Willie Walsh tells AOA conference Heathrow’s runway is too expensive, and at that price, would fail

The Airport Operators Association is holding a two day conference on the runway issue, and Willie Walsh (CEO of IAG) was its key speaker.  He said Heathrow should not get a 3rd runway, if the Airport Commission’s calculation of the cost of building it is correct. He said: “The Commission got its figures wrong – they are over-inflated. If that is the cost [of a new runway], it won’t be a successful project.”  He described the assumption that airlines would pay for the new runway through increases in fares as “outrageous”.  British Airways is by far the biggest airline at Heathrow, with 55% of the slots. He said of the Commission’s report:  ” .. I have concerns about the level of cost associated with the main recommendation and the expectation that the industry can afford to pay for Heathrow’s expansion.”  He does not believe the cost is justified, and “If the cost of using an expanded airport significantly exceeds the costs of competitor airports, people won’t use it.”  It was not realistic for airlines: “You have to see it in terms of return on capital. ….Either the figures are inflated or you are building inefficient infrastructure. I do not endorse the findings. I definitely don’t support the costs of building a runway. If those costs are real, we should not build it.” On the cost of £8 billion to build a 6th terminal he commented: “How many chandeliers can you have in an airport terminal?


‘No new runway for Heathrow if costs too high’ says Walsh

By Ian Taylor (Travel Weekly)

Nov 23, 2015

Heathrow should not get a third runway if the Airport Commission’s calculation of the cost of building it is correct, says Willie Walsh.

Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent IAG, told the Airport Operators’ Association in London: “The commission got its figures wrong – they are over-inflated. If that is the cost [of a new runway], it won’t be a successful project.”

He described the assumption that airlines would pay for the new runway through increases in fares as “outrageous”.

The government is poised to announce its decision on whether to accept the conclusion of the Airport Commission, published this summer, which was that Heathrow should get a third runway.

BA is by far the biggest carrier at Heathrow, with 55% of the airport’s take-off and landing slots.

Walsh told the AOA: “The Commission produced an excellent report. Its recommendations were the obvious ones. But I have concerns about the level of cost associated with the main recommendation and the expectation that the industry can afford to pay for Heathrow’s expansion.

“We believe it’s outrageous and can’t believe it is justified. If the cost of using an expanded airport significantly exceeds the costs of competitor airports, people won’t use it.”

He insisted: “I don’t believe the figures in the Commission’s report are realistic. If the industry is to spend this money, it will want to see a return. You have to see it in terms of return on capital.”

Walsh pointed out Heathrow ‘s Terminal 5 cost about £5.2 billion to build and the Commission put the bill for a new Terminal 6 “at over £8 billion”. “The cost has gone up by almost £3 billion,” he said. “How many chandeliers can you have in an airport terminal?

“Either the figures are inflated or you are building inefficient infrastructure. I do not endorse the findings. I definitely don’t support the costs of building a runway. If those costs are real, we should not build it.”

He dismissed the idea of building new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick, saying: “There is a case for one new runway.

“The economic argument for Heathrow is much stronger than for Gatwick, but only if the the runway is built in an efficient manner. If you build runways at Heathrow and at Gatwick you will have wasted capacity.”

Walsh added: “There is a long way to go [on this].

“The economic argument is very much in favour of Heathrow. The political argument favours Gatwick, and I don’t believe we have brave politicians.

“Boris Johnson [who opposes Heathrow expansion] is a very influential figure in the Conservative Party. There is a lot to play out.”

Walsh said IAG would be expanding it’s transatlantic flights from Dublin following its takeover of Aer Lingus in July, arguing: “The Irish government has a progressive attitude to aviation tax and to developing infrastructure.”

He described UK Air Passenger Duty as “a disgrace”.



An AirportWatch member commented: 

If Walsh does not believe that he will be able to control and use all the extra capacity then he must think that he would be effectively subsidising his competitors to use his home airport – and that would not make a lot of sense for him.

Another commented:

Since the Airport Commission figures were way adrift (what about the surface access costs?) can we assume that R3 is now a dead duck according to the gospel of St. Willie? I don’t think it’ll be as simple as that: a bit of Walsh posturing?.


Other things Willie Walsh has said recently:


British Airways, in evidence to Transport Cttee, says that Heathrow runway is “unfinanceable” and a “white elephant”

British Airways has made its strongest attack yet on plans for a new Heathrow runway, saying its proposals are “unfinanceable” and a “white elephant”. The comments are in written evidence to the Commons Transport Select Cttee, dated 12th October, in its submission to its inquiry into surface access on October 27th.  BA repeats its view that the cost of transport infrastructure for the runway scheme should not be funded by airlines and their customers. BA is the biggest airline (51%) at Heathrow. It says – dangerously – that because of the alleged “up to £147 billion” of benefits of a runway to the UK, new road and rail link for the airport should, like standalone transport schemes like M4 widening, be paid for by taxpayers. [That “ up to £147 billion” benefit figure is highly dubious, and the Airports Commission’s own expert economic advisors, Mackie and Pearce, warned that it includes double counting and should be treated with caution.]  While avoiding any specific opposition in principle to expanding Heathrow, BA is not willing to pay – but it says the runway plan is is unaffordable and unfinanceable, and called into question the economic benefits. There has been speculation if Willie Walsh is just “browbeating aimed at cowing the CAA into lower charges” rather than stopping a Heathrow runway.



Willie Walsh says Heathrow 3rd runway is a “vanity project” with outrageous costs

British Airways boss Willie Walsh has said that the costs of Heathrow’s plans for a 3rd runway would be “outrageous”.  He said: “At the moment this is a vanity project by the management of Heathrow who are driven to build a monument to themselves.”  Walsh said that even if Heathrow gained another runway it would be lagging behind Dubai as a global hub by the time it is built.  “It is based on inefficient infrastructure which is not fit for purpose. Airlines and consumers are looking for lower costs when it comes to flying but airports only seem to be looking at higher costs.” Heathrow was already one of the most expensive airports in the world and was now “talking about raising costs by 50% to build the extra runway”. His criticism may be the start of negotiations to ensure BA is not landed with a huge bill to fund Heathrow expansion.  John Stewart, chairman of HACAN, said: “Willie Walsh is saying that a 3rd runway won’t deliver benefits for the aviation industry that are worth paying for. This could turn out to be curtains for the third runway unless this is no more than clever negotiating tactics by one of the sharpest operators in the business.”



BA’s CEO, Willie Walsh, says post-election indecision will block building of any new south east runway

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, the parent company of British Airways, has again said that there will not be a new south east runway. He has often said this before, but this time he sees the likelihood of political indecision after the election as an additional issue. Willie Walsh thinks  that to build a runway, there would need to be “political consensus across all the parties – not just coalition partners.”  He also warned that the cost of each of the 3 runway proposals would all be prohibitive.  The expense would lead to higher landing costs, and airlines would not find that acceptable.  Willie Walsh reiterated his view that there was “no business case” for a 2nd Gatwick runway,  with not enough demand from airlines for it.   He has said in the past that Gatwick does not have the same international attraction as Heathrow.  He commented that Heathrow was already “the most expensive airport around.”  The runway decision would be a political one, and with a coalition government looking to be inevitable, there would be huge political difficulties in pushing through an unpopular runway, with dubious benefits even to the airlines.



Willie Walsh says there is no business case for a 2nd Gatwick runway – BA has Gatwick’s 2nd largest number of passengers

Willie Walsh, the head of IAG, will not support a 2nd Gatwick runway, even if it is chosen by the Airports Commission or backed by the next government. He does not believe there is a business case to support its expansion, and there is insufficient demand from airlines for extra capacity at Gatwick. Mr Walsh campaigned heavily for a 3rd Heathrow runway before 2010, but has made frequent comments indicating he does not believe UK politicians will have the “courage” to build that. Willie Walsh says British Airways would resist higher landing charges, which would be necessary to fund a runway – either at Heathrow or Gatwick. (EasyJet has also said in the past they don’t want a new runway, if it means substantially higher charges – their model is low cost). BA would want lower costs, not higher costs, from a new runway. IAG’s shares have now risen as it has now made a profit at last, and will be paying its first dividend (and maybe some UK tax). Gatwick’s main airline is EasyJet with around 37% of passengers, and British Airways 2nd largest at around 14%. 










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AEF considers DEFRA’s updated air quality plan is insufficient to address Heathrow’s pollution challenge




Updated air quality plan insufficient to address Heathrow challenge

Air pollution around Heathrow has been in breach of legal limits for many years and could prove a significant barrier to expansion.  At the time of the Airports Commission’s recommendation this summer, the Government’s modelling indicated that breaches of the NO2 limit in London would continue until and perhaps beyond 2030. Under the Airports Commission’s plan a new runway could be operational by 2025, and would be likely to further worsen air quality in the Heathrow area.

Defra has, however, now published an updated air quality ‘plan’, drawn up in response to the Supreme Court ruling in April that the Government’s strategy would fail to achieve EU legal limits in the ‘shortest time possible’ and must be improved. Under the revised plan, NO2 would be within legal limits by 2025 throughout London.

But the difference compared with the earlier plan appears to relate almost entirely to new, more optimistic assumptions being made about emissions from diesel vehicles rather than to any new policies or strategies at a national level. The only significant new proposal relates to the formation by local authorities of Clean Air Zones, similar to the London Ultra Low Emission Zone, in which access to the most polluting vehicles could be restricted.

AEF considers both that the plan fails to demonstrate convincingly that the UK is taking sufficient action to meet legal limits, and that they will in any case need to be redrawn to take account of the emissions associated with Heathrow expansion, should Government give the project a green light. A decision on this is expected by the end of the year. We recently signed a joint letter to the Government about Heathrow expansion and air pollution.

We have submitted comments (some by way of the online form and some, given the limitations of this format, directly to the Environment Minister) arguing that Defra should:

  • Set out in detail why its previous forecasts for emissions from diesel vans were wrong and what gives it confidence that the new, much more optimistic, figures are accurate
  • Commit to redrawing the air quality plan to take account of the impact of Heathrow expansion should the Government give the project its approval.
  • Make clear that planning consent should not be granted to a project (a) that will worsen air quality in an area where breaches to either current or likely future air quality limits are already anticipated or (b) where there is a significant risk of it causing breaches to either current or likely future limits.




“Comments from the Aviation Environment Federation on Defra’s “consultation on draft plans to improve air quality: tackling nitrogen dioxide in our towns and cities” ” September 2015

6th November 2015




See also:

Defra air quality plan ‘in breach’ of court ruling

17.11.2015 (Air Quality News)


ClientEarth says it will have “no choice” but to take the government back to the Supreme Court unless “drastic and fundamental changes” are made to proposed air quality plans for the UK.

ClientEarth is threatening to take the UK government back to the Supreme Court over the air quality plan.

ClientEarth is threatening to take the UK government back to the Supreme Court over the air quality plan (photo - UK Supreme Court)

The environmental NGO yesterday (November 16) reiterated its threat of further court action in response to Defra’s draft plans to meet the EU’s legal nitrogen dioxide limits, on which a consultation closed earlier this month (November 6).

ClientEarth said that in “failing to come up with a proper plan to clean up air pollution” Defra was in breach of the Supreme Court’s order in April 2015, and it would therefore likely seek to take the government back to court once again.

Responding, a spokeswoman for Defra said today (November 17): “Tackling air pollution is a priority for this government, which is why we have invested heavily in green transport, committing £2 billion since 2011. We are reviewing submissions to our recent consultation and will report back in December.”

The culmination of the previous legal battle saw the Supreme Court order Defra to produce a new national air quality plan for submission to the European Commission by the end of 2015 that showed how the UK would reach compliance with NO2 limits “in the shortest possible time” (see AirQualityNews.com story).

Clean air lawyer at ClientEarth, Alan Andrews, said: “The government’s response is a shambles. They were ordered to produce a final plan by the end of the year and they haven’t. What they have produced is a series of half measures and vague ideas which constitute no plan at all.”

Clean Air Zones

One of the key measures set out in the draft proposals are for a national network of local Clean Air Zones, which would see drivers of higher polluting vehicles being banned or forced to pay a charge to enter areas with high pollution.

However, echoing the strong criticism it made after the launch of the draft air quality plan consultation in September (see AirQualityNews.com story), ClientEarth described Defra’s proposals as “a shambles”.

VW scandal

Furthermore, ClientEarth said that the government had also “failed to react” to the Volkswagen emissions fixing scandal which erupted in September by appointing the Vehicles Certification Agency to investigate – an agency “that gets funding from the motor industry”.

Mr Andrews said: “This is sadly typical of the government’s response to this public health crisis. Tens of thousands of people are dying early because of air pollution in this country and countless more are being made seriously ill.

“Without drastic and fundamental changes to these plans, we will have no choice but to take the government back to court.”




See also

Respondents cool on ‘unambitious’ Defra air quality plans

Defra has been urged to overhaul its draft strategy for improving the UK’s air quality as it “lacks ambition” according to respondents to a government consultation.

The London Assembly, London Councils and environmental professionals’ organisations IAQM and CIWEM have published responses to the government’s consultation on updated plans to meet EU nitrogen dioxide limits throughout the UK.

The consultation was launched on September 12 2015 in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that new plans must be submitted before the end of 2015 (see AirQualityNews.com story). The consultation closed last week (November 6).

The responses vary in the strength of their criticism of the plans, but all four largely agree that more measures need to be set out by the government in its air quality plans to tackle emissions from road transport at national, rather than just local authority, level.

Measures such as introducing a scrappage scheme to encourage drivers away from older diesel cars, as well as changes to vehicle excise duty to include air pollution as well as carbon incentives, are called for in several responses, while Defra is also criticised for the lack of technical information supporting the draft plans.

London Assembly

The London Assembly said the draft plan “requires considerable revision” as the proposals “lack ambition and initiative and seem unlikely to fulfil the statutory requirements”.

It is estimated in the draft plan that London will reach compliance with EU nitrogen dioxide limits by 2025, but the Assembly believes the aim should be to achieve compliance around five years earlier than this in 2020.

And, the Assembly said Defra’s proposals “fail to question the real emissions of Euro 6 diesel vehicles”, despite widespread concern that many car models certified as compliant are emitting “several times” the amount of nitrogen oxides permitted on UK roads.

According to its response, London has more than 1,000km of road which exceeds the EU legal nitrogen dioxide limit, which is 43% of the entire UK total.

In addition, the draft plan is not supportive enough for local authorities, the Assembly states, and “unless it shows how local authorities can and why they would, implement the measures envisaged, the plan lacks credibility”.

More specifically, the Assembly makes the following recommendations:

  • a diesel scrappage scheme and further incentives for ultra-low emission vehicles
  • reform to fiscal incentives including Vehicle Excise Duty and fuel tax and a new system of road pricing taking into account vehicle emissions and local pollution levels
  • a central zone incentivising near-zero emission vehicles.

The Assembly’s consultation response was compiled by its environment committee and “is the view of a majority of the committee”, which is chaired by Green Party AM Darren Johnson.


Commenting on Defra’s draft plans, Mr Johnson said the 2025 compliance date for London was “too long to wait when we know that 9,500 people a year are dying due to the dangerously high levels of pollution in London alone”.

CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management)

Also publishing its response this week (November 11), the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management – a professional body for environment and water professionals – criticised the government for “lacking ambition on air quality”.

According to CIWEM, Defra’s draft plans to cut NO2 rely too heavily on “unfunded” clean air zones and “unproven” vehicle emissions standards.

It also slams Defra for the publication of the consultation – which it says was “buried” during the announcement of the Labour leadership election on September 12 – “without the supporting technical information needed to scrutinise the draft plans”.

“Without this evidence it is not possible to assess how the wish-list of emission reductions has been quantified and accounted for in the modelling,” CIWEM adds.

According to CIWEM, the many current uncertainties around vehicle emissions mean it is “extremely difficult to judge is the measures will be enough to achieve limit values”, while Defra’s own analysis shows that if Euro emissions standards do not perform as modelled, it could results in up to 22 additional UK zones failing to comply with EU limits.


Chief executive of CIWEM, Nigel Hendley, commented: “It is imperative that Defra recognise that the EU limit values for all pollutants are limits and not targets. There is no minimum concentration below which exposure to nitrogen dioxide is considered safe and every reduction in exposure will be beneficial in terms of health benefits. The final plans must go further to control air pollution, not only to achieve compliance with the Directive, but to protect human health and the environment.”

IAQM (Institute for Air Quality Management)

The Institute for Air Quality Management (IAQM), which represents around 200 air quality professionals in the UK, said that

IAQM said it was “very obvious” that new and additional measures would be required to satisfy the European Commission and the Supreme Court, so it was therefore a “puzzle” that Defra’s draft plans “appear to contain no new commitments” beyond Clean Air Zones.

The UK’s air quality problem, IAQM argues, is “largely one arising from road transport emissions and from diesel engines in particular”, but Defra’s plans do not contain enough measures for addressing this.


It’s response concluded that “in summary, the draft plans proposed by Defra are unpersuasive as a means of achieving compliance with NO2 limit value in the shortest time possible”.

London Councils

London Councils, which represents all 33 local authorities in the UK capital, also criticised the draft plan for its “reliance” on local government action to tackle air pollution, while containing “very few” national-level proposals and policies.

The organisation’s response describes Defra’s plans as “disappointing”, adding that it is “vital that all levels of government tackle this issue as quickly as possible to remove this substantial public health risk”.

It calls for the government to undertake a full review across departments for ways to drive improvements in air quality, suggesting a number of national policies, such as a car scrappage scheme, changes to fuel duty, increased low emissions vehicles funding and a call for any decision on new airport capacity to avoid negatively impacting on the UK’s ability to comply with EU limit values.


Councillor Julian Bell, chair of London Councils’ transport and environment committee, said: “The government’s lack of consideration of what solutions it can contribute at a national level means that Londoners will be exposed to a further decade of poor air quality, resulting in unnecessary deaths.”



Much earlier: 

Study on air quality impacts of UK airport capacity expansion

13.10.2012  (MIT – Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment)

…(extracts) …

According to the U.K.’s Department for Transport, demand for air travel in the country will more than double by 2030, from 127 million to 300 million passengers per year.


The study, [by MIT] published this week in the journal Atmospheric Environment, has found that by 2030, an expanded Heathrow would add 100 early deaths from air pollution annually in the U.K.


Steven Barrett, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, says the numbers make sense from a geographic perspective.

“Heathrow is almost in the worst possible place because it’s in the middle of this populated area, and upwind of it,” says Barrett, the study’s lead author and director of the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment at MIT.”


The findings are part of a wider assessment the team conducted on the health impacts of the U.K.’s 20 busiest airports. To determine the number of premature deaths from airport-related emissions, the team first tracked the number of flights coming in and out of each airport, using 2005 to represent the present day. The researchers also obtained projections from the Department for Transport of the number of flights expected in 2030 under scenarios where Heathrow is and is not expanded.

For each scenario, the team developed a model, detailed in a previous paper, to estimate emissions from aircraft, as well as ground support vehicles such as trolleys and tractors. The team then used a model called Weather Research and Forecasting to simulate wind patterns and other atmospheric conditions throughout the country. They plugged the aircraft emissions data into the model to see where the winds carried the pollution, and then used a simulation of chemical reactions in the atmosphere to understand conversion of emissions into fine particles. Finally, the group superimposed the fine-particulate data over population-density maps in the country.

Previous epidemiological studies have determined the health risk associated with long-term exposure to given concentrations of fine particulate matter. Barrett and his colleagues applied the health-risk data to their fine-particulate map to determine the number of premature deaths caused by a given airport scenario.

In a present-day scenario in which Heathrow operates under current demands, the researchers found the airport-related emissions cause 50 premature deaths throughout the UK.

If Heathrow undergoes no expansion, the number of early deaths would increase to 110 by the year 2030, possibly as a result of other UK. airports expanding to meet growing demand.

If officials decide to expand Heathrow, adding a third runway, the study projected, the resulting air pollution would cause 150 early deaths annually.



The team also found that the number of early deaths in all scenarios would decrease if airports adopted several key mitigation measures: removing sulfur from jet fuel, using one engine instead of two to taxi, converting ground transportation to electric power, and using preconditioned air from the airport terminal to cool aircraft cabins when their engines are off.


Full article (which finds air pollution far lower from an estuary airport) at







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COP21: 200 bikes and 5 tractors from Notre-Dame-des-Landes (planned airport site) set off for the Paris climate talks

A convoy of 200 bicycles and five tractors has left Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) going to Paris  for the COP21 talks, to demand the abandonment of the proposed new Nantes airport.  The protesters, most wearing yellow vests proclaiming “No Airport” straddled their bikes in mid morning for a “tracto-vélo” that should arrive in Paris on November 28, two days before the opening of the international climate conference. They will “denounce the blatant hypocrisy between the will of the government to fight against global warming and the destruction of more than 1,600 hectares of farmland and wetlands in order to build a new airport.” During the week the convoy entitled “Cap sur la COP” will make the trip in stages of 40-70 km, and its stop in various towns and cities, to stay with local supporters and hold meetings and discussions with their many local support committees, that oppose the planned new airport. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, the organisers had been unsure about proceeding, but say they will not confront the police in any way, and are just attending in order to put across their message. The convoy plans to meet up with other convoys outside Paris before the COP.  Though the convoy is mainly cyclists, there will be some vehicles to transport people who can not make a long journey by bike, and for logistics.

Short briefing on the planned Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport

The group against the new airport, ACIPA, has put together a concise document, setting out 10 key reasons why no new airport is needed at Nantes.  It is in French, but quite easy to read the main headings.  “Nantes-Atlantique 10 vérités qui dérangent”


NDDL traco velo COP21


COP21: 200 bicycles leave from Notre-Dame-des-Landes to cycle to the talks in Paris

21.11.2015 (Le Parisien)

An AFP (Agence France Presse) journalist reports that a convoy of 200 bicycles and five tractors left on Saturday morning from Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) heading for Paris to demand “abandonment” of the proposed new Nantes airport, on the occasion of COP21.


The protesters, most wearing a helmet and armed with yellow vests proclaiming “No Airport” straddled their bikes in mid morning for a “tractor-bike” that should lead them to the gates Paris November 28, two days before the opening of the international climate conference.

They will “denounce the blatant hypocrisy between the will of the government to fight against global warming and the destruction of more than 1,600 hectares of farmland and wetlands in order to build a new airport, “the organizers explained. They are the occupants of the” Zad “- the “area to defend”- and associations opposed to the airport.

During this week, the convoy entitled “Down to the COP” (“Cap sur la COP”) will make the trip in several stages of 40-70 km, and its members will participate in Angers, Le Mans or in Chartres in discussions with local support committees. Demonstrators will be “staying with local hosts,” said “Camille”, generic name that will give the opponents.

After the attacks of November 13 and the proclamation of a state of emergency, “we were not entirely sure about leaving but this convoy has been prepared for months and what happens on the Zad brings hope to many people,” he

“We are going because we had reasons to organize this convoy still remain the same. The COP21 will be held, we have no reason not to go. And regarding the airport project, it may be delayed, but it is not abandoned. And what we want is for it to be abandoned,” added Genevieve Coiffard, a longtime opponent of the airport project.

For Philippe, another participant, with the ban on demonstrations taken by the Government, there is “no question of going to confront the police, but to carry a message.”

Opponents of the airport should meet up with other convoys on 27 November in Saclay (Essonne) including those from Bure and Roybon, where are created “Zad” before organizing the next “great banquet” at the gates of Paris.

The airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, about twenty kilometers north of Nantes, was originally scheduled to open in 2017.



Original French below:

COP21: départ de 200 bicyclettes de Notre-Dame-des-Landes à destination de Paris

21 Nov. 2015

Un convoi de 200 bicyclettes et cinq tracteurs est parti samedi matin de Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) à destination de Paris pour réclamer “l’abandon” du projet de nouvel aéroport nantais, à l’occasion de la COP21, a constaté une journaliste de l’AFP.

Les manifestants, coiffés pour la plupart d’un casque et munis de gilets jaunes proclamant “Aéroport non”, ont enfourché leurs bicyclettes en milieu de matinée pour une “tracto-vélo” qui doit les mener aux portes de Paris le 28 novembre, deux jours avant l’ouverture de la conférence internationale sur le climat.

Ils entendent y “dénoncer l’hypocrisie criante entre la volonté du gouvernement de lutter contre le réchauffement climatique et la destruction de plus de 1.600 hectares de terres agricoles et de zones humides pour y construire un nouvel aéroport”, ont expliqué les organisateurs, des occupants de la “Zad” – la “zone à défendre” – et des associations opposées à l’aéroport.

Pendant cette semaine, le convoi intitulé “Cap sur la COP” fera plusieurs étapes de 40 à 70 km, et ses membres participeront à Angers, au Mans ou encore à Chartres à des débats avec des comités locaux de soutien. Les manifestants seront “logés chez l’habitant”, a indiqué “Camille”, nom générique que se donnent les opposants.

Après les attentats du 13 novembre et la proclamation de l’état d’urgence, “on n’était pas tout à fait certain de partir mais ce convoi est préparé depuis des mois et ce qui se passe sur la Zad est porteur d’espoir pour beaucoup de gens”, a-t-il affirmé.

“On part parce que les raisons qu’on avait d’organiser ce convoi sont intactes. La COP21 va se tenir, nous n’avons aucune raison de ne pas partir. Et en ce qui concerne le projet d’aéroport, il est peut-être retardé, mais il n’est pas abandonné. Et nous ce qu’on demande, c’est l’abandon”, a renchéri Geneviève Coiffard, opposante de longue date au projet d’aéroport.

Pour Philippe, un autre participant, avec l’interdiction de manifester prise par le gouvernement, il n’est “pas question d’aller affronter la police, mais de porter un message”.
Les opposants à l’aéroport doivent rejoindre le 27 novembre à Saclay (Essonne) d’autres convois venus notamment de Bure et de Roybon, où se sont créées des “Zad”, avant d’organiser le lendemain “un grand banquet” aux portes de Paris.

L’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, à une vingtaine de kilomètres au nord de Nantes, devait initialement être inauguré en 2017.



COP 21 – Convoi “tracto-vélo” de Notre-Dame-des-Landes à Paris

Un convoi en vélos et tracteurs du 21 au 28 novembre s’organise pour se rendre de Notre-Dame-des-Landes à Paris à l’occasion du sommet intergouvernemental.

L’Assemblée d’organisation du convoi a mis en place le trajet suivant :

  • Samedi 21 novembre : Nddl – Ancenis : 47 km
  • Dimanche 22 novembre : Ancenis – Angers : 60 km
  • Lundi 23 novembre : Angers – La Flèche : 50 km
  • Mardi 24 novembre : La Flèche – Le Mans : 45 km
  • Mercredi 25 novembre : Le Mans – Nogent le Rotrou : 66 km
  • Jeudi 26 novembre : Nogent le Rotrou – Chartres : 57 km
  • Vendredi 27 novembre : Chartres – Saclay : 71 km
  • Samedi 28 novembre : Saclay – Paris 20km (dernière étape commune avec d’autres convois et personnes venues en car)

Le convoi sera essentiellement constitué de cyclistes. Des tracteurs et quelques véhicules transporteront les personnes ne pouvant pas faire un long trajet à vélo, ainsi que la logistique.

Une caisse prix libre sera mise à disposition (un coût estimé à 10 € par jour et par personne : nourriture, hébergements etc.)

Pour un soutien financier, envoyez un mail sur mslcnddl@riseup.net avec en objet : soutien financier

Le parcours sera marqué par des discussions, échanges, repas solidaires entre les participant-e-s et les personnes et groupes les accueillant, mais aussi rencontres, communication au fil du chemin.

Suivant les étapes, les équipes Solidaires plus particulièrement sollicitées sont celles des départements 44, 49, 72, 28 91 et 75.






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Air cargo tonnage at Heathrow falling recently, and only 1.76% higher in 2014 than in 2010

Heathrow airport is keen to stress that it deals with more air freight than any other UK airport, and imply that without its air cargo exports (ignoring the imports) the economy of the UK would flounder. However, in recent years, the volume of Heathrow air cargo has been pretty much static. There was 1.76% more air cargo (tonnes) in 2014 than in 2010.  In September 2010 Heathrow handled 123,680 tonnes, and in September 2015 it handled 119.092 tonnes. In October 2010 it handled 138,301 tonnes and 132,575 tonnes in October 2015. Tonnage has been down compared to 2014 every month since May. Earlier in November, John Holland-Kaye said: “Cargo is essential for UK PLC and Heathrow is its global freight connector, with 26% of all UK goods by value going through the airport.” In early November  Heathrow announced £180m investment in inprove air cargo facilities and double the volume passing through Heathrow. The aspiration is that faster more efficient cargo movements will encourage airlines to increase freight capacity, boosting the UK’s global export competitiveness.  And imports ??  Holland-Kays says this will “support British businesses to keep the economy moving, connecting exporters to the world and helping the government reach its £1 trillion export target by 2020.” Air cargo has been declining at Frankfurt too.


October air cargo tonnage declines for Frankfurt and Heathrow

11.11. 2015 (Air Cargo News)
Frankfurt, Europe’s number one air cargo hub by volume last year, and fourth placed London-Heathrowboth recorded a decline in tonnages for October.

The German hub saw volumes fall by 1.5% to 185,222 tonnes, the eighth month in a row that Frankfurt has seen red ink for its monthly throughputs versus like period 2014. For the year so far, Frankfurt’s volume are down 2.5% to just over 1.7m tonnes.

Meanwhile, Heathrow’s October throughput declined 1.4% to 132,575 tonnes, the sixth month in a row that the UK’s top air cargo gateway has registered a fall. For the first ten months of 2015, Heathrow’s overall volumes are near static at 1.2m tonnes, seeing an increase of just 0.1%.

In a statement, Heathrow – which is pushing for government approval to build a third runway — said that its emerging market cargo volumes increased 3.4% over the past 12 months – “notably to Turkey up 26% and Brazil up 7% – underlining the export growth potential an expanded Heathrow with up to 40 new long-haul connections would deliver”.

Heathrow is also beginning engagement with the freight industry on a cargo blueprint that will “double Heathrow’s cargo capacity and boost the UK’s global export competitiveness by enabling faster, more efficient cargo movements”.



Heathrow’s air cargo volumes over the past five years.

Data from Heathrow statistics at


Month Cargo Volume (Metric Tonnes)
Jan-10 106,299
Feb-10 113,021
Mar-10 133,399
Apr-10 100,477
May-10 136,165
Jun-10 127,574
Jul-10 130,094
Aug-10 127,200
Sep-10 123,680
Oct-10 138,301
Nov-10 127,961
Dec-10 108,913
All 2010 1,473,084
Jan-11 116,176
Feb-11 118,325
Mar-11 130,909
Apr-11 121,689
May-11 128,083
Jun-11 125,718
Jul-11 128,103
Aug-11 120,942
Sep-11 119,097
Oct-11 128,305
Nov-11 122,769
Dec-11 124,371
All 2011 1,484,487
Jan-12 112,324
Feb-12 115,920
Mar-12 130,860
Apr-12 118,686
May-12 123,172
Jun-12 125,013
Jul-12 126,512
Aug-12 121,469
Sep-12 121,135
Oct-12 125,367
Nov-12 124,057
Dec-12 120,035
All 2012 1,464,550
Jan-13 106,425
Feb-13 110,948
Mar-13 127,862
Apr-13 115,175
May-13 117,849
Jun-13 119,786
Jul-13 118,962
Aug-13 114,225
Sep-13 115,547
Oct-13 124,099
Nov-13 133,376
Dec-13 118,759
All 2013 1,423,013
Jan-14 112,093
Feb-14 109,803
Mar-14 132,989
Apr-14 120,194
May-14 125,982
Jun-14 125,407
Jul-14 128,206
Aug-14 122,831
Sep-14 124,570
Oct-14 134,453
Nov-14 136,419
Dec-14 126,134
All 2014 1,499,081
Jan-15 115,847
Feb-15 118,248
Mar-15 136,842
Apr-15 122,879
May-15 125,067
Jun-15 122,964
Jul-15 121,240
Aug-15 122,540
Sep-15 119,091
Oct-15 132,575


More details at http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/uk-airports/heathrow-airport/heathrow-monthly-statistics/



Heathrow announces plan to double cargo volumes


£180m investment into revolutionising cargo announced at today’s BCC (British Chambers of Commerce) conference 
Faster more efficient cargo movements will encourage airlines to increase freight capacity, boosting the UK’s global export competitiveness

UK exporters are set to benefit from the doubling of cargo volumes at Heathrow, the UK’s biggest port for goods by value.

Faster and more efficient cargo movements are vital in improving the UK’s export competiveness and maximising economic benefits. As Britain’s global gateway, Heathrow connects British exporters to global markets and makes it easier for investors to come to the UK. With four out of five of all long haul flights coming from Heathrow, the airport is critical to the UK’s position as a hub for international trade.

The blueprint plans were developed with key stakeholders and announced by CEO John Holland-Kaye at today’s BCC conference, as part of a 15 year vision to invest around £180million in revolutionising its cargo facilities, processes and people. The blueprint includes proposals for a specialist pharmaceutical storage area – to support airlines to move highly valuable and temperature sensitive medicines – as well as better infrastructure to reduce congestion and smoother processes, all enabling freight to flow better through the airport and halving process time from 8-9 hours, to four hours.

In addition, freight forwarders using Heathrow will benefit from:

Air to air transit – a facility located on the airfield which will enable smoother handling of transit cargo that arrives by air and is due to fly out by air. This will shorten connection times from a current average of 6+ hours

Becoming 100% ‘e-freight ready – working with businesses, airlines, IATA, HMRC and the DfT to fully implement e-Freight at Heathrow. This reduces the need for lengthy paper work and will be one of the first airports to become 100% digital.

A new truck parking facility – a waiting area for drivers which will cater for over 100 vehicles and offer secure parking, access control, toilets/showers and dining facilities

Heathrow has developed its vision to overhaul the cargo facilities after working closely with stakeholders including freight forwarders, Government, exporters and British businesses, forming an ambition to become one of the leading European airports for cargo. These improvements will also encourage airlines to bring cargo friendly aircraft with greater freight capacity to Heathrow, which are typically more modern, greener and quieter.

Chris Welsh – FTA Director of Global and European Policy said:
“Heathrow’s planned investment and increased freight capacity is excellent news, and exactly the type of commitment that FTA has long been asking for. The significance of air freight is often overlooked, but today’s announcement illustrates that Heathrow Airport has listened very carefully to ourselves and the freight industry. The improvements it is proposing are essential to the growth and success of the UK economy.”

Addressing the BCC  conference, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“Cargo is essential for UK PLC and Heathrow is its global freight connector, with 26% of all UK goods by value going through the airport. This investment plan will significantly improve our cargo facilities and support British businesses to keep the economy moving, connecting exporters to the world and helping the government reach its £1 trillion export target by 2020.”

John Holland-Kaye’s full speech to the BCC’s annual conference is available in full in the downloads section.




Heathrow cargo volumes on the rise

11.5.2015 (Air Cargo News)

London Heathrow Airport recorded cargo growth of 2.2 per cent in April to 122,879 tonnes versus same month of 2014, and a 3.9 per cent increase to 493,816 tonnes for the January to April 2015 period versus last year.

The UK hub saw on-year cargo increases in April of 61.5 per cent to Mexico, 27.5 per cent to Turkey, 18.5 per cent to Brazil and 9.9 per cent to India.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Expanding Heathrow delivers exactly what the UK economy needs – creating up to 180,000 new jobs and £211bn of economic benefit right across the country, growing exports by increasing trade routes to fast-growing markets, rebalancing growth across the whole of the UK.

“Heathrow expansion isn’t about a runway, it’s about the future we want for Britain. Let’s be ambitious about our place in the world, let’s keep Britain at the heart of the global economy and let’s get on with expanding Heathrow.”



Frankfurt cargo up 1.7 per cent in 2014

15.1.2015  (Air Cargo News)
Strikes and snow failed to dampen 2014 cargo volumes at Frankfurt airport, with Germany’s premier freight hub recording a 1.7 per cent rise in full year throughputs to 2.2m tonnes.

However, in December 2014, cargo volumes for the final month slipped 1.4 per cent year-on-year, reaching 176,241 tonnes.

Frankfurt’s full year 2014 passenger numbers rose 2.6 percent to 59.6m, although the increase would have been 3.9 per cent when taking into account “the high number of mainly strike-related flight cancellations and all other extraordinary cancellations, including due to adverse weather,” said airport authority Fraport.

Aircraft movements in 2014 edged down by 0.8 per cent to about 469,000 take-offs and landings, “reflecting the ongoing trend towards larger aircraft and better capacity utilisation along with higher passenger and cargo volumes”.

Frankfurt continues to push for a new passenger terminal that would also add to bellyhold cargo capacity.

Fraport’s executive board chairman, Stefan Schulte, said: “The growth trend experienced in 2014 confirms our forecasts for the coming years.  This further underscores why we need a third new passenger terminal here at Frankfurt Airport.

“If the current trend continues, with growth rates ranging from two to three percent, in the coming years, the existing terminals will reach their capacity limits by 2021 at the latest. We will need the new Terminal 3 to ensure that we can continue delivering excellent service quality to our passengers, also with modern and trendsetting ambiance in the future.”




Heathrow Won’t Agree Pollution Limits

By Paul Williams

Nov 13, 2015 (Chiswick Herald)

Members of W4 CHATR (CHiswick Against Third Runway) joined protestors from across London outside Portcullis House in peaceful demonstration in the hours before the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee met with Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye and Sir Howard Davies, Chairman of the Airports Commission Report.

One of the conditions of Heathrow expansion by the Airport Commission was a ban on night flights between 11.30pm -6.00am. But during the committee proceedings John Holland Kaye, Heathrow Chief Executive, repeatedly declined to commit to a no-flights-before-6.00am rule. Nor would he endorse the Airport’s Commission’s recommendation that a fourth runway be ruled out, saying that was ‘a matter for the government’.

According to City Hall, he also ‘waved away concerns about deteriorations in air quality by insisting that a third runway, with 50% more flights at the airport, would not lead to any more cars on the roads.’ For Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, ‘the Airports Commission is falling apart…Mr Holland Kaye’s flat refusal to commit to conditions to limit air pollution, night flights and noise shows he simply does not understand that the recommendation of a third runway is crucially tied to these conditions.’

Asked to comment for the Herald on Heathrow’s refusal to commit before the Audit Committee to the ban on night flights a Heathrow spokesperson said: “It is something that we are looking at. We will make a comment on it in due course. There are huge benefits to local communities for getting rid of the early morning scheduled arrivals between 4.30 and 6.00 am. Equally there is a big cost to that for the UK economy because those are very valuable trading routes to the Far East, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It is not easy to resolve that. We are working on it. I am confident that we will be able to find a way through that. With expansion there is a real opportunity to significantly reduce night flying at Heathrow.”

A spokesperson for CHATR said, ‘Heathrow’s position is very worrying for Londoners. Are we really being asked to believe that a huge increase in the number of flights with a third runway will not come with the inevitable increase in pollution and noise? That’s simply not credible. We already know that new flightpaths are proposed over areas of London that have not been previously overflown. How do people in these areas experience ‘huge benefits’ from these negotiations? Hundreds of thousands of Londoners in these areas will clearly be worse off, with noise, pollution and financial losses to house prices for which there is no compensation’

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Environmental Director added: “We are confident that we can agree a package that will significantly reduce night flying. Put that another way: significantly increase the period without night flights at Heathrow. This is a significant change. This is really reiterating what Howard Davies said. Heathrow can get better, because as it gets bigger we can reduce night flying at Heathrow.” )


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“No 3rd Runway” flashmob at Heathrow Terminal 2

Around 60 protesters staged a flashmob in Heathrow’s Terminal 2, expressing their opposition to plans for a 3rd runway. With red “No 3rd runway” T-shirts and chanting “No ifs, no buts, no third runway!” There are already hugely more people affected by disturbing levels of plane noise at Heathrow than at any other airport in Europe. People who suffer from plane noise do not want more of it, and those who get some periods of “respite” during the day do not want to see this decrease.  If there was a new runway there would be around 250,000 more flights per year using Heathrow – making a 50% increase compared with the existing number now. The level of noise, the new areas affected, and the hundreds of thousands more people to be newly affected would make the addition of a new runway unacceptable. And that is not to mention the increase in air pollution, the road congestion, the rail congestion, the huge cost to the taxpayer over many years.  There is also the not inconsiderable matter of the demolition of 780 homes, making their occupants homeless.  For all these reasons, a large number of groups and organisations from a wide area oppose the runway. People at the flashmob came from Hammersmith, Ealing, Chiswick, the Heathrow villages, and areas west of Heathrow affected by flight paths. They are adamant that protest at a runway will not go away.


No Third Runway 21.11.2015


Flash mob protests against third runway at Heathrow Terminal 2


Heathrow flashmob 21.11.2015

Campaigners opposed to a 3rd runway  protest at Heathrow today Credit: ITV Meridian

Protesters arrived at around 11am on Saturday, November 21, and could be seen and heard by passengers throughout the terminal.

John Stewart of Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) represented one of the many groups.

He said: “The timings were to send a strong message to Heathrow Airport and to David Cameron, that if the green light was given for a third runway, there will be continual protests from the community.

“Whatever decision the Government make about the third runway, the local community is not going to go way and believes that it can defeat the proposals, as it did 10 years ago.”

Other groups showing their support for the cause included: Plane Stupid, Chiswick Against the Third Runway, Communities Against Increased Aircraft Noise (CAIAN), west London Friends of the Earth and residents from all boroughs surrounding the aiport.

Christine Taylor, a Stop Heathrow Expansion campaigner whose home in Harlington will be lost under a third runway, said: “From all aspects it was a successful flash mob.

“It was simply to remind people that, with everything else that’s in the news, we are still fighting to prevent the airport from expanding and we’ll continue to fight until the Government sees sense and rules out a third runway at Heathrow.










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Sadiq Khan backs Gatwick runway (+ London City Airport expansion) knowing he’d have no chance of being Mayor backing Heathrow

Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan (MP for Tooting) had decided he will back a 2nd Gatwick runway, knowing he would have no chance of being elected mayor if he did anything other than oppose a Heathrow runway. He has done a publicity stunt, charm offensive, visit to Gatwick, being given the celebrity treatment. His view is to prevent the noise, air pollution, congestion etc problems caused by expanding Heathrow, and instead make “Heathrow better, not bigger”. Previously he backed a Heathrow runway, until realising he could not maintain that line and have any chance of being London Mayor.  He has also recently said he would consider allowing the expansion of London City Airport if he took over at City Hall. Boris had blocked expansion earlier this year, on noise grounds. The London City scheme, if approved, would increase the number of flights from 70,000 to 111,000 per year, doubling the annual number of passengers by 2023, as well as extending the terminal and building a parallel taxiing lane. He said London City Airport was “a special case because of its size and economic impact.” Bearing in mind his support for Gatwick, he appeared oblivious of the irony of this statement: “I think what you can’t do is play politics with decisions about people’s jobs and business.” 


Twitter.   20.11.2015


Sadiq Khan Gatwick and London City


London airport expansion: Sadiq Khan ramps up support for second Gatwick runway over Heathrow

20 November 2015
by Lauren Fedor (City AM)

Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan will today up the ante in the London airports row by coming out stronger than ever in making the case for a second runway at Gatwick.

The Tooting MP will meet with senior executives at the Sussex airport to conduct a charm offensive aimed at laying out his pro-Gatwick position.

Khan is expected to reiterate views made in City A.M. in June, when he said that the answer to the capital’s airport capacity conundrum lies in “expanding Gatwick and making Heathrow better, not bigger”.

Critics accused Khan of a U-turn as he had previously backed a third runway at Heathrow. However, Khan is expected to say that competition between the two airports will benefit businesses and outline his vision for a rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick.

Zac Goldsmith, his Tory mayoral rival, is also a staunch opponent of Heathrow expansion.



Sadiq Khan can't play politics 19.11.2015



On Twitter:

Stop City Airport ✈ ‏@StopCityAirport Nov 18
Overseas Hedge Fund Owners GIP will be pleased with @SadiqKhan.
He is backing expansion at both their airports, Gatwick and London City.


Stop City Airport ✈ ‏@StopCityAirport Nov 18
Sadiq Khan is monopolising London Airport expansion to a single company. Global Infrastructure Partners who own Gatwick and London City.


Sadiq Khan would reconsider block on City Airport expansion

5.11.2015 (The Wharf)

Labour’s mayoral candidate is against expansion at Heathrow but says the Docklands hub is an exception because of its size and economic impact

London mayoral candidates Zac Goldsmith, left, and Labour MP Sadiq Khan at an anti-Heathrow expansion rally in October

Labour mayoral candidate – and former transport minister – Sadiq Khan has said that he would consider allowing the expansion of London City Airport if he took over at City Hall.

The £200million expansion was approved by Labour-run Newham Borough Council earlier this year but Mayor Boris Johnson stepped in to veto the work. He said the increased number of flights would create a noise nuisance.

The City Airport Development Programme would lift the ceiling on the number of flights from 70,000 to 111,000 a year, doubling the number of passengers by 2023 a year, as well as make major adaptations to the airport to extend the terminal and build a parallel taxi lane.

The changes, the airport says, are necessary to accommodate a new generation of aircraft which is more fuel efficient and will add £750million a year to the economy. The airport, which predominantly serves Canary Wharf and the City, is currently accepting bids to buy the business from its US owners which could generate £2billion.

Mr Khan, who has previously come out against Heathrow expansion, worried about air quality, said that the Docklands hub was a special case because of its size and economic impact.

He said: “When you look at what London City Airport is doing for the local community, the jobs they’re creating, but also the jobs they’re creating around London I think what you can’t do is play politics with decisions about people’s jobs and business.

“What I would do if I was mayor of London is reconsider the decision by the mayor of London to oppose the plans.”

“City Airport is very small in comparison to major airports like Heathrow and Gatwick and would remain so even after this expansion.

His view is in contrast to that of his main rival for City Hall. Conservative candidate and environmental campaigner Zac Goldsmith said he was “very strongly inclined” to follow the Johnson line.

London City Airport is appealing against the overrule and Mayor Boris Johnson has set aside £525,000 to defend his decision. The appeal will be heard in March.

“We need to make sure that key environmental and noise tests are met, but the proposals would provide the City with a capacity boost and I’m willing to look again at this.”





Labour mayor contender Sadiq Khan rejects building third runway at Heathrow



No to Heathrow: Sadiq Khan opposes a third runway because of the effect on noise and air pollution
Labour mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan today came out against a third runway at Heathrow, saying that London’s premier airport should be made “better but not bigger”.

His move opened clear air between him and Labour rivals Dame Tessa Jowell and David Lammy. He branded the pair “ultra-Blairites” for backing the extra runway pushed a decade ago by former Labour premier Tony Blair.

“Tessa and David will argue Heathrow’s case, but I am arguing London’s case against its expansion,” he said. “People must ask themselves who best represents London’s interests.”

Announcing his stance in an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Khan said he believed a bigger Heathrow should be ruled out on the grounds of “awful air quality”, noise and inadequate infrastructure.

His move comes a week after Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith entered the mayoral race with a vow to halt the third runway.

Mr Khan suggested that voters would focus more on Mr Goldsmith’s other policies and wealthy background if they were opponents, because they agreed over Heathrow.

“I like Zac,” said Mr Khan. “But Londoners will have to ask who is best to understand their aspirations. Who best understands the housing crisis, or the need for affordable transport? I cannot wait for battle to commence.”

Mr Khan’s interview also pre-empted the looming report by Sir Howard Davies’s Airports Commission. Mr Khan said he could think of nothing the commission might say to change his mind.

“I’ve seen independent evidence that up to 4,300 people are dying prematurely because of air quality,” he said. “I’ve spoken to experts who have told me that children’s lungs are under developed because of air quality. I’ve spoken to residents in the parts of London affected who have told me about the consequences of noise pollution.

“I cannot agree with Tessa and David that the benefits of expanding Heathrow exceed the costs to Londoners.” Of the other Labour would-be mayors, both Diane Abbott and Christian Wolmar are against a third runway at Heathrow.

Mr Khan’s said he had “thought long and hard” about the aviation capacity crisis. He stressed he was “not anti-aviation”, but thought jobs and an economic boost could be achieved best through a second runway at Gatwick and a high-speed rail link between the two airports. It would allow more flights and passengers could check in at either airport and transfer between them quickly.

“I’m not saying we should expand Gatwick at the expense of Heathrow – it’s really important to make Heathrow better,” he said.

Asked how he would respond if Davies recommended Heathrow expansion, he declared: “I’m a fighter. I would fight to make the government rejects it.”

Asked about the rumoured proposal for an independent noise monitor, he said: “I’m not sure how that can address the issue of teachers in West London having to stop teaching when an aircraft takes off.”

Mr Khan was a Transport Minister under Gordon Brown when the third runway was Labour policy but he said things had moved on with the recent Supreme Court ruling that the UK was breaching air quality limits.

He agreed that Heathrow expansion was a “Blairite policy”, saying: “I suspect that’s why Tessa and David are in favour of it. As ultra-Blairites they will have to argue why they think Runway Three should go forward.”






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Though Gatwick number of passengers is up 5.7% this year on 2014, the number of flights only up by 2.6%

… and though the number of passengers was UP 8.3% in 2014 compared to the earlier pre-recession peak in 2007, the number of flights was actually DOWN by – 1.5% in that time. The number of flights may only this year reach the earlier peak in 2007.


The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) says that use of larger planes, and with fewer empty seats, explained how Gatwick has a record-breaking 40 million passengers per year. Gatwick has been expanding its passenger numbers as fast as possible, in its bid to get another runway. The Airports Commission estimated, based on past trends, that it would not reach 40 million passengers per year for many more years. But Gatwick has not increased the number of air transport movements (flights) by much.  While the number of passengers ( link ) in the 12 months to October 2015 is 5.7% higher than the previous 12 months, the number of flights was only 2.6% more.  GACC said it is the number of landings and take-offs (ATMs) which create a need for a new runway, not just the number of passengers. The load factor (how full the plane is) is higher, with the figure is October 2015 being 85.3% compared to 82.2% in October 2012 or 81.7% in October 2013. GACC chairman Brendon Sewill said: “At this rate of growth Gatwick and Stansted and Luton won’t be full for at least fifty years!” In fact, Gatwick had more flights in 2007 than in 2014.  There were about 256,000 ATMs in 2008, 259,000 in 2007 and 255,000 in 2014.  The average number of seats per plane was about 180 in 2014 and about 174 in 2013.  The average number of passengers per plane was about 151 in 2014 and about 145 in 2013.


Anti-Gatwick expansion group plays down passenger record

18 November 2015   (Crawley Observer)

Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) said larger planes and fewer empty seats explained the airport reaching a record-breaking 40 million passengers per year.

A Gatwick spokesman said it hit the milestone for the first time this weekend ten years earlier than predicted by The Airports Commission.

The commission recommended expanding Heathrow Airport instead of Gatwick in its final report which it published in July.

A GACC statement said: “It is the number of landings and take-offs which create a need for a new runway.”

Larger planes and fewer empty seats explained statistics which stated passenger numbers were up 25 per cent while flights were up only five.

GACC chairman Brendon Sewill said: “At this rate of growth Gatwick and Stansted and Luton won’t be full for at least fifty years!”

A Gatwick spokesman said the Government was due to make a decision on airport expansion in weeks.

Gatwick CEO Steward Wingate said: “To reach 40 million passengers a year is a tremendous achievement and sets a global benchmark for a single runway airport. We have grown rapidly under new ownership and the benefits of competition are clear for passengers – more choice, higher standards and lower fares. It will not be long however before we are full. That is why Gatwick needs a second runway.

“We have reached this milestone ten years ahead of the Airport Commission’s prediction that we would do so in 2024. The Commission’s Report has unravelled in recent months and we now know beyond doubt that there is a fundamental error at the heart of the Report. Whether the Report is flawed is no longer a matter of debate, it is a statement of fact. Traffic forecasts obviously underpin the economic figures in the Report so people will make their own judgement on the economic credibility of the Commission’s work.

“Illegal air quality has prevented Heathrow expansion twice in the past and it is worse today than it was then. A third runway at Heathrow would fail again as it would be illegal. So the choice is clear – expansion grounded at Heathrow once again with Britain losing out, or expansion taking off at Gatwick with Britain reaping the benefits.”



The number of  Air Transport Movements for the year, up to October 2015 (ie. Oct 2014 to Oct 2015, compared to Oct 2013 to Oct 2014) was only up by 2.6% – while the number of passengers was up by 5.7%.  Link

Gatwick passenger numbers – approximately

Gatwick 2015 Versus 2014  2 014
January 2 360 879 5.5% 2 237 957
February 2 470 384 7.1% 2 306 230
March 2 959 233 9.3% 2 707 835
April 3 181 366 0.7% 3 157 706
May 3 622 183 5.9% 3 419 371
June 3 827 722 5.2% 3 639 329
July 4 323 443 6.5% 4 059 036
August 4 530 105 3.9% 4 361 985
September 4 048 915 5.7% 3 831 314
October 3 615 627 7.8% 3 352 544
November 2 453 008
December 2 582 272
Year to date 34 939 857
Full year 38,094,845


Source. Anna Aero.


for data for all European airports, month by month. Earlier years are in tabs along the bottom of the spreadsheet.

Gatwick’s number of flights  2004 to 2014

The number of air transport movements (ie. flights, counting both take offs and landings) were:  (CAA airport data)  from   2004 – 2014 ATMs all UK airports

2014 ….255,000

2013 ….244,000
2012 ….240,000
2011 ….245,000
2010 ….234,000
2009 ….245,000
2008 ….256,000

2007 ….259,000
2006 ….254,000
2005 ….252,000
2004 ….240,000

Between the peak of flights in 2007 to the number of flights at Gatwick in 2014, there was a decrease of  – 1.5%


Number of flights in 2014 up +5.4% compared to number in 2013.
Number of flights in 2013 up +1.7% compared to number in 2012.



Gatwick’s number of passengers 2004 to 2014

From CAA airport data.  Number of terminal passengers 2004 to 2014

2014 ….38,094,000
2013 ….35,429,000
2012 ….34,219,000
2011 ….33,644,000
2010 ….31,342,000
2009 ….32,361,000
2008 ….34,162,000
2007 ….35,165,000
2006 ….34,080,000
2005 ….32,693,000
2004 ….31,392,000

Between the peak in 2007 and 2014, the number of passengers using Gatwick rose by 8.3%.


Number of passengers in 2014 up +7.5% compared to number in 2013.

Number of passengers in 2013 up +3.5% compared to number in 2012.


Gatwick produces monthly passenger and traffic reports



Recent ones are at:


 Month/Year            2012                               2013                                            2014                           2015                 
January  January 2012  January 2013  January 2014  January 2015
February  February 2012  February 2013  February 2014  February 2015
March  March 2012  March 2013  March 2014  March 2015
April  April 2012  April 2013  April 2014  April 2015
May  May 2012  May 2013   May 2014  May 2015
June  June 2012  June 2013  June 2014  June 2015
July  July 2012  July 2013  July 2014  July 2015
August  August 2012  August 2013  August 2014  August 2015
September  September 2012  September 2013  September 2014  September 2015
October  October 2012  October 2013  October 2014  October 2015
November  November 2012  November 2014  November 2014
December  December 2012  December 2013  December 2014


Load factors – just looking at some at random:

Load factor Oct 2012  – 82.2%
Load factor Oct 2013 – 81.7%
Load factor Oct 2014  – not given
Load factor Oct 2015  – 85.3%


Gatwick’s Performance monitoring report for 2014/15 stated that:

– increased number of flights: the number of air traffic movements in 2014/15 increased by 3.2% on 2013/14, as a result of a small increase in the number of peak slots made available from the summer 2013 season, to a total of 55, and greater use of off-peak slots in the winter season, which Gatwick has incentivised through reducing tariff charges for aircraft movements in this period to zero; and
– increased load per flight: airlines have increased the average number of seats per flight by 3.6% from 173.9 to 180.1, and load factors increased by 0.7 percentage points from 83.2% to 83.9%.

Table 1: Traffic data

Seats per ATM 180.1 (Year to 31.3.2015)
Seats per ATM 173.9 (Year to 31.3 2014)

Passengers per ATM 151.1 (Year to 31.3.2015)
Passengers per ATM 144.7 (Year to 31.3 2014)

Load Factor (%) 83.9% (Year to 31.3.2015)
Load Factor (%) 83.2% (Year to 31.3 2014)


173 seats per ATM at Gatwick in 2012




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Garuda to move its Gatwick flights to Heathrow; Vietnam Airlines did the same in January

Garuda Indonesia is joining the ranks of those airlines that started life at Gatwick before defecting to Heathrow.  According to CAPA, Garuda will start using its new Heathrow slots in March 2016, but there is no information on how it got the valuable Heathrow slots. Slots at Heathrow are, in theory, hard to get hold of.  Garuda used to fly from Gatwick many years ago before suspending services (owing to safety restrictions, due to its bad record). It only returned to Gatwick a couple of years ago. Instead of more ambitious plans, Garuda will eventually just have direct flights to Jakarta from both London and Amsterdam. The runway at Jakarta has to be strengthened for heavy long haul planes. Currently, Garuda serves Gatwick as a “tag” to its Jakarta-Amsterdam flights. Airlines like Garuda are being out-competed by middle eastern Gulf airline rivals.  Earlier in 2015 Vietnam Airlines announced it would be leaving Gatwick to launch a direct service from Heathrow instead, from March 31st 2015.  This will be using Dreamliner 787s. John Holland-Kaye is, of course, pleased. It is reported that due to the shortage of Heathrow slots, the agreement between Heathrow and Vietnam Airlines took 7 years to complete, and “there are currently 30 airlines waiting for slots.” Earlier long haul airlines to fail from Gatwick were Hong Kong Airlines, Air Asia X, Korean Air and US Airways.


Garuda to quit London Gatwick for Heathrow


By Alex McWhirter (Business Traveller)

Garuda Indonesia is joining the ranks of those airlines that started life at London Gatwick before defecting to Heathrow.

The carrier will start using its new Heathrow slots in March, reports the Centre For Asia-Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Details of how Garuda acquired the valuable LHR slots are unavailable at the present time.

Garuda used to fly out of Gatwick many years ago before suspending services (owing to safety restrictions). It only returned to the Sussex airport a couple of years ago.

Furthermore, the airline has abandoned its ambitious European plans in favour of a more modest schedule – it now simply aims to fly nonstop to Jakarta from both London and Amsterdam.

Currently, Garuda serves Gatwick as a “tag” to its Jakarta-Amsterdam flights.

But even here, the scheduling is not straightforward as Garuda is only flying nonstop between Europe and Jakarta (see news, June 11). Its Jakarta-Amsterdam flights must route via Singapore, rather than nonstop, because of Jakarta’s weak runway.

It remains unclear when the Jakarta runway will be strengthened, which would then enable the Indonesian capital to gain regular nonstop flights to Europe.

Why did Garuda scale back its European plans? Well, it’s rather like the situation at Philippine Airlines, which also returned to Europe after a period of absence but then found the market had changed. It too has axed once ambitious plans.

Twenty and 30 years ago, when Garuda and PAL last served Europe both were major players on the voluminous routes linking Europe with south-east Asia and Australia.

But the market these carriers used to control has shifted. Rival carriers, and especially the Gulf airlines, now handle the bulk of the keenly-priced market which was once the preserve of Garuda and PAL.

It means that PAL now maintains a single route linking London Heathrow with Manila while Garuda operates just the two above-mentioned services.


Earlier in the year:

Vietnam Airlines switches routes from Gatwick to Heathrow

12 Jan 2015 (Buying Business Travel

Vietnam Airlines is leaving Gatwick to launch a direct service from Heathrow airport, starting March 31.

The national carrier currently operates two twice-weekly flights to the UK capital, one from Hanoi and the other from Ho Chi Minh, with a B777-200ER.

From July, the airline will use its new fleet of 787-9 Dreamliners to operate five weekly services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam said this route will be further increased to a daily service, but have not provided dates on when this will happen.

Vietnam Airlines CEO Dr Pham Ngoc Minh said: “Our vision, and that of the government of Vietnam, is for Vietnam Airlines to become the major carrier in Southeast Asia – and this move represents a tremendous step forwards in achieving that goal.”

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “We are delighted that Vietnam Airlines has chosen to operate its new Dreamliner 787 fleet from Heathrow, securing regular direct flights from the UK to a vital emerging market.

“This demonstrates once again that only a strong hub airport like Heathrow, with a mix of premium direct and transfer passengers, can help Britain win the race for growth,” he added.

Vietnam Airlines launched the first direct, nonstop flights between London and Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in 2011.

The lack of capacity at Heathrow meant the agreement between the airport and Vietnam Airlines took seven years to complete. There are currently 30 airlines waiting for slots.





Heathrow attacks Gatwick over ‘long-haul failure’

Heathrow has attacked Gatwick’s claims that it can support long-haul services to emerging markets in its latest submission to the Airports Commission.

The UK’s hub airport has drawn attention to a string of long-haul routes from Gatwick which have been cancelled over the last five years.

But Gatwick hit back at these claims by saying that it serves more destinations than Heathrow and that some of the long-routes routes were cancelled when Gatwick was still owned by the same company as Heathrow, then known as BAA.

Airlines to axe routes from Gatwick in the last two years include Hong Kong Airlines, Air Asia X, Korean Air and US Airways. Meanwhile Air China has suspended its flights to Beijing for the winter and Garuda Indonesia’s Jakarta service has been postponed until next year.

Heathrow’s chief executive Colin Matthews said: “There is no need for a crystal ball to test Gatwick’s claims that it can provide long-haul flights when we have the hard evidence of 10 years of failure.

“While Heathrow has been full, airline after airline has tried without success to make long-haul flights from Gatwick work.

“Gatwick doesn’t have a flight to New York, one of the world’s most important business and financial centres, so it’s not surprising it can’t support routes to the less popular and more distant destinations that will be critical to future trade.”  [Gatwick now has a direct flight to News York with Norwegian.  AW Note. Nov 2015]

Heathrow said that it did not oppose the growth of Gatwick “as long as it is alongside building an expanded hub airport”.

A spokeswoman for Gatwick said that it serves more UK and international destinations than Heathrow.

“Heathrow is clearly worried about having to compete for the first time in London,” she said.

“Gatwick remains absolutely focused on securing new short and long destinations to the UK as we have shown with Moscow, Vietnam, Istanbul and Jakarta – bringing more choice, destinations and better fares to UK passengers.

“A significant number of the airlines which have left Gatwick over the last five years occurred during BAA’s ownership. These changes reflect the competitive nature of the aviation market. Heathrow itself has lost 15 long haul services to key destinations since April last year including Singapore, Mumbai and Bangkok.”

Both airports have put their cases for expansion to the Airports Commission, headed by Sir Howard Davies, which is looking at the issue of the UK’s hub capacity.

The commission is due to draw up a short-list of potential solutions by the end of the year, although the final recommendation will not be made until after the next general election in the summer of 2015.






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Group of Heathrow Community Noise Forum members express concerns about the airport’s treatment of the Forum

The Heathrow Community Noise Forum was set up earlier this year, by Heathrow, in an attempt to improve “engagement” with people affected by the airport’s noise. It aims to build trust, provide information, improve understanding of Heathrow’s operations, and seek communities’ input. The first phase of its work has been to employ consultants to verify how accurate Webtrak is, and to see whether flight paths now are much different to before the “trials” in 2014.  However, there has been some dissatisfaction from many of those attending that the Forum has not been working adequately. Eight of the groups that attend presented a statement to the meeting on 5th November, declaring their concerns. One particular matter raised was that Heathrow appears to have taken advantage of the Forum, without the consent of participants, in pressing its case for a 3rd runway. The airport has cited the existence of the Forum as evidence that it can be relied upon to engage with neighbouring communities. There have been instances where HAL has opted to publish its interpretation of analysis in the public domain, without consulting the Forum beforehand, leading some to question whether the HCNF is being used to benefit HAL’s commercial ambitions. The statement requires 4 changes to how the HCNF is conducted,  without which “the community groups will need to consider the value of the CNF as a mechanism to achieve their objectives”.



Group of Heathrow Community Noise Forum members express concerns about the airport’s treatment of the Forum


At the Heathrow Community Noise Forum (HCNF) meeting of 5 November 2015, eight of the participating community groups issued a statement expressing concern at Heathrow’s treatment of the Forum: not only for failing to seriously engage with the community groups; but – particularly in light of this failure – for continually citing the Forum’s very existence as evidence in advancing its case for expansion, that it can be relied upon to engage with its neighbouring communities.

The statement requires that Heathrow make four changes to the way in which it conducts the HCNF, without which “the community groups will need to consider the value of the CNF as a mechanism to achieve their objectives”.


At the Heathrow Community Noise Forum (HCNF) meeting on 5 November the Statement  [copied below] was presented on behalf of 8 of the community groups on the forum expressing concern about the rate of progress achieved to date and that the creation of the HCNF had been used directly and indirectly by Heathrow in support of its case for a third runway.

The HCNF was set up by Heathrow and attended by the community groups on the understanding it would address concerns about the airport ‘as it is’ and explicitly not in the context of expansion.

Community representatives come to the HCNF because of very real distress and harm that has been caused to significant areas around the airport by both the changed use of airspace over recent years, as well as the ongoing load of up to 766 flights a day over 17.5 hours on Easterly ops to which communities are subjected (based on published maximum figures). NATS’ website confirms that over 300 changes have been promoted in 5 years. The cumulative impact is that many communities are facing severe and unprecedented levels of noise.

The groups fear this is leading to significant impacts on physical and mental health of people (particularly families with children) living under Heathrow’s flight paths. They have written recently to the chief executive of the airport, Mr Holland-Kaye, demanding that Heathrow commissions an airport specific health impact assessment. This is particularly important as it is known that noise pollution from Heathrow alone already affects around one third of all people in Europe (before expansion) impacted by noise from aviation.  (Data source: CAA Figure 2 55 Lden 2006 figures).

The attached statement to Heathrow’s Sustainability and Environment Director, Matt Gorman, calls for significant changes to the HCNF to help the forum work more effectively going forwards, achieving a better balance between the airport, the aviation industry and the communities living within the Heathrow hinterland (which covers large parts of London and the south east).

The community groups’ proposals include;

  • A time bound action plan to alleviate aviation noise impacts, restoring conditions as far as possible to conditions two to three years ago, since when many of the major changes have been introduced.
  • A review of the HCNF’s terms of reference going forwards into 2016 to ensure that the emphasis is switched to addressing excessive noise rather than analysing it. The communities appreciate the analysis and verification work that has been undertaken in this regard by the airport’s consultants but now the time has come to act on it.
  • Resulting from the rapid rise in the number of community groups (reflecting a huge rise in complaints received by the airport), a review of the composition of the HCNF to ensure all relevant areas are covered.
  • The statement is copied below.


On behalf of:

Aircraft Noise 3 Villages (Lightwater, Bagshot & Windlesham)

Englefield Green Action Group

Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents Association

Plane Daft – Ascot

Richings Park Residents Association

Richmond Heathrow Campaign

Steve Bax, Councillor – Molesey East

Teddington Action Group

For further information, please contact Paul McGuinness on 07958 589894 or paul.mcguinness@workingfashions.com



The Heathrow Community Noise Forum

Details about it on the Heathrow website for the Community Noise Forum 

including Terms of Reference , meeting dates. Meeting notes and presentations from each of the previous meetings can be found here


Heathrow Community Noise Forum; 5 November 2015.

Statement by community groups

I would like to make a statement on behalf of the community groups who were signatories to
the letter to Mr Holland-Kaye dated 19 October. These groups have been involved with the
HCNF since its inception but are now expressing growing dissatisfaction relating to the rate
of progress of the CNF in particular and the lack of practical steps by the Aviation Industry,
represented here today to remedy the situation.

You are all aware of the very significant effect that aircraft noise, often up to 18 hours a day
is having on the physical and mental health of the many communities represented at this
forum. We wrote to John Holland-Kaye and called for a Heathrow airport specific health
impact study. Although we received a response from Mr Gorman yesterday afternoon this
does not address the health impact issues we have raised nor our other concerns that the
CNF has been used by Heathrow in various contexts to support its case for expansion.

Whilst we signed up to this forum in the belief it would be both collaborative and transparent, we now feel this not be the case.


Specifically we object to:

 the fact that whilst a full representation of the aviation industry is present, including
the airport operator, air traffic control, the CAA (which is supposed to be responsible
for protection the public from excessive aviation noise) as well as the airport’s largest
Customer airline BA, to date none of these bodies is capable of stating what has
changed, nor accept that material changes have occurred despite data now revealing
such changes. In fact no one is accepting accountability for the distress caused by
changes that have been permitted over the past two years.

 the fact that the industry in addition to not accepting responsibility is not disclosing
information in an open or timely manner. The Compton Route change is a case in
point. Were it not for continued pressure from this forum and affected communities,
would NATS ever have revealed the change? If we complain about lack of
transparency, or we lack confidence in this process, consider this. How were HAL
and NATS able to continue to issue data supporting that no changes had taken place,
when in fact changes HAD taken place but data did not reflect that change?

 the fact that there have been instances recently where, without consultation or
notification, HAL has opted to publish its interpretation of analysis in the public
domain. This behaviour is unacceptable and rightly leads members to question
whether the HCNF is being used for the benefit of HAL’s commercial ambitions.

 the selective use of information by HAL. One such example being the public
statement by HAL that PA Consulting stated that larger planes are flying 300 feet
lower than before when in fact PA Consulting stated that the AVERAGE of ALL
planes is some 300 feet lower. HALs interpretation is that things are in fact
improving when that is not the case.

 We now know that planes are being flown from Heathrow deliberately using a
stepped form of climb (although this is something nearer a plateau). We believe this is
a practice contrary to the CAA ERCD statement of 1999 and also contrary to the
Industry Code of Practice of 2012 that Heathrow have signed up to. The deliberate
low flying is one of the major causes of suffering amongst communities and in our
view represents a wholly irresponsible use of airspace.

 the fact that we have to resort to FOI requests for information on how noisy the new
generation A380s are. Had HAL been truly pro-active in seeking to protect
residents, this information should have been volunteered at this forum.


These are just a few examples of concerns being expressed amongst the groups.

If HAL and those representatives of the aviation industry here today are truly committed to
engaging with communities then we require that:

 The Terms of Reference are revisited and amended to better meet the needs of the
Communities (details to be forwarded to you).

 HAL works with communities to formulate an action plan which would result in a
return of conditions to an acceptable level at the earliest possible date.

 HAL and Industry representatives report accurately to Government that
concentration, stepped take offs and other measures taken designed to improve
performance is not working.

 If HAL is genuinely concerned about the well-being of its neighbours, then it will call
for a delay on a decision for further expansion until it has received the local health
impact investigation called for in our letter to Mr Holland-Kaye. Without this it is not
possible to understand noise effects, either of the current operation or resulting from
any intensification or expansion.


We want to work collaboratively but we need transparency and urgency injected into
remedying the unacceptable noise conditions to which communities are now subjected. If
we cannot agree on a workable way forward, then community groups will need to consider
the value of the CNF as a mechanism to achieve their objectives.
On behalf of
Aircraft Noise 3 Villages (Lightwater, Bagshot & Windlesham)
Ealing Aircraft Noise Action Group
Englefield Green Action Group
Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents Association
Plane Daft – Ascot
Richings Park Residents Association
Richmond Heathrow Campaign
Steve Bax, Elmbridge (signed in personal capacity)
Teddington Action Group





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New group (RAGE) in Elmbridge, to oppose Heathrow noise and expansion, want MP Dominic Raab to “come off the fence”

A new community group has been formed in Elmbridge. RAGE (Residents Action Group Elmbridge) is opposing changed Heathrow flight paths & a 3rd Heathrow runway, believing there is quite enough noise pollution and air pollution already, from the airport. Elmbridge is affected by Heathrow flights.  RAGE campaigners have demanded that their MP (Dominic Raab, Conservative – Esher and Walton) and Elmbridge Council take a stance on the issue – as a government decision on a new runway is anticipated before Christmas.  Neither has reached an official view on a Heathrow runway.  Dominic Raab is sitting on the fence, and not committing to oppose a Heathrow runway, presumably not keen to fall out with Tory leaders. He has said he is “scrutinising the Davies Report carefully, including testing the economic and environmental assumptions.” Mr Raab appears to be hoping there could, magically, be less noise for Elmbridge with a 3rd runway than currently.  “I want to check the facts and evidence very carefully before coming to a firm view….”  RAGE were shocked that Elmbridge Council had only just formed a task force on the issue.  RAGE spokeswoman Katy Glassborow said Heathrow expansion would bring more noise and pollution, and Dominic Raab should find out what local people think and work to prevent the negative impacts on his constituents. 


The new group in Elmbridge is RAGE (Residents Action Group Elmbridge)

Email: RAGEinElmbridge@gmail.com     Twitter:  

RAGE! Against changed Heathrow flight paths & Heathrow expansion. No 3rd runway! Enough air & noise pollution already.


Map shows how close the northern part of Elmbridge is to Heathrow (Elmbridge shaded in pink)

Elmbridge anger as MP and council ‘lack Heathrow stance’

17.11.2015 (BBC)

Campaigners fighting Heathrow expansion have demanded their MP and council take a stance on the issue – as a government decision looms by the end of the year.

The newly-formed group in Elmbridge, Surrey, called Rage, is opposing flight path changes and expansion.

Campaigners said Dominic Raab MP had not set out his views and were shocked that Elmbridge council had only just formed a task force.

Both the council and MP said they had not yet reached an official view.

The Esher and Walton Conservative MP said on his blog he was scrutinising the report by the Airports Commission, looking at the economic and environmental assumptions, testing assumptions on noise levels, and checking facts and evidence before reaching a firm view.

In a statement, Elmbridge council said it agreed in September to set up a group to explore the impact of Heathrow expansion and the outcome would inform its view.

Rage spokeswoman Katy Glassborow said expansion would bring more noise and pollution.

She said: “It’s about time he [Dominic Raab MP] found out what local people think and showed his colours on their behalf.

“We are calling on him and also Elmbridge Borough Council to move quickly to represent our views and oppose expansion plans.

“Otherwise, hundreds of thousands more planes could be flying over our homes and schools.”

Heathrow has said it is reducing its noise footprint and insisted that its air quality is better than the rest of London.

In July, the Airports Commission backed plans to build a new third runway at Heathrow, after nearly three years of deliberation.

The government has said it expects to make a decision by the end of the year.




See also

TAG (Teddington Action Group) Summary of Airports Commission Aircraft Noise on Health Paper – July 2015

Hello . Fed up of , & expansion plans? Join us to let & Dominic Raab know what you think!




Katy Glassborrow commented:
“Make you mind up time was a very, very long time ago.  People living in surrounding constituencies have long been defended by MPs willing to take a strong stand against Heathrow expansion, and protect the basic rights of the people they represent.  Like breathing air that doesn’t breach legal levels of toxicity, and the ability to get an adequate night’s sleep uninterrupted by aircraft noise.  Dominic Raab’s inertia is utterly baffling and we call on him to act immediately to quash plans for more runways, thus safeguarding our health, sanity and climate against the greed of the aviation industry.  No more runways Mr Raab!” said Katy Glassborow.
You can contact RAGE on Twitter: @RAGEinElmbridge or you can email us at RAGEinElmbridge@gmail.com or call 07890 814394


Dominic Raab’s blog states: 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Flights Overhead From Heathrow

This week, I met up with Nigel Milton (Heathrow’s Director for External Affairs) and Cheryl Monk (Heathrow’s Head of Community Relations), along with Molesey Councillor Steve Bax (who sits on Heathrow’s local Noise Community Forum).
The meeting was part of an ongoing dialogue since last year’s highly disruptive flight trial paths over Molesey (and Walton).   I live under the path, so I hear the noise first hand.
Two interesting points emerged from the meeting in that regard. First, no further flight path trials are (at least currently) planned across the same areas. Second, Heathrow have sought independent verification of the noise levels, using a Dutch firm, given the discrepancy between what some residents are reporting and Heathrow’s data. My strong sense is that noise levels have reduced significantly, but there have also been a lot of ‘Easterly Operations’ lately, which increase noise levels, dictated by weather conditions.
Of course, there is a much bigger issue looming, namely the decision on expansion of airport capacity, following the Davies Report.
I have made clear that I am scrutinising the Davies Report carefully, including testing the economic and environmental assumptions – both pros and cons – with business groups, local authorities, and other groups. 
As part of that process, I particularly want to test the assumption that a 3rd runway could be developed in a way that reduces noise levels (affecting Elmbridge and more generally). I want to check the facts and evidence very carefully before coming to a firm view, and I will feed my views, our community’s interests and concerns into government, before a decision is taken.

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