Hainan Airlines direct flights (4 per week) from Manchester to Beijing start on June 10th

Hainan Airlines will start flying (4 times per week) from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10th, as the first direct service from the north of England to mainland China. There are already flights from Manchester to Hong Kong. Some businesses including tourism hope this “will deliver a major boost to the region.” The University of Manchester is reported to believe the link will be a significant benefit to students. Faster air links to emerging markets could boost UK exports (they could also boost UK imports, which generally exceed exports). There are the usual comments like: “The Manchester Airport expansion shows that the city is ready to become an outward looking economic powerhouse”  and there is even an expectation that it “will deliver an economic boost to the UK worth £250m” (no details or time-scale given …. it never is). Currently, more than 100,000 people from the North (about 6,350 from North Wales) fly to mainland China every year but have to travel indirectly via London or other overseas hubs.  Manchester hopes that the flights will bring “hundreds of thousands of tourists to this part of the world every year.” North Wales Tourism and Bangor University have both praised the new service to Beijing and hope it “will unlock new opportunities for the area.”  Many thousands more people will not need to use Heathrow for their travel to China.
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Business leaders welcome stronger links to China

26 MAY 2016

LUCY ROUE (Manchester Evening News)

Hainan Airlines will start flying from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10th. It is the first ever direct service from the North to mainland China.

Business leaders, university bosses and tourism chiefs say a new direct flight from the north west to China will deliver a major boost to the region.

Hainan Airlines will start flying from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10. It is the first ever direct service from the North to mainland China.

A host of business groups, as well as individual companies, have all praised the new service and believe it is a massive benefit to the region and will unlock new business opportunities for the region. Plus the University of Manchester believes it will be a massive benefit to students.

Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK and Chairman of the North West Business Leadership Team, said: “Developing strong business ties with China is essential for securing solid economic growth across the UK. If we are to export more and develop stronger trade relationships we need faster access to emerging markets.

“The best way to do this is to strengthen the north west as a strong investment and export hub. The Manchester Airport expansion shows that the city is ready to become an outward looking economic powerhouse.

“The first direct flight to Beijing will help Siemens to export too – it is a route that will be well used by our people at the Siemens Digital Factory in nearby Congleton which exports 98% of its products, with China being one of its biggest markets.”

Currently, more than 100,000 people from the North fly to mainland China every year but have to travel indirectly via London or other overseas hubs.

It is estimated the Hainan route – which will take 10.5 hours – will deliver an economic boost to the UK worth £250m.

A large chunk of that will be felt across the north west, as a result of productivity gains for businesses; the stimulation of trade and inward investment between the Far East and the region and by bringing hundreds of thousands of tourists to this part of the world every year.

Mike Perls, chair of IoD North West, said: “Transport links are vital in boosting trade and direct flights are particularly important for Northern exporters.

“China may be the world’s second biggest economy, but it is only sixth biggest destination for British goods and services – we export nearly the same amount to Belgium and Luxembourg.

“There is huge potential for Northern firms in Asia. We excel in financial and professional services, which will be increasingly attractive to these markets and the Manchester-China Forum highlights other key strengths. This isn’t just one way.

Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, added: “We know how important direct access to key markets like China is to stimulating trade and tourism for regions across the North.

“The north west has a strong business base covering a diverse range of sectors, with many companies already trading in the Far East, and so the existence of a non-stop route to Beijing will be of significant benefit.

“In addition, the service will hopefully encourage more businesses to start exporting their goods and services to this key market for the first time, while also being key to unlocking inward investment opportunities.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-leaders-welcome-stronger-links-11383946

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Manchester Airport direct link to China will boost business and tourism in North Wales

25 MAY 2016 (Daily Post)
BY OWEN HUGHES

Tourism, business and university bosses have welcomed the flights between Manchester and Beijing

Hainan Airlines will start flying from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10th

A direct flight from Manchester Airport to mainland China will help boost tourism, exporters, and universities in North Wales.

It is the first ever direct service from the North of England to mainland China.

North Wales Tourism and Bangor University have both praised the new service and believe it is a massive benefit to the region and will unlock new opportunities for the area.

Currently, 6,348 people from North Wales fly to mainland China every year but have to travel indirectly via London or other overseas hubs.

The new four-weekly service will make Manchester the only airport outside of London with a direct year-round scheduled service to Mainland China and will be served by an Airbus A330-300. The cabin will have 32 business class seats and 260 in economy.

It is estimated the Hainan route – which will take 10.5 hours – will deliver an economic boost to the UK worth £250m.

A large chunk of that will be felt in the region, as a result of productivity gains for businesses; the stimulation of trade and inward investment between the Far East and the region and by bringing thousands of tourists to this part of the world every year.

Plus the recent addition of 40 direct rail services a week will deliver a significant boost to both leisure and business travellers wanting to access Manchester Airport, and this new route.

Jim Jones, managing director of North Wales Tourism said: “Everyone in North Wales warmly welcomes our Chinese friends and visitors. We are delighted with the news that Hainan Airlines will be flying direct four times a week into Manchester Airport.

“Manchester Airport is the international gateway for North Wales, which has so much to offer the Chinese visitor.

“Beautiful landscape, gardens, steeped in heritage and culture, with some of the leading adventure attractions in Europe.

“Once the new flights start in June it will be much easier for inbound Chinese tourists to access our lovely part of Great Britain.”

Bangor University currently has strong links with China with a campus in Changsha, direct flights will link the two locations, improving education opportunities between the two.

Frank Fitzmaurice, executive director of Marketing and Communications at Bangor University said: “Bangor University is widely recognised for our internationalisation and for the diversity of our campus, with almost 2,000 students from over 70 countries accounting for over 15% of our student numbers.

“As an example, we have grown our relationships in China to the point where we now operate a campus in Changsha with our Chinese partner university CSUFT, which further strengthens our position in that country.

“Manchester airport provides us with a vital link to these countries around the world. Combined with fast access via train and motorway, it means that our campus in Bangor in north-west Wales is within easy reach for our students from all over the world.

“This plays no small part in our successful marketing of the Bangor University brand internationally”

Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “We know how important direct access to key markets like China is to stimulating trade and tourism for regions across the North.

“North Wales has a strong business base covering a diverse range of sectors, with many companies already trading in the Far East, and so the existence of a non-stop route to Beijing will be of significant benefit.”

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/manchester-airport-direct-link-china-11382692

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Earlier:

Direct flights from Manchester to Beijing, starting June 2016, announced on President Xi’s UK visit

Manchester airport started Cathay Pacific direct flights to Hong Kong in December 2014. Now with the state visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UK, the first ever direct air link between Beijing and Manchester has been formally unveiled. President Xi was joined at the airport by David Cameron for the announcement of the Hainan Airlines service, which will fly four times per week, from June 2016. There are the usual claims of huge impacts on the economy with the link contributing “£50m annually to the city’s economy” and the usual mentions of both economies being “open for business.” Also the “northern powerhouse.” There are also other “substantial cooperation agreements” being signed between the two countries, covering economy, trade, investment, infrastructure, scientific innovation, manufacturing and sports. The Manchester Airports Group has been keen to get direct Beijing flights for years, to link northern businesses to the Far East economies – and get high spending tourists. The Chinese state-owned Beijing Construction and Engineering Group (BCEG) has already invested heavily in Manchester’s “Airport City.” There is also to be a £130 million ‘China Cluster’ to provide a commercial base for Chinese businesses arriving in the UK, based around two campuses within the Manchester Airport City development.

Click here to view full story…

Owner of Manchester and Stansted airports, MAG, unsurprisingly wants airport growth outside the south-east

The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) which owns/runs Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports) says a new strategy is needed to promote local airports rather than investing in a megahub in the south-east. MAG wants a nationwide network of competing airports rather than investing all energies — and taxpayer funding — in an even larger airport in the south-east. While Heathrow claims it would provide a significant net benefit to northern England, allegedly “with the creation of up to 26,400 manufacturing jobs”, the Airports Commission’s own figures show negative impacts of a 3rd Heathrow runway on the UK’s regional airports. MAG believes that the expansion of local airports would provide a greater boost to the nation, and provide “an important catalyst for rebalancing UK plc.” So unsurprisingly Heathrow and MAG are both speaking from a position of self interest. While the Airports Commission ended up, misguidedly, just looking at whether they should be a runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, the main question of whether there should be a new runway in the south east at all still needs a convincing answer. MAG believes there is more likelihood of a successful “Northern Powerhouse” if northern airports get successful long haul routes, rather than Heathrow.

Click here to view full story…

Manchester Airport £1 billion plans to improve airport to compete better with Heathrow on long haul routes

The owners of Manchester Airport, MAG, plan to invest £1 billion over 10 years to upgrade Britain’s 3rd largest airport and help it compete harder with Heathrow for passengers. While both Heathrow and Gatwick are hoping to be allowed to add another runway, Manchester has two runways already – the second barely used. It has been expanding its long-haul routes, giving passengers an alternative to travelling south to Heathrow, and it plans to add more such routes. Its CEO, Charlie Cornish said: “Over the next 10 years, the airport will continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK.” Even if a new runway in the south east is approved (a big IF) it would take at least 10 years to build and in that time other UK airports, such as Birmingham and Manchester will have the chance to add new flights to new destinations – some assisting business travel. The number of air passengers at Manchester rose last year by 6% and may rise by 5% in 2015-16 period. Manchester airport expansion fits in with George Osborne’s hopes of improving road and rail links between northern English cities to create a conurbation with the scale and resources to compete with London. A new south east runway would, by contrast, just worsen the north-south divide.

Click here to view full story…

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Leaders of 3 main London councils set out why they know better about Heathrow impacts than MPs hundreds of miles away

Mark Menzies (MP for Fylde near Blackpool) is one of the MPs with constituencies a long way from London, who have been persuaded by Heathrow to back its 3rd runway. He has accepted, without much consideration of the local impacts, the alleged benefits of a larger Heathrow, from the airport’s publicity.  Now the leaders of some of the London boroughs that are the worst affected by Heathrow have written in “Conservative Home” to express their exasperation with this sort of attitude, by MPs whose own constituencies will suffer no local adverse impacts. Ravi Govindia, Nicholas True and Ray Puddifoot – the Leaders of Wandsworth, Richmond and Hillingdon respectively – say the 3rd runway would result in an extra 320,000 people subject to noise impact, new flight paths affecting their communities for the first time, 750 homes destroyed, and all in an area that already exceeds air quality legal limits. Many of their residents voted Conservative because of David Cameron’s firm promise in 2009  – “no ifs, no buts, no third runway at Heathrow”.  They note that Mr Menzies is well known for backing localism – giving local councils the power to act in the best interests of  their residents – not having something imposed on them.  “He will therefore understand our views.”
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Ravi Govindia, Nicholas True and Ray Puddifoot: Heathrow expansion – 250 miles from reality

May 25, 2016

Cllr Ravi Govindia, is the Leader of Wandsworth Council.  

Cllr Lord True is the Leader of Richmond upon Thames Council.  

Cllr Ray Puddifoot is the Leader of Hillingdon.

In his piece last week, Mark Menzies MP makes a passionate plea to expand Heathrow.  He has a “growing sense of frustration”.  He states that “Heathrow is the plan that delivers for all” and that the “final barriers to airport expansion have gone”.
We don’t suppose these are exceptional views 250 miles north of west London. Why would they be?  It’s easy to see a consensus if your electors are not amongst the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives are already blighted by the noise, air pollution, traffic and environmental degradation that is Heathrow.  And that’s before expansion.  But we do represent those electors.Is he aware that a third runway will result in an extra 320,000 people subject to noise impact, new flight paths affecting our communities for the first time, 750 homes destroyed, and all in an area that already exceeds air quality legal limits?  It would rightly cause significant alarm to our constituents if they thought this represented ‘no barriers’.

Our residents know more about the realities of Heathrow than the MP for Fylde. And they know more about the Prime Minister’s position than the claim that he “was elected on a manifesto that committed to strong leadership”.  Many of them voted Conservative as a direct consequence of his firm promise in 2009  – “no ifs, no buts, no third runway at Heathrow”.

However, we concede Mark Menzies makes an important point in seeking to reach a balance between the national interest and local concerns. Let’s take a closer look at his track record on these sometimes difficult matters.  We do not know how many readers of Conservative Home read the Lytham and St. Anne’s Express. Perhaps not many. On 28th January 2015 it carried the story – “Fylde’s Tory MP has sensationally called for fracking to be halted”.  Pictured above the story was “Mark Menzies MP, with residents and protestors showing their feelings in Little Plumpton ahead of County Hall’s decision on fracking plans”.

For our part, we will not mount a campaign to advance the interests of fracking in Little Plumpton.  Although we are not aware that the Prime Minister has said “no ifs, no buts, no fracking in Fylde”.  Mr Menzies is well known for making a very strong case for localism – giving local councils the power to act in the best interests of  their residents – not having something imposed on them.  He will therefore understand our views.

If anyone thinks Conservatives in west London are prepared to accept Heathrow as the best answer to providing much needed expansion in the south east, then we have a message for them on behalf of our constituents.

You’re fracking joking.

http://www.conservativehome.com/localgovernment/2016/05/ravi-govindia-lord-true-and-ray-puddifoot-heathrow-expansion-250-miles-from-reality.html

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Mark Menzies: Now that the London Mayoral election is over, the time is right to expand Heathrow

15.5.2016

By   ((MP for Fylde near Blackpool – conveniently very far from any impacts of Heathrow)

Warning – this article is just full of inaccuracies!

[AirportWatch comments on some of the ill-informed statements, on the article below, in red 

As a member of the Transport Select Committee, I have followed the issue of airport capacity with a growing sense of frustration in recent months. My colleagues and I on the Committee recently criticised the squandered opportunity to end decades of political dithering on airport expansion while our competitors continue to grow.

The Prime Minister was right to set up the Airports Commission, and it produced the most detailed study on UK aviation for a generation. It’s fair to say we wouldn’t have the mitigation and compensation proposals on offer from Heathrow today without this process. [True – but these offers are ONLY if there is a new runway, not otherwise.] The independent experts  [ignoring the fact that Sir Howard had board connections with companies associated with Heathrow.  Link ] concluded with a unanimous verdict in favour of Heathrow expansion last July. Ten months on, the Government is still to make a substantive decision on its recommendation.

I am therefore delighted that Heathrow has removed the final barriers to airport expansion.  [Actually, it has not.  It has made various carefully worded offers, that do not bear very close examination].  By announcing that the airport will not only meet, but in many cases exceed the stringent conditions set out by the Airports Commission, [this is what Heathrow would like people to believe – but their offers need to properly understood; they are not as generous or effective as they appear on first inspection]  there is now no viable reason for the Government to delay any further.   [Wrong.  Making a deeply wrong decision would be a serious mistake for the UK].  We must make the right choice for Britain and expand Heathrow.

The proposals from Heathrow also meet the requirements of the Environmental Audit Committee, whose report last year was cited by the Government as a reason for further delay and analysis. [No. For a start, Heathrow has not even mentioned its carbon emissions.  It has no plan to deal with that at all, other than hope that ICAO comes up with some global scheme, eventually  ….]  Heathrow’s new plan delivers the capacity the UK needs to connect to the growth markets of the future while also meeting air quality limits and ensuring fewer people are affected by noise.  [No. The numbers affected by noise can only increase, and the only way the claim can be made about “few people” is by some manipulation of noise contours, and dividing the noise up in a different way].  Expansion will generate a £211 billion economic boost, creating up to 180,000 jobs. More than half of the economic benefit will be generated outside London and the South East.  [Those figures are deeply suspect. Even the Airports Commission figure was “up to £147 billion, for all the UK, over 60 years.  Their own report gave other estimates showing very small benefits, or even a net cost over 60 years]. 

Such benefits simply wouldn’t materialise if we were to take what some consider to be the easy option of expanding Gatwick instead. Expansion there simply wouldn’t deliver either the domestic or global connectivity that Britain needs to prosper in the globalised economy. Nor can they match the mitigation and compensation package that Heathrow are offering to their local communities. [Heathrow’s offer is very small indeed, compared to the huge number of people who would need to be compensated etc].  It is why 37 airports across the country have declared their support for Heathrow expansion and recognise that the enhanced domestic connectivity will help to drive growth in their local communities. That’s why this is an important issue for people and businesses in my constituency of Fylde.

[and the inaccuracies continue ….. below ….]

With the London mayoral election having passed, now is the time for the Government to make the right choice for Britain and back expansion at Heathrow. As I said in November last year, this issue transcends short term electoral politics: it is about the economic future of the UK.  [Using the DfT’s Webtag method of calculating economic benefit, a Heathrow runway could actually being negative economically for the UK, far from massive financial benefits.  Link ]

The EU referendum rightly dominates the current political discourse but this is also no reason to further delay the decision over airport expansion. A third runway delivers for Britain regardless of the outcome of the vote, connecting us to the global markets of the future which will be vital whatever the British public decides. The country wants the Conservative Party to secure our economic future. Expanding Heathrow does this and has the added benefit of being a policy that can bring the party back together after the referendum. It is a confidence-building project that can unite Remainers and Leavers, thus proving that we are a party governing in the national interest and able to take tough decisions when needed.  [Uniting the fractured Conservative party could hardly be regarded as sensible justification for such an environmentally damaging, and financially ill-advised project, that would also negatively impact the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people noisily – and continually  – overflown].

While I recognise the vocal opposition to expansion from some in West London, I hope they will take comfort in the £1 billion compensation package, [that comes out to a very tiny amount per household, and is just a one-off payment, even if Heathrow ever paid it.  Link ] a six and half hour long ban on night flights [that ban would not in reality be as much as sic and a half hours   Link ] and Heathrow’s support for a legislative ban on a fourth runway.  [If the law of the land says there will be no 4th runway, Heathrow would have little choice but to accept. Heathrow has just said it would obey the law. Which everyone else has to, all the time].

Beyond West London, the strength of support from across the country can no longer be ignored.  [Many across the country are not at all happy that about £18 billion, or more, of taxpayers’ money would have to be spent on transport infrastructure, let alone everything else, for a Heathrow runway. They resent how much is spent on the south east, and would prefer this money to help the regions instead.]  From our brilliant Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson to Liam Fox and his army of South West Conservative MPs, there is strong support for Heathrow expansion within the Conservative Party. Graham Brady, the Chair of 1922 Committee predicted  [any one can predict anything …..] in July last year that around 600 of the 650 MPs in the House of Commons would back Heathrow expansion were it put forward by the Government.

David Cameron was elected on a manifesto that committed to strong leadership, a clear economic plan and a brighter, more secure future for our country. Heathrow is the plan that delivers for all. The final barriers to airport expansion have gone.  [The barriers have absolutely NOT gone. That is why the government is so concerned  about legal challenges to a Heathrow runway decision making it impossible.  Not to mention embarrassing]. Now the Government must make the right choice for Britain.

http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2016/05/mark-menzies-now-that-the-london-mayoral-election-is-over-the-time-is-right-to-expand-heathrow.html

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Gatwick touring the regions to try to drum up support for 2nd runway (Heathrow also touring …)

As Heathrow has been putting itself about across the regions, trying to “sell” its runway, Gatwick is doing the same. Gatwick staff have begun a UK tour campaign, trying to get some backing for their 2nd runway. In reality, Gatwick does not have a lot to offer.  It has very little air cargo, if what companies in the regions is looking for is a way to export products. Gatwick is on the wrong side of London for anyone north of Heathrow, and it is almost exclusively an airport for low cost leisure travel.  It has few long haul routes, and none to influential places not served by airports such as Birmingham or Manchester. But Gatwick is hoping to persuade that another runway would provide cheaper flights to and from the south east. That is a bit hard to believe, as the cost of the runway would mean ticket prices would have to rise by at least £15 – 18 or even up to £23, (one way).  Gatwick’s tour includes Manchester, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh and Newcastle.  Heathrow is, at the same time, having “launch events” in Liverpool, Yorkshire, the Midlands and the Thames Valley, to try to persuade how their 3rd runway would provide huge benefits etc etc etc.  The Airports Commission appreciated that, being a tourism airport, Gatwick just boosts the UK tourism deficit, as Brits take their money out of the country on cheap trips. More and more spin ….
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Gatwick will push its bid across UK

24.5.2016 (Argus)

GATWICK bosses have begun a UK tour campaign in a bid to win backing for a second runway.

They believe another runway would provide cheaper flights to and from the south east and greater economic benefits across the country.

The tour has already reached Manchester and future events will take place in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

Heathrow has also launched an “election-style” manifesto in a bid to gain support for its expansion plans.

In December the Department for Transport confirmed that the commission’s shortlisted options – new runways at Heathrow or Gatwick, or extension of an existing runway at Heathrow – were ”viable”.

But it also announced that further work on noise, pollution and compensation – which it expects to be concluded over the summer – will be carried out before it makes a decision on which project to support.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “With the Government shortly set to make a decision on airport capacity it is important that the regions and nations of the UK know how expansion in the South East will benefit them.

“Rather than concentrating growth in a corner of west London, Gatwick expansion will spread more evenly the economic benefits which will help deliver regional powerhouses across the UK.”  [How, exactly??]

http://m.theargus.co.uk/news/14509801.Gatwick_will_push_its_bid_across_UK/

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Earlier:

Gatwick announces £20m fund to boost regions if second runway gets go ahead

10 Apr 2015

By Helen McArdle (News Reporter, Herald Scotland)
GATWICK Airport will establish a £20 million fund to boost regional connections to and from London in the ten years after opening a second runway, bosses have said, as the battle with Heathrow over expansion intensifies.

The cash would be used to incentivise airlines to introduce new services and help bankroll marketing campaigns for tourism bodies in UK regions, including Scotland.

Airport bosses would also work with Government to explore how to safeguard slots for new regional domestic flights and support funding applications for new subsidised routes, according to the details of a package unveiled on Friday.

The move comes weeks after rival Heathrow announced plans to cut airport charges for domestic flights and launch a £10m Route Development Fund if it was given the go-ahead to build a third runway.

Revealing the plans at Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Gatwick Airport chief executive Stuart Wingate said: “Gatwick has always been serious about encouraging the growth and development of a strong network of competing airports around the UK. This fund – and the measures we propose to support it – will improve connectivity to London for those that need it.

“Gatwick expansion is best for the UK and regions because it supports not only the growth of connectivity to London, but also more connectivity between all UK airports and international short and long haul destinations.

“Expanding Gatwick will provide more competition and choice for passengers all around the UK.”

Gatwick Airport is trailing its rival for support north of the Border, with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) both backing an extra runway at Heathrow’s over Gatwick.

A consultation on the airports’ expansion plans ended in February and the Airports’ Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is due to publish its final report this summer.

Meanwhile, the Department for Transport has reportedly drafted in city bankers, Rothschild, to provide financial advice to ministers and officials in the wake of Sir Howard’s final recommendation.

According to the Airport’s Commission, Gatwick’s second runway would require an outlay of £9.3bn, while Heathrow’s third runway plan is estimated to cost £18.6bn.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13209330.Gatwick_announces___20m_fund_to_boost_regions_if_second_runway_gets_go_ahead/?ref=twtrec


See earlier:

 

Britain had £16.9 billion Tourism Deficit in 2015 – which is 17.6% of UK total balance of payments deficit

Data from the ONS shows that in 2015, the Tourism Deficit (the difference between how much overseas visitors spend on their trips to the UK, and how much Brits spend on their trips abroad) rose to the 2nd highest level ever. The deficit was £16.9 billion in 2015, and £20.5 in 2008, but it fell during the years of the recession. It was around £13.7 billion in each year, 2012, 2013 and 2014. It has now increased again very significantly – by over £3 billion in one year. That makes up a large slice (17.6%) of the UK’s overall balance of payments deficit of £96.2 billion in 2015.The number of trips by UK residents abroad increased by 9.4% last year, the largest rise since 1998, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In 2015, UK residents took 65.7 million foreign holidays or business trips (business trips were only 10.9% of the total, while back in 2005 they were 12.9% of the total). In 2015 the number of trips by foreign visitors to the UK rose by 5.1%, to a record high of 36.1 million. But while foreigners spent £22.1 billion on visits to the UK, Brits spent £39 billion abroad. The French were the biggest visitors to the UK, with 4 million trips. Spain was the country with most visits by UK residents – with 13 million trips, nearly 20% of UK travel.

Click here to view full story…

New GACC research paper indicates higher Gatwick charges for runway could lead to airlines moving to other airports

There is a problem about how Gatwick would pay for a 2nd runway, bearing in mind the airlines that use it are not keen on extra charges. Local campaign GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has produced a short research paper looking into the issue. “Paying for a new Gatwick runway.” They conclude that the steep rise in airport charges at Gatwick which would be needed to pay for a new runway could cause airlines to decamp to other airports such as Stansted or Luton. The GACC study is based on the estimates made by the Airports Commission that the cost of a new Gatwick runway would mean a rise in airport charges from the current £9 per passenger to £15 to £18, rising to £23 at the peak. Chairman of GACC, Brendon Sewill pointed out: “That is a rise of over 100% and would be serious shock for airlines. easyJet and BA have already expressed anxiety about higher charges, and their unwillingness to pay them. Stansted is at present half full and would be overjoyed to attract business from Gatwick.” Manchester airport is a salutary reminder of the risk; its new runway opened in 2000 but was followed by a fall in passenger numbers. Manchester airport is still only at about 60% of the capacity of a single runway. Competitive pressure from other airports could make the financing of a new Gatwick runway challenging.

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow sets out vague, unenforceable, offers to boost links to regions with 3rd runway (with easyJet’s help?)

Heathrow is trying to put more heavy pressure on the government, to back its 3rd runway plans, if there is an announcement in the next few months (EU referendum permitting). Heathrow are aware that it is not considered likely that the regions will get much benefit from a 3rd runway, so it now says it will “improve connectivity, with better air, rail and bus connections from Heathrow to every major town and city – North, East, South and West.”  No details, and not things done by Heathrow itself. It says its runway means the creation of “up to 180,000 new jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships across the UK” (no time scale given, so pretty useless statement). And that: “A third runway will boost the economy by up to £211 billion, with the benefits spread across the country.” The £211 billion claim is very suspect. Even the Airports Commission’s most optimistic (criticised by its own advisors) was a maximum of £147 – and that is up to 2080, so over 60 years. Heathrow says it will increase flights to airports like Liverpool, Humberside and Newquay, if it got a new runway. And it might create a “new £10 million Route Development Fund which will provide start-up support for any potential new domestic destinations.” The Airports Commission realised that unless government subsidises (taxpayers’ money) domestic routes from Heathrow, the number would end up being lower than the number now.
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Heathrow’s “manifestosays:

“Heathrow already links eight cities to the world – Aberdeen, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester. An expanded Heathrow would add flights to new domestic routes to Jersey, Isle of Man and Belfast International. [These are the routes EasyJet suggested it might add, if it started operations at Heathrow, with a 3rd runway. See below]

“Heathrow will be establishing a special £10m Route Development Fund, providing start-up support for new domestic destinations. This will support up to five new routes from Heathrow with airports like Liverpool, Humberside and Newquay on the shortlist.”   [Newquay already has a PSO funded route to Gatwick. The Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund (RACF), is a £20 million fund set aside by the coalition Government, to pay for routes such as Newquay].

Heathrow also says:

“A third runway will lead to better connections from Wales to the rest of the globe – enhanced by the fast Western Rail Link that is backed by the Welsh Assembly.”   [Scarcely a direct consequence of a runway …. Cardiff is not on the list of airports mentioned above. AW note].

Heathrow actually says that much of the connection to the regions will be by better rail links, getting people to Heathrow. [ link  Page 12].

 

The Airports Commission final report said: 

“Public Service Obligations could be used to support a wide network of domestic routes at Heathrow.”

and P 35

“It is crucial to ensure that expansion at Heathrow delivers benefits for all of the nations and regions of the UK

“A new northwest runway is likely to protect and bolster domestic services in and out of London leading to a rise in the number of passengers and frequency of services on the thickest routes, but more can be done to facilitate connections from the airport to an increased number of domestic destinations.

“To secure this, the Commission recommends that:

The Government should alter its guidance to allow the introduction of Public Service Obligations on an airport-to-airport basis, [AC emphasis]  and use them to support a widespread network of domestic routes at the expanded airport.

“HAL should implement additional measures to enhance domestic connectivity, including reduced charges and start-up funding for regional services. ” [AC emphasis] ”

and P 78

” An important consequence of the airport capacity constraints in the UK is the apparent decline of domestic connectivity into the largest London airports and particularly into Heathrow.”….”Heathrow saw over 40,000 domestic flights in 1990 compared to just 23,000 in 2014″

and P 79

“A significant decline in the number of domestic routes into Heathrow has also been seen over recent years (see Figure 3.3). The Commission’s forecasts predict that, unless capacity is expanded, this pattern will continue, with the number of destinations served from Heathrow declining to as few as three by 2040. The primary reason for this reduction in domestic connectivity at Heathrow is that, with practically all the airports slots taken up, many domestic destinations are priced out by long-haul routes that deliver higher yields per passenger.”

and P 266

“The Commission’s forecasts suggest that with expansion more than twice as many domestic passengers will travel via Heathrow in 2040 than if the airport’s capacity remains constrained. In addition, to ensure that cities and regions across the UK can benefit from Heathrow’s enhanced connectivity, including areas such as the Highlands and Islands, the Isle of Man and the Tees Valley, which have lost their direct links to Heathrow over recent decades, the Government should use Public Service Obligations (PSO) to support a widespread network of domestic routes.”

and Page 313

“Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) should implement additional measures to enhance domestic connectivity, including introducing reduced charges and start-up funding for regional services.”

“Capacity constraints at Heathrow Airport have seen the number of domestic connections decline at the airport over recent years. No daily service has operated between Heathrow and Liverpool since 1991, Inverness since 1997 and Durham Tees Valley since 2008.”

and Page 314

“The new slots made available at Heathrow would allow airlines to establish new domestic links to the capital, re-establish lost connections and increase frequencies on those that are already in place. Heathrow Airport Ltd and easyJet’s consultation responses argued that were the low-cost carrier to move to the airport, it would seek to develop new services to Inverness, Jersey, Belfast International and the Isle of Man”.  [So some of these potential future domestic links might depend on EasyJet?  Which will resist the high landing charges necessary to  pay for the 3rd runway? AW note].

“To support this point, the National Connectivity Task Force put forward analysis considering the latent demand for services from the UK regions to the capital, suggesting that in 2040 domestic services could utilise 136-175 additional daily slot pairs at an expanded Heathrow, compared to current day slot allocation of 55 daily 313 slot pairs. This would equate to 6.5% of runway capacity at the expanded airport being utilised for domestic services, up from 4.2% currently. ”

and Page  315

“15.7 Against this positive outlook, it is important to note that even in the event of expansion, a number of competing pressures may limit the increase in domestic services to an enlarged Heathrow. One such pressure could be continuing competition from overseas hubs, which may still be able to offer cheaper services, higher frequencies, or more convenient connections on some routes. An expanded Heathrow is also likely to see rapid growth in demand, which may relatively quickly begin to exert pressure on slots during the most popular periods.

“15.8 The Commission’s forecasts reflect these pressures and suggest that without specific measures to support domestic connectivity even an expanded Heathrow may accommodate fewer domestic routes in future than the seven served currently. It would still however see more than the three domestic routes predicted to be available from the airport without expansion. “

“Given the historic long-term pressures on the availability of capacity for domestic services at a constrained Heathrow, any stabilisation in the numbers of domestic services operating to the airport is to be welcomed. Nonetheless, the Commission believes that this should not be the limit of the UK’s or the airport operator’s ambition.

“15.10 In summary, a new runway at Heathrow will enhance the domestic connectivity of the UK, strongly benefitting the nations and regions outside London and the South East. In order to ensure that these benefits are widely spread and a diverse network of domestic routes is supported at the expanded airport, however, additional measures may be required. These are discussed in the next section of this chapter.”

 

There is a long section, Pages 316 to 319 setting out the Commission’s thinking on the issue. Worth reading.

There are considerable difficulties in setting up PSOs (Public Service Obligations) for routes, and there is no guarantee that the UK government would want to use public funds in this way, or would be permitted to within the EU. These routes could only be made viable if given public subsidy.  Is this a good use of taxpayer’s money? (especially as only about 11% of UK flights in 2015 were for business, and the rest for leisure).

 

Page 317

“The UK has in the last 12 months [AC report published in July 2015]  established two PSOs, one from Newquay Airport to London Gatwick and the other from Dundee Airport to London Stansted. Both routes were subsidised out of the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund (RACF), a £20 million fund set aside by the coalition Government to safeguard routes to and from the London airport system and the UK regions.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440316/airports-commission-final-report.pdf

 

 

 

Heathrow vows to increase number of UK regional routes if it is awarded third runway

23.5.2016 (Business Daily)

UK transportation hub Heathrow Airport has released an ‘election-style’ expansion manifesto as it looks to turn up the pressure ahead of the government’s decision on a third runway.

The manifesto outlines five pledges that the airport claims will help alleviate environmental and community issues, as well as boost the UK economies and regions.

One such promise is the introduction of new regional routes to and from the airport, which Heathrow claims will help pass on the benefits of increased capacity right across the UK, with the airport mooting new routes to the likes of Liverpool, Humberside and Newquay, were a new runway to be given the green light.

The airport has also suggested that it would create a new £10m Route Development Fund which will provide start-up support for any potential new domestic destinations.

It comes as pressure grows on the government to make a final decision on whether to build an additional third runway at Heathrow, or opt for an alternative way, such as an extra runway at Gatwick.

Commenting as part of the manifesto’s release, Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive Officer of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, bemoaned the government’s sluggishness on the issue and registered his belief that it is damaging the UK economy.

He added: “The brake on expansion at Heathrow is also a brake on UK jobs and growth. While the Government continues to dither, the tally of lost opportunities for UK business continues to mount.

“Valuable contracts remain on ice and this undoubtedly means manufacturers of all sizes, supply chains and regions are losing out.”

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, added: “Business across Britain needs Ministers to act on the Airports Commission recommendation from last July.

“A new runway at Heathrow represents the best chance we have for airports expansion, and today they make clear commitments to boost cargo for exports, and to improve regional connectivity.”

https://bdaily.co.uk/industrials/23-05-2016/heathrow-vows-to-increase-number-of-uk-regional-routes-if-it-is-awarded-third-runway

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Heathrow launches ‘election-style’ expansion manifesto pledging to secure a stronger economy for families across Britain

23.5.2016 (Heathrow airport press release)

The “manifesto” is at http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/downloadext_assets/81/175/6362/433

  • Heathrow expansion manifesto built around five new pledges to create jobs, connect businesses to global growth, improve domestic connections, be a better neighbour and secure a lasting legacy for future generations
  • Launch events held in Liverpool, Yorkshire, the Midlands and the Thames Valley
  • The prize is up to 180,000 new British jobs and £211bn of economic growth across the country if Government approves Heathrow expansion

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye today pledged to secure the economic future of families across all of Britain if the airport is allowed to expand.

 

Underlining the importance of a decision for the British economy, the airport unveiled an ‘election-style’ manifesto at events across the country highlighting that Heathrow expansion would be the right choice to benefit every part of Britain.

The manifesto is built around five core pledges to secure a brighter future for Britain and reflects the prize for the Government if it chooses to expand the nation’s only hub:

  • Help Britain’s economy grow stronger, creating up to 180,000 new jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships across the UK.
  • Let our country stand tall, connecting businesses with up to 40 more long haul destinations across the globe.
  • Meet tough environmental and noise limits, enforced by new independent regulators.
  • Improve connectivity, with better air, rail and bus connections from Heathrow to every major town and city – North, East, South and West.
  • Secure a lasting legacy for future generations, enabling our children to compete in the global race.

After considering all the evidence objectively, the Prime Minister’s Airports Commission unanimously decided that Heathrow expansion is the best choice for Britain. A third runway will boost the economy by up to £211 billion, with the benefits spread across the country.

 

Earlier this month, Heathrow cleared the way for the Government to support its expansion proposal by meeting and, in most cases, exceeding the conditions set out in the Airports Commission’s recommendation for Heathrow expansion.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “If Heathrow falls behind, Britain falls behind. That means fewer jobs and less security for families. That is why we must have runway capacity that is fit for the future and build it now.“We all want our children to inherit a country that is stronger and can compete in the world.  A keystone of our children’s future success is an expanded Heathrow.“Economic security, opportunity for people in every part of Britain, outward looking abroad but fair to our neighbours at home – that is the promise of our manifesto. But we can’t do it alone – we need people across the country to let the Prime Minster and the Government know that they cannot just hope for a stronger economy and country – they need to choose it and the right choice is Heathrow.”

Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:“The brake on expansion at Heathrow is also a brake on UK jobs and growth. While the Government continues to dither, the tally of lost opportunities for UK business continues to mount. Valuable contracts remain on ice and this undoubtedly means manufacturers of all sizes, supply chains and regions are losing out.”

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:“Business across Britain needs Ministers to act on the Airports Commission recommendation from last July.  A new runway at Heathrow represents the best chance we have for airports expansion, and today they make clear commitments to boost cargo for exports, and to improve regional connectivity.  It’s now time to back British business.”

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Heathrow expansion ‘could create 5,000 jobs in Northern Ireland’

19/05/2016  (Belfast Telegraph)
Heathrow chiefs say air links with Belfast International Airport could be restored if the London hub is permitted to build a third runway
Heathrow could create up to 5,000 new jobs in Northern Ireland if an expansion bid gets the go-ahead, the London airport’s chief executive has claimed.

John Holland-Kaye said air links with Belfast International Airport could also be restored if the London hub is permitted to build a third runway.

In July last year the Airports Commission recommended that the runway should be built at Heathrow alongside a “significant” package of measures to make its expansion more acceptable to nearby residents. A final decision has not been taken by the Government.

Mr Holland-Kaye told a Belfast business audience: “We cannot be the generation that avoids the big decisions, that pulls the ladder up behind us. We need to make the right choices in our generation so that the next generation, our children, can enjoy the benefits we have enjoyed.

“With Heathrow expansion we will create up to 5,000 new jobs here in Northern Ireland while we build and when we have built – providing opportunities for young people.

“We can grow the number of airports in Northern Ireland connected to Heathrow – with flights to Aldergrove.”

Mr Holland-Kaye has already announced plans to end night flights in an attempt to support Heathrow’s offer to build another runway.

British Airways and Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus already connect George Best Belfast City Airport with Heathrow. Aer Lingus left the International Airport for Belfast City in 2012.

Mr Holland-Kaye addressed the CBI in Northern Ireland’s annual dinner in Belfast.

“We can bring in new airlines, meaning new competition and choice, higher frequencies and lower fares.

“We can grow your competitive advantage further. More flights to more cities in China, and Asia, the Americas and Africa – the growing markets of the world.

“Let us give you the ability to get to the world and for the world to come to you.”

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/heathrow-expansion-could-create-5000-jobs-in-northern-ireland-34731303.html

Read more »

Sunday Times obtains details of £10.4 million bonus scheme, in stages, for Heathrow execs if they get 3rd runway

It emerged on 16th May that Heathrow executives were in line for large bonuses, if they managed to get a 3rd runway. Now the Sunday Times has details. They say eight executives could share a £10 million bonus pool. It appears they have already achieved £414,000 of the bonus, by getting the Airports Commission to select Heathrow in July 2015. Details of the bonus scheme are that the sums increase, based on the success of the executives’ lobbying. The next bonus payout would be, between the eight, £622,000 if they “create a climate of political support that enables the government to give its backing to expansion”. ie. if there is a government announcement this summer or autumn. Then they would get £829,000 if Heathrow is judged to be “on course to win planning approval” for its runway.  There would be another £829,000 of the bonus if Heathrow can get the CAA to allow Heathrow much higher landing charges in future, to pay for the runway (the CAA controls its charges). The whole £10.4 million bonus is the airport’s “share in success” incentive, and includes other measures not related to a 3rd runway.  It is to be paid out in 2019.  The existence of the bonus scheme was initially denied by the airport.  But it creates strong personal gain motives for senior staff, in pushing through the runway, regardless of its adverse impacts.
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Heathrow bosses eye £10m bonus pool

Payouts will flow if airport chiefs create ‘right climate’ for third runway

By John Collingridge (Sunday Times)
May 22 2016

…….

Full Sunday Times article at

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heathrow-bosses-eye-10m-bonus-pool-jpdgjr2bk

Eight Heathrow executives could share a £10m bonus pool, with part of the payout dependent on their creating the right “political climate” to approve a third runway.

Senior executives at the airport look to have already earned £414,000 of the bonus after winning over the independent Airports Commission.

………….

Heathrow, which is largely owned by overseas funds, including those of Qatar and Singapore, has demanded a 20-year deal on landing charges from the watchdog [CAA] in return for building a third runway. It argues that it needs a fundamental review of the regulatory regime if it is to bear the huge risks of expansion.

The CAA recently warned the government that the winning airport’s shareholders may try to move the goalposts to extract better profits once ministers have ruled.

 

Full Sunday Times article at

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heathrow-bosses-eye-10m-bonus-pool-jpdgjr2bk

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Earlier:

Heathrow senior executives would get large bonuses if they manage to get 3rd runway

The Guardian has revealed that Heathrow’s annual report (December 2015) show that its top executives would benefit personally if the airport gets a 3rd runway. This is despite past denials that there were any financial incentives, not least when senior executives at Gatwick were found in February to have huge financial incentives if they manage to get a 2nd runway. Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd states: “During the year a new bonus scheme was launched based on EBITDA, passenger service (as measured by independent ASQ – Airport Service Quality – scores) and airport expansion over the Q6 period….” [Q6 is the 5 year regulatory period 2014 – 2019]. A Heathrow spokesman said the runway bonus would only be a small part of a payout for meeting the strategic requirements of the business, hitting the profit targets etc. CEO John Holland-Kaye earned £2.06m last year, more than doubling his basic salary of £885,000. However, he could add even more to that should a 3rd runway be approved. The annual report states that while a bonus scheme linked to expansion was launched in 2015, “as the performance in respect of this scheme is so uncertain at this stage, no value in relation to these awards is included” in his 2015 earnings package. The Guardian says John Holland-Kaye is believed to be the architect of the new bonus scheme. The airport cut its wider wage bill by cutting 333 jobs last year (6,714 compared to 7,047 in 2014), but directors’ pay rose.  Directors’ remuneration was up by £366,000 in 2015, to £3,555,000 from £3,189,000 in 2014).

Click here to view full story…

Anger at revelation that Gatwick bosses to personally profit (millions of £s) if 2nd runway allowed

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) has expressed anger at the revelation in the Sunday Times that Gatwick bosses are set to benefit personally by several million pounds if permission is given for a 2nd runway. GACC says a 2nd runway would bring misery to tens of thousands of people. There would be three times as many people affected by serious amounts of aircraft noise, and new flight paths over peaceful areas. About 50,000 people would suffer from worse air quality. A new runway would mean traffic jams on motorways and local roads, overcrowding on the trains and an influx of new workers with a need to build 40,000 new houses on green fields. But with all these negative impacts on ordinary people, Gatwick bosses would walk away with huge bonuses. GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill, commented: “Until now Gatwick Airport Ltd have tried to persuade the public that a 2nd runway would be in the national interest. Now the cat is out of the bag!  There is no real need for a new runway at Gatwick.” GACC will be investigating how far these new bonus payments will be subject to the normal full 45% rate of income tax.  Despite making large profits, Gatwick Airport has paid no corporation tax since being bought by GIP due to tax fiddles similar to those operated by Starbucks or Google.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/02/anger-at-revelation-that-gatwick-bosses-to-personally-profit-millions-of-s-if-2nd-runway-allowed/

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Top Gatwick bosses stand to make personal fortunes if airport price raised by 2nd runway

The Sunday Times has found that several of Gatwick’s senior bosses are signed up to a bonus scheme that should pay out handsomely if the airport is sold.  In small print in Gatwick’s 2011 accounts the bonuses of “certain members” of its board are directly linked to the amount GIP gets from sale of the airport.  It has long been suspected that Stewart Wingate, Nick Dunn (and others?) would stand to gain significantly, themselves, if they could raise the value of the airport by getting a 2nd runway.  Now the disclosure has proved it.  The cap on how much they could make is not revealed. Gatwick lent the executives £2.8m to buy into the share scheme, with the interest-free loans repayable once they sell their shares.  GIP owns 42% of the airport, with much of the rest held by investors from Abu Dhabi, California, Korea and Australia. Gatwick have been doing all they can to block a Heathrow runway, to get their own.  They are also doing all they can to increase the maximum number of flights per hour through flight path changes – again to raise the airport’s price. GIP bought Gatwick for £1.5 billion in 2009, and has just sold London City airport for almost x3 what they paid for it – and almost x32 its annual underlying profits.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/02/top-gatwick-bosses-stand-to-make-person-fortunes-if-airport-price-raised-by-2nd-runway/

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Read more »

GACC research studies show hugely negative impact of 2nd runway on urbanisation, habitats and wildlife

As part of the extensive series of research studies that GACC has produced, there are papers on the problems that a 2nd runway would do in urbanising the Crawley area, and the problems for local habitat and wildlife. “The Urbanisation of Crawley” by scientist Peter Jordan, shows how the future would be at risk. Peter says: “Crawley and the surrounding towns already have severe problems of congestion on inadequate road and rail links. A 2nd runway could only make these problems worse, without any realistic plan to address them.” The airport boundary would be just a hundred yards from the nearest residential area of Crawley.  “The Gatwick Landscape” by naturalist and author, David Bangs, draws attention to the hitherto largely unrecognised landscape wealth of history. Dr Tony Whitbread CEO of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, says: “A 2nd runway at Gatwick would require 577 ha of land for the construction of the runway, terminal, car parks and new on-airport roads. Rather than dismissing this [as Gatwick airport does] as “a few fields”, Dave Bangs has made a careful study of this area. His emotive account is the perspective of an expert who loves every aspect of nature. He reveals the hidden riches of a place which could be bulldozed into oblivion.”  With tragic loss of natural landscape and wildlife habitats.
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Crawley – Urban and Rural – at risk

8.5.2016 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

GACC has published a series of research studies exploring the impact of a second Gatwick runway.

“The Urbanisation of Crawley by scientist Peter Jordan, traces the history of Crawley since its inception as a ‘New Town’ in the post-war years and shows how the future would be at risk if a second Gatwick runway got the go-ahead.

Peter says: ‘Crawley and the surrounding towns already have severe problems of congestion on inadequate road and rail links. A 2nd runway could only make these problems worse, without any realistic plan to address them.’

In a foreword, former (twice) Mayor of Crawley, Brenda Smith, says: ‘Gatwick airport brings many benefits to Crawley, not least jobs (although too many of them are unskilled and low paid). But it also brings noise, pollution and traffic problems. It is for those reasons that I have always strongly opposed a second runway which would ultimately make Gatwick as big as Heathrow, with the airport boundary a mere hundred yards from the residential area of my ward.’

“The Gatwick Landscape” by naturalist and author, David Bangs, draws attention to the hitherto largely unrecognised landscape wealth of history, and rare trees and flowers in the area that would be bulldozed to construct a second runway.

David says: ‘The countryside directly threatened by the proposal for a Gatwick second runway is a patchwork of loved urban fringe green spaces, ancient landscape features, and wildlife sites with great ecological continuity and cultural importance. The runway plan would wholly eliminate the high value landscape between the current airport and the northern edge of Crawley’s built-up area.’

In a foreword, Dr Tony Whitbread Chief Executive of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, says:             “A second runway at Gatwick would require 577 ha of land for the construction of the runway, terminal, car parks and new on-airport roads. Rather than dismissing this [as Gatwick airport does] as “a few fields”, Dave Bangs has made a careful study of this area. His emotive account is the perspective of an expert who loves every aspect of nature. He reveals the hidden riches of a place which could be bulldozed into oblivion.”

“[A new runway] would mean the demolition of 17 listed buildings, five of them listed grade 2*. The extra employment would also require the construction of a large number of houses: according to the Airports Commission under 10,000, but according to consultants commissioned by the West Sussex County Council around 40,000. Whatever the actual number, this would be bound to create extensive urbanisation, and loss of natural landscape and wildlife habitats.”

http://www.gacc.org.uk/resources/Crawley%20urban%20and%20rural%20press%20release.pdf

Gatwick Landscape.  Describes the unrecognised ecological value of the land that would be bulldozed to construct a second runway.  Read research study

Heritage and countryside.  GACC has co-operated with CPRE, the Woodland Trust and CAGNE (Communities against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) to produce a study of the 17 listed buildings that would be demolished by a second Gatwick runway and the impact on countryside.  To be published on 1 July.

It would be good if as many people as possible attend the launch of the GACC Heritage document which I put together on the 1st July at Rowley,  – 12.30pm.
Venue – Rowley, Postcode RH10 2SL
Location: Immediately south of Gatwick airport. Take the A23 south to Gatwick Road.
1/4 mile S on Gatwick Road, then 1/4 mile W on James Watt Way, and turn left on dirt 
 road. House is a few hundred yards up the dirt road.
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GACC research studies

List of the publications GACC has produced, setting out the evidence – topic by topic – on why there should not be a 2nd runway.

http://www.gacc.org.uk/research-studies.php 

GACC is publishing a number of research studies on the runway issue. The press releases give a useful summary of each document.
 1.  Ambient Noise.  A study of the importance of taking background noise into account when assessing the number of people likely to be affected by noise from a new runway.Read research study.  And press release.
2.  Paying for a new Gatwick Runway.  A new runway would mean 100% increase in airport charges.  And that may cause some airlines to move to Stansted or Luton.  Read research study and press release.
3. Gatwick Airport and Tax.  Shows how Gatwick earns large profits but pays no corporation tax.  Read research study and press release.
4. Climate Change and a New Runway.  The Agreement reached in Paris in December 2015 by all nations rules out any new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow. Read research studyand press release.5. Crawley Urbanisation.  How Crawley has grown over the years, the problems facing the town now, and how they would be made worse by a new runway.  Read research study andpress release.6 Gatwick Landscape.  Describes the unrecognised ecological value of the land that would be bulldozed to construct a second runway.  Read research study and press release.7. Rail InfrastructureAnalyses the massive engineering works that would be necessary to enable the line from Gatwick to London to cope with the increase in rail passengers when a two-runway Gatwick reached full capacity.  Read research study.8. Road infrastructure.  Shows that to cope with Gatwick at full capacity could mean widening the M23 and M25, extending the M23 into central London, and building an outer orbital new motorway.  Read research study.Read press release showing that rail and road together could well mean a total infrastructure cost of £6 billion, compared to under £1 billion suggested by Gatwick Airport.Heritage and countryside.  GACC has co-operated with CPRE, the Woodland Trust and CAGNE (Communities against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) to produce a study of the 17 listed buildings that would be demolished by a second Gatwick runway and the impact on countryside.  To be published on 1 July.
Air QualityCAGNE have has also published a research study on Gatwick air quality.  A new runway would mean that over 50,000 people would suffer worse air quality, more than would be affected by a new runway at Heathrow.  Contact cagnegatwick@gmail.com

Read more »

HACAN new briefing shows how a 3rd Heathrow runway will not deliver for the regions

Heathrow has made repeated claims that its 3rd runway would be essential for the UK economy, and indeed, that it would be a vital boost to the economies of the regions. HACAN has set out, in a short briefing and in a video, how the claims are not justified. In reality, another Heathrow runway would have negative impacts on regional airports – not to mention huge costs for taxpayers across the country.  HACAN says of Heathrow’s various promises that they are not guaranteed: ✈ Better connections are not guaranteed. ✈ Instead, ever more resources will be concentrated in London and the South East. ✈ Heathrow expansion may preclude aviation growth elsewhere. ✈ A 3rd Runway may be undeliverable.  The Airports Commission itself found that, rather than reversing the decline in domestic flights between Heathrow and the regions, these will fall (from 7 now to 4 with a 3rd runway) unless they are subsidised, which could breach EU regulations. Due the cap on UK aviation carbon emissions, if a Heathrow runway is built (and it has to be used extensively, largely for high carbon long-haul flights)it is likely to mean restriction of the growth of flights from regional airports.  A totally dominant Heathrow, eclipsing other UK airports, would make it difficult for long haul routes from the regions to be profitable. 
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Briefing from HACAN at  

Booklet: “Heathrow 3rd Runway.   Will it really deliver for areas outside London and the South East?”

and short video

19.5.2016 Hacan video 1

19.5.2016 Hacan video 2

19.5.2016 Hacan video 3

19.5.2016 Hacan video 4

19.5.2016 Hacan video 5

19.5.2016 Hacan video 6

Heathrow 3rd Runway

“Will it really deliver for areas outside London and the South East?”

HACAN Briefing

19.5.2016

Promises, but not Guarantees

Heathrow Airport has made plenty of promises to other regions about how a 3rd runway could boost their economies but there are very few guarantees.

Key issues:

✈ Better connections are not guaranteed
✈ Ever more resources will be concentrated in London and the South East
✈ Heathrow expansion may preclude growth elsewhere
✈ A 3rd Runway may be undeliverable

1. Better Connections are not guaranteed

Capacity constraints at Heathrow have seen the number of domestic connections at the airport decline in recent years. As a result there have been persistent calls from local authorities, elected representatives and businesses from across the UK for better links to Heathrow. Heathrow Airport has promised a third runway will reverse this decline. It may do so but it is far from guaranteed. According to the Airports Commission’s final report, the number of domestic destinations served by Heathrow will fall from 7 to 4 if a third runway is built, unless they are subsidised. This is because the new slots created by a third runway will be used by routes to more profitable overseas destinations.

The Commission’s report says: ‘without specific measures to support domestic connectivity even an expanded Heathrow may accommodate fewer domestic routes in future than the seven served currently.’ The report spells out that ‘reserving’ slots for domestic routes is not an option as it would be in breach of EU regulations. Public Service Orders would be an option, but there are restrictions on which routes could qualify, and these would be entirely dependent upon the willingness of the UK Government to provide subsidies. Heathrow has recently made much of the fact the easyJet may come to Heathrow and create additional domestic slots but this is far from guaranteed. Gatwick, with a second runway, expects to continue to serve 7 or 8 domestic destinations.

“It is just plain wrong to say that only Heathrow can connect the UK to global growth, or that businesses in the UK’s regions need to fly through Heathrow to reach these markets. Manchester Airport is truly the international gateway for the North…..the north does not need another runway at Heathrow to connect to global markets.” Manchester Airport, CEO

2. Ever more resources would be concentrated in London

Heathrow Airport would pay for the cost of a new runway, but much of the cost of the associated road and rail infrastructure would fall on the UK. The Airports Commission estimated the road and rail costs at over £5 billion, though Transport for London (TfL) has put the broader transport infrastructure costs resulting from expansion at £15-£20 billion. However, Heathrow Airports Ltd has stated it is unwilling to contribute any more £1.1 billion. The rest of the cost would need to be met by taxpayers across the UK.

That’s yet more billions going to London and the South East. Money that could be spent in the rest of the country. On HS3 for example, across the North of England. Or on the electrification of the rail lines in North Wales.

3. Heathrow expansion may preclude growth elsewhere

The Airports Commission was clear that a third runway at Heathrow would reduce the scope for growth at other UK airports. There would not be the market for significant growth both at Heathrow and at other UK airports. The quarter of a million flights that would use a third runway at Heathrow would concentrate growth in the South East. Moreover, the Commission accepted that the climate change emissions from a third runway might also require growth to be curtailed elsewhere. Although one new runway at Heathrow would not, in itself, prevent the UK Government from meeting its climate change targets for aviation (CO2 to return to its 2005 levels by 2050), growth at other airports would potentially trigger some form of carbon tax in order to reduce demand in order to meet the CO2 targets. A 3rd runway could thereby necessitate limiting growth at other airports in the UK.

4. A 3rd Runway may be undeliverable

Because of the problems facing a third runway at Heathrow may be undeliverable.

• According to the European Commission over 725,000 live under the Heathrow flight paths (28% of all those impacted by aircraft noise in Europe); a 2-runway Gatwick would impact 35,000; Stansted even less.
• Heathrow is the only airport in the UK where air pollution exceeds the EU legal limits.
• Almost 4,000 homes might need to be acquired if a third runway was given the green light; 167 would be required for a second runway at Gatwick
• These problems have led to huge opposition to a 3rd runway. There’s no reason to believe this Government could succeed in building a 3rd runway where the last Labour Government failed.

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HACAN gives a voice to residents under the Heathrow flight paths.
We can be contacted on info@hacan.org.uk; tel 020 7737 6641 www.hacan.org.uk

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Briefing from HACAN at  

Booklet: “Heathrow 3rd Runway.   Will it really deliver for areas outside London and the South East?”

and short video

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Night flight ban likely to mean lower profitability for airlines, and higher ticket prices

An aviation industry consultant has commented on just how difficult (ie. how much less profit can be made) it is for airlines to avoid night flights. He is not persuaded that a ban on night flights will be accepted by airlines if they cannot fit in enough rotations per day, keeping the planes in use, and earning enough money, for enough hours. He says in Germany, residents’ campaigning on night flights has been relatively successful, and a number of large airports are now closed completely for extended periods overnight.  A strict ban could mean a delayed evening flight not being able to take off till morning, and the passengers having to be put up  in hotels overnight.  Particularly the low cost leisure market, night flights are an essential part of their operation.  To fly to the mid-haul destinations, 4-5 hours away, an airline can just cram two into the day, starting at 6am and ending at midnight.  With fast turnarounds.  There may not be enough runway capacity, in the London airport or the holiday destination airport, to get the exact time slot needed in order to cram the flights into the non-night period.  There are also cargo flights, or passenger flights carrying freight that currently rely on flying at night.  The author fears a night flight ban would have “unplanned consequences” on airlines.
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Comment: Why are night flights such an important issue?

by Andy Cooper

May 17th 2016 (BreakNews)

The government should think carefully before changing the night flights regime, says industry consultant Andy Cooper

The topic of night flights is once again in the media, following the recent announcement by Heathrow airport that it was willing to accept the proposed restrictions put forward by the Davies Commission in order to secure agreement to build a third runway.

The UK government will also be consulting later in 2016 about night flying restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted for the next five years, which will keep this subject in the public eye for the foreseeable future. So what’s all the fuss about?

Night flights are an emotive subject, and one which brings the aviation industry and its customers into direct conflict with residents living close to airports, or more specifically those living on airport flight paths.

Indeed, following the Heathrow announcement, John Stewart, the chair of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (Hacan), was quoted as saying: “Between a third and half of people who have joined our group have done so because of night flights. It is the biggest source of irritation to a great number of people.”

So, why are night flights so important, and wouldn’t it be easier simply to ban or restrict them significantly?

To understand this topic in any detail, we need to think about how airports manage their capacity. There are effectively two major capacity constraints affecting any airport: how many passengers can be accommodated in its terminals, and how many aircraft can use its runways.

Subject to planning permissions (a whole hornet’s nest in itself), in theory an airport can always address terminal capacity, simply by building more or bigger terminals – provided of course there is sufficient land to park all the additional aircraft that need to use the terminals – and anyone who has tried to fly some smaller Greek or ski airports will recognise this as a real problem.

It needs to be borne in mind that building in Britain is never a cheap exercise, so an airport is not going to undertake an expansion programme unless it has great confidence about future demand for its capacity.

Therefore, the biggest constraint to airport expansion, particularly for the London airports, tends to relate to runway capacity. Gatwick is operating at pretty near full capacity on its single runway for most hours of the day, and Heathrow is running at absolute maximum.

Therefore, for both those airports, the only way that they can meet passenger demand for any growth in the short term, pending both a decision on any new runway and the 20-odd year lead in to building the runway is by extending the hours in which the airport operates.

This also pre-supposes that airlines are willing to operate flights at unsociable times. Logically therefore, it is unlikely to be in an airport’s interest to restrict airport opening hours, and night flights are an important part of the mix for any airport.

Interestingly, in Germany, residents’ campaigning on night flights has been relatively successful, and a number of large airports are now closed completely for extended periods overnight.

This does create some challenges for airlines, particularly when they have a delayed departure shortly before the night flight restriction. A number of travellers from Frankfurt have found themselves in hotels overnight, rather than leaving on business or holiday trips due to these restrictions.

For an airline, particularly those in the leisure market, night flights are an essential part of their operation. There has been a significant fall in the number of the worst-timed flights in recent years, and it is relatively uncommon nowadays to see flights leaving at the horrible times – there’s nothing worse than an 1am departure from the UK, or come to that matter a 2am return.

However, these flight timings still happen, and for the airlines, there is often an operational and financial need to operate at those times.

While 2016 has seen a massive resurgence in holidays to Spain, the trends of recent years have been an increase in programmes to “mid-haul” destinations – whether that is the Canaries (4-4.5 hours flying from the UK), Turkey (4 – 5 hours flying), Egypt (5 – 6 hours flying) or elsewhere.

Most airlines cannot make their business model work with a single round trip (rotation) on any day, and typically need to operate two rotations. A typical aircraft may operate from the UK to, say, Palma, followed by a return flight to Turkey.

Allowing for an hour on the ground between each flight sector, the aircraft day may look something like this – for simplicity, it’s easiest to show by keeping all times in the UK clock:

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06:00 LGW – PMI 09:00
10:00 PMI – LGW 13:00
14:00 LGW – DLM 18:30
19:30 DLM – LGW 23:59

Where LGW is Gatwick, PMI is Palma and DLM is Dalaman.

________________________________

That flight plan is fairly common – and involves a very early departure from Gatwick, as well as a late return. Depending on how you define night flights, and the government definition appears to be anything in the period from 23:30 to 06:00, the programme can only work by operating a night flight – and if you try to bring the start of the day any earlier, then the first departure also becomes a night flight.

Therefore, the effect for an airline of a complete ban on night flights is not simply to prevent the return of the flight from Dalaman, it is to require the airline to rethink its whole flight programme.

This might be fine if the airport had sufficient capacity for the airline to change a number of flights to make its programme work.

However, airlines rely on their historical slots to operate their programmes, and at an airport like Gatwick, which is already full, a significant replanning of a flight programme simply isn’t possible.

The other feature that makes this issue more complex is that by definition, any route has two ends. A change to the flight times in the UK airport also affects the flight timings at the overseas airport. Many of those airports are also capacity constrained, so the airline may not be able to make changes at the other end of the route.

So what on the face of it sounds like a simple, resident friendly move to restrict the timings of night flights can have big impacts for airlines, and call into question the ability of the airline to operate their programme – which, let’s face it, only works if the airline has sufficient demand for those flights in the first place.

And in looking at this topic, I have limited my thoughts to passenger flights. Any changes would have big impacts for the freight and mail industries, which definitely rely on night flights to make their models work.

So, my plea to government is to take great care before messing with the night flights regime. There is nothing worse than any government decision having inadvertent and unplanned consequences – and a change to the regime could easily have that effect.

http://www.breaknews.xyz/comment-why-are-night-flights-such-an-important-issue/ 

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Alan Andrews, lawyer at ClientEarth, finds Heathrow offers on air quality “underwhelming” and vague

In an excellent article in Environment Journal, ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews says John Holland-Kaye’s two offers by Heathrow to try to get NO2 levels down are, in his words, “underwhelming.”  Alan says the first offer to “create an ultra-low emissions zone [ULEZ] for airport vehicles by 2025” is vague, as we are not told what conditions this zone will have. It is also only airport vehicles, which are a tiny proportion of the total. Alan says this is also five years behind the tardy ULEZ which is currently slated to come into force in the congestion charging zone in central London. On the second offer, to “develop plans for an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport….” Alan comments that there is no deadline given for delivery, and it is far from the radical action needed to get air pollution down to legal levels quickly. Heathrow has also talked of extending a low emissions zone to the airport, but there is no detail of when this would happen or what standards would apply. ClientEarth believes that as the area around the airport breaks legal limits, all these measures should be happening regardless of expansion, in order to satisfy the Supreme Court order and achieve legal limits as soon as possible.
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Heathrow is in an area that already has illegal levels of NO2 air pollution, so the government would be on shaky legal ground if it sanctioned any expansion which went against the Supreme Court order to bring pollution down as soon as possible.

Will Heathrow plans be grounded by air pollution?

Economic arguments have long been at the forefront of the debate over airport expansion in the UK but another topic has fast become vital to the debate.

Air quality was a central theme in the response from Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye to the Airports Commission report.

Airport expansion has been a political hot topic in the UK for years. Successive governments have avoided taking the decision about which of the country’s airports should be allowed to build extra capacity.

The Airports Commission’s report last July came down in favour of Heathrow but this did not stop further delays. It is anybody’s guess whether the government will stick to its current commitment to make a decision in July this year.

ClientEarth’s interest in all of this is based primarily on the increased air pollution that airport expansion, wherever it happens, is likely to cause.

As readers may know, we won our case against the government in the UK Supreme Court last year over its failure to uphold our right to clean air. The government was ordered to come up with new plans to bring air pollution (specifically nitrogen dioxide – NO2) within legal limits as soon as possible. The plans it produced in December will do nothing of the sort, so we’re taking them back to court.

How does this relate to airport expansion?

Well, any increase in air traffic at an airport is likely to lead to an increase in road traffic. One of the main causes of NO2 in our towns and cities is diesel vehicles. Heathrow is in an area that already has illegal levels of NO2 air pollution, so the government would be on shaky legal ground if it sanctioned any expansion which went against the Supreme Court order to bring pollution down as soon as possible.

Mr Holland-Kaye’s assurances on air quality, and the evidence he provides for them, are underwhelming.

He claims that there will be an ‘ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) for airport vehicles by 2025’. We don’t know what conditions this zone will have. Regardless, it would be five years behind the tardy ULEZ which is currently slated to come into force in the congestion charging zone in central London. although London’s new mayor is already proposing significantly expanding this zone, and bringing it in earlier.

The Heathrow chief executive promises to ‘develop plans’ for an emissions charging scheme for vehicles accessing the airport. Developing plans (with no deadline for delivery that we have seen) is far from the radical action needed to get air pollution down to legal levels as soon as possible.

He also talks of extending a low emissions zone to Heathrow but again we haven’t seen the detail of when this would happen or what standards would apply.

A more fundamental problem for Heathrow is that as the area around the airport breaks legal limits, all these measures should be happening regardless of expansion, in order to satisfy the Supreme Court order and achieve legal limits as soon as possible.

It is worth bearing in mind that there are huge problems with the ultra low emissions zone that Boris Johnson planned for London in 2020. The zone relies on EU emissions standards – known as the ‘Euro standards‘ – allowing only vehicles that meet the Euro 6 emissions standards to access the zone free of charge. The problem is that, by the government’s own admission, the Euro 6 diesel cars on our roads emit on average six times the legal limits.

All of this makes it difficult to believe that the expansion could go ahead without a significant increase in ambition from Heathrow when it comes to reducing air pollution.

http://environmentjournal.online/articles/will-heathrow-plans-grounded-air-pollution/

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What Heathrow offered, on air quality (Heathrow press release,11th May):

Airports Commission conditions Heathrow proposal
AIR QUALITY:“Additional operations at an expanded Heathrow must be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality. New capacity will be released when it is clear that air quality at sites around the airport will not delay compliance with EU limits.” Meeting the Airports CommissionAdditional operations at an expanded Heathrow will be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality and will be in accordance with air quality rules. New capacity at an expanded airport will not be released unless we can do so without delaying UK compliance with EU air quality limits.

Exceeding the Airports Commission

We will create an ultra-low emissions zone for airport vehicles by 2025. We will develop plans for an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport to encourage low-emission technology and fund sustainable transport.To provide further confidence, we propose that the Environment Agency be given the role of an independent aviation air quality authority, to provide transparent scrutiny of our plans.

 


See also

ClientEarth wants clarity over Heathrow air quality plans

Environmental law firm ClientEarth has called for greater detail on the proposals put forward yesterday (12 May) to limit air pollution from a potential third runway at Heathrow Airport.

ClientEarth, which is behind the legal challenge over the government’s plans for tackling air pollution across the UK, has called for ‘detailed analysis’ of the proposals put forward by Heathrow, and how they would help to meet air quality limits.

The organisation also claimed that pollution levels around the airport must be cut ‘drastically’ before expansion can be considered.

Yesterday, a series of measures were outlined as to how the airport would aim to meet air quality limits were it to go-ahead with a third runway (see airqualitynews.com story).

These go further than those proposed by the Airports Commission and include the creation of an ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) for airport vehicles by 2025 and an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport.

Low emission zone

The proposals also indicate that Heathrow would work with the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to extend the existing low emission zone to address areas of current non-compliance along the M4 motorway near Heathrow, and to “tighten standards” throughout the entire zone.

According to ClientEarth, the proposals put forward by Heathrow go further than the ‘pathetic’ plans outlined by the government to tackle air quality in the area.

ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews said: “Last year the UK Supreme Court ordered the government to draw up new plans that would bring air pollution in London within legal limits as soon as possible. Even without expansion, under those new plans the area around Heathrow will continue to be in breach of legal pollution limits until 2025.

“Heathrow has gone further than the government in proposing it be brought within the ultra low emissions zone. That’s definitely an improvement on the Government’s pathetic plans, but it doesn’t get around two fundamental problems.”

Mr Andrews claimed that the steps outlined by Heathrow would likely be necessary to meet emissions limits regardless of whether the third runway proposals go ahead, and he claimed that this should be carried out in conjunction with steps to reduce emissions from diesel cars more widely.

He added: “We need to see detailed analysis on what these proposals would achieve, but air pollution around the airport needs to be cut drastically before we can think about expansion. It’s difficult to see how that would happen without something far more radical than what’s currently on the table.”

http://www.airqualitynews.com/2016/05/12/clientearth-wants-clarity-heathrow-air-quality-plans/

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Plans for new low emission zone around Heathrow

29 APR 2015
BY ROBERT CUMBER (Get West London)

Airport bosses want to ban all but the cleanest buses and coaches from serving the airport
Bosses at Heathrow want to introduce a central London style ultra low emission zone for coaches and buses serving the airport.

The move is part of a new 10-point plan to help reduce air pollution around the airport, which currently exceeds EU limits.
The airport also plans to further increase landing fees for the most polluting planes and make its entire fleet of vehicles electric or hybrid, among other measures set out in its blueprint to reduce emissions.

It says the commitments will help cut ground-based nitrous oxide emissions at the airport by 5% by 2020, compared with 2009 levels.

Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Having spoken to the local community and looked at what we could do to address noise, set out in our 10-point noise action plan published last November, we wanted to work on air quality.

“We’ve reduced emissions by 16% in the last five years but we need to go further. Having made the easier changes we need to start doing the less easy things.”

There are currently two air monitoring points north of Heathrow on the M4, in Hillingdon and Hayes, which exceed the legally-binding EU limit of 40 microgrammes of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre.

Heathrow claims airport-related emissions, including those from vehicles carrying passengers and staff to the airport, account for just 16% and 6% respectively of pollution at those sites.

However, Mr Holland-Kaye said he recognised Heathrow had a role to play in reducing pollution around its perimeter.

That stretch of the M4 is currently excluded from the low emission zone, prohibiting the dirtiest vehicles, which covers the majority of London.

Mr Holland-Kaye said this was to allow non-compliant vehicles which had accidentally entered the zone to exit before being penalised.

However, he said Heathrow was in talks with Transport for London (TfL) about ending this exemption, as well as introducing an ultra low emission zone for buses and coaches travelling to the airport.

He told getwestlondon TfL had been very receptive to the idea but he was reluctant to put a time frame on the move as it was not within the airport’s power.

He added that Heathrow was also working with TfL to get more cleaner hybrid buses serving routes around the airport.

Heathrow has previously raised the prospect of a congestion zone for passengers and staff travelling by car to the airport. However, this is unlikely to be introduced for many years, if at all.

Heathrow’s 10-point plan to manage and reduce emissions:

  1. Reduce emissions from aircraft at the gate
  2. Phase out the oldest and dirtiest aircraft
  3. Improve aircraft taxiing efficiency
  4. Provide more and better electric vehicle charging points
  5. Incentivise low-emission vehicles
  6. Work with partners to set up emissions zones and standards
  7. Reduce emissions from Heathrow’s own fleet
  8. Pool ground support vehicles to reduce numbers and emissions
  9. Lead the move to electric vehicles airside
  10. Modernise Heathrow’s heating supply

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/plans-new-low-emission-zone-9131580

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Gatwick groups and MPs hand in new report to Downing Street: “What about our air quality?”

Community groups and MPs have delivered a copy of a new report, “What about our air quality?” to 10 Downing Street. The report raises the fact that an expanded Gatwick could present worst air quality for a much wider area than Heathrow currently – due to the lack of sufficient transport infrastructure. Air quality targets close to Gatwick Airport have been broken despite the airport’s public denial. Data from Jacobs, for the Airports Commission, show breaches of NO2 levels already. It is inevitable they will be broken again, especially with a 2nd runway, because the rail infrastructure is already inadequate, and more passengers (and possibly freight in future) will mean additional road vehicles. The report contains a letter from 10 MPs who wrote to the Secretary for State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin on 18th March, demanding that Gatwick’s misleading advertising over air quality be stopped. Gatwick has often said words to the effect that  “Gatwick Airport has never and will never breach air quality limits” and instead its expansion campaign has been focused on the air pollution problems at Heathrow, ignoring their own. Gatwick is served by a rail line that is already near capacity, and it cannot be much improved due to physical restrictions. It could not handle not only more passengers, but also extra staff and traffic from more businesses.
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Gatwick groups and MPs hand in new report to  Downing Street:  “What about our air quality?”

16.5.2016

CAGNE – (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

The report “What about our air quality?”

Community groups and MPs have delivered a copy of a new report, “What about our air quality?” to 10 Downing Street.

Handing in air pollution report 16.5.2016

The report raises the fact that an expanded Gatwick could present worst air quality for a much wider area than Heathrow currently – due to the lack of sufficient transport infrastructure.

Air quality targets close to Gatwick Airport have been broken despite the airport’s public denial.

It is inevitable that this will happen again.   Why?

  • Because even today, we have inadequate infrastructure in the surrounding area, and… 
  • Because road traffic (and traffic congestion) is an additional major cause of air pollution on top of that caused by aircraft.

The report contains a letter from 10 MPs who wrote to the Secretary for State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin on 18th March, demanding that Gatwick’s misleading advertising over air quality be stopped.  [Data from Jacobs Page 9  Link  show where the NO2 levels are already too high]

The CEO of Gatwick Airport is renowned for his comments about air quality at Gatwick. He has said: “Gatwick Airport has never and will never breach air quality limits” link  Gatwick’s airport expansion campaign has been focused on the negatives about air quality at Heathrow.

However the new air quality report reveals how Gatwick can’t hide the facts – Gatwick Airport is positioned on one of the worst railway lines in the country and it can’t be expanded due to physical restrictions. Passengers will be travelling to and from the airport largely by road.

Gatwick hopes to double its tonnage of air freight, if it gets a 2nd runway. This would result more road trips by cargo vehicles, and the cargo would not arrive by rail.

Gatwick only has one major access road, the M23, that will be full before Gatwick’s 2nd runway is finished. The other feeder roads  ‘B”, “A’ roads or country lanes are also filling up.

Gatwick Airport has no alternative but to force passengers and workers, as well as supporting airport vehicles, on to these roads.  Gatwick say no Government funding is required for extra road infrastructure. Gatwick suggests that it will now stagger development of the airport and so will not immediately fund the new link road to access Gatwick, with a 2nd runway, from the M23  – which was promised to reduce emissions.

Jeremy Quin MP for Horsham said:

“Infrastructure in our area is already facing severe challenges.  An extra runway at Gatwick would place an impossible strain on public transport, which was never designed to accommodate an airport, which would be busier than Heathrow.   Public Transport is incapable of coping with all the extra employees that would need to commute in long distances, let alone the extra passengers. This in turn would result in a huge increase in car traffic with all that that implies.”

Sir Nicholas Soames MP said:

“My constituency of Mid Sussex is already under the greatest pressure to meet its own existing housing needs today, even without Gatwick expansion.  This is also the case with Crawley, Horsham, Brighton, Lewes and Adur all of whom share many of the same problems.  The Airports Commission detailed that a town the size of Reigate, some 18,400 new homes, would be required for Gatwick expansion.  With an already substandard and inefficient highway network and railway lines that are physically restricted and constantly broken, it is relevant to enquire how are the 95m passengers and workers meant to access Gatwick and London?  This will represent huge infrastructure challenges as well as serious air quality concerns for our many towns and villages since growth in the region is way beyond the current infrastructure capacity and yet we are expected to accommodate an airport bigger than Heathrow with no Government funding.”

 

As a local GP of some 30 years, Dr Paul Stillman details the concerns that are already present in the neighbouring town of Crawley, “A major clinical problem throughout that time has been the high levels of respiratory disorders, including asthma in children and young adults. Stress related illnesses, including high blood pressure with all its consequences, have also been apparent in this community more than elsewhere. I do not believe this is related to social deprivation or employment issues, simply because we don’t have them. It is however certainly in part the result of poor air quality from both aero fuels and road vehicles, and traffic congestion with the loss of open spaces for us to enjoy.”

Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, which presented the report to  Downing Street, said:  “We are fed up of being ignored and dismissed by Gatwick management and have produced documents that detail exactly why Gatwick should not be expanded. We also have an ad van going around London today, informing people of the truth about Gatwick expansion.”

Handing in the report for the Prime Minister’s office, GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) enclosed the booklet “Gatwick Grounded: Why a second runway will never fly.”  

The arguments in this document have now been amplified in several important research studies published by GACC (with more to come).  The list of the GACC studies and links to them are below.

Those handing in the report to Number 10 Downing Street on Monday 16th May were four members of the Gatwick Coordination Group of MPs – Sir Nicholas Soames MP for Mid Sussex, Jeremy Quin MP for Horsham, Tom Tugendhat MP for Tonbridge, Edenbridge and Malling, and Nick Herbert MP for Arundel and South Downs.

Community groups include Derek Meakings from One’s Enough, a Crawley based group; Doug Cox of GACC, a conservation group that has been established since 1968 presenting all areas that surround Gatwick; Kia Trainor of CPRE Sussex (Campaign to Protect Rural England), and Sally Pavey Chair of CAGNE, a West Sussex and Surrey group that seeks a fair and equitable distribution of the currently level of flights in and out of Gatwick and are vehemently opposed to Gatwick expansion joined by CAGNE committee members Bill Sorrell and Gareth Hayton.

The report:  “What about our air quality?”

www.cagne.org

Representing residents of West Sussex and parts of Surrey cagnegatwick@gmail.com

 

Twitter @cagne_gatwick

CAGNE


Background notes from CAGNE:

Ø  Gatwick’s expansion case relies on additional seat capacity brought about by £2bn in improvements scheduled for the overcrowded and un-reliable Brighton Mainline before 2019, to support new airline passengers. But those improvements were designed to address current issues, and not intended to absorb the trebling of airport passenger numbers that could come from an expanded Gatwick. (p.73, ‘A Second Runway for Gatwick’, Appendix 6 – Surface Access).

Ø  That means additional passengers brought about by the expansion at Gatwick would consume all of the additional seats from the £2bn improvements, whilst Gatwick won’t contribute a penny.

Ø  Meanwhile, every day commuters will be left standing and fairs will have to increase as since 2000 the number of passengers has increased three times the number of Gatwick travellers.

Ø  After 2019, no further rail improvement programmes have been confirmed by network rail even though additional rail improvements would be needed in the future to accommodate background growth, even without expansion.

Ø  Network Rail has identified possible future work to address this background growth, but Gatwick argues it would help support new airport passengers, if indeed the programmes go ahead at all.

Ø  If the work goes ahead – and expansion wouldn’t be feasible without it – the public subsidy to improve Gatwick’s rail links with expansion would rise to £4billion, £2billion of which is currently unfunded.

Ø  If the work doesn’t go ahead, then up to 40% of passengers would be standing before they reach Gatwick from the south, and 80% plus will be standing to London Bridge.

Ø  Gatwick is surrounded by a failing network of roads with pollution monitors already in place.  New roads would be needed for Crawley, East Grinstead and a Croydon underpass or major road expansion, as this is the heavily congested direct route from Gatwick to London.

Ø  The only access road to Gatwick is the M23 that will be full before Gatwick is finished and leads to a congested four lane M25.


Information from Jacobs, for the Airports Commission, showing areas near Gatwick where NO2 levelsl are above the 40 µg/m 3  legal limit

Jacobs on Gatwick air pollution 2009

Larger image on Page 9 of  link


 

GACC Research Studies

  1. Ambient Noise.  Shows that background noise needs to be taken into account, and that therefore comparisons of the number of people affected by noise from a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick are invalid.
  2. Paying for a New Runway. Demonstrates that airport charges at Gatwick would need to rise by 100%.
  3. Gatwick and Tax. Explains how Gatwick Airport avoids paying corporation tax.
  4. Climate Change.  Shows that a new runway would be counter to the 2015 Paris agreement by all nations to limit climate change damage.
  5. Crawley Urbanisation.  Discusses the impact of a new runway on Crawley.
  6. Gatwick Landscape.  Illustrates the valuable countryside that would be destroyed.
  7. Rail Infrastructure (to be published soon).  Shows that the rail line from Gatwick to London could not cope with Gatwick with two runways, and that new infrastructure would be prohibitively costly.

 

All available on www.gacc.org.uk/research-studies

 


See earlier:

Gatwick MPs call on Transport Secretary: “Gatwick Airport must end misleading air quality claims”

Gatwick is misleading local residents about the environmental impact of their plans to build a 2nd runway, a group of South East MPs warned today. The MPs expressed their concerns about air quality claims and night flights in a letter to the Transport Secretary,Patrick McLoughlin. The Gatwick Coordination Group (GCG) – the MPs in areas close to and affected by Gatwick – is asking Mr Mcloughlin to stop Gatwick from running advertising campaigns which contradict expert environmental evidence, and mislead their constituents. Gatwick has repeatedly claimed the area around the airport “has never and will never breach legal air quality limits” and that it is the “greener” option for expansion. But the MPs as well as councillors and local representatives say the airport’s claims ignore significant evidence in the Airports Commission’s report. The GCG are demanding Gatwick makes clear the real impact of a 2nd runway on the local environment to nearby residents. The GCG also object to the DfT “drawing up plans for night flights at an expanded Gatwick, which would subject over 60,000 people in the Gatwick area to over 20 hours of continuous aircraft noise. It is incredible to think that the DfT is contemplating this when the Airports Commission made a stronger case for Heathrow which included a clear and viable recommendation for a ban on night flights”.

Click here to view full story…

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