“Independent” transport think tank, pro-runway, finds the environmental challenges can all (honestly…) be overcome …

Heathrow is well aware that it has an almost insurmountable set of environmental obstacles that, in any logical system, would make a 3rd runway out of the question. However, it keeps hoping that it can persuade enough key people that all is well, and all environmental problems will just melt away. Now, in a slightly desperate attempt to get politicians etc to ignore the evidence, a report has been done by an organisation called the “Independent Transport Commission.” This is a body partly funded by Heathrow, by Gatwick, by NATS and many others. The report “The sustainability of UK Aviation: Trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions“, written by RDC Aviation Ltd, sets out to show that the aviation industry can soon overcome problems of noise, air pollution and carbon emissions – and adding a new runway will be problem-free. The report is thin on good detail to back up these claims. It is high on hopes, aspirations and what could be termed “mindless optimism” that new technologies will work out well, and everything that could help the aviation industry will do so. None of the real problems of an expanding industry, with additional problems from the sheer increase in plane numbers are dealt with. A report, which is hard to describe as “independent” in any meaningful sense of the word, advocates sacrificing the environment if holds the industry’s growth back. 
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The ITC (Independent Transport Commission) press release is at http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/ITC-Aviation-Sustainability-PN-070316.pdf

The ITC press release 

“UK aviation sustainability challenges can be overcome, finds transport think tank”

Part copied here:

The findings indicate that technological improvements will mitigate any future increases in noise, CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions arising from airport expansion. Improvements in these areas have been rapid over the past 30 years and the evidence suggests that progress is likely to continue.

Aircraft noise – significant progress has been made in reducing noise, with evidence that advances will continue from a combination of technological and aircraft design improvements as well as alterations to airport operations (e.g. the use of continuous descent approaches and displaced runway thresholds).

Carbon emissions – are likely to be mitigated by progress in aircraft efficiency (e.g. new technology will drive a 1.6% per year improvement in fuel efficiency) and operations. The research reveals that this is a global issue and cannot be addressed by the UK unilaterally restricting its own connectivity. They also identify that due to the use of larger aircraft, hub operations emit up to 24% fewer carbon emissions than if that same connectivity were provided through point-to-point services; however, the research notes that there is a trade-off because hub operations increase the noise burden on local residents.

NOx and particulate emissions – the contribution of these pollutants to poor air quality is caused principally by surface transport. The issue transcends the aviation industry and requires separate measures from Government that have been shown to alter land-based travel patterns (e.g. modal shift from car to rail) and reduce the NOx and particulate emissions surrounding an airport.

“Having reviewed these important sustainability issues in-depth, [!!] it is clear that the environmental challenges of limiting the carbon emissions, noise and local air quality impacts are not insurmountable”, commented Dr Stephen Hickey, Chair of the ITC’s aviation working group and ITC Commissioner. [ Dr Stephen Hickey is a former Director General at the Department for Transport. AW comment]

He added: “Whether the Government pursues the proposal to expand Gatwick or Heathrow, the ITC research demonstrates that sustainability concerns should not stop the UK realising the great additional benefits that increased connectivity can provide.  [This is, frankly, shocking. The report’s claims are little more than aspirations of future problems being solved, and this as much as says – don’t bother with the environmental problems – just get on with it …. and hope.  AW comment]

“The findings suggest that noise and local air quality impacts can be managed downwards given the right mix of operational, policy and technological development, while incremental improvements in carbon Independent Transport Commission Registered Charity: 1080134 2 emission output are being delivered on an annual basis. Building public confidence and trust is essential. By arming an independent regulator with powers to monitor and control sensitive issues such as noise, the Government could play its part in delivering improvements for those affected by airport operations once a decision is made.”


 

The report is at

http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ITC-Aviation-Sustainability-March-2016-complete.pdf


 

Heathrow third runway: Environmental concerns ‘should not stop expansion’

7.3.2016 (BBC)

Concerns over the environmental impact of expanding Gatwick or Heathrow should not lead to aviation plans being rejected, according to a think tank.

The Independent Transport Commission (ITC) report said research showed there had been “rapid” progress on aircraft noise and emissions over the past 30 years. [The industry always says this, when intending to mislead. Progress was indeed rapid many years ago. The “low hanging fruit” has been picked, and improvements are now much slower. AW note].

In July, the Airports Commission (AC) said the expansion of Heathrow was preferable to expanding Gatwick.

Anti-expansion campaigners said the ITC “was not living in the real world”.

The ITC researches the economic, social and environmental aspects of travel and recommends possible solutions to transport problems.

Its report said the reduction of CO2 emissions was “not an impossible problem to solve” and restricting aviation expansion in the UK would just push the carbon output to other countries.
It also said the rollout of Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 aircraft could deliver noise improvements too.

‘Carbon emission improvements’

“Whether the government pursues the proposal to expand Gatwick or Heathrow, the ITC research demonstrates that sustainability concerns should not stop the UK realising the great additional benefits that increased connectivity can provide,” said the ITC’s Dr Stephen Hickey.

“The findings suggest that noise and local air quality impacts can be managed downwards given the right mix of operational, policy and technological development, while incremental improvements in carbon emission output are being delivered on an annual basis.”  [This is misinformation. The aviation industry manages around 1.5% annual improvements on aircraft fuel efficiency. But the industry plans to grow at least 4% per year. That means whatever small gains are achieved per plane are wiped out by the growth in numbers of planes. Not making this clear is concealing an important problem. AW note].

‘250,000 extra flights’

John Stewart, chairman of ant-Heathrow group Hacan, dismissed the report, saying it repeated “the myth that the noise climate” around major airports had improved.

“The report is right to say that individual aircraft have become less noisy but for most residents this is offset by the sheer rise in the number of planes,” he added. “This report really does skate too easily over the impact of another 250,000 flights a year at Heathrow if a third runway is built.”

Heathrow welcomed the report’s “unequivocal” conclusions, saying it confirmed that road vehicles were the principal contributors of air pollution around the airport.  [Not surprising, as Heathrow is one of the funders of the “Independent Transport Commission” and it was carried out by an organisation that is very strongly in favour of airport expansion. AW comment].

The airport’s Director of Sustainability, Matt Gorman, said: “This report adds to the evidence presented by the Airports Commission that road traffic is the main contributor to poor air quality and it is a national problem which needs government action.

“Heathrow has worked to maintain airport-related traffic broadly static since the 1990’s and is taking action to reduce emissions further by switching to electric vehicles and increasing public transport options for passengers and colleagues.” [And that really is not going to solve the problem of unacceptable, illegal levels of NOx around the airport, with another 50% more passengers – and plans to double the volume of air freight, carried in diesel lorries. A few electric vehicles are not going to make more than a tiny impact.  AW comment].

The AC has recommended building a new runway at Heathrow rather than providing a second runway at Gatwick.

But it did not completely rule out another runway at Gatwick or doubling an existing runway at Heathrow.

The government has said more work needs to be done on the environmental impact and his delayed its decision to the summer at the earliest.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35742913

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John Stewart commented, on the hopes that Heathrow has for this rather weak little report, that:

“I suspect that it is also indicative of the fact that over the next few months – with Europe and the Mayoral elections dominating and Heathrow not news again until nearer the time a decision will be made – the industry will struggle to get significant coverage for many months.”

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The “Independent Transport Commission” http://www.theitc.org.uk/

It says of itself:

“The Independent Transport Commission (ITC) is Britain’s foremost independent land use and transport think tank. We are research charity committed to providing insight and analysis of the most pressing long-term strategic issues in the fields of transport and land use. We explore the long-term consequences of current policy, we consider new approaches and we make recommendations on the way forward.

“The ITC was launched in 1999 in response to HM Government’s transport white paper, and quickly established itself as a leading research voice in the fields of land use and transport. The current Director is Dr Matthew Niblett and the Chairman is Simon Linnett, Executive Vice-Chairman of Rothschild.”

The ITC’s 4 Patrons are:   http://www.theitc.org.uk/about-us/patrons/

The Rt Hon Lord Andrew Adonis PC

The Rt Hon The Lord Freeman PC

Sir Patrick Brown, KCB

Sir Terry Farrell, CBE, RIBA, FRSA, FCSD

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The ITC says its Mission is: 

The Independent Transport Commission is committed to providing insight and analysis of long-term strategic issues facing the fields of transport and land use. Our mission is to explore the long-term consequences of current policy, consider new approaches and make recommendations on the way forward.

We pride ourselves on our independence and the strength this gives to our research. Our distinguished Patrons and Commissioners are drawn from the widest range of expertise in the United Kingdom.

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ITC past reports

The ITC has produced a number of reports on aviation in the past.  http://www.theitc.org.uk/our-research/research-reports-2/

These include:

Time to Act: The economic consequences of failing to expand airport capacity

Dr Rebecca Driver (June 2015) 

http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ITC-Economics-airport-inaction-Dr-R-Driver-June-2015.pdf  (The conclusions of this report are totally in favour of getting on and building a runway soon, with an uncritical belief that it is vital for the UK economy).

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Delivering improved airport capacity: The cost and impact of the Airports Commission’s shortlisted options

Peter Hind (February 2015)

http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ITC_Delivering_improved_aiport_capacity-Feb-15.pdf

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Surface Connectivity: assessing the merits of the Airports Commission’s options for UK aviation

Dr T Ryley and Dr A Zanni (October 2014)

http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ITC-Airport-surface-connectivity-Oct-14.pdf

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Aviation: the optimal size of a UK Hub airport

Peter Hind (February 2014)

http://www.theitc.org.uk/docs/113.pdf (Which advocates planning for the really long term and having two new runways…)


 

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The ITC says its main funders are:   http://www.theitc.org.uk/funding/

Addison Lee,

Alstom,

Arriva,

Arup Group Limited,

Associated British Ports,

Birmingham Airport,

British Land,

Cubic Transportation Systems,

DHL,

Gatwick Airport,

Go Ahead Group,

Heathrow Airport,

High Speed 2 Ltd

NATS,

Network Rail,

Peter Brett Associates,

Shell,

Siemens,

SNCF,

and Transport for London,

 

Campaigners dismiss ITC aviation report as ‘ivory tower research’

7.3.2016 (HACAN – Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise – statement)

Campaigners have dismissed a new report published today which claims the environmental problems of airport expansion can be overcome as ‘ivory tower research’. The report by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) argues that “concerns around noise, carbon emissions (CO2) and local air quality that arise from aviation operations do not need to be a show-stopper for the UK’s pursuit of airport capacity enhancements at either Gatwick or Heathrow”.

HACAN, which opposes a third runway at Heathrow, said the researchers ‘were not living in the real world’.

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “The report repeats the myth that the noise climate around major airports has improved. But this is not living in the real world. You can only argue the climate is better if you ignore the significant rise in the number of planes passing over people’s homes. The report is right to say that individual aircraft have become less noisy but for most residents this is off-set by the sheer rise in the number of planes. I fear this is ivory tower research.”

The report argues that technological and operational improvements will deal satisfactorily with the noise, air pollution and climate problems caused by a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick.

Stewart said, “We welcome any advances in technology and any operational improvements but this report really does skate too easily over the impact of another 250,000 flights a year at Heathrow if a third runway is built.”

HACAN did welcome report’s endorsement of the setting up of an Independent Noise Authority and its recommendation that, if a new runway is built at Heathrow or Gatwick, the Government should ‘mandate the use of certain routing pathways to ensure airline flight plans are optimised for the needs of communities rather than to simply reduce fuel burn’.

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Earlier, by contrast to the mindless optimism of the ITC paper: 

New academic paper shows how “Technology myths” are unduly influencing aviation climate policy

A new research study by a group of academics from a range of countries has looked at claims made by the aviation industry that it will achieve substantial carbon savings in future. They conclude that many of these claims could be described as “myths” as they have often just been used to give favourable publicity to the industry, before rapidly being proven to be over-hyped. Some of these technologies are alternative fuels, such as animal fats or jatropha; also solar power planes; or new forms of aircraft. None of these hoped-for technologies have any likelihood of making more than small contributions to future fuel efficiency. At best, they will be small improvements per plane – set against far larger growth of the industry – resulting in a large overall increase in carbon emissions. The authors make the point that the hype and the positive media coverage that the “myth” technologies permit are damaging. The unrealistic hopes for low carbon flying in future convinces politicians (who maybe happy to be so persuaded) to give the industry the benefit of the doubt, and permit its continuing growth – ever hoping for a marvellous new technology, just around the corner, which will lead to “sustainable” flying. The unjustifiably optimistic PR of the industry has implications for decisions such as that of a new runway in the south east.

Click here to view full story…


RDC Aviation

http://www.rdcaviation.com/WhatWeDo/Consultancy/

They are an adamantly pro-aviation, pro-aviation expansion company, very eager to see a new runway at Heathrow.

Its customers are (almost) all airlines and airports http://www.rdcaviation.com/Customers/

Aviation Economics is the consultancy branch of RDC –http://www.aviationeconomics.com/Team.aspx

 

In the table below is a timeline going back to 1963 on successive UK Government’s procrastination on the runway issue.

From RDC Aviation

Heathrow decisions table

 

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Local firms dispute Gatwick’s claims that a 2nd runway would be good for business or for the area

Backers of a 2nd Gatwick runway (few as they are) such as the Gatwick Diamond are keen to promote the view that it would greatly help local business. However, many businesses in the area would, in reality, be harmed by it. Employers fear the airport’s expansion would mean higher wage expectations and wage inflation. As there is almost no local unemployment, it would become hard to employ local staff. There would also be much more road and rail congestion, from all the extra travel demand generated – with a negative impact on local companies. The pressure on office space and business locations would increase, pricing some firms out of the area. Where are they to relocate to? Gatwick is meant to have an “Engagement Charter” (written in 2014) through which it keeps in contact with local “landowners and occupiers” but some say they have had no contact from Gatwick. There is meant to be one to one support from the airport – especially on compulsory purchase. Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE, commented: “At last local businesses are starting to realise what a second runway at Gatwick will mean for them. It’s not going to be all good news for them.” Local campaign GACC produced an excellent, easy-to-read 6-page paper in December 2014, “Bad for Business” setting out a range of topics, illustrating how negative the runway’s impacts would be.

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Local employers take fight to Gatwick over second runway plan

Local firms dispute airport’s claims that expansion would be good for the area
By Mark Leftly – Associate Business Editor (Independent)
7.3.2016

Gatwick airport’s claims that a £7.8bn second runway would boost business and create 120,000 jobs have been challenged by owners of local companies who fear expansion could damage them badly.

The West Sussex airport is duking it out with Heathrow for an extra runway, but the Government has delayed choosing a winner until after the EU referendum in June.

Although the Airports Commission last year recommended expanding Heathrow, ministers have prevaricated in the wake of opposition from MPs in their own party, while Gatwick has been pushing its economic case. Executives have argued that a second runway would boost the local economy by £1.73bn and provide a proper competitor to Heathrow. They have also been boosted by the support of a coalition of businesses known as the “Gatwick diamond”.

But, in what anti-expansion campaigners are hailing as a breakthrough, local employers told The Independent that the construction of the runway would hurt them.

Tony Read, who employs 55 people at his local firm, Business Car Contracts, fears new jobs will raise wage expectations. He said: “This is not a part of England that needs extra jobs and a second runway will create more wage inflation, because the airport tends to pay more for unskilled and semi-skilled workers. It’s unhelpful for local businesses and rail and roads are already at full capacity.”

Gevin White is managing director at a neighbour to the proposed runway, Co-ordination Catering Hire, which employs 25 people at peak times. He said: “If the second runway goes through, where will my business relocate to? So far the management of Gatwick… has not contacted me.”

Sally Pavey, chairman of the Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions campaign group, said: “At last local businesses are starting to realise what a second runway at Gatwick will mean for them. It’s not going to be all good news for them.”

Although the arguments have centred on a second runway at Gatwick and a third for Heathrow, another, relatively disregarded, option is now thought to be receiving serious consideration. Under the “Heathrow Hub” proposal, the airport’s northern runway would be lengthened, allowing aircraft to land and take off from the strip at the same time.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/local-employers-take-fight-to-gatwick-over-second-runway-plan-a6915786.html

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Gatwick paper questioning extent of benefits to local businesses from 2nd runway

An important objective set out by the Airports Commission is: “To maximise economic
benefits…..To promote employment and economic growth in the local area….To
produce positive outcomes for local communities and the local economy”. A new paper by GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) challenges the assertion by Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) that a 2nd runway would be supportive of this objective. By engaging with opinion from local business communities, and taking a less selective view of the evidence, GACC concludes that the proposal would be detrimental for local businesses, the local economy and the community as a whole. The GACC paper (6 pages, easy to read) deals with a range of topics (shortage of labour, higher costs, inward migration, need for more houses, road and rail congestion and worse local environment  ) and includes comments from local businesses. Two examples are the problems of wages rising due to fierce competition for labour locally, where there is very low current unemployment. Also the cost to local businesses of road and rail congestion, wasting time – as well as losses to rural businesses from a deterioration in the local environment.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/12/new-gatwick-paper-questioning-extent-of-benefits-to-local-businesses-from-2nd-runway/

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Gatwick’s Engagement Charter

Gatwick’s “Engagement Charter, for Local Landowners and Occupiers” (very out of date – written probably in June 2014)

This states:

“GAL [Gatwick Airport Ltd] acknowledges that the uncertainty surrounding if, and when, a new runway is to be built at Gatwick is having an impact on existing owners and occupiers of property. The purpose of this Engagement Charter is twofold. First, to provide clarification on the extent of communication and engagement that will be provided to try and mitigate any negative impact of uncertainty in the short term. Second, to set out the basis and timing of compensation to be paid if a second runway is to be built at Gatwick, and ensure that engagement is undertaken in a fair and consistent manner.”

“For the purpose of this Charter, the timetable for the second runway proposal is split into two periods, the Early Engagement Period and the Period after notice of intentionto apply for planning permission.

“These are considered separately below. The final section of this Charter, dealing with Complaints Procedure, applies during both periods.”

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The Early Engagement period is until a 2nd Gatwick is recommended by the Government “through adoption of a National Policy Statement or other procedure.”

During the Early Engagement Period, GAL will:

• Operate a helpline number that is dedicated to responding to queries from local landowners and occupiers.

• Maintain a website that provides relevant updates on progress being made by GAL and the Commission.

• Periodically issue a “newsletter” that provides information on progress that GAL is making with its proposal for a second runway at Gatwick.

• Provide a clear and timely response to relevant issues raised in correspondence received by or on behalf of affected parties. GAL will respond to all written correspondence as soon as possible and in any event within ten working days.

• If, and as, required allocate each affected party a named “case manager” at GAL who will offer to meet with the affected party to understand their concerns and the potential implications for the property concerned. The case manager will provide their full contact details and will be available for ongoing dialogue as reasonably necessary.

• Continue to operate the Property Market Support Bond and Home Owner Support Scheme, in either their existing or an updated form. Details of these schemes, which apply to residential, agricultural and small commercial premises, will be available on the GAL website and can also be provided by the GAL case manager on request.

• Ensure all correspondence is treated confidentially.

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“NOTE: Under current legislation, GAL is likely to apply for a DCO to achieve the necessary planning (and other) consents necessary to build a second runway including planning permission and any compulsory purchase powers that are required. The DCO process applies to applications for projects that qualify as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and is set out in the Planning Act 2008.

“The first step in the DCO process is when the promoter (in this case, GAL) notifies the Planning Inspectorate that it intends to submit an application for a DCO at some future date. This notification of intention is likely to be made soon after the date on which the GAL Board confirms its intention to proceed with a planning application.”

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“Ater the date on which GAL confirms it’s Board has resolved to proceed with a planning application, it will:

• Work together in a spirit of co-operation with owners and occupiers of property which GAL requires to purchase or in respect of which it has granted options to sell with a view to reaching an early form of agreement.

• Provide every directly affected landowner and occupier with a “case manager”. (In some cases, a case manager will have already been appointed during the Early Engagement Period.)

• Advise land owners as early as possible of any survey requirements that will require entry to their land before the applications are submitted. We will seek to agree terms of entry that will minimize inconvenience and disruption and will pay compensation for any damage or crop loss.

• Seek to understand the key risks, issues and concerns identified by affected landowners and occupiers and consider an appropriate strategy to deal with these. For commercial occupiers this will include understanding of replacement property type, size and geographical requirements.

• Provide every directly affected landowner and occupier with details of the “Compulsory Purchase Helpline” operated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and provide an undertaking on the basis on which reasonably incurred professional fees will be reimbursed.

• Seek to agree at an early stage, the basis on which it is (or will be) appropriate for GAL to pay compensation.

• Provide a clear and timely response to all relevant issues raised in correspondence received by or on behalf of affected parties. GAL will respond to all written correspondence as soon as possible and in any event within ten working days.

• Provide all relevant qualifying owners and occupiers of property which GAL requires to purchase or in respect of which it has granted options to sell with a financial offer to acquire their interest within one month of having been provided with an opportunity to inspect the property and relevant additional supporting information. This offer may be on an outright purchase or option basis.

• Ensure all correspondence is treated confidentially.

Complaints Procedure

If GAL fails to meet any of its commitments set out herein, any affected landowner or occupier should follow the complaints procedure, which is set out below;

• In the first instance, the complainant should inform their GAL case manager of the specific nature of their complaint and seek a resolution. It is hoped that the majority of complaints can be resolved in this manner.

• If it is not appropriate to contact the GAL case manager, or the complainant is not happy with the response received, a formal written complaint should be submitted to the CEO of GAL.

• Any complaint will be acknowledged within five working days and responded to as soon as possible and in any event within fifteen working days.

• If the complainant remains unsatisfied with the written response received, it may refer its concern in writing to an appointed independent person appointed by GAL.

• Any complaints will be monitored to ensure that GAL maintains a high standard of service delivery in its engagement with affected landowners and occupiers.

 

 

 

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Heathrow Villagers welcome legal warning to Cameron, by 4 councils, of legal threat if 3rd runway is approved

Four Conservative-run local authorities have appointed a legal team, (Harrison Grant Solicitors) warning that if the Government did not rule out a 3rd Heathrow runway, then legal action will be launched. The four are the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. All are long-standing opponents of a 3rd runway. The solicitors have written to the Prime Minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”.  Local campaign group in the Heathrow Villages, “Stop Heathrow Expansion” representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by the runway, welcomed the letter. Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: “Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years. We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.”  Rob Gray, the voice of the “Back Heathrow” group, complains residents will be furious that councils are spending  money. He ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans.
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Heathrow Airport third runway: Campaigners react to legal threat from councils

5.3.2016
BY KATHERINE CLEMENTINE (Get West London)

Heathrow villagers say the threat will provide a reminder to David Cameron’s ‘no third runway’ pledge, but a waste of money say pro-expansion group

Christine Taylor, from Harlington, and the Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) group. And Rob Gray, [the (only?) employee of “Back Heathrow” with a model taxi. Certainly taxi drivers who work at Heathrow back expansion, and other airport workers and their families. But how many others locally?] 

Heathrow Airport campaigners have spoken out after councils threatened David Cameron with legal action , should the third runway go ahead.

Four Conservative-run local authorities appointed a legal team, warning that if the Government did not rule out expansion at Heathrow Airport, then legal action will be launched.

The four local authorities are made up of the London Boroughs of Hillingdon , Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

All these authorities are long-standing opponents of a third runway at Heathrow.

Harrison Grant Solicitors has written to the prime minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”.

Heathrow villagers have ‘had enough’

Stop Heathrow Expansion was founded in 2014 as a successor group to NoTrag, representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by Heathrow expansion, and welcomed the letter.

Robert Barnstone, Campaign Co-ordinator, said: “We welcome this timely letter to David Cameron. It serves as an important reminder that he must not break his pledge that a third runway will not go ahead, no ifs or buts”.

Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: ” This is no idle threat.

“Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years.

“We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.”

‘Squandered’ taxpayers’ money

But Pro-Heathrow expansion group, Back Heathrow, say residents will be “furious” at the threat from councils.

Robert Gray, Back Heathrow Campaign Director, said: “Thousands of taxpayers living in these four boroughs will be furious that councils are spending their money on preparing to sue the Government, rather than on providing vital local services.

“Many residents work at Heathrow and local businesses have strong links with the UK’s largest single site employer; they will wonder why taxpayers’ money is being squandered in this way.

“Heathrow is a vital national asset and the government should not be held to ransom by four councils when there is enormous support for expansion from local residents, businesses, communities and MPs across the UK.”

[Rob Gray ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans – which would have hugely negative impacts on the areas the councils look after.  AW comment]

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/heathrow-airport-third-runway-campaigners-10993225

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See also:

Four councils affected by Heathrow threaten to take legal action against Government if it backs Heathrow runway

Four Conservative controlled councils – Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead councils – are preparing to sue the government over a proposed 3rd Heathrow runway. The four councils are near Heathrow, and affected adversely by it. The warning to David Cameron, from their lawyers, says an escalation in the number of flights would be “irrational and unlawful”. The legal letter to No 10 says court proceedings will be launched unless the Prime Minister categorically rules out expansion of Heathrow. It says “insurmountable environmental problems” around the airport mean it can never be expanded without subjecting residents to excessive pollution and noise. The councils have believed, since the launch of the (government appointed) Airports Commission’s final report, that it made a “flawed assessment” of Heathrow’s ability to deal with environmental issues (noise, NO2, and carbon emissions among them). The councils also say David Cameron’s previous promise – “No ifs, No buts, no 3rd runway” – had created a “legitimate expectation” among residents that there would be no runway. The authorities have appointed Harrison Grant, the solicitors that led a successful High Court challenge in 2010 against the former Labour government’s attempt to expand Heathrow.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Heathrow holding “Business Summits” in Leeds and Manchester, attracting SMEs with hopes of lucrative runway supply deals

Heathrow is hoping to get backing from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the regions, by tempting them with the prospect of lucrative contracts to supply the construction of the 3rd runway (which it presumes it will be getting). It also hopes it can persuade companies that another Heathrow runway will boost their businesses. Heathrow says it will “need more SMEs from the Northern Powerhouse in Heathrow’s supply chain to deliver an expanded Heathrow.” To help get more SMEs on board, there will be “Business Summits in Manchester  (7th June) and Leeds (29th September). The days “will consist of speed-dating style sessions of interviews with procurement managers representing businesses based at the airport. By forging connections and winning new business, SMEs have the opportunity to enter Heathrow’s supply chain before development work kicks off as well as using the airport’s international presence to project their brand globally.”  There is also an annual Heathrow’s flagship Summit which takes place at the airport each November. Heathrow is hoping to lure them, saying: “with the airport spending over £1.5 billion annually with over 1,200 suppliers from around the UK….[the role of SMEs] will grow with the airport’s expansion.”
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Heathrow says:

Calling all SMEs – Heathrow’s Business Summit hits the road

3.3.2016 (Heathrow airport press release)

”  “We’ll need more SMEs from the Northern Powerhouse in Heathrow’s supply chain to deliver an expanded Heathrow” declared Phil Wilbraham, Heathrow’s Development Director at the BCC’s  [British Chambers of Commerce] annual conference as he announced Business Summits in Manchester and Leeds.

With strengths in complex manufacturing, science and innovation, SMEs in the Northern Powerhouse will be integral to Heathrow’s ability to deliver an expanded hub airport for the UK on-time and on-budget.

SME involvement in Heathrow’s supply chain is thriving, driven by massive increases over the past three years. Today, almost half of Heathrow’s Tier 1 suppliers are SMEs compared to just over a third three years ago.

Heathrow is looking to actively engage even more SMEs at all levels of the supply chain with the launch of Business Summits in Manchester and Leeds following a successful trial with Business Summit North last year. The Northern Business Summits will complement Heathrow’s flagship Summit which takes place at the airport each November.

Now entering its 20th year, Heathrow’s annual Business Summit gives SMEs a unique opportunity to engage directly with each other and the airport’s supply chain – enabling the face-to-face interactions that are key to cementing relationships and connecting SMEs to growth opportunities at the airport and around the world.

SMEs already play a key role in Heathrow’s supply chain – with the airport spending over £1.5 billion annually with over 1,200 suppliers from around the UK – and their role will grow with the airport’s expansion.

Overnight Heathrow expansion will become the UK’s largest infrastructure project and a diverse supply chain will be required to deliver it. The first wave of new jobs from the £15.6 billion project will come from the planning and development of an additional runway and new terminals, offering significant opportunities for SMEs across the UK.

Phil Wilbraham, Heathrow’s Development Director said:

“SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and have played an indispensable role in helping us transform Heathrow into a world-class airport Britain can be proud of.

We started the Heathrow Business Summit 20 years ago and we’ve seen the proportion of SMEs in our supply chain grow ever since. I’m proud that this year we’re able to host Business Summits across the Northern Powerhouse – enabling us to do our part to encourage their continued growth.”

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Policy Director Chris Fletcher said:

“Greater Manchester Chamber is really pleased to work with Heathrow in putting forward business opportunities to our members and other local businesses. This is proof that major organisations have real openings to work and trade with other businesses irrespective of their size or location. The UK economy can only get stronger by all businesses taking advantage of such opportunities and we encourage as many companies as possible to get involved.”

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Graham Cooper said:

“The event last year was a great example of how the Chamber can work with organisations like Heathrow to highlight national supply chain opportunities for businesses in our region. It also demonstrated that Heathrow has a genuine appetite to create and build long term relationships with companies who operate within a variety of sectors .The length and breadth of Heathrow’s supply chain provides a massive opportunity, one which I would encourage businesses to take advantage of at the event in 2016.”  ”

http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Corporate-operational-24/6029

and

The Northern Powerhouse Heathrow Business Summits will take place in Manchester on 7th June and Leeds 29th September. SMEs wishing to register for the Manchester Business Summit should contact events@gmchamber.co.uk and events@wnychamber.co.uk for the Leeds event. More information is also available on the Heathrow Business Summit webpage: www.heathrow.com/businesssummit

The day will consist of speed-dating style sessions of interviews with procurement managers representing businesses based at the airport. By forging connections and winning new business, SMEs have the opportunity to enter Heathrow’s supply chain before development work kicks off as well as using the airport’s international presence to project their brand globally.

…. and more at  ….http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Corporate-operational-24/6029


 

Heathrow highlights importance of ‘Northern Powerhouse SMEs’ to expansion plans

3.3.2016  (B Daily)

By Billy Wood

Heathrow Airport has outlined the importance role SMEs from across the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will play in delivering the airport’s expansion plans.

Ahead of the government’s decision in the summer on any potential third runway, Heathrow’s Development Director, Phil Wilbraham has been talking up the key role the North’s SMEs will play were the hub to expand.

The airport already spends over £1.5bn a year with over 1,200 SMEs across the UK as part of its supply chain, and it claims there will be significant opportunities in planning and developing an additional runway and new terminals if the £15.6bn project is to go ahead.

The claims come as the airport announces its Heathrow Business Summits for 2016, in Manchester on 7 June and Leeds on 29th September, which give SMEs the chance to come face-to-face with the airport’s suppliers.

Talking up the input of SMEs in the continued development of the airport, Wilbraham said: “SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and have played an indispensable role in helping us transform Heathrow into a world-class airport Britain can be proud of.

“We started the Heathrow Business Summit 20 years ago and we’ve seen the proportion of SMEs in our supply chain grow ever since. I’m proud that this year we’re able to host Business Summits across the Northern Powerhouse – enabling us to do our part to encourage their continued growth.”

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Policy Director Chris Fletcher, commenting on Heathrow’s Business Summits, believes the benefits of a third runway will be felt right across the country.

He said: “Greater Manchester Chamber is really pleased to work with Heathrow in putting forward business opportunities to our members and other local businesses.”

“This is proof that major organisations have real openings to work and trade with other businesses irrespective of their size or location. The UK economy can only get stronger by all businesses taking advantage of such opportunities and we encourage as many companies as possible to get involved.”

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Graham Cooper added: “The event last year was a great example of how the Chamber can work with organisations like Heathrow to highlight national supply chain opportunities for businesses in our region.

“It also demonstrated that Heathrow has a genuine appetite to create and build long term relationships with companies who operate within a variety of sectors. The length and breadth of Heathrow’s supply chain provides a massive opportunity, one which I would encourage businesses to take advantage of at the event in 2016.”

https://bdaily.co.uk/industrials/03-03-2016/heathrow-highlights-importance-of-northern-powerhouse-smes-to-expansion-plans/

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Earlier:

 

Heathrow to work on research into impact of runway on SMEs and their exports (imports?)

February 2, 2016

Heathrow Airport is to commission a report to look into the impact of a potential 3rd runway on the UK’s SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) community across the country. It will be a consultation by Heathrow itself and a small business support group called Enterprise Nation. The study starts in February, will seek the views of Enterprise Nation’s community of over 65,000 small businesses to gauge how they feel the airport’s development plans will impact them. The aim is for Heathrow to try to prove that its runway will help the UK to export more. (It does not mention imports – which are actually larger by tonnage and by value than exports.) Heathrow says that once completed, the findings will be used to develop an SME growth strategy within Heathrow’s expansion plans, focusing on what can be done to drive SME export growth in line with the Government target of over £1 trillion of UK exports by 2020. John Holland-Kaye made the usual comments including the runway providing “up 40 new trading links and improve domestic connectivity; making it cheaper and more efficient for SMEs to sell their products in fast growing markets around the world,” The findings of the report are due in April. Earlier Heathrow said the value of its air freight in 2014 was £101 billion. But the value of its exports was £48 billion.  That is 47.5% of the total – a bit under half. The rest is imports.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/02/heathrow-to-work-on-research-into-impact-of-runway-on-smes-and-their-exports-imports/


 

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Manchester airport granted planning consent for huge programme of building works on terminals etc

Manchester airport has huge expansion plans.  The City Council’s planning committee has approved part of a £1bn building plan. The Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP) will expand and reconfigure Terminal 2, as a “super terminal” with a new elevated road, and a 7-storey car park and also reconfigure Terminal 3.  It wants to demolish Terminal One and its car park. The airport hopes over the next decade the project “will see the airport continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK, directly to and from the North.” The airport sees itself as a key part of the Northern Powerhouse idea. The expansion will also create space for 50 food and retail businesses – (airports need to boost profits.) Local Ringway Parish Council are deeply opposed to the planned developments, and say the airport is “our worse enemy.” They have been fighting the airport’s plans for decades.  Ringway PC says the impact on the environment will be ‘massive’.  “They build on farmland, knock down old houses and they just don’t care. They don’t care about the environment, about small villages being decimated …It’s a one-sided exercise, because planning applications from the airport will always be waved through.”  The building will overshadow local houses, make the roads busier and worsen noise pollution. 
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Smallest parish council in the country to take on Manchester Airport’s plans for £1bn makeover

3.3.2016  (Manchester Evening News)
BY CHARLOTTE COX

“The airport is our worst enemy”, says Ringway parish council chairman

The smallest parish council in the country is preparing to do battle with aviation giant Manchester Airport .

The David and Goliath stand-off will take place on Thursday 3rd as bosses at Manchester Airports Group seek planning approval for their £1bn transformation.

The only civil parish in the city of Manchester, Ringway is home to less than 100 residents who live close to Ashley in Cheshire and the surrounding area near the airport.

Its Parish Council, which has five members, has lodged an objection to the plan to build a ‘Super Terminal’.

READ MORE: Manchester Airport’s £1bm transformation plans (with pictures)

To be built on the hub’s existing footprint, the “Super Terminal” includes an 82,395m sq upward extension to Terminal Two, a new elevated road, a seven-storey car park extension and a new seven-storey car park. They also want to demolish Terminal One and its car park.

But Ringway Parish Council says the impact on the environment will be ‘massive’. The building will overshadow local houses, make the roads busier and worsen noise pollution, they claim.

Audrey O’Donovan, chairman of the council, whose home on Mill Lane overlooks both runways, told the M.E.N: “They say they listen to their neighbours but they don’t.

“Soon we feel like there will be nobody left living in Ringway parish because the airport will just keep building and building.

“It impacts on everyone – the air pollution, we can smell kerosene whenever the wind blows, and the noise.”

Audrey and husband Christopher, a fellow parish councillor, have lived in their home for 37 years.

She added: “The airport is our worst enemy – they are on our doorstep and we can’t let them run riot all over us. That’s why we’ve objected.

“They build on farmland, knock down old houses and they just don’t care. They don’t care about the environment, about small villages being decimated.

“The Government has given all airports carte blanche to do what they like and expand where they want.”

But she doesn’t hold out much hope for success.

She added: “It’s a one-sided exercise, because planning applications from the airport will always be waved through.

The parish council has objected to ‘at least 20’ planning applications made by Manchester Airports Group.

In a report, a planning officer has even written: “This development, as with all other Airport-related developments, is being objected to by Ringway Parish Council.”

But John Twigg, planning director for Manchester Airport, said the plans were inside the existing footprint to provide state of the art facilities and drive economic growth.

He added: “Manchester Airport has carried out a full consultation with key stakeholders and local residents as part of the planning application process. We have also conducted a wide range of independent environmental studies to assess the impact of the project.

“We support the view taken by Manchester City Council ’s planning officer in his report on the scale of this impact.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-plans-ringway-council-10975280

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Manchester Airport’s £1bn transformation moves forward

3.3.2016 (B Daily)

Manchester City Council’s planning committee has approved part of a transformative £1bn plan to improve services at Manchester Airport.

With consent secured, the Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP) will expand and reconfigure Terminal 2, strengthening the airport’s offer for passengers and cementing its position as a key driver of the government’s Northern Powerhouse vision.

The programme’s director, Brad Miller, said of the decision: “Everyone at Manchester Airport is delighted that a significant piece of our £1bn transformation programme has been given planning consent.

“This means work can truly begin on the project, which over the next decade will see the airport continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK, directly to and from the North.“

He continued: “The enhancements the project will make will enable us to further adapt, modernise and transform the customer service experience we are able to offer passengers and airlines.

“It will also allow Manchester Airport to continue in its role as job creator and economic provider for Greater Manchester and the wider region.“

In addition to making Terminal 2 the airport’s primary terminal building, key aspects of the Transformation Programme include improvements to Terminal 3, new enlarged airside transfer facilities and a new security hall.

The expansion will also create space for 50 food and retail businesses.

Last month, Manchester Airport saw its route network expand with the introduction of three new services to Europe and another connecting the North West with Pakistan.


Earlier:

£1bn Manchester Airport transformation: Super-sized terminal, faster security, more passengers, more routes

2 JUNE 2015 (Manchester Evening News)
BY CHARLOTTE COX

Airlines and politicians welcome ‘biggest single construction project Greater Manchester has seen’

Manchester Airport is to get a dramatic £1bn transformation, the M.E.N. can reveal – with a super-sized terminal and faster high-tech security lanes.

Said to be the biggest single construction project ever to take place in Greater Manchester, the 10-year scheme will more than double the size of Terminal Two and link it to an improved Terminal Three.

Ageing Terminal One will be demolished.

Meanwhile bosses aim to slash off-peak security queues to just five minutes.

Doubling the number of airport jobs to 40,000 within 30 years and adding 10m annual passengers in just a decade, the move bolsters Manchester’s battle for the government to recognise the true worth of regional airports and underlines Manchester Airport’s place at the heart of George Osborne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

Among a range of high-tech changes will be a scheme to pre-clear American immigration in Manchester.

The latest technology will help passengers ‘flow’ through the airport, speeding up peak-time security from 15 to 10 minutes.

Passengers will have automatic bag-drops, and access to instant information on their phones.

There will be at least 50 food and drink outlets, more stands for aircraft and better links for connecting passengers.

The project is also aimed at attracting airlines and adding new long-haul routes to Asia and the east and west coasts of America.

Plans are now in the final stages and work is due to start next April, with a goal of Terminal Two completion by 2023.

By 2022, Terminal One, which was built in 1962, will be phased out.

By 2050, its hoped 55m passengers will use the hub every year, more than doubling the current 23m.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, said: “Without doubt, with this level of investment Manchester will become one of the most modern and customer focused airports in Europe, demonstrating the importance of Manchester as a global gateway. It demonstrates that it’s more that just being about Heathrow or Gatwick.”

He described the revamp as a ‘modern facility geared around a high level of customer service, stress-free, hassle-free with modern technology and communication’.

He said HS2 and the east-west rail connections of HS3 were central to the scheme, adding: “We’re setting out how the airport will contribute to the development of a Northern Powerhouse and demonstrating the dynamic, can-do spirit that sums up the region.”

As M.A.G is part-owned by Manchester taxpayers, return from the investment will go directly into services.

Mr Cornish added: “In the long-term, the development not only creates jobs and therefore economic development for the region but in the longer term will lead to enhanced dividends falling down to shareholders.”

The £1bn project, funded by fast-tracking investment plans alongside borrowing, will include more than 60 changes all on the airport’s current footprint.

Mr Cornish promised ‘minimal disruption’ to passengers by working around terminal activity and only ‘knocking through’ at the 11th hour.

He vowed to work with the local community to mitigate disruption.

He said creating more car parking space was integral to the plans.

Manchester Airport, which already serves more than 70 airlines and 210 destinations, brings £1.8bn to the regional economy every year, employing 20,000 people and supporting a further 25,000 jobs.

It is already the only airport outside London with direct routes to Miami, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Singapore, Atlanta, Washington and Boston.

With current runway capacity, Manchester Airport has the potential to serve 55m passengers a year – at a time when capacity in the UK is at a premium.

Christian Seymour, from IFM Investors, 35.5pc shareholders in M.A.G, said: “As one of the largest airport operators in the UK, M.A.G has an outstanding track record of successful airport management.

“Since acquiring our stake just over two years ago, we have been delighted with the progress the Group has made in terms of implementing its capital investment plan and growing passengers and revenues. Of particular note is the turnaround M.A.G has achieved at London Stansted, transforming it into the fastest growing major airport in the country in just two years.

“M.A.G’s airports across the UK have a key role to play in meeting the country’s aviation capacity needs and today’s announcement is a strong signal of the company’s commitment and ambition to deliver on that.”

In summary: What the transformation will mean to Manchester Airport

A transformed Terminal 2 expanded by 140 per cent with a direct link to a revamped Terminal 3 – taking potential passenger capacity from around 25m to 50m.

New airside transfer facilities so passengers can walk directly from aircraft to terminal.

Links so connecting passengers don’t have to leave the buildings.

Improved and automated bag check-in and faster security.

A new US pre-clearance facility so passengers can get through immigration, customs and agricultural inspection before boarding their flight.

Around 50 food and drink outlets.

More stands and piers for aircraft.

Improved infrastructure around the airport with good links to the £800m Airport City.

……… and it continues  ………….   http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-expansion-plan-security-9370929

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For more news about Manchester airport, see

Manchester Airport News.

 

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Local people in Chiswick get more crowd-funded air pollution monitors

Air pollution in London is a growing problem, and people are justifiably very concerned about its health impacts. The local campaign group in Chiswick, CHATR, has been involved with moves to get more air pollution monitors installed. With the help of Chiswick Brentford and Isleworth neighbours, the Hounslow Green Party has installed the 3rd round of air pollution monitors targeting the A4/M4 corridor. This follows from monitoring results in summer 2015 that showed pollutants over EU limits. The proposed development schemes presented for the “Golden Mile” – that extends from Chiswick to Osterley- and also a 3rd runway, are expected to have significant adverse effects on already bad quality air. Scientific studies are showing increasing ill health, particularly caused by NO2 and particulates. This ill health is expensive not only in human terms, but in the costs to the NHS and to society. Chiswick would be directly below the arrivals flight path for a 3rd Heathrow runway, so it could suffer from far higher pollution from so many aircraft – emitting NO2 – only perhaps 2,000 feet overhead. The Green Party stresses how changes to transport are urgently needed. The air pollution monitors has been sourced from Mapping for Change, a citizen’s science project.
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Chiswick Locals Help Crowdfunded Air Pollution Monitors

By Paul Williams  (Chiswick Herald)
Fri, Mar 04, 2016

With the help of Chiswick Brentford and Isleworth neighbours, the Hounslow Green Party has installed the third round of air pollution monitors targeting the A4/M4 corridor, following-up on last summer monitoring results above EU limits. The proposed development schemes presented for the Golden Mile – that extends from Chiswick to Osterley- and a third runway are expected to have significant adverse effects on already bad quality air.

This week a joint report published by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health demands urgent action on air pollution in the United Kingdom. The report called Every breath we take reads: “Vulnerable people are prisoners of air pollution, having to stay indoors and limit their activity when pollution levels are high. This is not only unjust; it carries a cost to these individuals and the community from missed work and school, from more health problems due to lack of exercise, and from social isolation. Taking action will reduce pain, suffering and demands on the NHS, while getting people back to work, learning, and an active life. The value of these benefits far exceeds the cost of reducing emissions”.

Watch a video about air pollution monitoring in Brentford and Chiswick:

Andree Frieze, candidate to the London Assembly for South West London said at the launch: “Hounslow has been a car friendly borough for years, it is on Heathrow’s flight path, it is compulsively giving away parks and green spaces to development and lacks investment on rail and cycling. It is no surprise the air quality is so bad on traffic saturated roads to central London and Heathrow”. Frieze continued: “Most European capitals have cleaned their public transport fleets and London is lagging behind, we need action now, and only the Green Party can clean up London’s public transport by 2020”.

Shahrar Ali, deputy leader of the Green Party and also candidate to the London Assembly, was also at the launch and said: “Kids, commuters and residents in London are breathing terrible air. London needs to stop ignoring World Health Organisation’s guidelines and act now. We do not need another Mayor and Assembly that prioritises cars. Instead, we need to prioritise public transport, greenscapes and cycling”.

The House of Commons identifies NHS and environmental costs as major effects of air pollution in the UK and have established the annual price tag somewhere between £8-20 billion, including EU fines for constant breaches in London. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) believes these figures are underestimates and that not enough policy is in place to quantify the positive effects of more policy and better air quality.

The air pollution monitors has been sourced from Mapping for Change, a citizen’s science project that works with groups and organisations who want to understand, improve and produce information about the places that matter to them. More at mappingforchange.org.uk

http://chiswickherald.co.uk/chiswick-locals-help-crowdfunded-air-pollution-monitors-p4986-203.htm

Heathrow Airwatch is an initiative run with Heathrow airport, with air quality monitors situated around the airport

The Heathrow Airwatch website says it: 

“provides you with information about where air quality is measured around Heathrow and what the air quality levels are right now, and over the past week. There’s also more general information about air quality, including an explanation of the terms used.

“This site has been funded by a joint working partnership consisting of the Heathrow Airport Ltd, London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Hounslow, Slough and Spelthorne Borough Councils and British Airways. The contact page provides contact information for the Heathrow Airwatch partners. “

Heathrow Airwatch produce  figures each day of the levels of air pollution, at their various monitors.   See map for monitors

There are two monitors in the Chiswick area – one at Gunnersbury and one on Chiswick High Road, near Turnham Green.

You can locate a monitor on the map, or using its latitude and longitude coordinates, at  http://www.latlong.net/    Daily data are produced for several pollutants, including NO2 and particulates.

The Heathrow Airwatch website says it “is funded by a joint working partnership. If you need further information about air quality in the Heathrow area, or have a specific enquiry about the Heathrow Airwatch website, then please contact us via one or more of the e-mail addresses below.

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Four councils affected by Heathrow threaten to take legal action against Government if it backs Heathrow runway

Four Conservative controlled councils – Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead councils –  are preparing to sue the government over a proposed 3rd Heathrow runway. The four councils are near Heathrow, and affected adversely by it. The warning to David Cameron, from their lawyers, says an escalation in the number of flights would be “irrational and unlawful”.  The legal letter to No 10 says court proceedings will be launched unless the Prime Minister categorically rules out expansion of Heathrow. It says “insurmountable environmental problems” around the airport mean it can never be expanded without subjecting residents to excessive pollution and noise. The councils have believed, since the launch of the (government appointed) Airports Commission’s final report, that it made a “flawed assessment” of Heathrow’s ability to deal with environmental issues (noise, NO2, and carbon emissions among them). The councils also say David Cameron’s previous promise – “No ifs, No buts, no 3rd runway” – had created a “legitimate expectation” among residents that there would be no runway. The authorities have appointed Harrison Grant, the solicitors that led a successful High Court challenge in 2010 against the former Labour government’s attempt to expand Heathrow.
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Tory councils to ‘sue Government over Heathrow expansion’

3.3.2016 (Politics home)

By Agnes Chambre

Conservative councils have threatened to take legal action against the Government if it gives the green light to a third runway at Heathrow.

Four near-by authorities warned the Prime Minister that the increased number of flights would be “irrational and unlawful”.

 

The Government has delayed the long-awaited verdict on whether to support expansion at Gatwick or Heathrow until May’s London mayoral election has taken place.

The delay was announced despite repeated assurances from David Cameron that a conclusion would be reached at the end of 2015.

In a report in July, the Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, recommended expanding Heathrow, arguing it would add £147bn to economic growth and 70,000 jobs by 2050.

Lawyers for Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils warned David Cameron that if he doesn’t conclusively rule out Heathrow, they will launch legal action.

The letter to Downing Street, quoted in The Times, said the “insurmountable environmental problems” will mean surrounding residents will be subjected to noise and pollution.

It also argued Sir Howard’s review was a “flawed assessment” and that Mr Cameron’s previous promise to block expansion had created “legitimate expectation”. 

https://www.politicshome.com/transport/articles/story/tory-councils-sue-government-over-heathrow-expansion


Tory councils prepare to sue over Heathrow

3.3.2016
By Graeme Paton (The T‫imes)

Conservative councils are preparing to sue the government over a proposed third runway at Heathrow.

Four Tory authorities close to the west London airport have issued a legal warning to David Cameron, saying that an escalation in the number of flights would be “irrational and unlawful”.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils have told the prime minister that court proceedings will be launched unless he categorically rules out expansion of Heathrow.

A legal letter to No 10 says that “insurmountable environmental problems” around the airport mean it can never be expanded without subjecting residents to excessive pollution and noise. The government-appointed airports commission made a “flawed assessment” of Heathrow’s green credentials when it made a recommendation in favour of a third runway, it said.

It says that Mr Cameron’s previous promise to block expansion had created a “legitimate expectation” among residents that the project would never go ahead. The authorities have appointed Harrison Grant, the solicitors that led a successful High Court challenge in 2010 against the former Labour government’s attempt to expand Heathrow.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/transport/article4704364.ece

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See also:

Heathrow Villagers welcome legal warning to Cameron, by 4 councils, of legal threat if 3rd runway is approved

Four Conservative-run local authorities have appointed a legal team, (Harrison Grant Solicitors) warning that if the Government did not rule out a 3rd Heathrow runway, then legal action will be launched. The four are the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. All are long-standing opponents of a 3rd runway. The solicitors have written to the Prime Minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”.  Local campaign group in the Heathrow Villages, “Stop Heathrow Expansion” representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by the runway, welcomed the letter. Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: “Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years. We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.”  Rob Gray, the voice of the “Back Heathrow” group, complains residents will be furious that councils are spending  money. He ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/03/heathrow-villagers-welcome-legal-warning-to-cameron-by-4-councils-of-legal-threat-if-3rd-runway-is-approved/

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Earlier:

Flightpath consultation must come before runway decision

The Prime Minister has been warned that signalling Government support for a third Heathrow runway would be unlawful unless the new flightpaths needed to operate the landing strip are first subject to public consultation.

6 October 2015 (Hillingdon Council)

The warning comes from the leaders of Hillingdon, Richmond and Wandsworth councils who have written to Mr Cameron to highlight a series of flaws and omissions in the Airports Commission’s final report on aviation capacity.

They point out that by law, changes to London’s airspace require open consultation so a decision to expand Heathrow would pre-empt this statutory process.  Approving a runway clearly infers the associated flightpaths will also be approved.

David Cameron is now considering the commission’s dossier which recommends expanding Heathrow. Despite scrutinising the new runway proposal for over two years the commissioners failed to identify the location of its new flightpaths, nor carry out the necessary consultation.

Instead, the final report, which costs tax payers in the region of £25m,  asks ministers to approve a third runway at Heathrow without telling them where the planes will fly over London and the south east.

The local councils have now pointed out that the commission’s recommendation is pointing the Government down a legal cul-de-sac and has urged the PM to dismiss the report.

The letter concludes that the local authorities “reserve their rights to take whatever action is in their power to protect their residents and communities from the devastating impacts of a new runway at Heathrow.”

Leader of Hillingdon Council Ray Puddifoot said:

“Even the airports commission has to agree that runways need flightpaths. If you approve one you have to approve the other.

“It will be unlawful for any Government to approve a new runway without publishing detailed flightpath data so the communities affected can exercise their legal right to scrutinise the plans. This is a major obstacle that can’t be put off much longer.”

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said:

“The law is very clear. Communities have to be consulted on air space changes and once those maps are finally published the backlash will completely change the course of this debate.

“It’s very hard to justify why a two year aviation investigation failed to unearth this key piece of information. We’ve made it very clear to the prime minister that the commission’s recommendation can’t be followed until it is out in the open for all to see.”

https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/30331/Flightpath-consultation-must-come-before-runway-decision

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German-owned air traffic company, ANS, takes control (from NATS) of Gatwick tower services below 4,000 feet

Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower services at Gatwick are being provided, since 1st March, by a subsidiary company of German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung. The wholly owned DFS subsidiary—Air Navigation Solutions (ANS)—replaces NATS, and is now responsible for air traffic and approach services below 4,000 feet around the airport. NATS continues to provide approach control guidance to Gatwick from its Swanwick area control center.  While the German government owns 100% of DFS, NATS is a public-private partnership; the UK government owns 49% of it; airlines own 42%; employees 5% and Heathrow 4%. Gatwick originally tendered for the services in late 2013, but NATS challenged this through the UK High Court of Justice. It won an injunction in October 2014 that suspended the contract award, and the matter was finally settled out of court. NATS is proud that it managed to deal with a record of 934 movements in a single day. Local campaign GACC believe the change will probably make very little practical difference because all the same staff will be operating the Gatwick control tower – just with a different employer.  NATS says it has seconded 24 employees to support ANS for 2 years.
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German-owned ATC Provider Takes Control of Gatwick Tower

by Bill Carey  (AIN online)
March 1, 2016

The management of Gatwick Airport invited bids for the tower services contract, which it awarded to Germany’s DFS.

ATC tower services at London’s Gatwick Airport are being provided by a subsidiary company of German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung following an official transfer of responsibility on March 1. The wholly owned DFS subsidiary—Air Navigation Solutions (ANS)—replaces UK NATS as tower services provider at the country’s second-largest airport.

ANS is responsible for air traffic and approach services below 4,000 feet around the airport, which is located 28 miles south of London. NATS continues to provide approach control guidance to Gatwick from its Swanwick area control center.

The German government owns 100 percent of DFS. NATS is structured as a public-private partnership; the UK government owns 49 percent, airlines 42 percent, employees 5 percent and UK airport operator LHR Airports 4 percent.

Gatwick’s management invited tenders for the tower and engineering services contract in late 2013 and announced the award to DFS in July 2014, calling the German provider’s proposal “superior to submissions from all other contenders.” The contract term was for 10 years; the expectation at the time was that ANS would begin providing services in October 2015. However, NATS challenged the tender process through the UK High Court of Justice and won an injunction in October 2014 that suspended the contract award. The parties later settled the dispute before the matter went to trial, freeing Gatwick to conclude the contract.

Oversight of the tower switched to ANS early on March 1, NATS announced. It issued the following statement: “We are very proud of our track record at Gatwick, which is, by a large margin, the busiest and most efficient single runway in the world and where NATS last summer delivered a record 934 movements in a single day. We have worked closely with ANS to ensure a safe and professional transition, including seconding 24 employees to support the operation for the next two years.”

ANS managing director Werner Spier in a statement said the transition “resulted in a smooth and seamless handover of services.” Spier formerly managed the Bremen area control center in Germany.

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2016-03-01/german-owned-atc-provider-takes-control-gatwick-tower

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Earlier:

 

NATS drops High Court action to prevent Gatwick awarding DFS its tower services

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.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/12/nats-drops-high-court-action-to-prevent-gatwick-awarding-dfs-its-tower-services/

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Earlier:

Germany’s DFS air traffic service beats NATS to control Gatwick flights below 4,000 feet

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.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/07/germanys-dfs-air-traffic-service-beats-nats-to-control-gatwick-flights-below-4000-feet/

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300 black “No 3rd runway” planes planted in Southall, by local anti-noise campaigns

On 29th February, campaigners from EANAG (the Ealing Aircraft Noise Action Group) and West London Friends of the Earth ceremonially planted 300 small black card planes in Southall. The planes, each saying “No 3rd runway” at Heathrow were planted on Norwood Green. The number signifies the extra number of planes that would over-fly the area, if there was a 3rd Heathrow runway. The Ealing and Southall area is affected by take-offs from Heathrow, when the airport is on easterly operations – planes taking off towards the east. Flights can be from about 6.45am to 11.45pm. Aircraft overfly much of the borough on a major flightpath from Norwood Green over south Hanwell, Northfields, south and central Ealing and parts of Acton. There are currently around 20 planes per hour overhead, but this would hugely increase with a new runway. Local residents say life and work in the borough’s homes, schools and businesses are continually disrupted by aircraft noise. It interrupts conversation, thought and sleep and prevents residents from enjoying their gardens and the local parks. The planting was joined by Jon Ball, a Liberal Democrat Ealing Councillor and Meena Hans, the Green Party GLA candidate for Ealing and Hillingdon.   
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black planes southall close up 29.2.2016

 

black planes southall 29.2.2016

The 300 planes planted on Norwood Green


 

The Ealing Aviation Noise Action Group

EANAG seeks to limit and diminish disturbance from aircraft flying over Ealing. The borough is particularly affected by flights out of Heathrow during easterly operations, which are in force when the wind is blowing from the east. During easterly operations, planes take off from Heathrow towards Ealing and central London, and overfly much of the borough on a major flightpath from Norwood Green over south Hanwell, Northfields, south and central Ealing and parts of Acton.

When the wind remains in the east, or largely in the east, for the whole day, the flightpath is used from about 6.45am to about 11.45pm without a break, and at the rate of some 20 planes an hour overhead. Life and work in the borough’s homes, schools and businesses are continually disrupted by aircraft noise. It interrupts conversation, thought and sleep and prevents residents from enjoying their gardens and the local parks.

In addition to the noise, the planes generate air pollution and pose a safety risk. Heathrow also gives rise to secondary effects such as congestion on public transport and the roads.

EANAG aims to minimise these effects by pursuing eight campaign goals:

1. Prevent further expansion of capacity

EANAG is against all expansion of capacity at Heathrow. Expansion would exacerbate the noise and disturbance experienced by Ealing residents.

2. Eliminate night flights

3. Reduce Heathrow operations

4. Reduce the level of aircraft noise

5. Distribute the flightpath

6. Alleviate congestion to and from Heathrow

7. Improve air quality

And there is detail about all these campaign goals on the EANAG website

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Earlier:

 

2,000 small “No 3rd runway” planes planted near Parliament (one for each plane per day)

A large group of Heathrow anti-runway campaigners gathered near Parliament, in Victoria Gardens, to plant rows of small black planes, each with the message “No 3rd Runway.”  The number planted – 2,000 – is the number of aircraft that would used Heathrow per day, with a fully used 3rd runway. That is a total of 730,000 flights per year, up from the total cap at present of 480,000 per year.  Heathrow says it could be 740,000 flights ….  The event, timed to coincide with the first day Parliament resumes this year, was to highlight the fact that 2016 will be a grim year for residents if a 3rdrunway is given the go-ahead.  Of the 2,000 planes, about 500 were planted by HACAN; about 400 by CHATR (the group in Chiswick); about 300 by Friends of the Earth; and about 800 by SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion – to symbolise that around 800 homes would be demolished for the runway. After the government delayed its decision on a runway, expected in December, until some time in summer 2016, or shortly after the summer, the anguish and uncertainty for all those facing the threat of a new runway continue.  There are yet more stressful and worrying months ahead – but the campaign against the Heathrow 3rd runway is in fighting form, and ever more determined. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/01/2000-small-no-3rd-runway-planes-planted-near-parliament-one-for-each-plane-per-day/


 

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“Why we must thank the Heathrow 13” – Teddington Action Group blog

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Why we must thank the Heathrow 13

Whether you avidly followed the news last week, examined every tweet, or whether you’ve never heard of them and don’t know what the fuss is about, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Heathrow 13.

As John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer said from the front lines of the Willesden Magistrates Court (respect to him for being there –  and to Sian Berry too –  the only London Mayoral candidate present), we stand by the Heathrow 13 because they stood by us. No-one chains themselves to railings for want of something better to do.  No-one risks prison for the hell of it.

That this small group of people were willing to do so is testament both to their courage and to their fear.

Courage in the face of the onslaught of accusations that were bound to follow on from their actions, fear that the climate is changing, that irreparable damage may already have been done and there is simply not the political will to take unpopular decisions to face this head on. 

What is left when the democratic process fails? Much of the legislation regarding air quality is coming from Europe – now we are faced with the possibility of Brexit, people in the UK may no longer have that protection.

Species are dying out; people are dying prematurely.  Londoners breathe toxic air on a daily basis.  This is not speculation.  It is known science. Storms and floods beyond anything we have witnessed are becoming an annual hazard.

Yet the profiteers and the nay-sayers carry on their merry way.  Heathrow is effectively saying, yes our air quality levels are already illegal but we can still have a third runway,  put another quarter of a million planes in the sky. We’ll manage to stay within the two degree global warming limits.  Maybe.  Sort of.  It’ll be fine.  Trust us, dearie!

A few weeks ago signatories to the Paris Agreement agreed to restrict global warming levels to ‘well below’ two degrees C.  This ‘well below’ 2 degree target requires extensive CO2 mitigation measures which the UK Government seems to be sublimely unaware of –  must be unaware of if it can even countenance more runways in any shape or form.   More than this it has spent a great deal of public money on an Airports Commission to find sound business reasons why Heathrow should be chosen. Pick me! Pick me!

Interestingly, Professor Alice Bows-Larkin giving evidence at the trial of the Heathrow 13 notes that:

“The vast majority of academics working on climate change mitigation would agree that a rapid and significant reduction in the combustion of fossil fuels is needed in the coming decades…I am unaware of any analysis that can demonstrate how aviation could be an exception to this.”

The combination of growing demand and few technical options on the horizon that could dramatically reduce aircraft emissions means that the inability of the aviation industry to curb its environmental impact constitutes a public health risk, says Bows-Larkin.

Of the Heathrow 13 George Monbiot said in the Guardian a few weeks ago they are the heroes in the struggle against  political indifference to climate change.

There has even been talk of them being the climate suffragists.  They have our gratitude and now they have earned a break from being the thin blue line. We cannot leave it to a few brave people to shoulder this burden for us.  It is everyone’s fight.

Even those who are fortunate enough to live somewhere where A380s do not pass over their house at chimney pot height every two minutes.

The planet will survive without us – in one form or another – it is we who cannot survive without the planet.

http://www.teddingtonactiongroup.com/2016/02/29/958/

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The Heathrow ‘hooligans’ are our modern day freedom fighters

Supporters of the Heathrow runway protesters outside court

Supporters of the Heathrow runway protesters on trial for aggravated trespass and being in a restricted area of Heathrow airport without permission. Photograph: Mark Kerrison/Demotix/Corbis

By George Monbiot
Wednesday 20 January 2016

They have been reviled as vandals, hooligans and lunatics. But to me, these people are heroes. The 13 women and men on trial this week for cutting through the perimeter fence around Heathrow airport and chaining themselves together on a runway were excoriated by police, passengers and politicians. (One of the defendants in the case is a member of the cooperative society that rents my house.) If convicted, they all face a possible prison sentence. But there are two trials here: the legal proceedings in a local magistrates court, and a test of something much bigger.

Aviation enjoys some astonishing exemptions from the civilising rules that constrain other sectors. Other industries must limit the noise they make; but aircraft, thanks to an obscure clause in the 1949 Civil Aviation Act, are exempt. Other industries pay duty on the fuel they use; but even when air passenger duty is subtracted, aviation’s various tax holidays amount to a subsidy of some £7bn a year, forgone by the Treasury. Some industries must limit the air pollution they produce; but while in principle airports are subject to pollution laws, in practice they have been allowed to breach them routinely for years. (In this case the legal immunity also seems to extend to motor traffic.)

Most importantly, international flights are free from all climate constraints. They are covered by neither domestic legislation nor international agreements. There are no targets, no timetables, no limits. Airlines operate in a legislative vacuum, a transnational, extralegal limbo, accountable nowhere and to no one. As a result they threaten everything that was agreed at December’s climate talks in Paris.

Aviation accounts for roughly 6% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and 2% of the carbon dioxide produced by people globally. But as this industry expands while emissions from other sectors are cut, a study commissioned by the European parliament expects it to produce 22% of the world’s CO2 emissions by 2050, unless there is a sharp change in policy. That’s enough to push us past the thresholds our governments promised to avoid.

At one point the draft Paris agreement contained a paragraph about aviation and shipping (another unregulated industry). By December this paragraph had disappeared, without public explanation or debate. The final agreement simply fails to mention either industry.

Governments left the issue instead to the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation, a body whose apparent purpose is not to make progress but to impede it. Dominated by the industry it is supposed to regulate, its work is an exercise in finely calibrated uselessness: it makes just enough noise to create the impression of something being done, without actually changing anything.

It has three main policies. The first is to offset the greenhouse gases planes release by encouraging other sectors to make bigger cuts, in lieu of those that aviation refuses to accept. It’s not just that this policy is likely to be unachievable, as the targets agreed for other sectors in Paris will be tough enough to reach. It is also unjust. Why should this sector, used mostly by the world’s richer people, be allowed to dump its responsibilities on the rest of the economy?

The second is replacing mineral jet fuel with biofuel. Already road fuels made from plants have helped to destroy the forests of Indonesia and west Africa, strip soil off the land, evict local farmers and spread starvation, as plantations of palm oil, maize, sugar cane and other crops grown to feed cars have replaced those grown to feed people. Already, governments envisage covering great tracts of the planet’s surface with energy crops to burn in power stations: a plan that’s as fanciful as it is destructive. Now they want to power planes this way as well? Will any corners of the planet be reserved for food production and wildlife?

The organisation’s third policy is promoting speculative and often unfeasible aviation technologies, that are highly unlikely to materialise. Perhaps we could call them mumbo-jumbo jets.

Because of the physical and technological constraints, the only way in which we can realistically reduce aviation’s greenhouse gases is to fly less. You might not have imagined, in the 21st century, that we would still need to hoist 180lb of human flesh 30,000 feet into the air every time we want a conversation. I’ve been limiting my own flights to one return ticket every three years. Yes, it has sometimes cost me opportunities and income, but this restraint has made me no less happy or fulfilled. If we can only challenge our sense of entitlement, I believe we inflict no damage on our lives by taking to the air less often.

But rather than seeking to manage demand, our government, like most others, aims only to meet its own inflated forecasts. It claims that the 219m passenger journeys through the UK’s airports in 2011 will rise to 445m by 2050, and it hopes to build enough capacity to accommodate them. In doing so, it vitiates every promise it has made about preventing climate breakdown.

Last month the government delayed its decision on a third runway at Heathrow, ostensibly because of concerns about local pollution (though the real reason was to avoid sabotaging the Conservative candidate’s campaign to become London mayor). But this represents no change in policy: Cameron intends to build the new capacity somewhere, even if it’s not in west London.

Each of aviation’s exemptions is a democratic deficit: a failure to hold the industry responsible for the harms it causes. So what are citizens to do, where the writ of government does not run? Sit back and watch? By doing so, we commit a disservice to democracy. A breach of the contract between state and citizens becomes normalised and ratified by our inaction.

Two verdicts will emerge from this trial. One will concern the legal status of what the protesters did, and there is no way of knowing what it will be.

The other will concern the moral status. I suspect that if they are locked up then history will pass the same verdict upon them as it has passed upon suffragettes, Chartists, the pioneers of trade unionism, and civil and gay rights activists. Vilified, prosecuted, but – in the court of public opinion – ultimately vindicated: this is what happens to the heroes of democracy.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/20/heathrow-third-runway-protesters-trial-freedom-fighters

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