The AOA have produced a report, the purpose of which is to persuade government etc that aviation is a responsible industry and a new runway should be allowed for the south east. They make various claims, which need to be analysed with some care. Realising that aircraft noise, and the industry’s CO2 emissions are key to any decision to allow a new runway, they say airports are reducing the CO2 emissions of their own operations. Airports tend to be huge structures, inherently poorly designed for optimum energy use. However, AOA says that the largest 18 airports have cut their CO2 by “almost 3% in two years” 2010 – 2012 while their number of passengers rose by about 5.4%. Taking into account the 8 airports for which there is data of aircraft emissions below 2,000 feet, the AOA say the CO2 emissions were down 1.9% with a 2.4% rise in flights. This all sounds great, but completely ignores the issue of the carbon emitted by the flights themselves – which is a far larger amount. Aviation carbon emissions – and controls on them – are based on emissions from aircraft, not emissions from airports. So the AOA’s efforts, though welcome, are somewhat peripheral to the main issue. Airport carbon savings should not be a justification for building a new runway, enabling a large number of extra annual aircraft kilometres.
The Airport Operators Association says:
“AIRPORTS ARE REDUCING THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT AND MANAGING NOISE, DESPITE 10M INCREASE IN PASSENGER NUMBERS. GOVERNMENT NOW URGED TO DELIVER POLICY SUPPORT”
10.9.2014 (AOA press release)
UK airports are growing whilst reducing carbon and managing noise, according to a report launched in Parliament today by the Airport Operators Association (AOA). The reportSustainable Airports: Improving the environmental impact of the UK’s global gateways (see http://www.aoa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/AOA-Sustainable-Airports-Report.pdf),responds to political and public calls to demonstrate that a growing airport sector can be delivered sustainably.
On carbon emissions, the report shows that the carbon footprint of the UK’s 18 largest airports (by passenger numbers) – which represent 95% of air passengers – reduced by almost 3% in just two years, despite passenger numbers increasing by more than 5% and air traffic by almost 2% during the same period. [Note: The AOA are talking about the carbon emissions of airports themselves, and not of the flights using those airports].
On noise near airports, the report concludes that – despite historically reducing noise contours around airports, and airports managing noise perception by significantly investing in enhanced local community engagement – the population size within noise contours is beyond the control of airports due to a lack of consistency between national aviation policy and planning policy. In the last three years, over 5,700 homes have been given planning permission or have started or completed construction in areas around airports where the Government expects some people will experience annoyance at aircraft noise. [Note: For more on this, see http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=22979 ]
In the report, the AOA calls on Government for policy support in two main ways:
On carbon, Government needs to work with the aviation sector to incentivise the take-up of sustainable aviation fuels, including establishing a clear policy framework to stimulate production and investment in this new technology. [Note: What they want is government subsidy for biofuels etc for the aviation industry]. Politicians from all parties should also support a global Emissions Trading Scheme; and
On noise, the Government needs to give local authorities national policy guidance, to help them build homes in areas that are compatible with airports and other infrastructure, but which do not cut across national aviation policy. Government policy asks airports to limit and reduce the number of people inside noise contours – it should not enable developers to introduce thousands of new households into those contours.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, said:
“This report is an important contribution to the debate around whether our sector can successfully expand without increasing its carbon and noise impacts. It demonstrates that our country’s airports, which are so crucial to the economic well-being of the UK, can grow sustainably, even more so if given proper policy support.
“The report shows that airports are keeping to their side of the bargain, investing and innovating to reduce their carbon footprints, and working through industry coalitions to reduce noise. [Note: This is questionable; while airports may be able to make some carbon savings by greater efficiency, new planes will be slightly more fuel efficient per passenger, and flight routing etc can be made slightly more fuel efficient, these gains would be more than outweighed by the rate of growth the industry wants to achieve in coming years. See link and link ].
“We now need to see a partnership approach with Government to take sustainable airport development to the next level. We urge Ministers to step up to the plate and do their bit to deliver supportive policy on issues such as supporting sustainable aviation fuels, promoting a global carbon emissions trading scheme, and providing consistent national and local planning policy which helps airports limit and reduce the number of families living inside noise contours, thereby reducing the number of people experiencing noise annoyance from aviation.”
There has been an almost 3% reduction in carbon emissions produced by airports, whilst passenger numbers increased by more than 5% and air traffic by almost 2% in the same time. The AOA report,Sustainable Airports: Improving the environmental impact of the UK’s global gatewaysfinds that of the 18 airports analysed, 13 reduced their carbon emissions, three increased their carbon emissions and two remained unchanged. From an analysis of the airports, which between them account for over 95% of passengers using UK airports, the key findings are:
18 biggest airports in the UK
Total annual CO2 (tonnes)
Air traffic movements
Some airports were able to share 2013 carbon emissions data. The AOA only included those that used the same calculation methods for their 2010 emissions, so that the two data points are comparable. Fourteen of the 18 airports shared comparable data for 2013. The findings show that between 2010 and 2013, airports reduced carbon emissions by 4.35%. At the same time passenger numbers at these airports increased by almost 7 million, and there was a 2% increase in air traffic movements:
14 airports for which 2013 figures are available
Total annual CO2 (tonnes)
Air traffic movements
Source of carbon emissions at airports:
Airports do not own or operate aircraft, meaning that they are not in direct control of the biggest contributor to aviation’s carbon emissions: the fuel used for flights. Airport carbon emissions focus on the energy used to run their buildings and business operations for passengers. However, eight of the 18 airports assessed by the AOA do include measurements of the carbon emissions from flights in the landing and take-off cycle at the airport. So for these eight airports the analysis includes aircraft movements and the carbon emissions they generate. This separate analysis shows a more specific reflection of the aviation sector’s carbon emissions, which reduced by 2% over the same period, whilst at the same time air traffic at these airports increased by 2%. In other words, even these airports decreased their carbon emissions whilst increasing the number of flights. Key data:
The 8 airports that include carbon emissions of flights in the landing and take-off cycle at the airport
Total annual CO2 (tonnes)
Air traffic movements
How carbon emission reductions are being made: Airports are reducing their carbon footprint in a number of ways, including:
Improving surface access: Improved public transport links and more efficient use of road and rail networks, helping to reduce airport related congestion and emissions.
Energy efficient buildings and business practice: Airports are setting up carbon saving initiatives inside their buildings and through their infrastructure. These include energy saving initiatives and improved insulation.
Providing cleaner on-site energy to aircraft: Aircraft are supplied with power whilst they are grounded at an airport. Airports are substituting the source and type of power they supply, to provide cleaner energy with lower carbon emissions.
5,700+ new houses have been either built or commenced near to airports over the last three years. The report finds that developers are being allowed to build new homes and other noise-sensitive buildings closer to airports. This means that factors outside of airports’ control are preventing them from meeting the policy objective set in the Government’s 2013 Aviation Policy Framework “to limit and where possible reduce the number of people in the UK significantly affected by aircraft noise.”
The key findings of the report are:
In the last three years 5,761 homes have been given planning permission or have started or completed construction in the noise contours of the UK’s 18 biggest airports (the research covers the period starting 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2014) – these are the areas where the Government expects some people will experience annoyance from aircraft noise.
There is no evidence that these homes have adequate noise insulation, or that people moving in to them will be told by the developer or estate agent that they are in an airport’s noise contour.
In 2010 it was found that airports and their partners in the aviation sector had successfully reduced the area in which there are higher levels of aircraft noise by 45% since 1998 (the area of the the 57dB LAeq 16 hour contours of 6 major airports shrunk from 409.6 km2 in 1998 to 225.6 km2, with the 57dB LAeq 16 hour contour being the area defined by the Government as the average level of daytime aircraft noise marking the approximate onset of significant community annoyance). Today the AOA’s report finds that airports are working closely with the populations remaining within the noise contours through regular community engagement, but they cannot limit or reduce the population within noise contours when national planning policy enables new development in those areas.
The AOA’s recommendations:
a) Delivering sustainable growth
Airports are already meeting policy objectives to ensure their sustainability; therefore, in light of airports’ proven commitment, all political parties should support the growth of airports as essential national economic and transport infrastructure. This includes committing to acting on both the 2013 Aviation Policy Framework (APF) and the findings of the Airports Commission, when it reports in 2015.
b) Reducing carbon emissions
Airports are reducing their carbon emissions, but these emissions are only a small proportion of those created by the UK’s aviation sector. To help the aviation sector achieve greater carbon reductions, the Department for Transport (DfT) should help make two important initiatives a reality: the development of sustainable aviation fuels and a global Emissions Trading Scheme. The DfT should:
Provide an incentive framework to stimulate investment, research and development, and commercialisation for sustainable aviation fuels. The fuels should be eligible for incentives in the same way that credits are awarded to qualifying road transport fuels under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation
Press for agreement on and support implementation of a global carbon-trading solution encompassing all of aviation and ensuring a level playing field for all participants
Airports that have not already done so should commit to a scheme to reduce as well as monitor their carbon emissions. One option available to them would be the ‘ACI Carbon Accreditation Stage 2: Reduction’.
c) Reducing noise
The location of noise sensitive developments like housing needs to work alongside airports and other existing infrastructure. The Department for Communities and Local Government should help airports to further manage noise by reversing the policy change to national planning guidance, so that in future Local Plans include the noise metrics in the APF. By reversing this policy change, developers and local authorities would rightly have to meet the same policy expectations as the aviation sector by managing the specific location and noise insulation of new homes.
If a new home or other noise sensitive building is to be built within the Government’s defined noise contour (the 57dB LAeq 16 hour contour), then the housing developer should provide adequate sound insulation and make people aware of aircraft noise before they buy or rent a property.
The Telegraph reports on a study by the Airport Operators Association (AOA) that almost 6,000 new homes have been approved around airports in the past 3 years despite a government policy to reduce the number of people exposed to aviation noise. Since April 2011 some 5,761 homes have either been granted planning permission, started or completed construction close enough to an airport that significant annoyance from noise is deemed likely (they say this is within the 57 dB contour). There are more than 1,000 homes around Heathrow and London City airports, at least 300 around Manchester and more than 100 around Aberdeen, Birmingham, Glasgow and Luton. Many more housing developments are planned in areas afflicted by loud aircraft noise. The AOA does not want more complaints, or demands for reductions in noise, from all these extra people being over-flown. They do not want planners to allow more developments which will restrict aircraft noise. Some 2,000 homes are now being built in north Crawley, in an area now at risk of serious noise if a 2nd runway is built, as planners wrongly believed Sir David Rowland’s assurance, in Feb 2010 that Gatwick had “not a shred of interest” in a 2nd runway. A deeply unsatisfactory situation.
6,000 homes built around airports
Flurry of developments within ‘annoyance’ boundary of airports comes despite government pledge to reduce number of people exposed to noise
By Nick Collins, Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)
10 Sep 2014
Almost 6,000 new homes have been approved around airports in the past three years despite a government policy to reduce the number of people exposed to aviation noise, The Telegraph can reveal.
Since April 2011 some 5,761 homes have either been granted planning permission, started or completed construction close enough to an airport that significant annoyance from noise is deemed likely.
The Government’s official policy on aviation noise states that the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise should be limited and, where possible, reduced.
The new figures, to be published in an Airport Operators Association report today, reveal the number of houses being built within the 57db “noise contour” around Britain’s 18 largest airports.
This measurement, reflecting the average level of daytime aircraft noise, is used by the Government to mark the onset of significant annoyance to communities.
The homes being built within this region include more than 1,000 around Heathrow and London City airports, at least 300 around Manchester and more than 100 around Aberdeen, Birmingham, Glasgow and Luton.
More developments are planned, including a development of 1,900 homes and other buildings including a school within the 57db contour of Gatwick.
Planning regulations previously included provisions about noise level and exposureto prevent homes being built in areas subjected to high levels of noise pollution or being built without sufficient noise insulation, but these were withdrawn in 2012.
In contrast airports are obliged to pay for noise insulation for homes within a 63db noise contour of an airport, and to help with relocation costs within a 69db zone.
The AOA, which represents airport operators, said in its report: “Developers and local authorities have free reign to develop new buildings inside airport noise contours if they want to, but this places new responsibilities on the airport.
“Building homes within noise contours that the national Government uses to mark the onset of annoyance at aircraft noise, with no guarantee of adequate standards of noise insulation, is not the best way to meet the UK’s housing needs.”
The government should reverse the change in planning guidelines and force housing developers to provide sound insulation and notify people of aircraft noise before they buy or rent homes within the 57db noise contour, the AOA said.
Rebecca Roberts-Hughes, AOA policy director, said: “I understand we need to build millions of homes but at the moment there’s a policy disconnect about where they should be. It is important those homes work with local infrastructure like airports rather than falling into potential conflict.”
A spokesman from the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “This report has got its facts wrong. The Government has issued robust planning guidance on noise issues and new development, including mitigation.”
Launching the AOA report this afternoon Robert Goodwill, the Transport Minister, will describe noise around airports as a “critical environmental issue which needs to be addressed”.
“The Government made clear in its Aviation Policy Framework that the industry must continue to reduce and mitigate noise as airport capacity grows, but more can be done,” he will say.
The AOA report also found that the carbon footprint of Britain’s airports reduced by three per cent between 2010 and 2012, despite passenger numbers rising by five per cent and air traffic by two per cent over the same period.
Darren Caplan, chief executive of the AOA, said: “The report shows that airports are keeping to their side of the bargain, investing and innovating to reduce their carbon footprints.
“We urge ministers to step up to the plate and do their bit to deliver supportive policy on issues such as supporting sustainable aviation fuels, promoting a global carbon emissions trading scheme, and providing consistent national and local planning policy.”
Further policy on aircraft noise sets out different levels of noise contours and different responsibilities airports have to communities within these levels. The Aviation Policy Framework (APF) states that airport operators should offer households exposed to noise levels of 69dB or more assistance with the cost of moving, and additionally that acoustic insulation should be offered to noise sensitive buildings exposed to noise levels of
63dB or more (again based on an LAeq, 16 hour contour).
The APF recommends that airports considering developments which result in an increase in noise review their compensation schemes, and offer financial assistance towards acoustic
insulation to homes that experience an increase in noise of 3dB or more where it leaves them exposed to levels of noise of 63dB or more. The APF also states that significant community
annoyance is expected within the 57dB LAeq, 16 hour contour (hereon referred to as the given noise contour)
The number of new residential buildings being developed within the given noise contour (57dB LAeq 16 hour) continues to grow. Many parts of the UK are experiencing an acute shortage of housing. Around 230,000 new households form every year and there is a backlog of two million households on waiting lists, so that the number of new homes built every year will need to increase at least threefold to between 300,000 and 330,000. There is understandable pressure on local authorities to enable the development of new homes, and of the community infrastructure needed to serve new households. But building homes within noise contours that the national Government uses to mark the onset of annoyance at aircraft noise, with no guarantee of adequate standards of noise insulation, is not the best way to meet the UK’s housing needs. Moving new households and communities inside noise contours could result in annoyance and conflict with the economic benefits offered by the airport.
Some people are happy to live near airports; people react differently to noise; and 57dB levels will not annoy everyone. But living near an airport should be a choice and, if people do choose to live within the given noise contour, they should be made aware of aircraft noise.
We collected the given noise contour (57dB LAeq 16 hour) of 18 airports and assessed the type and number of new buildings granted planning permission and being built within those
areas.71 Nationally, 5,761 homes have been granted planning permission, started or completed construction in the noise contours of the UK’s 18 biggest airports. This means new
homes are being built in areas where the Government expects people can experience annoyance at aircraft noise. More than half of these new homes are being built in the noise contours of airports near London, and four other airports serving cities across the UK are each finding new developments of over 100 homes in their noise contours. Educational and health buildings are also being extended and even newly built in these areas.
Where are new homes being built?
The table shows more than 1,000 homes near Heathrow and London City airport, and more than 300 homes near Manchester. Also more than 100 homes near Aberdeen, Birmingham Glasgow and Luton; and fewer than 100 at Gatwick and Liverpool airports.
Table also shows educational and health buildings. [See page 40 of link for details ]
The data shows that nationally, across the UK, significant housing developments of over 100 homes at a time are being planned and built within airport noise contours. But the issue
varies within different nations and regions – for example, whilst one Scottish airport has nearly 200 homes being built within its noise contour, another has less than ten. It is also
important to note that where an airport has no or few homes being developed, this applies specifically to the three-year period in which our research has taken place. Noise-sensitive
development may still be planned within these airports’ contours. For example, Newcastle airport is awaiting the outcome of a planning appeal for hundreds of homes, and a
development of 1,900 homes and other buildings including a school is due to start on site within Gatwick airport’s contour. There will be other contingencies too – there is no way of
knowing how many of the homes will have adequate noise insulation, and, as we explain above, different people experience annoyance at different types and volumes of aircraft noise. New homes should not necessarily be banned within airport noise contours if there is evidence that people want to live there and are comfortable experiencing aircraft noise.
Encroachment of new housing and other developments on airport noise contours is a national problem that varies in different locations – for this reason the solutions need to be
Airports are already engaging directly with local communities through bespoke activities, and with local authorities by providing their noise contours, contributing to policy development and
helping to monitor new development within noise contours. But the Government should reverse its policy change and reintroduce national planning guidance about how local authorities should interpret noise contours and align airports with local development needs.
Housing developers and estate agents also need to play their part by ensuring information about aircraft noise is available to people considering buying or renting homes within airport noise contours.
Some comments from AirportWatch members:
Those of us who live near Heathrow are already witnessing an explosion in housebuilding e.g.3700 new homes to be built in Southall under the flightpath
There is huge interest from developers in building on Green Belt land in Lilley Bottom (North Herts, just to the east of Luton’s runway), slap beneath the arrival/departure track. To do them justice the Luton operator is none too keen to see another few thousand potential noise complainers and has opposed previous planning applications. Luton Borough Council, though, are pressing East Herts on the “duty to cooperate” argument to let development go ahead: Luton Borough being already “built up to its boundaries” but wanting more dwellings. And then,of course, Luton Council owns the airport funny old world…..
The GACC response to the Commission’s paper on Delivery said –
“Paragraph 3.25 in the Discussion Document refers to ‘encroachment’, an issue often raised by the aviation industry as if it were the fault of the planning authorities. More often it is the result of changes of policy by the Government or the airport. The case of the 2,000 houses being built at present on the northern side of Crawley close to the line of the proposed new runway is a case in point. Crawley Council refused permission, and were upheld at appeal. The builders took the case to the High Court, and the judge granted permission, basing his judgement on the fact that the Government in May 2010 had ruled out any new runway, and that the chairman of Gatwick Airport Ltd had stated in January 2010 that the airport ‘had not a shred of interest’ in a new runway. [See below for source]. Local councils cannot be blamed if Governments change their minds and airports break their promises.”
Gatwick airport comment, 2010
Airport owners have “not a shred of interest” in second Gatwick runway
8th February 2010
Gatwick Airport’s new owners have ruled out building a second runway for the foreseeable future.
The message this week from the airport’s new chairman Sir David Rowlands was that new owners Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) have “not a shred of interest” in a second runway.
In a meeting with the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), Sir David said that a new runway was not Government policy nor the policy of the airport.
And he added that even if the Government started to look more favourably at the prospect of a second runway, Gatwick would have to “think very hard about spending £100 million to £200 million on a planning application with an uncertain decision.”
Welcoming the news, GACC chairman Brendon Sewill said: “This firm statement will kill off some silly speculation, and will remove a lot of uncertainty and anxiety.”
Under a long-standing local planning agreement, there is an understanding that there will be no new runway at Gatwick before 2019.
But last December, Gatwick’s ownership passed from BAA to US-based investment fund GIP, and fears were voiced the new owners would start looking at possible runway plans.
But at the meeting with Charlwood-based GACC, Sir David said: “The simple fact is that we at Gatwick have not a shred of interest in a second runway.”
Mr Sewill of Stan Hill, Charlwood, said: “The united stand by local people, by the local MPs and by all the local councils across Surrey, Sussex and Kent has helped to produce this result.”
But he added: “We will remain on guard.
“The Government and BAA have previously ruled out new runways at Stansted and at Heathrow, only to announce them a few years later.”
He said: “We will stand ready, if need be, to launch a massive campaign to defeat any new runway plan, as we have defeated such plans in the past.”
GACC has more than 100 district and parish councils and amenity groups as members.
East Surrey MP Peter Ainsworth said he was “delighted” the airport’s new owners had effectively ruled out seeking to build a second runway for a generation.
Mr Ainsworth said: “I am absolutely delighted that the spectre of a second runway at Gatwick – with all that it would entail in terms of housebuilding, noise, road congestion and pollution – has finally been laid to rest.”
He said: “This issue has been hovering around for all of the 18 years during which I have been an MP, and Sir David’s words will come as a huge relief to all who care about the local environment.”
Mr Ainsworth added: “I am of course aware that Gatwick is a major employer.
“I want it to be a successful one-runway airport, popular with airlines, passengers and local people.
“The definitive ditching of any plans for a second runway is refreshingly open and straightforward.
“I hope that it paves the way for a more trusting relationship between the community and the airport operator.”
Peter von Staerck, chairman of Horley and District Chamber of Commerce, said the Gatwick chairman’s words spelled out mixed fortunes.
He said: “For the environment it’s good news, but for the economy it’s not so good.”
And he added: “People have made comments to me before, saying why buy an airport if you’re not going to have a second runway?”
Heathrow airport has commissioned a survey by highly respected polling company, Ipsos Mori. They wanted to see how many MPs back a 3rd Heathrow runway. There are 650 MPs in the House of Commons. Heathrow is proudly claiming that “58% of MPs back a third runway at Heathrow”. So that means the survey found that 390 MPs thought that ? Really? Amazing! But that is NOT the case at all. The Ipsos Mori survey only in fact interviewed 95 MPs. They say they interviewed 143, but then cut the number back to 95. These were, in theory, “interviewed to closely represent the profile of the House of Commons” – quite how is not explained. What the survey actually found was that just 55 MPs (58% of 95 MPs) said they backed a 3rd Heathrow runway. And when only these 55 MPs – not the whole 95 – were asked if they thought a 3rd Heathrow runway would get parliamentary approval, only 44 thought it was likely (of these only 18 thought it was very likely). This really is taking liberties with polling. Heathrow’s rather extravagantly claim that the poll “explodes the myth that Heathrow is politically undeliverable” looks frankly threadbare … and a bit desperate?
Below are part of two of the Ipsos Mori tables, showing the answers to the questions on runway building. The interviews were conducted face to face, but we do not know the exact interview script.
Only 95 MPs were interviewed on this questions, not 143.
Answering the question:
“Thinking once more about hub airport capacity. Of these options, which ONE do you think is the BEST option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK?”
for the question about how many MPs think a 3rd Heathrow runway could get parliamentary approval, only the MPs who had said Yes to Heathrow (in the table above) were questioned. Just 55 MPs.
This is the Heathrow airport press release:
9 in 10 MPs who back a third runway at Heathrow think it would get parliamentary approval
8 September, 2014
58% of MPs back a third runway at Heathrow, 13% support a second runway at Gatwick to solve the issue of hub airport capacity
88% of MPs think a successful hub airport is critical to UK economic success
91% of those MPs who back a third runway at Heathrow think it would get parliamentary approval
A new survey of MPs by independent polling company Ipsos MORI explodes the myth that Heathrow is politically undeliverable. The poll shows 91% of those MPs who back a third runway at Heathrow think it would get parliamentary approval.
The poll also shows that a third runway at Heathrow is the overwhelming choice of MPs from the options left on the Airports Commission’s shortlist. 58% of MPs think that a third runway at Heathrow is the best option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity, compared to 13% for a second runway at Gatwick. Just 13% think the best option would be to do nothing.
Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said:
“More and more people are backing Heathrow as the best solution for the UK hub capacity crisis. The countries Britain needs to trade with are changing fast and only a hub airport can provide direct access to these markets.
“There is growing momentum and support for a third runway at Heathrow. This week alone, Britain’s biggest business organisation – the CBI – has come out in support of a hub airport; the Airports Commission has said that it recognises the need for a hub airport but has ruled out a new airport in the Thames Estuary; and now this poll shows MPs back a third runway at Heathrow as the best solution for the UK.”
On Monday, the CBI described the UK’s lack of hub capacity as a “ticking time bomb” and said that UK business wants action and politicians to commit to spades in the ground by the end of the next Parliament. They published research showing that while all airports have a role to play in growing the UK’s connectivity, not all airports play the same role. The track record shows that it tends to be hub airports that deliver the new connections to emerging markets that we desperately need.
Notes to editors
Detail of polling questions
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Having a successful hub airport is critical to the UK’s future economic success
Base: All MPs asked (95), summer 2014
Thinking once more about hub airport capacity. Of these options, which ONE do you think is the BEST option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK?
A third runway at Heathrow
A new Thames Estuary airport
A second runway at Gatwick
Lengthening one of the runways at Heathrow
Do nothing / Use existing airports
Base: All MPs asked (95), summer 2014
And in your opinion, how likely or unlikely would each of the following options be to get parliamentary approval?
A third runway at Heathrow
Base: All MPs who think a third runway at Heathrow would be the best option for solving hub airport capacity (55), summer 2014
Fieldwork dates: 9 June – 6 August, 2014.
143 MPs were interviewed (58 Conservatives, 66 Labour, 15 Liberal Democrats and 4 from other parties).
An initial sample of 421 MPs were contacted to ensure that those interviewed closely represent the profile of the House of Commons.
Interviews were conducted face-to-face.
The total sample interviewed is closely representative of the House. Based on those asked each question, data have been individually weighted where necessary to reflect the true balance by party and ministerial or spokesperson position.
Sometimes the percentage result for “Total MPs” may be greater than the sum of the percentage results for Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, as it also includes results from other parties. Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories.
Heathrow hails Ipsos MORI survey but protest group HACAN says the shortage of politicians responding means it counts for little
Nearly three in five MPs back a third runway at Heathrow, according to the results of a new poll.
Of the MPs responding to Ipsos MORI’s summer survey, published yesterday (Sunday, September 8), 58 per cent said they supported a new landing strip at Heathrow.
That was more than four times as many as the 13 per cent who said a second runway at Gatwick was the best option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK.
Of the remainder, eight per cent supported a Thames estuary airport, which waslast week ruled out by the Airports Commission , four per cent wanted a longer northern runway at Heathrow and 13 per cent said no action was needed. The other four per cent said they didn’t know.
Of those backing a third runway, 91 per cent said they thought it would get parliamentary approval.
Heathrow today hailed the findings of the summer survey, which sought MPs’ views on a wide range of issues, claiming it ‘exploded the myth’ a third runway was politically undeliverable.
The airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye, said: “There is growing momentum and support for a third runway at Heathrow. This week alone, Britain’s biggest business organisation – the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) – has come out in support of a hub airport; the Airports Commission has said it recognises the need for a hub airport but has ruled out a new airport in the Thames Estuary; and now this poll shows MPs back a third runway at Heathrow as the best solution for the UK.”
However, anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group HACAN said the poll counted for little as only 143 MPs, or just over a fifth of the 650 sitting in parliament, had responded.
HACAN chairman John Stewart said: “Very little can be read into this poll. Only 143 out of 650 MPs were polled. Of those that were asked just 84 supported Heathrow expansion. That is far from a groundswell of support for a third runway.”
The group said people had been queuing up to show their support for the protest group at yesterday’s Brentford Festival , where it had a stall. A map at the stall showed the predicted flight path for a third runway passing over the centre of Brentford.
Hounslow’s two MPs, Seema Malhotra and Mary Macleod, have both said they are opposed to a third runway at Heathrow.
The Liberal Democrats have launched their Pre-Manifesto 2014, and it contains an emphatic statement against any new runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted – and no estuary airport. Their policy: “Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK as a whole by prohibiting the opening of any new runways unless others are closed elsewhere.” It is thought that this position will not be popular with big business, which wants expanded airport, and ever increasing aviation – with little consideration for the climate impacts.
This is the text, relating to runways, from the Lib Dem Pre-Manifesto 2014:
“Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK as a whole by prohibiting the opening of any new runways unless others are closed elsewhere.”
Nick Clegg rules out London air expansion plans
Kate McCann (City AM)
9th September 2014
LIBERAL Democrat leader Nick Clegg has ruled out airport expansion in London if his party is elected in 2015.
Launching the party’s draft manifesto yesterday, Clegg vowed to oppose any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick, as well as a new airport in the Thames Estuary because of air and noise pollution. The party is also against any net increase in the number of runways across the UK. The plans will cause concern among business leaders, who have been calling for airport expansion in London for years. On Monday, the Confederation of British Industry called the lack of capacity a “ticking time bomb”.
“We’ve learnt our lesson from tuition fees – and we’ve learnt it the hard way. There will be no repeat of that mistake,” the Lib Dem leader promised, adding that 75 per cent of his party’s previous manifesto pledges were successfully negotiated into the coalition agreement.
The manifesto includes around 300 pledges, some more controversial than others. Plans to move towards the legalisation of some drugs for personal use is a key proposal, as well as a plan to build 300,000 new homes a year and 10 new garden cities.
This manifesto commitment means, in effect, the LibDems would veto the expansion of any airport – whether Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted – during the next parliament if the Lib Dems formed part of another coalition government.
The Lib Dems have arrived at their position after a lengthy debate, on the basis of the impact of aviation on climate change and the effect of Heathrow’s expansion on voters in southwest London. The party has several seats in the area including Twickenham and Kingston & Surbiton and has previously held Richmond.
Before the 2010 election Nick Clegg warned: “A 3rd runway at Heathrow would be a disaster for the local area as well as a disaster for the whole country.”
There is thought to be some opposition to the no-runways position, within the party, from MPs who believe (rightly or wrongly) that planes will become “cleaner and quieter”. The reality is that planes will become very slightly more fuel efficient, and very slightly less noisy, but not enough to make much difference, and these improvements will be cancelled out by growth in air traffic.
Many LibDems are stuck between a desire to be environmentally responsible, and the ever-present push for economic growth, regardless of its consequences. One said: “I believe Lib Dem’s ambitions for a greener future must also fit with our vision for a stronger economy and a fairer society – and that means looking for opportunities for growth across the whole country. …. We don’t yet know how technology will improve air travel: carbon emissions may fall faster or slower than currently predicted, and our policy response must be flexible to accommodate the evidence as it emerges. . . There is a real chance we risk prejudicing decades of growth by nailing down excessively restrictive plans for airport growth now.”
The Lib Dems said at the time of the interim report from the Airports Commission in December 2013 that they were “not opposed in principle” to new runways in the south east.
But they are now back to opposing runways, in the so-called “pre-manifesto.”
Lib Dem MP Lorely Burt defies party over runway extensions
She is to take on activists who want future governments to allow “no net growth” in runways, in a debate at the party’s conference in October.
The runway ban is to be included in the party’s pre-manifesto, launched by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.
This is an early draft of the General Election manifesto for next year’s poll.
It is due to be debated at the conference, to be held in Glasgow, where policy proposals will be put to a vote.
Ms Burt, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, is to propose an amendment to strike out the ban and highlight the importance of airports outside London for regional jobs and growth.
However, she is likely to face opposition from activists who argue that preventing new runways will protect the environment.
Writing for the Birmingham Post, Ms Burt said the Lib Dems’ ambitions for a greener future “must also fit with our vision for a stronger economy and a fairer society”.
“It would be short-sighted of us to rule out new routes for airlines offering a chance to explore new markets and encourage investment,” she added.
“There is a real chance we risk prejudicing decades of growth by nailing down excessively restrictive plans for airport growth now.”
Birmingham Airport last year published plans to build a second runway, allowing it to expand into a truly global airport capable of dealing with 70 million passengers each year – as many as Heathrow handles now.
The proposals were submitted to the Airports Commission addressing a shortage of capacity in the UK.
The commission last year decided not to shortlist proposals for expanding Birmingham but said there was likely to be a case for considering the airport as a potential option for expansion by 2050.
Under the plans submitted to the commission, the airport would also have an additional terminal and see up to 500,000 take-offs and landings annually.
The plan has a heavyweight coalition behind it, with business leaders, local councils and MPs all firmly on board including MP Mark Garnier (Con Wyre Forest), Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group.
An Aviation Commission set up by the Government is considering whether to allow a new runway at Heathrow or at Gatwick Airport.
Birmingham Airport has urged the commission to give a greater role to airports in other parts of the country.
HACAN has proudly launched a new local newspaper, called “Third Runway News,” a new publication which provides residents of west London, east Berkshire and north Surrey with the facts about what an expanded Heathrow Airport would mean for them. It is 4 pages in full colour, illustrated – link at Third Runway News. HACAN is a residents-led campaign, and by contrast with the millions of ££s that Heathrow airport has for its publicity, benefits from the work of local volunteers. The new newspaper has been designed by a local HACAN member, not by a hugely expensive professional design company. The paper asks people to get in touch to say which of the many impacts of a 3rd runway they are most concerned about. These include noise pollution, air pollution, increased car traffic, loss of their home – or loss of the value of their home, or impacts on children and schools from aircraft noise. Meanwhile Heathrow airport have massive adverts, containing extravagant claims for “benefits” of a 3rd runway, (with no supporting evidence), such as “120,000 more jobs” and “£100 billion of economic benefits (not time-scale indicated)” and “loss of £125 billion per month in last trade” for every month without the new runway. Really??
HACAN to distribute 50,000 newspapers outlining reasons why a 3rd Heathrow runway should not be built
HACAN has proudly launched Third Runway News, a new publication providing residents of west London, east Berkshire and north Surrey with the facts about what an expanded Heathrow Airport would mean for them.
HACAN is a residents-led campaign and indeed this newspaper was designed by one of our local members, not by a hugely expensive professional design company. HACAN relies on donations and membership fees to fund our activities.
Unlike some other campaign organisations, we are not bankrolled by Heathrow Airport!
Whether it is noise pollution, air pollution or increased traffic, there are plenty of reasons why a third runway should never be allowed to take off. This newspaper explains why.
Find your village or town in the yellow banner running across the top of each page and spread the word around your neighbourhood today!
For much more information on our campaign and activities, email us on email@example.com
[HACAN = Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise]
Prime Economics: “Out of thin air – the economic case for a 3rd Heathrow runway” – takes apart the claims made by Heathrow
September 6, 2014
Prime Economics, a group of independent economic thinkers, has taken a look at Heathrow’s claims about the economic case for a 3rd runway. They are not impressed. While Heathrow (see its latest advert) says: “If we want Britain’s economy to keep growing, we need to grow Heathrow”, the reality is very different. Among Heathrow’s dodgy 3rd runway economic claims, they say: “• It will bring economic benefits of £100bn • It will bring 120,000 new jobs • Every month the problem goes unresolved is costing the British economy £1.25bn through lost trade”. Prime Economics says “the evidence for each of these is very thin and hypothetical …. The link between trade and airport capacity is at best indirect, and certainly opaque. At a macroeconomic level, the impact is simply invisible.” They say “Economies depend on many factors, and hub capacity is one of the least significant, at least once you reach a decent threshold of scale.” They pick to pieces the £1.25 billion figure; the idea that the UK needs flights to every destination in every country; and the hub competition between EU countries. “The current debate assumes exponential growth both of our economies and of our travel into the indefinite future. This will not happen … Airports …are not the main drivers of economic success nor of national well-being.” Well worth reading.
In a blog, the Carbon Brief has a look at the climate and environmental impacts of the expansion plans by London’s airports. Leaving aside the noise and other impacts, and looking here just at carbon, it is clear that there is an issue. While UK aviation makes up some 6% of just CO2 emissions, under the current system by which aviation is not required to cut its emissions by 2050, UK aviation will then make up about 25% of UK carbon emitted. The UK is required to cut its overall carbon emissions by 80% of their 1990 level, by 2050. Aviation just needs to keep its emissions to 37.5 megatonnes – which was about the level in 2005. As long as the rest of the economy decarbonises very intensively, aviation could keep its very generous allocation. But that means not going above 37.5 Mt. A report in July, by AEF, showed that it would be likely that an additional new runway would contribute some 8.2Mt of CO2 per year, making meeting the 37.5 Mt target “effectively impossible”. It would require air travel at regional airports to be reduced, which apart from contradicting regional development policies would be”politically very difficult to implement and have significant economic consequences.”
Blog by The Carbon Brief
Assessing the climate and environment impact of London’s airport plans
This morning the Airport Commission dismissed Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s proposal for a new hub airport in the Thames estuary. With remaining options for expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick what are the potential climate and environmental impacts of each?
The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, recommended adding a second runway to south east England by 2030, with the possibility of another by 2050.
In December 2013, the Commission shortlisted three options for the first additional runway in its Interim Report – a second runway at Gatwick, a third runway at Heathrow or an extension to the second runway at Heathrow (so it operates like two).
Any expansion of airport capacity will lead to more flights and more passengers, and increase carbon emissions from aviation.
At the moment aviation makes up around 5% of the UK’s emissions – around 33.3 megatonnes (Mt) of carbon a year in 2011. [More like 6.5% in reality]. Under the Climate Change Act, the UK must reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels. That would mean we emitted no more than 160 Mt of carbon per year in 2050.
The Committee on Climate Change suggests that to stay under this limit, carbon emissions from flights will need to be no more than 37.5Mt per year. At that level aviation would use up just under a quarter of the UK’s carbon budget in 2050.
So can airports expand and stay within this level?
Research from the think tank Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) suggests not. Their analysis found that a new runway – wherever it is situated – would contribute an additional 8.2 Mt of carbon emissions, making meeting the 37.5 Mt target “effectively impossible”. [AEF report “The Implications of South East Expansion for Regional Airports” is available for download here.]
The study, funded by the WWF, developed future scenarios of emissions based on aviation forecasts from the Department for Transport. It found that in order to build a new runway and still meet the 37.5 Mt target, air travel at regional airports would need to be reduced. This, the study concluded, would be “politically very difficult to implement and have significant economic consequences.”
Other environmental impacts
Heathrow has been a victim of its own success. An extra runway would make this huge airport even bigger, exacerbating local environmental challenges. The air quality around Heathrow, for example, is consistently worse than the standards required by the EU. Heathrow’s most recent proposal suggests more frequent rail links and a congestion charge to discourage passengers from using their cars.
Noise is also a significant issue. A study commissioned by the Mayor of London found that a third runway at Heathrow would increase the number of people affected by aircraft noise by over 300,000 – to over a million.
Solutions such as steeper flight paths, no-flight periods and paying for insulation are proposed to manage the problem. Failing that, the airport says it will provide compensation to those affected.
Change in patterns of air noise with additional runways at Heathrow. Heathrow Airport July 2013
Heathrow is also on Greenbelt land, but the 2003 government White Paper on Aviation had already decided that: “the benefits [of expansion] would outweigh the environmental impact as long as the effects were properly controlled.”
Gatwick would face many of the same issues as Heathrow, albeit to a lesser degree as it is a smaller airport. But it’s also located in a more rural area. A study commissioned by West Sussex County Council found that a new runway would require 30,000 to 45,000 new homes to be built in the area. Gatwick’s largest nearby town is currently Crawley, with a population of around 40,000.
‘Boris Island’ is the most famous of the airport expansion proposals, with the Mayor putting forward plans for a hub airport to be built in either the inner or outer Thames estuary. Its drawbacks were well documented – not least a potential cost of £120 billion and the likely impacts on important habitats in the area.
But a hub airport in the inner estuary did have some appeal to the Airport Commission, particularly for the potential to “reduce aviation noise impacts in the South East of England.”
Other options – such as expansion of Stansted or Birmingham airport – were also discounted in the Commission’s Interim Report, primarily because those airports will not be operating at capacity for many years.
With the Commission expected to make its final decision next summer, this leaves three options in two locations.
But with vocal advocates and opposition for each, it appears for the moment that the effect any new runway would have on the UK’s carbon targets has been lost amongst the noise.
The key findings of the AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) report are:
Building a new runway in the South East would in practice mean that airport capacity elsewhere would need to be reduced in order for UK aviation to keep within carbon limits required by the Climate Change Act. This could involve closure of a number of regional airports.
Government policy, however, supports the growth of regional airports, and official forecasts anticipate that they will grow by over 200% between now and 2050. Many airports in fact consider Government figures to be conservative. With politicians from all main parties having made commitments to supporting regional economic growth, capping or reducing aviation activity outside the South East would therefore require very significant hurdles to be overcome.
By contrast, with full utilisation of current airport capacity, it would be challenging but
achievable to keep aviation emissions to a level compatible with the Climate Change Act.
The Summary of the AEF report states:
Capping capacity may not at first glance appear the ideal solution to the aviation emissions
challenges. Indeed the fact that emissions are forecast to exceed the 2050 target even without increasing runway capacity demonstrates that other measures – such as MBMs, taxes, carbon efficiency incentives, or a moratorium on any new planning permissions or terminal expansions – would need to be implemented even if no new runways were built in order to bring emissions down to the required level.
But as we argued in our 2011 analysis for WWF, we believe that while challenging, the 37.5 Mt tonne target is – with a committed focus on making best use of existing airport capacity – achievable. With a new runway, by contrast, it would be effectively impossible.
Our airport capacity scenarios illustrate how difficult it would be to constrain demand to a target compatible level if a new runway were to be built. The fact that the 37.5 Mt target would be breached even if regional airports were prevented from increasing their passenger throughput from today’s levels (for example using powers available to the Secretary of State under the Civil Aviation Act) suggests that achieving the climate target while building a new South East runway would require an overall reduction in activity at regional airports.
Not only would this be politically very difficult to implement and have significant economic consequences, it would also run directly counter to the Government’s support for regional airport growth set out in the 2013 Aviation Policy
The Guardian, in an editorial, says Boris is insisting his estuary airport scheme is “not dead” at all, because in the end it will not be for the Airports Commission to decide, but the next government. In which, of course, he intends to play a major part . The Guardian remembers that the main issue is the deeper environmental damage done by the CO2 belched out by jet engines, which regrettably seems to have been dropped from the political equation. While the UK should be discussing the sort of economic growth we want, instead policy appears to boil down to “planning for rising demand” so anyone who wants to fly can. And cheaply. Allowing airport expansion in the south east will require restrictions on the growth of northern airports, which does not fit with regional policy, or by making reductions of unrealistic depth in other economic sectors. And of course, most air travel is holidaying. “The economics do not dictate that fast projected growth in air travel must be taken as a given: it ought to be possible to manage demand instead. …. there is no easy way to [manage demand] without keeping a lid on capacity. Instead, however, Westminster indulges passengers and airlines with the old lie: the sky’s the limit.”
Mr Johnson’s estuary proposal, as it is never described, has loomed large in the aviation debate, despite its abject lack of seriousness. London’s mayor put forward an entirely new airport on the Isle of Grain, which would cost five to 10 times as much as expanding Heathrow. The technocratic Airports Commission were bound to reject it, although they chickened out of quite saying so to Boris Johnson last year, agreeing to give his pet project one final look, even as they dropped it from the shortlist. Yesterday, adding new arguments about birdlife and the sheer dislocation of moving the capital’s main airport 70 miles to their original cost concerns, they finally gave the formal thumbs down.
Mr Johnson was having none of it – insisting his scheme was “not dead” at all, because in the end it will not be for Sir Howard Davies and his commissioners to decide, but instead for the next government. As he plots his move from City Hall over to the Uxbridge parliamentary constituency, close to Heathrow, if the dismal environmental legacy of his mayoralty isn’t weighing on him, deep resentment about air traffic noise across the west and south-west of the metropolis assuredly is. A Conservative party that absorbed painful London losses in May will not recover in the capital without rebuilding in these areas of historic strength. Attention could yet turn away from the two proposals for a bigger Heathrow, and towards expanding Gatwick in true-blue Sussex. The stage is set for dull debates about “hub economics” and the feasibility of one city hosting two different sites at which the world disembarks, buys some lunch and a magazine, then clambers on to another plane.
The question of where is drowning out the question of whether bigger London airports are desirable. Amid the sound and fury over noise, the deeper environmental damage done by the carbon belched out by jet engines has dropped out of the equation. Just a few years ago, at the depth of the Great Recession, Ed Miliband tried (and for the most part failed) to resist Heathrow expansion while inside the Labour government, and in opposition David Cameron made green play of making a stand against. Today a recovering economy ought to permit more discussion about the sort of growth we want, but policy appears to boil down to “planning for rising demand”.
The argument may have fallen silent, and yet the implications of unresting climate science grow ever closer. As the melting of the Greenland ice sheet picks up pace, those solemn promises of an 80% cut in emissions by 2050 could be rendered entirely hollow by aviation. Yes, increased efficiency may do some good, as may biofuels. It is true, too, that some of the immediate additional climate-changing costs of flying could be easier to reverse than the fundamental damage done by the carbon, which makes it tricky to be precise about the numbers. But then not much precision is required, since the only carbon price that bites on air tickets at all comes from the emissions trading system. It bites only on European flights, and some experts say it currently leaves carbon 100 times cheaper than it will eventually need to be.
Without gripping aviation in the south-east, Britain could probably only hit its green ambitions by restricting northern airports, which hardly fits with regional policy, or by making reductions of unrealistic depth in other sectors. The biggest chunk of air travel is holidaying, where the net effect is always to deepen the current account deficit with sunnier parts of the world. In the Skype age, the proportion of flyers on business trips has been in decline, and with high-speed rail in prospect, internal flights could become entirely superfluous.
The economics do not dictate that fast projected growth in air travel must be taken as a given: it ought to be possible to manage demand instead. But given Europe’s broken carbon market, there is no easy way to do that without keeping a lid on capacity. Instead, however, Westminster indulges passengers and airlines with the old lie: the sky’s the limit.
There are many comments below the article, many sensible:
Below is one comment:
“I am afraid this is no longer the choice. We can keep flying, which I agree we very much want to do, and help tip climate change into a completely uncontrollable state (if we have not already) or we can come to the realities presented by physics and economics that say that aircraft that are green enough to really make a difference are no where near being developed and they certainly are not even on the horizon as far as broad acceptance and use. This pipe-dream technological optimism that you and others put forward is dangerous in that keeps us from really taking a good look at the sustainability of the now globally dominant economic/political model.
“Jet flight is one of the surest indicators that global capitalism is completely unsustainable. The fact that this insanely energy/carbon intensive mode of travel is so necessary to perpetuate this economic model should cause everyone to pause and contemplate if jet flight (along with other behaviorus) is really worth the kind of world run-away climate change will leaver us with.”
Jumping on the back of the Thames Estuary airport media bandwagon, Let Britain Fly have launched their public pledge campaign to give the “silent majority” they claim are apparently in support of airport expansion a voice in the run up to the 2015 election. They have put out a public pledge that they want “thousands of people” to sign, asking for more runways and more airport capacity, so everyone can continue to go on lots of holidays, by plane. They are asking that all the political parties commit to build more runway capacity in their 2015 election manifestos. They are also asking that there is a Parliamentary vote on airport expansion in 2016, at the latest. Let Britain Fly has obtained statements in support of its claims from various business people, such as the MD of Harrods (which naturally gets a lot of high spending tourists), and Mace (a construction company – no vested interest there). Lots on the mantra of “jobs and growth.” Let Britain Fly and their backers appear oblivious to the fact that the Airports Commission is only considering one runway at most, not runways. They also ignore the inconvenient fact that most air travel is for leisure, and only a small proportion could be deemed to be boosting business links.
Let Britain Fly say:
It’s time to Let Britain Fly.
Before the next general election we urge the three main party leaders to immediately acknowledge the need for more air capacity, commit to finding a cross-party solution to modernise our airport infrastructure; and in their manifestos commit to be guided by what the Airports Commission recommends for the long-term; pledging to maintain, protect and enhance Britain’s status as a global aviation hub.
BUSINESS LEADERS CALL ON PUBLIC TO ‘SPEAK OUT’ ON NEW RUNWAYS
2.9.2014 (Press Release by pressure lobby “Let Britain Fly”)
Leaders of some of Britain’s biggest firms have made an appeal to the public, calling on
them to sign a pledge demanding politicians back new runways in London and the South
A recent survey by the Office of National Statistics showed a majority (59%) of the British
public support the construction of new runways, and the Let Britain Fly Pledge, which was
launched today, aims to give this “silent majority” a voice in the national debate.
[Note: what Let Britain Fly is quoting is an ONS survey, which shows on Page 9 which shows 59% agree (45% not strongly) that: “People should be allowed to travel by plane as much as they want to, even if new terminals or runways are needed to meet demand.” The same chart shows that only 28% agree that: “People should be allowed to travel by plane as much as they want to, even if it harms the environment.” 70% disagreed, 9% strongly. Of the 28% who agreed, only 3% agreed strongly. The exact question details, phrasing etc, are not known. See graphic from ONS survey below. AirportWatch].
Let Britain Fly press release (cont):
The business leaders, including the heads of Harrods, international manufacturer Kesslers, construction giant Mace, property firm SEGRO, and global law firm Linklaters, urged the British public to speak out on the issue, which they say is crucial to supporting future jobs and growth in the UK.
The Let Britain Fly Pledge aims to put pressure on the leaders of the UK’s political parties,
calling on them to:
1. Make a public pledge to build more runway capacity and commit to this in their 2015 election manifestos 2. Ensure a Parliamentary vote on airports expansion in 2016 at the latest.
Using email and social media in the run-up to the election, the campaign aims to engage
hundreds of thousands of people across the country ahead of the release of the Airports
Commission’s final recommendations next summer.
In the coming months the campaign will also criss-cross the country, staging a roadshow of events in, Newcastle, Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Liverpool and will have a high-profile presence at the forthcoming party political conferences in Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Gavin Hayes, Director, Let Britain Fly, said:
“It’s not just a short-list of options we need, but the political will to do something – without
cross party commitment none of these proposals will get past the drawing board, that’s why we are urging the public to speak out on the need for vital new runways.
“Often in the public debate on airports expansion we hear loudly the concerns of those
people who are against; Let Britain Fly now wants to create the space and opportunity for
the ‘silent majority’ of people who are in favour of expansion to also have their say.
“The evidence suggests that a majority supports airports expansion, and understands the
need to support jobs and growth across the country. Today we are giving them a chance to
speak out on this important issue by signing the Let Britain Fly Pledge and demonstrating to politicians that voters think this issue is of national importance.”
Michael Ward, Managing Director of Harrods, said:
“Harrods attracts visitors from around the world. But changes in the global economy mean
we need to reach out to new markets which complement our existing links. That’s why we
have been vocal in the debate over airport expansion.
“But this is not a decision for British business. The Government should be listening to the
public, and the evidence suggests that a silent majority support airport expansion. We urge
those people to ensure their voice is heard on this vital issue and sign the Let Britain Fly
George Kessler, Director of Kesslers International, said:
“My competitors in Germany, France and Holland have a huge advantage in being able to
get to China (where face to face contact is an essential part of doing business) at short
notice and more easily than I. (sic) In addition they suffer from fewer delays. The issues with second rate air connectivity are stymying the growth potential of our economy. The need for new runways is urgent and our politicians need to show clear leadership on this issue and not hide behind the genuine difficulties of making a decision.
“The British public need to take their opportunity to have their say on this issue which will
seriously affect the availability of employment and jobs for both them and their children.”
Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive, Mace, said:
“If the UK and particularly London is to meet our growth challenges and remain a leading
world city, our airports must have the capacity to meet these demands. The construction
industry has the capacity to deliver infrastructure projects much quicker. Together with
government assistance, and the airport owners and operators, we can meet the demands
ahead of the current envisaged schedule and stimulate the economy by increasing
employment and investment in to the UK.”
David Sleath, Chief Executive Officer, SEGRO, said:
“Global connectivity is vital to the success of the British economy. Many of our customers
operate internationally, moving people and products around the world by air. That is why we
urgently need politicians to deliver new runways [Note: they never say one runway, which is what the Commission is looking at. There is no question, for decades, of more than one runway] to allow businesses to directly access new and emerging overseas markets.
“With better international connectivity, the UK will attract further investment that will
safeguard and create new jobs. Additional runway capacity really matters, because
fundamentally it’s about UK jobs and economic prosperity. [Note: these comments disregard the inconvenient fact that most air travel is for leisure purposes, and expansion will be used for increasing numbers of cheap holidays].
“In the run-up to the election more people should join with us in speaking out and ensuring
their voice is heard.”
Robert Elliott, Chairman and Senior Partner, Linklaters, said:
“Britain has been a powerhouse of global trade for centuries, not least due to the UK’s
connectivity with international business and financial centres. Global firms such as Linklaters which serve clients throughout the world benefit from good airport connections, and these play a key role in helping to maintain London’s status as arguably the world’s leading legal centre
“As other countries continue to build major airport hubs, competition for London is
intensifying, underscoring the pressing need for a comprehensive and actionable UK
aviation strategy to assure the UK’s future competitiveness within the global economy. With
airport capacity saturation just around the corner now is the time to seek the widest possible input and make decisions built on the widest possible consensus.”
FOR FURTHER COMMENT / TO ARRANGE MEDIA INTERVIEWS PLEASE CALL:
GAVIN HAYES – 07900 195591 Notes – Text of the Let Britain Fly Pledge (also available at letbritainfly.com):
“Let Britain Fly is campaigning for politicians of all parties to make a public commitment to build vital new runways. For years, politicians have failed to make a decision, leaving British businesses and passengers grounded, while other countries are taking off. A positive, bold decision to build more runways would support British trade and tourism, giving everyone the opportunity to travel the world, whilst generating future jobs and growth.
The leaders of the UK’s main political parties must: 1.Make a public pledge to build more runway capacity and commit to this in their 2015 election manifestos 2. Ensure a parliamentary vote on airports expansion in 2016 at the latest.
I call on my Member of Parliament to sign this Pledge and to ask Ministers to do the same.”
– Let Britain Fly is an independent campaign coalition whose founding statement has already attracted support from more than 100 senior business leaders from Britain’s top companies, trade and professional associations, unions and educational institutions, along with organisations including the British Chambers of Commerce, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, London First, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Hospitality Association.
– ‘Public experiences of and attitudes towards air travel 2014’ taken from the Office for National Statistics ‘Opinions and Lifestyle Survey’ can be downloaded in full from:
With Heathrow already having about 15 Airbus A380 planes using the airport each day,there has now been time to see how they fit in. An article in Aviation Week & Space Technology sets out some of the problems caused by the A380 on account of its size, and the consequent limitations on proximity of planes following it, due to increased turbulence. Aviation Week says senior NATS air traffic controllers say the biggest impact comes from the spacing requirement for the aircraft, which is in the “super” wake vortex category. As an A380 departs, it requires up to 3 minutes of spacing between it and the next aircraft if it is a smaller narrow-body type, such as an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737. Greater distances between traffic are also required on approach, with minimum separation for a “heavy” category aircraft such as a Boeing 747 behind an A380 of 6 nautical miles, while medium-size aircraft up to the Boeing 757 have to keep a 7 nm. separation and smaller aircraft 8 nm. There are also problems as the A380 has a relatively high runway occupancy time, and while a Boeing 747 can take 45 seconds, A380s are taking around 65 seconds on the runway. And so on.
A380 Continues To Pose Challenges For Heathrow
The A380 was tapped to help capacity-strapped airports, but could it end up hurting them?
If Airbus chief salesman John Leahy had to pick one airport to demonstrate the need for a large aircraft such as the A380, he would certainly pick London Heathrow: dense, high-yield traffic flows and severe capacity limitations. But increasing A380 operations at Heathrow also show more operational challenges that could emerge at other legacy airports, too.
Some 15 A380s operate into Heathrow daily. Emirates flies A380s on all five of its daily London-Dubai rotations, while Singapore Airlines uses the type on three of its four daily flights. And the number looks set to rise, with British Airways taking delivery of more A380s in the coming months, to be joined by Qatar Airways and Etihad in October and December, respectively.
Operations at capacity-constrained Heathrow Airport were considered a key market for the Airbus A380, but its increasing use may be affecting airport efficiency. Credit: Heathrow Airport LTD
But ever-increasing A380 operations at Heathrow could also potentially have a negative impact on what is the world’s busiest two-runway international airport, suggest officials from the U.K.’s air navigation service provider, NATS.
Senior NATS air traffic controllers say the biggest impact comes from the spacing requirement for the aircraft, which is in the “super” wake vortex category. As an A380 departs, it requires up to 3 min. of spacing between it and the next aircraft if—as it often is at Heathrow—it is a smaller narrowbody type, such as an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737.
Because the airport routinely operates at around 99% of its runway capacity, the 3-min. hold time before the aircraft behind the A380 can depart can have a significant impact on the number of aircraft that can use the runway per hour.
Greater distances between traffic are also required on approach. According to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines, minimum separation for a “heavy” category aircraft such as a Boeing 747 behind an A380 is 6 nm., two more than behind another 747. The restrictions only apply below 10,000 ft. Medium-size aircraft up to the Boeing 757 have to keep a 7 nm. separation and smaller aircraft eight.
Heathrow aims for around 42-44 movements or departures per hour and runway, but if that figure dips below 36, operations managers may not be able to fit the day’s schedule into one day, affecting the airport’s hub operations.
Significant impacts are also felt with the A380’s relatively high runway occupancy time (ROT)—for landing run and taxi-off—as well as line-up (for takeoff) times (LUT).
According to Jon Proudlove, NATS general manager at Heathrow, Boeing 747s can take around 45 sec. to taxi onto the runway and line up ready for departure, but A380s are taking around 65 sec. A Heathrow report on A380 operations states that on one occasion, it took an A380 as long as 111 sec. to line up on runway 27L.
“Heathrow operates on a knife edge,” says Proudlove. “The impact of these aircraft nibbles away at runway capacity. “By 2030 we expect to handle up to 60 A380s a day, but there is no plan for that, we can’t plan for that,” he says.
With 104 weekly A380 flights, Heathrow handles the second-most A380 flights worldwide. Because Emirates’ fleet of 50 A380s is based in Dubai, that airport is the busiest for the type, with 297 weekly departures. Dubai is exceptional, as a lot of the latest airport infrastructure investments have been planned around A380 operations—Emirates even operates into an A380-dedicated terminal. The airport also underwent runway and taxiway upgrades this year that allowed smoother operations, but they were not directly linked to A380 services.
What Heathrow is facing today could well look like a glimpse into some of the future issues faced at other airports seeing increasing numbers of A380s. Singapore has 104 and Paris Charles de Gaulle 94 weekly flights; Frankfurt has 76 (and Emirates is adding a daily roundtrip this week); Seoul Incheon 75 and Los Angeles International 70. Sydney has 47 weekly A380 flights. The level of current issues is different at these locations, however. Charles de Gaulle generally has ample runway capacity and continues to add terminal space. Frankfurt opened a fourth runway and therefore has more capacity than it currently needs, its limits are dictated by passenger terminal constraints. And A380 operations have already been taken into account in Seoul Incheon’s planning process.
Mainly because of its space constraints, Los Angeles International (LAX) is probably another really challenging case and could prove to become even more difficult in the future.
There are several approaches to mitigating the A380’s impact. In theory, with more A380s operating into Heathrow, the aircraft could be grouped on departure, allowing an A380 to leave after another A380 within a minute or so, but opportunities to do this are few and far between.
NATS and the airport authorities have been working with the airlines on reducing the ROT and LUT times and NATS says performance is significantly enhanced by the use of Airbus’s Brake To Vacate (BTV) system.
According to Airbus, nine of the current 11 A380 operators have picked BTV comparable with smaller narrowbody types. Airbus Test Pilot Jean-Michel Roy says airlines that have chosen BTV routinely use it, but runway occupancy times for Heathrow landings suggest that pilots may not consistently apply it. And only three of the five A380 operators flying to Heathrow have BTV installed.
The system functions when the aircraft is in autoland mode. BTV tells the pilots on the primary flight display where the earliest possible position on the runway will be during dry or wet conditions, and with a preselected deceleration rate in place. The crew can then select an exit after that position and BTV will automatically decelerate the aircraft in the most efficient way to a taxi speed of 10 kt., at which point pilots will take full manual control again. According to Roy, airlines can therefore reduce runway occupancy time from around 90 to 60 sec.
Once pilots prepare BTV during the approach, the computer will tell them the expected ROT. The crew can therefore tell air traffic control in advance how much time it expects will be needed until the aircraft has left the runway again. Airbus argues this will make it easier for ATC to plan spacing in the arrival pattern.
Airbus also has been working with ICAO to re-address the minimum separation criteria put in place for the A380. The latest round of flight tests—involving several smaller aircraft types flying behind A380s at various angles, speeds and other changing conditions—took place in 2010, and working groups are still assessing the data. Airbus has been trying to persuade authorities to move the A380 back into the “heavy” category from its own “super-heavy” definition. The outcome of those talks and the timing of any conclusions is still unclear.
A380 Product Marketing Director Thomas Burger claims that if air traffic control manages to group A380 arrivals, even under the current ICAO regulations A380s increase runway capacity because the restrictions do not apply when one A380 follows another and because of their high passenger capacity.
Space and taxiway limitations can make ground operations more difficult for the aircraft. At Heathrow a major issue is that significant sections of the taxiway system linking Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 on the north side of the airport is not ICAO Code F-compliant, making it unavailable for use by the A380 because of its 79.75- meter (261-ft.) wingspan.
As a result, A380s landing on the northern runways—09L or 27R—can only vacate the runway at two intersections, forcing ground controllers to take the aircraft on lengthy routes around the airfield to reach their stands. Use of the northern taxiways will only be possible once Terminal 1 and its associated piers have been demolished to make way for the new Heathrow East development, part of which is already complete with the construction of the new Terminal 2.
For operators using Terminal 4 on the south side of the airport, such as Malaysian Airlines, A380 operations are complicated by the fact that only a small triangle of the taxiway which links the front of the terminal to the southern runway is currently Code F-compliant.
“The aircraft arrives on one of the world’s busiest runways and then has to cross it again in order to get to Terminal 4,” says Proudlove. On departure, these aircraft have to cross back over the runway again.
He adds that Qatar Airways and Etihad will face a similar issue when they begin A380 operations, as both airlines also use Terminal 4. The airport is making more parking stands A380 compatible as more are used into the airport.
In Los Angeles, similar restrictions apply for A380 ground operations. Not all taxiways and runway exits can be used and the aircraft generally have to be accompanied by ground vehicles during taxi to ensure no obstacles are hit. Even so, there have been several minor collisions. Airbus says it plans to use ADS-B data to monitor other aircraft traffic during taxi and show taxi clearances on the primary flight display in the future.
The CBI has produced a report, putting pressure on the Airports Commission (don’t they all…) to “deliver recommendations to solve the UK’s shortage of runway capacity and spark new connections with the export markets of tomorrow.” They want a huge hub airport with plenty of spare capacity to grow further, which allegedly is needed for economic growth. Part of the report’s title is “The Hub is the Nub.” They want a new runway soon, with spades in the ground by 2020. They then want a second new runway well before 2050. The report looks entirely, from a very narrow perspective, on growth of the economy. It looks only at business. The words tourism, leisure travel, holiday, carbon emissions, and climate change do not feature at all. Nor noise. It is written with heavy blinkers to realities outside business and continuous growth perspectives. Heathrow has interpreted it as backing their runway. The report does not in fact specify which airport they want; they just want two more runways, and what the hell with any other impacts or consequences. Perhaps they are not aware that the vast majority of UK flights are low cost, for holidays, leisure of visiting friends and family. By airlines that make little profit.
CBI press release about their report:
The UK must prioritise a single hub airport with spare capacity to support trade
Decision must support UK’s emerging market air links. Having a single UK hub with spare capacity to add new routes is critical to the UK’s long-term sustainable growth, according to a new CBI report.
With future export opportunities increasingly in emerging, high-growth economies, the CBI urges the Airports Commission to deliver recommendations to solve the UK’s shortage of runway capacity and spark new connections with the export markets of tomorrow.
Building on 2013 findings that demonstrate that eight new routes to emerging markets alone would generate as much as £1bn a year in trade, the report highlights that by drawing on both transfer passengers and local populations, hub airports are best placed to act as a catalyst for these new routes. Research by Steer Davies Gleave, for the CBI, shows that from a sample of 15 emerging markets, hub airports serve on average nearly three times as many destinations as point-to-point airports (27 to 8 destinations), while also delivering almost twice as many flights on the routes that are served – 1.5 daily flights from hubs on average, compared to 0.8 from point-to-point.
With the UK’s hub capacity at Heathrow already full, the UK is falling behind on direct flights to emerging markets. The report highlights that by drawing heavily on transfer passengers, the UK’s EU competitors with their own unconstrained capacity are creating connections to new destinations within the BRICS such as Xiamen in China and Recife in Brazil, as well as links to the major markets of the future, like Peru, Indonesia, Taipei and Chile.
Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
“The Chancellor has set businesses ambitious targets for increasing the UK’s exports, and there is simply no way of achieving these goals without upping our game in emerging markets.
“Our analysis last year demonstrated that connectivity is the lifeblood of trade, but it also highlighted that the UK is already falling behind, so every day we delay making a decision, makes matters worse.
“First and foremost, UK business wants action. There can be no more excuses – we need to see the Airports Commission deliver a strong case for new capacity and a clear schedule for delivery, and politicians to commit to spades in the ground by the end of the next Parliament.
“But this research shows that while all airports have a role to play in growing the UK’s connectivity, not all airports play the same role.
“While no-one can predict the future of air travel, the track record shows that it tends to be hub airports that deliver the new connections to emerging markets that we desperately need.
“With Heathrow full and the UK slipping behind in the race for new connectivity, it is essential that the Airports Commission delivers a solution that addresses the ticking time bomb of our lack of spare hub capacity.”
The research demonstrates that spare capacity is important because where a hub becomes constrained, airlines tend to focus on strengthening routes to markets that are already popular, rather than using transfer passengers to spark new routes.
This explains why the UK has done particularly well in growing new routes to emerging markets like India: with around 1.45 million people of Indian descent living in the UK, ground passenger demand is high. It also explains why the UK’s track record with China, Brazil and Russia has been much less impressive, with the UK ranking in 4th or 5th place when it comes to capturing a share of EU flights to these markets in the last 20 years.
Ms Hall said:
“Transfer passengers are the key ingredient that help make new routes thrive, but without spare capacity, they tend to get squeezed out.
“There is little appetite from business users to land at one airport in the south-east, collect baggage, clear customs and then travel to a dedicated long-haul airport.
“This means that if we are to spark new connections that drive trade, we need a solution that creates spare capacity at a single-site hub.”
The report warns however that the Airports Commission cannot afford to ignore the UK’s wider network of airports in its recommendations if maximum connectivity is to be achieved. As well as expanding the range of direct connections on offer across the UK, the report demonstrates that where competition exists on routes, airfares are significantly reduced. Using transatlantic flights as an example, the research shows that routes that are served by multiple airports at each side tend to be as much as £500 cheaper than those served by just one destination at each end.
As a result, the report warns that the Airports Commission must deliver a solution that injects competition for routes wherever possible, urging the Commission to deliver an action plan that boosts ground access infrastructure to airports across the UK, as well as kick-starting the process of deciding where a second new runway in the south-east might be required by 2050.
Ms Hall said:
“It’s not a case of either / or when it comes to improving hub capacity in the south-east or point-to-point connectivity across the UK.
“While a hub is key to getting new routes started, at that point where emerging market opportunity turns into established trading partner, we need the means to move quickly to win new business.
“A thriving network of point-to-point airports will deliver another major plus for business users – affordability. Where demand exists, we need to take action to support the development of direct links, injecting competition wherever possible.
“Figures show that if people can’t easily get to an airport, they won’t use it, so sometimes our infrastructure on the ground is the missing link to the new air connections we need.
“We also can’t ignore the next capacity crunch which looms on the horizon by 2050. If we are to avoid yet another damaging investment hiatus that put a brake on competition in the south-east, it’s important we think ahead now.”
The CBI is calling on the Airports Commission to deliver recommendations that:
1. make a strong political and economic case for action in the next Parliament, with a clear schedule that delivers spades in the ground by 2020.
2. set out clearly the type of capacity required to maximise the UK’s connections with the rest of the world. The CBI recommends hub capacity at a single location as the best way of boosting connectivity with new markets.
3. set out a compelling narrative for how to bolster competition by maximising links across the UK, developing an action plan to make the best use of our existing capacity by improving surface access.
4. give politicians a clear timetable for the consideration of additional capacity beyond 2030 to prevent another capacity crunch in the future.
The call from Britain’s leading business organisation attracted controversy after other airports received a press release that appeared to have been sent to Heathrow and back to the CBI before being issued to other parties, including the London mayor’s office, which favours the Thames estuary option, and Gatwick.
The report argues that hub airports are best placed to act as a catalyst for new routes, serving on average nearly three times as many destinations as point-to-point airports and having a higher frequency of flights.
Katja Hall of the CBI said: “UK business wants action. There can be no more excuses – we need to see the Airports Commission deliver a strong case for new capacity and a clear schedule for delivery.”
She said that while all airports could help develop UK connectivity, not all the airports played the same role. “While no one can predict the future of air travel, the track record shows that it tends to be hub airports that deliver the new connections to emerging markets that we desperately need.”
Hall said Heathrow was full and research showed that when a hub became constrained airlines strengthened popular routes rather than investigating emerging markets.
“If we are to spark new connections that drive trade, we need a solution that creates spare capacity at a single-site hub,” she added.
John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow airport, said: “This recommendation by the CBI essentially shows that British business is backing Heathrow as the UK’s only hub airport to connect the country to global growth.”
The mayor’s aviation adviser, Daniel Moylan, said the Heathrow option was too constrained and too environmentally damaging for extra growth. “A third runway there, on its own, would not offer the spare capacity the CBI rightly calls for,” he said. “And a second runway at Gatwick would of course mean that Britain had given up on having a hub airport altogether. So we need to find a new site for Heathrow, where it can grow. That should be to the east of the capital.”
A spokeswoman for Gatwick said the most important consideration for the commission was a solution that was both speedy and deliverable.
She said: “A new runway at Gatwick would liberate capacity for more hub traffic at Heathrow and provide UK with two world-class airports, able to address all travel markets and airline models.
“Once you take into account existing developments in aircraft technology and current aviation trends, it is clear that Gatwick is the best and obvious solution. We are surprised that in forming a view of the future of aviation policy, the CBI has chosen not to address the future of the industry itself.
“It is hard not to question the impartiality of a report that arrives in your inbox with Heathrow’s email disclaimer attached to it.”
Asked why some material had gone via Heathrow and back to the CBI before reaching Gatwick, the CBI said it had been an administrative error. A spokesman said the CBI decided to give five member companies “advanced sighting” and while Heathrow was first, Gatwick was sent the report a little over an hour later, when the sender copied and pasted over the information from the earlier email.
Heathrow said it first received the report on Friday morning, and had issued its own public response soon afterwards, shortly before Gatwick saw the report.
John Stewart, the chair of the Heathrow opposition group Hacan (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise), said: “It’s clear that the CBI has plumped for Heathrow without giving any consideration whether a third runway is politically deliverable in the real world. Although branded as an independent report it would not surprise me at all if Heathrow had not used its influence within the CBI to get this result.”
Head of CBI backs Heathrow 3rd runway while CBI wants all parties to sign up to Commission’s recommendations in advance
20.7.2013Sir Mike Rake, the new president of the CBI, thinks building a 3rd runway at Heathrow is a “no-brainer” and that the Government should get on with increasing aviation capacity immediately. The CBI has always backed massive aviation expansion, rather predictably. He said: “Despite the fact I live near there, I think we should have started a third runway several years ago and I think other projects should follow from that.” He admitted that Heathrow is not the only option and also called for a 2nd runway to be built at Gatwick. “We need to decide quickly and get on with it,” he said. His personal views appear to be slightly at odds with the CBI itself. On Thursday, the CBI released its response to the Airports Commission into airport capacity, stressing that it was open to whatever solution could gain cross-party support and lead to speedy growth. They said all three major parties must sign up to Commission’s recommendations in advance, to avoid going back to square one in 2015. The CBI remains the only business group that does not unequivocally back an enlarged Heathrow as the way to deliver the alleged economic growth.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3881