Over the weekend of 5th and 6th July , there will be another massive mobilisation at Notre Dame des Landes, against the planned new airport – to replace the existing Nantes airport. Thousands will attend from across France. There are around 200 support committees across the country, working to oppose the airport. Now there will be “convergences” from across France, where people are already setting out to walk to the protest. Others will travel, by bike, and many also by vehicle – having attended protest rallies in the areas from where they start. The chosen symbol for these marches, or “caravans” will be their walking sticks. Remembering the civil protests in the 1970s against a military camp at Larzac, those walking will bring with them a walking stick (engraved with their name, and the region from which they come), and the rhythmic noise of these clacking on the tarmac will be, as with the Larzac march to Paris in 1978, the sound signature of this part of the protest. Those who cannot complete the whole march will pass on their walking sticks as a relay, so they arrive at Notre Dame des Landes.
Message from the organizing team of the Convergence NDL 2014.
The next big rally against the National Ayraultport (Airport) project will take place at Notre Dame des Landes (NDL) on 5 and 6 July 2014. We want to make this gathering a festive time but certainly militant.
It will be to demonstrate that we are more determined than ever and massively mobilized with unfailing motivation against this totally unnecessary and against all GPII, against the devastation and grabbing agricultural land and biodiversity against a model of society imposed which does not suit us and leads us straight into the wall.
Along with the implementation of this gathering, we plan to organize the widest possible convergence NDL; with “caravans” (walking, bicycles, tractors, cars …), which would leave the main sites of struggle where the Great Unnecessary and Imposed Projects (GPII - les Grands Projets Inutiles et Imposés) and converge to NDL (organizing information meetings, gatherings, meeting in urban and rural crossings on the route) to arrive at the final rally.
The principle of this action was approved by the Coordination of opponents (with more than 50 organizations) and meeting support committees January 18, 2014 Fay de Bretagne.
We therefore appeal to you to see the conditions to complete this action.
To organize the convergence this summer, the convergence group await the support committee representatives from 9am during St. Peter in order to make the first contact for some and especially present the project.
THORENS-GLIÈRES (Near the Alps)
Départ de la marche vers Notre-Dame-des-Landes
Les marcheurs pour Notre-Dame-des-Landes sont partis hier en fin d’après-midi, en chantant. Les marcheurs pour Notre Dame des Landes s’apprêtent à partir en chanson.
Images of the posters from http://convergencesndl.over-blog.com/est.html
ENSEMBLE pour renforcer les actions contre les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposés (GPII), pour la préservation des terres et des emplois agricoles, pour un autre choix de société qui ne mettrait plus en danger la biodiversité et l’avenir des générations futures…
Faisons du prochain grand rassemblement national contre le projet d’aéroport des 5 et 6 juillet 2014 un moment d’informations et d’échanges militant et festif !
Nous ferons ENSEMBLE la démonstration que nous restons plus que jamais déterminés et massivement mobilisés.
Cette convergence est l’occasion, à partir des luttes locales, décentralisées sur tout le territoire, de populariser et de fédérer ces luttes.
Elle se traduira par différentes formes d’actions déterminées:
• “caravanes” (à pied, vélos, tracteurs, voitures…)
• points de rencontre, d’information
• meetings dans les villes et campagnes traversées pour arriver au moment du rassemblement final sur les terres de Bellevue le 4 juillet vers 19h00.
8 rassemblements décentralisés sont envisagés au week end du 28 et 29 juin ainsi que3 grandes convergences les 2 et 3 juillet.
6 grands parcours se dessineront à partir du 1°Juin.
Plus de 10 caravanes avec des étapes s’arrêteront dans des lieux symboliques de luttes.
Un grand mouvement , à travers toute la France se met en marche pour dénoncer l’artificialisation des terres agricoles et les grands projets nuisibles.
Tous les chemins convergent vers Notre Dame des Landes et son grand rassemblement des 5 et 6 Juillet 2014.
Vous souhaitez y participer en rejoignant une caravane: sur les onglets en haut vous avez les différentes caravanes (à vélo/à pied ou motorisées) avec les trajet pour trouver celle qui vous correspond le mieux. Vous avez un mail ou un numéro pour contacter les responsables, vous inscrire et obtenir des renseignements.
Vous ne pouvez pas suivre une caravane mais vous souhaitez participer? Rejoignez un des grands rassemblements proposés dans la région où vous êtes. Un numéro ou un mail est à disposition pour prendre contact. Vous pouvez aussi faire une ou deux étapes suivant vos disponibilités.
Pour toute information, contactez nous: email@example.com
Le symbole des convergences: Le Bâton
HISTOIRE DE BÂTON
2 décembre 1978, les paysans du Larzac finissent leur marche et arrivent à Paris.
Ils se sont appropriés le bâton des bergers du causse et, dans un silence impressionnant, ils avancent au rythme des bâtons qui frappent le bitume en cadence au devant des nombreux gardes mobiles qui les attendent.
Novembre 2013, Michel Tarin écrit : »J’irai avec mon bâton, avec les forces qui me restent et dans la non-violence, sur le terrain et nous le défendrons mètre carré par mètre carré ! Je n’utiliserai pas mon bâton pour cogner sur les forces de police mais, comme lorsque les copains du Larzac montaient à Paris, nous ferons résonner le chant de nos bâtons sur les terres de la ZAD pour les protéger du saccage programmé… »
Mai 2014, alors que s’organisent les convergences vers NDL, Michel émet l’idée que chaque personne apporte son bâton qui résonnera dans tous les lieux traversés jusqu’à la ZAD de NDL.
Nous avons repris son idée et fait du bâton le symbole de notre lutte.
Quant au bâton de Michel, il sera le 31 mai au rassemblement des Glières et sera rapporté, de mains en mains et de luttes en luttes, à NDL le 4 juillet.
Procurez-vous, fabriquez-vous un bâton de marche.
Le bois est recommandé. Méfiez-vous des contre-façons.
Gravez dans le bois votre nom ou surnom…votre département…la date…
Apportez ce bâton à NDL en le faisant résonner sur tous les lieux de lutte que vous traverserez.
Vous pouvez aussi vous en servir pour vous appuyer.
Si vous n’allez pas à NDL, confiez-le à une autre personne qui l’apportera jusqu’à l’étape suivante jusqu’à ce qu’il arrive à destination.
Larzac marches – 1978
from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_for_the_Larzac
“More ingenious tactics were soon put in play. On 25 October 1974, a flock of 60 sheep were transported to Paris and set to grazing on the Champ de Mars, right under the Eiffel Tower. To inquiring gendarmes, the shepherds explained that it was publicity for Roquefort cheese.
Earlier, a protest march on Paris had been triggered by the signature of the decree of expropriation in the public interest, on 26 December 1972. The march began on the following 7 January, with stops at Rodez, Saint-Flour, Clermont-Ferrand, Nevers and Orléans. At each stop, marchers were welcomed and lodged by local committees. Meetings, rallies, and press conferences were organised.
Police and local authorities were much less welcoming. The marchers were harassed at every stop-over. Finally, at Orléans, the procession was blocked by the CRS (French riot police) and their 26 tractors impounded. Bernard Lambert, leader of the Mouvement des Paysans Travailleurs (Working Peasant Movement), promptly arranged for the loan of 26 tractors belonging to farmers in the Orléans area, the CRS were outflanked, and the march proceeded to Paris.
A second Paris march began on 2 December 1978. 18 Larzac farmers walked 710 km in 25 stages. The CRS blocked the centre of Paris, but 40,000 supporters rallied on the outskirts, making the largest demonstration of the year.”
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Gatwick has produced a glossy document setting out how it will have fantastic road and rail links in place by 2021, that there will be no road or rail congestion, and everyone will have smoother and easier journeys. And at no cost to anyone. There are some stunning omissions. Most things that are inconvenient are just left out. They say “Gatwick will increase the cost efficiency in the rail industry by filling off-peak trains as well as providing passengers for trains operating in the opposite direction to peak commuter services. While it is estimated that, on the busiest trains, only 5% of travellers will be air passengers, the overall benefit they will bring will be around £3 billion in additional fare income.” Gatwick says: “Junction 9 of the M23 … will need to be upgraded to cater for expansion. Gatwick has committed to funding a doubling of this motorway junction capacity.” The only thing Gatwick has said it will pay for. Also: “we have re-designed the local road network to be no busier than it is today, even after a general increase in demand, which will lessen local noise and air quality effects of background traffic, benefit economic activity and the quality of life of those using and living along the affected roads.” Really? Who writes this stuff?
This is the presentation by Julia Gregory, of Gatwick, at the RunwaysUK conference on surface access, on 2nd June 2014. Gatwick R2: Julia Gregory, Head of Airport Development, Gatwick Airport, and transport consultant Hugh Sumner
LONDON GATWICK “ROAD AND RAIL READY” FOR SECOND RUNWAY BY 2021
2nd June 2014 (Gatwick Airport’s website)
Unveiling Gatwick Airport’s public transport improvements, Hugh Sumner, the mastermind behind London 2012’s transport infrastructure, said Gatwick will be “road and rail ready” for a second runway by 2021, with no additional cost to the taxpayer.
DOWNLOAD THE ‘GATWICK TRANSFORMING’ DOCUMENT
[The document only contains 1½ pages of text, but is a marvel of bizarre and unsubstantiated claims and wishful thinking. Definitely worth a look. Read and marvel !]
Transport improvements [none of which paid for by Gatwick - all funded by the tax payer] include:
- A train to central London every 2.5 minutes by 2019
- Rail capacity doubled by 2020, and nearly trebled by 2035
- New Gatwick Express trains in service by 2016
- Quicker journey times to the West End and City, than from Heathrow
- 15 million people brought within 60 minutes of Gatwick – more than any UK airport
- 1000 rail stations within one change, including links to all UK main rail lines, Crossrail and HS2.
- Planned upgrades to M25 and M23, including smart motorway system
A doubling of rail capacity by 2020 means 10,000 additional seats to the capital every hour, transforming rail services for both air passengers and local commuters. Other planned infrastructure improvements – such as Brighton Mainline re-signalling and junction replacements – will nearly treble capacity by 2035. These increases in capacity will see more people using Gatwick’s rail station than Charing Cross mainline or Piccadilly Circus today.
Hugh Sumner, senior transport advisor for London Gatwick said:
“Gatwick will be road and rail ready for a second runway by 2021 with no additional cost to the taxpayer. [?] The ease at which these improvements can be delivered adds yet more weight to the obvious case for a new runway at Gatwick.
“Gatwick already has the highest proportion of passengers travelling by public transport and these improvements will help encourage even more. We want 60% of our customers to use public transport, comparable with the best globally and better than any UK airport.”
Gatwick is already the UK’s best connected airport by rail, but by 2020 it will connect directly to 175 mainline stations and 1000 with a single change.
This will make it quicker and easier for people to get to the airport, including those living further afield in towns north and west of London1. For example, within 5 years, new direct services will link Gatwick to Cambridge and Peterborough, with further direct connections to cities like Oxford and to Milton Keynes also planned.
The improvements announced today will bring 15 million people – a quarter of the UK population – to within 60 minutes of Gatwick by 2019 – more than any other UK airport.
A second runway at Gatwick would also generate 22,000 jobs in the local area and the improved public transport links would open these opportunities up to over 1 million living within 25 miles of Gatwick who live in the 20% most deprived communities in England. These include areas along the south coast and in Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Hackney. [ie. they would have to commute to their jobs, using road or rail].
Brand new, faster trains
Capacity will be nearly doubled through new, longer and more frequent trains. The first improvements will be new, high quality carriages designed for airline travellers on the dedicated non-stop Gatwick Express service to London Victoria in 2016.
Additional new trains will then be rolled out on Thameslink services through Gatwick to London Bridge, Blackfriars, Farringdon and St Pancras/ King’s Cross and beyond.
All these services will arrive in the heart of London faster than services from Heathrow, even after Crossrail is in operation. Gatwick will link to Crossrail at Farringdon, HS2 at Old Oak Common and Crossrail 2 at Clapham Common in the future. None of these links require additional investment, unlike the Heathrow’s aspirations to link to HS2. [This means the taxpayer has already funded them, and Gatwick can get the benefit at no cost to itself].
More punctual, reliable and funded service
Major infrastructure improvements will also help to increase capacity and deliver a more punctual service. These include new platforms at East Croydon and Redhill and new track to separate fast and slow trains, both helping to reduce bottlenecks, and better signalling technology on Brighton mainline to improve resilience and reliability.
Not only do the public transport improvements place no additional burden on the taxpayer, Gatwick customers would actually help to make them viable by generating £3bn in rail ticket sales each year, and by helping to fill trains in both directions off peak and in the opposite direction to commuters in peak periods. [Which conveniently ignores the air passengers who are using the services at peak times, and increasing congestion and crowding].
Access to Gatwick by road is already being improved, with a comprehensive upgrade programme for the lower half of the M25 and the M23 in place, including smart motorway use with hard shoulder running.
The airport will be road ready for any additional passengers by 2021 should a second runway be built. The airport will also ensure that local road networks will be no busier than they are today, even after a general increase in demand. [How exactly?] This contrasts to Heathrow’s already congested roads and the need to impose a congestion charge.
In the coming months, Gatwick will also announce detailed plans for Gatwick Gateway – which will be one of the world’s most efficient airport transport hubs, getting passengers from platform to all terminals in just 2 minutes. The Government has already committed £50 million to help build a new station at Gatwick. [The government, not Gatwick].
The plans announced today formed part of Gatwick’s recent submission to the Airports Commission.
One of the slides from Julia Gregory’s presentation: others at link
And another, with a certain type of logic ….. map, which is intended to show that most of England, including areas far to the north, will have easier journeys to Gatwick than to Heathrow. [How about cheap holiday flights also from Luton, Stansted, Birmingham?]
Key milestones in Gatwick’s public transport improvements:
- Refurbishment of Platform 7, Gatwick Airport helping reduce delays
- Government awards Thameslink rail franchise, which will operate rail services to Gatwick from London and the South-East, to Govia.
- M25 improvements between junctions 5 and 7.
- Oyster Card and contactless payment introduced at Gatwick Airport
- Thameslink and Southern merge services under new Govia franchise.
- New, high quality trains introduced on the dedicated non-stop Gatwick Express service to London Victoria.
- Victoria Station improvements
- Redhill Station improvements, including new track and platform to reduce bottle necks on the line.
- New Thameslink trains in operation between Gatwick and London Bridge, Farringdon, St Pancras/ King’s Cross and beyond
- Introduction of longer, more frequent trains – moving from 14 peak hour trains from Gatwick to London to 18.
- Gatwick Airport Station redevelopment completed including new concourse.
- Controlled motorway improvements to M25 between junctions 7 and 8.
- Brighton Mainline re-signalling helping to improve reliability.
- New direct services introduced to Cambridge and Peterborough.
- Smart motorway improvements to M25 between junctions 8 and 10
- Up to 24 trains per peak an hour from Gatwick to London.
- Almost all trains leaving Gatwick made up of 12 carriages.
- Further improvements deliver nearly treble capacity from 2012 levels to 45,000 seats per peak hour
About Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for around 35 million passengers a year on short- and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South-East region, generating around 23,000 on-airport jobs and a further 13,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is 28 miles south of London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express.
Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.
This is the main text of the glossy Gatwick leaflet:
EXISTING SCHEMES WILL BE A ROAD AND RAIL
REVOLUTION FOR GATWICK
Gatwick road and rail access will start transforming over the coming years through funded
schemes such as Thameslink. Passengers will start to see the benefits very quickly and progressive improvements will mean that Gatwick will be ‘second runway ready’ by road and rail by 2021 whatever the decision by the Davies Commission. By 2030 capacity and frequency of services will be better still.
- All improvements planned or funded requiring no additional taxpayer contribution
- New Gatwick Express trains in service
- Train to Central London every 2.5 minutes
- Gatwick’s rail capacity nearly tripled, frequency of trains doubled
- Directly connected to 175 stations and more than 1,000 stations with just one change
- Connected to every major rail upgrade including Crossrail and HS2
- Shorter journey times to the West End and The City than Heathrow
- No requirement to tunnel the M25, turn it into a 14-lane motorway, or introduce congestion charging.
RAIL: MORE CONNECTIONS,
MORE REACH, BETTER SERVICES
The transformation of Gatwick will provide people with higher quality services, to and from more places, allowing them to travel with greater ease.
Gatwick is well connected to the North, South, East and West and has a huge reach. 3.2 million people live within 30 minutes of the airport and all of London’s population and almost 15 million of the UK population lives within around 60 minutes.
Gatwick already offers direct rail services to 129 stations from Southampton, through London, to Bedford. By 2035, Gatwick’s rail capacity will be nearly tripled, with the frequency of trains almost doubled. There will soon be a train to Central London every 2.5 minutes and the overall journey time into the heart of London’s business district will be faster and more frequent than that from Heathrow, even after Crossrail is in operation.
The reach of rail services will be extended to serve 175 stations directly, including Oxford, Cambridge and Peterborough and more than 1,000 stations with one change. The dedicated non-stop Gatwick Express service will be transformed with brand new, high quality trains between London Victoria and the airport.
Not only is Gatwick well connected today, travel times to key destinations in London are shorter than other airports:
- Westminster and the West End through Victoria and the
Business District through London Bridge in 30 minutes;
- Crossrail at Farringdon, and international services at
St Pancras and King’s Cross in under 40 minutes;
- The financial services centre of Canary Wharf and
the South Bank at Waterloo in 40 minutes.
Journey times to and from the airport from within the UK will
be an average of around 60 minutes compared to Heathrow’s
70 minute average.
“THE OVERALL JOURNEY TIME INTO
THE HEART OF LONDON’S BUSINESS
DISTRICT WILL BE FASTER AND
MORE FREQUENT THAN THAT FROM
HEATHROW, EVEN AFTER CROSSRAIL
IS IN OPERATION”
Gatwick will be an airport connected to and serving the whole nation. Gatwick will connect to Crossrail at Farringdon — and the planned Crossrail2 at Clapham Junction — and HS2 services via Old Oak Common. The improved train networks mean that Gatwick is within one change of all the main UK inter-city rail lines, including:
- Great Western (Bristol, Wales and the South West);
- West Coast Mainline (Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow);
- Midland Mainline (Sheffield, Nottingham, and Derby);
- East Coast Mainline (Leeds, Newcastle, and Edinburgh).
Gatwick will increase the cost efficiency in the rail industry by filling off-peak trains as well as providing passengers for trains operating in the opposite direction to peak commuter services.
While it is estimated that, on the busiest trains, only five per cent of travellers will be air passengers, the overall benefit they will bring will be around £3 billion in additional fare income.
ROADS: BETTER ACCESS,
Gatwick will help communities address highway junction and
other road improvements where growth will have an effect on
traffic demand Access to Gatwick Airport by road is already
being improved — a comprehensive upgrade programme for the
lower half of the M25 and the M23 is in place. Junction 9 of the
M23, however, will need to be upgraded to cater for expansion.
Gatwick has committed to funding a doubling of this motorway
Where growth is predicted to have an effect on traffic demand, Gatwick will help communities with highway junction and road improvements where they are needed.
Similarly, we have re-designed the local road network to be no busier than it is today, even after a general increase in demand, which will lessen local noise and air quality effects of
background traffic, benefit economic activity and the quality of life of those using and living along the affected roads.
An airports system with a two-runway Gatwick and a two-runway Heathrow will disperse passengers over a much wider and extensive range of roads and railways resulting in less
congestion, more reliable and more comfortable journeys.
BY 2019, THERE WILL BE A TRAIN TO
CENTRAL LONDON EVERY 2.5 MINUTES
GATWICK GATEWAY STATION
The new state-of-the-art Gatwick Gateway will create a single, simple and swift transport
interchange — a ‘front door’ serving the whole airport.
The new Gatwick Gateway will provide easy access to the heart of the airport. Because of
its easy-to-navigate layout, Gatwick will offer faster connections and a better experience for
passengers and staff whether they arrive by train, bus, car, bicycle, or on foot.
The airport has already undergone a significant transformation, and improvements already
planned mean it will take passengers only two minutes to move from the airport’s gateway to all terminals..
SHARING THE BENEFITS
Expanding Gatwick would be best for the UK
economy as a whole. A second runway at
Gatwick will contribute to this rebalancing of
London’s economy, providing linkages and
connectivity to areas that have been earmarked
for regeneration or have capacity for growth
such as Croydon, Lewisham and Bromley.
Expansion at Gatwick would attract new
businesses creating an additional 120,000
jobs across London and the South East. Up
to 22,000 of these new jobs will be created
directly at the airport and the excellent rail
links will connect some of the most deprived
boroughs and towns in England to those jobs.
This will stimulate economic growth in these
locations – around one million people within
the 20% most deprived communities in the
South East live within 25 miles of Gatwick
— and help generate more balanced growth
across the region
. A slide from Michele Dix’s (from TfL) presentation Link
And another slide from Michele Dix, indicating the extra pressure on surface transport, at peak times, from another runway being allowed at Heathrow or Gatwick Link
Heathrow and Gatwick set out their rival claims at RunwaysUK conference on airport surface access
The organisation, RunwaysUK, which describes itself as a neutral platform for debate on the rival runway schemes, held an interesting and productive half day conference on surface access to airports. There were accounts by Heathrow, Gatwick, Heathrow Hub and the Thames estuary scheme proposers of their plans for road and rail access, as well as contributions by TfL, Network Rail and others with an interest. It is recognised that adding a runway in the south east would come with immense transport strains on existing transport infrastructure. In order to meet requirements on the amount of passengers (and staff) using the airport to be by public transport, the airports know they cannot depend on road access alone. The pressure of extra passengers on networks that are already stretched, especially at peak times, is recognised – though Gatwick and Heathrow do their best to say their passengers will add little, and merely make rail services more profitable out of peak hours. Vexed issues remain of how much the taxpayer pays for transport services the airports benefit from, and what the cost of added congestion to road and rail services – from millions of extra air passengers being added – would cost the economy.
Click here to view full story…
Gatwick hopes its claim will be believed that area’s road network will ‘better than or the same’ with 2nd runway
Gatwick airport’s publicity machine is saying the area’s road network would be left ‘better than or the same’ if a second runway was built at Gatwick. It is claiming its planned infrastructure improvements will make it ‘road and rail ready’ by 2021 for a new runway. And “with no additional cost to the taxpayer.” They want to “create a regional transport hub to help drive economic growth across the entire area.” Works on a new junction on the A24 are due to start now and could last 18 months, while roadworks have been ongoing on the A23 near Handcross since 2011. Gatwick’s spokesman, Hugh Sumner, said of the local road network’s ability to cope with any additional strain: “Our commitment is we are going to leave the road systems working better than or the same in 2050.” But the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), which opposes a 2nd runway, questioned the contents of the transport document. Brendon Sewill, chair of GACC, said: “The document published by [Gatwick Airport Limited] contains 10% inaccuracies, 20% inconsistencies, and 50% wishful thinking.” TfL appreciate the huge strain a new Gatwick runway will place on surface transport networks, which Gatwick is attempting to gloss over.
Level playing field on transport costs vital to proper assessment of runway options – says TfL
By contrast to the Gatwick spin, above, figures from Transport for London (TfL) paint a different picture. The issue of surface access to airports was the subject of the RunwaysUK conference on 2nd June. Michèle Dix, planning director of Transport for London, said that the costs for surface access for each of the runway options must be assessed against a level playing field of criteria.
Michèle said it was vital that estimates by runway promoters reflected that actual needs of transport in the capital. “You need to compare like with like. What are the true and full costs of accommodating this additional demand? If airports are placing a greater demand on the network then we need a greater transport provision.”
TfL predictions are that the extra demand, due to Gatwick, at peak times (per hour) would be 6,800 extra using public transport, and 5,500 extra by road if Gatwick filled a second runway The extra demand, due to Heathrow, at peak times would be 9,200 extra using public transport and 7,500 extra by road if Heathrow filled a 3rd runway.
TfL estimated that comparable “optimal” investment level of investment needed – the total package of transport schemes required to deliver an optimal level of surface transport access – for Heathrow was £17.6bn, Gatwick £12.4bn (and an Inner Thames Estuary airport £19.1bn). 10.6.2014
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Machu Picchu is one of the world’s great spectacles, and the numbers of tourists visiting it has risen – 2.3 million in 2011. Now the existing airport of Cusco Velazco Astete is said to be filling up, so another larger airport is planned, at nearby Chinchero. The plan is for a 4,000 metre runway, able to cater for planes as large as the A380. Construction of a new airport is going ahead despite local concerns over corruption and the environmental impacts such a large project could have on the delicate mountaintop ecosystem of Peru’s Sacred Valley. The Peruvian president backs the project, with claims it will boost tourism, create jobs and permit modernization. The new airport’s detractors say that sort of tourist volume is more than the region can handle sustainably. At Machu Picchu, the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism. Officials already limit the number of visitors to 3,500 people daily in order to satisfy UNESCO, which has designated the ruins a World Heritage Site. They fear the new airport will destroy the things the tourists have come to see. Others wonder what the effect might be on Lima if it gets by-passed. The airport might be open by 2017.
Machu Picchu Airport Plan Stirs Concerns In Peru
Construction of a new airport near the famed ruins of Machu Picchu is going ahead despite local concerns over corruption and the environmental impacts such a large project could have on the delicate mountaintop ecosystem of Peru’s Sacred Valley.
Planned for Chinchero, between Machu Picchu and Cusco, the new airport has the blessing of Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, who says the $460 million project will boost tourism, create jobs and “permit modernization,” The Telegraph reports.
The current Cusco airport, Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, “only operates with limited daytime flights,” The Telegraph reported in 2012, “and is limited by its location in a city, surrounded by hills. Large aircraft cannot fly into the facility.”
An atmospheric video introducing new airport, which would be named Chinchero-Cusco International Airport, suggest that it would be able to accommodate Airbus A380 and Boeing 757 aircraft, both of which can seat hundreds of passengers.
The new airport’s detractors say that sort of tourist volume is more than the region can handle sustainably, citing an already overwhelming number of arrivals to Cusco and other Sacred Valley towns.
At Machu Picchu, arrivals have surged from 1.7 million in 2010 to 2.3 million in 2011, according to the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism. Officials already limit the number of visitors allowed into the Machu Picchu site to 3,500 people daily in order to satisfy UNESCO, which has designated the ruins a World Heritage Site.
But the problems with the new Chinchero airport don’t end with the sheer number of arrivals, writes journalist Nicholas Asheshov. “The airport is not even needed, even if it were to be, in the words of Roger Valencia, Cusco’s top guide and thoughtful ecologist, ‘properly managed.’”
Asheshov wrote in an article in the Peruvian magazineCaretas. “But, again, as everyone here knows, it will be badly done. The quality of the regional and municipal administrations of Cusco and Urubamba, of which Chinchero is a district, is Third World incompetent with a well-entrenched tradition of corruption.”
Asheshov and other locals in the tourism industry worry that making it easier for tourists to get here will only destroy the things they’ve come to see. “The Sacred Valley has become a conurbation of million-dollar maize fields among the hotels,” Asheshov writes.
Others in the tourism industry wonder what the effect might be on Lima and its attractions, if passengers bypass the Peruvian capital in favor of a direct flight to Machu Picchu and its surrounding tourism bounty.
Peruvian news reports suggest the new airport could be open for business by 2017.
Three Consortia Submit Bids for Chinchero Airport Contract
23.4.2014 (Peruvian Times)
Three consortia submitted proposals on Tuesday to build and operate a new international airport in Peru’s southern Andean region of Cusco.
The 40-year contract to build and operate the airport in the sleepy town of Chinchero is to be awarded on Friday by private investment promotion agency ProInversion. The initial cost of the project is estimated to be around $539 million, but the investment could rise to $658, depending on expansions and other works, ProInversion said in a statement.
The consortia —Aeropuerto Chinchero, Kuntur Wasi and Aeroportuario Imperial— submitted their technical and economic proposals for the contract.
ProInversion reported that the Aeropuerto Chinchero consortium is made up of construction company Grana y Montero SA, and the French-based Vinci Airports SAS and Vinci Concessions SAS (Vinci Airports is also bidding for the Santiago de Chile airport). The consortium Kuntur Wasi includes the Argentine firm Corporacion America SA and Andino Investment Holding SA of Peru, which in 2011 won the bid to operate and maintain six airports in southern Peru. The third consoritum is Aeroportuario Imperial is made up of Grupo Odinsa SA of Colombia and Mota Engil Peru SA of Portugal.
The airport will be built in the district of Chinchero, which is home to a community of about 12,000 people, Quechua-speaking farmers with rich, world-recognized traditions in textile weaving. The airport is to replace Cusco’s current airport, which is located in the city of Cusco about 35 kms away. Chinchero likes at 3780 meters above sea level (12,400 ft) whereas the current airpot is several hundred feet lower, at 11,200 ft.
Plans to build an airport at Chinchero, to expand facilities for the now hundreds of thousands tourists that visit the nearby Machu Picchu ruins every year, has been on the drawing board since the early 1970s.
Critics of the Chinchero airport project say that it is a poorly devised plan that will destroy the historical town and the stunning landscapes of the surrounding valley, while also posing serious technical problems due to wind and fog factors as well as its higher altitude than the current Cusco airport.
Peru’s President Ollanta Humala has unveiled plans for a new airport near Cusco which he says will boost tourism to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and the surrounding region.
The current airport, which is only able to handle limited daytime flights, was not sufficient, Mr Humala said.
The government will invest $460m (£290m) in the project, he said.
Machu Picchu is Peru’s top tourist attraction but there are concerns over the impact of high visitor numbers.
“This new airport will not only mean more tourists will be able to come, but it will generate more jobs… and help surrounding communities,” President Humala said.
At a ceremony on Wednesday, he enacted a law that allows the expropriation of land in the town of Chinchero where the new international airport would be built.
The investment would help the government to tackle poverty, he said, “while always respecting ancient culture”.
Tourism is the main source of income in the region.
Machu Picchu is a world heritage site and the UN’s cultural agency, Unesco, has previously warned about uncontrolled access and urged the authorities to make conservation a priority.
Currently, entrance to Machu Picchu is limited to some 2,500 visitors a day, amid concerns about the impact on the environment and citadel.
Cusco is the main starting point for visitors wishing to visit the site, who can make the 112km (70 mile) journey either on foot or via bus and train.
The citadel of Machu Picchu, located 2,500m (8,200ft) above sea level, was built in the 15th Century by the Incas.
It was rediscovered in 1911 by US historian Hiram Bingham.
Chinchero Cusco International Airport
Chinchero Cusco International Airport is an airport project located near Cusco, Peru. The airport is being constructed as demand for nearby Velasco Astete Airport has steadily increased.
Peru’s Minister of Transport and Communications stated construction of Chinchero Cusco International Airport would commence in 2013. The estimated (initial) investment amount was USD420 million, later increased to USD500 million. The comprehensive project involves the design, construction, financing, administration, operation, maintenance and exploitation of the New Chinchero-Cusco International Airport. This concession, with a term of 30 or 40 years, will be self-sustaining. The estimated award date is 4Q2013. Recently, Macchu Picchu (Cusco) became one of the new seven wonders of the world, and is currently one of the most important cultural destination worldwide (1.5 million visitors per year). The government will close down the exisiting airport (Velasco Astete) once this project is completed in four to five years. Reports suggest interest from 16 interested groups containing 27 firms, who may invest up to USD2-3 billion in the project, more then four times the anticipated amount.
Sep-2013. The construction and operation concession award has been delayed to “1H2014″, according to Deputy Transport Minister Alejandro Chang.There are a number of studies, including feasibility, which must be approved.
Feb-2014. The construction and operation tender is reportedly attracting interest from seven unnamed parties, while the project is expected to require a USD539 million investment which could rise to USD658 million with future expansion. The concession is expected to be awarded in Feb-2014.
The construction and operation tender award will be postponed from 28-Feb-2014 to 25-Apr-2014, due to a delay in relocating power lines at the future airport’s site. Bidders which have pre-qualified for the project will be known before then, and the list of bidders and final concession contract is expected to be presented to Peru’s Comptroller General in early Mar-2014. Consortia may be modified until 08-Apr-2014.
Mar-2014. The airport stated its construction and concession timetable will not be changed and the dates for submission of technical and economic studies by bidders and the award of the concession remain 22-Apr-2014 and 25-Apr-2014, respectively, as confirmed by Peru’s investment promotion agency ProInversion. The project will required an initial USD538 million investment, increasing to USD658 million with the inclusion of further renovations once the airport begins operations.
The Transport Ministry confirmed the construction and operation concession will be awarded 25-Apr-2014 “without further delay”. The Ministry plans to ensure “all obstacles” to the construction of the facility on the proposed site are relocated before construction begins. As previously reported the project will require an initial USD538 million investment, which increases to USD658 million when including further renovations once operations begin, and is expected to be complete by 2018 or 2019.
Apr-2014. The airport will have capacity for up to five million passengers p/a once its construction is complete, and up to eight million passengers p/a in the “long term”, according to Peru’s Minister of Transport and Communications Carlos Paredes.
Chinchero Cusco International Airport (AICC) received technical proposals from three consortiums for its construction tender. Seven pre-qualified bidders submitted applications.
Construction works will include a 40,000sqm terminal building and 4000m runway, as well as general and commercial aviation aprons and taxiways, as confirmed by Peru’s Transport Ministry. The terminal will have capacity for 4.5 million passengers p/a with possible further expansion to 5.7 million passengers p/a. Construction is expected to commence in the coming months once wells and reservoirs are relocated and engineering studies are completed, though no exact date was specified. The airport’s 40-year construction and operation concession was awarded to the Kuntur Wasi consortium of Argentina‘s Corporacion America and Peru’s Andino Investment Holding, who will invest USD538 million to bring the project online, which could increase to a USD658 million investment once further expansion is included.
There are pressures for those wanting jobs and economic development to back the airport. Link claiming those against it want to keep the south of Peru poor.
By Nicholas Asheshov
✐ OP-ED Special to the Peruvian Times ☄
From some dusty official shelf, the burghers of Cusco have created a billion-dollar nightmare, the Chinchero airport.
Thousands of tourists travel every day across this patchwork kaleidoscope of thousands of rolling acres of ancient potato and quinoa fields and grazing land, with oxen-drawn ploughs attended by Quechua family groups. The tourists are on their way to Machu Picchu and already they are absorbing the medieval mystery of a great, little-known civilization. They are in the cloud kingdom of the Incas.
It is a great sight. The Chinchero massif is dominated by a jewel of a colonial church atop an Inca palazzo and terraces, with an Indian town below that was the setting for Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s 1971 classic “The Last Great Picture Show”.
Indian weavers and their agriculturalist menfolk are today’s inheritors of a two thousand year tradition.
This will all be destroyed the day the bulldozers and dump trucks move in, watched by the sad, bleak snow peaks, a few miles away, of the cordilleras above Machu Picchu . The inhabitants of Chinchero know it. Everyone in Cusco knows it. Most of them know, too, that the airport is not even needed, even if it were to be, in the words of Roger Valencia, Cusco’s top guide and thoughtful ecologist, “properly managed.”
But, again, as everyone here knows, it will be badly done. The quality of the regional and municipal administrations of Cusco and Urubamba, of which Chinchero is a district, is Third World incompetent with a well-entrenched tradition of corruption. It is not for lack of cash, though. Cusco gets more than a billion dollars just from Camisea gas royalties, and much more these days from tourism, which is booming.
But the crowded roads are thin and poorly designed. All three of the heavy-duty bridges into the Valle Sagrado have collapsed. The Vilcanota River leaves an embarrassing flotsam of plastic, raw sewage and chemicals as it surges through deep canyons past silent stone terraces on its way to Machu Picchu. The previous President of the Cusco Region is in jail for theft and today’s Mayor of Urubamba was thrown out by the authorities for corruption, and then promptly re-elected.
Forget the Ministry of Culture, the former Instituto Nacional de Cultura, whose Cusco office is a 3,000-strong gorilla. The Environment Ministry is just a butterfly flapping its wings, here as elsewhere in the country. These are the people who have encouraged the runaway growth of the illegal slum of Machu Picchu pueblo, Aguas Calientes, home to carpet-baggers and scalpers.
The INC has, even worse, overseen the virtual destruction of Ollantaytambo. This once noble stone-built Inca town has been a screaming traffic jam of tourist buses and heavy trucks since Perurail was allowed to turn the tiny country station into its terminus for the million tourists it takes to Machu Picchu, 25 miles down valley.
The Sacred Valley has become a conurbation of million-dollar maize fields among the hotels and weekend dachas.
The World Bank and the Finnish government have washed their hands of their Save the Vilcanota and Save Machu Picchu projects.
As if it mattered, the airport is a sleazy financial disaster for nearly all the 12,000 inhabitants of Chinchero, most of whom are Quechua-speaking comuneros. In a deal that was quietly railroaded through at the turn of the year, S/.138mn ($56mn) was handed to a group of under three percent of Chinchero’s inhabitants.
That’s it. That is what Chinchero will receive for being destroyed. The scheme is so badly designed that this cash S/.138mn has gone to just 426 people, the ones who happen to own the 350 hectares, out of the district’s 70,000, where the airstrip is to be laid.
This is the comunidad of Yanacona which, a couple of days after the money from the Regional Government was received, was taken over by Humberto Huaman, who won by 326 against 325 votes. Humberto had just been sentenced to four years’ jail, suspended, for problems when he was alcalde of Chinchero three years ago. Huaman is a member of Tierra y Libertad, a son of Shining Path. He will be helping the Yanacona folks to share out S/11mn in communal cash.
Half of the Yanacona owners, despite the S/.138mn windfall, voted against. “The old men, none of them wanted to sell,” says the alcalde of Chinchero, Juan Carlos Gomez. A bright, engaging 32-year-old, Gomez lives in Chinchero with his mum, and is trying to save what he can of Chinchero.
A further S/.48mn has gone to another district, Raachi, for the purchase of their land for the northern end of the runway. This means that the Cusco government has already put down $74mn in buying ancient potato fields and rough grazing land. They have achieved the impressive feat of grossly overpaying for a patch of some of the world’s highest agricultural land and cheating, at the same time, most of the people involved.
The present Cusco airport, at 3,300 m.a.s.l., lies on 240 valuable hectares. It will last for another dozen, maybe 20, years with modest extensions of the runway and handling facilities, Corpac officials here tell me. They have already bought the lights for night flying.
Chinchero is 400m higher, a lot at these altitudes This means that Chinchero will not be able to handle direct flights from the United States, much less Europe.
During the December-to-April rains, Chinchero is usually in the clouds. I have to drive through with my lights on high beam on the way to Cusco. Most nights the temperature is below freezing. Hailstorms hit Chinchero on 150 days of the year.
In contrast, the Pampa de Anta, several hundred meters lower, the same height as Cusco itself and 20 minutes nearer to Cuzsco, is a much less damaging choice and used to be a lake. You could land a plane on it tomorrow, not the case with the rolling potato fields of Chinchero.
Before they rush into a non-urgent Chinchero disaster, someone should solve the overcrowding at Machu Picchu, which is even worse than the official computers suggest, as INC people often run rackets selling the same tickets twice.
In Chinchero, Alcalde Juan Carlos Gomez is from another deck of cards to today’s Cusco and Urubamba authorities. He is a lively, studious and seasoned politician and administrator who talks readily about a reasonable solution to an impossible problem.
He says, “I have asked the Prime Minister and other members of the cabinet to form a top-level commission to try to ensure that the ecological resources and cultural traditions of Chinchero are protected.”
He adds: “In Cusco, no one wants to talk to me.”
Nicholas Asheshov lives in Urubamba. A veteran journalist, noted explorer and entrepreneur, he was editor of the Peruvian Times from 1969 to 1990.
This article was first published in Spanish in Caretas magazine this week.
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Gatwick airport is consulting on future changes to flight paths. The consultation is long, complicated and almost incomprehensible to the average lay person. It is very hard indeed for those to be over flown, with no experience of aircraft noise, to understand. The proposals could have a serious impact on many towns and villages around the airport, and potentially affect an area from Guildford to Tunbridge Wells and from Petworth to Sevenoaks. Now GACC has called on all parish councils and town councils around Gatwick airport to hold public meetings to enable residents to understand and discuss the new flight paths proposed by the airport. If the parish or town is not affected by the new flight paths, then GACC suggest that a meeting should be held to discuss the proposals for a new runway. John Byng, Vice chairman of GACC, said: ‘Many people are telling us that the flight path document is difficult to understand. The proposals affect each area differently, so we believe that local meetings are the best answer.’ GACC will be asking for a simpler version of the consultation to be sent to all those under the new flight path, and for maps showing the full length of the new flight paths, not merely below 4,000 feet.
New flight paths
31.5.2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)
Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) have launched a consultation on their plans to redraw many of the flight paths around Gatwick. The document is at www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation
These proposals could have a serious impact on many towns and villages around the airport, and we advise you to study them carefully. The new flight paths will potentially affect an area from Guildford to Tunbridge Wells and from Petworth to Sevenoaks.
GACC is extremely concerned about these proposals which could represent the biggest change in the noise impact of Gatwick for a generation.
We will need to take time to study them in detail but our initial reaction is that -
1. Any change in flight paths causes great distress and anger because the previous peace is shattered, expectations of future peace are destroyed, houses are devalued and people are unable to move and feel imprisoned. People have paid extra for houses that are not on flight paths only to find that new flight paths are being created – without compensation.
2. One of the main motivations is GAL’s desire to get more aircraft off the runway, and thus to make a larger profit.[i] There is no need for extra flights when Stansted is only half full.
3. The consultation covers too small an area because disturbance is experienced far beyond the noise contours, particularly in areas where background noise is low. It is a disgrace that no maps are given showing the full length of the new flight paths.[ii]
4. No details are given of the new point-merge system for arriving aircraft which will affect much of East and West Sussex, and part of Kent.[iii]
5. A risk is that this consultation will set community against community. Anger should be directed at the airport, not at your neighbours.
6. The airspace is being redesigned in ignorance of what causes disturbance. The necessary research has not been done. For example, there is no evidence that concentration will cause less disturbance than dispersal. Ten flights an hour over one person may cause as much annoyance as one flight an hour over ten people.
7. The proposed new flight paths all relate to the existing runway. If ever a new Gatwick runway were to be built, all the flight paths will need to be revised, with new flight paths over areas at present peaceful. So why cause extra hassle now, when there is no urgent need for change?
8. The 60 page consultation document[iv] is written in technical language and is difficult for lay people to understand. GACC will be asking for a simpler version to be sent to all those under the new flight paths, and for public meetings to be held so that people can understand what is proposed.
[i] GAL is a private company owned by overseas investors.
[ii] The reason is that this consultation is being conducted by Gatwick Airport Ltd which is responsible for flight paths below 4,000 feet. NATS (National Air Traffic Services) is responsible for flights above that height.
[iii] Presumably because this new procedure would apply to aircraft above 4,000 feet.
[iv] 120 pages including maps.
Gatwick flight path changes revealed as 12 week airspace consultation launched
Gatwick airport has started another consultation on changes to its flight paths. This will last for 12 weeks and end on 15th August. The earlier “consultation” done by Gatwick, that ended on 15th May did not include any flight path details, which many who attended the exhibitions found frustrating. Gatwick’s consultation is complex and not intended to be easy for a non-expert to understand. It is rich in acronyms and jargon, that is not properly explained. One could conjecture that making the consultation so hard to understand is deliberate. At its heart the consultation is about Gatwick managing to get more planes using its current flight paths, with changes to get planes taking off separating earlier, so more planes can use the runway with shorter intervals between them. There remains the issue of whether the noise should be concentrated down narrow routes, or dispersed in “swathes” of several kilometres. The Noise Preferential Routes, for planes below 3,000 feet or 4,000 feet, are meant to be routes where the least noise nuisance is caused. However, planes above 4,000 feet are still a real noise irritation. Gatwick’s proposals for more planes on more routes will mean many more people being exposed to a lot more plane noise, either way.
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