Phillip Hammond: Ministers ‘only backed third Heathrow runway if night flight ban remained’

Several Cabinet ministers only backed a Heathrow 3rd runway on the condition that the Government ensured there was a proper night flight ban. At a meeting in his Englefield Green constituency, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond hit back at airlines – like IAG – that are pushing strongly for early morning flights, which cause noise misery for many local people, to be allowed to continue. He told local residents in his Runnymede and Weybridge constituency that he supports Heathrow expansion if measures proposed by the Airport Commission (Chairman, Howard Davies) were guaranteed to protect communities close to the airport. The Commission said there should be a ban on all scheduled [ignoring un-scheduled however] night flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am.  Heathrow has proposed 11pm to 5.30am – it wants early flights. IAG has said it needs flights landing early, and at the terminal, by 5.30am and then a large number of flights before 7am.  Few people consider 5.15am the end of their period of sleep, so that is entirely unacceptable to anyone who is woken by plane noise. Evidence shows many health impacts of sleep disturbed by plane noise, including cardiovascular impacts and Type 2 diabetes.
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Ministers ‘only backed third Heathrow runway if night flight ban remained’

by NICHOLAS CECIL

3.4.2017

heathrowsignpa1101a.jpgHeathrow: the conditions was backed by several ministers Steve Parsons/PA

Several Cabinet ministers only backed a third runway at Heathrow provided the Government does not give in to airlines seeking to water down a night flight ban, the Chancellor has revealed.

Philip Hammond hit back at airlines who are campaigning for early morning flights, which cause noise misery for many local people, to be allowed to continue.

He told local residents in his Runnymede and Weybridge constituency that he supports Heathrow expansion if measures proposed by the Airport Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies who is now chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, were guaranteed to protect communities close to the airport.

They included a ban on all scheduled night flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am.

“We’re not supposed to talk about what happens in Cabinet meetings but I will tell you when we made decision to support the third runway, I said and many of my colleagues said we make this decision on the basis that we accept Davies recommendations in the round including mitigations that Davies has proposed,” he said at a meeting in Englefield Green in his constituency.

Currently, around 16 night flights are permitted between 4.30am and 6am a day to allow overnight long haul flights to arrive very early in the morning.

The Government has backed a six-and-a-half hour night flight ban between 11pm and 7am but has not yet specified the exact period.

Heathrow has proposed 11pm to 5.30am.

Mr Hammond, who appeared to be backing the Davies recommendation of the night flights restrictions lasting until 6am, told the meeting on Friday: “There should be a statutory ban on them. But the airlines (are) already fighting back.

“So we shouldn’t assume that just because Davies recommended it that it is necessarily going to happen. We need to maintain the pressure in the campaign.”

He added that regulations have meant that planes have to fly direct to their destination but he believes this should be changed.

“It must be possible to allow aircraft arriving in the vicinity early in the morning before the curfew ends to hold somewhere safe, over the sea, for an hour or hour and a half before coming in,” he added.

“It was a rule that was made in the day when getting into a plane was extremely dangerous and you wanted to get back on the ground as fast as possible. That no longer applies.”

Robert Barnstone, campaign co-ordinator for Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “Any talk of night flight bans need to take effect now, with an unexpanded, two-runway Heathrow.

“Night flights cause considerable sleep interruptions for hundreds of thousands of people around Heathrow and fall short of recommendations from the World Health Organisation that people should have eight hours sleep per night. We encourage the Chancellor to stand up for his constituents and join this fight for peace.”

A spokesman for International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, said: “We recognise there is a balance to be struck between the concerns of local communities and the ability for the UK to be connected to the world.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Hammond stressed a bigger Heathrow was the only option to maintain a global hub airport in London but that as an MP with a constituency affected by its expansion, his “priority” was to ensure the Commission’s measures to protect local communities were delivered.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/ministers-only-backed-third-heathrow-runway-if-night-flight-ban-remained-a3505566.html

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See also

Night flight noise likely to increase risk of Type 2 diabetes for those living under flightpaths

Research by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel has shown that people who live below an airport flightpath are more than 80% more likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who live in quieter areas. The findings have led scientists to suggest that aircraft noise, rather than air pollution, could be to blame. The noise of the planes overhead, when they are low and loud, is likely to have a devastating effect on the body’s metabolism, leading to increased blood sugar levels. The effect is largely from noise at night, confirming that night flights are damaging to health. The cost to the health of over-flown populations needs to be properly taken into account, and given enough significance against small economic benefits of night flights to airports and airlines (which is how the DfT assesses the issue at present). Heathrow already has – by an order of magnitude – the most people affected by night flights, with over 700,000 living within the 55 Lden noise average contours. The link to diabetes is through the body’s reaction to stress, raising blood pressure. Noise stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis, leading to increased blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease, strokes, limb amputations and blindness. It affects over 3 million people in the UK.

Click here to view full story…

Willie Walsh adamant Heathrow must have arrivals well before 5.30am – then full on for next 2 hours

International Airlines Group (IAG), which is Heathrow’s biggest customer, has submitted its evidence to the Transport Committee, to its inquiry into the Airports NPS. IAG does not agree there should be a ban on night flights of six and a half hours, that the NPS and the DfT are proposing – hoping that would overcome local opposition to the runway. The WHO says for good health, people need 7 – 8 hours sleep, and more for some age groups. Therefore even six and a half hours is not enough. But IAG says …”the NPS does not recognise the operational flexibility required for flights to connect and deliver the associated benefits. The Government should therefore avoid unreasonable restrictions on night operations that would prevent economically valuable connections.” … from small changes IAG has made “Local communities have therefore benefited … from a reduction in noise while no additional night movements have been granted at Heathrow in return.” … if Heathrow opened at 7am, that would be 2 hours later than Frankfurt … to make the best use of the new runway, increase connectivity etc … “the first arrivals will need to be scheduled to have landed and be on-stand ready to disembark passengers by 05:30, with a high arrival movement capacity in the subsequent 1-2 hours.”

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

Night flight noise likely to increase risk of Type 2 diabetes for those living under flightpaths

Research by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel has shown that people who live below an airport flightpath are more than 80% more likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who live in quieter areas. The findings have led scientists to suggest that aircraft noise, rather than air pollution, could be to blame. The noise of the planes overhead, when they are low and loud, is likely to have a devastating effect on the body’s metabolism, leading to increased blood sugar levels. The effect is largely from noise at night, confirming that night flights are damaging to health. The cost to the health of over-flown populations needs to be properly taken into account, and given enough significance against small economic benefits of night flights to airports and airlines (which is how the DfT assesses the issue at present). Heathrow already has – by an order of magnitude – the most people affected by night flights, with over 700,000 living within the 55 Lden noise average contours. The link to diabetes is through the body’s reaction to stress, raising blood pressure. Noise stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis, leading to increased blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease, strokes, limb amputations and blindness. It affects over 3 million people in the UK. 

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Living under flightpath roar ‘may cause diabetes’: Scientists say residents who are exposed to daily aircraft noise are 86 per cent more likely to have the type 2 condition

  • New research links diabetes with people who live under loud flightpaths  
  • More than 700,000 people are affected by noise from London’s Heathrow 
  • Scientists suggest keeping windows closed at night to reduce risks of exposure 

People who live below an airport flightpath are 86 per cent more likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who live in quieter areas, a new study has found.

The findings have led scientists to suggest that aircraft noise, rather than air pollution, could be to blame.

The scientists believe the noise from planes overhead has a devastating effect on the body’s metabolism, leading to increased blood sugar levels.

The researchers suspect such changes are linked to sleep disruption, and say that people can reduce their exposure to harmful noise levels simply by closing their windows at night.

According to the European Commission, more than 700,000 people are currently affected by aircraft noise from London’s Heathrow Airport alone.

The scientists said that, although most flights occur in the day, there could be a knock-on effect on night-time sleep through raised stress levels.

Type 2 diabetes – which can lead to heart disease, strokes, limb amputations and blindness – affects more than three million people in the UK.

The disease costs the NHS £2.2 million every day for prescriptions – and the new findings could have major health implications for millions of people in Britain.

According to the European Commission, more than 700,000 people are currently affected by aircraft noise from London’s Heathrow Airport alone.

The link was made by a team of scientists at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, who studied more than 2,600 adults in a bid to establish the effects of noise and air pollution.

They revealed their findings in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Dr Mayanak Patel, of the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, said the study had come up with ‘plausible mechanisms’ for the link between noise and diabetes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4371482/Living-flightpath-roar-cause-diabetes.html

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● People who live under a flight path are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according research by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basle, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

It suggests that noise affects the body’s metabolism, leading to increased blood sugar levels. Aviation noise and that of other traffic may have a bigger impact on the onset of diabetes than air pollution, mainly through disturbed sleep, it says.

People should sleep with their windows closed to reduce the chance of being woken by aircraft overhead, the study suggests.


See also

Noise, stress, cortisol and diabetes

Noise is an environmental stressor that stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis, leading to increased blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Past research has associated exposure to traffic noise with cardiovascular disease, and the mechanisms of action hypothesized to underlie this association suggest that noise may also increase diabetes risk.

Investigators now report that long-term exposure to residential road traffic noise was, in fact, associated with increased diabetes incidence in a Danish cohort [EHP 121(2):217–222; Sørensen et al.].

Glucocorticoid hormones, a group that includes cortisol, inhibit insulin secretion and reduce sensitivity to insulin by the liver, muscle, and fat tissue. Studies have linked sleep disturbances to low morning glucose levels, reduced insulin sensitivity, and changes in appetite regulation.

https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/121-a60/


And see also today, the likelihood of Heathrow sticking to even a six and a half hour ban on night flights.

Willie Walsh adamant Heathrow must have arrivals well before 5.30am – then full on for next 2 hours.

He won’t accept a six and a half hour ban on scheduled night flights, let alone unscheduled.

International Airlines Group (IAG), which is Heathrow’s biggest customer, has submitted its evidence to the Transport Committee, to its inquiry into the Airports NPS. IAG does not agree there should be a ban on night flights of six and a half hours, that the NPS and the DfT are proposing – hoping that would overcome local opposition to the runway. The WHO says for good health, people need 7 – 8 hours sleep, and more for some age groups. Therefore even six and a half hours is not enough. But IAG says …”the NPS does not recognise the operational flexibility required for flights to connect and deliver the associated benefits. The Government should therefore avoid unreasonable restrictions on night operations that would prevent economically valuable connections.” … from small changes IAG has made “Local communities have therefore benefited … from a reduction in noise while no additional night movements have been granted at Heathrow in return.” … if Heathrow opened at 7am, that would be 2 hours later than Frankfurt … to make the best use of the new runway, increase connectivity etc … “the first arrivals will need to be scheduled to have landed and be on-stand ready to disembark passengers by 05:30, with a high arrival movement capacity in the subsequent 1-2 hours.”

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

Willie Walsh adamant Heathrow must have arrivals well before 5.30am – then full on for next 2 hours

International Airlines Group (IAG), which is Heathrow’s biggest customer, has submitted its evidence to the Transport Committee, to its inquiry into the Airports NPS.  IAG does not agree there should be a ban on night flights of six and a half hours, that the NPS and the DfT are proposing – hoping that would overcome local opposition to the runway. The WHO says for good health, people need 7 – 8 hours sleep, and more for some age groups. Therefore even six and a half hours is not enough. But IAG says …”the NPS does not recognise the operational flexibility required for flights to connect and deliver the associated benefits. The Government should therefore avoid unreasonable restrictions on night operations that would prevent economically valuable connections.” … from small changes IAG has made “Local communities have therefore benefited … from a reduction in noise while no additional night movements have been granted at Heathrow in return.” … if Heathrow opened at 7am, that would be 2 hours later than Frankfurt  …  to make the best use of the new runway, increase connectivity etc … “the first arrivals will need to be scheduled to have landed and be on-stand ready to disembark passengers by 05:30, with a high arrival movement capacity in the subsequent 1-2 hours.” 
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IAG has well over 55% of the slots at Heathrow.  It is by far the largest airline using the airport, with others having holdings of around 3% or less. 

IAG does NOT intend there to be a six and a half hour ban on scheduled night flights, let alone a ban on all flights.


IAG submission to Transport Cttee

Some extracts from the IAG submission to the Transport Select Committee inquiry into the draft Airports National Policy Statement, pushing through the Heathrow 3rd runway

 

  1. Alongside the question of cost, IAG is concerned that the NPS does not recognise the operational flexibility required for flights to connect and deliver the associated benefits. The Government should therefore avoid unreasonable restrictions on night operations that would prevent economically valuable connections.
  2. The NPS sets out a wide range of possible measures to support communities affected by noise and emissions. BA has made considerable progress in reducing noise impacts introducing more modern, quieter aircraft and through tactical improvements. IAG and BA will continue to work cooperatively with the Government, HAL, NATS and local communities to reduce environmental impacts but IAG is concerned that the measures set out in the NPS should be part of a balanced approach.
  1. Major improvements have been made thanks to BA’s introduction of some of the newest and quietest aircraft and the retirement of 21 noisier Boeing 747s and 767s. Further orders of new aircraft from 2018 will again reduce noise at source and BA will also have completed the retrofit of its existing A320 fleet with airflow deflectors to reduce approach noise.
  2. Thanks to these kind of measures, between 2006 and the end of 2017, the average noise Quota Count (QC) for the BA long-haul fleet will have dropped by 27% for departures and 30% for arrivals – which means a direct reduction in noise for local residents. For night quota flights the reduction has been even greater with the arrival average QC reduced by 40% between summer 2006 and summer 2016 seasons and by 65% between winter 2006 and winter 2015 seasons, as BA has deployed the A380 and other quieter types.
  3. Local communities have therefore benefited over this period from a reduction in noise while no additional night movements have been granted at Heathrow in return.
  4. As well as the reduction in noise from more modern aircraft, BA has consistently sought to minimise noise through operational procedures, and to incorporate them into standard operating practices.  BA was a pioneer in Continuous Descent Approach procedures and continues to take action in this area. We constantly evaluate different approaches to assist noise reduction and have taken other actions such as optimising the deployment of landing gear so as to minimise this source of aircraft noise.
  5. IAG is greatly concerned by the proposals to restrict night operations unreasonably as are recommended by the NPS. 
  6. It proposes a 6.5hr ban on scheduled night flights, somewhere between 23:00 and 07:00. The Airports Commission recommendation was for a ban on scheduled flights between 23:30 and 06:00, whilst Heathrow Airport have proposed a ban on scheduled flights between 23:00 and 05:30.  IAG is concerned that the Government does not fully understand the implications for the timing of the ban in the NPS.
  7. Opening the UK’s premier hub airport at 07:00 would directly impact the competitiveness offered to UK consumers and businesses: it would be opening two hours later than Frankfurt (3 hours later taking into account the local time difference). This early morning period is key to the connectivity offered by airlines at Heathrow to provide as many destinations as conveniently as possible to the customer. As we have indicated above, connectivity is vital to the economic success of the airport and to the UK, not least as it competes with other European hubs. The Government should be careful not to throw away the benefits of new quieter aircraft by specifying economically damaging timings for any new night restrictions.
  8. In order to make the best use of the new capacity to increase UK connectivity, and to maintain airport resilience, the first arrivals will need to be scheduled to have landed and be on-stand ready to disembark passengers by 05:30, with a high arrival movement capacity in the subsequent 1-2 hours.
  9. Analysis by CEPA[3] estimates that the existing night quota period[4] flights contribute £364m GVA to the UK’s economy. UK consumers benefit as these flights support c. 1,800 jobs – excluding cargo impacts – and contribute £69m in tax revenues.  York Aviation[5] have estimated the economic contribution from cargo night quota period flights at Heathrow to be an additional £630m GVA giving a total economic benefit to the UK of almost £1bn per annum.

Full submission by IAG can be seen at 

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/transport-committee/airports-national-policy-statement/written/49347.html

 

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● People who live under a flight path are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according research by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basle, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

It suggests that noise affects the body’s metabolism, leading to increased blood sugar levels. Aviation noise and that of other traffic may have a bigger impact on the onset of diabetes than air pollution, mainly through disturbed sleep, it says.

People should sleep with their windows closed to reduce the chance of being woken by aircraft overhead, the study suggests.

 

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Read more »

Willie Walsh and IAG: Work out cost of crossing M25 before Heathrow runway plan

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, says pushing through Heathrow’s 3rd runway should be suspended until there are proper plans of how the airport is going to bridge the M25. The section of the M25 that the runway would have to go over is about the busiest stretch of motorway in the UK, and it is unclear if there would be some sort of bridge (a cheaper option, about 8 metres above the road surface), or a proper tunnel (more expensive for Heathrow). IAG, and British Airways, are concerned the extra cost would mean higher charges by Heathrow, so higher ticket prices. Heathrow says landing charges would remain as close to flat “as possible” but Walsh fears they could double and they raised their concerns in their submission to the inquiry by the Commons Transport Committee, into the draft NPS.  There are a few airports globally that have some sort of bridge, with planes taxiing above the road, clearly visible to traffic. None over such a wide, busy section of motorway. In October, when the bridge idea was first suggested (the Airports Commission always presumed a tunnel) papers from Highways England showed it described the scheme as “high risk”, warning of a “a substantial risk of excessive customer frustration about what might be prolonged period of disruption”.  IAG is also deeply opposed to Heathrow ending night flights between 11pm and 5.30am, as that risks flights going instead to airports like Frankfurt, losing IAG money.

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Work out cost of crossing M25 before runway plan, say airlines

Heathrow’s expansion should be suspended until plans to build a runway over Britain’s busiest motorway have been assessed, ministers have been told.

The owner of British Airways said that the development should not be confirmed until detailed plans for the M25, which will pass under the third runway, are finalised.

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See full article in the Times at

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/work-out-cost-of-crossing-m25-before-runway-plan-says-ba-snjx9k9jp

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The IAG submission to the Transport Select Cttee is at

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/transport-committee/airports-national-policy-statement/written/49347.html


 

See earlier:

Possible plan to put runway and taxiways on a bridge over M25 (not a tunnel) to save money

The Airports Commission (that cost almost £20 million) looked -in theory – at everything in great detail, and its (allegedly) incontrovertible recommendations have now been followed by government. It talked about the M25 needing to be tunnelled under the runway. It did not mention any sort of bridge.  But Heathrow was asked by government to cut the cost of its scheme (in order not to raise costs to passengers, to keep demand for flights high) so it came up recently with the idea of a bridge over the motorway. There is a bridge for one of the runways (+ taxiways) at Schiphol, so it is possible. However, there are enormous questions, not the least of which being that nobody has seen any details (cost, practicality, level of disruption, safety, terrorism danger etc) let alone been consulted. The section of motorway that might be bridged is the busiest on the M25, one of the busiest (it might be the busiest) in Europe, and the busiest in the UK. DfT figures show around 263,000 vehicles per day on the Junction 14-15 stretch in 2014. The runway would need to be raised about 8 metres in order to get over the motorway. Heathrow has only said it would spend a total of £1.1 billion for surface access infrastructure. The cost of tunnelling was estimated by the Airports Commission at £3.2 billion. Chris Grayling said absolutely nothing in his announcement, or in Parliament, about how much of the TfL estimate of £18 bn for surface access work the taxpayer would have to fund.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/10/possible-plan-to-put-runway-and-taxiways-in-a-bridge-over-m25-not-a-tunnel-to-save-money/

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25.10.2016

Heathrow conceded on Tuesday night that it may have to re-examine its plans for an extension under the M25, possibly replacing the tunnel with an elevated bridge, after it emerged that Highways England, the body in charge of Britain’s major roads, considered the scheme a major risk.

Highways England warned there was a “significant risk of cost overruns” in the M25 tunnel scheme, the bill for which it estimated would be between £476m and £1.1bn. Correspondence released by the Department for Transport showed that the roads authority described the scheme as “high risk”, warning of a “a substantial risk of excessive customer frustration about what might be prolonged period of disruption”.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/25/zac-goldsmith-quits-as-mp-over-doomed-heathrow-expansion-decision

Read more »

One man’s 400-mile, 3 week, walk London to Scotland, to save his village from Heathrow bulldozers

On Tuesday 4th April Hillingdon Council leader Ray Puddifoot and others well-wishers will gather in Harmondsworth at 11am as local man Neil Keveren sets off on a marathon 400-mile walk to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to ask Nicola Sturgeon why the SNP is backing a 3rd runway at Heathrow and destruction of his home and village in the process. Neil aims to finish his walk on Thursday 27th April at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. There will be a theme for each day and a number of campaigners and politicians will join Neil for sections of the walk. The route can be found below and covers places within Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland, Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh. Neil Keveren, who was born in Harmondsworth’s neighbouring village of Sipson, has lived in the area all his life; he hopes that his walk will highlight the reasons a third runway should not go ahead. Keveren, who built up a successful building business in the area, said: “I am not one of nature’s natural walkers but I felt I had to do this for my family, my village and the wider campaign.”  Neil will also use Facebook Live to provide daily updates of his progress and any highlights of that particular day.   Further updates will be available on the Stop Heathrow Expansion twitter page @StopHeathrowExp.
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One Man’s 400-mile walk to save his village from Heathrow bulldozers

31.3..2017  (No 3rd Runway Coalition)

On Tuesday 4 April Hillingdon Council leader Ray Puddifoot and others well-wishers will gather in Harmondsworth at 11am as local man Neil Keveren, 50, sets off on a marathon 400-mile walk to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to ask Nicola Sturgeon why the SNP is backing a third runway at Heathrow and destruction of his home and village in the process (1).

The quest, which is estimated to take 394 miles, will commence on Tuesday 4 April and will finish on Thursday 27 April at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh (2). There will be a theme for each day and a number of campaigners and politicians will join Neil for sections of the walk. The route can be found below and covers places within Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland, Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh.

Neil Keveren, who was born in the neighbouring village of Sipson and has lived in the area all his life, hopes that his walk will highlight the reasons a third runway should not go ahead.

Keveren, who built up a successful business in the area, said: “I am not one of nature’s natural walkers but I felt I had to do this for my family, my village and the wider campaign.”

Neil will also use Facebook Live to provide daily updates of his progress and any highlights of that particular day.

Further updates will be available on the Stop Heathrow Expansion twitter page @StopHeathrowExp.

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The calendar of Neil’s walk is below

Day 1

04 April 2017   Map of route

Walk commences

Theme for the day – transport

Start location – Harmondsworth Village Green  11.00

Harmondsworth – Uxbridge – Gerrards Cross – Chalfont – Amersham – Chesham


Day 2

05 April 2017    Map of route

Theme of the day – NIMBY?

Chesham – Tring – Ivinghoe – Leighton Buzzard – Stoke Hammond


Day 3

06 April 2017    Map of route

Theme for the day – compulsory purchase

Stoke Hammond – Blecthley – Milton Keynes – Newport Pagnell – Olney


Day 4

07 April 2017    Map of route

Theme for the day – Economics

Olney – Bozeat – Wellingborough


Day 5

08 April 2017    Map of route

Theme for the day – politicians

Wellingborough – Isham – Kettering – Corby, Cottingham Road


Day 6

09 April 2017   Map of route

Theme for the day – Howard Davies & the Davies Commission

Corby, Cottingham Road – Caldecott – Uppingham – Oakham


Day 7

10 April 2017   Map of route

Theme of the day – health impacts

Oakham –  Wymondham – Sproxton – Saltby – Harloxton – Grantham


Day 8

11 April 2017   Map of route

Theme of the day – schools

Grantham –  Manthorpe – Belton – Honington – Caythorpe – Fulbeck – Leadenham – Welbourn – Wellingore – Navenby – Coleby – Harmston – RAF Waddington


Day 9

12 April 2017   Map of route

Theme of the day – Heathrow born from a lie

Waddington – Bracebridge Heath – Lincoln City Centre – Ermine – Welton Cliff – Caenby Corner (Hemswell Cliff)


Day 10

13 April 2017   Map of route

Theme for the day – Heritage and environment

Caenby Corner (Hemswell Cliff) – Manton – Gainsthorpe (medieval village) – Raventhorpe –
Scunthorpe


Day 11

Good Friday  

14 April 2017   Map of route  

Theme of the day – night flight sham

Scunthorpe – Gunness – Althorpe – Thorne – Snaith


Day 12

15 April 2017   Map of route

Theme for the day – Climate change

Snaith – Carlton – Camblesforth – Selby – Barlby  – Riccall – Bishopthorpe – Middlethorpe –
York


Day 13

16 April 2017

Easter Sunday – REST DAY


Day 14

17 April 2017    Map of route

Easter Monday

Theme of the day – housing

York – Rawcliffe – Skelton – Shipton – Thormanby – Thirsk


Day 15

18 April 2017   Map of route

Theme of the day – jobs and apprenticeships

Thirsk – Croft-on-Tees  – South Kilvington – Northallerton – Great Smeaton – Dalton-on-Tees –
Croft-on-Tees


Day 16

19 April 2017   Map of route

Theme of the day – the north-south divide

Croft-on-Tees –  Darlington – Aycliffe – Woodham – Rushyford – Chilton – Ferryhill – Thinford –
Croxdale – Meadowfield


Day 17

20 April 2017   Map of route

Theme for the day – Regional Airports and Heathrow passengers

Meadowfield – Langley Moor – Langley Park – Malton – Lanchester – Delves Lane –
Consett

Potential for diversion via Durham.


Day 18

21 April 2017   Map of route

Theme of the day – children

Consett –  Ebchester – Whittonstall – Hindley – Riding Mill – Corbridge – Chollerton


Day 19

22 April 2017  Map of route

Theme of the day – air quality and pollution

Chollerton –  West Woodburn – Northumberland National Park – Troughend – Border Forest Holiday Park


Day 20

23 April 2017   Map of route

Theme of the day – Scottish special

Border Forest Holiday Park –  Byrness – Carter Bar – Scottish Border – Camptown –
Jedburgh


Day 21

24 April 2017    Map of route

Theme of the day – Heathrow Air Ltd. Failure to deliver.

Jedburgh – St. Boswells – Newton St. Boswells – Lauder


Day 22

25 April 2017   Map of route

Theme for the day – air freight

Lauder – Oxton – Fala – Pathead – Dalkeith


Day 23

26 April 2017   Map of route

Theme for the day – flight paths, noise & respite

Dalkeith – Moredun – Liberton – Newington – Edinburgh – location tbc


Day 24

27 April 2017

Scottish Parliament, Holyrood

Final plans for this day will be confirmed nearer the time

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London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, Mayor criticises DfT’s lack of answers to fundamental questions on Heathrow

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has submitted evidence to the Transport Select Committee inquiry into the DfT’s draft NPS on a 3rd Heathrow runway. The Mayor said there would be unacceptable consequences for London; it would hamper efforts to improve London’s air quality; 200,000 more people would be exposed to noise while scheduled night flights could increase by at least a third; and there are no credible plans to maintain traffic levels or commitment for infrastructure to support 250% increase in public transport trips. He said ministers’ plans were based on the 3rd runway not being fully utilised – playing down the real impact. The government had ‘completely failed’, and was his duty to Londoners to oppose a third runway. He said: “The government has completely failed to demonstrate how Heathrow can be expanded without a severe noise, air quality and transport impact on London. The government’s position appears to be to simply hope for the best, with unproven plans that look to take advantage of unrelated improvements being made to air quality and public transport. It’s simply not good enough for one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects, and it leaves me even more concerned about the prospect of Heathrow expansion on London and the UK.”
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Mayor raises lack of answers to fundamental questions on Heathrow

31 March 2017
  • Sadiq warns of unacceptable consequences for London in evidence to Transport Select Committee
  • Third runway would hamper efforts to improve capital’s air quality
  • 200,000 more people would be exposed to noise while scheduled night flights could increase by at least a third
  • No credible plan to maintain traffic levels and no commitment for infrastructure to support 250% increase in public transport trips

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today (Friday, March 31) accused the government of failing to provide any answers on how Heathrow can be expanded without severe noise, air quality and road and rail impacts on London.

In written evidence to the Transport Select Committee, Sadiq said the government’s draft National Policy Statement (NPS) appears “to hope for the best” with unacceptable consequences for the capital. He said he was deeply concerned at the lack of answers to fundamental questions.

He also voiced strong worries that ministers’ plans were based on the third runway not being fully utilised – playing down the real impact. The government had ‘completely failed’, he added.

Sadiq insisted it was his duty to Londoners to oppose a third runway and push for urgently needed additional aviation capacity that can meet the environmental and economic needs of London and the UK.

In the evidence the Mayor highlighted a series of concerns including:

  • Noise – A new runway will expose 200,000 more Londoners to noise. The NPS offers no assurances to those affected – instead it merely moves the noise around exposing hundreds of thousands of Londoners for the first time. Analysis by Transport for London (TfL) also shows that the scheduled night flights ‘ban’ could actually lead to an increase in night flights by at least 33 per cent (see notes to editors).
  • Air quality – Heathrow is already one of the worst locations for air quality in the UK. It exceeds legal limits for air pollution by some margin, and it is yet to be demonstrated how a third runway can be delivered without worsening air quality. The NPS even acknowledges that if the third runway opens around 2025 there is a very real risk it would lead to breaches of the legal air quality limits with few mitigation options available to the airport to address this. Instead, the government is seeking to use the air quality improvements the Mayor is delivering to enable Heathrow expansion rather than reducing the already toxic air quality across London.
  • Climate change – The NPS appears to ignore the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change which advises that all UK aviation targets should be met without resorting to using ‘carbon credits’ that seek to take advantage of improvements in other sectors. This could have an impact on other industries and restrict growth at other UK airports.
  • Road and rail access – There is no credible plan for how the government will ensure that there isn’t an increase in road journeys to and from the airport. Ministers hope that public transport trips to and from Heathrow would increase by around 250 per cent, yet there is currently no commitment to any additional rail infrastructure. Instead they rely on existing schemes, such as the Piccadilly line upgrade and the Elizabeth line, to handle any increase – both of which were designed to accommodate London’s continuing population growth rather than help deal with the impact of a third runway. The NPS  largely neglects the road trips associated with freight and induced economic activity around an expanded airport.
  • Economic impact – Domestic connecting flights are a key part of the pitch, yet the Government has no ability to decide routes. Heathrow will be at 80-90 per cent capacity shortly after opening and would most likely offer just four domestic routes, disappointing those pinning their hopes for better UK connectivity.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The government has completely failed to demonstrate how Heathrow can be expanded without a severe noise, air quality and transport impact on London. The government’s position appears to be to simply hope for the best, with unproven plans that look to take advantage of unrelated improvements being made to air quality and public transport. It’s simply not good enough for one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects, and it leaves me even more concerned about the prospect of Heathrow expansion on London and the UK.”

 

TfL is currently carrying out further assessments to the impact on London of this proposed expansion. A more detailed submission to the Government consultation on the NPS will follow in May.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “The Government’s plans for Heathrow will never pass a simple legal test on air quality. The airport already churns out unlawful levels of air pollution, offers woefully inadequate public transport connectivity and has Europe’s worst noise footprint – and that’s with just two runways. Expansion will make all these issues worse. It’s wrong on every level, legally undeliverable and will end in failure after years of wasted effort. Nothing is going to change between now and 2018 to make this scheme any less polluting so ministers should face up to this truth now and abandon their plans for a third runway.”

Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “We wholeheartedly agree with the submission from the Mayor of London. He speaks for London on this and we thank him. An expanded Heathrow will be expensive, polluting, will take longer to build, require more public money, destroy more homes, and be against all the principles of competition in which we should believe. So many giant wrongs don’t make a right. The Government need to stop masquerading spin as consultation and come clean on the real impact of expansion on Londoners.”

Notes to editors

  • Heathrow already exposes more people to aircraft noise than Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich and Madrid airports combined. An expansion of the airport would mean the intolerable prospect of an extra 200,000 Londoners, including 124 schools and 43,200 schoolchildren, being exposed to an unacceptable level of noise every day.
  • The different night flights bans proposed by the Airports Commission (11.30pm-6am) and Heathrow Airport (11pm-5.30am) both fall short of the full eight hours (11pm-7am) deemed by Government to be the official night period. Operating a three-runway airport at full capacity before 7am would therefore mean at least a 33% per cent increase in the total number of night flights, having a huge impact on the health and living conditions of residents and businesses along flight paths.
  • While the NPS notes the value of potential western and southern rail links to support Heathrow expansion, it gives no certainty to either and takes the view that these are desirable but not essential. A clear commitment is required for both and in the case of a southern rail link, any scheme taken forward must not seek to rely on lines which are already heavily crowded.
  • In November 2016, the Mayor directed Transport for London to provide advice and assistance to affected borough councils, including Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead Councils in relation to their challenge against a third runway at Heathrow

https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-raises-lack-of-answers-on-heathrow

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All the submissions to the Transport Select Committee inquiry into the Heathrow NPS consultation can be seen here:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/airports-national-policy-statement-16-17/publications/

The submission by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, can be seen here:

 

 

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Residents face just 4 hours free from aircraft noise if 3rd Heathrow runway goes ahead

Sarah Olney, the new MP for Richmond Park, has criticised the Department for Transport for not being open with residents that a 3rd runway at Heathrow could mean just 6 or 4 hours per day respite from aircraft noise. Currently residents under many of Heathrow’s flight paths can expect up to 8 hours without being disturbed by incoming and outgoing flights from Heathrow. However, hidden away in the public consultation on a third runway (the draft NPS) is an admission from the Government that whilst residents can expect more ‘certainty’ over when respite periods will be, the number of hours they can expect to be free from aircraft noise will drop to just 6, or even 4, hours. Sarah Olney raised the issue in the House of Commons on 30th March, asking the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to explain why the consultation did not make this evident. Responding for the Government, he failed to answer the question, stating only that the consultation “set out in broad terms the impact of the changes”.  Speaking after their exchange in the House of Commons Sarah Olney commented that the government is treating local residents with contempt. If Chris Grayling cannot even  give a proper reply in Parliament, either he isn’t aware that residents will suffer from more noise (if not, why not, if he is Minister in charge of the process), or he isn’t willing to admit it. [No questions of ministers on Heathrow are ever answered properly – always evasively].
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RESIDENTS FACE JUST 4 HOURS FREE FROM AIRCRAFT NOISE IF THIRD RUNWAY GOES AHEAD AT HEATHROW

30.3.2017  (Sarah Olney MP press release)

A London MP has slammed the government for not being open with residents that a third runway at Heathrow could mean just 6 or 4 hours a day respite from aircraft noise.

Currently residents can expect up to 8 hours without being disturbed by incoming and outgoing flights from Heathrow.

However, hidden away in the public consultation on a third runway is an admission from the Government that whilst residents can expect more ‘certainty’ over when respite periods will be, the number of hours they can expect to be free from aircraft noise will drop to just 6, or even 4, hours.

Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston Sarah Olney raised the issue in the House of Commons today (30th March), asking the Minister to explain why the consultation “failed to mention that this respite would be reduced from 8 hours a day to just 6 or even 4 hours.”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, responding for the Government, failed to answer Mrs Olney’s question, stating only that the consultation “set out in broad terms the impact of the changes”.

Speaking after their exchange in the House of Commons Sarah Olney commented:

“When it comes to a third runway at Heathrow, the Tories are treating local residents with contempt.

“Not only have they failed to make this cut in respite hours clear in the consultation, when questioned about it in Parliament the Transport Secretary couldn’t even admit they are cutting the noise-free period. Either Chris Grayling isn’t aware that residents will suffer from more noise, or he isn’t willing to admit it.

“It is completely unacceptable that the government aren’t being clear with residents across Richmond and South West London that their respite from aircraft noise will be so dramatically reduced if a third runway gets the green light.”

 

 

NOTES:

The Government’s consultation on a third runway at Heathrow (the draft National Policy Statement on Aviation) is open until 25th May and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-airports-national-policy-statement

 

The draft National Policy Statement on Aviation states that Heathrow expansion should be “more acceptable to its local community” and that this is achievable through the offer “a predictable, through reduced, period of respite for local communities”.

A transcript of the exchange between Sarah Olney MP and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling during Transport Questions in the House of Commons on 30th March is as follows:

 

·         Sarah Olney (Richmond Park) (LD)

Can the Secretary of State explain why the consultation on the draft national policy statement promoted improved certainty of respite from aircraft noise from an expanded Heathrow, but failed to mention that that respite would be reduced from eight hours a day to just six, or even four?

·         Chris Grayling

We have tried to set out the impact of the change in broad terms. It is certainly the case that in comparison with Gatwick and its fully mixed-mode operation, Heathrow, across three runways, is able to offer respite in a way that was not assumed by the Airports Commission in its consideration of both proposals. The impact on neighbouring communities is one factor among many that the commission considered, as did the Government.

 

Paul Edgeworth

Office of Sarah Olney MP

Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Richmond Park and North Kingston

 

 

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SAS raises $75 million from Heathrow slot sale – Virgin uses its slots as collateral

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SAS raises $75 million from Heathrow slot sale

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has sold two pairs of London Heathrow slots to an undisclosed buyer, raising $75 million from the transaction.

Before the sale, SAS had the sixth largest Heathrow slot portfolio with 19 daily slot pairs. This has now been narrowed to 17 pairs, although under the deal SAS can continue to use the two pairs for up to three years.

“Even after the transaction, SAS will continue to offer a strong and comprehensive network between Scandinavia and London Heathrow. The intention is to maintain the seat capacity to/from London Heathrow through the use of larger aircraft on remaining departures,” SAS said.

SAS, which operates from London Heathrow to Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Stavanger, will post the proceeds of the sale to its second quarter results.

This is not the first time SAS has sold off part of its Heathrow slot portfolio. In 2015, the airline sold a pair of slots to Turkish Airlines and—in a separate transaction—transferred a pair to an unnamed major carrier.

http://aviationweek.com/awincommercial/sas-raises-75-million-heathrow-slot-sale

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On 30 March 2012, the purchase of BMI by IAG was approved, subject to the condition that the combined group divest itself of 12 daily slots and lease two daily slots at Heathrow airport. The acquisition was completed on 20 April 2012, and the BMI fleet and routes were integrated into the British Airways schedule throughout 2012.

In 2015 Aer Lingus were the 3rd largest airline at Heathrow in terms of slots with a 3.3% share of the available pool.

IAG has about 54% of Heathrow slots. The 2nd highest % of slots is Virgin Atlantic.

Boosting its cash, Virgin Atlantic raised a further £32 million in January 2017 via a further bond deal that uses its take-off and landing slots at Heathrow as collateral, taking the total value of the loan notes it has issued since 2015 against Heathrow slots to £252 million. http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/27/reuters-america-virgin-atlantic-braced-for-losses-in-2017-as-headwinds-pick-up.html


 

Earlier

Scandinavian Airlines raises $60 million from Heathrow slot sale

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has sold one of its 21 London Heathrow Airport slot pairs to an unnamed “major international carrier” for $60 million. “The intention is to keep the seat capacity to/from London Heathrow through the use of larger aircraft on remaining departures. Furthermore, SAS will consider the use of other airports in the London-region,” SAS said in a statement. SAS currently flies from Heathrow to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo, Stockholm and …

IAG keeps 42 pairs of slots at Heathrow out of the 56 acquired from bmi

BA’s parent company, IAG, has to give up 14 pairs of daily take-off and landing slots at Heathrow, in order for its take-over of bmi to be approved.  BA gains 56 pairs of slots per day, so without the 14, is gaining 42 pairs, which will be used to expand BA’s operations at Heathrow with new destinations and more schedules.  Seven of the relinquished Heathrow slots must be sold to operators providing flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen. IAG must also provide competitors with access to seats on its UK and European services, allowing airlines such as Virgin to book journeys for passengers who wish to transfer on to its long-haul flights. Completion of the sale of bmi by Lufthansa is anticipated to take place around 20 April.  Walsh said IAG would operate bmi’s published schedule in the short-term but soon expand IAG’s long-haul network, announcing new destinations in Asia.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2012/04/slots-iag-bmi/

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British Midland International provided domestic and European feeder traffic into Heathrow Airport in partnership with Virgin[53] until it was purchased by British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group in 2011. The Lufthansa-owned airline had faced heavy annual losses of more than £100 million. Under the terms of the takeover, IAG had to relinquish some former BMI domestic slots at Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic purchased enough slots in 2012 to enable it to launch a domestic service on 31 March 2013, under the “Little Red” brand, operating a total of 12 daily services from London to Aberdeen (3), Edinburgh (6), and Manchester (3).[54] The airline wet-leased four Airbus Airbus A320-200s from Aer Lingus, operating with Virgin Atlantic livery, under a three-year contract.[55][56]

In September 2014, it was reported that Virgin was considering closing its domestic brand after suffering heavy losses,[57] with Civil Aviation Authority figures confirming an average seat occupancy level of just 37.6% in 2013.[26]The 12 daily pairs of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow cannot be sold to be used for long-haul routes.[58]

On 6 October 2014, Virgin confirmed that the Little Red service would cease; flights to Manchester ended on 28 March 2015 and flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen ended on 26 September 2015.

On 13 April 2015, Virgin Atlantic incorporated a new subsidiary – Virgin Atlantic International Limited (VAIL).[60] In November 2015, VAIL obtained its own Air Operators Certificate and Operating Licence, and commenced operations with two former Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited operated Airbus A330-300 aircraft taking over routes previously operated by Virgin Atlantic Limited between London Gatwick and Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada and Tobago.[61] These flights are operated on behalf of Virgin Atlantic.[62]

Upon incorporation as an AOC holder, the majority of Virgin Atlantic’s landing slots at London Heathrow Airport were transferred to VAIL, allowing Virgin to access the value of the carriers slots by ‘mortgaging’ them through open investment from capital markets, the first time in Europe a company has used airport take-off and landing slots to generate money in this way.[63][64]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Atlantic 

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November 2016

Air France / KLM have recently sold to Oman Air – with their pair of daily slots selling for as much as $75 million.

Vecernji List announced that Croatia Airlines has nine pairs of weekly slots at Heathrow with the intention to sell them soon. The Croatia Airlines administration say they have chosen to do so because the Zagreb – London route has realized losses, even though the average occupancy of the aircraft is around 75%. These losses amount to, say, between one and three million euros a year, and occur because the competition on this line makes it hard to get better prices for tickets.

The Croatia Airlines administration explained that the sale of slots is set out in the restructuring program and that they are on the move as they need about $30 million for capital maintenance. The sales of these slots will, they say, cover part of these costs.

Which airline will negotiate this and what the amount will be, Croatia Airlines did not want to reveal because negotiations are still ongoing. According to some information, a buyer could be Ireland’s Aer Lingus with an amount around 17 million euros. The value of the slots vary on the time of day, with them usually most expensive in the morning.

http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1345905

 

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Flybe likely to cancel routes as it prepares for 2017 financial loss – due to weak demand

Flybe has not had a good year, and says a tough aviation market will send it into the red, even without other issues to dent its profits. Its share price is down, at £42.50. Flybe said it has suffered from weak demand recently, “in an uncertain consumer environment, together with price competition arising from overcapacity amongst airlines and sharpened price activity from rail operators. … Weather related and operational cancellations, as well as industrial action, mainly by French air traffic controllers, also impacted revenue.” Saad Hammad left as Flybe’s chief executive in the autumn, and it then announced a 70% fall in pre-tax profits at the half year to £7 million. Flybe will be spending £5 – 10 million on e-commerce and review of its IT.  Flybe will be reducing the size of its aircraft fleet – now 85 – and “improve efficiency and stop unprofitable flying.” Flybe announced in December that it would be starting flights between Heathrow and Aberdeen and Edinburgh. It got those slots due to commitments required by the European Commission following the acquisition of BMI by International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG). Flybe already has flights from Aberdeen and Edinburgh to London City airport.  The airline has been fined £70,000 for sending more than 3.3 million marketing emails to people who had opted out of receiving them.
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Flybe threatens to CANCEL routes as it prepares for 2017 financial LOSS

FLYBE operates more domestic flights than any other airline in the UK, but that could all be about to change.

By CLAUDIA CUSKELLY (Express)

29.3.2017

The largest independent regional airline in Europe has warned it may have to cancel some of its routes.

Flybe has cut capacity and costs due to weak demand, pricing pressures and rising competition from rail operators.

The British airline is expected to report a loss when its yearly results are posted at the end of this week.

Flybe is battling a multitude of problems, which include flight cancellations due to the weather.

The airline was also hit in the fourth quarter by French air controller strikes and operational cancellations.

Flybe has warned profits will have dipped by a staggering £5m to £10m compared to last year’s financial results.

Shares in the company dived by 6.4% when today’s announcement was made.

A Flybe spokesperson said: “The period has been characterised by weak demand in an uncertain consumer environment, together with price competition arising from overcapacity amongst airlines and sharpened price activity from rail operators.”

http://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/785557/flybe-routes-financial-results

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Flybe nosedives on profits warning

By Robert Lea, Industrial Editor (The Times)
March 30 2017

The airline blamed the weather, trains, French industrial action and IT trouble for its poor performance.

Everything that could go wrong is going wrong for the regional airline Flybe, which says a tough aviation market will send it into the red, even without other issues to spook investors.

….    Full article at

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/flybe-blames-the-weather-the-trains-and-the-french-for-its-woes-srhp6vjxc?shareToken=7f07ab49f057a7b1f9ee773e7e79ede6

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Earlier:

FLYBE HEADS TO HEATHROW

Flybe strengthens UK regional connectivity by launching two new routes between Scotland and Heathrow

20TH DECEMBER 2016 (Flybe press release)

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has today announced that it is heading to London Heathrow for the first time next year to connect the UK’s largest international airport with Scotland, offering a choice of more than 40 scheduled flights a week from Aberdeen and Edinburgh. The new routes complement Flybe’s well-established London City flights from the two Scottish airports.Flybe will operate the slots which became available as a result of commitments required by the European Commission following the acquisition of BMI by International Consolidated Airlines Group. Flybe is not required to pay to use the slots, other than meet Heathrow landing and passenger charges. The slots will not be purchased by Flybe and will therefore not be brought onto the balance sheet.

Flybe will be using Heathrow’s Terminal 2 and will offer ‘One Stop to the World’ connectivity to its codeshare and interline partners. Flights have been conveniently timed for both business and leisure travel and fares are from £39.99 one way including taxes and charges.

This route expansion means that, with effect from 26th March 2017, Flybe will offer up to 18 flights a day between London and Edinburgh, and 10 between London and Aberdeen.

Flybe’s Executive Chairman, Simon Laffin, said: “We are delighted to announce our first flights to London Heathrow, significantly enhancing our UK domestic route network and offering even better links between Scotland and London. The new routes to Heathrow complement the existing ones we operate to London City, and will benefit our business customers and customers in Scotland who want to connect with our long haul codeshare partners.

“Flybe is the leading airline serving UK domestic passengers and these new services position us well to serve our passengers in both Scotland and the South East. We have long been lobbying for Heathrow to offer more opportunities for domestic flights to enhance regional connectivity. Whilst other operators may have dismissed the possibility of further domestic routes into Heathrow, we look forward to working with the airport to further expand the range of domestic destinations.”

Heathrow’s Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye, added: “Improving the connections into Heathrow from all around the UK will be vital in helping to secure the economic future of communities in every corner of the nation. Today’s announcement shows that the measures we’re introducing, such as the £10 reduction on domestic passenger charges, are already working to secure vital links. More airlines flying routes to Scottish airports means more flights, more competition and choice for families, and more visitors to Scotland. With Flybe based at Terminal 2, it also means new, unique direct access from Heathrow to markets such as Colombia, Taipei and Auckland – meaning more opportunity for Scottish businesses looking to reach new export markets.”

UK Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon commented: “These routes are great news for passengers and businesses who rely on strong links between Scotland and Heathrow, the UK’s major hub airport, opening up more opportunities to connect Aberdeen and Edinburgh with destinations around the world. It is precisely these sorts of connections which make expanding Heathrow the preferred choice for the UK, to deliver an economy that works for everyone.”

https://www.flybe.com/corporate/media/news/1612/20.htm

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Flybe fined for sending 3.3 million unwanted emails

29.3.2017 (BBC)

The airline Flybe has been fined £70,000 for sending more than 3.3 million marketing emails to people who had opted out of receiving them.

The emails, sent in August 2016, advised people to amend out-of-date personal information and update their marketing preferences.

They also gave people the chance to enter a prize draw.

But the regulator said Flybe should have obtained people’s consent before sending the emails.

“Sending emails to determine whether people want to receive marketing, without the right consent, is still marketing, and it is against the law,” said Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the Information Commissioner’s Office.

“In Flybe’s case, the company deliberately contacted people who had already opted out of emails from them.”

Flybe told the BBC it wanted to “sincerely apologise” to affected customers.

“We can confirm that appropriate mechanisms have already been actioned to ensure that such a situation does not happen again,” it added.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39430349

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MSP motion lodged at Holyrood about Edinburgh Airport flawed flight path consultation

Neil Findlay MSP (Labour Party) is a firm opponent of the changes to flight paths, overflying many areas that were previously unaffected, that Edinburgh airport is planning.  He has lodged a motion at Holyrood about the airport’s current consultation on airspace change. If the motion gets sufficient support from MSPs across at least 3 political parties, it becomes eligible to be debated in the Chamber. Neil Findlay was able to lead a previous members’ debate in September 2015 which led to the scrapping of the airport’s TUTUR flight path trial. Neil has now put down a motion in the Scottish Parliament (Motion S5M-04708) saying: “That the Parliament notes what it sees as the growing concerns about Edinburgh Airport’s plan to introduce new flight paths; and asking “Edinburgh Airport scraps what is considered this flawed consultation and begins the process again with up-to-date information and a more robust and credible consultation process.”  People in Scotland are encouraged, by Edinburgh Airport Watch, to contact their MSP by email to ask them to sign his motion. The consultation by Edinburgh airport is inadequate, contains incorrect information, and is based on faulty data. But the altered routes would inflict noise on new areas, and for huge numbers of those sensitive to noise, have life changing consequences.
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Edinburgh Airport Flawed Flight Path Consultation – MSP motion lodged at Holyrood

“Flawed Airport Consultation: Motion in Parliament S5M-04708”

21st March 2017

Neil Findlay MSP has lodged a motion at Holyrood about the airport’s current consultation.

This is really important.  If this motion gets sufficient support from MSPs across at least 3 political parties, it becomes eligible to be debated in the Chamber. Neil Findlay was able to lead a previous members’ debate in September 2015 which led to the scrapping of the airport’s TUTUR flight path trial. YOU therefore need to take action now. Today.

And the best bit is, you don’t have to do very much at all. All you have to do is send an email to all your MSPs and ask them to sign it.

Call to action today!
3 easy steps which will make you feel empowered in our fight against Edinburgh Airport Expansion.

This is our real chance to have it debated in Parliament. We need ALL political parties.

  1. Look up your MSPs    https://www.writetothem.com
  2. Email them to support Neil Findlay motion https://bb.parliament.scot/…/DetailsPart…/S5M-04708/20170321
  3. Copy Edinburgh Airport Watch  in your email edinburghairportwatch@gmail.com and tweet or Facebook that you have done it. Find us on Facebook at Edinburgh Airport Watch and on twitter @EAW_group

Please take a few minutes to send an email to your MSPs today, the airport’s proposals are based on faulty data and have little justification yet will have life changing consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Concerted efforts can put a stop to it – but it starts with you.

Share this message as widely as you can throughout all your networks. The airport is on the ropes, at the public meetings last week in Dunfermline and Livingston they were under serious pressure from angry and worried members of the public. Reasonable questions are simply not being answered. Their plans need to be subjected to serious parliamentary scrutiny. Your email to your MSPs today will be the first step along that road. Thank you!

Link and full text below.

http://www.parliament.scot/…/currentm…/Neil-Findlay-MSP.aspx

Motion S5M-04708: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/03/2017

That the Parliament notes what it sees as the growing concerns about Edinburgh Airport’s plan to introduce new flight paths; understands that around 120 people attended the latest in a series of public meetings in Livingston to voice their opposition; believes that a number of flaws within the consultation have been identified, including the lack of inclusion of a health impact assessment of the proposed changes to airspace use since 2014, despite a number of residents reporting mental and physical health effects due to increased noise over their homes, the lack of evidence for the assertion that 25,000 fewer properties will be overflown as a result of the changes, that Winchburgh and East Calder residents were informed through the first consultation that they would not be affected by any proposed changes but have since found that they will be affected by new plans, and the use of outdated census data from 2011 as the basis for the consultation, and notes calls for the Scottish Government to urge the Civil Aviation Authority to demand that Edinburgh Airport scraps what is considered this flawed consultation and begins the process again with up-to-date information and a more robust and credible consultation process.

http://www.parliament.scot/…/currentm…/Neil-Findlay-MSP.aspx

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