DfT invests a further £1.8 million of taxpayer money over 2 years in the Dundee-Stansted route

A new deal to secure the air link between Dundee City Airport and Stansted for another two years has been announced. The UK and Scottish governments and Dundee City Council have agreed a public service obligation (PSO) contract worth almost £3.7m.  Loganair will continue to operate the route from 26 March. The service will see two return flights each weekday and one return flight on a Sunday. The UK Government will contribute 50% of the total funds, (ie.about £1,8 million over the two years) with the Scottish government putting in £1.4m and Dundee City Council providing £400,000 of funding. UK Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad announced it, with comments about the importance of connections between Scotland and England for trade and tourism – “helping business and leisure travellers alike”. So much of this public money is to assist leisure travel.  The UK government funding is through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which aims to maintain connectivity between London and smaller regional airports, where routes are at risk of being withdrawn.
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UK government invests a further £1.8 million over 2 years in the Dundee-London air route.

Dundee-London air route funding secured until 2019

From: Department for Transport, Scotland Office, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, and Lord Dunlop

14 March 2017

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The UK government has today announced more than £1.8 million to secure a vital air link between Dundee City Airport and London Stansted for another 2 years.

The public service obligation (PSO), agreed between the UK government, Transport Scotland and Dundee City Council, guarantees almost £3.7 million to keep the route open over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years.

The UK government will contribute 50% of the total funds, with the Scottish government putting in £1.4 million and Dundee City Council funding a further £400,000.

Loganair will continue to operate the route from 26 March 2017, with the service comprising 2 return flights each weekday and 1 return flight on Sundays.

The Dundee-London link, which launched as the first government PSO in 2014, plays an important role in promoting Dundee as a business and tourist destination, offering additional travel options to railway and road. Flight times between the 2 airports currently stand at around an hour and a half.

Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

I am delighted that Loganair will continue to operate this direct air service between Dundee and London Stansted for another 2 years.

Passengers and businesses will continue to benefit from the connectivity this route provides. It will further boost trade and tourism opportunities will continue to flourish in Scotland.

Regional airports are vital to our long-term economic strategy, and we are committed to strengthening links across the whole country and in particular ensuring access to London to further boost growth across the whole of the UK.

UK government Minister for Scotland Lord Andrew Dunlop said:

It’s great news for Dundee that the UK government is investing a further £1.8 million over 2 years in the Dundee-London air route, building on our investment of £2.85 million over the past 2 years.

Good air connectivity is vital to Dundee’s prosperity and its ambitious regeneration plans. There is a huge amount going on in Dundee, and London air links offer fantastic opportunities for Tayside.

Dundee City Council leader Ken Guild said:

As the city continues its long-term regeneration programme, having a direct air link to London fulfils an important role for business and leisure travellers.

Securing the route for a further 2 years through this latest PSO gives the council and its partners an opportunity to build on the service and attract other routes.

The Scottish government’s Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf said:

The award of this contract to Loganair is welcome news which provides continuity of service on this important route.

This flight not only provides a direct link to London, but also offers passengers a wide number of onward connecting destinations from Stansted. This will continue to benefit business and leisure travellers alike.

In the wider context, this service is vital for the future of Dundee Airport and we will continue to work with all partners to add new flights to its roster. I wish Loganair every success with this service.

The government maintains regional airport links through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which can be used to protect important air connections to London which may otherwise be lost.

Last month, the UK government gave its first ever backing for a PSO in Northern Ireland.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dundee-london-air-route-funding-secured-until-2019

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Deal secures Dundee-London Stansted air link for next two years

13 March 2017
BBC

A new deal to secure the air link between Dundee City Airport and London Stansted for another two years has been announced.
The UK and Scottish governments and Dundee City Council have agreed a public service obligation (PSO) contract worth almost £3.7m.
Loganair will continue to operate the route from 26 March.
The service will see two return flights each weekday and one return flight on a Sunday.
The UK Government will contribute 50% of the total funds, with the Scottish government putting in £1.4m and Dundee City Council providing £400,000 of funding.
‘Important route’
UK Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “I am delighted that Loganair will continue to operate this direct air service between Dundee and London Stansted for another two years.
“Passengers and businesses will continue to benefit from the connectivity this route provides. It will further boost trade and tourism opportunities will continue to flourish in Scotland.”
Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “The award of this contract to Loganair is welcome news which provides continuity of service on this important route.
“This flight not only provides a direct link to London, but also offers passengers a wide number of onward connecting destinations from Stansted. This will continue to benefit business and leisure travellers alike.”
Dundee City Council leader Ken Guild added: “Securing the route for a further two years through this latest PSO gives the council and its partners an opportunity to build on the service and attract other routes.”
The UK government funding is through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which aims to maintain connectivity between London and smaller regional airports, where routes are at risk of being withdrawn.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-39261803

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Indian air travel pays 25% tax, but Delhi now cut tax for domestic flights only to 1%

Unlike the UK, India  puts VAT on the price of jet fuel.  Sales Tax (levied by the State Governments) averages across India at 25%.   But now domestic air travel from Delhi is likely to get cheaper with the Delhi government deciding to cut value added tax on aircraft turbine fuel (ATF) to 1% from the existing rate of 25%.  As part of the central government’s connectivity scheme, the Delhi government reduced VAT on ATF by 24% to boost links with smaller airports in its budget for the year 2017-18.  Delhi will have cheaper air links especially to the smaller airports to the north west.  India is the world’s fastest-growing aviation market but most of the air travel is between big cities. Under the regional connectivity scheme, the government will subsidise part of the cost for airlines to operate flights to smaller towns. Jet fuel is one of the biggest costs for airlines, especially for low-cost carriers such as IndiGo Airlines, owned by InterGlobe Aviation, SpiceJet and GoAir. Airline shares rose on the news.
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Indian capital Delhi cuts tax on aviation fuel to boost travel to smaller cities

Reuters  (Times of India)

8.3.2017

The Delhi government has reduced the tax on aviation fuel to 1 percent from 25 percent for flights operating to smaller towns and cities, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, in a move to reduce costs for airlines flying to remote areas from the Indian capital.

The tax reduction is only for airlines operating under the federal government’s regional connectivity scheme, introduced last year to make flying more affordable, Sisodia said on Wednesday while presenting Delhi’s annual budget.

India is the world’s fastest-growing aviation market but most of the air travel is between big cities. Under the regional connectivity scheme, the government will subsidise part of the cost for airlines to operate flights to smaller towns.

Jet fuel is one of the biggest costs for airlines, especially for low-cost carriers such as IndiGo Airlines, owned by InterGlobe Aviation, SpiceJet and GoAir.

Aditya Ghosh, president of IndiGo, India’s largest carrier, requested that the tax break be extended to all air travel out of Delhi, which is the airline’s biggest base.

Airline stocks surged after the news. InterGlobe shares rose as much as 4.37 percent, SpiceJet was up as much as 8.6 percent and Jet Airways gained as much as 6.6 percent. (Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Sunil Nair)

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/indian-capital-delhi-cuts-tax-on-aviation-fuel-to-boost-travel-to-smaller-cities/articleshow/57536760.cms

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Delhi budget: Air travel to get cheaper, AAP govt cuts tax on air turbine fuel

Mar 08, 2017
By Faizan Haidar (Hindustan Times – Delhi)

Domestic air travel from Delhi is likely to get government cheaper with the Delhi government deciding to cut value added tax on aircraft turbine fuel (ATF) to 1% from the existing rate of 25% .

As part of the central government’s connectivity scheme, the Delhi government reduced VAT on ATF by 24% to boost links with smaller airports in its budget for the year 2017-18 announced on Wednesday.

“The central government had asked airports part of the regional connectivity scheme to reduce the VAT on ATF. Delhi was not part of it but we proactively reduced VAT so that Delhi can be connected with smaller airports, specially to the northeast,” Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal praised the decision and said this would lead to air tickets getting cheaper.

“With this, new airlines can come and operate from Delhi. ATF decides flight ticket rates and this will be a huge bonus for fliers,” said a finance department official.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/delhi-budget-air-travel-from-delhi-to-get-cheaper-as-aap-govt-cuts-tax-on-air-turbine-fuel/story-FKellDWdIwkR2bx3gU9mNM.html

 

 

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Heathrow’s head of property excited about redevelopment opportunities and maximising revenues from airport’s property

Talking to Property Weekly, Heathrow’s head of property and facilities, John Arbuckle, is bullish and “excited” about all the property and developments he is looking forward to, with a 3rd runway, He can see “redevelopment opportunities as well as maximising revenues from the airport’s property.”  The Heathrow investment property portfolio is worth around £2bn, and that will grow when more land is obtained (by compulsory purchase, and by buying up homes that will be too polluted or too noise to live in). Heathrow now has around “1.9m sq ft of buildings, 100 hectares of leased land, more than 200 houses and 807,000 sq ft of warehousing and offices leased from third parties.”  Heathrow also owns around 1,250 hectares of land around the airport.  It is expected that there will be more hotels, for the expanded airport. John Arbuckle, in typically bullish Heathrow fashion, hopes to “put the building blocks in place for a third runway in 2025.”  He manages to coyly avoid mentioning the destruction of much of Harmondsworth and parts of the Heathrow villages, and compulsory purchase, just talking about the airport “working closely with our local communities” and “being great neighbours to the local community.”  Property companies are rubbing their hands with glee at increased demand for commercial office and industrial space near Heathrow. 
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Heathrow Airport: project runway

Extract from a longer article: 

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While there remain both planning and political obstacles to overcome, the property team at Heathrow is gearing up to take advantage of the third runway.

Leading the charge is John Arbuckle, Heathrow’s head of property and facilities, who is tasked with identifying redevelopment opportunities as well as maximising revenues from the airport’s property.

Arbuckle is in charge of an investment property portfolio worth around £2bn, a figure that now looks likely to increase significantly as developments associated with the third runway come on stream. [That probably means if they end up buying some 3,500 properties, that will become too unpleasant – from noise and pollution – for residents to remain in. AW comment]

“It is a really exciting time for me,” he says. “I want to focus on developing growth areas for our current customers as well as looking at how we might attract new customers. Our targets are to increase customer satisfaction and develop space solutions that are built sustainably and safely. This is at the heart of everything we do and informs all our future plans.”

Arbuckle’s property team manages around 1.9m sq ft of buildings, 100 ha of leased land, more than 200 houses and 807,000 sq ft of warehousing and offices leased from third parties.

The type of space varies from hotels to offices and VIP passenger lounges to aircraft hangars, as well as a host of operational facilities.

The portfolio is 99% occupied and Arbuckle says there is high demand from prospective tenants, although it can be difficult to accommodate them.

Heathrow owns around 1,250 ha of land around the airport, but most of it has already been developed and there is no land bank. The airport uses “every piece” of land it owns, according to Arbuckle.

“My role involves making the most of what we have and identifying redevelopment opportunities,” he says. “We work in a very constrained environment where every square metre is important to us.

“Our priority is to understand and respond to the space needs of our customers. We have a wide range of property customers, from airlines to service companies, hotels, lounge operators and business centres, and they each have individual requirements. So it is important we listen to them and continue to work with them to meet their needs.”

The airport continues to develop new passenger lounges for airlines and independent lounge operators, as well as Regus Express business centres. New spaces for Regus are planned for Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, in addition to the existing location in Terminal 5, which opened in 2014.

A number of hotels are also scheduled to open in response to the growing need for hospitality close to Heathrow. The airport’s recent successes include the extension of its partnership with the Arora Group to deliver two new terminal-linked hotels: the 750-bed Crowne Plaza/Holiday Inn Express at Terminal 4 and a 300-bed Hilton Garden Inn at Terminal 2.

Building blocks

“Part of my role involves developing our existing infrastructure to put the building blocks in place for a third runway in 2025,” explains Arbuckle. “We will complete the first stage of our long-term plan by 2019 when the new Terminal 2 hotel opens. Work begins this month.”

Despite the land constraints, Arbuckle is excited about the prospect of further development around a third runway. But he is keen to point out that working with the local communities surrounding Heathrow, many of whose residents work at the airport, remains a key priority. [What this delicately omits to say is that there will be around 780 homes compulsorily purchased, with residents made involuntarily homeless.  Many others will have no obligation but to take Heathrow’s terms and sell up, moving away from their homes and communities. AW comment] 

“The government’s support for the expansion of Heathrow brings with it the opportunity to develop the surrounding areas,” he explains. “We have a dedicated expansion team that is working closely with the government, our local communities and our airlines throughout the consultation and delivery process to ensure Heathrow expansion is affordable and benefits all of Britain.  [Typical example of the sort of slippery language that conceals the reality of the removal of half of Harmondworth, and its death as a village. And damage to other Heathrow villages. AW comment] 

“On a local level, it is important we work with local businesses and the community on benefits and what this means for those living close to the airport. We have to work hard to make the most of the space we have and develop it in a way that takes into account both the smooth running of the airport operation and being great neighbours to the local community.”  [Sic].

Over the next five to 10 years there are plans to develop the Central Terminal Area (Terminal 2 and Terminal 3), which will involve ensuring all existing lettable space is being maximised and identifying opportunities for new commercial developments.

Logistics opportunity

Logistics space is likely to come to the fore. Not only is Heathrow the UK’s largest airport, it is also one of the country’s primary cargo hubs, so the decision to expand presents an opportunity for more logistics development in the vicinity of the airport.

The connectivity that is vital to local businesses will continue to be on their doorstep – Adam Hetherington, CBRE  [CBRE is a large, global property group]

In the wake of the Heathrow announcement, CBRE said that it expected expansion to lead to increased requirements for commercial office and industrial space within easy reach of the airport.

The airport itself expects a doubling of cargo throughput once a third runway is in place.

Adam Hetherington, CBRE’s London managing director, says that occupiers surrounding Heathrow can now make long-term location commitments “with the certainty that the national and international connectivity that is vital to their businesses will continue to be on their doorstep”.

Arbuckle’s task is to exploit the opportunities that the new runway and greater connectivity will bring. The challenges are very real, but if he can pull it off so too are the potential rewards.

http://m.propertyweek.com/5088116.article?mobilesite=enabled

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Aviation biofuels: “Won’t get fooled again” – why they will not solve aviation’s CO2 problems

An analyst with Transport & Environment questions whether biofuels could ever make more than a minute impact on aviation carbon emissions. He says we know from past experience with biofuels for road vehicles that they can actually be worse for the environment than the fossil fuels they replace. Unless biofuels are sourced very carefully indeed, they rise causing drastic changes in land use, including deforestation and peatland drainage.  Even if biofuels could be produced on land currently used for agriculture, this means there are indirect land use changes (ILUC) meaning that whatever was previously produced there needs to be produced somewhere else. ie. the result may be cutting down forests to create new land to grow crops. Guarantees are needed to ensure that fuels worse than kerosene are not promoted – in terms of carbon emissions, but also loss of wildlife or violation of human rights. “The aviation sector often hypes up a new technology as the solution to its climate problem, only to admit that it is not feasible or prohibitively expensive. It quickly moves on to another ‘solution’. All this serves to convince policymakers that sustainable aviation is around the corner. Biofuels may be the latest example of this strategy.”  Aviation biofuels, at a very minimum, must be better on carbon and environmental impact than fuels they replace.
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Aviation biofuels: Won’t get fooled again

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV.com PLC.

Biofuels are being touted as a solution to the problem of aviation emissions. But previous experience shows us we must take care to ensure they are not actually worse for the environment than the kerosene they replace, writes Carlos Calvo Ambel.

We all agree that action is needed to address aviation emissions, but we must not ignore two main issues:

First, to travel the same distance, aviation is the mode that contributes the most to global warming.

Second, ICAO projects that the emissions from aviation could grow 300% by 2050 if no action is taken, potentially consuming up to one quarter of the global carbon budget to keep warming below 1.5°C.

Hence, even though many of us enjoy the convenience and the speed of travelling by plane, action is needed to rein in these emissions. And this is especially the case for aviation, because it is mainly the world’s elite who fly.

It may be that only 5% of the world population has ever flown, but it’s the world’s most vulnerable who will suffer the impacts of climate change.

Some are highly optimistic that biofuels could replace kerosene. However, a reality check is needed. Aviation needs to look at the painful lessons of Europe’s recent foray into biofuels for road transport, as it turned out to be quite problematic.

A quick recap: in 2009 the EU created a mandate to achieve 10% of “renewables” in transport by 2020. Demand for land-based biofuels subsequently skyrocketed. In order to meet this demand, global production increased, causing drastic changes in land use, including deforestation and peatland drainage.

The impact of this was felt especially in Indonesia. When rainforests, grasslands or peatlands are cleared for agricultural use, climate change is exacerbated because carbon stored in trees and soils during hundreds of years is released.

Some claim that biofuels can also be produced using crops grown in Europe. True, but what matters isn’t just where the biofuel is produced, but on what type of land it is produced. If on already existing agricultural land, whatever was previously produced there needs to be produced somewhere else. [ ie. ILUC – Indirect Land Use Changes ]

When these indirect impacts are accounted for, i.e. cutting down forests to create new land to grow crops, certain aviation biofuels can be worse than kerosene in terms of their climate impact. These indirect effects may be hard to quantify, but we shouldn’t use that as an excuse to ignore them.

Guarantees are needed to ensure that fuels worse than kerosene are not promoted. Ensuring that aviation biofuels produce fewer emissions than their fossil counterparts is the very minimum. But sustainability is much more than that. Aviation biofuels production should not result in wildlife loss or the violation of human rights.

To prevent this, sound and integral sustainability criteria for producing aviation biofuels is needed, preferably at global level. The system should be transparent and seek to build confidence that aviation biofuels do not have negative effects. Relying on unsustainable biofuels carries huge risks for airlines – few want to fly in a plane that causes deforestation or an increase in food prices.

The aviation sector often hypes up a new technology as the solution to its climate problem, only to admit that it is not feasible or prohibitively expensive. It quickly moves on to another ‘solution’.

All this serves to convince policymakers that sustainable aviation is around the corner. Biofuels may be the latest example of this strategy.

We need to be realistic about how much biofuels could contribute. Sustainable feedstocks available for the production of non-land using biofuels, made of waste and residues, are limited and other sectors want to use them as well. [Examples would be used cooking oil, or municipal rubbish. AW comment].

Some advanced biofuels, such as those derived from waste, might play a role but on a modest scale. And in any case, biofuels do not eliminate the considerable climate change effects of aviation induced cloud formation. [These are referred to as non-CO2 impacts of aviation ]

Municipal organic waste, waste wood or some forest and agricultural industry residues are positive examples under development, but there will be limits to the quantities available. Research and development must look into “disruptive”, sustainable, scalable fuel technologies.  [A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances.  Link ]

Reducing the climate impact of aviation is challenging and requires effort on many fronts. There is no reason to keep kerosene tax-free or to exempt flights from VAT.

There also need to be effective fuel efficiency standards, [for aircraft] which currently do not exist. All these policies are more credible and, importantly for fighting climate change, may have a more immediate impact on reducing aviation’s climate impact.

ICAO is currently drawing up rules around the use of biofuels. These will need to be robust to avoid deforestation-driven biofuels becoming the winners of this ‘green’ bet.

If alternative fuels are going to be promoted for environmental gains, the very minimum is to ensure that they are actually better than what they are supposed to replace. Otherwise, why to do it in the first place?

http://www.euractiv.com/section/aviation/opinion/aviation-biofuels-wont-get-fooled-again/?nl_ref=32795446

 


See also:

The high flown fantasy of aviation biofuels – Blog by Biofuelwatch

In a blog, Almuth Ernsting, Co-Director of Biofuelwatch, explains some of the issues with aviation biofuels, and the problems of ICAO hoping aviation can use them to get off the carbon “hook”. The reality is that only a tiny number of flights have been made using biofuels, with the only ones claiming to be genuinely “sustainable” being those derived from used cooking oil. There are various ways of making jet fuels out of biofuel, with the most successful and commercially viable one being HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) or HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids). Other processes are based on gasification and Fischer-Tropsch reforming; farnesene which is produced from sugar using GM yeast; and producing fuel from bio-isobutanol. HVO production is relatively straightforward, cheaper than the others, and already happening on a commercial scale. However HVO relies largely for its feedstock on vegetable oil, though tallow and tall oil can also be used. In Europe, HVO production is heavily reliant on palm oil, with its well known environmental /deforestation problems. Airlines have so far been careful to avoid sourcing biofuels from palm oil, fearing bad publicity. Greater aviation biofuel use, from any vegetable oil, is likely to drive up demand and push up the global price of vegetable oils – making land conversion, particularly in the tropics even more lucrative.

Click here to view full story…

And there are a lot of news items, over the years, on aviation biofuels at     Biofuels News

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APD rises by only rate of RPI but that does not stop Heathrow and AOA complaining (again …) it should be cut

Air Passenger Duty is just £13 for an adult (over 18) for any return flight to Europe.  It is £26 for a return flight inside the UK.  It is just £75 for an adult to any destination further away than 2,000 miles, and higher for higher class tickets. Air travel pays no VAT and no fuel duty, and the combined amount per year that these two could bring in amounts to around £8 – 10 billion per year, even after the receipts from APD are taken into account. APD is charged by the Treasury because there is no logical reason why air travel (most of which is discretionary, and much of which is for pleasure) should be untaxed. After cutting the rate of longer haul APD (over 4,000 miles) in April 2915, the tax as just risen by the rate of inflation – RPI. But the airlines complain about it every time there is a budget. Now Heathrow and the Airport Operators Association have complained again, that APD has not been cut. They would like to see air travel almost not taxed at all, to boost the number of passengers -and hence their profits. Heathrow has the DfT falling over itself to promote its 3rd runway. It is a little distasteful for it to be pressing for effectively further subsidy, when its runway would end up costing the taxpayer a huge amount in necessary improvements to surface access, which the airport is unwilling to stump up for.   It is indeed a very greedy industry, relentless in its demands.
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There was no change to APD in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement on 7th March 2017

The Budget just said:   “3.26 Air Passenger Duty (APD) – APD rates for 2018-19 will be uprated in line with RPI. To provide good notice for the airline industry, rates for 2019-20 will be set at Autumn Budget 2017.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/597467/spring_budget_2017_web.pdf

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Heathrow and AOA voice disappointment with UK Budget 2017

By International Airport Review

8.3.2017

[The AOA is the Airport Operators Association]   So this article is purely the airport opinion

The UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has presented the 2017 Spring Budget suggesting he hopes it to provide a “strong, stable platform for Brexit,”

The UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has presented the 2017 Spring Budget suggesting he hopes it to provide a “strong, stable platform for Brexit,” something for which many regard Heathrow as integral.
Their views were of slight disappointment regarding Air Passenger Duty.

Responding to today’s Spring Budget, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

On Air Passenger Duty:

“We’re disappointed the Government has not taken the opportunity to reduce air passenger duty. The increase today, and the signal of potential further increases in the coming years, hands a great advantage to our European competitors. If Britain is to be one of the best places in the world to do business then we must work towards abolition of this tax on British competitiveness, tourism, investment and trade.”  http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Corporate-operational-24/8346

 

And on increased investment and focus on technical education, John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, said:

“We welcome the creation of ‘T Levels’ and extra funding for PHDs in STEM subjects which will help provide the workforce Britain needs for the future. Heathrow expansion, along with other strategic infrastructure projects, will create thousands of highly skilled jobs. These Government reforms are crucial to ensuring we can deliver a modern, affordable Heathrow and make sure today’s schoolchildren are able to make the most of the opportunities.”

 

Meanwhile, when responding to the Chancellor’s Budget Statement, Chief Executive of the AOA, Karen Dee said:  [Karen Dee has been Chief Executive of the AOA since 10.1.2017]

“Airports provide the necessary infrastructure for the UK’s international connectivity, with aviation the transport mode of choice for most people travelling to and from the UK and for 40% of the UK’s trade. Boosting that international connectivity through unlocking new destinations will be crucial to achieve the Chancellor’s aim of building the foundations of a stronger, fairer, more global Britain.

“That is why it is a missed opportunity for the Chancellor not to have cut Air Passenger Duty today and instead announcing another rise in line with RPI in 2018/19, on top of the RPI rise from April 2017.

The UK’s APD is already one of the highest air taxes in the world. With most of our nearest neighbours either charging nothing or less than half of what the UK levies, APD is a tax on the UK’s global competitiveness and connectivity.

The UK’s APD is already one of the highest air taxes in the world.

“Halving APD, as the AOA had called for alongside A Fair Tax on Flying campaign partners, would have brought the UK into line with the next highest APD equivalent in the EU, in Germany. It would have encouraged airlines to schedule new routes between the UK and new destinations, including in emerging markets, by making those flights more economically viable. It would also have made boosting capacity on existing routes more attractive.

“Cutting APD will boost the UK’s international connectivity and we urge the Chancellor to take action at the first available opportunity. We also continue to urge the Chancellor to make clear that any cut in any part of the UK would immediately be matched across the rest of the UK.”

https://www.internationalairportreview.com/news/32964/heathrow-a4e-disappointed-budget-2017-uk/

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The RPI was 2.6% in January 2017 Link

A 2.6% rise in a fee of £13 is 34p – but it is unlikely that will be charged.

A 2.6% rise in a fee of £75 is £2.


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How much the UK loses per year because air travel pays no VAT or Fuel Duty

£8 – 10 billion is estimated

Annual loss to UK Treasury per year from aviation not paying VAT or fuel duty is around £8-10bn per year, even after taking account of APD.

Exact loss to the Treasury/year, of aviation paying no VAT or fuel duty is somewhere between £8-10bn /year

This was checked in 2012 by Full Fact here https://fullfact.org/news/does-government-subsidise-airlines-10-billion/ 

who went through the calculations, bringing them up to date with newer data in 2012.  While APD rises very slightly with RPI, the number of passengers rises. So the overall loss to the Treasury probably rises each year, depending on passenger growth.

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“Heathrow 2.0” glossy report attempts to portray a 3-runway airport as “green” and aiming to be “carbon neutral”…..

Heathrow has regularly produced annual sustainability reports (they do not seem to be on its website any longer). The report from 2014 is here. Now, in an a serious attempt to be seen as a truly “environmentally friendly” airport they have produced a glossy report called “Heathrow 2.0” which endeavours to show that – with 50% more flights, producing nearly 50% more CO2 emissions, is a shining example of environmental leadership for us all. Some ex-environmental campaigners helped Heathrow put the report together. While it is hugely to be welcomed that Heathrow will try to have as low an environmental footprint as possible, within the airport itself – the problem is confusing that with the immense environmental impact the airport has outside its perimeter. The report has nothing much to say on that, other than offsetting schemes of one sort or another. The airport hopes to become “carbon neutral” but that is only by offsetting – effectively buying the emissions reductions of others. Heathrow wants to be seen to be “green” by helping to fund some peat-bog restoration, and buying renewable energy.  It aims to do a bit more on preventing illegal trafficking of wildlife through its air freight etc etc et.  All laudable stuff. But there is no reason why Heathrow needs to have another runway, in order to do all these good environmental things that it could perfectly well be doing (should be doing) as a 2 runway airport.  Check the report for high level greenwash ….
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[Time and energy prevent, so far, taking the  report apart, item by item.  It is a long report – but its actual content, of real actions to make an effective difference, is very thin. AW comment]

Heathrow promises to clear green aviation R&D incubator for take-off

28.2.2017 (Business Green)

By James Murray

Credit: HeathrowAirport unveils wide-ranging new sustainability strategy, vowing to switch to 100 per cent renewable power and improve local air quality
Under fire from environmentalists over its controversial expansion plans, Heathrow has today unveiled a wide-ranging new sustainability strategy designed to make it one of the world’s greenest airports.

Dubbed Heathrow 2.0, the new strategy pulls together a host of initiatives, including plans to step up R&D investment in low carbon aviation technologies, reduce the environmental impact of its operations, and enhance air quality around the airport.

Specifically, the airport announced it has invested an initial £500,000 in a new R&D incubator tasked with identifying ways to minimise noise and carbon emissions from flights.

“Heathrow will consult leading experts to identify participants from the aviation industry, academia and business,” the company said. “By the end of the year, more funding sources will also be identified so that the incubator opens its doors in 2019.”

In a further bid to encourage airlines to switch to more efficient modern fleets, the strategy includes proposals for a ‘Fly Quiet and Clean’ league table, which will publicly rank airlines according to their noise and emissions.

Heathrow also pledged to become the latest high profile firm to switch to 100 per cent renewable power, vowing to only source electricity from renewable sources from the end of the this year as part of a wider emission reduction plan designed to ensure the planned new runway is “carbon neutral”.

In addition, the plan includes proposals to establish an “airside ultra-low emission zone” by 2025, designed to reduce air pollution in the area, and sets a new target to ensure half of passengers travel using public or sustainable transport.

Unveiling the new plan at the British Chamber of Commerce conference, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said the strategy represented “a step-change for our business, and accelerates the shift in our industry towards a sustainable future for aviation”.

“By focusing on the long-term, and through working together, we can deliver a world-leading economy – innovative, competitive, successful and sustainable,” he said. “And we can create a future where our business, our people, our communities, our country and our world, can all thrive.”

The plan comes as airports and airlines face mounting pressure to develop lower carbon aviation technologies, following an international agreement last year that aims to cap emissions from the sector from 2020 and introduce a new offset scheme during the 2020s that should effectively impose a carbon price on aviation emissions.

However, many environmental groups have argued the new international deal is not ambitious enough and Heathrow is continuing to face significant opposition over its plans to build a third runway, with campaigners voicing scepticism the project is compatible with the UK’s carbon budgets.

Last week the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs accused the government of not doing enough to demonstrate how Heathrow expansion is in line with emissions obligations and accused ministers of preparing to “water down the limits on aviation emissions recommended by its own climate change advisers”.

However, the airport has consistently argued that improvements in technology will allow it to expand the airport while complying with the UK’s Climate Change Act and air quality rules.

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http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3005561/heathrow-promises-to-clear-green-aviation-r-d-incubator-for-take-off

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Heathrow aims to make third runway carbon neutral

Exclusive: Plan also targets local air and noise pollution but critics say long-term solutions to environmental challenges are no closer to reality

By  (Guardian)

The huge growth in flights from Heathrow’s planned new runway could be carbon neutral, according to an ambition revealed by the airport.

The 260,000 extra flights a year anticipated from the third runway would make the airport the UK’s largest source of carbon emissions. But Heathrow’s new sustainability plan suggests other ways to offset the leap in emissions, including by restoring British peat bogs.

The new plan, called Heathrow 2.0, sets a wide range of targets to tackle carbon emissions, illegal levels of local air pollution, and noise. The airport will use 100% renewable electricity from April and aim to get 35,000 more people a day using public transport rather than arriving in cars by 2030 and double that by 2040.

The third runway, now backed by the government, is highly controversial, with critics arguing it could dash hopes of meeting the UK’s climate change targets and solving local air pollution problems. About 95% of Heathrow’s carbon emissions come from aircraft, but aviation is one of the toughest sectors in which to cut carbon, as the electric batteries than can power cars are too heavy for planes.

John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of Heathrow, said: “We are not doing this to convince somebody that we are anything we aren’t. We are setting out what we are going to do and people can judge us by our actions. We are going to play our part in the challenge of climate change.”

The plan sets out firm short-term targets, including removing the last 5% of flights made by the most polluting aircraft by 2020 and cutting the number of late-running flights arriving in the middle of the night – currently about one a day – by half this year.

The aspiration to make growth from the new runway carbon-neutral relies significantly on the global aviation deal agreed in October to offset most new emissions after 2020. The most novel aspect of Heathrow’s new plan to explore the restoration of peatlands in the UK to offset carbon, which would be “a very British solution”, said Holland-Kaye.

Peatlands cover 12% of the UK but 80% are in poor condition. “The opportunity is absolutely massive,” said the environmentalist Tony Juniper, who was a paid consultant on Heathrow’s new plan. “The vast majority of peatlands are degraded and it is releasing billions of tonnes of carbon over decades.” He said restoration would also benefit flood prevention and wildlife.

Holland-Kaye said it was vital to also set out longer term plans even if it was unclear as yet how to achieve them: “There are some really challenging aspirations around carbon, and even if we don’t get all the way there, every tonne of carbon we are able to prevent going into the atmosphere is a tonne less that our children have to deal with.”

Andrew Pendleton of Friends of the Earth said: “We have to say, that if you look at this coldly, it makes Heathrow one of the most progressive airports in the world. But there is a jumbo-jet sized elephant in the room – a new runway that would see 260,000 extra flights a year, and that comes at a significant environmental price.”

“It is deeply irresponsible of the government to sign off on this expansion on the assumption that something will come along” to solve the challenges, he said. A cross-party committee of MPs recently accused the government of “magical thinking” over the future solutions to Heathrow’s environmental challenges.

Tim Johnson of the Aviation Environment Federation said: “The plan aspires to a cleaner and quieter future but its detail is largely concerned with short-term, incremental improvements that are not up to the challenges that would come with runway expansion. There is nothing in this report to suggest that we are any closer to finding effective solutions.”

“If you have a plan and you really focus on it, you can make a significant change in people’s behaviour,” he said. “The great thing about the VW scandal is that the government is now taking [air pollution] seriously, because they are the ones who can have the most influence. Once the will of government gets behind these things, big things can happen relatively quickly.”

The new runway would open by 2025 at the earliest, and Holland-Kaye said the new HS2 train line and possible new rail links to the west and south could be a “gamechanger”.

Heathrow is planning to increase the number of short-haul flights within the UK, and will discount their landing fees this year. Critics say such flights should be replaced by rail travel but Holland-Kaye said they were important in helping all regions of the UK to grow. “Unless we have an economy which pays for a shift to being low-carbon, we are not going to make that shift,” he said.

The Heathrow plan is “bold and brave”, according to Juniper: “The difference here is the extent to which they have really embraced the challenge rather than trying to avoid taking responsibility.” Asked if fast-growing aviation can ever be sustainable, he said: “It is going to have to be” because stopping more people flying “is not going to happen”.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/28/heathrow-aims-make-third-runway-carbon-neutral?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

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Prince’s green guru is paid to help Heathrow

By Ben Webster, Environment Editor (The Times)

March 2 2017

The Prince of Wales’s green adviser has been accused of hypocrisy over being paid to help Heathrow to justify building a third runway after spending years opposing it.

Tony Juniper, 56, who co-authored the recent Ladybird book on climate change with the prince, advised Heathrow on a “sustainability strategy”, which seeks to justify the airport’s expansion.

Mr Juniper campaigned against the expansion of Heathrow when he was director of Friends of the Earth, which he left in 2008 shortly before becoming special adviser to the prince on environment projects.

He supported activists who blockaded airports in protest over the impact of flights on climate change. He also accused Gordon Brown of hypocrisy when he was prime minister for supporting action on climate change while backing a third runway at Heathrow.

Mr Juniper began advising Heathrow 18 months ago via Robertsbridge, the sustainability consultancy that he co-founded with Charles Secrett, also a former director of Friends of the Earth, and Peter Ainsworth, a former Conservative MP.

Mr Juniper’s key idea to help to justify the third runway’s 260,000 extra flights a year is “carbon offsetting”, which allows emissions to rise if an equivalent amount is prevented elsewhere.

Heathrow is holding talks with conservation groups about paying to protect a British peat bog which, it is claimed, might otherwise dry out and release vast amounts of carbon.

Jeff Gazzard, co-ordinator of the GreenSkies Alliance, which opposes airport expansion, said: “Tony Juniper has given his name to world-class greenwash. It’s massively inconsistent and he must have known he was going to get labelled a hypocrite.

“He has turned himself from a figure of admiration to the Neville Chamberlain of corporate social responsibility.”

John Stewart, chairman of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, which campaigns against the third runway, said: “This appears very inconsistent with the previous very public stance Tony Juniper took in opposing a third runway.”

Mr Juniper said that he believed the third runway could be built sustainably but denied that this contradicted his previous stance. 

He said he had adopted a “parallel and equally credible position . . . that if society is going to say we are going to accommodate growth rather than to try and block it then the best possible thing you can do is to try to ensure it is as sustainable as possible”.

He added: “I’m agnostic on a third runway at Heathrow but I would say we have a growing demand for aviation and we need to be able to deal with that through a number of different approaches.”

Heathrow’s strategy pledges to make the new runway “carbon neutral”. Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s director of sustainability, said that carbon neutral expansion was an “aspiration” rather than a commitment. He declined to say how much Heathrow would be investing in the peat bog project but said it would be a “meaningful contribution”. He declined to say how much Mr Juniper and Robertsbridge had been paid.

 

Profile

Tony Juniper made his name in the environmental movement by travelling to Brazil in 1990 and discovering the last surviving wild Spix’s macaws.

That same year he joined Friends of the Earth (FoE) and worked his way up to be director.

He successfully campaigned for the Climate Change Act 2008, which committed the UK to the world’s toughest emission reduction targets.

After leaving FoE in 2008, he became special adviser to the Prince of Wales, first on his Rainforests Project and then his International Sustainability Unit.

He was the Green Party candidate in Cambridge at the 2010 general election.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/prince-s-green-guru-is-paid-to-help-heathrow-d2zzc7ws8

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£150m bid race for Luton airport light rail link from station to terminal

Luton Airport has started the bid race for up to £150m worth of construction work for a planned new light railway system. This will be paid for by Luton council. It has appointed Arup to design and press through the mass passenger transport scheme. It would be a 2.1km long guided mass rapid transit system, to run between two purpose-built stations, heading out from Stirling Place, close to Luton Airport Parkway station, to the airport terminal. It will be broken down into two main packages.  Work worth up to £115m will include viaducts, embankments, cut and cover works and station platforms. Some of the works will be within the airside sections of the airport. The track, rolling stock and associated systems package will be subject to a separate contract worth up to £35m, to be awarded concurrently.  The light rail scheme forms part of a £1.5 billion inward investment programme by Luton council, with a 20-year plan for major transformation of the town.  Planning permission is being sought from Luton Borough Council (which conveniently owns the airport) and Central Bedfordshire Council. They hope work could start later in 2017, and it would open in 2021 with the intention of the journey time from Luton to St Pancras being cut to 30 minutes.

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£150m bid race takes-off for Luton airport rail link

Aaron Morby  (Construction Enquirer)
1.3.2017
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London Luton Airport has officially kicked off the bid race for up to £150m worth of construction work for a planned new light railway system.

The airport has appointed Arup to design and procure the mass passenger transport scheme.

The 2.1km long guided mass rapid transit passenger system will run between two purpose-built stations, heading out from Stirling Place, close to Luton Airport Parkway station, to the airport terminal.

It will be broken down into two main packages. Civils work worth up to £115m will include viaducts, embankments, cut and cover works and station platforms.

Some of the works will be within the airside sections of the airport.

The track, rolling stock and associated systems package will be subject to a separate contract worth up to £35m to be awarded concurrently.

The scheme forms part of an ambitious £1.5bn inward investment programme revealed by the council, which outlines a 20-year plan for major transformation of the town.

Planning permission is being sought from Luton Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council with view to work starting later this year. The transit system is due to open in 2021.

The link to be funded by the council, which owns the airport, would reduce journey time to London to just 30 minutes.

The bid documents are available from the Luton procurement site.

http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2017/02/27/150m-bid-race-takes-off-for-luton-airport-rail-link/

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Earlier:

Luton airport to replace bus transfers with £200m light rail link

Link between airport and local train station set to make transfers to London faster than those from Gatwick to capital

Luton airport plans to park its much-maligned bus transfer service once and for all and build a £200m light rail link to the nearest railway station.

The fast-track service would make journey times between the capital and Luton airport faster than for those flying via Gatwick, the airport claimed.

The 24-hour, automated light-rail link would replace the buses currently used to transfer travellers between the station and the terminal, making the fastest complete journey from Luton airport to London St Pancras less than 30 minutes.

The 1.3-mile link will be funded by Luton borough council, which owns the airport freehold. While the station is almost adjacent to the airport perimeter, it is around 40 metres downhill from it, making a fixed rail link difficult to build.

The chief executive, Nick Barton, said: “We’re delighted Luton borough council is making the investment. It’s perfect for us: we’ve been on a journey but there’s always been that fundamental gap between the terminal and the very good train service – served by a bus, which just isn’t good enough.”

The rail link would connect to the terminal from within the railway station, one level above the platforms.

Barton said: “It’s raising the game and raising our standard. When you get to Luton Airport Parkway you will think that you’re actually at the terminal.”

EasyJet, the biggest carrier at the airport, welcomed the news, saying the redevelopment was a key factor in its pledge to double the size of its operations there over the next decade.

A planning application would be made in autumn for work to begin in 2017. While Barton cautioned that it would need to “be scrutinised more closely than a normal application” because of any perceived conflict in the council’s ownership of the airport, which is let as a long-term concession, all of the land required is already owned by the council.

He said Luton was working closely with the Department for Transport to remove barriers to rail travel to the airport, including tackling any ticketing confusion, and allowing passengers to travel between the airport and London using Oyster card or contactless payment by 2018.

Luton would also benefit from the upgrade of Thameslink trains, as well as being served by St Pancras, Barton said.

“The whole train story is just transforming and this is the next big – but very big step – to making that journey superb.”

The news is likely to prompt further chagrin at the rival Stansted airport, where hopes of a fast rail connection to central London have been dampened by Network Rail concluding that upgrades would only shave 2-5 minutes from the current 45-53 minute train journey.

Passenger numbers grew 17% to 12.3 million in 2015 at Luton, which indirectly employs more than 8,600 staff. The airport serves 123 destinations, mainly operated by low-cost and charter airlines.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/15/luton-airport-ends-bus-transfers-fast-track-rail-link 

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Hydrogen unlikely to become fuel for aircraft – it is no magic bullet solution for aviation CO2

Over the past decades many have investigated the possibility of using hydrogen as jet fuel, in the hope of keeping the aviation industry growing without massively increasing carbon emissions. A new paper from the Netherlands is enthusiastic about the use of hydrogen, saying it could be a good fuel as it is light. The professor writes: “It is a defect that kerosene is so irrationally cheap, which triggers much unnecessary air travel. A worldwide tax on kerosene – if at all politically possible – should be something to pursue.” However desirable it might be to fuel planes with hydrogen, the reasons it has been rejected in the past are first that producing hydrogen itself takes a huge amount of energy. Then it must be stored, very cold, in tanks far larger than (maybe 4 times as large) those used now on aircraft, even if stored as slush, not compressed gas. Metal hydride storage is also possible. All the options increase the weight of engines etc, outweighing the fact the hydrogen is lighter than kerosene. There could be challenges to using premixed injection with hydrogen rich fuel, since the reaction rate for hydrogen is faster than for jet fuel – there is a danger of flashback, which would have to be dealt with. The problem with contrails and non-CO2 impacts would be as great as with conventional jet fuel.
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‘Light, environmentally friendly’ liquid hydrogen proposed as aircraft fuel

By Josh Loeb (E&T Engineering & Technology)

February 24, 2017

Using hydrogen to fuel passenger aircraft deserves serious consideration as a potential solution to the problem of emissions, according to Dutch physicist Professor Jo Hermans, who compared the energy efficiency of modes of transport ranging from bikes to flights.

In a paper published in the journal MRS Energy and Sustainability, Prof Hermans of Leiden University concludes there are numerous advantages involved in using liquid hydrogen for air transport – most notably that it is so light.

Kerosene is currently used to power jet planes, and Hermans acknowledges that, in terms of cost and sheer convenience, this fuel is at present impossible to beat.

But he writes: “It is a defect that kerosene is so irrationally cheap, which triggers much unnecessary air travel. A worldwide tax on kerosene – if at all politically possible – should be something to pursue.”

In his paper, the academic, who has authored several popular science books with titles like Physics is Fun, adds: “Given the severe weight limitations for fuel in aircraft, liquid hydrogen may be a viable alternative in the long run.”

He discounts the potential of having solar-powered planes as this would be all but hopeless without revolutionary changes in aircraft design, writing, “Direct use of solar power is within reach for cars, provided that customers are willing to accept a lower degree of comfort. By contrast, for aviation purposes the direct solar power option seems to be beyond hope.”

Hydrogen is highly flammable and must be stored and handled with care, but Hermans believes taking necessary precautions would be perfectly feasible within the context of an already tightly regulated airport environment.

He points out that losses through ‘boil-off’ are also much less of an issue when using liquid hydrogen to fuel planes, as opposed to in cars.

For road transport, Hermans argues that liquid hydrogen is not a viable option due to safety issues around handling.

Electric vehicles offer the most promising solution, he believes. However, the challenge is to improve the performance of batteries to prolong the driving time, as well as improving the performance of super-capacitors for more rapid charging of the batteries.

Direct driving using solar power is difficult, Hermans finds, even under a clear sky, but he concludes solar family cars will be feasible in future if consumers are willing to sacrifice on comfort.

Transport makes up around 20 per cent of energy use globally – a figure that appears set to grow over coming decades.

One of the most efficient ways to reduce energy use in future, Hermans writes, is to reduce our mobility – for example, through having shorter distances between the workplace and home.

“In other words, urban planning provides an important key,” he concludes.

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2017/02/its-light-and-environmentally-friendly-so-why-not-use-liquid-hydrogen-as-a-fuel-for-air-travel-asks-dutch-professor/

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Comments from some AirportWatch members:

I remember reading that because hydrogen is so bulky, hydrogen planes are more likely to have to fly in the stratosphere, where water vapour acts as a very strong greenhouse gas.  I believe there are studies that suggest the GHG impacts could be worse than those of current aviation.


This report doesn’t say much more than the idea seems worth exploring. Producing the hydrogen uses energy and probably therefore carbon emissions. Contrails might be more troublesome. Its only benefit would be if it stops the aviation biofuel nonsense.


It is entertaining but not very sensible. If hydrogen was burnt it would be hotter and produce more NOx – which is not very helpful. Hydrogen fuel cell + electric motor is not viable for big aircraft.  Hydrocarbon fuels are liquid hydrogen courtesy of carbon atoms (the energy needed to create the hydrogen in the first place) –  they would need carbon credits to offset the emissions. That could be done. So holding back ever increasing demand for air travel is a better idea.



Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering: Why don’t jet airplanes run on hydrogen, instead of jetfuel?

10..7.2015 (Quora)

The density of liquid hydrogen is very low, only about 71 g/L at 20K. Slush hydrogen may be a bit better.

So even though the energy of combustion per unit mass is pretty high, at about 120 MJ/kg, which compares very favorably with say Jet A, at 42.8 MJ/kg, there seems to be a problem with storage.

Liquid hydrogen needs to be pressurized somewhat, at least, and cooled to cryogenic temperature if you want to use the liquid or slush form. It probably requires about 4 times the fuel tank volume of jet fuel.

Or else hydrogen must be stored at very high pressure if you want to use the gaseous form.

Metal hydride storage is possible and reversible.

But all of these approaches will add significant weight to an aircraft, due to the weight of the specialized storage equipment and no doubt specialized fuel supply system.

There are some challenges to using premixed injection with hydrogen rich fuel, since the reaction rate for hydrogen is seven times as fast as for jet fuel – there is a danger of flashback or autoignition. But NASA is developing gas turbines that use lean direct injection which seem to solve that problem. That part of the technology can likely be handled.

But still, it’s not clear that the reduction in the mass of the fuel load by a factor of 3 would be enough to win out over the added inert mass.

Also as Bill said in his answer, cooling and acquiring hydrogen are pretty energy intensive.

There are certainly pollution advantages to using hydrogen as fuel … there is of course no CO2 emission, and NOx can be strongly mitigated.

And there is certainly a long history of running and designing gas turbines to run on hydrogen.

There have also been a number of experimental development programs as well as experimental aircraft developed that used liquid hydrogen as fuel. The European Cryoplane program has been restarted. Here’s a nice public relations talk summarizing the ideas and some of the challenges:   More at

http://www.fzt.haw-hamburg.de/pers/Scholz/dglr/hh/text_2001_12_06_Cryoplane.pdf

https://www.quora.com/Aerospace-and-Aeronautical-Engineering-Why-dont-jet-airplanes-run-on-hydrogen-instead-of-jetfuel

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Aviation industry ‘ditches’ hydrogen

Now hydrogen is being dropped again by the aviation industry.

But this time the promised “green” fuel for powering flights of the future has been quietly shelved in favour of biofuels and more fossil fuel-sipping aviation.

And while hydrogen as a potential “greener” fuel for foreseeable flights gets dumped worldwide, airlines and aircraft manufacturers are also jettisoning their once radical ideas for such hydrogen-burning, sci-fi-like, cryoplanes.

Should we be concerned? The aviation industry clearly is. Because whatever fuel becomes the de-facto power for all tomorrow’s flights the future of the passenger jet as we know it is doomed.

Facing a fate shared by other fossil fuel guzzlers, the jet will have to find alternatives to burning kerosene if it is to survive beyond the middle of the next century.

Which is when, according to the most optimistic figures, the Earth gives up its final barrel of oil.

It was hoped that hydrogen – whose volatility so spectacularly ended the hegemony of the airship when last used for flight – would provide the fuel for the next generation of passenger jets, or “cryoplanes”.

Energy costs

Now those hopes are dashed.

Three times more efficient than oil but four times bulkier – even in its liquid state – hydrogen already powers several prototype cryoplanes around the world.

But despite the millions poured into research, the promised commercialisation of such aircraft has to come to nothing as hydrogen failed to prove itself any greener then other energy sources.

“The energy costs of making hydrogen are enormous,” Professor Ian Poll, head of technology for the UK government-funded sustainable aviation Omega organisation tells the BBC.

“Currently it has to be created with an awful lot of energy. We need a source of electricity to make hydrogen that does not emit CO2, and there are not many of those around.”

He also points out that as world oil prices have been pegged at $70-85 per barrel, alternative fuels are simply not viable and can not compete economically.

But just 12 years ago, experts and much of the aircraft industry seemed bullish about hydrogen’s chances as the new super fuel.

Generated from hydropower, liquid hydrogen they thought would be the ultimate non-polluting fuel source that, with some modification, be readily used by today’s aircraft.

Radical redesign of the world’s airline fleet was planned to carry the bulky liquified gas. The result would have been new-look cryo-jets reminiscent of Thunderbird 2, with short wings and a bulging fuselage containing the liquified gas.

Green planes

Millions of taxpayers’ money has been funnelled into projects that did not seemingly take on board the the fact that hydrogen power would remain costly and polluting for some time to come.

Starting back in 2000, Airbus was involved with the 26-month EC-funded Cryoplane Project to assess the feasibility of hydrogen, in its bid to develop a zero carbon-emissions aircraft of the future.

Researchers found that aircraft would require fuel tanks four times larger than today’s. Models showed that the larger exterior surface areas would increase energy consumption by well over a tenth, and overall operating costs by around 5%.

Despite the drawbacks, reactions from the air industry were positive, with Airbus and its partners Daimler-Benz Aerospace avowing a goal of replacing kerosene with hydrogen to run their engines by 2020.

But for the aerospace giants, hydrogen’s appeal is now much diminished, and the emphasis seems to be on making fossil fuels go further.

“Kerosene is a very good fuel and very difficult to compete with,” explains Rainer von Wrede who works in Airbus’s research and technology department.

“In principle it is possible to fly with hydrogen and we have a proof of concept but for the moment we can not produce enough hydrogen in an environmentally friendly manner for aviation.”

On your bike

Where Airbus, and the aviation industry as a whole, is devoting its research is into reducing consumption further and committing to developing what it calls greener synthetic kerosene and leaner planes and engines.

Hydrogen, nuclear-powered planes, solar and electric powered commercial aircraft have all been shelved for the short- to mid-term.

“The big deal at the moment is alternative jet fuels. Principally biofuels that come from sustainable sources, and do not compete with food and water, ecetera,” Christopher Surgenor, editor and publisher of GreenAir Online tells the BBC.

“They must be ‘drop-in’ – in other words no major, if any, changes to aircraft engines and no changes to existing fuel transportation systems. Alternative fuels include coal-to-liquid (CTL) and gas-to-liquid jet fuels that are now fully certified in 50-50 blends, although CTL jet fuels have been in use at South African airports for many years.”

Aviation is growing at around 9% a year according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with greenhouse gas emissions from aviation currently accounting for approximately 3.5% of emissions from developed countries.

In addition, the impact of nitrogen oxides emissions and the impact of contrails are estimated to be “about two to four times greater than those of CO2 alone”.

The greening of the skies, it seems, is going to be as difficult as putting the board of British Airways on bicycles.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11707135

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New Eurostar service London to Amsterdam soon, and to Frankfurt in maybe 3 years

High-speed trains from London to Frankfurt could be launched in the next 3 years (or may be more) helping the UK maintain links to mainland Europe post-Brexit. German rail operator Deutsche Bahn has announced plans to run direct trains between London St Pancras and Frankfurt as early as 2020. The new service would complete the 400-mile journey through the Channel tunnel in 5 hours.  Deutsche Bahn was given permission to build the direct line in 2013, but plans were halted due to a lack of high-speed trains. The trains are still behind schedule, and this is delaying launch of the route. When more trains are delivered, Deutsche Bahn will prioritise routes from Frankfurt to Belgium and northern France, before the UK (which will by then have left the EU).  A new chief executive of Deutsche Bahn is to be announced before long, and progress on the London to Frankfurt route may progress once he/she is appointed.  In November 2016 it was announced that Eurostar is pressing ahead with plans for direct services between London and Amsterdam, despite a drop in passenger numbers. Eurostar said plans for the new route were “progressing well”  and might start by the end of 2017? The new service would provide a rival to airlines transporting 3 million people a year from London to Holland.
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High-speed London to Frankfurt train service ‘to launch within three years’

By CHLOE CHAPLAIN (Standard)

1.3.2017

High-speed trains from London to Frankfurt could be launched in the next three years helping the UK maintain links to mainland Europe post-Brexit.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn has announced plans to run direct trains between London St Pancras and the German finance capital as early as 2020, The Times reported.

The new service, which would complete the 400-mile journey through the Channel tunnel in five hours, would be launched as Britain pulls out of the European Union.

The rail operator was given permission to build the direct line back in 2013 but plans were halted due to a lack of high-speed trains.

A spokesman for the company said the trains were still behind schedule and it is waiting on more stock before launching the line.

And, following the delivery of more trains, Deutsche Bahn will prioritise routes to Belgium and northern France before the UK.

But Jacques Gounon, the chairman of Eurotunnel, said he is “quite sure” the re-launch of the proposals will take place in the next decade.

He said he is waiting for the new chief executive of Deutsche Bahn to be announced before commencing talks – following Rüdiger Grub’s resignation in January.

“I am waiting for his appointment in order to meet him to re-launch the Frankfurt toLondon routes through Deutsche Bahn, but it will take time,” he told The Times.

“It is something like two to three years, so we are dealing with 2020 and beyond that.

“I am quite sure that it will happen but it takes time of course.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/highspeed-london-to-frankfurt-train-service-to-launch-within-three-years-a3479571.html

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London to Frankfurt express trains by 2020

By Graeme Paton, (Transport Correspondent, The Times)
March 2 2017,

Direct trains could run between London and Frankfurt within three years under plans to maintain Britain’s post-Brexit links to Europe, The Times has learnt.

Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s state rail operator, is resurrecting proposals to run high-speed trains through the Channel tunnel just as Britain pulls out of the EU.

Jacques Gounon, the chairman of Eurotunnel, said he was “quite sure” direct services would be introduced early in the next decade, and hoped they could start as soon as 2020.

The 400-mile journey linking London St Pancras with the most powerful financial centre in mainland Europe would take about five hours. Eurostar, the cross-Channel rail operator, already plans to introduce a direct route to Amsterdam this autumn.

Deutsche Bahn received a licence to run services to Frankfurt in 2013 but proposals were suspended pending the delivery of a fleet of high-speed trains. The company will prioritise the introduction of new routes to Belgium and northern France before the UK. A spokesman said the trains were behind schedule. “We still do not have the rolling stock to operate the line,” he said. “Having the trains running with the Belgian and French systems is a prerequisite to move on with our plans for the London service. The economic efficiency of the service has to be ensured.”

Mr Gounon told The Times that he was awaiting talks with Deutsche Bahn after the resignation of Rüdiger Grube as chief executive in January. His successor has yet to be named.

“I am waiting for his appointment in order to meet him to re-launch the Frankfurt to London routes through Deutsche Bahn, but it will take time,” he said. “It is something like two to three years, so we are dealing with 2020 and beyond that. I am quite sure that it will happen but it takes time of course.”

The comments were made as Liam Fox, the trade secretary, implored Germany not to punish Britain by erecting trade barriers after Brexit, warning that it would be “politically irresponsible” and “economically dangerous”.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/london-to-frankfurt-express-trains-by-2020-0tqhstpl9?

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Eurostar to run direct London to Amsterdam trains despite drop in passenger numbers

By JOHN DUNNE (Evening Standard)

4.11.2016

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Eurostar is pressing ahead with plans for direct services between London and Amsterdam despite a drop in passenger numbers.

The operators of the cross-Channel high-speed rail service suffered a 10% year-on-year decline in passenger numbers during the third quarter but said plans for the new route were “progressing well.”

The new service would provide a rival to airlines transporting 3 million people a year from London to Holland.

Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic said Eurostar was making a “major investment” in its fleet, service and stations to equip the business for expansion.

“The launch of our Amsterdam route at the end of next year marks a key milestone and represents a significant growth opportunity for the future,” he told the Financial Times.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/eurostar-to-offer-direct-london-to-amsterdam-trains-despite-passenger-fall-a3386921.html


 

 

High-speed London to Frankfurt train service ‘to launch within three years’

By CHLOE CHAPLAIN (Evening Standard)

2.3.2017

High-speed trains from London to Frankfurt could be launched in the next three years helping the UK maintain links to mainland Europe post-Brexit.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn has announced plans to run direct trains between London St Pancras and the German finance capital as early as 2020, The Times reported.

The new service, which would complete the 400-mile journey through the Channel tunnel in five hours, would be launched as Britain pulls out of the European Union.

The rail operator was given permission to build the direct line back in 2013 but plans were halted due to a lack of high-speed trains.

A spokesman for the company said the trains were still behind schedule and it is waiting on more stock before launching the line.

And, following the delivery of more trains, Deutsche Bahn will prioritise routes to Belgium and northern France before the UK.

But Jacques Gounon, the chairman of Eurotunnel, said he is “quite sure” the re-launch of the proposals will take place in the next decade.

He said he is waiting for the new chief executive of Deutsche Bahn to be announced before commencing talks – following Rüdiger Grub’s resignation in January.

“I am waiting for his appointment in order to meet him to re-launch the Frankfurt toLondon routes through Deutsche Bahn, but it will take time,” he told The Times.

“It is something like two to three years, so we are dealing with 2020 and beyond that.

“I am quite sure that it will happen but it takes time of course.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/highspeed-london-to-frankfurt-train-service-to-launch-within-three-years-a3479571.html

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London to Frankfurt express trains by 2020

By Graeme Paton, (Transport Correspondent, The Times)
March 2 2017,

Direct trains could run between London and Frankfurt within three years under plans to maintain Britain’s post-Brexit links to Europe, The Times has learnt.

Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s state rail operator, is resurrecting proposals to run high-speed trains through the Channel tunnel just as Britain pulls out of the EU.

Jacques Gounon, the chairman of Eurotunnel, said he was “quite sure” direct services would be introduced early in the next decade, and hoped they could start as soon as 2020.

The 400-mile journey linking London St Pancras with the most powerful financial centre in mainland Europe would take about five hours. Eurostar, the cross-Channel rail operator, already plans to introduce a direct route to Amsterdam this autumn.

Deutsche Bahn received a licence to run services to Frankfurt in 2013 but proposals were suspended pending the delivery of a fleet of high-speed trains. The company will prioritise the introduction of new routes to Belgium and northern France before the UK. A spokesman said the trains were behind schedule. “We still do not have the rolling stock to operate the line,” he said. “Having the trains running with the Belgian and French systems is a prerequisite to move on with our plans for the London service. The economic efficiency of the service has to be ensured.”

Mr Gounon told The Times that he was awaiting talks with Deutsche Bahn after the resignation of Rüdiger Grube as chief executive in January. His successor has yet to be named.

“I am waiting for his appointment in order to meet him to re-launch the Frankfurt to London routes through Deutsche Bahn, but it will take time,” he said. “It is something like two to three years, so we are dealing with 2020 and beyond that. I am quite sure that it will happen but it takes time of course.”

The comments were made as Liam Fox, the trade secretary, implored Germany not to punish Britain by erecting trade barriers after Brexit, warning that it would be “politically irresponsible” and “economically dangerous”.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/london-to-frankfurt-express-trains-by-2020-0tqhstpl9?

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Eurostar to run direct London to Amsterdam trains despite drop in passenger numbers

By JOHN DUNNE (Evening Standard)

4.11.2017
Eurostar is pressing ahead with plans for direct services between London and Amsterdam despite a drop in passenger numbers.

The operators of the cross-Channel high-speed rail service suffered a 10 per cent year-on-year decline in passenger numbers during the third quarter but said plans for the new route were “progressing well.”

The new service would provide a rival to airlines transporting 3 million people a year from London to Holland.

Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic said Eurostar was making a “major investment” in its fleet, service and stations to equip the business for expansion.

“The launch of our Amsterdam route at the end of next year marks a key milestone and represents a significant growth opportunity for the future,” he told the Financial Times.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/eurostar-to-offer-direct-london-to-amsterdam-trains-despite-passenger-fall-a3386921.html

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EIB lending Schiphol airport €350 million to build a new terminal and new pier

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union’s nonprofit long-term lending institution, that is publicly owned, and whose shareholders are the member states of the EU. It says it uses its financing operations to bring about European integration and social cohesion. The member states set the bank’s broad policy goals.  It aims to support sound investments which further EU policy goals, and it says one of its objectives is environmental sustainability. Another is developing trans-European Networks of transport and energy, and as such it has funded many airport projects and airport expansions.  It approved lending nearly €4 billion for the first phase of the new Terminal 3 at Frankfurt Airport. It is now lending some €175 million to Schiphol Airport, which is the first instalment of a total financing of €350 million for expansion. Schiphol plans to build a new terminal and a new pier, to cope with 15 million more passengers per year. In addition, the airport will relocate and renew other parts of the related infrastructure, such as internal roads and car parks. The EIB says as Schiphol is the “showpiece” of the Netherlands, this is essential. Earlier the EIB lent money to Schiphol to build the 5th runway.  The new pier is planned to be completed by the end of 2019. The terminal is planned to open for operations in 2023.
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EIB supports extension of Schiphol Airport

2 March 2017

By Tom Smit (European Investment Bank press release)

The European Investment Bank and N.V. Schiphol Airport have signed a loan agreement of €175 million, the first instalment of a total financing of €350 million.  Schiphol will use the funding to finance part of the planned expansion of Amsterdam’s airport.

Between 2017 and 2024 the airport will build a new terminal and a new pier, which will allow for a growth in capacity of up to 15 million passengers per year. In addition, the airport will relocate and renew other parts of the related infrastructure, such as internal roads and car parks.

“Schiphol is a showpiece for the Netherlands and in a time of continuous modernisation further development of the airport is essential.” said EIB vice-president Pim van Ballekom.

“The EIB has supported Schiphol in the past, for example in the construction of the fifth runway and the new baggage handling system, and we hope to continue to do so in the future.”

“Schiphol is very pleased that the EIB is willing to stimulate the expansion of Schiphol with this financing facility. It is a confirmation of the very good relationship that we have built up over the years.” added Schiphol’s CFO Els de Groot. “Thanks to the planned expansion we will continue to offer the best possible service to our passengers, safeguarding our position as our country’s mainport and connecting the Netherlands to the rest of the world.”

The new pier is planned to be completed by the end of 2019. The terminal is planned to open for operations in 2023.

http://www.eib.org/infocentre/press/releases/all/2017/2017-048-eib-supports-extension-of-schiphol-airport

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EIB financing of airport projects

  •  Date: 28 July 2008  (European Investment Bank website)

The European Investment Bank is a key player in financing the European transport sector, including Airports and Air Traffic Management projects. Effective transportation systems are essential to Europe’s prosperity, having significant impact on economic growth, social development and the environment. Transport is an important industry in its own right and makes a major contribution to the functioning of the European economy as a whole. Mobility of goods and persons is an essential component of the competitiveness of European industry and services. Accordingly, the long-term perspective and the truly European dimension of major transport projects have made the Bank a natural financier of investments in the sector.

Policy Background

A number of EU policies provide the basis for the Bank’s transport lending: the development of the trans-European transport networks (TENs), cohesion policy, sustainable transport development as well as support to Research Development and Innovation (RDI). In all cases the Bank’s lending policy for this sector is multi-dimensional and integrates environmental concerns in all stages of the Bank’s due diligence.

EIB transport lending policy

EIB Airport and Air Traffic Management projects must be in conformity with the Bank’s new transport lending policy. The policy was renewed on 27 September 2007 and sets the guiding principles and selection criteria that reinforce the Bank’s contribution to this sector, in particular taking into account climate change concerns.

Selection criteria

The EIB supports airport projects when they demonstrate high economic value and contribute to improved safety and reduced congestion as well as time savings for travellers. Appraisal of these projects therefore takes into account potential future adjustments to demand including those occurring when the emission burden is carried over to consumer prices (e.g. through inclusion of airlines in the EU Emission Trading System). Furthermore, the economic life of airport investments is measured in decades, encouraging a long-term view of technological developments.

Air Traffic Control (ATC) investments may also provide opportunities to improve traffic management with positive side-effects on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, an area which the Bank follows closely due to the important developments based on the EU SES (Single European Sky) legislation and the recently agreed European ATM (Air Traffic Management) master plan.

Indeed, the recent report of the High Level Group for the Future European Aviation Regulatory Framework has noted the need to improve performance and the environmental benefits this could bring. According to the Commission proposal for an amended SES II regulation issued in June 2008 improvements in air traffic management and airport operations could reduce emissions by some 7 to 12% for the average flight, or 16 m tonnes of CO2 per year.

In line with these criteria, the EIB supports projects that, among other things:

  • are TENs
  • are located in Convergence regions and contribute to regional development
  • are supporting a local economy, highly dependent on air transport services
  • demonstrate high economic value
  • contribute to improved safety
  • contribute to reduced congestion or result in time savings for travellers
  • contribute to airport operating efficiency and innovation

Moreover, as all other EIB projects, those developed in the aviation sector also have to comply with the EIB’s financial, environmental, social and further relevant criteria in order to be considered eligible for financing.

The consequence of the EIB transport lending policy is that projects which may be only marginally worthwhile are discarded.  Such situations might arise through poor demand projections, because there are alternative airports nearby, or because costs are excessively high. Likewise, projects that do not have a sound Environmental Impact Assessment at planning stage will also be rejected. Outside the EU, where planning and approval procedures may be less demanding, the Bank will apply to projects the same evaluation standards as projects within the Union.

The Bank has financed more than 220 airport related projects since the 70s. Since the adoption of the transport lending policy in September 2007, and on the basis of the above mentioned criteria, three projects have been approved to date by the Bank in this sector, aiming at:

  • developing new pier and associated works at Dublin Airport
  • expanding and upgrading Berlin Schönefeld airport, which is to become Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI), in combination with a shutdown of two existing airports
  • building a second runway in Malaga Airport.

http://www.eib.europa.eu/infocentre/press/news/all/eib-financing-of-airport-projects.htm

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The EIB also approved new lending totalling nearly EUR 4 billion for large scale investment projects including the first phase of the new Terminal 3 at Frankfurt Airport, expansion of the Espoo metro in Finland, new trains on the Liverpool rail network, water investment in Wales and the Netherlands, and higher-education, social housing, healthcare and housing facilities which could help address the refugee emergency in Germany. The EIB Board approved support for urban investment in Bologna, Gdansk and Szczecin in Poland and the German state of Hessen, alongside financing the largest near-zero energy building in Helsinki and urban development in the suburb of Pasila.

http://www.eib.org/infocentre/press/releases/all/2016/2016-119-european-investment-bank-backs-eur-5-3-billion-new-loans-reinforces-sme-support-and-takes-investment-supported-under-the-investment-plan-for-europe-to-eur-100-billion.htm

 


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  • Transport

    Transport is key to growth and competitiveness, as it provides the physical networks that enable the movement of people and goods. Better mobility achieves social cohesion, economic growth and employment. It provides access to jobs and social infrastructure such as hospitals and education that contribute to the betterment of people’s lives.

    Transport is by far the largest sector in which the European Investment Bank (EIB) has been active since its foundation.

    The EIB finances urban mobilityrailaviationmaritime and road projects that are:

    We also support research, development and innovation projects aimed at making transport efficient, economic and sustainable.

    Discover some of our transport projects through our case studies and stories and read more about our approach and priorities as well as our wide range of products to finance transport projects.

    Aviation

airWe support airport development projects to improve existing facilities and/or build new facilities to increase capacity and operational efficiency, improve aviation safety and service standards; upgrading and extension of air traffic management systems to improve capacity and align with Single European Sky requirements; aircraft manufacturing research, development and innovation projects; and the acquisition of aircraft, when there is strong financial and economic value added, when the aircraft are being used to safeguard  the territorial integrity of the EU and where there is  improved environmental performance over and above the aircraft being replaced.

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Priorities

  • Climate-friendly transport

In line with EU policy, we prioritise investment in public transport and railways, inland waterways and short sea shipping projects because they do most to reduce greenhouse gas emission per transport unit.  We are also actively seeking ways of supporting the deployment of alternative fuels.

http://www.eib.europa.eu/projects/sectors/transport/index.htm

 

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Lending strategy within the EU

Within the EU the EIB has six priority objectives:

  • Cohesion and convergence (regional policy)
  • Support for small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Knowledge economy
  • Development of Trans-European Networks of transport and energy
  • Sustainable, competitive, and secure energy supply

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Investment_Bank

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