15 people arrested in protest against proposed 3rd runway, blocking two roads close to Heathrow

In addition to a rally held on Richmond Green, organised by Zac Goldsmith, against the planned 3rd Heathrow runway there were two other protests near Heathrow. Zac’s rally had a host of speakers, including the leaders of the four councils bringing a legal challenge to the government, and the ex-President of the Maldives – with the aim of ensuring Zac is returned to Parliament in the by-election on 1st December. A short while later, there was an action by climate protesters, organised by RisingUp! close to Heathrow itself. They got onto the M4 spur road to the airport at a traffic lights when the traffic had stopped. Within seconds five had locked themselves together with arm locks, blocking the road. Another Heathrow road, the East Ramp, was also blocked, for a short time, with some road trips slightly delayed, but no flights were affected. Fifteen arrests were made for obstructing the highway or public order offences. Many others protested, though without blocking a road. A spokesman for Rising Up! said: “The government’s decisions to expand Heathrow, despite mass opposition from local residents and the fact that doing so is incompatible with the UK’s own laws on climate change, leaves us with no morally acceptable option but to resist.”   One of the protesters taking part in the demonstration, Genny Scherer, 70, said: “It’s one or the other: new runways or a safe climate. I want my nephews and nieces to grow up in a safe climate, just like I was able to.”
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Half an hour video by Radical Action at https://www.periscope.tv/ClimateIntifada/1dRJZRmZPVDJB?t=15# shows how the protesters got onto the road, at a traffic lights, off the M4 and set up their road block just in front of the cars.

protesters-blocking-road-at-lights

Image shows the first few seconds of the protest, (still from the video)

 

Heathrow expansion: Protesters arrested on M4 spur road

19.11.2016 (BBC)

Heathrow expansion protesters were arrested after they blocked a motorway near the airport.

Environmental activists disrupted the west London airport’s M4 spur road as a number of groups demonstrated on Saturday over the government’s recent decision to approve a third runway.

Fifteen arrests were made for obstructing the highway or public order offences.

Traffic was disrupted but there was no reported impact on flights.

Environmental protestors block a road 
Image copyright PA

A Heathrow spokesman warned passengers to allow extra time to travel to the airport
Protesters from campaign group RisingUp! lock themselves together as they block the east ramp at Heathrow AirportImage copyright PA

Protesters from campaign group RisingUp! locked themselves together as they blocked the East Ramp near Heathrow
Police cut out environmental protestors who had chained themselves together to block access to Heathrow airportImage copyrightPA

Police released protesters who chained themselves together

girl-at-no-new-runway-protest

Protesters from the environmental organisation Rising Up! also locked themselves together as they blocked the East Ramp road near the airport.

Other campaigners gathered on the flyover to chant “No ifs, no buts, no third runway” and “No more runways”.

A Heathrow spokesman warned passengers to allow extra time to travel or to use public transport where possible.

A spokesman for Rising Up! said: “The government’s decisions to expand Heathrow, despite mass opposition from local residents and the fact that doing so is incompatible with the UK’s own laws on climate change, leaves us with no morally acceptable option but to resist.”

A number of organisations demonstrated at Heathrow on Saturday
ProtestersImage copyright CLIMATE CHANGE IS A CRISIS

Neil Keveren, a resident of nearby Harmondsworth, said: “Democracy has failed us.

“As a direct result, the quality of life and life expectancy of the population here will be shorter.

“This is against our human rights and must be defended. Who is left to correct this injustice when our politicians will not?

“The answer is us – you and me.”

A spokeswoman for Heathrow said: “Independent analysis by the Airports Commission has found that building and operating an additional runway at Heathrow is compatible with the UK meeting its long-term climate change reduction targets.

“The Independent Committee on Climate Change has also shown that a 60% growth in passenger numbers in the United Kingdom can be achieved within the UK’s Climate Change Targets.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-38038313.

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Heathrow Protest: Police arrest 15 people during protests over airport’s expansion

19.11.2016  (Get West London)

BY ALEXANDER BALLINGER

A pre-planned protest at Heathrow Airport has resulted in 15 arrests for suspected blocking of a public highway and for public order offences 

Campaign group RiseUp! organised the rally after the Government approved plans to build a third runway at the airport last month.

The 15 arrests were on suspicion of obstructing a public highway and for public order offences.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “A planned protest is ongoing at Heathrow Airport on Saturday. “A proportionate policing plan is in place.  There have been 15 arrests for obstructing the highway and public order offences. Officers remain at the scene.”

One of the protesters taking part in the demonstration, Genny Scherer, 70, said: “It’s one or the other: new runways or a safe climate.

“I want my nephews and nieces to grow up in a safe climate, just like I was able to.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/heathrow-protest-police-arrest-15-12200992

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15 Heathrow anti-expansion campaigners arrested at motorway protest

Protesters blocked the motorway.
Protesters blocked the motorway.  Photo: Bethany Martin

 

Fifteen climate change protesters have been arrested after some campaigners blocked a motorway leading up to Heathrow Airport.

A small group of activists ran on to the M4 spur road and lay down in front of oncoming traffic, causing temporary disruption while others were arrested on suspicion of public order offences.

Organised by campaign group RisingUp!, the action is demonstrating against the government’s recent decision to approve a third runway at the West London airport.

Police made 15 arrests.
Police made 15 arrests. Credit: Bethany Martin

 

Campaigners of all ages gathered on the flyover to chant “No ifs, no buts, no third runway” and “No more runways”.

Placards read “Heathrow expansion will destroy thousands of homes” and “Protect the planet, no more runways”.

arm-locked-together-near-heathrow

Radical Action   @ClimateIntifada

A spokesman for RisingUp! said: “The government’s decisions to expand Heathrow, despite mass opposition from local residents and the fact that doing so is incompatible with the UK’s own laws on climate change, leaves us with no morally acceptable option but to resist.”

Passengers using the airport have been advised to allow extra time to travel to the airport and use public transport where possible.

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crowd-at-protest-outside-heathrow
A law abiding protest took place, within sight of one of the road blockages, just outside Heathrow, against the 3rd runway 

Bath Road, Heathrow

heathrow-demo-19th-nov-16-bath-rd-john-stewart

The second event of the day saw Heathrow Villagers and local environmental activists join up on the Bath Road near The Three Magpies Pub to hear speeches and show banners to highlight the issues to people passing through to the airport

heathrow-demo-19th-nov-16-bath-rd-john-stewart-2

HACAN’s John Stewart addresses the gathering


At least 15 arrested at massive ‘die-in’ protest at Heathrow over airport expansion

Sofia Petkar for Metro.co.uk

Former MP Zac Goldsmith was also seen speaking to campaigners at a separate demonstration in Richmond.

They could also be heard chanting: ‘No ifs, no buts, no third runway’.

Grassroots organisation RisingUp! held the protest after it was announced that the Government would be backing the £16 billion plan to expand Europe’s busiest airport with a third runway.

At least 15 arrested at massive 'die-in' protest at Heathrow
Environmental protesters block a road during a protest near Heathrow airport (Picture: REUTERS/Paul Hackett)

At least 15 people have been arrested at a major demonstration against a third runway at Heathrow.

Announcing the massive ‘die-in’ on the M4 spur road before the protest, the group said: ‘The Government’s decision to expand Heathrow, despite mass opposition from local residents and the fact that doing so is incompatible with the UK’s own laws on climate change, leaves us with no morally acceptable option but to resist.

‘Only 15% of the British public is responsible for 70% of international flights taken in the UK, and Heathrow largely serves international passengers who have a mean income of £57,000 per year.

‘This expansion is being driven by the very rich at the expense of some of the poorest people in the world.

‘By 2050 there will be 200 million climate refugees worldwide. Agricultural land in the global south will turn to desert, depriving millions of their right to economic development and driving them into hunger and malnutrition.’

Campaigners help up signs which read ‘protect the planet, no more runways’ and ‘residents against aircraft noise’.

One local resident, Neil Keveren from Harmondsworth, said: ‘Democracy has failed us. Elected leaders have totally reversed the will of the people.

‘As a direct result the quality of life and life expectancy of the population here will be shorter. This is against our human rights and must be defended.

‘Who is left to correct this injustice when our politicians won’t? The answer is us, you and me.’

Why are people protesting the third runway at Heathrow?

In their own words, RisingUp are demonstrating against the planned expansion of Heathrow because:

  • Out of control climate change will put the lives of hundreds of millions at risk, especially in the global south, and has already destroyed the lives of millions through increased incidence of extreme weather events.
  • Expansion at Heathrow will cause the UK to break its own national laws to reduce emissions, as well as undermining the international climate commitments agreed only a year ago in Paris.
  • Nationally, aviation emissions are already dangerously high and will be responsible for 1/4 of UK carbon emissions by 2050 even without the expansion of existing infrastructure.
  • If Heathrow expands, it would be responsible for more emissions than any other single site in the UK, including the UK’s largest power station (Drax).
  • At a local level, the new runway will devastate local communities. Families will lose their homes. They will suffer dangerous levels of air pollution, which will be responsible for trebling deaths directly caused by Heathrow aviation emissions, and contribute to the 4000 annual deaths from air pollution in London.
He gave up his Richmond Park seat last month after vowing to his constituents he would resign if the third runway plan was approved.

His resignation has triggered an emergency by-election, which will be held on December 1.

Goldsmith plans to stand again in the constituency as an independent.

Lib Dem candidate for Richmond Park Sarah Olney, former climate change secretary Ed Davey and Ukip’s Suzanne Evans also turned up to voice their opposition to the plans.

http://metro.co.uk/2016/11/19/at-least-15-arrested-at-massive-die-in-protest-at-heathrow-over-airport-expansion-6269361/

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Councils and campaigners take first step towards legal challenge against government support for Heathrow runway

Solicitors Harrison Grant acting on behalf of Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead Councils, together with Greenpeace and a Hillingdon resident have (17th November) sent a letter, under the Judicial Review Pre-Action Protocol, to the Secretary of State for Transport. The letter gives the Government a period of 14 days in which to withdraw its decision, issued on the 25 October to support a 3rd runway at Heathrow.  If it fails to do so, judicial review proceedings will be commenced in the High Court, without further notice to the Government, on the basis that the Government’s approach to air quality and noise is unlawful and also that it has failed to carry out a fair and lawful consultation exercise prior to issuing its decision.  The 33 page pre-action letter sets out comprehensive grounds for legal challenge, drawing on a broad range of statute and legal precedent, as well as highlighting the many promises and statements made by senior politicians confirming that the third runway would not be built.  The move comes shortly after the Government’s air quality plans were overturned in the High Court, putting ministers under greater pressure to reduce illegal levels of air pollution in places like Heathrow. The latest court ruling rejected the current government plans to tackle emissions as inadequate and based on over optimistic assumptions.
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Councils and campaigners take first step towards Heathrow legal challenge

Thursday 17th November  2016

Wandsworth Borough Council website

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Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead Councils, together with Greenpeace and a resident of Hillingdon, have today written to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling demanding he withdraws Government support for Heathrow expansion or face court action.

The pre-action protocol letter, sent on behalf of the claimants by Harrison Grant Solicitors, gives ministers 14 days to reverse their decision to back a third runway. If they fail to comply judicial review proceedings will commence in the High Court.

The letter argues that the Government has failed to recognise the project’s unlawful air quality and noise impacts and that ministers failed to carry out a fair and lawful consultation prior to issuing the decision.

The 33 page pre-action letter sets out comprehensive grounds for legal challenge, drawing on a broad range of statute and legal precedent, as well as highlighting the many promises and statements made by senior politicians confirming that the third runway would not be built.

The move comes shortly after the Government’s air quality plans were overturned in the High Court, putting ministers under greater pressure to reduce illegal levels of air pollution in places like Heathrow. The latest court ruling rejected the current government plans to tackle emissions as inadequate and based on over optimistic assumptions.

Cllr Ray Puddifoot Leader of Hillingdon Council said: “I was in the High Court in March 2010 at the last JR on Heathrow expansion when the judge referred to the third runway plans as ‘untenable in law and common sense’. Six years on it is unbelievable that the current Government are promoting an expansion that is still untenable in law and common sense and it is simply not acceptable in this country. This is the first round of this legal challenge and whilst we should win by a knockout in the first round we are prepared for a long fight if necessary.”

Lord True Leader of Richmond Council said: “Heathrow expansion is one of the worst government decisions in modern times – dishonest, in that it reverses a clear commitment; incompetent, in that it took six years to get to Base A (from which it will never proceed); indefensible economically, in that it is the most costly and polluting option and the most likely to involve charges on public funds; illogical, in that it is the slowest to deliver and a staggering affront to every principle of competition and careless of the public good, in that is the most polluting and the most disruptive of the public.  This legal challenge is only one route to block the Heathrow juggernaut. There will be others.”

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said: “Heathrow expansion is incompatible with environmental legislation and the process leading up to this decision has been deeply flawed. Ministers have not listened to our warnings so we have no choice but to take legal action. The simple truth is that Heathrow is in the wrong place for a major airport and its location amplifies its damaging impacts to world beating levels. Expansion will make this dire situation much worse. An objective assessment from the High Court is bound to conclude that you can’t mitigate against such a bad location.”

Leader of Windsor and Maidenhead Council Simon Dudley said: “The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead will hold Government to account for its decisions and protect our residents from such decisions should they prove to be unlawful.”

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “It’s clear that the government has greenlighted the third runway despite having no solution to the huge air and noise pollution problems it will cause. This is reckless and unlawful. Expanding Heathrow will heap more misery on hundreds of thousands of Londoners already breathing illegal air pollution, expose more people to aircraft noise, and drive carbon emissions through the roof. It will make it practically impossible for the government to comply with air pollution laws and court rulings. Either the laws of physics will be suspended, or the laws of the land will be broken. If ministers are hell bent on disregarding the laws that protect our health, a courtroom is where we’re going to hold them to account.”

Harrison Grant Solicitors has been working with the claimants over several months to develop the case against Heathrow expansion.

An alliance between Greenpeace and local councils successfully overturned the Brown Government’s backing for a third runway in the High Court in 2010, which prompted the incoming Cameron Government to emphatically rule it out.

The claimants say today’s Heathrow expansion scheme is even bigger and has more severe environmental impacts than the 2010 proposal, and will fail the same legal tests. They argue that new evidence on the severe health impacts of air and noise pollution make the new scheme far less likely to pass judicial review.

Sign up for campaign updates at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/enews

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/13650/councils_and_campaigners_take_first_step_towards_heathrow_legal_challenge

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this is also on the Hillingdon Council website

Legal Challenge on Heathrow Expansion

18.11.2016

Hillingdon Council website

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And on Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council website at 

https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/news/article/152/legal_challenge_on_heathrow_expansion

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By contrast, Hounslow:

By contrast with the four strong councils, below is the feeble statement put out by Hounslow council, which is more concerned to try to get jobs and some trickle down economic benefits:

Proposed by Councillor Steve Curran and Seconded by Councillor Amrit Mann
“This Council notes the decision of the Conservative Government on Tuesday 25 October to approve the expansion of Heathrow Airport and the building of a third runway.
We recognise that this decision will have huge implications for our borough and that, while many residents and businesses are directly involved in Heathrow and its supply chain, potential adverse consequences must be addressed.
This Council reaffirms its continuing commitment to a better and not bigger Heathrow and resolves to redouble its efforts to ensure that residents are protected from any adverse consequences of the Government’s decision.
Council further resolves to:
1.    Bring forward new measures to reduce the impact of congestion, pollution and noise locally.
2.    Seek compensation and appropriate mitigation from Heathrow Airport Ltd for all residents who will be adversely affected by the implementation of the Government’s decision.
3.    Ensure that the voice of Hounslow’s residents and businesses is heard in the forthcoming national policy statement consultation.
4.    Work with Heathrow Airport Ltd to achieve the best possible outcome for our borough.”
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Passenger plane approaching Heathrow ‘in near-miss with drone 650ft to the east of the Shard’

A passenger plane flying near the Shard had a “very near-miss” with a drone as it approached Heathrow Airport, an official report has revealed.  The drone, described as black and about 50cm (20in) wide, was spotted out of the right flight deck window at about 12.45pm on July 18, the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) report into the incident said.  The A320 aircraft, which was flying at an altitude of 4,900ft near to the Shard skyscraper in central London, “narrowly avoided” colliding with the drone, according to the report.  The crew said the drone had “probably” passed above the right wing and the horizontal stabiliser, which is found on the tail of the plane.  The UK Airprox Board said the account given of the incident “portrayed a situation where a collision had only been narrowly avoided and chance had played a major part”. It deemed the incident to be in the most serious category of risk and said the drone operator had not been traced. Earlier on 17th April 2016 a British Airways flight from Geneva was possibly hit by a drone as it approached Heathrow (in the Richmond area) at about 12:50pm on Sunday 17th. The plane was an Airbus A320, with 132 passengers and five crew on board, that landed safely. The AAIB investigation was closed at the end of April, for lack of evidence. It is thought this may not have been a hit by a drone.
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Passenger plane approaching Heathrow ‘in near-miss with drone 650ft to the east of the Shard’

17th November 2016

A passenger plane flying near the Shard had a “very near-miss” with a drone as it approached Heathrow Airport, an official report has revealed.

The drone, described as black and about 50cm (20in) wide, was spotted out of the right flight deck window at about 12.45pm on July 18, the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) report into the incident said.

The A320 aircraft, which was flying at an altitude of 4,900ft near to the Shard skyscraper in central London, “narrowly avoided” colliding with the drone, according to the report.

The crew said the drone had “probably” passed above the right wing and the horizontal stabiliser, which is found on the tail of the plane.

The UKAB report said: “Members agreed that this incident appeared to be a very near-miss and that the drone operator should not have been flying in that location at that altitude.”

It added that the account given of the incident “portrayed a situation where a collision had only been narrowly avoided and chance had played a major part”.

It deemed the incident to be in the most serious category of risk and said the drone operator had not been traced.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/17/passenger-plane-approaching-heathrow-had-near-miss-with-drone-65/

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See also:

Drone operators blamed for three more UK close encounters

By Alan Dron  (Air Transport World – ATW)
Dec 09, 2016
The UK Airprox Board (UKAB) has reported three more incidents in which unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) came alarmingly close to airliners. All three occurrences were rated as being in the highest category for risk.

According to UKAB, two incidents occurred July 20, 2016.

In one encounter, an Embraer E190 regional jet climbing out of London City Airport (the UKAB does not identify airlines involved in such incidents) was undertaking a right-hand turn passing 2,700 ft. when the first officer spotted a UAV in the 11 o’clock position, slightly above the aircraft. It passed down the left side of the E190, with the crew estimating the miss distance as 30 ft. vertically and 65.6 ft. horizontally.

The UKAB said “chance played a major part” in a collision being avoided.

In the second incident that day, a Boeing 767 was on short finals to runway 23R at Manchester Airport, northwest England, when an object passed down the right side of the vehicle at cockpit height, with the crew estimating it to be so close that it must have passed over the wing.

From the crew’s description of the bright yellow UAV, approximately 60 cm. in diameter, the board’s verdict was that it was carrying an underslung camera.

The final incident involved an Airbus A320 in a holding pattern over Biggin Hill Airport, southeast London. Descending to FL110, the first officer spotted a small object in the one o’clock position, closing very rapidly with the aircraft. He estimated the football-shaped UAV, fitted with a flashing magenta light, passed between 20-40 m horizontally from the A320 and the aircraft had no opportunity to avoid it.

The UAV operator was not traced in any of the cases.

There has been growing concern that a UAV will be ingested by an engine as the aircraft is in “low and slow” mode, either on approach or immediately after takeoff. A particular problem seems to be the use of UAVs to carry cameras aloft to film aircraft on approach to runways.

http://m.atwonline.com/safety/drone-operators-blamed-three-more-uk-close-encounters

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Earlier:

‘Drone’ hits British Airways plane approaching Heathrow, with no damage caused

The AAIB investigation was closed at the end of April, for lack of evidence. It is thought this may not have been a hit by a drone.  Link 28.4.2016 Guardian

A British Airways flight from Geneva was possibly hit by a drone as it approached Heathrow (in the Richmond area) at about 12:50pm on Sunday 17th. The plane was an Airbus A320, with 132 passengers and five crew on board. After landing safely, the pilot reported an object – believed to be a drone – had struck the front of the plane. It did not do serious damage, and a BA spokesman said the plane “was fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight.” This is thought to be the first time a drone has actually hit a plane, with many previous incidents of near misses.  BA is giving the police “every assistance with their investigation” and the Metropolitan Police are asking the public to help if they have information. The CAA said it is illegal to fly drones near airports, and the penalties include imprisonment.  In March, BALPA called for research by the DfT and the CAA into what would happen if a drone hit an airliner, after 23 near-misses around UK airports between 11th April and 4th October 2015. The effect could be serious if a drone smashed into the cockpit windscreen, or if it crashed into an engine. Unlike with bird strikes, the drones carry lithium batteries – there is concern these could cause a serious engine fire.  

Metropolitan police appeal following incident with aircraft

18.4.2016 (Metropolitan Police website)

Police are appealing for information after a plane on its descent into Heathrow Airport was struck by an object believed to be a drone.

On Sunday 17 April, a pilot on an inbound BA flight into Heathrow Airport from Geneva reported to police that an object believed to have been a drone had struck the front of the aircraft. It was flying at approximately 1,700 ft at the time of the incident shortly before the aircraft landed at 12:38hrs.

The flight landed at Heathrow Terminal 5 safely and was inspected by BA engineers. There was no damage found to the aircraft.

Officers believe that the incident occurred over the Richmond area, in proximity of Richmond Park, South West London. Local officers searched a wide area for suspects and/or debris but nothing has so far been found.

Aviation Policing are working with partners from British Airways (BA), Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to investigate this incident, which is being treated as an endangerment of an aircraft under Article 137 Air Navigation Order 2009.

Aviation Policing would ask for anyone who was in the area of Richmond Park or any surrounding open spaces on that day between 12:00hrs and 1300hrs who may have information to contact police or Crimestoppers.

We would also ask anyone to contact police if they find identifiable parts of drone in the Richmond area.

Anyone who can assist the inestigation is asked to contact Aviation Policing on 020 3276 1460; or alternatively Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

Chief Superintendent Martin Hendy, head of Metropolitan Police Service’s Aviation Policing Command, said:

“Thankfully the aircraft landed safely but the incident highlights the very real dangers of reckless, negligent and some times malicious use of drones. We continue to work with the Civil Aviation Authority and other partners to tackle this issue and ensure that enthusiasts who fly drones understand the dangers and the law.

“One of the challenges is to ensure people realise what is legitimate and what is illegal. The message is do not fly them anywhere near airports or flight paths, or over crowded places such as football and other stadiums. The potential is there for a major incident.”

Met Police press release

 

[AirportWatch comment: The affected plane was probably BA727, from Geneva, (GVA) which landed at about 12.31pm, after taking the usual S shaped course, coming from the east, heading west over Purley, turning north around Epsom, heading east around Thornton Heath, turning north almost over Dulwich and joining the approach path around Battersea and then towards Richmond. See the plane’s route on Webtrak http://webtrak5.bksv.com/lhr4  12.18pm to 12.31pm.]


 

‘Drone’ hits British Airways plane approaching Heathrow Airport

17.4.2016 (BBC)

A plane approaching Heathrow Airport is believed to have hit a drone before it landed safely, the Metropolitan Police has said.

The British Airways flight from Geneva was hit as it approached the London airport at about 12:50 BST with 132 passengers and five crew on board.

After landing, the pilot reported an object – believed to be a drone – had struck the front of the Airbus A320.

Aviation police based at Heathrow have launched an investigation. Police said no arrests have been made.

If confirmed, it is believed to be the first incident of its kind in the UK.

A British Airways spokesman said: “Our aircraft landed safely, was fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight.”

The airline will give the police “every assistance with their investigation”, the spokesman added.

A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesman said it was “totally unacceptable” to fly drones close to airports, and anyone flouting the rules can face “severe penalties, including imprisonment”.

Steve Landells, from the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), said it had been “only a matter of time before we had a drone strike”. He called for greater enforcement of existing rules.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36067591


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Earlier:

 

BALPA wants DfT and CAA to fund drone strike research – fears of cockpit hit or engine fire

Pilots’ union British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) are calling for research into what would happen if a drone hit an airliner, after 23 near-misses around UK airports between 11th April and 4th October 2015. In one incident a drone passed within 25m (82ft) of a Boeing 777 near Heathrow.  Twelve of the incidents were classed as “A” rated, the most serious rating, by the independent Airprox board, meaning there was “a serious risk of collision”. Other incidents given the most serious rating include a drone coming within 20m (66ft) of a Embraer 170 jet on its approach to London City Airport above the Houses of Parliament on 13th September.  Also a Boeing 737 had a near miss with a drone shortly after take-off from Stansted. BALPA wants the DfT and the CAA to back research into the possible consequences of a collision with a passenger jet. The effect could be serious if a drone smashed into the cockpit windscreen, or if it crashed into an engine. Unlike with bird strikes, the drones carry lithium batteries – there is concern these could cause a serious engine fire.  The consequences of a drone hitting a plane would depend on a number of factors such as the size and speed of the drone and the location of the collision.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/03/balpa-wants-dft-and-caa-to-fund-drone-strike-research-fears-of-cockpit-hit-or-engine-fire/

 


Earlier:

Drone over Heathrow was ‘wingspan away’ from collision with jet

UK Airprox Board reports two more high-risk near misses involving passenger planes, one at Heathrow and the other at Manchester airport

By Gwyn Topham, Transport correspondent (Guardian)

26.2.2016

Two more near-misses between drones and passenger planes at UK airports have been reported by aviation authorities, including one a “wingspan away” from a jet landing at Heathrow.

Pilots have called for a clampdown on drone use after a spate of incidents. Among the latest six to be investigated and verified by the UK Airprox Board, which monitors the threat of midair collisions, three were in the most serious bracket of risk, one involving a small light aircraft and two involving larger passenger planes.

The closest calls came in late September as an Airbus A319, which typically carry up to 180 passengers, landed at Heathrow, and two days later as a turboprop commuter plane, believed to be a LoganAir flight to Scotland, left Manchester airport.

The pilot at Heathrow reported a drone helicopter hovering close to his flight path, and was unable to take evasive action as the drone passed less than 30 metres away from his A319. Police were called but the operator of the drone could not be traced.

The Manchester plane had taken off and reached an altitude of 3,000ft when a pilot saw a red and white drone pass less than 15 metres above the port propeller. Although the aircraft was undamaged, investigators concluded that “separation had been reduced to the bare minimum and chance had played a major part in events”.

Pilots fear that more near-misses occur than they witness, and say the trend is extremely worrying. The Balpa union has called for a registration system for drone users and more research into the possible effects of an impact.

A Balpa spokesperson said: “Once again we see these near misses happening at altitudes where manned aircraft frequently operate and also on approach to airports where there is absolutely no reason for a drone to be. We need to catch the people that are doing this before we see a collision and loss of life.

“Due to the small size of drones it is often the case that pilots see them so late that it is impossible to take avoiding action. The responsibility is on drone operators to keep them away from commercial traffic, and crucially, away from airports.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “The unauthorised use of unmanned aerial vehicles in proximity to an airfield is both irresponsible and illegal. Heathrow’s top priority is the safety of our passengers and colleagues. The CAA recently published revised guidelines on the use of UAVs and we will continue to work with them and other partners to ensure that any violation of airspace rules is fully prosecuted.”

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG, which as the owner of airlines including British Airways is the biggest operator at Heathrow, said drones were “one of the inherent challenges we face with developing technology, and we need to keep the situation under review”.

Last month the board revealed details of seven recent incidents involving drones, four of which were classified as high-risk.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/26/drone-wingspan-away-jet-landing-heathrow

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and

Near miss with airliner should spur review of drones, says Labour

Labour calls for urgent review of rules after UK Airprox Board reveals plane came within 20 metres of drone above Houses of Parliament

1.2.2016

By Rowena Mason and agencies (Guardian)

The near collision of a drone and a passenger plane over the Houses of Parliament should be a wake-up call for the government to speed up its review of unmanned aerial vehicles, Labour has said.

Richard Burden, a shadow transport minister, said the near-miss over central London and other recent cases should be a “spur to action” after delays in the government’s promised consultation on regulating drones.

….. full article at ….

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/01/drone-near-miss-should-be-a-wake-up-call-for-review-says-shadow-minister

 

 

 

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Sadiq Khan backs councils’ legal action against Heathrow 3rd runway – and TfL will offer help

Sadiq Khan has announced at Mayor’s Question Time that he was officially supporting legal action against a 3rd Heathrow runway.  He has instructed Transport for London (TfL) to help 4 local councils (Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead) and Greenpeace, which are together bringing the case against expansion.  The involvement of TfL was met with delight from many Assembly Members.  TfL is expected to be named as an “interested party” in the action. It is believed that the intervention of TfL will strengthen the case of the local authorities’ challenge.  In the previous Mayor’s Question Time, Mr Khan said he wasn’t able answer the question on legal action until the government decision had been made. It was made on 25th October. Though Sadiq Khan had in the past backed a Heathrow runway, he changed his mind in 2015 when the extent of the noise and air pollution impacts became clear. He has now said, addressing the full London Assembly: “I promised I wouldn’t just stand by and see hundreds of thousands suffer from the additional noise and air pollution a third runway would cause.  That’s why I’ve directed TfL to provide their expert advice and assistance to support” the councils.. “and why I will be ready for us to play an active role in the action if required.”  TfL has the most expertise on matters relating to impacts of Heathrow expansion on London’s transport network.
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Sadiq Khan backs councils’ legal action against third runway at Heathrow Airport

By PIPPA CRERAR (Evening Standard)

16.11.2016

Sadiq Khan today announced that he was officially supporting legal action against a third runway at Heathrow.

The Mayor has instructed Transport for London to help four local councils and Greenpeace which are bringing the case against expansion.

The transport body is expected to be named as an “interested party” in the action, which insiders believe will strengthen their hand. Mr Khan will then decide whether City Hall, at the taxpayers’ expense, will formally join the legal challenge.

At City Hall question time, the Mayor hit out at the “devastating environmental consequences” of the Government’s decision last month to back a third runway at Heathrow.

“I promised I wouldn’t just stand by and see hundreds of thousands suffer from the additional noise and air pollution a third runway would cause,” he said. “That’s why I’ve directed TfL to provide their expert advice and assistance to support Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils, and Greenpeace, as they prepare for a joint legal challenge, and why I will be ready for us to play an active role in the action if required.”

The Mayor said expansion would mean the “intolerable” prospect of an extra 200,000 Londoners, including 43,200 schoolchildren, being exposed to an unacceptable level of noise every day, leading to health problems related to stress and sleep disturbance.

The runway would also lead to higher levels of toxic air in an area where pollution is already well above legal levels for NO2 emissions, Mr Khan claimed.

Ministers have argued that Heathrow expansion can be delivered within air quality requirements. However, the High Court rejected the Government’s air quality plan two weeks ago.

The Mayor also raised concerns over how the Government would find billions of pounds to improve road and rail connections to Heathrow.

Welcoming the decision, Wandsworth council leader Ravi Govindia said: “Transport for London’s resources and technical expertise will be hugely helpful to developing our case and exposing the deeply flawed logic supporting Heathrow expansion.”

Greenpeace’s John Sauven said: “A third runway at Heathrow will inevitably heap more misery on hundreds of thousands of Londoners already suffering from illegal levels of air pollution. It will also drive the UK’s climate-warning emissions through the roof.

“Ministers are already on the run from a court ruling that has exposed their current air pollution plan as a sham.”

Mr Khan, who U-turned on his original support for Heathrow after the air quality evidence changed, was in favour of expanding Gatwick, which he said could boost the economy without causing air pollution problems.

It was also said Gatwick would be cheaper and quicker to expand than Heathrow.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/mayor/sadiq-khan-backs-councils-legal-action-against-third-runway-at-heathrow-a3396941.html

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Sadiq Khan agrees to back legal action against Heathrow Airport Third Runway decision

16.11.2016 (Get West London)

The Mayor of London, who has openly backed Gatwick Airport, has said he will support legal action against the government decision

Sadiq Khan has said he will step in and support legal action taken by council against the Heathrow Third Runway decision.

In an announcement made during the Mayor’s Question Time in City Hall on Wednesday November 16, the Labour Mayor said he “will fully support” boroughs such as Hillingdon and Richmond as they fight against the government’s expansion choice .

Addressing the full London Assembly, he said: “I promised I wouldn’t just stand by and see hundreds of thousands suffer from the additional noise and air pollution a third runway would cause.

“That’s why I’ve directed Transport for London (TfL) to provide their expert advice and assistance to support Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils, and Greenpeace, as they prepare for a joint legal challenge, and why I will be ready for us to play an active role in the action if required.”

Greenpeace has already joined forces with Hillingdon council to take legal action against the proposals.

In the previous Mayor’s Question Time, Mr Khan said he wasn’t able answer the question on legal action until the decision had been made , but the official announcement was met with delight from many Assembly Members.

Heathrow Airport told getwestlondon: “The Airports Commission’s detailed work represents a solid foundation to support a Government decision for the third runway, and we are confident that any legal challenge would be unsuccessful and would not affect the timeline for delivering a third runway.

“We want to work with the Mayor to ensure that Heathrow expansion helps London thrive as a global hub for talent, tourism and trade.”

It has been proposed a the third runway could be built over the M25.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling previously said it would be a “cheaper and quicker” option rather than building a tunnel for the M25 underneath the new runway.

“I am, of course, very concerned to make sure that, as this runway is built, it doesn’t cause massive disruption on the M25, so I think this is a sensible way,” Mr Grayling said.

“It is a very gentle hill up which the planes would take off rather than a flat surface.

“It’s what happens at very many airports around the world.”

According to the airport’s timeline, it is unlikely that any new runway capacity would be operational before 2025.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/sadiq-khan-agrees-back-legal-12183916

 


See earlier:

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

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

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See earlier: 

Richmond, Merton, Kingston & Croydon councils write to PM to stop Heathrow runway, and choose Gatwick

In addition to the four councils that will legally challenge the government if it decides on a Heathrow runway (Windsor & Maidenhead, Richmond, Hillingdon and Wandsworth) now four councils have written to the Prime Minister to oppose a Heathrow runway decision. Richmond, Merton, Kingston and Croydon councils, calling themselves the South London Partnership, made the case to Theresa May to approve a Gatwick runway instead. All these councils know the highly adverse impact of the noise of Heathrow flights on their residents, and would prefer that noise burden to be pushed to others (who do not have the opportunity to vote them out – as with the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who also backs a Gatwick runway. They also say: “One thing in particular on which we want to contribute is ensuring the transport links to Gatwick and connectivity more widely, including into our area, central London and with other key corridors, are developed to support the full potential of airport expansion.” Presumably they appreciate that the transport links to Gatwick are very poor, and would not be able to cope with a doubling in the number of air passengers. Conservative Richmond Council leader Lord True said the government should “stand up for ordinary families, rather than ‘big business’”.

Click here to view full story…

Shock £17bn taxpayer’s bill for Heathrow expansion revealed through Freedom of Information request – from TfL  – by Greenpeace

Environmental and transport groups have used FoI to obtain details from Transport for London (TfL), of their estimates of the amount of money the UK taxpayer would be expected to pay, for Heathrow’s 3rd runway. This comes to a staggering £17 billion, to cover the costs of transport links needed to deal with a massive traffic surge from a 3rd Heathrow runway.  TfL say the actual cost would be around £18.4 billion – which is 4 times as high as estimated by the Airports Commission.  Heathrow’s John Holland-Kaye reiterated, to the Environmental Audit Committee (4.11.2015) that the airport would pay only about £1 billion. The government made it clear (Oct 2015) that it expects aviation expansion promoters to cover any surface access costs.The vast amount of money required throws into question both the financing and feasibility of a crucial part of the project. The documents, released to Greenpeace through FoI, contain the first detailed comparison of the contrasting estimates by the Airport Commission and TfL. They show the figures published in the Commission’s report failed to take into account the costs of key rail schemes, extra buses, additional operational spending and road traffic management. The Treasury needs to properly assess the real costs of expanding Heathrow and guarantee taxpayers won’t be left to pick up the bill.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/04/shock-17bn-taxpayers-bill-for-heathrow-expansion-revealed-through-freedom-of-information-request-by-greenpeace/


Recent opponent of Heathrow runway, Sadiq Khan, appoints pro-Heathrow runway, Lord Adonis on transport

Until June 2015, Sadiq Khan (now London Mayor) backed a 3rd Heathrow runway.  He was Transport Minister under Gordon Brown, pushing for it. He then appreciated that he could not be elected Mayor if he backed the runway as it is so unpopular with millions of Londoners, who are adversely affected by it.  Ministers are saying his election, and his opposition to a 3rd runway, will not influence their runway decision.  The Mayor’s opinion on a runway carries some weight, though they cannot make the decision.  Worryingly, Sadiq will appoint former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, who strongly backs a Heathrow runway,  to run transport in London.  The Labour peer also heads the government’s National Infrastructure Commission.  Sadiq backs a 2nd runway at Gatwick to increase airport capacity, as people in areas adversely affected by Gatwick did not get to vote in the Mayoral election.  He also backs improved rail links to Stansted.  It would be easier for a Conservative government to resist the opposition of a Labour mayor, than a Tory one, to a Heathrow expansion. Transport Professor, David Metz, said: “There is a respectable case for deferring this difficult political decision, to see how a very competitive aviation sector copes with the growth of demand for air travel” … seeing how market forces displace leisure travellers from Heathrow to Stansted in future.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/05/recent-opponent-of-heathrow-runway-sadiq-khan-appoints-pro-heathrow-runway-lord-adonis-on-transport/

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easyJet is planning to set up a separate airline in Europe, to avoid Brexit risks in UK

EasyJet reported slightly lower profits in the year to September.  Their results state: “As a result of the UK’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, easyJet plans to establish an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) in another EU member state. This will secure the flying rights of the 30% of our network that remains wholly within and between EU states, excluding the UK…..The primary driver of the cost is the re-registering of aircraft in an EU AOC jurisdiction.”  The BBC reported that Carolyn McCall “also confirmed that Easyjet is in the process of setting up a separate airline based on the European mainland, in readiness for when the UK leaves the EU. Current EU flying rights might have to be renegotiated and the new company would ensure Easyjet could operate within the EU.” She said they don’t have the luxury of waiting to see what happens with Brexit, but there was no question of job cuts or moving from the current headquarters at Luton. It was about registering aircraft and “securing flying rights.”  Though easyJet already has a Swiss subsidiary, Easyjet itself will become the entity inside the EU with the union. “The British airline will become the subsidiary, with the existing UK airline operating certificate ring-fenced, so that it remains majority-owned by British shareholders.” 
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Easyjet profits tumble after year of ‘challenges’

16.11.2016  (BBC)

Easyjet’s profits have tumbled during what the airline described as a year of “significant challenges”. Pre-tax profits in the year to 30 September fell 27.9% to £495m, but it was in line with a warning given last month. Passenger numbers rose 6.6%.

Sterling’s weakness, the impact on air travel of terror attacks, and air traffic control strikes hit trade. Easyjet also confirmed it is setting up a continental-based airline ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU.
‘Resilient performance’

Although passenger numbers rose 6.6% to 73.1 million, revenues fell 0.4% to £4.67bn as the airline cut fares.

Easyjet’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall, told the BBC that the rise in passengers and an increase in the load factor – the airline’s ability to fill seats – showed that there was no lack of demand.

But the carrier had suffered a series of “external shocks”, she said. These included the impact on air travel of terror attacks across Europe, Egypt and Tunisia, air traffic control strikes in France and political turmoil in Turkey.

The airline has also been hit by sterling’s sharp depreciation since the Brexit referendum. In the face of these issues, “EasyJet achieved a resilient performance,” she said.

Ms McCall also confirmed that Easyjet is in the process of setting up a separate airline based on the European mainland, in readiness for when the UK leaves the EU.

Current EU flying rights might have to be renegotiated and the new company would ensure Easyjet could operate within the EU.

She said: “We are not saying there will be no agreement. We just don’t know the shape or form. We don’t have the luxury of waiting. But we have to take control of our own future.”
There was no question of job cuts or moving from the current headquarters at Luton, she said. It was about registering aircraft and “securing flying rights”.

EasyJet has bases across 11 UK airports and flies more than 830 routes on its network across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

The airline also said it was planning a group-wide review over the next year to make it a “simpler, more efficient” company and to deliver “meaningful” savings.

Easyjet shares, down 42% over the past year, were 5% up at midday.

Richard Hunter, head of research at Wilson King Investment Management, said the results showed the airline “is clearly running hard to stand still”.

“But the market’s reaction to the numbers in early trade shows some grounds for optimism,” he added.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37984549

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Analysis: Dominic O’Connell, Today business presenter

Easyjet has built its success on flights from the UK to Europe, and now the company is poised to make a trip of its own to the Continent. To get round the regulatory complications of Britain’s Brexit vote, it has to set up an organisation majority-owned and controlled by nationals and organisations inside the European Union.

Many had thought it would set up a subsidiary – it already has a Swiss subsidiary to deal with a similar route-rights complication – but instead Easyjet itself will become the entity inside the union.

The British airline will become the subsidiary, with the existing UK airline operating certificate ring-fenced, so that it remains majority-owned by British shareholders.

While it may look a radical shift, in practice it is dictated by expediency. Easyjet’s largest shareholder remains Stelios Haji-Ioannou and members of his family are Greek nationals, so meeting the shareholder threshold in Europe is simple.

And the FTSE 100 company will be retain its London listing and Luton headquarters.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37984549

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As a result of the UK’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, easyJet plans to establish an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) in another EU member state. This will secure the flying rights of the 30% of our network that remains wholly within and between EU states, excluding the UK. This one-off cost is expected to total around £10 million over two years with up to £5 million incurred in the 2017 financial year. The primary driver of the cost is the re-registering of aircraft in an EU AOC jurisdiction.

http://corporate.easyjet.com/~/media/Files/E/Easyjet-Plc-V2/pdf/investors/results-centre/2016/2016-full-year-results.pdf

 


The Guardian said: 

16.11.2016

McCall said she was not worried by persistently low fares because easyJet was designed for low prices and was selling more add-ons such as rental cars, hotels and in-flight extras.

EasyJet increased seat capacity by 6.5% last year and flew 73.1 million passengers, up from 68.6 million the year before. Profit per seat fell to £6.19 from £9.15. It will increase capacity by 9% this year, including in the UK, where it is the biggest airline, and in France.

McCall said she did not expect Britain’s departure from the EU to disrupt easyJet’s operations. It will apply for an air operator certificate in another EU country where some planes will be registered but the company is keeping its head office at Luton airport, where it has been based since it was founded 20 years ago.

“Our headquarters would remain in Luton and the jobs we have in Luton would remain in Luton.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/15/easyjet-profits-fall-due-to-weak-pound-and-discount-flights

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The Telegraph said:

16.11.2016

Despite the difficulties during the past year, EasyJet said it plans to increase capacity by 9pc during the next 12 months.

EasyJet also plans to obtain a new air operator certificate in an EU member state, at a cost of £10m over the next two years, to protect its right to unlimited flights within the bloc. The group’s headquarters will remain in the UK, and the board will discuss where to house its EU base in the coming weeks, said Ms McCall.

Around 30% of Easyjet’s flights are within and between EU countries outside the UK.

“We are confident that our Government will get an agreement between the UK and the EU but we don’t know what shape that will take,” said Ms McCall.

Easyjet’s chief executive was among the aviation experts that met this week with David Davis, the Brexit secretary, to set out the concerns in the industry ahead of departure from the EU. Ms McCall said the minister was “in listening mode” about regulatory changes as the UK prepares for exit negotiations.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/11/15/easyjet-posts-28pc-slump-in-profits-after-unprecedented-year-of/

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DfT publishes proposed route of northern section of HS2, including property compensation details

The DfT has announced the second phase of HS2, north of Birmingham. It is intended to go to Leeds, Manchester, Wigan etc. which would mean journeys to and from London from these areas could be faster than they are now. That would reduce the demand for domestic flights, for connections to Heathrow.  Many homes would be demolished to make way for the rail route, and there are compensation arrangements to help those affected. The DfT says compensation (by the government) measures would apply immediately, including a premium on compulsory purchases and moving costs. By contrast with Heathrow, which says compensation (the airport pays) would only start once they have full planning consent – and if their compulsory purchase is agreed in their development control order – which could be another 4 years away. The compensation is un-blighted price + 25% + stamp duty and costs for those in the “Express Purchase” scheme, and un-blighted price + 10% with no costs for the  “Need to sell” scheme. The DfT documents say the compensation schemes are the same as the southern part of HS2, and “Two of these schemes will enter into operation from today on an interim basis – these are Express Purchase and Need to Sell, and if confirmed by the government, all the schemes will be in place until 1 year after the railway is fully operational.”
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Delayed HS2 second-phase route unveiled

Seven major changes to high-speed rail network out for further consultation with opposition likely to rise in affected areas

By Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent  (Guardian)
15 November 2016

hs2-route

The preferred route for the second phase of HS2 has been published, setting out exactly where the government will build the high-speed rail network through the north of England – although a controversial decision on how to build to Sheffield has been delayed once again.

Seven significant alterations to the original route are being put out for further consultation, with some likely to provoke outcry in affected areas.

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, said he “felt desperately sorry” for those residents affected, whom he said would be “treated with fairness, compassion and respect”. Compensation measures would apply immediately, including a premium on compulsory purchases and moving costs.

The government is committed to pressing ahead with the broad Y-shaped route to Leeds and Manchester, which it claims will provide up to three times as many intercity train seats and free up more space on existing lines for commuter services.

Grayling said: “Our railways owe much to the Victorian engineers who pioneered them, but we cannot rest on their legacy when we face overcrowding and capacity problems.

“HS2 is an ambitious and exciting project and the government is seizing the opportunity it offers to build a transport network fit for the 21st century; one that works for all and makes clear to the world that Britain remains open for business.”

According to the Department for Transport, there will be almost 15,000 seats an hour on trains between London and the cities of Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, compared with 5,000 now.

A proposed route was first published in 2013 for the northern half of HS2, but a review of the programme and debate over the location of stations, especially around Sheffield, means detailed plans have been delayed by almost two years from the original schedule. However, the DfT still says it expects the £55bn scheme to be fully operational by 2033.

The bill to secure the first phase of building HS2, between London and Birmingham, is expected to pass through parliament this autumn, allowing work to start next year.

Legislation for the rest of the route is expected to be introduced in 2019. A “Phase 2a” would build the line as far as Crewe for service in 2027.

There is widespread support for the second phase in northern cities, which have been keen to secure transport links. Much of the opposition to HS2 has so far been focused in the Chilterns, where construction will bring no benefit to those affected.

However, the publication of the detailed route is likely to increase the level of opposition. After a revision was made in July to the line’s path through the east Midlands, with a branch to Sheffield, residents on a new estate were told they faced the compulsory purchase of their homes for demolition. That situation has yet to be resolved.

Among the seven changes to have gone out for further consultation are moving a new depot to Crewe, altering the site of a tunnel in southern Manchester, changing the route in Cheshire, Leicestershire, and no longer tunnelling under East Midlands airport.

The government confirmed the route would go to Manchester airport and that a new HS2 station would be built next to Manchester Piccadilly.

Penny Gaines, the chair of Stop HS2, said: “The government is proposing spending £56bn or more on a railway line most people don’t want and that won’t benefit the economies of the Midlands and the north.

“Anywhere where there are gaps in the line is continued uncertainty for people affected. Phase two was announced in early 2013, and these people have been living in limbo for nearly four years.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/15/delayed-hs2-second-phase-route-plan-unveiled

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DfT press release
15.11.2016

HS2 route to the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester set out by the government

…. in this …..

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

Our railways owe much to the Victorian engineers who pioneered them, but we cannot rest on their legacy when we face overcrowding and capacity problems.

HS2 is an ambitious and exciting project and the government is seizing the opportunity it offers to build a transport network fit for the 21st century; one that works for all and makes clear to the world that Britain remains open for business.

The full HS2 route will be a game-changer for the country that will slash journey times and perhaps most importantly give rail passengers on the existing network thousands of extra seats every day. They represent the greatest upgrade to our railway in living memory.

But while it will bring significant benefits, I recognise the difficulties faced by communities along the route. They will be treated with fairness, compassion and respect and, as with Phase One, we intend to introduce further compensation which goes over and above what is required by law.

The Transport Secretary has today also announced that HS2 Ltd has awarded a £900 million contract to:

Area South – CS JV (Costain Group Plc, Skanska Construction UK Ltd)
Area Central – Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall Plc, BAM Nuttall Ltd, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Ltd)
Area North – LM JV (Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd, J Murphy & Sons Ltd)
so that construction on the first phase of HS2 between the West Midlands and London can get underway next year as planned.

………

The department is also consulting on discretionary property schemes. These schemes are the same as those currently in operation for people living along the Phase One route. Two of these schemes will enter into operation from today on an interim basis – these are Express Purchase and Need to Sell, and if confirmed by the government, all the schemes will be in place until 1 year after the railway is fully operational.

As part of the HS2 Woodland Fund we have made available an initial allocation of £1 million to the Forestry Commission to support projects that will help restore, enhance and extend ancient woodland on private land or in partnership with multiple landowners . This could support projects similar to the restoration of Chalkney Wood in Essex that has successfully removed all the conifers from an ancient woodland to restore it to native species.

….. and there is more ….

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hs2-route-to-the-east-midlands-leeds-and-manchester-set-out-by-the-government

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On the property compensation scheme – the consultation ends on 9th March 2017

HS2 Crewe to Manchester, West Midlands to Leeds: Property Consultation 2016

DfT document.    15.11.2016

Consultation Description

This consultation addresses the proposed assistance which will be made available to affected communities and businesses located on or near the Phase Two route, from Crewe to Manchester and West Midlands to Leeds. This section of the route is referred to as ‘Phase 2b’.

The Government is introducing two key schemes immediately – Express Purchase and Need to Sell. This is to avoid any unnecessary delay in getting assistance to those with a statutory entitlement or a compelling need to sell their property.

The property schemes proposed to provide assistance are:

  • Express Purchase
  • Extended Homeowner Protection Zone
  • Need to Sell
  • Rural Support Zone (option of cash offer or voluntary purchase)
  • Rent Back
  • Homeowner Payments

Subject to the outcome of this consultation, we expect the confirmed schemes will be implemented in full in 2017 and are expected to run until one year after this part of the railway is fully operational, which is anticipated to be in 2034.

…. and there is much more at

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-crewe-to-manchester-west-midlands-to-leeds-property-consultation-2016

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Details of the property compensation scheme are at

Claim compensation if your property is affected by HS2

https://www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-if-affected-by-hs2/overview

Under the Express Purchase Scheme

What you’ll get

If you qualify the government will:

  • buy your property at its open market value as if HS2 wasn’t going to be being built (known as ‘unblighted’ value)
  • give you a ‘home loss’ payment equal to 10% of the property’s open market value (up to £58,000)
  • pay reasonable expenses, eg stamp duty, surveyors’ and legal fees, and removal costs

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Under the Need to Sell Scheme

What you’ll get

The government will agree to buy your property for 100% of the unblighted open market value if your application is successful.

The government will not cover additional costs, such as legal fees or removal costs.

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Details at  https://www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-if-affected-by-hs2/need-to-sell-scheme

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Norman Foster, still hopeful of a Thames estuary airport, considers Heathrow will eventually not be fit for purpose

Norman Foster, a key promoter of a Thames estuary airport instead of Heathrow, has again criticised the government’s backing of a Heathrow 3rd runway, saying it is a ‘short-term’ solution to Britain’s infrastructure needs.  He still believes a large hub airport in the Thames would be a “better” solution (ignoring the problem of carbon emissions), and presumably he would make a lot of money if his scheme ever went ahead. Norman Foster describes Heathrow’s 3rd runway as “a band-aid solution. It is short-term. It’s not thinking in terms of the wider issues of transportation.”  He says: “’What is guaranteed is that when that third runway comes into action, Heathrow will again be at full capacity. …I would guarantee the absolute inevitability that one day [Heathrow] will no longer be sustainable in community terms, political terms – just [on account of] the sheer logistics. It cannot continue.”  The DfT announcement on 25th October, backing Heathrow for a new runway, made no mention of the Airports Commission condition that Heathrow would not be permitted a 4th runway. An article in Prospect Magazine comments that what the Airports Commission should have looked at was whether there should be airport expansion at all in the southeast. Instead, as their brief was to focus on hub capacity, it meant their focus was wrongly on spreading expansion across London airports rather than properly assessing the regions. 
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Norman Foster slams Heathrow third runway as ‘band-aid solution’

14 NOVEMBER, 2016
BY ELLA BRAIDWOOD (Architects Journal)

Norman Foster [key promoter of a Thames estuary airport instead of Heathrow] has again hit out at Heathrow expansion, calling it a ‘short-term’ solution to Britain’s infrastructure needs

Foster, speaking in Manchester Town Hall at the Designing the Future: Starting in the North event, hosted by the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, argued that his alternative ‘Thames Hub’ proposal could be connected to Europe with High Speed 1 and link London directly to cities in the north.

If it was used as a terminus for the planned High Speed 2 rail link, he added, it could help relieve the pressure of freight on the roads.

Howard Davies’s independent Airports Commission, set up by the government in four years ago, ruled out Foster’s plans for an airport in the Thames estuary, saying it would be more expensive than the alternative options of a new new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick.

But Foster, who unveiled his estuary airport plans in 2011, told the audience: ‘I accept that there is going to be a third runway. It’s a band-aid solution. It is short-term. It’s not thinking in terms of the wider issues of transportation.

’What is guaranteed is that when that third runway comes into action, Heathrow will again be at full capacity.’

He continued: ‘I would guarantee the absolute inevitability that one day [Heathrow] will no longer be sustainable in community terms, political terms – just [on account of] the sheer logistics. It cannot continue.’

’There is only one way to go and that is out in the direction of the sea […] eventually Heathrow will no longer [be] fit for purpose.’

Foster compared the Thames estuary proposal to his successful Hong Kong International Airport – built on the largely man-made Chek Lap Kok island to replace to the closed Kai Tak Airport, whose expansion options were similarly limited.

He argued that an airport on the Isle of Grain would provide opportunities for new developments as London expands, and could be combined with existing initiatives such as the proposal to build a new Thames Barrier.

Foster spoke of the importance of long-term infrastructure plans to Britain’s economy, pointing to how northern cities and the canal and rail systems which connected them drove the Industrial Revolution.

In 2014 the Airports Commission concluded, following a feasibility study, that a Thames hub airport would be too expensive to build.

At the time, Howard Davies said: ‘There are serious doubts about the delivery and operation of a very large hub airport in the estuary. The economic disruption would be huge and there are environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time-consuming to surmount. Even the least ambitious version of the scheme would cost £70 to £90 billion with much greater public expenditure involved than in other options – probably some £30 to £60 billion in total.’

Foster’s proposals were previously supported by former London mayor and current foreign secretary Boris Johnson. In 2015, in a letter to The Telegraph Johnson branded the plans for another runway at Heathrow as ‘madness’ and ’short-termist’.

The government’s decision to build a third runway at Heathrow was welcomed by Grimshaw, which in July this year beat Zaha Hadid Architects, Benoy and HOK in the contest to design a new ‘hub airport of the future’ as part of Heathrow’s £16 billion growth plans.

It is expected to be another year before MPs vote on the decision for Heathrow and construction is not likely to begin until 2020 or 2021. If approved, the runway could be completed by 2025.

https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/norman-foster-slams-heathrow-third-runway-as-band-aid-solution/10014653.article

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Heathrow’s third runway won’t fly

Announcing the government’s decision to support a third runway at Heathrow Airport, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that the new proposals were “best for our future, and best for the whole country and its regions.” The “truly momentous” decision to expand, he claimed, will improve the UK’s international connections, while increasing foreign trade and creating jobs.

Politicians across the divide, apart from the Greens and Liberal Democrats, rallied to support the government. Ominously though, Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith resigned his Richmond Park seat to fight a by-election as an independent and collective cabinet responsibility was loosened to accommodate dissenting voices, most notably Boris Johnson and Justine Greening. Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell remain against expansion, though once again they stand opposed to most of their parliamentary party.

Most business leaders and unions welcomed the long-anticipated decision, stressing its vital role in stimulating economic growth, especially in a post-Brexit world. Heathrow is running at 98% of its capacity [it does not have to do this – but it chooses to do so, in order to maximise profits. It could choose to work at a lower level of capacity. AW note] , and the demand for more flights shows little sign of waning. But once the dust has settled and the trumpeting ended, what are we to make of the decision?

Is this truly a triumph of leadership, an end to dithering and the action of a government of “builders” committed to ensuring Britain’s future? Perhaps a little less spin and a little more caution would not go amiss.

In reality, the May government’s support for Heathrow expansion is the outcome of a series of political failures and policy reversals that is likely to end in tears. Here are six reasons why.

First, the belated decision to expand Heathrow is a failure of leadership. Before David Cameron became Prime Minister, he made a “no ifs, no buts” promise that there would be no new runway, and the coalition declared a moratorium on expansion in May 2010. But in 2012, after an intense campaign led by business, supporters of Heathrow and London First, the coalition agreed to set up the Airports Commission and thus reopened the case. What is more, the commission’s brief was to examine where the new capacity should be—Gatwick, Heathrow or even “Boris Island”—rather than whether there should be expansion in the southeast. Finally, the aviation industry’s demand for hub capacity (in which an airport is a stepping stone to another destination) made it difficult to argue for spreading expansion across London airports or to regional ones.

Second, the commission, directed by Sir Howard Davies, failed to deliver an evidence-based consensus, which would have hopefully taken the politics out of this controversial decision. If anything, the conflicts between different airports, between airports and their surrounding communities, between politicians (within and across parties, and among tiers of government), and between many environmental groups and business representatives, have intensified and look certain to continue.

Third, seen in a longer historical perspective, there’s the failure to recognise that the wrong decision was made in the 1940s to build Heathrow in the first place. Because the airport is in the wrong geographical location, causing noise pollution for the residents who languish under its flight paths, further expansion can only exacerbate its detrimental effects. The decision might be seen as a failure of path dependency and institutional inertia, which goes to the heart of the British state and system of government.

This brings to mind the Roskill Commission inquiry of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which was set up to find a location for a third London airport. Roskill’s findings were ignored by the government in favour of a different site at Maplin, only for it to abandon that plan when the 1973 oil crisis hit the aviation industry and local MPs threatened to rebel. The upshot has been the dissemination of the “have-your-cake-and-eat-it” narrative that we can have both airport expansion and environmental protection. In this fantasy, the threat of not acting and thus falling behind our foreign competitors is bolstered by the beatific prospect of adding billions to the economy when the new runway is actually built.

A fourth failure of the new scheme relates to air pollution, which is the cause of major respiratory problems and premature deaths. The problem of meeting legally binding air quality targets in London and surrounding areas was not properly addressed by the Davies Commission. Government plans to meet its 2030 air quality targets are highly contested, as the recent court case by legal campaigners, ClientEarth, goes to show. The idea that a reduction of car emissions in and around the airport, for example, will enable expansion plans to meet the required air pollution targets looks wildly optimistic.

Fifth, and crucially, the plans constitute a failure to tackle climate change. The anti-expansion coalition that successfully challenged New Labour’s 2003 Air Transport White Paper put the problem of aircraft emissions and our international commitments to curb climate change at the centre of its campaign. Indeed, in setting out a consultation about airport capacity in 2011, the then Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, dismissed the previous thinking as “out of date because it fails to give sufficient weight to the challenge of climate change.” Yet once again environmental considerations have been shoved aside both by the commission and in the wider public debate that has ensued.

A sixth, a final and equally telling problem is that in all likelihood the plans will end in another disappointing failure to deliver a mega-infrastructure project on time and within costs. Legal challenges by councils and other affected parties, the precise financing of the proposals (who, for example, will pay for the surface infrastructures needed) coupled with political challenges will invariably delay the implementation of plans—if they happen at all.

Already local councils are preparing to review the decisions and planning procedures in the courts, while local resident groups and direct action campaigners such as Plane Stupid are sharpening their preferred tools of protest. We can expect the third runway to become a symbolic battle for environmental campaigners.

Heathrow could well up being the next Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the proposed international airport outside Nantes that continues to attract widespread criticism and protest across the whole of France and Europe.

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/science-and-technology/heathrows-third-runway-wont-fly-airport-expansion

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Edinburgh airport publishes draft Master Plan for high growth out to 2050 for consultation, but no 2nd runway plan

Edinburgh Airport has produced a draft master plan for consultation (deadline for comment is 23rd December) about its future development up to 2050. The airport says “The Masterplan highlights how we aim to grow and develop the airport responsibly over a 25 year period whilst improving the experience” ….benefits to the economy etc etc.” It plans to increase its passenger number from about 11.1 million in 2015, to 19.2 million in 2030, and 35 million in 2050. It will continue to safeguard land for a possible 2nd runway, if there is enough demand after 2040 if there are 30 million passengers by then. The numbers of passengers and ATMs in the current master plan are much higher than in the 2011 plan (eg. 2011 plan anticipated about 200,000 ATMs by 2040, but the 2016 plan expects 208,000. For passengers, the 2011 plan anticipated 20.5 million passengers in 2040, but the 2016 plan expects 25.8 million.) There is little on noise to encourage those already negatively affected by the airport’s flight paths.  It says it has a noise action plan that “sets out the actions we propose to take to manage and, where possible, minimise aircraft-related noise at Edinburgh Airport.”  But “as long as people want to fly, there will be noise from aircraft landing and taking off.” Local groups Transform Scotland, the campaign for sustainable transport, and Edinburgh Airport Watch  criticised the plans for yet further expansion, and the negative environment impacts.
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The Master Plan consultation documents can be viewed via the following link:

Masterplan response questionnaire (PDF format)

Masterplan (PDF format)

edinburgh-master-plan-to-2050-pax-atms


Edinburgh Airport expansion plans unveiled

12 November 2016

(BBC)

Plans for the expansion of Scotland’s busiest airport over the next quarter of a century have been unveiled.   Master Plan details and consultation – consultation ends 23rd December.

Edinburgh Airport has launched a consultation, allowing the public to give their feedback on its “masterplan” for development from now until 2040.

The proposals centre around the growth of operations on the ground, rather than routes or planned changes to flight paths above the capital.

Environment campaigners have questioned the need for further expansion.

An enlarged terminal building and aircraft parking area are in the plans.

The scrapping of an existing contingency runway and the continued “safeguarding” of land for a new second runway are also proposed.

Over the last decade, the number of passengers travelling through Edinburgh Airport has increased by 20%.

Passenger numbers are predicted to rise by a further 18%, from 11.1 million last year to 13.1 million in 2020.

‘Realistic and responsible’

The existing terminal building and main runway were developed in 1977, a time when the airport had fewer than one million passengers per year.

The current masterplan sets out a development strategy for the “realistic and responsible” growth of the airport over the next 25 years.

A more speculative plan of development going up to 2050 has also been released.

The key proposals include expanding the terminal building, aircraft parking area and cargo storage facilities.

Plans to improve access to the airport are also suggested with the creation of a new road linking to the Gogar Roundabout.

The closure of the existing second runway, as its size means it is not suitable for frequent use, is also suggested, as is “the continued safeguarding of land for a new second runway”.

The document, however, adds: “This safeguarding is a long-term precaution only, as we believe that the future growth of the airport can be sustained by the current main runway only.”

The airport’s consultation on its proposals is open for six weeks.

A consultation on its airspace change programme (ACP) will take place next year.

‘Good for Scotland’

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport chief executive, said: “At Edinburgh Airport our passenger numbers have grown more in the past three years than they did in the 10 years previous.

“We’ve grown by one million passengers each year since 2012. We’ve grown our route network, serving more destinations and working with more airlines than ever.

“We believe that this growth is good for Scotland.”

He added: “This masterplan document sets out how we think we’ll grow in the decades to come and we’re asking some questions around that.

“Your views are important in making sure that our thinking is correct and that it fits with wider plans.”

The proposal for further expansion of the airport has been criticised by Transform Scotland, the campaign for sustainable transport.

Director Colin Howden said: “Aviation is the most polluting form of transport and one that threatens Scotland’s ability to meet its climate change commitments.

“The aviation industry thinks it should be allowed to expand without restraint and without regard for Scotland’s international commitments, instead expecting that other parts of the economy should bear the responsibility for cutting emissions while its growth is allowed to continue unfettered.”

Local campaigners Edinburgh Airport Watch added: “At peak times, its struggles to cope with passenger and traffic numbers now are already well documented – there is simply neither the demand nor the surface capacity to allow EAL to expand further.

“The cost of unfettered aviation expansion is poorer air quality, more noise misery for neighbours – some 20 miles or more from the runway – and a worsening of Scotland’s already enormous tourism deficit.”



The 2016 draft Master Plan

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Seven more purely, unashamedly, low cost leisure destinations for 2017 from Heathrow

So much for the claims that Heathrow is ensuring Britain is “open for business” and creating “trading links to the growing markets of the world”, or “connecting Britain to global growth.”  The reality is that many of the landing slots at Heathrow are used for leisure flights, and many are for cheap European leisure flights. British Airways has announced 7 new routes from Heathrow for 2017. These are to Murcia, in “stunning” southern Spain “known for its world renowned golf courses”. There is also Brindisi, in Italy “ideal for holidaymakers looking for some sun to soak up in.” And  Nantes, in western France, which is a “gateway to Brittany and Loire Valley as well as being home to the world famous Muscadet wines.” Also Montpellier, in southern France, with “a blend of the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Pyrenees.. Also Pula, in Croatia “an increasingly popular destination for families who want a cheap summer holiday, replacing the likes of Spain and France.” Then there is Tallinn, in Estonia, which is cheap and “one of the most preserved medieval cities in Europe”. And Zakynthos “This Greek island in the Ionian Sea is nicknamed the flower of the East. It is home to the Navagio beach, the most famous landmark on the island which is a stunning setting for a day lounging in the sun.  Price: from £65”.  And Menorca.  This demonstrates, yet again, that Heathrow is not full of flights to vital, far flung, business-related destinations. It has flights that make money. ie. cheap holidays.
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7 new places you can fly to from Heathrow Airport next year

British Airways is adding to its schedule in 2017 with seats starting from as little as £65 to a handful of top locations

BA website with details of these and others

BYJONATHAN YATES  (Get West London)
11 NOV 2016

British Airways has released seat fares for seven new destinations customers will be able to fly to in 2017.

A number of the new services will be taking to the skies from Heathrow Airport starting on March 28, including holiday hotspots in Greece and Spain, while the rest follow in May.

The airline is also launching extra services to Palermo, Mykonos and Reykjavik on its schedule as well as more convenient flight times throughout the year.

Neil Cottrell, British Airways’ head of planning, says: “We are thrilled to be launching seven new European routes this summer and we are confident these cities will be a big hit with holidaymakers.”

Return fares for the new destinations will start from £65, reassuring customers that prices will not sky rocket following Brexit this summer.

So where can I fly to?

Murcia

This stunning southern Spanish location is known for its world renowned golf courses as well as stunning buildings including the Gothic Murcia Cathedral. You can book a trip now for holidays from March 28 of next year.   Price: from £65

Brindisi

This one is ideal for holidaymakers looking for some sun to soak up in. It’s in a prime position on the Adriatic Sea where you can make the most of its incredible beaches.  Price: from £85

Nantes

Starting from May 3 of next year you can visit this French city which is a gateway to Brittany and Loire Valley as well as being home to the world famous Muscadet wines.  Price: from £71

Montpellier

British Airways will begin a two-per-week flight service to Montpellier from May 2017. Here holidaymakers can enjoy a blend of the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Pyrenees. Price: from £78

Pula

Croatia is an increasingly popular destination for families who want a cheap summer holiday, replacing the likes of Spain and France. And anyone who is a water sports fan will want to head to Pula and the crystal-clear Adriatic.  Price: from £76

Tallinn

One of the cheapest destinations on the list is Tallinn, the Estonian capital and an alternative trip away. It is one of the most preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Flights will be available from March 28. Price: from £65

Zakynthos

This Greek island in the Ionian Sea is nicknamed the flower of the East. It is home to the Navagio beach, the most famous landmark on the island which is a stunning setting for a day lounging in the sun.  Price: from £65

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/7-new-places-you-can-12110292

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Another purely low cost leisure flights that Heathrow offers to completely non-business (so not “emerging economies, linking to global growth” etc etc) destinations:

Menorca

from Heathrow

British Airways now flies four times a week to Menorca, Spain from London Heathrow Terminal 5.

and there are other more long haul destinations purely for holidays;

http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/flights-and-holidays/flights/new-routes

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And there is also Lapland.

http://www.icehotel.co.uk/fly-direct

“With sociable flight times, a full meal service and pre-bookable seats, our 3½ hour direct flight is not just the quickest way but also the most comfortable and enjoyable way to get to the Icehotel.”

“The UK’s only direct flight to the Icehotel – fly Heathrow to Kiruna in 3½ hours! Convenient flying times with regular departures throughout December to March”

“When on holiday, especially on a short break, we believe that it is essential to make the most of your time away. With this in mind we introduced a direct flight from London Heathrow to Kiruna, just 20 minutes from the Icehotel – allowing our clients the most convenient way to reach Swedish Lapland, avoiding the need to fly via Stockholm.”

DIRECT FLIGHT DEPARTURES | WINTER 2016-2017

17, 22*, 26, 29* December 2016   –   21, 28 January 2017
04, 11, 14*, 18, 25 February 2017     –  04 March 2017

See earlier:

 

British Airways adds more Heathrow leisure routes – Olbia, Kos, Corfu – to the existing list

Heathrow airport makes a lot of how important its flights to emerging economies are, and how limited its slots are for this. So it would be logical to imagine that spare slots would be used for just this sort of flight. Heathrow is keen on making statements like: “The UK will fall behind in the global race if it cannot connect to growing economies.” And “Global air transport provides access for our key industries to established and emerging new markets, which will help deliver economic growth across the UK.” So one might expect that, if spare slots come up, they would immediately be used for these long haul destination, to emerging economies.  However, Heathrow will now be getting new British Airways flights to … guess where?  Olbia in Sardinia; Kos and Corfu in Greece and Split in Croatia from summer 2015. And these will use Airbus A319s and A320s. To be fair, it is moving its Las Palmas flights to Gatwick. Other purely holiday destinations Heathrow offers in the Med are Mykonos and Santorini, which started earlier this year. There are also Pisa and Porto. And the Heathrow destination map includes many, many more … Ibiza, Nice, Tunis, Malta, Malaga….

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/10/british-airways-adds-more-heathrow-leisure-routes-olbia-kos-corfu-to-the-existing-list/

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BA uses its new BMI slots at Heathrow, not for emerging economies, but largely leisure destinations. As usual.

27.6.2014
BA got 42 daily Heathrow slots from taking over BMI. And it said very publicly, in March, that it would be using these to fly to the emerging economies – in  Asia, Africa and Latin America – which is part of the myth that the aviation industry is peddling at present. So what are the slots actually being used for?  One flight per day to  Seoul. The rest are domestic UK (Aberdeen Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Leeds Bradford), or Zagreb, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Marseilles, Phoenix, Zurich and Bologna – with more flights to some.  So that is where the money is.  So much for the allegedly desperate need for slots to fly to second tier Chinese cities. This really proves what a lot of misleading PR is being put out by BAA and the airlines at Heathrow.· British Airways returns to the Isle of Man
· New routes from London Heathrow to Seoul and Zagreb
· New routes from London Gatwick to Las Vegas and Barcelona
· Bologna and Marseille flights move from Gatwick to Heathrow
· Increased frequency on numerous routes
http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2401.


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More BA routes from Heathrow …. to key business destinations …. Palma and Ibiza

17.1.2013Anyone reading the statements from Heathrow about the capacity crisis and how there is a need for more flights to the emerging markets might be puzzled by recent news from British Airways. Back in February 2012 Willie Walsh said he planned to expand IAG  into lucrative emerging markets, such as Latin America and he hoped to use the extra Heathrow take-off and landing-slots from BMI to accelerate growth into emerging markets. But BA has now announced that it is putting on new flights from Heathrow to Palma (Majorca) from March, and to Ibiza. These are in addition to Mexico and Alicante, as well as  Bologna and Marseilles announced earlier.  There are also new flights to Leeds Bradford (and a mention of links for business connections) and a new flight to Chengdu in China, announced earlier, as well as Almaty (Kazakhstan), Dublin, and Seoul among others, where there is likely to be a business component.  It is hard to believe there is much business benefit from weekend flights to Alicante or Palma or Ibiza.

Contrast this with Willie Walsh’s statement last year:

IAG’s Willie Walsh targets emerging markets

Willie Walsh’s plans to expand International Airlines Group (IAG) into lucrative emerging markets, such as Latin America, will dominate the carrier’s annual results this week as it announces a doubling of operating profits.

The group, owner of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, hopes to use the extra Heathrow take-off and landing-slots that will be gained through its proposed BMI takeover to accelerate growth into emerging markets.

……. and so on …. (Telegraph 25.2.2012) at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/9105918/IAGs-Willie-Walsh-targets-emerging-markets.html

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Speculation about a congestion charge around Heathrow, to cut air pollution and deter traffic

The Airports Commission recommended measures such as a congestion charge on roads around Heathrow, in order to keep levels of air pollution at legal levels, and prevent traffic congestion gridlock with a 3rd runway.  The Times reports that the congestion charge may be imposed, with the effect of forcing people to use public transport instead of cars.  The central London congestion charge is £11.50 per day. What the money would be spent on is not known. The charge might be levied on some 80 miles of road, to keep NO2 and particulates down.  The impact on road users who are not related to Heathrow is not known, or the costs to the local economy of this burden. The charge may have to be agreed through the development consent order process.  Chris Grayling said, on 25th October, that the runway could be delivered “within air quality limits.” But little in the DfT’s documents gives any firm reassurances that measures will be put in place that could actually keep the levels of NO2 low enough.  Further questions emerged last week when the High Court ruled that the government was failing to tackle air pollution quickly enough, and its air quality plan was based on over-optimistic forecasts. Heathrow insists that the number of public transport routes (which is is not prepared to pay towards) will increase, with new direct rail links helping Heathrow out. The worst air pollution in the area is near junctions 3 and 4 of the M4, where up to 16% of the traffic is related to Heathrow. 
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Heathrow congestion charge to cut car pollution

By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (The Times)
November 12 2016,

A congestion charge could be imposed around Heathrow under plans to make millions of passengers leave their cars at home when the airport’s third runway is built.

Motorists face being “fined” for driving on 81 miles of roads surrounding the airport as part of proposals to combat gridlock on roads and promote greener public transport. The charge will be implemented within a decade if levels of deadly nitrogen dioxide from car exhausts fail to drop within legal limits just north of the airport.

….

Full Times article here

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/heathrow-congestion-charge-to-cut-car-pollution-rf7xltrq6

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Airports Commission Final Report

Below are the mentions in the Airports Commission’s Final report at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440316/airports-commission-final-report.pdf  that mention their recommendation of a local congestion charge around Heathrow:

Quotes:

The motorway links serving Heathrow are amongst the most congested in the country, meaning that significant additional investment in widening, or effective policy measures such as a congestion charge, may be needed to accommodate growth in traffic resulting from the airport’s expansion.

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Firm action will therefore be needed on the part of the airport operator to ensure
that emissions related to the airport are minimised, together with an effective
national strategy to address broader background air quality issues, as recently
stipulated by the Supreme Court. Any new capacity should only be released when
it is clear that air quality at sites around the airport will not delay compliance with
EU limits. That will require both the implementation of a range of on-site measures,
for example reduced engine usage during taxiing, and potentially wider steps such
as the implementation of a congestion charge to prevent traffic levels rising as a
result of expansion.
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…. potentially including the introductionof an access charge for those travelling to the airport by road or a broader congestion charge.

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The introduction of a congestion or access charge scheme should be considered to help ensure that road traffic to and from the airport does not cause unacceptable impacts on local air quality or road congestion.
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The percentage of people accessing the airport via public transport would increase from 41% to 53%. This could rise further if a congestion or access charge for motor vehicles was introduced as discussed below
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On the strategic road network, a number of links near to the airport, particularly
those sections of the M4 in the closest proximity, are expected to require widening
to cope with increased demand resulting from expansion, although demand
management measures, such as congestion charging, could be used as an
alternative to this
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https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440316/airports-commission-final-report.pdf

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