CCC report on UK government CO2 targets shows there has been NO progress on aviation carbon

The Committee on Climate Change’s review of the Government’s Clean Growth plan says that, though it is ambitious in tone, it is riddled with policy gaps. And yet again, aviation is on the list of sectors needing urgent attention. The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) comments that the CCC’s longstanding advice is that emissions from international aviation, must be allowed for by setting aside 37.5 Mt from the total carbon budget allowed in 2050 (around 25% of the allowable CO2 by that date). Yet as today’s report notes, the government has made ‘no progress’ in setting out a policy to achieve this.  Meanwhile, with its fingers apparently stuffed into its ears, the Government is ploughing on with plans for a third Heathrow runway.  While the CCC advice has always been that, at most, about 60% increase in air passenger growth could be accommodated, in the 37.5MtCO2 cap, the DfT’s own data shows that (as all UK airports hope to grow) even without any new runway there will be around 78% UK air passenger growth expected by 2050 (compared to 2005), and that with a new runway at Heathrow the figure will be more like 89% (or about  88%. with a Gatwick runway). It surely stretches credulity to think that a new runway could be shoehorned into this equation without putting the CO2 target effectively out of reach, which is presumably why the Government is refusing to talk about it.
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‘No progress’ on closing aviation emissions policy gap says CCC, on the day Heathrow launches third runway consultation

The CCC’s review of the Government’s Clean Growth plan is out. And the verdict? While ambitious in tone, it’s riddled with policy gaps. And yet again, aviation is on the list of sectors needing urgent attention.

The report, An independent assessment of the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy: from ambition to action, is based around the following key points:

  1. Policies to meet existing commitments in the Government’s strategy are lacking. There are inadequate measures to deliver on: buildings energy efficiency: low-carbon heat; surface transport; power generation, agriculture and land use; and aviation.
  2. Even if all existing commitments were met, there remains a gap that must urgently be closed in order to meet the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. Delay to publication of the strategy means that “time has already been lost” in which to make the right investments.
  3. The Government must plan to meet the carbon budgets through domestic action, not relying on carbon offsetting or on banking from previous budgets; and
  4. As we’ll almost certainly need to ratchet up our legal climate commitments in order to meet the Paris Agreement, the UK should be over-delivering, not under-delivering on carbon budgets as currently set.

The CCC’s longstanding advice is that emissions from international aviation, while not formally included in carbon budgets, must be allowed for by setting aside 37.5 Mt from the total carbon budget allowed in 2050 (around a quarter of the allowable CO2 by that date). Yet as today’s report notes, the government has made ‘no progress’ in setting out a policy to achieve this.

The next available opportunity to fix this, suggests CCC, is by way of the aviation strategy, launching for consultation this year from the Department for Transport. This, the CCC spells out:

“will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.”

So what about Heathrow?

Meanwhile, with its fingers apparently in its ears, the Government is ploughing on with plans for a third Heathrow runway, and the airport, which has launched a consultation on the project today, has claimed that “the planning process for Heathrow expansion is now firmly underway” despite the fact that parliament has yet to take a decision on the plan. A vote in the house is expected before the summer – before, in other words, there’s likely to be any aviation emissions strategy in place.

As the Airports Commission cannily argued, the CCC’s recommendation that a 60% passenger growth may be possible for aviation could in theory allow for a whole new runway. The problem is that Heathrow isn’t the only UK airport that wants to grow. The large majority of the UK’s airports, in fact, have ambitious growth plans, and most of these don’t need Government approval or runway expansion to deliver them. The latest official aviation forecasts (published quietly and late) indicate that even without expansion there will be around 78% passenger growth expected by 2050 (compared to 2005), and that with a new runway at Heathrow the figure will be more like 89%. (And for the record, the figure for Gatwick expansion is not far behind at 88%.)

Any answers?

Squeezing aviation emissions down to a level compatible with the Climate Change Act will be a challenge even without runway expansion. The sector, as the CCC reiterates today, falls firmly into the ‘difficult to reduce’ category when it comes to CO2. There are tough conversations to be had – about the price of flying, the prospects (and costs) of ramping up technology improvements, and what kind of demand constraints may be necessary in relation to existing infrastructure.

It surely stretches credulity to think that a new runway could be shoehorned into this question without putting the target effectively out of reach, which is presumably why the Government is refusing to talk about it.

And as today’s report makes clear, the chance that other sectors will over-deliver to allow for extra emissions for aviation is pretty much out of the question.

https://www.aef.org.uk/2018/01/17/no-progress-on-closing-aviation-emissions-policy-gap-says-ccc-on-the-day-heathrow-launches-third-runway-consultation/

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Related articles

Clean Growth Strategy fails to address aviation policy gap

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See also

 

Committee on Climate Change – reiterates its need for aviation demand increase to be 60% at most (cf. 2005 level)

The Committee on Climate Change has produced its assessment of the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy.  Its key findings are that thought the Government has made a strong commitment to achieving the UK’s climate change targets, policies and proposals set out in the Clean Growth Strategy will need to be firmed up, and gaps to meeting the 4th and 5th carbon budgets must be closed. The CCC says, on aviation: “The government should plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050), supported by strong international policies. Emissions at this level could be achieved through a combination of fuel and operational efficiency improvement, use of sustainable biofuels, and by limiting demand growth to around 60% above 2005 levels by 2050.” And while their recommendation was “A plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set: around 2005 levels by 2050, implying around a 60% potential increase in demand, supported by strong international policies” there has been NO progress made.  They also say: The Government have committed to publish a new Aviation Strategy by the end of 2018. This will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.”

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After 50 year battle, French government abandons plans for new Nantes airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Victory!

It has finally been announced, by Edouard Philippe (Prime Minister of France) that the proposed new airport for Nantes, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes (NDDL), has been abandoned.  President Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe have buried the project, which has been seriously criticised for its cost and its environmental consequences. The leaders see the airport as impossible to build because of the fierce opposition by around half the population, so it just a constant source of division. Instead the executive backs re-development of the current Nantes-Atlantique airport, south of the city of Nantes, which will be modernised and have its runway lengthened. That would help a bit to lessen the noise from the flight path that goes over part of the city. The Prime Minister has also announced an expansion of the airport of Rennes-Saint-Jacques and a development of high-speed rail lines between the West and Paris airports. Opponents of the NDDL scheme are jubilant – the battle has lasted almost 50 years, and they almost lost on several occasions. But Edouard Philippe said the “zone to defend” (ZAD) will be cleared, so it is no longer a lawless area with blocked roads etc.  Those occupying it will have to leave, and the land be returned to agricultural use.

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There is more information, in English, about the lengthy campaign at Notre Dame des Landes (NDDL) against the new airport plans, at Nantes Aeroport du Grand Ouest – NDDL

and news stories over many years at  Nantes Airport News


Notre-Dame-des-Landes: the executive buries the airport

By Dominique Albertini   (Liberation, France)
Wednesday, on the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
Wednesday, on the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Photo Loic Venance. AFP

“Notre-Dame-des-Landes is the airport of the division,” said Edouard Philippe Wednesday, to justify the abandonment of the project. More surprisingly, the evacuation will take place only in the spring.

No plane will take off at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe on Wednesday buried the project of new airport Nantes, criticized for its cost and its environmental consequences. “I see today that the conditions are not met to carry out the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project, said the Prime Minister from the Elysée, at the exit of a Council of Ministers which lasted until 13:30. Such a project […] can not be done in a context of heightened opposition between two almost equal parts of the population […] Notre-Dame-des-Landes, I can see it, is the airport of the division “ .

READ ALSO  The main declarations of Edouard Philippe

This is a redevelopment of the current Nantes-Atlantique airport that has retained the executive. He will see his current equipment modernized, then his track lengthened “to reduce noise pollution in Nantes,”promised Edouard Philippe. The Prime Minister has also announced an expansion of the airport of Rennes-Saint-Jacques and a development of high-speed rail lines between the West and Paris airports.

While the supporters of the airport denounce a “retreat” of the State against the occupants of the “zone to defend” (ZAD), Edouard Philippe promised the “end of this zone of lawlessness” : “The roads must be returned to free movement, obstacles removed, circulation restored. Otherwise, the police will proceed to the necessary operations “ . On the rest of the area, “illegal occupants will have to leave by the next spring or be expelled” . After which “the lands will return to their agricultural vocation” .

“Disintegration”

With this decision, the Head of State and his Prime Minister put an end to fifty years of procrastination around a project conceived under the Thirty Glorious, never launched, but never buried until today. Returning an unflattering image to unresolved public authorities, the file also symbolized the limits of French-style spatial planning. “For fifty years, the project was successively decided, abandoned, relaunched, re-examined, reconfigured, postponed ,  said the Prime Minister. Denouncing, in a series of allusions to the five-year Hollande, “the indecision of successive governments” .

Paradox: this denouement, major victory for the green current, will have been carried by two officials rather favorable, at the origin, with the new airport. “My first choice would have been to immediately allow this project,” did not hide Edouard Philippe Wednesday. As for Emmanuel Macron, he said during the presidential campaign his intention to  “enforce”  the consultation held in Loire-Atlantique in June 2016, where 55% of voters had supported the airport project. A few days later, however, the candidate said he wanted  “one last time look at things”, and in particular the idea of ​​a redevelopment of Nantes-Atlantique. After coming to power, neither the Head of State nor the Prime Minister had expressed any wish for the future of the project. Retreating for eight months behind  a perfectly fair consultation .

By June 2016, the executive had entrusted three experts with a “mediation mission”.  In a report submitted in December , it had weighed the construction of the new airport and the expansion of the current platform in Nantes. But gave the advantage to the second in terms of cost. At the beginning of January, in the wake of this report, Edouard Philippe had multiplied the meetings with local elected officials, favorable or opposed to the site. And made last Saturday, a surprise visit in Loire-Atlantique, without revealing anything of its intentions.

“Weakness”

The decision opens two fronts for the executive. Perhaps facilitated by the abandonment of the project, the evacuation of the ZAD, even if it is pushed back in the spring, will still be a delicate operation. In a statement released Tuesday, the occupiers oppose “any expulsion of those who have come to live in recent years in the grove to defend and who want to continue to project their lives and activities . ” Available on the ZAD website,  a document lists the locations and times of the rallies to be organized from the beginning of the expulsion, all over France. And especially in Nantes and Rennes, where police reinforcements have already been planned.

Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe will also have to deal with the discontent of local elected representatives, who are overwhelmingly in favor of a new airport. On Wednesday, the PS chairman of the Loire-Atlantique departmental council, Philippe Grosvalet, denounced a decision that “tramples the communities [and] the inhabitants” of the department. “Betrayal of the Great West and denial of democracy, ” added on Twitter the Mayor PS of Nantes, Johanna Rolland. While the president of the Pays de la Loire LR, Christelle Morançais, lamented “the victory of the zadistes on the rule of law.”  A trial that the Prime Minister will try to disarm, receiving the parliamentarians of Loire-Atlantique to Matignon, this afternoon.

http://www.liberation.fr/france/2018/01/17/notre-dame-des-landes-l-executif-enterre-l-aeroport_1623067

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Notre-Dame-des-Landes : l’exécutif enterre l’aéroport

Par Dominique Albertini  (Liberation, France)

«Notre-Dame-des-Landes, c’est l’aéroport de la division», a déclaré Edouard Philippe mercredi, pour justifier l’abandon du projet. Plus surprenant, l’évacuation n’aura lieu qu’au printemps.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes : l’exécutif enterre l’aéroport

Aucun avion ne décollera à Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Emmanuel Macron et Edouard Philippe ont enterré mercredi le projet de nouvel aéroport nantais, critiqué pour son coût et ses conséquences environnementales. «Je constate aujourd’hui que les conditions ne sont pas réunies pour mener à bien le projet d’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, a déclaré le Premier ministre depuis l’Elysée, à la sortie d’un Conseil des ministres qui aura duré jusqu’à 13h30. Un tel projet […] ne peut se faire dans un contexte d’opposition exacerbée entre deux parties presque égales de la population […] Notre-Dame-des-Landes, je le constate, c’est l’aéroport de la division».

A LIRE AUSSI
Les principales déclarations d’Edouard Philippe

C’est un réaménagement de l’aéroport actuel de Nantes-Atlantique qu’a retenu l’exécutif. Celui-ci verra ses équipements actuels modernisés, puis sa piste allongée «pour réduire les nuisances sonores à Nantes», a promis Edouard Philippe. Le Premier ministre a en outre annoncé un agrandissement de l’aéroport de Rennes-Saint-Jacques et un développement des lignes ferroviaires à grande vitesse entre l’Ouest et les aéroports de Paris.

Alors que les partisans de l’aéroport dénoncent un «recul» de l’Etat face aux occupants de la «zone à défendre» (ZAD), Edouard Philippe a promis la «fin de cette zone de non-droit» : «Les routes doivent être rendues à la libre circulation, les obstacles retirés, la circulation rétablie. À défaut, les forces de l’ordre procèderont aux opérations nécessaires». Sur le reste de la zone, «les occupants illégaux devront partir d’eux-mêmes d’ici le printemps prochain ou seront expulsés». Après quoi «les terres retrouveront leur vocation agricole».

«Délitement»
Avec cette décision, le chef de l’Etat et son Premier ministre mettent un terme à cinquante ans de tergiversations autour d’un projet conçu sous les Trente Glorieuses, jamais lancé, mais jamais enterré jusqu’à ce jour. Renvoyant une image peu flatteuse à des pouvoirs publics irrésolus, le dossier symbolisait aussi les limites de l’aménagement du territoire à la française. «Durant cinquante ans, le projet a été successivement décidé, abandonné, relancé, rééxaminé, reconfiguré, remis à plus tard», a souligné le Premier ministre. Dénonçant, dans une série d’allusions au quinquennat Hollande, «l’indécision des gouvernements successifs».

Paradoxe : ce dénouement, victoire majeure pour le courant écologiste, aura été porté par deux responsables plutôt favorables, à l’origine, au nouvel aéroport. «Mon premier choix aurait été d’autoriser sans délai ce projet», n’a pas caché Edouard Philippe mercredi. Quant à Emmanuel Macron, il avait dit pendant la campagne présidentielle son intention de «faire respecter» la consultation organisée en Loire-Atlantique en juin 2016, où 55% des votants avaient soutenu le projet d’aéroport. Quelques jours plus tard, le candidat avait cependant déclaré vouloir «une dernière fois regarder les choses», et notamment l’idée d’un réaménagement de Nantes-Atlantique. Après leur arrivée au pouvoir, ni le chef de l’Etat ni le Premier ministre n’avaient exprimé le moindre vœu sur l’avenir du projet. Se retranchant, durant huit mois, derrière une consultation voulue parfaitement équitable.

Dès juin 2016, l’exécutif avait confié à trois experts une «mission de médiation». Dans un rapport remis en décembre, celle-ci avait mis en balance la construction du nouvel aéroport et l’agrandissement de l’actuelle plate-forme nantaise. Mais donnait l’avantage à la deuxième en termes de coût. Début janvier, dans la foulée de ce rapport, Edouard Philippe avait multiplié les rencontres avec les élus locaux, favorables ou opposés au chantier. Et effectué, samedi dernier, une visite surprise en Loire-Atlantique, sans rien y dévoiler de ses intentions.

«Faiblesse»
La décision ouvre deux fronts pour l’exécutif. Peut-être facilitée par l’abandon du projet, l’évacuation de la ZAD, même si elle est repoussée au printemps, n’en sera pas moins une opération délicate. Dans un communiqué publié mardi, les occupants s’opposent à «toute expulsion de celles et ceux qui sont venus habiter ces dernières années dans le bocage pour le défendre et qui souhaitent continuer à y projeter leurs vies et leurs activités». Consultable sur le site de la ZAD, un document énumère les lieux et horaires des rassemblements à organiser dès le début de l’expulsion, partout en France. Et notamment à Nantes et Rennes, où des renforts policiers ont d’ores et déjà été projetés.

Emmanuel Macron et Edouard Philippe devront également gérer le mécontentement des élus locaux, très majoritairement favorables à un nouvel aéroport. Mercredi, le président PS du conseil départemental de Loire-Atlantique, Philippe Grosvalet, a dénoncé une décision qui «piétine les collectivités [et] les habitants» du département. «Trahison du Grand Ouest et déni de démocratie», a renchéri sur Twitter la maire PS de Nantes, Johanna Rolland. Tandis que la présidente LR des Pays de la Loire, Christelle Morançais, a déploré «la victoire des zadistes sur l’Etat de droit». Un procès que le Premier ministre s’efforcera de désarmer, en recevant les parlementaires de Loire-Atlantique à Matignon, dès cet après-midi.

http://www.liberation.fr/france/2018/01/17/notre-dame-des-landes-l-executif-enterre-l-aeroport_1623067

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Notre-Dames-des-Landes: fifty years of battles

The new airport project near Nantes has followed a very long institutional path enamelled by numerous confrontations in the field.

THE WORLD | 

By Rémi Barroux

The Notre-Dame-des-Landes file is coming to an end. Opened fifty years ago, it is the oldest environmental conflict in France . The airport of the discord has become the symbol, for the defenders of the environment , of the “big useless projects”. Fifty years of struggle, of stagnation, of legal battle.

The 1970s: Concord and Decentralization

It was at the end of the 1960s that the idea of ​​an airport for the West was born, as part of the decentralization promoted by the interministerial delegation to regional planning and regional attractiveness. Nantes Atlantique Airport (formerly Château-Bougon) is considered unsuitable to accommodate the millions of passengers expected. It is a question of transatlantic flights and to land the national flagship, the Concorde.

The first opponents created in 1972 the Association of Defense Operators concerned by the airport (Adeca). A small delegation goes to Orly (Val-de-Marne) to record airplane noises and collect testimonials from local residents. In January 1974, a prefectural decree fixed the deferred development zone (ZAD) which enabled the department to acquire some 1,200 ha (the total project area being 1,650 ha).

Read also:   The forces of law converge towards Notre-Dame-des-Landes

image: http://img.lemde.fr/2018/01/17/0/0/4928/3280/1068/0/60/0/25168ab_5738988-01-06.jpgIn the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, January 17th.

The 2000s: towards the decree of public utility

The airport project is put to sleep for fifteen years, because of the oil crisis and the arrival of the TGV to Nantes (1989). The idea of ​​a third Parisian airport is promoted in 1994 and Notre-Dame-des-Landes remains in the race. In 2000, the project is reactivated by the socialist government of Lionel Jospin. In October, an interministerial committee decided to “build a new airport, replacing Nantes Atlantique, on the site of Notre-Dame-des-Landes” .

The appearance of sound exposure plans, prohibiting or limiting buildings exposed to aircraft noise, is contrary to the will of the mayor (PS) of Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, to urbanize the island of Nantes. The latter is very attached to the idea of having an infrastructure equal to the major European airports. In December 2000, the Inter-communal Citizens’ Association of the populations concerned by the airport project (Acipa) was created.

In 2003, the advisory committee of the public debate is set up. Three years later, on the basis of the public declaration file (DUP), the public inquiry is organized . On February 9, 2008, the state signed the decree (for ten years) declaring public utility the construction of the new airport.

In 2009, is born the Collective of elected officials doubting the relevance of the airport (CéDpa). The summer of that year is held on the site referred a ” climate action camp  “. In the wake, the first occupations are born and the ZAD is renamed “area to defend.”

The 2010s: “zadistes” against “legalistes”

In December 2010, Prime Minister François Fillon ( UMP ) signed the decree awarding the concession to the company Vinci, for a period of fifty-five years, the existing airports of Nantes Atlantique and Saint-Nazaire Montoir, as well as of the future Notre-Dame-des-Landes. The opening of the new site is scheduled for 2017. Vinci will be the victim of many actions throughout France.

Many appeals are filed by the opponents. The trials succeed and the legal battle will last for several years. In April 2012, two farmers, Michel Tarin and Gilles Denigot, went on a hunger strike in front of the prefecture of Nantes. François Hollande ensures that there will be no intervention on the area before the end of all appeals.

On October 16, 2012 in the early morning, the government of Jean-Marc Ayrault – Manuel Valls is Minister of the Interior – launches the operation “César” to evacuate the ZAD. But the violent clashes lead the government to suspend the operation. On November 17, tens of thousands of people demonstrate to reoccupy the area. A week later, the Prime Minister announced the creation of three commissions (experts, dialogue and scientists). In April 2013, the Dialogue Commission concluded that the project was valid, but called into question the compensation measures planned.

During the year 2013, the occupations multiply and many agricultural projects are born. On February 22, several tens of thousands of demonstrators, supported by some 500 tractors, parade in the center of Nantes. Violent incidents punctuate the event.

image: http://img.lemde.fr/2018/01/17/0/0/3735/2646/1068/0/60/0/e9c0a9a_23939-bmmuwl.9wtf6.jpgIn the city center of Nantes, February 22, 2013.

Trials and appeals continue to be chained. They are all lost by the opponents of the project. In January 2016, the district court of Nantes validates the expulsions of the inhabitants and farmers, historical opponents. Ségolène Royal, then Minister of the Environment, commissioned a study to the General Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CGEDD), which proposes, on April 5, two solutions: the airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes but with only one track on both planned, or the redevelopment of Nantes Atlantique.

On February 11, François Hollande proposes a local referendum. It will be held on the only department of Loire-Atlantique and will give, on June 26, the victory to supporters of the transfer of the airport to Notre-Dames-des-Landes (55.1% for).

In April, the European Commission classifies the dispute, initiated three years earlier, on France’s failure to comply with regulations on the environmental impacts of infrastructure projects. The administrative court of appeal of Nantes validates, it, in November, the prefectural orders – the Council of State is always seized of the recourses of the opponents.

2017-2018: the last consultations?

With the election of Emmanuel Macron in May, then the appointment of Nicolas Hulot – opponent of the airport project – at the head of the Ministry of ecological transition and solidarity, the suspense is revived. In a campaign promise, the Head of State announced that he will make a decision after having heard a final report. Three mediators are appointed on  June 1 st . Mid-December, they make their work without taking advantage of the construction of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes according to the initial project or for the redevelopment of Nantes Atlantique. After consulting local elected officials, the Prime Minister reiterates that the decision will be announced before the end of January.

 

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The original French below:

Notre-Dames-des-Landes : cinquante ans de batailles

Le projet de nouvel aéroport près de Nantes a suivi un très long parcours institutionnel émaillé de nombreuses confrontations sur le terrain.

LE MONDE

Par Rémi Barroux

17.1.2018

Le dossier Notre-Dame-des-Landes touche à sa fin. Ouvert il y a cinquante ans, il constitue le plus ancien conflit environnemental en France. L’aéroport de la discorde est devenu le symbole, pour les défenseurs de l’environnement, des « grands projets inutiles ». Cinquante ans de lutte, d’enlisement, de bataille juridique.

C’est à la fin des années 1960 que naît l’idée d’un aéroport pour le Grand Ouest, dans le cadre de la décentralisation promue par la délégation interministérielle à l’aménagement du territoire et à l’attractivité régionale. L’aéroport de Nantes Atlantique (anciennement Château-Bougon) est jugé inadapté pour accueillir les millions de passagers prévus. Il est alors question de vols transatlantiques et de faire atterrir le fleuron aéronautique national, le Concorde.

Les terres du bocage, à une vingtaine kilomètres au nord de Nantes et à quatre-vingts kilomètres au sud de Rennes, majoritairement sur la commune de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, sont désignées, en 1968, comme site préférentiel. Alors que le conseil municipal, comme ceux des bourgs voisins, vote en faveur du projet, certains agriculteurs s’opposent. « On aurait autant aimé pas », déclare un habitant de la commune dans un reportage télévisé de 1974.

Les premiers opposants créent en 1972 l’Association de défense des exploitants concernés par l’aéroport (Adeca). Une petite délégation se rend à Orly (Val-de-Marne) enregistrer des bruits d’avion et recueillir des témoignages de riverains. En janvier 1974, un arrêté préfectoral fixe la zone d’aménagement différé (ZAD) qui permet au département d’acquérir quelque 1 200 ha (la surface totale du projet étant de 1 650 ha).

Le projet d’aéroport est mis en sommeil durant une quinzaine d’années, à cause de la crise pétrolière et de l’arrivée du TGV à Nantes (1989). L’idée d’un troisième aéroport parisien est promue en 1994 et Notre-Dame-des-Landes reste dans la course. En 2000, le projet est réactivé par le gouvernement socialiste de Lionel Jospin. En octobre, un comité interministériel décide de « réaliser un nouvel aéroport, en remplacement de Nantes Atlantique, sur le site de Notre-Dame-des-Landes ».

L’apparition des plans d’exposition au bruit, interdisant ou limitant les constructions exposées au bruit des avions, contrarie la volonté du maire (PS) de Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, d’urbaniser l’île de Nantes. Ce dernier est très attaché à l’idée de disposer d’une infrastructure à l’égal des grands aéroports européens. En décembre 2000, l’Association citoyenne intercommunale des populations concernées par le projet d’aéroport (Acipa) est créée.

En 2003 se met en place la commission consultative du débat public. Trois ans plus tard, sur la base du dossier de déclaration publique (DUP), est organisée l’enquête publique. Le 9 février 2008, l’Etat signe le décret (pour dix ans) déclarant d’utilité publique la construction du nouvel aéroport.

En 2009, naît le Collectif d’élus doutant de la pertinence de l’aéroport (CéDpa). L’été de cette même année se tient sur le site visé un « camp d’action climat ». Dans la foulée, les premières occupations voient le jour et la ZAD est rebaptisée « zone à défendre ».

Les années 2010 : « zadistes » contre « légalistes »
En décembre 2010, le premier ministre François Fillon (UMP) signe le décret d’attribution de la concession à la société Vinci, pour une durée de cinquante-cinq ans, des aéroports existant de Nantes Atlantique et de Saint-Nazaire Montoir, ainsi que du futur Notre-Dame-des-Landes. L’ouverture du nouveau site est prévue en 2017. Vinci sera dans la foulée victime de nombreuses actions un peu partout en France.

De nombreux recours sont déposés par les opposants. Les procès se succèdent et la bataille juridique va durer plusieurs années. En avril 2012, deux agriculteurs, Michel Tarin et Gilles Denigot, font une grève de la faim devant la préfecture de Nantes. François Hollande assure qu’il n’y aura pas d’intervention sur la zone avant la fin de tous les recours.

Le 16 octobre 2012 au petit matin, le gouvernement de Jean-Marc Ayrault – Manuel Valls est ministre de l’intérieur – lance l’opération « César » pour évacuer la ZAD. Mais les violents affrontements conduisent le gouvernement à suspendre l’opération. Le 17 novembre, plusieurs dizaines de milliers de personnes manifestent pour réoccuper la zone. Une semaine plus tard, le premier ministre annonce la création de trois commissions (experts, dialogue et scientifiques). La commission du dialogue conclut, en avril 2013, à la validité du projet, mais remet en question les mesures de compensation prévues.

Durant l’année 2013, les occupations se multiplient et de nombreux projets agricoles voient le jour. Le 22 février, plusieurs dizaines de milliers de manifestants, appuyés par quelque 500 tracteurs, défilent dans le centre de Nantes. De violents incidents ponctuent la manifestation.

Les procès et les recours continuent de s’enchaîner. Ils sont tous perdus par les opposants au projet. En janvier 2016, le tribunal de grande instance de Nantes valide les expulsions des habitants et agriculteurs, opposants historiques. Ségolène Royal, alors ministre de l’environnement, commande une étude au Conseil général à l’environnement et au développement durable (CGEDD), qui propose, le 5 avril, deux solutions : l’aéroport à Notre-Dame-des-Landes mais avec une seule piste sur les deux prévues, ou le réaménagement de Nantes Atlantique.

Le 11 février, François Hollande propose un référendum local. Il se tiendra sur le seul département de Loire-Atlantique et donnera, le 26 juin, la victoire aux partisans du transfert de l’aéroport vers Notre-Dames-des-Landes (55,1 % pour).

En avril, la Commission européenne classe le contentieux, engagé trois ans plus tôt, sur le non-respect par la France des réglementations sur les impacts environnementaux des projets d’infrastructure. La cour administrative d’appel de Nantes valide, elle, en novembre, les arrêtés préfectoraux – le Conseil d’Etat est toujours saisi des recours des opposants.

2017-2018 : les dernières consultations ?
Avec l’élection d’Emmanuel Macron en mai, puis la nomination de Nicolas Hulot – opposant au projet d’aéroport – à la tête du ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire, le suspense est relancé. Suivant une promesse de campagne, le chef de l’Etat annonce qu’il prendra une décision après avoir pris connaissance d’un ultime rapport. Trois médiateurs sont nommés le 1er juin. Mi-décembre, ils rendent leur travail sans prendre parti pour la construction de l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes selon le projet initial ou pour le réaménagement de Nantes Atlantique. Après consultation des élus locaux, le premier ministre réaffirme que la décision sera annoncée avant la fin du mois de janvier.

http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2018/01/17/notre-dames-des-landes-cinquante-ans-de-batailles_5242953_3244.html

 

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Committee on Climate Change – reiterates its need for aviation demand increase to be 60% at most (cf. 2005 level)

The Committee on Climate Change has produced its assessment of the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy.  Its key findings are that thought the Government has made a strong commitment to achieving the UK’s climate change targets, policies and proposals set out in the Clean Growth Strategy will need to be firmed up, and gaps to meeting the 4th and 5th carbon budgets must be closed. The CCC says, on aviation: “The government should plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050), supported by strong international policies. Emissions at this level could be achieved through a combination of fuel and operational efficiency improvement, use of sustainable biofuels, and by limiting demand growth to around 60% above 2005 levels by 2050.” And while their recommendation was “A plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set: around 2005 levels by 2050, implying around a 60% potential increase in demand, supported by strong international policies” there has been NO progress made.  They also say: The Government have committed to publish a new Aviation Strategy by the end of 2018. This will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.”
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Some extracts – relating to aviation – from the Committee on Climate Change’s independent assessment of the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy.

 

Box 2.4. Key technologies and infrastructures for long-term emissions reduction

• Aviation.

The government should plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050), supported by strong international policies. Emissions at this level could be achieved through a combination of fuel and operational efficiency improvement, use of sustainable biofuels, and by limiting demand growth to around 60% above 2005 levels by 2050.

 

Table 3.1. Progress against the Committee’s recommendations in the 2017 Progress Report

Recommendation 

A plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set: around 2005 levels by 2050, implying around a 60% potential increase in demand, supported by strong international policies

Assessment

No progress.

 

Box 4.1. Gaps in the policies and proposals included in the Clean Growth Strategy

• Aviation.

The Government have committed to publish a new Aviation Strategy by the end of 2018. This will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.

We will continue to monitor progress reducing the policy and delivery risks in these areas as part of our annual reports to Parliament on meeting carbon budgets.

[It also lists, under Box 4.1:

Buildings energy efficiency. The overarching trajectory set out for improving the efficiency of the existing building stock is promising. Details need to be set out on how this will be delivered, particularly for ‘able-to-pay’ homeowners for whom there are still no firm policies to drive the necessary actions. • Low-carbon heat in homes, businesses and industry. The commitment to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in buildings off the gas grid is welcome. This should include heat pump deployment, which, together with installation in new-build properties, would develop heat pump markets and supply chains in order to prepare, if necessary, for potential widespread deployment in buildings connected to the gas grid from the 2030s. However, the Strategy provides little commitment to a low-carbon supply mix in heat networks and no commitment to biomethane post-2021, both of which the Committee has identified as ‘low-regrets’ options at this stage. There is also little commitment to support an increase in the use of bioenergy for industrial process heat.

• Surface transport. The Government has set out an ambition for 30-70% of car sales and up to 40% of van sales in 2030 to be ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). It is will be necessary to deliver towards the upper end of the range for cars, and greater ambition will be needed for vans. There is little concrete action on emissions from HGVs. More is also needed on shifting travel demand from passenger cars to lower-emission modes.

• Power generation. The Government has set out plans for the decarbonisation of UK power generation to below 100 gCO2 per kWh by 2030. However, this places a high reliance on new nuclear build and net imports across interconnectors, both of which have associated risks. More is needed to provide a route to market for low-carbon electricity generation, especially lower-cost options such as onshore wind and solar, and to contract for additional low-carbon generation should the Government’s expected contributions from new nuclear plants and overseas generators under-deliver.

• Agriculture and land use. A commitment to include climate change mitigation as part of a new system of future agricultural support is welcome. However, strong policies to deliver emissions reductions in agriculture need to be developed soon. The acceleration of tree-planting rates should occur earlier than the Strategy’s proposed timeline of the 2020s, to ensure that around 70,000 hectares of afforestation is delivered in England by 2025. ]

 

Under “Preparing for 2050”

Furthermore, deeper reductions will be required to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement, whether by 2050 or subsequently. Development of CCS, combined with very low emissions from transport, buildings and power generation by 2050 (i.e. emissions reductions across those sectors of at least 90%), progress in ‘difficult to reduce’ sectors (e.g. agriculture and aviation) and, if feasible, deployment of GGR technologies, would retain the potential for reductions of more than 80% to be achieved.

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https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/CCC-Independent-Assessment-of-UKs-Clean-Growth-Strategy-2018.pdf

 

This report provides the Committee on Climate Change’s independent assessment of the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy.

The report finds that:

  • The Government has made a strong commitment to achieving the UK’s climate change targets.
  • Policies and proposals set out in the Clean Growth Strategy will need to be firmed up.
  • Gaps to meeting the fourth and fifth carbon budgets remain. These gaps must be closed.
  • Risks of under-delivery must be addressed and carbon budgets met on time. 
  • https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/independent-assessment-uks-clean-growth-strategy-ambition-action/

Box 2.3. A strategy for greenhouse gas removals

Even with full deployment of known low-carbon measures some UK emissions will remain, especially from aviation, agriculture and parts of industry. Greenhouse gas removal options (e.g. afforestation, carbon-storing materials, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and direct air capture and storage) will be required alongside widespread decarbonisation in order to reach net-zero emissions. Success requires a globally co-ordinated effort across the full innovation chain from basic research to market readiness, reflecting the differing levels of development of removal options. In the Clean Growth Strategy the Government committed to developing a strategic approach to greenhouse gas removals technologies.

 

Box 2.4. Key technologies and infrastructures for long-term emissions reduction

• Aviation.

The government should plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050), supported by strong international policies. Emissions at this level could be achieved through a combination of fuel and operational efficiency improvement, use of sustainable biofuels, and by limiting demand growth to around 60% above 2005 levels by 2050.

 

Table 3.1. Progress against the Committee’s recommendations in the 2017 Progress Report

Recommendation 

A plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set: around 2005 levels by 2050, implying around a 60% potential increase in demand, supported by strong international policies

Assessment

No progress.

 

Box 4.1. Gaps in the policies and proposals included in the Clean Growth Strategy

• Aviation.

The Government have committed to publish a new Aviation Strategy by the end of 2018. This will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.

We will continue to monitor progress reducing the policy and delivery risks in these areas as part of our annual reports to Parliament on meeting carbon budgets.

[It also lists, under Box 4.1:

Buildings energy efficiency. The overarching trajectory set out for improving the efficiency of the existing building stock is promising. Details need to be set out on how this will be delivered, particularly for ‘able-to-pay’ homeowners for whom there are still no firm policies to drive the necessary actions. • Low-carbon heat in homes, businesses and industry. The commitment to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in buildings off the gas grid is welcome. This should include heat pump deployment, which, together with installation in new-build properties, would develop heat pump markets and supply chains in order to prepare, if necessary, for potential widespread deployment in buildings connected to the gas grid from the 2030s. However, the Strategy provides little commitment to a low-carbon supply mix in heat networks and no commitment to biomethane post-2021, both of which the Committee has identified as ‘low-regrets’ options at this stage. There is also little commitment to support an increase in the use of bioenergy for industrial process heat.

• Surface transport. The Government has set out an ambition for 30-70% of car sales and up to 40% of van sales in 2030 to be ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). It is will be necessary to deliver towards the upper end of the range for cars, and greater ambition will be needed for vans. There is little concrete action on emissions from HGVs. More is also needed on shifting travel demand from passenger cars to lower-emission modes.

• Power generation. The Government has set out plans for the decarbonisation of UK power generation to below 100 gCO2 per kWh by 2030. However, this places a high reliance on new nuclear build and net imports across interconnectors, both of which have associated risks. More is needed to provide a route to market for low-carbon electricity generation, especially lower-cost options such as onshore wind and solar, and to contract for additional low-carbon generation should the Government’s expected contributions from new nuclear plants and overseas generators under-deliver.

• Agriculture and land use. A commitment to include climate change mitigation as part of a new system of future agricultural support is welcome. However, strong policies to deliver emissions reductions in agriculture need to be developed soon. The acceleration of tree-planting rates should occur earlier than the Strategy’s proposed timeline of the 2020s, to ensure that around 70,000 hectares of afforestation is delivered in England by 2025. ]

 

Under “Preparing for 2050”

Furthermore, deeper reductions will be required to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement, whether by 2050 or subsequently. Development of CCS, combined with very low emissions from transport, buildings and power generation by 2050 (i.e. emissions reductions across those sectors of at least 90%), progress in ‘difficult to reduce’ sectors (e.g. agriculture and aviation) and, if feasible, deployment of GGR technologies, would retain the potential for reductions of more than 80% to be achieved.

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https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/CCC-Independent-Assessment-of-UKs-Clean-Growth-Strategy-2018.pdf

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Even with full deployment of known low-carbon measures some UK emissions will remain, especially from aviation, agriculture and parts of industry. Greenhouse gas removal options (e.g. afforestation, carbon-storing materials, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and direct air capture and storage) will be required alongside widespread decarbonisation in order to reach net-zero emissions. Success requires a globally co-ordinated effort across the full innovation chain from basic research to market readiness, reflecting the differing levels of development of removal options. In the Clean Growth Strategy the Government committed to developing a strategic approach to greenhouse gas removals technologies.

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See also

comment from the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)

 

CCC report on UK government CO2 targets shows there has been NO progress on aviation carbon. AEF comment

The Committee on Climate Change’s review of the Government’s Clean Growth plan says that, though it is ambitious in tone, it is riddled with policy gaps. And yet again, aviation is on the list of sectors needing urgent attention. The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) comments that the CCC’s longstanding advice is that emissions from international aviation, must be allowed for by setting aside 37.5 Mt from the total carbon budget allowed in 2050 (around 25% of the allowable CO2 by that date). Yet as today’s report notes, the government has made ‘no progress’ in setting out a policy to achieve this.  Meanwhile, with its fingers apparently stuffed into its ears, the Government is ploughing on with plans for a third Heathrow runway.  While the CCC advice has always been that, at most, about 60% increase in air passenger growth could be accommodated, in the 37.5MtCO2 cap, the DfT’s own data shows that (as all UK airports hope to grow) even without any new runway there will be around 78% UK air passenger growth expected by 2050 (compared to 2005), and that with a new runway at Heathrow the figure will be more like 89% (or about  88%. with a Gatwick runway). It surely stretches credulity to think that a new runway could be shoehorned into this equation without putting the CO2 target effectively out of reach, which is presumably why the Government is refusing to talk about it.

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With Heathrow consultations starting soon, critics warn of insurmountable flaws in its runway plans

Heathrow will publish its public consultations, on its hopes for a 3rd runway, on Wednesday 17th January.  It says this is to gather public feedback on its proposals, to help refine its plans further (ie. see what tweaks it needs to make, to try and get round the most serious criticisms). The consultations will include options for how to get the runway to cross Britain’s busiest motorway, the M25, and provide detail on the cost-cutting it has envisaged to trim £2.5bn off expansion costs. Meanwhile London’s deputy mayor for transport, Val Shawcross, has said that she and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are in “no doubt that the government is pushing ahead with the wrong option.” She said there are currently “no significant plans for investment in public transport access to the airport.” This would come at an immense cost to Londoners, and Val said it was “a disastrous failing and it’s vital that the government acknowledges these insurmountable flaws and changes course now”. Labour’s shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald said: ‘Heathrow’s planning consultation must provide firm commitments on noise, air pollution, climate change and wider UK airport growth to ensure support from Labour MPs, the public and the aviation industry.”
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Heathrow hails expansion progress as critics warn of ‘insurmountable flaws’

Monday 15 January 2018

By Rebecca Smith (City AM)

A key milestone looms for Heathrow this week, as the airport launches a consultation with fleshed-out revamped proposals for expansion to appease critics.

London’s biggest airport will on Wednesday start a public planning consultation on the project, to gather public feedback on its proposals which it said will help refine its plans further.

It will set out the options for addressing the question of how to cross Britain’s busiest motorway, the M25, and provide detail on the cost-cutting it has envisaged to trim £2.5bn off expansion costs.

The Transport Select Committee meanwhile, will meet today for another session scrutinising the government’s airports national policy statement (NPS), setting out its case for progressing with the third runway.

London’s deputy mayor for transport Val Shawcross is among those giving evidence, with mayor Sadiq Khan a vocal critic of the third runway.

“We know that the south east needs greater airport capacity to support economic growth, but Sadiq is in no doubt that the government is pushing ahead with the wrong option,” she said.

“An expanded Heathrow will undermine London’s ability to meet legal air quality limits, have dire consequences on the roads, continue to cause significant noise harm to Londoners and all for fewer economic benefits than a second runway at Gatwick,” Shawcross added, saying currently there were “no significant plans for investment in public transport access to the airport” provided.

Shawcross said this was “a disastrous failing and it’s vital that the government acknowledges these insurmountable flaws and changes course now”.

A parliament vote looms on the government’s NPS too, set to go before MPs in the summer.

Labour’s shadow transport secretary has said he thinks there will be sufficient backing in parliament but says key questions still need to be answered by Heathrow.

Andy McDonald said: “‘Heathrow’s planning consultation must provide firm commitments on noise, air pollution, climate change and wider UK airport growth to ensure support from Labour MPs, the public and the aviation industry.”

Business groups are keen to see the proposals progress, but say the airport is not home and dry just yet.

“As we progress towards expansion at Heathrow, it will be critical for the airport to work with local communities and find practical ways to mitigate the impact – this public consultation and ongoing scrutiny are important parts of the process,” said David Leam, infrastructure director at London First.

Sean McKee, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s director of policy said: “With Brexit on the horizon and the main political focus being what Britain’s future trading arrangements might look like, now more than ever do we need to be considering the practicalities how to connect our island economy to the rest of the world.”

Heathrow meanwhile, says the consultation “represents a major milestone to deliver Heathrow expansion in a way that is fair to our local communities, meets or exceeds strict environmental targets set by the Airports Commission and creates opportunities for businesses that will deliver a stronger, more sustainable UK in a post Brexit world”.

A spokesperson for the airport said: “Heathrow remains on track to deliver a once-in-a-generation boost for the economy, in a way that is affordable, financeable and deliverable.”

http://www.cityam.com/278764/heathrow-hails-expansion-progress-critics-warn

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BA owner IAG tells Heathrow it should sell the Heathrow Express link and focus on running airport

The owner of British Airways, IAG, has demanded that Heathrow be forced to sell the Heathrow Express rail line, which is Britain’s most expensive train service. They say Heathrow should focus on running the airport instead.  IAG does not want to have to pay for Heathrow’s expansion with a 3rd runway, or have to put up its prices for its air passengers.  This week, Heathrow is to launch consultations on its building plans, hoping to get ways to cut about £5 billion off the previously estimated cost of about £17.5 billion. The Heathrow Express, which operates the 15-mile route between the airport and Paddington station, charges passengers as much as £27 for a single journey. But there will be a threat from new Crossrail trains, which are due to start running competing services in May. Heathrow also owns part of the track, but last May lost a high court battle over attempts to raise charges for rival operators to run on its rails. IAG said Crossrail’s introduction would mean infrastructure costs were disproportionately heaped on to Heathrow Express at a time when its revenues were diluted — and would end up in higher landing charges for airlines.
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BA owner IAG tells Heathrow: Sell Express rail link and focus on running airport

By John Collingridge (The Sunday Times)
January 14 2018

Passengers are charged as much as £27 to travel on the Heathrow Express

The owner of British Airways has demanded that Heathrow be forced to sell Britain’s most expensive train service and focus on running the airport instead.

IAG’s latest salvo escalates the long-running battle between the airport and its biggest customer over the cost of Heathrow’s plans for a third runway. IAG made the call for the Heathrow Express to be sold in a response to a consultation by the aviation watchdog. On Wednesday, the airport is due to reveal its blueprint for expansion as it attempts to slash about £5bn from the £18.6bn price tag for the third runway.

Its 10-week planning consultation is likely to examine options such as erecting a runway on stilts over the M25 and building new terminals.

The Heathrow Express, which operates the 15-mile route between the airport and Paddington station in west London, is renowned for charging passengers as much as £27 for a single journey.

However, the operator faces a threat from new Crossrail trains, which are due to start running competing services in May. Heathrow also owns part of the track, but last May lost a high court battle over attempts to raise charges for rival operators to run on its rails.

IAG said Crossrail’s introduction would mean infrastructure costs were disproportionately heaped on to Heathrow Express at a time when its revenues were diluted — and would end up in higher landing charges.

“Consequently, it would be in passengers’ interests for Heathrow to divest Heathrow Express . . . to a rail operator and to instead focus on its core business of running and expanding an airport,” it said.

Heathrow said: “We are looking forward to the arrival of Crossrail in coming years as part of our plans to treble Heathrow’s rail capacity by 2040 and put the airport at the heart of an integrated transport network.

“Heathrow Express has carried more than 100m passengers and will continue to play an important role in sustainable transport at Heathrow alongside Crossrail.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ba-owner-iag-tells-heathrow-sell-express-rail-link-and-focus-on-running-airport-hrlsbjzq9

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BA chief calls for tighter regulation on Heathrow

Walsh says aviation watchdog must hold airport to account over excessive investment spending

By Peggy Hollinger, industry editor (Financial Times)

14.1.2018

Britain’s aviation regulator is failing to hold Heathrow to account over excessive investment spending and the airport should be more closely scrutinised if the UK gives the go-ahead to a £14bn expansion plan, according to one of the world’s biggest airline groups.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways parent, International Consolidated Airlines, has accused the Civil Aviation Authority of failing passengers by not demanding greater transparency and efficiency from one of the world’s busiest airports on investments.

Writing in the Financial Times, Mr Walsh said: “For Heathrow’s expansion to succeed, there needs to be a relentless focus on controlling costs. But I have no confidence that the CAA is up to the task.”

Heathrow was already one of the most expensive airports in the world with charges 65 per cent higher than any other major European hub, he said.

The IAG boss said airlines were being “forced to raise fares when they pay too much for the landing fees that mask Heathrow’s inefficiencies”, adding: “There is no benchmarking, no transparency and very little recourse.”

However, he said the CAA’s mandate needed to be changed if Heathrow was to remain globally competitive.

Mr Walsh’s stinging attack on the CAA comes as Heathrow embarks on a 10-week public consultation on Wednesday with its detailed plans for a new runway and terminal. MPs are due to vote on expansion by the summer.

He said he was “alarmed” at signs that the government “looks set to give its blessing to the £14bn proposal”.

Heathrow’s expansion is a politically charged subject given its environmental impact and strong opposition in conservative constituencies near the airport. However, pressure for new airport capacity is mounting with all of the UK’s five major airports expected to be at full capacity by the mid 2030s and British business arguing that congestion is holding back international trade.

Many airlines have also criticised the failure to expand capacity at Heathrow in particular, the UK’s biggest airport, and where IAG’s BA dominates with 51 per cent of weekly take-off and landing slots.

However, many have also raised the alarm over the potential impact on airport charges, which are determined every five years after taking into account airport investment.

Mr Walsh said the fault lay in part with the CAA, which “rewards the inefficient use of capital: the more it spends on capital projects, the cost of which can be passed on to airlines, the more it makes for its shareholders . . . By not regulating Heathrow firmly enough, the CAA is failing to protect the consumer.”

Heathrow rejected Mr Walsh’s criticisms, saying estimated costs of expansion had already been cut by £2.5bn after discussions with airlines and other stakeholders, and the government’s challenge to Heathrow was to keep charges “close to today’s levels”.

Andrew Haines, CAA chief executive, admitted that Heathrow’s expansion posed challenges for the regulator, but said plans were being put in place to ensure the investment did not lead to excessive charges.

The CAA had put forward proposals in December for a new approach to setting airport charges in light of Heathrow’s expansion. “The CAA has been crystal clear for a number of years that the economic regulation of this expansion cannot be treated as business as usual and, moreover, that Heathrow’s airline customers have a critical role to play in judging the efficiency of the scheme design, procurement and delivery,” he said.

https://www.ft.com/content/4af7e08a-f94c-11e7-a492-2c9be7f3120a

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See earlier:

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG (with over half Heathrow’s slots) again says its expensive 3rd runway plans are “a ridiculous glory project”

Willie Walsh, the boss of British Airways’ parent company, IAG, has again lambasted Heathrow’s expansion plans as a “ridiculous glory project”. He said the £17.6bn plan to build the 3rd runway (just £200 million for the runway itself – not counting the M25 problem) could lead to a “completely unjustified” increase in airport charges, which airlines would have to charge to passengers, denting demand etc. IAG (which owns Iberia and Aer Lingus) have over 50% of Heathrow landing slots.  IAG wants a 3rd runway, though it would increase its competition, but they want a cheap no-frills scheme – and have backed the £7 billion cheaper scheme promoted by Surinder Arora.  The Heathrow scheme requires the demolition of the BA HQ at Waterside in Harmondsworth and IAG could end up effectively paying its own compensation through increased charges levied by Heathrow.  Willie Walsh also said IAG’s new long-haul, low-cost brand Level might one day fly from Heathrow. At present, the subsidiary operates just two aircraft from its base in Barcelona. He hopes it will have 30 planes by 2022, and fly to destinations currently off the BA route map, like secondary cities in China.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/10/willie-walsh-ceo-of-iag-with-over-half-heathrows-slots-again-says-its-expensive-3rd-runway-plans-are-a-ridiculous-glory-project/

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Willie Walsh and IAG: Work out cost of crossing M25 before Heathrow runway plan

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, says pushing through Heathrow’s 3rd runway should be suspended until there are proper plans of how the airport is going to bridge the M25. The section of the M25 that the runway would have to go over is about the busiest stretch of motorway in the UK, and it is unclear if there would be some sort of bridge (a cheaper option, about 8 metres above the road surface), or a proper tunnel (more expensive for Heathrow). IAG, and British Airways, are concerned the extra cost would mean higher charges by Heathrow, so higher ticket prices. Heathrow says landing charges would remain as close to flat “as possible” but Walsh fears they could double and they raised their concerns in their submission to the inquiry by the Commons Transport Committee, into the draft NPS.  There are a few airports globally that have some sort of bridge, with planes taxiing above the road, clearly visible to traffic. None over such a wide, busy section of motorway. In October, when the bridge idea was first suggested (the Airports Commission always presumed a tunnel) papers from Highways England showed it described the scheme as “high risk”, warning of a “a substantial risk of excessive customer frustration about what might be prolonged period of disruption”.  IAG is also deeply opposed to Heathrow ending night flights between 11pm and 5.30am, as that risks flights going instead to airports like Frankfurt, losing IAG money.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/04/willie-walsh-and-iag-work-out-cost-of-crossing-m25-before-heathrow-runway-plan/

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Willie Walsh reiterates that he will fight Heathrow runway, due to cost; content with 3 hub system for IAG instead

Willie Walsh has reiterated his determination not to pay the exorbitant costs of a new Heathrow runway (and that’s without the costs that the taxpayer would have to pick up for surface access improvements – which could be £20 billion).  He said the current proposal to build a 3rd Heathrow runway is “indefensible” from a cost point of view and he will fight it.  BA holds over 50% of Heathrow’s slots. Walsh said he was worried about the current Heathrow proposal because there was now “desperation by the airport to get a third runway and they are willing to do anything to get it.”  He commented: “So the airport is incentivised to spend money while I am incentivised to save money.”  Because the coalition government blocked a 3rd runway in 2010, in January 2011 BA and Iberia were merged to form IAG.  Then IAG bought UK airline BMI, to get hold of its Heathrow slots, gaining an extra 42 pairs.  That  ensured IAG  had enough Heathrow slots to secure its ability to compete from its hub base.  Since then Walsh has made his plans to use  a 3 hub strategy – with Madrid and Dublin as its two others, not depending so much on Heathrow.  IAG also owns Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus. Dublin will be adding a new runway – probably by 2020.    
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http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/05/willie-walsh-reiterates-that-he-will-fight-heathrow-runway-due-to-cost-content-with-3-hub-system-for-iag-instead/

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Evidence of falling numbers of Heathrow passengers on domestic flights casts further doubt on 3rd runway promises

The case for expanding Heathrow was dealt yet another blow this week as figures reveal the number of domestic passengers using the airport falling by 9% – almost half a million. Data from the CAA shows 471,000 fewer domestic passengers travelling through Heathrow Airport in 2016 compared to 2015. This compares to growth in domestic passenger at every other London airport, including 272,000 (8%) at Gatwick in the same period. The Government’s backing for plans to expand Heathrow was given on the basis of “support new connections to the UK’s regions, as well as safeguarding existing domestic routes”.  The 8 existing domestic routes offered by Heathrow now are: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds Bradford. Heathrow proposed a further 6 new routes to Belfast, Liverpool, Newquay, Humberside, Prestwick and Durham Tees Valley to be added – but only if it gets a 3rd runway.  It is likely that the survival of so many new domestic routes, despite a marginal decrease in passenger charge which the airport announced recently, would be put into serious doubt without a form of Government subsidy. No proposals to provide financial assistance to these routes currently exist. 

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NEW EVIDENCE SHOWS CASE FOR THIRD RUNWAY FALLS FURTHER

11 January 2018   (No 3rd Runway Coalition)

The case for expanding Heathrow was dealt yet another blow this week as figures reveal the number of domestic passengers using the airport falling by almost half a million.

Information released by the Civil Aviation Authority shows 471,000 fewer domestic passengers travelling through Heathrow Airport in 2016, representing a 9% decline. This compares to growth at every other London Airport, including 272,000, or 8%, more domestic passengers handled at Gatwick in the same period (1).  [CAA data for 2017 will not be published for several month. AW note]. 

The Government’s support for plans to expand Heathrow was given on the basis of “support new connections to the UK’s regions, as well as safeguarding existing domestic routes” (2).

The 8 existing routes offered today are: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds Bradford. Heathrow proposed a further 6 new routes to Belfast, Liverpool, Newquay, Humberside, Prestwick and Durham Tees Valley to be added after expansion.

Yet evidence suggests that the survival of so many new, domestic routes, despite a marginal decrease in passenger duty which the airport announced recently, would be put into serious doubt without a form of Government subsidy. No proposals to provide financial assistance to these routes currently exist.

The news comes as British Airways announced that it was cutting half its services between Leeds Bradford Airport and Heathrow from summer 2018 (3). The company says it has had to take the decision to reduce the frequency of flights “to match demand”.

Leeds Bradford Airport said the news that BA was reducing the number of weekly flights from twenty to ten in each direction was “a blow to their hopes that Heathrow expansion plans would have attracted more people to Yorkshire”.

Campaigners and politicians argue that this new information undermines the Government’s case for supporting any expansion at Heathrow even further, given evidence revealed in the Department for Transport’s own figures that show economic growth would be greater at Gatwick Airport than at Heathrow, in the long term.

Rob Barnstone, Coordinator of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said:

“This is damning for both Heathrow and the Government, who are trying to sell a third runway based on better connections across the UK. The reality is, that without any financial support from the Government, evidence strongly suggests these new routes simply won’t have the demand to survive.

“Politicians should look at the evidence which shows Heathrow expansion is further than ever before from the economic prodigy that the Government and the Airport would let you believe.”

Ruth Cadbury MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heathrow Expansion, said:

“The reality is that whilst all other London airports are growing their domestic passenger traffic, Heathrow’s is falling. Surely that flies in the face of Heathrow’s claim that Runway 3 would deliver more domestic flights and serve more destinations?”

Notes

1. Civil Aviation Authority Data   http://www.caa.co.uk/uploadedFiles/CAA/Content/Standard_Content/Data_and_analysis/Datasets/Airport_stats/Airport_data_2016_annual/Table_10_2_Domestic_Terminal_Passenger_Traffic.pdf

  1.   Government support for Heathrow   https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-decides-on-new-runway-at-heathrow
  2.   BA cuts Heathrow route    http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/15814820.leeds-bradford-airport-disappointed-as-british-airways-announces-flight-cuts-to-and-from-heathrow/For more information
    Rob Barnstone, 07806947050, robert.barnstone@outlook.com 

 


 

Data from the CAA

http://www.caa.co.uk/Data-and-analysis/UK-aviation-market/Airports/Datasets/UK-airport-data/ 

comparing 2015 and 2014

http://www.caa.co.uk/uploadedFiles/CAA/Content/Standard_Content/Data_and_analysis/Datasets/Airport_stats/Airport_data_2015/Table_10_2_Domestic_Terminal_Pax_Traffic_2015.pdf

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Comparing 2015 and 2016

http://www.caa.co.uk/Data-and-analysis/UK-aviation-market/Airports/Datasets/UK-Airport-data/Airport-data-2016/


See earlier:

 

BA to cut flights between Heathrow and Leeds Bradford from 20 to 10 per week – they are not profitable

British Airways says its flights from Leeds Bradford Airport to Heathrow are being cut by 50% “to match demand”. The changes are due to start in summer 2018.  BA has not been making money on these flights. A spokesman for Leeds Bradford Airport said the cut in BA flights from 20 to 10 per week was a blow to their hopes that Heathrow’s ongoing runway expansion plans would have attracted more people to Yorkshire. “As the international gateway for Yorkshire and given our continued support for a 3rd runway at Heathrow, this news is disappointing for the largest region in the UK.  …. “We hope the people of Yorkshire will still fully support the route, enabling us to prove to British Airways that the largest region in the UK can support a viable and profitable service going forward.”  The Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, Paul McGuinness commented that the pledges Heathrow had made to increase its number of domestic links are not credible. It is not in the gift of an airport to determine which air links exist – that is up to airlines, which will only fly routes that are profitable, unless they receive continuing subsidies to run routes at a loss. “It also reminds us of the short-sightedness of those who have been lulled into supporting Heathrow’s campaign to concentrate (yet again) all the best tax payer funded infrastructure in the already, disproportionately well endowed South East of the country.”

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow spin on cutting (by a tiny further amount) its charges for domestic air passengers

Heathrow has put out a rather coy press release, crowing about how it is cutting charges for domestic air passengers. The aim is to encourage more to fly on domestic routes to and from Heathrow. They say they are cutting the charge by £15 per passenger, but carefully avoid giving the current or future figure.  The charge per passenger is probably around £31 now, on domestic or European flights, and will be around £15. But no details are given. Earlier publications by Heathrow indicate they gave a £10 discount last year, so the £15 is only a small increase – but being used to generate positive publicity.  Heathrow knows the Airports Commission believed the number of domestic links to Heathrow would actually fall over time, with a new runway. Heathrow is desperate to get regional politicians to believe the 3rd runway would give them better flights to Heathrow, to get support for the vote in Parliament on the 3rd runway, some time in the first half of 2018. The only way Heathrow can support more domestic flights is by subsidising them, with a route development fund.  How long the airport would be prepared, once it has its runway, to continue the expensive subsidy is anyone’s guess. The subsidy could be seen as anti-competitive, especially with (far lower carbon) rail travel.

Click here to view full story…

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Portland will continue as Heathrow’s comms & public affairs agency after being reappointed, after 5 years already

Portland will continue as Heathrow’s comms and public affairs agency after being reappointed, after the airport got companies to pitch for the work in September 2017. The brief includes internal communications, external and public affairs, media relations and crisis and issues management, and is designed to “build further trust and pride in the airport”, a spokesman for Heathrow said. Portland have had the job for over 5 years. PRWeek understands that the monthly retainer on the new account is over £20,000, making it worth more than £250,000 per year, before any additional project fees are added. A major focus for Heathrow in 2018 is trying to persuade government to let it build a 3rd runway. Heathrow has spent a vast amount of comms and PR over recent years, on its lobbying and campaigning on the 3rd runway.  A vote on the draft Airports NPS  (ie. on the runway) is expected in Parliament towards the summer. Heathrow’s review of their PR company followed the appointment of Nigel Milton as director of comms in January 2017, and Josephine Roberts as head of media, who oversees the Heathrow press office, in June 2017.  Milton said Portland “will support in-house teams across our corporate communications programme, including internal and external activations”.
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Portland pips H+K to retain Heathrow brief on monthly retainer “in excess of £20,000”

by Sam Burne James (PR Week)

12.1.2018

Portland will continue as Heathrow’s comms and public affairs agency after being reappointed in a pitch process that saw it come up against Hill+Knowlton Strategies in the final round.

It was reported in September that the account with one of the world’s busiest airports was being reviewed. Portland had held the work for more than five years.

PRWeek understands that the monthly retainer on the new account is in excess of £20,000, making it worth more than a quarter of a million pounds annually before any additional project fees are added.

A major focus for Heathrow this year is the right to build a third runway – after one of the biggest comms and lobbying campaigns in recent years, the Government approved plans for the hub to build another runway in October 2016. A vote on the matter is expected in Parliament towards the second half of the year.

Heathrow’s review followed the appointment of Nigel Milton as director of comms in January 2017. Milton said: “2018 will be a significant year in Heathrow’s history as the business prepares itself for further momentum in our expansion campaign, Brexit and increasing world-class passenger service and numbers. We are delighted to have Portland’s counsel and colleagues alongside us as we move through the opportunities and challenges all will pose.”

He said Portland “will support in-house teams across our corporate communications programme, including internal and external activations”.

Milton also commented that the pitch process “highlighted the quality of communication agencies out there”, and thanked the agencies involved. He said: “The decision was made after careful consideration was shown towards all the excellent strategies presented, by what is clearly an incredibly talented and exciting industry to be in.”

Portland UK MD Mark Flanagan said: “We’re just delighted to extend our relationship with Heathrow and are looking forward to the next phase of our work together. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved together to date and can’t wait to support Heathrow across the full range of their communications at this vital time for the airport and the country.”

https://www.prweek.com/article/1454304/portland-pips-h+k-retain-heathrow-brief-monthly-retainer-in-excess-20000#jVPKT9ic67qP7wTd.02

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Some info on Portland’s clients, and some less than savour work in the past.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Communications#Clients


Earlier:

Heathrow calls pitch for wide-ranging PR brief

September 25, 2017

by Robert Smith (PR Week)

Heathrow Airport has called a pitch for a wide-ranging PR and public affairs brief held currently by Portland, following the arrival of two senior comms pros.

Heathrow has called a pitch for its PR brief, currently held by Portland

Incumbent agency Portland, which has held the account for five years, has been invited to re-pitch for the business.

The brief includes internal communications, external and public affairs, media relations and crisis and issues management, and is designed to “build further trust and pride in the airport”, a spokesman for Heathrow said.

He continued: “The time is now right to identify the best partner to take Heathrow’s communications forward as we focus on supporting operational and commercial colleagues in delivering outstanding performance, transforming customer service and achieving sustainable growth.”

The pitch coincides with Heathrow appointing Nigel Milton as director of comms in January, and Josephine Roberts as head of media in June.

Roberts, who was previously head of UK media at McDonald’s, takes over from Julia Weir, who had worked for the airport in a variety of roles since 2006.

Reporting to Milton, Roberts has been tasked with overseeing the Heathrow press office, as well as its consumer and film content team strategy.

PRWeek has contacted Portland for comment.

https://www.prweek.com/article/1445502/heathrow-calls-pitch-wide-ranging-pr-brief

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Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin & Harpenden, says Luton Airport expansion plans to 38 mppa ‘unsuitable’

Conservative Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has said the proposed expansion of Luton Airport is both “unsuitable” and “unsustainable”, and its growth would be “Bedfordshire’s gain – Hertfordshire’s pain” in terms of noise and pollution. The airport, owned by Luton Borough Council, published its ambitious growth plan – to expand not only to 18 million annual passengers, but to 36 – 38 million  – in December. It hopes to reach the 38 million by 2050 with 240,000 flights a year, using its one existing runway. The local geography is such that adding a second runway would be virtually impossible – slopes. Mr Afolami told a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday that he “was not against airports” and “recognised the jobs and economic growth the airport brings to the UK and to Luton” …. but “The proposed expansion to more than double Luton’s passenger numbers is both unsuitable to the local area and unsustainable in the context of the constraints that exist in rural Hertfordshire.  Luton is just not the right place for an airport of the proposed size of 38m passengers.” However, Transport Minister Paul Maynard said that the airport was already “actively engaged” in local consultation.

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Luton Airport expansion ‘unsuitable’, MPs told

9 January 2018 (BBC)

Hansard report of the debate here.

The proposed expansion of London Luton Airport is both “unsuitable” and “unsustainable”, an MP has claimed.

Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, said growth would be “Bedfordshire’s gain – Hertfordshire’s pain” in terms of noise and pollution.

The airport, owned by Luton Borough Council, published its ambitious growth plan in December.

It wants to reach its 38m passenger target by 2050 with 240,000 flights a year using its one existing runway.

Conservative Mr Afolami told a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday that he “was not against airports” and “recognised the jobs and economic growth the airport brings to the UK and to Luton.”

“The proposed expansion to more than double Luton’s passenger numbers is both unsuitable to the local area and unsustainable in the context of the constraints that exist in rural Hertfordshire,” he said.

“Luton is just not the right place for an airport of the proposed size of 38m passengers,” he added.

However, Transport Minister Paul Maynard said that the airport was already “actively engaged” in local consultation.

He told the debate: “We recognise that those who live closest to airports bear a particular burden of the costs.”

More than 30,000 jobs depend on the airport, councillor Andy Malcolm, chair of London Luton Airport Limited said.

‘Huge’ impact

Campaign group LADACAN claims aircraft noise has increased tenfold since 2013, and it “badly affects nearby towns and villages”.

Luton Borough Council chief executive, Trevor Holden, said expansion at the airport would bring significant economic benefits.

“The impact on our local economy and community is huge – not just in Luton, not just in Bedfordshire, Bucks and Hertfordshire,” he said.

“Across the board we’re making a real difference to the economy of the eastern region.”


Luton Airport expansion: council calls for community engagement after MPs debate

16th January 2018

London Luton Airport wants to increase its passenger capacity to 38 million a year

 

The owners of a busy airport have promised a “full and robust” consultation process after its growth plan was questioned by MPs.

Luton Borough Council made the announcement after it emerged that London Luton Airport hopes to increase its passenger numbers to 38 million per annum, which is more than double the current figures.

It comes as part of its latest ‘Vision for Sustainable Growth’ for the years 2020 to 2050, which has been scrutinised by politicians from the region.

Bim Afolami, who represents Harpenden and Hitchin, accused the council of putting its own needs above those of people who are negatively affected by the changes.

Holding a debate in Westminster Hall, he said: “Luton Borough Council has one real interest: growing passenger numbers and therefore revenue for its airport.

“That interest has been pursued without any real consideration for the significant negative impacts on the people of Hertfordshire.

“As one of my constituents put it to me, Bedfordshire gets the gain, and Hertfordshire gets the pain.”

His words were backed up by St Albans MP Anne Main, who believes that expansion must not go ahead “if strong protections against further noise pollution are not deliverable and guaranteed”.

But the council noted how, as per their report, the application would be determined by the Government as opposed to itself.

It added how it wished to work with neighbouring authorities and communities and would consider all feedback “very carefully”, using it to shape the proposal.

“We will make sure that we deliver a full and robust consultation process that ensures everyone gets the opportunity to have their say,” said Cllr Hazel Simmons, leader of Luton Council.

“At every stage in the process we will balance essential regional and national economic and employment growth with the needs of communities, and minimise and mitigate the impacts we know a major airport brings.”

http://www.stalbansreview.co.uk/news/15840962.MPs_question_airport_s_growth_plans/

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See earlier:

Luton airport now hoping not only for 18 million annual passengers, but up to 38 million

Luton airport is planning to increase its annual number of passengers to 18 million, from around 15 million at present. Work is under way to achieve this, with new buildings, new taxiways etc. However, the airport is now saying it plans to take advantage of an apparent shortage of runway capacity in the south east, in the coming decade, to try to grow to 36 – 38 million annual passengers.  This has come as a surprise to many. Only two weeks earlier an airport senior manager was asked what happens when Luton reaches 18mppa, and he said they would flat-line as the terminal could not cope with any more people. The Chairman of LLACC (the Consultative Committee) did not about it either. Also, LLAL (the arm of Luton BC that owns the airport) recently purchased a huge tract of land nearby (Wigmore Park) and said it would not be used to expand the airport but to diversify business-land investment. However it appears that the airport may be planning a new terminal on the land, as the only way to achieve new growth aspirations.  Hertfordshire County Council are doubtful about the expansion, raising many possible negative impacts for the area, including surface access traffic.

Click here to view full story…

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BA to cut flights between Heathrow and Leeds Bradford from 20 to 10 per week – they are not profitable

British Airways says its flights from Leeds Bradford Airport to Heathrow are being cut by 50% “to match demand”. The changes are due to start in summer 2018.  BA has not been making money on these flights. A spokesman for Leeds Bradford Airport said the cut in BA flights from 20 to 10 per week was a blow to their hopes that Heathrow’s ongoing runway expansion plans would have attracted more people to Yorkshire. “As the international gateway for Yorkshire and given our continued support for a 3rd runway at Heathrow, this news is disappointing for the largest region in the UK.  …. “We hope the people of Yorkshire will still fully support the route, enabling us to prove to British Airways that the largest region in the UK can support a viable and profitable service going forward.”  The Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, Paul McGuinness commented that the pledges Heathrow had made to increase its number of domestic links are not credible. It is not in the gift of an airport to determine which air links exist – that is up to airlines, which will only fly routes that are profitable, unless they receive continuing subsidies to run routes at a loss. “It also reminds us of the short-sightedness of those who have been lulled into supporting Heathrow’s campaign to concentrate (yet again) all the best tax payer funded infrastructure in the already, disproportionately well endowed South East of the country.”
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So much for “carrot” of increasing domestic air links …. to get 3rd runway support …

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Letter to the newspapers, from the No 3rd Runway Coalition, on the news of the cuts to flights between Heathrow and Leeds Bradford airport:

Dear Sirs,

Amongst other unrealistic pledges to win backing for their third
runway campaign, Heathrow’s “promise” to increase the number of
domestic routes, from 6 to 14, has been primarily designed to win the
support of regional airports, businesses and politicians.

And although some of these regional figures do appear to have fallen
for it, the snag is that such a promise can never be in Heathrow’s
gift. Because – as has been amply demonstrated by BA’s announcement
that it will reduce its Leeds Bradford to Heathrow connection by 10
flights a week – regional connectivity can only be determined by
airlines, and not by the airports which they use.

Regional businesses which contributed to the CBI’s 2016 report
“Unlocking Regional Growth” would seem to understand this. For, while
recognising the need for better links to international markets, they
also stated that flights need to fly directly to centres of trade and
commerce (rather than relying on a transfer at a hub, such as
Heathrow, before reaching their destination).

BA’s decision on its Leeds Bradford/Heathrow service doesn’t only
demonstrate this truth. It also reminds us of the short-sightedness of
those who have been lulled into supporting Heathrow’s campaign to
concentrate (yet again) all the best tax payer funded infrastructure in
the already, disproportionately well endowed South East of the country.

Paul McGuinness
Chair, No 3rd Runway Coalition

 

Leeds Bradford Airport ‘disappointed’ as British Airways announces flight cuts to and from Heathrow

8.1.2018 (Telegraph & Argos)

By Vivien Mason

FLIGHTS from Leeds Bradford Airport to Heathrow by British Airways are being cut “to match demand” a spokesman for the flight operator has said.

The Telegraph & Argus has today learned that airport staff were told this afternoon of the changes, believed to start this summer, when 50 per cent of flights from Leeds Bradford to Heathrow through BA would be cut.

The anonymous caller said they were worried about potential job losses and also the sale of the airport.

In October it was announced an Australian asset management company AMP Capital had increased its interest in the UK by buying Leeds Bradford Airport.

The airport is understood to be the country’s 15th busiest, handling around four million passengers a year.

The caller said BA was claiming it was not making any money from the flights and were cutting them by half.

The caller added that no indication was being made of any job losses as a result of the cuts, or whether the cuts could affect the sale of the airport and the proposed parkway station which they feared may end up a “white elephant”.

In June, Leeds City Council’s executive board gave outline approval for a scheme to build a parkway station on the Leeds-Harrogate railway line; one of several schemes in the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme.

The executive claimed it was “a really important initiative and one that will improve connectivity across the region, as well as help people travelling to and from the airport”.

A spokesman for Leeds Bradford Airport said the news that BA was reducing the number of weekly flights from twenty to ten in each direction was a blow to their hopes that Heathrow’s ongoing runway expansion plans would have attracted more people to Yorkshire.

He said: “We are disappointed with the decision of British Airways to reduce the frequency of its services to Leeds Bradford Airport.

“As the international gateway for Yorkshire and given our continued support for a third runway at Heathrow, this news is disappointing for the largest region in the UK. We have previously stated that we believe Heathrow expansion will enable Yorkshire to attract even more inward investment, exports and tourism by providing greater reach to key international markets via our own air link to Heathrow.”

“We hope the people of Yorkshire will still fully support the route, enabling us to prove to British Airways that the largest region in the UK can support a viable and profitable service going forward.”

Confirming the reduction in service, Sean Doyle British Airways’ director of networks said:” We are maintaining the important air link between Yorkshire and Heathrow, but have had to take the difficult decision to reduce the frequency of flights to match demand.

“We will maintain a daily service and on the busiest days of the week there will be two flights a day to and from Heathrow.

“We appreciate that the connections from Heathrow are important for business and leisure travellers and we are re-timing the morning flight so that customers can more conveniently connect to more of our long-haul flights.”

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/15814820.Leeds_Bradford_Airport___39_disappointed__39__as_British_Airways_announces_flight_cuts_to_and_from_Heathrow/

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Heathrow cuts domestic flights in 2016

Data from the CAA

http://www.caa.co.uk/Data-and-analysis/UK-aviation-market/Airports/Datasets/UK-airport-data/ 

http://www.caa.co.uk/Data-and-analysis/UK-aviation-market/Airports/Datasets/UK-Airport-data/Airport-data-2016/

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and comparing 2015 and 2014

http://www.caa.co.uk/uploadedFiles/CAA/Content/Standard_Content/Data_and_analysis/Datasets/Airport_stats/Airport_data_2015/Table_10_2_Domestic_Terminal_Pax_Traffic_2015.pdf

 

Leed Bradford Domestic air passengers were down -9% in 2016 compared to 2015, but up by +20% in 2015, compared to 2014.

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Luton airport now hoping not only for 18 million annual passengers, but up to 38 million

Luton airport is planning to increase its annual number of passengers to 18 million, from around 15 million at present. Work is under way to achieve this, with new buildings, new taxiways etc. However, the airport is now saying it plans to take advantage of an apparent shortage of runway capacity in the south east, in the coming decade, to try to grow to 36 – 38 million annual passengers.  This has come as a surprise to many. Only two weeks earlier an airport senior manager was asked what happens when Luton reaches 18mppa, and he said they would flat-line as the terminal could not cope with any more people. The Chairman of LLACC (the Consultative Committee) did not about it either. Also, LLAL (the arm of Luton BC that owns the airport) recently purchased a huge tract of land nearby (Wigmore Park) and said it would not be used to expand the airport but to diversify business-land investment. However it appears that the airport may be planning a new terminal on the land, as the only way to achieve new growth aspirations.  Hertfordshire County Council are doubtful about the expansion, raising many possible negative impacts for the area, including surface access traffic. 

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Opposition to Luton Airport expansion from Herts County Council

By STEWART CARR (Luton Today)

12 December 2017

Hertfordshire County Council has registered its opposition to neighbouring Luton’s plan to expand its airport.

The authority said it was reacting with concern to yesterday’s publication by London Luton Airport Limited of its ambition to double the number of passengers using the airport to potentially 36-38 million passengers a year, compared 16 million now.

David Williams, leader of Herts County Council, said: “I can imagine how news of this proposal will be received in the communities in Hertfordshire whose lives are already blighted by aircraft noise created by the airport, even with the current passenger numbers.

“My main concern at this stage, therefore, is the impact this news will impact will have on those communities.

“My other immediate concern is the transport implications. How can that level of growth possibly be achieved without compromising the capacity of our road and rail systems and how can it be done in a way which shifts journeys to the airport away from the car and towards public transport?

“I do fully recognise and appreciate the potential economic benefits that would come with growth of the airport. But the key now must be for the airport to work with stakeholders to develop a masterplan which strikes an appropriate balance between growth and environmental impact, in a way which safeguards communities and comes with the right supporting infrastructure.

“Only by doing that will it be possible to ascertain whether an appropriate balance can be achieved. Addressing noise issues is probably the biggest challenge facing that process and this needs to be tackled head-on, right from the start.

“I would encourage all stakeholders and communities to engage with the forthcoming masterplanning consultation process next year.”

Cllr Williams added that he was concerned about the potential “constraints” of Hertfordshire’s growth caused by the airport expansion – particularly the impact upon transport and infrastructure.

He stated: “We also need to look at the bigger picture here. The growth agenda in this part of the country is huge. The Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis conurbation has major growth plans and here in Hertfordshire we have incredibly ambitious growth of our own.

“The conurbation and the airport are also within the Government supported Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford growth corridor where nationally significant economic, housing and infrastructure growth is proposed.

“The future of the airport must be seen within the context of not only the potential opportunities, but also the constraints that may come with this.”

In response, a Luton Council spokesman said: “Luton Council and its airport company London Luton Airport Ltd are committed to the London Luton Airport Vision for Sustainable Growth 2020-2050 as a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the forecast shortfall in national aviation capacity and to generate economic growth, jobs, prosperity and aspiration across the sub-region.

“We absolutely understand that airport operations can bring adverse impacts. LLAL will work tirelessly to minimise and mitigate these as the proposal is developed, and has already begun developing its plans for improvement within a new long-term environmental strategy for the airport.

“It is further committed to a full, robust and thorough approach to engagement with all our partners and communities. We anticipate that a clearer understanding of the scope of the project should emerge by spring/summer 2018, and look forward to beginning the initial round of informal public consultation in mid-2018.”

https://www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/opposition-to-luton-airport-expansion-from-herts-county-council-1-8287630

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An AirportWatch member from the Luton area commented: 

Bucks CC has not responded publicly, but a couple of Councillors have commented in  private emails, and the council officer in charge has stated that such plans would be determined nationally, not locally, because the capacity increase will breach the 10mppa red line.  A local member of St Albans Quieter Skies (STAQS) said STAQS knew nothing about the higher expansion figure, and that Luton had obviously kept their plans very quiet.

‘Ambitious’ plans to grow Luton Airport over 30 years London Luton Airport Published

11 December 2017  (Luton Today)

An “ambitious” vision to grow London Luton Airport over 30 years has been revealed by owner London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) as part of Luton Council’s £1.5bn investment programme.

Luton Council is LLAL’s sole shareholder and airport growth is crucial to the authority’s 20-year ‘Luton Investment Framework’ – a plan which hopes to attact £1.5bn in investment to Luton and create 18,500 new jobs along with other opportunities for residents.

Cllr Andy Malcolm, chair of LLAL and Luton Council’s portfolio holder for finance, said: “London Luton Airport is a huge success story. On the back of 44 consecutive months of passenger growth, it is the fifth largest and fastest growing major airport in the UK, sustaining an estimated 33,000 jobs across the region, and contributing more than £1.5bn per year into the UK economy.

“The airport’s growth has been so fast in fact that at its current rate it is due to reach the current permitted capacity of 18 mppa in 2021.”

For each additional one million passengers travelling through London Luton Airport every year, there is an increase of up to 800 new jobs and a £76m uplift for the regional economy, estimates from Oxford Economics suggest.

Nationally, demand for flying is showing a projected shortfall of 60 million passengers per year in UK airports by 2050.

Cllr Malcolm added: “There is now a vital need to plan for London Luton Airport’s long-term future, to ensure the regional economy can enjoy the benefits of this through inclusive growth and to help meet demand for UK aviation.

“At the same time, we are acutely aware of the consequences of having an international airport on the doorstep. Our commitment is to bring forward not only a more modern and efficient but also an environmentally and socially responsible London Luton Airport.”

LLAL has begun to develop its plans with some environmental policies in place, new best-in-class air quality monitoring has been commissioned. However, LLAL acknowledged that more work is needed to tackle the negative impacts on climate change and the environment associated with airport expansion.

The company stated: “Ahead of any future expansion work, we will develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce where possible carbon emissions associated with additional construction and operation of LTN.”

Construction is due to start next year on the £225m passenger transfer service Luton DART (Direct Air to Rail Transit) which promises to slash journey times from Luton Airport Parkway to the terminal to three minutes.

Under the London Luton Airport (LTN) Vision for Sustainable Growth 2020-2050, passenger capacity would go from 18 million to 36-38 mppa, and the airport would accommodate 240,000 annual air traffic movements.

Growth at the airport would be achieved by making the best use possible of LTN’s existing, single runway. Through LLAL, London Luton Airport generates significant direct income for Luton Council, contributing £25.6m for vital services and infrastructure investment in 2016/17. In addition, more than £120m has been provided since 2004 to local charities, community and voluntary organisations in Luton and communities affected by airport operations.

Leader of Luton Council Cllr Hazel Simmons added: “The past few years have been financially challenging for many people. To meet some of these challenges we have been working hard to bring more money and opportunities into the town to improve people’s lives. “LLAL is working with us as a key partner in delivering the Luton Investment Framework, and it is clear that the airport cannot stand still if it is to pull its weight for Luton and for the UK and sub-regional economies.”

There is now a lot of work to do as LLAL’s technical team considers the airport’s medium to long-term capacity within its particular constraints, and the immediate result will be a draft masterplan for how this can be achieved.

LLAL is committed to a full, robust and thorough approach to engagement with residents and communities, and will begin consulting on the masterplan in mid-2018. The likely outcome is that LLAL will need to submit an application for a Development Consent Order to the national Planning Inspectorate, as it would be considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

Cllr Malcolm said: “Our vision is to make best use of the existing runway to provide the maximum benefit to the local and sub-regional economy, deliver good levels of service to all the airport’s customers and to actively manage environmental impacts at the local and wider levels in line with our commitment to responsible and sustainable development.

“To be clear, we will not be proposing either a second or an extended runway. “We will invest all necessary time and resource to carefully consider all the infrastructure, access and environmental protection issues with neighbouring authorities, regulators and the wider community.

“We will work tirelessly to keep everyone informed of developments and proposals as soon as they emerge, and make sure everyone has an opportunity to feed into the process and provide comments which will be very carefully considered at every step on this important journey.”

The London Luton Airport Vision for Sustainable Growth 2020-2050 is available to view online at www.llal.org.uk LLAL’s aim is to secure consent within four years, and will have more details available next year. In the meantime, comments or questions can be sent to vision2050@llal.org.uk.

https://www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/ambitious-plans-to-grow-luton-airport-over-30-years-1-8285581

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Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin & Harpenden, says Luton Airport expansion plans to 38 mppa ‘unsuitable’

Conservative Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has said the proposed expansion of Luton Airport is both “unsuitable” and “unsustainable”, and its growth would be “Bedfordshire’s gain – Hertfordshire’s pain” in terms of noise and pollution. The airport, owned by Luton Borough Council, published its ambitious growth plan – to expand not only to 18 million annual passengers, but to 36 – 38 million  – in December. It hopes to reach the 38 million by 2050 with 240,000 flights a year, using its one existing runway. The local geography is such that adding a second runway would be virtually impossible – slopes. Mr Afolami told a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday that he “was not against airports” and “recognised the jobs and economic growth the airport brings to the UK and to Luton” ….but “The proposed expansion to more than double Luton’s passenger numbers is both unsuitable to the local area and unsustainable in the context of the constraints that exist in rural Hertfordshire.  Luton is just not the right place for an airport of the proposed size of 38m passengers. However, Transport Minister Paul Maynard said that the airport was already “actively engaged” in local consultation.

Click here to view full story…


London Luton Airport’s vision for sustainable growth is off the ground

10.12.2017 (Luton Airport press release)

An ambitious vision for sustainable growth at London Luton Airport over 30 years has today been revealed by owner London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) as part of Luton Council’s £1.5bn inward investment programme.

Luton Council is LLAL’s sole shareholder, and the vision for growth is the latest key development in the authority’s ambitious 20-year Luton Investment Framework to create 18,500 new jobs and achieve increased prosperity, health, wellbeing and opportunity for residents.

The proposal is LLAL’s response to the Government’s recent call for evidence, seeking growth in the aviation sector, and for all UK airports to make best use of their existing runways.

Nationally, demand for aviation is showing a projected shortfall in UK airport capacity of 60 million passengers per annum (mppa) by 2050.

Cllr Andy Malcolm, chair of LLAL and Luton Council’s Portfolio Holder for finance, said: “London Luton Airport is a huge success story. On the back of 44 consecutive months of passenger growth, it is the fifth largest and fastest growing major airport in the UK, sustaining an estimated 33,000 jobs across the region, and contributing more than £1.5bn per year into the UK economy.

“The airport’s growth has been so fast in fact that at its current rate it is due to reach the current permitted capacity of 18 mppa in 2021.”

For each additional one million passengers travelling through London Luton Airport every year, there is an increase of up to 800 new jobs and a £76m uplift for the regional economy, estimates from Oxford Economics suggest. [Their forecasts are well known for exaggerating numbers of jobs, double counting etc. Treat their figures with caution … AW comment].

Cllr Malcolm continued: “There is now a vital need to plan for London Luton Airport’s long-term future, to ensure the regional economy can enjoy the benefits of this through inclusive growth, and to help meet demand for UK aviation.

“At the same time, we are acutely aware of the consequences of having an international airport on the doorstep. Our commitment is to bring forward not only a more modern and efficient but also an environmentally and socially responsible London Luton Airport.” LLAL has begun to develop its plans for improvement within a new long-term environmental strategy for the airport. New best-in-class air quality monitoring, which will measure a wider range of potential pollutants than any other major airport in the UK, has already been commissioned.

Construction is due to start next year on the £225m passenger transfer service Luton DART (Direct Air to Rail Transit) which promises to revolutionise public transport to the airport and slash journey times from Luton Airport Parkway to the terminal to three minutes.

Under the London Luton Airport (LTN) Vision for Sustainable Growth 2020-2050, passenger capacity would go from 18 million to 36-38 mppa, and the airport would accommodate 240,000 annual air traffic movements. Growth at the airport would be achieved by making the best use possible of LTN’s existing, single runway. Through LLAL, London Luton Airport generates significant direct income for Luton Council, contributing £25.6m for vital services and infrastructure investment in 2016/17.

In addition, more than £120m has been provided since 2004 to local charities, community and voluntary organisations in Luton and communities affected by airport operations.

Leader of Luton Council Cllr Hazel Simmons said: “The past few years have been financially challenging for many people. To meet some of these challenges we have been working hard to bring more money and opportunities into the town to improve people’s lives. “LLAL is working with us as a key partner in delivering the Luton Investment Framework, and it is clear that the airport cannot stand still if it is to pull its weight for Luton and for the UK and sub-regional economies.”

There is now a lot of work to do as LLAL’s technical team considers the airport’s medium to long-term capacity within its particular constraints, and the immediate result will be a draft masterplan for how this can be achieved.

LLAL is committed to a full, robust and thorough approach to engagement with residents and communities, and will begin consulting on the masterplan in mid-2018.

The likely outcome is that LLAL will need to submit an application for a Development Consent Order to the national Planning Inspectorate, as it would be considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

Cllr Malcolm said: “Our vision is to make best use of the existing runway to provide the maximum benefit to the local and sub-regional economy, deliver good levels of service to all the airport’s customers and to actively manage environmental impacts at the local and wider levels in line with our commitment to responsible and sustainable development.

“To be clear, we will not be proposing either a second or an extended runway. “We will invest all necessary time and resource to carefully consider all the infrastructure, access and environmental protection issues with neighbouring authorities, regulators and the wider community.

“We will work tirelessly to keep everyone informed of developments and proposals as soon as they emerge, and make sure everyone has an opportunity to feed into the process and provide comments which will be very carefully considered at every step on this important journey.”

https://www.llal.org.uk/press-release.html

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See earlier:

St Albans campaigners calls for Luton planes to decrease noise by flying higher

17 February 2017

By Debbie White (Herts Advertiser)

Local campaign group St Albans Quieter Skies (STAQS) is anticipating another summer of increased airplane noise as Luton Airport continues its rapid expansion.

Representing residents of Sandridge, Jersey Farm, Marshalswick and North St Albans, the group has held a number of meetings over the last couple of months, to investigate why the area has suddenly become so badly affected by the blight of plane noise, and explore options that might provide some relief in the future.

Last year, 14.5 million passengers travelled through Luton Airport, making 2016 the busiest year ever in the airport’s history. December saw a 24.6 per cent rise in passenger numbers compared with the same month in 2015.

As the prevailing wind is westerly, the majority of those passengers on this route fly over Sandridge and neighbouring areas. In the third quarter of 2016 there were over 8,000 flights from Luton airport that flew over Sandridge and North St Albans.

This growth in passengers will continue this year, as the airport increases its annual passenger numbers to 18 million.

Worryingly, the greatest proposed increase in flights for 2017 are for between 6am and 7am.

In addition, the recent narrowing of the departure route has concentrated flights over the area.

As part of its campaign, STAQS has successfully applied to become members of the London Luton Airport Consultative Committee (LLACC), along with other campaign groups such as LADACAN.

Chair of STAQS, Sharon Hollingsworth, said: “Membership of the committee gives us another forum in which to feedback the views of local residents to the airport authorities, and also to be kept informed of activities at the airport which might affect us in the future.”

Also at the LLACC meeting, it was announced that representatives from the airport would be meeting with others from Heathrow, Stansted and RAF Northolt to investigate what changes could be made to flight paths that would allow flights departing Luton to climb higher before they reach St Albans.

This will go some way towards reducing noise levels, but will not be put in place this year.

In the meantime, STAQS will continue to press the airport authorities to work with air traffic control service provider, NATS, to have planes flying higher as soon as possible, to reduce noise in this district.

Members of the public annoyed by noise from Luton Airport are invited to join STAQS.

For details please email: staqs.group@gmail.com

or visit its Facebook page STAQS (St Albans Quieter Skies).

• If you are being affected by Luton Airport noise, please lodge a complaint: http://www.london-luton.co.uk/corporate/community/noise/talking-to-lla/making-a-noise-complaint

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http://www.hertsad.co.uk/news/st_albans_campaigners_calls_for_luton_planes_to_decrease_noise_by_flying_higher_1_4886816

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See also

Rise in complaints in St Albans district about Luton plane noise – residents are angry

Three campaign groups, representing St Albans, Harpenden and wider-Hertfordshire have banded together to call upon local politicians to do more on the problem of increasing aircraft noise, than merely call for a review or consultation on the problem. Campaigners from the alliance of HarpendenSky, Save our Skies (SoS) and Herts-based LADACAN say St Albans is at risk of ‘turning into Heathrow’ unless the rise in noise pollution is stopped. Luton had more passengers than ever in 2016, at about 14.5 million. But there was also a 150% increase in complaints about noise. Residents in Hertfordshire want Bedfordshire, which owns the airport, to suffer more of its noise. Luton airport is owned by Luton council, and people in Hertfordshire say as Bedfordshire gets the profit, they should take more of the pain. Planes are getting bigger, heavier and noisier, and are flying even earlier in the morning and later at night. There is more noise affecting Flamstead, Redbourn, Harpenden, St Albans, and on to Sandridge and Stevenage. People overflown by increasingly narrow flight paths want politicians to do something and challenge the airport. However, politicians are always nervous of saying anything that might do perceived damage to economic growth, such as demand a ban on night flights.

Click here to view full story…

Luton Airport plans further growth to 25 million passengers (not just 18 million) within 10 years

Luton Airport is planning to expand to 25 million passengers, in a move campaign groups are arguing could increase noise pollution above Hertfordshire. Luton is planning significant expansion, while NATS says the skies over south east England are overcrowded and close to saturation. Neil McArthur of local group, Harpenden Sky, submitted a Freedom of Information Request which revealed that the LLAL planning strategy is for steady growth to 25 million passengers within 10 years. This represents nearly a 40% increase over the current planning limit of 18 million passengers, which was agreed by Luton borough council.  Residents who live under flight paths in St Albans, Harpenden and elsewhere in Hertfordshire have made multiple complaints to the airport about plane noise, due to a new routing system which has narrowed the flight paths and concentrated the noise over a smaller area. Over the past year, noise complaints have increased from 191 in the first quarter of 2016, to 1,849 in the first quarter of 2017. Neil said the airport is not being properly managed, and changes are being rushed through too fast. Andrew Lambourne, from campaign group LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said the airport’s focus is entirely on growth for airlines, giving no mention of making the :airport a better neighbour to local communities.

Click here to view full story…

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