UK and China renew bilateral deal so each could have 100 return flights (up from 40) per week

The DfT has renewed the bilateral aviation agreement with China, to allow more weekly flights between the two countries. Until now, the limit had been 40 flights by UK airlines to China per week, and return 40 flights by Chinese airlines to the UK. This has been raised to 100 flights each. There will be no limit on the number of all-cargo services (but most Heathrow freight goes as belly hold, not separate freighter). Currently Chinese airlines operate 38 flights a week between the two countries, and UK airlines operate 29.  The only UK airports that have flights to  China are Heathrow and Manchester.  The earlier deal was that any UK airline could serve a maximum of 6 separate airports in China. Now UK airlines can operate to anywhere in mainland China. Laying on the hype, Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, said the deal was a “big moment for the UK”. However, airlines will have to decide whether it makes sense to use the extra capacity to offer new Chinese flights to and from China, with doubtful demand, when transatlantic routes are more profitable. The hope is probably for more UK business and UK exports. The DfT ignores the problem that the UK imports from China more than twice as much as it exports to China. More flights may exacerbate that. House of Commons Library data says that: “In 2014, UK exports to China were worth £18.7 billion. Imports from China were £38.3 billion. The UK had a trade deficit of £19.6 billion with China.”  Flights to and from Hong Kong are in a separate bilateral deal.
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Summary – from the House of Commons Briefing on  “Statistics on UK trade with China”  Nov 2015

This note provides some key statistics on the UK’s trade with China.

They are taken from the Office for National Statistics Pink Book 2015 (see tables in Chapter 9).

• In 2014, UK exports to China were worth £18.7 billion. Imports from China were £38.3 billion. The UK had a trade deficit of £19.6 billion with China.

• The UK had a surplus with China on trade in services, outweighed by a deficit on trade in goods.

• China accounts for 3.6% of UK exports and 7.0% of all UK imports.

• China is the 7th largest export market for the UK and the 3rd largest source of imports

From

P 3 of

House of Commons Library. Statistics of UK trade with China  Cbp-7379

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DfT press release

UK and China to increase flights between both countries in boost for Global Britain

11th October 2016

Chris Grayling, DfT

UK and China have agreed a deal to increase flights between the 2 nations.

The UK and China have agreed to more than double the number of flights allowed to operate between the 2 countries, following successful negotiations in London today (11 October 2016).

The move is set to boost tourism and trade opportunities for the UK – links which will be vital as we look to build a confident, Global Britain after Brexit.  [Of course, it will probably mean more outbound trips, and more inbound imports than inbound tourists, or outbound exports. This other side of the coin is never mentioned. AirportWatch comment].

Under the new deal passenger flights can now increase from the current maximum of 40 per week for each nation to up to 100. There will be no limit on the number of all-cargo services, creating new opportunities for UK trade and businesses. [Heathrow currently has almost NO pure cargo flights – almost all freight is belly hold in passenger planes. Link to CAA data  AW comment].

A restriction on the number of destinations that airlines can serve has also been lifted, meaning services can be operated between any point in the UK and any point in China. Up until now, airlines could only serve 6 destinations in each country.  [Are there really more than 6 UK airports needing direct links to China?  Is there that much demand? There are only two at present, Heathrow and Manchester. AW comment] 

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

This deal is a big moment for the UK. Strong connections with emerging markets like China are vital for us if we are to continue competing on the global economic stage. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese people visit the UK every year, spending hundreds of millions of pounds. Raising the number of permitted flights between the 2 countries will provide massive opportunities for our businesses, helping increase trade, create jobs and boost our economy up and down the country.

UK and China sign new deal to increase flights between both countries in boost for Global Britain.  Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad said:

I am delighted that talks between the UK and China have concluded successfully as a result of which flight limits will be increased, thereby enabling airlines to operate more services between the 2 countries. These new arrangements will further strengthen British – Sino relations. Post Brexit, improving trade links with key markets such as China will boost exports and tourism, as well as helping create jobs and strengthening our local economies. This deal demonstrates that the UK is very much open for business.

Visits from China are on the increase. Visits in 2015 were up 46% on 2014 to almost 270,000. Spend increased by 18% to £586 million during the same period, moving China into the UK’s top 10 most valuable inbound markets.  [Note – no mention of imports or outbound British leisure trips.  Just the exports and the Chinese visitors.  AW note]

Earlier this year Manchester Airport launched the first direct route between the UK and China from an airport outside of London, bringing an estimated £250 million in economic benefits to the UK over the next decade.

The final decision on additional flights is a commercial one for airlines.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-and-china-to-increase-flights-between-both-countries-in-boost-for-global-britain

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See earlier:

Hainan Airlines direct flights (4 per week) from Manchester to Beijing start on June 10th

Hainan Airlines will start flying (4 times per week) from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10th, as the first direct service from the north of England to mainland China. There are already flights from Manchester to Hong Kong. Some businesses including tourism hope this “will deliver a major boost to the region.” The University of Manchester is reported to believe the link will be a significant benefit to students. Faster air links to emerging markets could boost UK exports (they could also boost UK imports, which generally exceed exports). There are the usual comments like: “The Manchester Airport expansion shows that the city is ready to become an outward looking economic powerhouse” and there is even an expectation that it “will deliver an economic boost to the UK worth £250m” (no details or time-scale given …. it never is). Currently, more than 100,000 people from the North (about 6,350 from North Wales) fly to mainland China every year but have to travel indirectly via London or other overseas hubs. Manchester hopes that the flights will bring “hundreds of thousands of tourists to this part of the world every year.” North Wales Tourism and Bangor University have both praised the new service to Beijing and hope it “will unlock new opportunities for the area.” Many thousands more people will not need to use Heathrow for their travel to China.

Click here to view full story…

Manchester airport hope its first direct flight to Hong Kong will bring business and tourism boost

There is now a new direct Cathay Pacific flight from Manchester to China (Hong Kong), avoiding the need to hub via Heathrow, or any other European airport. This makes Manchester the first airport outside London to offer a non-stop direct route to China – which may be a boost to the region’s economy. There will be 4 flights per week. The airport hopes rich Chinese visitors – as well as business people – will come direct to Manchester, rather than all going to London. Manchester’s “Airport City” has had key investment from the Beijing Construction and Engineering Group. It has taken Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group, 3 years to secure the link. Mr Cornish has been appealed to the Airports Commission to ensure the country’s future aviation needs are met by a ‘network of regional airports’ – rather than money ploughed solely into Gatwick and Heathrow. The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, which can carry 300 passengers. From Hong Kong, passengers can connect to 22 cities in mainland China. As they have done successfully from flights from Heathrow for decades – without more direct city links from Heathrow. The UK has always had good links to Hong Kong, for historical reasons.

Click here to view full story…

UK/China agreement to raise number of return flights each is allowed from 31 to 40 per week, and from 6 up to 9 airports

Edit this entry.

Flights between the UK and China are set to increase following an agreement allowing more passenger flights between the two countries. These are controlled, as for all countries, by bilateral agreements to ensure the number is balanced and neither side has too much advantage. Talks were initiated by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin who launched negotiations on improved air links during a visit to China inOctober last year. The previous agreement, last updated in 2011, limited the passenger airlines of both countries to a maximum of 31 return services per week in each direction, serving up to six destinations in each country. The new deal will increase the weekly maximum available to both countries to 40 direct flights in each direction, and allow UK airlines to serve up to three more Chinese cities than previously. ie. nine. The new deal also allows UK airlines greater freedom to codeshare with Chinese carriers on routes within mainland China. The lack of air links to China is due to the limit on weekly flights, and by the level of demand. It is not limited by the number of flights permitted. The numbers of flights to Hong Kong are under a separate agreement from those to China.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/09/ukchina-agreement-to-raise-number-of-flights-in-each-direction-from-31-to-40-and-from-6-up-to-9-airports/

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New Civil Engineer believes Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham set to get go ahead for runways

The NCE believes government will give the go ahead to new runways at both Heathrow and Gatwick – on 18th October.  The NCE expects Heathrow would be allowed a runway immediately, and Gatwick could build a 2nd runway within the next 5 years.  NCE also understands the government will urge Birmingham airport to plan a 2nd runway. The reason for this decision, other than the difficulties in making it, is ascribed to the forecasts of air passenger numbers being inaccurate.  (Forecasts are, of course, usually inaccurate … and air passenger numbers depend on many variables, including oil price, and the strength of the £  and UK and global economy).  The DfT produced very bullish passenger forecasts in 2007, which were way too high and knocked back by the recession. Lower forecasts were produced in 2011, and then lower again in 2013. The Airports Commission did its own forecasts, over a range of scenarios – and took account of the fact that aviation expansion would be constrained by the annual cap on CO2 emissions of 37.5 MtCO2. Because air passenger numbers have recovered to their pre-recession levels, it is believed by some that this rapid growth will continue and the forecasts are too low. The “predict and provide” scenario would require more runways. This sort of growth in UK aviation challenges our legally binding UK carbon targets under the Climate Change Act 2008.  Details of forecasts below.
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Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham set to get go ahead

11 OCTOBER, 2016

BY KATHERINE SMALE  (New Civil Engineer)

New Civil Engineer understands that the government is poised to give the go ahead to additional runway capacity at Heathrow and Gatwick.

It is believed that the announcement will be made on 18 October, with government giving the green light to a third runway at Heathrow immediately and also allowing Gatwick to expand with a second runway within the next five years.

Gatwick’s 30-year agreement with local authorities not to expand is due to expire in 2019.

It is also understood that government will urge Birmingham airport to advance its proposals for an additional runway.

The decision to encourage all three airports to expand comes after increasing demand in the London area over the last three years has far exceeded predictions used by Sir Howard Davies’ Airport Commission.

Davies’ published his independent report setting out its recommendations for expanding aviation capacity in the UK in 2015. To meet the projected growth, it said that a new runway was required by 2030 and gave a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport as the preferred option.

This, however, was based on a predicted growth in passenger numbers from a Department for Transport (DfT) report. This 2013 report used passenger figures from 2010 through to 2012 which saw airport usage at a seven-year low in 2010 after the financial crash in 2008. A slow recovery in 2011 and 2012 may have influenced a low passenger estimate in 2030.

In the report, Heathrow was predicted to rise from 70M passengers per annum (ppa) in 2011 to 85Mppa by 2030.  Similarly at Gatwick it predicted a rise in numbers from 34Mppa in 2011 to 42Mppa by 2030.  Overall London was predicted to rise from 135M to 184M passengers across Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City airport.

However, since 2013, actual passenger numbers have increased at a rate far above this.

In 2015 the total number of passengers at Heathrow was 75M; however, without expansion it is operating at near capacity and will therefore not see a rise in passenger numbers. At Gatwick, the actual number of passengers was 41M and at growth predictions based on data from 2013 to 2015, it is predicted to surpass the 2030 estimate in 2016.

Overall, it has been predicted that if the current growth continues, London would hit the 2030 passenger number of 184M in 2019, 11 years ahead of the forecast.

Birmingham airport was the only non-London based airport to not be entirely discounted by the Airport Commission’s report. The interim report stated that: “It would offer the largest catchment of people within two hours of the airport of all options. This is largely dependent on the journey time assumptions of HS2, which also makes the London airport system easier to access for passengers from Birmingham’s core aviation market.”

However, speaking at New Civil Engineer’s Airports conference earlier this year, UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) chief executive Andrew Haines said that even if either Heathrow or Gatwick was given permission to expand, they could face challenges securing the required investors.

He said that because the project did not have government assurance, it would not be bailed out should costs rise, and investors may find it difficult to take on the risk.

“There is no track record of regulation being applied to something of this size,” he said.

Haines explained that it was genuinely unprecedented for there to be a major multi-billion pound infrastructure investment of this scale with absolutely no government guarantee or assistance. He said that the nearest project in terms of scale of investment is Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, and even that comes with government guarantee.

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/heathrow-gatwick-and-birmingham-set-to-get-go-ahead/10012673.article#.V_1kQpNLXPc.twitter

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See earlier:

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https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69925/uk-aviation-forecasts.pdf

 The Executive Summary, from the January 2013 DfT forecasts, states:

Key findings

This report sets out forecasts of passenger numbers, air transport movements and aviation carbon emissions at UK airports.

Demand for air travel is forecast to increase within the range of 1% – 3% a year up to 2050, compared to historical growth rates of 5% a year over the last 40 years. The slowdown in growth rates in the future reflects the anticipation of market maturity across different passenger markets and a projected end to the long-term decline in average fares seen in the last two decades.

The central forecast, taking into account the impact of capacity constraints, is for passenger numbers at UK airports to increase from 219 million passengers in 2011 to 315 million in 2030 and 445 million by 2050. This is an increase of 225 million passengers over the next 40 years compared to an increase of 185 million since 1970.

The central forecasts of passenger numbers have been reduced by around 7% in 2030 from levels last forecast by the DfT in August 2011. Primarily this reflects revisions to the Office of Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) forecasts for the UK economy and the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) projections of oil prices.

The major South East airports are forecast to be full by 2030. However, there is a range around this projection and they could be full as soon as 2025 or as late as 2040. Heathrow remains full across all the demand cases considered.

CO2 emissions from flights departing the UK are forecast to increase from 33.3 MtCO 2 in 2011 to 47 MtCO2 within the range 35 – 52MtCO2 by 2050.

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These are the constrained forecasts (constrained means no new runways built) from the DfT 2013 forecasts:

P 111  of https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223839/aviation-forecasts.pdf

government forecasts constrained pax 2011 and 2013


These are the unconstrained forecasts (unconstrained means adding runways)  from the DfT 2013 forecasts

P 66  of https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223839/aviation-forecasts.pdf

dft-2013-unconstrained-forecasts


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The Airports Commission did their own passenger forecasts in November 2014

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374660/AC05-forecasts.pdf

P 55 Unconstrained demand (ie with more runways)

ac-2014-unconstrained-demand-pax

and  P 57  Constrained demand (no new runways)

ac-2014-constrained-capacity-pax

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374660/AC05-forecasts.pdf 

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Windsor & Maidenhead council (PM’s constituency) to raise amount for JR against Heathrow runway to £50,000

Windsor and Maidenhead council (Theresa May’s constituency) will increase its budget to fight a Heathrow runway, if it gets government backing. The council is prepared to spend £50,000 on a judicial review, which underlines the scale of resistance that the prime minister will face from residents in her Maidenhead constituency if she agrees to allow the third runway to go ahead. Council papers say the runway plans would have a “significant potential impact on the quality of life” of people living in the area.  Lawyers for the 4 councils most opposed to the runway wrote to the government’s airport capacity directorate on 30 September 2016 calling for a consultation “in advance of any decision”, and that consulting councils afterwards would represent a “sham”. The councils say the process by which ministers have taken the decision has been “shrouded in mystery” and the “lack of openness and transparency is of great concern”. Specifically government work on air quality was promised but has not been released, and EU limits on nitrogen dioxide concentrations remain binding.  The council is particularly concerned about residents who are currently not under flight paths, but would be under the new plans. The council says, moreover the mitigating factors being promised by Heathrow, such as a ban on night flights, are “expressed in vague terms which cannot meaningfully be assessed or considered”.
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Theresa May’s local council set to spend £50,000 to fight Heathrow runway

Windsor and Maidenhead council looks to increase budget for fighting expected government go-ahead for third runway

By  and    (Guardian)

Theresa May’s local authority is prepared to spend £50,000 on a judicial review if her government approves the expansion of Heathrow next week, documents released on Monday reveal.

The papers underline the scale of resistance that the prime minister will face from residents in her Maidenhead constituency, which she has represented since 1997, if she agrees to allow the third runway to go ahead.

Cllr Simon Dudley, the Conservative leader of Windsor and Maidenhead council, told the Guardian he was determined to protect residents from the “adverse consequences of an expansion of Heathrow airport”, regardless of May’s links to the area.

He said Thursday’s meeting was about setting in place the next steps in the legal process. “We have been elected on a manifesto promise, and we respect the views of our residents, who are firmly in favour of expansion at Gatwick,” he said.

It comes amid growing expectation that May’s government will accept the recommendation of Sir Howard Davies’s airports commission to expand Heathrow rather than Gatwick, with cabinet ministers telling the Guardian that the west London plans offered much higher-value returns than the alternative.

Before a decision expected next week, Dudley will be asking for colleagues to agree to a budget that is £20,000 more than originally suggested in preparation for a judicial review of a government approval.

His council has teamed up with three others, Hillingdon, Richmond and Wandsworth, who are particularly angry about the possibility of Heathrow expansion after the previous prime minister, David Cameron, made a “no ifs, no buts” promise that it would not happen.

Most recently, lawyers representing the local authorities wrote to the government’s airport capacity directorate on 30 September 2016 calling for a consultation “in advance of any decision”, claiming that consulting councils afterwards would represent a “sham”.

The letter claims that the process by which ministers have taken the decision has been “shrouded in mystery” and warned that the “lack of openness and transparency is of great concern”.

Specifically, the letter argues that government work on air quality was promised but has not been released, and says that EU limits on nitrogen dioxide concentrations remain binding.

“There is nothing in the public domain to suggest that expansion at Heathrow has been assessed against the government’s air quality plan, which is in any event subject to a judicial review challenge,” it warns. It also warns that plans would be unlawful without a better understanding of the impact on air and noise pollution.

The council is particularly concerned about residents who are currently not under flight paths, but would be under the new plans.

The lawyers say that poor air quality is known to have a worse effect on the young and elderly, as well as those in lower socioeconomic groups.

“A decision which favours Heathrow now, without consultation and a proper analysis of the health and equality impact of locating a third runway at Heathrow, would be in breach of the public sector equality duty,” they add.

Moreover, they say, the mitigating factors being promised by Heathrow, such as a ban on night flights, are “expressed in vague terms which cannot meaningfully be assessed or considered”.

 

Dreadful comment from Heathrow at the bottom of the article :  “A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Local council opposition has significantly decreased since Heathrow expansion was last on the table in 2009 from a group of 21 councils to four. Heathrow expansion is the only option being considered for expansion with any local political support – with four local MPs and two local councils backing our plans.

“It will be for the government to decide whether to go ahead with our proposals to add up to 25,000 flights per year from 2021 to underserved long-haul markets and domestic connections supporting Britain to make a success of Brexit.”   “

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/10/theresa-may-local-council-to-spend-50000-fight-heathrow-runway-maidenhead

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Confirmed by the council on 11th October that they will spend £50,000.  Overall, the four councils have pledged £200,000 to the legal challenge.   Conservative leader of the Berkshire authority Simon Dudley, said £50,000 was a small amount to pay to try and “protect a million people”.

Leader of Richmond Council Lord True, said: “Making Europe’s most polluting and worst located airport even bigger offends just about every environmental and security principle you can think of and will unite armies of campaigners in fierce opposition. It will never be built.”   Link


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See earlier:

Theresa May at odds with her Maidenhead council and local Tory party chairman over Heathrow

The Chairman of Theresa May’s local Maidenhead Conservative Association is part of a group threatening to sue her government if it approves the 3rd runway at Heathrow. Cllr Geoffrey Hill sits on a council warning it will launch legal action within days if Heathrow expansion is backed. Senior Windsor & Maidenhead council figures believe increasing capacity at Heathrow would blight their residents with even more noise and pollution -and are determined to stop the project. Theresa May is widely expected to back Heathrow over Gatwick when she makes a decision on airport expansion – perhaps on Tuesday 18th October (or 11th?). The Prime Minister’s constituency of Maidenhead, which she has represented since 1997, is badly overflown by Heathrow planes. Mrs May voiced her concerns about a 3rd runway before the 2010 election but has since made little public comment on the development. (See her comments from 2010 and 2009 below). Windsor and Maidenhead council is one of 4 local authorities threatening to challenge any decision to build a Heathrow runway through the courts. Simon Dudley, the Tory leader of the council, said their judicial review could see the case in the courts for years, delaying or preventing the runway’s construction. The council has put aside £30,000 to fight the legal battle. Maidenhead councillors campaigned on opposing an extension of Heathrow locally before the 2015 election.

Click here to view full story…

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Teddington Action Group prepares for “first of many” judicial reviews of Government decision on Heathrow runway

Teddington Action Group (TAG) has re-stated its commitment to launch Judicial Review (JR) proceedings of a Government decision on airport expansion – should one of the two Heathrow options be chosen. TAG issued a pre-action letter of claim (the first step in the JR process) back in June 2015, on the eve of the Airports Commission’s recommendation for a new runway at Heathrow.  Proceedings were then put on hold pending a Government decision on the 3 runway options. TAG has now re-confirmed its commitment to continue proceedings, with a key ground for its JR being the “apparent bias” of the Chair of the Airports Commission itself, Sir Howard Davies, due to his roles at GIC Private Ltd, owner of a 11.9% share in Heathrow Airport Holdings. In 2009, Sir Howard was appointed as an adviser to the Investment Strategy Committee of GIC Private Limited (formerly known as the Singapore Government Investment Co), advising them on “new growth opportunities”. In 2011 he was appointed to the International Advisory Board of GIC Private Ltd, a board on which he was still sitting on the day of his appointment as “independent” Chair of the Airports Commission. He never disclosed these roles in the Airports Commission’s Register of Interests. He then accepted the Chairmanship of RBS, Heathrow’s main banker, while still steering the Commission to its conclusion. This puts the  Commission’s “independence” into question. 

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Community Group prepares for “first of many” judicial reviews of Government decision on Airport Expansion

11.10.2016
Teddington Action Group (TAG)

 

Teddington Action Group (TAG) has today re-stated its commitment to launch judicial review proceedings of a Government decision on airport expansion – should one of the two Heathrow options be chosen.

TAG issued a pre-action letter of claim (the first step in the Judicial Review process) back in June 2015, on the eve of the Airport’s Commission’s recommendation for a new runway at Heathrow Airport.

Proceedings were then put on hold pending a Government decision on one of the three shortlisted options. However, today TAG re-confirmed its commitment to continue proceedings should Heathrow be chosen. One of the key grounds for its judicial review is the “apparent bias” of the Chair of the Airports Commission itself, Sir Howard Davies, flowing from his roles at GIC Private Ltd, owner of a 11.9% share in Heathrow Airport Holdings.

In 2009, Sir Howard was appointed as an adviser to the Investment Strategy Committee of GIC Private Limited (formerly known as the Singapore Government Investment Co), advising them on “new growth opportunities”.
And in 2011, he was appointed to the International Advisory Board of GIC Private Ltd, a board on which he was still sitting on the day of his appointment as “independent” Chair of the Airports Commission.
In response to questions from TAG, in July 2015, Government solicitors conceded his links to GIC Private Ltd – claiming that he resigned these remunerated roles with GIC Private Ltd, on accepting the appointment as unremunerated Chair of the Airports Commission in 2012.
Yet, Sir Howard Davies never disclosed these roles in the Airports Commission’s Register of Interests.
TAG spokesman, Paul McGuinness said:
“The Government says its decision on airport expansion will largely be based on the “independent” Airports Commission’s work. Yet, the Commission was chaired by a man who, on the day of his appointment, was a remunerated member of the International Investment Advisory Board of one of Heathrow Airport’s principal owners. To add insult to injury, he then accepted the Chairmanship of RBS, Heathrow Airport’s main banker, while still steering the Commission to its conclusion. Clearly the new Prime Minister and Secretary of State cannot be held responsible for Sir Howard Davies’s involvement in the Airports Commission. But it stinks, and we have been advised that Sir Howard’s links to Heathrow provide as clear a case of apparent bias in a decision-making process as one is likely to encounter.”

 

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For further information, contact Paul McGuinness on 07958 589894.

Background:

1. GIC Private Limited, on whose International Advisory Board Sir Howard was serving when appointed to chair the Airports Commission) is such a significant, long term shareholder in Heathrow that it is represented on the Board of Heathrow (Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd), by Stuart Baldwin, Senior Vice President of GIC.

http://www.heathrow.com/company/company-news-and-information/company-information/the-board

2. Heathrow Board Member, Stuart Baldwin (Senior Vice President, GIC Private Limited)

http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=33171473&privcapId=32489485&previousCapId=410812&previousTitle=LHR%20Airports%20Limited

https://www.infrastructureinvestor.com/speakersprofile/?speaker=7130

3. Wikipedia Page on Sir Howard Davies, which now contains and confirms details of his roles with GIC Private Ltd

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Davies_(economist)

“In 2009 Davies was appointed as advisor to the Investment Strategy Committee of the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore. Two years later he joined its International Advisory Board. Davies resigned from both positions in September 2012, on appointment to the chair of the Airports Commission”.

Teddington Action Group Pre-Action Letter of Claim is to be sent after the Government’s decision, should it select one of the two Heathrow shortlisted options.

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See earlier:

 

Independence of Airports Commission questioned over Howard Davies’ role in Prudential, which recently bought more Heathrow property

Campaigners against a 3rd Heathrow runway have questioned the independence of the Airports Commission and its chairman, Howard Davies. It has been revealed that he is a board member of Prudential, an insurance group which invested in property near Heathrow, just months before the Commission recommended a 3rd runway. He chairs its risk committee, which reviews and approves group investment policies as well as advising the board on risks in the company’s “strategic transactions and business plans”. The Guardian reports that Prudential embarked on a £300m spending spree on properties around Heathrow, just as the commission prepared to deliver its final report, on 1st July. Prudential has an asset management business, M&G. In 2013 it bought the Hilton hotel at Terminal 5 for £21m and an earlier investment with planning permission for a large hotel close to where the proposed 3rd runway would be built. In May and June 2015 M&G bought more property including cargo depots and a business park a short distance from Terminal 4. Howard Davies also, till September 2012, advised the GIC (Singapore), which owns 11.2% of Heathrow. The Teddington Action Group say Davies’ links with Prudential undermines the impartiality and credibility of the Commission’s recommendations.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/08/independence-of-airports-commission-questioned-over-howard-davies-role-in-prudential-which-recently-bought-more-heathrow-property/

 


 

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Heathrow manages to persuade SNP to back its runway, with hopes of 16,000 jobs (?)

Heathrow have received a boost after the Scottish government announced its backing for its runway plan, which it claimed would create up to 16,000 jobs across Scotland. Environmental campaigners and Green politicians decried the move as “a disaster for climate change”, and questioned whether the promised jobs would ever in fact materialise. The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, believes there would be more benefits for Scotland from a Heathrow runway than a Gatwick one. A series of commitments, including on jobs, investigating the use of Glasgow Prestwick airport as a potential site for a logistics hub for building the 3rd runway, and a reduction of £10 per passenger on landing charges paid by airlines operating services from Heathrow to Scotland, are apparently included in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Heathrow airport and the SNP government on Monday 10th.  Opponents are surprised by this move, as GIP owns both Gatwick and Edinburgh airports, and the SNP are behind the growth of Edinburgh airport.  What Scotland wants is more of direct international air routes, not necessarily routes via Heathrow, for business and for cargo (imports and exports). More flights will mean more money taken out of Scotland on leisure trips – something airport expansion advocates always ignore. The current Scottish tourism deficit is already around £1.5 billion per year. 
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Support for Heathrow expansion

10.10 2016 (Transport Scotland – an agency of the Scottish Government)

The Scottish Government has announced its support for plans to build a third runway at London Heathrow Airport, after securing key commitments for Scotland.

The expansion plans offer the greatest strategic and economic benefits to Scotland, creating thousands of jobs and providing a significant boost to the country’s connectivity. The airport’s commitments include:

• The creation of up to 16,000 new jobs across Scotland from the new capacity.
• Heathrow will work with the Scottish Government to investigate Glasgow Prestwick Airport as a potential site for a logistics hub to support the building of the third runway.
• £200m of construction-related spend in Scotland during planning and construction.
• A £10m route development fund  to help support new domestic routes.
• From January 2017, a reduction of £10 per passenger on landing charges paid by airlines operating services from Heathrow to Scotland.  This will benefit existing services from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness and incentivise the introduction of new services.
• A significant, long term marketing campaign at Heathrow to promote all that Scotland has to offer.
• A procurement event in Glasgow to enhance opportunities for Scottish firms to win business with Tier 1 Heathrow suppliers.

London Heathrow Airport will make these commitments in a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed with the Scottish Government today.

…. and it continues …

http://www.transport.gov.scot/news/support-heathrow-expansion

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Heathrow third runway expansion wins backing of Scottish government

Holyrood backs plan to extend London hub amid claims it will create 16,000 jobs across Scotland

Monday 10 October 2016

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow have received a significant boost after the Scottish government announced its backing for the scheme, which it claimed would create up to 16,000 jobs across Scotland.

Holyrood made the announcement amid mounting speculation that the Westminster government is
to back a third runway in the coming weeks, ending years of arguments over airport expansion.

Environmental campaigners and Green politicians decried the move as “a disaster for climate change”, and questioned whether the promised jobs stimulus would come to pass.

The cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown, called on Theresa May’s government to follow Scotland’s lead. “It’s now time for the UK government to end its costly prevarication on airport expansion and support Heathrow’s plans to ensure Scotland, and the United Kingdom as a whole, can begin to reap the rewards on offer,” he said.

A series of commitments, including on jobs, investigating the use of Glasgow Prestwick airport as a potential site for a logistics hub for building the third runway, and a reduction of £10 per passenger on landing charges paid by airlines operating services from Heathrow to Scotland, will be included in a memorandum of understanding signed between Heathrow airport and the SNP government on Monday. [So this reduction for passengers going to Scotland could be against competition regulations, and means all other passengers are having to effectively subsidise these flights? And they are going to fly concrete and steel down from Prestwick to Heathrow?? No good rail link?  AW note] 

Announcing the memorandum, Brown said the Scottish government had engaged extensively with Gatwick and Heathrow’s expansion proposals, and the latter’s offered the best deal for Scotland.

“We have been clear from the start of this process that we wanted the best deal for Scotland and building a third runway at Heathrow provides the most significant benefits to the country’s economy and connectivity,” he said.

“Growing the number of direct international air routes to and from Scotland remains a priority for this government, but the proposals from Heathrow offer all our airports a range of benefits that will help them grow passenger numbers and continue to build on their successes.”

John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of Heathrow, said the partnership demonstrated how the expansion could work “for every region and nation of the UK”. He said an expanded Heathrow would create up to 16,000 jobs in Scotland.

“It would facilitate more airlines flying routes to Scottish airports, meaning more flights, more competition and choice for families and businesses across the nation. That also means more visitors to Scotland, more destinations for Scottish tourists and more opportunity for Scottish businesses to reach new export markets,” Holland-Kaye said.

Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, questioned the job creation figure, saying: “Every time there is discussion about airport expansion of any kind, it is accompanied by ridiculous jobs figures, but it is difficult to see how 16,000 new jobs could materialise with just a bit more direct traffic.”

Dixon said it was self-evident that any increase in flights would equally take people and money out of Scotland: “If it is easier to fly somewhere else then people will do their business elsewhere so that takes business out of Scotland too, and balances out any increase.”

He said his biggest concern was the impact on the environment. “The biggest disappointment is that the Scottish government talks a good game about climate change and here they are backing the expansion of one of our biggest airports, which will result in 70% more traffic and emissions. If we’re concerned about climate change we can’t possibly expand aviation even more.”

Throughout the Scottish National party’s conference, which begins in Glasgow on Thursday 13th, Heathrow will operate a “private, airport-style lounge” with a free bar to promote the benefits of the expansion to Scotland, as it did at last year’s event in Aberdeen.

There have been complaints that the SNP has priced non-corporate campaigners out of the event, with the cost of the cheapest, single stall for a charity this year rising to nearly £3,000. An alternative fringe, to run concurrently with the SNP conference at a nearby – and more affordable – venue, will include Friends of the Earth Scotland.

“Maintaining air links between cities as far apart as Inverness and London makes sense, but at the same time we must invest in improvements to our rail network and make it easy to use technology to do business from anywhere in Scotland. That’s where the Scottish government’s efforts should be focused. The growth of airports is a last-century idea and that’s where it should stay.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/10/heathrow-third-runway-expansion-scottish-government

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Scottish Government announces its backing for airport expansion at Heathrow

10.10.2016 (Edinburgh Airport Watch press release)

Today Keith Brown finally lifted the veil on the Scottish Government’s support for a vastly polluting industry – this time not Fracking or UCG (underground coal gasification) – but the fossil fuel dependent Aviation industry.

In his announcement of the SNP Government’s support for an additional runway at Heathrow, Mr Brown said that this was the “best deal for Scotland”.

The many thousands of people across East Central Scotland who are currently suffering increased noise and pollution due to multiple changes in airspace use by Edinburgh Airport will not agree with him. Neither will the families living in the 783 homes that stand to be demolished to make way for an unnecessary third runway at Heathrow; or the 500,000 people who will be affected by increased aircraft noise at an expanded Heathrow.

This is a U-Turn from his previously announced policy of supporting the 3 hour train journey from Scotland to London on September 2015.

http://www.transport.gov.scot/project/high-speed-rail

A commitment Mr Brown repeated in March 2016:

 “This plan will bring to life our target of 3 hours or less Glasgow and Edinburgh to London train journeys, which will lead to a significant move from air to rail, bringing big reductions in carbon emissions”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/three-hour-scotland-to-london-rail-journeys-on-track

The reality of airport expansion is bigger planes, flying more frequently and creating huge and unwanted noise across previously tranquil communities with great lagoons of pollution around every airport. Aviation already accounts for 6% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. https://www.theccc.org.uk/charts-data/ukemissions-by-sector/aviation/

The impact of aviation on health and the environment is well documented. A 10dB increase in noise is associated with a 9% increase in depression. Living near an airport is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and dementia. Scotland simply cannot be expected to bear these additional hidden costs.

We should be flying less – not more.  A flight from Scotland to London emits 5 times more CO2 than the equivalent rail journey.  http://www.aef.org.uk/2016/09/08/50-reasons-campaign-references/

Scotland’s Tourism Deficit – the amount of cash that people travelling out of our country spend elsewhere versus the amount tourists spend here is now running at £1.6 billion. This is a direct drain on our economy and costs Scotland the equivalent of about 80,000 jobs.

We note the latest claim from the aviation industry that this plan will create 16,000 jobs for Scotland – as usual not backed up by any evidence of what these jobs might be, or when and where they may one day materialise.

While airport and flights expansion is clearly in the interests of the aviation industry, (much of it owned outside of the UK), when all costs are considered, it cannot be said to be in the interests of the people of Scotland.

Edinburgh Airport Watch said:

“We agree with the Minister, that our Government must act in the best interests of the people of Scotland. In this context his announcement today is fatally flawed.

In 2015, aviation emitted 781m tonnes of CO2. If it was a country, it would be the world’s sixth largest emitter. https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-aviation-finally-agree-climate-deal

By 2050, aviation emissions could consume 25% of the total CO2 reductions budget – a price we cannot afford.https://www.carbonbrief.org/aviation-consume-quarter-carbon-budget

The reality of unfettered airport expansion is an enormous cost to our country’s health, environment and economy. These are risks we do not need to take, and our government should think again on the level of support it proffers to a vastly polluting industry that sucks much needed cash out of our economy on a daily basis.”

Contact:

Helena Paul  Email: edinburghairportwatch@gmail.com 

Website: www.edinburghairportwatch.com

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The truth about economic benefits of Heathrow expansion – new detailed analysis from FoE

A new briefing on the economics of a 3rd Heathrow runway makes interesting reading.  It comes with extensive background analysis.  MPs, councils, Chambers of Commerce and others have been subject to a barrage of propaganda from Heathrow, urging them to support a new runway, for massive economic benefits.  But the actual evidence – instead of hype, sound bites and corporate propaganda – shows there is virtually no economic benefit for the country. Furthermore, the regions lose out to the south east. The most important single table from the Airports Commission’s final report shows a total benefit, to all of the UK over 60 years, of just £1.4 billion – in the carbon capped scenario (£11.4 billion in the carbon traded scenario). Compare this to the figure of £211 billion that Heathrow is using is its PR.  The Commission also showed that without a third runway at Heathrow, growth in necessary air traffic goes to other airports where there is lots of spare capacity. With a Heathrow runway, the flights at regional airports will end up being substantially reduced. It is very hard to see how losing traffic and destinations from regional airports to Heathrow is good for the economy of the regions. In addition, Heathrow is only prepared to contribute £1.1 billion to surface access infrastructure, leaving the taxpayer to fund as much as £17 billion. 
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The Truth About Economic Benefits of Heathrow Expansion

10.10.2016

From Friends of the Earth, West London

MPs, councils, chambers of commerce and others have been subject to a barrage of propaganda from Heathrow Airport urging them to support a new runway. The airport claims a new runway would bring massive economic benefits. But if one looks at the actual evidence – instead of hype, sound bites and corporate propaganda – there is virtually no economic benefit for the country. Furthermore, the regions lose out to the south east. So what would be the actual effect of a new runway at Heathrow?

What the Airports Commission said about economic benefits

The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, carried out an analysis using established methodology to calculate a ‘net economic benefit’ of a new runway. It is £1.4 billion.i  [ i. Page 147 of the Airports Commission final report. See ‘Economics.docx’ for the table and further explanation. Table copied below]

This may sound a lot, but it is a benefit for the whole UK spread over 60 years. Compare this with our Gross Domestic Product of about a £1,500 billion every year. The impact on our economy and growth is negligible. The economic benefit is equivalent to about one thirtieth of a cup of coffee at the airport for each passenger! ii  [ ii. AC Final report P 147]

Those figures assume there is a constraint on carbon emissions from aircraft, needed to meet the UK’s commitments on climate change. The Airports Commission’s alternative scenario, where emissions are unconstrained, shows higher economic benefits of
£11.8 billion. iii.   [ iii AC Final report P 147]   But it is still negligible over 60 years. It is worth less than a third of a cup of coffee for each airport passenger.

The real demand for flying

Heathrow and proponents of expansion constantly cite the need for business people to fly abroad to places such as China in order to support economic growth. But trips beyond Europe by UK business people represent a tiny 2% of traffic from UK airports. iv.  [ iv. From Office of National Statistics (ONS) ‘Visits and spending abroad: by mode of travel, region of visit and purpose of visit 2015’. ]

The great majority of trips are for leisure, which takes far more money out of the UK than it brings in.

The Airports Commission produced very detailed forecasts of air traffic with and without a third runway. They are very telling. Without a third runway at Heathrow, growth in necessary traffic goes to other airports where there is lots of spare capacity

New runway at Heathrow means regions lose out

With a third runway at Heathrow, regional traffic growth by 2030 is 7% to 32% lower than with no new runway. By 2050 growth is a remarkable 16% to 43% lower.v  [ v. From Airports Commission ‘Strategic fit – forecasts’. ]  (the alternative figures depend on assumptions
about carbon emissions – see references in footnote).

Daily destinations served from the regions are 3% to 10% lower in 2030 with a new Heathrow runway than without and 11% lower by 2050. vi.. [ vi. [ v. From Airports Commission ‘Strategic fit – forecasts’. ]   It is very hard to see how losing traffic and destinations from the regions to Heathrow is good for the economy of the regions.

Any business person who needs to fly abroad will be able to do so, whether there is a new runway at Heathrow or not. The idea that British business people (most of whom are in any case nowhere near Heathrow) will refuse to go to a particular Chinese city to negotiate a deal, simply because there is not a direct flight from Heathrow to that city, is little short of absurd.

Taxpayers to subsidise Heathrow and the southeast ?

The Airports Commission concluded that some £5bn vii. [ vii. Page 78 of Airports Commission ‘Business Case and Sustainability Assessment – Heathrow Airport Northwest Runway’ ]  would be needed for infrastructure such as roads and railways for a third runway. However, Transport for London estimates that to cater for Heathrow expansion
while maintaining services for everyone else would need £18bn. viii  [ viii.  Page 51 of ‘Mayor of London: Landing the right airport’ ] Heathrow is only prepared to contribute £1bn. ix  [ix. Heathrow told the Environmental Audit Committee that they were prepared to put in £1.1 billion. ]  meaning that £4bn up to £17bn would need to be found by government. Even more
spending on the southeast means less money available for investment in the regions.

A huge tax dodge in the sky

Air travel enjoys massive tax exemptions. Tax-free fuel alone is worth £10 billion pa. [ x. For derivation of this figure see Tax Avoidance  ]   If aviation were taxed at the same rate as other sectors of the economy, the money could be invested in public services,
infrastructure in the regions or even helping people on low incomes who do not fly.

These tax exemptions subsidise cheap unnecessary flights and inflate demand. If aircraft fuel were taxed at the same rate as petrol, demand would be reduced by 43m passengers pa at 2030. xi  [ xi. These figures are derived from Airport Commission’s data.] . This is far more than the extra 17m passengers (carbon traded forecast) that a new runway at Heathrow would generate.

To put it bluntly, the “need” for a new runway is based on a tax dodge.

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We urge MPs, councils and business leaders to ignore the hype, sound bites and
corporate propaganda about the economic benefits of a new runway at Heathrow.
Instead, they should consider actual evidence, referenced here. There is simply no
evidence that a new runway would benefit the economies of the regions.

 

 


Below is Table 7.1 from the Airports Commission’s Final report (P 147).

This shows (bottom right corner) the benefit to the UK over 60 years, of a Heathrow runway.  The figure is £1.4 billion (carbon capped scenario) or £11.4 billion (carbon traded scenario).

Table 7.1 of financial benefits of runway

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There are documents to back up all these statements, with full references.

See below

Huge economic benefits of a new runway? 

Effect of a Heathrow new runway on destinations 

Effect of a Heathrow new runway on air traffic demand

The myth about business travel and airport capacity

Aviation’s great tax dodge

Effect of tax on demand for UK air travel


truth-about-economic-benefits-foe-w-london

 

 

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Theresa May at odds with her Maidenhead council and local Tory party chairman over Heathrow

The Chairman of Theresa May’s local  Maidenhead Conservative Association is part of a group threatening to sue her government if it approves the 3rd runway at Heathrow. Cllr Geoffrey Hill sits on a council warning it will launch legal action within days if Heathrow expansion is backed.  Senior Windsor & Maidenhead council figures believe increasing capacity at Heathrow would blight their residents with even more noise and pollution -and are determined to stop the project.  Theresa May is widely expected to back Heathrow over Gatwick when she makes a decision on airport expansion – perhaps on Tuesday 18th October (or 11th?). The Prime Minister’s constituency of Maidenhead, which she has represented since 1997, is badly overflown by Heathrow planes. Mrs May voiced her concerns about a 3rd runway before the 2010 election but has since made little public comment on the development. (See her comments from 2010 and 2009 below). Windsor and Maidenhead council is one of 4 local authorities threatening to challenge any decision to build a Heathrow runway through the courts.  Simon Dudley, the Tory leader of the council, said their judicial review could see the case in the courts for years, delaying or preventing the runway’s construction. The council has put aside £30,000 to fight the legal battle.  Maidenhead councillors campaigned on opposing an extension of Heathrow locally before the 2015 election. 
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Theresa May at odds with her local party chairman over Heathrow

By Ben Riley-Smith, assistant political editor (Telegraph)
8 OCTOBER 2016

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The head of Theresa May’s local Tory association is part of a group threatening to sue her government if it approves the third runway at Heathrow.

Geoffrey Hill, chairman of the Maidenhead Conservative Association, sits on a council warning it will launch legal action within days if Heathrow expansion is backed.

Senior council figures believe increasing capacity at the airport would blight their residents with even more noise and pollution and are determined to stop the project.

Sources said Mr Hill supports the Tory council’s threat of judicial review but does not want to comment openly because of his association’s links with the Prime Minister.

That puts him at odds with Mrs May, who is widely expected to back Heathrow over Gatwick when she makes a decision on airport expansion later this month.

The Prime Minister’s constituency of Maidenhead, which she has represented since 1997, is less than half an hour’s drive from Heathrow.

Anti-Heathrow campaigners say she voiced concerns about a third runway before the 2010 election but has since made little public comment on the development. (See her comments from 2010 and 2009 below).

Yet Windsor and Maidenhead council is one of four local authorities threatening to challenge any decision to build a third runway through the courts.

The council is run by the Conservatives and the party’s councillors campaigned on opposing an extension of Heathrow locally before the 2015 election.

Mr Hill, a Windsor and Maidenhead councillor, sits on the group’s cabinet and supports the Heathrow position according to sources – though he has declined to speak publicly in favour of the move.

Messages from his Twitter account have steered clear of discussing airport expansion in recent moments, sticking instead to praising Mrs May’s early months in office.

There was little sign of tension on Friday when Mr Hill was among a handful of Maidenhead Tories who dined with Mrs May and her husband Philip.

A photograph posted online shows both Mrs May and Mr Hill at a restaurant table at a meeting of the local party’s “Maidenhead Supper Club.”

However the Tory council’s determination to challenge a Heathrow third runway through the courts highlights the split between Mrs May and local Conservatives.

Simon Dudley, the Tory leader of Windsor and Maidenhead council, explained their decision to threaten a judicial review, would could see the case in the courts for years.

“The consequences for our residents are very severe. They already suffer from very significant noise pollution, lack of respite and environmental effects from Heathrow,” he told the Telegraph.

“An expansion of Heathrow would only exacerbate what is already a very difficult situation.

“From our perspective it is a very straight forward situation: On announcement, we will commence legal action.

“We will purposefully commence legal action before any parliamentary vote because we want to protect our residence. That is an important piece of information at the time MPs will vote on this. Deliverability has to be an important consideration.”

The council has put aside £30,000 to fight the legal battle and wrote to David Cameron about the issue when he was prime minister.

The legal firm Harrison Grant has been helping the council as well as three others – Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth – with the possible judicial review.

Phillip Bicknell, deputy leader of Windsor and Maidenhead council, said: “As a council we are opposed because of the extra noise, extra pollution and lack of facility to put roads and other infrastructure in.”

…. and then general background stuff  …..

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A Number 10 source played down the Maidenhead row by saying Mrs May would take a decision in the national interest. Mr Hill did not respond to a request for comment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/08/theresa-may-at-odds-with-her-local-party-chairman-over-heathrow/

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2009

“Theresa speaks out against government’s decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow

16 January 2009

Theresa May has spoken out against the Government’s plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport, which were approved by the Transport Secretary yesterday. The plans will result in an increase in flights over the local area, affecting thousands of people in Maidenhead and the surrounding area.

The Transport Secretary, Geoff Hoon, has stated that an additional 125,000 flights would be allowed each year but failed to rule out even bigger increases. Speaking in the House of Commons, Theresa questioned Mr Hoon, saying:

“As a result of today’s announcements, my constituents face the prospect of a reduction in their quality of life with more planes flying overhead, restriction in driving their cars locally and a far worse train service in Crossrail. I hope that the Secretary of State recognises that as a result of today’s announcement, nobody will take this Government seriously on the environment again. On a very specific point, when terminal 5 was announced, the then Secretary of State promised us a cap on the number of flights a year of 480,000. The Government have now broken their word, and this Secretary of State is playing the same game. In today’s statement he says: ‘I want there to be a limit on the initial use of the third runway so that the increase in aircraft movements does not exceed 125,000 a year’. That is an aspiration, not a commitment. Will he now say that it is a commitment, how it will be put in place and why my constituents should believe him today any more than they believed the previous Transport Secretary who put a cap on flights?”

Commenting afterwards, Theresa said: “I know from all the letters and emails I get that many local people will be devastated by the Government’s decision. A third runway will result in thousands of additional flights, increased noise and more pollution for thousands of people. The Government’s promises on the environmental impact of this are not worth the paper they are written on – there are no planes currently on the market that would allow them to meet their noise and carbon dioxide targets.”

“As I suspected all along, the Government paid no attention to the opinions expressed by members of the public and have decided to push ahead with expansion despite all the environmental warnings. We need a better Heathrow, not a bigger Heathrow.”

Theresa welcomed the Government’s decision not to proceed with ‘mixed mode’ operations at Heathrow, which would have increased the number of flights even before a third runway is built. She said, “Although this decision is welcome there are no guarantees as to how long the Government’s commitment will last, particularly given the way in which previous promises have been broken.” ”  

Click here for link to article on Theresa May’s website …

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And  2010

Theresa welcomes cancellation of Heathrow third runway

20 May 2010

Theresa May has welcomed the Government’s decision to cancel the third runway project at Heathrow Airport. The third runway, which was planned by the previous Government, would have resulted in additional flights and increased noise and pollution in the Maidenhead and Twyford areas, and was opposed by Theresa and many local residents.

The commitment to scrap the third runway project is contained in the coalition government’s ‘Programme for Government’, published today.

Theresa said, “Like many local residents, I strongly welcome to cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow. Expanding Heathrow in this way would have had a detrimental effect on the Maidenhead and Twyford areas by increasing levels of noise and pollution, and today’s announcement is a victory for all those who have campaigned against it.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20130103050807/http://www.tmay.co.uk/news/172/theresa-welcomes-cancellation-of-heathrow-third-runway


and more at

Archive material reveals the extent of new Prime Minister’s opposition to a 3rd runway at Heathrow over many years

Campaign group HACAN has unearthed archive material, from Theresa May’s website, which reveals that the new Prime Minister has been a fierce opponent of a third runway at Heathrow, for many years. Her comments on Heathrow since 2008 are copied here. For example, in January 2009 in response to the decision by the Labour Government to give the go-ahead to a 3rd runway, she said: “I know from all the letters and emails I get that many local people will be devastated by the Government’s decision. A third runway will result in thousands of additional flights, increased noise and more pollution for thousands of people. The Government’s promises on the environmental impact of this are not worth the paper they are written on – there are no planes currently on the market that would allow them to meet their noise and carbon dioxide targets.  …. We need a better Heathrow, not a bigger Heathrow.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/07/archive-material-reveals-the-extent-of-new-prime-ministers-opposition-to-a-3rd-runway-at-heathrow-over-many-years/

 


Theresa May’s local council, Windsor & Maidenhead, vows court fight if she backs Heathrow runway

The Tory leader of Theresa May’s own local council, Windsor and Maidenhead, has vowed to use “all necessary financial resources” for a High Court battle to block a third runway at Heathrow.  Councillor Simon Dudley, Leader of the council, pledged the legal action to protect residents “irrespective of who the Prime Minister is”.  He has joined forces with Wandsworth, Richmond upon Thames and Hillingdon councils for the looming court battle if the Government backs Heathrow expansion. “We have very significant financial resources,” he said. “We will put all the necessary financial resources behind a vigorous legal action.”  The Council’s lawyers, Harrison Grant, wrote to David Cameron this year warning him that his “no ifs, no buts” promise before the 2010 general election to oppose a third runway had created a “legitimate expectation” among residents that the project would not go ahead. So if it were given the green light, they argued, it would be an “abuse of power correctable by the courts”.  Mr Dudley said Windsor and Maidenhead had allocated £30,000 for the legal battle and signalled that this could rise to hundreds of thousands.  The council’s concerns include more pollution, noise and traffic as well as extra housing needs created by a larger Heathrow.  A recent poll in the areas suggested around 38% opposed the runway, with 34% in favour of it.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/09/theresa-mays-local-council-windsor-maidenhead-vows-court-fight-if-she-backs-heathrow-runway/

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Gatwick says it intends to build a 2nd runway, even if Government decides on Heathrow

Simon Calder writing in the Independent says Gatwick intends to build a 2nd runway – even if the Government decides Heathrow should have a runway instead.  Gatwick wants to build anyway, even though the Airports Commission regard 2 runways as unnecessary, with inadequate demand to fill both.  They believed (ignoring carbon implications entirely) there might be demand for a 2nd new runway by around 2050. A moratorium on starting any physical work on a 2nd runway at Gatwick expires in 2019. Gatwick (whose management are in line for vast bonuses if they can get a runway approved) hope they could have a runway completed by 2025 – faster than a 3rd Heathrow runway. Aviation experts have questioned the wisdom of building 2 runways simultaneously at both airports. Aviation analyst John Strickland said: “The acid test would be how much additional traffic Gatwick would attract if Heathrow secures a 3rd runway, which will attract the lion’s share of airline demand in the London market.”  Another said the owners of Heathrow are in it for the long term, but Gatwick owners, GIP, are just in it for the money.  UK airlines are understood to be appalled at the prospect of higher airport charges to fund the building of one new runway, let alone two. Local campaign groups are also appalled, and point out that Gatwick has no plans to pay for any of the essential surface access improvement work needed to deal with a 2nd runway.
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Gatwick plans to build second runway – even if Heathrow wins airport expansion bid

Exclusive: Bosses at Sussex airport intend to press ahead regardless of Government decision

By Simon Calder Travel correspondent (Independent)
9.10.2016

Gatwick intends to build a second runway – even if it loses out to Heathrow when the Government rules on airport expansion.

A decision on where to build a new runway in South-east England is expected within days. It is thought the Prime Minister will overrule environmental objections, including from within her Cabinet, and insist that Heathrow gets the go-ahead to grow.

But The Independent understands that Gatwick’s bosses intend to press ahead with a second runway regardless of the Government’s decision.

They believe growth at the Sussex airport justifies expansion, and that Theresa May will not dare to block a project that shows Britain is still in business – even though the Davies Commission regard two runways as unnecessary.

After three years research, Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission reported in July 2015 and unanimously favoured a third runway at Heathrow. The commission said that Gatwick and an extended northern runway at Heathrow were also “credible options”.

David Cameron’s Government was faced with dissent from the then-London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and the MP Zak Goldsmith, who stood as candidate to in the 2016 mayoral election. It launched additional research on the environmental impact of the schemes and promised to rule by summer 2016, but that deadline was derailed by the EU referendum.

The new Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, has met proponents of all three schemes and is expected to announce a decision by Tuesday 18 October at the latest.

Gatwick has been lobbying Mr Grayling and the other members of the Cabinet sub-committee on airports, with what it calls “new evidence” of flaws in the Davies Commission methodology – in particular, predictions of growth at the airport.

Passenger numbers are expected to reach over 43 million in 2016, making Gatwick by far the busiest single-runway airport in the world. The second-busiest runway is at San Diego in California, which handles only half as many passengers.

An executive for one of the leading airlines at Gatwick said the airport was “bursting at the seams”, and the Civil Aviation Authority is believed to be launching a review of its resilience.

There have been suggestions that passenger numbers could be capped at below the present level in order to improve on-time performance.

Bosses at the Sussex airport believe that a second runway could be built for less than half the £18bn cost for a third at Heathrow, as estimated by the commission.

A moratorium on a second runway at Gatwick expires in 2019, and Gatwick says it could be completed by 2025 – probably ahead of a third runway at Heathrow.

The Davies Commission was confident that only one new runway in South-east England would be needed for the next few decades. Assuming a third runway at Heathrow, it concluded only that “there would be likely to be sufficient demand to justify a second additional runway by 2050 or, in some scenarios, earlier”.

Aviation experts have questioned the wisdom of building extra capacity simultaneously at both airports.

The aviation analyst John Strickland said: “The acid test would be how much additional traffic Gatwick would attract if Heathrow secures a third runway, which will attract the lion’s share of airline demand in the London market.”

Malcolm Ginsberg, editor of Business Travel News, said that the ownership of each airport was significant: “Heathrow is backed by in the main by pension funds and national investment corporations whose interests are long term. Gatwick demonstrated with the sale of London City Airport by majority shareholder Global Infrastructure Partners that they are in it essentially for the money.”

UK airlines are understood to be appalled at the prospect of their passengers having to pay higher airport charges in order to fund the building of one new runway, let alone two.

Gatwick’s plan will also dismay environmental campaigners. A spokesperson for Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) said: “Sussex and Surrey residents are bound to witness a deterioration in air quality due to the lack of infrastructure and the lack of public transport alternatives to the east or west or from the south, with passengers using private cars or taxis.”

But Guy Stephenson, chief commercial officer for Gatwick, said: “We are doing all we can to grow sustainably and to limit our impact on the environment. Unlike Heathrow, we have never breached legal air-quality limits and this is a track record we are determined to maintain.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/gatwick-heathrow-runway-airport-expansion-air-travel-davies-commission-a7352156.html

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No New Runway – says a united voice

9.10.2016 (CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

CAGNE reported today that it is predicted that the Government will make an announcement concerning airport expansion on Tuesday  18th October.

However Gatwick has pre-empted this by announcing (9th October) that it will seek expansion if the Government does not select it.

CAGNE said in a statement that this news ‘comes as no surprise’ as the community noise group has always said that Gatwick’s expansion plans were about ‘shareholders’ profits’ in spite of the devastating effect they would have on the local area, and ‘certainly not on what was best for the future of the UK and its economy’.

The CAGNE committee statement also said:

“Gatwick’s expansion plans were flawed from the outset and its American styled propaganda campaign has been based on condemning Heathrow’s proposition in order to take the focus away from Gatwick’s own cynical, self-seeking proposals for expansion”.

The statement continued, “Nothing surprises us about Gatwick’s tactics, with more passengers comes more users of the already inadequate rail and road and without any additional contribution to the funding from the airport.  If the Government does not select Gatwick and yet Gatwick applies for expansion anyway, it is highly unlikely that the airport would offer to provide any funding for roads and rail improvements as its management has said in the past that ‘onward surface access is not its problem’. That means that it will be our problem, the taxpayers, and we can expect our air quality to continue to deteriorate through the lack of rail and road capacity”.

CAGNE said that Gatwick’s off-shore owner, GIP, has shown its hand through its dealings over City Airport and expansion plans at Edinburgh with little regard to communities, so this announcement again shows clearly the contempt that Gatwick management has towards residents of Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

Residents have been in limbo for years now, with house prices affected by the threat of new flight paths off a second runway.

If the Government decides against Gatwick and the airport then goes ahead with another planning application for expansion, Gatwick will have condemned residents to more years of worry, uncertainty and being forced to campaign to oppose expansion.

With 12 local authorities opposed to Gatwick, it would still have to seek planning permission for a second runway from its local authority, Crawley Borough Council. This is one of the many local councils that voted to oppose expansion.

Eight senior MPs oppose Gatwick as well as 16 protest groups surrounding Gatwick, as well as other environmental groups such as Campaign to Protect Rural England.

This announcement by Gatwick continues the misery for local people.

www.cagne.org

Seeking a fair and equitable distribution of arrivals and departures to the west and east for West Sussex and Surrey

cagnegatwick@gmail.com

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Earlier:

GACC denounces the “obscene” bonus of up to £5 million for Wingate if he gets the 2nd runway

GACC is appalled to read the Sunday Times report that Gatwick boss, Stewart Wingate, is in line to receive a bonus of up to £5 million. Brendon Sewill chairman of GACC commented: “If Gatwick gets a new runway, he walks off with an obscene bonus while hundreds of thousands of people will suffer more noise;  50,000 will suffer worse pollution;  thousands of motorists will be stuck in traffic jams; thousands of rail passengers will have to stand;  Sussex countryside will be diminished by a new town the size of Crawley; 17 historic buildings will be demolished; and worse climate change damage will cause misery across the world.”  All that misery and Wingate swans off with his bonus – but with the curses of thousands ringing in his ears. GACC is also fascinated to learn that Gatwick has spent almost £40 million on its runway publicity campaign,  on advertising, planning for the 2nd runway and undermining its rivals.  Brendon Sewill says:  “An American company has been using American style advertising and lobbying tactics  But all the evidence is that British Cabinet Ministers, British MPs and British civil servants are not easily bought.  We have a proud tradition that Government decisions need to be taken on a rational analysis of the evidence.  So all those expensive lunches may actually prove counterproductive.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/09/gacc-denounces-the-obscene-bonus-of-up-to-5-million-for-wingate-if-he-gets-the-2nd-runway/

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Might the ICAO deal, weak in itself, be the beginning of the end for very cheap flights?

The recent deal from ICAO on slightly limiting the rise in global aviation carbon emissions would perhaps add around 2% to the price of an air ticket. That would be about the cost of a coffee on many short haul cheap flights – not a deterrent. It would not start till 2020. The aviation industry may worry that its wafer thin margins (shocking it makes so little profit for the emission of SO much CO2) may be further hit.  But the industry is pleased there is an ICAO deal, as it will be much cheaper for them than a patchwork of more stringent regulations by regions or countries. Hence their (muted) enthusiasm for it.  They have got off lightly. The aviation industry currently has very cheap fuel, but it has not had a good year due to fears of terrorism, cutting growth – and also fears of coming economic gloom, with Brexit as part of that. There have been airline staff cuts.  Airlines will need to invest in newer planes, that emit less carbon per mile – to save themselves costs in future. The price of oil is not likely to stay low for ever, especially due to the lack of investment in the current downturn.  With the first mechanism to act on aviation CO2 now agreed, there may in future be more environmental regulation for the sector. With anticipated growth of 4 – 5% per year, the CO2 emissions from global aviation could become around 25%of the total by 2050 – eclipsing the progress made in cutting carbon from other sectors. 
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Is it all over for the age of cheap air travel?

Some UN observers are dismayed at the carbon deal, saying it will amount ‘to little more than adding the price of a cup of coffee to a ticket’

By Jillian Ambrose (Telegraph)
8 OCTOBER 2016

The aviation industry has crossed a threshold. After almost two decades of talks, 191 countries gathered in Montreal last week to adopt a global market-based system to tackle the rise of carbon emissions from international air travel.

The deal has been welcomed by governments as an unprecedented diplomatic success, and by green groups as a hopeful starting point for further environmental progress. But for some embattled airlines, it could deliver a fatal blow to the gilded decades of low-cost flights.

The second half of the last century played host to a revolution in air travel, driving the globalised economy that is taken for granted today. In 1945, it might have taken 130 weeks for a person earning the average Australian wage to earn enough for the lowest Sydney to London return air fare. Now it would take less than two. But the boom in air travel is quickly giving way to an industry-wide bust. Airline profits have plummeted amid terror attacks and economic gloom, sparking aggressive staff cuts and strike action.

Even easyJet, one of Europe’s most successful short-haul players has admitted that it is bracing for a £90m hit in its first profit warning since 2009.

Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest carrier, is expected to slash 1,200 jobs and halve its fleet of 144 aircraft after reporting its eighth consecutive annual operating loss last year. Even with fuel oil costs at historic lows, European airline bosses say the industry is facing the toughest market in 30 years. The gloom could take until the end of the decade to fade.

By then, airlines will need to face up to steadily rising environmental costs running into the billions of dollars while undertaking green investment totalling trillions as the oil market threatens a return to higher prices.

Under the new deal, airlines will be expected to offset their emissions growth after 2020 by buying “offset credits” in line with their carbon footprint.

The carbon costs are expected to incentivise the industry to develop lower-carbon fuels and technologies, while the money raised by the credits will fund environmental initiatives to help to tackle climate change.

This cost is forecast to grow to as high as $23.9bn by 2035, or 1.8% of the airlines’ revenue. At the same time airlines will need to spend more on developing lower emissions aircraft, technologies and fuel.

Still, there are many who believe that the cost is too low. UN observers at the campaign group Transport and Environment claim the costs are “peanuts” to the airlines and will amount “to little more than adding the price of a cup of coffee to a ticket”.

Yet, there seems little doubt that there will be further pressure to ratchet costs higher. The direction of travel raises the question: is the golden age of cheap European air travel losing its gleam?

To date, airlines have avoided the cost burden of addressing climate change, while energy and heavy industry have borne the brunt. But the aviation sector has come under increasing pressure to act after the Paris Agreement, which came into law last week, left out both the aviation and shipping industries.

The global aviation business is a large one to overlook: almost 1,400 airlines operate a fleet of 25,000 aircraft burning 1.5bn barrels of jet fuel every year. Last year alone nearly 3.6bn passengers were carried by the world’s airlines, producing 781 million tonnes of CO2.

Currently, airlines contribute 5% of global CO2 emissions, but the industry’s projected growth of around 4% to 5% a year has unsurprisingly raised concerns that aviation emissions could soon eclipse the progress made in cutting carbon from other areas of the economy.

The world’s commercial jet fleet is expected to more than double by 2025, and by 2050 would be responsible for almost a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions if no action was taken.

The current global fleet of aircraft is estimated to be well over 80% more efficient than aircraft in the 1960s but the industry has a long, costly road ahead if it is to meet its carbon reduction ambitions.

The Air Transport Action Group estimates that by the end of the decade, the world’s airlines will have had to purchase 12,000 new aircraft at a cost of $1.3 trillion to meet its 2020 targets. Still, the group is supportive of the deal in line with other industry groups representing the sector.

At first glance it seems counter-intuitive for an industry to welcome a step that could be the first along a costly road, but the framework represents the path of least pain in an environment where costs are bound to rise.

Tim Alderslade, head of the British Air Transport Association, does little to dispel the claims that the industry is getting off lightly. It might be the beginning of the end of cheap travel, but it helps the industry avoid the more costly fate of individual government intervention.

“The [deal] is the single most cost- effective way for airlines to address carbon emissions, more so than any other solution. It would also be substantially less than a tax would end up costing,” Mr Alderslade says.

HSBC analyst Andrew Lobbenberg says the new carbon plan matters less than what may follow now that the floodgates of environmental regulation have opened.

“What will matter is how much expense the industry ends up facing. It’s a very unprofitable business. In the history of the economy it’s only really started to create value in the last few years,” Mr Lobbenberg says.

He expects most airlines to experience falling profits next year even if market jitters over terrorism and the UK’s Brexit vote begin to wane. The industry’s structural issues, he suggests, could persist for the next three years.

“We do not deny the relevance of the terror attacks and the Brexit decision, but the trend is bigger and simpler: the airline industry is doing what it usually does and is adding too much capacity at the wrong time, exacerbating the impact of regular economic cycles,” Mr Lobbenberg says.

In addition, by 2020, when the first phase of the carbon plan comes into effect, experts predict that the oil market could face a renewed round of price shocks due to the lack of investment in the current downturn. The price of jet fuel makes up a third of an airline’s total costs, potentially delivering a fatal blow to smaller airlines if prices spike.

Accendo Markets’ equity analyst, Mike van Dulken, agrees that the days of cheap and cheerful European air travel could be numbered. Holidaymakers may face a more “budget” experience for higher prices, as airlines are forced to invest in new aircraft to escape escalating carbon costs.

Already British Airways has announced plans to scrap free food and drink on its short-haul flights in favour of selling snacks and sandwiches from Marks & Spencer.

He says: “Unless lower flying costs through fuel efficiency can offset higher aircraft prices, the difference will almost certainly have to be passed on to flyers. Should the oil price rise again due to undersupply in the next five years, this would add an additional unwelcome headwind for airlines already struggling badly.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/10/08/is-it-all-over-for-the-age-of-cheap-air-travel/

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See also

 

ICAO’s aviation offsetting deal is a weak start – now countries must go further to cut CO2

A deal was finally agreed by ICAO on 6th October. It was progress, in that there had never been any sort of agreement on global aviation CO2 emissions before. But it was not a great deal – and far too weak to provide the necessary restriction on the growth of global aviation CO2. It came in the same week that the Paris Agreement crossed its crucial threshold to enter into force, but the ICAO deleted key provisions for the deal to align its ambitions with the Paris aim of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees with best efforts to not exceed 1.5 degrees C. Tim Johnson, Director of AEF and the lead representative of The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) – the official environmental civil society observer at the global negotiations, said in relation to the UK: “But while today’s deal is applauded, this international effort falls well short of the effort required to bring UK aviation emissions in line with the Climate Change Act. With a decision on a new runway expected later this month, the UK’s ambition for aviation emissions must match the ambition of the Climate Change Act, and not simply the ICAO global lowest common denominator of carbon neutral growth from 2020. The ICAO scheme could make a contribution towards the ambition of the Climate Change Act, but it does not solve the whole problem.”

Click here to view full story…

Report shows EU’s ‘imperfect’ ETS still outperforms draft UN aviation deal on aviation CO2

When in April 2014 the EU agreed, reluctantly, to “stop the clock” on its inclusion of aviation in the ETS (Emissions Trading System) it was on the condition that this limiting of the scheme would be re-assessed in 2017, depending if ICAO had come up with an effective scheme to restrict aviation CO2 by then. Currently the EU ETS only includes carbon from flights within, (not to and from) the EU. But the deal that ICAO is likely to sign up to next month looks as if it will fail, by being too small in its scope, voluntary not obligatory, and depending on unknown biofuels and technologies in future, no environmental safeguards, as well as unreliable carbon offsets which may not in practice cut CO2 emissions. It will not meet ICAO’s stated goal of “carbon neutral growth” from 2020. Therefore, as the ICAO scheme does not meet the requirements of the EU, in order to suspend its ETS, the EU may find it necessary to revert to its full ETS system, to include flights out of (maybe also into) the EU as well as flights within the EU. The EU needs to ensure it gets agreement through ICAO that it can continue to include aviation in its ETS. The ETS scheme had its faults, but used emissions allowances instead of dubious offsets, was binding instead of voluntary, and include all CO2 emissions. To be fully effective, the cap on aviation carbon in the EU scheme needs to reduce each year. A new report “Aviation ETS – gaining altitude” sets out the details of how the ETS could work in future.

Click here to view full story…

China, US and EU reported to have pledged to join the weak, voluntary, initial stages of ICAO scheme for CO2

It is reported that China, Europe and the US have pledged to join the initial voluntary phases of ICAO’s carbon-offsetting scheme designed to give international aviation a chance of achieving it goal of “carbon-neutral growth” after 2020. On 3rd September, the 44 member states of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) committed to being part of ICAO’s global market-based measure (MBM) scheme “from the start”. On the same day the US and China said they “expect to be early participants” in the global MBM, also called the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA. On 2nd September ICAO released a revised text that will be presented for adoption by the ICAO Assembly in early October. This makes participation voluntary in the pilot and first phases of the scheme, covering 2021-26. The MBM will become mandatory only in the 2nd phase, covering 2027-35, with exemptions for countries with only a small share of international aviation activity in 2018. India and Russia are opposed to joining the global MBM. Under the CORSIA scheme, airlines would “offset” additional CO2 growth beyond 2019-20 levels by buying credits from designated environmental projects.There are concerns about REDD forestry credits being used. ICAO estimates the cost to airlines would only be at most 1.4% of total revenues, by 2035. Far less till then.

Click here to view full story…

MEPs shocked by ‘secretive’ and unacceptably unambitious ICAO plan to cut aviation CO2 emissions

A meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment has been told of the way a possible agreement by ICAO next month – on global aviation carbon emissions – has been watered down. MEPs were informed of the likely 6-year delay, with the scheme for a global market based mechanism (GMBM) not taking effect properly until 2027, rather than in 2021 that had been foreseen. Opt-in to the GMBM scheme before 2027 would be voluntary, but mandatory from 2027 through to 2035. There will be exemptions for poor nations, and even after 2027 the participation of the least developed countries and small island states would remain voluntary only. EU deputies said they were “shocked” to learn how many concessions the EU was prepared to make at the Montreal meeting, which took place in May behind closed doors. Then, to make matters yet worse, “a special review in 2032 will determine whether the mechanism will be continued,” taking into account progress made as part of a related “basket of measures” which includes “CO2 standards for aircraft”, technological improvements, air traffic management and alternative fuels. In a rare show of unity, Parliament representatives from across the political spectrum urged the EU to be more aggressive in the negotiation. Bas Eckhout, a Dutch MEP, said what is on offer now is not acceptable.

Click here to view full story…

and more at  ICAO / EU ETS News Stories

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Campaign to Protect Rural England fears Gatwick runway would mean the loss of ‘glorious tranquil countryside’

With a Government announcement on airport expansion expected soon, the Chairman of the Sussex branch of the CPRE argues against a 2nd Gatwick runway. David Johnson says already Sussex councils are struggling under continuing Government pressure to find yet more sites for development. This pressure is met by fierce community challenges as local residents fight to protect what makes Sussex special – its tranquil rural beauty.  Building new infrastructure and swathes of new homes seem to be regarded as the key to inflating the UK’s economy. While the nuisance of aircraft noise, light and air pollution and the impact on local traffic is familiar to many of us, any extension to Gatwick threatens to worsen this blight.  David says: “The burden of a greater Gatwick fills me with dread – ‘progress’ should not lead to a decline in air quality, the bulldozing of ancient woodlands and the loss of glorious, tranquil countryside.  Gatwick lies in the lee of the North Downs surrounded by three ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ which enjoy the same protections as the National Parks. … We may be smart about our technology but we can’t recreate our countryside, ancient woodland, and heritage.  We are all responsible for our legacy; surely we should be leaving behind a better world by preserving our countryside from such destructive developments as a new runway at Gatwick.”
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New runway at Gatwick would ‘worsen blight’

By David Johnson, chairman of Campaign to Protect Rural England’s Sussex branch

7 October 2016

On the eve of an expected Government announcement on airport expansion, the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s Sussex branch argues against a second runway at Gatwick:

While travelling around Sussex for the Campaign to Protect Rural England, local people tell me that their voices are not being heard when it comes to new development in their neighbourhood.

I also see Sussex councils struggling under continuing Government pressure to find yet more sites for development. This pressure is met by fierce community challenges as local residents fight to protect what makes Sussex special – its tranquil rural beauty.

As building new infrastructure and swathes of new homes seem to be regarded as the key to inflating the UK’s economy, there is further concern over the government’s imminent statement on airport expansion.

I fully understand why the possibility of a second runway at Gatwick causes such anguish and why 12 local authorities and eight senior MPs all oppose its expansion; it would threaten towns and countryside far and wide.

Already one council, 46 miles from the airport, is arguing for major local road improvements citing Gatwick as a reason.

I remember my very first flight from Gatwick to Guernsey in the Sixties when the airport was more like a train station, just a convenient place to catch a plane. Today Gatwick is more like an expensive shopping mall and series of car parks with planes attached.

I can also remember a meeting last June in a beautiful 18th Century farmhouse adjacent to the southern perimeter where we all had to shout to be heard as the smell of kerosene lingered in the air and jets thundered pass.

While the nuisance of aircraft noise, light and air pollution and the impact on local traffic is familiar to many of us, any extension to Gatwick threatens to worsen this blight.

The burden of a greater Gatwick fills me with dread – ‘progress’ should not lead to a decline in air quality, the bulldozing of ancient woodlands and the loss of glorious, tranquil countryside.

Gatwick lies in the lee of the North Downs surrounded by three ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ which enjoy the same protections as the National Parks.

This irreplaceable landscape is under threat and at least 17 Grade II listed buildings would need to be bulldozed simply to enable more UK residents to travel out of the country on low cost holidays.

Sussex would shoulder much of the burden of a Gatwick expansion – a report produced by the pro-Gatwick group, Gatwick Diamond, has revealed the expansion would create the need for 52,000 additional homes and acres of associated services and infrastructure.

This would generate another 100,000 new car journeys and 90,000 new rail passengers – pushing the M23 and M25 to capacity and crippling the London-Brighton rail line.

Rail Track has already made it clear that the Brighton Line could not cope with an influx on this scale and would be unable to expand or remedy pinch points on the line.

Gatwick already has problems with aircraft noise it seems unable to solve. With no respite from two runways, day and 
night, 7 days a week, what would the impact be of an increase in flights to 560,000 planes a year over a 30 mile radius?

Who will benefit from Gatwick expansion?

If the £40 million advertising campaign and propaganda is effective, then probably only Gatwick Airport Ltd, its foreign shareholders and its executives – one of whom, according to the Sunday Times, will benefit by £5 million when the airport is sold.

We may be smart about our technology but we can’t recreate our countryside, ancient woodland, and heritage.

We are all responsible for our legacy; surely we should be leaving behind a better world by preserving our countryside from such destructive developments as a new runway at Gatwick.

http://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/politics/comment-new-runway-at-gatwick-would-worsen-blight-1-7617498?

 

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