Gatwick’s main airline, easyJet, questions Gatwick case for 2nd runway and does not want to pay higher landing charges

Carolyn McCall, CEO of  EasyJet, the largest airline at Gatwick, has said passengers want expansion at Heathrow, not at Gatwick.  Ms McCall said easyJet is “quite concerned” at the prospect that Gatwick’s  landing charges would rise to pay for a 2nd runway.  They are having confidential talks with the airports on future charges.  EasyJet makes on average £8 profit per seat.  If Gatwick’s charges doubled from the current £9  to an average of £15 to £18 (or even up to £23) as predicted by the Airports Commission, this would hit EasyJet’s economics.  Ms McCAll said: “This whole issue of capacity should be about where the demand is. Airlines have to want to go into that airport, and the congestion we have is predominantly around the Heathrow hub. Passengers need to really value what this infrastructure brings, and if they don’t see any benefit it’s going to struggle.” A new runway risked emulating unpopular toll roads. “It will be years and years before [passengers] see any positive effect.”  As one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing airlines, EasyJet’s opinion will need to be given careful consideration by the Commission.
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The Airports Commission’s consultation document (Page 47) states that:

3.41

“Gatwick Airport Ltd has estimated, for example, that per passenger charges would
rise from £9 currently to £12-15 as a result of expansion. This is lower than the
charges predicted by the Commission’s analysis, which indicate average charges
rising to between £15 and £18, with peak charges of up to £23. As can be seen,
the Commission’s estimates show significant potential variation reflecting the
variation in passenger demand across its scenarios. In the upper end demand
scenarios, charges would be close to Gatwick Airport Ltd’s own estimates,
although still slightly higher, reflecting higher costs and a more conservative view
of how the infrastructure delivery might be phased. Conversely, the higher end of
the Commission’s predicted range of charges reflects lower estimated levels of
demand leading to peak charges above £20 (roughly the current level of charges
at Heathrow). “


From Guardian article:

 

EasyJet reports record £581m profit

18.11.2014 (Guardian)

….. Extract …….

EasyJet is the dominant airline at Gatwick airport, where it has negotiated a long-term deal, but McCall said it was concerning that the recent Airports Commission evaluation of Gatwick’s second runway plan had indicated landing charges would need to rise substantially to pay for it, from the current level of around £9 per passenger to as much as £23, against the airport’s own reckoning of £15.

She said: “[Howard] Davies [the commission’s chair] has said Gatwick has underestimated dramatically. It is obviously concerning. When you think our average fare is £60 and we make £8 profit per seat, £23 is a huge amount of money.”

She said easyJet was in discussions with both Gatwick and Heathrow, its rival for the commission’s recommendation for a new runway, and added: “This whole issue of capacity should be about where the demand is. Airlines have to want to go into that airport, and the congestion we have is predominantly around the Heathrow hub. Passengers need to really value what this infrastructure brings, and if they don’t see any benefit it’s going to struggle.”

She said a new runway risked emulating unpopular toll roads. “It will be years and years before [passengers] see any positive effect.”

She said easyJet would publish analysis when it had concluded discussions with the airports and its own number-crunching. “It’s a long-term bet, what is best for easyJet, Heathrow or Gatwick.”

The difference in landing charges has previously deterred easyJet from attempting to enter Heathrow, but McCall added: ”We work out of hub airports all across Europe where the yield is right. There’s no reason we wouldn’t do it in London.”

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/18/easyjet-record-profits-no-frills-airline



EasyJet questions case for new runway at Gatwick airport

By Peggy Hollinger  (FT)

18.11.2014

….extracts  ….

Ms McCall, speaking as the group announced a 22 per cent jump in annual pre-tax profits to £581m in 2013-14, said easyJet was “quite concerned” at the prospect that airport landing charges could rise at Gatwick to cover the costs of a second runway.

“We make £8 profit per seat and our average price is just £60,” she said. If Gatwick’s charges doubled to an average of £15 to £18 as predicted by an independent commission examining the case for expansion, “that is quite worrying in terms of our economic case.”
………..

Passengers seemed to favour Heathrow, Ms McCall added. “This whole issue should be [decided] where the demand is,” she said. “The congestion we have does predominantly appear to be around Heathrow.”

It said 62 per cent of business travellers who booked a flight with easyJet returned to fly again. Leisure travellers were also proving more loyal, with the percentage of passengers making a repeat booking increasing from 50 per cent to 57 per cent.

………………………

“Popular new initiatives like allocated seating meant many people tried us for the first time and we are absolutely focused on driving loyalty, so they choose us flight after flight,” said Ms McCall.

The load factor – the percentage of seats filled – hit 90.6 per cent in the year to September 30, up 1.3 percentage points. Passenger numbers rose 6.6 per cent to 64.8m and annual revenues climbed 6.5 per cent to £4.53bn.

……

See full article at:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8596d4c2-6ef7-11e4-8d86-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3JimfhLm1

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Gatwick hits back at easyJet and BA over second runway plans

by Joel Lewin (FT)

20.11.2014

Gatwick has hit back at easyJet and British Airways after both airlines questioned the case for the UK’s second largest airport having a new runway.

Nick Dunn, Gatwick’s chief financial officer, on Thursday suggested the two airlines, the largest and second largest operators at the airport, were concerned about the prospect of increased competition from rival carriers if a second runway was built at the West Sussex facility.

He was responding to easyJet’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall, who said on Tuesday that a sharp rise in landing charges at Gatwick to pay for a second runway would be “quite worrying in terms of our economic case”. He was also tackling comments last month by Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, parent of British Airways, that there is no business case to expand Gatwick.

Mr Dunn said: “For either one of those parties [easyJet and British Airways] increased capacity into the system will create increased competition for passengers, so I understand why airlines would reflect on that . . . [it] will of course mean more competition for them.”
He added easyJet’s criticism was based on estimates made by the Airports Commission, the independent body studying whether to build a new runway at Gatwick or London’s Heathrow, the UK’s largest airport.

The commission, which is due to make recommendations after next year’s general election, has estimated Gatwick’s landing charges would rise from £9 per passenger today to an average of £15 to £19.

Gatwick disputes the commission’s calculation, claiming charges would rise to no more than £12-£15 per passenger if a second runway costing about £7bn was built.

Mr Dunn said that increased competition between airlines at Gatwick would benefit travellers who could enjoy cheaper flights and more destinations.

David Bentley, analyst at the CAPA centre for aviation, said Gatwick would be concerned that easyJet, its biggest customer, had responded so negatively to the company’s expansion plans.
“They’re a very powerful airline to be challenging Gatwick. Occasionally airlines will throw airports out of kilter with their thinking,” he added.

The dispute came as Gatwick reported the busiest six months in the airport’s history, with passenger numbers up 8 per cent to 22.5m in the six months to September 30 compared to the same period last year.

Chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “The capacity crunch facing Gatwick underlines the urgent need for a new runway.”

Turnover grew 8.6 per cent to £391.6m in the company’s first half, driven by the rise in passenger numbers.

Operating profit grew 15 per cent to £162.5m. However, pre-tax profit fell 3.9 per cent to £122.4m because of lower gains on derivatives compared with the same time last year.
Gatwick is owned by a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ed17155e-70b8-11e4-9129-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3JimfhLm1

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EasyJet CEO still has no details of the practical economics of a Heathrow or Gatwick runway

In an interview, by Buying Business Travel, with Caroline McCall, the CEO of EasyJet she said Heathrow is an expensive airport, which is why they do not fly from there. On Gatwick’s and Heathrow’s bids for runway expansion she says:  “We’ve seen none of the economics behind either of those visions. Inevitably it will be the airlines and therefore the passengers, that will fund this. Therefore, it’s a very, very big decision for Easyjet – because any increase in passenger fares is something that affects our low-fare proposition”….”We make £7 profit per seat – that’s it. We’ve raised that from £4.50 over the last four years. I think Heathrow are talking around £15 billion, Gatwick are talking around £7-8 billion. If you think about the price per passenger for that, you can see we have to be really, really careful about any capacity going into either airport, and before we take a view on it, we have to understand the economics.”  And they want to focus on more  business travellers: “because we know we get higher yields.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/06/21952/


A new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick would mean big increases in passenger fees – New report

10.3.2014   (Aviation Environment Federation)
The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has submitted a new report to the Airports Commission. It casts doubt on the feasibility of building a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow.  So far there has been little realistic discussion about who will actually pay for the proposed runways.  The new study, “Who Would Pay for a New Runway” by Brendon Sewill, shows that a new runway at Heathrow would be likely to mean an increase in landing fees and other airport charges from £19 per passenger now, up to £31.  At Gatwick there would be a larger increase, up from £8 now to £33.60.   The study points out that with all the London airports separately owned, unlike in the days of BAA, the cost will have to fall only on the passengers using that airport.  If an expensive runway (and terminal) is built, the options are either that the passengers pay for it – or that it has to have public subsidy. A report for the Airports Commission, by KPMG, concluded that a new Heathrow runway would need a subsidy of around £11 billion, and a new Gatwick runway a subsidy of nearly £18 billion. However, the Government is reluctant to commit public funds, and new EU guidelines ruling out subsidies to major airports.  That leaves landing charges – will passengers put up with that, or vote with their feet by using cheaper airports? 
.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20374.


easyJet says it would fly from Heathrow, “if it was right for us” debunking Gatwick’s Heathrow myth

Gatwick airport, in its bid to try to pursuade the powers-that-be of its suitability as the site of a new runway, has often said that the low cost airlines would not fly from Heathrow. However, easyJet has now said that it would consider flying from an expanded Heathrow.  Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of easyJet, said it would look at flying from Heathrow in future “if it was right for us”, and it if wasn’t too expensive. Gatwick claims that the increase in demand for air travel will be for short haul flights, mainly to Europe or countries adjacent to Europe. Heathrow claims the demand for air travel in future will be long haul.  According to Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, Heathrow is inaccessible for low-cost airlines and charter carriers due to its high landing charges. But Ms McCall points out that easyJet already flies to and from other hub airports in Europe, such as Schiphol, Rome Fiumicino and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Though Heathrow has high landing charges, so do the other European  hub airports. Ms McCall made her comments shortly after easyJet announced a 7-year pricing deal with Gatwick and revealed it is in discussions to take over the airport’s north terminal, potentially forcing out British Airways. It made no mention of a 2nd Gatwick runway.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/03/easyjet-says-it-would-fly-from-heathrow-if-it-was-right-for-us-debunking-gatwicks-heathrow-myth/

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See also

Willie Walsh says there is no business case for a 2nd Gatwick runway – BA has Gatwick’s 2nd largest number of passengers

Willie Walsh, the head of IAG, will not support a 2nd Gatwick runway, even if it is chosen by the Airports Commission or backed by the next government. He does not believe there is a business case to support its expansion, and there is insufficient demand from airlines for extra capacity at Gatwick. Mr Walsh campaigned heavily for a 3rd Heathrow runway before 2010, but has made frequent comments indicating he does not believe UK politicians will have the “courage” to build that. Willie Walsh says British Airways would resist higher landing charges, which would be necessary to fund a runway – either at Heathrow or Gatwick. (EasyJet has also said in the past they don’t want a new runway, if it means substantially higher charges – their model is low cost). BA would want lower costs, not higher costs, from a new runway. IAG’s shares have now risen as it has now made a profit at last, and will be paying its first dividend (and maybe some UK tax). Gatwick’s main airline is EasyJet with around 37% of passengers, and British Airways 2nd largest at around 14%. 

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Willie Walsh: ‘No business case’ to support a second runway at Gatwick

Boss of British Airways’ parent company suggests there isn’t enough demand from airlines for a second runway at Gatwick Airport

By Nathalie Thomas, Transport and Leisure Editor (Telegraph)

31 Oct 2014

Willie Walsh, the head of British Airways’ parent company, has ruled out supporting a second runway at Gatwick, even if it is given the go-ahead by policymakers, arguing that he doesn’t believe there is a business case to support expansion at the West Sussex airport.

Mr Walsh, who is chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), suggested there is insufficient demand from airlines for extra capacity at Gatwick.

His intervention comes at another critical moment in the long-running inquiry over where to build Britain’s next runway, as the body set up to investigate the issue prepares to test public opinion through a national consultation. Gatwick is battling against its larger rival Heathrow for the right to expand.

Mr Walsh campaigned heavily for a third runway at Heathrow during a previous inquiry, only to see a decision to expand Britain’s biggest airport over-turned by the Coalition when it came to power. He has taken a step back during the current process, which is being carried out by Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission, but said on Friday that he would be unable to support expansion at Gatwick, even if it was recommended by policymakers.
“I would not support a runway at Gatwick because I don’t think there is a business case to support it,” the airlines boss said.

Mr Walsh said his objections are “principally based on the demand environment” but he warned that BA would also strongly resist any increase in charges to fund expansion, either at Gatwick or at Heathrow.

“I don’t think it [demand] is as strong as Gatwick would argue,” he said. He warned both airports that they would have to demonstrate “how charges [for airlines] will reduce rather than increase”, as IAG unveiled its third quarter results on Friday.

But a spokesman from Gatwick hit back: “Demand is strong and we are close to full capacity today. Airlines and passengers are voting with their feet and Gatwick is the fastest growing airport in London, as our monthly traffic figures underline.

“Building a second runway at Gatwick will be cheaper than expanding Heathrow and those savings will be passed on to passengers who increasingly want affordable flying. A new runway at Gatwick would also give London two world class airports, delivering more competition, choice and even lowers fares for passengers and UK plc.”

Shares in IAG soared on Friday on guidance that full-year operating profit could rise to as much as €1.37 billion (£1.07bn) following a 30pc jump in profits during the key summer months.

The airlines giant, which is next week expected to lay out a road map towards paying its first dividend, said third quarter operating profit before exceptional costs reached €900m, a better-than-expected €210m improvement on the same period last year, as a major restructuring at its Spanish flag carrier, Iberia, continued to pay off.

IAG, which was formed through the 2011 merger of BA and Iberia, said it now expects full-year operating profit, before exceptional costs, to be between €550m and €600m higher than in 2013, when it reached €770m, representing a slight upgrade on previous guidance. The upgrade pushed shares in early trading to a six-month high.

“The recent Ebola outbreak hit all the airlines, but IAG, with its robust management, has pulled out some bumper, analyst-beating figures. Already increased price targets have been issued this morning by analysts. A return to year-highs of 460p [a share] look inevitable,” said Amrit Panesar, senior trader at Accendo Markets.

BA also performed strongly in the third quarter, making an operating profit of €607m during the three months to September 30, compared to €477m during the same period in 2013.
Operating profit at Iberia jumped to €162m from €74m previously but growth at IAG’s budget airline, Vueling, was far more muted, edging up just €1m to €140m, as competition in the European low-cost market heats up.

The third quarter performance pushed up group operating profit after exceptional items for the first nine months to €1.048bn, a significant turnaround from €348m at the same point last year.

IAG’s performance contrasts dramatically with that of its German rival, Lufthansa, which on Thursday issued its second profit warning this year as it struggles to restructure its cost base.

IAG has been consulting investors on a dividend policy, which it is expected to lay out at a capital markets day next Friday.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11201064/Willie-Walsh-No-business-case-to-support-a-second-runway-at-Gatwick.html

Gatwick launched a new report claiming that even with a second runway it would be able to meet EU and UK air quality targets

 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/11/willie-walsh-says-there-is-no-business-case-for-a-2nd-gatwick-runway-ba-has-gatwicks-2nd-largest-number-of-passengers/

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Willie Walsh tells Transport Committee there is no business case for a Gatwick 2nd runway

At the Transport Committee evidence session, Stewart Wingate, Gatwick chief executive, said he would oppose a 3rd runway at Heathrow and wanted to see Gatwick develop as a competing hub airport.  But BA’s Willie Walsh said airlines will only pay for expansion at one UK airport and that is Heathrow, implying he would oppose a 2nd Gatwick runway.  Willie Walsh also told the committee there was no business case to expand Gatwick, and he was not aware of any discussion with airlines about the extra amount they would have to pay for a new Gatwick runway.  Willie Walsh said “the only business case you could stand over is one to invest in a 3rd runway at Heathrow, but I’m not going to waste my time because it’s not going to happen.” Divide and rule ?

 http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1514
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140 organisations in “Taming Aviation” coalition petitions European Parliament to ban night flights

A coalition of 140 organisations that are signed up to “Taming Aviation” met European Parliament representatives on 18th November to ask for a ban on flights operating at night, over an 8 hour period.  And it also called on legislators to stop the tax exemptions the aviation sector currently enjoys. Taming Aviation, and its member organisations, is asking the Parliament to take action.  Some of the campaign’s members are from communities outside immediate airport areas. Taming Aviation co-founder Susanne Heger said aircraft noise poses serious health threats for people living near airports. According to a study from the University of Bern, the noise increases the risk of dying of a heart attack by 50% and is one of the biggest concerns of those who live under flight paths. At Frankfurt there is already a ban on night flights and this should be extended widely. Citizens’ groups have for many years taken these issues up with airports and authorities, with little success. Hence the appeal to the European Parliament to get effective action. There needs to be more action by Europe to ensure that a future aviation emissions system has teeth, and some real effect on aviation CO2.
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Coalition petitions European Parliament to ban night flights

20.11.2014 (Euractiv)

A coalition of  140 organisations  met with European Parliament representatives on Tuesday (18 November) to ask for a ban on flights operating at night. It also called on legislators to strip the aviation sector of the tax exemptions it currently enjoys.

The coalition presented MEPs with a petition under the name of Taming Aviation,, in which it formally asks the European Parliament to take action.

Aircraft noise, air pollution, and tax subsidies to airline companies are the main concerns of the coalition, which includes communities living outside airport areas.

During the meeting, Taming Aviation co-founder Susanne Heger said that aircraft noise poses serious health threats for people living near airports. According to a study from the University of Bern, the noise increases the risk of dying of a heart attack by 50% and is one of the biggest concerns of those who live under flight paths.

The petition demands that all airports have an uninterrupted eight-hour ban on nighttime flights, in order to comply with minimum health standards.

A German Court ruled in favour of a night flight ban at Frankfurt airport in 2012, in response to complaints from local residents. Taming Aviation hopes for the same result across Europe, and said that unless the EU forces all airports to close down at night, the situation will not change.

“Individual airports are reluctant to ban night flights, because the night flights will go to a competitor airport,” said John Stewart, chair of Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN).

Coalition representatives have raised these problems with local and airport authorities but have been unsuccessful in finding a common ground. They decided to call on the European Parliament to take these concerns in consideration through amendments when adopting future laws.

Keith Taylor MEP, a Greens/EFA lawmaker from the UK, said that Parliament will revise the Energy Tax and the Emission Trading System legislative proposals in 2016, to allow MEPs to address the coalition’s demands. He also said that legislators will give serious consideration whether to include aviation in the EU’s emissions scheme.

“[The airlines] should pay VAT and excise duty just like all other transport methods, so that all the costs of flying are properly accounted for,” said Taylor MEP.

Under current EU rules, airlines are exempted from paying a tax on fuel and on their revenues. Because of these incentives, Taming Aviation believes the airlines are neither motivated nor interested in reducing their gas emissions.

“With air passenger numbers set to grow 4% a year for the next 20 years, the aviation sector can well afford to pay its way,” said Heger.

“EU governments continuing to allow commercial airlines to (a) free ride to the tune of €40 billion a year with tax exemptions while their night flights pose serious health risks is nothing short of a scandal.”

The Association of European Airlines, however, said the sector receives from €27 to €35 billion per year in annual subsidies,  and compared to other transport sectors, such as rail, aviation receives half the amount of subsidies.

While Taming Aviation recognises that air transport makes a significant contribution to the economy, it still needs to be regulated. But if governments cut the airlines’ tax breaks, consumers will no longer enjoy cheap tickets on short-haul flights.

“We are hoping to work with the railway sector to balance the demand in travelling,” said Stewart.

“You will automatically get a modal shift from air to rail, especially for short distance trips, as 45% of all trips within Europe are 500km or less.”

As the petition was handed over to Cecilia Wikström, chair of the Petitions Committee, Stewart said that Taming Aviation wants to use this formal demand “to raise a wider issue with MEPs, the Commission with a view to working with different stakeholders”.

Parliament will now assess the request, and forward it to the European Commission.

Taming Aviation represents a quarter of a million citizens from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK.

http://www.euractiv.com/sections/transport/coaltion-petitions-parliament-ban-night-flights-310177

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TIMELINE:
  • 2016: European Parliament to review the Energy Tax and the Emission Trading System legislative proposals
EXTERNAL LINKS: 

 


 

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See also:

 

Taming Aviation petition presented to European Parliament:  250,000 demand end to scandal of Europe’s airline subsidies, tax exemptions and night flights

A ground-breaking coalition of 140 groups representing 250,000 citizens from 10 European countries has, for the first time, called on the EU to end commercial airlines’ tax exemptions and subsidies – and phase out night flights. The Taming Aviation coalition formally presented its demands in a petition to the European Parliament in Brussels on 18th November. The petition calls for an end to the absurd situation where European governments miss out on €40 billion every year because commercial airlines pay no tax on fuel and are exempt from VAT. Cash-strapped EU governments are missing out on this important revenue source, so European taxpayers must step in to fill the deficit. The subsidies are fuelling air traffic growth, with aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions expected to increase 300% by 2050. The petition also demands action to reduce aircraft noise, which poses serious health risks to people living under flight paths including increasing the risk of dying of a heart attack by up to 50%. 25 national delegates from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK were present at the event.

Click here to view full story…

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Overall fuel efficiency of US airlines fails to improve on domestic routes during 2013, finds ICCT study

An annual performance study by the ICCT shows the fuel efficiency of US carriers on domestic routes failed to improve in 2013.  ICCT found little correlation between airline efficiency and profitability, and is concerned that as fuel prices steady or even fall there will even less incentive to make fuel efficiency gains.  Even less efficient carriers were also able to make  high profits through using older, less fuel efficient aircraft.   ICCT’s analysis shows the average annual fuel efficiency between 1990 and 2000 improved by 2.1%, improving to 2.8% between 2000 and 2010 and then fell back to 1.3% between 2010 and 2012.  Load factors rose from 60% in 1990 to 82% in 2010, but have flattened out in recent years.  The US aircraft fleet is ageing, with fewer new planes. The price of oil has fallen markedly in the past year, and may remain low for some time, due to US oil production. There is concern there will be less incentive, with cheaper fuel, to make energy savings. Or meet the IATA goal of 1.5% energy improvements annually to 2020.
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Overall fuel efficiency of US airlines fails to improve on domestic routes during 2013, finds ICCT study

Wed 19 Nov 2014 (GreenAir online)

An annual performance study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) shows the fuel efficiency of United States carriers on domestic routes failed to improve in 2013 despite the high cost of aviation fuel and industry targets.

In a league table of performance rankings, (see below) Alaska, Spirit and Frontier tied as the most fuel-efficient domestic carriers in 2013, whereas American Airlines, whose fuel efficiency fell by 1.5%, burned an estimated 27% more fuel than the three most efficient airlines to provide an equivalent level of transport service.

As in its previous study, ICCT found little correlation between airline efficiency and profitability, and is concerned that as fuel prices steady or even fall there will even less incentive to make fuel efficiency gains.

Alaska and Spirit have consistently led the performance ranking since ICCT’s original baseline analysis of 2010 data, with Frontier overtaking Southwest Airlines due to a 10% one-year improvement. However, these gains were offset mainly by the larger legacy carriers, with American propping up the table.

With 2013 proving to be a profitable year for most US airlines, Alaska and Spirit also had the highest operating profit margins but the study found that even less efficient carriers like Allegiant were also able to reap high profits through using older, less efficient aircraft.

ICCT’s analysis shows the average annual fuel efficiency between 1990 and 2000 improved by 2.1%, improving to 2.8% during the tough decade of 2000 to 2010 and then fell back to 1.3% between 2010 and 2012.

Multiple factors, says the independent non-profit research organisation, help explain the slowdown. Load factors, which increased from 60% in 1990 to 82% in 2010, have flattened out in recent years and are not therefore contributing to efficiency gains.

Despite the raft of new order announcements from the aircraft manufacturers, ICCT says deliveries of new aircraft to US carriers have fallen sharply – more than 60% off their peak in the last decade – so that today only one in seven new aircraft are delivered domestically.

With fewer deliveries, the US fleet has aged to almost 12 years on average last year. Although new re-engined and more fuel-efficient narrow-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft are on the horizon, relatively few new types have been brought to market over the past 15 years.

ICCT points to work at ICAO on a CO2 efficiency standard for new aircraft and a framework for a market-based incentive to cut airline carbon emissions as possible levers that will result in an improvement in fuel efficiency. With US domestic aviation carbon emissions making up one-quarter of the global total, the US Environmental Protection Agency has also announced its intent to move forward with an endangerment finding on aviation emissions under the Clean Air Act.

“Conventional wisdom says that fuel prices alone will be enough to drive airline efficiency, but that’s not what the data tells us,” commented ICCT’s Program Director for Aviation, Dan Rutherford. “This study highlights the need for international policies to address aviation emissions now that countries like China and the United States have announced their own commitments.”

Link:

ICCT – US Domestic Airline Fuel Efficiency Ranking 2013

ICCT Fuel Efficiency Scores 2013:

 


http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=2006

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ClientEarth wins case – EU Court rules UK government must act to clean up deadly air pollution

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has delivered its judgement in ClientEarth’s case,  that the UK must act to clean up illegal levels of air pollution “as soon as possible”.  Under current plans the UK will not meet legal limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) until after 2030 – twenty years after the original deadline.  NO2 has known harmful health impacts including increasing the risk of heart attacks and asthma. In their case at the ECJ, ClientEarth win on all points.  The judgement says the UK’s plans should have aimed at compliance by 1 January 2015 at the latest.  The UK remains in ongoing breach of EU law, and UK courts must order the government to produce a plan which rapidly achieves NO2 limits. To be successful, a plan to deal with air pollution needs to drastically cut nitrogen oxides from diesel vehicles. Much of the air pollution around airports, like Heathrow, is caused by these diesel vehicles.  Around 29,000 people die early in the UK each year as a result of air pollution, making it the biggest public health problem after smoking. ClientEarth’s case will return to the UK Supreme Court for a final ruling next year. 
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EU Court rules UK government must act to clean up deadly air pollution

19 November 2014 (Client Earth)

– ClientEarth win on all points
– UK plans should have aimed at compliance by 1 January 2015 at the latest
– UK in ongoing breach of EU lawUK courts must order the government to produce a plan which achieves nitrogen dioxide limits “as soon as possible”

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has delivered its judgment in ClientEarth’s case and firmly upheld our right to breathe clean air. The ECJ has ruled that the UK must act to clean up illegal levels of air pollution “as soon as possible”. Under current plans the UK will not meet legal limits for nitrogen dioxide until after 2030 – 20 years after the original deadline.

Around 29,000 people die early in the UK each year as a result of air pollution, making it the biggest public health problem after smoking.

ClientEarth’s case will return to the UK Supreme Court for a final ruling next year. This should see the UK Supreme Court ordering the government to take action to meet limits in a much shorter timeframe. This plan would need to drastically cut pollution from diesel vehicles and could lead to policies like the London Mayor’s plans for an ultra low emission zone  being rolled out nationally.

Alan Andrews, ClientEarth lawyer, said: “This ruling is a big victory for the millions of people who want to live healthy lives in the UK’s towns and cities. This will force the government to finally take this issue seriously and come up with an urgent plan to rid our towns and cities of cancer-causing diesel fumes.

“This sets a groundbreaking legal precedent in EU law and paves the way for a series of legal challenges across Europe. ClientEarth will spearhead these efforts to help people defend their right to clean air in court.”

Diesel fumes are the main source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – a harmful gas linked with heart attacks and asthma. The ECJ’s landmark ruling is the first ever on the 2008 Air Quality Directive.

ENDS

Media contact:

George Leigh, ClientEarth communications officer: t. +44 (0)203 030 5951
e. gleigh@clientearth.org

Notes to editors:

https://www.supremecourt.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2012_0179_Judgment.pdf

 

http://www.clientearth.org/news/press-releases/eu-court-rules-uk-government-must-act-to-clean-up-deadly-air-pollution-2699

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Other press releases on air pollution from ClientEarth:


 

Earlier:

 

Heathrow suggests congestion charge for vehicles – to try and keep within air quality limits

Heathrow will announce its north- west runway plan on Tuesday 13th May. They have no interest in the Jock Lowe Heathrow Hub option. Heathrow is aware that as well as noise, air pollution is a show – stopper issue for their hopes of a new runway. Hence they are now suggesting to the Airports Commission that there should be a congestion charge  for people travelling to Heathrow by car – after the public transport has been set up (largely at public expense). Some of the money raised may go towards public transport. Heathrow is trying to make out there will not only be no more noise caused by a 3rd runway, but no more road vehicles than now.  They depend on emissions standards for NOx for new cars becoming tighter in future.  Expansion of Heathrow would mean massive road  congestion in the area. The Standard reports that Heathrow is moving its planned north-west runway slightly south, in order to avoid the M25 and M4  junction.  To make way for the new runway to the north west of the airport, Heathrow will build a 600-metre tunnel taking traffic under the M25. A tunnel would run alongside the motorway – and be part-funded by Government.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/heathrow-suggest-congestion-charge-for-vehicles-to-try-and-keep-with-air-quality-limits/

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Air pollution may affect babies even before birth and reduce lung size for life

The Sunday Times (Jonathan Leake) reports that a study has indicated that air pollution in Britain’s cities is stunting the growth of children’s lungs, and could reduce their lung capacity by 5% or more. It appears that toxic particles and gases emitted mainly by diesel vehicles disrupt lung growth, with damage starting to be inflicted in the womb. There is also separate research that indicates that babies gestated in areas with high air pollution levels are born with smaller heads, with the reduction in circumference directly related to air pollution levels. Dr Ian Mudway, of King’s College London, who has been involved in a 6-year study into how air pollution affects children in east London in Tower Hamlets and Hackney, said the evidence indicates the effect of air pollution start in the earliest years of life. Children’s lungs by the age nine are already smaller than they ought to be and their lung impairment continues throughout life. Air pollution gases and particles damage the linings of the lung, which is not good at mending itself, and retains the deficit for life. “Children are vulnerable because their lungs are developing so fast and their defences are not evolved. They also spend more time outside.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/air-pollution-may-affect-babies-even-before-birth-and-reduce-lung-size-for-life/

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Heathrow air pollution in relation to 2013 being the “Year of Air”

 The European Commission has announced that 2013 is the ‘Year of Air’ with key European air pollution legislation up for review.  The review represents a tremendous opportunity to improve public health by tightening air quality standards. Clean Air in London (CAL) believes that key outcomes from the ‘Year of Air’ must include continuity and the further tightening of health and legal protections. Increasing ‘flexibility’ in air pollution laws would weaken existing health and legal protections and is therefore unacceptable.  There is a consultation by the EC,  on options for the revision of the EU Thematic Strategy on air pollution and related policies, with the closing date on 4 March 2013. Heathrow is a major contributor to air pollution in West London, both from the airport itself and associated road traffic. Information from Hillingdon Council showed a clear correlation between the number of air transport movements and the levels of NOx.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=690

 


European Commission launches legal action against UK over failure to reduce air pollution

The European Commission has launched legal proceedings over levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in many British cities. There has been a long-running legal battle between London and Brussels over the 16 urban centres in the UK that will not be able to meet binding air quality standards by 2015, despite being granted a 5-year extension following the original 2010 deadline for compliance with the rules. 15 of the affected zones will not meet the standards until 2020 and parts of London are unlikely to meet NO2 standards until 2025, a full 15 years later than the original deadline. The EC has now started the legal case, which is likely to result in hefty fines of many millions of ££s which should have the effect of accelerating efforts to tackle air pollution. The zones included Greater London and the South East. The legal case has been precipitated by the environmental campaign group ClientEarth. The UK has some of the highest levels of NO2 in Europe.  The UK government now has 2 months to respond to the EC’s legal action. The Heathrow area has bad air quality levels, due partly to the planes but with an even higher proportion from the intense road traffic, especially diesel vehicles, that the airport attracts.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/european-commission-launches-legal-action-against-uk-over-failure-to-reduce-air-pollution/

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Read more »

Taming Aviation: 250,000 demand end to scandal of Europe’s airline subsidies, tax exemptions night flights

A ground-breaking coalition of 140 groups representing 250,000 citizens from 10 European countries has, for the first time, called on the EU to end commercial airlines’ tax exemptions and subsidies – and phase out night flights. The Taming Aviation coalition formally presented its demands in a petition to the European Parliament in Brussels on 18th November. The petition calls for an end to the absurd situation where European governments miss out on €40 billion every year because commercial airlines pay no tax on fuel and are exempt from VAT.  Cash-strapped EU governments are missing out on this important revenue source, so European taxpayers must step in to fill the deficit. The subsidies are fuelling air traffic growth, with aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions expected to increase 300% by 2050.  The petition also demands action to reduce aircraft noise, which poses serious health risks to people living under flight paths including increasing the risk of dying of a heart attack by up to 50%.  25 national delegates from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK were present at the event. 
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250,000 demand end to scandal of Europe’s airline subsidies, tax exemptions and night flights

Brussels, 18 November 2014  (Taming Aviation)

Taming Aviation petition handover 18.11.2014

The petition being handed over by Dr Susanne Heger and Dr Jutta Leth, to the Parliament Petitions Committee chair, Cecilia Wikström

 

T&E distributed this release on behalf of Taming Aviation coalition

A ground-breaking coalition of 140 groups representing 250,000 citizens from 10 European countries has, for the first time, called on the EU to end commercial airlines’ tax exemptions and subsidies and phase out night flights. The Taming Aviation coalition formally presented its demands in a petition to the European Parliament in Brussels today.

The petition, presented to the Parliament Petitions Committee chair Cecilia Wikström and Green MEP Keith Taylor, calls for an end to the absurd situation where European governments miss out on €40 billion every year because commercial airlines pay no tax on fuel and are exempt from VAT. [1] It also demands action to reduce aircraft noise, which poses serious health risks to people living under flight paths including increasing the risk of dying of a heart attack by up to 50%. [2]

25 national delegates from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK were present at the event. The citizens’ coalition has highlighted the disparity where consumers, small businesses and hauliers pay an average of 48 cent in tax per litre [3] while commercial airlines in the EU don’t pay a cent in tax to fuel their planes.

Cash-strapped EU governments are missing out on this important revenue source, so European taxpayers must step in to fill the deficit. This subsidising is fuelling air traffic growth, with aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions expected to increase 300% by 2050. [4]

Dr Susanne Heger, initiator of the Taming Aviation coalition, said: “With air passenger numbers set to grow 4% a year for the next 20 years, the aviation sector can well afford to pay its way. EU governments continuing to allow commercial airlines to free ride to the tune of €40 billion a year with tax exemptions while their night flights pose serious health risks is nothing short of a scandal.” [5]

The petition is also in response to growing recognition of the health risks posed by night flights. Citizens living under certain flight paths are exposed to daily average noise levels of at least 60 decibels and consequently are up to 50% more at risk of dying of a heart attack, according to a study by the University of Bern. [6] Up to 200,000 people living under London’s Heathrow flight paths are exposed to this increased risk as they experience noise averaging over 60 decibels.

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, said: “Why should aviation be excused from paying tax, especially in view of its environmental damage? It should pay VAT and excise duty just like all other transport methods, so that all the costs of flying are properly accounted for.”

ENDS

Taming Aviation 18.11.2014 Susanne Heger Jutta Leth

Notes to editors:

[1] CE Delft, Estimated revenues of VAT and fuel tax on aviation (2013). http://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/CE_Delft_7B52_Estimated_revenues_of_VAT_and_fuel_tax_on_aviation_def.pdf

[2] Huss, Spoerri, Egger, Röösli, Aircraft Noise, Air Pollution, and Mortality from Myocardial Infarction, Epidemiology (2010).

[3] Transport & Environment, Does aviation pay its way? (2013). http://transenv.eu/1xd4CEc

[4] ICAO, Global Aviation CO2 Emissions Projections to 2050 (2012), slide 8. Based on ICAO’s most optimistic projection. http://www.icao.int/environmental-protection/GIACC/Giacc-4/CENV_GIACC4_IP1_IP2%20IP3.pdf

[5] Growth projections from IATA’s 20-Year Passenger Forecast (2014).

http://www.traveldailynews.asia/columns/article/49940/new-iata-passenger-forecast-reveals

[6] Huss, Spoerri, Egger, Röösli (2010).

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Below is some of the media coverage from European countries, in various languages, of the Taming Aviation event:

 

 

Austria

APA – http://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20141118_OTS0206/taming-aviation-zaehmung-der-luftfahrt-eine-petition-weist-den-flugverkehr-in-die-schranken-bild

Tiroler Tageszeitung – http://www.tt.com/home/9278243-91/petition-gegen-nachtflüge-und-kerosin-mwst-befreiung-an-eu-parlament.csp

 

Italia

ANSA: http://www.regione.vda.it/notizieansa/details_i.asp?id=202532

Giornale La Voce: http://12alle12.it/bruxelles-europa-regioni-aeroporti-comitato-fiumicino-per-petizione-ue-108349

 

Eco di Bergamo: http://www.ecodibergamo.it/stories/Cronaca/stop-aiuti-economici-e-voli-notturnila-guerra-degli-scali-sbarca-allue_1090387_11/

 

Europe

ENDS Europe: Best of the web link to our release: http://www.endseurope.com/home

Europolitics: http://europolitics.info/transport/jet-fuel-taxation-petition-submitted-parliament

EurActiv will publish today – if Boeing, a key sponsor of the site, does not veto it!

 

Germany:

DNR: http://www.eu-koordination.de/umweltnews/news/klima-energie/2923-unterschriftenaktion-zur-besteuerung-von-kerosin-gestartet

DPA (Germany’s press agency) got distracted by other news stories and didn’t publish in the end.

Suddeustche Zeitung: Print clip from print version.

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The Taming Aviation website:

Taming Aviation

A European-wide Movement of Citizens aimed at Taming the Aviation Industry

PETITION
to the European Parliament

WE REQUEST:

  1. to impose an absolute and unconditional ban on night flights (landing and take-off) at all European airports for an uninterrupted eight-hour interval as a minimum standard of protection for human health;
  2. to impose Energy Tax on aviation fuel within the shortest possible time, in the interim to lift the suspension of EU-ETS for aviation;
  3. to abolish any form of VAT zero-rating and VAT exemptions of airline tickets and to include aviation into the VAT tax system of the European Union at standard rates;
  4. to prohibit any form of incentive at European airports, such as subsidies, kick-backs and rebates, and to ensure that infrastructure services of airports have to be provided on the basis of general, comprehensive and transparent tariffs.

In the last two decades pollution caused by civil aviation has increased dramatically. As of today aviation threatens the habitat of human beings, it menaces their health, depreciates their houses and seriously affects their quality of life. This development is also a consequence of tax and political privileges, which lack any socio-economic justification whatsoever. We cannot allow aviation to continue to operate in this predominant and uncontrolled role, aviation must be tamed. It is high time for Taming Aviation.

Take-offs and landings cause significant noise pollution; the effects of aircraft noise on human health are diminished through abstract noise calculations which are far from the real perception of human beings. Even the necessity to sleep, a minimum requirement of any human being, is not respected as such.

Aviation is one of the biggest climate polluters, nevertheless it is specifically exempt from Energy Tax and the EU Emission Trading System has been “suspended” for aviation. Additionally, air passenger transport is exempt from Value Added Tax. Thus aviation does not follow the principle of “true costs” and does not adequately contribute to tax revenues. There is no justification whatsoever for these tax privileges, which lead to a huge shortfall in taxes for the Community.

Airports attract airlines with various types of “incentives”. Such incentives lead to a lack of transparency, create artificial demand for aviation transport services and cause economic distortions.


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Energy Tax

Aviation is exempt from Energy Tax

Aviation is the most climate-intensive form of transport. Therefore it is even more distorting that aviation has been spared from taxation of energy which has been introduced on a EU-wide basis:

Since 2003 every form of energy, including car fuel, electricity, oil, even coal and coke, are subject to Energy Tax introduced by Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity. However, according to Art. 14 of this Directive Member States have to exempt fuel for the purpose of air navigation from Energy Tax. Thus Art. 14 of the Directive prolongs the long-standing tradition of the EU and its Member States to grant privileged tax treatment to the aviation industry.

The outlook is bleak as well: The EU-Commission’s proposals for an amendment to the Energy Tax Directive (COM(2011) 168 and COM(2011) 169) splits Energy Tax into two parts:

  • The first part links the amount of tax to be paid to the content of energy of the source in question. Unless Art. 14 of the Energy Tax Directive will be lifted aviation will not be subject to Energy Tax related to the content of energy.
  • The second part of Energy Tax shall be levied on the amount of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2). This part of Energy Tax will only be applied to such sources of energy which are not part of the European Union’s trading system in CO2-Emission Certificates (EU-ETS). Therefore, and as aviation participates in the EU-ETS (although only formally, because currently suspended), aviation will not be not subject to the CO2-related part of Energy Tax as well.

As a result, aviation fuel is and will remain free from any tax on energy. And even though critical voices have been raised (such as by the European Union’s Economic and Social Committee, the European NGO Transport & Environment) the EU Commission does not intend to abolish this subsidy of the aviation industry.

Concerns raised in the European Parliament have so far been ignored as well (March/April 2012): „Air and maritime navigation: Directive 2003/96/EC obliges Member States to exempt from taxation fuel used for non-pleasure air and maritime navigation. Members consider that such exemptions are not in line with the aim of creating a level playing field among the various modes of transport. They should therefore be phased out.“

The inclusion of aviation into the EU-ETS is not a substitute for energy taxation. It may serve as an interim measure to cover the time gap until proper energy taxation is applied to aircraft fuel but it cannot establish a system of fair taxation.

We demand that aviation is fully subjected to energy tax within the shortest possible time, in the interim we demand the immediate lifting of the suspension of EU-ETS for aviation.


Value Added Tax

Aviation is exempt from VAT

The EU’s exemption of airline tickets from VAT, while allowing airlines to deduct input VAT, remains amongst the most distorting features in the EU’s tax and transport policy.

There is not a single argument to justify this tax privilege:

  • Air tickets are a consumer product like any other consumer product. Still, air tickets are tax exempt while consumer products for everyday life (even those which serve basic needs) are subject to VAT;
  • The VAT exemption results in a tax revenue shortfall for the member states of about €10bn (assuming an average VAT rate of 20%). Revenue shortfalls due to non-existent aviation taxes need to be made up by higher taxes in other sectors of the economy, in particular in areas such as employment.

Although passenger travel by air is covered by VAT legislation1, EU Member States use a succession of historical derogations stemming back in some cases to their accession to the EU to exempt (zero-rate with refund of tax paid at preceding stage) airline tickets from VAT for all international flights (including intra-EU flights). Article 371 of the EU-VAT Directive allows Member States which had exempted passenger transport on 1 January 1978 to continue to do so. Countries which joined the EU after 1 January 1978 enjoy the same privilege according to Title XIII, Chapter 1, Section 2 of the EU-VAT Directive.

The exemptions apply to international passenger transport services within and outside the EU. VAT for tickets on domestic flights are charged in all EU member states (at varying rates) with just a few exceptions.

As a result there is no VAT on any aspect of international air travel, not on airline tickets, nor on purchase of aircraft, nor on their servicing, nor on their fuel, nor on air traffic control, nor on baggage handling, nor on aircraft meals. Everything to do with air travel after passport control is zero rated.

Abolishing zero-rating for air tickets broadens the tax base and moves taxation towards indirect taxation in line with the European Commission’s growth strategy, in addition it greens the tax system. In the Summary Report of the Outcome of the Public Consultation on the Green Paper on the Future of VAT, launched by the European Commission, participants have expressed serious concern about the distorting effects of the current VAT system, only air and maritime companies, which enjoy the privileges of the current system, prefer to maintain it.

We demand to abolish any form of VAT zero-rating and VAT exemptions of airline tickets and to include aviation into the VAT tax system of the European Union at standard rates.

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1) Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax (as amended by Council Directive of 7 December 2010).

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Airline Ticket Taxes

Several countries have introduced airline ticket taxes. They are a hardly notable substitute for those taxes which are inherent in the system, namely VAT and Energy Tax.

A survey conducted by Transport & Environment shows that approximately 60% of the market for flights leaving EU countries are covered by airline ticket taxes.

Overview of Airline Ticket Taxes in the EU in 2011 (in EUR):

Short haul (roughly <3000 km) Medium haul (roughly 3000 – 6000 km) Long haul (roughly >6000 km) Market share
Eco Business Eco Business Eco Business
Austria 8* 8* 20** 20** 35 35 2%
France 1 10 4 40 4 40 13%
Germany 8 8 25 25 45 45 19%
Ireland 10 10 10 10 10 10 2%
UK 14 28 70 141 88 – 100 176 – 200 25%
Total 59%
*reduced to 7 Euro
**reduced to 15 Euro

The following example taken from Austria illustrates that Airline Ticket Taxes are a hardly notable substitute for Energy Tax. The calculation of the revenue shortfall in this example does not include the VAT shortfall due to the VAT exemption on all non-Austrian flights:

In 2011 Energy Tax on fuel for road transport was applied at the rate of EUR 0,482 per litre. An equal taxation of aviation fuel would have generated EUR 416,8 million in taxes. In 2012 airline ticket taxes amounted to EUR 59,6 million. Thus, in 2012 Austria granted the aviation industry an Energy Tax benefit of EUR 357,2 million.  In 2013 this tax benefit will even be higher, since ticket taxes have been reduced. (Source of Information: Österreichischer Verkehrsclub – VCÖ 2012).

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and plenty more on the Taming Aviation website

http://www.tamingaviation.eu/

which is in English at  http://www.tamingaviation.eu/index.php?id=27&L=1


Read more »

Lufthansa retrofitting A320 planes with simple, inexpensive, noise-reducing device to stop the “Airbus whine”

The Airbus 320 series of aircraft, many of which are used by the low cost carriers – easyJet in particular – have been known for many years (by the CAA since 2005) to have a particularly irritating high pitched whine. This is caused by air rushing across the under-surface of the wing, where there are Fuel Over Pressure Protector (FOPP) cavities. This generates noise, in the same way as blowing air over the mouth of a bottle.Every A320 series aircraft emits a signature howling noise while approaching to land. It is heard most when the plane is travelling at around 160 knots, and the frequency is around 500-600Hz, which is close to peak sensitivity of the  human ear. There is a relatively simple and inexpensive retrofit, to attach a small aluminium “vortex generator” in front of the cavity. Then can be done at routine aircraft maintenance, though the fuel tanks need to be emptied. Lufthansa is in the process of retrofitting all its A320 series planes. Air France will also do so. EasyJet has been reluctant to do much, as it sees no commercial advantage in doing so.
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Lufthansa Retrofitting A320 Family with Noise-Reducing Technology

10noise

A tiny device, shown here mounted upstream of a circular opening used to equalise the pressure in wing fuel tanks, reduces the whistling noise produced by the Airbus 320. [Photo courtesy of Lufthansa]

Lufthansa is in the process of modifying its fleet of A320 series aircraft with noise-reducing innovations.

After taking delivery of the first Airbus A320 line fitted with the simple, yet innovative, noise-reducing vortex generators earlier this year, Lufthansa is beginning to retrofit its fleet of more than 150 A320 series aircraft.

Every A320 series aircraft emits a signature howling noise while approaching to land. This noise is generated when air flows over an opening on the lower side of the wing, just like blowing air over the mouth of a bottle.

The opening draws in and expels air through vents attached to the fuel tank. Air is drawn in through the opening to replace fuel consumed in flight, then expelled through the same opening when the aircraft is refueled.

The installation of a small vortex generator just in front of the vent opening fixed the howling noise. The device breaks the flow of air just enough to prevent the noise being created, adding minimal drag and without adversely affect the aerodynamics of the wing. Lufthansa expects to complete the modifications to all 157 of its A320 series aircraft by November 2015.

Previously, the howl was accepted as a necessary evil of aircraft operation, and noise-reduction innovations focused primarily on the main noise generators: the engines and the flaps on the wings. Air France, for example, aimed to reduce engine noise by fitting chevrons into the core exhaust nozzle of their A320 series CFM engines.

…. and it continues …..

http://www.flyertalk.com/story/lufthansa-retrofitting-a320-family-with-noise-reducing-technology.html


 

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Small is beautiful: How a tiny device cuts aircraft noise

16/07/2014 (Euractiv)
… extracts below ….

The name – vortex generator – sounds more complex than the device itself. Yet the small component developed by German researchers provides a big solution to noise produced by one of the most widely flown passenger aircraft.

Under pressure from airlines and new regulations, aircraft manufacturers are locked in a fierce competition to produce planes that are easier on the ear and the environment. During rollouts of new or revamped models of engines and aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow this week, manufacturers are touting new or updated commercial products billed as the cleanest and quietest ever.

The vortex generator, however, required no big shift in technology or major manufacturing investment. Developed by the German Aerospace Centre, or DLR, the device diverts wind from vents on the underside of wings on the Airbus 320. It reduces the sound radiating from the aircraft in its clean configuration, just before the landing gear and flaps are deployed for landing.

For Jan Werner Delfs, who heads DLR’s Department of Technical Acoustics, the A320’s noise is like the sound produced by blowing across the opening of a beer bottle, though at many magnitudes of difference. In the airplane’s case, the whistle occurs when air passes over circular openings used to equalise the pressure in fuel tanks mounted inside each wing.

“If you listen to landing aircraft you can always say this is an A320,” Delfs explained in a telephone interview from the northern German town of Braunschweig. “You believe those tones are coming from the engines, but they are really coming from those holes.”

‘Very annoying’ tone

The DLR attached a 5-cm triangular piece of aluminium sheet metal upstream of the two vents on each wing, in order to divert the air flow and stop the whistle.  A decade of research went into the vortex generator, which stems from efforts to mask a similar whistle produced when air blows over the gun ports of warplanes.

“You will certainly very much notice the difference,” Delfs said, noting that it knocks about six decibels off the sound contour of the A320. “It’s not only the question of decibels, by the way. It’s also a question of the kind of sounds and tones, (which) are usually perceived as much more annoying than some featureless noise without tones. If you have a rushing by of something, it’s not very annoying, but if you have a distinct tone, it’s very annoying. So it’s not just the decibels, its the way [the noise] is perceived.”

This year, Germany’s Lufthansa began installing the device on more than 150 A320s and its sister models, the A319 and A321, and announced that it was deploying new aircraft with the device pre-installed. The airline – Europe’s second carrier in passenger numbers – said it was part of its overall scheme to make airplanes quieter.

A Lufthansa spokesman told EurActiv that the noise appears to affect only the Airbus line of single-aisle jets. He said the airline was spending “a single-digit million amount” to retrofit its fleet.

An Airbus spokesman at Farnborough said the device is available as a retrofit on its aircraft and is already being installed on new-model A320s. Other Airlines, including Air France, have announced that they are installing the sound-reducing component on the affected Airbus aircraft.

…….

[about how in the past more plane noise was from the engines, rather than the airframe. Now the noise is about half and half.  During landing, there is often more noise from the airframe than from the engines, especially when flaps are used – which causes drag. That slows the plane, but generates nose].

…..

New EU regulation

Yet even as planes become quieter, the steady growth of air traffic means noise remains a political bombshell in Europe, which leads the world in noise-based flight restrictions. EU states are obliged to limit noise around airports under a 2002 regulation, and the European Parliament and Council approved on April 16, 2014 new aviation noise rules (Regulation 598). The new regulation, which is due to take effect in 2016, puts the EU in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s “balanced approach” to noise reduction through measures such as requiring the use of modern aircraft, quieter ground-control operations and – as a last resort – restrictions on nighttime flying.

Still, it could take years for new technology and policies to pay off. More immediate solutions might be found with relatively simple developments, like the vortex generators.

“This tone problem and the vortex generator is rather exceptional,” said Delfs of DLR’s Department of Technical Acoustics. “It’s an exceptionally simple means to get rid of this noise.”

Other noise-reduction efforts may be far more complex and take longer to develop, he said. “At the moment, we are at a stage where any further decibel reduction takes a lot of effort because today’s aircraft are [already] relatively silent.”

POSITIONS:

“By fitting these vortex generators to our Airbus short and medium-haul fleet, we are continuing to invest in active noise protection”, Kay Kratky, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board, said in a statement announcing the retrofit. “In addition to the extensive modernisation of our fleet over the next few years, this is one of several steps that we are taking to reduce noise. It shows our commitment to working towards a balance between the interests of aviation and local residents, especially at our hubs.”

http://www.euractiv.com/sections/aviation/small-beautiful-how-tiny-device-cuts-aircraft-noise-303505

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A CAA briefing on the issues (at   http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/cttee/gat/gat171013keymes2.pdf   )

Airframe noise from the A320 aircraft family

ERCD  16 October 2013

says:

Tonal noise from the A320 family

 Following concerns raised around Heathrow airport in 2005, the issue
of tonal noise emanating from the A320 family of aircraft on approach
was brought to the attention of Airbus by the CAA
 Complaints of a high pitch “whine” which could be heard on the ground
at relatively large distances from the airport (Greenwich)
 Similar concerns had also been raised around Paris and Frankfurt
airports at around the same time
 Measurements undertaken have confirmed the tonal noise is due
airframe noise not engine noise and is on all present A320 family
variants, i.e. A318/319/320/321, irrespective of engine variant.

 

NTK [Noise and Track Keeping] noise measurements at Heathrow

 Tone is emitted around 500-600Hz, close to peak sensitivity of the
human ear, hence it is very perceptible.
 Close to the airport it is masked by noise from landing gear, flaps and
the higher thrust required in the landing configuration.
 Very audible during intermediate approach phase 7-15nm from
landing.

Tonal noise source
 Investigation by Airbus has revealed two tonal noise components,
generated by the Fuel Over Pressure Protector (FOPP) cavities.

A320 series noise fuel cavity protectors


 

At Gatwick

The A319/320 series account for over 50% of all air traffic at Gatwick, mostly operated by easyjet. They emit a debilitating high pitched whine caused by air rushing over Fuel Over Pressure Protector (FOPP) cavities in the wings – a bit like blowing over the top of an open glass bottle.

The CAA recently admitted that this severe aural annoyance has been recorded on the Airbus series since 2005. They also confirmed that the “Tone is emitted around 500-600Hz, close to peak sensitivity of the human ear, hence it is very perceptible and very noticeable.”

It is noticeable on the long low flight path to touchdown apparent at least 20 miles from the airport and across a variable corridor 2 to 3 miles wide.

The noise is at its worst when the plane is travelling at around 160 knots, so on landing maybe 10 – 20 miles from touch down.

There is a straight forward fix for the issue in place and intense pressure is being applied to easyjet and others to do so.

Though Lufthansa is in the process of retrofitting all their A320 series planes, in order to cut the noise, there is no pressure on airlines to do so. There is no financial incentive for them to do so.

Air France say they will do the retrofits.

The cost of adding the small vortex generators, close to the Fuel Over Pressure Protector (FOPP) cavities is not high.  However, it needs to be done when the aircraft is having routine maintenance, and the fuel tanks need to be completely emptied before the vortex generator can be fitted.  This would add a few hours to the maintenance.

Please see below a letter sent to easyjet asking that the company does something to retrofit their planes, in order to reduce their noise nuisance.

While Air France and Lufthansa are fixing the problem, easyjet refuse to countenance doing more than 20% of their fleet by 2017.

http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/cttee/gat/gat171013keymes2.pdf 

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Letter to EasyJet

Ms Carolyn McCall
Chief Executive Officer
easyJet
London Luton Airport
Bedfordshire  LU2 9PF

14 November 2013

Dear Ms McCall,
In the towns and villages across West Kent and East Sussex concern is being expressed over the debilitating high pitched whine emanating from the Airbus A318/319/320 etc., series of aircraft. For some time it was thought that this was a fault of the high bypass turbofan engines but this was denied by the manufacturers and in any event Boeings equipped with the same engines do not emit this awful and far reaching noise. It is noticeable on the long low flight path to touchdown apparent at least 20 miles from the airport and across a variable corridor 2 to 3 miles wide.

As your fleet has expanded over the past few years many people’s daily lives have become
intolerable because of this noise nuisance. You can imagine then how they are affected when your wailing sirens fly overhead at night. The World Health Organisation has for many years considered that sleep disturbance can lead to fatigue, hypertension, greater risk of heart and respiratory problems, poor performance at work or in school, greater difficulty in concentrating and thinking clearly, an increased likelihood of accidents, depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol abuse. This is particularly the case if people become annoyed about the impact night flights are having on their health and quality of life. These symptoms can also be found in those people suffering excessive noise disturbance during the day.

Much of the nuisance created by your aircraft from Gatwick Airport is over the High Weald
registered as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is on these hills and in the tranquil river valleys and upper reaches of the rivers Rother, Arun, Medway, Eden and Ouse that are used for holidays and weekend recreations of hiking, boating, bird watching, horse riding, golfing and other quiet and peaceful pursuits. All are now disturbed by this deep and penetrating noise, mostly from your airline. Many of those troubled, apart from local people in towns and villages, are day trippers from London and other built- up areas all seeking their own refuge from the intrusive noise of daily urban life. In the green parks of inner cities there is also no respite where you and other low cost carriers operate these aircraft.

This annoyance, we are now told, by the CAA has been recorded on the Airbus series since 2005 yet it was only announced on the 13 October 2013 that the ERCD had discovered that the fault was an airframe noise caused by Fuel Over Pressure Protector (FOPP) cavities in the wings. They also confirmed that the “Tone is emitted around 500-600Hz, close to peak sensitivity of the human ear, hence it is very perceptible and very noticeable.”

Purely from a humanity point of view ‘Do you care? If you do please tell me what you propose doing about rectifying this unfair and intolerable burden across much of our country and abroad. Your decision will make all the difference to so many people’s lives.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Knowles OBE
cc The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP

– The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.

http://www.gatwickobviouslynot.org/docs/Easyjet_14112013.pdf

From Gatwick Obviously NOT

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Heathrow adverts on the Underground subvertised

It was just too tempting for someone to resist. The Underground is plastered with adverts from Heathrow airport, promoting their new runway. And promoting the idea that their runway is of vital importance to not only the travellers who fly, using their airport, but the whole UK economy. And not just now – one ad proclaims that a small child needs a new Heathrow runway for her future welfare. And now many posters have been subvertised. The exaggerated claims of benefits from Heathrow have been substituted by more realistic text, illustrating that the carbon emissions from an expanded Heathrow would be more than any other carbon source in the UK. Larger even than the emissions of many more moderate countries, less addicted than we are to hyper-mobility. The advert with the small girl, which can be seen on a huge number of Tube trains, is still being investigated (for the past 2 months or so) by the Advertising Standards Authority, which is assessing the credibilty of the advert’s claims.

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Heathrow advert little girl subvertised Nov 2014

Heathrow advert subvertised Nov 2014


 And this massive hoarding:

Heathrow advert October 2014 has been altered to:


Heathrow roadside hoarding subvertised Nov 2014

And this one found in Twickenham:

expand-the-arts-heathrow-advert-twickenham

Photo courtesy & copyright of Jodie Holland aka @dutchmrs on Twitter.

It’s on the corner of Staines Road and Elmsleigh Road and should raise a chuckle with the retired thespians in Brinsworth House opposite. Perhaps there’s a connection? Look out for an aged actor armed with spray can and a long ladder roaming the streets of Twickenham after dark.

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Earlier:

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

Later news (October): The ASA have now taken this matter up with Heathrow airport, to be dealt with under the ASA’s formal investigations procedure. After various stages, including giving Heathrow the opportunity to send evidence to support their claims, the ASA’s decision will be published on their website. Timescale not known.
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Copy of the Heathrow full page advert, as it appeared on 16.9.2014 on Page 11 of City AM.

BxuZLxyCQAA5vdG

 

22.9.2014 

Earlier this week, Heathrow put out full page advertisements for their 3rd runway. This is part of an on-going, and expensive media campaign. However, they may have mis-judged the tone of this one. It features a small girl, aged about 5, with her hand up – and the text makes out that her future well being will depend upon ….. guess what?? …. a new Heathrow runway. The advert says the 3rd runway will deliver “… at least £100 billion of economic benefits [no timescale given] the length and breadth of the country.  …. So, even if our little girl never leaves home, she’ll still feel the benefit.”  People may have been inspired to write to the Advertising Standards Authority, to complain about this rather dubious text, with unsubstantiated claims, making use of a small child, to try to make a PR point. One such letter to the ASA has been copied to AirportWatch, in which the writer clearly puts the case that what this child needs is a stable climate for her future, not accelerating carbon emissions. The writer believes the advert to be misleading, and asks the ASA to have it withdrawn. There is now an Avaaz petition to the ASA on this ad.


 

Formal complaint against Heathrow Airport

An advert in today’s Observer (21st September 2014) is based entirely on the supposition that expansion of Heathrow with a 3rd runway would be to the benefit off children and future generations.

But this is a false supposition.  World scientists agree that the world has reached a crucial point in the acceleration of climate change caused by human emissions, and that air travel forms a crucial part of these emissions.  To build more runways producing yet more emissions could set off a series positive feedback as detailed in Professor Houghton’s textbook on Global Warming, reaching irreversible tipping-points with the potential to make this planet uninhabitable for future generations.

Global warming is already estimated to be responsible for thousands of deaths around the world – by such means as increased incidents of flooding, droughts, crop failures leading to starvation, landslides, forest fires, etc., etc.  To allow greenhouse emissions by all means but particularly air traffic where the effects are magnified, is to subject children of today and future generations to even greater such calamities.

Thus Heathrow Airport, by presenting its expansion as being wholly to the benefit of future generations without even mentioning the risks and dangers of such increases in air traffic, is consciously misleading the public.

The advertisement should therefore be immediately banned and withdrawn.

Submitted to Advertising Standards Authority, 21st September 2014

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Comment: “How we’ve been conned into believing the UK has an airport crisis”

Great blog by Adam Bienkov, on Politics.co.uk, saying  “One of the greatest confidence tricks ever pulled was to convince the public that there is an airport capacity crisis in the UK.” He wonders how this has been achieved.  He says if you look at the figures, it’s clear that we are not even close to having an aviation capacity crisis in the UK. Of the ten busiest airports in the country, just one (Heathrow) is technically full. The rest are massively underused. In 2012, Stansted had 47% of all its runway slots left empty; Luton airport had 51% unused; Gatwick about 12% below capacity. The aviation lobby itself (and the Airports Commission) admits there is no current shortage of runways in the UK, it just may happen in the future. A majority of Heathrow passengers are on short-haul leisure flights, but there are many other airports near London that they could use instead. “There are already more than enough runways in the UK to get every British citizen wherever in the world they would like to go. What we don’t have is the public transport network required to get them to those airports quickly and easily.”
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Comment: How we’ve been conned into believing the UK has an airport crisis

By Adam Bienkov (Politics.co.uk)

12 November 2014
Where is the airport capacity crisis we’ve heard so much about?

One of the greatest confidence tricks ever pulled was to convince the public that there is an airport capacity crisis in the UK.

Every conversation about airport expansion now starts from the assumption that it is urgently required. Every debate begins by asking where expansion should take place, not whether it should take place.

How has this remarkable feat been achieved? How have the public been swindled into believing that our airports are full to bursting, with planes being turned away in the skies?

Because if you look at the figures, it’s clear that we are not even close to having an aviation capacity crisis in the UK.

Of the ten busiest airports in the country, just one (Heathrow) is technically full. The rest are massively underused. In 2012, Stansted had 47% of all its runway slots left empty, while Luton airport had 51% unused.

Even Gatwick, which is currently fighting with Heathrow for the right to build more runways, was 12% underused.

The aviation lobby itself admits there is no current shortage of runways in the UK, preferring instead to predict that we will face a theoretical shortage at some point in the future.

Compare this to our domestic public transport network where commuters are already routinely left without seats or even room to breathe and you begin to see the scale of the confidence trick being played on us.

This isn’t to say that there is no problem at all. According to Heathrow’s operators, 98% of its runway slots were full last year, with passenger demand continuing to rise. If there is a case for expansion anywhere then it is at Heathrow.

Yet expanding Heathrow would be both politically and practically impossible. Building another runway there would cost up to £20 billion, increase airport fees, and disrupt one of the busiest roads in the UK. It would cause massive increases in noise and air pollution and inflict misery on thousands of Londoners. There is not a single politician who could be elected on a platform of building more runways in the West London suburbs. It is a total and utter non-starter.

So what can we do about it? The first thing we must do is to dispel the myth that Heathrow is somehow the UK’s national airport. In fact, analysis commissioned by the London Assembly last year found that over two thirds of the 127 million passengers using Heathrow began their journey in east or south east England, with a majority of those coming from London itself.

(Slide 5 from London Assembly http://www.slideshare.net/LondonAssembly/airport-capacity-in-london-report-by-the-london-assembly

)As the above graphic shows, Heathrow is predominantly a local airport. And while the argument for expansion has focused on its role as an international ‘hub’, the vast majority of flights (between 70-75%) are short-haul leisure flights. Heathrow’s location and public transport connections makes it the obvious choice for Londoners taking a break.

Yet there are many other airports near London that could be used by those passengers instead. In August this year I took a flight from Southend Airport for the first time. Expecting vast queues of harassed travellers I turned up the advised two hours in advance.

I was greeted instead by a scene of total desertion. Despite arriving in peak season at an airport in relatively close proximity to central London, there was not a single other passenger waiting to check in their bags before me. Fearing a public emergency I approached the desk with some trepidation only to discover that this situation was routine and my flight would be departing as normal. After an hour lounging in the airport’s mostly empty bar, I joined the short queue for the plane and took off wondering where exactly this airport capacity crisis we’d heard so much about had disappeared to.

Because the truth is that the UK’s real airport crisis is not really about capacity but about how that capacity is used. There are already more than enough runways in the UK to get every British citizen wherever in the world they would like to go. What we don’t have is the public transport network required to get them to those airports quickly and easily.

So instead of spending up to £20 billion compounding the problems at Heathrow, why not spend it instead on improving public transport connections to all those cavernous airports currently laying half empty? This would benefit not only those people who use the airports, but also all those who live and work daily in between them.

Unfortunately this is not a suggestion that is currently even been considered. The release yesterday of the Airport’s commission’s latest reports into proposals to expand Heathrow or Gatwick has instead compounded the false assumption that the UK desperately needs more runways.

But before we decide to pour billions more pounds into one of two overflowing buckets, we should at least take a look at all those many other half-empty buckets we still have laying around the room.

http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2014/11/12/comment-how-we-ve-been-conned-into-believing-the-uk-has-an-a

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Airports Commission estimates new homes needed for new runway – 18,400 at Gatwick; 70,800 at Heathrow (maybe more)

The Airports Commission estimates that a 3rd Heathrow runway could require up to 70,800 homes to be built locally to support the additional jobs created by the development.  The Commission estimates a Gatwick 2nd  runway could require up to 18,400 homes to be delivered across 14 local authorities, and it said this could be done up to 2030, with “land availability unlikely to be affected by green belt issues”.  (Estimate of 30,000 – 45,000 homes by W Sussex County Council + Gatwick Diamond). More houses would be needed for Heathrow expansion than Gatwick expansion, due to more additional business activity following a runway at Heathrow than at Gatwick, and more from the airport’s north-west runway plan (up to 70,800), than the Heathrow Hub idea of extending the northern runway (up to 60,600).  The Commission acknowledges that these upper limits may present challenges for local authorities, outlining that “many… already struggle to meet housing targets”. The only relief would be that the homes could be delivered over a number of years, and the pain would be shared between many authorities. However, Green Belt would be seriously threatened – not to mention urban cramming and loss of village character.
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Heathrow expansion ‘could require 70,800 new homes’

11 November 2014 (Planning)

by Susie Sell

Airports Commission consultation document

Proposals to build an additional runway at Heathrow Airport could require up to 70,800 homes to be delivered locally to support the additional jobs created by the development, a report has found.

The government’s Airports Commission has revealed the findings of its independent assessment of the three shortlisted options for increasing aviation capacity in the UK.

One option for consideration is a second runway at Gatwick Airport, which the Airport Commission said could require up to 18,400 homes to be delivered across 14 local authorities.

It said this would likely be deliverable over the period to 2030, with “land availability unlikely to be affected by green belt issues”.

However, the report said that proposals to expand Heathrow’s northern runway or to build a new full length runway at the airport, would require significantly more homes to support the resulting employment benefits.

It said the Northern Runway proposal would require up to 60,600 new homes, while the creating the new North West Runway would require up to 70,800 new homes.

In both instances the Airports Commission acknowledged that these upper limits may present challenges for local authorities locally, outlining that “many… already struggle to meet housing targets”.

But it said that this would be mitigated by the timescales for delivery and the fact the requirement is spread over 14 local authorities.

Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, said the group had “not yet taken a view on which proposal strikes the most effective balance between the assessment criteria”.

He said: “It is important first that we provide an opportunity for this evidence to be examined, challenged and improved. This consultation gives everyone with an interest in the issue of airport expansion that opportunity.

“Responses to this consultation will be a valuable addition to our evidence base and will directly inform our recommendation to the government when we publish our final report in the summer of 2015.”

Kim Cohen, planning partner at Barton Willmore, said the delivery of the number of homes required highlighted the need for strategic planning by local authorities.

She added: “Clearly one of the characteristics of many of the local authorities that surround both Heathrow and Gatwick is green belt. So it clearly throws up a need for a comprehensive, strategic review of the green belt and some creative ways of dealing with that.

“[You also need to think about] national and regional infrastructure planning to ensure that the economic benefits are maximised; making sure that infrastructure is properly considered; and that the housing can be delivered.”

The consultation document can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/373210/consultation-document.pdf

http://www.planningresource.co.uk/article/1321418/heathrow-expansion-could-require-70800-new-homes


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Estimate of housing needed due to a 2nd Gatwick runway, by West Sussex County Council and the Gatwick Diamond

Broad scale housing forecasts for  the Gatwick Diamond (2)

• 2 runways at Gatwick (with catalytic) could generate demand for increased housing:-
»2015-2020: 500/1,000 units pa
»2020-2025: 2,500/3,000 units pa
»2025-2030: 3,000/5,000 units pa

Implications of changes to airport capacity – slides 2013

by BERKELEY HANOVER CONSULTING LIMITED (BHC)  FEBRUARY 2013


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Airports Commission document on Gatwick  (Nov 2014)

Gatwick Airport second runway: business case and sustainability assessment (138 pages)

Extracts relating to homes:

1.55

A number of local councils, including both Crawley and Croydon, have identified
challenges in meeting existing housing targets and any additional homes required
to facilitate expansion at Gatwick would exacerbate this. However, the additional
housing required is not of a scale which is likely to significantly increase these
pressures, given the potential timescales for delivery and the number of local
authorities affected.

2.56 Growth of jobs and businesses associated with the airport has the potential to put
pressure on housing in the local area. In order to consider the potential maximum
need for additional housing in 2030 as a result of airport expansion, Table 2.10
below demonstrates the range in the forecast of homes required as a result of
airport expansion if all employees are new to the area. Of the additional employees,
the number seeking residences in the local area is assumed to be consistent
with the baseline, at 79% of direct employees and 87% of indirect and induced
employees.

 

8.14

This housing would typically be provided in a phased manner and across the entire
assessment area, and therefore the demands on any individual local authority are
likely to be relatively small. For example, if we assume these properties are provided
over a 10 year period (2020-2030) and split evenly across the 14 local authorities,
then the additional housing need for each LA would be only 130 houses per year at
the highest end of the range. There are also many reasons the additional housing
required is unlikely to be as high as these figures, depending on assumptions about
population growth, net migration, unemployment and commuting. For instance
the relatively high unemployment figure in Crawley could lead to a situation where
many of the jobs are filled by people who already live in Crawley, and so fewer
new homes would be needed. Local authorities in the areas neighbouring Gatwick
are taking steps to increase housing provision to 2030 given already existing
pressures, and in particular Crawley, the authority most dependent on the airport for local employment, has already identified its town centre as a location for long-term residential developments. As such, the scale of change associated with development at the airport is unlikely to significantly increase housing pressures on the local authorities’ plans.

8.15

The need for additional housing provision to house the increase in residents in
the area around the airport will also need to be supported by the provision of
additional social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and leisure centres. The
Commission’s assessment suggests that provision of additional housing will need
to be supported by the provision of additional form entries in local schools and two
additional GPs per local authority to 2030.

 

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Airports Commission document on Heathrow’s north west runway application (Nov 2014)

Heathrow Airport north west runway: business case and sustainability assessment

Extracts relating to homes:

1.59

The construction of a new north west runway at Heathrow would likely require the
loss of a number of homes and community facilities, with the villages of Sipson,
Longford and Harmondsworth particularly affected. This would require close
engagement with local communities to manage the impacts and identify appropriate
mitigations, as well as effective compensation mechanisms. The airport operator
has proposed a £550 million fund to pay for compensation to residents. For those
remaining, yet impacted by the airport, it proposes to pay for noise insulation.

2.57

Growth of jobs and businesses associated with the airport has the potential to put
pressure on housing in the local area. Table 2.10 below demonstrates the range in
the forecast of homes required as a result of airport expansion. Of the additional
employees the number seeking residences in the local area is assumed to be
consistent with the baseline, at 63%; a conservative assumption given the wider
catchment area enabled by the surface access improvements planned.

Table 2.10: Additional homes needed for Heathrow Airport North West Runway
2030 Low and high estimates
Additional homes (direct employees)  low 11,000 … high 26,100
Additional homes (total employees) low 29,800 …. high 70,800

8.15

The additional housing at the upper end of this range – which equates to an
average of some 500 homes per year in each of 14 local authorities – may be
challenging to deliver, especially give that many local authorities struggle to meet
current housing targets. However, the rate of provision of additional housing is
not significantly out of line with many existing plans for the period to 2026 or with
the rate of growth envisaged in the London Plan, although some further increase
may be needed in some areas. In addition, the number of local authorities involved
would also allow some flexibility in how new housing may be delivered across
the area as a whole. It should also be noted that this is a worst case assessment
for the number of additional homes required and there are many reasons why
the additional housing required is unlikely to be as high as these figures. Different
assumptions around passenger demand, population growth, net migration, access
to employment for local people and commuting, for example, could all reduce the
housing growth requirements.

16.2

The central tenet of HAL’s proposed mitigation is compensation, with compensation
for lost homes being offered at 25% above un-blighted market value. For those
houses remaining, compensation would be provided in the form of noise insulation,
or HAL would provide support in relocating. The promoter also plans to extend
its current community investment programme and undertake re-provision of
community services such as Harmondsworth Community Hall and Primary School.

 

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Details of housing for the Heathrow Hub option are at 

Heathrow Airport extended northern runway: business case and sustainability assessment

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GACC press release

2 September 2013

A new town the size of Crawley ?

30,000 – 45,000 new houses would be needed if a new runway is built at Gatwick.  That is the conclusion of a study by independent consultants jointly commissioned by the West Sussex County Council and the Gatwick Diamond business association.  The total number of houses in Crawley at present is around 40,000.

The study, carried out by Berkeley Hanover Consulting, predicts that the number of jobs created by a new runway plus the number of jobs created in firms attracted to the area by doubling the size of Gatwick would be far in excess of any available labour.   It would require a substantial influx of workers from other parts of the UK or from the EU.

Much of Surrey is designated as Green Belt but this is already under threat where planning policies are under review.   In Sussex, Crawley and Horsham are already having difficulty finding sites for a few thousand houses to meet current demand.  Local councils would need to decide whether to build a whole new town or whether to add hundreds of new houses to every town and village – perhaps a thousand houses added to forty villages!

According to Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC:  ‘This independent study, if correct, shows that a new runway would lead to widespread urbanisation, serious pressure on schools and hospitals, and the loss of much dearly-loved countryside.   The more we find out, the more we doubt if the implications of the study were taken on board by Members of the West Sussex County Council before they took their surprise decision in July to support a new runway.’  (Details below).

Sewill added:  ‘The Gatwick Diamond businessmen, who have been lobbying so hard to promote a new runway, also have some explaining to do.  They sponsored this study so they can’t now disown it.  Yet it shows that their dream of making Gatwick bigger than Heathrow could turn into a nightmare.

Note

The study can be found on the WSCC website at  Implications of changes to airport capacity – slides 2013  The housing figures are on page 17.

 

 

 

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Heathrow runway schemes to cost £3-4 bn more than forecast – benefits over 60 years hard to assess

The Airports Commission figures in their consultation documents show costs of building a runway would actually be considerably higher than any of the 3 scheme proposers have estimated. The Commission anticipates a Gatwick runway would cost £9.3 billion, not £7.4 billion the airport claims. The cost of the Heathrow Hub project (extending the northern runway westwards) would be more like £13.5 billion, not £10.1 billion. The cost of Heathrow’s north west runway scheme, destroying Harmondsworth, would be more like £18.6 billion, not Heathrow’s estimate of £14.8 billion (excluding £800m of surface access costs). Those sums would be for runway construction, new terminal and “all other required airport facilities.” The Commission says the higher cost estimates are due to “optimism bias and differing construction profiles.” The possible economic benefits depend on which of 5 scenarios is considered. This could be from £42-127 billion for Gatwick, from £101-214 billion for Heathrow Hub, and from £112-211 for a Heathrow north west runway,depending on the scenario (over 60 years starting in 2026).
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Runways at Heathrow and Gatwick will cost more than forecast

11.11.2014 (Telegraph)

By Nathalie Thomas, Transport and Leisure Editor

Adding runways at Heathrow and Gatwick will cost significantly more than forecast, the Airports Commission has determined, as it announced a public consultation on expansion on Tuesday.

The Commission insisted “no decision” had yet been made on the best location for a new runway in the South East of England, although its analysis has determined that Heathrow will deliver a greater benefit to the wider UK economy than Gatwick.

A second runway at Gatwick would offer an economic boost ranging between £42bn and £127bn, the Commission said, while expanding Heathrow could deliver wider benefits of as much as £214bn.

Two proposals to expand Heathrow have been short-listed by the Commission but those schemes will cost between £3bn and £4bn more than estimated, the inquiry body said.

Heathrow Airport had said it could build a third runway to the north-west of its two current air runways for £14.8bn, plus around £800m to improve road and rail connections. But the Commission has estimated that the bill could spiral to £18.6bn.

Heathrow Hub, a private company which has drawn up designs to extend Heathrow’s northern runway and effectively split it in two, had estimated the costs of its scheme at around £10.1bn but the Commission’s own detailed analysis, published alongside the public consultation on Tuesday, puts the total bill at £13.5m.

Gatwick, which had said it could build a second runway for £7.4bn, has under-estimated the cost of its plans by around £2bn the commission said. The Commission believes the true cost it closer to £9.3bn.

Announcing a national consultation, which will give the public a say on which airport to expand, Sir Howard Davies, said: “We have not yet taken a view on which proposal strikes the most effective balance between the assessment criteria. It is important first that we provide an opportunity for this evidence to be examined, challenged and improved. This consultation gives everyone with an interest in the issue of airport expansion that opportunity.”

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, ending on February 3rd 2015.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11221719/Runways-at-Heathrow-and-Gatwick-will-cost-more-than-forecast.html


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Construction costs

The Airports Commission’s main consultation document 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/372768/AC01_-_bookmarked_file.pdf

states on Gatwick:

“3.39

The construction of a second runway at Gatwick, together with a third terminal and
all associated infrastructure, is estimated to cost up to £9.3 billion. This is higher
than Gatwick Airport Ltd’s estimate of £7.4 billion, reflecting in large part differing
views of optimism bias and differing construction profiles. These costs are, however,
significantly lower than those of either of the Heathrow expansion schemes, both in
quantum and in terms of cost per additional ATM of capacity.”

 

and on Heathrow Hub – extended northern runway  (Page 65):

“3.92

The scheme is estimated to cost c. £13.5 billion, including the runway extension,
a new terminal and all other required airport facilities. This is higher than Heathrow
Hub Ltd’s estimate of c. £10.1 billion, reflecting in large part differing views of
optimism bias and differing construction profiles. These costs are lower than for the
Heathrow North West Runway scheme but still substantially higher than those of
the Gatwick Second Runway scheme.”

“3.93

Investment on this scale would entail increases in the airport’s charges to airlines.
Current airport charges at Heathrow are already comparatively high (£20 per
passenger), reflecting both the demand for slots and the high operating and
ongoing development costs for the airport of delivering a high quality and complex
hubbing product for their airline customers, in a relatively constrained site. These
charges would increase if the airport were to be developed, the extent of which
would be dependant in part on the demand scenario. Heathrow Hub Ltd estimate
an increase in charges per passenger to £22. This is noticeably lower than the
Commission’s estimates which indicate charges could rise to between £27-28, an
increase of around 40%, with peak charges of up to £30.”

“3.94

The Commission’s assessment of potential financing approaches, consistent with
Heathrow Hub Ltd’s proposals, assumes that the scheme will be purchased,
delivered and financed by Heathrow Airport Ltd. The Commission’s analysis
suggests that Heathrow Airport Ltd may have to raise additional equity of up to c.
£5.1 billion and additional debt of up to c. £24.9 billion. This will put the airport at the highest end of the range of financing for infrastructure projects in the UK and could make Heathrow Airport Ltd of comparable scale to Network Rail (with a long-term debt of c. £35 billion) and larger than National Grid (c. £25 billion). Raising this level of financing would be challenging; and there are risks associated with an increase of passenger aero charges to £27-28, significantly higher than current charges across the UK and globally, in a context where Heathrow must compete with other airport operators.”


 

and on Heathrow own plan, the north west runway (Page 81):

“3.143

The scheme is estimated to cost c. £18.6 billion including construction of the
new runway, a new terminal and all other required airport facilities. This is higher
than Heathrow Airport Ltd’s estimate of £14.8 billion (excluding £800m of surface
access costs), reflecting in large part differing views of optimism bias and differing
construction profiles. These costs are higher than for either of the other schemes,
mainly because of higher land acquisition and transit system costs.”
“3.144

Investment on this scale would entail increases in the airport’s charges to
airlines. Currently airport charges at Heathrow are already comparatively high
(£20), reflecting both the demand for slots and the high operating and ongoing
development costs for the airport of delivering a high quality and complex hubbing
product for their airline customers, in a relatively constrained site. These charges
would increase if the airport were to be developed, the extent of which would be
dependent in part on the demand scenario. Heathrow Airport Ltd estimate that
charges would peak at roughly £27 before returning to approximately current levels
by 2050. This is lower than the increases indicated by the Commission’s analysis,
which indicates charges rising to between £28 and £29, an increase of around
40%, with peak charges of up to £32.”

 


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Economic benefit

On the potential economic benefit of a new runway, the Airports Commission says of each of the 3 runway schemes in the main consultation document:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/372768/AC01_-_bookmarked_file.pdf

GATWICK

3.22
Differences in the scale and pattern of demand growth across the Commission’s
scenarios leads to a wide range in potential economic benefits. Under a carbon-
traded scenario transport economic efficiency benefits would range from
£44.1 billion under the low-cost is king scenario at the high end, to £3.7 billion
under the global fragmentation scenario at the low end. In addition, passengers
would benefit from reduced delays to the extent of £0.73 billion to £1.78 billion,
depending on the demand scenario under consideration.

3.23
In addition, the Commission has made a macroeconomic assessment of the GDP
benefits which might accrue from expanding Gatwick airport. This assessment,
which is based on modelling the operation of the economy as a whole, has been
specifically developed to support the Commission process and estimates that there
could be wider benefits within the economy ranging from £42-127 billion depending
on the scenario. These results should be interpreted with caution, given the
innovative methodology used, but they provide an indication of the scope for wider
benefits to be felt throughout the economy, for example from enhanced productivity,
trade or consumer spending, as a result of expansion.  [£42 – 127 is over 60 years, starting in 2026].


 

HEATHROW HUB

3.72
Difference in the scale and pattern of demand growth across the Commission’s
scenarios leads to a wide range in potential economic benefits. Under a
carbon-traded scenario, transport economic efficiency benefits would range from
£36.7 billion under the low-cost is king scenario at the high end of the range to
£9.4 billion under the global fragmentation scenario at the low end of the range.
In addition, passengers would benefit from reduced delays to the extent of
£0.64 billion to £2.18 billion, depending on the demand scenario under consideration.

3.73
In addition, the Commission has made a macroeconomic assessment of the GDP
benefits which might accrue from expanding Heathrow airport. This assessment,
which is based on modelling the operation of the economy as a whole, has been
specifically developed to support the Commission process and estimates that
there could be wider benefits within the economy ranging from £101-214 billion
depending on the scenario. These results should be interpreted with caution, given
the innovative methodology used, but they provide an indication of the scope for
wider benefits to be felt throughout the economy, for example from enhanced
productivity, trade or consumer spending, as a result of expansion. [£101 – 214 is over 60 years, starting in 2026].


 

HEATHROW NORTH WEST RUNWAY

3.127
Differences in the scale and pattern of passenger demand across the Commission’s
scenarios leads to a wide range in potential economic benefits. Using a carbon-
traded scenario transport economic efficiency benefits would range from £42 billion
under the global growth scenario at the high end of the range, to £10.3 billion
under the global fragmentation scenario at the low end of the range. In addition,
passengers would benefit from reduced delays to the extent of £0.84 billion to
£2.36 billion, depending on the demand scenario under consideration.

3.128
In addition, the Commission has made a macroeconomic assessment of the GDP
benefits which might accrue from expanding Heathrow airport. This assessment,
which is based on modelling the operation of the economy as a whole, has been
specifically developed to support the Commission process and estimates that
there could be wider benefits within the economy ranging from £112-211 billion
depending on the scenario. These results should be interpreted with caution, given
the innovative methodology used, but they provide an indication of the scope for
wider benefits to be felt throughout the economy, for example from enhanced
productivity, trade or consumer spending, as a result of expansion.  [£112 – 211 bllion is over 60 years, starting in 2026].

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