Airbus says production ‘could’ move out of Britain unless Brexit demands on free movement etc are met

Airbus says production ‘could’ move out of Britain unless Brexit demands are met, and they want “non-negotiable” demands over the free movement of people. With German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Theresa May agreeing to begin Brexit talks in the “next couple of weeks” Airbus chief operating officer Fabrice Bregier has set out “minimum” demands on Brexit. As well as the free movement of workers, they want trade tariffs and regulatory conditions. Airbus insists that the Brexit deal must allow staff from all over the world to enter Britain easily, ensure that parts are exempt from trade tariffs and ensure certain regulatory standards are maintained. Otherwise, he said, Britain would risk losing Airbus production in the future, as it is easy to set up plants elsewhere in the world.  Airbus builds wings for around 50% of its aircraft at Broughton and has a wing-design facility at Filton, Bristol.  The two sites have about 10,000 staff, and Airbus claims it also supports around 100,000 UK supply chain jobs (indirectly). The company has always warned Brexit may see a reduction in investment in the UK and while wing production for the best-selling A320 and A380 would remain at Broughton, Brégier warned the next generation of models could go to other countries.
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Airbus says production ‘could’ move out of Britain unless Brexit demands are met

Company wants “non-negotiable” demands over the free movement of people

JUNE 11TH, 2017 (Deeside.com)

Airbus says production ‘could’ move out of Britain unless Brexit demands are met Company wants “non-negotiable” demands over the free movement of people

Airbus Chiefs have laid out a set of non-negotiable demands on Brexit, warning it may move production abroad if they are not met according to reports the Sunday Times.

With German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Theresa May agreeing to begin Brexit talks in the “next couple of weeks” Airbus chief operating officer Fabrice Bregier has set out “minimum” demands on Brexit including the free movement of workers, trade tariffs and regulatory conditions the newspaper says.

Bregier said any deal must allow the plane manufacturers staff from all over the world to enter Britain easily, ensure that parts are exempt from trade tariffs and ensure certain regulatory standards are maintained.

Otherwise, he said, Britain would risk losing Airbus production in the future.

“For new productions, it’s very easy to have a new plant somewhere in the world. We would have plenty of offers to do that.  We want to stay in the UK — provided the conditions to work in an integrated organisation are met”   Fabrice Bregier / Sunday Times

Airbus builds wings for around fifty percent of the world’s aircraft at Broughton and has a wing-design facility at Filton, Bristol,

The two sites have about 10,000 staff, Airbus claims it also supports around 100,000 UK supply chain jobs.

The company has always warned Brexit may see a reduction in investment in the UK and while wing production for the best-selling A320 and A380 would remain at Broughton, Brégier warned the next generation of models could go to other countries.

“For new productions, it’s very easy to have a new plant somewhere in the world. We would have plenty of offers to do that,” Bregier said, Germany has long coveted Britain’s wing manufacturing and would be likely to offer state support the report says.

Mobility between our sites in Europe is crucial

As the polls closed on Thursday night and Britain headed for a hung parliament Chief Executive of Airbus Group Tom Enders was quoted in a report by Bloomberg, he said;

We are a company that obviously has an interest in a free flow of people, mobility between our sites in Europe is crucial. Sending people from Toulouse to Broughton, from Broughton to Hamburg and so on, that is very important.

While Airbus’s U.K. sites are among the most efficient in the entire group “any tariff barriers could also potentially impact the competitiveness of our activities in Britain.
The CEO added that while he’s hopeful the government will understand the “huge importance” of the aerospace and defence industry to the country, there can be no certainties.

“We’re not the government, and it’s the government, the new one or old one in the U.K, and on the continent, and Brussels, that will have to go into what seem to me very difficult negotiations. And then we will evaluate what the outcome means for us.”  Tom Enders
Less gloomy outlook perhaps?

Bregier said the group’s position in Britain is “a long-term one,” while cautioning that it needs to be able to operate as an integrated company after Brexit just as it does now, reported Bloomberg.

Speaking after the result of the U.K. election became known, he added “there are solutions” for all of the major issues.

Airbus campaigned openly for the U.K. to remain within the EU prior to last year’s Brexit vote, while making clear that it didn’t intend to leave Britain in the event of a victory for the “Leave” campaign the Bloomberg report says.

http://www.deeside.com/airbus-says-wing-production-move-britain-unless-brexit-demands-met/

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Election fallout: will government plan to get 3rd Heathrow runway be hit?

The Conservatives are set to form a minority government, which could affect a range of transport issues from Heathrow expansion to road schemes even if the Conservatives remain in Government. Although Theresa May intends to continue as prime minister, with the support of the DUP, we are now entering a time of uncertainty. Anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group HACAN has done its own research on MPs, showing that 31 of the capital’s 73 MPs are known to oppose the runway. HACAN chair John Stewart said: ‘Once the views of all London’s MPs are known, it is highly likely that a majority will be opposed to Heathrow expansion. Of themselves they may not stop it but they could act as a very awkward bloc to a new runway ever seeing the light of day, particularly given the fact that the new Government doesn’t have a majority of seats in Parliament.’  Rob Barnstone, coordinator for Stop Heathrow Expansion, the group representing residents opposed to the project, claimed the failure of the Conservatives to win a majority in the Commons has created less certainty on issues including the third runway at Heathrow. He said: “The Government were relying on a large parliamentary majority, including many new and loyal backbenchers, to push through a third runway. “Now that Theresa May’s gamble has rendered her anything but a conquering hero, the future of the project looks much less certain and potentially in jeopardy.”
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Election fallout: Will transport schemes be hit?

By Chris Ames (Transport Network)
9th June 2017

The Conservatives are set to form a minority government, which could affect a range of transport issues from Heathrow expansion to road schemes even if the Conservatives remain in Government.

Although Theresa May intends to continue as prime minister, with the support of the DUP, we are now entering a time of uncertainty.

The currency markets last night rose and fell almost as a bellweather against a hung parliament, with city investors crying out for some form of the ‘strong and stable’ government once promised by the PM.

Is Heathrow expansion at risk?

With international financial markets yet to even face the actual Brexit negotiations, which were due to start in under a fortnight, many in the infrastructure sector are feeling nervous about supplies of major investment.

Marie-Claude Hemming, director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: ‘Our most recent member survey showed orders dropping for infrastructure contractors for the first quarter since 2013. A lack of clear leadership in Westminster creates a real risk that this potential future downturn will become entrenched due to an inability to get vital decisions over the line.

‘We hope that there will be an early resolution to the current uncertainty over the shape of any new Government, allowing decisions on projects such as HS2 to be made and work to get underway on building the infrastructure that the UK needs.’

Anti-expansion campaign group HACAN claimed on Friday that over half of London’s MPs are likely to oppose a third runway at Heathrow. It said its research found that 31 of the capital’s 73 MPs are known to oppose expanding the airport.

HACAN chair John Stewart said: ‘Once the views of all London’s MPs are known, it is highly likely that a majority will be opposed to Heathrow expansion. Of themselves they may not stop it but they could act as a very awkward bloc to a new runway ever seeing the light of day, particularly given the fact that the new Government doesn’t have a majority of seats in Parliament.’

Addressing illegal levels of air pollution will represent a serious challenge for any government, particularly the Conservatives who have failed twice to put forward a planned process the courts can agree to.

The Government was forced to publish a new draft national air quality plan during the election campaign but campaign group ClientEarth has already said it believes the plan to be inadequate and is taking ministers back to court for a third time.

Another major infrastructure project that could come under scrutiny is the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, which is backed by current transport secretary Chris Grayling and could cost up to £6bn.

Labour has said it supports the scheme but that if it came into government it would ‘need to ensure that the decision making process has been completely robust and represents the best value for money’.

Labour’s manifesto also pledged to ‘refocus the roads building and maintenance programmes, connecting our communities, feeding public transport hubs and realising untapped economic potential’.

https://www.transport-network.co.uk/Election-fallout-Will-transport-schemes-be-hit/14144#.WTqz_9If8Tg.twitter

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See also

Around 42% of London MPs (since the election) oppose a 3rd Heathrow runway

List from John Stewart, Chair of Hacan, (the main residents’ group working on Heathrow noise issues) of the MPs known to be, or believed to be, opposed to a 3rd Heathrow runway. So far they number 31 MPs out of the total of 73, and more details may be added when the information is known. In the 2005 election, the Conservatives had 306 seats. In the 2010 election they had 330 seats. Now in the 2017 election, the Conservatives have 318 seats. The party wants to get the 3rd Heathrow runway built. The Conservatives may form an alliance with the Irish DUP, which has 10 MPs and is a firm backer of the 3rd runway. That alliance would take the Tories to 328 MPs, which is 3 above the key number of half the MPs in the Commons (650). The hung parliament will make it harder for the government to force through highly contentious, and widely unpopular polices like the runway.

Click here to view full story…

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Around 42% of London MPs (since the election) oppose a 3rd Heathrow runway

List from John Stewart, Chair of Hacan, (the main residents’ group working on Heathrow noise issues) of the MPs known to be, or believed to be, opposed to a 3rd Heathrow runway. So far they number 31 MPs out of the total of 73, and more details may be added when the information is known.  In the 2005 election, the Conservatives had 306 seats. In the 2010 election they had 330 seats.  Now in the 2017 election, the Conservatives have 318 seats.  The party wants to get the 3rd Heathrow runway built. The Conservatives may form an alliance with the Irish DUP, which has 10 MPs and is a firm backer of the 3rd runway.  That alliance would take the Tories to 328 MPs, which is 3 above the key number of half the MPs in the Commons (650).  The hung parliament will make it harder for the government to force through highly contentious, and widely unpopular polices like the runway.
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Heathrow now considering (not tunnel or bridge) but cheaper series of “viaducts” over M25

Heathrow has a huge problem in how to get a runway over the busiest, widest stretch of the M25.  The original plan was a full 14-lane tunnel about 2,000 feet long. Then there were plans for a sort of bridge over the road. Even those would be prohibitively expensive (Heathrow says it would only pay £1.1 billion on roads etc). Now there are plans, by Phil Wilbraham, who oversaw the construction of Heathrow’s terminals 2 and 5,  to build a cheaper system. It would be 3 parallel bridges across the M25, with narrow ones for taxiways at the side, and a wider one for the runway in the centre. The plan is for a 2 mile long runway, to take even the largest planes. The main airline at Heathrow, British Airways, suggested a runway about 1,000 feet shorter, that would not need to cross the motorway, but that might not be able to take A380s, and would mess up the flight patterns.  The earlier “bridge” concept would have meant the runway would be on a slight slope, to get over the motorway. The cost of moving the thousands of tonnes of earth would be immense, and it is thought Heathrow has had to reconsider. The airlines do not want to have to pay for the building costs of roads etc associated with a 3rd runway. The government does not want to force Heathrow to pay, as this would mean increasing the cost of flying – and reduce demand at Heathrow. 
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Heathrow plan to build third runway — on stilts over M25

Airport considers simpler scheme to bridge motorway

By John Collingridge (Sunday Times)
June 4 2017

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It is the engineering challenge from hell: how to build a runway across Britain’s busiest motorway.

Now Heathrow airport has come up with a new cut-price solution for its £17bn third runway — a series of “viaducts” across the M25. The airport, which started out with plans for a 14-lane tunnel, then switched to a “very gentle hill”, is now considering building three parallel bridges across the M25. According to plans presented to an engineering conference, the widest viaduct would be the runway itself, while two thinner viaducts would be built as taxiways for planes.

 

… full TImes article at

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heathrow-plan-to-build-third-runway-on-stilts-over-m25-ps6f2p382

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Building third runway over M25 will ‘threaten costs’ and ‘lead to spiralling delays’ to Heathrow expansion

Excessive costs to build across the motorway should be replaced by a shorter more affordable runway, according to parent company of British Airways

25 MAY 2017 (Get West London)

Exuberant costs incurred in transforming one of the busiest motorways in London to make way for a third runway could derail Heathrow expansion, it has been claimed.

That was the stark warning made by the boss of British Airways ‘ parent company, IAG, Willie Walsh.

On top of the “inflated £17 billion bill” for an additional runway, the company estimates building across the existing M25 path would incur a surplus of £2billion to £3billion more, with “all costs paid for by airlines”.

Concerns were raised in its response to the Government’s consultation on Heathrow expansion, which is due to close at 11.45pm on Thursday (May 25).

The company believes a shorter runway that does not breach the M25, of 3,200 metres instead of 3,500 metres, would be perfectly operational.

It said in its submission that Heathrow is the best option for expansion and the consideration for a shorter runway could keep landing charges the same or lower than current levels.

Mr Walsh said: “Airlines were never consulted on the runway length and they can operate perfectly well from a slightly shorter runway that doesn’t cross the M25.

“Bridging the M25 means years of disruption on a motorway already plagued by delays and congestion.

“As well as increased costs, this will have a huge impact not only on motorists but on local communities around Heathrow.”

Mr Walsh believes expanding across the motorway, which would include digging a tunnel or building a runway over the existing road, could be costly and cause delays.

“The airport has yet to produce a business plan that assesses the financial implications and risks of bridging the M25,” he said.

“We will not pay for a runway that threatens both costs and delays spiralling out of control and where critical elements of the project could be undeliverable.”

Heathrow said a shorter runway would have a greater impact on noise in the local community.

It is claimed this is due to larger aircraft, such as the A380, unable to use it for take-offs, limiting the respite period in parts of west London.

Environmental protesters avoid jail after blocking main tunnel into Heathrow Airport by attaching themselves to a car with expanding foam
A Heathrow Airport spokesman said: “Like all major infrastructure projects, we have to balance several factors in order to deliver the increase in airport expansion that Britain needs: risk, constructability, passenger experience, quality, affordability and time.

“In each of these areas we have engaged expert advisers and consulted our airlines to ensure we get the right balance and the best outcome for our passengers, our local communities and the country as a whole.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/building-third-runway-over-m25-13089544

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Another response by Sir Jeremy Sullivan on the NPS, showing his oversight is not satisfactory

Sir Jeremy Sullivan was given the task, by the government, of monitoring the DfT consultation on the draft Airports NPS. People can write to him with concerns about the process. Some very unsatisfactory responses have been received. One person wrote to say: “One of the boards at the consultation displays said the following: “Expanding Heathrow is estimated to deliver additional benefits to passengers and the wider economy up to £61 billion over 60 years.”  In the absence of explanation, any normal person (one who has not obtained and studied the detailed evidence) would take this to mean that there is an overall economic benefit from Heathrow expansion. In fact this is not the case.  The £61bn is GROSS benefits, the benefits without any of the costs being subtracted.  If costs are subtracted the NET economic benefit, according to the DFT, is £0.2bn to £6.1bn.  That is, 10 to 300 times smaller.  …. This is not a matter of content, which you have stated you will not consider.  It is a matter of balance, objectivity and not misleading the public in a consultation.” And the reply?  “Whether statements such as those which you mention in your email are/are not ‘misleading’ is a matter of opinion. This is precisely the kind of point that you can make in response to the consultation.”  ie. washing his hands of his responsibilities in this task.
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Question sent to Sir Jeremy Sullivan on the DfT’s draft National Policy Statement:

Dated 12th May 2017

Sent to independentadviser@runwayconsultation.gsi.gov.uk

 

“Could this comment please be passed on to Sir Jeremy Sullivan forthwith.

“One of the boards at the consultation displays said the following: “Expanding Heathrow is estimated to deliver additional benefits to passengers and the wider economy up to £61 billion over 60 years.”  In the absence of explanation, any normal person (one who has not obtained and studied the detailed evidence) would take this to mean that there is an overall economic benefit from Heathrow expansion.

“In fact this is not the case.  The £61bn is GROSS benefits, the benefits without any of the costs being subtracted.  If costs are subtracted the NET economic benefit, according to the DFT, is £0.2bn to £6.1bn.  That is, 10 to 300 times smaller. 

“A normal person, on seeing an economic benefit quoted for a scheme, would obviously expect the costs to be included in any claim of economic benefit for the scheme.  The bald statement about £61bn is therefore materially misleading and is clearly designed to engender public support for Heathrow expansion.

“This is not a matter of content, which you have stated you will not consider.  It is a matter of balance, objectivity and not misleading the public in a consultation.  These are surely within your remit. “

[Name and address supplied]

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Reply

Reply from the independentadviser@runwayconsultation.gsi.gov.uk

16/5/17

“Dear Sir,

“Thank you for your email. Sir Jeremy has asked that I respond to you with the below;

“Whether statements such as those which you mention in your email are/are not ‘misleading’ is a matter of opinion. This is precisely the kind of point that you can make in response to the consultation.

Kind Regards,”

Sir Jeremy Sullivan  [sic]  !

[Probably from “Craig” who sends out the unsatisfactory responses, on behalf of Sir Jeremy. Whether Sir Jeremy himself ever actually read the initial email is not clear]


Comment. by the original complainant:

“This is a shocking response. Quoting a figure for benefits while excluding all cost is clearly misleading. Hardly a “matter of opinion”.  Of all people, you would expect an ex judge to see that and to care about telling the truth and not misleading people.”


Nobody other than the DfT (and the company looking at consultation responses) will ever see comments made to its consultation. So if those are about process, and Sir Jeremy Sullivan had not dealt with them, the oversight process has been wholly unsatisfactory.
 
People need to complain about this to the current Transport Minister, Chris Grayling chris.grayling.mp@parliament.uk or to the next one, if there is a change next week.

See more of the unsatisfactory, derisory and evasive responses people have received from Sir Jeremy Sullivan.

 

Inadequate and unsatisfactory replies from Sir Jeremy Sullivan to complaints about the NPS consultation process

Many people have taken part in the DfT’s consultation on the draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS). The NPS is to provide the policy to support a 3rd Heathrow runway. The DfT appointed Sir Jeremy Sullivan, a retired judge, to oversee the consultation and ensure it was carried out adequately. However, it appears Sir Jeremy is only looking at process, and not at content.  Responses by Sir Jeremy to letters to him, complaining about the consultation, have received some unsatisfactory responses – and some of these are copied below. Sir Jeremy is unconcerned that the material in the exhibitions by the DfT was biased, and gave only partial information. His view is that as the government is in favour of the runway, it would be expected that the material would reflect this. To all those who complained to him, he merely advises that all comments and points should be sent to the DfT in consultation responses. In response to many people who complained about the absence of flight path detail, he comments that “In my view it is still possible to have a fair consultation upon the basis of indicative flight paths, provided it is made clear that they are only indicative.” And on selective quotes from backers of Heathrow (no balance with other comments) he says: “In my view using quotes from business leaders and others which are in support of this position is in keeping with the purpose of the [DfT consultation] events.”   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/05/jeremy-sullivan-inadequate-replies/

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Spanish study shows traffic-related air pollution negatively affects children’s attention in the short term

Research from Barcelona’s Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, by a team of ISGlobal researchers, indicates that on days with high air pollution, there was a marked reduction in the children’s ability to focus on problem-solving tasks. The study looked at two traffic-related pollutants—nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and elemental carbon (also known as black carbon).  The children who had been exposed to high air pollution on their way to school took longer to respond to questions and found it harder than usual to concentrate.  On average, their brain function slowed to the point where attention span was that of someone a month younger. Scientists tracked 2,700 pupils aged 7 to 10,  in about 300 classrooms in 39 schools in the city of Barcelona. They tested their ability to pay attention in class and comparing the results with peaks and troughs in air quality. This shows children’s brains work less well when are exposed to high levels of air pollution, especially from diesel. This research suggests that polluted air in Britain’s cities is negatively affecting youngsters’ brains as well as their lungs. Fine particles in diesel fumes raise our risk of suffering heart damage and an early death.  The same team in 2015 found pupils’ brain function developed at a slower rate if exposed to high levels of air pollution.

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There is a short video extract about the research here 

 

Traffic-Related Air Pollution Negatively Affects Children’s Attention in the Short Term

Traffic-Related Air Pollution Negatively Affects Children's Attention in the Short Term

Photo of the tests to schoolchildren in Barcelona in the context of the Breathe project.

Study published in Epidemiology provides new evidence on the impact of air pollution on neurological development

The long-term effects of air pollution on neural development are well understood and now a team of ISGlobal researchers has found evidence that these pollutants also have acute effects. The study, published in Epidemiology, shows that daily fluctuations in the levels of two traffic-related pollutants—nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and elemental carbon (also known as black carbon)—are associated with fluctuations in attention function in children.

This study followed on from earlier research that had established an association in school children between exposure to traffic-related air pollutants and the development of attention and memory function in the long term. In order to further investigate the impact of traffic-related pollution on neurological development in children, the present study monitored some 2,700 children in about 300 classrooms in 39 schools in the city of Barcelona.

Throughout the year, the scientists visited each school four times. In the course of these visits they measured four different domains related to attention processes using computerised tests. The results of these tests were then compared to daily measurements of NO2 and elemental carbon levels inside and outside the classrooms.

The analysis revealed an association between increased ambient levels of traffic-related pollutants and reductions in all the processes related to attention function in the classrooms. In fact, on the days the children were exposed to higher levels of pollution, the impairment in their performance was equivalent to a retardation of more than one month in the natural developmental improvement in response speed that would normally be expected as a consequence of age-related development.

“The children’s response was slower and less consistent on the days when traffic-related air pollution levels were higher” explains the study’s first author Jordi Sunyer, who is an ISGlobal researcher and a professor at the Pompeu Fabra University. “We don’t know what impact this effect might have on their learning processes; the estimated effect was modest on the individual level, but when we extrapolate this kind of collective exposure with small effects on cognitive function to the population as a whole, the impact is significant. These findings provide us with yet another piece of evidence demonstrating the need to prevent air pollution close to schools, particularly pollution caused by diesel vehicles”.

Facebook Live with Jordi Sunyer

In the context of the publication of this paper, on February 1st 2017, ISGlobal will offer a live interview with Jordi Sunyer on the institute’s Facebook page.On this Facebook Live session, the ISGlobal researcher and UPF professor will take answers from viewers.

Reference

Sunyer J, Suades-González E, García-Esteban R, Rivas I, Pujol J, Alvarez-Pedrerol M, Forns J, Querol X, Basagaña X. Traffic-related air pollution and attention in primary school children: short-term association. Epidemiology. 2016 Nov 29.

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Fumes from diesel engines slow down children’s brains, new research shows

  • Pupils who breathe in diesel fumes struggle to perform as well at school
  • Children took longer to respond to questions and found it harder to concentrate
  • Theresa May has said pollution is one of the UK’s biggest public health threats
  • Studies have linked toxic air to as many as 40,000 (earlier than normal) deaths a year

Children’s brains slow down when they are exposed to high levels of air pollution, according to an alarming study.

Pupils who breathed in toxic diesel fumes on the way to school struggled to perform as well as normal, scientists found.

The children took longer to respond to questions and found it harder than usual to concentrate.

Pupil’s who breathe in toxic air on their way to school take longer to respond to question and have a harder time concentrating

On days when air pollution peaked, the problems worsened.

The disturbing findings appear to confirm some scientists’ fears that polluted air in Britain’s cities is poisoning youngsters’ brains as well as their lungs. Earlier this year a study linked toxic air to 40,000 deaths a year in the UK – and Brussels warned Britain it could face fines if it continued to breach EU air pollution limits.

Prime Minister Theresa May recently warned that air pollution was the fourth biggest health risk behind cancer, obesity and heart disease.

Earlier in 2017 a study linked toxic air to has many has 40,000 deaths a year in the UK

She said high levels of emissions by diesel-powered vehicles were largely to blame.

The latest alert comes from Barcelona’s Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology.

Scientists tracked 2,600 pupils aged seven to ten, testing their ability to pay attention in class and comparing the results with peaks and troughs in air quality.

The results, published in the journal Epidemiology, revealed that on days when noxious traffic fumes were at their highest, there was a marked reduction in the children’s ability to focus on problem-solving tasks.

On average, their brain function slowed to the point where attention span was that of someone a month younger.

Fine particles in diesel fumes raise our risk of suffering heart damage and an early death

Diesel and carbon emissions contain ‘neurotoxic’ elements which may be harming children’s brains, the scientists warned.

They said: ‘Air pollution may have potential harmful effects on neurodevelopment. Our study suggests traffic pollution could affect the cognitive performance of school children.

‘Children’s performance was slower and less consistent throughout the test on days with higher levels of ambient trafficrelated air pollution. Diesel emissions in particular could affect cognitive performance.’ The same team in 2015 found pupils’ brain function developed at a slower rate if exposed to high levels of air pollution.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4570372/Fumes-diesel-engines-slow-children-s-brains.html

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See also

Research by King’s College indicates diesel air pollutants can weaken people’s immune systems

Dr Ian Mudway, of King’s College London, has warned that thousands of Londoners may be having their immune system slowly aggravated by the effects of diesel fumes. The very young and very old – and those with existing lung conditions – are particularly vulnerable to being harmed by particulate air pollution. At a meeting of the British Thoracic Society meeting, Dr Mudway said pollution from combusting diesel is also suspected to be gradually attacking some people’s immune system, meaning they will be more likely to suffer illnesses. These impacts may be slow and insidious, only manifesting slowly as we age.  A person’s genetic make-up is a key factor to whether they susceptible to the immune system damage. Research indicates that diesel exhausts including tiny PM2.5 particulates which can get deep into lungs, interact with immune cells in ways that may make the airways more susceptible to infections and allergic reactions.  Dr Mudway said:  “Some people are almost bullet proof, other people will be very sensitive to it.”  Many of the health impacts of air pollution are “sub-clinical”, so do not show up immediately with symptoms. They may, however, be having long term effects. Earlier research in 2010 showed the impact of air pollution in influencing a gene, which resulted in increasing the severity of asthma in children.  
http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/12/research-by-kings-college-indicates-diesel-air-pollutants-can-weaken-peoples-immune-systems/
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Air pollution from PM2.5 particulates implicated in increasing risk of premature births

Reducing air pollution from the tiny particles, PM2.5 may help to prevent 2.7 million premature births per year worldwide, according to a study published in Environment International. These particles come from sources such as diesel powered vehicles, fires and other sources. Worldwide about 10% of births are classed as preterm, and for these babies there can be significant short and long-term health implications – depending on how early the baby was born. Problems associated with prematurity are the top cause of death among children under 5 years old, and has also been associated with learning and developmental disabilities as well as an increased risk of psychiatric disorders. The number of premature births caused by this air pollution in the UK per year might be as much as 4,500.  The worst problems are in south and south east Asia, including India and China.  The study considered that about 18% of all pre-term births were associated with the particulate pollution in 2010. Other factors linked to pre-term birth are maternal age (young and old), multiple pregnancy (twins etc.), social and personal/lifestyle factors such as poverty, maternal education, prenatal care, physical activity, diet, and alcohol and drug consumption.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/02/air-pollution-from-pm2-5-particulates-implicated-in-increasing-risk-of-premature-births/

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Research indicates minute particles of magnetite from car pollution in human brain tissue

Recent research by Lancaster University indicates that as well as heart and lung effects of air pollution, tiny particles of pollution appear to get inside brain tissue. Called “nanospheres”, the particles are less than 200 nanometres in diameter – by comparison, a human hair is at least 50,000 nanometres thick. They are made  of magnetite, which is a compound of iron and appear to come from car engines or braking systems.  These magnetite particles may be small enough to pass from the nose into the olfactory bulb and then via the nervous system into the frontal cortex of the brain.  Iron is a very reactive metal, so it is likely they will cause oxidative damage in brain tissue.  It is already known that oxidative damage contributes to brain damage in Alzheimer’s patients. It is not known whether these particles could contribute to dementia, but there might be plausible mechanisms for a link. The research, published in the PNAS, analysed samples of brain tissue from 37 people – 29 who had lived and died in Mexico City, a notorious pollution hotspot, and who were aged from 3 to 85. The other 8 came from Manchester, were aged 62-92 and some had died with varying severities of neurodegenerative disease.  The particles issue is yet another reason not to permit vehicle pollution levels to rise, for public health.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/09/research-indicates-minute-particles-of-magnetite-from-car-pollution-in-human-brain-tissue/
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BA’s owner- IAG – launches new trans-Atlantic budget airline “Level”

“Level” is IAG’s low-cost transatlantic service, which will operate from Barcelona. British Airways owner IAG is already looking to expand “Level” across Europe as early as 2018.  It has now launched its inaugural flight from Barcelona to Los Angeles, with 314 passengers onboard. Flights to LA will operate twice weekly, and also three-times weekly service to San Francisco.  Level will operate the service with two new Airbus A330 aircraft, and then airline confirmed it would increase its fleet to five aircraft in 2018.  Level has already sold a lot of tickets, and is hoping to get new passengers, some of whom are flying long-haul for the first time. There will be about 21 premium economy seats.  Level will initially be operated by Iberia’s crew and create up to 250 jobs in Barcelona.  The Oslo-based budget airline Norwegian now has 13 Dreamliners in service with 30 more on order to fly passengers from cities including London and Paris across the Atlantic.   Other airlines are looking at low budget fares long haul to the USA too. Iceland’s budget airline WOW will be offering flights from Gatwick, Bristol and Edinburgh to Chicago and Lufthansa’s Eurowings will have more cheap flights to Orlando, Florida and Seattle.

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BA’s owner launches new trans-Atlantic budget airline

1.6.2017  (BBC)

The owner of British Airways, IAG, said its new trans-Atlantic budget airline will expand its fleet to five planes and aims to open new European bases.

Barcelona-based Level will initially use two new Airbus A330 aircraft to serve the Americas, with fares starting from £99 one-way.

Its first flight from Barcelona to Los Angeles takes off on Thursday.

It will be followed by flights to San Francisco, Buenos Aires and the Dominican Republic in the coming weeks.

Tickets have been on sale since March and IAG said it sold 100,000 in the first month.

BA has been at the centre of controversy following a disastrous computer crash that stranded 75,000 passengers over the weekend.

Critics have said that BA has been relentlessly cutting costs to take on competition from budget airlines. BA denies that this caused the IT problems which it blames on an electrical power surge.

But IAG Group, which also owns Aer Lingus and Vueling, is now pinning its hopes on the new airline to help it compete in an increasingly aggressive trans-Atlantic market.

Pricing structure

Level’s pricing structure is divided into six types of fare. The most basic includes hand luggage only.

The most expensive is flexible premium economy which offers a hot meal, two checked bags, and seat selection. Wifi is available with prices starting at 8.99 euros.

It will start out with flight and cabin crew from its sister airline Iberia and will create up to 250 jobs based in Barcelona.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh, said: “This is just the start. In summer 2018 we will have more aircraft and will operate more destinations from Barcelona. We’re also planning to expand Level operations to other European cities.”

Norwegian competition

The competition has ratcheted up since the arrival of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in late 2011. The plane, made from composite materials was lighter, more fuel efficient and cheaper to fly than any of its predecessors. Aerospace analysts considered it a game changer for the airline industry.

The Oslo-based budget airline Norwegian jumped at the opportunities the new aircraft offered. It now has 13 Dreamliners in service with 30 more on order to fly passengers from cities including London and Paris across the Atlantic.
This year Norwegian started offering one-way fares starting at $65 between smaller airports in the UK and Ireland to similar destinations in New York state, Providence, Rhode Island, and Hartford, Connecticut.

Crowded market

Level has taken a different tack, opting for the latest version of the Airbus A330, which is intended to take on the Dreamliner, and is fitted with 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats.

But the trans-Atlantic budget air space is about to get very crowded.

From July Iceland’s budget airline WOW will be offering flights from London Gatwick, Bristol and Edinburgh to Chicago from £139, and Lufthansa’s Eurowings subsidiary will be increasing its low cost offerings to Orlando, Florida and Seattle.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40105820

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No mention of backing for Heathrow runway in SNP manifesto (despite backing last year)

The SNP manifesto has come out, and despite the party saying last year that it backed the 3rd runway at Heathrow, there is no mention of it this time. There is a whole section on aviation policy, (p. 26 https://www.snp.org/manifesto ) but no mention of the runway. This is significant, coming only 7 months after the memorandum of understanding the SNP signed with Heathrow. (October 2016). The manifesto outlines that the SNP will press the UK Government to commit to the Open Skies Agreement in the Brexit negotiations, expand direct international connectivity, protect existing connections within the UK and press the UK Government to secure an exemption from air passenger duty on flights to and from the Highlands and Islands. On airspace policy, the SNP back the need to reform UK airspace and more community engagement in the formation of flight paths in future. The SNP backing for the Heathrow runway was based on economic forecasts that were wildly exaggerated and misleading, (the “up to £147 billion benefit to all the UK over 60 years” claim )and which even the DfT knows were wrong. The actual benefit to the UK is more likely perhaps £6 billion (over 60 years). The promises of new jobs etc are also now seen to have been inflated and misleading. Why would an independent Scotland want to depend on air freight going via Heathrow?
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A SIGNIFICANT SILENCE IN SNP MANIFESTO ON HEATHROW

30th May 2017 (Stop Heathrow Coalition press release)

The SNP made a surprise move in their 2017 election manifesto, published on Tuesday, with no mention whatsoever of Heathrow expansion, despite a whole section on aviation policy (SNP Manifesto, p. 26 https://www.snp.org/manifesto )

The manifesto outlines that the SNP will press the UK Government to commit to the Open Skies Agreement in the Brexit negotiations, expand direct international connectivity, protect existing connections within the UK and to press the UK Government to secure an exemption from air passenger duty on flights to and from the Highlands and Islands. On airspace policy, the SNP back the need to reform UK airspace and more community engagement in the formation of flight paths in future.

There is no mention whatsoever of Heathrow expansion in the document, despite the Scottish Government signed a memorandum of understanding with Heathrow Airport in October 2016, however, this was based on economic indicators even the Department for Transport now reject as wildly overinflated (Table Further Review and Sensitivities Report, DfT, October 2016, p. 9  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/562160/further-review-and-sensitivities-report-airport-capacity-in-the-south-east.pdf )

 

Robert Barnstone, Coordinator of the Coalition, said: “This will appear to be a significant move by the SNP. It suggests there may be backtracking on their support for a third runway after all only a few months ago they were telling Heathrow a third runway had their full support. There are many signs that the Scottish Government are concluding that economic benefits to Scotland are nowhere near as high as they were lead to believe by Heathrow.” 

The No 3rd Runway Coalition was established in March 2017 and comprises 18 community groups around Heathrow Airport, MPs (election candidates until 8 June 2017) from Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, NGOs such as Greenpeace and the Campaign Against Climate Change as well as five local authorities.

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This is what the Manifesto says:

Connecting Scotland to the world

International connectivity plays an important role in facilitating trade, tourism and investment. Membership of the EU has helped open up skies across Europe, boosting the number of flights to and from Scotland, creating more choice for businesses and families.

SNP MPs will:

• press the UK government to commit to the Open Skies Agreement in Brexit negotiations to ensure there is no loss of flights to or from Scotland and our airports are not disadvantaged;

• work with the Scottish Government, Visit Scotland, Scottish Development International and UK departments to secure an expansion of international flights to and from Scotland, opening up new markets for trade and tourism;

• protect vital Scottish air connections to other parts of the UK;

• continue to work with local partners as part of City and Regional Deals to deliver improved connectivity including an Inverness Airport Rail Hub;

• ensure the UK government continues to work with the Scottish Government to secure an exemption from air passenger taxes on Highlands and Islands flights.

The current system for managing aviation noise is outdated and is in urgent need of reform. In the last Parliament, SNP MPs secured a UK government consultation on a new Independent Aviation Noise Authority to ensure communities are fully engaged in decisions by airports to alter flight paths. We will now push for the establishment of this body, ensuring that airspace changes are delivered with the approval of the community, without having an adverse impact on our environment

Page 26 of

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/thesnp/pages/9544/attachments/original/1496139998/Manifesto_2017.pdf?1496139998

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Doubt a power surge caused BA’s IT fiasco – bad system, bad planning etc more likely

A massive failure of British Airways’ IT system left 300,000 passengers stranded around the world. This will be remembered as a catastrophic event for BA. And there are many questions about what happened. BA said it was due to a “power surge” that was “so strong that it rendered the back-up system ineffective”. But some experts have subsequently publicly expressed their doubt about how true that is, and do not believe a power surge would be able to bring down a data centre, let alone a data centre and its back-up. One said that would mean either bad design of the system, or some other explanation. Normally a data centre would have surge protection, which is there to protect against exactly this problem. There should also be an uninterruptible power supply, and proper earthing systems. The companies supplying the area where BA holds its data say there was no power surge. Experts say much of the problem was the time taken to reboot the system. But the overly-complex IT system is largely outsourced to India – and many of the experts in UK who initially helped to cultivate and develop the network left when the jobs were moved. The extent of the BA problem may be due to poor crisis management planning, an under-trained and under-staffed IT support team and a poor understanding of the wider logistics. The reputational costs to BA could be huge and very significant.
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The Times, on 2nd June 2016, said: 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ba-power-fiasco-blamed-on-staff-blunder-tbfhxwsw2

The incident is thought to concern an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) which delivers a smooth flow of power from the mains, with a fall-back to a battery back-up and a diesel generator.

This week BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG) admitted that the supply to Boadicea House, a data centre, was temporarily lost. An internal investigation found that the UPS, believed to have been supplied by Hitec Power Protection, was functioning correctly at the time.

One BA source said it was rumoured that a contractor doing maintenance inadvertently switched the supply off, although this has not been confirmed.

An internal email from Bill Francis, head of group IT at IAG, appeared to confirm this version of events. The email, leaked to the Press Association, said: “This resulted in the total immediate loss of power to the facility, bypassing the backup generators and batteries . . . It was turned back on in an unplanned and uncontrolled fashion, which created physical damage to the system.”

…. full story at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ba-power-fiasco-blamed-on-staff-blunder-tbfhxwsw2

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5 talking points around the British Airways IT failure

An IT system failure left 300,000 passengers stranded around the world in what will be remembered as a catastrophic event for British Airways. But what really happened?

By Roy Manuell (Junior Editor, International Airport Review)

31 May 2017

Why might we have reason to doubt the “power surge” claims?

According to Álex Cruz, BA’s chairman and chief executive, the catastrophic IT failure that left hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded over the UK Bank Holiday Weekend was due to a “power surge.”

It is alleged that the surge was “so strong that it rendered the back-up system ineffective”.

Several experts have subsequently publicly expressed their doubt as to the validity of this claim. “Multiple data centre designers have told the Guardian that a power surge should not be able to bring down a data centre, let alone a data centre and its back-up,” the British newspaper reported on Tuesday 30 May.

“It’s either bad design or there’s more to the story than just a power surge,” said James Wilman, chief executive of the data centre consultancy Future-tech. “You have something specifically that you build in to a data centre called surge protection, which is there to protect against exactly this incident. You also have an uninterruptible power supply, a UPS, and part of its job is to condition the power” – ie smooth out the peaks and flows in current.

“Between those and a quality earthing system, you should be protected from power surges,” Wilman said.

According to another leading British newspaper, The Times, SSE and UK Power Networks, both electricity companies that provide energy to the geographical location at which the airline holds its data centre have denied the possibility of a power surge.

Why was the impact so large?

An unnamed corporate IT expert, speaking to the BBC, further suggested that a power failure shouldn’t have even caused a “flicker of the lights” in the data-centre due to the presence of the UPS – the uninterruptible power supply.

Essentially, the scale of the impact and the amount of people that were affected is largely due to the time taken to reboot the system.

Why did BA’s reboot take so long?

Once the power was lost, the airline’s crisis management plan should have kicked in but as many media outlets have suggested, the overly-complex IT system is largely outsourced to India and many of the experts who initially helped to cultivate and develop the network left when the jobs were moved.

If you saw the amount of old infrastructure that this country is hanging off of, you wouldn’t sleep at night.

Many believe that the time taken to reboot remains a combination of poor crisis management planning, an under-trained and under-staffed IT support team and an incomplete understanding there-and-then of the complex logistics of air travel in the 21st Century.

Is the airline industry’s infrastructure so outdated?

Returning to James Wilman once again, he suggests that airlines’ IT systems are fundamentally outdated and notably the British communications infrastructure is too old.

“We were leading the communications curve back 20 years ago, and the problem is that that now means that much of our infrastructure is hanging off a 25-year-old backbone. Some data centres are reaching the end of their life. And how do you refurbish that when you can’t turn it off?

“If you saw the amount of old infrastructure that this country is hanging off of, you wouldn’t sleep at night,” he said.

The cyber threat and conclusions to come?

It is unfair on BA to over-speculate as the investigation is only just underway and information is only beginning to seep through.

Many fear that cyber threats may have been behind the failure while others argue that it was just one big mistake. Irrespective, it has happened and serious questions now need to be asked as the implications of the failure could be monumentally significant.

International Airport Review will be covering the story as more information comes through.

https://www.internationalairportreview.com/news/34880/british-airways-ba-it-failure/

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See earlier:

British Airways could have to pay £100m compensation bill to passengers due to its huge IT failure

British Airways could face a bill of at least £100 million in compensation for its passengers affected by the cancellations and delays caused by its IT systems failure. The problem, perhaps caused by a loss of electric power, which then lead to most systems not working, resulted in BA flights around the world being unable to take off, passengers unable to check in, even the website not working. The problem affected Heathrow the most in England, as the largest base for BA. Gatwick was also affected. In total about 1,000 flights were affected, with problems likely to last several days more, while systems are fixed and planes get back into the right places. As this computer fault is entirely the fault of BA (and not any sort of “act of God”) BA will be liable to pay full compensation, to anyone delayed over 3 hours. The airline was particularly busy as it was the start of the school half term, and also a Bank Holiday weekend, with people flying for weekends away. The GMB union said the problem had been caused in part because BA made many good IT staff redundant in 2016, to save money. They instead outsourced the work to India. Besides the huge cost of compensation (and improving its IT resilience) BA will have suffered serious reputational damage, with many saying they would avoid ever flying with BA again.

Click here to view full story…

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British Airways could have to pay £100m compensation bill to passengers due to its huge IT failure

British Airways could face a bill of at least £100 million in compensation for its passengers affected by the cancellations and delays caused by its IT systems failure. The problem, perhaps caused by a loss of electric power, which then lead to most systems not working, resulted in BA flights around the world being unable to take off, passengers unable to check in, even the website not working. The problem affected Heathrow the most in England, as the largest base for BA. Gatwick was also affected. In total about 1,000 flights were affected, with problems likely to last several days more, while systems are fixed and planes get back into the right places. As this computer fault is entirely the fault of BA (and not any sort of “act of God”) BA will be liable to pay full compensation, to anyone delayed over 3 hours. The airline was particularly busy as it was the start of the school half term, and also a Bank Holiday weekend, with people flying for weekends away.  The GMB union said the problem had been caused in part because BA made many good IT staff redundant in 2016, to save money. They instead outsourced the work to India. Besides the huge cost of compensation (and improving its IT resilience) BA will have suffered serious reputational damage, with many saying they would avoid ever flying with BA again.

 

British Airways could face £100m compensation bill over IT meltdown

IT glitch affected more than 1,000 flights over weekend meaning people missed holidays, lost luggage or were stranded on aircraft

British Airways could face a bill of at least £100m in compensation, additional customer care and lost business resulting from an IT meltdown that affected more than 1,000 flights over the weekend.

All the airline’s flights from Heathrow and Gatwick were grounded on Saturday. Services resumed on Sunday but cancellations and delays delays persisted with about 200 BA flights in and out of Heathrow cancelled on Sunday, according to Guardian calculations. There were no cancellations at Gatwick but some passengers experienced delays.

The glitch is believed to have been caused by a power supply issue and there is no evidence of a cyber-attack, the airline said.

In a video posted on YouTube, Alex Cruz, chief executive of BA, said that all the IT systems were not yet restored. “Many of our IT systems are back up today. All my British Airways colleagues on the ground and in the air are pulling out all the stops to get our operation back up to normal as quickly as we possibly can, we’re not there yet.”

“I know this has been a horrible time for customers. Some have missed holidays, some have been stranded on aircraft, some separated from bags and some stuck in long queues while they have waited for information. On behalf of everyone at BA I want to apologise for the fact you’ve had to go through these very trying experiences,” said Cruz.

As hundreds of passengers remained stranded, the GMB union blamed job cuts at BA for the IT problems which were thought to relate to a power outage.

Mick Rix, GMB national officer for aviation, said: “This could have all been avoided. BA in 2016 made hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsourced the work to India. BA have made substantial profits in for a number of years, and many viewed the company’s actions as just plain greedy.”

Both Gatwick and Heathrow advised passengers to check the status of their flights after terminals became congested with travellers hoping to get away for the long weekend and half-term school holiday. BA was asking passengers not to turn up until 90 minutes before their flights because of the level of congestion at Heathrow.

On Sunday morning, Welsh international table tennis player Chloe Thomas, whose 7.30am flight from Heathrow to Germany for the World Table Tennis Championship in Düsseldorf was cancelled at the last minute, described chaotic scenes.

“It’s chaos, people are running about all over the place trying to rebook,” she told Press Association. “There’s no one to help, no leadership. There are lots of people everywhere. There’s nowhere to sit, so people are just lying on the floor, sleeping on yoga mats.”

She said airport staff had handed out mats, as well as thin blankets, for people who were stuck there overnight. She added that one of the shops had sold out of food. Passengers faced long lines to check in, rebook or find lost luggage.

James Walker, chief executive of free flights compensation claim site Resolver, said BA handled about 120,000 passengers a day in and out of Heathrow and Gatwick alone, indicating a bill of close to £50m for delays of more than three hours under EU-backed compensation rules.

About half of those passengers were likely to be entitled to meals and accommodation while waiting for delayed flights and a number will have sought a refund or decided to avoid using BA as a result of a “loss of trust”.

BA has also pledged to reunite hundreds of thousands of items of luggage caught up in the delays with passengers via a free courier service adding further to costs.

Walker said there was no question that BA would have to pay out compensation under the EU scheme which demands payments for flights delayed by at least three hours as a result of reasons within the airline’s control.

“This is not like an ash cloud or traffic controllers’ strike that can’t be predicted. The computer system breaking down is within its control. BA is going to have to pay out and it looks like its costs will be north of £100m.”

Last year, the US airline Delta said it lost $100m after the shutdown of power to its data centre because an equipment failure led to delays.

John Strickland, director of independent transport consultancy JLS Consulting, said it was likely that BA would face a “significant financial impact” as its problems looked set to continue into this week.

BA indicated it was expecting continued disruption as its website said customers due to fly on Monday and Tuesday could rebook for dates up to November this year, even if their flights were operating.

Problems remain with the airline’s IT systems, including its customer call centres and website as well as operations planning. It also takes time for BA to ensure planes and staff are in the right place. Crew working patterns are also governed by strict regulations on rest and working hours.

“It’s the magnitude and scale of the problem. Even if BA’s IT systems were fully operational now it will take some days to fully restore a normal flying programme.”

Strickland said Heathrow was worst affected because it is the biggest BA hub and handles more long haul flights.

BA was unable to respond to queries about the financial impact or the number of flights cancelled on Sunday but a spokesman said: “We would never compromise the integrity and security of our IT systems.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/may/28/british-airways-faces-100m-compensation-bill-over-it-meltdown

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A CEO: Power supply issue caused IT outage

The problem was so serious that the airline canceled all flights from its London Heathrow hub and from London Gatwick, until 6 p.m. local time Saturday. BA also warned all passengers intending to travel before then not to go to the airports. The problem was made more severe by the fact that the UK is on a public holiday weekend, combined with the start of the school half-term holidays in many parts of England, when many families travel for an early summer break.

The incident follows similarly disruptive IT outages at US airlines last year that affected Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines. BA suffered a computer check-in problem in September 2016 that also caused major delays, although not wholesale cancellations.

In Saturday’s event, BA passengers complained of difficulty in getting information from airline staff at airports. The airline’s website was also down and passengers were unable to access the airline’s mobile app. Some travelers were held on board aircraft for lengthy periods as aircraft backed up at Heathrow and Gatwick, unable to depart or find a gate.

“We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide,” the airline said in a statement. “The terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become extremely congested and we have cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick before 6 p.m. UK time today, so please do not come to the airports. We will provide more information on ba.com, Twitter and through airport communication channels as soon as we can for flights due to depart after that time. We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this is causing our customers and we are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

Later in the day, Cruz apologized on the airline’s Twitter account for the “huge inconvenience” the outage had caused to passengers. He added that the root cause of the outage appeared to have been a power supply issue, rather than a cyber-attack.

http://atwonline.com/airlines/ba-ceo-power-supply-issue-caused-it-outage

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BA could face huge compensation bill over stranded passengers

27.5.2017 (Herald  Scotland)

BA could face huge compensation bill over stranded passengers
British Airways could be facing huge compensation costs after thousands of passengers were stranded by a global IT crash.

Delayed travellers are able to claim compensation under EU law, unless the disruption has been caused by factors outside the airline’s control.

Air travel experts say BA is likely to face a massive cost in lost revenue and payouts to customers whose flights were cancelled.

Malcolm Ginsberg, editor in chief at Business Travel News, said: “There is no question – the EU denied-boarding regulations will have to apply.

“They have broken all the rules and they will have to deal with it – it’s going to be a very expensive situation for BA.”

Airlines also have to provide food and drink if their passengers are delayed by more than two hours under the regulations.

Civil Aviation Authority guidance states that anyone who is more than three hours delayed arriving at their destination could be entitled to compensation.

Meanwhile, the unprecedented disruption could last for several days, experts say.   Air industry consultant John Strickland said: “There’s a massive knock-on effect.

“Customers and from the airline’s point of view – manpower, dealing with the backlog of aircraft out of position, parking spaces for the aircraft – it’s a challenge and a choreographic nightmare.”

He added that the problems with BA’s IT systems last year were not on the scale of this issue.    “They were bedding in a new check-in system last year and there were teething problem but not of the magnitude of this,” Mr Strickland said.

The disruption has been compounded by the timing of the outage coinciding with a bank holiday weekend and school half-term holidays.

“Heathrow ordinarily would be busy but would be exacerbated by the bank holiday, half-term and Ascension Day, which is celebrated in a lot of Europe,” Mr Strickland added. “Even if they could quickly get the show back on the road, which is a big uncertainty, disruption could run into several days.”

Mr Ginsberg added: “This is a very, very serious situation, one that will not be solved overnight, even once they get the technology aspects of it done – it’s going to be three or four days. There’s only full aircraft at this time of year and there will be aircraft in the wrong positions.”

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15313930.BA_could_face_huge_compensation_bill_over_stranded_passengers/?ref=rss

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Doubt a power surge caused BA’s IT fiasco – bad system, bad planning etc more likely

A massive failure of British Airways’ IT system left 300,000 passengers stranded around the world. This will be remembered as a catastrophic event for BA. And there are many questions about what happened. BA said it was due to a “power surge” that was “so strong that it rendered the back-up system ineffective”. But some experts have subsequently publicly expressed their doubt about how true that is, and do not believe a power surge would be able to bring down a data centre, let alone a data centre and its back-up. One said that would mean either bad design of the system, or some other explanation. Normally a data centre would have surge protection, which is there to protect against exactly this problem. There should also be an uninterruptible power supply, and proper earthing systems. The companies supplying the area where BA holds its data say there was no power surge. Experts say much of the problem was the time taken to reboot the system. But the overly-complex IT system is largely outsourced to India – and many of the experts in UK who initially helped to cultivate and develop the network left when the jobs were moved. The extent of the BA problem may be due to poor crisis management planning, an under-trained and under-staffed IT support team and a poor understanding of the wider logistics. The reputational costs to BA could be huge and very significant.

Click here to view full story…

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