Gatwick Airport Ambassador switches allegiance to Heathrow, and runway bid fails to gain traction with business

Back in early 2015, Emma Jones – the founder of  Enterprise Nation – a small business support platform, was working for Gatwick airport and promoting its usefulness for business. She is quoted by Gatwick in March 2015 as saying how many of the UK’s 5 million small businesses were looking to ‘Go Global’ and sell their products and services abroad.  “To do so requires an easy-access airport and low cost flights to meet new contacts, research markets and source suppliers. It’s for these reasons that I support expansion at Gatwick ….”  Then in November, Emma was appointed by David Cameron as one of six leading entrepreneurs to be business ambassadors with a focus on helping more small businesses export their products and services. And she is now working with Heathrow. It has been announced that Heathrow is to carry out a consultation with Enterprise Nation, to explore the impact of expanding Heathrow on the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SME). Emma said: “A quarter of all UK exports by value already travel through the airport. It will be interesting to see how an expanded Heathrow could make a real difference at a time when more people than ever before are starting and growing businesses.”
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Gatwick Airport Ambassador switches allegiance, and runway bid fails to gain traction with business

29.1.2016 (CAGNE press release)

One of Gatwick’s most high profile supporters has switched their support to Heathrow.

Emma Jones – one of the Government’s business ambassadors and founder of Enterprise Nation – had previously appeared in Gatwick press releases and on websites. Today she has said, “Expanding Heathrow is a massive opportunity for all of the UK’s businesses – from the largest right down to the smallest. With 40 new long-haul routes to fast-growing markets and improved domestic connectivity, expansion will enhance the UK’s productivity and drive growth by boosting exports.’

Sally Pavey Chair of CAGNE ( Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) commented:  “This change of business heart by Ms Jones simply re-iterates the fact that Gatwick is not seen as the answer for business growth by large or small businesses.”

It would seem the move by Emma Jones, who last year was working to promote Gatwick, confirms the Airports Commissions findings that Gatwick does not serve emerging markets where business wants to go; Gatwick’s current number one destination is Spain.

The Daily Mail reported on 27th January that: “Passengers using the non-stop Gatwick Express between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport – which costs £34.90 for an Anytime Return ticket bought at a station – are least likely to be satisfied with their train fare at just 37%.”

Sally commented that “Gatwick sits on one of the worst railway lines in the country with 37%* of passengers being satisfied by the cost of the Gatwick Express.”

“Gatwick’s location results in the already overcrowded commuter trains being further filled by Gatwick’s low-cost airline leisure travellers each day. Surely this is not how we want potential business travellers welcomed to the UK, finding themselves miles from London at a regional airport, and with a slow, crowded journey to reach the capital?”

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Notes to editors

Gatwick Airport heavily used Ms Jones’ support with open joint letters, in Gatwick press releases and Gatwick’s blog, to illustrate they had support.  So the announcement by Emma Jones of her changed allegiance  is a real set back for Gatwick’s multi million £ propaganda campaign.

Gatwick used Emma Jones’ support for promotional purposes, with Ms Jones stating, ‘why wouldn’t UK entrepreneurs want more of the same?’

Emma Jones is not alone in not supporting Gatwick expansion, as EasyJet, Gatwick Airport’s number one customer, does not support Gatwick.

Gatwick lists 5 Chambers of Commerce that support their bid, all of whom are located in Sussex.

Emma Jones also helped publicise a conference at Gatwick attended by 100 companies, including Google and Barclays. Gatwick’s press release detailed: ‘Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “With so many small businesses starting trade on a Monday and trading with the world by Wednesday, they need to access practical guidance on how to enter new markets – and they need routes to those markets.’

Jones also publicised the “TAKE OFF: Growing Your Business Abroad” event aimed at small businesses in the UK.

Emma Jones stated in a Gatwick press release dated 23rd March 2015 : “It’s for these reasons that I support expansion at Gatwick so that this entrepreneurial transport hub can help even more small businesses trade across borders.’

 

CAGNE's photo.
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Heathrow and Enterprise Nation launches SME consultation

By James Muir
Jan 29, 2016

Heathrow Airport is to carry out a consultation with business support group, Enterprise Nation, to explore the impact of expanding the hub on the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SME).

The airport says the findings will be used to develop an SME growth strategy within Heathrow’s expansion plans. It believes this will help export growth in line with the government target of £1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) of exports by 2020. Heathrow says in 2015, exports to China via Heathrow grew by 117 per cent to £7.6 billion, and with 40 new long-haul routes to growing markets and improved domestic connectivity, UK productivity and exports will grow further.

Heathrow Airport chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye says: “SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and when they export they flourish. For small exporters, that starts with a box on a plane – usually from Heathrow.”

“With expansion we’ll open up 40 new long-haul trading links and improve domestic connectivity – making it cheaper and more efficient for SMEs to sell their products in fast growing markets around the world.”

Enterprise Nation founder, Emma Jones says: “A quarter of all UK exports by value already travel through the airport. It will be interesting to see how an expanded Heathrow could make a real difference at a time when more people than ever before are starting and growing businesses.”

The findings of the consultation will be announced in April.

http://www.aircargoweek.com/heathrow-enterprise-nation-launches-sme-consultation/

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Prime minister appoints Enterprise Nation founder as business ambassador

20/11/2015  (in International Trade and Campaigning)

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones has been appointed by prime minister David Cameron as a business ambassador with a focus on helping more small businesses export their products and services.

Emma Jones is one of six leading entrepreneurs and executives selected to promote the UK in overseas markets, and assist British businesses to take advantage of opportunities both in the UK and abroad.

When travelling on business, the ambassadors will arrange meetings at the request of government such as lobbying to remove barriers to market access or leading events for SMEs.

They will also lead trade missions, brief UK ministers and ambassadors, meet overseas ministers and inward missions, and contribute to government-to-government dialogues with international markets.

The other new ambassadors are:

Karen Blackett, MediaCom
Liv Garfield, Severn Trent
Paul Kahn, Airbus Group UK
Stephen Kelly, Sage
Holly Tucker, notonthehighstreet

“It is excellent news that some of Britain’s best and brightest business minds will be working with us,” Cameron said.

“Our new business ambassadors will bring a wealth of experience and expertise, helping us to unlock markets, grow our international trade and boost inward investment.

“Showing the world that the UK is open for trade and investment is a key part of our plan to deliver economic security. Ambassadors of this calibre show we mean business.”

News of Emma Jones’ appointment follows Enterprise Nation’s recent Go Global Mission to Shanghai when 40 small businesses travelled to China to explore export opportunities. The initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to help more small businesses export overseas.

https://www.enterprisenation.com/blog/posts/prime-minister-appoints-enterprise-nation-founder-as-business-ambassador

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Earlier

Entrepreneurs back Gatwick expansion

8th Jan 2015 (Business Zone)

Dan Martin Former editor BusinessZone.co.uk

A group of 19 entrepreneurs have signed an open letter supporting a second runway at Gatwick Airport saying it is the best airport for startups with global ambitions.

In an open letter to the Airports Commission business owners including Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins, Mr & Mrs Smith co-founder James Lohan, former Pizza Express chairman Luke Johnson and Supper Club founder Duncan Cheatle, say expansion of Gatwick would allow “development of low cost business access to overseas markets” for “cost-conscious entrepreneurs”.

Expanding the rival Heathrow Airport, the letter continues, would “restore its monopoly and strangle the diversity that was so long in coming to the UK’s aviation industry”.

Speaking on behalf of the signatories, Emma Jones, founder of small business support platform Enterprise Nation, said: “Enabling startup businesses to go global is vital to the future of the UK economy. Start-ups do not have vast expense accounts, but rely on low cost fares to reach new markets.

“Since the breakup of BAA, Gatwick has excelled in providing more choice, lower fares, better service levels and efficient service; why wouldn’t UK entrepreneurs want more of the same?”

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s CEO, added: “Indecision has dogged this debate for decades but more than anything, entrepreneurs and businesses up and down the country need certainty.
“Expansion at Heathrow is politically and environmentally toxic, but a new runway at Gatwick could be delivered by 2025 at a fraction of the environmental impact of Heathrow.”

Both airports are keen to secure the backing of business leaders in their efforts to secure another runway in what has been a long running inquiry.

Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Kelly Hoppen is an ambassador for Heathrow and in September last year Willie Walsh, boss of British Airways’ parent company, who supported Heathrow in a previous inquiry, said: “I would not support a runway at Gatwick because I don’t think there is a business case to support it.”

http://www.businesszone.co.uk/entrepreneurs-back-gatwick-expansion

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Brexit up in the air: implications for aviation if the UK votes to leave the EU

CAPA, the Centre for Aviation, has set out some of the issues that UK aviation might face, if the UK chose to leave the EU – Brexit.  CAPA says the biggest source of benefits to UK aviation from EU membership is in the area of traffic rights and the nationality of airlines. Any airline owned and controlled by nationals of EU member states is free to operate anywhere within the EU without restrictions on capacity, frequency or pricing. The European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) covers 36 countries and 500 million people. CAPA believes if the UK were to leave the EU, its airlines would no longer enjoy automatic access to this market, although the UK might negotiate continued access. The most obvious way for the UK to do this would be to participate in the ECAA Agreement in the same way as countries such as Norway currently do. CAPA says it would be questionable whether continued pan-European access would be popular in the EU for easyJet  which has caused significant competitive damage to European legacy airlines. Being Irish, Ryanair would continue to have access to the European market, but if the UK had left the EU, this could cause Ryanair difficulties operating in what is its largest country market. Hence Michael O’Leary is backing the UK’s continued EU membership.
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Brexit up in the air: implications for aviation if the UK votes to leave the European Union

CAPA > Aviation Analysis

Brexit up in the air: implications for aviation if the UK votes to leave the European Union

22-Jan-2016 (CAPA – Centre for Aviation)

Opinion polls are notoriously volatile and unreliable predictors. Nevertheless, a recent opinion poll* in the UK has indicated that voters favouring a British exit from the European Union now number more than those favouring the status quo. Whether or not the poll is totally accurate, it indicates that a so-called “Brexit” is a serious possibility.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government has promised UK citizens a referendum on this before the end of 2017. Meanwhile, he is attempting to renegotiate the UK’s membership, so that he can then back a campaign to stay in the EU. He is now hopeful of securing a deal with the UK’s European partners at EU summits in Feb-2016 or Mar-2016. This could pave the way for a referendum as soon as Jun-2016.

This report considers the possible implications of a Brexit on the aviation industry in the UK and Europe, with a particular focus on airline traffic rights. Much will depend on how, and to what extent, a post-EU Britain chooses to replicate its existing access to the EU single market in aviation (and in other sectors). Suffice it to say – the situation is uncertain.

*A poll conducted by Survation and published 17-Jan-2016 indicated that 42% of UK respondents were in favour of leaving the EU, 38% were in favour of remaining, and 21% were undecided.

The EU has a liberalised aviation market

The biggest source of benefits to UK aviation from EU membership is in the area of traffic rights and the nationality of airlines. Any airline owned and controlled by nationals of EU member states is free to operate anywhere within the EU without restrictions oncapacity, frequency or pricing.

The creation of the liberalised internal aviation market was one of the most important catalysts behind the rapid development of LowCostCarriers in Europe in the 1990s. Today, the extensive pan-European networks of RyanaireasyJetVuelingNorwegian and others are built upon this free access.

Of course, Norway is not part of the European Union, but Norwegian Air Shuttle has equal access to the internal European market for air transport, thanks to the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA).

ECAA could offer a route for UK airlines to access the single aviation market, post-Brexit

The ECAA extends the liberalised aviation market beyond the EU member states to include Norway, Iceland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo. The ECAA covers 36 countries and 500 million people. Norway and Iceland (and Liechtenstein) are also part of the European Economic Area, which extends the EU’s wider single market to these non-EU countries.

If the UK were to leave the EU, its airlines would no longer enjoy automatic access to this market, although the UK might be expected to negotiate continued access. The most obvious way for the UK to do this would be to participate in the ECAA Agreement in the same way as countries such as Norway currently do.

ECAA requires acceptance of EU aviation laws and “close economic cooperation” with the EU

The Agreement provides for expansion of the ECAA to include other countries that are happy with two broad conditions.

Firstly, they must be prepared to accept EU aviation laws and,

secondly, they must establish a “framework of close economic cooperation, such as an Association Agreement” with the EU.

It may seem reasonable to assume that the UK would be prepared to continue to accept EU aviation laws, since it does currently. A similar logic would also suggest that the UK would establish continued close economic cooperation with the EU.

However, neither of these assumptions can be absolutely cast iron. Would a UK that has just decided to leave the European Union necessarily be happy to sign up immediately to a return to many of the EU’s provisions?

The UK might not be guaranteed ECAA membership

In addition, while the ECAA Agreement seems to allow countries that are not EU member states to become part of the single aviation market, provided that they accept the two conditions noted above, it is not totally clear that this is automatically guaranteed.

The ECAA Agreement is a multilateral agreement between the EU, its individual member states and the additional states that form part of the single aviation market. It may, at least in theory, be possible for any one of the signatory nations to object to modification of the agreement that is proposed to allow the UK’s continued participation after leaving the EU.

It was one thing to extend the ECAA to a number of relatively small countries that provide additional market opportunities for EU airlines, but whose own airlines pose little competitive threat. (Norwegian is an exception but its growth has surprised some, and Norway had to be allowed in for the sake of the tri-national airline SAS.)

It would be a different thing to guarantee continued pan-European access to low cost UK airlines such as easyJet, which have caused significant competitive damage to European legacy airlines. Although Europe’s largest LCC Ryanair, as an Irish airline, would continue to have access to the European market, the UK’s ejection could cause Ryanair difficulties operating in what is its largest country market. Little wonder that Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is backing the UK’s continued EU membership.

The UK’s future exclusion from the ECAA may currently seem far-fetched, but there is precedent for powerful voices in European aviation to attempt to use the bilateral air services framework to raise protectionist barriers to competition (witness the debate over the Gulf airlines).

It certainly seems fair to say that the UK’s status with respect to the single aviation market, in the event that it were to leave the EU, is at least to some extent uncertain. The ECAA Agreement contains no explicit clauses clarifying what would happen to a member state that ceased to be part of the EU.

The UK would still have to comply with a wide range of EU rules

The areas of EU aviation law and regulation that the UK would likely need to submit to, as part of the ECAA, are extensive. They include market access, safety, securityair traffic management, the environment, social (labour) issues, consumer rights and the economic regulation of airports.

The EU’s new Aviation Strategy proposes changes in many of these areas, but only EU member states have a say on such developments. Non-EU participants in the ECAA have to take it or leave it.

See related report: New EU Aviation Strategy avoids key issues as Asia Pacific and Middle East claim the future

In addition, broader EU rules in areas such as state aid and competition, so not just limited to aviation, would still apply to the UK.

Of course, the UK currently operates according to EU rules in these areas, and might not be expected to object to continuing to do so. However, with the passage of time, it is not inconceivable that the UK might decide that developments in one or more of these areas were not in its self-interest.

For example, UK airlines (and those of other EU states) have been vocal in lobbying on issues such as passenger rights and environmental measures, such as emissions trading, but they, and the UK government, have been able to influence the debate within an EU membership framework. If a future non-EU UK wanted to remain part of the ECAA, it would still be bound by EU rules, but would no longer have a voice in shaping them.

The UK, upon leaving the EU, would then have to establish close economic cooperation

Then there is the question of whether or not a post-EU version of the UK would seek to establish a “framework of close economic cooperation” with the EU? This question is fundamental, not only to its continued participation in the internal European aviation market, but also to its broader participation in the single market more widely.

This question has been aired in the UK, and the default assumption is that the UK would indeed prefer to retain access to the single market, but it is also the subject of some uncertainty. The UK referendum will not ask its citizens to decide on this question; it will ask merely whether to remain in the EU or not. (The exact wording will be, ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’).

If the majority vote is in favour of leaving the EU, everything else is then up for grabs. So-called “Association Agreements” with the EU, which have to be ratified by each member state, typically offer non-EU countries tariff-free access to some or all EU markets (and financial or technical assistance), and often include a free trade agreement. In exchange, they generally require commitments to political, economic, trade, or human rights reform in a country.

In the past, such agreements have either been a staging post on the way to full EU membership, or a means for a non-EU country to have some of the benefits of the EU without committing to joining up in full. There is no precedent for a former member state entering into such an agreement.

However, it seems unavoidable that the UK would still need to be bound by a range of EU rules and regulations if it wanted to continue to enjoy any access to EU markets. Its membership of the ECAA would be conditional upon this.

Again, the question arises in connection with a UK that leaves Europe: how much Europe would this UK still want? Moreover, the mirror to this question also arises: how much of the single market would Europe still want to offer Europe?

The Switzerland model: a bilateral agreement with the EU

Another way for the UK to ensure that its airlines continue to have access to the EU’s single aviation market would be to negotiate a new UK-EU agreement on a bilateral basis.

There is a precedent for this in the agreement on air transport between Switzerland and the EU as a whole, which was signed in 1999 and came into force in 2002. Domestic rights were originally excluded, but negotiations on this topic began in 2011. A free trade agreement between Switzerland and the EU was signed in 1972, and came into force in 1973.

But the Swiss bilateral ties it to other EU rules and principles, putting its aviation agreement at risk

The Swiss air transport agreement with the EU provides mutual market access for airlines of both parties and effectively binds Switzerland to much of the EU’s aviation legislation. It was negotiated as a package in tandem with a series of other bilateral agreements, which all stand together.

If any one of seven bilateral EU-Switzerland agreements is terminated, including the one on air transport, then they are all terminated.

The provisions in these agreements included binding Switzerland to the four freedoms that form the foundations for the EU’s single market. These are the freedom of goods, services, capital and labour. Following a 2014 referendum on the restriction of immigration, Switzerland risks breaching its agreement with the EU on the freedom of movement of persons. If this agreement is breached, it will effectively also terminate the air transport agreement.

The Swiss government is in the process of redrafting its immigration policy, in negotiation with the EU. Until this is complete, there remains some uncertainty hanging over the air transport agreement.

Whatever the final outcome, the Swiss example illustrates that it is possible to negotiate access to the single aviation market on a bilateral basis, but that the EU is also likely to demand at least some level of conformity with its four freedoms. Indeed, whichever mechanism is used by a non-EU country to access the single aviation market – via the ECAA or a bilateral agreement – there are likely to be significant conditions requiring the country to adopt many of the EU’s rules and legislation.

UK could attempt individual bilaterals with each country, but this would be complicated

Rather than attempt a Swiss-style accord with the EU as a whole, the UK could possibly seek to negotiate, on a bilateral basis, new air services agreements with each individual member of the ECAA and Switzerland, or a chosen subset of them.

It seems very likely that it could agree unlimited open skies style access for its own airlines and those of the other countries on routesbetween the UK and each of these countries, for example between the UK and France or Italy.

However, in order to replicate fully the access to the single aviation market that its airlines currently enjoy, the UK would also need to negotiate with each country a web of fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth freedom rights. For example, these rights would be necessary to allow a UK airline to operate from the UK to Italy and then to continue from Italy to France, to operate between Italy and France without starting in the UK and to operate domestic routes in Italy.

This “multi bilateral” approach could potentially avoid the need for the UK to take on large chunks of EU rules, but it would also be far more complicated than dealing with the EU as a whole. Moreover, individual EU countries may not be willing to play along, given that they presumably would still hold the EU’s principles dear, and that the UK would have just rejected many of those principles.

Beyond Europe, UK would need to replace EU-US traffic rights…

Beyond the internal European aviation market, a country’s EU membership brings the benefits to its airlines afforded by air services agreements that are negotiated with third party countries at an EU level on behalf of all member states.

The most important of these is the so-called EU-US open skies agreement, which allows the airlines of both parties to the agreement to fly from anywhere in the EU to anywhere in the US and vice versa (although it does not allow access to domestic markets).

The agreement was effectively a pre-condition for the US to give antitrust immunity to the profit sharing joint ventures between EU and US airlines that lie at the heart of the three branded global alliances.

…by negotiating continued access to the EU-US open skies agreement

The UK, if it leaves the EU, will have to negotiate a means for its airlines to retain liberalised access to the trans-Atlantic market. Non-EU members Norway and Iceland are also parties to the EU-US agreement and it may be assumed that the UK could negotiate to enjoy a similar status to theirs.

…or through a new UK-US bilateral (with the EU’s involvement)

Alternatively, it could seek to negotiate a new UK-US open skies-style bilateral, but this would not in itself give UK airlines the freedom to fly from, say, Paris to New York. It could also, for example, call into question Norwegian’s rights to fly from the UK to destinations in the US in competition with UK airlines.

If it wanted to re-create synthetically the traffic rights environment of the EU-US agreement, after coming to a new UK-US bilateral, the UK would also need to negotiate with the EU and US to allow non-UK airlines to fly UK-US routes, and to allow UK airlines to fly EU-US routes.

Opportunities could arise for anti-competitive forces

British Airways and its parent IAG are currently firm advocates of competition and market liberalisation, but future scenarios could arise where UK airlines may lobby for a more restrictive stance on UK-US competition from non-UK airlines. Under such scenarios, the UK could feasibly look to retreat from a liberal trans-Atlantic traffic rights regime that continues to mimic the existing EU-US open skies agreement.

Again, although it may now seem that the most likely scenario is that the UK will renegotiate the same US traffic rights for UK (and EU) airlines as currently apply, there is at least some degree of uncertainty over the situation. The implications for the North Atlantic immunised joint ventures are unclear.

Moreover, the fragmentation of the existing EU-US open skies regime would provide more opportunities for anti-competitive forces to enlist the bilateral regime to raise protectionist barriers in the future.

UK would also have to replace other EU-level bilaterals…

In addition to the EU-US agreement, air services agreements exist at the EU level with a number of other countries, including Canada,Morocco, the Western Balkan countries, JordanGeorgiaMoldovaIsrael and Brazil (the latter is yet to be implemented), and negotiations are ongoing with Australia and New Zealand.

In Dec-2015, the EU launched an initiative to negotiate EU-level aviation agreements with a number of other countries, including Turkey,ChinaMexicoArmenia, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States and, in what would be the first such agreement between two blocs of countries, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) States.

If it left the EU, the UK would also need to negotiate new air services agreements on a bilateral basis to replace all these EU-level deals.

…and decide whether to replace EU nationality clauses in UK bilaterals

In addition to these EU-level agreements, there is still a large number of bilateral agreements between the UK and other, non-EU, countries (the same is true for all EU countries). In order to bring them into line with EU law, most of the agreements have been amended to replace references to UK ownership of airlines with references to EU ownership.

This means that the UK’s bilaterals no longer discriminate against other EU airlines in terms of their rights to operate from the UK to the non-EU country. If it decides to leave the EU, the UK will then have to decide whether or not to retain these revised nationality clauses, which allow other EU airlines to compete with UK operators on international routes from the UK.

UK may not be able to pick and choose which parts of EU legislation to retain

In general, those who oppose the UK’s continued membership of the EU, but who are in favour of continued access to the single market, object mostly to the freedom of labour. In particular, they are concerned about unlimited immigration into the UK from the newer EU member states, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe.

There are those who suggest that a post-EU UK would negotiate with Western European countries to continue to allow the free movement of people. However, it may not be so easy to pick and choose which parts of EU legislation the UK wants to retain, and in which territories, if it wants to retain access to the entire single aviation market.

Maintaining existing traffic rights may be the most likely post-Brexit outcome…

In summary, if the UK decides to leave the EU, the most likely outcome for aviation is that the UK will negotiate with the EU and other partners to maintain the status quo with regard to airline traffic rights, as far as possible.

However, this would likely require the UK to continue to accept a large proportion of EU rules and legislation, not only on aviation, but also on broader issues including its four fundamental freedoms.

Moreover, the UK would no longer have the same influence over these rules that its current status as an EU member state gives it. As Borge Brende, Norway’s foreign minister, has observed, “Our arrangement . . . is that we have to implement all the EU directives. We are not around the table when these are discussed in Brussels.”

…but there are important uncertainties and risks for airlines

If it wanted to be more selective about which rules to follow and which to reject the consequences are unclear, but the situation could start to unravel, and this could threaten the UK’s inclusion in EU markets, including the single aviation market.

This is a potential threat not only to UK airlines, but also to airlines from other EU states for whom the UK is an important market. Either way, the UK government will need to start planning for the exit the minute the referendum is concluded, if the outcome is a vote to leave the EU.

http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/brexit-up-in-the-air-implications-for-aviation-if-the-uk-votes-to-leave-the-european-union-262860

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See also

 

EasyJet CEO says UK should stay in the EU for low fares and airline benefits

easyJet will campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union, with its chief executive telling consumers that membership encourages low cost travel between European cities. easyJet ‘s CEO, Carolyn McCall, said the EU was good for its business and its customers. “We will do everything we can to make sure that consumers understand that they are far better off within the EU when it comes to connectivity and low fares,” she said. Ms McCall is part of the pro-European lobby group, “Britain Stronger in Europe”, headed by former Marks & Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose. EasyJet would not be shy about its support. easyJet operates over 600 routes, most of which are in the EU. Ms McCall said: “We think it would be very difficult for our government to negotiate with 27 other member states to get the flying rights that we have today within the EU.” EasyJet has detailed contingency plans in place for if the UK votes to leave the EU, but they are not making these public. Ryanair has also urged Britain to stay in the EU. Though several large British businesses favour staying in the EU, often due to the benefits of tariff-less trade, many smaller firms feel the EU imposes what they argue are costly regulations.

Click here to view full story…

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EasyJet CEO says UK should stay in the EU for low fares and airline benefits

easyJet will campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union, with its chief executive telling consumers that membership encourages low cost travel between European cities.  easyJet ‘s CEO, Carolyn McCall, said the EU was good for its business and its customers. “We will do everything we can to make sure that consumers understand that they are far better off within the EU when it comes to connectivity and low fares,” she said.  Ms McCall is part of the pro-European lobby group, “Britain Stronger in Europe”, headed by former Marks & Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose. EasyJet would not be shy about its support. easyJet operates over 600 routes, most of which are in the EU. Ms McCall said: “We think it would be very difficult for our government to negotiate with 27 other member states to get the flying rights that we have today within the EU.” EasyJet has detailed contingency plans in place for if the UK votes to leave the EU, but they are not making these public. Ryanair has also urged Britain to stay in the EU.  Though several large British businesses favour staying in the EU, often due to the benefits of tariff-less trade, many smaller firms feel the EU imposes what they argue are costly regulations.
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EasyJet CEO says UK should stay in the EU for low fares

26.1.2016 (Reuters)

Airline easyJet will campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union, with its chief executive telling consumers that membership encourages low cost travel between European cities.

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s ties with Europe and then allow voters a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017.

Stepping into a highly charged political debate, easyJet said the EU was good for its business and its customers.

“We will do everything we can to make sure that consumers understand that they are far better off within the EU when it comes to connectivity and low fares,” easyJet’s chief executive Carolyn McCall said on Tuesday.

McCall is part of the pro-European lobby group, “Britain Stronger in Europe”, headed by former Marks & Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose. EasyJet would not be shy about its support, McCall said.

“We are very happy to talk in favour of Britain remaining in the EU,” she said in a conference call with financial analysts.

Rival budget airline Ryanair has also urged Britain to stay in the EU.

Several large British businesses have spoken out in favour of the EU, often due to the benefits of tariff-less trade. Many smaller firms have criticised the bloc for imposing what they argue are costly regulations.

easyJet operates over 600 routes, many of which are in the EU, with flights which connect London, Edinburgh and Bristol with European hubs such Paris, Geneva and Rome.

“We think it would be very difficult for our government to negotiate with 27 other member states to get the flying rights that we have today within the EU,” McCall said.

EasyJet has detailed contingency plans in place, however, should voters opt for Britain to leave the EU.

“We have a plan but it’s not a plan that we will discuss overtly,” she said.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Keith Weir)

http://www.reuters.com/article/britain-eu-business-idUSL8N15A3MW

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Cheap flights under threat from Brexit, Remain campaign says

14.2.2016 (Politics Home)

Campaigners for Britain to remain in the EU have fired another volley of warnings about the consequences of Brexit, [Brexit means Britain’s exit from the European Union] including threats to holidaymakers’ safety, trade, and cheap air travel.

Those backing leaving the EU have dismissed the latest interventions as “scaremongering campaign of fear”.

Easyjet boss Dame Carolyn McCall claimed a vote to get Britain out of the EU could see the cost of air travel boom so much it would go back to the days when flying was “reserved for the elite”.

“As a result of Britain’s membership, the costs of flights have plummeted, while the range of destinations has soared,” she wrote in the Sunday Times.

She said: “How much you pay for your holiday really does depend on how much influence Britain has in Europe.

“That’s why easyJet believes the benefits far outweigh the frustrations — and why the UK is better off as part of the EU.”

The former boss of travel firm Tui, meanwhile, told the same newspaper that membership of the EU contributed to British holidaymakers’ safety.

Peter Long, who was in charge at the firm when 33 Britons were killed by a gunman in Tunisia, said the EU helped states to “work together in a crisis.”

He claimed the experience gave him: “Many first-hand experiences of seeing how European governments, through their foreign offices, collaborate and work together in a crisis.”

He added: “It would not be like that if we weren’t in a situation where we were as Europe working together.”

Conservative MP and former defence secretary Liam Fox dismissed the warnings: “Those that wish to remain in the EU should make the positive case for the supranational European project rather than frightening people.”

……… and it continues, on other aspects of Brexit
https://www.politicshome.com/foreign-and-defence/articles/story/cheap-flights-under-threat-brexit-remain-campaign-says

 

The claims have led to accusations of scaremongering from eurosceptics who think Cameron and his allies have started a campaign of fear to stop people from voting to leave the union.

Eurosceptic MP Liam Fox said: “Those that wish to remain in the EU should make the positive case for the supranational European project rather than frightening people.”


See also:

Ryanair boss urges Britain to remain in the EU

2.11.2015

By Ben Martin (Telegraph)
Michael O’Leary says there is “no doubt” the UK economy benefits from being an EU member state

The boss of Ryanair has urged Britain to remain inside the European Union because there is “no doubt” the UK economy benefits from being a member state.

Speaking as the Irish low-cost airline unveiled another surge in profits and revenues, Michael O’Leary said that Britain acted as an important moderating force on other European countries.
“We are very actively supporting the campaign to keep the UK in the European Union. We need a reformed Europe and some sensible voices around the European table,” he said. “There is absolutely no doubt that the UK economy is better-off in Europe than outside.”

The Ryanair boss said he wanted to see reform of the 28-nation bloc because “some of the regulation that comes out of Brussels is frankly rubbish”. He would prefer “a lot less regulation” and in increase in the free movement of goods, capital and labour.

….. and it carries on about profits etc ……

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11969407/Ryanair-profits-soar-as-holidaymakers-head-for-the-sun-in-bumper-summer.html


 

 

Brexit up in the air: implications for aviation if the UK votes to leave the European Union

 

Opinion polls are notoriously volatile and unreliable predictors. Nevertheless, a recent opinion poll* in the UK has indicated that voters favouring a British exit from the European Union now number more than those favouring the status quo. Whether or not the poll is totally accurate, it indicates that a so-called “Brexit” is a serious possibility.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government has promised UK citizens a referendum on this before the end of 2017. Meanwhile, he is attempting to renegotiate the UK’s membership, so that he can then back a campaign to stay in the EU. He is now hopeful of securing a deal with the UK’s European partners at EU summits in Feb-2016 or Mar-2016. This could pave the way for a referendum as soon as Jun-2016.

This report considers the possible implications of a Brexit on the aviation industry in the UK andEurope, with a particular focus on airline traffic rights. Much will depend on how, and to what extent, a post-EU Britain chooses to replicate its existing access to the EU single market in aviation (and in other sectors). Suffice it to say – the situation is uncertain.

*A poll conducted by Survation and published 17-Jan-2016 indicated that 42% of UK respondents were in favour of leaving the EU, 38% were in favour of remaining, and 21% were undecided.

The EU has a liberalised aviation market

The biggest source of benefits to UK aviation from EU membership is in the area of traffic rights and the nationality of airlines. Any airline owned and controlled by nationals of EU member states is free to operate anywhere within the EU without restrictions oncapacity, frequency or pricing.

The creation of the liberalised internal aviation market was one of the most important catalysts behind the rapid development of LCCs in Europe in the 1990s. Today, the extensive pan-European networks of Ryanair, easyJet, Vueling, Norwegian and others are built upon this free access.

Of course, Norway is not part of the European Union, but Norwegian Air Shuttle has equal access to the internal European market for air transport, thanks to the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA).

………… and it continues at length ………..

http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/brexit-up-in-the-air-implications-for-aviation-if-the-uk-votes-to-leave-the-european-union-262860

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Uber scrap flat rate fares to London airports, but residents report problems with residential parking by drivers

Uber has announced it will stop offering flat rate fares to customers travelling to Heathrow and Gatwick Airport.  Uber used to offer a series of set fares for trips to the London airports, so customers know what to expect when going on their holidays and leisure trips. Uber fares to Heathrow from west London would start at £30, while passengers from south east London could get to Gatwick for £50.  Now the fares will be calculated on the time and distance, as they are for other Uber journeys. Customers can see from the phone app how much their trip will cost. Uber also announced that airport pick-ups will incur an additional surcharge, to cover minimum parking costs. However, there are a number of reports indicating that Uber cars are upsetting residents in areas near Heathrow, as large numbers park (for free) in residential roads, for hours, waiting for calls to pick up passengers. Waiting in streets with no facilities mean drivers have been reported urinating in gardens, or defecating near their cars. There have been complaints of groups of drivers appearing to be a threatening presence, being rude to residents, sleeping in their cars, and playing music into the night, while they wait.  Uber and Heathrow are meant to be trying to sort out the problems. Problems are also reported in the Stansted area.
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ITS NOT JUST AT HEATHROW : Uber drivers upsetting villagers near Stansted Airport

15.1.2016

 

Lack of parking restrictions in a village just one mile from Stansted airport where residential streets are being used as waiting areas for minicabs is causing anger and frustration for those who live there.

Residents in Takeley are finding their streets lined with minicabs, lately many of them the new Uber cars, waiting for callouts to the airport.

And with no residential parking restrictions in place save for one hour between 10am and 11am each day, they feel they have “no leg to stand on”.

Paige-Elizabeth Reed, whose mother lives in the village, said: “The parking is getting so bad, with Uber drivers sitting outside the residents’ houses for hours.”

But North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP), which has responsibility for parking in the Uttlesford District, says it is aware of the problem and is doing what it can to “enforce the area”.

A spokesperson said: “The problem extends to the clearway on Parsonage Road and Stansted Courtyard. Restrictions limiting parking to a specific one hour period are usually put in place to prevent commuters from all-day parking.

“Residents concerned about these licensed minicabs parking in the area should report their concerns to their Local Authority, in this case Uttlesford District Council which is the licensing authority.”

When asked about the licensing in the area, UDC replied: “UDC: “We do license taxis in the district, BUT, THESE UBER CARS ARE OFTEN PHVs LICENSED BY TfL IN LONDON, and they wait around near the airport for jobs to come in via the app.

“Obviously if there are no restrictions, they do have the right to park, even if it is inconsiderate of resident’s needs.”

NEPP says it considers the potential benefits and impacts of many parking or waiting restriction requests from across north Essex, and would gladly do so in this instance.

However, it does stipulate that applications for parking or waiting restrictions must be able to demonstrate clear support, including from the local ward councillor.

“Each request is reviewed and scored, looking at key factors including the level of local support, potential benefits and impacts,” said the spokesperson.

“Schemes are then referred to the Partnership’s Committee to prioritise and agree which will be progressed.”

Ms Reed says that restrictions must be looked at more closely and as a matter of priority, as currently residents feel powerless to take action.

“We have no leg to stand on. This needs to be sorted because it’s getting beyond a joke,” she said.

“1 mile from the airport and there’s people sat for hours just waiting and waiting. It has to and needs to stop. Make it permits only so residents can park easily with no hassle.”

Parish clerk Jane Heskey said the problem had arisen in the past few weeks.

She went on to say: “There is an average of 40 to 50 minicab cars waiting around the village.

There is a real problem with litter and there are no toilet facilities in their cars so there is also the obvious issue with bottles of urine and plastic bags full of human feces being discarded.”

She urged residents to record registration plates and take pictures of the cars so they could be checked out.

http://taxileaks.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/its-not-just-at-heathrow-uber-drivers.html

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Dozens of Uber drivers ‘urinating in gardens, leaving Tesco bags of faeces in the road, and playing music through the night’ in residential streets near Heathrow

  • Residents in Stanwell, Surrey, took to Twitter to complain about vehicles
    ‘Aggressive’ drivers also run engines through night and block the streets
  • One man, 67, alleged he had been racially abused by one waiting driver
  • Uber told one customer drivers were ‘to be expected’ due to high demand

By LYDIA WILLGRESS

9.1.2016 (Mail online)

Some extracts from a longer article below:
Residents in Stanwell, Surrey, took to social media to complain about more than 40 cars at a time waiting on one road.

The ‘aggressive’ drivers were running their engines through the night, blocking the streets and urinating in gardens, they said.

Uber drivers are flocking to streets near Heathrow – including Oaks Street in Stanwell – where they urinate in gardens, leave plastic bags of excrement and play music through the night as they wait for customers, it has been claimed

One woman told MailOnline: ‘We’ve counted as many as 42 cars in one evening on our road and you can map those numbers to the Uber app as waiting for pick ups at Heathrow. They leave engines running, lights on, get out of their cars and talk in groups in the middle of the road, urinate up against garden walls and leave all their litter from takeaways.

“They also double park so the road is now impassable and when we’ve asked them to move as we cannot park outside our home, they get aggressive and quote the law.” She said the problem was worse around peak flight times, with cars arriving as early as 5am.

She added: ‘I don’t feel safe when there are lots of drivers. They are like a pack.

“Tensions are running very high and there were two arguments on my road on Thursday where neighbours asked drivers to move on and they would not. We love our home and don’t want to even have to think about moving but it could tip us that far if we don’t get support to change this awful situation.2

When Mrs X contacted Uber to complain about the problem, she was told it was ‘to be expected’ due to her street being an area of high demand. A customer service worker told her [the drivers were independent contractors, whose aim is to be in the right place at the right time.] “By your neighborhood being a high traffic area, this is to be expected.”

[One person complained on Twitter that they had over 15 Uber drivers per now urinating into bottles, and sleeping in their cars, waiting for Heathrow trips].

[Someone else said 5 drivers had been littering, and there were 2 urinating in his garden, with 39 taxis in the road. An Asian resident said he had been subject to racist abuse when he asked a driver to move his vehicle.]

[Another said] “They leave their lights and the engine running for hours.

Another residentsaid he had written to both borough and county councillors in a bid to raise the issue.

An Uber spokesman said: ‘We take any reports of antisocial behaviour very seriously, and what has been alleged is clearly unacceptable. Whilst this issue is not confined to Uber, we would urge residents to report such behaviour so we can take the appropriate action. We are working closely with Heathrow and hope to have a robust solution in place in the near future.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3391500/Dozens-Uber-drivers-urinating-gardens-leaving-Tesco-bags-faeces-road-playing-music-night-streets-near-Heathrow.html


 

Uber has scrapped flat rate fares to London airports

Monday 25 Jan 2016 (Metro)

Uber has announced it will stop offering flat rate fares to customers travelling to Heathrow and Gatwick Airport.

Until now, the company offered a series of set fares to trips to the London airports, so you’d know what to expect when going on holiday.

Trips to Heathrow from west London would start at just £30 while passengers from south east London could get to Gatwick for £50.

But from today, Uber will return to the ‘Uber’ way and calculate fares based on time and distance rates.

In an email to customers, Uber said: ‘Flat rate fares between London airports and central London will no longer apply — instead, fares will be calculated using Uber’s time and distance rates — just as they are for normal Uber trips.’

‘Whether you’re heading off on a business trip or coming back from holiday, you can always get a fare estimate in–app to see how much your ride will cost.’

Uber also announced in the email that from today, airport pick-ups will incur an additional surcharge to cover minimum parking costs.

Customers have expressed their disappointment on Twitter, with one user tweeting: ‘Very disappointed that Uber are moving to calculated airport fares – the flat rates were one less thing to worry about when travelling.’

http://metro.co.uk/2016/01/25/uber-has-scrapped-flat-rate-fares-to-london-airports-5642831/

 

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Survey for National Infrastructure Commissions shows airports a very low priority for spending

A recent survey, done for the new National Infrastructure Commission, shows that aviation was not regarded as a high investment priority for the UK. The survey, by Copper Consultancy in June 2015, asked 2,000 adults in the UK their views on infrastructure.  The highest priorities for investment were given as 43% for renewable energy; 39% for housebuilding and 32% for energy from waste. Then railways (31%), flood defences (30%) and major roads (30%). However, figures were nuclear power projects (19%), airports (8%) and coal and gas power stations (8%). When asked what would increase confidence in the infrastructure sector, respondents said community engagement (41%), consultation (30%), and leadership from politicians (25%) and technical experts (24%). The survey says its “focus groups demonstrated that the public is very positive about the state of the country’s….. airports. In contrast, they are much less positive towards other types of infrastructure, including flood defences and the railways”. 36% regarded airports as highly rated. 49% believed there were not enough safeguards to protect the country’s countryside and natural habitats, with only 6% saying there were too many safeguards for their protection. 58% believed the balance of power is too much in favour of developers’ plans over the wishes of communities, and 6% said the opposite.
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Renewable energy tops our wish list for more national infrastructure

Posted by Gabby Mallett

11 January 2016

What do we the public want from the new National Infrastructure Commission? Actually many of us want renewable energy. 

A recent survey of 2,000 members of the public identified that 43% wanted renewable energy to be our investment priority for the UK , followed by 39% highlighting housebuilding and 32% prioritising energy from waste.

Respondents could select a number of options from a long list, so Railways (31%), flood defenses (30%) and major roads (30%) also scored significantly.  However, nuclear power projects (19%), airports (8%) and coal and gas power stations (8%) were towards the bottom of the list, with sports and music venues scoring a lowly 3%.

Page 7 of the report:

Survey only 8% want airport investment

The independent survey was led by Copper Consultancy in partnership with Peter Brett Associates and carried out by Icaro.

Lord Adonis, interim chair of the Infrastructure commission, before Phil Graham’s appointment  said: “This report is timely and vital. For too long the British people have been forced to put up with chaos, congestion and costs, thanks to successive governments’ failure to build the long-term infrastructure this country needs. So as we establish the independent National Infrastructure Commission, it is clear we have to utterly transform the way we plan and deliver major projects in this country.

“This survey shows that the public want proper investment and planning behind world class developments. But whilst the support is there for real improvement, people rightly demand proper engagement and genuine consultation.

“It is now up to the industry as a whole to take these findings forward and build the broad coalition of support we need to secure the projects of the future.”

When asked what would increase confidence in the infrastructure sector, British people said community engagement (41%), consultation (30%), and leadership from politicians (25%) and technical experts (24%).

Interestingly two in three respondents (67%) said they were interested in being involved in discussions about the future infrastructure needs of their area/region.  Perhaps that’s because only 6% think that infrastructure projects in their area are very well coordinated/part of a strategic plan at present.

The report shows that many of our opinions are based on where we live, a clear urban/rural divide is seen in some answers and there is a tendency to stick with political type too.  The whole report can be found at Independent survey of attitudes to infrastructure in Great Britain 2015

Phil Graham has just been appointed as head of the new National Infrastructure Commission.  The commission was announced on 5th October and is designed to to provide expert independent analysis of the long-term infrastructure needs of the country. Mr Graham led the development of the government’s high speed rail strategy, as well as leading the team supporting Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission and working on the London Olympics.

The commission will publish a National Infrastructure Assessment every Parliament setting out its analysis of the UK’s infrastructure needs over a 10 to 30 year horizon.

http://www.yougen.co.uk/blog-entry/2700/Renewable+energy+tops+our+wish+list+for+more+national+infrastructure+/

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A few extracts from the report

The report “Independent survey of attitudes to infrastructure in Great Britain”

December 2015   says:

Page 5

“The focus groups demonstrated that the public is very positive about the state of the country’s sporting and music stadiums, as well as airports. In contrast, they are much less positive towards other types of infrastructure, including flood defences and the railways”.

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Page 6

“These perceptions from the focus groups are confirmed by the quantitative survey which highlights that sports/music stadiums are highly rated (43% say they are ‘very good/among the best in Europe’), along with airports (36%). By contrast, over half (54%) rate the railways as ‘ageing/not good enough’, while a similar proportion (51%) say the same of flood defences. Sizeable proportions of around two in five also rate energy generation/power stations and motorways/major A roads as ‘not great’ (38% and 37%, respectively). Figure 1 shows these results graphically.”

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Page 12

“For example, almost half (49%) think that there are not enough safeguards to protect the country’s countryside and natural habitats, compared to just 6% who think there are too many (Figure 6). Furthermore, on the balance of power between developers and local communities, almost three in five (58%) think it is too much in favour of developers’ plans over the wishes of communities, compared to 6% who think the reverse (Figure 7). Both of these perspectives are commonly and consistently held across the public with little variation across sub-groups.”

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Figure 6
Concerns about over-development and environmental safeguards

49% There are not enough safeguards to protect the country’s countryside and natural habitats

34% There are the right level of safeguards to protect the coutnry’s countryside and natural habitats.

6% There are too many safeguards to protect the country’s countryside and natural habitats.

11% Don’t know.

Base, 2,000 GB adults, aged 18+ June 2015

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Figure 7
Perceptions of the balance of power between communities and developers

58% The balance of power is too much in favour of developers’ plans over the wishes of communities

23% There is a good balance between developers’ plans and the wishes of communities

6% The balance of power is too much in favour of communities over developers’ plans

13% Don’t know

Base, 2,000 GB adults, aged 18+ June 2015

http://www.copperconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/20151203_Attitudes-to-infrastructure-in-Great-Britain-2015_FINAL-PDF.pdf


 

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Surrey County Council’s £3bn funding shortfall for new homes infrastructure – even before extra demand from a new runway

The Airports Commission expected that a 3rd Heathrow runway might require over 70,000 new homes to be built. The figure at Gatwick might be over 18,000. Other estimates put the figure higher – up to 45,000 at Gatwick. The estimate for the number of new schools required is 56, for Heathrow. The cost of the additional infrastructure, not only surface transport, has been glossed over.  Meanwhile, the local authorities are very concerned about the cost of paying for roads, rail links, and schools – not to mention the medical facilities, water, sewage, other utilities etc etc. for current housing demand – let alone the extra runway-generated demand.  Surrey County Council (SCC) has assessed housing need and local plans over the next 15 years, and revealed a gap in funding for roads, public transport, school places, flood defences and other infrastructure. Only considering schemes currently planned to deliver more housing, SCC says it cannot fund the around £3 billion shortfall.  It will need assistance from central government. Their report will be discussed at a meeting on 26th January. It cannot ask Surrey residents to fund “something that is completely out of the reach of the council taxpayer.”  How will the councils fund the massive infrastructure costs of a new runway, on top of all this?
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Surrey County Council’s £3bn funding shortfall for new homes infrastructure revealed

22 January 2016
BY JAMES WATKINS (Get Surrey)

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Surrey County Council says it will likely have to turn to the government for support to afford the infrastructure needed to cope with housing demands

Surrey County Council is facing a £3bn funding shortfall

A multi-billion pound shortfall in funds to pay for infrastructure improvements needed to cope with Surrey’s swelling demand for housing has been highlighted in a new report.

The document, which assesses housing need and local plans over the next 15 years, has revealed a gap in funding for roads, public transport, school places, flood defences and other infrastructure – understood by Get Surrey to be in the region of £3bn.

Senior borough council leaders have been briefed on Surrey County Council’s (SCC) draft Surrey Infrastructure Report, which is expected to be discussed during an SCC economic prosperity, environment and highways board meeting on Tuesday (January 26).

Councillor John Furey, SCC’s cabinet member for highways, transport and flooding, could not confirm the exact amount needed for the infrastructure works, as costing has not been finalised, but said it was expected to run to billions of pounds.

“What we have done is taken all of the local plans that borough and districts have been preparing,” said Cllr Furey.

“[We have] analysed their economic development area, analysed the housing numbers they are proposing, analysed the requirements from that as to how we provide the infrastructure to go with those proposals, and then worked together to finalise the means by which we will fund the infrastructure requirements.”

He continued: “It is very much a collaborative issue. Surrey [County Council] is taking the lead because we are the highway authority. It is entirely dependent on what boroughs and districts are proposing.

“It is not going to be millions, it is going to be billions of pounds. It will have to be government funding. We cannot ask our residents to fund something that is completely out of the reach of the council taxpayer.

“What we have to do is present to government a compelling case that if we provide this infrastructure, what the economic growth will be and what the housing delivery numbers will be.”

Cllr Furey said one major issue was the refurbishment and upgrade of the North Downs railway line, adding it could be key in providing a better service – with extra trains to take people off currently congested roads.

“One thing that hits the economy is congestion,” he said. “More importantly, it affects ordinary residents who want to use roads to get from A to B and find themselves in a six-hour queue.

“Railway, roads, public transport – it is all of those things that have to be taken into consideration, so the infrastructure study will be very detailed.”

The report is currently in draft form and Cllr Furey expects it to be finalised by the end of March.

This would coincide with the release of Guildford Borough Council’s report on infrastructure proposals for the borough, expected to include plans for a new ‘sustainable corridor’, A3 junction improvements and a railway station at Park Barn.

The county council report, which was compiled by an independent body, also includes details on flood defences and primary and secondary schools.

Greenbelt

As well as smaller developments, there are several major housing proposals that have caused alarm about the potential impact on the county’s creaking infrastructure.

Plans for the University of Surrey’s Blackwell Farm, Dunsfold Aerodrome, the former Wisley Airfield and Slyfield Area Regeneration Project, are each the subject of proposals for homes numbering in the thousands.

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/councils-3bn-funding-shortfall-new-10769785

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Back in July,

Surrey County Council commented, after the Airports Commission recommendation of a Heathrow runway:

Heathrow expansion means more than 70,000 new homes and 56 schools

Surrey County Council leader David Hodge told a Runways UK conference:

  • Expanding the airport could require up to 70,800 homes to be built in the local area* over the next 15 years
  • That would mean a need for 50 more primary schools and six new secondary schools.

He discussed the figures contained in last week’s Airports Commission report after giving a speech in which he stressed that before any new runway is built at Heathrow or Gatwick there needs to be investment in local infrastructure.

Mr Hodge said: “We are not against expansion of either Gatwick or Heathrow. There are national and local benefits – especially economic – from both but we can only support expansion if the necessary investment in local infrastructure is put in place first.

“As a starting point for Heathrow, we need a fourth lane on the M25 from junctions 10 to 16, widening work at junction 11, a new rail service to Waterloo from the airport via Staines and more coaches and buses to link it to places like Camberley, Woking and Guildford.

“And if we are to be certain that our residents will see the benefit of the extra schools, homes and environmental measures that expansion requires, investment will need to go well beyond improving transport links.”

* The 14 boroughs surrounding Heathrow, including Spelthorne and Runnymede.

[Several Surrey boroughs are close to Gatwick, including Reigate & Banstead, Tandridge and Mole Valley.  AW note]

Heathrow expansion means more than 70,000 new homes and 56 schools

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Earlier:

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

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

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/11/airports-commission-estimates-new-homes-needed-for-new-runway-18400-at-gatwick-70800-at-heathrow-maybe-more/

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New town bigger than Hove needed if Gatwick runway is built

Finn Scott-Delany, Business editor  (The Argus)
3 September 2013

Up to 45,000 new homes would be needed if a new runway is built at Gatwick.

That is the conclusion of a study by independent consultants commissioned by West Sussex County Council and the business-led Gatwick Diamond Initiative.

The report claims the housing – which is the equivalent of a town larger than Hove – would be needed to cope with a vastly increased workforce, dozens of new firms and the infrastructure required for the expanded airport.

Brendon Sewill, chairman of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), said: “This independent study, if correct, shows that a new runway would lead to widespread urbanisation, serious pressure on schools and hospitals, and the loss of much dearly-loved countryside.

“The more we find out, the more we doubt if the implications of the study were taken on board by members of the county council before they took their surprise decision in July to support a new runway.”

He added: “The Gatwick Diamond businessmen, who have been lobbying to promote a new runway, also have some explaining to do. They sponsored this study so they can’t disown it.”

The prediction was included in a document published by the local authority titled “Implications of changes to airport capacity”.

Up to 5,000 new homes would be needed in 2015-2020, 15,000 in 2020-2025 and 25,000 in 2025-2030.

Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of Gatwick Diamond Business, said he supported the findings but described their presentation as “alarmist”.

He said: “What the report also found was that if we don’t support a second runway we will see a decline of 10,000 jobs.

“GACC need to explain how our economy will recover should the runway be built elsewhere.

“The figures are alarmist. Maybe we could see 30,000 houses over ten to 15 years after 2025.”

It comes as Crawley and Horsham councils are struggling to find suitable sites for a few thousand houses.

Both are currently in the process of adopting their development plans, which will map out their area’s blueprint for the next two decades.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/10649181.New_town_bigger_than_Hove_needed_if_Gatwick_runway_is_built/?ref=rss

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New European airline association – Airlines for Europe (A4E) – formed to lobby for the industry across Europe

Modelled on “Airlines for America” (A4A) which lobbies/advocates Congress and the Administration on behalf of its member airlines, a similar lobbying alliance has been set up and launched in Europe. It calls itself “Airlines for Europe” (A4E) it so far has Europe’s 5 largest airline groups – Air France KLM, easyJet, IAG, Lufthansa Group, and Ryanair as members, and expects to expand.  It wants to “represent the interests of its members when dealing with the EU institutions, international organisations and national governments on European aviation issues.” What that means is that it wants to lobby against anything that does not increase competitiveness, lower air fares, or increase airline profits. The particularly want to fight “large scale airport monopolies, high charges, taxation and inefficiencies characterise the aviation supply chain.” In particular they want lower costs at airports; lower costs of air traffic control provision, through completion of the Single European Sky; regulation to prevent air traffic control strikes; use of new technology to make efficiency savings; and using SESAR funding to drive compliance with the Single Sky framework; and they want the removal of what they call “unreasonable taxes” on air travel. All this is justified by predictions of economic benefits and ever more jobs ….. 
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A4E (Airlines 4 Europe): New European airline association takes off

21-Jan-2016 (CAPA)

  • Launch event with EU Commissioner and EU Presidency.
  • EU Aviation Strategy offers unique opportunity to improve competitiveness of EU airlines.
  • Stimulating growth by lowering airport charges and removing unreasonable taxes.
  • Call for action plan to avoid disruptions during ATC strikes.
  • Thomas Reynaert appointed Managing Director.

Airlines for Europe (A4E), Europe’s new airline association, has officially been launched on the eve of the EU Aviation Summit in Amsterdam.

The new association has been founded by Europe’s five largest airline groups – Air France KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group, Ryanair – to represent the interests of its members when dealing with the EU institutions, international organisations and national governments on European aviation issues.

A4E will grow its member base over the next months, uniting European airlines to take forward changes that will increase their competitiveness and result in lower fares and more choice for passengers.

Taking place just a few weeks after the presentation of the EU Aviation Strategy, the Summit is the first major meeting of policy-makers and the industry. The five CEOs – Alexandre de Juniac, Carolyn McCall, Willie Walsh, Carsten Spohr and Michael O’Leary – commented:  “We welcome the European Commission’s Aviation Strategy for a stronger and more competitive European aviation industry. But we need to act now – large scale airport monopolies, high charges, taxation and inefficiencies characterise the aviation supply chain. We want to work with the Commission and the Member States to implement the strategy, and we call on the Member States to support the work of the Commission to reduce monopoly supplier costs.”

Besides its support of the Commission’s Aviation Strategy and the commitment to identifying challenges and opportunities to improve the competitiveness of the EU Aviation sector, A4E will campaign on at least three important measures:

  1. Lowering the cost of the EU’s airports by ensuring that monopoly airports are effectively regulated; ensuring that passengers receive the full benefit of the commercial revenues which they generate at airports and ensuring that securitycharges are efficient. A new Aviation Economics study shows that airport charges at the largest 21 European airports have increased by 80 per cent since 2005. “Airport charges have risen by more than three quarters over the last ten years. This is in direct contrast to the lower air fares being delivered by European airlines which have decreased by 20 per cent over the same period. We want to create growth and new jobs across Europe, both within aviation and beyond.”
  •  2. Delivering reliable and efficient airspace by reducing the cost of Air Traffic Control (ATC) provision through completion of the Single European Sky and better economic regulation at EU level; ensuring that ATC strikes do not cause disruption to passengers across Europe;  using new technology to make efficiency savings; and using SESAR funding to drive compliance with the Single Sky framework. “The best way to improve the competitiveness of EU airlines is to lower the costs of monopoly providers – which would help everyone. In this context, we support the Commission’s proposed Single European Sky 2+ package and welcome its positive statements around future movement on ATC strikes. We urge all parties to engage in dialogue and we will seek an urgent meeting with ANSPs to discuss and develop an action plan.”
  • 3. Stimulating more economic activity and jobs by creating the right regulatory environment, removing unreasonable taxes. The Italian government has recently increased the taxes on passengers charged at Italian airports by €2.50 from 2016 onwards. A4E is opposed to unreasonable taxes on aviation – these damage the economy and jobs. The increase in the Italian passenger tax is a disappointing step in the wrong direction and it will damage the Italian economy.

Experience and economic analysis both show that removing taxes is beneficial, e.g. the Dutch government’s removal of its ticket tax in 2009 led to strong growth in passengers; the Irish government’s removal of traffic tax in April 2014 led to extensive traffic growth at Irish airports and an 8% increase in tourism last year; economic analysis by PwC shows removing UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) would boost British GDP by 1.7 per cent and create 60,000 new jobs by 2020. “The focus must be on concrete and measurable actions that support European airlines and their customers by providing more flights and lower fares. All unreasonable taxes on aviation activity should be removed.”

Consumers have benefited from the liberalisation of aviation in Europe in the 1990s with substantially lower fares and more routes across Europe and to the rest of the world.  The range and quality of services have increased and airline costs have fallen by 1 – 2% per year for the last two decades. A4E believes that this decline should now be matched by a reduction in those costs which airlines do not control themselves.

A4E reiterated that aviation is a proven driver of economic growth and jobs. The proposed measures will create many jobs and increase Europe’s GDP. A core task for A4E is to secure the sector’s future development as a growing and innovative industry with both a European and an international dimension.

Alongside campaigning on the issues above, A4E will work on several key principles and action items which should underpin EU aviation policy. The most important of these is the commitment to safety and ensuring that safety standards are developed on the basis of a risk-based scientific assessment.

The five CEOs added: “Today marks the beginning of a new era for European airlines. With the endorsement of the five largest airline groups in Europe, A4E will be a powerful vehicle to address the industry’s issues. For the first time, low-cost and network carriers are creating an association to support the adoption of a new European Aviation Strategy. Today we also call on all airlines in Europe to join us and make our voice even more powerful.”

“We are delighted to welcome Thomas Reynaert as Managing Director of A4E. He has joined us from UnitedTechnologies where he ran their European government relations office. His wide experience in the aviation sector and his strong management background will help us to meet our challenges in Brussels.”

The CEOs confirmed their support for the liberalisation of the whole aviation value chain and for pro-competition policy and regulation within the EU. They also confirmed their opposition to the provision of state aid, as a general principle, to airlines and airports. They agreed that EU and national regulation and policies should support the efficient delivery of services, and that this includes the need for efficient operations to minimise the environmental impact of aviation. The importance of balanced consumer rights was also underlined; EU and national policies need to ensure that consumer rights are respected.

http://centreforaviation.com/members/direct-news/a4e-new-european-airline-association-takes-off-262890

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Lobby Facts. EU

Information can be found about a lot of companies that lobby in the EU at  http://lobbyfacts.eu/

You can search by company for more details of their budgets, accredited staff etc.

For example, Heathrow’s page

and Heathrow’s page on the EU Transparency Register

On the Transparency Register, easyJet has no less than five people, Kirsten DE HAAN,
Chris GADSDEN, Paul MOORE, Mark RAMSDEN and Alexandra VARLYAKOVA who are accredited to access European Parliament premises.   Ryanair has one person, Cristian Samoilovich

On the Transparency Register, IAG has one person, Steve Huygens, accredited to access European Parliament premises.

On the Transparency Register, IATA has two people, Monique de Smet and Philippe Morin, accredited to access European Parliament premises.

On the Transparency Register, Air France has one person, Olivier Bertrand, accredited to access European Parliament premises   Lufthansa has two people.

And so on …..


 

Earlier:

Big five EU airlines join to form new lobbying alliance – to cut taxes and regulations, and make more money

The EU’s 5 largest airline groups – Air France-KLM, EasyJet, IAG, Lufthansa and Ryanair – have unveiled plans to establish a new airline lobbying group (not yet named) later this year to present a set of common goals to European regulators. They met in Brussels to set out the initiative.  Carolyn McCall said the new entity will be based on the “Airlines for America” lobbying group in the USA and will be “open to all European airlines.”  The airlines say there is a “need for a new entity, something new and different” with real “traction”.  They want to put on a show of unity and provide a united position on regulatory policy as the new European Commission works on its key aviation package. Carolyn McCall says the new entity will go “live” in October, will represent 4 shared common goals: (1). Development of a European aviation strategy, to have simple regulation, to ensure growth and cut costs. (2). Lowering airport costs through reforming the European airport charges directive.  (3). Stopping air traffic management from striking, and  using SESAR etc to make savings and more profit. (4). Growing demand for air travel by “removing passenger taxes and unreasonable environmental taxes”. Willie Walsh also wants to “impress on the Commission the risk of and impact of passenger taxes.”   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/06/big-five-eu-airlines-join-to-form-new-lobbying-alliance-to-cut-taxes-and-regulations-and-make-more-money/

 


There is also Airlines 4 America.

Airlines for America (A4A), formerly known as Air Transport Association of America (ATA), is America’s oldest and largest airline trade association. A4A member airlines and their affiliates transport more than 90% of U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. Based in Washington, D.C., the association advocates for the U.S. airline industry. It is the only trade organization that represents the principal U.S. airlines and is their voice when lobbyingCongress.

Mission

1939 Air Transport Association advertisement with Eleanor Roosevelt promoting commercial air transportation in the US A4A’s stated purpose is to “foster a business and regulatory environment that ensures safe and secure air transportation and enables U.S. airlines to flourish, stimulating economic growth locally, nationally and globally”.

A4A advocates on behalf of participating regularly scheduled airline corporations to the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, the U.S. Department of Transportation, including the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including the Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection.

Since its founding in 1936, A4A has played a major role in all government decisions concerning aviation, including the creation of the Civil Aeronautics Board, the creation of the air traffic control system and airline deregulation. It also advocates that the American government implement a national airline policy that will enable U.S. airlines to function as effective multinational enterprises. Furthermore, it believes an element of such a policy is the modernization of the U.S. air traffic management system, the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

…. and more at   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airlines_for_America

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The A4A website says

ABOUT A4A

Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of its members to shape crucial policies and measures that promote safety, security and a healthy U.S. airline industry. We work collaboratively with airlines, labor, Congress and the Administration and other groups to improve air travel for everyone.

Annually, commercial aviation helps drive nearly $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 11 million U.S. jobs. Airlines for America (A4A) vigorously advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.

http://airlines.org/about-us/

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Block of ice from a passing plane crashes through roof of home in Twyford

An elderly couple, in Twyford, Berkshire (under a Heathrow flight path) had the unpleasant experience of a block of ice, which appeared to have fallen from a passing plane, crash through their roof.  The two foot long block cracked the ceiling. Luckily it hit the roof in a different part of the house from where the couple were. They said they were lucky not to have been injured. There have been many other incidents over the years of blocks of ice falling – associated with frozen water from aircraft lavatories.  Had the ice block fallen onto the road, it could have hit a car or a passer-by.  Had it fallen onto a busy road like a motorway, it could have caused a serious accident.  The elderly couple had to be assisted by their son in sorting out insurance, and getting the roof repaired. As the insurance company was slow, being a Sunday morning, the local fire brigade helped to patch up the damage and confirm the water and electricity supplies to their house were undamaged. Water (from a lavatory?) from the ice block was dripping through the (now sagging) damaged ceiling. The couple have kept a sample of water, so it can be tested, to identify if it is from a lavatory.  Other reports of earlier incidents of items falling from planes can be seen here.  Twyford is about 30 km west of Heathrow, on the landing flight path during easterly operations.
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There are many other incidents of objects falling from planes, in the UK and elsewhere.

Reports on some of these incidents can be seen here.



Elderly couple shocked after block of ICE ‘from passing plane’ crashes through their roof

20.1.2016 (Mirror)

By Andy Carswell , Sophie Evans

Audrey and Allen Burt were in another room of their Berkshire home when the slab of ice crashed through their roof on Sunday morning


Shocked: Richard Burt points to the damage caused by the falling block of ice

An elderly couple had a near-miss when a large block of ice believed to be from a passing plane crashed through the roof of their home.

The ice missile – which was apparently ejected from an overhead aircraft when someone pulled the toilet flush – smashed into Audrey and Allen Burt’s home on Sunday morning.

Fortunately, the frail pensioners were in another room of the Berkshire house with their carer son, Richard, and his wife, Ava Hendricks, at the time of the freak incident.

Today, the family – whose home in Twyford is in the flightpath for Heathrow Airport – said they were lucky not to have been killed by the plummeting slab of ice.

They added that a passerby or a driver could have been struck dead if the missile had landed on the road.

“If it had happened in the open and landed on someone, it would have been a fatality,” Richard said.


Damaged: The large slab of ice apparently smashed into one of the family’s bedrooms, leaving cracks in the ceiling

“Imagine what could have happened if it had gone through the roof of a car going down the motorway.

“Coming through at that speed, it certainly could have killed someone. It gives you cause for thought.”

The Burts said their problem was exacerbated by their insurance company saying nobody was available to fix the problem – despite them paying extra for an emergency cover policy.

Instead, they claimed it was left to their local fire brigade to patch up the damage and confirm the water and electric systems at their house were still fine to use.

Richard – who, with his wife, acts as a carer for his parents after their health deteriorated last month – said the elderly couple wouldn’t have been able to deal with the stress of handling the insurance claim.

Mrs Burt has Parkinson’s disease and Richard said he had been left disappointed by what he claimed was a lack of action from his parents’ insurance company, Halifax – whose slogan is ‘the people who give you extra’.


Possible cause? The Burt’s home in Twyford, Berkshire, is in the flightpath for Heathrow

The 60-year-old claimed they had to “haggle long and hard to get them to agree to give a sum of money”, which the family will be passing on to firefighters who came out to help.

“We contacted Halifax, who provide the emergency house insurance cover. Unfortunately, their subcontractors were unable to attend,” he added.

“Because of [this], and with vulnerable parents and not knowing the state of the damage, we had to call the local fire service, who were brilliant.”

The block of ice, measuring around two feet in length, reportedly crashed through the roof of the Burts’ home in Wagtail Close at around 8.30am on Sunday.

Richard said: “We heard this almighty crash and thought something had fallen over in one of the adjacent rooms.

“It was just a mystery for two or three minutes. We didn’t know which room it had occurred in.

“I had been up in the loft the previous day and wondered if I’d left a suitcase on its side and it had fallen over, but my wife saw this big crack in the ceiling.

“Dad just somehow put two and two together very quickly and thought that it was ice from a passing aeroplane. I went out to the garden and could see there was a hole in the roof.

“I don’t know where the idea came from but for someone of 83 it was a very sharp, perceptive observation.”

The trapdoor into the loft had wedged shut so the family were unable to go upstairs and find out what had fallen through the roof.

Richard said: “I could see there was water dripping down the back bedroom ceiling. We had no idea what damage had been done to the water or the electrics, or what debris could have been there.”

Firefighters from Wokingham fire station went to the house at around 1pm after Richard’s fruitless attempts at getting engineers provided by Halifax to come out and inspect the problem.

He said: “Other than the clean break in the roof tiles there was no collateral damage. They demonstrated it was ice that caused the hole in the ceiling, which has been sagging gradually ever since.

“I think it was a first for them.”

The Burts’ home is under the Heathrow flight path.

Richard, who along with his wife had been working as a teacher in the Caribbean until his parents’ health worsened, said he had written to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to suggest airlines ‘should contribute to some kind of insurance cover for these kind of events’.

It is not known if the block was formed by ice accumulating on the outside of the plane or if it came from the sewage system of an aircraft.

The melted block of ice has been kept in a kitchen bowl so that the water can be tested.

A spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Halifax, told the Mirror Online: “We are very sorry that on this occasion our service fell below our usual standards.

“A personal claims consultant has contacted Mr and Mrs Burt and is visiting at 4.30pm today, along with a contractor who will assess the necessary repairs.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/elderly-couple-shocked-after-block-7213082

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Patrick McLoughlin hints that EU referendum could delay runway decision, even beyond this summer

One of the many omissions by the Airports Commission, in its analysis of whether a runway should be built, and its recommendation, is the impact of the UK leaving the EU. It was not considered.  Clearly, if the UK did leave Europe after a referendum, there would be complicated economic impacts – which would take years to work through.  Now the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, speaking in an interview on LBC, has said there could indeed be a delay in the government making a decision due to the referendum and the uncertainty about that.  Asked when there would be a decision, he replied: “I hope later this year. We have said we would hope to move some way by the summer of this year.”  And he went on:  “There’s lots of other things which are going on in the political spectrum – if there’s a referendum this summer, and the like. But I would hope by the summer of this year we will be able to make progress.” There is no mention at all of the issue in the Airports Commission’s final report in July 2015 nor in the many supporting documents, nor in its interim report, in December 2013. David Cameron has said the EU referendum will happen by the end of 2017. It may happen as early as June or July 2016. 
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EU referendum could delay airport runway decision, hints Patrick McLoughlin

A final decision on a new runway for the South East of England could be further delayed by the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has hinted.

Mr McLoughlin said he hoped the Government would finally make its choice between expansion at Heathrow or Gatwick by the summer, but added that the referendum was one of a number of issues competing for ministers’ attention in the months ahead.

Speaking to LBC radio, the Transport Secretary denied that last year’s postponement of the runway decision was designed to delay the contentious verdict until after the election of the new London mayor in May.

Patrick McLoughlin insisted that the upcoming mayoral election would not have any bearing on the runway decision

Asked when the issue would finally be resolved, Mr McLoughlin said: “I hope later this year. We have said we would hope to move some way by the summer of this year.”

But he added: “There’s lots of other things which are going on in the political spectrum – if there’s a referendum this summer, and the like. But I would hope by the summer of this year we will be able to make progress.”

A decision on a possible third runway at Heathrow was deferred last month after ministers decided more work was needed on its impact on air quality, noise and carbon emissions.

Mr McLoughlin insisted that the upcoming mayoral election “didn’t have any bearing” on the decision, pointing out that ministers had known of Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith’s opposition to a third runway for some time.

The Transport Secretary also revealed that he has told Cabinet colleagues to set off earlier for work in response to traffic delays in Westminster which some motorists blame on mayor Boris Johnson’s introduction of new bike lanes in a set of “cycle superhighways”.

Asked if his colleagues had complained about the impact of the roadworks, Mr McLoughlin said: “Those conversations have to stay with me. They can moan, but I just tell them to leave a bit earlier.”

Mr McLoughlin said he had had “some interesting exchanges” with the mayor over the superhighway plan, but denied giving Mr Johnson a dressing-down over the disruption.

“(It was) not a ticking off, because he is the mayor, he has got his own electorate, he believes fully in what he is doing,” he told presenter Nick Ferrari.

David Cameron has made clear his intention to offer Mr Johnson a ministerial job after he leaves City Hall in May, but Mr McLoughlin declined to speculate on where he might be going.

“Who knows?” said the Transport Secretary. “I’m not sure Boris knows on that one, and I’m certainly not going to get into that.

“Boris is a big enough character to look after himself.”

The Transport Secretary also described the award of asylum status to a migrant who walked through the Channel Tunnel last August as “a surprising decision”.

“I’m not responsible for the court’s decisions,” he said. “There have been a lot of other measures now taken to prevent people getting into the Tunnel.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3409876/EU-referendum-delay-airport-runway-decision-hints-Patrick-McLoughlin.html

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From the FT report

Mr McLoughlin said there would be a decision on London airport capacity later this year but that the Volkswagen emissions scandal had complicated some of the environmental calculations.

“There’s a bit more work to do on air quality and other issues around Gatwick as well,” he said. He insisted a decision would be taken in good time, but that the government was keen to make sure it avoided any potential judicial reviews over the issue.

The government’s foot-dragging on whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick is an embarrassment for George Osborne, whose “we are the builders” Tory conference speech last year was supposed to herald a tough new stance on infrastructure projects.

“Building doesn’t come easy, especially when it comes to new homes and the infrastructure this country needs,” he said. “Where would Britain be if we had never built railways or runways, power stations or new homes?”

However, a decision to wait until after the EU referendum could have other knock-on effects, and potentially result in an even longer delay depending on the outcome, warn experts.

“What if the vote is a ‘no’ to staying in Europe? The airports commission’s economic models made no analysis of ‘in or out’. Something as significant as leaving the EU would have to be considered in long-term demand forecasts . . . so those models would have to be re-run,” said Alistair Watson, head of planning at law firm Taylor Wessing.

In general, more delays are likely to result in a loss of momentum. It has already given Gatwick, the UK’s second largest airport, a new opportunity to lobby for expansion.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/40b38230-c101-11e5-9fdb-87b8d15baec2.html#axzz3y3GmD6lE


 

See also

The UK’s EU referendum: Everything you need to know

  • 19 January 2016 (BBC)

The UK is set to have a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether or not to remain a member of the European Union.

What is happening?

The Conservatives’ election manifesto promised to hold a referendum (a nationwide vote) on whether or not the UK should stay in or leave the European Union. They won the election so it’s all systems go.

What is a referendum?

A referendum is basically a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part, normally giving a “Yes” or “No” answer to a question. Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast is considered to have won.

When will the EU referendum happen?

The one thing we know for sure is that Prime Minister David Cameron has said it will happen by the end of 2017. The most likely times of the year for referendums are generally May or September, and some people – including, it is said, the prime minister himself – think it should be held as soon as possible. There had been suggestions that it could be held in May 2016, to coincide with elections in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London, rather than waiting for 2017 – but the government has ruled that out and June or July 2016 are now seen as most likely. Here is a full rundown of the likely dates and key events.

Why not just hold the referendum now?

When David Cameron announced in January 2013 his pledge to hold a referendum, a key element was that he would seek to make changes to the way the European Union works – or at least the rules covering the UK as a European Union member. Only once this renegotiation of British membership had been completed would he put the new arrangement to the public vote.

What did other parties think about the idea of a referendum?

During the election the Lib Dems and Labour both said they did not want a referendum unless there were plans to transfer more powers from the UK to the EU. The SNP also opposed a referendum. The UK Independent Party and The Greens both backed a referendum. As already mentioned, the Conservatives won the election and the necessary legislation has gone through Parliament so parties’ focus is not on whether to hold a referendum, but which side to back.

What will the referendum question be?

The question is always crucial in any referendum. The 2013 suggestion from the Conservatives was: “Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union. Yes or no“. Some people thought this phrasing leaned too far towards the status quo – the current state of affairs – and the Electoral Commission, which has to approve the question, said it was not clear enough and proposed: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” Downing Street and MPs have accepted the amended wording.

Read more: Does the wording of a referendum question matter?

Who will be able to vote?

British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK, along with UK nationals who have lived overseas for less than 15 years. Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be eligible, unlike in a general election. Citizens from EU countries – apart from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus – will not get a vote.

What are the main changes David Cameron hopes to make?

Mr Cameron set out the four key ways he wants to change the UK’s membership of the EU in a letter to European Council president Donald Tusk in November:

  • Integration: Allowing Britain to opt out from the EU’s founding ambition to forge an “ever closer union” of the peoples of Europe so it will not be drawn into further political integration
  • Benefits: Restricting access to in-work and out-of-work benefits to EU migrants. Specifically, ministers want to stop those coming to the UK from claiming certain benefits and housing until they have been resident for four years. But the European Commission, which runs the EU, has said such a move would be “highly problematic”. Ministers have reportedly been warned by the UK’s top civil servant this could be discriminatory and any limits may be reduced to less than a year
  • Sovereignty: Giving greater powers to national parliaments to block EU legislation. The UK supports a “red card” system allowing member states to scrap, as well as veto, unwanted directives. But this may only be triggered by states acting together, not the UK acting alone
  • Eurozone v the rest: Securing an explicit recognition that the euro is not the only currency of the European Union, to ensure countries outside the eurozone are not materially disadvantaged. The UK wants safeguards that steps to further financial union cannot be imposed on non-eurozone members and the UK will not have to contribute to eurozone bailouts

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And there is much more ………. at   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

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Green Party argue that site of London City Airport should become a multi-use development, for homes and businesses

The idea of closing London City Airport and using the huge amount of land it takes up for more intensive, and useful, purposes is not new. A report was produced in April 2014 by NEF, setting out very persuasive reasons why this is not a crazy idea. Now Sian Berry, the Green Party Mayoral Candidate, has again suggested this. The plan she proposes is for the site, which is currently up for sale, into a new quarter for homes, businesses and innovative industries.  The Greens propose a consortium with City Hall, councils, business and academia to buy the airport. They are urging potential purchasers to look seriously at the compelling business case for changing the use of the site. The land taken up by the airport, and land around it which is in the Public Safety Zone (for crash risk) and so cannot be used, could create far more economic activity, and far more jobs. This might amount to some 16,000 more jobs than the airport provides and add an additional £400 million to the UK’s economy. The land is in a key geographical location, and would be easy to link to transport networks. It could create thousands of new homes within easy reach of central London, helping to ease the housing crisis. As a writer from Estates Gazette says:  “London is crying out for more big sites like this where mixed-use schemes can be built.” The site is wasted as a small airport – especially when Crossrail makes the trip from the Docklands area to Heathrow easy and fast.
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See the full report here 

 

“TURNING LONDON CITY AIRPORT FROM A BLIGHT TO A SHINING LIGHT”

18.1.2016

From The Green Party

Sian Berry, Green Party candidate for Mayor, calls for the potential of east London to be fulfilled by changing London City Airport into a new quarter for homes and businesses.

Local Greens in Newham are proposing to form a consortium with City Hall, councils, business and academia to buy the airport, which is for sale, and replace it with a new city neighbourhood for housing and innovative industries.

They have also launched a petition to one of the potential purchasers, urging them to look at the compelling business case for changing the use of the site.

SUMMARY

● City Airport is of negligible importance to Britain’s aviation – it ranks 15th among UK airports and carries just 1.5% of all UK airport passengers.

● But it is holding back London’s economic potential, undermining the designated enterprise zone in the airport’s immediate vicinity, and causing untold health and environmental problems to thousands of local residents.

● If the site were freed for other use it could be used to create at least 16,000 more jobs than the airport provides and add an additional £400 million to the UK’s economy.

● It could also be used to create thousands of new homes within easy reach of central London, easing both the housing crisis and pressure on our groaning transport system.

● So if the land were used sustainably ­ for innovative businesses, residential areas, leisure and cultural facilities and shops – it would go a long way towards solving many of London’s problems at the same time.

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Below are a few extracts from the report:

 

THE OPPORTUNITY

Currently, City Airport is for sale by its owners, Global Infrastructure Partners. The price of buying the airport is approximately £2 billion. 5 Local Greens in Newham are making the case for the buyers of the airport to close it.

Investment from City Hall has been pledged by Green Party candidate for Mayor of London, Sian Berry. Local authorities looking for land to build affordable housing are also likely to be interested in becoming part of a consortium, as well as businesses and academic institutions who could locate new jobs in the area, and developers and housing associations who could build new houses.

A stake in the area for Londoners

Sian Berry says that funding through City Hall would include opening up co­operative style investment to local people and Londoners as a whole, enabling people to have their own stake in the area’s development.

An appeal to the current bidders

Campaigners have also started a petition to potential bidder Allianz, ​a German 6 company which has recently declared it will divest its holdings from the coal. If the 7 company bought the airport and joined forces with the proposed consortium, this would match up with its stated commitment to reduce its investments in fossil fuel­based industries

THE VISION

The airport today

The site is currently taken up with runways and airport buildings, and is ideal for the kind of development the Green Party wants to see on public land across London.

Our vision for this extraordinary site is of the site broken up into smaller plots, with a range of tenures for housing, including non-­profit models such as co-­operatives, co­housing, community land trusts and self­-build, sitting alongside innovative businesses.

Open community space, food growing and green energy generation would be integrated throughout the site.

Full report here: 

http://www.sianberry.london/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/London_Green_Party_City_Airport_briefing_Jan2016.pdf

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Close London City Airport

The earlier report, April 2014, on the benefits of closing London City Airport, was produced by NEF (New Economics Foundation).

The report:

“Royal Docks revival Replacing London City Airport”  April 2014

is at http://www.neweconomics.org/page/-/publications/Royal_docks_revival_closing_city_airport_4.pdf

A new report [April 2014] from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) makes the case for closing London’s City Airport and redeveloping the site to create jobs, boost local business and build new homes:

  • City Airport creates little value – despite occupying 500,000 square metres at the heart of London, its direct contribution to the UK economy in 2011 was £110m – less than a fifth of the nearby ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre.
  • City Airport costs jobs – the airport has never delivered on initial jobs promises and its safety crash zone limits business development across a 3 mile radius. The extra 1500 jobs from current plans to expand City Airport compare poorly with the 9,000 jobs expected to result from the nearby Silvertown Quays development.
  • Local residents bear all the costs but reap none of the benefits – the average salary of a London City Airport passenger is over £90,000, while 40% of Newham residents earn less than £20,000. 18,000 local residents suffer high levels of noise pollution and poor air quality.
  • London transport no longer needs City Airport – City Airport’s passengers account for just 2.4% of London’s total flight demand, and its numbers could be readily absorbed by Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted By 2019 Crossrail will allow City workers to reach Heathrow in just 30 minutes.

See full report at

http://www.neweconomics.org/page/-/publications/Royal_docks_revival_closing_city_airport_4.pdf

and summary at  http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/royal-docks-revival


 

Greens propose closing City Airport

This morning Green mayoral candidate Sian Berry has proposed closing City Airport to build a huge mixed-use scheme in its place. The site is currently up for sale with a price tag of around £2bn.

Sian Berry’s briefing

I have to say I quite like the idea. London is crying out for more big sites like this where mixed-use schemes can be built. And as far as air capacity is concerned the City airport really is a small contributor to that pie.

Say the site was bought for £2bn by a party wishing to cease its current use and instead build what will essentially be a new town.

The site equals 500,000 sqm, according to the Greens (possibly more if you reclaim some of the land like Canary Wharf). Let’s take the 500,000 sqm though (50 hectares), that’s around £40 million per hectare. Sounds a lot, (which it is), but for comparison King’s Cross Central is 27 hectares and when fully built out will provide 8m sq ft of new space.

Lets assume City Airport was built out to a slightly higher density (no limit on height any more as the airport’s gone!), therefore providing 16m sq ft across its 50 hectares and the price paid was indeed £2bn; that would reflect a price of £125 per sq ft. £2bn doesn’t seem so much now does it.

It’s obviously a huge capital investment and unlikely to attract any serious offers from the private sector, but as shown the sums could add up for a big player from China or the Far East.

city airport proposal

city airport proposal1

http://www.estatesgazette.com/blogs/london-residential-research/2016/01/greens-propose-closing-city-airport/

 


 

Care2 petition  – “Close down City Airport!”

By Rachel Collinson

Target:   Allianz

we’ve got 2,700 [by 4pm on 19.1.2016] supporters, help us get to 3,000 by February 29, 2016

City Airport is a blight on London – polluting children’s lungs in the local area and speeding up global warming. We desperately need the land it takes up to build housing, schools and space for small business.

German-based insurance company Allianz has expressed an interest in buying the airport. This large financial institution has recently divested from coal. It would be hypocritical of them to run such a polluting facility. We urge Allianz to close the airport and turn it into less risky, more friendly affordable housing and facilities for small businesses.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/918/177/501/close-down-city-airport/

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