Flybe to start routes from London City Airport to UK and European destinations

Flybe is to offer more flights from London City Airport – from October  – after signing a 5-year deal. There will be routes to and from Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Inverness and Exeter.  Flybe hopes these will carry about 500,000 passengers a year.  Exeter-based Flybe is seeking to revive its fortunes after losses forced it to shrink its operations, close regional bases and cut  hundreds of jobs.  It also sold 25 pairs of arrival and departure slots at Gatwick to Easyjet for £20m.  In its last set of financial results,  Flybe reported pre-tax profits of £13.8m for the 6 months to 30 September, compared with a loss of £1.6m a year earlier.   Earlier this year, the airline raised £150m to help fund expansion. Flybe currently operates 171 routes in 16 countries. It will also introduce to services to European ski resorts from London City airport (vital business links??), as well as to destinations in France and northern Spain.
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Flybe to start London City Airport routes

23.4.2014 ( BBC)

Flybe plane

Flybe is to offer flights from London City Airport after signing a five-year deal.

The airline will offer services to and from Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Inverness and Exeter.

Flights are due to begin on 27 October, and Flybe estimates the routes will carry about 500,000 passengers a year.

“Today’s announcement is a significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe,” said the airline’s chief executive, Saad Hammad.

“We are delighted to re-enter the London market at London’s most convenient airport.”

Growing again

Exeter-based Flybe is seeking to revive its fortunes after losses forced it to shrink its operations.

In the past couple of years, it has shed hundreds of jobs. In November last year, it announced plans to close several of its regional bases.

It also sold 25 pairs of arrival and departure slots at London Gatwick to Easyjet for £20m.

However, in its last set of results, there were signs of improvement, as it reported pre-tax profits of £13.8m for the six months to 30 September, compared with a loss of £1.6m a year earlier.

Earlier this year, the airline raised £150m to help fund expansion.

Flybe currently operates 171 routes serving 16 countries.

As part of the London City Airport deal, Flybe also plans to introduce to services to European ski resorts, as well as to destinations in France and northern Spain.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27122754

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Gatwick employs high profile PR man Godric Smith (ex Tony Blair, Olympics, BBC) to boost runway campaign

Gatwick airport is spending a lot of money (the figure of £10 million for their PR budget has been mentioned, but this may be an  under-estimate) on their lobbying to win over key hearts and minds to their runway plan. Their new campaign, with glossy adverts on the  underground, large numbers of public presentations etc “Gatwick Obviously” is spending lavishly. Now Gatwick has announced that they are employing a high  profile PR consultant, Godric Smith, to help them in their political battle against Heathrow, for the runway.  Godric used to work as spokesman for Tony Blair. He then worked on communications for the Olympics. He was also brought in to the BBC (part time, at £150,000 per year) to sort out their bad publicity issues. Godric Smith has his own consultancy called Incorporated London.  Gatwick already has existing relationships for public relations with Fishburn and London Communications Agency. Godric Smith is said to have extensive Whitehall experience and “first-class contacts across the spectrum and a very good understanding of how government works”. The airport is also reviewing its digital and consumer agencies.
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 This is one of their “Gatwick Obviously” posters.

Gatwick advert

http://www.gatwickobviously.com/news/gatwick-obviously-%E2%80%93-campaign

 


Gatwick plane hiding in the grass

This is one of the photos on the “Gatwick Obviously” webpage on the environment.

Can you spot the plane nestling among the vegetation? ….  at one with nature ….  !

This photo could be a winner in any airport greenwash photo awards.

http://www.gatwickobviously.com/environment


 

This is the other photo on the “Gatwick Obviously” environment page.

Gatwick   PR photo with bird

http://www.gatwickobviously.com/environment

Plane, with trees and bird.  It would appear that Gatwick’s expensive PR company that produced this photo were not aware that the airport discourages birds. And there are no trees like this on the airport site anywhere near a runway.

Gatwick’s own website says they “do not attract and encourage birds to congregate” http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/airlines-business/business/aerodrome-safeguarding/

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Gatwick Airport calls in former Blair spokesman Godric Smith

23 April 2014  (PR Week)

by John Owens,

Gatwick Airport has brought in the agency of former Tony Blair spokesman and Olympic delivery communications chief Godric Smith to help it in the political battle for a second runway.

Gatwick Airport: pushing for a second runway
PRWeek understands that Smith’s consultancy Incorporated Londonhas been hired to push the expansion agenda by Gatwick, which has existing relationships with Fishburn and London Communications Agency.

The appointment comes as the Airport Commission studies a range of options to increase aviation capacity in the south of England.Last month, the airport published more details of its proposed £7bn second runway and launched a campaign called Gatwick Obviously.

It claimed that the airport’s expansion would have an “Olympic-scale effect” on south London.Smith, who is understood to have been hired within the past three months, has extensive Whitehall experience including acting as Prime Ministerial spokesman for Blair and leading communications on the delivery of the Olympics.One agency source praised Smith as “someone with first-class contacts across the spectrum and a very good understanding of how government works”.

However, they added that with another runway at Heathrow among the options being considered by the Airport Commission, Gatwick had a tough challenge on its hands.
“Gatwick wins on a number of criteria against Heathrow, but does it have the credibility among the business community and airlines?

They need them to come out and say it has more potential than Heathrow.”

A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said: “London Gatwick is the obvious choice for the next runway and has built the best possible team to support its campaign.”

Earlier this year, PRWeek revealed that the airport was set to reviewits digital and consumer agencies.

Incorporated London declined to comment on the hire.

http://www.prweek.com/article/1291102/gatwick-airport-calls-former-blair-spokesman-godric-smith

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Earlier:

BBC pays Tony Blair’s former spin doctor £150k to be part-time PR man

Godric Smith, 48, was hired to restore the corporation’s battered reputation

Appointment followed Jimmy Savile scandal and fat-cat salaries
Tory MPs furious as BBC already spend £5m on in-house PR department
By ANDREW PIERCE   (Mail online)

, 1 November 2013
The BBC is paying one of Tony Blair’s former spin doctors £150,000 a year as a part-time public relations adviser.

The appointment has infuriated Tory MPs as the BBC already has 140 staff in its in-house PR department, with a salary bill of around £5million.

Godric Smith, 48, was hired to help restore the BBC’s battered reputation after the scandal over Jimmy Savile, fat-cat salaries, and the £25million redundancy bill for 150 senior managers.

Key role: Godric Smith with Tony Blair during a Downing Street press conference in 2006

Mr Smith was recruited in the summer by former Labour Cabinet minister James Purnell, who joined the BBC in February as the £295,000-a-year director of Strategy and Digital. The pair worked closely together at No10.

His salary and working arrangements were not disclosed, but the Mail understands he is paid £150,000 a year.

…… and it continues  ……

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2483900/BBC-pays-Tony-Blairs-spin-doctor-150k-time-PR-man.html


 

Earlier:

Gatwick Airport appoints MI6 HQ architect Sir Terry Farrell to promote its 2nd runway plans

July 9, 2013     Gatwick Airport has appointed a leading architect, Sir Terry Farrell, to help in its plans to build a 2nd runway. Sir Terry will help Gatwick in its proposals for a “constellation of 3 London airports” with 2 runways each – 2+2+2. Gatwick hopes competition between it, Heathrow and Stansted was “the best solution for London”. Sir Terry’s previous projects include the MI6 building and Home Office headquarters in London and Incheon Airport in South Korea. Sir Terry’s firm, Farrells, will look at the impact on London of having competing airports of equal size compared to a single “mega-hub” airport. He said: “The world city of London, with the largest aviation market in the world, is the hub and its airport infrastructure needs to evolve and grow around the city” and that “a single mega-hub airport is at significant odds with what London needs.”

Click here to view full story…

 


 

Gatwick airport employs PR agencies to help sway opinion in favour of 2nd runway

5.2.2013

Gatwick Airport has brought in Fishburn Hedges (a corporate PR agency) and the London Communications Agency on an integrated PR and public affairs brief, in order to try to drum up support for building a 2nd runway. Both agencies will work directly with the airport’s communications staff. They will be aiming to work at the local and regional level to “engage key stakeholders in London and West Sussex.” Gatwick is currently developing detailed expansion plans that could double the airport’s annual capacity to around 70 million passengers and will submit its case to the Airports Commission shortly.  Local campaigners have fought the threat of a second runway for years, as it would have seriously negative environmental and quality of life impacts for the area. Gatwick is legally prevented from starting a 2nd runway before 2019. 

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Bloomberg says Heathrow claim that 3rd runway would mean lower air fares takes “a flight of imagination”

A report – by Frontier Economics – released by Heathrow last week, as part of its lobbying effort, sought to put a price on the way the airport has chosen to run at almost full capacity. The study makes out that the cost of building the new runway, terminal, changes to the road network, compensating people etc would only add £20 per ticket.   Interestingly, Bloomberg Businessweek says “Heathrow officials did not respond to e-mails seeking comment” on these remarkable figures.  A footnote buried on page 11 of the Frontier Economics study “notes that calculations for how much fares would fall once a 3rd runway were operational are “complicated by airline price setting,” which is typically focused on “maximizing profitability.”  Indeed. ”  Bloomberg is not convinced that air fares would necessarily fall if a new runway was built. They cite examples of new runways in the  USA, where prices  have merely risen. They also say the airline alliances would make fare cuts unlikely. Airlines have no interest in cutting fares. Bloomberg says: “selling the project as a fare-lowering exercise takes a flight of imagination.”
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Would Another Runway at Heathrow Lower Airfares? Don’t Bet on It

By Justin Bachman (Bloomberg Businessweek)

April 22, 2014

Descending over residential property near London's Heathrow Airport

Descending over residential property near London’s Heathrow Airport
Photograph by Jason Alden/Bloomberg
London’s Heathrow Airport is what people in the airline business politely call “capacity constrained.” It is surrounded by houses and highways, making expansion challenging, and the two runways have reached their limits for flights. As Heathrow executives fret that Dubai will overtake the title for international passenger traffic—a milestone that could come next year—they are eager to build a third runway to accommodate new flights to growing markets in India, Africa, and South America.

A British government commission named Heathrow and Gatwick as the two airports best served by expansion. A report released by Heathrow last week as part of its lobbying effort sought to put a price on the current congestion: Passengers pay an extra £95 ($160) on average fares because of the two-runway bottleneck, according to the study, and a third runway would reduce the average round-trip flight by £300 by 2030. (That eye-popping figure even accounts for the cost of the new runway, pegged at £20 per passenger.) Heathrow officials did not respond to e-mails seeking comment.

A footnote buried on page 11 of Heathrow’s runway study, which was put together by Frontier Economics, an economic consulting firm, notes that calculations for how much fares would fall once a third runway were operational are “complicated by airline price setting,” which is typically focused on “maximizing profitability.” Indeed.

But if airfares rise as a result of restricted capacity, does it necessarily follow that prices decline when congestion eases? Would an expansion lure new service from budget airlines such as Ryanair (RYAAY) or EasyJet (EZJ:LN) with cheaper rates?

The U.S. is full of large airports whose capacity isn’t restricted. Chicago’s O’Hare and Atlanta Hartsfield airports are two of the world’s busiest, with thousands of flights each day, and both have steadily added runways. O’Hare opened a fourth runway last year and plans a fifth in 2015, with three additional ones coming before its ongoing modernization effort ends. Atlanta’s fifth runway opened in 2006. So have travelers at these hubs seen a corresponding decrease in average fares? Since the third-quarter of 2006, the average inflation-adjusted round-trip fare has climbed $30, to $432, in Atlanta, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. In Chicago, meanwhile, the average trip has increased by $44, to just over $386 (a figure that includes fares at both of the city’s major airports).

Runways might not even be the most constricting feature of the Heathrow experience for travelers. Britain has been criticized for having some of the highest aviation taxes on the planet; they have risen some 2,600 percent since 1994, according to the International Air Transport Association. Any reductions in how much travelers pay to fly would almost certainly need to come from the airlines’ portion of the total price, not the tax burden travelers pay the government. Yet the Heathrow runway report says very little about airlines, the prime arbiter of travelers’ costs at any airport. The authors note that an airport and its airlines are not an integrated business enterprise and treating them as such “is a very strong assumption and very different from reality.” Still, the assumption works for predicting that a third runway would lower airfares at Heathrow, the report claims, because airlines can be considered “effectively competitive, with easy entry and exit of markets at an unconstrained airport.”

Unfortunately, in the real world, the large global airlines at Heathrow and elsewhere have divvied many of their international routes into alliances to which governments on both sides of the Atlantic grant immunity from antitrust regulation—a license, in effect, to collude on fares and schedules. Heathrow’s dominant airline, British Airways (IAG:LN), has joined with Oneworld Alliance partner American Airlines (AAL) to coordinate flights across the Atlantic. (The carriers boast hourly flights between London and New York. United (UAL), which operates most of its European flights from its Newark and Washington-Dulles hubs, is part of the Star Alliance with Lufthansa (LHA:GR), Air Canada (AC/A:CN), and Singapore. Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Air France-KLM (AF:FP) anchor a third large airline alliance, and Delta has likewise formed a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic for their Heathrow-New York flights.

Major international airports are engines of economic growth, which includes airline profitability. When airports expand, airfare discounts are certainly not among the project’s goals for an airline. Heathrow’s traffic says it’s short a runway—but selling the project as a fare-lowering exercise takes a flight of imagination.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-22/would-another-runway-at-londons-heathrow-airport-lower-fares-dont-bet-on-it

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Earlier:

Frontier Economics report for Heathrow makes out that a 3rd runway will mean lower fares

Date added: April 17, 2014

Heathrow airport has commissioned a report from Frontier Economics (a firm that has done a lot of pro-expansion reports for the industry), and it makes out that air fares will fall if a 3rd Heathrow runway is built. It is not a brilliant report. But it said what Heathrow wanted it to say. Only the FT and the Telegraph bothered to report this story. Frontier economics says the price of slots at Heathrow would fall (which they probably would) if there was a 3rd runway, as with so many new slots, it would not be possible to sell them for the prices charged today. Frontier economics say a long haul holiday would be cheaper at Heathrow in future, with a new runway. The FT comments that: “Aviation analysts said it would be difficult to calculate the saving.” Indeed. The numbers are very speculative.The report is strangely silent on the – not inconsiderable – matter of the cost of building a new runway, at either Heathrow or Gatwick, and the costs needed to give a reasonably return to the investors. The Frontier Economics report contains some very contorted arguments, with some highly contrived conclusions – with much speculation.

Click here to view full story…

 

 


 

The Frontier Economics report is at 

Impact of airport expansion options on competition and choice 
A REPORT PREPARED FOR HEATHROW AIRPORT
April 2014   (93 pages)

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The Frontier Economics also says the prices for fares would fall even more if both Heathrow and Gatwick built new  runways. (The Airports Commission has said there is only room, within carbon constraints, for one runway in the coming few decades. Not two. Even one runway, in reality, puts serious strains on the UK’s carbon targets.)  

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Green MEP Jean Lambert warns new European rules risk making London’s airports noisier

Green Party MEP,  Jean Lambert,  has warned that  people under flight paths to all London’s main airports could suffer increased noise level, especially at night. This is because the European Parliament has voted on revisions to EU rules dealing with airport noise which let economic interests override rules on noise. This will enable the European Commission to overrule flight restrictions – such as night bans – at airports. The change will leave many more people being subjected to the noise, pollution and all other miseries caused by planes. Jean said:  “Instead of working to ensure stronger EU rules, to reduce the nuisance, pollution, health problems and safety risks posed by airports, the European Commission gave in to heavy lobbying from the aviation industry and the US administration”. ….this….”takes on an added significance in the context of the UK Government’s desire to cater for ever-increasing numbers of flights….. Instead, we need to reduce demand and explore how aviation could function within environmental limits.”
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New rules risk making London’s airports noisier, warns Green MEP

17.4.2014 (Jean Lambert, Green MEP)

EURO-MP Jean Lambert has warned that Londoners living near Heathrow and City Airports – and under flight paths to and from Gatwick, Luton and Stansted Airports – could suffer increased noise level, especially at night.

The European Parliament has voted on revisions to EU rules dealing with airport noise which let economic interests override rules on noise. Green MEPs hit out at the agreement, which will enable the European Commission to overrule flight restrictions – such as night bans – at airports.

Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, said:
“This review is a blow for all those European citizens living near airports. It will leave many more people being subjected to the noise, pollution and all other miseries caused by planes.

“Instead of working to ensure stronger EU rules, to reduce the nuisance, pollution, health problems and safety risks posed by airports, the European Commission gave in to heavy lobbying from the aviation industry and the US administration.

“Now MEPs and EU governments have cleared these wrong-headed plans for take-off.”

Commenting on the UK context, where the Airports Commission is considering increased aviation capacity, Ms Lambert added:

“This vote today in Brussels takes on an added significance in the context of the UK Government’s desire to cater for ever-increasing numbers of flights. A new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow would leave more people affected by noise and air pollution and more climate-damaging pollution.

“This is exactly what European laws should be aiming to prevent, and today’s vote is a source of regret to this end. We can’t just keep catering for rising growth in flying. Instead, we need to reduce demand and explore how aviation could function within environmental limits.”

 http://jeanlambertmep.org.uk/news_detail.php?id=1111

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Brussels, 16 April 2014

New EU rules to improve transparency of decisions on airport noise

European Commission – IP/14/444   16/04/2014

(Europa)

The European Commission welcomes today’s decision by the European Parliament to make the rules on noise-related operating restrictions more transparent and evidence-based.

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: “These new rules will make it easier to find solutions that will satisfy citizens living close by the airports without losing sight of the important economic impact that those airports have on local economies, and in full respect of international rules.”

With these new rules, national and local authorities keep responsibility for concrete decisions about noise-related operating restrictions, tailored to the particular characteristics of each airport. However, those decisions will be taken following an EU harmonised process. This will guarantee a fair outcome for all. The role of the Commission will be to review the quality of the process and, if necessary, take appropriate legal action before restricting measures are implemented, in order to guarantee the rights of citizens, businesses and all interested parties.

Noise restrictions are measures affecting the capacity of an airport to operate, for instance by introducing noise quotas, restricting the use of runways, phasing-out the noisiest aircraft or imposing night bans.

The process for any future decision on airport noise focuses on:

  • Evidence gathering on the basis of internationally recognized data and methods;
  • Timely and substantial consultations with all stakeholders;
  • Provision of sufficiently long notification times to the impacted operators.

Finally, national authorities will decide what is the acceptable level of noise for each specific case and find the most cost-effective solution to mitigate the noise impact.

Background information

Air traffic noise affects some 2.5 million citizens in Europe. At the same time, aviation activities boost local economic growth and employment. The challenge is to pursue regional and local policies which maximize connectivity, whilst mitigating the environmental impact of noise.

The new rules will facilitate this process. They clarify the relationship with strategic noise mapping actions undertaken under the Environmental Noise Directive and they strengthen the evidence base for decision makers so that the most cost-effective measures can be selected. The new rules are fully compliant with the international principles on noise management, the so-called ‘Balanced Approach’ developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The measures were proposed by the Commission as part of the Better Airport package. The proposals on slots and groundhandling are still pending.

What happens next?

Today’s decision ends the ordinary legislative procedure. The President of the Council and the President of the European Parliament now have to sign the European law. The new rules will then be published in the coming months.

They are expected to enter into force two years after publication, i.e. around mid-2016.

More information

IP/12/582

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-444_en.htm

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Earlier:

 

Luxembourg, 7 June 2012

Airport noise: Member States support revision of EU rules

Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President in charge of transport, thanked the Danish Presidency for its energetic management of the Better Airports proposals, which has now seen agreement reached by the Council both for groundhandling (on 22 March) and today for noise. He said: “Transport ministers have been able to reach a general approach on this politically sensitive issue which is an important step. Decisions on noise restrictions will remain clearly for Member States, but I am also conscious of the impact of restrictions on the aviation network. So we have to ensure a process which is fair and which respects international rules.”

The initial Commission proposal

On 1 December 2011 the Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on noise-related operating restrictions, in the context of the “Better airports package”, together with proposals on groundhandling and airport slots (see IP/11/1484 and MEMO/11/857). On noise-related operating restrictions, the Commission proposed to repeal Directive 2002/30/EC and to replace it by a new regulation.

Air traffic noise is affecting the quality of life of citizens in the vicinity of airports. At the same time, the travelling public wants to maintain a large choice of air services and aviation is a regional engine for growth. The challenge is to strike the balance between these two objectives and take more evidence-based decisions, with due respect for the global character of aviation. The proposal also makes it possible to phase out the noisiest aircraft of the fleet, which contribute in a disproportionate way to air traffic noise.

What were the main issues at stake?

The transport ministers endorsed the main thrust of the Commission proposal:

  • The new rules will more clearly identify all actors in the noise assessment process with their respective rights and obligations. Citizens living in the vicinity of an airport will become involved in the noise assessment process and will be formally consulted before an authority decides on an operating restriction.
  • Competent authorities should be able to focus on the noisiest aircraft of the fleet (the so-called ‘marginally compliant aircraft’) and phase them out first, instead of introducing general night flight bans, which would also affect aircraft operators which have been investing in quieter aircraft. The transport ministers have accepted a more stringent definition of such ‘marginally compliant aircraft’, with step-by-step implementation towards greater stringency.
  • The Commission will have a right to review the quality of the decision-making process to ensure that all steps in the process have been respected, in line with international commitments.
  • The Commission will be empowered to update the noise standards in view of international developments within the International Civil Aviation Organization, the UN body for international civil aviation responsible for setting noise standards for aircraft.

In all, this agreement would establish a European framework under which citizens have a visible process in which to make their views known; national authorities would be required to follow clear parameters in taking decisions; operators should get more predictability and legal certainty as a result; the Commission, if required, performs a quality check on the process in line with international commitments; decisions on the substance remain firmly in the hands of Member States.

Next steps

The proposal must still be voted by the European Parliament in first reading. The proposed regulation on noise-related operating restrictions is the second of three legislative proposals of the “Better airports package”. Further to today’s discussion the Commission expects the Council to work on the third element, slots, under CY Presidency.

For more information please see the Transport and Telecommunications Council memo: MEMO/12/409

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-582_en.htm

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Flight Global looks at the impacts of a new south east runway on environmental constraints

Flight Global have looked at the environmental issues involved in building a new runway in the south-east.  They consider noise, and appreciate that Heathrow has a serious problem and a political issue.  Gatwick makes much of the lower numbers of people overflown by planes near the airport.  The government has yet to decide if it will  establish an independent noise ombudsman, to deal with noise issues. Even if this is introduced, Tim Johnson (Director of AEF – the Aviation Environment Federation) says “whether it has any real contribution to make over the next couple of years is quite doubtful”.  Another key environmental concern linked to airport expansion is local air quality – an issue which Tim Johnson does not believe has been addressed sufficiently. The NOx pollution, largely from road traffic associated with an airport, is expensive to reduce. Colin Matthews has said that “to fix air quality at Heathrow [you need to] replace the fleet of diesel engines coming down the M4”.  [How about the M25 too? ]  An extra runway can only be fitted within UK carbon targets by not requiring aviation to cut its CO2 emissions cf. their 2005 level.   
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ANALYSIS: What new London capacity means for green goals

By: KERRY REALS (Flight Global)

18.4.2014

Building an additional runway to address capacity constraints and meet future demand for air travel in and out of London has moved from a question of “if” to one of “where”.

Studies have found that an extra runway could be added without jeopardising the UK’s chance of meeting its emissions reduction targets – albeit to the detriment of further developing regional airports, say some. However, concerns over noise and local air quality could still prove difficult to overcome.

In December 2013, the UK’s government-appointed Airports Commission announced it had whittled down to a shortlist of three the options for where and how to add new runway capacity. These include constructing a second runway at London’s Gatwick airport, building a third runway to the north-west at London Heathrow, and extending the northern runway at Heathrow to allow for simultaneous take-offs and landings. A proposal to build an all-new, four-runway airport on the Isle of Grain in the Thames Estuary did not make the shortlist, but backers have been given extra time to make the case for its possible addition in autumn.

The promoters of all four proposals are keen to point out that theirs is the best when it comes to addressing environmental concerns. They will need to spend the next few months putting meat on the bones of these claims, and convincing local residents in particular that their worries are being taken seriously. As Heathrow’s operators know only too well from previous thwarted attempts to build a third runway, airport expansion is a political hot potato that can be dropped at any minute. In the words of Airports Commission chair Howard Davies, speaking at the Runways UK conference in London in January: “There are complex issues to address where consensus is in short supply.”

When it comes to noise and local air quality concerns, Heathrow has the steepest hill to climb, given its proximity to heavily populated areas and one of the UK’s busiest motorway networks. To complicate matters further, there are two competing proposals for Heathrow’s expansion – one of which does not have the support or endorsement of the airport’s management. The airport’s own proposal is to build a 3,500m (11,500ft) runway to the north-west of the Heathrow site, which it says would have a smaller noise footprint than the previous third-runway proposal put forward in 2003.

“The proposal aims to reduce the number of people affected by noise and give periods of respite from noise for every community under the flightpath,” says Heathrow sustainability director Matt Gorman. Heathrow bosses do not believe the competing “Heathrow Hub” proposal to extend the northern runway to at least 6,000m – put forward by independent promoter Runway Innovations – can offer such respite to local residents.

“It is up to the Airports Commission to weigh up the environmental effects and decide which is the best option of the two. However, unlike our own proposal for a north-west third runway, Heathrow Hub is not able to maintain the principle of runway alternation to provide periods of respite from noise for communities around Heathrow,” says Gorman. “That principle has been shown to be important to local residents.”

This is disputed by former Concorde pilot and now director of Runway Innovations Jock Lowe, who says that periods of respite are “still possible” under the Hub proposal. Lowe lists a number of initiatives that could be taken both now and in the future to further reduce noise, such as delaying the lowering of aircraft landing gear until a maximum of 6nm (11km) from touchdown, and changing continuous descents to constant rate descents with a minimum of 1,000ft per minute. He says respite could be achieved by regular changes to arrival routings, with “whole day alternation possible for some communities”.

Tim Johnson, director of the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), believes the Heathrow Hub proposal is “built around addressing the noise question” more than the other shortlisted options. However, he adds that “until we go through a detailed appraisal of each”, the exact noise implications will remain unknown. One thing he stresses, however, is that “noise will mobilise communities and create a political issue”.

While Heathrow’s Gorman highlights research from independent polling company Populus as suggesting that just 36% of local residents oppose expanding Heathrow, Runway Innovations’ Lowe makes the following point: “Noise is the crucial factor, and the people that don’t like noise will make more noise than the people that do.”

Gatwick airport is using its location away from heavily populated areas to position its expansion proposal as having the least impact when it comes to noise pollution. It says the addition of a second runway would mean that 13,800 households would be affected by noise, which it claims is 5% the number of households that would be affected by the construction of a third runway at Heathrow.

“Heathrow has more people living nearby who are impacted by noise than every other European hub airport combined,” says Gatwick’s operator. “That’s why it will always be too politically toxic for expansion.”

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate describes community support for its expansion plans as “strong”, adding: “Gatwick is sparsely populated. Noise at Gatwick is many orders of magnitude less than at Heathrow.”

In its interim report in December, the Airports Commission recommended the establishment of an independent noise authority to offer impartial advice on the effects of noise pollution from aviation. Such an ombudsman is yet to be appointed, but even if it is, the AEF’s Johnson believes that “whether it has any real contribution to make over the next couple of years is quite doubtful”.

Another key environmental concern linked to airport expansion is that of local air quality – an issue which Johnson does not believe has been addressed sufficiently. This has less to do with emissions from aircraft and more to do with surface transportation around the airport. In the case of Heathrow, Johnson says a number of possible solutions have been considered in the past, such as fitting the tunnels leading into Heathrow with “NOx [nitrogen oxide] scrubbers”, but such options have proved to be expensive.

Colin Matthews, whose stint as Heathrow’s chief executive ends later this year, says that “to fix air quality at Heathrow [you need to] replace the fleet of diesel engines coming down the M4 [motorway]”.   [and how about the M25 too?  The problem is the NOx. Scrubbers, if there were tunnels, would be expensive. Heathrow has said it will pay for work needed to the M25.              AW comment].

But convincing people to leave their cars at home and travel to the airport by public transport means “changing public behaviour”, says Johnson, for which there can be no guarantees. Local air quality “needs to be a real focus for the next stage of the [Airports] Commission’s work”, he adds.  [Heathrow airport claims, in its 2013 submission to the Commission, that it can build a new runway and there would be no more road  journeys than now, due to more use of public transport.  Link ]

Heathrow recognises local air pollution as being a problem, and says it is attempting to improve the situation. “Aviation is a far smaller contributor to air pollution than road traffic. However, we are already taking significant steps to tackle the problem,” says Gorman. “For example, we subsidise local public transport so people can travel for free without the need for a car. We also charge airlines based on how green they are, so the cleanest aircraft are charged less to land at Heathrow.”

Whichever proposal is selected by the Airports Commission and recommended to the UK government for adoption, the country’s climate change commitments must be honoured. The Airports Commission has concluded that one additional runway is needed in the south-east of the UK by 2030, and another runway may be required by 2050. It notes that these conclusions “are consistent with the Committee on Climate Change’s advice to government on meeting its legislated climate change targets”. These targets include cutting emissions from aviation and shipping by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. [Not true – aviation is not  properly included in UK carbon budgets, and need to be merely “taken account of”. It is able to expand as long as its emissions are back to 2005 levels by 2050.  Every other sector must cut its emissions by 80% of their 1990 level by 2050.  Aviation is allowed to double its emissions compared to 1990 – the emissions were about double the 1990 level in 2005. The CCC hopes that aviation will improve carbon efficiency in line with its rate of permitted expansion – perhaps an over-optimistic target.  AW comment]. 

In the best-case scenario for aviation, this would allow the industry to grow [number of passengers] by 60% over the next 35 years, says Johnson.  [55% increase in flights, due to an anticipated increase in average plane size].  While he agrees with the Airports Commission that “respecting the limits from the aviation industry doesn’t preclude another runway”, he notes that an additional runway in the south-east would mean regional airports “would have very little licence to grow”.

No matter which proposal the Airports Commission selects, the additional runway capacity will not arrive any time soon. None of the proposed new runways would be operational before the mid-2020s. The next few months will see promoters battling to win local support for their projects and submitting to the Airports Commission details on how their designs could be developed and appraised.

The next big hurdle once a scheme has been selected will be steering it through parliament and making it a political reality. The Airports Commission will not put forward its final recommendation until after the next UK general election in May 2015. Even then, former transport secretary Lord Adonis suggests that if the next prime minister “can duck the decision for another five years, they will duck”.

 http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-what-new-london-capacity-means-for-green-goals-397467/ 

 

 

 

 

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Frontier Economics report for Heathrow makes out that a 3rd runway will mean lower fares

Heathrow airport has commissioned a report from Frontier Economics (a firm that has done a lot of pro-expansion reports for the industry), and it makes out that air fares will fall if a 3rd Heathrow runway is built. It is not a brilliant report.  But it said what Heathrow wanted it to say.  Only the FT and the Telegraph bothered to report this story. Frontier economics says the price of slots at Heathrow would fall (which they probably would) if there was a 3rd runway, as with so many new slots, it would not be possible to sell them for the  prices charged today. Frontier economics say a long haul holiday would be cheaper at Heathrow in future, with a new runway. The FT comments that: “Aviation analysts said it would be difficult to calculate the saving.” Indeed. The numbers are very speculative.The report is strangely silent on the – not inconsiderable – matter of the cost of building a new runway, at either Heathrow or Gatwick, and the costs needed to give a reasonably return to the investors. The Frontier Economics report contains some very contorted arguments, with some highly contrived conclusions – with much speculation. 
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The Frontier Economics also says the prices for fares would fall even more if both Heathrow and Gatwick built new  runways. (The Airports Commission has said there is only room, within carbon constraints, for one runway in the coming few decades. Not two. Even one runway, in reality, puts serious strains on the UK’s carbon targets.)  

 


 

The Frontier Economics report is at 

Impact of airport expansion options on competition and choice
A REPORT PREPARED FOR HEATHROW AIRPORT
April 2014   (93 pages)


 

Heathrow expansion ‘would cut prices for passengers’

Heathrow claims an average return ticket would be £300 cheaper by 2030 if the airport is allowed to expand to three runways.

Fleet of British Airways airliners at London Heathrow Airport UK

Heathrow believes it could also offer an additional 40 routes to long-haul destinations if it is allowed to expand. Photo: Alamy

By , Leisure & Transport Correspondent

17 Apr 2014 (Telegraph)

Heathrow has upped the ante in its battle to secure approval for a third runway, claiming that air passengers are paying an average of £95 more for a return ticket than they should be due to a lack of spare capacity at the West London hub.

The airport, which has been operating close to full capacity for a decade, said a lack of available take-off and landing slots means passengers are paying higher prices as there is insufficient competition on routes.

A report commissioned by the airport, produced by Frontier Economics, claims the average return ticket could be as much as £300 cheaper in today’s prices by 2030 if Heathrow is allowed to expand.

Two possible designs for a third runway at Heathrow have been short-listed by the government-back Airports Commission, along with a second air strip at rival Gatwick.

Heathrow is seeking to undermine its rival by claiming there would be greater benefits to passengers if both airports were allowed to expand. Gatwick has stated it will not build a second runway if its competitor is also given the go-ahead.

The expectation is most airlines would increase their take-off and landing slots at Heathrow, rendering a second runway at Gatwick unviable if both bases expanded.

The Airports Commission has determined that only one net new runway will be needed to meet aviation demand in the south east of England by 2030 although a second may be necessary by 2050.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s outgoing chief executive, said: “This research shows that not building a third runway at Heathrow will add hundreds of pounds to the cost of a family holiday, be a disincentive to doing business in the UK, and increase the cost of the goods and services that are imported and exported through Britain’s most important trade gateway.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10771073/Heathrow-expansion-would-cut-prices-for-passengers.html

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See also:

 

Bloomberg says Heathrow claim that 3rd runway would mean lower air fares takes “a flight of imagination”

April 22, 2014

A report – by Frontier Economics – released by Heathrow last week, as part of its lobbying effort, sought to put a price on the way the airport has chosen to run at almost full capacity. The study makes out that the cost of building the new runway, terminal, changes to the road network, compensating people etc would only add £20 per ticket. Interestingly, Bloomberg Businessweek says “Heathrow officials did not respond to e-mails seeking comment” on these remarkable figures. A footnote buried on page 11 of the Frontier Economics study “notes that calculations for how much fares would fall once a 3rd runway were operational are “complicated by airline price setting,” which is typically focused on “maximizing profitability.” Indeed. ” Bloomberg is not convinced that air fares would necessarily fall if a new runway was built. They cite examples of new runways in the USA, where prices have merely risen. They also say the airline alliances would make fare cuts unlikely. Airlines have no interest in cutting fares. Bloomberg says: “selling the project as a fare-lowering exercise takes a flight of imagination.”

Click here to view full story…

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Meanwhile the Daily Mail takes it at face value:

Heathrow holidaymaker and business flier fares will soar if no new runway is built, warns new study

By DAILY MAIL

17 April 2014 (This is Money)

Failing to build a third runway at Heathrow will add £300 to the cost of an average return fare from the airport by 2030, according to a new study.

The report by consultancy Frontier Economics, commissioned by Heathrow, said there was no doubt the South East needed new airports.

And it warned costs would soar at Heathrow if no new runway was built, with demand for flights significantly outweighing supply.

 Frontier estimated that not building a third runway would mean a £320 rise on the average £625 return ticket by 2030.

Building the runway would add £20 to each ticket – an overall saving of £300 on each ticket. Building a second runway at Gatwick, however,  would result in a saving of just £4 per ticket over the same period. The study also estimates that passengers are paying an extra £95 at present at Heathrow than they would if it had another runway.

‘This report makes clear that if the UK chooses to expand only one airport, then the greatest consumer benefits from increased competition and lower fares are to be gained at Heathrow,’ said the airport’s boss Colin Matthews.

Frontier also estimated that an enlarged Heathrow would connect London to 40 new destinations, and only seven at a bigger Gatwick.

‘Heathrow Airport would lead to substantially greater reductions in ticket prices and greater connectivity,’ said Frontier.

Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission will not make its final recommendations until 2015.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2606419/Heathrow-fares-soar-no-new-runway-built-warns-new-study.html


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Third runway would lead to lower air fares, says Heathrow

By Jane Wild (FT)

Heathrow airport's Terminal 2 building

©photolibrary.heathrow.comHeathrow airport’s Terminal 2 building

Heathrow airport says the cost of an average air fare would fall sharply if it had a third runway, according to research that backs its case for expansion.

It says passengers pay an extra £95 more for an average return because airlines are fighting for space at Heathrow, and this pushes up prices.

A report by the consultancy Frontier Economics says £300 could be cut from a return air fare by 2030 if the west London airport were allowed to expand.

“This research shows that not building a third runway at Heathrow will add hundreds of pounds to the cost of a family holiday, be a disincentive to doing business in the UK, and increase the cost of the goods and services that are imported and exported through Britain’s most important trade gateway,” said Colin Matthews, the airport’s departing chief executive.

Aviation analysts said it would be difficult to calculate the saving.

“Having extra capacity at a busy London airport would increase competition, which based on historical behaviour would have the impact of driving down ticket prices. It would be hard to quantify by how much that would be,” said Jack Diskin, at Goodbody brokerage.

Anand Date, at Deutsche Bank, said taxes made up a significant proportion of ticket prices, so any cut would have to come from the remainder that went to airlines.

Heathrow’s research said both it and Gatwick should be allowed to expand to bring the greatest benefits to passengers, because both airports will be heavily congested by 2030.

A commission appointed by the government is assessing how best the UK’s southeast air space, the busiest in the world, could take more flights.

Heathrow said with a third runway it would be able to add 40 new, direct routes, to destinations such as Kolkata, Lima and Mombasa. It would also be able to improve connectivity within the UK, with routes to places such as Inverness, Jersey and Durham – destinations that have been cut as space has become more expensive.

Full FT article is at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0c26a398-c587-11e3-97e4-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=uk#axzz2z82LG6dT

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The Frontier Economics report is at 

Impact of airport expansion options on competition and choice 
A REPORT PREPARED FOR HEATHROW AIRPORT
April 2014   (93 pages)

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Latest Back Heathrow newsletter described as ” A work of art: the art of distortion”

Back Heathrow has produced its latest news-sheet and questionnaire, which has been delivered to thousands of homes. In a blog, Chair of HACAN, John Stewart, writes about how it is “A work of art. The art of not quite telling it as it is.” Its front page has a heading saying “Hillingdon Council want Thousands of Houses on Airport”. That clearly implies that Hillingdon want Heathrow closed, but that is far from what they have actually said.  Its leader, Ray Puddiford, has merely said that, if an Estuary Airport opened and Heathrow had to close, there would be the opportunity for the land to be used for housing and new businesses. The newsletter claims thousands of jobs are at risk if Heathrow were to close. It conveniently overlooks another key finding of the report that the impact of a second runway at Gatwick would have a ‘negligible’ impact on employment at Heathrow. Heathrow is not going to close. The newsletter also quote “residents” – but only highly selected ones. The status of “Back Heathrow” was debated at length, and questioned, at the latest Heathrow Consultative Committee on 26th  March.

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“A work of art: the art of distortion”

It’s got ‘em talking.  And fuming.  Back Heathrow’s latest news-sheet and questionnaire.  I didn’t get one dropped through my door but many of our supporters did and they sent me copies.

The newsletter is a work of art.  The art of not quite telling it as it is.  Take the front page “Hillingdon Council want Thousands of Houses on Airport”.  What message does that convey to you?  The clear implication is that Hillingdon wants the airport to shut.

Heathrow Hub front page April 2014

(sorry about poor quality of scanned image).

Hillingdon have never said that.  It leader, Ray Puddiford, has merely said that, if an Estuary Airport opened and Heathrow had to close, there would be the opportunity for the land to be used for housing and new businesses.  See link to article with his statement  Back Heathrow turns that into “Hillingdon Council Leader Ray Puddiford: Ungrateful – Shutting down Heathrow represents a ‘remarkable opportunity’.”

 The sleight of hand goes on.  It quotes from the report commissioned by three London boroughs which indicates that thousands of jobs are at risk if Heathrow were to close.  It conveniently overlooks another key finding of the report that the impact of a second runway at Gatwick would have a ‘negligible’ impact on employment at Heathrow.

 And then there are “local residents” who are quoted.  Steve Ostrowski may live in Hillingdon but what we are not told is that he also works at the airport.

And then there is Gary Dixon who says he’s “lived near the airport for years.”  Local Hillingdon people tell me his area is not impacted by planes.

Not forgetting Shaun Brimacombe from Harlingon who asks “If noise does affect them then why did they choose to live next to a major international airport?”  Back Heathrow’s bosom buddies at Heathrow Airport know full well that there are people distraught by aircraft noise living 20 miles from the airport.  They didn’t “choose to live next to a major international airport.”  They don’t get a quote.

Although we don’t share it, HACAN recognizes there is an argument to be made for the expansion of Heathrow Airport but this news-sheet does nothing to advance it.

Back Heathrow newsheet Page  4

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You can contact Back Heathrow at Premier House, 50-52 Cross Lances Rd, TW3 2AAor by email hello@backheathrow.org or via their website:  www.backheathrow.org

 Thinking of filling in the survey? 

Don’t risk it!  You could be quoted out of context in their next news-sheet.  Better to say nothing.  Return an empty envelope.  It’s Freepost! 

 

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Earlier:

Hillingdon Leader unveils vision with 2 scenarios of future Heathrow without the airport

Date added: April 1, 2014

The Leader of Hillingdon Council has set out his vision for the redevelopment of the Heathrow site should the government decide that a new hub airport ought to be built elsewhere in the south east. There has been a lot of scare mongering promoted by Heathrow, and its lobbying campaign, “Back Heathrow” to cause concern that jobs in the Heathrow area would be lost if a 3rd runway was not allowed. On the same day that Boris set out his own 4 scenarios for the area, if Heathrow closed, Hillingdon now sets out its 2 possible scenarios, in its “Heathrow Park: A Better Future for Heathrow.” These are: (1). A smaller West London Airport similar in scale to City Airport; with “Heathrow Park” delivering 31,000 homes for an estimated 67,000 people, and including those at the airport, around 72,000 jobs. (2). If Heathrow Airport closed completely Hillingdon anticipate the creation of “Heathrow Park” with up to 45,000 homes (30% affordable) for nearly 100,000 people, with over 66,000 jobs and a wide range of education, health, public open space and community facilities. In the 2nd scenario, For both scenarios, the principle settlement of Heathrow Gardens and the surrounding ‘urban villages’ will be centred on existing tube and rail networks to maximise connectivity.      Click here to view full story…

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This is the section relating to the Back Heathrow campaign, from the Heathrow Consultative Committee meeting minutes of 26.3.2014:

http://lhr-acc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/2014Min26MarA.doc

[Rob Gray is from the Back Heathrow campaign.

Rob Gibson (LAANC); Iain Hope  (LCCI);

Cllr. David Linnette  ( LB Richmond on Thames)  ]

4758    ‘BACK HEATHROW’ CAMPAIGN

1.         A presentation was made by Rob Gray, Campaign Director of ‘Back Heathrow’.

It is a community campaign launched six months ago with funding from Heathrow Airport to give a voice to the thousands of residents in the local communities who support Heathrow and depend on the future of the airport.

A map was (circulated) showing the postcode areas where 20,000 supporters lived who had registered to support the campaign.

‘Back Heathrow’ was a group of residents, businesses and organisations that had joined to defend the jobs that rely on Heathrow and to campaign for its secure future.

It gave a voice to the thousands of West London residents who were in favour of a successful, international hub airport at Heathrow.

It was acknowledged that there were differences in opinion, but they wanted to redress the balance to ensure that not just anti-Heathrow or anti-Heathrow expansion voices were heard.

Rob Gray said that the perception that it was a big airport versus all residents was,

in his opinion, wrong.   It was not thought that anyone could represent all residents under the Heathrow flightpath, because everybody had a different opinion about the airport. ‘Back Heathrow’ also wanted to ensure that Heathrow acted as a good neighbour in West London.  Growth was supported at the airport, as they wanted to protect the 114,000 local jobs on site and the ¼ million jobs in the wider area that depend on a flourishing Heathrow. It was believed that Heathrow must grow as the alternative is the decline, or worse, with the Mayor of London’s proposed scheme to close the airport. The status quo is no longer an option.

 

After the Government created the Airports Commission to find a solution to the UK’s             aviation dilemma, it was realised that supporters of Heathrow needed to be heard.

Polls regularly showed that the vast majority of residents felt the benefits of Heathrow outweigh any disadvantages.

The ‘Back Heathrow’ campaign was set up to give these people voices.

The group would campaign vigorously against the Mayor of London and others who want to see the hub airport closed and redeveloped as housing.  They were confused

at the London Borough Hillingdon’s attitude towards Heathrow, which the Council described in is own local economic assessment as follows:-

‘Hillingdon is an impressive borough, the second largest in London with great assets as home to Heathrow Airport and as gateway to London and the rest of the world.

Hillingdon also has a much higher average job density than London and the UK.

Heathrow was the world’s busiest international airport and the largest single employee site in the UK.  Hillingdon has a strong local economy and potential. Heathrow Airport provides considerable benefits for the local economy’.

Continued growth at Heathrow Airport has proved to be one of the key economic drivers for Hillingdon, for London and the rest of the UK economy’.

Opponents state they were not opposed to Heathrow, but to Heathrow expansion.

‘Back Heathrow’ had stated ‘that they would not let jobs and prosperity for local communities bleed out from the wound caused by political inactivity’.

Speaking out for those who value Heathrow, out of the top 300 companies, 200 had headquarters within 25 miles of the airport. There were also small-medium sized

family businesses who provide services e.g. freight, catering, hotels and transport companies.  There were thousands of jobs in the local community from corner shops

to shopping centres, restaurants and other leisure facilities that rely on wealth created by Heathrow jobs.

Without Heathrow as a dynamic hub airport providing links to the world for business and leisure travellers alike, those whose jobs rely on the airport would not have as much money in their pockets to spend and the local economy would suffer.

Heathrow was a massive success story and many local residents were really proud and many had moved into the area because of the airport.  There were opportunities for             local people if Heathrow grows, but without growth it would decline.

Since its launch six months ago, more than 20,000 residents living in communities around Heathrow had supported the campaign.  In addition to the large cross-section of the public, contact had been made by chambers, trade organisations and businesses.

Heathrow was the only hub airport in the UK and one of only 6 that served 50 or more long-haul routes.

Gatwick Airport had refused to agree to build a second runway if Heathrow built a third runway, and the fact that major airline alliances do not wish to go to Gatwick is an inconvenient truth for many.

Any airport expansion would be difficult and require major political decisions.

Opposition to growth at Heathrow was acknowledged.

However, ‘Back Heathrow’ wished to see a successful, international hub airport             flourishing in the UK.

 

2.

Iain Hope stated that the London Chamber of Commerce believed that expansion in the South-East must proceed, as the broader London area was desperately short of runway capacity.

Every airport in the London area was a member of the LCCI, but they did not show favouritism towards Heathrow. However, there are certain strong pressures on the LCCI, not only to support other regulatory airports, but also Heathrow as a hub airport.

The LCCI had carried out various surveys, from which it was very clear that two-thirds of the Chief Executives of small-medium companies who were members  lived within the area South-West of Heathrow.  This was not without problems, because the smooth public transport links needed were not available to Heathrow.

This was a discussion much heard and would continue to be fought for.

There were no illusions that, in terms of a hub airport, there was no alternative to Heathrow.  The LCCI would continue to back this for the business of this country and to safeguard the future for successive generations, without ignoring the environmental issues.

Noise contours had reduced and by individual aircraft types there had been real progress made by the airline industry, although more still needed to be done.

It was good that HACAN and other organisations pressed for this to continue.

 

3.

Cllr. Linnette asked if the 20,000+ supporters of ‘Back Heathrow’ included those    who worked directly at Heathrow.

If the referendum was looked at for both Hillingdon and Richmond together,  80% of those who responded were very concerned about expansion and noise.

There were two sides to the debate.

Cllr. Linettte invited Rob Gray to speak to the LB Richmond residents on the campaign.          which he accepted.

Rob Gray confirmed that some of the supporters worked at the airport or had done so previously, whilst others had no link at all.  More people were regularly joining the campaign and welcomed the support.

It was agreed that there were two sides to the debate, but ‘Back Heathrow’ wanted to re-balance this.

It was interesting to note there was a juxtaposition with this borough as there was a significant number of residents who were against expansion of the airport and noise, but yet, Richmond was in the Top 10 UK boroughs in terms of frequent flyers.

In 12 months, residents had taken 316,542 flights from Heathrow.

 

4.

Virginia Godfrey  (HACAN) referred to the slogan of ‘Back Heathrow’ as being a ‘grass root    community campaign’.  However, the true definition of this was not apt as the term  implies that the ‘creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is             orchestrated by traditional power structures.  A campaign where action and support  is home-grown by individuals – something that originates from other people’.

It was obvious that ‘Back Heathrow’ did not fit in with this description.

 

It would more appropriate to drop the aspect of ‘grass root community campaign’ and call it merely the ‘Back Heathrow’ campaign.  The wording should be more transparent.

Rob Gray replied that he did not wish to do this. ‘Back Heathrow’ was in the public domain initially supported by the airport, but non-profit making.  He believed it was a ‘grass roots campaign’ involving residents who were also achieving on their own in this endeavour with poster and leaflet distribution and writing to local politicians.

 

5.

Cllr. Nelson clarified that it was not the LB Hillingdon residents and workers who  live in the area who wanted to see the closure of Heathrow, but the leadership of Hillingdon Council who did not wish the airport to remain open.

 

6.

Rob Gibson asked Rob Gray how the ‘Back Heathrow’ campaign was developed and   policy steered.  Whether it was his responsibility or that of a Board of Directors, and if the organisation was a registered charity. Also, their view on night flights.

Rob Gray responded that ‘Back Heathrow’ was a stand-alone non-profit making organisation. When it was set up, Heathrow Airport allocated funds to start the campaign. Support had also been received from businesses and unions and residents had also donated.

In terms of setting the policy, this was set by ‘Back Heathrow’ to defend the jobs at Heathrow and to secure a bright future for the airport.

There were two Directors. Nathan Fletcher who works at Heathrow Airport was             appointed to the Board with financial responsibility of the funding, but had no executive decision-making powers. ‘Back Heathrow’ ran their own campaign working with colleagues and volunteers to decide what is best for the organisation and also             talked to the airport and anyone who wished to support the campaign.

Rob Gray said that in terms of night flights, he would not subscribe to 24/7 flights  nor see an increase in night flights.  He was aware that early morning flights could be an issue for some residents.

 

7.

Cllr. Rough stated that improvements had been made in respect of aircraft noise.

Schools and houses were quieter than years ago.  It was necessary to go forward as a country for the benefit of the majority with a business case for aviation expansion.

 

8.

Cllr. Beer stated that the ‘Back Heathrow’ campaign was designed to scare people who were not properly informed.  Heathrow would not close if a third runway was not approved by the Government.  It would survive and thrive, but needed to accept the fact that it was not the only airport in the country  The aviation industry worked on the basis of alliances and competed with each other.

The existing major alliances would continue at Heathrow, whilst other alliances could move elsewhere and expand as their expertise allowed.

Heathrow cannot expand as there was already inadequate housing facilities, with a congested road and rail network.  It would not be possible to provide all the necessary facilities that such a large escalation in business activity would create. It was not realistic and this fact must be faced.

Rob Gray reiterated that if Heathrow did not expand, it would decline as it was at full capacity.

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.Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee – Minutes and Agendas

http://lhr-acc.org/minutes/

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IPCC report says transport contributes 27% of global CO2 – and could double by 2050 under BAU

The latest UN IPCC report alerts global leaders to the growing threat of uncontrolled transport emissions. The UN’s climate panel says that transport is set to become the world’s biggest source of CO2 emissions unless lawmakers take strong action now.   They say “The transport sector accounted for 27% of final energy use and 6.7 GtCO2 direct emissions in 2010, with baseline CO2 emissions projected to approximately double by 2050.” The report states: “Without aggressive and sustained policies (to cut CO2 from cars and trucks), transport emissions could increase at a faster rate than emissions from any other sector.” Progress is being made in the EU on cars, but not much on trucks and vans. As actual car performance on CO2 on the road is not as good as the theoretical level, the EC plans to introduce a new test that closes loopholes in the current system in 2017. Air travel is only given one short mention that increased use of high speed rail should replace some short haul flights. There are some very guarded comments on biofuels (written by large committee!) which mention “the risks of increased competition for land need to be managed.” [BAU = Business as Usual].
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Transport to become largest source of CO2 emissions if politicians don’t act decisively, UN experts warn

 April 13, 2014 (Transport & Environment)

The latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published today alerts global leaders to the growing threat of uncontrolled transport emissions. The UN’s climate panel says that transport is set to become the world’s biggest source of CO2 emissions unless lawmakers take strong action now. The report states: “Without aggressive and sustained policies (to cut COfrom cars and trucks), transport emissions could increase at a faster rate than emissions from any other sector.”

Commenting on the report, Greg Archer, Transport & Environment’s clean vehicles manager, said: “Thanks to EU regulations CO2emissions from new cars are now falling, but the progress on trucks and vans is glacial. The IPCC report stresses the urgency of taking new initiatives to tackle vehicle emissions, but the European Commission’s response is to repeatedly delay promised strategies to regulate car and van emissions after 2020 and to start addressing soaring emissions from trucks.”

The IPCC report confirms that regulations such as Europe’s COstandards for cars are very effective in driving down climate-changing emissions. Analysis by T&E shows the introduction of COlimits for cars in Europe tripled the annual rate of fuel efficiency gains [1]. But T&E warns that around half the improvement measured in official tests is actually being delivered by vehicles on the road. The European Commission plans to introduce a new test that closes loopholes in the current system in 2017, which is facing fierce opposition from carmakers.

Ambitious vehicle regulations are also the most effective way to drive the market for e-mobility (electric and hydrogen cars). These have the potential, when powered with renewable electricity, to simultaneously lower carbon emissions and reduce noise and air pollution, which destroy the health and shorten the lives of millions of Europeans.

“Current EU policies to encourage the uptake of electric cars are ineffective and muddled. The new Commission needs to come up with a strategy to reduce all emissions from cars, vans and trucks after 2020 and integrate this with sustainable forms of urban mobility. Ultimately, these policies will put European businesses at the forefront of a global shift to non-polluting vehicles”, Greg Archer concluded.

Footnotes:

[1] Prior to the regulation in the period 2000-2007, CO2 emissions in the EU went down by just 1.3% a year. From 2008 to 2013, the average annual rate of improvement has been a 3.5% (http://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/how-clean-are-europes-cars-2013).

http://www.transportenvironment.org/press/transport-become-largest-source-co2-emissions-if-politicians-don%E2%80%99t-act-decisively-un-experts

IPCC Press  Release about the Working Group III report 

IPCC press release

 

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The report – the third in a series by the IPCC designed to highlight the climate crisis now facing the planet – is intended as an urgent wake-up call to nations to commit around 1-2% of GDP in order to replace power plants that burn fossil fuels, the major cause of global warming, with renewable sources.


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Below are extracts from the section on transport, from the report’s “Summary for policy makers”
Page 24
Transport
The transport sector accounted for 27% of final energy use and 6.7 GtCO2 direct emissions in 2010, with baseline CO2 emissions projected to approximately double by 2050.
Technical and behavioural mitigation measures for all transport modes, plus new infrastructure and urban redevelopment investments, could reduce final energy demand in 2050 by around 40% below the baseline, with the mitigation potential assessed to be higher than reported in the AR4

Integrated urban planning, transit‐oriented  development, more compact urban form that supports cycling and walking, can all lead to modal shifts as can, in the longer term, urban redevelopment and investments in new infrastructure such as high‐speed rail systems that reduce short‐haul air travel demand (medium evidence, medium agreement). Such mitigation measures are challenging, have uncertain outcomes, and could reduce
transport GHG emissions by 20–50% in 2050 compared to baseline (limited evidence, low
agreement). [8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 12.4, 12.5, Figure SPM.8 top panel]

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Strategies to reduce the carbon intensities of fuel and the rate of reducing carbon intensity are constrained by challenges associated with energy storage and the relatively low energy density of low carbon transport fuels. 

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The cost‐effectiveness of different carbon reduction measures in the transport sector varies significantly with vehicle type and transport mode (high confidence).

The levelized costs of conserved carbon can be very low or negative for many short‐term behavioural measures and efficiency improvements for light‐ and heavy‐duty road vehicles and waterborne craft. In 2030, for some electric vehicles, aircraft and possibly high‐speed rail, levelized costs could be more than USD100/tCO2 avoided (limited evidence, medium agreement). [8.6, 8.8, 8.9, Figures TS.21, TS.22]

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Regional differences influence the choice of transport mitigation options (high confidence).

Institutional, legal, financial and cultural barriers constrain low‐carbon technology uptake and behavioural change.

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Mitigation strategies, when associated with non‐climate policies at all government levels, can help decouple transport GHG emissions from economic growth in all regions

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More from the Guardian on the IPCC report:

Summary

  • The IPCC report, Migating Climate Change, was released today. It detailed the path by which the worst effects of climate change can be avoided and global warming, including how the world can avoid breaching the 2C limit agreed by world leaders in Copenhagen in 2009.
  • The report is from the last of three IPCC working groups, the first two looked at the the state of climate science and the impacts of unchecked climate change.
  • It was produced by 1250 international experts and approved by 194 governments.
  • The report found that carbon emissions were still growing and the rate of growth was increasing.
  • However mitigating the effects of climate change would only limit global consumption growth by 0.06% – a relatively tiny amount.
  • If we want to limt temperature increase to 2c by the end of this century, there would have to be large cuts in emissions, said IPCC chair Rajendra K Pachauri.Tripling to nearly quarduraling of zero to low co2 energy supply will almost get us there.
  • A business-as-usual scenario will lead to 3.7C to 4.8C rise in temperature before 2100.
  • Working group III co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer said the report contained “hope, modest hope” and that “it does not cost the world to save the planet”.
  • Renewable energy was seen as the major energy production platform in a sustainable future.
  • Carbon capture and storage, nuclear, bioenergy and shale gas were mentioned alongside renewables as necessary contributers to the global energy mix.
  • Last-minute objections from rich countries scrapped a proposed section, which called for hundreds of billions of dollars every year to be paid to developing countries by developed countries.

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Also

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/12/ipcc-report-world-must-switch-clean-sources-energy

and

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/12/un-urges-increase-green-energy-avert-climate-disaster-uk

 

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Study suggests London City Airport site could be put to more economically & socially efficient use by closing airport

A new report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) makes the case for closing London’s City Airport and redeveloping the site to create more jobs, boost local business and build new homes. The report looked at the actual contribution, and the restrictions, caused by the airport on the surrounding area, and it has come to some     conclusion that may seem surprising. They found London City Airport creates little value to the UK economy – despite occupying 500,000 square metres at the heart of London. Its direct contribution in 2011 was £110m – compared to £513 million generated by the nearby ExCeL Centre.  It provides relatively few jobs, and restrictions on development near the airport due to  the public safety zone and height restrictions in the nearby area limit many potentially more efficient uses of the land.   Local residents bear all the costs but reap few of the benefits – the average salary of a London City Airport passenger is over £90,000, while 40% of Newham residents earn less than £20,000. Only about 28% of the airport jobs go to Newham people.   London’s transport no longer needs City Airport – City Airport’s passengers account for just 2.4% of London’s total flight demand. These passengers could be readily absorbed by Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted.   By 2019 Crossrail will allow City workers to reach Heathrow in just 30 minutes.
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Close London City Airport – new NEF report

10.4.2014

The report is at:

 

“Royal Docks revival – Replacing London City Airport”                  London City Airport NEF report April 2014

 

A new report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) makes the case for closing London’s City Airport and redeveloping the site to create jobs, boost local business and build new homes. Some key points:

•        City Airport creates little value – despite occupying 500,000 square metres at the heart of London, its direct contribution to the UK economy in 2011 was £110m – less than a fifth of the nearby ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre.

•        City Airport costs jobs – the airport has never delivered on initial jobs promises and its safety crash zone limits business development across a 3 mile area.  The extra 1500 jobs from current plans to expand City Airport compare poorly with the 9,000 jobs expected to result from the nearby Silvertown Quays development.

•         Local residents bear all the costs but reap none of the benefits – the average salary of a London City Airport passenger is over £90,000, while 40% of Newham residents earn less than £20,000.  Some 18,000 local residents suffer high levels of noise pollution and poor air quality.

•         London transport no longer needs City Airport – City Airport’s passengers account for just 2.4% of London’s total flight demand, and its numbers could be readily absorbed by Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted.   By 2019 Crossrail will allow City workers to reach Heathrow in just 30 minutes.

 

The need to cut noise, pollution and carbon emissions and tackle economic and social inequalities demands urgent reform of how aviation is managed in our cities.

New research from NEF exposes London City Airport as an outdated and unproductive use of precious inner city land and calls for it to be closed at the soonest opportunity.

There are more productive things we could do with London City Airport

The airport represents a missed social and economic opportunity for the Royal Docks area. Alternative developments for the Royal Docks would outstrip City Airport on economic value. Despite its much larger footprint, the airport’s direct contribution to the UK economy in 2011 (£110 million) is just a fifth that of the nearby ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre (£513 million). City Airport’s own estimates suggest a contribution of £750m per year to the UK economy, but the majority of this is generated through inbound passengers’ spending which would be retained if passengers were directed through other airports.

The airport also punches below its weight on job creation, supporting the equivalent of only 1,900 full-time jobs. In contrast the ExCel is predicted to support 53,000 across the UK by 2017. Only 27% of jobs created by the airport go to local Newham residents, well below the target 35%.

The airport can be closed without loss of transport capacity

Crossrail will vastly improve access to London’s other airports once completed in 2019. Travelling from Liverpool Street to Heathrow will take half an hour, just 4 minutes longer than the journey to London CityAirport.

Other London-area airports have capacity to take on City Airports passengers. City Airport is a niche airport, catering for only 2.4% of London’s total aviation demand. With the exception of Luton, every other London-area airport has enough spare capacity to single-handedly absorb London City Airport’s passengers, although of course in reality the displaced passengers would be spread between them.

 

The benefits of London City Airport are enjoyed by a small, wealthy minority

The benefits of London City Airport accrue mainly to its wealthy business clientele. Three quarters of inbound journeys end in Canary Wharf, the City of London or the City of Westminster, and the average salary of the airport’s users is £92,000. This contrasts starkly with the deprivation in surrounding Newham, where residents have lowest average incomes in London, 40% earning below 20,000.

The environmental costs of City Airport land squarely on neighbouring communities. Air pollution is a major problem across London, but Newham is particularly badly affected. Death rates in the borough from chronic heart and lung diseases – commonly exacerbated by air pollution – are among the highest in London.

Significant levels of noise are experienced by 18,000 people around City Airport. The World Health Organisation recommends a noise level of no more than  50 to 55dB for residential areas, but in the Royal Docks area every local school experiences noise at levels of 57dB.

Helen Kersley, lead author and economist at NEF said:

“Given our current dire shortage of homes, as well as the UK’s international commitments to cutting its carbon emissions, we must seriously question the logic of locating an airport on precious inner city land.London City Airport places a significant environmental and social burden on neighbouring communities, and gives back very little in return.”

“Now is the perfect time to think about alternatives. 70% of the world population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050 – London can lead the way in demonstrating how we can reduce carbon emissions, live within our environmental limits, and achieve a fairer distribution of economic benefits.”

 

John Stewart, Chair HACAN East, said:

“We have no doubt that the replacement of the airport with alternative businesses would benefit the local and national economy. The development of community land trust model of ownership would complement many of the exciting new developments which have taken place in the area in recent years”.

“This ground-breaking report from NEF shows that closure of the airport would not only help residents in East London blighted by noise and air pollution, but would bring benefits to the economy.  It makes complete economic, social and environmental sense.”

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1.      The New Economics Foundation (NEF) is an independent think tank that specialises in innovative economic thinking – www.neweconomics.org

2.      The Royal Docks revival report waslaunched at an event on Thursday 10 April 2014 at The Crystal, Royal Docks.

 


 

 

The report is at:

“Royal Docks revival – Replacing London City Airport”                  London City Airport NEF report April 2014

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London City Airport ‘should close’, think tank says

London City Airport
10 April 2014 (BBC)
London City Airport says if it closed, 2,000 people would be out of work

London’s City Airport should close and its site be redeveloped to create jobs, boost local business and build new homes, a think tank has said.

The airport accounts for just 2.4% of London’s total flight demand, the report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) said.

Its passengers could use Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted, NEF claimed.

A London City Airport spokeswoman said the airport “facilitates inward investment and economic growth”.

‘Gives very little’

The report by NEF claimed: “City Airport creates little value – despite occupying 500,000 square metres at the heart of London, its direct contribution to the UK economy in 2011 was £110m – less than a fifth of the nearby ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre.”

NEF economist Helen Kersley said: “Given our current dire shortage of homes, as well as the UK’s international commitments to cutting its carbon emissions, we must seriously question the logic of locating an airport on precious inner city land.

“London City Airport places a significant environmental and social burden on neighbouring communities and gives back very little in return.”

A London City Airport spokeswoman said: “The only airport in London provides a direct route to the capital’s business, financial and political centres, facilitating inward investment and economic growth.”

She added closing the airport would put 2,000 people out of work, prevent the creation of a further 1,500 jobs by 2023 and remove £750m a year from the economy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-26965052

 

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London City Airport Worth More as a Building Site, Study Argues

By Kari Lundgren  April 10, 2014 (Bloomberg)

London City Airport, the closest terminal to the capital’s financial district, contributes little to the U.K. economy and should be closed, according to a report today from the New Economics Foundation.

The airport added about 110 million pounds ($184 million) to the U.K. economy last year, compared with the 513 million pounds brought in by the ExCel exhibition and conference center across the River Thames, according to the study. The facility’s passengers, who account for about 2.4 percent of London airport traffic, could easily be absorbed by other terminals, they said.

Located 6 miles from London’s main financial district on a former dockside, London City is favored by business travelers on short-haul trips. The average income of its passengers is 92,000 pounds, in an area of the capital where 40 percent of people earn less than 20,000 pounds, NEF said, citing data from a planning statement on the local Newham council website.

“We must seriously question the logic of locating an airport on precious inner-city land,” NEF economist Helen Kersley, the report’s lead author, said in a statement. “London City Airport places a significant environmental and social burden on neighboring communities.”

London City handled 73,713 flights and 3.4 million people in 2013, ranking as Britain’s 15th largest airport. While the facility puts its annual economic contribution at 750 million pounds, the bulk comes from spending by inbound passengers and would stay in the U.K. if flights went elsewhere, the NEF said, refering to figures in the hub’s Transforming East London study.

Air France Sale

Opened in 1987 and majority owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, London City’s biggest operator is Air France-KLM Group (AF)’s unprofitable CityJet Ltd. arm, which the carrier is seeking to sell to turnaround specialist Intro Aviation GmbH.

Today’s report is not the first to call for the closing of a London airport. In July, Mayor Boris Johnson said the government could buy Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub, for 15 billion pounds and use the 1,220-hectare (3,000 acre) site to build 100,000 homes, creating an entirely new borough that would help ease a national housing shortage.

The NEF is an unaffiliated, donation-funded think-tank that seeks to promote social, economic and environmental change, according to its website.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-09/london-city-airport-worth-more-as-a-building-site-study-argues.html

 

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ACI report says small airports with under 1 million passengers per year in danger of making losses

According to the 2013 ACI Economics Report, which is to be released shortly, some 67% of the world’s airport’s operate at a net loss. The report says that globally about  80% of airports handling less than 1 million passengers per year have average net losses of 6%. Of the airports that made a loss in 2012, 93% of the handled under 1 million passengers. It therefore appears that the small airports are very fragile.  ACI World’s director general, said: “While the industry as a whole is profitable, with airports posting net profit margins in the realm of 13%, a significant proportion of airports are actually in the red.  Industry profitability is primarily generated from the 20% of airports that carry the bulk of passenger traffic. Size matters.”  In the UK some of the airports with below 1 million passengers in 2013 were Cardiff,  Southend, Exeter, Doncaster/Sheffield, Bournemouth, Blackpool and Durham Tees Valley.  ACI also advocated more arrangements between airlines and airports on the level of fees and charges, and less government regulation.
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THE BULK OF THE WORLD’S AIRPORTS STILL OPERATING AT A LOSS – NEW ACI ECONOMICS REPORT

 by     (Airport World)

The profitability struggle faced by the world’s airports was one of the topics under the microscope in the opening session of this year’s Airport Economics and Finance Conference in London.

According to the soon-to-be-released 2013 ACI Economics Report, 67% of the world’s airport’s operate at a net loss.

Indeed, 80% of airports handling less than one million passengers per annum report average net losses of 6%.

And of the airports that made a loss in 2012, 93% of the handled under one million passengers.

The figures prompted ACI World’s director general, Angela Gittens, to remark that “size really does matter”, when it comes to profitability.

“While the industry as a whole is profitable, with airports posting net profit margins in the realm of 13%, a significant proportion of airports are actually in the red,” says Gittens.

“Industry profitability is primarily generated from the 20% of airports that carry the bulk of passenger traffic. Size matters.”

In other news, ACI Europe today unveiled fresh analysis on competition within the aviation industry.

This new analysis is the latest chapter of a debate about airport competition which began in June 2012, when Copenhagen Economics and Dr Harry Bush, former UK airport regulator, published the first-ever comprehensive study of Airport Competition in Europe.

That study provided quantitative evidence of the significant extent of airport competition. In particular, it looked at the shift in the airport-airline dynamic resulting from the cumulative impact of aviation liberalisation, new and evolving airline business models, digitally empowered passengers and commercially driven airports.

The new analysis paper released today builds on these commonalities with the objective of moving the debate on airport competition forward.

It refines the way in which the market power of both players should be assessed and considers the impact upon their respective negotiating positions.

And, most notably, it advocates for a more innovative approach to airport regulation in Europe based on trigger regulation or price monitoring – which limits regulatory intervention and incentivises airports and airlines to develop better commercial relationships based on long-term contracts.

ACI Europe’s director general, Olivier Jankovec, comments: “Today, price-cap and other traditional forms of regulation are polarising the airport airline relationship over the single issue of airport charges.

“We need to break the constant cycle of accusation and counter-accusation. That means we need get to a point where we can just do what other industries are doing: negotiate long-term contracts with airlines that best suit each other’s interests.

“This is what trigger regulation is about, as it is essentially based on the threat to regulate – and leaves airports and airlines free to focus on their commercial dealings rather than on lobbying their regulator.

“This could potentially open the way for expanded cooperation on many issues, including service quality or incremental commercial revenue generation.”

http://www.airport-world.com/home/general-news/item/3774-the-bulk-of-the-world-s-airports-still-operating-at-loss-new-aci-economics-report

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In the UK the main commercial airports with under 1 million passengers (2013) were:

 

 AIRPORT
 Air Transport Movements in 2013 % change from 2012  Terminal passengers in 2013 % change from 2012
CARDIFF WALES 14,026 0.4               1,057,088 4.3
SOUTHEND 9,476 30.4                  969,941 57.2
GUERNSEY 33,006 -2.8                  856,768 -0.6
ISLE OF MAN 20,373 -11.4                  738,459 6.2
EXETER 12,529 3.7                  738,157 6.2
DONCASTER SHEFFIELD 4,296 -1.9                  689,761 -0.5
BOURNEMOUTH 6,832 -4.9                  659,021 -4.5
INVERNESS 10,012 -3.5                  607,266 1
CITY OF DERRY (EGLINTON)  3,011 -3.3                  384,973 -3.3
SCATSTA   13,174 -3.3                  298,308 -2
BLACKPOOL      10,289 7.1                  262,757 11.7
HUMBERSIDE    11,676 -6.7                  234,787 0.5
SUMBURGH    9,199 30.1                  209,747 40.9
DURHAM TEES VALLEY   4,329 3                  159,311 -3.3

 

From CAA airport statistics

 


 

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