Birmingham gets weekly flights to Beijing and Hangzhou with Beijing Capital Airlines

It is expected that direct flights by Beijing Capital Airlines, from Birmingham to Beijing and to Hangzhou, some 60 miles from Shanghai, will start on July 19th.  At present there are only direct UK flights to China from Heathrow, with flights 4 times per week from Manchester with Hainan Airways starting this June. The new flights from Birmingham will operate on Saturdays to Beijing and on Tuesdays to Shanghai (Hangzhou) using an Airbus A330-200, with a total of 211 seats (33 business and 178 economy).  Flights to the Far East were a major target for Birmingham airport, after its £40 million runway extension allowing use by heavier planes. Birmingham also, from March 2016, obtained 8 flights per week by Qatar Airways Boeing 787s between Birmingham and Qatar.  Birmingham also has a daily service by Emirates, using an A380, to Dubai. Birmingham airport says the two new scheduled service follows on from some direct charter flights, which saw over 7,000 Chinese visitors travel through Birmingham Airport during 2014 and 2015, and in 2015 “around 150,000 people flew between our region and China, with passengers preferring to travel from their local airport.”
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Birmingham Airport secures two scheduled flights to China

21st APR 2016
BY GRAEME BROWN (Birmingham Post)

Flights will head out of the city to Beijing and Shanghai from this summer after a deal was struck with Beijing Capital Airlines

Birmingham Airport has secured a massive coup by announcing two scheduled services to China.

The twice weekly departures will offer passengers the chance to visit China’s capital and the country’s largest city.

It is a major feather in the cap as presently only Heathrow flies direct to China, with Manchester also set to fly there.

Flights to the Far East were a major target for the airport after its £40 million runway extension and comes on the back of securing Qatar Airways flights and the giant A380 plane, operated by Emirates.

The scheduled service follows on from the success of direct charter flights, the first outside of London, which saw over 7,000 Chinese visitors travel through Birmingham Airport during 2014 and 2015.

Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, said: “Today we have reached one of our goals – to offer direct scheduled services to China. We have made the investment, developed the market and today is testament that our region has enormous demand for direct flights to China.

“Last year around 150,000 people flew between our region and China, with passengers preferring to travel from their local airport. Beijing Capital Airlines and Caissa have recognised this demand, paving the way for a scheduled service to both Beijing and Shanghai.

“These flights will give our region direct access to China and will also offer Chinese tourists an alternative gateway to the UK, which has previously proved so popular.”

The flights to Beijing Airport and Hangzhou Airport will start on July 19.  [Hangzhou airport is some 60 miles south west of Shanghai.  Map]

These flights will be on sale to UK residents and will also be sold ‘inbound’ through the Chinese tour operator Caissa Touristic, one of China’s best-established Travel Companies.

The scheduled services will operate on Saturdays to Beijing and on Tuesdays to Shanghai (Hangzhou) and will be operated by an airbus A330-200 aircraft, with a total of 211 seats – 33 business and 178 in economy.

Andrew Dunbar, head of international relations, China, at Marketing Birmingham, said it was a major step forward. He said: “I have very rarely had a conversation with an inbound Chinese investor who didn’t ask about direct flights.

“It is incredibly important to be able to travel direct into the market.”

City businessman Anthony McCourt, founder of Court Collaboration which invests in Birmingham property backed by Chinese funding, said scheduled flights were the bare minimum needed to maximise the relationship

“Birmingham and China have a flourishing relationship and direct flights are crucial to that.

“But this is just part of that – the city has an opportunity to be a critical ally to an emerging superpower and we should be doing more to make sure that happens.”

http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/business-news/birmingham-airport-secures-two-scheduled-11217432

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See earlier:

Beijing Capital Airlines hopes to get permission for direct flights between Birmingham and Hangzhou

Beijing Capital Airlines has requested rights to introduce weekly services at Birmingham from Beijing, and also the first direct link to the UK from the Hangzhou, the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. The airline wants this from 2016, according to the CAAC. The airline entered the long-haul market in September this year having introduced a first Airbus A330 into its fleet. The aircraft, a former Garuda Indonesia A330-200, has been used on weekly flights from Beijing and Hangzhou to Copenhagen. Its debut in the UK would see it replicate this Copenhagen operation at Birmingham with weekly flights from both Beijing and Hangzhou from April 2016. The Beijing route has been served in the past two summer schedules by China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, but Hangzhou will be a new market not just for Birmingham, but the UK. KLM currently is the only airline with a direct link from Europe, at Schiphol, to Hangzhou. Beijing Capital Airlines has only held informal discussions with Birmingham airport’s management and no agreement has yet been reached should it get the green light from Chinese authorities. More should be know later this month. If Birmingham gets China flights, that is one less reason why a south east runway is needed for “vital business connectivity” to China.

Click here to view full story…

Direct Hainan Airlines flights from Manchester to Beijing, starting June 2016, announced on President Xi’s UK visit

Manchester airport started Cathay Pacific direct flights to Hong Kong in December 2014. Now with the state visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UK, the first ever direct air link between Beijing and Manchester has been formally unveiled. President Xi was joined at the airport by David Cameron for the announcement of the Hainan Airlines service, which will fly four times per week, from June 2016. There are the usual claims of huge impacts on the economy with the link contributing “£50m annually to the city’s economy” and the usual mentions of both economies being “open for business.” Also the “northern powerhouse.” There are also other “substantial cooperation agreements” being signed between the two countries, covering economy, trade, investment, infrastructure, scientific innovation, manufacturing and sports. The Manchester Airports Group has been keen to get direct Beijing flights for years, to link northern businesses to the Far East economies – and get high spending tourists. The Chinese state-owned Beijing Construction and Engineering Group (BCEG) has already invested heavily in Manchester’s “Airport City.” There is also to be a £130 million ‘China Cluster’ to provide a commercial base for Chinese businesses arriving in the UK, based around two campuses within the Manchester Airport City development.

Click here to view full story…

Birmingham airport to get 8 flights per week to Doha by Qatar Airways

After the runway extension at Birmingham was finally opened in May 2014, the airport has been keen to get some long haul flights to justify it. Now from March 2016 there are to be 8 flights per week by Qatar Airways Boeing 787s between Birmingham and Qatar. There will be one flight per day, but two on Saturdays. This means there is capacity for 100,000 people per year to fly between Birmingham and Qatar. The 787s have 22 business class seats,and 232 economy seats (= 254 seats. Variants of 787 seating plans can be from 242 to 335 passengers, so this few passengers is not particularly fuel efficient). Birmingham says they are the 4th airport (with Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh) in the UK to have flights to Qatar. This is being sold as being a useful link for people from the Midlands wanting to watch the World Cup final in 2022. Birmingham airport’s CEO, Paul Kehoe is enthusiastic about “a choice of 152 destinations served by the airline, including South East Asia, China and Australasia” from Qatar, for “commercial and leisure links.” With more Qatar flights from Edinburgh and Manchester, it will operate 71 flights per week between the UK and Qatar from March 2016. Again, reducing the alleged need for a new south east runway, for this sort of flight.

Click here to view full story…

Birmingham airport to get 8 flights per week to Doha by Qatar Airways

After the runway extension at Birmingham was finally opened in May 2014, the airport has been keen to get some long haul flights to justify it. Now from March 2016 there are to be 8 flights per week by Qatar Airways Boeing 787s between Birmingham and Qatar. There will be one flight per day, but two on Saturdays. This means there is capacity for 100,000 people per year to fly between Birmingham and Qatar. The 787s have 22 business class seats,and 232 economy seats (= 254 seats. Variants of 787 seating plans can be from 242 to 335 passengers, so this few passengers is not particularly fuel efficient). Birmingham says they are the 4th airport (with Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh) in the UK to have flights to Qatar. This is being sold as being a useful link for people from the Midlands wanting to watch the World Cup final in 2022. Birmingham airport’s CEO, Paul Kehoe is enthusiastic about “a choice of 152 destinations served by the airline, including South East Asia, China and Australasia” from Qatar, for “commercial and leisure links.” With more Qatar flights from Edinburgh and Manchester, it will operate 71 flights per week between the UK and Qatar from March 2016. Again, reducing the alleged need for a new south east runway, for this sort of flight.

Click here to view full story…

Airbus A380 to fly from Birmingham Airport for first time

17 DEC 2015
BY GRAEME BROWN

The giant Airbus A380 will be used from Birmingham Airport from March 27 next year, Emirates has announced, as its service to Dubai is upgraded.

The plane seats 557 passengers in economy class and 58 in business and comes to the city as Emirates celebrates its 15th anniversary at Birmingham Airport.

Emirates will be replacing the current Boeing 777 to the Airbus A380 on the lunchtime service into Birmingham.

The upgrade will increase daily capacity to and from the region by 15%, and means Emirates will now offer 77 A380 flights into the UK each week, more than any other country on the Emirates network.

……..

Emirates first launched its route to Birmingham Airport as a daily service to Dubai, with a 278-seat Airbus A330 in in December 2000.

As passenger numbers have risen, Emirates has added more aircraft to the route, including a third daily service introduced this year.

In the last 15 years, it has carried over five million passengers between Dubai and Birmingham, with over 500,000 travelling in 2015 so far.

Emirates flights tend to be used by travellers using Birmingham to visit the southern hemisphere.

Its global network from Dubai has recently expanded to include Bali, Multan and Mashhad this year. Popular destinations on the Emirates network from Birmingham include Dubai, Islamabad, and Bangkok.

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/airbus-a380-fly-birmingham-airport-10611920


 

American Airlines to launch direct flights to New York from Birmingham

Birmingham Airport says it will have a daily service to JFK New York, by American Airlines, from next spring. It hopes to have nearly 100,000 seats on the route, per year. There is already a route from Birmingham to Newark, by United Airlines. The route is likely to be used by more people on leisure trips, than business, though some American tourists may come to places like Stratford and further afield. But the airport CEO Paul Kehoe said: “Last year, the West Midlands exported £4.5 billion worth of goods to North America and has the largest trade surplus with North America of any UK region… etc etc.” This is seen as the first test of the business model of the runway extension. The route will be operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft with 22 Business Class seats and 160 Main Cabin seats. Whether or not this new service actually needs the new runway extension, or could have managed on the old runway, is a moot point. 757s can use Luton’s runway (2160 metres), and Birmingham’s was 2,650 metres before the recent 400 metre extension, to now be 3,050 metres long. So justifying the extension?

Click here to view full story…

Birmingham delighted to get daily flight to India, largely for tourism and VFR

Birmingham airport’s is encouraged by a decision by Air India to increase the number of flights between Birmingham, Delhi and Amritsa from 4 per week to 7 per week. This will start from November, when its 18th Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is inducted into service. Birmingham has now had direct flights to India for one year, after having none for 5 years. Though some passengers are on business, the majority are tourists and people visiting friends and relatives in India. Having three more flights per week will mean an extra 1,500 seats a week, as the Air India Dreamliners have 256 seats (256 x 3 x 2 = 1,5360. Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive, said “The West Midlands receives more foreign direct investment from India than any other region outside of London and Birmingham’s VFR (visiting friends and family) market grew by 71% in 2013, now attracting more visitors from India than any English city other than London.” The runway extension, that opened in April, is enabling more flights to longer haul destinations. The flight path trials, due to the runway extension, are causing real concern and distress to those south of the airport, now finding themselves seriously overflown.

Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »

Three SHE public meetings in the Heathrow villages for residents threatened by 3rd runway

Residents from the Heathrow villages joined local MP John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington) and Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE), Jackie Clark to discuss the impacts of a third runway on the local area. The meeting was the second of three planned around the area. John McDonnell outlined the latest developments with the campaign, and some of his activities on the issue in recent months. They also outlined the plan of action for later this year, if the Government announces its support for the runway.  John said:  “In Hayes we face being subject to more aircraft noise, more air pollution and a poorer quality of life. Even if the government opts to support a third runway in July or September, we will fight this in the courts, as we did last time. And we will win again.” The subject of most concern was air pollution, and in particular the impact on children.  Parts of Hayes and West Drayton are the most polluted areas near Heathrow, with air quality monitors register damaging level of NO2 above the EU limit of 40 micrograms per cubic metre. Other topics discussed throughout the evening included aircraft noise, traffic congestion and the political situation. Some residents remain unaware of the terrible impacts of a 3rd runway with a further 260,000 flights and associated road traffic including many more heavy goods vehicles
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Residents question MP about runway

22.4.2016 (SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion)

Residents joined local MP John McDonnell and Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, Jackie Clark to discuss the impacts of a third runway on the local area. The two explained both the current state of play on Heathrow and the plan of action for later this year, if the Government announces its support for a third runway.

Speaking at Hayes & Harlington Community Centre on Thursday evening, McDonnell outlined the latest developments with the campaign, and some of his activities on the issue in recent months.

John McDonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington, said: “In Hayes we face being subject to more aircraft noise, more air pollution and a poorer quality of life. Even if the government opts to support a third runway in July or September, we will fight this in the courts, as we did last time. And we will win again.”

Topics discussed throughout the evening ranged from aircraft noise, air pollution, traffic congestion and the political situation.

One theme that dominated the evening was air pollution, particularly in relation to children’s health whilst at school. Jackie Clark, Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “Right across the south of Hillingdon there are very high levels of asthma sufferers, particularly amongst school children. It’s very worrying to think if Heathrow get their way, considerably more numbers of children would experience higher levels of pollution-inflicted illnesses in Hayes and beyond.”

Stop Heathrow Expansion are holding another meeting, open to all residents, on Thursday 26 May in Yiewsley. http://www.stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/three-public-meetings-announced/
Robert Barnstone 07806 947050‎; robert.barnstone@outlook.com

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Three public meetings organised by SHE

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TUESDAY 5TH APRIL, 8PM – CRANE COMMUNITY CENTRE, FULLER WAY, HAYES UB3 4LW

THURSDAY 21ST APRIL, 8PM – HAYES AND HARLINGTON COMMUNITY CENTRE, ALBERT ROAD, HAYES UB3 4HR

THURSDAY 26TH MAY, 8PM – ST MATTHEWS CHURCH, HIGH STREET, YIEWSLEY UB7 7QH

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The meetings will have guest speakers including John McDonnell MP.

The locations and distribution of the SHE newspapers have deliberately focussed on West Drayton and Hayes this time. These areas would be the new “front line” if a third runway gets the go ahead.

Parts of Hayes and West Drayton are also shown to be the most polluted areas near Heathrow, yet many of its residents are still unaware of the terrible impact of a third runway with a further 260,000 flights and associated road traffic including many more heavy goods vehicles.

Air quality monitors in both areas register damaging Nitrogen Dioxide ABOVE the EU annual legal limits of 40 micrograms per cubic metre. Worst still the annual figures are arrived at by examining the pollution over a year, which evens out the high and the low readings.

You and your children cannot hold your breathe during a period of very high pollution and wait until pollution levels drop before you inhale.

The Hayes monitor is at the junction of North Hyde Road and North Hyde Gardens, a residential area that already suffers heavy traffic. The West Drayton monitor (picture below, conveniently blending in with the green surroundings) has the highest Nitrogen Dioxide levels of all the 11 monitors around Heathrow. It is sited by Keats Way, only a few metres away from Cherry Lane School and Children’s Centre!

In a one-hour period in January 2016 it recorded Nitrogen Dioxide at 228 micrograms per cubic metre – an eight-year high!! There is no doubt that pollution is damaging our health.

Keats Way air pollution monitor (Defra)

Keats Way air pollution monitor (Defra)

No one should be simply sitting back and hoping that our government sees sense and calls a halt to further expansion at Heathrow. We need to take action before a decision this summer.

Please come along to one of our meetings and encourage others to join us to find out how they can help our campaign.

 

 

 


 


 

The Stop Heathrow Expansion website states (2015):

Health

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has just reported that Hillingdon Borough has had the greatest increase in population of all the London boroughs since 1939, with an increase of around 130,000 people (82%). A large proportion of those have been housed in the southern wards, which are the most densely populated. These are the areas in the borough that will be most affected by Heathrow expansion.

Health services are already unable to cope and services have been crumbling for some time. Talk to Hillingdon residents, particularly those living in the south, and you will hear about the difficulty of accessing services too.  Four out of five Heathrow Villages have no GP surgery, dentist or pharmacy.  It is not uncommon to wait 3 weeks for a GP appointment for illness.  We hear of GPs leaving the area but none arriving.  If your illness becomes serious and you need to visit the A&E at Hillingdon Hospital you can expect a long wait.  If you need a scan you could find yourself waiting a long time – only to discover that a transit passenger who has just been taken ill at Heathrow is ahead of you in the queue.

Problems are not exclusive to Hillingdon. Services around West London are coping with cuts, forcing many people to seek medical care outside of their local area. For example, patients living in Heathrow Villages ward may have to have blood tests at Ashford Hospital, dental treatment in Hounslow and see specialists at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. This knock-on effect will certainly be more apparent to people in other areas when the first flood of people looking for the promised new jobs arrive.

The impact on health should be a major concern. No amount of projected financial benefit should detract from the damage caused to the health of those forced to live with Heathrow expansion. 

We are aware that the Commission has numerous advisors who can assist with examination of the research evidence that shows the detrimental impact of noise and air pollution on health. Our representative at the Commission event in December and the Hillingdon Borough submission have both listed some figures (patients suffering specific conditions such as asthma) but even these do not show those who have not been diagnosed or are being treated for an airport-related illness not featured in the list. People living under threat of losing their homes have also asked us to mention the impact on mental health and stress-related conditions. 

Fundamentally, it should be a basic human right to breathe without the fear that the air in your lungs is shortening your life. People currently living near Heathrow cannot do that. 

It is important that the damage caused by particulates generated by increases in road traffic, which includes the planned increase in freight vehicles, is examined. It is not acceptable that children should be expected to live, play and learn in an environment that is known to damage their developing lungs. Life expectancy in the south of Hillingdon is 7 years shorter than in the north of the borough and pollution is said to be responsible for one in twelve deaths in London.  Even if Davies puts Heathrow profit before  people, the cost of caring for those made ill by pollution and prematurely dying should be factored in to the estimated costs.

http://www.stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/health/

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Earlier:

At London rally, John McDonnell hits out at “lying” aviation officials over Heathrow claims

At the huge anti-Heathrow 3rd runway rally, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell lashed out at ‘lying’ aviation officials, saying ‘poisoned’ air is killing residents in the area. He said the aviation industry has ‘consistently lied’ about expanding the UK’s largest airport. He said if it would be ‘down to people power’ to prevent the 3rd runway being built, if the expansion is backed by Parliament and court appeals against the decision fail. “I will welcome back to my constituency, climate camp and all those demonstrators that will take action to prevent this runway being built.”… He said in his Hayes & Harlington constituency, next door to Heathrow: “… at the moment, people are literally dying. They’re dying because the air has already been poisoned by the aviation industry. …They’ve promised us after every inquiry, no further expansion. They are liars. They have consistently lied to us. They now tell us if they get a 3rd runway, there’ll be no increase in noise and no increase in pollution. They lie every time to us.” He said up to 4,000 homes would be demolished, or rendered unliveable in his constituency. Both main mayoral candidates, Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan, also addressed the rally, and spoke about the seriousness of the risk to ever worse air quality – with its health implications.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/at-london-rally-john-mcdonnell-hits-out-at-lying-aviation-officials-over-heathrow-claims/

Read more »

Residents in Heathrow villages say airport failing to tackle nightmare of parking by private hire vehicles

People in the Heathrow villages have the continuing anxiety of having to move out of their homes, if the government decides to approve a Heathrow runway. Now, in addition to the many trials and tribulations they face, from their airport neighbour, there is an increasing problem of parking by Uber drivers, waiting to get lucrative trips from Heathrow. Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) report that for years they have had to endure the anti-social behaviour of private hire vehicles in their streets.  SHE have found bottles of urine, excrement and litter left by the legions of private hire drivers who park in every available space. This nightmare takes place in Harlington, Colnbrook, Stanwell Moor and many other locations that enable these drivers to have speedy access to Heathrow. Clearly none of these drivers live close to Heathrow otherwise they could park in their own streets, so the taxi work is not going to local people. SHE says complaints have been made to Heathrow and TfL for years but residents have just been fobbed off with excuses. No action has been taken and residents have seen no improvement. Residents have experienced intimidation and threats from drivers if they photograph them and their cars. The number of Uber drivers licensed grows by several hundred every week. Better control seems to be needed.
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Heathrow fails to tackle private hire vehicle nightmare

? 17th April 2016 (SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion)

For years, people living near Heathrow airport have had to endure the anti-social behaviour of private hire vehicles in their streets yet Heathrow has failed to take action to resolve the problem – as seen on BBC London News today.

Local residents, including a member of the SHE committee, and Cllr Peter Money met Reporter Caroline Davies to take a look at the problem. Ms Davies visited the Bolton’s Lane area in Harlington to see for herself the bottles of urine, excrement and litter left by the legions of private hire drivers who park in every available space. This nightmare is replicated in other Heathrow villages, Colnbrook, Stanwell Moor and many other locations that enable these drivers to have speedy access to Heathrow.

DSCF8502Car parked on pavement and double yellow lines on dangerous bend.

Drivers using the Uber app to get business are particularly keen to be close to the airport to stand the best chance of getting a fare. However, even before Uber became established, streets like Bolton’s Lane, Doghurst Drive, Doghurst Avenue and Sipson Way were dominated by illegally parked private hire vehicles. Even the car park in Sipson’s Recreation Ground became so crammed with vehicles that the Council were forced to local the gates almost permanently. Before this action there was even a company that ran its business from the car park, using the location to store cars that their owners had paid to have parked safely while they were on holiday.

Illegally parked in a permit holders only area. Driver sleeps with sweaty feet out of the window.

Illegally parked in a permit holders only area. Driver sleeps with sweaty feet out of the window.

Are these the local jobs that Heathrow promises? Clearly none of these drivers live close to Heathrow otherwise they could park in their own streets.

Complaints have been made to Heathrow and TfL for years but residents have just been fobbed off with excuses. They have now formed a group and are discussing the issue with stakeholders. Meanwhile, residents see no improvement. Hillingdon Council is warning drivers that they will fine drivers heavily for anti-social behaviour – if they are caught. Residents can expect intimidation and threats if they photograph the culprits but these pictures and videos are now going on social media.

In some areas drivers can park if they "pay and display" - this driver has done neither.

In some areas drivers can park if they “pay and display” – this driver has done neither.

Tom Edwards commented on the 6.30pm London News that there are 30,000 more drivers than two years ago and anyone who meets certain conditions is granted a licence – that’s around 600 new licences every week. Transport for London (TfL) that issues the licences says that they want government legislation to put a cap on the number of licences that can be issued but Tom Edwards says a change in the law doesn’t look likely.

Frankly the only way forward is to remove the licence of any driver who commits offences, whether these are illegal parking, verbal abuse, threats of physical violence or intimidation.

Driver gives a rude gesture.

Driver gives a rude gesture.

Company that uses the V-sign driver saw nothing wrong with is behaviour when contacted.

Kent company that uses the V-sign driver saw nothing wrong with his behaviour when contacted.

The facts from the BBC report with our comments in brackets:

TfL figures – Private hire vehicle licences 2009/10 – 59,191

Currently 87,734. 600 new licences issued each week.

GMB Union – Professional drivers branch said not enough toilets for drivers in London but that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable. (No sign of action against offending drivers.)

Heathrow – Working with union to create a “code of conduct”. (No information on how this would be enforced since only a code.)

Heathrow and TfL – say they are working with neighbouring local authorities, residents etc. (No results so far.)

Councillors – Say that one option being looked at is a place for them to park. (This has been suggested but the response was that, unlike drivers of London Black taxis, the private hire drivers won’t pay a charge.)

Residents – Tom Edwards says that Uber want them to complain to Uber. (SHE is aware that complaints to bosses have been met with polite responses but no action.

Private hire driver leaves residents a glass of his own home-made brew - cheers!

Private hire driver leaves residents a glass of his own home-made brew – cheers!

http://www.stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/heathrow-fails-to-tackle-private-hire-vehicle-nightmare/

 


From a Colnbrook Views article on 19.4.2016:

Cllr Hood also reported that Heathrow is cracking down on Uber cabs making them use onsite parking to tackle the problems on the surrounding roads of “litter and toileting”.

The new waiting facility for private hire vehicles was discussed at the Forum’s last meeting in December.  Intended to be ready for operation by the Summer, depending on permission from Hillingdon as local planning authority, the facility will provide up to 800 spaces but will incur a fee to use.  This fee will cover the cost of running the operation and will be set at a level that will be “attractive for the private hire industry to use”.

The black cab community has been engaged to mitigate any issues that may arise with them when this new facility is opened, minutes report.

In December Cllr Hood expressed the view that that the community impacts from Heathrow on the road network was significant. He said that Heathrow needs to accept their share of the responsibility. The airport’s Sustainable Travel Manager, Theo Panayi, agreed and said that specific concerns with HGV’s would be raised at the next Freight working group.

Asked what incentives will be given to encourage drivers to use the facility, Panay said there would be good facilities including food, toilets and litter bins. Heathrow would work with app based private hire vehicles to blank out areas around Heathrow to prevent drivers parking in local streets and villages, using geofencing technology. This means that cars would not be called for a job if they are on any of these roads.

He acknowledged the problem will not disappear overnight but is confident that the facility will be used by taxis.

http://www.colnbrook.info/brexit-would-mean-no-third-runway-decision-this-summer/

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Earlier:

Local taxis to be hit as Heathrow launches clampdown on “antisocial” drivers

27 APRIL, 2015 (Colnbrook Views)

Heathrow is set to impose a further crackdown on local taxi cabs using the airport, it told community representatives last month.

Local taxi firms, first hit with punitive ‘taxes’ by Heathrow in August 2010, are to be hit yet again by the airport.

Heathrow is working on an “informal agreement” with Transport for London to reduce reported issues with a number private hire vehicle drivers, the airport told representatives at a meeting of Heathrow’s Local Focus Forum on March 17th 2015.

The clampdown comes in response to concerns apparently raised by residents regarding the “antisocial behaviour” of private hire vehicle drivers.

But the new tool could be used by Heathrow to bar local cabbies from the airport altogether following calls from residents of the Heathrow villages.

Armelle Thomas, a resident from Harmondsworth, said the attitude of some of the private hire drivers was very poor and pushed Heathrow during the meeting to ban them altogether.

Chris Joyce, Surface Access Strategy Manager for the airport, said the airport is working with TfL and looking at introducing a ‘charter’ for drivers:

“The charter will provide a basic agreement linked to their licence that can be used as leverage to improve behaviour.”

Since 2010 local taxi cabs have been penalised with short term car parking fees every time they pick up from any of the Heathrow terminals, adding a £3.50 surcharge to a £10 taxi fare from Colnbrook.  They risk a £40 charge if they do not use the designated zones.  Black cabs, meanwhile, go free.

Local taxi firms have struggled amid falling demand since the recession and inter firm rivalries.  Colnbrook taxi firm Elite closed down at the end of last year.

Heathrow says details of the agreement will be communicated once finalised.

http://www.colnbrook.info/local-taxis-to-be-hit-as-heathrow-launches-clampdown-on-antisocial-drivers/

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Transport for London approves clampdown on Uber and minicab drivers

By HATTY COLLIER
17 March 2016 (Evening Standard)

Transport for London has today approved plans to curb the soaring number of Uber cars and minicabs by using English and geography tests alongside beefed up insurance requirements.

Drivers will now have to take basic English language and “Knowledge-lite” style geography tests before driving in the capital.

Minicab drivers also face a crackdown on insurance requirements to ensure passengers are covered for accidents.

The TfL board approved all but one of Boris Johnson’s proposals to crackdown on minicabs at their meeting this afternoon.

Plans to scrap “men with clipboards” outside nightclubs who were licensed to provide minicabs have been put on hold and will be reconsidered at a later date.

The Mayor has come under growing pressure to do more to curb London’s 25,000-vehicle strong Uber, which the black cab trade claims is driving it out of business.

But in a statement, Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the London Taxi Drivers’ Association (LDTA), said the changes did not go far enough.

He said: “TfL has wasted a huge opportunity to improve standards within the private hire industry for the benefit of drivers, passengers and other road users.

“The review of private hire regulations was aimed at improving passenger safety, and most of the proposals were sensible and endorsed by the LTDA.

“We are pleased TfL has committed to taking some of them forward, but as result of undue influence, TfL has not gone anywhere far enough.

“Introducing Hire and Reward operator insurance is the only way to categorically ensure that all passengers travelling in a private hire vehicle (PHV) in London are covered in the event of an accident.

“The failure to take this proposal forward means uninsured PHVs will continue to operate in the capital, putting Londoners at risk. The next mayor needs to address this issue as a matter of priority.

The number of private hire drivers has grown from 59,000 in April 2010 to about 100,000 today, contributing to congestion, pollution and illegal parking.

Mr Johnson has previously failed to persuade the Government to allow him to cap the number of minicabs.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/transport-for-london-approves-clampdown-on-uber-and-minicab-drivers-a3206281.html


Earlier: 

Uber scrap flat rate fares to London airports, but residents report problems with residential parking by drivers

Uber has announced it will stop offering flat rate fares to customers travelling to Heathrow and Gatwick Airport.  Uber used to offer a series of set fares for trips to the London airports, so customers know what to expect when going on their holidays and leisure trips. Uber fares to Heathrow from west London would start at £30, while passengers from south east London could get to Gatwick for £50.  Now the fares will be calculated on the time and distance, as they are for other Uber journeys. Customers can see from the phone app how much their trip will cost. Uber also announced that airport pick-ups will incur an additional surcharge, to cover minimum parking costs. However, there are a number of reports indicating that Uber cars are upsetting residents in areas near Heathrow, as large numbers park (for free) in residential roads, for hours, waiting for calls to pick up passengers. Waiting in streets with no facilities mean drivers have been reported urinating in gardens, or defecating near their cars. There have been complaints of groups of drivers appearing to be a threatening presence, being rude to residents, sleeping in their cars, and playing music into the night, while they wait.  Uber and Heathrow are meant to be trying to sort out the problems. Problems are also reported in the Stansted area.

Click here to view full story…


Read more »

Advertising Standards Authority rules against misleading “Back Heathrow” ad claiming 60% support for runway

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert from “Back Heathrow” claiming that most local people back Heathrow expansion. “Back Heathrow” is a lobby group, funded through Heathrow with the aim of pushing for the 3rd runway. Back Heathrow ran a regional press ad headlined “Rallying for the runway” with the line “Don’t believe the hype. Most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion.”  They claimed from polls there was 60% support.  The ASA says the claim was misleading, and the 60% figure had only been massaged up from 50% to that level by omitting the 15% who did not express an opinion. The ASA considered most consumers were likely to understand it to mean that a clear majority of those surveyed in the poll (the original sample) were in support of expansion. They ruled that removing the 15% was “not a suitable methodology by which to draw such a conclusion, and was misleading. The ad must not appear again in its current form, and “Back Heathrow” must not repeat these claims ” unless it held robust substantiation for them.”  This is a blow to “Back Heathrow,” the strategy of which has been to try to convince decision-makers that a majority of local people back a 3rd runway.  That claim looks flimsy. 
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Advertising Standards Authority bans Back Heathrow advert over its claim most local people back Heathrow expansion

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20.4.2016 (Hacan press release)

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert from Back Heathrow claiming that most local people back expansion at the airport. 

The lobby group, which was set up to push for a third runway and which receives funding from Heathrow Airport, was criticised for failing to provide polling data to back up its claim.  Back Heathrow ran a regional press ad headlined “Rallying for the runway” which included the line “Don’t believe the hype. Most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion.”

The Advertising Standards Authority received five complaints that said the claim that the group had widespread local support was misleading.

Back Heathrow said in a footnote to the ad that the latest independent polling showed 60% of local residents had “expressed an opinion in support of expansion”.  The ASA found that to get to the statement of 60% in support, the Back Heathrow campaign had excluded 15% of those surveyed on the grounds they had not expressed any opinion, creating their own analysis of just for/against.

“Given that a significant number of respondents, who had expressed an opinion albeit a neutral one, had been excluded from the sample, we considered that this was not a suitable methodology by which to draw such a conclusion,” ruled the ASA. “We considered that the evidence held back by Back Heathrow demonstrated that only 50% of all those polled were in support of expansion.”

The ASA said that therefore Back Heathrow did not substantiate its claim that “most” people living in communities near Heathrow airports supported its expansion.  “Consequently, the ad breached the [advertising] code,” the ASA ruled. “We told Back Heathrow not to repeat the claims … unless it held robust substantiation for them.”

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, the campaign group which opposes Heathrow expansion, said: “This ruling is a real blow to Back Heathrow as a cornerstone of its strategy has been to try to convince decision-makers that a majority of local people back a third runway.  These claims are now starting to unravel.”

ENDS

For further information:  John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650

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Heathrow ad lands in trouble for holding back polling data

Advertising Standards Authority bans campaign group’s advert that said most communities support expansion after finding it had held back polling data

By Mark Sweney @marksweney (Guardian)
20 April 2016

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A group pushing for a third runway at Heathrow has had an ad claiming the support of most local residents banned after the advertising watchdog found it had held back polling data.

Back Heathrow ran a regional press ad headlined “Rallying for the runway” which ran with the line “Don’t believe the hype. Most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion.”

The Advertising Standards Authority received five complaints that said the claim that the group had widespread local support was misleading.

Back Heathrow said that in light of another ASA ruling against a similar campaign it had run, which was banned, the group had made sure the survey of residents had come from constituencies the watchdog deemed “local to Heathrow”.

Within the 12 constituencies polled, 50% supported the expansion compared to 33% who did not.

Back Heathrow also said that it added a footnote to the ad which stated that the latest independent polling showed 60% of local residents had “expressed an opinion in support of expansion”.

The ASA found that to get to the statement of 60% in support, the Back Heathrow campaign had excluded 15% of those surveyed on the grounds they had not expressed any opinion, creating their own analysis of just for/against.

“Given that a significant number of respondents, who had expressed an opinion albeit a neutral one, had been excluded from the sample, we considered that this was not a suitable methodology by which to draw such a conclusion,” ruled the ASA. “We considered that the evidence held back by Back Heathrow demonstrated that only 50% of all those polled were in support of expansion.”

The ASA said that therefore Back Heathrow did not substantiate its claim that “most” people living in communities near Heathrow airport supported its expansion.

“Consequently, the ad breached the [advertising] code,” the ASA ruled. “We told Back Heathrow not to repeat the claims … unless it held robust substantiation for them.”

Groups such as Back Heathrow say they represent local residents who support a third runway at the site, however anti-expansion campaigners and Gatwick, which is competing to get its own new runway, have claimed the groups are a front for the airport’s own campaigns.

The battle between Heathrow and Gatwick over where to build a new runway to meet rocketing demand in and around London has become politically toxic with many residents and local politicians near both sites opposed to expansion. The government has repeatedly put off making a decision, and now says an answer won’t be given until this summer at the earliest.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/apr/20/heathrow-ad-lands-in-trouble-for-holding-back-polling-data

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ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY UPHOLD TEDDINGTON ACTION GROUP’S COMPLAINT ABOUT MISLEADING “BACK HEATHROW” ADVERT

20..4.2016 (TAG – Teddington Action Group press release)

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld complaints made by members of Teddington Action Group about a Back Heathrow advert claiming that “Most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion”.

The decision follows a similar ruling by the ASA in September 2015 banning a pro-expansion advert from Heathrow Airport Ltd which claimed “Those around us are behind us”.  In both cases, the ASA concluded that the claims could not be substantiated and were misleading.

Back Heathrow, which claims itself to be “a group of residents, businesses and community groups”, is in fact a lobby group, set up and funded by Heathrow Airport so as to give the impression of widespread local support for an extra runway. It is actually run by communications professionals, and headed by industry insider, Rob Gray, who previously worked for the Aviation Foundation to promote the interests of aviation to the UK.

In its ruling, the ASA found that Back Heathrow had excluded 15% of respondents who had responded to a poll as “neither in support nor against”, so as to increase the percentage of residents they could claim supported expansion. The ASA concluded that this was not a suitable methodology from which to draw the conclusion that “most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion”.

Paul McGuinness, spokesman for Teddington Action Group said:

“We were expecting this ruling by the ASA, which again highlights the underhand tactics to which Heathrow Airport will readily resort, in their bid for a third runway.  It was simply a question of “here they go again”. Back Heathrow itself, right from the start, has sought to mislead the public by claiming to represent communities when it is funded by Heathrow Airport.  Heathrow is situated amongst some of the UK’s most densely populated residential areas, and excepting the vocal few who have a direct vested interest in the airport, the majority oppose the additional noise and air pollution that a third runway would bring”.

For further information, contact Paul McGuinness on 07958 589894.

  1. Back Heathrow’s website is backheathrow.org
  2. Teddington Action Group is a genuine community group representing residents living in Teddington and the surrounding areas including Twickenham, Strawberry Hill and Hampton Hill. teddingtonactiongroup.com

 

The Advertising Standards Authority website says:

https://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2016/4/Back-Heathrow/SHP_ADJ_315946.aspx#.Vxc9E_krLIW

ASA Ruling on Back Heathrow

Back Heathrow t/a Back Heathrow

Barley Mow Centre
10 Barley Mow Passge
Chiswick
W4 4PH

Date:

20 April 2016

Media:

Regional press

Sector:

Holidays and travel

Number of complaints:

5

Agency:

None

Complaint Ref:

A15-315946

Ad

A regional press ad for Back Heathrow, a group in support of proposed Heathrow airport expansion, which appeared on 12 and 16 October 2015, was headlined “Rallying for the runway”. Further text stated “Don’t believe the hype. Most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion. Find out more [website address]. The ad included a footnote which stated “The latest independent polling shows 60% of local residents, expressing an opinion support expansion. The research, the first since the Airports Commission made a unanimous recommendation that Heathrow should expand, highlights a strong level of support in the constituencies surveyed. The polling organisation Populus interviewed 12,004 residents from Spelthorne, Richmond Park, Brentford & Isleworth, Feltham & Heston, Windsor, Ealing North, Ealing Southall, Uxbridge & South Ruislip, Slough, Hayes & Harlington, Beaconsfield”.

Issue

Five complainants challenged whether the claim “Most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion” was misleading and could be substantiated.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

Response

Back Heathrow referred to a previous ASA ruling about another Heathrow pro-expansion ad which made the claim “Those around us are behind us” together with a footnote that stated “Populus interviewed at least 1000 adult residents (18+) in ten constituencies local to Heathrow airport …”. The ASA had noted that the advertiser had identified the ten constituencies described in the ad as “local to Heathrow airport” as those: who were most impacted by Heathrow airport in terms of noise; were most vocal about its operations, or who had MPs strongly opposed to expansion.

However, the ASA concluded that in the absence of any qualification to make clear the basis on which those ten constituencies had been selected, that particular ad created the impression that the constituencies were those which were closest in terms of proximity to the airport. Because the advertiser did not hold evidence to show that individuals living in the ten constituencies closest to Heathrow Airport, in terms of proximity, were in favour of expansion, the ASA concluded that claim did not comply with the Code.

Back Heathrow said that in light of that ruling, they had ensured that their survey included those constituencies which the ASA considered to be “local to Heathrow”. As such, they were satisfied that their claim “most people living in communities near Heathrow” was compliant with the Code.

Back Heathrow said the claim “Most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion” was supported by a poll commissioned by Heathrow Airport and conducted by Populus between 29 July and 20 August 2015. Populus had polled a total of 12,004 residents in 12 constituencies, including those identified in the footnote of the ad. However, they said that the name of one constituency, Twickenham, had been omitted from the ad’s footnote in error. Notwithstanding its omission from the ad, they confirmed residents in that constituency had been polled and their views had been taken into account.

Back Heathrow believed the term “most” could be interpreted to mean either a plurality (i.e. with at least one more than any other alternative) or a majority (i.e. more than 50%). They noted that the poll showed that of the residents within the 12 constituencies polled, 50% supported the expansion of Heathrow compared to 33% who did not. They also noted that had they relied on the 10 constituencies identified in the previous case as being “local to Heathrow”, their survey showed that 53% of residents were pro-expansion which they believed was a majority, and therefore, justified their use of “most”.

Back Heathrow said further that the statement in the footnote “The latest independent polling shows 60% of local residents, expressing an opinion support expansion” made clear that the 60% figure was based only on those polled who expressed an opinion, which they deemed to be either in support of or opposition to expansion. That particular figure excluded those who had expressed no specific opinion, responding as “neither in support nor against.” To support the statement, they calculated the percentage of those in support of expansion from the residents in each of the constituencies who had expressed a positive opinion and calculated the average percentage in favour of expansion. They believed that methodology showed that 60% of polled residents, who had expressed an opinion either way, had expressed support for expansion. Similarly, they said that had they applied the same calculations to the constituencies that the ASA had previously identified as “local to Heathrow”, the survey showed that 64% of residents were pro-expansion.

Assessment

Upheld

The ASA noted that headline claim stated “Most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion”, which we considered most consumers were likely to understand to mean that a clear majority of those surveyed in the poll (the original sample) were in support of expansion.

That claim was accompanied by a footnote which identified clearly the constituencies that had been polled, which included, but was not limited to, the constituencies in closest proximity to Heathrow. We considered that footnote clarified the headline claim and therefore, it was likely to lead consumers to understand that those were the constituencies polled and the ones which Back Heathrow had identified as “communities living near Heathrow Airport”. While the name of one constituency had been omitted from the ad in error, we understood that nevertheless, its responses had been included in the poll and any subsequent conclusions drawn from the raw data.

The footnote stated “The latest independent polling shows 60% of local residents, expressing an opinion support expansion”. We therefore considered consumers were likely to interpret the claim “most people” in that context and therefore, they would understand it to mean that “most” referred to that 60%. However, we understood from Back Heathrow that the 60% figure referred only to those residents who had expressed an opinion either in support of or against expansion (for/against sample). Although we acknowledged that some residents expressed a neutral opinion (neither for nor against expansion), we considered nevertheless that they had still expressed an opinion. Because of that and in the absence of further clarification as to which residents had been regarded as “expressing an opinion”, we considered the statement “… 60% of local residents, expressing an opinion support expansion…” was unlikely to be clear to readers. We considered they were likely to interpret it as referring to all respondents except those who said “don’t know”, rather than referring only to those who expressed a clear preference one way or the other.

We assessed the data in the poll provided. We noted that it did not report any data from the for/against sample selected by Back Heathrow and upon which they relied to support the 60% figure stated in the footnote. Rather, it reported only the results of the original sample which showed that 50% of all residents polled expressed a pro-expansion opinion. To support the 60% statement, Back Heathrow had excluded 15% of the original sample on the grounds that they had not expressed an opinion in support of or in opposition to expansion and created a new sample group which consisted of only “pro” and “against” responses. They had then calculated the average of the total of all “pro” responses from that sample group to conclude that “… 60% of those expressing an opinion support expansion”. Given that a significant number of respondents, who had expressed an opinion albeit a neutral one, had been excluded from the sample, we considered that this was not a suitable methodology by which to draw such a conclusion.

We considered the evidence held by Back Heathrow demonstrated only that 50% of all those polled were in support of expansion. Therefore, we concluded it did not substantiate their claim that “most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion” which was likely to be understood in the context of the statement “… 60% of local residents expressing an opinion support expansion”. Consequently, the ad breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1(Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Back Heathrow not to repeat the claims “Most people living in communities near Heathrow Airport support its expansion” and “The latest independent polling shows 60% of local residents, expressing an opinion support expansion” unless it held robust substantiation for them.

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Earlier:

Advertising Standards Authority finds Heathrow advert about increased trade breaches their code and is ‘misleading’

Edit this entry.

In October 2014 about 13 people send in official complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, on claims being made by Heathrow in its adverts. The ASA looked at 7 different complaints, and considered that 6 passed their standards. However, on the claim by Heathrow in its ads headed:”Expand Heathrow and its’s the economy that takes off” the statement “Direct flights to long-haul destinations build twenty times more trade with them than indirect flights” was found to breach the ASA code. The ASA say the claim was not adequately substantiated and that the ad therefore breached the Code, both by being misleading and by not having proper substantiation. The ASA say the advert “must not appear again in its current form.” They have told Heathrow “to ensure that they held robust substantiation for absolute claims made in their future advertising.”  The ASA ruling also says the claim was presented as objective facts rather than an educated assumption and that Heathrow’s own report “One Hub or None”itself cautioned that direct flights would not automatically lead to more trade and that multiple factors could influence the amount of bilateral trade.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/02/advertising-standards-authority-finds-heathrow-advert-about-increased-trade-breaches-their-code-and-is-misleading/
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and

Advertising Standards Agency rules Heathrow ads claiming “Those living around us are behind us” are misleading

Edit this entry.

Heathrow Airport has been told by the ASA that its adverts claiming that “Those living around us are behind us”.  Eight people had challenged whether the adverts were misleading and if they could be substantiated.  The ASA concluded that the claim exaggerated the level of support for expansion, had not been substantiated and was misleading. They noted that the claims “Those living around us are behind us” and “Locals support it” were not qualified.  The ASA considered that most readers would interpret the claims to mean that a clear majority of those living in close proximity to Heathrow Airport supported expansion. The evidence provided, however, showed that only 50% of those surveyed from ten constituencies close to the airport supported expansion. The ASA say the ads must not appear in their current form again. They told Heathrow Airport Ltd to ensure they held sufficient evidence to substantiate their objective marketing claims in future, and to ensure their claims were adequately qualified, without contradiction. John Stewart, chair of HACAN, said: “This judgement is not good news for Heathrow. It undermines a key plank of their campaign that they have strong local support for a third runway.” The ASA ruled against other Heathrow ads in February 2015.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/09/advertising-standards-agency-rules-heathrow-ads-claiming-those-living-around-us-are-behind-us-are-misleading/

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And another set of adverts was considered by the ASA,but they did not rule against them:

Does Heathrow advert implying a small girl needs a 3rd runway, for her future, meet Advertising Standards?

The ASA now say:

“….the investigation had been delayed due to some new points being raised by additional complainants.  Since then another couple of issues have been added to the investigation, meaning that we have had to again engage in further discussion with the advertiser.

“However, we have now received Heathrow’s response on all points, including the newest ones.  We are currently in the process of drawing up the documents for the next stage of the case, and hope that we may be able to send these out [to those who submitted complaints] by the end of the month.”

…. and they say “… the issues around advertising claims of this nature are complex and our investigation will necessarily take some time”   …. and they are working to address the concerns of the many people who complained as promptly as they are able.

The Heathrow advert

22.9.2014

Earlier this week, Heathrow put out full page advertisements for their 3rd runway. This is part of an on-going, and expensive media campaign. However, they may have mis-judged the tone of this one. It features a small girl, aged about 5, with her hand up – and the text makes out that her future well being will depend upon ….. guess what?? …. a new Heathrow runway. The advert says the 3rd runway will deliver “… at least£100 billion of economic benefits [no timescale given] the length and breadth of the country.  …. So, even if our little girl never leaves home, she’ll still feel the benefit.”  People may have been inspired to write to the Advertising Standards Authority, to complain about this rather dubious text, with unsubstantiated claims, making use of a small child, to try to make a PR point. One such letter to the ASA has been copied to AirportWatch, in which the writer clearly puts the case that what this child needs is a stable climate for her future, not accelerating carbon emissions. The writer believes the advert to be misleading, and asks the ASA to have it withdrawn. There is now an Avaaz petition to the ASA on this ad.

 

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Read more »

Research paper done for GACC shows the techniques Gatwick uses to pay no UK corporation tax

It has been well known for several years that Gatwick airport uses a range of (legal) techniques and schemes to minimise its tax payments in the UK. Now a research paper – one of a series that local campaign GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) is producing – sets out much of the detail of how Gatwick does it.  The paper shows how Gatwick earns revenues of over £630 million per year, and yet pays no corporation tax.  While public attention – and anger – have concentrated on Google and Starbucks, Gatwick is playing the same game.  It pays no tax by complicated arrangements that include a combination of tax allowances for capital investment and deductibility of interest on debt, aided by a tangled web of inter-related company ownership in tax havens such as Luxembourg, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands. This complexity is not available to small companies. GACC says its new study is not easy reading for the layman but will be of considerable interest to investors who may be asked to fund a new runway, and to the DfT, which is at present trying to work on the new SE runway issue. Currently EU Finance Ministers will meet in Amsterdam on Friday 22 April to toughen company tax rules. That could cast doubt on the financial viability of a 2nd runway if some of the tax deals are tightened by by the EU and the G20.
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Tax talks threat to Gatwick runway

18.4.2016

(GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

The EU Finance Ministers’ meeting in Amsterdam on Friday 22 April to toughen company tax rules could put a spoke in Gatwick’s second runway plans. 

A new research study published today by GACC shows how Gatwick Airport Ltd earns revenues of over £630 million a year, and yet pays no corporation tax.  Public attention has concentrated on Google and Starbucks, but the new study shows that Gatwick is in the same game.[1]

Written by Ian Harris, a retired City corporate bond analyst, the study reveals that Gatwick achieves nil tax by a combination of tax allowances for capital investment and deductibility of interest on debt, aided by a tangled web of inter-related company ownership in tax havens such as Luxembourg, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands.  ‘I would emphasise,’ says Ian, ‘that all of this is entirely legitimate and within UK tax laws.  But it is an arrangement that would not come within the scope of the average small UK business.’

The new study is not easy reading for the layman but will be of considerable interest to investors who may be asked to fund a new runway, and to the Department for Transport which is at present trying to work out whether to recommend a new runway at Heathrow or at Gatwick.  ‘It would be unfortunate,’ says Ian, ‘if this mechanism was to continue to deprive the UK exchequer of a significant amount of tax revenue at a time when Gatwick hopes the government will grant it permission to build a second runway.’

Ian adds:  ‘It is beyond dispute that Gatwick, earning revenues in excess of £630 million each year, and growing, pays zero corporation tax despite being extremely profitable.  Yet whilst the business has recycled considerable amounts of cash into modernising airport facilities in recent years, the shareholders have still enjoyed good cash returns through both dividends and repayments of tax-efficient “debt” capital.’

Doubt is cast on the financial viability of a second runway if the Luxemburg structure and benefits cease to be feasible, owing to ongoing EU and G20 pressure on so-called tax deals.

A copy of “Gatwick Airport and Tax”  by Ian Harris is at www.gacc.org.uk/research-studies

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For further information, please contact

Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman, 01293 863369


[1] Google etc are non-UK businesses which transfer their UK profits to lower-rate countries by paying above the odds for imported goods, patents, licences or management fees; the sort of structure GIP/GAL uses is a buy-out structure put in place for non-UK owners of a UK business.   The similarity is that they both artificially reduce UK profits using a multi-national structure.


At the meeting on 22nd April, “The European Commission will be invited to give a policy reaction, i.e. an overview of the initiatives on the fight against money laundering, tax evasion and tax avoidance. Ministers and Central Bank Governors will be invited to exchange views.”

Link

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Earlier:

 

Margaret Hodge: Gatwick runway appeal ‘is hypocritical when it avoids corporation tax’

Gatwick has been accused of “hypocrisy” for avoiding corporation tax while campaigning to build a new runway, allegedly for the benefit of the UK economy. Margaret Hodge, head of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, said the airport should pay its “fair share” if it wants its runway campaign to be credible. She also criticised Heathrow which has not paid corporation tax for several years. But she particularly criticised Gatwick. Its Guernsey-based parent company Ivy Mid Co LP has invested in a £437 million “Eurobond” which charges the airport 12% interest, thus avoiding tax. Gatwick says this sort of bond is often used by other infrastructure companies. Companies in the UK should pay 21% corporation tax on profits, but by spending  £1 billion on upgrading the airport, Gatwick has made no profit recently. Despite pre-tax loses in recent years, it has paid dividends to its overseas shareholders of £436 million. Heathrow has also avoided profits by investing in new buildings etc.  Mrs Hodge said the companies “made a fortune” from their UK activities, which relied on public services,  adding: “For them to pretend they are only in it for the benefit of the UK economy is a touch hypocritical.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/10/margaret-hodge-gatwick-runway-appeal-is-hypocritical-when-it-avoids-corporation-tax/

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Gatwick Airport paid no Corporation Tax in three years

25.6.2013
Gatwick Airport has a £1.2 billion capital investment programme to improve its infrastructure and facilities. But it paid no corporation tax for three consecutive years despite making £638m in profit before tax. Gatwick tried to defend this position, saying: “Whilst year on year we have lessened our financial losses we have yet to make a profit after tax. As a result the airport has not paid corporation tax …Our current £1.2bn capital investment programme and existing asset base, together with the associated debt structure, result in depreciation and interest costs which reduce our operating profits to a loss before tax.”  In the 2012/13 year, Gatwick Airport made £227.1m profit before tax, a 2.5% increase, as it benefited from flights to new destinations in China, Russia, Indonesia, and Turkey. Despite this, it reported a net financial loss of £29.1m, citing asset depreciation and £226.7m of capital investment in the year. Corporation tax is only levied on a company’s net profit. In the UK the corporation tax rate is 23%. Under UK tax law, corporations can claim tax allowances on certain purchases or investments made on business assets. Campaign group UK Uncut estimates that clever accounting rules and complex tax avoidance schemes cost Britain £12bn annually.    
 
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Read more »

Three Plane Stupid activists – the Tunnel Trio – sentenced to £305 fines each for blocking Heathrow tunnel in November

On 26th November 2015, on the day Parliament discussed airport expansion, three activists from Plane Stupid parked a vehicle across both lanes of the entrance tunnel and locked themselves to it, unfurling a banner quoting David Cameron’s election promise in 2010: “No Ifs, No Buts: No Third Runway”.  The tunnel was finally cleared after 3 – 4 hours. The activists pleaded guilty, and have now been sentenced – by Judge Deborah Wright – to fines of £200 each, increased to £305 each with the addition of court and CPS costs. The three protestors are: Esme Waldron, 23, a student from Brighton; Alistair Cannell, 26, a bar worker, from Brighton; and William Pettifer, 27, a worker on an organic farm in Somerset. The Judge reduced the sentence from the original level of £300 each, as they pleaded guilty and had been careful to avoid any danger to the public. She acknowledged the good record of each defendant, and their sincerity in their belief of the harm that would be done by a 3rd Heathrow runway.  However, she felt they had been inconsiderate of the travelling public in causing around 75 to miss flights, and more to have problems with reaching the airport or parking. The fines were low, as the incomes of all three are low. A lively crowd, including some of the Heathrow 13, assembled before the hearing, to support the activists.
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Three Plane Stupid activists – the Tunnel Trio – sentenced to £305 fines each

19.4.2016  (Plane Stupid press release)
Esme Alistair and William 19.4.2016
Alistair, Esme and Wlliam outside court before the hearing
Three Plane Stupid activists were ordered to pay fines of £200 each plus prosecution fees, at Uxbridge Magistrates Court this morning, for blockading the entrance tunnel to Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3, for four and a half hours on 26th November 2015.
The three protestors from Plane Stupid are: Esme Waldron, 23, a student from Brighton.           Alistair Cannell, 26, a bar worker, from Brighton. And William Pettifer, 27, a worker on an organic farm in Radford, Somerset.
Tunnel trio crowd outside court
They were greeted at 9am, outside the court, with a demo attended by many supporters including local residents, environmental campaigners and some of the Heathrow 13, who in late February were given suspended jail sentences for blockading the runway at Heathrow.
Esme Waldron, one of the protesters, said: 
“For most of us, all we will gain from new runways is dirtier air, more noise and more floods due to climate chaos. There are more than enough runways for people who take one holiday a year; demand for airport expansion only comes from a minority of frequent leisure flyers. This 15% of British people take 70% of our flights[1], often to second homes abroad and they have a high income. 
“While the huge business entity that is Heathrow spends tens of millions advertising its plans for expansion, where are the voices of the locals whose lives will be entirely uprooted or the climate refugees who are forced to migrate as global warming increases drought? This is an issue of class: a familiar story of a rich and powerful elite trampling over the livelihoods of those lacking power.” 
Tunnel trio outside court 19.4.2016
John McDonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington, said: 
“My constituents have been fighting against the threat of new runways at Heathrow for decades. Locally, thousands of homes will be bulldozed and further afield a third runway would wreck government policy on climate change.
“When the government pushed for a third runway last time, it sparked a broad coalition of active campaigning, including civil disobedience like we are seeing again now. David Cameron promised us “no ifs, no buts, no third runway”, and if this government tries to bring it back from the dead, it is inevitable that they will face another huge battle.”
Eddy Thacker, one of the Heathrow 13, added: 
“Criminalising protestors and imposing suspended jail sentences and hefty fines will not stop protests against new runways.  If the Government gives the green light to a new runway it is likely to result in one of the largest campaigns of environmental civil disobedience since the anti-roads movement of the 90s.”
 
ENDS
[1] Table ATT0601, Public experience of and attitudes towards air travel, DfT Statistical release, July 2014. Analysis by afreeride.org(passenger survey data) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335069/annex-a-tables.xls 
Photo of the protest in the tunnel on 26th November 2015.
For more information contact:
Plane Stupid: press@planestupid.com / 07745 207 765
Mike Schwarz from Bindmans Solicitors: 020 7833 4433
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If anyone wants to help to pay the fines for the Tunnel Trio, here is the fundraiser for their costs: (Tilt is a safe form of donation, and simple to use)  Tilt

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Earlier:

3 arrests after Plane Stupid block Heathrow tunnel for 3 hours using a van + activists locked onto it

The main road entrance tunnel to Heathrow’s Terminals 1 and 2 was blocked by climate change activists from Plane Stupid,  for about 3 hours, from 7.40 this morning. Three activists parked a vehicle across both lanes of the entrance tunnel and locked themselves to it, unfurling a banner quoting David Cameron’s election promise in 2010: “No Ifs, No Buts: No Third Runway”.  Three people were arrested, and the tunnel was finally cleared. Some travellers may have been delayed or could have missed flights. Local resident Neil Keveren, a builder from Harmondsworth, whose house would be bulldozed for the 3rd runway, was fined after blocking the same tunnel with his van for half an hour on 2nd July, the day after the Airports Commission announcement. Neil said: “No one wants to do this. They feel they have to. People feel they have no choice. After we campaigned for years, David Cameron was elected promising ‘no ifs, no buts: no third runway’. …. We have tried every other option. We have been forced to be disobedient just to be heard. To save our homes and our planet.”  There is already airport capacity for families taking a couple of trips per year, or wealthy foreign visitors to the UK, but a new runway would be for the most wealthy to take multiple leisure trips each year. Plane Stupid apologised for causing inconvenience, but believe the strong arguments against a Heathrow runway must be heard.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/11/plane-stupid-block-heathrow-entrance-tunnel-with-van-activists-locked-onto-it/

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Activists who blocked Heathrow tunnel plead not guilty – [further hearing April 2016]

On 23rd December, there was a brief court hearing for the 3 activists who blocked a main Heathrow entrance tunnel on 26th November. The hearing was at Uxbridge Magistrates Court, and they pleaded not guilty. Another hearing will therefore be arranged in 2016. Many supporters of the activists attended the hearing and gathered outside the court beforehand. After the court hearing, a large group Heathrow-3rd-Runway-opponents including many local residents who face destruction of their homes and communities if a runway is built, met outside the Magistrates court. Wearing Santa hats, they sang a few Christmas carols and jingles (with two or three accompanying policemen) before dispersing. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/12/activists-who-blocked-heathrow-tunnel-plead-not-guilty-further-hearing-some-time-in-2016/

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Earlier:

The last time the tunnel was blocked: 

Protester whose Harmondsworth home would be destroyed by 3rd runway, blocks Heathrow tunnel for half an hour

A blockade of Heathrow’s road access tunnel to Terminals 2 and 3 brought traffic to a halt for more than half an hour at 12.45pm today. The protest follows yesterday’s announcement that  the Airports Commission report recommends the building of 3rd runway at Heathrow.  This would require the destruction of over 1,000 homes in Harmondsworth, Longford and Sipson with a further 3,000 homes made uninhabitable due to excessive noise and pollution. Neil Keveren, a Harmondsworth resident, used a large white van to block both lanes to incoming traffic. He then unfurled a banner that covered the side of his vehicle to face the stationary traffic saying, “Residents Against Expansion – No ifs, no buts, no third runway”.  The banner refers to David Cameron’s pledge prior to the 2010 election. His entirely peaceful protest was only ever intended to last 20 minutes, to avoid disruption to the airport. His co-operation enabled the police to avoid an evacuation procedure that would have caused further disruption to traffic.  Neil Keveren made it clear his action was a personal protest, and was not part of his role as Chair of the Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) campaign group. However, his action were supported by many local residents and the local MP, John McDonnell. 

Heathrow tunnel blocked 2.7.2015

Full story at  http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/07/26823/

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Gatwick hoping – yet again – for a link to China, while most long-haul routes have failed

Gatwick has had a very low rate of success (other than low cost airline Norwegian) in getting any long-haul routes to significant places, and keeping them more than a short time.  Now an internal airline in China, Tianjin Airlines, is hoping to take delivery of three Airbus A330-200s in the coming months. Gatwick is one of the routes it will be trying out. Tianjin is hoping to introduce a twice-weekly link between Tianjin and Gatwick, via Chongqing from June 25th 2016. However, Tianjin is the huge port some 80 km south east of Beijing. Last August it suffered some very serious explosions at the port, which probably killed around 173 people and caused non-fatal injuries to almost 800 people. An AirportWatch member commented: “No one will want to fly to a port that exploded some 6 months ago. There is nothing there. Tianjin is an internal Chinese airline. Air China pulled out of Gatwick when they got slots at Heathrow. As soon as an LHR slot becomes available they’ll be off.” Airlines have axed routes from Gatwick in the two years 2011 to 2013 include Hong Kong Airlines, Air Asia X, Korean Air and US Airways. In 2015 Garuda and Vietnam Airlines also moved their flights from Gatwick to Heathrow.   
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Tianjin Airlines expected to begin London flights

14.4.2016

The Chinese carrier will introduce a twice-weekly link between Tianjin and Gatwick, via Chongqing from June 25 with departures on Wednesdays and Saturdays, according to Routes Online.

The carrier is also planning to launch a four-times-weekly service via Tianjin Binhai International airport – the airline’s headquarters – to Vancouver from this summer.

Flights to Moscow are also earmarked for late June.

Tianjin Airlines will become the fourth Chinese carrier flying to the UK capital, following Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.

The planned routes are believed to begin upon the delivery of three Airbus A330-200s in the coming months.

https://www.ttgmedia.com//news/news/tianjin-airlines-expected-to-begin-london-flights-4275
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Tianjin Airlines confirms London as first long-haul destination

5 April 2016
Richard Maslen (Routes.com)

Tianjin Airlines was awarded licences by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) last year to introduce flights between Tianjin and both London and Vancouver in conjunction with Chongqing as well as services to Moscow from both Chinese cities. It now appears that with its first two A330s currently under assembly that is making final preparations for its long-haul launch. The first is due for delivery next month.

 

Chinese carrier Tianjin Airlines will become the latest of the country’s airlines to launch long-haul flights when it takes delivery of at least three Airbus A330-200s from the European manufacturer in the coming months.  These aircraft will be used to debut flights into Europe and North America with London expected to be the first destination to be served by the widebodied equipment.

The HNA Group subsidiary has been allocated up to 20 A330-200s to support growth from Tianjin as an alternative to the capacity constrained Beijing Capital International Airport. The city in northern coastal China and one of the five national central cities of China and in terms of urban population is the fourth largest in China, after Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.  However, it is its location just 143km southeast of China’s capital with efficient high-speed rail access that adds to its appeal.

Hainan Airlines has already identified Tianjin’s Binhai International Airport as an option for routing flights from other points in mainland China to North America and has previously outlined plans to provide links to both New York and Vancouver via the facility. However, it appears it will be its sister carrier that will be the first to introduce regular long-haul flights from the expanding airport.

Tianjin Airlines was awarded licences by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) last year to introduce flights between Tianjin and both London and Vancouver in conjunction with Chongqing as well as services to Moscow from both Chinese cities.  It now appears that with its first two A330s currently under assembly that is making final preparations for its long-haul launch. The first is due for delivery next month.

As revealed by our Airline Route blog this week, Tianjin Airlines will introduce its twice weekly link between Tianjin and London, via Chongqing from June 25, 2016. The carrier will serve Gatwick Airport in the UK capital with departures on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It is also planning to introduce a four times weekly link to Vancouver from this summer routing Chongqing – Tianjin – Vancouver once it receives its second and third A330s.  The flights to Moscow are also earmarked for launch from late June 2016 and will utilise Sheremetyevo Airport in the Russian capital.

Tianjin Airlines will become the fourth Chinese carrier flying to London, following Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. Fellow HNA Group carrier, Hainan Airlines has also operated a charter programme to Birmingham and will launch scheduled flights this summer, with the introduction of a scheduled Beijing-Manchester route from June 10, 2016.

The young carrier is little known outside of its home market and has just seven years of operation under its current brand.  It was established in 2004 to bring together the regional activities of Hainan Airlines and the smaller China Xinhua Airlines, Chang An Airlines and Shanxi Airlines and received its operating certificate from CAAC in 2007.  It initially launched as Grand China Express Air, at the time the largest regional carrier in China, but was rebranded as Tianjin Airlines in June 2009.

http://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/254110/tianjin-airlines-confirms-london-as-first-long-haul-destination/

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Tianjin airport location map


The Tianjin explosions  (from Wikipedia)

The 2015 Tianjin explosions were a series of explosions that killed over one hundred people and injured hundreds of others which occurred at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin on Wednesday, 12 August 2015.[4] The first two explosions occurred within 30 seconds of each other at the facility, which is located in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China.[5][6] The second explosion was far larger and involved the detonation of about 800 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.[7] Fires caused by the initial explosions continued to burn uncontrolled throughout the weekend, repeatedly causing secondary explosions, with eight additional explosions occurring on Saturday, 15 August.

The cause of the explosions was not immediately known at first,[6] but an investigation concluded in February 2016 that an overheated container of dry nitrocellulose was the cause of the initial explosion.[8]

Poor coverage of the event and the emergency response to it received criticism.[9][10][11] The Chinese government also censored the internet and social media using the words “Tianjin” and “explosion”,[12] and announced it had taken down multiple websites for publishing “false” information.[13]

As of 12 September 2015, the official casualty report was 173 deaths,[2] 8 missing, and 797 non-fatal injuries.[3]

…. More at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Tianjin_explosions

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Luton plans light rail link to speed transport, making it a stronger competitor against Gatwick

Luton plans to replace its much-maligned bus transfer service, from the station to the airport, and instead build a light rail link, costing £200 million. The 1.3 mile rail link could cut the journey time from London St Pancras to the Luton airport terminal to less than 30 minutes, which is faster than the time to Gatwick.  It would connect to the terminal from within the Luton Airport Parkway railway station, one level above the platforms.  A normal rail link has not been possible due to the steepness of the climb uphill to the terminal. The automated light rail service will be funded by Luton Borough Council, which owns the airport freehold and owns the necessary land. The role of the council will be controversial and the scheme will need to be scrutinised for conflict of interest.  The airport is spending a further £110 million on redeveloping its terminals and layout to expand capacity from 9 million to 18 million passengers per year by 2020. EasyJet, the biggest airline using Luton, said the redevelopment was a key factor in its pledge to double the size of its operations there over the next decade. A planning application would be made in autumn for work to begin in 2017. The DfT is also working to enable travel between London and Luton by Oyster card or contactless payment by 2018.
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Luton airport to replace bus transfers with £200m light rail link

Link between airport and local train station set to make transfers to London faster than those from Gatwick to capital

By Gwyn Topham, Transport correspondent (Guardian)

Friday 15 April 2016

Luton airport plans to park its much-maligned bus transfer service once and for all and build a £200m light rail link to the nearest railway station.

The fast-track service would make journey times between the capital and Luton airport faster than for those flying via Gatwick, the airport claimed.

The 24-hour, automated light-rail link would replace the buses currently used to transfer travellers between the station and the terminal, making the fastest complete journey from Luton airport to London St Pancras less than 30 minutes.

The 1.3-mile link will be funded by Luton borough council, which owns the airport freehold. While the station is almost adjacent to the airport perimeter, it is around 40 metres downhill from it, making a fixed rail link difficult to build.

Luton airport is spending a further £110m on redeveloping its terminals and layout to expand capacity to 18 million passengers a year by 2020.

The chief executive, Nick Barton, said: “We’re delighted Luton borough council is making the investment. It’s perfect for us: we’ve been on a journey but there’s always been that fundamental gap between the terminal and the very good train service – served by a bus, which just isn’t good enough.”

The rail link would connect to the terminal from within the railway station, one level above the platforms.

Barton said: “It’s raising the game and raising our standard. When you get to Luton Airport Parkway you will think that you’re actually at the terminal.”

EasyJet, the biggest carrier at the airport, welcomed the news, saying the redevelopment was a key factor in its pledge to double the size of its operations there over the next decade.

A planning application would be made in autumn for work to begin in 2017.

While Barton cautioned that it would need to “be scrutinised more closely than a normal application” because of any perceived conflict in the council’s ownership of the airport, which is let as a long-term concession, all of the land required is already owned by the council.

He said Luton was working closely with the Department for Transport to remove barriers to rail travel to the airport, including tackling any ticketing confusion, and allowing passengers to travel between the airport and London using Oyster card or contactless payment by 2018.

Luton would also benefit from the upgrade of Thameslink trains, as well as being served by St Pancras, Barton said.

“The whole train story is just transforming and this is the next big – but very big step – to making that journey superb.”

The news is likely to prompt further chagrin at the rival Stansted airport, where hopes of a fast rail connection to central London have been dampened by Network Rail concluding that upgrades would only shave 2-5 minutes from the current 45-53 minute train journey.

Passenger numbers grew 17% to 12.3 million in 2015 at Luton, which indirectly employs more than 8,600 staff. The airport serves 123 destinations, mainly operated by low-cost and charter airlines.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/15/luton-airport-ends-bus-transfers-fast-track-rail-link

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Luton Airport’s £200m light rail link proposals could see it vying with Gatwick for passengers

15.4.2016 (Business Daily)

New proposals for a £200m light rail link from Luton Airport Parkway train station to London Luton Airport could significantly cut journey times to the airport from central London.

The plans, which have been put together by Luton Borough Council, would see the introduction of driverless trains to ferry air passengers from the train station, replacing the current shuttle service which takes 15 minutes.

Running 24 hours a day, the proposed 1.4 mile rail link would also connect with the airport’s parking facilities and, if approved, could cut journey times from London St Pancras to below 30 minutes according to the airport.

This would make journey times quicker from the middle of the capital than the comparable journey to Gatwick.

The proposals have been designed by developers Arup and are pencilled in for a 2020 completion date, pending planning approval which is due to be submitted in the Autumn.

Nick Barton, chief executive, said: “We’re delighted Luton borough council is making the investment. It’s perfect for us: we’ve been on a journey but there’s always been that fundamental gap between the terminal and the very good train service – served by a bus, which just isn’t good enough.“

“It’s raising the game and raising our standard. When you get to Luton Airport Parkway you will think that you’re actually at the terminal.“

The airport is currently carrying out a £110 million redevelopment of its main terminal and is looking to introduce Oyster ticketing to Luton Airport Parkway by 2018.

https://bdaily.co.uk/industrials/15-04-2016/luton-airports-200m-light-rail-link-proposals-could-see-it-vying-with-gatwick-for-passengers/

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London City Airport gets new PR manager – fresh from 10 months as press officer at the DfT

London City Airport has strengthened its comms team with the appointment of the Department for Transport’s Andrew Scott as PR Manager, “as the airport develops plans for expansion and prepares to mark its 30th anniversary in 2017.”  Andrew Scott joins City Airport’s four-strong comms team and will be responsible for campaigns “which promote the airport’s time saving and convenience proposition to customers.”  His role will also include oversight of the UK and 6 key European markets, which are supported by PR agency Grayling.   Scott was a press officer at the DfT for 9 -10 months since July 2015, before that a media officer at the Museum of London, and before that at WPP (a huge advertising and PR company).  Barclaycard’s Kimberley Hayden has also joined City Airport’s comms team as internal comms executive, and will be “responsible for employee engagement, including production of Airport Life magazine, 500 free copies of which are circulated internally each month.”  The head of comms has been Charlotte Beeching, since December 2014. The airport now has new owners – Canadian pension funds – and is hoping to be allowed expansion “which would enable up to 6.5 million passengers by 2025.”
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London City Airport enhances comms team

April 12, 2016

by Richard O’Donnell (Gorkana)

London City Airport has strengthened its comms team with the appointment of the Department for Transport’s Andrew Scott as PR Manager, as the airport develops plans for expansion and prepares to mark its 30th anniversary in 2017.

Scott joins City Airport’s four-strong comms team and will be responsible for campaigns which promote the airport’s time saving and convenience proposition to customers.

His role will also include oversight of the UK and six key European markets, which are supported by PR agency Grayling.

Scott was previously a press officer at the Department for Transport and, before that, a media officer at the Museum of London.

Alongside his appointment, Barclaycard’s Kimberley Hayden has also joined City Airport’s comms team as internal comms executive.

Hayden, a former copywriter at Barclaycard, will be responsible for employee engagement, including production of Airport Life magazine, 500 free copies of which are circulated internally each month.

The enhanced comms team comes as the airport develops further plans for expansion, prepares to mark its 30th anniversary in 2017, and adds to its 48 destinations. This summer the airport will begin new routes to Berlin, Bergerac and Alicante.

Charlotte Beeching, head of comms at City Airport, said: “With record growth, new ownership, millions being invested and major expansion plans in the pipeline, we have an important story to tell. By strengthening the comms team, we will ensure that story is heard loud and clear, to support the future growth of the business.”

The airport is also awaiting the outcome of a public inquiry into its proposed City Airport Development Programme (CADP), which was blocked by the Mayor of London in March 2015.

If approved, the airport plans to add seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway and terminal extensions, which would enable up to 6.5 million passengers by 2025 and open up new routes to the US, Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe.

http://www.gorkana.com/2016/04/london-city-airport-enhances-comms-team/

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See also – on the issue of “revolving door” between government and the aviation industry:

Revolving door revolves again: Vickie Sheriff (used to work at 10 Downing Street) to be Heathrow head of comms

There have for a long time been concerns about the “revolving door”, by which people switch between working high up in the aviation industry, and working high up in Government. The concern is that they may bring too much influence, from their earlier employer. Now it is announced that Vickie Sheriff it to become head of communications for Heathrow airport. Earlier she had worked for the Prime Minister, in 2013, with a dual role as official deputy spokesperson for the Prime Minister and head of news at Number 10. She went to the DfT and then Diageo in 2014.  Heathrow’s director of PR, Simon Baugh, left earlier this year to work at the Department for Transport to take the role of head of communications. This is the job that was previously held by Vickie Sheriff. (Simon Baugh was not actually meant to be advising ministers on the new runway issue till 1st September, when he had been at the DfT for 6 months).  Heathrow also appointed a new consumer PR agency in the summer. There have been several other high profile examples of the “revolving door” in the past, including Tom Kelly in 2009, who had worked for Tony Blair and then went to BAA as head of comms.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/09/revolving-door-revolves-again-vickie-sheriff-used-to-work-at-10-downing-street-to-be-heathrow-head-of-comms/

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London City Airport hires Grayling to target European market

May 29, 2012
by John Owens (PR Week)

London City Airport is set to launch a major comms effort aimed at the European market, amid ambitious growth plans.

The airport has brought in Grayling to help promote its services in Germany, Spain and Ireland, as it seeks to expand from three to eight million passengers a year. The appointment follows a competitive pitch process.

The agency has been handed a retained corporate brief to enhance the airport’s reputation with potential corporate clients.

Grayling’s work takes place against a backdrop of concerns over the need for increased air travel capacity in London. There have been fears around access during the Olympics, following passport control problems at Heathrow.

London City Airport corporate comms director Jeremy Probert said the brief followed a new commercial strategy drawn up to accelerate growth.

‘Part of our commercial strategy is to add new routes and attract airlines – this brief supports that. By enhancing London City Airport’s reputation abroad and communicating the benefits of flying into the airport, we aim to increase passenger numbers, leading to increased frequency, larger aircraft and new airlines.’

He added: ‘It’s now reached the point where outside assistance is needed – specifically outside assistance with a knowledge of the markets in which our key end-of-route targets are located – to support and enhance the work of the in-house comms team and the sales team.’

Ursula Colgan, director of international client services at Grayling, said that the work would emphasise the airport’s convenient proximity to the capital. She explained that the brief would involve teams working in the three countries, with London acting as a hub for the work.

A £4m roster review by BAA, the owner of Heathrow and Stansted airports, is currently under way, in which agencies have been asked to pay around £1,000 to be considered for the work.

http://www.prweek.com/article/1134324/london-city-airport-hires-grayling-target-european-market
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Charlotte Beeching –
Head of Communications, London City Airport since December 2014 – Present (1 year 5 months)
Was External Communications Manager, London City Airport from October 2012 – December 2014 (2 years 3 months)

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Andrew Scott
PR Manager, London City Airport. March 2016 – Present (2 months)
Press Officer, Department for Transport (DfT), July 2015 – Present (10 months)

Senior Account Executive, Burson-Marsteller. October 2010 – August 2012 (1 year 11 months) “My role was as a senior account executive in be more…, the consumer brand marketing arm of Burson-Marsteller, the global public relations firm part of WPP.” (sic)
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/andrew-scott-7b673b2a

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Gatwick promises to reduce plane noise (how?) as Forge Wood residents complain it is worse than expected

Forge Wood is a housing development just north east of Crawley and south east of Gatwick airport. They are in an area less than 2 kilometres from the end of the runway.  The development was permitted by a decision of the High Court partly based on a statement by Gatwick Airport Ltd in 2010 that they ‘had not a shred of interest in a new runway.’ (That comment had been made by Sir David Rowlands, former Chairman GAL in a speech to Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee in January 2010.)  The houses would be right under then flight path, if the 2nd runway was built. The noise is already bad, and one new resident who moved there in October 2015 said the planes are a lot noisier than she anticipated and she wants measures to improve the quality of life for locals. Another resident said: “When we bought our house here we didn’t think the noise would be as bad as it is. If we have the window open the noise of the planes stops us from getting to sleep at night and I’ve been woken up at 4, 5 and 6am. We have a problem with planes both taking off and landing.” Strangely the 5,000 or so people who will live in Forge Wood were not included in the Airports Commission’s numbers of those to be badly affected by plane noise from a 2nd runway. Or some other new housing developments.
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Gatwick promises to reduce plane noise as Forge Wood residents complain it is worse than expected

April 10, 2016

By Chris Ballinger (Crawley News)

Forge Wood noisy

….. there is more general stuff about the Arrivals Review …. the section of the article on Forge Wood states:

Liz Bowie, who has lived in Forge Wood since October, says the planes are a lot noisier than she anticipated and she wants the measures to improve the quality of life for locals.

The 55-year-old, from Somerley Drive, said: “When we bought our house here we didn’t think the noise would be as bad as it is.

“If we have the window open the noise of the planes stops us from getting to sleep at night and I’ve been woken up at 4, 5 and 6am.

“We have a problem with planes both taking off and landing. If these measures reduce the amount of noise we have to put up with, then it will make life a lot better for everyone living at Forge Wood.”

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http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Gatwick-commits-wide-ranging-measures-reduce/story-29055354-detail/story.html

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From “Gatwick Unwrapped – A critical examination of the plans for a second runway at Gatwick.” January 2015

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Gatwick-Unwrapped-Jan-2015.pdf

An extract, relating to Forge Wood:

19. Noise contours. The Commission estimates that the number of people affected by noise (within the 54 Leq contour – moderate community annoyance) could increase from just under 10,000 to just over 30,000. (Ref: Airports Commission Consultation Document November 2014 paragraph 3.31. 54 leq). A wide range of noise impacts is shown in the Commission’s consultation document, depending on the type of metric used and on the future use of the airport, but they all show that the number of people affected by noise with a new runway would be two or three times as many as at present. (Ref: Permission to build these houses was granted by the High Court, against the wishes of Crawley Borough Council: the judge based his decision partly on assurances given in 2010 by GAL that they had no interest in building a new runway).

20. We will tell the Commission that these figures, however, do not include the 5,000 people who will be moving into the new houses currently being built at Forge Wood, on the north east of Crawley. (These houses were permitted by a decision of the High Court partly based on a statement by Gatwick Airport Ltd in 2010 that they ‘had not a shred of interest in a new runway.’) (Ref: Sir David Rowlands, former Chairman GAL. Speech to Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee January 2010 ). Nor do the figures include the inhabitants of the 500 houses recently given planning permission in Copthorne; nor the inhabitants of the village of Warnham  despite that village being clearly shown under a new flight path from the new runway. (Ref: Airports Commission. Noise: Local Assessment. Chapter 3.2).


 

More  details about Forge Wood

http://www.persimmonhomes.com/forge-wood-10324

Forge Wood off Steers Lane, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 3NH

Forge Wood – an exciting new community

Forge Wood is a new collection of one and two bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five bedroom homes located in the popular town of Crawley. After a great launch we have reserved all of our initially released plots, and have now just released the next plots for sale.

  • A mix of 1 and 2 bed apartments and 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes
  • Brand new health centre, shops, community building and primary school
  • Convenient links to M23 and M25
  • Close to Gatwick airport
  • Surrounded by woodland
  • Good choice of leisure facilities and amenities nearby

Located on the northern edge of Crawley in West Sussex, Forge Wood is part of an exciting new community which, when complete, will offer its residents a primary school, shops, central parkland, a community building and a health centre. Whether you’re a first time buyer, looking to move up the ladder or searching for your perfect family home, Forge Wood is sure to have what you need.

Latest News

ALL plots now reserved!

As well as eventually having its own neighbourhood amenities, Forge Wood is also conveniently close to Crawley’s vibrant and established town centre.

Surrounded by beautiful countryside, the town offers a pleasant environment in which to live and work and is proving to be a popular place to call home. Its historic High Street and County Mall shopping centre, together with convenient transport and parking, draws shoppers from all over the area.

Enjoy the leisure facilities close to Forge Wood

Forge Wood is close to a host of great leisure facilities for all ages. Crawley is renowned for its parks and green open spaces which are all linked by the Crawley Millennium Greenway, a circular route around the town for walkers, runners and cyclists. The popular Tilgate Park boasts just over 400 acres of lakes, gardens and woodland, a par 72 golf course and nature centre. There’s also plenty of entertainment to be found nearby: the Hawth Theatre offers a huge programme of events and is set in woodland with an outside amphitheatre, and Crawley Leisure Park, has a 15-screen cinema, bowling, a wide choice of restaurants and a health club.

Close to Gatwick Airport and a wealth of multinational businesses, Crawley has a thriving job market which makes use of the area’s excellent air, rail and road links.

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