Court rules passengers can claim for flight delays for up to 6 years, not just 2 years

An airline passenger has won his case at at the Court of Appeal over flight delays, despite waiting 6 years to bring a case against the airline. The court rejected an appeal by Thomson Airways against an earlier county court decision to award James Dawson £1,488.73.  He was delayed for 6 hours back in December 2006, going from Gatwick to the Dominican Republic. Thomson argued the claim fell outside a 2-year time limit.  Legal experts said the ruling could lead to more than 11 million passenger claims and cost airlines up to £4 billion. The judgement means airline passengers now have 6 years to bring a flight delay claim in England and Wales. There are “hundreds of litigated cases which have been stayed pending the outcome of the Dawson case, and thousands more ready to issue proceedings”. Mr Dawson sought to recover €600 euros per person from the airline, which is payable as compensation for a flight of that length under EU regulations. These do not stipulate a time limit for compensation to be claimed, leaving it up to national governments to set time limits.  It is the 2nd court case in a week over flight delays, after the Court of Appeal found in favour of a passenger over a flight delay due to a technical fault.

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Airline loses flight delays appeal

19.6.2014 (BBC)

Thomson Airlines claimed Mr Dawson’s compensation claim was outside a two year time limit

An airline passenger has won his case at at the Court of Appeal over flight delays, despite waiting six years to bring a case against the airline.

The court rejected an appeal by Thomson Airways against an earlier county court decision to award James Dawson £1,488.73.

Thomson argued Mr Dawson’s claim fell outside a two-year time limit.

Legal experts said the ruling could lead to more than 11 million passenger claims and cost airlines up to £4bn.

Mr Dawson’s solicitors said the judgement meant that airline passengers now had six years to bring a flight delay claim in England and Wales.

In a statement, the firm said it had “hundreds of litigated cases which have been stayed pending the outcome of the Dawson case, and thousands more ready to issue proceedings”.

The claim by Mr Dawson, from Peterborough, was brought over a delay to a flight from London’s Gatwick airport to the Dominican Republic in December 2006.

His flight was held up by a crew shortage caused by sickness and the flight eventually arrived at its destination more than six hours late.

Time limit

Mr Dawson sought to recover 600 euros per person from the airline, which is payable as compensation for a flight of that length under European Union regulations.

The EU regulation does not stipulate a time limit for compensation to be claimed, leaving it up to national governments to set time limits. In the case of the UK, the courts have interpreted this to mean that the six-year statute of limitations rule applies.

But the airline argued that a separate regulation known as the Montreal Convention applied.

The convention, which is also law in the UK, sets a two-year time limit for compensation claims, but crucially does not limit the amount of compensation that can be awarded.

As a result, the legal argument centred on whether Mr Dawson’s claim had to be brought within the two-year Montreal Convention set limit or the six-year limit statute of limitations.

Mr Dawson began proceedings in December 2012, just before the six-year period elapsed.

Thomson accepted it would have been liable to pay Mr Dawson compensation, but argued his claim was “out of time”.

Extraordinary circumstances

It is the second court case in a week over flight delays, after the Court of Appeal found in favour of a passenger over a flight delay.

Ronald Huzar, whose flight arrived 27 hours late, won a compensation fight with an airline which said the delay was caused by “extraordinary circumstances”.

Mr Huzar said he was entitled to compensation under EU regulations after suffering “no little inconvenience” when his flight from Malaga, Spain, to Manchester left a day late in October 2011.

But Jet2.com bosses claimed an exemption, claiming the problem which caused the delay – a technical fault on an airliner – was unforeseeable and amounted to an “extraordinary circumstance”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27920902

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Thomson ruling could lead to ‘higher airfares’

By Tom Newcombe  (Buying Business Travel)
19 June 2014

Travellers can now claim compensation from flight delays up to six years ago, after a landmark court ruling today.

In the case Dawson V Thomson Airways the court ruled in favour of traveller James Dawson, who was denied compensation for his delayed flight to Dominican Republic in 2006, because he failed to bring the claim within two years.

The Court of Appeal, dismissed Thomson Airways’ appeal, which had argued that airlines are governed by the Montreal Convention that gives passengers only two years to make a claim.

Thomson has warned the decision could result in higher airfares for travellers.

Under EU law passengers delayed for more than three hours are entitled up to  €600 compensation.

It’s estimated passengers on almost 60,000 flights delayed flights over the 2009 – 2011 period are potentially entitled to compensation.

Package holiday firm Thomson has warned that today’s judgment could lead to higher air fares.

In a statement, it said:
”As the UK’s most on-time holiday airline, at Thomson Airways our focus continues to be ensuring that our customers reach their destination safely and promptly.

“We believe that it is reasonable to expect that those who perceive they have suffered a real loss as a result of an unfortunate delay should be able to make their claim within two years.

“We also continue to believe that the law stipulates this and we are therefore surprised by today’s judgment.

“If unchallenged, this judgment could have a significant impact on the entire airline industry and specifically upon the price that all air travellers would need to pay for their flights. We therefore confirm that it is our intention to seek an appeal to the Supreme Court.”

The announcement follows a decision last week in a case involving Jet2.com, in which the Court of Appeal ruled a technical fault which causes a delay could not be classed as an “extraordinary circumstance”, and carriers would still have to pay compensation.

This means that from now on, airlines can only cite technical faults as a reason for not paying compensation, if the fault was originally caused by an event that was “out of the ordinary”.

http://buyingbusinesstravel.com/news/1922667-thomson-compensation-ruling-could-lead-higher-airfares

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See earlier:

Ruling: Jet2 were unsuccessful in their appeal against a court ruling that could pave the way for millions to claim flight delay compensation.

Passengers denied payouts for flight delays caused by technical faults CAN have their case reviewed, regulator says

By ADAM UREN (This is Money)

Passengers denied compensation by airlines for lengthy flight delays caused by technical faults can have their case retrospectively reviewed in the wake of a landmark court case, the UK’s air regulator has said.

The Civil Aviation Authority has said that passengers can ask airlines to review their compensation claims in the wake of a Court of Appeal ruling last week that states airlines cannot reject claims for delays of longer than three hours caused by technical defects.

It followed Jet2 denying passenger Ron Huzar compensation when his flight from Manchester to Malaga was delayed by 27 hours because of a wiring defect.

Jet2 had claimed that under EU laws setting out compensation guidelines, this defect constituted ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that allows them to deny claims. However, the judges ruled that such faults are ‘inherent in the running of an airline’ and as such cannot be considered extraordinary.

The case could open the door to hundreds of thousands of claims for up to €600 being submitted by passengers previously turned down by airlines.

However, Jet2 has already announced its intention to appeal again against the decision, this time by taking it to the Supreme Court, and the CAA has warned that airlines might delay processing claims until the outcome of that case.

A CAA statement said: ‘The Court of Appeal ruled that ordinary technical problems that cause flight disruption, such as component failure and general wear and tear, should not be considered “extraordinary circumstances”.

‘This means that airlines can only cite technical faults as a reason for not paying compensation if the fault was originally caused by an event that was “out of the ordinary”.

‘So technical faults such as a part on the aircraft failing before departure will generally not be considered extraordinary circumstances.

‘The effect of the judgement is that new claims should be assessed by airlines in the light of the judgement; claims previously put to an airline can be reconsidered in the light of the judgement, if the passenger wishes, unless the passenger agreed a settlement with the airline.

‘However, claims that have already been decided by a court cannot be taken back to court unless they are within the time limit for an appeal.’

The CAA initially caused consternation among passenger representatives on Friday when they said that rejected claims could not be retrospectively reviewed in the wake of the Huzar case.

However, after checking the law again, it changed its stance.

A spokesman said: ‘The CAA apologises that our earlier advice was not clear. We will contact passengers who have previously sought our help to provide advice on the matter. The CAA will also provide guidance on the judgment to airlines.’

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/holidays/article-2658979/Passengers-denied-payouts-flight-delays-case-reviewed.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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Standard reports that “Lib-Dems ready to drop Gatwick runway ban from election plans”

The Evening Standard reports that the LibDems are set to use their election manifesto to open the door to a 2nd runway at Gatwick while still opposing a 3rd runway at Heathrow. The Standard says the party is moving towards scrapping its blanket ban on airport expansion in the South-East. “It could be replaced with a series of tests on climate change and local pollution, as well as on levels of noise suffered by communities around airports.”  (Whatever that is meant to mean). The process of writing their election manifesto is being overseen by MP David Laws. It is still at the committee stage of drawing up key policies to be put to members for approval at the LibDem conference in the autumn. A “senior LibDem” is quoted as saying: “We will not endorse an expansion in airport capacity which would increase current noise pollution for the hundreds of thousands of residents living beneath the flight path, or which would break the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations on aviation, which are needed to meet our carbon reduction targets.” (The CCC targets are rather weak and permit a new runway, with various provisos).

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Lib-Dems ready to drop Gatwick runway ban from election plans

The Lib Dems are moving towards scrapping its blanket ban on airport expansion in the South-East

The Liberal Democrats are set to use their election manifesto to open the door to a second runway at Gatwick while still opposing a bigger Heathrow.

The party is moving towards scrapping its blanket ban on airport expansion in the South-East. It could be replaced with a series of tests on climate change and local pollution, as well as on levels of noise suffered by communities around airports.

The manifesto process, being overseen by senior MP David Laws, is still at the committee stage of drawing up key policies to be put to members for approval at the party’s annual conference in the autumn.

“We will announce our policies in due course but I cannot envisage the circumstances in which we drop our opposition to the expansion of Heathrow,” said a senior Lib-Dem source.

“We will not endorse an expansion in airport capacity which would increase current noise pollution for the hundreds of thousands of residents living beneath the flight path, or which would break the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations on aviation, which are needed to meet our carbon reduction targets,”

Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg is likely to face opposition from some members to ditching the ban.

However, maintaining it would be a snub to Sir Howard Davies, the former London School of Economics boss who is chairing a commission into Britain’s future airport needs.

In an interim report in December it shortlisted Gatwick or Heathrow as expansion options and is still considering the case for a “Boris island” hub airport in the Thames Estuary. Sir Howard also concluded that the South East needs one new runway by 2030.

The Deputy Prime Minister has hinted he may support a second runway at Gatwick, highlighting “the case” for expansion of the airport.

The Conservatives are also expected to drop their opposition to a third runway at Heathrow, which was part of their green agenda in 2010.

Three young Londoners have won a £10,000 prize for their short film raising environmental concerns over a third runway at Heathrow.

Anti-expansion campaigner Hugh Grant praised the “beautiful and powerful” film.

The top 15 films chosen from 50 entries were screened to 800 people at the Richmond Theatre last night.

The 60-second film Heathrow Won’t Listen, created by Tom Murray, 22, Andy Chan, 25, and Dan Grant, 22, follows a family in their back garden as the sounds of piano music, children’s laughter and genteel conversation are gradually drowned out by the roar of an aeroplane overhead.

It will now be used as a viral campaign video to raise public awareness.

To see the winning submissions, visit http://www.no-ifs-no-buts.com/

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/libdems-ready-to-drop-gatwick-runway-ban-from-election-plans-9548600.html

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Earlier:

Does Lord Bradshaw reflect Lib Dem aviation policy?

28.4.2014 
The Evening Standard has reported that Lord William Bradshaw, who co-chairs the little known Liberal Democrat  parliamentary committee on transport has said he backs a Gatwick 2nd runway.  Lord Bradshaw, who is a former railwayman, has said Gatwick should be allowed a 2nd runway if “it pays for an upgrade of the Brighton-to- London rail line” … and because it offers  “real improvements on the rail journey to London” for the residents of Sussex.   Eh?  A runway to improve rail services??  The Liberal Democrats have traditionally said they would not back a new runway at  Heathrow or Gatwick. Their policy has been somewhat muddled and confusing over the past few years, with talk of a hub, and no net new runways. However, in the past they have been consistent in saying that the UK’s carbon targets are at risk if aviation is allowed to expand. They may now be wavering, and no longer to be trusted in their rejection of new runways. Nick Clegg’s party now says it wants to see reassurances about environmental considerations – whether carbon emissions or local air and noise pollution – written into the final Davies report.  A much weaker position.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=21117.


 The LibDem website states:

“For Labour and the Conservatives, the environment is just an after-thought, something to support when times are good but to abandon as soon as it becomes unpopular.

The Liberal Democrats will never abandon our commitment to the environment. We are the only party that can be trusted to deliver green jobs and green growth in Government.”

http://www.libdems.org.uk/environment


 

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Nick Clegg is reported as saying, on 19.12.2013, on the LibDem website:

“My point of view has always been why I’ve always opposed certainly the plans that I’ve seen in the past for the expansion of Heathrow is because of the environment effects.  I’m not going to endorse any plan of airport expansion which would increase the existing levels of noise and air pollution and would breach the climate change targets that we’ve all signed up to.”  

http://www.libdems.org.uk/transcript_call_clegg_19th_december_2013


 

The LibDem website says of Lord Bradshaw:

William Bradshaw – Baron Bradshaw, of Wallingford

Bill Bradshaw started his career as a railwayman in the 1950s, rising through the ranks to become Operations Superintendent of the West of England Division, Divisional Manager Liverpool, Chief Operations Manager at Crewe, Director of Operations and General Manager at Paddington. On leaving the railway he became successively Professor of Transport Management at Salford University, a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and Chairman of Ulsterbus. Latterly he had been a Board member of Lothian regional Transport, a member of the Strategic Rail authority and the Commission for Integrated Transport. He has been interested in politics from an early age, becoming an Oxfordshire County Councillor in 1993. He is Vice-Chairman of the Thames Valley Police Authority and served on the Thames Valley Police Authority for thirteen years.

Bill is currently Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport.

http://www.libdems.org.uk/william_bradshaw

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Plans for second runway at Gatwick airport are backed by Liberal Democrat peer

 28.4.2014 (Evening Standard)

Support: Lord Bradshaw has said he is in favour of the expansion at Gatwick airport (Picture: PA)

Gatwick is winning growing Liberal Democrat backing to build a second runway to boost Britain’s links to the rest of the world.

Lord Bradshaw, who co-chairs the Lib-Dem parliamentary committee on transport, argued that the Sussex airport should be allowed to expand if it pays for an upgrade of the Brighton-to- London rail line.

Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg has hinted he may support another Gatwick runway if the Davies Commission into the UK’s airports recommends it instead of a third runway at Heathrow.

But he faces a battle persuading Lib-Dems to overturn their party’s policy, which opposes airport expansion in the South East.

Former railwayman Lord Bradshaw said Gatwick was “the best option”. He added: “Go for Gatwick because they have something to offer the residents of Sussex — real improvements on the rail journey to London.

“The environmental pollution is a problem wherever but it’s a lot worse at Heathrow.” He said many Lib-Dems could be persuaded to support a runway at Gatwick if the economic arguments were properly made.

It could be built in three or four years, he added, quicker than a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary, as proposed by Mayor Boris Johnson.

Former Lib-Dem minister Jeremy Browne has also backed a second runway at Gatwick as an interim solution before a longer-term plan for a new hub airport on the north Kent coast.

The airports commission is due to publish its verdict in September.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/plans-for-second-runway-at-gatwick-airport-are-backed-by-liberal-democrat-peer-9295624.html

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Scottish government outlines nearly £10m of public funding for failing Prestwick airport

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Prestwick Airport: Nicola Sturgeon outlines nearly £10m of new investment

The Scottish government bought Prestwick Airport from Infratil for £1 in November

Prestwick Airport is to receive nearly £10m of investment from the Scottish government, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The funding will go towards operating costs, a repairs backlog and to make improvements to the terminal building.

Ms Sturgeon rejected calls to rename it Robert Burns Airport, saying this could cause confusion.

Labour accused of her of “keeping taxpayers in the dark” over how the money would be spent.

Rival airports voiced concerns about competition from publicly-subsidised Prestwick.

The Scottish government bought the struggling airport for £1 last year amid fears it would be forced to close.

Ms Sturgeon told Holyrood’s infrastructure committee the airport would be operated under public ownership “on a commercial basis”.

She said the Scottish government investment would be made “in the form of loan funding”.

She added that there was “no quick fix solution for Prestwick” and the airport may not be profitable for several years.

The airport had a pre-tax loss of £9.77m in its final full year under previous owners Infratil.

Ms Sturgeon is also the Scottish government’s infrastructure, investment and cities secretary.

She said the airport would operate as a public corporation on a commercial basis” at arms’ length from government.

She added that £5.5m had been provided already since acquisition. and the Scottish government would be required “to provide a further £3m in operating support”.

There will be nearly £7m in capital investment – £4.5m for repairs and £2.4m to make improvements to the terminal building, including refurbishment of the duty free area.

Lack of investment

Ms Sturgeon argued that Prestwick had suffered from a lack of investment and there was a “backlog of essential maintenance”.

The committee evidence session came after finance executive Romain Py completed a three month review of the airport, including options for ownership, on behalf of the Scottish government.

Ms Sturgeon described Prestwick as a “non-typical airport”, with only about half of its revenue dependant on passenger traffic.

She suggested that future revenue could come from freight and retail development.

The airport’s executive directors would be tasked with developing commercial opportunities.

A business plan would include an assessment of a reduced Ryanair schedule for summer 2014 and passenger numbers will be monitored.

Ms Sturgeon ruled out renaming the airport after Robert Burns. Apetition lodged with the Scottish Parliament by The Robert Burns World Federation earlier this year had called for a name change, with supporters arguing it would boost tourism.

The deputy first minister told the committee: “On balance I have concluded there are strong commercial reasons for retaining the Glasgow Prestwick airport name.”

She acknowledged the decision would disappoint some local people but the airport had to be marketed internationally.

She did not rule out a “Burns-related theme” for the airport.

‘Business case’

Scottish Labour’s infrastructure spokesman, James Kelly, said: “Nicola Sturgeon had the opportunity today to set out the Scottish government’s plans for Prestwick Airport, unfortunately she has failed to do so in any detail, and Scottish tax-payers remain in the dark.

“Last year Prestwick Airport was losing nearly £1 million a month.

“It is a nonsense that it will be close to a year since the Scottish government bought the site before a credible plan is put to the people of Scotland, especially when the Scottish government has blocked the publication of analysis they commissioned on the airport.

“Key information is available now, but it is being denied to the Scottish public.”

He added: “Nicola Sturgeon should make a statement before parliament on Prestwick, and publish the business case so that taxpayers can see how £15m of public money is being invested and when the airport will return to profitability.”

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Alex Johnstone said: “By refusing to publish the report into the work by consultants Romain Py, on the grounds of commercial confidentiality, the Deputy First Minister has left many unanswered questions.”

‘No public subsidy’

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “Scotland’s main airports create jobs and attract routes with no public subsidy and we believe that the market should not be distorted. Competition should be allowed to flourish.”

A statement from Glasgow Airport said: “We have previously received assurances that Glasgow Airport will not be placed at a competitive disadvantage, but will continue to seek clarity on how the Scottish government intends to develop its asset.”

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “We believe that any strategy designed to increase passenger numbers at Prestwick must not be at the expense of Glasgow International Airport.”

A spokesman said the Robert Burns World Federation would continue the campaign to rename the airport.

“If George Best, Robin Hood and John Lennon are deemed worthy of being remembered, the iconic Robert Burns should be remembered in Scotland as he is revered the world over,” he said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-27897006

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Related BBC Stories

Report on financial viability of Prestwick Airport to be kept confidential by government

A taxpayer-funded report on the future viability of Prestwick Airport will not be published, to protect commercially confidential information, despite at least £5 million of public money having been pledged to ensure its survival. This has led to accusations that ministers are expecting “blind faith” from the public when it comes to justifying spending taxpayers’ money. The report follows a review that took 3 months. The airport has been losing millions of pounds under its previous owners. Although the full document is being withheld, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to report key findings to the parliament’s Infrastructure Committee in June. The Scottish Government bought Prestwick for £1 in November 2013. Labour’s infrastructure spokesman has said it was unacceptable for the report to be kept secret, and the public deserves to know how the £5 million will be repaid. The CEO of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar has claimed Government ownership of Prestwick was distorting competition in the Central Belt of Scotland. . Glasgow Airport chiefs are also said to be uneasy over the arrangement. Prestwick lost £9.7 million last year.

Click here to view full story…


Prestwick Airport reveals spiralling losses – almost £10 million in 2013

March 7, 2014

The full scale of Prestwick Airport’s financial problems are revealed in the latest accounts, which show a pre-tax loss of almost £10 million in its final full year of private ownership. Its financial problems have escalated with a pre-tax loss of £9.77m in the 12 months to March 31, 2013. The airport made a £2.3m pre-tax loss in the year to March 2012. Last March its owners, Infratil, put the airport up for sale, but as no buyer could be found, the Scottish Government stepped in and bought Prestwick for a £1 on November 22 2013. Prestwick had a 20% fall in the number of passengers in July 2012 compared to the same month in 2011 – the busiest time of the year with the school holidays. The airport’s accounts state that Prestwick is only a going concern if its owner is willing to continue funding deficits. Such an undertaking has been made by Transport Scotland on behalf of Scottish ministers ie. public subsidy. Only Ryanair is operating scheduled flights, and a significant percentage of the airport’s aviation revenue is derived from freight and other aircraft activity.

Click here to view full story…

 


 

Prestwick Airport to be sold to Scottish Government for £1 – and other failing regional airports look to business parks and housing

12.11.2013

Infratil, which currently owns Prestwick Airport, has said the airport is expected to be sold to the Scottish Government for £1.  The sale is due to be completed by Wednesday, 20 November. Infratil said the airport’s value had been “fully impaired” – effectively written off – after Prestwick and sister airport Manston in Kent were collectively valued at £11 million in March.  Infratil bought Prestwick from Stagecoach in 2001 for £33m.  Manston is being sold to Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag for an expected £400,000. Scottish Ministers are taking over Prestwick airport, which is losing £7m a year, to avert its closure and safeguard 1,400 jobs, including 300 at the airport. Infratil described its investment in the airports to have been “unsuccessful for Infratil” and that while such regional airports looked like a good investment 5 years ago, they now are not as  they are reliant on “robust air traffic growth driving demand.” Other failing airports are looking to  create business parks on their land, and housing – to try and make money out of them.                                 http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=18387 
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Heathrow film competition presents 15 impressive anti-3rd-runway campaigning films

At a packed event held in Richmond Theatre, organised by MP Zac Goldsmith, with some 800 people present (free seats), Hugh Grant, Holly Willoughby and Rachel Johnson were the celebrities judging the competition for short films, of 2 minutes or less, opposing a 3rd Heathrow runway. The evening was ably and entertainingly compered by Giles Brandreth. The first prize was £10,000, the second prize £3,000 and the 3rd prize £2,000. Some 50 short films were entered into the competition. The 15 considered the best were shown at the gala event, for the judges to select the top three. The audience then voted on these three. All the 15 films shown were of a very high quality; any one of the 15 films could have been the winner. They all showed a high level of film expertise; there was a wide range of styles and approaches; all showed great originality and creativity, and put the message across powerfully. Anyone present at the gala event would be left in no doubt about just how determinedly people in the areas badly affected by Heathrow will do whatever it takes to ensure no new Heathrow runway gets built.
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Winners:

1. “Heathrow Won’t Listen”  http://t.co/zVLEimwmZv

2. “Say NO”  http://t.co/AAE881fkGU

3. “Life under the Flightpath”  http://t.co/h5G2Ddr20w


 

The other 12 videos (from the top 15) can be seen at 

http://www.no-ifs-no-buts.com/brief/winning-submissions/runners-up/

 


 

“No Ifs No Buts” film contest selects winning No Third Runway short films

18.6.2014

About 800 guests packed out Richmond Theatre on the evening of June 18, for the “No Ifs No Buts” short film gala competition, organised by Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith and Hacan chairman John Stewart.

Hugh Grant, Holly Willoughby and Rachel Johnson were the celebrities judging the competition for short films, of 2 minutes or less, opposing a 3rd Heathrow runway. The evening was ably and entertainingly compered by Giles Brandreth. The first prize was £10,000, the second prize £3,000 and the 3rd prize £2,000.

Some 50 short films were entered into the competition. The 15 considered the best were shown at the gala event, for the judges to select the top three. The audience then voted on these three.

The judges had a very hard time in choosing a winner. They, and the audience, were impressed by every one.

All the 15 films shown were of a very high quality; the judges had hoped there would be some less good films, making their task easier. In the event, any one of the 15 films could have been the winner. They all showed a high level of film expertise; there was a wide range of styles and approaches; all showed great originality and creativity, and put the message across powerfully.

It was agreed that Zac Goldsmith would get copies of the 3 top films to the party leaders, and senior members, of all the main political parties. It was also suggested, by Rachel Johnson, that copies of all the 15 film entries should be put together and given to all the politicians taking leading roles in the next parliament. They indicate the strength of the arguments against Heathrow expansion, and leave no one in any doubt how difficult politically a 3rd Heathrow runway would be, however strong the business and foreign investment lobbies.

The contest is a direct response to the Prime Minister, David Cameron’s comments in 2009 when as leader of the opposition, he made a pledge to Richmond residents there would be no third runway at Heathrow. Some of his election literature clearly set out the pledge, of “No if, no buts, there will be no third runway”. Within months, he had gone back on his word, setting up the Airports Commission to look into the matter of whether the UK should have a new runway, and if so, where it should be. In order not to completely contradict pre-election pledges, the Commission is to give its recommendation only after the next election, so it will not be during this parliament.

There is considerable anger in areas affected by Heathrow about this u-turn by the Conservatives.

The film competition was an encouraging, and heart-warming event, in assembling so many people who shared the same keenly felt wish – to block a new Heathrow runway.

Anyone present at the gala event would be left in no doubt about just how determinedly people in the areas badly affected by Heathrow will do whatever it takes to ensure no new Heathrow runway gets built.

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No Ifs No Buts

http://www.no-ifs-no-buts.com/

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The 3 films that won the Heathrow “No Ifs No Buts” competition, organised by Zac Goldsmith.

First:

This is the link to the winning “No Heathrow 3rd Runway” film on YouTube.

“Heathrow Won’t Listen”  http://t.co/zVLEimwmZv

winning film

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Second:

This is the link to the YouTube film of the film that came 2nd.

“Say NO”  http://t.co/AAE881fkGU

2nd film

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Third:

This is the YouTube link for the film that came 3rd.

“Life under the Flightpath”  http://t.co/h5G2Ddr20w

3rd film

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No ifs No buts

 

Actual text from Conservative election leaflet for the May 2010 election.                                   Full leaflet at  http://www.electionleaflets.org/leaflets/full/b58fa8c95aec5d810bfe2ebb16bcbf91/

 

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Surrey and Sussex MPs oppose Gatwick runway ‘disaster’

Five MPs have begun a campaign against the building of a 2nd Gatwick runway. The Conservative MPs, who represent Sussex, Surrey and Kent constituencies, said the scheme for the airport near Crawley would be “a disaster” for communities and the environment – and there was “serious local concern” at the plan. Reigate MP Crispin Blunt, one of the members of the newly-formed Gatwick Coordination Group, said: “If Gatwick expands in the way that’s planned, it will need many tens of thousands of new people working there, and they are all going to need somewhere to live. The airport at the moment are providing a preposterous suggestion that these people are largely going to come from existing communities in Croydon and Brighton. Well I’m afraid that’s just simply not the case.” Mr Blunt also said no new railway line had been proposed and the London to Brighton commuter line was already “the busiest commuter line in the country” and at capacity. The other 4 MPs behind the campaign are Sir Paul Beresford, Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry, MP for Wealden.  Crawley Conservative MP Henry Smith said he declined to endorse the press release.

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Surrey and Sussex MPs oppose Gatwick runway ‘disaster’

17.6.2014 (BBC)

Gatwick Airport has said 120,000 jobs will be created by the second runway

Five MPs have begun a campaign against the building of a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

The Conservative MPs, who represent Sussex, Surrey and Kent constituencies, said the scheme for the airport near Crawley would be “a disaster” for communities and the environment.

They said there was “serious local concern” at the plan.

Gatwick said it had sought to engage with communities and politicians and would continue to do so.

‘Preposterous suggestion’

Reigate MP Crispin Blunt, one of the members of the newly-formed Gatwick Coordination Group, said: “If Gatwick expands in the way that’s planned, it will need many tens of thousands of new people working there, and they are all going to need somewhere to live.

“The airport at the moment are providing a preposterous suggestion that these people are largely going to come from existing communities in Croydon and Brighton. Well I’m afraid that’s just simply not the case.”

Mr Blunt also said no new railway line had been proposed.

He said the London to Brighton commuter line was already “the busiest commuter line in the country” and at capacity.

The other four MPs behind the campaign are Sir Paul Beresford, who represents Mole Valley, Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley, who represents Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, and Charles Hendry, MP for Wealden.

‘Premature move’

Crawley Conservative MP Henry Smith, whose constituency includes the airport, said he was invited to join the group but declined to endorse the press release.

He said: “Whilst I think Gatwick needs to make a stronger case on how it would invest in upgrading Crawley’s infrastructure if the airport were to expand, I think it premature to rule out an additional runway until the Davies Commission investigating aviation capacity has reported next year.”

Gatwick has submitted three plans for a new runway to the Airports Commission.

Airport bosses have set out improved public transport plans including new train platforms, new rolling stock and improvements to junction nine on the M23, and have suggested 120,000 jobs would be created by the building of a second runway.

A statement issued by the airport said: “We believe an expanded airport at Gatwick is in both the local and national interest and look forward to working with all our stakeholders to demonstrate that.”

East Sussex and West Sussex county councils have backed Gatwick expansion because of job creation, the economic boost and as a solution to providing UK aviation capacity.

Surrey County Council opposed the plans over concerns about the impact on the environment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-27886412

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See also:

MPs initiate “Gatwick Coordination Group” – saying 2nd runway is not in the local or national interest

MPs Crispin Blunt, Sir Paul Beresford, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames, Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry have formed the Gatwick Coordination Group. The Group is established to represent the serious local concern at the plan for a 2nd runway. The MPs’ group released a statement saying they believe a 2nd Gatwick runway would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment. They say the level of development, associated with an airport serving nearly three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place. Also that there is no adequate plan yet presented to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support this development. “The size of the Gatwick site only lends itself to a single runway airport, serving as a sensible, competitive alternate to London’s main hub airport. While they pursue that objective, Gatwick Airport Limited will have our support, but this proposal is not in the local interest, nor is it in the national interest, and this group will work to prove that case.”

Click here to view full story…

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MPs initiate “Gatwick Coordination Group” – saying 2nd runway is not in the local or national interest

MPs Crispin Blunt,  Sir Paul Beresford,  Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames,  Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry have formed the Gatwick Coordination Group.  The Group is established to represent the serious local concern at the plan for a 2nd runway. The MPs’ group released a statement saying they believe a 2nd Gatwick runway would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment. They say the level of development, associated with an airport serving nearly three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place. Also that there is no adequate plan yet presented to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support this development. “The size of the Gatwick site only lends itself to a single runway airport, serving as a sensible, competitive alternate to London’s main hub airport. While they pursue that objective, Gatwick Airport Limited will have our support, but this proposal is not in the local interest, nor is it in the national interest, and this group will work to prove that case.”
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MPs initiate “Gatwick Coordination Group”

 MONDAY 16th JUNE 2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

MPs Crispin Blunt, Sir Paul Beresford, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames, Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry have formed the Gatwick Coordination Group following a meeting at the House of Commons on Wednesday 11th June 2014.

The Gatwick Coordination Group is established to represent the serious local concern at the plan for a second runway at Gatwick Airport which has been shortlisted by the Davies Commission.

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has made its submission to Sir Howard Davies, which is yet to be published.  Sir Howard’s Commission will make its recommendation on airport capacity to the Government in 2015.

The MPs’ group released the following statement:

“We believe that the building of a second runway at Gatwick airport would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment. The level of development, associated with an airport serving nearly three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place.

“There is also no adequate plan yet presented to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support this development.

“The size of the Gatwick site only lends itself to a single runway airport, serving as a sensible, competitive alternate to London’s main hub airport. While they pursue that objective, Gatwick Airport Limited will have our support, but this proposal is not in the local interest, nor is it in the national interest, and this group will work to prove that case.”

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Notes to Editors

 

As a local constituency MP who serves in the Government, Francis Maude is not able to endorse the above statement but wishes to be kept informed of the progress of the group.

The group is chaired by Crispin Blunt MP – Office: 0207 219 2254; Mobile: 07921039891.

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See also:

Surrey and Sussex MPs oppose Gatwick runway ‘disaster’

17.6.2014 (BBC)

Gatwick Airport has said 120,000 jobs will be created by the second runway

Five MPs have begun a campaign against the building of a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

The Conservative MPs, who represent Sussex, Surrey and Kent constituencies, said the scheme for the airport near Crawley would be “a disaster” for communities and the environment.

They said there was “serious local concern” at the plan.

Gatwick said it had sought to engage with communities and politicians and would continue to do so.

‘Preposterous suggestion’

Reigate MP Crispin Blunt, one of the members of the newly-formed Gatwick Coordination Group, said: “If Gatwick expands in the way that’s planned, it will need many tens of thousands of new people working there, and they are all going to need somewhere to live.

“The airport at the moment are providing a preposterous suggestion that these people are largely going to come from existing communities in Croydon and Brighton. Well I’m afraid that’s just simply not the case.”

Mr Blunt also said no new railway line had been proposed.

He said the London to Brighton commuter line was already “the busiest commuter line in the country” and at capacity.

The other four MPs behind the campaign are Sir Paul Beresford, who represents Mole Valley, Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley, who represents Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, and Charles Hendry, MP for Wealden.

‘Premature move’

Crawley Conservative MP Henry Smith, whose constituency includes the airport, said he was invited to join the group but declined to endorse the press release.

He said: “Whilst I think Gatwick needs to make a stronger case on how it would invest in upgrading Crawley’s infrastructure if the airport were to expand, I think it premature to rule out an additional runway until the Davies Commission investigating aviation capacity has reported next year.”

Gatwick has submitted three plans for a new runway to the Airports Commission.

Airport bosses have set out improved public transport plans including new train platforms, new rolling stock and improvements to junction nine on the M23, and have suggested 120,000 jobs would be created by the building of a second runway.

A statement issued by the airport said: “We believe an expanded airport at Gatwick is in both the local and national interest and look forward to working with all our stakeholders to demonstrate that.”

East Sussex and West Sussex county councils have backed Gatwick expansion because of job creation, the economic boost and as a solution to providing UK aviation capacity.

Surrey County Council opposed the plans over concerns about the impact on the environment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-27886412

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Huge mobilisation planned at Notre Dame des Landes on 5/6 July with hope the airport project can be withdrawn

The campaign at Notre Dame des Landes, against the planned new Nantes airport, continues. On the weekend of 5th and 6th July, a huge mobilisation is planned, with people coming from areas across France to show their opposition and resistance to the plans.  The campaign is adamant they want nothing less than the abandonment of the airport plan.  The project is held up still, because of legal appeals and EU Directives on water and threatened species, but it has not yet been cancelled. More people are now living on the ZAD, and more of it is now being cultivated, with a farm saved.  Some delay is due to an environmental assessment being needed on the whole project, rather than separate bits of it.  The Socialist and Green Parties, and the new Minister for Environment, Ségolène Royal, agreed after the recent election that no work can start till all the legal processes are completed. Local campaigners want farmers and residents to be able to plan their futures, free of the airport threat.  They hope this project, and other “Grands projets inutiles et imposés” that are land-hungry, biodiversity destructive, guzzling aquatic and fossil fuel resources as well as public subsidies, can be stopped.
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NOTRE DAME DES LANDES 2014

Rassemblement contre le projet d’aéroport


5 & 6 JUILLET 2014

www.notredamedeslandes2014.org

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NOTRE DAME DES LANDES : WITHDRAW THE PROJECT NOW

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Go ahead towards the final withdrawal of the project!

Whilst preparing our summer event we are at a turning point. Although we have progressed: works have been delayed, the withdrawal of the project which is the aim of our struggle, has not yet been obtained.

We hold our ground! We hold it on our three pillars!

We hold our ground on Zone!

After the autumn upheaval of 2012 and the ‘Cesar’ police action, resisting farmers, newcomers and supporting citizens, all together, have preserved the land of the ZAD [Zone à Défendre].

Life is getting on, long term agricultural projects take shape with ‘Sème ta ZAD’ [Sow the ZAD] and ‘COPAIN’ on the farm at Bellevue and on threatened lands. The Fighting Naturalists have run various field studies, enriching our knowledge and expertise and reducing to little the « compensations » planned by AGO Vinci. Links have been created, the ZAD counts more inhabitants and is now better cultivated than it has ever been.

Farmers as well as ordinary people showed their enormous support towards the defence of the threatened land through the demonstration on February 22nd.  The flash mobilization for Saint-Jean du Tertre saved the farm and gave us guarantees for the future.

We hold our ground on the legal level!

After the EU Committee on Petitions in Brussels decided to keep open our petitions, in September 2013, in spite of the promoters’ will to empty the ZAD, the decrees allowing works to begin were delayed until the end of December:  the Prefect might have been conscious of their weakness in regard to the law…They were immediately contested, while different appeal procedures concerning expropriations are going on persistently before the courts at all levels. We heard recently that the EU Committee started a penal procedure against France about the preliminary studies being cut into parts and the insufficient work on the impact on environment of the project as a whole!

We hold our ground on the political level!

Although the local promoters of the project have not been shaken on their (wrong) bases, the national political actors cannot ignore the subject any more. A major political agreement was wrought from the socialist party through a 28 days hunger strike in May 2012.  It said that no one could be expelled as long as some recourses had not been definitively judged.

In February this year, Jean-Marc Ayrault who was still PM had no other choice but to say that no works would start as long as all ongoing recourses had not been judged. This was confirmed by the Socialist and Green Parties agreement for the March local elections in Nantes and Rennes and again by the new Minister for Environment, Ségolène Royal.

The expressed political will to respect the current legal proceedings is a first step. Therefore, resolutely and serenely, we are looking forward to the closure of all the recourses especially those concerning water and threatened species regulations both on national and European levels.

In the meanwhile we do not give up on anything on the ground. The announced delays are not by themselves signs of the final victory, nevertheless they are quite a positive point. As time goes by it becomes more and more obvious that this project is absurdly outdated if we take into account existing knowledge and legislation!

 

What we want is outright abandonment of the project!

This would allow farmers and inhabitants to look ahead to their future and draft new long term plans. This would allow to achieve optimal operation of the existing airport when necessary.

Dropping the project would reinforce the determination and hope of all those committed to the fight against Big useless imposed Projects which are land-hungry, biodiversity destructive, guzzling aquatic and fossil resources and public subsidies.

Before the July 5th and 6th gathering on the lands of Bellevue in Notre-Dame des Landes, protest caravans will converge from all over France, starting where symbolic struggles are taking place. Join them massively on their way!

In 2012, we said « Now is the time for fighting! »

In 2013, « We are still here, still resisting, more legitimate than ever. Let’s bury the project! »

In 2014, we dare say: « Withdraw the project now! »

The final victory is within reach of our efforts!

Once again we must succeed in making this 2014 gathering-convergence a time of outstanding mobilization!

http://www.notredamedeslandes2014.org/component/k2/item/119-notre-dame-des-landes-withdraw-the-project-now#.U572lPolmxQ.twitter

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Are so many business trips really necessary for better productivity and growth?

Writing in “Buying Business Travel”, Tom Newcombe asks whether there really is as much need for business travel as the proponents of aviation make out.  He says that while air travel can indeed be vital for business, it should be used both sparingly and wisely. He asks whether Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission is actually asking the right questions. “What would show greater imagination and ambition would be for the commission to recognise that, in the 21st century, businesses will eventually decouple travel from growth.”  Travel is not an end in itself, but productivity and output.  “Those who regularly travel on business know that the excitement of jet-setting can soon wear off and actually interfere with, rather than aid, productivity.”  A key factor in reducing flights is changing organisational culture. For example, air travel is often considered prestigious – the more important you are the more the company will spend on your travel. However, this “conventional truth” can be turned on its head – by understanding that the more valuable an employee’s time, the less of it should spend on a plane or sitting in traffic.
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Guest column: Is your trip necessary?


by Tom Newcombe (Digital Editor, Buying Business Travel)

16.6.2014


While travel can be vital for business, it should be used both sparingly and wisely.

The tussling over which UK airport to expand is a distraction from whether or not Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission is actually asking the right questions.

What would show greater imagination and ambition would be for the commission to recognise that, in the 21st century, businesses will eventually decouple travel from growth.

Travel can be a vital component for most businesses, but it’s not an end in itself. Productivity and output are the true measures of success, so these need to be central to decisions – not only for the Davies Commission but also for decision-makers inside organisations choosing when and how to travel.

The Chancellor’s announcement in the recent Budget to reduce long-haul Air Passenger Duty (APD) is based on the assumption that businesses both want, and need, to fly. Those who regularly travel on business know that the excitement of jet-setting can soon wear off and actually interfere with, rather than aid, productivity.

The One in Five Challenge is a scheme, led by WWF and taken over by Global Action Plan (GAP) in January, to encourage companies to commit to cutting 20% of their business flights within five years. Evidence from businesses taking part in this scheme demonstrates that business growth and increased travel do not go hand-in-hand. Reducing the number of flights taken by employees can benefit businesses looking to limit their environmental impact, cut costs, increase productivity and help their bottom line.

Over the last four years of the One in Five programme, 13 participants have achieved their targets, including BT, Lloyds TSB and Vodafone UK. In the third year of the programme, each company involved had reduced their flights by an average of 38 per cent, leading to average yearly savings of £2 million and 3,000 tonnes of CO2.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, two of the successful One in Five Challengers are telecommunications companies. They understand how to maximise the use of state-of-the-art technology to replace travel where appropriate, making their businesses more efficient and productive.

BT was the first to complete the challenge. Using audio, video and web-conferencing as a key solution to reduce the need to travel, BT reported an increase in productivity and an improved work life balance for employees. Vodafone UK cut flights by 26 per cent in a single year by ensuring that employees can communicate with each other through video-conferencing, instant messaging and web collaboration software.

A key factor in reducing flights is changing organisational culture. For example, air travel is often considered prestigious – the more important you are the more the company will spend on your travel – but successful One in Five Challengers have turned this conventional ‘truth’ on its head, by instilling an understanding that the more valuable your time, the less you should spend on a plane or sitting in traffic.

GAP’s recent rail report, Changing Gear: Taking Business Travel into the 21st Century, ( Changing_Gear_Global_Action_Plan ) emphasises the importance of business understanding the full costs of travel choices. Compare a journey from London to Glasgow, including transfers and connections, in terms of productivity – end-to-end, the journey may take 30% longer by train rather than plane.

However, on the train, the worker can spend the majority of the journey with access to a phone signal and wifi, with approximately 90% productivity. The same journey by aeroplane requires the passenger to turn off all connectivity on devices during the flight, so the journey end-to-end is only 50% productive.

Accounting for productivity, the train may be more cost- and time-effective. [Especially for domestic trips, with good wifi].

We should welcome growing signs of a shift in business travel behaviour and encourage businesses to look at the most effective way to conduct business.

The Davies Commission should re-frame their focus and consider overall productivity, rather than assume that travel is necessary for growth.

http://buyingbusinesstravel.com/feature/1622651-guest-column-your-trip-necessary

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Global Action Plan

In our new report, Changing Gear: taking business travel into the 21st century, we challenge the sustainability of business travel in the UK. We also offer 7 steps to reenvision the role of travel in your organisation.

The report highlights the opportunity offered by remote conferencing. It also showcases the importance of choosing the most productive way to travel. For example a trip from London to Scotland may be shorter by airplane, however staff are often more productive going by train.

Download Changing Gear (7.41 MB)

Seven steps to smarter travel

By using our seven steps to sustainable travel, businesses can save money, reduce CO2 emissions and improve the well-being of their employees.

We have compiled the evidence from case studies with a global retailer, a major insurance company, an IT services consultancy and an international bank to help you reduce the negative impacts of business travel.

The Rail Partnership

The Rail Partnership is an alliance between Global Action Plan, thetrainline.com Business, East Coast Trains, Virgin Trains and ScotRail that launched in 2013. Together we have worked with companies to rethink when to travel, how to travel, and how to measure the impact of travel across an organisation.

Changing Gear builds on our first travel report Business in Motion, published in 2012.

http://www.globalactionplan.org.uk/News/changing-gear

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Some extracts from the

“Changing Gear: Taking Business Travel into the 21st Century” report:

Download Changing Gear (7.41 MB)

Introduction:

The Problem of Business Travel:

Despite huge advancements in sustainability practices and communications technologies over the past 30 years, UK organisations have made little or no progress on the business travel agenda.

We still default to face-to-face meetings and reward ‘high fliers’ with air miles, company cars and fuel cards. The more important you are, the further we fly you. We drive to work every day because “that’s just what we do”, and while travel unquestionably has a necessary role to play in delivering business growth, the context has changed significantly, in a way that can no longer be ignored.

Today we are all aware that travel has a hugely damaging impact on our environment, air quality, congestion within our local communities, on employee stress and work-life balance, and an ever-increasing cost on the bottom line. We are even facing reporting and regulatory pressure, yet still progress is limited.

So we asked “why?”

Clearly, business travel continues to exist because it serves a purpose. In today’s global and complex organisations, it plays an essential role in relationship development, team cohesion and knowledge building. however, technology, context and expectations have transformed over the past three decades, while travel behaviours have remained stagnant. naturally there are times when meeting in person saves a thousand emails but there are also many instances when the eight hour flight simply wasn’t worth it, the face-to-face meeting would have been quicker and more productive online, and too much of our
working week is spent in the car, rather than doing our job. unless we investigate our travel behaviours and understand how they can best serve our 21st Century organisation, we cannot claim to be operating smartly or effectively.

Throughout our research we found attitudes towards business travel to be simplistic,
regarding it as either a good or bad activity.

Those in the ‘good’ camp will avoid the issue altogether, and those in the ‘bad’ favour banning travel for as long as is permissible to do so.

These approaches can work in the short term but ultimately result in little substantive change, and leave both business and employees feeling the tension of an unsolved problem. This is where we stepped in.

We started by re-framing the question.

Instead of “how can we stop business travel?” we ask “why do we travel, where does it add value, and how can we reduce its negative impact?” This opens up a whole new opportunity for organisations to innovate and think smarter. This paper outlines how to approach the question differently and how to implement your answer in an achievable, sustainable way that adds value to your business.

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The majority of people interviewed perceived the quickest option as the most productive, UK flights as quicker than rail, and driving as a productive and safe mode of travel. Our work shows these assumptions to be false but without understanding these myths and identifying viable alternative options that are quicker, safer and more productive, initiatives are unlikely to work.

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if 50% of travel could be cut by half through clients utilizing teleconferencing and video conferencing, not only would there be reduced travel time and financial expenditure, we could be more productive and have a better work life balance.
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Think Again

The more valuable your time, the less productively you travel. Senior employees are more likely to fly and drive in the UK instead of travelling by train or using video-conferencing.
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Travel is a high risk, high impact, high cost activity that, through lack of centralised data and analysis, most companies know little about.
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Young talent increasingly cites work-life balance and sustainability as major considerations for employer choice, yet we still reward ‘high fliers’ with company cars, personal car parking spaces and air miles.
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Business travel impacts every employee in the organisation, yet many travel policies don’t have a named owner.

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Business travel is managed and measured from a risk and cost perspective but we justify it by the value we think it creates.
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Why do people travel:

The strong face to face culture to provide excellent service drove frequent business travel. Whilst 100% of those frequent travelers interviewed felt confident using the Video Conferencing facilities available, the diversity of the three businesses meant not all sites interfaced with each other.

The current high-end video conference offering was suite-based rather than desk-based, limited by oversubscription. in some areas travel was required to clients in remote locations, necessitating frequent car use.

Flights are chosen with regards to schedule and nearest airports – nothing else. Carbon footprint doesn’t come into the process at all.

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Fear Factor:

Listening to bookers and travelers from regional offices highlighted the ‘Fear factor’ of travelling to the london hQ via public transport. This resulted in behaviours such as taking a 40 mile taxi into the city, despite excellent wifi-enabled, quick and easy public transport links.

I wouldn’t know what to do when I got to London. I would just get a taxi so I don’t have to think about how to get there – I’ve never taken the underground before, I wouldn’t’ know what to do.
Informed choices:

Fifty percent suggested they would like to consider carbon emissions when booking and a number did not feel confident they knew the current travel policy. A desire for more information from all interviewees highlights the mis-alignment of travel compared to the established ‘green’ culture elsewhere in the business.

To make more sustainable travel choices, I need to be provided with the information – what are the more sustainable options?

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Replacing travel with technology

The established use of video Conferencing internationally has begun to cascade to the regional offices. Celebrating best practice can help establish new social norms, for example 22% of the Video Conferencing within one regional office was direct to London, replacing 15 train journeys, helping drive productivity and reduce costs. Examples such as these are important to build confidence and empower employees in an organisation with a range of IT abilities.
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Who travels?

From conversations with the frequent travellers it became clear that as a consultancy company the demand from clients for visibility at their sites is crucial to the business, and therefore travel culture.

“We need to be with customers, that is what is important.”
Valuing productivity:

Of those interviewed, two thirds mentioned the importance of personal productivity when choosing travel methods. however when explored, this meant arriving at their destination quickly to allow them to be more productive at their client site rather than during the journey or through the day end to end.

There was also a commonly voiced perception that the internet connection on trains was insufficient for the productivity required.

“Using the internet on trains is ‘unworkable’ and a ‘waste a time’. Travel by plane is more
comfortable and quicker.”

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Culture of video conferencing:

As an iT consultancy, advanced telecommunications, online meetings, desktop sharing, web and video conferencing are part of the organisation. There was 100% awareness of video and teleconferencing across those interviewed with the majority feeling confident with its use. Video conferencing equipment comes ‘as standard’ within all main organisational offices and an overarching ‘conference call culture’ exists within the organisation.
“If clients were to get into the 21st century i.e. teleconferencing then i could cut my travel in
half – it’s frustrating.”

Download Changing Gear (7.41 MB)

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New Airports Commission paper questions future growth of regional airports

The Aviation Environment Federation gives an interesting commentary on the Airports Commission’s latest call for evidence, which considers possible means to promote more effective use of regional airports. AEF says that while the Commission maintains its firm support for a new runway to bolster the UK’s connectivity to emerging markets, the paper suggests it would not be opposed to some scaling back in airport capacity in the regions. The Commission’s vision appears to be of an increasingly centralised airports system focussed on London. The Commission appears to challenge claims from some regional airports that they significantly benefit the wider UK economy. It notes that regional airports predominantly – and increasingly – cater to tourist travellers, the Commission argues that “aviation connectivity… facilitates outbound tourism, as well as inbound, so the net impact is unclear.”  If the Commission’s final recommendation is to be a significant scaling back in activity at regional airports in order to allow growth in London, it can expect to face major obstacles.

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New Airports Commission paper questions future growth of regional airports

12.6.2014 (Aviation Environment Federation – AEF)

The Airports Commission’s latest call for evidence – published this week – considers possible means to promote more effective use of regional airports. The work comes in the context of the Government’s broad support for the growth of regional airports, as set out in the Aviation Policy Framework, alongside the Commission’s recommendations for South East expansion.

Both domestic travel and the route networks served by regional airports have been waning, the paper notes, and many regional airports have failed to deliver anything like the levels of growth they formerly anticipated.

But while the Commission maintains its firm support for a new South East runway to bolster the UK’s connectivity to emerging markets, it would not, this new paper suggests, be opposed to some scaling back in capacity elsewhere.

A shift towards a more centralised airports system?

The Commission’s vision appears to be of an increasingly centralised airports system focussed on London. Despite reductions in domestic travel and route networks, people remain well served in terms of air connections around the UK, the paper argues, and:

some consolidation of the market may be absorbed without causing significant diminution of connectivity to either individual regions or the UK as a whole. Indeed, it may be argued that consolidation of the UK’s regional airports into fewer, larger airports could enhance regional connectivity, as larger airports serving bigger catchment areas could attract a wider range of services, enhancing route networks and other services.

Separate consideration is given to airports supporting London and the South East, with an overall conclusion that while some surface access improvements are desirable, particularly to Stansted, there is considerable scope for expansion along the lines set out by the airports themselves.

In terms of economic contribution, the Commission appears to challenge claims from some regional airports that they significantly benefit the wider UK economy.

Noting that regional airports predominantly – and increasingly – cater to tourist travellers, the Commission argues that “aviation connectivity… facilitates outbound tourism, as well as inbound, so the net impact is unclear.”

The paper takes a cautious approach to the possible benefit of Government subsidies, for example questioning whether the recently-announced Regional Air Connectivity Fund (with the first route being awarded recently between Dundee and Stansted) will be able to provide sufficient financial contribution to the setting up of new air routes to affect their viability.

And despite lobbying from some airports for tax relief through differential application of Air Passenger Duty, the Commission does not consider this an effective measure.

Decline in regional airports may be structural and long term

While capacity constraints may have had some impact on the loss of domestic routes, the Commission argues, fundamentally it is lack of demand that has led to the loss of these services:

“Ultimately, the ‘squeezing out’ of domestic routes at capacity constrained airports is a product not just of airports’ charging policies, but of insufficient domestic demand to warrant the use of larger planes. There is nothing intrinsic to domestic services which require them to use smaller planes.”

Therefore, the Commission argues, there is a need to identify“what factors affect the underlying demand for domestic air services, and how these may have shifted in recent years.”

Since reduced demand both preceded the recession and has not picked up after it to the extent that other parts of the aviation market have, and since the drop off also pre-dated the APD increase, the explanation is unlikely to be clearly economic, argues the Commission.

In fact it may relate as much to competition from improved rail services including facilities such as wifi and access to phone networks, the development of long haul routes from regional airports (such that passengers have no need to hub through London), and the relative attractiveness of overseas hubs.

Regional airports in the context of a carbon cap

The Airports Commission made an early commitment to work within the constraints of the Climate Change Act, and the Committee on Climate Change (which advises on delivery of the Act) has made clear that aviation emissions can only be kept to levels compatible with the long term climate target if demand is constrained.

The Airports Commission’s interim report argued that demand in the South East will be strong enough to justify a new runway even if a carbon cap is applied, but while this has never been spelled out, a significant expansion of South East demand would be possible only at the expense of regional airports.

If the Commission’s final recommendation is to be a significant scaling back in activity at regional airports in order to allow growth in London, it can expect to face major obstacles.

Many regional airports have significant room to grow, and Master Plans that set out ambitious expansion plans. Allowing for some drop off in demand from historic highs may be one thing, but as forthcoming analysis by AEF will show, the growth plans of many regional airports would in fact need to be actively – and significantly – curtailed to allow for an increase in CO2 emissions from a new runway.

For the Government to impose retrospective restrictions  on regional airport activity in order to allow SE airport expansion while remaining within carbon limits could have significant economic consequences for the affected airports.

Links

Airports Commission Discussion Paper 06: Utilization of the UK’s Existing Airport Capacity

http://www.aef.org.uk/?p=1743

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The Aviation Environment Federation

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) is the principal UK non-profit making environmental association concerned with the environmental effects of aviation.

We promote a sustainable future for aviation which fully recognises, and takes account of, all its environmental and amenity effects, ranging from aircraft noise issues associated with small airstrips or helipads to the contribution of airline emissions to climate change.

AEF is a membership organisation and we provide advice and information to our members.

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Gatwick hopes its claim will be believed that area’s road network will ‘better than or the same’ with 2nd runway

Gatwick airport’s publicity machine is saying the area’s road network would be left ‘better than or the same’ if a second runway was built at Gatwick. It is claiming its planned infrastructure improvements will make it ‘road and rail ready’ by 2021 for a new runway. And “with no additional cost to the taxpayer.”  They want to “create a regional transport hub to help drive economic growth across the entire area.” Works on a new junction on the A24 are due to start now and could last 18 months, while roadworks have been ongoing on the A23 near Handcross since 2011. Gatwick’s spokesman, Hugh Sumner, said of the local road network’s ability to cope with any additional strain: “Our commitment is we are going to leave the road systems working better than or the same in 2050.”  But the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), which opposes a 2nd runway, questioned the contents of the transport document. Brendon Sewill, chair of GACC, said: “The document published by [Gatwick Airport Limited] contains 10% inaccuracies, 20% inconsistencies, and 50% wishful thinking.” TfL appreciate the huge strain a new Gatwick runway will place on surface transport networks, which Gatwick is attempting to gloss over. 
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“Two runway Gatwick could provide regional transport

hub for area” – say airport bosses

Transport hub at Gatwick Airport (submitted). 
Transport hub at Gatwick Airport (submitted).

 

11.6.2014  (West Sussex County Times)

The area’s road network would be left ‘better than or the same’ if a second runway was built at Gatwick according to airport bosses.

As part of its bid to be selected for expansion by the Airports Commission in 2015 the airport revealed its planned infrastructure improvements this week, which it says will make it ‘road and rail ready’ by 2021 for a new runway.

Hugh Sumner, Gatwick’s senior transport advisor who worked on theLondon 2012 Olympics as director of transport for the Olympic Delivery Authority, said they hoped to create a regional transport hub to help drive economic growth across the entire area.

A second runway at Gatwick and a third runway at Heathrow are options shortlisted by the Davies Commission on airport capacity in the South East of England.

It is due to give a final recommendation to central Government after next year’s General Election.

Gatwick has previously said that a new runway could be delivered by 2025 if chosen.

Works on a new junction on the A24 south of Broadbridge Heath are due to start on Monday June 9 and could last 18 months, while roadworks have been ongoing on the A23 near Handcross since 2011.

Asked about concerns over the local road network’s ability to cope with any additional strain Mr Sumner said: “Our commitment is we are going to leave the road systems working better than or the same in 2050.

“If you have a better road system coming through, better junctions and better flows then a second runway is the obvious choice.”

He told the County Times they had done extensive traffic modelling to show the road network surrounding the airport had ‘a huge amount’ of capacity and resilience.

Meanwhile Gatwick said planned improvements could see a doubling of rail capacity with 10,000 extra seats to London every hour.

Through the new Govia Thameslink Rail Franchise, due to take over from Thameslink, Southern, and Great Northern franchises, extensive changes are planned to the Gatwick Express service by 2016.

Mr Sumner said they hoped to create an ‘integrated transport hub’ that would blend together road, rail, coach, and bus passengers to create a ‘superb Gatwick Gateway’.

He said they would ‘leave a different transport proposition for the future, driving a ribbon of economic growth north and south’.

“I firmly believe a second runway is the best thing for the region and the local community and the nation just as the Olympics was for London,” Mr Sumner added.

“I think the important message to them is we care as an enterprise. Gatwick cares. It’s the right thing for the community, we will stand by them and work with them.”

He continued: “Gatwick will be road and rail ready for a second runway by 2021 with no additional cost to the taxpayer. The ease at which these improvements can be delivered adds yet more weight to the obvious case for a new runway at Gatwick.

“Gatwick already has the highest proportion of passengers travelling by public transport and these improvements will help encourage even more. We want 60 per cent of our customers to use public transport, comparable with the best globally and better than any UK airport.”

But the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), which has opposed a second runway at Gatwick, questioned the contents of the transport document.

Brendon Sewill, chair of GACC, said: “The document published by GAL [Gatwick Airport Limited] today contains ten per cent inaccuracies, 20 per cent inconsistencies, and 50 per cent wishful thinking.

“GACC will be undertaking a comprehensive study of the impact of a new runway on road and rail congestion and will be publishing it later this summer.”

The group is urging town and parish councils in the areas that might be affected by a second runway to organise public meetings to help residents understand the airport’s current consultation.

The ‘Airspace Consultation’ was launched by Gatwick last week and presents several options for departure routes, which the airport says is part of a wider programme of changes needed to deliver the UK Future Airspace Strategy. These are legally required to come into effect in 2020.

But one of the options would see the continuation of a trial flight path which started sending aircraft over Warnham and surrounding villages in February, much to the anger of residents who say the tranquillity of countryside life has been shattered by near-constant aeroplane noise throughout the day.

Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) was set up in response and has organised a drop-in session for residents to view large-scale maps within the airspace consultation documents at Warnham’s Comrades Club on Thursday June 12 from 7pm.

It is also looking at the possibility of organising similar events in Rusper and Slinfold before the consultation closes in mid-August.

Sally Pavey, chair of CAGNE, described how the flow of planes overhead, from 6am to 10.50pm, was having a massive impact on residents’ mental health and wellbeing.

She said that any of the new consultation options would see planes flying over houses which had previously not been under a flight path where homeowners had paid a premium for their property not to live under a Noise Preferential Route (NPR).

She added: “We will battle on because at the end of the day we have rights to peace and tranquillity because we have lived there for 35/40 years.

“We should have rights not to have this forced upon us.”

For more information visit

www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation

or see www.facebook.com/CAGNE.Gatwick

 

http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/local/two-runway-gatwick-could-provide-regional-transport-hub-for-area-say-airport-bosses-1-6111663

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see also

Level playing field on transport costs vital to proper assessment of runway options – says TfL

The issue of surface access to airports was the subject of the RunwaysUK conference on 2nd June. Michèle Dix, planning director of Transport for London, said that the costs for surface access for each of the runway options must be assessed against a level playing field of criteria. Michèle said it was vital that estimates by runway promoters reflected that actual needs of transport in the capital. “You need to compare like with like. What are the true and full costs of accommodating this additional demand? If airports are placing a greater demand on the network then we need a greater transport provision.” The Thames estuary proposal had not compared the surface access needs, like for like. She estimated that comparable “optimal” investment level of investment needed – the total package of transport schemes required to deliver an optimal level of surface transport access – for Heathrow was £17.6bn, Gatwick £12.4bn and an Inner Thames Estuary airport £19.1bn.

Click here to view full story…

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One of the slides from Michelle Dix’s presentation:

TfL assumptions on transport costs for runway options June 2014


One of the slides from Michelle Dix’s presentation:

Potential trip growth on public transport and road

 

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