Speaking at the London Assembly Committee on Transport, Val Shawcross CBE (Deputy Mayor of London for Transport) said Heathrow expansion risked ‘log-jamming’ west London transport links. She warned that adding a 3rd Heathrow runway could cause travel chaos in west London. Val said proposed Crossrail links and a planned upgrade to the Piccadilly line would not be enough to ensure a smooth flow of traffic to an expanded Heathrow. Both Crossrail one and the Piccadilly line upgrade, which are going ahead, were just planned for the existing growth in demand, from population growth. Their expansion is not sufficient to deal with the extra demand from a 50% larger Heathrow. Val raised concerns that “we are in danger of completely log-jamming the public and road transport networks around west London if we do not do the additional high capacity infrastructure.” Also building Southern Rail access to Heathrow risked inconveniencing existing train passengers; they and the existing population should be properly taken into account. With the 3rd runway, the number of passenger’s using Heathrow could rise from around 200,000 per day to 300,000. Of those, about 75,000 passengers currently use public transport while 125,000 travel by car. That means a massive increase in numbers of passengers, and also larger numbers of staff in and around the airport, all also using public transport
Heathrow expansion ‘will cause travel chaos’ in west London, Deputy Mayor for Transport warns
By SAPHORA SMITH (Evening Standard)
Val Shawcross CBE (Deputy Mayor of London for Transport.said Heathrow expansion risked ‘log-jamming’ west London transport links
She warned that Heathrow airport expansion could cause travel chaos in west London
Speaking at the London Assembly Committee on Transport this week, Val Shawcross said proposed Crossrail links and a planned upgrade to the Piccadilly line would not be enough to ensure a smooth flow of traffic to an expanded Heathrow airport.
She said: “One thing to bear in mind is Crossrail one and the Piccadilly line upgrade, which are going ahead, they were all predicated on existing economic growth and existing population growth, so none of that is the additionality you would expect from a Heathrow expansion.
“So they are going ahead but even so, what I’m reading tells me we are in danger of completely log-jamming the public and road transport networks around west London if we do not do the additional high capacity infrastructure.”
Ms Shawcross also warned building Southern Rail access to Heathrow risked inconveniencing existing train passengers.
She said planners must think about “the impact on existing passengers and existing population”.
Ms Shawcross added: “If you’re using existing track there are existing passengers and you need to look at where those winners and losers potentially are.”
After decades of wrangling the Government approved the expansion of Heathrow in October, paving the way for a third runway and increasing the number of passenger’s using the transport hub from 200,000 a day to 300,000.
Some 75,000 passengers currently travel to Heathrow airport on public transport while 125,000 travel by car but with its expansion public transport networks will be expected to cope with over 300,000 travellers a day.
Alex Williams, managing director of planning at Transport for London (TFL), said: “The airport is keen to make sure that there is no increase in high way trips so that 125,000 the aim is to keep that capped at that level.
“So the growth and the strain will be taken on at a public transport network.
“That 75,000 with a full operating expanded airport needs to go to over 300,000.
“So there is a massive increase on the public transport network with full utilisation of the airport.”
Difficult to see how Heathrow could prevent rise in staff road trips to/from airport with 3rd runway
October 28, 2016
Heathrow has told the DfT that there would be no higher a number of car trips to and from the airport with a 3rd runway than now. But is that actually credible? Neither the DfT nor Heathrow produce easy-to-find figures, but they be located with a bit of digging. There are probably about 76,000 staff at the airport at present. The October 2014 Jacobs report done for the Airports Commission said: “Headline employee commuting mode share was assumed to be 43% public transport and 47% private vehicles (ie. about 35,700 came by car, and Jacobs states: “with the vast majority of those undertaken as single occupancy car trips.”) …” and of the 43% using public transport, about 35% used bus and 12% used rail. There are various estimates of how many on-airport staff there might be with a new runway. The Commission’s Carbon Traded Assessment of Need scenario anticipated the number of staff to be around 90,000, and their highest growth scenario anticipated about 115,000 staff. Heathrow said by 2030 trips by both staff and passengers to the airport will be 53% by public transport, and still 47% by car. Nowhere is there anything to indicate that below 47% of airport employees would get to and from work by car. With 90,000 staff at Heathrow, if 47% travelled by car that would be 42,300 people, (or if 43% came by car it would be 38,700). If there were 100,000 on-airport staff, and 47% came by car, that would be 47,000 people (and if 43% came by car, 43,000). Those numbers are higher than today. This is not including people travelling to newly increased numbers of jobs in the area.
Even with 55% of Heathrow passengers using public transport there could be 15 million more passenger trips per year by car by 2040 than now
November 6, 2016
The government claims Heathrow can meet air quality standards in future, even with a new runway and 50% more passengers, because it will (among other changes) ensure that there are no more road vehicles than now – and by around 2031 about 55% of passengers would use public transport. So is that likely? Looking at passengers only, not freight, and the work done by Jacobs for the Airports Commission, it seems that (2012 data) there were about 70 million passengers, about 20 million of whom were transfers (ie. they did not leave the airport). That meant slightly below 50 million passengers travelled to and from the airport, using surface transport. In 2012 about 59% of these travelled by car (ie. about 29.5 million), 41% came by public transport (28% by rail and 13% by bus or coach). But by 2030 with a new runway, there might be around 110 million passengers, and around 33% would be international transfers. That leaves around 74 million passengers, and if 55% of them use public transport, that means about 34 million using cars. By 2040, the number using cars might be about 45 million (ie. about 15 million more per year than now). And about 9 million using bus/coach – which is of course also on the roads. There would have to be dramatic increases in electric vehicles and improved engine technology to ensure no higher emissions in the Heathrow area. And that is not counting freight vehicles. Or staff. Or other increased vehicle traffic associated with the 3rd runway.
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,
Londoners’ immune systems ‘weakened by capital’s toxic air’
Hundreds of thousands of Londoners may be having their immune system slowly aggravated by toxic diesel fumes, a leading expert warned today.
Dr Ian Mudway, of King’s College London, also stressed that young and old – and those with existing lung conditions – are particularly vulnerable to being harmed by filthy air in the capital.
Scientists have made a series of shocking revelations in recent years about the toxic air scandals in London, Paris, Beijing and other capitals, focusing largely on the grim death toll from pollutants which are shortening the lives of millions of people.
But Dr Mudway highlighted at a British Thoracic Society’s meeting in Westminster today that pollution in diesel emissions is also suspected to be gradually attacking some people’s immune system, meaning they will be more likely to suffer illnesses.
“In individuals with pre-existing lung disease the contaminants within the air we breathe can have immediate tangible effects, such as symptomatic ‘flare-ups’ during pollution episodes,” he said.
“But for most of us the effects are more insidious, with the impacts only manifesting slowly as we age.”
Hundreds of thousands of Londoners will be walking around the city unaware that their lungs are being inflamed by toxic pollution, explained Dr Mudway.
A proportion of these individuals risk having their immune system damaged, he added.
Their genetic make-up is likely to be a key factor to whether they are a victim of toxic fumes, with diesel emissions, including tiny PM2.5 particulates which can get deep into lungs, believed to be particularly harmful.
“Some people are almost bullet proof, other people will be very sensitive to it,” he added.
Dr Mudway told lung health experts that a review of new clinical evidence showed how diesel exhausts interact with immune cells in the lung in ways that may make the airways more susceptible to infections and allergic reactions.
Much of the work highlighted was carried out in London and aimed to identify the most damaging pollutant sources of toxic air.
“The smoking gun points to diesel emissions and further strengthens the arguments to target emissions from these vehicles to improve the respiratory health of Londoners,” said Dr Mudway.
His warning is all the more alarming as hundreds of schools in London are near roads with heavy traffic spewing out fumes as pupils walk to school.
Filthy air levels are higher in central London, with three wealthy areas, Westminster, the City, and Kensington and Chelsea, being the worst blackspots for tiny particulate PM2.5 pollution for five years in a row.
Dr Mudway stressed that many of the health impacts of air pollution are “sub-clinical”, so do not show up immediately with symptoms.
But the death toll from nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5 pollution has been estimated at more than 9,000-a-year in London.
This is not the number of people dying from toxic air but the accumulated total of lost life attributable to it.
Tamzen Isacsson, of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, stressed the industry was investing billions to engineer the cleanest vehicles in history.
“The latest Euro VI diesel cars are light years away from their older counterparts, with high tech filters capturing 99% of all soot particulates – and the introduction of on road emissions testing from next year will drive even greater advances,” she added.
“The biggest change to air quality will be achieved by encouraging uptake of the latest, lowest emission technologies, regardless of vehicle or fuel type, and ensuring road transport can move smoothly.”
Exposure to dirty air is linked to decreased function of a gene that appears to increase the severity of asthma in children, according to a joint study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
While air pollution is known to be a source of immediate inflammation, this new study provides one of the first pieces of direct evidence that explains how some ambient air pollutants could have long-term effects.
Researchers have linked exposure to dirty air to changes in a gene that, in turn, is connected to more severe asthma symptoms.
The findings, published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, come from a study of 181 children with and without asthma in the California cities of Fresno and Palo Alto.
The researchers found that air pollution exposure suppressed the immune system’s regulatory T cells (Treg), and that the decreased level of Treg function was linked to greater severity of asthma symptoms and lower lung capacity. Treg cells are responsible for putting the brakes on the immune system so that it doesn’t react to non-pathogenic substances in the body that are associated with allergy and asthma. When Treg function is low, the cells fail to block the inflammatory responses that are the hallmark of asthma symptoms.
The findings have potential implications for altered birth outcomes associated with polluted air, much the same as those noted for the effects of cigarette smoke.
“When it came out that cigarettes can cause molecular changes, it meant the possibility that mothers who smoked could affect the DNA of their children during fetal development,” said study lead author Dr. Kari Nadeau, pediatrician at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of allergy and immunology at Stanford’s School of Medicine. “Similarly, these new findings suggest the possibility of an inheritable effect from environmental pollution.”
Seventy-one participants came from the Fresno Asthmatic Children’s Environment Study (FACES), a longitudinal study led by principal investigator Dr. Ira Tager, professor of epidemiology at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, and co-principal investigator S. Katharine Hammond, UC Berkeley professor and chair of environmental health sciences. The researchers also recruited 30 children from Fresno who did not have asthma.
“I’m not aware of any other studies that have looked at how chemicals can alter cells so early in the regulatory process, and then connected that effect to clinical symptoms,” said Tager. “There are people who still question the direct link between air pollution and human health, but these findings make the health impact of pollutants harder to deny.”
Fresno was chosen because it is located in California’s Central Valley, where trapped hot air mixes with high traffic and heavy agriculture to create some of the highest levels of air pollution in the country. It is also a region known for its high incidence of asthma: Nearly one in three children there have the condition, earning Fresno the nickname, “The Asthma Capitol of California.”
The researchers compared the participants from Fresno with 80 children, half with asthma and half without, in the relatively low-pollution city of Palo Alto, Calif. The children were matched by age, gender and asthma status, among other variables. The children were tested for breathing function, allergic sensitivity and Treg cells in the blood.
Daily air quality data came from California Air Resources Board monitoring stations. The researchers calculated each child’s annual average exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), a byproduct of fossil fuel and a major pollutant in vehicle exhaust.
The study found that the annual average exposure to PAH was 7 times greater for the children in Fresno compared with the kids in Palo Alto. Levels of ozone and particulate matter were also significantly higher in Fresno.
Not surprisingly, the study found that the children in Fresno had lower overall levels of Treg function and more severe symptoms of asthma than the children in Palo Alto. For example, the non-asthmatic children in Fresno had Treg function results that were similar to the children with asthma in Palo Alto.
The study authors correlated increased exposure to PAH with methylation of the gene, Forkhead box transcription factor (Foxp3), which triggers Treg cell development. Methylation effectively disables the gene’s function, leading to reduced levels of Treg cells. The connection between Treg function and the severity of asthma symptoms was true for children in both groups.
While previous studies have found associations between pollution – especially motor vehicle exhaust – and an increased risk of developing asthma, few have traced its molecular pathway so completely, the study authors said.
“The link between diesel exhaust and asthma could simply have been that the particulates were irritating the lungs,” said Nadeau. “What we found is that the problems are more systemic. This is one of the few papers to have linked from A to Z the increased exposure to ambient air pollution with suppressed Treg cell levels, changes in a key gene and increased severity of asthma symptoms.”
The researchers noted that Treg cells are important for other autoimmune disorders, so the implications of this study could go beyond asthma.
Other co-authors of the study are Dr. John Balmes, UC Berkeley professor of environmental health sciences; Elizabeth Noth and Boriana Pratt, UC Berkeley researchers at FACES; and Cameron McDonald-Hyman, research assistant at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.
The National Institutes of Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Lung Association and the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center helped support this research.
Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils, together with Greenpeace and a resident of Hillingdon, have today served legal papers on the government for unlawfully supporting the expansion of Heathrow. In a legal submission to the High Court, the ‘coalition’ is seeking a Judicial Review of the government’s decision to support the expansion of the airport – something that which the Government previously promised would never happen. Harrison Grant Solicitors, on behalf of the coalition have filed a formal request for a judicial review. If successful, it is hoped the case will be heard in the High Court early next year. Together, the claimants argue that the Government has failed to recognise the project’s unlawful air quality impacts and that the consultation held to make the decision was fundamentally flawed. Therefore, the expansion of the airport cannot go ahead. In addition, the legal challenge seeks to hold Government to the promise that a third runway would never be built. If the request is successful, and the coalition wins the judicial review, the decision to proceed with the runway would be overturned. Ray Puddifoot said “There are two grounds of challenge at this stage. In addition to our claim that there has been a significant breach of established air quality laws, we have also claimed that the Government has acted contrary to our legitimate expectation that it would honour its repeated promises not to expand Heathrow.”
Government will be challenged in the courts over Heathrow decision
8/12/2016 (Richmond Council website)
Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils, together with Greenpeace and a resident of Hillingdon, have today served legal papers on the government for unlawfully supporting the expansion of Heathrow.
In a legal submission to the High Court, the ‘coalition’ is seeking a Judicial Review of the government’s decision to support the expansion of the airport – something that which the Government previously promised would never happen.
Harrison Grant Solicitors, on behalf of the coalition have filed a formal request for a judicial review. If successful, it is hoped the case will be heard in the High Court early next year.
Together, the claimants argue that the Government has failed to recognise the project’s unlawful air quality impacts and that the consultation held to make the decision was fundamentally flawed. Therefore, the expansion of the airport cannot go ahead. In addition, the legal challenge seeks to hold Government to the promise that a third runway would never be built.
If the request is successful, and the coalition wins the judicial review, the decision to proceed with the runway would be overturned.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council said:
”The Government has stubbornly refused to accept that it is breaking the law on the very important issue of air quality in relation to Heathrow. Therefore, this Council, together with the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond upon Thames, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Greenpeace and a Hillingdon resident, have had no option other than to issue judicial review proceedings in the High Court.
“There are two grounds of challenge at this stage. In addition to our claim that there has been a significant breach of established air quality laws, we have also claimed that the Government has acted contrary to our legitimate expectation that it would honour its repeated promises not to expand Heathrow. However, it has been made very clear to the Government that we have fully reserved our position in relation to other matters of complaint such as climate change, equalities, noise pollution and the economic case for Heathrow expansion and that, if necessary, further legal proceedings will be brought in the future.”
Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“The expansion of Heathrow would be the worst action of any government in modern times. And, the process in which Ministers have made their decision is dishonest, incompetent and goes back on a six year commitment never to expand the airport.
“Millions of people have already told the Government that they won’t stand for any expansion. Indeed – 100,000 people voted NO in the referendum run by us and Hillingdon. Their objections have so far fallen on deaf ears. We have given the Government every opportunity to change their minds, to relook at the evidence that clearly shows expansion is not feasible. Instead they seem hell-bent on driving through an expansion that will create further havoc for the environment and way heavily on the public purse.
“Therefore we have no choice. We will take every available step to fight the expansion – in the courts and every other forum available to us. And stop it.”
Leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia said:
“This feels like Groundhog Day for many of us. Back in 2010 we overturned the Brown Government’s plans for a third runway on environmental grounds and we’re now heading back to the same court to do it all over again. Six years later and we now know that air pollution is far more damaging to health and this expansion proposal is far bigger and more polluting than the last. It beggars belief that our Government has backed a plan which is so clearly untenable in law and common sense and we have been left with no choice but to defend our residents’ interests in the courts.”
Cllr Simon Dudley, Leader of The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead; said:
“The Royal Borough has been very consistent in saying it will hold government to account for its decision and seek to protect our residents from the public health risks of an expanded Heathrow Airport. Our involvement in this legal action seeks to achieve those objectives, and in addition our long standing objections to and manifesto commitments to resist the expansion of Heathrow Airport and protect our residents.”
Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven, said:
“Ministers have been clutching at straws to avoid admitting one simple fact – that it’s practically impossible to expand Heathrow without breaking air pollution rules and busting our climate targets. The government’s own advisers have warned that without steeper carbon cuts on the rest of the economy a third runway would breach the UK’s climate targets. The government’s air pollution plans have also been found wanting by a damning High Court ruling. It’s clear that ministers greenlighted the third runway without thinking through its repercussions for people and the environment. This is reckless and unlawful. If ministers are hell bent on disregarding the laws that protect us from pollution, a courtroom is where we’re going to hold them to account. We have stopped a third runway once before, and we can do it again.”
Christine Taylor, who lives in Harlington, close to Heathrow airport, and is a co-claimant in the Judicial Review, said:
“We lived under the shadow of a third runway for decades. Then we were promised over and over again that it wouldn’t go ahead, and now the nightmare has started all over again. This is hugely unfair on local residents who were also promised that they wouldn’t still be suffering the high levels of noise and air pollution that Heathrow generates. Many people around here have made crucial choices like buying a home or taking up a job based on ministers’ promises. Now their life plans have been shattered. If ministers want to go through with this injustice, we’re ready to go to court to stop them.”
Lawyers send letter to government warning of legal challenge in 2 weeks
Councils and campaigners take first step towards legal challenge against government support for Heathrow runway
November 17, 2016
Solicitors Harrison Grant acting on behalf of Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead Councils, together with Greenpeace and a Hillingdon resident have (17th November) sent a letter, under the Judicial Review Pre-Action Protocol, to the Secretary of State for Transport. The letter gives the Government a period of 14 days in which to withdraw its decision, issued on the 25 October to support a 3rd runway at Heathrow. If it fails to do so, judicial review proceedings will be commenced in the High Court, without further notice to the Government, on the basis that the Government’s approach to air quality and noise is unlawful and also that it has failed to carry out a fair and lawful consultation exercise prior to issuing its decision. The 33 page pre-action letter sets out comprehensive grounds for legal challenge, drawing on a broad range of statute and legal precedent, as well as highlighting the many promises and statements made by senior politicians confirming that the third runway would not be built. The move comes shortly after the Government’s air quality plans were overturned in the High Court, putting ministers under greater pressure to reduce illegal levels of air pollution in places like Heathrow. The latest court ruling rejected the current government plans to tackle emissions as inadequate and based on over optimistic assumptions.
Elmbridge councillors have officially voted against Heathrow expansion after months of deliberation. Councillors voted by a clear majority to oppose a 3rd runway, at the full council. Elmbridge Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Task Group, dealing with Heathrow expansion, had recommended Elmbridge oppose the plans on the basis of health concerns. More than 800 people had responded to the council’s survey on the plans and many said they had serious concerns about how the construction would damage the borough. A persuasive case for opposing the runway was made by councillor Christine Elmer, chair of the task group, Cllr James Browne and Cllr Tony Popham. Cllr Ellmer believed Heathrow was already a serious issue for the borough, because of high – and worsening – levels of aircraft noise, which continues late into the night. “The fact is that larger planes are flying lower than ever before in Elmbridge and there are no guarantees that this will desist. It cannot be right for residents, as one who wrote to me this week, to have to go to bed wearing earmuffs.” The runway would mean worse road congestion. Cllr Browne said he had not seen any “convincing or independent evidence” to suggest any economic benefits from expansion would benefit the UK and the borough. Local campaign group, Residents Action Group Elmbridge (RAGE) were delighted with the council vote.
Elmbridge Council votes to officially oppose Heathrow expansion
By Rachel Dickerson, Reporter (Local Guardian)
Elmbridge councillors have officially voted against Heathrow expansion after months of deliberation.
Councillors voted in a clear majority to oppose expansion at the full council last night.
The Overview and Scrutiny Task Group dealing with Heathrow expansion at the council had recommended Elmbridge oppose the plans – which would see 750 homes demolished in Longford, Sipson and Harmondsworth – on the basis of health concerns at a cabinet meeting last month.
More than 800 people had responded to the council’s survey on the plans and many said they had serious concerns about how the construction would damage the borough.
But last night councillors voted to oppose the plans following speeches from councillor Christine Elmer, chair of the task group, councillor James Browne and councillor Tony Popham.
Cllr Elmer said: “It’s absolutely vital now that this council takes a position.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that noise is one of the most serious issues that our residents face.
“We know that some our residents’ lives are literally being made a misery. They’re struggling with aircraft noise late at night and early in the morning from 4.30am.
“The fact is that larger planes are flying lower than ever before in Elmbridge and there are no guarantees that this will desist.
“It cannot be right for residents, as one who wrote to me this week, to have to go to bed wearing earmuffs.”
Cllr Browne compared Heathrow bosses’ suggestion that airport expansion would not impact on the “appallingly clogged up” M25’s traffic problems to Admiral Nelson turning a ‘blind eye’ at the Battle of Copenhagen.
He said: “If it’s in such an awkward position already then why make the problem worse by expanding this airport?
“I’m not so daft to think what decision we make here tonight will make a blind bit of difference as to what actually happens at Heathrow. However, we have been asked to debate this issue, and this is my contribution.
“I would agree an expansion of south east capacity but not at Heathrow and certainly not as it’s proposed.”
He added that he had not seen any “convincing or independent evidence” to suggest any economic benefits from expansion would benefit the UK and the borough.
Members pushed for an independent noise regulator to monitor sound from planes flying over the borough along with the dispersal of flights before the vote.
Anti-expansion campaigners Residents Action Group Elmbridge (RAGE) tweeted their delight following the meeting, saying that “good sense has prevailed”.
But a Back Heathrow spokesman said the council had “caved in to a vocal minority and dismissed the views of most local residents who support expansion.”
He said: “A survey of 1,000 Elmbridge residents by Populus found that 46 per cent supported expansion with 34 per cent against and 20 per cent neutral or unsure.
“For Cllr Browne to suggest that there is no ‘convincing or independent evidence’ to suggest any economic benefits from expansion would benefit the UK and the borough is a ridiculous and alarming dismissal of the facts.
“Might we point him towards the three-year study by the Airports Commission? Elmbridge residents who support Heathrow expansion do so because of the new jobs and investment opportunities that will come to the local area. The council has let them down badly.”
Elmbridge councillors have said they are against the Heathrow expansion due to health concerns for the people of the borough.
836 people in Elmbridge responded to the council’s survey on the Heathrow expansion and many said they had serious concerns about how the construction would damage borough.
Councillor Stuart Selleck said: “The cabinet cannot support the current proposals for the expansion of Heathrow Airport. It has yet to be convinced that the environmental impact of noise and air pollution has been sufficiently addressed.”
The council said it needed to create a separate body to voice its concerns about pollution fears in the borough.
Cllr Selleck said: “We need to ensure on behalf of our residents that we have do have teeth when it comes to challenging these organisations when it comes to airport expansion.”
Chris Sadler, councillor for Walton Central, said: “Having used the airport a lot, I recognise that it is a massive benefit to the economy in general.
“There is a balance between the business side and the environmental side.
“I have a sense that the airport will go ahead without sufficient protection for the health of people of west London and ourselves.
“We ought to be very careful about expanding an airport at the cost of the health of the people in the locality. The balance has got to be the health first then the growth, not growth at any cost.”
Roy Green, councillor for Hersham Village, said: “There are a lot of people in this borough, not just in northern parts, who are concerned about the noise of the aircraft.
“We are also concerned about the amount of traffic that coming through the borough on a daily basis making its way to the airport. Those who don’t get stuck on the M25 come down through these local roads.”
New group (RAGE) in Elmbridge, to oppose Heathrow noise and expansion, want MP Dominic Raab to “come off the fence”
November 17, 2015
A new community group has been formed in Elmbridge. RAGE (Residents Action Group Elmbridge) is opposing changed Heathrow flight paths & a 3rd Heathrow runway, believing there is quite enough noise pollution and air pollution already, from the airport. Elmbridge is affected by Heathrow flights. RAGE campaigners have demanded that their MP (Dominic Raab, Conservative – Esher and Walton) and Elmbridge Council take a stance on the issue – as a government decision on a new runway is anticipated before Christmas. Neither has reached an official view on a Heathrow runway. Dominic Raab is sitting on the fence, and not committing to oppose a Heathrow runway, presumably not keen to fall out with Tory leaders. He has said he is “scrutinising the Davies Report carefully, including testing the economic and environmental assumptions.” Mr Raab appears to be hoping there could, magically, be less noise for Elmbridge with a 3rd runway than currently. “I want to check the facts and evidence very carefully before coming to a firm view….” RAGE were shocked that Elmbridge Council had only just formed a task force on the issue. RAGE spokeswoman Katy Glassborow said Heathrow expansion would bring more noise and pollution, and Dominic Raab should find out what local people think and work to prevent the negative impacts on his constituents.
The European Commission (EC) has ruled that airlines Ryanair, Tuifly and HLX must repay €12.7m ($13.8m) paid to them in ‘unfair subsidies’ to Klagenfurt Airport – Austria’s 5th largest commercial airport. The amounts of ‘incompatible state aid’ the EC refers to are estimated at around €2m for Ryanair, €1.1m for Tuifly, and €9.6m for HLX. In a decision with huge ramifications, the EC ruled that ‘certain airport services and marketing agreements’ between Austria’s small Klagenfurt Airport and its historic airline users Ryanair, HLX and Tuifly have given these carriers ‘an undue advantage’ under EU state aid rules and are therefore technically illegal. (HLX was merged with Hapagfly in 2007 into the ‘then new brand’ Tuifly). The EC said the subsidies amount to state aid to the airlines. “Moreover, the agreements simply reduce the operating costs of the airlines, without contributing to common transport objectives. These agreements therefore distort competition.” This ruling may reopen the debate on whether subsidies paid to airlines on behalf of small airports should continue to be illegal within the EU marketplace. There are questions about other subsidies and if the EC will order airlines to repay any other subsidies paid to them to incentivise the use of small airports. Ryanair says some airports not commercially viable destinations to fly to, without incentives.
EC orders 3 airlines to repay $13.6m in ‘illegal subsidies’
The European Commission (EC) has ruled that airlines Ryanair, Tuifly and HLX must repay €12.7m ($13.8m) paid to them in ‘unfair subsidies’ to Klagenfurt Airport – Austria’s fifth largest commercial airport.
In a major decision with huge ramifications, the European Commission has ruled that ‘certain airport services and marketing agreements’ between Austria’s small Klagenfurt Airport and its historic airline users Ryanair, HLX and Tuifly have given these carriers ‘an undue advantage’ under EU state aid rules and are therefore technically illegal. (HLX was merged with Hapagfly in 2007 into the ‘then new brand’ Tuifly).
In its ruling, the EC said ‘no profit-driven airport manager would have concluded such loss-making agreements, they amount to state aid to the airlines. Moreover, the agreements simply reduce the operating costs of the airlines, without contributing to common transport objectives. These agreements therefore distort competition.’
EC: AMOUNTS TO BE REPAID RUN INTO MILLIONS OF EUROS
The ‘incentives’ issue involving Klagenfurt Airport in Austria now threatens to reopen the great debate on whether subsidies paid to airlines on behalf of small airports should continue to be illegal within the EU marketplace. (Photo credit: Klagenfurt Airport).
The amounts of ‘incompatible state aid’ the EC refers to are estimated at around €2m ($2.1m) for Ryanair, €1.1m ($1.1m) for Tuifly, and a mighty €9.6m ($10.4m) for HLX.
Significantly, this latest decision also reopens the great debate on state subsidies, which the EC has brought to the fore many times in the past. A big question mark now hangs over other EU airports and whether the EC will spread its net to order airlines to repay any other subsidies paid to them to incentivise the use of these facilities.
If so, then the ramifications could be very serious if other ’contributions’ are discovered and are ordered to be repaid, since the amounts involved will obviously make even more serious dents in the respective airlines’ balance sheets.
At the same time, the counter argument from some airports and airlines in the past – Ryanair as the world’s largest scheduled international airline in particular – has always been that without these incentives, some airports are simply not commercially viable destinations to fly to.
OTHER AIRPORTS AND AIRLINES POINT TO UNFAIR COMPETITION
However, this is countered by other airports and airlines who equally argue that such subsidies divert passengers from their ‘non-incentivised’ services and facilities in the marketplace.
For its part, the modestly-sized Klagenfurt Airport handled a total of 227,625 passengers in 2015 (+1.24%), offering both scheduled services and general business aviation facilities from its location in the south of the State of Carinthia in Austria.
Owned by the State of Carinthia and the City of Klagenfurt the airport’s annual passenger traffic has fluctuated between 200,000 to 500,000 between 2000 and 2015.
EC HAS CENSORED 7 AIRPORTS IN THE LAST YEARS
Meanwhile and also more broadly, the EC adds that it has ‘ample experience in assessing whether public measures for promoting airports and airlines are compatible with the internal market’ and it cites the adoption of seven decisions over the last two years where it has identified ‘various forms of incompatible operating aid to airlines’. These include the airports of Pau, Angoulême, Nîmes, Zweibrücken, Alghero, Altenburg and Sardinia.
The European Commission adds that this latest decision will be made available under case number SA.24221 in the State Aid Register on its competition website once outstanding ‘confidentiality issues’ have been resolved.
EU orders Germanwings, Ryanair and TUIfly to repay large sums for subsidies wrongly obtained
October 4, 2014
In February 2014 the European Commission adopted new guidelines on how Member States can financially support airports and airlines in line with EU state aid rules. The aim is to ensure fair competition. The aim is to avoid overcapacity and the duplication of unprofitable airports, or support for an airport that is too close to another. Aid is allowed if there is seen to be a genuine need for accessibility by air to a region, to help economic growth. Many low cost airlines have derived benefit from subsidies to airports, and now a number are having to make repayments for money they should not have obtained. The EU has confirmed that Germanwings must pay €1.2 million, Ryanair €500,000 and TUIfly €200,000 that they got from Germany’s Zweibruecken airport, in the form of lower fees. Zweibruecken is only 25 miles from Saarbruecken airport. Brussels Airlines separately faces an EU probe into €19 million that airlines at Belgium’s Zaventem airport received from the state to fund operating costs from 2014 to 2016. And there are other cases. Belgium’s Charleroi airport must give back €6 million in aid.
European Commission Commission adopts new guidelines for state aid to airports and airlines
20.2.2014The European Commission has now adopted new guidelines on how Member States can financially support airports and airlines in line with EU state aid rules. The EC says the guidelines are “aimed at ensuring good connections between regions and the mobility of European citizens, while minimising distortions of competition in the Single Market.” The aim is to ensure fair competition for flag carriers down to low-cost airlines, from regional airports to major hub airports and avoid overcapacity and the duplication of unprofitable airports. Aid is allowed if there is seen to be a genuine need for accessibility by air to a region. Operating aid to regional airports (with less than 3 million passengers a year) will be allowed for a transitional period of 10 years under certain conditions, in order to give airports time to adjust their business model. Airports will less than 700 000 passengers a year get more favourable treatment. Start-up aid to airlines to launch a new air route is permitted provided it remains limited in time. The formal adoption of the new guidelines in is expected by March 2014.
European Commission to clarify state aid to airports – making ineligible those with over 3 million passengers per year
13.2.2014Across Europe, State aid to small regional airports has until now been ambiguously regulated by measures that date from 1994 and 2005. Much of the aid has probably been illegal, because it has been operational aid that is used to subsidise airport fees for airlines. These savings are then passed on to customers – subsidising their flights. Budget airlines such as Ryanair have taken advantage of this situation and made a lot of profit on it, as well as encouraging artificially cheap air travel. The European Commission is now to produce new guidelines on state aid to airports and airlines, to be publicised on 19th February. The Commission has 50 pending cases of suspected violations of state aid rules, but none has been acted upon for fear of forcing small airports to close. Large airports and airlines have complained that they are being put at a disadvantage by subsidies to their smaller competitors. It is likely that the new guidelines will only allow state aid for 10 years from now, and introduce a threshold so airports with over 3 million passengers per year are not eligible. Environmental campaigners are angry that the guidelines will legitimise a previously illegal practice. It will cause a growth in air travel, contrary to the aim stated by the EU’s white paper on transport of moving passengers from air to rail.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=19947
The DfT has written to organisations that are “stakeholders” for both the consultation it will hold, in early 2017, on its Airports NPS – and also a consultation on “modernising” UK airspace, in order to fit in a large growth in the number of planes. They will be holding a number of “stakeholder engagement events” in 11 locations across the UK. Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, , Belfast, Liverpool, Cardiff, Newquay, Reading and London. Organisations (the Dft does not mention individuals) can sign up at http://www.aviationconsultations.com/ to register and be sent more information. The DfT say they will then contact people next year with further information, including the date and location; details on how and where to register your organisation’s attendance; the option to attend one or both consultation events; and the running order of the day.
On 25 October 2016, the Government announced that the Heathrow north-west runway scheme is the preferred location for a new runway in the South East. The Government will be consulting on a draft National Policy Statement (NPS) and accompanying documents to take the scheme forward.
In his statement to the House of Commons, the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, also announced the need for measures to support modernisation of UK airspace and the management of aircraft noise. We therefore expect a separate consultation on the UK’s airspace policies to be published in parallel with the consultation on the Heathrow north-west runway scheme.
If your organisation may have an interest in one or both consultations, we are writing to advise you that a stakeholder engagement event will take place in your region. This will be an opportunity to access information on these important policy areas.
We will contact you with further information in due course, including:
The date and location;
Details on how and where to register your organisation’s attendance;
The option to attend one or both consultation events; and
The running order of the day.
To ensure that your organisation is kept informed of the event details, please register your interest in attending at www.aviationconsultations.com
You have the choice of venues of:
NATS has the job of getting as many planes safely using UK skies as possible, and that is how it makes money. NATS gets extra payments if delays to flights are reduced, and if there are slight savings in fuel (=cost) to the airlines who pay them, for more direct routing etc. The industry fears that, with growing numbers of flights as air travel keeps growing, the amount of delays will rise, as the airspace is already crowded over the south east of the UK. Delays cost airlines (and NATS) money, and so NATS is keen to “modernise” our airspace. This means redesigning it “to make use of modern aircraft technology”. The aim is to increase the current 600 dedicated flight paths in operation at present – 300 for departures and 300 for arrivals – to allow for about 50% more aircraft. They anticipate 3.1 million passenger aircraft per year using UK airports by 2030, compared to 2.1 million now. NATS knows this will mean “more households would be affected by “some” noise under the plans.” NATS and the government have no idea how to make this fair to those overflown. What NATS wants is the “efficiency” of narrow routes, where intense aircraft noise causes significant disturbance and even distress to those below. There is no way noise can be limited without reducing the number of flights, which the industry would not contemplate. There is now a new campaign by the industry called “The Sky’s The Limit” to lobby for airspace changes, to fit in 50% more planes. The DfT will hold a consultation early next year on airspace change.
Growth in CO2 emissions from shipping and aviation will undo nearly half (43%) of the savings expected to be made by the rest of transport in Europe through to 2030, a new independent study by CE Delft has found. It means that almost half of the already-inadequate emissions savings expected in land transport will be cancelled out by ships and planes. Under measures already in place, land transport is expected to consume 43 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) less energy per year in 2030 than it did in 2010. Even this 43 Mtoe cut is less than half of what will be required from land transport under the EU’s proposed 2030 Effort Sharing Regulation, by which cars, vans, trucks, trains and barges should cut their CO2 emissions by 30% compared to their 2005 levels. Yet by comparison with this 43 Mtoe cut by land transport, aviation and shipping are expected to consume 19 Mtoe MORE fuel annually in 2030 than in 2010. Bill Hemmings, aviation and shipping director at T&E, said: “Planes and ships are free riding at the expense of land transport’s already insufficient efforts to cut emissions.” In January the European Commission will make a proposal on aviation’s future in the ETS. The recent ICAO deal on aviation carbon is only for participating countries to offset but not reduce CO2, and on a voluntary basis.
Ships and planes will wipe out half the CO2 emissions savings to be made by cars and trucks – study
December 6, 2016 (Transport & Environment)
Growth in emissions from shipping and aviation will undo nearly half (43%) of the savings expected to be made by the rest of transport in Europe through to 2030, a new independent study has found. It means that almost half of the already-inadequate emissions savings expected in land transport will be cancelled out by ships and planes, according to the report commissioned by sustainable group Transport & Environment (T&E).
Under measures already in place, land transport is expected to consume 43 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) less energy per year in 2030 than it did in 2010, according to consultant CE Delft.
Even this 43 Mtoe cut is less than half of what will be required from land transport under the EU’s proposed 2030 Effort Sharing Regulation.
Yet ships and planes in Europe will consume 19 Mtoe more fuel annually in 2030 than they did 20 years earlier. So the growth in these two sectors will undo almost half of the already insufficient progress made by cars, vans, trucks, rail and inland navigation.
Bill Hemmings, aviation and shipping director at T&E, said: “Planes and ships are free riding at the expense of land transport’s already insufficient efforts to cut emissions. This is not only unfair but a roadblock to Europe meeting its own climate commitments. Governments need to think again and include shipping in the emissions trading system and strengthen its aviation provisions.”
Shipping emissions are totally unregulated but next week the European Parliament will consider a proposal to fix this by creating a Maritime Climate Fund and including ship emissions in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS).
In January the European Commission will make a proposal on aviation’s future in the ETS.
Shipping CO2 emissions can be reduced cumulatively by 80 million tonnes by 2030 if the sector is included in the ETS, compared to the status quo where its emissions are not regulated, according to the European Commission.
The difference between action and inaction up to 2030 amounts to the total annual emissions of Austria. Currently MEPs in the environment committee are discussing whether to include the sector in the ETS through a Maritime Climate Fund. The fund would rebate a portion of ETS revenues back to the sector to finance sustainability projects.
Shipping, one of the fastest growing sources of transport emissions, is projected to account for 17% of global emissions by 2050. Yet the International Maritime Organisation has decided to delay by at least seven years any agreement on introducing a global measure to reduce GHGs from the sector with the actual implementation date possibly many years further away.
Aviation is currently responsible for an estimated 5% of global warming. Aircraft CO2 alone is projected to quadruple and will potentially account for 22% of all CO2 emitted globally in 2050. A global agreement will see airlines in participating countries offset but not reduce CO2 emissions from aircraft, and on a voluntary basis.
Notes to editors:
 CE Delft’s based its calculations on the European Commission’s own projections for greenhouse gas emissions to 2050.
 The Effort Sharing Decision establishes binding annual greenhouse gas emission targets for EU member states. These targets concern emissions from most sectors not included in the ETS, such as land transport. The Effort Sharing requirements of land transport – cars, vans, trucks, trains and barges – are calculated based on a 30% reduction of their 2005 emissions levels.
 EC, 2013, Impact Assessment, Accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport and amending Regulation (EU) n° 525/2013
This report analyses the demand for liquid fossil fuels in the EU transport sector over the years 2010 to 2030, notably for the sectors maritime transport and aviation. The estimations are based on figures published in the EU energy transport and GHG trends to 2050 – reference scenario for 2013 that accompanied the 2030 climate package Impact Assessment of the European Commission, as well as on the analysis underlying the European Commission’s Impact Assessment on MRV regulation for the maritime transport sector.
Planes and ships hampering road transport’s climate efforts
January 5, 2017
The extent to which transport is falling behind in reducing its CO2 emissions is highlighted in a new report by the Dutch consultancy CE Delft. It shows that emission reductions from land-based transport are still significantly behind what they need to be, and nearly half of the forecast reductions are set to be wiped out by the growth in emissions from aviation and shipping.
The report predicts that growth in emissions from shipping and aviation will add 19 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in emissions between 2010 and 2030. This is nearly half (43%) of the savings currently forecast to be made by the rest of transport in Europe in the same period. Under measures already in place, land transport is expected to consume 43 Mtoe less per year in 2030 than it did in 2010, but that will mean transport as a whole is only cutting its CO2 emissions by 22 Mtoe.
That is well below what it needs to achieve under the EU’s effort-sharing scheme. The effort-sharing decision established obligatory annual greenhouse gas emission targets for EU states covering most sectors not included in the Emissions Trading System (ETS), such as land transport. Under the scheme, land transport – cars, vans, trucks, trains and barges – needs to reduce emissions by around 30% on 2005 levels, or 138 Mtoe. That means the 43Mtoe cut, for which it is on course to achieve, is less than a third of the required amount, or just 16% if aviation and shipping were included.
Bill Hemmings, T&E’s aviation and shipping director, said: ‘Planes and ships are free-riding at the expense of land transport’s already insufficient efforts to cut emissions. This is not only unfair but a roadblock to Europe meeting its own climate commitments. Governments need to think again and include shipping in the ETS and strengthen its aviation provisions.’
Tackling the environmental impact of aviation and shipping has been problematic for more than two decades. Aviation was included in the EU ETS from the start of 2012, but the EU was forced to cut back its environmental scope by 75% following international pressure to give the International Civil Aviation Organisation time to act. The Commission is due to report later this month on the outcome of ICAO’s recent assembly where a voluntary offsetting regime, to begin in 2021, was agreed. The aviation ETS reverted to full scope on 1 January 2017
Shipping is back in the spotlight after the International Maritime Organisation’s October meeting effectively delayed any decisions on a global reduction target or market based measure until 2023 at the earliest. Just before Christmas, the European Parliament’s environment committee voted convincingly to create a Maritime Climate Fund under the EU ETS. Shipowners could either voluntarily opt in to the fund, or alternatively be obliged to join the ETS. If agreed by the full Parliament and then in negotiations with member states later this year, the scheme would become operational in 2023 unless the IMO had a comparable global scheme in place by 2021.
Heathrow has announced seven firms have been contracted to design plans for its expansion (which it presumes it will be going ahead … eventually). The group – Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Atkins, Grimshaw, Mott MacDonald, Jacobs and Quod – will now be known as the Integrated Design Team. Back in March this year, Heathrow said following “a competitive process Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend have been chosen to work alongside” the airport to deliver its expansion as “partners in the Programme Client Team”. Now the four newly announced have been awarded 4-year term contracts. Barry Weekes, Head of Design at Heathrow, said: “With their institutional knowledge of Heathrow, and proven record in building complex infrastructure projects, the members of the Integrated Design Team will allow us to hit the ground running to deliver Heathrow expansion.” Amec Foster Wheeler will “continue to assist Heathrow with its sustainability strategies and Environmental Impact Assessment.” Arup will “utilise its engineering expertise as well as continuing to lead Heathrow’s passenger experience and baggage improvement programmes.” Mott MacDonald brings knowledge developing airport masterplans, as well as its significant engineering expertise. Quod will “offer its town and country planning consultants expertise and extensive knowledge on making successful DCO applications.”
Heathrow names seven firms for airport design
By Aaron Morby
Seven firms have been contracted by Heathrow to design plans for the airport’s sustainable expansion.
The group – Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Atkins, Grimshaw, Mott MacDonald, Jacobs and Quod – will now be known as the Integrated Design Team.
The seven teams have each been awarded 4-year term contracts.
The appointment of the IDT follows the announcement of the partners in the Programme Client Team in March. These included: Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend.
Barry Weekes, Head of Design at Heathrow, said: “With their institutional knowledge of Heathrow, and proven record in building complex infrastructure projects, the members of the Integrated Design Team will allow us to hit the ground running to deliver Heathrow expansion.
“Their appointment is a significant milestone in what will be a fast paced design and engineering schedule. We are now well on our way to delivering Britain’s new runway, providing the additional capacity our country needs to maintain its place in the world as a prosperous, outward looking trading nation.”
Key airport design roles
Amec Foster Wheeler will continue to assist Heathrow with its sustainability strategies and Environmental Impact Assessment. Arup will utilise its engineering expertise as well as continuing to lead Heathrow’s passenger experience and baggage improvement programmes. Atkins was appointed for its engineering capability and record of delivering Heathrow’s IT and asset replacement programmes. Grimshaw will work as Concept Architect within the IDT after the successful delivery of Terminal 2B Jacobs will provide airport planning and engineering services and build on the work it has already done with Heathrow. Mott MacDonald bringsknowledge developing airport masterplans, as well as its significant engineering expertise. Quod will offer its town and country planning consultants expertise and extensive knowledge on making successful DCO applications.
Heathrow hopes prematurely announcing “client partners” to build its hoped-for runway will boost its chances
March 16, 2016
Heathrow does not have any sort of (public) consent from the Government to build a third runway. It had hoped to be given the “nod” for its runway in December 2015. But the government realised there were too many environmental and economic problems that the Airports Commission had not dealt with adequately, and no decision could be made. The government is how hoping to make some sort of statement – probably in mid July. There is a likely major legal challenge from 4 local councils to the airport’s plans. Nevertheless, in an act of bravado (desperation?) Heathrow has announced that following “a competitive process Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend have been chosen to work alongside Heathrow Airport Limited to deliver Heathrow’s expansion as partners in the Programme Client….With the programme’s client partners now on board Heathrow is ready to begin the process of expansion as soon as Government gives the green light.” … “The client partners have been tasked with ensuring the programme is delivered to the highest industry standards in planning, innovation and quality.” Quite what the contract is between Heathrow and these firms is not specified. Critics say Heathrow is jumping the gun, and “counting some very expensive chickens before they are hatched”. Gatwick is also trying the same sort of thing.
A commission appointed by the Swedish has recommended that airlines operating in Sweden should pay a tax of between 80 and 430 Swedish crowns ($9-47 or £6.80 to £29) per passenger per flight to compensate for carbon emissions. One the levy is instituted, the cost of a domestic flight would rise by 80 crowns and an international flight by 280 to 430 crowns (£24 – 29), depending on the distance of the flight. Currently in Sweden airlines pay VAT of 6% on domestic flights while international flights are exempt from VAT. Predictably, the centre-left government’s plans for an airline tax have been criticised by opposition parties who say it would do little to reduce CO2 and would harm the airline industry, by very slightly reducing demand. The government is expected to incorporate a form of the proposal, possibly amended, within their next autumn budget in October 2017. The Swedish commission proposed that the tax come into force on January 1, 2018 and it would be expected to raise around 1.75 billion Swedish crowns (about £150 million) per year. Many other countries have charges for flights, at different levels, and for different reasons. These include Australia, Norway, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Hong Kong. Details below.
Swedish government commission proposes airline climate tax
A government-appointed commission recommended on Wednesday that airlines operating in Sweden should pay a tax of between 80 and 430 Swedish crowns ($9-47 or £6.80 to £29) per passenger and flight to compensate for climate pollution.
One the levy is instituted, the cost of a domestic flight would rise by 80 crowns and an international flight by 280 to 430 and crowns, depending on the distance of the flight.
Under current rules in the Nordic state, airlines pay value-added tax of 6 percent on domestic flights while international flights are exempt from VAT.
The centre-left government’s plans for an airline tax has been criticized by opposition parties who say it would do little to reduce carbon dioxide and would harm the airline industry.
The government is expected to incorporate a form of the proposal, possibly amended, within their next autumn budget in October 2017.
The commission proposed that the tax come into force on Jan. 1, 2018 and said it would be expected to raise around 1.75 billion Swedish crowns per year.
Australian Passenger Movement Charge to rise from $55 to $60 for any flight from Australia
November 10, 2016
In Australia the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) was established in 1995, replacing Departure Tax (which began in 1978). It has been at he level of $55 (Australian dollars) for anyone aged over 12 travelling outside Australia (unless they are in transit through Australia). The relevant Senate committee has been investigating the proposal to raise it $5 to $60, and will produce its report shortly. $60 per person (about £36.50) is the cost for any length of trip, economy or premium class, for air travel or sea travel. It is administered by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The Australian PMC is considered to be the highest departure tax in the world, after the UK. The airlines, and IATA, naturally do not like the tax – let alone the tiny increase, and have complained how it cuts travel and could allegedly – they claim – damage the economy. As the charge is a flat rate, it is a higher proportion of short haul flights to Tasmania, than on long haul. IATA says the tiny rise might cut the number of international return flights to Australia by some 30,000 per year. “It will act as a brake on the Australian aviation sector,” IATA said, and they give estimates of up to $375 million for the national economy, and 3,800 more jobs if there was no PMC. IATA told the Senate committee that the PMC was “tax on tourism.”
Assessment of proposal to cut APD by 50% in Scotland shows likely overall fall in revenue
May 17, 2016
The Scottish consultation on cutting APD ran from 14 Mar 2016 to 2 Jun 2016
An assessment of the Scottish Government’s plans to cut the rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD) shows that the aviation industry’s analysis has not accounted for the impact of a fall in domestic tourism. The 50% cut in APD proposed would have the effect of damaging the Scottish economy and reducing funding for public services. The report “APD Cut: A Flighty Economic Case” challenges claims that reducing APD by 50% will lead to sufficient economic growth to cover the short-fall in revenue from the tax cut. In reality, cheaper tickets will encourage more Scots to take cheap foreign trips. The amount of money they take out of Scotland on these extra trips is likely to be larger than the amount brought in. The inbound tourists with greater spending power than typical domestic tourists are the least likely to be sensitive to airline ticket prices. In a buoyant economy, the increase in outbound trips is likely to exceed the increase in inbound trips. The case for business growth due to an APD cut appears particularly weak as business flights are driven by need and time pressures rather than price. They are know to be price insensitive. There could also be a reduction in domestic tourism by Scottish people, who instead take cheap foreign breaks, so reducing employment in Scottish tourism.
Norwegian government introduces approx €8.5 tax per air passenger on all flights
May 29, 2016
The Norwegian government will introduce an Air Passenger Tax, starting on 1st June 2016. It will be at the rate of a 80 Krone charge (around €8.64, £6.59, US$9.67) per person for both domestic and international flights. Exceptions of the tax include those under two years old and those transiting flights on the same airline. The airlines have, predictably, reacted with fury at being “defied” by the government. They say this tiny tax “threatens to reduce demand by 5%, equal to 1.2 million passengers a year,” and they say it could mean airlines might lose €150 million per year as a result. The airline lobby group, “Airlines 4 Europe” (whose members include EasyJet, Ryanair, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle and International Airlines Group) is lobbying hard. They all completely ignore the inconvenient fact that air travel demand is artificially high, as it pays no VAT and no fuel duty. Those together amount to a massive annual subsidy (in the UK this is a net annual loss to the Treasury, even including takings from APD, of perhaps £9 blllion per year). Several European countries do have a ticket tax, with the UK levels being the highest (Brits also fly more than most others). There are small charges in France, Germany and Austria. Ireland and the Netherlands scrapped theirs, due to airline pressure.
Middle Eastern airports now adding air passenger charges, to pay for airport infrastructure
September 2, 2016
As well as the UK charging Air Passenger Duty, Germany, Austria, France, Spain and Norway and others have a comparable charge. Germany has the second highest charges in Europe after the UK with levels of around €7, €23 and €42 for different bands of countries. Norway now has a charge of about €8.50 on all flights. But other airports else where in the world are increasingly charging. Hong Kong has now started a charge, of around £14 – 16 depending on length of flight and class of seat, in order to pay for the 3rd runway. The charges may last till 2031 when the runway is fully paid for. Now Middle Eastern airports have started to charge all passengers, to contribute towards the cost of the huge airport infrastructure. Dubai introduced a charge of around £7 for all passengers, except children under the age of two and transit passengers remaining on the same plane. Abu Dhabi also introduced the same fee as did Sharjah – all started on 30th June. Now Doha’s Hamad Airport says it will introduce a Passenger Facility Charge of about $10 for all departing passengers, together with transferring passengers who make a connection within 24 hours. It will come into effect on December 1st. Australia has had a Passenger Movement Charge since 1995 for any departing passenger on an international flights, at around £31.
Departing passengers will pay around £8 – 16 tax till perhaps 2031 to fund 3rd Hong Kong airport runway
June 3, 2016
Outbound and transit passengers will pay up to between a bout £8 and £16 (HK$ 90 -180) to fund the construction of Hong Kong airport’s third runway system from August 1st. Initial reclamation work for the project is scheduled to start on the same day. The airport construction fee for short-haul economy departing passengers will be HK$90, and in first or business class, HK$160. For long-haul passengers, the fee for economy will be HK$160 and first or business class HK$180. Short haul economy passengers will pay HK$70. The costs would remain at the same level, but continue till the runway is fully paid for, which may be till 2031. Meanwhile, People’s Aviation Watch, an organisation opposing expensive infrastructure projects at the airport, said a judicial review to challenge the environmental impact assessment report for the runway will be heard in court this July. They say the Airport Authority’s decision to charge the fees before any verdict on the start of the runway disregards the law. But in March opponents lost a bid to legally challenge the ability of the airport to charge for the runway. A total of five judicial review cases or appeals against the runway are being planned. The new runway is likely to increase CO2 emissions by about 50%, and create serious noise pollution for some areas.
Chancellor cuts rate of Air Passenger Duty for long haul (over 4,000 miles) flights from 1st April 2015
March 19, 2014
In the Budget 2014 the Chancellor has announced that rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD) are to be reduced for flights of over 4000 miles from London, from April 2015. Rates of APD will rise by the rate of inflation (RPI) during 2014. After 1st April 2015, distance bands for all journeys longer than 2,000 miles will all be lumped together. While the rate of APD during 2014 (from 1st April 2014) is £13 for a return trip below 2,000 miles (anywhere in Europe), and the rate for journeys of 2,000 to 4,000 miles in length is £69 – the rates from April 2015 will be £13 for the short flights, and £71 for all other distances. The rates of APD in 2015 for premium classes will be £26 and £142. Commenting on this retrograde move by the Chancellor, the Aviation Environment Foundation said it is a backward step environmentally and economically. Aviation is already massively under-taxed compared with the £10 billion that would be raised per annum if aviation wasn’t exempted from fuel taxes and VAT. APD was a means of redressing this problem but any cut means that taxes will have to be raised elsewhere to balance government spending. Long-haul flights contribute more greenhouse gases in absolute terms than shorter flights. It is therefore right that the duty is proportional to the distance flown and the associated emissions. Eliminating bands C and D breaks the link between environmental impacts and tax and breaches the principle of fairness.
The table below shows a breakdown of the key charges levied by the state in four EU countries (all per departing passenger);
Air Transport Levy EUR 8.00
Civil Aviation Tax EUR 4.31
Solidarity Tax EUR 1.00
Airport Tax* EUR 12.00
National Surcharge EUR 1.25
Air Traffic Control Law EUR 8.00
Aviation Security Fee* EUR 5.24
Air Passenger Duty GBP 13.00
France leads the way in the number of different taxes it levies on passengers, with four. The Airport Tax varies by airport, though outside of the main airports in France it is usually levied at EUR 12.00 per departing passenger. Taken together, these taxes make passengers departing from France the most heavily taxed in Europe.
The state levies two passenger taxes in Germany, a departure tax and a security fee. The departure tax does vary by distance, though for this analysis only the short-haul tax is required. The Security Fee varies by airport of departure, but is usually within the range of EUR 4.00 to EUR 7.00 per departing passenger.
Spain has increased the amount of departure tax it charges. The increase will be, on average, only perhaps 20% above the current level, but from the largest Spanish airports, it will be almost doubled. This will mean a rise of some €5 to €9 or so. The tax is charged to the airline, and they can choose whether to pass it on to the passengers – Ryanair certainly will get its passengers to pay. The tax is applied “retrospectively to customers who booked flights before 2 July 2012 and are travelling from 1 July onwards. Spain is implementing drastic measures to try to slash its budget deficit to 5.3% from 8.5% in 2011.