As part of its consultation on its proposed 3rd runway, Heathrow has a section on what it hopes is done with the M25, so the runway can go over it. This is a very expensive and complicate operation, and Heathrow is keen to cut the cost. The proposed runway will cross the M25 between Junctions 14 and 15 (J14 and J15) and will affect the operation of J14 and J14a, but not J15. Other than moving the motorway a long way west, the options are tunnelling or bridging. Heathrow says: “Our current thinking is to re-position the M25 carriageway approximately 150 metres to the west, lower it by approximately 7 metres into a tunnel and raise the runway height by 3 to 5 metres so that it passes over the M25 between J14a and J15. The motorway will then re-join its current route. …We believe this approach is the most deliverable as it would allow construction to proceed while the existing M25 motorway remains in operation. This minimises impacts to road users and has the least overall impacts on communities during construction and long-term operation.” And they say the 3rd runway will mean more traffic will want to pass through junctions 14 and 14A, so they will need to be expanded. Illustrations show some different options.
Heathrow expansion: M25 to be moved and section put in tunnel to allow runway to stretch over busy motorway
The motorway could be moved 150 metres to the west and lowered into a tunnel to accommodate the runway
Heathrow Airport has put forward new options to move the M25 carriageway and tunnel a section in order to make way for the proposed third runway .
The “realignment” options are part of the consultation launched on Wednesday (January 17) by the airport to encourage people to have their say on the plans for expansion.
If constructed, the North West Runway would extend several hundred metres past the current M25, between Junction 14 and 15, and the airport has come up with proposals to relocate the carriageway in order to extend the runway.
Heathrow plans to move the carriageway 150 metres west of its current site and lower it seven metres into a tunnel.
Heathrow also wants to raise the runway height by three to five metres, allowing planes to land and take off above the motorway between junctions 14a and 15.
Under the runway, segregated carriageways may separate traffic using the M25 as a “turning movement” between Junctions 15 for the M4 and 14 for Heathrow, from “mainline traffic”.
A CGI of the tunnel section of the M25 (Image: Heathrow Airport/Grimshaw Architects)
The “collector distributor” roads would prevent risky lane changes and help the flow of local traffic not using the airport.
Heathrow would not be the first airport to build a runway over a motorway, with a similar runways at Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Airport and Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson Airport.
The airport says in its consultation documents that it has “discontinued” plans to bridge over the current M25 or tunnel under the runway, due to its complexity and impact on road users.
The third runway will extend over the M25 but the length of it and options for the relocation of the M25 are up for consultation.
The plan to relocate the M25 would allow one of the busiest stretches of the orbital motorway to remain open while the new stretch is built alongside.
As well as moving the runway, the airport has come up with a number of options to change the junctions, with Junction 14 looking set for a major overhaul.
Junction 14a may be axed by the airport, if new terminal facilities are located west of the current Terminal 5 site.
Two possible proposals for the new layout of the M25 between Junctions 14 and 15, below the third runway (Image: Heathrow Airport)
Instead a series of flyovers may be built from Junction 14 to the airport in order to deal with the knock-on effects of the loss of the Northern and Western Perimeter Roads if the runway is built.
The 10-week consultation launched on Wednesday (January 17) and closes on March 28. Other aspects of the consultation include where terminal facilities should be moved and how airspace should be remapped.
This is what the Heathrow consultation website says about the M25:
The construction of a new north west runway will extend the airport to the west. The proposed runway will cross the M25 between Junctions 14 and 15 (J14 and J15) and will affect the operation of J14 and J14a.
The M25 is one of the busiest roads in the UK and we will ensure that our proposals do not result in disruption. We are working with Highways England, who are responsible for the operation, maintenance and improvement of the motorways and trunk roads in England, to ensure the project meets their design and safety standards. We demonstrated our track record in changes to the M25 when we built J14a as part of the Terminal 5 project.
Tunneling the M25
We have looked at options to bridge the runway over the M25, to tunnel the M25 under the runway (our previous design concept to the Airports Commission), or divert the M25 around the west end of the runway. The new level of the M25 will be determined by design standards so that it works with the existing J15 which we are not planning to change.
Our current thinking is to re-position the M25 carriageway approximately 150 metres to the west, lower it by approximately 7 metres into a tunnel and raise the runway height by 3 to 5 metres so that it passes over the M25 between J14a and J15. The motorway will then re-join its current route.
Crossing a motorway with a runway or taxiway has been done successfully at other airports around the world such as Paris (Charles de Gaulle) and Atlanta.
J15 will not be affected but some minor works may need to take place to tie the main carriageway and link roads into the junction. We believe this approach is the most deliverable as it would allow construction to proceed while the existing M25 motorway remains in operation. This minimises impacts to road users and has the least overall impacts on communities during construction and long-term operation.
We are also considering whether there would be benefits in introducing collector-distributor roads alongside the M25 that improve journey times for both airport and non-airport traffic. Such roads are however complex to build, require more land and are more costly.
The expansion of the airport and realignment of the M25 will mean that we have to make some alterations to Junction 14 (J14) and Junction 14a (J14a).
An expansion of the airport to the north west, and a need to alter some local roads (see Local roads), is likely to mean more traffic will want to pass through these junctions and so we will need to improve their capacity. We are currently considering two ‘families’ of options for these junctions:
Family 1 – both J14 and J14a are retained: J14 will need to be redeveloped to accommodate the displaced traffic movements from surrounding areas and maintain good connections to nearby communities. J14a may need to be altered to fit with the westerly expansion of the airport. Both junctions may need altering to accommodate collector-distributor roads.
Family 2 – J14a is closed: J14a currently provides direct access to T5, but if T5 and the western apron is expanded (see section 2.2), the junction may have to be permanently closed. In those circumstances, J14 would need to be redeveloped to accommodate the displaced road traffic from J14a. More space and road adjustments may also be required for collector distributor roads.
Both options require the redevelopment of J14. Our preference is for options that provide short journey times for airport and non-airport road traffic, provide good connections to nearby communities whilst minimising property loss and construction effects on Stanwell Moor and Poyle.
IAG warns the “costs and complexity” of bridging M25 could be major problem for Heathrow runway plans
May 26, 2017
British Airways’ owner International Airlines Group (IAG) estimates bridging the M25, close to the M4 junction, would cost £2 billion-£3 billion. The Airports Commission suggested the cost could be higher, with £5 billion for local road upgrades, including the tunnel. The Commission said Heathrow should pay for these, as part of the cost of building its runway. The cost and complexity of somehow putting the runway over the busiest, widest section of motorway in the UK are considerable. IAG, as by far the largest airline at Heathrow, does not want to be charged for this work, which would mean putting up the price of its air tickets. IAG says there is no detailed risk and cost analysis of the airport’s plans on what to do with the M25, though a bridge is cheaper than a tunnel. Willie Walsh said: “Airlines were never consulted on the runway length and they can operate perfectly well from a slightly shorter runway that doesn’t cross the M25.” He wants Heathrow to build a shorter runway of 3,200m rather than 3,500m that does not require going over the M25. But that would mean the motorway directly at the end of the runway, in the worse danger zone. IAG says: “We will not pay for a runway that threatens both costs and delays spiralling out of control and where critical elements of the project could be undeliverable.”
Heathrow now considering (not tunnel or bridge) but cheaper series of “viaducts” over M25
June 5, 2017
Heathrow has a huge problem in how to get a runway over the busiest, widest stretch of the M25. The original plan was a full 14-lane tunnel about 2,000 feet long. Then there were plans for a sort of bridge over the road. Even those would be prohibitively expensive (Heathrow says it would only pay £1.1 billion on roads etc). Now there are plans, by Phil Wilbraham, who oversaw the construction of Heathrow’s terminals 2 and 5, to build a cheaper system. It would be 3 parallel bridges across the M25, with narrow ones for taxiways at the side, and a wider one for the runway in the centre. The plan is for a 2 mile long runway, to take even the largest planes. The main airline at Heathrow, British Airways, suggested a runway about 1,000 feet shorter, that would not need to cross the motorway, but that might not be able to take A380s, and would mess up the flight patterns. The earlier “bridge” concept would have meant the runway would be on a slight slope, to get over the motorway. The cost of moving the thousands of tonnes of earth would be immense, and it is thought Heathrow has had to reconsider. The airlines do not want to have to pay for the building costs of roads etc associated with a 3rd runway. The government does not want to force Heathrow to pay, as this would mean increasing the cost of flying – and reduce demand at Heathrow.
Heathrow boss rules out footing the £5 billion bill for road and rail works – wants taxpayer to pay
July 24, 2015
The Airports Commission left the matter of who would pay for the approximately £5 billion needed to tunnel a section of the M25, and other surface access improvements, vague. The assumption has been made that the taxpayer would have to fund this, though the Airports Commission suggested that Heathrow would be able to find the funding from its investors for this. Now the CEO of Heathrow has dismissed the suggestion that the airport foots the £5 billion bill for road and rail work if a 3rd runway is built. Huge motorway engineering would be needed, to have the runway going over the motorway. John Holland-Kaye has ruled out paying for the surface access work. Though the government funds road and rail improvements under normal circumstances, tunnelling the M25 and dealing with hugely increased road traffic using an airport 50% larger than at present are not normal circumstances. Especially in times of huge economic savings being necessary in public finances. The Commission’s final report said it considered the runway was commercially viable “without a requirement for direct government support. This remains the case even in a situation where the airport is required to fund 100% of the surface access costs.” This would be by Heathrow “raising both debt and equity finance. This finance is then serviced through subsequent revenues and refinancing by the airport operator.”
Times reports that Heathrow plans to offer to cut costs and build runway scheme faster
September 10, 2016
The Times reports that it has learned how Heathrow is planning to cut up to £3 billion (out of about £17.6 billion) from its plans for a 3rd runway, in order to persuade Theresa May and the Cabinet that the runway could be delivered – and delivered a year earlier. Revised plans include potentially scrapping plans to tunnel the M25 under the 3rd runway, not building a transit system to carry passengers around the airport (using buses instead) and smaller terminal buildings. The aim is not only to get the runway working by 2024 but also -with reduced costs – keeping charges for passengers a bit lower. The Airports Commission estimated the cost per passenger would need to rise from £20 now to £29. Airlines like British Airways are not prepared to pay such high costs, and especially not before the runway opens. BA’s Willie Walsh has described Heathrow’s runway plans as “gold-plated”. The Times expects that Heathrow will announce its new “cheaper, faster” plans by the end of September. There is no mention of the “Heathrow Hub” option of extending the northern runway – a slightly cheaper scheme than the airport’s preferred new north west runway. There is no clarity on quite what Heathrow plans for the M25, if they cannot afford to tunnel all 14 lanes (at least £ 5 billion). Lord Deighton said it might be “diverted” or have “some form of bridge.”
The small local group at Gatwick, Plane Justice, has legal battle on the location of Route, Route 4. The CAA has conceded Plane Justice’s judicial review claim on all grounds. Its April 2017 decision to make the current Gatwick departure Route 4 permanent will be quashed by the High Court, following the signing of a consent order by the parties. The CAA was due to be in Court on 20th February for a full 2 day hearing, but having not come up with any detailed grounds of defence to the Plane Justice claim, they have admitted their decision was wrong and conceded on all the grounds of claim. The CAA agreed they had been wrong in ignoring existing patterns of traffic and the value of leaving the Route in its 2012 location, and they had been wrong in not requiring Gatwick to consult on the design of the Route that was introduced in May 2016. They also concede they were also wrong in saying that magnetic drift was a sufficient reason to move the Route. The location of Route 4 has been highly contentious for over 3 years, as it now gets concentrated rather than filling the width of the NPR swathe, as it did before the advent of PrNav for aircraft. This has meant either one community, or another, in an area of several miles width, suffer much worse plane noise. Another group, Plane Wrong, earlier argued for the route to be moved away from them.
CAA concede Route 4 decision was wrong on all grounds
19.1.2018 (Plane Justice press release)
CAA must take its decision again, giving proper consideration to maintaining 2012 flight pattern
In a dramatic turn of events, the Civil Aviation Authority has conceded Plane Justice’s judicial review claim on all grounds, and its April 2017 decision making the current Gatwick departure Route 4 permanent will be quashed by the High Court following the signing of a consent order by the parties.
The CAA was due to be in Court on 20th February for a full 2 day hearing, but having not come up with any detailed grounds of defence to our claim, they have now admitted their decision was wrong and conceded on all the grounds of claim.
The CAA have conceded in the consent order:
that they were WRONG to ignore existing patterns of traffic and the value of leaving the Route in its 2012 location,
WRONG because they failed to require that Gatwick consult on the design of the Route that was introduced in May 2016,
they concede they were also WRONG in saying that magnetic drift was a sufficient reason to move the Route, as their quashed decision had asserted.
The CAA have been duly called to account, and the CAA and Gatwick are flying a Route based on a decision that has now been pronounced unlawful.
Plane Justice Acting Chairman Chris Quinlan said:
“Residents have now had confirmed what they always knew – that they’ve been victims of a wrong and now discredited decision, and one not even made with due consultation.
It is now up to the CAA and Gatwick to begin the process of redesigning Route 4. There will need to be a new satellite-based design taking due account of the above findings recorded in the Order, including giving full effect to the value of maintaining the 2012 flight pattern.
Trust of the decision makers has taken a battering, after logic, ethics, dialogue, campaigning and complaints failed to move them earlier, leaving legal action as the reluctant last resort. This must mark the day the decision makers start to do the right thing by these residents – beginning with honouring the undertaking the CAA made to GATCOM in 2013, and taking the purely interim measure of returning Route 4 in the shortest practical time to the conventional navigation Route that pre-dated the CAA’s unlawful 7th April decision;
The intended effect of this would be to return the Route on a conventional navigation basis to its pre-2013 position, pending implementation of a new satellite-based route design.
This is exactly the situation the CAA itself envisaged should happen, in its 2015 ‘Post implementation Review’, if the RNAV version of Route 4 failed to achieve its original stated aim. This will give hard-pressed communities the breathing space they deserve, while Gatwick and the CAA meanwhile set in motion the necessary procedures and consultation on a new satellite-based design for Route 4 which honours the terms of the Order conceding our claim. These long-suffering communities cannot be expected to endure yet another summer with Gatwick flying a Route derived from an unlawful decision.”
Meanwhile Plane Justice has put the CAA on notice that it reserves its rights to challenge any further decision they may take that does not give full effect to the value of maintaining the 2012 flight pattern.
– ends –
For further information, please contact Plane Justice:
Route 4 is a departure route from Gatwick Airport. The Route was altered in May 2016 and currently overflies (or in some cases vectors over) new populations to the North of the airport in Newdigate, Capel, Leigh, Norwood Hill, Sidlow, Salfords, Outwood and Horley.
Judicial review (JR) is where a Court reviews a decision made by a governmental or public/regulatory body, in this case the CAA, and decides whether it has been made correctly and lawfully.
The consent order signed by the parties agrees that the CAA’s 7th April 2017 decision should be nullified, both with respect to the current RNAV Route 4, and with respect to the correction for magnetic drift to the historical conventional navigation route that the CAA ordered Gatwick to make. This will now be sealed by the Court.
Conventional navigation routes use ground based beacons rather than sat-nav for navigation and are still available for use at Gatwick. Many airports like Heathrow currently navigate aircraft using conventional navigation almost exclusively.
Plane Justice Ltd -v- CAA: Gatwick Route 4 Court Case passes its first big test
September 20, 2017
In the High Court Mrs Justice Lang DBE granted permission for Plane Justice’s Judicial Review case against the Civil Aviation Authority to proceed to a full trial hearing on all grounds.In granting permission, Mrs Justice Lang said Plane Justice’s grounds of claim merited full consideration. Gaining permission to proceed is a vital first step that all JR cases have to go through, and only a minority of JR cases achieve it. Plane Justice is trying to get changes to Gatwick\s Route 4 departure route, which was altered in May 2016 and now overflies (or in some cases vectors over) new populations to the north of the airport in Newdigate, Capel, Leigh, Norwood Hill, Sidlow, Salfords, Outwood and Horley. The route was changed to avoid overflying other areas, and a different group, Plane Wrong, fought hard to get the route change that badly affected them in 2013 altered. Plane Justice wants the route to revert to how it was before 2013. The case is now likely to be listed for a full hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in the new year. Salfords & Sidlow Parish Council, affected by Route 4, has made a substantial donation towards the legal costs, and Plane Justice has to date raised 82% of its budget to fund the High Court action.
CAA confirm Route 4 changes to be permanent – local group calls it the “Route to Misery”
April 18, 2017
Early in April the CAA approved the current P-RNAV design of Gatwick’s Route 4 (the take off route towards the west, that turns north and heads east). This was altered in 2016 in response to the complaints about the way it has recently been altered. Now, dismissing the outpouring of complaints to the current route “as expected”, the CAA says the route will continue. The CAA has concluded that modified Route 4 “has delivered the aim of the airspace change to an acceptable standard and this change will now be made permanent.” They recognise that this has an impact on communities and has asked Gatwick to “investigate the potential of meaningful respite” by “alternating or switching a proportion of Route 4 departures onto another route.” Local group, Plane Justice, deeply opposed to the current Route 4, comments that the CAA appears indifferent to the misery of the people who wrote in complaining about the route. They are angry that the complaints are considered just “AS EXPECTED” rather than real expressions of genuine concern and annoyance. The group has a Route 4 Legacy Pledge, which calls on the CAA to revisit its decision and return Route 4 to the geographical position and dispersion pattern it occupied before 2013 (the ‘legacy Route’). They are asking people to sign up to this.
6 month trial of change to Gatwick Route 4 ends, with widespread criticism and opposition
December 7, 2016
Route 4 from Gatwick (taking off towards the west, curving north and then going east) was changed in 2013 to fly slightly further to the north. This caused huge upset and opposition from those newly, and intensely, overflown. Finally in May 2016, the route was changed to be further south, but instead of relatively spread out across the NPR, it is concentrated. This has caused further upset and opposition from those now finding they have far worse noise than before. This changed route was “amended” (not a trial, technically) for 6 months, and that ended on 26th November. However, the altered route will continue for another 3 months, while the CAA evaluates their feedback on how the route has performed. The CAA will in due course produce their PIR (Post Implementation Review) of the changed route. Gatwick had more than 15,000 complaints from the public during the consultation. Some of the towns and villages badly affected by high levels of plane noise include Leigh, Salfords, and Horley. The route involves a very tight turn, and to stay within the 3km wide NPR, planes should not be accelerating too fast (to avoid swinging out too far, and being outside the NPR). People say planes are making more noise, as pilots use flaps in order to make the tight turn, and planes are lower than they need to be. An affected resident said “The planes should be flying a shallower turn with a slightly more northerly trajectory afterwards – just as they did with no significant problems for over 20 years up to 2012.”
Gatwick Route 4 finally re-routed as local MP warns about noise misery dangers of a 2nd runway
May 29, 2016
On 26th May, the amended Gatwick departure flight path named “Route 4”, taking off towards the west from Gatwick, went in to operation. This route turning north and then east – to fly towards the east. With the implementation of precision-area navigation (PR-NAV) at Gatwick in 2014, changes were made to Route 4 which made it more concentrated, and slightly to the north of the main NPR (Noise Preferential Route). This resulted in thousands of people suffering intense and frequent plane noise, for the first time. The local group, Plane Wrong, was formed to fight the changes. The PIR (Post Implementation Review) by the CAA in 2015 showed that the change to Route 4 was not “compliant” with regulations, and it should revert to how it was before early 2014. However, it has taken a long time for this reversion to actually happen. The route that has now started means the SID (Standard Instrument Departure) turning circle is a little tighter so planes avoid the densely populated urban areas of Reigate and Redhill. It is regrettable that it took so long for an unacceptable flight path, that could be introduced so quickly without warning, could take so long to reverse. Local MP Crispin Blunt warned that the noise situation with a 2nd Gatwick runway would be completely unacceptable, with no noise mitigation measures in prospect.
“Plane Wrong” critical of CAA’s PIR decision to permit new easterly take-off route to continue
December 20, 2015
The CAA published its long-awaited Post Implementation Review report in early November. Gatwick is required by the CAA to change one westerly departure route (Route 4) that affects people in many villages to the South of Dorking and across to Reigate and Redhill. This has to revert back to being within the NPR (noise preferential route) as before. Local group, Plane Wrong, set up in response to the noise problems caused, says it welcomes the decision and wants this to be implemented rapidly so that residents do not have to suffer the noise for another summer. Plane Wrong is, however, dismayed at the CAA decision in respect of Route 3, which is not to be changed despite the fact that many more people are significantly affected by the change. This appears to have been entirely ignored. Plane Wrong has considerable doubts about some of the methodologies employed by the CAA to reach both these decisions. On the change to Route 4, Plane Wrong says the changes should be completed quickly, though the CAA has to test the change in simulators for Boeing and Airbus. They do not yet know when this work will take place. There is also a 2 month period that has to elapse after that, and there is no indication yet of when this will end.
The backers of the “Heathrow Hub” rival Heathrow expansion scheme are considering legal action against the Government in the wake of the airport’s move to propose potential revisions to its plans. Heathrow Hub, fronted by former Concorde pilot Jock Lowe, has criticised the Government for allowing Heathrow to now consult on new ideas for its 3rd runway because this could change the eventual scheme from what was originally submitted and considered by the Airports Commission. Heathrow’s consultation (started 17th Jan, ends 28th March) is considering 3 different runway options, two of them for a 3,200 metres and one at 3,500 metres, slightly differently sited. This is in spite of the Government’s own documents on the expansion stipulating the need for a runway of “at least 3,500 metres”. Heathrow has to try to keep costs down, as its airlines are bitterly opposed to the cost of its proposals. The consultation also outlined potential plans for how to deal with the runway crossing the M25 motorway. Heathrow Hub said if it did launch legal proceedings, it would aim to get the money it spent submitting its proposals for expansion to the Government refunded. Heathrow airport said it thought that “providing some flexibility on the specification of the precise runway length would not undermine the NPS and its objectives”.
Rival Heathrow expansion scheme considers legal action against Government
By Bradley Gerrard (Telegraph)
17 JANUARY 2018
The backers of a rival Heathrow expansion scheme are considering legal action against the Government in the wake of the airport’s move to propose potential revisions to its plans.
Heathrow Hub, fronted by former Concorde pilot Jock Lowe, has criticised the Government for allowing Heathrow airport to offer up new ideas for its expansion because this could take the eventual scheme away from what was originally submitted.
Heathrow started its 10-week consultation on Wednesday and said it would be consulting on three different runway lengths between 3,200 metres and 3,500 metres. This is in spite of the Government’s own documents on the expansion stipulating the need for a runway of “at least 3,500 metres”.
The consultation also outlined potential plans for moving the M25 and putting the motorway through a tunnel under the new runway, a concept it had previously proposed but without such detail.
Heathrow Hub said the fact the airport was “still producing new ideas” for its expansion made it a Heath Robinson plan, a reference to the English cartoonist known for drawing ridiculously complicated machines for achieving simple objectives.
Jock Lowe, a former Concorde pilot, is behind the rival Heathrow expansion scheme
A spokesperson for Heathrow Hub, which wants to expand the existing northern runway, said: “We are indeed considering legal action on the basis that the process has been unreasonable.”
The spokesperson added if Heathrow Hub did launch legal proceedings, it would aim to get the money it spent submitting its proposals for expansion to the Government refunded.
Such a move, Heathrow Hub would hope, could pressure the Government into accepting its scheme. The organisation has said its project would be phased, with a £3.9bn runway extension taking place first.
Its total project, which also includes moving the M25, would cost £9.7bn – more than £4bn cheaper than Heathrow’s more recent proposals which have been cut from the initial £17bn.
Heathrow Hub also contends its plan could accommodate the same amount of aircraft movements – 740,000 –- as the plan by the airport and therefore believes the Government should be giving it equal weight in the National Policy Statement (NPS), a document which will be voted on by MPs this year and is the first stage to a scheme being built.
Heathrow airport said it thought that “providing some flexibility on the specification of the precise runway length would not undermine the NPS and its objectives”.
It added each of the runway lengths could accommodate the same number of flights but shorter runways would need less land which would provide “an opportunity to move either one or both runway ends away from Colnbrook and Sipson, also reducing noise for local communities”.
The DFT said it was reviewing evidence submitted to the NPS and that Heathrow’s consultation was separate.
See earlier a few news stories about Heathrow Hub:
Heathrow Hub says, to match Heathrow’s offer, it would cut price of its runway scheme by £2 billion
September 20, 2016
The backers of the Heathrow Hub scheme, to lengthen Heathrow’s northern runway towards the west, have now said they could cut the price of their scheme by £2 million. This offer comes just days after Heathrow’s Chairman, Lord Deighton, said their north west runway scheme could be cut by up to £3 billion. The Heathrow north-west runway scheme is expected to cost £17.5 billion (or £14.5 billion with the cheaper scheme) – and the Heathrow Hub scheme is expected to cost £12 billion according to their website (or £10 billion with the cheaper scheme). But Heathrow Hub are now telling the press that their scheme could cost £7.5 million. Their Factsheet of November 2014 said the cost of the runway itself would be £9.2 billion, with £2.8 billion for surface access improvements. In November 2013 they anticipated the cost of diverting the M25 for the runway would be £0.7 billion. Heathrow Hub also proudly say there would be no cost to the public. In reality, Transport for London said (February 2015) of a larger Heathrow, not differentiating between the two schemes: “Our assessment estimated that in order for a fully developed Heathrow (149 mppa) to achieve all of the above surface access objectives in the long term (2040-50), costs would be around £15-20 billion*. The Heathrow Hub scheme is privately funded, and hopes to license its scheme to Heathrow airport for up to £5m a year for 20 years, if successful.
Heathrow investors snub Chris Grayling’s request for their funding of Heathrow Hub scheme
September 28, 2016
Some of Heathrow’s leading shareholders have snubbed a request from the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to back the Heathrow Hub scheme, that involves adding another runway at the western end of the northern runway. Sky News understands that big investors in FGP Topco, Heathrow’s parent company, are refusing to give a written commitment to funding the rival scheme. Heathrow argues that it has not done sufficient due diligence to justify giving its backing to Heathrow Hub. Mr Grayling made the request at a meeting with the two runway promoters last month, since when further talks have been held between executives at Heathrow and Heathrow Hub. While it is understood John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO, would accept the Hub plan if he cannot get his north-west runway, the airport’s leading shareholders are refusing to back it. They believe future financial returns would be lower with the Hub scheme than the NW runway scheme. Sky News has been told that Mr Holland-Kaye had been told by his shareholders that acknowledging any support for the Hub scheme would be a tactical error, at a time they believe is so close to an announcement by the Government. Both Heathrow schemes have offered cut-price versions of their proposals in a bid to convince ministers of their merits. FGP Topco’s shareholders are Ferrovial (25% stake), and sovereign wealth and pension funds from Australia, Canada, China, Qatar and Singapore.
Heathrow 3rd runway would affect south Buckinghamshire, especially Heathrow Hub impact on Iver area
February 12, 2015
People in south Buckinghamshire are very concerned about the threat of an expanded Heathrow, and the impact it would have on the south of the county. How badly they would be affected depends on whether a 3rd runway was built as Heathrow Airport Ltd wants, to the north west, or an extension of the northern runway, as Heathrow Hub wants. With either they face much more noise, and much more traffic. If the Heathrow Hub design was permitted, it includes plans for a transport hub near Iver (to the north west of the junction of the M25 and the M4.) It would mean building on green belt land between Richings Park and Iver village centre, with access to it from local roads. Iver Parish Council are very concerned about the increased traffic, especially HGVs, which would change Iver massively. They have been given no proper information about how the traffic scheme would work, and there are real fears this would change Iver and Richings Park forever. People in this area will be attending the large rally being held on 3rd March in central London, against a 3rd Heathrow runway.
Justine Greening is Conservative MP for Putney, and has been a vocal critic of a Heathrow 3rd runway for a long time. She quit the Cabinet last week, where she had been Education Secretary, so she is now free to express her opinions without the constraints of Cabinet collective responsibility. She has already asked a question, at transport questions, in the House of Commons, criticising the government over its plans to expand Heathrow. Her question was: “On what evidence are the Government now pushing ahead with what I believe to be a flawed plan for expanding Heathrow? The updated national policy statement shows that it is more expensive, lower value, more congesting, noisier, and provides fewer connections. Will the Secretary of State meet me to discuss this?” The reply from the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, was: “I know how strongly my right hon. Friend feels about this. She and I have had many conversations about it and I know that we will carry on doing so. She and I, of course, do not share the same view—I believe that this project is strategically important for the United Kingdom—but I am happy to carry on discussing it with her”. On Wednesday, Ms Greening told the Commons that a future generation of MPs will seek to “improve or undo” Brexit if it does not work for young people.
Justine Greening hits out at Heathrow expansion plans
18th January 2018 (BBC)
Former Education Secretary Justine Greening has criticised the government over its plans to expand Heathrow.
The MP for Putney, which is close to the West London airport, said she believed the proposals were “flawed”.
Ms Greening quit the Cabinet last week after refusing a job as work and pensions secretary.
But Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said he believed expansion of the UK’s biggest international airport was “hugely important” for the UK.
The clash came as Ms Greening used transport questions in the Commons to claim the latest evidence suggested the plan was “more expensive, lower value, more congesting, noisier and provides fewer connections”.
Mr Grayling said he had already had a number of discussions with Ms Greening about the issue and said Heathrow expansion was “strategically important” for the UK.
But speaking from the backbenches, Ms Greening asked: “On what evidence is the government now pushing ahead with what I believe to be a flawed plan for expanding Heathrow?”
She added: “Will you meet me to discuss this?”
Mr Grayling replied: “I know how strongly you feel about this.
“You and I had many conversations about this and I know we will carry on doing so. You and I, of course, don’t share the same view.
“I believe this project is strategically important for the United Kingdom, but I’m happy to come and discuss it with you.”
On Wednesday, Ms Greening told the Commons that a future generation of MPs will seek to “improve or undo” Brexit if it does not work for young people.
On what evidence are the Government now pushing ahead with what I believe to be a flawed plan for expanding Heathrow? The updated national policy statement shows that it is more expensive, lower value, more congesting, noisier, and provides fewer connections. Will the Secretary of State meet me to discuss this?
I know how strongly my right hon. Friend feels about this. She and I have had many conversations about it and I know that we will carry on doing so. She and I, of course, do not share the same view—I believe that this project is strategically important for the United Kingdom—but I am happy to carry on discussing it with her.
I’ll fight Heathrow over plans for a new runway, says Justine Greening – not ruling out resignation
October 7, 2016
Education Secretary Justine Greening, MP for Putney, has refused to rule out resigning if Heathrow is chosen by Theresa May to expand. She has been a vocal opponent of a larger Heathrow for years, as her constituency is badly overflown already by Heathrow planes – and the noise would be worse with a 3rd runway. She has now said she would continue to fight against Heathrow being the designated site for a runway. When asked by the BBC if her position in Cabinet would be ‘untenable’ if the decision went against her, Justine said the scenario was ‘hypothetical’. Back in May, before the Brexit vote, she predicted that the then PM, David Cameron, would have to shelve plans to expand Heathrow and choose Gatwick instead. Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond Park, close to Heathrow and badly over-flown by its planes, has again reiterated that he would trigger a by-election if the Cabinet chose Heathrow, but he would not clarify whether he would himself stand again. Theresa May herself clearly said, 10th May 2010 (on her own website) “Like many local residents, I strongly welcome to cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow. Expanding Heathrow in this way would have had a detrimental effect on the Maidenhead and Twyford areas by increasing levels of noise and pollution, and today’s announcement is a victory for all those who have campaigned against it.”
Justine Greening believes Cameron and Cabinet will abandon Heathrow 3rd runway plans
March 13, 2016
Justine Greening, MP for Putney, long standing opponent of a 3rd Heathrow runway, and International Development Secretary, has said that David Cameron will abandon plans to build a 3rd Heathrow runway. She predicted that the Cabinet would conclude that Heathrow should not be expanded. Instead a new “long term” strategy should be drawn up to decide on a “sensible” future airport policy for the UK. The Telegraph says this risks a backlash and potential legal challenge from pro airport campaigners. Those wanting a new runway claim that it is needed to prevent flights and businesses going to other countries in Europe in the decades ahead. Last autumn Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary and Britain’s most senior civil servant, warned ministers not to comment on the runway issue before an announcement due to concerns that the final decision could be vulnerable to legal challenge by the losing side or its backers. Justine Greening said she did not think the Cabinet would back Heathrow as it was not 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.” She had said earlier that she might resign if Heathrow was granted a runway, but she my have changed her mind.
Putney MP Justine Greening has been announced as new transport secretary, after
Philip Hammond stepped in to fill the void at the Ministry of Defence following
Liam Fox’s resignation. Greening was elected to Parliament in 2005 and was made
economic secretary at the Treasury following the 2010 general election. Greening
was a vocal opponent of Labour’s plans to build a 3rd runway at Heathrow. Many
of her constituents live under the Heathrow flight path. She joins Theresa Villiers.
Letter to the Editor of the Financial Times, from Paul McGuinness (Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition). In it Paul says that while the government says no decision on the 3rd Heathrow runway will be taken until after a parliamentary vote (this summer), Heathrow is behaving as if the matter is already agreed and the runway approved. It has now launched a “consultation” on how it might build it. The airport’s “consultation” floats the possibility that the proposal before parliament could be mutated into a less expensive project — by tunnelling the M25 and shortening any new runway (although such a mutation could effectively make for a “new” proposal, requiring a new round of scrutiny). Coalition members regard this latest “consultation” to be little more than a charade. A key issue of concern to large numbers of people under Heathrow planes is noise. However, there is no information about which areas and communities would be overflown more intensively than now, or newly overflown. According to the government, it is for Heathrow to designate these, but there’s nothing in this consultation. Nor is there any plan to publish them — until after parliament has voted, perhaps approving the runway. Those preparing a legal challenge, on behalf of 4 councils (members of the Coalition) are ever more certain that the proposal will not survive the courts. It would be regrettable if MPs were to vote for the runway, just to find was then challenged and defeated at some stage, because the huge risks and impacts had not been properly assessed.
Letters to the Editor:
MPs should assess risks in a third Heathrow runway
From Paul McGuinness, Chair, No 3rd Runway Coalition,London TW11
19.1.2018 (Letter to the Financial Times)
While the government may have “accepted the Airports Commission’s recommendation” to expand Heathrow (Comment, January 15), the secretary of state continues to insist that no decision can be said to have been taken until after parliament has scrutinised — and MPs have approved — its Airports National Policy Statement.
Meanwhile, the airport is behaving as if the decision is done and dusted. Whether it knows something the rest of us don’t, or is merely trying to twist the arms of decision makers, Heathrow has been spending money preparing for its third runway, and has even launched a “consultation” on how it might build it.
The airport’s “consultation” floats the possibility that the proposal before parliament could be mutated into a less expensive project — by tunnelling the M25 and shortening any new runway (although such a mutation could effectively make for a “new” proposal, risking a new round of scrutiny).
Either way, our members consider this latest “consultation” to be little more than a charade.
Heathrow is the world’s most highly disruptive airport, by virtue of its planes overflying the most densely populated residential region in the UK. Residents want to know where new flight paths will be — which areas will be overflown more intensively than before?
Which new communities will be overflown for the first time? How, a child might ask, could the negative noise consequences even be assessed without such essential information?
According to the government, it is for Heathrow to designate these, but there’s not a dicky bird in this consultation. Nor is there any plan to publish them — until after parliament has voted.
To many who have studied the issue and considered its likely problems, it seems absurd the government should have allowed itself to have considered the building of a new airport, the size of a Frankfurt or Gatwick, on top of the current Heathrow operation.
As the matter draws to a head, those preparing an environmental legal challenge, on behalf of four of our borough council members, are becoming yet more certain that the proposal will not survive the courts.
It would be a shame if parliamentarians were to join the government in succumbing to Heathrow’s hard-arm strategy, to back an idea that will be challenged and felled at some stage, because it was too replete with risk to see the light of day.
Government assurances that night flights could be banned with a third runway have been undermined by a new report from a major airline group – IAG – making the case for additional flights in the early morning period. In its submission to the Transport Select Committee, IAG, (parent company of BA, the main airline at Heathrow), said that the Government’s Airports NPS should focus on providing “extended periods of predictable respite from scheduled night flights rather than a prescriptive ban for an arbitrary number of hours”. BA operates 11 of the 16 flights which arrive at Heathrow in the night time period between 11.30pm and 6am. The Airports Commission recommended that all scheduled flights should be banned, between 11.30pm and 6.00am (six and a half hours) as a condition of the 3rd runway going ahead. But Heathrow said it would move that six hours back, so it is 11.00pm to 5.30am. There is already a ban (scheduled – not mentioning non-scheduled) after 11pm. The Government’s draft NPS published in February 2017 watered down this recommendation and proposed a ban of six and a half hours with the exact times to be determined following consultation together with a “predictable, though reduced, period of respite for local communities”. So the NPS as currently drafted provides no guarantee that a meaningful night ban will be introduced .IAG says a curfew would make it harder to add new flights from certain time zones.
Third Runway Could Mean More Night Flights
New report undermines Government promise that night flights might be banned says four councils
Government assurances that night flights could be banned with a third runway have been undermined by a new report from a major airline group making the case for additional flights in the early morning period.
In its submission to the Transport Select Committee, IAG, which is the parent company of British Airways, said that the Government’s national policy statement on aviation (NPS) should focus on providing ‘extended periods of predictable respite from scheduled night flights rather than a prescriptive ban for an arbitrary number of hours’.
BA operates 11 of the 16 flights which arrive at Heathrow in the night time period between 11.30pm and 6am.
The Airports Commission recommended that all flights in the night time period should be banned as a condition of the third runway going ahead.
The Government’s draft NPS published in February 2017 watered down this recommendation and proposed a ban of six and a half hours with the exact times to be determined following consultation together with a ‘predictable, though reduced, period of respite for local communities’.
The IAG submission also argued that a curfew would make it harder to add new flights from certain time zones.
Local authorities opposed to expansion at Heathrow say that in pressing for more night flights the airline had demonstrated the feebleness of the Government’s position.
Wandsworth council leader Ravi Govindia, pictured above, said: “The pressure from the airlines shows once again that the industry is not prepared to share the benefits of expansion with the communities affected at an airport which is responsible for more noise than all the major European hubs put together.
“We can expect further challenges to all the essential mitigation that the Airports Commission said must accompany an expanded Heathrow. It shows that whatever the Transport Secretary may say a third runway cannot be delivered without bringing extra noise for local communities.”
Cllr Paul Hodgins, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “The Government’s NPS as currently drafted provides no guarantee that a meaningful night ban will be introduced. Once the detailed planning process begins we can expect the current conditions to be whittled away. This is yet another example of why the Government should be looking at Gatwick Airport rather than expanding Heathrow.”
Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, added: “No Government promise to ban or even reduce the number of early morning arrivals is worth the paper it is written on. Unless the airlines agree there is nothing ministers can do.”
Councillor Simon Dudley, Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “BA has shown that rather than accepting any restriction they actually want more night flights. There is simply no form of ‘respite’ that is going to protect residents from the extra sleep disruption this is bound to cause.”
The Chancellor Philip Hammond was reported in April 2017 as saying that many of his Cabinet colleagues made the decision to support the third runway on the basis that (they) accepted the Airports Commission’s recommendations for mitigation.
The IAG submission is published on the Transport Select Committee website.
The local authority group which comprises Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils will be giving evidence to the transport Select Committee today (Monday).
“Following construction of a third runway there should be a ban on all scheduled night flights in the period 11:30 pm to 6 am”
Meeting the Airports Commission
The introduction of a legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.
Exceeding the Airports Commission
We will support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.
DfT confirms numbers of night flights – till 2022 – at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted will not be cut
July 14, 2017
Changes to the night flights regime, at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted have been delayed for several years. The DfT has now produced its Decision Document on the issue. Anyone expecting meaningful cuts in night flights, or noise from night flights will be disappointed. There is no change in numbers, and just some tinkering with noise categories. The DfT says night flights from Heathrow will continue until (if) the airport is expanded, and it just hopes airlines will be using slightly less noisy planes. Pretty much, effectively, “business as usual.” Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, said he had to “strike a balance between the economic benefits of flying and the impact on local residents.” The DfT objective is to: “encourage the use of quieter aircraft to limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night, while maintaining the existing benefits of night flights”. But it says: “Many industry responses welcomed the recognition by government of the benefits night flights offer and highlighted the importance of night flights to the business models of airlines, for instance by allowing low-cost airlines to operate the necessary minimum amount of rotations a day, or the benefits to the time-sensitive freight sector through enabling next day deliveries.”
Phillip Hammond: Ministers ‘only backed third Heathrow runway if night flight ban remained’
April 4, 2017
Several Cabinet ministers only backed a Heathrow 3rd runway on the condition that the Government ensured there was a proper night flight ban. At a meeting in his Englefield Green constituency, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond hit back at airlines – like IAG – that are pushing strongly for early morning flights, which cause noise misery for many local people, to be allowed to continue. He told local residents in his Runnymede and Weybridge constituency that he supports Heathrow expansion if measures proposed by the Airport Commission (Chairman, Howard Davies) were guaranteed to protect communities close to the airport. The Commission said there should be a ban on all scheduled [ignoring un-scheduled however] night flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am. Heathrow has proposed 11pm to 5.30am – it wants early flights. IAG has said it needs flights landing early, and at the terminal, by 5.30am and then a large number of flights before 7am. Few people consider 5.15am the end of their period of sleep, so that is entirely unacceptable to anyone who is woken by plane noise. Evidence shows many health impacts of sleep disturbed by plane noise, including cardiovascular impacts and Type 2 diabetes.
Night flight noise likely to increase risk of Type 2 diabetes for those living under flightpaths
April 3, 2017
Research by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel has shown that people who live below an airport flightpath are more than 80% more likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who live in quieter areas. The findings have led scientists to suggest that aircraft noise, rather than air pollution, could be to blame. The noise of the planes overhead, when they are low and loud, is likely to have a devastating effect on the body’s metabolism, leading to increased blood sugar levels. The effect is largely from noise at night, confirming that night flights are damaging to health. The cost to the health of over-flown populations needs to be properly taken into account, and given enough significance against small economic benefits of night flights to airports and airlines (which is how the DfT assesses the issue at present). Heathrow already has – by an order of magnitude – the most people affected by night flights, with over 700,000 living within the 55 Lden noise average contours. The link to diabetes is through the body’s reaction to stress, raising blood pressure. Noise stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis, leading to increased blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease, strokes, limb amputations and blindness. It affects over 3 million people in the UK.
There is little to reassure those horrified by the implications of a 3rd runway, whether in terms of its social, economic or environmental impact. There is nothing, for example, to give any certainty on air pollution. AEF Deputy Director Cait Hewitt commented: “The key environmental barriers to expansion will need to be addressed by Government. On air quality, the scale of the problem means that any measures that Heathrow may be proposing will be pretty much irrelevant.”
The Heathrow consultation launched today
They have a dedicated website with all the documents.
Heathrow public consultation can’t resolve air quality and climate change barriers to expansion
Jan 17th 2018 (Comment from AEF – Aviation Environment Federation)
Heathrow Airport has launched a public consultation on its proposed expansion and airspace change principals. The consultation, which opened today, remains open until 28th March 2018. Below is AEF’s reaction.
AEF’s deputy director, Cait Hewitt, said:
“The key environmental barriers to expansion will need to be addressed by Government.On air quality, the scale of the problem means that any measures that Heathrow may be proposing will be pretty much irrelevant.
“The bigger question of whether or not London’s air pollution will have fallen to within legal limits by the time a new runway is due to open (bringing with it an additional swathe of passenger and freight traffic) depends on how successful the London Mayor and the UK Government are in delivering new air quality policies and measures.
“There’s little Heathrow can do to influence the issue of background emissions, and we’re concerned that the Government plans to shift responsibility for the problem to the airport.
“When it comes to climate change, the Government is still refusing even to have a conversation about how to tackle the problem of how to keep aviation emissions in line with the UK’s legal obligations until the other side of a parliamentary vote on Heathrow, because a third runway would push CO2 emissions over the limit recommended by the Government’s own advisers.
“Even on noise, Heathrow can’t change the fact that expansion would mean an additional 700 planes per day over London residents, and it will be several years before we know where these will fly as we still have no certainty on where the flight paths will be.
“No one should assume that a decision to expand Heathrow is done and dusted. There are still big questions about environmental impacts that only the Government can answer.”
Heathrow begins public consultation on airport expansion, motorway move
LONDON (Reuters) – Heathrow Airport launched a 10-week public consultation on its proposed expansion on Wednesday, saying it would ask locals for their views on issues such as the rerouting of a major motorway near the airport and the length of a new, third runway.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling has said the government aims to give the go-ahead to the new runway in the first half of this year.
The expansion plan has been controversial, with critics highlighting the possible impact on air quality in London and noise levels in the local community, while airlines want the airport to keep costs down.
“Heathrow is consulting to ensure that we deliver benefits for our passengers, businesses across the country but also, importantly, for those neighbours closest to us,” Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for expansion, said in a statement.
The consultation will work to deliver expansion while meeting strict environmental tests, the airport said, but will also ask for views on a proposal to move a short section of the London orbital M25 motorway 150 metres to the west.
The proposal would also lower the motorway by 7 metres and put it in a tunnel so the runway can pass over it. Local residents will also be consulted on three options for the new runway and what the terminal infrastructure should be.
Heathrow has pledged to keep costs down during the expansion, and said it had identified options to deliver the airport for 2.5 billion pounds less than previous plans thanks to engagement over the last year.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways owner IAG (ICAG.L), said Heathrow had to become cheaper for its expansion to succeed, in an article in the Financial Times earlier this week.
Airlines UK, an industry association which represents UK-registered carriers, said that airlines might renege on their support for expansion if costs were not kept down.
“Airlines have been consistent in their support for expansion at Heathrow and will be making the case for a new runway,” said Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK.
“However… this backing remains conditional upon costs being kept under control and passenger charges not increasing in real terms, and they will reserve the right to withdraw their support if this is not achievable.”
Heathrow is to unveil proposals for a shorter, cheaper third runway in a public consultation to help push its expansion plans through.
The airport will propose cutting 300 metres from the length of the northwestern runway, a scheme approved by the government following the Airports Commission process, in an attempt to cut costs.
Although the government has backed Heathrow’s expansion, it has also said it must not mean higher charges for airlines, which would probably be passed on to passengers. British Airways, which operates about half the flights at Heathrow, had complained bitterly about the expected cost of the new runway. Heathrownow believes it can deliver the runway for £14.3bn, cutting £2.5bn from the original price, and keeping charges “close to” today’s levels.
Plans for a brand new terminal could also be jettisoned in favour of expanding around its two main existing terminals, with construction phased to cut costs.
The shorter runway will still require the M25 to be moved 150 metres west, with the airport now proposing that Britain’s busiest motorway be accommodated in a shallower tunnel under a slightly ramped runway.
The options, including whether the shorter runway would be located to the western or eastern end of where the full-length 3.5km runway (2.1 miles) would lie, will be presented to the public in 40 events over a 10-week consultation.
Heathrow hopes that its consultation – independent of government consultations in the planning process – will allow it to present its best case and pre-empt some objections ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote expected this year on the national policy statement on aviation, which gives the go-ahead for another runway. The airport has pledged higher compensation to residents, a six-and-a-half-hour ban on scheduled night flights, and to stay within air quality limits.
Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, said: “We need feedback to help deliver this opportunity responsibly and to create a long-term legacy both at a local and national level. Heathrow is consulting to ensure that we deliver benefits for our passengers, businesses across the country but also, importantly, for those neighbours closest to us.”
John Stewart, chair of the anti-Heathrow noise group Hacan, said: “The Airport Commission calculations of economic benefits were on the basis of the capacity of a full-length runway. A shorter runway could open a can of worms, and invite a judicial review from Heathrow Hub or even Gatwick.”
The consultation will also discuss the redesign of air space, which will affect flight paths over London and beyond. Although the reform is being driven independently of Heathrow, the likely impact would be to further concentrate air traffic over the same routes.
Should parliament back expansion, Heathrow will need to consult further on the details before submitting plans, with final approval not expected before 2021. A 3rd runway is not expected to be operational before 2025 at the earliest.
Heathrow Airport Limited have – in their latest consultation on its runway hopes – outlined proposals that would see vast swathes of green belt land around the airport used for buildings to support a 3rd runway. One building in particular would be a “new car park for the airport” on Little Harlington Playing Fields, for 20,000 vehicles (see map below), close to an air pollution monitor which has frequently broken legal air quality limits. The plan to build a car park on green belt land is, according to campaigners, somewhat ironic given the airport have been pushing so-called environmental credentials of a third runway, including a specific pledge to have “no more airport-related traffic on the roads compared to today”. The pledge has been widely publicised, including to MPs, who will decide on whether Heathrow should expand later this year, in a parliamentary vote. Rob Barnstone, Coordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “It is deeply disappointing and worrying for our local environment that Heathrow have expressed intent to build on so many green belt land sites. … There is a great irony in pledging to have no additional cars using an expanded airport compared with now, then wanting to build a huge new car park on green belt land site. The pledge is now simply laughable.”
Heathrow want to build mega car park on greenbelt land
Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) Press Release
17th Jan 2018
Heathrow Airport Limited have today outlined proposals that would see vast swathes of green belt land around the airport used for buildings to support a third runway (1).
One building in particular would be a “new car park for the airport” on Little Harlington Playing Fields, for 20,000 vehicles (2), close to an air pollution monitor which has frequently broken legal air quality limits.
The proposals came to light in a consultation launched on Wednesday as part of its effort to build a third runway at Heathrow, despite ongoing parliamentary scrutiny as to whether the airport should expand altogether.
The plan to build a car park on green belt land is, according to campaigners, somewhat ironic given the airport have been pushing so-called environmental credentials of a third runway, including a specific pledge to have “no more airport-related traffic on the roads compared to today” (3). The pledge has been widely publicised, including to MPs, who will decide on whether Heathrow should expand later this year.
Rob Barnstone, Coordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “It is deeply disappointing and worrying for our local environment that Heathrow have expressed intent to build on so many green belt land sites.
“There is a great irony in pledging to have no additional cars using an expanded airport compared with now, then wanting to build a huge new car park on green belt land site. The pledge is now simply laughable.”
Spaces for 40,000 cars under Heathrow’s ‘green’ expansion
By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (Times)
January 18 2018,
Plans for Heathrow published yesterday contained proposals for car parks for up to 40,000 cars
The biggest car parks in the world could be built at Heathrow under plans for a third runway, despite a pledge to clampdown on motor traffic to the airport.
Detailed plans published yesterday contained proposals for two car parks for up to 20,000 cars each. The multi-storey structures could be on sites north and southwest of the airport. One could be built on playing fields.
The buildings would be as big as a shopping centre car park in Edmonton, Canada, the largest in the world.
The designs angered campaigners in west London who oppose expansion of the airport. They warned that they would make a mockery of a pledge to cut the number of vehicles being driven to Heathrow. A spokeswoman for the airport insisted that it represented an attempt to consolidate parking on a few multi-storey sites close to terminals rather than the present position in which several sprawling surface-level car parks were used.
Heathrow plans to introduce congestion charges to reduce the number of vehicles driven to the site. Prices may be based on emissions, with “cleaner, less polluting vehicles paying less”.
The proposals were outlined in plans for the third runway published by Heathrow yesterday, which will be subject to a ten-week public consultation.
The airport will eventually grow by 50 per cent to accommodate 740,000 flights a year under the £14 billion scheme, to be completed in late 2025.
The proposals do not include the location of new flight paths over London and the southeast, leading to claims that the airport is withholding the worst effects of expansion. Heathrow has about 51,500 parking spaces. Many will go when the new runway is built northwest of the airport.
Other facilities that need to be relocated include the headquarters of British Airways and the main Home Office immigration removal centre.
Opponents said that the plan “would see vast swathes of green belt land around the airport” for cars. The northern car park could be built on the Little Harlington playing field.
Robert Barnstone, co-ordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “There is a great irony in pledging to have no additional cars . . . then wanting to build a huge new car park on green belt land. The pledge is simply laughable.”
A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “Building on green belt land is justifiably only allowed in special circumstances, which our planning submission will have to prove exist with our expansion.”
Heathrow expansion: Green belt field could be turned into airport car park or relocated immigration centre
Little Harlington Playing Fields has been one of Hillingdon’s most used sporting facilities since the 1950s
By Qasim Peracha (Get West London)
22nd JAN 2018
Heathrow Airport has lined up a green belt playing field as a potential location for a new car park in its latest consultation.
The land at Little Harlington Playing Fields, just to the north of the current airport site, could be swallowed up if the third runway is built at the airport.
The green belt site could also be the location of the new Immigration Removal Centre, with Harmondsworth IRC set to shut down to make way for the proposed runway.
The land lies within Heathrow’s Compulsory Purchase Zone and is owned by Hillingdon Council, which currently rents it out as a local sports facility.
It has been the borough’s most used grass sporting facilities since the 1950s and is home to 19 football clubs as well as casual bookings for football and cricket.
The proposal has been dubbed “ironic” by anti-Heathrow campaigner Robert Barnstone, who highlighted the airport’s pledge to have “no more airport-related traffic on the roads compared to today”.
The pledge has been one of the cornerstones of the Heathrow proposal, presented to MPs ahead of a vote later this year which would finalise the hub as the government’s official site for airport expansion.
Rob Barnstone, coordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “It is deeply disappointing and worrying for our local environment that Heathrow have expressed intent to build on so many green belt land sites.
“There is a great irony in pledging to have no additional cars using an expanded airport compared with now, then wanting to build a huge new car park on green belt land site. The pledge is now simply laughable.”
The third runway will extend over the M25 but the length of it and options for the relocation of the M25 are up for consultation (Image: Heathrow Airport/Grimshaw Architects)
A spokesman for Heathrow told getwestlondon: “We are just at the first consultation phase and we have invited everyone to give feedback on the consultation.
“We are not at the stage where we have made decisions about where to put the car park.”
Hillingdon Council has been approached for comment but has not yet responded at the time of publishing.
Heathrow launched its first official consultation on infrastructure and airspace for the North West Runway on Wednesday (January 17).
The airport is holding 40 consultation events across neighbouring areas as part of the 10-week consultation allowing locals to feedback on options for the M25, runway length, terminal provisions and priorities for remapping airspace.
To find out more details about the consultation events, detailed proposals and to respond to the consultation visit the website . https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/
It has finally been announced, by Edouard Philippe (Prime Minister of France) that the proposed new airport for Nantes, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes (NDDL), has been abandoned. President Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe have buried the project, which has been seriously criticised for its cost and its environmental consequences. The leaders see the airport as impossible to build because of the fierce opposition by around half the population, so it just a constant source of division. Instead the executive backs re-development of the current Nantes-Atlantique airport, south of the city of Nantes, which will be modernised and have its runway lengthened. That would help a bit to lessen the noise from the flight path that goes over part of the city. The Prime Minister has also announced an expansion of the airport of Rennes-Saint-Jacques and a development of high-speed rail lines between the West and Paris airports. Opponents of the NDDL scheme are jubilant – the battle has lasted almost 50 years, and they almost lost on several occasions. But Edouard Philippe said the “zone to defend” (ZAD) will be cleared, so it is no longer a lawless area with blocked roads etc. Those occupying it will have to leave, and the land be returned to agricultural use.
“Notre-Dame-des-Landes is the airport of the division,” said Edouard Philippe Wednesday, to justify the abandonment of the project. More surprisingly, the evacuation will take place only in the spring.
No plane will take off at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe on Wednesday buried the project of new airport Nantes, criticized for its cost and its environmental consequences. “I see today that the conditions are not met to carry out the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project, said the Prime Minister from the Elysée, at the exit of a Council of Ministers which lasted until 13:30. Such a project […] can not be done in a context of heightened opposition between two almost equal parts of the population […] Notre-Dame-des-Landes, I can see it, is the airport of the division “ .
This is a redevelopment of the current Nantes-Atlantique airport that has retained the executive. He will see his current equipment modernized, then his track lengthened “to reduce noise pollution in Nantes,”promised Edouard Philippe. The Prime Minister has also announced an expansion of the airport of Rennes-Saint-Jacques and a development of high-speed rail lines between the West and Paris airports.
While the supporters of the airport denounce a “retreat” of the State against the occupants of the “zone to defend” (ZAD), Edouard Philippe promised the “end of this zone of lawlessness” : “The roads must be returned to free movement, obstacles removed, circulation restored. Otherwise, the police will proceed to the necessary operations “ . On the rest of the area, “illegal occupants will have to leave by the next spring or be expelled” . After which “the lands will return to their agricultural vocation” .
With this decision, the Head of State and his Prime Minister put an end to fifty years of procrastination around a project conceived under the Thirty Glorious, never launched, but never buried until today. Returning an unflattering image to unresolved public authorities, the file also symbolized the limits of French-style spatial planning. “For fifty years, the project was successively decided, abandoned, relaunched, re-examined, reconfigured, postponed , “ said the Prime Minister. Denouncing, in a series of allusions to the five-year Hollande, “the indecision of successive governments” .
Paradox: this denouement, major victory for the green current, will have been carried by two officials rather favorable, at the origin, with the new airport. “My first choice would have been to immediately allow this project,” did not hide Edouard Philippe Wednesday. As for Emmanuel Macron, he said during the presidential campaign his intention to “enforce” the consultation held in Loire-Atlantique in June 2016, where 55% of voters had supported the airport project. A few days later, however, the candidate said he wanted “one last time look at things”, and in particular the idea of a redevelopment of Nantes-Atlantique. After coming to power, neither the Head of State nor the Prime Minister had expressed any wish for the future of the project. Retreating for eight months behind a perfectly fair consultation .
By June 2016, the executive had entrusted three experts with a “mediation mission”. In a report submitted in December , it had weighed the construction of the new airport and the expansion of the current platform in Nantes. But gave the advantage to the second in terms of cost. At the beginning of January, in the wake of this report, Edouard Philippe had multiplied the meetings with local elected officials, favorable or opposed to the site. And made last Saturday, a surprise visit in Loire-Atlantique, without revealing anything of its intentions.
The decision opens two fronts for the executive. Perhaps facilitated by the abandonment of the project, the evacuation of the ZAD, even if it is pushed back in the spring, will still be a delicate operation. In a statement released Tuesday, the occupiers oppose “any expulsion of those who have come to live in recent years in the grove to defend and who want to continue to project their lives and activities . ” Available on the ZAD website, a document lists the locations and times of the rallies to be organized from the beginning of the expulsion, all over France. And especially in Nantes and Rennes, where police reinforcements have already been planned.
Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe will also have to deal with the discontent of local elected representatives, who are overwhelmingly in favor of a new airport. On Wednesday, the PS chairman of the Loire-Atlantique departmental council, Philippe Grosvalet, denounced a decision that “tramples the communities [and] the inhabitants” of the department. “Betrayal of the Great West and denial of democracy, ” added on Twitter the Mayor PS of Nantes, Johanna Rolland. While the president of the Pays de la Loire LR, Christelle Morançais, lamented “the victory of the zadistes on the rule of law.” A trial that the Prime Minister will try to disarm, receiving the parliamentarians of Loire-Atlantique to Matignon, this afternoon.
Aucun avion ne décollera à Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Emmanuel Macron et Edouard Philippe ont enterré mercredi le projet de nouvel aéroport nantais, critiqué pour son coût et ses conséquences environnementales. «Je constate aujourd’hui que les conditions ne sont pas réunies pour mener à bien le projet d’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, a déclaré le Premier ministre depuis l’Elysée, à la sortie d’un Conseil des ministres qui aura duré jusqu’à 13h30. Un tel projet […] ne peut se faire dans un contexte d’opposition exacerbée entre deux parties presque égales de la population […] Notre-Dame-des-Landes, je le constate, c’est l’aéroport de la division».
C’est un réaménagement de l’aéroport actuel de Nantes-Atlantique qu’a retenu l’exécutif. Celui-ci verra ses équipements actuels modernisés, puis sa piste allongée «pour réduire les nuisances sonores à Nantes», a promis Edouard Philippe. Le Premier ministre a en outre annoncé un agrandissement de l’aéroport de Rennes-Saint-Jacques et un développement des lignes ferroviaires à grande vitesse entre l’Ouest et les aéroports de Paris.
Alors que les partisans de l’aéroport dénoncent un «recul» de l’Etat face aux occupants de la «zone à défendre» (ZAD), Edouard Philippe a promis la «fin de cette zone de non-droit» : «Les routes doivent être rendues à la libre circulation, les obstacles retirés, la circulation rétablie. À défaut, les forces de l’ordre procèderont aux opérations nécessaires». Sur le reste de la zone, «les occupants illégaux devront partir d’eux-mêmes d’ici le printemps prochain ou seront expulsés». Après quoi «les terres retrouveront leur vocation agricole».
Avec cette décision, le chef de l’Etat et son Premier ministre mettent un terme à cinquante ans de tergiversations autour d’un projet conçu sous les Trente Glorieuses, jamais lancé, mais jamais enterré jusqu’à ce jour. Renvoyant une image peu flatteuse à des pouvoirs publics irrésolus, le dossier symbolisait aussi les limites de l’aménagement du territoire à la française. «Durant cinquante ans, le projet a été successivement décidé, abandonné, relancé, rééxaminé, reconfiguré, remis à plus tard», a souligné le Premier ministre. Dénonçant, dans une série d’allusions au quinquennat Hollande, «l’indécision des gouvernements successifs».
Paradoxe : ce dénouement, victoire majeure pour le courant écologiste, aura été porté par deux responsables plutôt favorables, à l’origine, au nouvel aéroport. «Mon premier choix aurait été d’autoriser sans délai ce projet», n’a pas caché Edouard Philippe mercredi. Quant à Emmanuel Macron, il avait dit pendant la campagne présidentielle son intention de «faire respecter» la consultation organisée en Loire-Atlantique en juin 2016, où 55% des votants avaient soutenu le projet d’aéroport. Quelques jours plus tard, le candidat avait cependant déclaré vouloir «une dernière fois regarder les choses», et notamment l’idée d’un réaménagement de Nantes-Atlantique. Après leur arrivée au pouvoir, ni le chef de l’Etat ni le Premier ministre n’avaient exprimé le moindre vœu sur l’avenir du projet. Se retranchant, durant huit mois, derrière une consultation voulue parfaitement équitable.
Dès juin 2016, l’exécutif avait confié à trois experts une «mission de médiation». Dans un rapport remis en décembre, celle-ci avait mis en balance la construction du nouvel aéroport et l’agrandissement de l’actuelle plate-forme nantaise. Mais donnait l’avantage à la deuxième en termes de coût. Début janvier, dans la foulée de ce rapport, Edouard Philippe avait multiplié les rencontres avec les élus locaux, favorables ou opposés au chantier. Et effectué, samedi dernier, une visite surprise en Loire-Atlantique, sans rien y dévoiler de ses intentions.
La décision ouvre deux fronts pour l’exécutif. Peut-être facilitée par l’abandon du projet, l’évacuation de la ZAD, même si elle est repoussée au printemps, n’en sera pas moins une opération délicate. Dans un communiqué publié mardi, les occupants s’opposent à «toute expulsion de celles et ceux qui sont venus habiter ces dernières années dans le bocage pour le défendre et qui souhaitent continuer à y projeter leurs vies et leurs activités». Consultable sur le site de la ZAD, un document énumère les lieux et horaires des rassemblements à organiser dès le début de l’expulsion, partout en France. Et notamment à Nantes et Rennes, où des renforts policiers ont d’ores et déjà été projetés.
Emmanuel Macron et Edouard Philippe devront également gérer le mécontentement des élus locaux, très majoritairement favorables à un nouvel aéroport. Mercredi, le président PS du conseil départemental de Loire-Atlantique, Philippe Grosvalet, a dénoncé une décision qui «piétine les collectivités [et] les habitants» du département. «Trahison du Grand Ouest et déni de démocratie», a renchéri sur Twitter la maire PS de Nantes, Johanna Rolland. Tandis que la présidente LR des Pays de la Loire, Christelle Morançais, a déploré «la victoire des zadistes sur l’Etat de droit». Un procès que le Premier ministre s’efforcera de désarmer, en recevant les parlementaires de Loire-Atlantique à Matignon, dès cet après-midi.
The Notre-Dame-des-Landes file is coming to an end. Opened fifty years ago, it is the oldest environmental conflict in France . The airport of the discord has become the symbol, for the defenders of the environment , of the “big useless projects”. Fifty years of struggle, of stagnation, of legal battle.
The 1970s: Concord and Decentralization
It was at the end of the 1960s that the idea of an airport for the West was born, as part of the decentralization promoted by the interministerial delegation to regional planning and regional attractiveness. Nantes Atlantique Airport (formerly Château-Bougon) is considered unsuitable to accommodate the millions of passengers expected. It is a question of transatlantic flights and to land the national flagship, the Concorde.
The lands of the grove, some twenty kilometers north of Nantes and eighty kilometers south of Rennes , mainly in the town of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, were designated in 1968 as a preferential site. While the city council, like those of neighboring towns, vote in favor of the project , some farmers oppose. “We would have liked not so much,” said a resident of the town in a television report of 1974.
The first opponents created in 1972 the Association of Defense Operators concerned by the airport (Adeca). A small delegation goes to Orly (Val-de-Marne) to record airplane noises and collect testimonials from local residents. In January 1974, a prefectural decree fixed the deferred development zone (ZAD) which enabled the department to acquire some 1,200 ha (the total project area being 1,650 ha).
The airport project is put to sleep for fifteen years, because of the oil crisis and the arrival of the TGV to Nantes (1989). The idea of a third Parisian airport is promoted in 1994 and Notre-Dame-des-Landes remains in the race. In 2000, the project is reactivated by the socialist government of Lionel Jospin. In October, an interministerial committee decided to “build a new airport, replacing Nantes Atlantique, on the site of Notre-Dame-des-Landes” .
The appearance of sound exposure plans, prohibiting or limiting buildings exposed to aircraft noise, is contrary to the will of the mayor (PS) of Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, to urbanize the island of Nantes. The latter is very attached to the idea of having an infrastructure equal to the major European airports. In December 2000, the Inter-communal Citizens’ Association of the populations concerned by the airport project (Acipa) was created.
In 2003, the advisory committee of the public debate is set up. Three years later, on the basis of the public declaration file (DUP), the public inquiry is organized . On February 9, 2008, the state signed the decree (for ten years) declaring public utility the construction of the new airport.
In 2009, is born the Collective of elected officials doubting the relevance of the airport (CéDpa). The summer of that year is held on the site referred a ” climate action camp “. In the wake, the first occupations are born and the ZAD is renamed “area to defend.”
The 2010s: “zadistes” against “legalistes”
In December 2010, Prime Minister François Fillon ( UMP ) signed the decree awarding the concession to the company Vinci, for a period of fifty-five years, the existing airports of Nantes Atlantique and Saint-Nazaire Montoir, as well as of the future Notre-Dame-des-Landes. The opening of the new site is scheduled for 2017. Vinci will be the victim of many actions throughout France.
Many appeals are filed by the opponents. The trials succeed and the legal battle will last for several years. In April 2012, two farmers, Michel Tarin and Gilles Denigot, went on a hunger strike in front of the prefecture of Nantes. François Hollande ensures that there will be no intervention on the area before the end of all appeals.
On October 16, 2012 in the early morning, the government of Jean-Marc Ayrault – Manuel Valls is Minister of the Interior – launches the operation “César” to evacuate the ZAD. But the violent clashes lead the government to suspend the operation. On November 17, tens of thousands of people demonstrate to reoccupy the area. A week later, the Prime Minister announced the creation of three commissions (experts, dialogue and scientists). In April 2013, the Dialogue Commission concluded that the project was valid, but called into question the compensation measures planned.
During the year 2013, the occupations multiply and many agricultural projects are born. On February 22, several tens of thousands of demonstrators, supported by some 500 tractors, parade in the center of Nantes. Violent incidents punctuate the event.
Trials and appeals continue to be chained. They are all lost by the opponents of the project. In January 2016, the district court of Nantes validates the expulsions of the inhabitants and farmers, historical opponents. Ségolène Royal, then Minister of the Environment, commissioned a study to the General Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CGEDD), which proposes, on April 5, two solutions: the airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes but with only one track on both planned, or the redevelopment of Nantes Atlantique.
On February 11, François Hollande proposes a local referendum. It will be held on the only department of Loire-Atlantique and will give, on June 26, the victory to supporters of the transfer of the airport to Notre-Dames-des-Landes (55.1% for).
In April, the European Commission classifies the dispute, initiated three years earlier, on France’s failure to comply with regulations on the environmental impacts of infrastructure projects. The administrative court of appeal of Nantes validates, it, in November, the prefectural orders – the Council of State is always seized of the recourses of the opponents.
2017-2018: the last consultations?
With the election of Emmanuel Macron in May, then the appointment of Nicolas Hulot – opponent of the airport project – at the head of the Ministry of ecological transition and solidarity, the suspense is revived. In a campaign promise, the Head of State announced that he will make a decision after having heard a final report. Three mediators are appointed on June 1 st . Mid-December, they make their work without taking advantage of the construction of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes according to the initial project or for the redevelopment of Nantes Atlantique. After consulting local elected officials, the Prime Minister reiterates that the decision will be announced before the end of January.
Notre-Dames-des-Landes : cinquante ans de batailles
Le projet de nouvel aéroport près de Nantes a suivi un très long parcours institutionnel émaillé de nombreuses confrontations sur le terrain.
Par Rémi Barroux
Le dossier Notre-Dame-des-Landes touche à sa fin. Ouvert il y a cinquante ans, il constitue le plus ancien conflit environnemental en France. L’aéroport de la discorde est devenu le symbole, pour les défenseurs de l’environnement, des « grands projets inutiles ». Cinquante ans de lutte, d’enlisement, de bataille juridique.
C’est à la fin des années 1960 que naît l’idée d’un aéroport pour le Grand Ouest, dans le cadre de la décentralisation promue par la délégation interministérielle à l’aménagement du territoire et à l’attractivité régionale. L’aéroport de Nantes Atlantique (anciennement Château-Bougon) est jugé inadapté pour accueillir les millions de passagers prévus. Il est alors question de vols transatlantiques et de faire atterrir le fleuron aéronautique national, le Concorde.
Les terres du bocage, à une vingtaine kilomètres au nord de Nantes et à quatre-vingts kilomètres au sud de Rennes, majoritairement sur la commune de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, sont désignées, en 1968, comme site préférentiel. Alors que le conseil municipal, comme ceux des bourgs voisins, vote en faveur du projet, certains agriculteurs s’opposent. « On aurait autant aimé pas », déclare un habitant de la commune dans un reportage télévisé de 1974.
Les premiers opposants créent en 1972 l’Association de défense des exploitants concernés par l’aéroport (Adeca). Une petite délégation se rend à Orly (Val-de-Marne) enregistrer des bruits d’avion et recueillir des témoignages de riverains. En janvier 1974, un arrêté préfectoral fixe la zone d’aménagement différé (ZAD) qui permet au département d’acquérir quelque 1 200 ha (la surface totale du projet étant de 1 650 ha).
Le projet d’aéroport est mis en sommeil durant une quinzaine d’années, à cause de la crise pétrolière et de l’arrivée du TGV à Nantes (1989). L’idée d’un troisième aéroport parisien est promue en 1994 et Notre-Dame-des-Landes reste dans la course. En 2000, le projet est réactivé par le gouvernement socialiste de Lionel Jospin. En octobre, un comité interministériel décide de « réaliser un nouvel aéroport, en remplacement de Nantes Atlantique, sur le site de Notre-Dame-des-Landes ».
L’apparition des plans d’exposition au bruit, interdisant ou limitant les constructions exposées au bruit des avions, contrarie la volonté du maire (PS) de Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, d’urbaniser l’île de Nantes. Ce dernier est très attaché à l’idée de disposer d’une infrastructure à l’égal des grands aéroports européens. En décembre 2000, l’Association citoyenne intercommunale des populations concernées par le projet d’aéroport (Acipa) est créée.
En 2003 se met en place la commission consultative du débat public. Trois ans plus tard, sur la base du dossier de déclaration publique (DUP), est organisée l’enquête publique. Le 9 février 2008, l’Etat signe le décret (pour dix ans) déclarant d’utilité publique la construction du nouvel aéroport.
En 2009, naît le Collectif d’élus doutant de la pertinence de l’aéroport (CéDpa). L’été de cette même année se tient sur le site visé un « camp d’action climat ». Dans la foulée, les premières occupations voient le jour et la ZAD est rebaptisée « zone à défendre ».
Les années 2010 : « zadistes » contre « légalistes »
En décembre 2010, le premier ministre François Fillon (UMP) signe le décret d’attribution de la concession à la société Vinci, pour une durée de cinquante-cinq ans, des aéroports existant de Nantes Atlantique et de Saint-Nazaire Montoir, ainsi que du futur Notre-Dame-des-Landes. L’ouverture du nouveau site est prévue en 2017. Vinci sera dans la foulée victime de nombreuses actions un peu partout en France.
De nombreux recours sont déposés par les opposants. Les procès se succèdent et la bataille juridique va durer plusieurs années. En avril 2012, deux agriculteurs, Michel Tarin et Gilles Denigot, font une grève de la faim devant la préfecture de Nantes. François Hollande assure qu’il n’y aura pas d’intervention sur la zone avant la fin de tous les recours.
Le 16 octobre 2012 au petit matin, le gouvernement de Jean-Marc Ayrault – Manuel Valls est ministre de l’intérieur – lance l’opération « César » pour évacuer la ZAD. Mais les violents affrontements conduisent le gouvernement à suspendre l’opération. Le 17 novembre, plusieurs dizaines de milliers de personnes manifestent pour réoccuper la zone. Une semaine plus tard, le premier ministre annonce la création de trois commissions (experts, dialogue et scientifiques). La commission du dialogue conclut, en avril 2013, à la validité du projet, mais remet en question les mesures de compensation prévues.
Durant l’année 2013, les occupations se multiplient et de nombreux projets agricoles voient le jour. Le 22 février, plusieurs dizaines de milliers de manifestants, appuyés par quelque 500 tracteurs, défilent dans le centre de Nantes. De violents incidents ponctuent la manifestation.
Les procès et les recours continuent de s’enchaîner. Ils sont tous perdus par les opposants au projet. En janvier 2016, le tribunal de grande instance de Nantes valide les expulsions des habitants et agriculteurs, opposants historiques. Ségolène Royal, alors ministre de l’environnement, commande une étude au Conseil général à l’environnement et au développement durable (CGEDD), qui propose, le 5 avril, deux solutions : l’aéroport à Notre-Dame-des-Landes mais avec une seule piste sur les deux prévues, ou le réaménagement de Nantes Atlantique.
Le 11 février, François Hollande propose un référendum local. Il se tiendra sur le seul département de Loire-Atlantique et donnera, le 26 juin, la victoire aux partisans du transfert de l’aéroport vers Notre-Dames-des-Landes (55,1 % pour).
En avril, la Commission européenne classe le contentieux, engagé trois ans plus tôt, sur le non-respect par la France des réglementations sur les impacts environnementaux des projets d’infrastructure. La cour administrative d’appel de Nantes valide, elle, en novembre, les arrêtés préfectoraux – le Conseil d’Etat est toujours saisi des recours des opposants.
2017-2018 : les dernières consultations ?
Avec l’élection d’Emmanuel Macron en mai, puis la nomination de Nicolas Hulot – opposant au projet d’aéroport – à la tête du ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire, le suspense est relancé. Suivant une promesse de campagne, le chef de l’Etat annonce qu’il prendra une décision après avoir pris connaissance d’un ultime rapport. Trois médiateurs sont nommés le 1er juin. Mi-décembre, ils rendent leur travail sans prendre parti pour la construction de l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes selon le projet initial ou pour le réaménagement de Nantes Atlantique. Après consultation des élus locaux, le premier ministre réaffirme que la décision sera annoncée avant la fin du mois de janvier.
Heathrow will publish its public consultations, on its hopes for a 3rd runway, on Wednesday 17th January. It says this is to gather public feedback on its proposals, to help refine its plans further (ie. see what tweaks it needs to make, to try and get round the most serious criticisms). The consultations will include options for how to get the runway to cross Britain’s busiest motorway, the M25, and provide detail on the cost-cutting it has envisaged to trim £2.5bn off expansion costs. Meanwhile London’s deputy mayor for transport, Val Shawcross, has said that she and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are in “no doubt that the government is pushing ahead with the wrong option.” She said there are currently “no significant plans for investment in public transport access to the airport.” This would come at an immense cost to Londoners, and Val said it was “a disastrous failing and it’s vital that the government acknowledges these insurmountable flaws and changes course now”. Labour’s shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald said: ‘Heathrow’s planning consultation must provide firm commitments on noise, air pollution, climate change and wider UK airport growth to ensure support from Labour MPs, the public and the aviation industry.”
Heathrow hails expansion progress as critics warn of ‘insurmountable flaws’
Monday 15 January 2018
By Rebecca Smith (City AM)
A key milestone looms for Heathrow this week, as the airport launches a consultation with fleshed-out revamped proposals for expansion to appease critics.
London’s biggest airport will on Wednesday start a public planning consultation on the project, to gather public feedback on its proposals which it said will help refine its plans further.
It will set out the options for addressing the question of how to cross Britain’s busiest motorway, the M25, and provide detail on the cost-cutting it has envisaged to trim £2.5bn off expansion costs.
The Transport Select Committee meanwhile, will meet today for another session scrutinising the government’s airports national policy statement (NPS), setting out its case for progressing with the third runway.
London’s deputy mayor for transport Val Shawcross is among those giving evidence, with mayor Sadiq Khan a vocal critic of the third runway.
“We know that the south east needs greater airport capacity to support economic growth, but Sadiq is in no doubt that the government is pushing ahead with the wrong option,” she said.
“An expanded Heathrow will undermine London’s ability to meet legal air quality limits, have dire consequences on the roads, continue to cause significant noise harm to Londoners and all for fewer economic benefits than a second runway at Gatwick,” Shawcross added, saying currently there were “no significant plans for investment in public transport access to the airport” provided.
Shawcross said this was “a disastrous failing and it’s vital that the government acknowledges these insurmountable flaws and changes course now”.
A parliament vote looms on the government’s NPS too, set to go before MPs in the summer.
Labour’s shadow transport secretary has said he thinks there will be sufficient backing in parliament but says key questions still need to be answered by Heathrow.
Andy McDonald said: “‘Heathrow’s planning consultation must provide firm commitments on noise, air pollution, climate change and wider UK airport growth to ensure support from Labour MPs, the public and the aviation industry.”
Business groups are keen to see the proposals progress, but say the airport is not home and dry just yet.
“As we progress towards expansion at Heathrow, it will be critical for the airport to work with local communities and find practical ways to mitigate the impact – this public consultation and ongoing scrutiny are important parts of the process,” said David Leam, infrastructure director at London First.
Sean McKee, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s director of policy said: “With Brexit on the horizon and the main political focus being what Britain’s future trading arrangements might look like, now more than ever do we need to be considering the practicalities how to connect our island economy to the rest of the world.”
Heathrow meanwhile, says the consultation “represents a major milestone to deliver Heathrow expansion in a way that is fair to our local communities, meets or exceeds strict environmental targets set by the Airports Commission and creates opportunities for businesses that will deliver a stronger, more sustainable UK in a post Brexit world”.
A spokesperson for the airport said: “Heathrow remains on track to deliver a once-in-a-generation boost for the economy, in a way that is affordable, financeable and deliverable.”