Swedish flygskam (or flight shame) is spreading across Europe – Finland, Germany … Brits yet to catch on….

Fears about climate change have led many to rethink the way they travel and, in Sweden, there is a new word – flygskam (flying shame) – for the shame associated with flying, knowing the carbon emissions it causes. The subject has come higher up the agenda with the vast protests in Central London by Extinction Rebellion, since Monday 15th April.  And there are protests in many other cities and countries. The Swedes are now travelling a bit less by air, and a bit more by rail. But it’s not just the Swedes racked with guilt about their carbon footprints. The Finnish have invented the word “lentohapea”, the Dutch say “vliegschaamte” and the Germans “flugscham”, all referring to a feeling of shame around flying.  Brits are lagging behind … The Swedish rail company reported 32 million passengers in 2018, a good increase. Many understand that flying has a huge negative climate impact, and there are other words associated with this: “tagskryt” (train bragging) and “smygflyga” (flying in secret). The 16 year old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, started the world wide movement of school strikes, to draw attention to climate change, only travels by train to meetings in other countries.
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How flygskam (or flight shame) is spreading across Europe

Fears over climate change have led many to rethink the way they travel and, in Sweden, they’ve even invented a new word for the shame associated with flying

By  JULIANA PISKORZ 

Climate change and travel have been on the lips of most Londoners this week thanks to the Extinction Rebellion protest group currently camped out in Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square.

In order to escalate the protest Extinction Rebellion announced plans to disrupt London’s rail and tube lines today, a move which Sadiq Khan said in a Twitter statement would “damage the cause for all of us who want to tackle climate change.”

The Swedes meanwhile have wholeheartedly embraced their rail network. SJ, Sweden’s national rail service, reported a record 32 million customers last year. The company attributes “the big interest in climate-smart travel” to its unprecedented growth.

16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. (REUTERS)

Flying, on the other hand, has become almost taboo as a result of its negative impact on the environment. And, in typical Scandinavian style (see hygge, lagom etc), they have created a roster of new words to describe this antipathy: “flygskam” (flying shame), “tagskryt” (train bragging) and “smygflyga” (flying in secret).

The move away from air travel was spearheaded by teen activist Greta Thunberg, who single-handedly kicked off the student climate strikes after boycotting school once a week to raise awareness for climate change. Thunberg refuses to fly and travelled by train to the World Economic Forum in Davos and the climate summit in Poland, while 1500 delegates flew in by private jet.

Swedavia AB, which operates 10 Swedish airports including the ones in Stockholm and Gothenburg, has seen year-on-year passenger numbers drop for seven consecutive months. In 2018 the company reported its weakest overall passenger growth in a decade.

As ever, social media is playing a substantial part in turning the tide of opinion against air travel. One anonymous Swedish Instagram account has amassed more than 60,000 followers for shaming influencers promoting trips to far-flung destinations and the hash tag #StayOnTheGround has been trending on twitter.

But it’s not just the Swedes racked with guilt about their carbon footprints. The Finnish have invented the word “lentohapea”, the Dutch say “vliegschaamte” and the Germans “flugscham”, all referring to a feeling of shame around flying.

In contrast, in the UK, plans continue for a third runway at Heathrow despite the airport already being the biggest single source of CO2 emissions in the UK and claims that a third runway would cause aviation emissions to rise by 4.9 million tonnes by 2030.

https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/flight-shame-europe-sweden-a4120231.html

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Climate Change Shame Has Swedes Abandoning Planes and Taking Trains

By  Hanna Hoikkala and Niklas Magnusson,

Bloomberg

Apr 14, 2019

Take Is airline passenger behaviour in Sweden, where the numbers have been dropping, an outlier, or a sign of things to come? What is certainly true is this is a signal to airlines to get their efforts to reduce their carbon footprints in high gear.

In the country that gave the world teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, shame connected with traveling on airplanes that guzzle fossil fuels may now be having a real impact on travel patterns.

Swedavia AB, which operates 10 Swedish airports including the ones outside Stockholm and Gothenburg, has seen year-on-year passenger numbers drop for seven consecutive months. Last year, Sweden had its weakest overall growth in passenger numbers in a decade.

At the same time, passenger numbers at state train operator SJ jumped to a record 32 million last year due to “the big interest in climate-smart travel.”

The phenomenon, known as “flying shame,” is putting pressure on airlines to up efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

SAS AB’s Scandinavian Airlines is taking a series of measures, including replacing older airplane models with more fuel-efficient ones, and seeking to use more biofuel.

The carrier that’s partly owned by the Swedish and Danish governments is also switching heavy seating for lighter and asking customers to pre-book food. Those steps will reduce the weight of its planes and thereby cut fuel consumption. In addition, it seeks to offset the emissions from flights made by its Eurobonus club members by investing in energy projects that generate a compensation equivalent to the amount of CO2 emitted.

In the past decade, SAS has overhauled one of Europe’s least-efficient aircraft fleets. It phased out fuel-thirsty McDonnell Douglas MD-80 planes and placed orders for Airbus SE’s latest A320neo-series narrow-body as well as the twin-aisle A350-900, which is due to join the fleet this year.

For SAS Chief Executive Officer Rickard Gustafson, the matter is existential. Unless society — and airlines — address climate change, the world as we know it may cease to exist. But as airlines are an integral part of the globalized world we live in, he doesn’t believe the answer is to stop flying. Instead, airlines must take measures to cut pollution and become more sustainable until the day comes when there are engines that don’t rely on fossil fuels.

“Airlines, like other infrastructure, are needed in order for us to have the societies we want, with growth, transparency, openness, clarity and tolerance,” he said in an interview at SAS’s headquarters in Stockholm. “It’s important that people can continue to meet and that the world can continue to travel. But we can’t continue to just travel without adjusting to a sustainable way.”

The issue is rising on the agenda of airlines as customers become more and more climate conscious, particularly in Sweden.

ASHAMED TO FLY

Flying shame, where people feel ashamed to use any mode of transport that uses fossil fuel, is on the rise in Sweden. According to a survey by the World Wildlife Fund, 23 percent of Swedes have abstained from traveling by air in the past year to reduce their climate impact, up 6 percentage points from a year earlier. Some 18 percent have chosen to travel by train rather than air.

A separate recent survey by Swedish Radio showed that the climate is the most important political topic for young people today. That development coincides with Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s movement, where thousands of pupils across the world regularly hold protests to try to force political leaders to take action on the environment. Thunberg travels by train whenever she appears at events in Europe.

In addition to “flygskam” (flying shame), Swedes have adapted to new words describing the shift, including “tagskryt” (train bragging) and “smygflyga,” or fly in secret.

Even Swedavia, the airport operator, seems to be feeling the pressure. In its past two monthly reports on passenger numbers, it included comments on how it is working to become more sustainable. That includes increasing the use of biofuel at its airports and making sure that all Swedavia airports produce zero fossil CO2 emissions from their own operations by 2020.

FALLING NUMBERS

According to Swedavia, the climate debate is one reason behind its falling passenger numbers, along with factors such as concerns about the Swedish stock and housing markets, a weak Swedish krona, and geopolitical uncertainties. The impact is evident especially on domestic travel, which dropped 3 percent last year.

 

[Then it goes on with unrealistic stuff on biofuels….]

For SAS, one of the key measures is to use more biofuel, which unlike fossil fuel has been produced through current biological processes rather than geological processes. Such fuel is considered carbon neutral, as the CO2 absorbed by the plants used to produce it is equal to the gas that’s released when the fuel is burned.

But there is a problem — there just isn’t enough biofuel around. To help solve the supply issue, SAS has teamed up with refinery Preem to increase production of biofuel in Sweden as it seeks to use biofuel corresponding to all its domestic fuel consumption by 2030. That’s part of a broader plan to cut total carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2030 compared to the base year 2005. There is also a cost involved, as biofuel is more expensive than fossil fuel.

Given that passengers appear to becoming more and more climate conscious, airlines may have no choice but to make that switch. They could even become a selling point.

“The journey toward a fossil-free footprint will be long, but I’m a technology optimist,” Gustafson said. “One day a scientist will figure out how to replace the current jet engine, and I think those planes will become available to all of us in, say, 20 years’ time.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Hanna Hoikkala and Niklas Magnusson from Bloomberg

https://skift.com/2019/04/14/climate-change-shame-has-swedes-abandoning-planes-and-taking-trains/

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See earlier:

 

The concept of “flying shame” is growing in Sweden – shame if you fly too much – due to the CO2 emissions

Many Northern Europeans have “flying shame” because of the climate: they stay on the ground while traveling. Rail travel is becoming increasingly popular. Some people in Sweden are cutting down on flying, and believe the carbon emissions are a matter of shame. The word for it is “flugsham” or “flygskam” and this is becoming a common concept, akin to ‘flying less” in English. A celebrity athlete is well know for only travelling to sporting events if he can get there by train. The Swedes are among the frequent flyers. They fly 7 times more than average global citizens.  While Sweden’s total CO2 emissions have fallen by 24% since 1990, air traffic grew by 61% in that time. A prominent writer in a popular newspaper  denounced the “idiotic lifestyle” of frequent flying as the “most expensive suicide in world history”. Researchers and artists responded: “Flying is no longer an alternative for them”.  People realise that we cannot go on with expanding aviation. A Facebook page on travelling by long-distance rail, rather than flying, had 30,000 followers in a few months. As well as the hashtag #flyingless there is the Swedish counterpart in #jagstannarpåmarken: “I’ll stay on the ground”. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/11/the-concept-of-flying-shame-is-growing-in-sweden-shame-if-you-fly-too-much-due-to-the-co2-emissions/

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“Flight Free” blog – “Why we stopped carbon-offsetting our flying, and then stopped flying”

New campaign “Flight Free” is asking people to sign up and pledge not to fly in 2020 (or ideally not in this year either ….) We need people to choose to cut their flying voluntarily, because government is never going to introduce measures to cut demand for air travel – it would risk displeasing too many voters. The Flight Free website has blogs by people who have pledged not to fly, or have already given up flying. One comments on their past flying: “…going on adventures to the other side of the world was one of our treats. We thought we’d earned it. We felt like responsible tourists, keen to explore local cultures and wildlife. Happy to tip local guides and to buy hand crafted items direct from local artisans …”.  And then “We started carbon offsetting our flying. Planting trees that would absorb our CO2 and pump out oxygen in the process. It was a win, win.  We felt better for a year or two. In effect we had thrown money at the problem but we hadn’t gone through any radical change of behaviour and we were still enjoying the same experiences, from wildlife safaris to snorkelling with turtles”. Then they gave up flying:  “This is a Climate Emergency and we need to change our behaviour individually and collectively now.”
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“Why we stopped carbon-offsetting our flying”

Eco-designer and doctor Linda Thomas explains why carbon offsetting turned out not to be the answer in the quest for a low-carbon life

Blog for by Linda Thomas
2nd April 2019  (Flight Free website)
It’s been a journey. When we fell in love, we both worked hard in ‘caring’ professions, and going on adventures to the other side of the world was one of our treats. We thought we’d earned it. We felt like responsible tourists, keen to explore local cultures and wildlife. Happy to tip local guides and to buy hand crafted items direct from local artisans without unscrupulous bargaining.

Then the magazine arrived. An article in ‘The Ecologist’ about the impact of flying. How could flying be so bad and we hadn’t realised it? We couldn’t look the other way. So what did we do? We started carbon offsetting our flying. Planting trees that would absorb our CO2 and pump out oxygen in the process. It was a win, win.

We felt better for a year or two. In effect we had thrown money at the problem but we hadn’t gone through any radical change of behaviour and we were still enjoying the same experiences, from wildlife safaris to snorkelling with turtles. At one point, we had even been swimming around a reef that was 90% bleached coral and we made no connection with our own actions and what was happening in the oceans. I remember one friend (who flies more than us) commenting on how we always seem like we’re going on honeymoon as we visited places that many newly weds go. They were incredible. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t flying all the time – usually once a year.

Then we read something else: one return long haul flight could undo all the CO2 saved by someone living off grid for a whole year. We talked about it, as we still do (but now with our son too). We didn’t feel OK about flying anymore. Trees take a long time to grow. This climate issue was urgent and we were banking on trees letting our emissions off the hook over the next 100 years, and they might not even last that long. So we decided we would stop flying altogether. That was over 13 years ago. Honestly, we really missed it for the first few years and then again when our son turned out to adore wildlife so much. We felt mean that we had experienced things that we were not letting him do. However, he has never asked us to take him on that flight. He sees what is going on and he doesn’t want to fly. He would love to go on safari but thank goodness he hasn’t got the all too common mentality of “I’d like to see this lovely animal/place/culture before we make it extinct”.

The adventures didn’t stop. We love exploring locally and have had close encounters with wildlife near to our home as varied as wild boar, deer, many species of bird as well as dolphin and seals. We typically travel to Europe by train once a year and we have had numerous incredible experiences with octopus and beautiful fish as well as owls, reptiles, birds and bats. All with really low tech equipment: good walking shoes/sandals and a snorkel. We have also travelled by train with our inflatable stand up paddleboards which was a new way to explore the coastline. We enjoy our train journeys, usually incorporating a city stay en route in Paris or Barcelona, and having a sense of where we really are in the world. The journey is part of the holiday.

We have also given up work flying too. This was not such a big deal for us compared with many people, but it still matters. Giving up flying for work has a double impact and a triple impact if you also have a high profile. In the words of Professor Julia Steinberger our “ripple effect” is even more important than our personal impact. If we stop flying and inform others why we are doing so then we can bring about more change than just changing our own behaviour. When you offer alternatives or turn down something altogether because of flying, by its very nature you are then causing another organisation to think about flying and their business. This might be fleeting or it might be a game changer, so never doubt that saying no to one flight can have an impact.

There are three important questions to ask yourself:

1. Do I believe climate change is real?

2. Do I want to respond to it?

3. Am I prepared to stop flying?

If the answer is yes, then educate yourself so that you really know why you are making this change, it will really help. Then look at what you’re going to add in and not just what you’re going to take away. Have you always wanted to walk around the Cornish coast path, or immerse yourself in the Welsh mountains or escape to a Scottish loch? Explore new ways to travel. I thoroughly recommend www.seat61.org for train travel as he gives every route option imaginable as well as easy links for buying tickets.

This is a Climate Emergency and we need to change our behaviour individually and collectively now.

Linda Thomas makes luxury up-cycled clothing at Linda Thomas Eco Design, based in Bristol. For more, visit her website.

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Make the pledge to be flight-free in 2020

#flightfree2020

By Flight Free UK 

https://www.flightfree.co.uk/pledge

Flight Free UK is a people-powered campaign which asks people to agree not to fly in the year of 2020 – knowing that 100,000 others have pledged to do the same. It’s about taking collective responsibility to reduce the amount we fly in order to lessen our impact on the planet.

​Flying less is one of the most powerful ways we as individuals can reduce our carbon footprint, and with experts predicting that we have just a handful of years to take meaningful action on climate change, there has never been a better time to address the issue.

​Many of us fly without a second thought – it is an ingrained part of our culture, and a part of our global society, as people, goods and services are transported around the globe. Flight Free UK aims to raise awareness of the impact of those flights and inspire people to take action.

​It is easy to think that individual actions don’t make a difference, and not to bother trying. But if we can show that there are 100,000 people who are prepared to take an air-free year, we send a clear signal to industry and politicians – and also to each other – that there are many who are willing to change their lifestyles to protect the climate.

Please sign up !
https://www.flightfree.co.uk/pledge

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West Sussex County Council votes to do more on climate – but Gatwick airport intends to instead vastly increase its CO2 emissions

West Sussex County Council has agreed unanimously to back an amended motion pledging action on climate change. South East Climate Alliance (SECA) campaigners hailed this as a potential ‘tipping point’ for the area. Two of the commitments made were to try to make the C County Council itself carbon neutral, and encourage residents and businesses to do more to help tackle climate change.  Council members were invited to make personal pledges on things like saving water and energy, and making low carbon journeys (air travel not mentioned specifically). Louise Goldsmith, Council Leader, said:  ” … we really do need everyone young, old and not so old and all businesses to come together and do their bit to become more sustainable…”  CAGNE attended the meeting, and Sally Pavey commented that aviation issues were included in the debate – Gatwick airport is in West Sussex, and is probably the largest carbon emitter in the area (about 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year). Cllr Liz Kitchen and Cllr Bill Acraman, raised the issue of Gatwick expansion, which would hugely increase the airport’s carbon, undoing any good done by local carbon cuts by individuals, businesses or the council.
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West Sussex County Council commits to do more to tackle climate change

5 April 2019 (West Sussex County Council website)

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A pledge to work towards making West Sussex County Council carbon neutral and the prioritisation of a campaign to encourage residents and businesses to do more to help tackle climate change were just two of the environmental commitments made at a meeting in Chichester today (Friday 5 April).During a debate at Full Council, West Sussex County Council members heard about the progress already being made in the county to adapt to our changing climate as well as updates on a range of initiatives for the future.A ‘notice of motion’ was agreed which said that it was imperative that all countries reduce their carbon emissions as soon as possible and that it is important  that the West Sussex County Council commits to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.

Deborah Urquhart, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “The County Council has already committed to halve its carbon footprint by 2022 compared to a decade earlier. Last year we achieved a 17 per cent reduction in our carbon emissions – a 45 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from the original baseline set in 2011/12.

“To achieve this saving we have improved our building management systems, improved insulation and upgraded lighting in our buildings and in street lights across the county. We have invested in renewable energy and now have solar installations on a high number of our buildings and schools.”

Members heard that counties like West Sussex have high potential to be leaders in the field of reducing carbon emissions. As well as reducing its reliance on energy generally, opportunities include the generation of clean, green energy locally and the promotion of the benefits to local organisations and residents.

Deborah continued: “I am really proud that we are leading by example in this area, by improving the efficiency of our buildings and investing in energy projects. Now we want to do as much as we can to highlight the ways in which residents, businesses, staff and members can contribute towards combating climate change. If everyone works together it can really make a big difference.”

Members were invited to make personal pledges to:

• Save water and energy
• Make low carbon journeys
• Shop local
• Fight against food waste
• Pass on plastic

A campaign aimed at residents and businesses will be planned for later this year.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “Over the last 15 years West Sussex County Council has been reducing its carbon footprint, demonstrating a positive commitment to responding to the global climate change challenge. We have done this in many ways and some of our aspirations have been incorporated in our West Sussex Plan. It is universally acknowledged that we must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and the County Council is playing an important part with a planned £46.2m investment in low carbon energy projects over the next four years.”

“As a Council we are fully committed to ensuring that we continue to play a role in dealing with climate change, but we really do need everyone young, old and not so old and all businesses to come together and do their bit to become more sustainable and make a real difference for everyone’s future.”

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/news/west-sussex-county-council-commits-to-do-more-to-tackle-climate-change/ 

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Congratulations and thanks to everyone who came along to Chichester today, and who lobbied their County Council members to back the climate emergency motion.  It worked!  Though many of us were disappointed that the original motion was amended, and the climate emergency was ‘noted’ rather than ‘declared’, the Council took a big step today.  It looks like WSCC is serious about getting its act together on climate change. After the meeting SECA was invited to take part in a new working group being set up to take this agenda forward. So the omens are looking good that today could be a turning point.

Here’s the text of our press release:

PRESS RELEASE:  Climate action motion passed unanimously by County Council

Campaigners hailed today as a potential ‘tipping point’ in West Sussex, as the County Council agreed unanimously to back an amended motion pledging action on climate change.

In a rare display of cross-party consensus, councillors from across the political spectrum took turns to underline the risks posed by climate change and need for decisive leadership by the County Council. Speaking in front of a packed public gallery, councillors called for action on cycle paths, electric charging points, food waste collection, public transport, air quality, and a range of other priorities.

The six point action plan set out in the motion includes a pledge for the Council to go carbon neutral by 2030, well ahead of UK-wide climate targets. It also sets out ambitions to ‘investigate ways of taking climate change impacts into account in all the Council’s policies and operations’.

The debate was preceded by a lively but good-natured march by over 140 climate campaigners and concerned citizens of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents. The march ended on the steps of County Hall, giving protesters the chance to buttonhole their council representatives as they came in to the meeting. Councillors had already been lobbied by many of their constituents to back the vote, thanks to a county-wide letter writing campaign organised by the South East Climate Alliance (SECA).

Protesters making their voice heard outside County Hall

“We are taking today’s vote as a definite win for the climate,” said Dr Sally Barnard, Coordinator of SECA. “We were greatly encouraged by the breadth of support across the council chamber for stronger climate action”.

However, campaigners were disappointed that the amended motion states that the Council ‘notes the call for a campaign to declare a climate emergency’, rather than actually declaring an emergency, as the original motion proposed.

“It all depends on what happens next,” according to Dr Barnard. “If the Council follows up on the pledges it has made today, this could be a tipping point for climate action in West Sussex”.

“We are ready to work with the Council in coming up with an ambitious action plan, and in helping hold them to account in delivering on it”.

https://seclimatealliance.uk/climate-motion-passed-unanimously-by-west-sussex-county-council/

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Aviation growth –  one of the biggest threats this planet faces today.  The message sent to councillors during the WSCC debate on Friday 5thApril.

6th April 2019  (CAGNE press release)

CAGNE is  the campaign group, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Expansion

“We can only hope that this will mean that they will not be able to support new runways, growth at Gatwick Airport as this would be catastrophic for the planet, local air quality and climate change,” said CAGNE who were present throughout the debate held at County Hall, Chichester.

South East Climate Alliance campaigners hailed yesterday as a potential ‘tipping point’ in West Sussex, as the County Council agreed unanimously to back an amended motion pledging action on climate change.

In a display of cross-party consensus, councillors from across the political spectrum took turns to underline the risks posed by climate change and need for decisive leadership by the County Council. Speaking in front of a packed public gallery, councillors called for action on cycle paths, electric charging points, food waste collection, public transport, air quality, aviation and a range of other priorities.

“We believe it was only because CAGNE was present that aviation was included in the debate with two councillors, Cllr Liz Kitchen and Cllr Bill Acraman, raising the issue of Gatwick Airport expansion; aviation being one of  the biggest threats the planet faces today.”

The six point action plan set out in the motion includes a pledge for the Council to go carbon neutral by 2030, well ahead of UK-wide climate targets. It also sets out ambitions to ‘investigate ways of taking climate change impacts into account in all the Council’s policies and operations’.

The debate was preceded by a march by climate campaigners and concerned citizens of all ages. The march ended on the steps of County Hall, giving campaigners the chance to discuss climate change with councillors prior to the meeting.

CAGNE lobbied councillors before the debate to the facts about aviation emissions and the breach in climate change targets with Heathrow alone, let alone Gatwick growth or expansion.

CAGNE is a member of the South East Climate Alliance (SECA) who organised the event.

 

End

https://seclimatealliance.uk/climate-motion-passed-unanimously-by-west-sussex-county-council/

 

Telephone 07831 632537

CAGNW was established in Feb 2014

www.cagne.org

cagnegatwick@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/gatwickcagne Twitter @cagne_gatwick    Instagram CAGNE

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South East Climate Alliance (SECA)

Origins

The South East Climate Alliance (SECA) was set up in February 2019, following a ‘SOS Climate Emergency Day’ meeting in Horsham attended by over 120 people from 14 environmental groups across Sussex and Surrey. Between the groups present, we could cite many examples of thriving green initiatives – from repair cafés to solar schools.  Yet there was a widespread feeling of frustration that the current overall response to climate change just does not match the scale and urgency of the climate threat.

The room was packed for our inaugural meeting – we had to change venue three times to find a big enough room to meet in!

We decided to join forces to address this.  We agreed that our first focus should be a campaign to urge District and County Councils across the region to ‘Declare a Climate Emergency’. We plan to use the upcoming local government elections on May 2nd as an initial rallying point for mobilising local action. In this way, our aim is to demonstrate how widespread the concern about climate change really is, and encourage councillors and candidates to publicly get behind the idea of declaring a Climate Emergency.

Who We Are

The South East Climate Alliance (SECA) is a coalition of local environmental, community and faith groups from the South East of England uniting for urgent action on climate change.  It acts as an informal umbrella group and has been set up to share ideas and coordinate action. Groups affiliated with SECA remain autonomous and will continue to take their own decisions. Some will adopt traditional community organising approaches; others may prefer a non-violent direct action approach, as is being championed by the Extinction Rebellion movement.  SECA is not responsible for the actions of its individual member groups.

SECA is not affiliated to any political party. We have pledged to take a deliberately cross-party approach in our campaigning as we believe that the issue of climate change goes way beyond party politics.

In preparing this website, we have drawn considerably on the ideas and resources made available on the ClimateEmergency.uk website, which provides an excellent overview of the progress of the climate emergency movement across the UK.

Member Organisations listed at https://seclimatealliance.uk/about/ 

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Gatwick will get a Brüel & Kjær system to provide better flight and noise info for local people

Gatwick says it will soon improve the technology it uses, so local residents can get information on the details of planes using the airport. It will be using the EMS Brüel & Kjær system, also used by Heathrow. The website is due to be available in a few months. The system will also allow noise complaints to be submitted via an automated telephone line, which has been a key request from local communities for several years, since this was withdrawn by Gatwick and they had made complaining about noise very difficult. There will be “up to” 23 new noise monitoring terminals in surrounding areas, to monitor noise levels. These can then be presented in real time alongside flight information from the airport radar and other airport systems. Gatwick hopes this will be preferred by local people, and provide them with better information. Also that airlines might “use the data to analyse how they might improve the performance of their flights in terms of track keeping and noise.” A Gatwick public affairs person said “… we know that some residents are concerned by the impacts of aircraft noise.”… and Gatwick hopes it will ” improve our engagement with communities that are negatively impacted by aircraft noise.” 
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£1 million investment by Gatwick allows residents to access aircraft noise data

Gatwick has invested nearly £1 million in new technology that dramatically improves the monitoring of aircraft flights and associated noise – with information updated every second – so that local residents can access data and generate reports on demand, the airport announced today.

In a UK-airport first, the new system – provided by EMS Brüel & Kjær – also allows noise complaints to be submitted via an automated telephone line, a key request from the local community.

Up to twenty three new noise monitoring terminals will be introduced in surrounding areas to collect noise levels, which can then be presented in real time alongside flight information from the airport radar and other airport systems.

New noise monitor in front of aircraft landing on Gatwick’s main runway

The new technology helps to improve accessibility to noise information and the airport hopes it will also help to improve understanding among local communities by providing one of the most accurate and up to date noise and flight data systems.

Airlines can also use the data to analyse how they might improve the performance of their flights in terms of track keeping and noise.

The new system also makes aircraft noise information easier to access and understand through a new website – expected to be available in the next few months – that can be customised to show information on flights and noise relevant to a resident’s local area.

Tim Norwood, Director of Corporate Affairs, Planning and sustainability, Gatwick Airport, said:

“While many thousands of local people benefit from Gatwick’s jobs, connections and wealth creation, we know that some residents are concerned by the impacts of aircraft noise. The new noise and flight track keeping system means that residents can more easily and conveniently access information, and generate reports, on aircraft noise in real time. 

“The system is comprehensive, easy to use, and based on the latest technology and we very much hope that it also helps us to improve our engagement with communities that are negatively impacted by aircraft noise.” 

https://www.crawleynews24.co.uk/1-million-investment-by-gatwick-allows-residents-to-access-aircraft-noise-data/

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See earlier:

Gatwick now only allows noise complaints by online form (or paper post) – no longer by phone or email

After changing flight paths in 2014, Gatwick made other changes to flight paths that have affected a lot of people. Many who only had the occasional plane over them now find themselves subjected to one every 5 minutes or less, for hours on end, day after day. Gatwick has also slightly increased its numbers of flights. So people complained. The airport found itself inundated with complaints (which it rather charmingly calls “enquiries”). The number rose 6-fold in a year. Gatwick then changed the system so there could only be one noise complaint per household per day. Gatwick has now found a way to cut the complaints. While in the past people could email or phone their complaint, – now the only means of complaint is filling in a relatively long internet form.  Or sending in a complaint by paper post, which has now been made Freepost. This new system means anyone not able to access the internet is effectively prevented from complaining, unless they want to rack up bills. Under the new system there is no limit on the number of complaints per day but each time the ten lines of required information for the form must be filled in. Why is Gatwick so unhelpful? At least the complaint system at Heathrow allows someone to email, or phone and speak to a person. Gatwick’s treatment of its neighbours seems to have taken a further, downward, turn. Not being selected for a new runway, it has given up on any sort of charm offensive with the local residents.

Click here to view full story…

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And much earlier – what a wonderful woman !

 

NOT GUILTY of annoying the airport by complaining for 4 years about Gatwick aircraft noise

An elderly lady, Ann Jones, was recently arrested, at the instigation of Gatwick Airport, for lodging too many complaints with the airport noise complaints line. She was charged with the criminal offence of using a telephone to cause annoyance or anxiety – although she only spoke to an airport answerphone set up to receive noise complaints.  She was taken to court but found not guilty.  GACC said it was a disgrace the case had ever been brought, wasting public money.  Ann Jones had adopted the tactic of ringing the airport answerphone each time she heard a plane.  Although unusual, the court decided that this was not illegal.  As Ann said:  “What is the point of having a complaints service if one can’t use it to complain?” 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2011/02/not-guilty-of-annoying-the-airport-by-complaining-for-4-years-about-gatwick-aircraft-noise/
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SSE takes Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to JR on Stansted expansion, including its CO2 emissions

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Stop Stansted Expansion takes Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to judicial review

Campaigners against the expansion of Stansted Airport say they will use latest figures showing Ryanair as one of Europe’s biggest polluters in their latest judicial challenge.

The airline, which transports 130 million people a year, 21 million of whom currently travel through Stansted Airport, produced 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9 per cent on last year and 49 per cent over the past five years.

Brain Ross from Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) said that the group will include the data from the EU’s Transport & Environment group showing Ryanair as the tenth biggest CO2 emitter – all nine others are coal fired power stations – to prove the decision by Uttlesford District Council to approve the expansion of Stansted Airport to 43 million passengers per annum should be called in for determination by the government.

The Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has already explained that his reason for not intervening was that the application does not involve issues of more than local importance.

But SSE considers this to be at odds with the facts that the noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, as is the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted Airport.

Mr Ross said: “That is part of our argument to the Secretary of State.

“Stansted produces about 3.7m tonnes of CO2 a year and Ryanair carries about 80 per cent of all passengers at Stansted.

“Of course it’s a big polluter and one of the arguments we put to Uttlesford District Council and one we will put to the High Court to get it called in is this is not just a local issue. It’s not just a national issue. It’s a global issue.

“You can’t just allow local authorities to approve an increase in carbon emissions as they like. There needs to be national co-ordination.”

The group has now taken a judicial review action against Mr Brokenshire for not deeming the application to be nationally significant and therefore for it not be called in under his powers.

In short, SSE believes that he was wrong to say that the further expansion of Stansted does not involve issues of more than local importance.

SSE already has an outstanding judicial review application against the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over his decision of  June 28, 2018, to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by Uttlesford District Council.

This case was originally scheduled for a two-day High Court hearing in February, but has been delayed to await the decision of the Communities Secretary.

Mr Ross said: “We have got all the data we need to demonstrate the significance of this – we have got Department for Transport predictions for Stansted through to 2050 and the airport’s own projections – but actually as a little bit to spice up the application and bring it to life for the benefit of the judge we will almost bring the Ryanair figures to his attention.”

Ken O’Toole, London Stansted chief executive, previously welcomed the Government’s decision to allow Uttlesford District Council to decide on the airport’s expansion.

“From the outset our local community has been a vital partner in this planning process, and their feedback has shaped our proposals which do not seek an increase in the permitted number of flights, and commit us to achieving a smaller noise footprint in the future than our existing permissions require,” he said.

“Our application is in line with the government’s aviation policy which supports airports seeking to make best use of existing runway capacity, and our proposals have been endorsed by a wide range of independent public bodies as part of a thorough local decision-making process.

 “We have always believed that the application should be determined locally, and this view has been supported by the Secretary of State Transport and now also the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.”

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See earlier:

Ryanair the biggest but not fastest growing EU airline CO2 emitter – whole airline sector emissions rising very fast

The carbon emissions of 8 airlines for intra-European flights grew even faster than Ryanair last year. Low-cost airlines Jet2 (20% up); TAP (>12% up); EasyJet, Finnair, Wizz (up about 11%); Vueling and Norwegian (over 8%) and Lufthansa all increased CO2 emissions faster than Ryanair, though Ryanair has the highest emissions on European routes in 2018. Transport & Environment (T&E) says the top 10 growing polluters show that aviation’s runaway emissions are a huge problem. But governments have left airlines untaxed and under-regulated compared to other transport.  Emissions from intra-European flights account for 40% of the aviation CO2  – the remaining 60% comes from flights to destinations outside Europe. Those are entirely unregulated, not being part of the EU ETS. Aviation regulators are consistently underestimating the extent of the emissions growth in their planning forecasts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) anticipated a 3.3% increase in carbon emissions on flights within Europe last year, but official data shows they grew 4.9% – or 1.1 megatonnes of CO2 more than expected.

Click here to view full story…

Ryanair’s carbon emissions within Europe make it the EU’s 10th largest emitter

Ryanair has become the first non-coal company to join Europe’s top 10 biggest carbon emitters, according to EU ETS figures. That is for flights within the EU.  Ryanair declared 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9% on 2017 and up 49% over the last 5 years. The only larger emitters of carbon within Europe are power stations. Andrew Murphy, the aviation manager at T&E said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”  Emissions from airlines, have risen over 25% since 2014, outpacing all other transport sectors. EasyJet was 31st on the list, after an 11% rise in emissions in 2018. Prof Kevin Anderson at the University of Manchester, said: “Ryanair use new and efficient aircraft rammed to the rafters with passengers, illustrating how technology alone cannot reconcile aviation’s rocketing emissions with the Paris climate commitments…we need to drive down the demand for aviation.”

Click here to view full story…

Stop Stansted Expansion to start legal challenge to government decision not to call in expansion application

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has confirmed that it will commence legal proceedings to challenge last week’s decision [20 March] by the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire not to intervene in the decision by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to approve the expansion of Stansted to 43 mppa.  Brokenshire said his reason for not intervening was that “the application does not involve issues of more than local importance”.  SSE considers this conclusion to be completely wrong. In the next month or two, Stansted is expected to overtake Manchester to become the UK’s 3rd busiest airport.  The noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, and the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted flights this year will have significant adverse global impacts. SSE will apply to the High Court for a JR of Brokenshire’s decision. SSE solicitors have written to UDC pointing out that it would be inappropriate for UDC to issue any decision in relation to the airport planning application whilst these legal challenges are pending.  SSE already has an outstanding JR application against the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, over his decision of 28 June 2018 to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by UDC.

Click here to view full story…

Government (James Brokenshire) rejects ‘call in’ of Stansted Airport planning application to increase passengers from 35m to 43 mppa

The Government has decided not to ‘call in’ Stansted Airport’s planning application to increase passenger numbers, which was approved by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) last year.  In February 2018, Stansted Airport owners, Manchester Airports Group, submitted a planning application to UDC that sought permission for the airport to increase the annual passenger number from 35 to 43 million per year. UDC granted this planning permission in November 2018, by a narrow vote of the Planning Committee, only won by the Chairman’s casting vote. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, has now written to say the decision by UDC is correct, saying:  “… the application does not involve issues of more than local importance justifying the secretary of state’s intervention.” That is, of course, wrong as planes using Stansted fly over a wide area. Brian Ross from campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) said the planning consent still faces a legal challenge from SSE, versus the transport secretary in the High Court, which began last September. The case has been on hold for 4 months, pending the decision, but SSE is now takin legal advice on whether to widen the basis of its legal challenge.

Click here to view full story…

UTTLESFORD COUNCIL PLANNING CHAIRMAN DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT HE WAS VOTING FOR!

Following the decision of the Chairman of Uttlesford Planning Committee, Councillor Alan Mills, to use his (additional) casting vote in favour of the airport planning application, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) health adviser, Professor Jangu Banatvala, wrote to him to ask whether he had reviewed the latest important WHO Noise Guidelines, published on 10th October, prior to voting. The disturbing reply from Councillor Mills suggests that he was not aware of the WHO Guidelines and he believed the planning application was for 174,000 flights, rather than 274,000. He did not appear to have understood that the application was for an increase in flights, by about 25,000 per year, despite claiming to have read a third of the documents. Five councillors voted in favour of the Stansted application, but SSE has found that at least some of them had either not read, or had not understood, even the most basic information about the application. SSE said this is entirely unsatisfactory. It confirms that this application should be dealt with at a higher level than a small district council, with limited resources to deal with such a significant application with such widespread implications. SSE’s lawyers are now working on the detailed legal submissions to the Secretary of State on why he must now ‘call in’ the application for national determination.

Click here to view full story…

Uttlesford DC approves Stansted expansion plan, only by Chairman’s casting vote – but plans may now be “called in”

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has expressed dismay and disappointment that the vote on 14th November)by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) Planning Committee granted approval for Stansted’s planning application to grow – to an annual throughput of 43 million passengers per annum (from the 35 million cap now).  If this approval is allowed to stand, it would mean that Stansted could increase its flights by 44% and its passenger throughput by 66% compared, to last year’s levels.  The Planning Committee, comprising ten elected Uttlesford councillors, split right down the middle with 5 in favour of the application (including the Planning Committee Chairman) and 5 against.  Where there is a split vote, the Council rulebook gives the Chairman an additional (casting) vote – so he gets 2 votes.  Both BBC and ITV regional news teams filmed the session, which was attended by many local people.  UDC cannot issue a decision notice until the Sec of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire) has considered whether the application should be called in. This should have been done already, as the planned expansion is very near the threshold necessary – of an increase by 10 million annual passengers.  SSE will now submit further representations to the Secretary of State asking him (again) to call in the application. They are currently also legally challenging the decision.

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

Heathrow finally shortlists 18 areas as possible sites for its 4 “logistics hubs” – out of the original 65 possible areas

Heathrow has – for several years – been dangling the carrot of being one of 4 “logistics hubs” around the UK, for its expansion plans, to over 65 possible sites. It was a way to get local support from MPs, councils, business etc.  It has now made a list of 18 shortlisted sites that “remain in the running to help deliver the infrastructure project”. So that leaves 47 sites disappointed and let down.  Heathrow makes out that these are going to bring “jobs and economic opportunities up and down the country years before the additional trade and tourism that will follow from unlocked runway capacity.” And it will be “sustainable” due to “transporting assembled components in consolidated loads.” The sites shortlisted have “showcased a strong base of local support, their area’s thriving supply chain, convenient connectivity links and the potential to tap into a skilled workforce.” So those 18 shortlisted are still kept on tenterhooks, to see if they might get lucky, eventually.  In the autumn, they will have the opportunity to pitch to the airport for their chance to become one of the final 4 construction centres, to be announced early next year, ahead of work [possibly, bearing in mind all the legal and planning hurdles] “starting in 2021”. 
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Heathrow reveals shortlisted sites in the running to deliver once-in-a-generation expansion project

28 March, 2019

Heathrow’s press release below

Heathrow Logistics hubs shortlist
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  • Heathrow unveils 18 shortlisted sites that remain in the running to help deliver the infrastructure project of a generation – Britain’s new runway
  • These sites are key to kickstarting the nationwide benefits that Heathrow expansion will bring – creating jobs and economic opportunities up and down the country years before the additional trade and tourism that will follow from unlocked runway capacity
  • There are further opportunities for the UK’s regions and nations to play a part in the project’s delivery at Heathrow’s Business Summits, events held across the country connecting the nation’s SMEs to opportunities in Heathrow’s supply chain

Heathrow today announces the names and locations of the 18 shortlisted sites that remain in the running to help deliver the expanded airport, signalling the project has reached a new and significant milestone on its path to delivery.

The shortlisted sites all vary in size, location and age with Britain’s largest steelworks firm, a former Michelin Site, which at its peak was one of the company’s main manufacturing plans, Scotland’s largest airport and one of the main ports in Wales all featuring on the shortlist. But the sites have made it to this stage as they have showcased a strong base of local support, their area’s thriving supply chain, convenient connectivity links and the potential to tap into a skilled workforce.

The sites have been selected from a longlist of 65, all of which were visited during a nationwide tour which concluded in the summer of 2018. The longlisted locations were then all invited to take part in a pre-qualification questionnaire which helped to determine which sites were best placed to be involved in the delivery of Britain’s largest infrastructure project. In the autumn, the 18 sites shortlisted will now have the opportunity to pitch to the airport’s bosses for their chance to become one of the final four construction centres, to be announced early next year, ahead of work starting in 2021.

The final four sites will become offsite construction centres that will help to deliver Britain’s new runway bringing  jobs and economic opportunities to every corner of the country as Heathrow looks to construct as much of the expanded airport offsite as possible. This innovative approach will also help to make the project more affordable and sustainable – by transporting assembled components in consolidated loads.

In addition to the economic opportunities, the Logistics Hubs will bring to the whole of the UK, Heathrow’s ongoing Business Summit series will also provide small businesses throughout the country the opportunity to become part of Heathrow’s supply chain ahead of expansion. The 11 summits are spread throughout various regions and nations across the country, organised in conjunction with regional business groups such as Chambers of Commerce, LEPs and the FSB, giving hundreds of SMEs access to one-on-one appointments with Heathrow’s top suppliers.

Speaking at the BCC annual conference Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion said:

Our expansion plans are progressing apace and continue to be refined thanks to feedback from a wide range of stakeholders. Heathrow is as committed as ever to creating a plan that delivers for every corner of the UK. Logistics hubs are key to achieving that. This innovative approach will be more cost effective, efficient and sustainable, helping to unlock much needed capacity quickly and responsibly.

“Logistics hubs are also integral to harnessing the skills the UK needs post-Brexit. We are working with other major infrastructure projects to see if they might also benefit from these hubs, creating a bright, new future for the UK’s construction sector. One in which we’re better utilising new technology and offsite techniques to spread the benefits of major projects like expansion nationwide.”

Claire Walker, Co-Executive Director at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“A strong skills base and high-performing infrastructure network are vital to securing the UK’s economic future in the long-term. We are pleased that Heathrow is consulting with so many business communities from the Chamber of Commerce Network to ensure that its expansion plans can benefit the whole of the country.

“We look forward to hearing more of these plans from Heathrow at the BCC Annual Conference.”

Business Minister Lord Henley said:

“Heathrow’s announcement today moves their vision for UK-wide Logistics Hubs a step closer to being realised.

“Spreading the social and economic benefits of major infrastructure development across the UK is to be applauded as an example of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy in action, aimed at delivering high skilled jobs and an advanced economy.”

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Heathrow will be the first major infrastructure project in the UK to pioneer the large-scale use of Logistics Hubs – aiming to build as much of the project offsite as possible. The hubs will work by pre-assembling components offsite before transporting them in consolidated loads to Heathrow just as they are needed. This method will boost the project’s efficiency and cut emissions by transporting components to site in fewer lorries. Research by WPI Economics revealed that integrating an offsite manufacturing supply chain into a major project has the potential to reduce the overall cost of the project by as much as 25% whilst speeding up delivery by up to 30%.

For more information visit: https://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Heathrow_Logistics_Brochure_25.04.17.pdf

and there is a long-list of the sites at

http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Brand-News-22/10886

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Heathrow Airport reveals shortlist for locations to help build third runway

Eighteen potential ‘logistics hubs’ have been announced as the British Chambers of Commerce prepares to hold its annual conference

By Ben GlazeDeputy Political Editor (Mirror)
28 MAR 2019

Heathrow Airport today unveils 18 sites which are in the running to benefit from its third runway.

Bosses announced 18 locations on its shortlist to host “logistics hubs” for offsite construction for major parts of the controversial £14billion project.

Transport chiefs want to build as much of the facility as possible outside the congested South East.

Some 65 places were on the longlist, all of which were visited during a nationwide tour that finished last summer.

Places whose chances of being picked are boosted today include ABP in Cardiff, Lillyhall in Cumbria, British Steel in Scunthorpe and Burton Superhub in Burton-on-Trent, Staffs.

The winners will be announced early next year, with work starting in 2021.

The runway could be completed by 2026, depending on legal battles and planning permissions.

Those eventually chosen will be “key to kickstarting the nationwide benefits that Heathrow expansion will bring – creating jobs and economic opportunities up and down the country years before the additional trade and tourism that will follow from unlocked runway capacity”, the airport said.

Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, Emma Gilthorpe, will tell the British Chambers of Commerce conference in London today: “Heathrow is as committed as ever to creating a plan that delivers for every corner of the UK.

“Logistics hubs are key to achieving that. This innovative approach will be more cost effective, efficient and sustainable, helping to unlock much-needed capacity quickly and responsibly.”

British Chambers of Commerce co-executive director Claire Walker said: “A strong skills base and high-performing infrastructure network are vital to securing the UK’s economic future in the long-term.

“We are pleased that Heathrow is consulting with so many business communities from the Chamber of Commerce Network to ensure that its expansion plans can benefit the whole of the country.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/heathrow-airport-reveals-shortlist-locations-14194831

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See earlier

 

No 3rd Runway Coalition letter in Yorkshire Post: “Few benefits for regions if Heathrow is allowed to expand”

In a letter by the No 3rd Runway Coalition (NoR3)  in the Yorkshire Post, they explain how Heathrow has been conducting a variety of lavishly funded public relations exercises to counter the widely held perception that its expansion would be yet another South-East-centric project, which can only further entrench the UK’s economic divisions. So Heathrow has claimed that a number of regions will become “logistic” hubs for the 3rd runway’s construction. Just 4 of these “hubs” will be chosen, but 65 regions are invited to bid – building up their hopes (and driving support for the runway). The NoR3 coalition say “By the time the 61 losers learn who they are, it is hoped that their regional leaders will have sold their souls, speaking up Heathrow expansion, to curry favour with the airport. Clever. But cynical. Equally contemptuous is the way in which Heathrow is using this stunt to claim economic benefits for the country, which is knows is not supported by the latest figures.” The correct figures for economic benefits for the UK from the runway are tiny (NPV – when costs are taken into account – of just £3.3 billion, for all the UK over 60 years, or even a negative figure…) and it is likely any possible benefits will be for the South East. Not the regions. Regional business people need to ask serious questions of Heathrow (and the DfT) on the reality of purported jobs and investment. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/11/no-3rd-runway-coalition-letter-in-yorkshire-post-few-benefits-for-regions-if-heathrow-is-allowed-to-expand/

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Heathrow plans 4 regional construction hubs for proposed runway, to give the impression of spreading jobs around UK

Four UK construction hubs are being sought by Heathrow to allow components of its £16bn expansion project to be built away from the airport. The logistics hubs will pre-assemble components for the proposed 3rd runway before transporting them to the airport. Heathrow claims this will make the project cheaper, and provide some jobs to other parts of the country. This form of construction may have been used in the housebuilding sector but had only had a “limited” role in major British infrastructure projects. The areas to have these construction hubs need to have good connectivity (road, rail?), have “a relevant supply chain and strong local skills”.  Areas need to apply by July 31st, with a list of potential sites expected to be announced later this year.  The airport can only start submitting its development consent order if the NPS is voted for in Parliament, and if the government wins the legal challenges. That could not be before spring 2018. Heathrow hopes, perhaps unrealistically, to have its runway built and working by 2025. Heathrow says it has used off-site locations before, with large parts of the structural steelwork for Terminal 2 building constructed in Yorkshire and Lancashire. In October 2016 the Scottish government said: “Heathrow will work with the Scottish Government to investigate Glasgow Prestwick Airport as a potential site for a logistics hub to support the building of the third runway.”  No mention of that now? 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/04/heathrow-plans-4-regional-construction-hubs-for-proposed-runway-to-give-the-impression-of-spreading-jobs-around-uk/

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SNP misled by Heathrow inflated claims of number of jobs for Scotland due to a 3rd runway

The SNP decided to give its backing to a Heathrow runway, rather than one at Gatwick – having been led to believe that the only choice on offer was between these two. They were led, by Heathrow PR, to believe there would be greater benefits for Scotland. The SNP hoped to get exports from Scotland (salmon and razor clams) shipped through Heathrow. The Airports Commission came up with a figure of economic benefit from a Heathrow runway of UP TO £147 billion to all the UK over 60 years. Heathrow got a consultancy called Quod to work out the number of jobs. They came up with the figure of 16,100 jobs for Scotland (over 60 years) from the runway. The DfT has now downgraded the £147 billion figure, as it included various speculative elements, and double counted benefits. The new figure (also still far higher than the reality) from the DfT is UP TO £61 billion for the UK over 60 years. That, pro rata, would mean up to about 9,300 jobs for Scotland – not 16,100. It is unfortunate that the SNP were misinformed, as were other MPs, Chambers of Commerce etc across the regions.  Heathrow also pledged benefits for Scotland such as using its steel for construction, and using Prestwick as a base. The Scottish Green party see the SNP backing of a Heathrow runway as a betrayal of those badly affected by it, and of Scotland’s climate commitments.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/11/snp-misled-by-heathrow-inflated-claims-of-number-of-jobs-for-scotland-due-to-a-3rd-runway/

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New AEF briefing: Why Heathrow can’t solve its carbon problem (and the trouble with offsets)

The Government and Heathrow are trying to pretend that adding a 3rd runway, increasing the number of flights by around 50% (many or most to long-haul destinations) somehow is not a climate change impact problem. Now in an excellent new briefing from the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), “Why Heathrow can’t solve its carbon problem (and the trouble with offsets”, they explain how the carbon emissions cannot just be wished away and there are no mechanisms currently proposed to properly deal with them. Heathrow has a “roadmap” on how it aspires to be “carbon neutral”. AEF says the roadmap “does little more than recycle existing – inadequate – measures to limit aviation emissions” and their briefing sets out why the plan falls short. AEF says: “…almost all the proposed actions involve Heathrow riding on the coattails of other Government or industry initiatives.” … and “The kind of offsetting that CORSIA will deliver …isn’t designed to deliver a zero emissions target but instead to reduce emissions, at best, to half of what they might have been. … the idea that offsetting makes a tonne of CO2 from aviation “neutral” is misleading.”
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New AEF briefing: Why Heathrow can’t solve its carbon problem (and the trouble with offsets)

Earlier this month the Government’s Spring Statement announced plans to consult on whether airlines (and other travel providers) should be required to offer passengers the opportunity to voluntarily offset their carbon emissions, claiming this would give people the option of “zero carbon travel”.

On a day when the Government was defending itself in court against claims that its plans for expansion at Heathrow unlawfully fail to account for climate change, the announcement seemed tokenistic. Voluntary offsetting, even when offered by airlines, has a very low take-up rate, and its role in delivering the shift needed to a zero carbon economy is in any case questionable.

Heathrow Airport, meanwhile, is working on the assumption that the third runway is going ahead, and in December last year published a “Carbon neutral growth roadmap”. The airport’s idea of a carbon neutral runway, when it was floated last year, was hailed by some prominent environmentalists as demonstrating real forward thinking, and Ed Gillespie, writing for sustainability consultancy Futerra, described it as “a huge, bold and courageous aspiration”.

Publication of the roadmap may, in fact, be more a question of expediency. If the third runway plans survive legal challenge, Heathrow, as the developer, will need to be able to demonstrate that the project will not have a “material impact” on the Government’s ability to meet its climate change commitments.

In fact, however, Heathrow’s carbon neutral growth roadmap does little more than recycle existing – inadequate – measures to limit aviation emissions. Our new briefing, “Why Heathrow can’t solve its carbon problem (6 pages) sets out why the plan falls short.

https://www.aef.org.uk/2019/03/26/new-aef-briefing-why-heathrow-cant-solve-its-carbon-problem-and-the-trouble-with-offsets/

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The AEF Briefing says:

In December 2018, Heathrow published a “carbon neutral growth roadmap”1 setting out the airport’s plans in relation to the emissions from a third runway

This short paper sets out our concerns about the roadmap, namely that:

• Its target – of ‘neutralising’ any growth in CO2 emissions from the airport once a third runway opens – appears designed to smooth the way for runway expansion rather than to meet the real climate challenge

• It very largely repackages existing industry and government initiatives on climate change

• The idea that offsetting makes a tonne of CO2 from aviation “neutral” is misleading; if an offset pays for an emissions reduction that needs to happen anyway then that tonne of CO2 emitted from the aircraft will still cause warming and be inconsistent with a “net zero” climate goal

• It creates the impression that the airport has figured out how we can fly more without adding to the climate problem, when in fact far more radical solutions than any included in Heathrow’s roadmap will be needed to ensure that the aviation sector is compatible with net zero emissions as required by the Paris Agreement.

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A few extracts from the briefing:

 

A carbon neutral growth aspiration was included in Heathrow’s “2.0” sustainability strategy published in December 2017 – six months before the critical vote on the third runway – but with no detail about what the commitment related to or how it would be delivered.

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Even before the court has reached a judgement on the five legal challenges5 to the third runway proposal (including two focussing exclusively on its climate change impacts), Heathrow has begun drafting and consulting on its Development Consent Order application, the airport’s plan for delivering the third runway scheme as set out in the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS).

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There’s nothing new being offered [by the Heathrow roadmap].

Delivery of the carbon neutral pledge will in fact require almost no action from Heathrow. While many of the initiatives described are worthwhile, there is hardly anything in the plan that is additional to what’s happening anyway: almost all the proposed actions involve Heathrow riding on the coattails of other Government or industry initiatives.

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Current actions are not enough

Giving moral support to the actions already underway on climate change would be fine if the sum of those actions amounted to a comprehensive plan to tackle the aviation emissions challenge. But Heathrow’s ‘plan’, as outlined in the (box above), fails to make clear all the ways in which these measures fall short.

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Biofuels are only beneficial for the climate if the land needed to grow them is not better used in other ways, and it’s unlikely they’ll be available in any significant quantity once appropriate environmental controls are put in place (for example preventing palm oil being used for transport in the UK).

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CORSIA

But it would be dangerous to regard it as in any way able to “neutralise” the growth in aviation emissions, let alone the vast bulk of emissions that would be left outside of the scheme, given the myriad of shortcomings in how it has been set up. Its goal is currently not aligned to the Paris Agreement or even to previous agreements of the UNFCCC; it has no long-term target, and is envisaged to run only until 2035; it addresses emissions only above their level in 2020 (emissions below that level are not accounted for); it does not have full global support (China has yet to confirm whether or not it will participate, and the voluntary phase between 2021 and 2026 will cover only around three-quarters of eligible emissions); and it is built on an unrealistic assumption that there will be a long term supply of cheap offset credits (decisions have yet to be taken on the likely units that will be eligible and how credible they are).

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Offsetting doesn’t make the emissions go away

The kind of offsetting that CORSIA will deliver, by contrast, isn’t designed to deliver a zero emissions target but instead to reduce emissions, at best, to half of what they might have been. In this context, the idea that offsetting makes a tonne of CO2 from aviation “neutral” is misleading; if an offset pays for an emissions reduction that needs to happen anyway then that tonne of CO2 emitted from the aircraft will still cause warming and be inconsistent with a “net zero” climate goal.

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The kind of offsetting that CORSIA will deliver, by contrast, isn’t designed to deliver a zero emissions target but instead to reduce emissions, at best, to half of what they might have been. In this context, the idea that offsetting makes a tonne of CO2 from aviation “neutral” is misleading; if an offset pays for an emissions reduction that needs to happen anyway then that tonne of CO2 emitted from the aircraft will still cause warming and be inconsistent with a “net zero” climate goal.

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AEF concludes:

A step in the right direction? Or a dangerously misleading offer of comfort?

And that’s why pretending to have answers on how to make airport expansion compatible with climate change ambition – even pretending to have them in reach – is so dangerous. Airport expansion is a long-term investment; the economic case for Heathrow expansion assumed at least sixty years of operation. Illusory ambitions on climate change can make it look as though aviation growth isn’t a problem. If we’re to have a chance of preventing the worst climate impacts we need an honest conversation about the problems. Heathrow’s carbon neutral roadmap doesn’t help.

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Read the full briefing at 

https://www.aef.org.uk/uploads/2019/03/Why-Heathrow-can%E2%80%99t-solve-its-carbon-problem-.pdf

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See also:

Open letter from 90 academics to European governments – carbon offset markets (eg. CORSIA) will not effectively cut carbon

There is an interesting letter from 90 academics calling for governments to withdraw support from new carbon offset markets – with a specific reference to the UN Corsia scheme for aviation emissions. The academics call on European governments that care about climate change to withdraw their support for the creation of a new doomed carbon offset market at the COP25 this December. The proposals for carbon offsets are entirely unable to meet necessary criteria, needed to ensure they actually succeed in “offsetting” carbon. The letter says: “Yet, beyond the well-known issues of excess permits and frauds, it has also been demonstrated that carbon markets have major conceptual flaws that cannot be fixed, such as the inability to provide a reliable price signal or the fact that the climate impact of offset projects is not calculable….It is well documented that carbon markets have failed spectacularly in achieving their environmental objectives and that many carbon offset projects have a devastating social impact. In spite of this evidence, carbon markets remain the main policy tool to address climate change in Europe, based on the misguided hope that they will work “once the price is right”.”

Click here to view full story…

An assessment by Carbon Market Watch of credit providers for the aviation offsetting scheme

Carbon Market Watch has produced a report that assesses credit providers for the ICAO CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme – which aims to compensate the growth in CO2 emissions from international aviation above 2020 levels, starting in 2021. Offsets should ” offset programs will be screened against the eleven new Program Design Elements,” (one of which, for example, is: “Program Governance: Programs should publicly disclose who is responsible for administration of the program and how decisions are made.”   Carbon Market Watch conclude that “no program can yet operate in a manner which complies with all the eligibility criteria. Some will need to update and improve certain parts of their protocols or methodologies, but all are hampered by the lack of clarity on international accounting rules to avoid double counting of emission reductions. The present assessment also highlights that the Program Design Elements are not sufficient to exclude credits with no environmental value, and that a rigorous application of the second set of criteria, the Carbon Offset Credit Integrity Assessment Criteria, is necessary and will require analysis of specific methodologies and projects.”

Click here to view full story…

2019 Spring Statement – how getting passengers to pay for carbon offsets is not the answer

In the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, there was a mention of launching a call for evidence on offsetting transport emissions, in the hope of encouraging more travels (not only air passengers) in a vain attempt to “neutralise” their climate impact. Hammond said this would explore how travel providers – including airlines – could potentially be required to “offer genuinely additional carbon offsets so that customers who want zero carbon travel have that option can be confident about additionality”. Some airlines already offer offset schemes alongside flight bookings, but take-up is about 1%. So they are not working. The Aviation Environment Federation warned offsets can never be the solution to aviation’s carbon problem. “In order to meet the tough goals that states signed up to in the Paris Agreement, all countries will in any case need to reduce emissions close to zero in the coming decades, leaving little scope for any country or sector to sell their emissions reductions to airlines or air passengers by way of offset schemes,” it pointed out.  All that offsetting means is that carbon savings genuinely made in other sectors are cancelled out by more carbon emissions from transport (especially aviation). It just negates the carbon savings. That does nothing to cut the emissions from the transport itself, especially aviation.

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow 3rd runway unlawful, says Friends of the Earth, as DfT failed to consider the need for stringent CO2 targets

Friends of the Earth have accused the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, of acting unlawfully when he agreed to the 3rd Heathrow runway, in the Airports NPS. Their lawyers at the High Court legal challenge hearings the DfT failed to consider the full impacts of climate change and the need for more stringent targets to avoid catastrophic global warming. “Friends of the Earth is concerned that the expansion of Heathrow by adding a 3rd runway will jeopardise the UK’s ability to make the very deep reductions in greenhouse gases that are necessary to prevent global warming from causing catastrophic, irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”  The Court heard that the government knew when it approved the third runway that the Paris agreement, which UK ministers have signed, was likely to involve more stringent emissions targets than domestic law required under the 2008 UK Climate Change Act. David Wolfe QC, for FoE, said ministers were told by the Committee on Climate Change in January 2018 that as a result it was “essential that actions are taken now to enable these deeper reductions to be achieved”. But Grayling pressed on regardless, ignoring the advice.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Flybe’s Newquay link with Heathrow takes off courtesy of taxpayer PSO subsidy (£6.2m over 8 years)

From next weekend people flying between Newquay and Heathrow will get a £5 subsidy each, from UK taxpayers. There will be 4 flights per day both ways. Newquay airport is not particularly near anywhere – other than surfing beaches. The service will be Heathrow’s only subsidised service, run under a public service obligation (PSO).  PSOs are defined under European aviation regulations as “scheduled air services on routes which are vital for the economic development of the region they serve”.   That means for routes where there is not enough demand to even half fill a small regional aircraft and that to attract a commercial operator to fly the route, the government has to provide a financial incentive. The cost to the taxpayer over 4 years for this will be £3.4 million. (For 180,000 pax per year that works out at £5 each. But there were only <93,000 pax in 2013). The pendulum is swinging back to Heathrow, however.Heathrow has set aside a £10 million fund to incentivise domestic airline route development – needed to persuade regional MPs to back the runway.

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Flybe’s Newquay link with Heathrow takes off courtesy of taxpayer

From next weekend air travellers will be given the equivalent of a £5 bung, courtesy of the taxpayer, to use Newquay airport in Cornwall for four flights a day both ways to Heathrow

The airport is not particularly near anywhere.

It is handy for the renowned Fistral surfing beach and the beautiful Bedruthan Steps, as well as the fleshpot that Newquay turns itself into for a few short weeks in July and August.

Falmouth, however, Cornwall’s largest metropolis, is nearly an hour away on a good day.

The service will be Heathrow’s only subsidised service, run under a public service obligation (PSO).

PSOs are defined under European aviation regulations as “scheduled air services on routes which are vital for the economic development of the region they serve”.

Or in other words, it is for routes where the authorities are sad there is not enough demand to even half fill a small regional aircraft and that to attract a commercial operator to fly the route, the government has to stump up a financial incentive.

In this instance it is Flybe, the recently taken-private UK regional carrier, which over four years will be paid £3.4 million to fly its 80-seater turboprops on the one hour ten minute journey.

Given that Flybe expects 180,000 passenger journeys a year, that works out at about £5 per passenger per trip.

PSOs are relatively rare in Britain though they do exist, for instance, between London Stansted and City of Derry airport in Northern Ireland and Dundee in Scotland. EU data suggests that such subsidised travel is much more prevalent on the Continent, especially in France and Italy.

Flybe has been operating a similarly subsidised service to Newquay from Gatwick but the switch to Heathrow has been possible after British Airways was forced to give up take-off and landing slots at its main hub – Heathrow – as a result of its acquisition of British Midland.

Heathrow gives Flybe another angle. “It will have a similar passenger profile but there will be more connecting passengers,” Christine Ourmières-Widener, the airline’s chief executive, said of the ability of travellers from Cornwall to hop on to a plane bound for anywhere in the world and for in-bound tourists to come in search of pasties, clotted cream teas and unreliable weather.

Flybe is partly owned by Virgin Atlantic, which in turn is effectively controlled by Delta Air Lines of the US, which demonstrates the future opportunities.

Heathrow spent many years after its privatisation three decades ago unwinding commitments to fly to every bit of tarmac around the British Isles to the point today when only eight regional airports are connected to it.

The pendulum is swinging back to Heathrow, however. The cost of parliamentary support for its £14 billion third runway has led Heathrow to re-commit to the regions. Those eight domestic routes (Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds-Bradford, Manchester and Belfast) will grow to ten from next weekend with the addition of Newquay — the sole PSO route — and another new Flybe service to Guernsey.

“Improving domestic connectivity is a huge priority for the airport,” said a spokesman for Heathrow, which has set aside a £10 million fund to incentivise domestic airline route development.  [That is only IF there is a 3rd runway – not unless. See details here ]

PSO subsidy or not, passengers between Heathrow and Newquay may not discern much change in their fares. As airlines do, Flybe has all sorts of add-ons, from baggage and seat reservations to executive lounge usage and time of flight.

What that means is that the swift-of-mouse may bag a £35.50 online ticket but others may be charged as much as £260 one way. And once in bucolic Cornwall, as there’s no train link there’s also the price of a cab . . .

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/newquay-link-with-heathrow-takes-off-courtesy-of-taxpayer-59v9fhznv

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See earlier:

 

DfT signs 2nd PSO to pay £2.5 million so Flybe can profitably maintain Newquay to Gatwick route

The Government will pay £2.5 million, and Cornwall Council will pay £300,000, in a 4-year funding deal to enable Flybe to profitably operate flights between Newquay and Gatwick. The DfT says the public service obligation (PSO) will continue a link.  There will be 3 flights each way on weekdays and 2 at weekends. The aviation minister, Robert Goodwill, said keeping the region connected to London is a “vital part of our long-term economic plan” and Danny Alexander said the route ”is vital for Cornwall’s businesses, tourist industry and residents” and “with a return rate of nearly £3 for every £1 invested, it’s a great deal for the UK taxpayer, as well as for the south-west.” The DfT says Flybe will operate the flights with the timings providing a convenient schedule for a full working day [eh? holiday-makers?] at either destination.” EasyJet took over Flybe’s Gatwick slots when the service ended in March this year, but decided to drop the Newquay service. There were about 92,600 passengers flying between Gatwick and Newquay in 2013, so over 4 years the £2.8 million would be about £7.50 each. Could the fare not rise by that amount, to save having to subsidise?  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/10/23638/

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and

Heathrow would spend £10 million to increase some domestic flights, only if granted a 3rd runway, to get backing from regions

Heathrow has increasingly cut the number of flights to UK regional airports, as it has become more uneconomic for the airlines to run them – and long haul international routes are more profitable. But Heathrow is aware that it  needs to get the backing of regional airports, in order to lobby to be allowed a 3rd runway.  Heathrow therefore suggested the setting up of a National Connectivity Task Force. In order to boost flights to the regions, Heathrow now says that – only IF it gets a new runway – it will spend £10 million on for the development of 5 new domestic routes, for 3 years. These would include Newquay, Humberside and Liverpool.  That would be in addition to the 4 extra routes that easyJet has said it wants to operate if there is a Heathrow runway, to Inverness, Belfast International, the Isle of Man and Jersey.  There are currently 6 domestic routes from Heathrow (Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle). Heathrow also said it would launch a review of its airport charges in the coming weeks to focus on making domestic flights more commercially attractive (cheaper) to airlines. The results of this consultation, which is not dependent upon getting a new runway, will be effective from January 2016.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/03/heathrow-would-spend-10-million-to-increase-some-domestic-flights-only-if-granted-a-3rd-runway-to-get-backing-from-regions/

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Stop Stansted Expansion to start legal challenge to government decision not to call in expansion application

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has confirmed that it will commence legal proceedings to challenge last week’s decision [20 March] by the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire not to intervene in the decision by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to approve the expansion of Stansted to 43 mppa.  Brokenshire said his reason for not intervening was that “the application does not involve issues of more than local importance”.  SSE considers this conclusion to be completely wrong. In the next month or two, Stansted is expected to overtake Manchester to become the UK’s 3rd busiest airport.  The noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, and the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted flights this year will have significant adverse global impacts. SSE will apply to the High Court for a JR of Brokenshire’s decision. SSE solicitors have written to UDC pointing out that it would be inappropriate for UDC to issue any decision in relation to the airport planning application whilst these legal challenges are pending.  SSE already has an outstanding JR application against the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, over his decision of 28 June 2018 to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by UDC. 
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FURTHER LEGAL CHALLENGE AGAINST STANSTED AIRPORT PLANNING APPROVAL

PRESS RELEASE – Stop Stansted Expansion

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/

26 MARCH 2019

Stop Stansted Expansion (‘SSE’) confirmed today [26 March] that it will commence legal proceedings to challenge last week’s decision [20 March] by the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire not to intervene in the decision by Uttlesford District Council (‘UDC’) to approve the expansion of Stansted Airport to 43 million passengers per annum (‘mppa’).

The Communities Secretary explained that his reason for not intervening was that “the application does not involve issues of more than local importance”.  SSE considers this conclusion to be completely at odds with the facts.

The truth is that over half of Stansted’s passengers are either London residents or London visitors and its official designation, ‘London Stansted Airport’, is intended to emphasise its position as London’s third airport after Heathrow and Gatwick.  In addition, within the next month or two, Stansted is expected to overtake Manchester to become the UK’s third busiest airport.  Meanwhile, Stansted has fewer local employees than 15 years ago despite the airport’s growth.  Nowadays, over 84% of its employees are not Uttlesford residents.

The noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, and the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted Airport this year will have significant adverse impacts not only at a national level but also internationally [Note 1].

In short, SSE believes that the Communities Secretary is both factually wrong and wrong in law to say that the further expansion of Stansted to become almost as big as today’s Gatwick does not involve issues of more than local importance, and so does not justify his intervention.

Paradoxically, the Chairman of UDC Planning Committee [Note 2] gave Brexit as his reason for using his additional casting vote to ensure that the application was approved (after his Committee was split down the middle) saying that there was a need to consider the wider picture, beyond the impacts on Uttlesford.

SSE’s legal proceedings will take the form of an application to the High Court for a Judicial Review (‘JR’) of the decision of the Communities Secretary not to call in the Stansted Airport planning application.  SSE already has an outstanding JR application against the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, over his decision of 28 June 2018 to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by UDC [Note 3].  This case was originally scheduled for a two-day High Court hearing in February but has been ‘stayed’ by the Judge to await the decision of the Communities Secretary, referred to above.

SSE is due to provide the Judge with an update on 29 March and has previously notified the High Court that it would seek to widen its challenge to include both Secretaries of State in the event of James Brokenshire taking the same line as Chris Grayling in refusing to consider the airport planning application at national level.  SSE’s barristers will confirm this position to the Judge on 29 March and seek directions regarding the timetable and other arrangements for a rescheduled hearing against the two Secretaries of State.

In the meantime, SSE solicitors have written to UDC pointing out that it would be inappropriate for UDC to issue any decision in relation to the airport planning application whilst these legal challenges are pending.  It is hoped that UDC will agree to this and thereby avoid the risk of becoming embroiled in the legal proceedings.

SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented:  “As we’ve said in the past, High Court proceedings are not cheap and so we do not take such actions lightly but only after careful thought and professional advice. SSE’s primary objective is to seek to safeguard the community and environment from unfettered and unsustainable airport expansion. Regrettably, legal proceedings are sometimes an unavoidable part of trying to achieve this objective.”

ENDS

NOTES

1.   See http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/documents/Stansted_CO2_Emissions_2019.pdf.

2.   Councillor Alan Mills – Conservative member for Felsted and Stebbing, 14 November 2018.

3.   See SSE press release of 9 August 2018 at http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/press512.html.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/

·     Brian Ross, SSE Deputy Chairman:  01279 814961; (M) 07850 937143 brian.ross@lineone.net

·     SSE Campaign Office:  01279 870558; info@stopstanstedexpansion.com

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See earlier:

 

Government (James Brokenshire) rejects ‘call in’ of Stansted Airport planning application to increase passengers from 35m to 43 mppa

The Government has decided not to ‘call in’ Stansted Airport’s planning application to increase passenger numbers, which was approved by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) last year.  In February 2018, Stansted Airport owners, Manchester Airports Group, submitted a planning application to UDC that sought permission for the airport to increase the annual passenger number from 35 to 43 million per year. UDC granted this planning permission in November 2018, by a narrow vote of the Planning Committee, only won by the Chairman’s casting vote. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, has now written to say the decision by UDC is correct, saying:  “… the application does not involve issues of more than local importance justifying the secretary of state’s intervention.” That is, of course, wrong as planes using Stansted fly over a wide area. Brian Ross from campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) said the planning consent still faces a legal challenge from SSE, versus the transport secretary in the High Court, which began last September. The case has been on hold for 4 months, pending the decision, but SSE is now takin legal advice on whether to widen the basis of its legal challenge.

Click here to view full story…

UTTLESFORD COUNCIL PLANNING CHAIRMAN DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT HE WAS VOTING FOR!

Following the decision of the Chairman of Uttlesford Planning Committee, Councillor Alan Mills, to use his (additional) casting vote in favour of the airport planning application, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) health adviser, Professor Jangu Banatvala, wrote to him to ask whether he had reviewed the latest important WHO Noise Guidelines, published on 10th October, prior to voting. The disturbing reply from Councillor Mills suggests that he was not aware of the WHO Guidelines and he believed the planning application was for 174,000 flights, rather than 274,000. He did not appear to have understood that the application was for an increase in flights, by about 25,000 per year, despite claiming to have read a third of the documents. Five councillors voted in favour of the Stansted application, but SSE has found that at least some of them had either not read, or had not understood, even the most basic information about the application. SSE said this is entirely unsatisfactory. It confirms that this application should be dealt with at a higher level than a small district council, with limited resources to deal with such a significant application with such widespread implications. SSE’s lawyers are now working on the detailed legal submissions to the Secretary of State on why he must now ‘call in’ the application for national determination.

Click here to view full story…

Uttlesford DC approves Stansted expansion plan, only by Chairman’s casting vote – but plans may now be “called in”

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has expressed dismay and disappointment that the vote on 14th November)by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) Planning Committee granted approval for Stansted’s planning application to grow – to an annual throughput of 43 million passengers per annum (from the 35 million cap now).  If this approval is allowed to stand, it would mean that Stansted could increase its flights by 44% and its passenger throughput by 66% compared, to last year’s levels.  The Planning Committee, comprising ten elected Uttlesford councillors, split right down the middle with 5 in favour of the application (including the Planning Committee Chairman) and 5 against.  Where there is a split vote, the Council rulebook gives the Chairman an additional (casting) vote – so he gets 2 votes.  Both BBC and ITV regional news teams filmed the session, which was attended by many local people.  UDC cannot issue a decision notice until the Sec of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire) has considered whether the application should be called in. This should have been done already, as the planned expansion is very near the threshold necessary – of an increase by 10 million annual passengers.  SSE will now submit further representations to the Secretary of State asking him (again) to call in the application. They are currently also legally challenging the decision.

Click here to view full story…

Stop Stansted Expansion says Uttlesford DC planners’ recommendation is just an uncritical rehash of MAG’s claims

The recommendation by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) planning officers, published on 22 October, that the current airport planning application should be approved, will not surprise anyone who has followed UDC’s handling of this airport planning application from the beginning.  As far back as July 2017 – before the application was even submitted – UDC were openly discussing concessions that might be extracted from Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the owners of Stansted, in return for approving the application. SSE say the UDC officers’ report is little more than a rehash of MAG’s planning statement with no attempt made to challenge the many unsubstantiated and misleading claims made in the planning application. They say UDC planning officers haven’t even bothered to check the many wholly implausible assumptions made by MAG which allow it to claim that there would be no significant adverse impacts if the application is approved – thought that would mean a 66% increase in passengers and a 44% increase in flights compared to last year.  But UDC say this “would not result in significant adverse impacts.”  It is now for UDC councillors on the planning committee to decide.  This case seems too large and complex for a small team of planning officers in a small local authority, without the necessary resources or expertise.

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow’s Fly Quiet results reach new heights of improbability

Heathrow has this week (22nd March) belatedly published the results from its Fly Quiet & Green programme for Q4 2018.  In this scheme Heathrow assesses 7 different aspects of environmental performance, but it only publishes a single, numeric “Fly Quiet points” score for each airline. That published score is the sum of the Fly Quiet points awarded to the airline for each of the 7 metrics. But that part that is far from transparent, with the 7 numbers per airline not made public. The results put out by Heathrow do not make any sense, and do not appear to properly reflect the actual noise. Rather, they appear to be manipulated to make  noise levels look lower than they really are. This time around instead of giving the airlines an average score of around 750 out of (optimum) 1000, as with previous quarters’ results (already grossly inflated), Heathrow has hiked the average score by over 8% to 813 points.  The expected average (mean and median) score should be around 500. But not content with inflating the scores even more than usual, Heathrow has also inexplicably excluded 5 (China Southern, El Al, Korean Air etc) of its 50 busiest airlines from the results – but added others instead.
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Comment from AvGen on the recent Heathrow noise figures

23.3.2019 (From Dave Reid, at AvGen)

http://www.avgen.co.uk

The Fly Quiet & Green programme aims to measure, assess and compare the environmental characteristics and performance of the airlines that serve Heathrow and the aircraft that they use (we fully support that aim, though not the way it has been implemented).

Heathrow assesses seven different aspects of environmental performance, but it only publishes a single, numeric “Fly Quiet points” score for each airline.  That published score is the sum of the Fly Quiet points awarded to the airline for each of the seven metrics.  That’s the part that is far from transparent and is, AvGen believes, flawed.

Heathrow consistently declines to provide a breakdown of how many of the points that make up an airline’s published total Fly Quiet score have been gained from each of the seven metrics. 

That refusal is ridiculous and disingenuous, particularly given that Heathrow identifies which airline is best, second-best, third-best, etc, for each of the metrics and states how those rankings are supposed to translate unambiguously into Fly Quiet points.

Our view is that Heathrow cannot publish the Fly Quiet points breakdown per metric because it would reveal that points are not being awarded in accordance with the stated rules of the scheme. 

Specifically, we believe that airlines performing poorly on any of the seven metrics are being overmarked, sometimes significantly, which inflates the resulting Fly Quiet points scores.

Heathrow could, if it chose, address our criticisms by simply publishing the points breakdown for the world to see.

http://www.avgen.co.uk

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Background to the “Fly Quiet and Green” scores

In July 2017, Heathrow published the first of a new series of quarterly Fly Quiet & Green statistics, ranking airlines on several different aspects of their environmental performance.

Shortly after publication, AvGen drew Heathrow’s attention to apparent anomalies in the calculation of the results. The published “league table” did not appear to be reproducible, despite using exactly the methodology and inputs published by Heathrow.

AvGen requested some worked examples of the methodology from Heathrow in an attempt to identify where the discrepancies lay. Heathrow did not respond to this request.

A subsequent request by AvGen elicited the response from Heathrow that it was satisfied with the accuracy of its results, but still without providing any examples to substantiate them.

AvGen then provided Heathrow with a paper highlighting (with specific examples) areas where it believed Heathrow’s analysis was flawed. No response was received to this.

See full details of the AvGen assessment of “Fly Quiet and Green” at 

Fly Quiet & Green Forensics V1.3

 

 


AvGen says:

We will never know how China Southern, El Al, Korean Air, Kuwait Airways or Pakistan International Airlines are judged to have performed, because Egyptair short/longhaul, Icelandair (ditto) and MEA longhaul (all with fewer flights than any of the above) have been substituted instead.  In fact El Al and China Southern had over three times as many flights as MEA longhaul during Q4.

We will, as usual, invite Heathrow’s comments on our findings, though past experience suggests there will be none.  Heathrow could, of course, choose to publish a breakdown of how many points each metric contributed to airlines’ aggregate scores – but that would make its flawed results even more obvious.

Incidentally, although Heathrow never acknowledges it when I send Matt Gorman, Richard Norman and Nigel Milton a copy our our quarterly findings, they have taken note of one of the issues I raised in the email.  Those have now been fixed on the website..

 

A more detailed look at the Q4 table shows:

  1. a) Individual airline scores are inflated by between 17% and 240%, with the poorest performing carriers receiving the biggest unjustified increase in their score. The 544 points score awarded by Heathrow to MEA shorthaul is over 380 points more than the airline actually merits based on its performance and Heathrow’s rules..
  2. b) 48 out of the 50 airlines in Heathrow’s table are awarded more than the correctly calculated average (based on Heathrow’s data and methodology) of 522.
  3. c) Turkish Airlines longhaul and Jet Airways are given an unexplained hike up the table, each by 15 places, compared to the positions that their performance merits.
  4. d) Among the airlines entitled to feel aggrieved with this quarter’s published results include Icelandair shorthaul, relegated 20 places from its rightful position.Turkish Airlines shorthaul, despite meriting 503 points by Heathrow’s own methodology, putting it just above Air Malta, bizarrely ends up ranked 21 places below the Maltese carrier.
  5. e) “RAG” (red/amber/green) classifications are again applied inconsistently; for example Thai Airways and TAP, ranked 44th and 45th, respectively, by Heathrow for early/late movements, get an “Amber” for that category while Scandinavian, ranked 34th for that metric by Heathrow, gets a “Red”.
  6. f) For the second successive quarter, 180 flights by Finnair’s A330 and A350 fleets (out of an airline total of 905) appear not to have been taken into account in calculating the results, with only its narrow-body A320 family flights having been counted.

Dave Reid
AvGen Limited
Reading, UK
+44 (0)118 975 7929
dave.reid@avgen.com


Another way of looking at the Fly Quiet anomalies – by AvGen

Consider just one airline: Oman Air.

We’re asked to believe that its environmental performance across the seven Fly Quiet
metrics in Q3 2018 merited an aggregate score of 917 – that’s only 83 points short of the 1,000 “perfect” score !

So how did Heathrow decide to deduct only 83 points ? The airport refuses to explain, probably because it makes no sense.

Leaving aside the 2 metrics where Oman Air ranked Number One and so didn’t lose any points for those (Track-keeping and Early/Late Movements), we are left with the other 5 metrics (Noise Quota Count, Noise Chapter, NOx emissions, CAEP and CDAs) where those 83 points must therefore have been deducted (for 24th, 8th, 34th, 7th, and 20th place, respectively).

We can easily deduce how much those 5 metrics each contributed to the 83 points lost, because Heathrow tells us how many places Oman dropped for each metric and the relative weighting per metric (50%, 50%, 50%, 50% and 150%, respectively).

For Noise Quota, Oman dropped 23 places (47% of the way down), but only lost 15.2 points (17%) from the 89.3 available.

For Noise Chapter, Oman dropped 7 places (14% of the way down), but only lost 4.6 points (5%) from the 89.3 available.

For NOx, Oman dropped 33 places (67% of the way down), but only lost 21.7 points (24%) from the 89.3 available.

For CAEP, Oman dropped 6 places (12% of the way down the table), but only lost 4.0 points (4%) from the 89.3 available.  [CAEP means Standard (engine emissions certification)]

For CDAs, Oman dropped 19 places (39% of the way down), but only lost 37.5 points (14%) from the 267.9 available.

BUT the Fly Quiet rules state that, for each metric, the proportion of points deducted from the maximum available score is determined solely by how far down the table the airline is for that metric. So the above scores make no sense at all.

If points deducted by Heathrow are compared with places dropped, then its flawed implementation of its own rules means that Oman, if it came bottom for every metric, would still be awarded 638 points instead of the 0 that the rules specify !

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See earlier:

Consultancy AvGen finds, yet again, Heathrow’s “Fly Quiet & Green” programme comes up with weird, incorrect, results

Heathrow has published the results from its Fly Quiet & Green programme for 2018 Quarter 1.  Unfortunately it seems determined to persist with the flaky arithmetic and absence of logic and common sense that characterised the results for previous quarters (which remain unaltered). For Q1, as with previous quarters, league table scores have again been inflated, this time by an average of around 44% compared to the results that are produced when Heathrow’s own published methodology and performance rankings are used.  Once again that increase has not been applied uniformly across all 50 airlines (a number of them have been awarded more than double the number of points that they merit), with the result that the relative league table positions are significantly altered. Below are some examples, from consultancy, AvGen, showing the arbitrary results – which do not appear to be based on much logic – of airlines being put into higher and lower rankings, based on their noise and emissions. By contrast with the Heathrow figures, those from AvGen show the greenest airline is Aer Lingus – not Scandinavian. The second greenest is Finnair, not LOT Polish Airlines. Curious that Heathrow does such odd things with the data ….

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/05/consultancy-avgen-finds-yet-again-heathrows-fly-quiet-green-programme-comes-up-with-weird-incorrect-results/

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