SSE tell Airports Commission robust evidence will be needed on financial viability of any new runway

The speech delivered by Sir Howard Davies, on 7 October 2013 was described as setting out the Airports Commission’s ‘Emerging Thinking’ on aviation capacity in the UK. It took the form of setting out some of the main arguments against increasing runway capacity in the UK, and it then dismissed each in turn  – and stated that “Our provisional conclusion is that we will need some net additional runway capacity in the south east of England in the coming decades”. Stop Stansted Expansion has submitted their comments, which advise against building any new runway capacity. They argue that the speech contained very little in terms of hard evidence to support the conclusion favouring a new runway. SSE question the financial viability of a new runway, as there is already so much spare runway capacity, and say people will expect to see robust evidence to demonstrate the Commission’s grounds for its confidence that projects proposed have commercial viability. SSE also says the current DfT demand forecasts are not nearly strong enough – or reliable enough – to support a business case for a new runway.
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The Stop Stansted Expansion submission can be seen at                  SSE Submission to Airports Commission – Response to Emerging Thinking   (7 pages)

http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com


 

Concluding points

4.1 As pointed out in the Commission’s ‘Emerging Findings’ statement: ‘runways are expensive pieces of infrastructure’. We can, in fact, see that quite clearly from the costed proposals for new runways submitted to the Commission by airport operators and others. It is therefore valid to ask whether a new runway can be commercially justified in the foreseeable future because, if there are significant doubts about this, it would be irresponsible and quite wrong – once again – to create needless blight and uncertainty for local communities around airports in the south east.

4.2 If, in its interim report, the Commission recommends the development of an extra runway or runways in the south east, we will expect to see robust evidence to demonstrate the grounds for its confidence in the commercial viability of the proposed project(s) at this point in time.

4.3 Some insights into the rate of return required by investors in the UK airport sector can be obtained by considering the prices paid for UK airport infrastructure in recent years, most relevantly in the sale of Gatwick and Stansted airports by BAA, noting that both airports were sold in competitive, open market auctions. It is also important to note that, in both these cases, established cash generative businesses were being sold with significant revenue streams which would accrue to the purchaser immediately upon completion.

4.4 Achieving an acceptable risk:reward ratio will be far more challenging in the case of a new runway development (and even more so in the case of a new airport development) not least because any such project will be cash negative for at least a decade and during all that time the key parameters which will determine whether or not the investment will prove successful will be subject to change. There will be a high level of market risk as well as political risk, and there will be very significant environmental considerations which will affect risk in both of those areas.

4.5 As we have shown in section 3 above, it is by no means clear that there is sufficient market demand to justify to shareholders and other investors that an additional runway in the south east would be commercially viable in the period to 2050. The availability of surplus capacity at other airports – in the south east and elsewhere – provides scope for marginal pricing which could be used to attract airlines and passengers to a second or third choice airport, whilst at the same time undermining any competitor’s potential business case for additional runway capacity.

4.6 Turning to the political risk, even a cursory review of airports policy in the UK over the past few decades provides a clear demonstration that there is a high degree of political uncertainty and unpredictability associated with UK airports policy. BAA incurred costs of over £200m in seeking to implement the airport expansion policies set down in the 2003 Air Transport White Paper (‘ATWP’) – expenditure which subsequently had to be written off when political support for the expansionist policies set down in the ATWP was withdrawn.

4.7 Meanwhile, the ebb and flow of political and market circumstances has also taken its toll on local residents around UK airports, especially in the south east, with repeated periods of blight and uncertainty caused by major expansion proposals which invariably have come to nothing. This is at least partly because the business case for a new runway has never been particularly compelling whereas the environmental impacts of a new runway anywhere in the south east have always proved to be so immense as to be politically unacceptable.

4.8 Our considered assessment is that the current DfT demand forecasts are not nearly strong enough – or reliable enough – to support a business case for a new runway, especially when the downside political and market risks are taken into account as well as the downside risks in relation to meeting the UK’s legally binding climate change targets.

4.9 In conclusion, we do not expect any new runway to be built in the south east (or anywhere else in the UK) over the coming decades, and if the Commission recommends any additional runway or runways, this would simply create blight and uncertainty for no purpose.

 Full text of the submission is at 

SSE Submission to Airports Commission – Response to Emerging Thinking   (7 pages)

 

Sir Howard Davies’ speech on 7th October is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/aviation-capacity-in-the-uk-emerging-thinking

 

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Opposition in Kerala, southern India, to proposed airport at Anakkara – with displacement of people and destruction of agricultural land

The Indian government is keen to increase the flow of  tourists into Kerala. Though there are two large airports which serve the area, at Kochi and Thiruvanthapuran, there is pressure to build more. One of the sites under threat of an airport is Anakkara, which is inland, and less than 150 km from Madurai airport. There is considerable opposition – one source says the local people are united in their opposition – in the area, which is an agricultural area. The airport would take well over 500 acres, much of which now grows paddy, as well as pepper, coffee and cardamom cultivation areas. There is an Anti-Airport Agitation Council that is fighting the  plans. They say hundreds of families would have to be relocated, as the area is densely populated.  The purpose of the airport is solely to increase tourism, and would largely benefit the private sector. Those opposing the Anakkara plans  have set up social networking campaign sites such s Save Anakkara Blog and Anti-Anakkara Airport on Facebook, explaining reasons why the airport project should not be implemented.
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Wikipedia says of the proposed airport:

Anakkara Airport Dispute

Recently a new greenfield airport is being proposed by the state government. The government claims this project will improve the tourism in the area. However, Anakkara being situated on an environmentally sensitive Western Ghats, environmentalists and villagers argue that this can significantly impact the area’s climatic conditions and livelihood of people. Also the land identified for the project is one of the very few remaining paddy fields of the district, currently cultivating some of the rare indigenous varieties of rice which increases the concerns around the project. Those opposing the airport also sites the economic benefits as well, as Munnar, one of the key target destinations for the airport lies at about 100 km from Anakkara and the time taken to reach there from Cochin International Airport is less than the time taken to reach from Anakkara. Though there is no clear references online from the government on the objectives, benefits and purpose of the proposed airport, anti-anakkara-airport groups have set up social networking campaign sites such s Save Anakkara Blog and Anti-Anakkara Airport on Facebook explaining reasons why the airport project should not be implemented.

 

Facebook  page 

Map of existing airports in Southern India

 Map showing location of Anakkara  ( green, below)

Southern India Anakkara airport location

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Collectors to sort out proposed airport issues

30th Aug 2013  (Deccan Chronicle) 

Thiruvananthapuram: With protests mounting against the proposed Idukki and Wayanad airport projects, the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has sought the help of the respective district collectors to sort out the issues.

The ongoing feasibility study on the two projects to promote tourism have been hit due to protests from local people raising various issues, including concerns over environment and agriculture.

“We have requested the Idukki and Wayanad district collectors to initiate talks with the agitators to sort out the issue,” said KSIDC Managing Director Tom Jose.

Knight Frank was conducting feasibility study of the Wayanad project and Industrial Finance Corporation of India of the Idukki project. The Airports Authority of India had identified Panamaram and Nadayal villages in Wayanad and Anakkara in Idukki as ideal locations.

But for the protest from local people, the survey of land and feasibility study could have been completed by this time, said sources. Apart from concerns over environment and loss of agricultural land, some were  also concerned over the loss of their property.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/130830/news-current-affairs/article/collectors-sort-out-proposed-airport-issues

 

Photo

https://www.facebook.com/AnakkaraAirport


 

Protests for Airport Project in Idukki  (Anakkara airport)

June 18th, 2013
keralanews

Thiruvananthapuram  (Southern India)

Protests have marked the process of identifying land for the proposed new airport at Anakkara in Idukki district. Some of the protesters recently blocked the district administration officials including the collector when the latter arrived at the scene to allay doubts and concerns of the local people regarding the airport.

The collector is expected to report the matter to the state government. The state government has earmarked Rs 50 million (Dh3.18 million) towards initial works for the project, and it is expected that an all-party meeting will be called again to discuss the details of the project.

Kerala currently has three international airports at ThiruvananthapuramNedumbassery and Kozhikode, but it is estimated that new airports at Kannur, Aranmula, Wayanad and Idukki will bolster the air connectivity in a state which has millions of NRIs.

Source- http://gulfnews.com/news/world/india/new-kerala-airport-project-in-idukki-runs-into-protests-1.1198398

http://news.justkerala.in/protests-for-airport-project-in-idukki.php

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Surveying of areas for feeder airport project today

14.5.2013 (The Hindu)

The initial surveying of areas for a feeder airport to be constructed at Anakkara in the district will begin on Tuesday.

District Collector T. Bhaskaran said the areas to be surveyed were Anchakkanam, Kalarickal and Poovanchimala.

Though the initial plan was to acquire 1,300 acres of land, only 500 acres will be surveyed now.

‘Against the laws’

Meanwhile, the Anti-Airport Agitation Council has said that they will oppose any move to construct an airport in the paddy fields of Anakkara.

The council chairman, T.A. Joseph said the move to construct an airport by filling paddy field is against the laws and the proposed airport is below 150 km. aerial distance from the Madurai airport.  See map.

In the name of tourism

He said there was a campaign going on to misinform the people about the proposed airport.  It was incorrect that only 500 acres were needed for the project, he said adding that hundreds of families had to be rehabilitated as it was a densely populated area. It was solely done in the name of tourism promotion, he said.  

Perennial source

Anakkara paddy fields are perennial source of water for Erattayar river, which is linked to the Idukki reservoir. The land to be acquired not only include vast paddy fields, but also pepper, coffee and cardamom cultivation areas. A large number of tribals had been rehabilitated in these areas under various schemes. Anakkara is one of the earliest settlement areas in the district, he said.

Earlier, the council had blocked a team from Delhi that arrived there to visit the proposed airport areas. All residents were united against the airport, Mr. Joseph said. He said if the airport was being constructed in the name of disaster management in the district, only a helipad needed to be constructed. The airport was planned to benefit the private sector, he alleged.

Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) is the nodal agency for the construction of the airport. An official meeting held in this regard at the collectorate on Monday was attended by Additional District Magistrate P.N. Santhosh, Sub-Collector Muhammed.Y. Safarulla and representatives of KSIDC.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/surveying-of-areas-for-feeder-airport-project-today/article4713943.ece

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.Photo: Idukkiyude swantham Kuttanad ennariyapedunna ANAKKARAyil Anakkara St. Pauls Marthoma Vikasana Samgam nadathunna Nelkrishi Punarjeevana paripadiyude Njarunadeel BJPyude Srinagari Rajan udkadanam cheyyunnu.

https://www.facebook.com/AnakkaraAirport

 


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Investment for Idukki airport pegged at Rs 200 cr

May 26, 2012,   (Times of India)

KOCHI: The proposed greenfield airport at Anakkara in Idukki district will require estimated investments of Rs 200 crore, including provisioning for future expansion, said sources associated with the development.

The airport will have a single 5,000-ft runway catering to smaller transport and cargo aircraft like ATRs and the Phenom from Brazilian aircraft company Embraer. These aircraft are ideal for remote locations and require limited runway length. Hence, they are ideal for operating services to the proposed Idukki airport,” sources said.

The state government had identified 450 hectares (roughly 1,100 acres) of land for the airport and a feasibility study by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) in 2009 found the area ideal for the airport. However, it is understood that local opposition to large-scale land acquisition of what is claimed to be agricultural land, has forced the state government to reduce the scope of the project to 200 acres.
Countering this, an official associated with the project claimed that the new land acquisition target focuses only on uncultivated land parcels and large-scale rehabilitation of farmers and their families would not be necessary.

A substantial portion of the required land for the project is expected to be acquired through levelling of two hills, Poovinchimala and Sankurundampara, in the Anakkara region.

The airport is expected to further boost tourism in Idukki district and serve as a convenient embarkation point to larger airports for people living in the neighbouring districts of Kottayam, Ernakulam and Alappuzha. The Idukki district administration had submitted a feasibility report for the project to Airport Authority of India (AAI) last year. However, a report on the cost aspects of the airport project is yet to be submitted by the state government.

Anakkara is located 14 km from Kumily, 15 km from Thekkady and 85 km from Munnar on the main route connecting the three tourism destinations.

While the civil aviation ministry and the AAI have approved the proposal, it is pending clearance from the union defence ministry.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-05-26/kochi/31888945_1_greenfield-airport-airport-project-aai

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Protest against proposed airport at Anakkara to take off

Vast stretches of paddy fields dot this village bordering Tamil Nadu. The village had been in the news once for reports of unauthorised sand-mining. Now, it finds itself in the news for another reason — a proposed airport. The district administration has demarcated thousands of acres of land for the airport, and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has given its green signal for the project.

Meanwhile, people organised under the Anti-Airport Agitation Council have come out strongly against the move, and a mass blockade has been planned on Wednesday.

The airport is to come up in seven wards of the Chakkupallom and Vandanmedu grama panchayats, in an area marked between Udumbanchola and Peerumade Assembly constituencies.

As per government estimates, around 6,000 families have to be evicted in the land acquisition drive for the airport and its related development. People from the IMS Colony, Girijan Colony, Sulthankada Colony, Naduvanakkara, and Keezhanakkara will have to be evacuated, in addition to a large number of farmers, including those of Tamil origin who have been settled here for years.

No place to go

“Where should we go from this traditional colony, where we have resettled from the forest area?” asked Gracy, an 80-year-old tribal woman from IMS Colony. T.A. Joseph, chairman of the agitation council, told The Hindu that as per a report received by them through the Right to Information Act, the area to be acquired for the proposed airport was 4.5 km in length and 4.7 km in width.

The main area to be acquired included paddy fields with perennial water sources, he said, adding that the wetlands here were the main drinking water source for Kumily town, in addition to the diversion of the main stream from here to Kochera, then to Erattayar and the Idukki reservoir.  “About 40 per cent of land to be acquired for the proposed airport is paddy fields, and the rest includes cardamom, pepper, coffee and vegetables cultivations, along with residential areas,” he said.

The claim by authorities that just an airstrip was planned on the proposed land and only 500 acres of land would be acquired was to cool down the strong opposition, he said. However, the agitation council had begun its campaign, distributing copies of the accessed report to the people. “The government has no alternative plan to rehabilitate the large number of people here, and those uprooted will be neglected once the project is realised. We will fight to the end against it,” he said.

“The proposed airport is expected to promote tourism, but how can one promote tourism by destroying a beautiful hill and a scenic village,” asked T.G. Purushothaman, chief patron of the council.

 

 

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Heathrow payment of £160 million boosts profits at Ferrovial

Heathrow Airport paid out £160m to its majority shareholder Ferrovial in the first nine months of the year, helping to boost net profit at Ferrovial by 2%.  Ferrovial received dividends of €355m from its investments in airports and toll roads – causing Ferrovial’s net profit to rise to €485m (£414m) in the nine months to September 30th.  Heathrow had performed “exceptionally well” during the period, paying out  £476m to its shareholders – including the Qatari and Chinese sovereign wealth funds -during the period, although the sum was inflated by a £300m one-off return from the sale of Stansted to MAG in February.  Last week Ferrovial sold an  8.65% stake in Heathrow to  the Universities Superannuation Scheme, for £392m, pushing its holding down to 25%. Ferrovial said funds from the USS deal would “greatly enhance the company’s flexibility to undertake new investments orientated towards international expansion”. British Airways has accused Heathrow of generating “excessive” returns for its shareholders at the cost of its customers.
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Heathrow boosts profits at Ferrovial

Heathrow’s majority shareholder Ferrovial has reported a 2% increase in profits for the first 9 months of the year, helped by a £160m payment from the British airport.

By , Leisure and Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)

28 Oct 2013

Heathrow Airport paid out £160m to its majority shareholder Ferrovial in the first nine months of the year, helping to boost net profit at the Spanish group by 2pc.

The Spanish infrastructure and construction giant said on Monday that net profit reached €485m (£414m) in the nine months to September 30 after it received dividends of €355m from its investments in airports and toll roads. Revenue climbed almost 5pc to €5.9bn.

Heathrow performed “exceptionally well” during the period, Ferrovial said. Heathrow’s latest results show Britian’s biggest airport paid £476m to its shareholders during the period, although the sum was inflated by a £300m one-off return from the sale of Stansted to Manchester Airports Group in February.

Ferrovial last week sold an 8.65pc stake in Heathrow to Britain’s second biggest pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, for £392m, pushing its holding down to 25pc.

However, the Madrid-based group cut its stake from 33.65pc after September 30. A spokesman for Ferrovial confirmed it benefited from £160m of the £476m payment made by Heathrow to its shareholders – who also include Qatari and Chinese sovereign wealth funds.

Ferrovial said in a statement on Monday that the funds from the USS deal would “greatly enhance the company’s flexibility to undertake new investments orientated towards international expansion”.

However, the dividend windfall is likely to further anger airlines which have hit out at proposed increases in landing charges at Heathrow from next year.

Carriers including British Airways have accused Heathrow of generating “excessive” returns for its shareholders at the cost of its customers.

Willie Walsh, the head of British Airways’ parent company IAG, yesterday poured further fuel on the fire by accusing Heathrow of “gaming” the regulatory system, which decides how much the airport should be allowed to charge carriers to use its facilities.

Heathrow argues that shareholders have not yet made “anything approaching a market return” and the airport’s recent results have showed a profit after years of losses.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10410323/Heathrow-boosts-profits-at-Ferrovial.html

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Earlier:

Heathrow spreading ‘scare stories’ over investors, claims Willie Walsh

October 28, 2013      Willie Walsh, the boss of IAG, has rebuked Heathrow over investment claims and accused Heathrow of spreading “scare stories” and expertly “gaming” Britain’s regulatory system to bump up prices for airlines and passengers. He hit out at Heathrow over claims that it will lose investors if it is not allowed to generate higher returns. He said last week’s £392m purchase by Britain’s 2nd biggest pension scheme of a stake in the hub “blows a hole” in the airport’s arguments. The deal saw the Universities Superannuation Scheme buy an 8.65% holding from Ferrovial, Heathrow’s top investor. The sale was struck at a 13% premium to Heathrow’s Regulatory Asset Base – the regulator’s proxy for the airport’s value. Willie Walsh said that without question there is no shortage of investors who would be willing to take a stake in Heathrow. “It is almost insulting that they announce the sale of a stake to a significant player like USS at the same time that they have been arguing that if they don’t get excessive reward at Heathrow, investors will leave.”      Click here to view full story…

 


 

Ferrovial sells Heathrow stake to UK pension fund – the Universities Superannualtion Scheme – for £392m

Date added: October 22, 2013

Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial has further reduced its stake in Heathrow after agreeing to sell 8.65% of the airports group to UK pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), for £392m. The USS is one of the UK’s largest pension funds and is the scheme for universities and other higher education institutions in the UK. The deal, which values Heathrow at £4.5 billion,(plus the extra value of some £10 billion in debts) is the 4th time Ferrovial has trimmed its holding in Heathrow (or BAA as it was) in 2 years. It reduces Ferrovial’s stake to 25%, down from 62% when it bought BAA in 2006 in a £10.3 billion deal. Heathrow Airport Holdings has, since 2006, had to sell Edinburgh, Gatwick and Stansted, but still owns Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports. Ferrovial will remain the largest shareholder in Heathrow following the deal with USS, which is expected to complete on Thursday. USS will hold the 7th biggest stake behind China Investment Corporation which bought 10% of Heathrow in October 2012.      Click here to view full story…

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CAA proposes Heathrow charges rise in line with inflation over next 5 years

October 4, 2013      .The airport regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, has proposed that Heathrow should cap its landing charges so that they rise in line with inflation for the 5 years 2014 – 2019. Heathrow is complaining about this, as it wants a much larger increase in its charges and says this price cap would have “serious and far-reaching consequences” for passengers. Heathrow had submitted its request to the CAA for charges to be allowed to rise by 4.6% above the Retail Price Index (RPI), which is a measure of UK inflation. The CAA had initially proposed that the annual increase at Heathrow should be RPI minus 1.3% but said a key reason for its proposal to allow rises in line with inflation was “due to an increase in the cost of capital driven by higher debt costs”. If the proposals are accepted it will put an end to over a decade of prices rising faster than inflation at Heathrow. Airlines like BA at Heathrow had asked for a 9.8% a year cut in landing charges over the 5 years. The CAA propose allowing charges at Gatwick to rise by 0.5% above RPI for 5 years, and has deferred a decision on charges at Stansted.   Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow says its investment plans are at risk if CAA limits its charges to airlines

July 25, 2013      Heathrow wants to put up its charges to airlines significantly. The CAA controls how much the airport can charge, and it has indicated that it will limit the rise in the amount Heathrow can charge to the rate of inflation plus 4.6% per year. However, Heathrow says its shareholders would not be willing to proceed with plans to invest £3bn in the airport over the next 5 years if the CAA imposes stricter controls on price rises. Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow. said they would not proceed with capital spending of no more than £2bn if the CAA does not let them charge the amount they consider acceptable as a return for investors. There is a long term battle between Heathrow and the airlines, and Heathrow has some of the highest charges of any global airport. Heathrow has just reported a pre-tax profit of £186 million for the half year up to June 2013, though they made a loss of £51 million in the same period in 2012. This is largely due to the sale of Stansted. Heathrow’s passenger traffic rose 2.4% in the 6 months to June 2013, compared to 2012, to 34.4 million. Most of the growth was European traffic, which rose 4.9% to 14.3 million passengers.      Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow proposes cutting airline landing charge rise to 4.6% above RPI for 5 years

July 23, 2013      In February Heathrow announced it was intending to increase its airline landing charges, from the current level of £17 per passenger to perhaps up to £25. This caused very negative responses from airlines that use the airport. Now Heathrow has moved to appease airlines by offering to reduce the rise it is seeking to charge between 2014 and 2019. Heathrow has submitted a plan to the CAA seeking approval to raise tariffs by 4.6% above inflation, as measured by the retail prices index (RPI), for the 5 years from April 2014. That is 1.3% lower than their earlier offer of a rise of 5.9%. Gatwick has also agreed to scale back their planned fee increases. Earlier this year Willie Walsh called the airport “over-priced, over-rewarded and inefficient”. However, the investors, including Ferrovial and the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar, China and Singapore, who have spent more than £10 billion on the airport over the last decade, expect to see a good return on their investment ie. they want high fees to airlines.     Click here to view full story…

 

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Durham Tees Valley Airport scraps mainstream holiday flights – now just links to Schiphol, Aberdeen and Jersey

Durham Tees Valley Airport has decided, after a review of its business, to axe its holiday flights in order to concentrate on business travel.  The struggling airport will continue passenger flights to Amsterdam, Aberdeen and Jersey only – but all holiday charters will end next summer.  Scheduled daily passenger flights to Schiphol (Amsterdam) – operated by KLM – and Eastern Airways’ flights to Aberdeen will continue as normal, and Flybe link to Jersey. But the airport will be  “streamlining operations and moving away from all mainstream holiday charter programmes”.   Tour operators affected by the move are Thomson/First Choice and Balkan Holidays. Thomson Holidays has cancelled its two flight destinations for 2014 from Durham Tees Valley.  The terminal will undergo changes, making the operational area smaller . Investment in the new layout will make it more suited to customers on scheduled flights with “new retail offerings and business services”. They are trying to keep some aviation use for the airport and will have their masterplan for public consultation from mid-November.
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Durham Tees Valley Airport scraps mainstream holiday flights

30 Oct 2013 (Gazette)

Struggling airport will continue passenger flights to Amsterdam, Aberdeen and Jersey – but all holiday charters will end next summer

Durham Tees Valley Airport has axed its holiday flights in order to concentrate on business travel.

It announced today that, following a review of the business, chiefs had taken the first step towards a new future for the airport.

Scheduled daily passenger flights to Schiphol (Amsterdam) – operated by KLM – and Eastern Airways’ flights to Aberdeen will continue as normal.

But DTVA chiefs have announced they are “streamlining operations and moving away from all mainstream holiday charter programmes”.

Those changes will take effect from next summer and will include all flights bar the Flybe service to Jersey.

Anyone who has booked holiday flights from DTVA to Palma, Ibiza or Bulgaria for 2014 is advised to contact their tour operator or travel agent for advice.

Tour operators affected by the move are Thomson/First Choice and Balkan Holidays.

The Gazette reported this week how Thomson Holidays had been forced to pull the plug on two major holiday flights next year.

Earlier this month, DTVA chiefs’ reluctance to guarantee the future of holiday flights had prompted fears they were to be axed.

The operator says the move to drop flights to Ibiza and the well-established Majorca route was “beyond its control”.

A spokesman said Thomson had been notified that they would no longer be able to operate their flights from the airport, “following a business review of operations” by DTVA bosses.

In a statement today, DTVA thanked Thomson and Balkan “for all their support over the years”.

As part of the latest move, the terminal will undergo changes, making the operational area smaller and investment in the new layout will make it more suited to customers on scheduled flights.

New retail offerings and business services will be incorporated in the new layout.

Managing director Steve Gill said: “We have taken these steps following a difficult period for the airport and a thorough review of the whole site and our current operations, in order to give the airport a strong foundation to help safeguard the future of aviation activity.

“The result is a strategic masterplan which will be available for public consultation from mid-November.

“This will show how we plan to reposition the airport to focus on business and general aviation and will outline our plans for further developments.

“These will enable us to work towards expanding and diversifying our aviation and non-aviation activities across a broader base and grow back passenger services.

“This is envisaged to provide additional UK and global connections for the region’s business community who have a significant need to access international markets.

“The recent announcement of our investment in the new hangar facility for the National Police Air Service and the purchase of a significant development site on the north eastern edge of the airport demonstrates our commitment to deliver a long term future for Durham Tees Valley Airport so that we can continue to make a positive contribution to the economy of the Tees Valley and beyond.”

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/business/business-news/durham-tees-valley-airport-scraps-6255612

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Gallery: Durham Tees Valley Airport through the years
View gallery at site http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/business/business-news/durham-tees-valley-airport-scraps-6255612

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We are not wanted, says Thomson holidays as it announces flights from Durham Tees Valley Airport to be axed

29th October 2013  (The Northern Echo)

Thomson pulls summer holiday flights from Durham Tees Valley Airport
Thomson pulls summer holiday flights from Durham Tees Valley Airport

THE WORLD’S largest charter airline last night blamed Durham Tees Valley Airport for its shock decision to axe all flights to popular summer holiday destinations.

The 2014 holiday schedules due to be operated by Thomson and First Choice have been scrapped.

The surprise move means customers who have already booked seats will have to fly from a different airport.

Thomson operated charter flights to Alicante and Tenerife last winter and Palma Mallorca during the summer. In May, it announced plans for a new service to Ibiza in 2014.

In a statement, Thomson said: “Following a business review of operations by Durham Tees Valley Airport, Thomson and First Choice have been notified that they will no longer be able to operate their flights from the airport.

“We have therefore suspended flights from Durham Tees Valley Airport for summer 2014.

“We would like to reassure those customers who have already booked holidays departing from Durham Tees Valley that they will be offered an alternative choice of airport.

“Our customers are our number one priority and we apologise for any inconvenience caused by a change that is beyond our control

Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has seen its passenger numbers fall from almost one million in 2006 to just 160,000 annually.

Last night, an airport spokesman confirmed the losses and said an announcement on the “future business direction” of the airport would be made soon.

But the move appeared to confirm fears that the airport’s owners are set to turn their backs on the package holiday market.

Earlier this month The Northern Echo revealed that a turnaround plan drawn up by management will concentrate on attracting aviation businesses at the expense of charter flights.

Callers trying to book Thomson holiday flights from Durham Tees Valley are being advised to try Robin Hood Airport, near Doncaster, instead.

An airport spokesman said: “We can confirm that there will be no flights to Palma and Ibiza operated by Thomson Holidays from Durham Tees Valley Airport for the summer 2014 season.

“For alternative flights to these destinations customers are asked to consult the Thomson website.

“Further information on the future business direction of the airport will be announced shortly.”

A visit to Thomson’s website shows Alicante, Ibiza, Palma Mallorca and Tenerife South offered as destinations from DTV, but customers attempting to book are redirected to Robin Hood Airport’s timetable which has a full roster of holiday flights for 2014.

A call to the customer advice line querying this was met with a response that Thomson had “pulled out of Durham Tees Valley because it is not a popular airport”.

Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon, who sits on the airport’s board representing the interests of six local councils with a minority shareholding in DTVA, said the future of the Thomson flights was always going to be a case of “use them or lose them”.

He added: “I think it is sad, but to be fair to Thomson they have seen passenger numbers decline quite markedly. They had to offer significant discounts to get people to fly from there.

“It is a pity that not enough people have used the flights from the airport and it is a shame that the tourism operators don’t see it as a viable market – but that could change in the future.”

Mr Dixon added that business destinations such as the international hub at Schiphol in Holland were the airport’s true economic lifeline and the airport should focus on securing their future.

The DTV rescue plan, drawn up by majority shareholders Peel Holdings, will go out for consultation next month.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/10768619.We_are_not_wanted__says_Thomson_holidays_as_it_announces_flights_from_Durham_Tees_Valley_Airport_to_be_axed/?ref=rss

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Some other recent news about Durham Tees Valley airport:

 

Failing Durham Tees Valley airport new “Master Plan”; sound strategy – or a last throw of dice?

Date added: October 14, 2013

Durham Tees Valley airport, owned by Peel Holdings, has been doing very badly in recent years. It has twice failed to secure government funding for its expansion, but has now bought land it says could be used for “engineering, storage and distribution operations”. Since February it has been involved in taking apart and recycling old planes. The airport’s management say they will shortly be putting out a Master Plan, which is an aspiration of how they would like the airport to develop. Peel Holdings said the proposals would safeguard the airport’s flights to Schiphol and Aberdeen. A local MP said “This must not become an excuse to transition it being an industrial estate that happens to have a runway.” An airport manager commented that few airports can survive from passenger traffic revenue only. Commentators say the Master Plan could be seen as either the last throw of the dice, or a viable and coherent strategy. Though it suggests the airport plans to develop the commercial potential to retain passenger services, the unstated implication is that the battle is lost. Changes in the market and the end of the low-cost air travel boom mean there is no need for another passenger airport between Leeds Bradford and Newcastle.     Click here to view full story…

 

Durham Tees Valley Airport bid for Regional Growth Fund money rejected again

August 3, 2013     Durham Tees Valley airport has been wanting £4.6m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to help create an overall investment of £46.5m for the airport. But now for the second time, their bid has been refused by government. If approved, it would have meant a new access road on the south side of the airport and might – the airport claims – have led to the creation of “1,400 new jobs over the next ten years.” Hartlepool councillors are not happy, and it was agreed at a meeting of the full council to write to Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Innovation and Skills, to express their “disgust” over the decision. Labour councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the council’s regeneration committee, said: “The decision has not only put our region at a disadvantage but makes Durham Tees Valley more unsustainable.” The RGFofficials did not include the bid among their 102 successful projects, including 6 in the Tees Valley. In October 2012 their bid for funding for a freight terminal was rejected by the RGF.     Click here to view full story…

 

Airport bids to turn car park into caravan storage site

12.3.2013   As the airport has had such a large drop in numbers in recent  years, it has applied to turn part of its long-stay car park into a storage area for caravans in a bid to generate income.  The decline means that a large part of the airport’s long stay car park has become surplus to requirements, with a large section cordoned off and left unused. The airport’s owner, Peel Holdings, has now applied to Darlington Borough Council to change a 1.7 hectare section of the car park – more than 900 spaces – into a storage area for caravans, motorhomes and other vehicles for the next three years.  Click here to view full story ….

 

Plan revealed to dismantle planes at Durham Tees Valley Airport

February 20, 2013     Durham Tees Valley Airport is set to become a centre for the storage and dismantling of unused planes, and recycling parts. Sycamore Aviation has set up its base at the struggling airport and has already begun work on taking apart a number of airliners. The airport has a long runway, enabling it to handle larger planes, and plenty of hangar space. There are apparently “huge numbers” of aircraft retiring across Europe. A Sycamore Aviation spokesman said one airline alone is likely to need to dispose of 20 jumbo jets and 20 Boeing 737 aircraft in the next 3 -4 years – an illustration of the potential scale of demand. They say that across Europe between 500 to 700 aircraft a year need to be decommissioned and currently there are just not enough facilities to meet the demand. The number of passengers using Durham Tees Valley airport has fallen steadily from around 912,000 in 2006 to 165,000 in 2012.     Click here to view full story…

 

Bosses at Durham Tees Valley Airport express “acute disappointment” at bid failure

19.10.2012     AIRPORT bosses  expressed their “acute disappointment” at the Government’s decision to reject a bid for regeneration cash. However, Durham they said they remained committed to the Southside freight terminal development – despite the failure of the £5.9m Regional Growth Fund (RGF) application. DTVA chairman Robert Hough said the company would be demanding an explanation from ministers after the RGF bid was turned down. “It was hoped the £5.9m scheme, which would take ten years to complete and create up to 1,500 jobs, could breathe new life into the airport, which was close to going out of business last year amid falling passenger numbers.”   Click here to view full story …

 

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Packed seminar confirms opposition to any new Gatwick runway

A packed seminar organised jointly by CPRE Surrey, CPRE Sussex and GACC on 25th October examined the arguments for and against a new runway at Gatwick. Some 150 representatives of county councils, borough, district and parish councils, planning officers and other experts, the Wildlife Trusts, plus four local MPs and one Member of the European Parliament, crowded into the conference centre at the Stanhill Court Hotel. There was also support from national representatives from WWF, and the National Trust. The opening speech was made by Cabinet member, Rt Hon Francis Maude, who said that the voice of opposition ‘needed to be heard with clarion certainty.’ Great concern was expressed about drawing more workers and passengers from around the country, climate change, increased noise, the impact of 40,000 extra houses, the pressure on schools, hospitals, local road and rail services. Also the recent unconventional decision by West Sussex council to support a new runway, on which the public had not been consulted. A resolution that “Those here would oppose any new runway at  Gatwick airport” was passed with overwhelming support.
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Seminar confirms opposition to new Gatwick runway

28.10.2013  (GACC)

IMG_4947 (1)

A packed seminar organised jointly by CPRE Surrey, CPRE Sussex and GACC on 25 October examined the arguments for and against a new runway at Gatwick.

150 representatives of county councils, borough and district councils and parish councils, together with, planning officers and other experts, plus four local MPs and one Member of the European Parliament, crowded into the conference centre at the Stanhill Court Hotel. There was also support from national representatives from WWF, the Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust.

The opening speech was made by Cabinet member, Rt Hon Francis Maude, who said that the voice of opposition ‘needed to be heard with clarion certainty.’

Great concern was expressed about drawing more workers and passengers from around the country, climate change, increased noise, the impact of 40,000 extra houses, the pressure on schools, hospitals, local road and rail services.

A resolution that “Those here would oppose any new runway at LGW” was passed with overwhelming support.

The event was supported with a grant from the Lush charitable fund.

www.gacc.org.uk

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Runaway Gatwick?

Seminar held jointly by GACC, CPRE Surrey and CPRE Sussex

on Friday 25 October

 A short report on the meeting:

Local and national concern at a proposal by Gatwick Airport Limited for a second runway was much in evidence at a high-profile seminar on Friday, where a packed house gathered to examine its potentially devastating consequences and discuss how it can be challenged.

Organised jointly by GACC, CPRE Surrey and CPRE Sussex, the event was particularly well attended by influential policy makers, with four MPs and one MEP actively participating. Over thirty local councillors of all the major parties also contributed, with Cllr Helyn Clack of Surrey County Council in the Chair.

 

The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP

The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP gave the keynote speech, in which he referred to his previous role as chairman of the Gravetye Group, a body that brought together MPs for all affected constituencies, concerned local authorities and GACC, to oppose previous proposals for Gatwick expansion.

Mr Maude acknowledged the role of the airport as a serious motor of the local economy, and his strong support for its expansion as single-runway airport. This view having until recently been shared by all MPs and local authorities, he expressed his surprise at WSCC’s decision to support a second runway, a decision he did not consider to signal public acquiescence. Mr Maude referred to Nicholas Soames MP, who had written to Sir Howard Davies saying he should not make any assumption that local opposition has in any way dissipated.

Mr Maude went on to remind those present that the Airports Commission had been established by government to resolved the difficult question of where additional runway capacity for the south east should be located, with many contentious issues still to be canvassed. For example, pressure for new housing was already intense and highly controversial. He emphasised that perceptions matter, and the Commission would look at the level of local opposition or support – those who oppose the second runway should make their voices heard “with clarion certainty”.

During open forum discussion, several speakers agreed that Gatwick should be supported as a single-runway airport, but believed that the proposals for a second runway represented pure financial opportunism. The damage an additional runway would cause to the area was of great concern, affecting the environment and many other quality-of-life aspects. The view was expressed that Gatwick Airport Limited’s long-term vision might be good for London and for big business, but would bring jobs to an area of the country that had no real unemployment, at the expense of growth and jobs in the rest of UK. New runways in the south east would make matters worse.

Crispin Blunt MP argued in favour of an estuary airport, in recognition that more people will want to fly to London from developing countries in coming decades and the city’s status as a great global city. [This did not receive much support – putting the misery onto other people to save yourselves is not the right solution].

Whether there was a genuine need for greater runway capacity in the south east became a central issue during the debates.  Keith Taylor MEP questioned why the Airports Commission had already “pre-concluded” the need for growth, just so that passengers would not be inconvenienced. While Howard Davies had acknowledged the climate impacts of aviation, he “conveniently then dismissed it”. Mr Taylor argued that predict-and-provide had been proven not to work, and no case had been presented demonstrating the need for any growth in aviation. Those living in the region should come above business interest.

 

Tim Johnson, Director of the Aviation Environment Federation

Tim Johnson focused on the environmental impact of a second runway, recalling that the UK has a tough climate change law requiring a reduction in carbon emissions of 80% by 2050. The Committee on Climate Change had concluded that if other parts of industry reduced their emissions, then aviation could continue to grow provided it kept its emissions at 2005 levels. Consequently, aviation could not be allowed unrestricted expansion – it had to put the brakes put on and grow more slowly, and under this scenario capacity already existed to cater for the demand that exists, looking at London as a system of airports.

Despite this Howard Davies presumed that the south east still needed new runway capacity. Mr Johnson argued that locking ourselves into providing a new runway in the hope that industry would provide answers to carbon reduction was wholly unrealistic.

He continued by addressing the noise issue, with evidence that people exposed to airport noise are annoyed by it at much lower levels than previously realised, reacting to the number of noise events, the time of day and tranquillity disruption. These had potentially serious health implications that were little discussed, and worryingly between four and five times more people would be affected by aircraft noise than currently if a second runway were built.

 

Tim Harrold, Chairman CPRE Surrey Aviation Group

Tim Harrold addressed the infrastructure implications of a second runway at Gatwick, emphasising how important the airport’s impacts were to the work of all three affected CPRE branches (Surrey, Sussex and Kent), who were supported at the event by Sean Spiers, Chief Executive of CPRE nationally.

Mr Harrold emphasised that Surrey is already the most “overflown” county in the country, and that Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals for 18,000 new jobs would make the airport larger than Heathrow. The effects would be dramatic, with the need for 30-40,000 houses, more cars and HGVs than the roads could cope with. What degree of overcrowding would result? The need for huge social infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools, would also be immense.

During open forum it became clear that there was extreme concern among those present about the infrastructure problems a new runway would bring. Rail links, for example, were already running over capacity and yet no solutions to this were being proposed.

Discussion turned to how to campaign effectively against the proposal for a second runway. Sir Paul Beresford MP supported the setting up of a team of MPs working from the House of Commons.

There was a frank exchange of views on whether broader arguments about climate change would win the day, or whether campaigning should focus on local environmental issues, such as infrastructure and pollution.

What was clear was that a single strong voice against expansion was needed.

 

Panel debate

Four experts formed the panel – Keith Taylor MEP, Sarah Clayton (Co-ordinator, AirportWatch), Georgia Wrighton (Director, CPRE Sussex), and Brendon Sewill (Chairman, GACC), each gave brief introductions.

Ms Clayton and Mr Taylor urged opponents of the second runway to make their voices heard, engaging local groups as much as possible on key issues such as road and noise pollution and the threat to people’s way of life. There were many examples of successful anti-airport campaigns, such as Heathrow, Stansted and Munich where runway proposals had been defeated.

The panel agreed on the importance of challenging more effectively the business groups that were arguing that infrastructure would not be a constraint, when it was clear that it would be, and also to challenge their often unfounded arguments on the economic benefits of airport expansion.

The seminar concluded with the Chair tabling a resolution that, “Those here would oppose any new runway at LGW”, which was passed by a show of hands with a large majority. 

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More recent information from GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign):

New flight paths – GACC says consultation no good without maps.

GACC has reacted strongly to the consultation on new flight paths around Gatwick which was launched jointly by NATS and Gatwick Airport Ltd on 16 October.  See press release.

(The map opposite shows flight paths around London on a typical day.  Red are Gatwick departures, pink Gatwick arrivals.) 


GACC rejects ‘must have a new runway’.

GACC reply to the speech by Sir Howard Davies in which he suggested that a new runway was needed in the South East.  Seesubmission to the Airports Commission.


Gatwick Unzipped

GACC has submitted an important paper to the Airports Commission in response to their invitation to interested bodies to comment on the various runway plans.  The paper is a detailed analysis of the Gatwick runway proposals, showing the aeronautical problems and the environmental damage that they would cause. 

Read Gatwick Unzipped.

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Guernsey’s new €93 million airport upgrade set for completion by end of October

Guernsey’s new airport upgrade project is set to be completed by end of October 2013. The redevelopment was originally planned to take 22 months, but is set to be completed two months ahead of schedule. The work, which began in March 2012, includes removal of an dip in the runway. There is also a 120 metre runway extension to the west. This means the operational length of the runway is 1,463 metres, but the airport says the extension provides longer safety areas at both ends of the runway.  The existing taxiway had to be extended to link the western end with the rest of the airfield, and complete reconstruction of the airport’s apron area and the terminal.  They have also moved the approach lights, installing new ground lighting and navigational aids and relaying all surfaces. Guernsey airport has about 800 – 900,000 passengers per year, making it a bit less busy than Cardiff or Prestwick.

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GUERNSEY’S NEW €93 MILLION AIRPORT UPGRADE SET FOR COMPLETION BY END OF OCTOBER

Written by    (Airport World)

29.10.2013

Guernsey's new €93 million airport upgrade set for completion by end of October

Guernsey’s new €93 million Airport 2040 upgrade project is set to be completed by end of October 2013.

The redevelopment was originally planned to take 22 months, but is set to be completed two months ahead of schedule.

Work was started in March 2012 and has included the removal of an historic dip in the runway.

It has also seen construction of an additional 120 metre runway section and complete reconstruction of the airport’s apron area.

Design and engineering specialist TPS, has managed the rehabilitation and improvement of runway, taxiways and aircraft aprons at the airport.

Project manager Gerry Prickett, says: “The new section of runway added at the western end of the site moves the airstrip 120 metres to the west, while the existing taxiway also had to be extended to link the western end with the rest of the airfield.

“The new runway maintains its existing operational length of 1,463 metres, but this shift provides longer safety areas at both ends of the runway.”

The airport’s terminal was built in 2004 and the old apron, which dated back to the 1960s has been completely rebuilt.

Work has been carried out in six phases so normal operations at Guernsey Airport could continue, with two of these phases providing additional aircraft stands on what were grass areas.

The final major phase this summer involved the bussing of passengers to and from these areas while a large part of the existing concrete has been rebuilt to higher strength.

http://www.airport-world.com/home/general-news/item/3254-guernsey-s-new-80-million-airport-set-for-completion-by-end-of-october

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earlier

 

4 June 2013   (BBC)

Guernsey Airport work ‘could end in October’

Guernsey Airport project: Work on the apron outside the terminal building

Work on the apron is considered the “most challenging”

Work to upgrade Guernsey’s airfield could be completed by October, if the dry weather continues, the manager of the £80m project has said.

Gerry Prickett said he was “delighted” by the progress of the work.

He said after delays caused by wet weather last year it would “certainly be finished by the end of the year”.

Mr Prickett said once work on the airfield was complete the building compounds supporting the work would be returned to their original state.

This includes the sites housing a concrete batching plant opposite the airport entrance and the material store at Longue Hougue, where a temporary dock has already been removed.

The project, which started in February 2012, aims to prepare the airfield to last until 2040.

‘Most challenging’

It includes repositioning the runway by 120m (394ft) to the west, moving the approach lights, installing new ground lighting and navigational aids and relaying all surfaces.

Longer grass safety areas are being created at both end of the runway and a new drainage system is being installed.

The apron, where planes stop to disembark and take on board passengers and cargo, is being re-laid in stages and currently it is the area right next to the terminal building that is being worked on.

Airport director Colin Le Ray said: “This phase on the apron was always recognised as the most challenging.

“The fact that the weather is glorious and has been really since Easter has really helped the contractor to get ahead to make up some of that time we lost last summer.

‘Legacy issues’

“More importantly for us to get through these phases in really good time and if we can keep disruption to a minimum that’s a win, win for us as well.”

Buses have been leased to ferry people to and from planes while the area next to the airport terminal is out of use.

Mr Le Ray said: “Within six weeks we hope to be opening a couple more stands and that should certainly take the pressure off.”

He said of the work: “The quality of the concrete laid in the 60s varies really… one of the legacy issues we’re trying to address with this project is to address those differences in levels.”

Mr Le Ray said by levelling out the area it would save on the amount of concrete that is needed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-22775507

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Lagan Construction Lands Contract At Guernsey Airport

October 2011

Lagan Construction is delighted to have signed a £80 million contract, part of the Guernsey Airport Redevelopment Project.  Planning approval for the work at the airport was granted in October 2011. The works predominately include the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the existing airfield pavements including the runway, apron and taxiways and the installation of a new surface water drainage system.

Commenting Lagan Construction Managing Director Colin Loughran, “We’re delighted; we set out on the road to this contract maybe two years ago.  We’re looking forward to a challenging project and the benefits we believe it will bring to the island”

Works are due to commence in January 2012 and will take approximately 2 years to complete.

http://www.laganconstruction.com/lagan-construction-lands-contract-at-guernsey-airport/

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Heathrow spreading ‘scare stories’ over investors, claims Willie Walsh

Willie Walsh, the boss of IAG, has rebuked Heathrow over investment claims and accused Heathrow of spreading “scare stories” and expertly “gaming” Britain’s regulatory system to bump up prices for airlines and passengers.  He hit out at Heathrow over claims that it will lose investors if it is not allowed to generate higher returns. He said last week’s £392m purchase by Britain’s 2nd biggest pension scheme of a stake in the hub “blows a hole” in the airport’s arguments. The deal saw the Universities Superannuation Scheme buy an 8.65% holding from Ferrovial, Heathrow’s top investor. The sale was struck at a 13% premium to Heathrow’s Regulatory Asset Base – the regulator’s proxy for the airport’s value.  Willie Walsh said that without question there is no shortage of investors who would be willing to take a stake in Heathrow. “It is almost insulting that they announce the sale of a stake to a significant player like USS at the same time that they have been arguing that if they don’t get excessive reward at Heathrow, investors will leave.”

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Heathrow spreading ‘scare stories’ over investors, claims Walsh

Willie Walsh, the boss of British Airways’ parent company, rebukes Heathrow over investment claims after a major pension fund buys a near 9pc stake in the airport

Commercial airplane taking off at London Heathrow Airport with Terminal 5 in the background, UK

Heathrow’s shareholders have undertaken one of the UK’s largest private-sector investments – gradually replacing an airport dating from the 1950s with a modern airport of which the UK can be proud. Photo: ALAMY

By Leisure and Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)

27 Oct 2013

Willie Walsh has accused Heathrow Airport of spreading “scare stories” and expertly “gaming” Britain’s regulatory system to bump up prices for airlines and passengers.

The boss of British Airways owner IAG hit out at Heathrow over claims that it will lose investors if it is not allowed to generate higher returns. He said last week’s £392m purchase by Britain’s second biggest pension scheme of a stake in the hub “blows a hole” in the airport’s arguments. The deal saw the Universities Superannuation Scheme buy an 8.65pc holding from Ferrovial, Heathrow’s top investor.

The sale was struck at a 13% premium to Heathrow’s Regulatory Asset Base – the regulator’s proxy for the airport’s value.

“Without question there is no shortage of investors who would be willing to take a stake in Heathrow,” said Mr Walsh. “It is almost insulting that they announce the sale of a stake to a significant player like USS at the same time that they have been arguing that if they don’t get excessive reward at Heathrow, investors will leave.”

Heathrow and major airlines have been at loggerheads over how much the airport should be allowed by the regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, to charge airlines for using its facilities from next year. The landing charges are inevitably always passed on to passengers.Mr Walsh said he is talking to Gatwick and London City Airport and would be prepared to move planes to rival airports in protest.

“Heathrow are experts at gaming the regulatory system,” he said.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “There is no new capital investment for Heathrow as part of the USS transaction. One investor has sold, another has bought. Shareholders have not yet made anything approaching a market return on equity.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10407771/Heathrow-spreading-scare-stories-over-investors-claims-Walsh.html

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Earlier

Ferrovial sells Heathrow stake to UK pension fund – the Universities Superannualtion Scheme – for £392m

Date added: October 22, 2013

Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial has further reduced its stake in Heathrow after agreeing to sell 8.65% of the airports group to UK pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), for £392m. The USS is one of the UK’s largest pension funds and is the scheme for universities and other higher education institutions in the UK. The deal, which values Heathrow at £4.5 billion,(plus the extra value of some £10 billion in debts) is the 4th time Ferrovial has trimmed its holding in Heathrow (or BAA as it was) in 2 years. It reduces Ferrovial’s stake to 25%, down from 62% when it bought BAA in 2006 in a £10.3 billion deal. Heathrow Airport Holdings has, since 2006, had to sell Edinburgh, Gatwick and Stansted, but still owns Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports. Ferrovial will remain the largest shareholder in Heathrow following the deal with USS, which is expected to complete on Thursday. USS will hold the 7th biggest stake behind China Investment Corporation which bought 10% of Heathrow in October 2012.

Click here to view full story…

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Manchester airport 28.5 ha car park in public safety zone given go-ahead, despite safety fears from residents

Plans for a ‘gigantic’ 9,000-space car park under Manchester Airport’s flight path have been approved – despite claims it is an accident ‘waiting to happen’. Manchester council agreed the proposals at its latest planning meeting, prompting shock from local residents. The airport says it needs the long-stay facility, near the Moss Nook area of Wythenshawe, to replace a 3,000-space car park being lost to part of the Airport City development. The airport claims it would cut traffic and pollution. But the plans will mean building in the airport’s  ‘public safety zone’ – the area around the end of a busy runway that is usually left undeveloped to protect people from planes. The risk of a plane crashing, on landing or take-off, is highest there.  Residents and ward councillors fear any future plane crash would cause a massive explosion because thousands of petrol tanks would be in one place.  Petitions containing more than 2,200 signatures were submitted opposing the move, along with 34 formal letters of objections, while local ward councillors had already voted against it last month.  The car park will take uk at least 28.5 hectares of green land.
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Airport car park given go-ahead, despite safety fears from residents

by Dominic Salter
24.10.2013 (Manchester Evening News)
Map 

Manchester council agreed the proposals at its latest planning meeting, prompting shock from local residents.

Neighbours protesting against the car park. Councillors have said: “The airport needs to think again.”
Neighbours protesting against the car park. Councillors have said: “The airport needs to think again.”

Plans for a ‘gigantic’ 9,000-space car park under Manchester Airport’s flight path have been approved – despite claims it is an accident ‘waiting to happen’.

Manchester council agreed the proposals at its latest planning meeting, prompting shock from local residents.

The airport says it needs the long-stay facility, near the Moss Nook area of Wythenshawe, to replace a 3,000-space car park being lost to part of the Airport City development.

It also says the move would cut traffic and pollution.

But the plans will mean building in its ‘public safety zone’ – the area around the end of a busy runway that is usually left undeveloped to protect people from planes.

Residents and ward councillors fear any future plane crash would cause a massive explosion because thousands of petrol tanks would be in one place.

Petitions containing more than 2,200 signatures were submitted opposing the move, along with 34 formal letters of objections, while local ward councillors had already voted against it last month.

Speaking against the application, Rod Havercroft, speaking on behalf of the residents said the ‘trauma and devastation’ of the region’s two previous air disasters – in Wythenshawe in 1957 and in Stockport a decade later – still live on in local memory.

The plans showed a ‘stunning disregard’ for residents, he said, adding: “No-one can guarantee there will not be another air crash in this area.

“We do not believe the planning committee should take that risk either – please do not take a chance with our safety.”

Planning officers say the move fits in with the council’s own core strategy, stressing the government does permit certain types of development – including long-stay car parks – in public safety zones.

But fellow Woodhouse Park councillor Eddy Newman said residents’ fears were being ‘glibly dismissed’ – dubbing the car park ‘gigantic’ and adding: “The airport needs to think again.”

In considering the application, planning committee member Coun Aftab Ahmed echoed his fears.

He said: “Accidents will happen sooner or later and I believe this is an accident waiting to happen.

“Nine thousands cars under a flight path I think is ridiculous.”

The application was passed by eight votes to five, prompting one resident to shout at planners: “May god have mercy on your souls.”

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “We are pleased the planning application to improve car parking facilities for passengers using the airport has been approved. Moving forward we will continue to work with our local community and stakeholders as we have always done.

“We understand that our operations can have an impact on local residents and as we look to invest, we will keep lines of dialogue open while continuing to act as a job creator for the region.”

Manchester car park site  Moss Nook

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Manchester Airport 9,000 space car park plan given approval

The car park is earmarked for Styal Road, Ringway Road And Shadowmoss Road area which is to the north east of Manchester Airport.
Petitions containing more than 2,200 names were submitted to the council opposing the scheme
 

Fields near Manchester Airport will be turned into a 9,000 space car park after councillors approved plans.

The 70 acre (28.5 hectare) site lies in Wythenshawe to the north-east of the airport.

Dozens of residents had objected to the plan, fearing a decline in property values, loss of green views and traffic congestion.

Planning officers backed the plans saying the airport was a “catalyst for the regional economy”.

The airport said it was working with residents to “address any concerns”.

Petitions containing more than 2,200 signatures were submitted to Manchester City Council objecting to the plan and concerns were also raised by 34 residents and a local residents association.

They said they could be affected by noise from car alarms set off by aircraft and by people parking on their streets to take advantage of the park-and-ride while avoiding charges.

‘No detrimental impact’

In a report to the council, planning officers said it was “unlikely” that would happen.

The planners recommended the proposal for approval on the grounds that it was a “a vital component in the growth of Manchester Airport”.

They also said it “will not have a detrimental impact upon residential amenity or highway safety”.

Manchester Airport currently has eight public car parks with 15,595 spaces and eight staff car parks with 5,535 spaces. A 3,110 space car park closed in 2010.

The 24-hour car park will be sited between Styal Road, Ringway Road and Shadowmoss Road.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-24653970

 


Manchester Airport
Anthony Pooler

 

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-car-park-given-6239260

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London City Airport expansion plan – inadequate consultation by Newham – but campaigners have produced guidance on how to respond

London City Airport applied back in July for expansion.  While the application does not propose to increase the number of flights, it crucially changes the split between scheduled jets and jet centre movements leading to a change in the 2010 baseline public safety zone. The application is to demolish some buildings and structures, and upgrade four aircraft stands, adding 7 new aircraft parking stands. It would also mean extension and modification of the existing airfield, including the creation of an extended taxi lane.There would be changes to parking and vehicle access, and an extension to the terminal building.  The consultation in on the Newham Council website (though on some days it has not bee accessible) – it ends on 28th October. There is a huge list of documents, with no accessible detail, making comment by ordinary people nearly impossible.  London City Airport campaigners have located the key information, and produced a simple response email which anyone can (adapt and) use. There are real fears of more noise from the airport and building space removed form the enlarged public safety zones.  Do send in a reply if you agree these proposals should be opposed. 
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LONDON CITY AIRPORT EXPANSION – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Suggested text on which to base your response below.

London City Airport have submitted a large planning application to change the fabric – and aircraft mix – of the airport. Residents are expected to go through thousands of highly technical documents when they are occasionally made available.  Which is deeply unsatisfactory and inadequate as a consultation.

The full application can be seen on the Newham Council website here.  [Though currently the site is down, and the page is not available].  Details copied below.

There is a vast list of documents associated with the application, and very poor guidance to help anyone to locate specific information. The list is at   http://pad.newham.gov.uk/AniteIM.Websearch/ExternalEntryPoint.aspx?SEARCH_TYPE=1&DOC_CLASS_CODE=DC&Reference=13/01228/FUL

This effectively makes responding to the application, by ordinary members of the public, impossible.

The plans would cause a huge increase in noise impacts. Parts of key regeneration land earmarked for homes will become undevelopable because of the larger Crash Zone (Public safety zone).

By 2019 all local outdoor recreation space will be in breach of WHO 55db noise guidelines.

You can respond in HERE two easy clicks – just add your details to the bottom of the email.

Below is a briefing on the proposed application. It contains key information on the impacts.

FinalAirportBriefingDocumentOct2013    by Stop City Airport Masterplan

 

PDF briefing on the London City Airport development plans CADP1 (planning application 13/01228/FUL) and CADP2 (planning application 13/01373/OUT).

These plans will have a huge impact on the Royal Docks, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich as well as London as a whole.

The closing date for consultation is Monday 28th of October though pre action legal letters have been submitted to Newham over the failure to consult properly.

Campaigners at London City Airport have created an email response for those of you with time constraints. It is easy and quick to send this off.  Copied below.  Read through it to check you agree with everything said, add your name and address.

PLEASE SUBMIT A RESPONSE AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS INTERESTED IN, OR AFFECTED BY, LONDON CITY AIRPORT TO DO SO TOO.

 


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Pre Written Objection Email

 London City Airport Application 13/01228/FUL and 13/01228/FUL

Email to:   sunil.Sahadevan@newham.gov.uk   and   chris.gascoigne@newham.gov.uk

CC:   mayor@london.gov.uk

Subject:  Objection  –  London  City  Airport  Application  13/01228/FUL  and  13/01228/FUL

Text:

Dear Sunil

I wish to object to the London City Airport Planning application 13/01228/FUL and 13/01228/FUL.

There are thousands of highly technical documents in this application to which residents should have more than three weeks to consider.

Planning permission was granted on 9 July 2009 (reference 07/01510/VAR) by the London Borough of Newham LBN) for variation of conditions attached to previous planning permissions for the Airport to allow up to 120,000 total aircraft movements per year (with related modifications to other limits on aircraft movements).

Conditions agreed for the previous application to increase the flights have not yet been finalised and have a direct impact on these applications. While the application does not propose to increase the number of flights it crucially changes the split between scheduled jets and jet centre movements leading to a change in the 2010 baseline PSZ (public safety zone).

The change in the baseline is from 95,000 scheduled air traffic movements to 107,319 resulting in more aircraft noise and air pollution at peak times yet averaged over 16 hours.

It also means a larger Public Safety Zone.

Car parking will increase from 974 spaces to 1,252 and taxi feeder rank will increase from 200 spaces to 320 for these diesel vehicles.

Up to 21 potential developments earmarked for thousands of urgently needed homes would be impacted by a reconfigured Public Safety Zone which restricts development.

The Public Safety Zone will also affect land safeguarded for the Silvertown Tunnel which is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project which is ignored in the application.

Critically the PSZ Value Compensation Scheme S106 from 2009 is still not agreed nor have those landowners who would be affected been informed.

The number of dwellings in noise contours will increase.

Noise Contours will increase in size around the airport .

The size of the 57 db contour  would rise from 6.3 km² to 57 db 9.1km² (2012/ 2021)

The number of people living within the 57db contour increases from 8,300 to 13,700 to 15,100 (2012 / 2017 / 2023).

This does not include future development.

The size of the 63db contour would increase from  1.6km²  to 2.4km² (2012/ 2021).  Those living within the 63db contour would increase from 400 to 1,100 to 1,300 (2012 /2017 /2023).

These figures do not include future development.

Approx. population in contours including permitted but not yet built residential will increase from 17,900 to 75,900 in the 57db contour, and 1,000 to 17,500 in 63db (2012/2021) .

The World Health Organisation sets a 55db target value for controlling noise in open spaces. All 8 recreation areas around the airport will breach this by 2019.

There would be noise levels of 57db up to 70db at 28 areas of land proposed for development across 3 boroughs by 2021

Aircraft noise level increases would mean that the number of schools and colleges affected by over 57db (averaged over 16hrs) increases from 9 to 11 with all suffering an increase.

Schools is the area should not be averaged over a 16hr day. Rather an 8 hour day when they are actually in school – for schools  used in daytime, the 16 hours measurement is not relevant and gives a misleading impression that the noise is less bad than it actually is during school hours.

Aircraft noise has an impact on cognitive learning and the Council does a disservice to future generations of pupils by not protecting them from this noise increase.

These are shocking statistics that will blight the whole community across three boroughs.

The proposal to deck over at least 7.54 Hectares of King George V Dock and the loss of 1,800m2 of Dock Wall habitat conflict with London Plan/Blue Ribbon Network policy. This is Londoners’ land.  It should therefore not be used for the economic benefit of a hedge fund that owns the airport.

Royal Docks is on the cusp of a huge regeneration and any change from agreed central assumption at the previous expansion will mean restrictions across the docks and the loss of potential for many thousands of homes. Also there is a risk to the quality of life for residents in the area.

The Airports Commission is currently looking at airport capacity in the South East which has a material effect on London City Airport airspace.

Yours faithfully,

 


 

A clickable response link for social media accounts like Facebook is available here.

http://stopcityairportmasterplan.tumblr.com/post/65029509021/to-submit-a-generated-objection-to-the-london-city


 

http://pa.newham.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=MPRZM4JY06V00

Newham Council website

Application summary: 

13/01228/FUL | Planning Application CADP1: Works to demolish existing buildings and structures and provide additional infrastructure and passenger facilities at London City Airport without changes to the number of permitted flights or opening hours previously permitted pursuant to planning permission 07/01510/VAR. Detailed planning permission is being sought for: (a) Demolition of existing buildings and structures; (b) 4 no. upgraded aircraft stands and 7 new aircraft parking stands; (c) Extension and modification of the existing airfield, including the creation of an extended taxilane; (d) Emergency vehicle access point over King George V Dock; (e) Replacement landside Forecourtto include vehicle circulation, pick up and drop off areas and hard and soft landscaping; (f) Eastern Extension to the existing Terminal Building (including alteration works to the existing Terminal); (g) Construction of a 3 storey passenger pier to the east of the existing Terminal; (h) Erection of Noise Barriers; (i) Western Extension and alterations to the existing Terminal; (j) Western Energy Centre, storage, ancillary accommodation and landscaping;l; (k) Facilitation Works including temporary coaching facility and extension to the outbound baggage area; (l) Upgrading works to Hartmann Road; (n) Passenger and staff parking, car hire parking, taxi feeder park and ancillary and related work; (o) Eastern Energy Centre; (p) Dock Source Heat Exchange System within King George V Dock; and (q) Ancillary and related work The applications is accompanied by an Environmental Statement | London City Airport Hartmann Road Silvertown London E16 2PX

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Proposal

Planning Application CADP1:

Works to demolish existing buildings and structures and provide additional infrastructure and passenger facilities at London City Airport without changes to the number of permitted flights or opening hours previously permitted pursuant to planning permission 07/01510/VAR. Detailed planning permission is being sought for: (a) Demolition of existing buildings and structures; (b) 4 no. upgraded aircraft stands and 7 new aircraft parking stands; (c) Extension and modification of the existing airfield, including the creation of an extended taxilane; (d) Emergency vehicle access point over King George V Dock; (e) Replacement landside Forecourtto include vehicle circulation, pick up and drop off areas and hard and soft landscaping; (f) Eastern Extension to the existing Terminal Building (including alteration works to the existing Terminal); (g) Construction of a 3 storey passenger pier to the east of the existing Terminal; (h) Erection of Noise Barriers; (i) Western Extension and alterations to the existing Terminal; (j) Western Energy Centre, storage, ancillary accommodation and landscaping;l; (k) Facilitation Works including temporary coaching facility and extension to the outbound baggage area; (l) Upgrading works to Hartmann Road; (n) Passenger and staff parking, car hire parking, taxi feeder park and ancillary and related work; (o) Eastern Energy Centre; (p) Dock Source Heat Exchange System within King George V Dock; and (q) Ancillary and related work The applications is accompanied by an Environmental Statement

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Comments to Newham have to be made online, after registering.

http://pa.newham.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=MPRZM4JY06V00

 

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Tiny Cambridge airport joins the bandwagon, of connecting flights to Schiphol or Paris

Much is said about the possibility of people in the UK taking flights to Amsterdam (or it could be Paris) to get other flights from there – avoiding going via a London airport. Now tiny Cambridge airport, with so few passengers that the CAA data only just record t hem, is claiming it is an international airport, with some flights laid on to Schiphol and Paris, from where  people can get onward connections. The airport claims it is much faster to pass through the tiny airport than it would be at a larger London airport. It is making much of the link from Schiphol or Paris to  the USA. To be honest, there are a large number of airports that already have flights to Amsterdam.  Anyone flying only from the UK to Paris / Amsterdam would pay only the APD for the short haul flight, so they could save themselves so me £45 -50 or so.  For anyone flying west from the  UK to the  USA, going via the European mainland does not make a lot of sense, geographically. Or in terms of carbon. But if they are flying  east, and change at some European airport, at least they are taking the pressure off the crowded south east airports. Schiphol seems eager to get its hands on Brits.
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“Cambridge International Airport announces flights to USA from £320 return”

[ … well, a link to Schiphol actually]

Written by CHRIS ELLIOTT

23.10.2013  (Cambridge News)

02/09/13 First international flights from Cambridge airport - Abbey, Cambridge02/09/13 First arrival of International flight into Cambridge Airport in Newmarket Road . Shown are [left]Robert Marshall [CEO of the Marshall Group] and CCO of Darwin Airline
2/09/13 First international flights from Cambridge airport 

High-flying Cambridge Airport is launching flights to the USA – from £320 return.

Passengers will make the trip via Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris or Schipol in Amsterdam, but Cambridge Airport bosses claim the journey is expected to be quicker than flying from Heathrow.

The announcement today comes hard on the heels of the Marshall Group airport starting scheduled flights to several European cities.

In September, Darwin Airline began flying from Cambridge to Paris, Amsterdam, Milan and Geneva.

The USA connection also involves Darwin Airline, which has clinched an agreement with Air France.

A spokeswoman for Cambridge Airport said: “Under the agreement, passengers and their baggage can be checked-in at Cambridge all the way through to their final destination in the USA, on a one-stop service with quick transfer times in Paris.

“The partnership brings a whole range of exciting US destinations to Cambridge’s doorstep, with daily connecting service to New York JFK, as well as one-stop to Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Detroit now available.

“From these US hubs, there is also the option for passengers to connect onward to many other major cities across America, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami, Orlando, Seattle and San Diego.”

Cambridge Airport’s head of business and route development, David Surley, said: “The launch of one-stop connections to the USA is another milestone in a fantastic year for Cambridge International Airport. The Cambridge region has a thriving business community that enjoys unusually close links with America so it was very important for us to be able to provide transatlantic connections, avoiding the hassle of travel to Heathrow or Gatwick.

“We offer short check-in times of just an hour, meaning you not only save time getting to the airport but also when you’re at the airport, not to mention the convenience of many transatlantic services by Air France out of Paris, which is just an hour away.”

He added passengers will be able to book flights from Cambridge to the USA through all major tour operators and travel agents. Current fares to New York via ebookers start from just £320 return, whilst Washington DC starts from £370 return.

A pre-Christmas city-break including flights and four nights hotel accommodation starts at just £496 in a four-star hotel in Washington DC, or from £598 in a three-star hotel in Manhattan, New York City, based on two adults sharing.

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/News/Cambridge-International-Airport-announces-flights-to-USA-from-320-return-20131023103728.htm

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CAA passenger data showed some 2,000 passengers used Cambridge airport in 2012

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/80/airport_data/2012Annual/Table_10_3_Terminal_Pax_2002_2012.pdf

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Empty seats on Europe flights from Cambridge Airport ‘no problem’

Written by CHRIS ELLIOTT

24.10.2013  (Cambridge News)

Some of the newly-launched European flights at Cambridge Airport have yet to take off commercially – they have been running with very few passengers.

But airport bosses are still pleased with the new services overall, and insist everything is “on track”.

In September operator Darwin Airline began running more than 50 flights a week to four top European cities – 24 to and from Amsterdam, 12 serving Paris Charles De Gaulle, eight for Milan Malpensa, and six to and from Geneva. Passengers also had the option of continuing their journey with Etihad Airways, allowing them to access destinations including Australia and the Maldives.

But some of the 50-seater SAAB 2000 aircraft have taken off with fewer than 10 passengers aboard.

David Surley, head of business and route development at the airport, said: “Overall we’re very pleased with the load factors, and in terms of passenger numbers, we’re where we expect to be at this stage. It’s not a problem.

“The rate of tickets sales overall is where we knew it would be, and for example, we have flights scheduled for December that are already fully booked.”

A public consultation exercise about the new flights is under way, via the airport’s website, at cambridgeairport.com.

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/News/Empty-seats-on-Europe-flights-from-Cambridge-Airport-no-problem-20131024090033.htm

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In 2012

29 May 2012

KLM and Flybe unite to increase UK routes to Amsterdam and beyond

Starting on 30th May 2012, KLM and Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, will implement a code-share agreement on two routes, namely between Amsterdam and Southampton and Amsterdam and Inverness.

Through this new partnership, KLM will be offering its customers three daily flights on the Southampton – Amsterdam route and one daily flight on the Inverness – Amsterdam route. The agreement provides passengers from Southampton and Inverness easy connections with the rest of the world via the award-winning Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Flybe will benefit from incremental traffic generated by KLM sales.

Flights on which KLM will put its code will be operated by Flybe with Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 and Embraer E-195 aircraft.

Arriving in Amsterdam Schiphol, KLM customers will have the choice of connections to more than 150 destinations worldwide on routes operated by KLM and its partners.

This partnership enhances the existing cooperation between the Air France-KLM Group and Flybe. Indeed, Flybe and Air France already operate within the framework of a code-share agreement on a substantial number of routes between France and the UK.

http://www.flybe.com/corporate/media/news/1205/29.htm

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Flight mapping has all the  UK airports from where people can fly to Amsterdam, perhaps for onward connections:

All direct flights to Amsterdam from the UK & Ireland

   

Link to Calendar

Link to Calendar

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