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Work on terminal extension at Bristol airport, to increase passenger numbers, to start in September

Bristol airport  has announced its plans to increase the size of its terminal building. The airport was granted permission for its £120 million expansion plans more than 3 years ago in the face of fierce opposition from some local residents. The scheme has been put largely on hold as a result of the recession. Parts of the work have been carried out and now the airport is planning to extend its terminal building. The work will start in early September, and they hope it will be completed by summer 2015.  Other improvements will eventually include a new hotel and a new public transport interchange. The airport deals with around 6 million passengers per year and the aim is to increase the total to 10 million. The airport now has as many passengers as before the recession.  A  new £6.5 million central walkway which is designed to ease congestion at peak travel times has just been completed. Bristol airport hopes to get the new generation of jets flying direct to long-haul destinations in Latin America and the Far East.
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Terminal expansion to go on at Bristol Airport

 August 13, 2014

By Michael Ribbeck (Bristol Post)

Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport

BRISTOL Airport has announced it is to press ahead with its plans to increase the size of its terminal building. The airport was granted permission for its £120 million expansion plans more than three years ago in the face of fierce opposition from some local residents.

But the huge scheme has been put largely on hold as a result of the recession. Parts of the work have been carried out and now the airport is planning to extend its terminal building.

Other improvements will eventually include a new hotel and a new public transport interchange.

At the moment the airport deals with around six million passengers a year and the aim is to increase the total to ten million.

As reported in the Bristol Post trade has picked up at Lulsgate in recent months and is back to the levels that were seen before the recession.

A brand new £6.5 million central walkway which is designed to ease congestion at peak travel times has just been completed.

And the extension of the terminal building is expected to be finished by summer 2015.

The new walkway has space for four pre-boarding zones serving six departure gates and has been designed to take into account the latest generation of twin-engine, wide-body jets, such as the Boeing 787.

It is hoped that the new generation of jets will allow people to fly from Bristol direct to long-haul destinations in Latin America and the Far East.

Construction of an eastern terminal extension will begin in September.

The £8.6 million project is the first major expansion of the terminal building since it opened in 2000.

The development is expected to lead to the addition of more shops and create more space for existing retailers.

It will also see the installation of hundreds of additional seats in the departure lounge and include a second executive lounge facility. Behind the scenes, it will deliver an improved baggage processing area, while other features including an outdoor terrace for passengers.

Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “The central walkway sets a new benchmark for passenger facilities at Bristol Airport and the eastern terminal extension will raise the bar higher again.

“This significant investment demonstrates our ambition to become the airport of choice for passengers across the South West and South Wales.

“High quality infrastructure will also make Bristol Airport even more attractive to airlines, helping to extend the choice of destinations available – including long haul services to North America and the Middle East in future.”

Other improvements in recent years include a second immigration point, additional security search channels and three new aircraft stands.

Bristol Airport is the UK’s fifth largest airport outside London and the ninth largest in the UK, handling 6.1 million passengers in 2013.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/BRISTOL-Airport-announced-press-ahead-plans/story-22709646-detail/story.html

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Bristol Airport terminal extension announced

The airport’s future plans include extending the west terminal and building an on-site hotel
13.8.2014 (BBC)

Bristol Airport has announced £8.6m plans for an extension to its eastern terminal building which is scheduled to be fully open by next summer.

It will be the first major expansion of the terminal building since it opened in 2000 and is expected to deliver an improved baggage processing area.

The announcement follows the opening of the £6.5m central walkway, designed to ease congestion at peak times.

An outdoor terrace will be built for passengers waiting to board flights.

The central walkway and eastern terminal extension are part of adevelopment of the airport, with overall planning approval in place for facilities to handle 10 million passengers a year.

During 2013 the airport handled 6.1 million passengers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-28769374

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Heatwave blamed for record number of complaints about Heathrow noise

Heathrow anti-noise group, HACAN, says nearly 300 people contacted it during July to complain about aircraft noise, more than three times the monthly average. The weather was warm in the south east in July, with a good summer. That means people spent more time outside, and they slept with windows open. That led to even more awareness of aircraft noise than there is in cooler weather. The record number of noise complaints was due to a combination of warm temperatures and a record 6.97 million passengers using Heathrow during July. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN said:  “It puts into perspective Heathrow’s current consultation on compensation if a 3rd runway is ever built. You simply can’t compensate people for the disturbance of planes thundering over as they sit in their gardens trying to enjoy the summer sunshine….. Just imagine how much worse the noise could be with a third runway and at least 250,000 more flights each year using Heathrow.”  Heathrow itself received 603 complaints about noise in July, only a slight rise on the 578 made during July 2013. Heathrow’s quarterly data on number of noise complaints show a considerable rise in recent years.
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Heatwave blamed for record number of complaints about Heathrow noise

13.8.2014

(Get West London)

Protest group HACAN says nearly 300 people contacted it during July to complain about aircraft noise, more than three times the monthly average


Chair of HACAN, anti noise campaign group, John Stewart takes the podium to discuss noise issues and solutions at the first ever aircraft noise summit at City Hall, today (11/03/14)

Last month’s heatwave led to a record number of complaints about aircraft noise at Heathrow, campaigners have claimed.

The anti-Heathrow expansion protest group HACAN says 297 people got in touch during July to express their irritation at jets thundering overhead.

That is about three times the 80-110 complaints it receives in an average month, though its hotline is typically busier during the summer as people spend more time outdoors or with their windows open.

HACAN chairman John Stewart blamed last month’s surge in complaints on a combination of searing temperatures and a record 6.97 million passengers using the airport during July.

“Open windows at night coupled with more outdoor activities has meant hundreds of thousands people in West London and beyond are having to put up with what at times seems like constant aircraft noise,” he said.

“It puts into perspective Heathrow’s current consultation on compensation if a third runway is ever built. You simply can’t compensate people for the disturbance of planes thundering over as they sit in their gardens trying to enjoy the summer sunshine.

“And of course, there is increasing evidence that too much noise is as bad for your health as too much sunshine.

“Just imagine how much worse the noise could be with a third runway and at least 250,000 more flights each year using Heathrow.”

Heathrow itself received 603 complaints about noise last month, only a slight rise on the 578 made during July 2013.

It said trials were being run this summer, which usually leads to more complaints, and there were none during the same period last year.

A spokeswoman added: “We have not seen an unusual number of complaints for the time of year. However, we continue to work towards reducing the impacts of noise for local residents.

“During the summer months, we usually experience an increase in noise complaints as local residents open windows and enjoy time outdoors.

“We recognise that as well as bringing huge benefits to the UK and the local communities, an airport of the size and importance of Heathrow can have downsides for people living nearby.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/heatwave-blamed-record-number-complaints-7606372

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Heathrow data at http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/what-we-do-about-it/our-reporting

Heathrow complaints data. These show a rise in the number of complaints over the past few years

Caller = person
Contact = number of times
Enquiries = number of issues

Year Number of “enquiries” (complaints) Number of contacts Number of callers               (= people)
2009 full year 4283 2485 1137
2010 full year 4172 2314 823
2011 full year 5383 3779 1226
2012 full year 17654 10417 2916
2013 full year 18717 12213 2769
2011 (Jan to June) 1842 1108 411
2012 (Jan to June) 3240 2309 733
2013 (Jan to June) 9996 5505 1373

These are obtained from the quarterly data produced by Heathrow.

eg. 4th Quarter of 2013

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow_Noise/Downloads/PDF/BAA-LHR-FP-Q4-2013final.pdf

4th Quarter 2012

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow_Noise/Downloads/PDF/BAA-LHRFEUQ42012reportfinal.pdf

3rd Quarter 2012

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow_Noise/Downloads/PDF/LHR-FEUQ3-12-final.pdf

3rd Quarter 2013

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow_Noise/Downloads/PDF/BAA_FEU_Q3_2013.pdf

 

and so on ……………..

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Campaigners in Tunbridge Wells area gear up for legal action over flawed Gatwick consultation

Campaigners against the noise from Gatwick flight paths say that legal action will be taken against the airport’s inadequate airspace consultation. Fundraising has already begun to raise some £70,000 estimated to be needed to challenge the case in court, and residents of the areas beneath a proposed narrow corridor, including the High Weald Area of Natural Beauty, Edenbridge and Tunbridge Wells, are preparing to take the airport to task. The proposal affects Gatwick flight paths below 4,000ft and suggests a narrow flight path rather than the current one, which is spread out, although the exact location has not been revealed. There will be one corridor for daytime flights and another for night flights. Adding to a growing list of concerns raised by the consultation, which Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark described as “flawed,” critics are also criticising the decision to remove information about the ownership of Gatwick from the airport’s website. People have been greatly angered by the way Gatwick has conducted its consultation, and communities are working together. The airport is not succeeding in “divide and rule” between communities, to pass the buck of noise misery elsewhere.

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Campaigners gear up for legal action over “flawed” Gatwick consultation

By Kent and Sussex Courier

August 13, 2014

By sarah.ward@courier.co.uk

cagne

Campaign group CAGNE have united villages across the High Weald in opposition to the plans

 

LEGAL action will be taken against Gatwick Airport Ltd over the controversial consultation on aircraft noise which closes tomorrow, campaigners from Tunbridge Wells have said.

Fundraising has already begun to raise some £70,000 estimated to be needed to challenge the case in court, and residents of the areas beneath a proposed narrow corridor, including the High Weald Area of Natural Beauty, Edenbridge and Tunbridge Wells, are preparing to take the airport to task.

The proposal affects Gatwick routes below 4000ft and suggests a narrow flight path rather than the current one, which is spread out, although the exact location has not been revealed. There will be one corridor for daytime flights and another for night flights, which campaigners are concerned will bring more aircraft over the area beneath.  Map showing Gatwick proposal

Gatwick flight path Tunbridge Wells concentrated arrivals

 

Text says:

Notes:
• Flights on the main route would usually be between the white lines, with the concentration towards the centre as shown by the white arrow. Likewise flight paths on the potential respite route would be usually be between the blue lines and with the concentration towards the centre of the respite option swathe as shown by the blue arrow.
• Occasional flights would still be seen outside of the white/blue lines, across the whole region where flights are seen today, including Royal Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, however the regularity of flights over these areas would be less than today.
• ‘Straight in Approaches’ on the alignment between Hildenborough and Tonbridge would also continue at night.

 

 

Adding to a growing list of concerns raised by the consultation, which Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark described as “flawed,” critics are also hitting back at the decision to take down information about the ownership of Gatwick from the airport’s website. [Its website at  http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/about-gatwick/at-a-glance/  just says: "Gatwick Airport is owned by group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the majority shareholder.."  see more detail below]

Steve Haysom said: “I think there is a likelihood there will be a legal challenge after the consultation process, which ended on Thursday. We have kicked off a fundraising programme but we expect it to be in the region of £70,000.

“They think they can just crush us – I think in a way, Gatwick expected that community would be pitched against community, but the parishes have been getting together to say the way it has been conducted has got people’s backs up.”

At a meeting in Penshurst last week where 275 people met to voice their concerns at the consultation, also attended by Tonbridge MP Sir John Stanley, discussions began about how to fund the challenge and on what grounds it could be made.

Mr Haysom said: “There won’t be sufficient public awareness to get the decision revoked now and any challenge will have to be made retrospectively. It will depend on us having the funds.”

He expressed concerns about an increase in aircraft noise in recent weeks, which some campaigners believe is the trial of a ‘superhighway’, an accusation denied by Gatwick chief executive Stewart Winsgate.

“Mr Wingate says there have been no changes to the route, but we have no reason to believe him,” Mr Haysom said. “They are making all these plans, but what they are going to do is do everything they can to make more money.

“There has never been anything like this before in the UK and so there is no evidence of what to expect but we are anticipating house prices falling between ten per cent and 25 per cent if the flight path goes ahead.”

In a letter to Mr Wingate, Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark wrote: “It concerns me that to even have put forward a main route that appears to overfly such known residential areas departs from this principle. I believe it is imperative that this misguided proposal should be sent back to the drawing board.”  Link to Greg Clark input.

Pressure is mounting on Gatwick from all sides, and Bidborough resident Clare Pitcher, who made a formal complaint about the consultation to the Civil Aviation Authority, said: “The fact we do not understand why they are putting it forward makes a lot of people suspicious.

“We do not know why they want to make these changes – no business, safety or environmental reasons have been given so the conclusion people have come to is they will try and put more planes through.

“If it was a road, we would have had open meetings in the High Weald – there have been meetings in Tunbridge Wells but none in the small villages affected.”

To respond to the consultation, visit: www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation

http://www.courier.co.uk/Campaigners-gear-legal-row-flawed-Gatwick/story-22715378-detail/story.html

 

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RELATED CONTENT from the Kent & Sussex Courier:

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Gatwick ownership (information from Wikipedia)   link  :

Ownership

Since 2009, the airport has been owned and operated by Gatwick Airport Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ivy Holdco Limited. Ivy Holdco is owned by a consortium of companies, with the following holdings:

January 2014

Owner Shares [126]
Global Infrastructure Partners 41.95%
Future Fund Board of Guardians 17.23%
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority 15.9%
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System 12.78%
National Pension Service of Korea 12.4%

In February 2010, GIP sold minority stakes of 12 and 15 percent to the South Korean National Pension Service and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for £100 million and £125 million, respectively, in Gatwick’s (rather than GIP’s) name. The sales were part of GIP’s strategy to syndicate the equity portion of the original acquisition by issuing bonds torefinance bank debt. Although this entails bringing additional investors into the airport, GIP aims to retain management control.[127][128] The Californian state pension fundCalPERS acquired a 12.7-percent stake in Gatwick Airport for about $155 million (£104.8 million) in June 2010.[129]

On 21 December 2010, the A$69 billion (£44 billion) Future Fund, a sovereign wealth fund established by the Australian government in 2006, agreed to purchase a 17.2-percent stake in Gatwick Airport from GIP for £145 million. This transaction completed GIP’s syndication process for the airport, reducing its stake to 42 percent (although the firm’s extravoting rights mean it still controls the airport’s board).[130]

 

from

  1.  “Gatwick Airport Limited – Directors Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 31 March 2013 (Notes to the Financial Statements, p. 71)”.   Page 2
  2. www.gatwickairport.com. 28 January 2014
  3. .

  4. .

  5. Global Infrastructure Partners  ( from Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Infrastructure_Partners)
  6. Global Infrastructure Partners was established in May 2006. Two of GIP’s founding investors in its first fund, GIP1, were Credit Suisseand General Electric. Each of these investors committed approximately 9% of the US$5.64 billion of GIP1′s total committed capital.[3]The firm’s first investment was announced in October 2006, a 50:50 joint venture between GIP and American International Group(AIG), to acquire London City Airport from Irish businessman Dermot Desmond for an undisclosed sum.[4][5] GIP subsequently acquired AIG’s stake in the airport in September 2008.[6]

    Subsequently, GIP has made two additional airport investments, the October 2009 acquisition of Gatwick Airport, the second largest airport in the United Kingdom by passenger traffic, for £1.5 billion from BAA [7][8]and the 2012 acquisition of Edinburgh Airport for £807 million. [9][10] Additionally, GIP has made a cross section of investments in other areas of the transport sector as well as the natural resource and power generation areas of the energy sector. These assets include, sea ports, midstream natural resources and power generation businesses.

    Global Infrastructure Partners’ first fund, GIP1, completed its fund raising in May 2008. The fund became fully invested during 2012. In October 2012, GIP’s second fund, GIP2, completed fund raising with US$8.25 billion in investor capital commitments, making it the largest independent infrastructure fund in the world to date.[11]

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“Scrap new flight paths,” says GACC in their response to Gatwick’s airspace consultation

Gatwick Airport’s consultation on new flight paths ends on Thursday, 14th August.  GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, the well regarded main environmental body concerned with Gatwick, with nearly 100 Borough, District and Parish Councils and environmental groups in the area as members) has submitted a powerful response (GACC AIRSPACE RESPONSE).  The consultation has been highly inadequate, giving no flight path detail, and GACC is therefore asking the CAA to declare it void.  GACC is demanding that all the new routes should be scrapped. They are asking that Gatwick and NATS should issue a new joint consultation, with detailed maps, showing all proposed flight paths at Gatwick for arrivals and departures up to 10,000 feet.  GACC is also asking that the CAA should refuse permission for any new route outside existing NPRs until Gatwick agree to a scheme for compensation. Where flight paths are now concentrated on a single narrow line  GACC is calling for compensation to be given to people whose houses are devalued. According to Brendon Sewill: “The law says that, when a new motorway is built, people with houses nearby must receive fair compensation. The same should apply to new motorways in the sky.”
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Scrap new flight paths, says GACC

12th August 2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)
Gatwick Airport’s consultation on new flight paths ends on Thursday, 14 August.  Link to consultation.

GACC has submitted a powerful response (GACC AIRSPACE RESPONSE 12.8.2014).

New flight paths introduced during the past year are causing a wave of protest across East and West Sussex, Kent and Surrey.  Support for GACC (the environmental group covering the whole area around Gatwick) is growing rapidly.

Five new local anti-noise groups, linked to GACC, have been formed in recent months. These are CAGNE (Horsham), CAGNE East (Tunbridge Wells), HWPAAG (the High Weald Parishes Aircraft Action Group – eight parish councils), WAGAN (Sevenoaks Weald), and ESSCAN (Crowborough).

All these groups have several hundred members. Public meetings with several hundred angry people have been held as far afield as Penshurst near Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough in East Sussex, and Warnham near Horsham.

GACC is demanding that all the new routes should be scrapped.  Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman, said: ‘There is no urgent need for these new flight paths, and it makes no sense to introduce them now before a decision is taken whether or not there is to be a new runway.’

Where flight paths are concentrated on a single narrow line (as a result of aircraft now using satellite navigation, called P-RNAV, which is like Satnavs in cars), GACC is calling for
compensation to be given to people whose houses are devalued.

According to Brendon Sewill: ‘The law says that, when a new motorway is built, people with
houses nearby must receive fair compensation. The same should apply to new motorways in the sky.’

www.gacc.org.uk

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GACC is the main environmental body concerned with Gatwick. Founded in
1968, we have as members nearly 100 Borough, District and Parish Councils
and environmental groups covering about a twenty miles radius from the
airport. Our committee, elected annually, represents all areas. Because we
rely on rational argument and put forward constructive solutions we have
had strong support in Parliament and at every level of government

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The GACC response to the Gatwick airspace consultation:

Gatwick Airspace consultation

1. GACC is the main environmental group concerned with Gatwick. Founded in 1968,
we have as members nearly 100 councils and local environmental groups. Our
membership covers the whole area from Tunbridge Wells to Cranleigh, from
Reigate to Haywards Heath. The number of local anti-noise groups affiliated to
GACC, and the number of our individual members and supporters, are increasing
rapidly as a result of the severe disturbance caused by new flight paths.

2. We have shown this response in draft to all our members, and have received
universal support. So far as possible consistent with keeping this response concise,
the comments made by our members have been incorporated.The consultation

3. We request that this consultation should be withdrawn, and that the new flight paths proposed in it should be cancelled.

4. Our reasons for making this robust demand are that:

 the consultation is incomprehensible to many members of the public and is
therefore not fit for purpose;

 there is no urgent need for many of the proposed routes;

 new concentrated flight paths should not be introduced without the promise of compensation for those most affected;

 the consultation gives only half the picture because it excludes the new
proposed point-merge system for arriving aircraft, and is therefore misleading; and

 there is no evidence that concentrated routes have any environmental
advantage compared to dispersed routes: research is needed so that policy
can be evidence based.

 

Incomprehensible

5. Many, many members of the public have complained to us that the consultation
document is excessively difficult to understand.  We asked the Chief Executive of
Gatwick Airport Ltd to produce a simplified version: he refused.  Little attempt has
been made to explain the issues to the public: when Gatwick Airport wished to
attract public support for their runway proposal they organised 17 exhibitions but
no such exhibitions or road-shows have been held to explain the flight path
changes. We have taken this up with the Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority,
Dame Deirdre Hutton.

6. She has told us that ‘Once the proposal has been formally submitted, the CAA will
assess it for regulatory compliance in respect of safety, consultation,
environmental impact and operational justification. As part of the assessment, we will consider the issues that were raised during the consultation and the way in which the sponsor has responded to them.’ (Email from Dame Deirdre Hutton to GACC 6 June 2014)
7. She also drew our attention to the CAA guidelines for consultations which, inter alia, state that:

Accessibility of consultation exercises
Consultation exercises should be designed to be accessible to, and clearly targeted at, those people the exercise is intended to reach.

The burden of consultation
Keeping the burden of consultation to a minimum is essential if consultations are to be effective and if consultees’ buy-in to the process is to be obtained.
8. We do not believe that the consultation by Gatwick Airport Ltd measures up to these guidelines. We are therefore sending a copy of this response to the CAA and asking them to declare the consultation void.

The Warnham trial

9. The trial of a new route over Warnham and neighbouring villages has caused intense anger.

10. The previous peace of these attractive and historic villages was suddenly shattered
without warning. We have seen many agonised letters from people who are woken
early in the morning and find an incessant stream of aircraft overhead throughout
the day. Their houses are seriously devalued, with the result that they feel
imprisoned and unable to move away. This situation has resulted in a powerful
protest and the creation of a dynamic new local group CAGNE (Communities
Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions).

11.  It has brought home to all that the traditional measures of noise annoyance – Leq,
Lden etc – are meaningless in situations where noise is imposed on a previously
peaceful area.

12. The trial should be buried and not resurrected. In this we have the support of
Rt Hon Francis Maude MP.

13. The consultation, however, suggests that it might be permanently replaced by one of three routes, A, B or C.  We do not intend to comment on the rival merits and demerits of these routes. They would merely transfer the misery from one set of villages to another.

14. None of these changes are necessary or urgent. They are only being proposed in
order to enable Gatwick Airport Ltd to get a few more aircraft off the runway. But
if Gatwick is full, and if demand continues to grow, then the surplus demand will
inevitably be transferred to Stansted or other under-used airports. There is no
reason why that process should not start now.

15. Whatever the trial may have proved in terms of the technical ability of aircraft to
fly the new route, it has proved one thing above all else – that any of these three
new routes would be environmentally unacceptable. We conclude that the case
for making any change in the existing flight paths to the west has not been
made. None of the proposed new routes should be adopted, and all flights
should remain on the existing NPR.

New concentrated routes

16. New concentrated (PBN) flight paths have been introduced for departures – with no
public consultation. They are causing great distress and annoyance to the people
who are unfortunate enough to find themselves under, or in the vicinity of, a new
route.

17.In most cases the concentrated routes are confined within the previous Noise
Preferential Routes (NPRs) and therefore do not require approval by the CAA. In
one instance, however, the new route (over Holmwood, south of Dorking) is outside
the NPR. This has been provisionally approved by the CAA but is subject to review.
The new route takes aircraft over the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty. Many people cannot understand why it is stated in the consultation that
modern technically advanced aircraft are less capable of flying a designated route
than previous types of aircraft. We will be asking the CAA to insist that the route
be redesigned to remain within the NPR. If this is not accepted, then Gatwick
Airport Ltd (GAL) should provide compensation, as suggested below.

18. Because aircraft previously took dispersed tracks (within the NPR) people were
disturbed by comparatively few aircraft an hour. Many were prepared to accept
that. But now satellite navigation has created an entirely new situation. People
under the concentrated route suffer an almost continuous stream of aircraft. As in
the case of the Warnham trial, their peace is destroyed, they suffer a fall in the
value of their houses, and feel helpless to escape the misery inflicted on them.

19. These changes come on top of a gradual extension over the past decade or so of
the glide path for arriving aircraft which brought arriving aircraft over new areas of
west Kent, and has caused, and is causing, great anger among residents, especially
in the area from Lingfield to Tunbridge Wells, and in the High Weald Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty.

20. We realise that the new satellite navigation system for aircraft makes it almost
inevitable that aircraft will accurately follow a single track. We recognise also
that concentrated flight paths are said to be in line with the Aviation Policy
Framework White Paper which stated that: Our overall objective on noise is to
limit and where possible reduce the number of people in the UK significantly
affected by aircraft noise.

21. That objective is commendable if it means reducing aircraft noise. There has,
however, been no research to establish whether continuous annoyance of the few
is better or worse than occasional annoyance for many. The intense anger caused
by the introduction of the concentrated routes around Gatwick suggests that in this
respect the policy may have been misconceived. (It also depends on the definition of the word ‘significantly’: it is possible that dispersal may actually mean fewer people significantly affected.)

22. We have requested local MPs to seek an amendment to the Land Compensation Act 1973. That Act provides full compensation for people whose houses are devalued by the building of a new motorway or other new road. It is necessary for the householder to prove, with a surveyor’s report, that their house has lost value compared to other similar, but unaffected, properties. The Act is well tried and has worked well. It applies to the building of new runways but does not apply to new flight paths based on existing runways.

23. The Land Compensation Act should now be amended to apply to ‘new super-highways in the sky’. Any amendment should be retrospective to an appropriate date.

24. Under the Act, compensation is paid by the body responsible for the development: in the case of new roads by the Highways Agency. If the Act were amended to include new flight paths, as implemented by GAL, the compensation would be paid by the airport. That would be in line with standard economic theory that where many benefit (in the case of Gatwick some 36 million air passengers a year) but a few suffer, the many should compensate the few.

25. It would also be in line with the Aviation Policy Framework White Paper which states (paragraph 3.39): Where airport operators are considering developments which result in an increase in noise, they should review their compensation schemes to ensure that they offer appropriate compensation to those potentially affected.

26. In their massive publicity campaign to seek permission to build a new runway, Gatwick airport have been quick to offer financial compensation to some of those likely to be affected. Indeed they have claimed that this shows that they are more public spirited, and care more about the local community, than other airports. The same should apply to new flight paths.

27. We call on Gatwick Airport Ltd to introduce on a voluntary basis a scheme to provide compensation on the same basis as the Land Compensation Act for all those whose houses are devalued as a result of concentrated flight paths.

Respite

28. We consider the benefits of respite over-rated. The procedure of using alternate routes may be welcome to some people but not to others. Too often it appears to be promoted by the aviation industry as a cure-all for the extra noise cause by airport expansion plans. In the current consultation the only respite routes offered are on arrival routes and would see one route being used every day and another every night. We feel that those who would suffer every night flight would regard that as a funny sort of respite.

29. Because of the disproportionate annoyance and anger caused by new flight paths over areas at present peaceful, most of our committee feel that in no cases should the new respite routes be introduced over such areas; some, however, feel that it would be fair to share the disturbance between more areas.

 

The point-merge system

30. The previous consultation, which ended in January 2014, was conducted jointly by GAL and NATS, and outlined in general terms a new ‘point-merge’ procedure for arriving aircraft. We protested strongly that this consultation was almost meaningless without maps showing where the new arrival flight paths would be, and asked that a further consultation, with maps, should be carried out when provisional plans had been made.

31. The current consultation by GAL does not cover the point-merge procedure – on the grounds that flight paths above 4,000 feet are the responsibility of NATS. It therefore covers only half the picture and is seriously misleading.

32. We understand that NATS are not intending any further consultation on the new point-merge system. That is disgraceful. People living under the merge point where all arriving aircraft will congregate will suddenly find themselves suffering intense annoyance. So will those living under the new ‘arc’ and under the new concentrated route or routes from the merge-point to the glidepath. NATS is now a private company owned by the airlines. It is not acceptable for it to behave in such a dictatorial fashion.

33. The excuse that aircraft will be above 4,000 feet and therefore the disturbance small is not valid. These new routes are likely to be above peaceful rural areas of Sussex where the aircraft will be extremely annoying. Indeed many routes will be over high ground in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where peace and tranquillity should have a high priority.

34. We are therefore asking the CAA to require GAL and NATS to issue a new joint consultation, with maps, showing ALL proposed flight paths at Gatwick for arrivals and departures up to 10,000 feet.

Premature before runway decision

35. The plans for a second runway currently being promoted vigorously by Gatwick Airport Ltd would, if implemented, require a complete recasting of the flight paths around Gatwick. Since it is proposed that both runways would be used in mixed mode, there would need to be parallel approach paths one kilometre apart. There would also obviously need to be parallel departure routes, with the new routes one kilometre south of the existing routes. That would immediately rule out any of the new flight paths to the west of Gatwick as outlined in this consultation.

36. Since there is no urgency (see paragraph 16 above), it is obvious common sense to wait to see whether Gatwick is recommended for a new runway before implementing any flight path changes.

37. Recently the Secretary of State for Transport decided that there should be no changes to the night flight regime for three years, until a decision had been reached on the recommendations of the Airports Commission. Exactly the same logic surely applies to changes in flight paths.

The Government

38. All flight paths changes outside existing NPRs need approval from the Secretary of State for Transport. Government guidance to the CAA also states that where an airspace change is likely to have a net significant detrimental impact on the environment, his approval is required.

39. We will therefore be sending this response to the Secretary of State, asking him to veto any changes to existing flight paths. We will also ask him to consider making a Direction under the Civil Aviation Act 1982 section 78 (6) requiring Gatwick Airport Ltd to introduce a scheme on the same basis as the Land Compensation Act to compensate any person whose house is devalued by the creation of a new concentrated flight path.

Summary

We ask Gatwick Airport Ltd to
 Not implement any of the proposed new take-off routes to the west.

 Introduce a voluntary scheme to provide compensation on the same basis as the
Land Compensation Act for all those whose houses are devalued as a result of
concentrated flight paths.

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We ask the CAA to
 Declare this consultation void.

 Require GAL (Gatwick Airport Ltd) and NATS to issue a new joint consultation, with maps, showing all proposed flight paths at Gatwick for arrivals and departures up to 10,000 feet.

 Refuse permission for any new route outside existing NPRs until Gatwick Airport Ltd
agree to a scheme for compensation.

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We ask the Government to
 Refuse permission for any new flight paths outside existing NPRs.

 Commission research into the factors that cause annoyance so as to enable airspace design to be done intelligently and with an evidence base.

 Make a Direction under the Civil Aviation Act requiring Gatwick Airport Ltd (and other Designated Airports) to compensate any person whose house is devalued by the creation of a new concentrated flight path.

 Amend the Land Compensation Act to apply to new ‘super-high

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Gatwick PR campaign strategy document, on influencing the key people, accidentally left on train

The plan by Gatwick to lobby “gold, silver and bronze” opinion formers against expansion at Heathrow rival has embarrassingly backfired after a dossier setting out the airport’s campaign strategy was left on a train. It was passed to the Sunday Times, which has revealed details of the plans. Gatwick has a “target” lists of opinion formers – politicians, civil servants, business leaders (and allegedly ?? environmentalists) –  whom it hopes will put pressure on the Airports Commission and its members. There is a list of around 100 “gold tier” individuals, best able to exercise influence. Gatwick not only wants their target subjects to promote their runway, but also “neutralise the prevailing default bias that we perceive exists in favour of Heathrow”. Gatwick has commissioned a noise study by the CAA undermining Heathrow’s implausible claim that fewer people would suffer aircraft noise if it got a 3rd runway and increased flights by some 50%. Unsurprisingly the Gatwick study indicates far more people would be affected by Heathrow noise, with a 3rd runway at full capacity. Heathrow criticised Gatwick for not publishing all the technical documents related to its expansion plans, saying: “It is a shame that the only way anyone can scrutinise Gatwick’s plans is when their executives leave documents on a train.” 
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Gatwick runway dossier left on train

A SECRET Gatwick dossier detailing how to win over decision makers for expansion plans was left on a train.

The document, which was sent to a Sunday newspaper, includes plans to draw up “target lists” of key politicians and decision makers who could sway the decision in their favour.

The plans seek to influence the Airports Commission, which will submit its recommendations to government next year as to how the UK can maintain its global airport hub status.

The three leading proposals are a second runway at Gatwick, a third runway at Heathrow or the creation of a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

The secret dossier says Gatwick should target around 100 “gold tier” people with the most influence on the commission.

The plans reveal how Gatwick executives will try to win over gold targets as well as getting onside their close advisors, known as the “silver tier”.

The dossier states that one so-called target, former CIA analyst Dame DeAnne Julius, is backing Gatwick’s case.

The dossier also states the intention to “neutralise the prevailing default bias in favour of Heathrow”.

It mentions a secret noise study aimed at undermining Heathrow’s claim that fewer people would suffer from aircraft noise if a third runway was built there.

Heathrow states the number of people “significantly annoyed” by aircraft noise would drop from 237,350 to between 187,000 and 202,900 due to quieter aircraft and steeper landing approaches.

In the dossier, Gatwick describes the figures as “disingenuous”. It also reveals bosses commissioned the Civil Aviation Authority to model the noise impact of their rival’s potential third runway.

Gatwick’s campaign is overseen by Godric Smith, a former spin doctor to Tony Blair. A Gatwick spokeswoman said: “We want as many people as possible to understand our case. We are playing catch up with Heathrow’s decades of lobbying for a third runway.”

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/11400207.Gatwick_runway_dossier_left_on_train/?ref=var_0

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Sunday Times article at
by Mark Hookham @markhookham
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 See earlier:

Gatwick employs high profile PR man Godric Smith (ex Tony Blair, Olympics, BBC) to boost runway campaign

24.4.2014

Gatwick airport is spending a lot of money (the figure of £10 million for their PR budget has been mentioned, but this may be an  under-estimate) on their lobbying to win over key hearts and minds to their runway plan. Their new campaign, with glossy adverts on the  underground, large numbers of public presentations etc “Gatwick Obviously” is spending lavishly. Now Gatwick has announced that they are employing a high  profile PR consultant, Godric Smith, to help them in their political battle against Heathrow, for the runway.  Godric used to work as spokesman for Tony Blair. He then worked on communications for the Olympics. He was also brought in to the BBC (part time, at £150,000 per year) to sort out their bad publicity issues. Godric Smith has his own consultancy called Incorporated London.  Gatwick already has existing relationships for public relations with Fishburn and London Communications Agency. Godric Smith is said to have extensive Whitehall experience and “first-class contacts across the spectrum and a very good understanding of how government works”. The airport is also reviewing its digital and consumer agencies.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=21068
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Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark urges Gatwick CEO to “go back to the drawing board” on flight paths

Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, has written to Gatwick asking them  to reconsider the “flawed” consultation on aircraft flight paths and noise, and urging them to “go back to the drawing board.”  He recently (14th July) met Gatwick and NATS staff about the problem. He tells Gatwick that the consultation has not only caused outrage among his constituents for what it proposes but also for how the consultation has been managed. There are serious concerns among local in the area about the “superhighway” overhead, though Gatwick says the increase in noise is just that more Brits are flying abroad this summer, (on cheap flights for holidays).  Greg says that the noise disturbance has considerably worsened recently and many have been “disturbed and dismayed by much higher levels of aircraft noise this summer.” He adds: “… the consultation has been unfit for its purpose…..(its) ..purpose was to have been to gauge reaction to particular precise routes. Yet the exact route has not been disclosed to the public. Instead, a wide swathe has been marked on maps which make it exceedingly difficult to work out what is the exact route proposed…..the proposals being put forward (are) too ill defined to comment properly.” He believes the misguided proposal to increase flights over Langton Green, Speldhurst, Rusthall and Bidborough should be rethought.

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Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark urges Gatwick CEO to “go back to the drawing board”

By Sarah Ward sarah.ward@courier.co.uk

GREG CLARK, MP for Tunbridge Wells, has called on Gatwick Airport Ltd to reconsider the “flawed” consultation on aircraft noise and emissions, which closes next week, urging them to “go back to the drawing board.”

In a letter seen exclusively by the Courier, Greg Clark ( the Minister for Universities, Science and Cities) slams the controversial consultation, which has caused outrage among his constituents, not just for what it proposes but for how the consultation has been managed.

Concerns that Gatwick may be trialling a ‘superhighway’ have been raised by campaigners, although repeatedly denied by the airport, who say that an increase in noise recently is due to a seasonal trend, with more families jetting off on holiday in the summer months.  [Note - no mention of vital business connections for the UK economy - just cheap holiday flights, mainly taking money out of the UK].

In the letter, sent yesterday to Stewart Wingate, the chief executive of Gatwick Airport Ltd,   Mr Clark wrote: “Many of my constituents are affected by flights at Gatwick. While we benefit from the proximity of an international airport in terms of convenience and employment, the impact in terms of noise and disturbance is very significant.

“This disturbance has considerably worsened recently. You have provided me with written assurance that this is not because of any change to routes or landing patterns, but because of increased activity which is partly seasonal and partly to do with a reviving economy, but nevertheless many of my constituents have been disturbed and dismayed by much higher levels of aircraft noise this summer.”

Mr Clark has met with representatives of Gatwick in recent months and held a meeting at the House of Commons on July 14 with Tom Denton, head of corporate responsibility at the airport, and National Air Traffic Services (NATS) manager of air traffic control at Gatwick, Andy Taylor, to raise concerns.

In the letter, he reiterated the points made in the meeting, echoing campaigners’ fears that the consultation has been too vague.

“However, I am afraid to say that the consultation has been unfit for its purpose,” Mr Clark wrote. “The purpose was to have been to gauge reaction to particular precise routes. Yet the exact route has not been disclosed to the public. Instead, a wide swathe has been marked on maps which make it exceedingly difficult to work out what is the exact route proposed.

“I know from discussion with constituents and their councils that they regard the proposals being put forward as too ill defined to comment properly.”

He wrote: “It seems most likely that the proposal is for the centre of the main route to overfly Langton Green, Speldhurst, Rusthall and Bidborough in my constituency. If that is indeed the case, it is totally unacceptable.

“This is an area of substantial residential settlements, which is home to many thousands of people. All of them would have significantly increased levels of noise compared to the current, more dispersed pattern of flight arrivals.”

Referring to Government policy, which states that aircraft routes should cause as little disturbance to residential areas as possible – something disputed by campaigners in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), who say they will suffer disproportionately if that goes ahead, Mr Clark called for a rethink.

“It concerns me that to even have put forward a main route that appears to overfly such known residential areas departs from this principle.  I believe it is imperative that this misguided proposal should be sent back to the drawing board.”

He concluded: “A successful Gatwick airport is of great benefit to us all but to ensure that it can be successful in the future, it is crucial that Gatwick treats its neighbours with respect including acting transparently with full disclosure and a concern to minimise the impact on people affected.

“This exercise fails to do that.”

The Gatwick Airport Ltd airspace consultation closes on August 14 (Thursday). To respond to it, visit:  http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/aircraft-noise/consultations-and-schemes/airspace-consultation/airspace-consultation-documents/

http://www.courier.co.uk/EXCLUSIVE-Tunbridge-Wells-MP-Greg-Clark-urges/story-22220573-detail/story.html

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Crispin Blunt MP investigates recent increase in aircraft noise in Redhill area due to changes to Gatwick flight paths

Following a recent increase in complaints of increased aircraft noise over Redhill and Earlswood, MP for Reigate, Crispin Blunt has visited Gatwick Airport for an explanation. He has also met Heathrow and the MP for Mole Valley, Sir Paul Beresford, to identify the cause of the increase in over-flight noise, and investigate potential remedies and future trends in aircraft noise patterns. Crispin has set out a clear explanation of what has been happenning, and why people in his constituency are now being affected. Gatwick is trying out new routing patterns, that might come into effect in 18 months time, by which flights take off in a similar pattern as before, but follow a much narrower air corridor over Redhill and Earlswood. This has reduced the area in which people are overflown, but concentrated the amount of noise that a smaller number of residents on the narrower flight path have to suffer. Some Gatwick departure aircraft are being held low by NATS over Redhill, to avoid aircraft stacking prior to landing at Heathrow. These are tracking north closer to Redhill than before. This is part of the FAS (Future Airspace Strategy) which is being worked on, and which will not be completed till 2019. By then, the conflict with the Heathrow routes may be resolved.

Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick admits to sacrificing the lives of those in countryside to satisfy its expansion plans

The Gatwick flight path trial, and other intensified flight paths associated with Gatwick, continue to cause not only annoyance but real distress to perhaps thousands in the area. In an article reported in part of the aviation media, some of the anger and frustration comes across, as well as the callous manner in which Gatwick airport appears to view people who live in the countryside, and whose quality of life has been attacked by plane noise. Stewart Wingate is reported as saying “Why would you choose to fly a quarter of a million more planes every year over one of the world’s most densely populated cities (London) when instead you can fly them mostly over fields.” His ignorant comment about the area over-flown by Gatwick planes as just fields has enraged people. The article says Mr Wingate “appears to suggest sacrificing the lifestyle, peace and quiet of those who have chosen to live outside cities for the profit of a few – the foreign owners of Gatwick Airport.” The airport has already started the process of ‘Air Grab’ over a number of Sussex towns and villages. That is a frightening prospect when Mr Wingate has said his ambition is to make Gatwick larger than Heathrow is today.

Click here to view full story…

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Tunbridge Wells & Bidborough residents, and High Weald parishes unite against Gatwick runway plans

The threat of a 2nd Gatwick runway is a very real one for people living under existing flight paths, and in areas where new flight paths are likely. Now villages 20 miles out to the east from Gatwick have formed an action group to campaign against Gatwick’s expansion plans. The Parish Councils of Chiddingstone, Hever, Leigh and Penshurst have formed the High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group. There is also a new, and highly active, group at Bidborough, BEAG. At a meeting on 17th June in Tunbridge Wells the noise problem of existing an new flights paths was discussed. Local people fear a new Gatwick ‘Superhighway’ route across their area, with some 350 planes per day – all the aircraft arriving at Gatwick from the south – in a concentrated stream above West Kent most of the year from 06:30-11:30 hours without respite. There is real opposition to the noise nuisance, and reduction in the quality of life, of thousands from the flight paths. There is also real concern about the noise’s negative impact on the tourism industries of West Kent – such as the unique and historically valuable Hever Castle and Penshurst Place.

Click here to view full story…

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Crispin Blunt MP investigates recent increase in aircraft noise in Redhill area due to changes to Gatwick flight paths

Following a recent increase in complaints of increased aircraft noise over Redhill and Earlswood, MP for Reigate, Crispin Blunt has visited Gatwick Airport for an explanation. He has also met  Heathrow and the MP for Mole Valley, Sir Paul Beresford, to identify the cause of the increase in over-flight noise, and investigate potential remedies and future trends in aircraft noise patterns. Crispin has set out a clear explanation of what has been happening, and why people in his constituency are now being affected. Gatwick is trying out new routing patterns, that might come into effect in 18 months time, by which flights take off in a similar pattern as before, but follow a much narrower air corridor over Redhill and Earlswood. This has reduced the area in which people are overflown, but concentrated the amount of noise that a smaller number of residents on the narrower flight path have to suffer. Some Gatwick departure aircraft are being held low by NATS over Redhill, to avoid aircraft stacking prior to landing at Heathrow. These are tracking north closer to Redhill than before. This is part of the FAS (Future Airspace Strategy) which is being worked on, and which will not be completed till 2019. By then, the conflict with the Heathrow routes may be resolved.
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Crispin Blunt investigates recent increase in aircraft noise

7.8.2014 (Redhill Councillors)

by Councillor Julian Ellacott
Following a recent increase in complaints of increased aircraft noise over Redhill and Earlswood, Crispin Blunt today visited Gatwick Airport for an explanation, and also met with Heathrow and the MP for Mole Valley, Sir Paul Beresford, to identify the cause of the increase in overflight noise, and investigate potential remedies and future trends in aircraft noise patterns.

Following today’s meetings, Crispin Blunt said:

“What follows is necessarily complex and I will be doing further work on this with Sir Paul Beresford MP. I understand the situation to be as follows:

Since 1st April 2014, aircraft taking off from Gatwick Airport have been guided by new technology called Precision Area Navigation (PR-NAV) system. This change is consistent with Department for Transport policy to make routes more tightly controlled and is a precursor to the implementation of the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy which, in turn, is a requirement of the European Aviation Authority’s Single European Skies programme, required to be delivered by 2019.

The next stage of this process is being consulted on now by Gatwick Airport Limited and National Air Traffic Control and I have already registered my concern about the potential implications of this for constituents in the south of the Redhill/Reigate area, but this is at least 18 months away from implementation and will be subject to further decisions, not least approval by the Secretary of State for Transport.

It is the new navigation system which has meant that flights take off in a similar pattern as before, but follow a much narrower air corridor over Redhill and Earlswood which has reduced the area over which people are overflown, but concentrated the amount of noise that a smaller number of residents who remain on the narrower flight path have to suffer. However, it appears that ascending aircraft are being held low by the National Air Traffic Services over Redhill, so that they don’t fly near to aircraft stacking prior to landing at Heathrow, but are tracking north closer to Redhill than before. However, as the Future Airspace Strategy progresses, aircraft associated with Heathrow may be held in a different area, (part of the wider de-confliction associated with the complete overhaul of European airspace management), allowing Gatwick-associated aircraft to climb faster and therefore higher before they cross into our more densely populated Borough. But this process will not take place in the next two years or so and will only be completed by 2019.

Gatwick’s control tower only guides planes to an altitude of 4,000 ft, when NATS takes over, and planes reach this point before they cross into the Borough and over Redhill and Earlswood. Therefore, I intend to approach the Civil Aviation Authority and NATS and ask them to investigate whether planes can be held on the narrower path for longer, perhaps until they cross the M23, so that they don’t diffuse over the wider community until they are at a much higher altitude, and away from the main local population centre. This addresses the 75% of flights when leaving Gatwick into the prevailing westerly wind and turning to fly to northern European destinations. I hope this may address the noise nuisance increase identified in the last few months.

Overall, although airspace patterns and aircraft technology might eventually mitigate or lessen noise disturbances for those under aircraft leaving Gatwick today, no one should be in any doubt that a second runway at Gatwick Airport, and potentially a trebling in air movements, could make this problem a lot worse. But for those under approach paths, including those living in Dormansland, Smallfield, Lingfield and Newchapel, the prospect of second runway is horrendous in noise nuisance terms. The rest of us would have to bear the burden of a massive increase in local housing to accommodate 122,000 new jobs generated, and all the associated infrastructure or the collapse of our existing local services under the strain.

Quite a good time to join the local action group, GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign – www.gacc.org.uk), I suggest!”

http://www.redhillcouncillors.co.uk/?p=3005

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Comments from AirportWatch members:

The process of “vectoring” aircraft away from the SIDs (Standard Instrument Departure routes) causes pain at any airport one cares to mention.

People affected by  Luton are in the same position as “departures are held low to avoid a Heathrow arrivals stack”  - in the Luton case the Bovingdon stack. It is likely that stack will be moved, but it is not a win-win. Some other poor community not currently afflicted by aircraft noise will have the arrivals wished upon them whether “point merge” works or not.

Stop Stansted Expansion has been campaigning to raise the vectoring height at Stansted for similar reasons.  On stacks, we’ve said that it’s quite practical now to sequence flights from gate to gate so that the need for holding is much reduced.  And the UK is at last developing “real time departure information sharing” at UK airports and linking to Europe to reduce delays – something the Davies Commission recommended as a tool for Collaborative Decision Making.  It’s a type of facility already operating in Germany,

 

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Boris Johnson’s opposition to Heathrow could derail his bid to be Uxbridge MP

Boris Johnson has  announced plans to contest a seat in the summer 2015 election and is understood to be in talks to stand in Uxbridge and South Ruislip. He has been included on the official Conservative candidates list, allowing him to stand in Uxbridge. However, the constituency in west London contains thousands of voters who work at Heathrow who would fiercely oppose Mr Johnson’s candidacy. Boris has described a Heathrow 3rd runway as “bollocks”, and also said he will continue to campaign against high-speed rail.  Boris believes, along with his completely unworkable and impossibly environmentally damaging Thames estuary airport scheme, that Heathrow should be close down and turned into a “tech city” with housing areas, a university etc. The Labour candidate running in the  Uxbridge constituency opposes closing Heathrow and will try and turn any contest with Boris into a debate about Heathrow.  A body of opinion believes Boris will have difficulty in winning in Uxbridge unless he reverses his call for Heathrow to be closed. Boris has described Heathrow as “a dead duck” and said he will “fight to my dying breath” to halt a 3rd runway.
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Boris Johnson’s opposition to Heathrow could derail MP bid

Boris Johnson’s bid to become an MP could be in doubt because of his desire to see Heathrow closed and a four-runway estuary airport built in the Thames

London Mayor Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson Photo: REUTERS

Boris Johnson’s return to Parliament could be derailed because of his plans to close Heathrow and open an airport in the Thames Estuary.

The Mayor of London, who on announced plans to contest a seat in next year’s election and is understood to be in talks to stand in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

However, the constituency in west London contains thousands of voters who work at Heathrow who would fiercely oppose Mr Johnson’s candidacy.

Mr Johnson believes Heathrow should be turned into a “tech city” so that the capital’s main airport can be moved out of the city and on to a floating island in the estuary.

The Labour candidate running in the constituency, Chris Summers, opposes closing Heathrow and will try and turn any contest against Mr Johnson into a debate about the future of the airport.

A series of voters and business leaders told LBC Radio that Mr Johnson would not win in the constituency unless he reverses his call for Heathrow to be shut down.

Mr Johnson described Heathrow as “a dead duck” and said he will “fight to my dying breath” to halt a third runway.

Some Conservatives feel that Mr Johnson’s return to Parliament will destabilise David Cameron because it will lead to intense speculation about Mr Johnson’s leadership ambitions.

Mr Johnson yesterday appeared to challenge Mr Cameron’s position on the European Union by insisting that reforming Britain’s relationship with Brussels would be “easy”.

The Mayor this week said that Britain has “nothing to fear” by voting to leave the EU in an in-out referendum if Mr Cameron is unable to change the UK’s relationship with Brussels.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, he rejected claims that the reforms he is demanding will be impossible to achieve in time for the referendum Mr Cameron has promised to hold in 2017.

Mr Johnson said: “I’m not so pessimistic. I think you could easily.”

In the interview, Mr Johnson disclosed that he has been included on the official Conservative candidates list, allowing him to stand in Uxbridge.

One London Tory MP said Mr Johnson would have to “temper” his views on closing Heathrow and building a new airport hub to the east of London.

Another Conservative said: “This could be a real problem. The seat has a majority of 11,000 but thousands of people who work in Heathrow live in the constituency and many thousands more are reliant on the airport for their incomes. He may have chosen the wrong place to stand.”

Chris Summers, the Labour candidate standing in the constituency, said: “So many people in Uxbridge and South Ruislip either work at Heathrow or have businesses which rely very much on it.

“They will be distraught that somebody who is [standing is] so hostile to Heathrow and actually wants it to close down.”

Bill Gritts, who runs Wings coach service, said: “In the surrounding areas it would have a major, major effect.”

He added: “If this is his manifesto for him to become the MP for Uxbridge, then I don’t think he is going to end up as an MP for Uxbridge.”

Other seats Mr Johnson is thought to be considering include Hertsmere and Hornchurch and Upminster.

To be party leader Mr Johnson has to win over backbench MPs and he has been courting the 2010 intake, which accounts for more than half of the Conservative Parliamentary party.

However, there is less support among him among older MPs from the 2005 intake and earlier who remember his unsuccessful stint as an Opposition education spokesman.

One senior member of the backbench 1922 committee is known to be particularly disparaging about Mr Johnson’s chances of advancement once he is an MP.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11020126/Boris-Johnsons-opposition-to-Heathrow-could-derail-MP-bid.html

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Boris Johnson is public favourite for Conservative leadership – poll

London mayor is choice of voters and party supporters to lead Tories if David Cameron stands down

Boris Johnson is the favoured candidate to be the next Conservative leader among both the party’s supporters and the general public, according to an opinion poll released on Sunday.

A YouGov survey for the Sun on Sunday found 34% of people wanted the mayor of London, who is planning to stand for parliament next year, to take over when David Cameron stands down, with that figure rising to 50% among Tory backers.

The findings will increase the Westminster frenzy that has followed last week’s announcement by Johnson that he hopes to become an MP at next year’s general election while staying on as mayor.

The poll put Theresa May in second place on 19%.

In an interview with the Sunday Times that may make uncomfortable reading for Cameron, Johnson discusses his own “ruthless energy” and says he took the job of mayor to gain administrative experience.

Johnson’s friends said that he is in touch with Tory party officials in the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency in west London where the sitting MP, Sir John Randall, is stepping down. Three candidates will be chosen by 28 August before the final selection is made by 12 September.

They played down the possibility of Johnson seeking to become leader of the Conservative party, saying he has no plans to challenge Cameron.

But one MP said Johnson has no ambitions to serve under Cameron, and was moving into the perfect position to make a challenge if next year’s election does not bring an overall Tory majority.

“He doesn’t want to serve under Cameron. It is not his style. But he wants to show what he can do on the biggest stage of all, of course he does,” he said.

In the Sunday Times, Johnson appears to criticise a number of policies that are supported by one of his rivals for leadership, George Osborne.

Johnson described support for a third runway at Heathrow as “bollocks”, saying he will continue to campaign against high-speed rail, and appears to express support for green targets – all positions thought to be contrary to Osborne’s.

The Mail on Sunday reported that dozens of Tory MPs are prepared to vote against the first Queen’s speech of the new government in a bid to replace Cameron with Johnson, if the Tory leader enters into another coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

This would happen if the Tories failed to win an overall majority and were forced into a coalition with other political parties, the paper claims.

Nearly all polls have predicted the Tories will fall short of an overall majority in 2015.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/10/boris-johnson-conservative-party-leadership-david-cameron

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Francis Maude says it is intolerable for some people to be very intensively overflown, “to the extreme detriment of their lives”

Francis Maude, MP for Horsham, wrote that the ADNID trial has been almost six months of intense misery for many of his constituents. He has been liaising with the airport, the CAA, NATS and the Secretary of State for Transport on the trial and its impacts. Gatwick is aiming to increase potential take-offs at peak times from 55 to 58 per hour from its single runway, and to do this it claims to need more focused flight paths, allowed by better aircraft on-board navigation systems. Gatwick says it needs to use new NPR routes, rather than the established ones. Government policy is that the decision about new routes, which rests with the Secretary of State, will be based on reducing the numbers of people overflown, in a simple headcount exercise. But there are local circumstances which allow for other considerations – background noise, altitude above sea level –  to be taken into account, and Francis says “this is our best hope of seeing off this threat.” Sharing of the noise misery burden may be tolerable but ” What is intolerable is when fewer people are very intensively overflown, to the extreme detriment of their lives.” He adds: “I have sought reassurance that the consultation being run by IpsosMori will be independently scrutinised by the CAA, using the raw data if necessary.”  
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Gatwick Update

Thursday, 7 August, 2014
(Francis Maude’s website)

Tomorrow, Gatwick’s ADNID trial will end just one week before its scheduled date, after almost six months of intense misery for many of my constituents.

It began on 17th February without prior warning, and although it may be a plausible argument that advance notice might have coloured people’s perception of it, there was no doubt that by 8am on that Monday morning many residents - in Warnham particularly - were shocked beyond belief by the new intensity of the flights.

Since then I have been back and forth to the airport, the CAA, NATS and the Secretary of State for Transport who has written to me again following our recent meeting. The full text of the letter appears on my website, [AirportWatch is still trying to track this letter down .... so far without success .....] but the main points are these:

•London airspace is hugely busy and complex, and needs more capacity

•Gatwick is aiming to increase potential take-offs at peak times from 55 to 58 per hour from its single runway, and to do this it claims to need more focused fight paths, allowed by better on-board navigation systems

•As part of this goal, it is claimed that a new Noise Preferential Route must be adopted, and the current consultation (which ends on 14thAugust) aims to collect data on which of three routes is most preferred by local residents

.•Government policy is that the decision about new routes, which rests with the Secretary of State, will be based on reducing the numbers of people overflown, in a simple headcount exercise. But there are local circumstances which allow for other considerations to be taken into account, and this is our best hope of seeing off this threat. I continue to argue that within a few miles of an airport most people expect to be aware of planes, but as long as the nuisance is equitably shared, it is bearable and a trade-off against the convenience of having an airport nearby (for businesses as well as travellers). What is intolerable is when fewer people are very intensively overflown, to the extreme detriment of their lives

.•I also argue that as heights are counted above mean sea level, which does make sense as the only realistic datum, communities in elevated positions should have that elevation taken into account

.•As there seem to be many complaints about the airspace consultation itself, I have sought reassurance that the consultation being run by IpsosMori will be independently scrutinised by the CAA, using the raw data if necessary.  

You are urged to respond to the consultation at

gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation before 14th August,

and also write to the airport and to the address below if you have concerns about the presentation and methodology of the consultation, and its accessibility by ordinary members of the public.

To:

Airspace Business Coordinator – Airspace, ATM and Aerodromes                                                Re: Gatwick Airspace Change SID Consultation                                                                                Safety and Airspace Regulation Group                                                                                         CAA House                                                                                                                                                  45-59 Kingsway                                                                                                                                  London WC2B 6TE

Email: airspacepolicy@caa.co.uk

I very much hope that we can achieve a fair result for all residents in Surrey and Sussex when this process is complete.

http://www.francismaude.com/news/gatwick-update

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Gatwick Airport’s document on the ADNID trial

http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/cttee/gat/gat100414i11a.pdf





The CAA have also published their April Board Meeting Minutes and these include a section on the ADNID trial in the Chief Executive’s Report :

“6. As part of the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) initiatives, Gatwick airport and NATS are trialling new departure routes. The ADNID Standard Instrument Departure trial has attracted many complaints from residents in Warnham, which is an area of a “high level of tranquillity” within 2 Km of the trial route. CAA is encouraging NATS and Gatwick to proactively manage communications with those affected and is also challenging NATS and Gatwick to ensure that the trial is ended as soon as sufficient data is available. It was confirmed that the CAA had handled the initiation of the trial in accordance with the Air Navigation Guidance issued by the Secretary of State. Should NATS or Gatwick wish to propose an airspace change that included the ADNID route it would be subject to full consultation requirements. The Board acknowledged the levels of local interest and the fact that an absolute level of noise is not a measure of public irritation and that different groups of people have different expectations of acceptable levels of ambient noise.”


https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/1743/CAABoardRedactedMinutesApr2014.pdf

A member of AirportWatch comments that it is not clear that the “initiation of the trial” was in accordance with the DfT Guidance. The CAA are supposed to determine the extent of the necessary consultation before the trial on the basis of the impact assessment provided by the trial sponsors. I don’t believe there was one.

Gatwick’s document on the ADNID trial is at
http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/cttee/gat/gat100414i11a.pdf

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Francis Maude said, slightly earlier:

Summer 2014 – The Latest Trial: 

The ADNID trial ends on Friday, just one week early. I regret that we have not been able to bring about its earlier demise.

Many of you have expressed your exasperation at the way in which it was inflicted, and I know that most of you on this address list have also registered your views with the CAA, Gatwick Airport, NATS, the Department for Transport, Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council.

I have continued throughout the trial period to focus on two things:

-          Promoting the essential fairness of dispersing flights rather than concentrating them, even if the latter is apparently justified by claiming fewer numbers of people being overflown

-          Challenging the assertion that there needs to be any new Noise Preferential Route in order for Gatwick to achieve a modest potential increase in hourly movements as a single runway airport.

I recently met with Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, and attach a copy of his letter to me following the meeting. I also attach a copy of my County Times article which appears this week.

I would urge you to respond to the flightpath consultation before it closes on 14th August if you have not done so already. If it is your view that no new NPRs should be adopted, you may offer that view, although it is not immediately apparent.

Many of you already know that after the recent roadshow by Gatwick Airport to determine which of three options was the favourite plan for their second runway site, very many more people opted for no second runway at all than the total of those who expressed a preference for one of the second runway options. Depending on the way in which the figures are interpreted, this ranges from twice as many to 5.6 times as many.

Many of you have also reported that you find the consultation too long, and far too technical for a layman to complete. I understand that Gatwick claim to have tried to achieve a balance between giving too much technical information and not giving enough, but if you still have serious concerns about the methodology and design of the consultation, the Secretary of State offers a route for you to express those concerns.

This debate is by no means over yet.  I cannot express a preference for one scheme above another, in public or private, as it would be invidious for me to support an option that advantages one group of constituents at the expense of others.  I am able to ensure that the voices of all my constituents are being heard loud and clear, so that the ultimate decision-makers are in no doubt at all about the effects of their decisions.

Best wishes

Francis Maude

http://www.francismaude.com/content/no-second-runway

 

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Francis Maude also says:

No to second runway

The Horsham Parliamentary constituency benefits enormously from its close proximity to Gatwick Airport.  Many people work at Gatwick and commute from it – it’s a key part of the regional and local economy.

A regular visitor to Gatwick, Francis is keen for it to flourish - but only as a single runway airport.

A legal agreement preventing a second runway is due to expire in 2019 and Francis has long campaigned against future plans being developed.  He is a supporter of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign and chairs a group of local authorities and MPs who are all against a second runway.

Adding another runway would increase Gatwick’s capacity from 45m to 80m passengers a year and would require a new town the size of Crawley to be built in the area.  There would be many environmental implications, already struggling local infrastructure would be further challenged and many more local residents would suffer from noise pollution.

When, in December 2009, BAA sold Gatwick to Global Infrastructure Partners, Francis was quick to point out to the new Board that the local community did not want an additional runway and that the airport could expand without one.

The Board later ruled out a second runway and Francis spoke out about how pleased he was that the campaign had met with early success.

In Dec 2013 The news from the Airports Commission led by Sir Howard Davies announcing that Gatwick has been short-listed by the Government as a potential 2nd runway option is disappointing for those of us concerned about a second runway at Gatwick.

Building a second runway would have huge environmental impacts with noise pollution the greatest, and this is seen to be the biggest single concern about its feasibility although the commission report does describe significant improvements in aircraft fuel efficiency and noise footprint. The second concern is the need for much improved local infrastructure and for many more houses to be built in an area where local councils are already struggling to meet the targets, the paradox being that the provision of these houses would ensure that many more families would be subject to the noise pollution. The Commission report suggests that Gatwick, London City and Luton are all forecast to become full by 2030 across a range of scenarios regardless of whether or not there is an additional runway, and by 2050 the carbon capped forecast is predicted to have risen still further to more than 95% of available capacity. The good news is that work of the Commission is not yet done, and has so far only confirmed this need for increased runway capacity somewhere in the south. It has shortlisted two options for new runways at Heathrow and one at Gatwick, and more work is to be done on the option of creating an entirely new hub airport in the Thames estuary. It is inevitable that when the decision is made there will be as many people frustrated and disappointed as will be excited at the prospect of growth in the local economy. I will continue with other West Sussex MPS to ensure that the voice of local people is heard throughout the decision making process

 

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Birmingham delighted to get daily flight to India, largely for tourism and VFR

 Birmingham airport’s is encouraged by a decision by Air India to increase the number of flights between Birmingham, Delhi and Amritsa from 4 per week to 7 per week. This will start from November, when its 18th Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is inducted into service. Birmingham has now had direct flights to India for one year, after having none for 5 years. Though some passengers are on business, the majority are tourists and people visiting friends and relatives in India. Having three more flights per week will mean an extra 1,500 seats a week, as the Air India Dreamliners have 256 seats (256 x 3 x 2 = 1,5360.  Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive, said “The West Midlands receives more foreign direct investment from India than any other region outside of London and Birmingham’s VFR (visiting friends and family) market grew by 71% in 2013, now attracting more visitors from India than any English city other than London.” The runway extension, that opened in April, is enabling more flights to longer haul destinations. The flight path trials, due to the runway extension, are causing real concern and distress to those south of the airport, now finding themselves seriously overflown.
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Birmingham Airport’s global aspirations boosted as Air India extends services

6.8.2014 (The Business Desk)
 

By Duncan Tift – Deputy Editor, West Midlands

BIRMINGHAM Airport’s aspirations to be a global hub have been boosted with a decision by Air India to boost its services from the facility.

Air India has committed to increase its Birmingham-Delhi-Amritsar operation from four flights per week to daily services from November, when its 18th Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is inducted into service.

The decision coincides with the first anniversary of the renewal of flights by Air India between Birmingham and the sub-continent following a five year absence.

Announcing the growth plans, the airline’s Commercial Director, Pankaj Srivastava, said: “Since starting our four times weekly Dreamliner programme from Birmingham Airport last year, we have handled more than 80,000 passengers on board 210 flights, serving business passengers, tourists and people visiting friends and relatives.

“Air India is committed to develop and grow in this market and once we have taken the delivery of our 18th Dreamliner aircraft in November, we hope to launch the daily operation from Birmingham Airport.

“This will provide an extra 1,500 seats a week and give passengers greater choice, flexibility and opportunity to travel from the convenience of Birmingham Airport to Amritsar and Delhi, and onwards on Air India’s extensive global network.”

Air India’s current schedule operates from Birmingham each Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday on its 256-seat B787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely thankful to Air India for recognising the demand from travellers needing the flexibility of daily services from Birmingham.

“The West Midlands receives more foreign direct investment from India than any other region outside of London and Birmingham’s VFR market grew by 71% in 2013, now attracting more visitors from India than any English city other than London.
“It’s therefore not surprising that the route has been such a success in its first year and I am certain that a daily service would make the Birmingham route even more appealing to Midlands’ travellers.”

 

http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/652779-birmingham-airport-s-global-aspirations-boosted-as-air-india-extends-services.html?news_section=19036

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More recent news about  Birmingham airport, and the flight path trials – as well as the airport’s aspirations, see

 

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