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Holland-Kaye wants raised Heathrow landing charge, and public subsidy by cutting APD, to pay for runway

John Holland-Kaye has now taken over as CEO of Heathrow, from Colin Matthews. He has already angered airlines by saying he wants to give an adequate return to foreign investors in a 3rd runway, by raising the landing charges at Heathrow. Mr Holland-Kaye wants the landing charge to rise – in real terms – from £20 now, per passenger, to £24 within a few years, and it might rise to £27 by around 2040 (though predictions that far ahead are futile). Heathrow has been battling with its regulator, the CAA, for years on the level of its aeronautical charges.  The CAA recently cut its cost of capital to 5.35% in the 5 years to 2019, though Heathrow says its weighted average cost of capital needs to be 6% in the period between 2019 and 2048, to repay its investors. Mr Holland-Kaye also let slip that he wants a cut in Air Passenger Duty (APD) on long haul flights, which would effectively be a loss to the Treasury, and thus be the equivalent of a public subsidy, for a 3rd Heathrow runway. The level of APD on the longest flights was cut this year in the budget, combining the two top distance bands, effectively giving them a government subsidy.  He also said he “could not rule out the case for a 4th one in the future.”
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Heathrow passengers to pay for third runway

Airline passengers flying from Heathrow face higher ticket prices if the airport is allowed to build a third runway.

The airport is proposing to raise the “aeronautical charge” from the current £20 per passenger to £24 to help pay for the estimated £17 billion cost of building a new runway. These charges, which are regulated by the CAA, are usually passed on by airlines to the passengers.

Heathrow’s new CEO John Holland-Kaye told the Financial Times that the increase in charges would be required to ensure the company saw a return on its investment.

“It is a real-term increase that we believe our passengers are prepared to pay in order to get to the global markets they need to get to,” Holland-Kaye told the FT.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said that the proposed increase in charges was part of its submission to the Airports Commission which is considering whether Heathrow or Gatwick should be allowed to expand.

Heathrow has said it would be able to open a third runway by 2026 if given the green light by the next government.

“Ticket prices will continue to rise as part of the plan to support the third runway investment,” she told BBT. “This is because of supply and demand – at the moment there is great demand for flights. But after the investment has been made, then landing fees will start coming down.”

Airlines have consistently objected to any increase in charges at Heathrow because of their already high level.

The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is due to submit its final recommendations for airport expansion in summer 2015 after the next general election.

Heathrow has claimed in its submission that a third runway would add 40 new routes from the UK and cut average fares by £320 due to the competition created by the increase in capacity.

http://buyingbusinesstravel.com/news/0122720-heathrow-passengers-pay-third-runway

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Heathrow landing charges


Heathrow eyes jump in landing charges

………………..Landing fees, which are set by the regulator, [the CAA] are the biggest single source of revenue for Heathrow and were worth £1.5bn last year. They are usually passed on by airlines to passengers.

…………………Heathrow’s shareholders – led by Spain’s Ferrovial but also including Chinese, Qatari and Singaporean sovereign wealth funds – were, he said, prepared to invest in a third runway so long as there was “political consensus” behind the infrastructure, a “speedy planning” process and an “appropriate” regulatory regime.

Heathrow was, he said, looking at a £4 increase in the aeronautical charge, adding: “It is a real-terms increase that we believe our passengers are prepared to pay in order to get to the global markets they need to get to.” [No mention of the majority of leisure passengers that use Heathrow].

Heathrow is willing to explore ways to offset the impact of higher landing charges – for example, air passenger duty could be cut on long-haul flights.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority infuriated Heathrow this year by insisting on a real-terms cut in the airport’s landing charges – just as the company was completing its £2bn Terminal 2, which opened last month.

……………………..In a detailed submission about the third runway to the Airports Commission, Heathrow suggests an average aeronautical charge of almost £24 per passenger between 2019, when construction of the third runway could start, and 2048. The charge could peak at more than £27 before falling to less than £20 after 2044.

Heathrow estimates the airport’s weighted average cost of capital – a proxy for return on invested capital and a significant part of the regulatory formula for determining landing charges – to be 6 per cent in the period between 2019 and 2048.

This comes after the CAA angered Heathrow by cutting its cost of capital to 5.35 per cent in the five years to 2019.

Full FT article at

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3e417218-0079-11e4-9a62-00144feab7de.html#axzz36D4Ajzwx

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Willie Walsh on Air Passenger Duty:

Willie Walsh has been arguing against Air Passenger Duty (as have most airlines) for years, ignoring the inconvenient fact that it is levied by the  Treasury because air travel pays no VAT and not fuel duty – and so is significantly under-taxe.
One example of his opinions:

ut Walsh believes there was still an opportunity to scrap APD in the UK, a tax he believes is a “disincentive to invest in the UK, a disincentive to do business in the UK” and is “discouraging tourism”.

Walsh says the industry “made the mistake of standing back” while Gordon Brown doubled APD in 2006 for environmental reasons, but claimed that “not a single penny” of the money raised from APD goes towards environmental purposes.

He said: “We should continue to argue against APD. I know people say I shout on about things and nobody is listening but I’m going to continue shouting on about them. It doesn’t bother me if people don’t listen because ultimately I think they will listen.

“If we keep hammering home this issue, then maybe people will listen in the treasury and maybe they will accept that there is an issue that needs to be addressed here. At some point you have to hope that common sense prevails. On APD, I genuinely believe the UK economy would improve and would see increased growth if APD was removed.

“I think more and more people are coming on-side with us and more and more people are agreeing with us, and we need to mobilise people to ensure this issue does get addressed because it is impacting significantly on our competitiveness. It is a significant drag on UK competitiveness.”#

http://walesairforum.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/airlines-should-have-stood-up-to-government-over-apd-sooner-says-walsh/

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Earlier:

 

Chancellor cuts rate of Air Passenger Duty for long haul (over 4,000 miles) flights from 1st April 2015

March 19, 2014

In the Budget 2014 the Chancellor has announced that rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD) are to be reduced for flights of over 4000 miles from London, from April 2015. Rates of APD will rise by the rate of inflation (RPI) during 2014. After 1st April 2015, distance bands for all journeys longer than 2,000 miles will all be lumped together. While the rate of APD during 2014 (from 1st April 2014) is £13 for a return trip below 2,000 miles (anywhere in Europe), and the rate for journeys of 2,000 to 4,000 miles in length is £69 – the rates from April 2015 will be £13 for the short flights, and £71 for all other distances. The rates of APD in 2015 for premium classes will be £26 and £142. Commenting on this retrograde move by the Chancellor, the Aviation Environment Foundation said it is a backward step environmentally and economically. Aviation is already massively under-taxed compared with the £10 billion that would be raised per annum if aviation wasn’t exempted from fuel taxes and VAT. APD was a means of redressing this problem but any cut means that taxes will have to be raised elsewhere to balance government spending. Long-haul flights contribute more greenhouse gases in absolute terms than shorter flights. It is therefore right that the duty is proportional to the distance flown and the associated emissions. Eliminating bands C and D breaks the link between environmental impacts and tax and breaches the principle of fairness.

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow proposes cutting airline landing charge rise to 4.6% above RPI for 5 years

23.7.2014In February Heathrow announced it was intending to increase its airline landing charges, from the current level of £17 per passenger to perhaps up to £25. This caused very negative responses from airlines that use the airport. Now Heathrow has moved to appease airlines by offering to reduce the rise it is seeking to charge between 2014 and 2019. Heathrow has submitted a plan to the CAA seeking approval to raise tariffs by 4.6% above inflation, as measured by the retail prices index (RPI), for the 5 years from April 2014. That is 1.3% lower than their earlier offer of a rise of 5.9%. It means a rise of £1 per  year, so a £5 rise by 2019. Gatwick has also agreed to scale back their planned fee increases. Earlier this year Willie Walsh called the airport “over-priced, over-rewarded and inefficient”.  However, the investors, including Ferrovial and the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar, China and Singapore, who have spent more than £10 billion on the airport over the last decade, expect to see a good return on their investment ie. they want high fees to airlines.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3891.

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Part of a long article, in CAPA, 

CAPA Profiles 

Airport charges: EC reports increased transparency in setting charges, but uneven implementation

http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/airport-charges-ec-reports-increased-transparency-in-setting-charges-but-uneven-implementation-171572

includes the speculation that it was the CAA regulatory settlement on Heathrow charges that precipitated Colin Matthews decision to leave :

….”

  • The interaction between charging levels, market power and investment commitments, and how necessary that investment is to the airlines. For example the UK‘sHeathrow Airport, which has some of the highest charges globally, upset airlines with plans to raise charges per passenger from GBP21.96 to GBP27.30 over a five-year period (almost 6% over inflation), which it claimed to be necessary to support its ongoing GBP3 billion investment programme. Those charges paid by airlines constitute the biggest single source of income for Heathrow Airport, raising GBP1.3 billion for Heathrow in 2012.
    Eventually, the UK CAA decreed that landing charges there should be reduced by a formula of retail price inflation (RPI) minus 1.5% every year between Apr-2014 and 2019 by which time the price per passenger would reduce to GBP19.10. With its investment programme allegedly in jeopardy at the very time it was trying to convince the Airports’ Commission that Heathrow Airport is the logical choice for the one single additional UK runway that the Commission will recommend to government – and which would be self-financed – Heathrow Airport Holdings reacted strongly. The decision may even have prompted the CEO to choose to resign.
    This is a clear case of airlines swaying opinion amongst the regulators, though not necessarily by consulting with the airport. Comparatively speaking both of the other two major London airports came out of the CAA’s deliberations in better shape.
    Gatwick Airport was offered a flexible regulatory approach based upon price and service quality commitments agreed between Gatwick and their airline customers, underpinned by a licence from the CAA, subject to a price cap that would apply in the event no commitments were forthcoming, with prices capped at RPI plus 1% for the five years from Apr-2014. Gatwick is alleged to have increased prices by 50% over the last five years.
    Meanwhile, Stansted Airport, which was deemed to have little market power (though it could increase as the London area becomes more capacity constrained), was told it should be removed from regulation and be free to strike its own agreements over charges directly with airlines. The reaction of Ryanair, the largest airline by far at Stansted, and one that frequently accused the previous owner, BAA of an obsession with building a ‘Taj Mahal’ there, was that the decision will mean a rise in charges and will result in “yet more damage to UK consumers and competition”;….”
  • Heathrow charges per aircraft type

 

[ AirportWatch member comments:

"I was surprised at the data presented in the CAPA Airports Charges and Benchmark Database which seemed to show that Heathrow had a standard landing charge across a variety of plane types and ended up being cheaper than the selected comparison airports for a 747 but expensive for a A320 or 737. It would be interesting to have this confirmed by the airport and get a comment on how this supports the claims that the airport incentivises new quiet planes." ]

 

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New branch of CAGNE – CAGNE East – formed in Kent, joining the original in West Sussex

The threat of a 2nd Gatwick runway, and the “trials” of new flight paths by Gatwick airport, has caused considerable upset in areas across southern Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent.  The flight path routed over the Warnham area (Warnham, Rusper, Kingsfold, Winterfold, Rowhook, Slinfold and North Horsham) set in motion the formation of CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – to fight against the unwelcome noise intrusion into the lives of thousands.  CAGNE has now grown, as more and more people upset by the flight paths – and the threat of more – join forces.  There are now two other groups, working in East Sussex and in Kent, as well as the original CAGNE in Warnham, West Sussex. A group of residents, formerly the Bidborough Environmental Action Group, are becoming CAGNE East opposing planes, flying day and night – an aircraft “superhighway” - over historic areas of the High Weald ANOB, most of Tunbridge Wells and Southborough, Bidborough, Rusthall, Penshurst, Chiddingstone and Hever. CAGNE East strongly supports the High Weald Parish Councils HWPCAAG initiative, opposing Gatwick’s bid for a 2nd runway. 

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  • For more on the flight path trials, and consultations on airspace and flight paths see

  • Flight path changes and trials

  • GACC has now produced a detailed and excellent document, deciphering the badly written consultation document, and setting out the important facts so people can respond to the consultation.                                                                                                     GACC notes on Airspace Consultation Phase 2  -  July 2014


CAGNE finds its Lacey

 30.6.2014 (CAGNE –  Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – in the Gartwick area)
CAGNE_and_CAGNE_East (1)
Image of GACC Jane Vogt with Simon Byerley and Kealey Castle of CAGNE EAST, Sally Pavey and Bill Sorrell of CAGNE
CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – has joined forces with the Kent protest group against Gatwick Airport’s new runway.
 
A group of residents, formerly the Bidborough Environmental Action Group, will become CAGNE East in an effort to stop new flight paths, The Gatwick Superhighway of planes will fly day and night over historic areas of the High Weald AONB  (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), most of Tunbridge Wells and Southborough, Bidborough, Rusthall, Penshurst, Chiddingstone and Hever..
 
 ‘Gatwick Airport plan to place a constant stream of low flying planes over historic sites and many homes that have not suffered aircraft noise before, and this is all before a second runway which would bring additional damage to these areas,’ said Simon Byerley of CAGNE East.
 
‘By working together we aim to raise community awareness of what is planned by Gatwick Airport, not only through the current changes to flight paths, but how a new runway will alter the Home Counties forever,’ said Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE.
 
CAGNE was formed this year by concerned residents after a trial route was instigated by Gatwick Airport over areas of West Sussex not previously overflown, affecting residents in Warnham, Rusper, Kingsfold, Winterfold, Rowhook, Slinfold and North Horsham.
 
CAGNE East strongly supports the HWPCAAG initiative, the alliance of the parish Councils across East Sussex and West Kent who oppose Gatwick’s bid for a second runway. Both CAGNE and CAGNE East are also working very closely with Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, a volunteer group that has opposed Gatwick expansion since 1968.
 
‘GACC is continuing to lead the battle to protect the environment around Gatwick, opposing the outrageous plans of Gatwick Airport for new flight paths and a second runway.  We are delighted to have two new protest groups from the West and East working with us as members of GACC but bringing new strength to the battle in their own areas,’ said GACC Chair Brendon Sewill.
 
Residents can find out additional information at www.cagne.org and concerned residents of Kent should contact cagne.east@gmail.com.
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Contact details for the local groups:

GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

GACC – www.gacc.org.uk
Email: gacc@btconnect.com
GACC is the long-standing community campaign at Gatwick airport, and has been active for some 5 decades. It is principle group in the area, with long experience and an immense amount of expertise and experience. The other groups below are all members of GACC. They all work closely with GACC.
Enquiries: Brendon Sewill (Chairman); Peter Barclay and John Byng (Vice-Chairmen)
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CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

Website http://www.cagne.org/
Email: cagnegatwick@gmail.com
Facebook.com/cagne.gatwick
Twitter @cagne_gatwick
Enquiries –  Sally Pavey
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CAGNE East

Email:  cagne.east@gmail.com
Blog at   http://beagblog.wordpress.com.
[The group has emerged from BEAG - the Bidborough Environment Action Group].
CAGNE East is the sister group of CAGNE.   CAGNE East is for all residents and local communities East of Gatwick Airport. Set up by concerned residents of Bidborough in Kent, it provides campaign support to a growing network of residents, communities, campaign groups, Parish Councils and NGOs who are all concerned about Gatwick expansion.
CAGNE East opposes a 2nd Gatwick runway, night flights and the proposed new ‘superhighway flightpaths’, which unchallenged, pose a grave threat to our way of life and our regional economy.
(The beagblog will continue to focus on aviation as well as other local environmental issues, and in the next month or so, (August 2014 perhaps) a new blog devoted entirely to aviation issues will be set up. Sadly these things have to be done, (in contrast to Gatwick airport with its massive budget and large number of staff) by volunteers, in their own time, fitted around work, family and other commitments. So, as they say ….. “Bear with ….” ! )
Enquiries -  Simon Byerley  and Kealey Castle
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ESCCAN (East Susses Communities for Control of Air Noise).

 Email:  esccan@outlook.com 
There is also now a very active residents group in Crowborough, called ESCCAN  They want to keep a local focus for their concerns in the Crowborough area, and the protection of the Ashdown Forest.

WAGAN (Weald Action Group Against Noise) 

There is another local group,  WAGAN which is working very closely in support of HWAAG (High Weald Aviation Action Group). These groups are also working on blogs, and as with the case of CAGNE East, this depends on volunteers managing to fit in this work, unpaid, in already busy lives.

HWAAG

(High Weald Aviation Action Group) and the

HWPCAAG (High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group)

This has been formed to fight increasing noise and to oppose Gatwick’s bid for a 2nd runway. The group consists of eight parishes in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which are all adversely affected by Gatwick aircraft noise. The group consists of the Parish Councils of Chiddingstone, Hever, Leigh and Penshurst and 4 other parishes. Their chair is Richard Streatfield, who is the Chairman of Chiddingstone Parish Council.  Email: chair@chiddingstone.org
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CAGNE
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CAGNE East

Photo: CAGNE drop in events to help residents understand what Gatwick want to do in the skies above us and how we can object. #CAGNE #RUSPER #WARNHAM #SLINFOLD #ROWHOOK #HORSHAM

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CAGNE East and the BEAG (Bidborough Environment Action Group)

BEAG was originally intended as a very local and general environmental interest group. However, with more and more planes flying overhead and with more and more people joining from all over the area – Southborough, Tonbridge, Langton Green Rusthall, central Tunbridge Wells – and most of whom only really wanting to know about the planes, it became increasingly apparent that the Bidborough group was misnamed: there was a real need for a contact point where people concerned about increasing noise and pollution levels  from planes over West Kent could find out more about how Gatwick’s plans translate into the changes we are noticing in our local environment.
Core members of BEAG formed a more active team focussed on the Gatwick issue, and when the lead members of BEAG, Simon Byerley and Kealey Castle, met Sally Pavey things just clicked into place.
BEAG were impressed by the unique fusion of creativity, passion and professionalism in Sally’s approach and found, despite some very fundamental differences between the noise problems faced by residents under departures vs arrivals, that they shared some key objectives. This aviation issue is a David and Goliath situation – it seemed that joining with the CAGNE movement would best serve the interests of  residents in Kent, in the greater scheme of things.
The beagblog is to continue with its more general focus (gradual switch likely to the fracking debate – we have a bore hole in Bidborough that will go active next year.)
Simon Byerley is getting the CAGNE East blog up and running but unfortunately he has a full time job, and as all volunteer activity, this has to be fitted into an already full life.
The beagblog is a temporary contact point for the aircraft flight paths issue. A new, more informative CAGNE East site specifically for the aviation issue is planned.  It should be up and running by August (fingers crossed!)
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Kent parish councils fight Gatwick Airport runway plan

26 June 2014  (BBC)
The parish councils said an expanded Gatwick would threaten both local tourism and the environment

Campaigners fighting a second runway at Gatwick are writing to the Airports Commission to object to the level of noise an expansion could cause.

Four Kent parish councils claim an additional runway would also damage local tourism and the environment.

Mitzi Quirk, from Chiddingstone Parish Council, said the village currently saw 10 planes per 20 minutes but expansion would take that to 45 an hour.

Gatwick Airport said building a new runway was in the local interest.

‘Intolerable noise’

Ms Quirk said: “We are concerned not just with the future, but with the current situation. So we’ve grouped together to make a more powerful body with other parish councils who are going to be affected and who are affected currently.

“Currently we must have something like 10 planes in 20 minutes. I think what their projection is 45 planes an hour.

“And if they currently come in at the height they do, it will be really very difficult to live with and it will affect a lot of people. And I don’t think anybody’s sanity could stand that, quite frankly.”

David Barren, who lives in Hever, said the village used to be tranquil but now the noise had become “totally intolerable”.

‘Create jobs’

Richard Streatfield, chairman of the High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group, which covers Chiddingstone, Hever, Leigh and Penshurst councils, said he had seen Gatwick expand “vigorously” from what was a local airport and under the plans it would more than double in size.

He claimed tourism businesses in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty brought about 186,000 jobs to the industry and created £1.6bn over a year, which would be threatened by Gatwick expansion because of the impact on the environment and because tourists would not want to visit.

But Gatwick argue a second runway would create thousands of jobs, offer new opportunities to businesses and promote economic growth and prosperity across the region.

“Gatwick is continuously working to reduce the noise levels at the airport, including designing flight paths that avoid the majority of populated areas and providing the most innovative noise insulation scheme in Europe,” it said in a statement.

“Should Gatwick build a second runway, we will also pay annual compensation equivalent to Band A Council Tax (currently £1,000) to all households most affected.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-28031721

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High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group

http://www.leighkent.org.uk/Core/Leigh-Parish-Council/UserFiles/Files/HWPCAAG%20Response%20to%20London%20Airspace%20Consultation.docx
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Gatwick’s retail income still about 22% of total – around net £3.72 on retail sales + £1.35 on parking per passenger

The Moodie Report has published figures for the retail income of Gatwick airport in the year to 31st March 2014. Gatwick’s retail income rose 9.7% on the level in 2013, from £123.2 million to £135.1 million. By contrast their aeronautical income (aircraft landing charges etc) rose by 11.1% from £285.8 million to £317.4 million. There was a 4.8% increase in passengers, to about 36 million. Gatwick’s car parking income rose by 12.9%, from £58.1 million to £65.6 million. In the year to March 2014, Gatwick made on average £1.35 per passenger on parking.   It made, on average, £3.72 per passenger from retail sales. This was up by 4.2% from the level in 2013, but only up 2.7% on 2011. There is now even more retail space, with even more food and beverage facilities. In the year to March 2011 their retail income was £115.6 million and the net retail income was £3.62 per passenger. ie. barely changed over 3 years, (up 2.7%). And that’s a new World Duty Free store opened, and 33 other new stores opened in the past year. Net retail income per passenger at Heathrow was £5.98 in 2011, and about £6.21 in 2012.  For both  Heathrow and Gatwick, retail income is about 22% or so of income.
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Gatwick Airport posts +9.7% growth in retail income amid record traffic

26.6.2014

Source: ©The Moodie Report

By Martin Moodie (The Moodie Report)

London Gatwick Airport’s retail income rose by +9.7% in the year ended 31 March 2014, easily outstripping passenger growth of +4.8% to 35.9 million.

Net retail income per passenger increased by +4.2% to £3.72, boosted by sustained investment in shopping and food & beverage facilities, the benefit of a full-year’s trading by the World Duty Free Group flagship store, and 33 new retail units opened during the period.

Total turnover rose +10.2% to £593.7 million with EBITDA (pre-exceptionals) up +14.2% to £259.4 million (see table below). This resulted in a profit of £57.5 million compared to a loss in the financial year ending 31 March 2013 of £29.1 million.

London Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick’s record performance and growth to around 36 million passengers this year demonstrates how we are successfully competing in the London market and why we are best-placed to deliver the UK’s next new runway.”

….. and he carried on with more spin about Gatwick  ……

http://www.moodiereport.com/document.php?c_id=6&doc_id=39940 
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Gatwick’s retail income as a percentage of its total income (£123.2 cf. £538.9 million ) was 22.86% in 2013.

It was 22.76% in 2014.

Above and below: Heavy investment in food & beverage and retail has paid off with strong growth in spend per passenger and overall net retail income
Source: London Gatwick Airport
Source: London Gatwick Airport

 

 

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Some earlier data about Gatwick’s retail income:

 

Gatwick retail spending

31.6 million passengers in year to March 2011 (35.9 million in year to March 2014)

Total retail revenue to March 2011 – £115.6 million (£135.1 million to March 2014)

Total income from parking £51.7 million in year to March 2011 (£65.6 million in 2014)

Net retail income per passenger £3.62 in year to March 2011 (£3.72 in 2014)

Retail revenue increases at London Gatwick airport

Andrew Pentol

28-Jun-2011

Gatwick Airport Limited records total retail revenue of £115.6m in the year ended March 31 2011

Gatwick Airport Limited has revealed total retail revenue of £115.6m ($185.3m) for the financial year ended March 31 2011 compared to the £115m ($184.4m) for the same period last year.

According to Gatwick Airport Limited’s annual report, 31.6m passengers travelled through the airport, representing a 2.3% decrease year-on-year. The decrease in passenger numbers was driven by a number of factors, the most significant being the closure of aerospace in the three months to June 30 2010 following the eruption of mount Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland.

Despite the fall in passengers, duty-free, tax-free and specialist shops sales increased from £58.0m ($93m) in the year ended March 31 2010 to £58.9m ($94.4m) in the year ended March 31 2011.

Revenue from other in-store retail reached £36.5m ($48.5m) while net retail income per passenger rose £0.09 ($0.14) to £3.62 ($5.80) compared to the previous year.

Car parking income also increased £1.3m to £51.7m.

Gatwick Airport Limited is run by US investor Global Infrastructure partners following the acquisition of the airport from BAA.

Gatwick airport chief executive officer Stewart Wingate said: “We delivered strong performance in our first full year of new ownership despite the challenging environment and extraordinary events that affected major airports across Europe. Resilient passenger traffic combined with our relentless focus on cost efficiency helped us achieve solid financial results. We also successfully reinforced the business, enhancing our capital structure and establishing a strong liquidity position.

“We worked in partnership with the airlines to re-scope our new £1bn ($1.6bn) capital investment programme, which is now being delivered with greater efficiency and pace. Passengers and airlines are already benefitting from new, modern facilities and we are currently investing around £20bn ($32bn) per month. Operational performance and service standards have also improved significantly which is helping Gatwick compete to grow and become London’s airport of choice.”

http://www.dfnionline.com/article/Retail-revenue-increases-at-London-Gatwick-airport-1861236.html

 

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Earlier:

How much profit do airports make from their retail activities, rather than flying?

13.2.2013
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Heathrow got around 21.3% of its income from retail in 2010, compared to 53% from aeronautical. On average each Heathrow passenger spent about £5.70 (maybe £5.90) at the airport, with women spending more than men (!) BAA data say frequent fliers spend more than infrequent fliers. In the year 2010/2011 Gatwick airport made £115.6m from retail, and another £51.7m  from car parking, with an average of £5.80 spent on retail per passenger. Stansted retail spending per passenger is about £4.00 to £4.20.  In the year 2010/2011 Heathrow made about £380 million per year on retail, Gatwick about £115, and Stansted net retail income fell from £79.8m in 2010 to £73.9m.  Manchester made about £70 million on retail, with about £3 per passenger.
http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1045..


 

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European airports, like those in UK, make large part of their income as shopping centres

21.10.2012
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Investors in airports are being drawn to the profit being made by the real estate and retail income they generate. Among European airports, Aeroports de Paris derived 39% of its revenue from real estate and retail in 2011; Zurich took in 50.3%; and Danish airport operator Koebenhavns Lufthavne A/S collected 33.6%. At TAV (Turkey), the share was 33%, and at Vienna it was 19%. Airports generally get the majority of their retail revenue after passengers check in and go through security. Goldman Sachs lists retail revenue as a major factor in recommending European airports to invest in.  Two weeks ago, Fraport opened Pier-A-Plus, a terminal extension at Frankfurt, allowing Germany’s biggest hub to serve up to 6 million passengers a year and adding 50% to the airport’s retail space.  According to ACI, air passenger numbers in Europe are up 2.3% this year compared to 2011, but Eurocontrol forecast that annual traffic growth will average 1.9% over the next 7 years in Europe, due to high oil prices and a weaker economic outlook.
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Airport retail: rise and rise of the shopping centre, with an airport attached

14.3.2012

A huge, and growing, proportion of the money made by airports is from retail. It seems that the industry expects significant increases in this spending over the coming years, and airports do all they can to get passengers to spend as much time as possible in retail, put retail outlets in arrivals, etc etc and devise means for them to buy goods for collection on their return, to avoid baggage problems.  The industry expects most growth in the Far East, where women tend to spend a lot of designer brands. The airport retail industry finds passengers buy less when they are stressed by airport security waits and queues, and they buy more when calm and happy.  Airports need a ticket as proof of identity, so they can monitor the types of travellers, and the routes, which generate the most cash. Seems the Chinese, the Russians and the Nigerians tend to spend the most. At Heathrow, the average passenger spends £4.35. But for fashion, the average BRIC passenger spends £45.50.  No wonder BAA wants more.  

 

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Airports and airlines eyeing up passengers to increase their retail spend

24.4.2013
If the airlines can’t make enough profit from flying their passengers from A to B, then they want to extract every bit of cash they can from them, in the airport shops.  An anna-aero article discusses how airports and airlines might work more effectively together, to get passengers to buy more stuff. The airlines have more personal data about the passengers, and the airports want this data in order to maximise the retail earnings in their shops. But the airlines don’t want to share the chance of profit with the airports. The Chief Commercial Officer at Manchester Airports Group said  – “airport retail is vital precisely because airport charges paid by airlines are already well below the cost of the infrastructure they use.” The airports and airlines don’t see eye to eye on this. There is a problem for retailers, with the low cost airlines that limit baggage, and the ‘one-bag rule’, which is a disincentive to buy a lot at the airport.  An ACI conference next spring  will look at actual practical solutions to enhance “Airline-Airport Cooperation to Increase Passenger Spend.” 

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Heathrow’s noise claims do not stack up, according to new reports

Heathrow’s claims that a third runway will improve the overall noise climate for residents do not stack up, according to analysis done by HACAN. Their new briefing, “Do Heathrow’s noise claims stack up?” has compared Heathrow’s arguments with the findings of 2 recently-published reports (by the CAA and by the Mayor of London) and concludes that “Heathrow’s claims are unravelling in the face of the independent evidence.”  The most damning indictment of Heathrow is in the Atkins report showing their claim that a 3rd runway will mean “at least 30% noise reduction” by 2030 is based on the assumption that the new runway will be only operating at one-third capacity. Both reports challenge Heathrow’s prediction that 90% of the planes using the airport in 2026, when any new runway is expected to open, will be the quieter ‘new generation’ aircraft.  They are dubious of steeper landings, and believe people under the current flight paths will get shorter respite periods in order to give people under the new flight paths some respite too. HACAN chair John Stewart said the 2 new independent reports illustrate the near-impossibility of sorting out noise at Heathrow.
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Heathrow’s noise claims do not stack up according to new reports

29.6.2014

Heathrow’s claims that a third runway will improve the overall noise climate for residents do not stack up, according to campaign group HACAN.  HACAN Briefing  - Do Heathrow’s noise claims stack up?    29.6.2014

It has compared Heathrow’s arguments with the findings of two recently-published reports and concludes that “Heathrow’s claims are unravelling in the face of the independent evidence.”

HACAN tested Heathrow’s evidence against the arguments put forward by the Civil Aviation Authority ( Managing Aviation Noise ) in its new report on noise and the findings of a report from the consultancy firm Atkins carried out for the Mayor of London (1. See below).

The most damning indictment of Heathrow came from the Atkins report which showed the airport’s claim that a third runway will mean “at least 30% noise reduction” by 2030 is based on the assumption that the new runway will be only operating at one-third capacity. At full capacity, Akins shows, over one million people will be impacted, up from 725,000 today.

Both reports challenge Heathrow’s prediction that 90% of the planes using the airport in 2026, when any new runway is expected to open, will be the quieter ‘new generation’ aircraft.  And they are dismissive that the proposed steeper landing approaches Heathrow wants to introduce will have any significant impact on noise levels.

Atkins verdict on Heathrow’s plans to increase respite for residents is damming.  It argues that most communities will get less respite than they do today if a third runway is built.  At present people in West London enjoy a half day’s break from the noise when planes switch runways at 3pm.  This would be cut to a third if a new runway is built in order to give people under the new flight paths some respite.

HACAN chair John Stewart said, “We used the new reports to reality check Heathrow’s claims.  The Airport came out badly.  Most of its claims do not have a ring of truth about them.  We could only award them 2 out of 5 on our reality score card.”

Stewart added: “Heathrow understands the need to deliver on noise.  It is the biggest political barrier to a third runway.  And its new proposals are an improvement on what went before but these two new independent reports illustrate the near-impossibility of sorting out noise at Heathrow.”

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(1). The Mayor of London published the Inner Thames Estuary Feasibility Study

. Its noise assessment was based on work commissioned by Atkins on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) from The Environmental Research and Consultancy Department (ERCD) of the CAA to calculate noise exposure contours for a series of scenarios that were developed by Atkins, and that relate to Heathrow Airport.  http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/t-aviation-noise-modelling-heathrow-options.pdf

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HACAN Briefing  - Do Heathrow’s noise claims stack up?    29.6.2014

www.hacan.org.uk

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The two reports:

The CAA published Managing Aviation Noise -

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%201165%20Managing%20Aviation%20Noise%202.pdf

 

The Mayor of London published the Inner Thames Estuary Feasibility Study

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/mayoroflondon-inner-thames-estuary-fs-reponse.pdf .

Its noise assessment was based on work commissioned by Atkins on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) from The Environmental Research and Consultancy Department (ERCD) of the CAA to calculate noise exposure contours for a series of scenarios that were developed by Atkins, and that relate to Heathrow Airport. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/t-aviation-noise-modelling-heathrow-options.pdf

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Hearthrow’s claims are at http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow/Downloads/PDF/a-new-approach_LHR.pdf


 

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Some extracts from the briefing below:

 

Quieter planes

Heathrow:  90% of aircraft at Heathrow will be ‘next generation’ technology like the Airbus A380, Boeing 787 and Airbus A320neo by the time the new runway opens.

CAA:   The CAA acknowledges aircraft will become quieter but is less confident than Heathrow about how quickly the quieter planes will be introduced.  Its report says: “Introducing new aircraft types is a slow and typically cyclical process that can be fraught with delays and issues, as recent experience with the introduction of both Airbus and Boeing’s new models, the A380 and 787, has shown. Even when new aircraft types are available, refleeting [converting the whole fleet to quieter planes] is a lengthy and expensive process for airlines, with significant resource impacts.”  It goes on to point out that hundreds of the aircraft types would need to be removed by 2026 if Heathrow Airport were to meet its target: “in early 2014, British Airways’ long-haul fleet consisted of 55 Boeing 747-400s, 21 Boeing 767-300s and 55 Boeing 777s.”  It could be 25 years before some of these planes were replaced.

 

Atkins (for the Mayor of London):   Atkins is even more doubtful than the CAA that the fleet mix will be as Heathrow Airport predicts by 2026 when a 3rd runway opens. It cites as evidence the fact that: “IAG (BA and Iberia) are still placing orders for conventional A320’s [one of the aircraft types that would need to be phased out].”  It is also sceptical the new aircraft would be significantly quieter than the existing ones: “An older Boeing 747-400 has an Lmax (peak noise event impact) when arriving at 1,000 ft of 86dB. An Airbus A380 has an Lmax arriving at 1,000 ft of 85dB. This represents a relatively insignificant difference, despite the A380’s much heralded status as a quieter aircraft.” [The A320neo is a bit less noisy].

Verdict:

  • There is real doubt Heathrow can defend its prediction that 90% of the planes using the airport in 2026 will be the quieter ‘new generation’ aircraft. 
  • There is also doubt that these quieter aircraft, when introduced, will cut noise for residents as much as Heathrow claims.  The Atkins report says the difference will be ‘relatively insignificant’.

 

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Quieter Operating Procedures:

Heathrow: A mixture of steeper landing approaches, displaced landing thresholds (where aircraft touch down 700 metres further along the runway) and new flights paths brought in to avoid the most populated areas will cut noise levels.  link

CAA:  The CAA stresses that only a marginally steeper approach – 3.25 degrees rather than the current 3 degrees – is possible, and that even 3.25 might cause problems in low-visibility.  At Frankfurt 3.2 degrees is used but it reverts to 3 degrees at times of poor visibility.  Although a steeper descent approach would mean planes remain higher for longer, it concludes “the additional benefits of 3.2 degree approaches are relatively small.”  The CAA acknowledges that there would be noise benefits to displaced landing thresholds.

Atkins:  The Atkins Report doesn’t analyse the feasibility of a steeper approach, nor does it comment on the impact of displaced landing thresholds; it simply assumed both will be in place when it made its calculations of the total number of people likely to be impacted by a 3rd runway would be over 1 million.

Neither the CAA nor Atkins assesses Heathrow’s claims the “new flight paths will avoid the most populated areas.”   Partly this is because Heathrow has not yet published these new flight paths but probably also due to the recognition that altering flight paths will have a minimal overall impact since all of London is so heavily populated.  Moreover, as Atkins points out London’s overall population is likely to have increased significantly by 2026.

 

Verdict:

  • Steeper approach paths might reduce noise but the impact would be “relatively small”. 
  • There would be benefits from displaced landing thresholds (aircraft touching down further along the runway). 
  • Given the density of the London population – and the fact that the number of people living in London is expected to increase – it will be difficult to find “less populated” areas over which flight paths could be routed. 

 

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The location of the new runway

Heathrow: “Our proposal sites a third runway one nautical mile (1.1 miles) further to the west than the previous proposal for a short third runway.  Every mile further west an aircraft lands means it is flying approximately 300 ft higher over London on its landing approach.

 

Verdict:

  • It is clear that this proposal would reduce the noise over West London a little.  It would not, in itself, benefit areas to the west of Heathrow.  This, though, would be mitigated by the fact aircraft would be landing further along the runway.

 

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Periods of relief from the noise

Heathrow:  “We have maintained the principle of runway alternation.  This provides periods of respite from noise for all communities around Heathrow.”  link  It will also guarantee “periods without over-flights for every community.”   link  Heathrow argues that a 3rd runway would provide additional respite at night for residents under the current flight paths as they would only get night flights one week in every three.

 

Atkins:  Atkins questions how long these respite periods will be: “One of the few aspects of the current noise regime at Heathrow that  affords local residents any relief from aircraft noise are the periods of respite that are secured by operating the airport in ‘segregated alternate mode’. With one runway used for departures and the other for arrivals before being switched round at 3pm, this gives local residents half a day without aircraft overhead. However, Heathrow Airport have made clear that their three runway proposals would require at least one runway to operate in mixed mode at all times. For the majority of affected residents, that will mean just 4½ hours of respite a day within operating hours – half the respite offered to local communities today.”  Additionally, with the new flight path being close to the existing northern flight path it is probable that many people will be impacted by noise from both runways, thus making the period of real respite even shorter.

 

CAA:  The report doesn’t look at respite specifically but does point out that “anti-noise groups report complaints about aircraft noise (especially early morning or late evening noise) as much as 20 miles from the airport”.  It is not at all clear just how far Heathrow intends to, or is able to, extend its respite periods.

 

Verdict:

  • There is no doubt Heathrow recognizes the value of respite and is trying to ensure all communities have some respite but it is clear that people in West London, who currently enjoy a half day’s break from the noise, will see that cut to a third and it is unclear whether communities further from the airport will enjoy respite periods.  In fact, with the increased number of planes to be accommodated, it is possible that most communities will enjoy less respite than they currently do.  Heathrow has a lot more to do to convince on respite.

 

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Noise Insulation

Heathrow: “£550 million will be allocated to noise insulation or compensation.”  link  Of that, £250 million will go towards noise insulation schemes for people under the flight paths. For people whose homes will be demolished it is committed to offering 25% above the unblighted market value of the property plus legal fees and stamp duty paid on a new home.

CAA:  The report found that in France, there is a statutory scheme to insulate all housing within the 55 dB Lden contour…….. funded through a noise tax on each departure, introduced on the 1st January 2005.

Verdict:

  • The Heathrow scheme is not ungenerous but the problem Heathrow will always face is the sheer numbers of people under its flight paths. It would cost Heathrow billions to match the Paris scheme of compensating everybody within the 55Lden contour.  It would never be possible.  The vast majority of those under the flight paths will remain uncompensated.

 

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Thousands of responses against Farnborough’s airspace change proposals – especially from gliding clubs

12 MPs, South Downs National Park Authority, Goodwood Airfield and more than 3,000 people have responded to Farnborough airport’s proposal to control a vast amount of airspace across the South Downs. The airspace consultation period ended on 12th May, and there has been a high level of opposition.  The proposal plans to lower and narrow the airspace spanning West Sussex, South Downs National Park and Hampshire, would allow private aircraft to make uninterrupted journeys across the designated area.  Gliding clubs are very unhappy about the plans as the areas of sky available for them would change. They say the changes could ‘kill’ the activities of the club. They also claimed that this move will force other aircraft to fly lower increasing aircraft noise for residents living in the South Downs. Also that the proposals could significantly increase the risks of mid-air collisions by forcing general aviation aircraft to fly in much smaller ‘corridors’ of free airspace.  “These proposals are just like a limousine company buying up two lanes of the M25 exclusively for the benefit of the wealthy and famous.”
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Thousands respond to big South Downs airspace proposal

23.6.2014 (West Sussex County Times)

Twelve MPs, South Downs National Park Authority, Goodwood Airfield and more than 3,000 people have responded to a private airport’s proposal to control a vast amount of airspace across the Downs.

As the consultation period for Farnborough Airport’s application comes to an end, [it ended on 12th May 2014] a torrent of objections have flooded in opposing the controversial air space request.

The proposal which plans to lower and narrow the airspace spanning West Sussex, South Downs National Park and Hampshire, would allow private aircraft to make uninterrupted journeys across the designated area.
A spokesperson for Southdown Gliding Club (SGC) in Coolham, just outside Storrington, said the proposal is only for the benefit of the ‘wealthy and famous’ and could ‘kill’ the activities of the club. They also claimed that this move will force other aircraft to fly lower increasing aircraft noise for residents living in the South Downs.

A spokesman for the club said: “These proposals are just like a limousine company buying up two lanes of the M25 exclusively for the benefit of the wealthy and famous.

“If such proposals, as they stand, go ahead not only will safety and noise be an issue but there could be huge economic problems for Goodwood and Shoreham airports due to aircraft being put off visiting the south coast due to these risks.

“The proposals could also kill the activities of the SGC. This is the biggest threat to generalaviation in the south”.

The General Aviation Alliance (GAA) and the British Gliding Association have claimed that the proposals could significantly increase the risks of mid-air collisions by forcing aircraft to fly in much smaller ‘corridors’ of free airspace.

The consultation attracted well over 3,000 replies. They include those from 12 MPs, the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), Goodwood Airfield, West Sussex residents, and many pilots of gliders and light aircraft.

The SGC spokesperson continued: “SDNPA are especially concerned.

“One of their goals is to create a park of tranquillity and the potential increased noise is of real concern to them.”

Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has also lodged his objection and written formally to the Civil Aviation Authority (CCA) to ask them to dismiss such proposals which could have a ‘devastating effect’ especially on the activities of the SCG, one of the oldest of its type in the country.

The owners of Farnborough, TAG, will now consider the responses and submit their proposal to the CAA.

The SGC spokesperson said they have ‘faith’ that the CAA have studied all the consultation policies and will do the ‘right thing’ for the club and other General Aviation users.

They said: “General Aviation activity is very important to the UK because it is this community which provides the inspiration for and the basic training of pilots.

“It also includes the emergency services and police helicopters, hot air balloons, gliders, and the aircraft which fly at air displays.

“If General Aviation were to suffer at the hands of a few private and non-UK owned companies such as the TAG corporation, then many peoples’ lives will be made poorer as a result and our aviation heritage will suffer greatly.”

For details about the club visit www.southdowngliding.co.uk

 http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/local/thousands-respond-to-big-south-downs-airspace-proposal-1-6132398

 


 

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Earlier:

Farnborough airport consultation on hugely expanding its airspace, for questionable reasons

April 13, 2014

Farnborough airport is consulting on its plans to hugely increase the amount of airspace it controls. This will have considerable impacts on general aviation fliers and helicopters in the area, as they would not be able to fly in the new Farnborough airspace, as at present, but would have to make large detours and fly lower, causing more noise to those living nearby. The aim of the airspace grab by Farnborough is thought to be to speed up the arrival of departure of the private jets and business jets which are the users of Farnborough, so the very few passengers per plane (about 2.7 on average, on planes designed to take hugely more) are spared any small delay. The airport has had declining numbers of flights in recent years, and is nowhere near to its target number. It is therefore surprising that the airport feels the need for such a large increase in its controlled airspace.There are real fears that this is in preparation for Farnborough attempting to expand into commercial aviation. ‘Sky grabbing’ for future use for a much bigger operation? TAG could make a nice profit if it sells an airport with attached airspace!

Click here to view full story….

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Gatwick airport announces first profits for years and returns for its investors … UK tax?

Gatwick airport has announced its results for the year to 31st March 2014. It has made a profit, for the first time in 4 years. Gatwick says its passenger numbers reached 35.9 million in 2013/14 (4.8% up on 2012/13). Their turnover is up 10.2% to £593.7 million and EBITDA is up 14.2% to £259.4 million, with a resulting profit of £57.5 million. This compared to a loss in the financial year ending 31 March 2013 of £29.1 million. The airport has spent a great deal improving the airport, and so made losses – and paid no tax to the UK government for years. Gatwick says their investments and more marketing is being effective in attracting more passengers. It now has more aircraft movements at peak times (a cause of the noise nuisance being caused from new flight paths). Gatwick now claims 20% are travelling on business, largely on EasyJet. The figure was 17.5% in 2012. Gatwick says it will now be paying dividends to its investors, though it has not in recent  years. It expects to pay £125m to investors in the current financial year,  £65m return in the 2015/16 financial year and £60m in 2016/17. [Maybe also pay some UK tax?] 
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Gatwick Airport’s press release is at   http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/News/Record-breaking-year-strengthens-case-for-second-runway-918.aspx

Gatwick claims there are now 20% of its passengers flying on business. Data from 2012 show it was 17.5%. (CAA air passenger survey 2012).


 

Gatwick to return £250m to shareholders

West Sussex airport expects to increase dividend payments over the next three years as it benefits from record passenger numbers

A 21-year-old man suspected of undergoing terror training in Syria was arrested at Gatwick airport

 By , Leisure and Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)

Gatwick Airport has told its shareholders, including Global Infrastructure Partners and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, that it expects to pay £250 million in dividends over the next three years, after flying back into the black in 2013.

The West Sussex airport, which is currently battling for the right to build a second runway, will significantly ramp up returns to investors by April 2017; it expects to pay £125m in the current financial year, compared to £10m for the year to March 31. Gatwick has also guided towards a £65m return to investors in the 2015/16 financial year and £60m in the following 12 months.

Gatwick’s shareholder register is dominated by Global Infrastructure Partners, with 41.95%, followed by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority with 15.9%.  US pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) owns 12.78%.

Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, revealed the dividend guidance alongside the airport’s results for the 12 months to March 31, which showed a 10% jump in turnover to £593.7m as a record 35.9m passengers passed through its doors, up 4.8%.  This helped Gatwick return to the black, posting an £85.8m pre-tax profit from a £28.3m loss previously.

“In the previous period what we have been doing is paying down the shareholder loan we had in place. Now we are moving into starting to pay dividends through the business,” said Mr Wingate.

In the last year, the vast majority of passenger growth came from short-haul carriers to Europe. The number of people flying to destinations in Europe rose 6% to 29.7m while Emirates’ decision to introduce larger planes on routes out of Gatwick helped to grow traffic on routes to the Middle East and Central Asia to more than 807,000 passengers from almost 689,000 previously. However passenger numbers to North America; the Caribbean and Latin America; Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa and the Far East and South Asia all declined in the year.

Mr Wingate insisted Gatwick still had the strongest case for expansion – it is in a head-to-head battle with rival Heathrow to persuade the Government-appointed Airports Commission that it should have the right to build the next runway in the south east of England.

Gatwick will publish next month a more detailed report setting out the economics of its case for a second runway, after a recent claim that its contribution to the UK economy would be £40bn greater than that of an expanded Heathrow was called into question by rivals.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10927984/Gatwick-to-return-250m-to-shareholders.html

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Gatwick airport’s 31st March 2014 results:

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Gatwick tax payments

Gatwick’s Financial Statements for last year, dated 31st March 2013, showed Gatwick Airport paid no UK tax. It also paid no tax in the previous few years.

http://www.gatwickairport.com/Documents/business_and_community/investor_relations/Gatwick_Airport_Limited_Financial_Statements_31March2013.pdf.

Like most large companies, Gatwick Airport Ltd has complicated accounts, and uses many (perfectly legal in current UK tax law) devices by which to reduce its tax burden.

Gatwick’s Financial Statement says:

“The Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ivy Holdco Limited, a United Kingdom (“UK”) incorporated company, and is ultimately owned by a consortium through a number of UK and overseas holding companies and limited liability partnerships.

Gatwick Airport Limited owns 100% of the share capital of Gatwick Funding Limited, a company incorporated in Jersey but resident in the UK for tax purposes. The primary purpose of Gatwick Funding Limited is to raise external funding and provide it to Gatwick Airport Limited. This is done through the issuance of external bonds and the use of external interest rate and index-linked derivatives, the terms of which are then replicated in a “back-to-back” agreement with Gatwick Airport Limited. “

Separate companies based in Luxembourg and in the Channel Islands deal with foreign investments, lend money to each other, and a variety of complicate financial dealings. The net effect is that no UK corporation tax is paid. However, some of the tax avoidance is by improvements to the airport and investment in facilities, which government tax law allows to be offset against taxation.

Two pages from the March 2013 Financial Statement:

(Page 37 link)

Gatwick tax profit and loss

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Gatwick tax 2013

 


 

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Gatwick’s Financial Statement for March 2012:

Gatwick airport tax 2012.


 

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Earlier:

 

Gatwick Airport sees profits and passenger traffic rise26 November 2013 (BBC)

Profits and passengers numbers are up at the UK’s second-largest airport, Gatwick.

Pre-tax profits in the six months to 30 September were £127.3m, up from £107.2m in the same period last year.

The number of passengers using Gatwick rose 4.4% to 20.8 million.

The figures were boosted by continued strong growth from budget European airline Easyjet, although Gatwick has also seen the start of several new international services.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s chief executive, renewed calls for a new runway to be sited at the airport, arguing that the figures confirmed the increasing popularity of the facility.

The government has commissioned a report into airport capacity in south-east England. Several business groups and airlines have called for expansion at Heathrow airport.

But Mr Wingate told the BBC that building a new runway at Gatwick would be substantially cheaper than expanding at Heathrow.

Gatwick was owned by the former BAA until private equity fund consortium Global Infrastructure Partners took over in December 2009.

Mr Wingate said: “Gatwick will celebrate four years of new ownership in December. In this time we have turned around decades of under-investment to enable Gatwick to emerge as a competitive, world-class airport.

“A new runway here would deliver the routes that passengers actually want at a better price, more quickly and with significantly less environmental impact. The UK’s next runway has got to be at Gatwick.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25099984

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Increased profits for Gatwick Airport

28 November 2012 (BBC)
Almost 20 million passengers used Gatwick Airport between April and September

Gatwick Airport has announced increased half-yearly profits of £172m and a growth in passenger numbers.

Profits increased by 4.8% over the same April to September period in 2011.

Gatwick was sold in 2009 after the Competition Commission ruled BAA must also sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s chief executive, said: “Three years of competition has seen Gatwick grow its European short-haul business.”

He added that the airport was also opening up new long-haul routes to Russian, China, Vietnam and Korea.

‘Exploring second runway’

During the same six-month period, turnover was up by 3.6% to £325.8m and passenger numbers also increased by 1.2% to 19.9 million.

Mr Wingate said: “This proves passengers are best served by allowing airports to compete.

“It is why we recently announced our plans to explore second runway options as we believe growth at Gatwick is the best option for increasing connectivity for the next generation”

A legal agreement currently prevents a second runway being built at the West Sussex airport until 2019.

In June, Gatwick announced plans to handle up to 40 million passengers a year by 2021, increasing to 45 million annually by 2030.

Mr Wingate said: “Over the next three years we will continue to transform the airport, maximising the opportunities in the short-haul market while stepping up our efforts to attract airlines that serve markets of strategic importance to the UK.”

Gatwick said about 23,000 people were employed at the airport, with a further 13,000 jobs in related businesses in the South East.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-20525800

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Horley Town Council announces open public meeting to be held on Gatwick 2nd runway proposals

Horley Town Council has announced it is to hold what promises to be a packed open public meeting on 18th July on the proposals for a 2nd runway at Gatwick. The town council has set the public meeting, entitled “Do You Want a Second Runway at Gatwick?” – the first such meeting to be organised by the council for some 6 years and its first on the 2nd runway proposals. For many, the  runway proposals are the major single issue facing the town and the area today. The 3 speakers will be Alastair McDermid, the Airports Commission director for Gatwick; Peter Barclay of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC); and a representative of the Gatwick Diamond Business forum.  Following the presentations, the meeting will split into smaller groups, headed by facilitators, to look at more specific areas and focus on residents’ concerns – followed by questions. There will not be a resolution put, or a vote, at the meeting. The chairman of the council’s 2nd runway sub-committee said if enough people want to attend, a 2nd meeting may be necessary.The council may send out a questionnaire to all households. 

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Horley Town Council announces open public meeting to be held on Gatwick second runway proposals

Horley Town Council has announced it is to hold what promises to be a packed open public meeting on the proposals for a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

The town council has set the public meeting, entitled “Do You Want a Second Runway at Gatwick?” – the first such meeting to be organised by the council for some six years and its first on the second runway proposals – for Friday, July 18, in St Wilfrid’s Church hall in Horley Row.

For many, the second runway proposals are the major single issue facing the town and area today.

Three speakers will make time-limited presentations on the runway debate issues, including noise, air pollution and infrastructure.

The speakers, Alastair McDermid, the Airports Commission director for Gatwick, Peter Barclay of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, and a representative of the Gatwick Diamond Business forum, were invited because they have already given briefings to the town council over the last winter. Following the presentations, the meeting will split into smaller groups, headed by facilitators, to look at more specific areas and focus on residents’ concerns.

Afterwards, the various groups’ discussions will be looked at, before residents will get the chance to put questions to the meeting.

There will not be a resolution put, or a vote, at the meeting.

Town councillor Mike George, chairman of the council’s second runway sub-committee and the main organiser of the event, said he hoped the turn-out would make it the biggest open public meeting in the council’s history.

If more people want to attend than is possible, he said they may have to look at holding a second meeting.

Coun George said: “I would say it’s the major issue facing the town.

“The main thrust of the meeting is to hear what the residents’ views are.”

But he stressed: “The public meeting is not the be-all and end-all. It’s part of a process.”

He said the council began gathering information about local feeling on the second runway topic some time ago, including through questionnaires at its stand at the town’s St George’s Day celebrations in April, and through the briefings held last winter.

Councillor George said that according to the council’s findings, the snapshot of the current situation indicates the largest percentage of residents responding is for the second runway to be built.

“The remainder was roughly split half and half as ‘no’ and ‘not sure,’ he continued.

“What’s important to us though is that in our experience, in public meetings, they tended to be the ‘anti’ lobby.

“It’s important to us at the council to hear the views of the ‘pro’ lobby.

“Our straw polls to date indicate that the ‘for’ lobby is the biggest contingent at the moment.”

Coun George said the council may also send out questionnaires to households, and put a questionnaire up online to gauge the feelings of residents who would not want to go to the public meeting.

“This is part of our fact-finding exercise, which hopefully will help us to come to a position and view on whether the second runway should happen.

“A lot of the town councillors haven’t come to a decision yet,” he said.

Horley Town Council did not take part in the recent Gatwick Airport second runway consultation – instead keeping its counsel for the Airports Commission’s consultation later this year.

The council is stressing all are welcome to attend the meeting at St Wilfrid’s Church hall in Horley Row, Horley, on Friday, July 18, at 7.30pm.

For more details call the town council on 01293 784765, or email: town.clerk@zen.co.uk

http://www.redhillandreigatelife.co.uk/news/localnews/11294754.Horley_Town_Council_announces_open_public_meeting_to_be_held_on_Gatwick_second_runway_proposals/

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Stobart has pledged a subsidy of £250,000 per year to Aer Arran, to try to make Carlisle airport viable

Transport giant Stobart has ploughed an extra £250,000 a year into its plans to redevelop Carlisle airport. They have lodged new documents with the city council, pledging the money to be paid as a subsidy to airline operators – to ensure that the airport is financially sound.  Aer Arann – now known as Stobart Air, which Stobart has a 45% stake in – has confirmed it is interested in running a service (to Dublin and Southend). This comes after the High Court quashed planning permission granted by the city council in March, due to a lack of detail about the venture’s commercial viability, which the cash injection aims to address. Stobart intends to “to grow Stobart Air significantly, following the completion of development at London Southend Airport” [LSA]. “Once planning approval is obtained for the developments at Carlisle Lake District Airport, Stobart Air would invest in new airport infrastructure and facilities…” Stobart plans to plough £20.36m into a new distribution centre at Carlisle airport. Carlisle council believed in 2011 there was no evidence that passenger flights predicted by Stobart Group would ever materialise.

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STOBART’S £250,000 BOOST FOR CARLISLE AIRPORT

Transport giant Stobart has ploughed an extra £250,000 a year into its plans to redevelop Carlisle airport.

Andrew Tinkler photo

Andrew Tinkler

The haulage group has lodged new documents with the city council, pledging the money to airline operators.

Aer Arann – now known as Stobart Air, which Stobart has a 45 per cent stake in – has confirmed it is interested in running a service.

The move comes after the High Court quashed planning permission granted by the city council in March, due to a lack of detail about the venture’s commercial viability, which the cash injection aims to address.

It is believed that the extra money would be paid as a subsidy to the operating airline to ensure that the airport is financially sound.

Stobart declined to comment today but documents lodged with the council this month said it “intended to grow Stobart Air significantly, following the completion of development at London Southend Airport”.

“LSA has developed new routes with major operators including easyJet with the ultimate aim of servicing two million passengers a year,” they said.

“Once planning approval is obtained for the developments at Carlisle Lake District Airport, Stobart Air would invest in new airport infrastructure to upgrade the facilities at Carlisle airport, including runway resurfacing and new aircraft stands, and commerce services from Carlisle to Southend and Dublin.”

The documents said it had provided a “robust business plan” which showed planned services were based on “reasonably priced ticket fares”.

It plans to plough £20.36m into a new distribution centre at the airport, aircraft stands, runways and a terminal and fire station, the document says.

The move comes after a high court judge ruled a city council planning official who recommended refusing planning permission in 2011 was right to conclude there was no evidence to show the passenger flights predicted by Stobart Group would ever materialise.

Speaking after the decision, Andrew Tinkler, Stobart Group’s chief executive, insisted that the firm is capable of running commercial passenger flights from Carlisle.

A city council spokeswoman confirmed the transport group had lodged extra information for “already existing plans”. She said the plans were out for consideration and would be debated by planners at a future date, which had yet to be decided.

http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/stobart-s-250-000-boost-for-carlisle-airport-1.1143351

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Some recent news stories about Carlisle airport:

Local farmer wins legal challenge on Carlisle airport expansion and freight distribution

March 25, 2014

Local farmer, Gordon Brown, who farms at Irthington close to Carlisle airport, has won another round in the long battle against the expansion of Carlisle Airport and its cargo distribution centre. The High Court judge, Mr Justice Collins, ruled that planners had failed to properly consider the viability of the plans. He allowed the challenge by Thomas Brown, and quashed the latest planning permission for a new freight storage and distribution facility at the airport. The judge said that Brown’s claim succeeded, though only on one ground, put forward by him – which was the failure by the council planners to consider the viability of the expansion plans properly. The decision was said to be borderline, and “by no means straight forward,” had taken years, and generated an “excessive” amount of paperwork. The latest round of the legal battle comes more than 3 years after Brown won a ruling from London’s Court of Appeal quashing the council’s previous grant of planning permission. Whether there will be an appeal against today’s ruling is not yet known.

Click here to view full story…

 

 

HIGH COURT VERDICT THROWS CARLISLE AIRPORT PLANS INTO DISARRAY

21 March 2014  (In Cumbria)

Stobart Group is to submit new plans for the development of Carlisle Airport despite a legal set back today. The company has expressed frustration and disappointment at the High Court’s decision to back a challenge from a farmer but says it is determined to provide passenger flights from the airport. Mr Justice Collins, one of the country’s most experienced planning judges, allowed the challenge by Gordon Brown, from Irthington and quashed the latest planning permission for a new freight storage and distribution facility at the airport. The judge said that Mr Brown’s claim succeeded, though only on one ground put forward by him. That was failure by the planners to properly consider the viability of the expansion plans. In backing Mr Brown, the judge said that the decision allowing planning consent could only be justified if the planning committee was properly entitled to conclude that there was a reasonable prospect of achieving commercial use of the airport. But, he added, a key issue involving a subsidy was “not properly dealt with” by the planning committee.  Details at

http://www.in-cumbria.com/high-court-verdict-throws-carlisle-airport-plans-into-disarray-1.1124604

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CARLISLE AIRPORT DECISION LIKELY IN NEXT THREE WEEKS

 22 February 2014

A farmer opposed to expansion plans for Carlisle Airport must wait to hear the outcome of his latest legal battle with the local council.  Related: Carlisle airport expansion battle back in court      Mr Justice Collins, one of the country’s most experienced planning judges, has reserved his decision in the case in which Thomas Brown, from Irthington is hoping he will quash the latest planning permission for a new freight storage and distribution facility at the airport.   The judge will give his judgement in writing, likely in the next three weeks.    The latest round of the legal battle came more than three years after Mr Brown won a ruling from London’s Court of Appeal quashing the council’s previous grant of planning permission.     However, in February 2013, the council granted a fresh permission for a freight distribution centre and the raising and re-profiling of the runway. The permission was made subject to a “section 106 agreement” imposing an obligation on Stobart Air to keep the airport open and the runway maintained unless it could be shown that the airport is no longer economically viable.   Summarising the case at the start of the hearing, the judge said it amounted to a claim that the council had no power to enter into the agreement, that it didn’t achieve what it was proposed to achieve, and that it was unlawful because it was done behind closed doors.

 http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/carlisle-airport-decision-likely-in-next-three-weeks-1.1118464

 

 

Date set for February 2014 for Hearing at the High Court into Stobart’s Carlisle airport plans

September 23, 2013     .

Carlisle City Council’s decision to allow the development’s go-ahead is being taken to a judicial review – probably between 18th and 20th February 2014. Stobart Group wants to build a 394,000sq ft freight distribution centre and to resurface the runway for scheduled passenger flights to Southend and Dublin. Carlisle City Council granted planning permission in February, but their decision is being challenged by a local farmer who lives close to the airport, and has tenaciously persisted in his opposition for several years. He opposes the plan for the airport’s expansion because it appears the legal agreement between the council and Stobart Group is “unenforceable”; because planning officers gave “erroneous and seriously misleading” advice to the councillors who made the decision; because Carlisle City Council did not properly assess the criteria on “presumption in favour of development”; the council failed to comply with its obligations under the EU habitats directive – and several other failures in the Council process. Mr Brown persuaded the Court of Appeal to quash an earlier consent, granted in 2009, after he brought judicial review proceedings.

Click here to view full story…

 

Carlisle airport resurfacing and freight centre still held up by High Court ruling

July 4, 2013

Stobart Group still plan a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre, and resurfacing of the runway for scheduled passenger flights to London and Dublin. But the airport development cannot start until the High Court rules on a legal challenge, brought by Irthington farmer Gordon Brown. He is seeking a judicial review of the Carlisle City Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the airport scheme, which he says does not comply with the council’s development plan and that planning officers gave councillors “erroneous and seriously misleading advice”. There are also questions on EU state aid rules and a planning condition. Work has begun on upgrading the sewers around Irthington, and this will remove another obstacle to the airport redevelopment plan – as this was one of the conditions in the planning approval, granted in February. The sewer upgrade, which will triple the capacity of the network, should be finished by October. The new sewer will mean treated effluent will no longer be discharged into a tributary of the River Irthing.

Click here to view full story…

 

FRESH LEGAL MOVES START TO BLOCK CARLISLE AIRPORT PLANS

2 March 2013

Legal moves to stop the redevelopment of Carlisle Airport are underway. Irthington farmer Gordon Brown, who successfully overturned a previous planning consent in 2009, is mounting another challenge that could go all the way to the Court of Appeal. His solicitor, Dickinson Dees, has served a pre-action protocol letter on Carlisle City Council after the council granted planning permission last month. Stobart Group wants to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and to resurface the runway for scheduled passenger flights to London Southend and Dublin. A pre-action protocol identifies the issues in dispute. It is the first step towards applying to the courts for a judicial review of a decision made by a local authority. The council has 14 days to respond. Mr Brown said he believed the council had “acted unlawfully”. He has said previously that the planning consent may breach European state-aid rules. Mr Brown warned councillors in January that, “at the very least”, they should check with the European Commission before granting permission. He also claimed that one of the council’s planning conditions was unenforceable.

Click here to view full story …

 

 

Carlisle Airport – plans approved in principle, but legal and planning obstacles still remain

August 4, 2012

Plans to redevelop Carlisle Airport have been cleared in principle, by Carlisle City council, with an 11 – 1 vote, for air freight flights and passenger flights, but with many conditions. There could still be a judicial review by Peter Eliott. The Planning officer recommended “on balance” that councillors approve the plans, even though allowing the freight distribution centre in open countryside was against policy. The airport currently loses money, and the council hopes it will become profitable and bring money into the local economy. However, the council’s aviation consultants doubted whether scheduled passenger flights and air freight would survive for long. The airport can only survive if it is cross-subsidised by the freight distribution centre, and this may be illegal under EU law. Stobart are trying to make out that Carlisle can be as well used as Southend airport has become, but they are not readily comparable.

Click here to view full story…

 

Stobart Group gets go-ahead for Carlisle airport redevelopment scheme but with many conditions

August 4, 2012

Carlisle City Council have granted planning permission for the Stobart scheme to develop Carlisle airport. They plan to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and to resurface the runway for passenger flights and air freight. However, permissionis only agreed in principle and is subject to a string of legal conditions being met. The council decision is subject to an Appropriate Assessment by Natural England and a Section 106 agreement including obligation on Stobart to keep the airport open and the runway maintained, various travel plan obligations, and the payment of £100,000 in order to enable the undertaking of a habitat enhancement scheme to benefit breeding waders. Objectors could yet seek a judicial review of the council’s decision.

Click here to view full story…

 

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New study on noise, including aircraft noise, says health of residents of Montreal under threat

A study in Montreal, Quebec, by the public health department, shows that Montrealers near highways, rail yards and Trudeau airport are most likely to be exposed to excessive noise.  Over a two-week period in August 2010, noise levels were measured every 2 minutes at a range of locations.  During the day, two-thirds of the spots were above the WHO’s suggested maximum.  The negative effects include annoyance (inability to concentrate, occasionally being awoken, difficulty carrying on conversations); sleep disturbance (frequent waking, which can affect health); and, most seriously, cardiovascular disease, especially high blood pressure, which increases as people are exposed to noise. The data will be assessed by a new noise-management committee looking into noise sources, including the airport.  Several measures will be looked at, including re-zoning, and new soundproofing standards. Data needs to be gathered on whether the increase in planes outweighs the tiny improvements in the noise per plane. Campaigners Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau say flight altitudes over Montreal should be raised and there should be a “genuine night-time (flight) curfew,” not just noise insulation.
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Noise making Montrealers sick, study shows

 20.6.2014
Noise making Montrealers sick, study shows

Montrealers near highways, rail yards and Trudeau airport are most likely to be exposed to excessive noise, a study shows. Over a two-week span in August 2010, noise levels were measured every two minutes and two-thirds of the spots were found to be above the WHO’s suggested maximum level of 55 decibels.

Noise from planes, trains and automobiles is making Montrealers sick.

And Montreal says it wants to do something about it.

Many locations monitored on Montreal Island have noise levels exceeding World Health Organization recommendations, according to a public health department study made public Friday.

Map of noise for 24 hours

Over two weeks in August 2010, noise levels were measured every two minutes.

During the day, two-thirds of the spots were above the WHO’s suggested maximum level (55 decibels). At night, one-quarter of them were above the recommendation.

Montrealers near highways, rail yards and Trudeau airport were most likely to be exposed to excessive noise.

Montreal levels are similar to those in other big cities, including Toronto.

“There’s a link between exposure to noise and our health,” said Richard Massé, director of the Montreal public health department. Pregnant women, seniors and people with chronic diseases are most susceptible.

Noise has three key adverse effects, Massé noted.

They are: annoyance (inability to concentrate, occasionally being awoken, difficulty carrying on conversations); sleep disturbance (frequent waking, which can affect health); and, most seriously, cardiovascular disease, especially high blood pressure, which increases as people are exposed to noise.

The department is monitoring noise at 200 locations across Montreal, and collecting data about the health of people who live nearby, Massé said.

The results, due later this year, are to be used by a committee the city of Montreal is creating. The noise-management committee is to include railways, Transport Quebec, Trudeau airport and the Port of Montreal.

Réal Ménard, executive committee member for the environment, said Montreal takes noise pollution seriously. A new land-use planning and development plan for the agglomeration, due later this year, will include a regional noise-control policy, he said.

Several measures will be looked at, including rezoning, new soundproofing standards and sound barriers.

Map of noise in the daytime

Transport Quebec, which operates highways in Montreal, only looks into noise complaints when the noise level is 65 decibels or higher — 10 decibels more than the WHO guideline.

Asked about the Transport Quebec threshold, Massé would not comment directly but said 65 decibels “certainly has an impact on people who live nearby.

“What we hope is that (Transport Quebec) sits down with us on the committee and we see what we can do to reduce noise levels. It could be mitigation measures. We know we can’t take a city and instantly rebuild it.”

The public-health department also made public a study on the impact of noise from Trudeau airport flights.

Map of noise at nighttime

Massé said individual planes are quieter but there has been a small increase in traffic. “We can’t say that noise around the airport is increasing or decreasing. That’s something that needs to be followed.”

The study said highway and rail yards exacerbate noise problems near the airport. Prevention measures are needed to reduce noise exposure in the area. That could include zoning changes and new-housing soundproofing requirements, the study said.

Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau, a residents’ group that has long complained about airport noise, called the study “incomplete.” [They are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pollues ]

Researchers failed to “take into account the fact that noise associated with aircraft movements relocated two years ago towards the east, up to a distance of more than 10 kilometres from the airport,” Antoine Bécotte, chair of the committee, said in a news release. The study also did not focus on areas such as Ahuntsic and Villeray, he noted.

Rather than deal with aircraft-noise effects (by soundproofing homes, for example), the cause should be addressed, Bécotte said.

Flight altitudes over Montreal should be raised and a “genuine nighttime (flight) curfew” re-established, he added.

ariga@montrealgazette.com

http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Noise+making+Montrealers+sick+study+shows/9955919/story.html?__federated=1

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More about the local campaign against Montreal aircraft noise, “Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau”

http://lpdmt.org/en/   (website in English and in French)
Polluted of the Montreal-Trudeau

“Group Montrealers, we seek to mobilize and take action against indecent noise from Montreal-Trudeau airport, and thus find a respectable living environment.”

First there were the expropriated owners of Mirabel, now here are the “Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau”, the new victims of federal overreach in air transportation in Montreal. Montreal Trudeau Airport is centrally located on the island of Montreal. The administror, « Aéroport de Montréal (ADM) » does not respect no fly hours and is lax when it comes to flight paths followed by aircraft on approach or take-off. The quality of life of the citizens living underneath these aircraft is negatively affected. Over the last few years this situation has worsened, and even more so during the last few months. A group of citizens is banding together and they are saying out loud: “Stop the engines! Stop the pollution! Let us open our windows, enjoy our backyards, our parks and, most importantly, let us sleep at night!”.
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In the original French:
Il y a eu les expropriés de Mirabel, il y a aujourd’hui les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau, les nouvelles victimes de l’incurie fédérale en matière de transport aérien à Montréal. La présence d’un aéroport d’envergure en plein cœur de l’île de Montréal, le non-respect du couvre-feu par son gestionnaire, Aéroport de Montréal (ADM), et son laisser-aller quant aux corridors empruntés par les transporteurs accueillis viennent brimer la qualité de vie des citoyens habitant sur le trajet de leurs appareils. Devant une situation qui a dégénéré au cours des dernières années et qui a pris de l’ampleur depuis les derniers mois, un groupe de citoyens a décidé de crier haut et fort : « Wôw les moteurs! Arrêtez de nous polluer, laissez-nous ouvrir nos fenêtres, profiter de nos cours, de nos parcs et – surtout – laissez-nous dormir en paix ».”.
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Who we are

We started as a citizens group from the Montreal borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville and our first meeting was in mid 2012.

At the beginning, our group was called “Haut les Moteurs” but in May 2013, we incorporated our group and renamed it “Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau”. This was done in order to become better organized and increase the scope of our activities. Our new name emphasizes our situation and includes all adverse effects that citizens endure due to aircraft movement over their heads.

We welcome all citizens of the Montreal region within our ranks.

Our Advocacy

First there were the expropriated owners of Mirabel, now here are the “Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau”, the new victims of federal overreach in air transportation in Montreal. Montreal Trudeau Airport is centrally located on the island of Montreal. The administror, « Aéroport de Montréal (ADM) » does not respect no fly hours and is lax when it comes to flight paths followed by aircraft on approach or take-off. The quality of life of the citizens living underneath these aircraft is negatively affected. Over the last few years this situation has worsened, and even more so during the last few months. A group of citizens is banding together and they are saying out loud: “Stop the engines! Stop the pollution! Let us open our windows, enjoy our backyards, our parks and, most importantly, let us sleep at night!”. Our group aims to unify everyone living on the island of Montreal that is fed up with this situation. We want a real ban of air flights at night and a complete revision of flight paths taken by airplanes that land or take off from Trudeau airport: the goal being to reduce noise pollution on Montrealers as well as air pollution created by large airplanes at low altitude. (Note that studies have demonstrated that nitrous oxide emissions are greatest at take off and during flight in the troposphere and low stratosphere). When ADM decided without consultation to transfer regular international flights from Mirabel to Dorval in 1997 and later all charter flights and cargo in 2004, we were assured that a curfew would apply as follows:

  • No take-offs between 11:00pm and 7:00am for the loudest aircraft (e.g. Boeing 727) and no landings after 11:30 pm.
  • No take-offs between midnight and 7:00am for quieter aircraft (e.g. Airbus 319, 320, Boeing 747, 757, 767) and no landings after 1:00am.

We were assured that landings or take-offs between 1:00am and 7:00am would be for emergencies only, such as crash landings or organ transport. Moreover, only small aircraft (e.g. Regional Jets, Fokker 100) would be allowed to take off slightly before 7:00am. We were also told that, in 2010, noise levels generated by newer aircraft models would be lower by 66% than those in 1981. We were duped! With time, exemptions to the night curfew given by ADM have increased to include delayed flights due to bad weather or for reasons unforeseen by the transporter. Adding insult to injury, ADM has given permanent exemptions to some regular flights to depart before 7:00 am or to land after 1:00 am. No reasons were given. This lack of transparency makes us doubt as to whether there are any rules regarding a night curfew. ADM has a committee that is responsible for controlling noise levels since 1993. What has this committee done? Very little if you ask us!. Meanwhile, around the world (USA, UK, France) airports have extended no-fly curfews, increased the overall altitude of aircraft during landing, and/or modified landing procedures so as to RESPECT the citizens of the city they are serving. It is important to note that, in Montreal, several boroughs have lowered noise levels that are tolerated day and night. However, municipalities cannot legislate on noise created by aircraft. Thus, we have to take matters into our own hands. Our group intends to act by making people aware of this important issue.

In the meantime, we urge you to log your complaints to airport authorities as well as elected officials. 

More at http://lpdmt.org/qui-sommes-nous/

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Convoluted Brussels coalition and flightpath politics cause public furore

Thousands of people in Brussels are up in arms about a new overflight plan that started on 6th February, causing parts of the city subject to the thundering noise of planes using Brussels airport. The Belgian government has only a couple of weeks left to find a solution for a problem that dates back many, many years. As the airport is close to densely populated parts of the city, its flight paths would always over-fly a lot of people. The political choices of who should have to suffer the noise are complicated. Should the burden of the noise be shared between various areas? The flight path change is reported to be  because, with the May elections this year, Melchior Wathelet (Sec of State for Environment, Energy, Mobility etc) of the Francophone Christian Democtrats (cdH) decided to do a political favour for the party’s vice prime minister, Joelle Milquet, by tweaking the flight paths over some municipalities, to help with votes. The Wathelet Plan decision can be blocked, under the constitution, for 60 days. That ends at the start of July. It is likely to be the out-going coalition that makes the decision.  Lots of politics ….. parties will assess how the vote affects their political chances ….

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  • Some of the posters in Brussels against the Wathelet plan (Photo: Valentina Pop)

Brussels flightpath politics cause public furore

24.6.2014 (EU Observer)

  1. BY DIRK DE WILDE

BRUSSELS - Thousands of people living in Brussels are up in arms about a new overflight plan in place since February which has seen the east and west parts of the city subject to the thundering noise of planes taking off and landing at the busy nearby national airport.

Yet the Belgian government has only a couple of weeks left to find a solution for a problem that dates back many, many years.

It is complex task in a very complex political environment. Brussels Airport is located close to the city centre and thus in a densely populated area.

In whatever direction airplanes fly, a part of the population is always going to be affected by noise pollution.

Belgium has been discussing this for over a decade. Unfortunately for all concerned, there is no clean solution.

The big question is how the flights are spread, so that everybody around the airport takes a bit of the burden. Over the years various routes have been selected, tested, used and rejected.

While the issue has slipped up and down the political agenda over the past years, the 6 February entry into force of the new flight path over Brussels has once more brought it to the fore.

Posters dot Brussels protesting the new flight paths and they are a repeated topic of conversation for many residents.

The new overflight routes are down to a decision by state secretary for mobility Melchior Wathelet, a member of the francophone Christian Democrats (cdH). [ Centre démocrate humaniste (cdH)] 

With elections approaching in May – at the EU, regional and local level – Wathelet decided he wanted to do a political favour for the party’s vice prime minister, Joelle Milquet, who was candidate to become minister president for the Brussels region. It was a goal almost within her reach but she needed an extra push.

So Wathelet proposed tweaking the flight paths so that those living in Brussels – the capital has some 1.1 million inhabitants and around half are said to be affected by the noise of the planes – would be less affected.

That sounds reasonable enough on paper. But the reality was more complicated and led to immense squabbling. First of all among the French-speaking parties, who accused cdH of playing an electoral game as the municipalities where Milquet needed extra votes were favoured, to the detriment of municipalities not in cdH-territory.

Then the Flemish parties realised that Flanders would also take a hit. Brussels airport lies just outside the Brussels region, within the Flemish region.

So airplanes taking off and landing are either flying over Brussels or over Flanders.

Delaying tactics

From a legal point of view, Wathelet was entitled to change the routes, even though it was to help his cdH vice prime minister.

So his opponents had to be creative. That is why Flemish socal democrat (sp.a) vice prime minister Johan Vande Lanotte put the constitution to good use.

The document foresees a way for the Flemish government to temporarily block a decision by the federal government, if the decision contains a conflict of interest.

The decision is then blocked for 60 days – a time period that is coming to an end at the beginning of July.

The big advantage of this trick is that it postponed a definitive decision until after the elections.

Under the Wathelet-scenario the decision on the updated flight paths would have been taken just before the 25 May elections – the main reason for the change in the first place.

Now the decision and the implementation will fall in calmer times.

What that final decision will be, is hard to say. One thing is sure however – Wathelet’s plan for aiding Milquet did not play out well for them.

There was so much protest against their move, with many voters punishing them. Milquet did poorly in the elections, and has no chance of becoming minister president. She is now very close to the end of her political career.

In the hours following the publication of the election results, Milquet blamed Wathelet, claiming that without his “mistake” the party would have done better at the polls. This comment did not increase her popularity with voters.

Last point on the agenda

It’s highly unlikely that Belgium will have a new federal government in time to take the decision by the 60-day deadline.

So it will have to be the out-going coalition that decides. And the issue will certainly be less important than the machinations of forming a new government.

Each party in the old coalition will take any decision on flight paths in light of how it will potentially affect their chances of getting into the next governing coalition – favouring potential future allies and disfavouring political enemies.

So the complexity of Belgian politics will add to the complexity of the issue of overflights. As the signs within Brussels airport say: “Welcome to Belgium.”

http://euobserver.com/news/124681

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Article about the politics of Belgium, and the formation of the last coalition government.
2011

Belgium Gets Six-Party Coalition Government After Record 18-Month Standoff

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“Pas Question!” ["No Way!"] group in Brussels fights the hated Wathelet Plan flight path changes

On 6th February this year, Melchior Wathelet (Belgium’s secretary of state in charge of Environment, Energy and Mobility) introduced a plan that reorganizes the departure routes from Brussels airport in Zaventem. As a result of this “Wathelet Plan”, the majority of departing aircraft are routed over densely populated areas of central and southern Brussels. The changes are deeply controversial and deeply unpopular among the Brussels residents, who have not been intensively over-flown before. There is huge anger about the changes, and that the numbers over-flown are now far higher than before. On the plus side, some areas that were previously over-flown now have fewer flights. Now almost 18,000 residents have signed a petition to suspend the Wathelet Plan. Its opponents say it was introduced without any prior consultation with local residents, and that in other EU countries, such a consultation process is a regulatory requirement before any change to aircraft flight paths is made. An active group called “Pas Question!” – which means “No Way!” has formed, and they regard the new flight paths as nonsensical. They want the plan cancelled, and are convinced that an alternative policy is possible.

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