Gatwick plans to more than double the size of its North Terminal’s Pier 6 to keep pace with the rising number of passengers it is hoping for. The pier is part of Gatwick’s 5-year capital investment program, and will cost £180 million. Before work on the extension can start, however, two major enabling projects must be completed. These involve moving the stand for the Airbus A380 from its existing location on Pier 6 to a newly created stand on Pier 5 and widening and re-aligning a taxiway to allow A380s to move between the runway and the new stand. Gatwick’s construction director said the scheme is “complex, as it is right in the heart of our airfield”. The work will be done by US-based contractor Bechtel. Work is scheduled to start in 2018. in four phases, the last of which will be the building of the western extension of Pier 6. This is expected to be operational by the spring of 2022.
Before work on the extension can start, however, two major enabling projects must be completed. These involve moving the stand for the Airbus A380 from its existing location on Pier 6 to a newly created stand on Pier 5 and widening and re-aligning a taxiway to allow A380s to move between the airport’s single runway and their new stand.
“This is one of the most important programs of work we have in our current capital investment program, as it will give a crucial boost to our operational efficiency and help us to grow sustainably,” Gatwick construction director Raymond Melee said. “It will be complex, as it is right in the heart of our airfield, but we are experienced in delivering complicated projects in challenging environments at Gatwick.”
Gatwick has appointed US-based contractor Bechtel to handle the project because of what the airport described as the contractor’s expertise in delivering construction projects within complex working environments.
Bechtel will be responsible for the management of engineering, procurement and construction works and will be integrated alongside Gatwick’s construction and development teams.
“We know that construction in the middle of a very busy airfield can be complex, so we will be working alongside Gatwick’s operational teams to ensure the work is sequenced carefully and that the passenger experience is maintained throughout,” Bechtel UK MD Paul Gibbs said.
Work is scheduled to start in 2018.The program will be run in four phases, the last of which will be the building of the western extension of Pier 6 itself. This is expected to be operational by 1Q 2022.
Pier 6 follows major transformation projects such as the re-development of the North Terminal, and the newly constructed Pier 1, as well as major works on Pier 5 to create a second level.
Britain has signed another bilateral deal with China, to increase the number of weekly direct flights between Chinese airports and UK airports. The number will rise from the current limit of 100 return flights per week by each country’s airlines, to 150 flights – ie. a 50% increase. This is being hyped as a deal to “boost trade and tourism after Brexit.” At present 8 airlines operate 9 routes between British airports and 5 Chinese cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Qingdao. Ministers hope the added flights will boost opportunities for British companies in China, and increase income from Chinese tourists coming to the UK. In the first half of 2017 the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UK rose by 47% (compared to the first half of 2016) with 115,000 visits were made. Their spending increased to £231 million, up 54%. Last year, Manchester airport launched the first direct regional flight between the two countries. Regional airports could now have more, if there is the demand. Until October 2016, the limit was 40 return flights per week. In 2016, restrictions were also relaxed to allow for an unlimited number of cargo flights between the UK and China. Air China accounts for the highest seat capacity between the UK and China (30.2%), followed by British Airways (20.6%) and China Southern Airlines (12.5%).
Open skies deal will see China flights take off
By Tim Shipman, Political Editor (The Sunday Times)
December 10th 2017
Britain has signed a landmark airline deal with China in what ministers claim is the first of a series of open skies agreements to boost trade and tourism after Brexit.
The number of direct flights from the UK to the world’s most populous country is set to rise by 50% to 150 per week — with a huge expansion in routes from regional airports expected to help cities outside London.
Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Manchester Airport, said: “Our connections to both Beijing and Hong Kong have led to significantly higher volumes of exports and inward investment.”
He added that universities in the north of England “have benefited from increased international student numbers and research collaborations with Chinese institutions.”
UK and China renew bilateral deal so each could have 100 return flights (up from 40) per week
October 12, 2016
The DfT has renewed the bilateral aviation agreement with China, to allow more weekly flights between the two countries. Until now, the limit had been 40 flights by UK airlines to China per week, and return 40 flights by Chinese airlines to the UK. This has been raised to 100 flights each. There will be no limit on the number of all-cargo services (but most Heathrow freight goes as belly hold, not separate freighter). Currently Chinese airlines operate 38 flights a week between the two countries, and UK airlines operate 29. The only UK airports that have flights to China are Heathrow and Manchester. The earlier deal was that any UK airline could serve a maximum of 6 separate airports in China. Now UK airlines can operate to anywhere in mainland China. Laying on the hype, Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, said the deal was a “big moment for the UK”. However, airlines will have to decide whether it makes sense to use the extra capacity to offer new Chinese flights to and from China, with doubtful demand, when transatlantic routes are more profitable. The hope is probably for more UK business and UK exports. The DfT ignores the problem that the UK imports from China more than twice as much as it exports to China. More flights may exacerbate that. House of Commons Library data says that: “In 2014, UK exports to China were worth £18.7 billion. Imports from China were £38.3 billion. The UK had a trade deficit of £19.6 billion with China.” Flights to and from Hong Kong are in a separate bilateral deal.
UK/China agreement to raise number of return flights each is allowed from 31 to 40 per week, and from 6 up to 9 airports
September 16, 2014
Flights between the UK and China are set to increase following an agreement allowing more passenger flights between the two countries. These are controlled, as for all countries, by bilateral agreements to ensure the number is balanced and neither side has too much advantage. Talks were initiated by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin who launched negotiations on improved air links during a visit to China in October last year. The previous agreement, last updated in 2011, limited the passenger airlines of both countries to a maximum of 31 return services per week in each direction, serving up to six destinations in each country. The new deal will increase the weekly maximum available to both countries to 40 direct flights in each direction, and allow UK airlines to serve up to three more Chinese cities than previously. ie. nine. The new deal also allows UK airlines greater freedom to codeshare with Chinese carriers on routes within mainland China. The lack of air links to China is due to the limit on weekly flights, and by the level of demand. It is not limited by the number of flights permitted. The numbers of flights to Hong Kong are under a separate agreement from those to China.
Air pollution by PM2.5 particulates may be harmful to babies even before they are born. This is the finding of a new study (published in the BMJ) by researchers at Imperial College and Kings College, London, among others. The PM2.5 particles are so tiny they can easily enter the smallest airways in the lungs, and get into the bloodstream. The researchers, using subjects from London, calculated mothers’ exposure to air pollution and traffic noise in various parts of the city from 2006 to 2010. Then they amassed data on birth weights of 540,365 babies born during those years to women who lived in those areas. The average PM2.5 pollution exposure was 14 micrograms per cubic meter. The researchers found that for each 5 microgram per cubic meter increase in PM 2.5, the risk of low birth weight increased by 15%. Low birth weight is a predictor of an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension in later life. It is considered that there is no safe lower level for PM2.5 pollution, though the EPS in the USA uses a standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over 3 years, and the WHO 10 micrograms as a limit. The lead author of the study said in London: “The current limits are not protecting pregnant women, and they’re not protecting unborn babies.”
Air Pollution May Harm Babies Even Before They Are Born
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR (New York Times)
Air pollution may be harmful to babies even before they are born, a new study has found.
Researchers in London calculated mothers’ exposure to air pollution and traffic noise in various parts of the city from 2006 to 2010. Then they amassed data on birth weights of 540,365 babies born during those years to women who lived in those areas.
The average pollution exposure was 14 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 2.5, the tiny particles that easily enter the smallest airways in the lungs. The researchers found that for each 5 microgram per cubic meter increase in PM 2.5, the risk of low birth weight increased by 15 percent. Low birth weight is a predictor of an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension in later life.
The Environmental Protection Agency standard for PM 2.5 is 12 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over three years, and the World Health Organization suggests 10 as a limit. But the lead author, Mireille B. Toledano, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, said that there really is no safe level of air pollution.
“For every 10 percent reduction in PM 2.5,” she said, “we can prevent 90 babies being born with low birth weight in London. The current limits are not protecting pregnant women, and they’re not protecting unborn babies.”
Objective To investigate the relation between exposure to both air and noise pollution from road traffic and birth weight outcomes.
Design Retrospective population based cohort study.
Setting Greater London and surrounding counties up to the M25 motorway (2317 km2), UK, from 2006 to 2010.
Participants 540 365 singleton term live births.
Main outcome measures Term low birth weight (LBW), small for gestational age (SGA) at term, and term birth weight.
Results Average air pollutant exposures across pregnancy were 41 μg/m3 nitrogen dioxide (NO2), 73 μg/m3 nitrogen oxides (NOx), 14 μg/m3 particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm (PM2.5), 23 μg/m3 particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <10 μm (PM10), and 32 μg/m3ozone (O3). Average daytime (LAeq,16hr) and night-time (Lnight) road traffic A-weighted noise levels were 58 dB and 53 dB respectively. Interquartile range increases in NO2, NOx, PM2.5, PM10, and source specific PM2.5 from traffic exhaust (PM2.5 traffic exhaust) and traffic non-exhaust (brake or tyre wear and resuspension) (PM2.5 traffic non-exhaust) were associated with 2% to 6% increased odds of term LBW, and 1% to 3% increased odds of term SGA. Air pollutant associations were robust to adjustment for road traffic noise. Trends of decreasing birth weight across increasing road traffic noise categories were observed, but were strongly attenuated when adjusted for primary traffic related air pollutants. Only PM2.5 traffic exhaust and PM2.5 were consistently associated with increased risk of term LBW after adjustment for each of the other air pollutants. It was estimated that 3% of term LBW cases in London are directly attributable to residential exposure to PM2.5>13.8 μg/m3during pregnancy.
Conclusions The findings suggest that air pollution from road traffic in London is adversely affecting fetal growth. The results suggest little evidence for an independent exposure-response effect of traffic related noise on birth weight outcomes.
London’s air pollution from PM2.5 is widespread and bad – electric vehicles don’t solve the problem
October 5, 2017
New research shows just how bad air pollution by PM2.5 is across London. The latest updated London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, shows that every area in the capital exceeds WHO limits PM2.5, which are particularly bad for health as they penetrate deep into the lungs. The particles have serious health implications – especially for children – with both short- and long-term exposure increasing the likelihood of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Young people exposed to these pollutants are more likely to grow up with reduced lung function and develop asthma. However, the main sources of PM2.5 emissions in London are from tyre and brake wear, construction and wood burning. A recent European commission research paper found about half of all particulate matter comes from tyres and brakes. Cutting the number of diesel vehicles helps reduce NO2 levels, but even converting to electric does not solve the problem of the particles from tyres and brakes. Heathrow hopes getting more vehicles on the road network near the airport might reduce air pollution enough to get its runway – but that will not solve its PM2.5 problem.
Particulate emissions from electric cars as bad as conventional – due to more tyre and brake wear
February 12, 2017
While electric vehicles are a welcome technology, enabling a cut in local air pollution from diesel and petrol cars and vans, (as long as the electricity they use has been sustainably produced) they are not wholly a “silver bullet” solution. A new study shows that much of the particulate air pollution in cities comes from from vehicle tyres and brakes. There is a positive relationship between vehicle weight and these non-exhaust emissions – the heavier the vehicle, the more wear on tyres and brakes, and road surface wear and resuspension of road dust. As electric vehicles tend to be around a quarter heavier, for the equivalent size, than their conventional equivalent internal combustion engine counterparts they produce more of this pollution. Therefore electric vehicle PM emissions – overall – are comparable to those of conventional vehicles. The study found that these non-exhaust sources account for around 90% of PM10 and 85% of PM2.5 from traffic. They conclude: “Future policy should consequently focus on setting standards for non-exhaust emissions and encouraging weight reduction of all vehicles to significantly reduce PM emissions from traffic.” Heathrow is pinning its hopes for cutting air pollution on more use of electric vehicles.
Air pollution from PM2.5 particulates implicated in increasing risk of premature births
February 19, 2017
Reducing air pollution from the tiny particles, PM2.5 may help to prevent 2.7 million premature births per year worldwide, according to a study published in Environment International. These particles come from sources such as diesel powered vehicles, fires and other sources. Worldwide about 10% of births are classed as preterm, and for these babies there can be significant short and long-term health implications – depending on how early the baby was born. Problems associated with prematurity are the top cause of death among children under 5 years old, and has also been associated with learning and developmental disabilities as well as an increased risk of psychiatric disorders. The number of premature births caused by this air pollution in the UK per year might be as much as 4,500. The worst problems are in south and south east Asia, including India and China. The study considered that about 18% of all pre-term births were associated with the particulate pollution in 2010. Other factors linked to pre-term birth are maternal age (young and old), multiple pregnancy (twins etc.), social and personal/lifestyle factors such as poverty, maternal education, prenatal care, physical activity, diet, and alcohol and drug consumption.
Transport & Environment (T&E) report that e-mail exchanges between the European Commission (EC) and Airbus show how the company was offered privileged access to the EU decision-making process, allowing it to write its own environmental rules. Emails released to T&E after an 18 month-long appeal process confirm that when drafting CO2 rules for aircraft, the EC – the regulator – gave Airbus (the regulated company) – privileged access to the EU decision-making process and allowed Airbus to determine the EU position. The result is a standard which does nothing to cut carbon emissions. The CO2 emissions from aircraft are not regulated, which is a key reason why the sector’s CO2 continues to soar. In late 2016 ICAO finally agreed a very weak global deal (CORSIA) that – under heavy influence from the aviation industry, requires them to make no changes to their plans. But instead of genuinely attempting to push Airbus and Boeing to speed up emission cuts and efficiency gains, the EU executive worked closely with Airbus to ensure the new rules would have no impact. Andrew Murphy, from T&E, explains how Airbus got to write its own regulations, so the standards were in line with what suited Airbus. Instead, carbon policies need to be decided in a fair and transparent manner.
‘We can live with this’: How Airbus was allowed to write its own climate rules
DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV.com PLC.
E-mail exchanges between the European Commission and Airbus show how the European aircraft manufacturer was offered privileged access to the EU decision-making process, allowing it to write its own environmental rules, writes Andrew Murphy.
Emails released to Transport & Environment after an 18 month-long appeal process have confirmed that when crafting CO2 rules for aircraft, the European Commission – the regulator – gave Airbus – the regulated entity – privileged access to the EU decision-making process and allowed Airbus to determine the EU position. The result is a standard which does nothing for the climate or public health.
Before we get to the emails, a little background. Unlike for cars or vans, CO2 emissions from aircraft are not regulated. The slow progress in aircraft efficiency and CO2 emissions is one of the key reasons why the sector’s emissions continue to soar.
After years of delay, the UN agency which regulates aviation, ICAO, under pressure to act, finally agreed in 2009 to develop such a standard. ICAO convened a group of independent experts who recommended that regulatory pressure could speed up emission cuts from aircraft. Five years of work ensued, under heavy influence from industry, which worked to make sure the standard would require them to make no changes to their plans.
Europe played a key role in these negotiations. It had been leading the charge on climate policy for some years, it had insisted on ICAO action to tackle aviation CO2 and hosts one of the two big aircraft manufacturers: Airbus.
But instead of genuinely attempting to push Airbus and Boeing to speed up emission cuts and efficiency gains, the EU executive worked closely with Airbus to ensure the new rules would have no impact. The emails released show how Airbus and the Commission’s transport directorate exchanged notes and how Airbus was given the opportunity to determine the EU’s final negotiating position on the stringency of the standard.
However did we get here?
The aircraft CO2 standard was developed over several years, with a number of interim decisions which were also essential to the outcome. But let’s focus on the February 2016 meeting of what’s known as CAEP – ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection. This meeting would determine the different stringency standards for aircraft production – the real meat and bones of the measure.
CAEP is made up of 24 states, with the EU counting for eight of these 24. There are also a large number of industry and some NGO observers. Meetings of CAEP are not public, and it is forbidden to disclose any documents. Those involved must sign a confidentiality agreement not to share what is submitted or said. When the final decisions were made in the February 2016 meeting, all observers were excluded and it was just the 24 states.
In advance of this meeting, the European Commission’s transport directorate (DG Move) coordinated with member states the drafting of the EU’s negotiating position. Given that the EU has one third of the seats in CAEP, this position would be central to the final outcome. And this is where the emails show us, blow by blow, what happened.
Step 1: what would Airbus like?
With a deadline of December 7th 2015 to submit the European position, Airbus was sent a draft of the paper in advance. Environmental NGOs were not given such access, and there is no evidence that any other stakeholders were consulted in this way. A series of meetings and exchanges between the Commission and Airbus followed, to determine what the latter could accept: “It is important that we have by the end of this week a perfectly clear view of what Airbus can/cannot achieve on CO2 standard.”
Step 2: giving the pen to Airbus
The Friday before the paper was to be submitted on Monday 7th, the Commission again sent Airbus a draft of this paper. Changes are made, and here the emails show Airbus in the position of accepting the track changes and making further “final” suggestions – the regulated literally being allowed to write their own regulations. Further emails on that day, 4 December, show Airbus being sent the proposed stringency standards and cut off dates and responding three minutes later “Yes, we can live with this.”
The paper as submitted, “WP/55”, contains an incredibly weak negotiating position. Much weaker than the US.
Step 3: the public catch on
The EU position was set out in a briefing for the European parliamentary delegation to the February meeting which was inadvertently put on the Parliament’s website. The Guardian published details on 22 January: “Europe lags behind US in new plans to tackle CO2 emissions from planes”. Emails from later that day show industry, led by GE Aviation, outraged about the public getting a hint of what is going on. Complaints are made to ICAO. GE talks about everyone needing to ‘play by the rules’, the rules which we know are favourable to industry.
And in fact ICAO managed to block the Parliamentary delegation from attending the CAEP meeting that February, claiming the talks were technical not political. The Commission sided with ICAO thus ensuring that Europe’s elected representatives were kept away.
Step 4: Airbus and their red lines
In the run-up to the ICAO session, the emails show a flurry of meetings and discussions. The EU liaises with the Obama administration, and almost immediately shares the outcome with Airbus.
On the first day of the CAEP meeting, an email is sent from a senior level in Airbus HQ with the subject line “Airbus redlines”. The email says that the issue has been discussed by Airbus, but with some of the following text redacted. The email ends with Airbus writing “Please confirm that the Commission and Europe will support Airbus and respect those red lines.” The Commission response to this is also redacted, but given the outcome of negotiations, we have no doubt that Europe marched exactly to Airbus’ tune. And with Europe having eight out of 24 CAEP members, that attitude was central in destroying whatever might have been left of the standard.
Step 5: a do-nothing standard
On 9 February 2016, behind closed doors, agreement is reached on the standard. We’ve written extensively on why this standard will do nothing to cut aircraft emissions. The aircraft CO2 standard is not an isolated case but part of a pattern. When it comes to aviation environmental policy, the Commission is underperforming.
Step 6: What needs to happen?
There are two big flaws in Europe’s aviation environmental policy. The first is outsourcing all action to ICAO, which has been Europe’s mantra for some time. The above story was only possible because of how ICAO operates: behind closed doors and with no public or democratic scrutiny – MEPs were not even allowed to attend the key meeting.
We saw this again two weeks ago when the ICAO Council scrapped ten out of 12 sustainability safeguards for biofuels in its planned offsetting measure, the CORSIA. This decision was taken in a closed session with the apparent consent of the EU Commission and seven EU member states. Until ICAO changes how it operates, there is no reason to believe it can deliver on its endless promises to address aviation’s climate impact.
The second flaw is right here in Europe: too many of our institutions and policy makers – including the Commission – are far too deferential to the aviation industry.
Yes Airbus and many of Europe’s airlines are big employers and economic successes. But this is true for many other industries and all of them have been required to make efforts to reduce their emissions. The aviation sector has so far almost entirely escaped effective environmental regulation. The start to solving this is for policies to be decided in a fair and transparent manner.
These emails show we’re a long way from that.
ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) is made up of 24 states, with the EU counting for eight of these 24. Meetings of CAEP are not public, and it is forbidden to disclose any documents.
A six-year delay, exemptions for poor nations, and a gradual phase-in system for participating countries are all being considered as part of talks to curb aviation pollution at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), MEPs discovered at a hearing in Parliament today (1 September).
The proposed Heathrow 3rd runway would require the demolition of the Lakeside waste incinerator. Heathrow has made no effort so far to ensure this is relocated. If there is a period without an incinerator, local authorities would have to spend many millions of £s on landfill tax (£86.10 per tonne) to dispose of waste that the Lakeside plant would have dealt with. In their submission to the Transport Committee, Grundon and Viridor say: “The revised draft NPS fails to address the planning policy vacuum that businesses like Lakeside face in trying to relocate in advance of Heathrow securing consent.This vacuum needs to be filled for the benefit of all of those businesses threatened by the new runway … the draft NPS still fails to provide any explicit support for the relocation of the Lakeside EfW or the associated complex. Indeed, if the Lakeside EfW and the waste complex as a whole were not replaced, given the lack of acceptable alternatives, the direct consequences would be disruptive and financially harmful to the local authorities that rely upon the services provided. … the revised NPS should state: The Government recognises the role of the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant in local waste management plans. The applicant should make all reasonable endeavours to replace the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant.”
No site has been found to which to relocate the incinerator. It was a long, difficult process locating the current site, as incinerators are not popular neighbours. The Lakeside Energy from Waste plant (ie. waste incinerator) deals with waste from numerous local authorities – including some – such as Slough – which support Heathrow’s 3rd runway plans.
However, if there was no incinerator – or a long gap between Lakeside closing and a new one opening – the local authorities would have to pay landfill tax for waste that would otherwise have been incinerated much more cheaply. This cost could run to several million £s per year. Landfill tax is currently £86.10 per tonne of waste that is not inert.
The written evidence submitted to the Transport Select Committee inquiry on the Airports NPS, by Lakeside Energy from Waste Ltd, Grundon Waste Management and Viridor (NPS0005)
8. Lakeside EfW must be offered the same level of importance as the IRCs given the essential role it plays in the smooth running of the regional waste management system and the reliance upon it of thirteen local authorities, for example. As with the IRCs, there must be no disruption to the services provided by Lakeside EfW as there are no realistic, environmentally acceptable alternatives.
9. The revised draft NPS fails to address the planning policy vacuum that businesses like Lakeside face in trying to relocate in advance of Heathrow securing consent.This vacuum needs to be filled for the benefit of all of those businesses threatened by the new runway.
10. The revised draft NPS was published on 24 October 2017 and is subject to consultation until 19 December. Despite the Airports Commission’s recommendations,the draft NPS still fails to provide any explicit support for the relocation of the Lakeside EfW or the associated complex.
11. Indeed, if the Lakeside EfW and the waste complex as a whole were not replaced, given the lack of acceptable alternatives, the direct consequences would be disruptive and financially harmful to the local authorities that rely upon the services provided.
12. The Airports Commission was unequivocal that the Lakeside plant should be replaced – “its replacement is necessary”. Therefore, the revised NPS should state: The Government recognises the role of the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant in local waste management plans. The applicant should make all reasonable endeavours to replace the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant.
The list of all the submissions to the Transport Select Committee inquiry into the Airports NPS (ie. Heathrow runway) is at
Lakeside incinerator plant would need to move, at Heathrow’s expense, if runway is built
November 3, 2016
Grundon and Viridor’s Colnbrook incinerator at Lakeside Road would have to be demolished for a Heathrow north west runway. This, as well as local roads and the M25, are significant obstacles to the runway plan. The issue of how much Heathrow will pay for this is being negotiated. Early in 2015, Heathrow was reported to have struck a deal with Grundon and Slough Borough Council to overcome the risk to delivery of a runway, agreeing that the incinerator would be moved a short distance away, onto (Green Belt) land already owned by Grundon. It is not clear this is correct. Heathrow said it was preparing a “joint feasibility study”. Heathrow said in 2015 that “NATS have given an initial opinion that the site is suitable for accommodating the height of flue stack required (75m).” Three of the four lakes at Colnbrook Lakeside are now set to be lost, due to the runway. In order that the incinerator remains open all the time, with no gap, building would need to start at least 3 years before being operational. But the runway might never get the go ahead … It is reported that discussions are taking place on payment of the multi-million costs of relocation. Adam Afriyie revealed in Parliament in 2015 that the government would not be paying. Robert Goodwill said it would be “a matter for the airport to take forward with the owners of the site.”
Plans to find an alternative location for a Berkshire incinerator have begun after the government’s announcement that it has approved a third runway at Heathrow.
Following a cabinet meeting today (25 October), the government stated that Heathrow, and not Gatwick, is its preferred option for the expansion of the UK’s airport capacity, causing issues for Lakeside Energy from Waste Ltd, a joint venture between Grundon Waste Management and Viridor, situated on the site of the proposed runway.
The Lakeside EfW facility
The plant would need to be moved to accommodate the runway and, responding to the announcement, the company said it will seek to ensure that the Lakeside EfW facility, and Grundon’s waste management and recycling facilities located within its Colnbrook complex, can be relocated to a nearby site.The company says that it will seek to move the facility on a ‘like-for-like’ basis, and will work with Heathrow and its surrounding local authorities to find a suitable site with ‘minimum disruption’.
The facility processes commercial and local authority waste from Slough, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell and the West London Waste Authority. The Lakeside company says that ‘any closure of the facility without a like-for-like replacement in the local area would be disruptive and financially damaging to these authorities’.
It adds that the incinerator, which opened in 2010, currently processes over 450,000 tonnes of waste a year, generating 37 megawatts of power, ‘enough to provide electricity to every household in Slough’. Including the Grundon facilities, the Colnbrook complex employs over 200 people, ‘with many more jobs dependent on it within the local supply chain’.
The Lakeside site is situated where the west end of the new runway is due to be built
Graphic: Airports Commission
The company will have some time to find a new site as it will likely be years before construction is even ready to begin on the runway, should it happen at all. A public consultation will be held on the airport expansion before the government makes a final decision. An MP vote will follow at the end of 2017 and the Airports Commission has said that construction would not begin until 2020 at the earliest.Even with the government’s backing, the construction of the runway is not yet certain, and several prominent figures have questioned its feasibility, with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, MP for nearby Uxbridge and South Ruislip, whose plans for an airport on the Thames Estuary have frequently been shot down, calling the project ‘undeliverable’.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also said that he will be challenging the decision in the coming months due to the potential impacts on air quality and noise pollution on residents in West London. Khan’s rival in this year’s mayoral election and Environmental Audit Committee member Zac Goldsmith has also criticised the plans, saying he will resign as MP for Richmond Park following the “catastrophic” decision.
Councils opposed to expansion at Heathrow have told the Transport Select Committee (TSC) inquiry into the Airports NPS that the most recent evidence published by the Government continues to demonstrate that a 3rd Heathrow runway could not be built without causing unacceptable air and noise pollution. They say that if ministers continue to support a 3rd runway, it will blight the area around the airport while failing to solve what they see as a “need” for extra airport capacity in the South East. The councils point out that the DfT’s 2nd consultation on the NPS fails to show how, with a new runway, the airport could meet air quality limits in an area where pollution levels are deteriorating. Councillor Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “… it is clear that a third Heathrow runway is not deliverable within the new timescale of an opening in 2026. The shorter the timescale the more likely that illegal air pollution will result.” The councils have also warned the TSC that the Government’s refusal to allow more time for consultation on the new evidence (just 8 weeks, ending on 19th December) “supports the view that the Secretary of State has effectively made up his mind to support Heathrow and that this is affecting the fairness of the consultation.”
Third Heathrow Runway ‘Unbuildable’
Four London council leaders warn MPs on transport select committee that third runway cannot be lawfully built
6.12.2017 (Putney SW15)
Councils opposed to expansion at Heathrow have told the Transport Select Committee that the most recent evidence published by the Government continues to demonstrate that a third runway could not be built at the airport without causing unacceptable air and noise pollution.
They say that if ministers continue to support a third runway it will blight the area around the airport while failing to solve the need for extra airport capacity in the South East.
The latest evidence which has been published as part of the Government’s revised National Policy Statement (NPS) fails to show how an expanded airport could meet air quality limits in an area where pollution levels are deteriorating. This makes a third Heathrow runway unbuildable while expansion at Gatwick could go ahead without this risk.
Councillor Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said:
“Given the hurdles that would have to be overcome it is clear that a third Heathrow runway is not deliverable within the new timescale of an opening in 2026. The shorter the timescale the more likely that illegal air pollution will result.
“If there is a need for more capacity in the South East it can be built more quickly at Gatwick. It would be achieved at a lower cost and within lawful pollution limits with fewer people affected by noise. It would also offer more domestic routes than Heathrow.”
The councils say that despite the new third runway opening date of 2026 and the projected rapid increase in early passenger demand, the targets set for increased public transport share remain set at 2030 and 2040. In these circumstances increased air pollution from road traffic is inevitable.
The councils have also warned the TSC that the Government’s refusal to allow more time for the new evidence produced for the revised NPS to be analysed supports the view that the Secretary of State has effectively made up his mind to support Heathrow and that this is affecting the fairness of the consultation.
The councils also warn that other parts of the UK could have to pay huge sums for the increased investment in rail projects around the airport. Currently the Government is offering no information on what the costs of improved surface access will be, what proportion of the cost will be met by the taxpayer and whether they will be completed on time.
Cllr Paul Hodgins, Leader of Richmond Council said:
“Expanding Heathrow is more than a West London issue, it affects every community in the country. “The evidence is clear that expanding Gatwick can deliver more domestic routes and more competition, with less impact on quality of life for local residents, all while leaving billions available for public infrastructure investment elsewhere.
“The only argument the Government has left is that Heathrow and the country needs a massive hub. In other words, it is simply a trophy project to boost Heathrow in the league table of world airports, as there is no league table that combines the network of airports serving a city. “In Britain, we should be promoting competition, and a better quality of life for our residents.”
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council said: “The latest evidence proves that a third runway at Heathrow Airport will exceed air quality limits. Expansion will not only cause increased noise pollution, but will damage the environment and will be detrimental to the health and well being of people in London. Gatwick has always been the better option, with more economic benefits and less impact on the environment.”
Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, said: “We are yet to see any evidence that the proposed expansion of Heathrow would do anything other than increase air pollution and have a detrimental effect on those living near to the airport.
“As the revised National Policy Statement shows, and as we have said from the very beginning, Gatwick is the obvious location for airport expansion in the south east and the proposals at Heathrow should no longer be considered a viable option.
“I understand that proposals have been submitted from a private company and there could be other proposals that could save public funds as well as reduce the impact on residents. It is clearly time to establish a new Airports Commission and revisit this flawed decision to expand Heathrow as proposed.”
Leaders of 4 main councils opposed to Heathrow favour a Gatwick runway, and tell residents to respond to NPS consultation
November 17, 2017
Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils have been campaigning against Heathrow expansion for more than a decade. They argue that expanding the airport will have a major impact on West London. The expansion will cause irreconcilable damage to the environment and people’s health. It will cost tax payers as much as £20bn. The four councils are encouraging their residents to respond to the 2nd NPS consultation, about a possible 3rd Heathrow runway (deadline 19th December). This consultation is happening partly due to complaints from the councils that the DfT had withheld important new information from the public. Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “A third runway at Heathrow would be disastrous for Londoners….” Cllr Paul Hodgins, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “This is all about having a single trophy airport, instead of a network of airports that brings greater benefit. Over the past ten years people in Richmond upon Thames have voiced their concerns about the possible expansion of Heathrow in their thousands. We must not stop telling the government that Heathrow expansion is the wrong choice.” The leaders of the four councils back a runway at Gatwick instead, preferring to transfer the misery onto others, whose interests they do not represent.
Leader of Richmond Council: Government aviation strategy ignores Heathrow health impacts
November 1, 2017
The Leader of Richmond Council, commenting on the DfT’s consultation on the draft aviation strategy (closed 13th October), says it tries to shut down any discussion on expansion at Heathrow and puts the demand for additional flights ahead of the health impact on communities affected by increased noise and worsening air quality. Leader Paul Hodgins, speaking on behalf of Wandsworth, Richmond, Hillingdon and Windsor and Maidenhead councils, said: “It is difficult to see what purpose the draft aviation strategy serves when, in it, the government is ignoring the problem of Heathrow. First we had a pro-Heathrow airport draft national policy statement with no details on flightpaths, out of date passenger demand figures, an economic case which doesn’t stand up and unattainable pollution limits. Now we have a national strategy that leaves out Heathrow. Any serious attempt at a UK-wide policy must come before any policy on individual airports, including Heathrow.” He also said: “The Government should withdraw this partial and disingenuous strategy document, abandon its unjustified policy support for Heathrow and begin again with an approach that people can trust.”
Andy McDonald said: “Following the decision to leave the EU, supporting UK aviation has become more, not less, critical if the UK is to remain a global, outward-looking trading nation. A third runway at Heathrow remains subject to a Commons vote and, even if given the final go-ahead, it will not be completed for at least another 10-15 years. Heathrow is not a silver bullet for solving our air capacity constraints. We face capacity challenges here and now. That’s why more needs to be done to support connectivity into and out of other airports across the UK to unlock existing unused capacity, and develop the huge potential they have.” Airports like Luton are keen to capitalise on the years before any new runway was built, if it ever happens. The CEO of Luton hopes of fast rising air passenger demand for years, and that the aviation industry “must be granted the conditions to help it capitalise on this growth potential … If the UK is to fully realise the economic potential of the aviation industry, airports must be supported by better transport links.” The East of England CBI says the “re-letting of the new East Midlands Rail franchise offers the opportunity to deliver more fast trains to Luton Airport by simply stopping trains that already pass through the station every day”, which would help Luton serve more passengers.
“A third runway at Heathrow is not a silver bullet”
How can regional airports help the UK deliver on its air capacity needs? Three perspectives weigh in.
BY LUTON AIRPORT’s CEO Nick Barton
… in the New Statesman
To ensure the UK remains a global, outward-looking trading nation in the near future there are two clear priorities for our aviation sector. Firstly, we need to secure an agreement with the EU which allows our airlines to continue to fly in and out of Europe. Recent reports suggested the Commission sees little room for creativity or a “bespoke” arrangement that the UK is hoping to negotiate. Therefore, the government must ensure the negotiations do not enable our European counterparts to squeeze airlines out of the market.
Secondly, we need to ensure the UK’s airports have the capacity to keep up with soaring demand for air travel. Figures from The Department for Transport (DfT) predict that passenger demand will double to 535m passengers per year by 2050. Our aviation industry must be granted the conditions to help it capitalise on this growth potential and the benefits it will bring.
While the debate centres around a third runway at Heathrow there are less capital-intensive, quicker to enact solutions that will ease the UK’s air capacity woes. For example, the Transport Select Committee has identified inadequate rail links as a significant limiting factor for the ability of airports to meet their potential. If the UK is to fully realise the economic potential of the aviation industry, airports must be supported by better transport links.
London Luton Airport (LLA) is a prime example of an airport which can do more. We are currently investing £150m to improve the airport and increase our annual capacity by 50 per cent by 2020. This expansion will almost double LLA’s economic contribution to £2.3bn per year by 2030 and create an additional 10,500 jobs over and above the 27,000 which exist today.
But LLA’s ability to deliver this economic uplift and future capacity is being constrained by inadequate rail links. LLA is London’s fastest growing airport but currently the only major London airport without the direct express-style rail links that London’s main airports, and so many airports on the continent, take for granted.
The DfT’s ongoing consultation on the new East Midlands Rail franchise offers the opportunity to deliver more fast trains to LLA by simply stopping trains that already pass through the station every day. Doing so would improve the journeys of the thousands of passengers who travel on the line, and drive significant economic growth in the local region and across the UK.
It also offers an opportunity for positive environmental impacts too. More fast trains would see a greater use of public transport with an estimated 70,000 fewer car journeys and a reduction of CO2 emissions by 500 tonnes each year.
These social, environmental and economic outcomes can be achieved through timetable change alone, meaning it requires no capital expenditure from government. What’s more, it would deliver £110m extra revenue for the rail industry. At a time when the public purse strings are tighter than ever, this is an opportunity the government cannot not afford to ignore.
There is a clear and immediate opportunity to deliver quick and inexpensive measures that will ensure the UK remains connected and competitive and, in doing so, help make sure the aviation sector can play its part in securing the nation’s prosperity.
Let’s not miss that opportunity.
Andy McDonald – Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Following the decision to leave the EU, supporting UK aviation has become more, not less, critical if the UK is to remain a global, outward-looking trading nation.
A third runway at Heathrow remains subject to a Commons vote and, even if given the final go-ahead, it will not be completed for at least another 10-15 years. Heathrow is not a silver bullet for solving our air capacity constraints.
We face capacity challenges here and now. That’s why more needs to be done to support connectivity into and out of other airports across the UK to unlock existing unused capacity, and develop the huge potential they have.
Richard Tunnicliffe – CBI Regional Director, East of England
As the government seeks to boost Britain’s economic prosperity, ensuring productivity is spread across the UK must be a priority. As set out in the CBI’s Unlocking regional growth report, the prize for doing so is a £175bn boost to England’s economy over the next decade. Improving infrastructure to better connect our towns and cities with each other, as well as with the rest of the world, will play a key role in this.
Businesses recognise the need to link the whole of the UK to international markets at a time when boosting UK trade is more important than ever. In welcoming the Heathrow expansion decision the CBI was clear that this must be the starting point for more strategic thinking on UK aviation, and businesses are therefore encouraged that the process to develop an aviation strategy is underway. With new capacity taking up to, and possibly beyond, a decade to deliver more intensive use of existing airport capacity is clearly needed.
But there are steps that can be taken in the short term too. Regional airports are key to easing the capacity crunch but inadequate public transport links are a significant limiting factor in them realising their full potential. One example is right on our doorstep; the re-letting of the new East Midlands Rail franchise offers the opportunity to deliver more fast trains to London Luton Airport by simply stopping trains that already pass through the station every day. Doing so will provide a significant boost in maximising our region’s growth and bringing local businesses closer to the world.
The Environment Agency (EA) has revealed that a Heathrow coach company has been fined for dumping toxic waste in the River Crane. Symphony Chauffeurs Ltd, based near Heathrow Airport, broke environmental law when staff poured waste into sewers, instead of taking the waste to an approved site for disposal. The company has been fined and charged with allowing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter into the River Crane, between May 2015 and February 2016, and failing to provide the EA with documents relating to their activities. Responding to the news the Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) Jackie Clark-Basten, said: “We are glad about the outcome of this investigation by the Environment Agency. Heathrow have a poor record of polluting the local area with hazardous substances (eg. de-icers like ethylene glycol, as well as cleaning fluids, paint, and kerosene) and yet in the Government’s draft National Policy Statement, they admit the likely detriment to local water quality with expansion, but also admit no work has been undertaken on this issue and it will only be undertaken at a much later stage in the process. The wider question that needs to now be asked is can we really afford to take the chance of further contamination of local water?”
Heathrow coach company fined for dumping toilet waste in River Crane
5.12.2017 (Stop Heathrow Expansion – SHE – press release)
Responding to the news that a Heathrow coach company has been fined for dumping toxic waste in the River Crane (1), Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion Jackie Clark-Basten, said:
“We are glad about the outcome of this investigation by the Environment Agency.
Run off water from Heathrow containing hydrocarbons, de-iceants, cleaning fluids, paint, kerosene and other toxic liquids are being dumped daily into three large open balancing pits around the airport.
Heathrow have a poor record of polluting the local area with hazardous substances and yet in the Government’s draft National Policy Statement, they admit the likely detriment to local water quality with expansion, but also admits no work has been undertaken on this issue and it will only be undertaken at a much later stage in the process.
The wider question that needs to now be asked is can we really afford to take the chance of further contamination of local water?”
Chemicals used to de-ice aircraft are ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, both deadly substances in small quantities. Ethylene glycol causes central nervous system depression and kidney and liver damage. Just a 1.4ml dosage of these substances is deemed toxic. Additional pollutants, including aircraft fuel and other substances are also washed off the planes during de-icing procedures. These pollutants have been found in local rivers and lakes, presenting not only a hazard to the public, but also wildlife and biodiversity. How much worse would this become with expansion?
Heathrow coach firm polluted river with toilet waste
From: Environment Agency
5 December 2017
Environmental detective work leads to £21,000 fines and £12,000 costs.
A west London river was contaminated after toilets from luxury coaches were emptied into public drains.
Symphony Chauffeurs Ltd, based near Heathrow Airport, broke environmental law when staff poured waste into sewers, instead of taking the waste to an approved site for disposal.
Officers from the Environment Agency turned detective in 2015, tracing pollution in the River Crane to where Symphony operated, a trading estate minutes from the airport.
A monitoring device, called a sonde, found the river had been polluted, and other sondes identified Symphony as the source, which officers confirmed through a network of drains.
The watercourse was further polluted when chemicals and dirty water entered the drains after staff washed vehicles on Symphony’s premises. The firm had been warned by the Environment Agency and the company’s landlords doing so was against the lease. Symphony would have stayed within the law by disposing of the chemicals at an approved site, or by cleaning their cars and coaches at an authorised location.
Symphony Chauffeurs Ltd, Eastern Business Park, Ely Road, Hounslow, was fined £18,000 by Ealing Magistrates’ Court, which ordered the firm to pay £12,113.62 in costs, and a victim surcharge of £170. The company was charged with allowing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter into the River Crane, between May 2015 and February 2016, and failing to provide the Environment Agency with documents relating to their activities.
The sole director of the firm, Allen Jeyakumar, of Lee Road, Greenford, was fined £3,134 by the court, for allowing Symphony to commit the offences. Mr Jeyakumar also had to pay a victim surcharge of £142.
Mathew Reed, who led the investigation for the Environment Agency, said:
Incidents like this have the potential to have a serious and long-term impact on the health of the river. Symphony Chauffeurs Ltd was given repeated warnings about its activities.
People might think we will find it too difficult to trace the cause of pollution, but this case proves that some detective work leads to a conviction.
Identifying pollution through a complex network of drains can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. We have the skills and technology to do it.
Both Symphony Chauffeurs Ltd and Allen Jeyakumar pleaded guilty to all charges at an earlier hearing.
For media enquiries, please call 0800 141 2743, or email email@example.com.
Some earlier incidents of Heathrow water pollution:
Airports, glycols in de-icing liquids and Heathrow local water pollution
January 2, 2011
There are two main water pollutants arising from the Heathrow site, glycol used for de/anti-icing activities and hydrocarbons from oil and fuel. On 15th December, before the heavy snow on 17th and 18th which closed the airport for several days, that ” Heathrow had 500,000 litres of de-icing fluid at their disposal.” But the de-icing chemicals are not without their environmental problems, and if allowed to enter ground water or water courses, exert levels of biological oxygen demand (BOD).
Heathrow Airport fined for causing death of hundreds of fish
By Dan Coombs. Uxbridge Gazette
Heathrow Airport has been fined £13,000 for causing the death of hundreds of fish in a nearby lake.
The Airport last week pleaded guilty to discharging pollutants into the Clockhouse
Lane Pits lake system near Bedfont in April 2008.
This caused oxygen to plummet, killing numerous stickleback, perch and tench,
and thousands more fish had to be relocated to an adjacent lake.
The airport uses a tunnel system allowing it to discharge surface water runoff
into the lake, but on this occasion the maximum lawful limits of pollutants was
The discharge contained glycol, a common ingredient of de-icing fluids, applied
to aeroplanes and runways during periods of cold weather at Heathrow, and it was
this which caused the death of the fish in the lake.
A spokesperson for the Environmental Agency described the effects on the fish
population as having a ‘devastating impact’ and caused a significant loss of revenue
for recreational companies working in and around the lake.
The airport paid £195,000 in compensation to the Princes Ski Club, who lease
the lake, for their loss of business, as it was forced to close for a week as
the clean-up took place.
The airport was also asked to pay £15,000 in court costs.
Company fined £40K for Heathrow groundwater pollution
A London company responsible for supplying jet fuel at Heathrow Airport was fined
£40,000 last week and ordered to pay the Environment Agency in excess of £14,000
for its costs, after severely polluting groundwater beneath the airport, with
at least 139,000 litres of Jet A-1 aviation fuel.
Heathrow Hydrant Operating Company Limited (HHOpCo), of 8 York Road, London SE1
had pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in June this year to causing
polluting matter to enter the Taplow Gravels groundwater, contrary to section
85 (1) and (6) of the Water Resources Act 1991. The case had been committed to
Isleworth Crown Court for sentence.
The court heard that on 29 November 2007 HHOpCo informed the Environment Agency
of a leak in the fuel supply pipeline to aircraft stands at Heathrow’s Terminal
One building. The leak was discovered by HHOpCo nine days earlier following an
unrelated report from BAA about a report of jet fuel odour in a nearby access
tunnel. Without this unrelated report, it is not known how long the leak would
have continued to go undetected for. HHOpCo conducted an overnight pressure test
on the hydrant system and confirmed the leak, but failed to notify the Environment
On further investigation HHOpCo staff identified a valve chamber full of approximately
8,000 litres of aviation fuel. Once the valve chamber was emptied, fuel was seen
leaking out of one of the attachments on the hydrant. Two bolts on the attachment
were so badly corroded that they had caused the leak, which was estimated at the
time of discovery to flow at 10 litres of fuel per minute. A later estimate corrected
the leak to 7 litres per minute. It is not known how long the leak had been going
on for or the total volume of fuel lost.
All bolts and valves on that section of pipeline were subsequently replaced to
stop the leak. The section was pressure tested and returned to normal operation
the following morning. The chamber in question has now been decommissioned.
HHOpCo attended an interview under caution at the Environment Agency office on
the 12 March 2009. The company admitted during the interview that a £7 million
automated leak detection system had been malfunctioning at the time and had not
detected the leak. This was also indicated in HHOpCo’s investigation report, which
revealed that the leak detection system was not working for at least five months
prior to the Environment Agency being notified of the incident. The company did
not put a manual testing system in place despite knowing that the automated system
was not working properly.
It quickly became clear that jet fuel had been leaking for some time. A specialist
remediation company sank boreholes to recover fuel and remediate the affected
area. As at June 2010 139,391 litres have been recovered and is still being recovered
at a rate of 80â€”100 litres per week. The cost of remediation to date is approximately
Mohammed Jama, the Environment Agency’s lead officer on the case, said:
“Heathrow Hydrant Operating Company’s carelessness has led to the extensive pollution of groundwater. Fortunately, to date, we have not seen any major impact to local rivers but jet fuel in groundwater has the potential to seriously harm the environment and water quality. The fine issued reflects the serious effect that HHOpCo’s failures have had on the Taplow Gravels.”
“Once groundwater becomes polluted it is very difficult to clean up. We hope that the fine issued will act as a prompt to HHOpCo and similar companies, reminding them of the importance of compliance and making sure that their actions do not cause harm to or damage the environment.”
HHOpCo’s contractors have been in charge of remediation and monitoring of the
fuel plume and continue to provide updates to the Environment Agency.
In the recent snowy and icy weather, immense volumes of de-icing liquids were
used on planes at our airports, with Gatwick and Heathrow using the most. On
15th December, before the heavy snow on 17th and 18th which closed the airport
for several days, that ” Heathrow now has 69 vehicles on its Snow Team, with 500,000 litres of de-icing fluid at their disposal.”
Aviation’s global climate goals are not enough in the long term, according to IAG boss Willie Walsh, who said the sector eventually faces being suppressed by governments if it cannot achieve environmental sustainability. He believes that though having to submit to the CORSIA scheme will cost airlines some money, the alternative would be much more expensive. That is why the scheme has been accepted by most airlines – it allows pretty much “business as usual” for years. Walsh says all airlines will have to join the scheme in due course, by 2027, though the first years after 2021 are voluntary. He believes there are benefits for the airlines that join in the early days, gaining experience of carbon trading – for when all airlines have to take part and buy carbon credits. Walsh appears to realise that if the aviation sector does not get a grip on its rising carbon emissions, and make CORSIA work, it might face worse restrictions if the world tries to meet goals of the Paris Agreement. He does not believe CORSIA alone is enough in the longer term, and the industry will have to have great carbon reduction ambition for the future after 2035.
IAG chief says airline climate goals insufficient as airlines seek EU ETS exit
December 4, 2017 (Carbon Pulse)
Aviation’s global climate goals are not enough in the long term, according to IAG boss Willie Walsh, who said the sector eventually faces being suppressed by governments if it cannot achieve environmental sustainability.
IAG urges airlines to prepare for CORSIA amid fear of regulatory force
By Kerry Reals (Runway Girl Network)
International Airlines Group (IAG) chief executive Willie Walsh warns that if the airline industry fails to attain its emissions-reduction goals there could come a point at which it is “forced” by regulators to curb its growth.
He says ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is an “excellent first step” toward addressing aviation’s impact on climate change, but much more needs to be done. Walsh used his keynote speech at this week’s Aviation Carbon 2017 event in London to urge other airlines to prepare for the global market-based measure. See full article at
Heathrow have backed a new plan for a 3rd runway, which appears to cut construction costs for the scheme at the expense of the loss of even more homes and communities, in an attempt to persuade politicians to vote through the scheme in 2018. The scheme, proposed by the Arora Group is for a 500 metre shorter runway, a bit further east. It might cost £6.7 billion less than Heathrow Airport’s own North West Runway plan. John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO, said : “it would not surprise us if we do something with him [Arora] as we expand the airport.” The Arora plan would bring parts of Harlington inside the new airport boundary, along with the whole of Sipson. It would also leave Longford village boxed in and sandwiched metres between two runways. The total number of homes that would be set for demolition would be much closer to a thousand, even higher than Heathrow’s own proposal of 783 homes lost. The plan would bring the new airport boundary closer to the original scheme put forward by BAA in 2009, which was successfully defeated in the High Court. That plan proposed a 2,200-metre runway across Sipson and Harlington. Residents in the Heathrow villages are upset, as this causes yet more uncertainty, worry and fear about their future.
Heathrow back new runway play destroying even more homes
4 December 2017 (Stop Heathrow Expansion press release)
Heathrow Airport have backed a new plan for a third runway, which appears to cut construction costs for the scheme at the expense of the loss of even more homes and communities, in an attempt to persuade politicians to vote through the scheme in 2018.
The scheme, proposed by the founder of the Arora Group, Surinder Arora, would bring the runway further east and reduce its length by 500 metres, costing £6.7bn less than Heathrow Airport’s own North West Runway plan.
John Holland-Kaye, the company’s CEO, revealed today that “it would not surprise us if we do something with him [Arora] as we expand the airport” before adding “he is an important local stakeholder and it would amaze me if we don’t do something together” (1).
The plan would bring parts of Harlington inside the new airport boundary, along with the whole of Sipson. It would also leave Longford village boxed in and sandwiched metres between two runways (2). The total number of homes that would be set for demolition would be much closer to a thousand, even higher than Heathrow’s own proposal (3).
Jackie Clark-Basten, Chair of campaign group Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “People’s lives are being played with. This proposal by Arora and now backed by Heathrow shows that Heathrow is acting out of desperation in order to get this runway, with little care as to who and how they blight people who previously thought they were not going to face losing their home.
“Despite Heathrow spending millions over the past 5 years telling politicians how much different this proposal is from their previous proposal, it is looking more and more similar.”
The plan would bring the new airport boundary closer to the original scheme put forward by BAA in 2009, which was successfully defeated in the High Court. That plan proposed a 2,200-metre runway across Sipson and Harlington.
Christine Taylor, Harlington resident whose home falls within the proposed Compulsory Purchase Zone for the first time, said:“This is ludicrous. Despite Heathrow claiming the last third runway proposal is totally different, it may turn out very similar to the original proposal we fought off last time.
“Clearly a third runway is undeliverable and endless versions and proposals serve only to show their desperation, as we head towards a parliamentary vote.”
Holland-Kaye not ruling out Heathrow working with rival bid, by Arora, on building 3rd runway scheme
December 4, 2017
Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye has said he is not ruling out some form of collaboration with the team behind the Arora group bid to build a 3rd Heathrow runway. Surinder Arora, a rich businessman who owns 16 hotels, a golf course and his own private airfield, is the largest single landowner on the site marked for Heathrow expansion. In July he put forward a plan, with US engineering firm Bechtel, in which he claimed the expansion could be done for £12.4 billion (shorter runway, bit further east) – roughly £5 billion cheaper than Heathrow’s initial estimate. Heathrow has since altered its plans to bring down construction costs, as airlines and investors are opposed to the sky-high costs. Now Heathrow may also try to work with Mr Arora’s company in some way. Holland-Kaye said: “It would not surprise us if we do something with him …” but would not speculate on what. Heathrow and the Arora Group are currently working on two Heathrow hotels. The 2nd DfT consultation on the Airports NPS (for the 3rd Heathrow runway) welcomed competing bidsfor the work and stated the Government did not have a preference for who constructed the 3rd runway as long as it met the specifications outlined by the Airports Commission. Jock Lowe is still promoting his “Heathrow Hub” scheme, for an extended northern runway, which is claimed to cost around £10 billion.
Rival Heathrow expansion consortium, Arora, upbeat as Government opens door to competition
November 20, 2017
The Telegraph reports that the government has said it welcomes competition in the construction of the nation’s airports. Hotel owner Surinder Arora had earlier this year proposed a cheaper way to build a Heathrow 3rd runway, cutting about £5 billion off the price. Government documents related to the expansion had previously assumed Heathrow would be in charge of the construction project and choose which contractors it wanted to help it fulfil the scheme. But the DfT says in the revised consultation on its Airports NPS (National Policy Statement) that it would welcome competing bids for the work. The NPS consultation says: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Airports NPS does not identify any statutory undertaker as the appropriate person or appropriate persons to carry out the preferred scheme.” And there could be “more than one application for development consent, dealing with different components individually”. The Telegraph believes a key difference, if a body other than Heathrow did the building, would be that the party behind the construction would receive the associated income it generates from passenger and airline charges, as well as retail rental payments. But there could be more risks, more costs etc.