Middle Eastern airports now adding air passenger charges, to pay for airport infrastructure

As well as the UK charging Air Passenger Duty, Germany, Austria, France, Spain and Norway and others have a comparable charge.  Germany has the second highest charges in Europe after the UK with levels of around €7, €23 and €42 for different bands of countries. Norway now has a charge of about €8.50 on all flights.  But other airports else where in the world are increasingly charging.  Hong Kong has now started a charge, of around £14 – 16 depending on length of flight and class of seat, in order to pay for the 3rd runway. The charges may last till 2031 when the runway is fully paid for.  Now Middle Eastern airports have started to charge all passengers, to contribute towards the cost of the huge airport infrastructure. Dubai introduced a charge of around £7 for all passengers, except children under the age of two and transit passengers remaining on the same plane. Abu Dhabi also introduced the same fee as did Sharjah – all started on 30th June. Now Doha’s Hamad Airport says it will introduce a Passenger Facility Charge of about $10 for all departing passengers, together with transferring passengers who make a connection within 24 hours.  It will come into effect on December 1st.  Australia has had a Passenger Movement Charge since 1995 for any departing passenger on an international flights, at around £31.


Doha’s Hamad airport introduces passenger charges

Sep 1, 2016

By Alan Dron (ATW)

Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) is to introduce a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) of QAR35 ($10) for all departing passengers, together with transferring passengers who make a connection within 24 hours.

It will not apply to transit passengers who do not change aircraft, or any passengers who land in Doha because of involuntary re-routing.

The new charge will be included within airlines’ ticket prices. It was announced on Aug. 29 and made applicable to tickets the following day, for journeys commencing from Dec. 1.

HIA is the latest of the Gulf’s major airports to introduce such a charge. Dubai and Abu Dhabi have announced similar charges this year and Sharjah is scheduled to introduce one. Dubai said it had invested heavily in expanding its infrastructure and products to accommodate booming growth, “while keeping aeronautical fees in the lower quartile compared to similar hub airports around the world.”

Four minor airports in Abu Dhabi, which is one of seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates, also introduced a charge.

In a statement, HIA said the charge “is in line with International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] principles and similar charges have been levied by a large number of airports around the world. Even with the addition of the PFC, HIA’s overall airport charges are on the lower side internationally. By introducing the PFC, HIA aims at delivering consistent service levels, enabling its passengers to continue using the airport’s world-class services and facilities, many of which are complimentary.”



Abu Dhabi introduces Dh35 exit fee for airport passengers

ABU DHABI // Passengers departing from or transiting through airports in the emirate of Abu Dhabi are to be charged a Dh35 service fee.

The fee will be introduced from June 30, reported Aletihad, the Arabic-language sister paper of The National, quoting the Official Gazette.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has issued an Executive Council resolution to approve the fee.

Children under the age of two, transit passengers travelling on the same flight number and airline crew will be exempt from paying.

Abu Dhabi Airports Company will collect the fee from the airlines, which will charge it to customers through their flight tickets.

Dubai announced in March that it would start charging a Dh35 departure tax for all flights taking off after June 30.   Sharjah followed suit with a similar announcement in April.



Sharjah follows Dubai with exit fee for airport passengers

SHARJAH // A Dh35 exit fee will be levied on passengers leaving Sharjah airport, following in the footsteps of Dubai Airports’ move last week.

Sharjah’s Deputy Ruler, Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, approved the fee during a meeting of the emirate’s Executive Council on Tuesday.

Dubai said on March 30 that, on flights leaving its airports from June 30 onwards, it would start charging the exit fee in a move that would help to fund infrastructure and expansion plans.

Now Sharjah International Airport, which is home to budget airline Air Arabia, will follow suit.

For both emirates, however, flight crews, transit passengers and children under two years of age will be exempt.

The Sharjah fee is being levied for the use of the airport facilities and services, a statement said.

Some Sharjah airport users on Tuesday expressed their dismay at the new fee.

“We use Sharjah airport for its budget airline and if you add Dh35 to a family of six or seven individuals, the bill adds up and becomes cumbersome for us,” said Amani Raed, a 37-year-old Syrian mother of three.

Pakistani Ghafar Mohammed, who works for a construction company in Ajman, said: “My salary is Dh1,200, and every dirham I save goes to my family back home. So for purchasing a ticket to go back to my country every couple of years, the new fee is not welcome, but low-income workers don’t have any other option but to pay it.”

Other residents, however, said the fee was justifiable – if it went to developing the airport and enhancing its services.

“If the fee goes to enhancing the airport services, then that’s good for passengers in the long run. The airport is small and maybe there are plans to expand it,” said Emirati Mohammed Al Mazmi, a 47-year-old businessman.

Ahmad Radwan, a 32-year-old sales manager, said: “It will not make much difference to singles or married couples – the fee can be compared to a meal in a fast-food restaurant or a couple of cups of coffee.”

The details of when the new fee will start being collected and the mechanism of how it will be collected were not announced.



Exit tax for Dubai airport passengers

 (The National)


DUBAI // Airline passengers flying from Dubai are paying a Dh35 (Dihram.  About £7.16) departure tax for all flights taking off after June 30.

Airlines began charging the exit fee on March 1, Dubai Media Office said on Wednesday, adding that it would help to fund Dubai airports’ infrastructure and support expansion.

These include Dubai International Airport’s recently opened Concourse D, and renovations and expansions to its Terminal 1 and 2 – all part of a Dh4.4billion (about £900 million) investment to improve service and capacity.

Passengers under two years old, cabin crew and transit passengers departing on the same flight number on which they arrived are exempt.

Dubai’s departure fee is not unique. Other countries charging an exit tax include Australia, Germany, China and the UK.

The decision, approved by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, means airlines operating at Dubai airports are in charge of collecting the fee when they issue the tickets. The fees will be transferred to Dubai Airports, then to the Dubai Government public treasury.

It is estimated that 100 million passengers will pass through Dubai airports by 2023.

The fee is the latest to be introduced or reviewed by Dubai. The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority recently doubled on-street parking fees in some areas of the city to get more people to use public transport.

Dubai International, the world’s busiest airport for international traffic, set a record in January when it was used by 7.3 million passengers, a 6.3 per cent year-on-year increase.

It overtook London’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport in 2014 .

Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said the airport had average monthly traffic of nearly 6.5 million passengers.



Germany has the second highest air passenger tax in Europe, but it raises less than APD in the UK – partly as the UK is an island. British travellers have fewer alternative to flying for international travel, whereas Germany shares a land border with nine other countries.As well as the UK and Germany having passenger taxes, France, Austria and Italy have much lower rates and raise significantly less revenue.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 German air passenger taxes


Norwegian government introduces approx €8.5 tax per air passenger on all flights

The Norwegian government will introduce an Air Passenger Tax, starting on 1st June 2016. It will be at the rate of a 80 Krone charge (around €8.64, £6.59, US$9.67) per person for both domestic and international flights. Exceptions of the tax include those under two years old and those transiting flights on the same airline. The airlines have, predictably, reacted with fury at being “defied” by the government. They say this tiny tax “threatens to reduce demand by 5%, equal to 1.2 million passengers a year,” and they say it could mean airlines might lose €150 million per year as a result. The airline lobby group, “Airlines 4 Europe” (whose members include EasyJet, Ryanair, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle and International Airlines Group) is lobbying hard. They all completely ignore the inconvenient fact that air travel demand is artificially high, as it pays no VAT and no fuel duty. Those together amount to a massive annual subsidy (in the UK this is a net annual loss to the Treasury, even including takings from APD, of perhaps £9 blllion per year).  Several European countries do have a ticket tax, with the UK levels being the highest (Brits also fly more than most others). There are small charges in France, Germany and Austria. Ireland and the Netherlands scrapped theirs, due to airline pressure.  




Australia has a Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) which was introduced in July 1995 (replacing Departure Tax) and is imposed in respect of the departure of a person from Australia for another country, whether or not the person intends to return to Australia.  The current rate of the PMC is $55.  ( That is about £31).

The PMC is levied under the Passenger Movement Charge Act 1978 and collected under the Passenger Movement Charge Collection Act 1978.




Other countries that have air ticket taxes:

The UK, Germany and Austria have air ticket taxes. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=4444

Spain also has an air ticket tax, and France has a Passenger Solidarity Tax  http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2585

Tourists to Spain face extra airport tax

Spain has increased the amount of departure tax it charges.  The increase will be, on average, only perhaps 20% above the current level, but from the largest Spanish airports, it will be almost doubled. This will mean a rise of some €5 to €9 or so. The tax is charged to the airline, and they can choose whether to pass it on to the passengers – Ryanair certainly will get its passengers to pay.  The tax  is applied “retrospectively to customers who booked flights before 2 July 2012 and are travelling from 1 July onwards.  Spain is implementing drastic measures to try to slash its budget deficit to 5.3% from 8.5% in 2011.  



Mixed reaction to Hong Kong airport’s new surcharge to fund third runway

Passengers buying tickets from Monday have to pay a new levy, hoped to help fund the HK$141.5 billion third runway

2 August, 2016 ( South China Morning Post)

Extracts below:

Passengers gave a mixed reaction to the surcharge, which is designed to help fund Hong Kong International Airport’s HK$141.5 billion third runway, expected to be completed in 2024.

Airlines said they will closely monitor the impact of the fee on travel, as construction of the runway officially kicked off on Monday.

Under the new policy, departing passengers travelling in first or business class on long-haul flights will pay HK$180. Those travelling in first or business class on short-haul flights and long-haul flight passengers in economy class will pay HK$160.

Economy class passengers on short-haul flights will pay HK$90. But if they are in transit or transferring, they need to pay only HK$70.



Hong Kong authorities outlined ‘enhancement’ measures to compensate for marine habitat destruction, court hears in legal battle over third runway



…..the fee could significantly drive up the budget airline’s low-fare tickets …..

“It is too soon to comment on the impact at this stage,” said a spokesman at Cathay Pacific Airways, but it welcomed the start of construction work for the runway, which it said was “essential to maintaining the long-term competitiveness of Hong Kong as a premier aviation hub”.

Berky Kong, regional corporate communications manager at America Airlines estimated its ticket sales would not be affected by the added fee, as “all airlines are facing the same charges”. “The impact on bookings is not clear today,” she said.

“I would not differentiate between low-cost and premium airlines – such as Hong Kong Express versus Hong Kong Airlines and Cathay Pacific. A passenger travelling from Hong Kong to Japan on any of those airlines will pay the same fee,” said Will Horton, senior analyst at the Centre for Aviation Consultancy.



Departing passengers will pay around £8 – 16 tax till perhaps 2031 to fund 3rd Hong Kong airport runway

Outbound and transit passengers will pay up to between a bout £8 and £16 (HK$ 90 -180) to fund the construction of Hong Kong airport’s third runway system from August 1st. Initial reclamation work for the project is scheduled to start on the same day. The airport construction fee for short-haul economy departing passengers will be HK$90, and in first or business class, HK$160. For long-haul passengers, the fee for economy will be HK$160 and first or business class HK$180. Short haul economy passengers will pay HK$70. The costs would remain at the same level, but continue till the runway is fully paid for, which may be till 2031. Meanwhile, People’s Aviation Watch, an organisation opposing expensive infrastructure projects at the airport, said a judicial review to challenge the environmental impact assessment report for the runway will be heard in court this July. They say the Airport Authority’s decision to charge the fees before any verdict on the start of the runway disregards the law. But in March opponents lost a bid to legally challenge the ability of the airport to charge for the runway. A total of five judicial review cases or appeals against the runway are being planned. The new runway is likely to increase CO2 emissions by about 50%, and create serious noise pollution for some areas.  



Then there is this article  (2013) that says Italy also has a charge: 



Aviation Taxes in Europe: a constraint on economic recovery

18 DECEMBER 2013

These are taxing times for Europe’s regional airports and airlines. With the industry still struggling to shake off the effects of recession, there seems little sympathy or relief at the individual state or EU level. Indeed, the move appears to be to make life harder still for Europe’s air transport business, with the introduction of emissions taxes on intra-European flights and proposed limitations on state aid at regional airports.

Whilst these policies and proposals continue to generate headlines, passenger departure taxes at the state level quietly continue to chip away at the profitability of airline networks. Whilst a number of EU states have made the decision to abolish departure taxes – the Netherlands in 2009, and now Ireland in 2014 – key member states such as Austria, France, Germany, Italy and the UK show no signs of doing so. Indeed, both Italy and the UK increased their tax rates in 2013.

How big a burden are these passenger departure taxes? The table below shows a breakdown of the key charges levied by the state in four EU countries (all per departing passenger);


Air Transport Levy EUR 8.00


Civil Aviation Tax EUR 4.31

Solidarity Tax EUR 1.00

Airport Tax* EUR 12.00

National Surcharge EUR 1.25


Air Traffic Control Law EUR 8.00

Aviation Security Fee* EUR 5.24

United Kingdom

Air Passenger Duty GBP 13.00

France leads the way in the number of different taxes it levies on passengers, with four. The Airport Tax varies by airport, though outside of the main airports in France it is usually levied at EUR 12.00 per departing passenger. Taken together, these taxes make passengers departing from France the most heavily taxed in Europe.

The state levies two passenger taxes in Germany, a departure tax and a security fee. The departure tax does vary by distance, though for this analysis only the short-haul tax is required. The Security Fee varies by airport of departure, but is usually within the range of EUR 4.00 to EUR 7.00 per departing passenger.

The UK has been steadily increasing the departure tax since its introduction in 1994, when the fee for intra-European travel was GBP 5.00 per departing passenger. Current rates are GBP 13.00 per departing passenger (up to 2,000 miles), increasing to £26.00 as a standard rate and up to £52.00 per departing passenger for the highest class of travel. These rates will be held in 2014, though for distances over 2,000 miles they will be increasing; a business class passenger travelling over 4,000 miles would have to pay a departure tax of £332.

The analysis assumes that all passengers are travelling in economy class on short-haul European services, so the lowest rate of tax is paid in those countries with variable rates. It also assumes that passengers are travelling point-to-point only; this is an important distinction, as many of the departure taxes highlighted above are based on final destination. Passengers connecting onto long-haul flights within 24 hours of their arrival at the first destination would therefore be charged a much higher departure tax at the origin.

The chart below shows the typical impact of state passenger taxes on the full published charges of regional airports in the EU. The charges shown are the average for a basket of regional airports in each country, including runway, environment, security, parking, passenger and infrastructure charges. The analysis was carried out for an 84-seat regional jet with a load factor of 70%.

Inline images 1
Source: www.airportcharges.com

In all of these countries, state passenger taxes make up a significant proportion of the combined airport and passenger charges. The most lightly taxed is Austria, with taxes making up 14% of the total charges; next comes the UK, at 28%, followed by Germany at 37%. As indicated above, the nation with the most heavily taxed passengers is France, where over 60% of airport and passenger charges are in the form of state taxes to be paid by the passenger.

Maintaining existing services from regional airports and attracting airlines to open new routes is not an easy task, and such high levels of taxation make it harder still. Regional French airports appear to be compensating for high taxes by keeping their airport charges at relatively low, competitive levels; however, this leaves little room for discounting to attract new business. At the other end of the scale, UK regional airports appear to have higher airport charges, so potentially offer greater scope for new business discounting. But with state taxes already making up almost 30% of airport and passenger charges, any meaningful incentives to attract new services could push the tax element up to and beyond 50%.

The effect of reducing charges income to attract new services could put the profitability of small airports at risk, especially if low traffic volumes limit the potential for non-aeronautical revenue. In trying to support regional air links, and therefore regional economies, airlines and airports are taking significant business risks, yet only the state is guaranteed to make a profit.

by Richard Leigh






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MEPs shocked by ‘secretive’ and unacceptably unambitious ICAO plan to cut aviation CO2 emissions

A meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment has been told of the way a possible agreement by ICAO next month – on global aviation carbon emissions – has been watered down. MEPs were informed of the likely 6-year delay, with the scheme for a global market based mechanism (GMBM) not taking effect properly until 2027, rather than in 2021 that had been foreseen.  Opt-in to the GMBM scheme before 2027 would be voluntary, but mandatory from 2027 through to 2035. There will be exemptions for poor nations, and even after 2027 the participation of the least developed countries and small island states would remain voluntary only. EU deputies said they were “shocked” to learn how many concessions the EU was prepared to make at the Montreal meeting, which took place in May behind closed doors.  Then, to make matters yet worse, “a special review in 2032 will determine whether the mechanism will be continued,” taking into account progress made as part of a related “basket of measures” which includes “CO2 standards for aircraft”, technological improvements, air traffic management and alternative fuels.  In a rare show of unity, Parliament representatives from across the political spectrum urged the EU to be more aggressive in the negotiation. Bas Eckhout, a Dutch MEP, said what is on offer now is not acceptable.


MEPs shocked by ‘secretive’ ICAO plan to cut aviation emissions

1.9.2016 (Euractiv)

By Frédéric Simon | EurActiv.com

A six-year delay, exemptions for poor nations, and a gradual phase-in system for participating countries are all being considered as part of talks to curb aviation pollution at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), MEPs discovered at a hearing in Parliament today (1 September).

Henrik Hololei, an official who headed the European Commission’s delegation to an ICAO high-level meeting in Canada earlier this year, appeared for a hearing in front of the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment.

Deputies said they were “shocked” to learn how many concessions the EU was prepared to make at the Montreal meeting, which took place in May behind closed doors.

The Montreal talks centred on the Global Market-Based Measure (GMBM) scheme which has been up for discussion since 2012 when the EU decided to “stop-the-clock” on its own aviation emissions trading system.

The EU initially intended to apply its aviation ETS to all flights landing or departing from EU territory but froze the scheme for international flights until 31 December this year in order to give ICAO a chance to conclude a global deal.

But MEPs were dismayed to hear the significant concessions Henrik Hololei said the EU was now considering in order to preserve chances of reaching an international agreement at the next ICAO general assembly opening on 27 September.

Any change to EU law following an ICAO deal would require approval by the EU assembly.

Six-year delay

According to plans currently under consideration, the global market-based system would be fully up and running in 2027 only, six years later than the initial 2021 deadline originally foreseen by the EU.

“On timing, the verification and monitoring requirements would start applying in 2019,” with the GMBM kicking-in “progressively as of 2021,” Hololei told MEPs at the hearing. “Inclusion in the scheme would become mandatory from 2027 through 2035”.

“On scope, the draft decision as it stands now would have an opt-in phase before all countries come on board in 2027, except those which are exempted,” Hololei continued, referring to small aviation players such as least developed countries and small island states for whom participation will remain voluntary only.

Finally, “a special review in 2032 will determine whether the mechanism will be continued,” taking into account progress made as part of a related “basket of measures” which includes “CO2 standards for aircraft”, technological improvements, air traffic management and alternative fuels.

“So that is what is currently being envisaged but I must stress that this is still very much a moving target,” Hololei said, adding, “the main issues relate to timing and scope”.

MEPs ‘shocked’

In a rare show of unity, Parliament representatives from across the political spectrum urged the EU to be more aggressive in the negotiation.

Bas Eckhout, a Dutch MEP who follows aviation issues for the Greens/EFA group, said he was “shocked” by the Commission’s apparent readiness to make concessions.

“We always said 2021 should be the starting date. What we’re discussing now is a voluntary scheme until 2027 and then still options for exemptions. That is a huge deviation from where we came from!” he exclaimed.

“Have you been brainwashed in Montreal? This sounds like the EU is giving away everything we stood for. Maybe a phase in for some countries can be accepted as of 2021,” but not more, Eckhout said.

“This is really unacceptable,” he added.

“Secrecy and lack of transparency”

Global leaders who met for UN talks in Paris last year agreed to aim for carbon-neutral growth in the aviation sector as of 2020, part of a landmark international agreement to contain global warming below 2°C.  [Carbon neutral growth means, in reality, that emissions from planes continue to grow fast, but offsets can be bought from other sectors that are cutting carbon emissions. ie. aviation does not itself make more than tiny cuts, while growing at 4 – 5% per year. AW note].

But other countries in the ICAO “are much less committed than the EU” to reaching that goal, Hololei pointed out, reminding MEPs that the European Commission had only observer status in the negotiations, which are taking place between ICAO member countries behind closed doors.

For Julie Girling, a British MEP from the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), it is the “secrecy and lack of transparency” in the ICAO process which is reason for concern.  No statement or meeting minutes were distributed after the May talks, Girling pointed out, “almost as if nothing had happened”. Hololei later replied that those would be published in the coming days.

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch MEP from the Liberal group ALDE, defended “regional schemes” such as the EU’s aviation ETS as part of any ICAO deal.   IATA, the global aviation industry lobby group, had spoken about “marginal costs for airlines” from the ETS, which shows the issue “is much more political”.

“If the costs are marginal, then why are politicians making a fuss about it?,” Gerbrandy asked. “This is the first big test: are we willing to do what we promised in Paris?”

Peter Liese, a German MEP from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), agreed and pointed to “shortcomings” in the ICAO process. “I’m worried to hear about a pilot phase.  What’s happening in ICAO is not ambitious at all,” he warned, saying climate policy had moved beyond pilot phases. “I find this idea of a pilot phase sobering and scary.”

Speaking earlier, Girling concurred on that point, saying there was a “disconnect” between how Parliament and ICAO see the agreement taking shape.

“We see aviation as having been given an almost inexplicable exemption [from emissions regulations] whereas ICAO sees it as a pat on the back because they’ve been doing so well.”

2021 start date “not the most likely outcome”

Responding to the barrage of criticism, Hololei said the EU had wanted a mechanism to start as of 2021. “But in the international context, this is also a negotiation and there are other partners. And of course, we need to take that into account.”

Hololei, however, assured MEPs that the EU was “negotiating for the best possible outcome”, including on securing a regional scheme for Europe.

“The EU position has always been a mandatory scheme from 2021. We haven’t changed in any way our ambitions on that,” Hololei said. But “that is not the most likely outcome.”




The airline sector, like the maritime sector, has its own UN agency, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which is responsible for organising the reduction of its CO2 emissions. ICAO was tasked by the Kyoto Protocol with addressing emissions from the sector.

It has been difficult to reach global agreement. In 2012, with no deal having been made, the EU included aviation emissions in its Emissions Trading Scheme. The decision sparked a backlash from the industry and foreign countries, like China and India who refused to comply with the scheme and threatened the EU with commercial retaliation measures.

The EU’s temporary halt to the ETS was intended to allow time for the ICAO to devise a global alternative. But in the meantime, international airlines which bitterly attacked the cap and trade scheme at every turn will be exempted from it, while intra-European airlines, which had supported it, will not.

>>Read:   Hedegaard stops clock on aviation emissions law

As a whole, the aviation industry continues to fiercely resist market-based measures as anything more than a stopgap, advocating instead a formula of technological and operational improvements – plus the wider use of biofuels – to reduce emissions.

Airlines make up 2% of worldwide CO2 emissions. But the doubling of passengers every 15 years has made it a growing source of greenhouse gases. Due to the strong link between the sector and fossil fuels, reducing its CO2 emission is a challenge. The problem of electricity storage rules out its use in the air, which thus leaves airline manufacturers, which have promised to stabilise their CO2 emissions by 2020, with few options.




  • 27 Sept.-07 Oct.: ICAO general assembly in Montreal, Canada.
  • 31 Dec. 2016: End of exemption for international flights under the EU’s aviation ETS.




Some earlier news stories about the ICAO negotiations: 

India to summarily reject ICAO’s proposed market based measure for aviation CO2 emissions

ICAO is meant to be getting global agreement in October on some way to control the growth of the aviation sector’s emissions. However, India – which has a relatively new and very fast growing aviation industry – is not willing to accept anything that might cost the industry money or slow its growth. The purpose of some form of market based mechanism, agreed through ICAO, is for airlines to have to buy carbon permits to offset CO2 emissions above their level in 2020. That works by the airlines having to spend money on the permits, with the likely effect of slowing growth. Airlines are naturally not keen, which is why ICAO has made virtually zero progress on this over several decades. Officials from India’s civil aviation ministry say Indian airlines are not willing to abide by the proposed “tax”. India as a country has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions, as committed at the UN Climate Change Agreement in Paris last December. Carbon emissions from Indian aviation could double from their 2011 level by 2020, but India considers itself to be a “developing country” although in many respects it no longer is. ICAO proposes allowing developing countries special leeway with their carbon emissions, but this is intended for small countries that are far less rich – and with far less thriving aviation industries – than India.

Click here to view full story…

ICAO agreement to get global aviation industry to limit CO2 may just be “voluntary” for years

ICAO is meeting in Montreal from 27th September to 7th October, with the intention of agreeing some mechanism globally to limit, or trade, aviation carbon emissions in future. However, aviation was not included in the Paris agreement, and ICAO has made little progress in getting airlines internationally to agree measures that would be effective. Aviation should contribute to the global ambition of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees C (or 1.5 degrees C ideally) above pre-industrial levels. Now it appears that there may not even be a mandatory system, but just a voluntary one for the first 5 years for certain countries. This apparently is not yet meant to be public knowledge. Environmental groups said a voluntary first phase waters down a deal that already exempts too many countries, including most developing states, during its first five years. It will not achieve the ambition of making aviation making a fair contribution on the needed emissions reductions, especially if the largest carbon emitters do not join it. Airlines from countries that voluntarily participate would have to limit their emissions or offset them by buying carbon credits from designated environmental projects around the world.

Click here to view full story…

Guangdong will include aviation sector in its carbon market (South China)

11 July 2016  (Enerdata)   The Guangdong province will include the aviation sector in its pilot scheme for trading CO2 emissions that will be integrated in a national carbon market in 2017.

The Guangdong emission trading scheme was introduced in December 2013 and covers 189 companies handing over 365 million permits in 2015 (-1.4% from 2014). The province government will set aside 21 million permits for quarterly auctions, that will start in September 2016 (2 million permits will be available for sale). On 20 June (annual deadline for companies to surrender permits to the local government), 33 million permits had been traded (31% of the total number traded in China), corresponding to a 100% compliance rate this year.   China will implement a national CO2 cap-and-trade scheme as of 2017, to limit and and put a price on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. So far, China has already implemented seven local carbon exchanges in two provinces (Hubei and Guangdong) and in five large cities, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chongqing.  http://www.enerdata.net/enerdatauk/press-and-publication/energy-news-001/guangdong-will-include-aviation-sector-its-carbon-market-china_37669.html

Bill Hemmings: An ICAO deal that falls well short of “carbon-neutral growth” target will have no credibility

Bill Hemmings, (from T&E) explains the hurdles to ICAO agreeing an environmentally meaningful deal in October. The global aviation sector needs to play its part in the international aspiration, from the Paris Agreement, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C, or 2 degrees at worst. However, ICAO is not looking as if this is likely, largely due to the differences between historical and current CO2 emissions, and current and future growth rates, between airlines from countries (US and Europe largely) with historic aviation sectors, and those of developing countries, with young aviation industries. Ways to apportion the CO2 fairly need to be agreed, but solutions favour one group or the other. The developing countries (including Brazil, South Africa, and Nigeria) want their aviation CO2 to be exempted from any scheme. But emissions gap would amount to around 40-50% of the total, and so directly threatens the integrity of the commitment to carbon neutral growth from 2020, to which IATA pays lip service. Then there is the problem how to determine what percentage of emissions above the 2020 baseline airlines should have to offset each year. European and US airline CO2 is barely growing, but the CO2 from some is rising by 8% per year. US airlines do not want to pay for this. The issues are complicated. Read Bill’s explanation.

Click here to view full story…

New petition demanding real action to address global aviation CO2 – not ineffective use of “REDD” offsets

The group REDD-Monitor and other organisations have a petition asking people to sign up, to oppose the use by the global aviation industry, through ICAO, of “offsets” for its emissions using forestry. These offsets, through REDD or REDD+ (meaning (‘Reduce Deforestation from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’) would be very cheap and available in huge numbers. They would not be an effective way to compensate for growing aviation carbon emissions. The industry’s only plan to control its CO2 emissions, while doubling them, is buying credits from other sectors. In April 2016, more than 80 NGOs put out a statement opposing the aviation sector’s carbon offsetting plans through use of REDD credits. There are many really serious problems with REDD credits. Some are: They would only use large forestry institutions, or monoculture farming, not small landowners or forest peoples. Most REDD projects are not those that tackle the real drivers of large-scale deforestation – extraction of oil, coal, mining, infrastructure, large-scale dams, industrial logging etc. REDD credits carry the additional risk of becoming null and void when wildfires, storms or natural decay cause uncontrollable release of carbon stored. There are serious risks of lack of monitoring, and of fraud. REDD offsets should not be allowed for aviation carbon credits.

Click here to view full story…

ICAO still very far from any effective means of limiting aviation CO2 to be in line with Paris Agreement

Operating without fuel taxes, VAT, legally-binding fuel efficiency requirements or limits on its CO2 emissions, the aviation sector operates in something of a parallel universe. ICAO will have an opportunity to finally take a step forward on climate action. ICAO will discuss the impact of the Paris Agreement on the sector, and specifically the next steps for an aviation carbon offsetting scheme currently under negotiation. Their earlier response to the Paris Agreement was to try to give the impression that the sector is making huge progress. In reality, industry lobbyists succeeded in preventing an explicit reference to aviation in the text. But the globally-agreed goal of striving to limit global warming to 1.5C does apply to aviation. All ICAO Parties are also Parties to the Paris Agreement. If they let aviation off the hook, the target 1.5 degree, or even 2 degree, global target will simply be impossible to reach. The aviation sector will have to act – rapidly and radically – on climate if the Paris goal can be achieved. But ICAO’s current proposals are a very inadequate first step, and the industry plans for up to 300% growth by 2050. Even their modest goal of buying carbon permits to offset aviation carbon is not ambitious enough, as proposed exemptions for airlines of less developed countries amount to about 40% of global aviation CO2.

Click here to view full story…

ICAO aviation offset market talks yield little progress, but backtracking on previous agreement

ICAO has concluded 3 days of talks to try to achieve a deal on a market-based offsetting mechanism for international aviation emissions from 2020. It has not made much progress. The industry has expressed the hope of “carbon neutral growth” after 2020, which means continuing to grow and emit more carbon, but buying offsets from other sectors that actually do cut CO2 emissions. Unless this is done, the prospect of the world achieving a limit of global temperature of 2 degrees C is remote. However, there are difficult issues to be resolved, of how to divide up the offsetting responsibilities between fast-growing airlines in emerging economies, and established carriers often with older, less fuel-efficient fleets and based in the industrialised world. Neither side will accept being disadvantaged. There have been proposals to try out a “pilot” scheme, and delay the 2020 date. Either way, the ICAO scheme only intends to cover international flights, not domestic – which form a large proportion in countries like the USA and China. That means only about 62% of the total aviation CO2, assuming the EU counts as a single bloc (more like 40% otherwise). Airlines do not want a patchwork of different systems in different parts of the world.

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New York: Residents claim LaGuardia plane noise is driving people out of Queens neighbourhood

Residents of northeast Queens say plane noise from LaGuardia Airport has increased, and people have been moving out of the Flushing area because the noise has become unbearable.  Though there are two airports in the Queens area, in the past the noise was tolerable as it was more widely spread out. But in the past four years, through the FAA’s “NextGen” programme, like PBN in the UK, flight paths have been narrowed and changed. Those under these new routes are finding the level of noise unacceptable.  It was not like that when they moved to the area. They were not warned.  Through a FoI Act request, the “Queens Quiet Skies”group, along with state Sen. Tony Avella, found that though the number of flights at the airport hasn’t increased. Since 2012 there has been a 47% increase in planes over northeast Queens on one particular route. There is the  fear that the airport and the FAA are trying to do is see if they can increase capacity over one neighbourhood rather than spread it out  – and then they can increase capacity over others too.  Queens Quiet Skies and Senator Avella are hoping to start a working group with the Port Authority and FAA to address the problem.   When the changed flight paths were introduced and people complained, the Port Authority said this was due to heightened awareness and sensitivity to the issue than to any significant changes in aviation operations. (Sound familiar?)

Residents claim LaGuardia airplane noise is driving people out of Queens neighborhood

Residents of northeast Queens (New York)  claim airplane noise from LaGuardia Airport has increased over their heads.

Brian Will, of the group Queens Quiet Skies, said people have been moving out of his Flushing neighborhood because the airplane noise has become unbearable.

“There are some folks who say, ‘Well, you live by the airport, you knew that there were two airports in Queens, why’d you move to Queens?’ And the answer is because it was liveable just 10 years ago. The operations have changed,” Will said. “It’s brutal, the whole neighborhood is up for sale.”

“Always have planes flying above our heads, they didn’t bother anybody. Four years ago, about 6 o’clock in the morning, we were literally blasted out of bed,” Flushing resident Maria Becci said.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the group, along with state Sen. Tony Avella, found that capacity at the airport hasn’t increased, but one flight pattern is being used more than others.

Avella said since 2012, there’s been a 47% increase in airplanes over northeast Queens, and he wants to prevent the same thing from happening to other neighborhoods.

“What they’re trying to do is see if they can increase capacity over one neighborhood rather than spread it out and then they can increase capacity over every neighborhood,” Avella said.

Queens Quiet Skies and Avella are hoping to start a working group with the Port Authority and FAA to address the problem.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the total number of flights from LaGuardia has remained flat over the last decade, and air traffic patterns are controlled by factors such as wind, weather, and mandated runway maintenance and safety.

But the Port Authority did say in 2012, the FAA increased the use of certain routes for takeoff that has shifted runway patterns to certain northern Queens neighborhoods.

The Port Authority said it is taking steps to work with neighborhoods on addressing airport noise.



See earlier: 

Engaging in a Softer Conversation About the Roar From New York’s Airports

By KIRK SEMPLE (New York Times)

JUNE 21, 2015

The Port Authority is doing a study to assess noise caused by flights using La Guardia Airport in Queens and other area airports and to recommend abatements.

Susan Carroll has developed a tender relationship with the noise monitor on the roof of her apartment building in Queens. She refers to it as “my monitor” (even though she does not own it) and checks on it daily to make sure it is still working (even though she does not operate it).   “I feel very protective of that monitor,” she said. “I feel like I have to watch over it.”

The machine is one of about a dozen that officials have added to the region’s noise monitoring system in the past year. They are a rare, tangible result of years of intense and frustrating lobbying by activists, including Ms. Carroll, against noise pollution from aircraft using the borough’s two airports.

The new monitors have not yet led to any significant solutions to the noise, which, residents contend, is as bad as ever. But the system expansion is among several recent developments that have put the conversation between the activists and airport administrators on much better footing and given long-suffering citizens some hope that the situation may one day improve.

In an interview this week, Janet McEneaney, a leader of the civic lobby, called the change in the dynamic “a great shift.”

As recently as three years ago, she said, officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the city’s airports, “didn’t want to give us the time of day.” But, she added, “I know people at the Port Authority now and can pick up the phone and call.”

Port Authority officials also underscored this new rapport. “A lot has happened and we are more engaged with the community than we were,” said Edward C. Knoesel, senior manager for environmental and noise programs in the Port Authority’s aviation department.

Despite the progress, however, there is uncertainty on all sides of the conversation — among local residents, government officials and aviation executives alike — about whether the various efforts will lead to popular solutions, particularly as officials seek to weigh the competing demands of safety, commerce, private enterprise and the public good.

Furthermore, the New York metropolitan area has one of the most complicated airspaces in the world, and any changes in operations — like flight schedules and patterns — can set off a cascade of effects across the country.

“We’re going to look for that wiggle room to make the situation better,” Mr. Knoesel said. “It’s tough.”

La Guardia noise

Complaints about noise pollution are longstanding in New York City, where two major airports, La Guardia Airport and Kennedy International Airport, are embedded in a densely populated urban landscape.

The outcry soared in 2012 when the Federal Aviation Administration, which directs the movement of aircraft in the air and on the ground, approved for more frequent use a takeoff trajectory that concentrated low-flying planes over a section of northeastern Queens, Port Authority officials said.

For residents of neighborhoods beneath that flight path, the change was immediate. Planes began blasting over their homes dozens of times a day. “It sounded like we were being strafed,” said Ms. McEneaney, a longtime resident of the Bayside neighborhood. The problem compelled her to create a group called Queens Quiet Skies.

Complaints also poured into the Port Authority about noise problems on other flight paths, though officials contended that those complaints had more to do with heightened awareness and sensitivity to the issue than to any significant changes in aviation operations.

Civic groups pressured their elected officials to do something, resulting in the passage of a bill in Albany requiring the Port Authority to initiate comprehensive studies of land use and aircraft noise patterns around its airports, including La Guardia and Kennedy as well as at Newark Liberty International Airport and Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.

In November 2013, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed the bill, which would have required passage of a similar bill by New Jersey lawmakers to take effect. But at the same time he ordered the Port Authority not only to initiate the studies, but also to form community round tables to discuss noise and other aviation-related issues.

Port Authority officials last week made several public presentations about the New York studies. The agency has also begun similar initiatives, known as Part 150 studies, for the Newark and Teterboro airports.

As part of the studies, investigators will identify possible measures to reduce aircraft noise and limit its impact, such as changes in takeoff and landing routes, the acquisition of property near the airports and soundproofing of homes and other buildings.

The New York studies are expected to take at least three years, officials said. “That’s a long time for people being negatively impacted,” said Barbara E. Brown, chairwoman of the Eastern Queens Alliance and a leader in the lobby against aircraft noise.

In the past year or so, the Port Authority has taken additional steps to help address the noise problem — and assuage angry citizens.

Officials doubled the number of noise monitors, to at least 27; tripled the size of the Port Authority office dedicated to noise issues — the Noise Office — to six people; and made available a flight and noise monitoring web portal, WebTrak, that shows near-real-time aircraft traffic and its effects on the network of noise monitors. The Port Authority has also improved its noise complaint system.

In determining aircraft noise impacts, the federal government uses a measure that takes the average airplane noise exposure in a specific location over a year. The allowable limit is 65 decibels.

The F.A.A. uses computer modeling to gauge noise impact. But local activists and elected officials have demanded a more robust system of noise monitors to check those models against the most current data.

Civic activists seem particularly animated about the round tables ordered by Mr. Cuomo. Though not technically part of the Part 150 studies, the round tables are expected to be a forum for their members to discuss the study’s progress.

But the round-table process in New York has been bogged down by sharp differences among civic leaders. For months, two factions wrestled over whether there should be one round table or two for the airport studies in Queens. The Port Authority stepped in and recommended in February that there should be one. A four-person committee of citizens is working out the bylaws.

The disagreements over the form of the round table — after the hard work it took to get one — have driven some activists to distraction.

“The planes are coming, people are getting hurt and people are fighting about the number of round tables,” Len Schaier, a Nassau County resident and founder of quietskies.net, another civic group, said in an interview. “It doesn’t make any sense to me.” He sighed, then added, “I need a break.”

Activists, public officials and aviation executives alike are wondering what will, in the end, come out of the process.

Ms. Carroll, who said she has become so involved in the noise issue that “it feels like a full-time job,” suggested she was bracing for disappointment.

“I want to be optimistic,” she said. “But based on what’s been going on in recent years, we have to be realistic about what we can achieve.”



Big protest in Queens, New York, against unacceptable level of aircraft noise from La Guardian & JFK airports

People living near La Guardia airport, and JFK airport in New York have been protesting against the aircraft noise to which they are being subjected. On 14th September, the local community group, QUEENS QUIET SKIES” organized a rally of 250 – 300 people against the plane noise, saying the residents are fed up with the noise. Residents say changes over the past few years have made backyards (=gardens) unusable and had a very negative effect on their neighbourhoods. They want less noise, with the acceptable noise level reduced to 55 decibels from the current 65-decibel day-night average sound level. This could be done by more dispersed flights. They also want better noise abatement programs. People in Queens want the issue of aircraft noise tacked on a national level, and say the current noise standard, which has been in place since the 1970s, “is no longer a reliable measure of the true impact of aircraft noise.” As it England and elsewhere the impact is that people can no longer enjoy sitting in the garden, a barbeque with friends – or even just the basic “luxury” of opening the windows on a hot day. One commented: “No one should be subjected to planes flying at low altitudes at one-minute intervals for 18 hours a day every day. Enough is enough.”   




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Heathrow retail revenue in 2015 around 20-21% of total, at £568 million (£7.58 per passenger)

Heathrow Airport reported a retail revenue increase for the year ending 31st December 2016 of  +8.4% in 2015 to £568 million.  The revenue per passenger rose by  +6.2%  above the level in 2014, to reach £7.58.  (The Moodie report said the figure was about £7.14 in 2014, £6.21 in 2012, £5.95 in 2011, and £5.64 in 2010).  Over the year, Heathrow had an overall growth in revenue of +2.7% to £2,765 million in 2015.  EBITDA was £1,605 million, up +3.0%.  Heathrow also announced a +2.2% increase in passenger traffic in 2015 to 75 million.  For the figures for the first 6 months of 2016 Heathrow said its retail revenue had risen by 7.7% year-on-year, to £280 million – and retail revenue per passenger rose +7.1% to £7.84. Of this, duty and tax free shops contributed £62 million, a +3.3% increase.  Heathrow said that for the first 6 months of 2016, it made £62 million from duty and tax-free; £51 million from airside specialist shops; £24 million from bureaux de change; £22 million from catering; £55 million from car parking – with total retail revenue at £280 million.   i.e. of total retail revenue 19 – 20% was car parking.  Income from parking was £99 million in 2014 and £107 million in 2015. For the first half of 2016 the retail (including car parking) income was about 21% of total revenue.



Heathrow Airport retail revenue up +7.7% in first six months of 2016

Source: ©The Moodie Davitt Report

London Heathrow Airport has reported a +7.7% year-on-year increase in retail revenue in the first six months of 2016 to £280 million. Retail revenue per passenger rose +7.1% to £7.84.

Of this, duty and tax free shops contributed £62 million, a +3.3% increase.

Total revenue at the airport increased by +1.0% to £1,320 million while adjusted EBITDA was up +4.4% to £781 million, which the airport said reflected “lower costs and better value”.

Heathrow 1

Heathrow reported a +0.6% growth in passengers to 35.7 million in the first six months of the year. Underlying traffic increased in the early part of the year but softened in the second quarter reflecting a more uncertain macro-economic environment, the airport said.

Long haul traffic increased +1.4%, largely from routes serving the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

The airport also provided an update on the retail refreshment programme in Terminal 4. The Drake & Morgan group will open ‘The Commission’, its first airport unit, “shortly”. Terminal 4’s luxury stores, such as Harrods, Burberry and Cartier, are also being re-developed. Five new luxury brands will be introduced, two of which will be new to Heathrow, it said.

Grimshaw Architects has been selected by Heathrow as the concept designer for the airport’s proposed £16 billion expansion
….. and there is more spin from Heathrow about runway etc.

Heathrow Airport has reported a retail revenue increase of +8.4% in 2015 to £568 million.

On a revenue per passenger basis, +6.2% increase over 2014 was recorded to reach £7.58.

The airport saw an overall growth in revenue of +2.7% to £2,765 million in 2015. EBITDA was £1,605 million, up +3.0%. However, a downward trend in operating costs in the second half of 2015 was noted.

Heathrow also announced a +2.2% increase in passenger traffic in 2015 to 75 million.

Heathrow Airport Chief Executive Officer John Holland-Kaye said: “It’s been an excellent year for Heathrow. As we approach our 70th anniversary, our colleagues are delivering the best service we’ve ever achieved to a record number of passengers.

….. and there is more airport spin ….



See earlier:

Heathrow award for top airport for shopping for 3rd year. Net Retail Income per passenger £6.21 in 2012 (£5.64 in 2010)

For the third year, Heathrow got the award (within the airports industry) for the top airport for shopping. Heathrow has over 52,000 square metres of retail space and more than 340 retail and catering outlets. Heathrow overtook Dubai International to win the title of “World’s Best Airport for Shopping” for 2012. Heathrow has the highest retail sales of any airport in the world ahead of Incheon airport in South Korea.  Figures from the Moodie Report in February 2013 said that Net Retail Income per passenger at Heathrow was £6.21 (up 4.4% on 2011, partly due to the Olympics) in 2012 and £5.95 in 2011, while it was £5.64 in 2010. (By comparison the Net Retail Income at Stansted in 2012 was £4.27 per passenger).  At Heathrow in 2012 the gross retail income increased +5.7% to £460.1 million.  



How much profit do airports make from their retail activities, rather than flying?

Heathrow got 21.3% of its income from retail in 2010, compared to 53% from aeronautical. On average each Heathrow passenger spent about £5.70 (maybe £5.90) at the airport, with women spending more than men (!). BAA data say frequent fliers spend more than infrequent fliers. In the year 2010/2011 Gatwick airport made £115.6m from retail, and another £51.7m  from car parking, with an average of £5.80 spent on retail per passenger. Stansted retail spending per passenger is about £4.00 to £4.20.  In the year 2010/2011 Heathrow made about £380 million per year on retail, Gatwick about £115, and Stansted net retail income fell from £79.8m in 2010 to £73.9m.  Manchester made about £70 million on retail, with about £3 per passenger.   



The Moodie Report on 2012 is at 



the Moodie Report on 2011 is at  






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Gatwick income still around 22% from retail, 11.6% from parking, and 52% from aeronautical

Gatwick continues to get around 22 – 23% of its income from retail, as it has in previous years.  Moodies’ data shows that in the year that ended 31st March 2016 the airport reported a +2.3% increase in retail income to £152.5 million. But the net income per passenger decreased -3.7% to £3.67.  Income per passenger from retail has stayed around the same figure as in 2011. Gatwick has added a great many retail shops in previous years (it now has 36 shops and 27 restaurants) and offers “collect on return.”  Gatwick has done less well than it hoped on sales which it described as “challenging trading” due to “changes in passenger mix and adverse currency movements against Sterling.” Income from food and drink and catering grew by around 2%. Car parking revenue for the year to 31st March 2016 was up +7.6% to £77.9 million and net income per passenger from parking increased by +7.3% to £1.47.  So retail + parking is about £5.14 per passenger.  Aeronautical revenue rose +5.4% to £350.8 million (so that is around £8.50 approx per passenger) and other income was up +9.7% to £91.9 million. Turnover increased +5.5% to £673.1 million while EBITDA was up +9.7% to £331.0 million. The airport made a profit before tax of £141.0 million.


Gatwick reports +2.3% increase in retail and single runway records

Source: ©The Moodie Davitt Report

Gatwick Airport has reported a +2.3% increase in retail income to £152.5 million for the 12 months ended March 31 2016. The airport had a record year for retail in terms of sales.

However, net income per passenger decreased -3.7% to £3.67. The airport attributed this to “challenging trading” conditions in the tax free category including changes in passenger mix and adverse currency movements against Sterling.

It said this decline was partly offset by strong growth in catering.

Relevant and engaging shopping: Gatwick said it would continue to invest in retail growth

“The Gatwick retail strategy is based on a sound understanding of our customers and a relentless approach to ensuring our retail mix is highly relevant to our growing passenger numbers,” the airport stated. “It is therefore pleasing for us to see that customer satisfaction remains at an all-time high; in Q1 2016 87% of customers rated our selection of food & beverage outlets as Excellent or Good with 84% of customers giving this score to our choice of retail stores.”

Car parking revenue was up +7.6% to £77.9 million and net income per passenger increased by +7.3% to £1.47. Aeronautical revenue rose +5.4% to £350.8 million and other income was up +9.7% to £91.9 million.

gatwick chart 2

Gatwick said it set new world records for aircraft movements and passenger numbers for a single runway airport in the 12 months ended 31 March.

Passenger numbers were up +5.5% to 40.8 million. The airport handled 265,970 air traffic movements, a +4% year-on-year increase.

Turnover increased +5.5% to £673.1 million while EBITDA was up +9.7% to £331.0 million. The airport made a profit before tax of £141.0 million.

…. and it continues with Wingate talking about a runway …..



Fashion retailer Next set to open largest airport store at Gatwick

Source: ©The Moodie Davitt Report
Fashion retailer Next is to open its largest airport store in the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport in September.  The 1,850sq ft unit will house men’s and women’s ranges, with a focus on summer clothing, accessories, swimwear and shoes, as well as a range of business wear and accessories.
The airport highlighted its “collect on return” service, through which passengers can order in advance and pick up once they come back from their trip.Gatwick Airport said: “The arrival of Next is in response to the airport’s regular surveys, which show that the retailer is a shop passengers most want to see at the airport.

“On opening, it will join Gatwick’s line-up of 35 shops and 27 restaurants, enhancing an already extensive range including Harrods, SuperDry, Jo Malone, Ted Baker and Dixons.”

Gatwick Airport Chief Commercial Officer Guy Stephenson said: “Next is the latest quality addition to Gatwick’s extensive retail offering.

“The store’s arrival is in response to passenger requests in our regular surveys and joins a stellar line up of recent new openings at Gatwick, including the world’s first airport gin distillery, The Nicholas Culpeper and renowned chef Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store.

“Coupled with the convenience offered by our airport wide ‘carry on-board’ and ‘collect on return’ services, the 41.7 million passengers travelling through the airport every year will experience the best of the high street at tax free prices.”

Next Gatwick Store Manager John Rowland said: “Launching the new Gatwick store is a great privilege. We will be able to show off our fantastic range and serve customers travelling to 80 countries in five continents.”



‘Challenging’ duty and tax free sector hits Gatwick per-pax retail income  [half year results]

Source: ©The Moodie Report

Buoyed by the busiest six months in the airport’s history with a record 23.5 million passengers (+4.7% year-on-year), Gatwick Airport posted a +5.2% rise in revenues to £411.8 million (US$626 million) for the half year ended 30 September 2015.

Combined with careful cost management, this resulted in a +6.8% rise in EBITDA to £241.0 million (US$367 million) and a pre-tax profit of £135.2 million (US$205.7 million) on a consolidated basis

Retail income rose +1.4% to £85.5 million (US$130.6 million) but, importantly, net income per passenger decreased by -3.0% to £3.60 (US$5.48) due to “challenging trading” in the duty free and tax free category. Income from duty free and tax free declined by -2.5% period-on-period.

The specialist shop category continued to perform well with per-passenger income broadly in line with traffic growth despite some impact from landside closures as a result of the North Terminal Development programme. Summer 2015 saw several new openings amid an ongoing revamp of the retail offer, including a new Boots store in the South Terminal while Simply Food was also updated in both terminals (a new store in North Terminal arrivals and an extended and modernised unit in the South Terminal).

“Where we have opened new or modernised stores, performance has been strong and we have delivered strong growth compared to last year,” the airport company said.


Food & drinks performed well. “Catering remains a particular highlight, where we have grown per passenger income by +2% compared to last year,” said the company. Summer 2015 saw several new openings, including Wondertree restaurant in the South Terminal departure lounge along with Wagamama in the North Terminal departure lounge. Landside the company opened a new Costa Coffee in both terminals.

“Passengers can look forward to some further development in this area as we open new restaurants in both terminals in the second half of the year,” Gatwick Airport said.

Car parking income rose +7.4% and net income per passenger increased +11.9% to £1.60 (US$2.43) due to improved yield management, valet capacity increases and cost savings.

Gatwick Airport said that the mid-year results were “in line with expectations” as it continues to compete to attract new airlines and routes, invest in new facilities, and deliver an excellent service to passengers.

Specialist retail and food & drinks both performed strongly


Car parking revenue was buoyant but retail income per passenger was hit by challenges in the core duty free and tax free sectors


Passenger traffic hit record heights in the six-month period

Gatwick’s passenger traffic growth is a combination of more planes, bigger planes and fuller planes – load factors have increased to 87.2%

…. and more at  http://www.moodiedavittreport.com/challenging-duty-and-tax-free-sector-hits-gatwick-per-pax-retail-income/ 

See earlier:

Gatwick’s retail income still about 22% of total – around net £3.72 on retail sales + £1.35 on parking per passenger

The Moodie Report has published figures for the retail income of Gatwick airport in the year to 31st March 2014. Gatwick’s retail income rose 9.7% on the level in 2013, from £123.2 million to £135.1 million. By contrast their aeronautical income (aircraft landing charges etc) rose by 11.1% from £285.8 million to £317.4 million. There was a 4.8% increase in passengers, to about 36 million. Gatwick’s car parking income rose by 12.9%, from £58.1 million to £65.6 million. In the year to March 2014, Gatwick made on average £1.35 per passenger on parking.   It made, on average, £3.72 per passenger from retail sales. This was up by 4.2% from the level in 2013, but only up 2.7% on 2011. There is now even more retail space, with even more food and beverage facilities. In the year to March 2011 their retail income was £115.6 million and the net retail income was £3.62 per passenger. ie. barely changed over 3 years, (up 2.7%). And that’s a new World Duty Free store opened, and 33 other new stores opened in the past year. Net retail income per passenger at Heathrow was £5.98 in 2011, and about £6.21 in 2012.  For both  Heathrow and Gatwick, retail income is about 22% or so of income. 



How much profit do airports make from their retail activities, rather than flying?

Heathrow got around 21.3% of its income from retail in 2010, compared to 53% from aeronautical. On average each Heathrow passenger spent about £5.70 (maybe £5.90) at the airport, with women spending more than men (!) BAA data say frequent fliers spend more than infrequent fliers. In the year 2010/2011 Gatwick airport made £115.6m from retail, and another £51.7m  from car parking, with an average of £5.80 spent on retail per passenger. Stansted retail spending per passenger is about £4.00 to £4.20.  In the year 2010/2011 Heathrow made about £380 million per year on retail, Gatwick about £115, and Stansted net retail income fell from £79.8m in 2010 to £73.9m.  Manchester made about £70 million on retail, with about £3 per passenger.




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TUC and unions write to Theresa May to urge her to make a clear decision for Heathrow runway

The Times reports that the UK’s largest trade unions have written to Theresa May, asking her to approve a 3rd Heathrow runway.  The unions say they are clear in what they want, despite the Labour party position being unclear, and the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, being very firmly opposed.  The letter is from the TUC, BALPA, the GMB and Prospect and says if the Heathrow runway is not built there would not be the extra 70,000 new jobs that Heathrow has promised. [Whether that 70,000 jobs figure is plausible or correct is another matter].  The unions that have signed the letter think getting building would “be a sign of support for a pro-growth, pro-jobs industrial strategy ” … and “Any further delay in the decision will harm the whole of UK PLC.”  Frances O’Grady, the TUC general-secretary, said the decision was “a big test for the government. Ministers must show they are prepared to make the right choices so that working people do not pay the price for Brexit.”  The TUC letter states wrongly that: “Research for the Airports Commission found that a new third runway at Heathrow could deliver at least £147bn to UK GDP and 70,000 new jobs in the South East, and many more nationwide.  [This is incorrect. See link to Airports Commission document.   It says it might deliver UP TO £147 billion – and that is over 60 years. And its own experts questioned the £147 bn figure.  See link ]



Unions call on May to back Heathrow runway

By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent  (The Times)
August 29 2016

Theresa May was under renewed pressure to expand Heathrow last night after Britain’s biggest trade unions threw their weight behind plans for a third runway.

In a letter to the prime minister, a coalition led by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) called on the government to make a “clear and final decision” to build a new runway in west London.

…… Full article at  http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/biggest-unions-call-on-may-to-back-heathrow-runway-h3j0jbg9j


Trade unions warn Theresa May that further Heathrow extension delay will ‘harm the whole UK’

29.8.2016 (TUC press release)

Trade unions have called on Theresa May to prove her commitment to industry and growth by giving the go-ahead to a new Heathrow runway when parliament returns a week from now.

The TUC, and trade unions with members in construction, manufacturing and aviation, have written to the Prime Minister urging her to support the recommendation of the Airports Commission and announce “a clear and final decision to build a new third runway at Heathrow”.

Trade unions warn that government failure to finalise the decision could hold back the 70,000 jobs the Airport Commission says will be created in the vicinity of Heathrow, and thousands more jobs across the UK that the Commission says will be generated by the boost to trade in services and manufacturing.

The unions tell the Prime Minister that “trade unions and their members stand ready to work to help the government successfully deliver this next major national infrastructure project”.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “If we want a stronger economy, we must build the infrastructure British industry needs to compete in the world.

“We’ve heard positive words about industrial strategy from the Prime Minister, but it’s action that counts. When parliament returns, the Prime Minister should waste no time in announcing a clear and final decision to build a new runway at Heathrow.

“The Heathrow decision is a big test for the government. Ministers must show they are prepared to make the right choices so that working people do not pay the price for Brexit. That means getting a move on with a proper industrial strategy backed by public investment. Otherwise Britain will struggle to create decent jobs and attract new business.”





– There follows the full letter to the Prime Minister from the TUC, Unite, GMB, Prospect and Balpa:

Dear Prime Minister,

More than a year since the Airports Commission issued its final report, we write on behalf of trade union members across the UK to urge the Government to implement its recommendation for the construction of a new London runway, without further delay.

The aviation and aerospace industries employ many thousands of trade union members in high-skill, high-quality jobs. Aviation also supports further employment in industries such as construction, manufacturing and tourism. Research for the Airports Commission found that a new third runway at Heathrow could deliver at least £147bn to UK GDP and 70,000 new jobs in the South East, and many more nationwide.  [This is incorrect. See link to Airports Commission document.   It says it might deliver up to £147 billion. And its own experts questioned that.  See link ]

A commitment to build a third runway at Heathrow, based on the clear recommendations of the Airports Commission, would be a sign of support for a pro-growth, pro-jobs industrial strategy. The Airports Commission called for training opportunities and apprenticeships for local people, so that nearby communities benefit from jobs generated by the new infrastructure. It argued that Heathrow Airport Ltd should work with local authorities and schools to ensure local people, including young people, are able to benefit from this project and that Heathrow Airport Ltd should support the London Living Wage. Needless to say, this call was fully supported by trade unions.

Unions and their members were pivotal to the delivery of previous major infrastructure projects such as Heathrow Terminal 5 and the London 2012 Olympic Games. We now stand ready to work to help the Government successfully deliver this next major national infrastructure project.

We therefore urge the Government to announce a clear and final decision to build a new third runway at Heathrow based on the recommendations of the Airports Commission. Any further delay in the decision will harm the whole of UK Plc.

Yours sincerely,

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, TUC

Len McCluskey, General Secretary, Unite

Tim Roche, General Secretary, GMB

Mike Clancy General Secretary, Prospect

Brian Strutton, General Secretary, British Airline Pilots Association

– The figures quoted above on the number of jobs created and the boost to GDP come from the Airport Commission’s Final Report (http://tinyurl.com/nry635w) and Strategic Fit: GDP/GVA impacts (http://tinyurl.com/jdywas4). The Commission provides separate estimates for the area in the vicinity of Heathrow, and more broadly across the UK, as well as at different time intervals following completion of the runway up to 2060. The 70,000 figure is for jobs created in the vicinity of Heathrow by 2030. The Commission also estimates that 190,000 jobs will be generated nationwide by 2060.

– All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
– Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews

– Congress 2016 will be held in the Brighton Centre from Sunday 11 September to Wednesday 14 September. Free media passes can be obtained by visiting www.tuc.org.uk/MediaCredentials2016 and completing an online form. Applications must be in by noon on Tuesday 23 August. Any received later than that will be processed in Brighton and will cost £75.


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US ex-FAA lawyer: Aviation noise is an issue that needs a reasonable solution



Aviation Noise Is an Issue that Needs a Reasonable Solution

In the process of searching the internet for information about aviation noise, I often run across web pages like this one:http://www.beechtalk.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=127555 where pilots lament how people move next to airports and then complain about the noise. They also frequently state how much they love hearing aircraft noise. To me, there is a disconnect in their thinking. While I am sure there are people who do, in fact, move to the noise, in many instances that is not the case.

For example, the person who buys a home near an airport – a sleepy little General Aviation airport – who does not mind the single-engine Cessnas on the weekends, only to find there is little the homeowner can do to stop the expansion of the airport to accommodate screeching business jets at all hours of the day.

Or the homeowner who buys a house in a rural area known for its peace and quiet, miles away from the nearest airport only to find that the FAA has changed the flight path so that a constant stream of large jets are flying under 5000 feet over the house.

Or the homeowner who has lived in a neighborhood near an airport for years. But then, the airport owner and the FAA decide to reconfigure the runways at the large commercial airport to accommodate more traffic and the homeowner finds herself underneath the approach pattern for the airport.

Or the homeowner who lives in an urban area, but finds that the FAA has changed the flight paths so that airplanes now fly lower and closer than before.

Or the homeowner who recognizes that she lives near a large commercial airport and expects aircraft noise, but when the airport owner and the FAA agree to offer noise mitigation to lessen the impact on the homeowner, it takes over 15 years for the airport to complete the project. And during that time, the aircraft fly above her head.

Make no mistake, aviation noise and air pollution carry health effects – both mental and physical – what is needed less blaming the victim by pilots and the FAA and an increased emphasis on reasonable policy. Freeways are not built without compensating the nearby owners for their troubles. Neither should airports and flight paths – the “highways in the sky.” Reasonable noise standards that should be followed by the airports, aircraft, airlines and the FAA should be instituted. And they must be enforced.

Aviation Noise Is an Issue that Needs a Reasonable Solution


Steven M. Taber, the Owner and Founder of Taber Law Group, is a former FAA attorney, experienced in handling all matters involving the requirements of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) and FAA enforcement actions


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Windsor councillor concerned about unknown extent of local additional housing demand from Heathrow runway

A Windsor councillor, Malcolm Beer, has written to the government to express his concerns about the impact on local housing demand, if a 3rd Heathrow runway was approved. The Airports Commission gave very unsatisfactory and mixed information on new homes needed.  It said in November 2014 that its “modelling suggests that in 2030 the range of additional households associated with the scheme (direct, indirect and induced) falls within the range of 29,800 and 70,800 (dependent on the scenario).  The additional housing at the upper end of this range – which equates to an average of some 500 homes per year in each of 14 local authorities – may be challenging to deliver, especially give that many local authorities struggle to meet current housing targets.” Then by its final report in July 2015, the Commission said a “high proportion of new jobs may be expected to be taken up by people already living in the area and the additional capacity is not expected to result in an insurmountable requirement for additional housing” and words to the effect that no extra houses would be needed as 100,000 unemployed in West London could fill the additional jobs. Cllr Beer is concerned that the entire area is already far too congested to find land for more housing, schools, offices, road improvements and other needs associated with a hugely enlarged airport.



Messages to MPs before airport expansion ruling

By Cllr Malcolm Beer  (Windsor councillor)

Tuesday 16 August 2016

It is a regrettable fact councils are so cash strapped the Royal Borough is only one of a few which has challenged Heathrow’s costly never ending publicity and tripe about an enlarged airport with 54% more flights being quieter and less polluting than today’s airport in anticipation of yet to be discovered new technology.

It has recently been acknowledged the latest A380 super jumbo departure flights are noisier and lower because they climb slowly to reduce engine wear and fuel usage.

Even worse is no other councils are known to have opposed the Airports Commission’s confused dismissal of the immense housing and infrastructure needs of the hugely increased workforce to handle far larger aircraft and potentially twice as many passengers and the ever increasing business activity.

This is because none have enough planning officers to address the problems, some think it would make their area more prosperous, and some even seem to believe the airport’s ridiculous scare story it would have to close if it could not expand.

The Commission first said up to 70,800 more houses and 24 new schools would be needed for the additional employees with 5,000 more houses in each of 14 council areas  (see link Page 44 ) including RBWM, but finally offered the ridiculous conclusion that no extra houses would be needed as 100,000 unemployed in West London could fill the additional jobs. (see link Page 145).  They would presumably include flying and maintaining complex aircraft and running the international businesses on which the economic case is based.

Heathrow’s promise of providing 10,000 apprenticeships and reducing road congestion with 60% of its staff and passengers using public transport is just as ridiculous as it only completed 93 apprenticeships last year and has never reached a 40% targeted use of public transport of a far smaller number of people.

After Cllr Derek Wilson, the RBWM lead member for planning, agreed at a council meeting to my suggestion he and I shared our knowledge of aviation and planning matters to write a letter  to the minister for housing and planning, I prepared a detailed draft which Cllr Wilson edited and emailed to the minister, the previous prime minister and a few others. As no officers were available to email to other MPs and councils, Cllr Wilson and the new leader of the council accepted my offer to do so. They also agreed to get a press release about the cross party work on the letter but as this has not happened I have copied the letter to the press.

The letter draws MPs’ attention to the fact that the entire area is already far too congested to find land for more housing, schools, offices, road improvements and other needs of far more employees and twice as many users of Heathrow.

RBWM is already finding it enormously difficult to try to find land for over 12,000 more dwellings over the next 15 years, so over 17,000 would be impossible.

The fact already high property and land values would go into orbit and would increase the cost of living for everyone has not been factored into the claims about the high economic benefit forecasts for both the local and national economies.

The contention Heathrow must expand to maintain its status as the largest international hub in Europe is not supported by the facts.

There is unused capacity as the average seat use is only 76% because passengers have the luxury of a huge choice of flights as the airlines stifle competition by retaining ‘grandfather’ rights on flight slots and fly 26 daily flights to both Paris and New York, while eight less profitable hub flights to the regions have been discontinued in the past year.

The claimed economic benefit of increased tourist and export capacity fails to mention outgoing holiday traffic and imports currently result in a huge overall deficit in UK currency – and any increase in activity would make matters worse.

The proud claim freight traffic would double would exacerbate traffic congestion and pollution as all of Heathrow’s freight cargo is moved over our already inadequate roads – and roadside parking of huge trucks would increase as it  is already too expensive for hauliers to provide parking facilities.

I close by noting Government should be reminded its Competition Commission forced BAA to sell Gatwick, Stansted and other airports to break its monopoly.

That would be reinstated if it were allowed to have three runways, and its sudden growth in capacity would seriously threaten the viability of the one-runway airports in the South-east.

Please pass these messages on to as many ministers and MPs as you can before they finalise their decision.

Cllr Malcolm Beer

Orchard Road

Old Windsor



This is what the Airports Commission said on the need for more housing etc due to the new runway.  November 2014 in their document titled:

Heathrow Airport North West Runway: Business Case and Sustainability Assessment

Page 99

Housing & Social Infrastructure


Growth of jobs and businesses associated with the airport has the potential to put pressure on housing in the local area. The Commission’s modelling suggests that in 2030 the range of additional households associated with the scheme (direct, indirect and induced) falls within the range of 29,800 and 70,800 (dependent on the scenario).


The additional housing at the upper end of this range – which equates to an average of some 500 homes per year in each of 14 local authorities – may be challenging to deliver, especially give that many local authorities struggle to meet current housing targets. However, the rate of provision of additional housing is not significantly out of line with many existing plans for the period to 2026 or with the rate of growth envisaged in the London Plan, although some further increase may be needed in some areas. In addition, the number of local authorities involved would also allow some flexibility in how new housing may be delivered across the area as a whole. It should also be noted that this is a worst case assessment for the number of additional homes required and there are many reasons why the additional housing required is unlikely to be as high as these figures. Different assumptions around passenger demand, population growth, net migration, access to employment for local people and commuting, for example, could all reduce the housing growth requirements.


The need for additional housing provision to house the increase in residents in the area around the airport will also need to be supported by the provision of additional social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and leisure centres. The Commission’s assessment suggests that provision of additional housing will need to be supported by the provision of additional schools 50 primary and six secondary across all 14 local authorities, two additional health centres (14 GPs) and two primary care centres per local authority to 2030. .



and Pages 44 and 45


Growth of jobs and businesses associated with the airport has the potential to put pressure on housing in the local area. Table 2.10 below demonstrates the range in the forecast of homes required as a result of airport expansion. Of the additional employees the number seeking residences in the local area is assumed to be consistent with the baseline, at 63%; a conservative assumption given the wider catchment area enabled by the surface access improvements planned.

Airports Commission Heathrow homes Nov 2014


The high end numbers are significant and could present delivery challenges, but, there are many reasons why the additional housing required is unlikely to be as high as these figures, depending on the assumptions made about population growth, net migration, unemployment and out-commuting. In addition, this housing will typically be provided in a phased manner and across the entire assessment area39 and the demands on an individual local authority are likely to be less substantial. Increased housing densities and renovation of brownfield land could be considered in meeting this need (which could result in additional costs). This additional housing will need to be supported by additional social infrastructure including schools and GP practices.


But then by the time of the final report in July 2015, the Commission said: 



The analysis published as part of the consultation on the shortlisted options contained estimates for how demand for housing in the local authority areas around each airport might increase as result of growth in the number of jobs supported directly and indirectly by airport expansion. These estimates were wide-ranging as they took account of a number of potential growth scenarios. Responses to consultation focused in particular on the difficulty of planning for such a wide range or accommodating the upper end of the range. Taking these concerns into account 297 Respecting the Needs of Local Communities the Commission has undertaken further analysis focussing on the assessment of need aviation demand scenario. This suggests that for the LHR NWR scheme the theoretical maximum additional demand for housing in 2030 would be around 48,000 units but that in reality additional demand would be much smaller due to the potential for new jobs to be taken up by people already living in the area. This is set out in detail in Chapter 7.


And in Chapter 7:


For the Heathrow schemes, the expansion takes place in a rapidly growing region and a local area with comparatively high rates of unemployment (8.5%57 across the 5 local authorities closest to the airport); therefore it is expected that any additional pressure [on housing] would be limited. The economically active population in the five local authority areas closest to the airport is forecast to grow by 100,000 over the period to 2030 and in a wider group of 14 local authorities in the surrounding region by 160,000, more than twice the number of new jobs forecast to be generated by expansion. So a high proportion of new jobs may be expected to be taken up by people already living in the area and the additional capacity is not expected to result in an insurmountable requirement for additional housing. [And no figure is given.  AirportWatch note].






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Chris Grayling talks to airport proposers – amid speculation Cabinet critics would not resign over Heathrow 3rd runway

The Telegraph reports that the new transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has had meetings at the airports with the bosses of Heathrow and Gatwick, and the Heathrow Hub proposers. He will have been told their arguments for expansion, and is hardly surprising as the government has indicated it intends to make some decision perhaps in October (September 5-15th probably unlikely?).  The government had probably intended, before the EU Referendum, to make the announcement on 7th or 8th July. Before the Brexit vote derailed that.  The government is being lobbied by sections of the business world to approve a runway.  There are hopes in government and in business that building a runway would give the economy a boost, when Brexit may cause economic woes, and that approving a major infrastructure project would “show that the UK is open for business” despite Brexit, especially after Mrs May delayed the Hinkley Point nuclear project. The Telegraph believes that neither of Heathrow’s fiercest opponents in Cabinet, Boris Johnson (Foreign Secretary) or Justine Greening (Education) would actually resign if the Cabinet approved a 3rd Heathrow runway.  Boris might believe it is “reasonable for different members of Parliament to have different takes on regional policy, which is what this is.”


Heathrow and Gatwick meet Transport Secretary to lobby for expansion

By Ben Martin (Telegraph)

The new transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has met with the bosses of Heathrow and Gatwick airports for the first time to hear their arguments for expansion, signalling the Government is edging towards the controversial decision about where to build a new runway.

David Cameron, the former prime minister, had pledged to choose between the two airports this summer but his resignation and the political turmoil caused by the Brexit vote meant an announcement about expansion was postponed until the autumn.

The delay has piled pressure on Theresa May, Mr Cameron’s successor, to tackle the contentious issue, which has dogged successive governments for years.

In a sign the Government is nearing a decision, it is understood that Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, held lengthy meetings with Heathrow, Gatwick and Heathrow Hub – the independent scheme to lengthen one of the west London airport’s existing runways – earlier this month. The encounters marked the first time that the heads of the three competing expansion plans had met Mr Grayling since he became transport secretary and gave the bosses an opportunity to present their cases directly to him.

The meetings, which took place at the airports, will raise hopes the Government will stick to its pledge of resolving the expansion issue this autumn, rather than allow further delay.

Fears are growing that the South East faces a runway capacity crisis. Heathrow, led by chief executive John Holland-Kaye, is practically full and Gatwick, under boss Stewart Wingate, is also fast-approaching its limits. Both are lobbying furiously for Government-backed expansion.

The owners of Heathrow, which include the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar and China, want to build a £17.6bn third runway, while Gatwick, controlled by Global Infrastructure Partners, is fighting to build a second landing strip costing an estimated £7.1bn.

Heathrow Hub, led by former Concorde pilot Jock Lowe and backed by individuals including financier Ian Hannam, is proposing an alternative scheme to extend Heathrow’s northern runway, which has a £13.4bn price tag. Businesses across the UK want the Government to choose between the schemes and push ahead with expansion.

Not only would extra runway capacity boost the economy, but approving a major infrastructure project would demonstrate the country is open for business following the Brexit vote, especially after Mrs May delayed the Hinkley Point nuclear project.

But expansion of either airport faces opposition among residents concerned about noise and air pollution. While many MPs support Heathrow, Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, vehemently opposes its expansion, as does Justine Greening, the Education Secretary. Mrs May, whose Maidenhead constituency is overflown by Heathrow planes, has expressed past opposition.

It is thought Mr Cameron had been poised to approve Heathrow’s third runway before he resigned.  [Politics Home announced on the day of the EU referendum that the statement would be on 7th or 8th July…. link  ] Heathrow’s chances were boosted last year after the Government-appointed Airports Commission concluded a third runway was the best solution to the looming capacity crunch. Heathrow, Gatwick and Heathrow Hub declined to comment.

The Department for Transport said: “We continue to engage with the three promoters ahead of a decision and it is entirely appropriate and reasonable to meet with them.”



Cabinet critics will not quit over Heathrow third runway

Cabinet ministers opposed to expanding Heathrow are not prepared to quit the Government over the issue, clearing the way for Theresa May to push ahead with a third runway.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, and Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, are unlikely to resign despite the impact it would have on their constituencies, The Sunday Telegraph understands.

Mrs May is prepared to push ahead with a third runway in October if she concludes that it is in the “national interest”, despite previously opposing plans to expand the airport. Whitehall sources made clear that she will not give in to resignation threats and that “she doesn’t do deals”.

The decision on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, expected in October, comes after more than 15 years of delays by both Labour and Conservative governments. Mr Johnson, the MP for Uxbridge in west London, has previously said that he is prepared to lie down “in front of bulldozers” to stop a third runway from being built, and was heavily opposed to expansion as Mayor of London.

Friends of Mr Johnson, however, have suggested he would stop short of leaving the Cabinet and the role of Foreign Secretary, which is pivotal as Britain leaves the European Union. A friend said: “It’s not as if he has hidden his view about it. It’s perfectly reasonable for different members of Parliament to have different takes on regional policy, which is what this is.”

Ms Greening, a former transport secretary and MP for Putney in south-west London, makes clear her opposition to Heathrow on her website.

It says that she “will continue to stand up for the thousands of residents who are concerned about aircraft noise and she’ll keep working to make sure our local community is listened to”.

As transport secretary in the Coalition she had said she would find it “very difficult” not to resign if the Government decided to expand Heathrow. She has indicated, however, that she could stay on in Cabinet now that she no longer holds the transport brief.

Earlier this year, Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, who has campaigned for a third runway, said Britain should push ahead with airport expansion in the South East.

He told the Telegraph that after the referendum Britain was facing a “very competitive economic climate” and could not afford to “put off big decisions on infrastructure”. Mrs May will chair a Cabinet committee which will decide on the third runway plan. Whitehall sources suggested the Government is “leaning towards”

Heathrow, but added that there are still significant environmental and cost issues to overcome. It has been suggested the Prime Minister could give Tory MPs a free vote on a new runway in the South East to stop ministers having to quit the Cabinet.



Justine Greening’s website page on Heathrow is very out of date (and very bland):

Justine has led our community’s campaign against extra aircraft noise from an expanded Heathrow. She held two public meetings at St Mary’s church in Putney so that residents could hear directly from Heathrow and Gatwick about their expansion proposals shortlisted by the Airports Commission. In response to a direct question from a resident, Heathrow have said that our current eight hour respite is not guaranteed in their expansion proposal.

In a Community Survey, 90% of residents who were affected by aircraft noise supported Justine’s campaign to stop further Heathrow expansion.

Justine is determined to continue to protect our local quality of life so that we have a proper break from aircraft every day. Earlier this year [so this is 2014?] she made sure that residents knew when the Airports Commission consultation was running, so we could all have our say and respond. Justine will continue to stand up for the thousands of residents who are concerned about aircraft noise and she’ll keep working to make sure our local community is listened to.



Earlier Justine Greening had said: 


Justine Greening …”called for a new “long term” strategy to be drawn up to decide on a “sensible” future airport policy for the UK.

“I don’t believe that this government will proceed with a third runway decision,” she told The Telegraph. “I just don’t think it is a smart decision.

“Trying to expand Heathrow is like trying to build an eight bedroom mansion on the site of a terraced house. It is a hub airport that is just simply in the wrong place.”

“The sooner that we can move onto working out a long term airport strategy for Britain the better,” she said.



Some comments by Boris Johnson on Heathrow:

Mr Johnson, the Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, said: “The Airports Commission has spent several years in the production of a gigantic ball of wool that they are now attempting to pull over the eyes of the nation.

“Their report very clearly shows that a third runway will fail both London and the UK on every level.

“Our great nation is sleepwalking its way towards becoming a bit part player in the aviation world.”

Mr Johnson claimed figures “buried” in the commission’s report, released in July, showed expanding Heathrow would offer six fewer long haul destinations a day and only four UK cities would have a connection to the hub by 2030, down from the current seven.

He also described the noise data published by the commission as “incomplete”, making proper scrutiny “almost impossible”.

…. and more    7.9.2015  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-34173419





London Mayor Boris Johnson has denied that he would quit as an MP if the Tory government approve a third Heathrow runway.

In his acceptance speech on being elected MP for Uxbridge, Johnson said he would lie down “in front of those bulldozers and stop the building, stop the construction of that third runway” at Heathrow.

Johnson told LBC he would use his political position to fight the airport expansion if he remains in Parliament.

…. and more at http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/boris-johnson-prepared-lie-down-front-bulldozers-stop-construction-third-runway-heathrow-1501004

Unconfirmed leak that 7th or 8th July possible dates for government runway announcement – (but that was before Brexit )…..

23.6.2016    (which was the date of the EU Referendum)

PoliticsHome learned that “Ministers are planning to announce their decision on whether to build a third runway at Heathrow in two weeks’ time” (no mention of Gatwick by PoliticsHome.)

[The announcement] “has been pencilled in for 7th July – the day after the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War – although it could be moved to 8th July. Sources close tothe process have told PoliticsHome the Prime Minister is eager to make the announcement before parliament rises for its summer recess on 21st July. However, publishing it the day after the 2.6 million-word Chilcot report comes out could be seen by some as trying to bury the controversy while the public’s attention is elsewhere.”    Link

24.6.2016    All rather overtaken by events …. as unexpectedly Britain did not vote to stay in the EU.  So the Heathrow announcement had to be postponed ….






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Birmingham airport getting some more long haul passengers, making use of its runway extension

Birmingham airport, in common with the majority of other UK airports, has been seeing high rates of growth over the past two years. The UK feels itself to be out of recession, flights are cheap and the price of oil (and jet fuel) is very low.  With that combination of circumstances, airports are emerging from the fall in numbers of both passengers and ATMs that started in 2007 and continued till 2010, with a slow recovery. Birmingham opened its runway extension in May 2014, with hopes of many more long haul flights, as the runway was now long enough for heavy aircraft.  Local campaigners say the growth in numbers reflects the aggressive marketing by Birmingham airport since then. The airport says it passed the 10 million passenger mark last year, and has now reached the 11 million mark.  (If the airports cannot increase their passenger throughput now, after a deep dip, before we get into another recession and the price of jet fuel rises again, when can they?)  Birmingham says over the past year their long-haul traffic increased by 26%, with particular growth to the Middle East (+34.1%), North America (+32.6%).  That was, of course, what they paid all that money for the runway extension for.  It can take flights that otherwise might have gone via Heathrow. Birmingham is keenly against a 3rd Heathrow runway, as it would be a bitter rival.


Birmingham Airport scales new heights after processing a record number of passengers

22nd August 2016  (The Business Desk)

By Duncan Tift – Deputy Editor

BIRMINGHAM Airport has recorded its busiest-ever 12-month period, processing more than 11 million passengers.

The landmark achievement comes just a year after the airport broke the 10 million passenger mark for the 12 months to August 2015.

The eleven-millionth passenger, James Sheffield, from Edgbaston, set the milestone when he checked in for his United Airlines flight to San Francisco (via Newark) on Friday (August 19).

Comparing the same period between 2014 and 2015, 10.2% more people have travelled through the airport, due to airlines increasing capacity and launching new services to and from Birmingham.

Friday also proved to be the single busiest day in the airport’s 77-year history, with 44,767 passengers processed – 14.1% up o the previous record set on August 13, 2015.

Paul Kehoe, CEO, Birmingham Airport said: said: “Reaching 10 million passengers last August was a big milestone in the airport’s history but reaching 11 million is an absolute game changer.

“It shows that demand for flying to and from the Midlands is rapidly rising and this is only expected to continue as national and international investment in the region continues and the Midlands Engine powers on.

“We have celebrated a huge amount of accomplishments recently, including welcoming 13 new airlines to the airport, creating an even stronger network of global routes. We now have over 440 direct or one-stop flights globally with 50 airlines and proudly handle the magnificent A380 and Dreamliner aircraft, daily.”

He said the clock was now being re-set with the intention of hitting the 12 million passenger mark at some point next year.

Over the last 12 months, long-haul traffic at the airport has increased by 26%, with particular growth seen on services to the Middle East (+34.1%), North America (+32.6%) and Europe (+10.8%).

Low cost flights increased by 11.5%, scheduled services overall grew by 6.9% and charter by 2.4%.

Monthly passenger records at the airport have been broken consecutively for the last 17 months.

James Sheffield, from Edgbaston, is awarded a bottle of champagne from the airport’s head of communications, Justine Howl in recognition of being the 11 millionth passengerMr Sheffield, who was jetting off to visit friends on the West Coast for a week-long holiday, received a special celebratory meal and a magnum of champagne in recognition of the landmark.

He said: “Now that was a check-in with a difference! I wondered what was happening when I arrived at the desk and airport officials approached me, but what a fantastic surprise. It’s kicked off my holiday brilliantly and I look forward to enjoying my huge bottle of champagne with friends when I return.”



CAA airport statistics

Terminal Passengers at Birmingham:

2015     10,180,000  (up 5% on 2014)
2014      9,698
2013      9,114
2012      8,916,209  (up + 3.6% on 2011)
2011      8,608 (no change on 2010)
2010      8,564,000 (down -6% on 2009)   link to 2010 data
2009      9,093,735 (down – 5% on 2008)
2008      9,577 (up 5% on 2007)
2007      9,134
2006      9,056,000
2005      9,311
2000      7,492
1996      5,351

Air Transport Movements at Birmingham

2015      89,837 (up 0.9% on 2014)
2014      89,056
2013      84,851
2012      84,062 (up + 0.3% on 2011)
2011      83,826  ( down – 1% on 2010)
2010      85,000 (down -10% on 2009)
2009      93,965 (down – 8.6% compared to 2008)
2008      103,000 (down -2% on 2007)
2007      104
2006      109
2005      113,000
1996       97


Air Freight – not doing well at all

2015    7,164 (up 40% on 2014)
2014    5,119 (sic)
2013    21,067
2012    19,088 (up + 15% on 2011)
2011    16,626 (down – 23% on 2010)
2010    21,605 (up +65% on 2009)
2009    30,070 (up + 7% on 2008)
2008    12,192 (Down 10% on 2007)
2007    13,585 2006 14,681
2005    12,939
2000    9,410
1996    19,420
1995     21,103





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