Fiumicino airport is the main airport for Rome, and the largest in Italy. It has around 34 million passenger per year now, and 3 runways (4th not often in use). It plans to build two more runways by 2044 (and four new terminals) and grow its number of passengers to 100 million per year. Fiumicino airport is located near the coast, and the land where runways are planned is close to the state nature reserve for the Roman coast. There is also an important neolithic site, with the first evidence of use of the horse in Europe. The local community group, Comitato Fuoripista, oppose the doubling in size of the airport, with the predictable environmental consequences. It is not clear that doubling the airport’s size can be justified economically. Now residents are alarmed that there has been drilling in the area, already prone to subsidence and flooding, and that this is for runway plans. The authorities claim the drilling, done without the proper consents from the local authority, is for normal monitoring. The Benetton family have a 95% stake in Airports of Rome, (ADR) that owns Fiumicino airport.
Fiumicino airport has 4 runways, though one is used mainly for taxiing, and so they want to build a 4th. (or actually a 5th. There may be plans eventually for a 6th runway).
The local community group is Comitato Fuoripistahttp://www.comitatofuoripista.it/ They say they are united against a doubling in size of the airport. And they want their airport better, not bigger.
They said, on 24th November:
“The local Committee is totally dissatisfied with the response that the mayor gave during question time of Tuesday, November 18 last year related to drilling and geological surveys made by Rome Airports outside the airport grounds and in full State Natural Reserve of the Coast Romano. We believe that the Mayor has failed in its task of institutional control of the territory, and – as the managing body of the Reserve – it the guardian put in place to safeguard this reserve.”
The Comitato Fiuripista website also says:
“Airports of Rome plans to concrete over the remains of the Fianello way where, on the banks of the ancient Lake Maccarese, about 4500 years ago stood a neolithic village. The importance of the site is reflected – among other things – by the fact that the remains of the burial rituals that were found are now in the Museum of Rome Pigorini and constitute the oldest evidence of the presence in Europe of the horse. The planned doubling of Fiumicino Airport would give a fatal blow to this territory, although it has been put in his time under protection by establishing the State Natural Reserve of the Roman Coast, and in 2013 it was further protected by extending the area of maximum protection (ZONE 1: Total in building rights) to include also the site of the Fianello way.”
The drilling and surveys in the Roman Coast flood reserve continue undisturbed without authorisation
17.11.2014 (Comitata Fuoripista)
For more than a week since the beginning, today November 17 continue without any authorization drilling and geological surveys on behalf of ADR within the State Natural Reserve of the Roman Coast, both in Zone 1 (maximum protection) and in Zone 2, despite the art. 7 and 8 of the Decree of the Ministry of the Environment March 29, 1996 establishing the reserve are very clear about it.
And this happens even after:
our Exposed presented to the local Carabinieri and sent to all relevant authorities for information;
that the President of the Commission of the Reserve and the Mayor of Fiumicino have both denied receiving requests for authorizations by ADR for these interventions and / or to have granted;
the “reassuring” Press where ADR states that ongoing interventions unique to the third track and have nothing to do with “the possible expansion of the airport.”
Indeed now these surveys are made right into the “centers” – that is, on privately owned land of Condominiums – coincidentally just in the areas affected by more than third track, by doubling the Airport. Today, in fact some owners of the center 7 Via Campo Salino have seen coming from inside the inner streets of condominium property, in charge of the company that, without any authorization, were proceeding to the interventions of leveling for the company in charge of ADR.
So ongoing interventions continue to be made within the Reserve without the necessary authorization by the independent manager of the Reserve – ie the Municipality of Fiumicino – and now even without any request for permission even to landowners.
Citizens expect clear answers and accountability on the part of the relevant bodies.
Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino airport expansion. The drills and the many mysteries surrounding the airport deal of the millennium
Leonardo Da Vinci Extras digging without permission on private plots of land. The company that manages the airport said these are: “Normal security checks”. But people fear that we are moving towards the realization of doubling of the structure. A twenty billion euro business, considered by many as unnecessary and at the expense of the citizens
By Alessio Nannini
Imagine finding suddenly, in front of your houses, wells being drilled and workmen to carrying out coring work where just a few hours before there was just a simple plot for cultivation. All without any warning, and without permission having been requested from the competent authorities. How would it be possible, you ask yourself.
Yet, all this happened three weeks ago in the land immediately outside the airport of Fiumicino, to the north to Maccarese and moreover in the Roman Coast Nature Reserve.
And this is on the most recent of the “mysteries” surrounding a massive project, among the largest ever made in Italy, and therefore involving a very large amount of money.
We are talking about doubling the size of Leonardo da Vinci airport and a total estimated at about € 20 billion, almost four times the costs of the infamous Bridge of Messina.
But step back a few years to understand what is happening at the gates of the capital. We are in October 2009. Airports of Rome present to the government and ENAC an ambitious development plan that includes the expansion of air traffic at Fiumicino airport.
Goal: 55 million passengers in 2020 and 100 million in 2040, to be achieved, the President of ADR (Airports of Rome) Fabrizio Palenzona, by virtue of “a grand bargain between investors and institutions. ”
Translated: this means State help to individuals who will go through an enlargement of the structure and a revision of the high airport charges.
To “go” Corrado Passera in: he that last day the Monti Government, as Minister of Development and Economic Infrastructure, got to the pockets of those who manage the Leonardo da Vinci a tax increase from €16 per passenger to €26.50 and gave endorsement for doubling of the size of the Rome airport , with more infrastructure outside the airport such as highways, railways, and parking.
The citizens of the affected areas, ie Fiumicino and Maccarese are getting active, the local committee continues a battle born early signals work. This is because the enlargement does not seem to be necessary, they say they have data showing this, having already an airport the size of London’s Heathrow.
To increase traffic enough optimize the airport’s inbound and outbound operations, and not to create new runways, which would undermine local economic activity, as well as the environmental and archaeological heritage.
A fortiori, did not convince the matter of interest and not just random names that move in the matter. A thousand of the 1,300 hectares affected are the property of the Benetton family, which runs them through the Maccarese Spa farm.
Maccarese Spa farm. Benetton own Gemina, [Gemina is an Italian holding company, which owns 95% of ADR – Airports of Rome] . [Atlantia and Gemina are both controlled by the Benetton family’s holding Sintonia. CAI is Changi Airport Group which has a 5% stake in Rome airports.]
When buying the land in 1998 (for 93 billion lire) is were engaged in agreement to preserve its agricultural purpose, unless of an expropriation, which is what could happen. In summary, Benetton would resell to the state with considerable advantage (perhaps of 200 million euro) land taken by IRI, state-owned company, to get funding something also administered from them. Practically, one of the most famous families in the world for selling trousers.
Back to the true story: how was it possible that these drilling that no one knew anything about took place?
The authorization for these operations is required under the Constitutive Act Reserve, and in particular Articles 7 and 8, which prohibit work of this kind unless there has been prior permission, and this was not granted either by the Board of the Reserve or by the municipality of Fiumicino. The Mayor Esterino Montino, who professes contrary to the doubling of the airport, on the Municipal Board extraordinary reported speaking with Lorenzo Lo Presti, Managing Director of ADR, asking if the operations were illegal. Which is like asking all’acquafrescaio if the water is fresh.
And here you go: “We were assured by ADR that the works were not for the fourth runway, and were aimed only to check the seismicity of the area “, Montino explains.
And authorization? “There they said that for these investigations would not be needed, because there was no change the territory. It would have only been a hole of 10cm.”
Moral: In Fiumicino you can still build and drill a well, but to pull up a chicken coop must wait and a thousand years and offical stamps. The citizens of the backland Committee first to intervene on place and to report the episode, do not believe that it was for the analysis of seismicity and say they have photographic evidence of
the amount and the depth of the drilling, material that will be attached (sent?) to the Prosecutor of the Republic. The drilled cores, they say, are used to do geotechnical analysis and check the height of the water table, the constitution of the soil, the amount of ? present here. ie. functional survey information for a billion euro poject, because there at the Leonardo da Vinci airport, during the inauguration for the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960, the main runway subsided due to unsuitable soils.
That was such, and that the construction was over a drained marshy area. It was a stretch, sanctioned by the parliamentary commission inquiry in 1963.
Now on the same area you want to double the airport, where not far away there is already far failed project for inland, for guess what, a clay soil that has sent down the cement sheds of cement. But you known, history repeats itself, the second time as farce.
Image show location of the airport, and the land to the west of the runway where another runway is planned (see other image above).
THE GATES OF ROME
It is an Italian town of 74 855 inhabitants, about thirty kilometres from Capital. It is adjacent to the territory of Maccarese, both municipalities are by the sea.
PASSENGER TODAY AND TOMORROW
To carry out the work they require 1,300 acres, the reason given by ADR is that air traffic for Rome will reach 100 million passengers between now and 2044, compared to the current 36 million.
THE LAND OF BENETTON
Over 98% of the land involved is of “Maccarese spa”, purchased in 1998 by Benetton for 93 billion lire. The Benettons own 95% of ADR (Airports of Rome).
Fiumicino Airport, is Italy’s largest airport with 36.1 million passengers served in 2013. It is located in Fiumicino, 18.9 nautical miles (35.0 km; 21.7 mi) southwest of Rome’s historic city centre.
The airport serves as a hub for Alitalia, the largest Italian airline, and Vueling, a Spanish low-cost carrier owned by International Airlines Group. Based on total passenger numbers, it was the sixth busiest airport in Europe and the world’s 29th busiest airport in 2011. It covers an area of 15 square kilometres (3,700 acres) and is named after Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci.
Since 2005 the airport operates a category III B instrument landing system (ILS). Further improvement work was implemented in 2007 to enable the airport to handle 30 takeoffs/landings per hour, up from 10, in the event of thick fog. Four runways presently operate at Leonardo da Vinci airport: 16L/34R and 16R/34L (separated by a distance of 4,000 m (13,000 ft)), 16C/34C (close to 16L/34R), mostly used as a taxiway or as a backup for 16L/34R, and 07/25, used only westwards for takeoffs owing to the prevailing winds.
In 2010, the new single baggage handling system for more efficient luggage delivery began operations.
Several projects are planned. These include the construction of Pier C (dedicated to international flights) with 16 additional loading bridges, to handle the expected growth from 38 million passengers per year[when?] to 55 million by 2018; and the “Masterplan Fiumicino Nord”, involving four new terminals and two new runways to be built by 2044, when there are estimated to be 100 million passengers per year.
Atlantia to sell 40% of Rome airports operator ADR
by Carlo Festa
The reorganization of Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), which is controlled by the Benetton family’s Atlantia highways operator, has begun, and sovereign wealth funds from the Persian Gulf are at the fore, with investors from Abu Dhabi and Kuwait in the lead.
In the last few weeks the Benetton family has hired Goldman Sachs to sell about 40% of the Rome airports operator. The sale, according to a person familiar with the matter, is connected to the UAE’s Etihad Airways’ recent purchase of a controlling stake in Alitalia.
The sale of 40% of ADR, according to the plan, would be done in two tranches of 20% each. For the first 20%, there is a beauty contest under way among some sovereign wealth funds and a select number of infrastructure funds.
Qatar Holding of the royal family in Doha would be among them as well as Wren House, the infrastructure arm of the Kia investment fund of Kuwait. Kia, according to rumors, would be among the most active among the potential buyers and is said to already have had a number of meetings with advisers.
The sale is attracting the interest of a variety of investors: the Rome hub, despite the recession, remains a target of interest from sovereign funds, which are always looking for a regulated activity with high cash flow visibility and a growing air traffic and passenger travel in the medium term.
The second tranche of 20% may already have a buyer: according to two people close to the case, it would be Adia, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi.
This fund would also be investing in the Alitalia and Etihad deal, since the Rome airport at Fiumicino would represent in the future a fundamental hub for routes from Middle East and Asia.
It can be expected that Adia’s entry in ADR will happen only after Brussels approves the deal between Etihad and Alitalia.
The sale of 40% would allow Atlantia, the infrastructure company controlled by Sintonia (via Edizione, the holding of the Benettons) to monetize part of its investment while keeping a controlling stake of at least 50% of the ADR.
ADR could be valued at €4 billion, so the deal would be worth some €1.6 million.
To be sure, the deal could fetch high: transactions in the airport industry reach multiples of at least 14 times operating profit.
What is more, the flights out of Rome seem the preferred target for Persian Gulf investors because the Italian airport would act as point of entry to Europe from Asia.
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT FIUMICINO WHERE WELL DRILLINGS ARE GOING ON WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION IN THE NATURE RESERVE CALLED RISERVA NATURALE STATALE DEL LITORALE ROMANO.THESE WORKS ARE IN CONTRAST WITH THE DECREE OF THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT(DMA 03.29.1996 ) ESTABLISHING THE STATE NATURE RESERVE “Roman Coast “.
JOURNALIST : “WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THESE PREPARATORY WORKS FOR THE FOURTH RUNWAY OF FIUMICINO AIRPORT?”
COMITATO FUORIPISTA SPOKESMAN MASSIMILIANO MATTIUZZO: “COMITATO FUORIPISTA HAS ALWAYS HAD DOUBTS ABOUT THE AIRPORT EXPANSION.WE ARE AGAINST THESE WELL DRILLINGS DONE WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION.THE REAL QUESTION IS “WHO CONTROLS THESE RURAL LANDS?”.WE ASKED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATURE RESERVE AND HE SAID HE DIDN’T GIVE ANY PERMISSION. IN THE NATURE RESERVE CERTAIN ACTIVITIES ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.WE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY, EVEN IF WE HAVE INFORMED LOCAL AUTHORITIES SUCH AS POLICE ETC. NOBODY HAS ANSWERED AND STOPPED THESE WORKS.”
JOURNALIST :”THERE WAS A LAKE IN THESE RURAL AREAS IN THE PAST, RIGHT?”
MATTIUZZO :”YES, YES THIS LAKE WAS DRAINED DURING THE INTEGRAL LAND RECLAMATION.IT’S INTERESTING TO ADD THAT A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY SET UP IN 1961 CONCLUDED THAT THE LANDS WHERE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR AN AIRPORT.THEY SHOULD ALWAYS RESPECT THE LAWS AS WE DO”.
JOURNALIST :” WHAT ARE THE RISKS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
M.MATTIUZZO “ THE FOURTH RUNWAY IS A TROJAN HORSE FOR DOUBLING THE SIZE OF THE AIRPORT WITH A FURTHER 1,300 HECTARES TOWARDS MACCARESE BEING ADDED TO THE 1,500 HECTARES-SITE.THE PLAN INCLUDES NEW TERMINALS, NEW BOARDING GATES, A NEW RAILWAY STATION LINKED TO ROME, PLUS THE REALIZATION OF A SERIES OF INFRASTRUCTURES. WE THINK THAT ONLY WITH THE INTERVENTIONS PLANNED IN THE EXISTING AREA PASSENGERS NUMBERS WOULD BE EXPANDED FROM ABOUT 35/36MILLION PASSENGERS A YEAR TO 70 MILLION WITHOUT ANY EXTENSION. “
JOURNALIST : “ ARE YOU IN TOUCH WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION?”
MATTIUZZO : “YES WE ARE IN TOUCH WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION FOR THE FOLLOWING REQUESTS 1)TO IMPOSE A BAN ON NIGHT FLIGHTS(PEOPLE MUST SLEEP AT LEAST 7/8 HOURS PER NIGHT)2)TO PROHIBIT ANY FORM OF INCENTIVE AND SUBSIDIES TO THE AIRPORTS AND 3) TO IMPOSE A TAX ON THE AVIATION FUEL.”
JOURNALIST: “ WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH?”
M.MATTIUZZO: “OUR MAIN STRENGHT RELIES ON THE ITALIAN LAWS.WE ARE NOT AGAINST THE AIRPORT ITSELF BUT AGAINST THE EXTENSION OF THE AIRPORT GROUNDS TO INCLUDE LAND THAT LIES TO THE NORTH OF THE CURRENT COMPLEX AND THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT NECESSARY.WE MUST RATIONALISE AND RESTRUCTURE THE AIRPORT WE HAVE”
Mud andstrikes,butFiumicinotakes off
Airportflooded,crumblingstructure:butwithoutMalpensaairportcan become aworldhub
By FabrizioPatti (Linkiesta – Italy)
images from theFiumicino Airport:luxuryshopsfloodedwith waterdripping,drenchedby lampsandcounter tops,passengersmovedbecausebad weather anda task force of150menat worktoundothe damage.
Sunday,November 2:the strikeatFiumicino,theworkershandling,forthedismissal of25workersof Alitalia’sground staffmade redundant.More than three thousandflightluggagein transitare blocked,foranimpromptuprotestanddictated by theabruptmannerin whichemployeebadgesbeingdismissalwithout noticeweredemagnetized.A few hoursof chaosthatrecalledthe daysof lastAugust,wheninmid-Augustpeak,a seriesof strikeshas leftashore14 mila (thousand?) suitcases andforcedoperators to drop offyour bags at homeby truck.
Two imagesthatwould sufficeto talk aboutairportin disarray,withadilapidated structureandprey tomaneuvers thatputtheinterest of usersto thelast stepin the scaleof intereststolook after. It’s not just alegend:the structures areactuallyold, companies thatdraw upthe rankingson the bestairportsin the world (but alsoof Europe orsouthern Europe), such asSkytrax,do not mentionFiumicinoifnot inpages foruser reviews,mostlynegativeexpectationsand quality oftoilets andassistance.
There is, however, another aspectofFiumicinoistold:afterthepurchase by the49% byEtihad,perfectedat the end of lastsummer, the airportof Rome hasahead of it whenthe airportwill no longer havecompetition fromMalpensa airportas the hub andcangrowmuchItaliantraffic,particularly as regardsintercontinentalroutes.
It has alreadygot a newprogram,activecontractsince March2013, which allowedan increasein revenuesfrom“aviation“operationsof18.6%(compared withatraffic increase of4.6% over the sameperiod)andespeciallyamaster planwhich includes investmentsfor about €10billionover the next30years.
The development plan
After yearsin whichdevelopment planshave been delayeddue tothe problemsthe programmeagreementsfor boththe uncertaintyon the futureof Alitalia,now theRoman airportmasterplan,completed in2012,canbe accomplishedfaster.
ForFiumicinofill-ininvestmentsby2015–2016worth €900million,whileother €1.25billionwill be allocatedtointerventionsto achieveby2021.Forcomparison,thistimeatMalpensa will be €600millionand Venicebeforeand then another €328410million.
In Romeby2021itwill bringthe capacityto50million passengers a year, compared to36million in2013 .Boardingareaswill beconnectedto terminals1,3and4. Two newinterlocking systemsandbaggage checks are planned, andintroduction of an automatedtransport systemlinkingthe terminalswiththelongstopandparkingthe CargoCityarea.
Malpensa – beyond illusions
….from 2017 to 2021 and plan to invest €350 million, and between 2022 and 2044 to €7 billion euro (Malpensa meanwhile will stop at €1.5 billion until 2030). The development will be north of the airport of Fiumicino: there will be a new terminal, two new runways, 170 new stands for aircraft and a new system of hotels, commercial and management activities, services and parking. The purpose is to bring the airport’s capacity up to 100 million passengers per year.
There is no shortage of obstacles, such as the opposition of the Municipality of Fiumicino for the fourth runway, to be launched in 2016-2017.
There is also harsh opposition from trade unionist Nino Cortorillo, national secretary of Filt CGIL who said: “There is an institutional clash with the Municipality of Fiumicino, which should provide the authorization for the expansion. The tone of the controversy of the City is strong and even low-level, as we speak of the development of the main point of the national transport. ”
The other problem, according to ENAC and MIT, as reported by “ Il Sole 24 Ore” , “are the long time the Committee has taken on the environmental assessment of the new master plan and a procedure (the requirements) that would give substantial veto power to local authorities and the Ministry of Environment, without a superior “upper” state body“ that ultimately decides, even bypassing any dissent. ” A situation that for the airports of Fiumicino, Malpensa and Venice, inserted between the national strategic infrastructure is paradoxically more complicated, because in according to Dl 1/2012 must ask the way for the individual projects (the runway, the terminal, parking, etc.).
We will then, of course, check that the money really arrives, and this will not only depend on the actual increase in passengers that Alitalia-Etihad will bring, but also on the overall economic status of Italy and Europe. “The anticipated growth forecasts of European air traffic have been too optimistic in recent years “ said Stefano Bosisio, head of the transport sector of the European House-Ambrosetti . “Traffic congestion was initially anticipated for 2015, then in the last few years the date been moved forward several times and is now identified in 2030 “.
And prospects of Alitalia
There will be different levers that determine the growth in air traffic. “None, however, will be as decisive as the operating capacity of the main hub airline (Alitalia Etihad)” says Bosisio. “Considering hub airports, Fiumicino is one of the few in Europe that has potential for growth, along with Paris and Frankfurt. What has been lacking in recent years compared to other airports was a company. Now there is. What will happen in the coming years depends on how Alitalia and Etihad will make investments over the long haul and will be able to use “feeder” traffic (collection of passengers from secondary airports) from Italy and Europe.”
UK-based air traffic control business NATS has dropped its action in the High Court to block Gatwick from concluding a deal with German rival DFS to provide air traffic services at the airport till 2025. Gatwick will be the largest UK airport to have its immediate airspace up to 4,000 feet controlled by a a foreign provider. It was announced in July that DFS had beaten NATS to get the contract. On 2 October NATS was granted an injunction after a judge supported what the business insisted were legitimate concerns over the way the contract was awarded. NATS said Gatwick had failed to provide full information. But Gatwick has always defended its decision which followed an ‘extensive’ tender process, and that the proposal submitted by DFS was considered superior. NATS now say they have seen details of the tender process that were not previously freely available, and have therefore reached a settlement before trial. DFS will cover air traffic and approach services below 4,000 feet around the airport, currently provided by NATS from October 2015. NATS will retain operations for all air navigation services above 4,000 feet, from its base in Swanwick.
NATS backs down on DFS Gatwick win
December 5, 2014 (Air Traffic Management)
by Aimee Turner
UK-based air traffic control business NATS has dropped its court action to block Gatwick airport chiefs from concluding a deal with German rival DFS to provide tower services.
The contest to provide services at the airport until 2025 represents the largest UK airport to consider handing its air traffic services to a foreign provider and in July it was announced that DFS had triumphed over its British counterpart.
On 2 October NATS was granted an injunction after a judge supported what the business insisted were legitimate concerns over the way the contract was awarded.
Its main complaint was over information provided by Gatwick airport chiefs outlining the basis of the contract award. NATS complained that this did not amount to a full explanation which left it with no option but to pursue the matter through the courts.
Gatwick has always defended its decision which followed an ‘extensive’ tender process. It stated at the time that the proposal submitted by DFS was considered superior to submissions from all other contenders based on a range of criteria which included safety, innovation, airport management, technical capability, cost, resilience and the ability to accommodate the requirements of a growing airport.
“Neither NATS nor Gatwick Airport (GAL) wanted to enter into legal proceedings,” NATS tells Air Traffic Management. “NATS had sought more information as to the tender process under which GAL awarded the Terminal Air Navigation Services contract. GAL maintained it was not required to provide that information and NATS accordingly exercised its right to commence proceedings in the High Court.”
“The proceedings have delivered disclosure of information about the process that was not otherwise freely available. To prevent further uncertainty and increasing legal costs the parties have reached a settlement of the dispute before trial. Settlement is without any admission or acceptance of liability.”
The services to be covered by the contract cover air traffic and approach services below 4,000 feet around the airport; these services are currently provided by NATS.
Gatwick’s airport owners said that following a transition period, DFS would start providing the new services from October 2015 for a ten year period. NATS would meanwhile retain operations for all air navigation services above 4,000 feet, from its base in Swanwick.
Germany’s DFS air traffic service beats NATS to control Gatwick flights below 4,000 feet
Date added: July 19, 2014
Gatwick Airport’s air traffic control services are to be provided by a German state-owned company from next year. A 10-year contract for services below 4,000ft around the airport has been given to Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS). The service has been provided for more than 30 years by Hampshire-based NATS, which will continue to navigate air traffic above 4,000ft. NATS said it was disappointed, but it was too early to say if jobs would go. DFS is wholly owned by the German government and operates 16 airports in Germany as well as providing air traffic control across the country. Gatwick management said it was planned that, after a period of transition, DFS would start work in October 2015. The successful bid by DFS comes a year after a UK pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) beat DFS for a 20% stake in NATS. The Airline Group, which had owned 42% of NATS before the sale, chose USS rather than DFS to buy the 20%, which meant that a partial de-facto merger between two of the largest European Air Navigation Service Providers did not happen.
On 24th November, Kent County Council withdrew its backing for a 2nd Gatwick runway. At present both West Sussex and East Sussex County Councils support a new Gatwick runway. However, it is now understood that East Sussex County Council (ESCC) is starting to look wobbly on this commitment. Kent withdrew support largely due to the unacceptable noise burden on a large number of its residents, and the same arguments apply for the Sussex councils. Gatwick Obviously Not (GON), representing many areas to the east of Gatwick, do not believe East Sussex District Councils support their County Council. GON has written to all 54 of the councillors in Wealdon District, that is now badly affected by over-flying, to ask their view on ESCC’s backing for Gatwick, and their view on the “unilateral stance taken by Cllr Simmons of ESCC to push through support for the 2nd runway under delegated powers” (found out by an FoI request). GON are also asking their membership to email their Wealden councillors, to ask their views on the runway issue, bearing in mind the change of heart at Kent County Council.
Gatwick Obviously Not writes:
We understand that East Sussex County Council are starting to look wobbly on their commitment to support Gatwick’s 2nd runway, given Kent’s rationale for changing their mind (see below).
These same arguments rather rip a hole below the water line for ESCC and we’re not so sure that even their own District Councils support their stance.
For example, Wealden’s peace and quiet (a huge district within ESCC that stretches from a line north of East Grinstead to the coast) will equally be ripped apart by the proposals both for the new flight paths and for the 2nd runway.
We would like to know how the local Councillors feel about the unilateral stance taken by Cllr Simmons of ESCC to push through support for the 2nd runway under delegated powers.
So, we have sent this email below to all 54 of them, and below you can see what they say over the following weeks.
Your voice, too, may help to persuade them to have the courage of their convictions, so we’ve arranged a single email address that you can use to email ALL of the 54 Wealden Councillors in one hit. Do let them know how you feel:
Q: Do you support Cllr Simmons’ unilateral decision – taken without a vote under delegated powers – for East Sussex County Council to back a 2nd runway at Gatwick?
You will have heard that Paul Carter of KCC has advised that his County now opposes the 2nd runway at Gatwick.Dear Councillors
I note your Council’s three Corporate Objectives are:
Enhancing your surroundings
Maintaining the quality of life
Ensuring value for money
East Sussex County Council, of which you play such an important part, decided some time ago to support the 2nd runway at Gatwick.
Well, to be clear, a single Cllr decided that the whole County should do so, using his delegated powers to unilaterally make this decision. (A decision only discovered via a Freedom of Information Request).
We’ve tried to persuade Cllr Simmons, for it was he, to change his mind but so far without success.
You probably already know that the infamous ‘Point Merge’ is likely to obliterate what’s left of the tranquility of your District (imagine a system holding enough planes to deliver one to Gatwick every 30 seconds) and that Crowborough or Mayfield may be dissected by the 500m-wide ‘Superhighway in the sky’.
How does this fit with your Corporate Objectives?
Can you help?
Because we hear some of you may not be too happy about this decision, we’re writing to you via this email to ask if you support it or not. We’ll put your answers here so that those voting for you next May can see what you’re thinking.
As you can see, as it stands today, the table [see above] is all question marks, which we’d like to replace with a solid “Yes” or “No” answer from each of you.
Please just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer, preferably with ‘Wealden‘ in the subject box (we have a huge and very active database throughout West Kent and East Sussex and wouldn’t want to miss your email).
P.S. Below are some of Mr Carter’s reasons for his decision. Plane noise doesn’t respect County boundaries. And by the way a Kent Messenger poll says 80% of those voting (1,554 so far) agree with his decision.
Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter said:
“The noise impacts on west Kent from Gatwick’s current single runway configuration are already unacceptable and a potential doubling of these impacts with a second runway would be intolerable.
“The National Air Traffic control service has started to implement changes in flight paths, which has brought to our attention two things – a concentration of flight paths over west Kent; and that the number of night flights at Gatwick during the summer period is three and half times those coming in and out of Heathrow, which is a massive issue.
“This change in flight paths has been intolerable for a significant number of residents in that area and brought us to the conclusion that if they are going to pursue this policy in line with the EU Single European Sky initiatives, expansion of this airport and expansion of night flights must not happen.
Mr Carter added: “It is quite clear that residents in west Kent are already suffering from significant levels of disturbance as a result of increased air traffic over the last few years and the recent changes in flight paths.
“The current number of permitted night flights is simply unacceptable and has resulted in a massive increase in the number of complaints from residents whose quality of life has been disrupted.
“Lastly, there is a lack of adequate surface transport infrastructure enhancements to cope with the proposed additional demand …”
See the Kent Online report on the changed KCC position here:
“The County Council supports a second runway at Gatwick Airport and during the recent
runway consultation agreed with the ‘independent mixed mode’ option. The Council
believes this option supports the delivery of the Council’s key priority of long term
economic growth for East Sussex. It maximises economic benefits and the capacity and
operational efficiency of the Airport.
A second runway will be significantly important for businesses in the county by:
• providing better access to international trade and global markets;
• and encouraging inward investment and supporting the vitality of our local economy;
generating much needed jobs both on and off the airport for our residents over the
next 20 – 30 years.
Our support for a second runway is on the basis that there are improvements to airport
access by road and rail.”
Notice of Motion by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
(County Council Report 18 October 2013)
30 The following motion under Standing Order 16(4)** was moved by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport and seconded by Mrs Duncton.
‘This Council supports a vibrant, growing economy and the Government’s drive for growth for the future economic prosperity of the country.
Gatwick Airport Limited has recently given a clear indication of its intent to publish details of proposals submitted to the independent Airports Commission for future expansion of the airport’s capacity, including the addition of a second runway.
This Council, in principle, supports such proposal as conducive to economic growth and prosperity in West Sussex, and is equally cognizant of the environmental and infrastructure issues that may arise from a future increase in airport capacity.
The County Council therefore asks the Leader and Cabinet to exercise influence and pressure in supporting such expansion at Gatwick Airport whilst having due regard to the potential environmental and infrastructure issues and, where possible, to take a lead in addressing these issues and securing benefits for the communities in the county.’
31. The motion, as set out above, was agreed.
** This means a motion that was submitted without the proper notice period. 16 (4) ” A motion may be considered with less than the required notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent i.e. it could not have been anticipated before the deadline for notices of motion, and that the proposer has given as much notice as was practical.”
Kent County Council opposes Gatwick’s plans for a second runway
24 November 2014 (Kent County Council website)
Kent County Council is intending to oppose plans for a second runway at Gatwick Airport in order to protect residents in West Kent from “intolerable” aircraft noise.
A paper published today (to be considered at a meeting of the cabinet on 1 December) sets out the position of KCC and details how an increase in over-flights and noise experienced by communities in West Kent has risen to unacceptable levels. The county council will call on Gatwick Airport to put in place operational procedures to provide respite for those areas that experience continuous over-flights day and night.
“The noise impacts on West Kent from Gatwick’s current single runway configuration are already unacceptable and a potential doubling of these impacts with a second runway would be intolerable.
“In line with the EU Single European Sky initiatives, the National Air Traffic control service has started to implement changes in flight paths, which has brought to our attention two things – a concentration of flight paths over West Kent; and that the number of night flights at Gatwick during the summer period is three and half times those coming in and out of Heathrow, which is a massive issue.
“This change in flight paths has been intolerable for a significant number of residents in that area and brought us to the conclusion that if they are going to pursue this policy in line with the EU Single European Sky initiatives, expansion of this airport and expansion of night flights must not happen.”
Gatwick’s night time air transport movement limits (between 23:20 and 06:00) remains set until 2017, at 3,250 in winter and 11,200 in summer. This contrasts with far tighter night time movement controls at Heathrow – 2,550 in winter and 3,250 in summer.
Affected residents have reported that overflights have recently risen from 10 – 20 flights-a-day to a maximum of 150.
“It is quite clear that residents in West Kent are already suffering from significant levels of disturbance as a result of increased air traffic over the last few years and the recent changes in flight paths,” Paul Carter said.
“We want Gatwick to provide respite for these residents by varying flight paths – and have met with the airport’s chief executive to discuss this. We want Gatwick and the NATS air traffic control service to re-design the airspace to include the use of multiple arrival and departure routes, to provide predictable, rotating respite, and spread the burden of over-flight more equitably between communities.
“Also, the current number of permitted night flights is simply unacceptable and has resulted in a massive increase in the number of complaints from residents whose quality of life has been disrupted.
“We want the Department for Transport to reduce the night movement limit at Gatwick to at least a level that is comparable with Heathrow.”
Paul Carter said:
“Lastly, there is a lack of adequate surface transport infrastructure enhancements to cope with the proposed additional demand and little obvious direct economic benefit to Kent.
“While we recognise the need for additional airport capacity in order to maintain UK PLC’s position as a major international hub, we cannot support Gatwick Airport Ltd’s proposal for a second runway.”
Residents and their MP in west Kent want Kent County Council to formally state their objection to a 2nd Gatwick runway
September 27, 2014
In 2012 Kent County Council produced a document called “Bold Steps for Aviation” in which it recommended to government the building of a 2nd runway at Gatwick airport (as well as high speed rail between Heathrow and Gatwick). It stated: “Capacity growth at Gatwick through the addition of a second runway after 2019. ” This has infuriated many people in west Kent who are increasingly badly affected by Gatwick, and its aircraft noise in particular. Now KCC’s councillor Matthew Balfour has said publicly that the support of KCC for a Gatwick 2nd runway is “history.” Sir John Stanley, Tonbridge and Malling MP, has sent a letter to Kent Council leader Paul Carter asking him to formally rescind the authority’s support of the 2nd runway. He has not received a reply. At a public meeting in Southborough, people were directed to the current document on the KCC website (Facing the Aviation Challenge – August 2014) that now states it currently has no preferred option. “KCC gives support in principle to expansion at either airport as the right solution to the UK’s aviation needs” by 2030. Sir John Stanley MP does not feel that this new document is enough.
16. (1) Except as provided by Standing Order 18, every
notice of motion shall be in writing, signed by the member
giving the notice, and shall be delivered to the Director of Law,
Assurance and Strategy, no later than noon on the seventeenth
day before the next meeting of the County Council.18 October 2014
(N.B. This will be before noon on the Tuesday two weeks before
that of the meeting, when this is held on a Friday).
(2) All notices properly given shall be numbered by the
Director of Law, Assurance and Strategy in the order in which
they are received and shall be entered with the date of
reception in a book, kept at the office of the Director of Law,
Assurance and Strategy and open to inspection by any
(3) The Director of Law, Assurance and Strategy shall
insert in the summons for a meeting of the County Council all
notices of motion duly received for that meeting in the order in
which they were received (unless any have been previously
withdrawn). (4) A motion may be considered with less than the required notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent i.e. it could not have been anticipated before the deadline for notices of motion, and that the proposer has given as much notice as was practical.
(5) Every notice of motion shall be relevant to some
question over which the County Council has power, or which
affects the county as such.
Awards ceremonies and the process of winning awards is an amazing business. Almost anything can get an award of some sort, especially if you are one of the sponsors of the award. If you want to think of any one place in the UK that is responsible for more air pollution or more carbon emissions, you will find few that beat Heathrow. But no. Heathrow has now won yet another (it has won two before) environmental award. This time it is from West London Business Awards. Heathrow was the winner in the “Green Business of the Year” category. The runner up was another sponsor of the awards, Westfield. As the local paper reports, with a tremendous Freudian slip, the Heathrow schemes were successful in ….”reduced local air quality levels.” This has all been too much for a local resident, who has “improved” on the local newspaper story, with a slight twist …. to report on the comedy awards. One of the reasons for their award was “encouraging the use of car sharing”, which is slightly spoilt by a photo, by the local writer, of a huge billboard advertising Heathrow’s new business car park.
Below is the story as it appeared in the local paper. To see a version, “improved” by a local wag, incredulous about the award, see below here).
Heathrow’s green win at West London Business awards
The airport was recognised for its continuous efforts in adapting aviation schemes to reduce their carbon footprint and improve local air quality through using newer, lower emissions aircrafts, emissions-based landing charges and encouraging the use of car sharing.
In addition, Heathrow has lowered its NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) emissions through using hybrid buses in the free travel zone around the airport, more electric vehicles used at the airport, and hosted the UK’s first hydrogen fuelling station, as part of its pledge to deliver reduced NOx emissions by 5% by 2020.
Heathrow’s director of sustainability, Matt Gorman, said: “Heathrow Airport has and continues to be a major economic driver in our region, and an indispensable part of London’s business community.
“We believe the benefits Heathrow brings need not come at the expense of local air quality, and we are committed to reducing our environmental impacts and acting a good neighbour to local residents.
“That is why this recognition is so important to us, and why we will continue to work to maintain our place as West London’s greenest business.”
Heathrow beat the likes of Westfield London in White City, who were highly commended, in the green business category for their Green Academy programme that diverts all waste produced from landfill and has increased recycling levels among other environmentally friendly initiatives.
West London Business chief executive, Frank Wingate, said: “Well done to Heathrow for winning the Green Award at the West London Business Awards.
“The airport has put in a lot of work in recent years to meet its environmental challenges and our judges were impressed by both the scale of the work and the measurable achievements, in what was a very competitive category.
“This is an aspect of Heathrow’s work that is not generally recognised.”
Heathrow win big at West London Business’ Comedy Awards sponsored by Heathrow.
To hysterical laughter the greenest business of the year title was scooped by Heathrow Airport at the West London Business Comedy Awards last week.
As the crowd sniggered, the airport was recognised for its continuous efforts in adapting aviation schemes to reduce their carbon footprint and improve local air quality through using newer, lower emissions aircraft, emissions-based landing charges and encouraging the use of car sharing. See photo below.
Heathrow’s Head of Comedy, Matt Gorman, said: “Heathrow Airport has and continues to be a major economic driver in our region, and an indispensable part of London’s comedy community.
He continued, “We believe the benefits Heathrow brings need not come at the expense of local air quality, and we are committed to reducing our environmental impacts and acting a good neighbour to local residents.”
The gag about ‘acting’ like a good neighbour made someone laugh so much they nearly choked on their corporate prawn cracker.
“That is why this recognition is so important to us, and why we will continue to work to maintain our place as West London’s greenest business.” Stop it Matt, someone will crack a rib !!!!!
The headline act at the comedy awards was West London Business Executive Comedian, Frank ‘Loads of Money’ Wingate.
The room full of professional Heathrow comedians know when a master is at work and they roared as Frank performed his trademark entrance of pushing a wheelbarrow of Heathrow cash on to the stage and shouting China! China! China!
“The airport has put in a lot of work in recent years to meet its environmental challenges and our judges were impressed by both the scale of the work and the measurable achievements, in what was a very competitive category” Frank Wingate continued, with a straight face.
“This ranks as highly as the previous Green winners at our last three comedy awards, the owners of Chernobyl, BP in the Gulf of Mexico and our partners, the Chinese Government.
Then with another rousing cry of China! China! China, Frank and his wheelbarrow left the stage as Rob Gray went up to collect his Comedy Award for entering The Guinness Book of Records in the Imaginary Friends section.
What a night!
Other awards Heathrow airport has won:
Heathrow has been winning awards for decades – here’s a selection of those we’ve collected in recent years:
Best Airport for Tax Free shopping – Business Traveller Awards
Terminal 5 – Best Airport Terminal – Skytrax World Airport Awards
Best Airport for Shopping – Skytrax World Airport Awards
Heathrow Commuter Team – Transport Team of the Year – London Transport Awards
Biodiversity Benchmark Award – Wildlife Trust
Terminal 2 building – Sustainability Leaders Award
‘Champion of Champions’ for environmental performance – Green Apple Awards
Best European Airport for Families – Skyscanner Awards
Best Airport Shopping Business – Business Traveller Awards
World’s Best Airport – Runner up – Conde Nast Traveller Awards
Best International Airport – Executive Travel 2013 Leading Edge Awards
Best Airport (over 25 million passengers) – ACI EUROPE Awards
Heathrow Express – Best Ground Transportation (Europe) Award – Business Destinations magazine
Platinum Big Tick – Business in the Community Awards
Best Airport Shopping Worldwide – Skytrax World Airport Awards
Terminal 5 – Best Airport Terminal – Skytrax World Airport Awards
Terminal 5 – Best Airport Terminal – Skytrax World Airport Awards AwardsFamilyfriendly programme member – Silver winner – mumsnet
Best Airport for Tax-Free Shopping – Business Traveller Awards
Best Airport for arrival experience for the Games Programme – Future Travel Experience.
Best International Airport Worldwide – Executive Travel
Terminal 2 B – Gold Award – Green Apple Awards
Best Food and Beverage in the World – Food and Beverage Awards
Heathrow Sustainability Partnership – Best Sustainability Collaboration Winner – Ethical Corporation Global Responsible Business Awards
Best Airport Operator of the Year – Frontier awards in Cannes
Best Overall Airport Food and Beverage Offer – Food and Beverage Awards
Terminal 5 – Best Design of Food and Beverage – Food and Beverage Awards
Terminal 5 – Best Airport – Travel Agents Choice Awards
Best Airport for Tax-Free Shopping – Business Traveller Magazine
Best Airport Shopping Worldwide – Skytrax Awards
Best Pay Per Click Campaign – Travel Marketing Awards
Best PR Strategic Campaign – A Week at the Airport – Travel Marketing Awards
The head of the Manchester airports group, that owns Manchester and Stansted airports, among others, says the government must not forget about its pledge to tackle the North-South divide when setting aviation policy.Speaking at the RunwaysUK event in Manchester on 2nd December, Charlie Cornish said there is more to the debate than just looking at boosting capacity at Heathrow or Gatwick – as is the proposal by the Airports Commission. He said there was a “strong economic case” for regional airports to be “more than spokes” serving a southern hub, as he cited investments by Emirates and Etihad which have created hundreds of jobs in the North West. “There should be a network of competing airports in the UK, especially if you consider the opportunity presented by rail enhancements. With HS2 and HS3 there is an opportunity for regions in the UK to actually start to narrow the North- South divide. The Chancellor’s support for the Northern Powerhouse is fundamentally important to rebalancing the UK economy.” MAG expects their airports to “grow irrespective of the decisions made on Heathrow or Gatwick”
MAG boss calls for regional perspective in aviation debate
3rd December 2014
By Chris Barry – Editor, North West (The Business Desk)
Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group
THE government must not forget about its pledge to tackle the North-South divide when setting aviation policy, the boss of Manchester Airports Group has said.
Speaking to TheBusinessDesk at the Runways UK event on Tuesday, Charlie Cornish said there is more to the debate than just looking at boosting capacity at Heathrow or Gatwick – as is the proposal by the Airports Commission.
Mr Cornish said there was a “strong economic case” for regional airports to be “more than spokes” serving a southern hub, as he cited investments by Emirates and Etihad which have created hundreds of jobs in the North West.
He said: “There should be a network of competing airports in the UK, especially if you consider the opportunity presented by rail enhancements.
“With HS2 and HS3 there is an opportunity for regions in the UK to actually start to narrow the North- South divide.
“The Chancellor’s support for the Northern Powerhouse is fundamentally important to rebalancing the UK economy. If we look at High Speed 2 coming to the Manchester Airport and we get east- west connectivity in rail improvements too then that’s going to change the northern base.”
He added: “When the government starts to think about how they want the UK to develop, they have to think more than the outputs from the South East, but all of the outputs from all the rail investment propositions, the Northern Powerhouse and what they want to do about the North South divide. It’s not just a simple matter.”
He said that he expects his two largest assets, Manchester and Stansted to continue to grow regardless of the Airport Commission’s final recommendations.
In the next five years he said Manchester’s passenger growth would rise from 22 million to more than 25 million, while Stansted, which is operating a 50% capacity would double in size by 2030.
“Our plans will see MAG airports grow irrespective of the decisions made on Heathrow or Gatwick,” he said.
6.5 Aviation in the UK is largely privately owned and managed, and the government believes that a competitive aviation market is the most effective way to meet the interests of
air passengers and other users. The government’s role is primarily to uphold a strong
international and domestic regulatory framework which ensures a level playing field and
the maintenance of high standards of safety and security. Within this framework the Civil
Aviation Authority is responsible for regulating airports which pass a market power test
under the Civil Aviation Act 2012 (currently Heathrow and Gatwick).
6.6 In order to ensure that the UK is well placed to maintain its aviation hub capability, the
government has appointed an independent Airports Commission to examine the scale and
timing of airport capacity needs in the South East and to identify how they should be met.
The Commission has been asked to assess the options for meeting the UK’s international
connectivity needs, and recommend the optimum approach to meet those needs.
6.7 The government also recognises the importance of maximising the capacity and
connectivity of existing airport infrastructure. This includes:
• encouraging ongoing programmes of private investment at airports across the UK
• optimising existing capacity through the adoption of innovative operational
approaches and new technology
• taking action to improve the quality of surface transport links to existing airports
6.8 The government is also taking action to maintain regional air access to London where
there is the probability that an existing service would be lost, and to allow start-up aid for
new routes from UK regional airports handling fewer than 5 million passengers per annum,
in order to underpin the role of aviation in promoting local growth and connectivity.
6.9 Across all these measures, the government’s policy is to manage the environmental
impact of aviation including limiting and, where possible, reducing the number of people in
the UK significantly affected by aircraft noise.
16.13 In the aviation sector the decision has been taken to move away from a geographic split (South East and Regional Airports) to priority investments which address objectives more directly (Airport Infrastructure Improvements and Airport Connectivity).
Full list of Top 40 priority infrastructure investments in NIP 2014 includes the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road in projects up to 2020 /21
3.17 As part of RIS1, the government has also asked the new Strategic Highways Company to explore the feasibility of further transformational investments including:
• consideration of further improvements for trans-pennine connectivity from Manchester
to Sheffield, raising the level of future ambition and determining if there is an historic
opportunity to link two of our great northern cities; this work will be taken forward with
Transport for the North as part of the development of the wider Northern transport
Heathrow held a consultation on compensation arrangements earlier in the year. Hacan did not take part, believing people should not have to agree to, or comment on, entirely hypothetical proposals. Now Heathrow has felt the need to improve the generosity and scope of its compensation offer, due the manifest unfairness of its previous offer. It will now extend the offer to buy houses, for pre-blight market price plus 25%, and with £7,500 for selling costs and stamp duty. This will now cover all of Harmondsworth, Sipson, Poyle, Colnbrook, Brands Hill, Harlington and Cranford Cross. There will no longer be unfair lines, with those just outside the line missing out. There would be about 3,750 people included in the scheme. The earlier offer was for only 750 properties in Sipson and Harmondsworth that would be subject to compulsory purchase orders if there was a north west runway. Realising that communities die, and their spirit is lost, as soon as many people decide to accept cash and move out, Heathrow says they will “refurbish and sound-insulate any properties it buys before putting them back up for sale” in the forlorn hope that would prevent the community from losing its heart?
Heathrow press release:
Heathrow announces new proposals to support homeowners affected by airport expansion following local consultation
Enhanced package includes an offer to buy homes in villages in close proximity to a new runway at 25% above unblighted market value
New scheme shaped by feedback from local residents at consultation events
Homeowners will have the choice of remaining in their current home
Heathrow has announced plans to extend its property compensation scheme should an additional runway be built at the airport. In May the airport announced plans for 25% above unblighted market value compensation for 750 homes that would be subject to compulsory purchase.
Having listened to local residents, Heathrow is now proposing to extend this offer to cover homes that will be in close proximity to a new runway but will not be compulsorily purchased.
Under the improved scheme, residents living in communities close to a new runway will have the choice to either remain in their home or sell their home at 25% above unblighted market value once the new runway is under construction.
For a £250,000 property, homeowners would receive £312,500, plus £7,500 stamp duty costs and any legal fees.
Homeowners in Poyle, Colnbrook, Brands Hill, Harmondsworth, Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross will be covered by the improved scheme.
Properties in Longford and parts of Sipson and Harmondsworth are covered by the previously announced compulsory purchase area scheme.
The proposal is in response to feedback heard at public consultations between 21st July and 12th October of this year.
Local people said they:
– welcome the proposal to offer 25% above market value compensation plus legal fees and stamp duty costs on homes that will be compulsorily purchased
– want the airport to recognise that a new runway will have an impact on homeowners close to the new boundary of the extended airport
– are concerned that property prices will be blighted in the areas close to the boundary of the extended airport
– want to avoid a situation where next door neighbours or homeowners on adjacent streets are entitled to different compensation
Some people in this area will want to remain in their homes if the airport is expanded, others will want the option of moving out of the area.
In response to this public feedback, Heathrow is:
– confirming its intention to offer 25% above unblighted market value compensation plus legal fees, plus stamp duty costs for anyone whose home will be compulsorily purchased
– extending this scheme to cover homeowners in close proximity to the new airport boundary whose homes do not need to be compulsorily purchased
– giving people the choice of remaining in their home or moving out of the area and receiving compensation
– announcing the scheme now, and including a 25% above unblighted market value premium, to avoid blight to property prices and to keep the local property market buoyant
– proposing a single, simple and easy-to-understand flat rate of 25% above unblighted market value compensation rather than different bands of compensation for different communities
– applying the proposal to homeowners in Poyle, Colnbrook, Brands Hill, Harmondsworth, Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross rather than having scheme boundaries that cut across communities
People also said they want local villages to retain a vibrant local community feel. Where Heathrow purchases a property from a homeowner it will refurbish and sound insulate the property before reselling it on the open market. This will give those people who want to leave the area the option of doing so but ensure those who remain still live in a functioning community. [How does that work then ? Sounds like hollow words. Very hollow words. AW comment].
The offer is subject to regulatory approval by the CAA. Approximately 3,750 homeowners’ properties would be eligible for compensation under the revised scheme.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s Chief Executive said:
“Our proposals for expansion at Heathrow have been developed with input from local communities. We are committed to treating people fairly. People told us that we should extend our offer to local homeowners living close to the airport, and we have listened.”
“Now we want to work with local communities to ensure that local people secure the jobs and growth that expansion at Heathrow will bring.”
Heathrow will be issuing its full response to the recent public consultation, including more details on property compensation and noise compensation and mitigation, in early 2015.
So for a house worth £275,000 (what the government calls an average family home) the Stamp Duty would have been £8,250, and it will now be £3,750, which is a saving of £4,500.
For a house worth £510,000 (what the government calls an average London home) the Stamp Duty would have been £20,400, and it will now be £15,500, which is a saving of £4,900.
Thousands living near to Heathrow Airport eligible for new compensation
1.12.2014 (Get West London)
by Will Ackerman
Around 3,750 people whose homes will not be subject to compulsory purchase orders will be offered 25% more than the market value of their properties if a 3rd runway is built.
Heathrow’s plans for a third runway to the north-west of the existing two
Thousands of home-owners living near to Heathrow Airport will be eligible for new compensation in the event of an expansion, under measures announced today (Monday, December 1).
Around 3,750 people will be offered 25 per cent more than the market value of their homes if a third runway is built.
Details of noise compensation for those who choose not to sell their properties are expected early next year.
The airport had previously announced plans to pay 25 per cent more than the unblighted market value for 750 properties in Sipson and Harmondsworth that will be subject to compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) if the project goes ahead.
Today’s measures extend to those living in Poyle, Colnbrook, Brands Hill, Harmondsworth, Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross, but whose houses will not be subject to CPOs.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, said: “Our proposals for expansion at Heathrow have been developed with input from local communities. We are committed to treating people fairly. People told us that we should extend our offer to local homeowners living close to the airport, and we have listened.
“Now we want to work with local communities to ensure that local people secure the jobs and growth that expansion at Heathrow will bring.”
Heathrow Airport will offer the payouts to those living in Poyle, Colnbrook, Brands Hill, Harmondsworth, Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross. The map shows the boundary.
Under the new measures, the airport would also pay £7,500 for stamp duty costs and cover any legal fees for those wishing to sell their properties.
The airport would also refurbish and sound-insulate any properties it buys before putting them back up for sale.
John Stewart, head of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN), a group opposed to any expansion, described the payouts as ‘generous’.
He said: “It’s certainly a lot more generous than they are required to make, but I think extending this offer to more people was inevitable, because if people were forced to live so close to a new runway life would be unbearable.”
However, he added: “What will the [noise] compensation be? We don’t know. People need to know that in order to make an informed decision.”
The new measures were drawn up based on the results of public consultations held between July 21 and October 12 this year.
Residents’ fury at Heathrow compensation consultation
Furious residents have complained to campaign group HACAN about Heathrow Airport’s most recent consultation (1). Last week Heathrow released a three month consultation seeking people’s views on who should qualify for compensation if a third runway goes ahead. But residents have told HACAN that they feel they are being steamrollered into accepting the fact that a third runway is inevitable at a time when the Government has made no decision on the future of Heathrow.
HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “We get a constant stream of emails from people throughout the year but rarely have we been deluged with so many angry emails as we have had this past week over this consultation. People are simply not prepared to discuss compensation arising from a third runway they simply don’t want”.
Stewart added: “HACAN works with Heathrow Airport on issues like flight paths which can improve the quality of life for people affected by the existing Heathrow but we will not be responding to this consultation. We believe this consultation is putting the cart before the horse (2).”
The Airports Commission, which the Government set up to look at new runways in London and the South East, will not report for another year. It is looking at three possible options for expansion: a third runway at Heathrow; a second runway at Gatwick; or a brand new EstuaryAirport.
Heathrow campaign, HACAN, will not be taking part in the consultation on noise compensation, for a 3rd runway
August 2, 2014
On 21st July Heathrow published a consultation on how it hopes to persuade thousands of people, who would be badly affected by increased aircraft noise from its operations, to accept money as compensation. It is offering £550 million, if it is allowed to build a 3rd runway, in various schemes. The £550 million is a one-off, not an annual sum. The aim is to buy off opposition. The existence of the consultation aims to convey the impression that a 3rd runway is inevitable, and that Heathrow is being stunningly generous. Neither is true. The community group dealing in particular with noise due to Heathrow, HACAN, has had numerous complaints from residents who are furious about the assumptions being made in the Heathrow consultation. They do not like being steamrollered into discussions about compensation for something they deeply oppose. HACAN will not be taking any part in the consultation, and not encouraging its members to do so. They feel the compensation discussion “puts the cart before the horse”. Providing Heathrow with assistance in how best to win over residents, whose quality of life will be reduced by a new runway, is not in the interests of those overflown, now or in the future.
Heathrow residents to demand financial compensation for impact of Airports Commission report on their house prices
December 16, 2013
People with homes near Heathrow will press for financial compensation if the Airports Commission announces on 17th that they are backing a new Heathrow runway. As the Commission is not due to report till summer 2015, at the least they face blight and an impact on their house prices over the next 18 months, while they are held in limbo. Anti-Heathrow campaigners will appeal to Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, to ensure homeowners receive financial support for the uncertainty and potential damage that the 17th December announcement may cause. The leak of the report suggests the Commission favours first one runway, and also a second runway at Heathrow. That would mean a large number of people across west London affected by one or other proposal. The issue of blight and house prices is key for thousands, let alone the threat of compulsory purchase and demolition. Boris Johnson has accused the Prime Minister of using the Commission just “to provide cover for a U-turn on Heathrow” and he continues to fiercely oppose Heathrow expanding.
If Heathrow airport was allowed to build its new north west runway, documents prepared for the Airports Commission by Jacobs indicate the cost of the works to tunnel the M25 (at its widest in that part of its circular route) could cost between £1.35bn to £3.22bn. How much Heathrow would pay is not yet clear. The cost would depend on the length of motorway affected and the cost per kilometre. Recent work to widen the M25 cost £3.4 billion for 35 kilometres. The Commission thinks that figure is too high, though it included 30 years-worth of maintenance (costing 20% of the total). The cost of the work should perhaps be around £50 million per kilometre, or more. The Commission says: “We note that the airport operator has suggested funding 50% of these works, with the remaining 50% borne by the public sector. The Airports Commission has not taken a view as to the split of funding between private and public sources and believes that this would be a matter for negotiation should the scheme be taken forward.” By contrast the Government spent £2.3 billion on floor prevention for the 4 years 2011 to 2015.
By contrast, the Telegraph states (2.12.2014 link ) that:
“Plans for a new settlement in Bicester, Oxfordshire, containing up to 13,000 homes, will be funded with nearly £100 million of public spending and loans.”
“Some 5.2 million properties are at risk of flooding in England. Annual flood damage costs are in the region of £1.1 billion. These costs could rise to as much as £27 billion by 2080. It has been estimated that maintaining existing levels of flood defence would require flood defence spending to increase to over £1 billion per year by 2035.” Link – Commons Library Standard Note.
“The Treasury is today revealing the projects that will receive a share of the £2.3 billion already earmarked for capital spending on flood defences over the next six years to improve protection for 300,000 homes.” 2.12.2014 (Friends of the Earth link )
“Under the Heathrow plan, a 600-metre, 14-lane tunnel would be built to replace an existing section of the M25, passing under the runway. The taxpayer would contribute £1.2bn towards improved transport links.” 13.5.2014 Guardian
Appraisal Framework Module 4. Surface Access: Heathrow Airport North West Runway
5.9 Road Scheme costs
5.9.1 Out-turn costs of recent road widening schemes on the M25 were used as a basis for estimating the total cost associated with providing the capacity enhancements summarised above. These total estimates include pure engineering costs, land costs, environmental mitigation costs and the consequential costs of the schemes themselves.
5.9.2 It has been reported that the recently-constructed M25 junctions 16-23 (M40-A1 (M)) widening programme cost £3.4bn for the 35km stretch. The Government’s Public Accounts Committee have been critical of these costs and have suggested that improved management could have resulted in a total spend of £2.4bn. Furthermore, the total costs included construction and 30 years-worth of maintenance. Assuming that the maintenance costs accounted for 20% of the total suggests a newbuild efficient cost of £1.92bn, equivalent to £55m/km.
5.9.3 It has also been reported that the recently-constructed M25 junctions 27-30 (M11-A13) widening programme through rural Essex cost £360m for the 27km stretch. This equates to a total spend per km of £13m.
5.9.4 Taking a weighted average of these costs per km (most of the widening due to the new North West Runway at Heathrow will be more similar to the junctions 16-23 programme than the junctions 27-30 programme), we have assumed that the Heathrow road widening costs will vary between £35m-£50m/km. A similar approach and a value of £50m per km was adopted during the Phase 1 analysis.
5.9.5 Table 16 overleaf summarises the estimated costs for the Extended Baseline with SRA surface access proposal for Heathrow.
5.9.6 Taking the unit road widening costs described above, we estimate that the strategic highway cost of the new North West Runway at Heathrow in the optimal surface access proposal will vary between £0.94bn and £2.23bn. This variation is due to two reasons as follows:
The variation of the length of road to be widened depending on whether the criteria to widen is 100% capacity or 85% capacity; and
The variation in unit widening costs.
5.9.7 These costs exclude risk and optimism bias. With an optimism bias of 44%, the Extended Baseline road surface package costs range from £1.35bn to £3.22bn.
5.9.8 Asset replacement and operational expenditure (OPEX) were not considered during this study, but analysis of these costs was undertaken in a different worksteam and are detailed in a separate report, entitled ‘Deliverable 13.2: Cost calculations’.
“For the purposes of this analysis, the full costs of the M25 tunnelling works have been categorised as surface access improvements, rather than “scheme capital expenditure” works which ordinarily include engineering projects within the boundary. We note that the airport operator has suggested funding 50% of these works, with the remaining 50% borne by the public sector. The Airports Commission has not taken a view as tot he split of funding between private and public sources and believes that this would be a matter for negotiation should the scheme be taken forward.”
P 48. Section H2 of
Appraisal Framework Module 13. Cost and Commercial Viability: Cost and Revenue Identification Heathrow Airport North West Runway.
Ten years ago, more than 130 Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) supporters took part in a mass tree planting to create the SSE Wood at Broxted Hill Farm, on the very site where BAA was planning to put down a 2nd runway. This wood was planted as a symbol of SSE’s defiant determination that BAA’s runway would never be built. The trees, all native species, were sponsored by some 700 supporters. On Sunday, 30 November 2014, to mark the tenth anniversary of the wood, SSE held another working party and also planted a tenth anniversary tree. Peter Sanders, SSE’s Chairman, said: “At the time when it was first planted the Government of the day was predicting that a 2nd runway would be operational at Stansted by 2010. It is wonderful to see how the wood has flourished, and how the plans for a 2nd runway have so far been thwarted.” Terry Waite commented: “We stand firmly against ruthless commercial exploitation which fails to take into account the wishes of local people and spoils a part of the countryside forever.”
Stop Stansted Expansion celebrates 10th anniversary of its wood at Broxted
Exactly ten years ago, more than 130 Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) supporters took part in a mass tree planting to create the SSE Wood at Broxted Hill Farm, on the very site where BAA was planning to extend Stansted Airport by laying down a second runway. This wood was planted as a symbol of SSE’s defiant determination that BAA’s runway would never be built.
SSE Wood on 6 October 2014
The trees, all native species, were sponsored by some 700 supporters and were selected with the advice and help of the Woodland Trust. Terry Waite had planted the inaugural oak a few months before. In 2009 a commemorative oak was planted in memory of Norman Mead, SSE’s first Chairman – again Terry Waite did the digging – and from time to time working parties have been held to keep the wood healthy and tidy.
On Sunday, 30 November 2014, to mark the tenth anniversary of the wood, SSE held another working party and also planted a tenth anniversary tree. Terry Waite was unable to come, but sent the following message:
“I am so sorry that I am unable to be with you all. Having just seen the pictures ‘before and after’ I am both amazed and delighted to see what a transformation has taken place. No one in the Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign is against sensible development but we are keen to ensure that development is sensible and that as far as possible our heritage is maintained and properly developed. We stand firmly against ruthless commercial exploitation which fails to take into account the wishes of local people and spoils a part of the countryside forever. A big ‘thank you’ to all who have campaigned long and hard and continue so to do. Well done.”
Peter Sanders, SSE’s Chairman, said: “The SSE wood has been a great success. At the time when it was first planted the Government of the day was predicting that a second runway would be operative at Stansted by 2010. It is wonderful to see how the wood has flourished, and how the plans for a second runway have so far been thwarted. We are firmly convinced that our local community, like our wood, will not be uprooted, but will continue to grow and gather strength over the years.”
Horley Town Council commissioned a survey, of over 1,000 people, and has formally opposed a 2nd Gatwick runway. Horley Town Council is required to give an official response to the Airports Commission on the runway plans, and conducted the study to help shape their view. Of the 1,096 respondents, 34% were in favour of a new runway, while 56% were against, and 10% were not sure. The most common reason residents gave against expansion was increased noise, and the next more common reason was concerns about traffic and road congestion. Reasons for the runway to be approved include “enhanced local prosperity, especially for Horley”, followed by “new jobs created, plus job security”. The 10% who were unsure wanted more details about roads, traffic and parking impact. Despite councillors’ pleas for more people between the ages of 15-25 to take part in the Horley survey, only 15 respondents did so. A full council meeting agreed to oppose a runway. But if a Gatwick runway was got Commission approval, the council would strive to get “the best possible outcome for local residents with particular regard to infrastructure”.
Survey finds Horley residents are against Gatwick’s potential second runway
November 23, 2014 (Surrey Mirror)
By Joshua Searle
THE majority of Horley residents are against expansion at Gatwick, according to a new survey.
Following the findings, Horley Town Council – which commissioned the survey – has formally opposed any proposed expansion at the airport.
The survey quizzed more than 1,000 people on their views.
Proposals for expansion at Gatwick are currently being considered by Sir Howard Davies’ Airport Commission, as one option to maximise airport capacity in the South East.
Horley Town Council is required to give an official response to the plans and conducted the study to help shape a view.
Out of the 1,096 respondents, 368 (34 per cent) were in favour of a second runway, while 615 (56 per cent) were against, and 113 (10 per cent) were not sure.
The most common reason residents gave against expansion was “Gatwick second runway will increase noise levels”, followed by concerns over traffic and road congestion.
One respondent said: “Noise pollution has already increased since flight paths were changed last year.
“[A new runway] will increase [it] even further, given that there will be more flights (including more helicopters and night flights), traffic and ground noise.”
Reasons for the runway to be approved include “enhanced local prosperity, especially for Horley”, followed by “new jobs created, plus job security”.
One comment, included in data released by the council, said: “RW2 [Gatwick’s proposed second runway] is the key to Horley’s future economic vitality.”
The ten percent of respondents who claimed to be unsure about the expansion asked for more details about roads, traffic and parking impact.
Horley Town Council vice chairman Councillor Mike George told the Mirror: “The survey was a useful exercise and the first time we have done it on this scale to my memory.
“It was not a clear majority one way or another, you wouldn’t say it was overwhelming. The for [side] put forward some good comments and so did the against.
“There are strong arguments on both sides and I think going forward we have to respect that. If nothing else we have now heard the arguments.”
Cllr George also noted that the respondents who said they were unsure would be useful in the future to help show Gatwick bosses what concerns the public have. Despite councillors’ pleas in this newspaper for more people between the ages of 15-25 to contribute, the council only received 15 respondents in this category.
After receiving the report, councillors agreed at a full council meeting last Tuesday to endorse the majority view of residents who are against expansion, but noted that should the Davies Commission select Gatwick then the council would “strive to achieve the best possible outcome for local residents with particular regard to infrastructure”.
“Back Heathrow” is an industry funded pressure group, the aim of which is to drum up support for a 3rd Heathrow runway. It was set up with at least £100,000 from Heathrow airport – maybe more. Its website just says that it had money from Heathrow to set up. Matt Gorman from Heathrow admitted at a public meeting in Putney on 27th November than Heathrow continues to fund it, but nobody will give any figures. “Back Heathrow” is a classic astroturfing campaign (ie. making out that it is community led, when it is not). Its co-ordinator is Rob Gray, was previously a director of the Aviation Foundation, another lobbying group established by the industry. Other staff working for Back Heathrow are current or former Heathrow employees. They have recently distributed hundreds of thousands of glossy newspapers to households across west London, with no mention anywhere on these that they are paid for (at least in part) by Heathrow. They try to give the impression of being independent information. Back Heathrow claim to have 50,000 people signed up, but this is largely due to scare tactics, implying Heathrow workers will lose their jobs without a 3rd runway. This has now been revealed by the Sunday Times
…………….. Designed like a tabloid newspaper, the leaflets include stark warnings that “114,000 jobs are at risk if Heathrow shuts down”. Three of the four newsletters delivered during the past year fail to disclose that Back Heathrow is funded by the airport.
….. “This is straight out of Big Tobacco and anti-climate-change-type strategies where you simply scaremonger through an ‘astroturf’ group that you set up and fund at arm’s length,” said Jeff Gazzard, a spokesman for the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF).
………… The most recent newsletter, which was delivered to up to 750,000 homes, claimed more than 50,000 residents were supporting Back Heathrow’s campaign……….. [Rob Gray] set up Back Heathrow as a limited company in July 2013 with Nathan Fletcher, a senior PR officer at the airport. Fletcher, who is now Heathrow’s head of news, resigned as a director in April.
Michael Appleton, Back Heathrow’s communications manager, is a former communications officer at the airport.
……………..the group had also received a donation from Heathrow Hub, a group that has submitted a rival plan to expand the airport, as well as smaller donations from residents and businesses.
……………. Asked by The Sunday Times after the [Putney] meeting how much funding the airport had provided, [Matt Gorman] replied: “I don’t know exactly.” He then refused to answer further questions.
“Local people are supporting growth at Heathrow in their thousands.
“Already 50,000 people who live near the UK’s only hub airport have signed up to Back Heathrow, one of the country’s fastest-growing campaigns.
Back Heathrow wants to safeguard local jobs and secure a bright future for Heathrow, a major community asset. This means campaigning for the airport to grow, and standing against those who would let it suffer long-term decline or worse.
Thousands of local residents are speaking up for our local area by taking this golden opportunity to grow and prosper alongside a successful Heathrow.”
But the reality is, there is absolutely NO prospect of Heathrow closing. Or of losing any jobs (except through the staff cuts the airport and the airlines etc make, in order to make cost savings).
This has been a scare tactic using by Back Heathrow, from the start, to try to gain support. And to try to frighten people who work at Heathrow into believing their jobs could be at risk.
From Zac Goldsmith’s blog:
The “Back Heathrow” survey
An organisation called ‘Back Heathrow’, which portrays itself as a ‘community group’ but which is heavily funded by Heathrow Ltd, has just sent out a new survey to residents. See: LINK
I have been asked if I think it is worth responding to the survey, and having discussed the issue with the Richmond Heathrow Campaign, and HACAN, I feel very strongly that it is not.
The reason, simply, is that it is extraordinarily disingenuous. The questions are crafted in such a way as to make it impossible for residents to express what I know from our referendum and countless opinion polls to be the majority view among people living in Heathrow’s shadow.
In addition, the choice it presents is a bogus one – between expanding Heathrow and closing it.
A few weeks ago, the new CEO of Heathrow admitted in Parliament that it was not true to suggest Heathrow would decline if it is denied an extra runway. The fact that his company is pouring vast sums of money into an outfit that continues to say the opposite is a poor reflection on Heathrow and a disservice to residents.
Despite the scaremongering by Back Heathrow, the real choice is not between closing down Heathrow and expanding it. The choice is between pouring taxpayer’s money into creating a vast foreign-owned monopoly on one edge of our great city – or investing in a network and enabling London’s main airports to compete properly.
This shocking Heathrow survey is part of a crude propaganda exercise, and I have no intention of contributing to it. I have instead placed it in my recycling bin and hope others do the same.
“Back Heathrow” campaign formed, by the airport, to demonstrate – and boost – local support for a 3rd runway
September 12, 2013
“Back Heathrow” is a lobby group that has recently been formed, by supporters of a third Heathrow runway. Its aim is to get people who favour Heathrow expansion to declare their support, and “give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of residents who support Heathrow.” It has been set up with funding from the airport, and 400,000 local tabloid-style propaganda newspapers have been delivered to local communities surrounding the airport. The text of the paper is shown below. It pushes the scaremongering idea that there is a risk of Heathrow shutting down, causing the loss of “114,000 jobs” and that “200 of the UK’s biggest companies may move from Heathrow.” In reality, there is little prospect of Heathrow closing – and this is just a tactic to get publicity and worry people. Back Heathrow have written to local councillors, giving them the misleading impressing that it is a “new community campaign”. It isn’t. It is organised by the industry, not by the community. Hacan said the formation of “Back Heathrow” was “the actions of a desperate organisation, not confident of the arguments it is making.”