UK-based airlines told to move headquarters to Europe after Brexit or lose intra-European routes

The EU has warned airlines including easyJet and Ryanair that they will need to relocate their headquarters or sell off shares to European nationals, if they want to continue flying routes within continental Europe after Brexit. Executives at major airlines have been reminded during recent private meetings with EU officials that to continue to operate on routes between European airports, they must have a significant base on EU territory and that a majority of their capital shares must be EU-owned. This will mean they will need to act to restructure, with economic consequences for the UK, including a likely loss of jobs. Theresa May is due to trigger Article 50 next week.  If the EU takes a tough line, it may result in the UK reciprocating with its own rules, which would leave EU-owned airlines facing equivalent choices. Some might establish their own British subsidiaries, as the demand for air travel in the UK is high and there is money to be made. EasyJet flies many routes within Europe (not from UK) and that is part of its business model.  Ryanair is based in Ireland, but has some UK shareholders it will have to replace with Europeans. BA does not fly intra- European flights, and IAG is based in Spain.  IAG is likely to need to disinvest shareholders in order to be majority EU-owned, and allow its other EU-registered carriers to continue to operate across Europe. The overall impacts on the UK will not be known for some time.
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UK-based airlines told to move to Europe after Brexit or lose major routes

Exclusive: Fears for UK jobs as EU officials say airlines will need to move base and majority of shareholders to fly routes within Europe

EU chiefs have warned airlines including easyJet and Ryanair that they will need to relocate their headquarters or sell off shares to European nationals if they want to continue flying routes within continental Europe after Brexit.

The development, coming days before the triggering of article 50, potentially makes it more likely that the carriers will act to restructure, with economic consequences for the UK, including a loss of jobs.

The tough line from the EU may encourage the UK to reciprocate with its own nationality rules, which would leave EU-owned airlines facing equally difficult choices, potentially dampening their investment in the UK in the short term, although some may seek in time to establish their own British subsidiaries.

The ability of companies such as easyJet to operate on routes across the EU has been a major part of their business models, and there may be a renewed willingness among airlines to invest outside the UK to maintain market share.

British Airways does not fly intra-Europe, but its parent company IAG is likely to need to disinvest shareholders in order to be majority EU-owned, and allow its other EU-registered carriers to continue to operate across Europe. An IAG spokesman said: “We will continue to comply with the relevant ownership and control regulations.”

Some airlines have already started to seek alternative headquarters, and to examine how they might ensure that their shareholding is majority-EU owned, possibly through the forced disinvesting of British shareholders.

But others have appeared, until now, to hold out hope that the European commission would be flexible on the rules in the current aviation agreement.

EU officials in the meetings were clear, however, about the rigidity of the rules, amid concerns at a senior EU level that too many in the aviation industry are in denial about the consequences of the UK’s decision to leave the bloc.

Representatives from easyJet, along with the British Airways owner IAG, Ryanair and the Tui Group, whose portfolio of airlines includes Thomson, met the EU’s Brexit taskforce last week. That followed a meeting the previous week between the taskforce and executives from Air France-KLM, Finnair, Lufthansa and SAS, as part of the EU’s efforts to engage with stakeholders.

“It might be that carriers choose to have domestic flights [on the continent] operated by their new European operating licence, which would probably mean a reduction in staff in the UK,” he warned.

Britain is a member of an aviation agreement based on 35 shared pieces of EU legislation, a common regulator in the European Aviation Safety Agency, and a court acting as a referee on the shared rules, the European court of justice (ECJ).

However, asked during a select committee hearing last week whether the UK would continue to be part of the “open-skies” agreement after Brexit, the secretary of state for exiting the EU, David Davis, said: “Not that agreement … One would presume that would not apply to us – doesn’t say anything about whether there would be a successor.”

The industry holds out hope that the UK and the EU will be able to seal an early deal during article 50 negotiations that ensures that damage to the industry is limited.

However a hurdle on progress on a new agreement is Theresa May’s intention to remove the UK from the ECJ’s jurisdiction, which currently has the key role in adjudicating over conflicts between parties to the agreement.

A number of member states may also have interests in standing in the way of Britain’s attempts to strike a new deal. Spanish diplomats, for example, say they will not sign any international aviation agreement that recognises the airport on Gibraltar.

The UK could react to the imposition of EU ownership rules on airlines by developing ownership rules of its own, which could prevent carriers such as the Ireland-based Ryanair from flying UK domestic routes, as it does today.

EasyJet is establishing an EU operating company – on which an announcement is expected within weeks – so that it can obtain an EU air operating certificate. The company insists, however, it will continue to be headquartered in the UK.

It is currently 84%-owned by EU nationals, but this will drop to 49% after Brexit, provided the shares of founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou – who has dual UK and Cypriot nationality – are classed as EU-owned.

The Financial Times has reported that Haji-Ioannou’s shares are now classed as UK-owned to meet the airline’s own restrictions on ownership.

An easyJet spokesman said: “Like other European airlines, easyJet regularly engages with the UK and the EU on a wide range of issues which include the impact of Brexit on aviation. As this was a private meeting, we wouldn’t comment further on what was discussed.”

Ryanair is headquartered in Ireland, and will not have to relocate, but it has been reported that 60% of the Dublin-registered airline’s capital shares are owned by EU nationals. This will be reduced to 40% once UK shareholders are excluded, making it vital to increase its EU ownership to comply with regulations.

A spokesman for the airline said the company would “adapt”. However, the airline’s chief executive officer, Michael O’Leary, has already warned of the huge dangers to the industry of a “cliff-edge” Brexit, and criticised the “mildly lunatic optimism” of the British government.

A Ryanair spokesman said: “While it appears that we are heading for a hard Brexit, there is still significant uncertainty in relation to what exactly this will entail. This uncertainty will continue to represent a challenge for our business for the remainder of financial year 17 and financial year 18.”

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See earlier:

easyJet, IAG and Ryanair woes over the UK Brexit vote and hit to their businesses

Shares in easyJet have lost value since the Brexit vote, and the airline said its profits would be hit by Britain’s decision to leave the EU. There would be continuing economic and consumer uncertainty, partly about the membership of UK airlines in the single European aviation market.  easyJet expected its profits to be £28 million lower than earlier expected,  in the third quarter of 2016, and revenue in the second half of 2016 would be lower. Revenue per seat might be 8.6% down in the third quarter of 2016. easyJet said the weaker £ against the € and the $ would make foreign trips more expensive for Brits, and the low cost airlines would have to cut fares in order to attract them. That means cutting airline profits. Carolyn McCall, easyJet CEO, is urging the European Commission to prioritise British airlines remaining part of the EU aviation area “given its importance to trade and consumers”. (ie. given its importance to airline profits). The value of IAG shares fell on the Brexit result, and they issued a profit warning, as the economic slowdown likely in the UK would reduce air travel demand. Ryanair’s  share priced also fell. It says it will not deploy new aircraft on routes to and from the UK next year, following the Brexit vote, and will instead focus on the European Union. At present, UK passengers are about 40% of Ryanair’s total. They expect the period of “considerable uncertainty” to last for many months.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/06/easyjet-iag-and-ryanair-woes-over-the-uk-brexit-vote-and-hit-to-their-businesses/

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In the event of Brexit, easyJet might need to set up a new European operation

If Britain votes to leave the EU, there would be impacts on airlines. The EU agreements that have been in place since the 1990s have fostered a huge expansion of air travel in Europe. Outside the EU, flying rights between two countries, including how many airports a carrier may fly to and how often, are typically negotiated in bilateral treaties. But currently in Europe with its single aviation market, an airline can fly between any EU countries. For example, an Irish Ryanair plane can fly between Britain and Spain, or a Spanish airline can operate flights within France.  EasyJet is particularly worried about a Brexit vote.  EasyJet is the second largest airline in France.  Brexit could mean that the UK is excluded from the common aviation area. One thing EasyJet might have to do, in the event of Brexit, would be to obtain an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) in an EU country, which would require it to establish a local holding company. However,  the holding company would have to be 51% owned by local investors and would have to comply with local regulations.  Ryanair and British Airways already have AOCs in Ireland and Spain, while EasyJet does not.  Brexit might have the effect of forcing Ryanair to set up a formal British business by obtaining a UK AOC.  A Brexit vote could affect all pan-European carriers, not just British ones.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/06/in-the-event-of-brexit-easyjet-might-need-to-set-up-a-new-european-operation/

 

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Comment from an AirportWatch member:

1. Airlines met EU officials last week.
2. The change with Brexit would only affect UK airlines like EasyJet, flying between places in Europe.  (Not BA, as apparently it does not fly between EU cities and not TUI which is German and based in Germany)
3. EasyJet is already taking steps to set up an EU part of the company.  “EasyJet is establishing an EU operating company – on which an announcement is expected within weeks – so that it can obtain an EU air operating certificate. The company insists, however, it will continue to be headquartered in the UK.”
4. IAG is affected (ie  BA and others) as they are already largely European, but may need to sell off shares in the UK, to have a higher % of their shares owned in Europe. That might affect UK jobs etc.  And IAG is big at Heathrow.  “British Airways does not fly intra-Europe, but its parent company IAG is likely to need to disinvest shareholders in order to be majority EU-owned, and allow its other EU-registered carriers to continue to operate across Europe. ” IAG says : “It is a Spanish registered company with shares traded on the London Stock Exchange and Spanish Stock Exchanges. The corporate head office for IAG is in London”. 
5. Ryanair is already in Europe, but if there is no deal, it may have trouble flying between UK airports.
6. None of this seems to affect the ability of any airline to fly to or from the UK, to or from Europe.
7. The UK is quite likely to put in place its own tough regulations, after Brexit, if the EU makes life difficult for EU airlines. So it is two way.
8. It depends on the ownership of an airline’s parent company.  (eg. BA owner is IAG, so it is IAG that must have the  EU ownership).

Some suggest that International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, could run into red tape; but IAG’s chief executive, Willie Walsh, insists that the group’s structures, dating from the merger of BA and the Spanish airline Iberia in 2011, are Brexit-proof. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/22/uk-based-airlines-told-to-move-to-europe-after-brexit-or-lose-major-routes?CMP=fb_gu 

“British Airways only operates flights from the UK, however its parent company IAG, may need to sell off UK-held shares in order to allow its other EU-owned airlines to continue complying with regulations,”  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ryanair-easyjet-brexit-uk-airlines-move-eu-europe-lose-major-flight-routes-a7643506.html 

IAG is about 46% or so owned by a variety of minority shareholders.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Airlines_Group#Minority_shareholders
(of that Qatar airways has 20% and others have 5 – 6 % or less)
Seems IAG’s new airline, Level, is registered in Spain – perhaps all set for more European work.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_(airline)   As are most parts of IAG if you look at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Airlines_Group
IAG may have to sell the shares of some UK shareholders to Europeans.
Unclear how that affects Heathrow.  IAG has to decide if it is going to be exclusively European. Willie Walsh has thought carefully about how it affects IAG, and how to keep up BA/IAG profits. Whether he will use Dublin and Madrid more, and Heathrow less, due to Brexit is for future speculation.
It seems possible that IAG will have to work differently after Brexit, and it seems unlikely to increase IAG’s enthusiasm to do more from Heathrow.  IAG know how massive the demand is for air travel in the UK, and airlines will find a way to capitalise on that.
Overall the impact of Brexit from this news will be pretty marginal. But it definitely does not look like the sort of good news UK airlines wanted.

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Boots to stop pocketing the VAT on items over £5 sold to passengers travelling outside the EU

Boots is finally giving customers VAT refunds at UK airport “airside” shops, following the lead of WHSmith, which began doing this in summer 2016. Airline passengers began realising in the summer of 2015 that retailers had been claiming millions of ££s in VAT refunds from those travelling outside the EU, who they identified by asking to see travellers’ boarding passes. But instead of refunding the VAT to the customers, the stores pocketed it. This meant an increase in profit for the shops, and for the airports – and less for the Treasury. Boots has 29 branches at UK airports, and these shops don’t have self service tills – so customers can deal with a sales assistant. VAT will only be refunded by Boots on items costing over £5, (ie. refund of £1) or £6 for WH Smiths. Presumably a lot of purchases are below £5, and so the shops will keep a lot of extra profit from these. People flying within the EU cannot get VAT removed. The shops have been demanding to see boarding cards, but only because this has enabled them to keep the 20% as profit – that has angered people.The airports charge retailers huge rent, to have the privilege of a store in the captive market of the airport departure lounge. Heathrow etc don’t charge its stores a set flat rent – but rather a % of their net sales. This VAT change might slightly dent that figure.
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Boots airport stores to stop charging VAT on items after being caught in tax rip-off

Exclusive: Britain’s biggest chemist chain bows to pressure to pass on tax savings to customers following The Independent campaign

By Ben Kentish, Simon Calder @BenKentish (Independent)

14.3.2017

Boots has previously charged VAT on all items sold at airport stores – despite only having to pay the tax on purchase made by people travelling within the EU

Boots has begun refunding VAT to passengers at its stores in Britain’s airports, following a year-long review into the controversial practice.

The company’s 29 “airside” stores across the UK are now asking customers to show their boarding passes and will use the information to give the VAT back to eligible travellers – those flying to destinations outside the EU – on items costing £5 or more.

On taxable items costing less than £5, however, the VAT will be charged to customers but retained by Boots.

After The Independent revealed in 2015 how some of Britain’s biggest chains are pocketing tax rather than reducing prices for customers, Boots stopped asking passengers for boarding passes and treated every traveller as liable for VAT.

But after a year-long review the pharmacy chain has now decided to pass on some VAT savings to customers.

​Asif Aziz, Stores Director, London & Airports for Boots UK said: “Over the past year we’ve been carrying out a comprehensive review of VAT relief concession at these stores to find the right solution to meet customers’ needs, while keeping our prices the same great value as in our high street stores.

“Today we will introduce a new scheme in which customers travelling outside the EU will not pay VAT on VATable items which are priced at or above £5.”

Airport shops are required by law to charge VAT on purchases made by travellers flying to a destination within the European Union, but passengers heading elsewhere are exempt from the tax.

However, an Independent investigation revealed that a number of companies, including Boots, were charging passengers the full price and keeping the VAT element as profit, rather than passing the reduction on to customers.

The practice depends on passengers presenting their boarding passes at checkouts – something many believe to be a legal requirement but which is, in fact, designed to help the companies avoid paying the VAT they are charging buyers.

With VAT charged at 20 per cent, the change in Boots’ policy will mean significant savings for consumers. A £6 bottle of sun cream, for example, would be reduced to £5.

While customers travelling within the EU will, for now, see no change, the re-introduction of customs barriers that may result from Brexit means the changes announced by Boots could become much more valuable to customers.

Some stores, including Harrods, already pass on VAT savings to customers but the majority do not. Last year WH Smith bowed to pressure from The Independent”s campaign and announced it would pass on VAT savings to passengers on purchases totalling £6 or more.

The Boots announcement is expected to put pressure on other airport retailers to follow suit.

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/boots-airport-stores-vat-stop-charging-products-duty-free-sale-discounts-heathrow-gatwick-stansted-a7628876.html

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Boots has also been in the spotlight for its tax avoidance

Alliance Boots Tax Avoidance Campaign

They say:  “One study estimates that the tax illegitimately avoided by Alliance Boots since 2007 amounts to £1.21 billion – enough to pay for 85,000 new nurses for one year, or to cover the prescription charges for the whole of England for almost three years. At the same time, Boots is expanding its service contracts in the NHS. There is something not right about companies like Boots profiting from the NHS whilst contributing to the country’s public deficit through tax avoidance.” https://www.medact.org/project/alliance-boots-campaign/ 


See earlier:

Airport shops cheating passengers out of £ millions in VAT fiddle

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke said he was concerned and disappointed that airport retailers were pocketing millions of pounds in VAT discounts without passing the savings to customers.  And that this should stop.  Stores at airports demand that passengers present their boarding cards at checkouts before paying for any goods, in order to avoid paying 20% VAT on everything they sell to customers who are travelling outside the EU. Most of these stores, including Boots and W H Smith, do not pass on the savings to passengers.  The Independent says this ruse is also used by so-called “duty-free” shops to boost their profits on alcohol sales, thereby making profits of up to 100% on each alcohol sale they make to travellers leaving Europe. UKinbound chief executive said visitors to the UK already have the impression that the UK is an expensive destination – and this is not helping. The airports charge retailers huge rent, to have the privilege of a store in the captive market that is the airport departure lounge. Exact figures are hard to come by and not publicly available, but Heathrow alone last year made around £400m in rental income from its airport 345 concessions and stores. Unlike on the high street Heathrow does not charge its stores a set flat rent – but rather a % of their net sales. On average each retailer is paying over £1m a year in rent.  If airports did not charge so much rent to their shops, they would not be as profitable.  This story confirms the adage of airports being “shopping malls with a runway attached”.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/08/draft-vat-scam/
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Major new coalition launched to fight Heathrow 3rd runway

A major new coalition has been launched to fight the proposed 3rd runway at Heathrow. The coalition is formally backed already by 18 local campaign groups, including to name a few, Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE), HACAN, Teddington Action Group (TAG) and recently formed BASH Runway 3 (based in Brentford). More groups are expected to join in the coming weeks. The coalition also has the support of 5 local authorities as well as leading politicians from all main parties. The aim of the coalition is to put additional pressure on the Government to drop plans for the runway, building upon the work of existing opponents including campaign groups, local authorities and MPs. It will provide opponents of the runway a platform, allowing them to work effectively together – including support from MPs to the heroic local Councils challenging Heathrow in the courts. The coalition will work to highlight issues – including noise, air pollution and economics – with the DfT’s current, deeply flawed, consultation on the Heathrow National Policy Statement (NPS).  Though the DfT has held 20 consultation exhibition events across west London, Berkshire and Surrey, considerable numbers of residents were left disappointed that there was no information on locations of new flight paths, and that will not be presented until much later in the process.
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MAJOR NEW COALITION LAUNCHED TO FIGHT HEATHROW THIRD RUNWAY

21.3.2017  (No 3rd Runway coalition)

A major new coalition has been launched today to fight the proposed third runway at Heathrow.  The coalition, which has only just been established, is formally backed by 18 local campaign groups, including Stop Heathrow Expansion, HACAN, Teddington Action Group and recently formed BASH Runway 3 (based in Brentford). More groups are expected to join in the coming weeks. The coalition also has the support of five local authorities as well as leading politicians.

The No Third Runway Coalition has been formed to put additional pressure on the Government to drop plans for a new runway at Heathrow, building upon the work of existing opponents to the third runway including campaign groups, local authorities and MPs.

John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes & Harlington, said: “The formation of this new powerful coalition is a breakthrough moment for the campaign against a third runway. As more information comes out about air pollution, the environmental threat and the costs of the runway the debate is beginning to shift significantly against Heathrow expansion. This new initiative has my 100% support.”

Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, said: “This is the biggest coalition of opponents to Heathrow’s reckless expansion yet seen. Bringing together experts, residents and politicians of all parties shows we mean business and are in it for the long haul. We are determined to stop the new runway and the blight it will bring to millions of lives.”

The work of the coalition will include highlighting issues with the Department for Transport’s consultation on Heathrow expansion. The consultation, which runs until 25 May 2017, has seen 20 local exhibition events across west London, Berkshire and Surrey. However, considerable numbers of residents were left disappointed upon attending the exhibition find that information on where new flight paths will be will not be presented until much later in the process.

Tania Mathias, Conservative MP for Twickenham, said: “The coalition is critical in this period of consultations: all communities need to know the flight paths of a proposed Heathrow third runway; every community affected is concerned about the increase in noise and air pollution and the financial costs for all taxpayers.”

Sarah Olney, Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park & North Kingston, said: “I am delighted to be part of this cross-party coalition, working together to oppose a third runway at Heathrow. Working together will give us greater resources to challenge the myths and misinformation that the public are being fed by Heathrow and the Department for Transport on the supposed benefits of Heathrow expansion.” 

Zac Goldsmith, who supports the coalition, said: “The threat of Heathrow expansion has brought together people from across the flight paths and beyond, with new local campaign groups forming all the time. The No Third Runway coalition will give them all a platform, allow them to work more effectively together and provide support for everyone from MPs to the heroic local Councils who are challenging Heathrow in our courts.”

“The case against Heathrow expansion has never been stronger. It won’t happen.”

Commenting on the work that the coalition will undertake, Robert Barnstone, the coordinator of the coalition, said: “Our purpose is to build on the excellent work that has already been done by the existing campaign groups, the local authorities and many MPs.  We will increase our lobbying of MPs and be mounting a major campaign to get as many residents as possible to respond to the current consultation.”

The coalition twitter account is @NoR3Coalition, has a

Facebook page,

and will shortly launch a website.

 

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For more information:

Rob Barnstone – 07806947050; robert.barnstone@outlook.com

 

Coordinator | No 3rd Runway Coalition

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Anti-Heathrow expansion campaigners plan to step up third runway opposition

By JOE MURPHY (Evening Standard)
21.3.2017

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Campaigners against Heathrow expansion today launched a new coalition in a bid to step up their fight against a third runway.

Some 18 local groups combined forces to form the No Third Runway Coalition which will lead efforts to lobby MPs, councils and officials.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who is Labour MP for Hayes & Harlington, hailed it as “a breakthrough moment” for the battle to limit noise and air pollution.

Tania Mathias, Conservative MP for Twickenham, said: “Every community affected is concerned about the increase in noise and air pollution and the financial costs for all taxpayers.”

Among the groups combining forces are Stop Heathrow Expansion, HACAN, Teddington Action Group and Brentford-based BASH Runway 3.

Full-time co-ordinator Robert Barnstone said the campaign was funded by individuals and green groups and had no money from rival airports. “We will increase our lobbying of MPs and be mounting a major campaign to get as many residents as possible to respond to the current consultation,” he said.

A commission recommended Heathrow expansion in 2015. Last year the Government backed the proposal subject to public consultation.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/super-inquiry-into-toxic-air-scandal-launched-in-unprecedented-move-a3493801.html

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Heathrow 2.0: a ‘sustainable airport’ that pretends no one has to choose between planes and pollution

A thoughtful article, by two leading academics in public policy and ideology, casts huge doubts on the claims of Heathrow to have solutions to the increased environment problems of a 3rd runway. It is well worth reading it all. A few extracts:  “Heathrow expansion has become an emblematic issue in the fight against climate change … An airport that exists above politics gives the illusion that no one has to choose between planes and pollution … its “cake and eat it” narrative, in which we could fly more and still cope with rising CO2 … the plans lack clarity and ambition. Strategic priorities like a ‘noise envelope’ … are often stated, but not accompanied with clear targets … As Heathrow itself accepts, the airport cannot deliver on most of the claims it makes …The airport is simply trying to fill the void left by Theresa May and Chris Grayling, who have abandoned their responsibility to offer policy leadership … this absence of leadership betrays the emergence of a new “post-sustainable” aviation, designed to accommodate the challenges of Brexit … people are increasingly urged to believe that human progress and innovation are enough to meet environmental challenges. … In this emerging discourse, the demands of economic growth trump those of the environment and social well-being.”
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Heathrow 2.0: a ‘sustainable airport’ that pretends no one has to choose between planes and pollution

Both the government and an independent Airports Commission have backed proposals to construct a new third runway at London’s largest airport hub. But the plans remain highly contested, with ongoing concerns about noise pollution, air quality and rising carbon emissions. Heathrow expansion has become an emblematic issue in the fight against climate change.

At first glance, it is tempting to dismiss the launch of Heathrow 2.0 as yet another attempt at greenwashing.

Indeed, those in favour of the new runway have made sustained efforts to depoliticise the issue ever since the 2010-2015 coalition government declared its ambition to put the environment and local well-being ahead of Heathrow’s growth. An airport that exists above politics gives the illusion that no one has to choose between planes and pollution.

In fact, the current plans to render its new runway carbon neutral echo the failed policy of “sustainable aviation” under the New Labour government. This strategy was quickly discredited by scientists and environmentalists, because of its “cake and eat it” narrative, in which we could fly more and still cope with rising carbon emissions.

Nonetheless, such arguments pepper Heathrow’s new vision for corporate social responsibility. Much is made of the expected benefits of new technologies and innovations, the role of increased connectivity in creating jobs, the enjoyment we gain from the social benefits of flying, and the commitment to carbon offsetting schemes to address rising emissions.

Heathrow 2.0 even aspires to “‘decouple’ aviation growth from climate change” – a key pillar of the ideology of sustainable aviation.

Yet Heathrow’s strategy at least engages with the idea of sustainable development, through what it calls “responsibility”. It promises to improve its practices as an employer, committing to a London Living Wage, and it pledges to put an end to human and wildlife trafficking. It wants to produce a “zero-carbon airport” with reduced emissions and “polluter pays” policies. Heathrow 2.0 might even satisfy local demands for better noise protection.

But it’s the detail that really matters. In important respects, the plans lack clarity and ambition. Strategic priorities like a “noise envelope” to cap the overall disturbance emanating from the airport are often stated, but not accompanied with clear targets.

Similarly, it is questionable whether locals will be too enthusiastic about targets to reduce late running aircraft after 11.30pm from 330 in 2016 to 270 in 2017. Or whether they will welcome no arrivals before 4.30am without clarity over the agreement to ban night flights from 11pm to 6am.

Where is the government?

As Heathrow itself accepts, importantly, the airport cannot deliver on most of the claims it makes. Of course, a carbon neutral airport is a worthy ideal. But it is the flights themselves that cause most carbon emissions and account for much of the noise pollution, while traffic to and from the airport also creates air pollution. Heathrow cannot control or make guarantees about fixing any of this.

Indeed, at the heart of these limits to Heathrow 2.0 is the failure of the May government. The airport is simply trying to fill the void left by Theresa May and transport secretary Chris Grayling, who have abandoned their responsibility to offer policy leadership in this field.

A recent Heathrow report by MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee criticised the government for its lax interpretation of air quality directives, its failure to address local health impacts, its overly ambitious targets for ultra-low emission vehicles, and its absence of detailed plans for road improvements and new rail access to the airport.

The committee also criticised the government for watering down proposals for an independent aviation noise authority and for not being clear about how to bridge the gap between theoretical models to reduce emissions and actual policy.

Most concerning is that this absence of leadership betrays the emergence of a new “post-sustainable” aviation, designed to accommodate the challenges of Brexit.

Gone are the attempts by the previous government to put climate change before new airports. In their place, the vital justifications and mechanisms for an expansionist agenda are carefully being assembled.

The risk is that green concerns will be pushed further to the margins, as people are increasingly urged to believe that human progress and innovation are enough to meet environmental challenges.

In this emerging discourse, the demands of economic growth trump those of the environment and social well-being.

https://theconversation.com/heathrow-2-0-a-sustainable-airport-that-pretends-no-one-has-to-choose-between-planes-and-pollution-74206


 

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David Howarth receives funding from the ESRC.

Steven Griggs receives funding from Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE).

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DfT report says widening the M25 on its south-west quadrant would not be the right solution

The M25 South West Quadrant Strategic Study (M25SWQ), has been published by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England. It claims to “identify and appraise options for improving performance of the transport network across all modes in and around the M25 South West Quadrant”. It has concluded that the M25 should not be widened (beyond what is already committed) in the SW quadrant, because that would have “significant (negative) effects on surrounding communities” and would not be effective in reducing congestion”. The study was looking at the section of the M25 between, and including, junction 10 for the A3 at Wisley and junction 16 for the M40 in Buckinghamshire. This is the busiest section of the M25, close to Heathrow. The report says future work on the M25 should not focus on widening it, but reduce the pressures and recommends further work to “Explore options for new or enhanced highway capacity, separate but parallel to the M25.” “This should work first to find alternatives to travel, or to move traffic to more sustainable modes. … But the volume of travel means that road enhancements are also likely to be needed.” There could be upgrades for existing roads, and options for roads to fill in the gaps.
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Plans not to widen south-west section of M25 welcomed by campaigners

16 March 2017 (Campaign for Better Transport)

Campaign for Better Transport responds today, Thursday 16 March, to the Department of Transport’s M25 south-west quadrant strategic study.

This study is part of the first phase of the Government’s Road Investment Strategy which was published in December 2014.

Bridget Fox, Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“We welcome the recognition that we cannot simply build our way out of congestion. The M25 study is right to focus on improving capacity on the existing network through moving to more sustainable modes. That makes sense for the environment and the taxpayer too.

“Those measures should be implemented in full before any new roads are planned. New roads create more traffic, and it is wrong to sacrifice precious countryside for more tarmac when positive alternatives are available.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Richard Watkins, Press Officer, at Campaign for Better Transport on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773468  richard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to editors

– Read the Department for Transport’s M25 south-west quadrant strategic study: stage 3 report here

– Read about Campaign for Better Transport’s road campaigning work here – Evidence shows that new roads create new traffic

Campaign for Better Transport is the UK’s leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people’s lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).

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Widening M25 ‘not the answer’ to congestion problems – government report

The M25 South West Quadrant Strategic Study, published on Thursday (March 16), recommends expanding parallel roads instead of the M25 itself

BYJOSHUA SMITH  (Get Surrey)
17 MAR 2017

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Widening the M25 would have “significant effects on surrounding communities” and would not be effective in reducing congestion, a new government report has revealed.

The weighty M25 South West Quadrant Strategic Study (M25SWQ), published by the Department for Transport (DfT) on Thursday, claims to “identify and appraise options for improving performance of the transport network across all modes in and around the M25 South West Quadrant”.

The study looked at the section of the M25 between, and including, junction 10 for the A3 at Wisley and junction 16 for the M40 in Buckinghamshire.

The report states future work on the M25 should not focus on widening the road, but rather look to “reduce pressures and provide parallel capacity to relieve the motorway network”.

“The evidence gathered to date suggests directly adding capacity to the M25 (beyond what is already committed) is technically challenging and would have significant effects on surrounding communities,” says the report.

“It also shows that where alternative capacity exists away from the M25, conditions are better. This suggests planners should think about the M25SWQ as a corridor and not an asset which ends at the motorway’s boundary fence.”

The report continues: “This study recommends the focus of future work should not be on widening the existing road. Instead, attention should be given to how to reduce pressures and provide parallel capacity to relieve the motorway network.

“This should work first to find alternatives to travel, or to move traffic to more sustainable modes.

“But the volume of travel means that road enhancements are also likely to be needed.”

 

What are the timescales?

The report recommends two pieces of further work to improve journeys on this part of the M25:

 – Examining the current situation and other methods of transport, such as public transport, to assess what is necessary
 – Explore options for new or enhanced highway capacity, separate but parallel to the M25
Reads the report: “The first is to join up local partners and transport providers to understand in detail the viable options on the local road network and railways.

“This means understanding the feasibility and scale of impact options on the local road network and public transport would have on the M25SWQ.

“These should reduce the need to travel, improve public transport and enhance local roads to reduce pressure on the M25.”

It adds: “In parallel, the Department for Transport and Highways England should explore the potential for new and enhanced highway capacity.

“This is likely to begin with developing upgrades for existing roads in the study area but could also investigate options for roads away from existing alignments to fill in the gaps between existing roads.

“Any proposals for additional highways should find the most efficient and least disruptive options, whilst making best use of environmental mitigation and design.”

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/widening-m25-not-answer-surreys-12753246

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M25 South West Quadrant Strategic Study Stage 3 Report

by DfT and Highways England

March 2017

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/600047/m25-south-west-quadrant-strategic-study-stage-3.pdf

Below are a few sections from the report that mention Heathrow:

 

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 The requirement for the M25 South West Quadrant (M25SWQ) strategic study was set out in the first Road Investment Strategy (RIS), published in 2014, which announced a programme of new Strategic Studies to explore options to address some of the Strategic Road Network’s (SRN) largest and most complex challenges.

1.1.2 The strategic aim of the study is to identify and appraise options for improving the performance of the transport network across all modes in and around the M25SWQ1 , boosting economic growth and prosperity, and improving journeys.

1.1.3 This document describes the study findings and explores the case for investing in a range of interventions which impact on transport and travel in and around the M25SWQ. It identifies the elements which are likely to present the strongest business cases for investment, and proposes a strategic framework through which they could be delivered.

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Heathrow, the UK’s biggest air freight and passenger airport, directly employs 69,700 on site, 7,000 off-site, and a further 40,000 full time equivalent jobs through its supply chain making it the largest single employment location in the study area.

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Alongside this, each LEP in the study area has set targets for ambitious employment growth in key national sectors of the economy. The anticipated levels of new employment and housing, new homes, combined with aviation expansion centred on Heathrow, will increase the demand for travel across the study area. This will, in combination, place substantial additional strain on transport networks and services.

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Aviation

3.6.7  Government policy is set out in the 2013 Aviation Policy Framework, which identifies the key objective of ensuring the UK’s air links continue to make it one of the best connected countries in the world. Government has accepted the need for additional airport capacity in the south east, having endorsed the Airports Commission’s recommendation for a new Northwest runway at Heathrow Airport.  A new northwest runway at Heathrow is the Government’s preferred option for airport expansion.

Expansion will be associated with both additional demand for travel to airports and pressure on existing transport infrastructure in the study area.

3.6.8  The Government has recently laid before Parliament a draft Airports National Policy
Statement and commenced a public consultation process and an accompanying
Parliamentary scrutiny process. The Airports National Policy Statement, if designated, would provide the planning policy framework for making decisions on any future development consent application of a new Northwest runway at Heathrow.

3.6.9  It is evident that upgraded and new transport infrastructure will be required to
support additional airport capacity. The challenge will be to ensure airport-related
travel demand does not unduly impact on the efficient operation of the transport networks.

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3.6.13
There are also a number of major public transport investments underway or with some degree of commitment in the study area. Of particular significance are:


– Crossrail 1 (to be known as the Elizabeth Line), which will provide additional east-west capacity through central London, and free up capacity on the Great Western Mainline (GWML);
 – Electrification of the GWML and Midland Mainline, to enable faster trains with more capacity;

–  High Speed 2 (HS2), the new rail line from London to the West Midlands and North of England, with an interchange at Old Oak Common;
 – TfL’s first stage of the Four Lines Modernisation, with new, higher capacity, walkthrough
trains introduced on the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and District lines;
 – Night Tube, introducing night-time services on Fridays and Saturdays on selected lines including the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow T1-3 and T5;
 – Thameslink Programme, a combination of signalling, track and station works to increase train frequency through central London, along with new and longer, higher-capacity rolling stock; and
 – Wessex Improvement Programme, comprising infrastructure improvements and train lengthening to deliver a 30% increase in capacity on the lines into Waterloo; and
 – Western Rail Link to Heathrow, to connect the Great Western Main Line to
Heathrow Terminal

3.6.14  A common thread running through the majority of the major investment programmes
is emphasis on radial improvements, rather than orbital connections, and on tackling existing capacity issues which will persist into the future. There are, however, notable schemes which will improve orbital journeys, including the Western Rail Link to Heathrow and Metropolitan Line Extension and the proposed Southern Rail Access to Heathrow.

There are options which could address key areas with poor public transport accessibility to airports, including southern access to Heathrow and North Downs Line to Gatwick, allowing travellers further alternatives to driving to either airport;

….. and the full report is at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/600047/m25-south-west-quadrant-strategic-study-stage-3.pdf

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Evidence session on Heathrow impacts held by the GLA Environment Committee

The GLA (Greater London Authority) Environment Committee held a meeting on 16th March, to which they invited both Heathrow staff (Matt Gorman, and Andrew Chen) and opponents (John Stewart, Jenny Bates and Simon Birkett) to reply to questions. The Committee has serious concerns about the environmental impacts of Heathrow, and they have not yet been persuaded by the bland assurances that Heathrow continues to give. The transcript of the session is not yet available, but it is all on Webcast. Important points were made, in response to Assembly Members’ questions, on issues such as how much Heathrow would actually pay towards necessary surface access improvements; how long Heathrow will take to install noise the pledged £700 million (up to 20 years, Matt Gorman says); and how the ban on night flights should mean 8 hours without planes, not only the six and a half hours without scheduled flights, that Heathrow has grudgingly agreed to consider. The committee have experience of needing to mistrust bland assurances by Heathrow on how a 3rd runway could meet noise and air pollution challenges. They will be submitting their response to the DfT’s consultation on the draft NPS.
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Greater London Authority.  Environmental Committee

The Agenda for the GLA Environment Committee session on the environmental impacts of Heathrow expansion, on 16th March 2017.

https://www.london.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s62571/05%20Heathrow%20Airport%20Expansion.pdf

The Webcast of the session is at

https://www.london.gov.uk/environment-committee-2017-03-16  and starts 2 hours 9 mins and 55 secs into the film.

There are a large number of good points raised.  The transcript of the session will be available after something like 2 -3 weeks, when those participating have had the chance to check it.

Just a few to check out (far easier with the transcript later !):

Matt Gorman

He spoke for the first 15 minutes or so.

Air pollution: 

From 2hrs 26 mins into the film

Who pays for surface access infrastructure: 

From 2 hrs 42 mins 35 secs into the film. Heathrow is not being asked to pay more than, at most, a small proportion of the cost. There is huge uncertainty who pays – so it will land on the taxpayer.

Noise: 

From 3hrs 3 mins 15 secs into the film. John Stewart on how the noise needs to improve. (Too much focus given by Heathrow to slight improvements in noise for individual models of new aircraft, but these are outweighed by larger numbers of flights).

Night flights: 

From 3 hrs 8 mins 30 secs into the film.  John Stewart says there needs to be a period of 8 hours with no flights. Matt Gorman insists they have to start flying by 5.30am.  etc.

Insulation:

From  3hr 10mins 35secs you can see Matt Gorman – on how Heathrow spending some £700 million on noise insulation will take 20 years

 

 

The agenda states that the purpose of the session is : 

2.1 That the Committee notes the report as background to putting questions to invited guests about the Heathrow Airport expansion and its environmental impacts.

2.2 That the Committee delegates authority to the Chair, Leonie Cooper AM, in consultation with party Group Lead Members to agree a response to the Government consultation on the draft Airports National Policy Statement.

The witnesses (guests) giving evidence were:

 Matt Gorman, Director of Sustainability and Environment, Heathrow Airport;
 Andrew Chen, Emissions Strategy Manager, Heathrow Airport;
 Simon Birkett, Director, Clean Air in London;
 John Stewart, Chair, HACAN Clearskies; and
 Jenny Bates, London Campaigner, Friends of the Earth.

The Environment Committee has previously concluded that expansion at
Heathrow Airport will have significant implications in terms of noise and air pollution.

4. Issues for Consideration

4.1 The main environmental impacts of Heathrow Airport expansion include noise, local toxic air pollution, and emissions of greenhouse gases. The Environment Committee has previously made a number of publications setting out these impacts …

4.3 On air pollution, the Government states that that permission for the third runway will depend on meeting air pollution limits. Heathrow Airport’s scheme includes plans for improved public transport links and an ultra-low emissions zone for all airport vehicles by 2025.

4.4 On noise pollution, mitigation measures have been announced including a night flight ban, legally-binding noise targets, and noise insulation for local residents.

4.5 The Government also says that Heathrow Airport expansion can be accomplished within the United Kingdom’s overall climate change mitigation and carbon emission goals.

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Turbulence ahead: debating noise levels for an expanded Heathrow

16.3.2017  (Airport Technology)

Opponents of a third runway at Heathrow are adamant that the airport cannot expand and at the same time meet limits on pollution. It is, they claim, disingenuous to state otherwise – expansion, in their eyes, means worsening air quality and more noise.

In a little over two months the UK Government’s draft Airports National Policy Statement consultation will close. As that date draws ever nearer, the London Assembly’s environment committee met with a cross-section of people on 16 March to unearth more of the nitty gritty. Much has, understandably, looked at air quality and pollution, but what about noise, which can be just as damaging to health?

Assembly member (AM) David Kurten asked: “How will aircraft noise, and noise from Heathrow, reduce? How is that possible while the airport expands and flights increase?” Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s director of sustainability and environment, highlighted the role of new aircraft, which are quieter and therefore a key plank of Heathrow’s noise mitigation strategy.

“Compare the early 1970s to today,” he said. “The noise footprint around Heathrow has fallen, even as flights have doubled.

“Planes are getting quieter, and Heathrow attracts more of those quieter planes than any other airport. We have more next-generation aircraft than our three closest European hub airports combined. Also, we can fly those aircraft more quietly. In future we’ll be looking at things like steeper approaches into the airport. There’s also operating restrictions [such as on night flights].”

However, there will be people who are not currently affected by noise who will be should the new Northwest runway be built. “Inevitably, when you build a runway, you need a flight path,” said Gorman. “There’ll be people under that flight path who aren’t under one today.”

Heathrow noise measures: just hot air?

This did not cut much ice with some of the committee members. How can Heathrow be certain, for example, that the new generation of aircraft will really make such a difference? Gorman, supported by Heathrow’s emissions strategy manager, Andrew Chen, told the committee that by the time a third runway opens, up to 90% of aircraft will be next-gen types. Landing charges are being used to incentivise uptake. Landing a particularly noisy plane could cost £9,000, said Gorman, while the quietest comes in at £600: “A clear incentive,” he said.

John Stewart, chair of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN), was not convinced, though, particularly with the assertion that noise from Heathrow has declined over the decades. “It all depends on the metric you’re using to measure noise,” he said. “In our view, there’s too much weight given to the noise of individual aircraft, and not enough weight given to the number of aircraft, which has increased dramatically. It distorts how people on the ground are hearing it. Since the 1970s, the number of complaints have soared, because what’s critical to people is the number of planes going over their heads.”

Even with quieter models, something Stewart supports, the volume of traffic is all-important. “If you’re going to increase the number of planes coming into Heathrow,” he argued, “that means it’s going to be a worse noise climate.” There’s a need, HACAN believes, for sustainable periods of respite without noise; “[it’s] central and critical”, according to Stewart. Heathrow is looking at this, confirmed Gorman, as well as putting together a “world-class” noise insulation scheme.

The current estimate suggests this could cost the airport £700m. According to Kurten, however, that money is spread over a period of 20 years, meaning some could be without proper insulation for a number of years. Gorman insisted the airport is consulting on this: “I can’t say any more than we will be looking at it.”

There’s plenty of debate left in this one.

http://www.airport-technology.com/features/featureturbulence-ahead-debating-noise-levels-for-an-expanded-heathrow-5765017/

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About 30 people at Notre-Dame-des-Landes demand their property back (taken 5 years ago to build a new airport)

At Notre-Dame-des-Landes, a new airport is planned to replace the existing Nantes airport. The battle has been going on for years.  Now exactly five years after the French state expropriated a large area of land for the airport, there has been no start to the project – there is not even a start date in prospect. Therefore under the French system, as work has not begun, those who have lost ownership of their land (they may still live on it for the time being) can apply to get it back. Around 30 people affected are now submitting the necessary legal papers to get their land, farmland and buildings back, to the court in Saint-Nazaire. These people have not used the money, and they don’t want it. They want ownership of their land and property back. The French system did not anticipate, in the law relating to expropriation, that any scheme would have delays for as long as five years. 
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Notre-Dame-des-Landes: some 30 expropriates demand the restitution of their property

17 March 2017

They had been expropriated from their home, from their operation five years ago, for the construction of the airport. Since nothing has moved and the law allows them to claim a retrocession.

The expropriates of Notre-Dame-des-Landes want to recover their land. They are farmers or lived at the place where the future airport is to be built, but since they were asked to leave five years ago, the site has not yet begun . The law allows them to claim the surrender of their real estate. Around thirty people will file a request to this effect before the Saint-Nazaire tribunal de grande instance.

“We did not touch the pennies, they did not start work.” Among those who want to recover their property, figure Sylvain Fresneau, farmer and historical opponent at the airport . “We have been expropriated more than 100 hectares, from the house, from the farms, and we demand the restitution of it.” We have never touched the pennies, they have not begun the work , we say to them: Sylvain Fresneau is optimistic: “We are going to recover everything. We are at home, we can continue to exploit, more serenely than we do now.”

“It is not today that we will let go”.  The farmer also appears very determined: “It is not today that we will let go, even less than yesterday.” The political context he considers “bizarre” does not seem to him to be an additional asset. “I’m waiting to see, I have no confidence.”

http://www.europe1.fr/societe/notre-dame-des-landes-une-trentaine-dexpropries-demandent-la-restitution-de-leurs-biens-3005021#xtor=CS1-16

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Earlier:

In Notre-Dame-des-Landes, expropriates want to recover their land

By EMILIE TORGEMEN
20 January 2017

The code of expropriation specifies that if the building or the land has not received the intended destination, the former owners may claim the surrender of their property.

The former Prime Minister Manuel Valls had promised to send the first excavators to the site of the future airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes “in the fall”, but that was not the case.

As a result, the inhabitants of the area have been expropriated for years, or “the code of expropriation specifies that if the building, namely the building or the land, has not received the intended destination, The surrender of their property “.  [In the French system, the land is first expropriated by the state. The occupants can continue to live on it, but ulitmately they are forced off. It is a bit different to the compulsory purchase situation in the UK. AW comment].

A small group of these expellees met on Thursday, five years to the day after receiving the order that the state owned their fields or their farm on January 18, 2012.

They own agricultural land, houses or buildings Livestock farming, distributed throughout. Some have never accepted the compensation payment, others are willing to make the money touched. At the beginning of the week, on Monday or Tuesday, they will send a written request to the State and Grand Ouest Airport (AGO), Vinci’s subsidiary and concessionaire of the future airport.

This is an “exceptional” procedure, says Maître Lemoine. And for good reason, it is very rare that a project of public utility does not succeed after this date of expiry.

But for Notre-Dame-des-Landes, supposed to replace the current airport of Nantes for more than 50 years, everything seems out of the ordinary. “The land is not used, and the works are not even started,” notes the lawyer.

This new legal battle does not imply the “zadists”, new occupants of the zone come to settle to express their opposition. “We need a title deed” insists Julien Durand, representative of the Inter-municipal Citizens’ Association of the populations concerned by the airport project (ACIPA).

He himself with his wife and part of his family owns a piece of land in the northeast of the area, near the town of Grand-champs-des-Fontaines.

“For us it is also a way to dispel suspicion when we have been accused of starting a legal guerilla war only to get bigger compensation. That’s wrong, we want to get our property back!”

Today, about thirty files have been compiled, ie a little more than 100ha of the 650 ha of the development zone. “It is not excluded that other owners will join us,” said Julien Durand who promises that if the state does not give them reason, they will go to court to “put an end to this airport project”.

Emilie Torgemen

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From the original in French: 

A Notre-Dame-des-Landes, des expropriés veulent récupérer leur terres

By EMILIE TORGEMEN (Le Parisien)

20 janvier 2017

Le code de l’expropriation précise que si l’immeuble à savoir, le bâtiment ou le terrain n’a pas reçu la destination prévue, les anciens propriétaires peuvent réclamer la rétrocession de leur propriété.

L’ancien Premier ministre Manuel Valls avait promis d’envoyer les premières pelleteuses sur le chantier du futur aéroport de Notre-dame-des-Landes « à l’automne », ça n’a pas été le cas.

Résultat, voila des années que les habitants de la zone ont été expropriés or «le code de l’expropriation précise que si l’immeuble à savoir, le bâtiment ou le terrain n’a pas reçu la destination prévue, les anciens propriétaires peuvent réclamer la rétrocession de leur propriété ».

Une petit groupe de ces expulsés se sont réunis ce jeudi, cinq ans jour pour jour après avoir reçu l’ordonnance qui rendait l’Etat propriétaire de leurs champs ou de leur ferme le 18 janvier 2012. Ils possèdent des terres agricoles, maisons ou bâtiments d’élevage, répartis un peu partout. Certains n’ont jamais accepté le chèque de compensation, les autres sont prêts à rendre l’argent touché. Ils adresseront en début de semaine, lundi ou mardi, une demande écrite à l’Etat et à Aéroport du Grand Ouest (AGO), filiale de Vinci et concessionnaire du futur aéroport.

C’est une procédure « exceptionnelle » précise Maître Lemoine. Et pour cause, il est très rare qu’un projet d’utilité publique n’aboutisse pas après cette date de péremption. Mais pour Notre-Dame-des Landes, censé remplacer l’actuel aéroport de Nantes depuis plus de 50 ans, tout semble hors-norme. «Les terrains ne sont pas utilisés, et les travaux ne sont pas même commencé» note le juriste.

Cette nouvelle bataille juridique n’implique pas les «zadistes», nouveaux occupants de la zone venus s’installer pour manifester leur opposition. «Il faut un titre de propriété » insiste Julien Durand, représentant de l’Association citoyenne intercommunale des populations concernées par le projet d’aéroport (ACIPA). Lui-même possède avec son épouse et une partie de la famille de celle-ci un terrain au Nord-Est de la zone, près de la commune de Grand-champs-des-Fontaines.

« Pour nous c’est aussi un moyen de dissiper les soupçons alors qu’on nous a accusé de nemener une guérilla juridique que pour obtenir de plus grosses indemnisations. C’est faux, nous voulons récupérer notre bien ! »

Aujourd’hui, une trentaine de dossiers ont été compilés, soit un peu plus de 100ha sur les 650 ha de la zone d’aménagement. «Ce n’est pas exclu que d’autres propriétaires nous rejoignent » souligne Julien Durand qui promet que si l’Etat ne leur donne pas raison, ils iront devant le tribunal pour « mettre un point final à ce projet d’aéroport ».

Emilie Torgemen
leparisien.fr

http://www.leparisien.fr/societe/a-notre-dame-des-landes-des-expropries-veulent-recuperer-leur-terres-20-01-2017-6596889.php

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DfT invests a further £1.8 million of taxpayer money over 2 years in the Dundee-Stansted route

A new deal to secure the air link between Dundee City Airport and Stansted for another two years has been announced. The UK and Scottish governments and Dundee City Council have agreed a public service obligation (PSO) contract worth almost £3.7m.  Loganair will continue to operate the route from 26 March. The service will see two return flights each weekday and one return flight on a Sunday. The UK Government will contribute 50% of the total funds, (ie.about £1,8 million over the two years) with the Scottish government putting in £1.4m and Dundee City Council providing £400,000 of funding. UK Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad announced it, with comments about the importance of connections between Scotland and England for trade and tourism – “helping business and leisure travellers alike”. So much of this public money is to assist leisure travel.  The UK government funding is through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which aims to maintain connectivity between London and smaller regional airports, where routes are at risk of being withdrawn.
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UK government invests a further £1.8 million over 2 years in the Dundee-London air route.

Dundee-London air route funding secured until 2019

From: Department for Transport, Scotland Office, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, and Lord Dunlop

14 March 2017

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The UK government has today announced more than £1.8 million to secure a vital air link between Dundee City Airport and London Stansted for another 2 years.

The public service obligation (PSO), agreed between the UK government, Transport Scotland and Dundee City Council, guarantees almost £3.7 million to keep the route open over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years.

The UK government will contribute 50% of the total funds, with the Scottish government putting in £1.4 million and Dundee City Council funding a further £400,000.

Loganair will continue to operate the route from 26 March 2017, with the service comprising 2 return flights each weekday and 1 return flight on Sundays.

The Dundee-London link, which launched as the first government PSO in 2014, plays an important role in promoting Dundee as a business and tourist destination, offering additional travel options to railway and road. Flight times between the 2 airports currently stand at around an hour and a half.

Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

I am delighted that Loganair will continue to operate this direct air service between Dundee and London Stansted for another 2 years.

Passengers and businesses will continue to benefit from the connectivity this route provides. It will further boost trade and tourism opportunities will continue to flourish in Scotland.

Regional airports are vital to our long-term economic strategy, and we are committed to strengthening links across the whole country and in particular ensuring access to London to further boost growth across the whole of the UK.

UK government Minister for Scotland Lord Andrew Dunlop said:

It’s great news for Dundee that the UK government is investing a further £1.8 million over 2 years in the Dundee-London air route, building on our investment of £2.85 million over the past 2 years.

Good air connectivity is vital to Dundee’s prosperity and its ambitious regeneration plans. There is a huge amount going on in Dundee, and London air links offer fantastic opportunities for Tayside.

Dundee City Council leader Ken Guild said:

As the city continues its long-term regeneration programme, having a direct air link to London fulfils an important role for business and leisure travellers.

Securing the route for a further 2 years through this latest PSO gives the council and its partners an opportunity to build on the service and attract other routes.

The Scottish government’s Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf said:

The award of this contract to Loganair is welcome news which provides continuity of service on this important route.

This flight not only provides a direct link to London, but also offers passengers a wide number of onward connecting destinations from Stansted. This will continue to benefit business and leisure travellers alike.

In the wider context, this service is vital for the future of Dundee Airport and we will continue to work with all partners to add new flights to its roster. I wish Loganair every success with this service.

The government maintains regional airport links through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which can be used to protect important air connections to London which may otherwise be lost.

Last month, the UK government gave its first ever backing for a PSO in Northern Ireland.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dundee-london-air-route-funding-secured-until-2019

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Deal secures Dundee-London Stansted air link for next two years

13 March 2017
BBC

A new deal to secure the air link between Dundee City Airport and London Stansted for another two years has been announced.
The UK and Scottish governments and Dundee City Council have agreed a public service obligation (PSO) contract worth almost £3.7m.
Loganair will continue to operate the route from 26 March.
The service will see two return flights each weekday and one return flight on a Sunday.
The UK Government will contribute 50% of the total funds, with the Scottish government putting in £1.4m and Dundee City Council providing £400,000 of funding.
‘Important route’
UK Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “I am delighted that Loganair will continue to operate this direct air service between Dundee and London Stansted for another two years.
“Passengers and businesses will continue to benefit from the connectivity this route provides. It will further boost trade and tourism opportunities will continue to flourish in Scotland.”
Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “The award of this contract to Loganair is welcome news which provides continuity of service on this important route.
“This flight not only provides a direct link to London, but also offers passengers a wide number of onward connecting destinations from Stansted. This will continue to benefit business and leisure travellers alike.”
Dundee City Council leader Ken Guild added: “Securing the route for a further two years through this latest PSO gives the council and its partners an opportunity to build on the service and attract other routes.”
The UK government funding is through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which aims to maintain connectivity between London and smaller regional airports, where routes are at risk of being withdrawn.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-39261803

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

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

13.3.2017

Residents north of Gatwick, from Newdigate through to Salfords, have today launched Plane Justice, a collective of communities which seeks to support (whether through campaigning, communications, discussion, negotiation or legal process) those who are, or would be, newly affected by aircraft in airport ‘catchment areas’.

Formed in response to changes made to Gatwick departure Route 4 in May 2016, the founders of Plane Justice have experienced on a personal level the stress, anxiety and sense of hopelessness and financial insecurity that changing flight paths causes to communities.

We are about bringing an evidence-based and ethical dimension into decision making about the management of airspace, which in our experience to date has been surprisingly lacking in a number of quarters.

And we want to bring that same sense of injustice we have felt to the attention of decision makers, in whatever way may be suited to help affected communities achieve resolution.

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For further information, please contact Plane Justice: 07564 649069

email@planejustice.org


Notes to editors
1).  Plane Justice was formed in February 2017.

2).  Members are asked to lend their support to returning Gatwick departure Route 4 (whether using P-RNAV or conventional navigation) to the geographical position and dispersal pattern it occupied for decades prior to 2013 (the so-called ‘legacy route’).

This was the flight path which kept the peace for decades in all communities north of Gatwick, with negligible complaints about noise. This will be a condition of membership until further notice.

3).  In the event the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should determine, in its forthcoming decision on Route 4 [Expected March/April 2017], either to make the current Route 4 permanent, or to return it to its pre-2013 position but corrected for magnetic variance, [Corrections for ‘magnetic variance’ (the drift of magnetic north over time) had not been made for decades, until the sudden imperative to do so in the CAA’s Post Implementation Review in November 2015. Correcting the legacy route for magnetic variance now, after decades of neglect, would have the disingenuous effect of keeping the R4 flight path approximately where it is today.]   or to adopt some other route design (e.g. based on split swathes or respite) which still sees new populations significantly overflown, then Plane Justice will take whatever steps it deems necessary to secure redress for its members.


  • Route 4 is the departure route from Gatwick which takes around 38% of all westerly departing aircraft. The Route was altered in May 2016 and now overflies new clusters of population in Newdigate, Leigh, Norwood Hill, Sidlow and Salfords.
  • Residents campaigning on this issue are pressing for Route 4 to be returned (whether using P-RNAV or conventional navigation) to the geographical position and dispersal pattern it occupied for decades up to 2012 (the so-called ‘legacy route’), which kept the peace for decades in all communities north of Gatwick, with negligible complaints about noise. The legacy route is shown in the left-hand map below which shows a day’s-worth of aircraft flying the route.  The red-to-amber colour gradation reflects numbers of aircraft.
  • The swathe of the legacy route is compliant with the relevant ‘noise preferential route’ (NPR) legislation, which states that aircraft are deemed to comply with the NPR if they fly within 1.5 kilometres either side of the NPR centre line.
  • There is clear evidence that the new Route 4 (see right-hand map below), when flown in ‘real world’ conditions, is not compliant with the criteria set for it by the CAA and is based on a fundamentally flawed design.
  • Aircraft ‘balloon out’ in the over-tight turn as they struggle to fly it even in modest winds, and the prolonged use of flaps and slats required is spraying higher levels of noise over a wider areas of population. The route then compounds the misery by turning further south than the legacy route did, thereby overflying many thousands more residents for the first time.
  • The evaluation period on Route 4 closed on 26th November, and the CAA is now deciding the fate of the current, second redesign, of Route 4 and of residents newly blighted by it. A decision is expected in March or April this year.

In the image below, on the left is “legacy” Route 4 

On the right is the new Route 4

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Following a Freedom of Information request, residents blighted by the new Route 4 are in possession of emails, memos & letters between airlines/ pilots and the CAA and Gatwick.

And what they say makes grim reading.

What came back was a catalogue of complaints and disquiet.  Plane Justice have quotes from an airline pilot, and Gatwick airport, indicating that the new Route 4 is difficult to fly accurately.

A spokesman from Plane Justice said:  “These comments from the sharp end, confirm what residents have been saying for months – that airlines are struggling to fly the current design of Route 4, because the design is flawed and ill-conceived, un-flyable in even modest winds, and non-compliant with normal airspace design rules – quite apart from its breaches of regulations and protocols and the fact it blights many thousands of homes who were completely untroubled by aircraft noise before. 

How can this Route design possibly be considered compliant?

We call on the CAA to please do the right thing and return Route 4 to its pre-2013 geographical position and dispersal pattern.”

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Heathrow’s head of property excited about redevelopment opportunities and maximising revenues from airport’s property

Talking to Property Weekly, Heathrow’s head of property and facilities, John Arbuckle, is bullish and “excited” about all the property and developments he is looking forward to, with a 3rd runway, He can see “redevelopment opportunities as well as maximising revenues from the airport’s property.”  The Heathrow investment property portfolio is worth around £2bn, and that will grow when more land is obtained (by compulsory purchase, and by buying up homes that will be too polluted or too noise to live in). Heathrow now has around “1.9m sq ft of buildings, 100 hectares of leased land, more than 200 houses and 807,000 sq ft of warehousing and offices leased from third parties.”  Heathrow also owns around 1,250 hectares of land around the airport.  It is expected that there will be more hotels, for the expanded airport. John Arbuckle, in typically bullish Heathrow fashion, hopes to “put the building blocks in place for a third runway in 2025.”  He manages to coyly avoid mentioning the destruction of much of Harmondsworth and parts of the Heathrow villages, and compulsory purchase, just talking about the airport “working closely with our local communities” and “being great neighbours to the local community.”  Property companies are rubbing their hands with glee at increased demand for commercial office and industrial space near Heathrow. 
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Heathrow Airport: project runway

Extract from a longer article: 

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While there remain both planning and political obstacles to overcome, the property team at Heathrow is gearing up to take advantage of the third runway.

Leading the charge is John Arbuckle, Heathrow’s head of property and facilities, who is tasked with identifying redevelopment opportunities as well as maximising revenues from the airport’s property.

Arbuckle is in charge of an investment property portfolio worth around £2bn, a figure that now looks likely to increase significantly as developments associated with the third runway come on stream. [That probably means if they end up buying some 3,500 properties, that will become too unpleasant – from noise and pollution – for residents to remain in. AW comment]

“It is a really exciting time for me,” he says. “I want to focus on developing growth areas for our current customers as well as looking at how we might attract new customers. Our targets are to increase customer satisfaction and develop space solutions that are built sustainably and safely. This is at the heart of everything we do and informs all our future plans.”

Arbuckle’s property team manages around 1.9m sq ft of buildings, 100 ha of leased land, more than 200 houses and 807,000 sq ft of warehousing and offices leased from third parties.

The type of space varies from hotels to offices and VIP passenger lounges to aircraft hangars, as well as a host of operational facilities.

The portfolio is 99% occupied and Arbuckle says there is high demand from prospective tenants, although it can be difficult to accommodate them.

Heathrow owns around 1,250 ha of land around the airport, but most of it has already been developed and there is no land bank. The airport uses “every piece” of land it owns, according to Arbuckle.

“My role involves making the most of what we have and identifying redevelopment opportunities,” he says. “We work in a very constrained environment where every square metre is important to us.

“Our priority is to understand and respond to the space needs of our customers. We have a wide range of property customers, from airlines to service companies, hotels, lounge operators and business centres, and they each have individual requirements. So it is important we listen to them and continue to work with them to meet their needs.”

The airport continues to develop new passenger lounges for airlines and independent lounge operators, as well as Regus Express business centres. New spaces for Regus are planned for Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, in addition to the existing location in Terminal 5, which opened in 2014.

A number of hotels are also scheduled to open in response to the growing need for hospitality close to Heathrow. The airport’s recent successes include the extension of its partnership with the Arora Group to deliver two new terminal-linked hotels: the 750-bed Crowne Plaza/Holiday Inn Express at Terminal 4 and a 300-bed Hilton Garden Inn at Terminal 2.

Building blocks

“Part of my role involves developing our existing infrastructure to put the building blocks in place for a third runway in 2025,” explains Arbuckle. “We will complete the first stage of our long-term plan by 2019 when the new Terminal 2 hotel opens. Work begins this month.”

Despite the land constraints, Arbuckle is excited about the prospect of further development around a third runway. But he is keen to point out that working with the local communities surrounding Heathrow, many of whose residents work at the airport, remains a key priority. [What this delicately omits to say is that there will be around 780 homes compulsorily purchased, with residents made involuntarily homeless.  Many others will have no obligation but to take Heathrow’s terms and sell up, moving away from their homes and communities. AW comment] 

“The government’s support for the expansion of Heathrow brings with it the opportunity to develop the surrounding areas,” he explains. “We have a dedicated expansion team that is working closely with the government, our local communities and our airlines throughout the consultation and delivery process to ensure Heathrow expansion is affordable and benefits all of Britain.  [Typical example of the sort of slippery language that conceals the reality of the removal of half of Harmondworth, and its death as a village. And damage to other Heathrow villages. AW comment] 

“On a local level, it is important we work with local businesses and the community on benefits and what this means for those living close to the airport. We have to work hard to make the most of the space we have and develop it in a way that takes into account both the smooth running of the airport operation and being great neighbours to the local community.”  [Sic].

Over the next five to 10 years there are plans to develop the Central Terminal Area (Terminal 2 and Terminal 3), which will involve ensuring all existing lettable space is being maximised and identifying opportunities for new commercial developments.

Logistics opportunity

Logistics space is likely to come to the fore. Not only is Heathrow the UK’s largest airport, it is also one of the country’s primary cargo hubs, so the decision to expand presents an opportunity for more logistics development in the vicinity of the airport.

The connectivity that is vital to local businesses will continue to be on their doorstep – Adam Hetherington, CBRE  [CBRE is a large, global property group]

In the wake of the Heathrow announcement, CBRE said that it expected expansion to lead to increased requirements for commercial office and industrial space within easy reach of the airport.

The airport itself expects a doubling of cargo throughput once a third runway is in place.

Adam Hetherington, CBRE’s London managing director, says that occupiers surrounding Heathrow can now make long-term location commitments “with the certainty that the national and international connectivity that is vital to their businesses will continue to be on their doorstep”.

Arbuckle’s task is to exploit the opportunities that the new runway and greater connectivity will bring. The challenges are very real, but if he can pull it off so too are the potential rewards.

http://m.propertyweek.com/5088116.article?mobilesite=enabled

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