Heathrow more likely to get MPs’ backing as Jeremy Corbyn suggests Labour MPs could have free, unwhipped, vote

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested it would not be easy to whip Labour MPs to vote against a 3rd runway at Heathrow, despite his personal opposition to it, largely on environmental grounds. He has not yet decided whether to hold a free vote, but it could be difficult to get his MPs to agree that the runway and expansion would cause harmful air pollution and noise impacts.  A vote in favour of Heathrow expansion is more likely to go through if Labour MPs are allowed to vote with their conscience. This matters as the Conservative majority is small, and there are dozens of Conservatives MPs who are against it. The decision on whether to build a runway, and if so, at Heathrow or Gatwick, is set to be put to a free vote of Conservative MPs in the coming weeks, to allow Cabinet ministers to vote against Heathrow, without having to resign – avoiding the need for collective responsibility.  Mr Corbyn told The Guardian that there was a “huge debate in the party about it” and that his shadow cabinet would have to “have a discussion and debate” to work out a way forward. He said, of his rebellious MPs:  “What I’ve discovered is whipping Labour when Labour doesn’t want to be whipped is not an easy thing to do.” Heathrow has worked hard to persuade MPs in the regions that its new runway would mean more domestic flights and more economic prosperity for them – however uncertain that is in reality. MPs whose constituencies are not affected across the country hope for local benefits.
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Corbyn doubtful he can make his MPs oppose Heathrow expansion

Labour leader says he has not decided whether to hold free vote, with many of his MPs likely to back plans for third runway

By Rowena Mason and Jessica Elgot (Guardian)

Thursday 29 September 2016

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested it would not be easy to whip Labour MPs to vote against a third runway at Heathrow, despite his personal opposition to the infrastructure project.

The Labour leader said he has not yet decided whether to hold a free vote, but it could be difficult to get his MPs to fall into line with his view that the proposed project would cause harmful pollution and noise.

A vote on Heathrow is more likely to go through if Labour MPs are allowed to vote with their conscience, as there are dozens of Conservatives who are opposed to expansion at the airport in west London.

Theresa May is expected to announce a decision within weeks about whether to proceed with expanding airport capacity at Heathrow, which was recommended by the Davies commission.

It was reported in the FT on Thursday that government whips believe they have the numbers to push it through the House of Commons if there is a decision in favour.

However, the numbers are particularly uncertain because the prime minister is likely to give her own MPs a free vote to stop the resignations of a number of cabinet ministers who have constituencies that would be affected.

It is thought a majority of Labour MPs would support the scheme if given freedom to vote how they like, even though Corbyn and John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, are against the plan. The Scottish National party has hinted it could be in favour if given assurances about routes to Scotland.

Speaking to the Guardian, Corbyn said he had never been a supporter “because of the issues of noise and pollution across west London”. He acknowledged there was a “huge debate in the party about it” and his shadow cabinet would have to “have a discussion and debate and try and work out a way forward but also improve rail links so we reduce the number of internal flights”.

Asked whether he would ask his MPs to vote against the plan, Corbyn said: “What I’ve discovered is whipping Labour when Labour doesn’t want to be whipped is not an easy thing to do.”

Corbyn has already held free votes on Trident and Syria as Labour was so split on the issues, with many MPs taking a different view to their leader.

It is still not certain that May, whose Maidenhead constituency is near the airport, will opt for Heathrow expansion over Gatwick or another option.

There is huge pressure on the prime minister to make a decision after years of procrastination by David Cameron, who was reluctant to break a pre-2010 promise he made about opposing Heathrow expansion with “no ifs, no buts”.

A shadow cabinet reshuffle, including replacing Andy Burnham so the shadow home secretary can concentrate on the Greater Manchester mayoral race, is expected within weeks.

Allies of Corbyn have insisted he is able to fill a shadow cabinet without elections from the PLP, but critics including the deputy leader, Tom Watson, have called for a return to elections by MPs.

The Unite union’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, said he believed there would be at least partial elections, as long as the leader had the power to sack MPs from their positions. “I can envisage in a fairly short space of time, a matter of a few weeks, that he will have put together a shadow cabinet to deal with the election element of the PLP,” he told the Telegraph.

McCluskey said there would be no need to change the party rulebook or have it approved by the NEC, but elections could be at the discretion of the leader. “Jeremy can offer X number of seats – it doesn’t need to be a rule – it is in his gift. And I think he may well do that.”

McCluskey also repeated his challenge to Watson, his former flatmate, to “test his mandate” as the party’s elected deputy leader. “I fear for him what the result would be,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/sep/29/jeremy-corbyn-doubtful-whip-mps-oppose-heathrow-expansion-third-runway-labour?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Boost for third runway at Heathrow as Jeremy Corbyn suggests Labour MPs could have free vote

Jeremy Corbyn said it could be difficult to get his MPs to fall into line with his view against expansion

By Christopher Hope, chief political correspondent  (Telegraph)
29 SEPTEMBER 2016

A new third runway at Heathrow airport has received a boost after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hinted his MPs could have a free vote on the issue.

The decision is set to be put to a free vote of Conservative MPs in the coming weeks, to allow Government ministers to vote against a Heathrow third runway without having to resign.

Mr Corbyn – who opposes expansion on environmental grounds – said it could be difficult to get his MPs to fall into line with his view against expansion.

Animation shows what third Heathrow runway would look likePlay! 01:21
This could lead to Labour MPs also being allowed a free vote. It is thought a majority of Labour MPs would support the scheme if given freedom to vote how they like.

Mr Corbyn told The Guardian that there was a “huge debate in the party about it” and that his shadow cabinet would have to “have a discussion and debate” to work out a way forward.

Asked whether he would ask his MPs to vote against the plan, Mr Corbyn said: “What I’ve discovered is whipping Labour when Labour doesn’t want to be whipped is not an easy thing to do.” Mr Corbyn has already held free votes on Trident and Syria as Labour was split on the issues, with many MPs taking a different view to their leader.

Separately, Heathrow airport said it wanted to be able to fly scores of extra flights every day in the four years before a new third runway opens in a move which it says would give a £1.5billion boost to the economy.

The airport said it wanted to add 25,000 more flights to the existing annual limit of 480,000 between 2021 and the opening of a third runway in 2025.

The news is likely further to increase opposition to the plans among Cabinet ministers like Boris Johnson and Justine Greening, who are against a third runway at Heathrow.

A new third runway at Heathrow will increase annual flights from 480,000 a year to 740,000 per year, allowing it to compete with European hubs in Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt for routes to emerging markets.

Plans could mean new routes to UK destinations such as Dundee, Newquay and Liverpool, and to growing international markets including the Japanese port city of Osaka, Ecuadorian capital Quito and central Chinese city Wuhan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/29/boost-for-third-runway-at-heathrow-as-jeremy-corbyn-suggests-lab/

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See earlier:

 

Heathrow proposals for pre-runway flight increase, to try and win Government backing for runway

Heathrow will be putting forward some proposals at the Conservative party conference, to be allowed to start increasing the annual number of flights from 2021 by 25,000 per year (about 68 more per day). “New technology and better use of existing runways will achieve this.” (ie. largely loss of runway alternation part of the day, and narrow flight paths?). Heathrow is selling this as a way to start to give a quick “Brexit boost”, even before its hoped for 3rd runway is operational. Heathrow is claiming that the “environmental constraints” will all be met (it is unclear how this will be done) with no more noise problems, no more air pollution problems etc. All that is proposed is more money for home noise insulation, (£60 million – it has already said it will spend £700 million) and a congestion charge – no details – for vehicles travelling to and from Heathrow. The plans will be subject to consultation and Government approval. There is a mention of talks with government in future to perhaps delay the start of scheduled flights to 5.30am from the current 4.30am. The main thrust of Heathrow’s plans is to say the extra flights will be vital for the economy, with slots set aside for domestic flights. There would be a £10 domestic passenger discount to support “small and large exporters, boosting competition.” There are claims of 5,000 more local jobs over 5 years by this pre-runway expansion, and extensive economic benefits for all the UK …. £1.5 billion in the period 2021 – 2015.

Click here to view full story…

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Anti-Corbyn Labour backbenchers plan party vote – to back Heathrow runway

The Parliamentary Labour Party has various committees, one of which is on Transport. This is chaired by the young MP for Luton South, Gavin Shuker. The membership of this backbench committee does not appear to be publicly available. There is nothing online about the committee or its work. Mr Shuker says his committee has now produced (or is about to produce) a report that proposes Labour should back a Heathrow runway. They plan to present this report to a meeting of Labour MPs and peers, when Parliament returns after the party conferences. Mr Shuker has been critical of Jeremy Corbyn for the past year or more, and he now wants to get the Labour party to reverse his opposition to a Heathrow runway by getting a vote on the issue within the party. Gavin Shuker said the vote could be the day after the Labour meeting. As well as Jeremy Corbyn, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, is deeply opposed to a Heathrow runway as his constituency would be badly affected by it. Mr Shuker wants the party to challenge Jeremy Corbyn on a number of policy issues. Heathrow is just one of many, and is a symptom of party disunity. On the same day, it was revealed that the Heathrow-funded and sponsored group, Back Heathrow, had asked for John McDonnell’s constituency boundary to be redrawn, to exclude Heathrow – to help their case. Amazing.

Click here to view full story…

FT reports Tories feel they have enough backing in Parliament to push through Heathrow runway

The Financial Times says the Conservative Party Chairman, Patrick McLoughlin, has done a vote assessment, and found that there would be enough support in Parliament for a Heathrow 3rd runway. It is considered possible that the Cabinet’s runway sub-committee -chaired by Theresa May – will come to a runway location decision on the 11th or the 18th October. The Cabinet would need to agree to the decision by the sub-Committee, and it would then be announced in Parliament, by Chris Grayling. There could be a Parliamentary vote soon afterwards, perhaps only be a week later. The government would not want to risk a vote on this, unless they knew they would get a majority. The FT understands that Heathrow would easily win enough votes, but there is not enough backing for a Gatwick runway. Though there is massive opposition to a Heathrow runway due to its widespread and seriously negative impacts, and therefore it is likely Theresa May would allow a free vote. It is not clear the Labour leadership would try to whip hostile MPs on the runway issue, at a time of wider party disunity, though Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are against the Heathrow runway. The FT reports that one insider cautioned it is “not a foregone conclusion” that Mrs May will back the Heathrow runway — or even that there would be a vote. An aviation executive said the prime minister “is like a sphinx on this”. ie. inscrutable.

Click here to view full story…

Times reveals, from leaked document, members of Cabinet sub-committee on runway issue – and free vote plan, suspending “collective responsibility”

The Times says it has seen a leaked document showing the membership of the Cabinet sub-committee, the “Economy and Industrial Strategy (Airports)” sub-committee, that would make a decision on a runway. The list omits Ministers most critical of Heathrow’s expansion, Boris Johnson, (Foreign Secretary, and Justine Greening, Education Secretary). But Sajid Javid (Communities Secretary), who is a Heathrow supporter, keeps his place on the sub-committee, as does Patrick McLoughlin, (Conservative Party Chairman) – who as Transport Secretary was a strong supporter of Heathrow. Theresa May herself will chair the sub-committee, (David Cameron chaired it previously). Other Ministers on the sub-committee are Philip Hammond, (Chancellor), Greg Clark, (Business and Energy Secretary), Andrea Leadsom, (Environment Secretary), David Mundell, (Scottish Secretary), and the chief whip Gavin Williamson. [The previous members were: David Cameron, George Osborne, Sajid Javid, Patrick McLoughlin, Liz Truss, David Mundell, Greg Clark, Amber Rudd, Oliver Letwin and Mark Harper.] It is not known if there will be a free vote on the issue, suspending the normal Cabinet “collective responsibility” as was suggested last week, to overcome the problem of so much opposition to Heathrow. The Times believes that the announcement might be on Tuesday18th October.

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

FT reports Tories feel they have enough backing in Parliament to push through Heathrow runway

The Financial Times says the Conservative Party Chairman, Patrick McLoughlin, has done a vote assessment, and found that there would be enough support in Parliament for a Heathrow 3rd runway.  It is considered possible that the Cabinet’s runway sub-committee -chaired by Theresa May – will come to a runway location decision on the 11th or the 18th October. The Cabinet would need to agree to the decision by the sub-Committee, and it would then be announced in Parliament, by Chris Grayling. There could be a Parliamentary vote soon afterwards, perhaps only be a week later.  The government would not want to risk a vote on this, unless they knew they would get a majority. The FT understands that Heathrow would easily win enough votes, but there is not enough backing for a Gatwick runway. Though there is massive opposition to a Heathrow runway due to its widespread and seriously negative impacts, and therefore it is likely Theresa May would allow a free vote. It is not clear the Labour leadership would try to whip hostile MPs on the runway issue, at a time of wider party disunity, though Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are against the Heathrow runway.  The FT reports that one insider cautioned it is “not a foregone conclusion” that Mrs May will back the Heathrow runway — or even that there would be a vote. An aviation executive said the prime minister “is like a sphinx on this”. ie. inscrutable. 
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May has backing in parliament to push through Heathrow expansion

By Jim Pickard and Robert Wright  (Financial Times)

29.9..2016

Theresa May has sufficient support in parliament to drive through the contentious expansion of Heathrow airport if she decides to put it to a vote next month, according to close allies.
The government will not make a final decision about how to proceed until an aviation subcommittee — chaired by Mrs May — meets on either October 11 or 18.

But according to detailed calculations by ministers, Heathrow would win a vote with a “slam dunk” despite continuing opposition from some senior figures in the Conservative party. Patrick McLoughlin, Tory party chairman and a former transport secretary, is understood to have carried out the vote assessment.

……. Full FT story at  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d84abea2-858b-11e6-a29c-6e7d9515ad15.html?siteedition=uk#axzz4LeUdQiJA

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AirportWatch note:

There is a very real problem of MPs with constituencies far from London or the south east, eagerly supporting the expansion of Heathrow. Their own constituents do not need to suffer the adverse environmental or social impacts of the expansion. They may be unaware of the extent of these.

Heathrow has spent a very large sum of money indeed, providing biased information to Chambers of Commerce, councils and MPs across the country, about the possible financial benefits they might gain from the runway. They have heard a very one-sided case.  It is perhaps questionable whether MPs whose area do not stand to suffer in any way from Heathrow expansion should be at liberty to inflict the adverse effects onto others. Especially if they have been given only partial information.


See earlier

Anti-Corbyn Labour backbenchers plan party vote – to back Heathrow runway

The Parliamentary Labour Party has various committees, one of which is on Transport. This is chaired by the young MP for Luton South, Gavin Shuker. The membership of this backbench committee does not appear to be publicly available. There is nothing online about the committee or its work. Mr Shuker says his committee has now produced (or is about to produce) a report that proposes Labour should back a Heathrow runway. They plan to present this report to a meeting of Labour MPs and peers, when Parliament returns after the party conferences. Mr Shuker has been critical of Jeremy Corbyn for the past year or more, and he now wants to get the Labour party to reverse his opposition to a Heathrow runway by getting a vote on the issue within the party. Gavin Shuker said the vote could be the day after the Labour meeting. As well as Jeremy Corbyn, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, is deeply opposed to a Heathrow runway as his constituency would be badly affected by it. Mr Shuker wants the party to challenge Jeremy Corbyn on a number of policy issues. Heathrow is just one of many, and is a symptom of party disunity. On the same day, it was revealed that the Heathrow-funded and sponsored group, Back Heathrow, had asked for John McDonnell’s constituency boundary to be redrawn, to exclude Heathrow – to help their case. Amazing.

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow investors snub Chris Grayling’s request for their funding of Heathrow Hub scheme

Some of Heathrow’s leading shareholders have snubbed a request from the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to back the Heathrow Hub scheme, that involves adding another runway at the western end of the northern runway. Sky News understands that big investors in FGP Topco, Heathrow’s parent company, are refusing to give a written commitment to funding the rival scheme. Heathrow argues that it has not done sufficient due diligence to justify giving its backing to Heathrow Hub. Mr Grayling made the request at a meeting with the two runway promoters last month, since when further talks have been held between executives at Heathrow and Heathrow Hub. While it is understood John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO, would accept the Hub plan if he cannot get his north-west runway, the airport’s leading shareholders are refusing to back it. They believe future financial returns would be lower with the Hub scheme than the NW runway scheme. Sky News has been told that Mr Holland-Kaye had been told by his shareholders that acknowledging any support for the Hub scheme would be a tactical error, at a time they believe is so close to an announcement by the Government. Both Heathrow schemes have offered cut-price versions of their proposals in a bid to convince ministers of their merits. FGP Topco’s shareholders are Ferrovial (25% stake), and sovereign wealth and pension funds from Australia, Canada, China, Qatar and Singapore.

Click here to view full story…

John Redwood, MP for Wokingham, says Theresa May should drop Heathrow plan

John Redwood, the Conservative MP for Wokingham about 25 km west of Heathrow and under some of its flight paths, has said that the government should drop the three very huge projects they inherited from Gordon Brown and David Cameron. ie. Hinkley, HS2 and Heathrow. Each is expensive, highly contentious, and has been much delayed by indecision, argument and opposition. John Redwood was Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation, from May 2005 to December 2005, and Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, from June 1999 to February 2000. He believes all 3Hs should be scrapped, and there are many other good local projects that should be paid for instead. “I’m all for spending on better trains, power stations and airports, but I don’t want to throw too much money at projects that are so mired in rows and costs.” On Heathrow noise he says: “Unfortunately Heathrow has recently with NATS changed the routes and noise corridors, annoying many more residential areas near it. There was no proper consultation. When you want to expand you need to do better at showing you are a good and considerate neighbour.” …”More capacity can be provided through Northolt, Gatwick and other London area airports. Smaller quicker schemes could alleviate the pressures.”

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Tania Mathias MP calls for Grayling to step in over proposed £3 billion cuts to Heathrow plan – re-consultation necessary?

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has been asked by Dr Tania Mathias MP to intervene on Heathrow’s £3 billion cost-cutting proposals it announced last week. In order to cut costs, and perhaps get a runway built faster, Heathrow’s Chairman Lord Deighton suggested that changes to plans would be made – though nothing has been put forward yet, but they might be in the next weeks. The cuts would mean scrapping plans to (expensively) tunnel the 14 lane M25 under the runway, and a transit rail system around the airport. Conservative MP Tania Mathias, whose Twickenham constituency is under Heathrow flight paths, said the new plan had caused local people “considerable anxiety.” She has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, asking him to demand the plan goes back out to public consultation and scrutiny by the Airports Commission (though that has been disbanded). Dr Mathias also wants Chris Grayling to make public any official talks on the late changes, between the airport and government departments. Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith also wrote to Lord Deighton that the revised plan would cause Londoners “more environmental misery”. The changes to the roads are not clear, and cutting cost could lead to gridlock on the busiest stretch of the M25. The DfT just said the Government “will continue to consider the commission’s evidence.”

Click here to view full story…

Times reveals, from leaked document, members of Cabinet sub-committee on runway issue – and likely free vote in Parliament, suspending Cabinet collective responsibility

The Times says it has seen a leaked document showing the membership of the Cabinet sub-committee, the “Economy and Industrial Strategy (Airports)” sub-committee, that would make a decision on a runway. The list omits Ministers most critical of Heathrow’s expansion, Boris Johnson, (Foreign Secretary, and Justine Greening, Education Secretary). But Sajid Javid (Communities Secretary), who is a Heathrow supporter, keeps his place on the sub-committee, as does Patrick McLoughlin, (Conservative Party Chairman) – who as Transport Secretary was a strong supporter of Heathrow. Theresa May herself will chair the sub-committee, (David Cameron chaired it previously). Other Ministers on the sub-committee are Philip Hammond, (Chancellor), Greg Clark, (Business and Energy Secretary), Andrea Leadsom, (Environment Secretary), David Mundell, (Scottish Secretary), and the chief whip Gavin Williamson. [The previous members were: David Cameron, George Osborne, Sajid Javid, Patrick McLoughlin, Liz Truss, David Mundell, Greg Clark, Amber Rudd, Oliver Letwin and Mark Harper.] It is not known if there will be a free vote on the issue, suspending the normal Cabinet “collective responsibility” as was suggested last week, to overcome the problem of so much opposition to Heathrow. The Times believes that the announcement might be on Tuesday18th October.

Click here to view full story…

Theresa May to personally chair Cabinet sub-committee on possible new runway

The decision by the Cabinet on what to do about a new runway is to be taken by a sub-committee, named the Economic Affairs (Airports) sub-Committee. This was set up in July 2015. Its members then were David Cameron, George Osborne, Sajid Javid, Patrick McLoughlin, Liz Truss, David Mundell, Greg Clark, Amber Rudd, Cabinet Oliver Letwin and Mark Harper. At that time, MPs with possibly compromised positions, or those against a Heathrow runway, were left off it – explained by their departments not being the relevant ones for inclusion. These were Theresa May, Philip Hammond and Justine Greening. Since the arrival of Theresa May, everything has changed. It has been announced that she will personally chair the committee (Cameron chaired it before) and that its new membership will be announced shortly. The constituencies of Theresa May, Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson (PM, Chancellor and Foreign Secretary) are all intensely affected by Heathrow. Theresa May has been very guarded in her comments over the past 6 years. However in May 2010 she welcomed the cancellation of the Heathrow runway and added: “Like many local residents, I strongly welcome the cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow. Expanding Heathrow in this way would have had a detrimental effect on the Maidenhead and Twyford areas by increasing levels of noise and pollution, and today’s announcement is a victory for all those who have campaigned against it.”

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Heathrow proposals for pre-runway flight increase, to try and win Government backing for runway

Heathrow will be putting forward some proposals at the Conservative party conference, to be allowed to start increasing the annual number of flights from 2021 by 25,000 per year (about 68 more per day).  “New technology and better use of existing runways will achieve this.” (ie. largely loss of runway alternation part of the day, and narrow flight paths?).  Heathrow is selling this as a way to start to give a quick “Brexit boost”, even before its hoped for 3rd runway is operational. Heathrow is claiming that the “environmental constraints” will all be met (it is unclear how this will be done) with no more noise problems, no more air pollution problems etc.  All that is proposed is more money for home noise insulation, (£60 million – it has already said it will spend £700 million) and a congestion charge – no details – for vehicles travelling to and from Heathrow. The plans will be subject to consultation and Government approval. There is a mention of talks with government in future to perhaps delay the start of scheduled flights to 5.30am from the current 4.30am. The main thrust of Heathrow’s plans is to say the extra flights will be vital for the economy, with slots set aside for domestic flights. There would be a £10 domestic passenger discount to support “small and large exporters, boosting competition.” There are claims of 5,000 more local jobs over 5 years by this pre-runway expansion, and extensive economic benefits for all the UK …. £1.5 billion in the period 2021 – 2015.
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Heathrow third runway: 5,000 new jobs, 25,000 more flights – and a congestion charge

29.9.2016 (ITV)

Heathrow Airport says it will create 5,000 new jobs over the next five years if it gets approval for a third runway. It also plans a controversial congestion charge and a ban on night flights before 0530.

The airport revealed radical expansion plans today ahead of a possible third runway that could open in 2025. The plans will be subject to consultation and Government approval.

It will also spent tens of millions of pounds on insulation and other measures to help reduce nose for residents.

Overall flight numbershttps://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/heathrow-offers-brexit-boost-make-britain-stronger-fairer-faster/ will rise by 25,000 a year with four million more passengers. The airport says new technology will allow this without causing more delays for existing flights.

The airport says the measures will help keep Britain competitive after Brexit with new links from airports in the UK and around the world and it will help boost the economy.

The measures are dependant on a third runway being approved. Gatwick, meanwhile, wants its plans approved – for a second runway – rather than Heathrow.

While the restriction on night flights will be welcome the 25,000 extra flights a year will be seen as extra noise and misery for hundreds of thousands under the flight paths by critics.

Here are the main points from the proposals to be implemented by 2021 ahead of a third runway being approved. Full details will be revealed at the Tory conference on Monday.

  • Estimated 5,000 new jobs.
  • £1.5 billion pound boost to the economy after Brexit.  [From 2021 – 2015 for all UK.] 
  • 25,000 extra flights a year. New technology and better use of existing runways will achieve this.  [This will mean loss of runway alternation for part of the day?]
  • Four million extra passengers a year.
  • Congestion charge considered. This could be a new drop-off charge, increased car parking charges or a scheme similar to congestion charging in London. This is to help reduce emissions, fund new public transport initiatives and ensure fifty per cent of passengers arrive by public transport by 2030.
  • No night flights before 0530 which is an hour later than at present
  • £60 million spent on noise insulation for homes under the flight path [This is not in the Heathrow press releases. Heathrow has already said it will spend £700 million on noise insulation – so £60 million is not a large increase. AW note]
  • New monitoring equipment to ensure noise levels are not broken.  [This is not in the Heathrow press release, but new noise monitors are being installed anyway. AW note]
  • Better facilities for cyclists, electric cars and green transport.
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This is Heathrow’s Local press release (different to the national one)

Up to 5000 new airport jobs, as Heathrow proposes additional ‘Brexit Boost’ flights ahead of expansion

29.9.2016 (Heathrow press release)
 Heathrow offers a comprehensive plan to get the UK connected to growth quicker and give the whole of the UK a ‘Brexit boost’
 Proposals include additional flights on existing infrastructure from 2021 for under-served domestic and long-haul destinations, creating up to 5000 new on-airport jobs
 Heathrow ring-fences community and environmental commitments to meet and, in most cases, exceed the Airports Commission’s conditions
 Proposals include a stricter night-flight regime, with no scheduled arrivals until 5.30am – four years earlier than recommended by the Airports Commission
 Heathrow to bring forward extensive noise insulation scheme
New proposals that could see the benefits of expansion start to be delivered four years early, accelerating economic growth and helping to deliver the Prime Minister’s vision of a strong and fair post-Brexit economy, to be launched at next week’s Conservative Party Conference.
The proposals, which are subject to public consultation, show how if selected Heathrow could boost the economy by up to £1.5bn in the first five years of Brexit. They include proposals for an additional 25,000 additional flights per year – or an average of two additional arrivals and departures an hour – from 2021, potentially generating up to 5,000 new on-airport jobs at Heathrow.
The plans reiterate Heathrow’s commitment to meet and, in most cases, exceed the Airports
Commission’s tough environmental and community conditions. Should the government accept the proposal for consent to be given for the additional flights, Heathrow would bring forward an extensive noise insulation scheme, whilst working with the government to introduce a stricter night-flight regime, with no scheduled arrivals until 5.30am – an extension of one hour from today.
Heathrow is also considering the early introduction of a potential vehicle emissions charge, to coincide with the start of these new additional flights. The proposed charge, which would be subject to consultation, would only apply to vehicles travelling to and from Heathrow. The money raised from it would be used to fund local public transport improvements, cycling infrastructure, additional electric vehicle charging points and promoting incentives to switch to electric or hybrid cars.
The emissions charge would form part of Heathrow’s commitment to increase the number of
passengers travelling to the airport by public transport to 50% by 2030. It would be coupled with measures to improve public transport links to Heathrow, including the arrival of Crossrail from 2018, the Piccadilly Line upgrade and potential future rail access from the west and south, connecting places such as Reading, Staines and Slough with Heathrow by rail for the first time.
Commenting on the proposals, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye, said:
“Heathrow is committed to making Brexit Britain stronger and fairer for everyone, faster – supporting large and small businesses across the community and generating up to 5000 additional on-airport jobs.  We will not compromise on our pledges to the local community, and will do so whilst ring-fencing our commitment to meet and exceed the Airports Commission’s environmental conditions.”
Notes to editors:
Key announcements to be included in the Brexit Blueprint, to be launched on Monday 1 October, include:
Additional ATMS
Heathrow has the potential to expand early by adding up to 5% more flights on existing runway infrastructure with no impact to resilience or passenger experience and environmental commitments. Heathrow could do this by working with Government to add an additional 25,000 traffic movements (ATMs) on current operational levels. We could do this from 2021 allowing new growth to be unlocked while we get on with building the third runway.
New global trading routes and better, internal, UK connection are essential to making Brexit work. It would both support the emerging industrial strategy and would create trading links for new trade deals. We will work with Government to advocate that the extra flights are allocated to the routes that do the most to make Brexit work for everyone across the UK.
If Government gives the green light to a third runway at Heathrow, we will consult on these early as part of the planning process. With appropriate permissions granted, the additional ATMs would be released in Q1 2021.
Indicative analysis shows that the additional flights could serve an additional 21 regional/short haul services (potential for 7 new routes, three flights a day or additional services for Inverness and Leeds Bradford and 6 other routes) and thirteen new long-haul destinations at once a day.
Examples of the likely new long haul routes are Quito, Wuhan, Goa, Katmandu, Kochi, and Kansai (Osaka).
Sustainability
In delivering these proposals we would stick by our commitment to ensure that there will be no further cars on the road around Heathrow. The Brexit Boost Routes would be released to complement existing plans to encourage public transport use, with the full service of Crossrail – as yet another link from Heathrow to across London – coming in 2019, upgraded Piccadilly line services, and the potential Western and Southern Rail Access links all contributing to allow Heathrow to reach its target of 50% of passengers travelling to Heathrow by public transport by 2030.
Heathrow is considering the early introduction of a vehicle emissions charge to coincide with the start of these new additional flights. The proposed charge would only apply to vehicles travelling to and from Heathrow, the money for which would be used to fund local public transport improvements, cycling infrastructure, additional electric vehicle charging points and promoting incentives to switch to electric or hybrid. The cost would be decided closer to the time, if the charge is deemed necessary and subject to local consultation.
Heathrow has already committed to meeting or exceeding all of the tough environmental conditions set out by the independent Airports Commission, when it recommended expanding Heathrow. These commitments are protected.
Route Development Fund
The Route Development Fund was proposed by Heathrow in March 2015 following the report by the National Connectivity Task Force. It will provide airlines with start up support over three years for new domestic routes.  The £10m fund – financed by Heathrow – will support as many as 5 new domestic routes and will be available from the point that Heathrow adds new capacity. Eligibility for support will be determined by an evaluation
framework to assess applications from airlines, much like the Government’s existing Regional Air Connectivity Fund.
Ring-fenced routes
Heathrow will work with Government and advocate that the early expansion flights should be ring-fenced to provide additional connectivity for internal UK flights or to long-haul trade routes. These Brexit Boost Routes have the potential to offer up to 21 daily UK internal flights and 13 daily long haul flights.
£10 discount
From January 2017, Heathrow is introducing a discount of £10 per passenger to domestic passenger charges to support affordable domestic routes. Heathrow proposes that, with expansion and as long as there remains a justification for the discount, the discount could continue for the next 20 years or as long as it is deemed to be in the public interest. Once consulted on and if approved, this could extend the current discount which starts in January 2017 to January 2037.
Regional connections
Current regional connections from Heathrow are:
Belfast
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Aberdeen
Inverness
Leeds
Newcastle
Manchester
With the early capacity, we would see improved connectivity on existing routes to airports such as Belfast, Inverness and Leeds, and potentially new connections which could include Newquay, Liverpool, Humberside, Jersey, Isle of Man.
Cargo
Heathrow currently handles 29% of all non-EU UK exports by value. The airport is operating at capacity and there is limited or no spare space for freight on some key trading routes. Helping to ensure that the UK makes a success of Brexit and more UK exporters are able to send their products to more markets will require increasing the airport’s freight handling capacity to cater for trade growth. Heathrow’s vision includes new cargo facilities to better handle special commodities such as perishables and pharmaceuticals. Through  collaboration with exporters and freight forwarders, we plan to make the cargo process more predictable, more efficient and more affordable, so ensuring UK exporters area competitive.
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This is Heathrow’s national press release, which does not mention any local impacts like night flights

Heathrow proposes Brexit Boost to make Britain stronger, fairer and faster

The benefits of Heathrow expansion could be delivered four years early, giving the British economy a £1.5bn ‘Brexit boost’ whilst a third runway is built, according to new proposals to be launched on the first day of the upcoming Conservative Party Conference.

  • Heathrow offers a comprehensive plan to get UK regions connected to growth quicker and give all of Britain a ‘Brexit boost’
  • Includes proposals for up to 25,000 more air traffic movements a year on current operational levels, whilst the third runway is being built – adding an additional £1.5bn to the economy between 2021 and opening of the third runway in 2025
  • Working with Government to ring-fence early capacity for domestic flights and long-haul routes to growth
  • Extending a £10 discount for every departing passenger flying from Heathrow to a UK destination for 20 years
  • New evidence shows Heathrow unlocks nearly £60bn of growth over the crucial first fifteen years of Brexit. Gatwick only offers £4bn of growth in the same period.

The benefits of Heathrow expansion could be delivered four years early, giving the British economy a £1.5bn ‘Brexit boost’ whilst a third runway is built, according to new proposals to be launched on the first day of the upcoming Conservative Party Conference.

The measures, which are subject to consultation, show that Heathrow could get more British exporters connected to more global growth when Britain leaves the EU by adding up to 25,000 additional movements on the existing runways in 2021, after permission is granted for a third runway.

As well as adding vital extra capacity on existing routes, the end of EU regulation offers an opportunity to ring-fence some of the new slots for “Brexit Boost Routes” including new domestic connections such as Humberside, Dundee, Newquay or Liverpool and new long-haul trade routes to growth markets such as Osaka, Kochi, Wuhan and Quito.

To help establish new domestic connections, Heathrow is proposing an extension of its existing £10 ‘domestic passenger discount’ for all flights to UK airports until 2037, as long as there is justification and it is deemed to be in the public interest. It will also bring forward its £10m ‘route development fund’ to 2021.

These measures will enable all of Britain to capitalise on new market opportunities in the early months of Brexit, supporting small and large exporters, boosting competition and reducing prices to consumers.

Heathrow to generate £55bn more than Gatwick in first 15 years after Brexit

Updated research by Frontier Economics has identified indicative examples of 40 new long-haul trading routes with Heathrow expansion. With more than 30 airlines queuing to operate at Heathrow, only the UK’s hub has the high demand for slots to deliver these economic benefits in the early months of Brexit.

long-haul-routes-overview3

Assuming Brexit occurs in 2020, new analysis by Frontier Economics and evidence from the independent Airports Commission study shows Heathrow would create around £55bn more growth than an expanded Gatwick in the crucial 15 years after leaving the EU, with Heathrow generating up to £60bn in growth and Gatwick generating only £4bn in the same period. Early flight expansion could also deliver up to 5,000 extra on-airport jobs for local people.

Heathrow will work with airlines to ensure that expansion is delivered cost efficiently. All of Heathrow’s commitments to meet and in most cases exceed the Airports Commission’s conditions, would be protected.

As the UK’s largest port by value, Heathrow is a unique national asset. It currently handles29% of non-EU exports by value, compared to Gatwick’s 0.2%. With expansion Heathrow proposes to double its current cargo capacity, enabling businesses across the UK to increase their exports and realise the opportunities of Brexit.

MPs, Businesses and Airports across the UK welcome the announcement

Heathrow expansion already has the support of small and large businesses right across the UK and is the favoured option of the majority of MPs. According to the independent Airports Commission, a third runway will create up to 180,000 jobs, four times more than Gatwick, and up to £211bn of economic growth.

There is then a short video  “It’s time for Heathrow.”  not included here 

 

Andrew Cornish, CEO of Liverpool John Lennon Airport said, “Heathrow is the UK’s hub airport. A route there would enable Liverpool to have onward connections to every continent of the globe as well as easy access to London. Liverpool has missed out on this link for over 24 years, not because there isn’t demand but because Heathrow is full.”

“Expansion at Heathrow will create the additional capacity to help secure this important link and ensure we bring tourists and investment into Liverpool from new, growing markets outside of Europe. That’s why Heathrow expansion is the right choice for the North West.”

Commenting, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said, “This Brexit Boost Plan is our commitment to making Britain stronger and fairer for everyone – faster. It would generate around £55bn more in growth than Gatwick in the early years of Brexit. Our proposals for an additional 25,000 flights a year from 2021 would help businesses and families from Newquay to Dundee benefit earlier from Heathrow expansion, while protecting our commitment to meet and exceed the Airports Commission’s environmental conditions.

Heathrow’s third runway is the only option that can help every nation and region of Britain realise the opportunities of Brexit. The Prime Minister and the Government can now to make the right choice, and back Heathrow expansion.”

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses National Chairman, said, “We have been working with Heathrow on the announcements today, which will be warmly welcomed by small businesses across the UK.”

“Our members have pressed for commitments to greater connectivity to our regions from the UK’s hub airport, and so the pledge to ring-fence routes and the prospect of more domestic destinations is a significant step forward. As we face a new post-Brexit world, the new capacity for freight cargo and exports are essential to open up potential new overseas markets for British business.”

Chris Davies MP: “Brexit presents a wealth of opportunity to British businesses and the first few years are critical”

Chris Davies, Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said, “Brexit presents a wealth of opportunity to British businesses and the first few years are critical. Heathrow is our hub airport and our biggest port. If we want to make the most of new deals with growing economies outside of Europe then we’ve got to get on with expanding Heathrow. Today’s announcement means we can get the connectivity we need the moment leave, meaning Britain gets the biggest Brexit boost possible.

New Heathrow cargo stat

Roberta Blackman-Woods, Labour MP for the City of Durham said, “As we face a new post-Brexit world, the new capacity for freight cargo and exports are essential to open up potential new overseas markets for British business.”

“The proposals from Heathrow that will help to boost the vital air-link from Newcastle Airport that connects the North East to the world are to be very much welcomed.

Connectivity with Heathrow is vital for economic growth and expanding tourism in the North East and is necessary to help our businesses compete globally. The government must acknowledge the link between stronger regional growth and expanding Heathrow and approve the third runway as soon as possible.”

Only Heathrow expansion can make Britain stronger in the world economy, and fairer for everyone by connecting Britain’s cities to global growth at a price airlines and passengers can afford.

https://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/heathrow-offers-brexit-boost-make-britain-stronger-fairer-faster/

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Read more »

Heathrow rushes out scheme for increased number of flights BEFORE 3rd runway built – HACAN reaction

Heathrow under pressure from Government to deliver expansion as quickly as possible post-Brexit, has released details of a scheme to increase capacity in advance of a 3rd runway.  It will be officially launched at the start of the Conservative Party Conference (2-5 October).  Amongst Heathrow’s key proposals are – by 2021:  – Increasing the number of flights on the existing runways by up to 25,000 a year.  – Increasing passenger numbers by 4 million.  – Introducing a night flight ban from 11pm to 5.30am. – Putting more money into noise insulation schemes.  – Introducing a possible congestion charging scheme around the airport to manage traffic levels and pay for future rail improvements.  The extra 25,000 flights per year, starting well before the 3rd runway is open, would require Heathrow to seek planning permission to exceed the current 480,000 cap on flight numbers (imposed as a condition of Terminal Five being allowed, in March 1999). Heathrow expects to have the measures in place by 2021 if it gets permission for a 3rd runway.  Residents have regarded this cap of 480,000 flights as sacrosanct, and vital, for the levels of noise around west London.  John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, said this offering by Heathrow has been rushed out to try to address government’s problems with Brexit. Heathrow knows its scheme is more expensive, and would take more time to complete, than the Gatwick runway or the Heathrow Hub scheme.
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HEATHROW RUSHES OUT POST-BREXIT EXPANSION PLAN

29.9.2016 (HACAN press release)

Heathrow Airport, under pressure from Government to deliver expansion as quickly as possible post-Brexit, has today released details of a scheme to increase capacity in advance of a third runway (1).  It will be officially launched on the first day of the forthcoming Conservative Party Conference.

Amongst its key proposals are:

  • Increasing the number of flights on the existing runways by up to 25,000 a year
  • Increasing passenger numbers by 4 million
  • Introducing a night flight ban from 11pm to 5.30am
  • Putting more money into noise insulation schemes
  • Introducing a possible congestion charging scheme around the airport to manage traffic levels and pay for future rail improvements

The increased flights would require the airport to seek planning permission to exceed the 480,000 cap on flight numbers at the airport imposed as a condition of Terminal Five being given the go-ahead.

Heathrow expects to have the measures in place by 2021 if it gets permission for a third runway.

John Stewart, chair of campaign group HACAN, said, “The cap on flights on flights has always been regarded as sacrosanct by residents but if it is to be lifted in advance of a third runway, it is essential that measures such as a tougher night flight regime are in place.”

Stewart added: “It’s very clear that this package has been rushed out in response to the Government’s concern that a third runway won’t be ready in time to deliver improved connectivity post-Brexit.  Heathrow has been under real pressure to show that it can do something since both the rival schemes – a second runway at Gatwick and the extended runway at Heathrow proposed by Heathrow Hub – can be built more quickly and cheaply”.

 

www.hacan.org.uk

(1). The Heathrow press release is here:  https://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/heathrow-offers-brexit-boost-make-britain-stronger-fairer-faster/

 

For further information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650

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This is what Heathrow is saying today: 

Heathrow proposes Brexit Boost to make Britain stronger, fairer and faster

The benefits of Heathrow expansion could be delivered four years early, giving the British economy a £1.5bn ‘Brexit boost’ whilst a third runway is built, according to new proposals to be launched on the first day of the upcoming Conservative Party Conference.

  • Heathrow offers a comprehensive plan to get UK regions connected to growth quicker and give all of Britain a ‘Brexit boost’
  • Includes proposals for up to 25,000 more air traffic movements a year on current operational levels, whilst the third runway is being built – adding an additional £1.5bn to the economy between 2021 and opening of the third runway in 2025
  • Working with Government to ring-fence early capacity for domestic flights and long-haul routes to growth
  • Extending a £10 discount for every departing passenger flying from Heathrow to a UK destination for 20 years
  • New evidence shows Heathrow unlocks nearly £60bn of growth over the crucial first fifteen years of Brexit. Gatwick only offers £4bn of growth in the same period.

The benefits of Heathrow expansion could be delivered four years early, giving the British economy a £1.5bn ‘Brexit boost’ whilst a third runway is built, according to new proposals to be launched on the first day of the upcoming Conservative Party Conference.

The measures, which are subject to consultation, show that Heathrow could get more British exporters connected to more global growth when Britain leaves the EU by adding up to 25,000 additional movements on the existing runways in 2021, after permission is granted for a third runway.

As well as adding vital extra capacity on existing routes, the end of EU regulation offers an opportunity to ring-fence some of the new slots for “Brexit Boost Routes” including new domestic connections such as Humberside, Dundee, Newquay or Liverpool and new long-haul trade routes to growth markets such as Osaka, Kochi, Wuhan and Quito.

To help establish new domestic connections, Heathrow is proposing an extension of its existing £10 ‘domestic passenger discount’ for all flights to UK airports until 2037, as long as there is justification and it is deemed to be in the public interest. It will also bring forward its £10m ‘route development fund’ to 2021.

These measures will enable all of Britain to capitalise on new market opportunities in the early months of Brexit, supporting small and large exporters, boosting competition and reducing prices to consumers.

Heathrow to generate £55bn more than Gatwick in first 15 years after Brexit

Updated research by Frontier Economics has identified indicative examples of 40 new long-haul trading routes with Heathrow expansion. With more than 30 airlines queuing to operate at Heathrow, only the UK’s hub has the high demand for slots to deliver these economic benefits in the early months of Brexit.

long-haul-routes-overview3

Assuming Brexit occurs in 2020, new analysis by Frontier Economics and evidence from the independent Airports Commission study shows Heathrow would create around £55bn more growth than an expanded Gatwick in the crucial 15 years after leaving the EU, with Heathrow generating up to £60bn in growth and Gatwick generating only £4bn in the same period. Early flight expansion could also deliver up to 5,000 extra on-airport jobs for local people.

Heathrow will work with airlines to ensure that expansion is delivered cost efficiently. All of Heathrow’s commitments to meet and in most cases exceed the Airports Commission’s conditions, would be protected.

As the UK’s largest port by value, Heathrow is a unique national asset. It currently handles 29% of non-EU exports by value, compared to Gatwick’s 0.2%. With expansion Heathrow proposes to double its current cargo capacity, enabling businesses across the UK to increase their exports and realise the opportunities of Brexit.

MPs, Businesses and Airports across the UK welcome the announcement

Heathrow expansion already has the support of small and large businesses right across the UK and is the favoured option of the majority of MPs. According to the independent Airports Commission, a third runway will create up to 180,000 jobs, four times more than Gatwick, and up to £211bn of economic growth.

Andrew Cornish, CEO of Liverpool John Lennon Airport said, “Heathrow is the UK’s hub airport. A route there would enable Liverpool to have onward connections to every continent of the globe as well as easy access to London. Liverpool has missed out on this link for over 24 years, not because there isn’t demand but because Heathrow is full.”

“Expansion at Heathrow will create the additional capacity to help secure this important link and ensure we bring tourists and investment into Liverpool from new, growing markets outside of Europe. That’s why Heathrow expansion is the right choice for the North West.”

Commenting, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said, “This Brexit Boost Plan is our commitment to making Britain stronger and fairer for everyone – faster. It would generate around £55bn more in growth than Gatwick in the early years of Brexit. Our proposals for an additional 25,000 flights a year from 2021 would help businesses and families from Newquay to Dundee benefit earlier from Heathrow expansion, while protecting our commitment to meet and exceed the Airports Commission’s environmental conditions.

Heathrow’s third runway is the only option that can help every nation and region of Britain realise the opportunities of Brexit. The Prime Minister and the Government can now to make the right choice, and back Heathrow expansion.”

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses National Chairman, said, “We have been working with Heathrow on the announcements today, which will be warmly welcomed by small businesses across the UK.”

“Our members have pressed for commitments to greater connectivity to our regions from the UK’s hub airport, and so the pledge to ring-fence routes and the prospect of more domestic destinations is a significant step forward. As we face a new post-Brexit world, the new capacity for freight cargo and exports are essential to open up potential new overseas markets for British business.”

Chris Davies MP: “Brexit presents a wealth of opportunity to British businesses and the first few years are critical”

Chris Davies, Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said, “Brexit presents a wealth of opportunity to British businesses and the first few years are critical. Heathrow is our hub airport and our biggest port. If we want to make the most of new deals with growing economies outside of Europe then we’ve got to get on with expanding Heathrow. Today’s announcement means we can get the connectivity we need the moment leave, meaning Britain gets the biggest Brexit boost possible.

New Heathrow cargo stat

Roberta Blackman-Woods, Labour MP for the City of Durham said, “As we face a new post-Brexit world, the new capacity for freight cargo and exports are essential to open up potential new overseas markets for British business.”

“The proposals from Heathrow that will help to boost the vital air-link from Newcastle Airport that connects the North East to the world are to be very much welcomed.

Connectivity with Heathrow is vital for economic growth and expanding tourism in the North East and is necessary to help our businesses compete globally. The government must acknowledge the link between stronger regional growth and expanding Heathrow and approve the third runway as soon as possible.”

Only Heathrow expansion can make Britain stronger in the world economy, and fairer for everyone by connecting Britain’s cities to global growth at a price airlines and passengers can afford.

Read more »

Anti-Corbyn Labour backbenchers plan party vote – to back Heathrow runway

The Parliamentary Labour Party has various committees, one of which is on Transport. This is chaired by the young MP for Luton South, Gavin Shuker. The membership of this backbench committee does not appear to be publicly available. There is nothing online about the committee or its work.  Mr Shuker says his committee has now produced (or is about to produce) a report that proposes Labour should back a Heathrow runway. They plan to present this report to a meeting of Labour MPs and peers, when Parliament returns after the party conferences. Mr Shuker has been critical of Jeremy Corbyn for the past year or more, and he now wants to get the Labour party to reverse his opposition to a Heathrow runway by getting a vote on the issue within the party. Gavin Shuker said the vote could be the day after the Labour meeting.  As well as Jeremy Corbyn, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, is deeply opposed to a Heathrow runway as his constituency would be badly affected by it.  Mr Shuker wants the party to challenge Jeremy Corbyn on a number of policy issues. Heathrow is just one of many, and is a symptom of party disunity. On the same day, it was revealed that the Heathrow-funded and sponsored group, Back Heathrow, had asked for John McDonnell’s constituency boundary to be redrawn, to exclude Heathrow – to help their case. Amazing.
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Labour MPs plan their own Heathrow vote

Labour backbenchers intend to seek control of the party’s aviation policy with their own vote on a third runway at Heathrow.

They plan to present a report on Heathrow to a meeting of Labour MPs and peers when Parliament returns.

The chair of Labour’s backbench transport committee Gavin Shuker said MPs were “deeply frustrated” about a lack of leadership on key policies.

He said the report’s conclusions could go to a vote the day after the meeting.

The committee’s conclusions are thought to fly in the teeth of the views of shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who as a west London MP has long fought Heathrow expansion.

‘Clear position’

Mr Shuker told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “On a number of key issues on Syria on Trident and otherwise we have dodged the question the British people have put to us about where we stand.

“You can’t just keep on going through the process of free votes and abstentions.

“People don’t know what we stand for and if there isn’t going to be clear leadership on these issues I don’t think anyone should be surprised that within the rules of the Labour Party we’re going to utilise those to make sure that we have a clear position.”

Labour has committees of backbenchers shadowing each of the government departments. They are largely chaired by MPs sceptical about Jeremy Corbyn.

It is understood their heads met the chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party John Cryer on Sunday and told him they intended to start moving motions and reports. They have taken part in two events at Labour’s conference fringe.

‘Alternative shadow cabinet’

Mr Shuker said: “I would be surprised over the coming year unless there is a significant change in the way in which we’ve been led that other chairs won’t seek to move their own motions off the back of reports that they right.”

One former cabinet minister told the Today programme that the chairs of backbench committees could mirror, and outperform, shadow ministers, forming “an alternative shadow cabinet”.

They would be used by opponents of Mr Corbyn to demonstrate competence and attack the government rather than the leadership.

A vote on a backbench report would require the agreement of a separate Labour committee.

Some of those leading the backbench committees are enthusiastic about challenging the leadership and want to see similar initiatives, while others are much more cautious.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37493952


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Labour MPs will try to sidestep Jeremy Corbyn to back Heathrow third runway

Pro-expansion MPs frustrated by silence from party leader and his shadow Chancellor 

By Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor (Independent)

28.9.2016

Labour has failed to set out a clear policy on Heathrow expansion, party MPs say

They will call a vote of all Labour MPs and peers on an aviation report drawn up by a group of backbenchers who sit on the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) transport committee.

The report is said to endorse a third runway, ahead of the long-delayed Government announcement on whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick, expected within weeks.

Gavin Shuker, the Luton South MP who chairs the transport committee, said he was deeply frustrated by Mr Corbyn’s failure to set out Labour’s position.

If the tactic of forcing the vote works, it could be copied on other key policy areas, when reports are completed by the Labour committees shadowing other government departments.

Mr Shuker told the BBC: “On a number of key issues, on Syria, on Trident and otherwise, we have dodged the question the people have put to us about where we stand.

“You can’t just keep on going through the process of free votes and abstentions.

“People don’t know what we stand for and, if there isn’t going to be clear leadership on these issues, I don’t think that anyone should be surprised that – within the rules of the Labour party – we’re going to utilise those to make sure that we have a clear position.”

Most of the PLP committees are chaired by anti-Corbyn MPs, including former frontbenchers Chris Leslie, Caroline Flint, Tristram Hunt, John Woodcock and Emma Reynolds.

This month, it emerged that the Prime Minister Theresa May could seek to resolve her Heathrow headache through a “potential waiving of collective responsibility” – a free vote for her MPs.

Cabinet big-hitters Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, and Education Secretary Justine Greening are among fierce opponents of expanding Heathrow.

Last year, the Davies Commission recommended the building of a third runway at Heathrow, but the Government announced further investigation into noise, pollution and compensation before a decision.

David Cameron was expected to announce which project would get the go-ahead after the EU referendum, but his resignation following the Brexit victory has left the decision for his successor, Mrs May.

Labour MPs and peers meet every Monday evening when Parliament is sitting, making it possible that the Heathrow vote will be staged before that Government announcement.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-mps-will-try-to-sidestep-jeremy-corbyn-to-back-heathrow-third-runway-a7334316.html

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John McDonnell constituency ‘should be redrawn to exclude Heathrow Airport’ say runway campaigners

By PIPPA CRERAR
28.9.2016 (Standard)
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s west London constituency should be redrawn so it no longer includes Heathrow Airport, backers of a third runway said today.

The pro-expansion Back Heathrow group has written to the Boundary Commission, which is reviewing the parliamentary map, to suggest that Hayes and Harlington be split up.

It claims Mr McDonnell, one of the most vociferous opponents of expansion, cannot properly represent his constituents as many of them rely on the airport for their livelihood.

However, the call opens the group up to charges of gerrymandering. If the Government goes ahead with plans for a third runway, the project’s development would be much smoother with a pro-expansion MP in place.

Tory-run Hillingdon council, backed by Mr McDonnell whose seat is in the borough, has threatened legal action against a third runway if the Government backs expansion.

Back Heathrow’s Rob Gray said: “If John McDonnell doesn’t value Heathrow there are plenty of MPs and local authorities who would be happy to feel the benefit of the UK’s largest single-site employer in their electoral areas.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/john-mcdonnell-constituency-should-be-redrawn-to-exclude-heathrow-airport-say-runway-campaigners-a3355941.html

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Earlier:

Gavin Shuker steps back from Labour frontbench due to political differences with Jeremy Corbyn

18.9.2015

http://www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/politics/gavin-shuker-steps-back-from-labour-frontbench-due-to-political-differences-with-jeremy-corbyn-1-6966167

 

Read more »

Heathrow investors snub Chris Grayling’s request for their funding of Heathrow Hub scheme

Some of Heathrow’s leading shareholders have snubbed a request from the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to back the Heathrow Hub scheme, that involves adding another runway at the western end of the northern runway.  Sky News understands that big investors in FGP Topco, Heathrow’s parent company, are refusing to give a written commitment to funding the rival scheme.  Heathrow argues that it has not done sufficient due diligence to justify giving its backing to Heathrow Hub.  Mr Grayling made the request at a meeting with the two runway promoters last month, since when further talks have been held between executives at Heathrow and Heathrow Hub. While it is understood John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO, would accept the Hub plan if he cannot get his north-west runway,  the airport’s leading shareholders are refusing to back it.  They believe future financial returns would be lower with the Hub scheme than the NW runway scheme. Sky News has been told that Mr Holland-Kaye had been told by his shareholders that acknowledging any support for the Hub scheme would be a tactical error, at a time they believe is so close to an announcement by the Government. Both Heathrow schemes have offered cut-price versions of their proposals in a bid to convince ministers of their merits.  FGP Topco’s shareholders are Ferrovial (25% stake), and sovereign wealth and pension funds from Australia, Canada, China, Qatar and Singapore.
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Heathrow investors snub Grayling call for Hub commitment

Leading Heathrow shareholders are refusing to back a rival proposal following talks with Chris Grayling, Sky News learns.

By Mark Kleinman, City Editor  (Sky News)

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Some of Heathrow Airport’s leading shareholders have snubbed a request from the Transport Secretary to back a scheme that would involve extending its northern runway.

Sky News understands that big investors in FGP Topco, the airport’s parent company, are refusing to back Chris Grayling’s suggestion that Heathrow gives a written commitment to implementing a proposal from Heathrow Hub, a rival.

Mr Grayling made the request at a meeting with the two runway promoters last month, since when further talks have been held between executives at Heathrow and Heathrow Hub.

Sources said that John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, was “constructive” about the idea of backing the cheaper Heathrow Hub plan if ministers recommend it in the coming weeks.

However, insiders said on Tuesday that Mr Holland-Kaye had been told by his shareholders that acknowledging any support for the rival scheme would be a tactical error so close to an announcement by the Government.

Expansion at Gatwick Airport remains another option under consideration by ministers as they seek to resolve the long-running debate about Britain’s aviation capacity crunch.

FGP Topco’s shareholders are led by Ferrovial, the Spanish infrastructure group, which has a 25% stake.

Sovereign wealth and pension funds from Australia, Canada, China, Qatar and Singapore own the bulk of Heathrow’s shares.

Heathrow argues that it has not done sufficient due diligence to justify giving its backing to Heathrow Hub, whose controlling investor has pledged to hand to charity any profit he makes from licensing the idea to the airport’s owner.

Sources said, though, that the objection of some of Heathrow’s shareholders to Mr Grayling’s request stemmed from the fact that future financial returns would be lower if a cheaper expansion scheme was given the go-ahead.

The charges that airports are allowed to impose on customers are dictated by the Civil Aviation Authority’s calculation of their Regulated Asset Base, a figure which would be significantly higher if Heathrow builds a new third runway.

A Heathrow Hub spokesman said: “We have always enjoyed cordial relations with Heathrow and its management.

“We think it is inconceivable that if the Government recommended our cheaper and simpler proposal, that Heathrow’s shareholders would refuse to implement it.”

Sky News revealed during the summer that Anthony Clake, who oversees roughly $10bn at Marshall Wace Asset Management, is the majority shareholder in Heathrow Hub.

Mr Clake has pledged to cap the cost of licensing the scheme at £5m-a-year, removing a potential objection from the owner of the site.

The Government is expected to announce its preferred location for a new runway in mid-October, paving the way for a giant infrastructure project which the private sector has argued is essential to demonstrating that Britain is “open for business”.

Heathrow Hub had been viewed as the rank outsider following Sir Howard Davies’ recommendation last year that the airport should be able to build a third runway.

Gatwick, which has prominent backers in the form of the new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is also lobbying furiously on the grounds that a new runway there would cost less, cause less environmental and noise pollution, and deliver many of the same economic benefits as its larger rival.

In recent weeks, however, support has begun to build for the Heathrow Hub scheme, with the parent company of British Airways recently arguing that it should be given serious consideration.

Lord Maude, the former trade minister, has also given his support to Heathrow Hub.

Mr Clake previously said: “The Heathrow Hub scheme is cheaper, simpler and quieter than Heathrow Airport Ltd’s third runway.

“It can also be phased, so the introduction of new slots will be gradual.

“An extended runway will deliver all the economic benefits and new capacity of a third runway but at lower environmental, social and financial cost.”

A decision about a new runway was expected to be taken by David Cameron shortly after the EU referendum, if the Remain campaign had won.

Mr Lowe wrote to George Osborne, Mr Hammond’s predecessor, in June, warning that a new third runway proposed by Heathrow Airport Holdings “could require a Government guarantee from HM Treasury”.

He argued that Heathrow Hub would cost less than £10bn, which would be at least £6bn cheaper than a new third runway.

Both Heathrow schemes have offered cut-price versions of their proposals in a bid to convince ministers of their merits.

http://news.sky.com/story/heathrow-investors-snub-chris-grayling-hub-plea-10596395

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Blog: The case against Heathrow is not the case for Gatwick

In a blog for The London Economic, Jack Peat writes that just because there are strong arguments against a 3rd Heathrow runway is not a good enough reason to opt for a Gatwick runway. He says: “The easiest way to spot a failing campaign is to seek out the one that argues the shortcomings of its opponent rather than championing its own merits.” Gatwick has spent a lot of time and effort putting out negative messaging about Heathrow. There are rumours about that Theresa May might tell both airports they can have a new runway – with a lot of conditions. It Gatwick is allowed a runway, it will be for all the wrong reasons. The Richmond Heathrow Campaign has shown that a high proportion of the added capacity from a 3rd Heathrow runway would only be for more international-to-international transfers. These deliver almost no benefit to the UK economy, other than filling up planes that fly many times per day to the most popular (=profitable) destinations, like New York. Jack Peat says: “If expanding airport capacity in the south east is about catering for more transit passengers, I would happily hand that responsibility to Schiphol or Frankfurt.” Heathrow does not need to expand for that. Unless there is more demand for regular domestic and short-haul flights to Europe there won’t be the demand from the airlines to run more flights through Gatwick. “End of.”
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The Case Against Heathrow Is Not The Case For Gatwick

By Jack Peat (The London Economic)  @jacknpeat
23 Sep 2016

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It’s Either a Third Runway or No Runway, But Theresa May is on course to do both.

The easiest way to spot a failing campaign is to seek out the one that argues the shortcomings of its opponent rather than championing its own merits.

After years of deliberation, costly enquiries and even costlier marketing ploys the decision on airport capacity in southeast England, or so I’m reliably informed, is nigh. Rumours are that Theresa May will go ahead with expansion at Heathrow and appease the Gatwick campaigners by clearing the way for a second runway in Sussex too, which may be a politically safe manoeuvre but it does little to solve the problem at hand.

It appears that above the environmental protests and lobbying from Conservative peers such as Greening and Goldsmith et al, the party with the most sway has been those on the payroll at Gatwick, and they are campaigning for all the wrong reasons. But let’s start with the case against Heathrow in the shape of a “factsheet” compiled by Richmond Heathrow Campaign.

The Richmond Heathrow Campaign argues that Heathrow expansion diverts growth from the rest of the UK and reduces competition, yet to suggest the imbalance of growth in the southeast is uniformly an aviation thing is absurd. They say that new connections to long-haul destinations adds little value to the economy, yet last I heard we had pinned our hopes on being ‘open to the World’ following our decision to leave the EU.

They say that Heathrow reduces the number of inbound tourists to Britain, yet well over half the people that land in southwest London are destined for the capital and no one is suggesting blowing up the other five London airports that cater almost exclusively to this purpose. And they argue that there will be a negligible economic impact or that people won’t use Heathrow because it’s expensive, which clearly is not true. I can sympathise with their point that expansion may not be financially deliverable without substantial State aid, but Crossrail, the biggest infrastructure project to date in Britain, is being delivered on time and on budget, so let’s not kill the girl before she has had chance to live.

They do, however, raise a good point in questioning the value of International-to-International (I-to-I) passengers. According to the fact sheet running just two runways at Heathrow means a reduction in I-to-I transfer passengers which produces a 65 per cent growth in terminating passengers when combined with a 33 per cent increase in passenger capacity. There is little offsetting economic loss to the UK from reduced I-to-I transfer passengers, yet the case to expand airport capacity largely centres around that issue.

If expanding airport capacity in the south east is about catering for more transit passengers, I would happily hand that responsibility to Schiphol or Frankfurt. But cutting the need to expand Heathrow doesn’t make the case for expanding Gatwick. Of course there is more space for expansion an hour outside of London, of course there will be less noise pollution and fewer residential complaints, but the last I heard Gatwick is not full, and without regular domestic and short-haul flights to Europe there won’t be the demand from the airlines to run more flights through it. End of.

As I have said many times before, Heathrow is by far the worst option for airport expansion in London except for all the others. The logical course of action would be to build a third run way or not build at all. Theresa May is on course to do both.

http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/tle-pick/the-case-against-heathrow-is-not-the-case-for-gatwick/23/09/

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Emirates postpones its 4th daily Gatwick flight to Dubai – there are 6 per day from Heathrow

Emirates has confirmed it is postponing the launch of its fourth daily service from Dubai into Gatwick. Emirates had been due to start the 4th daily flight in October, which would have been the airline’s 10th daily service into London. An Emirates spokesperson said:  “Emirates can confirm that we are delaying the launch of our fourth daily service to London Gatwick. This decision was made as part of our routine operational review, to ensure that our capacity is deployed to best serve customer demand across our global network. We remain committed to London and will continue to serve our customers on this route with a total of 63 weekly flights from Heathrow and Gatwick.”  Back in March, Emirates has announced it would add its 10th daily flight to Dubai. It would have been a new B777-300ER  (eight first class suites, 42 in business class, and 310 in economy) and would have meant 4 from Gatwick and 6 from Heathrow per day. There were plans to change to an A380 from Heathrow from June.
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Emirates postpones fourth daily flight to Gatwick

22.9.2016

Emirates has confirmed it is postponing the launch of its fourth daily service into London’s Gatwick airport.

The carrier had been due to start the additional frequency on October, which would have been the airline’s 10th daily service into London.

But a post on routesonline.com today stated that the flights had been removed from the carrier’s inventory.

Business Traveller contacted Emirates for confirmation, and received the following statement from a spokesperson:

“Emirates can confirm that we are delaying the launch of our fourth daily service to London Gatwick. This decision was made as part of our routine operational review, to ensure that our capacity is deployed to best serve customer demand across our global network.

“We remain committed to London and will continue to serve our customers on this route with a total of 63 weekly flights from Heathrow and Gatwick.”

emirates.com

https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2016/09/22/emirates-delays-fourth-daily-flight-gatwick/ 


and earlier:

Emirates to add tenth daily London service

March 31, 2016
by BusinessTraveller

Emirates is to add a tenth daily service between Dubai and London from October.

The new B777-300ER flight to Gatwick will be the fourth daily service to the south London airport, and the tenth in total to the capital, complementing the Gulf carrier’s six daily flights to Heathrow.

The new service will launch on October 1, with EK023 departing Dubai at 0950, landing into Gatwick at 1430. The return leg EK024 will leave London at 1650, landing back into Dubai at 0240 the following day.

The B777-300ER serving the route will be configured for eight first class suites, 42 in business class, and 310 in economy.

The news comes just days after Emirates started its sixth daily frequency to Heathrow, initially operating the route with B777-300ER aircraft but with plans to upgrade flights to the carrier’s Airbus A380 superjumbo from June (see news February 12).

https://www.businesstraveller.com/news/2016/03/31/emirates-to-add-tenth-daily-london-service/

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UK’s smaller airports want proper government policy to boost their expansion

An article in Airport Technology makes the case for better UK aviation policy, to boost the regional airports and the smaller London airports – rather than focus only on Heathrow and Gatwick.  Airports like Luton, Stansted, Birmingham and London City do not want their interests overlooked, in the ill-advised focus just on “which of two sites to put a new runway.” Speaking on this at the Airport Design, Development and Engineering conference, representatives from the 4 airports reinforced their call on the government to support their expansion. They agreed that a better civil aviation policy is needed in order to build infrastructure, improve connectivity to and from the airports and “stay competitive in the fast growing, ultra-connected global aviation market.” But a lot of the usual PR and spin were trotted out, and the article repeats so many of the standard claims – that airports are vital for business growth; ignoring the tourism deficit caused by ever more UK residents taking cheap overseas leisure trips; ignoring the recent growth which is largely just making up the huge declines during the recession years; making unsound comparison with China; and entirely ignoring any adverse impacts of aviation on the populations overflown, or negatively affected by the industry.  There is, of course, no mention of carbon emissions. The industry is great at self-promotion, and only seeing one side of an argument. [Comments by AW on the text below, showing up some of these bits of spin].
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Forget Gatwick and Heathrow: UK’s smaller airports seek expansion

6 June 2016

By Eva Grey (Airport Technology)

 

Beyond the Heathrow versus Gatwick debate, UK’s other airports are experiencing unforeseen growth in their passenger numbers and are struggling to keep up with demand. During a panel discussion at the Airport Design, Development and Engineering conference, representatives from Birmingham, Stansted, Luton and City airports reinforced their call on the government to support their expansion.

While the country is growing increasingly impatient with the government’s hesitation on whether to deliver a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick, [because what the country has been told, probably wrongly, is the issue – for the benefit of the owners of these two airports.  AW comment]  the rest of the UK’s airports are feeling left out in dealing with an unprecedented level of growth. [That level of growth, recovering after the recession back to levels of around 2008 – scarcely above it. See 2005 – 2015 Air Transport Movements (= commercial flights) AW comment]. 

Dealing with interim passenger capacity is “a nice problem to have”, as chief executive officer at London City Airport Declan Collier put it, but it’s nonetheless a problem that has perplexed the government for the past fifty years.

Speaking on this issue at the Airports conference organised by New Civil Engineer, a panel of representatives of four of UK’s biggest airports agreed that a better civil aviation policy is desperately needed in order to build infrastructure, improve connectivity to and from the airports and stay competitive in the fast growing, ultra-connected global aviation market.

UK business demands extra airport capacity

“The UK economy and UK business wants this capacity tomorrow morning,” said chief executive office at Birmingham Airport Paul Kehoe. “It needs to connect the world blooming out there and we need to connect to that now, not wait 14 years.”  [What the UK economy wants first is more successful companies that can export.  They do not need an airport first. Airports don’t create successful businesses in the wider economy.  Causation and correlation are not the same thing. Lots of demand fills airports. There is quite enough airport capacity for any current business needs.  AW comment].

“That’s a disgrace, an absolute disgrace for the UK and we should be ashamed of ourselves.” [Airports, naturally, will believe that their existence is vital for the wider economy – but the reality may be different. Politicians need to consider very carefully the spin put out by the aviation industry. They are great self promoters. AW comment]

Birmingham Airport is just one of the hubs [it is not a hub, in the technical sense – lazy journalists often use this word, in their attempt not to use the word “airport” twice in the same sentence. AW comment]  that have seen great growth. Over the past two years, it has added five new long-haul routes to reach today’s total of eight, and “that growth is just continuing as people want to connect eastwards,” Kehoe says.

By the time the new runway will be operational at either Heathrow or Gatwick, around 2030 or 2035, other major infrastructure project such as HS2 and Hinkley Point will be here.

“The UK economy and UK business wants this capacity tomorrow morning.”  [The reality is the UK’s tourism deficit was about £16.9 billion in 2015, and likely to be higher this year, from ONS July figures. This is the excess of the money spent by UK residents taking trips abroad, over the amount spent by overseas residents taking trips to the UK.  It is largely due to air travel, as most trips are taken by air, other than those to places nearby in Europe. AW comment].

“When we get to 2030, Birmingham airport will have taken advantage of the market, making significant investments and rewards for our shareholders, but more importantly, for the local community we live in, the Midlands engine which is so desperate to connect with the world.”

Echoing Kehoe’s views, engineering services director for Manchester Airports Group Paul Willis reiterated that there are other airports in the UK that are delivering demand both Heathrow and Gatwick can’t constrain.

For example, London Stansted has 50% spare capacity that could be used and Willis approximates that around 40% of the possible demand that could be achieved in the London area could come through Stansted.

“We’ve got spare capacity and we want to introduce more long-haul flights to Stansted,” he says.

Better airport connectivity as a necessity for growth

Addressing the government’s aviation policy, Willis argues that everyone’s looking long term but missing short term fixes that need to be done, such as rail connectivity.

“The thing that frustrates us with the government [is that] they’re all focused on runways and concrete, whether that’s at Heathrow or Gatwick – and that’s not the only way that we can enlarge the catchment area and also drive capacity through our airports.”

Willis also called on the government to impose a tax break on Air Passenger Duty, an element that is “holding back” the airport from adding extra long-haul routes and expanding.

Possibly the best example of how airports were caught off guard by increased demand came from London Luton, which now has a physical capacity of 12.6 million passengers.

But back in August 2014, when Luton received planning permission to grow their capacity to 18 million, the airport expected to reach that level of demand no sooner than 2027. But the reality is that Luton will “be full” in 2019, nearly seven years before their prognosis. [Well, it might. And then again, it might not….]

“You can take two things from that: firstly, our forecasting skills are crap,” chief executive officer Nick Barton jokes. “The other thing is that London as a destination is probably the best global prospect in the world at the moment and tragically, we don’t have the physical capacity to support the growth of this great city”.

UK’s big infrastructure projects hinged on indecision

Luton is taking steps towards accommodating its future passengers by introducing a rail link which will be fully operational in 2020.

London City Airport has also embarked on a £340 million expansion plan ahead of it turning 30 years old next year. It is currently handling 5 million passengers out of a terminal originally built to handle only 3 million.  [And being in a totally inappropriate location for a busy airport, so close to the centre of London, it is causing huge unhappiness and unacceptable noise for thousands of residents.  AW comment]

Referencing a £200 million expansion turned down by former mayor Boris Johnson in 2015, London City’s Collier said: “The tragedy is that there is a huge demand for passengers to come to London, we have the ability to deliver more capacity and yet we struggle to get the permission to do it for the past two years.”  [And can you wonder why that is?  Looking at its location?  The industry loves to ignore inconvenient facts, like impact on communities.  AW comment]

He pointed out that in the time it will take to have the new runway in London, the major cities around the world will deliver 50 new runways, facilitating capacity for an extra 1 billion passengers. China alone, Collier says, will deliver 17 new airports over the next ten years.  [The reason for that is China is a newly rich country, that has only joined the top ranks of the aviation sector relatively recently.  Its aviation is growing hugely, and there is a massive population. By contrast, the UK has a very mature aviation industry. We have been flying, in huge numbers, for decades. We have a large number of airports already. AW comment].

“It’s a struggle that as a country we have to address. Just imagine how great Great Britain would be if we weren’t struggling with our inability to deliver major infrastructure projects and facilitate a planning system that would deliver those projects,” he said.

http://www.airport-technology.com/features/featureforget-gatwick-and-heathrow-uks-smaller-airports-seek-expansion-4914398/

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Edinburgh flight path consultation ends, with the second part due early in 2017

The consultation by Edinburgh airport on changes to flight paths that started in June has now ended. The airport says the results were mixed, with some people not expressing opposition.  This may be because the area that was covered by the consultation included places that have not seen increased plane noise, and have not been affected by the changes. There were around 5,000 responses, and the airport’s consultation website was viewed about 80,000 times.  Edinburgh airport say no changes could be made to existing flight paths until a further stage of consultation, proposing specific routes, was completed and the plans approved by the CAA. A detailed report on the airport’s consultation is due to be finished in January, and the second stage of the consultation will begin early in 2017. Some residents are already affected by noise pollution from changes in the flight paths and have accused the airport of pushing ahead with airspace expansion without considering other ways to increase capacity.  Edinburgh Airport Watch said that although the airport is ‘consulting’, they have already changed the pattern of use of the airspace – people have been robbed of their peace and quiet.  The airport wants the change flight paths, in order to get more planes taking off and landing at peak times of day, in order to make more money for the airport.

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Edinburgh Airport flight path consultation out next year

21.9.2016  (BBC)

Flight areas being looked at in the consultation

Image copyrightEDINBURGH AIRPORT

Flight areas being looked at in the consultation

Image caption Flight areas being looked at in the consultation

A detailed report on Edinburgh Airport’s initial consultation on altering flight paths is due to be finished in January.

Thousands of responses will help guide proposals that officials will put forward for the second stage of the consultation, set to begin early in 2017.

Scotland’s busiest airport received more than 5,000 responses.

The first phase in the consultation closed on Monday 19th September.

It ended a week later than planned after the airport was forced to apologise for losing almost 200 responses.

Edinburgh Airport asked for views on its “airspace change programme” in June this year.

Airport bosses have revealed the consultation website has been viewed about 80,000 times.

However, they said no changes could be made to existing flight paths until a further stage of consultation, proposing specific routes, was completed and the plans approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Some residents said they were already affected by noise pollution from changes in the flight paths and have accused the airport of pushing ahead with airspace expansion without considering other ways to increase capacity.

Peace and quiet

An Edinburgh Airport Watch spokeswoman said: “Although the airport is ‘consulting’, they have already changed the pattern of use of the airspace.

“We want them to change it back and restore to residents the peace and quiet we value so highly and believe that the airport has robbed from us.”

Gordon Robertson, the airport’s director of communications, described the level of feedback as “excellent” and said he acknowledged some people had “real concerns” about flight path changes.

He said: “Our data analysis team are working on delivering a detailed report on the first stage of our public consultation which will show detail on sentiment and the geographical spread of the feedback responses.

“Crucially, the responses we received will also help us map the design of the proposals that we put forward for the second stage of the consultation – set to begin early in 2017.

“We recognise that some people have very real concerns. The aim of the consultation process is to allow us to grow to meet the ever-increasing demand on our runway at peak times while minimising disruption on the ground.”

The proposed implementation of new flight paths would also coincide with the use of RNAV navigation technology, which will allow the airport to increase the number of aircraft which can take off and land.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-37428548

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Edinburgh Airport flightpath consultation reveals public divided over plans

21.9.2016 (Herald, Scotland)

By Helen McArdle, News Reporter

Edinburgh Airport says it needs a new flightpath amid a surge in passenger traffic

MORE than 5000 people have responded to a public consultation by Edinburgh Airport on plans to introduce a new flightpath over the capital.

A full analysis of the feedback is expected to be published at the end of October but it is understood that the responses are divided fairly evenly between those who are opposed to or concerned about the proposals and those who are either neutral to or in favour of the changes.

The ‘Let’s Go Further’ survey, which closed at midnight on Monday, asked people what “local factors” should be taken into account in designing the potential route.

Today, the airport’s director of communications, Gordon Robertson, confirmed that the consultation website had been viewed 80,000 times and attracted 5000 responses.

Mr Robertson said a full analysis would reveal “detail on sentiment and the geographical spread of the feedback responses” and “help us map the design of the proposals that we put forward”.

He added: “We recognise that some people have very real concerns. The aim of the consultation process is to allow us to grow to meet the ever increasing demand on our runway at peak times while minimising disruption on the ground.”

In January, the airport will set out potential routes as “lines on the map” before launching the second phase of the public consultation.

Mr Robertson added: “As we did in the first stage of our Airspace Change Programme we will be open, transparent and upfront with everyone as to why we are putting these flightpath proposals forward.”

Airport bosses say a third flightpath is needed to handle “strong levels of growth” in operations since 2013. Edinburgh Airport is currently the busiest in Scotland but its airspace has not been modernised since the 1970s. In July it recorded the busiest ever month at a Scottish airport with passenger traffic of more than 1.3 million.

However, a trial of a new flightpath over West Lothian was cut short in October 2015 after thousands of noise complaints from residents in communities including Uphall and Dechmont who claimed that they had been “brought to tears” by sound from low-flying planes.

Nonetheless, airport bosses later insisted that the trial had been a success, claiming that 40 per cent of the complaints had been lodged by the same five individuals while 57 per cent actually related to planes using the existing flightpaths – not the trial route.

When the airport launched its public consultation in June, bosses said they would “do all that we reasonably can to ensure that everyone has their say”. A publicity drive saw 640,000 leaflets to local households and businesses, with an advertising campaign via television, local newspapers and social media.

However, they were left red-faced after a highly-publicised data loss which saw nearly 200 people’s submissions accidentally erased during an upgrade of the consultation website between August 29 and September 2.

The consultation period was extended by one month with organisers appealing to anyone affected to re-submit their views. It is understood that the publicity surrounding the computer blunder sparked a surge in responses to the consultation, but campaigners said the error “invalidates the entire consultation process” and have appealed to the Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates flightpaths, to discount the results.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14754486.display/?utm_content=buffer96923&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

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