Residents in the Luton area have held a meeting to voice their concerns following the decision in early May by the Government (Eric Pickles) to not call in the planning application for the expansion for Luton Airport. The meeting, chaired by Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN), was held in Breachwood Green and was attended by about 50 people. They were encouraged to record aircraft noise, to keep details of the current situation, to illustrate the increased impact an extra 55,000 flights a year would have on those living nearby. The expansion application would see passenger capacity rise from 12.5 million to 18 million a year by 2026. That decision has been widely criticised by local people,and by their MPs who realise it will adversely affect local quality of life for thousands. It means the expansion can now be granted by Luton Borough Council – which also owns the airport. There is very real and widespread concern about the number of night flights, noise both of departures and arrivals, road congestion, and air quality – as well as climate change implications.
Residents urged to record Luton Airport noise from aircraft
Residents gathered last week to voice their concerns following the decision by the Government to not call in the planning application for the expansion for Luton Airport.
The meeting, chaired by Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN), was held at Breachwood Green Village Hall on Thursday, May 29.
About 50 people attended and were encouraged by LADACAN to record aircraft noise to illustrate the increased impact an extra 55,000 flights a year would have on those living nearby,
Last month Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, decided not to call in the expansion application – which would also see passenger capacity rise from 12.5 million to 18m a year by 2026.
The decision, which has been widely criticised by Comet country MPs, means the planning application for the expansion can now be granted by Luton Borough Council – which owns the airport.
Speaking about the meeting, Andrew Lambourne from campaign group Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion (HALE) said: “The meeting gave people the chance to find out where things currently stand with the planning application and raise their concerns. A high level of frustration was expressed that it appears so little can be done to head off the quality-of-life impact of the Luton Airport expansion.”
Some of the issues that were raised were the number of night flights, the level of noise both during departure and arrival, road congestion, air quality and climate change and the general safety risk.
People concerned about aircraft noise or flights are asked to record the details and email email@example.com
LADACAN is holding an informal meeting on Thursday 29th May at 8pm in Breachwood Green Village Hall to discuss the latest developments re Luton Airport expansion (see below), and what options are open to us for further action
Government ignores its own policy
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has decided not to “call-in” the Airport’s plan for expansion leaving the way clear for Luton Borough Council to grant permission. We have no details of the basis of this decision but it appears that the Government is prepared to let its policy on aircraft noise fall by the wayside on this, its first test since it was approved last year.
LADACAN wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport in January pointing out that the decision does not conform to the policy and that planning applications such as this are his only means of enforcing the policy.
Meanwhile, there appears to be huge confusion over the conditions which the Council wants to apply to the grant of permission: there is a significant danger that LADACAN and the other residents’ groups which oppose the plans will agree with the Airport management that the conditions are not fit for purpose and make little sense.
Luton Airport operators LLAOL have announced that Eric Pickles, Secretary of State, has decided not to call in the expansion plans, meaning that Luton Borough Council can now grant planning permission for works designed to achieve a doubling of annual passenger capacity.
The government is clearly hell-bent on expanding airport capacity in the South East, come what may. Regardless of the fact that 70% of the public who responded to the consultation over Luton Airport Expansion said NO, ignoring the fact that aviation is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases, and despite the application technically constituting a nationally significant infrastructure project, Eric Pickles has failed to call this application in for proper scrutiny.
The airport’s announcement this morning mentions everything except the key local issues: the effect of an extra 9 million passengers per year on the already crowded transport infrastructure, and the effect of noise from 60% more flights. The throwaway comment at the end about being a good neighbour is meaningless unless the airport takes seriously the concerns about noise and puts in place measures to make a difference. That means a Noise Action Plan which has some real bite, and Planning Conditions which control noise over local communities.
Air links between Dundee and London have been secured for the next 2 years with funding put in place today by the UK government. The public service obligation (PSO) agreed between the UK government and Dundee City Council guarantees £2.85 million to keep the route open, with flight times between the 2 airports at around 90 minutes. The funding comes from the new Regional Air Connectivity fund announced by Danny Alexander at Spending Round 13. This is the first funding of its kind. Robert Goodwill, UK Aviation Minister said: “Regional airports have a key role to play in our long term economic plan for the nation’s future prosperity, and the government is committed to ensuring they have access to London and vice versa.” The Regional Air Connectivity fund can be used to maintain important regional air connections, where they are in danger of being lost. The government doubled the size of the fund to £20 million per year in the 2014 Budget. The government aims to set up a second PSO agreement for the Newquay-London air link later this year, for business and tourism.
Department for Transport signs first public service obligation to protect Dundee Airport to London Stansted Airport route
6.6.2014 (DfT website)
Air links between Dundee and London have been secured for the next 2 years with funding put in place today (6 June 2014) by the government. The public service obligation (PSO) agreed between the UK government and Dundee City Council guarantees £2.85 million to keep the route open, with flight times between the 2 airports at around an hour and a half.
The funding comes from the new Regional Air Connectivity fund announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander at Spending Round 13.
LoganAir will operate the route under PSO from 1 July 2014. Two daily flights each way means business people and visitors will continue to be able to visit both destinations for day trips.
Danny Alexander said:
I’m delighted that the Regional Air Connectivity Fund I announced at the Spending Round 13 is delivering for Dundee. Dundee is a key economic hub in Scotland’s thriving economy. This will ensure that its key industries remain connected to rest of the UK. It’s good news for the people of Dundee and shows how we are better off together.
UK Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said:
This funding from the Regional Air Connectivity fund, the first of its kind, is good news for Dundee and its economy, whether it’s the world class research being carried out the University of Dundee or the city’s financial services sector. Regional airports have a key role to play in our long term economic plan for the nation’s future prosperity, and the government is committed to ensuring they have access to London and vice versa.
Ken Guild, leader of Dundee City Council said:
Flights to and from London continue to play an important role in Dundee’s long term regeneration and our position in the country. With the service now secured through this PSO, the council and its partners will carry on encouraging as many people as possible to make use of the London link.
The funding marks the first ever UK government PSO, following Dundee City Council’s application for support from the Regional Air Connectivity fund. The fund, announced in the 2013 Spending Round, can be used to maintain important regional air connections, where they are in danger of being lost. The government doubled the size of the fund to £20 million per year in the 2014 Budget.
In addition, the government aims to set up a second PSO agreement for the Newquay-London air link after the existing commercial carrier announced it would no longer operate the route from October 2014. The twice daily flights would attract business investment and tourists to Cornwall and offer an important additional travel option to the railway and roads.
Scottish Transport Minister warns Dundee Airport still faces major challenges even with £2.85 million PSO help
Date added: June 11, 2014
The Scottish Transport Minister has said that Dundee Airport still faces a challenge after the £2.85 million funding guaranteeing its future for 2 years was approved. Councillors agreed the public service obligation (PSO) between Westminster and Dundee City Council, which guarantees the money to keep the Dundee to London (Stansted) air route open. Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown, while welcoming the deal, said it was only part of securing the long-term future of the airport. Dundee Airport can now start looking forward. The airport faces a challenge in the increasingly competitive aviation market and needs to continue looking at all the available options to encourage more passengers and businesses to use it. They might be able to drum up business from the offshore renewable energy sector. The PSO funding comes from the new Regional Air Connectivity fund and is the first funding of its kind.
“In addition to safeguarding an airport slot, the Government may also ‘where appropriate’ provide funding to an airline to compensate its running a non-commercially viable service. In the UK Dundee City Council has undertaken a tender process to find an operator to provide a PSO service between Dundee and London. And the Commission understands that Cornwall County Council has been in discussion with the Department for Transport and will shortly be in a position to launch a tender process for a Newquay to London route. Prior to these recent establishments, the UK’s only PSOs operated between Scottish islands, or from these islands into the mainland.”
London City Airport has a planning application, initially submitted in July 2013, originally with 28th October as the comment deadline, for “Works to demolish existing buildings and structures and provide additional infrastructure and passenger facilities at London City Airport without changes to the number of permitted flights or opening hours previously permitted pursuant to planning permission.” The comment deadline was extended to 18th December. The local authority, Newham Council, has now announced that it will be re-consulting on the application. The deadline for comment is now 10th July, with the application expected to go to committee on 23rd July 2014. There have so been 1,282 responses to the application, all of which appear to be objecting to it. The airport said last year they were extending the deadline so”as many local people and wider stakeholders as possible can make their voices heard.” There was another deadline of 2nd May, for a consultation on extra material the Mayor and Newham asked of the airport, including an Environmental Statement, addendum etc…. .
RE: RECONSULTATION FOLLOWING REVISIONS TO THE PLANNING APPLICATION INCLUDING ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT. SECOND ADDENDUM RECEIVED.
Planning Application CADP1:
Works to demolish existing buildings and structures and provide additional infrastructure and passenger facilities at London City Airport without changes to the number of permitted flights or opening hours previously permitted pursuant to planning permission 07/01510/VAR.
Detailed planning permission is being sought for:
(a) Demolition of existing buildings and structures;
(b) 4 no. upgraded aircraft stands and 7 new aircraft parking stands;
(c) Extension and modification of the existing airfield, including the creation of an extended taxilane;
(d) Emergency vehicle access point over King George V Dock;
(e) Replacement landside Forecourtto include vehicle circulation, pick up and drop off areas and hard and soft landscaping;
(f) Eastern Extension to the existing Terminal Building (including alteration works to the existing Terminal);
(g) Construction of a 3 storey passenger pier to the east of the existing Terminal;
(h) Erection of Noise Barriers;
(i) Western Extension and alterations to the existing Terminal;
(j) Western Energy Centre, storage, ancillary accommodation and landscaping;l;
(k) Facilitation Works including temporary coaching facility and extension to the outbound baggage area;
(l) Upgrading works to Hartmann Road;
(n) Passenger and staff parking, car hire parking, taxi feeder park and ancillary and related work;
(m) Passenger and staff parking, car hire parking, taxi feeder park and ancillary and related work;
(o) Eastern Energy Centre;
(p) Dock Source Heat Exchange System within King George V Dock; and
(q) Ancillary and related work
The applications is accompanied by an Environmental Statement.
London City Airport Hartmann Road Silvertown London E16 2PX
Documents etc (including consultation responses) can be seen at
There are so far 1,282 consultation responses, of which virtually all appear to be objections. See at consultation responses
Public consultation on London City Airport planning applications extended to 18th December 2013
29 October 2013 (Newham council)
We are extending our public consultation on London City Airport planning applications to midday on 18 December 2013.
Due to the number of responses to the London City Airport planning consultation, including many who have asked for extra time to submit a response, we have decided to extend the deadline from 28 October 2013 until midday on Wednesday 18 December 2013.
The major planning applications propose additional infrastructure, passenger facilities and a new hotel at the airport. We will shortly be publicising the extended consultation deadline including writing to more than 25,000 homes in the local area.
A Newham Council spokesperson said:
“We know these are major planning applications and we already had a significant response by 28 October. We have extended the deadline until 18 December to ensure as many local people and wider stakeholders as possible can make their voices heard.”
Public consultation on London City Airport planning applications extended to 18th December
October 30, 2013
Newham Council are extending their public consultation on London City Airport planning applications to midday on 18 December 2013. The deadline had been 28th October, but the application is mainly online, and the council planning website was down during some of the time. The planning application was presented in such an impenetrable manner on the Newham website that it was effectively impossible for ordinary people to understand what was proposed. Now Newham says that : “Due to the number of responses to the London City Airport planning consultation, including many who have asked for extra time to submit a response, we have decided to extend the deadline…. The major planning applications propose additional infrastructure, passenger facilities and a new hotel at the airport. We will shortly be publicising the extended consultation deadline including writing to more than 25,000 homes in the local area.” Local campaigners welcomed the extension and said the impacts of the expansion by London City Airport will affect the local area for generations to come, so it is important that local residents have the opportunity to get their voices heard.
London City Airport expansion plan – inadequate consultation by Newham – but campaigners have produced guidance on how to respond
October 26, 2013
London City Airport applied back in July for expansion. While the application does not propose to increase the number of flights, it crucially changes the split between scheduled jets and jet centre movements leading to a change in the 2010 baseline public safety zone. The application is to demolish some buildings and structures, and upgrade four aircraft stands, adding 7 new aircraft parking stands. It would also mean extension and modification of the existing airfield, including the creation of an extended taxi lane.There would be changes to parking and vehicle access, and an extension to the terminal building. The consultation in on the Newham Council website (though on some days it has not bee accessible) – it ends on 28th October. There is a huge list of documents, with no accessible detail, making comment by ordinary people nearly impossible. London City Airport campaigners have located the key information, and produced a simple response email which anyone can (adapt and) use. There are real fears of more noise from the airport and building space removed form the enlarged public safety zones. Do send in a reply if you agree these proposals should be opposed.
London City Airport submits expansion plans – to enable 50,000 more aircraft movements per year – to Newham Council
September 19, 2013 .
London City Airport has submitted its expansion plans to Newham Council. The plans could see an extra 50,000 flight movements each year, from the current level of around 64,000 in 2012 to around 120,000 (the level that was permitted by Newham in July 2009). The planned expansion could see the airport handling up to 6 million passengers per year, compared to around 3 million in 2012. The plans (costing some £200 million) would include 7 new parking stands, parking stands enlarged to cater for larger aircraft, due to arrive in 2016, a new eastern passenger pier and associated works on a platform over the King George V Dock. Plans also include an extension to the aircraft taxiway running along the eastern length of the runway, and a new passenger forecourt in front of the terminal building, an extension of the terminal, a new office building (to replace City Aviation House) and a hotel. Passenger and staff car parking will re-organised. The airport says it needs these, as morning and evening business flights were almost at capacity. .
Residents seek caste-iron guarantee that new planes will be quieter as City Airport seeks to expand
July 27, 2013 HACAN East, the organisation which represents residents under the London City and Heathrow flight paths, is concerned that that City Airport’s expansion plans, to be announced soon, will result in more noise across East and South-East London. The airport is proposing to undertake a lot of work on its runway and taxiways to allow bigger planes to use the airport. It is also proposing to expand the terminal, build a hotel and create more parking. HACAN East chair, John Stewart, said, “City Airport claims that the new planes will be quieter than the large aircraft currently using the airport. But residents need a caste-iron guarantee that the planes will actually be quieter. People need assurances after 25 years of broken promises by the airport. It opened by telling residents that the airport would only use ‘whispering’ jets.” London City’s expansion plans now go to Newham Council, the planning authority for the airport, for approval.
Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 – which cost the airport £2.5 billion – opened on 4th June, with no problems. It had a very low key and unambitious opening, with just 6,000 passengers on the first day of operation – 0.03% of its 20 million passenger capacity – thereby avoiding the chaotic scenes which accompanied the opening of Terminal 5 in 2008. John Holland-Kaye, who takes over as Heathrow’s chief executive next month, claimed the new terminal would help Heathrow’s quest for a 3rd runway, as they managed to do it without anything going wrong (there were months of practices to ensure problems were avoided) and with Heathrow staying open. Mr Holland-Kaye, who is paid to say this sort of thing, said perceptions and the “political landscape” about Heathrow had changed (no evidence given) over the past 5 – 6 years. “We have been able to listen much more to the local community and changed our plans to be more acceptable. We have coming together a possibility of building a political consensus around Heathrow”…. But that really isn’t true….
Heathrow Terminal 2 ‘will make Britain more competitive’
Airport boss claims new £2.5bn facility will boost Britain’s economy and help the airport’s campaign for a third runway
Visitors arrive at the new Terminal 2. It has 60 check-in gates and 66 self-check-in kiosks, 29 security lanes, 33 shops, 17 restaurants, more than 7,000 seats, 634 toilets and 42 water fountains.Photo: Bloomberg
Heathrow’s new £2.5bn Terminal 2 will be a “game-changer” for the airport and give the UK economy a competitive edge over France and Germany, its new boss claimed on Wednesday.
The new terminal building opened without a hitch, welcoming just 6,000 passengers on the first day of operation – 0.03% of its 20 million passenger capacity – thereby avoiding the chaotic scenes which accompanied the opening of Terminal 5 in 2008.
John Holland-Kaye, who takes over as Heathrow’s chief executive next month, said the new terminal would help its quest for a third runway, insisting perceptions had changed since the airport’s last plans were rebuffed by the Coalition four years ago.
“What Terminal 2 does is it completely changes the balance because it shows our ambition to completely rebuild Heathrow airport while running it,” said Mr Holland-Kaye. “It is a game-changer in terms of people’s perception of what Heathrow is all about.
Terminal 2 replaces Heathrow’s first ever permanent building, which was opened by the Queen in 1955. The facility will eventually be home to 26 airlines, 23 of which are members of the Star Alliance group of carriers, including Air China, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. United was the first airline to start operating out of Terminal 2 on Wednesday but all 26 carriers will have moved by the end of October.
The new building will replace Terminal 1, which will close in October 2015 and eventually be demolished.
Mr Holland-Kaye said: “I think the political landscape has changed massively in the last five-six years. It has changed because people are much more aware of the benefits of jobs and growth that come from the airport, both as it is today and as an expanded airport. We have been able to listen much more to the local community and changed our plans to be more acceptable. We have coming together a possibility of building a political consensus around Heathrow which wasn’t there five years ago, both at a national level and local level.”
Mr Holland-Kaye said Terminal 2 would ensure Heathrow stays ahead of its closest rivals in Europe, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt, which are all competing for business, particularly for routes to emerging markets.
“Not only do we have better long-haul connections than any other airport in the world, which is a huge benefit for the UK, we also have a world class airport. This will now be a better airport than Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt. It makes us better able to compete as a country against the French and the Germans who are all chasing global growth.”
Heathrow has been preparing for the opening for the last six months to avoid the embarrassment of 2008, when flights had to be cancelled on the first day of Terminal 5’s operation and other passengers faced delays or lost baggage.
Terminal 5 was only completed two weeks before it opened but Heathrow has been road-testing Terminal 2 since last November with the help of 14,000 volunteers from local communities who pretended to be passengers.
The new building is part of a much wider overhaul of Heathrow which will eventually see passengers pass through two terminals, East and West. These will be formed from terminals two and five.
The airport will start looking at proposals for a £4.5bn extension to Terminal 2 in 2018-2019, although the extent of its investment plans will depend on whether Heathrow is selected for an additional runway by the Airports Commission.
Terminal 2 is home to 33 retailers, including John Lewis’s first airport shop. Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal and pubs group Fuller’s have also opened food and drink outlets at the terminal.
Heathrow bosses breathed a massive sigh of relief today as the airport’s new £2.5 billion Terminal 2 survived its first morning without a major hitch.
Businessman Rao Mohan, 45, was the first passenger to emerge through the arrivals gate less than 20 minutes after his United Airlines flight from Chicago landed at 5.49am. He was greeted by a Beefeater stationed at the gate.
Mr Mohan said: “I fly into London a lot and I am really impressed by what I can see today. It is so bright and clean and gives a good impression of the UK. It is not often you get a Beefeater meeting you so it is a pleasure to be part of this special day.”
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was another of the first passengers off Flight UA958. He said: “The new terminal looks great, very impressive.”
Lucille Eckrich, 56, also flew in from the Windy City for a family holiday.She said: “My first impression is that this is a good job. We had no problems with our bags and were through quickly. The pomp and ceremony was nice and this gives a good impression of the UK.”
Airport bosses had been on tenterhooks for the official opening of the building, officially known as Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal.
They went to huge efforts to avoid a repeat of the fiasco when T5 opened in 2008.
In one of the darkest chapters in the airport’s history, hundreds of flights were cancelled and thousands of bags went missing.
But today the airport’s chief executive John Holland Kaye said: “It has been a fabulous start. We have learned the lessons of Terminal 5 and are not doing everything at once.
“We have had no problems so far and a lot of hard work has gone into making this start work. It should be said that Terminal 5 is now the best airport terminal in the world.”
New airports including Berlin, Doha and Hong Kong have all suffered major setbacks on opening in recent years and Heathrow has gone to great lengths to avoid teething troubles, including 180 trials involving 14,000 volunteers.
When it is fully operational the new terminal will cater for 20 million passengers a year compared with eight million passengers at the original T2 before it was demolished in 2009.
It will handle 178 flights a day from United, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, US Airways, Aer Lingus and Virgin Atlantic Little Red and will be opened by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on June 23.
But Gavin Hayes of the Let Britain Fly campaign said the terminal “does little to relieve the huge pressure on UK aviation capacity” and urged a decision on extra runways.
Next month, it will be the first airport outside of London to host a flight to and from China. He told MPs: “The West Midlands is the only region in the UK with a positive balance of trade with China, with our advanced manufacturing base leading the way. He wants to see government action to make better use of the airports and runways we have already. This means changes to tax rules to encourage airlines to use regional airports for long haul routes.
Airlines should be encouraged to use regional airports
Birmingham airport chief has called for the Government to change tax rules to encourage airlines to use spare airport capacity in the regions.
Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham airport told MPS, Lords and business leaders that space at regional airports should be utilised rather than travellers having to travel through the ‘congested South East’.
He said in Birmingham’s case, the airport is just 70 minutes from London and, with its newly extended runway, it can cater for long haul routes to China and the US West Coast.
Kehoe said: “With air traffic set to double over the next fifty years, the Airports Commission is rightly looking at expanding UK airport capacity, but we also need to see Government action to make better use of the airports and runways we have already.
“This means changes to tax rules to encourage airlines to use regional airports for long haul routes, and a concerted government-led marketing push around the world to let growing markets and foreign airlines know Britain’s city regions and our airports are open for business.”
On July 22nd, Birmingham Airport will become the country’s first airport outside London to host a flight to and from China.
Birmingham Airport chief urges MPs to back ‘great airports for great cities’
By Tamlyn Jones
Addressing a cross party reception of MPs, lords and business leaders in London following the Queen’s Speech today, Paul Kehoe said more needed to be done to maximise the use of what capacity the country has now in its city regions.
The comments came as the South East’s airports become increasingly congested and the Airports Commission looks at long-term runway options.
Birmingham Airport can now cater for long-haul flights to destinations such as China and the west coast of the US and will be even closer to the capital when HS2 opens.
Next month, it will be the first airport outside of London to host a flight to and from China.
Mr Kehoe told MPs: “The West Midlands is the only region in the UK with a positive balance of trade with China, with our advanced manufacturing base leading the way.
“Businesses in the region and beyond tell us they want to fly to growing markets around the world from their local regional airport, not have to travel through the congested South East.
“With air traffic set to double over the next 50 years, the Airports Commission is rightly looking at expanding UK airport capacity but we also need to see government action to make better use of the airports and runways we have already.
“This means changes to tax rules to encourage airlines to use regional airports for long haul routes and a concerted government-led marketing push around the world to let growing markets and foreign airlines know Britain’s city regions and our airports are open for business.”
Zac Goldsmith had unveiled his star cast to judge a £10,000 anti-Heathrow airport expansion film competition. Presenter Holly Willoughby and Bafta award-winning director Nick Broomfield will join actor Hugh Grant and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth on the panel of judges for the “No Ifs No Buts” competition set up by Zac (MP for Richmond) with anti-expansion group Hacan. The nationwide competition was launched 2 months ago to highlight opposition to the 3rd runway at Heathrow. Entrants have been asked to submit a 2-minute video saying why a 3rd runway should not be built. The short-listed entries will be judged by at a gala night in the Richmond Theatre in front of 800 guests on June 18, with a £10,000 prize. Zac said: “Heathrow expansion is not politically deliverable. The arguments against it are stacking up every week and the opposition is organised and growing ….. A green light for Heathrow expansion is effectively a green light for a vast, foreign-owned and taxpayer-subsidised monopoly on one edge of our great city. It is astonishing that the idea is even in consideration.”
Campaigner Zac Goldsmith today unveiled a star cast to judge a £10,000 anti-Heathrow airport expansion film competition.
Presenter Holly Willoughby and Bafta award-winning director Nick Broomfield will join actor Hugh Grant and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth on the panel of judges for t he No Ifs No Buts competition set up by the Richmond MP with anti-expansion group Hacan.
The nationwide competition was launched two months ago to highlight opposition to the third runway at Heathrow. Entrants have been asked to submit a two-minute video saying why a third runway should not be built.
The shortlisted entries will be judged by at a gala night in the Richmond Theatre in front of 800 guests on June 18, with a £10,000 prize.
Mr Goldsmith said: “Heathrow expansion is not politically deliverable. The arguments against it are stacking up every week and the opposition is organised and growing.
“As if all the other arguments aren’t strong enough, Heathrow itself has finally admitted it cannot cope with the congestion of a third runway without adding a whole new tax on passengers.
“We have a great panel and lots of entrants. I hope there will be some powerful contributions…
“A green light for Heathrow expansion is effectively a green light for a vast, foreign-owned and taxpayer-subsidised monopoly on one edge of our great city. It is astonishing that the idea is even in consideration.”
Richmond Theatre, June 18. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a seat.
Zac Goldsmith and HACAN launch short film contest over Heathrow 3rd runway plan
24 March 2014Tory MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, and environmental campaigner, Zac Goldsmith has launched a film competition (with HACAN) to highlight opposition to a 3rd Heathrow runway – with £10,000 as the first prize. In an escalation of the anti-expansion campaign at Heathrow, Zac Goldsmith has also recruited celebrities to the cause with actor Hugh Grant and former Tory MP Giles Brandreth among the competition judges. Entrants to the competition will need to submit a short film (under 2 minutes) to highlight opposition to the runway. Short-listed entries will be judged by the panel at a gala evening of 800 guests at the Richmond Theatre on 18th June with the prize money provided by Zac. The competition is called “No Ifs, No Buts”, recalling David Cameron’s infamous pre-election pledge made in 2009 to an audience in Richmond not to allow a 3rd runway to be built at Heathrow. The competition is looking for powerful messages that will be taken up on social and conventional media, and ram home the message that Heathrow expansion is not only the wrong solution for our economy, it is politically undeliverable. The closing date for video entries is 1st June [now 7th June]. .On Twitter at @videoheathrow
Amateur or professional, it’s your chance to be creative! Submit a video………anything up to 2 minutes long to show why Heathrow expansion is the wrong answer. The best 10 entries will be screened at the Richmond theatre in June in front of celebrity judges.
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.
TOGETHER to strengthen actions against the Great Unnecessary Imposed Projects (GPII) for the preservation of agricultural land and jobs, for a choice of society that no longer endangers biodiversity and future generations …
Let’s make the next big national rally against the airport project on 5 and 6 July 2014 a militant and festive time of sharing information!
TOGETHER we will demonstrate that we are more determined than ever and massively mobilized.
This convergence is an opportunity from local struggles, decentralized throughout the country, to popularize and unite these struggles.
It will result in different forms of action plans:
• “caravans” (walking, bicycles, tractors, cars …)
• meeting points, information
• meetings in cities and rural areas travelled through, on the way to get to the final rally on the grounds of Bellevue on July 4 at around 19:00 .
8 decentralized rallies are planned at the weekend of June 28 and 29 as well as 3 large gatherings on 2 and 3 July.
6 major routes will emerge from 1 June
More than 10 caravans with stages in their journey will stop in symbolic places of struggle.
A great movement, throughout France starts to denounce the “artificialisaiton” of farmland and major harmful projects.
All paths converge at Notre Dame des Landes and the big rally on 5 and 6 July 2014.
If you want to participate by joining a caravan :
the tabs on top you have different caravans (bike / foot or vehicle) with the path to find the one that suits you best. You can contact officials, register and get information by leaving your email or phone number.
If you cannot follow a caravan but want to participate ?
Join one of the largest gatherings offered in the area where you are. A number or email address is available for contact. You may also be able to take part in one or two stages, depending on your availability.
For more information, contact us: email@example.com
The symbol of convergence: Walking stick
HISTORY OF THE STICK
On December 2, 1978, the peasants of Larzac ]. finished their work and come to Paris.
[Larzac was a 10 year struggle by farmers etc against a large government military camp. It was finally won, and the way it was carried out has been an inspiration to other social struggles, and civil disobedience, across France ever since.
They took shepherd’s crooks, used by the shepherds on the Larzac plateau, and in an impressive silence, they advanced to the rhythm of the walking sticks hitting the tarmac rhythmically in front of many mobile guards who were waiting for them.
Published April 4, 2014
Michel’s walking stick will be carried as a relay (Michel is a veteran campaigner against the NDDL airport, and has resisted it for years. He endured a one month hunger strike a few years ago – fasting for longer than anyone else was able to).
In November 2013, Michel Tarin* wrote: “I will go with my walking stick, with me remaining strength and in non-violence, on this ground, and we will defend it,square meter by square meter! I will not use my stick to bash the police but, as when our friends from Larzac went up to Paris, we will make our sticks resonate on the lands of the ZAD our sticks on land ZAD to protect if from the the programmed rampage … “
In May 2014, while the convergence towards NDDL were being organised, Michel expresses the idea that each person should bring with them a walking stick that will resonate in all places visited on the way to the ZAD at Notre Dame des Landes.
We have taken up his idea and made the stick the symbol of our struggle.
Michel’s stick will be at the rally at Glières on 31st May, and will be carried, from hand to hand and from struggle and struggle to NDDL on the 4th July.
Obtain, or make yourself, a walking stick.
Wood is recommended.
Engrave into the wood your name or nickname …your department … the date …
Take this stick to NDDL making it resonate through all the places of struggle you pass through.
You can also use it to support yourself and lean on.
If you are not going to NDDL, give your stick to someone else who will carry it on to the next step until it reaches its destination.
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:
• 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
“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.”
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?
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.
[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.
. By 2035
- 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, LESS CONGESTION
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
THE STATE-OF-THE-ART 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
June 3, 2014
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.
Gatwick hopes its claim will be believed that area’s road network will ‘better than or the same’ with 2nd runway
June 12, 2014
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
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.
These are the speaker presentations from the conference
Ambitious road and rail projects were revealed yesterday to cope with the challenges faced in providing transport systems to service the Airports Commission’s proposals for increasing the UK’s aviation capacity.
Transportation links into Heathrow, Gatwick, and a possible new Estuary Airport were debated at the Runways UK Surface Access conference at Pinsent Masons in London.
The Airports Commission has shortlisted three options to increase aviation runway capacity in the UK: a third runway to the northwest at Heathrow; the extension of a runway at Heathrow proposed by the independent Heathrow Hub group; a second runway at London Gatwick, while it will make a decision shortly on whether to add the multi-billion Estuary Airport to the list.
The first keynote speaker, Michael Schabas, from FCP, outlined his view on any expansion decision: “Connectivity is really important, followed by frequency, reliability, speed, and price,” he says.
In his view, London can learn about surface access from the Frankfurt inter-city transport links: “You can go almost anywhere in Germany on a train from Frankfurt Airport – an interesting example for London.”
He warned the UK not to make the same ‘big mistake’ made in Shanghai, China, where separate domestic and international airports were built on each side of the city.
Schabas told delegates he believes the Piccadilly line loop link with T4 at Heathrow was a ‘mistake’ and thinks it may be scrapped in the future.
He did appear to support a new runway at Heathrow, as highlighted it was in the right place for expansion, due to its location and links into London, and proximity to rail links and motorways, and the six million that use the Piccadilly line to get there.
Any new runway in the UK will have a huge impact on the Transport for London (Tfl) network, and managing director of planning and transport for Tfl, Michele Dix, says it is already crowded.
“Come 2031 even with all this committed schemes it is crowded on the underground and roads. We are playing catch-up at Tfl with the growth in London.
“There is substantial crowding in the future at peak hours even with planned improvements,” Dix explains.
Improved rail links to cope with the influx of more passengers resulting from the building of any new runway is seen as essential for making sure surface access is efficient.
Network Rail strategy and planning director, Paul Harwood, told delegates new runways at Gatwick and Heathrow, would increase use on the rail network by 6% at peak times.
“Both Heathrow and Gatwick would contribute a relatively small proportion of demand into London in the morning peak, but expansion at either are not peak hour game-changers,” he says.
Harwood says any airport expansion should be considered as a contributor to growth, and Network Rail is yet to assess the impact of the proposed Estuary Airport.
In his briefing, Airports Commission Secretariat Oliver Mulvey, highlighted the importance the quality of surface access, and says the commission considering ‘speed, cost and reliability’.
“For each option shortlisted, we will look at how good access to London is, across the South East and the regions,” Mulvey explains.
Any of the runway projects, he notes need to the balance the needs of commuters, airport passengers and freight use in their surface access strategy.
Mulvey explains the commission will undergo an intensive summer appraisal of all the shortlisted options, before a national consultation on each from around October time.
As for the Estuary Airport proposal, he says four feasibility studies have been carried out, including one on surface transport, and all the studies will be published for comment in July.
The commission will make a decision on the Boris Johnson championed new hub on the Isle of Grain in Kent in August, or September, and Mulvey says, if it is shortlisted it could push back their timetable.
In his presentation on the Estuary Airport, Huw Thomas, a partner at Foster + Partners, architect for the project, explains it would have a transportation hub, servicing all transport modes.
Among proposals, Thomas says are construction of a Lower Thames bridge crossing linking Kent and Essex by rail and road, while rail links are a key part of the plans, as it connects the ‘crisis of increased population in the east of London’ and to routes for economic needs.
Thomas says the integrated transportation hub, would be similar to Hong Kong International Airport: “Downtown check-in is critical and a key of how an airport functions. Passengers would be able to drop bags off at the transport hub on arrival, which would go direct to gates,” he explains.
Thomas believes a long-term decision must be made by the commission as expansion affects generations of the future.
Gatwick’s propsed Gatwick Gateway
As part of London Gatwick’s plans for a second runway, is a new single transportation centre Gatwick Gateway, which would handle all transportation arrivals.
Head of airport development, Julia Gregory, told delegates that ‘maximising’ public transport was a key part of the strategy, and it hopes 60% passengers will arrive by public transport, by 2040.
The M25 and M23 would also be improved, including the doubling of capacity at Junction 9 of the M23, while coach and bus links would be ramped up.
Gregory says the Gatwick Gateway is deliverable by 2021: “15 million people would be within 60 minutes of Gatwick, and one million people within 25 miles.”
Gatwick says by 2019 there will be a train to London every 2.5 minutes, rail capacity will be doubled by 2020, nearly trebled by 2035, and 1000 rail stations will be within one change.
Heathrow’s planned transportation hub
Heathrow Airport head of surface access strategy, Simon Earles, then told delegates improving surface access is a key part of the gateway’s runway proposal, and one transportation hub is planned as part of the restructuring project – which would feature a Heathrow West and Heathrow East.
Part of Heathrow’s plans are a western rail link and a southern rail link, that Earles describes as the ‘missing link’ in the network, and he says by 2030 the number of trains to Heathrow would double, and the number of seats tripled, by increasing capacity on all services.
If a third runway is built, modifications would be made to the M4, and M25, including the building of a 650 metre tunnel for the M25.
The centre of the independent Heathrow Hub group’s surface access plans, is a Heathrow Hub Station interchange to the north of the airport, including a passenger bag drop with links to all terminals.
Director Mike Bostock, urges an integrated approach to surface access, including new a rail link to the south, and a link with the proposed HS2, and also told delegates if Heathrow is expanded, it should be planned with a fourth runway in mind.
The Airports Commission led by Sir Howard Davies will give its final recommendations to the government after next May’s general election.
Heathrow and Gatwick will step up their battle over the right to build Britain’s next runway on Monday as bosses try to persuade policymakers that they will have the best infrastructure to cope with extra travellers.
Leaders of Gatwick’s bid will claim at an industry event in London that Britain’s second largest airport will be “road and rail ready” for a second runway by 2021 – at no additional cost to the taxpayer.
A £6.5bn government-sponsored Thameslink programme linking the airport to Greater London and the South East is already underway. Bosses will say plans to build transport links to support a second runway at the West Sussex airport by 2025 will require no additional taxpayer funding.
Hugh Sumner, the airport’s senior transport adviser, said new Gatwick Express trains by 2016 would help to double rail capacity before the end of the decade, and treble it by 2035.
“Not only is the second runway at Gatwick the optimal thing for the nation and economy, but beneath that, getting better access to and from Gatwick will be in place well before a second runway happens,” he said. “Not only will Gatwick not need a public subsidy for [this], but it will generate about £3bn back to the taxpayer in terms of increased rail revenues.”
Heathrow bosses will also lay out plans to beef-up transport links to Europe’s busiest airport. Heathrow wants to treble rail capacity to 15,000 seats per hour by 2030, meaning more than 70pc of the UK will be within three hours of the airport if it builds a third runway.
Heathrow is already the UK’s best connected transport hub,” said Simon Earles, head of surface access at Heathrow. “It is in a better geographical location for most UK passengers and companies than other options for airport expansion.”
According to Heathrow, new rail links will slash journey times to and from the airport. It claims journey times to Leeds would be cut by more than half to just 1 hour 40 mins, while travelling to Birmingham would take just under an hour.
The Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, has short-listed three options for a new runway in the South East of England to enable Britain to keep up with aviation capacity demands.
Two options have been shortlisted at Heathrow: a third runway to the north west of the airport or the creation of a “Heathrow Hub” that would involve extending the airport’s existing north runway to 6km and dividing it in two. Sir Howard believes it will be possible to build an additional Heathrow runway by 2026. A second runway at Gatwick is the other option.
Mr Sumner described a second Gatwick runway as the most efficient option. “Two plus two is the right thing for the nation,” he said. Gatwick claims it will be able to get holidaymakers from its internal rail platforms to all terminals in just two minutes. “We can save the consumer time getting getting to and from the airport, time within the airport and time taxiing,” said Mr Sumner.
Sir Howard is due to give his final recommendation to the Government in 2015.
Gatwick has emphasised the road and rail improvements that will leave it ready for a second runwa
The Sussex airport released a document showing that trains would leave for central London every two and a half minutes by 2019, with overall rail capacity from Gatwick doubled from now to 2020.
It added that road and rail upgrades already planned by the government would allow a second runway to be built without any additional surface access expenditure for the taxpayer.
Gatwick, Heathrow and a new inner Thames Estuary airport are competing for permission to provide extra air capacity in the South East.
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.
Passenger satisfaction, sustainability and economics are driving significant developments in surface access systems to and from airports around the world. Michael provides a round up of best global practice and how the lessons learnt can be applied to the UK airport capacity debate.
14:50 Michèle Dix, Managing Director of Planning, Transport for London
Michèle will offer an explanation of the surveyed/predicted airport passenger journeys, passenger growth and the influence of demographic change and modal shift on these figures; together with an overview of how TfL has assessed the modifications and additions that will be needed to the current public transport systems for each of the potential schemes
NETWORK RAIL’S PLANNING PROPOSALS FOR THE OPTIONS
Paul Harwood, strategy and planning director, Network Rail
Explanation of Network Rail’s assessment of how to link the national rail system (local and intercity) to each the four airport options, both ‘short term’ improvements, and the long-term including the predicted growth in passenger numbers over these periods; the integration of the national rail network with the transports systems of TfL together providing the transport to the airports; how well these systems will provide for the needs of people living and working within London, across the whole of the UK and visitors travelling to both London the rest of the UK and the freight needs.
AIRPORTS COMMISSION PROCESS
Oliver Mulvey, Airports Commission Secretariat
How the Airports Commission is appraising the surface access elements of the short-listed proposals.
SURFACE ACCESS PROPOSITIONS FROM THE AIRPORTS COMMISSION’S OPTION PROMOTERS
Each presenter will set out what their latest proposals for surface access provisions for their schemes. They will explain how well they see these proposals satisfying the passenger and freight demand and the way they see these proposals being implemented. They will detail what surface transport infrastructure costs are included in their cost estimates and what costs are not included; and what costs will be paid for by the Airport and what costs are expected to be paid for from the public purse.
15:45 The Estuary: Huw Thomas, Partner, Foster + Partners
Explanation of the plans to link The Estuary Airport to London and to the rest of the UK in terms of highways (car, bus, coach) and rail; stating the proportion of passengers expected to travel by public transport as opposed to car by 2030 and 2050; the airport capacity (passenger and freight) being used; any ‘high speed rail’ links with the travel times for these; any plans for ‘park and ride’ with luggage facilities and any plans for a new lower Thames crossing.
COFFEE AND NETWORKING
SURFACE ACCESS PROPOSITIONS FROM THE AIRPORTS COMMISSION’S OPTION PROMOTERS
16:20 Gatwick Airport: Julia Gregory, Head of Airport Development, Gatwick Airport, and transport consultant Hugh Sumner
Explanation of short term and long term plans to link a new expanded Gatwick airport to London and to the rest of the UK in terms of both highways and rail. Our speakers will set out what proportion of passengers are predicted to travel by public transport rather than car by 2030 and 2050; how this matches the airport’s predicted passenger and freight capacity; how the ‘Gatwick Express’ links to the national rail network and the local London networks of Network Rail and TfL; and any plans to link Gatwick Airport by rail to the other London airports.
16:35 Heathrow Airport: Simon Earles, Head of Surface Access Strategy, Heathrow Airport
Explanation of the infrastructure modifications (including the M25 and the M4) to accommodate the additional runway proposal; future increase in highway traffic due to increased airport capacity; the airport capacity (passenger and freight) being used in the proposal; plans to improve the public transport links to London and to the rest of the UK; the proportion of passengers predicted to travel to the airport by public transport rather than car by 2030 and 2050; the allowance in the plans, if any, for the maintenance or replacement of the vital elevated M4 link into London.
16:50 Heathrow Hub: Mark Bostock, Director, Heathrow Hub
Explanation of the infrastructure modifications (including the M25 and the M4) to accommodate the additional runway proposal; future increase in highway traffic due to increased airport capacity; the airport capacity being used in the proposal; the principles of the ‘Hub’, the ‘interchange’, and how it works in surface access terms, both highways and rail; the proportion of passengers expected to travel to the airport by public transport rather than car by 2030 and 2050; the allowance in the plans, if any, for the maintenance or replacement of the vital elevated M4 link into London.
17:05 Panel Q&A
Chris Welsh, director of Global and European policy, Freight Transport Association
Tony Burton, founder, Civic Voice
Michael Schabas, partner, FCP
17:30 Delegate Q&A
CLOSING REMARKS, REFLECTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS
17:45 Steve Norris in conversation with Antony Oliver
Runways UK’s surface access event is centred around the challenge of providing the transport systems to service the Airports Commission’s proposals for increasing the UK’s aviation capacity.
For many years people travelled to and from airports chiefly by road, car, taxi or bus. Increasingly, they now travel on some form of rail transport and Government policy is to increase the use of sustainable transport to access airports for both passengers and staff.
For any airport, the core access questions are the same: where do people want to get to when they land at the airport; where do people leave from to get to the airport; and what is the quickest and most reliable way to get them there?
RUK Surface Access, which takes place on 2 June in central London, is the place to learn of the challenges and opportunities from the promoters of the schemes still in the running to be the Airport’s Commission’s recommended option; namely Heathrow R3, Heathrow Hub, Gatwick second runway and an Estuary scheme.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.