Willie Walsh and aviation insiders think Heathrow hopes of getting planning consent by 2020 are unrealistic

The Times reports that Willie Walsh, head of British Airways’ parent company IAG, (Heathrow’s biggest customer), said that Heathrow’s target for its runway plans were over optimistic.  He did not think the timetable of getting the support of MPs in the Commons within 12 months and then getting the planning process completed – through all the legal and planning hurdles  – in a further 2 years was realistic. Those timings are highly optimistic, but Heathrow is preparing to start work on a 3rd runway in three years from now – in 2020.  An airline insider told The Times that DfT officials had privately told industry bosses that planning permission would not be won until 2021. There will be legal challenges, and those could mean the timetable could slip even further. Heathrow wants to get its runway built by 2025, so it could increase the number of flights by 50% by 2030, compared to the number now.  Heathrow has said it wants to apply to raise the number of flights from its legal cap now, of 480,000 per year, to 505,000 from 2021 – if it has been granted planning approval for the runway. That might involve one or two fewer flights in the night period, but a loss of some runway alternation during the day – perhaps softening people up for the worse noise, and shorter respite periods, there would be with a 3rd runway.
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Heathrow runway timetable ‘pie in the sky’

By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (The Times)
February 25th  2017

Heathrow is preparing to start work on a third runway in three years’ time, despite claims from senior airline bosses that the timetable is unachievable.

 

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However, Willie Walsh, head of British Airways’ parent company IAG, Heathrow’s biggest customer, said that the target was unlikely to be reached, branding it as an “optimistic outlook”.

An airline insider told The Times that Department for Transport officials had privately told industry bosses that planning permission would not be won until 2021.

See full Times article at

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heathrow-runway-timetable-pie-in-sky-v5vr5wdw0

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Era of falling air fares may be over, BA’s owner warns

By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (The Times)
February 25th  2017,

The owner of British Airways warned yesterday that the era of declining air fares may be over amid a sharp rise in the cost of oil and a slump in the value of the pound.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), said that fares were set to be flat this year after two years of falling prices. His comments were made as the group, which owns BA, Iberia and Aer Lingus, reported a rise in profits, despite taking a post-Brexit hit. IAG reported that pre-tax profits were up by a third to €2.4 billion in 2016.

A slump in the value of the pound since Britain’s vote to leave the EU cost the company €460 million while passenger and cargo revenues slid by 1.3 per cent to almost €22.6 billion.

IAG said that it would increase cash returns to shareholders through a stock buyback worth €500 million.

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See full Times article at
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/era-of-falling-air-fares-may-be-over-bas-owner-warns-cvl60p3gv

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UK Government announces £3.8 m funding for a Londonderry to Stansted (BMI Regional) air route

The UK government has announced £3.8 million (2 years) for a Londonderry to London air route, as the current operator Ryanair will stop operating the route at the end of March.  BMI Regional has been chosen as the preferred operator for the route between City of Derry Airport and Stansted, following a competitive tender process by Derry City & Strabane District Council. Flights begin on 2 May 2017, and the government will fund the route over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years.  The new service will include two return flights each day, except for Saturdays which will have one flight each way.  Lord Admad believed that the 13 weekly flights will “allow business passengers to get to central London and complete a full day’s work before returning home.”  The UK government maintains regional airport links through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which “can be used to protect important regional air connections to London which may otherwise be lost.” [As they are unprofitable]. Derry already has a route through the Fund, to Dublin. In December 2015 the DfT announced that 11 successful bidders had been awarded support from the Fund, for routes. The intention is that airlines, with the subsidy, can build up the routes that are not viable so they become profitable in a few years. 
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UK Government announces £3.8 million for a Londonderry to Stansted (BMI Regional) air route for 2 years

The UK government has today announced £3.8 million for a Londonderry to London air route, following the decision by current operator Ryanair to stop serving the air link at the end of March.

BMI Regional has been chosen as the preferred operator for the route between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted, following a competitive tender process by Derry City & Strabane District Council.

Tickets will go on sale from 9 March 2017 with flights commencing on 2 May 2017, and the government will fund the route over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years.

The new service will include two return flights each day, except for Saturdays which will have one flight each way.

Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

“The UK government has worked closely with Derry City and Strabane District Council to protect this important route to City of Derry Airport. £3.8 million UK Government funding will allow 13 return flights to connect Londonderry to London every week. The new service will allow business passengers to get to central London and complete a full day’s work before returning home.”

This is the first ever government backing for a public service obligation (PSO) in Northern Ireland. [That does not appear to be true. There is a link, in the article below, about a link from Derry to Dublin, unless that is paid for by Ireland? ]  The government maintains regional airport links through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which can be used to protect important regional air connections to London which may otherwise be lost. [As they are unprofitable].

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-funds-city-of-derry-air-link

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Earlier:

New regional air routes offer fast journeys across UK and Europe

From: Department for Transport and Robert Goodwill MP

2 December 2015

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill backs routes to bring new business and visitors for whole country.

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill has welcomed the new domestic and international routes that will start in 2016 from regional airports across the UK.

The Chancellor announced in last week’s Spending Review that 11 successful bidders had been awarded support from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. These new flights will offer fast journey times within the UK and also introduce new routes to Europe for the first time.

Robert Goodwill said:

Our smaller airports are vital engines for local economies, connecting the UK and opening up opportunities. That is why the government is backing new regional air routes to drive investment and benefit hardworking people across the country.

The start-up aid bidding competition was open to airports with fewer than 5 million passengers per year and allows air routes that are not currently commercially viable today to be introduced early, giving time for airlines to build passenger numbers and deliver a more sustainable service.

It is anticipated that the flights will begin from Spring 2016.

Start-up aid of up to £7 million is being provided through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. The fund already supports strategic routes to London from Newquay and Dundee.

Regional airports infographic.
The full list of successful routes are:
Carlisle Belfast City  –  Stobart Air
Carlisle Dublin   – Stobart Air
Carlisle Southend    – Stobart Air
Dundee Amsterdam    – Flybe
Derry Dublin   – Citywings
Newquay Leeds-Bradford   – Flybe
Norwich Exeter  – Flybe
Norwich Newcastle   – Linksair
Oxford Edinburgh   – Linksair
Southampton Lyon   – Flybe
Southampton Munich   – Flybe

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-regional-air-routes-offer-fast-journeys-across-uk-and-europe

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There is a lot about Public Service Obligations, and the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, from Parliament from March 2015.

Public Service Obligations

21. A Public Service Obligation (PSO) is an arrangement by which a governing body or other authority runs an auction for subsidies which allows the winning company a monopoly to operate an air service for a period of time for the given subsidy. PSOs are used in cases where there is insufficient revenue for routes to be profitable in a free market, but where it is socially, economically and/or politically desirable to maintain the transport link. In short, PSOs allow the state to subsidise air travel that is not commercially viable.

22. PSOs must be offered for tender in the Official Journal of the European Union and bidding is open to any transport operator registered in an EU member state. The winning tenderer usually receives a monopoly on the route, but they may have to conform to one or more conditions of service, such as the type and size of aircraft, the timing of services, maximum fares or service quality.

23. In 2014, the Government introduced a policy to promote the use of PSOs to maintain routes from smaller airports to London which might otherwise be lost. The funding stream for that policy is known as the Regional Air Connectivity Fund. In June 2014, the Government announced support from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund to maintain the air link between Dundee airport and London Stansted until 2016 through a PSO agreed with Dundee City Council.[27] In October 2014, the Government announced a second new PSO to maintain the Newquay to London Gatwick air link, which was agreed with Cornwall County Council.[28]

24. On 22 January 2015, the Government extended its PSO policy to include state support for new air routes rather than simply supporting existing routes at risk of closure. It made £56 million available over the next three years to fund PSOs that support new air routes. Airports and airlines were invited to bid for this funding, with the first round of applications closing on 25 February 2015.[29] The DfT should regularly report on the number of applicants and of successful applications to the Regional Air Connectivity Fund to support new air routes and publish this information on its website.

25. State support for air transport is governed by European Commission aviation state aid guidelines. PSOs can only be implemented with the agreement of the European Commission. The DfT has submitted a “Draft protocol for UK start-up aid for airports handling fewer than 3 million passengers per annum” for clearance by the European Commission.[30] If the European Commission agrees this protocol, the DfT will be able to award start-up aid for air transport to airports handling fewer than 3 million passengers per annum without further reference to the European Commission. The DfT should set out a timetable for negotiations with the European Commission on its “Draft Protocol for UK start-up aid for airports handling fewer than 3 million passengers per annum” to allow smaller airports and local authorities that are considering accessing the Regional Air Connectivity Fund to plan effectively.

….. and there is much more at

https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmtran/713/71305.htm

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Transport Committee announces start of its inquiry into (Heathrow) Airports NPS (24th March deadline for evidence)

When he was Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin told the Transport Select Committee that there would be a 3 month inquiry, by a select committee, into the draft National Policy Statement for a Heathrow runway. He said in February 2015 that the inquiry would take place after the end of the NPS consultation. Now the Transport Select Committee has announced, just 20 days after the publication by the DfT of the draft NPS consultation, the start of their own inquiry into the NPS. They are only taking written evidence until the deadline of 24th March. The committee’s website does not say what happens next, if or when witnesses would be called, etc.  The Committee says they are interested to hear more about a variety of issues including:  “How well the proposal reflects government policy on airports and aviation more generally” … “The suitability of the Government’s evidence and rationale in support of a north-west runway at Heathrow” … “How well the proposal takes account of other aspects of the Government’s transport strategy.” … “How comprehensive the proposal is in terms of the supporting measures for affected communities” … “How well the proposal takes account of sustainability and environmental considerations and the adequacy of relevant documentation and information published alongside the draft proposal.”  And so on.
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Airports National Policy Statement inquiry launched

Transport Select Committee website  

22.2.2017

The Transport Committee launches an inquiry on the Government’s draft Airports National Policy Statement.

Background

In its Final Report (PDF 6.08 MB) in July 2015, the Airports Commission concluded that the proposal for a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport, combined with a significant package of measures to address its environmental and community impacts, presented the strongest case and offered the greatest strategic and economic benefits.

On 25 October 2016, the Government announced that a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport was its preferred scheme to deliver additional airport capacity in the south-east of England. It also confirmed that this would be included in a draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) which provides the primary basis for decision making on development consent applications.

The draft Airports NPS is subject to consultation according to the procedures laid down in the Planning Act 2008, as amended by the Localism Act 2011.

Terms of reference

The draft Airports NPS has been published by the Department for Transport. It sets out:

  • The need for additional airport capacity in the south-east of England
  • Why government believes that need is best met by a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport
  • The specific requirements that the applicant for a new north-west runway will need to meet to gain development consent

The Committee conducts a brief inquiry into the draft Airports NPS. The Committee is particularly interested in receiving submissions on:

  • The clarity of the NPS in terms of scope and its applicability to other airport expansion applications in the South East
  • How well the proposal reflects government policy on airports and aviation more generally
  • The suitability of the Government’s evidence and rationale in support of a north-west runway at Heathrow
  • How well the proposal takes account of other aspects of the Government’s transport strategy
  • How comprehensive the proposal is in terms of the supporting measures for affected communities
  • How well the proposal takes account of sustainability and environmental considerations and the adequacy of relevant documentation and information published alongside the draft proposal
  • The extent to which the NPS provides the Secretary of State with the basis for judging applications for development
  • How well the proposal addresses changes to surface access
  • The effectiveness of the Government’s consultation on the proposal

The Committee has already announced an inquiry into airspace management and modernisation.

Written submissions

The Committee would be grateful to receive written submissions by 24 March 2017.

Further information

22 February 2017

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/news-parliament-2015/airports-national-policy-statement-inquiry-launch-16-17/

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The DfT website at  https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/airport-capacity-and-airspace-policy  has the statement by Chris Grayling to Parliament on 2nd February which says:
“Consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny

These 2 consultations will last for 16 weeks and close on 25 May 2017. At the same time, and as required by the Planning Act 2008, a period of Parliamentary scrutiny (the ‘relevant period’) now begins for the Airports National Policy Statement, ending by summer recess 2017.”

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Note from the Transport Committee secretariat: 

On 20 February the Liaison Committee designated the Transport Committee to consider the proposal for a national policy statement on airports. The Transport Committee agreed terms of reference that same day and these were published on Wednesday.

Under section 9 of the Planning Act 2008 the Committee needs to complete its work within the relevant period (which was specified by the Secretary of State when he laid the proposal for an NPS).

The Committee’s deadline for written evidence, like all such deadlines in its inquiries, is indicative. It is necessary to have some kind of deadline so that a plan for oral evidence sessions can be agreed and the arrangements made. The Committee will not refuse to accept submissions made after the deadline. But submissions made after the deadline and certainly those made shortly before an oral evidence session are much harder to take into account when compiling briefing for committee members.

There is no limit on the number of submission that an organisation can make. An initial submission can be followed up by a further submission providing new information or adding to existing evidence (perhaps responding to questions raised in oral evidence or by other submissions).

At this stage no date has been set for oral evidence sessions but the Committee will need to agree how many sessions to have and how to fit them in with the other inquiries that the Committee is currently working on.

As things stand it is expected that the oral evidence sessions on the proposal for an NPS will take place in April or May and that a report will be agreed in late June or early July so that there is time for a debate within the relevant period.

(personal communication)


From CPRE planning help 

Guidance on how NPSs are dealt with in Parliament states: 

“Parliamentary scrutiny of the draft NPSs, which takes from 4-8 weeks, overlaps with the final weeks of the public consultation so that any comments received are allowed to inform a parliamentary resolution or the recommendations of any Select Committee.”

This also says:

“Parliamentary approval of NPSs

The Localism Act 2011 changed the process for preparing NPSs, in that Parliament will now have a chance to resolve that a draft NPS should not proceed if there are serious concerns about its contents. When a draft NPS has been presented to Parliament, it will have 21 days in which to pass a resolution stating that the NPS should not proceed.”

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The Timescale of the Heathrow NPS – according to the previous Transport Secretary, in February 2015

This is what Patrick McLoughlin, then Transport Secretary, said to the Transport Select Committee on 8.2.2015 on the timescale of getting a runway built:

Question 62   

Mr McLoughlin: I went through it a few moments ago. Earlier this morning, I had a very good aide-mémoire which went right the way through it, but I can’t put my hand on it at the moment. The timeline at the moment is for a decision by the Government on the preferred location. Then there will be

– a draft national policy statement published for consultation and laid in Parliament.

 – This is published a minimum of four weeks after the announcement on the runway location to avoid the legal risk of pre-determination.

 – There is no decision yet on the length of the public consultation, but it could be 16 weeks.

A Commons Select Committee will examine the draft NPS and hold a full-blown inquiry for 12 weeks immediately following the public consultation. 

The Commons Select Committee will submit a report to [the Secretary of State for Transport] by the end of the 12-week period. 

– Once a final NPS is laid, debates and votes must happen within 21 sitting days of the House.

– At any time after the vote, or it could be the same day, if there is a negative vote, the Secretary of State will change and lay a new NPS, again for 21 voting days. 

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Another timescale was given by the DfT in October 2016

Early 2017

Draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) published
The NPS will set out the Government’s position for developing a new runway by 2030.

Early 2017

Start of national and local consultation on contents of draft NPS
This will include a series of local and regional events around the country and in the vicinity
of the selected airport. Expected to last for 16 weeks until Spring 2017.

Spring – Summer 2017  (Spring is considered to be March, April, May)

Select Committee Scrutiny of Draft NPS
The opportunity for parliamentary scrutiny of the draft NPS by the appointed Select
Committee.

Summer – Autumn 2017 (ie.  June to November)

Analysis and review of responses & revision of NPS
Full analysis of all responses received during the public consultation and associated
events. Government reviews responses to the consultation and final report from the Select
Committee and the NPS is revised to take these into account.

Late 2017/early 2018

Publication of final Airports National Policy Statement
Government publishes final NPS in Parliament, with a subsequent debate followed by a vote.

Late 2017/early 2018

Designation of National Policy Statement
Assuming the final NPS passes the parliamentary vote, it can be designated by
the Transport Secretary.

2018 – 2021/22

Promoter [Heathrow airport presumably] takes forward scheme
Once the National Policy Statement has been designated, Heathrow is able to begin the
formal process of seeking planning permission, which includes further consultation with local communities.

[ May 2020 or before – General Election ]

2025 – late 2020’s

New runway operational
Assuming the planning and construction process runs in line with the timetable set out by Heathrow, the new runway is expected to be operational between 2025 and late 2020’s.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/562915/heathrow-airport-expansion-summary-document.pdf

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With Dublin airport (state-owned) 2nd runway work to start, a 3rd terminal (privately owned) to be considered

A new review of airport capacity will look at the potential of establishing a third, privately-operated, terminal at Dublin Airport, according to the Minister for Transport. A forthcoming review, in the next few weeks, will examine the longer-term capacity needs of Ireland’s 3 State airports will include an option for a 3rd terminal. However, the chief executive of DAA, the State-owned company that owns Dublin and Cork airports, said the idea of an independent terminal was theoretical, costly and inflexible. It had been tried in only two major airports in Europe and North America, and had failed and been reversed at both. The DAA said the delivery of the new 2nd parallel runway and other infrastructure to support growth at Dublin airport should be a priority as a third terminal was a long way down the line. The industry is hoping the number of passengers would double in the next 20 years, and this could be helped by Brexit. However, Brexit could cause problems with the liberalisation of the air transport market – so Ireland wants the market to remain fully liberalised and deregulated. Opponents of the runway (and terminal) say there is no consideration of carbon emissions, and much of the public see the airport’s expansion as a “no brainer.”
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After a delay of several years due to the global financial crisis and predictions of falling consumer demand, it was announced in April 2016 that the new runway would start construction in 2017 and to be completed by 2020.


Option of third terminal at Dublin Airport to be examined

Shane Ross says review of capacity will consider privately-operated terminal

20.2.2017

By Martin Wall (Irish Times)

A new review of airport capacity will look at the potential of establishing a third, privately-operated, terminal at Dublin Airport.

A new review of airport capacity will look at the potential of establishing a third, privately-operated, terminal at Dublin Airport, the Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said.

Speaking at a civil aviation conference in Dublin on Monday he said: “Is a State monopoly at Irish airports in the interest of the users, the tax-payer or the travelling public? I think I know the answer.”

The Minister said a forthcoming review which will examine the longer- term capacity needs of the country’s three State airports “will include an option for a third, independent terminal at Dublin airport.”

He said the review would get underway within weeks.

Meanwhile, DAA chief executive Kevin Toland said the idea of an independent terminal was a theoretical model which was costly and inflexible.

He said it had been tried and had failed and been reversed in only two major airports in Europe and North America.

Mr Toland, who was speaking in a subsequent panel discussion at the aviation conference, said the delivery of the second new runway and other infrastructure to support growth at Dublin airport should be a priority as a third terminal was a long way down the line.

Mr Ross welcomed the decision by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to proceed with the development of a second parallel runway at Dublin airport.

He said the demand for air travel was forecast to double over the next 20 years.

“With that growth, there should be opportunities for airlines, new routes and services as well as in aviation recruitment and software development for the industry.”

The Minister said Brexit “was the most significant development with likely negative impacts on the liberalisation of the air transport market”.

“The only solution for Ireland is that the market should remain fully liberalised and deregulated, and that existing traffic rights should be preserved.”

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/option-of-third-terminal-at-dublin-airport-to-be-examined-1.2982113

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Dublin ranked as fastest-growing airport in Europe

Airport records an 11.5 per cent rise in passengers numbers to almost 28 million

Europe’s airports welcomed a record-breaking 2 billon passengers last year with Dublin ranked the fastest-growing major one following an impressive 11.5 per cent rise in passenger numbers in 2016.

New figures released by ACI Europe, the trade association for European airports, ranked Dublin airport first in the major airport category, followed by Barcelona’s El Prat and Amsterdam’s Schiphol with growth of 11.2 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively.

Copenhagen and Madrid’s Barajas airports round out the top five fastest-growing major airports last year after recording 9.1 per cent and 7.7 per cent rises in passenger numbers.

Major airports are defined as those attracting more than 25 million passengers a year. Dublin airport recorded almost 28 million passengers in 2016, up 2.8 million on the previous year.

Passenger growth

The passenger growth at Dublin airport was aided by the launch of 19 new routes last year, while additional capacity was added on 31 existing services.

“Almost all our airline customers increased their operations at Dublin in 2016 and we’d like to thank them for their business during the year,” said Dublin airport managing director Vincent Harrison.

Passenger traffic across the European airport network showed strong momentum last year, posting an average growth of 5.1 per cent with airports in the euro zone seeing passenger volumes increasing by 6.7 per cent despite the impact of terrorist attacks in mainland Europe.

Traffic at non-EU airports posted an average 0.9 per cent decrease, primarily due to a 6.6 per cent decline in passenger numbers at Turkish airports caused by terrorism and political instability.

Biggest airport

Europe’s biggest airport overall last year was London Heathrow with 75.7 million passengers. It was followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle with 65.9 million passengers, Amsterdam Schiphol (63.6 million), Frankfurt (60.7 million) and Istanbul Ataturk (60 million).

In December, passenger traffic grew by 10.9 per cent ,with Europe surpassing Asia-Pacific to become the fastest-growing world region.

Dublin was ranked the fourth fastest-growing major airport for the month, with passenger volumes up 13.3 per cent year-on-year, placing it behind Moscow SVO, Barcelona and London Gatwick but ahead of Paris Orly.

Freight traffic grew across Europe’s airports by 4.1 per cent, the best performance since 2010.

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/dublin-ranked-as-fastest-growing-airport-in-europe-1.2979117

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Ice block (presumably off plane approaching Heathrow) damages roof just west of Windsor

There have been a number of incidents, at many airports, of lumps of ice falling off planes overhead, coming in to land. Ice can form naturally on aircraft flying at high altitudes, and this can break away and fall off when the plane comes down through warmer air. There is another recent incident of this, to someone under the approach path into Heathrow, just west of Windsor.  On 10th February (some time between 7 am and 8.30am) some ice crashed through the roof of a house in Oakley Green Road near Windsor. The owners of the house were not hurt, though there is substantial damage to the roof. This is another incident where it is fortunate the ice fell onto a roof, and not onto people. Such a large object falling onto someone would kill or seriously injure them.  Builders secured the property before the weekend and repairs were set to begin the next week. The CAA says this sort of incident is “‘relatively rare” and the CAA website says: “As the safety regulator for UK civil aviation, the CAA requires UK aircraft operators to minimise the risk of ice falls by performing regular maintenance to prevent leaks and take prompt corrective action if a defect is found. The CAA is unable to investigate the potential origin of an ice fall, but does record reports of this nature.”
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Oakley Green man ‘lucky to be alive’ after ice block smashes through roof

By Will Taylor (Maidenhead Advertiser)

16 February 2017

See link for photos  

A business owner from Oakley Green has been left feeling lucky to be alive after a block of ice fell from the sky and smashed a hole into the roof of his house.

Wahram Manoukian, 69, left his home at 7am on Friday morning to use the gym at Oakley Court in Windsor Road, but returned at about 8.30am to find a hole in his roof with tiles and bits of ice strewn around his grounds.

Mr Manoukian, who lives in Oakley Green Road, and his wife, 66-year-old Beverley, have stored the chunks of ice in a freezer in anticipation of an investigation.

He believed it could have fallen from a plane, though this has not been confirmed.

Mr Manoukian, who works in the property industry, said he worried about what could have happened if it had fallen when he had been leaving the house an hour earlier.

“I could have been killed,” he said. “It could have been anyone.

“It must have been a big chunk that has hit the roof.”

He was concerned that, if it had fallen at a different time, his grandchildren could have been harmed.

“They come around after school and during the weekends they come around to us,” he said. “I was fuming.”

Builders secured the property before the weekend and repairs were set to begin this week.

Mr Manoukian has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority, which says ice can form on aeroplanes at high altitudes and fall off when it descends to a warmer height, but is ‘relatively rare’.

A spokesman for the CAA directed the Advertiser to its website, which states: “As the safety regulator for UK civil aviation, the CAA requires UK aircraft operators to minimise the risk of ice falls by performing regular maintenance to prevent leaks and take prompt corrective action if a defect is found.

“The CAA is unable to investigate the potential origin of an ice fall, but does record reports of this nature.

[The location of the ice fall, directly under the Heathrow approach path, makes it look very unlikely the source is anything other than a plane. The CAA seems keen to suggest the ice might have come from somewhere else …..?  where …?  And it is not clear whether Heathrow pays for the damage, or if householders have to get their insurance company to pay. Can they reclaim from the airport?  AW comment]

“Falling ice which is clear and uncontaminated may not have originated from aviation activity.

“Indeed there have been reports of falling chunks of ice which date back to before the existence of aircraft.

“Research into the phenomena is ongoing by scientists across the world but is controversial.”

http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/gallery/maidenhead/111295/oakley-green-man-lucky-to-be-alive-after-ice-block-smashes-through-roof.html
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See a year earlier:

Block of ice from a passing plane crashes through roof of home in Twyford

An elderly couple, in Twyford, Berkshire (under a Heathrow flight path) had the unpleasant experience of a block of ice, which appeared to have fallen from a passing plane, crash through their roof.  The two foot long block cracked the ceiling. Luckily it hit the roof in a different part of the house from where the couple were. They said they were lucky not to have been injured. There have been many other incidents over the years of blocks of ice falling – associated with frozen water from aircraft lavatories.  Had the ice block fallen onto the road, it could have hit a car or a passer-by.  Had it fallen onto a busy road like a motorway, it could have caused a serious accident.  The elderly couple had to be assisted by their son in sorting out insurance, and getting the roof repaired. As the insurance company was slow, being a Sunday morning, the local fire brigade helped to patch up the damage and confirm the water and electricity supplies to their house were undamaged. Water (from a lavatory?) from the ice block was dripping through the (now sagging) damaged ceiling. The couple have kept a sample of water, so it can be tested, to identify if it is from a lavatory.  Other reports of earlier incidents of items falling from planes can be seen here.  Twyford is about 30 km west of Heathrow, on the landing flight path during easterly operations.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/01/block-of-ice-from-a-passing-plane-crashes-through-roof-of-home-in-twyford/

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and

Block of ice (from plane?) crashes through edge of roof of family home in Chelmsford

People living under flight paths not infrequently suffer from objects that fall from planes, the most common of which appears to be lumps of ice. Now (on 4th March) there has been yet another incident where a block of ice has landed on a house, narrowly missing people.  The house is under a Stansted flight path, in Chelmsford, Essex and is the home of a couple and their two teenage children. The ice block, described as perhaps football size, crashed through the overhang of their roof, missing going through the bedroom ceiling by just a few feet. That part of the bedroom is where the couple sleep.  The ice block left a gaping hole in the roof. Members of the family were asleep at the time, and were woken by a noise they thought was a bomb going off.  The couple now face a repair bill of thousands of pounds.  Had the block been only a few inches closer to the window, the couple fear it would have impacted the window, which would have shattered it – with the bed just feet away. The CAA have been contacted, to ascertain if the ice is indeed from a plane. Ice can form naturally on aircraft flying at high altitudes which falls when the plane descends into warmer air and the ice breaks away. The CAA says it is not liable for damage due to an ice fall.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/03/block-of-ice-from-plane-crashes-through-edge-of-roof-of-family-home-in-chelmsford/

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Other incidents of objects, including ice, falling from planes.

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Critique of 11 claims by DfT, in its 1.5 million pro-Heathrow runway leaflets, for NPS consultation

The DfT has sent out 1.5 million leaflets to households in areas not too far from Heathrow. The leaflets make no attempt whatsoever of balance, and are merely advertising the runway plans and promoting them. Many of the claims are misleading, or so abbreviated as to be unclear. Below there is a critique of the claims, point by point, and links to evidence backing up the criticisms. If anyone has received a leaflet, and wonders about the facts, this webpage may give some useful information. Just a few examples of the dubious statements in the leaflet:  the figure of £61 billion economic benefit is given, leaving out the proviso that this is over 60 years.  There is much made of the generosity of the compensation to be given for compulsory purchase, but in reality anything much below 125% would be derisory, and way below world standards. The claim about six and a half hours of no scheduled night flights omits to mention how many flights, scheduled before 11pm, often take off almost to midnight. And though there may be 6 more domestic links from Heathrow, these are likely to be unprofitable and may not last for long. The loss of long haul routes from other UK airports, due to a larger Heathrow, is conveniently ignored.
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The information below may be useful in interpreting, and reading critically, the DfT promotional leaflet for the 3rd Heathrow runway

 

The DfT leaflet that has been sent out to 1.5 million households, especially those in areas where there is a consultation event.

See larger version of the leaflet here 

 

Below are the claims made in the leaflet, and some explanation about why these are incomplete or misleading:

DfT Claim 1. 

The government has been clear that a world-class package of measures should be put in place to support local communities (meaning those whose homes are compulsory purchased, or otherwise have to move).

The rates of compensation are not especially generous. They will have been set at 125% because anything lower would cause uproar. See the comment below:

[The article talks first of the inadequacy of an offer of just 110% for HS2.]

“In the US, the government forcibly taking someone’s home is seen as the most fundamental violation by the state of an individual’s rights, and the non-stop subject of emotional national debate (they call it “eminent domain”). In France, the government takes a practical view and offers such generous compensation that people are glad to move. The UK government’s meanness on compulsory purchase compensation is not just an insult to thousands of homeowners, but it is also ultimately self-defeating. By failing to recognise the real cost of being forced to move home, it ensures that homeowners along the HS2 route will feel they have no option but to do everything they can to block the new train line. The government is more likely to realise it plans if it does what the French do, and just buy off the opposition of those most directly affected. And that means compensation of at least 25%.”   Link 

 

DfT Claim 2.

Expansion can be delivered within existing air quality requirements, and this will be a condition of planning approval.

All Heathrow has offered to do is try to get 55% of passengers to travel to the airport by public transport.  (Public transport includes buses …. currently many powered by diesel).  See link

They hope to get more staff to travel to work by public transport.   See link

They hope society will change, and overall there will be fewer diesel vehicles. That is not under Heathrow’s control.   For example, see link

They plan to use more electric vehicles on the airport, and make some changes to slightly cut NO2 emissions by planes, airport vehicles etc.   See link    These changes are not likely to make a huge difference, and electric vehicles are not a “silver bullet”.  See link

The government hoped they would not be breaching EU law if there was somewhere else in the London area that had even worse air quality than Heathrow. That argument is not acceptable legally.  See link

Heathrow has no control over the vehicle use by businesses that may choose to locate near Heathrow, and which would use local roads.

There are plans to get more staff (and some passengers ….!) to cycle to the airport.  Realistically that is not going to make a big dent in air pollution.   See link


DfT Claim 3. 

The government prefers the NW Heathrow runway because of tens of thousands of additional local jobs by 2030.

The Airports Commission said there might be up to 77,000 jobs around Heathrow. Their final report said:

“Expansion at Heathrow would drive a substantial increase in employment at and around the airport, generating an additional 59 – 77,000 jobs [ie. additional direct, indirect and induced jobs] in 2030 for local people and for the fast-growing wider population in London and the South East, ….”  See link

However, by October 2016 the DfT had reduced this number. They had been using Heathrow’s estimates, but decided in 2016 to use assessments by others. The new figure was given as up to 37,700.   See link 

However, the DfT continues to use the “up to 77,000” claim.   Note: “Up to” is vague; it could be as low as almost none.  However, the DfT depends on lazy journalists omitting the “up to” part of the statement, so the 77,000 figure becomes the accepted wisdom.  Unjustifiably.

It is likely that some jobs might relocate to the Heathrow area from elsewhere. So they are not a net gain in jobs for the UK, just shifting them around.


DfT Claim 4. 

The government prefers the NW Heathrow runway because expected economic benefits to passengers and the wider economy worth up to £61 billion.

The leaflet craftily omits to say that this is to all the UK, over 60 years. Yes, over 60 years. That means up to around 2085, when a lot of us will no longer be around.

The original figure by the Airports Commission was for a maximum of £147 billion over 60 years.  That was found to be using very dodgy methodology.  The government was warned about this repeatedly but continued to use it.

Heathrow used to use the claim of £221 billion for the UK over 60 years.

In October 2016, the DfT admitted the more likely figure would be £61 billion (not £147 billion).

Other estimates, using conventional ways to assess large projects, puts the benefit to the UK (taking all the costs into account, and not only adding up the benefits – as the DfT has done) of almost nothing.

The Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee in Parliament has repeatedly (at least 4 times over the past year or so) asked for explanations of the figures. He has not yet received an adequate reply.  See link (Dec 2016) and link (Sept 2016)


DfT Claim 5. 

The government prefers the NW Heathrow runway because £114 billion value of freight to non-EU countries in 2015. This was more than all other UK airports combined.

Bearing in mind that Heathrow has the vast majority of all the flights from the UK to non-EU destinations, and many airports hardly do any air freight, that is scarcely a surprising fact. Most flights to leisure destinations from airports other than Heathrow probably do not deal with a lot of freight, and most of those only go to holiday spots in the US, or Thailand etc.

There are few flights to the Far East, other than from Heathrow. Manchester is the only other airport with flights to China.


DfT Claim 6. 

The government prefers the NW Heathrow runway because Heathrow Airport Limited pledge to create 5,000 new apprenticeships by 2030.

It is nice that they plan to create some apprenticeships.  What is now known is how many of those are for genuinely unemployed young people, and how many are just retraining existing employees.  That is not quite so good.  See link 


DfT Claim 7. 

The government prefers the NW Heathrow runway because Heathrow proposes 6 new domestic routes.

It is remarkable that with so many airports in the UK, Heathrow will only be adding links to 6 more of them. These links have been cut in the past, as they are less profitable than longer haul routes.  They generally make a loss, like Virgin’s Little Red.  See link

The new routes would only be viable for airlines if they are subsidised in some way. If they are not viable, there is no guarantee they will be kept.  See link

BA has said it is not interested. See link

What the DfT is careful not to say is that the Heathrow runway will have the effect (as they know and as the Airports Commission knew well) of making long haul flights to many destinations from UK regional airports less successful. There is likely to be a reduction in the long haul routes from non-Heathrow airports, which will not be popular with them.  See link


DfT Claim 8. 

The government prefers the NW Heathrow runway because a package of measures to support people near the airport has been proposed, including total compensation package for the local communities most affected by expansion worth up to £2.6 billion.

They already mentioned the world class compensation, so are having to repeat themselves.

What this actually means is that Heathrow has to buy up 783 homes, and demolish them for the runway.  And pay 125% of the price, plus stamp duty and costs.

The other 3,500 or so homes may also be bought, on the same terms. However, these do not need to be demolished.

Heathrow is likely therefore to do them up, maybe knock some down and build more flats on the site, etc.  If they can make back nearly as much as they paid, by improving the properties, their overall loss may be very small.

It may take a few years to get this money back, but overall Heathrow is not likely to lose much money, if it is clever with its property portfolio.   Some calculations here


DfT Claim 9.

The government prefers the NW Heathrow runway because a package of measures to support people near the airport has been proposed, including a 6 and a half hour of scheduled night flights.

This is very disingenuous.

The key word is “scheduled”.

It does not mean there would be no flights between 11pm and 5.30am.  It merely means there will be late planes taking off, well past 11pm, and none scheduled before 5.30am.

There are currently no flights scheduled to leave Heathrow after 11pm. But night after night, many do. On some days, if there have been delays for some reason, they continue to take off till midnight. It is not known if that will be stopped. It is highly unlikely.

Only a real ban of no planes taking off or landing after 11pm would really qualify as a real night ban. But can anyone imagine Heathrow saying to a plane, with passengers boarding at 10.45pm, that they are sorry, but they will all have to go back to the terminal and find hotel bedrooms for the night – before taking off in the morning?  It is not, realistically, going to happen.

The Airports Commission said there should be a ban from 11.30pm to 6am.   Heathrow would not accept this, and will only consider 5.30am.  See link

For good health, adults need 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night.  Those older and younger need even more.  A short break with no noise for perhaps 6 hours, (taking account of the late departures) is not enough for health.  See link

It is likely that there would be a large number of flights in the “shoulder period” from 5.30am to 7am or so. This is when people are still trying to sleep, and people tend to then be sleeping less deeply – and have more trouble getting back to sleep, if woken.


DfT Claim 10. 

The government prefers the NW Heathrow runway because a package of measures to support people near the airport has been proposed, including a package of over £700 million on noise insulation for homes.

The figure of £700 million is very low indeed, when the number of people who would be affected by high levels of intrusive plane noise is considered.

The estimate is that160,000 homes might be within the 55 decibel Lden noise contour, with the worst affected homes getting the full cost of noise insulation paid and others getting up to £3,000 to pay for the work.

People who live in noisy areas have said that even with all that is provided by the airport, there is still noise. And if windows are opened at night in summer, the insulation is of no use.

Huge numbers of people suffering from plane noise would be excluded.  HACAN estimated the cost of really doing proper insulation for everyone needing it might be more like £1.8 billion.  And the insulation is not all going to be done quickly – some could take years.  See link.


DfT Claim 11. 

The government prefers the NW Heathrow runway because a package of measures to support people near the airport has been proposed, including £40 million to insulate and ventilate schools and other community buildings.

That would be nice.  However, the airport’s track record of getting school insulation  done is lamentable.  It took 10 years for them to just £4.8 million of work – and that was only done in a rush (April 2015), to try to impress the Airports Commission before they published their (pro Heathrow) decision in July 2015.  See link

Heathrow has put adobe buildings, to give the illusion that children are playing “outside” in some of the worst affected schools, to try to alleviate the massive problem. This is a true sticking plaster sort of solution. See link

 

 Claim 12 ???

– there is no claim on carbon, or noise, or spending on roads or rail …..  see below …



What is NOT mentioned in the leaflet

1. Heathrow’s carbon emissions

The inquisitive may wonder why there is no mention in the DfT leaflet about Heathrow and how it will meet carbon targets.

This is because the DfT has given up on this one.

Statements from the DfT and Chris Grayling now either make no mention of carbon emissions, or say they will ignore the advise from the (Government advisors) the Committee on Climate Change, about them.

The government knows it cannot expand Heathrow without breaching the recommended cap on carbon from UK aviation. That means it is unlikely the UK could meet its legally binding 2050 carbon target.  See link


2. Hugely increased noise

There is no mention of noise, which is rather surprising as the consultation events – and the leaflet target areas – are those that suffer from aircraft noise associated with Heathrow.

Having said earlier that Heathrow can increase the number of flights by 50% and there would be no increase in noise, (see link) perhaps the government realises that this statement is not credible. The only way this could be true is by clever manipulation of flight paths to keep the area and the number of people within the 57dB average noise contour constant. This is NOT a true measure of noise, or the number of people affected.

The DfT no longer seems to be trying to persuade people there will be no more noise, and is giving the public the credit for not being gullible idiots.

There are no soothing statements in the leaflet on noise, because it is inevitable there will be hugely more noise, and it will affect tens or hundred of thousands of new people.  It will also affect many of those currently overflown worse, because of the way flight paths with 3 runways will have to alter. For example, while people currently living under the approach flight paths from the east now get a break from noise for half a day, this would reduce to about a quarter of a day with the 3rd runway.


3. Heathrow paying for surface transport infrastructure

The government does not want the cost of flying to rise, as that might cut demand (and Heathrow might not be able to repay the immense £17 billion or so cost of its expansion).

So the DfT is not mentioning the massive cost of improving road and rail links to Heathrow, that would be needed for the expansion.  These links are struggling to cope already, with a 2 runway airport and the huge, growing population in the area.

With an extra 50% of total Heathrow passengers (maybe a third of them would be transfer passengers, never leaving the airport) there will be more pressure on public transport. That is especially the case as Heathrow says 55% of its passengers will use public transport, and more of its staff.

While the Airports Commission assessed the cost of surface infrastructure at about £5 billion for Heathrow to pay, Transport for London estimated up to about £18 billion.  (See link)  That would be to try to keep the quality of the service for all passengers (not just Heathrow passengers) at a decent level, where there are enough seats etc.

But Heathrow has only said it would spend £1.1 billion on surface access.  (See link) No more. The rest of the cost would be borne by the UK taxpayer. That means taxpayers across the country, many of whom would derive absolutely no benefit from Heathrow.

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DfT hold 20 consultation events in areas near Heathrow, plus 13 around the UK promoting Heathrow 3rd runway

The DfT is holding a large number of consultation events in the coming two months, both in areas affected by Heathrow, and after that, across the UK. The first event locally was on 13th February and the final one is 20th April in London. The DfT backs the runway, and so the information given out is very much in support of the runway.  The DfT has sent out 1.5 million leaflets about the consultations, with simplified text backing the runway (and ignoring any negative impacts) – which look like Heathrow’s own PR about their expansion plans.  The events locally are from 11am to 8pm on weekdays (10 – 5pm on Saturdays). People have to register to attend events outside London.  Due to the very short notice between the announcement of the NPS consultation (2nd February) and the first event on 13th February, it is difficult for local campaigners against the runway to attend all of them. The DfT has paid staff to man them all. People are encouraged to attend the events, and ask the DfT staff questions. Some suggested questions are shown below.  People are also advised not to make their responses in the consultation events, but do them in a considered manner, from home, when they have had time to assess all the information, both for and against the 3rd runway.
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The main DfT consultation on the draft Airports National Policy Statement (for a 3rd Heathrow runway) is at 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/589082/consultation-on-draft-airports-nps.pdf

and the supporting documents etc are at

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/heathrow-airport-expansion

 

The deadline for responses is 25th May 2017 – so there is no need to fill in a response very soon. Better to wait, get your thoughts in order, and respond when you have all the information you need.

The questions in the consultation are shown below


Some questions people might like to ask the DfT staff at consultation events

Below are some suggestions, from the four boroughs that are most opposed to the runway, and that will make a legal challenge against the government once the NPS is published.

Some questions to ask: 

  • Will there be new flight paths over my house?
  • What noise levels will I experience with an expanded Heathrow?
  • What air pollution will I experience with an expanded Heathrow?
  • What road congestion will I experience with an expanded Heathrow?
  • How will it impact local transport and roads?
  • How else will my neighbourhood be impacted?

You might also like to ask: 

  •  How will there be less noise with the 3rd runway than without it?
  •  Why are there no details of flight paths in the consultation?
  •  How much will respite for those under the current approach paths from the east be reduced?
  •  How many new areas, and how many new people, will be overflown for the first time – at altitudes below 5,000 feet?. How will Heathrow ensure there are no more Heathrow-associated vehicles on surrounding roads?
  •  How will Heathrow ensure 55% of its passengers travel to or from the airport on public transport?
  •  How much carbon will flights using Heathrow emit per year once the 3rd runway is fully used?
  •  How is the NOx from aircraft using Heathrow measured, and taken account of in assessing air pollution?
  •  What does your ban on night flights mean in practice?  Late running flights? Shoulder periods?
  •  How will Heathrow increase its tonnage of air freight by 50% or more without increasing vehicle movements?
…… and different ones for specific areas, on their specific problems

 

 

Public consultations on Heathrow’s 3rd runway proposals – in Heathrow area and across the UK

 

 

Consultation events in the areas immediately affected by Heathrow

Weekday events are open from 11.00am to 8.00pm.

Saturday events are open 10.00am to 5.00pm.

Date Location Address
Monday 13 February 2017 Southall St George’s Community Centre, 8-12 Lancaster Road, Southall UB1 1NW
Tuesday 14 February 2017 Uxbridge Uxbridge Community Centre, 32b, The Greenway, Uxbridge UB8 2PJ
Wednesday 15 February 2017 Kingston Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE
Thursday 16 February 2017 Bracknell Carnation Hall, 29 Chavey Down Road, Winkfield Row, Bracknell RG42 7PU
Friday 17 February 2017 Wimbledon Everyday Church, 30 Queens Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 8LR
Saturday 18 February 2017 Ealing Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway, Ealing, London W5 2BY
Monday 20 February 2017 Staines-upon-Thames The Hythe Centre, Thorpe Road, Staines TW18 3HD
Thursday 23 February 2017 Twickenham York House, Richmond Road Twickenham TW1 3AA
Friday 24 February 2017 Putney Putney Leisure Centre, Dryburgh Road, London SW15 1BL
Monday 27 February 2017 Hounslow Hounslow Civic Centre, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow, TW3 4DN
Tuesday 28 February 2017 Stanwell Moor Stanwell Moor Village Hall, Stanwell Moor, Staines TW19 6AQ
Wednesday 1 March 2017 Kensington Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, Kensington, London W8 7NX
Friday 3 March 2017 Windsor Windsor Youth and Community Centre, 65 Alma Road, Windsor SL4 3HD
Saturday 4 March 2017 West Drayton Yiewsley and West Drayton Community Centre, Harmondsworth Road, West Drayton UB7 9JL
Monday 6 March 2017 Hammersmith Assembly Hall, King Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9JU
Tuesday 7 March 2017 Maidenhead Sportsable, Braywick Road, Maidenhead SL6 1BN
Friday 10 March 2017 Richmond RACC, Parkshot, London TW9 2RE
Saturday 11 March 2017 Gerrards Cross Colston Hall, 8 East Common, Gerrards Cross SL9 7AD
Monday 13 March 2017 Slough The Curve, William Street, Slough SL1 1XY
Wednesday 15 March 2017 Isleworth Isleworth Public Hall, South Street, Isleworth TW7 7BG

 


 

There are 13 events outside the Heathrow area

The DfT says:  “We are also running regional consultation information events for invited stakeholders. If you think you should have been invited, please contact us on 0800 689 4968”.

  • Monday 20 March 2017, Manchester
  • Wednesday 22 March 2017, Birmingham
  • Friday 24 March 2017, Leeds
  • Monday 27 March 2017, Newcastle
  • Wednesday 29 March 2017, Edinburgh
  • Friday 31 March 2017, Glasgow
  • Monday 3 April 2017, Belfast
  • Wednesday 5 April 2017, Liverpool
  • Friday 7 April 2017, Cardiff
  • Monday 10 April 2017, Newquay
  • Wednesday 12 April 2017, Reading
  • Tuesday 18 April 2017, Brighton
  • Thursday 20 April 2017, London

Registering for the events outside the Heathrow area

You can register to attend these outside London events, but they may be by ticket only.  People can just turn up to the earlier events in areas affected by Heathrow.

To register go to http://www.aviationconsultations.com/  and sign in.

If the system will not allow you to attend one of these events, you can inform the Independent Consultation Advisor, Sir Jeremy Sullivan here  https://www.gov.uk/government/people/jeremy-sullivan

The email address is   independentadviser@runwayconsultation.gsi.gov.uk


The DfT leaflet

The DfT leaflet that has been sent out to 1.5 million households, especially those in areas where there is a consultation event.

Critique of 11 claims by DfT, in its 1.5 million pro-Heathrow runway leaflets, for NPS consultation

The DfT has sent out 1.5 million leaflets to households in areas not too far from Heathrow. The leaflets make no attempt whatsoever of balance, and are merely advertising the runway plans and promoting them. Many of the claims are misleading, or so abbreviated as to be unclear. Below there is a critique of the claims, point by point, and links to evidence backing up the criticisms. If anyone has received a leaflet, and wonders about the facts, this webpage may give some useful information. Just a few examples of the dubious statements in the leaflet: the figure of £61 billion economic benefit is given, leaving out the proviso that this is over 60 years. There is much made of the generosity of the compensation to be given for compulsory purchase, but in reality anything much below 125% would be derisory, and way below world standards. The claim about six and a half hours of no scheduled night flights omits to mention how many flights, scheduled before 11pm, often take off almost to midnight. And though there may be 6 more domestic links from Heathrow, these are likely to be unprofitable and may not last for long. The loss of long haul routes from other UK airports, due to a larger Heathrow, is conveniently ignored.

See full critique here:

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/02/critique-of-the-12-claims-by-dft-in-its-1-5-million-pro-heathrow-leaflets-for-the-nps-consultation/

See larger version of the leaflet here 

 


The questions in the consultation:

Draft NPS consultation

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/s1css/main.asp?d=1

 

Question 1:

The need for additional airport capacity

The Government believes there is the need for additional airport capacity in the South East of England by 2030. Please tell us your views.

Chapter 3 of the consultation document (opens in a new tab/window)

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/docs/Draft_Airports_National_Policy_Statement_consultation_document.pdf – page=14


Question 2:

Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme

Please give us your views on how best to address the issue of airport capacity in the South East of England by 2030. This could be through the Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme (the Government’s preferred scheme), the Gatwick Second Runway scheme, the Heathrow Extended Northern Runway scheme, or any other scheme.

Chapter 4 of the consultation document (opens in a new tab/window)

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/docs/Draft_Airports_National_Policy_Statement_consultation_document.pdf – page=18


Question 3:

Assessment principles

The Secretary of State will use a range of assessment principles when considering any application for a Northwest Runway at Heathrow Airport. Please tell us your views.

Chapter 5 of the consultation document (opens in a new tab/window)

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/docs/Draft_Airports_National_Policy_Statement_consultation_document.pdf – page=30


Question 4:

Impacts and requirements

The Government has set out its approach to surface access for a Heathrow Northwest runway scheme. Please tell us your views.

Chapter 6 of the consultation document (opens in a new tab/window)

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/docs/Draft_Airports_National_Policy_Statement_consultation_document.pdf – page=31


 

Question 5:

The draft Airports National Policy Statement sets out a package of supporting measures to mitigate negative impacts of a Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme. Please tell us your views. Are there any other supporting measures that should be set out? In particular, please tell us your views on:

Chapter 6 of the consultation document (opens in a new tab/window)

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/docs/Draft_Airports_National_Policy_Statement_consultation_document.pdf – page=31

 

5.1. Air quality supporting measures

 

5.2. Noise supporting measures

 

5.3. Carbon emissions supporting measures

 

5.4. Compensation for local communities


Question 6:

The Government has set out a number of planning requirements that a Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme must meet in order to operate. Please tell us your views. Are there any other requirements the Government should set out?

Chapter 6 of the consultation document (opens in a new tab/window)

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/docs/Draft_Airports_National_Policy_Statement_consultation_document.pdf – page=31


Question 7:

Appraisal of Sustainability

The Appraisal of Sustainability sets out the Government’s assessment of the Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme, and considers alternatives. Please tell us your views.

Chapter 8 of the consultation document (opens in a new tab/window)

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/docs/Draft_Airports_National_Policy_Statement_consultation_document.pdf – page=39


Question 8:

General questions

Do you have any additional comments on the draft Airports National Policy Statement or other supporting documents?

Consultation document (opens in a new tab/window)

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/docs/Draft_Airports_National_Policy_Statement_consultation_document.pdf


 

Question 9:

The Government has a public sector equality duty to ensure protected groups have the opportunity to respond to consultations. Please tell us your views on how this consultation has achieved this.

Consultation document (opens in a new tab/window)

https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/docs/Draft_Airports_National_Policy_Statement_consultation_document.pdf

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Tax experts criticise lack of detail in Scottish Government’s plan for new Air Departure Tax (ADT)

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is calling for independent analysis into the impact of cutting and axing Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland.  The CIOT says there is not enough detail about plans to replace APD with Air Departure Tax (ADT) from April 2018 and says a special report could “strengthen” the rationale behind the change. APD earned Scotland £275 million in 2015-16 and the CIOT, a trade body representing tax professionals, says the Scottish Government’s Air Departure Tax Bill is short on information about proposed rates, bands and exemptions for the replacement. There are also no fiscal forecasts on how halving duty from next April or eventual abolition will be achieved. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the change will benefit families and other holidaymakers who “may well welcome a reduction in the cost” of going abroad.  They may therefore go abroad more often, spending money they would otherwise have spent in Scotland.  Moira Kelly of CIOT said:  “There is a case to be made for using this legislation to outline who will pay what, when they will pay it and who will be exempt ….  In the absence of information such as this, it is very difficult to say with any degree of certainty what benefits, if any, this change will make.”
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Tax experts criticise lack of detail in Scottish Government’s plan for new Air Departure Tax (ADT)

Moira Kelly of CIOT has suggested that it is not clear what benefits replacing air passenger duty in Scotland will have

By Kirsteen Paterson (The National – Scotland)

14.2.2017

A “LACK of clarity” around Scottish Government plans to replace air passenger duty (APD) “risks parliamentary scrutiny”, tax experts claim.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is calling for independent analysis into the impact of cutting and axing the charge to be published. It claims there is not enough detail about plans to replace APD with Air Departure Tax (ADT) from April next year and says a special report could “strengthen” the rationale behind the change.

APD earned Scotland £275 million in 2015-16 and the CIOT, a trade body representing tax professionals, says the Scottish Government’s Air Departure Tax Bill is short on information about proposed rates, bands and exemptions for the replacement. There are also no fiscal forecasts on how halving duty from next April or eventual abolition will be achieved.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the change will benefit families and other holidaymakers who “may well welcome a reduction in the cost” of going abroad. [And may therefore go abroad more often, spending money they would otherwise have spent in Scotland.  AW note]

But Moira Kelly of CIOT said: “Of all of the tax powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the proposed replacement of APD has been the one that has generated the most interest and debate, despite accounting for a relatively small share of the country’s overall tax receipts.

“There is a case to be made for using this legislation to outline who will pay what, when they will pay it and who will be exempt, as is the case in UK legislation. In the absence of information such as this, it is very difficult to say with any degree of certainty what benefits, if any, this change will make.”

http://www.thenational.scot/news/15089821.Tax_experts_criticise_lack_of_detail_in_Scottish_Goverment_s_ADT_plan/

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See earlier:

 

Scottish draft budget confirms intention to cut APD by 50% by the end of the Parliament

In the Draft Scottish Budget announced by Derek Mackay, he confirmed that the Scottish government now has the power to legislate for a tax which will replace Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland. ” …we will introduce a Bill in the first year of the current Parliament to establish the tax which will replace APD in Scotland from 1 April 2018. We remain committed to delivering a 50% reduction in the overall tax burden of APD by the end of this Parliament.” He hopes this will “deliver sustainable growth for the Scottish economy by helping to generate new direct air routes, sustain existing routes and increase inbound tourism.” There is, naturally, no mention of the money lost to Scotland by more outbound tourism. The Scottish Government expects APD will raise £326 million in 2018-19 for them, and £342 million in 2019-20. Edinburgh Airport Watch commented that Mr Mackay did not mention how he will plug the resulting £150 million hole in Scotland’s public finances, or the generous tax incentives already enjoyed by aviation – no duty or VAT payable on aviation fuel, no VAT on purchases of aircraft, or on servicing of aircraft. Airports enjoy a huge tax break in the form of Duty Free Shopping – an enormous cash earner for Airport owners. APD is a fair and progressive tax on an exceptionally lightly taxed industry.

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Assessment of proposal to cut APD by 50% in Scotland shows likely overall fall in revenue

An assessment of the Scottish Government’s plans to cut the rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD) shows that the aviation industry’s analysis has not accounted for the impact of a fall in domestic tourism. The 50% cut in APD proposed would have the effect of damaging the Scottish economy and reducing funding for public services. The report “APD Cut: A Flighty Economic Case” challenges claims that reducing APD by 50% will lead to sufficient economic growth to cover the short-fall in revenue from the tax cut. In reality, cheaper tickets will encourage more Scots to take cheap foreign trips. The amount of money they take out of Scotland on these extra trips is likely to be larger than the amount brought in. The inbound tourists with greater spending power than typical domestic tourists are the least likely to be sensitive to airline ticket prices. In a buoyant economy, the increase in outbound trips is likely to exceed the increase in inbound trips. The case for business growth due to an APD cut appears particularly weak as business flights are driven by need and time pressures rather than price. They are know to be price insensitive. There could also be a reduction in domestic tourism by Scottish people, who instead take cheap foreign breaks, so reducing employment in Scottish tourism.

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Scottish Green Party calls for Sturgeon to abandon plans to halve APD

The Scottish Green party say that Nicola Sturgeon should abandon her plans to slash air passenger duty (APD). Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Green Party, said it was clear that there is no longer a majority at Holyrood in favour of halving APD, which would add to pollution and do nothing to tackle social inequality. The SNP manifesto said it would reduce air passenger duty by 50% over the next parliament (to 2020 or 2021). However, no other party in Scotland supported the move, with even the Scottish Conservatives, traditionally in favour of tax cuts, saying it could not be justified “at a time of constrained fiscal conditions.” The Scottish Green party have suggested models of taxing aviation, such as the Frequent Flyer Levy, which would ensure the cost is shifted onto the minority of mostly wealthy individuals who fly most often. Cutting the rate of APD would have the effect of increasing CO2 emissions from Scottish aviation, by encouraging more flights. A better way to tax air travel (which pays no VAT, and on which there is no fuel duty) would be to recognise the environmental costs of flying. Communities that are badly affected by the noise from flight paths at Edinburgh and Glasgow airports would suffer more noise. The additional noise – especially at night – is known to have adverse health impacts, which have a cost to society.

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Flight paths of Heathrow 3rd runway travel over, and parallel to, M4. Safety and distraction issue?

The planned north-west runway at Heathrow, that the UK government is very keen to push through, runs close to the M4 motorway. This is a very busy stretch of road, with much of the traffic associated with Heathrow, in one way or another. The arrival flight path from the east, onto the 3rd runway, would run over parts of it, and very close to other parts, for some distance close to the airport. This is where the planes are at their lowest and most noisy. Currently along the boundary roads of the airport there are barriers, to prevent drivers seeing the planes – at ground level – and being distracted. However, with planes flying low overhead or parallel to the road for some distance, no barriers would be able to obscure the view.possible.  It is not clear whether any consideration has been given by the DfT to the problem of driver distraction (or even driver nervousness) to have planes quite so low, flying parallel and in view.  There are around 130,000 vehicles per day on that stretch of the M4 – meaning over 6,000 per hour – it is a very busy section of road, and due to become yet busier with a new runway.  No other major airport has busy motorway with approximately the same alignment as the flight path – there is something comparable for one Tokyo runway. Will the government take into account the safety problems of this motorway / flight path clash?
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The overall length of an A380 is about 238 feet (72 metres) and the wingspan is about 260 feet (79 metres). When one of these planes is 500 feet overhead, that is merely two widths of a plane – which gives an indication of just how huge the plane would look to a person below.

While regular users of the M4 may become used to the distraction of giant planes moving fast, with extreme noise, above them, would drivers who use the road infrequently be as able to ignore them?

Is there a real safety issue here?

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Arrivals from the east (on westerlies)

Indicative map showing approach path, from the east (airport on westerlies) towards the 3rd runway. Note where the M4 is, and the distance where it would be directly under the arriving planes. The red box is approximately where planes would be at 400 feet altitude, with a screenshot of one plane the equivalent distance from the northern runway, from Heathrow Webtrak)

Indicative map showing approach path, from the east (airport on westerlies) towards the 3rd runway. Note where the M4 is, and the distance where it would be directly under the arriving planes. The red box is approximately where planes would be at 800 feet altitude, with a screenshot of one plane the equivalent distance from the northern runway, from Heathrow Webtrak)

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Arrivals from the west (on easterlies)

Indicative map showing approach path, from the west (airport on easterlies) towards the 3rd runway. Note where the M4 is. The red box is approximately where planes would be at 400 feet altitude, with a screenshot of one plane the equivalent distance from the northern runway, from Heathrow Webtrak).   Note how close the flight path is from the M4 when planes are at around 400 feet, and how the flight path crosses the M4 with planes at around 500 feet.

 

Indicative map showing approach path, from the west (airport on easterlies) towards the 3rd runway. Note where the M4 is. The red box is approximately where planes would be at 800 feet altitude, with a screenshot of one plane the equivalent distance from the northern runway, from Heathrow Webtrak).   Note how the flight path crosses the M4 twice  – at heights of around 800 feet the first time, and around 500 feet the second time – as well as running parallel with it for many miles. 

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Details of the numbers of vehicles using the M4 are from the DfT

https://www.dft.gov.uk/traffic-counts/cp.php?la=Hillingdon
Around 150 – 160,000 vehicles per day on the section of the M4 that would be under the flight path to the west of Heathrow. See section 16012 data at http://api.dft.gov.uk/v2/trafficcounts/countpoint/id/16012.csv

https://www.dft.gov.uk/traffic-counts/cp.php?la=Hillingdon#16012
Around 130,000 vehicles per day on the section of the M4 that would be under the flight path. See section 6013 data at http://api.dft.gov.uk/v2/trafficcounts/countpoint/id/6013.csv

https://www.dft.gov.uk/traffic-counts/cp.php?la=Hillingdon#6013


Do other major airports in the world have flight paths over long stretches of busy motorway?

In a word, No.   Except one at Tokyo, Haneda.

Below are links to the world’s busiest airports (a 2 runway Heathrow ranks around 6th globally) by passenger numbers.

Atlanta airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Hartsfield-Jackson+Atlanta+International+Airport+(ATL)/@33.6380653,-84.4597474,12.65z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x4117a3ef1892b048!8m2!3d33.6407282!4d-84.4277001

Beijing airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Beijing+Capital+International+Airport+(PEK)/@40.0637516,116.595359,12.78z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x497cf53a4e23be54!8m2!3d40.0798573!4d116.6031121

Dubai airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Dubai+International+Airport/@25.2387596,55.3032748,12.13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xe695d4007a48eee9!8m2!3d25.2531745!4d55.3656728

Chicago O’Hare airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/O’Hare+International+Airport+(ORD)/@41.9744512,-87.9831139,11.69z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x511747070259ad4b!8m2!3d41.9741625!4d-87.9073214

Tokyo Haneda airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Haneda+Airport+(HND)/@35.5712186,139.7594748,161m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xd32c3a9d146f8df!8m2!3d35.5493932!4d139.7798386  (There is one flight path close to a motorway)

Heathrow airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Heathrow+Airport+(LHR)/@51.4702471,-0.5275392,12.46z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x8fe7535543f64167!8m2!3d51.4700223!4d-0.4542955

Los Angeles airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Los+Angeles+International+Airport/@33.9296711,-118.4221043,13.13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x77a87b57698badf1!8m2!3d33.9415889!4d-118.40853

Hong Kong airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Hong+Kong+International+Airport+(HKG)/@22.3083793,113.9444126,13.1z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xf9f590821892369e!8m2!3d22.308047!4d113.9184808

Paris Charles de Gaulle
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Charles+de+Gaulle+Airport+(CDG)/@49.0089407,2.4491755,11.83z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x42be0982f5ba62c!8m2!3d49.0096906!4d2.5479245

Dallas Fort Worth airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/DFW+International+Airport/@32.8765112,-97.0539128,13.47z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x73323f5e067d201c!8m2!3d32.8998091!4d-97.0403352

Istanbul airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Istanbul+Ataturk+Airport+(IST)/@40.9988125,28.7865908,13.49z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xda51320c46e3abe!8m2!3d40.9829888!4d28.8104425

and

Schiphol airport
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Amsterdam+Airport+Schiphol/@52.3799688,4.7227851,12.33z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xc7d51583f1cef188!8m2!3d52.3105386!4d4.7682744

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Artist’s impression of how the M4 might look, with an A380 some 500 feet overhead 

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“Virtual ecotourism” means people do not have to fly to see endangered wildlife

Many of us would love to go to exotic destinations and see wildlife.  It will never be quite as good a glimpse as the remarkable programmes on wildlife on TV, where film makers can take months to get the shots. Ecotourism is beneficial to some areas, from money it brings in to the local economy, and demonstrating to local people that there is more commercial value in keeping wildlife alive than in killing it. However, it has its downsides, and even when ecotourism done sensitively it has drawbacks. These include the high carbon footprint, from flights; wildlife disturbance, potential for disease introduction, and development of roads and infrastructure which have a detrimental effect on wildlife. Also many people are unable to afford the high price of ecotourism, or are too old, young, or otherwise unable, or unwilling, to travel. Virtual Ecotourism (vEcotourism) can contribute to overcoming these problems by providing a way to experience a conservation site virtually, using many on-line technologies combined with a live, on-location tour guide.  The Virtual Ecotourism website offers a number of “tours” which are 360 degree panoramas, from where the actual tourists go, showing what they see. This is a positive development meaning people do not have to fly across the world, just to see rare populations of animals. 

This is a new, and genuinely significant development in tourism without CO2 emissions
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Virtual Ecotourism

The Virtual Ecotourism project uses interactive on-line tours to connect the general public with conservation projects and local communities in ecologically and culturally sensitive areas worldwide. We aim to nurture curiosity about the natural world, promote effective world citizenship, contribute to alternative livelihoods for communities living in areas of high conservation importance, and combat environmental degradation.

vEcotourism was invented in 2004 by Mark Laxer, the director and founder of the Virtual Ecotourism project. Currently, vEcotours are primarily being produced in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Indonesia to highlight the plight of the great apes in those countries, but as we grow we intend to tackle the challenge of conservation world wide.

Mission Statement

Connecting and empowering conservation projects by integrating state-of-the-art immersive digital technologies with traditional storytelling.


What is a Virtual Ecotour?

In its current, “beta” state, a vEcotour is a series of immersive 360-degree photographs (similar to Google’s Street View) combined with ambient background audio, still images, and embedded videos. An expert guide provides introductory voiceovers for each panorama and comments on the hotspots.

The next step for vEcotourism is to incorporate our immersive panoramas into an interface that will allow tourists to interact, pose questions, and be guided through the experience by a conservation professional in real-time.


Why is Virtual Ecotourism Needed?

Ecotourism has been widely heralded as a means to provide an income in a way that encourages protection of biodiversity. However, even Ecotourism done sensitively has disadvantages including: high carbon footprint, wildlife disturbance, potential for disease introduction, and development of roads and infrastructure which have a detrimental effect on wildlife. Furthermore, many people are unable to afford the high price of ecotourism, or are too old, young, or otherwise unable, or unwilling, to travel. vEcotourism overcomes these challenges by providing a way to experience a conservation site virtually, using many exciting on-line technologies combined with a live, on-location tour guide.

http://www.vecotourism.org/news/about-vecotourism/


Global overview of the tours available so far.  

http://www.vecotourism.org/news/take-a-tour/global-overview/

From this global perspective you may explore vEcotours from four continents (and counting!). Every vEcotour features an immersive full-sphere panorama and a voiced introduction. In addition, some of the tours also feature close-up photos, embedded videos and audio, and interviews to enrich the experience.


The page with 3 short virtual ecotours seeing Sumatran orangutans

http://www.vecotourism.org/news/take-a-tour/sumatran-orangutans/


The page with 4 short virtual ecotours to the Virunga Mountains & Mountain Gorillas 

http://www.vecotourism.org/news/virunga-mountains-mountain-gorillas/


The page with one virtual ecotour of the Salt-Mining Elephants of Mount Elgon in Kenya

http://www.vecotourism.org/news/take-a-tour/salt-mining-elephants-of-mount-elgon/ 


The page with one virtual ecotours of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Craters tour in Uganda

http://www.vecotourism.org/news/take-a-tour/queen-elizabeth-national-park-craters-tour/

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http://www.vecotourism.org/news/

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