Crispin Blunt, Kwasi Kwarteng and Sam Gyimah send open letter to Gatwick Chairman blasting Gatwick 400,000 Heathrow leaflets stunt

Crispin Blunt, Kwasi Kwarteng and Sam Gyimah (all Surrey MPs in the Coalition government and Conservative candidates) have written to Gatwick Airport Chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, to complain about Gatwick’s leafletting of the Heathrow area. Gatwick has sent out provocative leaflets to some 400,000 households in constituencies around Heathrow, pushing the case for a Gatwick runway. It is doing this at the same time as failing to engage with local communities around its own airport. Gatwick is trying to frighten residents around Heathrow, about the appalling noise and other environmental and economic impacts of a 3rd Heathrow runway. Instead it pushes Gatwick’s negative and unbalanced campaign for its runway. The MPs say Gatwick’s actions demonstrate “an astonishing disregard for the concerns of families and communities around Gatwick, about whom you should have most concern.” They say: “Instead of frightening the communities around your competitor, you should focus on engaging with the communities that surround your airport.” “If Mr Wingate or his team had taken the time to adequately consult with his local communities …[Gatwick would know] … there are wide ranging concerns about the huge strain Gatwick expansion would place on local transport infrastructure, housing, schools and healthcare.”
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Crispin Blunt signs open letter to Gatwick Chairman blasting Gatwick leaflet stunt

 21.4.2015 (Crispin Blunt – MP for Reigate in the Coalition government)

Crispin Blunt has co-signed an open letter to Gatwick Airport Chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, following revelations that Gatwick Airport is sending provocative leaflets to 400,000 households in constituencies around Heathrow.

Whilst Gatwick is failing to engage with local communities around its own airport, with this leaflet, they are seeking to frighten residents around Heathrow. It ignores the considerable local and national benefits of Heathrow expansion and escalates Gatwick’s negative and unbalanced campaign against Heathrow.

Below is the letter co-signed by Crispin Blunt, Conservative candidate for Reigate, Kwasi Kwarteng, Conservative candidate for Spelthorne, and Sam Gyimah, Conservative candidate for East Surrey:

The Letter:

Sir Roy McNulty, Chairman, Gatwick Airport

Dear Sir Roy,

On behalf of constituents in communities around both Heathrow and Gatwick – residents we hope to continue to represent if re-elected – we are deeply concerned about the scare tactics being deployed by your Chief Executive, on behalf of Gatwick airport, as the debate on airport capacity draws to a conclusion.

The mass mail you have sanctioned, targeting 400,000 leaflets to residents around Heathrow – west London, Surrey and Berkshire – demonstrates an astonishing disregard for the concerns of families and communities around Gatwick, about whom you should have most concern.

It is unacceptable that you continue to ignore your own communities, those who will be most affected by the considerable impact of expansion at Gatwick, and to suggest that ‘Gatwick sounds better’. It doesn’t, and if Mr Wingate or his team had taken the time to adequately consult with his local communities he would know this. You would also know there are wide ranging concerns about the huge strain Gatwick expansion would place on local transport infrastructure, housing, schools and healthcare. Local groups, such as CAGNE and GACC, continue to raise concerns – which have been ignored – about the devastating impact of an expanded Gatwick leaving little local authority or local political support for your plans.

In addition, taking this approach during the election campaign is a blatant attempt to capitalise on outdated views of the political landscape around Heathrow, where expansion is supported by more than 50% of local people polled, precisely because of the employment (40,000 local jobs, 10,000 apprentices) and other benefits that will follow.

Airport expansion, wherever it may be, will require careful and considered planning to ensure that the whole country benefits and that local communities are protected. Your proposals deliver neither.

Instead of spending resources on leafleting households around Heathrow you should be looking after your own neighbours, by concentrating resources on mitigating the impact of P-RNAV and sorting out the altered Gatwick departure flight paths, which are causing an explosion of complaints from residents newly affected by noise.

Instead of frightening the communities around your competitor, you should focus on engaging with the communities that surround your airport.

Yours sincerely,

Kwasi Kwarteng
Conservative candidate for Spelthorne

Sam Gyimah
Conservative candidate for East Surrey

Crispin Blunt
Conservative candidate for Reigate

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http://www.blunt4reigate.com/news/crispin-blunt-signs-open-letter-gatwick-chairman-blasting-gatwick-leaflet-stunt

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Earlier:

Gatwick distributes 400,000 flyers around west London warning of Heathrow noise (to get backing for Gatwick runway)

As Gatwick has difficulty getting much local support for its runway plans (almost all local councils and local MPs oppose it) this week the airport is distributing 400,000 flyers to homes across west London. Uxbridge and South Ruislip in particular are being targeted, (86,000 leaflets) warning about the increased noise there would be from a Heathrow 3rd runway.  Gatwick has focused its attention on negative campaigning about Heathrow, though Heathrow has not – publicly – being doing the equivalent on Gatwick. Gatwick is not revealing the cost of their 400,000 leaflet effort. As the local residents do not have the ability to choose whether a runway is built, the aim is to influence local politicians. Gatwick claims that 683,000 people and 362 schools would be impacted by noise if a 3rd Heathrow runway was built, while only 36,000 people and 15 schools by a Gatwick runway. In the 55 Lden contour. (Clever of them, as the flight paths are not yet know …. nobody knows the numbers). Heathrow and Gatwick are arguing over the figures. Gatwick appears to discount the impact of increased noise from its own planned runway. This has infuriated local residents in the Gatwick area. Gatwick’s ploy of leafleting people near Heathrow, who are rightly frightened at the prospect of a 3rd runway – playing on their fears – has further increased local opposition.

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Candidates Oppose Gatwick 2nd Runway

26.4.2015  (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

All eleven Conservative Parliamentary candidates in the seats around Gatwick oppose a second runway.  So do all Green Party candidates.  So do all UKIP candidates.

Almost all Lib Dem candidates oppose a new runway, the odd ones out being the candidates for Crawley and Horsham.  The Labour candidates are about equally divided, half for and half against.

GACC members carried out a survey of parliamentary candidates with many of them signing a pledge to oppose a new runway due to increase in aircraft noise, worsened environment and lack of infrastructure such as roads, rail, schools and hospitals.

At the national level both the Labour and Conservative manifestos say in effect that they will wait for the recommendations of the Airports Commission (expected June/July).  If all the Conservative candidates were to be re-elected the bloc of eleven votes in a hung Parliament might perhaps just be sufficient to stop the runway.

The Green Party candidates are in line with their national manifesto which opposes any new runway, mainly on climate change grounds.

The UKIP manifesto opposes any new runway but supports instead greater use of Manston.

At the Lib Dem conference last year a resolution supporting a Gatwick runway was overwhelmingly defeated, and their manifesto reflects this policy but leaves a little wriggle room if the Airports Commission comes up with compelling arguments.

The constituencies included in the survey were Crawley, Horsham, Arundel and South Downs, Mole Valley, Reigate, East Surrey, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells, Mid Sussex, and Wealden.   Not all candidates could be contacted but the summary above gives an accurate reflection of the majority views.

 

www.gacc.org.uk

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Stop Stansted Expansion calls for cross-party support at the election, to end night flights

Ahead of the general election and local council elections on 7th May, SSE is calling upon all local candidates to support a ban on night flights at Stansted. Stansted currently has permission to operate 12,000 night flights a year, between 11.30pm – 6am, more than twice as many as are permitted at Heathrow. [Heathrow is restricted to 5,800 night take-offs & landings /year between 11.30pm- 6am]. SSE has long argued to the Government that night flights have a far greater impact on local residents around Stansted because of its rural location where background noise levels are generally very low. The number of Stansted night flights has significantly increased over the past year, and this is believed to be largely due to the closure of Manston Airport and transfer of its cargo flights.  SSE says “night” should not only be a 6½ hour period, but should be the 8 hours between 11.00pm to 7.00am, to give people a proper night’s rest. There are no restrictions on the number of aircraft permitted to take-off and land at Stansted during the so-called shoulder periods between 11.00pm and 11.30pm and between 6.00am and 7.00am. SSE is inviting politicians of all parties to support a timetable to progressively phase out nights flight
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Stop Stansted Expansion calls for cross-party support to end night flights

25.4.2015 (SSE)

Ahead of the general election and local council elections to be held on 7 May, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is calling upon all local candidates to support a ban on night flights at Stansted.

Stansted currently has permission to operate 12,000 night flights a year, more than twice as many as are permitted at Heathrow. SSE has long argued to the Government that night flights have a far greater impact on local residents around Stansted because of its rural location where background noise levels are generally very low.

The number of night flights at Stansted has significantly increased over the past year, and this is believed to be largely due to the closure of Manston Airport. This led to Manston’s remaining cargo airlines transferring to Stansted. Whilst at Manston, these aircraft were subject to a ban on night flights, imposed by the local council. However, there is no such ban at Stansted.

SSE also wants all politicians to recognise that the 12,000 limit only applies to the 6½ hour period between 11.30pm and 6.00am whereas the normal definition of ‘night’ is the 8-hours between 11.00pm to 7.00am. There are no restrictions on the number of aircraft permitted to take-off and land at Stansted during the so-called shoulder periods between 11.00pm and 11.30pm and between 6.00am and 7.00am.

SSE has long argued that those living in the vicinity of Stansted and/or under its flight paths should have the right to an uninterrupted night’s sleep, which should mean a full 8 hours and not just the 6½ hours covered by the current restrictions on night flights.

Martin Peachey, SSE’s noise adviser, commented: “Politicians of all persuasions appear sympathetic to ways of reducing the effects of sleep disturbance and adverse health impacts caused by night flights for residents around airports. With the approaching general election and local council elections, we invite politicians of all parties to support a timetable to progressively phase out nights flights”.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS
Further background is contained in SSE’s submission on night flights to the Government in January 2014 – see http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/press473.html

FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT

SSE Campaign Office,

01279 870558

info@stopstanstedexpansion.com

www.stopstanstedexpansion.com

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Earlier:

Restrictions on UK ‘night flights’ at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted extended until 2017

In the Government’s response to the Airports Commission’s December 2013 interim report, Patrick McLoughlin announced that plans to more than double the number of ‘night flights’ at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports have been postponed until 2017. Under proposals outlined in the Commission’s interim report the number of planes allowed to land at the airport before 6am each day would have increased from 16 to 35 from 2015. The government now says it wants to ensure “regulatory stability” at south east airports while the Commission makes its final recommendations on which airport should be recommended to be allowed to build a new runway. The government is also extending the ban on “rare movements made by older noisier types of aircraft.” McLoughlin said: “This decision will help give certainty around the night noise environment for those living near the airports, as well as ensuring operational capacity at these airports is not affected pending decisions on any new airport capacity in light of the commission’s final report.” The government has also postponed the Commission’s recommendation for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/07/restrictions-on-uk-night-flights-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-extended-until-2017/

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Knutsford Council urged to lobby Manchester airport over possible increase in night flights

[Manchester Airports Group owns both Manchester and Stansted airports]

Councillors in Knutsford are planning to lobby Manchester Airport on concerns about more night flights over the town. Knutsford is only a few kilometres from the end of the runway. Map. A Knutsford councillor, who is on the airport’s community relations team, was informed by the airport’s management that Terminal 2 is set to double in size, with plans for more night flights to cope with increased traffic. This will affect Knutsford. Currently, an agreement curtails night flights – take offs and landings – but circumstances will change with both the expansion and the ending of the current arrangements in 2017. The council need to lobby on details of the timing of those night flights. The airport statement gave the usual bland assurances about “improving the passenger and airline experience” and having controls on night noise that are “amongst the toughest in the UK ” and balancing the “interests of our local communities and the demand from our passengers to fly.” Sadly, the benefit tot he airlines and passengers generally trumps the interests of the residents. Manchester Airport allows a large number of night flights already – with a limit of around 11,000 per year (7% of the total flights). That can work out to more than 45 per night, in the period from 23:30 to 06.00.

Click here to view full story…

Full details of extent of Heathrow night flight plans ‘dug up’ by Leader of Wandsworth Council

February 13, 2014
The full extent of the Government’s plans to increase night flights into Heathrow has been “dug up” by anti-noise campaigners in the technical appendix of an Airports Commission’s interim report. The report was publicised on 17th December. The appendix shows that the number of planes allowed to land at Heathrow before 6am will increase from 16 to 35 from next year. Leader of the anti-Heathrow nights flights opposition, Ravi Govindia (also Leader of Wandsworth Council) said: “We shouldn’t have to dig deep into a technical document to find out what is in store for us.” Heathrow wants the amount of “stacking” to be reduced before the morning rush-hour. They say residents would be given “respite” from the noise, by having more in alternate weeks, followed by a week without planes. Mr Govindia, who is also the leader of the 2M group of 20 councils opposed to expansion of Heathrow, said people on the final approach flight paths into Heathrow were “deeply opposed” to the early-morning arrivals, which affect their sleep and are linked to serious health issues. The Airports Commission said: “We have recommended a trial of early-morning smoothing. A trial provides the opportunity for communities around Heathrow to experience and comment on the impacts.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/02/full-details-of-extent-of-heathrow-night-flight-plans-dug-up-by-leader-of-wandsworth-council/

Frankfurt night flight ban between 11pm and 5am upheld by higher court

April 6, 2012

A German court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a night flight ban at Frankfurt airport, Europe’s third busiest, dealing a blow to German flagship airline Lufthansa and airport operator Fraport. Lufthansa says it needs Frankfurt night flights so its cargo operations can compete with fast-growing Gulf airports and it will be hit financially if there is a ban. In 2009 the local government said it would allow 17 flights between 11 pm and 5am from the end of October 2011 on economic grounds. Then residents under the flight paths took the case to court. Their complaint was upheld in October by a local court just before the opening of the 4th runway. Now a judge at a higher court in Leipzig confirmed the ban and said the federal state of Hesse must make a new decision on whether to allow night flights. Along with a total ban from 11 pm to 5 am, the Leipzig court also reduced the number of flights permitted in the period covering the so-called shoulder hours from 10 pm to 6 am to 133 from 150. This will have implications for other European airports like Paris Charles de Gaulle and Heathrow.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2012/04/frankfurt-night-fliights/

 

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Polar bears & anti-2nd-runway campaigners descend on Gatwick terminal with dance & song

On Saturday morning, in Gatwick’s South Terminal, an invasion of fancy-dress polar bears took place, who danced, chanted and unequivocally put their “NO NEW RUNWAY” message across. The dancing polar bears – Plane Stupid – descended on the terminal, to make their point that a new runway (either at Heathrow or Gatwick) is a threat to our carbon targets.  Asking” Whose Climate?”(response “Our Climate”) and “Whose Future?” (response “Our Future”) and with huge banners proclaiming “Any Runway is Plane Stupid” and “Climate Chaos Obviously” (rather that Gatwick Airport’s mantra of “Gatwick Obviously” they entertained travellers, putting their message across in a good humoured way (somewhat perplexing the security guards …) for half an hour. No arrests were made, and the polar bears then danced their way out of the terminal. Other protesters against the 2nd runway plans sang the “No Way, 2nd runway, NEVER NEVER NEVER” song, and marched a banner around the terminal. T-shirts read:  “NO 2nd runway.” “Save our tranquillity.” “Save our economy.”  “Save our countryside.”  ” Save our environment.”  “No new flight paths”  (No passengers were inconvenienced in the making of this protest).  
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25.4.2015

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Despite the light hearted tone of the protest, it indicates the intensity of opposition to a new runway at Gatwick.  This comes from all across the political spectrum, and from all sectors of the local communities around Gatwick.

The reasons for intense local opposition are many and varied, including noise, air quality, total change in character of the area, threat to parts of the local economy, pressure on surface transport, need for thousands of more homes, loss of Green Belt ….. and so on ……..

There are also serious concern about the UK’s carbon emissions, and the likelihood of a new runway breaching UK aviation carbon limits. That would be likely to then cause the UK to miss its national carbon target.

 

The Gatwick song (to the tune of “What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor” lyrics are here.The Gatwick Song (2)

Refrain:    

“No Way, 2nd Runway (x3)

Never, never, never


the two banners

Polar bear line

Backs of t-shirts

Any new runway is Plane Stupid

Marching round the terminal

Polar bears leaving

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Knutsford Council urged to lobby Manchester airport over possible increase in night flights

Councillors in Knutsford are planning to lobby Manchester Airport on concerns about more night flights over the town. Knutsford is only a few kilometres from the end of the runway. Map.  A Knutsford councillor, who is on the airport’s community relations team, was informed by the airport’s management that Terminal 2 is set to double in size, with plans for more night flights to cope with increased traffic.  This will affect Knutsford.  Currently, an agreement curtails night flights – take offs and landings – but circumstances will change with both the expansion and the ending of the current arrangements in 2017. The council need to lobby on details of the timing of those night flights. The airport statement gave the usual bland assurances about “improving the passenger and airline experience” and having controls  on night noise that are “amongst the toughest in the UK ” and balancing the “interests of our local communities and the demand from our passengers to fly.” Sadly, the benefit tot he airlines and passengers generally trumps the interests of the residents. Manchester Airport allows a large number of night flights already – with a limit of around 11,000 per year (7% of the total flights). That can work out to more than 45 per night, in the period from 23:30 to 06.00.
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Council urged to lobby airport over possible increase in night time flights over Knutsford

22.4.2015 (Knutsford Guardian)

COUNCILLORS in Knutsford are planning to lobby Manchester Airport bosses over concerns about more night flights over the town.

Worries surfaced after a Knutsford councillor, who is on the airport’s community relations team, met with management last month and was told Terminal 2 is set to double in size, with plans for more night flights to cope with increased traffic.

Currently, an agreement curtails night-time flights in and out of the airport, but circumstances will change with both the expansion and the ending of the current arrangements in 2017.

Cllr Tony Dean told a meeting of Knutsford Town Council it would lead to more flights and disturbance to Knutsford residents.

He explained: “Terminal 2 will double in size and that will mean more night flights.

“The current restrictions and agreements run out in the next two years, so as a council we need to lobby when those night-time flights will be and so they are not keeping residents awake.”

The Guardian asked the airport specific questions, including which areas of Cheshire would be affected by the expansion of T2 and how the current restrictions on night-time flights would change when the current agreement runs out.

A spokesman said: “At Manchester Airport we continually assess ways in which we could enhance our infrastructure so as to further improve the passenger and airline experience.

“Our controls on night noise are amongst the toughest in the UK and balance the interests of our local communities and the demand from our passengers to fly. Retaining this balance will always be a significant priority.”

What do you think about the expansion of terminal 2 and the possible ramifications it could have for Knutsford? Emailyourviews@guardiangrp.co.uk.

http://www.knutsfordguardian.co.uk/news/12908621.Council_urged_to_lobby_airport_over_possible_increase_in_night_time_flights_over_Knutsford

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Manchester Airport has just under 163,000 air transport movements (flights) in 2014.

7% of that is  11,410.

Divided by the number of nights in the year, it averages out at 31 flights per night – with night being considered to be 23.30 to 06.00.



 

Manchester Airport’s Night Noise policy   2012 – 2017

http://www.magworld.co.uk/magweb.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/Manchester+Night+Noise.pdf/$FILE/Manchester+Night+Noise.pdf

Some extracts: 

Policies NN1-NN3 cover the period 23:30-05:59.

This policy ensures that the number of night movements is capped at no more than 7% of total movements of the airport. This obligation is part of a legal agreement with Cheshire East Council.

An essential part of our night-period noise controls is a system of classifying aircraft according to their ‘quota count’. The system gives each aircraft a ‘quota count’ depending on the noise they generate on take-off and when landing (based on the noise levels measured at the time that aircraft was first introduced).

NN1 Night movement limits will not exceed 7% of the Airport’s total movements.

NN2 The QC [Quota Count] points budget for each Summer/Winter season up to Summer 2017 will be fixed at 7000 points for Summer and 3000 points for Winter. Points that are unused in any season shall not be carried forward to subsequent seasons.

NN3 Seasonal movement limits of 10150 (Summer) and 3895 (Winter) will be maintained until Summer 2017.  [Summer is start of April to end of October – the period between clock changes].

NN4 Between 23:00 and 06:59 no QC16 or QC8 aircraft will be allowed to arrive or depart. NN5 Between 23:30 and 05:59 no QC4 aircraft will be scheduled to depart.

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Noise penalties;

NN6 Between 23.00 and 06.59, financial penalties will be applied to aircraft that exceed the following noise levels on departure (monitored at 6.5km from the start of roll). 23.00 – 23.29 82 dB(A) 23.30 – 05.59 81 dB(A) 06.00 – 06.59 82 dB(A) A minimum penalty of £750 will be applied for the first decibel by which the noise level is exceeded. A further £150 will be added for each decibel in excess of the noise limit.

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Teddington residents miserable under Heathrow easterly take-offs – though officially they are not affected

Teddington is an area largely affected by easterly take-offs from Heathrow.  The wind direction in the south east of England is generally for westerly winds for around 70 – 77% of the time. The level of aircraft noise over Teddington is therefore not a problem during westerly take-offs.  The way aircraft noise is measured – by taking an average over a period of time, and over many months, rather than the plane noise on a particular day – means that Teddington and areas like it, are not deemed to be within the noise contours that imply a significant level of noise nuisance. However, during periods of easterly winds, which can last for over 10 days, the level of noise is deeply intrusive. The campaign, Teddington Action Group, has made a powerful short film that illustrates the noise they are subjected to, for perhaps 25 -30% of the year. Yet, on the noise averaging system used by the CAA and the Airports Commission, they are considered not to be affected by noise. They wonder how many other areas can be regarded as untroubled by noise, when the reality on the ground is very different. And how much worse would this situation get, with how many more affected, if there was a Heathrow 3rd runway.  Watch the film. 
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Teddington Heathrow Hell April 2015https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR00hem1JcM&feature=youtu.be

 

Teddington noise contours The map above is one prepared by the CAA for the DfT, in October 2014.

The blue line shows the level of noise in 2013, with the outer line showing the 57 dB Leq noise contour for a year with 77% westerly wind and 23% easterly wind.

More on how Leq is measured here].


 

The map below was prepared for the Airports Commission, rather confusingly combining the noise area with and without a new runway. Either way, Teddington is shown as outside the noise are, though it would in reality be heavily overflown.

Teddington noise area from AC map by Jacobs

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/372770/5._Noise-Baseline.pdf


 

The Teddington Action Group (TAG) website says:

19.4.2015

Last week was a busy week what with meeting Boris Johnson with Tania Mathias and Zac Goldsmith and them pledging their support, and having a meeting with Vince Cable about the future and current concerns.

TAG were present and contributed to the Community Noise Forum last Monday. .http://hacan.org.uk/community-noise-forum-set-up


A 3rd HEATHROW  RUNWAY COULD BRING AN EXTRA 260,000 FLIGHTS A YEAR

* A third runway could bring 54% more air traffic roaring over our homes, schools and open spaces.
* More aircraft means more noise and airborne pollution and the effects can be a serious health hazard.
* A third runway at Heathrow could see flights increase from 480,000 to 740,000 a year.
* Increased noise nuisance will inevitably affect quality of life the value of your home.

Although the initial trials are behind us, (summer 2014) more may take place and a public consultation in 2016 will help determine where flight-paths will be by the 2020 mandate.

Even without Heathrow expansion, there are proposals for new concentrated flight paths over Teddington, Twickenham and other areas.

Studies show that aircraft noise causes sleep deprivation and affects health and well-being. Can you imagine if Heathrow gets night flights as well?

The Commission’s  ‘affected areas of expansion’ map (click for full size).

Heathrow expansion could increase flights by an estimated 54% from 480,000 to 740,000. There have been some illustrative flight-paths included in the report but no detail – it is currently unknown which communities (new or existing) would be affected by the increased plane numbers, but it’s likely that if combined with the new concentrated flight-paths, they could have a very detrimental impact on areas such as Teddington.

Disturbingly, using the measurement standard 57 LAeq that the Davies Report uses Teddington, Twickenham and other nearby towns aren’t within the contour of those currently affected and are ‘relatively unaffected by aircraft noise‘.

That is something locals might disagree with and particularly when flight-paths are combined and concentrated!

The Leq method measures noise on days when planes are flying over and when they are not. As planes take off towards the west 70% of the time, this means that these days when planes aren’t overhead bring down the average noise levels. The overall number of affected people is 250,000 using this method.

Using the European standard 55 Lden noise method (only measuring plane noise when they are actually overhead), our area is indeed included in those affected by noise nuisance and the overall number of residents affected by plane noise around Heathrow rises to over 750,000. This startling number makes up 28% of all people affected by aircraft in Europe!

[ Lden is defined as:  “Day-evening-night equivalent level : A-weighted, Leq. noise level, measured over the 24 hour period, with a 10 dB penalty added to the levels between 23.00 and 07.00 hours and a 5 dB penalty added to the levels between 19.00 and 23.00 hours to reflect people’s extra sensitivity to noise during the night and the evening.]

http://www.teddingtonactiongroup.com/

The Leq measurements are taken over a 3/4 month period over the summer months (because they are the busiest).

Noise campaign group HACAN has been calling for the noise measurements for areas like Teddington simply to be averaged out over the days when they get planes overhead, rather than an average over the whole year.


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See also:

London MPs and Councils challenge Airports Commission on aircraft noise with updated “ANASE” report

In 2005 the ANASE (Attitudes to Noise from Aviation Sources in England) report into what level of sound caused community annoyance was undertaken, and it indicated that the 57 decibel contour  – the measure the UK authorities still use – did not satisfactorily measure aircraft noise.  In reality, significant annoyance was caused at much lower level of sound exposure.  However, this finding was inconvenient and so the report was shelved by the government.  The 57 dB contour is still being used, and is the measure being used by the Airports Commission. The ANASE report has now been revised and updated, and this new report has just been launched by Hillingdon Council on behalf of the all-party 2M Group of councils opposed to Heathrow expansion.  It shows far more people are badly affected by aircraft noise than the 57 dB contour would suggest.  The 2M group are asking that the Commission investigate a new, more rigorous noise metric with which to assess and compare the noise impacts and costs of all the airport proposals. They say the Commission’s decision on a new runway cannot be  based on seriously out of date evidence which bears no resemblance to real-life experience.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/02/london-mps-and-councils-challenge-airports-commission-on-aircraft-noisoe-with-updated-anase-report/

Dr Ian Flindell said:

“From a purely research evidence perspective, it is surprising that UK policy-makers continue to base their understanding of numbers of people affected by aircraft noise on out-of-date, biased, non-independently-reviewed research – especially when there is available much more up-to-date evidence of UK residents’ views on aircraft noise that is consistent with all other recent and substantive pieces of research in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

“The consequence is that policy-makers continue to presume that ‘the onset of significant
annoyance’ is 57 LAeq and that communities below this noise exposure threshold are relatively unaffected by aircraft noise – despite the fact that many such residents say that they are.”

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Windsor candidates against Heathrow runway, though Labour non-committal

Speaking in a live BBC Radio Berkshire debate, it was clear that none of the parliamentary candidates for Windsor support a 3rd Heathrow runway.  However, Labour’s candidate, Fiona Dent would not say whether she supported the runway, but did promise a consultation on it, if elected. Lib Dem George Fussey, Independent Wisdom Da Costa and UKIP’s Tarik Malik said they were opposed to expansion. The MP since 2010, Conservative Adam Afriye, won the seat with 60% of the vote at the last election, with the Lib Dems second with 11%. Mr Afriye said:  “For the last 10 years I’ve been absolutely clear – no third runway – and it’s not just about nimbyism… it’s not in the national interest, not in our regional interest and not in the interest of consumers….if Davies is sensible, he will recognise that Gatwick is the right option.” [Regrettable that he feels the need to pass the misery of increased noise etc, onto others, knowing how negative the impacts would be on his own constituents].  Mr da Costa said: “It shouldn’t be allowed to expand. The benefit to Windsor would be very, very small, economically but the disruption to Windsor, both environmentally and in terms of congestion and health, it will be phenomenal.”


 

Windsor candidates against Heathrow Airport expansion

22.4.2015 (BBC)L-R: Adam Afriyie, Wisdom Da Costa, Andrew Peach, George Fussey, Fiona Dent and Tarik Malik

Heathrow Airport’s bid to build a third runway is not supported by any of Windsor’s parliamentary candidates.

Speaking in a live BBC Radio Berkshire debate, Labour’s Fiona Dent would not say whether she supported the expansion plans but did promise a consultation.

Lib Dem George Fussey, Independent Wisdom Da Costa and UKIP’s Tarik Malik said they were opposed to expansion.

Conservative Adam Afriyie said he was optimistic the Davies Commission would chose Gatwick, not Heathrow.

The Airport Commission report by Sir Howard Davies, due after the General Election, has shortlisted three options for increasing air capacity in London – lengthening Heathrow’s existing runway, building a third runway or building a second runway at Gatwick.

Mr Fussey said: “The Lib Dems are implacably opposed to an extra runway. We don’t want an extra 260,000 flights from Heathrow, we don’t want an extra 50 million visitors flying from Heathrow, we don’t want the congestion it’s going to create, the disruption the build is going to create and we don’t want the pollution.

“The jobs are important for the economy but they could be created somewhere else. We don’t think it’s sustainable, environmentally.”

Heathrow expansion poster
Wisdom Da Costa said the benefit of airport expansion to Windsor would be very small

Ms Dent said: “I’m concerned about the Davies Commission. It’s going to report just about a month after the election and the parameters of that commission have really only focussed on the economic impact. The social impact and the environmental impact have been largely ignored.

“We would consult before we do absolutely anything on Heathrow and we would consult with local people.”

Mr Da Costa said: “It shouldn’t be allowed to expand. The benefit to Windsor would be very, very small, economically but the disruption to Windsor, both environmentally and in terms of congestion and health, it will be phenomenal.”

Mr Malik said: “We’ve created a white paper on Manston Airport. We need to look at other alternatives. We need to look at the pollution impact it will have. We are against this, absolutely.”

Mr Afriyie said: “For the last 10 years I’ve been absolutely clear – no third runway – and it’s not just about nimbyism… it’s not in the national interest, not in our regional interest and not in the interest of consumers.

“Our manifesto is quite clear – we are going to await the recommendations of the Davies Commission and then make a judgement.

“I’m optimistic, if Davies is sensible, he will recognise that Gatwick is the right option.”

Heathrow Airport says allowing the airport to expand would be a huge boost to the south east’s economy, bringing thousands of jobs to the region.

“A bigger Heathrow would lead to thousands more planes flying over Berkshire and the surrounding area, but new generations of quieter aircraft and more effective use of our runways would see noise levels in the area drop rather than rise,” said sustainability director Matt Gorman.

The airport said it had done all it can to argue its case and will wait and see what the Davies Commission recommends. The Airports Commission is due to report its findings after the General Election.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-england-32410891

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The candidates for the constituency are:

Adam Afriyie – Conservative

Wisdom Da Costa – Independent

Fiona Dent – Labour

George Fussey – Liberal Democrat

Tariq Malik -UKIP

Derek Wall – Green

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See earlier:

Expansion of Heathrow could ‘destroy Windsor’ according to councillor

Another Heathrow runway could ‘destroy Windsor’ according to a Windsor councillor and chairman of the Royal Borough’s Aviation Forum. The comments were made at a meeting of the forum,discussing the Airports Commission’s options for a new south east runway.  The councillor said:  “If the expansion of Heathrow Airport is given the go ahead, it will destroy Windsor and the reason why people want to come here. It will affect the ability to hold state functions at Windsor Castle and the north-western option will affect Eton….It would see an increased level of noise for our residents and will affect our world heritage sights, which the commission have seemed to overlook.” The Royal Borough of Windsor are now drafting a submission to the Airports Commission. Another councillor said:  “The Airports Commission’s paper is one of the biggest things the borough has had to respond to and the implications are enormous.” Another councillor commented that the need for up to 70,800 new homes, for a 3rd runway, would created turmoil and require highly valued green belt land.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/01/expansion-of-heathrow-could-destroy-windsor-according-to-councillor/

why did they build windsor castle so close to Heathrow

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See also

Windsor councillor says there would be homes ‘turmoil’ if Heathrow is expanded

A Windsor councillor has said that creating up to 70,800 homes if Heathrow expansion plans go ahead would cause “absolute turmoil.” He said a 3rd runway north-west of the airport could create the need to use greenbelt land for housing. However, almost unbelievably, a Heathrow spokesman said: “There will be little or no need for additional house-building over and above current local authority plans.” The Airports Commission, said Heathrow expansion would create between 47,400 and 112,400 jobs by 2030, which in turn would require an extra 29,800 to 70,800 homes to be created in the surrounding area, including Windsor, Slough and London boroughs. There will be a public meeting in Windsor to discuss the Heathrow plans, before the consultation ends on 3rd February. Windsor already has an enormous housing problem in the area, and are having go consider building on green belt land (which is locally very unpopular), even with no new runway. And there is increasing urbanisation …”The impact will be felt across the Thames Valley – it’s commercial greed gone mad.”

Click here to view full story…

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The Windsor constituency consists of:   ( Wikipedia )

2010–present: the constituency has the electoral wards:-

..

At the  2010 election the votes were 

Adam Afriyie (Conservative) 30,172 votes (60.8%)
with Julian Tisi (Liberal Democrat) 11,118 votes (22.4%)

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Illinois State Senate passes bills designed to reduce O’Hare jet noise

In late 2013 the flight paths at Chicago O’Hare airport were changed, and since then thousands of residents have been exposed to far more aircraft noise. The authorities are trying to find ways to reduce their noise exposure.  The Illinois Senate has now unanimously approved legislation to mitigate jet noise by increasing the cap on the number of runways to 10 from 8, and prohibiting the city of Chicago from closing and demolishing any of the airport’s 4 diagonal runways. The aim is to distribute the noise more evenly. The two bills are aimed at expanding O’Hare flight paths are going next to the Illinois House of Representatives for consideration.  If one of the diagonal runways is closed, its flights will be distributed to the other runways, causing more noise for some people. Keeping 10 runways operational at O’Hare would increase maintenance costs. And while all 10 runways would never be used simultaneously, the more complex airfield layout could create safety risks involving more planes taxiing across runways on their way to the gate or other runways. Noise complaints filed online and to a city-operated hot line totalled 39,500 in January, setting a new monthly record.  In 2014, for the whole year, noise complaints totalled 268,211, also an all-time high.
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State Senate passes bills designed to reduce O’Hare jet noise

The Suburban O’Hare Commission has hired two consulting firms to help explore solutions to reduce noise in neighborhoods near the airport.
By Jon Hilkevitch (Chicago Tribune)
16.4.2015

The Illinois Senate unanimously approved legislation Thursday designed to mitigate jet noise around O’Hare International Airport by increasing the cap on the number of runways to 10 from eight, and prohibiting the city of Chicago from closing and demolishing any of the airport’s four diagonal runways.

O’Hare group says 2 public meetings on new runways not enough

Two bills introduced by state Sen. John Mulroe are aimed at expanding O’Hare flight paths to reduce jet noise that has been saturating some Chicago neighborhoods and western suburbs since late 2013, when O’Hare air-traffic patterns changed. The two bills are headed to the House for consideration.

If the legislation is passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor, it’s still unclear whether Chicago officials would call off the scheduled closure of one diagonal runway in four months and work with the Federal Aviation Administration to disperse the more than 2,400 daily flights at O’Hare across a wider number of runways pointing in a variety of directions.

“I am responding to the community’s cry for help,” Mulroe, a Chicago Democrat whose district is immediately east of O’Hare, said in a phone interview.

Checking in on progress on revamp of O’Hare’s Runways

“Chicago has been pointing fingers at the FAA, and the FAA has been pointing fingers at Chicago. The airport and the airlines have to be good neighbors. You cannot discount that people are being affected. I want the diagonal runways to be an option,” Mulroe said, noting the diminished use of the diagonal runways.

Chicago aviation officials did not immediately respond to questions from the Tribune about the legislation.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the agency does not comment on pending legislation.

The SOC commission (Suburban O’Hare Commission) did their Job and told the real truth about the Noise pollution and the smell of jet fuel all hours of the day and night. We live in Elk Grove Village, this Elgin/O’Hare project has made our Property Taxes soar just to pay for the short fall of $75M that the tolls were…

Keeping 10 runways operational at O’Hare would increase maintenance costs.  And while all 10 runways would never be used simultaneously, the more complex airfield layout could create safety risks involving more planes taxiing across runways on their way to the gate or other runways. Taxiing planes across runways is a practice that air traffic controllers avoid whenever possible.

In addition, Chicago has plans to eventually build a new passenger terminal on the west side of the airport, close to one of the diagonal runways.

Senate Bill 637 states: “All runways shall be maintained and used in a safe and equitable manner for the purpose of fairly distributing air traffic over city and suburban communities” surrounding O’Hare.

Companion legislation, S.B. 636, would increase the number of allowable runways. Chicago aviation officials have said previously that they could not keep all the diagonal runways because of the cap.

The O’Hare Modernization Program, which began in 2005 and has not been completed, envisions six east-west parallel runways and two diagonal runways. Currently there are four parallels and four diagonals.

The Chicago Department of Aviation has said that one of the four diagonal runways, running northwest to southeast, will be permanently closed Aug. 20, followed by the closure of a second diagonal runway with the same alignment in November 2020.

The city plans to open the next new east-west runway Oct. 15, followed by another new parallel runway in November 2020. Under the O’Hare expansion plan, the six parallel runways will be used to handle more than 95 percent of takeoffs and landings, while two existing northeast-to-southwest runways would be retained for use mostly when strong crosswinds limit the use of the east-west parallels, officials said.

Noise complaints filed online and to a city-operated hot line totaled 39,500 in January, setting a new monthly record. In 2014, noise complaints totaled 268,211, also an all-time high.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-ohare-runways-legislation-met-0417-20150416-story.html

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See also

Checking in on progress on revamp of O’Hare’s Runways

http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-getting-around-checking-in-on-progress-on-revamp-of-ohares-runways-20150411-htmlstory.html

11.4.2015

Work continues toward revamping the positioning of runways with a decommissioning set for August and a new runway to open in October. These changes are meant to create new departure and arrival patterns.

O’Hare International Airport runways

  • Existing
  • To be removed
  • In progress
Diagram of O\
CHICAGO TRIBUNE

 

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Earlier:

Chicago O’Hare airport new runway & flightpaths creating huge opposition by those now over-flown

Chicago O’Hare airport currently has many runways but not all can be used simultaneously. The airport has been building more, reducing the lengths of others, to get three parallel runways can be used together. There has been a lot of controversy about the plans over many years, with compulsory purchase of land, from residents who did not want to move.  There is now huge protest against the noise. A group representing city and suburban home-owners, the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition (FAiR), is asking the Chicago Aviation Commissioner to resign or for the Mayor to fire her.  FAiR say there is  “mounting frustration over the lack of response from the Mayor on possible remedies concerning “the ceaseless airplane noise” since air-traffic patterns were changed last autumn.  The Aviation Commissioner has refused to consider altering the use of runways at night to spread out jet noise instead of concentrating it over one or two air corridors. FAiR says she has made up her mind that there will be no change at O’Hare no matter how many citizens demand change, no matter what solutions are proposed and no matter how devastating the impact of her decisions on families, children and seniors, and even entire neighbourhoods. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/05/chicago-ohare-airport-new-runway-flightpaths-creating-huge-opposition-by-those-now-over-flown/

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 FAiR ON FACEBOOK    Facebook     http://www.fairchicago.org/

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Heathrow hopes of cutting NO2 by congestion charge etc could transfer air quality problems to other areas

Gatwick Airport commissioned a report by ERM to show up the air quality problems at Heathrow, making a 3rd Heathrow a practical impossibility. The ERM report says the air quality mitigations proposed for a Heathrow 3rd runway are too vague to be properly evaluated or quantified in any detail. As the majority of the air pollution is due to road vehicles, many on trips associated with the airport, there needs to be credible detail on how this could be cut.  Heathrow has suggested various ways to make small airside cuts in NO2 emissions, and possible measure like incentives for access to the airport by zero or ultra-low emission vehicles. Also, as a last resort, the use of a congestion charge to drive down airport-only related road traffic. But the measures lack the necessary implementation specifics to make them meaningful.  Neither do the proposals address the potential consequential effects on road traffic distribution in the wider area around Heathrow. It could well be that the introduction of these sorts of Heathrow traffic measures results in shifts in road traffic congestion, and therefore the transfer the air quality problems to other areas. Just pushing the problem somewhere else.
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Heathrow’s pollution strategy will “transfer air quality problems to other areas”

17.4.2015 (Colnbrook Views)

Air quality mitigations proposed for a Heathrow Third Runway are either too vague to be quantified or should be implemented regardless of expansion, a new Gatwick-funded report says. 

On-airport mitigations proposed by Heathrow as part of its Third Runway plans should be considered the baseline and implemented regardless of any Third Runway permission, while those relating to road traffic sources lack sufficient detail to be properly evaluated, the report from Environmental Resources Management published yesterday finds.

And if Heathrow is serious about tackling road pollution generated by Heathrow it must go much, much, further.

The report says that for locations near the M4 the influence of the airport’s direct emissions (such as aircraft and apron vehicles) is minimal. The NO2 concentration is dominated by the contribution of road traffic, a significant proportion of which is related to the use of Heathrow.  Meaningful mitigation measures must therefore focus primarily on reducing the contribution from road traffic.

“Mitigation proposed in relation to road traffic sources, which are the more important issue where compliance with limit values is concerned, is generalised in nature and its potential effects have not been examined or quantified in any detail.”

Heathrow Airport Ltd’s proposals to the Airports Commission suggest a range of mitigation measures related to the airside sources of NOx, such as incentivising aircraft with lower NOx emissions, a low emission operational vehicle fleet and providing all aircraft with fixed electrical ground power and pre-conditioned air when on stands. While these measures are potentially beneficial, they will have little effect on the risk of non-compliance with the NO2 limit value at locations near the road network.  In any case, they should be implemented regardless, the report’s authors state:

“… such measures can be adopted in any event across the airport. As such they should form part of the baseline measures within any air quality plan and should not benefit only the expansion scheme.”

Mitigation measures currently proposed that might reduce the contribution to locations near the road network from airport related sources include the provision of incentives for access to the airport by zero or ultra-low emission vehicles and, as a last resort, the use of a congestion charge to drive down airport-only related road traffic.

Heathrow has already advocated a congestion charge for Heathrow as a fallback measure.

But the measures lack the necessary implementation specifics to make them meaningful:

“HAL’s proposals do not describe how these mitigation measures might be implemented in detail, nor do they provide any quantification of the expected reduction in NO2 concentrations near the road network that they might afford. Neither do the proposals address the potential consequential effects on, for example, road traffic distribution in the wider area around Heathrow.”

Without more detail Heathrow could just push the problem somewhere else.

“It could well be that the introduction of these sorts of measures results in road traffic around Heathrow shifting onto other roads with a consequent increase in traffic flows on those roads and potentially increased congestion. Thus, it may be that the effect of the proposed road traffic mitigation measures could simply be to transfer the air quality problems to other areas.”

ERM says Heathrow needs to show that it is serious about tackling pollution.

It points to 2007 DfT consultation documents describing a number of potential measures to mitigate the possibility of not meeting the air pollution limits including:

  • Additional rail and coach services with lower fares
  • Charging for access to the airport
  • Increased parking charges and reduced spaces for employees
  • Closure or restricted use of eastbound slip roads on the M4
  • A widespread motorway ramp metering strategy (where access is controlled by traffic lights on slip roads)
  • Charging road users on the public network around Heathrow as they entered a cordon; and
  • Charging HGV users to cross a cordon around Heathrow, including the M4.

The ERM report notes that a subsequent report found that requiring HGVs to pay a £3 charge to enter a cordon around Heathrow including the M4, and a proposed a £20 airport forecourt charge for passengers, would be the most effective measures.

None of which have been taken forward in Heathrow’s submission to the Airports Commission.

 

Related links

Read more analysis of the report on Colnbrook Views:

Road pollution would make a Colnbrook Runway undeliverable and illegal

Dodgy figures are the basis of Heathrow’s air quality claims, says report

Or read the full ERM report here.

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A few extracts from the ERM report:

The 2007 Surface Access report says: “…the most effective options were those that required HGVs to pay a £3 charge to enter a cordon around Heathrow, including the M4. One of these options also proposed a £20 airport forecourt charge; in effect a road charging scheme for airport passengers. ”

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and

“Mitigation measures proposed in relation to the reduction of emissions from airport-related road traffic sources include the provision of incentives for access to the airport by zero or ultra-low emission vehicles and, as a last resort, the use of a congestion charge to drive down airport -only related road traffic.”

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and

“The Heathrow Airport Limited submission states that,
‘we have committed to adding a third runway with no more airport related traffic on
the road than today and to increase the proportion of passengers who use public
transport to access the airport from 40% today to more than 50% by 2030. ….We
also outline that there may be a case for introducing a congestion charge for people
travelling to the airport once improvements in public transport have been delivered.’”

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“The submission also states that,
‘As a result of our surface access strategy, there will be no more Heathrow related vehicles on the road than there is today. Those vehicles that are travelling to the airport will be cleaner. Combined with new aircraft technology, this means that levels of nitrogen dioxide would be within EU limits.’

“The only part of this latter statement that is unquestionably true is that vehicles will be cleaner in the future. The other points are simply assertive and without evidential foundation – they may well not prove to be correct.

“The prediction regarding numbers of passengers and workers arriving at Heathrow by car is particularly uncertain. It cannot reasonably be guaranteed, as it will depend on the acceptability of the proposed measures to local communities, as well as on the response and alternative actions taken by airport users to the dis-incentives applied. This is a key aspect of the proposed mitigation and warrants further consideration.”

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and

“Mitigation measures proposed that might reduce the contribution to locations near the road network from airport related sources include the provision of incentives for access to the airport by zero or ultra-low emission vehicles and, as a last resort, the use of a congestion charge to drive down airport-only related road traffic. HAL’s proposals do not describe how these mitigation measures might be implemented in detail, nor do they provide any quantification of the expected reduction in NO2 concentrations near the road network that they might afford. Neither do the proposals address the potential consequential effects on, for example, road traffic distribution in the wider area around Heathrow. It could well be that the introduction of these sorts of measures results in road traffic around Heathrow shifting onto other roads with a consequent increase in traffic flows on those roads and potentially increased congestion. Thus, it may be that the effect of the proposed road traffic mitigation measures could simply be to transfer the air quality problems to other areas.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/12/briefing-by-aef-asks-whether-a-new-runway-would-breach-legal-limits-for-air-quality/


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See also:

Report by ERM shows Heathrow could not build a new runway and meet air quality standards

Gatwick Airport, keen to show up all the problems with a new Heathrow runway – attempting to promote its own scheme instead – has commissioned a study by ERM (Environmental Resource Management) on Heathrow air quality. The pollutant and averaging period of most relevance around Heathrow is the annual mean limit value for NO2, which is 40 μg/m3 of air. The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 say the Secretary of State must ensure that NO2 annual mean level is not over the limit value of 40 μg/m3 anywhere. Heathrow and the DfT predicted 10 years ago that diesel vehicles would emit much less NO2 by 2015 than they in fact do; diesel emissions from road vehicles have not fallen as fast as was expected. Heathrow is therefore not likely to meet the air quality standard, even without a new runway, till perhaps 2030. The Gatwick-funded ERM report is critical of modelling submitted by Heathrow to the Airports Commission that continues to use outdated emission performance of vehicles. The report says no detailed air quality impact modelling has been conducted since the DfT study 10 years ago. The Airports Commission has also not yet done adequate work on this, and said it would do “more detailed dispersion modelling”. This will probably not be available before the Commission’s (June?) announcement.

Click here to view full story…

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Airports Commission consultation shows air quality problems with new runways, but no adequate data yet

The Airports Commission consultation document is aware that air quality is a major obstacle for a new Heathrow runway.  It says expanding either Gatwick or Heathrow would have a negative impact on air quality, with all proposed schemes requiring expansions to local road networks to accommodate increased road traffic. For both the Heathrow runway options the Commission says “Both local Air Quality Objectives and EU limit thresholds are at risk of exceedance at a small number of monitoring sites in the local area under this scheme. While in some cases these exceedances are also forecast to occur in the do minimum scenario, there is clearly a substantial negative impact of the scheme on air quality, unless forceful mitigation measures are implemented.” But they have not been able to complete full detailed modelling of the air quality impacts of new runways and further work is needed. This unfortunately is not in time for the consultation.  The Commission intends to supplement this at a future date with “more detailed dispersion modelling”. That means models to show how wind and weather disperses pollution, and it could be questioned how much faith should be placed on sufficient wind speeds in coming years.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/11/airports-commission-consultation-shows-air-quality-problems-with-new-runways-but-no-adequate-data-yet/

 

Read more »

Report by ERM shows Heathrow could not build a new runway and meet air quality standards

Gatwick Airport, keen to show up all the problems with a new Heathrow runway – attempting to promote its own scheme instead – has commissioned a study by ERM (Environmental Resource Management) on Heathrow air quality. The pollutant and averaging period of most relevance around Heathrow is the annual mean limit value for NO2, which is 40 μg/m3 of air. The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 say the Secretary of State must ensure that NO2 annual mean level is not over the limit value of 40 μg/m3 anywhere. Heathrow and the DfT predicted 10 years ago that diesel vehicles would emit much less NO2 by 2015 than they in fact do; diesel emissions from road vehicles have not fallen as fast as was expected. Heathrow is therefore not likely to meet the air quality standard, even without a new runway, till perhaps 2030.  The Gatwick-funded ERM report is critical of modelling submitted by Heathrow to the Airports Commission that continues to use outdated emission performance of vehicles.  The report says no detailed air quality impact modelling has been conducted since the DfT study 10 years ago. The Airports Commission has also not yet done adequate work on this, and said it would do “more detailed dispersion modelling”. This will probably not be available before the Commission’s (June?) announcement.
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Dodgy figures are the basis of Heathrow’s air quality claims, says report

17.4.2015 (Colnbrook Views)

Modelling supplied by Heathrow as part of its submission to the Davies Commission last year was based on emission figures which the airport would have known to have been out of date.

Predictions for Nitrogen Dioxide levels in 2030 prepared for Heathrow by AMEX last year (above) are remarkably consistent with forecasts prepared in 2007 indicating "that AMEC have used assumptions on emissions similar to those used ... which subsequently proved to be erroneous."

Predictions for Nitrogen Dioxide levels in 2030 prepared for Heathrow by AMEX last year (above) are remarkably consistent with forecasts prepared in 2007 indicating “that AMEC have used assumptions on emissions similar to those used … which subsequently proved to be erroneous.”

 

The Gatwick-funded report published yesterday [by ERM, Environmental Resources Management – a company with an OK reputation ….] says that Heathrow’s figures are based on ten-year old data on diesel emissions that has subsequently been discredited in the light of actual results.  Heathrow, it concludes, would have known better.

Modelling carried out ten years ago by the Department of Transport prior to the last expansion attempt had concluded that air quality would be reaching compliance by 2015.

The Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow (PSDH) had got its sums wrong because many diesel-fuelled vehicles still do not comply with new EU standards which continue to emit NOx at higher rates than expected.

“The situation has improved at some of the locations close to the airport itself, but many residential areas close to the M4, for example, are exposed to NO2 concentrations in excess of the Limit Value. The contribution to NO2 concentrations from the road network has clearly not reduced as expected.”

Those living adjacent to the M4 are expected to suffer most from the increase in road traffic during construction and once the new runway is open

Those living adjacent to the M4 are expected to suffer most from the increase in road traffic during construction and once the new runway is open

 

The report, by environmental consultants Environmental Resources Management is critical of modelling submitted to the Airports Commission in June last year that continues to use outdated emission performance of vehicles.

“… AMEC have used assumptions on emissions similar to those used for PSDH which subsequently proved to be erroneous.”

It is critical of Heathrow Airport’s submission which is “without evidential foundation” and “may well not prove to be correct”.

It concludes:

“There is significant evidence available that establishes that even without a Heathrow scheme coming forward the attainment of the limit value in the Heathrow area will not occur until after 2025 and will be difficult to achieve.

“The construction and operation of a Heathrow scheme would thus introduce additional sources of NOx into an area that is already struggling to attain the limit value.”

The study is also critical of the Airports Commission’s own analysis.

It says that no detailed air quality impact modelling has been conducted since the Department for Transport’s study a decade ago.   (See link). 

“To date, none of the documents submitted to the Airports Commission, or produced by the Airports Commission, quantify the effectiveness of the suggested mitigation measures and the question of their efficacy is still uncertain.

“As a result it is difficult to understand how the Commission can have reached the conclusions that it has in its Sustainability Assessment.”

Related links

Read more analysis of the report on Colnbrook Views:

Heathrow’s pollution strategy will “transfer air quality problems to other areas”

Road pollution would make a Colnbrook Runway undeliverable and illegal

Or read the full ERM report here.

or the dumbed down version (Gatwick infographic, pushing Gatwick) here.

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The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 say the Secretary of State must ensure that NO2 annual mean level is not over the limit value of 40 μg/m3 anywhere.

The pollutant and averaging period of most relevance around Heathrow is the annual mean limit value for NO2, which is 40 μg/m3 of air.


Some extracts from the ERM report

The report states:

“WHY EMISSIONS HAVE NOT REDUCED AS EXPECTED
The Euro emission standards for motor vehicles have become increasingly stringent for total oxides of nitrogen (NOx, which includes NO2 and nitric oxide which can go on to form NO2). The most recent set of standards is Euro 6 for cars and Euro VI for heavy duty vehicles. It is now clear, however, that NOx emissions from vehicles with diesel engines have not have not reduced in line with these progressively stringent Euro standards. Many diesel-fuelled vehicles do not comply with the standards in practice and are emitting NOx at higher rates than originally expected – and hence higher than previously modelled. Consequently, overall emissions in NOx are not reducing as might be expected and this explains, at least in part, why NO2 concentrations at many locations have not also declined, as was expected a decade ago.”
and
“Equivalent reductions were not achieved for other vehicles classes. Notably, diesel engines continued to be higher emitters. Not only do diesel engines emit at greater rates than a petrol equivalent with a three way catalyst, but some of the vehicles manufactured in the last decade have been shown to emit at significantly higher rates ‘on the road’ than implied by the type approval limit – which is to say that even when new, they are emitting certain pollutants at rates higher than the maximum allowable under the Euro standard.”
and
“The ‘Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow’ (PSDH) in 2004- 2007 was a major undertaking by the Department for Transport and included a review of techniques to model air quality around Heathrow. In the latter stages, a modelling study was carried out that examined the compliance issue, for both baseline (i.e. two runway) and third runway scenarios.”
….

“The modelling carried out as part of PSDH in 2007 indicated that the NO2 concentrations around Heathrow would be approaching compliance with the NO2 limit value by 2015. However, measurements now show that this is not the case. The situation has improved at some of the locations close to the airport itself, but many residential areas close to the M4, for example, are exposed to NO2 concentrations in excess of the Limit Value. The contribution to NO2 concentrations from the road network has clearly not reduced as expected.”


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Report conclusions

These are the conclusions of the:
(Gatwick Airport Limited funded)
“Current and Future Air Quality around Heathrow Airport – Implications for its Further Development Report”
19 March 2015
Prepared by: Roger Barrowcliffe (Clear Air Thinking) Gavin Bollan (ERM)
For and on behalf of Environmental Resources Management

Conclusions:

At many places in the UK, the trend is for concentrations of NO2 to decrease and air quality is improving gradually. However, the rate of any improvement has not been as high as previously expected, and non compliance with the requirements of the Directive is widespread, as exemplified by DEFRA’s acknowledgement that there are 43 ‘zones’ where action is required to achieve compliance as soon as possible.
It is against this background that the European Commission has initiated infraction proceedings against the UK Government for failing to meet the NO2 limit value by 2015, as originally intended.
This is unquestionably an important issue for UK Government and any nationally significant infrastructure project must be designed such that it does not cause non-compliance with, or delay the achievement of, the NO2 limit value in any way.
The issue of whether the expansion of Heathrow can be achieved without causing or giving rise to any such delay can be distilled into one aspect of its impact on local air quality.
The principal issue regarding air quality in the Heathrow area and the proposed Heathrow schemes is whether or not it can be established that they can be constructed and operated without delaying the attainment of the annual mean NO2 limit value for a longer period than would occur if those schemes were not constructed and operated.
There is significant evidence available that establishes that even without a Heathrow scheme [ie. runway] coming forward the attainment of the limit value in the Heathrow area will not occur until after 2025 and will be difficult to achieve.
The construction and operation of a Heathrow scheme would thus introduce additional sources of NOx into an area that is already struggling to attain the limit value.
The mitigations proposed by Heathrow, whilst potentially beneficial in relation to airside sources, are available in the baseline 2 runway situation in any event.
Mitigation proposed in relation to road traffic sources, which are the more important issue where compliance with limit values is concerned, is generalised in nature and its potential effects have not been examined or quantified in any detail.
There is no certainty that the annual mean NO2 limit value could be met with a Heathrow Scheme being constructed and operated.
There are no assurances that the construction and operation of a Heathrow scheme could be undertaken without delaying compliance with NO2 limits values.
Neither is there any certainty therefore that a Heathrow Scheme could be delivered and the UK’s legal obligations, under the 2008 EU Air Quality Directive and the 2010 Air Quality Regulations, still be met.
If the Commission was to recommend one of the Heathrow schemes, there is a significant risk that the scheme will prove to be undeliverable.
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Briefing by AEF asks whether a new runway would breach legal limits for air quality

The AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) has published a short, easy to read, briefing on air pollution in relation to a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick. It considers the importance of air pollution and how far the Airports Commission has gone to address the issue to date. The Commission says a full assessment and modelling of the local air quality impacts has yet to be undertaken. AEF says because air quality is a key issue for a new Heathrow runway, as the area already breaches legal air quality limits, the Commission should publish the modelling it will carry out of the local air quality impacts, including damage to human health. AEF says the future Government should assess the Commission’s recommendations in terms of their impact on human health. They should assess the risks to air quality legal limits from runway plans, and only permit a runway if it can be shown that legal limits on pollutants can already be met consistently, and are falling. The Commission is aware that improvements in aircraft engine emissions may take a very long time to happen; that reducing the amount of air  pollution from road transport around Heathrow may take a very long time; and EU air quality standards may be tightened. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/12/briefing-by-aef-asks-whether-a-new-runway-would-breach-legal-limits-for-air-quality/

 

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Airports Commission consultation shows air quality problems with new runways, but no adequate data yet

The Airports Commission consultation document is aware that air quality is a major obstacle for a new Heathrow runway.  It says expanding either Gatwick or Heathrow would have a negative impact on air quality, with all proposed schemes requiring expansions to local road networks to accommodate increased road traffic. For both the Heathrow runway options the Commission says “Both local Air Quality Objectives and EU limit thresholds are at risk of exceedance at a small number of monitoring sites in the local area under this scheme. While in some cases these exceedances are also forecast to occur in the do minimum scenario, there is clearly a substantial negative impact of the scheme on air quality, unless forceful mitigation measures are implemented.” But they have not been able to complete full detailed modelling of the air quality impacts of new runways and further work is needed. This unfortunately is not in time for the consultation.  The Commission intends to supplement this at a future date with “more detailed dispersion modelling”. That means models to show how wind and weather disperses pollution, and it could be questioned how much faith should be placed on sufficient wind speeds in coming years.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/11/airports-commission-consultation-shows-air-quality-problems-with-new-runways-but-no-adequate-data-yet/

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Gatwick’s anti-Heathrow leaflets in Boris’ constituency may cause him trouble

Gatwick airport is distributing 400,000 leaflets in the areas around Heathrow claiming that a new runway at Gatwick would affect fewer people than one at Heathrow. Gatwick particularly targeted Uxbridge and South Ruislip, with 86,000 leaflets being distributed there, more than in any other constituency.  Uxbridge happens to be the seat being contested by Boris Johnson.  Boris is known to have strong views against a new runway at Heathrow; if he is elected, and if the courts were to decide that the leaflets give tacit support to his campaign, the cost of the leaflets would need to be added to his election expenses.  If that took him over the limit it could result in his election being declared void.   Or the other anti-Heathrow election candidates.  GACC is disgusted by the cynical tactics being deployed by Gatwick. Their leaflet is inaccurate as it ignores the fact that lower background noise levels around Gatwick mean that almost as many people would be annoyed as at Heathrow. Until now Heathrow Ltd have pursued a gentlemanly policy of not criticising the Gatwick runway plans, while Gatwick has spent millions on attacking Heathrow.  The leaflets may at last so annoy Heathrow Ltd that they will launch a devastating counter-attack.
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Gatwick may unseat Boris

18.4.2015 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Gatwick are targeting Uxbridge and South Ruislip, with 86,000 leaflets being distributed there, more than in any other constituency.   Uxbridge happens to be the seat being contested by Boris Johnson. 

Boris is known to have strong views against a new runway at Heathrow.  If Boris is elected, and if the courts were to decide that the leaflets give tacit support to his campaign, the cost of the leaflets would need to be added to his election expenses.  If that took him over the limit it could result in his election being declared void.

GACC is disgusted by the cynical tactics being deployed by Gatwick Airport.  They are distributing 400,000 leaflets in the areas around Heathrow claiming that a new runway at Gatwick would affect fewer people than one at Heathrow.

“These leaflets are inaccurate and nasty,” says Brendon Sewill, Chairman of GACC.

GACC claims that the leaflets are inaccurate because they ignore the fact that lower background noise levels around Gatwick mean that almost as many people would be annoyed as at Heathrow.  Nasty because they aim to make 400,000 people into selfish NIMBYS.  The classic definition of a NIMBY is a person who wants to move a nuisance away from their own area and does not care if someone else suffers.

It is difficult to understand the motivation behind this latest splurge of publicity.  It will not have any influence on the Airports Commission, indeed the Commission are likely to be annoyed.  They are conducting a methodical and rational investigation and will not welcome a further attempt to turn it into an X Factor contest.

The Commission asked the rival airports to consult local people.  Gatwick did so a year ago, holding 16 exhibitions to explain their runway plans.  But they got a bloody nose, with 85% of the public saying NO RUNWAY.  Gatwick concealed that result and have not dared to hold any public meetings near Gatwick since.  Instead they are wooing councils and the public around Heathrow.

Apart from unseating Boris, the leaflets may have another surprising result.  Until now Heathrow Ltd have pursued a gentlemanly policy of not criticising the Gatwick runway plans, while Gatwick has spent millions on attacking Heathrow.  The leaflets may at last so annoy Heathrow Ltd that they will launch a devastating counter-attack.

http://www.gacc.org.uk


 

 Runway consultation results

The results of the Gatwick Airport runway consultation are contained in the independent report by Ipsos Mori.

The number of responses in favour of each option was as follows:
Option 1       194
Option 2        167
Option 3.       733
None of these options.   6,168
Don’t know     45
This result was so embarrassing for Gatwick Airport Ltd that they have done all they can to conceal it.  They did not mention it to the airport consultative committee or to the press.  In their report to the Airports Commission it only appears in a pie chart on page 50, nowhere in the text.

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See earlier:

 

Gatwick distributes 400,000 flyers around west London warning of Heathrow noise (to get backing for Gatwick runway)

As Gatwick has difficulty getting much local support for its runway plans (almost all local councils and local MPs oppose it) this week the airport is distributing 400,000 flyers to homes across west London. Uxbridge and South Ruislip in particular are being targeted, (86,000 leaflets) warning about the increased noise there would be from a Heathrow 3rd runway. Gatwick has focused its attention on negative campaigning about Heathrow, though Heathrow has not – publicly – being doing the equivalent on Gatwick. Gatwick is not revealing the cost of their 400,000 leaflet effort. As the local residents do not have the ability to choose whether a runway is built, the aim is to influence local politicians. Gatwick claims that 683,000 people and 362 schools would be impacted by noise if a 3rd Heathrow runway was built, while only 36,000 people and 15 schools by a Gatwick runway. In the 55 Lden contour. (Clever of them, as the flight paths are not yet know …. nobody knows the numbers). Heathrow and Gatwick are arguing over the figures. Gatwick appears to discount the impact of increased noise from its own planned runway. This has infuriated local residents in the Gatwick area. Gatwick’s ploy of leafleting people near Heathrow, who are rightly frightened at the prospect of a 3rd runway – playing on their fears – has further increased local opposition.

Click here to view full story…

Candidates in Uxbridge & South Ruislip pledge to oppose Heathrow runway, though Labour candidate doubtful

Prospective parliamentary candidates for Uxbridge and South Ruislip made promises – if they got in to parliament  – about how they would vote on HS2 and Heathrow Airport at a hustings debate.  Candidates from 4 of the 5 main political parties took part – but not the Conservative candidate, Boris Johnson.  All four candidates said they would vote against any bill seeking to approve a Heathrow runway. However, there were doubts about the position of the Labour candidate, Chris Summers (a councillor in Ealing).  Mr Summers suggested that any future government should follow whatever recommendation is published in June by the Airports Commission. He said: “I think it is right we have this Davies Commission that’s looking into the issue, and I think there is something to be argued that they are the experts, and if they recommend a certain way, then it does seem that it will be a basic political decision if whichever government rejects that…”  The constituency contains much of Hillingdon, which is one of the councils most deeply opposed to a new runway. In a Hillingdon borough referendum in May 2013 66% were against a third runway. The ballot also showed the same number (66.3 per cent) do not want see any more flights in and out of the airport. The extent to which Mr Summers is listening to his residents, or just following Labour party policy, is questioned.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/03/25644/


 

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Earlier:

Gatwick’s consultation shows some 85% of respondents oppose a 2nd Gatwick runway

Gatwick Airport held a consultation over April and May 2014, to try to get backing for its plans for a 2nd runway, and the option the airport wants – the wide spaced option with the runway used for both arrivals and departures. This has always been what the airport wanted, and the proposal the Airports Commission short listed. The consultation gave two options, that the airport did not want and has no interest in. The consultation also initially had no means for any respondent to express their opposition to any new Gatwick runway, but eventually a “none of these options” box was added – difficult to locate, far into the document. The survey results are now out. They are deeply irritating to the airport, as they show huge opposition to any runway. Of about 7,700 respondents, well over 80% said NO. Of the 7,700 or so, only 733 backed Option 3 ( the runway option Gatwick wants) and 2,165 did not want a runway at all. 4,003 responses  came through the Woodland Trust and these are being discounted, unjustifiably, as though part of an e-campaign, many contained specific comments made by the respondents. Taking all the responses for no runway, they amount to some 85% of the total. Even discounting the Woodland Trust responses, 66% opposed a new runway.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/07/gatwicks-consultation-shows-some-85-of-respondents-oppose-a-2nd-gatwick-runway/

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