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Francis Maude: Noise misery foreshadows Gatwick second runway

Francis Maude, MP for Horsham, has received a great number of letters and emails from distressed residents in Warnham and Rusper, in recent weeks, about the new flight path trial over them. They are saying they are being plagued by a constant stream of noisy aircraft taking off from Gatwick towards the west starting at 6am.  Many people have complained directly to Gatwick Airport, the CAA and NATS  - but have yet to be satisfied on a number of points. Most residents were not aware of any minimal consultation about the changes before they started.  Francis Maude is asking for much more detail about the trials. These include on what criteria will the trial be assessed? Why does it need to continue for six months? and How is it being monitored?  He says the misery currently being experienced by local residents foreshadows what would be a permanent feature of life in the area if a 2nd Gatwick runway were to be built.  The amount of opposition to this trial suggests it is not being successful.  Francis Maude says: “I have made my opposition to a second Gatwick runway many times in public and private, and am happy to reiterate this now.”
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Horsham MP Francis Maude: Noise misery foreshadows second runway

 8.3.2014  (West Sussex County Times)

Photo: Rt Hon Francis Maude MP commented on the new flight path trial over the historic parish of Warnham, West Sussex, "Even these last few weeks, with the weather keeping people indoors and off season traffic levels, the noise from the flight path trial has been unacceptable for local residents.  When high holiday season is on us, with the warm weather enticing people outside, the effects are likely to be intolerable. So I'm urging NATS and Gatwick to call time on this trial now.  We've had the trial. It's failed."</p>
<p>'It was good to meet so many people of Warnham this morning as well as a number of others from other parishes that have also been affected.  People are starting to realise the threat of a second runway and are starting to ask serious questions about the implications that expanding Gatwick would have on them all,’ said Chairman of GACC Brendon Sewill.  'They should be aware that their Horsham councillors will be debating the subject shortly and need to tell them that new flight paths from a new runway (which could affect much of the Horsham District) are unacceptable.'

Francis Maude out meeting the furious residents of  Warnham

Over the last two weeks I have received a great number of letters and emails from distressed residents in Warnham and Rusper, who tell me that they are being plagued by a constant stream of noisy aircraft taking off from Gatwick towards the west starting at 6am.

Many of them have complained directly to Gatwick Airport, the CAA and NATS but have yet to be satisfied on a number of points.

There has to be some consultation before a trial flight path change can be commenced. This was apparently carried out, although most local residents were completely unaware of the trial before the noise began. However there are several outstanding questions to which I am urgently seeking answers:

Exactly what is being trialled?

Why is any change needed?

On what criteria will the trial be assessed?

Why does it need to continue for six months?

How is it being monitored?

Some local residents are writing to me from addresses which should not be directly under the flight paths as advised by the customer relations department at Gatwick, which suggests that pilots are not adhering to the specified trial route. Anyone who suspects that planes are deviating from the prescribed route should immediately report it to Gatwick, using the email address noise.line@gatwickairport.com

The fears of local residents, many of whom bought their houses specifically for their peacefulsurroundings having researched the Gatwick routes in advance, are that this is simply a prelude to making a more concerted case for a second runway at Gatwick. I have no idea whether this is true.

But there is no doubt at all that the misery currently being experienced by local residents foreshadows what would be a permanent feature of life in the area if a second runway were to be built to the south of the existing one. I have made my opposition to a second Gatwick runway many times in public and private, and am happy to reiterate this now.

The demands it would make on our stretched infrastructure would be, in my view, unsupportable given the amount of development already in the pipeline which is being carefully planned to grow the community in a sustainable way.

Given the strength of the reaction to this trial, which suggests that it is not proving successful, I hope that it will not be necessary for the experiment to last for the full six months. I am in the meantime making urgent enquiries at the highest levels of all the agencies involved and will be visiting Warnham on Sunday to support residents and experience the issue for myself.

http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/columnists/francis-maude-noise-misery-foreshadows-second-runway-1-5919207

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Francis Maude’s website says:

 

No to second runway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Building a second runway would have huge environmental impacts with noise pollution the greatest, and this is seen to be the biggest single concern about its feasibility although the commission report does describe significant improvements in aircraft fuel efficiency and noise footprint. The second concern is the need for much improved local infrastructure and for many more houses to be built in an area where local councils are already struggling to meet the targets, the paradox being that the provision of these houses would ensure that many more families would be subject to the noise pollution.

The Commission report suggests that Gatwick, London City and Luton are all forecast to become full by 2030 across a range of scenarios regardless of whether or not there is an additional runway, and by 2050 the carbon capped forecast is predicted to have risen still further to more than 95% of available capacity. The good news is that work of the Commission is not yet done, and has so far only confirmed this need for increased runway capacity somewhere in the south. It has shortlisted two options for new runways at Heathrow and one at Gatwick, and more work is to be done on the option of creating an entirely new hub airport in the Thames estuary.

It is inevitable that when the decision is made there will be as many people frustrated and disappointed as will be excited at the prospect of growth in the local economy.

I will continue with other West Sussex MPS to ensure that the voice of local people is heard throughout the decision making process

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

 

 

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Earlier:

GACC calls for flight path trial to stop due to anger and outrage in the village of Warnham

March 5, 2014

The Argus: Angry Warnham residents

A new flight path for take-offs from Gatwick airport has caused outrage in the parish of Warnham, near Horsham. Designed as a 6-month trial to enable more aircraft to take-off from the Gatwick runway it has already caused a wave of protest. A member of the GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign), Sally Pavey, who lives in Warnham, says: ‘The tranquillity of our 14th century, conservation village has been lost and we seem powerless to do anything about it. Everyone is up in arms as we are woken at 6.00 am with an aircraft overhead every few minutes. Living in Warnham has turned into a nightmare!’ GACC has called for the trial to be stopped. The new route is causing an unacceptable degree of upset and maximum anger. It is just a small foretaste of what is to come if a new runway were to be built. “With a new runway the new flight paths would bring anger and misery to perhaps 30 or more towns and villages. And that would be permanent, not just for 6 months. Warnham is a wake-up call for why we should all oppose a new runway.’          Click here to view full story…

 

Concerns about the effectiveness of a new aviation noise authority – and the public’s trust in it

March 4, 2014

In its interim report published on 17th December 2013, the Airports Commission recommended to government “… the establishment of an Independent Noise Authority to provide expert and impartial advice about the noise impacts of aviation and to facilitate the delivery of future improvements to airspace operations.” GACC – the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign – has responded to this suggestion with a lot of caveats. GACC would welcome the authority if its main purpose is to reduce aircraft noise, but not if its main purpose is to persuade local residents to relax their opposition to a new runway at Gatwick. Residents want the noise to be reduced, not ‘mitigating’, and not ‘reducing the number of people affected’ if that means merely making noise worse for fewer people. . There have been years of unsatisfactory complaints mechanisms on aircraft noise, and also of broken assurances from the aviation industry. “A single point for complaints, an aircraft noise ombudsman with power to order improvement or compensation, would be welcome. But we do not see this in the recommendations of the Commission’s Interim Report.” There are fears that the new body will be “long grass into which difficult issues could be consigned.” A body designed to smooth the path of a new runway, whether at Gatwick or elsewhere would be vigorously opposed.

Click here to view full story…

 

Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign speaks up for the village of Warnham, suffering from an unannounced flight path trial

March 4, 2014

A new flight path has been introduced for aircraft taking off from Gatwick to the west, then turning left around Horsham. It passes directly over the village of Warnham and is apparently a trial designed in order to get more aircraft off the Gatwick runway. GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) considers it intolerable that new misery and a decline in house values should be caused just to create extra profit for the owners of Gatwick. Normally there are 3 take off routes to the west, which are contained within compulsory Noise Preferential Route (NPR) corridors. The new route route departs from the NPR, particularly over Warnham, where it has caused consternation. The trial is a technical one not intended to measure the social impact and they did not announce it in advance so as not to provoke complaints that might not have emerged otherwise. The airport says because it is a trial it was not necessary to consult, as would be a legal requirement if the new route were to be permanent. GACC say there is no national need for this route change – Stansted airport is operating at less than half its capacity. People fear that this new route is a small fore-taste of the widespread misery and protest that would be created across Surrey and Sussex by a new runway.

Click here to view full story…

 

New Gatwick flightpath trials are ‘destroying’ village life at Warnham, West Sussex

February 27, 2014

Residents in Warnham, about 10 km south west of Gatwick, and complaining strenuously about low-flying aircraft going over their homes from 6am each day. They feel the character of their village, let alone its tranquillity, are being destroyed. This is part of a trial for a new new flightpath which started on February 17th and will continue for 6 months. The trial is being run by NATS in conjunction with Gatwick airport, but people in Warnham complain that they were not notified or consulted in advance of the trial. The planes pass over the village at approximately 2,000ft and villagers say they can be as frequent as every 5 minutes at some times of day. The noise is loud enough to have raised concerns about its impact on vulnerable residents, in particular the elderly and disabled. The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) claims that rural residents suffer more from noise pollution than urban residents. The noise is more intrusive as there is little background noise. GACC is concerned that the trial of the new flightpath over Warnham is designed solely to get more aircraft off the Gatwick runway. “It is intolerable that new misery and decline in house values should be caused just to create extra profit.”     Click here to view full story…

 

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Stobart Group sells stake in its truck brand to focus on biomass energy and Southend Airport

Stobart Group is to sell a controlling interest in its trucking business to the Isle of Man investment firm DBAY in a £280million deal.  Stobart  Group will sell a majority stake in Eddie Stobart Logistics to focus on biomass energy and expanding Southend Airport.  Stobart will get £195.6million in cash from DBAY, as well as a 49% stake in the new company. William Stobart will head the new business and will own 6% of it. Markets gave the deal the thumbs down, sending shares down 7.75p to 141.75p. The sale includes a complex arrangement under which DBAY can use the Eddie Stobart brand for 4 years without paying. Then it can either buy the brand for use only in transport and logistics for £15million, pay £50million to use the brand however it wishes, or can pay £3million a year to license it.  Stobart believes the trucking business has little room for growth and is selling it to focus on fast-growing Southend Airport and get into biomass generation. It believes the airport can increase passengers from 1 million a year to 5 million without much more investment.
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Stobart Group sells stake in its iconic truck brand to focus on biomass energy and Southend Airport

By ROB DAVIES  (This is Money)

6 March 2014

Motorway stalwart Stobart Group is to sell a controlling interest in its iconic trucking business to the Isle of Man investment firm DBAY in a £280million deal.

The group, whose green lorries are a familiar sight on Britain’s roads, said it would sell a majority stake in Eddie Stobart Logistics to focus on biomass energy and expanding Southend Airport.

Stobart will get £195.6million in cash from DBAY, as well as a 49 per cent stake in the new company, with the buyer taking on £41million of debt. 

Chief operating officer William Stobart, son of founder Eddie, is leaving to head up the new business and will own 6 per cent of it. Markets gave the deal the thumbs down, sending shares down 7.75p to 141.75p.

The sale includes a complex arrangement under which DBAY can use the Eddie Stobart brand for four years without paying. 

After that, it can either buy the brand for use only in transport and logistics for £15million, pay £50million to use the brand however it wishes, or can pay £3million a year to license it.

Stobart believes the trucking business has little room for growth and is selling it to focus on fast-growing Southend Airport and get into biomass generation.

At present, Stobart sources and delivers biomass, but it is planning a joint venture with an unnamed partner to invest in biomass power plants.

It also believes Southend Airport is ripe for growth, with capacity to increase passenger numbers from 1million a year to 5million without much more investment.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2575149/Stobart-Group-sells-stake-truck-brand-280m-deal.html

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CAA aviation statistics

Terminal Passengers at Southend airport:   

Number of passengers (thousands)

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 10.3)  Terminal Passengers  2002 – 2012

2013      969,941   (up 57.2% on 2012)
2012      616,974 (up 1353.8% on 2011)
2011       42,000 ( up 1084 % on 2010)  
2010        4,000   (down – 9% on 2009)  link to 2010 data
2009       3,948  (down – 91% on 2008)
2008     44,075  (down 10.6% on 2007)
2007     49,000  (up 63% on 2006)
2006     30,000  (up 489% on 2005) **
2005       5,000
2000       3,000
1996       4,000
**   This increase was because of Fordair flights to and from Koln being moved
from Stansted.   The more recent decline reflects the fact that this company no
longer operates and Ford uses commercial  flights to ferry its personnel between
its UK and German locations.

 

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Air Transport Movements

Number of ATMs (thousands)
 CAA ATM statistics 1998 – 2008

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 4.2) ATMs 2002 – 2012

2013      9,476  (up 30.4% on 2012)
2012      7,268  (up + 477.3% on 2011)
2011      1,259  ( no change on 2010)

2010      –     link to 2010 data

2009        75  (down – 91.4% on 2008)
2008      869  (down 1% on 2007)
2007      878  (up 56% on 2006)
2006      562
2005      118
2000       874  (CAA figures)
1996      334
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Some recent news stories about Southend airport:

London Southend Airport opens new £10m extension

13.2.2014 (BBC)

The extension  is due to open to passengers, with a bigger departure lounge, more check-in desks, revamped baggage reclaim facilities, a new arrivals area and five more plane stands have been built.  The airport said the larger terminal would “ensure high levels of service” as passenger numbers grow. The airport claims: “the project could eventually create about 300 jobs due to more planes being based in Southend.”  The first phase of the extension, housing the arrivals areas, opened in June last year.   Retail and catering facilities are also due to be expanded in the future. The airport was bought by Stobart Group in 2008 and spent £100m on its revamp before it opened in February 2012. In 2013 the airport handled nearly a million travellers, but has said it hoped to increase passenger numbers to two million a year by 2020.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-26171915

Also

Southend Airport’s new £10m extension unveiled

30.1.2014   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-25964362

 

Building a vast new airport on the Isle of Grain would close Southend Airport

January 15, 2014

If a large new airport is built on the Isle of Grain, Kent, as London Mayor Boris Johnson has suggested, a clash of air space would mean Southend Airport – and City Airport in London – would probably need to close, the Airports Commission has warned in its Interim Statement. They said this could reduce the options available to low cost airlines and reduce the overall gains to airport capacity over the London area overall. They said that, in particular, it would be very challenging to manage the airspace with the 3 airports. Due to last-minute lobbying by the Mayor and Daniel Moylan, the Commission agreed to look at the £112 billion Isle of Grain scheme, put forward by Wembley Stadium designer Lord Norman Foster in more detail,in the first half of 2014, before deciding whether it should be included in the final short-list consultation starting in October. Southend airport has been emphasising how much money they have already invested in the airport. Nigel Holdcroft, leader of Southend Council, said: “The development of a major airport on the Isle of Grain would have adverse economic and environmental effects on Southend.”      Click here to view full story…

 

easyJet drops flights to Newquay and Edinburgh from Southend

1.1.2014       easyJet has scrapped flights to Edinburgh and Newquay from Southend. It is also scaling back its trips to Jersey and will now only operate 4 a week. This comes after a decision by easyJet in August to scrap flights to Belfast, on January 5.  The company would not reveal the reasons why but said they will “focus the flying schedule there on the routes with the greatest demand.” The airport said  “This summer they added an additional aircraft to the base and have consistently expanded the number of destinations on offer from Southend. We look forward to continuing and growing this relationship.” Flights to Edinburgh have been running since May, and the last will be in June.  ”About 5% of our passengers flying in and out of Southend in 2013 used the Edinburgh services.” The Newquay route was launched in June 2013 and carried almost 8,000 passengers in the summer.  In October, easyJet’s UK commercial manager, Hugh Aitken, said in an extra flight would be added in August 2014.  Easyjet runs 25 flights to Edinburgh from other London airports.   It has also recently started flying from Southend to Tenerife.  Click here to view full story …..

 

EasyJet to fly Newquay to Southend 4 times per week in summer, after it ends Gatwick to Newquay route

October 8, 2013     EasyJet is to increase its weekly flights between Southend to Newquay from 3 to 4 over the summer period only. This comes after EasyJet recently announced it would not continue its flights from Gatwick to Newquay. Almost 8,000 passengers flew from Southend to Newquay this summer by EasyJet. EasyJet – which took over the Gatwick route from Flybe – said there is not enough demand to run a year-round service between Newquay and Southend, and these route from Gatwick was not financially viable for them. A Cornwall MP said the loss of the link to Gatwick would be a “blow to businesses across Cornwall”. EasyJet said : “Following Flybe’s decision to cease operating from London Gatwick to Newquay, Easyjet carefully and thoroughly examined the commercial viability of offering year-round services on the route. Unfortunately, after much consideration, all of the evidence clearly shows that there is insufficient demand to sustain a service using an A319 aircraft with 156 seats.”     Click here to view full story…

 

Centre for private jets at Southend wants to grow from 4 to 20 business jets per day

October 1, 2013    .Southend Airport is hoping to increase the numbers of private jets it handles, and increase the number from some 3 – 4 per day at present, to more like 20 per day. Biggin Hill is its main local rival for business jets. In 2012, Biggin Hill dealt with 5,335 during the year, while Southend had 1,163. Stobart Air’s executive handling facility at London Southend Airport celebrated its first anniversary this July. In comparison, in 2012 London City airport had 264 business flights (the rest are commercial), Luton had 15,055 and Farnborough had 21,986 – so way ahead of the others. Southend claims that although it is further outside London than Biggin Hill, passengers arriving at Southend can travel into the City in little more than hour, are that they are more reasonably priced than some of their competitors. The airport says one major advantage of their executive handling facility is that it is open 24 hours a day with onsite Customs and Immigration services also available permanently. ie. night flight noise for Southend and Rochford residents nearby.    .Click here to view full story…

 

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More news about Southend airport at 

Southend Airport News

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British Airways Heathrow flight suffered ‘engine surge’ on take-off so returned for emergency landing

A British Airways plane was forced to turn back shortly after taking off at Heathrow Airport after an “engine surge” in the air.  A witness said flames were “spitting out of the engine” as the aircraft took off at 20.54 GMT on Thursday 6th March.  British Airways said flight BA0364 to Lyon, France, touched down safely, and the aircraft would be “thoroughly checked over by engineers”.  The southern runway was closed for about 16 minutes.  A local resident who saw it said: “I was in the petrol station opposite the airport, which is when I heard the bang, so I turned around and the plane had flames spitting out of the engine with a spluttering noise as it was still taking off. I then watched it continue to climb and the engine was still emitting flames intermittently.”  BA said  ”A flight experienced what’s known as an ‘engine surge’ as it took off from Heathrow” So the  plane limped back into Heathrow. Webtrak shows it circling over Cobham etc for some 25 minutes before joining the northern runway approach path at around Brixton and landing at about 21.37 – so it flew for miles over densely populated areas of London. The last incident of a plane having to make an emergency landing, and flying across London with a burning engine, was in May 2013, when the engine cowls had not been closed properly.

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The track of the plane is visible on Webtrak http://webtrak.bksv.com/lhr  Which shows flights after a 24 hour delay.

It took off at 20.54 and then circled in the stack over Leaterhead, Cobham, Esher, Dorking etc till setting off to land at about 21.24pm, joining the approach to the northern runway about over Brixton, and landing at about 21.37.

BA 364  LYS – LHR  Type 319


 

British Airways Heathrow flight grounded by ‘engine surge’

7 March 2014  (BBC)

A plane was forced to turn back shortly after taking off at Heathrow Airport after an “engine surge” in the air.

A witness said flames were “spitting out of the engine” as the aircraft took off at about 21:00 GMT on Thursday.

British Airways said flight BA0364 to Lyon, France, touched down safely, adding that the aircraft would be “thoroughly checked over by engineers”.

A spokesman said: “The safety of our customers, crew and aircraft is of the utmost importance.”

The southern runway was closed for about 16 minutes, an airport spokeswoman said.

Tom Puttick, who works near Heathrow, said: “I was in the petrol station opposite the airport, which is when I heard the bang, so I turned around and the airplane had flames spitting out of the engine with a spluttering noise as it was still taking off.

‘Engine shut down’

“I then watched it continue to climb and the engine was still emitting flames intermittently.

“Lots of blue lights then emerged on the airport while the plane, I guess, turned around to make an emergency landing but I couldn’t see it after the aircraft turned out of sight.”

In a statement, British Airways said: “A flight experienced what’s known as an ‘engine surge’ as it took off from Heathrow, but it has now returned and touched down safely.

“We train our pilots to the very highest standards including how to respond to these type of events, and the engine was immediately shut down.”

The airline said passengers on the flight would be given hotel accommodation overnight and rebooked to fly on Friday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26478011

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BA 0364 take off 20.54

BA 0364 takes off at 20.54 and immediately shown in red as a plane landing (not a plane in green, as a take off)

BA 0364 circling over Cobham etc 21.13

BA 0364 circles over Cobham etc at 21.13 – and for around 25 minutes

BA0364 over Croydon on way to landing 21.28

BA 0364 over Croydon on its way to join the approach path for the northern runway

 

BA0364 over Brixton 21.37

BA 0364 joining the Heathrow northern runway approach path around Brixton at 21.31  from where it flew  to the airport on the usual flight path.  Landed at about 21.37

The track of the plane is visible on Webtrak http://webtrak.bksv.com/lhr  Which shows flights after a 24 hour delay.

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Less than a year earlier:

 

Heathrow emergency landing of BA plane with engine on fire: Engine cowls had been left unlatched

31.5.2013

Air accident investigators say the doors on both engines of the BA flight that made an emergency landing at Heathrow last week had been left unlatched. This was due to human error.  Air accident experts said the coverings – the fan cowl doors – broke off and punctured the right engine’s fuel pipe, damaging the aircraft’s systems. The engine was extensively damaged.  The jet flew back to Heathrow, on one engine, with smoke trailing from the other, right across heavily populated London.  It landed safely.  The findings were made in an interim report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is examining the cause of the emergency  It will make its final report in a couple of months. The fan cowl doors on both engines were left unlatched during maintenance and this was not identified prior to aircraft departure. BA confirmed that 2 different engineers would normally check whether a plane’s engine covers had been shut before take-off. David Learmount, former pilot: “This is a bit of an accident waiting to happen because it is so difficult to see”. Airbus said there had, in the past, been 32 reported incidents of fan cowl doors not being shut – details of some at the link below. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3770

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Prestwick Airport reveals spiralling losses – almost £10 million in 2013

The full scale of Prestwick Airport’s financial problems are revealed in the latest accounts, which show a pre-tax loss of almost £10 million in its final full year of private ownership. Its financial problems have escalated with a pre-tax loss of £9.77m in the 12 months to March 31, 2013.  The airport made a £2.3m pre-tax loss in the year to March 2012.  Last March its owners, Infratil, put the airport up for sale, but as no buyer could be found, the  Scottish Government stepped in and bought Prestwick for a £1 on November 22 2013. Prestwick had a 20% fall in the number of passengers in July 2012 compared to the same month in 2011 – the busiest time of the year with the school holidays. The airport’s accounts state that Prestwick  is only a going concern if its owner is willing to continue funding deficits. Such an undertaking has been made by Transport Scotland on behalf of Scottish ministers ie. public subsidy. Only Ryanair is operating scheduled flights, and a significant percentage of the airport’s aviation revenue is derived from freight and other aircraft activity.
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Prestwick Airport reveals spiralling losses

By Helen McArdle (Herald Scotland)
6 March 2014

THE full scale of Prestwick Airport’s financial woes have been laid bare as the latest accounts reveal a pre-tax loss of almost £10 million in its final full year of private ownership.

Company accounts show that the Ayrshire airport made a pre-tax loss of £9.77m in the 12 months to March 31, 2013. The figures reveal the escalation of Prestwick Airport’s financial problems, coming on the back of a £2.3m pre-tax loss in the year to March 2012.

Weeks before the end of the 2012/13 financial year its then owners, New Zealand-based owner Infratil, had put the airport up for sale on the open market.

At the time the owners said they were concerned about dwindling passenger numbers, particularly during the school holidays. They had suffered a 20% fall in the number of people passing through the airport in July 2012 compared to the same month in 2011.

Infratil failed to find a private buyer for the site and faced being closed down altogether before the Scottish Government stepped in and snapped it up for a £1 on November 22.

With fixed assets valued at only £4m, Prestwick Airport had net liabilities of £16m at the end of the 2012/13 financial year.

The company accounts state that Prestwick Airport is only a going concern if its owner is willing to continue funding deficits.

They state that such an undertaking has been made by Transport Scotland on behalf of Scottish ministers.

The Scottish Government is seeking ways to turn around the airport’s fortunes, seeking new airlines that could use it.

At present, Ryanair is the only operator flying scheduled flights in and out of Prestwick.

A significant percentage of the airport’s aviation revenue is derived from freight and other aircraft activity.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/transport/prestwick-airport-reveals-spiralling-losses.23613366

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Passenger, ATM and freight statistics for Prestwick in recent years

Terminal Passengers

Number of passengers (thousands)

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 10.3)  Terminal Passengers  2002 – 2012

2013    1,144,568  (up + 7.3% on 2012)
2012    1,066,917  (down – 17.6% on 2011)
2011    1,295,512  (down – 22%  on 2010)
2010    1,660,000  (down – 9% on 2009)  link to 2010 data
2009   1,817,274  (down – 27.4% compared to 2008)
2008    2,414  (thousand)
2007    2,421
2006    2,395
2005    2,405
2000       905
1997       567

Air Transport Movements

Number of ATMs (thousands)

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 4.2) ATMs 2002 – 2012

2013     8,606  (up 5.6% on 2012)

2012     8,152  (down – 14.8% on 2011)

2011     10,000 (down – 24%  on 2010)

2010     13,000 (down -15% on 2009)   link to 2010 data
2009    15,478  (down – 29.8% compared to 2008)
2008     20 (approx – thousands):
2007     20
2006     19
2005     21
2000     11
1997     10

Air Freight

Freight tonnage  

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 13.2) Freight 2002 – 2012

2013      ?
2012     10,314 (down – 13% on 2011)
2011     11,846 ( down – 3%  on 2010)
2010    12,163  (down – 9% on 2009)    link to 2010 data
2009    13,385  (down 41% on 2008)
2008     22,966  (down -27% on 2007)
2007    31,517
2006    28,537
2005    29,199
2000    41,450
1997    33,874

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Recent news stories about Prestwick airport:

Prestwick Airport to be sold to Scottish Government for £1 – and other failing regional airports look to business parks and housing

12.11.2013

Infratil, which currently owns Prestwick Airport, has said the airport is expected to be sold to the Scottish Government for £1.  The sale is due to be completed by Wednesday, 20 November. Infratil said the airport’s value had been “fully impaired” – effectively written off – after Prestwick and sister airport Manston in Kent were collectively valued at £11 million in March.  Infratil bought Prestwick from Stagecoach in 2001 for £33m.  Manston is being sold to Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag for an expected £400,000. Scottish Ministers are taking over Prestwick airport, which is losing £7m a year, to avert its closure and safeguard 1,400 jobs, including 300 at the airport. Infratil described its investment in the airports to have been “unsuccessful for Infratil” and that while such regional airports looked like a good investment 5 years ago, they now are not as  they are reliant on “robust air traffic growth driving demand.” Other failing airports are looking to  create business parks on their land, and housing – to try and make money out of them.                                 http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=18387 

Glasgow Prestwick Airport may be given to the Scottish Government for nothing

October 11, 2013       The owners of Glasgow Prestwick, New Zealand company Infratil, have suggested they may give away the airport for nothing. The Scottish government has announced it is negotiating to buy the unprofitable airport, and hopes to conclude detailed negotiations with the company by 20 November. Scottish government said it was the “only realistic alternative to closure”. In a statement on its website, the company said it did not expect any transaction “to give rise to material proceeds”. Prestwick was put up for sale last March after heavy annual losses. Several investors expressed interest but no offers were made. Infratil has also been trying to sell its other unprofitable UK airport, Manston. In May 2013, Infratil announced that it had written down the value of both airports to £11m. Infratil has agreed to ensure the airport is kept fully open and operational during the negotiation process. In 2012 Prestwick had around 1 million passengers, compared to 2.4 million at its peak in 2005.      Click here to view full story…

 

Ryanair’s new routes help lift the gloom at Prestwick

5.12.2012    Prestwick  - currently up for sale – has welcomed the extra Ryanair flights, which will launch next year. As Ryanair announced the services to 2 Polish airports, it said a move to Glasgow International Airport had been ruled out. The airline also unveiled six new routes from Edinburgh. Tom Wilson, chief executive of Prestwick’s owners, Infratil Airports Europe, said it would help reassure potential investors about the future of the airport.  Ryanair is planning to increase the frequency of its existing services at both Edinburgh and Prestwick and reverse two years of decline in which passenger numbers have fallen by 18%. Prestwick will see new routes to Rzeszow and Warsaw Modlin, taking the total to 27 routes and increasing the number of weekly flights from 86 to 95.  Click here to view full story …..

Price of Prestwick and Manston slashed to just over one fifth the price Infratil paid for them in 2003 and 2005

November 10, 2012    The value of Prestwick Airport has fallen to under a quarter of its level 2 years ago as owner Infratil struggles to find a buyer. The New Zealand-based company yesterday put the value of Prestwick and Manston Airport in Kent at £10.5 million. They had been valued at £32m earlier this year. Infratil bought it for £33.4m in 2003. A valuation carried out at the end of the financial year in March 2011 said the airports were worth £44m. Both airports were put on the market in January when Infratil said they were under-performing. It had been hoped a sale would be completed by early next year but no buyer is forthcoming. Passenger numbers at Prestwick have dropped to just under 1.1 million a year – less than half the level of 3 years ago – as Ryanair, which provides the bulk of passenger flights, has relocated many services to Edinburgh. The lack of investment has left Prestwick looking tired and off-putting to potential buyers.   Click here to view full story…

 

MP raises Prestwick Airport investment fears

September 25, 2012  Local MP, Brian Donohue, has complained that a lack of investment in Prestwick Airport by its New Zealand-based owner Infratil is damaging prospects of a sale and jeopardising its future. Upkeep at the airport had suffered following Infratil’s decision to put it on the market in March 2012 – and there is no progress yet on selling it. Numbers of passengers and freight at Prestwick have fallen markedly in recent years. Infratil said: “The reality is that when a business is for sale, the current shareholder is unlikely to spend any more than they need to.” Passengers were down 47% in 2011 compared to the peak in 2007, and freight was 71% down in 2011 compared to its peak in 2000.    Click here to view full story…

 

Passenger downturn prompts slump in Prestwick airport’s valuation

May 17, 2012    Passenger numbers at Prestwick in 2011 half the level of 2007. There were 1.2 million passengers in 2011. This fall in passengers has greatly reduced the price of the airport, which Infratil is trying to sell. Financial figures put the value of Prestwick and Kent Manston airports at £33 million ($64.7 million), down from £44m a year ago. Prestwick and Manston contributed an after-tax loss of $37.4 million (£17.9 million) in the year. Both airports were put on the market in March after Infratil said they were not performing. A buyer has yet to be identified for Prestwick. One reason for the slump of passenger numbers to the lowest level in a decade is the decision by Ryanair to focus growth at Edinburgh airport. Aviation analysts have questioned whether Prestwick would be able to recover from the decline that began late in 2008. It has long been reliant almost entirely on services offered by Ryanair.     Click here to view full story…

 

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Allegedly “full” Heathrow now promotes BA weekend day trips to European cities

Heathrow Airport makes much of the fact that it is “full” and there is no space for any other new routes, to all those destinations in emerging economies, to which,  according to Heathrow, new air links are absolutely vital. But as Heathrow is so full, (so the theory goes) these links cannot be set up, and so UK plc will languish …. without direct routes to a range of second or third tier cities. So it is something of a surprise to find that BA now has space among its  Heathrow slots for some new low-cost day return fares to European cities, for day trips at weekends.  BA is offering what it claims to be “affordable day trip” tickets for anyone wanting to fly to popular city break destinations (Rome, Dublin, Geneva, Vienna, Munich) and back on the same day. BA said it could not reveal how many day trip tickets were set aside for each destination, due to commercially sensitivity. The Telegraph says:”Encouraging travellers to fly twice in a day might anger environmentalists. When asked to comment on the effect of such short trips, a spokesman said: “It’s the customer’s choice and they can offset their carbon emissions on the BA website if they wish to.” ” What can one say?  One comment below the article mentions the “mindless hedonist” ……

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British Airways offers cheaper ‘day trip’ fares

Cut-price fares launched for those wanting to spend just a day overseas. But is six hours in Rome really worth it?

The longest that BA’s flight schedule would allow anyone in Rome for example, would be a rather short six hours 

By Natalie Paris and Oliver Smith (Telegraph)

5 Mar 2014

British Airways is offering what it claims to be “affordable day trip” tickets for anyone wanting to fly to popular city break destinations and back on the same day

The airline is offering the return fares, from Heathrow Airport only, to Dublin (from £79); Edinburgh (from £89); Geneva (from £79); Vienna (from £99); Munich (from £99) and Rome (from £89).

The flights are for those travelling with hand luggage only and are for departures on Saturdays or Sundays.

At first glance, these seem like fairly good prices, when compared to the cost of adding together two single tickets through BA. But low-cost rivals still outflank the carrier. A quick look at Ryanair’s website reveals that a day return to Dublin on a typical April weekend, for example, can be found for as little £43.78 (also hand luggage only).

Prices aside, would a day trip to Europe be worth it? The longest that BA’s flight schedule would allow anyone in Rome for example, would be around nine hours – six if you take an earlier flight home – including time spent at the airports at each end. Dublin would be a better bet. A day tripper to the Irish capital could spend up to 12 hours exploring the city, including time to get to and from the airport.

Telegraph Travel ran a quick spot check on the BA website (www.ba.com) when the news was announced today to see what sort of prices we could find.

The day return tickets are not labelled as such, so took a little tracking down.

Day returns for Dublin were available for the advertised price of £79 for some weekends in March and throughout April and May. Same-day flights into and out of Edinburgh could be found for £89 during weekends in April, and return fares to Geneva were available for £79.

But the advertised prices for day returns to Munich and Rome were much harder to come by.

Taking Rome as an example, we only managed to find one available return fare between now and May 24 for £89. The price of a return on the first flight into Rome and last back to Heathrow on other weekend dates in March, April and May, variously cost from £169 up to £801 (on March 15).

BA said it could not reveal how many day trip tickets were set aside for each destination, due to the information being “commercially sensitive”, but admitted that availability changes depending on the route.

The fares are only available on flights departing at the start and the end of the day but travellers have a choice between two early or two late flights in some destinations.

Encouraging travellers to fly twice in a day might anger environmentalists. When asked to comment on the effect of such short trips, a spokesman said: “It’s the customer’s choice and they can offset their carbon emissions on the BA website if they wish to.”

The airline said it intends to roll out the fares to other European cities from Heathrow in future, where its flight schedules allow it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/10678385/British-Airways-offers-cheaper-day-trip-fares.html

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GACC calls for flight path trial to stop due to anger and outrage in the village of Warnham

A new flight path for take-offs from Gatwick airport has caused outrage in the parish of Warnham, near Horsham.  Designed as a 6-month trial to enable more aircraft to take-off from the Gatwick runway it has already caused a wave of protest.  A member of the GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign), Sally Pavey, who lives in Warnham, says: ‘The tranquillity of our 14th century, conservation village has been lost and we seem powerless to do anything about it.  Everyone is up in arms as we are woken at 6.00 am with an aircraft overhead every few minutes. Living in Warnham has turned into a nightmare!’ GACC has called for the trial to be stopped.  The new route is causing an unacceptable degree of upset and maximum anger. It is just a small foretaste of what is to come if a new runway were to be built.  ”With a new runway the new flight paths would bring anger and misery to perhaps 30 or more towns and villages.  And that would be permanent, not just for 6 months.  Warnham is a wake-up call for why we should all oppose a new runway.’
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Village outraged by new flight path. GACC calls for trial to stop

30 or more towns and villages could suffer same fate

Gatwick new runway indicative departure flight paths

A new flight path has caused outrage in the parish of Warnham, near Horsham.  Designed as a six-month trial to enable more aircraft to take-off from the Gatwick runway it has already caused a wave of protest.  GACC committee member, Sally Pavey, who lives in Warnham, says: ‘The tranquillity of our 14th century, conservation village has been lost and we seem powerless to do anything about it.  Everyone is up in arms as we are woken at 6.00 am with an aircraft overhead every few minutes, living in Warnham has turned into a nightmare!’

GACC has called for the trial to be stopped.  ‘It is due to last six months which could be intolerable” says GACC vice chairman, John Byng:  ‘It has also proved what we have always said – that any new route causes maximum anger as people find their peace destroyed and their houses devalued.

‘It is just a small foretaste of what is to come if a new runway were to be built’ according to Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman.  ‘With a new runway the new flight paths would bring anger and misery to perhaps 30 or more towns and villages.  And that would be permanent, not just for six months.  Warnham is a wake-up call for why we should all oppose a new runway.’

For further information

See www.gacc.org.uk/latest-news

The Argus: Angry Warnham residents

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Gatwick new runway indicative departure flight paths

file:///C:/Users/Sarah/Downloads/FlightPathsDepart.pdf

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The Argus: Angry Warnham residents

Illustration of course of trial flight path over Warnham, north west of Horsham

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See also

 

Villages up in arms as new Gatwick flight path shatters their peace and quiet

Date added: March 9, 2014

The Sunday Times has featured the story of the misery and upset being caused over villages in Sussex by a new trial flight path from Gatwick. The village of Warnham is particularly affected. It is a quiet village, but now has planes taking off from Gatwick thundering overhead. Some of the affected residents are the mother-in-law of Boris Johnson, who said who say the noise is so loud that it sets off baby monitors and drowns out the sound of local church bells. Also Caroline Lucas, whose family owns the 215-acre Warnham Park, with a large herd of red deer, said: “How long will future generations stay here? That’s the question you have to ask.” The 6 month trial, of which there was no notice given to local residents, is of a new departure route for planes mainly bound for southern Europe, which are now turning south earlier than they normally do. The airport says the trial is to find out if a new aircraft navigation system will allow air traffic controllers to reduce the interval between flights taking off from two minutes to one, potentially allowing more flights to take off at peak times. ie. make Gatwick even busier than now.

Click here to view full story…

 

Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign speaks up for the village of Warnham, suffering from an unannounced flight path trial

March 4, 2014

A new flight path has been introduced for aircraft taking off from Gatwick to the west, then turning left around Horsham. It passes directly over the village of Warnham and is apparently a trial designed in order to get more aircraft off the Gatwick runway. GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) considers it intolerable that new misery and a decline in house values should be caused just to create extra profit for the owners of Gatwick. Normally there are 3 take off routes to the west, which are contained within compulsory Noise Preferential Route (NPR) corridors. The new route route departs from the NPR, particularly over Warnham, where it has caused consternation. The trial is a technical one not intended to measure the social impact and they did not announce it in advance so as not to provoke complaints that might not have emerged otherwise. The airport says because it is a trial it was not necessary to consult, as would be a legal requirement if the new route were to be permanent. GACC say there is no national need for this route change – Stansted airport is operating at less than half its capacity. People fear that this new route is a small fore-taste of the widespread misery and protest that would be created across Surrey and Sussex by a new runway.

Click here to view full story…

 

New Gatwick flightpath trials are ‘destroying’ village life at Warnham, West Sussex

February 27, 2014

Residents in Warnham, about 10 km south west of Gatwick, and complaining strenuously about low-flying aircraft going over their homes from 6am each day. They feel the character of their village, let alone its tranquillity, are being destroyed. This is part of a trial for a new new flightpath which started on February 17th and will continue for 6 months. The trial is being run by NATS in conjunction with Gatwick airport, but people in Warnham complain that they were not notified or consulted in advance of the trial. The planes pass over the village at approximately 2,000ft and villagers say they can be as frequent as every 5 minutes at some times of day. The noise is loud enough to have raised concerns about its impact on vulnerable residents, in particular the elderly and disabled. The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) claims that rural residents suffer more from noise pollution than urban residents. The noise is more intrusive as there is little background noise. GACC is concerned that the trial of the new flightpath over Warnham is designed solely to get more aircraft off the Gatwick runway. “It is intolerable that new misery and decline in house values should be caused just to create extra profit.”     Click here to view full story…

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Concerns about the effectiveness of a new aviation noise authority – and the public’s trust in it

March 4, 2014

In its interim report published on 17th December 2013, the Airports Commission recommended to government “… the establishment of an Independent Noise Authority to provide expert and impartial advice about the noise impacts of aviation and to facilitate the delivery of future improvements to airspace operations.” GACC – the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign – has responded to this suggestion with a lot of caveats. GACC would welcome the authority if its main purpose is to reduce aircraft noise, but not if its main purpose is to persuade local residents to relax their opposition to a new runway at Gatwick. Residents want the noise to be reduced, not ‘mitigating’, and not ‘reducing the number of people affected’ if that means merely making noise worse for fewer people. . There have been years of unsatisfactory complaints mechanisms on aircraft noise, and also of broken assurances from the aviation industry. “A single point for complaints, an aircraft noise ombudsman with power to order improvement or compensation, would be welcome. But we do not see this in the recommendations of the Commission’s Interim Report.” There are fears that the new body will be “long grass into which difficult issues could be consigned.” A body designed to smooth the path of a new runway, whether at Gatwick or elsewhere would be vigorously opposed.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Brussels flight link returns to Newcastle Airport – with 11 BMI flights per week

The North East once again has a direct link to Brussels with the launch of new flights by BMI from Newcastle to Brussels.  In February 2013 Brussels Airlines stopped the flights, as it was not profitable enough. There had been 3 flight per day, 6 days per week.  Now BMI Regional has stepped in, offering 11 flights a week  (twice a day Monday to Friday and once on Sunday) to and from Belgium.  An airport spokesman said  “The route is one that we lost earlier in the economic downturn, but we were determined to get it back.  ….. Connectivity is very important, and not just to business – Newcastle University finds EU funding key so we hope this route will also let them grow.” MEP Martin Callanan hopes the route will aid local business.  “We’ll start with 11 flights a week and then, if the demand is there, look at the possibility of a third daily flight.”
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Brussels flight link returns to Newcastle International Airport

The North East once again has a direct link to Brussels with the launch of new flights from Newcastle

A BMI plane at Newcastle International Airport from Brussels

The North East once again has a direct link to Brussels with the launch of new flights from Newcastle.

Passengers have been unable to go straight to the capital of Europe from the region for almost a year after Brussels Airlines pulled out of the route.

But now BMI Regional has stepped in, offering 11 flights a week to and from Belgium – with it’s inaugural service greeted with a water cannon salute as it touched down atNewcastle International Airport.

“This is great news for the region,” airport planning and corporate affairs director Graeme Mason said.

“The route is one that we lost earlier in the economic downturn, but we were determined to get it back.

“We’ve worked very closely with businesses in the region and with the MEPs – who we’d like to thank for their support – and we’ve got a great airline in BMI Regional, which is the most punctual in the UK.

“Connectivity is very important, and not just to business – Newcastle University finds EU funding key so we hope this route will also let them grow.”

MEP Martin Callanan said, while the route will save him hours in travel time every week, it is the boon to business he is most looking forward to.

“This is great news for the region as transport routes are key to businesses, and will help to bring more jobs and revenue to the regional economy,” he said.

BMI chief executive Cathal O’Con­nell said the first flight had demonstrated exactly the sort of passengers they believe will be using the service, which runs twice a day Monday to Friday and once on Sunday.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be providing this service,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of discussions with both business and leisure interests on both sides of the sea and we believe the demand is there for this.

“The first flight had 38 people on board and that included businessmen, families and people from the Parliament, which is exactly the sort of people we expect.

“We’ll start with 11 flights a week and then, if the demand is there, look at the possibility of a third daily flight.”

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/brussels-flight-link-returns-newcastle-6768480

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Transport minister rules out cash handout for Newcastle Airport’s USA flights plan

 

Transport minister Robert Goodwill said he would not be using taxpayer cash to back direct flights from Tyneside during a visit to help launch Newcastle Airport’s new business park.

The aviation minister has ruled out Government support for flights from Newcastle to the USA, as the city’s airport kick-started its ambitious plans to create thousands of jobs.

Transport minister Robert Goodwill said he would not be using taxpayer cash to back direct flights from Tyneside during a visit to help launch Newcastle Airport’s new business park.

Airport chiefs say a £30m plan for six office buildings next to the Callerton Parkway Metro station will create around 1,000 jobs, part of a wider plan to expand the airport site along with property firm UK Land Estates.

Meeting with senior airport staff yesterday, Mr Goodwill said the Government was committed to backing “local international airports”.

However, asked if he would go as far as to offer support for the new flights – connections which would bring a much needed boost to the regional economy – the Scarborough and Whitby MP said he would leave it to the airport to sell itself abroad rather than offering Government financial support.

Flights to the US have been a target of not just the airport, with its seven council owners, but also the job-creating local enterprise partnership and the Chamber of Commerce, who have all backed the need for expansion westwards. But yesterday Mr Goodwill put on hold any hope of Government subsidy.

He said: “If you look at flights to Dubai you can see what can be done without Government funding.

“That successful route has been made without the need to use taxpayers’ money to subsidise it.” Mr Goodwill added: “I know that there has been some lobbying about, say, relaxing the air passenger duty here. The worry is that that could create a churn where the flights are only here until that subsidy goes.

“We have not been persuaded by the arguments so far. The Dubai flights are very well subscribed flights, the case can be made (to the operators) I think for flights into New Jersey or wherever in America.”

Newcastle International Airport chief executive David Laws said he believed the airport’s expansion and new office space would make it an even more attractive investment to American airlines.

“The new business park will help attract the type of airline that the whole region is desperate for,” he said. Mr Laws told the minister that connections through Newcastle Airport played a key role in encouraging firms to relocate to the region.

He added: “The location is great not only for aviation related companies, but also professional services, technology and IT, telecommunications and oil and gas / offshore businesses, who can make use of the excellent connectivity on offer.

“This is a very important development for us and one which we feel will be very popular.

“Other successful regional airports have been able to diversify their business and we see this scheme as critical in supporting the growth of the airport.

The overall project will comprise four phases, which collectively have the potential to deliver over 7,000 jobs and a regional economic boost of over £300m.

The development is being overseen by a steering group comprising Newcastle International Airport, UK Land Estates, Newcastle City Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and the North Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said “Newcastle Airport provides an important gateway to new business opportunities across the globe.

“The creation of this new International Business Park at Newcastle Airport is a clear indication of our growing economic confidence and we look forward to welcoming new investors to our city and region, knowing they’ll benefit from a fantastic location and excellent connections.”

http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/transport-minister-rules-out-cash-6742461


 

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In December 2013, in response to the Airports Commission interim report, Newcastle airport said:

17.12.2013

A new third runway at Heathrow would benefit the North East and see more connecting flights reach Newcastle International Airport.

……….Last night airport bosses said that the expansion at Heathrow needs to get the go-ahead so Newcastle International Airport can continue to have hub connecting flights.

Graeme Mason, planning and corporate affairs director at the airport, said: “I think the report is great news for the North East because of the options it has highlighted. It could have had a long list of options but it focuses particularly on Heathrow and Gatwick which is what we wanted.

“We strongly support Heathrow and the fact the report has made reference to its expansion is great news.

“We have submitted input into the whole process and we have always said we will support the expansion of Heathrow.

“Heathrow is the biggest single hub serving the region with half a million passengers, 50% of which are connecting to another airport.

“It is by far the largest and if Heathrow wasn’t expanding we could lose the connection. A new runway was always seen as the best interest for the North East.”

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Some earlier news stories about Newcastle airport:

 

Newcastle airport produces new draft master plan for increasing number of leisure passengers

July 26, 2013        Newcastle Airport published a master plan in 1994, and another in 2003. That predicted by 2030 it might have 9 million passengers. There is now another draft master plan, out for consultation until 31st October, which anticipates perhaps 8.5 million passengers by 2030 (DfT anticipates around 6.3 million). They want to grow passenger numbers from the 4.4 million by 2030 and increase aircraft movements from 62,200 to up to 87,500 – making it one of the top 10 biggest airports in the UK. There are the usual predictions of more jobs (they say the airport now “supports” (vague term) 7,800 jobs across the region and by 2030 this will rise to 10,000. The airport hopes to develop 2 business parks on land south of the runway – one to extend existing aviation-related activities such as freight, and a new site for offices. They say these have the potential to deliver “thousands more” jobs. The airport says it contributed £646m to the regional economy in 2012, and by 2030 it is estimated that this figure will “more than double.” In 2005 some 22% of passengers were on business; by the 2009 CAA air passenger survey, it was only 20% on business. ie. 80% of passengers are leisure, contributing to taking their holiday money out of the UK.      Click here to view full story…

 

Emirates considers direct flights to the USA from UK northern airports, not Heathrow

July 26, 2013     Dubai’s Emirates Airline is interested in getting into the competitive transatlantic market, and offer flights from Dubai to the US via the UK. This market is currently dominated by BA, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Emirates will need to get regulatory approval first. Emirates believes there is strong unmet demand for flights from the north of England to the USA and last year carried 800,000 passengers on its routes in and out of its hubs in the north of England: Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. There are growing numbers of Emirates passengers and services from these northern UK airports. In October, Emirates will launch flights from Dubai to New York via Milan. Their UK vice president said they are asking the Airports Commission to look at making all the regional airports completely open skies, so anyone can fly anywhere. If they use the northern airports, there is less pressure on the south east airports, and less rationale for building another runway. “Heathrow sits in the south of England, but Manchester has a bigger catchment area in terms of a two-hour drive.” If Emirates goes through with the plan BA and Virgin will be the big losers.    Click here to view full story..

 

Airlines like Emirates keen to fly from regional airports (like Newcastle) – reducing future demand at Heathrow and Gatwick

March 25, 2013     Heathrow Airport has been saying recently that, though it is desperate to get a third runway, even they realise that there is not the demand for a 4th runway. The DfT has consistently over-estimated the amount of passenger demand over the last decade. In reality, passengers from parts of the UK other than the south east can get long haul flights from regional airports. The UK Vice President of Emirates says he wants to expand flights from UK’s regional airports, rather than Heathrow or Gatwick, and has a direct flight from Newcastle to Dubai, for transfers on from there. With that happening more and more in future, the south east airports’ dreams for expansion in the south east, requiring a massive hub airport, look less and less probable. Forecasts more than a few years ahead are based on so many uncertainties and unknowns as to be almost without value. Making best use of existing airports is more efficient than grandiose new infrastructure projects which run the risk of being white elephants. Had a second Stansted runway been built by 2012, it would now be standing idle.    Click here to view full story…

 

Brussels Airlines to ground Newcastle to Brussels flight link

Feb 21 2013     It is  cancelling its direct flights from Newcastle to Brussels. Brussels Airlines currently runs 3 flights a day, 6 days a week from the region to Brussels.  Only last month, as part of a deal with budget operator Flybe, it announced plans to increase capacity by 60%. But future flights were quietly dropped from the company’s website, and now airport bosses have admitted the route is under threat and they are looking for someone else to take it on. North East Euro MP Fiona Hall said the move risked sending out the wrong message to companies looking to invest in the area. But the North East Chamber of Commerce said the move needs to be considered alongside the recent positive announcements of more flights to other parts of Europe. Seven weeks ago, a 78-seater Bombardier Q400 aircraft was introduced on the route, increasing capacity on the thrice-daily service by 60%. At the time it was said that the “frequency of flights and range of onward connections” was ensuring the route “remains popular and continues to thrive”.Click here to view full story ….

 

 

Local Councils should sell Newcastle Airport stake to save jobs and services

December 7, 2012     Conservative councillors in Northumberland and Newcastle have said the time has come for the North East’s 7 local authorities get out of the airport business and offload their shares. They could then avoid cuts to council services and jobs. The councils between them, including Northumberland and Newcastle, own a 51% stake in Newcastle airport, but have also had to spend £68m to help refinance its debts. In exchange the authorities receive on average just £500,000 a year in dividends, as well as a say over bigger airport issues. The ownership of the airport has been particularly controversial after a former airport chief executive to walk away with a multi-million £ bonus. At the hearing, which the airport lost but is trying to appeal against, a judge made repeated references to the councils’ lack of experience in running an airport.    Click here to view full story…

 

and more at 

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Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign speaks up for the village of Warnham, suffering from an unannounced flight path trial

A new flight path has been introduced for aircraft taking off from Gatwick to the west, then turning left around Horsham. It passes directly over the village of Warnham and is apparently a trial designed in order to get more aircraft off the Gatwick runway. GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) considers it intolerable that new misery and a decline in house values should be caused just to create extra profit for the owners of Gatwick. Normally there are 3 take off routes to the west, which are contained within compulsory Noise Preferential Route (NPR) corridors. The new route route departs from the NPR, particularly over Warnham, where it has caused consternation.  The trial is a technical one not intended to measure the social impact and they did not announce it in advance so as not to provoke complaints that might not have emerged otherwise. The airport says because it is a trial it was not necessary to consult, as would be a legal requirement if the new route were to be permanent. GACC say there is no national need for this route change – Stansted airport is operating at less than half its capacity. People fear that this new route is a small fore-taste of the widespread misery and protest that would be created across Surrey and Sussex by a new runway.
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The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign speaks up for the village of Warnham

28 .2.2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

The Argus: Angry Warnham residents

Illustration of course of trial flight path over Warnham, north west of Horsham

Yesterday John Byng of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) spoke up at the Gatwick noise committee meeting (Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group – NATMAG) concerning the trial of a new departure route from Gatwick that passes close to the centre of Warnham.

The trial route is one of four for aircraft taking off towards the west, whereas there were previously only three.

Most take-offs are to the west because of the prevailing winds but there have been one or two days of respite recently when the wind has required take-offs to be towards the east.

The other three normal routes are contained within compulsory Noise Preferential Route (NPR) corridors (designed to minimise nuisance and give certainty concerning the neighbourhoods impacted by take-off noise) but the trial route departs from the NPR, particularly in respect of Warnham.

Liz Kitchen (Horsham Councillor for Rusper and Capel) opened the discussion on the trial by saying she had considerable sympathy for the Warnham residents many of whom have lived in the village for years and suddenly find themselves over-flown.

Gatwick and the National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS) both stated that it is a useful trial that is needed for a number of reasons and that there are both winners (people not now being over-flown) as well as losers (in Warnham and other places on the track).

The trial is a technical one not intended to measure the social impact and they did not announce it in advance so as not to provoke complaints that might not have emerged otherwise.

They assert that because it is a trial it was not necessary to consult, as would be a legal requirement if the new route were to be permanent.

They also stated that the route was carefully designed to minimise the number of people over-flown and that it passes between several villages including Warnham and not over any of them.

Peter Long (Reigate & Banstead Environmental Protection Officer) pointed out that the track is quite close to Warnham and would be perceived as over-head by many residents.  NATS pointed out that some of the villages that have been avoided by the new track are actually over-flown otherwise.

John Byng weighed in heavily making the point that many residents of Warnham have bought their houses on the understanding that they were not close to a departure route and had paid extra on that basis.

They are now getting a large proportion of the departures on a single track only three quarters of a mile from the centre of the village; that the aircraft concerned are in climb mode at about 4000ft so making a considerable noise every few minutes; and that this has happened suddenly to a village that is not used to it.

He said the trial should be stopped and asked whether they yet have sufficient data.  When told that more data is needed to ensure safe and efficient operations in a variety of circumstances he asked that the trial should be brought to a close as soon as possible.  Since then the Civil Aviation Authority has made the same point.

It was mentioned that a noise monitor instrument is located in the area and enquiries will be made into whether it might be used to measure the noise impact of the trial.  Clearly such measurements will have limited value and should have been thought about before the trial began but what matters more than the level of the noise is the level of disturbance which will not be measured except in terms of complaints.

The Argus: Angry Warnham residents

The airport complaints telephone line is simply an answerphone so complainants may prefer to email noise.line@gatwickairport.com .

Complainants should take care to ask for a response but make clear that their message is a complaint because otherwise it may be counted as an enquiry.

In general discussion it was noted that the trial is a taste of things to come.  The Airspace consultation, which recently closed, envisages new routes over people who are not used to it.

It also envisages narrow tracks rather than broad corridors or swathes so that the number over-flown is reduced but those who are over-flown get disturbed very much more frequently.  These protests from Warnham could be the first of many and many other villages could find themselves in a similar situation.

A NATS description of the trial is at http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/cttee/gat/gat300114key4.pdf

and those who would like to see the tracks taken by aircraft as they take off from Gatwick will find http://flighttracking.casper.aero/lgw/ interesting.

It shows as “live” the events of 20 minutes earlier but can be set to show a “replay” of events hours or days earlier (top left hand corner).

 

Joining GACC

Anybody wishing to help support the work of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign can do so by downloading a membership form from their web site at www.gacc.org.uk .

By doing so they will not be joining an anti Gatwick or anti aviation campaign but one that is devoted to minimising the adverse impacts for the environment and communities.

 

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Earlier:

New Gatwick flightpath trials are ‘destroying’ village life at Warnham, West Sussex

February 27, 2014

Residents in Warnham, about 10 km south west of Gatwick, and complaining strenuously about low-flying aircraft going over their homes from 6am each day. They feel the character of their village, let alone its tranquillity, are being destroyed. This is part of a trial for a new new flightpath which started on February 17th and will continue for 6 months. The trial is being run by NATS in conjunction with Gatwick airport, but people in Warnham complain that they were not notified or consulted in advance of the trial. The planes pass over the village at approximately 2,000ft and villagers say they can be as frequent as every 5 minutes at some times of day. The noise is loud enough to have raised concerns about its impact on vulnerable residents, in particular the elderly and disabled. The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) claims that rural residents suffer more from noise pollution than urban residents. The noise is more intrusive as there is little background noise. GACC is concerned that the trial of the new flightpath over Warnham is designed solely to get more aircraft off the Gatwick runway. “It is intolerable that new misery and decline in house values should be caused just to create extra profit.”

Click here to view full story…

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Aviation Minister, Robert Goodwill, launches Newcastle Airport Business Park with hopes of large numbers of jobs

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill MP has launched a new airport business park, in conjunction with the airport and Newcastle City Council. The business park was outlined in the airport’s 2013 master plan.  There are suggestions that the business park could bring 7,000 jobs over 20 years (though usually many of these jobs are not additional, but move in from elsewhere).  The first phase of the plans will establish 175,000 sq ft of office accommodation across six buildings, in close proximity to the airport and within walking distance of a Metro station.  The hope is that it will attract new investors to the region and attract businesses in new international markets, such as digital and high-tech. The promoters hope the park will benefit from not only having air links but also good road and rail infrastructure nearby. The airport said other successful regional airports have been able to diversify their businesses, to not only depend on aviation. Mr Goodwill hoped Newcastle Airport succeeded in its goal to operate transatlantic flights to the US East Coast.
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Aviation Minister launches Newcastle Airport Business

Park that could deliver 7,000 jobs

By Tom Keighley

24 FEB 2014 (B daily)

Plans to develop a new business park at Newcastle Airport, that could deliver 7,000 North

East jobs over the next 20 years, are in motion.

The Airport’s planning and corporate affairs director, Graeme Mason, said there was potential for further developments if the scheme was successful.

Phase one of the park plans will establish 175,000 sq ft of office accommodation across six buildings, in close proximity to the airport and within walking distance of Callerton Parkway Metro station.

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill MP joined Newcastle International Airport chief executive David Laws and Leader of Newcastle City Council Nick Forbes to launch the development, which was outlined in the airport’s 2013 masterplan.

Team Valley Trading Estate owners UK Land Estates are partners in the project, which will be marketed by commercial property agents Knight Frank.

Graeme Mason said the development was well placed to take advantage of the recovering economy and hoped it would attract new investors to the region.

He told Bdaily: “This is really going to attract businesses that need quick and efficient access to new international markets, such as the offshore sector, digital and high-tech.

“Not only has it got the air links, but there’s connectivity via excellent road and rail infrastructure nearby.”

Mr Mason allayed concerns that existing commercial property did remain empty in the region – indicating that the Airport and its partners had done extensive research to establish demand and units were “pitched at the right size.”

Map showing the planned area for the Business Park to the south of the Airport.

Dave Laws, chief executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “The location of the Newcastle International Airport Business Park is ideal for businesses who will benefit from the excellent connectivity through the airport.

“The location is great not only for aviation related companies, but also professional services, technology and IT, telecommunications and oil and gas / offshore businesses, who can make use of the excellent connectivity on offer.

“This is a very important development for us and one which we feel will be very popular. Other successful regional airports have been able to diversify their business and we see this scheme as critical in supporting the growth of the airport.

“We are delighted to work with UK Land Estates and our shareholders on this project and the launch today is an exciting first step.”

Newcastle City Council Leader Nick Forbes cheered the plans and said they pertained to his own ambition of making Newcastle the best place to locate business in the UK.

The Aviation Minister welcomed the development and also said he hoped Newcastle Airport succeeded in its goal to operate transatlantic flights to the US East Coast.

Speaking to Bdaily on a tour of the Airport the MP for Scarborough and Whitby said the Government’s ambition for Newcastle was to grow investment, flights and jobs.

He said: “We’d like to improve surface connectivity and that means investment in the metro and the investment that’s happening on the A1.

“High Speed rail will also bring benefits to the region, as trains will not stop at Leeds, but continue at normal speeds to Newcastle.”

Newcastle International Airport chief executive David Laws (left) with Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill MP (centre) and Newcastle City Council Leader Nick Forbes (right)

https://bdaily.co.uk/industrials/24-02-2014/aviation-minister-launches-newcastle-airport-business-park-that-could-deliver-7000-jobs/

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Some recent news about Newcastle airport:

Newcastle airport produces new draft master plan for increasing number of leisure passengers

July 26, 2013        Newcastle Airport published a master plan in 1994, and another in 2003. That predicted by 2030 it might have 9 million passengers. There is now another draft master plan, out for consultation until 31st October, which anticipates perhaps 8.5 million passengers by 2030 (DfT anticipates around 6.3 million). They want to grow passenger numbers from the 4.4 million by 2030 and increase aircraft movements from 62,200 to up to 87,500 – making it one of the top 10 biggest airports in the UK. There are the usual predictions of more jobs (they say the airport now “supports” (vague term) 7,800 jobs across the region and by 2030 this will rise to 10,000. The airport hopes to develop 2 business parks on land south of the runway – one to extend existing aviation-related activities such as freight, and a new site for offices. They say these have the potential to deliver “thousands more” jobs. The airport says it contributed £646m to the regional economy in 2012, and by 2030 it is estimated that this figure will “more than double.” In 2005 some 22% of passengers were on business; by the 2009 CAA air passenger survey, it was only 20% on business. ie. 80% of passengers are leisure, contributing to taking their holiday money out of the UK.      Click here to view full story…

 

Emirates considers direct flights to the USA from UK northern airports, not Heathrow

July 26, 2013     Dubai’s Emirates Airline is interested in getting into the competitive transatlantic market, and offer flights from Dubai to the US via the UK. This market is currently dominated by BA, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Emirates will need to get regulatory approval first. Emirates believes there is strong unmet demand for flights from the north of England to the USA and last year carried 800,000 passengers on its routes in and out of its hubs in the north of England: Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. There are growing numbers of Emirates passengers and services from these northern UK airports. In October, Emirates will launch flights from Dubai to New York via Milan. Their UK vice president said they are asking the Airports Commission to look at making all the regional airports completely open skies, so anyone can fly anywhere. If they use the northern airports, there is less pressure on the south east airports, and less rationale for building another runway. “Heathrow sits in the south of England, but Manchester has a bigger catchment area in terms of a two-hour drive.” If Emirates goes through with the plan BA and Virgin will be the big losers.    Click here to view full story..

 

Newcastle Airport in Court of Appeal over blame for earlier excessive bonus payments

June 21, 2013     Newcastle Airport has been at the Court of Appeal battling to convince top judges to overrule a previous decision not to punish a law firm (Eversheds) which the airport said was to blame for under-the-radar awards to its former chief executive and finance director. The airport says contracts which handed airport bosses a controversial multi-million pound pay package were “dramatically inconsistent with the principle of fair and responsible remuneration”, a judge has heard. The airport’s leadership group NIAL suffered a stinging defeat last year when a High Court judge ruled that responsibility for the debacle lay not with Eversheds LLP but with non-executive directors sitting on the company’s remuneration committee. They had inadvertently permitted the executives to “dictate” the terms of their contracts and had not read them properly before signing them.” Newcastle airport is majority-owned by 7 North East councils, who did not know about contract negotiations & bonus deals in 2005 & 2006.    Click here to view full story…

 

Airlines like Emirates keen to fly from regional airports (like Newcastle) – reducing future demand at Heathrow and Gatwick

March 25, 2013     Heathrow Airport has been saying recently that, though it is desperate to get a third runway, even they realise that there is not the demand for a 4th runway. The DfT has consistently over-estimated the amount of passenger demand over the last decade. In reality, passengers from parts of the UK other than the south east can get long haul flights from regional airports. The UK Vice President of Emirates says he wants to expand flights from UK’s regional airports, rather than Heathrow or Gatwick, and has a direct flight from Newcastle to Dubai, for transfers on from there. With that happening more and more in future, the south east airports’ dreams for expansion in the south east, requiring a massive hub airport, look less and less probable. Forecasts more than a few years ahead are based on so many uncertainties and unknowns as to be almost without value. Making best use of existing airports is more efficient than grandiose new infrastructure projects which run the risk of being white elephants. Had a second Stansted runway been built by 2012, it would now be standing idle.    Click here to view full story…

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 CAA aviation statistics    

Terminal Passengers at Newcastle airport: 

(thousands)
UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 10.3)  Terminal Passengers  2002 – 2012
2013    4,415,684  ( up + 1.4% on 2012)
2012    4,354,648  (up + 0.4% on 2011)
2011    4,336,000 ( no change on 2010)
2010   4,346,893   (down – 4.9% on 2009)
2009   4,569  (down – 9% on 2008) 2008    5,017  (down -11% on 2007)
2007    5,624,000
2006    5,407,000
2005    5,187,000
2000    3,145,000
1997    2,587,000

 

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“Gatwick Diamond” accuses local MPs of community ‘disservice’ after Redhill aerodrome appeal defeat

The two Conservative MPs who publicly opposed Redhill aerodrome’s plans to build a hard runway have been accused of “doing their residents a disservice”.  Amidst the fallout of the Planning Inspectorate’s decision on 18th February to dismiss Redhill Aerodrome’s appeal for a hard runway, Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of (ardently  pro-new-runways) business group Gatwick Diamond, said Crispin Blunt MP and Sam Gyimah MP had done a disservice to residents by opposing the plans.  The Planning Inspector had rejected the airport’s appeal against repeated refusals by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and Tandridge District Council  of plans for the 3 grass runways to be replaced by a 1,349m hard surface runway, along with approach lighting, drainage and habitat management.  The Gatwick Diamond group say a hard runway would be good for business in the area, claim jobs would be created by it, and try to scare local people that their jobs will be at risk. Mr Blunt described the airport’s business case as “disingenuous”, and Mr Gyimah said it was the wrong development in the wrong place.
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MPs accused of community ‘disservice’ following Redhill aerodrome appeal defeat

 

Opponents and supporters of Redhill Aerodrome’s hard runway appeal give their reaction to the Planning Inspectorate’s dismissal of the scheme

MP Sam Gyimah and Keep Redhill Aerodrome Green (KRAG) campaigners celebrate after the planning inspector’s decision

The two MPs who publicly opposed an aerodrome’s plans to build a hard runway have been accused of “doing their residents a disservice”.

Amidst the fallout of the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to dismiss Redhill Aerdrome’s appeal for a hard runway, Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of business group Gatwick Diamond, said Crispin Blunt and Sam Gyimah had done a disservice to residents by opposing the plans.

On February 18, planning inspector Diane Lewis dismissed the aerodrome’s attempt to overturn decisions made by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and Tandridge District Council to refuse permission for three grass runways to be replaced by a 1,349m hard surface along with approach lighting, drainage and habitat management.

Redhill Aerodrome’s application included a business case saying the runway would lead to 120 new jobs, the protection of existing positions and an extra £27.5m to the local economy.

Speaking after the decision, Mr Taylor said: “For the surrounding economy I think it sends out completely the wrong message to any business looking to move here. I think they [the opponents] have been incredibly short sighted. I think what they fail to see is not just jobs created but existing jobs that are under threat.

“What I find really distressing is two members of the Government both very happy at the prospect of employment for voters and residents being removed.

“I think they [the MPs] have done their residents a disservice.”

Mr Taylor said the environmental impact from the runway would have been minimal as it meant the aerodrome would be a fixed length and a cap was being proposed which is not in place now.

He also warned residents that aerodrome buildings could be converted to housing without the need to submit a planning application.

Delighted

However opponents of Redhill Aerodrome’s hard runway proposal, including both Reigate MP Mr Blunt and East Surrey MP Mr Gyimah, have welcomed the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to dismiss its appeal.

The MPs, who both spoke out against the plans in the run-up to last month’s appeal, both publicly welcomed the verdict.

Mr Blunt described the business case as “disingenuous”, adding: “I am delighted that the planning inspector shares my view that we shouldn’t allow such heavy breach of national green belt policy on a weak economic argument. I’m very happy with today’s news.”

Meanwhile Mr Gyimah said: “Above all, this result is a testament to the persistent hard work of Keep Redhill Aerodrome Green (KRAG), Nutfield Parish Council, and the local residents who campaigned so strongly against this development.

“They have had the misery of fighting off speculative applications year after year, and I hope that this will be the last time they are called upon to do so.

“Both Tandridge District Council and Reigate & Banstead Borough Council recognised that this was the wrong development in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the Planning Inspectorate has rightly endorsed their position in the best interests of our community.”

Aerodrome bosses have expressed their disappointment at the inspector’s decision.

Speaking to Get Surrey, chief executive Ann Bartaby said: “The businesses here are very disappointed because a lot of people have, or had, ideas for the growth of their businesses and expanding or diversifying their businesses, which they will not be able to do.

“Our tenants are very loyal and I believe they will try to make the best of it.

“We are examining the decision of the inspector in great detail and we will probably have to live with what we have got.”

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/mps-accused-community-disservice-following-6727727

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Earlier news about Redhill Aerodrome:

 

Redhill Aerodrome runway appeal, for a hard runway, dismissed by Planning Inspector

February 21, 2014

Plans to build a hard runway in place of its 3 existing grass runways at Redhil aerodrome have been refused by a planning inspector. The owners of Redhill Aerodrome, RAV, had wanted the hard runway in order to have aircraft movements all year, even in bad weather, and to increase the number of flights from 60,000 to 85,000 a year. Following last month’s public inquiry, the planning inspectorate ruled the development was “inappropriate” and could “harm the green belt”. Reigate and Banstead Council and Tandridge Council rejected the scheme last year, saying it was inapproprite development in Green Belt, so RAV appealed. Local residents groups and Surrey Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) were among objectors who gave evidence to the inquiry. Local Conservative MPs Crispin Blunt and Sam Gyimah lodged formal objections against the development, saying the economic case was weak and it would cause major detrimental impacts on the surrounding area. The airfield flooded as a result of heavy storms last month.     Click here to view full story…

 

Redhill aerodrome hard runway Inquiry continues into second week

January 11, 2014

Plans to build a hard runway and associated infrastructure at Redhill Aerodrome have been under examination this week at a Public Inquiry. The inquiry will continue into next week. The aerodrome currently has two grass runways but the owners want a hard runway to allow for larger aircraft, longer flying hours and year-round flying. They have made a succession of planning applications, all of which have been refused. The airfield is wholly within the Green Belt and is reached by narrow, winding lanes. The vast majority of local residents oppose it, as do the local MPs, Parish Councils, conservation groups and Surrey Green Party. The Inquiry has been packed and lively. Officers from Reigate & Banstead and Tandridge Councils defended the decision to refuse the runway, and individuals and representatives of local groups raised a very wide range of reasons for objecting, including noise, traffic and road safety, disruption of views and flooding. Green Belt is a key issue, as is the importance of “localism” so if local people are strongly against a proposal, that should mean it is rejected. The Inspector’s decision will be made some after the end of the inquiry.     Click here to view full story…

 

Redhill aerodrome hard runway application public inquiry to last several days

January 7, 2014

Redhill Aerodrome has for years been trying to get a hard surfaced runway, to replace its current grass runway, so it can operate larger planes and it can also operate in wet weather. Their application has been rejected, most recently in June 2013 by both Tandridge and Reigate & Banstead councils. The public inquiry into the hard runway plans takes place on 7th January 2014, in Redhill, and will last several days. As well as the two district councils opposing the plans, they are also being fought by two parish councils and the local campaign group, KRAG. The extent of the damage to the Green Belt, and to the local community, is a key issue in the Inquiry. “One of the 5 purposes of Green Belt policy is to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment. The introduction of the proposed development would not assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment; it would conflict with that purpose.” The jobs argument is being used by the airport’s legal team, which claims a hard runway would secure the 140 on-site jobs and create120 more jobs by 2030. The local community group, Keep Redhill Aerodrome Green branded the Aerodrome’s case as “weak” and “contains numerous assumptions, unsubstantiated statements, omissions and factors which remain unproven.”

Click here to view full story…

 

Redhill Aerodrome hard runway plans rejected

June 7, 2013   Councillors have thrown out plans for a hard runway at Redhill Aerodrome because it would “scar” the landscape. The aerodrome currently only has grass runways, so cannot operate in bad weather. But the aerodrome’s owners, RAV, say they will appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. Both Tandridge and Reigate & Banstead councils decisively rejected the plans to build a 1,349m-long concrete runway . A planning officer’s report had recommended councillors reject the scheme on the grounds of inappropriate development in the green belt. The new runway would have enabled the air field to increase air traffic movements by about 72% by flying in wet weather. The applicant had “dismally failed” to argue a case of special circumstances in order to gain approval to develop green belt. Opponents said 90% of households were against the hard surfaced runway, and a local councillor agreed with many residents in saying that there was “no merit” to the application which would “spoil the rural area” if given approval.    Click here to view full story…

 

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