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
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Southampton airport expansion plans

The airport’s Masterplan is at  https://www.southamptonairport.com/draft-masterplan-2018/

There was a consultation last year, which closed in October.

The airport wants to extend the runway and increase the number of flights, allowing it to more than double passenger numbers from two million to five million a year by 2037.  A final version of the plans was then drawn up with a planning application due to be submitted soon.

The group’s FoE pages as contact: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofEarthSouthampton/  and https://friendsoftheearth.uk/groups/southampton

People interested are invited to join the FoE mailing list. There will only be occasional emails about airport stuff – so best way to keep in touch –  email foesoton@gmail.com

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.

FoE is hoping for the November full Council meeting. However, they say if Eastleigh Borough Council puts the airport’s application for expansion into its September Planning Committee we will have to abandon the petition and go for an all out campaign asking people to contact their councillors to object, and putting in objections to the planning application.

We have heard that Hampshire Climate Action Network is putting together a Hampshire-wide group against airport expansion too.

There are issues about trees being felled. The airport are trying to argue that they can fell the trees in a copse under a “tree management” banner, rather than it being prior to and facilitating expansion. The trees are within the City Council boundary and are all protected. However, the City Council (although it objected to this work in 1983 and 2003) is giving the work the nod.

There is quite a bit of obfuscation going on about who is for approving the tree felling – whether it is the Forestry Commission for the large trees or Southampton City Council for the  Tree Protection Zone? The Forestry Commission has said “not us – its SCC” but it remains unclear.

The expansion issue compounded by the consultation and proposals for air space changes. Parts of Southampton could be badly affected by increased noise from more jets taking off daily.

Campaigners started a group here to oppose the proposed expansion of Southampton Airport. We haven’t got a name yet, but we can be contacted via the local FoE group.

It’s likely that the airport will submit it’s 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.

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See earlier:

Southampton Airport expansion moving forward as bosses prepare to submit plans

7th May 2019

Southampton Airport is pushing ahead with major expansion plans which could double the number of passengers travelling through the airport.

Bosses will submit a formal planning application to the local authority, following a public consultation.

But campaigners say it would increase noise pollution and damage the environment.

The airport has released impressions of how the expanded airport could look
Under the plans announced last year, the runway would be made longer, allowing more flights to travel to more destinations.

The terminal would also be expanded, with 4,000 extra parking spaces being built.

Airport executives predict that flight numbers would increase from just over 39,000 a year now, to more than 50,000 in ten years – reaching 58,000 by 2037.

The airport says:  “Our ambitions to grow the airport to provide more choice, more connectivity for passengers, are really taking shape now.”

Hundreds of people took part in a major consultation on the plans and the airport say it has taken into account concerns raised.

But not everyone agrees with the plans, with some worried about the affect it could have on their neighbourhood and the environment.

GARETH NARBED, CAMPAIGNER said:  “I’m appalled actually by the potential effects on the whole of Southampton…the expansion plan is really going to have a major effect on a lot of people.”

The airport says it’s due to submit plans to the council later in the summer.

Last updated Tue 7 May 2019

https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2019-05-07/southampton-airport-expansion-moving-forward-as-bosses-prepare-to-submit-plans/

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Evan Davis “The Bottom Line” programme on aviation industry CO2 – basically “there is no plan”…

Evan Davis has done an edition of the BBC programme “The Bottom Line” on aviation and its claims about cutting its carbon emissions. His interview is revealing, in making clear how empty the industry’s claims of reducing its CO2 in future really are. Sector representatives admit it has broken its own pledges to grow carbon neutrally and lacks firm plans to achieve it by 2050. They talk about changing the sort of planes that fly, though ignoring that any new plane model that could fundamentally cut CO2 emissions per passenger is decades away, and all planes remain in service for perhaps 30 years. There is foolish over-optimism that electric planes might eventually transport enough passengers to make a difference – but it is decades away. All the current changes they are mentioning cut CO2 by far smaller amounts than the anticipated annual growth of the industry. As Evan says, “But this is sort of hot air…we’re used to from the aviation industry: ‘we’re all taking this very seriously, we’re signing up to these targets, by the way we missed it the last time we did it, but we’re ever more ambitions in the target we’re going to sign up to… there’s no plan.’ “
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The Future of Commercial Aviation

How can the aviation industry marry sustainability with increasing passenger numbers – with more and more of us flying cheaply since the deregulation of the airlines.

Listen to the programme at

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000713p

or    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000713p

from 17.40 minutes in:

Evan Davis: So what we know is, though, is that growth is exceeding the ability for the industry to improve its emissions. What are you guys going to do? Come on, I mean 2050, we’re meant to be on net zero carbon. What is the aviation industry expecting to deliver by 2050?

Industry: Ten years ago IATA made a pledge to grow neutrally with respect to carbon by 2020. We’re now in 2019. We haven’t yet been able to achieve that growth (50 per cent reduction by 2050).

Evan Davis:  Let’s assume that is going to be a Paris compatible target – a 50 per cent reduction by 2050. How on earth are you going to do that?

Industry: It’s going to fundamentally come with the insertion of new technology… There’s going to have to be some breakthrough technology…hybrid electric propulsion…

ED: But the point you’re saying is, you don’t have an answer…how far away is the hybrid plane for a start?

Industry: For long haul, I would say at least ten years. It takes five to ten years to develop a new aircraft so you’ve starting from scratch.

ED: You’re not even remotely close to that.

Industry: …it’s a challenge the industry is facing and investing to…

ED:  But this is sort of hot air…we’re used to from the aviation industry: ‘we’re all taking this very seriously, we’re signing up to these targets, by the way we missed it the last time we did it, but we’re ever more ambitions in the target we’re going to sign up to… there’s no plan.’

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000713p

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What will be the impact of the UK ambition of “Net Zero” on the Airports NPS?

Lawyers, BDB Pitmans, for whom airport planning is an area of work, have commented on the change by the UK to a net zero carbon target by 2050 – and its effect on the aviation sector. They say the 1990 baseline was 778 million tonnes of CO2. With the 80% cut target, until 27th June, the UK had to cut CO2 emissions to 155.6 million tonnes by 2050. It now has to be reduced to 0 tonnes. The government understands that: “Achieving net-zero GHG emissions for the UK will rely on a range of Speculative options that currently have very low levels of technology readiness, very high costs, and/or significant barriers to public acceptability.” One change that will be needed is for people to fly less. The legal challenges in March 2019 against the Airports NPS had grounds relating to carbon emissions, but these were dismissed, on the basis of developments like the Paris Agreement had not yet being translated into UK law. Now the Appeal Court will hear the legal challenges, and as the CO2 target has been changed, presumably the conclusions of the NPS are now vulnerable. The Sec of State for Transport will need to review the NPS, considering whether there has been a “significant change in any circumstances.”
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831: NET ZERO COMES INTO FORCE

28.6.2019  (By Angus Walker, Partner at bdb pitmans – lawyers)

Today’s entry reports on a highly significant amendment to the Climate Change Act 2008.

It is only changing an ‘8’ into ’10’, but will have a considerable effect on the future of life in the UK, including but not nearly limited to infrastructure projects.

Parliament has approved a change to section 1(1) of the Climate Change Act 2008 (CCA), an act that was given royal assent on the same day as the Planning Act 2008.

Section 1(1) stated until yesterday:

‘It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline.’

It now states:

‘It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 100% lower than the 1990 baseline.’

[The Sec of State referred to is Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). AW comment]

Spot the difference? The 1990 baseline was 778 million tonnes of CO2, and so until yesterday that had to be reduced to 155.6 million tonnes by 2050. It now has to be reduced to 0 tonnes.

The change was approved by the Commons on Monday (24 June) and the Lords on Wednesday (26 June).

The Lords had a ‘regret’ motion passed (that there wasn’t enough information on how the new target would be met, amongst other things), but still approved the change. It was then signed into law by the relevant minister Chris Skidmore MP later that day.

By its terms it came into force yesterday (27 June).

Of the justifications for changing the target available in the CCA, the Government has chosen the following in the preamble to the statutory instrument making the amendment:

‘The Secretary of State considers that since the Act was passed, there have been significant developments in scientific knowledge about climate change that make it appropriate to amend the percentage specified in section 1(1) of the Act.’

The new target is commonly referred to as ‘net zero’. That phrase is also the title of the Committee on Climate Change’s advice, which must be obtained before the threshold can be changed.

Note that the advice was published in May and was sought in October 2018, so it is unfair to say that Theresa May only thought about this since resigning as leader of the Conservative Party – the wheels were in motion much earlier. The speed with which the change has been made could, however, have been prompted by her desire to leave a legacy.

The scale of the challenge should not be underestimated. The Net Zero report says (on page 168 and elsewhere): ‘Achieving net-zero GHG emissions for the UK will rely on a range of Speculative options that currently have very low levels of technology readiness, very high costs, and/or significant barriers to public acceptability.’

The speculative options considered (on pages 156-158, which are in addition to the recommendations to achieve the previous 80% reduction) are:

  • behavioural changes (ie eating less meat and flying less);
  • changes in land use such as growing more trees (50,000 hectares a year – more than two Rutlands);
  • removing CO2 directly from the air (four methods are suggested) and
  • (inventing and) using synthetic fuels.

Note that the Airports National Policy Statement legal challenge in March this year had grounds relating to climate change. These were dismissed because although developments such as the Paris Agreement had happened, they had not yet been translated into UK law – the Climate Change Act 2008 target was the thing.

Now that that target has been changed, presumably the conclusions of the NPS are now vulnerable.

The judges said (at paragraph 648 of the judgment):

‘In our view, given the statutory scheme in the CCA 2008 and the work that was being done on if [sic] and how to amend the domestic law to take into account the Paris Agreement, the Secretary of State did not arguably act unlawfully in not taking into account that Agreement when preferring the NWR Scheme and in designating the ANPS as he did. As we have described, if scientific circumstances change, it is open to him to review the ANPS; and, in any event, at the DCO stage this issue will be re-visited on the basis of the then up to date scientific position.’

That the judgment came out on 1 May and Net Zero came out on 2 May is no doubt a coincidence – even having received Net Zero, the Government could have taken ages to decide what to do with it rather than legislating only eight weeks later.

The Secretary of State  [presumably the Sec of State for Transport, not BEIS ?  AW note] must review an NPS or part of one if he or she thinks it is appropriate, which means considering:

‘(a) since the time when the statement was first published or (if later) last reviewed, there has been a significant change in any circumstances on the basis of which any of the policy set out in the statement was decided,  (see link)
(b) the change was not anticipated at that time, and
(c) if the change had been anticipated at that time, any of the policy set out in the statement would have been materially different.’ [point number 108 ]

The NPS says, eg at paragraph 3.52   link :

‘The Government agrees with the evidence set out by the Airports Commission that expansion at Heathrow Airport is consistent with the UK’s climate change obligations’.

Note that international aviation and shipping are currently not included in the calculation of UK emissions under the CCA. The Government appeared to say that they will be included when it comes to ‘net zero’ (see the debate in the Lords at column 1086) but was more circumspect in a written answer on the same day.

As can be seen from the above, the significance of this alteration to climate change targets is enormous and has the potential to affect life in the UK dramatically over the next 30 years.

By 2050, for any CO2 we emit, we will have to have in place equivalent carbon capture technology to cancel it out. So it doesn’t mean CO2 emissions will be impossible, but we will need technology in place that has not yet been invented on a large scale and an awful lot of trees.

Cancelling the £1 billion carbon capture and storage competition in November 2015 won’t help with that.

https://www.bdbpitmans.com/blogs/planning-act-2008/831-net-zero-comes-into-force/

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See also

Plan B Earth skeleton argument for Heathrow legal Appeal in October – that Grayling’s designation of the NPS was unlawful

The legal challenge by Plan B Earth is one of the four that will be heard at the Appeal Court from the 17th October. They have published their skeleton argument, which says, in summary that on 27th June 2019, the UK carbon target was amended by statutory instrument to read “at least 100%” cut by 2050 (ie. net zero) rather than the previous target of an 80% cut.  Plan B say the “Secretary of State [Grayling] proceeded on the false premise that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Government’s commitment to introducing a net zero carbon target in accordance with the Paris Agreement were “irrelevant” considerations for the purposes of s.5(8) of” the 2008 Climate Change Act.  And the Secretary of State “chose to ignore these developments and proceeded as if there had been no material developments in government policy relating to climate change since 2008 and as if no change were in contemplation.”  And  “The basis of the Appellant’s claim that the designation of the ANPS was unlawful, and that it should be quashed, is that the Secretary of State approach to these matters was fundamentally flawed.”

Click here to view full story…

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Plan B Earth skeleton argument for Heathrow legal Appeal in October – that Grayling’s designation of the NPS was unlawful

The legal challenge by Plan B Earth is one of the four that will be heard at the Appeal Court from the 17th October. They have published their skeleton argument, which says, in summary that on 27th June 2019, the UK carbon target was amended by statutory instrument to read “at least 100%” cut by 2050 (ie. net zero) rather than the previous target of an 80% cut.  Plan B say the “Secretary of State [Grayling] proceeded on the false premise that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Government’s commitment to introducing a net zero carbon target in accordance with the Paris Agreement were “irrelevant” considerations for the purposes of s.5(8) of” the 2008 Climate Change Act.  And the Secretary of State “chose to ignore these developments and proceeded as if there had been no material developments in government policy relating to climate change since 2008 and as if no change were in contemplation.”  And The basis of the Appellant’s claim that the designation of the ANPS was unlawful, and that it should be quashed, is that the Secretary of State approach to these matters was fundamentally flawed.”
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Plan B Skeleton Argument

The summary states:

Nb.  At the time of drafting the original Grounds of Appeal, The Climate Change Act 2008 s. 1 maintained a “carbon target” of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to a 1990 baseline. On 27 June 2019 that target was amended by statutory instrument to read “at least 100%”. The Grounds of Appeal have been revised in this skeleton argument in order to reflect that amendment.

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A. INTRODUCTION

1. The Appellant wishes to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision ([CB/x/y] and [CB/x/y]) to designate the Airports National Policy Statement (“the ANPS”) in support of the expansion of Heathrow Airport under the Planning Act 2008 (“the 2008 Act”), on the basis of his failure to give proper consideration to “government policy relating to … climate change” contrary to the statutory requirement of s. 5(8) of the 2008 Act.

2. Specifically the Secretary of State proceeded on the false premise that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Government’s commitment to introducing a net zero carbon target in accordance with the Paris Agreement were “irrelevant” considerations for the purposes of s.5(8) of the 2008 Act.

3. Since climate change is a global threat, which no one country can tackle in isolation, national climate change policies are determined as contributions to maintaining a global climate change temperature limit. The final report of the Airports Commission highlighted the importance of the global climate change context as a constraint on UK aviation capacity [CB/x/y]: “Any change to UK’s aviation capacity would have to take place in the context of global climate change, and the UK’s policy obligations in this area.”

4. In July 2015, when the Airports Commission report was published, the political consensus was that extreme danger from climate change could be avoided by limiting average global warming to 2˚C above pre-industrial levels. It is common ground between the parties that the now superseded “carbon target” in the Climate Change Act 2008 (“CCA”), which was to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, was derived from that 2˚C global limit.

5. In December 2015, however, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (“The Paris Agreement”) introduced a step change to global (and hence national) climate change policy. Amid gathering evidence that even 2˚C warming would pose intolerable risks for humanity, the UK Government played a leading role in negotiating the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which committed governments to holding warming to “well below” 2˚C while aiming for a 1.5˚C limit.

6. In March 2016 the Government made an unequivocal policy commitment to introduce a new “net zero” carbon target to bring the UK into line with the Paris Agreement 1. A “net zero” target means emissions reduction of 100% as opposed to 80%. Such a target does not require actual emissions of carbon to be reduced to zero. It means only that remaining emissions must be balanced by action to remove an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere (eg through reforestation).

7. In April 2018 the Government announced it would commission the Committee on Climate Change (“the CCC”), the Government’s statutory adviser on climate change, to provide formal advice on the implementation of a new target 2; and on 1 May 2018, the Rt Hon Claire MP, on behalf of the Government, informed Parliament that the CCC had been asked to advise on how to reach “net zero” emissions by 2050 3.

8. The Government’s position aligned to an emerging consensus that, if the Paris temperature limit were to be maintained, global emissions would need to reach net zero by 2050. In January 2018, for example, the European Parliament had voted for net zero emissions by 2050 4.

9. Thus at the time of the Secretary of State’s designation of the ANPS, in June 2018, it was already clear that:

(1) it was Government policy to introduce a new net zero carbon target in accordance with the more stringent Paris Agreement temperature limit;

(2) that that target would be substantially more ambitious than the minimum level of 80% set out in the CCA at the time; and

(3) that the new target was likely to be 100% emissions reduction by 2050.

10. In the context of a long term national infrastructure project, such as the proposed expansion of the UK’s national airport, it would have been sensible to have considered these profound developments in government policy on climate change. The Secretary of State should at least have turned his mind to the question of whether the ANPS was likely to be compatible with the more stringent target that was envisaged.

11. The Secretary of State, however, chose to ignore these developments and proceeded as if there had been no material developments in government policy relating to climate change since 2008 and as if no change were in contemplation. He proceeded on the basis that the seminal Paris Agreement and the Government commitment to introduce a net zero target in line with that agreement were “irrelevant” to government policy on climate change and hence irrelevant to his decision.

12. The basis of the Appellant’s claim that the designation of the ANPS was unlawful, and that it should be quashed, is that the Secretary of State approach to these matters was fundamentally flawed.

13. The short-sightedness of his approach has been highlighted by subsequent events.

14. The judgement of the Court below was published on the morning of 1 May 2019.

15. On 2 May 2019, the CCC published its advice on a new carbon target, as requested by the Government, recommending the introduction of a net zero target by 2050, in accordance with the Government’s stated intention of May 2018 [SB/x/y].

16. On 27 June 2019, the CCA s.1 carbon target of at least 80% emissions reduction by 2050 was replaced, via statutory instrument, with the substantially more ambitious target of “at least 100%” by 2050 (ie a “net zero” target) [SB/x/y].

17. The Secretary of State must now concede that the benchmark used to assess the ANPS was fundamentally less demanding than current government policy on climate change: current government policy is to reduce emissions by at least 100% by 2050 in accordance with a global temperature limit of “well below 2˚C” and 1.5˚C.

18. Presumably, the Secretary of State will say that at the time of the designation of the ANPS, in June 2018 he could not have predicted these “developments” in Government policy.

19. In truth, while Government policy was not implemented into law until June 2019, the policy commitment to introduce a new net zero target in accordance with the Paris Agreement had been made in March 2016 and by May 2018 it was already clear that the Government was aiming to decarbonise the economy by 2050. It was not sensible for the Secretary of State to ignore that position.

20. In any event, it is now apparent that contrary to the express purpose of the 2008 Act, Government policy on aviation and climate change are now advancing in contrary directions. In the Appellant’s submission, this is the inevitable consequence of the Secretary of State’s blinkered approach.

21. The Court below ruled in favour of the Secretary of State on the basis that “neither policy nor international agreement can override a statute”. In reality there was no question of “overriding” a statute, since the CCA, prior to amendment, imposed only a minimum requirement in terms of emissions reduction. Further, the express terms of s. 5(8) of the 2008 Act required the Secretary of State to take account of government policy and not to confine his consideration to the statutory minimum obligation.

 

…….. and the document continues (15 pages) at

https://planb.earth/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Appeal-skeleton-Oct-final.pdf

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See also

 

What will be the impact of the UK ambition of “Net Zero” on the Airports NPS?

Lawyers, BDB Pitmans, for whom airport planning is an area of work, have commented on the change by the UK to a net zero carbon target by 2050 – and its effect on the aviation sector. They say the 1990 baseline was 778 million tonnes of CO2. With the 80% cut target, until 27th June, the UK had to cut CO2 emissions to 155.6 million tonnes by 2050. It now has to be reduced to 0 tonnes. The government understands that: “Achieving net-zero GHG emissions for the UK will rely on a range of Speculative options that currently have very low levels of technology readiness, very high costs, and/or significant barriers to public acceptability.” One change that will be needed is for people to fly less. The legal challenges in March 2019 against the Airports NPS had grounds relating to carbon emissions, but these were dismissed, on the basis of developments like the Paris Agreement had not yet being translated into UK law. Now the Appeal Court will hear the legal challenges, and as the CO2 target has been changed, presumably the conclusions of the NPS are now vulnerable. The Sec of State for Transport will need to review the NPS, considering whether there has been a “significant change in any circumstances.”

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Heathrow legal challenge Appeals to be live-streamed from the Court of Appeal (from 17th October)

On 23rd July 2019, the Court of Appeal ruled that there were grounds for appeal for all four of the legal judicial reviews, challenging the Governments support for the expansion of Heathrow. These will take place at the Court of Appeal, from 17th October, for 6 days, and will be live-streamed. On 1st May 2019, the High Court dismissed the judicial review claims made by five separate parties that the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), as approved by Parliament in June 2018, was unlawful.  Paul Beckford, Policy Director of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, the leading campaign organisation opposing the expansion of Heathrow, said: “This is excellent news for transparency. It is vital that the public get the opportunity to hear that the Government chose to proceed with expansion at Heathrow because the former Secretary of State for Transport (Grayling) did not consider the Paris Agreement relevant. The fact that a net zero target has now been included in the Climate Change Act makes the climate case against expansion even stronger.”

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HEATHROW EXPANSION COURT CASE TO BE LIVE STREAMED

14th August 2019 (No 3rd Runway Coalition press release)

The legal cases challenging the Governments support for the expansion of Heathrow Airport will be live streamed from the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal has announced that the appeal hearings, which will take place over 6 days from 17 October. (1)

On 1 May 2019, the High Court dismissed the judicial review claims made by five separate parties that the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), as approved by Parliament in June 2018, was unlawful.

Four of those claimants lodged appeals against the judgement in terms of the undue consideration given to the environment, noise and climate change. (2) On 23 Jul 2019, The Court of Appeal ruled that there were grounds for appeal.

Yesterday, the environmental organisation Plan B filed its skeleton argument for the appeal hearing. (3)

Welcoming the news, Paul Beckford, Policy Director of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, the leading campaign organisation opposing the expansion of Heathrow, said:

This is excellent news for transparency. It is vital that the public get the opportunity to hear that the Government chose to proceed with expansion at Heathrow because the former Secretary of State for Transport did not consider the Paris Agreement relevant. The fact that a net zero target has now been included in the Climate Change Act makes the climate case against expansion even stronger.”

Notes:

  1. https://www.judiciary.uk/you-and-the-judiciary/going-to-court/court-of-appeal-home/the-court-of-appeal-civil-division-live-streaming-of-court-hearings/
  2. The claimants consist of the following parties:
  • Local authorities of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, Windsor & Maidenhead, Greenpeace UK, with the Mayor of London
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Plan B Earth
  • Heathrow Hub Ltd
  1. https://planb.earth/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Appeal-skeleton-Oct-final.pdf

Plan B Skeleton Argument

The summary states:

Nb. At the time of drafting the original Grounds of Appeal, The Climate Change Act 2008 s. 1 maintained a “carbon target” of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to a 1990 baseline. On 27 June 2019 that target was amended by statutory instrument to read “at least 100%”. The Grounds of Appeal have been revised in this skeleton argument in order to reflect that amendment.

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A. INTRODUCTION

1. The Appellant wishes to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision ([CB/x/y] and [CB/x/y]) to designate the Airports National Policy Statement (“the ANPS”) in support of the expansion of Heathrow Airport under the Planning Act 2008 (“the 2008 Act”), on the basis of his failure to give proper consideration to “government policy relating to … climate change” contrary to the statutory requirement of s. 5(8) of the 2008 Act.

2. Specifically the Secretary of State proceeded on the false premise that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Government’s commitment to introducing a net zero carbon target in accordance with the Paris Agreement were “irrelevant” considerations for the purposes of s.5(8) of the 2008 Act.

3. Since climate change is a global threat, which no one country can tackle in isolation, national climate change policies are determined as contributions to maintaining a global climate change temperature limit. The final report of the Airports Commission highlighted the importance of the global climate change context as a constraint on UK aviation capacity [CB/x/y]: “Any change to UK’s aviation capacity would have to take place in the context of global climate change, and the UK’s policy obligations in this area.”

4. In July 2015, when the Airports Commission report was published, the political consensus was that extreme danger from climate change could be avoided by limiting average global warming to 2˚C above pre-industrial levels. It is common ground between the parties that the now superseded “carbon target” in the Climate Change Act 2008 (“CCA”), which was to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, was derived from that 2˚C global limit.

5. In December 2015, however, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (“The Paris Agreement”) introduced a step change to global (and hence national) climate change policy. Amid gathering evidence that even 2˚C warming would pose intolerable risks for humanity, the UK Government played a leading role in negotiating the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which committed governments to holding warming to “well below” 2˚C while aiming for a 1.5˚C limit.

6. In March 2016 the Government made an unequivocal policy commitment to introduce a new “net zero” carbon target to bring the UK into line with the Paris Agreement 1. A “net zero” target means emissions reduction of 100% as opposed to 80%. Such a target does not require actual emissions of carbon to be reduced to zero. It means only that remaining emissions must be balanced by action to remove an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere (eg through reforestation).

7. In April 2018 the Government announced it would commission the Committee on Climate Change (“the CCC”), the Government’s statutory adviser on climate change, to provide formal advice on the implementation of a new target 2; and on 1 May 2018, the Rt Hon Claire MP, on behalf of the Government, informed Parliament that the CCC had been asked to advise on how to reach “net zero” emissions by 2050 3.

8. The Government’s position aligned to an emerging consensus that, if the Paris temperature limit were to be maintained, global emissions would need to reach net zero by 2050. In January 2018, for example, the European Parliament had voted for net zero emissions by 2050 4.

9. Thus at the time of the Secretary of State’s designation of the ANPS, in June 2018, it was already clear that:

(1) it was Government policy to introduce a new net zero carbon target in accordance with the more stringent Paris Agreement temperature limit;

(2) that that target would be substantially more ambitious than the minimum level of 80% set out in the CCA at the time; and

(3) that the new target was likely to be 100% emissions reduction by 2050.

10. In the context of a long term national infrastructure project, such as the proposed expansion of the UK’s national airport, it would have been sensible to have considered these profound developments in government policy on climate change. The Secretary of State should at least have turned his mind to the question of whether the ANPS was likely to be compatible with the more stringent target that was envisaged.

11. The Secretary of State, however, chose to ignore these developments and proceeded as if there had been no material developments in government policy relating to climate change since 2008 and as if no change were in contemplation. He proceeded on the basis that the seminal Paris Agreement and the Government commitment to introduce a net zero target in line with that agreement were “irrelevant” to government policy on climate change and hence irrelevant to his decision.

12. The basis of the Appellant’s claim that the designation of the ANPS was unlawful, and that it should be quashed, is that the Secretary of State approach to these matters was fundamentally flawed.

13. The short-sightedness of his approach has been highlighted by subsequent events.

14. The judgement of the Court below was published on the morning of 1 May 2019.

15. On 2 May 2019, the CCC published its advice on a new carbon target, as requested by the Government, recommending the introduction of a net zero target by 2050, in accordance with the Government’s stated intention of May 2018 [SB/x/y].

16. On 27 June 2019, the CCA s.1 carbon target of at least 80% emissions reduction by 2050 was replaced, via statutory instrument, with the substantially more ambitious target of “at least 100%” by 2050 (ie a “net zero” target) [SB/x/y].

17. The Secretary of State must now concede that the benchmark used to assess the ANPS was fundamentally less demanding than current government policy on climate change: current government policy is to reduce emissions by at least 100% by 2050 in accordance with a global temperature limit of “well below 2˚C” and 1.5˚C.

18. Presumably, the Secretary of State will say that at the time of the designation of the ANPS, in June 2018 he could not have predicted these “developments” in Government policy.

19. In truth, while Government policy was not implemented into law until June 2019, the policy commitment to introduce a new net zero target in accordance with the Paris Agreement had been made in March 2016 and by May 2018 it was already clear that the Government was aiming to decarbonise the economy by 2050. It was not sensible for the Secretary of State to ignore that position.

20. In any event, it is now apparent that contrary to the express purpose of the 2008 Act, Government policy on aviation and climate change are now advancing in contrary directions. In the Appellant’s submission, this is the inevitable consequence of the Secretary of State’s blinkered approach.

21. The Court below ruled in favour of the Secretary of State on the basis that “neither policy nor international agreement can override a statute”. In reality there was no question of “overriding” a statute, since the CCA, prior to amendment, imposed only a minimum requirement in terms of emissions reduction. Further, the express terms of s. 5(8) of the 2008 Act required the Secretary of State to take account of government policy and not to confine his consideration to the statutory minimum obligation.

 

…….. and the document continues (15 pages) at

https://planb.earth/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Appeal-skeleton-Oct-final.pdf

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Heathrow gets £9M payout from DfT for HS2 work at Old Oak Common affecting Heathrow Express

In mid-July, before he left the job, Transport secretary Chris Grayling signed off on a £9M payout to be handed to Heathrow Airport to prepare for HS2.  The pre-emptive payment from the DfT to Heathrow is compensation for knocking down a rail depot at Old Oak Common where Heathrow Express trains are kept.  The £9M figure was reported in Heathrow Express’ annual accounts. It is understood that the sum will be paid irrespective of whether or not HS2 gets the go ahead, with the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson in charge. A DfT spokesperson said the compensation would be part of “a series of agreements to secure the future of the Heathrow Express service, while enabling the construction of a new HS2 station at Old Oak Common”.  For the £9 million, Heathrow Express “agreed to vacate its train care depot at Old Oak Common to make way for the development of HS2.” In the Lords, on 24th July (the day Boris became PM), Lib Dem Baroness Elizabeth Randerson asked the DfT if the £9 million was still being paid, and the then Transport Minister Baroness Vere replied that “Work continues on HS2 and that £9 million was part of that work.” 

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Heathrow Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Heathrow Airport Holdings.

Question by Baroness Randerson Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport)
House of Lords Debate

24th July 2019

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2019-07-24a.750.2#g751.2

My Lords, the Minister is very firm in her assurances, and I would like to think that we can be convinced that HS2 will be built. However, the new Prime Minister has cast serious doubt on it and the Minister has referred to HS2 being subject to review. I therefore ask her to explain why £9 million has been given as compensation to Heathrow Airport in preparation for HS2, despite this ongoing review. Can she confirm the press reports that the £9 million will be paid even if HS2 does not go ahead?

Reply by Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Work continues on HS2 and that £9 million was part of that work. To date, HS2 has spent £7.4 billion. The review I referred to was done by the current chairman of HS2; it may be that there is a separate, second external review. I welcome the new Prime Minister’s reported focus on infrastructure. Infrastructure is critically important to our country and very complex, and sometimes it represents a large and slow-moving target for criticism. It is essential that we get infrastructure right and that it is fit for purpose.

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2019-07-24a.750.2#g751.2

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Heathrow receives £9M payout for HS2 work at Old Oak Common

16 JUL, 2019

BY SAM SHOLLI (New Civil Engineer)

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has signed off on a £9M payout to be handed to Heathrow Airport to prepare for High Speed 2 (HS2).

Heathrow will be pre-emptively handed the money by the DfT as compensation for knocking down a rail depot at Old Oak Common where Heathrow Express trains are kept.

The £9M figure was reported in Heathrow Express’ annual accounts.

It is understood that the sum will be paid irrespective of whether or not HS2 gets the go ahead following the Tory leadership race.

A government spokesperson said the compensation would be part of “a series of agreements to secure the future of the Heathrow Express service, while enabling the construction of a new HS2 station at Old Oak Common”.

“As noted in Heathrow’s accounts, £9M is part of our upfront compensation for additional operating costs incurred under these agreements,” the spokesperson also said.

A Heathrow Express spokesperson added: “As part of this agreement Heathrow Express agreed to vacate its train care depot at Old Oak Common to make way for the development of HS2.”

News of the £9M expense comes after it was revealed that HS2 Ltd had terminated its search for a contractor to design and build the £435M Birmingham Curzon Street Station after increasing concern regarding risk transfer.

The high speed rail project’s promoter has now relaunched its procurement process to provide a “better balance” and create “a more competitive process”.

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/grayling-agrees-9m-hs2-compensation-sum-heathrow-16-07-2019/ 

 

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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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4.4 billion air trips taken world wide in 2018; number was 2.63 billion in 2010

IATA data show more Britons travelled abroad last year than any other nationality, when 126.2 million air trips were made by Brits – which is 8.6%, roughly one in 12, of all international air travellers. The UK was followed by the USA (111.5 million, or 7.6% of all passengers) and China (97 million, 6.6%). In total there were 4.4 billion air passenger journeys (that does not mean that number of people flew – many take multiple flights, and even in rich countries, many people do not fly at all, or not in any one year). The 4.4 billion is an increase of 6.9% compared to 2017. The number was 2.63 billion in 2010.  There were 1.674 billion in 2000. The load factor on average across airlines was only 82%.    IATA’s Director General, Alexandre de Juniac, does admit there is “an environmental cost that airlines are committed to reducing.” But any possible future cuts in aviation CO2 are tiny, dubious, and far ahead.  In 2018, Asia had  1.6 billion passengers, (37% of market share), which grew by 9.2% over 2017. Europe had 1.1 billion passengers ( 26.2% of market share), up 6.6% over 2017.
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https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IS.AIR.PSGR


More Connectivity and Improved Efficiency – 2018 Airline Industry Statistics Released

IATA press release

31st July 2019

Montreal  The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released performance figures for 2018 showing that global air connectivity continues to become more accessible and more efficient. The IATA World Air Transport Statistics (2019 WATS) confirms that:

  •  4.4 billion passengers flew in 2018
  • Record efficiency was achieved with 81.9% of available seats being filled
  • Fuel efficiency improved by more than 12% compared to 2010
  • 22,000 city pairs are now connected by direct flights, up 1,300 over 2017 and double the 10,250 city pairs connected in 1998
  • The real cost of air transport has more than halved over the last 20 years (to around 78 US cents per revenue tonne-kilometer, or RTK).

”Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before. The freedom to fly is more accessible than ever. And our world is a more prosperous place as a result. As with any human activity this comes with an environmental cost that airlines are committed to reducing. We understand that sustainability is essential to our license to spread aviation’s benefits. From 2020 we will cap net carbon emissions growth. And, by 2050, we will cut our net carbon footprint to half 2005 levels. This ambitious climate action goal needs government support. It is critical for sustainable aviation fuels, new technology and more efficient routes to deliver the greener future we are aiming for,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

….. and there is much more at

https://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2019-07-31-01.aspx

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World Bank data

This shows the vast increase in air passengers world wide over the past 30 years or so.

The growth in air passengers worldwide. From The World Bank. (IATA says 4.4 billion in 2018). in 2017 there were 3.979 bn. In 2015 3.466 bn. In 2010 2.628 billion. In 2005 1.97 billion. In 2000 there were 1.674 bn. In 1995 1.391 bn. In 1990 1.025 bn

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IS.AIR.PSGR

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MORE BRITISH PEOPLE FLEW ABROAD LAST YEAR THAN ANY OTHER NATIONALITY, NEW DATA REVEALS

By Cathy Adams (The Independent)
@Cathman

More Britons travelled abroad last year than any other nationality, according to official data from the international trade body for aviation, IATA.

In 2018, 126.2 million passengers were British – totalling 8.6%, roughly one in 12, of all international travellers.

The UK was followed by the US (111.5 million, or 7.6% of all passengers) and China (97 million, 6.6%).

Data from the International Air Transport Association (Iata) shows that 4.4 billion passengers flew in 2018, an increase of 6.9% from 2017.

That represents an additional 284 million trips by air year-on-year.

According to Iata’s World Air Transport Statistics, 22,000 pairs of cities were connected by direct flights last year, up 1,300 year-on-year and double the number of cities (10,250) connected in 1998.

…. more about China etc …..

Flight efficiency [load factor] hit a record high, with almost 82% of available plane seats filled last year.  [So on the average flight, 18% seats were unfilled.]  Fuel efficiency improved by more than 12% in 2018 compared to eight years previously.

“Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before. The freedom to fly is more accessible than ever,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and CEO. “And our world is a more prosperous place as a result. As with any human activity this comes with an environmental cost that airlines are committed to reducing.

“We understand that sustainability is essential to our license to spread aviation’s benefits. From 2020 we will cap net carbon emissions growth. And, by 2050, we will cut our net carbon footprint to half 2005 levels.

“This ambitious climate action goal needs government support. It is critical for sustainable aviation fuels, new technology and more efficient routes to deliver the greener future we are aiming for.”

Other data in the 2019 World Air Transport Statistics showed that low-cost carriers continue to grow, with capacity on budget airlines growing by 13.4% in 2018 – double the overall industry growth rate.

…… it continues ….. see full article at

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/british-travellers-iata-world-air-transport-statistics-a9029366.html

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FoI documents show Scottish airports would lose perhaps 220,000 passengers per year, if Heathrow got 3rd runway

Scottish airports could lose more than 220,000 passengers per year, if Heathrow got a 3rd runway.  The regions have been led to believe the runway would benefit them, in terms of links to Heathrow and more jobs. The reality is different. The Scottish Government had backed the runway plans, hoping Scotland would benefit. But the DfT’s own data – revealed in emails – shows they expect number of passengers using  Scottish airports would reduce, with the 3rd runway, as Heathrow would increasingly have a monopoly of lucrative long-haul routes.  There might be more domestic flights to Heathrow from Newcastle, cutting demand from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports. The Scottish government needs to consider their position on Heathrow very carefully. The figures on alleged jobs were based on very, very dodgy, out of date data, (assuming benefits of the runway to the UK over 60 years as £147 bn, when in reality they might at most be £3bn – or an actual cost) that cannot be believed. “Estimates of aviation emissions from an expanded Heathrow were redacted in the emails released.”
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Taking off: Secret report reveals Scots airports will lose more than 220,000 flyers after £16bn Heathrow expansion

by Billy Briggs (Sunday Post)
August 4, 2019

Scots airports could lose more than 220,000 passengers if the £14 billion third runway at Heathrow goes ahead, according to secret government figures.

The proposed £16bn ­expansion of the London airport, including the building of a third runway, is high in the in-tray of Boris Johnson, who is under mounting pressure to reverse his ­previous opposition to the project.

The Scottish Government also backed the proposal, claiming the huge expansion would create jobs around Britain before launching a review into its environmental impact.

However, previously unseen data from the Department for Transport reveals Scots airports will lose more than 220,000 passengers if Heathrow expands.

Increased competition from Newcastle airport, forecast to have more connecting flights to London, is one reason cited for a projected fall in business for Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

The figures pile pressure on the Scottish Government to clarify its transport policy and call into question claims by the UK Government that Heathrow’s expansion will create 16,000 jobs in Scotland.

Internal emails reveal DfT data, passed to the Scottish Government last year, predicted a loss of 220,450 passengers between Glasgow and Edinburgh airports by 2030.

Glasgow could see a fall of 171,037 passengers over the next decade while Edinburgh could lose 49,413, according to a table of projections by the UK Government.

The official projections, obtained under freedom of information requests, also said Glasgow is predicted to lose 267,868 passengers by 2040 and, although Edinburgh is forecast to gain 119,321 people by then, the net loss jointly to Scotland’s two major airports would be 148,547.

Estimates of aviation emissions from an expanded Heathrow were redacted in the emails released.

Until recently, the Scottish Government supported a third runway at Heathrow after signing a memorandum of understanding in October 2016. In May, however, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said backing for the expansion of the UK’s busiest airport was under review after her decision to announce a “climate emergency”.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said it had always maintained the continued growth of Heathrow would be “at the detriment of Scotland’s airports and these projections demonstrate exactly that”.

He added: “Creating a huge monopoly airport in the south-east of England will clearly have an adverse impact on other airports around the country, and the perception we are feeder airports for London is as outdated as it is false.

“We are an international airport in our own right, one that delivers economic benefit through jobs and business. We should be working to release the even greater potential Scotland’s industry has, not grounding it by an obsession with Heathrow.”

Scottish Green transport spokesperson John Finnie challenged the Scottish Government to clarify its position on the issue, arguing it was “incompatible” with a climate emergency to “relentlessly pursue growth in air travel”.

He said: “They (Scottish Government) tell us they’ll come up with a climate-change plan in six months but, meanwhile, they support an expansion of Heathrow while our airports compete for new capacity. Declaring a climate emergency is meaningless unless the Scottish Government also has the will to address the main contributors to it. Warm words will not address global climate change.”

The Department for Transport said a new runway at Heathrow would bring benefits to Scotland, adding that, as well as creating opportunities for “new and more frequent routes”, passengers will be able to “choose from a wider range of destinations to travel, and enjoy cheaper fares”.

The Scottish Government said the decision on airport expansion rests with the UK Government and the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Heathrow Airport will potentially bring “significant job creation and investment opportunities”.

A Scottish Government ­spokesman said: “We have already announced a change in our policy on Air Departure Tax. Later this month, our new National Transport Strategy will be launched for public consultation.

“It will set the future direction for transport over the next 20 years and identifies taking climate action as a priority.

“We are currently commissioning independent research to inform what further action is needed to de-carbonise the Scottish Transport Sector.  “We have been a leader in this field for many years.”

https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/taking-off-secret-report-reveals-scots-airports-will-lose-more-than-220000-flyers-after-16bn-heathrow-expansion/

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See earlier:

SNP “promised” 16,000 new jobs if it backs 3rd runway – but that figure is crazily inflated – as Heathrow & DfT well know

The Conservative government may need the SNP’s support if some of its MPs rebel against the new Heathrow runway – which is likely. The SNP will demand guaranteed extra slots for Scottish flights into London in return for the party’s support for the 3rd runway.  Ian Blackford, the head of the SNP’s parliamentary group in London, said the party had not taken a decision on runway yet – and would only do so if Scotland stood to benefit. Their backing may not be guaranteed, though that had been assumed – particularly after Keith Brown, Scotland’s infrastructure secretary, believed there might be 16,000 Scottish jobs, created by the project. That figure of 16,000 jobs is what Heathrow has, for several years, been peddling. Along with similarly inflated claims for all the regions. The number was derived by a consultancy called Quod, in a flimsy little 4 page paper, with no methodology, no date, no author etc. It is based on the assumption that Heathrow would provide an economic benefit (NPV) to the UK, over 60 years, of £147 billion. That number is now known to actually be about £3.3 billion, at best (if not a negative number). The SNP would be very ill-advised to believe Scotland will benefit; in reality its airports would be damaged by allowing the runway. Tragic if they vote in favour of it, because they have not checked out the facts properly. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/06/snp-promised-16000-new-jobs-if-it-backs-3rd-runway-but-that-figure-is-crazily-inflated-as-heathrow-dft-well-know/

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Alex Salmond says 3rd Heathrow runway is for the benefit of London and SE, to the detriment of Scotland

Alex Salmond, the former First Minister of Scotland, speaking on the subject of Heathrow expansion, said that UK Governments have a long history of dressing up London investment as being of equal benefit to the whole nation. He is not persuaded that the Treasury is particularly interested in benefiting Scotland. There is evidence that public spending in previous decades, while supposedly UK-wide, is in reality aimed at helping London and the south of England.  Some examples given are the redevelopment of docklands, the Jubilee line extension, and concentrating defence spending, procurement, and the civil service firmly in the south. Alex Salmond says that much of this type of spending was omitted from all official accounts of “identifiable public spending” and it still is. But public spending in Scotland was routinely described as a “subsidy.”  He says the proposed Heathrow runway would be to the potential detriment of Scotland, which is facing all of the pain and none of the gain. He wants to boost direct Scottish flights to and from international destinations for the benefit of travellers, tourism and Scottish exporting industries. And he wants APD cut in Scotland, reducing the need to fly via London at all. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/08/alex-salmond-says-3rd-heathrow-runway-is-for-the-benefit-of-london-and-to-the-detriment-of-scotland/

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Airports Commission report shows fewer, not more, links to regional airports by 2030 with 3rd runway

The Times reports that analysis by Transport for London (TfL) of the Airports Commission’s final report shows that, with a 3rd runway, Heathrow would only serve 4 domestic destinations by 2030, compared to the 7 is now serves.  It would serve only 3 with no new runway by 2030. (The Gatwick figures are 7 domestic destinations by 2030 with a 2nd runway, compared to 10 now). Heathrow has been claiming that its runway will be important for better links to the regions, and improved domestic connectivity by air. The Heathrow runway has been backed by Peter Robinson, the first minister of Northern Ireland, Derek Mackay, the Scottish transport minister, and Louise Ellman, the chairwoman of the transport select committee – on the grounds that it would help the regions. The Commission’s report says: (Page 313) “15.8 ….without specific measures to support domestic connectivity even an expanded Heathrow may accommodate fewer domestic routes in future….”  The Commission cannot see effective ways to ensure domestic links are not cut in future, as less profitable than long haul, but they suggest public subsidy by the taxpayer for these routes. This is by using PSO (Public Service Obligations) which could cost £ millions, is a bad use of public money, and may fall foul of EU law.  So if the taxpayer has to pay, that means the runway costs us even more. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/07/airports-commission-report-shows-fewer-not-more-links-to-regional-airports-by-2030-with-3rd-runway/

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Flight Free UK blog – “Train travel is a gem waiting for rediscovery”

People are signing up to the Flight Free UK website in good numbers. The campaign is asking people to commit to not fly at all in 2020. Many who have pledged not to fly have done blogs, about their experience. Now environmental scientist Alexandra Jellicoe report on her recent trip to Italy, by train. She loved the space in the train, the pull-down table for her laptop, the ability to walk down the train to the restaurant for a meal or snack. Alexandra worked out that her train trip probably cause the emission of about 480kg CO2 than if she had flown. By train, or even by road, you are reconnected with the place and the culture through which you are moving. You appreciate the huge distance travelled. You can stop off at places en route, for a few hours or a night, pleasantly and interestingly extending your holiday. Alexandra says: “I’ve completely reimagined how to explore the world. A holiday is no longer a jet to Mexico to lie by the beach for a week nor a quick weekend in Rome. I’ve rediscovered travel as something to be savoured rather than an inconvenience between home and holiday…. and a compulsion to discover new ways to live in a world so damaged by modern lifestyles. …Choosing NOT to fly has a powerful impact.”

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Train travel is a gem waiting for rediscovery

By Alexandra Jellicoe

For Flight Free UK blog

Image result for flight free uk

Slow travel makes the whole experience far richer, as discovered by environmental scientist Alexandra Jellicoe on a recent trip to Italy.

It’s not often you get bumped up to first class for a tenner. I can’t believe my luck. The seats are like armchairs and pivot so you can recline into a perfect sleeping position. The pull-down table so generous I have plenty of space for my laptop, a coffee and a sandwich without having to channel my ninja skills, ready to catch a falling object at any moment. I managed to book last minute and the cabin is almost empty, the temperature perfectly controlled to ensure maximum comfort and I can stroll next door anytime I like for a hot meal. Oh, and did I mention the view? Train travel around Europe is a gem waiting for rediscovery.

I’ve been on a retreat at Villa Lugara near Baiso, Italy. I don’t envy my holiday mates on their return home, flying Ryan Air from Bologna to Bristol. Squished in like cattle, made to wait for two hours on the hot tarmac without explanation of the delay and refused free water. Modern air travel has been perversely designed to be endured rather than enjoyed. Tell me, when did you last enjoy a flight?

Perhaps this is the right time to mention that Ryan Air has recently joined the fossil fuel crew as one of the top ten most polluting companies on the planet. The latest research reveals that it’s not only carbon emissions are causing global heating: contrails left by aeroplanes are now so wide spread that their warming effect is greater than that of all the carbon dioxide emitted by aeroplanes that has accumulated in the atmosphere since the first flight of the Wright brothers. My choice to travel by train rather than fly has saved 480kg Co2 from the atmosphere. Currently, there are over 100,000 flights around the world every single day which melts Arctic ice the equivalent size to approximately thirty-seven Empire State buildings. Choosing NOT to fly has a powerful impact.

Slow travel is set to make a comeback. Travel that reconnects you with place and culture. If I didn’t have to whizz back to the UK to be with my young children, I would have stopped a day or two in all the places I’ve had to catch connecting trains – Paris, Turin, Milan, Bologna. Lingering to imbibe each cities’ culture, welcoming uncertainty as I navigate my way through unmapped streets and stumble over half understood conversations. Each city entices me to stay longer. This is not a holiday, this is akin to being the protagonist of a Hemmingway novel.

The booking engine LOCO2 offer a simple Europe-wide city to city search of alternative travel routes including overnight sleepers (expensive), high speed day trains (cheap) and every alternative you can think of in-between.

Trains are the lowest carbon emission form of easily accessible public transport. As a passionate traveller, mother and environmental scientist I’ve completely reimagined how to explore the world. A holiday is no longer a jet to Mexico to lie by the beach for a week nor a quick weekend in Rome. I’ve rediscovered travel as something to be savoured rather than an inconvenience between home and holiday. And this excitement has been triggered by a compulsion to discover new ways to live in a world so damaged by modern lifestyles.

Reduction in carbon emissions is critical to reduce global heating and whilst air travel may always be with us, it can no longer be the default mode of international transport. In order to prevent global heating in excess of 1.5 degrees we need Government action now, but we also need to reimagine our lifestyles. For many, modern travel lacks soul and adventure – jetting around the world in search of sun without engaging with the local people and culture deprives not only the traveller but also the destination community. The trend is economically non-specific and all are affected from the package holiday tourist to residents of vast complex five-star hotels. Slow travel immerses you in local culture and all are enriched.

I have to cross Paris from the Gare du Lyon to the Gare du Nord to catch my connecting train to London. Europe is experiencing a freak heatwave. I step down from the TGV and the 45-degree heat brings back memories of working in Sub-Saharan Africa. This oppressive weather makes it impossible to think and the city isn’t designed to withstand desert temperatures. As an environmental scientist my expertise is the provision of safe water to remote global communities. I’ve worked with indigenous tribes and small island developing states, both of which have been battling the consequences of climate change for decades. Yet little has been done to protect these vulnerable communities. Many have lost their homes and become aid dependent. As the consequences of unpredictable weather systems now threaten my own children, I feel that it is my duty to dedicate my life to protecting them – I may make little difference but I’m essentially an optimist, and hope is catching.

This summer we’re spending a month in France. We’ll take the kids by train, stop off in Paris, Lyon and Annecy. My eldest is always questioning the difference in local customs to ours and it’s this breadth of understanding and enquiry that I hope to inspire in all of my children. Travel, real travel, promotes empathy, compassion and tolerance of others, emotions that are severely under threat in modern society. If we’re lucky we may even pick up a little of the language too.

Alexandra Jellicoe runs environmental magazine/blog Monkey Wrench, where you can read an expanded version of this article.

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Fight Free UK

https://www.flightfree.co.uk/campaign

Do you feel powerless taking action as an individual? Would you feel differently if you knew many others were taking the same action?

Flight Free UK is a people-powered campaign which asks people to agree not to fly in the year of 2020 – knowing that 100,000 others have pledged to do the same. It’s about taking collective responsibility to reduce the amount we fly in order to lessen our impact on the planet.

Flying less is one of the most powerful ways we as individuals can reduce our carbon footprint, and with experts predicting that we have just a handful of years to take meaningful action on climate change, there has never been a better time to address the issue.

Many of us fly without a second thought – it is an ingrained part of our culture, and a part of our global society, as people, goods and services are transported around the globe. Flight Free UK aims to raise awareness of the impact of those flights and inspire people to take action.

It is easy to think that individual actions don’t make a difference, and not to bother trying. But if we can show that there are 100,000 people who are prepared to take an air-free year, we send a clear signal to industry and politicians – and also to each other – that there are many who are willing to change their lifestyles to protect the climate.

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Sign the pledge and join the growing number of people who will be flight-free in 2020. 

Make the pledge to be flight-free in 2020

#flightfree2020

When you sign up your name will automatically be counted towards the total signatories.* Your email address will be added to our mailing list where you’ll receive one email per month updating you on the campaign. You may unsubscribe at any time, but we’ll still hold your data otherwise your pledge won’t be counted. For information on how we use your data, please see our Privacy Policy.

*For your signature to count towards the 100,000, you must be a UK resident. If you select a different country your pledge will be held on the database as an international pledge.

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