Local campaigners, AXO, encourage local residents to respond to the Southampton airport expansion consultation

There is a planning application consultation by Southampton Airport, that closes on 23rd December. The airport has published plans for a 164-metre runway extension.  The planning application, lodged with Eastleigh Borough Council, is the first phase of its growth set out in its “masterplan” which it charmingly calls (oxymoron) “A Vision For Sustainable Growth.”  The application is likely to be considered by the council on 21st January 2020.  Local opposition group, AXO (Airport Expansion Opposition) Southampton is urging people to read the application, and submit their comments. There are serious concerns about road congestion, and increases in air pollution – as well as the inevitable increase in noise. The longer runway would mean larger aircraft could use it. AXO warns that the application should not be decided before the CAA’s Airspace Change consultation process is completed, as this may change significantly the impact on residents under or near the flight path. It also should not be decided until the government has finalised its Aviation Strategy, for all UK aviation, expected in early-mid 2020, when it has taken into account the new legal situation for aviation carbon emissions, with a net-zero target for 2050.

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  • Airport expansion needs to be considered on a regional/national level rather than at local level – expansion of Heathrow would draw custom away from regional airports, and the impact of expansion at other regional airports will impact on passenger flows through Southampton Airport
  • The expansion would lead to increased traffic generation with associated congestion and air pollution as well as air pollution from the flights themselves. The airport makes some very optimistic assumptions about its ability to increase use of public transport as a means of getting to the airport. In reality, rail cannot take much increase so it is likely the majority of traffic arriving at the airport will be on our already congested roads. The policy of Eastleigh BC to prioritise the Chickenhall Road link and effectively dismiss the ‘Eastleigh Railway Chord’ [to link the airport to Portsmouth and the East with greater ease] makes a mockery of the airport MD’s advertising of its rail links.
  • There will be increased noise for those under the flight path. At present over 5600 local people experience noise levels of 55dB and above – this is twice the loudness of 45dB recommended by the World Health Organisation. The number of people affected will increase with airport expansion.
  • Decision on this application should be delayed until after the Airspace Change consultation process is completed, as this may change significantly the impact on residents under or near the flight path.
  • Eastleigh Borough Council has declared a climate and environmental emergency. Airport expansion will lead to increased carbon dioxide emissions and is simply incompatible with addressing this climate emergency. The Airport’s own estimate is that carbon emissions will rise on average by 350,000 tonnes per year. For comparison, homes, industry and road traffic in the entire Borough of Eastleigh is responsible for 610,000t per year. No amount of presumed economic benefit can justify this level of increase in carbon emissions. There is no way of offsetting this level of emissions, and the airport is proposing mitigation for only the (already small) carbon emissions during the construction phase and for its own operations (current plans are for only 6,000 tonne reduction.
  • Neil Garwood (airport MD) has stated that only 2% of CO2 emissions were due to aviation. This is an absolute minimum figure that applies to global emissions. The UK government itself acknowledges that the current UK aviation emissions are 7% and set to go to 25% by 2050 – when aviation CO2 emissions are likely to be the single greatest offender in the UK. You should know this, because it has been reported extensively on the BBC – as have the recommendations by Lord Deben (the Chair of the Government Committee on Climate Change) that everyone’s appetite for air travel should be curbed and that airport expansion needs to be curtailed.
  • The expansion would lead to increased traffic generation with associated congestion and air pollution as well as air pollution from the flights themselves. The airport makes some very optimistic assumptions about its ability to increase use of public transport as a means of getting to the airport. In reality, rail cannot take much increase so it is likely the majority of traffic arriving at the airport will be on our already congested roads. The policy of Eastleigh BC to prioritise the Chickenhall Road link and effectively dismiss the ‘Eastleigh Railway Chord’ [to link the airport to Portsmouth and the East with greater ease] makes a mockery of the airport MD’s advertising of its rail links.
  • The economic benefits are overstated. The Airport promises 500 new jobs on the site, yet its last masterplan in 2004 promised an extra 391 jobs by 2015 – in fact there were 54 fewer. Its own figures show that nearly 80% of passengers are local people, so the effect on tourism from incoming visitors is limited. The percentage of flights taken for business has fallen. Moreover, in a time of climate emergency we should not be basing our economy on expansion of a sector that needs to be reduced.
  • Aviation expansion is a national issue, as we have a climate. Airport expansion therefore needs to be considered on a regional/national level rather than at local level for example, expansion of Heathrow would draw custom away from regional airports, and the impact of expansion at other regional airports will impact on passenger flows through Southampton Airport. These decisions should not be made locally on a case by case basis by the local authority that each airport happens to be located in, but should be decided nationally.
  • Decision on this application should be delayed until after the Airspace Change consultation process is completed, as this may change significantly the impact on residents under or near the flight path.

For more details from AXO, see

https://axosouthampton.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/reasons-for-objection-eastleigh/

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AXO say:

Why we’re campaigning

Whilst accepting the need for a small regional airport at Southampton, we acknowledge that the Climate Crisis means we must all fly less.


What can you do?

1) Object to Eastleigh Council

The planning application for airport expansion has been submitted [application number F/19/86707] (If this link doesn’t work you enter the number on the planning register ‘simple search’ box).

The consultation period ends on the 23/12/19 so time for reading the application, the associated documents (the devil is in the detail) and commenting is limited. The application is likely to be considered by the Eastleigh Local Area Committee (ELAC) at its meeting on 21st January 2020 (7pm).

Don’t have time to read the planning application? We have! Read our summary of concerns that you may wish to use in your objection.

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See earlier:

Southampton airport submits runway extension plans

Southampton airport has published plans for a 164-metre extension to its runway.

The planning application, lodged with Eastleigh Borough Council, is the first phase of growth outlined in the airport’s masterplan – recently re-named A Vision For Sustainable Growth.

The airport says extending the runway by 164 metres within its existing boundaries will allow it to increase passenger numbers from two to three million per year, “significantly” increase route choices and allow aircraft to reach further-afield destinations.

It would bring destinations in Scandinavia, the Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe within reach, Southampton airport said.

Managing director Neil Garwood said: “Our plans will make the airport resilient to changes in the aviation market as the longer runway permits year-round viability for an increased number of airlines.

“The longer runway will enable the airport to increase its financial contribution from £160 million to £400 million per year, create over 500 new jobs, and bring huge gains in connectivity and choice for our region.

“Our development plans have been carefully prepared by a project team including ecologists and technical experts, sensitive to the needs of the local community, including comprehensive noise and air quality management plans.

“The airport has nearly four million people in its catchment area, and we firmly believe enabling them to fly from their local airport and taking tens of thousands of needless car journeys off of our already congested roads is the most sustainable way to fly.

“In construction terms, the runway extension is relatively small, but the benefit it will make to our region’s connectivity is significant.”

Southampton airport has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, for “emissions within the airport’s control” and has owed to invest in the latest technology to maximise the use of sustainable power sources and developments such as electric aircraft.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/350446/southampton-airport-submits-runway-extension-plans

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Almost 2,000 people sign petition against Southampton Airport expansion plans

About 1,900 people have signed a petition opposing the expansion of Southampton Airport. The local opposition campaign, Airport eXpansion Opposition (AXO), will be asking Southampton Councillors not to back plans to extend the airport’s runway by 164 metres.  AXO members will present the petition to councillors at a full council meeting. The plans to extend the runway and increase the number of flights will increase carbon emissions, and are contrary to the council’s plans to cut CO2 locally.  The airport will submit its expansion planning application to Eastleigh Borough Council. AXO said that if Southampton is serious about declaring a climate emergency, the airport expansion should not be permitted. Airports and their backers try to use the argument that it is better for people to fly (as they assume people will continue to do, in growing numbers….) from a local airport, citing the carbon emissions of their trip to/from another larger airport. Those emissions are generally small compared to those of the flight itself. And the aim of having a local airport is to get people to fly more, as it is more convenient.  Net effect – more flights, more carbon. And more noise and local impacts around the airport.

Click here to view full story…

Local opposition growing to expansion plans by Southampton airport

A group within Southampton Friends of the Earth has set up a campaign to oppose Southampton Airport expansion. Despite the Government’s recent commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there are many airport expansion applications across the UK. This expansion cannot enable the aviation sector to meet even its current, easy, carbon target – let alone the much more stringent one required for a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. The airport will probably submit its planning application to extend the runway by 170 metres to Eastleigh Borough Council in the next few weeks. The scoping report and Master Plan have received approval in principle from Southampton City Council. Twyford Parish Council has objected, due to a proposed increase of flights over the village. Eastleigh Greens are likely to be objecting as well.  Friends of the Earth Southampton are currently putting together a petition to Southampton City Council to ask them to re-think their support for airport expansion, given that the Government is asking for net zero carbon by 2050. Campaigners started a group here to oppose the proposed expansion but it has not got a name yet. People interested can get in touch via the local FoE group foesoton@gmail.com

Click here to view full story…

 

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Heathrow growth – election briefing (one page) from the No 3rd Runway Coalition – check your candidates’ views

The No 3rd Runway Coalition has put together a simple one-page briefing on Heathrow and its proposed new runway, to help people quiz their parliamentary candidates, and check they know the real facts. The Coalition says: “Supporting Heathrow Expansion comes at the expense of the regions and to the UK as a whole.  Here’ s why it should be opposed.” The briefing deals with the Economic costs, the carbon implications, noise, air pollution, transport impacts, and connectivity. Lots of key points, including on economics:  ” The Government’ s own economic analysis found that once all negative impacts are monetised, a third runway could bring net NEGATIVE economic benefits to the UK overall in the long term.  There is no explicit job model and no clear job creation analysis included in the Airports National Policy Statement. Many of the few jobs created will be low-skilled and short term.  The costs of the project are now expected to rise to over £31bn, increasing Heathrow’s debt from £11bn (2014) to over £40bn in 2028. This could still increase further.” On noise: “Data from the CAA reveals that 2.2 MILLION people would experience an increase in noise from an expanded Heathrow.”

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GENERAL ELECTION 2019 BRIEFING – Heathrow 3rd runway

Supporting Heathrow Expansion comes at the expense of the regions and to the UK as a whole.  Here’ s why it should be opposed.

ECONOMIC COSTS

  • The Government’ s own economic analysis found that once all negative impacts are monetised, a third runway could bring net NEGATIVE economic benefits to the UK overall in the long term.
  • There is no explicit job model and no clear job creation analysis included in the Airports National Policy Statement. Many of the few jobs created will be low-skilled and short term.
  • The costs of the project are now expected to rise to over £31bn, increasing Heathrow’s debt from £11bn (2014) to over £40bn in 2028. This could still increase further.

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Heathrow is already the biggest single source of carbon emissions in the UK and expansion will add an extra 8-9 megatonnes of CO2 per year. Thus, a third runway is not compatible with the UK’ s legally binding climate targets.
  • The Committee on Climate Change has advised the Government to limit growth in passenger demand to 25% between now and 2050. The Government currently anticipates twice this level of passenger growth.
  • While the CCC model assumes 31 megatonnes of CO2 by 2050 from aviation, the Government’ s forecasts are that with Heathrow expansion, UK aviation emissions would be as high as 40 megatonnes annually by 2050.
  • Consequently, growth would need to be curbed at all other UK airports if a third runway is built in order for the UK not to breach its carbon targets.

AIR POLLUTION

  • The Government accepts Heathrow expansion would have a “ significant negative ” effect on Air Quality.
  • Government has provided no evidence to show how Heathrow can expand and comply with legal limits and there are currently no enforcement methods should Heathrow not meet legal requirements.
  • The area around Heathrow is the second major hot spot for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in London, with breaches of legal limits having been recorded close to the airport for many years.

NOISE

  • Expansion would result in an additional 285,000 flights each year or over 700 extra flights per day.
  • Data from the Civil Aviation Authority reveals that 2.2 MILLION people experience an increase in noise from an expanded Heathrow.
  • Transport Select Committee concluded that 323,684 people will be newly affected by noise from Heathrow.
  • Hundreds of thousands of school children across the South East are already exposed to aircraft noise above 54 decibels, the sound level threshold which has a negative effect on children ’ s behaviour, memory and learning.

TRANSPORT IMPACTS

  • Expansion would result in a total of 175,000 additional daily trips on local transport networks.
  • Heathrow has to increase the proportion of passengers accessing the airport by public transport from 40% today to 50% in 2030 and 55% in 2040. However, it has only increased this figure by 1% since 2009.
  • It is unclear what the cost to the taxpayer of the road and rail infrastructure will be. Estimates of these are up to £18bn, which could easily overrun. Heathrow has only committed to contributing £1bn.

CONNECTIVITY

  • Regional Airports will lose 17 million passengers by 2050 if Heathrow expands.
  • Transport Select Committee found that expansion at Heathrow would result in 170,000 fewer flights at regional airports by 2050.
  • The UK Government currently funds three Public Service Obligations (PSOs) into London airports.
  • The total annual subsidy in 2017 for PSO’ s was £10,564,194. The average annual cost of existing PSOs in 2017 was £480,191. 50% of this cost is met by local authorities.

 

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300th Frankfurt Monday demo against aircraft noise – 1,000 people -.  “Only when no one comes, is it over!”

Back in October 2011 the Frankfurt airport 3rd runway opened. It was greeted with huge anger, because residents had not been informed how much new noise there would be, and that there would be noise where there previously was none. Huge protests started on Monday evenings (airports are public property in Germany, so protests can happen). These carried on with often as many as 1,000 people each week. People were devastated by the noise battering they were being subjected to. Now, 8 years later, the protesters have had their 300th protest, again with perhaps almost 1,000 people present. They say they will not give up, until there are no more protesters. “Only when no one comes, is it over.” Their complaints have not been addressed, about noise or particulate air pollution, or the health issues people are suffering – including depression. The airport is continuing to expand, with a new terminal. Its opponents now hope the increasing awareness of carbon emissions from aviation, with campaigns like Fridays for Future, will help put pressure on Frankfurt airport. There is a new campaign against domestic flights. 
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Slightly odd Google Translate version of this German story:

300th Frankfurt Monday demonstration against aircraft noise.  “Only when no one comes, it is over!”

11.11.19

“Deutschland fliegt nicht” means  “Germany does not fly”

Giving up is out of the question for the aircraft noise opponents: About eight years after the first protest, their 300th Monday demonstration took place at Frankfurt Airport. There are plenty of unfulfilled demands.

The participants would like to have spared the anniversary: Monday, people are coming to the Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport with posters for about eight years. They protest against the aircraft noise, ultrafine dust and the further expansion of the airport. Now the aircraft noise opponents demonstrated for the 300th time. Around 550 people counted the police. Thomas Scheffler, spokesman for the Alliance of Citizens’ Initiatives (BBI), spoke of more than 1,000 participants.

Frankfurt Airport is located in the center of the Rhine-Main conurbation, with hundreds of aircraft taking off and landing daily. This is felt by many people in the surrounding area whose houses are located in particular in the entry lanes. The circle of those concerned extends far beyond Frankfurt and Offenbach out to the neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate around Mainz. From there, cabaret artist Lars Reichow traveled to the demo on Monday evening and addressed the participants.

Demo was already bigger

At the end of 2011, when the new northwest runway went into operation, resistance had “increased explosively,” says Scheffler. At times even several thousand people came to the demos. Then it was a little quieter. The recently started construction of Terminal 3 caused new displeasure , the opponents fear thereby a further increase of the aircraft noise.

Lately, according to Scheffler, around 250 people have regularly come to the airport for the Monday demonstration. The demonstrators outraged because the new runway had led to an even greater aircraft noise. Not only the ultrafine dust endangers the health , but also the noise. He could cause cardiovascular problems and even depression.

More than a demand

For years, the BBI has called for a stop to the expansion of the airport and an extension of the no-fly ban. Currently, this is between 23.00 and 5.00 clock, which was then set in the construction of the Northwest runway. In addition, the Alliance wants the flight movements to be reduced every year and the Northwest runway to be shut down. The aircraft noise opponents are now hoping for an upswing through the climate debate. A new action, which was presented in the evening, is aimed at short-haul flights.

The initiators of the “Germany-flies-not” campaign are calling on people to refrain from private and professional domestic flights during the week from 10 to 16 February 2020. A photo campaign in Terminal 1 is planned – on a “do-nothing-do” sofa. A photo will be displayed on one of the world’s largest screens in Times Square, New York. Afterwards, the sofa, which is over two meters wide, travels through Germany. At the beginning of December there will be a sofa concert at Frankfurt Airport.

Minister is impressed

The operator of the Frankfurt airport does not disturb actions like these. “We take our responsibility for passive and active noise control in the vicinity of the airport very seriously,” said a Fraport spokesman. Hesse Transport Minister Tarek Al-Wazir (Greens) is impressed by the persistent commitment of the activists. “We’re ultimately pursuing the same goal,” he said. Hesse was able to do a lot within its capabilities – for example, with the seven-hour noise break, during which individual railways are temporarily not used, thus temporarily relieving neighboring municipalities of noise or the upper limit of noise.

For critics like Scheffler that’s not enough. The years of resistance had not been in vain, even if the construction of the new terminal, for instance, was a shadow over Monday’s demos. The most important success was that the subject of aircraft noise and particulate matter pollution is firmly anchored in public discourse today. And climate change movements such as “Fridays for Future” rekindled the debate surrounding the effects of air traffic. And the Monday demos? “Only when no one comes, it’s over.”

https://www.hessenschau.de/wirtschaft/fluglaermgegner-geben-nicht-auf-die-300-frankfurter-montagsdemo,fluglaerm-demo-frankfurt-100.html

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Video:

https://vimeo.com/374703530/4ab1c50783  video of part of the protest.

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There was also the launch of the “Germany does not fly” …”Deutschland fliegt nicht” campaign

 

DEMONSTRATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

Germany does not fly?

Photo: © Gegenwind 2011 Rhein-Main eV / PR Newswire New York

Photo: © Gegenwind 2011 Rhein-Main eV / PR Newswire New York
With the new campaign “Germany does not fly”, a nationwide campaign to waive domestic flights will be launched in February 2020. Campaign start is already next Monday at the Frankfurt airport.

“Germany Grounded”, freely translated “Germany does not fly”, “Deutschland fliegt nicht” was the message that flickered in New York’s Times Square on October 31 in big letters on the Reuters scoreboard and was seen by thousands of people in the world metropolis. This was the highly ambitious starting signal for the initiative launched by aviation noise opponents from the Rhine-Main area “Germany is not flying”, which will cause a sensation nationwide from February 2020. The aim of the campaign is to get as many people as possible to refrain from flying.

At least since the world-wide Fridays for Future protests, a debate about travel behaviour in Germany has flared up. Frequent flying is becoming more and more in the focus, because air travel damages the climate much more than bus or train travel. Although only about ten percent of the earth’s population has access to the luxury of flying, it accounts for five percent of global CO2 emissions. At nitrogen and water vapour emissions, the proportion is even higher. Germany’s largest airport also plays an important role: it handles 35 percent of domestic flights. Overall, Frankfurt Airport is one of the 15 largest airports in the world, transporting around 70 million passengers a year. Before the construction of Terminal 3 began, the last big step towards the airport extension was the opening of the Northwest Runway in 2011.

He also called the initiators of the campaign “Germany does not fly” on the plan, eight years ago the non-profit associations Stop-Fluglärm.de, headwind 2011 Rhein-Main and the initiative climate, environmental and noise protection in aviation founded and since then demonstrating with great perseverance on Monday evenings at Frankfurt Airport. After demonstrating 6,000 participants on 4 February 2012, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) tested to what extent higher departure angles for noise avoidance are possible and made an adjustment from 3 to 3.2 degrees.

Next Monday the 11.11. the aviation noise opponents propose a new chapter. During the 300th Monday demonstration in Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport, as part of the “Germany does not fly” “Deutschland fliegt nicht”  campaign, flying people are to be convinced that they will be able to forego their private and business domestic flights at the latest in the action week in February.

Furthermore, it will be presented on Monday evening “when, where and how the action will reach Germany’s airports and cities by February 2020,” said Rolf Fritsch von Gegenwind 2011. In order to generate as much attention as possible, not only companies, associations, institutions and politics but also prominent “opinion leaders” should be convinced.

Thus television presenter Joko Winterscheidt and former Olympic champion Britta Steffen have publicly commented on their flight renouncement. On 11.11. The Monday demo also receives support from cabaret artist Lars Reichow, whose performance rounds off the program.

Unlike, for example, Extinction Rebellion, which was planning to block the airspace at Heathrow Airport in London with a drone blockade, [it never happened] the aviation noise activists resort to more lenient persuasive methods: “Our appeal is directed to human reason, it should encourage thought and help “Habits change,” it says in the call.

“Flying sustainably does not mean flying,” says Hans-Peter Huppert von Gegenwind in 2011, and sees himself strengthened in Chinese philosophy: “Since Confucius, “do-nothing-together “has been a strong, non-partisan and well-tested instrument.” the “Do-Nothing-together” sofa will be revealed on which the first non-fliers will be presented. This will be photographed in January 2020, among others, before the Chancellery. The initiators are expressing their disappointment at the (not yet) made changes by the politicians. Their concept: putting responsibility in the hands of individuals rather than waiting for prohibitions, ordinances and laws.

>> Official campaign start, 11.11., Frankfurt Airport, Terminal 1, from 18 o’clock Demonstration, from 18.15 Performance cabaret artist Lars Reichow, 18.40 Presentation of the campaign and online-circuit of www.deutschland-fliegt-nicht.de

https://www.journal-frankfurt.de/journal_news/Panorama-2/Demonstration-gegen-den-Klimawandel-Deutschland-fliegt-nicht-34883.html
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See earlier:

The 200th Frankfurt airport Monday Demo (Montagsdemo) against the noise will be on 30th January

The 4th runway at Frankfurt was opened in October 2011. Due to re-alignment of flight paths, with thousands of people either newly overflown, or with more flights than before, there was uproar. The airport had not felt it necessary to warn people, or consult about the noise. Several thousand people started to congregate in the airport terminal every Monday evening, for a protest demo. (The airport buildings are public property, so the airport cannot prevent people gathering.). The 100th Monday demo was on 20th May 2014, when a group from the UK attended. Now the 200th Monday demo will take place on Monday 30th January, and a large crowd is expected. Politicians from the local area and from the region, as well as for Berlin, will be attending. The demands of the protesters are ultimately that the runway is closed down (though that is an ambitious, or unrealistic hope….) but they want no night flights from 10pm to 6am, no further airport expansion, and no 3rd terminal. Work to build the 3rd terminal started in October 2015, and the airport hopes it will open (first phase) in 2022. It is an astonishing achievement that Frankfurt residents have organised 200 Monday protests, all attended by many hundreds of people – sometimes several thousand. The demos are possible because people are so upset and angry about the noise burden that has been inflicted on them, reducing their quality of life.

Click here to view full story…

The 3rd terminal

In 2009, the German government decided to create third terminals for both Frankfurt Airport and Munich Airport, in order to handle expected passenger flows of 90 million in Frankfurt by 2020 and 50 million in Munich by 2017.

The new terminal is scheduled to be built by Fraport, south of the existing terminals on the grounds of the former Rhein-Main Air Base. The new Terminal 3 is to accommodate up to 25 million passengers and will feature 75 new aircraft positions when completely constructed. An extension of the SkyLine people mover system is planned to connect the new terminal to Terminals 1 and 2 and the airport train stations.

In August 2014, the city of Frankfurt granted building permission for the first phase of Terminal 3. The groundbreaking for the new Terminal took place on 5 October 2015. Its first phase, consisting of the main building and two of the planned four piers, is planned to open by 2022 and will be able to handle 15 million additional passengers per year. Total costs are estimated at €3 billion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_Airport#The_new_main_terminal


Residents around Frankfurt hold their 150th huge Monday evening protest against aircraft noise

On Monday 28th September, the 150th Monday evening protest against aircraft noise, due to the new runway, took place at Frankfurt airport. The new 4th runway was opened in October 2011, to the north west of the airport, and caused not only new flight paths but changes to existing flight paths. People had not been expecting the noise problem to be so bad. As soon as the runway opened, residents starting protesting against the noise – that was stopping them sleeping, reducing their quality of life, preventing them enjoying relaxing outside under flight paths, and reducing the prices of their homes. They started protests in the airport Terminal 1 (almost) every Monday evening. These are attended by between about 600 and 3,000 people. That is an astonishing achievement, and manifestation of real anger and determination by the thousands affected by plane noise. They are concerned now that the protests are seen to be becoming routine, and there is some appetite for more radical action, especially now that work is due to start very soon on a deeply opposed 3rd airport terminal. The style of protesting may perhaps now change. In German airport buildings are public property, so protesters are entitled to congregate in the terminal.

Click here to view full story…

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Air pollution nanoparticles (from road vehicles and aircraft) now linked to higher risk of brain cancer

New research has now linked air pollution nanoparticles to brain cancer. The ultra-fine particles (UFPs) are produced by fuel burning, particularly in diesel vehicles, and higher exposures significantly increase people’s chances of getting the cancer. Previous work has shown that nanoparticles can get into the brain and that they can carry carcinogenic chemicals.  Aircraft also produce nanoparticles that spread downwind of airports, and are also emitted into the atmosphere during flight – especially take-off and landing. Higher levels of the air pollution are related to slightly higher rates of brain cancer. The numbers per 100,000 are not huge, but add up when large populations are exposed to road traffic etc. Brain cancers are hard to treat and often fatal. As nanoparticles are so tiny, they can get into almost every organ. Air pollution has also been linked to other effects on the brain, including reductions in intelligence, more dementia and mental health problems in both adults and children. The WHO says air pollution is a “silent public health emergency”. Airport expansion does not help – due to road transport, plus the planes themselves, and airport vehicles.
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Air pollution nanoparticles linked to brain cancer for first time

Exclusive: tiny particles produced by motor traffic can invade the brain and carry carcinogens

New research has linked air pollution nanoparticles to brain cancer for the first time.

The ultra-fine particles (UFPs) are produced by fuel burning, particularly in diesel vehicles, and higher exposures significantly increase people’s chances of getting the deadly cancer. Previous work has shown that nanoparticles can get into the brain and that they can carry carcinogenic chemicals.

Brain cancers are rare, and the scientists have calculated that an increase in pollution exposure roughly equivalent to moving from a quiet city street to a busy one leads to one extra case of brain cancer for every 100,000 people exposed.

“Environmental risks like air pollution are not large in magnitude – their importance comes because everyone in the population is exposed,” said Scott Weichenthal, at McGill University in Canada, who led the study. “So when you multiply these small risks by lots of people, all of sudden there can be lots of cases. In a large city, it could be a meaningful number, particularly given the fact that these tumours are often fatal.”

The research analysed the medical records and pollution exposure of 1.9 million adult Canadians from 1991 to 2016. Such large studies provide strong evidence, though not a causal link. Weichenthal said the correlation seen between brain cancer and nanoparticles was “surprisingly consistent”, but as this is the first study, it is important that other researchers replicate it.

The discovery of abundant toxic nanoparticles from air pollution in human brains was made in 2016. A comprehensive global review earlier in 2019 concluded that air pollution may be damaging every organ and virtually every cell in the human body.

Toxic air has been linked to other effects on the brain, including huge reductions in intelligencedementia and mental health problems in both adults and children. The World Health Organization says air pollution is a “silent public health emergency”.

The new study, published in the journal Epidemiology, found that a one-year increase in pollution exposure of 10,000 nanoparticles per cubic centimetre – the approximate difference between quiet and busy city streets – increased the risk of brain cancer by more than 10%.

The pollution levels in the cities studied – Toronto and Montreal – ranged from 6,000/cm3 to 97,000/cm3. Weichenthal said people living with pollution of 50,000/cm3 have a 50% higher risk of brain cancer than those living with 15,000/cm3.

“I think [Toronto and Montreal] are typical of major cities,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect the nanoparticles to be any less harmful anywhere else.” The analysis by the researchers took account of factors including income, smoking and obesity, and whether people moved house.

“We don’t know a lot about the causes of brain tumours, so any environmental factors we can identify are helpful in increasing understanding,” Weichenthal said. The team only had air pollution data for the more recent period of the study and assumed the differences between different streets and districts were the same in the past. “We think this is reasonable because major highways don’t move around,” he said.

Prof Jordi Sunyer, at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain, who was not involved in the new research, said: “This is an important finding, given that UFPs are directly emitted by combustion cars and several studies in animals have shown UFPs could be more toxic than larger particles.”

Prof Barbara Maher, at the University of Lancaster, UK, said iron-rich nanoparticles from traffic pollution were likely to be carcinogenic and were therefore a plausible possible cause of brain cancer. She said nanoparticles were not regulated and were rarely even measured.

The research used three-year averages of nanoparticle levels, but Maher said understanding the health impact of repeated exposure to short-lived spikes was vital: “We have measured these outside primary schools in the UK, where UFP particle numbers regularly exceed 150,000 per cubic centimetre of playground air.”

Weichenthal said he avoided heavily polluted streets when walking and cycling. “At an individual level, it is always a good idea to reduce your exposure to pollutants. But the more important actions are at a regulatory level, where you can take action that reduces everyone’s exposure – that is where the real benefits come in.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/13/air-pollution-particles-linked-to-brain-cancer-in-new-research

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Sadiq Khan attacks London City Airport expansion plans – “unfettered growth is not an option”

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has warned London City Airport that “unfettered growth is not an option” as he criticised its plans for expansion. He said residents must have a break from plane noise, and the airport should take its air pollution and environmental responsibilities more seriously.  The airport, in a densely populated area of east London, is increasingly used for holiday travel – not business – and it wants to increase the current cap of 111,000 flights/year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035.  It hopes for 5 million passengers this year, but wants up to 6.5 million per year.  The Mayor said the current plans “would not be in the interest of Londoners”. He said noise from planes was a “fundamental issue” as changes to flight paths three years ago meant some areas were being flown over too often. Also that breaks from flights – overnight, and for 24 hours from lunchtime on Saturday – “must not be eroded” and the airport should use new technology to give residents more relief, not just to maximise profits. He said the airport must consider CO2 emissions from flights in its carbon reduction plans, as its current target of “net zero emissions by 2050 “does not include flights – only airport terminals, vehicles, and other ground operations.

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Sadiq Khan attacks London City Airport expansion plans

By Jessie MathewsonLocal democracy reporter
East London and West Essex Guardian
Sadiq Khan warned London City Airport that “unfettered growth is not an option” as he criticised its plans for expansion.

The Mayor of London said residents must have a break from flight noise, and the airport should take its air pollution and environmental responsibilities more seriously.

The airport, in the Royal Docks, Newham, East London, wants more people to use it, particularly holiday travellers – it expects a record 5 million passengers this year, up 40 per cent in the past five years.

It consulted on its draft plan from June until late September, and is currently assessing responses.

Residents are concerned the expansion plans would end the 24-hour break from overhead flights at weekends.

And the Mayor said he could not support the plans in their current form because “it would not be in the interest of Londoners”.

Mr Khan said noise from planes remained a “fundamental issue” as changes to flight paths three years ago meant some areas were being flown over too often.

He said breaks from flights – overnight, and for 24 hours from lunchtime on Saturday – “must not be eroded” and the airport should use new technology to give residents more relief, not just to maximise profits.

The Mayor also said it should set higher targets for public transport access to reduce the air pollution it causes, and questioned plans to expand parking by 20 per cent.

And Mr Khan said the airport must consider emissions from flights in its carbon reduction plans.

The airport’s current target of net zero emissions by 2050 does not include flights – only airport terminals, landing vehicles, and other ground operations.

In a letter to its chief executive Robert Sinclair, the Mayor said: “The airport’s ambitions are clear, but the draft master plan raises significant concerns.

“The airport must takes its environmental responsibilities and its impact on Londoners seriously.

“It is essential for the airport to recognise that unfettered growth is not an option and that it must be proactive in addressing its noise, air quality and carbon impacts.”

Mr Khan joins the London Assembly’s Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green groups, as well as the Mayors of Newham and Tower Hamlets in opposing the draft plans.

Newham, Tower Hamlets, Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Lewisham and Hackney councils have also criticised the current proposals.

Alan Haughton, a Blackwall resident and campaigner with Hacan East, a group opposing the airport’s expansion, welcomed Mr Khan’s letter.

He said: “It’s a very strong response from the Mayor. He obviously gets that London City Airport is acting irresponsibly with what it has put in its draft master plan.”

Mr Haughton said the airport should now provide more details of proposed changes to flight paths so residents could better understand the noise impact.

He said: “The airport need to stop. They need to kill this dead in the water – no one wants it.

“They need to scrap all expansion plans and all plans for weekend flights – until we have clear concise flight paths everything else must be on hold.”

A spokesperson for London City Airport said consulting on its plans had been the “ideal opportunity” to gather views on its future.

He said: “We take our environmental responsibilities seriously, both to local residents and to London as a whole, and our record to date on air quality, noise and carbon reduction demonstrates this commitment.

“In the event that the airport were to submit more detailed proposals in the future, these would be subject to full assessment of environmental impacts, as part of our rigorous focus on sustainable growth.”

https://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/17993568.sadiq-khan-attacks-london-city-airport-expansion-plans/

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See also:

 

Tower Hamlets Mayor’s letter to London City Airport consultation, opposing changes that will negatively impact residents

The Mayor Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has sent a letter to the London City Airport consultation, to express his concerns about the airport’s expansion plans. This is in addition to the more detailed response sent by the council itself. Mr Biggs says: …”the negative impacts of increasing flights at LCA would be unacceptable in terms of increasing noise levels and exacerbating climate change. The level of noise coming from aircraft needs to be tightly regulated and we believe lower thresholds for disturbance need to put in place. …  To protect residents from noise disruption LCA must retain the current 24 hour closure of the airport at weekends between 12.30pm Saturday – 12.30pm Sunday to provide respite for our residents from the noise. To limit the level of disturbance caused to our residents the restrictions on early morning, late night and weekend flights should also be retained,  …In Tower Hamlets we have declared a climate emergency and 40% of our residents live in areas with unacceptable levels of air quality. I would like to see further commitments by the airport on its plans to limit the amount of emissions from airport operations.”  See the full letter.

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Redbridge councillors agree to oppose ‘detrimental’ London City Airport expansion plans

Redbridge Councillors have agreed to oppose  (43 : 10) London City Airport’s expansion plans and express serious concern about the “detrimental effect” of noise and air pollution on the health and wellbeing of Redbridge residents.  Proposing the motion, Councillor Sheila Bain and Councillor John Howard spoke about the “profound noise and environmental impact” the proposals will have on residents, particularly those living directly under the flight paths. The motion also asked councillors to note a lack of evidence to support the claims that noise pollution, air quality and emissions will not be affected and the lack of adequate consultation by London City Airport with residents affected by the proposals, most of whom are unaware of the consultation taking place.  Councillor Paul Donovan said: “City Airport needs to think again, listen to what people are saying and realise that whilst they may need to make more money, that the environment, health and welfare of those of us living below these flight paths is more important.”

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Mayor of Newham’s challenge to London City Airport’s expansion as “fundamentally flawed, due to lack of clarity & information”

Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, to halt London City Airport’s consultation on expansion with more daily flights – until it shows how it will tackling noise and CO2 emissions. City Airport’s Consultation Master Plan suggests almost doubling the number of daily flights, with more early morning and late evening. The airport insists its consultation will continue till 20th September. The mayor called the consultation “fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information” in a letter to the airport’s chief executive. She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the “omitted technical details”. “The significance of the mayor’s move cannot be overstated. Newham is the planning authority for the airport,” said Hacan East chairman John Stewart.  Newham Council which declared a “climate emergency” earlier this year, and is seeking more evidence about the airport’s plans to tackle CO2 emissions and air pollution. A huge number of people are already badly affected by aircraft noise. Newham already has a large number of deaths, occurring prematurely, due to air pollution. London City airport growth – pollution from aircraft – would only add to that, as well as the noise assault.

Click here to view full story…

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RESIDENTS DISMAYED BY LONDON CITY AIRPORT EXPANSION PLANS TO DOUBLE FLIGHT NUMBERS

London City’s Master Plan has been released, for consultation, and it is very bad news for local residents who suffer from the noise of its planes.  It is proposing to double the number of flights by 2035; to end the break when currently there are no flights between 12:30pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday; and to bring in more planes in the early morning and late evening. Residents are dismayed by the London City expansion revealed in its Master Plan published today.  The airport wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. Last year there were just over 75,000 flights. John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which gives a voice to residents under the airport’s flight paths, said, “For all its green talk, this plan would be disastrous for residents.  Flight numbers could double from today’s levels.” Increasingly the airport caters for leisure passengers, not business. The consultation ends on 20th September.  The airport would need to go to a Planning Inquiry to get permission for any proposals it intends to take forward, after applying to Newham Council for its plans. Newham borough has pledged to make the borough “carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050”.  The airport will not be helping with that.

Click here to view full story…

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Tower Hamlets Mayor’s letter to London City Airport consultation, opposing changes that will negatively impact residents

The Mayor Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has sent a letter to the London City Airport consultation, to express his concerns about the airport’s expansion plans. This is in addition to the more detailed response sent by the council itself. Mr Biggs says: …”the negative impacts of increasing flights at LCA would be unacceptable in terms of increasing noise levels and exacerbating climate change. The level of noise coming from aircraft needs to be tightly regulated and we believe lower thresholds for disturbance need to put in place. …  To protect residents from noise disruption LCA must retain the current 24 hour closure of the airport at weekends between 12.30pm Saturday – 12.30pm Sunday to provide respite for our residents from the noise. To limit the level of disturbance caused to our residents the restrictions on early morning, late night and weekend flights should also be retained,  …In Tower Hamlets we have declared a climate emergency and 40% of our residents live in areas with unacceptable levels of air quality. I would like to see further commitments by the airport on its plans to limit the amount of emissions from airport operations.”  See the full letter.
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To:  consultation@londoncityairport.com

From:

Executive Mayor’s Office
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
Contact: Marilyn Chitolie
Tel: 020 7364 6551
mayor@towerhamlets.gov.uk
www.towerhamlets.gov.uk

15 October 2019

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

London City Airport – Draft Masterplan 2020-2035

This is my statement as Executive Mayor to the London City Airport (LCA) Masterplan Draft consultation. While the attached formal council response is a fuller more technical reply this sets out the key points I would like to raise on behalf of my residents and should be read in conjunction with the fuller reply.

As the airport is situated in close proximity to densely populated areas any expansion needs to carefully consider the impact of noise and pollution levels on residents. I recognise the economic benefits that LCA brings to our borough, however I have concerns about the proposals in the Masterplan.

As a council our position remains aligned to previous representations that the negative impacts of increasing flights at LCA would be unacceptable in terms of increasing noise levels and exacerbating climate change. The level of noise coming from aircraft needs to be tightly regulated and we believe lower thresholds for disturbance need to put in place.

LCA brings benefits to Tower Hamlets however the central reason behind these proposals seems to be a plan to change the business model of the airport from one focussed on business flights to one aimed at flights for leisure. The current permitted flight numbers are already in excess of used flight numbers so there is not a capacity issue at present. These proposals are about shifting the business model of the airport and this would mean more flights at weekends.

To protect residents from noise disruption LCA must retain the current 24 hour closure of the airport at weekends between 12.30pm Saturday – 12.30pm Sunday to provide respite for our residents from the noise. To limit the level of disturbance caused to our residents the restrictions on early morning, late night and weekend flights should also be retained, so I oppose proposals to increase this by half an hour either side of the day. I also think there should be a review of the number of properties and areas falling within London City Airport’s Sound Insulation Scheme.

In Tower Hamlets we have declared a climate emergency and 40% of our residents live in areas with unacceptable levels of air quality. I would like to see further commitments by the airport on its plans to limit the amount of emissions from airport operations.

The current plans bank on future technological improvements to reduce aircraft noise and emissions but until these come in would leave my residents facing years of disruption and negative impacts to their health.

I would also urge City Airport to adopt a social value framework to ensure residents benefit.

The consultation itself is rather technical and while I welcomed the extension of the consultation period there was only one engagement event in Tower Hamlets which took place in Mile End.

I think further consultation work should take place particularly with a focus on Bow, Poplar and Isle of Dogs which are under the flight paths.

I will be sharing this response publicly so residents are aware of the representations I have made.

Please continue to update me on the consultation process.

Yours Sincerely

John Biggs

Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets

https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/Documents/London_City_Airport_Consultation_Response.pdf

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Heathrow might get over £1 billion per year from its congestion charge, at £29 or more per day per vehicle

Heathrow could make £1.2 billion a year from a congestion (vehicle access) charge levied on drivers arriving at the airport by car, according to analysis. Heathrow has committed to expanding without any extra cars on the road. The new charging, that might be introduced when (or IF) a 3rd runway opened – which the airport hopes would be in 2026 – might grow by 2040 to yield as much as £3.25 million per day.  The charge, is set to cost £29 a day, based on today’s prices, then rising. As many as 65,000 vehicles would pay the charge each day.  It would eventually be levied on all cars, including those with the lowest emissions, and is designed to act to encourage drivers to choose public transport to get to and from Heathrow. In reality, there would not be enough bus and train capacity to deal with all the extra passengers. The number needing to travel by public transport might be 140 million more than now – a 75% increase.  There is likely to be no way for drivers in the area, not associated with the airport, to avoid being charged.  Heathrow says then money it gets (why does Heathrow get to keep it?) from the charge “will help to improve sustainable transport and keep passenger charges affordable…” 

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Response to the Heathrow consultation, from the Heathrow Southern Railway Project

This contains details of the amounts Heathrow is likely to make from the charge.

https://heathrowrail.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/HAL-AEC-Consultation-Reply-from-HSRL-130919-final-letter.pdf

Heathrow Southern Railway Limited publishes its response to the Heathrow Expansion Consultation

This says: 

“We understand the transport planning rationale for levying a charge on road vehicles to ‘push’ a switch from road to public transport, and are supportive of this principle.

The VAC [Vehicle Access Charge] and HULEZ  [Heathrow Ultra Low Emission Zone] provide a useful revenue stream and we would suggest that this should be hypothecated and ring fenced for spending on improved public transport and not cross subsidise HAL’s other costs via the single till RAB.
“We are supportive of HAL’s proposed HULEZ, as a measure to improve air quality around the airport.


Heathrow congestion charge is expected to raise £1.2bn a year

A new penalty system, which will be introduced to coincide with the opening of Heathrow’s third runway in 2026, will grow to yield as much as £3.25 million a day, it was claimed.

The charge, which will eventually be levied on all cars, including the cleanest, is designed to act as an incentive for drivers to choose public transport to reach the west London hub.

However, the airport has been told that capacity on buses and trains will be woefully insufficient to meet the demands of the enlarged airport, which will cater for 142 million passengers — 75 per cent more than it does now.

A submission to Heathrow’s consultation into its expansion says that there is “no practical way” for some people to avoid paying the charge, particularly those living in Surrey, Hampshire and southwest London where direct transport links are lacking.

Heathrow Southern Railway, a private company seeking to build a new rail line to the airport, said the charge will be “seen as just another tax” on passengers. The charge is set to cost £29 a day by 2040, based on today’s prices, but could rise to £50 after inflation.

Passengers using Heathrow already pay higher landing charges than at any other airport in the world, with more than £20 being added to the price of each air ticket.

Heathrow’s consultation into proposals for a two-mile runway northwest of the airport site closed just over a week ago. It will allow an extra 756,000 flights a year.

Heathrow has committed to expanding without any extra cars on the road. Its plan told how the proportion of passengers who travel to the airport via public transport is expected to rise from about 40 per cent in 2015 to 55 per cent by 2040. They will be accommodated by the new east-west Crossrail line, an upgrade of the Tube’s Piccadilly Line and improved coach and bus access.

Plans have also been drawn up for a new rail line from the south, creating a direct link from London Waterloo, and another from the west allowing passengers to travel direct from Reading.

However, the consultation said a decision has “yet to be made” on whether either of the two lines will proceed, casting doubt on whether the public transport system will be able to cope with the surge in passenger numbers.

Heathrow Southern Railway, which is backed by the US engineering giant Aecom, is bidding to build the eight-mile line from Waterloo using private cash but has yet to win firm backing from Heathrow or the Department for Transport.

In a submission to the consultation, the company said that without the line large numbers of passengers would have little choice but to pay the congestion charge, which will be imposed at all drop-off and pick-up points and Heathrow car parks.

It calculated that 65,000 vehicles would pay the charge each day, adding: “With a 2040 price of £50 this would yield for Heathrow £3.25 million a day or almost £1.2 billion a year.”

The scale of payments risks becoming a “major reason for objection” to a third runway and reinforces the need for a new rail line, the company said.

“For many locations in Surrey, Hampshire [and] southwest London there is no viable public transport alternative to road,” it said. “This will cause resentment as there will be no practicable way for people in this area of the country to avoid the charge.”

Last night the airport insisted it supported a new southern rail line and called for the government to support the plan, adding: “Heathrow does not recognise this £1.2 billion figure and we are taking steps to encourage passengers to travel to the airport using more sustainable means. The revenue generated . . . will help to improve sustainable transport and keep passenger charges affordable as the airport expands.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/c66d6bb2-dd71-11e9-9f61-dcefea5f5359

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See earlier:

 

Heathrow plans to charge motorists £15 to enter ‘congestion cordon’ around airport to tackle toxic air

Heathrow knows it has an insuperable problem with air pollution if it was allowed a 3rd runway. Levels of NO2 are already often illegal, in many places. Now Heathrow is considering imposing a new “H-charge” on motorists who arrive or leave the airport by car. This is intended to reduce air pollution, and get more passengers to travel by rail (already pretty crowded). The idea is for a charge of £10 – 15 for everyone, including taxis and public hire vehicles, for each trip.  Not surprisingly, avid backers of the Heathrow runway like Sir Howard Davies and Lord Adonis think the charge is a great idea. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is understood to believe that some form of low emission zone around the airport will be needed. The government has made (rather hard to believe) assurances that a 3rd runway would only be allowed to operate if it can do so within air quality limits. (Which it cannot). Most of the NO2 and particulate pollution in the area is from road vehicles; a high proportion of those are Heathrow associated; a proportion comes from planes. The exact proportions are not known – yet. Heathrow likes to give the impression hardly any is from planes (not true). Heathrow airport says it will consult on the proposals for charging, and details of how it might work  – but it is seen as a “last resort” to tackle its air pollution problems. It would be very, very unpopular with travellers and taxi/Uber drivers.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/07/heathrow-plans-to-charge-motorists-15-to-enter-congestion-cordon-around-airport-to-tackle-toxic-air/

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Heathrow plans a ULEZ from 2022 for passenger cars, taxis etc coming to car parks or drop-off areas

Heathrow knows it has to try to do something to cut its high levels of air pollution. So it has proposed some changes, to slightly reduce pollution from road vehicles (nothing about the pollution from the planes). The plan is to introduce charges for passenger cars and all private hire vehicles, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It would be the world’s first airport ULEZ. That might start in 2022, and then turn into a VAC (Vehicle Access Charge) on all passenger cars, taxis and private hire vehicles coming to car parks or drop-off areas,  if the runway finally gets built.  Heathrow says: “We want to reduce congestion by decreasing the number of cars on the road and encourage more people to use sustainable ways of getting to and from the airport…”  And “The Heathrow ULEZ will introduce minimum vehicle emissions standards identical to the London Mayor’s ULEZ…” Initial proposals set the charge figure between £10-£15 per vehicle. “Revenue collected from both schemes will help fund initiatives to improve sustainable transport, contribute to community compensation and help keep airport charges affordable as the airport expands.” (sic)  [ie. keep flights cheap, so there can be more flights, which will lead to more air pollution].   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2019/05/heathrow-plans-a-ulez-from-2022-for-passenger-cars-taxis-etc-coming-to-car-parks-or-drop-off-areas/

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Mayor of Newham’s challenge to London City Airport’s expansion as “fundamentally flawed, due to lack of clarity & information”

Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, to halt London City Airport’s consultation on expansion with more daily flights – until it shows how it will tackling noise and CO2 emissions. City Airport’s Consultation Master Plan suggests almost doubling the number of daily flights, with more early morning and late evening. The airport insists its consultation will continue till 20th September. The mayor called the consultation “fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information” in a letter to the airport’s chief executive. She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the “omitted technical details”. “The significance of the mayor’s move cannot be overstated. Newham is the planning authority for the airport,” said Hacan East chairman John Stewart.  Newham Council which declared a “climate emergency” earlier this year, and is seeking more evidence about the airport’s plans to tackle CO2 emissions and air pollution. A huge number of people are already badly affected by aircraft noise. Newham already has a large number of deaths, occurring prematurely, due to air pollution. London City airport growth – pollution from aircraft – would only add to that, as well as the noise assault.
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Mayor of Newham’s challenge to London City Airport’s expansion is greeted by campaigners

16 August 2019

By Mike Brooke (Newham Recorder)

Image result for rokhsana fiaz

Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham to halt London City Airport’s consultation on expansion with more daily flights until it shows how it will tackling noise and climate emissions.

City AirportConsultation Master Plan suggests more daily flights, early morning and late evening.

But the airport remains firm and insists that the consultation – on plans to almost double the number of landings and take-offs – continues until September 20.

The mayor called the consultation “fundamentally flawed” in a letter to the airport’s chief executive.

The letter “throws down the gauntlet to the airport”, say campaigners from Hacan East which represents households in the flight paths across east London.

“The significance of the mayor’s move cannot be overstated,” its chairman John Stewart said. “Newham is the planning authority for the airport.”

Newham Council which declared a “climate emergency” earlier this year is seeking more evidence about the airport’s plans to tackle pollution.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz says in her letter to airport chief executive Robert Sinclair: “The council would struggle to support London City Airport’s justification to increase the number of flights. Residents are gravely concerned about the high level forecasts.”

Newham has the most deaths in London attributed to pollution with 96 people a year dying prematurely from respiratory diseases, the mayor points out.

The local authority has set up an air quality and climate emergency task force to achieve “carbon neutral” by 2030 and “carbon zero” by 2050.

“The consultation is fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information,” the mayor’s letter to the airport boss states.

“We expected to see ’emissions from airborne aircraft’ detailed in your aims to achieve the level 3-plus neutrality that you claim to seek by 2020.”

She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the “omitted technical details”.

The airport says it is giving proper consideration to the mayor’s views, but the consultation remains open for people who want to have their say.

A spokesman said: “The draft master plan is an opportunity to share views on how the airport can respond to the significant demand for air travel in London and in particular east London.

“We recognise the challenge of climate change in our draft master plan. Our record to date on air quality, noise and carbon reduction demonstrates our commitment to a change in sustainable aviation.”

The 12-week consultation proposes to scrap the 24-weekend break, which would add more early morning and late evening flights.

https://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/politics/challenge-to-airport-expansion-1-6220270?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons

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Assembly calls for changes to City Airport airspace to prioritise Londoners over profit

14 August 2019

By Luke Acton (Newham Recorder)

City Hall’s environment committee has called on airspace decision-makers to prioritise the health and wellbeing of Londoners over the commercial interests of City Airport.

The call comes as a national effort gets under way to modernise the UK’s airspace to improve things like efficiency. The Civil Aviation Authority is the body in charge of that process.

With airports responsible for designing airspace routes under 7,000 feet, City has released a draft document outlining what it wants the new design to do.

Among the “musts” is the maintenance or enhancement of safety and airspace that provides “sufficient capacity to support future demand”.

Among lower priorities, things the new design “should” achieve, is minimisation of CO2 and noise, as well as lower air pollution.

Different groups and organisations are now responding to the plan. Assembly Member Caroline Russell is a Green Party politician and chairwoman of the environment committee.

She said: “According to the Civil Aviation Authority, there are already 331,000 people overflown by flights arriving at City Airport, and 416,300 overflown by departures, all under the altitude of 4,000 feet.

“The damaging effect of aircraft noise on Londoners’ lives can no longer be ignored.

“The London Assembly is recommending that any changes to airspace and flight paths at London City Airport prioritise the health and wellbeing of overflown Londoners, over and above the commercial interests of the airport.”

A spokesman for London City thanked the committee for its response, adding that air capacity is vital for jobs, to support business and to encourage trade and tourism.

“As London’s most central airport, we know we have a responsibility to be a good neighbour, which is exactly why we are participating in this airspace modernisation programme, which is anticipated to result in quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys.

“We have also previously highlighted evidence to the environment committee of the extensive work we are doing with airlines, manufacturers, air traffic control services, and other stakeholders, to actively limit noise and mitigate its effects.”

The airspace document comes as City is also consulting on its draft master plan, which calls for more flexibility for early and late flights, and during the 24-hour weekend break.

https://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/new-airspace-plan-priorities-1-6216031?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons

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HACAN East new major campaign against London City’s expansion plans, asking people to fill in postcard responses to the consultation.

HACAN East has launched a major campaign against London City’s expansion plans. It is encouraging people to fill in postcards opposing the expansion plans, and send them in to Freepost LCY MASTER PLAN CONSULTATION. People can also download and display posters. The postcards call on residents to back the existing 24 hour weekend ban on aircraft using London City.  HACAN East wants the airport drop its proposals to end the 24 hour break as well as its plans to almost double flight numbers from today’s levels and to increase flights in the early morning and late evening. The postcards say: I SUPPORT the 24 hour London City Airport weekend flight ban. I DO NOT want up to 40,00 more flights. I DO NOT want more early morning or late evening flights. I DO NOT want more climate damaging airport expansion. Overall, I DO NOT support the plans in the draft master plan.

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Caroline Russell: Action is needed on aircraft noise

Caroline writes in a blog that in parts of London, people are now living with severe levels of noise disruption. This is not acceptable, and urgent, decisive action is needed across the board to alleviate it. For some, the onslaught from Heathrow planes is made worse by the addition of London City planes using narrow, concentrated routes. The noise has significant health impacts for many. A report by the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, which Caroline chairs, concluded that the Government and CAA should regulate noise disturbance more stringently. They should use lower thresholds for noise disturbance (taking into account WHO guidelines and the need for residents to keep windows open) and mapping the combined effect of all London’s airports, especially Heathrow and City.  The WHO guidance is that 45dB is the threshold for health impacts, but the UK government persists with 54dB as the ‘disturbance’ threshold. Also that flight paths should be rotated, to give relief to those under concentrated flight paths – and flight paths should be designed to minimise noise impacts, including avoiding overlapping flight paths. Increasing exposure to aircraft noise is unacceptable, and must be challenged

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What is driving London City Airport’s expansion plans? John Stewart comment

John Stewart, from Hacan East, has looked at why London City Airport is planning huge expansion. The airport Master Plan wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. He says the airport is aiming to promote itself as a major player on the aviation scene, and a key driver of the regional economy, not just a niche business airport. It now often holds receptions at the party conferences, and is raising its profile to get backing for its growth plans. The current owners bought the airport for £2 billion in 2016, and want to make a good return. Business passengers used to be about 60% of the total, but now 50% – with the plans suggesting 36% by 2035. Most business passengers fly in the morning and evening, so leisure flights use the hours in the middle of the day. It can’t offer budget flights because Ryanair and EasyJet planes are too big to use the airport. London City has set out to change to portray itself as a key driver, maybe even the key driver, of the economic development of East, NE and SE London.  It is pushing this to MPs and also local authorities in its regions in order to convince them it is in their interest to back expansion.

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RESIDENTS DISMAYED BY LONDON CITY AIRPORT EXPANSION PLANS TO DOUBLE FLIGHT NUMBERS

London City’s Master Plan has been released, for consultation, and it is very bad news for local residents who suffer from the noise of its planes.  It is proposing to double the number of flights by 2035; to end the break when currently there are no flights between 12:30pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday; and to bring in more planes in the early morning and late evening. Residents are dismayed by the London City expansion revealed in its Master Plan published today.  The airport wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. Last year there were just over 75,000 flights. John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which gives a voice to residents under the airport’s flight paths, said, “For all its green talk, this plan would be disastrous for residents.  Flight numbers could double from today’s levels.” Increasingly the airport caters for leisure passengers, not business. The consultation ends on 20th September.  The airport would need to go to a Planning Inquiry to get permission for any proposals it intends to take forward, after applying to Newham Council for its plans. Newham borough has pledged to make the borough “carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050”.  The airport will not be helping with that.

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London Assembly – wholly opposed to Heathrow expansion – urges people to respond, rejecting 3rd runway plans

The London Assembly is totally opposed to a 3rd Heathrow runway. They have set out clearly 5 key reasons why it should be opposed, and are asking Londoners to reject the plans. They point out that the Heathrow consultation is confusing, and very difficult indeed for anyone who is not an expert to fill in. The Assembly says: “We are gravely concerned that Heathrow is prioritising the interests of the airline industry and passengers over and above the wellbeing of Londoners, who are going to be the most affected by the expansion.”   The plans would mean unacceptable levels of noise, air pollution, carbon emissions and amounts of road traffic. The extra noise is likely to harm health and well-being of thousands of people. As the consultation is too hard to respond to, using the online or paper forms, the Assembly suggests that people send a short message to the Heathrow email address feedback@heathrowconsultation.com  The text they suggest – vary it however you wish – is “Heathrow expansion fundamentally goes against the UK’s commitment to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality in the capital.  It’s going to make air pollution worse, increase carbon emissions and increase noise, and we don’t support it. I stand with hundreds of others calling for it to be CANCELLED.”
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Five reasons why the expansion of Heathrow is the wrong move for London

by the London Assembly

London Assembly
Aug 15th 2019
Heathrow Airport’s new runway proposal would enable it to grow from around 475,000 to around 740,000 flights a year.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: it’s bad for the environment, and it’s bad for Londoners.

Here’s why:

5️⃣ The consultation process has been confusing for Londoners

We are gravely concerned that Heathrow is prioritising the interests of the airline industry and passengers over and above the wellbeing of Londoners, who are going to be the most affected by the expansion. Thus far, the consultation process has been highly inaccessible to those without the time or inclination to work through several hundred-page documents, and numerous webpages to find information on areas that may impact them.

Many Londoners are cynical about the consultation process; here’s what people have been saying in response to the consultation on Facebook:

Future consultation processes must be accessible to local people and communities, in all areas but especially those overflown. Further, future consultations should facilitate engagement between communities, so that advocacy efforts do not leave any one community behind.

4️⃣ Noise pollution will drastically increase

The World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that average noise levels above 45dB are associated with adverse health effects. We asked Heathrow representatives to indicate the number of people newly affected by noise as a result of the expansion. None of the representatives could provide this figure, despite its relevance to the discussion on noise impacts.

The UK Government found that, with the expansion, an extra 539,327 people would be affected should the threshold of annoyance be extended down to their limit of 51dB, taking the total number of people in the noise annoyance footprint to over 1.15 million.

Further, NHS guidelines say that getting less than seven hours of sleep can damage mental and physical health. The proposed expansion plans suggest the ban on night flights would be between 23:00p.m. and 5:30a.m — just 6 and a half hours.

We’re recommending that Heathrow commissions an independent noise impact assessment to better understand the harms of aviation noise and determine an appropriate, evidence-based noise threshold. In addition to that research, we’re calling for specific, stringent and binding targets for noise reduction, based on lower thresholds of disturbance, as specified by the WHO.

3️⃣ There will be more air pollution

The Government has said that any increase in pollution from an expanded Heathrow would be acceptable as long as emissions remain within legal limits — i.e. do not exceed the worst pollution levels in the whole Greater London area. But if air quality is improved in one area of London, that shouldn’t mean it is acceptable for Heathrow to increase its contributions to air pollution.

It would be illegal to worsen and prolong local breaches in health-based air pollutant concentration limits.

2️⃣ There will be more pollution from cars

The proposed expansion of Heathrow will significantly increase traffic, and there’s been a real lack of planning for improving surface access (the way cars, buses and lorries will be managed going to and from Heathrow). This increase will have a serious impact on air quality in an area already experiencing high — and potentially illegal — levels of pollution.

Currently, 40% of Heathrow’s passengers are using public transportation, up only 1% in the last 10 years. The Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) required Heathrow to drive up the number of passengers using public transport to 50% by 2030 and 55% by 2040. With another 10 to 12 million passengers travelling to and from the airport with the expansion, how is it possible Heathrow will deliver on its goals?

Heathrow has said it relies on public transportation improvements like Crossrail, High Speed 2, Western and Southern Rail, and buses and coaches. But most of these plans fall outside the governance and financial jurisdiction of Heathrow — meaning taxpayers will ultimately bear the burden. We need to know what surface access is required, how much it would cost and who would be expected to pay for it.

And further, these objectives are significantly lower than the Mayor’s city-wide target of 80% of journeys being taken by walking, cycling and public transport by 2041. Heathrow’s targets should be consistent with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the draft London Plan, so as to not undermine city-wide efforts.

1️⃣ There will be increased carbon emissions

Heathrow is the biggest single source of carbon emissions in the UK, and though the Government just announced plans to meet new, much tougher “net zero” greenhouse gas target by 2050 — aviation is not currently included in these carbon budgets.

CO2 emissions after expansion will be eight to nine million tonnes higher per year. This is equivalent to over seven million passenger vehicles driven for one year.

Proposed plans to reduce emissions rely primarily on technological improvements — but there is no credible evidence that technology will be available fast enough to support and deliver on Heathrow’s net-zero carbon objectives. For instance, Heathrow indicated landing fees would be waived for electric planes. But Cait Hewitt of the Aviation Environment Federation said in our meeting that they “foresaw no [implementation of the use of] electric aircraft this side of 2050.” Therefore, waiving of landing fees is not a fitting incentive for the near future.

So how can Heathrow expand while ensuring the Government meets its carbon objectives? That’s what we need to know before we move ahead with expansion.

We sent this list to Heathrow Airport Consultation. Add your voice if you agree>>


If you would like to relay this information to the Heathrow Consultation process, copy and paste the below paragraph and send to: feedback@heathrowconsultation.com

Heathrow expansion fundamentally goes against the UK’s commitment to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality in the capital.

It’s going to make air pollution worse, increase carbon emissions and increase noise, and we don’t support it.

I stand with hundreds of others calling for it to be CANCELLED.  http://bit.ly/5ReasonsForNoHeathrow

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AEF produces extensive guide to understanding how the planning system can influence airport development

The AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) has published a guide explaining the role of the UK planning system in controlling development at airports and airfields, and how planning conditions have been used to limit the impact of operations. The guide, in plain English, outlines provisions and policies in the planning system that are relevant for airport development projects. The Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) applies to smaller scale developments, whilst the Planning Act (2008) has introduced a new process applicable to larger infrastructure projects, like extending or adding runways. AEF says national policy imposes very few meaningful environmental limits on airport operations or expansion, and successive governments have been reluctant to intervene. That means it is largely up to local councils to negotiate controls or limits. An exception is that Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick airports have been “designated” for noise regulation by the Government. Some of the issues covered are those relating to smaller airports; permitted development rights; “established use” rights; conditions and planning agreements; Section 106 Agreements; the stages of the planning application process; the Airports National Policy Statement; and the Development Consent Order process for the largest developments.
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AEF releases guidance on aviation planning

AEF has today published the next in a series of guides aimed at explaining how aviation’s environmental impacts are addressed and managed.

Understanding aviation-related planning explains the role of the UK planning system in controlling development at airports and airfields, and how planning conditions have been used to limit the impact of operations.

The guide goes on to outline the planning system, with a particular focus on aviation-specific provisions and policies. The Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) applies to smaller scale developments, whilst the Planning Act (2008) has introduced a new process applicable to larger infrastructure projects, it explains.

https://www.aef.org.uk/2019/08/14/aef-releases-planning-guidance-for-aviation


Understanding aviation-related planning

Why is the planning system important for aviation?

National policy imposes very few meaningful environmental limits on airport operations or expansion, and successive governments have been reluctant to intervene. Consequently, it’s almost always at the local level, within the planning system, where the impacts of airport operations are consulted on with stakeholders, and where any controls or limits are negotiated.

There are exceptions, however. Since the 1980s, Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick airports have been “designated” for noise regulation by the Government. This means that Government restrictions run alongside those laid down by local planning authorities through the planning process. The Department for Transport (DfT) periodically consults on its approach to noise controls at the designated airports, particularly in relation to night time aviation noise, which provides opportunities for members of the public to comment.

As the information and examples below will show, the planning system has always occupied an important place within the aviation industry. However, a 2018 statement made by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) during its Airspace Modernisation Strategy consultation reinforces the strategic importance of the planning system as the process for determining the appropriate scale of the industry’s impacts. Aviation growth, and its noise and other environmental impacts, the CAA said, should be managed not through the airspace change process, which it authorises, but through the planning system.

The CAA envisages, for example, that regional and local government policy and decision-makers can limit the number of new runways at an airport, or place restrictions on their use.
But, given the limited ability of the planning system to set appropriate controls in every situation, AEF argues that there is a case for the DfT and the CAA to retain the right to impose limits way of conditions on airspace use where this is the best or only means of providing environmental protection.

What is the planning system?

The planning system was put in place in the 1940s to facilitate a coordinated approach to land use in the UK. It introduced the requirement to obtain planning permissions from local authorities for building works, and for a change of land use.

With some exceptions (outlined below), the planning system controls what happens on the ground at airfields and airports. This includes, as examples, proposals to develop new hangars and terminals, extensions to existing runways, or the construction of new ones, such as the one currently planned for Heathrow Airport.

What is the relevant aviation-related planning legislation?

The planning system has evolved considerably since the first planning act in 1947, and is subject to several Acts of Parliament, and a very wide range of policies and guidance that are out of scope for this short guide. However, keep in mind that legislation, policy and guidance that applies to proposed developments will differ depending on the scale of the proposals put forward and their impacts.

In this way, the planning system falls into two main legislative strands: (1) The Town and Country Planning Act (1990), and (2) the Planning Act (2008). In the context of aviation, The Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) applies to smaller development consents, which are dealt with locally. The 2008 Planning Act (PA) applies development proposals that are considered to be of national significance, and it is discussed separately below.

Whether the TCPA or the PA applies, you are also likely to come across references to the Localism Act (2011), which amended both.

The Climate Change Act (2008) is also very relevant, as all planning policy and considerations must take into account the legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions laid out in Section 1 of the Act (recently amended to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050).

For a full list of planning-related legislation, click here.


The AEF document continues with a lot of excellent, important and useful detail on the planning process, and how it affects airport plans and developments.

Some of the issues covered are:

issues relating to smaller airports;

permitted development rights;

“established use” rights;

conditions and planning agreements;

Section 106 Agreements;

the stages of the planning application process;

the Airports National Policy Statement; and

the Development Consent Order process for the largest developments.

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For the full details, see https://www.aef.org.uk/a-short-guide-to-aviation-related-planning-2/

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