Comment by AEF on government runway statement: continued support for a new runway premature without environmental safeguards

Commenting on the government announcement that the government confirms its support for building a new runway, but it will be delayed, the Aviation Environment Federation said a decision in support of expansion is premature without knowing whether important environmental questions can be answered. “Heathrow is one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions in the UK and people living around the airport are already subject to aircraft noise and pollution levels that impair their health. Yet the Airports Commission failed to show, in two years of work, how a new runway could be compatible with key Government commitments on air pollution and climate change.”  With key environmental challenges remaining, the Government should not commit to a new runway until and unless environmental questions relating to noise, air quality and climate can be answered. “The challenges of addressing the environmental impacts of a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick are no less significant than they were when the Coalition Government ruled out expansion for environmental reasons in 2010. The current Government should do the same.”
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Government delays runway decision, AEF reaction

The Government has today announce[“Government confirms support for airport expansion in the south-east”] that a final decision on airport expansion will be delayed until further work on environmental impacts has been undertaken, especially on air quality.

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)[1], a national NGO campaigning on the environmental impacts of flying, believes that a decision in support of expansion is premature without knowing whether important environmental questions can be answered.

Heathrow is one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions in the UK and people living around the airport are already subject to aircraft noise and pollution levels that impair their health. Yet the Airports Commission failed to show, in two years of work, how a new runway could be compatible with key Government commitments on air pollution and climate change [2].

Is history repeating itself? Ten years ago, the then Government gave its support to Heathrow expansion but said it needed to be confident that air quality laws wouldn’t be breached. But the improvements necessary to meet this condition never materialised and some roads around Heathrow still breach legal air quality limits today with just two runways.

With key environmental challenges remaining [3], the Government should not commit to a new runway until and unless environmental questions relating to noise, air quality and climate can be answered.

AEF Deputy Director Cait Hewitt said

“The Government has had to admit that there are huge environmental hurdles in the way of Heathrow expansion. The Airports Commission hasn’t presented a convincing case on either air pollution or climate change problems, both of which would be made worse by expansion.

“The challenges of addressing the environmental impacts of a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick are no less significant than they were when the Coalition Government ruled out expansion for environmental reasons in 2010. The current Government should do the same.”

—ENDS—

Contact: James Lees 020 3102 1509 / james@aef.org.uk

Notes to editor:

[1] Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) is the leading UK organisation campaigning exclusively on the environmental impacts of aviation. We represent community groups and individuals around many of the UK’s airports and airfields.

[2] The Environmental Audit Committee report published last month highlighted the sheer scale of the environmental measures that Government would need to implement to prevent a third runway becoming an environmental disaster and warned against a premature decision on airport expansion. AEF gave verbal evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee as part of its inquiry and our comments were reflected in the EAC’s report (more here: http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/12/01/cross-party-committee-of-mps-recommends-government-should-not-give-go-ahead-on-heathrow-expansion/). The report concluded that no decision should be taken unless remaining environmental questions can be answered.

[3] Despite predicting that a new runway would cause an increase in CO2 emissions from aircraft, the Airports Commission pushed the challenge of meeting CO2 limits while expanding South East airports back to Government. See our report, All Set for Take Off, here for more information.

http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/12/10/government-delays-runway-decision-aef-reaction/

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Government statement 7pm this evening: Delay runway decision till summer, after a package of further work. Including on CO2, air pollution and noise.

The statement by the DfT:


Government confirms support for airport expansion in the south-east

From:  Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP

10 December 2015

Government statement on airport expansion in the south-east.

– location decision subject to further consideration on environmental impacts and the best possible mitigation measures

– government agrees with the Airports Commission that the south-east needs more runway capacity by 2030

– government agrees with the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options, all of which it concluded were viable

The government has accepted the case for airport expansion in the south-east and the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options for expansion. It has also identified the most appropriate way of delivering planning consents for new capacity, it was decided today (10 December 2015) at the Airports Sub Committee.

The government will undertake a package of further work and we anticipate that it will conclude over the summer.

The government will do this quickly so that the timetable for delivering capacity set out by the Airports Commission can be met.

The Airports Commission published a large amount of very detailed analysis on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions for their 3 shortlisted schemes. The government faces a complex and challenging decision on delivering this capacity.

The Airports Commission’s air quality analysis will be tested using the latest projected future concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.

The next step is to continue to develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people and the environment. This will include a package for local communities to include compensation, maximising local economic opportunities through new jobs and apprenticeships, and measures to tackle noise.

More work will be done on environmental impacts. The government expects the airports to put forward ambitious solutions.

The mechanism for delivering planning consents for airport expansion will be an ‘Airports national policy statement’ (NPS), following which a scheme promoter would need to apply for a development consent order.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said:

“The case for aviation expansion is clear – but it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come. We will undertake more work on environmental impacts, including air quality, noise and carbon.

“We must develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people. We will continue work on all the shortlisted locations, so that the timetable for more capacity set out by Sir Howard is met.

“At the first opportunity I will make a statement to the House to make clear our plans.”

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-support-for-airport-expansion-in-the-south-east

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Heathrow Express, owned by Heathrow, told by ASA to drop its untrue claim it runs every 15 minutes

The Advertising Standards Authority has criticised the claim by Heathrow Express  that it runs a service every 15 minutes. A customer had complained that the frequency drops to once every 30 minutes late in the day. Heathrow Express is operated by the Heathrow Express Operating Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heathrow Airport Holdings. Heathrow Express admitted the ongoing Crossrail engineering works were affecting the service, meaning that three trains in each direction were cancelled after 10pm from Monday to Thursday, leading to a half-hourly service during this time. This was only 2.2% of the total number of trains.  However, the ASA said consumers would understand “every 15 minutes” to mean that a Heathrow Express service would be available every 15 minutes throughout the whole day, between 5am to midnight. “We therefore considered that information regarding the hours of operation and the regular reduction in service should have been made clear to consumers as part of the claim itself.”The ASA told Heathrow Express not to repeat the claim “every 15 minutes”.  Research published last year suggested that the Heathrow Express was the most expensive airport rail journey in Europe, with flights to Spain available for less. 
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Heathrow Express is an airport rail link between London Heathrow Airport and Paddington. It opened in 1998 and is operated by the Heathrow Express Operating Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heathrow Airport Holdings.

 

Heathrow Express told to drop claim it runs every 15 minutes

Advertising Standards criticises the Heathrow Express claim that it runs a service every 15 minutes

The Heathrow Express is one of Britain’s most expensive rail journeys
By Natalie Paris and PA (Telegraph)
9th Dec 2015

The Heathrow Express can no longer claim it runs “every 15 minutes” after a customer complained that the frequency drops to once every 30 minutes late in the day.

Heathrow Express said its core message of “15 minutes, every 15 minutes” was the service they offered to passengers “in line with overall airport flight patterns”.

But it said the ongoing Crossrail engineering works were affecting the service, meaning that three trains in each direction were cancelled after 10pm from Monday to Thursday, leading to a half-hourly service during this time.

This was the equivalent of 2.2 per cent of trains affected across the week, and the amendment was displayed on the timetable section of the website and on printed timetables available in stations.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said consumers would understand “every 15 minutes” to mean that a Heathrow Express service would be available every 15 minutes throughout the whole day.

It said: “We understood that the service did not operate on a 24-hour basis, but only operated between 5am and midnight, and that it therefore was not available every 15 minutes. Furthermore, we understood that the service during post-10pm operating hours during the week was reduced to a half-hourly service.

“We appreciated that the service was affected by Crossrail engineering work and acknowledged Heathrow Express’ statement that this accounted for only 2.2 per cent of their service, but noted that the reduction in service was regular and ongoing during this period of engineering work, and that it entailed the 15-minute service being unavailable during this time.

“We therefore considered that information regarding the hours of operation and the regular reduction in service should have been made clear to consumers as part of the claim itself.”

It noted that the information was available on the timetable section of the website and on printed timetables, “but we considered that this was insufficiently prominent and also served to contradict the headline claim that the service operated every 15 minutes”.

The ASA told Heathrow Express not to repeat the claim “every 15 minutes”.

A spokeswoman for the Heathrow Express said: “We respect the decision made by the ASA and are now reviewing our advertising because we want to ensure we provide the best service possible for our customers.

“We are proud to offer passengers the quickest possible journey between central London and Heathrow but occasionally there are planned engineering works that may affect our service.
“We recommend passengers check online or on Twitter before they travel.”

Research published last year suggested that the Heathrow Express was the most expensive airport rail journey in Europe, with flights to Spain available for less.

Of the 47 airports in Europe included in the survey for Flightright.com, four of the five most expensive airport trains served London. Stansted was the second costliest to reach by rail – with tickets in 2014 priced at £23.40 one-way (or £33.20 return), followed by Stockholm (£22.07), Gatwick (£17.70) and Luton (£15.50).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/12041355/Heathrow-Express-told-to-stop-claiming-to-run-every-15-minutes.html

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Earlier problems Heathrow has had with its adverts being regarded as correct, by the ASA:

 

Advertising Standards Agency rules Heathrow ads claiming “Those living around us are behind us” are misleading

Heathrow Airport has been told by the ASA that its adverts claiming that “Those living around us are behind us”.  Eight people had challenged whether the adverts were misleading and if they could be substantiated.  The ASA concluded that the claim exaggerated the level of support for expansion, had not been substantiated and was misleading. They noted that the claims “Those living around us are behind us” and “Locals support it” were not qualified.  The ASA considered that most readers would interpret the claims to mean that a clear majority of those living in close proximity to Heathrow Airport supported expansion. The evidence provided, however, showed that only 50% of those surveyed from ten constituencies close to the airport supported expansion. The ASA say the ads must not appear in their current form again. They told Heathrow Airport Ltd to ensure they held sufficient evidence to substantiate their objective marketing claims in future, and to ensure their claims were adequately qualified, without contradiction. John Stewart, chair of HACAN, said: “This judgement is not good news for Heathrow. It undermines a key plank of their campaign that they have strong local support for a third runway.” The ASA ruled against other Heathrow ads in February 2015.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/09/advertising-standards-agency-rules-heathrow-ads-claiming-those-living-around-us-are-behind-us-are-misleading/

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Advertising Standards Authority finds Heathrow advert about increased trade breaches their code and is ‘misleading’

In October 2014 about 13 people send in official complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, on claims being made by Heathrow in its adverts. The ASA looked at 7 different complaints, and considered that 6 passed their standards. However, on the claim by Heathrow in its ads headed:”Expand Heathrow and its’s the economy that takes off” the statement “Direct flights to long-haul destinations build twenty times more trade with them than indirect flights” was found to breach the ASA code. The ASA say the claim was not adequately substantiated and that the ad therefore breached the Code, both by being misleading and by not having proper substantiation. The ASA say the advert “must not appear again in its current form.” They have told Heathrow “to ensure that they held robust substantiation for absolute claims made in their future advertising.”  The ASA ruling also says the claim was presented as objective facts rather than an educated assumption and that Heathrow’s own report “One Hub or None”itself cautioned that direct flights would not automatically lead to more trade and that multiple factors could influence the amount of bilateral trade.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/02/advertising-standards-authority-finds-heathrow-advert-about-increased-trade-breaches-their-code-and-is-misleading/

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Does Heathrow advert implying a small girl needs a 3rd runway, for her future, meet Advertising Standards?

The ASA took a long time considering this one, but finally did not rule against it. Details at

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/09/does-heathrow-advert-implying-a-small-girl-needs-a-3rd-runway-for-her-future-meet-advertising-standards/

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And for Gatwick:

Gatwick adverts banned by ASA for ‘misleading public’ on comparing numbers affected by noise of new runways

Misleading adverts produced by Gatwick Airport about the noise from a new Heathrow runway have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA received five complaints about the ads.  It upheld two complaints about the posters, which compared the number of people affected by a new runway being built at Heathrow or Gatwick. It said the basis for the airport’s comparisons was unclear. The banned posters stated that “320,000 additional people will be affected by noise from a new runway at Heathrow. Compared to 18,000 at Gatwick”. The ASA said the use of the word “additional” could be misinterpreted to mean the number of people newly affected by expansion, on top of those currently affected. Two of the complainants challenged whether the comparison was verifiable, while another two challenged whether the adverts omitted material information about the flight paths. The ASA said the comparison the airport made was unclear. Details of the ASA ruling below.  Gatwick said it disagreed with the decision and may appeal, but the advert in question will not be used again  and Gatwick will take on board the ASA’s comments if it uses the Commission’s figures in a different advert.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/08/gatwick-adverts-banned-by-asa-for-misleading-public-on-comparing-numbers-affected-by-new-runways/

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The exclusion of international aviation & shipping CO2 from Paris COP21 deal makes 2°C limit close to impossible

The Paris climate agreement text has now dropped mention of international aviation and shipping. The weak statement that has been removed only said that parties might “pursue the limitation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions” through ICAO “with a view to agreeing concrete measures addressing these emissions, including developing procedures for incorporating emissions from international aviation and marine bunker fuels into low-emission development strategies.” Even that has gone, so there is no ambition for CO2 regulation. Transport & Environment (T&E) says this has fatally undermined the prospects of keeping global warming below 2°C. The CO2 emissions of these two sectors amount to about 8% of emissions globally. In recent years their emissions have grown twice as fast as the those of the global economy – an 80% rise in CO2 output from aviation and shipping between 1990 and 2010, versus 40% growth in CO2 emissions from global economic activity. Their CO2 is projected to rise by up to 270% in 2050. They could be 39% of global CO2 emissions by 2050 if left unregulated. After 18 years of being supposed to come up with measures to tackle aviation emissions, ICAO has done almost nothing – and little is expected of it. 
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Excluding aviation and shipping emissions from COP deal makes 2°C limit close to impossible

From T&E  (Transport & Environment)
9.12.2015

The dropping of international aviation and shipping emissions from the draft Paris climate agreement published this afternoon has fatally undermined the prospects of keeping global warming below 2°C, green NGOs Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment (T&E) have said.

As the emissions from these two sectors uniquely fall outside national reduction targets, they require an explicit reference in the agreement.

If treated as countries, global aviation and shipping would both make the list of top 10 emitters.

In recent years their emissions have grown twice as fast as the those of the global economy – an 80% rise in CO2 output from aviation and shipping between 1990 and 2010, versus 40% growth in CO2 emissions from global economic activity – and they are projected to grow by up to 270% in 2050. [See Professor Bows-Larkin link below].

The Kyoto Protocol tasked the UN agencies that regulate these sectors, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), to develop measures to tackle their emissions.

Now, 18 years on, these agencies have failed to do so, and rapid emissions growth from these sectors is set to make a 1.5/2°C target almost impossible to achieve.

Andrew Murphy, policy officer at T&E, said: “The dropping of international aviation and shipping emissions from the draft Paris climate agreement makes keeping a temperature increase under 2 degrees close to impossible. Those parties calling for an ambitious agreement must insist that language on international transport be reinserted.”

Aviation accounts for about 5% of global warming, and CO2 from shipping is about 3% of the global total. Both sectors are among the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases at a global level and could be responsible for 39% of world CO2 emissions in 2050 if left unregulated, according to a scientific study published last month by the European Parliament.

John Maggs, senior policy advisor at Seas At Risk, said: “History may now judge aviation and shipping as industries that, while the rest of the world moved forward at COP21, sat on the sidelines and refused to contribute.”

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Note to editor:
[1] ‘All adrift: aviation, shipping, and climate change policy’, (2014) Bows-Larkin. Climate Policy http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14693062.2014.965125
http://www.transportenvironment.org/press/excluding-aviation-and-shipping-emissions-cop-deal-makes-2%C2%B0c-limit-close-impossible

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AirportWatch note:

The UK government is keen to say that aviation carbon emissions will all be dealt with at the international level, and so UK airport expansion is possible – it will all work out fine.

The Paris agreement fails even to include mention of international aviation, or to put any pressure on ICAO to get on with developing an international mechanism for regulating aviation carbon emissions.

That will mean there is even less likelihood of a  proposal or plan by ICAO to take effective measures to deal with aviation carbon emissions. This government cannot depend on it, to take care, painlessly, of growing aviation CO2 – particularly not from an extra runway, which will only increase overall UK carbon emissions.


What has been removed from the draft agreement:

The weak text, [ bracketed ]  (ie. not agreed, and so could be removed) from an earlier Paris draft agreement is copied below:

Paris draft text on aviation or it could be removed entirely


Earlier:

“The Elephants in the Room” at the Paris talks: international aviation & shipping

Transport & Environment (T&E), a Brussels NGO, is calling on countries participating in COP21 to insist that the UN organisations responsible for international aviation and shipping set realistic reduction targets consistent with 2°C objective and adopt measures to implement them. Though these two sectors are crucial to our global economy, they must grow in a way that does not come at the expense of the planet. Aviation is responsible for almost 5% of all global warming and its emissions are predicted to grow by up to 300% in 2050. Such a growth rate would make the target of keeping the global temperature increase to under 2°C almost impossible to achieve. Further ambition is required, including cooperation between the UNFCCC and the ICAO. T&E have put together a briefing debunking the myths about the carbon emissions of aviation (and of shipping). Well worth reading. The industry claims that “aviation accounts for 2% of global emissions”; it claims “aviation is delivering increased efficiency gains”; that “thousands of flights already with alternative fuel, more expected”. It claims the industry “has a target of Carbon Neutral Growth from 2020”; and that it should not be a source of climate finance. Each in turn refuted by T&E.

Click here to view full story…

“The Elephants in the Room” at the Paris talks: international aviation & shipping

Transport & Environment (T&E), a Brussels NGO, is calling on countries participating in COP21 to insist that the UN organisations responsible for international aviation and shipping set realistic reduction targets consistent with 2°C objective and adopt measures to implement them. Though these two sectors are crucial to our global economy, they must grow in a way that does not come at the expense of the planet. Aviation is responsible for almost 5% of all global warming and its emissions are predicted to grow by up to 300% in 2050. Such a growth rate would make the target of keeping the global temperature increase to under 2°C almost impossible to achieve. Further ambition is required, including cooperation between the UNFCCC and the ICAO. T&E have put together a briefing debunking the myths about the carbon emissions of aviation (and of shipping). Well worth reading. The industry claims that “aviation accounts for 2% of global emissions”; it claims “aviation is delivering increased efficiency gains”; that “thousands of flights already with alternative fuel, more expected”. It claims the industry “has a target of Carbon Neutral Growth from 2020”; and that it should not be a source of climate finance. Each in turn refuted by T&E.

Click here to view full story…

 

Also

Part of the article

Off the radar? Shipping, aviation dropped from Paris climate text

Reuters

9.12.2015

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Officials from Europe, which has pushed particularly hard for a reference to the sectors, said they hadn’t given up.

“I don’t know who got it out but we are fighting for it to be put back in,” EU Energy and Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told Reuters. He said not having shipping and aviation in the new text was a “a step backwards”.

Some activist groups were also concerned.

“The dropping of international aviation and shipping emissions from the draft Paris climate agreement … has fatally undermined the prospects of keeping global warming below 2°C,” green groups Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment (T&E) said in a joint statement.

Aviation and Maritime emissions were omitted from national commitments under the UNFCCC’s 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which ceded control to the UN agencies responsible for the sectors, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Emissions from European flights are already covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), but an EU law, meant to take effect from 2012, that extended the arrangement to intercontinental aviation emissions caused outcry.

That forced the EU to retreat and U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) took on the task of coming up with a global alternative. Its deadline is a meeting planned for late 2016.

Progress on curbing emissions has been even slower at the IMO but the shipping industry had expected the Paris agreement could eventually lead to greater emission regulation and possibly a carbon levy.

…………… and it continues …….

http://www.trust.org/item/20151209191445-31m3g/

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Airports Commission not only downplayed crash risk of new runway, but got the word “crash” removed from report title

Many people are very concerned about the safety implications of adding another runway, especially at Heathrow, where hundreds of thousands of people are over flown. It has now been shown that though the Airports Commission (AC) did have a study done by the Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL), in May 2015, it downplayed its findings. The Standard says that confidential documents and emails it obtained showed the AC, which backed a third runway, got the title of an independent study on aircraft crashes changed to remove the word “crash”. Unsurprisingly and obviously, adding another 50% more planes at Heathrow, or 100% more at Gatwick would increase the risk of a crash. The Standard says the AC rejected “risk maps” showing the increased likelihood of an aircraft crash around London airports if expansion went ahead. Instead the AC’s Final Report said “ the changes to the background crash rate are minimal, regardless of whether or not expansion takes place at the airports.” It failed to mention the HSL conclusions that the likelihood of a crash on take-off or landing increased by up to 60% with a 3-runway Heathrow and doubled under one scenario with a 2-runway Gatwick. Daniel Moylan said the cover-up was “truly shocking.” People living under approach routes (higher risk than take-offs) should know their risks. The future flight paths are not yet know, so those living under them are unaware of the risk. The dangers of drones, laser beams and terrorism are not included – nor the risk to those on the ground.
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The report

This is the link to the report done for the Airports Commission by the Health & Safety Laboratory, in May 2015.  Published by the Commission on 1.7.2015

Title:  Module 14. Operational Efficiency: Ground Risk Analysis

Image below shows some emails indicating the Airports Commission did not want the word “crash” in the report’s title, or maps indicating crash risk.

Airports Commission removing word crash or maps

Heathrow expansion: Risk of plane crash ‘was hidden by airport panel’

By NICHOLAS CECIL (Evening Standard)

8.12.2015
Britain’s Airports Commission was today accused of a “cover-up” over plane crash dangers to Londoners from a third runway at Heathrow.

The panel came under fire after it emerged that it rejected “risk maps” showing the increased likelihood of an aircraft crash around London airports if expansion went ahead.

Confidential documents and emails obtained by the Standard also showed the commission, which backed a third runway, got the title of an independent study on aircraft crashes changed to remove the word “crash”.

In its final report, the panel included findings from the Health and Safety Laboratory study stating that the background rate for crashes would be virtually unchanged with another runway.

But it failed to mention the HSL conclusions that the likelihood of a crash on take-off or landing increased by up to 60 per cent with a three-runway Heathrow and doubled under one scenario with a second Gatwick runway.

Highlighting concerns about “contradictions” in the commission’s conclusions, Wimbledon Tory MP Stephen Hammond said: “[It] looks like a cover-up of the crash risk. Londoners need to have all the facts about the safety of the proposed expansion out in the open.” The Mayor’s aviation adviser, Daniel Moylan, said the emails were “truly shocking”.

The row over possible plane crashes, which are very rare, erupted ahead of Cabinet ministers meeting on Thursday to discuss airport expansion.

One option they are understood to be considering is delaying a decision until after the mayoral election in May, and ordering more work on air quality.

Tory mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, who has vowed to resign if the Government backs a third runway, signalled he may not quit if the Government asks Heathrow and Gatwick to “prove their plans can be reconciled with legal air quality commitments”.

Some Cabinet ministers are believed to still be pushing for a firm “direction” of support for a bigger Heathrow. The airports panel commissioned a report by the HSL into crash rates if Heathrow or Gatwick expanded.

The HSL experts offered to draw up contour maps, or a “heat” map showing transition from “cool” low risk to “hot” high risk of plane crash likelihoods. But this appeared to have sparked alarm at the commission.

An email from one official, whose named has been redacted, to the HSL on February 17, 2015, states: “Having discussed with colleagues… we are extremely reluctant to use risking mapping as an output.”

The maps would have shown which local communities were more likely to be affected by any aircraft crash. But Londoners were not given this information — and have also not been told by Heathrow which areas could be flown over by planes using a third runway. A confidential draft of the HSL report, dated May 6, 2015, also showed the title as “Assessment of the aircraft crash likelihood around Heathrow and Gatwick airports, with and without runway expansion.” An email from a commission official on May 19 asks for the title to be changed to “Module 14. Operational Efficiency: Crash Risk Analysis”. The next day, an email from the commission to the HSL asks for the word “crash” to be changed to “ground”.

The HSL study was published on the Airports Commission website. The commission stressed its final report had been subject to extensive analysis and consultation. A spokesman said: “The final Airports Commission report and the business case underpinning its recommendation took the points raised in this [HSL] report into account.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/risk-of-plane-crash-was-hidden-by-airport-panel-a3132336.html

 


 

Heathrow crash risk ‘raised by third runway’

7.12.2015

By NICHOLAS CECIL (Evening Standard)

A third runway at Heathrow could increase the likelihood of a plane crashing on take-off or landing by up to 60 per cent, the Standard reveals today.

The shock finding is in a review commissioned from the Health and Safety Laboratory by the Airports Commission. But the commission did not mention this heightened danger in its final report which backed a bigger Heathrow.

The revelation, which comes ahead of a crunch meeting of Cabinet ministers on whether to expand Gatwick or Heathrow, stunned campaigners against a third runway. City Hall accused the commission of “burying” the higher crash rate for an area within 10km (6.2 miles) from the airport.

Communities within this distance include Hounslow, Feltham and Twickenham to the east and Windsor to the west, and possibly even Windsor Castle and Richmond.

Tory mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has vowed to resign as MP for Richmond Park if David Cameron backs Heathrow expansion.

The risk of a Heathrow crash is still very small. The research found the likelihood of a crash at a three-runway Heathrow would be around one every 16 years, compared to roughly one in every 26 years without expansion.

The commission’s July report said the HSL had concluded “that the changes to the background crash rate are minimal” whether another runway is built or not.

But this rate measured the likelihood of a crash at least 10km from Heathrow or Gatwick. HSL experts analysed crash rates within 10km of an airfield, normally a take-off or landing.

They modelled possible changes between 2013 and 2050 and found for Heathrow the highest crash rate would be with an additional north-west runway. Their report added: “The scenario for Heathrow with the highest crash rates represents an increase of 60 per cent in the crash rate compared to 2013.”

For Gatwick the crash rate is more than doubled with a second runway, but risks are still lower than Heathrow.

Boris Johnson’s aviation adviser Daniel Moylan said: “The risk of a plane crashing into London is mercifully low but it is very strange that the Airports Commission has buried this proof that it will be higher with a third runway than without.”

A commission spokesman said evidence in its report “was subject to extensive analysis and consultation”, and Heathrow said it was “one of the safest airports in the world”.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening, MP for Putney, has warned that expanding Heathrow would increase the risk of a plane crash on London. She was accused of “scaremongering of the worst type” but now appears to have been vindicated.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/heathrow-crash-risk-raised-by-third-runway-a3131476.html

Some of the comments on these articles:

A crash is one thing, terrorists deliberately crashing a plane into Central London, or even into a packed football or rugby stadium is quite another. Did the Commission seek advice from the security services on the wisdom of otherwise of flying more places over a tightly packed city of 9 million? And if not, why not?
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This does not take account of terrorism, or laser beams being pointed at plane cockpits damaging the vision of pilots, or of the increasing number of drones. All those significantly increase the risk of an accident.

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The report

This is the link to the report done for the Airports Commission by the Health & Safety Laboratory, in May 2015.  Published by the Commission on 1.7.2015

The report’s Executive Summary states: 

“EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

“The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) were asked by the Airports Commission to assess the likelihood of an aircraft crash in the vicinity of Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The Airports Commission were interested in the change in the likelihood of an aircraft crash in the year 2050 for expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick compared to there being no expansion at either airport. Two proposed expansion plans at Heathrow and one proposed plan at Gatwick are under consideration for possible future expansion. Three different growth scenarios for the future of each airport have also been considered as part of this analysis.
An aircraft crash is defined as an uncontrolled landing or mid-air break-up leading to serious damage to the aircraft and/or at least one fatality. Due to the way the accidents are recorded, the fatality relates to people on board the aircraft, not to those on the ground. The likelihood of an aircraft crash, therefore, does not indicate the risk of death to a person on the ground should a crash occur. This is likely to be several orders of magnitude lower than the aircraft crash rates. This is due to a number of factors including the size of the crash location, the population within the location, the possible shielding effects from buildings, and other mitigating factors that will reduce the likelihood of a fatality occurring to a person on the ground from any aircraft crash calculated in this analysis.
A methodology to calculate the aircraft crash likelihood was developed following a review of the literature and an analysis of the available data. This involved calculating a background crash rate for five different categories of aircraft (light aircraft, helicopters, small transport aircraft, large transport aircraft and military aircraft) and calculating an airfield specific crash rate for these aircraft types at Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
The calculations were carried out to assess the crash likelihood for the two airports in the year 2013 and for a number of different scenarios in the year 2050. A trend analysis was performed on the data to determine if the number of crashes had increased or decreased over time. A 95% confidence interval was calculated in all cases.
The results indicate that the changes to the background crash rate are minimal, regardless of whether or not expansion takes place at the airports. It was also found that there had been a downward trend in the number of crashes from the data for the light aircraft, helicopters and military aircraft categories. No trend could be seen in the small transport aircraft category. The data for the large transport aircraft category was too sparse to perform a trend analysis.
The maximum airfield related crash rate in 2050 for Heathrow after airport expansion is lower than the rate that was presented to the Terminal 5 Inquiry. In 2000, the crash rate was predicted to be 1 every 14 years both with and without Terminal 5. This is equivalent to a rate of 7 × 10-2 per year and is over 10% higher than the highest forecast of 6 × 10-2 per year in this report. The maximum crash rates for Gatwick airport are lower than for Heathrow.
The airfield related crash rates have been split by take-offs and landings and by direction from the airport i.e. west or east. A narrative description has been given of the areas surrounding the airports to discuss where the crash rate is highest in the vicinity of the airports. The background crash rate applies to areas that are greater than 10 km (~5 nautical miles) from the airports. A proportion of the take-off and landing crash rates, or the west and east crash rates, apply within a radius of 10 km from the airports.”
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https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/437269/operational-efficiency-ground-risk-analysis.pdf
Its Conclusion states:  (Page 19)

“4  CONCLUSION 

The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) were asked by the Airports Commission to assess the likelihood of an aircraft crash in the vicinity of Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The Airports Commission were interested in the relative likelihoods of an aircraft crash in the year 2050 from potential expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick compared to there being no expansion at either airport. The aircraft crash likelihoods for three different growth scenarios for each airport for the year 2050 were compared with no expansion taking place at either airport.
HSL reviewed literature, detailed in Appendix A, to identify a methodology and potential data to use in the assessment. The chosen methodology is described in detail in Appendix B. Additional data for the calculations was provided by the Airports Commission and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
A background crash rate was calculated for the year 2013 (the latest year for which full data is available) and for the year 2050. The background rate applies to areas beyond a 10 km (~5 nautical miles) radius from the airports. The results indicate that there is only a small change in the background rate when the number of movements is increased at either airport. On average, a crash could be expected once every 20,000 years, approximately over any given square kilometre in England.
An airfield related crash rate, specific to either Heathrow or Gatwick airport, has been derived for the years 2013 and 2050. The results show that the maximum airfield related crash rate for Heathrow airport is lower than the rate predicted as part of the Terminal 5 Inquiry (Vandermeer, 2000). The airfield related crash rates for Gatwick airport are lower than for Heathrow.
 
The airfield related crash rates have been apportioned according to take-offs and landings, and according to the location relative to the airport i.e. west or east. The crash rates for landings are higher than for take-offs and the rates to the east of the airports are higher than to the west. This is true for both Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
A narrative description of where the crash rate is highest in the areas around the airports has been given, considering the impacts of flight paths and holding stacks, as it has not been possible to model these explicitly.
Confidence intervals have been given for the results calculated for all the scenarios modelled for both 2013 and 2050. These confidence intervals provide an indication of the uncertainty surrounding the calculations. The large variation in the values between the upper and lower bounds of the intervals are a reflection of the lack of data used in the derivation of the crash rates. Crashes, for large transport aircraft in particular, are rare, making the calculation of a representative crash rate difficult. The statistical methods used, however, together with the 95% confidence intervals, allow some confidence to be placed on the results produced.
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The risk to people on the ground from an aircraft crash has not been considered as this study was to calculate the likelihood of an aircraft crash only, where an aircraft crash is defined as an uncontrolled landing or mid-air break-up leading to serious damage to the aircraft and/or at least one fatality. The fatality relates to people on board the aircraft, not to people on the ground, due to how the data is recorded. The aircraft crash likelihoods calculated in this study do not consider how an aircraft crash could lead to fatalities on the ground. This would require additional data and a number of further assumptions and modelling to determine impact areas, harm criteria and human vulnerability, and other factors to calculate the risk of a fatality to a person on the ground from an aircraft crash. Taking all of the additional elements into 20 consideration means that the risk of a fatality on the ground is likely to be orders of magnitude lower than the aircraft crash rates calculated and described in this report.”
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/437269/operational-efficiency-ground-risk-analysis.pdf

What the Airports Commission actually said:

This is what the Airports Commission actually said, in its final report, on the issue of safety:
12.2

The objectives under the Operational Efficiency module are:

• to ensure individual airport and airports system efficiency;
• to build flexibility into scheme designs;
• to meet present industry safety and security standards; and
to maintain and where possible enhance current safety performance with a view to future changes and potential improvements in standards.
—–

Safety considerations

12.23

The CAA’s Preliminary Safety Review of all three schemes found a number of issues
for more detailed investigation and resolution. More work would be needed on all
three schemes to resolve issues around missed approach procedures and obstacle
limitation surfaces, which define the generally permitted height for structures in the
vicinity of the runway, but this is not unusual for schemes at the assessed level of
development and none of these issues should be considered ‘show stoppers’.

12.24 The CAA did note the lack of precedent for the Heathrow Extended Northern
Runway concept and indicated that it would need more detailed development.
It was emphasised, however, that the CAA remained open-minded on the concept
and open to further engagement.

12.25 Following a review of consultation responses, the Commission asked the Health
and Safety Laboratory to review the scale of increase in crash risk associated with
each of the schemes. The review concluded “that the changes to the background
crash rate are minimal, regardless of whether or not expansion takes place at the
airports.”

—–

and

The Commission would expect detailed airspace designs to be agreed and safety-assured, following a final round of consultation, approximately 12 months before the opening date of the new runway

Airports Commission final report 1.7.2015
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440316/airports-commission-final-report.pdf

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Open letter by ACIPA to François Hollande asking for forced evictions at NDDL to be stopped

At Notre-Dame-des-Landes (NDDL), where a new airport for Nantes is planned, there are due to be forced evictions of those who remain on the land, after a tribunal hearing on 10th December. At the moment 11 families and four farms located in the area of the airport wants to build. The protest group at NDDL have now written to the President of the Republic François Hollande, to ask him to prevent these expulsions. The expulsion order is by AGO (Aéroports du Grand Ouest, a subsidiary of Vinci) on behalf of the state. ACIPA says that therefore, the responsibility  lies with the President. There was a month long hunger strike in May 2012, and to end that, an assurance was given that there would not be evictions. That was updated in 2014.  ACIPA say the families believed the assurances by government, and they have therefore not made arrangements to leave. The families and the farmers face all their property and livestock being put into receivership if they will not leave.  The government made successive promises that all legal remedies would be pursued to exhaustion, and appeals are still pending. ACIPA asks how the President will keep the trust of potential voters, if he does not keep his word. ACIPA want a meeting with the President, the waiving of expulsion orders, and a proper investigation into options to improve the existing Nantes airport. There will be a peaceful protest outside the tribunal on 10th December.
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Less than perfect translation into English below.

Open Letter from ACIPA the President of the Republic François Hollande

Open Letter from ACIPA to the President of the French Republic, François Hollande.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes

December 7, 2015

Mr President,

At the moment 11 families and four farms located in the area of the airport said draft “Notre Dame des Landes” are assigned in summary expulsion on December 10, 2015 at 11:30, before the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nantes. The applicant is AGO (Aéroports du Grand Ouest, a subsidiary of Vinci) on behalf of the state. Thus, the responsibility for this act lies with you.

All these issues are concerned with the political agreement to end the hunger strike, passed to you on May 8, 2012, and updated by JM. Ayrault and M.Valls in 2014.

The consequences for the families – the very ones who believed in your word – are disastrous. AGO-VINCI calls for the immediate expulsion of all historical occupants and a disproportionate penalty and putting into receivership equipment and livestock if the parties do not leave the scene.

Because of your promise, they have not made an emergency plan and find themselves in full distress.

To give a new signal in order to advance the airport project is shocking when, as you said, France wants to be exemplary in the fight against global change, in the full COP21.

In addition, while many regions of France could take the worst political paths, it seems absurd and suicidal that this request for a hearing of judgement reached between the regional elections  and the Pays de Loire.  How, Mr President, after such a decision, would you be able to keep the trust of your potential voters?

Remember your successive promises to respect the truce linked to the existence of committed legal remedies, to “exhaustion” (First Instance, Court of Appeals and Council of State) before beginning work or expulsion. Appeals are still pending.

 

This new procedure hits at your promises as head of state. Can we count on your word, Mr. President? The ACIPA expected of you that you ask the AGO company, with which you are bound by the airport concession contract, to waive his deportation requests against the  historical inhabitants of the site.

Then will you respond positively to the request of the opponents for a  meeting with you (about a request made ​​by quarantine them were in vain) for a real dialogue to finally be established and that alternatives to the project can be honestly considered.

Finally, the establishment of an independent expert on the optimization of the existing airport “Nantes Atlantique” would honor your services and our Republic.

Mr. President, it is in your power to avoid conflict and, hence, the dramas they might cause like at Sivens. We are certain that you are aware, and so we ask you to stop this process.

We are now waiting for your quick and favourable response to our requests.

Please accept, Mr. President, the expression of our deepest respect.

For the ACIPA: the co-chairs. Dominique Chabod Fresneau Anne-Marie Christian Grisollet

https://www.acipa-ndl.fr/actualites/lettres-ouvertes-tribunes/item/601-lettre-ouverte-de-l-acipa-au-president-de-la-republique-francois-hollande


The original French

 

Lettre ouverte de l’ACIPA au Président de la République François Hollande

Lettre ouverte de l’ACIPA
à Monsieur le Président de la République Française,
François Hollande.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes, le 7 décembre 2015

Monsieur le Président,
En ce moment 11 familles et 4 exploitations agricoles situées sur le secteur du projet d’aéroport dit de « Notre Dame des Landes » sont assignées en référé-expulsion le 10 décembre 2015 à 11h30, devant le Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nantes. Le demandeur est AGO (Aéroports du Grand Ouest, filiale de Vinci) pour le compte de l’État. Ainsi, la responsabilité de cet acte vous incombe.Tous ces dossiers sont concernés par l’accord politique de sortie de la grève de la fin, passé avec vous le 8 mai 2012, puis réactualisé par J-M. Ayrault et M.Valls en 2014.
Les conséquences pour les familles concernées – celles-là même qui croyaient en votre parole – sont désastreuses. AGO-VINCI réclame l’expulsion immédiate de tous les occupants historiques, ainsi qu’une astreinte disproportionnéeet la mise sous séquestre du matériel et du cheptel si les intéressés ne quittent pas les lieux. Du fait de votre promesse, elles n’ont pas prévu de plan de secours et se retrouvent en pleine détresse.

Nous vous rappelons vos promesses successivesde respecter la trêve liée à l’existence des recours juridiques engagés, jusqu’à « leur épuisement » (Première Instance, Cour d’Appel et Conseil d’État) avant tout début de travaux ou expulsion. Des recours sont toujours en attente de jugement.

Cette nouvelle procédure qui s’engage se heurte à vos promesses de chef d’État. Pouvons-nous compter sur votre parole, Monsieur le Président ?

L’ACIPA attend de vous que vous demandiez à la société AGO, avec qui vous êtes lié par le contrat de concession aéroportuaire, de se désister de ses demandes d’expulsion des habitants historiques du site.
Puis que vous répondiez favorablement à la demande des opposants de vous rencontrer (environ une quarantaine de demande formulées par ces derniers sont restées vaines) pour qu’un dialogue réel s’instaure enfin et que les alternatives à ce projet puissent être honnêtement considérées.
Enfin, la mise en place d’une expertise indépendante sur l’optimisation de l’aéroport actuel « Nantes-Atlantique » honorerait vos services et notre République.

Monsieur le Président, il est de votre pouvoir d’éviter les conflits et, par là même, les drames qu’ils pourraient engendrer comme à Sivens. Nous sommes certains que vous en avez conscience, aussi nous vous demandons de stopper cette procédure.

Nous sommes dorénavant dans l’attente de votre réponse rapide et favorable à nos demandes.
Veuillez agréer Monsieur Le Président, l’expression de notre profond respect.

Pour l’ACIPA : les co-présidents.
Dominique Fresneau                      Anne-Marie Chabod                   Christian Grisollet


Pendant la COP21, les procédures continuent

Ajout du 7/12/2015 :

From ACIPA

Comme vous le savez (voir ci-dessous), le jeudi 10 décembre prochain se tiendra une audience en référé expulsion à 11h30 au Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nantes.
Cette assignation concerne 4 exploitations agricoles et 11 familles : paysans, habitants locataires ou propriétaires historiques.

 

AGO/Vinci, qui agit pour le compte de l’État via le ministère de l’Écologie, réclame :

  • l’expulsion immédiate, sinon astreinte de 200€ par jour et par dossier (4 pour certains) avec le concours de la force publique.
  • saisie et séquestration des biens et cheptels ;
  • pas d’application de la trêve hivernale…

L’ACIPA, révoltée par l’annonce de cette audience, appelle à

un rassemblement de soutien pacifique (à visage découvert et à mains nues)
devant le Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nantes, quai François Mitterrand
à 11 heures le jeudi 10 décembre prochain

En raison du contexte d’état d’urgence, l’ACIPA compte sur le sens des responsabilités de chacune et chacun afin que ce rassemblement se déroule dans le calme par respect envers les personnes assignées à l’audience.

Covoiturage à 10h sur le parking de la poste à Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

Lire aussi le témoignage de Sylvie Thébault sur le blog Paroles de campagne

Et la lettre ouverte de l’ACIPA au Président de la République François Hollande envoyée ce jour (début ci-dessous):


Message du 4/12/2015

Nous avons été avertis que le 10 décembre prochain se tiendra une audience en référé expulsion à 11h30 au Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nantes.
Cette assignation concerne 4 exploitations agricoles historiques et 11 familles de paysans, habitants locataires ou propriétaires historiques.

La demande d’AGO/Vinci, qui agit pour le compte de l’État via le ministère de l’Écologie, se décline en ces termes :

  • expulsion immédiate, sinon astreinte de 200€ par jour et par dossier (4 pour certains),
  • saisie et séquestration des biens et cheptels ;
  • pas d’application de la trêve hivernale…

Tous ces dossiers sont concernés par l’accord politique du 8 mai 2012 passé avec F. Hollande, puis réactualisé par J-M. Ayrault ainsi que M.Valls en 2014.

Paradoxalement, AGO/Vinci signe en ce moment avec les paysans de la zone, des conventions d’occupation précaire pour l’année culturale 2015/2016. Cherchez l’erreur !

Cela est une véritable provocation entre les 2 tours des élections régionales et en pleine COP21 alors que F.Hollande se veut exemplaire en matière de lutte contre le réchauffement climatique !

https://www.acipa-ndl.fr/actualites/informations-proprietaires/item/599-pendant-la-cop21-les-procedures-continuent


 

Earlier:

Poor translation (Google translate … not improved …..) of

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: resumption of deportation proceedings

By AFP, lefigaro.fr
04/12/2015

The Grand Ouest airports concession assigned to the district court of Nantes residents of the area to defend to expel shortly.

Peasants, landlords, tenants. A total of four farmers and eleven families are affected by the deportation proceedings launched by Grand Ouest Airport, the dealership of the future airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. By entering the court an hour to hour meeting, an extremely urgent procedure, to December 10, the dealer asks “immediate expulsion” of “historic occupiers” of Zad, denouncing Julien Durand, spokesman the ACIPA (the main opponents of association to the new airport). These people, who have already been the subject of an expropriation procedure, however, are “protected by the political agreements and the words of President François Hollande,” highlights the spokesman. Non-expulsion was one of the commitments made after a hunger strike by opponents in 2012, to get the strike to end. [The key hunger striker, Michel, has since died]..

“This recovery of deportation procedures is revolting, between the two rounds of regional elections and full COP21, so we expect an exemplary gesture of France to abandon the project,” he regrets. It comes as expropriation procedures are “not all completed,” says Julien Durand. Two farmers have appealed their expropriation at Rennes Appeal Court, whose decision will be made on January 13.

In addition, the Nantes-instance court shall review in late January interlocutory application of future airport concessionaire to expel the occupants of a house located on the Zad. On October 10, a dozen anti-airport activists, members of a collective farm that had invested in a place called “The Green Noah” in Grandchamp-des-Fontaines in Loire-Atlantique, east of Zad. AGO, the owner of the house unoccupied for two years, had assigned an interim (emergency procedure) occupants for their rapid expulsion.

Initially, the judge had to decide on the expulsion on Thursday but decided to “reopen the debate” following production “of new parts in the course of deliberations” by Vinci explains Stéphane Vallée, counsel for occupants. “A new hearing will be held on January 28,” he says.
Loire-Atlantique prefecture announced October 30 a recovery “from 2016 ‘work prior to the construction of the airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, who should have originally been inaugurated in 2017, twenty kilometers north of Nantes.

http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2015/12/04/01016-20151204ARTFIG00306-notre-dame-des-landes-reprise-des-procedures-d-expulsion.php

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More information about the history of the runway battles at Notre-Dame-des-Landes

 

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EU launches aviation strategy – the Aviation Package – to protect EU airlines from “unfair” competition

European airlines are concerned about the impact that the rise of Gulf airlines is having on their business, and the rise of Asia as a major air traffic hub. The legacy airlines are also suffering from the growth of low cost airlines. Now the European Commission is considering new measures to tackle what it sees as unfair competition from non-EU airlines as “The Aviation Package”unveiled in early December, designed to boost the competitiveness of Europe’s aviation sector. The EC wants to have talks on air transport agreements with a number of countries including China, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar. Some European airlines believe Gulf airlines get unfair state subsidies. Some of the issues on which the Package wants change are airports’ capacity constraints, and charges. Business lobby group Business Europe wants faster implementation of the “Single European Sky” to cut costs and fuel burn through reducing extra miles flown by inefficient air traffic management. The EU will also look at ownership of EU airlines, which is capped at 49%, but there is less clarity on what constitutes effective control. It will also “actively” pursue the relaxation of the rules on the basis of reciprocity through bilateral aviation and trade agreements.

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EU launches aviation strategy to increase competition

Europe’s aviation industry has been hit by the rapid expansion of the Gulf carriers and the rise of Asia as a major air traffic hub

 

The European Commission is considering new measures to tackle what it sees as unfair competition from non-EU airlines as part of a package of proposals unveiled today designed to boost the competitiveness of Europe’s aviation sector.

The Commission, which is the EU’s executive, also asked national governments to give it a mandate to start talks on air transport agreements with a number of countries including China, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.

The talks with the Gulf countries are likely to be fraught with difficulty since some European legacy carriers, notably Lufthansa and Air France KLM, accuse the Gulf airlines of receiving unfair state subsidies and have been pushing the Commission to address this in negotiations for air transport agreements.

The Aviation Package presented by Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and Vice President in charge of the energy union, Maros Sefcovic, contains a wide range of measures designed to improve connectivity in the 28-member bloc, tackle airports’ capacity constraints and charges and regulate the use of drones.

“It will keep European companies competitive, through new investment and business opportunities, allowing them to grow in a sustainable manner,” Mr Bulc said in a statement.

Europe’s aviation industry, which contributes €110 billion to the EU GDP, [wonder how that is calculated ….]  has been hit by the rapid expansion of the Gulf carriers and the rise of Asia as a major air traffic hub.

Its legacy carriers have also suffered at the hands of European low-cost players such as Ryanair and easyJet.

Business lobby group Business Europe said it wanted better implementation of previous packages to ensure coordination and management of European airspace.

“As a comparison, the United States controls the same amount of airspace, with more traffic, at almost half the cost,” it said, adding it wanted to see an international level playing field and better access to growing markets.”

The other countries with which the Commission wants to negotiate air transport agreements are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Mexico and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Next year, the Commission plans to issue guidelines on the law on ownership and control of EU airlines to give legal certainty to investors and airlines.

It will also “actively” pursue the relaxation of the rules on the basis of reciprocity through bilateral aviation and trade agreements.

While the limit on foreign ownership of EU airlines is clearly capped at 49%, there is less clarity on what constitutes effective control.

Etihad, for example, owns 29% of Germany’s Air Berlin and 49 percent of Alitalia.

The executive will also tackle the issue of airlines employing lower-cost workers overseas to avoid high labour costs in Europe by issuing a guide on the applicable labour law and considering whether legal changes are needed.

Europe’s third-biggest budget airline Norwegian Air has, for instance, circumvented Norway’s labour laws by basing some of its crew and jets in countries such as Spain and Thailand, while Ryanair has come under fire in some countries for using pilots employed through agencies, rather than directly with the carrier.

EU member states were urged to complete the “Single European Sky” project, in process for a decade and which would cut costs and emissions by merging national air corridors.

The Commission estimates that fragmentation of European airspace costs at least €5bn a year and up to 50 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Europe’s five largest airline groups – Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group, and Ryanair – have welcomed the EU’s strategy.

However, in a statement the airlines warned that “we need to act now – large scale airport monopolies, high charges, taxation and inefficiencies characterise the aviation supply chain.

“The focus must be on concrete and measurable actions that support European airlines and their customers by providing more flights and lower fares. Airport charges have risen by more than two thirds over the last ten years. This is in direct contrast to the lower air fares being delivered by Europe’s airlines. We want to create growth and new jobs across Europe, both within aviation and beyond,” it added.

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Anticipated 6 month delay on runway decision means uncertainty for councils as well as residents

It seems the government will postpone a decision on a runway, because of the serious environmental problems that a Heathrow runway presents. A Gatwick runway would pose very similar environmental issues, of carbon emissions, noise and air pollution – as well as surface access, cost, and local impacts of all sorts. It is likely the government will delay a decision till after the London Mayoral elections in May 2016. This means thousands of people are left in limbo, with the uncertainty dragging on. It also means local authorities are left with uncertainty, on issues such as housing targets in local plans and investment in infrastructure. Councils are having to produce their local plans, anticipating needs for housing and employment for many years ahead. A Gatwick runway is expected to require an additional 45,000 houses and a road network able to take an extra 100,000 vehicles per year.  The Director of CPRE Sussex said: “A final decision to rule out airport expansion in the South East should be made and it should be communicated soon.” Then there could be some planning certainty. CPRE Sussex says airport expansion in the south-east risks major long-term environmental and health damage. A Gatwick runway would radically change the face of West Sussex.
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Gatwick decision delay creates ‘minefield of uncertainty’

7th December 2015

Crawley Observer

 

The Director of CPRE Sussex said: “A final decision to rule out airport expansion in the South East should be made and it should be communicated soon.”

The announcement that a decision on Gatwick Airport expansion has been delayed was met with frustration by countryside campaigners.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says that by postponing the decision until late next year, the Government has left rural communities in limbo.

“We are disappointed that they keep delaying such an important announcement,” said CPRE Sussex director Kia Trainor.

“The focus should not be on whether Heathrow can meet air quality targets, but the fact that expanding either Heathrow or Gatwick will cause significant and unacceptable levels of air pollution.

“With the delayed decision we are still left in a minefield of uncertainty and this will affect local decisions which are being made right now, such as housing targets in local plans and investment in infrastructure.

“A final decision to rule out airport expansion in the South East should be made and it should be communicated soon.”

Earlier this year the Chairman of CPRE Sussex, David Johnson, warned against any airport expansion in the south-east due to fears of major long-term environmental and health damage.

Campaigners say a new runway at Gatwick would breach climate change targets and have pledged to continue to fight the lingering threat of expansion with a campaign of common sense.

“We will fight on,” said Sally Pavey, CPRE Trustee and Chair of Communities against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE).

“We have the key facts that we have presented time and time again, and we will go back and present them again.

“We have to try to re-address the north-south divide. Gatwick does not link up to any parts of the UK and we just have to keep reiterating that time and time again.

“We have to explain once again the climate change issue, because building a new runway at Gatwick will breach climate change targets. Gatwick is also not accountable for the light pollution it causes – nearly 13,000 people were harmfully affected by the noise of Gatwick night flights in 2014 that is a rise of 15% since the previous year.

“As part of our campaign we are urging people to complain about noise at night if they suffer light pollution as well.”

CPRE says that a second runway at Gatwick would radically change the face of West Sussex, requiring an estimated 45,000 new houses and a road network capable of taking an extra 1000,000 vehicles.

“Airports are no longer publicly owned services like railway stations, but privatised assets owned by hedge funds and foreign investors to be traded like football clubs to maximise profit for shareholders not travelers,” said David Johnson.

“More airport capacity anywhere will mean more use of fossil fuels and continued global warming; can we not begin to understand where events like the devastating Storm Desmond came from?”

“It is time for politicians to look beyond short-term economic gain and take the long view.”

http://www.crawleyobserver.co.uk/news/gatwick-decision-delay-creates-minefield-of-uncertainty-1-7103957

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Government likely to delay any runway announcement till well after Mayoral election in May 2016

The BBC reports that “senior sources very close to the process” have said that the decision by the government on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick is going to be delayed for at least six months. That means after the Mayoral elections in London, in early May – and would make it less difficult and awkward for the government, with Zac Goldsmith (vehemently against a Heathrow runway) standing as Tory candidate. The source said the government needs to have more “confidence building” about the environmental impact of a new runway at Heathrow. That is largely about local air quality, but also noise and carbon emissions. The  BBC believes that means yet another review, and it does not rule out a runway at Gatwick. Both Heathrow and Gatwick are going to have to come up with convincing proposals, over coming months, about how they will deal with the environmental problems. They are not going to find it easy. The BBC says government also wants to get more money out of the “chosen” airport, for local compensation schemes. It is expected that the runway decision will be taken by the Economic and Domestic Cabinet sub-committee,which Cameron chairs, on Thursday 10th, the prime minister chairs. The outcome is likely to be announced on the same day (probably in Parliament by Patrick McLouglin?).
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‘Six-month delay’ for Heathrow decision

By Kamal Ahmed  (BBC) Business editor

7.12.2015

It looks like the major decision on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick is going to be delayed for at least six months.

Senior sources very close to the process have told the BBC that there needs to be more “confidence building” about the environmental impact of a new runway at Heathrow, if the government backs it.

And that means yet another review.  And that expansion at Gatwick will not be ruled out.

One source told me that keeping both options on the table means that the airport operators can have their feet “held to the fire” over dealing with environmental concerns.

That may mean demanding that Heathrow bans staff from driving to work. Or saying that all “airside” vehicles (that is vehicles that operate within the airport’s perimeter) have to be electric.  [Both of these are laughable, and would have minimal impact. The problem is far bigger than that. AW comment].

The government also wants to be able to force more money out of Heathrow or Gatwick – if either are given the go-ahead – to pay compensation to local people who are affected.

Keeping both options on the table increases the government’s leverage.

‘Barrage of criticism’

The decision that there will be yet another delay is likely to go down very badly with businesses which have demanded that the government “get on” with expanding Britain’s aviation capacity.

But the politics of this decision appears to have held sway.

David Cameron is still concerned that any decision to back Heathrow will put his “no ifs, no buts” pledge in 2009 that there will be no third runway at Heathrow in sharp relief. And that he will face a barrage of criticism that he is not a man of his word.

Further, if a decision is not taken until next summer, that means it will come after the election for the next mayor of London, which is in May.

Which is convenient, given that the Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, is implacably opposed to Heathrow expansion.  As is the Labour candidate, Sadiq Khan.

More delays

The decision on the new environmental review is set to be taken by the Economic and Domestic Cabinet sub-committee on Thursday, which the prime minister chairs.
And it’s likely to be announced on the same day.

Of course, we are still three days away from that committee meeting and, as with all things Heathrow (and, frankly, government on issues of aviation policy) things could change. The meeting was initially due to be held last week but was derailed by the crisis in Syria.
It was only a week ago that most were predicting a favourable outcome for Heathrow, including the airport itself.

That now appears to have been over-optimistic. More delays are ahead.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35027559

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Comment by an AirportWatch member:

It needs to be remembered that the environmental problems of a 2nd runway at Gatwick are nearly as bad as those of a 3rd runway at Heathrow.

With two runways, Gatwick would be as big as Heathrow is today – with all the attendant problems, of air pollution, local congestion, carbon emissions, intense aircraft noise, development for a large area around the airport, and the formation of something akin to an “airport city.”  And in the case of Gatwick, huge loss of countryside and change of character of a large area.

The media has focused almost exclusively on the problems at Heathrow. The problems at Gatwick should not be ignored.  Added to which are the intense difficulties that Gatwick would have with surface transport, with just one rail line that cannot be expanded, and one motorway. Both the road and rail links are already struggling to cope with current demand.

It is hard to see how a massive piece of infrastructure, with the intensity and breadth of environmental and local impacts of a new (fully used) runway could be inflicted  on the residents of any parts of the densely populated south east of England. The level of upset and reduction in quality of life for tens of thousands of people should be recognised as beyond what can be forced on people, in a democracy.

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Another commented: 

I can’t say I am happy with some of the press reports that Heathrow should run the additional air quality modelling work. Wasn’t that the problem with the “reverse-engineered” solution last time round ? The environmental review needs to be done by a credible independent body working at arms-length from the project proponents.


Air quality concerns ‘to delay Heathrow decision until next year’

By Sebastian Whale (Politics Home)

7.12.2015

The Government is putting off a final decision on a third runway at Heathrow until next year due to concerns about air quality standards, The Times reports.

David Cameron has previously insisted a decision on which airport will receive the long-awaited expansion programme will be made before Christmas.

The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, backed a third runway at Heathrow, claiming the project would add £147bn to the economy and create 70,000 jobs by 2050.

But the committee of ministers formed to reach a final decision is expected to meet on Thursday, meaning a full Cabinet discussion would have to wait until next week.

However both Heathrow and Gatwick expect the Prime Minister to shy away from making a final decision.

Senior ministers told The Times Mr Cameron is considering using the uncertainty over air quality testing models and whether Heathrow could meet EU pollution standards to justify the pause.

Another source claimed a delay would be due to Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith’s opposition to Heathrow expansion ahead of next year’s London mayoral elections.
“It’s about Zac and Boris more than his pledge,” the source aid.

A Gatwick source told the paper: “The choice is now very clear. Legal expansion at Gatwick so Britain can grow. Or illegal expansion at Heathrow, with Britain losing out again.”
A Heathrow spokesman said: “The Airports Commission… made a unanimous and unambiguous recommendation in June for Heathrow expansion.

“Britain can be confident that our new plan will connect the whole nation to global growth while providing opportunities for the local community and making Heathrow the most environmentally responsible hub airport in the world.”

The news comes after the Environmental Audit Committee said that if a new runway is approved without assurances on air quality, carbon emissions and noise, it could make the Government’s decision more susceptible to legal action.

CABINET RESIGNATIONS?

Mr Johnson, the Mayor of London and International Development Secretary Justine Greening have said they will fight any expansion of Heathrow.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Ms Greening refused to rule out resigning over the issue.
“I think that’s jumping the gun and let’s wait and see what the sub-committee comes out with, but frankly I will make sure that I continue to represent my constituents’ concern on this,” she said.

Mr Johnson said: “The third runway [at Heathrow] is a sham and a delusion and it will never happen.”

But backbencher Liam Fox has coordinated a letter between 30 Tory MPs representing the surrounding area, urging Mr Cameron to “press ahead” with Heathrow expansion.
They argue the extra runway at the major transport hub is “vital to our country’s economic growth and prosperity”.

https://www.politicshome.com/transport/articles/story/air-quality-concerns-%E2%80%98-delay-heathrow-decision-until-next-year%E2%80%99

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Stansted airport slowly starting to make up passenger losses from 8 years ago, wants raised passenger cap + another runway

The owners of Stansted Airport, MAG, are continuing to say they will be wanting a new runway in the next 10 years or so. The numbers of passengers using Stansted fell every year between a peak in 2007 of 23.7 million passengers, to a low of 17.5 million in 2012, and almost 20 million in 2014. The number of flights was about 192,000 in 2007 and only about 163,000 in 2014. So the current growth is just starting to catch up, and get back to the numbers 8 years ago. However, Stansted is using the current increase in passengers to say it will be needing to increase the planning cap on the number of passengers (currently 35 million per year) as was suggested in the Airports Commission’s interim report.  It will start to consult locally about doing this. Stansted hopes to get more passengers, if it could have improved rail connections to London, for as long as Heathrow and Gatwick are full – unless one gets a new runway. Stansted says it could handle another 7 million passengers per year with its current infrastructure. It did not submit a proposal to the Airports Commission for a runway scheme, so it was not considered. But now it wants another runway, in addition to one at Gatwick or Heathrow – ignoring the uncomfortable fact that even the Commission said only one new runway could be added within the UK aviation carbon cap (even one runway would mean UK aviation exceeding its annual 37.5MtCO2 cap).
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Stansted airport owner urges government to increase flight limit


Manchester Airports Group says surge in passenger demand means London’s third-biggest hub is likely to reach maximum number of flights in six years

3.12.2015

By Gwyn Topham, (Guardian Transport Correspondent)

 

The owner of Stansted [Manchester Airports Group. MAG] has called on the government to raise the flight cap at the Essex airport, warning that otherwise passenger demand in the south-east will not be met until the completion of a new London runway, potentially a decade away.

Almost 5 million more passengers used Stansted this year than in 2013, when Manchester Airports Group (MAG) bought the hub from Heathrow. [Its numbers of passengers had fallen sharply since 2008 – every year. There were over 23.7 million passengers in 2007, and only almost 20 million in 2014.   The number of flights was about 192,000 in 2007 and only about 163,000 in 2014.  AW comment]

At that rate of growth, the third-biggest London airport is on course to hit its permitted maximum of 35 million a year in six to seven years, although the airport says it could handle another 7 million with its current infrastructure.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, said the increase in numbers showed Stansted had “more potential and will grow quicker than the forecasts in the airports commission report. If we extrapolate, in five years we’ll be pretty close to the planning cap.”

He said the airport’s 11% annual growth was far outstripping Gatwick’s [probably because they lost so many flights and passengers over 6 years, and are only now managing to get back some of that loss, to return to the figures of 2007 ….] and showed the government needed to take the commission’s recommendations seriously, including improving rail links to Stansted and lifting the cap, proposed in its interim report. The government is expected to announce this month its response to the recommendation to expand Heathrow, at a cost of £18bn, potentially by 2026.

Cornish said: “When they consider the Heathrow question, we do want the government to respond to the short-term measures – because there’s going to be no new runway capacity in London for the next 15 years whatever happens.”

The MAG boss said the group would engage with local communities next year to get the planning cap lifted. “It’s really for us to demonstrate the benefits in terms of economic development we bring to the region. Engine technology has changed – there’s probably a lot less noise around Stansted now than there was 10 years ago. But it would be good for the government to indicate its support,” he said.

Sir Howard Davies’ commission said Stansted was a “plausible candidate” for the next runway after Heathrow, [the Commission actually said only one new runway could be added within carbon constraints, and its own figures show UK aviation CO2 emissions would any way breach the emissions limit with NO new runways. Let alone two.  AW comment] and Cornish said MAG would soon need to start seriously considering expansion plans, with a completed second runway likely to take two decades to achieve.

“We have to give serious consideration to Stansted’s catchment and the potential in the 10-20 years after that. We are growing rapidly. London is growing east, and the environmental impact at Stansted is significantly less than at Heathrow or Gatwick. In three to five years we have to start seriously considering a second runway,” he said.

The group reported a 16.5% year-on-year leap in operating profits for the first six months of 2015-16, driven mainly by Manchester airport and then Stansted. Record passenger numbers at Manchester pushed up profits to £137m. MAG announced a dividend of £39m, representing a windfall of £25m for the councils around Manchester which collectively own two-thirds of the group.


CAA figures showing the number of passengers using Stansted airport:
2014    19,958,000  (up +12% on 2013)
2013    17,844,355   (up + 2.2% on  2012)
2012    17,464,792  (down – 3.2% on 2011)
2011    18,042,400  (down – 2.8 % on 2010))
2010    18,562  (down – 7% on 2009)
2009    19,951.7  (down -10.7% on 2008)
2008     22,340   (down -6% on 2007)
2007     23,759  (no increase)
2006     23,680
2005     21,992

CAA figures showing the number of air transport movements (flights) using Stansted airport      2004  – 2014 data
2014    162,921  (up  + 1.2% on 2013)
2013    132,234  (up + 0.6%  on 2012)
2012    131,297  (down – 4.1% on 2011)
2011    136,899  (down – 7% on 2010)
2010    143 (down – 8% on 2009)  link to 2010 data
2009    156  (down -11.8% on 2008)
2008    177  (down -7% on 2007)
2007    192  (little change)
2006    190
2005    178

Stansted owner pushes case for second runway

 

3.12.2015

By Ben Martin (Telegraph)

Expanding the Essex airport will become a priority if it continues to grow at current rates, the boss of Manchester Airports Group said

The case to expand London Stansted has been strengthened after the business behind the Essex airport posted a surge in revenues and profits, according to the company’s chief executive.

A 5.7% rise in passenger numbers across its airports [Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth] to a record 29.7m helped to send first-half revenues at Manchester Airports Group (MAG) by the same proportion to £445.5m and operating profits 16.5pc higher to £137m. The strongest growth at the company, which also owns Bournemouth and East Midlands airports, was at Stansted, where passengers swelled by 10.6pc to 12.5m in the six months to the end of September.

The debate over how best to avert the impending aviation capacity crisis in the south east has so far centred on the choice between new runways at Heathrow or Gatwick. The Prime Minister is expected to announce within days whether Heathrow is allowed to build a third landing-strip , after the Government-appointed Airports Commission recommended in July that the west London hub should be expanded.

However, Charlie Cornish, the boss of MAG, said that expanding Stansted, including the possibility of a second runway, will also become a more pressing issue if the Essex airport keeps up its current growth rate.

“The Airports Commission did say Stansted could be an option for a second runway around about 2040,” Mr Cornish said. “We think it’s probably 15 to 20 years earlier than that, given our forecasts relative to the Commission’s forecasts.”

A planning cap limits Stansted to 35m passengers a year, which Mr Cornish said would “easily” be reached in the next decade.

If the limit were to be lifted, Stansted could carry up to 45m passengers per annum on a single runway, but further growth would require a second landing strip. The MAG boss conceded that Stansted still needed to make the economic case for another runway first, however.

“Stansted’s got a way to go in terms of demonstrating that it can cater for not just very strong low-cost airlines but equally legacy, full-service carriers,” he said. “Over the next five years we’re expecting to bring a richer mix of airlines.”

The introduction of 31 new routes have driven growth at MAG during the first-half, including flights from Manchester to Boston and Stansted to Los Angeles (Other OTC: ANGC – news) . At Manchester, passengers were up 4.5pc to 13.8m. They were flat at 500,000 at Bournemouth and fell 6.5pc to 2.9m at East Midlands after troubled airline Monarch scrapped its flights from the airport.

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/stansted-owner-pushes-case-second-130613323.html
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Councils to get £25m windfall as Manchester Airport profits soar

By Charlotte Cox (Manchester Evening News)

3.12.2015

Manchester Airports Group, which is part-owned by the 10 councils, has announced its financial figures for the six months to September 30 – the highest ever interim pay-out.

Greater Manchester’s 10 town halls will net nearly £25m thanks to Manchester Airport ‘s soaring profits – and the cash will help to ease government cuts and save vital services.

Manchester Airports Group, which is part-owned by the 10 councils, has this morning announced its financial figures for the six months to September 30 – the highest ever interim pay-out.

Revenues rose by nearly six per cent compared to the same six-month period in 2014 – from £421.4m to £445.5m, while underlying pre-tax profits were up 10.7 per cent from 182.9m to 202.5m.

It’s triggered a total £38.6m cash injection to MAG’s shareholders. Of that, Manchester council will get £13.7m while each of the other nine councils will get £1.2m each.

That’s up from £11m for Manchester and £1m each to the other councils in the same six months of 2014 – a 25 per cent increase.

The remainder will go to Industry Funds Management, the Australian investor that bought into the group ahead of its swoop for Stansted Airport.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We are awaiting the details of our financial settlement from government and will doubtless still have some difficult decisions to make but this will give us slightly more room for manoeuvre and will help protect some of our most vital services.

“It is another testament to the huge importance of the airport as an ongoing asset to the city.”

Ken O’Toole , Manchester Airport managing director, said it had been a positive year for Manchester Airport.

He added: “It was great to be able to announce last month that passenger numbers reached an all-time high.”

He said upcoming flights to destinations including Los Angeles, Boston and Beijing would boost that.

On the dividend, he said: “It is also pleasing to see MAG pay its highest ever interim dividend of £38.6m. Due to our ownership structure, this goes right back into the heart of Greater Manchester and ensures that our local community truly benefits from the success of Manchester Airport.”

He added: “We see ourselves as being at the heart of efforts to rebalance the UK economy through the creation of a Northern Powerhouse and, with spare capacity on our runways, we are well-placed to deliver more growth at a time when others in the south east are heavily congested.”

The results follow a jam-packed year. Flights to Miami started in May, the same month services to LA and Boston were announced.

In June, the planned £1bn terminal regeneration plan was revealed while a visit from Chinese president Xi Jinping heralded a new direct link from Manchester to Beijing , to start next summer.

A ‘China Cluster’ at the £800m Airport City was also announced in October, with passengers reaching a record annual total of 23m in November .

It is the second time MAG, which also runs London Stansted, Bournemouth and East Midlands airports, has paid a dividend at the half-way mark of its financial year.

A total £60m was paid out in July for the previous full 12 months period so the airport could be well on its way to a record pay-out at the end of the full year.

The figures follow the firm’s most successful summer ever – and the busiest month in its 77-year history. At Manchester, the rolling annual passenger total has hit 23m.

Passenger numbers were up 5.7 per cent on the same six months in 2014, from 28.1m to 29.7m across the group’s airports.

At Manchester, that figure rose by 4.5 per cent, from 13.2m to 13.8m.

The boom is partly thanks to a host of new routes, including Manchester’s services to Boston and Los Angeles , as well as last year’s new service to Hong Kong.

Cargo is also strong, up 5.7 per cent across the group.

As the figures were announced today, MAG also revealed its American branch is flourishing. Its first ‘Escape Lounge’ is to open at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport next week while it has scooped a second contract to build and operate another lounge at Oakland Airport, California.

In 2015, MAG’s airports will contribute £5.6bn in economic activity to the country.

Such success means MAG can continue to invest, with the planned £1bn regeneration of the terminals a key example.

In July, Manchester council used the windfall to off-set cuts – the cash will be used in the same way this time.

Charlie Cornish , MAG chief executive, said: “This has been our busiest summer ever and as we approach the milestone of handling 50m passengers a year, we are responding to changes in the way people want to travel by giving them the opportunity to upgrade their airport experience and begin their journeys in style.

“I was also delighted to welcome The President of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping, to Manchester Airport in October as part of his state Visit to the United Kingdom. “The President and the Prime Minister unveiled a new direct link from Manchester to Beijing, starting in Summer 2016, which will give the 100,000 passengers travelling each year between the two cities the convenience of direct scheduled services.

“The new route demonstrates the key role that the airport plays as a Global Gateway from the North.”

Sir Richard Leese added: “Thanks to the far-sighted decision taken by the council in the 1980s to acquire a large stake in Manchester Airport, the group’s subsequent expansion and ongoing success, we are able to receive this interim dividend which will be used in full to support council services for the city’s people.”


Earlier – a year ago:

MAG CEO, Charlie Cornish, says Stansted might press for a 2nd runway by the mid-2020s

Stansted aims to submit plans for a new runway some time in the next decade, according to Charlie Cornish, the CEO of parent company Manchester Airports Group. He says the present expansion rates meant that Stansted would apply to the government for the repeal of existing local council limits and then lobby for a 2nd runway to satisfy demand. Stansted hope its projected rate of growth between now and the mid -2020s will see it pass through its local authority-capped capacity of 35 million passengers per year, and hit its physical capacity on one runway of 45 million by 2030. In October 2008, the Government gave approval for Stansted to increase its permitted passenger numbers from 25 to 35 million per year, and a rise in the permitted number of annual flights from 241,000 to 264,000. Mr Cornish wants better rail connections to London and to the other airports. Having fallen for years, ever since the peak at over 23.7 million in 2007, Stansted’s number of passengers is still well down, at 17.8 million in 2013, though the number has risen significantly during 2014.

Click here to view full story…

 and many other news stories about Stansted wanting to expand etc.

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Environmental Audit Committee says Heathrow must fund the infrastructure improvements necessary

One of the conditions that the Airports Commission suggested should imposed on a Heathrow runway was that the airport should pay most of the cost of the additional surface transport infrastructure. Heathrow has repeatedly said it is not willing to pay more than about £1 billion, though the costs are estimated by Transport for London to be £15 – 20 billion. The Environmental Audit Committee report says: “Before the Government decides to go ahead with Heathrow expansion it should set out its assessment of what would be required in terms of infrastructure improvements, agreed responsibilities for funding and milestones for completion. This should be part of a wider transport strategy for West London to minimise the risk of unintended consequences. The Government must make a binding commitment that Heathrow will fund the infrastructure improvements necessary to accommodate an expanded Heathrow.” The government has said it will not pay, with Richard Goodwill stating in October that:  “…. the Government has been clear that it expects the scheme promoter to meet the costs of any surface access proposals that are required as a direct result of airport expansion and from which they will directly benefit.”
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Environmental Audit Committee report

1 December 2015 

REPORT: Airports Commission: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality & Noise

The report’s Conclusions and recommendations

5 Conclusion   (Page 26)

89. The Government should not approve Heathrow expansion until Heathrow ltd. can demonstrate that it accepts and will comply with the Airports Commission conditions, including a night flight ban, that it is committed to covering the costs of surface transport improvements; that it is possible to reconcile Heathrow expansion with legal air pollution limits, and that an expanded Heathrow would be less noisy than a two runway Heathrow. In each case – climate change, air quality and noise – it needs to set out concrete proposals for mitigation alongside clear responsibilities and milestones against which performance can be measured. It should report regularly to Parliament, through this Committee and others, on progress. The Government should not avoid or defer these issues. To do so would increase the risks of the project: delay through legal challenge, unquantifiable costs resulting from unclear responsibilities, economic risks through constraint of other sectors to meet increased aviation emissions and longterm costs to public health from the impact of air pollution and noise.


 

Looking at just the section on Heathrow having to pay for surface access improvements

Costs and Funding

58. There was further disagreement about the costs of public transport improvements that would be needed to achieve the levels of modal shift which all sides agreed was desirable. The Commission found: It is clear that with or without airport expansion, the Government will need to take decisive action to address long-term capacity issues arising from background demand growth. This may involve the provision of new infrastructure, demand management, or a combination of the two. The additional challenges presented by airport expansion are not a transformative factor that would significantly change the scale of these challenges. [81 Airports Commission Final Report, para. 8.25 ] 

59. Heathrow ltd. told us they were willing to pay a proportionate share of the costs – as they had for previous schemes – and had set aside over £1 billion in funding as their contribution towards public transport improvements. [82. Oral evidence, John Holland Kaye, Q 117] The Airports Commission estimated around £5 billion in total capital costs for surface access. [83. Airports Commission, Final Report, Table 11.2] TfL told us it would cost £15-£20 billion to fund the total transport infrastructure required. [84 Oral evidence, Richard di Cani, Q 53]

60. Heathrow ltd. disputed the TfL figure in our evidence session, saying the figure included the whole of Crossrail 2 and other projects not immediately arising from Heathrow expansion. [85. Oral evidence, Matt Gorman ] TfL subsequently wrote to the Committee to say that the figure did indeed reflect their estimate of the surface access infrastructure “required” by an expansion of Heathrow. They did not, however, deny that the improvements would have benefits for non-airport users or claim that the costs should be entirely borne by the airport. [86. Transport for London, supplementary written evidence]

61. The aspiration of moving the majority of journeys to public transport with no increase in road traffic is shared by all. Transport for London told us this would require large-scale modal shift of the scale seen in central London over the last 15 years. [87. Richard di Cani, Oral evidence, 14 October 2015, Q 55]  However, there is no agreement between them and the Commission over the extent of infrastructure improvements required to achieve this, the resulting costs or, by implication, the extent to which individual parties would meet those costs. Before the Government decides to go ahead with Heathrow expansion it should set out its assessment of what would be required in terms of infrastructure improvements, agreed responsibilities for funding and milestones for completion. This should be part of a wider transport strategy for West London to minimise the risk of unintended consequences. The Government must make a binding commitment that Heathrow will fund the infrastructure improvements necessary to accommodate an expanded Heathrow

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This is what the Airports Commission actually said in its Final Report, on the funding of the necessary surface access improvements:

Page 328

16.33   The Government will therefore need to agree the nature, scale and financing of the
surface transport improvements associated with expansion. As part of this process,
it would be appropriate for Government to seek contributions from the scheme
promoter, both for schemes specific to the expansion proposal and for some of the
schemes within the extended baseline. A contribution to works from the airport and
its airline community would demonstrate a recognition of the benefits that those
businesses were deriving from surface transport investments. Government should
enter into these negotiations with the intention of securing the best deal for the
taxpayer while complying with European rules on State aids. The commercial
analysis undertaken suggests that the airport should be able to take on a significant
proportion, if not all, of the surface access costs directly associated with expansion.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440316/airports-commission-final-report.pdf

 


 

See earlier:

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill says Heathrow has to pay for surface access work resulting from a 3rd runway

Adam Afriyie has reported that, in response to a question he asked the government’s aviation minister, Robert Goodwill, the Government ruled out spending public money for the related surface access costs of a Heathrow 3rd runway. If correct, this is a huge blow to Heathrow, as their surface access costs could be £5 billion just to tunnel the M25 and perhaps up to £10 -15 billion more, for other road and rail improvements, according to Transport for London. In response to the parliamentary question Robert Goodwill said: “In terms of surface access proposals, the Government has been clear that it expects the scheme promoter to meet the costs of any surface access proposals that are required as a direct result of airport expansion and from which they will directly benefit.”  Adam Afriyie said:  “It is welcome news that the Government has ruled out paying the costs of upgrading the railways and local roads or moving or tunnelling the M25. If Heathrow won’t pay and the Government won’t pay, then the 3rd runway is already dead in the water …It is quite right that the public should not be made to fork out up to £20 billion of subsidies to a private company which refuses to pay its own costs of expansion.”  In July John Holland-Kaye said Heathrow would not pay.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/aviation-minister-robert-goodwill-says-heathrow-has-to-pay-for-surface-access-work-resulting-from-a-3rd-runway/


 

and

Heathrow boss rules out footing the £5 billion bill for road and rail works – wants taxpayer to pay

The Airports Commission left the matter of who would pay for the approximately £5 billion needed to tunnel a section of the M25, and other surface access improvements, vague. The assumption has been made that the taxpayer would have to fund this, though the Airports Commission suggested that Heathrow would be able to find the funding from its investors for this. Now the CEO of Heathrow has dismissed the suggestion that the airport foots the £5 billion bill for road and rail work if a 3rd runway is built.  Huge motorway engineering would be needed, to have the runway going over the motorway.  John Holland-Kaye has ruled out paying for the surface access work. Though the government funds road and rail improvements under normal circumstances, tunnelling the M25 and dealing with hugely increased road traffic using an airport 50% larger than at present are not normal circumstances. Especially in times of huge economic savings being necessary in public finances. The Commission’s final report said it considered the runway was commercially viable “without a requirement for direct government support. This remains the case even in a situation where the airport is required to fund 100% of the surface access costs.” This would be by Heathrow “raising both debt and equity finance. This finance is then serviced through subsequent revenues and refinancing by the airport operator.”

Full story at 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/07/heathrow-boss-rules-out-footing-the-5-billion-bill-for-road-and-rail-works-wants-taxpayer-to-pay/

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