Areas like Chiswick: Residents affected ‘will find out too late’ about new Heathrow noise only after final consent

The current Heathrow consultation on its plans for a 3rd runway does not give details of flight paths. Conveniently (for Heathrow) the information on those will only come after about 2023, well after (Heathrow hopes) it will have got planning consent for its scheme.  Wickedly, that means people do not know now, and will not for several years, whether they are due to have a narrow, concentrated route above them, or nearby. That will only become obvious too late for them to do anything about it.  It could mean a noisy plane, below – say – 4,000 feet – over head many times per minute. Hour after hour – most of the day. Day after day – most days. Local group Chiswick Against The Third Runway (CHATR) has said it is “unacceptable” that the details of the proposed new flight paths are not part of the Heathrow consultation.  “The scale of environmental degradation and destruction is monumental.” The absence of flight path information – which for many people is THE most important aspect of the expansion – is “clearly unacceptable. We believe this is fundamentally dishonest, since the hundreds of thousands of people affected will not discover until after planning consent”.
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Areas like Chiswick: Residents affected ‘will find out too late’ only after final consent

22.6.2019  (CHATR – Chiswick Against the Third Runway)

CHATR Slams Heathrow’s Lack Of Information On Proposed New Flight Paths

Chiswick Against The Third Runway (CHATR) has said it is “unacceptable” that the details of the proposed new flight paths are not part of the Heathrow Airport consultation document published this week.

Heathrow has launched a three month consultation into its plans for a controversial third runway which it hopes to open in 2026. The consultation includes proposals to build the new runway over the M25 as well plans to re-route local rivers, replace utilities and bring in changes to the road network.

CHATR say in their statement: “The documents published this week by Heathrow describe a huge project to deliver an enormous undertaking, equivalent to building a new airport the size of Gatwick alongside today’s Heathrow Airport. The scale of environmental degradation and destruction is monumental.

“Amidst all the detail, however, you will not discover the location of the proposed new flight paths. It seems these will be decided after any final go ahead from the Secretary of State. This is clearly unacceptable. We believe this is fundamentally dishonest, since the hundreds of thousands of people affected will not discover until after planning consent – by which time it will be too late. ”

“Heathrow, in conjunction with the air traffic controllers, is still working the flight paths up following an airspace consultation earlier this year. A further consultation on flight paths is expected in 2021 when the detailed routes will be revealed.

“CHATR urges all those opposed to the Third Runway – and the additional 25,000 flights which Heathrow are hoping to introduce in just three years – to keep up the pressure and momentum. Write to your MP, write to the next Prime Minister and respond to the Heathrow Consultation.

We have asked Heathrow Airport for comment and will report back when we get it.

http://www.chiswickw4.com/default.asp?section=info&page=thirdrunwaychiswick013.htm

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Heathrow Slammed For ‘By-Passing Chiswick’

Local MPs Unite Against Third Runway

Third Runway Would Mean An Extra 700 Planes A Day

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Leo Murray: Why a third runway at Heathrow is a litmus test for environmental breakdown

If Heathrow’s 3rd runway plan goes ahead, it will be a sure sign that the UK is incapable of effectively responding to the climate crisis. “Common sense might suggest that massive expansion at the UK’s single largest source of carbon emissions cannot possibly be consistent with plans to eradicate Britain’s net contribution to climate change. But the consultation documents assure us that there will be no increase in carbon emissions from the airport’s operations after 2022 – although there will be a 50% increase in flights.” …  On how the emissions are to be dealt with by offsetting: “Offsetting is problematic in principle – it actively defers structural change in high carbon sectors. It’s also demonstrably ineffective in practice.  Less than 15% of offsets under the UN’s CDM were found to have actually reduced emissions … which is why the CCC explicitly advised the Government against using offsets to meet the UK’s Net Zero target.” Due to devious policy manipulations, it will not be possible to challenge planning permission for the new runway on climate change grounds – they will not be considered a legitimate complaint. “Our collective ability to reflect on the wisdom of this project is a litmus test of our ability to rise to the epic challenge of environmental breakdown.”
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Why a third runway at Heathrow is a litmus test for environmental breakdown

19th June 2019

If Heathrow’s expansion goes ahead, it will be a sure sign that we are incapable of effectively responding to the climate crisis.

BY LEO MURRAY  (in the New Statesman)

Leo is founder of the “A Free Ride” scheme (for a more effective way to tax air travel by frequent fliers).

Heathrow Airport launched its public consultation on plans for a third runway barely a week after the government laid historic legislation to introduce a target for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050.

Common sense might suggest that massive expansion at the UK’s single largest source of carbon emissions cannot possibly be consistent with plans to eradicate Britain’s net contribution to climate change.

But the consultation documents assure us that there will be no increase in carbon emissions from the airport’s operations after 2022 – although there will be a 50% increase in flights.

What kind of magic is being used to square this circle?

The basis for the Net Zero legislation is a detailed piece of analysis from the Government’s statutory advisors, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), published in May this year.

But the Net Zero legislation for this target departs from the CCC’s advice to the Government in two critical ways.

First, the Net Zero legislation opts to continue excluding shipping and aviation emissions from the UK’s formal carbon budgets, instead insisting that “there is a need for further analysis and international engagement”.

Second, it leaves the door open for future governments to meet this target through offsetting.

Offsetting is problematic in principle – it actively defers structural change in high carbon sectors. It’s also demonstrably ineffective in practice.

Less than 15% of offsets under the United Nations’ flagship Clean Development Mechanism were found to have actually reduced emissions, for example. These shortcomings are why the CCC explicitly advised the Government against using offsets to meet the UK’s Net Zero target.

As a result of these loopholes, Heathrow is able to claim in the headlines that there will be no increase in emissions from its expansion plans – because the nearly 40% extra emissions that will result from the additional flights (hidden in the consultation documents’ small print) will all be magically disappeared through international offsetting.

Heathrow’s summary of environmental impacts is also emphatic that “expansion at Heathrow is not considered to materially affect the ability of the Government to meet UK carbon reduction targets.”

This is very important to them. Not because they are bothered about meeting the targets, but because the policy that gave the green light to Heathrow expansion last summer stipulated that this – a material risk to carbon budgets – is the only way in which it will be possible to challenge planning permission for the new runway on climate change grounds.

So although the British public are being nominally consulted on the airport’s plans to expand, the biggest, most obvious problem with these plans – the fact that they will greatly exacerbate the climate crisis – will not be considered a legitimate complaint, and any responses pointing this out will be disregarded.

Aviation emissions aren’t included in carbon budgets, ergo increasing these emissions can’t threaten our ability to meet the budgets, ergo expansion cannot be challenged on climate grounds.

Seen in context, it is clear that the UK’s core climate legislation has been doctored specifically so it doesn’t represent an obstacle to the expansion plans of one of the most carbon intensive sectors of the economy.

In many ways, the official dissembling around Heathrow expansion and Net Zero is a perfect microcosm for the Conservative government’s response to climate change to date. They accept the science, sure; look, they will even legislate for ambitious targets 30 years in the future, when they will all be dead. What they cannot do is process the meaning of the science for society and the profound implications for government – much less implement any actual policies, inconvenience any corporations, or spend any money in response to what we have all agreed is definitely a crisis.

In fairness of course, Labour has its own problems when it comes to Heathrow’s third runway. Last summer, 119 Labour MPs voted with the tories for expansion, helped along by a friendly shove from Len McCluskey and Unite, who want more jobs for baggage handlers. Less than a year later, many of those same MPs confusedly rocked up to support Labour’s opposition day debate declaring a climate emergency.

A vast high carbon infrastructure project like Heathrow’s expansion is exactly the moment in confronting the climate crisis where reality bites, for politicians and wider society alike. Our collective ability to reflect on the wisdom of this project is a litmus test of our ability to rise to the epic challenge of environmental breakdown. If this runway is built, it will be a sure sign that we are incapable of mounting an effective response to the unfolding crisis. It will be a portent of doom.

But I still believe we can do it. As one caller to Five Live Breafkasts’ radio phone-in yesterday put it: “What I can’t see is why climate change means I have to get rid of my gas boiler, but rich folks down South get hundreds more planes to do all their flying?”

Leo Murray is director of innovation at 10:10 climate action, and advocates for a frequent flyer levy at afreeride.org

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/06/why-third-runway-heathrow-litmus-test-environmental-breakdown

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AvGen’s concerns mount over Heathrow’s “Fly Quiet” statistics – very opaque how they are arrived at

Heathrow produced figures, intended to show how well airlines that use the airport are performing in terms of noise. The criteria include noise quota/seat, plane Chapter number (noise certification), the NOx emissions/seat, the CAEP standard (engine emissions certification), the Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) violations, the airline’s Track keeping (TK) violations, and early or late movements between 23:30 and 04:30.  The group, AvGen, assesses the numbers put out by Heathrow, and finds – every time – that the numbers do not make much sense, and do not even match the stated methodology by Heathrow. Airlines get given numbers of points (it is far from clear how these are measured), and rankings for how “quiet” they are.  It appears airlines are bumped up and down the rankings in a fairly random way. Perhaps to make some airlines look good, and gloss over the amount of noise they make? For the Quarter 1 (Q1) results this year, AvGen calculates the figures, using the stated Heathrow methodology, British Airways short haul comes out 4th best (Heathrow put them first); British Airways long haul comes out 14th (Heathrow puts them 6th). Aer Lingus comes out at 10th best (Heathrow has them 4th). And so on. Contact AvGen for the full data.
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AvGen’s concerns mount over Heathrow’s Fly Quiet statistics

From Dave Reid, of AvGen

11th June 2019

Heathrow last week belatedly revealed the results from its Fly Quiet & Green programme for Q1 2019, after having concealed them from public scrutiny behind password protection for almost a month.

For Q1, as with previous quarters, league table scores have again been inflated, this time by a record 46% 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 of the 50 airlines considered (some of the poorer performing carriers have been awarded more than double the number of points that they merit), with the result that the relative league table positions are significantly distorted.

A more detailed look at the Q1 table shows:

  1. a) Individual airline scores are inflated by between 9% and 135%, with the poorest performing carriers receiving the biggest unjustified increase in their score. For example, the 797 points score awarded by Heathrow to Jet Airways is 434 points more than the airline actually merits under Heathrow’s own rules, based on its published performance metric rankings.
  1. 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 528 points (from a maximum possible 1,000 points).
  1. c) Jet Airways and Air India are given an unexplained hike up the table, by 17 and 15 places respectively, compared to the positions that their performance merits.
  1. d) Among the airlines entitled to feel aggrieved with this quarter’s published results include China Southern, relegated 23 places from its rightful position, together with Icelandair shorthaul and Japan Airlines, each unjustifiably demoted by 16 places. El Al, despite meriting 368 points by Heathrow’s own methodology, putting it just above Jet Airways, bizarrely ends up ranked 22 places and 281 points below the Indian carrier.
  1. e) “RAG” (red/amber/green) classifications are again applied inconsistently; for example Cathay Pacific and BA longhaul, ranked 40th and 41st, respectively, by Heathrow for early/late movements, get an “Amber” for that category while American, ranked 35th for that metric by Heathrow, gets a “Red”.
  1. f) Finnair’s wide-body types (Airbus A330 and A350) which account for more than 20% of its flights at LHR and should therefore, under Heathrow’s rules, be considered separately, have been lumped in with the narrow-body fleet, thereby invalidating the results for metrics such as Quota Count per seat and CAEP.
  1. g) BA shorthaul has been propelled into first place (even though SAS, Delta and United actually performed better) and we’re asked to believe that it scored only 43 points short of a “perfect” 1,000 despite coming close to bottom (45th out of 50) for engine emissions and two-thirds of the way down the rankings for Night Quota compliance.  It turns out that Heathrow has only docked BA a little over 0.6 of a Fly Quiet point for every place lost across the seven parameters measured (adjusted by the appropriate “weighting”).That would mean, were BA to be the worst-performing airline (i.e. in 50th place) for every parameter, that instead of the zero points that the rules stipulate, it would still be awarded a score of 833 out of 1,000 !

However one positive outcome in this quarter’s results is that, for the first time, Heathrow has successfully managed to correctly determine its 50 busiest airlines (by counting how many times each airline lands on its runways).

Leaving aside the ingenious way the final league table is manipulated, even some of the individual metric rankings (which, up to now, we had been inclined to accept by default) turn out to be suspect when examined closely.

Take noise, for example.  Heathrow uses the Quota Count (QC) values (based on ICAO noise certification).  So far, so good – an average QC value per flight, or even per seat, would be a good parameter to use for that metric in order to compare different airlines’ fleets.

But rather than do that, Heathrow totals the QC values for all an airline’s movements, divides the sum by (number of flights x average seat size, i.e. aggregate seat capacity) and then divides the answer again by the number of flights.  It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the best way to get a good score for this noise metric is simply to have a lot of flights, since the aircraft type involved carries far less weight.

Sure enough, BA longhaul, which operated nearly a quarter of its flights with noisy Boeing 747-400s (QC:4) and 777-200s (QC:2), gets ranked as second-best carrier for noise Quota Count whereas Air India for example, which operated all but a handful of its flights using modern, quiet Boeing 787-8s (QC:0.5), gets ranked Number 20.

As usual, attached is AvGen’s detailed audit of the Q1 results, contrasting Heathrow’s scores and league table placings with those calculated by AvGen using Heathrow’s own published methodology and metric performance rankings.  We have copied these to Heathrow.

Also enclosed is an updated copy of our “Fly Quiet Forensics” paper that discusses the two years of the current programme and documents AvGen’s unsuccessful attempts to have a meaningful discussion with Heathrow about the issues.

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.

Dave Reid
AvGen Limited
Reading, UK

dave.reid@avgen.com

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There is information about the Heathrow “Fly Quiet and Green” programme at

https://www.heathrow.com/noise/making-heathrow-quieter/fly-quiet-and-green


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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Heathrow 3rd runway plans reveal the monster airport proposed – how uniquely expensive, harmful and damaging it would be

With the publication of the Heathrow consultation documents comes realisation of what a massive, uniquely damaging and harmful plan it is. A few comments from Alistair Osborne in the Times: “The project is the equivalent of dropping Gatwick airport on to one of the world’s busiest motorways: 12 zippy lanes, no less, of the M25″… and “It can all be done without any “significant” disruption, while maintaining the traffic flow of 220,000 vehicles a day. Who says so? Heathrow, of course — despite the small matter of “realigning the M25 carriageway”, sinking it by 4.5m in a tunnel and having planes land on top. Not only that. Heathrow will be adding at least 260,000 flights a year and 50 million more passengers” … ” But, apparently, they won’t lead to a single extra car on the roads. Or any more trucks, despite the doubling of cargo capacity to “at least three million tonnes” a year. No, it’s all coming by bicycle or some green equivalent. And don’t worry about the costs because “Heathrow expansion will be privately financed and costs will not fall on the taxpayer”…. “It’s pure fantasy. Indeed, ask Heathrow how much of the £14 billion is for diverting the M25 and the company has no answer…. Apparently, a cost breakdown will be delivered to the CAA by the end of the year.”
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Heathrow monster that won’t fly

19th June 2019

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Heathrow’s flying unicorn: a £14 billion third runway project even more fantastic than the mythological beast. None of it makes any sense. But who cares about that? It’s just the thing for batso Brexit Britain.

The Heathrow “masterplan” is out. And no faulting the airport on the document front — all timed for its 12-week “statutory consultation”. There’s thousands of pages of stuff: everything from diverting rivers to demolishing 761 houses. But here’s the key thing you need to know. The project is the equivalent of dropping Gatwick airport on to one of the world’s busiest motorways: 12 zippy lanes, no less, of the M25. What better location than that?

Still, guess what? It can all be done without any “significant” disruption, while maintaining the traffic flow of 220,000 vehicles a day. Who says so? Heathrow, of course — despite the small matter of “realigning the M25 carriageway”, sinking it by 4.5m in a tunnel and having planes land on top. Not only that. Heathrow will be adding at least 260,000 flights a year and 50 million more passengers — topping the 46.4 million Gatwick handled in its latest financial year.
But, apparently, they won’t lead to a single extra car on the roads. Or any more trucks, despite the doubling of cargo capacity to “at least three million tonnes” a year. No, it’s all coming by bicycle or some green equivalent. And don’t worry about the costs because “Heathrow expansion will be privately financed and costs will not fall on the taxpayer”. Even better, transport secretary Chris Grayling says passenger charges will be kept “close to current levels”.

It’s pure fantasy. Indeed, ask Heathrow how much of the £14 billion is for diverting the M25 and the company has no answer — at least, not yet. Apparently, a cost breakdown will be delivered to the Civil Aviation Authority by the end of the year. But the airport’s biggest customer, British Airways-owner IAG, isn’t waiting for that. It pointed out that Heathrow is now admitting that “the overall expansion costs will soar to £30 billion” — “This is why you cannot trust Heathrow. They are trying to con Parliament, con customers and con the public.”

Heathrow says the higher figure accounts for spending on the airport outside the runway project. But the promoter of the rival Heathrow Hub scheme puts the all-in costs of Heathrow’s plan, including surface access, at £43.5 billion. Who’s right?

What, too, of the environmental impact? Well, Heathrow says there’ll be no increase in air pollution, carbon emissions or noise. But two sites around the airport already breach nitrogen dioxide limits, even if Heathrow’s directly responsible for only up to 16% of those emissions. How will 260,000 more planes help carbon targets? And the consultation flunks the noise issue because it won’t be until 2022 that Heathrow reveals the key bit of info people need: the precise flightpaths.

Of course, Boris Johnson said he would “lie down in front of the bulldozers” to stop runway three — not that you can always tell what sort of lying he’s got in mind. But, given there’s a viable, competition-friendly alternative in building an extra runway each at Gatwick and Stansted, the least our wannabe PM can do is demand that Heathrow gets real. As things stand, its fantasy project does not deserve to fly.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heathrow-monster-that-won-t-fly-n3qb9d6h3

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See also the Guardian Story at

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/18/heathrow-third-runway-expansion-plans-revealed?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other


Heathrow Airport reveals £30bn expansion plans that will ’cause 30 years of misery’

HEATHROW Airport has unveiled its £30bn expansion plans with a contentious third runway set to open by 2026 – but campaigners have warned the project will cause 30 years of “misery”.

The ambitious plans include lowering the M25 for the third runway to cross, diverting rivers and moving roads – with furious opponents warning of the environment impact.

The new runway, the crucial part of the airport’s expansion, is expected to be operational by 2026.   The rest of the airport will be built in three stages between 2030 and 2050, with Heathrow claiming it can be built for £14 billion.

It hopes to increase its total capacity to 135 million passengers by 2050, up from almost 81 million. Flight numbers are expected to rise from 480,000 to 740,000 in the same time period.

Critics have questioned the price tag, claiming the ultimate cost could more than double to £30 billion.

‘YEARS OF DISRUPTION’

Plans for the first phase include the re-routing of a 12-lane section of the M25 into a tunnel under the new runway, diverting of river corridors and creation of new drainage and pollution control areas, and realignment of the Colnbrook Railhead freight line.

The project will be carried out while the M25, which carries 220,000 vehicles a day, remains operational.

The RAC warned drivers using the stretch “would face years of significant disruption”.

New locations have also been marked out for places such as Harmondsworth Primary School and Heathrow Special Needs Centre, which will be moved within the first phase.

In all, 761 homes are expected to be ripped down, including the entire village of Longford.

Plans to mitigate the effects of expansion include property compensation (with homeowners getting the open market value of their home plus 25 per cent), noise insulation funding, improved public transport links and a 6.5-hour ban on scheduled night flights.

The airport hope more passengers reach the airport by public transport but today’s plans show it is proposing to build three new car parks on the site, with space for 52,500 cars.

The proposals are now open to public consultation until September 13.

‘MISERY’

The third runway has faced fierce opposition for many years from campaigners who cited the negative impacts on noise and air pollution, habitat destruction, transport congestion and climate change.

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May, said only four years ago he would “lie down in front of those bulldozers and stop the construction of [that] third runway”.

But when the plan was put up for vote in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson hopped on a plane to Afghanistan to meet the country’s president and deputy foreign minister. The visit lasted one day and cost the Government just under £20,000.

Now, with the PM job in sight, Boris has hinted he will drop his longstanding opposition to the third runway.

Paul Beckford from the No 3rd Runway Coalition, added: “Heathrow will claim this is the largest consultation ever and that may well be right.

“However, this simply reflects the sheer scale of the impact that their expansion plans will have on local communities.”

Mr Beckford said “incredibly” it appears Heathrow wants to “spread the misery of their expansion plans over a 30-year period, inflicting the blight of construction and the resultant increases in air and noise pollution on communities across London for decades”.

700 EXTRA PLANES A DAY

Robert Barnstone, campaign co-ordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said he found the plans “laughable”.

He said: “It could be causing disruption for up to 30 years, that’s ridiculous.

“It just seems a slap in the face to be honest.

“Thirty years of disruption to build a runway that may not end up being compatible with various environmental targets, may breach air quality limits and is just going to make some parts of London a noise sewer.”

John Stewart, chair of Hacan, another campaigning group opposed to Heathrow’s expansion, said while the plan for the third runway was advancing it was not yet a done deal.

He said: “The impact on local people could be severe for many years to come. Disruption from construction; the demolition of homes; the reality of more than 700 extra planes a day.”

Campaigners have said around two million people could be impacted by new noise from an expanded Heathrow, including in areas such as Hammersmith, Heston, Osterley Park, Chiswick and Brentford, which are not on the flight path at the moment.

Last month the High Court dismissed five legal challenges to the approval of the runway, including one brought by a consortium of local authorities, Greenpeace and Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, on air quality, climate change and noise pollution grounds.

Friends Of The Earth, which brought one of the challenges, said it would appeal.

‘ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER’

Mr Khan tweeted today: “A third runway at #Heathrow would be an environmental disaster for London, with higher levels of toxic air & noise pollution and 40,000+ extra vehicles on our roads every day. I encourage all Londoners to participate in Heathrow’s expansion consultation.”

However the plans have been welcomed by some as a massive jobs boost.

Parmjit Dhanda, executive director of Back Heathrow, which claims to represent more than 100,00 local residents, said: “It will bring thousands of new jobs, apprenticeships for young people in local communities and boost the wider UK economy”.

London and Eastern regional secretary Peter Kavanagh added: “Heathrow’s expansion masterplan is an important step on the road to creating 77,000 new local jobs and 5,000 new apprenticeships, as well as other benefits such as increased investment and better infrastructure.”

“That is why we have been working with partners at the airport, in local communities and in Government to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly – with environmental considerations at the heart of expansion.

“This consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on our preferred masterplan, so it’s really important that as many people as possible take part. We look forward to hearing your views.”

 This shows the areas affected by the current flight paths and the extra areas affected by the expansion
This shows the areas affected by the current flight paths and the extra areas affected by the expansion
Noise levels could reach as far as St Albans following the expansion
In this scenario noise levels could reach as far as Dartford 
Noise levels could even reach Reading following Heathrow’s expansion

 

 These different maps show each runway in an arrivals' scenario - it's estimated around two million people could be impact by extra noise by a third runway

These different maps (see  https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9319310/heathrow-airport-expansion-revealed-third-runway-finished-2026/ for the maps) show each runway in an arrivals’ scenario – it’s estimated around two million people could be impact by extra noise by a third runway.https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9319310/heathrow-airport-expansion-revealed-third-runway-finished-2026/

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Heathrow’s 3rd runway is equivalent to bolting an extra airport onto one that is already the world’s most disruptive

The Heathrow consultation sets out Heathrow’s assessment of the impacts of expansion on local communities and the environment, and their plans (such as they are …) to mitigate these impacts. Speaking for the No 3rd Runway Coalition, Paul Beckford commented that: “Our communities will be destroyed by these expansion proposals, with 783 homes demolished and another 3,000 homes rendered unliveable owing to the construction and pollution. 2 million more people will be exposed to aircraft noise at levels that have a detrimental impact on health and millions will be exposed to significant increases in air pollution from vehicles accessing the airport as well as the 700 additional planes in the skies every single day. Every community across London and the Home Counties will experience the impacts of these proposals…” Paul McGuinness, Chair of the Coalition said: “Statistically, Heathrow is already the world’s most disruptive airport. It lies at the heart of the UK’s most densely populated region and has a hopeless environmental record, regularly breaching air quality targets. And all of that comes with just two runways. Heathrow’s plan equates to bolting another major airport on top of its current, disruptive operation.”
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HEATHROW EXPANSION TO CAUSE DISRUPTION FOR DECADES

18 June 2019

By the No 3rd Runway Coalition

Heathrow Airport has launched its statutory consultation on their masterplan for expansion.

The consultation sets out the detail of the proposals to build a new runway and associated airport infrastructure including new terminals and roads. It also includes information about night flights and how a 3-runway airport will operate, including the proposed additional 25,000 flights before a 3rd runway even opens.

The consultation sets out Heathrow’s assessment of the impacts of expansion on local communities and the environment – as well their plans to mitigate these impacts.

Paul Beckford from the No 3rd Runway Coalition, the leading campaign organisation opposing the expansion of Heathrow, said:

“Heathrow will claim this is the largest consultation ever and that may well be right. However, this simply reflects the sheer scale of the impact that their expansion plans will have on local communities.

“Our communities will be destroyed by these expansion proposals, with 783 homes demolished and another 3,000 homes rendered unliveable owing to the construction and pollution. 2 million more people will be exposed to aircraft noise at levels that have a detrimental impact on health and millions will be exposed to significant increases in air pollution from vehicles accessing the airport as well as the 700 additional planes in the skies every single day.

“Every community across London and the Home Counties will experience the impacts of these proposals, and we urge anyone concerned about the expansion to state their objections loudly and clearly in their responses to the consultation.”

Paul McGuinness, Chair, No 3rd Runway Coalition, said:

“Statistically, Heathrow is already the world’s most disruptive airport. It lies at the heart of the UK’s most densely populated region and has a hopeless environmental record, regularly breaching air quality targets. And all of that comes with just two runways.

“Heathrow’s plan equates to bolting another major airport on top of its current, disruptive operation. Many new communities will be overflown for the first time, and all the extra freight lorries and journeys from the expanded airport will pump noxious air into the lungs of local people. Against this deluge, their suggested mitigations are pitiful because the inevitable noise and environmental consequences of their plan are un-mitigable.

“The disruption envisaged from the construction, alone, should be enough to make decision makers think twice.

“Twenty years ago, Heathrow got its 5th Terminal by promising not to increase flight numbers or apply, in any circumstances, for a third runway. This consultation lays out how Heathrow intends to renege on the promises it once made to the planners and its surrounding communities”.

For more info, contact Rob Barnstone:

07806947050 or rob@no3rdrunwaycoalition.co.uk

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See also

 

Heathrow consultation starts – trying to cover up the devastating impacts the 3rd runway would have, in so many ways…

The main Heathrow consultation – before the DCO consultation – on its proposed 3rd runway has opened. It closes on 13th September. It is a massive consultation, with dozens and dozens of long documents – making it impossible, in reality, for a layperson to read.  Below are links to the key documents. Heathrow says it is proposing “tough new measures to reduce emissions”. It proposes a slight increase in the amount of time when scheduled flights are not allowed at night – just 6.5 hours (that does NOT include planes that take off late….) so little change there. This is a statutory consultation (the earlier ones were not) and Heathrow says it “will inform the airport’s Development Consent Order (DCO) application, which is expected to be submitted next year.”  There will be 43 consultation events to be held during the 12-week consultation period. Heathrow says its “expansion will be privately financed and costs will not fall on the taxpayer.” It will be interesting to see how they pay for the work to bridge the M25, paying for it all themselves. There is no information on flight paths, as those will not be decided upon until perhaps 2023. They use only indicative flight paths. There expected to be more flights, even before the runway is built, by 2022.

Click here to view full story…   find useful links for the consultation, events, documents etc

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Read more »

Heathrow claims there will be NO NET INCREASE IN CO2 EMISSIONS, with 50% more flights….

The expansion of Heathrow, with a 3rd runway, would – logically and in the absence of any real means of reducing the carbon emissions per plane in any significant way – be likely to increase the CO2 from flights by something like 40%. But the consultation by Heathrow, published on 18th June, gives NO figures for the amount of extra carbon that would be emitted by the extra planes. They say the current amount of carbon emitted by flights, the airport, surface access is about 20.83 million tonnes of CO2 per year. But they consider the extra fights not to add any carbon at all (except domestic flights) because all will be offset using the UN CORSIA scheme. So it is entirely cancelled out and ignored. Heathrow say: “Current baseline GHG emissions have been estimated at 20.8 million tonnes of CO2e (MtCO2e). Air transport accounts for over 95% of Heathrow’s GHG emissions followed by surface access transport at 3%.” And “Heathrow’s carbon neutral growth aspiration means that growth in CO2 emissions from additional flights after expansion would be offset through carbon credits, resulting in no net growth in emissions.” Caroline Lucas MP commented: “Heathrow is taking economy with truth to new levels`’ 
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The number of flights is anticipated to rise, with a 3rd runway, from around 475,000 per year now to 740,000 (a 55% increase).  Link

 

The consultation:

The consultation can be found at  https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/

Links to the vast number of documents can be found at

https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/documents/

Click on a collection below to view all relevant documents.

 

Carbon

 

On carbon emissions, this document states: 

9.6.9  Current baseline GHG emissions have been estimated at 20.8 million tonnes of CO2e (MtCO2e). Air transport accounts for over 95% of Heathrow’s GHG emissions followed by surface access transport at 3%. Table 9.7 presents Heathrow’s baseline GHG emissions by sub-aspect and includes published results for 2015 and 2016 for context, noting that not all activities were reported in these earlier years: the additional activity included is the air transport CCD phase (which is 90% of the 2017 footprint).

and

“Heathrow’s carbon neutral growth aspiration means that growth in CO2 emissions from additional flights after expansion would be offset through carbon credits, resulting in no net growth in emissions. This aspiration also applies to GHG emissions from ground transportation for passengers and colleagues and the embodied carbon that would result from construction of the DCO Project.

This is the table showing their assessment of the current CO2 emissions:  ie. over 20 MtCO2 per year from flights.
image.png
CCD means “climb, cruise and descent.”
You will not find a figure for the amount of carbon emitted by the international flights, with the new runway.
It is assumed that all aviation carbon is offset, through CORSIA, and so the emissions by 2050 – or whichever date you look at – will be LOWER than they are now, with about 50% more planes than now.
 
Below is  a screen shot of part of the only table they give, showing future carbon emissions.   Page 9.41 of
 
image.png
 

On carbon emissions, this document states: 

“9.6.9 Current baseline GHG emissions have been estimated at 20.8 million tonnes of CO2e (MtCO2e). Air transport accounts for over 95% of Heathrow’s GHG emissions followed by surface access transport at 3%. Table 9.7 presents Heathrow’s baseline GHG emissions by sub-aspect and includes published results for 2015 and 2016 for context, noting that not all activities were reported in these earlier years: the additional activity included is the air transport CCD phase (which is 90% of the 2017 footprint).”

and

“Heathrow’s carbon neutral growth aspiration means that growth in CO2 emissions (Note 27) from additional flights after expansion would be offset through carbon credits, resulting in no net growth in emissions. This aspiration also applies to GHG emissions from ground transportation for passengers and colleagues and the embodied carbon that would result from construction of the DCO Project.”

(Note 27 says:  27 As explained in Section 9.4, current DfT policy (DfT, 2017 and DfT, 2018) is to consider only CO2 emissions from air transportation. )

It then goes on to say (here come those peatlands ….)

9.16.5 Much of the growth in CO2 emissions from the DCO Project would be offset by airlines as part of their obligations under CORSIA. However, since CORSIA applies only to international flights and a small number of destinations are exempt, for example flights to small island states and some of the world’s least developed countries, there is a small gap in emissions not covered by CORSIA. 

9.16.6 To meet the aspiration for growth from the DCO Project to be carbon neutral, Heathrow wishes to close the gap for emissions not covered by CORSIA (Heathrow Carbon Neutral Roadmap 2018). To achieve this, Heathrow is engaging with airlines and governments to consider implementing measures such as voluntary agreements with carriers or financial incentives to drive sustainable operations. 

9.16.7 In addition, Heathrow wishes to promote carbon market approaches that can support innovation and is developing best practice for offsetting in the UK. As an example of work in this area, Heathrow has funded a pilot peatland project to help offset a portion of the emissions from its own facilities, as well as helping to make the case for UK peatland offsets to be eligible for use in CORSIA. In collaboration with non-governmental organisations, the government and other sectors, this work is also exploring how Heathrow can support the development of a UK market for the ecosystem services that peatland and other habitats can provide. This aims to enable the different benefits such as carbon, biodiversity and water quality to be combined in a way that lowers the cost of environmental improvements, helps scale up investment in these measures, and increases the rate of their implementation.

They happily quote the National Policy Statement saying:

“Any increase in carbon emissions alone is not a reason to refuse development consent, unless the increase in carbon emissions resulting from the project is so significant that it would have a material impact on the ability of Government to meet its carbon reduction targets, including carbon budgets.”

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See the full document,

“PRELIMINARY ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REPORT:

Chapter 9: Carbon and greenhouse gases 9.1 

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Read more »

Heathrow consultation starts – trying to cover up the devastating impacts the 3rd runway would have, in so many ways…

The main Heathrow consultation – before the DCO consultation – on its proposed 3rd runway has opened. It closes on 13th September. It is a massive consultation, with dozens and dozens of long documents – making it impossible, in reality, for a layperson to read.  Below are links to the key documents. Heathrow says it is proposing “tough new measures to reduce emissions”. It proposes a slight increase in the amount of time when scheduled flights are not allowed at night – just 6.5 hours (that does NOT include planes that take off late….) so little change there. This is a statutory consultation (the earlier ones were not) and Heathrow says it “will inform the airport’s Development Consent Order (DCO) application, which is expected to be submitted next year.”  There will be 43 consultation events to be held during the 12-week consultation period. Heathrow says its “expansion will be privately financed and costs will not fall on the taxpayer.” It will be interesting to see how they pay for the work to bridge the M25, paying for it all themselves. There is no information on flight paths, as those will not be decided upon until perhaps 2023. They use only indicative flight paths. There expected to be more flights, even before the runway is built, by 2022.
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The consultation:

The consultation can be found at  https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/

Links to the vast number of documents can be found at

https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/documents/

Click on a collection below to view all relevant documents.

The consultation events can be found at

https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/events/


Heathrow says:

In this consultation we are seeking feedback on:

Your feedback will help us to further refine our proposals before we submit our application for a DCO, planned for 2020.

This consultation is a statutory consultation being carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act 2008 and associated legislation and guidance. It is an important part of the planning process that applies to the Project. More information about the planning process can be found below and in the How do we obtain approval to expand Heathrow document.

For the flight paths for our three-runway airport, we are following the Civil Aviation Authority’s Airspace Change Process. This requires us to carry out ongoing airspace design work and stakeholder engagement to develop our flight path options.We are not consulting on airspace change as part of this consultation. For more information, please see our Airspace change page.

Before you start your response please visit How to respond“.

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Heathrow reveals masterplan for expansion with launch of its largest consultation

18th June 2019 (consultation ends 13th September)

http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Expansion-News-23/11234

Heathrow’s press release below

Heathrow Expansion Masterplan in 2050 (2)
  • Heathrow today unveils its preferred masterplan for expansion
  • Details of tough new measures to reduce emissions revealed, as well as our preferred plans for noise respite and proposed ban on scheduled night flights
  • This statutory consultation is the next major milestone for the expansion proposals, and Heathrow’s most innovative and largest consultation to date
  • It follows Heathrow’s Airspace and Future Operations Consultation held earlier this year and will inform the airport’s Development Consent Order (DCO) application, which is expected to be submitted next year.

Today, Heathrow launches its 12-week statutory consultation on expansion, the latest milestone in delivering this critical national infrastructure project, as the preferred masterplan for the project is unveiled.The Airport Expansion Consultation runs from 18th June until 13th September 2019 and gives the public the opportunity to provide feedback on Heathrow’s proposals for the future layout of the airport, including the new runway and other airport infrastructure such as terminals and road access. The public will also be able to have their say on plans to manage the environmental impacts of expansion, including a proposed Heathrow Ultra Low Emissions Zone, Heathrow Vehicle Access Charge and a proposed 6.5-hour ban on scheduled night flights.The Airport Expansion Consultation also reveals plans for the airport’s growth in phases – from runway opening in approximately 2026, to the end masterplan in approximately 2050. This incremental growth will mirror the forecasted growth in passengers and help airport charges remain close to 2016 levels, delivering more affordable fares for passengers.In addition, the consultation is seeking feedback on:

  • Plans to operate the future airport: how the future three runway airport will be operated, including important elements such as night flights, as well as how potential additional flights before the new runway opens could be operated on our existing two runways;
  • Assessment of impacts of the airport’s growth: Heathrow’s preliminary assessment of the likely impacts of expansion on the environment and local communities;
  • Plans to manage the impacts of expansion: Heathrow will set out the airport’s plans for mitigating the effects of expansion, including property compensation, Noise Insulation Policy, a Community Fund, and plans to mitigate against environmental effects including new measures to reduce congestion and emissions and a ban on scheduled flights at night.

The plans revealed in this consultation incorporate the extensive feedback gathered from the airport’s first public consultation on expansion, which took place from January to March 2018, and the Airspace and Future Operations Consultation held from January to March 2019, as well as from continuous engagement with local communities, local authorities, airlines, environmental stakeholders and other interested parties.

Responses to this consultation will inform Heathrow’s application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) – the planning consent required for the project – which is expected to be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport next year.

The consultation will be Heathrow’s largest and most innovative public consultation to date, with 43 consultation events to be held during the 12-week period. As part of this consultation, a website will also be available with all the information about Heathrow’s proposals, videos to help explain the plans, and an online feedback form to assist as many people as possible to participate and have their say.

Hard copy consultation documents will be available to view in 42 different locations across local communities.

Heathrow has also invested in new technology to bring the plans to life, including a physical model of the future airport which features augmented reality, sound booths to demonstrate the effect of noise insulation on properties overflown by aircraft, and a CGI fly through video.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion, urges local people to participate in the consultation, saying:“Expansion must not come at any cost.

“That is why we have been working with partners at the airport, in local communities and in Government to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly – with environmental considerations at the heart of expansion. This consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on our preferred masterplan, so it’s really important that as many people as possible take part. We look forward to hearing your views.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

1. The consultation opens on 18th June 2019 and feedback can be submitted from this date. The deadline for responding to the consultation is 11.55pm on 13th September 2019. Feedback can be submitted in a number of ways:

2. Throughout the Airport Expansion Consultation, Heathrow will be holding 43 open consultation events where people will be able to learn about our plans, ask questions, and provide us with their feedback. Details of the dates, times and locations of consultation events can be found on this website: www.heathrowconsultation.com

3. On 25th June 2018, MPs voted to approve the Airports National Policy Statement, which provides policy support for Heathrow expansion, by 415 in favour to 119 against – a majority of 296 votes which provided the airport with a clear mandate to proceed.

4. Heathrow expansion will be privately financed and costs will not fall on the taxpayer. The airport’s investors are supportive of this crucial project which will form part of the key trading infrastructure Britain will need to succeed post-Brexit.

5. Following the conclusion of this consultation and after feedback has been incorporated, Heathrow will submit a final proposal to the Secretary of State for Transport in 2020, kickstarting its approvals process.

The decision on whether to grant the DCO will be made by the Secretary of State following a public examination period.

For any queries, members of the public can contact info@heathrowconsultation.com

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Night flights:

On night flights, this document on noise states: 

“Heathrow is consulting on a night flight management regime including a 6.5 hour ban on scheduled night flights and exploring how this can be delivered to maximise respite for communities close to the runways between 2300 and 0700”

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Carbon

On carbon emissions, this document states: 

9.6.9 Current baseline GHG emissions have been estimated at 20.8 million tonnes of CO2e (MtCO2e). Air transport accounts for over 95% of Heathrow’s GHG emissions followed by surface access transport at 3%. Table 9.7 presents Heathrow’s baseline GHG emissions by sub-aspect and includes published results for 2015 and 2016 for context, noting that not all activities were reported in these earlier years: the additional activity included is the air transport CCD phase (which is 90% of the 2017 footprint).

and

“Heathrow’s carbon neutral growth aspiration means that growth in CO2 emissions27 from additional flights after expansion would be offset through carbon credits, resulting in no net growth in emissions. This aspiration also applies to GHG emissions from ground transportation for passengers and colleagues and the embodied carbon that would result from construction of the DCO Project.”

…. and there is much, much more…


Realigning the M25

https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2019/06/PTIR_Vol-2_Project-Description_Final-Draft_060619-NEW.pdf

M25 Realignment   [there is no mention of cost – conveniently]…

2.8.3 In order to accommodate the new runway, which would run across the existing alignment, the M25 would need to be lowered and realigned between Junction 14 (J14) and Junction 15 (J15).

2.8.4 The new route would run up to a maximum of 150m to the west of its existing motorway over a length of 2km. The main carriageway would comprise four lanes in each direction and would be built off-line to minimise disruption to the existing M25 during construction.

2.8.5 There would also be new northbound and southbound ‘collector-distributor’ roads running parallel with the main carriageway, which would link J14 and J15 and also link to Junction 14A.

2.8.6 The vertical profile of the proposed new section of the M25 would be lowered below the existing carriageway to allow it to pass under the proposed new runway in tunnels.

2.8.7 The preferred layout for the proposed M25 realignment is shown in Graphic 2.4.

 

 


HEATHROW EXPANSION TO CAUSE DISRUPTION FOR DECADES

17 June 2019

By the No 3rd Runway Coalition

Heathrow Airport will tomorrow (18 June) launch their statutory consultation on their masterplan for expansion.

The consultation will set out the detail of the proposals to build a new runway and associated airport infrastructure including new terminals and roads. It will also include information about night flights and how a 3-runway airport will operate, including the proposed additional 25,000 flights before a 3rd runway even opens.

The consultation is expected to set out Heathrow’s assessment of the impacts of expansion on local communities and the environment – as well their plans to mitigate these impacts.

Ahead of the consultation, Paul Beckford from the No 3rd Runway Coalition, the leading campaign organisation opposing the expansion of Heathrow, said:

“Heathrow will claim this is the largest consultation ever and that may well be right. However, this simply reflects the sheer scale of the impact that their expansion plans will have on local communities.

“Our communities will be destroyed by these expansion proposals, with 783 homes demolished and another 3,000 homes rendered unliveable owing to the construction and pollution. 2 million more people will be exposed to aircraft noise at levels that have a detrimental impact on health and millions will be exposed to significant increases in air pollution from vehicles accessing the airport as well as the 700 additional planes in the skies every single day.

“Incredibly, it now appears that Heathrow want to be spread the misery of their expansion plans over a 30-year period, inflicting the blight of construction and the resultant increases in air and noise pollution on communities across London for decades.

“Every community across London and the Home Counties will experience the impacts of these proposals, and we urge anyone concerned about the expansion to state their objections loudly and clearly in their responses to the consultation.”

Ends.

For more information, contact:

Rob Barnstone, 07806947050, rob@no3rdrunwaycoalition.co.uk

Paul Beckford, 07775593928, paul@no3rdrunwaycoalition.co.uk

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Just under the Environment section, there are a vast number of documents, some several hundred pages long: 

 

Environment

PEIR means Preliminary Environmental Information Report 

Documents/Pages in this collection

 

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Heathrow’s planes over Richmond Park would ‘damage mental health’

Millions of people who use Richmond Park, for peace, quiet and tranquillity, face up to 93 low-flying aircraft an hour if there is a 3rd Heathrow runway. The noise from the planes, so people cannot escape from the stresses of life and enjoy nature, is likely to have negative impacts on the mental well being of thousands of people. Richmond Park is surrounded by housing and urban development, but it is precious island and refuge, so close to London. With the expansion, there will be more planes, and lower, over the Park. Under the Heathrow expansion plans, hundreds of planes would produce noise levels of up to 80dB – many times over the WHO guidelines for good health – flying at 1,500 feet over the park. It seems that high, and rising, numbers of people living in the London area (and other cities) suffer from anxiety and mood disorders. To help them, the government might want to ensure there are quiet, tranquil areas that people can spent time in, to relax and de-stress. But instead, the government is happy to allow Heathrow to hugely increase plane noise over this treasured, ancient park.  Is nothing worth saving, from the ravages of economic growth etc?
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Heathrow’s planes over Richmond Park would ‘damage mental health’

Millions of people who use park face up to 93 low-flying aircraft an hour under plan

A psychologist who treats patients experiencing stress and anxiety with a dose of nature in Richmond Park says the expansion of Heathrow airport will be detrimental to mental health.

Heathrow will on Tuesday publish a consultation on its “master plan” for airport expansion, including environmental aspects of building a third runway.

Dr Alison Greenwood’s evidence comes days after research which showed a two-hour “dose” of nature a week significantly boosts health and wellbeing.

Under the planned expansion of Heathrow hundreds of planes will fly at low altitude over the park – a national nature reserve – for the first time.

Greenwood said the potential negative effects of increased noise pollution from low-flying aircraft on mental wellbeing were of great concern in a country where one in four people suffered a mental health problem each year.

She said: “With over 91% of us living in urban environments, and studies showing a significant increase in anxiety and mood disorders among city dwellers, one might expect our government to be doing all it could to protect our valuable natural spaces.

“It seems irrational then that the government is allowing Heathrow, as part of its plans for the third runway, to propose routing for the first time 47 low-flying arrivals as well as between 17 and 47 extra departures every hour directly over Richmond Park, London’s largest open space, a national nature reserve and a site of special scientific interest.”

Greenwood said she treated patients with mental health problems who were referred to her by GPs, with doses of nature in the park. “The conclusion of hundreds of scientific studies comprehensively demonstrates the mental health benefits of exposure to nature,” she said.

According to the World Health Organization, environmental noise features among the top environmental risks to physical and mental health and wellbeing. The WHO guidelines recommend reducing noise levels produced by aircraft to below 45 decibels (dB). “Aircraft noise above this level is associated with adverse health effects,” it said.

Under the Heathrow expansion plans, hundreds of planes would produce noise levels of up to 80dB – nearly eight times the WHO guidelines – flying at 1,500 feet over the park.

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to win the Conservative leadership, has suggested he would drop his longstanding opposition to a third runway at Heathrow if he becomes prime minister, according to the Times.

The former mayor of London, who told his constituents he would “lie down with you in front of those bulldozers and … stop the construction of that third runway,” refused to reassure campaigners against the runway earlier this week that he would cancel the scheme.

The park was established by Kings Charles I as a hunting ground in the 17th century and stretches more than 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres).

Sir David Attenborough, in a recent documentary on the park, said steps had to be taken to protect it against increased human activity.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/17/heathrow-planes-over-richmond-park-plan-would-damage-mental-health?

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See earlier:

Heathrow expansion plan involves large number of low planes over lovely, tranquil (now) Richmond Park

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Read more »

Extinction Rebellion delays protest at Heathrow – disrupting the airport likely to only create opposition to the campaign

Climate activism group Extinction Rebellion has postponed until later this year a plan to shut down Heathrow, using drones. It had said, on 1st June, that it had plans to cause a lot of disruption during June and July, to highlight the problem the UK has with the CO2 emissions from aviation – and the huge increase a 3rd runway would generate. There had never been any risk of lives being endangered, as drones would not have been flown near planes. XR had consulted widely among supporters, who feared a furore over safety concerns would eclipse Extinction Rebellion’s broader message over the need to take radical action to tackle the climate crisis. It could end up with overall very negative publicity, and hinder the message getting out effectively to a wider audience.  XR says any protests would take place within an exclusion zone in a 5km radius around the airport, avoiding flight paths, and the notice period for any drone action would be at least two months.  The intention is to push for the systemic change needed to cut Britain’s emissions as quickly as possible, by causing economic disruption – but trying to minimise disruption to passengers.
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Extinction Rebellion delays drone protest at Britain’s Heathrow until after summer

By Matthew Green  (Reuters)
16th June 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Climate activism group Extinction Rebellion has postponed until later this year a plan to shut down Britain’s Heathrow Airport using drones and published on Sunday more details of the protest action in a bid to allay public safety fears.

Last month aviation authorities went on the alert when the activists pledged to paralyse Europe’s busiest airport intermittently in June and July to highlight the damage that a planned third runway would cause to Earth’s climate. The protest had been due to start on June 18.

“Extinction Rebellion will not be carrying out any actions at Heathrow Airport in June or July this year,” the group said in a statement. “The Heathrow Airport authorities will therefore not have to pause any summer flights.”

Heathrow Airport responded to the group’s announcement by repeating its previous warning that any use of drones near the airport would be a “reckless action” that could endanger lives.

“We are working with the authorities to address any threat of protests which could disrupt the airport,” the airport authorities said. “We agree with the need to act on climate change, but that requires us to work together constructively – not commit serious criminal offences.”

Initial proposals to use drones floated last month caused a backlash among some supporters who feared a furore over safety concerns would eclipse the group’s broader message over the need to take radical action to tackle the climate crisis.

That earlier draft of the plan had stated that there was ‘no chance’ of flying drones while planes were in the air since the movement would inform the authorities of their plans well in advance, forcing the airport to ground all flights.

On Sunday, the group provided a more detailed plan that said protests would take place within an exclusion zone in a 5km radius around the airport, use only lightweight drones flown below head height, and avoid flightpaths. The notice period for any drone action would be at least two months.

“Creating any risk to aircraft or threatening any such risk must be avoided,” a legal brief by the group said.

Larch Maxey, part of a team who coordinates Extinction Rebellion actions, said the plan to shut down Heathrow was aimed at pushing for the systemic change needed to cut Britain’s emissions as quickly as possible.

“Our aim is to cause economic disruption to cause system change while minimising disruptions to the passengers and recognise that 75 percent of all flights are taken by 15 percent of people,” Maxey told Reuters.

The group did not give a new date for a new drone action beyond saying it would happen this year. Thousands of flights were grounded at Gatwick Airport outside London in December when drones were spotted near the perimeter. Extinction Rebellion was not involved in that incident.

Extinction Rebellion has pushed the climate crisis up the political agenda, with more than 1,000 volunteers willingly arrested over 11 days of peaceful London protests in April that forced parliament to declare a symbolic ‘climate emergency’.

Aviation emissions have come under fresh scrutiny since the British government adopted a new legally binding commitment last week to cut the country’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 – a first among the world’s biggest economies.

Building a third runway would make that goal harder to reach, according to scientists, who project that Earth’s climate system is fast heading towards irreversible tipping points.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-protests-climatechange-idUKKCN1TH064?

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See Extinction Rebellion’s press release:

Extinction Rebellion Grounds Summer Protest Plans For Heathrow

Email: press@risingup.org.uk

Phone: +44(0)7811183633, +44(0)7944894190, +44(0)7780602722, +44(07949332365, +44(0)7479234522

Website: https://rebellion.earth/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR  #ExtinctionRebellion

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/extinctionrebellion/

We thought we’d give your sub-editors a leg up and suggest a headline…

On a serious note, Extinction Rebellion will not be carrying out any actions at Heathrow Airport in June or July this year, aimed at causing disruption to holidaymakers and those planning to use the airport in this period. The Heathrow Airport authorities will therefore not have to pause any summer flights.

Fear and apprehension have swirled around this action since an internal proposal was leaked to media. The subsequent accusation that Extinction Rebellion was willing to endanger life is a depressing and predictable smear.

What endangers life on this planet is the continued and unfettered release of greenhouse gas emissions that will lead to runaway temperature rise, and the breakdown of life as we know it in the UK and across the world.  For absolute clarity therefore, Extinction Rebellion has not removed Heathrow Airport from its strategic planning. The Government’s go-ahead for the Airport authorities to begin building a third runway could not be more incompatible with the imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Peatland scam

We understand that Heathrow Airport executives hope to disguise the destructive impacts of Heathrow expansion through cynical plans to exploit “carbon offsets”. They would like to claim, for example, the credit for sequestering carbon in Britain’s peatland, which can be done relatively cheaply and by others, and to create the illusion that this “offsets” the emissions from aviation. The public will see though any such fraudulent attempt to fiddle the figures. We are in a state of emergency and we need every tool in the box. We need both to sequester carbon and reduce emissions; not use one to justify the other.

Heathrow Action Proposal

So alongside this media statement we are also making the full Action Proposal available for feedback, plus the Legal Briefing.

Any action taken by Extinction Rebellion with regards to Heathrow Airport will adhere completely to our total commitment to non-violence and passenger safety. Since the leak of the internal proposal, Extinction Rebellion has consulted internally and externally to arrive at the following template for any Extinction Rebellion-sanctioned action at Heathrow Airport:

  • Our actions are nonviolent and proportionate to the emergency that we find ourselves in.

  • Drones will NOT be flown within flight paths. If drones are part of any planned Heathrow action, operators will fly them at a maximum height of six feet (1.82 meters) within the restricted 5km zone surrounding Heathrow, but NOTwithin flight paths as clearly indicated in the map below. As an example, advance notice could be given by Extinction Rebellion that a drone might be flown close to head height in a public park in West Drayton, presenting the airport authorities with the opportunity to make an advance decision to safely close air space for the duration of this action.
  • All drones will be small, lightweight and be flown no higher than six feet (head height), in respect of government legislation that prohibits flying above 400 feet. It is Extinction Rebellion’s contention that flying a lightweight drone at a maximum height of six feet, outside flight paths, poses no risk to passing aircraft.
  • The airport authorities and the general public be given two months’ advance notice of the start date and time of any planned action. Above all, this notice period provides an appropriate period for the authorities to safely plan the closure of the airport for the duration of the action. We hope it also provides members of the general public with sufficient time to seek alternative travel arrangements if necessary.

Map showing the Heathrow Flight Paths (hatched rectangles) in which no drones would be flown and the remaining 5km exclusion zone in which drones could be flown.

The reality is that we do not want to plan any action at Heathrow that leads to the orderly and safe closure of airspace. However, Government inaction compels us to act. Our intention is to repeatedly draw attention to the Climate and Ecological Emergency until the Government tells the truth and acts upon that truth.

BACKGROUND FOR MEDIA

Accelerating CO2 levels, risking extreme weather and temperature rises as high as 2C

CO2 levels are increasing and accelerating and have just jumped to 415ppm. Scientists warn that concentrations of more than 450ppm risk triggering extreme weather events and temperature rises as high as 2C, beyond which the effects of global warming are likely to become catastrophic and irreversible. [2] Even with average changes of 1.5C which which we are approaching, the risk of crossing into an uninhabitable state of “hothouse earth” is high. The window to act on the Climate and Ecological Emergency is closing.

We don’t want to cause disruption, but we do really need to have an urgent and adult conversation about the emergency. In September 2018, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change.

Time is running out. We could quote David Attenborough or the Pope here too, or any number of scientists. In contrast, Theresa May said let’s go for net zero by 2050 – a death sentence for humanity and life itself. [1] And that’s just the climate, we haven’t seen any action on biodiversity loss. Just last month, the United Nations’ IPBES showed that one million species are at risk of extinction unless we change our path.

“We have it in our power to begin the world over again” Thomas Paine

We implore the UK government and all opposition parties to stop and consider whether they want our youth to face Attenborough’s potential civilisational collapse in their middle age?

Expansion at Heathrow is more business at usual. And just won’t cut it.

We ask what is reasonable action in the face of an emergency?

Is it reasonable to continue business as usual? Is it ethical or moral to sit back and watch carbon emissions increase in the name of economic growth? What is the cost of this inaction, for the economy, environment and society?

A single return flight from London to Christchurch New Zealand emits 6 tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of ALL the electricity carbon emissions from the average UK household, for EIGHT years!  A new runway will add the equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from Cyprus.

If we are to survive, Heathrow Airport needs contraction NOT expansion. And the same applies to airports across the globe.

It’s time to look in the mirror and reflect on our choices – we are at a cliffedge and what the Government does now, or doesn’t do, matters. We need leadership and transformative thinking.

The emergency requires global action, but this will never be achieved if the UK – as one of the richest and fifth biggest historical originator of carbon emissions – does not demonstrate a lead.

Do we really want to wait until we all have to resort to panic measures with dire social and civic consequences?

Notes

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/04/latest-data-shows-steep-rises-in-co2-for-seventh-year

[2]  https://rebellion.earth/2019/06/12/will-theresa-may-leave-a-legacy-or-pass-down-a-death-sentence/

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Extinction Rebellion:

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

https://rebellion.earth/2019/06/16/extinction-rebellion-grounds-summer-protest-plans-for-heathrow/

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Heathrow plans its 3rd runway to bridge the M25 in 3 sections – one runway and two separate taxiways

The Times has published images from Heathrow, showing their plans for expansion (consultation due to start of 18th) including what they do to get the runway over the 12 lane M25 (the busiest section of motorway in the UK, and probably in Europe). Heathrow has only ever said it would be just over £1 billion for the work, though it would cost much more. The plan appears to be for the M25 to be lowered a bit, into a tunnel. There would be two separate taxiways over the motorway, with the planes probably visible to drivers travelling below. Also a wider section on which would be the runway itself. Distracting for drivers?  Heathrow claims having two openings in the tunnel between the taxiways and runway would “improve stability, ventilation and visibility on the road.”  Might it also be cheaper?  The Times says: “Plans to cross the M25 have been revised after talks with Highways England, which had raised concerns about the risk of damage to the tunnel by landing aircraft. It was also feared that drivers may be distracted by planes overhead.”  Nowhere else in the world is a road a busy as the M25 crossed by a runway or taxiways.  Heathrow will seek to soften the impact of expansion by spreading the work over as long as 30 years – easier to pay for.

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Heathrow plans runway over M25 in 30-year expansion

The third runway at Heathrow will be the first of several big upgrades, including new terminals and car parksHEATHROW AIRPORT

New plans to build Heathrow’s third runway over the M25 have been drawn up as the airport prepares to stagger its huge expansion over three decades to minimise disruption. [And cut the costs, so it is not quite so unaffordable. But remember the calculations of alleged economic benefit to the UK were made on the assumption of the airport being full quickly. AW comment]. 

The Times has learnt that Heathrow will propose a new runway and parallel taxiways over one of the country’s busiest roads.

Images released by the airport indicate that the M25, which widens to 12 lanes past Heathrow, would be rebuilt in a tunnel west of its present route.

Two openings in the tunnel between the taxiways and runway would improve stability, ventilation and visibility on the road.  [And probably be a cheaper alternative, to doing it properly, with a full tunnel. AW comment]

Plans to cross the M25 have been revised after talks with Highways England, which had raised concerns about the risk of damage to the tunnel by landing aircraft. It was also feared that drivers may be distracted by planes overhead.

Runways elsewhere in the world also cross busy roads, including those at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Fort Lauderdale in Florida, but the volume of traffic on the M25 west of London poses a massive logistical challenge.

The plans will be unveiled on Tuesday 18th June as part of a three-month public consultation into Heathrow’s £14 billion expansion. [Down from about £18 billion, as Heathrow just could not afford that much.  AW comment]

The third runway is fiercely opposed by several local councils, environmental groups and Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, who fear that it will worsen air quality and increase aircraft noise. Almost 800 homes will be demolished to make way for the runway.

It will also test Boris Johnson if he becomes prime minister. He has been a vocal opponent of a third runway and pledged to lie down in front of bulldozers to prevent it being built.

Heathrow will seek to soften the impact of expansion by spreading the work over as long as 30 years.

The two-mile runway northwest of Heathrow will allow the airport to increase annual flight numbers by 54 per cent, from a maximum of 480,000 to 740,000. It will ultimately be able to accommodate 135 million passengers, up from almost 81 million. [Just at a time when the planet does NOT need more carbon emissions, and the UK government has declared a “climate emergency”. The expansion of Heathrow is entirely incompatible with that. AW comment]

Only the runway would be built by the planned opening date of early 2026. Other facilities such as new terminals, car parks, hotels and transit systems would open from 2030, with an expansion of Terminal 5 the priority.

The consultation will also outline plans to introduce an extra 25,000 flights a year on the first two runways. Heathrow will propose to implement a six-and-a-half hour ban on flights overnight to provide respite to nearby residents.

The airport insisted that expanding in phases would keep costs down and minimise the impact on passengers. It would also ensure that airline landing fees, which add more than £20 to each ticket, are kept as low as possible. Airlines warn that fare increases would price some out of using Heathrow.  [Notice, there is never a mention of all the people on the ground, who are not taking the flights, who will be negatively affected. The focus is always only on the passengers. Always.  AW comment] 

Critics are sceptical that the expansion can be built within the £14 billion, privately financed budget.

The Times has learnt that Heathrow will propose huge expansions of Terminal 5 and Terminal 2. A satellite terminal known as T5X would be built north of Terminal 5 and next to the new runway.

Plans to be unveiled next week also include two huge car parks north and south of the airport, new hotels and an underground transit system that would provide links to the new facilities. [The new car parks are because Heathrow loves the income from cars, but it tries to claim there will be no more car/vehicle journeys, even with the new runway.  Contradiction?  AW comment]

The only issue that will not be open to consultation next week will be the position of new flight paths. This will be decided during a national reform of aviation in the next few years.  [So nobody responding to the consultation will have any idea of where the worst noise impacts will be.  For many, that would be THE most important aspect of the consultation. AW comment] 

The Aurora Group, a hotel owner-operator, is working on an alternative plan which it claims can expand Heathrow at a fraction of the cost. Surinder Arora, the group’s chairman, said: “We fail to see how they can stay within their £14 billion budget or deliver it on time. It’s too elaborate, almost like they want to build an entire city at the airport rather than focus on the passenger. We will do it for less money and quicker.”

Parmjit Dhanda, executive director of Back Heathrow, a pro-expansion group, [an “astroturf group, managed and paid for entirely by Heathrow, while trying to masquerade as a local group, of local people who are in favour of the runway.  AW comment] said: “China is looking to build over 130 new civil airports in the next few years and we have struggled to build a new runway in the southeast since the Second World War. It really is time we got on with this.”

The long wait for take-off
September 2012 The coalition government sets up a commission to assess options for a new runway in the southeast. The Airports Commission.

July 2015 The commission recommends a third runway at Heathrow.

October 2016 Heathrow is ratified by the government, prompting the resignation of the Tory MP Zac Goldsmith.

June 2018 MPs vote heavily in favour of Heathrow expansion, effectively awarding the airport outline planning permission. The Airports National Policy Statement – NPS.

May 2019 Campaigners lose a High Court challenge against the government’s approval. They are appealing, and the result of that appeal is not yet known.

June 18, 2019 Heathrow to launch a statutory public consultation on the location of the runway, new terminals, roads, hotels and the demolition of homes. This consultation is one Heathrow has to do, as part of the DCO (Development Consent Order) process for planning.

Early 2020 Heathrow will use findings from the consultation to apply for a development consent order DCO, or detailed planning permission.

Mid 2021 The planning inspectorate will make a recommendation to the transport secretary for the final decision on the development consent order. The final decision is taken by the Transport Secretary (currently Grayling).

Late 2021 Work to start on the new runway and realignment of the M25.

Early 2026 Third runway is due to open.

2030 Expansion of Terminal 5 to be partially complete, with reconfigured cargo area and some new hotels.

2035 Further work on existing terminal expansion and new T5 satellite terminal.

2050 All terminals fully built and Terminal 3 replaced. More taxiways added to improve airfield performance.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heathrow-plans-runway-over-m25-in-30-year-expansion-f58v9f2ts

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Heathrow consultation: their suggestions of how to deal with M25, tunnel, bridge, altered junctions etc

As part of its consultation on its proposed 3rd runway, Heathrow has a section on what it hopes is done with the M25, so the runway can go over it.  This is a very expensive and complicate operation, and Heathrow is keen to cut the cost. The proposed runway will cross the M25 between Junctions 14 and 15 (J14 and J15) and will affect the operation of J14 and J14a, but not J15.  Other than moving the motorway a long way west, the options are tunnelling or bridging. Heathrow says: “Our current thinking is to re-position the M25 carriageway approximately 150 metres to the west, lower it by approximately 7 metres into a tunnel and raise the runway height by 3 to 5 metres so that it passes over the M25 between J14a and J15. The motorway will then re-join its current route. …We believe this approach is the most deliverable as it would allow construction to proceed while the existing M25 motorway remains in operation. This minimises impacts to road users and has the least overall impacts on communities during construction and long-term operation.”  And they say the 3rd runway will mean more traffic will want to pass through junctions 14 and 14A, so they will need to be expanded. Illustrations show some different options. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/01/heathrow-consultation-their-suggestions-of-how-to-deal-with-m25-tunnel-bridge-altered-junctions-etc/

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IAG warns the “costs and complexity” of bridging M25 could be major problem for Heathrow runway plans

British Airways’ owner International Airlines Group (IAG) estimates bridging the M25, close to the M4 junction, would cost £2 billion-£3 billion. The Airports Commission suggested the cost could be higher, with £5 billion for local road upgrades, including the tunnel. The Commission said Heathrow should pay for these, as part of the cost of building its runway. The cost and complexity of somehow putting the runway over the busiest, widest section of motorway in the UK are considerable.  IAG, as by far the largest airline at Heathrow, does not want to be charged for this work, which would mean putting up the price of its air tickets.  IAG says there is no detailed risk and cost analysis of the airport’s plans on what to do with the M25, though a bridge is cheaper than a tunnel.  Willie Walsh said: “Airlines were never consulted on the runway length and they can operate perfectly well from a slightly shorter runway that doesn’t cross the M25.” He wants Heathrow to build a shorter runway of 3,200m rather than 3,500m that does not require going over the M25. But that would mean the motorway directly at the end of the runway, in the worse danger zone. IAG says: “We will not pay for a runway that threatens both costs and delays spiralling out of control and where critical elements of the project could be undeliverable.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/05/iag-warns-the-costs-and-complexity-of-bridging-m25-could-be-major-problem-for-heathrow-runway-plans/

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Heathrow now considering (not tunnel or bridge) but cheaper series of “viaducts” over M25

Heathrow has a huge problem in how to get a runway over the busiest, widest stretch of the M25.  The original plan was a full 14-lane tunnel about 2,000 feet long. Then there were plans for a sort of bridge over the road. Even those would be prohibitively expensive (Heathrow says it would only pay £1.1 billion on roads etc). Now there are plans, by Phil Wilbraham, who oversaw the construction of Heathrow’s terminals 2 and 5,  to build a cheaper system. It would be 3 parallel bridges across the M25, with narrow ones for taxiways at the side, and a wider one for the runway in the centre. The plan is for a 2 mile long runway, to take even the largest planes. The main airline at Heathrow, British Airways, suggested a runway about 1,000 feet shorter, that would not need to cross the motorway, but that might not be able to take A380s, and would mess up the flight patterns.  The earlier “bridge” concept would have meant the runway would be on a slight slope, to get over the motorway. The cost of moving the thousands of tonnes of earth would be immense, and it is thought Heathrow has had to reconsider. The airlines do not want to have to pay for the building costs of roads etc associated with a 3rd runway. The government does not want to force Heathrow to pay, as this would mean increasing the cost of flying – and reduce demand at Heathrow.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/06/heathrow-now-considering-not-tunnel-or-bridge-but-cheaper-series-of-viaducts-over-m25/

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Heathrow boss rules out footing the £5 billion bill for road and rail works – wants taxpayer to pay

The Airports Commission left the matter of who would pay for the approximately £5 billion needed to tunnel a section of the M25, and other surface access improvements, vague. The assumption has been made that the taxpayer would have to fund this, though the Airports Commission suggested that Heathrow would be able to find the funding from its investors for this. Now the CEO of Heathrow has dismissed the suggestion that the airport foots the £5 billion bill for road and rail work if a 3rd runway is built.  Huge motorway engineering would be needed, to have the runway going over the motorway.  John Holland-Kaye has ruled out paying for the surface access work. Though the government funds road and rail improvements under normal circumstances, tunnelling the M25 and dealing with hugely increased road traffic using an airport 50% larger than at present are not normal circumstances. Especially in times of huge economic savings being necessary in public finances. The Commission’s final report said it considered the runway was commercially viable “without a requirement for direct government support. This remains the case even in a situation where the airport is required to fund 100% of the surface access costs.” This would be by Heathrow “raising both debt and equity finance. This finance is then serviced through subsequent revenues and refinancing by the airport operator.”    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/07/heathrow-boss-rules-out-footing-the-5-billion-bill-for-road-and-rail-works-wants-taxpayer-to-pay/

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