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Plane noise from Heathrow drowns out Hounslow school, as Sir Howard makes a visit

In a 2 minute video clip by the BBC, the head teacher, Dee Scott, of the Beavers Primary School in Hounslow, shows Sir Howard Davies – head of the Airports Commission, round the school. She explains to him and members of the Commission the impact another runway could have and the problems of trying to teach against the noise. The area is subjected to a plane overhead about every 90 seconds or so (noise lasting perhaps 30 seconds of that) for at least half of each school day (with westerly operations). And the problem of having to be either cool enough – with the windows open – but with noise that makes the proper function of the school impossible. OR keep the windows closed, and reduce the noise while everyone inside is uncomfortably hot. Sir Howard’s exact words in the film were that the Airports Commission has to “balance the economic interests of the many and the environmental and nuisance costs to the few”. The “few” means about 725,000 people currently affected by Heathrow noise, within the 55 decibel Lden contour and about  245,000 in the 57 decibel LAeq contour.
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Third Heathrow runway could ‘drown out’ Hounslow school

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Plane flies over part of the Hounslow school, landing at Heathrow

 

2 minute video clip, by the BBC, of the visit by Sir Howard Davies to the school.

The head teacher explains the problems of trying to teach against the noise, which is a plane every 90 seconds or so (noise lasting perhaps 30 seconds of that) for at least half of each school day. And the problem of having to be either cool enough – with the windows open – but with noise that makes the proper function of the school impossible. OR keep the windows closed, and reduce the noise while everyone inside is uncomfortably hot.

Sir Howard’s exact words were that the Airports Commission has to “balance the economic interests of the many and the environmental and nuisance costs to the few”.

 

17 June 2014

Members of the Airports Commission have visited one of the areas that could be affected if Heathrow gets a third runway.

The group is looking at what impact it would have on Hounslow in terms of the environment, the economy and for residents.

Dee Scott, head teacher at Beavers Primary School; the deputy leader of Hounslow Council, Amrit Mann and Sir Howard Davies from the commission have been telling BBC London what impact the runway could have.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-27890708?post_id=100001835868220_675131949224661

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Sir Howard’s exact words were that the Airports Commission “has to “balance the economic interests of the many and the environmental and nuisance costs to the few”.  Film link 

With forecasts of over a million people being affected by aircraft noise, with 875,000 living within a 55 decibel average noise contour, it has to be asked just what “the few” means.

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Map indicating the location of schools along the current Heathrow approach paths

Heathrow schools map

Map link for larger map

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The number of people affected by Heathrow noise now:

There are about 725,000 people currently affected by Heathrow noise, above the 55 decibel level.

“an estimated 725,000 people were within the 55dBALden”   (Heathrow airport data)

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

and some 245,000 in the 57 db LAeq contour.

This number would increase by at least another 150,000 if there was a new, north west runway at Heathrow, within a 55 dB contour.  link

ie. a total of 875,000 people in total would probably be within a 55 dB contour with a 3rd runway.

 

 

 

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Surrey and Sussex MPs oppose Gatwick runway ‘disaster’

Five MPs have begun a campaign against the building of a 2nd Gatwick runway. The Conservative MPs, who represent Sussex, Surrey and Kent constituencies, said the scheme for the airport near Crawley would be “a disaster” for communities and the environment – and there was “serious local concern” at the plan. Reigate MP Crispin Blunt, one of the members of the newly-formed Gatwick Coordination Group, said: “If Gatwick expands in the way that’s planned, it will need many tens of thousands of new people working there, and they are all going to need somewhere to live. The airport at the moment are providing a preposterous suggestion that these people are largely going to come from existing communities in Croydon and Brighton. Well I’m afraid that’s just simply not the case.” Mr Blunt also said no new railway line had been proposed and the London to Brighton commuter line was already “the busiest commuter line in the country” and at capacity. The other 4 MPs behind the campaign are Sir Paul Beresford, Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry, MP for Wealden.  Crawley Conservative MP Henry Smith said he declined to endorse the press release.

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Surrey and Sussex MPs oppose Gatwick runway ‘disaster’

17.6.2014 (BBC)

Gatwick Airport has said 120,000 jobs will be created by the second runway

Five MPs have begun a campaign against the building of a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

The Conservative MPs, who represent Sussex, Surrey and Kent constituencies, said the scheme for the airport near Crawley would be “a disaster” for communities and the environment.

They said there was “serious local concern” at the plan.

Gatwick said it had sought to engage with communities and politicians and would continue to do so.

‘Preposterous suggestion’

Reigate MP Crispin Blunt, one of the members of the newly-formed Gatwick Coordination Group, said: “If Gatwick expands in the way that’s planned, it will need many tens of thousands of new people working there, and they are all going to need somewhere to live.

“The airport at the moment are providing a preposterous suggestion that these people are largely going to come from existing communities in Croydon and Brighton. Well I’m afraid that’s just simply not the case.”

Mr Blunt also said no new railway line had been proposed.

He said the London to Brighton commuter line was already “the busiest commuter line in the country” and at capacity.

The other four MPs behind the campaign are Sir Paul Beresford, who represents Mole Valley, Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley, who represents Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, and Charles Hendry, MP for Wealden.

‘Premature move’

Crawley Conservative MP Henry Smith, whose constituency includes the airport, said he was invited to join the group but declined to endorse the press release.

He said: “Whilst I think Gatwick needs to make a stronger case on how it would invest in upgrading Crawley’s infrastructure if the airport were to expand, I think it premature to rule out an additional runway until the Davies Commission investigating aviation capacity has reported next year.”

Gatwick has submitted three plans for a new runway to the Airports Commission.

Airport bosses have set out improved public transport plans including new train platforms, new rolling stock and improvements to junction nine on the M23, and have suggested 120,000 jobs would be created by the building of a second runway.

A statement issued by the airport said: “We believe an expanded airport at Gatwick is in both the local and national interest and look forward to working with all our stakeholders to demonstrate that.”

East Sussex and West Sussex county councils have backed Gatwick expansion because of job creation, the economic boost and as a solution to providing UK aviation capacity.

Surrey County Council opposed the plans over concerns about the impact on the environment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-27886412

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See also:

MPs initiate “Gatwick Coordination Group” – saying 2nd runway is not in the local or national interest

MPs Crispin Blunt, Sir Paul Beresford, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames, Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry have formed the Gatwick Coordination Group. The Group is established to represent the serious local concern at the plan for a 2nd runway. The MPs’ group released a statement saying they believe a 2nd Gatwick runway would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment. They say the level of development, associated with an airport serving nearly three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place. Also that there is no adequate plan yet presented to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support this development. “The size of the Gatwick site only lends itself to a single runway airport, serving as a sensible, competitive alternate to London’s main hub airport. While they pursue that objective, Gatwick Airport Limited will have our support, but this proposal is not in the local interest, nor is it in the national interest, and this group will work to prove that case.”

Click here to view full story…

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Plan to redirect Stansted Airport departures to reduce Heathrow congestion

Air traffic control service NATS proposes to redirect the majority of Stansted departures from an established southerly route, to an existing route to the east of the airport.  “At the moment, departures from Stansted heading towards the South East are kept lower for longer when compared to the route heading east because of Heathrow arrivals.”  The changes would only affect daytime departures. This is to reduce congestion above Heathrow. Arrivals are not affected.  NATS has started a 12-week consultation on the proposals. Martin Peachey, noise advisor for Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group said: “We basically support the proposal because NATS say it should reduce the amount of people flown in the day and reduce CO2 emissions.  It would remove day time departures for a large area to the south but it would double the amount of flights to the east so that would need to be carefully studied. …. There will be winners and losers.” The changes are part of the NATS’ London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP).

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SSE has published its Guidance for the current NATS consultation for Stansted Departure Routes. It is on the SSE website via link

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/documents/SSE_GUIDANCE_FOR_NATS_DEPARTURE_ROUTE_PROPOSAL_Final.pdf 

The effect of the change would be worse for people living locally to the east of Stansted Airport under the flight paths.  The benefits would be gained by the airlines and people much further out.  And the fuel/CO2 savings are trivial – less than 1%.

 


 

Stop Stansted Expansion advises caution on changes to Stansted departure routes

18.6.2014 (SSE)

Whilst welcoming the consultation launched on Monday (16 June) by NATS on changing the use of existing departure routes from Stansted Airport, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has urged caution, insisting that there should be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes are implemented.  The proposed changes affect routes to the south-east and east of Stansted which account for approximately half of all departures.

The consultation closes on 8 September and SSE is urging local communities to the south east and east of the airport to take a close interest in the consultation and make their views known.

The proposed changes involve switching daytime traffic from the existing south-east (Dover) departure route to the existing east (Clacton) departure route from both directions of the runway.

The consultation does not involve changes to the airspace structure and no other departure or arrival routes are affected.  NATS believes that the result would reduce the overall number of people regularly overflown in the day as well as reducing COemissions.  In addition, NATS says that switching to the Clacton route would allow aircraft to achieve a more continuous climb than possible on the Dover route leading to more efficient operation.

This proposal would remove daytime departures for a large area to the south-east of the airport but double the number of flights towards the east coast.  This intensification of flights to the east would need to be carefully studied for impact on the local communities since this largely rural region enjoys low ambient noise levels.  SSE lays emphasis on the importance of the consultation process and for NATS to ensure that local residents have the best information upon which to decide how the switching of daytime traffic would affect them.

SSE’s noise adviser Martin Peachey commented: “For people living near Stansted Airport and under flight paths, there would inevitably be winners and losers if these changes were to be implemented.  SSE supports all efforts which reduce aircraft noise and carbon emissions in the local community, and before making its response, will be consulting its members to learn from them what they think of the proposed changes”.

FURTHER INFORMATION 

NATS Departure Route Proposal at London Stansted Airport Consultation http://www.nats.aero/environment/consultations/lamp-stansted-sid-consultation/

Martin Peachey, SSE Noise Adviser – martin@peachey2002.freeserve.co.uk

SSE Campaign Office, T 01279 870558; info@stopstanstedexpansion.com

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Plan to redirect Stansted Airport departures to reduce Heathrow congestion

Written by LUCY ROSS-MILLAR

16.6.2014 (Cambridge News)

A campaign group has welcomed plans to change the routes some flights use from Stansted Airport to reduce congestion above Heathrow Airport.

Air traffic control service NATS proposes to redirect the majority of Stansted departures from an established southerly route, to an existing route to the east of the airport.

The changes would only affect daytime departures.

Martin Peachey, noise advisor for Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group said: “We basically support the proposal because NATS say it should reduce the amount of people flown in the day and reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions.

“It would remove day time departures for a large area to the south but it would double the amount of flights to the east so that would need to be carefully studied.

“One of the things we enjoy around the airport is the low ambient noise levels against which aircraft can be clearly heard. There will be winners and losers.”

NATS has started a 12-week consultation on the proposals.

Mr Peachey added: “There are no proposed changes to the arrival routes.”

In a statement, NATS said the proposed changes would “improve efficiency and reduce delays in the South”.

Paul Haskins, general manager of NATS’ London Terminal Control, added: “At the moment, departures from Stansted heading towards the South East are kept lower for longer when compared to the route heading east because of Heathrow arrivals.

“Moving the majority of departure flights from one route to another will improve the flow of aircraft around the London system and greatly increase the efficiency of the airport’s operation.”

Chris Wiggan, Stansted Airport’s head of public affairs, said the airport supported NATS’ proposed airspace changes.

He said: “We recognise the importance of NATS’ London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) that aims to re-design the airspace around London in order to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. We welcome the NATS-led consultation on the proposed airspace changes relating to Stansted which will enable people to find out more and give their views on the plans.

“The safe and efficient management of airspace in the south-east of England is an important issue and the consultation will provide an opportunity for people to play a full and active part in the process.”

To respond to the consultation, visit: www.nats.aero/lampstansted

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/News/Plan-to-redirect-Stansted-Airport-departures-to-reduce-Heathrow-congestion-20140616154532.htm

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 8th September – End of NATS consultation (started  9th June) on changes to Stansted flight paths.     Details

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NATS details on this

http://www.nats.aero/news/nats-consultation-changes-stansted/

The consultation is primarily through the airport’s consultative committee and engagement is open to the public to respond via www.nats.aero/lampstansted.

 

 

 


 

Stansted Airport routes plan to reduce Heathrow congestion

16.6.2014 (BBC)

Stansted Airport
Stansted Airport – aerial view of main terminal building.
Redirecting departures to the east of the airport would decrease congestion over London, NATS said. 

Plans to change the routes some flights use from Stansted Airport are being put forward to reduce congestion in the skies above Heathrow Airport.

Air traffic control service NATS proposes to redirect the majority of Stansted departures from an established southerly route, to an existing route to the east of the airport.

No new routes are proposed and changes would only affect daytime departures.

NATS has started a 12-week consultation on the proposals.

In a statement, NATS said the proposed changes would “improve efficiency and reduce delays in the South”.

‘Lower for longer’

Paul Haskins, general manager of NATS’ London Terminal Control, added: “At the moment, departures from Stansted heading towards the South East are kept lower for longer when compared to the route heading east because of Heathrow arrivals.

“Moving the majority of departure flights from one route to another will improve the flow of aircraft around the London system and greatly increase the efficiency of the airport’s operation.”

Chris Wiggan, Stansted Airport’s head of public affairs, said the airport supported NATS’ proposed airspace changes.

“The safe and efficient management of airspace in the South East of England is an important issue and the consultation will provide an opportunity for people to play a full and active part in the process,” he said.

Martin Peachey, a noise adviser for campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion, said: “For people living near Stansted, there will be winners and losers. But we support all efforts which reduce aircraft noise and carbon emission.”

He added the group would be giving its views to NATS and advising parish councils under the easterly route about how they can have their say.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-27866810

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From NATS website:

http://www.nats.aero/environment/consultations/lamp-stansted-sid-consultation/

 

NATS Departure Route Proposal at London Stansted Airport

This consultation is about a change to the use of existing London Stansted Airport departure routes heading to the southeast and east of the airport. It is driven by NATS at the air route network level, and supported by Stansted Airport which has a focus on low level routes in the vicinity of the airport.

This consultation is part of a wider programme to modernise the route system over London and the southeast; known as the London Airspace Management Programme or ‘LAMP’.

LAMP is being progressed by NATS which provides air traffic control for the route network across the whole of the UK. It involves collaboration between NATS and individual airports in the development of, and consultation on, changes to airspace management; collaboration ensures that modernisation achieves both network and local benefits.

What is this consultation about?

This consultation is for a proposal to formalise the use of existing alternative routes for Stansted Airport departures heading to the southeast and east.

No new routes are proposed – only different usage of existing routes. It would not involve changes to the airspace structure in the vicinity of Stansted Airport.

This consultation describes the proposal and its objectives in detail. It provides maps and data indicating areas that would see fewer overflights, and those that would see more.

Benefits

The benefits of this are:

  • Reduced CO2
  • Reduced delay (for Stansted and neighbouring airports)
  • Reduction in the number of people regularly overflown during the day

Achieving these benefits would also mean that some people would be overflown more often.

Airlines may already choose to fly the alternative route, and are expected to do so increasingly in the future to avoid congestion. This proposal will ensure that the benefits of the alternative route are maximised.

The consultation opens 9am Monday 9th June and closes 9pm Monday 8th September 2014 (twelve weeks).

Consultation documents

Feedback

http://www.nats.aero/environment/consultations/lamp-stansted-sid-consultation/

 

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MPs initiate “Gatwick Coordination Group” – saying 2nd runway is not in the local or national interest

MPs Crispin Blunt,  Sir Paul Beresford,  Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames,  Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry have formed the Gatwick Coordination Group.  The Group is established to represent the serious local concern at the plan for a 2nd runway. The MPs’ group released a statement saying they believe a 2nd Gatwick runway would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment. They say the level of development, associated with an airport serving nearly three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place. Also that there is no adequate plan yet presented to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support this development. “The size of the Gatwick site only lends itself to a single runway airport, serving as a sensible, competitive alternate to London’s main hub airport. While they pursue that objective, Gatwick Airport Limited will have our support, but this proposal is not in the local interest, nor is it in the national interest, and this group will work to prove that case.”
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MPs initiate “Gatwick Coordination Group”

 MONDAY 16th JUNE 2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

MPs Crispin Blunt, Sir Paul Beresford, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames, Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry have formed the Gatwick Coordination Group following a meeting at the House of Commons on Wednesday 11th June 2014.

The Gatwick Coordination Group is established to represent the serious local concern at the plan for a second runway at Gatwick Airport which has been shortlisted by the Davies Commission.

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has made its submission to Sir Howard Davies, which is yet to be published.  Sir Howard’s Commission will make its recommendation on airport capacity to the Government in 2015.

The MPs’ group released the following statement:

“We believe that the building of a second runway at Gatwick airport would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment. The level of development, associated with an airport serving nearly three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place.

“There is also no adequate plan yet presented to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support this development.

“The size of the Gatwick site only lends itself to a single runway airport, serving as a sensible, competitive alternate to London’s main hub airport. While they pursue that objective, Gatwick Airport Limited will have our support, but this proposal is not in the local interest, nor is it in the national interest, and this group will work to prove that case.”

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Notes to Editors

 

As a local constituency MP who serves in the Government, Francis Maude is not able to endorse the above statement but wishes to be kept informed of the progress of the group.

The group is chaired by Crispin Blunt MP – Office: 0207 219 2254; Mobile: 07921039891.

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See also:

Surrey and Sussex MPs oppose Gatwick runway ‘disaster’

17.6.2014 (BBC)

Gatwick Airport has said 120,000 jobs will be created by the second runway

Five MPs have begun a campaign against the building of a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

The Conservative MPs, who represent Sussex, Surrey and Kent constituencies, said the scheme for the airport near Crawley would be “a disaster” for communities and the environment.

They said there was “serious local concern” at the plan.

Gatwick said it had sought to engage with communities and politicians and would continue to do so.

‘Preposterous suggestion’

Reigate MP Crispin Blunt, one of the members of the newly-formed Gatwick Coordination Group, said: “If Gatwick expands in the way that’s planned, it will need many tens of thousands of new people working there, and they are all going to need somewhere to live.

“The airport at the moment are providing a preposterous suggestion that these people are largely going to come from existing communities in Croydon and Brighton. Well I’m afraid that’s just simply not the case.”

Mr Blunt also said no new railway line had been proposed.

He said the London to Brighton commuter line was already “the busiest commuter line in the country” and at capacity.

The other four MPs behind the campaign are Sir Paul Beresford, who represents Mole Valley, Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley, who represents Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, and Charles Hendry, MP for Wealden.

‘Premature move’

Crawley Conservative MP Henry Smith, whose constituency includes the airport, said he was invited to join the group but declined to endorse the press release.

He said: “Whilst I think Gatwick needs to make a stronger case on how it would invest in upgrading Crawley’s infrastructure if the airport were to expand, I think it premature to rule out an additional runway until the Davies Commission investigating aviation capacity has reported next year.”

Gatwick has submitted three plans for a new runway to the Airports Commission.

Airport bosses have set out improved public transport plans including new train platforms, new rolling stock and improvements to junction nine on the M23, and have suggested 120,000 jobs would be created by the building of a second runway.

A statement issued by the airport said: “We believe an expanded airport at Gatwick is in both the local and national interest and look forward to working with all our stakeholders to demonstrate that.”

East Sussex and West Sussex county councils have backed Gatwick expansion because of job creation, the economic boost and as a solution to providing UK aviation capacity.

Surrey County Council opposed the plans over concerns about the impact on the environment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-27886412

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Huge mobilisation planned at Notre Dame des Landes on 5/6 July with hope the airport project can be withdrawn

The campaign at Notre Dame des Landes, against the planned new Nantes airport, continues. On the weekend of 5th and 6th July, a huge mobilisation is planned, with people coming from areas across France to show their opposition and resistance to the plans.  The campaign is adamant they want nothing less than the abandonment of the airport plan.  The project is held up still, because of legal appeals and EU Directives on water and threatened species, but it has not yet been cancelled. More people are now living on the ZAD, and more of it is now being cultivated, with a farm saved.  Some delay is due to an environmental assessment being needed on the whole project, rather than separate bits of it.  The Socialist and Green Parties, and the new Minister for Environment, Ségolène Royal, agreed after the recent election that no work can start till all the legal processes are completed. Local campaigners want farmers and residents to be able to plan their futures, free of the airport threat.  They hope this project, and other “Grands projets inutiles et imposés” that are land-hungry, biodiversity destructive, guzzling aquatic and fossil fuel resources as well as public subsidies, can be stopped.
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NOTRE DAME DES LANDES 2014

Rassemblement contre le projet d’aéroport


5 & 6 JUILLET 2014

www.notredamedeslandes2014.org

logo-gauche

 

NOTRE DAME DES LANDES : WITHDRAW THE PROJECT NOW

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Go ahead towards the final withdrawal of the project!

Whilst preparing our summer event we are at a turning point. Although we have progressed: works have been delayed, the withdrawal of the project which is the aim of our struggle, has not yet been obtained.

We hold our ground! We hold it on our three pillars!

We hold our ground on Zone!

After the autumn upheaval of 2012 and the ‘Cesar’ police action, resisting farmers, newcomers and supporting citizens, all together, have preserved the land of the ZAD [Zone à Défendre].

Life is getting on, long term agricultural projects take shape with ‘Sème ta ZAD’ [Sow the ZAD] and ‘COPAIN’ on the farm at Bellevue and on threatened lands. The Fighting Naturalists have run various field studies, enriching our knowledge and expertise and reducing to little the « compensations » planned by AGO Vinci. Links have been created, the ZAD counts more inhabitants and is now better cultivated than it has ever been.

Farmers as well as ordinary people showed their enormous support towards the defence of the threatened land through the demonstration on February 22nd.  The flash mobilization for Saint-Jean du Tertre saved the farm and gave us guarantees for the future.

We hold our ground on the legal level!

After the EU Committee on Petitions in Brussels decided to keep open our petitions, in September 2013, in spite of the promoters’ will to empty the ZAD, the decrees allowing works to begin were delayed until the end of December:  the Prefect might have been conscious of their weakness in regard to the law…They were immediately contested, while different appeal procedures concerning expropriations are going on persistently before the courts at all levels. We heard recently that the EU Committee started a penal procedure against France about the preliminary studies being cut into parts and the insufficient work on the impact on environment of the project as a whole!

We hold our ground on the political level!

Although the local promoters of the project have not been shaken on their (wrong) bases, the national political actors cannot ignore the subject any more. A major political agreement was wrought from the socialist party through a 28 days hunger strike in May 2012.  It said that no one could be expelled as long as some recourses had not been definitively judged.

In February this year, Jean-Marc Ayrault who was still PM had no other choice but to say that no works would start as long as all ongoing recourses had not been judged. This was confirmed by the Socialist and Green Parties agreement for the March local elections in Nantes and Rennes and again by the new Minister for Environment, Ségolène Royal.

The expressed political will to respect the current legal proceedings is a first step. Therefore, resolutely and serenely, we are looking forward to the closure of all the recourses especially those concerning water and threatened species regulations both on national and European levels.

In the meanwhile we do not give up on anything on the ground. The announced delays are not by themselves signs of the final victory, nevertheless they are quite a positive point. As time goes by it becomes more and more obvious that this project is absurdly outdated if we take into account existing knowledge and legislation!

 

What we want is outright abandonment of the project!

This would allow farmers and inhabitants to look ahead to their future and draft new long term plans. This would allow to achieve optimal operation of the existing airport when necessary.

Dropping the project would reinforce the determination and hope of all those committed to the fight against Big useless imposed Projects which are land-hungry, biodiversity destructive, guzzling aquatic and fossil resources and public subsidies.

Before the July 5th and 6th gathering on the lands of Bellevue in Notre-Dame des Landes, protest caravans will converge from all over France, starting where symbolic struggles are taking place. Join them massively on their way!

In 2012, we said « Now is the time for fighting! »

In 2013, « We are still here, still resisting, more legitimate than ever. Let’s bury the project! »

In 2014, we dare say: « Withdraw the project now! »

The final victory is within reach of our efforts!

Once again we must succeed in making this 2014 gathering-convergence a time of outstanding mobilization!

http://www.notredamedeslandes2014.org/component/k2/item/119-notre-dame-des-landes-withdraw-the-project-now#.U572lPolmxQ.twitter

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New Airports Commission paper questions future growth of regional airports

The Aviation Environment Federation gives an interesting commentary on the Airports Commission’s latest call for evidence, which considers possible means to promote more effective use of regional airports. AEF says that while the Commission maintains its firm support for a new runway to bolster the UK’s connectivity to emerging markets, the paper suggests it would not be opposed to some scaling back in airport capacity in the regions. The Commission’s vision appears to be of an increasingly centralised airports system focussed on London. The Commission appears to challenge claims from some regional airports that they significantly benefit the wider UK economy. It notes that regional airports predominantly – and increasingly – cater to tourist travellers, the Commission argues that “aviation connectivity… facilitates outbound tourism, as well as inbound, so the net impact is unclear.”  If the Commission’s final recommendation is to be a significant scaling back in activity at regional airports in order to allow growth in London, it can expect to face major obstacles.

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New Airports Commission paper questions future growth of regional airports

12.6.2014 (Aviation Environment Federation – AEF)

The Airports Commission’s latest call for evidence – published this week – considers possible means to promote more effective use of regional airports. The work comes in the context of the Government’s broad support for the growth of regional airports, as set out in the Aviation Policy Framework, alongside the Commission’s recommendations for South East expansion.

Both domestic travel and the route networks served by regional airports have been waning, the paper notes, and many regional airports have failed to deliver anything like the levels of growth they formerly anticipated.

But while the Commission maintains its firm support for a new South East runway to bolster the UK’s connectivity to emerging markets, it would not, this new paper suggests, be opposed to some scaling back in capacity elsewhere.

A shift towards a more centralised airports system?

The Commission’s vision appears to be of an increasingly centralised airports system focussed on London. Despite reductions in domestic travel and route networks, people remain well served in terms of air connections around the UK, the paper argues, and:

some consolidation of the market may be absorbed without causing significant diminution of connectivity to either individual regions or the UK as a whole. Indeed, it may be argued that consolidation of the UK’s regional airports into fewer, larger airports could enhance regional connectivity, as larger airports serving bigger catchment areas could attract a wider range of services, enhancing route networks and other services.

Separate consideration is given to airports supporting London and the South East, with an overall conclusion that while some surface access improvements are desirable, particularly to Stansted, there is considerable scope for expansion along the lines set out by the airports themselves.

In terms of economic contribution, the Commission appears to challenge claims from some regional airports that they significantly benefit the wider UK economy.

Noting that regional airports predominantly – and increasingly – cater to tourist travellers, the Commission argues that “aviation connectivity… facilitates outbound tourism, as well as inbound, so the net impact is unclear.”

The paper takes a cautious approach to the possible benefit of Government subsidies, for example questioning whether the recently-announced Regional Air Connectivity Fund (with the first route being awarded recently between Dundee and Stansted) will be able to provide sufficient financial contribution to the setting up of new air routes to affect their viability.

And despite lobbying from some airports for tax relief through differential application of Air Passenger Duty, the Commission does not consider this an effective measure.

Decline in regional airports may be structural and long term

While capacity constraints may have had some impact on the loss of domestic routes, the Commission argues, fundamentally it is lack of demand that has led to the loss of these services:

“Ultimately, the ‘squeezing out’ of domestic routes at capacity constrained airports is a product not just of airports’ charging policies, but of insufficient domestic demand to warrant the use of larger planes. There is nothing intrinsic to domestic services which require them to use smaller planes.”

Therefore, the Commission argues, there is a need to identify“what factors affect the underlying demand for domestic air services, and how these may have shifted in recent years.”

Since reduced demand both preceded the recession and has not picked up after it to the extent that other parts of the aviation market have, and since the drop off also pre-dated the APD increase, the explanation is unlikely to be clearly economic, argues the Commission.

In fact it may relate as much to competition from improved rail services including facilities such as wifi and access to phone networks, the development of long haul routes from regional airports (such that passengers have no need to hub through London), and the relative attractiveness of overseas hubs.

Regional airports in the context of a carbon cap

The Airports Commission made an early commitment to work within the constraints of the Climate Change Act, and the Committee on Climate Change (which advises on delivery of the Act) has made clear that aviation emissions can only be kept to levels compatible with the long term climate target if demand is constrained.

The Airports Commission’s interim report argued that demand in the South East will be strong enough to justify a new runway even if a carbon cap is applied, but while this has never been spelled out, a significant expansion of South East demand would be possible only at the expense of regional airports.

If the Commission’s final recommendation is to be a significant scaling back in activity at regional airports in order to allow growth in London, it can expect to face major obstacles.

Many regional airports have significant room to grow, and Master Plans that set out ambitious expansion plans. Allowing for some drop off in demand from historic highs may be one thing, but as forthcoming analysis by AEF will show, the growth plans of many regional airports would in fact need to be actively – and significantly – curtailed to allow for an increase in CO2 emissions from a new runway.

For the Government to impose retrospective restrictions  on regional airport activity in order to allow SE airport expansion while remaining within carbon limits could have significant economic consequences for the affected airports.

Links

Airports Commission Discussion Paper 06: Utilization of the UK’s Existing Airport Capacity

http://www.aef.org.uk/?p=1743

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The Aviation Environment Federation

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) is the principal UK non-profit making environmental association concerned with the environmental effects of aviation.

We promote a sustainable future for aviation which fully recognises, and takes account of, all its environmental and amenity effects, ranging from aircraft noise issues associated with small airstrips or helipads to the contribution of airline emissions to climate change.

AEF is a membership organisation and we provide advice and information to our members.

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Gatwick hopes its claim will be believed that area’s road network will ‘better than or the same’ with 2nd runway

Gatwick airport’s publicity machine is saying the area’s road network would be left ‘better than or the same’ if a second runway was built at Gatwick. It is claiming its planned infrastructure improvements will make it ‘road and rail ready’ by 2021 for a new runway. And “with no additional cost to the taxpayer.”  They want to “create a regional transport hub to help drive economic growth across the entire area.” Works on a new junction on the A24 are due to start now and could last 18 months, while roadworks have been ongoing on the A23 near Handcross since 2011. Gatwick’s spokesman, Hugh Sumner, said of the local road network’s ability to cope with any additional strain: “Our commitment is we are going to leave the road systems working better than or the same in 2050.”  But the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), which opposes a 2nd runway, questioned the contents of the transport document. Brendon Sewill, chair of GACC, said: “The document published by [Gatwick Airport Limited] contains 10% inaccuracies, 20% inconsistencies, and 50% wishful thinking.” TfL appreciate the huge strain a new Gatwick runway will place on surface transport networks, which Gatwick is attempting to gloss over. 
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“Two runway Gatwick could provide regional transport

hub for area” – say airport bosses

Transport hub at Gatwick Airport (submitted). 
Transport hub at Gatwick Airport (submitted).

 

11.6.2014  (West Sussex County Times)

The area’s road network would be left ‘better than or the same’ if a second runway was built at Gatwick according to airport bosses.

As part of its bid to be selected for expansion by the Airports Commission in 2015 the airport revealed its planned infrastructure improvements this week, which it says will make it ‘road and rail ready’ by 2021 for a new runway.

Hugh Sumner, Gatwick’s senior transport advisor who worked on theLondon 2012 Olympics as director of transport for the Olympic Delivery Authority, said they hoped to create a regional transport hub to help drive economic growth across the entire area.

A second runway at Gatwick and a third runway at Heathrow are options shortlisted by the Davies Commission on airport capacity in the South East of England.

It is due to give a final recommendation to central Government after next year’s General Election.

Gatwick has previously said that a new runway could be delivered by 2025 if chosen.

Works on a new junction on the A24 south of Broadbridge Heath are due to start on Monday June 9 and could last 18 months, while roadworks have been ongoing on the A23 near Handcross since 2011.

Asked about concerns over the local road network’s ability to cope with any additional strain Mr Sumner said: “Our commitment is we are going to leave the road systems working better than or the same in 2050.

“If you have a better road system coming through, better junctions and better flows then a second runway is the obvious choice.”

He told the County Times they had done extensive traffic modelling to show the road network surrounding the airport had ‘a huge amount’ of capacity and resilience.

Meanwhile Gatwick said planned improvements could see a doubling of rail capacity with 10,000 extra seats to London every hour.

Through the new Govia Thameslink Rail Franchise, due to take over from Thameslink, Southern, and Great Northern franchises, extensive changes are planned to the Gatwick Express service by 2016.

Mr Sumner said they hoped to create an ‘integrated transport hub’ that would blend together road, rail, coach, and bus passengers to create a ‘superb Gatwick Gateway’.

He said they would ‘leave a different transport proposition for the future, driving a ribbon of economic growth north and south’.

“I firmly believe a second runway is the best thing for the region and the local community and the nation just as the Olympics was for London,” Mr Sumner added.

“I think the important message to them is we care as an enterprise. Gatwick cares. It’s the right thing for the community, we will stand by them and work with them.”

He continued: “Gatwick will be road and rail ready for a second runway by 2021 with no additional cost to the taxpayer. The ease at which these improvements can be delivered adds yet more weight to the obvious case for a new runway at Gatwick.

“Gatwick already has the highest proportion of passengers travelling by public transport and these improvements will help encourage even more. We want 60 per cent of our customers to use public transport, comparable with the best globally and better than any UK airport.”

But the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), which has opposed a second runway at Gatwick, questioned the contents of the transport document.

Brendon Sewill, chair of GACC, said: “The document published by GAL [Gatwick Airport Limited] today contains ten per cent inaccuracies, 20 per cent inconsistencies, and 50 per cent wishful thinking.

“GACC will be undertaking a comprehensive study of the impact of a new runway on road and rail congestion and will be publishing it later this summer.”

The group is urging town and parish councils in the areas that might be affected by a second runway to organise public meetings to help residents understand the airport’s current consultation.

The ‘Airspace Consultation’ was launched by Gatwick last week and presents several options for departure routes, which the airport says is part of a wider programme of changes needed to deliver the UK Future Airspace Strategy. These are legally required to come into effect in 2020.

But one of the options would see the continuation of a trial flight path which started sending aircraft over Warnham and surrounding villages in February, much to the anger of residents who say the tranquillity of countryside life has been shattered by near-constant aeroplane noise throughout the day.

Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) was set up in response and has organised a drop-in session for residents to view large-scale maps within the airspace consultation documents at Warnham’s Comrades Club on Thursday June 12 from 7pm.

It is also looking at the possibility of organising similar events in Rusper and Slinfold before the consultation closes in mid-August.

Sally Pavey, chair of CAGNE, described how the flow of planes overhead, from 6am to 10.50pm, was having a massive impact on residents’ mental health and wellbeing.

She said that any of the new consultation options would see planes flying over houses which had previously not been under a flight path where homeowners had paid a premium for their property not to live under a Noise Preferential Route (NPR).

She added: “We will battle on because at the end of the day we have rights to peace and tranquillity because we have lived there for 35/40 years.

“We should have rights not to have this forced upon us.”

For more information visit

www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation

or see www.facebook.com/CAGNE.Gatwick

 

http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/local/two-runway-gatwick-could-provide-regional-transport-hub-for-area-say-airport-bosses-1-6111663

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see also

Level playing field on transport costs vital to proper assessment of runway options – says TfL

The issue of surface access to airports was the subject of the RunwaysUK conference on 2nd June. Michèle Dix, planning director of Transport for London, said that the costs for surface access for each of the runway options must be assessed against a level playing field of criteria. Michèle said it was vital that estimates by runway promoters reflected that actual needs of transport in the capital. “You need to compare like with like. What are the true and full costs of accommodating this additional demand? If airports are placing a greater demand on the network then we need a greater transport provision.” The Thames estuary proposal had not compared the surface access needs, like for like. She estimated that comparable “optimal” investment level of investment needed – the total package of transport schemes required to deliver an optimal level of surface transport access – for Heathrow was £17.6bn, Gatwick £12.4bn and an Inner Thames Estuary airport £19.1bn.

Click here to view full story…

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One of the slides from Michelle Dix’s presentation:

TfL assumptions on transport costs for runway options June 2014


One of the slides from Michelle Dix’s presentation:

Potential trip growth on public transport and road

 

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Ryanair to have one flight per week to Tenerife in winter from Cardiff airport

Ryanair has been seen as the holy grail for passenger numbers at Cardiff Airport. But Cardiff will now have just one Ryanair route, once a week to Tenerife during the winter. “However, there is a wave of optimism that this one route will develop into a network that will improve the airline offering at Cardiff.” There is a history to the relationship between Ryanair and Cardiff Airport. Ryanair had a very successful route between Cardiff and Dublin from 2001 to 2006. The departure of Ryanair followed a reported disagreement with the airport over airport charges.improve the experience for all passengers. Ryanair is an opportunity if the passenger numbers on the new route convince Ryanair to develop even more new routes. However Ryanair would need to deliver substantial passenger numbers to compensate for the lower charges that Cardiff airport will be paid. It would also be necessary to maintain the existing carriers as competition so that Cardiff doesn’t become an airport totally reliant on a single carrier that is using market power to continuously drive down airport income.

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Can Cardiff Airport and low-cost carrier Ryanair really become the winning team once again?

Aviation expert Martin Evans explores how the relationship between the two can grow wings after the Irish carrier announced its return to the airport after eight years

Ryanair has confirmed it is to return to Cardiff Airport with a new route to Tenerife

 

The recent announcement that Ryanair is returning to Cardiff Airport, even though they operate into Cardiff’s close neighbour, Bristol Airport, has been taken as a sign that after a return to the public sector, Cardiff Airport is now returning to success.

Ryanair has been seen as the holy grail for passenger numbers at Cardiff Airport, just get Ryanair to the Airport and all the routes and passengers that we want will be delivered. Of course, as the largest low cost airline in Europe, Ryanair cannot be ignored.

However before we all get out the atlas to find out if Ryanair can get us anywhere near our destination and scramble for our low cost seats, can Ryanair and more importantly should Ryanair be the answer to all our prayers?

We shouldn’t become too excited at this stage, Cardiff will have one route, once a week to Tenerife during the winter. However, there is a wave of optimism that this one route will develop into a network that will improve the airline offering at Cardiff.

There is, however, a history to the relationship between Ryanair and Cardiff Airport. Ryanair had a very successful route between Cardiff and Dublin from 2001 to 2006. The departure of Ryanair followed a reported disagreement with the airport over airport charges.

At this time Cardiff Airport was heading towards its highest ever passenger numbers and was profitable.

 It was possible that Ryanair could develop more routes but at a cost of lowering aeronautical income at a time when Cardiff Airport had airlines that were willing to pay higher rates.

Cardiff already had a low cost airline, bmibaby, that wanted to expand. Indeed, the airport expanded past 2 million passengers a year but bmibaby didn’t continue to expand in a way that was expected and capacity increases by the airport were not matched by the airline.

Ryanair expanded rapidly by negotiating low charges at airports that they wanted to operate from. Airports had to be hopeful that income would rise once these cheap deals expired.

Ryanair wanted to extend these cheap deals to maintain a low cost base and continued to maintain pressure on airports by withdrawing from airports that raised their charges. Government also became a target where Ryanair didn’t like new taxes and charges.

The effect on secondary airports could be extremely severe where Ryanair operated the majority of the flights. Ryanair could make these threats because of the mobility of aircraft and their ability to sell new destinations through the internet.

The loss of Ryanair had two effects upon Cardiff Airport. Firstly the nature of the Dublin route changed. It went from being a low cost airline route encouraging visitors to both cities to a regional airline route serving business passengers and encouraging passengers to transfer onto long haul services at Dublin.

Secondly, Ryanair decided to establish routes at Bristol Airport, Cardiff’s closest competitor airport that had already experienced faster growth than Cardiff due to low cost airline, Easyjet. Cardiff Airport was losing a low cost route, at the same time as their main competitor gained another low cost airline.

So why do Ryanair and Cardiff Airport need each other again? It is obvious for Cardiff Airport. Although they have replaced the routes that used to be operated  by bmibaby, they haven’t replaced the passenger numbers. Vueling, the airline that has become the main low cost airline at Cardiff does not have the market penetration achieved by Ryanair.

Ryanair may be Europe’s biggest low cost airline but it still needs to look for new opportunities for its ever expanding fleet. Other low cost airlines such as Easyjet and Vueling want to expand their market share and will offer services that can compete with the legacy carriers to do so.

So they will offer flights that use major airports to get you closer to your destination, allocated seats and the option to alter reservations before the flight.

These carriers are offering what the market wants and suddenly Ryanair, with the attitude of we’ll get you from A to B but sometimes with penalty charges, take it or leave it, looks out of step.

Ryanair has now seen the opportunity of appealing to the business market and this will improve the experience for all passengers.

So, yes, Ryanair is an opportunity if the passenger numbers on the new route convince Ryanair to develop even more new routes. However Ryanair would need to deliver substantial passenger numbers to compensate for the lower charges that will be paid.

It would also be necessary to maintain the existing carriers as competition so that Cardiff doesn’t become an airport totally reliant on a single carrier that is using market power to continuously drive down airport income.

Ryanair confirms new route at Cardiff Airport

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-opinion/so-can-cardiff-airport-low-cost-7250121

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Some recent news about Cardiff airport:

Cardiff to Anglesey air link continues to get large government subsidy as bus grants are slashed

March 31, 2014

The Welsh Government has defended a big increase in subsidy for the North-South Wales air service while it cuts funding for lifeline bus services. From 2010-11 to 2012-13, subsidy for the flights between Anglesey and Cardiff increased by 37.2%. Subsidy was £184 for each passenger who used the service in 2012-13. Over the same 2-year period, the Welsh government reduced its grant to councils for unprofitable bus services by 29.2%. At least 94 bus routes have been withdrawn since 2011. Other services are under review because subsidy per passenger exceeds £2 or £3. The Welsh Government has been reviewing bus funding since early 2012 – but has not evaluated the air service’s costs and benefits since the global financial problems and major reductions in public-sector budgets. The route from Cardiff to Anglesey has 2 flights each way, each weekday, and there were almost 15,000 passenger journeys in 2008-09, but only 8,406 passenger journeys in 2012-13. Subsidy for the air operator and the civilian air terminal at RAF Valley on Anglesey increased from £1.08m in 2008-09 to £1.55m in 2012-13.     Click here to view full story…

 

Welsh Economy Minister says Cardiff Airport likely to return to profit only in ‘long-term’

March 21, 2014

The Welsh Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, has said that Cardiff Airport – now in public ownership – is likely to return to profit eventually, but not in the short term. She said its downward spiral is no longer continuing. The airport finally becoming profitable is a “long-term” strategy. She was giving evidence to the National Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee on the airport, which was bought by the Welsh Government for £52m at the end of 2012. Ms Hart suggested there wouldn’t be a quick sale of the airport back into the private sector, which the Scottish Government is seeking for the newly-nationalised Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire. Pressed by the Plaid Cymru economy spokesman on when the government expected the taxpayer to recoup its investment. She said the Budget announcement for support for regional airports to set up new routes would apply to Wales and that they would “wait for the detail of it”, but confirmed the Welsh Government is likely to bid in for funding. Chancellor George Osborne announced a £20m annual fund will be used to encourage new routes from regional hubs like Cardiff.

Click here to view full story…

 

Cardiff Airport shuttle bus from Cardiff centre to attract more traffic averages 4 passengers per journey

February 7, 2014

A shuttle bus to transport passengers from Cardiff centre to the airport has carried on average fewer than 4 passengers a journey since its launch in August 2013. The service is funded by the Welsh government, with the cost suggested to be around half a million ££s. The bus runes every 20 minutes and has so carried an average of 2,778 passengers a week. Last month the Conservatives said the service was “unsustainable”. A review of the service has been carried out by Prof Stuart Cole from the University of South Wales. Cardiff airport was bought by the Welsh government for £52m in March 2013 and the bus service is part of the strategy to reverse a slump in passenger numbers.A local MP said: “At almost half a million (pounds) in Welsh Labour government subsidy, that’s an exceptionally expensive service to support and on current passenger numbers is simply unsustainable.” But a Cardiff Business School transport expert said such services were needed to convince airlines there would be passengers available. “Airlines planning cycles are such that they’re not just going to start routes instantly. It’s going to take [6 - 12] months, to attract routes into the airport and, therefore, it’s a bit like the chicken and egg.”

Click here to view full story…

 

 

Sec of State for Wales says South Wales to Heathrow rail link would provide major economic boost

November 7, 2013

Secretary of State for Wales David Jones has said a £500m direct rail link between Heathrow and South Wales would be a major economic driver for the area. He said better infrastructure would play a crucial role in growth of the Welsh economy. Last year the UK Government outlined its commitment to the Western Rail Access scheme – a new rail link which will cut 30 minutes off the journey times from South Wales. Network Rail is currently looking at options for the proposed spur, including direct services from South Wales on the Great Western Main Line into Heathrow, or providing a separate shuttle service from Reading. And David Jones added the standard speil about “Fast and convenient links to our major airports are crucial as we look to compete in the global race.” What race? Colin Matthews said 8.8% of the 1.3 million people in the UK working for foreign-owned firms that use Heathrow are from Wales.      Click here to view full story…

 

Cardiff Airport is bought by the Welsh government for £52m (over-priced?)

March 27, 2013    The current owner of Cardiff Airport, Abertis, which bought the airport from local councils in 2005, has now managed to sell it to the Welsh Government for £52 million. That price is well above market value when compared to recent transactions involving UK airports. The airport was valued at about £34 million in 2010. It has been making large losses and losing passengers for many years. The Government is desperate that it gets more passengers and gets back to making a profit. Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said it would not be operated by the government and would be managed “at arm’s length” and “on a commercial basis”. Cardiff’s passengers have declined from around 2 million in 2007 to just over 1 million in 2012, as many have chosen Bristol airport instead. Bristol airport is now concerned that Cardiff would now unfairly benefit from state support. Cardiff was hit by the loss of bmibaby in 2011. The airport’s board will try and get in a commercial operator and hopes to attract long haul and transatlantic flights. Only recently there was news that Swiss airline Helvetic will pull out of Cardiff, 2 years after the Welsh government spent £500,000 marketing Wales in Switzerland.    Click here to view full story…

 

Welsh government buying Cardiff airport from Abertis in £50m cash deal by the end of March

February 21, 2013      The Welsh Government is expected to complete its acquisition of Cardiff Airport by the end of March in a straight cash deal understood to be around £50m with current owner Abertis. A due diligence process is being undertaken on behalf of the Welsh Government. The deal will not see the Welsh Government taking on any debt at the airport – which posted pre-tax losses of just over £300,000 in 2011. In the short to medium term the Welsh Government would need to inject about £6m a year in capital expenditure and airline route development support – including agreeing to underwrite any losses in the first few years accrued by airlines establishing new routes out of Cardiff. ie public subsidy. It is understood that representatives of the Welsh Government have already sounded out a number of low cost airlines over setting up operations, including Ryanair – which was asking too much. Discussions are continuing. It is unlikely that the airport, post deal, would be directly owned by the Welsh Government but by some special purpose vehicle instead.   Click here to view full story…

 

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Scottish Transport Minister warns Dundee Airport still faces major challenges even with £2.85 million PSO help

The Scottish Transport Minister has said that Dundee Airport still faces a challenge after the £2.85 million funding guaranteeing its future for 2 years was approved.  Councillors agreed the public service obligation (PSO) between Westminster and Dundee City Council, which guarantees the money to keep the Dundee to London (Stansted) air route open. Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown, while welcoming the deal, said it was only part of securing the long-term future of the airport. Dundee Airport can now start looking forward. The airport faces a challenge in the increasingly competitive aviation market and needs to continue looking at all the available options to encourage more passengers and businesses to use it. They might be able to drum up business from the offshore renewable energy sector.  The PSO funding comes from the new Regional Air Connectivity fund and is the first funding of its kind. 
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Transport Minister warns Dundee Airport still faces major challenges after funding boost

By ANDREW LIDDLE, (The Courier)
10 June 2014
The Scottish Transport Minister has said that Dundee Airport still faces a challenge after multi-million-pound funding guaranteeing its future for two years was approved.

Councillors agreed the public service obligation (PSO) between Westminster and Dundee City Council, which guarantees £2.85 million to keep the Dundee to London air route open for two years.

Transport Minister Keith Brown, while welcoming the deal, said it was only part of securing the long-term future of the airport.

He said: “The announcement of the PSO on the Dundee-Stansted route is a significant and welcome development for Dundee Airport.

“As we outlined in the Dundee Airport Scoping Study, published last December, securing the future of this crucial air link was one of our top priorities.

“Transport Scotland worked in partnership with Dundee City Council and Highlands and Islands Airports Limited to keep the route going in the short term and help the council build its PSO case.

“With the council agreeing the PSO last night, Dundee Airport can now start looking forward.

“It faces a challenge in the increasingly competitive aviation market and while this route will provide a platform for growth, it’s important we continue looking at all the available options to encourage more passengers and businesses to use it.

“The scoping study also highlighted a number of commercial opportunities — like engaging with companies in the offshore renewables sector — which could give Dundee Airport a unique place in Scotland’s aviation industry.

“These are areas that could be developed to attract new business.

“The establishment of the PSO is the first step for Dundee Airport, and the Scottish Government remains committed to working with Highlands and Islands Airport Limited, Dundee City Council and other stakeholders to secure its future,” he added.

SNP administration leader Ken Guild has hailed the deal as “great news for Dundee”.

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/transport-minister-warns-dundee-airport-still-faces-major-challenges-after-funding-boost-1.414121

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Earlier:

DfT signs first public service obligation to protect Dundee Airport to Stansted route

Air links between Dundee and London have been secured for the next 2 years with funding put in place today by the UK government. The public service obligation (PSO) agreed between the UK government and Dundee City Council guarantees £2.85 million to keep the route open, with flight times between the 2 airports at around 90 minutes. The funding comes from the new Regional Air Connectivity fund announced by Danny Alexander at Spending Round 13. This is the first funding of its kind. Robert Goodwill, UK Aviation Minister said: “Regional airports have a key role to play in our long term economic plan for the nation’s future prosperity, and the government is committed to ensuring they have access to London and vice versa.” The Regional Air Connectivity fund can be used to maintain important regional air connections, where they are in danger of being lost. The government doubled the size of the fund to £20 million per year in the 2014 Budget. The government aims to set up a second PSO agreement for the Newquay-London air link later this year, for business and tourism.

Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick’s head of corporate affairs and lobbying, James Colman, leaving – no successor yet

James Colman joined Gatwick in April 2012 as their chief lobbyist, to promote their second runway bid. He is now leaving. His title was Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director. Previously he was at British Gas where he was Head of Communications. The airport website blurb says of him: “He has a wealth of corporate communications experience, including 14 years working with blue-chip companies (eg John Lewis Partnership and PepsiCo.) and organisations across the UK, Europe and globally, mainly in the FMCG, retail and energy sectors. The Telegraph’s City Diary says he is “credited with playing a “key role” in getting the Gatwick bid off the ground” …. and he “has packed his bags for an – as yet unnamed – new destination.” Mr Colman’s successor has not yet been found, but a Gatwick spokesman said the recruitment process is “under way”.  In February 2013 Gatwick brought in Fishburn Hedges and the London Communications Agency (LCA) on an integrated PR and public affairs brief, as part of its second runway lobbying.

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City Diary: Gatwick without a pilot in airports expansion battle

James Colman, the chief lobbyist credited with getting Gatwick’s second runway bid off the ground, has packed his bags.

The battle of the runways between Gatwick and Heathrow has just swung in Heathrow’s favour.

Just weeks after both airports presented their final petitions to build the next runway in the South East of England to the Airports Commission, Diary can reveal that James Colman, the chief lobbyist credited with playing a “key role” in getting the Gatwick bid off the ground, has packed his bags for an – as yet unnamed – new destination.

Mr Colman’s departure after just over two years as Gatwick’s corporate affairs and sustainability director leaves Gatwick’s expansion plans, currently on the Airports Commission’s shortlist of three, without a pilot at a rather critical point.

Mr Colman’s successor has not yet been found, admits a Gatwick spokesman, although the recruitment process is “under way”. “During [Colman’s] time, Gatwick’s campaign for a second runway has come a long way, and we are now widely seen as the only deliverable solution for the UK,” claims the source.

James Colman. Gatwick’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability.

James Colman to join Gatwick as Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director

22 February 2012 (Gatwick airport press release)

James Colman to take up post in April 2012

Gatwick Airport announced today that James Colman will be joining the Executive Management team as Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director, taking up the post in April.

He will lead a team of 22 people spanning media and PR, Public Affairs, Internal Communications, Airport Communications and Corporate Responsibility.

2012 will be a critical year for the Government’s new aviation policy and James will be responsible for positioning Gatwick in the critical debates about the future of UK aviation, as well as continuing to promote Gatwick as London’s airport of choice, emphasising quality of customer service compared with its competitors.

James brings with him a corporate communications background, including 14 years working with blue-chip companies and organisations across the UK, Europe and globally, mainly in the FMCG, retail and energy sectors.

James is currently with British Gas where he is Head of Communications and an Executive Team member for the £3 billion B2B side of the energy company. He was previously with communications consultancy Luther Pendragon working with companies such as John Lewis Partnership and PepsiCo.

Prior to that, for ten years he worked for Sancroft, a leading Corporate Responsibility and Communications consultancy, working for a number of EU and US based multinational companies including Vodafone, Coca-Cola and Tesco.

On his appointment, James Colman said: “Gatwick Airport is setting a new benchmark for what passengers and airlines should expect from a leading airport, with some very exciting plans for the future. That is why I am delighted to be joining Gatwick, and leading its award-winning communications team at such a critical and exciting time.”

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/News/James-Colman-to-join-Gatwick-as-Corporate-Affairs-Sustainability-Director-724.aspx

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James Colman, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director

James joined Gatwick in April 2012 from British Gas where he was Head of Communications. He has a wealth of corporate communications experience, including 14 years working with blue-chip companies and organisations across the UK, Europe and globally, mainly in the FMCG, retail and energy sectors.

Previously, James was with communications consultancy Luther Pendragon working with companies such as John Lewis Partnership and PepsiCo. Prior to that for ten years he worked for Sancroft, a leading corporate responsibility and communications consultancy.

http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/about-gatwick/ownership-management/executive-management/

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Gatwick brings in Fishburn Hedges and LCA to support second runway bid

Gatwick Airport has brought in Fishburn Hedges and the London Communications Agency (LCA) on an integrated PR and public affairs brief, as it looks to gain support for building a controversial second runway.

Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport

 

Both agencies will work directly with Gatwick’s comms team, with Fishburn Hedges providing strategic and public affairs support. LCA will work for the airport at a local and regional level as Gatwick engages key stakeholders in London and West Sussex.

Allowing a second runway at Gatwick is just one of several options for airport expansion in South East England, which has been a difficult issue for the Government.

After coming under pressure last year to reverse the Coalition’s commitment not to allow another runway at Heathrow, the Prime Minister set up an Independent Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, to look into options for expansion and report its findings after the 2015 General Election.

Gatwick is currently developing detailed expansion plans that could double the airport’s annual capacity to around 70 million passengers and is to submit its case to the commission over the coming months.

The airport was sold by Heathrow owner BAA in 2009 to a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is the majority shareholder.

Rival options the commission is expected to decide on include expanding Heathrow or Stanstead and building a new airport in Thames Estuary.

Gatwick’s plans include evaluations of the environmental and economic impacts on the local area, which is likely to be fraught as campaigners have protested that the expansion will harm the environment and raise noise levels. It is legally committed not to build a second runway before 2019.

James Colman, corporate affairs and sustainability director at Gatwick Airport, said: ‘We believe a second runway at Gatwick could present the best long-term solution to the future capacity constraints in the South East.

‘We have the room to grow and our continued investment is proof that we’re putting passengers first. Fishburn Hedges and LCA are proving to be crucial partners for our team as we ensure we make our voice heard in this important debate.

http://www.prweek.com/article/1169601/gatwick-brings-fishburn-hedges-lca-support-second-runway-bid

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