In 2014 Heathrow had 86,000 noise complaints in 5 months – with a 5-fold increase between 2013 and 2014

Heathrow have disclosed to Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith that they received a staggering 86,000 complaints about aircraft noise in just 5 months last year. Overall, 94,114 individual noise complaints were made to Heathrow in 2014 compared to just 18,826 in 2013.  That is a 5-fold increase in the number of complaints, and a 3-fold increase in the number of people complaining. Heathrow  says this is due to the airspace trails they carried out in the last half of 2014 where they tested new flight paths, both to the west and to the east of the airport. Zac Goldsmith said “the recent flight path trials offer a tiny hint of what’s to come if Heathrow is expanded. The trials affected a small part of West London, whereas a 3rd runway would bring hundreds of thousands of new people  into the airport’s noise footprint. At this stage they know nothing about it. This …. demonstrates how badly affected people are by aircraft noise.” The figures also show that nearly 7,000 people complained about night and early morning flights in 2014. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Heathrow and the Wider Economy, recently produced a report showing how the impact of noise from Heathrow’s flight paths has been seriously underestimated.
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Heathrow faces 86,000 Noise Complaints in five months

21.1.2015 (Zac Goldsmith’s website)

Heathrow Airport have disclosed to Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith that they received a staggering 86,000 complaints about aircraft noise in just 5 months last year.

Overall, 94,114 individual noise complaints were made to Heathrow in 2014 compared to just 18,826 in 2013. Heathrow have stated that the vast increase is due to the airspace trails they carried out in the last half of 2014 where they tested new flight paths, both to the west and to the east of the airport.

Commenting on the newly released figures Mr Goldsmith said “the recent flight path trials offer a tiny hint of what’s to come if Heathrow is expanded. The trials affected a small part of West London, whereas a third runway would bring hundreds of thousands of new people  into the airport’s noise footprint. At this stage they know nothing about it. This astonishing figure not only demonstrates how badly affected people are by aircraft noise, it shows how important it is that Heathrow releases details of the flight paths they intend to use if expansion goes ahead.”

Other figures provided by Heathrow show that nearly 7,000 people complained about night and early morning flights in 2014. In addition to a sharp rise in the number of complaints received by Heathrow in relation to noise, the number of people who lodged complaints also rose by more than 300%.

The release of these figures follow publication of a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Heathrow and the Wider Economy, which identifies how the Government, Parliament and the Aviation Industry have seriously underestimated the impact of noise from Heathrow’s flight paths.

In particular the report lambasted Government for failing to use the internationally accepted formula for measuring noise, as set by the World Health Organisation some 15 years ago. Existing noise measurements show a consistently high impact from Heathrow’s noise on local communities but if the Government were to use the WHO formula, that number would increase from 750,000 to approximately 1.5 million people.

Heathrow’s CEO confirmed to the MPs on the Committee that a successful third runway would pave the way for a fourth runway. MPs also took evidence that an expanded Heathrow would mean less respite for residents under the flight path.

Zac Goldsmith added; “the impact of noise today is hard to exaggerate, but with a third runway it would reach a different dimension. A green light for expansion would trigger an almighty backlash from the many hundreds of thousands of residents under the flightpath.”

Peter Willan, Chair of the Richmond Heathrow Campaign said “The dramatic increase in complaints forewarn of great difficulty that will arise in the current redesign of London’s airspace. The blight being created by Heathrow’s aircraft noise over a huge swathe of London is surely enough to scare any government into not supporting more flights.”

Notes to the Editor:

The report:

APPG Report Noise from Heathrow Airport: LINK

“Noise from Heathrow Airport – An Inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heathrow and the Wider Economy”. 18th December 2014

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http://www.zacgoldsmith.com/heathrow-faces-86000-noise-complaints-in-five-months/

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See also

 

MPs group identify serious concerns about noise implications of Heathrow expansion

On the 18th December 2014, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Heathrow and the Wider Economy launched its report ‘Noise from Heathrow Airport’ which sets out how the Government, Parliament and the Aviation Industry have seriously underestimated the impact of noise from Heathrow’s flight paths. The report considered the present and future noise impact of Heathrow’s flight paths, with the existing two runways, and with the proposed 3rd runway. It found a substantial list of gaps in HAL’s proposals and has produced a list of actions for the Government, Airport’s Commission and HAL that are necessary to tackle the existing problem and that are central to the consideration of any 3rd runway. These include the need for noise to be measured using the WHO formula; the need for full information about future flight paths, and respite periods, so residents are properly informed; proper estimates of numbers affected by noise in future, taking into account the anticipated growth in population in affected areas; and reduction in night flights. The APPG notes that HAL’s CEO has confirmed to the APPG that a successful 3rd runway would pave the way for a 4th runway.

Click here to view full story…

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Fears over “illustrative map” showing Gatwick flight path over Copthorne and Crawley Down

Copthorne and Crawley Down residents have expressed disbelief that a map released by the Airports Commission about Gatwick’s proposed 2nd runway shows what appears to be plans for a new flightpath directly over their homes. The Airports Commission  insisted on the production of a map showing a flight path to assess the “operational viability” of the runway,  but Gatwick management and NATS say it should “not be interpreted as representative of the location of future flight paths”  The map is from a NATS document, which says “These designs are for illustrative purposes only and should not be interpreted as representative of the location of future flight paths, should a particular scheme be recommended….”  Although there is currently no permanent flight path in place over the area, residents from both Copthorne and Crawley Down have complained of noise from changes to flight paths over the past year, including the introduction of a “concentrated flight path. People have become eer more aware of the planes and increasingly concerned about future increases, with planes using a new southern runway 1km south of the current one creating yet more noise near them.
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Fears over “illustrative map” showing Gatwick flight path over Copthorne and Crawley Down

17.1.2015 (East Grinstead Courier)

By Jo Gilbert

COPTHORNE and Crawley Down residents have expressed disbelief that a map released by the Airports Commission relating to Gatwick’s proposed second runway shows what appears to be plans for a new flightpath directly over their homes.

Indicative Gatwick flight path maps

Map is from  Annexe 3: Gatwick Airport Second Runway – indicative Arrival and Departure Paths

Page 39 of https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/371854/14-operational-efficiency–airspace.pdf
“NATS Support to the Airports Commission” (not dated)

The Airports Commission – appointed by the Government to recommend at which airport an additional runway should be built – insisted on the production of a map showing a flight path to assess the “operational viability” of a second runway at Gatwick, but airport management say it should “not be interpreted as representative of the location of future flight paths” and that it is for illustrative purposes only.

The map was produced by the Airports Commission using information supplied by Gatwick’s management.

Although there is currently no permanent flight path in place over the Worth area, residents from both Copthorne and Crawley Down have complained of noise from changes to flight paths over the past year, including the introduction of “concentrated” paths where flights are flown in a tight air corridor.

Eddie Lord, a former British Airways pilot and resident of Borers Arms Road, Copthorne, said: “I think the activity coming from Gatwick this year has made everyone sensitive to the possibility of more noise. The concentrated flight paths have made it worse for people in certain areas, but even if it turns out that the flight path won’t be coming over Copthorne or Crawley Down, a second runway 1km south of the current one will mean the noise is 1km closer. There’s no doubt the noise will have a huge impact on everyone living in the area.”

A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said: “As the document makes clear, these maps are for illustration purposes only so it is incorrect and misleading to suggest they show the future flight paths of a second runway.

“Any new flight paths will be subject to detailed study and would be required to be designed in a way that avoids over-flying communities and minimises the number of people affected. These illustrative lines do not reflect that policy and so should not be taken to represent a proposal.”

But Sally Pavey, secretary of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), believes that trial flight paths and concentrated flight paths over Copthorne and Crawley Down is evidence that future plans to introduce permanent flight paths over Worth are already under way.

She said: “This has caused many residents misery in the Worth area as they suffer a constant flow of planes above their homes. These concentrated routes continue even now. The flight paths have to go somewhere and the map showing ‘indicative flight paths” over Worth are very suspicious. Residents will get hammered by noise.”

Concerned Worth resident Jane Wilson added: “There are many people living in the area who do not realise the scale of what is being proposed. I think the most important thing is that people are informed and that they respond to the Airports Commission consultation.”

All material relating to the consultation can be found at http://tinyurl.com/m53v8j2

http://www.eastgrinsteadcourier.co.uk/Fears-illustrative-map-showing-flight-path/story-25849208-detail/story.html

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The document (presumably by NATS, though it unprofessionally gives neither date nor author), linked above, states:

“For the purposes of assessing the operational viability of each scheme proposal it was
necessary to produce indicative flight path designs. These designs are for illustrative
purposes only and should not be interpreted as representative of the location of future
flight paths, should a particular scheme be recommended and ultimately granted
Government approval. It should also be noted that finalising the routes of future flight
paths will be a matter for detailed design in future years prior to runway opening.

• For the Gatwick Airport Second Runway proposal, indicative flight path designs were
constructed by the Commission in conjunction with expert advisers – please see Annex 3.


 

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West Sussex County Council Cabinet will not include mention of vote against Gatwick runway in its Airports Commission consultation response

West Sussex County Council voted against supporting a 2nd Gatwick runway – with 37 votes to 26 votes, with 4 abstentions.  It also agreed its official response to the Airports Commission’s consultation expressing ‘serious concerns’ about the implications of a Gatwick 2nd runway.  At a special Full Council meeting councillors almost unanimously approved the 20-page document which lists the improvements it believes need to be made before any proposal to expand the airport is submitted to Government.  Leader of West Sussex County  Council, Mrs Louise Goldsmith, and the Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, Pieter Montyn, continue to back the runway. Mr Montyn said the council would not be including information on the vote in their submission to the Commission. Mrs Goldsmith was eager to assert that the Commission’s decision on a runway would not be influenced by her council – an opinion which many would disagree with. Mr Montyn said: “The issue of a 2nd runway at Gatwick is an extremely emotive subject and that played out at today’s meeting.  [The Commission …]  asks us to comment on the methodology and evidence base of [their] assessments, and to put forward improvements that we believe should be made.”  Hence its position opposing Gatwick expansion will not form part of its consultation response.
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County council approves response to Airports Commission on Gatwick second runway

20.1.2015 (West Sussex County Times)

JPCT 190115 S15031139x protesters outside WSCC meeting on Gatwick Airport County Hall North. Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-150119-122210001

West Sussex County Council agreed its official response to the Airports Commission’s consultation expressing ‘serious concerns’ about the implications of a second runway at Gatwick yesterday (Monday January 19).

At a special Full Council meeting councillors almost unanimously approved the 20-page document which lists the improvements it believes need to be made before any proposal to expand the airport is submitted to Government.

Sir Howard Davies is leading the Airports Commission into airport capacity in the South East and is expected to make a recommendation to central Government later this year, with both Gatwick and Heathrow bidding to be selected for expansion.

The decision was followed by a debate on whether or not the county council should approve a motion expressing ‘its opposition to a new runway to expand Gatwick Airport’, which was passed by 37 to 26 votes with four abstentions.

Pieter Montyn, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The issue of a second runway at Gatwick is an extremely emotive subject and that played out at today’s meeting.

“It was only right that all members of West Sussex County Council were given the opportunity to debate and put forward their views, and those of their residents as well. That’s democracy.

“In terms of the response to the consultation, the Airports Commission at no point asked respondents whether or not they agree that an additional runway is needed. Nor does it ask us whether we have a preference as to where additional capacity should be provided.

“It asks us to comment on the methodology and evidence base of the Airports Commission’s initial assessments, and to put forward improvements that we believe should be made. Our response contains a raft of improvements that we believe need to be made by both Gatwick and the government.”

According to the county council its position opposing expansion will not form part of its response to the consultation.

Mr Montyn added: “Councillors believed that Gatwick has not, to date, put forward sufficient evidence to counter the very serious environmental and noise fears of local residents and so voted to now oppose expansion.

“However, irrespective of our position, our role now is to start planning for the future. The decision about the runway will be made by government so we have a responsibility and duty to plan for either scenario – second runway at Gatwick or not. This is what we will continue to do that with our district and borough colleagues to ensure West Sussex gets the best deal it can.”

The consultation response will now be sent to the Airports Commission for consideration.

http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/local/county-council-approves-response-to-airports-commission-on-gatwick-second-runway-1-6531593

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See also:

West Sussex County Council votes to oppose a 2nd Gatwick runway (Kent CC has already done so too)

A second County Council has withdrawn its support for a 2nd Gatwick runway, because of the high level of local opposition – and the unconvincing case made by the airport. West Sussex County Council (WSCC) voted by 37 to 26 to reverse its (somewhat unorthodox) decision in July 2013 to support another Gatwick runway. It held today’s special meeting to debate the Gatwick issue, because the Council needed to write its response to the Airports Commission consultation, before it ends on 3rd February. Kent County Council withdrew its backing for a second runway in November, because of new flight paths. Over almost 5 hours of debate, numerous WSCC councillors put their points, displaying a sincere intention to act in the best interests of the county’s residents, as they saw them. Many expressed dissatisfaction with the Airports Commission’s documents and analysis, saying it was incomplete and often inaccurate. There was a high level of uncertainty about the inability of the county’s infrastructure to cope with the stresses of a new runway, with transport being of particular concern. Ultimately councillors felt there were likely to be huge costs and problems from a runway, with uncertain benefits. They voted against the runway. Gatwick said it was disappointed by WSCC’s decision.

Click here to view full story…

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West Sussex County Council votes to oppose a 2nd Gatwick runway (Kent CC has already done so too)

A second County Council has withdrawn its support for a 2nd Gatwick runway, because of the high level of local opposition – and the unconvincing case made by the airport.  West Sussex County Council (WSCC) voted by 37 to 26 to reverse its (somewhat unorthodox) decision in July 2013 to support another Gatwick runway.  It held today’s special meeting to debate the Gatwick issue, because the Council needed to write its response to the Airports Commission consultation, before it ends on 3rd February.  Kent County Council withdrew its backing for a second runway in November, because of new flight paths. Over almost 5 hours of debate, numerous WSCC councillors put their points, displaying a sincere intention to act in the best interests of the  county’s residents, as they saw them. Many expressed dissatisfaction with the Airports Commission’s documents and analysis, saying it was incomplete and often inaccurate. There was a high level of uncertainty about the inability of the county’s infrastructure to cope with the stresses of a new runway, with transport being of particular concern. Ultimately councillors felt there were likely to be huge costs and problems from a runway, with uncertain benefits. They voted against the runway. Gatwick said it was disappointed by WSCC’s decision.

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WSCC group with youngster 19.1.2015


 

Gatwick expansion: Second council makes runway U-turn

19.1.2015 (BBC)

Gatwick protest

Campaigners against the second runway protested outside the West Sussex County Council meeting

A second county council has withdrawn its support for another runway at Gatwick airport because of the high level of local opposition.

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) voted by 37 to 26 to reverse its decision in July 2013 to support expansion of the airport.

Kent County Council withdrew its backing for a second runway in November, because of new flight paths.

Gatwick said it was disappointed by WSCC’s decision.

The Airports Commission is considering three options for airport expansion in the South East – a second runway at Gatwick, a third runway at Heathrow or an extension to one of the existing Heathrow runways.

‘Emotive subject’

WSCC held a special meeting to consider its response to a public consultation that ends next month.

“The issue of a second runway at Gatwick is an extremely emotive subject,” said Councillor Pieter Montyn.

“Councillors believed that Gatwick has not, to date, put forward sufficient evidence to counter the very serious environmental and noise fears of local residents.

“However, irrespective of our position, our role now is to start planning for the future.

“The decision about the runway will be made by government so we have a responsibility and duty to plan for either scenario – second runway at Gatwick or not.”

The council’s official response is contained in 20 pages of improvements it believes should be made before any proposal to expand Gatwick is submitted to the government.

CGI of second Gatwick runway
The proposed second runway at Gatwick is being considered by the Airports Commission
The Airports Commission is expected to make its final recommendation later this year.

Gatwick said it believed expansion would bring a huge boost for the local economy, including thousands of jobs.

“We will continue to work closely with West Sussex County Council to illustrate the benefits that expansion will deliver,” it said.

“Gatwick is doing as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30889144

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The Amendment that was voted on, by Mr Griffiths, was:

“The environmental damage is without question, whereas the economic benefit is unproven and may well be negative. Therefore this Council expresses its opposiiton to a new runway to expand Gatwick Airport”

This was an amendment to a longer original motion by Cllr  Bill Acraman.


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See also:

West Sussex County Council Cabinet will not include mention of vote against Gatwick runway in its Airports Commission consultation response

West Sussex County Council voted against supporting a 2nd Gatwick runway – with 37 votes to 26 votes, with 4 abstentions. It also agreed its official response to the Airports Commission’s consultation expressing ‘serious concerns’ about the implications of a Gatwick 2nd runway. At a special Full Council meeting councillors almost unanimously approved the 20-page document which lists the improvements it believes need to be made before any proposal to expand the airport is submitted to Government. Leader of West Sussex County Council, Mrs Louise Goldsmith, and the Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, Pieter Montyn, continue to back the runway. Mr Montyn said the council would not be including information on the vote in their submission to the Commission. Mrs Goldsmith was eager to assert that the Commission’s decision on a runway would not be influenced by her council – an opinion which many would disagree with. Mr Montyn said: “The issue of a 2nd runway at Gatwick is an extremely emotive subject and that played out at today’s meeting. [The Commission …] asks us to comment on the methodology and evidence base of [their] assessments, and to put forward improvements that we believe should be made.” Hence its position opposing Gatwick expansion will not form part of its consultation response.

Click here to view full story…

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex CC speaking at Gatwick debate. She favours 2nd runway. Gatwick Diamond member


Video of the Gatwick song

There is a short video clip, with part of the Gatwick Runway song, at  http://www.chichester.co.uk/news/video-county-council-votes-to-oppose-second-runway-at-gatwick-airport-1-6530034

Some of the words of the song (to the tune of “What shalll we do with the Drunken Sailor?”)
Gatwick song chorus: “No Way, 2nd runway; No Way, 2nd runway; No Way, 2nd runway, Never, Never, Never.” 

Verses:

“What shall we do with Gatwick Airport?”  Response  “Tell them that the runway is a non-starter.”

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“What shall we do with the noisy flight paths?” Response “Keep on protesting till they stop them.”

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“What shall we do with Stewart Wingate?” Response: “Put him on a plane with a one way ticket .. all the way to China”

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“What shall we do with Sir Howard Davies?” Response: “Pop him upstairs with a brand new title… if he says no runway”

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“What shall we do with the County Council?” Response “”Tell ’em to repent, and we’ll forgive them”

And then ends on “Not in bed with Gatwick”.  [But they did repent!]

A Gatwick runway would affect people living on this area for decades to come. ie. Our children – at protest today

Sally Pavey being interviewed outside West Sussex County Council meeting on Gatwick runway today

Waiting for the West Sussex County Council debate and vote on Gatwick’s 2nd runway today. Active and vocal opposition


 

Below are some tweets during the debate, reflecting a few of the many points made:

Water will be a considerable challenge for Sussex etc if a 2nd runway was built. The area is already an area subject to serious water stress

Real issue that a new runway will mean huge extra costs for local authorities. But they are struggling with huge budget cuts now & for years

Cllr: “I want future generations of young people in West Sussex to be able to enjoy the same quality of life that I enjoyed as a child here”


Fears for young people in future that 2nd Gatwick runway would mean ever higher house prices in the area. Ever harder for them to buy a home


North south divide can only be exacerbated by a new SE runway. Data suggest every new SE job created means a job in the north is lost


 Gatwick runway would mean loss of business & commercial space. There is already a shortage. Where will these alleged new businesses locate?


A few W Sussex cllrs seem to fear Gatwick might become some sort of half dead backwater without a 2nd runway. That is simply not happening!

Compared to. the extent of CO2 emissions & environmental damage done by a 2nd runway many other forms of growth & development would be more effective

Cllrs reminded there are many other developments & businesses that could come to WSussex & provide the good jobs & careers young people need


Cllr at W Sussex says with the extent of errors, omissions & estimates of doubtful validity in the Gatwick case, the council cannot accept

Cllrs need to look carefully in detail at the real impacts locally of a runway & not be unduly swayed by Gatwick Diamond & runway publicity

Cllr Brenda Smith, cllr for Crawley, does not want her constituents just offered low pay low skill airport jobs. Or any other second best

One particularly perceptive and imaginative ( ho hum) councillor says she cannot imagine any residents opposing a new Gatwick runway…

Comment made that in George Orwell’s 1984 the name for the UK was “Airstrip One”. Supreme irony with the runway building nightmare now.

Many councillors at the W Sussex meeting have spoken well and articulately against Gatwick runway. Almost no effective comments in favour.

W Sussex cllr says with the infrastructure problems for the area & environmental problems it would be “barmy” for the Council to back it

W Sussex cllr. saying he backed a 2nd Gatwick runway in 2013. Now sees the economics, jobs etc now look very uncertain. Now against runway

Cllr Bill Acraman says Gatwick aim is to sell airport for higher price, with consent for runway. GAL dubious economics doubted by Commission

W Sussex now debating an amendment that it would “express opposition to a new runway to expand Gatwick Airport” by Cllr Griffiths

W Sussex CC have voted unanimously in favour of the Motion by Mrs Arculus that the Council response to Commission will ask for improvements

One councillor? Cllr Rae said whatever the temptations on economics he wanted to be rememered for having done the right thing on environment

Cllr Montyn at W Sussex says Airports Commission analysis has so many scenarios that they give no real usable, forecasts. Need improvements

W Sussex councillors taking seriously their responsibilities to current & future county residents. Great concern on land take, roads etc etc

Hearing how many W Sussex councillors have serious concerns about strains on infrastructure, it would be remarkable if council backed runway

W Sussex amendment for Council to neither support nor oppose Gatwick expansion. + another that asks for improvements in Commission analysis

GAL is offering to meet, discuss etc need for more infrastructure. But absolutely NO offers to actually pay for the massive costs involved

GAL realise its failure to deal with need for extensive new infrastructure if there was a 2nd runway. Say there is need for “further work”

West Sussex debate focusing on harm done to the area from a runway & mainly the shortage of all sorts of infrastructure that already exists

West Sussex councillor points out that if GIP sell Gatwick no GAL promises made now will have any validity or be enforceable from new owner


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Crawley councillors say Airports Commission report into impact of Gatwick 2nd runway is riddled with mistakes

Crawley councillors will vote on what the council’s position should be on a 2nd Gatwick runway on January 26.   Members of the borough’s overview and scrutiny committee have delivered a scathing assessment of an Airports Commission report into the impact of the runway, saying it is inaccurate, inadequate and ill-informed. The councillors do not want the council to remain impartial on the issue.  Concerns were raised about what they feel are serious shortcomings by the Commission regarding its grasp of the current infrastructure, housing issues and level of employment in Crawley, provision of schools, and the impact expansion would have on the local area. There is little confidence the Commission is even aware of some of these matters, or that it can possibly predict what sort of infrastructure will be needed to support a 2nd runway. While the Commission presumes there is available labour, the council says the current unemployment  figure is only 5.3%. As it is, Crawley cannot currently meet its target of building 500 homes a year, due to a lack of available land to build on, let alone many more.  There was serious concern about schools that would be demolished, and the runway’s impact on the borough’s newest school.
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Council blasts report into impact of second runway at Gatwick Airport as riddled with mistakes

16.1.2015 (Crawley News)

“HOGWASH”: An Airports Commission report has been slammed by the council

CRAWLEY councillors have delivered a scathing assessment of an Airports Commission report into the impact of a second runway at Gatwick – labelling it inaccurate, inadequate and ill-informed.

Members of the borough council’s overview and scrutiny commission (OSC) met on Monday to discuss what comments they wished to make before the full council meets next week to decide to support or oppose airport expansion.

The councillors present unanimously rejected a suggestion that the council should remain impartial, stating that a decision must be reached either way as to whether to back Gatwick’s proposals at next Friday’s meeting.

However, concerns were raised about what they feel are serious shortcomings on the part of the Airports Commission regarding its grasp of the current infrastructure, housing issues and level of employment in Crawley, and the impact expansion would have on the local area.

With all this in mind severe doubt was cast by councillors on how the commission, which will advise the Government on whether an extra runway should be built at Gatwick or Heathrow, can possibly predict what sort of infrastructure will be needed to support a second runway.

After several members spoke of their individual concerns, OSC chairman Bill Ward said: “It’s almost unbelievable that we’ve got a commission which has been sitting for so long and most of their data is hogwash.”

The Airports Commission’s latest report suggests there is a ready-made labour force already in place in Crawley, ready to take up the jobs expansion will bring, citing an unemployment rate of about nine per cent.

However, the council says the current unemployment  figure is only 5.3 per cent.

The town cannot currently meet its target of building 500 homes a year due to a lack of available land to build on.

Providing sufficient primary school places is another issue which crops up every year in the town, however councillors said there appears to be no real indication that the commission understands or is even aware of these issues.

One councillor, Labour’s Geraint Thomas, questioned whether the Airports Commission is even aware of the existence of the recently-opened Gatwick School in Manor Royal, or the listed St Michael and All Angels Church, in Lowfield Heath, which would have to be demolished, as there is no mention of them within the report.

Cllr Thomas questioned what impact another runway would have on Crawley’s newest school, which will eventually cater for 900 pupils, in terms of noise and air pollution.

And he asked what will happen to the bodies buried in the graveyard at the church.

Sallie Lappage, the council’s forward planning manager, and Rachel Cordery, its principal planning officer, have drafted an extensive report to be sent to the Airports Commission outlining what needs to be addressed locally to make a second runway viable. It also highlights the inaccuracies in the Airports Commission report.

The officers have stated that in order to support the amount of housing which would be needed to cater for extra staff working at an expanded airport a new hospital must be built, serving Crawley and Horsham.

An Airports Commission spokesman said the group had done an “unprecedented amount of work” in looking at the options for expansion and welcomed Crawley Borough Council’s comments, which will “help them come to a conclusion” on which option is better.

The deadline for the council to make comments, and to take a firm stance on supporting or opposing Gatwick expansion proposals, is February 3. All councillors will vote on what the council’s position should be on January 26.
http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Council-blasts-report-impact-new-runway/story-25852749-detail/story.html

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See earlier:

Crawley Council told “get off the fence” over Gatwick – key Council debate to be on 26th January

Crawley Borough Council has been told to get off the fence on a 2nd runway at Gatwick. Members of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Commission met recently to discuss the council’s response to the Airports Commission’s consultation. One councillor said: “… at this moment, what people in Crawley … want to hear is their elected representatives taking a view. Not having an opinion and sitting on the fence won’t do any good for anybody.” Others said they had received little or no correspondence from people in favour of expansion, but plenty of opposition, and this must be communicated back to the council. Cllr Brenda Smith said: “We are here to represent the people who elected us. If we haven’t got the ability to make the decision for ourselves, then we shouldn’t be doing the job.” Several councillors found fault with the Airports Commission documents, and errors on housing and employment. There were concerns about the “unrealistic assumption” that housing growth would be spread equally over the 14 authorities surrounding the airport. One councillor said: “Crawley will be just a reserve army of labour for the airport. It will become a suburb of Gatwick.” The view of the Council will be debated at a Special Council Meeting on Monday January 26 – which the public can attend.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Letter: The real cost of Gatwick airport expansion that are not being considered

Sally Pavey, the Chair of CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) writes that at the Airports Commission event on 16th December, Gatwick announced that it would add to its expenditure a new terminal and passenger rail link from day one, which must add at least £2 billion to the overall costs.  And before Christmas Moody Financial questioned Gatwick’s financial stability to afford the expansion. It is not clear who would pay for the Gatwick promises of contributing to infrastructure, unless Gatwick needs to increase passenger landing charges more than anticipated by the Commission, at £23 per passenger.  EasyJet, Gatwick’s number one customer, has already raised concerns over the extra cost of a new runway to their passengers. With such increases in passenger fares will passengers move to Stansted or Luton for cheap flights? The infrastructure costs have been missed in the Airports Commission report for Gatwick, so no allowance for schools, hospitals, new roads, railways, GPs, affordable housing. If one in five that work at Heathrow live adjacent to the airport then where will the 90,000 low skilled workers (AC figures) going to live?
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Letter from Sally Pavey (CAGNE): The real cost of airport expansion

17 January 2015 (West Sussex Gazette)

Can Gatwick actually afford all its promises?

At the Airports Commission event, prior to Christmas, Gatwick announced that it would add to its expenditure a new terminal and passenger rail link from day one, which must add at least £2 billion to the overall costs.

Prior to Christmas Moody Financial questioned Gatwick’s financial stability to afford the expansion.

In the Airports Commission report all the finances have been removed concerning Gatwick but not for Heathrow.

So all these Gatwick promises of contributing to the infrastructure, we have to ask who will pay, as it would seem unless Gatwick are going to increase passenger fares more than anticipated by the Commission, £23 a head, in view of the extra expenditure, then we will pay.

EasyJet, Gatwick’s number one customer, has already raised concerns over the extra cost of a new runway to their passengers. With such increases in passenger fares will passengers move to Stansted or Luton for cheap flights?

The Airports Commission sees Gatwick as cheap flight airport and thus brings little into the UK economy compared to Heathrow.

The infrastructure costs have been missed in the Airports Commission report for Gatwick, so no allowance for schools, hospitals, new roads, railways, GPs, affordable housing. If one in five that work at Heathrow live adjacent to the airport then where will the 90,000 low skilled workers (AC figures) going to live?

They also do not include the extra vehicles that the families of these inward migrating workers would add to the 100,000 extra vehicles Gatwick will bring to our roads daily. And then you have to add the workers of all the new businesses that Gatwick Diamond promise will arrive but seem unable to provide evidence of.

Heathrow already has the infrastructure required for a hub airport and will have major Government investment projects to benefits passengers in the form of HS2 and Crossrail which Gatwick does not have.

Will businesses relocate out of the area as they can’t afford to compete against Gatwick salary structures or as office and warehouse space costs escalates due to pressure of large companies forcing existing buinsesses out, and will the 286 businesses bulldozed relocated to a patch of Gatwick land and want to have Gatwick as a landlord or endure the noise of an airport larger than Heathrow?

Gatwick intend to use both runways to full capacity so an incident, like the recent Virgin plane, could be made far worse as the two runways are close together and would be working at full capacity, so would both runways have to be closed? The Civil Aviation Authority is already raising concerns to how close the 2 runways are.

At the Airports Commission Heathrow hearing it was recognised, by the Commission, that the CAA state that new planes are not quieter but no mention of this for Gatwick as the areas surrounding Gatwick are rural and far quieter than Wandsworth – day and night!

In fact Heathrow will actually affect far fewer new people than expanding Gatwick with aircraft noise.

The money coming in to West Sussex County Council, will it actually cover the billions that the infrastructure will cost to support Gatwick 2 or will we see our council tax drastically increase as WSCC and HDC find themselves with even greater short falls than they have now.

And the Government so far has not found money for us in Sussex so why should they suddenly finding funding to support this off shore property developer?

It is election time and you need to ensure that those you elect represent you and not the offshore owners of Gatwick Airport.

Visit www.cagne.org and find assistance in how to answer the Airports Commission consultation, it could be the most important consultation you will ever take part in and if you leave it to others it will be too late.

Say No to a 2nd Runway at Gatwick Airport before 3rd February. (Details on how to respond are below)

Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions)
http://www.westsussextoday.co.uk/news/letters/letter-the-real-cost-of-airport-expansion-1-6520980

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Responding to the Airports Commission final consultation on a possible new runway

As well as the main consultation document, there are over 55 technical documents, with supporting detail.

It is therefore almost impossible for most people to read all these. In order to help people to make a response, without needing to set aside a week or so of their lives to do so, both HACAN at Heathrow, and GACC at Gatwick, have given guidance on how a simple consultation response can be written.

Responses don‘t have to be long, or technical. Just write your views.

1. First, here are links to the main documents:

The main consultation document https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381912/AC01_tagged_amend_25_11.pdf
The main consultation documents(the consultation document itself, documents on two Heathrow and on Gatwick runway options) https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/increasing-the-uks-long-termaviation-capacity
The large number of technical supporting documents

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/additional-airport-capacity-consultationsupporting-documents
2. Second, how to actually send in a response:

Email: Responses should be e-mailed to: airports.consultation@systra.com

or by the online form at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/134578HXHDU

you should get an acknowledgement

 

Responses can also be submitted by post to:
Airports Commission Consultation
Freepost RTKX-USUC-CXAS
PO Box 1492

Woking

GU22 2QR

you will not get an acknowledgement

Copy in your elected (and even prospective parliamentary candidates) so they are aware of your views. The findings of the Commission‘s consultation will be published in a consultation report. This report will include details of the number of responses received and the key topics, points and themes that the consultation generated. The report will alsocontain details of the framework used to analyse the responses.
The Commission will also publish all substantive, technical responses it has received. All these will be published alongside the publication of the Commission‘s final report, due in the summer of 2015.

Documents from GACC to help with responses:

Gatwick: The Runway Facts

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/RUNWAY-FACTS-Gatwick-Unwrapped.pdf

Gatwick Unwrapped -A critical examination of the plansfor a 2nd runway at Gatwick

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Gatwick-Unwrapped-Jan-2015.pdf

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Update from Luton – no sign of work yet on the airport expansion

Plans to allow Luton airport to expand from around 9 million to around 18 million passengers a year, were granted final approval in July 2014. Luton Borough Council gave consent for work to begin on a modernised terminal building. However, nothing much has been heard since.  An update from a Luton resident says there continue to be disagreements about noise, and what the airport and the airlines are doing to keep it as low as possible. So far, as far as anyone knows,  no contracts have yet been awarded to build the expanded airport and there are a number of key “planning” issues in and around the issue of Section 106 agreements yet to be resolved. Some elements of the proposal are described as “reserved matters” – only outline application was made for a multi-storey car-park and a pedestrian link building.  There are concerns that the airport will have difficulty with departure noise levels, which are set out in Conditions by the Planning Authority (which also happens to own the airport).  There are mutterings of “we’ll lose lots of traffic to Stansted…..”.  Worryingly, Planning Authorities can, without further public consultation, relax Conditions if they can be shown to be “onerous.”
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Update from Luton

15.1.2015

When challenged at the Consultative Committee over the change of “Noise Abatement Departure Procedure” to a version which is noisier at locations close to the departure end of the runway, easyJet have proved resistant to justifying the change, though we’re quite sure that it’s all about money – the noisier version involving a reduction in fuel burn of less than 10kg, we believe.

So they’re playing the first round in the “fuel burn vs. noise” battle that will develop as issues such as RNAV departure and arrival routes, and then “open rotor” engines confront us.  The airport management ought to be urging adoption of the quieter practice, according to one of the elements of the Noise Action Plan, but remain silent.

Airport management are proving just as resistant to living up to their so-called Noise Action Plan when it comes to encouraging their operators to make less noise.

Half of all Luton’s movements are by aircraft in the A319/320/321 family and, apart from the small number of brand-new aircraft, all inflict the notorious Airbus Scream/Whine on us as the airflow whistles over the vents of the Fuel Over-Pressure Protectors (FOPPs) which are, essentially, tubes leading to holes in the lower surface of the wings.

Airbus and Lufthansa have researched and developed a “fix” which is incorporated into new deliveries and Airbus has also developed a retrofit kit.  Lufthansa has subsequently retrofitted its entire fleet but easyJet and other operators seem unable to contain their indifference.

Again, it seems to be a simple matter of cost – Airbus tell us that installing the kit, which involves partial draining of the fuel, then removal of the FOPPs, installing the deflectors and then refitting the FOPPs. Airbus estimate 10 manhours, and 7 elapsed hours, for the retrofit – but aircraft operators don’t want to spend the money just to become better neighbours: despite Monarch’s on-site engineering facility which services A319/320/321 and could carry out the mod during service, minimising loss of revenue-hours.

We’re all waiting for the shoe to drop: so far as we can tell, no contracts have yet been awarded to build the expanded airport and there are a number of key “planning” issues in and around the issue of Section 106 agreements yet to be resolved – and some elements of the proposal are described as “reserved matters” – only outline application was made for a multi-storey car-park and a pedestrian link building.

Straws in the wind?

At a recent meeting of the Noise & Track sub-committee there was a certain amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth from the airport over what are seen as near-unachievably low departure noise levels, with fines for exceeding limits, which are embedded in the  Conditions set by the Planning Authority when the application to expand was determined. 

Mutterings of “we’ll lose lots of traffic to Stansted…..”.  It hasn’t escaped some of us, however, that Planning Authorities can, without further public consultation, relax Conditions if they can be shown to be “onerous” – and the Planning Authority just happens to be the airport owner……….

For many years the Consultative Committee had access to a notional budget to spend, where appropriate, on independent environmental consultancy – at the time the arrangements were set up the various Local Authorities each subscribed £50K annually, and disbursements from the budget were made, effectively by the Committee Chairman, for a number of specific consultancy tasks.

About 4 years ago the local authorities were keen to retain the opportunity for independent advice but more keen to save money and, after some debate, the airport MD undertook to provide funding.  Fast forward 4 years – and when we raised the subject of independent advice we were told that “it had become evident that the independent consultants were only saying the same things as the airport’s own consultants so the independent source was deemed to be unnecessary.”

Some of us weren’t overwhelmed at the decision and the somewhat underhand way that it was implemented – a great example of the validity of that adage that one should beware of those who come bearing gifts.

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see also

Lufthansa retrofitting A320 planes with simple, inexpensive, noise-reducing device to stop the “Airbus whine”

The Airbus 320 series of aircraft, many of which are used by the low cost carriers – easyJet in particular – have been known for many years (by the CAA since 2005) to have a particularly irritating high pitched whine. This is caused by air rushing across the under-surface of the wing, where there are Fuel Over Pressure Protector (FOPP) cavities. This generates noise, in the same way as blowing air over the mouth of a bottle.Every A320 series aircraft emits a signature howling noise while approaching to land. It is heard most when the plane is travelling at around 160 knots, and the frequency is around 500-600Hz, which is close to peak sensitivity of the  human ear. There is a relatively simple and inexpensive retrofit, to attach a small aluminium “vortex generator” in front of the cavity. Then can be done at routine aircraft maintenance, though the fuel tanks need to be emptied. Lufthansa is in the process of retrofitting all its A320 series planes. Air France will also do so. EasyJet has been reluctant to do much, as it sees no commercial advantage in doing so.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/11/lufthansa-retrofitting-a320-family-with-simple-inexpensive-noise-reducing-device-to-stop-the-airbus-whine/
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and earlier news from Luton:

Luton Airport expansion plan gets final approval

2.7.2014

Plans for the £100m expansion of London Luton Airport, increasing its capacity to 18 million passengers a year, have been granted final approval.  Luton Borough Council has now given consent for work to begin on a modernised terminal building, providing up to 45,000 extra flights a year.  Link


Spain approves partial privatization of Aena Airports

June 18, 2014

Aena manages 46 airports and 2 heliports in Spain, and provides management services at 15 more airports (including Luton) around the world.  AENA is the major shareholder in London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL) which has the operating concession for Luton airport.  Now Spain’s Council of Ministers has given the go-ahead for a partial privatization of the country’s airports.   Minister of Development Ana Pastor said that up to 49% of Aena Aeropuertos—the airport arm of the Aena Group—will be sold off, with the Spanish government retaining a 51% stake in the company. “The greater efficiency of Aena will be a positive stimulus for the aviation sector in Spain, as well as for other strategic related sectors, such as tourism,” Pastor said.

http://atwonline.com/airports-routes/spain-approves-partial-privatization-aena-airports


 

Eric Pickles decides against calling in Luton’s plans – trampling on views of local residents

May 1, 2014

Luton Airport operators LLAOL have announced that Eric Pickles, Secretary of State at the DCLG, has decided not to call in Luton airport’s expansion plans. This means Luton Borough Council can now grant planning permission for works designed to achieve a doubling of annual passenger capacity. Local opponents of the expansion are horrified and saddened. Earlier a local opinion poll showed some 70% of the public who responded to the consultation over Luton Airport Expansion said “NO” to it. Local community group opposing the expansion, HALE, commented that the application is effectively large enough to be a NSIP (Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project) as it could perhaps add 10 million passengers per year. NSIPs have to be called in, as their scale and the extent of their influence warrant proper scrutiny, in detail. The airport and the government, have failed to take proper account of the local impacts of an extra 9 million passengers per year on local transport infrastructure, and the effect of noise from 60% more flights. “The throwaway comment at the end about being a good neighbour is meaningless …” Luton Council gave consent to the plans in December but Eric Pickles asked to review the decision.

Click here to view full story…


FT reports that uncertain privatisation of AENA casts doubt over its stalled Luton expansion plans

February 22, 2014

Spanish airport operator, AENA, bought Luton airport in summer 2013 from Abertis. AENA is one of the world’s biggest airport operators in terms of passenger numbers, and manages Spain’s major airports. It also owns minority stakes in 15 more airports around the world. The FT says that now their plans are in doubt and Luton has a question mark over its future. Luton is the UK’s 5th largest airport in terms of passengers, and is the base for easyJet. AENA had plans to expand Luton, taking its annual number of passengers from around 9 million to 18 million – plans that have been fiercely opposed locally. AENA had plans to compete with French airport operator ADP, Germany’s Fraport and Singapore’s Changi. The FT says now AENA’s future is unclear and whether it will allow it to be largely privatised. This is having an impact on its Luton plans. The Luton expansion is being held up, or is on a back burner. The privatisation is a political matter within the Spanish government, and whether it has to sell assets to rescue the nation’s economy. The government hope to avoid selling much of AENA, and if it stays under state control, its Luton expansion plans may be scrapped.      Click here to view full story…

 

Luton Airport expansion plan should be called in, say three local MPs

January 7, 2014

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has again been urged to call in the major expansion of Luton Airport. Harpenden MP Peter Lilley has repeated his plea for Mr Pickles to “objectively” consider the scheme, after Luton borough council controversially approved expansion of the airport, despite being its owner. On December 20, just 6 members of the council’s 11-strong development control committee turned up to a planning meeting where they agreed to nearly double passenger throughput to 18 million a year. Mr Lilley condemned the council’s decision to “sneak in the planning hearing just before Christmas” and said: “I have again written to the Secretary of State urging him to call in the planning application to ensure it receives proper consideration, which is seen to be objective. It is essential to make sure that any growth in throughput is made tolerable for those living near the airport and under the flight paths. There are concerns that concessions originally proposed by the operator have not been enshrined in the planning approval granted by Luton.” Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland and MP for North East Hertfordshire Oliver Heald, are also asking for the government to take the decision out of Luton Borough Council’s hands.     Click here to view full story…

 

 

Action group critical of ‘expensive charade’ of Luton council meeting approving airport expansion

Date added: December 29, 2013

The controversial decision by Luton Borough Council to approve the expansion of Luton Airport has been widely criticised by community groups. Michael Nidd, secretary of the London Luton Airport Town and Village Community Committee (LLATVCC),has described the delayed, 8-hour meeting on 20th December, in which the decision was made as a “very, very expensive charade.” Only 6 of the development control committee’s 11 members attended the meeting, which had already been postponed. This came after Herts County Council demanded a second, impartial, legal opinion on Luton Borough Council’s suitability to make the decision, given it owns all of the shares in the airport. Michael Nidd said: “Only six of [the councillors] bothered to turn up, and we had hours and hours of very highly-paid people in the morning saying what a splendid scheme it is, but when it came time to debate, discuss and vote they spent as long as 10 minutes on it.” There is concern about the manner in which this decision, which has such colossal effects on all the surrounding communities, has been taken. Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has written to Eric Pickles, to request that the decision be called in, due to the impacts on his constituency.

Click here to view full story…

 

 

 

 

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Crawley Council told “get off the fence” over Gatwick – key Council debate to be on 26th January

Crawley Borough Council has been told to get off the fence on a 2nd runway at Gatwick. Members of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Commission met recently to discuss the council’s response to the Airports Commission’s consultation. One councillor said: “… at this moment, what people in Crawley … want to hear is their elected representatives taking a view. Not having an opinion and sitting on the fence won’t do any good for anybody.” Others said they had received little or no correspondence from people in favour of expansion, but plenty of opposition, and this must be communicated back to the council. Cllr Brenda Smith said:  “We are here to represent the people who elected us. If we haven’t got the ability to make the decision for ourselves, then we shouldn’t be doing the job.” Several councillors found fault with the Airports Commission documents, and errors on housing and employment. There were concerns about  the “unrealistic assumption” that housing growth would be spread equally over the 14 authorities surrounding the airport. One councillor said:  “Crawley will be just a reserve army of labour for the airport. It will become a suburb of Gatwick.” The view of the Council will be debated at a Special Council Meeting on Monday January 26 – which the public can attend.

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Crawley Council told get off fence over Gatwick

Gatwick Airport 5-1-15 (Pic by Jon Rigby)
14.1.2015 (Carwley and Horley Observer)

Crawley Borough Council has been told to get off the fence and vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the building of a second runway at Gatwick.

Members of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Commission met at the town hall on Monday (January 12) to discuss the council’s response to the Airports Commission’s (AC) consultation on expansion.

The commission, which is made up of councillors from both Labour and the Conservatives, also expressed concerns about some of the information being used by the AC as it prepared to make its recommendation to the Government in July.

Regarding the issue of speaking in favour of, or against, a second runway, Cllr Ian Irvine (Lab, Broadfield North) said: “My view is, at this moment, what people in Crawley who are interested want to hear is their elected representatives taking a view.

“Not having an opinion and sitting on the fence won’t do any good for anybody.”

Cllr Howard Bloom (Con, Pound Hill South & Worth) was one of several councillors who informed the meeting he had received little or no correspondence from people in favour of expansion, but plenty of opposition.

He added: “It’s very difficult to remain neutral at this stage. The feedback we get must be communicated back to the council.”

Cllr Bloom warned the council would “miss the boat” if it didn’t take the opportunity to air its views.

He was backed by Cllr Brenda Smith (Lab, Langley Green) who said: “We are here to represent the people who elected us. If we haven’t got the ability to make the decision for ourselves, then we shouldn’t be doing the job.”

The council has until February 3 to submit its response to the Airports Commission’s consultation.

Both councillors and officers raised concerns about the accuracy of some of the information in the consultation documents.

Among the concerns were the figures being used to represent the town’s unemployment rate, which the meeting was told were wrong; the accuracy of the impact of expansion on the local area; and incorrect assumptions about housing growth.

A report put before the meeting also highlighted “questionable” conclusions about housing density and the “unrealistic assumption” housing growth would be spread equally over the 14 authorities surrounding the airport.

Cllr Karen Sudan (Lab, West Green) said there were “some glaring contradictions” in the consultation documents.

Cllr Bill Ward (Lab, West Green), chairing the meeting, said: “If we look at all the social and economic issues across the town, the AC work does not add up. It’s almost unbelievable that you have had a consultation that’s been sitting for so long and most of their data is hogwash.”

While no councillor was called on to officially say whether they supported expansion, Cllr Ward made his concerns and feelings clear.

He said: “Crawley will be just a reserve army of labour for the airport. It will become a suburb of Gatwick.”

The views of the OSC will be shared at a meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday (January 14) before a full debate is held at a Special Council Meeting on Monday January 26.

Both meetings will be held at the town hall and will start at 7.30pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

http://www.crawleyobserver.co.uk/news/local/council-told-get-off-fence-over-gatwick-1-6519863

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“Gatwick Obviously NOT” (no longer !!!) encouraging residents to write to West Sussex County Councillors before Gatwick vote on Monday 19th January

Update:  from GON.

Please STOP emailing WSCC!

At 7.00pm last night (14th Jan)  we issued the newsletter below and asked you to show your support by emailing West Sussex County Council.  And you did.  The on-line counter updates regularly.  In approximately the time it takes an easyjet to whine its way past, they’d received over 100 of your emails, and we were contacted by WSCC – “Could we switch off the flood, we get the message?”  Overnight the count has gone up to more than 180.

West Sussex Cllr’s have called for a new debate on the 19th and we get the feeling they’re listening. And the last thing we want to do is alienate them. So we’ve made a deal and told them we will ask you to stop on the basis they appreciate (on the evidence of the 2 other January Campaigns) how many people could have backed up our message.

Thank you very much for your instantaneous and phenomenal response.

Yours

Martin Barraud
gatwickobviouslynot.org


 

The group, “Gatwick Obviously NOT” (GON) that is mainly representing areas to the east of Gatwick, affected by aircraft noise, is asking people to write to all 71 councillors in West Sussex County Council, (WSCC) before a council meeting.  Gatwick airport is just in West Sussex, and in July 2013 a hasty decision was rushed through, for the Council to back a Gatwick 2nd runway. This will be re-considered on 19th January. GON have written to all West Sussex councillors, and want others to also write, to say they support what GON have said.  GON have told WSCC that there are many concerns about the economics of a Gatwick runway and Gatwick has not been transparent on the numbers. Also that Gatwick has not been honest about flight path changes (Stewart Wingate gave the assurance on 18th July that: “the impression may be that something has changed, although I can assure you nothing has …” But then on 5th December, the CAA’s CEO admitted: “The air traffic controllers tried out revised vectoring practices between the hold and landing at Gatwick … Air traffic controllers were trialling, or trying out, some new vectoring choices to see what effect they would have.” Kent County Council and Tunbridge Wells councils have now voted against a Gatwick runway.
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http://www.gatwickobviouslynot.org/

“Gatwick Obviously Not” say:

We recently asked you to contact the CAA and East Sussex County Council.
You did, thank you.

Now we have to try and persuade West Sussex to change their mind. By this Monday, 19th January.

I told you January would be busy.  No apologies.
We are, after all, trying to stop the offshore face of capitalism from rampant acquisition of our skies. While at the same time trying to tweak Government policy to ensure the operators and regulators don’t interpret that policy to suit their own ends, resulting in the creation of noise ghettos and an environmental persecution of the minorities below under the new ‘superhighways’.

West Sussex County Council has decided to hold a fresh debate about Gatwick’s second runway, having previously supported its application.

Of course, Gatwick sits in the County and WSCC have a very significant part to play in determining whether Gatwick is successful – or not.

We’ve just written to all the WSCC Councillors, as below.

We’ve set up a 1-click email you can send that goes to all of them, too, with the subject title ‘Gatwick: It’s about trust‘.   By doing so, you are saying you support what we have written below.

If the 1-click fails to work for you, this text can be copied into the body of your email if you wish. We’ve configured this address to go to all 71 Councillors:  wscc@gatwickobviouslynot.org

Thank you

Martin Barraud
Chair
gatwickobviouslynot.org


 

This is the suggested letter, to go to all 71 West Sussex County Council councillors:

Dear Councillor

I would like to register my opposition to any further expansion of Gatwick Airport, and the concentration of flight paths, and call for the cessation of all night flights.

I also wish to add my full support to the letter sent to you on the 14th January 2015 by Martin Barraud, Chair of GatwickObviouslyNot.org.

If you haven’t already seen that letter, you can read it on the GON web site here: http://www.gatwickobviouslynot.org

Yours sincerely

xxxxxx

 

(or copy the letter, as below….)


The GON letter to all 71 West Sussex County Councillors

14th January 2014

Dear West Sussex County Cllr’s

Gatwick: It’s about trust.

To help inform your debate on the 19th, may I lay just 2 of the arguments before you, using other people’s words as evidence.

We would like you to oppose Gatwick’s desire for a second runway.

1. The Economic Argument

There will unquestionably be an economic benefit to Gatwick obtaining permission to build a second runway – for Gatwick.

An offshore company, 100% foreign-owned, they have not paid any UK Corporation Tax for years, yet somehow manage to pay themselves dividends via their complex financial structure. If given permission, the investment fund controlling Gatwick (Global Investment Partners, with a consortium of co-investors including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the National Pension Service of Korea) will sell the asset in 2019.

I’m not sure we can necessarily trust these distant owners to truly have the best environmental, noise or indeed economic interests of your constituents at heart. Are you?

In terms of Gatwick’s financial transparency, Sir John Stanley, MP had these strong words to say on 18th December in the House of Commons. He sent me a copy of his speech:
I consider that Gatwick Airport Ltd has failed – and failed scandalously – to be open and transparent about the financial evaluation of its project

Given that he could not obtain any specifics from Gatwick, he quoted from the Howard Davies report:
It is likely that Government will need to fund some or all of the surface access requirements

Sir John continued in his speech:
Gatwick Airport Ltd is simply seeking a blank cheque from UK taxpayers

and concluded, as follows:
On the grounds that Gatwick Airport Ltd has totally failed to be transparent about its financial evaluation, and has concealed the public expenditure implications of the infrastructure needed for a second runway, its proposal should be rejected by the Airports Commission
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2014-12-18a.1621.0

Concealment of public expenditure implications? Could his language be any stronger?
Is this a company we should trust to sell us a second hand car, let alone be handed the keys to second runway?

What ‘concealed public expenditure requirements’ could there be for West Sussex,                  I wonder?

2. Flight Path Changes

There is widespread anger throughout West Kent, East Sussex and of course in West Sussex at the changes introduced to flight paths last summer. Anger that turned to fury when Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s CEO, stated on many occasions that nothing had changed. For example:

the impression may be that something has changed, although I can assure you nothing has …
(Stewart Wingate to Charles Hendry MP, 18th July 2014)

and:
There has not been any trial of a ‘Superhighway’ on our westerly approaches and we are not planning any trials.
28th August 2014

The noise complaints to Gatwick went from 2,296 in 2013 to 16,910 in 2014.
(This is ‘year to date’ and up to and including the 3rd quarter.
http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/aircraft-noise/fpt-reports-publications/ )

Thousands of people couldn’t be wrong – and indeed they were not.  In a humiliating rejoinder to Gatwick, the CAA finally admitted on 5th December that the following had indeed taken place:

The air traffic controllers tried out revised vectoring practices between the hold and landing at Gatwick … Air traffic controllers were trialling, or trying out, some new vectoring choices to see what effect they would have
(Andrew Haines, CAA CEO to Cllr Richard Streatfeild MBE, Chair, High Weald Group)

The CAA called them ‘revised vectoring choices‘. We – and those underneath them who had no ‘choice’ about the ensuing infliction of almost constant noise – know them better as revised flight paths and the ‘effect‘ was that thousands of people suffered an appalling summer – witness the complaints.

What they finally admitted to – in black and white – was moving the point where planes join the ‘final approach’ from 7-12 nautical miles to 10-12 nautical miles from the airport. Or squashing more planes then ever before into less than half the space.

Sounds like a change to me.

Even Howard Davies agreed, very publicly, that flight path changes have taken place, despite what Gatwick say:

4.19 The Commission has noted that recent trials of revised flight paths at Gatwick have met with considerable public opposition.
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374662/evidence-base-gatwick-airport-second-runway.pdf

And your fellow Cllr’s in Kent have changed their minds recently. This is Paul Carter, CBE, KCC’s Leader, just before Christmas:

Changes in Gatwick flight paths have prompted Kent County Council to withdraw its support for a second runway at the West Sussex airport.  …the new flight paths had made life intolerable for people … What has changed big time is that the National Air Traffic Control have started to implement changes in flight paths …

You may ask why does the ‘flight path’ issue matter so much now, in terms of the second runway?

Well, for two very important reasons:

a). Gatwick proudly boast of achieving 55 landings per hour at times in 2014. To do this, they need to cram more and more planes into the flight path arrivals ‘arc’.

This arc then has to inevitably get longer and move further from the airport to accommodate the planes.

Any accepted change to airspace needs a time-consuming, formal, expensive and risky procedure including a Consultation with – Heaven forefend – the public. If any change can be denied, this process can be avoided.

b). Gatwick need to demonstrate to people like you that there is room in the skies for a 2nd flight path for the second runway. What better way to do this than for the existing ‘broad swathe’ flight path to be narrowed, shoved over a bit and hey-presto, they can say there’s plenty of space to wham in a second path of misery for those below.

Gatwick may tell you that they are only following government policy (tricky obviously because they deny there has been any change …).

Government policy is to limit and, where possible to reduce the number of people in the UK significantly affected by aircraft noise
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/153776/aviation-policy-framework.pdf

However it explicitly does not state that all flights for any given route should be concentrated over a narrow 500m width, leading to the inevitable persecution of the minorities below.

I discussed this very issue at the Department for Transport in November, following which the Secretary of State, The Rt. Hon. Patrick McLoughlin wrote to me advising:
… in the meeting you made some strong points on what we recognise is a complex issue which needs to be considered further. I wish to assure you that officials are looking into the question of concentration versus dispersal …
(please see www.gatwickobviouslynot.org for the full letter)

The real-time result of these changes? Zero respite and ever-lowering planes:

Given the flight path is both 25% narrower (as demonstrated by these charts) and contains more aircraft, it necessarily becomes more elliptical when viewed as a cross-section.

2010 Flight paths 2014 Flight paths
2010 2014

 

The CAA, in its wisdom, has chosen to allow departures to be re-routed east on a narrow channel above the arrivals path, and both Gatwick’s arrivals and departures have to fly under Heathrow’s flight paths.

Hence pushing the arrivals (at the bottom) to extremely disturbing heights.

Does this sorry tale really enhance your trust in Gatwick to deliver on any of its promises for your community?

Last week I watched as Tunbridge Wells District Council debated, in full council and with the public admitted and encouraged to contribute, whether to support the second runway or not.  Following a technical explanation and the words of 3 speakers, several Cllr’s stated that they had arrived minded to support, but had then changed their minds. In the end, they voted 35:1 (and 1 abstention) against supporting the second runway.

It was deeply encouraging to witness such an event, and I do not necessarily mean because of the outcome.  It was democracy in action and I thank you for allowing time for 2 debates in your County. As you may have heard, East Sussex decided to support the second runway via the delegated power of 1 man, which has caused considerable uproar.

In early 2014 Stewart Wingate was hauled before the House of Commons Transport Select Committee after Gatwick’s disastrous response to the flooding crisis over Christmas, when, in his own words their “actions fell short

He went on to admit:
Clearly it will have had an impact on our reputation. Hopefully we will able to regain the trust of our passengers in 2014.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/07/gatwick-christmas-eve-flight-chaos-weather

He could apologise now, 12 months on, to the thousands who continue to have their lives turned upside down despite his assurances that ‘nothing has changed‘ using the same sentence, simply replacing ‘passengers‘ with ‘anyone

We will ask our followers to email you with ‘Gatwick: It’s about trust‘ in the subject title. Each one that does so is supporting our cause.

May I plea on behalf of our followers and the thousands more traumatised by Gatwick’s desire for ever-more juicy landing fees, whisked off-shore before any UK-benefitting tax can be levied, that you think very carefully before helping hand them those multi-billion-dollar keys to a second runway.

Yours
Martin Barraud
gatwickobviouslynot.org

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Campaign group back’s Boris’s bid to have final say on flight numbers at London City Airport

Campaign group HACAN East supports Mayor Boris Johnson’s bid to have the final say over flight numbers at London City Airport. The group is backing Boris to have the final say over the number of planes which are allowed to use the airport., and he wants to have the authority to veto any future proposals to do away with existing cap of 120,000 aircraft a year. The Mayor has said this in his response to the airport’s current consultation on its plans for expansion.  HACAN East chair John Stewart, said, “We fully support the Mayor’s request.  It is a nonsense that one London borough, Newham, should decide how many planes can use the airport when the impact of the airport affects vast swathes of London.”  The current consultation does not involve any request by London City to increase flight numbers. What it wants is permission to build an extended taxiway and bigger parking stands so that larger aircraft can use the airport. It also wants to double the size of the terminal and provide more car parking spaces.  The consultation closes on Friday 23rd January, with Newham expected to make a decision later in the year.
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CAMPAIGN GROUP SUPPORTS MAYOR’S BID TO HAVE FINAL SAY OVER FLIGHT NUMBERS AT LONDON CITY AIRPORT

14.1.2015 (HACAN East at London City Airport)

Campaign group supports Mayor’s bid to have final say over flight numbers at London City Airport

The campaign group HACAN East has backed the Mayor of London’s bid to have the final say over the number of planes which are allowed to use London City Airport. The Mayor has said in his response to the airport’s current consultation on its plans for expansion that he wants the authority to veto any future proposals to do away with existing cap of 120,000 aircraft a year.

HACAN East chair John Stewart, said, “We fully support the Mayor’s request. It is a nonsense that one London borough, Newham, should decide how many planes can use the airport when the impact of the airport affects vast swathes of London.”

The current consultation does not involve any request by London City to increase flight numbers. What it wants is permission to build an extended taxiway and bigger parking stands so that larger aircraft can use the airport. It also wants to double the size of the terminal and provide more car parking spaces.

The consultation closes on Friday 23rd January, with Newham expected to make a decision later in the year.

ENDS
Notes for Editors:
(1). HACAN East has urged Newham to reject the application because:

There is no guarantee that the larger planes that will be able to use the airport if the expansion works go ahead will be quieter than the current aircraft.

The bigger planes will convey more passengers. This will result in more traffic on the local roads, leading to increased levels of pollution, noise and congestion.

http://stopcityairportmasterplan.tumblr.com/post/108083898465/press-release-campaign-group-supports-mayors

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See earlier news about London City Airport:

HACAN East’s official response to London City Airport’s flight path consultation

London City Airport has a public consultation on changes to its flight paths, which ends on 27th November. The consultation has been widely regarded as inadequate, as there is insufficient detail, and among those criticising the consultation are several councils. The community group representing people under London City Airport flight paths, HACAN East have published their consultation response. It says concentration of flight paths, without respite, is inequitable and will subject thousands to significantly more noise. They say this concentration without respite is contrary to Government policy, as the CAA itself states: “When seeking opportunities to provide respite for those already affected by aircraft noise it is important that decisions about respite should always be made after considering the specific local circumstances and through engagement with the local community.” HACAN East also complains that the quality of the consultation has been poor. The airport did not directly tell local authorities, MPs, GLA or local residents, and refused to hold public meetings in, or leaflet, the affected areas. They are unimpressed at the claims flight path changes would contribute much in savings of carbon emissions.

Click here to view full story…

Packed public meeting in Wanstead calls on London City airport to reconsult over flight path changes

There is growing anger in areas affected by London City Airport flight paths, because of the inadequate consultation they have launched – it ends on 27th November. On 3rd November, there was a packed meeting in Wanstead, which called on the airport to re-consult. Over 200 people crammed into Wanstead Library and gave London City Airport a very tough time over its failure to consult local people, and even their local councillors, over its plans. The airport wants to concentrate departing flights in a narrow band over Bow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Collier Row and Havering. Planes arriving over South London will also be concentrated. Most councillors knew nothing about the plans until contacted by HACAN East. The plans are on the airport website, but the airport has not put out leaflets or held any public information sessions. Roger Evans, the GLA member for Redbridge and Havering said, “The decent thing to do is to re-run this consultation.” The CAA has been criticised for allowing this poor consultation. People have been encouraged to write to the CAA and the Government calling for a fresh consultation, and sign a petition against concentrated flight paths.

Click here to view full story…

People in Waltham Forest have criticised London City Airport for not informing residents on proposed flight path changes

London City Airport has a current consultation on the use of high-tech satellite navigations (RNAV) in planes, which would result in a narrower flightpath over Wansted, Leytonstone, Leyton and Barking. Under the plans, most planes travelling to and from the airport would use a ‘flight corridor’ over Waltham Forest and Redbridge, leading to concerns over noise disturbance. Campaign Group HACAN East called on the CAA to stop the process, which it says has not directly consulted people living in either area. Now the deputy leader of Waltham Forest council has written to the head of City Airport and urged him to contact residents. The airport is claiming there is hardly any change, as it is just that planes will follow routes more accurately. The reality is that they will be concentrated along a narrow line, at the centre of the previously wide path swathe. HACAN East is organising a public meeting on 3rd November in Wanstead, as the airport has neither leafleted affected areas, nor arranged a meeting.

Click here to view full story…


Open letter to London City Airport asking that they consult properly on flight path changes, and treat people fairly

London City Airport is proposing to concentrate flight paths, in the same way that other airports have been doing recently. This is how air traffic controllers, NATS and the CAA want airspace to be used in future, in order to fit more aircraft into our already very crowded skies. However, London City Airport decided not go give any prior notice to anyone about the changes, except their Consultative Committee, or any warning about the substantial increase in aircraft noise for those unlucky enough to be under one of the new concentrated routes. It seems even local councils were not notified. Local community group, HACAN East, have now written an open letter to the airport, to complain. HACAN East says the flight path proposals will have a profound effect – for the worse – on the lives of tens of thousands of Londoners. This is deeply inequitable. While the airport makes out that the proposed changes are not significant as the planned flight paths are not noticeably different from the current routes. That is incorrect. There is now a concentrated line. Thousands living in Bow, Leytonstone, Wansted, Catford, Brixton and Vauxhall are very well aware there is a significant change. And that these are seen as unfair.

Click here to view full story…

 

 

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