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Mayor of London figures refute Heathrow claims of less aircraft noise with a 3rd runway

Figures published by the London Mayor “blow out of the water” Heathrow’s claim that overall noise levels would fall if a 3rd runway was built, Heathrow campaigners said.  The figures, part of Boris Johnson’s report on the Estuary Airport submitted to the Airport’s Commission last week, showed Heathrow’s claims assumed the new runway would be operating at only one-third capacity. They also argued that Heathrow was too optimistic about the introduction of quieter aircraft.   The Mayor’s figures, based on a study he commissioned from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), showed if a 3rd runway was built more than 1m people would be impacted by noise, up from 725,000 today. (55 Lden). While Heathrow is trying to claim 50% more planes will mean less noise, in reality the noise will rise.  Heathrow still has not found a way to deal with the politically toxic problem of noise. A 3rd runway would mean people would be disturbed in new areas of London and the south-east. Areas from Kensington to Deptford would be within the noise contour.

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Mayor of London figures refute Heathrow claims on aircraft noise

Surrey Comet: Third runway: Somewhat controversial
Third runway: Somewhat controversial

Figures published by the London Mayor “blow out of the water” Heathrow’s claim that overall noise levels would fall if a third runway was built, campaigners said.

The figures, part of Boris Johnson’s report on the Estuary Airport submitted to the Airport’s Commission last week, showed Heathrow’s claims assumed the new runway would be operating at only one-third capacity.

They also argued that Heathrow was too optimistic about the introduction of quieter aircraft.

The Mayor’s figures, based on a study he commissioned from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), showed if a third runway was built more than 1m people would be impacted by noise, up from 725,000 today.

“They could be a game changer as they show that Heathrow still has not found a way to deal with the politically toxic problem of noise.”

The CAA study shows that if a third runway was built at Heathrow people would be disturbed in new areas of London and the south-east.

Heathrow said the number of people within its noise contour fell tenfold since the 70s, despite the number of flights doubling.

It said its modelling showed the number of people within the 55 Leq Heathrow noise footprint would be cut by 45 to 48 per cent by 2030, even with a third runway.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “These significant noise reductions are due to quieter aircraft, the third runway being located farther west, steeper landing approaches, and aircraft landing farther along all three runways.

“In its interim report the independent Airports Commission found that it is possible to add flights while continuing to reduce aircraft noise at Heathrow.”

http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/business/news/11241694.Mayor_of_London_figures_refute_Heathrow_claims_on_aircraft_noise/

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Boris’s press release said:

“Today’s evidence included studies conducted for TfL by the Civil Aviation Authority, which show that a third runway at Heathrow would bring the number exposed to severe noise to more than one million people. Areas that would be newly caught within Heathrow’s noise contour include Kensington, Chelsea, Chiswick and Deptford. By contrast a new airport in the Thames Estuary would expose less than three per cent of the same number to aircraft noise. The document adds that scientific studies have associated loud and sustained noise with adverse health impacts, including increased risk of hospital admission for stroke and cardiovascular disease, higher rates of hypertension and lower reading ages in children.”

 https://www.london.gov.uk/media/mayor-press-releases/2014/05/mayor-warns-airports-commission-not-to-miss-the-bigger-picture

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What Heathrow can do next following the PR coup of Question Time being held in Terminal 2…….

On Thursday 29th May, the BBC’s “Question Time” was filmed in Heathrow’s Terminal 2 building, which is due to open on 2nd June. In a blog, John Stewart (Chair of Hacan) takes a wry look at this PR coup of Heathrow in getting the Question Time gig, which can only be part of its runway bid. “Never mind the content.  Admire the view.  Set in a gleaming new Terminal 2.  We are the UK’s airport of the future.  The only possible location for a new runway. It is all part of Heathrow’s new PR strategy. ”  Heathrow’s PR campaign is quite slick. John says: “No question Heathrow has upped its game since last time and setting the opponents of a 3rd runway a new challenge.” As well as Question Time, there have been the adverts, the billboards and last year a week-long, gushing series from the BBC on the workings of the airport.  Not to mention another documentary on the BBC next week looking inside BA.  However, Heathrow knows the basic arguments against a new runway have not changed – and all the publicity strategy indicates the airport is not confident of victory. 
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What Heathrow can do next following the PR coup of

Question Time being held in Terminal 2…….

by John Stewart

Heathrow Airport must be delighted with last night’s Question Time.  Never mind the content.  Admire the view.  Set in a gleaming new Terminal 2.  We are the UK’s airport of the future.  The only possible location for a new runway.

It is all part of Heathrow’s new PR strategy.  The arguments haven’t changed since the Government dropped plans for a 3rd runway in 2010.  As Joey Barton said on Question Time last night: “we haven’t suddenly got silent planes.”  The economic and environmental arguments are much the same as four years ago.

What has changed is Heathrow’s PR.  Rocked by its failure to get a new runway last time round, the company regrouped, rethought its strategy and revitalised its PR.

  • It got a new name.  No longer the untrustworthy BAA who kept breaking its promises to residents….and sent all the luggage to Rome on the opening day of Terminal 5.
  • It has embraced of residents over the politically toxic issue of noise
  • It has engaged in early discussions with local authorities and MPs about the economic benefits of expansion
  • It has carefully commissioned polls to give the impression that there is more support for a third runway than previously thought
  • It set up of Back Heathrow to concentrate on the negative campaigning

No question Heathrow has upped its game since last time and setting the opponents of a 3rd runway a new challenge.

And then there are the adverts, the billboards and the TV programmes: Question Time last night and last year a week-long, gushing series from the BBC on the workings of the airport.

So it doesn’t lose momentum, here are some suggestions what Heathrow can do next:

  • John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s new CEO, guest edits the Today Programme
  • Heathrow sponsors the Manchester trams for the duration of the Conservative Party Conference in return for free branding on the vehicles
  • · Heathrow pledges to pay for the restoration of the old pier in Brighton during Labour’s Conference – to be opened concurrently with a 3rd runway in 2026.
  • An offer that Terminal 6, if given the go-ahead, will host free of charge key cultural events such as the X Factor, with Piers Morgan, given his performance on Question Time last night, guaranteed a place on the judging panel

Just a few suggestions to help out!  And to emphasise that, for all the glitz and glamour of its PR, the basic arguments haven’t changed.  Arguments that were rejected last time round.  It is that rejection – and the desperation to succeed against the odds this time – that is driving Heathrow to be the accommodating host of Question Time.  It is a strategy conceived in defeat rather than one that is confident of victory. 

http://hacan.org.uk/blog/?p=290\

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The BBC documentary on British Airways starts (3 parts) next week.  A review of it  here (Guardian).  And the BBC’s promotional page about it here.   This says of it: “This three-part series will capture the immense complexities of a business that powers the nation and will offer a unique insight into British Airways’ future.”” 

Powering the nation, indeed?

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Lydd airport plans first commercial flights to Italy, with its very short runway

Following the closure of Manston Airport with the loss of some 150 jobs, Lydd Airport has announced an expanded service. Its runway is only 1,505 metres, making it too short for many commercial airlines. However, Lydd says it is now starting flights to Italy. Now it has full terminal services including Customs, immigration and Special Branch, Lydd Airport hopes to attract more executive jets, helicopters and light aircraft and cargo. The airport says it now has regular flights to Verona and Naples run by Newmarket Holidays, as well as to Le Touquet, operated by LyddAir. The 3 departures (just 3 flights?) will take place on June 1, 14 and 22. Two of the flights will go to Verona, while one will fly to Naples. The flight on 1st June will be a Boeing 737. This is odd, as the airport’s own website says it can only operate 737s without fare-paying passengers. They could only have private passengers, or the flights could be for maintenance.  So what is going on?  Local campaign group Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) have condemned the move, saying on their Facebook page that the aircraft will be “operating at the limit of its specification using the existing short runway.”


 Lydd Airport Action Group’s Facebook page at  Lydd Airport Action Group says:

“A Boeing737 jet is scheduled to land/take-off at Lydd  Airport this Sunday despite the controversial runway extension not yet built..! The airliner will be flying half-laden and operating at the limit of it’s specification to use the existing SHORT runway.

We would like members to witness + record this event at the airport or along the flight path – see predicted flight plans on our PHOTOS page. Your pictures/film footage can be loaded to our facebook page via the PHOTO tab. Please load into the album marked SUNDAY 1ST JUNE 2014.”

 

Lydd Airport announces new flights to Italy

Lydd Airport

Lydd Airport

By 

Friday, May 30, 2014   (Kent news)

But campaigners are ‘ruling nothing out’

Following the closure of Manston Airport with the loss of some 150 jobs, Lydd Airport has announced an expanded service.

Citing easy links to the M20 and the high-speed rail link at Ashford International, the airport, with a 1,505-metre runway, says it is starting flights to Italy.

Now it has full terminal services including Customs, immigration and even Special Branch, Lydd Airport says there is nothing to stop 
further expansion. It hopes to attract more executive jets, helicopters and light aircraft and cargo.

The airport, run by FAL Aviation UK, says it now has regular flights to Verona and Naples run by Newmarket Holidays, [ which has shifted from Manston] , as well as to Le Touquet in France, operated by LyddAir.

To celebrate the launch of the service last week, Newmarket has offered discounts on selected holidays.

An airport spokesman said the expansion would be good for the county and added: “We’re delighted to be welcoming our first Newmarket Holidays passengers.

“This is the beginning of a new chapter in Lydd’s exciting development and, we hope, the start of a successful partnership with Newmarket Holidays.”

There had been a row over the airport’s expansion, with campaign groups citing damage to the environment and the potential catastrophe of an aircraft crashing into Dungeness nuclear power station.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds spokeswoman Sue Royal said: “Not only does increasing flights from Lydd risk potential disturbance to wildlife and its habitat, it also threatens an area that has been frequently praised as one of the most tranquil in the UK, attracting millions of visitors every year and valued by local people.

“The society, our 1.1 million members and many local people were very disappointed with the recent High Court judgement in response to our challenge to the application to expand Lydd Airport.

“We are currently reviewing the outcome of this complex case before we decide what our next steps will be, but we are ruling nothing out.”

http://www.kentnews.co.uk/news/lydd_airport_announces_new_flights_to_italy_1_3622145

and earlier version of the same story:

Lydd Airport announces new flights

Mute           swans, pair in flight against the rising sun, Dungeness RSPB           reserve, Kent
Mute swans, pair in flight against the rising sun, Dungeness RSPB reserve, Kent

Sue Royal, a spokesperson for the RSPB explained to KoS: “The airport is located in a unique area for wildlife and nearby Dungeness is protected at global, European and UK levels.

“As well as the many bird and animal species which live there, it is particularly important for migrating birds, its rare shingle habitat and is a re-introduction site for the short-haired bumblebee. It has been given the highest level of legal wildlife protection available in Britain.”

When asked what the potential dangers would be, she said: “Not only do increasing flights from Lydd risk potential disturbance to wildlife and their habitat, it also threatens an area that has been frequently praised as one of the most tranquil in the UK, attracting millions of visitors every year and valued by local people, who protested in large numbers against the expansion.”

The three departures will take place on June 1, 14 and 22. Two of the flights will go to Verona, while one will fly to Naples.

The first aircraft to leave this Sunday (June 1) on the new route – a Boeing 737 jet – is scheduled to use the existing short runway.

Campaign group Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) have condemned the move, saying on their Facebook page that the aircraft will be “operating at the limit of its specification using the existing short runway.”

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Newmarket holidays page about their Italian trips from Lydd airport  - so they do seem to exist.  For those few days in June, at least.

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How short is too short for a runway?

Lydd airport said it needed to extend its runway, in order to accommodate commercial flights. The runway extension would be  294 metres, (plus 150 metres of starter extension) taking the runway length from its current 1,505  metres to 1,800  metres.  By comparison, Southend’s runway is 1,856 metres.

The Boeing information relating to its 737 series is at  http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/commercial/airports/acaps/737.pdf

This does not give the exact runway length needed for any particular model of Boeing 737, as it depends on variables such as flap position, weight of aircraft, strength of headwind, altitude, temperature and whether the runway is wet or dry.

It would appear that the existing runway leaves little extra length as a margin of error.

Lydd airport’s website  http://www.lydd-airport.co.uk/about-us/future/ states:

“The proposed developments aim to modernise the Airport so it is capable of handling passenger flights by aircraft up to the size of Boeing 737 or Airbus 319 – but no larger. At the moment, the runway is long enough to operate these types of aircraft, but not for carrying fare-paying passengers – only for private use or maintenance. ”

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Green Tribunal cancels environmental clearance of Aranmula Airport (Kerala) so construction work has to stop

Building work has started on a controversial airport at Aranmula, in Kerala, south India. It has been deeply opposed. Now the southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has cancelled the environmental clearance given to the airport project, which means any construction has to stop. In November 2013 the Ministry of Environment and Forests gave permission for the greenfield airport, based on the recommendations given by its Environmental Appraisal Committee, which had rejected all the local and expert objections. It is now clear that the plans break many laws, including the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act 2008. Much of the area of the proposed airport is currently paddy fields and wetlands. It also consists of hilly areas and a stream on which local farmers depend for agriculture. The new report says that conversion of paddy fields would impact on the remaining wetlands, disturb the food chain, and accelerate the depletion of fish resources as well as other flora and fauna in the local river basin. Opponents have staged a non-violent “satyagraha” or permanent attendance at the temple, in protest – the 100th day was on 21st May. It has been attended by 100 – 800 people every day.  Remarkable.
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Green Tribunal cancels environmental clearance of Aranmula Airport

:May 29, 2014

Verdict seen as a major victory for local residents and activists who strongly oppose the proposed airport as it involves large-scale illegal conversion of paddy fields and alleged ecological impact

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The pictures show paddy fields [rice] where the airport is being constructed

The southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), on Wednesday, cancelled the environmental clearance given to the controversial international airport project in Kerala. The project is under construction at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district. The tribunal, at Chennai, ordered KGS Group, the promoters of the project, to stop all the construction and related activities at the project site. The project was given clearance by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests in November last year.

The ministry had cleared the Rs 2,000 crore greenfield airport in December last year, based on the recommendations given by its Environmental Appraisal Committee. The clearance meant rejection of all the objections raised by the local communities and several organisations, including environmental groups, in the state.” The proposed airport violated many rules and laws, including the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act 2008, Kerala Land Reforms Act, 1963, Environment Protection Act, 1986 and Land Acquisition Act. Construction of the airport could result in diversion of course of water which runs through the Pampa river,” says K P Sreeranganathan, local resident and one of the petitioners in the Green Tribunal.

A major portion of the 200 hectares proposed site consists of paddy fields and wetlands. It also consists of hilly areas and a stream on which local farmers depend for agriculture. Developers, however, claim that the Aranmula airport is the first private international greenfield airport in the country. KGS Aranmula Limited is the consortium which is developing this project.

“The tribunal cancelled the environment clearance based mainly on three reasons,” says Harish Vasudevan, a green lawyer actively involved in the legal battle against the project.”The tribunal accepted our argument that the private agency, Envirocare, which conducted the Environment Impact Assessment study for the company lacked expertise to do so.”

The bench has also ruled that the public hearing for the project was not done in the required manner and company failed to give an exact account of the response of the local communities on the project.

The court observed that the promoters have not even mentioned about paddy fields, hilly areas and streams in the promised site. The tribunal has criticised conversion of wetland and paddy fields into an industrial area for the sake of the project. The ministry’s Environmental Appraisal Committee failed to look into these issues.

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Religious concerns
Another reason for the agitations is that Aranmula, a global heritage village recognised by the Unesco, has an ancient Krishna temple. The mast height of the temple will have to be brought down if the project has to be implemented and without to avoid obstruction to the flights. Aranmula Heritage Village Protection Action Council and political parties such as Bharatiya Janata Party have been opposing the project on the environmental and heritage grounds.

“This is a victory of the concerted and continuous efforts of the people as a number of organisations had come together to fight against the project that would have caused significant environmental and ecological damage,” says famous poet Sugatha Kumari, who is on the forefront of the agitations against the project.

“The Green Tribunal’s verdict on Aranmula project is a strong warning against those who flout rules and disregard the environment and ecology  in order to achieve something they desperately need,” V M Sudheeran, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president told media persons in Thiruvananthapuram.

Setback to the state government

The verdict is a major setback to the Congress-led Oommen Chandy government that has been pushing the project since 2011 and gave a No Objection Certificate to the central government.

The affidavits submitted by the Kerala government in the tribunal also did not tell the true story and ground realities about the environment and ecology of the proposed site,” points out C R Neelakandan, a well-known environmentalists.

The clearance for the project was first given by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government led by V S Achuthanandan in October 2010. Without taking the local communities into confidence, the site was notified as an industrial area. The local residents in three affected villages came to know about the project only when their land with title deeds was notified for acquisition.

Later, the Congress led-United Democratic Front government which came to power in May 2011 moved forward with the project even when a Legislative Assembly Committee had raised objections against the project in March 2013.  The committee observed that 80 per cent of the land earmarked for the project was
paddy fields. Conversion of paddy fields would impact the remaining wetlands, disturb the food chain, and accelerate the depletion of fish resources as well as other flora and fauna in the Pamba river basin. Te Kerala State Biodiversity Board too had expressed its reservations on the project.

The project that started as a private project was converted as a public-private partnership project in the wake of the agitations. The state government has bought 10 per cent of the stakes of the consortium that is led by KGS Group and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group.  The KGS Group has 51 per cent and Reliance has 15 per cent stake in the consortium.

“This was to give undue concessions to the project in the name of public partnership,” says Neelakandan.

In November 2013, the Department of Revenue (DoR) Central Board of Excise and Customs issued a report stating there was “no urgent requirement” for the development of the Greenfield International Airport at Aranmula. In December 2013, the central government granted “in-principle” approval for the new airport. As per Greenfield Airport Policy, 2008, Airport Authority of India (AAI), the state government or any other entity can submit application for setting up of a green field airport. The airport has faced objections from multiple sources, including that it violates the policy of not allowing a new green field airport within 150km of an existing airport. The proposed site locates at a distance less than 150 km from both the Cochin International Airports as well as Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. The Indian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has already recommended the development of the airport not go ahead.
http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/green-tribunal-cancels-environmental-clearance-aranmula-airport

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Aranmula satyagraha against airport plan enters 100th day

21.5.2014 (The Hindu)

The indefinite satyagraha launched by the People’s Joint Action Council, chaired by poet and social activist B. Sugathakumari, against the controversial airport project at Aranmula will enter its 100th day on Wednesday.

The action council has made arrangements to observe the milestone in a big way.

‘Widespread support’

Though it was decided to include 100 persons every day in the satyagraha that began on February 11, the number of participants had exceeded far more, even 800 to 1,000 on most of the days, action council leaders P.R. Shaji and P. Induchoodan, said in a statement here.

They said as many as 89 socio-cultural, political and environmental organisations actively took part in the satyagraha during the past 99 days.

People representing all the 14 districts had visited the satyagraha venue expressing solidarity with the agitation to protect the wetland, paddy land, and the heritage of Aranmula, they said.

Register of names

Prominent personalities from the socio-political spheres of the State had addressed the satyagraha on all days.

The action council is maintaining a register showing the name, address and other details of as many as 30,000 people who have taken part in the satyagraha so far, the statement said.

The action council leaders said the people in the area would take out three processions from three different places to Iykara Junction at Aranmula in the morning on Wednesday. The 100th day celebrations will begin with 100 people representing 100 places and 100 organisations lighting lamps at the satyagraha venue.

In a statement here on Tuesday, Hindu Aikyavedi district vice-president P.R. Soman said the organisation would stage dharnas at all taluk headquarters in the State on Wednesday, extending solidarity with the satyagraha at Aranmula.

Evening dharna

Mr. Soman said P.G. Sasikala, Mahila Aikyavedi State vice-president, will inaugurate the evening dharna in Thiruvalla and N.G. Unnikrishnan, Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council (AHVAC) general convener, will inaugurate the dharna in Mallappally.

K. Krishnakutty, AHVAC State co-ordinator, will inaugurate the dharna in Adoor.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/aranmula-satyagraha-against-airport-plan-enters-100th-day/article6031767.ece

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Their Facebook page says:

Kummanam Rajasekharan the agitation movement leader gives Aranmula Temple Prasadam to the oldest peasant Sri Podiyan,to celebrate Aranmula agitation Victory

 [Prasadam is called Sacred food. Prasadam translates to "mercy", or "God's Mercy." It can be explained as something that has been offered to God, which now has spiritual benefit.]

Big Victory for Aranmula Agitation; Green Tribunal cancels environment clearance to Aranmula Airport

Aranmula, Kerala May 28:

The Chennai Bench of the National Green Tribunal [NGT] today cancelled the environment clearance given to the Aranmula Airport project, in Kerala. The tribunal has also ordered KGS Group, the promoters of the project, to stop all the construction activities going on at the project site in Pathanamthitta district.

The apex court’s bench today has cancelled the environment clearance based on four reasons, mainly because of the incompetency of Enviro Care, the agency which had done the study on environmental impact of the proposed project.

The Airport project, in the central part of Kerala went into controversy as the famous Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy temple is in the vicinity of the project. This created strong resistance from the public, especially from the Hindu devotees and struggle against the project is going on.

This was also a major campaign issue in the recently concluded parliament election. The tribunal observed that the project would adversely affect the environment of the area and would have disastrous impact on it.

The tribunal rejected the arguments of KGS Group and the Kerala Government.  Based on the controversial no objection certificate, submitted by the Kerala Government, the Ministry of Environment and Forests had cleared the project in November, 2013.

The court said that KGS Group had not conducted a serious study about the environment impact of the project. They did not even mention about paddy fields and hills in the proposed site. The company did not even conduct a public hearing over the issue.

Aranmula Heritage Village Protection Action Council [AHVPAC] had approached the Green Tribunal against the order of the Environment Ministry and hence the latest order. The airport is planned to build in around 500 acres with a total investment of Rs 2000 crore. [A  crore is 10 million rupees].

The Kerala State Biodiversity Board submitted a report to the government in March 2013, expressing its reservations over the land use changes and ecological imbalance that the project will entail. The Board observed that 80% of the 500 acres earmarked for the project were paddy fields. Conversion of paddy fields would impact on the remaining wetlands, disturb the food chain, and accelerate the depletion of fish resources as well as other flora and fauna in the Pamba river basin, the report said.

In April 2013, the tribunal had granted an interim stay on the project banning any construction at the site. It also stayed the Kerala Government’s order to convert the 500 acres of land for industrial purpose .

However, the Tribunal set aside its order on 30 April 2013, dismissing the petition filed by the Action Council, challenging various decisions related to the project including industrial area notification and the NOC given by the Kerala Government.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/700930639934068/

 


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Earlier:

 

Opposition in Kerala in south west India to building of a new airport at Aranmula

2.8.2013In Kerala, in the south west of India, there are plans for a private company to build a large new airport, for low cost airlines, at Aranmula. The site is within 100 km of two international airports – at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.  These airports bring in tourists to Kerala, and it is intended that it brings in pilgrims to a nearby site. The land at Aranmula is greenfield, and there are plans to take at least 350 acres, and perhaps much more for an aerotropolis.  Local people fear it could destroy paddy land and damage the region’s water source. They also fear it could harm the town’s ‘heritage’ tag and damage the structure of a temple located just a few hundred metres from the project site. There are concerns that the airport would not be profitable, due to its two neighbours, which are not full. The airport has aroused intense opposition over the past two years, and there have been many protests. The opponents have a Facebook site, and have been feeling they are alone in their fight, being unaware of the extent of other airport opposition elsewhere in the world. The Indian government recently announced it  proposes to build 17 new airports in 11 states. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17445


The opponents of the Aranmula airport project have a Facebook page at

Save Aranmula Punnackadu Kuzhikala kidangannoor

 

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Owner of Manston airport has plans to turn it into a “garden city”

Ann Gloag, the owner of Manston, is said to be considering turning the site into a “garden city.” She is in talks with local landowners and “other interested parties” about the future of the site, for a mixed-use scheme (including some jobs) with thousands of homes. A garden city proposal could incorporate other schemes in the Thanet area, including Discovery Park. There is already unemployment in the Thanet area of east Kent, and income levels below the national average.  Manston has been losing £10,000 a day and is probably no longer viable as an airport – its location is wrong. If the airport site is considered as a garden city, getting planning permission would be easier. George Osborne said in March that urban development corporations, which speed up planning and cut red tape, would be set up to drive forward selected garden cities. The government has announced plans for one at Ebbsfleet, Kent. The area already has problems with water supply, with some of the lowest levels of rainfall in the UK. One commentator says the expression ‘Garden City’ is a euphemism for a giant housing estate – not something the Thanet district needs.  
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Manston owner ‘plans to turn airport site into garden city’

Manston owner 'plans to turn airport site into garden city'

The owner of Manston airport in Kent, which was closed earlier this month, is considering turning the site into a garden city.

Ann Gloag, who made her fortune running transport company Stagecoach, is in talks with local landowners and “other interested parties” about the future of the airport site – bought last November for £1 – and could create a mixed-use scheme with thousands of homes, the Timesreported.

A garden city proposal could incorporate other schemes in the Thanet area, including Discovery Park Kent, the former Pfizer campus in Sandwich.

Residents of Thanet are among the lowest earners in the country, and Gloag was criticised for closing the airport with the loss of 140 jobs, especially as she had said last October that the airport had “real potential for growth”.

Manston, which has one of the longest runways in Europe, dates back to the First World War and was used as a base for RAF squadrons during the Second World War.

Gloag said in March that the airport was losing £10,000 a day and was no longer viable. She rejected a £7 million offer from US investment group RiverOak.

The Manston airport management team is said to have held initial discussions with Thanet council about building homes on the site.

If the airport site were to be deemed a garden city it could make it easier to secure planning permission. George Osborne said in March that urban development corporations, which speed up planning and cut red tape, would be set up to drive forward selected garden cities.

Supporters of the airport, including Conservative MP for Thanet North, Sir Roger Gale, are trying to convince the council to carry out a compulsory purchase order of the site, which could be funded by RiverOak.

Sir Roger said: “Manston airport has always been an airport and should remain an airport. There is no point creating more homes here when there are no jobs, which Ann Gloag would know if she was not living 600 miles away.”

A spokesman for Manston airport told the newspaper: “A number of people have approached the owners with ideas for the future of the site and they will be considered over the coming months. No decisions have been made by the owners.”

 

One of the comments on the article:

 

The expression ‘Garden City’ is a euphemism for a giant housing estate which is the last thing the Thanet district needs.  The preemptive closure of the airport by a Scottish tycoon who had promised great things when purchasing it barely six months before and the consequent loss of around 150 local jobs was a severe blow to an area with high levels of unemployment. 

Rather than a housing estate the area needs a vibrant and successful source of employment and revenue which is precisely what Manston Airport could become under the right ownership. 

There are potential buyers of the site that are willing to invest and make it work as an airport but the current owner clearly feels there is more to be made from building houses there and has turned down several reasonable offers which would have provided an instant profit. 

It is obvious that the current owner does not have the best interests of the local population at heart and that anything she creates will be for personal gain only

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Another says:

“She might have the right idea in how to develop this site for the best.

It was obviously not viable as an airport, despite much efforts including government subsidies to make it so.

So, in the way of such things, an entrepreneur is given the opportunity to make better use of this land.

Or we could ask the government to take over this piece of land to do something useful with it, And then wait until hell freezes over.

I hold no brief for this woman who has bought this land, I do not even know who she is.

And if she is a true entrepreneur she will do something from which she will profit. It is the nature of business.

But for good or for ill, she will create something.”

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Heathrow’s hopes of ever more transfer passengers, to help keep its “global aviation crown”

A Telegraph article (by Natalie Thomas) is loud – as ever – in its calls for another Heathrow runway. The opening on 2nd June is the opportunity for a PR splurge by Heathrow on how it is losing out to middle eastern airports (which are not located in highly populated areas, or have flight paths over highly populated areas,  like Heathrow) and how Heathrow is losing its “global aviation crown.” The UK is no longer geographically in the right location to be the world’s largest hub, and the UK is a democratic country, where major building projects have to be agreed. Natalie is enthusiastic about having as many transfer passengers as possible at Heathrow, to make it maximally profitable. “With a relatively small domestic market, Qatar’s aviation industry is built on international passengers using Doha as a transfer and stopover destination.” Quite so.  By contrast, London is a major destination in its own right, so the transfer argument is different. The article also enthuses about how the Queen’s Terminal will be the home of the Star Alliance group of airlines, some of which “connect Britain to emerging markets” and these will be able to use transfer passengers more effectively” to “improve Heathrow’s competitiveness.”
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Heathrow’s new terminal a reminder of what we have gained but also lost

Heathrow is preparing to unveil its latest £2.5bn terminal building next week but Britain’s busiest airport is already losing its crown to rival hubs abroad

Heathrow T2's Slipstream

Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 building, which features the Slipstream sculpture by Richard Wilson (above), will open on June 4 Photo: David Levene/LHR Airports Limited

National embarrassment. Two words which have haunted Heathrow executives ever since the botched opening of Terminal 5 in 2008.

Few will forget that farcical day when what was supposed to be a celebration of private sector investment descended into chaos, with cancelled flights and delays in passengers recovering their baggage, all painfully played out in front of the world’s media.

It was a textbook lesson in how not to handle the launch of a major infrastructure project and Heathrow’s management, soon to be taken over by John Holland-Kaye, will be going to great lengths to ensure there is no repeat performance when the airport’s latest project, the new £2.5bn Terminal 2 building, opens on June 4.

Why should we care about a new terminal building? Aside from all of the consumer arguments about how it is intended to make air travel a less stressful experience, the opening of the “Queen’s Terminal” is symbolic for several reasons.

First of all, it replaces Heathrow’s first ever terminal, which was opened by a young Queen Elizabeth in 1955, back when Heathrow was called London Airport. The facility was considered state-of-the-art at the time, with roof gardens and a cinema, and represented a major step forward in Britain’s development as a global aviation powerhouse. When London Airport was opened to commercial passengers in 1946, those who could afford air travel were forced to wait in tents which were later replaced by prefabricated buildings. Hardly the lap of luxury.

Back in 1955, the Europa Building, which was later re-named Terminal 2, catered for 82,840 passengers a year. The new Queen’s Terminal has been built with a maximum capacity of 20m passengers in mind and will become the home of the Star Alliance group of airlines, which include Lufthansa and United but also carriers which connect Britain to emerging markets, such as Air China and Turkish Airlines.

This leads on to the main reason why we should be celebrating the opening of the new Terminal 2. Moving a bunch of airlines in the same alliance under one roof may sound administrative and dull but it will improve Heathrow’s competitiveness. The West London airport will become a more attractive place for passengers flying with Star Alliance carriers to connect to another flight. Connection times will be quicker – or so we are promised – and the hope is that Star Alliance members will increase the number of passengers transferring through Heathrow rather than at rival airports abroad.

Transfer passengers hardly sound exciting but they are playing a key part in the debate over where to build the next runway in the south east of England, which is entering a critical phase. They are at the heart of Heathrow’s campaign for a third runway. And, for that matter, they are also central to Boris Johnson’s argument for a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary, to the east of London. Both argue that hub airports, where airlines use transfer passengers to fill flights that wouldn’t be viable if they relied on local demand alone, improve Britain’s connectivity, particularly to emerging markets, which are of increasing importance to UK exporters.

Rival Gatwick, which is competing against Heathrow for an additional runway, down plays the importance of transfer traffic. Its chief executive, Stewart Wingate, points out that Europe is, and will continue to be, the UK’s biggest trading partner and therefore the greatest need in future will be for connections to the continent both for business and leisure purposes.

There is no argument that connections to mainland Europe are, and always will be, of vital importance to the UK economy but you only have to look at what is happening abroad to understand the value of transfer traffic.

As Heathrow busily prepares the Luis Vidal-designed Queen’s Terminal for its grand opening, over in Qatar’s capital Doha, officials will today be cutting the ribbon on Hamad International Airport, which has been billed as “the world’s newest state-of-the-art hub”.

The $15bn (£9bn) hub will replace the country’s current principal airport, Doha International, which will be phased out after the national carrier, Qatar Airways, moves its operations over to Hamad today.

Capable, eventually, of handling 50 million passengers a year, Hamad International is unashamedly targeting transfer traffic. With a relatively small domestic market, Qatar’s aviation industry is built on international passengers using Doha as a transfer and stopover destination. Some 85% of passengers passing through the old airport were on transfer and Hamad has been designed with these passengers in mind, with spacious lounges and facilities including a swimming pool and squash courts to help weary travellers pass away the time before their next flight.

The pursuit of transfer travellers has already paid off for nearby Dubai, which overtook Heathrow in the first three months of this year as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers. It was a moment airline chiefs such as Willie Walsh, the head of British Airways’ parent company, had long warned would arrive, as the Gulf countries poured investment into their airport infrastructure while politicians in this country dithered over runway expansion. It’s not only happening in the Gulf states either. Turkish Airlines is undergoing rapid expansion and in so doing is turning Istanbul into a major hub. And few will forget Amsterdam Schiphol’s cheeky advertising campaign in 2012, when it brazenly advertised one of its five main air strips as “Heathrow’s third runway”.

Last month, Sir Tim Clark, the president of Emirates airline, put the success of Dubai International Airport, down to “progressive” economic and infrastructure policies. Those words should be ringing in the ears of politicians in this country next week.

Following 50 years of inertia, the Coalition successfully delayed any decision over where to build the next runway in the south east of England by setting up the Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies. Despite initial frustrations among those in the aviation industry at having to engage in yet another inquiry over airport expansion, Sir Howard has been widely praised so far for the way he is handling the political hot potato he was passed.

The former Financial Services Authority chairman will make his final recommendations after the General Election but already there are concerns over whether politicians will uphold their side of the bargain. The Government has been woefully slow at responding to the Airports Commission’s interim recommendations – measures to make the most of existing capacity which were published in December. If it takes more than five months to respond to an interim report, what will happen when the really contentious work begins and politicians will be asked to back a runway location with which they may not agree?

Next week’s opening of the new Heathrow T2 will be a celebration of how far Britain’s aviation industry has come since December 16 1955, when Her Majesty inaugurated the airport’s first terminal. But it will be a stark reminder of the political dilly-dallying which is now causing Britain to lose its aviation crown.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10856856/Heathrows-new-terminal-a-reminder-of-what-we-have-gained-but-also-lost.html

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On the subject of the attitudes of Middle East airlines and airports, to the rights and opinions of people in the UK:

Heathrow chairman, Sir Nigel Rudd, hushes hubbub over 24/7 airport comment by Heathrow board member

A Heathrow Airport Board member, Akbar Al Baker, recently said Heathrow should have 24 hour flights, planes should be allowed to fly all night, and that Brits make an “excessive” fuss about aircraft noise. This has hugely embarrassed Heathrow, which has been trying hard to claim a 50% increase in flights will result in less noise … square that one. Now, in response to the awkward and off-message remarks by Al Baker, Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of Heathrow, said: “Mr Al-Baker’s views are his own and do not represent the views or policy of the Heathrow board or executive committee. We recognise that adding the flights Britain needs for growth must come hand in hand with reducing aircraft noise for residents. Round the clock flying from London is not an option. We take the concerns of local communities very seriously and have never argued for 24-hour flying.” Anti expansion campaigners were highly critical of the airport, and its need to urgently rush out reassuring comments due to the embarrassment caused by Mr Al-Baker putting his foot in it. Question is why Mr Al Baker was not aware that this, though revealing, was not a helpful or acceptable comment to make, from Heathrow’s point of view.

Click here to view full story…


Heathrow Airport Board member, Akbar Al Baker, says Heathrow should have 24 hour flights

One of the Board members of Heathrow Airport is Akbar Al Baker, who is the CEO of Qatar Airways and led the development of the new Doha airport. He is on the Board because Qatar Holdings bought a 20% stake in Heathrow in 2012. He has caused a storm of protest after claiming, with stunning insensitivity and demonstating a woeful lack of understanding of British democracy, that Heathrow should have 24 hour flights – ignoring the well-being of those overflown. The benefit would be that his companies would be more profitable. Akbar Al Baker said Britons make an “excessive” fuss about noise levels from aircraft flying over their homes” and home owners living under flight paths “wouldn’t even hear the aircraft” after a while.” He appears not to understand that in Europe, unpopular and damaging major developments cannot just be steamrollered through, as they perhaps can be in the Gulf States. Mr Al Baker thinks European airports should open 24 hours a day if they want to compete with the emerging Gulf hubs in Dubai and Doha. Though rapidly denied by Heathrow, which distanced itself from Mr Al Baker’s comments, it is indicative of a way of thought which people may fear is prevalent on the Heathrow board.

Click here to view full story…

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Some of the comments below the Telegraph article:

I have yet to be convinced of the benefit of having a transfer airport on British soil. No doubt it makes money for someone, and a lot jobs depend on it. But I could say the same thing about, say, the Common Agricultural Policy. The costs which such an airport imposes on society as a whole far outweigh these narrow advantages.

If the Dutch really want to pollute their crowded skies, if the French are determined to whisk foreigners from one aircraft to another, in the hope that they will buy overpriced goods in the airport on their way, let them do so; just because other people do it is no reason for us to compete.

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Surely Dubai is successful because of its geographical location. It collects flights from all over Australasia and they fan out to destinations all over Europe. Flights from Australia can’t make Heathrow non stop, they have to refuel and Dubai is a convenient place. So you can’t really compare Dubai and Heathrow.

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Once again the DT acts as a shill for Wee Willie Walsh and his ilk. An increase in transfer passengers has virtually no impact on GDP (they are, after all, only changing planes) but imposes enormous burdens in the form of noise pollution on all those who live on the West side of London.

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It makes routes that would otherwise be unviable viable – and so makes business easier and smoother and therefore increases overall GDP.

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Yep and if Heathrow are allowed to expand, road works and flight delays for years will cripple the economy ! To overload an overloaded airport ?

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Report on financial viability of Prestwick Airport to be kept confidential by government

A taxpayer-funded  report on the future viability of Prestwick Airport will not be published, to protect commercially confidential information, despite at least £5 million of public money having been pledged to ensure its survival.   This has led to accusations that ministers are expecting “blind faith” from the public when it comes to justifying spending taxpayers’ money. The report follows a review that took 3 months. The airport has been losing millions of pounds under its previous owners. Although the full document is being withheld, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to report key findings to the parliament’s Infrastructure Committee in June. The Scottish Government bought Prestwick for  £1 in November 2013.  Labour’s infrastructure spokesman has said it was unacceptable for the report to be kept secret, and the public deserves to know how the £5 million will be repaid.  The CEO of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar has claimed Government ownership of Prestwick was distorting competition in the Central Belt of Scotland. . Glasgow Airport chiefs are also said to be uneasy over the arrangement. Prestwick lost £9.7 million last year.

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Report on viability of Prestwick Airport to be kept confidential

A TAXPAYER-FUNDED report on the future viability of Prestwick Airport will not be published, despite at least £5 million of public money having been pledged to ensure its survival.
 

The full report by a senior finance executive into the long-term options for the publicly owned South Ayrshire hub is being withheld to protect commercially confidential information.

It has led to accusations that ministers are expecting “blind faith” from the public when it comes to justifying spending taxpayers’ money.

Romain Py submitted his finished report two weeks ago on the future of the airport, which lost millions of pounds under its previous owners, following a review that took three months.

Although the full document is being withheld, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to report key findings to the parliament’s Infrastructure Committee in June.

Mr Py’s recommendations will also influence another Government document that will outline ministers’ “strategic vision” for the troubled Ayrshire airport, which the Scottish Government bought for £1 last November.

But Labour’s infrastructure spokesman James Kelly said it was unacceptable that Mr Py’s report would not be made public.

He said: “So far at least £5m has been committed to Prestwick Airport and the public deserves to know how this money is being invested and when it will be returned to the public purse.

“The Scottish Government cannot justify keeping taxpayers in the dark when their money is being spent on a project with no clear strategy in place. They are asking people to put blind faith in their actions on Prestwick without being prepared to put all the facts on the table.

“Nicola Sturgeon has paid scant disregard to parliament on this issue. She needs to publish this report and come to parliament urgently so that there is a clear and transparent debate about the how the airport is being taken forward.”

The chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar, recently claimed Government ownership of Prestwick was distorting competition in the Central Belt. Glasgow Airport chiefs are also said to be uneasy over the arrangement, while Glasgow Chamber of Commerce (GCC) has previously appealed for reassurance the takeover will not have a detrimental effect on Scotland’s second-busiest airport.

GCC chief executive Stuart Patrick said Ms Sturgeon had assured the Chamber in March that, while they would not be able to see Mr Py’s full report, the “strategic vision resulting from the report would be published”.

Mr Patrick added: “Irrespective of the issue of commercial confidentiality, we are clear that the Scottish Government has said it is committed to sharing the strategic priorities that will result from the completion of the business plan. We wait for that as soon as is practically possible.”

Alex Johnstone, Conservative transport spokesman and a member of Holyrood’s Infrastructure Committee, said he expected Ms Sturgeon to provide the panel with a robust account of Mr Py’s findings. He added: “We certainly need to know what’s in that report so that we have a realistic view. We all want to see Prestwick return to the glory days, but the route between where we are now and that achievement is going to be a long and hard one.”

The Scottish Government stepped in to save the airport from closure after New Zealand owner Infratil failed to find a commercial buyer. Accounts have since shown it was running at a pre-tax loss of £9.77m in the 12 months to March 31, 2014.

A Glasgow Airport spokesman said reassurances had been received last year that the Government’s plans for Prestwick would not damage any other airport.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “Our senior advisor has completed his work at Prestwick Airport and we are currently considering his recommendations. The Deputy First Minister has committed to providing the Scottish Parliament with a further update on progress at Prestwick Airport when she appears at the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee next month.”

link to article 

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Earlier news about Prestwick airport:

 

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

March 7, 2014

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.

Click here to view full story…

 


 

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…

 

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Chicago O’Hare airport new runway & flightpaths creating huge opposition by those now over-flown

Chicago O’Hare airport currently has many runways but not all can be used simultaneously. The airport has been building more, reducing the lengths of others, to get three parallel runways can be used together. There has been a lot of controversy about the plans over many years, with compulsory purchase of land, from residents who did not want to move.  There is now huge protest against the noise. A group representing city and suburban home-owners, the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition (FAiR), is asking the Chicago Aviation Commissioner to resign or for the Mayor to fire her.  FAiR say there is  “mounting frustration over the lack of response from the Mayor on possible remedies concerning “the ceaseless airplane noise” since air-traffic patterns were changed last autumn.  The Aviation Commissioner has refused to consider altering the use of runways at night to spread out jet noise instead of concentrating it over one or two air corridors. FAiR says she has made up her mind that there will be no change at O’Hare no matter how many citizens demand change, no matter what solutions are proposed and no matter how devastating the impact of her decisions on families, children and seniors, and even entire neighbourhoods. 
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FAiR’s Policy Statement

The O’Hare Modernization Project (OMP) includes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) changes to landing and take-off patterns that took effect on October 17, 2013.

The OMP drastically increases air traffic over both northwest (NW) Chicago and the near NW suburbs by shifting current airplane traffic, now arriving from many directions, into landing and take offs from only two directions, East and West, directly over the NW side of Chicago and near NW suburbs.

In addition, the project intends to shift 85% of all nighttime landings to routes directly over the NW side.

This massive shift in airplane traffic puts the burden of noise, fuel, air and visual pollution almost solely on the residents and businesses of the Northwest side of Chicago and the near NW suburbs. Nearly all these communities predate O’Hare’s conversion to a commercial airport in the ’50s and this shift is neither necessary nor desirable. This concentrated increase in airplane traffic will negatively impact the health and quality of life for residents and businesses on the NW side of Chicago and the NW suburbs.

Fair Allocation in Runways (FAiR) Coalition proposes the following solutions:

  1. Immediately halt the October 2013 takeoff and landing plan. Devise, instead, a neighborhood-based plan, working with community groups, businesses, the ONCC and the FAA, for fair allocation of air traffic between existing and new runways and day and night air traffic.
  2. Support the City of Park Ridge’s request that a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) be conducted to verify what the actual, 2013 environmental impacts will be from this new plan. Significant changes have occurred since the original EIS was done in 2005 and need to be addressed.
  3. Continue to utilize all existing and new runways.
  4. Expand noise monitoring and abatement programs to ensure specific communities are not unduly burdened.
  5. Make “Fly Quiet” the official mandatory policy for O’Hare.

More details and footnotes on the FAiR website at http://www.fairchicago.org/

FOLLOW FAiR ON FACEBOOK


More about Chicago O’Hare airport and its expansion at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O’Hare_International_Airport

 


 

O’Hare anti-noise group wants city aviation boss to resign

May 19, 2014
By Jon Hilkevitch | Tribune reporter

A group representing city and suburban home-owners seeking relief from increasing airplane noise called today for Chicago Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino to resign or for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire her.

Leaders of the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition said they issued the demand because of “mounting frustration over the lack of response from Mayor Emanuel” to meet with them to discuss possible remedies concerning “the ceaseless airplane noise” since air-traffic patterns were changed last fall at O’Hare International Airport.

The Tribune requested a response from Andolino and the mayor.

Andolino has rejected requests from the coalition and U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Chicago, to consider expanding the airport’s voluntary “fly quiet” overnight program for pilots, so it would start at 9 p.m. nightly instead of 10 p.m. She also turned down the idea of O’Hare air-traffic controllers more widely altering the use of runways at night to spread out jet noise instead of concentrating it over one or two air corridors.

The Fair coalition said it supports O’Hare runway expansion because of its economic importance to the region, but that the impact on the quality of life in Chicago neighborhoods and northwest suburbs cannot be ignored by City Hall.

“The response from the Chicago Department of Aviation has been worse than silence.

Commissioner Andolino has already made up her mind that there will be no change at O’Hare no matter how many citizens demand change, no matter what solutions are proposed and no matter how devastating the impact of her decisions on families, children and seniors, and even entire neighborhoods,” Jac Charlier, Fair co-founder, said in a statement.

“Time and time again whether in regards to making fly quiet mandatory, considering flight path changes or even meeting with Fair, Commissioner Andolino’s motto clearly is ‘Nno change, no way, no how.’ You cannot stay in a leadership position in a democracy with that kind of attitude. It’s past time for her to go.”

City Council hearings on the jet noise issue that were requested in January by Aldermen Margaret Laurino, 39th, and Mary O’Connor, 41st, haven’t been scheduled.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com | Twitter: @jhilkevitch

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Pressure on Chicago for O’Hare noise relief

May 05, 2014
|Jon Hilkevitch (Chicago Tribune)
  • The number of complaints about O'Hare International Airport made to a city-operated noise hot line and website reached a new high in March, exceeding 11,000, and totaled almost 25,000 in the first three months of 2014.
The number of complaints about O’Hare International Airport made to a city-operated noise hot line and website reached a new high in March, exceeding 11,000, and totaled almost 25,000 in the first three months of 2014. (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune)

Pressure is growing on the city of Chicago to jettison its resistance to finding ways to reduce noise levels in residential areas caused by planes serving O’Hare International Airport.

Two Chicago aldermen who have been put in a virtual holding pattern since January by City Hall over their demand for City Council hearings on increased O’Hare noise aren’t letting up.

Aldermen Mary O’Connor, 41st, and Margaret Laurino, 39th, last week received council approval to place an advisory referendum proposal on the November ballot. It will ask voters whether the federal government should expand the footprint of homes eligible for taxpayer-funded soundproofing.

And last week, the village of Bensenville, a once-ardent foe of O’Hare expansion that under current leadership has supported new runways, said that cutting airport noise has again become “a top priority.”

The about-face has taken place in the wake of outrage in the village over new flight patterns inaugurated last fall with the opening of another airstrip. Under the changes, most planes now take off toward the west, and the majority of arrivals approach O’Hare from the east. Bensenville is directly west of the new runway.

“My idea is just to welcome some of these big-shot (politicians) to my property. I am going to make a coffee for you. We will sit down for a couple of hours under the planes and talk about it because what is happening now is empty talking,” Bensenville resident Chester Gorniak, 64, said after a meeting Friday of the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission.

The number of complaints made to a city-operated noise hot line and website reached a new high in March, exceeding 11,000, and totaled almost 25,000 in the first three months of 2014.

During the noise commission meeting, Bensenville Trustee JoEllen Ridder called for ongoing discussions with Chicago and federal aviation officials to address the increasing number of noise complaints from village residents.

“Our goal is to find solutions and implement those solutions as soon as possible to improve the quality of life for our residents,” Bensenville Village President Frank Soto said.

But the Emanuel administration hasn’t acceded to any demands or even been open to talking, critics said.

Leaders of Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition, which mainly represents Chicago residents who have experienced increased jet noise, said they haven’t received any responses from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the group’s seven requests for a meeting to discuss increased jet noise and pollution over the Northwest Side of Chicago.

“We are his constituents, and Chicago still is, at least to some degree, a democracy,” said a group leader, Jac Charlier.

FAiR is pushing for the city and the Federal Aviation Administration to spread flights more widely among O’Hare runways to spare neighborhoods that are miles away from the airport — including Sauganash, Norwood Park, Forest Glen, Edgebrook and North Park — from being saturated with the sound of low-flying jetliners.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, whose district includes O’Hare, said he has talked with Emanuel and Chicago Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino and that their “response has been underwhelming.”

“The Chicago Department of Aviation needs to step up, improve its working relationship and communications with the public, and it must develop a plan to alleviate to the extent possible these noise issues,” Quigley told the Tribune on Friday.

Ald. Michael Zalewski, 23rd, who chairs the City Council’s aviation committee, has repeatedly said that the public hearing in City Council chambers demanded by O’Connor and Laurino will be held but that scheduling conflicts, including setting a date when Quigley is available to attend, slowed the process.

Quigley said the real problem is “they don’t want the embarrassment of a hearing.”

City officials say they have taken other steps to help affected residents.

Chicago has insulated more than 10,000 residences and about 120 schools around O’Hare since 1996, said Karen Pride, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Aviation.

She said the department is “committed to balancing the quality of life for residents in communities surrounding O’Hare with the economic significance of the airport.”

She also said Andolino has met numerous times with Quigley and members of the FAIR Coalition to discuss noise issues.

Andolino has so far flatly rejected calls by residents and elected officials, including Quigley and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, to expand the hours of O’Hare’s voluntary guidelines designed to reduce jet noise at night, called a Fly Quiet Program, or diffuse airplane noise over wider areas by shifting runway-usage patterns more often.

Those are among options available in the air-traffic control playbook, FAA officials said, but it’s solely the city’s decision whether to pursue changes.

“If the city and the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission choose to consider other things, then we certainly want to partner with them and listen … in terms of what would be in the best interests of the community,” Barry Cooper, the FAA administrator for the Great Lakes region, told the Tribune on Friday.

The noise commission was created by Chicago years ago to address jet-noise concerns affecting neighborhoods and schools, but critics say it too often simply defends Chicago’s position that increasing flights at O’Hare is in the best interests of the area’s economy.

Cooper said the public should be aware that “the Fly Quiet Program is a product of the city of Chicago. Our responsibility is moving air traffic efficiently and safely.”

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-05-05/news/ct-getting-around-met-0505-20140505_1_jet-noise-airport-noise-noise-complaints

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The predicted unraveling of the expansion of O’Hare International Airport

The northwest suburbs that sold out to Chicago in exchange for the support of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s ill-conceived expansion of O’Hare International Airport are now paying the price on two fronts:

  • A $3.4 billion new tollway (Elgin-O’Hare expressway) that was supposed to lead a new O’Hare western terminal and spur massive economic development in DuPage County is kaput. As predicted by expansion opponents, it now appears that the western terminal will never be built, drowning the plans for economic development. Drivers using  the new tollway to bypass O’Hare will end up paying about $20 cents a mile for the privilege, compared with about 6 cents for all other users. The new road is a major reason that tolls were recently doubled for all tollway users.
  • Because of the new runways, the noise footprint–again as predicted by expansion opponents–has expanded to communities and even Chicago neighborhoods where it was a small or non-existent problem. The city’s response to the increase complaints is basically, “screw you.”

Details of these news story by the Chicago Tribune transportation writers, Jon Hilkevitch and Richard Wronski, can be found at “O’Hare western access may look like dead-end,” (May 4) and “Pressure on Chicago for O’Hare noise relief,” (May 5).

From the stories, we learn that:

  • No airlines have an interest in building the western terminal because of a multitude of reasons, including it would be too far from the main terminal and greatly inconvenience travelers using connecting airlines.
  • The promised people mover or extension of the CTA line to a western terminal is too expensive and off the drawing boards. Instead, an unappealing and  alternative 45-minute bus ride between the western terminal and the main  terminals would be provided.
  • There’s no real western entrance, except by a figurative back door leading nowhere, from the so-called by-pass (extension of the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway), so how would anyone get to the western terminal anyway?
  • The new runways have generated organized opposition to the growing noise problems and demands even from some Chicago aldermen and congressmen who were silent when the O’Hare expansion was being debated. Now–too late–they want something done.

We also are reminded that the additional planned runways probably never will be built because United and American Airlines, the duopoly that virtually controls the airport, has no interest in seeing them built, and certainly no interest in helping pay for them.

We also learn from an earlier Hilkevitch story that, “O’Hare flight patterns changing to reduce risk of collisions,” (May 2). The Federal Aviation Administration for new approach and take-off flight patterns also applies to other airports, but especially to O’Hare, where aviation experts warned that one of the major problems with the expansion was safety. In that:

  • The airspace above O’Hare already is crowded, and adding more capacity would not only cause more delays but jeopardize safety.
  • The additional runways have increased  the number of  intersections where the chance of collision is heightened by the increased of number of taxing airplanes that must cross active runways being used by airplanes landing or taking off. Aviation experts agree that the most serious chance of aviation disasters actually occur on the ground in such circumstances.

The Suburban O’Hare Commission and John Geils, the commission’s chairman and ex-president of Bensenville who was the leader of the expansion opposition, had warned about every one of these problems–and much more. Geils got steamrolled by Daley’s minions who engineered the ousting of Geils as Bensenville president and the virtual end of the opposition.

Notably, Bensenville is one of the t suburbs to have been hardest hit by the overwhelming noise from one of the new runways. Geils’ Daley-planted successor, President Frank Soto, now has the cojones to act as if he is moving to solve the problem. “Our goal is to find solutions and implement those solutions as soon as possible to improve the quality of life for our residents,”  Soto said. Baloney.

My other posts on the O’Hare expansion folly:

.http://www.chicagonow.com/dennis-byrnes-barbershop/2014/05/the-predicted-unraveling-of-the-expansion-of-ohare-international-airport/

 


 

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O’Hare noise complaints hit new monthly high

March 07, 2014
|By Jon Hilkevitch (Chicago Tribune)
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Complaints about O’Hare jet noise climbed to a new monthly high of more than 6,300 in January, even while the number of households filing gripes with the city dipped, data released Friday show.

A remarkably large number of the total complaints — about two-thirds — came from a relatively small but extremely vocal pool of residents.

City aviation officials interpreted the findings as well as new noise monitor readings to indicate that while some communities are indeed receiving the brunt of new jet noise from a new runway configuration, noise levels have diminished in other surrounding areas.

City officials said they traced almost 4,000 complaints to only eight addresses in January.

Just five households in Chicago accounted for 1,948 of the 3,405 noise complaints filed by city residents, according to the data released by the Chicago Department of Aviation. It averaged 390 complaints for each of the five households.

One resident in Itasca kept extremely busy making almost all of the noise complaints in the northwest suburb, 1,363 out of 1,369, the records show.

And 419 of the 696 complaints filed in Norridge in January also came from one address, the noise report noted.

One Wood Dale resident was the source of 261 of the 562 complaints filed in the western suburb.

City officials declined to identify the households, citing both privacy issues and their stated policy not to try to tamp down negative feedback surrounding the runway expansion project at O’Hare International Airport.

Yet the officials strongly highlighted the small but prolific army of complainants, in the face of growing calls for more O’Hare noise abatement by some Chicago aldermen, suburban mayors and members of Illinois’ congressional delegation who represent the Chicago region.

“Our extensive outreach campaign during the 12 months leading up to the opening of the runway (on Oct. 17) has raised awareness of the (noise) issue among those affected. Residents are taking advantage of the noise complaint hotline and online submission form,” said Gregg Cunningham, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Aviation.

A record 6,321 complaints were made during the month by residents of Chicago and suburbs, according to the tally of calls to the hotline and filings online.

It was up from 4,646 complaints in December and  4,763 in November, which was the first full month after a new runway opened and flight patterns changed at O’Hare to predominantly eastbound and westbound flows.

Some 462 residents filed complaints in January, down from 642 complainants in December, the data indicate.

The January noise report said that 19 of the 32 noise monitors deployed showed lower readings than in January 2013.

Five locations — in Bensenville, Melrose Park, Mount Prospect, Park Ridge and Wood Dale — showed higher average noise levels, compared to a year ago.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

Twitter @jhilkevitch

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-07/news/chi-ohare-noise-complaints-20140307_1_o-hare-noise-complaints-jet-noise-noise-report

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Willie Walsh still wants 3rd runway – but “Heathrow is always going to be a 2-runway airport”

Interview in the Independent on Sunday with Willie Walsh. He wants a 3rd Heathrow runway, though he unwillingly accepts it will not happen. He says he stopped campaigning when “the Conservatives said they were not going to support it.” … “I accept it…. I’ve not done anything since.” Now, he says, there is “not sufficient political will – it’s seen as too risky to support a 3rd Heathrow runway. Even Labour, which did back the idea when in government, has changed. “Ed Miliband was the only member of the Labour Cabinet against the 3rd runway. Now he’s the leader”…. “It’s highly unlikely we will see a 3rd runway. Heathrow is always going to be a 2-runway airport.”  We can, Walsh says, dismiss Boris Island for a start. “There’s no support for Boris island other than from Boris.” As for Sir Howard, it does not matter what he concludes, because “whatever he does will be handed over to politicians, none of whom are bound by his recommendations”.  So with no new runways we just reach south east airport capacity and UK aviation stops growing? Yes, says Walsh.

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Willie Walsh interview: Gatwick or Heathrow? It’s just no contest, says IAG boss

The Chris Blackhurst Interview: The man who runs British Airways has a window on the comings and goings at our busiest airport – and believes that’s where we should be expanding
Sunday 25 May 2014 (Independent)

Before we sit in a meeting room, Willie Walsh wants to show me something. “Come in here,” he says, opening a door, “look at this.”

It’s Walsh’s office. But while that’s smart enough, as you might expect for the man who heads IAG or International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways, it’s the view that is sensational.

It takes in virtually the whole of Heathrow airport. There’s something arresting about standing there, in front of a large, plate-glass window, and gazing out over the buzzing terminals and runways.

Set on a tripod is a pair of binoculars. Does Willie, a hard man of aviation – he earned his reputation cutting costs and fighting the unions at Aer Lingus, and doing the same at BA – while away the hours watching the planes come and go?

He laughs. “They were a present from the staff at BA. I was always ringing up BA head office if I saw something going on, and they’d say, ‘How does he know everything? Then they realised I could see it out of my window, so they bought me the binoculars.” So, if Heathrow suddenly goes quiet… “I’m on the phone in a flash, inquiring what’s going on.”

I remind Walsh that we spoke when he was running BA, before it merged with Iberia to form IAG, and he was fed up at having to take the lead on Heathrow’s proposed third runway. “The case was already being made before I joined BA in 2005 but a lot of my time was spent arguing for a third runway.”

He stopped campaigning when “the Conservatives said they were not going to support it. I said, ‘Fine, it’s your decision. I think it’s wrong, but I accept it.’ I’ve not done anything since.”

But the idea of Walsh, 52, ever accepting anything is hard to countenance. He looks like a natural bruiser. He’s short, wiry, with a razor haircut and speaks with an Irish accent.

It was going well, the third runway, he says, until politics intervened. “Look at the 2010 election results. David Cameron felt there were seats to be won in London if he came out against Heathrow expansion. London has 73 seats. After the election, the Tories had 28 in London, Labour 38 and the Lib Dems seven. The Tories had won seven from Labour and one from the Lib Dems, which was Zac Goldsmith in Richmond, so Cameron felt he’d taken the right decision.”

You can tell he’s annoyed by the way he has remembered the different numbers of seats. Now, he says, there is “not sufficient political will – it’s seen as too risky to support a third runway. Even Labour, which did back the idea when in government, has changed. “Ed Miliband was the only member of the Labour Cabinet against the third runway. Now he’s the leader”.

As for the Lib Dems, they’ve always opposed it. So, all three main parties are against the idea. He shrugs. “It’s highly unlikely we will see a third runway, Heathrow is always going to be a two-runway airport.”

But what about Sir Howard Davies, asked by the government to examine the options – hasn’t he included a new runway on his four-strong short-list (along with extending an existing runway at Heathrow, expanding Gatwick, and Boris island, a whole new airport on the Thames Estuary)? Might it not still happen?

We can, Walsh says, dismiss Boris Island for a start. “There’s no support for Boris island other than from Boris.” As for Sir Howard, it does not matter what he concludes, because “whatever he does will be handed over to politicians, none of whom are bound by his recommendations”.

What will be the outcome? “My view is that the third runway at Heathrow is not going to happen.” Gatwick will be seen as less politically sensitive and emerge the winner, regardless of what Sir Howard suggests.

In which case, fumes Walsh, “We will be making a mistake we will live to regret. We will look back 20 years from now and ask, ‘How did we allow ourselves to get into this position?’ We will lose out in terms of economic growth. A lot of airlines want to fly to Heathrow: not the UK but Heathrow. If they can’t fly to Heathrow they will go somewhere else like Paris or Amsterdam.”

What isn’t widely understood, he says, is the importance of “business connectivity. The network we have here at Heathrow is westward facing – as you would expect, given our traditional economic partner is the US. But as the economies in the east grow we will struggle to provide the same level of connectivity”.

We forget, too, that “Heathrow is a pretty good airport. It has improved enormously from when I joined BA in 2005. We’re always more critical because we experience it more than any other”.

Responsibility for not pushing ahead with a third runway, he believes, rests with the previous owners, BAA. “They were complacent. It was part of the legacy of having been an airport authority – they were good at telling people what to do but not doing it themselves. They didn’t focus enough on providing long-term quality and service. They were blind to what was happening in the industry, to the development of hub airports.”

Yes, but people in west London, in particular, didn’t want it. “I understand there was an issue of noisy aircraft but aircraft are getting quieter.”

Where, he says, the UK will lose out is that Heathrow will not be able to service the new, booming destinations in the developing markets of the Far East, Africa and Latin America. “We just won’t have the slots at Heathrow.”

Some 40 per cent of passengers flying through Heathrow are connecting with another flight. That business, he maintains, is under threat from other airports offering more connections. “Look at China. The growth of the Chinese tourist and Chinese business person is incredible. More and more Chinese want to fly, more and more of them want to connect with us, but we won’t be able to provide them with the flights they need.”

The claim there is plenty of spare airport capacity around the UK does not wash with him. “The UK economy, like it or not, is driven by the London economy, and London wants to be linked to Heathrow. And the reality is that the vast amount of foreigners coming to the UK want to come to London.”

It’s a pity, he says, we’re not more in love with Heathrow. He heads off and returns waving a piece of paper. It’s the international airport rankings, with Heathrow No 1 with 64.6 million passengers, ahead of Dubai, with 58.4 million. “We’re top of the rankings, but we’re like a football club that doesn’t invest in new players. You come top of the league one year, then you’re relegated the next.”

We’re not doing enough as a nation to look to the future, declares Walsh. “Because we’ve had very good infrastructure we’ve not invested in it. As London grows and the population increases it puts greater pressure on the infrastructure. Either, the growth stops and we’re limited by our infrastructure. Or, we do something to improve the infrastructure.”

What, we will just reach capacity and stop? “Yes, because we’re not investing and, when we want to, it takes too long to get building started.”

Take the third runway, he says. “It was proposed by the Labour government in 2009, opposed by the Tories in 2010, passed to Sir Howard in 2012; he will report in 2015 [after the election, such is the political sensitivity surrounding his report], and on we go.”

London is “a fantastic city, the UK is a fantastic country but we’ve ben complacent. We’ve been at the top of the table for so long that people have assumed we’ll always be there. Well, we won’t be. Look at the icons of aviation, all gone: Pan Am, TWA, Swissair. They disappeared because they didn’t change and adapt”.

We don’t help ourselves in another way, says Walsh. “The current system of entry visas is not fit for purpose. It’s the difference between someone welcoming you at the door or someone telling you to fuck off. People want to come here and spend their money. They don’t want to stay here; they want to go home. Our attitude is that they all want to stay. If we make it difficult for them they will go to Paris instead.”

It’s not insoluble. “The visa issue can be easily addressed.” Walsh is smiling. Politicians again. They’ve only got themselves to blame.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/willie-walsh-interview-gatwick-or-heathrow-its-just-no-contest-says-iag-boss-9433727.html

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Francis Maude: No to a 2nd Gatwick runway

Francis Maude is MP for Horsham. He says his constituency benefits enormously from its close proximity to Gatwick Airport, which is a key part of the regional and local economy. He is adamant that Gatwick should flourish - but only as a single runway airport.  Francis Maude is a supporter of GACC and chairs a group of local authorities and MPs who are all against a 2nd runway. He says another runway would require a new town the size of Crawley to be built in the area.  There would be serious implications for already struggling local infrastructure. A 2nd runway would have huge environmental impacts with noise pollution the greatest. There would need to be build many more houses in an area where local councils are already struggling to meet the targets.  The paradox of  that being the provision of these houses would ensure that many more families would be subject to the noise pollution. Francis says: “I will continue with other West Sussex MPS to ensure that the voice of local people is heard throughout the decision making process.”

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Francis Maude: No to second runway

 Francis Maude is MP for Horsham
from his website

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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You can read more here:

Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign

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More about Francis Maude at   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Maude   and at http://www.francismaude.com/

Francis Maude has been MP for Horsham since 1997. He was Chairman of the Conservative Party May 2005 – July 2007, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.


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Earlier:

 

Francis Maude: Noise misery foreshadows Gatwick second runway

8.3.2014
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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.”
 

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.'

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20361

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Packed seminar confirms opposition to any new Gatwick runway

28.10.2013
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A packed seminar organised jointly by CPRE Surrey, CPRE Sussex and GACC on 25th October examined the arguments for and against a new runway at Gatwick. Some 150 representatives of county councils, borough, district and parish councils, planning officers and other experts, the Wildlife Trusts, plus four local MPs and one Member of the European Parliament, crowded into the conference centre at the Stanhill Court Hotel. There was also support from national representatives from WWF, and the National Trust. The opening speech was made by Cabinet member, Rt Hon Francis Maude, who said that the voice of opposition ‘needed to be heard with clarion certainty.’ Great concern was expressed about drawing more workers and passengers from around the country, climate change, increased noise, the impact of 40,000 extra houses, the pressure on schools, hospitals, local road and rail services. Also the recent unconventional decision by West Sussex council to support a new runway, on which the public had not been consulted. A resolution that “Those here would oppose any new runway at  Gatwick airport” was passed with overwhelming support.
 

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