400 mile walk Harmondsworth to Holyrood: Neil takes his anti-Heathrow runway message to the SNP

Neil Keveren, a builder who lives in one of the villages that would be partially destroyed by the construction of Heathrow’s proposed 3rd runway, has completed a 400-mile walk from Heathrow to Edinburgh, in protest at the SNP’s backing for the plans. Neil arrived at the Scottish Parliament  23 days after leaving his home in Harmondsworth on 4th April, having covered about 20 miles every day.  Neil was born in the village of Sipson, which is also facing partial demolition if the expansion goes ahead. For Keveren, the expansion of Heathrow is deeply personal. His house in nearby Harmondsworth is located only 54 paces from the enlarged airport’s boundary fence, while his 82-year-old uncle Ray (his support driver on the   walk) also stands to lose his home. The SNP block of 54 MPs formally backed the Heathrow bid, in the probably mistaken belief it would bring significant strategic and economic benefits for Scotland, including the very dubious indeed figure of “up to 16,000 new jobs” – over many years. Neil had appointments with a number of SNP MPs during the day, and had the opportunity to give them more information about the runway. So far most of them have only received very biased information from Heathrow, and they were interested to learn some of the inaccuracies and exaggerations in what they have been led to believe. Neil’s amazing walk proved the opportunity to talk to the SNP and correct misapprehensions.
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From Harmondsworth to Holyrood: man walks 400 miles to protest Heathrow expansion

27.4.2017

Neil Keveren at the Scottish Parliament protesting against the expansion of Heathrow

By Chris Green (The i)

Wednesday April 26th 2017

A man who lives in one of the villages that stands to be partially destroyed by the construction of Heathrow’s proposed third runway has completed a 400-mile walk from London to Edinburgh in protest at the SNP’s backing for the plans.

Neil Keveren, 55, arrived at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday after leaving his home in Harmondsworth earlier this month  (4th April) and undertaking a three-week odyssey across Britain, covering up to 20 miles a day.

“I don’t see why people’s quality of life should be affected so drastically due to people wanting a gin and tonic on a beach” Neil Keveren.

The builder was born in Sipson, which is also facing partial demolition when the expansion finally goes ahead.

The choice of a third runway was officially supported by the Government last October.

For Keveren, the expansion of Heathrow is deeply personal. His house in nearby Harmondsworth is located only 54 paces from the enlarged airport’s boundary fence, while his 82-year-old uncle Ray also stands to lose his home.

“Expanding Heathrow is like throwing a rock into a pond,” he told i shortly after completing the final leg of his journey, which took him to the main entrance of the Scottish Parliament.

“You’ve got the devastation of 850 homes in the middle, the biggest clearance of a population since the Second World War.

“As the ripples move out, you’ve got 1.2 million Londoners who will suffer from noise detrimental to their health.”

SNP’s backing

The SNP formally backed the Heathrow bid shortly before it was given the provisional green light, arguing that the plans carried significant strategic and economic benefits for Scotland, including up to 16,000 new jobs.

Mr Keveren said he hoped to meet several senior SNP politicians while he was in Edinburgh with the aim of persuading them to withdraw their support for the expansion, explaining how it will impact local people.

He also claimed that the main beneficiaries of the increase in flights in and out of the UK would be a “frequent flier elite” rather than the general public. “I don’t see why people’s quality of life should be affected so drastically due to people wanting a gin and tonic on a beach four or five times a year,” he added.

As his walk took him down many busy roads, Mr Keveren was unable to listen to music and had to be alert and aware of his surroundings. His only distraction was the occasional toot of support from a passing motorist, who spotted his distinctive aeroplane hat and bright red tabard.

His uncle Ray drove his support van, which also provided their accommodation for most nights of the trip. “I’m no athlete – I’m a builder,” he added. “But for anyone who is reasonably fit, in small bites, it’s do-able.”

https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/uk/harmondsworth-holyrood-man-walks-400-miles-protest-heathrow-expansion/

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Neil and Harmondsworth residents, who had come up to Edinburgh by train to meet Neil, with members of the local Edinburgh Airport Watch group outside the Parliament

Neil with members of Friends of the Earth Scotland outside the Scottish Parliament

and Neil met lots of SNP MSPs as well as Green Party MSPs inside Parliament, where he had time to talk to them and explain the reasons for his walk, and why the runway is both devastating for the area where he lives – and also that the benefits Heathrow has said would come to Scotland from the runway have been highly exaggerated.

https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/uk/harmondsworth-holyrood-man-walks-400-miles-protest-heathrow-expansion/

 

From Harmondsworth to Holyrood: man walks 400 miles to protest Heathrow expansion

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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?
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Heathrow starts search for four regional construction hubs

By Bradley Gerrard (Telegraph)

26 APRIL 2017

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 linked to projects related to the proposed third runway before transporting them to the airport. Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said this method would make the project more affordable and mean jobs linked to the investment would be spread more broadly across the country.

The airport claimed this method of construction had gained traction in the housebuilding sector but had only had a “limited” role in major British infrastructure projects.

Mr Holland-Kaye said suitable locations would have good connectivity, access to a relevant supply chain and strong local skills. Interested applicants need to apply by July 31, and all applications will be considered by Heathrow.

A list of potential sites is expected to be announced later this year, he said.

The Government decided to back Heathrow’s expansion last summer and MPs are expected to vote on the project by the end of this year, at which stage legal challenges can be lodged.

Four councils and Greenpeace are already working on a challenge to the third runway.

If the legal challenges are unsuccessful, a planning process will follow which will involve Heathrow submitting what is called a development consent order. It will have to act on complaints from interested parties, or explain why it has been unable to do so.

Heathrow hopes to have full approval to proceed by the end of 2020 and begin construction rapidly after that, completing the third runway in 2025.

The airport has used off-site locations before for other projects. It said large parts of the structural steelwork for its Terminal 2 building were constructed in Yorkshire and Lancashire before being transported to Heathrow.

When it built its car park at Terminal 2, the £2.5bn project employed businesses around the country.

Heathrow said Bison Manufacturing, based in Uddingston in Lanarkshire, were contracted to provide 40,000 square metres of pre-stressed flooring slabs for the terminal’s new 1,300 space car park.

It said the £1.5m contract accounted for 50pc of the factory’s output for eight months, with 20 staff from the local area retained to help meet the increased workload.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/04/25/heathrow-starts-search-four-regional-construction-hubs/

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Heathrow CEO: Expansion will make UK a world leader in offsite

26 APRIL, 2017
BY JACK SIMPSON (Construction News)

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye has announced plans that will see a significant slice of the airport’s £16bn expansion produced using offsite manufacture.

Mr Holland-Kaye announced today that the airport would be pushing an offsite agenda to help the country “lead the pack in global construction”.

He said: “The global construction industry is set to be worth £15tn by 2025 – that’s a huge prize that Britain deserves a bigger share of and Heathrow can help.

“We want to use Heathrow expansion to not only upgrade Britain’s infrastructure, but cultivate a new world-leading sector and drive growth across the whole country.”

Mr Holland-Kaye added that expansion could be a starting point for this revolution and would provide a lasting legacy that would allow the UK to sell its expertise across the world.

The comments came as the airport launched a prior information notice (PIN) seeking potential sites that would be suitable for the four logistic hubs it plans to build across the UK.

Earlier this month, Construction News revealed Heathrow would begin its hunt at the end of April for firms and local authorities to support the delivery of the planned hubs.

The airport said the locations will have good connectivity, access to a relevant supply chain and strong local skills.

The hubs are aimed at aiding the project’s efficient delivery, reducing costs, reducing emissions and spreading jobs across the country.

Interested applicants will have until the end of June to submit expressions of interest in hosting one of the four hubs.

https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/markets/sectors/airports/heathrow-ceo-expansion-will-make-uk-a-world-leader-in-offsite/10019412.article#.WQCSmgHkRjM.twitter

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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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The expansion plans offer the greatest strategic and economic benefits to Scotland, creating thousands of jobs and providing a significant boost to the country’s connectivity. The airport’s commitments include:

• The creation of up to 16,000 new jobs across Scotland from the new capacity.
• 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.
• £200m of construction-related spend in Scotland during planning and construction. 

Heathrow manages to persuade SNP to back its runway, with hopes of 16,000 jobs (?)

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Tainted pro-runway “Back Heathrow” director gets top job in Heathrow community relations team

Residents are dumbfounded and angry after learning that Rob Gray has been appointed as the new Director of Community and Stakeholder Relations at Heathrow. Until recently, Gray had been the Director of Back Heathrow Ltd., a company set up by Heathrow Airport Ltd., to promote a third runway.  Under his leadership, Back Heathrow was found by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) to have produced misleading adverts aimed at politicians, where they overstated support for their campaign. On a different occasion, Gray oversaw a mismanagement whereby people replying to their campaign materials were automatically registered as supporters. Gray also led the campaign using scare tactics, designed to make local residents fear that if they didn’t back a third runway, Heathrow would decline and close, causing mass unemployment across west London. Rob Gray’s new role requires him to foster good relationships with the local community and strive to make Heathrow the better neighbour it should be. Opponents of the runway believe this is an appointment that can only cause further deterioration in relations between the airport and local communities. It would especially be the case for those that would be destroyed to make way for the runway or because living in such close proximity to it would be impossible. 
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TAINTED PRO-RUNWAY CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR GETS HEATHROW JOB IN COMMUNITY RELATIONS TEAM

25 April 2017 (SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion – press release)

 

Residents were left dumbfounded and angered on Tuesday as individuals were being contacted regarding the appointment of Rob Gray as the new Director of Community and Stakeholder Relations at Heathrow Airport. Until recently, Gray had been the Director of Back Heathrow Ltd., a company set up by Heathrow Airport Ltd., to promote a third runway at Heathrow.

Under Gray’s leadership, Back Heathrow was found by the Advertising Standards Agency to have produced misleading adverts aimed at politicians, where they overstated support for their campaign (1). On a different occasion, Gray oversaw a mismanagement whereby people replying to their campaign materials were automatically registered as supporters (2).

Gray also led the campaign into scare tactics, designed at making local residents fear that if they didn’t back a third runway, Heathrow would decline and close, causing mass unemployment across west London (3).

Gray’s new role requires him to foster good relationships with the local community and strive to make Heathrow the better neighbour it should be.

Rob Barnstone, Campaign Coordinator for Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “Heathrow are taking a backward step in community engagement with this appointment.

“Many people are sceptical enough about engaging with the community relations team already. The fact that somebody who headed up such a controversial and tainted company, masquerading as a grassroots residents group, is now to be dealing with the very people whose homes he has spent four years trying to destroy.

“Is it April Fool’s Day again?”

Harlington resident Christine Taylor, whose home will be severely impacted by a third runway, said: “I can’t imagine a worse appointment than Rob Gray who has spent the past four years working hard to destroy our homes, our health and our livelihoods. I’m shocked.”

Stop Heathrow Expansion is a local resident-led group based in the villages around Heathrow: Harmondsworth, Longford, Sipson and Harlington. IT campaigns to protect the local area from a bigger Heathrow.

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Notes

1 – http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/back-heathrow-advert-banned-false-11213129

2 http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/local/11776685.Back_Heathrow_campaign_number_doubts_as_opponents_sent_supporter_emails/

3 – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/scare-tactics-land-heathrow-in-trouble-zns99cn8c62

For more information

Rob Barnstone;  robertbarnstone@outlook.com

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

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

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/01/back-heathrow-complains-hillingdon-has-to-spend-money-fighting-runway-refuses-to-say-how-much-funding-it-gets-from-heathrow/

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

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

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

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“BackHeathrow” (paid for by airport – not a grass roots campaign), send biased scare-mongering survey to half a million

A lobbying group – called BackHeathrow – funded by Heathrow Airport is to distribute a survey to half a million homes, to try and get some favourable views on a new Heathrow runway.They are using fear as a tactic, to get local people worried that they might lose their jobs if the airport was not allowed to expand. There is, of course, no prospect of Heathrow being closed – the BackHeathrow tactic is irresponsible and ill-advised. John McDonnell, the MP for Hayes and Harlington, bordering Heathrow to the north and  under threat from a northern runway, said it was just another front organisation funded by the airport and another cynical spurious public relations exercise. John Stewart, chairman of HACAN, said BackHeathrow claims it is a grass roots campaign but no grass roots campaign has the sort of funding to send out half a million surveys. This is astoturfing, not a real citizens’ initiative. BackHeathrow survey results must be treated with great scepticism, when/if they come out. It’s so badly worded & biased as to be valueless.  The “Have you stopped beating your wife?” type questions in the BackHeathrow survey are so loaded they’d make you laugh if they didn’t make you angry.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2013/10/backheathrow-paid-for-by-airport-not-a-grass-roots-campaign-send-biased-scare-mongering-survey-to-half-a-million/

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CAGNE dismayed there will be no Gatwick departures review, and CAA Route 4 approval

Local Gatwick group, CAGNE, are very disappointed that Gatwick airport will not be holding a full review of departures – in the way there was a review of arrivals. One key reason for this is that one airspace change has impacts on others. At the Gatwick Noise Management Board meeting (5th April) community groups learned of Gatwick’s decision not to hold a full Departure Review, contrary to earlier indications.Sally Pavey, Chair CAGNE, commented:  “CAGNE always seeks a fair and equitable distribution of arrivals and departures to the east and west of the airport for West Sussex and Surrey residents. We know that many communities that suffer the concentrated flight paths of departures (PRNAV) will now be very dissatisfied.”  The CAA approved the introduction of concentrated flight paths on all departure routes from Gatwick in May 2014 with seemingly little consultation. The CAA then reviewed these, (CAA PIR Review), and only found some routes needed re-addressing to comply with the current Government airspace policy and CAA guidelines, one of which was Route 4.  The CAA has now approved the changes to the Surrey Route 4, which departs west from Gatwick and then turns east, to the intense disappointment of many now intensely overflown.  The noise metrics the CAA uses do not properly the impacts, with averaging conveniently concealing intense periods of noise.
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CAGNE dismayed there will be no departures review, and CAA Route 4 approval

22.4.2017  (CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)
CAGNE expresses dismay at:

· Gatwick’s decision not to hold a full departure review

· The CAA’s approval of the Surrey departure Route 4

From the outset of the Gatwick Arrival Review CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, has campaigned to have a Departure Review and that departures be considered alongside Gatwick scrutinising the issues of arrival noise; changing one airspace has implications for another.

At the Gatwick Noise Management Board meeting (5th April) community groups were dismayed at Gatwick’s decision not to hold a full Departure Review contrary to earlier indications.

“Gatwick gave residents who suffer arrivals a review and communities had been led to believe the review of departures would be forthcoming once the arrival review had been concluded but it would seem this is no longer the case,” said Sally Pavey Chair of CAGNE.

“CAGNE always seeks a fair and equitable distribution of arrivals and departures to the east and west of the airport for West Sussex and Surrey residents. We know that many communities that suffer the concentrated flight paths of departures (PRNAV) will now be very dissatisfied.”

The CAA approved the introduction of concentrated flight paths on all departure routes out of Gatwick in May 2014 with seemingly little consultation. The CAA then reviewed these, (CAA PIR Review), and only found some routes needed re-addressing to comply with the current Government airspace policy and CAA guidelines, one of which was Route 4.

The CAA uses old noise metrics to judge noise, which do not take into account the number of planes Gatwick seeks to fly during hourly bursts early in the morning, late evening and during the night as these are averaged out and so the percentage increase in the impact is seen as insignificant.

The CAA has now approved the changes to the Surrey Route 4, which departs west of Gatwick and then turns east. For many this will be disappointing but there is still hope as CAGNE will be party to the NMB departure workshop (1st June) and has requested that a working party now look at each route to address the specific community issues if we are to be denied a full review of departures.

Gatwick details:
Residents are advised to complain to Gatwick over aircraft noise, as this is how Gatwick judges aircraft impact.

http://gatwickairport.com/business-community/aircraft-noise-airspace/noise-enquiries/

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Councils are encouraged to join other council by joining the CAGNE Council Aviation Forum www.cagnepcforum.org.uk

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The Government’s current airspace consultation can be found at

Current consultations – deadline 25th May 11.45pm.

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CAA Consultation – deadline 30th June.

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See also

CAA confirm Route 4 changes to be permanent – local group calls it the “Route to Misery”

Early in April the CAA approved the current P-RNAV design of Gatwick’s Route 4 (the take off route towards the west, that turns north and heads east). This was altered in 2016 in response to the complaints about the way it has recently been altered. Now, dismissing the outpouring of complaints to the current route as “as expected”, the CAA says the route will continue. The CAA has concluded that modified Route 4 “has delivered the aim of the airspace change to an acceptable standard and this change will now be made permanent.” They recognise that this has an impact on communities and has asked Gatwick to “investigate the potential of meaningful respite” by “alternating or switching a proportion of Route 4 departures onto another route.” Local group, deeply opposed to the current Route 4, Plane Justice, comments that the CAA appears indifferent to the misery of the people who wrote in complaining about the Route. They are angry that the complaints are considered just “AS EXPECTED” rather than real expressions of genuine concern and annoyance. The group has a Route 4 Legacy Pledge, which calls on the CAA to revisit its decision and return Route 4 to the geographical position and dispersion pattern it occupied before 2013 (the ‘legacy Route’). They are asking people to sign up to this.

Click here to view full story…

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Launch of new group “Plane Justice” for those newly affected by Gatwick Route 4 since May 2016

Residents north of Gatwick, from Newdigate through to Salfords, have launched “Plane Justice”, a collective of communities which seeks to support (whether through campaigning, communications, discussion, negotiation or legal process) those who are, or would be, newly affected by aircraft in airport ‘catchment areas’. Formed in response to changes made to Gatwick departure Route 4 in May 2016, the founders of Plane Justice have experienced on a personal level the stress, anxiety and sense of hopelessness and financial insecurity that changing flight paths causes to communities. The group describes the current iteration of Route 4 as the “Route to Misery”, with a noisy turn and a more southern trajectory after the turn, which overflies more than 7,000 new residents. They want to bring an evidence-based and ethical dimension into decision making about the management of airspace, which in their experience to date of Gatwick and its associated aircraft noise, has been surprisingly lacking. Many people feel there has been a serious injustice in the way areas have been targeted by unacceptable levels of aircraft noise. Plane Justice wants Gatwick’s hated “Route 4” to be returned to its pre-2013 “legacy” position, which was flown for decades with negligible complaints.

Click here to view full story…

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Councils that have spent £350k fighting Heathrow expansion plans ‘doing taxpayers a favour’

Local authorities that are badly affected already by Heathrow are having to spend large amounts of money, in trying to oppose a 3rd runway. The cost to the boroughs if the runway was in operation could be huge (road costs, housing, health, noise, congestion, social impacts etc etc). The councils may have to spend £350,000 on a joint legal challenge against the government’s plans for the runway.  Though this may sound a lot, it is probably dong taxpayers a favour, in trying to save massive future costs. A FoI request revealed Wandsworth, Richmond and Hillingdon councils spent £300,000 from their general funds, and Windsor and Maidenhead Council spent £50,000 from its development fund. Hillingdon Council has also earmarked a contingency budget of £200,000 in case of future legal action regarding the expansion, and Wandsworth Council has set aside £25,000.  The government spent £3.8 million over 18 months on consultants, working on 3rd runway plans. The anticipated cost of necessary surface access infrastructure for the runway could be £15 billion, and that is likely to have to be paid by taxpayers (across the UK, not merely in London or the south east). Robert Barnstone, co-ordinator of the No 3rd Runway Coalition said: “These 4 local authorities are in fact doing British taxpayers a favour trying to stop this overwhelmingly burdensome amount of money being spent.”
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Councils who have spent £350k fighting Heathrow expansion plans ‘doing taxpayers a favour’

Councils’ £350k spend fighting Heathrow expansion ‘doing taxpayers a favour’

21.4.2017
By Calum Rutter (Richmond and Twickenham Times)

Local authorities spending £350,000 fighting Heathrow’s planned third runway are ‘doing taxpayers a favour’, according to an anti-expansion campaigner.

A freedom of information request first reported by the BBC revealed Wandsworth, Richmond and Hillingdon councils spent £300,000 from their general funds, and Windsor and Maidenhead Council spent £50,000 from its development fund.

Hillingdon Council has also earmarked a contingency budget of £200,000 in case of future legal action regarding the expansion, and Wandsworth Council has set aside £25,000.
Robert Barnstone, coordinator of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, responded to the report, saying: “Heathrow expansion will cost British taxpayers up to £18 billion in order to pay for infrastructure upgrades that would be required to deliver the project.”

Estimates of the cost of the road and rail infrastructure needed to accommodate the runway vary – the Airports Commission has put it at £5-6bn and Transport for London has put it at £18bn.

Mr Barnstone said, referring to information revealed by a freedom of information request by the Press Association in January: “We know the Government has already spent more than £10,000 per day in 2015 and 2016 on assessing Heathrow expansion, not to mention the cost of the glamourous consultation that has been running for the past two months.

“These four local authorities are in fact doing British taxpayers a favour trying to stop this overwhelmingly burdensome amount of money being spent.

“There are 470,000 households across the four boroughs – that’s just 75p per household. It is a small price to pay to fight plans that would devastate many people’s lives, not least those thousands of people that would lose their homes, but also the hundreds of thousands of people that would become exposed to Heathrow aircraft noise and the reduction in air pollution that the extra 250,000 planes per year would bring.

“Many thousands of residents are pleased that their local council is standing up for them whilst the Government is spending many millions pushing forward a project that cannot be delivered.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: “Delivering new runway capacity in the south east is vital to the future of the UK, helping boost our economy and our position on the world stage.

“We want to hear everyone’s views on the consultation currently underway, which will close as planned on 25th May.

“The consultation sets out the benefits and potential impacts of expansion, and is accompanied by a world-class package of compensation and mitigation measures to support local communities.”

http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/15238808.Councils____350k_spend_fighting_Heathrow_expansion__doing_taxpayers_a_favour_/

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See earlier:

Government spent ‘eye-watering’ £10k a day (£3.8m so far…) on legal etc consultants over 3rd runway

The Government has been criticised for the DfT spending an average of £10,000 per day on consultants and law firms to decide if a 3rd runway should be built at Heathrow. The DfT is reported to have spent more than £3.8million on external firms since the Airport Commission published a report in July 2015, saying Heathrow was the best location for a new runway. A FoI request by the Press Association showed that the lion’s share of the money has gone to financial advisers N M Rothschild & Sons, who filed 4 invoices totalling £1.46 million, which were paid between July last year and October 2016.  Law firm DLA Piper UK was also paid £1.09 million between August 2015 and October 2016, while Allen & Overy received £152,955.60 between January and September this year.  Professional services firm Ernst & Young filed 2 invoices worth £138,765 for consultancy work, paid between March and August 2016.  New MP for Richmond Park, Sarah Olney, said: “These are eye-watering sums, over £10,000 a day, to pay consultants for an airport people don’t want.” For this runway “the people lose out and the only gainers are highly paid consultants.” Taxpayers’ money has been wasted by the DfT despite deciding “long before it was going to be Heathrow whatever the evidence”. Far, far more public money will also be spent, if the runway went ahead.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/01/government-spent-eye-watering-10k-a-day-3-8m-so-far-on-legal-etc-consultants-over-3rd-runway/

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

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

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/01/back-heathrow-complains-hillingdon-has-to-spend-money-fighting-runway-refuses-to-say-how-much-funding-it-gets-from-heathrow/

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Greenpeace to join with 4 councils in legal challenge against Heathrow 3rd runway

Greenpeace UK has joined forces with Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils to prepare grounds for a joint legal challenge against Heathrow expansion.  More claimants could join the alliance in the coming days as media reports have suggested a final decision has now been delayed until 25th October.  Greenpeace and the four local authorities say both Heathrow expansion schemes would be unlawful due to their unrivalled environmental impacts, which include exacerbating illegal levels of air pollution, increasing Europe’s worst aircraft noise footprint and stretching the local transport network beyond breaking point. The councils jointly instructed Harrison Grant Solicitors to prepare their legal strategy last year and Greenpeace will now share costs and bring new environmental expertise to the partnership. The campaigners also worked together back in 2010 to successfully overturn the Brown Government’s backing for a 3rd runway in the High Court. Later that year the scheme was emphatically ruled out by the incoming Cameron Government.  Heathrow current expansion scheme is even bigger and has more severe environmental impacts than the 2010 proposal, and will fail the same legal tests. New evidence on the severe health impacts of air and noise pollution make the new scheme far less likely to pass judicial review.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/10/greenpeace-to-join-with-4-councils-in-legal-challenge-against-heathrow-3rd-runway/

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Theresa May’s local council, Windsor & Maidenhead, vows court fight if she backs Heathrow runway

The Tory leader of Theresa May’s own local council, Windsor and Maidenhead, has vowed to use “all necessary financial resources” for a High Court battle to block a third runway at Heathrow.  Councillor Simon Dudley, Leader of the council, pledged the legal action to protect residents “irrespective of who the Prime Minister is”.  He has joined forces with Wandsworth, Richmond upon Thames and Hillingdon councils for the looming court battle if the Government backs Heathrow expansion. “We have very significant financial resources,” he said. “We will put all the necessary financial resources behind a vigorous legal action.”  The Council’s lawyers, Harrison Grant, wrote to David Cameron this year warning him that his “no ifs, no buts” promise before the 2010 general election to oppose a third runway had created a “legitimate expectation” among residents that the project would not go ahead. So if it were given the green light, they argued, it would be an “abuse of power correctable by the courts”.  Mr Dudley said Windsor and Maidenhead had allocated £30,000 for the legal battle and signalled that this could rise to hundreds of thousands.  The council’s concerns include more pollution, noise and traffic as well as extra housing needs created by a larger Heathrow.  A recent poll in the areas suggested around 38% opposed the runway, with 34% in favour of it.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/09/theresa-mays-local-council-windsor-maidenhead-vows-court-fight-if-she-backs-heathrow-runway/

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Day 17 of Neil’s walk to Scotland – through the Northumberland National Park

21st April: Day 17 of Neil Keveren’s 400 mile walk from Harmondsworth to Edinburgh. Neil is less than a week away from his destination, Edinburgh. His body is holding up but he is facing the toughest part of his walk, with the weather forecast next week talking about Arctic winds (headwinds) and thunderstorms! Neil has blogged about what it has been like walking through the Northumberland National Park. “Strong winds today and I have my waterproofs on. It’s so hilly! I’ve been on this same road now for days and it takes some getting used to. When I look at the road ahead I’m aware that I have to walk as far as the eye can see. When I look behind me I see a vast stretch of road that I’ve walked. …The landscape is stunning. A bonus on this walk has been absorbing some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. … It’s also been good to have so much support on the road – not just from Ray in the van. Drivers beep me and people on the street stop to wish me well. A few people have walked along for a while to keep me company and have chat. Perhaps the most unusual though was a flock of sheep who walked their boundary with me – I think they liked my hi-vis. … Today was a tough walking day, with serious hills on one long, mostly Roman, route.”
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Day 17 – The long and not winding road – Neil’s walk to Scotland

21.4.2017  (Stop Heathrow Expansion SHE blog on Neil’s Walk to Scotland)

It’s Day 17, 21st April, and Neil is less than a week away from his destination, Edinburgh. His body is holding up but he is facing the toughest part of his walk. He may not realise it but the weather forecast for next week talks about Arctic winds and thunderstorms! Here he tells us what it’s been like walking through the Northumberland National Park.


If you look closely you can see the No Third Runway van (and Ray waiting patiently inside)

“Strong winds today and I have my waterproofs on. It’s so hilly! I’ve been on this same road now for days and it takes some getting used to. When I look at the road ahead I’m aware that I have to walk as far as the eye can see. When I look behind me I see a vast stretch of road that I’ve walked.

“The landscape is stunning. A bonus on this walk has been absorbing some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. I’ve also been blessed with some decent weather for the walk through England.

“It’s also been good to have so much support on the road – not just from Ray in the van. Drivers beep me and people on the street stop to wish me well. A few people have walked along for a while to keep me company and have chat. Perhaps the most unusual though was a flock of sheep who walked their boundary with me – I think they liked my hi-vis.”


Ray filling his lungs with some clean air – something denied to people living near Heathrow

“I usually take a ‘shut-down’ photo at the end of the day, but not tonight. We did the full 20-mile route today and booked into a campsite. As soon as we arrived I got straight into the sock washing and showering routine to get it out of the way. So I’ll send a picture of the camp in the morning. I’ve no internet on the tablet right now.

“We are 7 miles short of the Scottish border, that’s seventy-ish miles short of Edinburgh. Today was a tough walking day, with serious hills on one long, mostly Roman, route. Feet and legs are good though.

“Each day I’ve been adding a few miles to the original schedule as I know the terrain in Scotland is going to be tougher. I’m now about 25 miles ahead of where I’d expected to be at this stage. I might have to cut the mileage a bit as I don’t want to arrive in Edinburgh too early. Let me see what tomorrow’s hills are like.”


On the A68 – Camien Cafe, Rochester, Northumberland National Park

By CHRISTINE TAYLOR and Neil Keveren
APRIL 21, 2017

http://stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/scotlandwalk/april2017/2017/4/21/day-17

and other blogs along the walk at

http://stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/scotlandwalk/april2017/

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Gatwick community group calls for the new Government to restrict aircraft noise through policy

Local Gatwick community group, CAGNE, wants the next Government – after the 8th June election – to control aviation, and encourages voters to make an election promise to limit aviation through appropriate policy. The current Government’s consultation on national airspace policy suggests undertones of an industry that could be allowed to self regulate, under a more relaxed policy. The DfT consultation (ends 25th May) on airspace change proposes allowing the industry to have more self-regulation, by allowing airport owners more control of airspace. It also sets the bar for call in by the Secretary of State too high for communities to mount, requiring 10,000 complaints – a practical impossibility for a small group.  The DfT also offer no independent ombudsman outside of CAA approval.  Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE commented:  “This permits the CAA to continue to play judge and jury as it is funded by the industry it serves. There is very little new policy in the consultation to make airlines reduce aircraft noise. It displays the attitude that aviation demands are a priority over that of those communities that suffer unacceptable level of aircraft noise, up and down the country, now.” CAGNE believes that ‘one size does not fit all’ when it comes to airspace design.  The meaning being that each route has to be addressed separately so that the impact on communities can be addressed in a proper and fair way.

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Community group calls for the new Government to restrict aircraft noise through policy

21.4.2017

(CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

Community group calls for the new Government to control aviation and that voters make it an election promise to limit aviation through policy

The current Government’s consultation on national airspace policy suggests undertones of an industry that could be allowed to self regulate with a more relaxed policy 

The current Government’s consultation* seeks to allow the industry to have more self-regulation by allowing airport owners more control of the sky and setting the call in by the Secretary of State too high for communities to mount (this would be a similar procedure as to a planning appeal could be dealt with but with airspace there would be a requirement for 10,000 complaints) and offers no independent ombudsman outside of the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) approval.  

“This permits the CAA to continue to play judge and jury as it is funded by the industry it serves”, said Sally Pavey Chair of CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions.  “There is very little new policy in the consultation to make airlines reduce aircraft noise. It displays the attitude that aviation demands are a priority over that of those communities that suffer unacceptable level of aircraft noise, up and down the country, now.”

“At present with so many airspace consultations taking place, it would seem that communities are to be put into groups, just tick boxes, so that they are seen to be consulted preempting any legal action.”

“We have to ask what the reality will truly be as the current Government seems to have set itself down a road of listening to the aviation industry over the voices of concerned constituents or the harm inflicted on the planet by an industry that is heavily subsidies by paying no duty or VAT on fuel, in Gatwick’s case specifically for leisure travel.”

The modernisation of airspace by the Government has become a national problem as airport owners endeavour to seize the heavily subsidised growth in low cost airlines, compete with each other, while persecuting communities with concentrated flight paths, day and night in Gatwick’s case.

The Government’s airspace consultation, which runs until 25th May, acknowledges CAGNE’s request that ‘one size does not fit all’ when it comes to airspace design.  The meaning being that each route has to be addressed separately so that the impact on communities can be addressed in a proper and fair way unlike the current policy which tends to target those that moved away from noise to find tranquility in rural areas. 

CAGNE would urge voters to visit the CAGNE website and participate in the consultation as policy is at the very heart of the modernisation of airspace above our homes. 

This modernisation is what has changed and is now impacting all of our lives through concentrated flight paths and Gatwick’s continual push to increase the number of planes they put in the air per hour.  

 “It is simply unfair and immoral for a Government to allow an industry to persecute so many people whilst, in Gatwick’s case devaluing their homes and quality of life as Gatwick is surrounded by rural communities of Sussex, Surrey and Kent,” said Chair of CAGNE.

*The Government’s current airspace consultation can be found at

Current consultations – deadline 25th May 11.45pm.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reforming-policy-on-the-design-and-use-of-uk-airspace

 

·      CAA Consultation – deadline 30th June.

https://consultations.caa.co.uk/policy-development/draft-airspace-design-guidance/

 

·      Gatwick details:

Residents are advised to complain to Gatwick over aircraft noise, as this is how Gatwick judges aircraft impact.

http://gatwickairport.com/business-community/aircraft-noise-airspace/noise-enquiries/

 

 ·      Councils are encouraged to join other council by joining the CAGNE Council Aviation Forum www.cagnepcforum.org.uk

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Voters in Maidenhead need proper representation in opposing the negative effects of 3rd runway

With an unexpected election, residents in the Prime Minister’s constituency – Maidenhead – have the chance to elect an MP who opposes the Heathrow 3rd runway. Back in 2009 Theresa May on numerous occasions voiced her avid concerns about its impact on her constituency. In May 2010, when the runway was stopped by the coalition government, she said: “Like many local residents, I strongly welcome the cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow……and today’s announcement is a victory for all those who have campaigned against it.” But that was all reversed, and Mrs May U-turned on the issue. Two letters in the local paper express the frustration and disappointment of constituents.  One writes: “… since her elevation to Prime Minister, Maidenhead residents no longer have a voice for their views.” … Maidenhead needs an MP who opposes the necessity for the local council to spend tens of thousands of £s on legal action against the proposed runway. …  “Also the Department for Transport in their “Sensitivities” report outline that the Net Benefit to the country, after construction costs etc is only from £0.2bn to £6.1bn over 60 years, i.e. divide this by 60, so a miniscule percentage of the UK Economy” ….We need an MP who “properly represents the interests of Maidenhead constituents.”
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Letters to local papers in the Prime Minister’s constituency – Maidenhead

18.4.2017

Dear Sir

A chance again for proper representation.

I am surprised to again be contemplating a general election. However it a welcome opportunity to re-state the need for our MP – the Prime Minister, Theresa May – to properly represent the interests of her Maidenhead constituents.

In 2008 to 2010 our MP, Theresa May strongly opposed the previous plan for a Heathrow third runway, making numerous statements, which included the following:

December 2008: “I hope …… that the Government will recognise the widespread hostility to Heathrow expansion and say no to a third runway.”

January 2009:  “I hope that the Secretary of State recognises that … nobody will take this Government seriously on the environment again. When Terminal 5 was announced, the then Secretary of State promised us a cap on the number of flights a year of 480,000. The Government have now broken their word, and this Secretary of State is playing the same game. In today’s statement he says: ‘I want there to be a limit on the initial use of the third runway so that the increase in aircraft movements does not exceed 125,000 a year’.”
However current plans for a third allow for more than twice the number, 260,000 additional flights per annum.

June 2009:  “Noise from Heathrow Airport is a big concern for local residents. I know from the letters and emails that I receive that people have strong views about this.”

May 2010, after cancellation of the previous plan: “Like many local residents, I strongly welcome the cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow……and today’s announcement is a victory for all those who have campaigned against it.”

[These are statements from Theresa May’s own website].

MPs including Dr Tania Mathias, John McDonnell, Adam Afriyie, Ruth Cadbury and Sarah Olney continue to represent their constituents in Parliament on the matter, however since her elevation to Prime Minister, Maidenhead residents no longer have a voice for their views.  Zac Goldsmith also strongly opposed a third runway, as did Boris Johnson and Justine Greening until the Prime Minister curtailed their ability to do so. 

We need to elect an MP who properly represents the interests of Maidenhead constituents.  In doing so they will also avoid the need for RBWM and the London Councils of Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and maybe others, supported by Greenpeace and the London Mayor, from having to spend £300k opposing the Government’s decision for a third runway and in turn avoid the cost of around £500 for every household across the country for supporting infrastructure (moving the M25, A4/Bath Road etc, etc) for a runway that we neither want or need.  This is money much better spent on priorities of NHS, social care, schools etc.

Heathrow themselves say that there are enough runways in the UK to serve us for 100 years.  Also the Department for Transport in their “Sensitivities” report outline that the Net Benefit to the country, after construction costs etc is only from £0.2bn to £6.1bn over 60 years, i.e. divide this by 60, so a miniscule percentage of the UK Economy.  
We need an MP who will represent these views.
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From a resident of Maidenhead constituency (name and address supplied)

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From the DfT Further Review and Sensitivities Report  Page 72  (October 2016)


And:

Dear Sir

We hope that the Maidenhead Conservative Party will choose a parliamentary candidate in the forthcoming election that will always put the constituency first in their House of Commons representation.

Given that Mrs May previously stated that Heathrow expansion would undoubtedly harm the constituency with ever more pollution, noise, congestion & infrastructure overload, it is important to have a candidate that will irrevocably put the constituency first in Parliament, and will be irrevocably against expansion of this adversely life-altering metropolis.

Mrs. May will clearly not fit the bill, and therefore another more suitable candidate MUST be considered. One whose credentials will pass this simple loyalty test.

Murray Barter

Residents Against Aircraft Noise

@RAAN@BERKS

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30 NGOs ask Austrian authorities not to reverse block on expansion of Vienna airport

30 NGOs, from Austria and beyond, have called on the Austrian authorities to respect a court ruling which blocked the planned expansion of Vienna Airport on the basis that it would violate Austria’s domestic and international climate commitments. Aviation is the most carbon intensive mode of transport, and its continued growth undermines efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The letter says:  “The Court’s ruling is a recognition of the inability of the aviation sector to expand in a manner which takes into account the public interest of climate mitigation, and which is consistent with Austria’s domestic, constitutional and international legal responsibilities. No effective measures currently exist to mitigate the sector’s substantial and growing climate impact. Aviation remains uniquely exempt from fuel taxation and VAT, artificially inflating its growth and undermining the incentive to improve efficiencies or strengthen alternatives to aviation, such as rail.”  The NGOs say reliance on the weak ICAO deal (CORSIA) should not be used to permit aviation to expand, as it is “wholly incompatible with the Paris Agreement: not only is its target insufficient for the Agreement’s 1.5°C limit, but its reliance on offsets is unsustainable given the Agreement’s requirement for all states and sectors to reduce emissions. Its limited environmental effectiveness is called into question if it is used by industry as a ‘licence to grow’.”
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NGO letter to Austrian authorities: block expansion of Vienna airport

April 20, 2017

30 NGOs, from Austria and beyond, call on the Austrian authorities to respect a court ruling which blocked the planned expansion of Vienna Airport on the basis that it would violate Austria’s domestic and international climate commitments. Aviation is the most carbon intensive modes of transport, and its continued growth undermines efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

https://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/ngo-letter-austrian-authorities-block-expansion-vienna-airport

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The letter:

20th April 2017

Dear Government of Austria, Government of Lower Austria and City of Vienna,

The international climate community applauds the recent decision by the Federal administrative court in Vienna to block the expansion of Vienna airport as incompatible with Austria’s climate obligations. Aviation remains the most carbon intensive mode of transport, currently responsible for 2.6% of Austria’s emissions and have grown 123% from 1990 when it represented 1.8% of Austrian emissions. Globally its emissions are, unchecked, expected to grow by up to 300% in 2050 and consume one-quarter of the remaining carbon budget to stay within the 1.5°C limit in the Paris Agreement which Austria has ratified.

The Court’s ruling is a recognition of the inability of the aviation sector to expand in a manner which takes into account the public interest of climate mitigation, and which is consistent with Austria’s domestic, constitutional and international legal responsibilities. No effective measures currently exist to mitigate the sector’s substantial and growing climate impact. Aviation remains uniquely exempt from fuel taxation and VAT, artificially inflating its growth and undermining the incentive to improve efficiencies or strengthen alternatives to aviation, such as rail.

Proponents of airport expansion will claim that the recently agreed Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) permits aviation to expand. However this measure is wholly incompatible with the Paris Agreement: not only is its target insufficient for the Agreement’s 1.5°C limit, but its reliance on offsets is unsustainable given the Agreement’s requirement for all states and sectors to reduce emissions. Its limited environmental effectiveness is called into question if it is used by industry as a ‘licence to grow’.

Only one-quarter of aviation emissions are included in EU ETS, a policy which is currently failing and needs to be substantially reformed. This is especially true of the aviation provisions, which provide the sector with privileged treatment over other sectors due to the static cap and generous allocation of free allowances. Not only does EU ETS need to be reformed but additional measures will be needed to rein in the sector’s emissions, such as ending its fuel tax, VAT exemptions and ending airport expansions.

The proposed expansion of Vienna airport represents a dangerously incoherent policy. While in Austria a phase out of coal is in sight, part of the estimated 1.5m tCO2e reduction goal would be negated by this airport expansion. Such mixed signals undermine our shared goal of winning public support for action on climate change. We call on you to respect this decision and, in the interest of current and future generations, block any expansion of the emissions from the aviation sector.

Sincerely,

William Todts

Executive Director, Transport and Environment

william.todts@transportenvironment.org

 

On behalf of:

Greenpeace, Climate Action Network Europe (CAN – Europe), Transport and Environment (T&E – Belgium), Carbon Market Watch (Belgium), Aviation Environment Federation (AEF – United Kingdom), Dreikönigsaktion (DKA – Austria), Katholische Hochschuljugend Österreich (KHJÖ – Austria), Koordinierungsstelle der Österreichischen Bischofskonferenz für internationale Entwicklung und Mission (KOO – Austria), Fondation Nicolas Hulot pour la Nature et l’Homme (France), Réseau Action Climat (RAC-F – France), Abibiman Foundation-Tema (Ghana), Global 2000 (Austria), Natur og Ungdom – Young Friends of the Earth Norway (NU – Norway), Alofa Tuvalu (France), Naturvernforbondet – Friends of the Earth Norway (Norway), Framtiden i våre hender (Norway), Welthaus Innsbruck (Austria), Spire (Norway), Bellona Foundation (Norway), Friends of the Earth Denmark (NOAH – Denmark), Association transport et environment (ATE – Switzerland), Mobilität mit Zukunft (VCÖ – Austria), Verkehrsclub Deutschland e.V. (VCD – Germany), Transform Scotland (United Kingdom), Clean Air Action Group (CAAG – Hungary), Ecologistas en Acción (Spain), Inter-Environnement Wallonie (IEW – Belgium), Ecocity (Greece), Focus, association for sustainable development (FOCUS – Slovenia) and Klimabündnis Österreich (Austria).

https://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/Letter%20to%20Austrian%20government_Vienna%20airport.pdf

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Neil’s 400 mile walk to Scotland: Day 14 – Easter Monday meeting with Andy McDonnell MP

On his 400 mile walk from Harmondsworth to Edinburgh, Neil missed spending Easter with his family – but he has his Uncle Ray, his sup[port driver. And powerful determination to save his village from a 3rd Heathrow runway.  He has been walking at least 20 miles per day, getting ahead of schedule.  On Bank Holiday Monday, Neil met up with Andy McDonald, MP for Middlesborough and Labour Shadow Transport Secretary. Andy was interested in the scrapbook of the Harmondsworth community that Neil is taking to Scotland, showing some of the people who would be affected by the runway.  Neil and Andy talked about the amount of taxpayer money (including from people in all the regions) that would be necessary to support the runway – effectively helping fund a foreign company’s infrastructure in the south.  They also talked about the tax evasion loop hole that Heathrow has exploited over the past ten years, paying high dividends but very low corporation tax.  And the failure of Heathrow to live up to jobs promises in the past. Mr McDonald did say that he was looking at the government’s recommendation to see if it passed Labour’s “four tests” and that assessment is “underway.” Neil was impressed that Andy understood many of the issues well, and placed emphasis on ensuring a high quality of life for all.
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Day 14 – Easter Monday in Middlesborough

17.4.2017 (SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion)

Thirsk:  Lovely place but whatever you do Ray, don’t lose the key to the van. 

Neil has missed spending Easter with his family but he has his Uncle Ray – and a determination to save his village from a third runway at Heathrow.  While the going is good, Neil has been completing a few extra miles each day, which has forced another rewrite of the walking schedule. It’s been so tiring that this blog has been tapped into the tablet from Neil’s bed in the van.

It’s fine for me to walk on beyond my planned destination every day but it can make being in the right place at the right time for some meetings a bit tricky.

On Bank Holiday Monday, it was arranged for Andy McDonald MP for Middlesborough and Shadow Transport Secretary to meet us. He was very welcoming and took time to study the scrapbook of our community that I’m taking up to Scotland with me. He said the scrapbook, with pictures of some of those who would be affected by a third runway, was a very powerful statement.


Andy McDonald MP (Labour)

I was pleased to hear that Mr McDonald understood the impact on the villages, that 3,750 surrounding homes could be unliveable and that 1.2 million Londoners would be adversely affected. It’s probably not surprising that the MP would object to the taxes of the North being used to fund a foreign company’s infrastucture in the south.

We talked about the tax evasion loop hole that Heathrow has exploited over the past ten years and I warned him of the lies Heathrow (HAL) has told us in the past and that job promises had not been delivered locally.

Most people understand that there will be serious health impacts if a third runway is built (a burden on the NHS that we will all pay for) but it was a good opportunity to explain why mitigation is not the answer. HAL propaganda has been spread throughout the country by the company and it can’t be believed. They’ll say anything to get what they want.

It’s now clear that any benefits of a third runway have been greatly oversold and the negatives played down. Mr McDonald did say that he was looking at the government’s recommendation to see if it passed Labour’s “four tests”.  So how is that going? The MP would only say that this process was underway and we could feed into the debate with him via email. I felt we had lots in common and he seemed to give quality of life for all a high priority.

We agreed not to do the usual pictures and I thanked Andy McDonald for giving his time on Bank Holiday Monday. I must say, I found him genuine in his comments.

I left feeling confident that if true independent evidence was used in any judgement, rather than Heathrow and the government’s “magical thinking”, the conclusion would be that a third runway is undeliverable..

http://stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/scotlandwalk/april2017/2017/4/18/day-14

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Blogs from Neil’s Walk to Scotland

For more blogs from Neil’s long walk north (not quite one per day, with time, energy and availability of wifi permitting – see

http://stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/scotlandwalk/april2017

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