last year. “We realized that lonely, isolated, we will achieve nothing, while our fighting has much in common” . Which appeared as early as this weekend. Including the Basques who have taken on the action of law enforcement and the judiciary and whose activists incurred four years in prison.
“What happens here is great”
The Italian was “moved” when she discovered the level of organization of the second forum. “What is happening here is great,” also said the German campaigner. Great figure for global justice, Susan George says the same thing. She speaks of a “major step” with knowledge networks of the fighting. The honorary president of Attac is familiar with the airport issue against which she shares the same critics. “What is being proposed here, and elsewhere in Europe, is damaging and costly for the community, without any real use. There are better things to do. “
After this festive weekend, also marked by the 12 th picnic of the opponents, taking catch words and concerts, the forum will continue. Wednesday is the closing day of a European citizen petition, and means “for the convergence of struggles.”
[GPii stands for Grands Projects Inutiles Imposés]
Aéroport : l’ébauche d’une résistance européenne
Dimanche matin, après les fortes pluies de la veille, le champ de la Noië-Verte est encore boueux. Mais les opposants à l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes retrouvent vite le sourire. Dès 11 h, sous le soleil qui revient, ils estiment à 3 000 les personnes déjà sur zone pour la fresque humaine. C’est la troisième édition, et le plan de vol est au point. Bien avant l’arrivée des ULM dédiés aux photos, les opposants ont inscrit le message sur le plancher des vaches. « Save the planet. GPII Stop ! » Traduire :« Sauvons la planète, stop aux grands projets inutiles imposés. »Points communs
L’opposition à l’Aéroport du grand ouest regarde vers l’Europe. Et réciproquement. Des Anglais montrent leur mascotte, un éléphant blanc,« symbole des cadeaux aussi inutiles qu’encombrants », comme la future ligne grande vitesse Londres-Birmingham. En lutte contre la LGV Lyon-Turin, les Italiens de la vallée de la Suse n’ont pas grand-chose à voir avec les images de violence dont raffolent les télévisions. Sabine, 48 ans, est médecin, et Claudio, 63 ans, retraité. « Ils veulent nous imposer une nouvelle ligne, avec une gare internationale à Suse, alors que la ligne actuelle vient d’être électrifiée, modernisée. Comme elle est peu utilisée par les voyageurs, ils ont trouvé l’argument du fret… »
Venue de Stuttgart, Elsbeth, 65 ans, décrit les dégâts que causera à la ville la nouvelle gare semi-enterrée. L’ancienne, « modèle de gare en cul-de-sac », sera rasée. « Tout ça pour gagner quelques minutes. En réalité, derrière il y a un grand projet immobilier. L’argent public va profiter aux banquiers et autres investisseurs »
Le bocage nantais accueille ainsi une quinzaine de délégations étrangères et françaises à la recherche « d’alliances beaucoup plus solides ». Les Italiens avaient lancé le premier forum, l’an dernier. « Nous avons compris que seuls, isolés, nous n’arriverons à rien, alors que nos combats ont beaucoup de points communs ». Qui sont apparus dès ce week-end. Y compris devant l’action des forces de l’ordre et de l’institution judiciaire, remarquent des Basques, dont des militants encourent quatre années de prison.
« Ce qui se passe ici est formidable »
L’Italienne a été « émue » quand elle a découvert le niveau d’organisation du second forum. « Ce qui se passe ici est formidable », affirme aussi l’opposante allemande. Grande figure altermondialiste, Susan George ne dit pas autre chose. Elle parle d’un « grand pas » avec les mises en réseaux des combats. La présidente d’honneur d’Attac connaît bien le dossier de l’aéroport contre lequel elle partage les critiques. « Ce que l‘on propose, ici et ailleurs en Europe, est nuisible et coûteux pour la collectivité, sans aucune utilité. Il y a mieux à faire ».
Après ce week-end festif, marqué aussi par le 12e pique-nique des opposants, des prises de paroles et des concerts, le forum va se poursuivre. Mercredi, jour de clôture, sont annoncés une pétition européenne citoyenne, et des moyens « pour la convergence des luttes ».
A year or two earlier, they produced this image:
and in the original French:
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Boris Johnson has attacked the Government’s “half-baked” aviation policy as he warned that ministers are preparing to announce plans for 1,000 extra flights a week at Heathrow by their plans to allow mixed mode. He said mixed mode is “a noisy and smelly intellectual cul-de-sac”. It could allow up to 60,000 more flights per year. The Standard reports that risking a huge row with the Government, Boris says he will oppose plans for these increased flights with “all powers available” on grounds of air pollution and noise. The DfT has so far ruled out mixed mode at Heathrow but it is believed the scheme will now be re-visited in the Government’s forthcoming aviation white paper. A senior Tory source today said the Government is now willing to press ahead with plans for mixed mode operation as a “short-term” solution.
Runway? The village of Poyle would be destroyed under proposals made by some Tories
60,000 more Heathrow flights and plan to build runways through village
Boris Johnson today attacked the Government’s “half-baked” aviation policy as he warned that ministers are preparing to announce plans for 1,000 extra flights a week at Heathrow.
In his strongest attack on Downing Street yet Mr Johnson called plans for so-called “mixed mode” operation at Heathrow “a noisy and smelly intellectual cul-de-sac”.
Mixed mode flights at the airport would allow both runways to be used all day for both take-offs and landings — meaning 60,000 more flights per year. Currently, one runway is used for take-offs and the other for landings to minimise disruption for local residents.
Risking a huge row with the Government, the Mayor said he will oppose plans for increased flights at the airport with “all powers available”.
Meanwhile an influential group of Conservative MPs today called for two new runways to be built at Heathrow, potentially destroying thousands of homes. The Free Enterprise Group, which includes a number of key allies of Chancellor George Osborne, has suggested building two runways to the west of Heathrow, destroying the village of Poyle.
The group, who include MP for Spelthorne Kwasi Kwarteng and Sajid Javid, one of the Chancellor’s ministerial aides, said two new runways could be built to west of Heathrow.
They have also suggested building the two new runways to the north and south of the airport. Residents would be offered compensation packages to leave their homes.
Mr Kwarteng said: “People would have to be compensated, but if that is done properly it could work. There is room around Heathrow. You can definitely have four runways.”
He said that two new Heathrow runways would be “the most practical, most cost-efficient and fastest solution” to solve Britain’s air capacity crisis.
Opponents said there will be “overwhelming opposition” to any new runways and described the plans as a “fantasy”.
The Department for Transport has so far ruled out mixed mode at Heathrow but it is believed the scheme will now be re-visited in the Government’s forthcoming aviation white paper.
A senior Tory source today said the Government is now willing to press ahead with plans for mixed mode operation as a “short-term” solution. There will be a “call for evidence” on other proposals for new runways at London’s existing airports or a new hub in the Thames Estuary, the source added, but no decision is expected before 2015.
Mr Johnson, who favours a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary, said: “It is pretty clear that the Government is determined to break its word and try for so-called mixed mode at Heathrow. Of all the bad ideas for expanding aviation capacity, this is the worst.
“I will oppose this, using all powers available to the mayoralty. I will oppose it on air quality grounds and because it will mean more noise pollution. Above all I will oppose it because it is the wrong solution for London — a noisy and smelly intellectual cul-de-sac.”
He added: “It is time to drop these half-baked and damaging temporary solutions. Heathrow is already full, and it is in fundamentally the wrong place for further expansion.”
Of course, this is largely because Boris wants the estuary airport – not only that he has great concern for residents of West London.
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Carlisle City councillors have deferred a decision on Stobart’s planning application for a 394,000sq ft freight distribution centre and to resurface the runway. They will hold further consultations before the plans come back before councillors, probably on August 3. Gordon Brown, the farmer whose application for judicial review led the Court of Appeal to quash a previous airport consent, argues that the latest scheme should also have been thrown out. The application was originally submitted over a year ago, and was due to be refused in July 2012, when Stobart asked for a delay so they could challenge arguments against the plans. Now Stobart chief executive Andrew Tinkler says he is frustrated by this delay, and threatens loss jobs etc if his plans are refused.
‘NEW CARLISLE AIRPORT PLANS SHOULD BE SCRAPPED’ – FARMER
By Julian Whittle (News & Star)
7 July 2012
The Irthington farmer who scuppered plans to redevelop Carlisle Airport says the latest proposals should have been turned down too.
City councillors have deferred a decision on Stobart’s planning application for a 394,000sq ft freight distribution centre and to resurface the runway.
They will hold further consultations before the plans come back before councillors, probably on August 3.
But Gordon Brown, the farmer whose application for judicial review led the Court of Appeal to quash a previous airport consent, argues that the latest scheme should also have been thrown out.
It was originally scheduled to go before the development control committee a year ago but was delayed then, at Stobart’s request, so the company could challenge findings from the council’s aviation consultants.
These had led planning officers to recommend refusal of the £25m scheme.
Mr Brown told the News & Star: “Councillors should have refused it [yesterday].
“Applications have to be decided on the basis of material planning considerations and on that basis it should have been refused, as stated in the planning officers’ report of July 2011.”
Council leader Joe Hendry expressed regret that the application had been delayed again.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: “I am genuinely disappointed as I understand how much these plans for Carlisle Airport mean to the community and businesses.
“I want to reassure people that, if at all possible, a speedy conclusion will be sought at the next meeting.”
Stobart chief executive Andrew Tinkler is also frustrated by the delay.
He has repeated a warning that 650 Cumbrian jobs will go if the plans are turned down.
He said: “I understand the position the council is in. I know what they’re up against.
“I am really concerned that a legal challenge from one individual could put 650 people out of a job.”
Mr Brown’s challenge to the 2009 airport consent landed the council with a legal £185,000 legal bill then a further bill for £76,000 after the district auditor investigated alleged “misuse of public funds”.
She rejected the complaint but criticised the council’s handling of the planning application saying that, in future, reports to the development control committee should have clear recommendations.
Mr Brown’s solicitors fired a warning shot across the council’s bows this week.
The letter from Dickinson Dees said the report for Friday’s meeting had no clear recommendation.
It said: “Given the background to this matter, and the complexity of the issues arising, we are sure that you will agree it is essential for there to be transparency.
“You will understand that the committee papers as published do not contain the necessary information.”
Below are some earlier news stories about this application:
Carlisle airport plans depend on over-optimistic future tourism passenger figures
July 2, 2012 It is possible that Carlisle City Council will decide on the redevelopment plans for Carlisle airport this week, but more likely it will be delayed. It has been due last July, but Stobart asked for it to be delayed. The upgrades are mainly for freight, but the local council and the tourism bodies want air passenger, not only freight. However, 92% of Cumbria’s visitors are UK-based, though Cumbria Tourism etc want to attract more international tourists, and year to get visitors from Brazil, China, India and Russia – as well as more from America. And for these to fly up from London. One problem with the application is that Stobart have now halved the number of passengers it thinks it can get by 2025, from its initial guess of 100,000 per year, to 50,000. This lower number will reduce the alleged benefits to the local economy, and so is not likely to be approved. Click here to view full story…
Carlisle airport’s application for 394,000 square foot freight centre delayed again
1.6.2012 A decision on the future of Carlisle Airport has been delayed again. Stobart Group wants to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and to resurface the runway ready for scheduled passenger flights and an airfreight service. Carlisle City councillors were due to consider the planning application this month, but it has been withdrawn from the development control committee’s agenda at Stobart’s request, as they want to submit more information. It is now up for review on 6th July. Planning officers were advising councillors to turn it down on the grounds that “the distribution centre appears to be primarily for road haulage rather than airport related”. Click here to view full story…
Carlisle Airport planning decision postponed till after 19th August as plans appear unrealistic
16th July 2011 Carlisle Council has put off a decision until after 19th August on whether to give Stobart Group permission to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and resurface the runway. Councillors had been expected to turn down the application on 15th. Failure to get planning could significantly affect the valuation of Carlisle Airport, which Stobart bought 2 years ago. Aviation consultants working for the council advised that passenger flights would not be “commercially viable” and there was “very little potential” for air freight. Click here to view full story…
Latest Carlisle Airport plans could end up at public inquiry
11.3.2011 The latest proposals to redevelop Carlisle Airport could be called in for a public inquiry. Owner Stobart Group wants to resurface the runway and build an air-freight distribution centre, and they make all sorts of wild claims about jobs to be created. But Carlisle City Council is advertising Stobart’s application as a ‘departure’ from the local plan, so they will need to be referred to the Government Office NW, which may call an inquiry – as happened in 2008. Click here to view full story …..
Carlisle airport application hopes for 200,000 passengers by 2025 and 5 return flights per day
Date Added: 3rd January 2011 Owners of Carlisle airport, Stobart Group, have put in a planning application to resurface the runway and build a 394,000sq ft air-freight distribution centre. It claims this would create the equivalent of 156 full-time jobs and safeguard 73 existing jobs. There would be flights to Southend. The application warns that the airport is not viable without redevelopment. Stobart say that if they don’t get their application, they will move outside Cumbria. (News & Star) Click here to view full story…
Farmer wins appeal to stop Carlisle Airport revamp
19th May 2010 A Cumbrian farmer has won his legal fight to overturn planning approval for the £25 million redevelopment of Carlisle Airport. The Court of Appeal has quashed a decision by Carlisle City Council to allow Stobart Air to build a haulage depot and create a passenger and freight hub. The city council should have insisted on a full assessment of the environmental impact. Stobart was granted permission in December 2009 and is now looking at sites outside Cumbria. Click here to view full story…
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