Heathrow send survey to Heathrow villagers facing potential compulsory purchase – to soften people up?

Heathrow has sent out a survey to (it appears) all the houses that would be under threat of compulsory purchase if there was a north west runway, seeming to ask about their homes etc. It could be considered hugely presumptuous for Heathrow to be mailing residents before there is even an indication from Government that there might be agreement for a runway. The very existence of the survey undermines affected Heathrow villagers, giving the impression that the runway is a done deal. The survey asks a lot of questions, as well as wanting address and email details, like: how many people live at the house, how long have you lived there; do you own or rent, and if so, from a private landlord or a local authority; and do you have other residential properties or commercial properties in an area that could be affected by the expansion of Heathrow. The intention of this survey appears to try to pick off the residents who would be keen to throw in the towel, take the money and get out. The more people sell up, take Heathrow’s offer and leave the area, the more the soul and spirit of the community is lost. Divide and rule.  To help win people over, Heathrow is offering, for those whose houses could be demolished, one to one sessions with Heathrow staff to talk about it. (ie. be persuaded to take the money). The sessions can be booked by phone or email. 
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It is a jaw-dropping exercise in evasive writing. What is being asked is details of people, details of their ownership if their properties and other local links, and whether English is their first language. The matter at issue is the possible compulsory purchase and demolition of at least 780 homes for a 3rd runway, and rendering perhaps 2,000 too badly affected to be liveable. Nowhere in this document is any mention of anything other than (blandly put, innocuous) residents being “affected” by Heathrow’s expansion. Talk about disingenuous, euphemistic prose …!

 

Local campaigners are suggesting people do not give Heathrow their personal details.

 

Heathrow survey copied below:

Local Community Survey

This short questionnaire is designed to help us improve the way in which we communicate with you and to make sure we providing you with the most relevant information.

 

We’re committed to working with local communities. To help us better understand local community concerns and the best ways to communicate with you, please complete the survey below.

This short questionnaire is designed to help us improve the way in which we communicate with you and to make sure we providing you with the most relevant information.

You should feel free to complete as much or as little of this questionnaire as you wish. We will still continue to provide all local residents with information on Heathrow’s expansion proposals.

The questionnaire gives you the option of letting us know if you are responding on behalf of all those who live at the property. This lets you provide one response on behalf of your family.

If, however, all those living at the property wish to complete the questionnaire (for example, if you live in a house share with other occupants) you should feel free to do so.

The questionnaire should take approximately 5 minutes to complete. We have provided space for you to go into more detail if you wish.

Any information you do provide will be kept completely confidential. If you have any questions about this questionnaire, and how we will use this information, then please feel free to contact us on 0800 307 7996 or at communityrelations@heathrow.com

 

The questions:

1. What is your home address?
You do not have to give your home address, but doing so will enable us to use the information you provide to improve the way we contact you based on the responses you provide. Any information you provide will be kept completely confidential.
Name
Building
Street etc.

2. Are you responding to this questionnaire on behalf of all occupants of the property?

3. How many occupants currently live at this address?

4. Would you like us to provide additional copies of any letters and updates we might send you?

5. How would you prefer Heathrow to provide you with updates on our proposals for the expansion of the Airport (Select all that apply)?
Post
Email
Post and Email

6. If you selected B or C, please provide you email address/addresses in the field below.

7. Do you have any specific communications preferences we should know about, such as requests for language translations or large print?

8. The following questions are related to your property ownership status. We will continue to keep all local residents updated on Heathrow’s expansion proposals, but we will also look to provide specific updates to residents based on issues that specifically concern them. This could include, for example, information about property or noise compensation schemes.

Again, you should feel free to provide as much or as little information as you wish. What description best describes your property ownership status (select one answer):

I own the property
I rent the property from a private landlord
I rent the property from the local authority

9. How many years have you lived at this address?

10. Do you or any other occupants of your property own any other residential properties in an area which you think could be affected by the proposed expansion of Heathrow?

11. If you answered yes, you can use the space below to provide the addresses of these properties and any other relevant details you would like us to know about.

12. Do you own any commercial properties in an area which you think could be affected by the proposed expansion of Heathrow?

13. If you answered yes, you can use the space below to provide the addresses of these properties and any other relevant details you would like us to know about.

14. Do you own any businesses which operate in an area which you think could be affected by the proposed expansion of Heathrow? This applies to commercial premises you may currently rent.

15. If you answered yes, you can use the space below to provide the addresses of these properties and any other relevant details you would like us to know about.

16. Proposals for the expansion of Heathrow require Government support and would then require detailed planning permission. During this significant and wide-reaching public consultation would take place around all aspects of our proposals, including our compensation offer to local residents affected by Heathrow expansion. Whilst there are important decisions still to be made around whether Heathrow is allowed to expand, we believe it is important to provide as much information as possible about how we plan to engage with local residents. Please use the space below to let us know how you would like Heathrow to communicate with you during this process, and if there are any other personal circumstances you would like us to consider.

 

Thank you text goes hereThank you for completing this questionnaire. (sic)   If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised here then please feel free to contact us on 0800 307 7996 or by email at communityrelations@heathrow.com

http://your.heathrow.com/localcommunityinformation/local-community-survey/
For those most affected by Heathrow expansion, book a one to one session;

0800 307 7996 or email us at communityrelations@heathrow.com 


@HamishPringle said on Twitter:
@AirportWatch @HACAN1 yes, a piece of behavioural economics: two-step in which agreeing to generalisation softens people up for the hard ask

 

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Blog asks #WhatsyourlegacyDave ? and how would he be remembered, for a broken promise?

In a new blog for HACAN, a long standing member, Jenine Langrish, writes about the likely legacy of David Cameron – and the main thing for which he would go down in history.  And not in a good way. She asks how history will remember the three key party leaders in recent times: Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, and David Cameron.  Tony Blair led Labour to their biggest ever majority, 3 election victories, and much else besides – but if you ask the man in the street – he’s remembered for just one thing: his misguided decision to support George Bush’s invasion of Iraq.  Nick Clegg secured enough votes to hold the balance of power following 2010’s election, giving his party real power. But if you ask the man in the street, Clegg is remembered for breaking his promise on student tuition fees. And David Cameron has many key achievements on the economy and keeping his party’s divisions on Europe under control. But his highest profile promise is of course ‘No ifs, no buts, no third runway’.  His party said no runways at Gatwick or Stansted either. As he appears to stand on the brink of an about turn on Heathrow he would do well to reflect on the lessons of Tony Blair and Nick Clegg.  Dave – how do you want to be remembered?  #WhatsyourlegacyDave?
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Dave – what’s your legacy?

Guest blog from Jenine Langrish – for HACAN

#WhatsyourlegacyDave ?

Three parties, three leaders: Tony Blair; Nick Clegg; and David Cameron.  How will history remember them?

Tony Blair united the Labour party and led them to their biggest ever majority and three consecutive election victories.  His government oversaw the introduction of a national minimum wage; freedom of information; devolution; and the signing of the Good Friday agreement.

And yet…if you ask the man in the street, he’s remembered for just one thing: his misguided decision to support George Bush’s invasion of Iraq, justified by the claim that Saddam Hussein had ‘weapons of mass destruction’.

That single policy decision has led to mass vilification in the media and ensures that he will forever be remembered as “Tony B-liar”.

Under Nick Clegg’s leadership the Lib Dems soared in popularity and surprised everyone by securing enough votes to hold the balance of power following 2010’s election.  For the first time since the days of Asquith and Lloyd George, the political party in the centre of politics held real power.  They can claim credit for a number of policies in the coalition government, notably raising the tax threshold to take over 3 million low earners out of the income tax system; introducing the pupil premium; and creating the Green Investment Bank.

And yet…once again, if you ask the man in the street, Clegg is remembered for just one thing: breaking his promise on student tuition fees.

That single concession in the coalition agreement discussions led to highly personal attacks in the media and to his party’s vote being decimated in the last election.

Which brings me to David Cameron.  He can claim credit for having overseen the recovery from the financial crisis; bringing the deficit under control; and generally keeping his party’s divisions on Europe under control.

But how will he be remembered in ten years time?  The lesson from Tony Blair and Nick Clegg is that the public have little tolerance if they believe politicians have lied or broken high profile promises.  Part of the reason for Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise ascendancy appears to be that Labour’s grass roots supporters saw him as an honest man who’d do what he said he would.

David Cameron’s highest profile promise is of course ‘No ifs, no buts, no third runway’.  As he appears to stand on the brink of an about turn on Heathrow he would do well to reflect on the lessons of Tony Blair and Nick Clegg.

Dave – how do you want to be remembered?  Do you want to be judged on your policies or simply remembered as the latest in a line of political leaders who broke their promises.  The choice is yours.

#WhatsyourlegacyDave?

http://hacan.org.uk/blog/?p=434

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As a reminder of what Cameron and the Conservative party said in May 2010:

No ifs No buts

In their document produced in May 2010, with the title “Freedom, Fairness, Responsibility” on Page 16 it states:

• We will cancel the third runway at Heathrow.

• We will refuse permission for additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/78977/coalition_programme_for_government.pdf


 

This was reported in the media:

The new government said it would also refuse any additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted airports.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8678282.stm

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The Cameron/Clegg government confirmed yesterday evening that it will not only scrap the third runway at Heathrow, but also refuse additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted.
http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/third-runway-we-won-20100513

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The UK government confirmed last month that it would not allow new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, causing frustration in the aviation industry.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/acbaf13c-74f6-11df-aed7-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3oibV9tfY

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Heathrow’s third runway will be scrapped, no new ones will be built at Stansted or Gatwick,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/geoffrey-lean/7726032/David-Camerons-coalition-is-off-to-a-green-start.html

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2M group boroughs produce highly critical report of Airports Commission’s Heathrow runway recommendation

The four boroughs that have worked hardest to oppose a Heathrow runway, Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth, and Windsor and Maidenhead, have produced a damning report on the Airports Commission’s recommendation. They have called on MPs to carefully consider their in-depth assessment of the Commission’s claims, which they have say put together an inflated and distorted case for expanding Heathrow. The councils’ report challenges the recommendation on environmental, health, and community impact grounds, and highlights the environmental, transport, social and political factors that make the 3rd runway undeliverable. They point out how little extra connectivity a new runway would provide; they show claims regarding EU air quality legislation have been misunderstood by the Commission and that it has deliberately recommended adding a large source of pollution in an area that is already under severe strain. Critical factors presenting the biggest challenge to a runway “have been either avoided, or worse, misinterpreted by the Commission.” The councils conclude that a 3rd runway “would significantly reduce regional connectivity and economic competiveness.  It would be severely damaging for the millions of people who neighbour the airport and live below its new flightpaths. It is the wrong choice at every level.” 
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Report finds fault with the Airports Commission’s recommendations on Heathrow third runway

15.10.2015  (Hillingdon Council website)

Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth, and Windsor and Maidenhead councils have called on MPs to oppose the recommendation from the Airports Commission for a new third runway at Heathrow.

The councils, members of the 2M Group of local authorities opposed to Heathrow expansion, have asked MPs to consider their findings following an in depth assessment of the commission’s claims.

A report put together by the councils challenges the recommendation on environmental, health, and community impact grounds, and says the commission has put together an inflated and distorted case for expanding Heathrow. The report highlights the factors that make the third runway undeliverable. These barriers include environmental, transport, political and social factors as well as potential legal challenges that are at the centre of the debate. ?

The councils also point out that the commission’s own aviation growth forecasts predict a third runway will only offer the UK an additional five long haul routes.

The evidence suggests too that claims regarding EU air quality legislation have been misunderstood by the commission and that it has deliberately recommended placing a large source of pollution in an area that is already under severe strain.

Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “The critical factors which present the biggest challenge to a potential third runway have been either avoided, or worse, misinterpreted by the commission.

“There is a distinct lack of information on air quality and flightpaths and instead there are inflated claims about a colossal economic windfall that the commission says will come from a handful of new trade routes. It’s clear to me that the case for expansion at Heathrow doesn’t add up and a third runway will never happen, no ifs or buts.”

Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “As the evidence in this report points out, there is no way to mitigate the impacts of the Heathrow expansion and this third runway proposal is no different from those which went before it. As with previous schemes, it is wide open to legal challenge and the environmental costs do not justify the economic benefits, in addition, the expansion could cost UK taxpayers ?20bn.”

Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council said: “The Airports Commission’s recommendation points the way to more wasted years and another failed runway scheme. Heathrow is simply in the wrong place and there is no realistic prospect of overcoming the complex physical, legal and environmental factors that will always constrain its growth.”

David Burbage, Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead said: “We are asking MPs to consider carefully whether a scheme that is forecast to deliver a net reduction in direct routes between Heathrow and domestic airports is really in the interest of regional economies and local people. The third runway is the wrong choice for London and the South East and would greatly reduce regional connectivity and economic competitiveness. For the millions of people who are neighbours to the airport, this would be very damaging.”

http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/30368/Report-finds-fault-with-the-Airports-Commissions-recommendations-on-Heathrow-third-runway

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Summary of councils’ report

This is a shortened summary of what the four councils say – the original summary document in full is at  Airports Commission Response from 2M boroughs Oct 2015 

Their main report (excellent, well worth reading) is at Airports_Commission_brochure Full Response from 2M boroughs Oct 2015

Connectivity.

The Airports Commission claims:
A third runway offers “significantly enhanced connectivity”

The councils say: Heathrow expansion offers just 5 additional long haul routes.


Economic case.

The Airports Commission claims:
A third runway will “generate up to £147 billion in GDP”

The councils say: Heathrow expansion could cost UK taxpayers £20 billion.


Noise.

The Airports Commission claims:
Heathrow will be a “better neighbour for local communities”

The councils say: Heathrow’s expansion will expose 160,000 additional people to aircraft noise.


Air Quality

The Airports Commission claims:
“Compliance with EU limites will not be delayed” by a 3rd runway

The councils say: The Commission misunderstood EU air quality legislation.


Deliverability.

The Airports Commission claims:
A third Heathrow runway can be deliverd.

The councils say: Heathrow is located in the most densely populated area in the UK.


Conclusion

The councils say:

What the evidence tells us is that Heathrow is in the wrong place. Its location at the heart of the UK’s most densely populated area means the costs – financial, environmental and social – are maximised and the airport will always have to operate under constraints. This is not a viable location for extra capacity.

At a national level, expanding Heathrow offers just five additional long haul routes and the constrained site will never be able to meet the UK’s long-term aviation demands. The third runway is also the wrong choice for London and would significantly reduce regional connectivity and economic competiveness. It would be severely damaging for the millions of people who neighbour the airport and live below its new flightpaths. It is the wrong choice at every level.

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Head of European aviation body EASA warns of cyber-attack risk against aircraft

The chief of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has warned that hackers could infiltrate critical systems that keep planes up in the air.  He has said that cyber-criminals could hack into critical systems on planes from the ground. He told European aviation journalists that his organisation had hired a penetration tester to find and exploit vulnerabilities in the ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) used to transmit messages between aircraft and ground stations. Over the past two years, there has been an increasing number of cyber-security incidents reported in the aviation industry. There have been several incidents in which security consultants have succeeded in gaining access to aircraft controls. The aircraft navigation and other control systems are effectively separated from non-critical systems such as entertainment, so that should mean the risk of hacking critical systems is low. But experts warn that the ACARS system was not designed, in the 1970s, with cyber-security in mind and could therefore be vulnerable to attack.  EASA said the next generation of air traffic management systems, such as SESAR, will need to be protected, as SESAR relies a lot on satellite-based communications and navigation – increasing the risks.
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European aviation body warns of cyber-attack risk against aircraft

By Rene Millman (SCMagazine – Security)
October 12, 2015

Hackers could infiltrate critical systems that keep planes up in the air, warns the chief of the European Aviation Safety Agency

The chief of Europe’s top airline safety agencies warned that cyber-criminals could hack into critical systems on an airplane from the ground.

Patrick Ky, director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, told European aviation journalists at a meeting of the Association des Journalistes Professionnels de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (AJPAE) that his organisation had hired a penetration tester to find and exploit vulnerabilities in the ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) used to transmit messages between aircraft and ground stations.

Over the past two years, there has been an increasing number of cyber-security incidents reported in the aviation industry.

As reported by French newspaper Les Echoes, Ky said the white-hat hacker, who was also a professional pilot, took five minutes to crack the messaging system. It was another couple of days before the same consultant managed to gain access to aircraft control systems.

“For security reasons, I will not tell you how he did it, but I’ll let you judge if the risk is high or low,” Ky told reporters.

According to the report, research conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) last year said that as aircraft navigation and other control systems are effectively separated from non-critical systems such as entertainment, that the risk of hacking critical systems was low.

But experts rejected this and warned that because ACARS uses a proprietary encoding/decoding scheme in use since 1978, this was not designed with cyber-security in mind and therefore vulnerable to attack.

Ky said that the next generation of air traffic management systems such as the Single European Sky ATM Research, or Sesar, will need protecting. Sesar relies a lot on satellite-based communications, navigation and surveillance systems.

“With the introduction of SESAR and the possibility for the air traffic control to directly give instructions to the aircraft control system, this risk will be multiplied,” said Ky. “We need to start by putting in place a structure for alerting airlines on cyber-attacks.”

He said in the longer term, the EFSA, which is responsible for making sure aircraft are safe, could also certify airline equipment against being hacked.

Mike Westmacott, cyber consultant at Thales UK, told SCMagazineUK.com that as the article does not disclose the attack vectors, tools or techniques used, it is impossible to determine the level of risk associated with the claims.

“It is, however, possible to present levels of risk for theoretical situations. If the penetration tester (who was also a pilot) was able to obtain access to the ACARS message system from the on-plane public Wi-Fi, or from any facility that the public has access to, then the risk would be substantial – and any aircraft exposing such a vulnerability would likely be immediately grounded,” he said.

“If on the other hand the tester (as a pilot) was able to use a connection that was restricted access (physically – such as in the cockpit or staff areas) then the risk is reduced, potentially significantly.”

Westmacott added that airlines must ensure that safety critical systems and control networks are segregated from publicly accessible facilities, and that aircraft designs and their systems are subject to a full and thorough risk assessment and suite of technical assessments.

Trey Ford, global security strategist at Rapid7, told SC that a simple review of message validation and workflows around questionable or suspected manipulated communications would effectively manage this.

“The workflows already exist, but not with an expectation of malice as much as failed equipment,” he said.

Carl Herberger, who looks after security solutions for Radware, used to be in the US Air Force and was an Electric Warfare Officer on B52 bombers. He told SC that an attack on airplanes was “absolutely possible”.

“It’s long been recognised that hackers can get access to the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS). In fact, in 2013 it was proved that the ACARS could be intercepted and hackers could sabotage this communication channel via a purpose-built Android app. It’s possible because this system does not have any real authentication features nor prevention of spoofed commands build in,” he said.

He added that Boeing warned the US government about it with regards to its Boeing 777 when it was seeking certificates for airworthiness. It said at the time that the way the on-board network is designed doesn’t allow for cyber-security, added Herberger.

“Security professionals have long understood the threat that embedded systems create for modern day critical infrastructure – the airline industry is no different. There needs to be collaboration between the industry, security experts, aviation authorities and governments to test and protect these systems but above all drive best practice for detecting and mitigating attacks into the engineering, to ensure public safety is built in well before the plane has left the drawing board,” said Herberger.

http://www.scmagazineuk.com/european-aviation-body-warns-of-cyber-attack-risk-against-aircraft/article/444487/


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There is an IATA webpage devoted to Cyber Security

Aviation Cyber Security Toolkit – 2nd edition – July 2015

It says:

Your toolkit to counter the threat of cyber security in aviation

The aviation industry relies on computer systems extensively in its ground and flight operations. The security of the airline systems can directly impact the operational safety and efficiency of the industry, and indirectly impact the service, reputation and financial health of the industry.

The application is available on CD or as a web download, and offers:

  • structured analysis tool to help identify, assess & mitigate risk
  • practical guidance material
  • complementary access to 17 training videos (2-5 mintues each) covering all aspects of IT Security
  • information reviewed by industry experts

It is a secure site, not available to the public.

https://www.iata.org/publications/Pages/cyber-security.aspx


 

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NextGen aircraft cockpit avionics vulnerable to cyber attack from passenger inflight entertainment

A United States watchdog is warning that NextGen avionics could render the cockpit vulnerable to cyber attack.

A new report by the nation’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) reckons that because modern aircraft are increasingly connected to the Internet, this interconnectedness could allow a terrorist to hack into flight-critical avionics systems from the back of the cabin.

“Aircraft information systems consist of avionics systems used for flight and in-flight entertainment. Historically, aircraft in flight and their avionics systems used for flight guidance and control functioned as isolated and self-contained units, which protected their avionics systems from remote attack,” it noted.

However, according to the FAA itself and several experts the GAO consulted, firewalls which should now protect flight-critical avionics systems from intrusion by passengers using in-flight entertainment could be hacked just like any other software and circumvented as they basically share the same physical wiring harness or router and use the same networking platform.

“According to cybersecurity experts we interviewed, Internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world, which includes potential malicious actors,” it warned.

“the internet must be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world”

Attacks could be waged via onboard wireless broadband systems where a virus or malware embedded maliciously in the websites operating those systems could provide a terrorist with an opportunity.

It found that even a pilot’s personal smart phone and tablet could pose a risk of a system being compromised because these devices have the capability to transmit information to aircraft avionics systems.

More worryingly, the rules governing the FAA’s aircraft-airworthiness certification do not currently include safeguards to protect against cyber security. The FAA does however issue rules with limited scope, called Special Conditions, to aircraft manufacturers where  interconnectivity could present cyber security risks.

The GAO said that the aviation agency views these conditions as an integral part of the certification process, with which to address the risks associated with the increased connectivity among aircraft cockpit and cabin systems such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

FAA officials told the GAO that it would support bringing together all the research supporting cyber security-related Special Conditions to support new rules which would offer more certainty for it as a certification organisation.

Another principal cyber security challenge isprotecting air traffic control information systems.

A January report by the Government Accountability Office watchdog noted that even though the aviation agency has taken steps to protect its ATC systems from cyber-based threats, significant security-control weaknesses still threaten the safe and uninterrupted operation of the national airspace system.

While the FAA has agreed to address these weaknesses, the GAO found that, nevertheless, the FAA will continue to be challenged in protecting ATC systems because it has yet to  develop a cyber security threat model.

One solution would be to conduct modeling to identify potential threats to information systems, and as a basis for aligning cyber security efforts and limited resources.

“While the FAA has taken some steps toward developing such a model, it has no plans to produce one and has not assessed the funding or time that would be needed to do so.”

Without such a model, the watchdog said it feared that the FAA may not be allocating resources properly to guard against the most significant cyber security threats.

http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2015/04/faa-needs-a-more-comprehensive-approach-to-address-cybersecurity/

 


 

FBI: Computer expert briefly made plane fly sideways

Elizabeth Weise (CNBC)
17 May 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — A computer security expert hacked into a plane’s in-flight entertainment system and made it briefly fly sideways by telling one of the engines to go into climb mode.

Chris Roberts of One World Labs in Denver was flying on the plane at the time it turned sideways, according to an FBI search warrant filed in April.

The warrant was first publicized on Friday by APTN, a Canadian News Service.

Roberts told the FBI he had hacked into planes “15 to 20 times,” according to court documents first made public Friday.

Read MoreFrench broadcaster says victim of Islamist hacking

Roberts first made news in April when he was told he couldn’t fly on United Airlines because of tweets he had made about whether he could hack into the flight’s onboard computer settings.

The FBI search warrant describes him doing just that.

According to the document, in an interview on Feb. 13, 2015, Roberts told agents he had hacked into in-flight entertainment centers on Boeing 737s, 757s and Airbus A-320 aircraft “15 to 20 times.”

…… and it continues ……..

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/05/17/fbi-computer-expert-briefly-made-plane-fly-sideways.html

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The Dinosaurs Of Cybersecurity Are Planes, Power Grids And Hospitals

Jul 10, 2015
by Wesley Wineberg (Tech Crunch)

(extracts)

As we continue down the path toward complete connectivity — in which all devices, appliances and networks connect to each other and the Internet — it is evident that much of our longstanding technology can no longer keep up.

And it’s not an issue affecting only tech companies and web-connected devices, it’s affecting systems and infrastructures that most would expect to be the safest in the world. Even airplanes are at risk, and the recent breach of the Office of Personnel Management demonstrates that government networks can be breached as easily as those in the private sector.

Even though recent incidents may have been a surprise to the general public, it wasn’t for my team or me. The only surprise is that we are not hearing about these attacks more often. It’s no secret that companies are hacked way more often than they report (or even realize). These systems have always been vulnerable; it is only now, when “cybersecurity” has become top-of-mind for leadership in government and enterprises alike, that the incidents happening every day are garnering broader awareness.
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Airplanes are a great example of this last point. Until recently, the average person would not even consider that “hacking” an airplane was possible. Yet, when Chris Roberts (see above) ended up in the news for making a plane fly sideways (or so the FBI seems to claim), security researchers began to examine all the ways someone might actually be able to interface with aircraft systems.

Companies are saving time and money by using off-the-shelf solutions, but they aren’t investing in proper security measures.

Airplanes increasingly have satellite or cellular communications links to the ground, and there is a rapidly growing trend of airlines offering some form of in-flight Wi-Fi, whether for access to the Internet or general in-flight entertainment systems. While it remains to be seen whether any of those communications paths could actually result in a successful attack on critical flight systems, they are all possible attack vectors that did not exist even a few years ago.

Moreover, almost all of the avionics systems connected in these communications paths run a combination of off-the-shelf and proprietary software. Like industrial or medical systems, patches are rarely made available and, when they are, it can take months or years until they are applied. It is only a matter of time until we start finding malware at 30,000 feet.

……… and it continues …..
http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/10/the-dinosaurs-of-cybersecurity-are-planes-power-grids-and-hospitals/

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Laser pen attacks on aircraft continue to cause safety concerns

There has been an issue for some years, of highly irresponsible use of laser pointers, with them being shone at planes approaching airports. This can have the effect of temporarily damaging the vision of the pilots, which is highly unsafe, and could even cause a crash – especially if the plane is below 1,000 feet and the pilot’s vision is damaged for over a minute. The guidance from BALPA etc is perhaps to switch to autopilot, maybe if necessary do a go-around, or even switch to a different runway or different airport. Recent figures from the Civil Aviation Authority show there were 284 incidents in the 3 months from February to March 2015. The highest number of laser incidents during this time was at Heathrow, with 34. Then London City airport 21, Birmingham 18, Leeds-Bradford 15, Manchester 12, and Newcastle 10, Glasgow and Gatwick.  The total number of laser attacks in the UK in 2014 was 1,400 that were reported to the CAA in 2014  – up by 3.5% from 2013. There were also another 312 attacks involved British aircraft landing at or taking off from airports overseas. Shining a laser at an aircraft in flight is a criminal offence under UK law and if convicted, offenders can face a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. BALPA wants mandatory prison terms for all offenders. The sale of powerful lasers is restricted in Britain but they can be bought online. 
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Newcastle Airport had 10 laser pen attacks in first quarter of 2015, new figures have shown

12.10.2015 (Chronicle)

BY SONIA SHARMA , DAVID OTTEWELL

Police have warned of the dangers of shining laser pens at aircraft after new figures show there were 10 attacks at Newcastle Airport in the first three months of this year.

Shining a laser at a plane became a specific criminal offence in 2010 in response to a growing number of incidents.

Air watchdogs warned at the time that lights from laser pointers could pose a serious safety risk, especially during take-off or landing.

Now new figures from the Civil Aviation Authority have revealed there were 10 incidents at or near Newcastle Airport during the first quarter of 2015.

There were seven in January, one in February and two in March.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said: “Shining a laser at an aircraft in flight is a serious risk to the safety of passengers and crew, as well as people living close to airports.

“During critical phases of flight, such as take-off and landing, pilots need to employ maximum concentration. Being dazzled and temporarily blinded by an intense light could potentially lead to flight crew losing control of the aircraft.

“Pointing a laser at an aircraft is now a specific criminal offence and the police are becoming very good at catching the perpetrators. We strongly urge anyone who observes a laser being used at night in the vicinity of an airport to contact the police immediately.”

Northumbria Police says the force will continue to target offenders caught carrying out these activities.

Chief Inspector John Heckels said: “Pointing laser pens at aircraft may seem harmless but it has the potential to be incredibly dangerous.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that this type of behaviour can put lives at risk and those caught in the act will be arrested and put before the courts.

“We will continue to work with our partners at Newcastle International Airport to target offenders and reduce the number of incidents in our region.”

Across the country there were a total of 284 laser incidents in the three-month period – or three a day, on average.

Heathrow had the most with 34 attacks, followed by London City airport with 21, Birmingham with 18, Leeds-Bradford had 15 and Manchester International was fifth on the list with 12 incidents.

Shining a laser at an aircraft in flight is a criminal offence under UK law and if convicted, offenders can face a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/newcastle-airport-10-laser-pen-10239028


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Laser attacks on pilots on the rise

By Phil Davies (Travel Weekly)

28.4.2015

As many as four pilots a day are at risk of being dazzled or blinded on the approach to UK airports by people on the ground using powerful lasers to shine at aircraft cockpits.

More than 1,400 laser incidents were reported to the Civil Aviation Authority last year – up by 3.5% in 12 months.

This was the first annual increase in attacks in three years. A laser shone into a pilot’s eyes on approach to an airport could bring down an aircraft, the CAA warned.

Heathrow had the most incidents, followed by Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Gatwick and Glasgow, the Times reported.

A further 312 attacks involved British aircraft landing at or taking off from airports overseas, figures show.

“An aircraft on final approach at 1,000ft has around one minute before it reaches the threshold of the runway and touches down,” the regulator said.

“A pilot dazzled by a laser can be blinded for up to ten seconds followed by over a minute of impaired vision. The risks to passengers and crew are all too obvious.”

CAA guidance suggests that any pilot in a laser incident should see a specialist aeromedical doctor before flying again.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association said that the strength of laser pens had increased in recent years, posing additional risks to pilots. It wants mandatory prison terms for all offenders.

The sale of powerful lasers is restricted in Britain but they can be bought online.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2015/04/28/53990/laser-attacks-on-pilots-on-the-rise.html

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UK: 1,442 laser incidents in 2014; up 3.4% over 2013

Feb 03 2015  (Laser pointersafety.com)

There were 1,442 laser-aircraft incidents reported to the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority in 2014. This is a 3.4% increase over the 2013 figure of 1,394 reported laser incidents.

Additionally, there were 312 laser incidents that occurred outside the U.K. to U.K. operators.

In 2014, the top four most frequent incident locations were London/Heathrow (168), Manchester International (107), Birmingham (92), and Leeds Bradford (81). London/Gatwick and Glasgow were tied for fifth place, each with 64 reported incidents.

CAA published a PDF report with more detailed figures, including a monthly breakdown of the most frequent laser incident locations in 2014, and monthly & yearly totals for 2009 through 2014, and overseas (non-U.K.) incidents occurring to U.K. operators.

From the CAA PDF report dated February 2 2015. Note: There is a discrepancy where one table lists a total of 1,440 incidents in 2014 while another lists a total of 1,442. We have used the larger figure in this story.

Additional charts are on the page listing 2014 incident statistics, and the page with 2004-2014 historical data.

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Norway: 100 aircraft incidents one reason for proposal to limit pointers to 1 mW

Aug 13 2014  (Laser pointer safety.com)

On May 16 2014, the Norwegian Ministry of Health proposed to ban the sale and use of laser pointers over 1 milliwatt without approval from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority. The reason given was that “the current approval system, where it is permitted to use and possession of laser pointers in private rooms without approval, has not proved sufficient to prevent potentially dangerous use of laser pointers.”

The ministry received 18 official comments by the August 8 submission deadline. According to Dagens Medisin, “none of the answers are critical [of] mitigation in the use of laser pointers.”

The ban was supported by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), the Police Directorate and the Customs and Excise department.

The CAA said that there were around 100 incidents each year where lasers were pointed at aircraft in Norway.

If the measure is enacted, it will take effect beginning in 2015.


UK: 1300+ laser incidents in 2013

Aug 19 2014  (Laser pointer safety.com)

The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority reported “more than 1,300 reports” of laser illuminations of aircraft “across the UK” in 2013, according to an August 18 2014 story in the Surrey Mirror.

The newspaper also reported that in the 12 months between October 2012 and September 2013, there were 31 reports of aircraft being illuminated as they approached Gatwick Airport, 30 miles south of London.

Laser strikes have also increased on rescue helicopters flying out of Redhill Aerodrome, Surrey, a few miles north of Gatwick. A tactical flight officer was quoted as saying “I’ve had to break away from a task because of being lasered and it’s not because we’re trying to catch a bad guy, it’s because we’re trying to find people potentially in danger…. There are certain elements of society that might be trying to harm us or put us off being in a certain location.”

Police inspector Mark Callaghan told the Mirror that there have been a number of jail terms for perpetrators, but that “Hand-held lasers are easily obtained over the internet or from market stalls and street vendors abroad. The warning labels on these are misleading and they are more powerful than advertised.”

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And more stories on laser attacks on planes at

http://www.laserpointersafety.com/news/news/other-news_files/tag-caa.php
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The CAA website:

Their main briefing on laser attack is at http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/SafetyNotice2012005..pdf
Exposure to Lasers – A Self Assessment Tool for Pilots. Guidance on what to do following a laser attack

Laser attacks, where aircraft are targeted from the ground, represent a major global problem for the aviation industry and the number of incidents has increased rapidly since 2008. These can often involve passenger jets on the final approach to an airport or helicopters that are hovering.

The CAA has developed a self-assessment tool for pilots that have been involved in a laser attack which can help determine whether they have sustained an eye injury. The Aviation Laser Exposure Self Assessment (ALESA) tool is freely available online as a downloadable file that pilots can print off and use straight away or keep in their flight bags.

The core of the test consists of a 10cm² grid that, when viewed from 30cm away, can be used to detect whether a pilot’s vision has been affected by the laser beam.

When printed the grid should measure exactly 10cm x 10cm
The tool also includes guidance on when pilots should seek precautionary help from an eye specialist such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

https://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=14&pageid=14003


BALPA (The British Airline Pilots Assn) website says:

LASER ILLUMINATION HAZARDS

4.10.2014

Despite continuous improvements we are still seeing incidents in the UK involving lasers directed at landing aircraft and unfortunately they continue to be a threat to aviation. Several events have resulted in aircraft flying the visual segment of an approach being illuminated with a strong laser by persons on the ground, fortunately no direct eye contact has been reported, the potential for a temporary loss of vision was very real and the results could have been much worse.

The rapid proliferation of visible laser beams in airspace has resulted in a multitude of documented cases of flight crew laser illuminations since the early 1990s. Worldwide various ALPA’s (Airline Pilot Associations) have for many years aggressively urged the authorities to address the laser problem, but it has proven a difficult problem to thwart. To date, in the US where the use of high-intensity laser pointers is banned (as it is in Australia where perpetrators can be jailed for up to 14 years) only a handful of perpetrators of a laser incident have been prosecuted and convicted of a federal crime. Despite continuing law enforcement efforts to deter and apprehend miscreants, over 250 laser incidents had been reported in the US during the last six months alone

On January 11, 2005, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Advisory Circular (AC) No. 70-2, ‘Reporting of Laser Illumination of Aircraft in response to documented incidents of unauthorized illumination of aircraft by lasers’. That AC required all pilots to immediately report any laser sightings to air traffic controllers. It then required controllers to share that information through the federal DEN – Domestic Events Network (a phone line that is constantly monitored by safety, security and law enforcement personnel). Air traffic controllers would then work with the police to identify the source of the lasers to ensure a rapid police response to the scene.

A laser illumination event can result in temporary vision loss associated with:

(1) Flash blindness (a visual interference that persists after the source of illumination has been removed)

(2) After-image (a transient image left in the visual field after exposure to a bright light)

(3) Glare (obscuration of an object in a person’s field of vision due to a bright light source located near the same line of sight).

Laser effects on pilots occur in four stages of increasing seriousness – distraction, disruption, disorientation, and incapacitation. Given the many incidents of cockpit illuminations by lasers, the potential for an accident definitely exists but the fact that there have been no laser-related accidents to date indicates that the hazard can be successfully managed. Technologies are available to mitigate the effects of lasers, but are cumbersome, do not provide full-spectrum protection, and are unlikely to be installed on airline flight decks in the foreseeable future.

Advice to Pilots Exposed to Laser Attack 2012

Shield the eyes from the light source with a hand or a hand-held object and avoid looking directly into the beam. It is possible that a laser successfully aimed at the flight deck will be presaged by unsuccessful attempts to do so; these will be seen as extremely bright flashes coming from the ground and/or visible in the sky near the aircraft. Treat these flashes as a warning you are about to be targeted and prepare to shield the eyes. Do not look in the direction of any suspicious light.

Do not rub the eyes.

Alert the other crew member(s) to determine whether they have suffered any laser-related effects. If the other front seat pilot has not been affected, he or she should immediately assume or maintain control of the aircraft.

Manoeuvre to block the laser, if possible and subject to ATC . If on approach, consider a go-around.

Engage the autopilot.

After regaining vision, check flight instruments for proper flight status.

Turn flight deck lighting to maximum brightness to minimise any further illumination effects.

Immediately report the laser incident to ATC, including the direction and location of the laser source, beam colour and length of exposure (flash, pulsed and/or intentional tracking). Do not look directly into the beam to locate the source.

As soon as flight safety allows, check for dark/disturbed areas in vision, one eye at a time.

If incapacitated, contact ATC for priority/emergency handling. Consider autoland.

If symptoms persist, obtain an eye examination as soon as practicable. SEE NOTE BELOW

File an MOR. In the UK, ATC will notify the Police. When possible, write down all details for the Police.

If rostered for further flight sectors, consider whether you are physically and psychologically still fit to fly even if your self-assessment indicates no visual impairment. It is for individual flight crew to determine their fitness to fly in such circumstances regardless of operator policy.
NB1 If warned in advance by ATC or other aircraft of laser activity, consider requesting a different runway, holding until it is resolved, or diverting.

(and there is more…)

https://www.balpa.org/Emergency-help/Laser-Attack.aspx

 

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Andrew Simms: Cars, aviation, steel … the stranded assets risk spreads far beyond fossil fuel firms

In an article looking at the issue of “stranded assets” Andrew Simms, from NEF (New Economics Foundation) considers the current position of diesel cars, after the “dieselgate” furore. He considers the view of “clean diesel” is almost as tarnished as “clean coal.” Some sectors may become less relevant and may need to be revalued, as we adjust to a low carbon economy (as argued by Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England). Andrew argues that renewed impetus and optimism surrounding the Paris climate talks and the steady build-up of national commitments to reduce emissions could start shifting the confidence line for investors wherever the economy is vulnerable to carbon targets and legislation. “The aviation sector, whose big planes, once built, tend to hang around for decades, looks especially vulnerable. Why invest in expensive kit, such as a new London runway, if it soon ends up sitting largely idle, another carbon stranded asset. Carney called for companies to disclose both their current emissions and what, if any, plans they have to make the transition to a zero carbon business model. (Aviation’s plan consists largely of future trading carbon credits with other sectors).
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Cars, aviation, steel … the stranded assets risk spreads far beyond fossil fuel firms

By Andrew Simms

8.10.2015 (Guardian)

VW is paying the price of revelations that ‘clean diesel’ is as much a lie as ‘clean coal’ – in a low-carbon economy 100s of energy intensive industries will have to reinvent themselves or become similarly exposed.  What could be the cost of potentially stranded assets in the manufacture of diesel vehicles?

Imagine you invested heavily in glam rock silver spandex clothing just as punk music happened. You’d suddenly be left with a lot of shiny stuff you couldn’t shift. It would be a ‘stranded asset’ – the victim of an unanticipated devaluation due to shifting fashion (though you might argue it was always a liability).

Increasingly, mainstream acceptance that money poured into fossil fuels risks becoming trapped in similarly stranded assets, raises the intriguing possibility that the logic might leak out and touch other parts of the economy which are heavily dependent on the same fossil fuels.

Responding to the emissions rigging crisis embroiling the German car maker Volkswagen, the Financial Times speculated that Europe’s focus on diesel “may have driven its car industry up a technological dead end”.

If so, not withstanding VW’s multi-billion legal liability for deceiving regulators, there is another calculation waiting to be done, of the potentially stranded assets in the manufacture of diesel vehicles. In the UK their share of the new engine market rose from under 10% to over 50% in less than a decade, and a sudden reawakening of concern about their health impacts could see them fall from favour even quicker.

But why stop there? There’s a strong case that private motor vehicles per se, produced and driven at their current scale, are also a technological dead end whose assets, sooner or later, are set to become stranded.

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England recently argued that one way in which climate change will affect financial stability is through the revaluation of assets as we adjust to a low carbon economy.

In spite of a rather half-hearted introduction, the new charge on plastic bags in England, for example, could see the assets of a few packaging companies heading for the stranded basket. Places such as New Delhi and Bangladesh have already managed to ban plastic bags outright.

Renewed impetus and optimism surrounding the Paris climate talks and the steady build-up of national commitments to reduce emissions could start shifting the confidence line for investors wherever the economy is vulnerable to carbon targets and legislation.

The aviation sector, whose big planes, once built, tend to hang around for decades, looks especially vulnerable. Why invest in expensive kit, such as a new London runway, if it will soon ends up sitting largely idle, another carbon stranded asset.

Carney called for companies to disclose both their current emissions and what, if any, plans they have to make the transition to a zero carbon business model. With those words ringing in my ears, if I were an actuary – one of those quiet but useful figures in the City whose job it is to see risks on the horizon – I would pull up the full list of energy intensive industries, from steel and aluminium to cement and chemical companies, and start playing hunt the potentially stranded asset.

If the Paris meeting is to mean anything, the world will shift inevitably from an economy of linear, material throughput and waste, to a circular economy as frugal and clever at material capture and reuse as an ecosystem. As it does so, those industries which do not reinvent themselves could find themselves as stranded as those silver spandex playsuits.

In an article on why the Volkswagen scandal was worse than the one which destroyed the energy company, Enron, David Bach of Yale Management School, pointed out how “clean diesel”, it turns out, is as much a lie as “clean coal”. Politicians and regulators allowed themselves to be swept up in that lie to the point where it destroyed the reputation of Europe’s economic powerhouse for straight-talking, technical efficiency almost overnight, and in a sector, car making, synonymous with ‘brand Germany’.

If one sector could so easily turn unnoticed into a technological dead end, how many others already are doing so, without companies, regulators or officials realising it?

The global economy is currently around 80% dependent on power from fossil fuels. Coincidentally, the proportion of recoverable reserves that need to be left in the ground, unburned is estimated to be around the same, 80%. The World Bank put the value of global economic activity in 2014 at about $78tn.

Looking ahead, how much of that continued activity is premised on using fossil fuels that can’t be burned, and for which there is no easy energy substitute – such as aviation and types of industrial agriculture? It’s a good, if tricky, research question.

But globally, potentially stranded assets are likely to run into multiple trillions of dollars. Car makers may go electric, but even that’s no get out of jail free card, as the power still needs to come from somewhere. And, as we can see, there’s still far too much carbon in the energy system. So, given that what we already have is unsustainable, no new carbon intensive infrastructure should be being built.

To look at things with fresh eyes, and to really see what has become normal when it never should have done, will take more than policy. It will take a shift of culture. A huge range of artists, musicians and writers will be as active as policy people and campaigners on climate change over the coming months. The group Cape Farewell is organising an entire, parallel event to the climate talks called ArtCOP21, spanning 25 countries.

Carney coined what he called ‘the tragedy of the horizon’ because the real costs of climate change fall in the future beyond the policy and investment horizons of key financial actors.

By the time it matters to them, he argues, it will be too late. To counter the human self-absorption that creates this state of affairs, a brilliantly inventive new initiative called The Parliament of Things invited people to imagine how non-human entities with a stake in the world might grapple with the problems humanity presents them.

In the winning response, by Fien Veldman, the Horizon, personified, nervously addresses the newly gathered parliament of animals, plants and things.

It thanks those present for never leaving it empty, but where humans are concerned it complains of being simply overwhelmed. The parliament considers this, and passes the first rule of its new constitution: ‘Dear humans, we would like a little more space.’ Find those stranded assets and we could answer its call.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/08/cars-aviation-steel-stranded-assets-risk-spreads-far-beyond-fossil-fuel-firms

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An AirportWatch member commented:

“An expensive transition if major companies go bust from investing in high carbon infrastructure” David King on LHR R3 2009
“An expensive transition if major companies go bust from investing in high carbon infrastructure” David King on LHR R3 2009
“An expensive transition if major companies go bust from investing in high carbon infrastructure” David King on LHR R3 2009

“An expensive transition if major companies go bust from investing in high carbon infrastructure” Sir David King on LHR  on Radio 3  in 2009


 

Stranded Carbon Assets and Negative Emissions Technologies
Working Paper

February 2015

Authors: Ben Caldecott, Guy Lomax & Mark Workman
Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.

This paper says:

“But the fact remains, that even if NETs (Negative Emissions Technologies) were deployed successfully at sufficient scale to increase carbon budgets for sectors like agriculture and aviation, it would not protect business as usual. The extent to which sectors might benefit from NETs deployment depends on the cost of NETs and who bears these costs – variables
exposed to significant uncertainty. If the sectors that benefit pay a proportion of development and deployment costs, which given the polluter pays principle might reasonably be expected to happen, business models would still be affected. So even sectors that might be ‘bullish’ or optimistic about NETs and their implications for future business, might be wise to temper this optimism. Either way, carbon budgets if implemented in some form, with or without NETs, will impact their activities and in ways that are difficult to predict.”

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NETs are a family of technologies that encompass diverse options, including: Afforestation, Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration, Biochar, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), Direct Air Capture (DAC), Ocean Liming, Enhanced Weathering, and Ocean Fertilisation.

http://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/research-programmes/stranded-assets/Stranded%20Carbon%20Assets%20and%20NETs%20-%2006.02.15.pdf

 

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Owner of Manchester and Stansted airports, MAG, unsurprisingly wants airport growth outside the south-east

The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) which owns/runs Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports) says a new strategy is needed to promote local airports rather than investing in a megahub in the south-east. MAG wants a nationwide network of competing airports rather than investing all energies — and taxpayer funding — in an even larger airport in the south-east. While Heathrow claims it would provide a significant net benefit to northern England, allegedly “with the creation of up to 26,400 manufacturing jobs”, the Airports Commission’s own figures show negative impacts of a 3rd Heathrow runway on the UK’s regional airports. MAG believes that the expansion of local airports would provide a greater boost to the nation, and provide “an important catalyst for rebalancing UK plc.” So unsurprisingly Heathrow and MAG are both speaking from a position of self interest. While the Airports Commission ended up, misguidedly, just looking at whether they should be a runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, the main question of whether there should be a new runway in the south east at all still needs a convincing answer. MAG believes there is more likelihood of a successful “Northern Powerhouse” if northern airports get successful long haul routes, rather than Heathrow.
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Promote airports outside London, says Manchester and Stansted owner, MAG

Manchester Airports Group said passenger numbers were up by 10 per cent last year

By Graeme Paton Transport Correspondent (The Times)

October 7 2015

Extracts below:

A new strategy is needed to promote local airports rather than investing in a megahub in the southeast, Manchester Airports Group  [owns/runs Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports] has claimed.

MAG [2nd largest airport company in the UK] says their successes underlined the importance of creating a nationwide network of competing airports rather than investing all energies — and taxpayer funding — in a hub in the southeast.

Heathrow claims the creation of a third runway would provide a significant net benefit to northern England, with the creation of up to 26,400 manufacturing jobs. But Neil Robinson, the director of corporate social responsibility at MAG, said that the expansion of local airports would provide a greater boost to the nation.

MAG says both business and leisure travellers across the UK want access to their local airport. “Not only does a nationwide network of competing airports provide the best solution for customers, but it also provides an important catalyst for rebalancing UK plc.”

Full Times article at
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/transport/article4578234.ece

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Don’t forget us in runways debate, says Manchester and Stansted owner

Manchester airport reported traffic growth up 7 per cent last year

By Robert Lea,  Industrial Editor (The Times)
July 23 2015

Extracts: 
Britain’s most important airport operator outside Heathrow and Gatwick has urged the government to formulate a 25-year aviation policy on when it expects Stansted to have to a build a new runway.

Manchester Airports Group, which owns London’s fast-growing third airport, also wants decisions about how Manchester could become the hub for the so-called northern powerhouse.

“We have no long-term aviation policy, decisions are made ad hoc,” Charlie Cornish, the chief executive of MAG, said. “Aviation infrastructure is expensive and unless we have a 25-year policy, you are putting too much risk on private sector operators wishing to invest.”

MAG is 35.5%-owned by Manchester city council, with a further 29% in the hands of the nine boroughs that make up Greater Manchester. The other 35.5% is controlled by IFM Investors, an infrastructure investor owned by an Australian pensions fund .

Of MAG’s other airports, East Midlands, Britain’s busiest freight airport after Heathrow.

 

Full Times article at

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/transport/article4505596.ece

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In July 2015 MAG said:

“Our airports have a vital role to play in the next ten to 15 years as London expands eastwards, the Northern Powerhouse becomes a reality and runway capacity in the South East becomes even scarcer. Following the Airports Commission’s submission of its Final Report, it is imperative that the focus of Government and other stakeholders is on the practical steps needed to maximise the potential of existing airport capacity in the period before any new runway is completed.

“We continue to request that Government and Network Rail apply greater efforts to improve the rail links into Stansted and Manchester, which together can accommodate an extra 50-60 million passengers a year.”

http://www.moodiereport.com/document.php?doc_id=44171

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See earlier:

£1bn Manchester Airport transformation: Super-sized terminal, faster security, more passengers, more routes

2.6.2015

BY CHARLOTTE COX (Manchester Evening News)

Extracts:

Airlines and politicians welcome ‘biggest single construction project Greater Manchester has seen’

Manchester Airport is to get a dramatic £1bn transformation, the M.E.N. can reveal – with a super-sized terminal and faster high-tech security lanes.

Said to be the biggest single construction project ever to take place in Greater Manchester, the 10-year scheme will more than double the size of Terminal Two and link it to an improved Terminal Three.

Doubling the number of airport jobs to 40,000 within 30 years and adding 10m annual passengers in just a decade, the move bolsters Manchester’s battle for the government to recognise the true worth of regional airports and underlines Manchester Airport’s place at the heart of George Osborne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

Among a range of high-tech changes will be a scheme to pre-clear American immigration in Manchester..

The project is also aimed at attracting airlines and adding new long-haul routes to Asia and the east and west coasts of America.

Plans are now in the final stages and work is due to start next April, with a goal of Terminal Two completion by 2023.

By 2022, Terminal One, which was built in 1962, will be phased out.

By 2050, its hoped 55m passengers will use the hub every year, more than doubling the current 23m.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, said: “Without doubt, with this level of investment Manchester will become one of the most modern and customer focused airports in Europe, demonstrating the importance of Manchester as a global gateway. It demonstrates that it’s more that just being about Heathrow or Gatwick.”

He said HS2 and the east-west rail connections of HS3 were central to the scheme, adding: “We’re setting out how the airport will contribute to the development of a Northern Powerhouse and demonstrating the dynamic, can-do spirit that sums up the region.”

As M.A.G is part-owned by Manchester taxpayers, return from the investment will go directly into services.

Full article at

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-expansion-plan-security-9370929

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MAG hopes to invest in airport upgrade to be hub for “Northern Powerhouse”

26.7.2015

Manchester Airports Group could raise up to £400 million from the bond market next year as part of a £1 billion upgrade programme for its flagship airport. MAG’s chief financial officer Neil Thompson said that raising finance from bond or debt investors was one option the firm would explore over 12 to 18 months. It is looking to spend £1 billion at Manchester so that it can act as the hub airport for the “Northern Powerhouse” that the Government wants to develop to counter London’s dominance. MAG, which also owns Stansted in Essex, is the largest UK-owned airport operator. Thompson said that it is in talks with Middle Eastern carriers and BA owner IAG about offering long-haul services out of Stansted.
Last week MAG said that pre-tax profits had risen by 11.8 per cent to £90.3million and revenues by 10 per cent to £738.4 million. MAG is deeply opposed to a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, and the huge sums of public money needed to be spent on either, for infrastructure.

http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/593862/Invest-in-airport-upgrade

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Heathrow runway would mean loss of at least 431 hectares of Green Belt – and more in future

The CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) believes the Airports Commission’s terms of reference were flawed, and therefore so is its recommendation of a Heathrow runway. Looking at the Heathrow north west runway option, CPRE say it would  destroy up to 694 hectares of Green Belt (one  AC report says 694, another says 431 hectares).  It would destroy 60 hectares of woodland. The runway would also wreck tranquillity in parks and gardens with impacts likely to spread into the Chilterns AONB. It would mean destroying 783 homes, and require up to 70,800 new homes to be built by 2030.  In addition, the Commission said in November 2014: “The land take associated with the additional housing demand may require some de-designation of areas of the Green Belt, although the London Plan’s encouragement of high density housing and brownfield redevelopment may reduce this.”  More houses may need to be built after 2030, and this would be in an area that already has acute housing pressure. CPRE considered that the formation of the Airports Commission, and its terms of reference, prevented a more ambitious regional rebalancing strategy. Instead the UK needs to boost the northern regions, avoid further over-heating the South East and make the most of the ample spare capacity in other airports.
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Third Heathrow runway would be full frontal assault on Green Belt and tranquillity

1 July 2015  (CPRE – Campaign to Protect Rural England)

Airports Commission’s flawed terms of reference meant its recommendation of a destructive new runway was inevitable, say rural campaigners

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) condemned today’s decision of the Airports Commission to recommend a third runway at Heathrow [1].

If it is ever built, the proposed Heathrow north western runway would be expected to [2]:

Ralph Smyth, transport campaign manager at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), comments:

“The recommendation today for a third runway at Heathrow casts a dark shadow over a wide swathe of the south east. Besides the destruction of much of the ancient village of Harmondsworth to make way for the new runway, a much wider area is at threat. On top of the almost relentless din of jet engines, runaway development and traffic would shatter the remaining fragments of tranquil countryside in the south east, already one of the most densely overflown areas in the world.

“All of the options short-listed by the Airports Commission would have a devastating impact on the countryside, directly as well as indirectly. But, equally, they would undermine the national imperative of rebalancing our economy away from the overheated south east. London already has 50% more flights to it than any other city in the world and enough’s enough. We believe that the growing political consensus over the need for a Northern Powerhouse will effectively pull the rug from under the Commission’s report . We now need a national spatial plan to rebalance growth and aviation, making the most of the ample spare capacity in other airports.

“While the Airports Commission in some ways set new standards for public engagement, it was clear that its terms of reference were rigged from the start. Another new runway in the south east was the foregone conclusion, preventing proper consideration of greater use of high speed rail or an ambitious regional rebalancing strategy.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] You can download the Airports Commission report and CPRE’s most recent response to the Commission

[2] Figures from Airports Commission’s final report.  1.7.2015


Harmondsworth Moor.

The north west runway would mean the destruction of Harmondsworth Moor.  The Moor consists of  260 acres of reclaimed land near Heathrow Airport, it contains meadows, rivers, lakes and ponds and has 70,000 newly planted trees and several miles of new paths and bridleways. The park is managed by British Airways.

Details of Walks on the Moor.

Map showing Harmondsworth Moor (area to the east of the M25)

Harmondsworth moor


 

The Airports Commission’s Final Report states: 

Page 100

“5.13   In total, 569ha of land would be directly required for the airport development, with up to an additional 43ha for flood storage and 294ha for related surface access improvements. Approximately 431ha of this is within designated Green Belt. These land take requirements however, could change following detailed construction and surface access route design, and any potential mitigations.”

and  on Page 102 (for the Heathrow Hub extended northern runway option):

“5.18   The airport’s footprint would expand to the west, north and south, with a total direct land take of 336ha. Additional land take for surface access improvements and flood storage of up to 330ha and 57ha respectively may also be required. Approximately 278ha of the proposed land take would lie within Green Belt. As for the other schemes, these land take requirements could change following detailed construction and surface access route design, and any potential mitigations.”


 

The Airports Commission’s Business Case and Sustainability Appraisal (Nov 2014) for the Heathrow runway states:

“1.56  The additional employment supported by Heathrow’s expansion would lead to a significant requirement for additional housing. The Commission’s analysis indicates this would total between 29,800 and 70,800 houses by 2030 within the local authorities assessed as part of the local economy assessment. This additional housing and population growth would also require substantial supporting infrastructure including schools and health care facilities.

“1.57 Delivering new housing of this scale will present challenges for local authorities, many of whom already struggle to meet housing targets. This is mitigated to some degree however by the timescales for delivery and the broad area (some 14 authorities) over which the requirement is spread. Labour market flexibility and strong surface access links may enable this area to be extended further. The land take associated with the additional housing demand may require some de-designation of areas of the Green Belt, although the London Plan’s encouragement of high density housing and brownfield redevelopment may reduce this.”

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Some extracts from CPRE’s response to the Commission February 2015

Strategic fit

18. England is unique within Europe, if not developed countries anywhere, in not
having any national spatial plan. The lack of such a plan means that there has been no
assessment of the suitability of further airport expansion in the south east with the
political consensus that the regions in England need to be rebalance. So, for example, the
assessment of strategic fit of expanding Heathrow is only able to state that each
expansion proposal ‘has the potential to align well with local and regional development
strategies’.

19. The fact that this would put even more pressure on the Green Belt and ecosystem
services such as water, besides depriving the midlands and the north of beneficial
economic growth that could be accommodated largely within previously developed sites,
is at best ignored. At worst, environmental limits are actively encouraged to be breached.
Paragraph 2.84 states, for example that ‘the land take associated with additional housing
demand resulting from airport expansion could be challenging for individual authorities
and potentially require de-designation of areas of Green Belt. Each borough council’s plan
contains a theme of greenfield land preservation; an intention synonymous with that of
the development of town centres for housing purposes. While most local authority plans
have shied away from Green Belt development, this strategy may need to be considered
given the potential housing pressures and limited alternatives.’

20. The scale of what is proposed is such that this is a matter of utmost importance
and concern. As the consultation document notes, an expanded Heathrow would be the
‘biggest in the world alongside new Istanbul airport’, while an expanded Gatwick would be
as big as Heathrow is currently. As its site is bounded on three sides by nationally
designated landscape, this would be entirely unsuitable.

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26. Finally we are very concerned that the indirect impact on the Green Belt has not
been adequately considered. Although the direct impact has been assessed (e,g, for the
North Western Runway at Heathrow this would be as much as 431ha), the indirect affects
have not been. These include pressure for additional housing and employment
development required due to local economic activity catalysed by airport expansion and
similarly to provide for additional transport infrastructure. In any event the impacts on
the Green Belt, if not designated landscapes, of widening of existing transport
infrastructure such as the M25, do not appear to have been assessed in any detail.

CPRE’s response to the Commission

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The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Sir Andrew Motion, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen.

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‘Northern Powerhouse’ a myth as region expected to lag behind south in 2025

George Osborne’s plan to build a “Northern Powerhouse” has been undermined by a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). It shows Britain’s North-South divide will grow significantly over the next decade – and says the economic gap between London and the North of England is expected to rise by 94% to £110 billion over the next 10 years.  London is expected to grow 27% in real terms in the next decade to just under £450 billion at 2012 prices, compared with a combined growth rate of 14% across the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber. The CEBR says this would leave output in these regions more than £110 billion lower than London’s in 2025. It is thought that the economic gap between the fastest and slowest growing cities and regions will increase. To actually close the gap needs a “radical rethink” with more devolved powers and targeted investment. Further austerity has the potential to hold back the economies of some of the UK’s poorest regions. Planned infrastructure investment in London was considerably higher than in other regions. The CEBR considers a focus on local rail and roads would be more beneficial for northern regions than flagship projects like HS2.  (Adding another runway in the south east is also only likely to increase the north south divide and focus profitable long haul flights around London.)
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‘Northern Powerhouse’ a myth as region expected to lag behind south in 2025

Economic gap between London and the North of England is expected to rise by 94pc to £110bn over the next 10 years, new report finds

George Osborne’s plan to build a “Northern Powerhouse” has been undermined by a report that shows Britain’s North-South divide will grow significantly over the next decade.

The economic gap between London and the North of England is expected to rise by 94pc to £110bn over the next 10 years, according to a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

London is expected to grow 27pc in real terms in the next decade to just under £450bn at 2012 prices, compared with a combined growth rate of 14pc across the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber. The economic consultancy said this would leave output in these regions more than £110bn lower than London’s in 2025.

The report showed Cambridge, in East Anglia, was the fastest growing UK city in the second quarter of 2015, followed by Milton Keynes in the South East, then London. “Middlesbrough and Hull were among the five slowest growing cities, implying that the gap between these cities and wealthier cities will widen,” the report said.

“Significant announcements to spread growth across the UK have been surprisingly lacking to date.”  Scott Corfe, CEBR

Niall Baker, an executive at law firm Irwin Mitchell, which commissioned the report, said the Government’s plans to close the economic gap between the North and South required a “radical rethink” with more devolved powers and targeted investment needed.

Scott Corfe, economist at the CEBR, said: “Significant announcements to spread growth across the UK have been surprisingly lacking to date. More radical measures are needed to generate a series of regional powerhouses.

“Without these the Government risks breaking its vow, particularly as further austerity has the potential to hold back the economies of some of the UK’s poorest regions. It is vital that private enterprise is allowed to thrive in these regions as a way of offsetting austerity.”

The report highlighted that planned infrastructure investment in London was considerably higher than in other regions, despite the Chancellor’s pledge to pump money into transport projects. Projected spending in London stands at £5,426 per resident, compared with £1,248 per person in the North West and £223 per person in the North East.

Mr Osborne hailed a new devolution deal with Sheffield last week, which will unlock access to a £900m pot of government cash over the next 30 years to boost local investment in manufacturing and innovation.

The report recommended more devolution of powers to the regions, and suggested a focus on local rail and roads would be more beneficial for northern regions than flagship projects such as the HS2 rail link.

The report also said the introduction of tax competition across regions such as the power to determine business rates could help narrow the economic gap.

“Devolution of rates, combined with more regular revaluations, may help struggling areas to better attract and retain businesses,” the report said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11908663/Northern-Powerhouse-a-myth-as-region-expected-to-lag-behind-south-in-2025.html

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Labour peer Lord Adonis to head Osborne infrastructure body – to get things like a new runway built fast

A new body to plan infrastructure projects, the “independent” National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) will be chaired by the former Labour transport secretary Lord Adonis. The government is expected to announce it will pledge an extra £5 billion in this Parliament for major schemes, which he hopes will boost the UK economy. Osborne says he plans to “shake Britain out of its inertia”  and Lord Adonis thinks that without “big improvements” in transport and energy “Britain will grind to a halt”. The NIC will initially focus on London’s transport system, connections between cities in the north of England, and updating the energy network – funded by selling off land, buildings and other government assets. Lord Adonis has resigned the Labour whip and will sit as a crossbencher in the Lords as he starts work in his new role immediately. The NIC will produce a report at the start of each five-year Parliament containing recommendations of infrastructure building over the next 20 to 30 years. Osborne: “I’m not prepared to turn round to my children – or indeed anyone else’s child – and say ‘I’m sorry, we didn’t build for you.’ John Cridland, director-general of the CBI business lobby said: ” ….we must not duck the important infrastructure decisions that need taking now, particularly on expanding aviation capacity in the South East.”
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BBC

Labour peer Lord Adonis to head Osborne infrastructure body

5.10.2015 (BBC)
Lord Adonis will become an independent peer to take on his new role

A new body to plan infrastructure projects will be chaired by the former Labour transport secretary Lord Adonis, the chancellor is to announce.

The commission will be unveiled at the Conservative conference and George Osborne will pledge an extra £5bn in this Parliament for major schemes.

In a speech later, he will say he plans to “shake Britain out of its inertia.”

Lord Adonis said that without “big improvements” in transport and energy “Britain will grind to a halt”.

The chancellor believes the independent National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) will prove vital to boosting the economy.

It will initially focus on London’s transport system, connections between cities in the north of England, and updating the energy network – funded by selling off land, buildings and other government assets.

Lord Adonis, policy chief in Tony Blair’s government before becoming transport secretary under Gordon Brown, has resigned the Labour whip and will sit as a crossbencher in the Lords as he takes on his new role.

The NIC, which will start work immediately, will produce a report at the start of each five-year Parliament containing recommendations of projects.

Mr Osborne said Lord Adonis would be working in the “national interest” in his role.

Lord Adonis, a Social Democrat councillor and Liberal Democrat election candidate before joining Labour, said: “Without big improvements to its transport and energy systems, Britain will grind to a halt.

“Major infrastructure projects like Crossrail and building major new power stations span governments and Parliaments. I hope it will be possible to forge a wide measure of agreement across society and politics on key infrastructure requirements for the next 20 to 30 years.”

Mr Osborne is expected to tell the Conservative Party conference: “Where would Britain be if we had never built railways or runways, power stations or new homes? Where will we be in the future if we stop building them now?

“I’m not prepared to turn round to my children – or indeed anyone else’s child – and say ‘I’m sorry, we didn’t build for you.’ We have to shake Britain out of its inertia on the projects which matter most.”

‘Open to ideas’

Mr Osborne has also announced plans to combine 89 local authority pension funds in England and Wales into six regional funds in the hope it will encourage them to invest in major infrastructure projects.

The chancellor is expected to acknowledge in his speech that the idea for the NIC was first proposed by Labour in its manifesto for May’s general election.

The chancellor said Lord Adonis would be working in the “national interest”

An aide to Mr Osborne said: “The chancellor is open to good ideas.”

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said Lord Adonis’s move was “a long way from a defection”, and that while it was embarrassing for Labour that he was resigning the whip he would remain a party member.

She added that it was worth noting that Lord Adonis had sat on the review for Labour that effectively set out the blueprint for the new commission.

A spokesman for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “We have heard it all before from Osborne and the Conservatives on infrastructure and their record is one of complete failure to deliver.

“There is still nothing to indicate that the Tories understand the desperate need for serious long-term investment in infrastructure – and the real story of their conference remains their attack on working people through the cut on tax credits.”

John Cridland, director-general of the CBI business lobby group, said: “Updating the UK’s infrastructure is critical to sustainable growth and productivity, and we’ve long called for an independent body to assess our long-term needs.”

He added: “But we must not duck the important infrastructure decisions that need taking now, particularly on expanding aviation capacity in the South East.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34440479

 

 

 

 

 

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