Tel: 020 7248 2227 RSS FeedRSS feed

Heathrow finds space for new flights to Mexico – and Alicante

The Telegraph writes that it has taken Aeromexico four years to get some slots at Heathrow, and makes out that this is because Heathrow is full etc etc.  There are already 4 flights per week to Mexico, and these new flights will bring the total number to 7 per week. The Telegraph compares this to Paris with 14 and Madrid with 19.  In reality, due to the BA link with Iberia, there are relatively few flights from Heathrow to south America, as they go via Madrid. Looking at Heathrow’s website, and its new destinations, one could be forgiven for thinking the airport is only looking to attract tourists, as all its publicity about new destinations is about their tourism potential, and delightful things to go and see and experience.  Not one word about their business potential, or the chances for business to drive UK exports.  And Heathrow has found room for as many new flights per week to Alicante as there will be to Mexico.  Driving UK exports via Alicante ? Really?



From the Telegraph:

“Mexican airline waits four years to do business with Heathrow”

Heathrow has so little spare capacity to handle extra flights that it took four years for an airline hoping to launch routes to Mexico, one of Britain’s key emerging market trading partners, to complete the deal.

By  (Telegraph)

19 Oct 2012

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said the four-year wait experienced by Aeromexico highlights how Britain is being held back economically by the Government’s inertia on airport expansion.

Britain has a goal to double bilateral trade with Mexico to $4.2bn (£2.6bn) by 2015 but Aeromexico has been waiting since 2008 for takeoff and landing slots to become available at Heathrow.

The airline will launch three flights a week from London to Mexico City in December, bringing the total number of connections between Heathrow and Mexico’s capital city to seven a week. That compares with 14 weekly flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Mexico City, and 19 from Madrid.

Mr Matthews said: “The centre of gravity in the world economy is shifting and Britain should be forging new links with economies like Mexico. But with this single deal taking four years to complete, the UK’s lack of hub airport capacity is causing us to fall further behind the rest of Europe.”

Heathrow is currently operating at 99.2pc of its capacity. The airport claims the UK is missing out on vital jobs and trade because of the Government-imposed limit on the number of flights that can take off and land at the airport.

Mr Matthews is expected to step up his campaign for expansion at Britain’s only hub airport following this week’s rebranding of BAA to Heathrow, which was carried out to reflect the fact Heathrow will account for 95pc of the group’s business in future.

But the airport is facing growing competition from Gatwick, which has commissioned a study into a second runway.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/9621810/Mexican-airline-waits-four-years-to-do-business-with-Heathrow.html


 

Heathrow’s Destinations page lists a lot of places that could only at a pinch be called key business destinations, but largely for tourism. Some are Male, (Maldives), Miami, Pisa, Cyprus, Milan, Nice among others.

http://www.heathrowairport.com/flight-information/destinations-and-airlines


BA returns to Alicante

9.8.2012

1992-page3-british-airways-b319.jpg
By Dave Jones
BRITISH Airways has launched a new route from Alicante to London Heathrow.

According to a press release from Alicante airport, flights will start in the winter of this year. These will be scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on an Airbus 319 plane.

An airport spokesman said: “With this route Alicante is creating a connection with the whole world as Heathrow is the busiest airport on the planet.

“They fly to more than 180 destinations in more than 90 countries.”

A spokeswoman for British airways told CBNews: “BA offers prices from €81 one way. This is the lowest adult one-way price including taxes, fees, charges and surcharges.”

http://www.costa-news.com/content/view/10054/120/

 

 


.

Heathrow’s New Destinations page below. There is no indication that these are for business – all the blurb talks about tourist destinations.  Not emerging economies or business opportunities for UK exports. There is no mention of business whatsoever.

All the blurb on the links is about tourism –  lovely things to go and see and do.

The text from the page at Latest Destinations is copied below:

Heathrow’s Latest destinations

Discover new routes and hot tickets from London Heathrow. Our featured destination pages are full of great travel ideas, and you can book with us too.

Want to hear about more new routes? Get our Heathrow email newsletter.

Canada

From wilderness and wildlife to watersports and nightlife, Canada has plenty to offer, whatever kind of holiday you’re after.    Heathrow to Canada

View Latest Destinations: India

India

Vast, colourful and amazingly varied, India is deservedly rated one of the world’s great destinations. Fly direct from Heathrow.    Heathrow to India

View Latest Destinations: Dubai

Dubai

Business, tourism, architecture … whatever your reason for going, you’re spoiled for choice of flights to Dubai.    Heathrow to Dubai

View Latest Destinations: Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

From beach life to carnival to inner-city rainforest, Rio has it all. Fly direct from London Heathrow.    Heathrow to Rio

View Latest Destinations: United States

United States

Heathrow offers a fantastic choice of flights to US cities, and it must be one of the best-value long-haul destinations around.    Heathrow to the USA

 

http://www.heathrowairport.com/plan-and-book-your-trip/latest-destinations

 


Here is the detail of the Canadian one:

Heathrow to Canada

Fly direct to eight Canadian cities with Air Canada, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic

From wilderness and wildlife to watersports and nightlife, Canada just might be the perfect travel destination.

And with Virgin Atlantic launching flights from Heathrow to Vancouver for summer 2012, it’s now easier than ever to get there.

In this section you can find out who flies where, plan where you’d like to go using our in-depth travel guides, and compare flight prices in our travel shop.


and the Dubai one:

Heathrow to Dubai

Biman Bangladesh, British Airways, Emirates, Royal Brunei or Virgin Atlantic

There’s nowhere on earth like Dubai. Once a fishing village, this futuristic desert metropolis now boasts man-made islands, golf courses and even ski slopes – not to mention the world’s highest building, the 2,625-ft Burj Khalifa.

This is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, blessed with an idyllic sunshine climate, and its ambitious expansion plans include the world’s largest shopping mall and a massive desert leisure oasis.

Despite the economic slowdown, this is a city on the rise and still a major tourist attraction. And with a great choice of Dubai flights from Heathrow, there’s no excuse for waiting any longer to visit.

Read more »

Controversial Gatwick second runway could open within a decade and double travellers to 70 million a year as protesters vow to scupper the plan

A 2nd runway would double passenger number to around 70 million a year. Opponents of expansion, GACC, said: ‘We stand ready, if need be, to launch a massive campaign to  defeat any  new runway plan, as we have defeated such plans in the past. ‘It would mean twice as many planes in the  sky, twice the noise, twice the  local pollution, twice the number of  airport-related cars, and twice the climate change damage. Twice as many airport  workers would need twice  as many houses.’  Gatwick serves 197 destinations compared with 163 destinations from Heathrow – largely holiday destinations.  It is the UK’s largest short haul airport serving 145 destinations, excluding UK, compared with 73 destinations from Heathrow. It is the UK’s largest domestic airport  serving 12 destinations compared with 7 destinations from Heathrow.  A 1979 legal agreement with West Sussex Council prohibits Gatwick from constructing a new runway before 2019.  Gatwick was sold in December 2009 for £1.5billion to the consortium Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

 


 


see also

Gatwick 2nd runway – GACC explains the 10 key reasons why not

October 22, 2012

GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign – has set out clearly the reasons why a 2nd runway at Gatwick should not be built. First, the runway would be only 400 yards from homes in Crawley, with the airport boundary just 100 yards away. The noise and pollution for those residents can only be imagined. The impact of an airport the size of Heathrow at Gatwick would have immense consequences on the area, in terms of noise, large inward migration of labour, additional housing, the urbanisation of rural areas, not to mention loss of peace an quiet. The runway shown on the Gatwick airport plan is too close to the existing runway to allow space for a new terminal and for aircraft to manoeuvre safely on the ground. Gatwick can never accommodate 4 runways, which would be needed if a vast hub airport was regarded as necessary for the UK. The expansion of air travel on a scale to require new runways would be ruled out by the UK’s climate change targets. The forecast expansion of aviation is largely due to aviation fuel not being taxed and air tickets not being subject to VAT (APD is small by comparison).    Click here to view full story…

.


.

Controversial Gatwick second runway

  • Bosses announce plans for second runway, which could be built after  2019
  • But an action group has vowed to ‘defeat’ the proposal, claiming the impact on the  region could be dire
  • Gatwick chiefs say there it is  an ‘affordable,  practical’ alternative to expansion at other London airports

By Ray Massey, Transport Editor (Mail)

17 October  2012

Gatwick Airport bosses flew into a storm with  protesters today when they announced plans for a controversial second runway at  Britain’s second biggest airport.

It could double capacity at the West Sussex  airport to 70million. It currently handles 34million passengers a year flying to  200 destinations in 90 countries.

Under a legal agreement made in 1979, the  airport cannot build a second runway before 2019 – and decision makers at  Gatwick insist they will honour that agreement.

Gatwick's future? If these proposals for a second runway are approved, the number of annual flights at the airport will soar from 250,000 to 500,000Gatwick’s future? If these proposals for a second runway  are approved, the number of annual flights at the airport will soar from 250,000  to 500,000

Twice the flights: Gatwick's capacity could double to 70million if the plans are approved. Protesters say the second runway will hit the region's infrastructure hardTwice the flights: Gatwick’s capacity could double to  70million if the plans are approved. Protesters say the second runway will hit  the region’s infrastructure hard

But after that all bets are off and Gatwick  bosses say they are beginning detailed work now on the option for an additional  new runway, which could be built in the next decade.

They say a second runway at Gatwick is a  better option to boost Britain’s aviation than a third runway at Heathrow, the  expansion of Stansted or a multi-billion ‘Boris Island’ option of a new airport  in the middle of the Thames Estuary, as favoured by  London Mayor Boris  Johnson and others.

But the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign  (GACC) has blasted the plans – and claimed the announcement was being made to  drive up the value of the airport’s owners.

GACC chairman Brendon Sewill said: ‘We have  always been  totally opposed to a new runway on environmental grounds, and have  had  massive support from across Surrey, Sussex and west Kent.

‘We have been supported by all the local MPs  and all the county,  district and parish councils in a wide area.

‘If necessary, we will  resume the battle. We  will fight it all the way. We’ve done so before.  We will do so  again.’

 

Brendon Sewill of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign has vowed to fight the second runway. Villagers in nearby Charlwood fear environmental damage, heavier traffic, more noise and plummeting house pricesBrendon Sewill of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign  has vowed to fight the second runway. Villagers in nearby Charlwood fear  environmental damage, heavier traffic, more noise and plummeting house prices

The GACC also released a statement  that  said: ‘We stand ready, if need be, to launch a massive campaign to  defeat any  new runway plan, as we have defeated such plans in the past.

‘It would mean twice as many planes in the  sky, twice the noise, twice the  local pollution, twice the number of  airport-related cars, and twice the climate change damage. Twice as many airport  workers would need twice  as many houses.’

Alternative: Gatwick claims the plan is a superior option to proposed expansion at Heathrow or Stansted or a new site in central LondonAlternative: Gatwick claims the plan is a superior  option to proposed expansion at Heathrow or Stansted or a new site in central  London

Gatwick was owned by Heathrow operator  BAA  until it sold the Sussex airport in December 2009 for £1.5billion to the  consortium Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) – owners of London  City Airport – following a highly critical report by the Competition  Commission attacking  BAA’s dominance in the South East.

The Gatwick second runway option will be  submitted as part of a  ‘masterplan’ to the Government-appointed aviation  commission, led by  former Financial Services Authority (FSA) chief Sir Howard  Davies, which will make its full report in summer 2015.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart  Wingate  defended the plan, saying a new runway at the airport could be  ‘affordable and  practical’ and was a better option than new runways at  Heathrow or  Stansted.

He confirmed that a second runway would  double passenger numbers to 70,000 and annual flights from 250,000 to  500,000.

It would take four to five years from August  2019 to build the second runway and associated terminal  buildings – meaning the  earliest it could open would be about 2023.

Mr Wingate told the Daily Mail that  GIP,  which owns 42 per cent of Gatwick, had been ‘quite clear’ when it  bought the  airport three years ago that it would keep its holding for a  limited period of  between five and 10 years before selling.

That could take it up to 2019 when work on a  new runway could begin.

Mr Wingate said: ’This was a decision by all  the shareholders for the long-term interests of Gatwick.’

Plans for the future will evaluate various  runway options and assess key requirements, including environmental, surface  access and economic impacts.

It will also look at environmental issues  including noise and air quality impacts on local communities.

Gatwick chiefs believe that the additional  capacity, flexibility and ‘resilience’, or the ability to operate without long  delays and cancellations caused by lack of staff or poor weather, that could be  provided by a new runway at Gatwick will help to ensure that London’s airports  provide south-east England and the UK with the connectivity needed.

Bosses said that at least for the rest of  this decade, London’s airports will be relying on their existing physical  capacity.

Gatwick’s submission to the Davies Commission  will also include a detailed evaluation of how Gatwick’s existing single runway  capacity can be maximised to contribute to the short-term capacity needs for  London and the UK.

Mr Wingate said: ‘I believe a new runway at  Gatwick could be affordable, practical and give passengers a greater choice of  routes to key markets.

‘A new runway will allow Gatwick to compete  and grow, increasing the choice available to passengers today. We have the  space, capability and access to financial resources.’

He noted: ‘Over the last three years we have  transformed the airport, invested around £650 million and have a strong track  record for delivering key routes to growth markets.

‘However, we must now look to the future when  Gatwick will become full and outline its long-term role in ensuring London has  an efficient and resilient airport system that creates the crucial connectivity  London and the UK needs.’

He insisted: ‘There are clear practical  advantages of a new runway at Gatwick. When compared with a third runway at  Heathrow, we would have a significantly lower environmental impact whilst adding  significantly more capacity.

‘Stansted is half empty today, we already  have much better surface transport links and feel our business case will be much  stronger.’

Taking a swipe at the ‘Boris Island’ options  for the Thames Estuary Mr Wingate noted: ‘As for the Estuary airport there are  major questions on affordability, environmental issues and whether they are  deliverable.

‘The process of evaluating the runway options  will be complex. I am committed to undertaking a comprehensive and in-depth  assessment that considers not only the economic benefits but also the  environmental impacts. We will be consulting with our key stakeholders  throughout the process.’

A statement from Gatwick Airport insisted:  ‘Our submission to the Commission will be consistent with Gatwick’s commitment  to the 1979 legal agreement with West Sussex Council. That agreement prohibits  Gatwick from constructing a new runway before 2019.’

The Government’s failure to consider  Gatwick  expansion a decade ago because of this agreement forced  ministers to re-run a  previous consultation on airport expansion  following a legal  challenge.

Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London  First, also praised the plans.

She said: ‘Anything that could increase  runway capacity at London’s airports is good news for passengers and for the UK  economy.

‘If the UK is going to remain a competitive  economy, we need more flights to growing and emerging markets. This announcement  from London Gatwick broadens the debate on how we can achieve that and offers  the potential for further competition and greater choice for  passengers.’

Officials at Heathrow Airport added there  voice to those objecting to the second runway.

A spokesman said: ‘The UK is not short of the  point to point capacity  provided by airports like Gatwick – there is already  plenty of spare  point to point capacity at Stansted, Birmingham and Luton.

‘What the UK is short of is hub airport  capacity. Hub airports use transfer  passengers to pool demand from different  countries – and all the  evidence suggests this is the only way to support the  frequent and  direct long haul routes that are vital to business and  trade.’

Fears: People living near the airport are worried that they will be forced to move, but aviation bosses say the plans are practicalFears: People living near the airport are worried that  they will be forced to move, but aviation bosses say the plans are practical

Major scheme: Gatwick is the UK's second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the worldMajor scheme: Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport  and the busiest single-runway airport in the world

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2219031/Gatwick-row-Second-runway-open-decade-double-travellers-70million-year.html?ITO=1490

 

=====================================================================

GATWICK: A GATEWAY TO THE  WORLD

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest  airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world.

It serves around 200 destinations in 90  countries for around 34 million passengers a year on short- and long-haul  point-to-point services.

A second runway would double passenger number  to around 70million a year.

Gatwick generates around 23,000 airport jobs  and a further 13,000 jobs through related activities.

The airport is 28 miles south of London and  owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global  Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

Gatwick serves more destinations than any  other UK airport flying to 197 destinations compared with 163 destinations from  Heathrow (Source: OAG data).

It is the UK’s largest short haul airport  serving 145 destinations, excluding UK, compared with 73 destinations from  Heathrow (Source: based on peak week summer 12 OAF scheduled data).

It is the UK’s largest domestic airport  serving 12 destinations compared with seven destinations from Heathrow (Source:  based on peak week summer 12 OAF scheduled data).

A 1979 legal agreement with West Sussex  Council prohibits Gatwick from constructing a new runway before  2019.

The Government’s failure to consider  Gatwick’s expansion a decade ago because of this agreement forced ministers to  re-run a previous consultation on airport expansion following a legal  challenge.

Gatwick was owned by Heathrow operator BAA  until it sold the Sussex airport in December 2009 for £1.5billion to the  consortium Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) – owners of London City Airport – following a highly critical report by the Competition Commission attacking  BAA’s dominance in the South East.

Gatwick is built on the site of an ancient  manor house which became home to a racecourse in the 19th century. In the late  1920s land next to the racecourse was used as an aerodrome and in the 1930s  became home to the Surrey Aero Club. In 1933: The Air Ministry approved  commercial flights from Gatwick.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2219031/Gatwick-row-Second-runway-open-decade-double-travellers-70million-year.html?ITO=1490

 

Read more »

Manchester Airports Group to bid for Stansted

MAG says it will make a bid to buy Stansted Airport, teaming up with Industry Funds Management (IFM) - an Australian group - to make the bid. The deal is understood to be worth around £1bn.  MAG owns Manchester airport, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports. MAG is currently owned by the 10 council authorities of Greater Manchester – the largest stakeholder being Manchester City Council, which owns 55%. If the deal went ahead, IFM would take a 35% stake in the group.  Under the plans, largest shareholder Manchester council would reduce its share from 55% to 35% of MAG. The remaining nine Greater Manchester councils would jointly have a 30% stake, down from 45%. Manchester council would have equal voting rights as IFM.


17 October 2012

Manchester Airports Group to bid for Stansted

Stansted
Stansted, based to the north-east of London, is the UK’s fourth busiest airport

The owner of Manchester Airport will make a bid to buy Stansted Airport, it has confirmed.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which also owns East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, will team up with Industry Funds Management (IFM) to make the bid.

BAA decided to sell Stansted in the summer following a legal battle with the Competition Commission.

It had been fighting a ruling that it must sell because of the lack of competition between London airports.

MAG is currently owned by the 10 council authorities of Greater Manchester – the largest stakeholder being Manchester City Council, which owns 55%.

If the deal went ahead, IFM would take a 35% stake in the group.

‘Proven track record’

Chief executive Charlie Cornish said: “Together with IFM, we can confirm that we will make a bid for Stansted Airport.

“Having conducted a strategic review of the group, we believe its addition to MAG will generate shareholder value in combination with our existing airports in the North, South West and Midlands markets.

“MAG has a proven track record in running profitable, growing airports through its successful approach to customer service, retail, car parking, property management and aviation development which would benefit passengers in the South East.”

The Spanish-owned BAA owned seven UK airports, carrying 60% of all UK air passengers, when the Competition Commission inquiry began five years ago.

It had been told to sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports – but fought against the Stansted decision.

In August it decided not to take the case further and challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-19980042#

 

.


.

Manchester Airports Group confirms Industry Funds Management sale if Stansted Airport acquisition goes ahead

September 11, 2012

Manchester Airports Group has confirmed it will sell a 35 per cent stake to Australian investors if it presses ahead with a swoop for Stansted Airport.

Last month, the MEN revealed Industry Funds Management had been selected as MAG’s investment partner, in a deal understood to be worth around £1bn.

Under the plans, largest shareholder Manchester council would reduce its share from 55 per cent to 35 per cent. The remaining nine Greater Manchester councils would jointly have a 30 per cent stake, down from 45 per cent. Manchester council would have equal voting rights as IFM.

Now, the agreement has been confirmed in papers set to go before Manchester council’s executive committee tomorrow (Wednesday).

They will then be put to the other nine councils over the coming weeks. The move will lay the foundations for a takeover of Stansted, which competition watchdogs have ordered current owner BAA to sell off. Analysts suggest the London hub could have a £1bn price tag.

A joint statement by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities and Manchester Airports Group said: “In February 2012, MAG confirmed that it was inviting detailed proposals from private investors as part of a strategic review of the business. This phase of the review has now been completed with Industry Funds Management (IFM) selected as MAG’s preferred partner.

“MAG is continuing to consider opportunities to add a quality airport to the Group. An equity investment by IFM will only be triggered by the acquisition of another airport by MAG.”

IFM is an Australian infrastructure fund that has about $34bn invested in 26 different countries.

It has fought off interest from a Hong Kong billionaire and a venture involving the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which has already ploughed millions into Manchester City.

http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/business/deals/s/1588492_manchester-airports-group-confirms-industry-funds-management-sale-if-stansted-airport-acquisition-goes-ahead

 

.


Earlier:

BAA says Stansted could be run for £5m less per year than they did – to raise its price

October 15, 2012    BAA has admitted that anyone else could run Stansted for at least £5m a year less, due to lower mangement costs. The information is disclosed in the “information memorandum” sent to bidders for Stansted, which is valued at around £1bn in August. The document is aimed at getting the best possible price for Stansted but one City source said it was bizarre to now be saying this. Stansted had £141.5m operating costs in its most recent year. Ryanair says the reason for the £5 million drop is that BAA has been lumping in expenses from its other 4 airports – Heathrow, Southampton, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The sale document makes out that another operator could get passenger numbers to bounce back to 24.6m by 2019, from 17.1 million this year. Some of the possible buyers of Stansted are MAG and a consortium led by Australasian investment manager Morrison & Co, Citi Infrastructure Partners, Macquarie and Deutsche Bank’s infrastructure arm, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, JP Morgan and Li Ka-Shing’s CKI .  Click here to view full story…

 

Ryanair rules out Stansted airport bid

10.10.2012 Ryanair has bowed out of the competition to buy Stansted airport after saying that owner BAA had indicated it would not sell the facility to any bidding consortium that included the low-cost carrier.  BAA and Ferrovial declined to comment. UK competition authorities would have blocked the airline from taking any more than a 25% stake. Analysts pointed out that any buyer of Stansted would eventually need to work with Ryanair to achieve growth – the airport has seen traffic figures fall by a quarter in the past five years. FT  see full story ….

Rival group of Morrison, NZSF and Infratil enters battle for Stansted airport

September 22, 2012    The process of the sale of Stansted is believed to have started. A team that is headed by Morrison & Co, which operates in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong, is making a bid. The team also includes the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Infratil. The interest of Infratil in Stansted has surprised some industry observers because it is currently trying to sell its two smaller British airports – Prestwick and Manston – which have both lost Infratil a lot of money. Infratil, which runs about £2.5bn of assets, has twice written down Manston and Prestwick in the past two years, with their carrying value almost halving from £70m to £36m today. The two airports lost around £6m last year. The Morrison consortium is believed to have held early talks with Ryanair, and is in competition with Manchester Airports Group, which is in a potential deal with Australia’s Industry Funds Management. And others. The sale is complicated by the Government’s review of airport capacity in the south east, led Sir Howard Davies. Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »

A sea of protest against airport expansion across Europe as a new breed of campaigner emerges

Hacan  has produced a new report outlining the huge protests against airport expansion that are taking place across Europe.  This coming Sunday thousands of people are expected to converge on Frankfurt Airport to mark the first anniversary of the opening of its controversial 4rh runway.  Every Monday evening, since it was opened in October 2011 by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, up to 5,000 residents have occupied the airport’s terminal in protest against the impact the new runway has had on their lives.  Many thousands more are expected at Sunday’s protest.  In the last 2 years plans for a 3rd runway at both Munich Airport and at Heathrow, as well as new airports in the Italian towns of Siena and Viterbo, have had to be dropped in the face of public protest. The report found that a new kind of airport protester is emerging across Europe, not only concerned with local impacts such as noise, but challenging the economic need for new runways, and aviation’s carbon emissions.



One of the Frankfurt airport Monday protests

 

18.10.2012  (Hacan)

Thousands expected at Frankfurt protest on Sunday

A new report from HACAN (1),outlining the huge protests against airport expansion that are taking place across Europe, has been published just days before thousands of people are expected to converge on Frankfurt Airport on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of the opening of its controversial fourth runway.  Every Monday evening since it was opened by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel up to 5,000 residents have occupied the airport’s terminal in protest against the impact the new runway has had on their lives.  Many thousands more are expected at Sunday’s protest.

The HACAN report, A Sea of Protest across Europe, reveals that in the last two years plans for a third runway at both Munich Airport and at Heathrow, as well as new airports in the Italian towns of Siena and Viterbo, have had to be dropped in the face of public protest.

The report found that a new kind of airport protester is emerging across Europe:

“In previous decades campaigns against airport expansion tended to be isolated and local, focused on noise and other local impacts. The new protests are very different. They are concerned not only with local impacts such as noise and community destruction but also with the wider issues of climate change and biodiversity. And they are beginning to challenge the economic need for the new runway or new airport”.

The report adds: “Local people are being joined by experienced environmental campaigners and activists as well as sympathetic politicians. The wide-range of people involved in the campaigns means that they are increasingly well-informed, well-organised and politically aware. They also are prepared to use creative actions and social media in adopting a pro-active campaigning style”.

Campaign groups are also making links with each other.  John Stewart, the Chair of HACAN and author of the report said, “It’s a new ball game compared with just a few years ago.  Campaigners are in regular contact with each other through social media and by meeting up face-to-face on a regular basis.  I have been asked to speak at the Frankfurt demonstration on Sunday.  In the last year I have met with campaigners in Brussels,Berlin, Frankfurt, Munichand Nantes.”

 

Report A Sea of Protest across Europe

 

 

For further information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641

Jochen Krauss  0049 – 170 – 38 44 622 (for details of  the Frankfurt protest on Sunday)

.


.

For more information on what has been happening at European airports, see European Airports

 

 

A Monday protest at Frankfurt airport earlier this year

Read more »

Gatwick airport to push for 2nd runway – opponents say scheme has repeatedly been found impracticable

Gatwick has declared its intent to push for a 2nd runway and is to start drawing up detailed plans for government approval. The airport says the runway is “affordable and practical” and will allow it to compete with Heathrow.  Although an agreement prohibits any new runway opening before 2019 at Gatwick, the airport is to start detailed work on the options, to be presented to the Davies Commission – with a view to getting the go-ahead after the next election. The airport says a 2nd runway would increase capacity to 70 million passengers a year (it handled around 33 million in 2011) and would also mean the construction of a third terminal building. Campaigners warned they would “fight tooth and nail” against any proposal. Brendon Sewill of GACC said: “The option they have got does not make for a good airport, with no proper space for planes and a new terminal between them [the runways] – unless they’re demolishing part of Crawley. We are totally opposed on environmental grounds. I don’t believe a new runway will be built until Stansted is full, but it’s a long way off. They’re putting their hat in the ring. They’ve said they want to sell the airport in 2018 so our guess is that they’re aiming to keep the price up for when they sell it rather than building a runway.”



 

Press release 17 October 2012 – from GACC                                                                                  (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Gatwick runway impracticable

17.10.2012

Gatwick Airport Ltd have put out a press release to say that they will be examining the options for a new runway at Gatwick.  In response, Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC, said:  ‘We have always been totally opposed to a new runway on environmental grounds, and have had massive support from across Surrey, Sussex and west Kent.  We have been supported by all the local MPs and all the County, District and Parish Councils in a wide area.  If necessary, we will resume the battle.‘

In fact all the options for a new runway have been examined many times before (1953, 1970, 1993 and 2003) and have always been found impracticable.

The line of the runway shown in the 2012 Master Plan (as referred to in the GAL press release, and for which land is at present safeguarded) is too close to the existing runway to allow a new terminal and space for aircraft to manoeuvre on the ground.  That was the view of British Airways.[1]

There is high ground at the western end and the main railway line at the eastern end, so the runway would have to be short.

The runway would be only a few hundred yards north of Crawley residential areas.

More generally the expansion of aviation is largely due to the fact that aviation fuel is untaxed and air tickets are not subject to VAT (air passenger duty is small by comparison).

And the sort of expansion which would require new runways would be ruled out by the UK’s climate change targets.

So we are doubtful whether any new runway will be required in the South East.

GAL have said they wish to sell Gatwick in around 2018, so they obviously wish to keep the price up by keeping the runway issue open.

But if there were any serious plan for a new runway, GACC would mount a massive campaign of opposition.

GACC website.  www.gacc.org.uk 
[1]  Response to Government consultation on new runways 2003

.

From the Evening Standard article on 17.10.2012 at

 

Gatwick flies into airport debate with plans for second runway

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/gatwick-flies-into-airport-debate-with-plans-for-second-runway-8214948.html


.

Gatwick airport to push for second runway

Sussex airport throws its hat into ring as government commission prepares to consider options for increasing capacity

by , transport correspondent (Guardian )

17 October 2012

Gatwick airport

A second runway would increase Gatwick’s capacity to 70 million passengers a year. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

Gatwick has declared its intent to push for a second runway and is to start drawing up detailed plans for government approval.

The airport says the runway is “affordable and practical” and will allow it to compete with its bigger London rival, Heathrow, where any runway expansion has been ruled out for now.

Although an agreement prohibits any new runway opening before 2019 at Gatwick, the airport is to start detailed work on the options, to be presented to the government’s Davies commission on aviation with a view to getting the go-ahead after the next election.

A second runway would increase capacity to 70 million passengers a year and would also mean the construction of a third terminal building.

Campaigners warned they would “fight tooth and nail” against any proposal.

The airport’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said he believed a new Gatwick runway was the best answer to calls for more capacity in the south-east. He said: “A third runway at Heathrow won’t happen. The Thames estuary won’t happen. Stansted is only half full. But Gatwick is tremendously dynamic.”

In the three years since Gatwick was sold by BAA, Wingate said that owners Global Infrastructure Partners had invested over £650m and set up new routes to China, Korea and Vietnam. “So we have got wind in our sails, and the time was right to start the detailed work.”

The plans would eventually double the numbers of passengers at the Sussex airport, which believes its current capacity to grow from 34 million to 45 million with a single runway will see it through until the mid-2020s.

The timing of the announcement will push Gatwick to the forefront of government thinking on airport expansion, with the commission led by Sir Howard Davies being assembled to give its verdict on possible new runways in 2015.

Heathrow claims there can be only one “hub” airport in Britain – an airport that supports enough connecting flights to make long-haul routes possible – but Gatwick rejects that argument.

Wingate said: “We don’t see the world in the same way. For us the question is: how can London connect with the rest of the world? The hub argument says you can’t connect with the emerging economies – well, we’ve already done it.”

He said facilities would be ready next year for the larger Airbus A380 planes, while Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which make more long-haul destinations feasible, were coming to the airport soon.

Gatwick is committed to the agreement that prohibits physical construction of any new runway before August 2019, but will try to formulate detailed plans and secure planning permission as soon as possible.

Land has been safeguarded for construction to the south of the runway, where some houses exist among 17 listed buildings, although there are no large residential areas comparable with Sipson, the village threatened by Heathrow expansion.

Gatwick will be doing detailed work on environmental impacts such as noise and air quality. While fewer people are directly affected by noise than under the Heathrow flight path, an expanded airport is likely to prompt calls for greater controls and curfews.

The airport had always previously officially denied it had plans for expansion, despite publishing a “masterplan” in July this year that broached the option of a second runway in the next decade.

Wingate said: “We think we’re bringing this option to the table in a timely and proper manner. We have said to [local opposition groups] that if we are to start detailed work then they will be amongst the first to know. That’s why we are coming out and saying it.”

Brendon Sewill of GACC, the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, said: “The option they have got does not make for a good airport, with no proper space for planes and a new terminal between them [the runways] – unless they’re demolishing part of Crawley.

“We are totally opposed on environmental grounds. I don’t believe a new runway will be built until Stansted is full, but it’s a long way off.”

“They’re putting their hat in the ring. They’ve said they want to sell the airport in 2018 so our guess is that they’re aiming to keep the price up for when they sell it rather than building a runway.”

Airline industry sources also questioned whether the intent was to elevate the airport’s value ahead of a sale.

John Stewart of Airport Watch said: “The local community will fight this proposal tooth and nail. It will be very difficult to get a new runway built anywhere in London and the south-east in this day and age given the level of local opposition that can be expected.”

A spokesman for the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “There is absolutely no point in simply scattering new runways randomly around the south-east. What this country urgently requires is a hub airport with several runways.”

Heathrow, likewise, said Gatwick’s new runway would not solve the issue of hub capacity. A spokesman said: “The UK is not short of point-to-point capacity provided by airports like Gatwick. What the UK is short of is hub airport capacity … the only way to support the frequent and direct long-haul routes that are vital to business and trade.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/oct/17/gatwick-airport-second-runway?CMP=t%20wt_gu

.


.

AirportWatch comment on Gatwick plans for new runway

AirportWatch Communications Director Susan Pearson said:

“Strong opposition to any new runways will be inevitable – as the last Government found out.

“The experience of the last ten years shows there will be opposition from all the large environmental organisations across the country because of the climate change implications – more flights will scupper any chance chance of fulfilling our climate change targets.

“And there will always be local opposition – because of the increase in misery for those living under flight paths.

“Despite the aviation industry’s frantic marketing campaign, there is currently no urgent need to take decisions about airport capacity.  The Government’s own figures show the UK has enough airport capacity until almost 2030. The Government must take its time and ensure future capacity needs are based on hard evidence, not on the continual lobbying of the aviation industry.”

 

.


 

Gatwick Airport Planning Second Runway

Gatwick Airport studies options to build a second runway, which it claims will replace the need for a third runway at Heathrow.

17.10.2012 (Sky News)

Gatwick Airport bosses have started to draw up detailed options for a new runway which could help resolve the UK’s air capacity crisis.

But Gatwick said it would honour a 1979 legal agreement that states no runway can be built at the West Sussex airport before 2019.

The options, to be submitted to a Government-appointed aviation commission, will assess the environmental and economic impacts of a new runway.

The chief executive of Gatwick, which serves 197 destinations and handles around 34 million passengers a year, said a new runway would benefit passengers.

“I believe a new runway at Gatwick could be affordable, practical and give passengers a greater choice of routes to key markets,” Stewart Wingate said.

“We have the space, capability and access to financial resources.”

London’s busiest airport, Heathrow, is operating close to full capacity after the Government blocked a third runway because of the resulting increase in planes flying over the city.

Mr Wingate said a new runway at Gatwick had “clear practical advantages” over expansion at Heathrow.

“When compared with a third runway at Heathrow, we would have a significantly lower environmental impact whilst adding significantly more capacity,” he said.

He added that it would also be preferable to other London alternatives.

“Stansted is half empty today, we already have much better surface transport links and feel our business case will be much stronger,” he said.

“As for the Estuary airport concepts, there are major questions on affordability, environmental issues and whether they are deliverable.”

But the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign has always been opposed to a second runway at the airport on environmental grounds.

“We have had massive support from across Surrey, Sussex and west Kent,” Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign’s chairman, Brendon Sewill, said following the announcement.

“We have been supported by all the local MPs and all the county, district and parish councils in a wide area.

“If necessary, we will resume the battle.”

Gatwick has safeguarded the land that would be required for a new runway since it was bought by Global Infrastructure Partners in 2009.

It estimates that for the rest of this decade, London’s airports will be relying on their existing physical capacity.

As such, its submission to the commission will evaluate how the capacity of its existing runway can be maximised.

It will also argue that a second runway would help ensure that London’s airports provide the South East and the rest of UK with the connectivity needed in the future.

The commission, led by the former head of the Financial Services Authority Sir Howard Davies, will make its full report into the South East’s airport capacity in 2015.

http://news.sky.com/story/998793/gatwick-airport-planning-second-runway

 

.

Charlwood Parish Council has the support of Surrey County Council & Mole Valley District Council in their opposition to a 2nd Gatwick runway

 

.


.

Earlier:

Surrey County Council rejects new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick

Date added: October 16, 2012

Conservative-led Surrey County Council have rejected plans to build more runways at Heathrow and Gatwick, due to their concerns about the impact on the environment. It will write to the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, to say it is against airport expansion. Council leader David Hodge said SCC opposed any plans to build additional runways “out of line with the existing county council policy”. SCC had a policy agreed in March 2008 opposing expansion unless there was “comprehensive and creditable investment” satisfactorily addressing environmental issues. Lib Dem councillors said the airports have reached their limit. They want alternatives elsewhere to increase in UK airport capacity. Opposition leader Hazel Watson said increased capacity at Gatwick would lead to the loss of “precious countryside” and “irreplaceable historic buildings”.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Protesters evicted from homes for demolition for future Nantes airport.

A major evacuation operation by security forces of houses squatted by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes took place on Tuesday morning. Eleven houses and land that had been occupied on the site of the future airport were evacuated without incident by more than 500 gendarmes. At the first home  some 150 protesters, some of whom are locals and some anti-globalisation activists, had gathered.   Homes that have been evacuated are now subject to enhanced surveillance before being demolished “in the coming days.” The airport developers want preparatory work for road improvements serving this “inter airport” between Nantes and Rennes to begin by the end of the year. Work on the airport itself must begin in 2014 for commissioning in 2017.  The airport plans have been approved by the State and local socialist party, but the new airport’s usefulness is disputed, on economic grounds as well as its environmental impact.



There is a short (2 minutes 45 secs) video clip of one of the evictions on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfKHgwLR9kc&feature=youtu.be

.


,

There is a blog (in French) from those opposing the evictions and house demolitions at http://lutteaeroportnddl.wordpress.com/

There is also a website about the ZAD (Zone A Défendre) with passionate defence by the local people, whose land is being taken and whose home area is being irrevocably damaged by this new airport project.  Some of it is in English, as is this letter to the Prefect of the Loire-Atlantique Department on 22nd October at  http://zad.nadir.org/spip.php?article380   

It is a very sad situation, with many people battling passionately to preserve land, the farming community, and this peaceful rural area, as it is today – against what they see as an unnecessary, mega-project imposed on them by forces outside their control.


Some photos of the destruction:

http://lutteaeroportnddl.wordpress.com/

(The caption on the photo translates as “thugs attack the house, protected by police”)

 


There is also a short video showing a demonstration on 18th October in Nantes, against the airport.  It is at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xufuuw_manif-anti-aeroport-nddl_news


Airport project: first house destroyed Notre-Dame-des-Landes

Airport project: first house destroyed Notre-Dame-des-Landes.  AFP PHOTO JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD

Airport project: first house destroyed Notre-Dame-des-Landes. 17th October 2012

 

 


 

Occupants evicted from future site of Nantes airport

NOTRE-DAME-DES-LANDES, Loire-Atlantique (Reuters) – Eleven houses and illegally occupied land on the site of the future airport …

Eviction of the occupants of the site of the future airport of Nantes

evacuation by the police of illegally occupied land and houses on the site of the future airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes. 

 Photo taken October 16, 2012

/REUTERS / Stephane Mahe

NOTRE-DAME-DES-LANDES, Loire-Atlantique (Reuters)
-Eleven houses and illegally occupied land on the site of the future airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) were evacuated without incident on Tuesday at dawn by more than 500 gendarmes.
First home, to which had converged since Saturday evening more than 150 anti-globalization activists and radicals opposed, was evacuated on Monday by security forces.
“The operation went without clashes characterized, there simply was corrupt delay as barricades on fire or some people mounted on the roof,” said the prefect of Loire-Atlantique, Christian de Lavernée, after evacuation.
The police did not conduct any inquiry, he said.  Homes evacuated are now subject to enhanced surveillance before being demolished “in the coming days.”
“For over a year, the area declared a public utility for the creation of future airport west of the great harbors of the illegal occupants,” was justified earlier, the prefecture said in a statement. “They have invested spaces and undeveloped acquired by the concessionaire and the state.”
A PROJECT FUNDED BY AYRAULT
Preparatory work for road improvements serving this “inter airport” between Nantes and Rennes must begin by the end of the year. Those of the airport itself must begin in 2014 for commissioning in 2017.
Evictions were decided by judges at the end of judicial proceedings by Aéroports the Great West (AGO), a subsidiary of Vinci.
“This should not be confused with persons lawfully present site before the date of declaration of public utility project in 2008 and involved an expropriation procedure whose execution is not valid “said the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique.
Construction and concession of the future airport, located 30 km north of Nantes, were assigned to the Vinci group, which evaluates its cost €560 million. It will pay €320, the rest being paid by the state (€125.5 million) and local (€115.5 million).
The project, which environmentalists claim abandonment is supported by the State and supported by local elected socialists, including the prime minister and former deputy mayor of Nantes Jean-Marc Ayrault.
Presented by its promoters as a “transfer” of the current Nantes-Atlantique Airport, located in the immediate vicinity of the city and threatened in their saturation future equipment designed to reduce nuisance in terms of noise and the feeling of insecurity a portion of the inhabitants of the city overflown by aircraft.
Guillaume Frouin, edited by Yves Clarisse

 

Original in French at

http://www.rmc.fr/editorial/309966/des-occupants-expulses-du-site-du-futur-aeroport-de-nantes/

 

The French countryside on Tuesd ay morning as police prepare to evict activists.

.


.

 

Expulsion of future opponents Nantes airport

The police began to evacuate this morning in which several houses were installed adversaries airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

A major evacuation operation by security forces in squatted houses by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes, took place on Tuesday morning. Dozens of police vehicles and riot police converged during the night from several directions in convoy to this area and the first evacuations began shortly before 7 am, according to opponents of the airport.  More than 500 policemen and CRS were involved, it according to the police.

Several helicopters hovered overhead and opponents had ignited a dam/barrage across a road in the middle of a grove of dense hedges and ditches. To 7:15, at a place called the Bel Air, CRS approached to ask the occupants to leave. After the evacuation of their furniture these, twenty people were forcibly evacuated by chanting “we are not thugs” and “we live here, we are staying here” 

Operation “concerns seven illegal occupations of built spaces and built four undeveloped zones of illegal occupation” , said the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique in a statement.  “This should not be confused with persons lawfully present on the site since before the declaration of the  public utility project in 2008 and involved an expropriation procedure whose execution is not valid “ , said the prefecture.

Work planned for early 2013

For the occasion, opponents locally put out information on intervention on the frequency 107.7, usually the highways of Vinci, the dealer group of the airport project, and confirmed that first house started to be evacuated around 6:45 am.  A first expulsion of fifteen people was held on 9 October in a town near Notre-Dame-des-Landes.  Another took place on Monday evening in a closed and guarded house, by the concessionaire of the project du Grand Ouest Airport (AGO), reoccupied since Saturday by hundreds of activists, at  Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

Preparatory work for the construction of the airport (archaeological assessment, construction of road bar) should begin in early 2013 with completion expected in 2017 and imply that the houses purchased by the dealer and those who have undergone a expulsion procedure are largely empty.

The airport project 30 km north of Nantes, is intended to replace in 2017  the existing Nantes Atlantique airport, which is located south of the city, has been approved by the State and local socialist collectives, but the new airport’s usefulness is disputed by many associations, which also highlight its environmental impact and cost.

In addition to the farmers affected by the expropriation procedures, hundreds of activists opposed to the project and close to anarchist movements have been permanently installed for over three years. These opponents have already called for the “reoccupation” in deportation cases.

http://www.liberation.fr/societe/2012/10/16/expulsion-d-opposants-au-futur-aeroport-de-nantes_853529

 

Original French:

Expulsion d’opposants au futur aéroport de Nantes

La gendarmerie a commencé ce matin à évacuer plusieurs maisons dans lesquelles se sont installés des adversaires de l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

Une importante opération d’évacuation par les forces de l’ordre de maisons squattées par des opposants au projet d’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, au nord de Nantes, a eu lieu mardi matin. Plusieurs dizaines de véhicules de gendarmerie et de CRS ont convergé dans la nuit de plusieurs directions en convoi vers cette zone et les premières évacuations ont débuté peu avant 7 heures, selon les opposants à l’aéroport. Plus de 500 gendarmes et CRS étaient engagés, a-t-on appris sur place auprès des forces de l’ordre.

Plusieurs hélicoptères tournaient au dessus des lieux et les opposants avaient enflammé un barrage en travers d’une des routes, au milieu d’un bocage très dense de haies et de fossés. Vers 7h15, au lieu-dit le Bel Air, des CRS se sont approchés pour demander aux occupants des lieux de partir. Après l’évacuation de leurs meubles ces derniers, une vingtaine de personnes, ont été évacués de force en scandant «on n’est pas des voyous» et «on vit ici, on reste ici».

L’opération «concerne sept occupations illégales sur des espaces bâtis et quatre zones d’occupation illégales non bâties», a indiqué la préfecture de Loire-Atlantique dans un communiqué. «Cette situation ne doit pas être confondue avec celle des personnes présentes légalement sur le site depuis avant la date de déclaration d’utilité publique du projet en 2008 et concernées par une procédure d’expropriation dont l’exécution n’est pas d’actualité», a ajouté la préfecture.

Travaux prévus début 2013

Pour l’occasion, les opposants émettaient localement des informations sur l’intervention sur la fréquence 107.7, d’ordinaire celle des autoroutes Vinci, le groupe concessionnaire du projet d’aéroport, et affirmaient qu’une première maison avait commencé à être évacuée vers 6h45. Une première expulsion d’une quinzaine de personnes s’était déroulée le 9 octobre dans une commune proche de Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Une autre a eu lieu lundi soir dans une maison fermée et gardée par le concessionnaire du projet d’Aéroport du Grand Ouest (AGO), réoccupée depuis samedi par une centaine de militants, à Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

Les travaux préparatoires à la construction de l’aéroport (bilan archéologique, construction du barreau routier) doivent commencer début 2013 pour un achèvement prévu en 2017 et impliquent que les maisons rachetées par le concessionnaire et celles qui ont fait l’objet d’une procédure d’expulsion soient en grande partie vidées.

Ce projet d’aéroport à 30 km au nord de Nantes, destiné à remplacer en 2017 l’actuel aéroport de Nantes Atlantique situé au sud de l’agglomération, a été validé par l’Etat et les collectivités locales socialistes, mais son utilité est contestée par de nombreuses associations, qui mettent aussi en avant son impact environnemental et son coût.

Outre les agriculteurs touchés par les procédures d’expropriations, une centaine de militants hostiles à ce projet et proches des mouvances anarchistes se sont durablement installés depuis plus de trois ans. Ces opposants ont déjà appelé à la «réoccupation» en cas d’expulsion.

(AFP)

 

.


.

Monday evening saw a large convoy through CRS Nantes.

Monday evening saw a large convoy of police vehicles through Nantes on their way to the evictions. 

.


.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes : les squatteurs anti-aéroport évacués

16 OCTOBRE 2012 

Les forces de l’ordre ont évacué mardi matin une partie des opposants au projet d’aéroport près de Nantes, qui occupent le site depuis trois ans. Ils ont appelé à la “réoccupation” en cas d’expulsion.

Depuis trois ans, les “squatteurs” de Notre-Dame-des-Landes sont installés dans des yourtes et des maisons désertées. © Reuters Stephane Mahe

7h ce matin : 500 gendarmes et CRS, plusieurs dizaines de véhicules et hélicoptère convergent vers le lieu-dit le Bel Air, à 30km de Nantes, pour procéder à l’évacuation d’une centaine de militants hostiles au projet  d’aéroport destiné à remplacer d’ici 2017 celui de Nantes Atlantique. Le dispositif, baptisé “Opération César”, est le plus important déployé jusque ici sur les lieux.

“On vit ici, on reste ici”

Evacués de force avec leurs meubles, les militants scandent “On n’est pas des voyous“, “On vit ici, on reste ici“. Depuis trois ans, ces opposants au projet, agriculteurs concernés par les procédures d’expropriation ou proches des mouvances anarchistes, se sont installés sur le site dans des maisons désaffectées et des yourtes, décidés à empêcher la construction de l’aéroport. Un projet dont ils dénoncent l’impact environnemental et le coût.

Les travaux doivent commencer au début de l’année prochaine, et impliquent que les maisons rachetées par le concessionnaire et celles qui ont fait l’objet d’une procédure d’expulsion soient en grande partie vidées. 1.600 hectares attribués au groupe Vinci sont concernés par la procédure d’expropriation.

Les “squatteurs” appellent à la réoccupation des lieux

Les forces de l’ordre avaient déjà procédé à une première expulsion d’une quinzaine de personnes le 9 octobre dans une commune proche, tandis qu’une autre a eu lieu lundi soir dans une maison fermée et gardée par le concessionnaire du projet d’aéroport, réoccupée depuis samedi par une centaine de militants.
Ce matin, au milieu d’un bocage de haies et de fossés, ceux qu’on appelle là-bas les “squatteurs” ont enflammé un barrage, en appelant déjà à la “réoccupation” du site en cas d’expulsion.

http://www.franceinfo.fr/societe/notre-dame-des-landes-les-squatteurs-anti-aeroport-evacues-770413-2012-10-16

 

.


.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: evacuation of squatted houses

NOTRE-DAME-DES-LANDES (Loire-Atlantique) – A major evacuation operation by security forces in squatted houses by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes took place Tuesday morning, noted journalists from AFP.

 

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: evacuation of squatted houses
Evacuation by police 16 October 2012 a squatted house by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes

 

afp.com / Damien Meyer

 

Dozens of police vehicles and riot police converged on the night several directions in convoy to this area, noted AFP, and the first evacuations began shortly before 7:00 am, according to opponents of the airport. More than 500 policemen and CRS were involved, it was learned on the premises of the police. 

Several helicopters turned over places and opponents had ignited a dam across a road, found the AFP journalists in the middle of a grove of dense hedges and ditches. 

To 7:15, at a place called the Bel Air, CRS approached to ask the occupants to leave. After the evacuation of their furniture these, twenty people were forcibly evacuated by chanting “ we are not thugs ”and” we live here, stays here . “ 

Operation “ for seven illegal occupation of spaces and built four zones of occupation illegal undeveloped , “said the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique in a statement. 

“ This should not be confused with persons lawfully present on the site since before the declaration of public utility project in 2008 and involved an expropriation procedure whose execution is not valid“said the prefecture. 

For the occasion, opponents locally emitted information on intervention on the frequency 107.7, usually the highways Vinci, the dealer group airport project, and claimed that first house began to be evacuated to 6:45 am. 

First expulsion of fifteen people was held on 9 October in a town near Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Another took place on Monday evening in a house closed and guarded by the concessionaire of the project du Grand Ouest Airport (AGO), reoccupied since Saturday by hundreds of activists, Notre-Dame-des-Landes. 

Preparatory work for the construction of the airport (archaeological assessment, construction of road bar) should begin in early 2013 with completion expected in 2017 and imply that the houses purchased by the dealer and those who have undergone a procedure deportation are largely empty. 

The airport project 30 km north of Nantes, in 2017 to replace the existing Nantes Atlantique airport located south of the city, has been approved by the State and local socialist, but its usefulness is disputed by many associations, which also highlight its environmental impact and cost. 

In addition to the farmers affected by the expropriation procedures, hundreds of activists opposed to the project and close movements anarchists are permanently installed for over three years. These opponents have already called for the “ reoccupation ”in deportation cases. 

http://www.lexpress.fr/actualites/1/societe/notre-dame-des-landes-operation-d-evacuation-de-maisons-squattees_1174887.html

 

.


.

Major evacuation of squatted houses by opponents Nantes airport

The Monde.fr with AFP | 

 

Evacuation by police squatted houses by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes, Tuesday, Oct. 16.

 

A major evacuation operation by security forces in squatted houses by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes, began Tuesday, October 16 in the morning. Dozens of police vehicles converged on the night train to this area, and the first evacuations began shortly before 7 am, according to opponents of the airport. More than 500 policemen and CRS were involved, according to police.

Several helicopters hovering over places and opponents had ignited a dam across a road in the middle of a grove of dense hedges and ditches. 7 to 15 h, at a place called Bel-Air, gendarmes approached to ask the occupants to leave in five minutes. After the evacuation of their furniture, these, twenty people were forcibly evacuated by chanting “we are not thugs” and “we live here, stays here” .

 

 

Policemen squatted houses are evacuate by opponents of the airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes, on October 16 near Nantes.

 

Operation “for seven illegal occupation of spaces and built four zones of occupation illegal undeveloped” , said the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique. For the occasion, opponents locally emitted information on the frequency response 107.7, usually the highways Vinci, the dealer group airport project.

First expulsion of fifteen people was held on 9 October in a town near Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Another took place on Monday evening in a house closed and guarded by the dealer of the proposed Airport West Grand , reoccupied since Saturday by hundreds of activists, Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

SQUATTERS AND FARMERS AGAINST AIRPORT

Preparatory work for the construction of the airport (archaeological assessment, construction of road bar) should begin in early 2013 with completion expected in 2017 and imply that the houses purchased by the dealer and those who have undergone a procedure deportation are almost all empty.

The airport project 30 km north of Nantes, for replace the existing airport in 2017 from Nantes Atlantique in the south of the city, has been approved by the State and local socialist, but its usefulness is disputed by many associations, which also highlight its environmental impact and cost.

Read: A ‘new Larzac’ under the feet of Jean-Marc Ayrault

In addition to the farmers affected by the expropriation proceedings, hundreds of activists opposed to the project and close movements anarchists, nicknamed the “squatters” were permanently installed in over three years, investing tens of deserted houses or building huts. A significant portion of these houses could be evacuated Tuesday morning, but for several months the opponents at the airport who were preparing evacuations have already called for the “reoccupation” in deportation cases.

http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2012/10/16/importante-operation-d-evacuation-de-maisons-squattees-par-les-opposants-a-l-aeroport-de-nantes_1775934_3244.html

(includes a short film clip)

 

.


.

 

There is more information about Nantes airport at 

Nantes International Airport – not yet built

 and Nantes Airport News

Read more »

Surrey County Council rejects new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick

Conservative-led Surrey County Council have rejected plans to build more runways at Heathrow and Gatwick, due to their concerns about the impact on the environment.  It will write to the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin,  to say it is against airport expansion. Council leader David Hodge said SCC opposed any plans to build additional runways “out of line with the existing county council policy”. SCC had a policy agreed in March 2008 opposing expansion unless there was “comprehensive and creditable investment” satisfactorily addressing environmental issues. Lib Dem councillors said the airports have reached their limit. They want alternatives elsewhere to increase in UK airport capacity. Opposition leader Hazel Watson said increased capacity at Gatwick would lead to the loss of “precious countryside” and “irreplaceable historic buildings”.

 

 

16 October 2012 (BBC)

Surrey County Council rejects airport expansion

A plane flies over homes in west London

Plans to build more runways at Heathrow and Gatwick airports have been rejected by Surrey County Council amid concerns about the impact on the environment.

The Conservative-led body also opposed more traffic at other Surrey airports due to the adverse impact on residents.

It will write to the transport secretary to say it is against airport expansion.

The government began a review last month of how the UK might expand capacity in the South East.

‘Precious countryside’

In a statement after a council meeting on Tuesday, Lib Dem county councillor Ian Beardsmore said: “The airports surrounding Surrey are essential for the Surrey economy.

“Many of my own residents in Sunbury Common and Ashford Common are reliant on the airport for their employment.

“But the airports have reached their limit. Alternatives must be found if there is to be any increase in UK airport capacity.”

Opposition leader Hazel Watson said increased capacity at Gatwick would lead to the loss of “precious countryside” and “irreplaceable historic buildings”.

Council leader David Hodge said it opposed any plans to build additional runways “out of line with the existing county council policy”.

He pointed out that the council had a policy agreed in March 2008 opposing expansion unless there was “comprehensive and creditable investment” satisfactorily addressing environmental issues.

The council agreed to write to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to request alternatives to expansion in the South East.

Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats ruled out a third runway at Heathrow in their 2010 general election manifestos and the coalition agreement continued this commitment.

But some MPs argue that increased airport capacity is needed to help bring the UK out of recession.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who favours building a new airport east of London, has accused the government of “pussyfooting around” on airport expansion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19967273

 

.


.

Lib Dems welcome County Council vote on airports

Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council have welcomed the unanimous vote by Surrey County Council to support their call for the County Council to write to the Secretary of State for Transport to express its view that while being pro economic growth the Surrey environment must be protected when assessing options for managing airport capacity in the UK.

Liberal Democrat county councillor Ian Beardsmore said: “The airports surrounding Surrey are essential for the Surrey economy, many of my own residents in Sunbury Common and Ashford Common are reliant on the airport for their employment. But the airports have reached their limit. Alternatives must be found if there is to be any increase in UK airport capacity.”

Hazel Watson, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition and member for Dorking Hills said: “No increase in capacity at Gatwick is required to meet the country’s needs and would lead to the loss of precious countryside and irreplaceable historic buildings.”

ENDS

Read more »

BAA says Stansted could be run for £5m less per year than they did – to raise its price

BAA has admitted that anyone else could run Stansted for at least £5m a year less, due to lower mangement costs.  The information is disclosed in the “information memorandum” sent to bidders for Stansted, which is valued at around £1bn in August. The document is aimed at getting the best possible price for Stansted but one City source said  it was bizarre to now be saying this.  Stansted had £141.5m operating costs in its most recent year. Ryanair says the reason for the £5 million drop is that BAA has been lumping in expenses from its other 4 airports – Heathrow, Southampton, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The sale document makes out that another operator could get passenger numbers to bounce back to 24.6m by 2019, from 17.1 million this year. Some of the possible buyers of Stansted are MAG and a consortium led by Australasian investment manager Morrison & Co, Citi Infrastructure Partners, Macquarie and Deutsche Bank’s infrastructure arm, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, JP Morgan and Li Ka-Shing’s CKI .

 


 

Stansted airport owner admits it could be run for £5m less

BAA, the owners of Stansted, have made the unusual admission that anyone else could run the airport for at least £5m a year less.

Stansted Airport pick-up terminal

Freeing Stansted from BAA’s ownership will produce immediate savings due to lower management costs Photo: Alamy

By  (Telegraph)

14 Oct 2012

The figure is disclosed in the “information memorandum” sent to bidders for the Essex airport, which was put on the block for around £1bn in August after BAA lost a three-year legal fight with the Competition Commission over a forced disposal. The sale process is being led by BAA’s major shareholder, Ferrovial, with advice from Deutsche Bank and ING. First-round bids are due next week.

The document, aimed at drumming up the best possible price, claims that simply freeing Stansted from BAA’s ownership will produce immediate savings due to lower management costs.

Stansted had £141.5m operating costs in its most recent year. “It’s bizarre,” said one City source. “In order to bump up the price, BAA’s owners are now saying… ‘we’re so poor, you’ll be able to run it £5m a year cheaper’.”

The figure is also likely to be seized on by Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary as confirmation that BAA is not only an inefficient operator, but has been artificially inflating Stansted’s cost base by lumping in expenses from its other four airports – Heathrow, Southampton, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

As Stansted is a regulated airport, a higher cost base can lead to higher landing charges – as long as the regulator accepts the figures.

Ryanair is responsible for 70pc of Stansted’s traffic and Mr O’Leary has already claimed that Stansted’s regulatory accounts are “completely artificial” and straight out of “Noddy land”.

The document handed to bidders also forecasts that a new owner of Stansted would do a much better job of increasing both passenger volumes and earnings. Passenger traffic has declined from a peak of 23.8m in 2007 to an expected 17.1m this year – hit by Ryanair’s decision to divert flights to other airports in protest at the landing charges. However, the document forecasts that volumes will bounce back to 24.6m by 2019.

Meanwhile earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, which are down from £117m in 2008 to an estimated £87.3m this year, are forecast to rise to £201m.

Bidders are known to include Manchester Airports Group, which is being backed by Australia’s Industry Funds Management, and a consortium led by Australasian investment manager Morrison & Co. That group also includes the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Infratil, a Wellington-based infrastructure investor.

There is also thought to be some early interest from Citi Infrastructure Partners, Macquarie and Deutsche Bank’s infrastructure arm, RREEF. Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, JP Morgan and Li Ka-Shing’s CKI have also been touted as possible bidders.

Last week Ryanair accused Ferrovial of excluding it from the Stansted sale process in a move it deemed “anti-competitive”.

A BAA spokesman said: “We are not going to comment on the process.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/9608307/Stansted-airport-owner-admits-it-could-be-run-for-5m-less.html

Read more »

Thousand + Frankfurt residents protest in Frankfurt airport – for the 37th Monday – against aircraft noise

The 37th Monday protest at Terminal 1 in Frankfurt airport took place on 8th October, and was attended by  well over a thousand Frankfurt and surrounding area residents. They have continued to hold huge weekly protests, at the airport, in their vociferous and determined campaign against the level of noise caused to residents living under flights paths used by the new runway, that was opened last October. There will be a huge protest to mark the anniversary of its opening, on the weekend of 20th and 21st October.  There will also be a nation-wide protest across Germany against night flights, on 24th November, which is expected to a very large event. Feeling against aircraft noise, at night especially, is running very high in Germany.

 


 Photo: Alex Kraus
Very bad translation into English below:

Anniversary is soon approaching of the opening of the north-west runway at Frankfurt Airport for the first time since the runway. Every Monday, people from the Rhine-Main region demonstrate against aircraft noise. Also on 8 October. This time with civil disobedience.

A little civil disobedience was a march through the Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport as always. Whistles, though forbidden by the court were also used on 8th October along with the instruments with which the Monday demonstrators force their hearing (make themselves heard). Around 1000 people, according to police reiterated “noise and dirt, the runway has to go.”   The citizens’ initiative aviation Offenbach and the syndicate aircraft noise Hanau-Kinzig had organized the demonstration. The citizens’ groups say 1500 to 1600 participants took part.

Original German at

http://www.fr-online.de/flughafen-frankfurt/montagsdemo-flughafen-frankfurt-laermend-gegen-fluglaerm,2641734,20456062.html

 

Current mood at the airport

Thirty-seventh Monday demonstration in Terminal
For now 37th and last Monday demo before the autumn holidays was on 8 October 2012 with about 2,000 citizens from across the Rhine-Main area who came to Terminal B at Frankfurt Airport to protest against the expansion of the airport in general and the  Northwest Runway in particular.  It was organised by the Alliance of Citizens ‘Initiatives ((BBI) and the evening was jointly organized by citizens’ initiatives from Offenbach and Hanau / Kinzigtal.  Starting next Monday again find two vigils -. During the autumn holiday – instead.

 

 

 

 

 

image

 

 

image

 

 

image

 

There are lots more photographs of the protest at http://www.flughafen-bi.de/

 

 

 

and many, many more ….

 

.


.

 

There is also a long article about the threat of the Airport City that is developing around Frankfurt airport.   

Airport expansion continues: Terminal 3 Airport City

It says:

 

” …. the airport is increasingly designed to be “Frankfurt Airport City”. A new city in the Rhine-Main area with an airport.  Even today more than 70% of the revenue of the Fraport AG are achieved through the leasing of real estate, the pure air traffic makes it even from just under 30%.    On the surface of the Cargo City Süd in the south of Frankfurt Airport arise next to Terminal 3 additional freight and logistics companies. New wildland loss is inevitable: the existing motorway at Zeppelinheim needs to be extended further, a new S-Bahn station to be built.”

 

The last two paragraphs (bad Google translation) say:

Already realized projects are the LSG Sky Chefs ( airline catering ) over 55,000 square meters (2,400 employees) and Park Inn Hotel (operated by Rezidor Hotel Group), with 209 rooms. Projects in planning and execution are the sale of MK 1 ( Quartier Alpha ) to Gross & Partner and OFB project development. In Quartier Mondo will be the new headquarters of the Condor flight service. The seven-storey building will be on 10.400m ² including a flight operations center and a training center equipped with simulation unit. In addition to the areas for Condor, additional 3.000m ² for small-scale rental. The Meininger Hotel Group directly for Frankfurt’s new district decided at the airport: On the section of the building field MK 14 in the northwest of the area built the Bauwens Development GmbH & Co.KG an eight-storey hotel building with a gross floor area of 4,720 m². The hotel will include 168 rooms, a conference area and a lounge area. The founding initiative Frankfurt HOLM eV, which has moved its office in the Jean Gardner Batten Street in Gateway Gardens is to provide mandated the requirements for the creation of the House of Logistics & Mobility (HOLM) in Frankfurt’s new district at the airport.Construction of the House of Logistics & Mobility was the end of March 2012, the official opening is scheduled for 2013. For building service Imtech Germany on a 4.300m ² of land at the Amelia-Mary-Earhart-road is a new principal. The seven-story office building will have 15,000 m² of rental space and thus offer space for more than 500 jobs. Completion of the building is in the course of 2012.

This new metropolis will be a city without inhabitants, the visitors fly and fly to go about their business again. There will be no elected body which controls this structure, the existing cultural, social and economic structure will be changed dramatically. The Frankfurt Airport City will dominate the entire region if we fail to stop this development.

http://kwassl.net/2012/10/11/flughafenausbau-geht-weiter-terminal-3-und-airportcity/#.UHlDn2Fwdr8.facebook

 

Read more »

BAA name to be dropped – as the company is now primarily Heathrow

From today the name BAA will be dropped. Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen Southampton and Stansted Airports will operate solely under their own stand-alone brand.  Colin Matthews, said that as over the past few years, BAA has sold its stakes in Gatwick, Edinburgh, Budapest and Naples airports  - and now Stansted – the name BAA no longer fits as it does represent all British airports; “we are not a public authority; and practically speaking the company is no longer a group as Heathrow will account for more than 95% of the business.”  BAA Ltd has changed its name to Heathrow Ltd. Glasgow, Aberdeen Southampton and Stansted Airports will operate solely under their own stand-alone brand.



End of ‘BAA’

October 15 2012 (BAA)

DDN8MediaPlatform

From today the name BAA will be dropped. Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen Southampton and Stansted Airports will operate solely under their own stand-alone brand.

Heathrow Chief Executive, Colin Matthews, said:

“We are a different company today from when BAA was formed. Over the last few years we have sold our stakes in Gatwick, Edinburgh, Budapest and Naples airports and we are in the process of selling Stansted Airport. The BAA name no longer fits. We do not represent all British airports; we are not a public authority; and practically speaking the company is no longer a group as Heathrow will account for more than 95% of the business.”

“Dropping the BAA name marks a symbolic break with the company of the past. We want Heathrow’s focus to be on its customers, to continue to improve its operational performance and to carry on investing billions of pounds in new passenger facilities. This summer, the Olympics and Paralympics showed the UK and Heathrow at their best, delivering a welcome of which the UK could be proud. Now we have to build on that welcome still further, providing a better experience to our customers every single day.”

We are now starting the process of replacing the BAA name with each individual airport brand. We will continue to publish quarterly financial results for airports financed with publicly-traded debt. Following the sale of Stansted these results will therefore focus solely on Heathrow Airport.

<Ends>

Notes to editors:

BAA (SP) Limited has changed its name to Heathrow (SP) Limited. BAA Funding Limited has changed its name to Heathrow Funding Limited.

Amanda McMillan, Derek Provan, and David Lees will continue as the Managing Directors of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton Airports respectively.

Nick Barton continues as Managing Director of Stansted Airport. We are in the process of divesting Stansted as required by the Competition Commission.

History of BAA

Early 1960s: The Ministry of Defence controls all commercial aviation but as air travel becomes more popular running airports becomes too complex and time-consuming for central government.

1965: Labour minister Roy Jenkins introduces the Airports Authority Bill. It is intended to make the nation’s airports more flexible and able to generate revenue while remaining responsible to Parliament. The British Airports Authority is established and assumes responsibility for Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Prestwick airports the following year.

1971: The British Airports Authority acquires Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports.

1986: The Airports Act is passed, the Authority is dissolved and all its property, rights and liabilities are passed to a new company, BAA. The following year BAA is floated on the Stock Market.

1992: Prestwick airport is sold.

2005: BAA acquires Budapest Airport.

2006: A consortium led by Ferrovial purchases BAA and BAA de-lists from the Stock Exchange.

2007: BAA sells Budapest Airport.

2009: The Competition Commission orders the sale of Gatwick, Stansted and one of either Edinburgh or Glasgow Airports. BAA appeals against the decision to sell Stansted and Edinburgh or Glasgow. The £1.51 billion sale of Gatwick Airport to an entity controlled by Global Infrastructure Partners completes in December 2009.

2010: BAA sells its stake in Naples airport for £130 million

2012: Edinburgh Airport is sold to Global Infrastructure Partners for £807 million. BAA announces the start of the sales process for Stansted Airport.

 

.


.

And a little bit of history…..

Airport competition probe urged  

(BBC)   Tuesday, 12 December 2006

The prospect of a break-up of BAA’s ownership of seven UK airports has arisen after the Office of Fair Trading called for a competition inquiry.

It said it planned to refer BAA to the Competition Commission after uncovering “poor quality and high charges”.

BAA owns Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted andSouthamptonairports in the south-east ofEnglandandEdinburgh,GlasgowandAberdeeninScotland.

It said it had not abused its monopoly and a number of factors were to blame.

BAA was bought by Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial earlier this year.  Its seven airports handle more than 60% of all air passengers in theUK.

‘Significant concerns’

The OFT’s market study found that in the South East, BAA’s airports handled 90% of passenger trips, and noted that under separate ownership they could compete to attract custom.

It also said BAA’s Scottish airports, which carry more than 80% of Scottish air passengers, are not price regulated and charges to airlines are higher than Gatwick and Stansted.

The OFT is to hold an eight-week consultation period before it makes the referral to the Competition Commission.

“We believe that the current market structure does not deliver best value for air travellers in theUK, and that greater competition within the industry could bring significant benefits for passengers,” said OFT chief executive John Fingleton.

“There is evidence of poor quality and high charges – BAA’s investment plans, which are of great importance to the UK, have raised significant concerns among its customers.”

BAA’s chief executive, Stephen Nelson, said it was right that the company’s ownership was subjected to regular public scrutiny, but he rejected the suggestion that its structure was at fault.

‘Lack of capacity’

“Our belief is that BAA’s structure has benefited both passengers and airlines and BAA has not abused its monopoly,” Mr Nelson said.

“The main issue facing theUKis a lack of terminal and runway capacity in the South-East ofEngland, which results in delay and congestion.

“This problem has not arisen because of BAA’s structure, but instead is the result of theUK’s complex planning laws, an antiquated regulatory system and inflexible slot allocation.”

British Airways has called for the ownership of BAA’s airports to be broken up to encourage competition.

And Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has been strongly critical of BAA’s plans for new investment at Stansted, which he described as a “£4bn gold-plated Taj Mahal”.

Mr Nelson accused both airlines of wanting to weaken BAA in order to achieve greater control over prices and investment at the airports, adding: “This should not be confused with acting in the passenger interest.”

 

-


 

No more of this:

Read more »