Heathrow’s plans for a 3rd runway, and associated building, are due to cost the airport at least £18 billion (not including unexpected over-runs and engineering problems etc). Heathrow now wants the right to make airlines and passengers contribute to any unexpected higher costs. The CAA controls the amount Heathrow can charge airlines. Heathrow has asked the CAA to factor in a huge array of risks from building the 3,500 metre runway across the M25 into the charges it is allowed to claw back from carriers. Heathrow keeps insisting its landing charges would remain close to current levels, aviation experts said there are few credible alternatives to charging users more. IAG believes the huge construction costs will lead to charges doubling to landing charges per passenger, from about £40 now to £80 for a return ticket. Heathrow is mainly owned by overseas investors. As well as higher than expected costs of construction, there are risks such as lack of interest from airlines in taking up the new landing slots; financial markets turning against the airport, leading to a downgrade of its credit rating; higher debt costs; and politics. There is real fear that if the Heathrow expansion project was allowed, the costs – many £ billion – might fall on the taxpayer – if the enterprise becomes a bit of a white elephant. The Airports Commission and DfT have said little about this massive risk to the public finances.
Passengers face risk for Heathrow’s new runway
Airport demands right to raise landing fees if £18bn expansion goes awry
By John Collingridge (Sunday Times)
August 13 2017
Europe’s busiest airport wants higher charges to help cover risks
Heathrow’s demand was contained in a document submitted earlier this year. The CAA is attempting to tackle one of the big questions ignored by the Airports Commission, which examined how to raise aviation capacity: who should bear the risks of the hugely complex project?
The airport said in the submission that its investors were not “seeking special treatment or risk-free rewards. However, unlike a private enterprise in an unfettered market . . . these risks do need to be addressed or compensated for in the regulatory return.”
Heathrow was told to keep charges “close to current levels” when the government gave permission for the runway in October. While the airport insists it is cutting costs to adhere to this demand, experts said that shifting risks onto travellers would inevitably force up charges.
Martin Blaiklock, an independent infrastructure expert, said the only way Heathrow could keep charges flat would be to significantly increase the number of people going through its terminals. “Anyone using Heathrow today will view such a boast with some scepticism,” he said.
“The responsibility for delivering the expansion to time, cost and specification should be left to Heathrow alone, with no payment from passengers for the expansion until the project is available for use.”
Heathrow plans to cut building costs of its runway plan, to keep fares low, by not adding new terminal
July 28, 2017
Heathrow has said it will – allegedly – guarantee to effectively freeze passenger landing fees when [if] a 3rd runway is built, by scrapping plans for a new terminal. The cost for the whole planned expansion is about £17.6 billion, and Heathrow knows it will have trouble raising all this and paying for changes to surface access transport. The government does not want air fares to get any more expensive. So Heathrow now says it will knock “several billion” pounds off the cost of its plan by abandoning facilities such as an additional terminal. The terminal would require a huge subsurface baggage handling system and an underground passenger metro system, which was estimated to cost £1 billion alone. They instead suggest extending Terminals 5 and 2 and phasing the expansion work over as long as 20 years, to control costs. The main airline at Heathrow, IAG, is not prepared to pay higher charges to fund inefficient expansion, that is unnecessarily expensive. The amended expansion plans by Heathrow will be put out for a public consultation later in 2017. The publication of the final Airports National Policy Statement [the consultation on it ended in May 2017] setting out the Government’s position, and a subsequent House of Commons vote, are expected in the first half of 2018 with the vote not before June. Heathrow hopes to cut costs in every way it can, and get in the necessary funds by attracting many more passengers, even if paying hardly more than they do now – about £22 landing fee – each.
Arora’s plan for a cheaper 3rd Heathrow runway means putting it further east. ie. more noise for London
July 10, 2017
Surinder Arora, a hotel magnate, wants to get the 3rd Heathrow runway built quickly, and has made some suggestions of how it could be done more easily – and at least £5-6 billion more cheaply. But his scheme, for a shorter northern runway, means there would be even more noise pollution over London than from Heathrow’s own £17.6bn proposal. Heathrow airport did not, apparently, know of his plans till he went public with them. If the new runway was shorter (3.2km not 3.5km) and moved a bit east, to Sipson, there would be cost savings. But this could mean noisier flights over London as aircraft may have to fly slightly lower over London by something like 300 feet or so (at a guess). One of Heathrow’s reasons for its own location for the runway was to get this 300 ft or so height gain, claiming it would make all the difference to noise levels. The 2009 scheme, by Heathrow, for a much shorter 2.2km runway failed in part because of noise concerns, as did a plan for a 2.8km runway rejected by the Airports Commission. Willie Walsh of IAG, and Craig Keeper of Virgin Atlantic, want the cheapest scheme possible, to keep their costs down, and avoid having to increase the cost of their air fares. Amusingly, the Heathrow airport runway plan involves demolishing one of Mr Arora’s 5 hotels at the airport, two of which are under construction. Mr Arora says he was not informed by Heathrow (Willie Walsh claimed the same, for his head office building).
The worries set out above are just for the cost to Heathrow of building its runway, terminal etc. Not for all the associated work that would be needed to improve surface access infrastructure, that would be needed by an airport 50% more busy than now.
Shock £17bn taxpayer’s bill for Heathrow expansion revealed through Freedom of Information request by Greenpeace
April 25, 2016
Environmental and transport groups have used FoI to obtain details from Transport for London (TfL), of their estimates of the amount of money the UK taxpayer would be expected to pay, for Heathrow’s 3rd runway. This comes to a staggering £17 billion, to cover the costs of transport links needed to deal with a massive traffic surge from a 3rd Heathrow runway. TfL say the actual cost would be around £18.4 billion – which is 4 times as high as estimated by the Airports Commission. Heathrow’s John Holland-Kaye reiterated, to the Environmental Audit Committee (4.11.2015) that the airport would pay only about £1 billion. The government made it clear (Oct 2015) that it expects aviation expansion promoters to cover any surface access costs.The vast amount of money required throws into question both the financing and feasibility of a crucial part of the project. The documents, released to Greenpeace through FoI, contain the first detailed comparison of the contrasting estimates by the Airport Commission and TfL. They show the figures published in the Commission’s report failed to take into account the costs of key rail schemes, extra buses, additional operational spending and road traffic management. The Treasury needs to properly assess the real costs of expanding Heathrow and guarantee taxpayers won’t be left to pick up the bill.
No confirmation by government that taxpayer won’t have to fund surface access transport for Heathrow 3rd runway
October 31, 2016
Transport for London calculated the costs of upgrading and improving surface access, to deal with the extra passengers using a 3 runway Heathrow could be up to about £18 billion, over several years. Heathrow has only offered to pay a total of £1.1 billion. Stephen Hammond, a former transport minister, (2012 – 14) asked Chris Grayling about the costs, as did other MPs. The responses were evasive. Stephen Hammond believes the transport work is likely to cost the taxpayer (= us) at least £5-10 billion, and the government is misinforming the public by announcing that: “Expansion costs will be paid for by the private sector, not by the taxpayer.” Asked about the costs, Grayling replied that Heathrow …”will be held to a plan that: first, does not increase the current level of road transport to the airport; and, secondly, increases public transport access to the airport to 55% of those using it. Those will be obligations that it will have to fund. The Government’s financial advisers have said that that is viable and investible. There are question marks about what schemes are actually part of the surface access. Some of them we have to do anyway. For example, we are about to start improvements to the M4, which will benefit Heathrow and improve access, but they are not solely about Heathrow.” ie. no clarity at all, and sounds as if government realise Heathrow cannot even build the runway etc without raising landing charges, let alone all this work. So is not insisting on it …?
Times reports that Heathrow plans to offer to cut costs and build runway scheme faster
September 10, 2016
The Times reports that it has learned how Heathrow is planning to cut up to £3 billion (out of about £17.6 billion) from its plans for a 3rd runway, in order to persuade Theresa May and the Cabinet that the runway could be delivered – and delivered a year earlier. Revised plans include potentially scrapping plans to tunnel the M25 under the 3rd runway, not building a transit system to carry passengers around the airport (using buses instead) and smaller terminal buildings. The aim is not only to get the runway working by 2024 but also -with reduced costs – keeping charges for passengers a bit lower. The Airports Commission estimated the cost per passenger would need to rise from £20 now to £29. Airlines like British Airways are not prepared to pay such high costs, and especially not before the runway opens. BA’s Willie Walsh has described Heathrow’s runway plans as “gold-plated”. The Times expects that Heathrow will announce its new “cheaper, faster” plans by the end of September. There is no mention of the “Heathrow Hub” option of extending the northern runway – a slightly cheaper scheme than the airport’s preferred new north west runway. There is no clarity on quite what Heathrow plans for the M25, if they cannot afford to tunnel all 14 lanes (at least £ 5 billion). Lord Deighton said it might be “diverted” or have “some form of bridge.”
Modern biofuels have been touted as a greener alternative to petrol and diesel since the early 1900s. Professor Kevin Flynn, of Swansea University, says though it seems like a good idea on paper, and they do work – their use and production doesn’t come without problems. The first generation of biofuels – mainly ethanol made from plant crops – and second generation, derived from plant and animal waste streams, both led to concerns about competition for land and nutrients between biofuels production and food production. It was with a lot of hope, and hype, that production of the third generation of biofuels was started. Unlike their predecessors, these biofuels are derived from algae, and so in theory the food vs fuel dilemma of crop-based biofuels would be solved. Huge sums of money have been spent trying to get the algal marvel to work, refining the engineering process, electrically lighting the crop – which grows in a liquid suspension – harvesting and draining it. However the hype has been misplaced. Research has found that the production of algal biofuels is neither commercially nor environmentally sustainable. The attainable production levels are a fraction of those that were claimed. The algae cannot produce enough oil, without vast areas, or vast input of fertilisers etc. The process cannot be scaled up adequately.
Algal biofuel production is neither environmentally nor commercially sustainable
Modern biofuels have been touted as a greener alternative to petrol and diesel since the early 1900s. It seems like a good idea on paper, and they do work – but their use and production doesn’t come without problems.
The first generation of biofuels – mainly ethanol made from plant crops – and second generation, derived from plant and animal waste streams, both had environmentalists and others concerned about the competition for land and nutrients between biofuels production and food production.
It was with a lot of hope, and hype, that production of the third generation of biofuels was started. Unlike their predecessors, these biofuels are derived from algae, and so in theory the food vs fuel dilemma of crop-based biofuels would be solved.
Fossil fuel oil and gas originated from ancient algae in large measure, so the concept here is to replicate the essence of the creation of fossil fuels, albeit accelerated and optimised with modern chemical engineering. It was claimed that using algae would be much more efficient than creating biofuels from terrestrial plants and that the technology would make use of poor quality land not able to grow other crops.
Millions of dollars, euros and other currencies have been spent trying to get the algal marvel to work. Much of the money has been directed at refining the engineering process, electrically lighting the crop – which grows in a liquid suspension – harvesting and draining it. The solution to optimisation was seen as primarily technological non-biological, though species selection and growth conditions were also acknowledged as important factors.
However, it turns out that the hype has been misplaced. Our research has found that the production of algal biofuels is neither commercially nor environmentally sustainable. The attainable production levels are a fraction of those that were claimed. The amount of biofuel produced from prolonged culture of algae in pilot-scale systems is actually not too dissimilar from those of terrestrial plants: around 5,000 to 10,000 litres per hectare per year.
In fact, the rate of production from algae growing in the vast ponds required for truly massive production is, for a given area of land, similar to that seen in the most productive areas of the ocean. It amounts to around 4g of carbon from CO₂ fixed into biomass per square metre every day.
So what’s the problem? Why aren’t algal biofuels as good as had been hoped? Quite simply, it’s biology.
The dream has been broken not by failings in engineering, but by the inefficiency of biochemistry. Simulations of microalgal biofuel production show that to approach the 10% of EU transport fuels expected to be supplied by biofuels, ponds three times the area of Belgium would be needed. And for the algae in these ponds to produce biofuel, it would require fertiliser equivalent to 50% of the current total annual EU crop plant needs. Ironically, such ponds would also need to be located near heavy industry which produces CO₂ to provide the level required by the microalgae for photosynthesis.
Problems of scale
The problem with third-generation biofuels has always been scaling up the production rates measured in small culture flasks to growth in thousands of cubic metres in size. In the larger cultures, the biomass density of the algae – needed to make the culture and harvesting processes economical – defeats desired growth rates because the organisms shade light from each other. This means that they do not get the sunlight needed to photosynthesise and produce the carbon-rich compounds needed for to make the biofuel fast enough.
There have also been misunderstandings of how the algae react to their environment. Importantly, those vital carbon-rich compounds only really accumulate in cells that are nitrogen-limited and so are growing slowly. Early production estimates assumed high carbon-rich content in fast-growing cells but this has not proved to be the case.
Could we not genetically modify a solution to the inherent biological inefficiency? Perhaps, but should we really tamper with factors that are so fundamental to life on Earth and risk generating unstoppable harmful algal species that could destroy fisheries and damage drinking water supplies? Even if we did create the perfect algae for biofuels production, the need for all that fertiliser and CO₂ would remain.
Ultimately the public have paid for this failed vision – but their money has not been wasted. If there’s one thing that humans need more than fuel it is food – and this work can help us understand how to better grow microalgae to support the farming of fish and shellfish, and produce dietary supplements, like Omega-3. Mass microalgal production could also create food containing omega fatty acids to farmed fish, for example, meaning that we would no longer need to fish in rivers and oceans to make fishmeal for them.
The future for mass microalgal cultivation is still literally and metaphorically green, it just does not rest with biofuels production.
The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.
Bournemouth Airport says its flight paths are ‘set in stone’ and have not changed in any way,. But some West Parley residents complained of low flying aircraft, and believe the planes flying over their homes are lower than they were before. People have complained to local officials about ‘changed flight paths’ at the airport, also believe noisier aircraft are flying late at night. The airport’s managing director said there are no changes to the ILS for landings, or the times planes fly and “The last commercial aircraft comes in around 2300, sometimes a little bit later, but that is it.” A local councillor said: “Some of these planes are operating on the red eye flights and late at night, and one or two of the planes, in particular, are considered to be considerably noisier than normal flights. If this is the case, then it is quite antisocial for people living nearby.” At other airports there has been a problem of terminology. Airports and the air traffic control services have their own definitions of what “change” is. That does not include changes to flight mix, changes to times of day, heights, or how accurately planes follow a flight path. What residents who are overflown consider change is often not considered significant by the industry.
Planes are flying too low, say residents – but Bournemouth Airport bosses say flightpath hasn’t changed
9.8.2017 (Daily Echo)
FLIGHT paths at Bournemouth Airport are ‘set in stone’ and have not changed in anyway, airport bosses say.
Paul Knight, managing director of Bournemouth Airport, told the Echo no flight path changes have taken place after some West Parley residents complained of low flying aircraft.
Residents believe a number of aircraft are now flying over nearby houses lower than ever before.
Neighbours, who have complained to local officials about ‘changed flight paths’ at the airport, also believe noisier aircraft are flying late at night.
However, Mr Knight said: “There have been no changes to the flight paths anywhere around the airport at all, no changes at all. The last commercial aircraft comes in around 2300, sometimes a little bit later, but that is it.
“With regards to flight paths, approaches on the ILS – which is the one close to Parley – are set in stone, and they’ve been set in stone for many, many years.”
ILS, or instrument landing system, is a ground-based system enabling aircraft to land if pilots are unable to see the runway in instances of bad weather.
East Dorset District Council’s Parley ward member, Cllr Andrew Parry, said: “I’ve received a number of reports from residents.
“Their belief is that planes have changed their flight paths to fly at low levels across residential areas in West Parley.
“Some of these planes are operating on the red eye flights and late at night, and one or two of the planes, in particular, are considered to be considerably noisier than normal flights.
“If this is the case, then it is quite antisocial for people living nearby.”
Now the councillor says he’s working to establish whether or not flight paths have changed in any way, and if they have, why? New Road resident Anne Torrens, 74, said the planes always seemed to fly low over New Road towards the airport.
She said: “It’s a bit disconcerting but what is more of a pain is the noise. There definitely seems to be more planes flying at unsociable times.” Meanwhile neighbour Carol Wilkins said the noise was a “problem”.
Luton Airport is planning to expand to 25 million passengers, in a move campaign groups are arguing could increase noise pollution above Hertfordshire. Luton is planning significant expansion, while NATS says the skies over south east England are overcrowded and close to saturation. Neil McArthur of local group, Harpenden Sky, submitted a Freedom of Information Request which revealed that the LLAL planning strategy is for steady growth to 25 million passengers within 10 years. This represents nearly a 40% increase over the current planning limit of 18 million passengers, which was agreed by Luton borough council. Residents who live under flight paths in St Albans, Harpenden and elsewhere in Hertfordshire have made multiple complaints to the airport about plane noise, due to a new routing system which has narrowed the flight paths and concentrated the noise over a smaller area. Over the past year, noise complaints have increased from 191 in the first quarter of 2016, to 1,849 in the first quarter of 2017. Neil said the airport is not being properly managed, and changes are being rushed through too fast. Andrew Lambourne, from campaign group LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said the airport’s focus is entirely on growth for airlines, giving no mention of making the :airport a better neighbour to local communities.
Luton Airport plans further growth to 25 million passengers within 10 years
4 August 2017 (Herts Advertiser)
By Anne Suslak
Luton Airport is planning to expand to 25 million passengers, in a move campaign groups are arguing could increase noise pollution above Hertfordshire.
London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL), a subsidiary of Luton borough council, is planning an expansion of passenger numbers despite the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) stating this month that the skies over south east England are overcrowded and close to saturation.
Neil McArthur of Harpenden Sky submitted a Freedom of Information Request which revealed that the LLAL planning strategy is for steady growth to 25 million passengers within 10 years. This represents nearly a 40 per cent increase over the current planning limit of 18 million passengers, which was agreed by Luton borough council.
Residents who live under flight paths in St Albans, Harpenden and elsewhere in Hertfordshire have made multiple complaints to the airport about aeroplane noise, due to a new routing system which has narrowed the flight paths and concentrated the noise over a smaller area. Over the past year, noise complaints have increased from 191 in the first quarter of 2016, to 1,849 in the first quarter of 2017.
Neil said: “The pace of change at Luton Airport is outstripping the airport’s capability to deal with a lot of other issues including alleviation of noise from air traffic.
“Luton Airport is simply not being properly managed. They are rushing through too much too quickly and as a result they make mistakes.”
Neil also argued that passenger costs have escalated, and the airport’s ‘drop-off’ roadway is inadequate for passenger volume.
Andrew Lambourne, from campaign group LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said: “LLAL’s document clearly prioritises making Luton the go-to airport for airlines, so that market demands can be met. There’s no mention at all of making the airport a better neighbour to local communities.
“LLAL’s commercial interest is best served by avoiding any kind of restrictions on noise, types of aircraft or hours of operation. People who live in the area around Luton Airport take a different view when they are trying to get to sleep at night, enjoy their gardens, have a conversation or get some rest from the noise. That’s why we’re insisting that the increased profits should be balanced by stricter noise controls aimed at driving noise down, not just letting it increase.”
Andrew urged those affected by noise pollution to contact either the airport or their local MP with their concerns, and to join local campaign groups.
He said: “The more different people who take the time to complain, the more chance we have of pushing back against this incessant dash for cash regardless of the noise pollution it causes.”
A Luton Airport spokesman said: “As the airport operator we are focused on delivering our plans to transform LLA and increase capacity to 18m passengers a year.
“We appreciate the patience of our passengers during the redevelopment work, many of whom are already seeing the benefits. We’ve made significant progress in easing congestion on our roads and are working hard to improve public transport links to the airport.
“The overall cost of a trip is often less when compared to other major London airports.”
A spokesman for Luton borough council said: “In its response to a recent Government consultation on the National Aviation Planning Strategy, London Luton Airport Ltd demonstrated the theoretical potential of growth at London Luton Airport.
“It is the responsibility of every airport in the country to look at demand projections and how facilities and resources may potentially be optimised in line with planning policy to best serve the aviation and economic interests of the UK.”
Luton Airport could expand to 25 million passengers within the next 10 years, according to newly released documents.
London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL), a subsidiary of Luton Borough Council, are thought to be keen to push on with plans to expand passenger numbers despite the UK’s National Air Traffic Control Service warning that the country’s skies are already overcrowded.
The campaign group ‘Harpenden Sky’ submitted a Freedom of Information request which suggested that the LLAL want to gradually increase the capacity of the airport to 25 million passengers over the next decade.
The news has been met with disapproval by residents living under the flight paths in Hertfordshire who believe that the extra planes would significantly increase noise pollution in the area.
However, the current planning limit stands at 18 million, and the airport insists they are fully focussed on reaching this milestone first before even thinking about increasing that number further.
“In its response to a recent Government consultation on the National Aviation Planning Strategy, London Luton Airport Ltd demonstrated the theoretical potential of growth at London Luton Airport,” an airport spokesman said.
“It is the responsibility of every airport in the country to look at demand projections and how facilities and resources may potentially be optimised in line with planning policy to best serve the aviation and economic interests of the UK.”
Lord Berkeley, Labour. To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the planned expansion of Luton Airport from 10 million to 18 million passengers a year, they intend to include in the specification for the new Midland Main Line longer-distance passenger service a requirement that four trains per hour per direction should call at Luton Parkway in order to increase the percentage of air passengers arriving by rail.
Reply by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
The next East Midlands franchise is due to start in July 2018 and we are currently undertaking a process of information gathering to develop the high-level view of the franchise specification. We are due to begin a public consultation later this year to inform the specification. Until the views submitted through the public consultation are understood and further analysis is conducted on the options for the franchise, a firm decision cannot be taken at this stage. I would encourage the noble Lord to make his views known through the formal public consultation process when it opens. Link to They Work For You.
Luton Airport flight path changes “unfair to Hertfordshire residents”
July 26, 2016
Luton Airport’s change in flight paths are affecting residents throughout Herts, including those living in Stevenage, Harpenden, Welwyn Garden City and St Albans – but avoids Luton itself. Complaints about plane noise from Luton Airport have leapt by 78%, with residents saying their lives have been “devastated” by detrimental flight path changes. The latest edition of the airport’s quarterly monitoring report has also revealed a 60% rise in the number of complainants. Flight movement maps in the report, recording westerly and easterly movements over a 24 hour period in March, show a concentration of planes flying over many urban areas in Herts, including St Albans district, Stevenage, Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City. Yet, the skies above Luton, and the immediate area around the town – apart from the airport’s location in the south – appear to be mostly devoid of aircraft by comparison. Between January and March this year, there were 191 noise complaints, compared to 107 in the first quarter in 2015. The airport has been expanding rapidly since its owner, and prime beneficiary, Luton borough council, controversially approved its bid to near double passenger throughput to 18 million a year in December 2013.
IATA says global air freight traffic rose 10.4% during the first half of 2017, making it the largest growth in half a year for 7 years. Global air freight capacity for the first half of 2017 grew 3.6% compared to the same period in 2016, resulting in a freight load factor of 44.8%. “Demand growth continues to significantly outstrip capacity growth, which is positive for yields,” IATA said. In June, air freight traffic grew 11% year-over-year, down from 12.7% in May, but much more than the 3.9% five-year average pace. But IATA senior economist David Oxley reaffirmed that the “best of the cyclical upturn in air freight may now have passed … while business surveys still indicate growing export orders, the new export orders component of the global manufacturing PMI [purchasing managers’ index] has broadly tracked sideways since March.” Unless global manufacturers’ export orders increase, a moderation in year on year air freight growth will likely materialize toward the end of the year.” IATA said carriers in Asia-Pacific and Europe were responsible for two-thirds of the annual increase in traffic during the first half of the year. IATA said air cargo demand “is growing at a faster pace than at any time since the global financial crisis.”
IATA: Best 1H growth rate for air freight in seven years
Aug 4, 2017
By Mark Nensel (ATW)
Global air freight traffic has risen 10.4% during the first half of 2017, making it the strongest half-year performance for the air cargo market sector in seven years, according to IATA’s June Air Freight Market Analysis.
Freight capacity for the 1H grew 3.6% compared to the same period in 2016, resulting in a freight load factor of 44.8%. “Demand growth continues to significantly outstrip capacity growth, which is positive for yields,” IATA said.
In June, air freight traffic grew 11% year-over-year (YOY), down from 12.7% in May, but significantly exceeding the 3.9% five-year average pace. Freight capacity was up 5.2% YOY in June, resulting in a 45% freight load factor for the month.
But IATA senior economist David Oxley reaffirmed that the “best of the cyclical upturn in air freight may now have passed … while business surveys still indicate growing export orders, the new export orders component of the global manufacturing PMI [purchasing managers’ index] has broadly tracked sideways since March.” Unless global manufacturers’ export orders increase, a moderation in YOY air freight growth will likely materialize toward the end of the year.
“Nonetheless, the strong finish to 2016 and start for 2017 for freight volumes both lay the groundwork for robust YOY growth in [traffic] this year as a whole,” Oxley said.
Carriers in Asia-Pacific and Europe were responsible for two-thirds of the annual increase in traffic during the first half of the year, IATA said.
In June, European carriers showed a 14.3% increase in freight traffic and a 6.1% rise in capacity. Europe’s overall cargo volume for the first half of 2017 was up 13.6%, with capacity up 5.4%. The region continues to benefit from strong export orders, IATA said.
Asia-Pacific carriers showed a 10.1% rise in freight volume in June, with a 7.8% rise in capacity. Year-to-date, Asia’s freight traffic has grown 10.1%, with a capacity rise of 4.8%. “Demand growth has been strongest, between 13-15%, on international routes within Asia as well as between Asia and Europe,” IATA said.
North American carriers’ air cargo volumes increased 12.7% in June; year-to-date, the region is showing a 9.3% increase, a marked contrast to -0.9% drop in volume the region showed in 1H 2016. “While the US dollar has fallen back since the start of the year, broader strength in the currency is continuing to support US inbound air freight,” Oxley said. “On the other hand, the strong dollar is also keeping outbound flows under pressure.”
Freight traffic for Middle Eastern carriers grew 3.7% in June, and 7.6% for the year to date, a slowdown from the region’s 10.8% average annual rate seen over the past five years. IATA said competition from carriers in other regions, particularly on the Asia-Europe route, has eaten into Middle Eastern carriers’ volumes. “For the first time in 17 years, the region’s share of total international freight flown in the first half of 2017 has fallen [to 13.9%, down 0.1 point YOY]” IATA noted.
Latin American carriers showed a 9.8% increase in air cargo volumes in June; for the year-to-date, though, the region’s volumes are up only 0.3%. Latin American freight volumes continue to be plagued by a difficult economic and political operating environment, IATA said, noting the June volume growth mainly reflects volatility in month-to-month traffic flows a year ago instead of an upward trend in 2017.
African carriers have made the biggest leaps, statistically, of all regions, with a 31.6% rise in cargo volume in June, and a 25.9% rise in freight volume for the year to date. The region, however, moves only a 1.6% market share. In particular, the region has seen a jump in traffic between Africa and Asia, and FTKs flown on the route “surged by more than 60% in the first five-months of 2017, compared to the same period last year,” Oxley said.
“Air cargo is flying high on the back of the stronger global economy. Demand is growing at a faster pace than at any time since the global financial crisis. That’s great news after many years of stagnation,” IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said. “Even more importantly, the industry is taking advantage of this momentum to accelerate much-need process modernization and improve the value it provides to its many customers.”
IATA: Global passenger demand reached 12-year high in 1H 2017
Aug 4, 2017
By Mark Nensel (ATW)
Growth in the global air passenger traffic market reached a 12-year high in the 2017 first half, as passenger traffic grew 7.9% compared to 1H 2016 and the load factor hit a record 80.7%, according to IATA’s June Air Passenger Market Analysis.
IATA attributed the year’s strong start to an improving global economic backdrop and stimulus from lower airfares. The industry’s annualized growth pace remains ahead of the average growth rate of both the past five (6.4%) and 10 years (5.5%), IATA said.
IATA observed, however, that the upward trend in passenger traffic is slowing from its robust movement (about 12%) at the end of 2016 to around 7% since February. Business confidence, as measured in the services purchasing managers’ index (PMI), has flattened since January and airlines have cut back on discounted air fares (aka “demand stimulation”) to about half of what they were in 1H 2016, a trend likely to continue into the second half of 2017.
Nonetheless, IATA predicted the peak northern summer travel season will likely be record-breaking.
“This is all good news … the demand for travel is strong and that, in turn, will make a positive contribution to the global economy,” IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said. “[But] as costs rise, the stimulus of lower fares is likely to fade, and uncertainties such as Brexit need to be watched carefully.”
IATA’s analysis reported that the Middle Eastern-North America international passenger market is showing the adverse effects of a “combination of factors including the recently lifted ban on personal electronic devices, as well as the wider negative stimulation from the travel ban that has now been implemented for certain countries.”
For the first half of 2017, international traffic for Middle East carriers grew 7.3% (in contrast to 11% growth in 1H 2016). “This was the slowest H1 growth rate since 2003, and it was the only region to see growth decelerate relative to the same period a year ago,” IATA senior economist David Oxley said. “[But] passenger growth on the segment between the Middle East and North America was already slowing in early 2017, in line with a moderation in the pace of growth of nonstop services flown by the ‘big-three’ Middle Eastern airlines.”
Through June 30, the biggest increases in international traffic demand were seen by Latin American carriers (up 9.4% year-over-year [YOY]) and African carriers (up 9.2% YOY).
International travel within South America has increased 13% YOY, slightly offset by 0.2% drop in North-South America travel. In June, Latin American carriers saw a 9.7% rise in international traffic while capacity increased 9.1%; the load factor grew 0.4 points YOY to 82.1%.
African carriers’ international traffic increased 9.9% in June, as capacity rose 7.1% and load factor increased 1.7 points YOY to 64.3%. Oxley noted the six-month growth rate for African carriers’ international traffic was similar to 1H 2016 (9.6%) but traffic growth has slowed in recent months. “Conditions in the region’s two largest economies have continued to diverge,” Oxley said. “Business confidence in Nigeria has risen sharply in recent months, but South Africa’s economy fell into recession in Q1 2017.”
In the total passenger market, Asia-Pacific carriers and European carriers are showing the strongest growth for the first half of the year, at 10.6% and 8.8% growth YOY, respectively.
Traffic on Asia-Europe routes continues to improve following terrorism-related disruptions in early 2016, though demand on international routes within Asia has paused, IATA said. Domestic traffic in China is up 15.2% YOY (compared to 9.8% growth for 1H 2016) and India’s domestic traffic increased 18.6%, down from 23.3% growth in 1H 2016.
European carriers’ passenger traffic growth in the first half of 2017 more than doubled from its 4% pace in 1H 2016, attributable, in part, to increased economic confidence in the region. But IATA noted that that traffic demand growth has moderated over the past four months, as international traffic within the region has reported paused since December.
North American carriers have shown a total market growth of 3.8% for the first half of 2017, as capacity has grown 3.4% and the overall load factor increased 0.3 point YOY to 83.1%. North American airlines’ international traffic was up 4.3% YOY during the first half (contrasted with 2.1% a year ago). “The comparatively robust economic backdrop in North America is expected to continue to support outbound passenger demand in the near-term,” Oxley said. “However, anecdotal evidence has continued to suggest that tourists are being deterred by the additional security measures now involved with travelling to the US.” Domestic travel in the US increased 3.4% during the first half of 2017, slower than its 4.6% growth rate a year ago. US domestic capacity was up 3.3%, resulting in an 84.5% domestic passenger load factor for the year through June 30.
Edinburgh Airport said it has modified its proposals for changes to its flight paths following its latest public consultation. It has submitted these revised airspace change proposals to the CAA. Residents living under the new routes said they were concerned about increased aircraft noise and the impact on their communities. Campaign group Edinburgh Airport Watch said: “We call on the airport to halt this flawed process now. The CAA must scrutinise this application very carefully, and understand that there is no community support for these changes….We call on our government to intervene and ask serious questions about whose interests are being served by such radical proposals for change to flight paths that will have life-altering consequences for the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people across east central Scotland.” The airport said it would only use any new routes when “they are required, and that we should explain very clearly when that is and why”. It said it had also restricted the routes to peak hours. Campaigners said the airport had only published “vague information” about the changed plans. The airport’s CEO said they will do a phased approach, and the new routes will help the airport handle more planes during the short peak periods. The airport is not busy enough at other times to need them. There have been two public consultations held into the proposals.
Edinburgh Airport flight path plans altered after public consultation
Edinburgh Airport said it has modified its proposals for changes to its flight paths following its latest public consultation.
Residents below the new routes said they were concerned about increased noise and the impact on communities.
The airport said it would only use any new routes when “they are required, and that we should explain very clearly when that is and why”.
It said it had also restricted the routes to peak hours.
However, campaigners said the airport had only published “vague information” about the changed plans.
Edinburgh Airport submitted its revised Airspace Change proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “The listening exercise we embarked upon has been crucial to our thinking and we have altered our application following the feedback we received, demonstrating the importance of that public engagement.
“We are now favouring a phased approach based on the premise that we should only use any new routes when they are required, and that we should explain very clearly when that is and why.
“We’ve also restricted these routes to peak hours, substantially reducing any potential impact on communities whilst delivering the capacity when it is required.
“We believe this application will deliver future economic growth for Edinburgh and Scotland, and strikes the best possible balance between those benefits and our communities’ requirements, our operational requirements and the requirements of our regulator, the CAA.”
Edinburgh Airport said the changes were necessary to cope with increasing numbers of passengers.
There have been two public consultations held into the proposals.
Almost 4,000 people responded to a second public consultation proposal.
Campaign group Edinburgh Airport Watch said: “We call on the airport to halt this flawed process now.
“The CAA must scrutinise this application very carefully, and understand that there is no community support for these changes.
“With 52% of responders being ‘negative’, we do not accept that there is any evidence that these changes have any ‘broad support’ among communities as the airport claims.
“Noise complaints to Edinburgh Airport are at record levels, the daily misery being caused to people in their homes, schools and businesses by the airport and its Air Traffic Controllers, NATS, cannot be allowed to continue.
“We call on our government to intervene and ask serious questions about whose interests are being served by such radical proposals for change to flight paths that will have life-altering consequences for the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people across east central Scotland.”
Edinburgh airport unveils plan for major new home and business complex
July 11, 2017
Edinburgh Airport has unveiled plans for a massive (over 100 acres) business, industrial and housing complex to be built on part of the airport. They are describing it as “one of the best-connected developments in Scotland.” The buildings would extend from south-east of the passenger terminal to nearly as far as the Gogar roundabout. Chief executive Gordon Dewar said an adjacent development area south of the airport which had sought to attract major companies had failed to get off the ground because of the lack of such key infrastructure. He agreed the airport’s plans would provide “a degree of competition” with the proposed International Business Gateway scheme, where he said “nothing has happened” for years. The site will occupy much of the crosswind runway, which the airport said was rarely used. It runs south-east to north-west and cannot be used at the same time as the adjacent main south-west to north-east runway. However, the crosswind runway is used during runway maintenance and resurfacing. Mr Dewar admitted: “It will make it harder to avoid disruption, but we believe we have solutions that will address it.” Land for a planned 2nd runway, which the airport hopes would be needed around 2050, has already been reserved to the north of and parallel with the main runway.
MSP motion lodged at Holyrood about Edinburgh Airport flawed flight path consultation
March 29, 2017
Neil Findlay MSP (Labour Party) is a firm opponent of the changes to flight paths, overflying many areas that were previously unaffected, that Edinburgh airport is planning. He has lodged a motion at Holyrood about the airport’s current consultation on airspace change. It the motion gets sufficient support from MSPs across at least 3 political parties, it becomes eligible to be debated in the Chamber. Neil Findlay was able to lead a previous members’ debate in September 2015 which led to the scrapping of the airport’s TUTUR flight path trial. Neil has now put down a motion in the Scottish Parliament (Motion S5M-04708) saying: “That the Parliament notes what it sees as the growing concerns about Edinburgh Airport’s plan to introduce new flight paths; and asking “Edinburgh Airport scraps what is considered this flawed consultation and begins the process again with up-to-date information and a more robust and credible consultation process.” People in Scotland are encouraged, by Edinburgh Airport Watch, to contact their MSP by email to ask them to sign his motion. The consultation by Edinburgh airport is inadequate, contains incorrect information, and is based on faulty data. But the altered routes would inflict noise on new areas, and for huge numbers of those sensitive to noise, have life changing consequences.
Edinburgh airport flawed and inaccessible consultation on airspace changes condemned by opponents
March 29, 2017
On 2nd February, Edinburgh Airport launched its second consultation, which closes on 30th April, on its airspace change programme. The consultation is very hard for a layperson to understand, with voluminous documents. The aim is to make more “efficient” use of airspace – ie. fit in more planes, especially at the few times of day when Edinburgh airport is particularly busy, like early morning. People are asked to comment on various route options, many of which mean new areas overflown, and some areas newly intensely overflown, under narrow PBN routes. Hundreds of local people, who will be badly affected by some of the proposed changes, have attended packed public meetings. The local group Edinburgh Airport Watch (EAW) are very worried about the lack of justification for the plans. There are no projected numbers on flights, types of planes, the times of day that planes may fly. EAW say the noise shadows created by the proposed flight paths will be enormous, and will affect hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom will not have been exposed to aircraft noise before. Areas excluded from the initial stage consultation were excluded from the published swathes, told they would not be affected and now find flight paths directly over them. Not surprisingly, they are furious. Neil Findlay MSP has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament, asking that the consultation be re-done, with proper information.
Complaints to London City Airport have gone up by 550% since the introduction of the new concentrated flight paths. The figures were revealed in the airport’s 2016 Annual Performance Report, just published. Last year there were nearly 400 complaints, up from 95 in 2015. In its report, London City admits the increase is down to the concentrated flight paths which were introduced on 4th February 2016, as part of the implementation of Phase 1a of the London Airspace Management Plan (LAMP). The release of the complaint figures comes a week after the London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for an end to the concentrated flight paths. In an answer to a question from Green London Assembly member Caroline Russell, he said, “It is clear that the concentrated flight paths introduced by London City Airport are not working. We will continue to raise the issue with London City Airport. We also continue to make the case to the CAA that there must be a fairer distribution of flight paths that will address the severe noise impacts.” At present the CAA is assessing a report from London City into the operation of the concentrated flight paths. It is expected to make its recommendations in the next month or two.
550% increase in complaints to City Airport following introduction of concentrated flight paths
3.7.2017 (Hacan East press release)
Complaints to London City Airport have gone up by 550% since the introduction of the new concentrated flight paths. The figures were revealed in the airport’s 2016 Annual Performance Report, published yesterday (1).Last year there were nearly 400 complaints, up from 95 in 2015. In its report, London City admits the increase is down to the concentrated flight paths which were introduced in February 2016: “The spike in complaints, particularly from areas outside Newham, can likely be attributed to the implementation of Phase 1a of the London Airspace Management Plan (LAMP) which occurred at London City Airport from 4 February 2016.” LAMP was the plan which concentrated the flight paths.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN East which gives a voice to residents under the flight paths, said “This dramatic jump in complaints comes as no surprise to us. It reflects what we have been hearing. It is essential that the airport reconsiders its decision to concentrate all its flight paths”.
The release of the complaint figures comes just a week after the London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for an end to the concentrated flight paths. In an answer to a question from Green London Assembly member Caroline Russell, he said, “It is clear that the concentrated flight paths introduced by London City Airport are not working. We will continue to raise the issue with London City Airport. We also continue to make the case to the CAA that there must be a fairer distribution of flight paths that will address the severe noise impacts.
At present the Civil Aviation Authority is assessing a report from London City into the operation of the concentrated flight paths. It is expected to make its recommendations in the next month or two.
London City Airport campaigners do cake stunt outside CAA offices, as Sadiq Khan backs calls to end concentrated flight paths
July 29, 2017
On Friday 28th July campaigners against London City Airport’s concentrated flight paths, introduced last year, staged a colourful stunt outside the headquarters of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Kingsway. The campaigners from HACAN East highlighted the impact the concentrated flight paths are having on local communities. The stunt was timed to coincide with a review the CAA is conducting into the operation of the flight paths. Campaigners have won the backing of London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, in their bid to get rid of the concentrated flight paths. In written answer to a question from Green London Assembly member Caroline Russell, he said; “It is clear that the concentrated flight paths introduced by London City Airport are not working. We will continue to raise the issue with London City Airport. We also continue to make the case to the CAA that there must be a fairer distribution of flight paths that will address the severe noise impacts.” Campaigners from a wide range of places affected by the flight path changes each brought along a cake with the name of their area indicated. A cake was also presented to the CAA, along with a letter. Campaigners want the CAA to require London City Airport to replace concentrated flight paths with multiple routes, rotated, so that each community gets some relief from the noise.
Sadiq Khan backs campaigners HACAN East, fighting concentrated flight paths in east London
July 27, 2017
Residents fighting the concentrated flight paths to and from London City Airport have welcomed the backing of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. People who have been fighting concentrated flight paths, introduced in February 2016, which have turned their communities into “noise ghettos” with much more traffic over certain areas, badly affecting the homes below. The number of noise complaints rose four-fold since then. Residents in Leytonstone have been hit particularly hard by the paths, with some saying they are considering selling their houses. Caroline Russell, Green Party Member of the London Assembly, raised the issue with Sadiq Khan on behalf of residents. Sadiq said: “It is clear that the concentrated flight paths introduced by London City Airport are not working. We will continue to raise the issue with London City Airport. We also continue to make the case to the CAA that there must be a fairer distribution of flight paths that will address the severe noise impacts.” HACAN East will stage a protest outside the CAA headquarters on Friday, July 28th to coincide with a review the authority is conducting into the changed paths. They will provide cakes, with the names of all the areas affected, and give a suitable cake to the CAA. Protesters want the CAA to make City Airport scrap the new paths and replace them with multiple routes which are rotated to ensure each area gets periods without the noise.
Cait Hewitt, Deputy Director of the Aviation Environment Federation looks at aviation emissions and whether we’re on course to tackle them. Nobody knows yet whether the ICAO agreement to implement a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) beginning in 2020 will be at all effective in limiting aviation CO2 emissions. It depends on the unsatisfactory process of “offsetting” emissions from planes, using real CO2 cuts made by other sectors. At present, CORSIA is far less ambitious than the 2015 Paris Agreement. Cait asks: “…does carbon offsetting offer an effective response to the global climate challenge, as its advocates argue, or is it merely a way of putting off difficult decisions?” The UK’s statutory advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, has advised that market based measures should be seen as only a short to medium term solution for tackling aviation emissions, arguing that the sector should be preparing for deep cuts in its own emissions. Analysis suggests that achieving the Paris Agreement will require our economies to be zero emissions by 2070. However the UK government plans a huge expansion of the aviation sector, with Heathrow’s claimed economic benefits calculated over 60 years. The does not seem compatible with zero carbon by 2070. Cait: “We have yet to have a public or political conversation about what that could mean for the role of flying in our economies and our lives.”
Is aviation climate policy heading in the right direction?
03/07/17 (Adjacent, Open Access)
Cait Hewitt, Deputy Director of the Aviation Environment Federation looks at aviation emissions and whether we’re on course to tackle them
If the aviation sector was a country it would be seventh in a world ranking of CO2 emitters. Unchecked, its climate impact is set to triple by 2050. Technology improvements can’t keep pace with passenger growth, and while most sectors are on course to decarbonise over the coming years and decades, aircraft will remain dependent on fossil fuels for as far into the future as anyone can see.
When the Kyoto Protocol was agreed in 1997, unresolved questions about how best to allocate international aviation emissions among states led to them being left out of national targets, and the UN’s specialist aviation agency ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) was instead given the task of tackling the sector’s growing emissions. A decade of prevarication followed.
But in 2008 progress on the issue suddenly moved up the agenda. With the EU’s plans to bypass ICAO and incorporate all flights to and from EU airports in its Emissions Trading System, generating acrimonious retaliatory talk of widespread non-compliance and trade wars, plans for a global solution that all states could get behind finally started to get some attention.
Will carbon offsetting be effective?
In 2016 ICAO celebrated its agreement to implement a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) beginning in 2020 and requiring any growth in aviation emissions from that year on to be ‘offset’ through the purchase of emissions units generated by CO2 cuts in other sectors. Whether or not the scheme will be effective remains to be seen, however.
At present, CORSIA is far less ambitious than the 2015 Paris Agreement – the landmark global climate deal which aims for no more than 1.5 degrees of warming and total decarbonisation of our economies. Environmental organisations successfully lobbied for the inclusion of a review mechanism in CORSIA, to allow for tougher carbon targets to be set over time, but it is not certain that these periodic opportunities will lead to improvements. Negotiations about what offset credits and activities will be eligible – whether to allow contentious forestry credits, for example – are ongoing. Also Trump’s determination to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, while not directly impacting CORSIA, casts a shadow of doubt over whether the US will continue to support the scheme.
More fundamentally, does carbon offsetting offer an effective response to the global climate challenge, as its advocates argue, or is it merely a way of putting off difficult decisions? The UK’s statutory advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, has advised that market based measures should be seen as only a short to medium term solution for tackling aviation emissions, arguing that the sector should be preparing for deep cuts in its own emissions. Europe voted this year not to accept international offset credits for compliance with its emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement.
The need for domestic action
What action, then, should EU states themselves be taking to ensure that their aviation activity doesn’t undermine climate change commitments? It’s a question that is perhaps only just starting to bite. In February this year an Austrian court overruled a planned airport expansion on the basis that it would be incompatible with the country’s climate change law. The UK government is currently pursuing an expansion of Heathrow Airport, but has presented no answers on how the scheme can be compatible with the country’s Climate Change Act, despite a court ruling in 2010, the last time a third runway was on the table, that the government’s suggestion that airport expansion was somehow divorced from climate law was “untenable in law and common sense” and that it must review its plans.
While CORSIA was at one level ground-breaking – it signalled a global acceptance that aviation emissions are a problem and that policy action is needed to tackle it – critical questions about what role aviation should play in a zero carbon future remain, for the most part, even to be asked let alone answered. Does a globalised outlook make it impossible to question the continued growth in air travel? Or will the digital age allow us to find ways to stay connected without the need to travel? Are direct air connections critical for global trade, or can our future connectivity needs be met without a continued proliferation of expansion by states seeking to out-compete each other with boasts about having the biggest and best airports?
Decisions we take now can have far-reaching consequences. Airport infrastructure is seen as long-term investment, for example, and the economic case for a new Heathrow runway is based on an assessment over 60 years. But while analysis suggests that achieving the Paris Agreement will require our economies to be zero emissions by 2070, we have yet to have a public or political conversation about what that could mean for the role of flying in our economies and our lives.
Time to upgrade Europe’s aviation pollution rules – it should not be allowed to risk the Paris agreement
July 20, 2017
The European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) has voted on how the aviation sector should be treated under the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), in response to a decision by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to set up a global offsetting mechanism. The ongoing revision of Europe’s carbon market rules for aviation is a critical opportunity to ensure that one of the biggest global polluters starts to contribute its fair share to EU climate action. While the term ‘sustainable aviation’ seems to be spreading, the reality is that the sector’s emissions are growing unsustainably and will continue to do so. Even if the global aviation deal is fully implemented and enforced, it will not curb the industry’s rising emissions. Though just intra-EU flights are included in the EU ETS, unlike other sectors – aviation is not expected to annually reduce its emissions. Add the fact that the industry is exempt from fuel taxes, VAT or legally-binding fuel efficiency requirements, and it becomes clear aviation enjoys very special treatment. While greenhouse gas emissions from all other sectors in the EU carbon market fell in 2016, those from aviation grew by 8%. This risks putting the goals of the Paris climate agreement out of reach. With no quick solutions in sight, the sector needs to pay a real price for its pollution. A high enough carbon price would help.
Stansted airport had 25 million passengers in the past year, its highest number ever. Numbers of passengers using Stansted have been growing rapidly in recent years following its acquisition in 2013 from the former BAA group by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) – and the end of the recession that started in 2008. There are now some new operators, as well as increased activity by established airlines, including Ryanair. Stansted says it now has 190 destinations, and a growing route network. They are now having their busiest summer ever, and hope to get to 26.5 million passengers by the end of 2017. Ryanair said that since its first Stansted flight in 1989, it has carried over 230 million passengers through Stansted with over 140 Stansted routes. The airport has recently given formal notification of its intention to submit a planning application later this year to seek permission to grow to an annual throughput of 44.5 million passengers and 285,000 flights. This compares to last year’s throughput of 24 million passengers and 180,000 flights. Stansted only got back the number of passengers it had in 2007 by 2016 – after years of declines.
Stansted Airport celebrates breaking through the 25m passenger a year barrier
31.7.2017 (East Anglia Daily Times – EADT)
By Duncan Brodie
London Stansted celebrates 25 million passengers by surprising two holidaymakers with free flights with Ryanair. The annual passenger total at Stansted Airport has passed the 25m mark for the first time.
Numbers at Stansted have been growing rapidly in recent years following its acquisition in 2013 from the former BAA group by Manchester Airports Group (MAG).
Growth has been helped by a multi-million pound transformation of the main terminal building, agreements with several new operators and increased activity by established airline customers including Ryanair.
Andrew Cowan, chief executive at Stansted Airport, said: “To welcome 25m passengers to Stansted in the last year is a fantastic achievement and a clear reflection of the significant and sustained growth we have experienced at the airport in the four years under MAG’s ownership.
“I’d like to thank all 25m passengers for choosing Stansted in the last 12 months and for helping us achieve this historic milestone, and our highly successful and valued airline partners for driving the growth through their commitment to the airport.
London Stansted celebrates 25 million passengers by surprising two holidaymakers with free flights with Ryanair: from left, Millie Hughes from Braintree and Thea Towers from Chelmsford.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to our hard-working and loyal staff who have all played their part in helping make Stansted the huge success story it is today.”
Mr Cowan added: “With over 190 destinations now available across our extensive and growing route network, and our busiest ever summer season well underway, we expect to welcome around 26.5m passengers by the end of the financial year as even more passengers choose to fly from Stansted.”
To help celebrate reaching the major landmark, two holidaymakers were surprised with two free flights from Stansted with Ryanair.
The lucky recipients were Millie Hughes from Braintree and Thea Towers from Chelmsford who were presented with a pair of return tickets with Ryanair to any destination on its route network when they checked in for their flights to Palma Majorca last Thursday.
Friends Thea and Millie are regular users of Stansted and were thrilled to be the airport’s milestone passengers. Thea said: “We are truly gobsmacked to be Stansted’s 25millionth passengers, and to win two free flights has really made this a brilliant day and a fantastic way to start our week away.”
Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer at Ryanair, said: “As London Stansted’s largest airline, Ryanair is pleased to help the airport deliver record passenger numbers and celebrate carrying 25m annual passengers the first time.
“Since our first Stansted flight in 1989, Ryanair has carried over 230m passengers through the airport and we currently offer over 140 Stansted routes. We look forward to continuing to grow our traffic and network at our largest airport base.”
Stop Stansted Expansion warn people not to be hoodwinked by deceptive displays about airport’s growth plans
July 7, 2017
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has issued a warning to residents across the region not to be hoodwinked by Stansted Airport’s smoke-and-mirror exhibition and biased consultation survey on its further expansion plans. Both appear designed to trick people into thinking that further Stansted expansion in passenger number will be painless and sustainable. They make these claims, even before the environmental impacts have been assessed. The displays are deliberately misleading, and SSE says people should be very sceptical. Brian Ross, SSE’s deputy chairman, said the displays are all about spinning the positives and saying nothing about the negatives.” People attending the exhibitions need to ask searching questions, like explanations about the proposed increase in flight lights compared to today. And and passenger movements compared to the position today. This, say SSE, reveals a very different picture from the one being put forward by Stansted’s bosses who have been making the false claim that the extra passenger numbers will only lead to “approximately two extra flights an hour”. In reality the proposal would mean an extra 2,000 flights a week compared to today’s levels – 285 per day. That means an increase from on average of a plane every 2¼ minutes, to a plane every 85 seconds. Stansted current has permission for 35 million passengers per year, while it currently has about 25 million. But the airport says it ‘urgently’ needs the cap to be raised to 44.5 million. And see this link too.
Stop Stansted Expansion brands airport expansion plans as premature and opportunistic
June 21, 2017
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has condemned Stansted Airport for insulting the intelligence of Uttlesford District Council (UDC) and the community at large by claiming that its latest expansion proposals will have “no significant adverse environmental effects”. SSE’s Chairman Peter Sanders has further stressed the need for the council not to be hoodwinked by the airport’s spurious claim and to ensure a comprehensive, honest and thorough assessment of all the environmental impacts that would result from major expansion. The statement comes following the airport’s formal notification of its intention to submit a planning application later this year to seek permission to grow to an annual throughput of 44.5 million passengers and 285,000 flights. This compares to last year’s throughput of 24 million passengers and 180,000 flights. If approved, this would mean an extra 20 million passengers and an extra 104,000 flights every year blighting the lives of thousands across the region. Stansted hasn’t even started to make use of its 2008 permission to grow from 25mppa to 35mppa. Even by its own projections, the airport doesn’t expect to reach 35mppa until 2024 although the credibility of its forecasts is questionable given its wildly inaccurate record on this front.
More than 34,600 people have signed a petition calling for more investment in transport in the north of England, after rail electrification plans across the country were scrapped. Chris Grayling gave his backing last week to Crossrail 2, a £30 billion railway that will tunnel under London, days after ditching a scheme to electrify some train lines in Wales, the Midlands and the north. His suggestion that full electrification may be too complicated raised further doubts over the proposed modernisation of the TransPennine route between Manchester and Leeds, a project seen as critical to the “northern powerhouse”. The petition, (by IPPR North and 38 Degrees), calls on the transport secretary to give his immediate backing to HS3, a high-speed railway line from east to west across northern England, connecting Liverpool with Hull. It also asks the government to make an immediate commitment to at least £59bn of “catch-up cash” for the north over the coming decade, and urges the Transport for the North body be given the same powers as Transport for London to raise private finance. But the government is hell-bent on pushing through a 3rd Heathrow runway, and not requiring the airport to pay for surface access infrastructure. That means the taxpayer picking up a bill of at least £15 billion. That is money that will not be going to other transport – such as what is needed for the north and regions.
More than 34,600 people have signed a petition calling for more investment in transport in the north of England, after rail electrification plans across the country were scrapped.
Chris Grayling gave his backing last week to Crossrail 2, a £30bn railway that will tunnel under London, days after ditching a scheme to electrify some train lines in Wales, the Midlands and the north.
His suggestion that full electrification may be too complicated raised further doubts over the proposed modernisation of the TransPennine route between Manchester and Leeds, a project seen as critical to the “northern powerhouse”.
The petition, set up by the thinktank IPPR North and the campaign group 38 Degrees, calls on the transport secretary to give his immediate backing to HS3, a high-speed railway line from east to west across northern England, connecting Liverpool with Hull.
Ed Cox, the director of IPPR North, said the number of signatures laid bare “the real anger in the north” at recent announcements.
“The Department for Transport just isn’t listening,” he said. “Its response has been to patronise northern commuters up in arms as mouthy troublemakers who need a good lecture on London’s special transport needs.”
Announcing thatplans to modernise the line from Cardiff to Swansea, the Midland mainline and tracks in the Lake District were being dropped, Grayling said passengers would no longer have to put up with “disruptive electrification works” and “intrusive wires and masts”.
He said new trains on those lines would be bi-mode – fitted with diesel engines so they can run on electrified and non-electrified sections of track.
Analysis from IPPR North suggests the north would have had £59bn more in public funding over the past decade if it had received the same amount per person for infrastructure as London.
It said public spending in the past 10 years was on average £282 per head in the north, compared with the national average of £345 per head, and £680 per head in London.
The Infrastructure Commission last month named Crossrail 2 and HS3 as the projects of the greatest national importance that urgently needed to get under way.
Invest properly in transport for the North of England
Why is this important?
We call upon the transport secretary to:
1) Pledge his immediate backing for the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme including a new state-of-the-art 30-minute rail link between Manchester and Leeds – a ‘Crossrail North’; 2) Make an immediate commitment to at least £59 billion ‘catch-up cash’ over the coming decade to support the transport priorities being developed by Transport for the North; 3) Give Transport for the North the same powers as those enjoyed by Transport for London so that it can also raise private finance towards its own transport priorities.
The government has announced its backing for the £31bn Crossrail 2 rail scheme in London just days after it has cancelled plans to electrify key rail routes, and rowed back on its long-standing commitment to electrify the trans-pennine link between Manchester and Leeds. Crossrail 2 was NOT in the Conservative Party Manifesto – whereas Northern Powerhouse Rail was!
New analysis by IPPR North shows that over the past decade public spending on transport in London has been more than double that in the North – the North would have received £59bn more in investment over the last decade if it had received the same per person for transport as London. This is set to get worse, with planned public and public/private expenditure set at nearly £2000 per head, compared with £400 per head in the North BEFORE Crossrail 2 is taken into account.
This is not just a matter of fairness. This is not special pleading. Transport investment needn’t be either/or. But lack of government spending on Northern transport is holding the whole economy back. Northern prosperity is national prosperity.