Heathrow’s CEO, John Holland-Kaye, says the airport has yet to “engage” with the government and airlines about the possibility of ending night flights, before making any commitment. A ban on flights before 6am was one of the conditions the Airports Commission stipulated – in July – must be met for a 3rd runway to be built at Heathrow. But 7 months after the publication of the commission’s report, Heathrow is still avoiding giving any confirmation it is prepared to accept that requirement. In December the government announced there would be a further delay in making a runway location decision, which cam as an unpleasant surprise to Heathrow – which had presumed it would be given the nod, but with a range of conditions. Holland-Kaye has tried to avoid any condition on his hoped-for runway, that might be irksome or costly. He continues to make bullish statements about how likely he feels the runway will be approved. He tries to make out that there would be fewer night flights with a 3rd runway…. and he is yet to “engage” with the government on the subject. Heathrow, in its PR, mistakes local support for a 3rd runway by people employed by the airport, or hoping to work there – for (quite different) support more widely among those not depending on Heathrow for their income.
Heathrow yet to ‘engage’ with government on night flights ban
9 FEB 2016
BY ROBERT CUMBER (Get Surrey)
The airport’s CEO John Holland-Kaye says it needs to work with the government and airlines before making any commitment
Heathrow’s boss says the airport has yet to “engage” with the government about the possibility of ending night flights at Heathrow.
A ban on flights before 6am was one of the conditions the Airports Commission stipulated must be met for a third runway to be built at Heathrow.
Yet seven months after the publication of the commission’s report, Heathrow has yet to give a firm commitment on whether it is prepared to accept that requirement.
Speaking publicly on expansion for the first time since December, when the government announced it was postponing its decision on a new runway until this summer , Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said it was too early to make any commitment on night flights.
“We’ve said there are no show stoppers in what the commission has said, and there’s an opportunity with a third runway to significantly reduce the amount of night-flying,” he said.
“We will work with the government and our airlines before we make an announcement that goes any further than that.”
Pressed further on when he might be ready to make such a statement, he replied that he had yet to “engage” with the government on the subject.
Addressing Heathrow’s Ready to Deliver conference in Euston on Monday (February 9), Mr Holland-Kaye said he believed there was no obstacle to a third runway.
He claimed the vast majority of MPs were in favour and by coming up with a vastly different plan, Heathrow had performed a U-turn so the Prime Minister, who famously promised before the 2010 election that there would be no third runway, wouldn’t have to.
The conference also heard from a number of other supporters of Heathrow expansion, including Labour MP Catherine McKinnell, who said it was the best option for businesses in the north east.
Jags Sanghera, who volunteers for the Southall Community Alliance, said most people he spoke to supported expansion at Heathrow because it would mean many more local jobs.
He said employment was the number one issue for most local residents, ahead of concerns about noise or air pollution, but it was important to ensure people living on the airport’s doorstep had fair access to better-paid, “high quality” jobs.
“In my experience the vast majority of residents, businesses and faith leaders in Southall are fully in support of expanding Heathrow,” said Mr Sanghera, who now works in community liaison for the developers behind the Southall Gas Works site.
The conference was held on the day transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the parliamentary transport committee he hopes a decision on a new runway will be taken by late July.
Heathrow not willing to accept a ban on night flights, saying it constrains links to regional airports
November 30, 2015
John Holland-Kaye is hugely confident that he will get a new runway, saying he was now “80%” sure that David Cameron’s decision would be for Heathrow. The Airports Commission suggested a condition that there would be a complete ban on flights between 11.30pm and 6am due to the unacceptable noise of night flights. Mr Holland-Kaye says night flights were not something to “throw away lightly”. Heathrow currently is allowed 5,800 night flights per year, meaning an average of 16 arriving each morning, typically between 4.30am and 6am. British Airways wants to keep night flights, and is Heathrow’s largest airline. Last week Mr Holland-Kaye said shifting night flights to later slots would damage connections to the rest of the UK. “If I talk to regional airports, they all want to see early morning arrivals into Heathrow. They want a flight that comes in from their airport before 8 o’clock in the morning so people can do a full day’s work, can do business in London or can connect to the first wave of long-haul flights going out. You are very quickly going to use up all of the first two hours of the morning if we have a curfew before 6 o’clock, particularly as we then have to move the 16 flights. That really constrains the ability of UK regions to get the benefits from an expanded hub. So it is not something we should throw away lightly.” Heathrow’s links to regional airport would actually fall,with a 3rd runway, according to the Airports Commission.
John Holland-Kaye again will not commit to no Heathrow night flights (11.30pm to 6am) at Environmental Audit Committee hearing
November 5, 2015
When the Airports Commission final report was published on 1st July, one of the conditions of a 3rd Heathrow was that there should be no night flights. The report stated: “Following construction of a third runway at the airport there should be a ban on all scheduled night flights in the period 11:30pm to 6:00am” and “the additional capacity from a third runway would enable airlines to re-time very early morning arrivals.” Already by its statement on 6th July, Heathrow was trying to cast doubt on the conditions, with John Holland-Kaye saying: “I’m sure there is a package in there that we can agree with our local communities, with the airlines and with Government.” Asked directly again, at the Environmental Audit Committee session on 4th November, if Heathrow would accept no night flights, he said Heathrow “we are not in a position to do that yet.” It had not yet accepted a ban on night flights, and the airport was “confident we will be able to find a way forward” in discussions with airlines and government, and it could “significantly reduce” night flights. Mr Holland-Kaye instead talked of the alleged economic benefit to the UK of flights between 4.30 and 6am. He was asked by Committee members whether the government should agree to a Heathrow runway, (perhaps by December) before Heathrow firmly committed to the no night flights condition. Mr Holland-Kaye could not give an answer.
Heathrow may oppose ban on night flights, and ban on 4th runway, as price for 3rd runway
July 25, 2015
Heathrow is to press the government to loosen the conditions attached to a 3rd runway going ahead, unwilling to agree either to a ban on night flights or on a 4th runway. These were two important conditions suggested by the Airports Commission, to make a 3rd runway acceptable to its neighbours. However, Heathrow sees the conditions as negotiable, and John Holland-Kaye brazenly said he was confident Heathrow would be given the green light to expand and that “it wouldn’t make sense” for the prime minister to oppose a new runway now. Even if Heathrow does not agree to important conditions. Holland-Kaye wants to have a “conversation” about conditions with government. It is used to trying to have “conversations” with local residents, in which the airport generally manages to get its way, with only minimal concessions. Heathrow does not want lose lucrative night flights: “We have a significant number of routes to Hong Kong and Singapore. That’s getting key trading partners into the UK to start their business. It’s very popular because it’s an important route.” Holland-Kaye said the airport would “comment later on the package of conditions as a whole”, but he noted that “we do have the ability, physically” to build a 4th runway.
Because of its geographical location, the noise created by Belfast City Airport flights affects a large number of people in the city. The local campaign, Belfast City Airport Watch (BCAW) is an umbrella group representing more than a dozen local community organisations, and works to limit the noise they suffer. BCAW’s Dr Liz Fawcett told committee members the establishment that the creation of a powerful independent airport noise regulator in Northern Ireland would help strike a better balance between commercial interests and nearby residents’ well-being. It should ensure conformity with existing noise control measures. The airport is currently capped at 2 million passengers per year, but wants to increase this number – which would mean a considerable increase in the noise. BCAW say if the 2 million cap was raised, it could turn the airport into one of the noisiest in the UK. They want an independent noise regulator to deal effectively with public complaints and produce “meaningful” 5-year action plans aimed at minimising aircraft noise. They also want a wider airports strategy for Northern Ireland, considering how routes are shared between the two Belfast airports, to complement Dublin airport, without duplication of routes.
Belfast campaigners call for independent airport noise regulator
10.2.2016 (Express & Star)
The creation of a powerful independent airport noise regulator in Northern Ireland would help strike a better balance between commercial interests and nearby residents’ well-being, campaigners have claimed.
Robust fines for breaches of current noises limits would provide a strong deterrent against infractions, Belfast City Airport Watch (BCAW) told a Stormont committee.
The umbrella group that represents more than a dozen residents and community associations under the flight path of George Best Belfast City Airport (GBBCA) was giving evidence to members of the Assembly’s Regional Development Committee.
The hearing was held as Stormont Environment minister Mark H Durkan continues to deliberate on a planning application lodged by the airport to lift the two million annual cap on the number of seats it can sell.
While Mr Durkan’s department has responsibility for planning issues related to the airport, the Department of Regional Development (DRD) has a role in the regulation of aircraft noise.
BCAW is opposed to the removal of the sales cap, claiming it will turn the airport into one of the noisiest in the UK.
It has also recommended a range of other steps that the Stormont Executive could take with regards to regulating the air travel sector in the region, some of which would fall to the DRD to oversee.
Dr Liz Fawcett from BCAW told committee members the establishment of a regulator would ensure conformity with existing noise control measures.
She said the body could also deal effectively with public complaints and produce “meaningful” five-year action plans aimed at minimising noise pollution from aircraft.
The campaigners have also advocated the development of a wider airports strategy for Northern Ireland.
They claim unchecked competition between Belfast City and Belfast International, often with duplication of routes, will only force customers across the border to Dublin airport.
“We believe that the Northern Ireland Executive faces a choice,” said Dr Fawcett.
“It can continue to permit the piecemeal expansion of airports, allowing them to duplicate provision and permitting GBBCA to become one of the noisiest airports anywhere in the UK and the island of Ireland in terms of population impact.
“The only winners will be Dublin Airport and the airlines, while the losers will be our local economy, and the health and quality of life of tens of thousands in residents in Belfast and north Down.
“Alternatively, the Executive can put in place a robust economic and regulatory framework which allows our aviation industry to compete effectively with and complement Dublin Airport’s growing portfolio of routes, while ensuring that the negative impacts of aircraft noise are kept to an absolute minimum.”
Earlier this month, Northern Ireland’s Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) said lifting the seat sale cap should be accompanied by tougher noise controls.
The PAC’s findings came after a public inquiry into the controversial issue last year.
Belfast residents claim planned airport expansion would make it one of 5 loudest in UK
February 12, 2016
George Best Belfast City Airport could become one of the UK’s five noisiest if controversial expansion plans to allow the airport to have more than 2 million passengers per year are allowed. Dr Liz Fawcett, of Belfast City Airport Watch (BCAW), gave evidence to the Regional Development Committee at Stormont, saying that some 18,000 people could be affected by noise if the expansion goes ahead. She called for an independent regulator to be set up, to strike a better balance between commercial interests and nearby residents’ well-being. They also want robust fines for airlines. Recently the Planning Appeals Committee recommended that the 2 million limit should be lifted – provided that other noise control measures are put in place. More than 50,000 people across Belfast and north Down are affected by undesirably high levels of aircraft noise. That number is higher than at Gatwick or at Stansted. Dr Fawcett said if the airport is allowed its expansion, it could become one of the five noisiest in the UK in terms of population impact. It would also just mean the transfer of passengers and jobs from Belfast International airport. BCAW also wants airport planning agreements to be properly implemented and enforced. The airport continues to press for the greater number of passengers.
Thirteen of Britain’s largest construction and development firms (including the bosses of Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, Laing O’Rourke, Mace,Atkins UK, and BAM Nuttall), have written to George Osborne, urging him to live up to his declaration that “we are the builders” by supporting the building of a third runway at Heathrow. As one comment under the article puts it: “Construction companies advocating a big construction project. Whatever next?…..” The letter to the Chancellor says Heathrow has provided a “steady base of work” during the economic downturn and expansion would bring “a £15.6 billion order book to the UK supply chain”. They also try to encourage the Chancellor by saying the OECD considers the UK has historically underspent on infrastructure, partially due to “long decision-making processes”. The construction companies, which of course stand to gain massively from the building project, say: “We are writing to encourage your support for Heathrow expansion.” It has been pointed out that you only have permanent jobs in construction if there is a new project to move on to, once one is complete.. Hence the construction firms are lobbying hard; they have expected work out of Heathrow, and may not have contingency should Heathrow not get the go head.The firms appear – conveniently – unaware of the very considerable economic and environmental problems that building a runway would create.
Construction firms urge George Osborne to support third Heathrow runway
Thirteen of Britain’s largest construction and development firms have written to George Osborne urging him to live up to his declaration that “we are the builders” by supporting the building of a third runway at Heathrow.
The letter to the Chancellor stated that the west London airport has provided a “steady base of work” during the economic downturn and expansion would bring “a £15.6 billion order book to the UK supply chain”.
It also noted last year’s report by respected international economic thinktank the OECD which found that the UK has historically underspent on infrastructure, partially due to “long decision-making processes”.
The signatories, including the bosses of Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, Laing O’Rourke and BAM Nuttall, wrote: “At the Conservative conference in 2015 you announced ‘we are the builders’.
“We congratulate you on your vision to build the important infrastructure the country needs and make the hard decisions. We represent some of the largest developers and construction companies in the UK. We applaud your ambition and stand ready to help you deliver it.
“We are writing to encourage your support for Heathrow expansion.”
They added: “Let us help you build a better Britain by expanding Heathrow.”
The Davies Commission recommended last July that a third runway should be built at Heathrow, at a cost of £18.6 billion.
But in December ministers postponed a final decision until at least the summer pending new analysis of the environmental impacts.
Other shortlisted options are extension of the existing northern runway at Heathrow – costing £13.5 billion – or building a second runway at Gatwick, which would cost £9.3 billion.
The construction firms that stand to secure billions of pounds of building work from a third Heathrow runway are lobbying the Government to clear controversial plans to expand the airport.
The bosses of some of Britain’s biggest building and engineering consultancy companies, including Laing O’Rourke’s founder Ray O’Rourke, Balfour Beatty’s chief Leo Quinn, and Mark Reynolds of Mace, have written to George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, urging him to back the west London airport’s growth plans.
“Projects such as Heathrow expansion allow companies like ours to continue to invest in tens of thousands of skilled jobs this country badly needs and new construction techniques that will benefit developers in the UK,” they said in their letter.
The signatories, who also included Nick Roberts , chief executive of Atkins UK and Europe, and Stephen Fox, chief executive of BAM Nuttall, told the Chancellor that Heathrow was one of the country’s most important developers and has invested £11bn in the past decade. Building a third runway would “bring with it a £15.6bn order book to the UK supply chain,” they said.
The airport is operating at almost maximum capacity and many companies want to see it expanded to help boost British firms’ connections to fast-growing emerging markets.
Last July, Sir Howard Davies, the chairman of the Government-appointed Airports Commission, recommended that another runway be built in west London. However, a third runway at Heathrow is a highly divisive issueamong MPs, and in December ministers said they wanted to carry out more research on the environmental impact of expansion before making a decision.
The recent Volkswagen emissions scandal in particular has heightened Government concerns about the air pollution another runway might cause.
However, the construction chiefs used their letter to remind Mr Osborne that in October he had told the Conservative Party conference that “we are the builders.” They said they “stand ready” to help deliver infrastructure projects including Heathrow.
Nothing but special pleading – they see a gravy train in the offing. I read a few days ago in the DT that construction firms cannot recruit enough sufficient workers to build the houses we need. The last thing we need is a runway in the wrong place to provide CEOs with even greater unjustified bonuses.
The exclusive SE focus went nowhere in 2003, or 2009 or 2012 or 2015 and now going nowhere in 2016. Long term `government` policy is to do nothing but to look busy doing nothing, except that is to block any non SE option even for proper exploration. . `Heathrow or nothing` used as a ramrod – but it is not working. Putting all eggs in one lobbyist un-deliverable basket for the next 15 years (at best) is unforgivable.
The Airports Commission knew from the start taxpayers funding for SE expansion surface access wasn`t on – policy states airports expansion must meet all environmental and associated surface access costs. The taxpayer cannot be expected to hand over billions to one operator, and it should be no surprise this gambit has stalled. Everyone is blamed bar those constant in this 50 year fracas.
This exclusive SE focus has long been an expensive waste of time and a squandering of major national opportunities. A new truly independent Commission, -completely devoid of dft influence, – is the only way forward for the UK and, dare I say for the long term well-being for all the SE Airports as well.
You only have permanent jobs in construction if there is a new project to move on to. Hence why the construction firms are up in arms and lobbying like crazy; they have no contingency should Heathrow not get the go head.
Heathrow have made it clear that loads of taxpayer money will be needed to improve access and infrastructure at Heathrow, and to ensure that their profits continue to grow. Perhaps the Government could consider developing regional airports like Manchester and Birmingham so reducing demand at Heathrow. Now I know it goes against the mantra ‘London is all that matters’, but the last thing we need is more money spent sucking wealth into London at the expense of the rest of the country.
Construction industry (massive potential beneficiary) in shock call for more (partly state-funded) sector activity. TBH [To be honest] I’m not convinced this could qualify as being a story.
Surely not!!! Construction companies advocating a big construction project. Whatever next?…..
For the Heathrow expansion private money is being used (i.e. the owners of Heathrow would pay). They are just waiting for the green light from politicians (who for nearly 20 years have been too worried about local public opinion (where ever they agree to expand) to make a decision. I suspect regional airports would likely need taxpayer money though as the risks for private owners would be too high.
Private money would be used for expansion, though the majority of the TfL estimated £20 billion infrastructure cost requirements would be borne by the taxpayer. Don’t for a minute think Heathrow will pay their fair share http://www.standard.co.uk/news… meaning us taxpayers would in effect be subsidising a predominantly foreign-owned, little/no tax-paying entity. The equivalent money could be used to build a brand new state-owned Hub in the centre of the UK, accessible to all, and HS rail to/through it to all 4 corners of the UK
Virtually no one wants a “brand new state-owned Hub in the centre of the UK, accessible to all, and HS rail to/through it to all 4 corners of the UK”!
In February 2015 Slough Borough Council formed a new “Strategic Partnership” with Heathrow, which the council hope would give it a privileged position and economic benefits, if a 3rd runway was approved. A new status report about the Partnership appears to have disappointed some councillors on the Overview & Scrutiny Committee. The deal was said to be overall, at “amber” status. The ‘Heads of Terms working group’ has so far secured (unspecified) funding for business start-up, air quality monitoring, and employment training, but little else. Last quarter the Partnership saw joint traffic surveys paid for by Heathrow, saving the Council a claimed £50,000, and funding for an extension of the 7 series bus service, the main link for many of the 7,000 Slough residents working at Heathrow. Developing a more “mutually beneficial relationship” with Heathrow is now one of the key outcomes from Slough’s 5 Year Plan. But the Partnership has so far done nothing to deliver a programme of mitigation to offset the effects of the airport for the communities most impacted as set out in the agreement last February. It appears to just be a new funding stream for the Council. Strategic Partnership meetings are not advertised, not open to the public, and minutes are not published. There is meant to be better dialogue with residents.
Disappointing first results of Slough’s Strategic Partnership with Heathrow
The first fruits of the new Strategic Partnership between Slough Borough Council and Heathrow Airport are starting to emerge – but even the Council has put the new relationship at “amber” status.
Slough’s Strategic Partnership with Heathrow, launched a year ago, is currently at “amber”.
The Strategic Partnership agreed in February last year between Slough Borough Council and Heathrow appears to have disappointed Council bosses, a new status report shows.
In a report presented to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Thursday (4th February) councillors were told that the new relationship is delivering some benefits to the town but is, overall, at “amber” status. The ‘Heads of Terms working group’ has so far secured (unspecified) funding for business start-up, air quality monitoring, and employment training, but little else.
Last quarter the Partnership saw joint traffic surveys paid for by Heathrow, saving the Council a claimed £50,000, and funding for an extension of the 7 series bus service, the main link for many of the 7,000 Slough residents working at Heathrow.
Developing a more “mutually beneficial relationship” with Heathrow Airport is now one of the key outcomes from Slough’s 5 Year Plan and has been routinely monitored on the Council’s Corporate Balanced Scorecard since 2015. However, far from delivering a programme of migitation to offset the effects of the airport for the communities most impacted as set out in the agreement last February, the Partnership – so far – is nothing more than a new funding stream for the Council.
Given the Council’s measure of success for the Partnership is simply “no net loss of business rates as a result of Heathrow displacement” that, perhaps, is not surprising.
Last August, after its agreement with Heathrow was leaked, Cllr Swindlehurst told Colnbrook Viewsthat the Council’s Heads of Terms agreement left its committment to residents unchanged. He said Cabinet remained “determined to secure mitigation measures and benefit for our affected communities as part of any support for Heathrow’s expansion”. Significantly, a promise from Deputy Leader Cllr Swindlehurst that he would use the Partnership to drive forward improvements for Colnbrook in the Heathrow North West Master Plan has, so far, gone nowhere.
Insisting the Partnerhip provided a forum for seeking a better deal for Colnbrook he committed to raise proposed mitigations to the airport’s plans for a Colnbrook runway through the Partnership, including the possibility that the new by-pass behind Pippins School might be tunnelled. He promised at the same time that there would be a new dialogue with residents:
SBC will also be working over the coming months and years to engage more deeply with the local community in Colnbrook and the other wards affected by expansion
In contrast to the promises of greater openness there is little transparency about the new Strategic Partnership. Meetings are not advertised, not open to the public, and minutes are not published.
Councillors were told on Thursday the focus for the next quarter remains on continuing negotiations to secure further funding for additional bicycle hire docking stations, electric car charging at Heathrow car parks and “improvements to Slough’s gateway”.
Cabinet will receive the same report on Monday.
The Slough/Heathrow Strategic Partnership – living up to expectations?
Prior even to approval of a Development Consent Order to start construction of a third runway theHeads of Terms agreement with Heathrow signed a year ago on Wednesday committed the new Partnership to:
Address and mitigate issues faced by those communities in the Borough which are closest to the airport.
Investigate how any further improvements to the airport’s Masterplan could be made which would benefit Slough
Publicly support the expansion of Heathrow Airport
Slough Borough Council lists its financial demands on Heathrow, if it gets a 3rd runway
January 26, 2015
Slough Borough Council is supportive of a 3rd runway at Heathrow. With Spelthorne, they are the only two councils near Heathrow that do back a new runway. Slough has now submitted their council response to the Airports Commission consultation, but it includes many points on which the council wants extra funding, if there is a new runway. Slough Council expects to be compensated for loss of council tax from residential properties, loss of business rates from commercial land lost; and loss of business rates from closure of the Colnbrook incinerator. They want Heathrow to pay for insulation of public buildings, especially schools, throughout the whole of Slough; fixed noise monitoring stations across all affected areas of Slough, with the airport paying for their operation; and replacement of the Grundon incinerator, with no break in service, all at Heathrow’s expanse. They also expect extension of the Slough Mass Rapid Transit bus system to Heathrow, which has been halted due to lack of money. And Slough wants Heathrow to contribute towards the cost of air quality monitoring, recognising much is due to the airport. And the list continues …
Slough’s £1.5 million deal with Heathrow “unlocked funding denied to other councils” like Hillingdon
August 8, 2015
Slough Council has backed Heathrow’s runway plans, and entered into a deal with Heathrow to try and get the maximum benefits. Slough Council says its deal will “unlock £1.5 million in direct financial support denied to neighbouring councils.” Slough’s Deputy Leader James Swindlehurst has refuted suggestions that its partnership with Heathrow is anything less than the strong package he promised in January to mitigate the worst impact of airport expansion for communities closest to Heathrow. This has meant that Slough has secured funds for mitigation while neighbouring councils have been left with nothing. “Councils like Hillingdon, who have not negotiated with the airport, have no funds being allocated to them.” Cllr Swindlehurst says the agreement provides a guaranteed minimum of £100,000 per year for 15 years where Heathrow and the Council will allocate the money to fund specific improvement projects in selected wards. That would only follow approval of the Development Consent Order for a 3rd runway, but Cllr Swindelhurst says additional funding pledges specifically mentioned in the agreement are in addition. Hounslow is now in talks with Heathrow, to get a financial deal. Hilliingdon has refused to enter into financial negotiations.
Slough Council secret deal with Heathrow includes gagging order, making it impotent in fighting for a better deal from Heathrow for 3 – 4 years
July 23, 2015
Residents of Colnbrook, close to Heathrow and due to be badly affected by a 3rd runway, submitted a FoI request to get the details for the secret, but legally binding, deal done between Slough Borough Council and Heathrow airport. The details of the deal are worrying. As well as finding out that Colnbrook, and help for the residents, do not feature in the deal, it has emerged that Slough Council has accepted what amounts to a self-imposed gagging order, unable to criticise Heathrow for the next 3 to 4 years, until Heathrow is granted a Development Consent Order (DCO). As well as a boost for investment in the town and improved access from central Slough to the airport, the secret agreement sees Heathrow commit to supporting the Council’s representations to Government to seek compensation for lost business rates, put by the council itself at up to £10 million earlier this year. In return, however, Cabinet is legally bound to giving public support for the airport until final permission, is granted. A Development Consent Order is at least three years away, possibly four. Residents expected that their council would have argued for “world class” compensation and mitigation. Read the Agreement for yourself in full.
On 4th February, NATS implemented the first phase of its LAMP (London Airspace Management Programme). It says this was approved by the CAA in November 2015. It means that routes into and out of London City airport will be altered, and routes will be concentrated – using PR-NAV (precision navigation). The changes involve use of a “point merge” system for arrivals, with the joining points to the ILS out at sea. They will mean all the planes from Westerly departures will be routed over for Bow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Redbridge, Barkingside, Collier Row and Harold Hill. For Easterly departures, all the planes will be routed over Barking Riverside, Dagenham, Elm park and Hornchurch. And for Easterly arrivals, all the planes will be routed over Bexley, Sidcup, New Eltham, Mottingham, Catford, Dulwich Village, Herne Hill, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall. The changes are described by NATS in glowing terms – about “more efficient flights, saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions, reducing noise, keeping aircraft higher for longer and minimising areas regularly overflown.” And, of course, enabling more flights to be crammed into crowded airspace – to enable the aviation industry to increase the number of flights. HACAN East is talking to its lawyers about a JR against the CAA for failure to consult.
You can read more about this, from the perspective of the local community group, HACAN East, here
Just before Christmas, the CAA announced it had given London City Airport permission to concentrate its flight paths. This will mean communities across east and south-east Lodnon will no longer benefit from a break from the noise.
Many people will be in utter despair at the decision. It means that residents, who were hardly overflown at all by planes from London City airport a few years ago, face the prospect of living under a concentrated flight path for the rest of their lives (unless they can move). HACAN East is now speaking with lawyers to find a way to challenging the decision. http://hacaneast.org.uk/home/
Airspace change to go live
03 February 2016 (NATS press release)
This is what NATS says:
NATS has today (3 February) announced that its Airspace Change Proposal for the first phase of the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) will be implemented tomorrow (4 February), following approval by the CAA in November 2015.
The changes pave the way for wider modernisation of airspace to deliver more efficient flights, saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions, and reducing noise, keeping aircraft higher for longer and minimising areas regularly overflown.
The changes include:
A Point Merge arrival system [see image below] for London City Airport. This is over the sea and will replace conventional routes which are over land
New alignments for London City departure routes that pass over Essex and Kent. Other existing routes at the airport are being replicated to RNAV standard, which will enable aircraft to climb to higher altitudes more quickly
Daytime traffic departing Stansted [see image below] that today heads towards the south will move onto the existing eastbound routes to allow aircraft to climb higher more quickly
High level changes, at 7,000ft and above, will also be implemented along the south coast affecting Bournemouth, Southampton and TAG Farnborough airports. This will mean fewer flights over land.
The changes support the delivery of the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) and ensure that this critical but invisible infrastructure, on which an industry that contributes nearly £50bn to the GDP and employs almost one million people relies, is able to keep pace with the Government’s growth forecasts of 40% by 2030.
The decision by the CAA followed a series of public consultations by NATS, London City and TAG Farnborough airports as part of the Airspace Change Proposal.
This project has benefitted from European Union funding under the Innovation and Networks Agency (INEA) / Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
And there is a short video showing all the highly concentrated flight paths across the south east. Link
The image below (a still from the video) shows what Point Merge looks like for London City airport. Instead of planes stacking, they fly along an arc, and then down one of the many lines from the arc, to the merge point, and then down the ILS to the runway.
The image below (a still from the video) shows the concentrated take off routes from London City, in westerly operations – taking off towards the west.
The image below (a still from the video) shows how take-offs from Stansted are being directed on a concentrated line towards the east.
London City given permission to concentrate its flight paths
January 10, 2016
Just before Christmas the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that it had given London City Airport permission to concentrate its flight paths.
The change is due to come into effect on February 4th.
But HACAN East is consulting with lawyers about the possibility of a legal challenge
If the flight paths are introduced:
Most days Bow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Redbridge, Barkingside and Collier Row will get all the departures from the airport. Thamesmead will be badly hit by arrivals. All these areas will be hit about 70% of the time in a typical year: the days a west wind is blowing.
When the wind comes from the east all the departures will go over Barking Riverside, Dagenham and Hornchurch. And all the arrivals will go over Sidcup, New Eltham, Mottingham, Catford, Forest Hill, Dulwich Village, Herne Hill, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall.
Although these changed flight paths are due to come in on February 4th, most of the communities that will be affected have not been told about them.
HACAN East has been working with its lawyers about a possible Judicial Review against the CAA, for their failure to organise proper consultations about the flight path changes. Their pre-action protocol letter from solicitors Leigh Day to the CAA is here. Leigh Day Pre-Action Protocot letter 26.1.2016 London City
The sale of London City Airport could be in jeopardy after British Airways, the largest airline based there (40% of the flights), threatened to pull out most of its aircraft. The second largest airline there has about 20% of the flights. The airport was put up for sale by GIP in in August 2015. BA fears that the high price of £2 billion could force its new owners to raise landing fees, and BA says it is not prepared to pay. Willie Walsh said the £2 billion price would mean a multiple of 44 times London City’s earnings (EBITDA), though the airport said it was a multiple of 28. Walsh said the airport had “very high” airport charges of £19 per passenger, one of the most expensive after Heathrow, and with higher charges he would not make enough profit. The number of passengers at London City airport has grown from 2m in 2005 to an estimated 4.3m in 2015. The airport’s value could also be limited by its battle to get planning permission for a £200m development that would increase the number of passengers to 6m by 2023. The plans were blocked last year by Boris, over aircraft noise concerns. London City is appealing against this. The introduction of Crossrail in 2018, which will cut down the journey time from Canary Wharf to Heathrow, could be a real threat to the airport.
London City Airport’s price tag under scrutiny after British Airways threatens to pull out most flights
British Airways to drastically cut services at London City Airport?
The sale of London City Airport could be in jeopardy after British Airways, the largest airline based at the terminal, threatened to pull out most of its aircraft. The airline fears that the high price tag of £2 billion could force its new owners to raise landing fees.
The airport’s US owners, Global Infrastructure Partners, put up London City Airport for salelast August. Despite the £2bn (€2.64bn, $2.88bn) valuation, it has already attracted offers from three groups, including Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings, Atlantia Spa and another three consortia, one of which is led by Macquarie Infrastructure Corp, Reuters reports.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, warns new owners of London City Airport – no increase in landing charges.
Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG, the parent company of BA, told the FT that he had serious concerns about the owners’ high price tag, which would amount to a multiple of 44 times London City’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in 2014. “If the owners succeed in selling this for £2bn we cannot see how a buyer will be able to recover or make any return on that investment unless they make significant increase in airport charges,” Walsh said.
Describing the price tag as a “foolish price”, he warned that the IAG will significantly reduce its aircraft at the airport if higher landing charges were introduced. “We will not stay in London City at the levels we are today if these charges increase,” he warned.
Walsh told the FT: “Quite honestly the margins we make at London City would not support any increase in charges.” London City Airport is a favourite with business travellers due to its proximity to Canary Wharf and the City of London.
BA operates a range of short-haul business and leisure routes, as well as its twice daily business class only flight to New York. Walsh noted that the airport had “very high” airport charges of £19 per passenger, one of the most expensive after Heathrow Airport.
“London City airport has its advantages but those advantages do not enable airlines to price at any price, and should not enable the airport to raise charges to cover what would be a foolish price to pay for an airport like that,” Walsh said.
He noted that the ability to “increase retail revenues are at their limit at the airport, so you are left with the only option to increase charges.” Both London City Airport and its owners have declined to comment, the FT said.
British Airways is threatening to pull most of its aircraft out of London City airport if the hub’s new owner raised airline charges to cover the £2bn price tag.
The move could jeopardise the sale of the London airport beloved by executives, which was put on the market last August by its US owners and has already attracted offers from at least three groups.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, BA’s parent, told the Financial Times he had serious concerns about the owner’s £2bn valuation, which would represent a multiple of 44 times London City’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in 2014.
“If the owners succeed in selling this for £2bn we cannot see how a buyer will be able to recover or make any return on that investment unless they make a significant increase in airport charges,” he said.
He called the sale tag a “foolish price”, and warned that IAG will significantly reduce its aircraft at the airport if higher landing charges were introduced.
“We will not stay in London City at the levels we are today if these charges increase,” said Mr Walsh. “Quite honestly the margins we make at London City would not support any increase in charges.”
London City has won the affection of business travellers because of its proximity to Canary Wharf and the City of London compared to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Almost two-thirds of London City’s passengers are business travellers.
A symbol of London’s resilience as a global business capital, London City has seen passenger growth numbers double over the past decade from 2m in 2005 to an estimated 4.3m last year despite the financial crisis.
Oliver Sleath, analyst at Barclays, said it would seem odd for BA to suddenly leave London City. “Having built up a number one position at London City, they would be handing valuable revenue to competitors, especially given the large financial community in Canary Wharf,” he added.
“But I think the introduction of Crossrail in 2018, which will cut down the journey time from Canary Wharf to Heathrow, could tip the balance and make it more of a real threat.”
BA operates a range of short-haul business and leisure routes, as well as its twice daily business class only flight to New York that is popular with executives.
Mr Walsh said London City already had “very high” airport charges of about £19 per passenger, one of the most expensive rates after Heathrow, the UK’s biggest airport.
“London City airport has its advantages but those advantages do not enable airlines to price at any price, and should not enable the airport to raise charges to cover what would be a foolish price to pay for an airport like that,” he added.
The airport was put up for sale last August by Global Infrastructure Partners, the US fund that also has stakes in Gatwick and Edinburgh airports.
The group has owned the airport since 2006, when it was bought for an estimated £750m from Dermot Desmond, the Irish financier, who paid just £23.5m for London City in 1995.
People close to London City’s owners disputed the valuation multiple. They said the airport’s adjusted profits for 2015 were £72m, which meant that the £2bn price tag would represent a multiple of 28 times earnings, not 44.
The airport’s value could also be limited by its battle to get planning permission for a £200m development that would increase the number of passengers it handles to 6m by 2023. The plans were blocked last year by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, over aircraft noise concerns. London City is appealing against the mayor’s decision.
But Mr Walsh said even with expansion, the £2bn price tag was too high when compared with sales of previous UK airports. “The ability to increase retail revenues are at their limit at the airport, so you are left with the only option to increase charges,” he added.
It is not the first time Mr Walsh has threatened to leave an airport over high charges. In December, he warned that IAG could expand overseas rather than in the UK after attacking the high costs involved with building a third runway at Heathrow airport.
CAGNE is a group set up to support and represent residents, especially those in west Sussex, affected by Gatwick’s operations to the west of the airport. While welcoming many of the recommendations by the Gatwick Arrivals Review, published last week, CAGNE is concerned about some recommendations. The Review proposed that when there is no wind, or light wind only, that the airport operates more flights on easterly operations (meaning landings approach from the west, and take off the east). CAGNE fears this would expose more residents well to the west of Gatwick to more arrivals noise. The Review also recommended that arrivals should join the ILS (the final straight line approach to the runway) nearer to the runway. In 2013, the CAA changed the distance of the joining point from around 7 – 12 nautical miles out to around 10 – 12 nautical miles, claiming this was for safety. The Review suggests returning this to 8 nautical miles. The impact of this would be that people living 7 – 9 nautical miles or so (about 8 – 10 miles) from the runway would suffer more noise. Some of these people have either not had plane noise before, or not had it for two or three years. Most of the people affected will be unaware of the proposed change, and they have not been consulted. CAGNE wants to raise awareness of the proposed change, and ensure people know the details of how they would be affected – so they can comment.
Gatwick’s Arrival Review Team Proposes Double Misery for Residents
Residents that are hit by Gatwick’s constant stream of departing aircraft to the west are now to be subjected to easterly arrivals at 3,000ft, the Gatwick Airport arrival review report proposes.
It is also proposed that West Sussex, and parts of Surrey, should take arrival aircraft from the east when wind conditions permit. [Around 30% of the time, the winds do not come from the west. Gatwick tends to keep some of the planes, even in these conditions, landing from the east. The review said more could be landed from the west. AW note] increasing the number of arrivals that these residents will be subjected to day and night, as the review also offers no respite from night flights.(Section on this, from the Review copied below).
“These residents would have been totally unaware of the arrival review and what it is recommending. The join to the final approach (ILS*) was set at 12 miles out from the runway approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We were told this was for safety reason. The joining point further out from the runway could enable planes to approach higher and quieter on their final descent, by CDA (Continuous Descent Approach). This proposal will move the joining point closer to the runway, just some 8 nautical miles out, [about 15 km] as well as subjecting these residents to aircraft turning (vectoring) which is when they are at their noisiest,” said Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE that helps residents of West Sussex and Surrey.
“Gatwick’s Arrivals Review Team did not provide residents with any mapping to how this change would affect them prior to the issuing of their report. The residents who will be affected by the closer joining point to the ILS are already suffering noise from departures at 3,000ft. They are now expected to receive a constant stream of arrivals at a similar height.”
“CAGNE will now take this matter up with the Chair of Gatwick Airport as we feel that these residents suffer enough. We are angry at this arrival proposal, especially as it is proposed that the review recommendations should be implemented by March this year,” said Sally.
“Eventually this proposal will bring three concentrated flight path corridors, using PBN, over rural communities of West Sussex and Surrey.”
Areas likely to be affected – Warnham, Kingsfold, Winterfold, Rowhook, Slinfold, Barnes Green, Southwater and potentially Horsham.
The report did offer some positive points:
– The formation of an independent noise body
– A320 aircraft at Gatwick are all to be retro fitted by 2017 resulting in a removal of the whine noise
– Holding stacks are to be higher or moved out to sea
– Introduction of Times Arrivals, Whereby aircraft are slowed oversea to avoid holding stacks, as well as avoiding the introduction of Point Merge for arrivals
– Land Use Management – no new houses should be built close to flight paths
– Continuous Descent Approach – to be raised to 7,000ft, increasing to 8,000ft
– Noise complaint procedure to be changed to record all complaints
– Noise metrics of recording noise events being inadequate is also mentioned
Earlier in the year the CAA PIR Review on Gatwick departures dismissed the issues that West Sussex residents have with the increase in noise resulting from the introduction of PR-NAV (concentrated flight paths) on all departure routes by Gatwick Airport in May 2015.
CAGNE will continue to work with NATS and Gatwick to call for a review of departures to alleviate the misery caused departing aircraft. CAGNE will also work to ensure this proposal by the Arrivals Review, to move the joining point to the ILS is not taken forward, when many residents believe a return to full dispersal is required.
Sally commented that she has had it confirmed from the office of the CEO of the CAA that the proposal to bring the joining point nearer the runway will have a major environmentally impact. Also that it is unfair on those that have never been impacted by concentration before as they only had dispersal.
It will bring the planes in below 3,000ft, because inevitably the closer the joining point to the ILS is to the runway, the lower the planes. These same people already suffer departures at 3,000ft. This is unfair and unacceptable. To make matters worse, the swathe will be flown (as now) on the inner edge by ATC as this saves the airlines fuel. The flights will not be dispersed, as there is no requirement to do so under current policy. EasyJet and NATS agree the change will have a big impact on new areas.
Sally Pavey believed there is likely to be the same problem for those residents to the east of runway, 7 – 9 miles or so out, that do not have group representing them – East Grinstead will be impacted.
Resident wishing to object to the arrivals review proposals should write to:
email@example.com (CEO of Gatwick airport) and firstname.lastname@example.org (Leader of West Sussex Council) as well as their local council representatives.
*ILS stands for Instrument Landing System – the straight line approach in the final miles to the runway.
1 nautical mile is about 1.15 miles.
8 nautical miles is about 15 kilometers (9.2 miles)
10 nautical miles is about 18.5 km. (11.5 miles)
12 nautical miles is about 22 km. (13.8 miles)
The map below, taken from a Gatwick consultation document, gives an indication of roughly where 8 nautical miles (about 15 km) and 12 nautical miles (about 22 km) are in relation to the airport. (Black lines added by AirportWatch).
GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) comment on the change proposed by the Arrivals Review:
“One of the recommendations is, however, likely to prove controversial. This is that arriving aircraft join the straight-in ‘glide-slope’ at not less than 8 nautical miles and not more than 14 miles from the airport, instead of 10-14 miles (mainly 12-14) at present. Although this would help to ensure a more ‘fair and equitable’ distribution of flights – sharing the misery – the effect of the change would be to bring aircraft in at a lower level over a number of communities closer to the airport both to the east and to the west. These places have not had aircraft overhead before, or not for some years.
“It is not clear whether this change will require formal consultation so that the people adversely affected can have their say.”
CAGNE is a forum for concerned residents to exchange information and has individual smaller groups working to raise awareness in their specific parish.
CAGNE is free to join and has members from Warnham, Rusper, Kingsfold, Rowhook, Broadbridge Heath, Slinfold Parishes plus areas of North Horsham. CAGNE, Communities Against Noise and Emissions, was formed in February 2014 as a result of Gatwick Airport’s new flight path (ADNID) over an area not previously over flown by planes (Warnham Parish).
Arrivals Review for Gatwick suggests a range of measures to slightly reduce the noise problem
January 29, 2016
The Arrivals Review, by Bo Redeborn and Graham Lake, has now been published. It has made a series of recommendations for ways in which the aircraft noise problem might be slightly reduced – without limiting the capacity of the airport at all. These recommendations are copied below. The report is wide-ranging, with a lot of issues covered. Below just what is says on four topics (chosen arbitrarily by AirportWatch, to give a taster of the report) is included. These are 1). The decision to move the joining point onto the ILS to be a minimum of 8nm from touchdown, rather than the 10nm used at present. 2). Changing the way Gatwick uses its runway in nil or low wind. 3). Deterring flights being delayed to take-offs occur during the night period, as a Key Performance Indicator. 4). The noise complaints policy needs to be improved. (The review comments: “the current limit of one noise complaint per day per household is considered wholly unacceptable by those residents addressing this issue with the review. It is easy to understand their point of view.”) They propose: “that Gatwick should establish an enhanced complaints policy with no daily limit and a fully transparent procedure, as soon as possible, using an on-line form as the sole electronic complaint registration medium.” The Review also recommends the establishment of a Noise Management Board (NMB) by summer 2016.
The section of the Arrivals Review that recommended more flights in low wind approaching from the west is copied below:
Operations in Nil or Low Wind
“Normally, an aircraft will land and take off into wind unless safety, the runway configuration, or air traffic conditions determine that a different direction is preferable. In selecting the runway-in-use, the unit providing aerodrome control service (Gatwick Tower) takes into consideration, besides surface wind speed and direction, other relevant factors such as upper winds, the lengths of runway available, and the serviceability of approach and landing aids.
At Gatwick, as in the rest of the UK, the prevailing wind is westerly and therefore the reported long term average allocation of runway in use is 70:30 in favour of westerly operations 47 (landing towards the west), and it is not unusual to experience periods of prolonged operation in either one direction or another. This means that arriving aircraft can use a particular landing direction for many days or even weeks without change, hence providing little respite to residents. The Flight Performance Team report contains detail. (48. Link)
A characteristic of surface wind, subject to the wider meteorological situation, is that it tends to erode or disappear in the late evening. There will therefore be occasions, normally but not exclusively at night, when wind conditions would permit a change of landing direction, thereby potentially delivering respite for residents experiencing both arriving and departure noise.
It is the opinion of the review that an operating protocol should be developed, published and adopted by GAL to define the criteria and occasions when a change of landing direction could be implemented at Gatwick for noise reasons, when weather and other conditions permit. The objective of the protocol would be to achieve a more even split of arrivals, and to fragment the otherwise continuous use of one runway direction or another because of long term weather patterns. This is particularly relevant, but not limited, to the peak arrival hours that occur in the evening. The target implementation should be before the peak summer period 2016, which
has been reported to the review team as a sensitive time for residents concerned about aircraft noise.” The Review therefore recommends:
The development, publication and implementation by GAL of an operating protocol to define the occasions when a change of landing direction will be implemented at Gatwick for noise reasons, if weather, safety requirements and other conditions permit. The objective of the protocol being to achieve a more even split of arrivals, and to fragment the otherwise continuous use of one runway direction or another because of long term weather patterns. The impact should be monitored by GAL and the results regularly reviewed by the Noise Management Board (NMB).The target implementation of the protocol should be during 2016 following engagement with airlines, air traffic control and communities.
The section from the Arrivals Review on change to the point where planes join the ILS is below:
Arrival Procedures – and the change to 8nm joining point:
“As noted previously, the approach stabilisation initiative of 2013, implemented primarily for safety reasons but also for capacity improvement, extended the daytime ILS joining point from 7nm to 10nm. The minimum joining point has been located at 10nm at night (23:30-06:00 local time) since before 2004. The CAA recognizing that aircraft are both higher and benefit from a longer stable approach through use of a 10 mile join, agreed that the
change to 10nm minimum join during the day was a safety improvement and hence the change was supported.
Many residents reported to the review that they have asked both GAL and NATS to reverse the 2013 change of vectoring methodology, thereby returning the minimum ILS join distance to 7nm. These requests were also widely made to the review team. The review has confirmed that increasing the size of the arrival swathe is expected to deliver overall noise improvements for those on the ground.
An adaptation to radar vectoring methodology using an ILS join point minimum of 8nm from touchdown should extend the arrival swathe 2nm further to the west for Runway 26 and correspondingly to the east for Runway 08 arrivals while still enabling the safety objectives of the previous change. If implemented, the effect will be to increase the arrivals dispersal to more closely emulate the circumstances the prior to 2013 position. Hence the arrival swathe would normally extend from a minimum of 8nm to 14nm. When traffic permits, aircraft from the east for Runway 26 will join on a straight in approach even further east, and for 08, straight-in further from the west. The CAA has indicated that on request from GAL and NATS that it will consider this subject to normal process.
These measures, if implemented, should go a long way towards restoring the arrivals situation to a level of dispersal seen prior to 2015. Proposals to resolve other underlying noise management questions are identified later in this report in Section 4, dealing with noise planning and coordination.”
The Review therefore recommends:
That GAL explore with NATS the potential for aircraft to be vectored to be established on the ILS at a minimum of 8nm from touchdown outside of night hours, rather than the current 10nm. This adaptation to vectoring methodology should extend the arrival swathe 2nm closer to the airport and increase the arrivals dispersal to more closely emulate the operations prior to the 2013 change. Hence the arrival swathe would normally extend from a minimum of 8nm to 14nm, with aircraft joining on a straight in approach when traffic permits.
Heathrow Airport is to commission a report to look into the impact of a potential 3rd runway on the UK’s SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) community across the country. It will be a consultation by Heathrow itself and a small business support group called Enterprise Nation. The study starts in February, will seek the views of Enterprise Nation’s community of over 65,000 small businesses to gauge how they feel the airport’s development plans will impact them. The aim is for Heathrow to try to prove that its runway will help the UK to export more. (It does not mention imports – which are actually larger by tonnage and by value than exports.) Heathrow says that once completed, the findings will be used to develop an SME growth strategy within Heathrow’s expansion plans, focusing on what can be done to drive SME export growth in line with the Government target of over £1 trillion of UK exports by 2020. John Holland-Kaye made the usual comments including the runway providing “up 40 new trading links and improve domestic connectivity; making it cheaper and more efficient for SMEs to sell their products in fast growing markets around the world,” The findings of the report are due in April. Earlier Heathrow said the value of its air freight in 2014 was £101 billion. But the value of its exports was £48 billion. That is 47.5% of the total – a bit under half. The rest is imports.
Report set to examine impact of Heathrow expansion on SMEs
Heathrow Airport is to commission a report to look into the impact of any potential expansion on the UK’s SME community.
The joint consultation, which will be carried out with small business support group Enterprise Nation, will look closely at the expansion plans and work out what economic impact they will have for SMEs across the country.
The study, which is to begin in February, will seek the views of Enterprise Nation’s community of over 65,000 small businesses to gauge how they feel the airport’s development plans will impact them.
Once completed, the findings will be used to develop an SME growth strategy within Heathrow’s expansion plans, focusing on what can be done to drive SME export growth in line with the Government target of over £1 trillion of UK exports by 2020.
Founder of Enterprise Nation, Emma Jones, commented: “Exploring ways to make exporting more accessible and achievable for small firms is a key focus for us this year. We see firms all the time that are exporting all over the world – sometimes directly from their kitchen table.”
“What will be fascinating to explore will be how they feel about growth, what they need to take their business to the next level and how intervention and support can be tailored to boost their existing export capacity to drive that growth.
“A quarter of all UK exports by value already travel through the airport. It will be interesting to see how an expanded Heathrow could make a real difference at a time when more people than ever before are starting and growing businesses.”
Heathrow Chief Executive Officer, John Holland-Kaye, believes an expanded Heathrow would prove a boon for SMEs and welcomed the consultation. He said: “SMEs are the backbone of the British economy. With expansion we’ll open up 40 new trading links and improve domestic connectivity; making it cheaper and more efficient for SMEs to sell their products in fast growing markets around the world,”
He added: “I’m delighted that Enterprise Nation and small businesses across the country will be looking at our expansion plans and I’m excited to hear their ideas on what more we can be doing to help them grow.”
The findings of the report are due to be published in April.
Gatwick Airport Ambassador switches allegiance to Heathrow, and runway bid fails to gain traction with business
Date added: January 30, 2016
Back in early 2015, Emma Jones – the founder of Enterprise Nation – a small business support platform, was working for Gatwick airport and promoting its usefulness for business. She is quoted by Gatwick in March 2015 as saying how many of the UK’s 5 million small businesses were looking to ‘Go Global’ and sell their products and services abroad. “To do so requires an easy-access airport and low cost flights to meet new contacts, research markets and source suppliers. It’s for these reasons that I support expansion at Gatwick ….” Then in November, Emma was appointed by David Cameron as one of six leading entrepreneurs to be business ambassadors with a focus on helping more small businesses export their products and services. And she is now working with Heathrow. It has been announced that Heathrow is to carry out a consultation with Enterprise Nation, to explore the impact of expanding Heathrow on the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SME). Emma said: “A quarter of all UK exports by value already travel through the airport. It will be interesting to see how an expanded Heathrow could make a real difference at a time when more people than ever before are starting and growing businesses
Heathrow never mentions imports, only exports – but imports larger by tonnage and by value than exports
Date added: November 25, 2015
Heathrow is very fond of saying how vital its air freight is to the UK economy. It is also always very keen to stress how important it is for the UK’s exports. Strangely, it never mentions imports (which are not so good for the UK economy). A detailed document by the DfT in 2009 set out the figures for UK air freight exports and imports. Newer data is not readily available. The 2007 figures (by HMRC) showed that the tonnage of UK exports by air freight was 414 thousand tonnes. And the tonnage of imports was 1,663 tonnes. That means, in terms of just weight, the imports were 4 times larger. The 2007 figures show that the value of UK imports by air freight was about £31.1 billion. And the value of imports was £51.1 billion. That means the value of the exports was only 61% of the value of the imports. Presuming that the proportions are roughly the same now as in 2007, that implies that much more of the air freight -both by tonnage and by value – is imports than exports. Strange then that in any document put out by Heathrow, or any of its supporters, imports and their value are never mentioned. It was as if they barely existed. This is comparable to the way in which the benefits of inbound tourism are stressed repeatedly – but rarely the greater numbers of outbound Brits taking their holiday cash to spend abroad. Odd, isn’t it?
Andrew Tyrie is the chairman of the influential Commons Treasury select committee. He has now said parliament and the public had been left partly in the dark on the case for a new runway, because the Airports Commission’s analysis is not good enough. He said the decision on airport expansion is being taken on the basis of information that was “opaque in a number of important respects.” Mr Tyrie said the robustness of the Airports commission’s conclusions could not be determined from the information in its report. “Parliament has demanded more transparency over the environmental case. At least as important is the economic case.” Mr Tyrie said it was impossible to tell if the potential economic benefits for the UK of the proposals by Heathrow or Gatwick differed significantly from one another, or even if the benefits of building either are significantly different from not building any new runways. “A decision as controversial as this — one that has bedevilled past governments for decades — requires as much transparency as reasonably possible.” Andrew Tyrie has written to George Osborne calling for more details of the calculations that led to the Commission recommending a Heathrow runway. He also called for the process to be moved from the DfT to the Treasury.
Osborne Must Take Lead Over Heathrow Economic Case, Tyrie Says
By Thomas Penny (Bloomberg)
February 1, 2016
Treasury committee chair says airport commission case opaque Published analysis not sufficient for decision on runways
Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, wrote to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to urge him to take the lead in assessing the economic case for expanding airport capacity in southeast England. [The remit of the Treasury Select Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, with all of its agencies and associated bodies, including HM Revenue and Customs, the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Royal Mint, etc].
Prime Minister David Cameron’s government in December delayed a decision on airport expansion until after London’s mayoral election in May, arguing that a state-backed commission led by Howard Davies hadn’t properly assessed the environmental impact of an additional runway. It also appears to have failed adequately to consider the economic case, Tyrie said, faulting the commission for analyzing costs and benefits of only one of the five possible scenarios it created.
“The decision on airport capacity is crucial to the future of the British economy,” Tyrie wrote in the letter to Osborne, which he made public on Monday. “It therefore cannot be left to the Department for Transport, and you will need to take the lead.”
Cameron, who campaigned against building an additional runway at Heathrow Airport in west London when he was in opposition, appointed the commission three years ago to sidestep an issue that would have cost his Conservative Party support in areas under the flight path.
The commission recommended a new runway at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub, and the premier delayed the decision again to protect Zac Goldsmith, a Tory candidate for Mayor of London and an outspoken critic of expansion at the airport.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said last month that a proposal to expand Gatwick Airport, south of London, remains in government consideration along with two options for expansion at Heathrow.
Tyrie said he had written a public letter to the chancellor because the Treasury had failed to answer questions posed under the usual procedures for members of parliament asking questions of ministers.
Airports Commission case for Heathrow expansion ‘opaque’
Treasury committee chair Andrew Tyrie says more information required over reasons for Davies report’s conclusions
A decision on airport expansion is being taken on the basis of “opaque” information, a senior MP has warned.
Andrew Tyrie, chair of the influential Commons Treasury select committee, said parliament and the public had been left partly in the dark on the case for a new runway at Heathrow.
He has written to George Osborne calling for more details of the calculations that led an independent commission to recommend the highly controversial addition to the country’s biggest airport.
In his letter, Tyrie complained that ministers had failed to respond to a series of detailed technical questions tabled in the Commons seeking clarification in areas such as the impact on fares and passenger demand.
He said the commission’s case was “opaque in a number of important respects” and that “a good deal more information is required” if the government’s forthcoming decision is to be properly scrutinised.
The Department for Transport said the commission had provided “exhaustive detail”. “The case for aviation expansion is clear and it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come,” a spokesperson said.
“So we continue to consider the exhaustive detail contained in the Airports Commission’s final report. It has not so far been possible to respond to Mr Tyrie’s long list of questions on related and different issues. However, we are considering his questions in the light of progress and will respond to his letter as soon as possible.”
A spokesman for Gatwick said: “This is a highly significant intervention from the chairman of the Treasury select committee. It is clearly now the consensus view that the Davies report is seriously flawed and not a sound basis for decision-making.”
01 February 2016 (Commons Treasury Select Cttee press release)
Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP writes to the Chancellor, asking him to go further to back up the government’s economic case for an expansion of the UK’s airport capacity.
Letter from Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP to Rt Hon George Osborne MP on airport expansion 25 January 2016
Commenting on the correspondence, Mr Tyrie said:
“The robustness of the Airports Commission’s conclusions cannot be determined from the information available in the Davies report. Parliament has demanded more transparency over the environmental case. At least as important is the economic case.
In considering the economic case, the Commission created five scenarios for how the aviation sector and the global economy might develop. But it has provided figures on the costs and benefits of the runway proposals under just one of these. The absence of information on the costs and benefits under the other scenarios makes it impossible to assess the robustness of the economic case. Nor is it possible, on the basis of the figures published by the Commission, to tell if the potential economic benefits of the proposals differ significantly from one another. Nor can it be established whether the benefits are significantly different from the option of not building any new runways.
Furthermore, the economic case depends on the time horizon over which costs and benefits are measured. The Commission used a period of sixty years from the completion date of 2026. The Commission should be expected to be able to demonstrate the sensitivity of the costs and benefits to the choice of appraisal period. What about 30 years, or 40 years? This analysis is also currently lacking.
These may sound like arcane and technical points. They are not. Without adequate information on the robustness of the economic case, Parliament and the public will not be able to judge the merits of any decision the Government eventually makes.
And this decision matters. Getting it right will be important in determining whether or not Britain can compete globally. Decisions of such crucial economic importance cannot be left to the Department for Transport. So the Chancellor of the Exchequer should take the lead.
A decision as controversial as this – one that has bedevilled past Governments, in one way or another, for decades – requires as much transparency as reasonably possible for the basis of the decision. There is no excuse for not providing it. So this work needs to be done, and published, as soon as possible, and at least three months before any decision is taken.”
We may not need a new runway at all, says senior Tory
By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (The Times)
February 1 2016
MPs will raise fresh doubts over plans for a new runway in the southeast today amid claims that the economic case for expansion had not yet been made.
Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative chairman of the Treasury select committee, said an analysis used to justify an additional runway was lacking.
He described the economic case put forward by the Airports commission, which made a unanimous recommendation in favour of a third runway at Heathrow, as “opaque in a number of important respects”.
In a letter to George Osborne he urged the government to carry out further analysis before reaching a decision in the summer. He said it could conclude that no new runways were needed at all.
Mr Tyrie, the Tory MP for Chichester, also called for the process to be moved from the Department for Transport to the Treasury.
Such a move would almost certainly lead to a further delay on a new runway which has already been put on hold for six months pending further investigation into air quality and noise.
It also threatens to further weaken Heathrow’s case for a third runway following the commission’s conclusion that expansion of the airport would provide the greatest economic benefit to the nation.
According to the commission’s final report, a third runway would create up to £147 billion in benefits over 60 years, compared with £89 billion at Gatwick, which is also vying for permission to expand. [This is very much contested, and the Commission’s own economic advisors, Mackie and Pearce, said these figures should be treated with caution. More info].
Ministers have accepted that the case for a new runway has already been made and are to choose between rival schemes at Heathrow and Gatwick. A decision is now unlikely before June.
Mr Tyrie said, however, that the robustness of the Airports commission’s conclusions could not be determined from the information in its report.“Parliament has demanded more transparency over the environmental case,” he said. “At least as important is the economic case.”
Despite claims that expanding Heathrow would generate more money, Mr Tyrie claimed it was impossible to tell if the potential economic benefits of the proposals differed significantly from one another.
He added: “Nor can it be established whether the benefits are significantly different from the option of not building any new runways. A decision as controversial as this — one that has bedevilled past governments for decades — requires as much transparency as reasonably possible.”
A Department for Transport spokesman said that the commission had provided exhaustive detail. [That is absolutely not true. The Commission’s work contains many omissions]. “The case for aviation expansion is clear and it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come,” he said. [That is also absolutely not true. It is the view of the aviation industry. A key DfT civil servant used to be in Heathrow’s PR department. Simon Baugh. More info].
A spokesman for Gatwick, which has repeatedly criticised the Airports Commission’s conclusions, said that Mr Tyrie’s letter represented a significant intervention. The official said it was now the consensus view that the report was seriously flawed and not a sound basis for decision making.
“Gatwick expansion delivers the new connectivity and economic growth we need without the environmental impacts that have stopped Heathrow time and again,” he said. “If we want something to happen, it is time to back growth at Gatwick.” [This is just predictable sound bite from Gatwick, as the economic case for a Gatwick runway is also totally unproven, and would land the taxpayer with bills of billions of ££s for infastructure for decades].
In July 2012, Andrew Tyrie – as a member of the Tory Free Enterprise group, was advocating the building of two runways at Heathrow. Link
Peter Jordan, a retired scientist and member of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, commented on the Times article:
Mr Tyrie is right. The Airports Commission (which did a lot of very professional work) had one flaw – it’s terms of reference told it to examine how new capacity could be provided in the Soutrh East. It didn’t tell it to examine whether new capacity was needed.
The problem is that politicians have been wined and dined by aviation interests who tell them we’re all going to die if we don’t have more business connections to China (for example)
Here’s why we don’t need any more runways:
– Unused existing capacity
– More efficient planes carrying more passengers per flight
– The majority of flying is for tourism, which sucks money out of the UK economy. More of us go abroad than foreign tourists who come to us.
– Pollution at the candidate airport sites is already above legal limits. This is caused both by flying and by ground transport, especially commuting.
– Every flight contributes to carbon dioxide emissions.
– more capacity in the South East increases the North-South divide.
Here’s why we have problems with these simple facts:
– Inadequate taxation of aviation fuel artificially subsidises aviation
– Nationalistic nonsense about competing with Schipol and Paris/Charles de Gaul
– Lazy politicians get their information from aviation industry press releases
Mr Tyrie is a welcome exception. Power to his elbow.
For nationalists who worry about Britain’s prestige, here are some more facts:
– Tourism is a net loss for the UK
– London Heathrow is already the pre-eminent transatlantic hub
– Business flying is gradually declining
– Building new runways or even new airports does not demonstrate our national mojo. It has to be a hard-headed business decision.
Campaigners against Heathrow expansion have plastered Knutsford, in George Osborne’s constituency – Tatton in Cheshire – with No Third Runway signs. They put up the signs in Knutsford’s main street in the heart of the constituency, and one outside Conservative Party headquarters in the town. A new runway would cost the taxpayer billions of pounds. The date was chosen to coincide with the date on which tax returns must be submitted. The cost to the taxpayer of the infrastructure needed for a 3rd Heathrow runway are expected to be up to £20 billion. Only considering the cost of tunnelling the M25, and associated costs, was considered by the Airports Commission to be £5 billion. Working out how much £5 billion is, divided among the whole UK population, comes to over £77 per person. HACAN has also worked out that £5 billion would buy 83,000 new social homes or thousands of hip replacements, primary or secondary school teachers – or many huge new hospitals. (Figures below) HACAN Chair John Stewart, said, “The billions of pounds of Government money that would be needed for 3rd runway road and rail schemes might even make the Chancellor, George Osborne, think twice about backing it.”
CAMPAIGNERS PLASTER OSBORNE’S CONSTITUENCY WITH NO 3RD RUNWAY SIGNS
1.2.2016 (Hacan press release)
Campaigners against Heathrow expansion today plastered George Osborne’s constituency with No Third Runway signs. They put up the signs in the main street of Knutsford in the heart of the constituency, including one outside Conservative Party headquarters in the town. The campaigners wanted to get across to the Chancellor, thought to back expansion at Heathrow, that a new runway would cost the taxpayer billions of pounds (1).
Peter Jones, one of the Londoners who went up to Knutsford, said, “We deliberately chose the day after people have had to get their tax returns in so as to emphasise to George Osborne just how much public money will be needed to pay for the road and rail links for a third runway.”
The Airports Commission, which the Government set up to look at the need for new airports, put the cost at almost £6 billion. Transport for London has put it even higher. Heathrow has said it will pay no more than £1.1billion.
Pearl Jones said, “That leaves the taxpayer to find around £5 billion.”
Campaign group HACAN calculated that everybody in the country would each need to fork out £80 to pay for the road and rail links a third runway would need (2).
HACAN also unearthed evidence that £5bn could buy 83,000 new social homes or 835,000 hip replacements (3).[Hip replacements are estimated to cost about £6,000 each].
HACAN Chair John Stewart, said, “The billions of pounds of Government money that would be needed for 3rd runway road and rail schemes might even make the Chancellor, George Osborne, think twice about backing it.”
Notes for Editors:
(1). Heathrow would pay for the runway itself but not all of the associated road and rail costs.
(2). If the cost is £5 billion and the UK population is 63,182,000 (2011 census), that’s £79 each. [The population of the UK was 64,596,800 in June 2015 Link That’s £77.4 each]
£1 billion could pay for two flagship hospitals, such as Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital which opened in 2010. So £5 billion could pay for ten such hospitals. For mental health, £5 billion would provide an 8-hour course of talking therapy for 12.5m people.
With £1bn the government could, for a year, fund 27,000 primary or 22,000 secondary school teachers. So that would be – for £5 billion – 135,000 primary school teachers, or 110,000 secondary school teachers. [ie the cost is over £37,000 per year for a primary school teacher, or over £47,000 per year for a secondary school teacher] . Or £5 billion could give free school meals to 12.5m children.
Heathrow boss rules out footing the £5 billion bill for road and rail works – wants taxpayer to pay
July 24, 2015
The Airports Commission left the matter of who would pay for the approximately £5 billion needed to tunnel a section of the M25, and other surface access improvements, vague. The assumption has been made that the taxpayer would have to fund this, though the Airports Commission suggested that Heathrow would be able to find the funding from its investors for this. Now the CEO of Heathrow has dismissed the suggestion that the airport foots the £5 billion bill for road and rail work if a 3rd runway is built. Huge motorway engineering would be needed, to have the runway going over the motorway. John Holland-Kaye has ruled out paying for the surface access work. Though the government funds road and rail improvements under normal circumstances, tunnelling the M25 and dealing with hugely increased road traffic using an airport 50% larger than at present are not normal circumstances. Especially in times of huge economic savings being necessary in public finances. The Commission’s final report said it considered the runway was commercially viable “without a requirement for direct government support. This remains the case even in a situation where the airport is required to fund 100% of the surface access costs.” This would be by Heathrow “raising both debt and equity finance. This finance is then serviced through subsequent revenues and refinancing by the airport operator.”