Transport Secretary to discuss 2nd Brighton mainline BML2 linking south coast to Canary Wharf

The Brighton Mainline 2 (BML2) consortium has long campaigned for a 2nd railway line between the south coast and London. The idea is for a have a line running from Brighton east of the current main line, going via Uckfield and Crowborough and Oxted, to Croydon, and then on to Canary Wharf and ultimately to Stansted. The campaign says tht the BML2 line would “link into Thameslink 2 between Stratford and Lewisham, providing a rail link between Gatwick and Stansted airports (“StanWick”) and opening up a rail corridor between East Anglia and Sussex, Surrey and Kent …”  And “More services could be run between London and the South Coast, whilst Gatwick airport could have its rail connections speeded-up and increased by means of the Stanwick Express dedicated shuttle services operating between Gatwick and Stansted through Canary Wharf and Stratford International.”  Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, has agreed to meet with the BML2 campaigners to discuss the plans, a second Brighton mainline. The group has recently revealed a group of heavyweight overseas investors had stated their intention to fund the scheme, and had a particular interest in linking the rail line from Brighton to Canary Wharf. The consortium is now prepared to undertake its design and construction and will put its case to the government.
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Transport secretary to discuss second Brighton mainline

Friday 13 January 2017

(Brighton and Hove Independent)

Campaigners have welcomed the news that Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, has agreed to meet with them to discuss a second Brighton mainline.

The Brighton Mainline 2 (BML2) consortium has long campaigned for a second railway line via Uckfield to connect the capital to the seaside.

Last month, it was revealed a group of heavyweight overseas investors had stated their intention to fund the scheme, and had a particular interest in linking the rail line from Brighton to Canary Wharf.

Now, Simon Kirby, Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, said the transport secretary had agreed to meet with the campaigners behind the idea.

He said: “I am pleased that the Secretary of State has agreed to this meeting. I believe that this project could be a long-term solution to resolving some of the problems on the existing line.”

A spokesman for the BML2 campaigners said: “We’re delighted the Secretary of State has agreed to meet the BML2 consortium. Over the past year, international investors have looked at the Brighton Main Line 2 proposal in detail and have now agreed to fund it. The consortium of professionals is now prepared to undertake its design and construction and will now put its case to the government.

“Aside from the current industrial disputes, railways in London and the South East are struggling to meet demand. BML2 will deliver vast amounts of capacity so more trains can be operated. There will be new destinations with some closed routes in Sussex reopening. This is going to be a very exciting time and a huge boost for the Sussex economy.”

Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, long-time supporter of BML2, and leader of the Conservatives on Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “This is very encouraging news. I, along with Simon and Lewes MP Maria Caulfied, met up with members of the BML2 consortium before Christmas and were very impressed with the progress they are making. At a time when the current Brighton mainline is in a state of chaos I am sure that the transport secretary will be impressed by the potential benefits of their plans.”

Read more at: http://www.brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk/news/transport/transport-secretary-to-discuss-second-brighton-mainline-1-7773707

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What is BML2?

BML2 is a proposal to create a second Brighton Main Line to London. However, it’s actually a lot more than relieving pressure on one of the country’s most overcrowded rail routes for the benefit of Brighton commuters travelling into London or restoring a rail link between Uckfield and Lewes.

The BML2 Project can be broken down into three phases:-

  • Sussex phase:-
      • restoration of rail link between Uckfield and Lewes, providing a direct route from Eastbourne to London via Uckfield, releasing train paths and increasing capacity on the Brighton Main Line
      • building of new rail link between Uckfield and Brighton via Falmer – home of Brighton and Hove Albion’s Amex stadium and Brighton and Sussex universities, making them accessible from the northern parts of East Sussex and South London

     

  • Kent phase:-
      • Re-instatement of Tunbridge Wells West and linking in to the core BML2 route, relieving pressure on the Tonbridge Main Line into London (also one of the most overcrowded rail routes in the country) and making Brighton and Eastbourne accessible

     

  • London phase:-
    • Re-opening Selsdon to Elmers End to rail travel to avoid the East Croydon bottleneck and provide direct link from Kent and Sussex to Canary Wharf and East London, relieving pressure on the London Underground
    • Creation of Croydon Gateway station – a possible amalgamation of Purley Oaks, Sanderstead and South Croydon, providing an interchange between BML and BML2 and relieving pressure on East Croydon – the country’s second busiest rail interchange
    • Linking into Thameslink 2 between Stratford and Lewisham, providing a rail link between Gatwick and Stansted airports (“StanWick”) and opening up a rail corridor between East Anglia and Sussex, Surrey and Kent, relieving more pressure on the London Underground and improving links between these counties.

CLICK HERE to see the BML2 Project Route Map

BML2 does not merely provide a quicker journey between two cities – commuters from many towns across the South East will directly benefit from increased destinations, including: Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells, Seaford, Uckfield and Crowborough. Relieving the pressure of overcrowding will also benefit Hassocks, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and Crawley. Nearby towns and villages will also benefit from increased business, particularly those involved in tourism.

Gatwick is the country’s second busiest airport which is at capacity. Providing a rail link to the underused Stansted airport would enable them to work together like a hub airport – a more viable proposal than “HeathWick” and reducing the need for a new airport in the South East or expansion of Heathrow or Gatwick whilst allowing increases in international visitors.

Additionally, with better cross-London connections, tourists will find it easier to explore a greater part of the country – not just Sussex and Kent, but also Surrey, East Anglia and beyond without the nightmare of carrying baggage on the London Underground.

http://www.bml2.co.uk/what-is-bml2.html

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Grayling urged to consider ‘A railway that works for everyone’

12 December 2016

http://www.bml2.co.uk/  The BML2 website

[BML2 is the rail plan to avoid gridlock on the Brighton and Tunbridge Wells Main Lines]

Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Sussex MP Simon Kirby (Brighton Kemptown) has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, requesting that he meets the Brighton Main Line 2 Project Group.

In the wake of serious commercial interest in BML2 now being shown by international investment companies, a briefing meeting was held on Friday 2 December to provide an overview of the latest proposals to Simon Kirby and Maria Caulfield MP (Lewes), as well as Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, Conservative Leader on Brighton & Hove City Council. All three are well-known locally for having championed BML2 from the outset.

It is encouraging that investors remain undeterred by the referendum result; indeed, it appears that they are keener than ever to roll up their sleeves, bring their expertise to these shores and get this formidable project off the ground as soon as possible.

A slide presentation outlining more ambitious plans within London was given by the BML2 Project Group – which has recently been registered as a limited company. All proposals strictly adhere to the three-phase approach of BML2, ensuring the Sussex and Kent phases remain fundamental. Both are crucial to guaranteeing the success of the far more ambitious London phase.

For those new to the project, the first two are principally reinstating the former double-track main line rail links into both Tunbridge Wells (West) and Lewes via Oxted. Additionally, BML2 includes constructing Ashcombe tunnel (1.5 miles / 2.4km) beneath the South Downs to provide fast, direct access into the City of Brighton and Hove via Falmer. Thus, the all-important second route to the Sussex Coast is achieved and delivers all the much-needed additional capacity which is required. Altogether, Eastbourne, Seaford, Newhaven, Lewes, Brighton, Bexhill, Hastings, etc, would equally gain an additional, direct fast main line to London and beyond. Consequently, in its entirety, this would see former Chancellor George Osborne’s aspiration of greater additional capacity between the Sussex Coast and the capital.

In recent months particular interest in BML2 has been shown within Canary Wharf. This is because subsequent enhancements to the original concept have substantially increased its potential. Precise details are expected to be disclosed in the coming weeks, but the plan would provide superior connections in the Stratford area and bring many benefits.

In his response, Simon Kirby issued a press release saying: “Following a meeting last week with the BML2 Project Group, I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling asking him to consider holding a meeting with them in early January. I believe that this project could be a long-term solution to resolving some of the problems on the existing line.”

Perhaps appropriately, BML2 has been described as a project to deliver ‘a railway that works for everyone’ – be they top executives, everyday hard-pressed commuters or off-peak travellers. The railway is a critical element to a successful thriving economy, especially in such an overcrowded part of the country where it remains the supreme mass-mover of people.

Equally supportive is Lewes MP Maria Caulfield who wrote an erudite and powerful article in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph. After commenting that Government intervention was long overdue on the current Southern dispute, she moved on to the fundamental problem of worn-out infrastructure struggling to cope with twenty-first century demand. Echoing the previous Chancellor’s assessment she declared: “Sussex is in desperate need of extra capacity, and the best way to create that is a second main line from the south coast to London. A proposal for this already exists: Brighton Main Line 2 (BML2) would create a new route from the coast up to Canary Wharf which would take pressure off Brighton Mainline 1, making it easier to upgrade and maintain those creaking old tracks.”

She went on to tell its readers: “This project could begin in as little as 18 months; a feasibility study is already on Mr Grayling’s desk and foreign investors are waiting to fund it.”

Ending the industrial action, monitoring performance, investing in upgrades and building a new main line, was, she declared, the way forward – “Taken together, this is a blueprint for bringing efficient harmony back to the network which links some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside with our thriving capital.”

Just as appreciative of the crucial role which BML2 could play in the south is Brighton’s Green MP Caroline Lucas who has been piling pressure on the Government to release the long-anticipated and very overdue £100k study begun last year. Tabling further questions in the House of Commons this month over when the Government might oblige, Caroline was despatched the following answer from HM Treasury on 1 Dec: “The former Chancellor commissioned the London South Coast Rail Corridor Study in 2015, which looks at the region’s rail transport needs broadly. The Study considers the case for investment in the Brighton Main Line, re-opening the Lewes-Uckfield line, as well as the ‘BML2’ concept, for a new mainline to London. The Government will publish the London and South Coast Rail Corridor Study, and its response to the recommendations, in due course.”

It has also been reported that Secretary of State Chris Grayling acknowledged the report had been on the table for far too long and promised that he would publish its findings very soon.

All-party support is also promised with long-standing BML2 champion Lord Bassam of Brighton offering to assist within London and the Houses of Parliament as the groundswell of backing behind the south’s premier project increases.

Meanwhile an Open Letter to Chris Grayling is being circulated among the region’s councils urging “the Government to follow the Chancellor’s lead in taking this project seriously and doing all it can to deliver BML2 as soon as possible.”  

As we approach 2017 and with international investment lapping on our shores, there could never be a better time to roll out the carpet and show that Britain really is – ‘Open for Business’.

http://www.bml2.co.uk/the-news/213-grayling-urged-to-consider-a-railway-that-works-for-everyone.html

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The BML2 website also says, in relation to Gatwick:

The campaign says:

East Croydon would remain served by the same standard and quality of services as today for everyone who wants to go there for work, shopping etc. However, non-stopping services would be able to avoid East Croydon and thus ease the bottleneck. More services could be run between London and the South Coast, whilst Gatwick airport could have its rail connections speeded-up and increased by means of the Stanwick Express dedicated shuttle services operating between Gatwick and Stansted through Canary Wharf and Stratford International.

and

What’s Stanwick?

Probably the biggest benefit of BML2’s London Phase is physically joining Stansted and Gatwick airports with one continuous railway which can operate dedicated shuttles connecting Gatwick – Canary Wharf – Stratford – Stansted. Stanwick would be one seamless journey between the two airports with interchange onto Crossrail.

and
Why Canary Wharf?

There are no spare paths into London Bridge, although some there would be nothing to stop BML2 trains going there, for example in emergencies or diversions. However, some truly immense benefits come with a new five mile railway beneath the Thames connecting Lewisham with Canary Wharf and Stratford. Terminating services in London takes up space and capacity –it’s better to go through – which was the argument for Thameslink in the 1980s.

Canary Wharf is already a key destination for commuters and with Crossrail will become even more significant. We’re not proposing running Crossrail trains on BML2 but having interchange at Canary Wharf and Stratford. There is also interest in having a new station on the south bank at Lewisham. People could be spared the wasted time, cost and so on of needlessly travelling right into London and back out again to Canary Wharf. The cost/benefit ratio would be impressive.

from   http://www.bml2.co.uk/bml2-london-phase-faq.html


 

 

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Study shows sleep deprivation ‘costs UK £40bn a year’ through lost working days

A study by Rand Europe, published in November 2016, shows that sleep-deprived workers are costing the UK economy £40 billion per year and face a higher risk of death. The calculation is based on tired employees being less productive or absent from work altogether.  Rand Europe, which used data from 62,000 people, said the loss equated to 1.86% of economic growth. The main impact was on health, with those sleeping less than 6 hours a night 13% more likely to die earlier than those getting the “healthy daily sleep range” of 7 – 9 hours. The study evaluated the economic cost of insufficient sleep in the UK, US, Canada, Germany and Japan.  UK loses 200,000 working days a year, costing £40bn, or 1.86% of GDP.  Germany loses 200,000 working days a year, costing $60bn, or 1.56% of GDP.  Marco Hafner, a research leader at Rand Europe and the report’s main author said small changes could make a big difference. If those in the UK currently sleeping under 6 hours a night increased this to between 6 – 7 hours it would add £24 billion to the UK’s economy.  Large numbers of people living near UK airports, Heathrow and Gatwick in particular, are subjected to aircraft noise at night, between 11pm and 7am, and many suffer chronic sleep interference or sleep loss as a result.
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Sleep deprivation ‘costs UK £40bn a year’

Sleep-deprived workers are costing the UK economy £40bn a year and face a higher risk of death, says a new study.

The calculation is based on tired employees being less productive or absent from work altogether.

Research firm Rand Europe, which used data from 62,000 people, said the loss equated to 1.86% of economic growth.

The main impact was on health, with those sleeping less than six hours a night 13% more likely to die earlier than those getting seven to nine hours.

The study evaluated the economic cost of insufficient sleep in the UK, US, Canada, Germany and Japan.

And while the impact of tired workers in the UK may sound bad, it still ranked better than both the US and Japan which lost the most working days due to lack of sleep.


The cost of sleep deprivation by country:

  • US loses 1.2 million working days a year, costing $411bn (£328bn) or 2.28% of GDP
  • Japan loses 600,000 working days a year, costing $138bn or 2.92% of GDP
  • UK loses 200,000 working days a year, costing £40bn, or 1.86% of GDP
  • Germany loses 200,000 working days a year, costing $60bn, or 1.56% of GDP
  • Canada loses 80,000 working days a year, costing $21.4bn or 1.35% of GDP
  • According to the study, the “healthy daily sleep range” is between seven and nine hours per night.

The report called on employers to recognise and promote the importance of sleep, urging them to build nap rooms.

It said they should also discourage staff from “extended use” of electronic devices after working hours.

Individuals were advised to wake up at the same time each day and exercise during the day to improve their sleep.

“The effects from a lack of sleep are massive. Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual’s health and wellbeing but has a significant impact on a nation’s economy,” said Marco Hafner, a research leader at Rand Europe and the report’s main author.

Mr Hafner said small changes could make a big difference, saying if those in the UK currently sleeping under six hours a night increased this to between six and seven hours it would add £24bn to the UK’s economy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38151180

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Lack of Sleep Costing UK Economy Up to £40 Billion a Year

November 29, 2016  (Rand Corporation)

Lower productivity levels and the higher risk of mortality resulting from sleep deprivation have a significant effect on a nation’s economy.

Sleep deprivation increases the risk of mortality by 13 per cent and leads to the UK losing around 200,000 working days a year.

Increasing nightly sleep from under six hours to between six and seven hours could add £24 billion to the UK economy.

A lack of sleep among U.K. workers is costing the economy up to £40 billion a year, which is 1.86 per cent of the country’s GDP.

According to researchers at the not-for-profit research organisation RAND Europe, sleep deprivation leads to a higher mortality risk and lower productivity levels among the workforce, which, when combined, has a significant impact on a nation’s economy.

A person who sleeps on average less than six hours a night has a 13 per cent higher mortality risk than someone sleeping between seven and nine hours, researchers found, while those sleeping between six and seven hours a day have a 7 per cent higher mortality risk. Sleeping between seven and nine hours per night is described as the “healthy daily sleep range”.

In total, the UK loses just over 200,000 working days a year due to sleep  deprivation among its workforce. Productivity losses at work occur through a combination of absenteeism, employees not being at work, and presenteeism, where employees are at work but working at a sub-optimal level.

The study, Why Sleep Matters – The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep, [the report itself is at http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR1700/RR1791/RAND_RR1791.pdf  ]  is the first of its kind to quantify the economic losses due to lack of sleep among workers in five different countries—the U.S., UK, Canada, Germany, and Japan. The study uses a large employer-employee dataset and data on sleep duration from the five countries to quantify the predicted economic effects from a lack of sleep among its workforce.

Marco Hafner, a research leader at RAND Europe and the report’s main author, says “Our study shows that the effects from a lack of sleep are massive. Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual’s health and wellbeing but has a significant impact on a nation’s economy, with lower productivity levels and a higher mortality risk among workers.”

He continues “Improving individual sleep habits and duration has huge implications, with our research showing that simple changes can make a big difference. For example, if those who sleep under six hours a night increase their sleep to between six and seven hours a night, this could add £24 billion to the UK economy.”

The U.S. has the biggest financial losses (up to $411 billion) and most working days lost (1.2 million) due to sleep deprivation among its workforce. This was closely followed by Japan (up to $138 billion, with around 600,000 working days being lost overall). Germany (up to $60 billion, with just over 200,000 working days being lost) and the U.K (up to $50 billion, with just over 200,000 working days lost) have similar losses. Canada was the nation with the best sleep outcomes, but still has significant financial and productivity losses ($21.4 billion, with around 80,000 working days being lost overall).

When looking at GDP, Japan has the largest loss (2.92 per cent) due to sleep deprivation among its workforce, followed by the U.S. (2.28 per cent) and the U.K (1.86 per cent). Canada and Germany have the smallest GDP loss due to worker sleep deprivation (1.35 per cent and 1.56 per cent, respectively).

– ENDS –

http://www.rand.org/news/press/2016/11/30/index1.html

Notes to Editors:

The report is in part based on VitalityHealth’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study, in which RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge conducted analysis and research support. Thereport, Why Sleep Matters – The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep, involves independent research and analysis from RAND Europe.

About RAND Europe

RAND Europe is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. Our clients include European institutions, governments, charities, foundations, universities and private sector firms with a need for impartial research. We combine deep subject knowledge across diverse policy areas including health, science and innovation; defence, security and infrastructure; and home affairs and social policy. Combined with proven methodological expertise in evaluation, impact measurement and choice modelling, we are able to offer quality-assured research and analysis, unbiased insights and actionable solutions that make a difference to people’s lives. www.randeurope.org

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National Sleep Foundation (2013) reports the share of people sleeping less than 7 hours across five OECD countries as: Japan (56%), U.S. (45%), UK (35%), Germany (30%) and Canada (26%). See Table 1.1 in the report for more details.

 

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Chris Grayling’s evidence to the Environmental Audit Cttee on climate – in relation to Heathrow runway

Chris Grayling, and Caroline Low from the DfT, gave oral evidence to the Environmental Audit Cttee on 30th November.  Chris Grayling was not able to give the committee satisfactory assurances on how much UK aviation emissions would rise, due to a new runway. Nor was he able to comment on the CO2 cuts needed by other sectors, to accommodate aviation CO2 rise. He said: “Of course in the case of carbon emissions, there is no law of the land that requires us to meet any particular target.” When asked by Mary Creagh when we could see the aviation emissions strategy, Grayling could give no answer other than an evasive: “documentation on that expansion will be published in the new year.” Grayling’s responses indicate only an incomplete grasp of the facts on carbon, avoiding specific answers to questions, but with the intention of allowing aviation expansion (and perhaps later trying to sort out the problem). He hides behind the CCC as much as possible.  On the issue of non-CO2 impacts, he says “there is no international evidence at the moment”for this” – and then some half-digested waffle about cutting CO2 by more direct routing of flights. He also hopes biofuels will make a difference in future, despite this being unlikely to provide more than a tiny % of fuel. Grayling makes it clear he has no intention of letting aviation CO2 get in the way of a 3rd Heathrow runway.
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http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/environmental-audit-committee/the-airports-commission-reportcarbon-emissionsair-quality-and-noise/oral/44113.pdf

The Environmental Audit Committee, chaired by Mary Creagh, heard oral evidence from Chris Grayling, and Caroline Low (Dft) on 30th November.

“The Airports Commission Report: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality and Noise, HC 840 Wednesday 30 November 2016

Members present: Mary Creagh (Chair); Peter Aldous; Caroline Ansell; Glyn Davies; Caroline Lucas; Mr Gavin Shuker.

Questions 1 – 133 Witnesses: Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, and Caroline Low, Director of Airport Capacity, Department for Transport.


The questioning covered several environmental issues. Below are the sections dealing with questions and answers on climate.

 

Q49    Caroline Lucas: In your response to the Committee, and indeed in the statement to the House, you said that Heathrow can be delivered within the UK’s carbon obligations, but the figures in the Government’s business case assume that aviation will emit 15% more CO2 than the amounts allowed for in the carbon budgets by 2050. I wonder how you reconcile those statements.

Chris Grayling: There are two different ways that this could happen. It is worth saying of course that international aviation is not within the current climate change legislation. Notwithstanding that, we and the international community are taking this issue very seriously, hence you will be aware of the recent ICAO agreement in Montreal. We believe that a number of different factors will have a material impact on the level of emissions from this sector.

One of those is change in technology, with the emergence of a new generation of much more fuel-efficient aircraft that will emit less carbon than has been the case in the past; a second is the development of biofuels, and we yesterday published a consultation on how we intend to incentivise the increased use of biofuels in aviation in this country. Of course many airlines are doing this already. Virgin Atlantic, for example, is already well advanced in the development of biofuels technology for use in their planes, so that is the second factor.

Of course the third element, which was at the heart of the ICAO agreement, is the international plan for offsetting in this sector. I am very confident that with the package that is available we will achieve what the Airports Commission said we would be able to achieve, which is to deliver the expansion of airport capacity in the south-east without breaching the carbon goals that we have. Is there anything else to add to that, Caroline?

Caroline Low: Just to pick up on that, there has been some press about this and comments from the Committee on Climate Change. The further work that was published alongside the decision was supplementary to all of the work that the Commission did, and we absolutely accept the recommendations and the scenarios that they ran in relation to carbon. As you know, there was a carbon cap and a carbon traded scenario, which probably represent extremes. In our further sensitivities we ran those off the carbon traded scenario, but that was not to imply that that is the scenario that we expect to be in. We still expect to be somewhere in the middle, depending on the range of policy approaches taken. In summary, we stand by the work that the Commission did on carbon, which was accepted by the CCC.

Q50            Caroline Lucas: I will come back to some of these issues around ICAO and biofuels in a moment, but biofuels are only likely to be able to be substituting a very small proportion of fossil fuels.

Chris Grayling: Yes, it is a factor. It is not a transformative—

Caroline Lucas: It is a very small factor. I just wanted to come back to the issue of offsetting, because in the letter from the Committee on Climate Change to Greg Clark, the Secretary of State, they make very clear that they do not think that carbon offsetting should be factored into the targets that you are aiming for. Not least, they say that because, “The Committee has consistently said the Government should not plan to use credits to meet the 2050 target because these credits may not be available in the future and they may not be cheap”. Relying on offsetting when that is flying in the face of what the Committee on Climate Change is recommending seems unwise.

Chris Grayling: We have not taken a policy decision yet on whether we will go for a hard target or whether we will include offsetting. My point was that of the options available to us for the future, that is one of them.

Q51            Caroline Lucas: The trouble is that is one of them, but it is one that the Committee on Climate Change is recommending you do not use. Another option presumably, if you went more towards the carbon cap scenario, would be that you would be expecting Herculean cuts in emissions from other sectors in order to allow the aviation industry to continue to grow, and already the Committee on Climate Change is saying that the expectations of the other sectors cutting by 85% or more is at the upper end of what is likely to be possible. It seems to me that if you are not going to go down the traded side, then you are going to be expecting even greater emission cuts in sectors that are already under massive pressure. How realistic is that?

Chris Grayling: I am not ruling out the trading side. We have just signed up to the ICAO agreement, which is a big international agreement as to how most of the leading countries in the world are going to deliver the objectives in international aviation.

Q52            Caroline Lucas: It is voluntary?

Chris Grayling: It is voluntary, but none the less, the planned participation is very substantial. It is an option for us for the future, which we believe is one part of the policy decision we have to take.

Q53            Caroline Lucas: The trouble with your answer, with respect, is that we have looked at what would happen if you went down the carbon traded route and we have established the fact that the Committee on Climate Change is recommending you do not do that, for very practical reasons. We have now looked at the issue of whether or not you will be expecting other sectors to make greater cuts in order to allow aviation to expand, and it appears that, because you will not put down your flag on what you are going to do, you are able to evade the downsides and the flaws in either of those strategies and—

Chris Grayling: You have to bear in mind how closely the Committee on Climate Change worked with the Airports Commission. The Airports Commission conclusion has taken into account all the factors available to them and taken into account the Committee on Climate Change’s modelling that we could deliver a third runway at Heathrow or a second runway at Gatwick within our overall carbon goals. That work was done very closely between the two organisations, so this isn’t something that we, as a Government, are suddenly plucking out of the air. We are simply accepting a recommendation from our independent Commission, which worked very closely with the Climate Change Committee before it arrived at that conclusion or recommendation.

Q54            Caroline Lucas:   But your business case is assuming that aviation will emit 15% more CO2 than the amounts allowed for in the carbon budgets by 2050. You have a letter from the Committee on Climate Change, which is saying that they think you might have misunderstood them and they would like to point out, for example, that they have limited confidence about the options for other sectors to go beyond cuts of 85%, which are already factored into your calculations. I will just put it to you that you are boosting the amount that you think that aviation is going to be allowed to emit in the face of the evidence.

Chris Grayling: I don’t think that is right. The Airports Commission worked very closely with the Committee on Climate Change. It reached the conclusion on the basis of that joint work.

Caroline Low: Just to be clear, the carbon traded scenario is not the business case. You have to look at all of the scenarios that we put out. Going forward, there is general agreement that dealing with this at the international level is the right thing. That is why we were waiting to see where we got to in Montreal before doing further detailed analysis and putting forward policy proposals on this. We will be taking that work forward now. We will be putting out discussion papers on carbon strategy for aviation next year.

Caroline Lucas: Can I ask one further follow-up?

Chris Grayling: Of course.

Q55            Caroline Lucas:   On the issue of whether or not there might be an expectation on other sectors to decarbonise even more dramatically than is currently anticipated, have you had any discussions with Ministers from other Departments and industries about the feasibility of that assumption?

Chris Grayling: Not at the moment. We have a number of cross-Government forums where we discuss environmental issues, but my belief is that we will in due course take a policy decision that will provide the right balance between the different tools and options available to us.

Q56            Chair:   Just on the carbon trading scenario, you are saying, “There are two different types of models here. One is a carbon traded assumption, one is a carbon capped assumption, but we are not really looking at either of those. There is some sort of Goldilocks option right in the middle”. Is that correct?

Caroline Low:  The Commission also ran a carbon sensitivity model, so the carbon capped and carbon traded models were effectively artificial modelled scenarios run off a carbon price rather than actual policies. The carbon sensitivity model, which sits somewhere in the middle and allows for about 80% growth, starts to bring in looking at the most efficient policies to reduce carbon, the sort of things we have talked about: fuel efficiency and aircraft operational policies, and offsetting. Having understood now where we will get to from ICAO, we can take forward and put forward a range of policy measures. Perhaps you are right to call it a Goldilocks in-between, but we will be putting the flesh on the bones of that going forward.

Q57            Chair:  The Airports Commission modelled carbon prices of between £200 a tonne and £380 a tonne in 2050. That stands in sharp contrast to €11 a tonne, which is what it was under the EU trading scheme. Where do you think carbon prices will be in 2050, and what will that add to the price of a flight?

Chris Grayling: The answer is we don’t know. The Airports Commission has taken some fairly prudent assessments on this. If we find ourselves in the year 2050 where technology has not moved as fast as we expected, where other factors come into play, inevitably that will have an impact on the cost of flying. If you look at how fast aerospace technology is changing at the moment—this is the point we have not touched on to enough of a degree so far—most of the airlines will now say that the new generation of aircraft is dramatically reducing air fuel costs, dramatically reducing the level of fuel consumption, and by definition therefore also dramatically reducing carbon emissions. I fully expect to see over the next 10 or 20 years quite substantial changes to the nature of the fleets on the tarmac.

If you just go to Heathrow now you will see a massive move by most of the big airlines into new aircraft, 787s particularly, with an expectation that the A350 will do the same.These are significantly reducing carbon levels on the existing paradigm. Caroline Lucas is right that the biofuels element is not transformational, but a contribution of biofuels of percentage points to the level of emissions clearly makes a difference as well. This is a moving feast—

Q58            Chair: But you are about to publish your aviation emission strategy next year, aren’t you?

Chris Grayling: Yes.

Q59            Caroline Lucas: How can we be confident that this expansion can be delivered within our climate obligations when the strategy to achieve this has not yet been written by you? You are sort of setting some of it out, but it is kind of like, “Trust me, I’m—”

Chris Grayling: It is not. We have a well cast independent Airports Commission, in consultation with the Committee on Climate Change, which has said to the Government, “You can achieve this expansion within your carbon targets”. That is what we are basing ourselves on. This is not, “Let’s pluck something out of the air and go for it”. We have gone through a process of getting serious independent analysis done, which has reached the conclusion on the issues of air quality and of carbon emissions that we can achieve our objectives within the limits that are currently set.

Of course in the case of carbon emissions, there is no law of the land that requires us to meet any particular target. We are doing what we believe is right. We are partners in the ICAO agreement. We are looking to a strategy that delivers what we need to achieve, as the Airports Commission said we could, within carbon targets that are not found in UK statute, but are things that we are pursuing nonetheless.

Q60            Chair:  We are doing it because we want to, rather than because we are mandated by climate change—

Chris Grayling: It is a matter of fact that international aviation is not in the legislation. That is not stopping us pursuing a sensible strategy on the carbon emissions from aviation.

Q61            Chair:   When can we see the aviation emissions strategy? When will that be published?

Chris Grayling: All the documentation on that expansion will be published in the new year and will obviously be available for scrutiny through next year.

Q62            Chair:  Simultaneously?

Caroline Low: The work on wider aviation strategy will be coming out later next year.

Q63            Chair: We are going to have the national planning statement on the future of this strategic national infrastructure airport coming out before we have an emissions aviation strategy published?

Caroline Low:  The NPS that we will be consulting on we will be based on the work, as the Secretary of State said, done by the Airports Commission in consultation with the CCC. The question then is, what next for the industry? That is what we will be consulting on later next year.

Q64            Chair: Don’t they go hand in hand?

Chris Grayling: No, because they are not simply about Heathrow. There is a broader national strategy on aviation as well.

Q65            Chair: But you are going to expand demand and capacity at one airport, and you are going to do that policy statement before you have put out a strategy on what we are going to do on aviation emissions. Doesn’t that seem like putting the cart before the horse?

Chris Grayling: No, because what we have done is we have taken proper independent advice on can we deliver the expansion of airport capacity in the south-east and keep that within our emissions targets, given the factors that we have discussed this afternoon, and the answer was yes.

Q66            Chair:  When will the carbon reduction plan be published? Will that be coming out after the national policy statement on Heathrow as well?

Chris Grayling: The work that is going to be published in the national policy statement will be based on what has been done by the Airports Commission in consultation with the Committee on Climate Change.

Q67            Chair:  When is the carbon reduction plan coming out—after the end of the year?

Chris Grayling: That is right.

Caroline Low: Yes. It is not a carbon reduction plan. It will be a discussion paper around carbon. We will be putting out a number of papers around wider aviation strategy to update the aviation policy framework, which is the current overarching document. Having taken the decision on south-east capacity, we then need to look more broadly at aviation strategy and update it in line with having taken that decision. One of the issues we need to look at is carbon. At the moment we are doing the analysis following the ICAO decision. I am not sure exactly when that will be complete, but I expect it to be spring/summer next year.

Chris Grayling: Some of the issues that you describe will lie somewhere in the future. If you look at what the Airports Commission recommended, it said that we would need extra capacity by 2030 and that by 2030 we could deliver that capacity and keep within carbon goals. It said that we might subsequently, by 2050, need a further runway in the south-east, but that could only happen depending on where we are with carbon emissions at the time, so there is a clear process going forward. As far as I am concerned, the work that has been done by the Airports Commission, in consultation with the Committee on Climate Change, is the work upon which this expansion should be based. The question is about where the direction of travel goes beyond this for the future of the aviation sector in the United Kingdom. It has to take into account where we get to at the end of the Heathrow expansion process or at the end of the national policy statement process.

Q68            Chair:   But there is a gap between the various things that are in play now and where we need to get to in order for Heathrow to expand and for us to meet our—

Chris Grayling:   No. It is important to challenge that. I don’t accept that. What we have is a very detailed piece of independently carried out work that says, “You can expand Heathrow based on the existing situation. Based on your overall carbon goals, this is something that can be delivered”. That work was carried out by the Commission in consultation with the Committee on Climate Change. I am satisfied that that gives us the basis to move forward. There isn’t going to be some radical additional new piece of work that lies on top of what the Airports Commission has done that is a whole new strategy. The Airports Commission has done that work for us. The further work we need to do for the future is based on the rest of the aviation sector, over and above and beyond what happens at Heathrow.

Q69            Caroline Lucas: There is just one thing on that, because you said you would be basing the way forward on this close collaboration between the Committee on Climate Change and your Department. But I would come back to the letter from the Committee on Climate Change of 22 November, which clearly says that aviation emissions should be at the same level in 2050 as they were in 2005, without the use of international credits. Can you rule out now that you will be using international credits if you are going to be in line with what the CCC says?

Chris Grayling: We have not reached a decision yet on whether to do that or not. We have just been—

Q70            Caroline Lucas: But you cannot say on the one hand that what you are doing is being sanctioned and agreed to by the Committee on Climate Change if in the next breath you are saying, “One of the things we did—”

Chris Grayling: Yes, I can, because what you are doing is conflating two separate issues. The one issue is the work done by the Airports Commission and the Committee on Climate Change on the expansion of Heathrow—can that be delivered? Indeed. Not just expansion of Heathrow, but the additional runway in the south-east—can that be done within climate targets? The answer to that was yes. What you are quoting is them saying, “But we do not think you should use credits”. That is a different question.

Caroline Lucas: Discuss. To my mind, they seem to be pretty—

Chris Grayling: I disagree. There is a much broader issue. This is not just about Heathrow Airport for the next 30 years. It is about aviation across the United Kingdom and aviation policy across the United Kingdom. That is a different question from whether we can expand one airport with an additional runway. They are saying they don’t think we should use credits. That is a policy debate that we will have to have and we will have to reach. That is a different question from whether we can, within those limits, expand one airport.

Caroline Lucas: That begs a whole load of other questions.

Q71            Chair:   It is keeping going, isn’t it? If I can just finish off, your aviation strategy is coming out after the national planning statement on Heathrow, and you said it will be sort of the middle of next year, alongside the carbon reduction plan. I am asking you about the cross-governmental—

Chris Grayling: The cross-Government—

Chair: Yes.

Caroline Low: There is a phased carbon reduction strategy, which is due out early next year. As I understand it, that is not about aviation, because as we have been discussing, aviation is not included in those targets at the moment.

Q72            Chair:  You are doing a carbon reduction plan as well, are you?

Caroline Low: We will be putting out, as part of our discussion of future aviation policy, some discussion papers around carbon.

Chris Grayling: If I can give you an example of where that comes into play, one part of what we are going to be producing is a future strategy for the use of airspace. Quite clearly, if we can use new technology to reduce stacking, that reduces fuel consumption and reduces carbon emissions, so it is not about, “Here is a carbon reduction strategy”. It is a strategy to improve the performance of aviation generally, reduce costs, reduce fuel use and reduce emissions.

Q73            Chair:  Although you can argue that we already have very efficient aviation use in this country compared with other countries—

Chris Grayling:  I would argue that actually we don’t.

Chair: Okay. We will have to take that outside, but—

Chris Grayling: Okay, but let me get this in very quickly, because it is quite important. A very practical example of that: you can today follow an aircraft all the way from its point of origin to its point of destination and talk to it on the way. In the past, an air traffic controller only got into contact with a plane in the last stages of its flight. If a plane is flying the Atlantic and it is clear to air traffic control when it arrives over the south-east, and it is going to spend half an hour flying in circles over Cobham, then saying to that plane in advance, “Slow down, use less fuel, don’t stack” becomes a real option in airspace management terms. That is the kind of improvement that we are going to need for the future. That simply does not happen now. If you are in the south-west of London or the north-west of London, you are well used to planes flying in circles over you overhead for long periods of time, completely unnecessarily. If we can manage it so that does not happen, that is a material benefit to carbon emissions.

Q74            Chair:  Will you be examining non-CO2 emissions as part of that aviation strategy?

Chris Grayling: There is an extensive debate about the non-CO2 emissions. Our view is that if we reduce fuel consumption—which is happening in a variety of different ways, one of which I have just described, and technology is another—then we will see those emissions reduce as well. But there is no clear scientific basis to look at other emissions and put those at the heart of our strategy.

Q75            Chair:  Are demand-side measures something that you are examining as part of the aviation strategy?

Chris Grayling: If you are talking about, for example, increasing air passenger duty, they have happened in recent years, but that is very much a matter for the Treasury.

Q76            Chair:  The Committee on Climate Change has said passenger demand growth cannot realistically exceed a 60% increase between 2005 and 2050 to be consistent with carbon budgets.

Chris Grayling: Yes.

Caroline Low: What we will be putting out as part of the carbon discussion next year is an updated marginal abatement cost curve, which looks at all of the policies that you can use and the relative efficiency of different policies to manage carbon. One of them is demand management. It is relatively inefficient compared to some of the other policies, but there is a 2011 analysis on that that we will be updating for part of this work.

Chris Grayling: It also depends on the technology for the future. They don’t know; we don’t know. There have been over the past 35 years some pretty dramatic changes in aviation technology. Going back 35 years, fly-by-wire was only just starting. The kind of technology you are now seeing in the Dreamliner, the A350, the new 737s were nowhere in sight at that point. It is a bold assumption to assume that there is no possibility for that to happen, but our view is that what we are doing is completely consistent with what the Committee on Climate Change has described.

Chair: Thank you. We have been joined by colleagues. Welcome to Gavin Shuker. I do not know if you have any interests you wish to declare.

Mr Gavin Shuker:  No, I don’t.

Chair:  Excellent, and Peter Aldous. Caroline, you had a—

Q77            Caroline Lucas: A couple of follow-ups. I want to go back to the non-CO2 emissions, because they are significant. This is an issue I worked on in the European Parliament when we were doing aviation in the EU ETS proposal, and although you are right to say that there isn’t an absolutely defined figure everyone agrees to, everyone agrees that there are significant non-CO2 impacts—in other words, when you have contrails—when you have NOx emissions at altitude. It seems to me just to say, “Because we don’t know the exact figure we are just not going to take them into account at all” is rather reckless. Putting a modest figure on it, it might be that the total impact is around double the impact of CO2alone, so can you say what kind of research is going on in your Department or elsewhere to get a handle on it? Because the idea that, “We don’t entirely know, therefore we are not going to follow it up” seems to be completely in contradiction to the precautionary principle.

Chris Grayling: There is no international evidence at the moment, no firm international scientific base for this.

Q78            Caroline Lucas: Yes, there is. There are huge amounts of evidence of the non-CO2 impact of aviation. We don’t know the exact calculation, but it is not in question that there is a—

Chris Grayling: But there is no scientific basis for us to take specific policy decisions, because we don’t have, as you say, the very specific data on which to base such decisions. My view on this is that if a central part of our goal is to reduce fuel consumption—and that is going to come through technology, better airspace management, as we described earlier—then that has the same beneficial effects on non-CO2 emissions as it does on CO2 emissions.

Q79            Caroline Lucas: That is true, but if the impact of aviation emissions could well be double what you are working on, then the impact of all of your modelling is in question, and given that that is a debate that is being had in many of the big organisations now, in ICAO and elsewhere, I want to know in what way you are at least anticipating that this might need to be factored in at some point.

Chris Grayling: The phrase “could well be” is not something that we yet have sufficient evidence to adapt policy on.

Q80            Caroline Lucas: The precautionary principle? There is a lot of evidence that there is a significant impact and we can—

Chris Grayling: What is that impact?

Caroline Lucas: Somewhere between 1.3 and 1.9, from my recollection. I will stand corrected. By the way, if you did it by 0.5, I would be happy enough, but I want you to acknowledge that there is an impact that could well be escalated as we find out more.

Chris Grayling: If evidence emerges, we will have to respond to it.

Q81            Caroline Lucas: I look forward to that. Can I move on quickly to the ICAO issue, and then we will move on? Just on ICAO, we were mentioning it earlier, but the scale of its ambition falls short in key ways of the UK’s domestic policy. What will the Government be doing to strengthen that ICAO agreement and to bridge the gap?

Chris Grayling: I think it is quite a success point to have reached the ICAO agreement, to be honest. As Caroline said earlier, this is something we believe has to be addressed on an international basis. This is not something where the UK acting alone unilaterally can make a significant difference. It has to be done on an international basis. The ICAO agreement is a significant step forward, and is a significant step further forward than appeared might be the case in the run-up to the reaching of that agreement.

Q82            Caroline Lucas: You have no plans at this point to be looking to strengthen it.

Caroline Low: There are reopeners in the agreement, which we would seek to build on, but I think the first thing is to take the agreement we have, to work through the detail, which is what we are doing now, and to make sure what we have is properly implemented. We can then look to build on that agreement going forward.

Q83            Caroline Lucas: One final question on biofuels, as we mentioned those earlier. Will the Government be addressing the full lifecycle emissions of biofuels, including land use change, when you are developing policy in that area?

Chris Grayling: Yes. This is something I feel quite strongly about. There is a role for biofuels and there is a particular role for biofuels that reprocess waste products. I am not comfortable with a strategy that simply causes people to grow palm oil plantations around the world and to get rid of rainforest, for example, to make way for them. I am seeking to be very cautious across the Department’s activities—and this is not just in the area of aviation—to make sure that we do not promote a policy that encourages detrimental land use change, as opposed to using materials where there is a positive benefit in creating biofuels. I will be very watchful of that in my time as Secretary of State.

Q84            Caroline Lucas: I have one very last one—sorry—going back to ICAO. ICAO, which I didn’t mention earlier, does not reduce aviation emissions, of course. It simply commits to offsetting them. Given there is no guarantee that there will be capacity in world carbon markets to achieve that, isn’t it risky to be putting a lot of emphasis on assuming that that ICAO agreement is going to dig you out of a hole?

Chris Grayling: I am not assuming it is going to dig us out of a hole, but it seems to me to be the best way that we have of getting an international focus on the issue, getting countries working together on the issue and getting countries taking action to offset the issue. With the best will in the world, saying to countries around the world that are in a growth spurt, “You have to stop expanding aviation” is not going to get us very far, so I think the—

Q85            Caroline Lucas: No, but they might be saying that perhaps we need to reduce aviation in order to allow them equitably to increase it. I will leave that point with you. I am not expecting a response.

Chris Grayling: I think our aviation market is increasingly dwarfed by others.

Chair: Gavin, you had a very quick follow-up.

Q86            Mr Gavin Shuker: Yes. In a bid to atone for the fact that I have joined the session slightly late, I will only ask questions on one topic, which is this: given that we have a legally binding carbon budget, do you think that aviation gets enough of that budget with the size of the pie that we currently have?

Chris Grayling: Of course the issue is that international aviation is not contained within the current legal limits for carbon emissions. It has always been expressly treated as an international matter. We could perfectly well say, “Nothing to do with this. We will leave aviation to its own devices”. We don’t do that. We are working quite carefully to make sure that aviation policy is consistent with our overall goals. But in terms of legal obligation, there isn’t the same legal obligation that exists in other sectors.

Q87            Mr Gavin Shuker: Just briefly as a follow-up, do you feel there are other sectors of the economy where—through greater use of energy efficiency, for example—you might be able to offset some of the impact of what you are proposing, which is to expand the great proportion, over time, of carbon that is being used by UK passengers in aviation?

Chris Grayling: If you take one example we were talking about earlier, I support the growth of electric vehicles and I would like to see dramatic growth in electric vehicles around the world. That offers us the opportunity to deliver a step change reduction in the generation of carbon from one part of the transport system, but I don’t think that is a satisfactory alternative to looking to use new technology in the aviation sector to reduce fuel consumption as well. It is a virtuous circle, in that we reduce fuel consumption, we reduce cost, we reduce the price for passengers, but at the same time we reduce carbon emissions. My view is that the dramatic transformation of aircraft technology and aero engine technology that is currently taking place is a real, positive benefit that makes the future of international aviation much more sustainable than would otherwise be the case.

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Q125       Chair: There is a trade-off though, isn’t there, on the biofuels debate between carbon savings and the noise issue? How are you going to balance those competing priorities? You are doing a biofuels competition. What is more important?

Chris Grayling: There are two things happening in parallel at the moment. We are looking to encourage innovation in the biofuels arena. I am particularly concerned that we do this around sustainable sources of material for biofuels. At the same time you have airlines that are very actively engaged in trying to develop biofuels. There is a trade-off, but I think trade-offs get rapidly overtaken by technological development. I would be very surprised if the next generation of biofuels aren’t smoother running, better suited to what we have discussed. This is something that is not going to happen overnight. It is a process over time, but it is a process over time at a time when aircraft noise is coming down sharply as well. I don’t think that will be a major issue for us.

Q126       Chair: Are you planning on running a biofuels competition for aviation?

Chris Grayling: We are currently doing a competition for biofuels development, not specifically tied absolutely to aviation, but with aviation in mind.

Q127       Chair: Great. If I can take you back to the carbon issue and ICAO as a final set of questions, the ICAO agreement does not reduce aviation emissions, it commits to offsetting them. There is no guarantee that there will be capacity in world carbon markets to achieve this, is there?

Chris Grayling: I would argue that there is, in the sense that the way you offset is either through a reduction elsewhere or through the replanting of an area of land that has lost its foliage over the years. The sad thing is, this planet has no shortage of areas that were once green and are no longer so. One of the things that we will all need to do for the future is to bring back into agriculture or forestry—or indeed simply wild-planted areas—areas that are now arid.

Q128       Chair: The agreement’s credibility obviously depends on large emitters living up to their voluntary commitment to participate fully in the programme from 2021. What will UK aviation be doing differently after 2021?

Chris Grayling: I expect, if we are moving ahead with this, that UK aviation will be funding offsetting projects.

Q129       Chair: Where? In this country or developing countries? What mechanisms?

Chris Grayling: To be discussed. That is certainly market-based, to see who comes up with the most innovative plans that make the biggest difference. We fortunately do not have too many arid areas in this country, so I suspect it will be global. A lot of the offsetting projects that exist at the moment are global. As to the behaviour of other countries, we cannot guarantee that, but we can seek to influence them.

Q130       Chair: I can perhaps suggest some recommended reading. We did an excellent report on soil health, which might change your mind on arid areas in this country, so it is worth having a look.

Chris Grayling: I will look at that. I have no prejudgment about where the money should be spent. I suspect that what we will see as the ICAO agreement takes shape is a strengthening of the opportunities for smart environmental projects to offset the impacts of the emissions covered by the agreement.

Q131       Chair: What analysis have you made of the incoming President-elect’s proposals around this and encouraging the new US administration to continue its commitments?

Chris Grayling: I haven’t yet, but I already made the acquaintance last summer—before either of us held our current posts—of the new US Secretary of Transportation. I shall have to meet her before too long and I am sure we will be discussing a whole range of things, including the ICAO agreement.

Q132       Chair: Finally, have carbon savings from the Single European Sky been factored into the calculations for the emissions impact of the Heathrow expansion?

Chris Grayling: We have not yet taken decisions about what we will do on the Single European Sky. Clearly that is something that will be part of the decision-making post the Brexit vote and as we move towards the negotiations, so I can’t give you a comment on that today, I am afraid.

Q133       Chair: Does it not have a material impact on the Heathrow expansion?

Chris Grayling: We will need to take into account a number of factors before deciding what our strategy is around European aviation, the Single European Sky, IATA and the rest. That work is yet to be completed.

 

And there is more on other topics

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/environmental-audit-committee/the-airports-commission-reportcarbon-emissionsair-quality-and-noise/oral/44113.html

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NATS realise the importance of good sleep for their controllers’ alertness – but not for those overflown at night?

In an article on the importance of sleep (and of taking naps in the day, if people need them) the BBC happens to have focused on NATS (he UK’s national air traffic control service). They say how important it is for their air traffic controllers to not be tired, and get enough shut-eye. NATS says staying alert for them “can be a matter of life or death” and they have an “entire department dedicated to this question” because they are “responsible for one of the busiest stretches of airspace in the world, over London.” At their centre at Swanwick there is a “dormitory room where those on night duty are encouraged to get two hours’ kip in the early hours.”We want them to be at the very top of their game at 5-6am, when the arrivals are starting to come into Heathrow.” And that is all great. Except it ignores the inconvenient fact that the work NATS does is routing planes late at night (sometimes until 11.30pm or midnight) at Heathrow, and again from 5am (with a few even before 5am.  That is sleeping time for most people living under flight paths, whose sleep is being disturbed.  By the activities of NATS. The negative impacts of not getting enough sleep are many, including poor concentration, depression, reduced alertness, less good memory – and many other impacts.  Ironic?
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The NATS website says, on sleep:

Noise not only has the potential to cause disturbance and annoyance to those overflown. In areas of very high noise exposure there is evidence of links relating aircraft noise to health impacts, such as sleep disturbance, cardiovascular impacts, and potential impacts on memory and learning in children.

Owing to the relatively small airspace available for a large number of UK flights, noise disturbances can sometimes be unavoidable. However, at NATS we are doing our part where we impact airspace noise. We aim to reduce this impact by working with communities, airlines and airports to understand the issues and find the best solution for the highest number of people.

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  • SEL is the sound exposure level of an aircraft event, measured in dBA of a one second burst of steady noise that contains the same total A-weighted sound energy as the whole event. SEL is often used to characterise the likelihood of sleep disturbance relating to aircraft noise as research has found that single event metrics are a better predictor of sleep disturbance than long term average noise metrics such as Leq16h

http://www.nats.aero/environment/aircraft-noise/

 


From a longer article

How to nap successfully at work [and how NATS do it …]

 

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extracts from a longer article ….

“The more sleep deprived we are, the less accurately we are able to judge the effects it has on our performance,” says Dr Dautovich.

………

But is there more to keeping your mental edge in the office than just getting a good night’s sleep?

To find out, I visited an office where staying alert can be a matter of life or death.

Nats, the UK’s national air traffic control service, has an entire department dedicated to this question. It is understandable when you consider it is responsible for one of the busiest stretches of airspace in the world, over London.
“One thing we’re very, very aware of is that a controller is more likely to have an incident either when they are very busy, or they’re very quiet,” says Neil May of Nats.
Nats maintains that optimal mental balance between boredom and overload by controlling the number of aircraft each employee manages.
I meet Neil at Nats’ control room in Swanwick, a cavernous space reminiscent of an aircraft hangar that has been designed to minimise distraction.
It is lit 24/7 with fake daylight, and the only sound is the gentle hubbub of hundreds of controllers perched at screens speaking over headsets to the pilots scattered across the skies of southern England.

Staff work in teams of two, not just to check on each other but also because the social interaction helps keep their minds active.And at least every two hours they are required to take a “30-minute responsibility free break”, says Neil; a retreat to the cafe or a short nap perhaps.

air traffic controllersImage copyrightNATS

Image caption    Air traffic controllers are encouraged to take breaks and go for short naps

Nats has a proactive attitude towards sleep. Swanwick has a dormitory room where those on night duty are encouraged to get two hours’ kip in the early hours.”We want them to be at the very top of their game at 5-6am, when the arrivals are starting to come into Heathrow,” says Neil.

It is an attitude that Dr Dautovich [sleep academic at the US National Sleep Foundation]
would admire.
Like Bhim Suwastoyo  [reporter for Agence France Presse in its Jakarta bureau in Indonesia] and those at Nats, she too sings the praises of the afternoon snooze. “We’re still stuck in this perception of sleep as a luxury,” she says, instead of seeing it as “a positive health behaviour with beneficial outcomes for productivity”.
In other words, perhaps napping at work shouldn’t be treated as a disciplinary offence.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38498488
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Some of the negative impacts of sleep loss

Taken from “10 Things to Hate About Sleep Loss”

This article is a bit “tabloid”  and American, but it sets out a lot of the issues.  

Extracts below

By Camille Peri
From WebMD

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You know lack of sleep can make you grumpy and foggy. …. Here are 10 surprising — and serious — effects of sleep loss.

1. Sleepiness Causes Accidents

Sleep deprivation was a factor in some of the biggest disasters in recent history: the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, and others.

But sleep loss is also a big public safety hazard every day on the road. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S. The problem is greatest among people under 25 years old.

Studies show that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep also lead to accidents and injuries on the job. In one study, workers who complained about excessive daytime sleepiness had significantly more work accidents, particularly repeated work accidents. They also had more sick days per accident.

2. Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down

Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.

Second, during the night, various sleep cycles play a role in “consolidating” memories in the mind. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.

3. Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems

Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for:

Heart disease
Heart attack
Heart failure
Irregular heartbeat
High blood pressure
Stroke
Diabetes

According to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia — a sleep disorder characterized by trouble falling and staying asleep — also have another health condition.

4. Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive

Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame.
5. Sleepiness Is Depressing

Over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression. In a 2005 Sleep in America poll, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night.

The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of depression.

Insomnia and depression feed on each other. Sleep loss often aggravates the symptoms of depression, and depression can make it more difficult to fall asleep. On the positive side, treating sleep problems can help depression and its symptoms, and vice versa.

6. Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin

Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But it turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.

Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.

“It’s during deep sleep — what we call slow-wave sleep — that growth hormone is released,” says sleep expert Phil Gehrman, PhD. “It seems to be part of normal tissue repair — patching the wear and tear of the day.”

7. Sleepiness Makes You Forgetful

Trying to keep your memory sharp? Try getting plenty of sleep.

In 2009, American and French researchers determined that brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for consolidating memory. The ripples also transfer learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored. Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest levels of sleep.

8. Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight

When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30% more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.

Recent research has focused on the link between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite. “Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite,” says Siebern. “Shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin.”

Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Ongoing studies are considering whether adequate sleep should be a standard part of weight loss programs.

9. Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Death (with 5 hours sleep per night)

In the “Whitehall II Study,” British researchers looked at how sleep patterns affected the mortality of more than 10,000 British civil servants over two decades. The results, published in 2007, showed that those who had cut their sleep from seven to five hours or fewer a night nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes. In particular, lack of sleep doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

10. Sleep Loss Impairs Judgment, Especially About Sleep

Lack of sleep can affect our interpretation of events. This hurts our ability to make sound judgments because we may not assess situations accurately and act on them wisely.

Sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to them. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor. But sleep specialists say if you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong. And if you work in a profession where it’s important to be able to judge your level of functioning, this can be a big problem.

“Studies show that over time, people who are getting six hours of sleep, instead of seven or eight, begin to feel that they’ve adapted to that sleep deprivation — they’ve gotten used to it,” Gehrman says. “But if you look at how they actually do on tests of mental alertness and performance, they continue to go downhill. So there’s a point in sleep deprivation when we lose touch with how impaired we are.”

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-results-sleep-loss#1

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Australia: Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek signed off by Federal Government

Sydney already has a large airport, near the coast, but in April 2014 the Australian Federal Government designated Badgerys Creek as the site for the Second Sydney Airport. It is being called Western Sydney airport, and it is inland and is within 7 kilometres of the Blue Mountains National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site).  It is be a one runway airport with no night time curfew – flights 24 hours.  In November 2014 a set of 40 environmental conditions, looking at issues such as biodiversity, noise and heritage, were set out. The government thinks they can be achieved, and the airport can proceed.  The government has approved the airport plan, with the minister giving determination on 12th December.  The next step in the process was for the federal government to issue the Notice of Intention, and this was announced on 20th December 2016. “Under the contract, Sydney Airport Group would be required to build the airport to the required standard—including a 3,700 metre runway and a terminal with capacity for 10 million passengers a year. It sets out key milestones—with earth moving works to commence by late 2018 and airport operations to commence by 2026.” Some parts of the work have now started. The airport might be complete by around 2025 to 2027.
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Lots more information about the Western Sydney airport at Badgery Creek at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Sydney_Airport


Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek signed off by Federal Government

By Danuta Kozaki   (ABC Australia)
12 Dec 2016

RELATED STORY: Campaigner slams noise impact claim in Badgerys Creek Airport EIS
RELATED STORY: Badgerys Creek Airport noise minimised under environmental conditions

A second Sydney airport was locked in on Monday when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Federal Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher signed off on the Badgerys Creek plan.

Key points:

Malcolm Turnbull and Paul Fletcher sign off on a plan for a second airport in Western Sydney

Airport is due to be be operational in mid-20s. By 2030 it is estimated up to 10 million passengers will use the terminal

The first single runway will be large enough to accommodate an A380 aircraft
The Airport Plan was formulated after decades of debate about the Badgerys Creek site.

Stage One of Western Sydney Airport is due to be operational in the mid 2020s, with a single runway and facilities for about 10 million passengers a year.

Mr Fletcher said Western Sydney Airport would bring big benefits for the city and the nation.

“For some two million people it will be closer than Kingsford Smith [Sydney] Airport,” he said.
Mr Fletcher said stage one would include a single runway, with another runway mid this century.

“There’ll be a 3,700-metre runway up to and including an airbus 380,” he said.

“There’ll be a terminal that will cater for up to 10 million passengers a year — that is the traffic levels we expect to get to by the early to mid 2030s.”

The new airport will be a major generator of jobs and economic activity for Western Sydney, both during construction but also once it is operational.

“By 2030 it is expected to generate around 9,000 jobs,” Mr Fletcher said.

David Borger from the Western Sydney Airport Alliance said he believed an airport at Badgerys Creek was now inevitable.

“Finally today we have the approval of the airport plan, which is imminent … which will allow the airport to proceed so I think people are pretty positive it’s actually going to happen now,” he said on Monday.

Not everyone happy about airport

The Blue Mountains Council west of Sydney said a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek would have a severe impact on the World Heritage site.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said the plans were incomplete, leaving residents and Sydney’s water supply vulnerable.

“I don’t know how in my city noise attenuation is going to work, I don’t know what the impacts on flora and fauna is going to be,” he said.

“I don’t know what the impact on our air quality is going to be. I don’t even know where the planes are going to be flying, that’s how inadequate this process is going to be.

“If this is Malcolm Turnbull’s idea of a Christmas present I want to take it back on Boxing Day.”
The peak local government body Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) president Stephen Bali said the signing off on plans was premature.

“After 50 years of discussion we still have no real rail plan,” he said.

“It is a 24/7 airport, versus Mascot, which is only 16 hours.

“There are no flight paths, no noise abatement, no fuel lines … the Environmental Impact Statement that has been done failed on several grounds.”

In a written statement, Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said he had considered the Airport Plan against the findings of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and strict conditions had been placed on the airport’s development.

‘It’s going to make life easier’

Commuter Jodie Guthrie said she would gladly use Western Sydney Airport, even without a direct rail link, as she currently drives to the Sydney Airport.

She said a second airport would bring benefits to everyone.

“There is so much pressure on one airport in Sydney with the high population,” she said.

“The benefits [will be] to business, parking and getting in and out a lot quicker.”

Jason Armstrong
PHOTO: Jason Armstrong from Canberra thinks the airport could be problematic if it is too far out. (ABC News: Mark Reddie)
Jason Armstrong from Canberra said there would be many benefits, but is worried about transport.

“I think the potential is good if it can get more people on their flights on time,” he said.

“But if it’s too far out of the city it could be a problem especially for people who don’t have the money for taxis or Ubers.”
Nick from Katoomba in Sydney’s Blue Mountains told 702 ABC Sydney he cannot wait for the new airport.

“At the moment it takes me three hours door-to-door to get to the airport,” he said.

Waiting at Sydney Airport, Sydneysider Bill Meischke said a second airport was much needed.

“The location is not convenient for us, but the traffic coming into here is unbelievable,” he said.

“It is going to make life easier getting in and out because we do not all have to go the same airport.”

Government ‘jumping ahead before Christmas’

However, Mr Bali said a $3 billion airport should have proper plans before being announced.

“It needs multi-billion-dollar infrastructure to go with it,” he said.
“None of these plans have come out, yet the Federal Government is jumping ahead just before Christmas.”

The Federal Government said rail options were still being considered and it was working with the New South Wales Government to map out road and rail linkages to the site.

The State Government is expected to announce its second airport transport plans today.

Mr Fletcher said the first major work would be to level the site, which is due for completion by the end of 2018.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-12/western-sydney-airport-at-badgerys-creek-signed-off/8111176

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AUSTRALIA: Western Sydney Airport update

9 January 2017

The Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure has determined the Airport Plan for the Western Sydney Airport under the Airports Act 1996 (Cth), with this determination published on the internet on 12 December 2016.

A necessary pre-condition for the Urban Infrastructure Minister to approve this Airport Plan was the assessment and approval by the Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy.

The minister provided his approval, along with approximately 40 environmental conditions. These conditions were dated 11 November 2016. See Media Release.  [Copied below]

The next step in the process was for the federal government to issue the Notice of Intention, announced via a media release (PF092/2013) by the Minister for Urban Infrastructure on 20th December 2016.

Partial extract follows:

“Today’s provision of the Notice of Intention follows the approval of the final Airport Plan earlier this month, and issuing the final Environmental Impact Statement in September.”

As part of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport being privatised in 2002, Sydney Airport Group was granted a Right of First Refusal to build and operate Western Sydney Airport. Under the terms of the Right of First Refusal the Commonwealth Government was required to consult with Sydney Airport before issuing a Notice of Intention.

The Notice of Intention comprises around 1,000 pages of detailed legal documents; successive drafts have been provided to Sydney Airport Group throughout an extensive consultation process extending over some two years.

These documents specify the Commonwealth’s terms for developing and operating the Western Sydney Airport; if Sydney Airport Group accepts the Notice of Intention these will be the terms of the contract between the Commonwealth and Sydney Airport Group governing the construction and operation of Western Sydney Airport.

The Commonwealth considers that the consultation process has allowed Sydney Airport Group to become substantially familiar with the terms of the Notice of Intention, meaning that, under the terms of the Right of First Refusal it has four months in which to accept the Notice of Intention.

Under the contract, Sydney Airport Group would be required to build the airport to the required standard—including a 3,700 metre runway and a terminal with capacity for 10 million passengers a year. It sets out key milestones—with earth moving works to commence by late 2018 and airport operations to commence by 2026. 

All of the costs of building and operating the airport would be met by Sydney Airport Group in return for all of the economic benefits of ownership of the airport over 99 years.

Should Sydney Airport Group choose to decline the opportunity to build and operate Western Sydney Airport, the Government will be free to develop and operate the airport itself, or to offer the opportunity to other private sector companies on substantially the same terms as those offered to Sydney Airport Group.”
Regarding the issue of construction works, various road work projects have commenced under the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, and some are well underway.

This major programme of road projects has been sold by the federal government as ‘works required for the airport’, but more importantly, these works were necessary to meet existing demands on roads caused by population growth of the surrounding areas, let alone the predicted additional one million people who will move into the region over the next decade or two.

By Paul Goleby

Vice-President, RAWSA (Residents Against Western Sydney Airport)
www.rawsa.info glenaslow@hotmail.com

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More Than 40 Strict Environmental Conditions Set for Proposed Western Sydney Airport

11 November 2016  

(Website of Josh Flydenberg, the Federal Member for Kooyong and Minister for the Environment & Energy)

A strict set of more than 40 environmental conditions, addressing environmental issues across biodiversity, noise and heritage, must be adopted for the proposed development of the Western Sydney Airport to proceed. This is as comprehensive a set of conditions placed by the Commonwealth on any airport in the country.

The recommended conditions have been informed by a thorough and rigorous review of the environmental impact statement and draft Airport Plan, a site visit and meetings with key local leaders to hear firsthand the issues important to the community.

Extensive consultation was carried out during the development of the environmental impact statement where there were around 5,000 submissions and 16 community information events across nine different council areas in Western Sydney.

The comprehensive set of more than 40 conditions to protect the environment will:

·      Ensure the airspace design explicitly addresses a range of environmental factors, including minimising the impact of noise on residential areas, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and other sensitive locations;

·      Build on the measures and plans outlined in the environmental impact statement, to ensure a comprehensive environmental management framework to minimise and manage environmental impacts during construction and operation of the airport;

·      Provide a comprehensive package of up to $180 million in biodiversity offsets in consultation with ecology experts;

·      Ensure that fuel supply options compare the social, economic and environmental costs, savings and benefits of road transport to alternatives including a fuel pipeline with a review of this matter to commence by the end of 2017; and

·      Require a $10 million contribution to a native seed program run by Greening Australia. This innovative program will future proof seed supply in Western Sydney to support conservation replanting programs on Western Sydney’s Cumberland Plain.

With these conditions and the existing regulatory regime already in place I am confident the first stage of this development can now proceed.

After including these important environmental conditions, the Minister for Urban Infrastructure will now be in a position to finalise the Airport Plan and authorise Stage 1 of the development.

I look forward to my continued involvement in this project, which I expect to include receiving the Biodiversity Offsets Delivery Plan and, in future years, the final proposal for flight path and airspace design.

The complete set of Commonwealth conditions for the Western Sydney Airport, including the environmental conditions, can be found at westernsydneyairport.gov.au

http://www.joshfrydenberg.com.au/guest/mediaReleasesDetails.aspx?id=282

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‘Notice of Intention’ another key milestone towards delivery of Western Sydney Airport

20 December 2016

from The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure – Australian Government

The Turnbull Government has today provided a ‘Notice of Intention’ to Sydney Airport Group—setting out the formal contractual terms for Sydney Airport Group to develop and operate Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.

“Providing the Notice of Intention is another key milestone towards delivery of the Western Sydney Airport,” said Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher.

“2016 has been a critical year for getting the essential regulatory and contractual preconditions in place for delivery of Western Sydney Airport.

“Today’s provision of the Notice of Intention follows the approval of the final Airport Plan earlier this month, and issuing the final Environmental Impact Statement in September.”

As part of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport being privatised in 2002, Sydney Airport Group was granted a Right of First Refusal to build and operate Western Sydney Airport. Under the terms of the Right of First Refusal the Commonwealth Government was required to consult with Sydney Airport before issuing a Notice of Intention.

The Notice of Intention comprises around 1,000 pages of detailed legal documents; successive drafts have been provided to Sydney Airport Group throughout an extensive consultation process extending over some two years.

These documents specify the Commonwealth’s terms for developing and operating the Western Sydney Airport; if Sydney Airport Group accepts the Notice of Intention these will be the terms of the contract between the Commonwealth and Sydney Airport Group governing the construction and operation of Western Sydney Airport.

The Commonwealth considers that the consultation process has allowed Sydney Airport Group to become substantially familiar with the terms of the Notice of Intention, meaning that under the terms of the Right of First Refusal it has four months in which to accept the Notice of Intention.

Under the contract, Sydney Airport Group would be required to build the airport to the required standard—including a 3,700 metre runway and a terminal with capacity for 10 million passengers a year. It sets out key milestones—with earth moving works to commence by late 2018 and airport operations to commence by 2026.

All of the costs of building and operating the airport would be met by Sydney Airport Group in return for all of the economic benefits of ownership of the airport over 99 years.

Should Sydney Airport Group choose to decline the opportunity to build and operate Western Sydney Airport, the Government will be free to develop and operate the airport itself, or to offer the opportunity to other private sector companies on substantially the same terms as those offered to Sydney Airport Group today.

Mr Fletcher said the Commonwealth had developed the terms in the Notice of Intention following extensive consultations with Sydney Airport Group and obtaining advice from a team of international technical experts.

“I am confident that the terms the Commonwealth has put to Sydney Airport Group are in the public interest—with a view to securing a high quality airport in the required time frame,” he said.

The terms set out in the Notice of Intention will allow for Western Sydney Airport to be built and operated so as to meet the needs of future passengers and continued demand for aviation services. As a greenfield airport, it will use the latest available technology and design principles, to be a truly 21st-century airport.

Importantly, the terms set out in the Notice of Intention align with and build upon the recently finalised Airport Plan, which includes binding environmental conditions.

The Turnbull Government’s work to deliver Western Sydney Airport will not stop during the period that Sydney Airport Group considers the Notice of Intention.

Work to demolish and clear structures on the airport site is continuing and is expected to be complete in coming months; geotechnical survey work is currently underway; soon a period of groundwater monitoring required under the Environmental Impact Statement will commence; and work is well underway on road connections to and around the site.

Over the next two years, key priorities include undergrounding the high voltage transmission line which runs across the site, and relocating part of the Northern Road which runs across part of the site, with this relocation to commence in 2017, as part of the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.

The Turnbull Government is committed to delivering Western Sydney Airport with operations to commence in the mid twenty twenties. Determining the party which will build and operate the airport is critical, and hence this week’s provision of the Notice of Intention is a vital step towards getting Western Sydney Airport delivered.

For more information visit www.westernsydneyairport.gov.au.

http://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/pf/releases/2016/December/pf092_2016.aspx

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Paul Goleby is vice president of RAWSA.  He commented:

Sydney already has a large airport (Kingsford Smith Airport) that is under-capacity and is situated on the coast. However in November 2015 the Australian Federal Government resurrected the idea of Badgery’s Creek as the site for the Second Sydney Airport. The proposed 24hr airport is being called the Western Sydney Airport, is located 47kms inland in a geographical ‘basin’, just 7 kilometres from the Blue Mountains National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site).  The proposed site is bound on the west by ranges so pollution is trapped within the ‘basin’ before winds can push it out to sea. (This graphic explains it well

http://www.condellpark.com/bear/smogbasin.htm)

The Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure has approved his own department’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposal, which has subsequently been endorsed by the Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy, albeit with a set of 40 conditions that considered construction issues as well as biodiversity, noise and heritage. It should be noted that the same department is the approving authority on these conditions.

The current step was for the Federal Government to issue the Notice of Intention, and this was announced on 20th December 2016. “Under the contract, Sydney Airport Group would be required to build the airport to the required standard—including a 3,700 metre runway and a terminal with capacity for 10 million passengers a year. It sets out key milestones—with earth moving works over the 4000 acre site to commence by late 2018 and airport operations to commence by 2026.”

Other road infrastructure projects have commenced which will only just meet the transport needs of the surrounding population growth areas, let alone the anticipated 1.8 million tonnes of road freight, the 87,000 cars per day, or the fuel tankers required to provide the necessary aviation fuels.

The airport is proposed to start as a single runway airport, primarily servicing noisier freight aircraft, and will operate without a night time curfew, so flights will be 24 hours, 7 days per week. Stage 1 is planned to be operational by 2025, with the second ‘long term stage’ of a second runway and facilities to be to working for 2063.

A parliamentary reference document on this project can been seen at:

Decade of deferral http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/library/prspub/H7Z56/upload_binary/h7z564.pdf;fileType=application/pdf#search=%22airport%20Transport%22

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Heathrow bullish about how fast it could get its runway Development Consent Order through

Colnbrook Views reports that Heathrow has begun geeing up airport workers in the past few weeks with internal messages that suggest it hopes it could get its Development Consent Order for a new runway approved as early as 2020.  The announcement, to employees and contract workers, implies that the airport believes it could still see a new runway opening within 10 years – by 2027.  Heathrow has started work on its development consent application and intends to make a submission in 2019.  This has to come after the government gets approval for its National Policy Statement (NPS) – which will go for consultation very soon.  The NPS process will take at least a year, depending on hold ups. Heathrow plans to do 2 public consultations, looking at the benefits and impacts of the runway project before submitting an application for DCO “sometime in 2019”.  It anticipates a 6 month sprint through the DCO approval process, which will be carried out by the Planning Inspectorate, before a decision by the Secretary of State for Transport (currently Chris Grayling).  Heathrow would like this before the 2020 General Election …. By contrast, the DCO for the M4 Smart Motorway took 18 months, March 2015 to final decision in September 2016.  
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Heathrow: consent for a Colnbrook Runway could be achieved as early as 2020

9 JANUARY, 2017 
By Colnbrook Views
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Heathrow has begun geeing up airport workers in the past few weeks with internal messages that suggest it could still gain development consent for a new runway as early as 2020.

Terminal 2 (above) took a full five years to build without the complications of the M25

Terminal 2 (above) took a full five years to build without the complications of the M25. Terminal 5 took 6 years.

Heathrow remains in bullish mood for the New Year, predicting that a Development Consent Order for a new runway could be granted as early as 2020.  The announcement, to employees and contract workers, implies that the airport believes it could still see a new runway opening within ten years.

The internal statement follows a press release issued before Christmas that confirmed it had begun work on its development consent application and intended to make a submission in 2019.

In the communiqué the airport says it will undertake two public consultations and assessment of the benefits and impacts of the project before submitting an application for development consent “sometime in 2019”.  It anticipates a six month sprint through the DCO approval process, which will be carried out by the Planning Inspectorate, before a decision by the Secretary of State.

Heathrow's internal announcement

Heathrow’s internal announcement

In public Heathrow is predicting approval in 2021, but it suggestion internally that consent may come even in 2020 demonstrates the confidence the airport has that it will have no major hold-ups.

By contrast, the recent Development Consent Order for the M4 Smart Motorway took 18 months.  Applied for in March 2015, a recommendation from the Examining Authority was not made until June last year.  A decision was finally made in September 2016.

Originally Heathrow anticipated development consent by 2019, with an opening of a new runway in June 2025.  It has, however, made no mention of an opening date in its latest communication.

The schedule Heathrow has communicated internally

The schedule Heathrow has communicated publicly

For residents and small business owners the date for which development consent is gained is key: Heathrow has said it will not open its compensation scheme until then.

However its optimism is not matched by other stakeholders.

The Government set out a more conservative timeline for a new runway to be operational in publishing its decision recommending a Colnbrook runway in October.  It believes the process will take another year.

Slough Borough Council anticipates consent not earlier than 2023 – which would push the opening of a new runway to 2028 at the earliest, and possibly later if Heathrow’s construction schedule unravels with complications over the M25.

Terminals 2 and 5 took five and six years respectively to build.

http://www.colnbrook.info/heathrow-consent-for-a-colnbrook-runway-could-be-achieved-early/

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See earlier:

 

Draft timeline from the DfT of how they hope the Heathrow runway will proceed to completion

The DfT has put forward its anticipated timeline, of how it envisages the  various stages progressing. This will start with a draft Airports National Policy Statement being published early in 2017 – followed by a consultation for 16 weeks. There will be a series of local and regional events around the country and in the vicinity of Heathrow.  The NPS then goes to a Commons Select committee (probably the Transport Select committee) which scrutinises it and gives MPs and others the opportunity to present evidence to the committee. This could be 12 weeks. The Select Committee makes its report to Parliament. The Government reviews all the responses to the consultation. The NPS and its supporting documents will be amended and updated by the DfT, taking account of the consultation responses and the Parliamentary scrutiny process. By now it is autumn 2017. By perhaps late autumn Government publishes final NPS in Parliament, with a subsequent debate, followed by a vote.  [It goes to the Lords as well as the Commons].  There could be legal challenges at various stages, which might hold things up. (This is not yet clear).  If the NPS is voted through, it is then “designated” (ie. comes into force) by the Transport Secretary. That might be by the start of 2018.  Once the NPS is agreed, then Heathrow can begin the formal process of seeking planning permission (a Development Consent Order), which includes further consultation with local communities. The DfT has this down as perhaps 3 years, 2018 – 2021 or 2022.  There will be a General Election by May 2020, perhaps in the middle of this.  The DfT hope the runway would be operational by some time after 2025 or the late 2020s.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/10/draft-timeline-from-the-dft-of-how-they-hope-the-heathrow-runway-will-proceed-to-completion/

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Heathrow intent on getting kids (+ parents) into the habit of multiple plane-dependent holidays per year

Heathrow has been working on its PR by giving figures on how much parents spend on air travel and holidays (some exotic) for their children.  They hope to give the impression to parents that they need to provide these luxuries to their children, as part of being good parents …. more consumerist pressure …. Heathrow says in 2016 an unbelievable 19% of children (presumably in the UK, or those passing through Heathrow?) took at least 7 trips trips per year; 5% go on more than 10 trips per year, taking into account family holidays, school trips and holidays with friends. And the “dream destinations” (ie. long haul ones that make more profit for airlines and Heathrow) for under 16 year olds were “Australia, Hawaii, Everest and Thailand”.  (Really?  Everest?  Is this a joke?)  Heathrow says the average cost per trip for a child (those under 16 pay no Air Passenger Duty) is about £616 – and on average parents will spend about £30,000 for the holidays of their children, up to the age of 16.  Heathrow says “The current generation of kids are dreaming of Bondi Beach, kangaroos and the Outback, with nearly a quarter (23%) of children citing far-flung Australia as their dream destination for 2017.”  And on it goes …. Heathrow’s future customers. “Get ’em young” … So THAT’s why we need another Heathrow runway, with all its public expense and negative impacts over vast areas within perhaps 20 miles of the airport.
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Generation destination: Modern kids clock up air miles on foreign adventures

Average British parents spend £29,962 on holidays for little ones

29.12.2016 (e Turbo News – Global Travel Industry News)

  • 2016 saw a fifth (19%) of children take at least seven trips away, compared to their parents who only took four breaks each year
  • Dream destinations for under 16 year olds include Australia, Hawaii, Everest and Thailand
  • Tiny travellers receive an average of £46.80 worth of pocket money per trip
  • Average getaway costs parents £616.47 – totalling over £29,962 during the course of a childhood (under 16)

Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, has revealed that today’s kids are a generation of tiny travellers, visiting more countries, clocking up more air miles and having more overseas experiences than ever before. New research reveals that in 2016, one in five (19%) kids went away seven or more times and one in 20 went on more than 10 breaks taking into account family holidays, school trips and vacations with friends.

The current generation of kids are dreaming of Bondi Beach, kangaroos and the Outback, with nearly a quarter (23%) of children citing far-flung Australia as their dream destination for 2017. Meanwhile, parents were dreaming of vacations closer to home, with the likes of Mallorca (17%), Tenerife (17%) and Blackpool (16%) topping their holiday wish lists.

The rising popularity of American television shows may be why many children also now want to take a trip across the pond – first place on the dream list for little ones was the Big Apple, one in three (31%) said New York is the place they would most like to visit this year. This was followed by Australia (23%), Hawaii (13%), Mount Everest (11%) and Thailand (10%).

To help parents make airport experiences as smooth as possible, Heathrow has revealed its top tips for airport travel – including free play areas, kids-eat-free meals and complimentary pampering with over 50 free beauty treatments – before its time to fly.

For many kids, the fun starts before reaching their destination – a fifth (21%) of parents say their child’s favourite part of a holiday is going through the airport or being on a plane.

Wanting to make sure their little ones can capture every moment, 15% of parents will buy them a new SLR camera, video camera or iPhone to give them the best possible technology for capturing their adventures abroad.

While swimming (46%) and camping (23%) was a favourite childhood holiday activity for today’s parents, this generation of mini adrenaline-junkies are increasingly excited by adventure activities such as scuba diving (18%), safaris (14%) and jet skiing (12%).

With getaways becoming increasingly action-packed, parents are now spending £2,333 on an average family holiday, around £616.47 per child. This totals £29,962 on holidays over the course of a childhood.

Parents also give their kids £46.80 pocket money, a 56% increase to what they used to get from their parents.

Parents can help their kids’ holidays get off to a flying start with Heathrow’s Tiny Traveller’s guide on the Heathrow Airport YouTube channel here: Heathrow’s Top Tips from #TinyTravellers

ENDS

 For more information, imagery or interview requests contact Zoe Taylor at One Green Bean on

Zoe.Taylor@onegreenbean.com or 0207 467 9261.

 

Notes to editors  [Lots more PR stuff from Heathrow airport, which seems to be the source of the story, including:]

Children under the age of 15 travel free on Heathrow Express and adults can save a further £18 by booking a Heathrow Express Duo Saver ticket online which gives two adults a 25% discount when travelling together. Details of the Heathrow Express Duo Saver ticket can be found here. Details of available Kids Eat Free restaurants during half term are available here.  

 http://etn.travel/generation-destination-modern-kids-clock-air-miles-foreign-adventures-8181/

 

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Slightly longer times for some flights, perhaps due to flying slower to save fuel (= cost)

Some flights nowadays are reported to be taking a bit longer than they did several decades ago. The reasons are largely to do with the price of fuel, and airlines trying to cut costs. When planes fly slightly slower, they use a bit less fuel per unit distance.  It is reported that a flight from London to Edinburgh takes, on average, 10 minutes longer than it did in about 1995.  A flight from New York to Chicago might now take 20 minutes longer, and so on.  In 2013 the Telegraph reported that Ryanair told its pilots to fly slower to save fuel – and therefore money – but add 2 minutes onto every hour’s flying time. There is a balance for the airlines, between less cost from arriving sooner, not needing to pay staff for so long, and perhaps getting in another rotation per day.  Or they could save a bit of fuel.  Traditionally, the typical flying speed is about 546-575mph.  Another reason why flights are shown as slightly longer is probably because time is added on, so the flight does not look as if it is late. Airlines get criticised if their flights are not on time – giving an extra long flight time gives some leeway.  NATS is also known to get planes to fly a bit more slowly arriving in London, to save stacking time.  And at busy airports, extra time is allowed in case of queuing to take off.
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Why are flight times longer than they were 40 years ago?

By Hugh Morris
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Today, a non-stop flight from New York to Houston, Texas, takes about four hours. In 1973, the same flight would have taken just over two and a half hours. So much for progress.

But this is not an isolated case: flight times are getting longer.

London to Edinburgh takes, on average, 10 minutes longer than it did in the mid-Nineties; Madrid to Barcelona takes up to 20 minutes longer; while New York to Chicago is likely to take two hours and 50 minutes rather than the two and a half hours it took in 1996.

The cost of jet fuel has risen since the SeventiesThere are a number of reasons that more time is needed for airlines to fly from A to B, but one explored recently is fuel costs.

According to Business Insider, as the price of fuel rose in the Noughties, from $0.70 per gallon to over $3, airlines realised they could save millions of pounds per year by flying their planes slower, therefore using less fuel – but arriving at the destination later. A gallon of jet fuel cost $1.59 at the end of 2016.

For example, in 2008, Associated Press reported that American airline JetBlue saved $13.6million (£11m) a year by adding two minutes onto the length of each flight.

It is not a particularly new tactic.

In 2013 the Telegraph reported that budget airline Ryanair told its pilots to fly slower to save fuel – and therefore money – but add two minutes onto every hour’s flying time.

In 2014, Reuters reported that jet fuel consumption in the US, after peaking in 2005, fell more than 15 per cent in 10 years, the equivalent of more than 200,000 barrels per day.

Traditionally, the typical flying speed (546-575mph) is a trade-off between commercial pressures and fuel consumption – reaching a destination quicker is not only more appealing to customers but also minimises crew costs and ensures a new load of passengers quicker.

Another reason flight times are thought to be growing is one Telegraph Travel explored in 2015, a practise known as “schedule padding”.

“The accusation is that airlines are coming under increasing pressure to have as high an on-time performance score (OTP) as possible, and are consequently allowing themselves plenty of wiggle room when allotting flight times,” the article read.

A report by aviation analysts OAG showed how the scheduled flight times of a number of different routes has grown between 1996 and 2015.

Jim Paton, a senior lecturer in the Department of Air Transport at Cranfield University, told the BBC: “The practice of buffering the airline schedule times is something that is very common, almost universal in Europe and in other parts of the world.”

However, airlines deny the practise exists. John Grant, a senior analyst at OAG, says it is more complicated.

“It’s not as simple as assuming airlines have increased block times to reduce the risk of being late,” he said.

OAG’s report also pointed out how congestion at airports meant that it took longer for aircraft to take-off after leaving the gate – a time that is included in the scheduling.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/why-flight-times-are-getting-longer-fuel-flying-slower/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

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See earlier:

Airlines in the US have been flying slower to cut fuel bills

Higher oil prices have made US airlines work to control costs. Between 2002 and 2012, the price of jet fuel quadrupled and fuel bills rose from 15% to more than 40% of the operating costs of US airlines, and their single largest operating expense. Airlines have made many efficiencies to cut fuel consumption, including now flying more slowly. Most of the fuel economies which have been implemented in the last decade will not be undone, even if oil prices were to fall (partly due to the possible future costs of CO2 emissions).  There is an optimal cruising speed for each aircraft based on altitude. Flying faster increases the amount of fuel burnt. Historically, commercial aircraft have flown on average about 8% faster than their optimal cruising speed. Getting the aircraft to its destination quicker to pick up another load of passengers and minimise crew cost was worth the extra fuel expense. There is a trade-off between fuel consumption and time. But between 2004 and 2011, the average ground speed of seven major US airlines fell by 1.1%. More than anything else, however, airlines have focused on reducing excess weight. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/09/airlines-in-the-us-have-been-flying-slower-to-cut-fuel-bills/

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NATS gets planes to fly slightly slower in order to cut time waiting in Heathrow stacks

The amount of time aircraft spend in holding stacks before landing at Heathrow have been cut very slightly, due to planes being required to slow down a bit on their way towards London – instead of flying fast, and then having to stack. The reduction in stacking has been due to XMAN – or cross-border arrivals management – which involves NATS coordinating with its counterparts in France, the Netherlands and Ireland to slow inbound aircraft down from 350 miles away, when delays over London begin to build. As a result aircraft don’t land any later, but do spend less time circling in the holds. (They also burn a bit less fuel by flying a bit less fast).  They are also using Time Based Separation to cut headwind delays. The new improvements have resulted in about one minute less per plane, which NATS says is about 3,000 hours per year. (That comes to 180,000 planes stacking per year, out of the total of about 235,000 planes arriving into Heathrow in total in 2015 – when there were around 472,000 total air transport movements at Heathrow). NATS says average holding times were about 8.5 minutes at the beginning of 2014, with that figure now just over 7.5 minutes and falling to 6.5 minutes in August 2016.  NATS also says shorting stacking results in less noise – which might be true, though planes will still leave the stack at 7,000 feet. Those entering the stack, up to 14.000 feet, cause less noise on the ground. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/11/nats-gets-planes-to-fly-slightly-slower-in-order-to-cut-time-waiting-in-heathrow-stacks/

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Comments by members of NCE expressing opposition to its pro-Heathrow runway line

The New Civil Engineer magazine is very much in favour of building infrastructure of all sorts (predictably) including a Heathrow runway. Some responses on the NCE website, from members, are interesting. These include:  ….” the editor rightly says that the elephant in the room is climate change and that the £1bn annual cost of flooding is similar to the cost of not having another runway at Heathrow. However, the benefit of a 3rd runway is purely speculative, whereas the cost of flooding is almost bound to rise.” … “The editor is telling us ‘we must support Heathrow’ and those who do not believe in this third runway project are “cynics”. Well, my engineering background has taught me to question and be rational, considering all aspects of schemes including the environmental and human aspects.” …. “[we are asked to] “come together to support a shared set of goals” and “get behind Armitt and support his work.”” The writer mentions Heathrow noise, air pollution and traffic problems, and says: “The scheme is being pushed by big business, but opposed by most of the locally elected democratic representatives. On a practical operating point, how can this world class airport operate with night flying restrictions, or will those be overturned too?” He is not renewing his NCE membership, due to its position on Heathrow, Hinckley and HS2.
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Your view | More Heathrow challenges

6 JANUARY, 2017  (New Civil Engineer)

Below are comments by NCE members on the Heathrow issue:

“In the December 2016 issue of New Civil Engineer, which highlighted our role in fighting floods, the editor rightly says that the elephant in the room is climate change and that the £1bn annual cost of flooding is similar to the cost of not having another runway at Heathrow.

However, the benefit of a third runway is purely speculative, whereas the cost of flooding is almost bound to rise.

Moreover, the roundtable on airports headed “Can we deliver sustainable airports?”, states that airlines intend to cut carbon by creating forests or funding carbon reductions elsewhere. How many trees have airlines planted to date? As global warming is causing forest fires as well as floods, increasing flights may have dire consequences – an ethical dilemma for engineers who will be glad of the work entailed in building a third runway.”

Richard Bloore (M) richardbloore@hotmail.com


“I was perturbed to read both the Comment and Lighthouse in the December 2016 New Civil Engineer. The editor is telling us “we must support Heathrow” and those who do not believe in this third runway project are “cynics”. Well, my engineering background has taught me to question and be rational, considering all aspects of schemes including the environmental and human aspects.

In a similar vein, Lighthouse talks about Heathrow, Hinkley and High Speed 2, and tells us to “come together to support a shared set of goals” and “get behind Armitt and support his work”.

The Heathrow area is already overheated; the M25 has five often stationary lanes of traffic in each direction, other roads are frequently severely congested, the area is already over the air pollution thresholds, killing and adversely affecting the health of many, and noise pollution is adversely affecting thousands of residents.

The scheme is being pushed by big business, but opposed by most of the locally elected democratic representatives. On a practical operating point, how can this world class airport operate with night flying restrictions, or will those be overturned too?

Regarding Hinkley, do we want to tie in doubled electricity costs with foreign-owned companies, and also have design and financial control by a country which has been far from an ally? There was a chance to have an exemplar energy scheme with wind, solar and tidal power on the same site, at probably a fraction of the cost and with none of the controlling restraints.

I feel alienated by New Civil Engineer and the ICE’s positions on these subjects, and so will not be renewing my membership. My subscriptions may be better spent supporting more environmentally sound organisations.”

John Lee (M) lee316@btinternet.com


It is difficult to believe that our profession appears to be supporting the architectural fancy being promoted for Heathrow. It is a wart of an airport outside an airport.

The concept is impractical strategically, technically, operationally and financially. I do not need vast studies to support this position based on my experience of being charged with creating the concepts for Maplin, Terminal 4, North Terminal Gatwick, Stansted and Terminal 5. The perpetually overlooked answer has always been Stansted. I lay myself open to Parliamentary or any other challenge. Meanwhile the national interest is suffering and the planning blight is cruel because of the delay in finding a solution to the immediate and long term need.

H Pageot (F) Posted online on article headed “New Heathrow runway gets government approval”   The suggestion that the major airports could be joined together by high speed rail connections was dismissed by the editor on the grounds that they are in different ownerships

This has no validity. Companies frequently act in concert if they find it to be of mutual benefit. Early in the third runway discussion, spokespersons were heard being almost contemptuous in their dismissal of building the new runway at Gatwick and linking it by high speed railway to Heathrow, to create a four runway hub. At High Speed 1 speeds, this would take about 17 minutes. The dismissals of this idea, previously dubbed Heathwick, were doubtless made for narrow commercial interests rather than the national interest.

A serious examination of what appears to be a good solution would be interesting.”

Ken Bowman (M) kandmbowman6@gmail.com
https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/your-view-and-editors-comment/your-view-more-heathrow-challenges/10016181.article

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On 2nd December 2016 the Editor, Mark Hansford, wrote:

We must focus on technology

This autumn has been a fairly momentous one for the British construction industry.

Three major government announcements about major infrastructure projects had already been given a big boost and now the Autumn Statement has offered further encouragement.

The three big decisions of course concerned Hinkley Point C, Heathrow and now High Speed 2. Sceptics could argue that all three projects have hurdles to overcome before we see shovels in the ground. But all three projects are talking very assertively about cracking on. That’s great news for the industry.

….. and it continues ….

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/your-view-and-editors-comment/comment-we-must-focus-on-technology/10015428.article

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and on

 

Cynics will say it will never happen. But the soundings from those in charge are resoundingly that it will. And that is a very strong start. Of course, the cynic would say, you’d expect that. But then that cynic would be pointed at the £11bn of investment Heathrow has already made over the last decade, in Terminal 5, Terminal 2 and various other projects besides. This is not an organisation that rests on its laurels. Given the chance to invest and to grow, it invests – and it grows.

So we could be cynical. Or we could also be positive. We could really get behind it and back it. And we must, because it’s going to need that support.

Because the government could easily lose interest in all this. With Brexit discussions looming, frankly it’s got bigger things to worry about. So we, as in industry, must support Heathrow and make sure government’s commitment does not wane. Don’t give it the excuse that the project is not ready to go; that we haven’t solved the conundrum of whether to put the M25 in tunnel or put the runway on a bridge; that we haven’t dealt with the air pollution issue (magnified this month by the High Court’s ruling that government’s plans nationally do not go far enough); that we haven’t dealt with the surface access issue (because there is no denying it, from anywhere other than central London, Heathrow is difficult to get to by public transport).

And let’s be clear: we do need to crack this. The government’s own figures show that the cost to the economy of doing nothing to boost runway capacity is in the region of £50bn to £65bn over the next 60 years. It’s a pressing investment case.

But let’s also be clear: there are many more things equally demanding of our time and energies. Because while Heathrow has dominated the news – and important though it is – it really isn’t our biggest infrastructure priority. That’s according to the National Needs Assessment, the ICE-led, 15-month study into the UK’s infrastructure needs between now and 2050.

….. and it continues ….

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/your-view-and-editors-comment/comment-more-capacity-is-vital/10014482.article

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Back Heathrow complains Hillingdon has to spend money fighting runway – refuses to say how much funding it gets from Heathrow

The “astroturf” group (not actually a real community group) Back Heathrow gets its funding from Heathrow.  It refuses to say how much money it gets from the airport. John Holland-Kaye has in the past also refused to say how much it contributes.  Back Heathrow is complaining that Hillingdon borough has spent a lot of money on its campaigns against the 3rd runway. This is money that the borough is being forced to spend, because of the activities of Heathrow, against which it has to defend its residents. The account for Back Heathrow show it has around £154,000 in the bank; it has assets of around £653,000; it gives its net worth as about £482,000; its current liabilities are shown as – £171,000; and it only has one employee, Rob Gray.  No activity is reported, and no turnover is reported. Back in December 2014 the  Sunday Times revealed that Back Heathrow had had at least £100,000 from the airport, but no details are ever given.  Back Heathrow says, rather bizarrely, that ‘It would not be fair to publish the amounts given’.  Their next accounts will be published on 31st March 2017. Being private companies, the sums cannot be extracted through FoI.  Hillingdon Council makes its figures public, and has defended its campaigning, saying it is representing the views of residents.
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Back Heathrow’s accounts.

http://www.endole.co.uk/company/08622469/back-heathrow-limited

  • Next accounts made up to 30 June 2016 due by 31 March 2017
  • Last accounts made up to 30 June 2015 (Total Exemption Small)

These show its cash in the bank is £154,960

All its company assets (not specified) are £653,230 

No activity is reported. No turnover is reported.

Its net worth is stated as £481,960.

All those figures are very high for an alleged “community group” – with no recorded work and one employee – Rob Gray.

Current Liabilities (short term debts within one year of the accounts being submitted)
£-171.27k (compared to +£116k (209.9%) vs previous year

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Pro-expansion group “Back Heathrow” refuses to reveal funding from Heathrow Airport after outing Hillingdon Council’s campaign spend

Back Heathrow has declined to release details of its funding after it revealed details of Hillingdon Council’s anti-third runway campaign spending

BY  ALEXANDER BALLINGER (Get West London)
5.1.2017

The pro-third runway campaign group Back Heathrow has refused to reveal how much money it receives from Heathrow Airport after it published figures showing Hillingdon Council had spent £150,000 on its campaign since 2015.

Back Heathrow released figures in December which revealed Hillingdon Council had spent £154,219 on campaigning against the airport’s expansion between January 2015 and August 2016.

The money spent by the council included £50,000 to fund anti-expansion group HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) and £45,800 for Stop Heathrow Expansion.

Back Heathrow slammed the council for using taxpayers’ money but has now declined to reveal how much money it received from the airport.

‘It would not be fair to publish the amounts given’

A spokesman for Back Heathrow said: “We are very grateful for the support we have received from Heathrow and also from individual residents and local businesses.

“It would not be fair to publish the amounts given by those who have chosen to help our campaign since our launch in 2013.”

The Hillingdon Council figures, obtained by Back Heathrow using a Freedom of Information request, also showed that the council spent £602,860 on lobbying against Heathrow expansion between January 2007 and December 2014.

Hillingdon Council has launched action to begin the judicial review procedure in an attempt to overturn the government’s backing of the Heathrow expansion, which was revealed in October 2016.

Back Heathrow has once again criticised Hillingdon Council for its use of the public’s money, and says it has not spent taxpayers’ money itself.

A spokesman from the group said: “Unlike Hillingdon Council and its unnecessary legal challenge against Heathrow, we have not spent a single penny of taxpayers’ money and our funding has only come from people and organisations that share our aims.

“Thousands of local residents have had no choice but to finance the council’s absurdly expensive anti-expansion campaign, even if they disagree with it.”

Heathrow Airport has declined to reveal how much money it contributes to Back Heathrow.

Back Heathrow was initially launched through funding from the airport but says it now has more than 100,000 supporters.

Campaign group Stop Heathrow Expansion has now criticised Back Heathrow for failing to make its funding public.

Coordinator for Stop Heathrow Expansion, Robert Barnstone said: “Back Heathrow is an astroturf organisation – pretending to be a grassroots campaign group when in fact it is bankrolled by Heathrow Airport’s coffers.

“Given Heathrow Airport are embarking on a PR charm offensive with local communities and politicians alike, why wouldn’t they want to be as open an honest as possible with the amount of money they’re spending?

“What have they got to hide?”

Hillingdon Council has defended its campaigning, saying it is representing the views of residents.

A statement from the council said: “Hillingdon residents have repeatedly voiced their opposition to any expansion at Heathrow, and our job is to represent their views and challenge this decision by the government to back a third runway.

“Residents are already breathing illegal levels of air pollution, and further expansion would exacerbate this along with worsening aircraft noise, pressure on public transport and a myriad of other problems it would bring.

“The government has gone back on its promise that Heathrow would not be expanded, no ifs no buts, and we have been left with no choice but to fight this in the courts.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/pro-expansion-group-refuses-reveal-12404689

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See earlier:

 

“Back Heathrow” tries to blame councils for having to spend money, defending themselves against its runway plans

The lobby group funded and staffed by Heathrow, “Back Heathrow”, has had the (ill judged) nerve to criticise councils for spending money to oppose their expansion plans. Back Heathrow has attacked Hillingdon Council for spending more than £800,000 between 2007 and August 2016 on fighting the 3rd runway, while cutting public services. Back Heathrow say Hillingdon is having to make cuts of £309,000 in early support service and children’s centres, with the threat of £100,000 more cuts next year. And they complain that Richmond has spent nearly £109,000 opposing Heathrow expansion between 2007 and 2014 – and so on with other councils. Heathrow is trying to give the impression that residents in these boroughs want the runway, and councils are wasting money. They ignore the inconvenient fact that there is huge opposition to the runway within these councils, and the councils can see not only the effect of noise, air pollution and congestion the runway would cause, but also the social and infrastructure stresses – for example, on housing demand.  Heathrow’s plans are costing, and could continue to cost, these councils a great deal of money. Heathrow is responsible for a lot of public money that taxpayers would have to fork out, to deal with the impact of its expansion.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/12/back-heathrow-tries-to-blame-councils-for-having-to-spend-money-defending-themselves-against-its-runway-plans/

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Extent to which “Back Heathrow” is funded by Heathrow, and is not a true community campaign, revealed

“Back Heathrow” is an industry funded pressure group, the aim of which is to drum up support for a 3rd Heathrow runway. It was set up with at least £100,000 from Heathrow airport – maybe more.  Its website just says  that it had money from Heathrow to set up. Matt Gorman from Heathrow admitted at a public meeting in Putney on 27th November than Heathrow continues to fund it, but nobody will give any figures. “Back Heathrow” is a classic astroturfing campaign (ie. making out that it is community led, when it is not). Its co-ordinator is Rob Gray, was previously a director of the Aviation Foundation, another lobbying group established by the industry. Other staff working for Back Heathrow are current or former Heathrow employees. They have recently distributed hundreds of thousands of glossy newspapers to households across west London, with no mention anywhere on these that they are paid for (at least in part) by Heathrow. They try to give the impression of being independent information.  Back Heathrow claim to have 50,000 people signed up, but this is largely due to scare tactics, implying Heathrow workers  will lose their jobs without a 3rd runway.  This has now been revealed by the Sunday Times.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/12/extent-to-which-back-heathrow-is-funded-by-heathrow-and-is-not-a-true-community-campaign-revealed/

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Back Heathrow’s accounts

http://www.endole.co.uk/company/08622469/back-heathrow-limited

These show its cash in the bank is £154,960

All its company assets (not specified) are £653,230 

No activity is reported. No turnover is reported.

Its net worth is stated as £481,960.

All those figures are very high for an alleged “community group” – with no recorded work and one employee – Rob Gray.

Status
ACTIVE
Incorporated
  • 24 July 2013 (3 Years 5 Months Old)
Annual Returns
  • Next annual return made up to 10 July 2018 due by 7 August 2018
  • Last annual returns made up to 24 July 2016
Accounts
  • Next accounts made up to 30 June 2016 due by 31 March 2017
  • Last accounts made up to 30 June 2015 (Total Exemption Small)
People
Shareholder
  • Not Available
Group structure
  • No parent company or subsidiaires reported
Classification
Charges
  • No charges reported
Activity
  • Unreported
Previous Names
  • No previous names reported

 

New Accounts Submitted

10 months ago18 Mar 2016
Annual Return Submitted

Last year28 Jul 2015
New Accounts Submitted

2 years ago20 Mar 2015
Change Of Accounting Reference Date

2 years ago30 Sep 2014
Annual Return Submitted

2 years ago28 Aug 2014
Director Resigned

3 years ago11 Apr 2014
Company Incorporated

3 years ago24 Jul 2013
New Director Appointed

3 years ago24 Jul 2013
New Director Appointed

3 years ago24 Jul 2013

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