Protest in Brussels as new flight paths over-fly new areas, giving some respite to those previously heavily over-flown

In Brussels there has, for a long time, been a problem because of the division between the French speaking south of the city, and the  Flemish speaking north. The airport is to the north east of the city, and traditionally the people living to the north have complained bitterly that they have had a disproprotionate number of flights, while many affluent areas to the south have had no over-flying. From the 6th February the government has brought in new flight paths, which disperse take-offs towards the west, so more fly over the areas to the south of the city. Flights start at 6am and continue to 11pm, though the new routes are meant to not be used for Saturday evening and during Sunday, if there isn’t  a strong westerly wind. There has been huge protest in Brussels about this change, with furious citizens incensed that their peace, and their quality of life has been reduced. The changes have brought some relief to the other areas which previously took more than their fair share of the noise. Petitions and protests have been set up, and it is uncertain what will happen next.  The situation is complicated by Belgian politics, and the separate interests of Flemish and Walloon sections of society.
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Brussels map

A new citizen movement – PasQuestion – has been created, and is gaining traction. Their website is at  websitewww.pasquestion.be   translated in English.

There is information about the flight path changes at

http://www.pasquestion.be/fr/le-plan-wathelet      It page contains maps showing the old, and the new, flight paths over the southern (French speaking) part of the city.

Brussels new flight paths

 

07/04/2014:

 Watermael-Boitsfort 200 people against the plan overview Brussels

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07/04/2014:

Watermael-Boitsfort 200 people against the plan overview Brussels

What should have been an intimate congress of the local PS, minority Watermael-Boitsfort took on some momentum with the arrival of about 200 surprise guests who came to share how fed up they are. These are people of Watermael, Ixelles, Auderghem belonging to the group “No question” who are tired of aircraft noise, following the new plan overview that makes their days and their nights “hell” since February 1st.

“Everyone is affected in all areas, and we are completely shocked,” said one protester, when a teacher claims that “our children in the playground are constantly overflown by aircraft, clearly they are breathing kerosene. ”

” By 6am there is already a constant ballet, and at night it’s the same,” she continues. “I have not yet bought my double glazing, and even with the shutters closed I can tell you that I hear them take off, take off again and off every two minutes.”

Another member of the group regrets that “to relieve areas bordering the airport, we passed one of the worst schemes in the history of the management of noise from the airport.” He added that “contrary to what Mr Wathelet claims, we carried out the first objective studies about the subject and in total, there are more than 650,000 Brussels citizens who are flown.” A situation that he described as “unacceptable”.

He concludes: “We call for a moratorium, that is to say, going back to the old flight paths, to research and negotiate structural measures objectively and in consultation with all Brussels’ citizens.”

SURVOLDELAHULPE COMMENT:
Everything that is said in this article can clearly also apply to La Hulpe where all flight paths of the new plan (including routes to the east of the Canal, the 19 to the southwest, the 07 south-west etc …) are concentrated over the northeast of the town and close (more often just above) a nursery school (the Lutins school). Without counting that after over-flying Brussels at a low altitude, these same planes accelerate at full throttle to properly start their climb above one of the most densely populated areas of the Walloon Brabant! A situation that is worse and therefore also in the center of Walloon Brabant.

http://survoldelahulpe.be/infos/

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Original in  French:

07/04/2014: Watermael-Boitsfort 200 people against the plan overview Brussels

What should have been an intimate congress of the local PS, minority Watermael-Boitsfort took on some momentum with the arrival of about 200 surprise guests who came to share how fed up they are. These are people of Watermael, Ixelles, Auderghem belonging to the group “No question” who are tired of aircraft noise, following the new plan overview that makes their days and their nights “hell” since February 1st.

“Everyone is affected in all areas, and we are completely shocked,” said one protester, when a teacher claims that “our children in the playground are constantly overflown by aircraft, clearly they are breathing kerosene. ”
” By 6am there is already a constant ballet, and at night it’s the same,” she continues. “I have not yet bought my double glazing, and even with the shutters closed I can tell you that I hear them take off, take off again and off every two minutes.”

Another member of the group regrets that “to relieve areas bordering the airport, we passed one of the worst schemes in the history of the management of noise from the airport.” He added that “contrary to what Mr Wathelet claims, we carried out the first objective studies about the subject and in total, there are more than 650,000 Brussels citizens who are flown.” A situation that he described as “unacceptable”.

He concludes: “We call for a moratorium, that is to say, going back to the old flight paths, to research and negotiate structural measures objectively and in consultation with all Brussels’ citizens.”

SURVOLDELAHULPE COMMENT:
Everything that is said in this article can clearly also apply to La Hulpe where all flight paths of the new plan (including routes to the east of the Canal, the 19 to the southwest, the 07 south-west etc …) are concentrated over the northeast of the town and close (more often just above) a nursery school (the Lutins school). Without counting that after over-flying Brussels at a low altitude, these same planes accelerate at full throttle to properly start their climb above one of the most densely populated areas of the Walloon Brabant! A situation that is worse and therefore also in the center of Walloon Brabant!

http://survoldelahulpe.be/infos/

….. and there is much more  …. in French, or imperfectly translated by Google

 

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A petition has been set up, by people in Brussels now living under the new flight paths, and deeply resenting the new noise nuisance to which they are subjected.

Petition:  STOP overflight Watermael-Boitsfort

April 2014

Author of the petition: the College of Mayors and Aldermen of Watermael-Boitsfort
STOP overflight Watermael-Boitsfort !

Since February 6, a new flight path flying Evere, Etterbeek, Auderghem and Watermael-Boitsfort (areas of Brussels) came into force.

It comes from a decision of the Federal Government to disperse noise pollution and relieve some districts hitherto highly overflown.

This route is used daily from 6 am to 23h by all aircraft taking off from runway 25R (the main runway airport) towards South-Eastern Europe (the majority of traffic at Brussels Airport). These aircraft make a left turn in the direction of the E411 highway. According to our information, this flight path is not used on weekends Saturday 4:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, if weather conditions permit.

This route is likely to be used by about 40% of the air traffic taking off from runway 25R, more than 25,000 aircraft annually.

We the inhabitants of Watermael-Boitsfort and neighboring towns – ask the Federal Government to:

o Immediately suspend their plan to dispersion plane noise;

o Implement structural solutions to aircraft noise, such as the extension of the “night” period until 7am, the specialization of the Zaventem airport (Brussels airport) for passengers (not freight), the establishment of an independent supervisory body to control flight procedures, reducing the routes to the east … Without such solutions, any change in flight paths only moves the noise pollution from one municipality to another.

o Complete an environmental assessment demonstrating a decrease in the number of people over-flown prior to any decision to change routes.

o Link the regions and municipalities involved in the implementation of these new flight paths – ask the Government of the Brussels-Capital to:

o carry out the necessary checks to make meet the noise Brussels nioose standards and punish companies whose planes are in breach;

o file an action for annulment of the decision to change the flight paths from Brussels National airport,

o Enforce the municipalities of Brussels to be associated, to further discussion on the subject.

petitie van Author: College van Burgemeester in Schepenen van Watermaal-Bosvoorde

https://www.lapetition.be/en-ligne/STOP-au-survol-aerien-de-Watermael-Boitsfort-14184.html

 

 


 

The original in French:

STOP au survol aérien de Watermael-Boitsfort

URL Courte : https://14184.lapetition.be/

Auteur de la pétition : le Collège des bourgmestres et échevins de Watermael-Boitsfort

STOP au survol aérien de Watermael-Boitsfort !

Depuis le 6 février, une nouvelle route aérienne survolant Evere, Etterbeek, Auderghem et Watermael-Boitsfort est entrée en vigueur.

Il s’agit d’une décision du Gouvernement fédéral visant à disperser les nuisances et ainsi soulager certains quartiers jusque-là fortement survolés.

Cette route est utilisée tous les jours de 6h à 23h par tous les avions qui décollent de la piste 25R (la piste principale de l’aéroport) en direction du Sud-Est de l’Europe (la majorité du trafic à Brussels Airport). Ces avions effectuent un virage à gauche en direction de l’autoroute E411.
Selon nos informations, cette route n’est pas utilisée les weekends de samedi 16h00 au dimanche 16h00, si les conditions météorologiques le permettent.

Cette route est susceptible d’être utilisée par environ 40% du trafic décollant de la piste 25R, soit plus de 25.000 avions chaque année.

Nous, habitants de Watermael-Boitsfort et des communes voisines,
– demandons au Gouvernement fédéral de :

o Suspendre immédiatement son plan de dispersion des nuisances sonores ;

o Mettre en place des solutions structurelles au bruit des avions, comme par exemple la prolongation de la nuit jusqu’à 7h du matin, la spécialisation de Zaventem en aéroport pour passagers, la mise en place d’une autorité de contrôle indépendante des procédures de vol, le recul des pistes vers l’Est, … A défaut de telles solutions, toute modification des routes aériennes ne fait que déplacer les nuisances d’une commune à l’autre.

o Réaliser une évaluation environnementale démontrant une diminution du nombre de personnes survolées préalablement à toute décision de modification des routes aériennes.

o Associer les Régions et communes concernées à la mise en place de ces nouvelles routes;

– demandons au Gouvernement de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale de :

o De réaliser les contrôles nécessaires visant à faire respecter les normes de bruits bruxelloises et sanctionner les compagnies dont les avions seraient en infraction;
o De déposer un recours en annulation de la décision visant le changement des routes au départ de l’aéroport de Bruxelles-National ;
o Tout mettre en œuvre pour être associée, avec les communes bruxelloises, à toute nouvelle discussion sur le sujet.

https://www.lapetition.be/en-ligne/STOP-au-survol-aerien-de-Watermael-Boitsfort-14184.html

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Huytebroeck angry: “The plan of survey of Brussels is a mistake”

For the Brussels Minister Evelyne Huytebroeck, it is time that the Minister Wathelet recognize that his plan rollover Brussels is a mistake.

April 2, 2014

“It is time that Mr. Wathelelet recognize that the scheme of distribution of air traffic it applies is a mistake. We need a moratorium, time for the next government to open an in-depth reflection on the future of the airport “said Wednesday the Brussels Environment Minister Evelyne Huytebroeck. Reacting to the Federal Secretary for Mobility broadcast on Bel RTL Wednesday morning, the Minister also expressed his ” anger “ at the persistence of M. Wathelet to say she did spread false maps traffic aircraft to and from the domestic airport. Secretary of State cdH denounced the use of “unacceptable “made by some Brussels policy file new routes to Brussels National Airport at election time. It is particularly taken deputy mayor FDF Auderghem Didier Gosuin he accused of ” lying “or the Brussels Minister Evelyne Ecolo Huytebroeck whom he accuses of having shown ” cards she knew to be false “ .       

“The best sound level meter, it is the residents’ complaints”

” The fact that Mr Wathelet continues to claim that I posted fake cards makes me angry. Brussels Environment has established these cards initially plots official radars Belgocontrol , “commented Ms. Huytebroeck. Minister for the Brussels, apply such a plan a few months before the elections was a mistake M. Wathelet does not seem willing to take. ” The best meter, these are complaints that residents keep coming from all corners of Brussels “, has she added.     

Evelyne Huytyebroeck once again called for a moratorium or a return to the previous situation ” which is far from ideal, but the most important is that finally opens a reflection on the future of airport operations “Has she said.     

Ms. Huytebroeck recalled that pleaded for years for a ban on night flights and on the application of aerial night 23h at 7am and not 6H.       

http://www.rtl.be/info/belgique/politique/1080977/huytebroeck-en-colere-le-plan-de-survol-de-bruxelles-est-une-erreur-

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Bruxelles et tacle Gosuin, preuve à l’appui

Le secrétaire d’Etat à la Mobilité Melchior Wathelet a dénoncé mercredi sur Bel-RTL l’utilisation “inacceptable” faite par certains politiques bruxellois du dossier des nouvelles routes aériennes à l’aéroport de Bruxelles-National. Par voie de motions notamment, certaines communes du sud-est de Bruxelles contestent la mise en oeuvre de la nouvelle répartition des nuisances dont elles font désormais les frais.

02 Avril 2014

Mercredi, le secrétaire d’Etat cdH s’en est particulièrement pris au député-bourgmestre FDF d’Auderghem Didier Gosuin qu’il accuse de “mentir” ou la ministre bruxelloise Ecolo Evelyne Huytebroeck à qui il reproche d’avoir montré “des cartes qu’elle savait fausses”.

 

Wathelet a respecté les demandes de Gosuin

Invité de Bel RTL ce matin, M. Wathelet est revenu sur un courrier que lui écrivait Didier Gosuin en 2012, dans lequel il le pressait “d’éclater” la route aérienne. “Alors, c’est vrai qu’on a un peu éclaté”, ajoute M. Wathelet, selon qui les nuisances sont aujourd’hui réparties selon des critères rationnels, alors que l’ancienne route, essentiellement dérangeante pour les habitants des deux Woluwe, de Wezembeek et de Crainhem, ne répondait qu’à des griefs “politiques”.

 

Le devenir de Brussels Airport doit être sérieusement discuté

Dans le collimateur des communes d’Auderghem, Watermael-Boitsfort et Etterbeek se trouve le nouveau “virage gauche” qui amène les avions vers la route la plus courte en direction de la balise sur l’autoroute E411. Mais grâce à cela, un avion peut “monter plus haut plus vite” et donc “il fait du bruit moins longtemps”, justifie M. Wathelet. Le secrétaire d’Etat est d’avis qu’il faudra mener à terme une réflexion sur l’aéroport, son activité et ses pistes.

http://www.rtl.be/info/belgique/politique/1080832/wathelet-defend-sa-nouvelle-repartition-des-avions-au-dessus-de-bruxelles-et-tacle-gosuin-preuve-a-l-appui

http://www.rtl.be/info/belgique/politique/1080832/wathelet-defend-sa-nouvelle-repartition-des-avions-au-dessus-de-bruxelles-et-tacle-gosuin-preuve-a-l-appui

 

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Heathrow 3rd runway – for “the sovereign wealth funds which control the business & want the best possible return”

A piece in the Observer,  written by an  un-named author, keen on a Heathrow 3rd runway, sums up the both the undesirability of a new Heathrow runway and its impossibility. Here are a few quotes from it.  Its title, on he resignation of Colin Matthews, sums up its style: “Heathrow needs a flashier pilot now.”….” But Matthews’s operational success has made him the wrong person for the next phase of the job – not least for the sovereign wealth funds who control the business and want the best possible return. And that means a third or fourth runway.” …. “The airport’s owners needs a leader who can persuade the public – particularly in west London – as well as the three main political parties, that a new runway is in Britain’s best interests. This will require showmanship.”…. “With many west Londoners in marginal constituencies unlikely to ever be won over by the case for a bigger Heathrow, ministers and opposition leaders will need persuading that the political cost is worth it.  So the new Heathrow chief executive will need charm and political nous.”
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Heathrow needs a flashier pilot now

6.4.2014 (Observer)

Rigorous, tightly controlled and rather unexciting, the Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews embodied in his personal qualities everything that passengers expected of Britain’s biggest airport itself. Apart from the 2010 snow fiasco that should have cost him his job, he kept Heathrow out of the headlines and got the airport working again after standards collapsed in the wake of Ferrovial’s takeover in 2006.

So Matthews will walk away this summer – having announced his departure last week – with deserved plaudits, led by the 75% of passengers who now rate the Heathrow experience as good or excellent.

But Matthews’s operational success has made him the wrong person for the next phase of the job – not least for the sovereign wealth funds who control the business and want the best possible return. And that means a third or fourth runway.

Matthews brought his mastery of detail to the expansion debate, but when combined with that metronomic rigour it gave the impression that he had been making the same argument for six years. Heathrow’s contribution has run on autopilot. The airport’s owners needs a leader who can persuade the public – particularly in west London – as well as the three main political parties, that a new runway is in Britain’s best interests. This will require showmanship.

The independent airports commission has already gone some way to giving a post-2015 government the political cover for a volte face on expansion, which will be a considerable turnaround given that the main parties are opposed to a new runway.

With many west Londoners in marginal constituencies unlikely to ever be won over by the case for a bigger Heathrow, ministers and opposition leaders will need persuading that the political cost is worth it.

So the new Heathrow chief executive will need charm and political nous, as well as the ability to keep an eye on an operation that, when it goes wrong, is instantly rebranded as one of Britain’s most derided institutions. Energy bosses need not apply.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/apr/06/fca-wrong-big-finance-seeking-redress

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 Earlier:

 

Heathrow airport boss Colin Matthews to leave some time after June – replacement later this year

April 2, 2014

Heathrow has started the search for a new chief executive after announcing that Colin Matthews is to stand down after 6 years in charge. Colin Matthews took up the job in March 2008 after the shambolic Terminal 5 opening. As well as operating Britain’s main international hub airport, his successor faces a tough political challenge of trying to persuade the 3 main parties to back a 3rd Heathrow runway. Matthews said that “once Terminal 2 has opened later this year (due 4th June), I have decided the time is right to pass on the baton. “He said he would be 70 by 2026, when a new runway (if it ever got built) would open, and it would not be possible for him to see it through till then. The Guardian considers the most prominent internal candidate to be the development director, John Holland-Kaye, who is charged with the Terminal 2 revamp. However previous appointments have come from outside the airport group. Matthews will remain in place until his successor is in place to ensure a smooth transition.

Click here to view full story…

 


 

 

Heathrow business case looks shaky if it had to give £100 million + per year noise compensation to households

April 3, 2014

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia says Heathrow’s business case is beginning to look very shaky. Heathrow’s owners would have to spend £100 million every year to households around the airport if it is to match Gatwick’s new noise compensation offer. In its PR efforts to win over local opposition, Gatwick has offered to pay £1,000 each to existing homes inside a 57 decibel catchment around the airport, once (if) a 2nd runway is built. This would include 4,100 homes, and the cost would be £4.1 million per year. Wandsworth calculates payments on this scale would cost Heathrow about £100 million per year. Gatwick has also offered to pay up to 2,000 qualifying local households a one-off grant of up to £3,000 towards noise insulation. If Heathrow was to match the terms of this scheme it could cost the airport a further £210 million per year. M r Govindia said the Airports Commission must give proper consideration to the “real noise impact of an airport set in the most densely populated part of the country. ….Once you weigh the real environmental costs – and those for improved surface access – against the claimed benefits of an additional runway, Heathrow’s business case begins to look very shaky.”

Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick’s 1st runway consultation exhibition – met with spirited opposition by those to be badly affected

Gatwick airport has started a period of 6 weeks of consultation on its plans for a 2nd runway. The consultation is something of a PR exercise,  as the Airports Commission has only short listed the wide spaced runway option. Gatwick Airport is, for some reason best known to itself, including the narrow spaced runway (which it does not want) in the consultation options.  There is a series of exhibitions planned, by Gatwick airport, in a number of towns and villages over the coming weeks, with the first today in Crawley – the town which might be the worst affected by a 2nd runway. There was spirited opposition by people fighting plans for a new runway, and especially those who have recently found themselves under a  new “trial” flight path.  Feedback from the exhibition was that it was well attended, by several hundred people, many of whom appeared to be against a new runway.  One of their questions was how to fill in the forms, to clearly convey their opposition to any runway – there is just one box  people can tick, on the last page, in Section D, “None of these options.”
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New group, CAGNE ( Communities against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) outside the first Gatwick airport exhibition at Crawley

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Members of CAGNE and GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) talking to members of the public on their way into the Gatwick exhibition in Crawley 

There was spirited opposition by people fighting plans for a new runway, and especially those who have recently found themselves under a  new “trial” flight path, which has been instigated (for 6 months) by GAL and NATS, without any prior notice or consultation with those now badly affected.

Feedback from the exhibition was that it was well attended, by several hundred people, the majority of whom appeared to be against a new runway.  One of their questions was how to fill in the forms, to clearly convey their opposition to any runway. The forms only have one box, somewhat concealed in section D, by which respondents can tick “None of these options.”

There were people – around 300 – queuing outside the venue at 11am. There was a lot of interest and support for the campaigners against a new runway.

People were not aware there was a box they could tick, to demonstrate their opposition to any new runway.  Campaigners were able to explain to many people that the “None of the above” box was on the last page, (Section D,  and also that people need to be careful how they fill in the detail which comes before it – several multiple choice sections.

Wandered about listening to peoples reaction, a significant number were somewhat taken aback at the scale of the development proposed. A 2nd runway with a new terminal would bring Gatwick to around the size of Heathrow today.

Many people were definitely against a  new runway, though there were a number who supported the runway plans, whatever  the consequences.

Speaking as the consultation on the options for a second runway got underway, CAGNE Chairperson, Sally Pavey said:

“Gatwick do not seem willing to give residents new flight paths route maps that a new runway would demand, you have to ask why?”

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Consultation contains no proper NO option:

In the consultation, the ONLY option through which someone can express their opposition to any new runway is a tiny option in section D.  As copied below:

Gatwick consultation NO option

 


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The consultation response form is at

https://research.ipsosinteractive.com/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll

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Details of the consultation:

Gatwick consultation published: A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’

Date added: April 4, 2014

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has put forward 3 options for a 2nd runway at Gatwick and is now asking for comment from the public to its consultation. They key omission in their consultation is a proper option to say NO to any new runway. A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’ at the start of the response form. As it is, there is a small box buried in section D with the option of “None of these options”. Gatwick is asking people to choose between a narrow spaced runway (something the airport does not want, as it would not be practical – so it cannot be considered a serious option) and whether a wide spaced runway(1045 metres south of the existing runway) should be used for both landings and take offs, or for just landings or take offs, at one time. The Airports Commission has effectively already ruled out the narrow spaced runway, so its inclusion in the consultation seems to be a bit of a PR exercise. The purpose of the consultation is to help Gatwick get their runway plans approved, and if possible, keep public opposition to a minimum. Consultation ends 16th May (which is the date all runway proposals must be submitted to the Airports Commission).

Click here to view full story…

 

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There will be a series of exhibitions:

Exhibition dates

Crawley, Sat 5 April
Rusper, Mon 7 April
Smallfield, Tues 8 April
Ifield, Weds 9 April
Lingfield, Fri 11 April
Felbridge, Sat 12 April
Epsom, Tues 15 April
Crowborough, Thurs 17 Apr
East Grinstead, Tues 22 April
Reigate, Weds 23 April
Crawley Down, Fri 25 April
Horley, Sat 26 April
Charlwood, Mon 28 April
Dorking, Thurs 1 May
Edenbridge, Fri 2 May
Horsham, Sat 3 May

 

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Lydd airport has appointed a consultant for its expansion, but result of 2 legal challenges still awaited

Lydd airport has put out a press release, giving the impression that it is already getting on with building its 294 metre runway extension (plus a 150m starter extension). However, in reality, it has merely appointed some consultants. The airport is still waiting the result of the legal appeal against its planning application. There were two separate legal challenges against the application; one from the RSPB and one from the local community group, LAAG. If the appeal of either is accepted by the judge, the planning consent could be quashed.  If that were the case, and one appeal won,  the planning application has to be re-determined on the subject matters under question.  Lydd is saying it has appointed Capita to design and manage its runway extension. Capita helped design Crossrail, and its job at Lydd would be to provide project, cost, construction and design management services for the airport as well as civil and aviation design services.  Lydd says it is nearing completion of a number of pre-commencement conditions required to enable planning permission for the runway extension to be implemented.
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Airport claims “Work gets underway on Lydd Airport expansion”

AH Lydd airport design

AH Lydd airport design

WORK has started on the first phase of a multi-million pound expansion at Lydd Airport.

Lydd Airport on Romney Marsh has appointed specialists Capita to design and manage its runway extension.

Capita, part of the design team for London’s £14.8 billion Crossrail transport scheme, will be providing project, cost, construction and design management services for the airport as well as civil and aviation design services.

Lydd Airport Executive Manager Hani Mutlaq said: “Capita has a wealth of experience in the highly specialised area of designing and building transport infrastructure, and was selected for this project partly on the basis of its recent work on the design of a similar runway extension at Southend Airport.”

Lydd Airport’s 294m runway extension, plus a 150m starter extension, will be the first phase of its £25 million development plans, which also include a new terminal building.

Once completed, the extended runway will enable B737-type aircraft to fly with a full payload of passengers, maximising the availability of routes and aircraft choice to operators.

The airport is now nearing completion of a number of pre-commencement conditions required to enable planning permission for the runway extension to be implemented.

Bosses hope to invite contractors to tender for the runway construction project in late summer and anticipate that work will begin before the end of the year.

In the meantime, managers will be flying to Dubai in May to showcase the airport’s development at two major travel and aviation events, where they expect a high level of interest.

They will join more than 250 companies showcasing the latest technology, innovations, products and services to around 7,000 visitors.

Mr Mutlaq said: “These events attract high-level decision-makers and buyers from across the leisure, travel and aviation industries worldwide and provide an excellent platform for us to explore new business opportunities.

“ The shows will also give us the chance to look at the latest technology.

Lydd Holdings, which owns and operates Lydd Airport (also known as London Ashford Airport), has already spent £35 million upgrading the airport over the last decade – including the installation of a state-of-the-art instrument landing system; a new executive terminal with VIP facilities; improved passenger check-in and security; and a new departure lounge.

It caters for a wide range of aircraft operations and provides extensive services, including full air traffic control and navigational aids, an FBO (fixed base operator) with 24-hr operating capability, full terminal services and engineering and cargo facilities.

Airport bosses claim the expansion will create new jobs and bring vital regeneration to the Marsh Area.

http://www.ryeandbattleobserver.co.uk/news/local/work-gets-underway-on-lydd-airport-expansion-1-5970879

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Legal challenge against Lydd airport expansion plans at the High Court by RSPB and LAAG.  21st to 27th January 2014

RSPB on 21st and 22nd.  LAAG on 23rd and 24th January.

January 21, 2014

A legal challenge to the decision to allow expansion at Lydd in Kent is being heard on 21st and 22nd January, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. A public inquiry was held into the applications by Lydd Airport in 2011 at which the RSPB raised concerns about the impact an expansion would have on the nearby protected wildlife area of Dungeness. The inspector found in favour of the airport’s proposals – and his report was subsequently endorsed by the Secretaries of State for Communities and Local Government and for Transport. After careful consideration the RSPB issued a legal challenge to the final decision based on the inspector’s report. The RSPB believes the stakes are too high to risk the future of one of the UK’s best and most important places for nature without testing the basis for this decision which they consider to be flawed. Dungeness is one of the most important wildlife sites in the world and it is protected at global, European and UK levels. It is home to many threatened species and is also a crossroads for migrating birds stopping off on migration. The Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) have a separate appeal which will be heard after that of the RSPB. They have concerns about the airport’s proximity to the nuclear power station. LAAG did not want to disclose further details of its case until the court hearing.      Click here to view full story…

 

 

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Local MPs are asking for “practical support” (ie. government funds) to keep Manston open

The government has been urged to step in over the threatened closure of Manston Airport, after an offer from an unnamed buyer was withdrawn. Up to 150 mostly part-time jobs were placed at risk last month when the airport revealed it was in talks over a possible closure. Kent MP Sir Roger Gale told the Commons it was a significant blow.  Mr Gale said Manston was both a search and rescue facility and a location capable of taking diverted aircraft. The Leader of the Commons, Andrew Lansley, has pledged to raise the issue with Transport ministers. He said: “I’m sure the House [of Commons] will completely understand and endorse indeed, his view of the importance of regional airports, in this instance Manston.”  Mr Gale and South Thanet MP Laura Sandys met business minister Michael Fallon.  The two Kent MPs issued a joint statement saying: “If the future of the airport can be secured under new ownership we believe that very considerable practical support will be forthcoming from both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the DfT. …Added to the backing of Kent County Council and Thanet District Council this adds up to a considerable force for success.”
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3 April 2014 (BBC)

Government help sought as Manston Airport faces closure

3 April 2014 (BBC)

Manston Airport
The Unite union said the airport workforce had put forward business plans that could ensure the viability of the airport

The government has been urged to step in over the threatened closure of Manston Airport after an offer from an unnamed buyer was withdrawn.

Up to 150 mostly part-time jobs were placed at risk last month when the airport revealed it was in talks over a possible closure.

Kent MP Sir Roger Gale told the Commons it was a significant blow.

The Leader of the Commons, Andrew Lansley, has pledged to raise the issue with Transport ministers.

Mr Gale, Conservative MP for Thanet North, said Manston was both a search and rescue facility and a location capable of taking diverted aircraft.

He revealed that a jet destined for Heathrow earlier this week had apparently run short of fuel and been diverted to Manston.

Mr Gales said he still hoped a buyer could be found for the airport.

‘Flights suspended’

Mr Lansley said: “I’m sure the house will completely understand and endorse indeed, his view of the importance of regional airports, in this instance Manston.”

He said the Department of Transport was well aware of the issue and would be continuing to talk to Mr Gale and the airport’s owners.

Later, Mr Gale and South Thanet MP Laura Sandys met business minister Michael Fallon.

The two Kent MPs issued a joint statement which said: “If the future of the airport can be secured under new ownership we believe that very considerable practical support will be forthcoming from both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Transport.

“Added to the backing of Kent County Council and Thanet District Council this adds up to a considerable force for success.”

Mr Gale added: “It is clear that there is a considerable government desire to see Manston continue as an operating airport in the national interest.”

In October, co-founder of the Stagecoach Group Ann Gloag bought Manston for £1 from the New Zealand company Infratil.

Since then it is understood the airport has been losing about £10,000 a day.

Dutch airline KLM has already announced it will suspend its Cityhopper flights between the airport and Amsterdam from 10 April.

In other developments on Thursday, the Unite union said airport workers had presented business plans to managers that could help ensure the airport’s viability.

Unite said it had also asked the owners to extend the 45-day consultation, which is due to end on 11 May, so all options could be explored.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-26872083

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BA plane diverted to Manston due to fog at Heathrow,

http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/BA-plane-diverted-Manston-airport/story-20891601-detail/story.html


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MPs Sir Roger Gale and Laura Sandys meet business minister Michael Fallon in the House of Commons in ongoing battle to save Manston Airport

3 April 2014  (Kent online)
by Mary Louis

Business minister Michael Fallon has agreed to “throw his weight” behind the Manston Working Group to save the airport.

This was announced in a joint statement by Thanet MPs Sir Roger Gale and Laura Sandys following a meeting this afternoon with the Minister of State for Business at the Department for BIS.

Meanwhile Sir Roger raised the issue in the House of Commons addressing its Leader Andrew Lansley MP.

Business minister Michael Fallon with Thanet MPs Sir Roger Gale and Laura Sandys at the House of Commons.

Mr Lansley’s response gave an assurance that politicians in the Department of Transport attached “undiminished” importance to regional airports.

Following a “most useful and productive” meeting with Mr Fallon, Sir Roger and Ms Sandys stated: “The Minister of State has agreed to throw his weight behind the Manston Working Group, and if the future of the airport can be secured under new ownership we believe that very considerable practical support will be forthcoming from both BIS and the Department of Transport.

“Added to the backing of Kent County Council and Thanet District Council this adds up to a considerable force for success.

“The Minister has also undertaken to examine two specific and significant suggestions that we have put to him.

“Following from the response made by the Leader of the House in the Commons earlier today, it is clear that there is a considerable Government desire to see Manston continue as an operating airport in the national interest.”

This is welcome news for the thousands of Manston Airport supporters who are continuing to battle for its salvation in the wake of yesterday’s blow with news that the potential airport ‘buyer’ had withdrawn their offer.

Earlier today in parliament, Sir Roger put the following question to the Leader of the House of Commons Andrew Lansley MP.

Crowds packed into Acol Village Hall at the public meeting on the future of Manston Airport.

Sir Roger asked: “My Right Honourable Friend will be aware that Manston Airport in my constituency is threatened with closure after less than four months of a promised two years under its present ownership. Manston is a planned search and rescue facility, and a major diversion field and only this week a jet destined for Heathrow and running short of fuel had to be diverted to Manston.

“I am still hopeful that, with goodwill, it may be possible to secure a buyer prepared to keep the airport open. If Manston does close I shall seek to raise the background to the matter in an adjournment debate.”

The MP asked if Mr Lansley would “seek to ensure that the Government gives consideration as to how the predatory disposal of national assets with security implications may be averted?”

The leader replied: “I am sure the House will completely understand and indeed endorse my honourable friend’s view of the importance of regional airports – in this instance Manston – in his constituency and in other neighbouring constituencies across Kent, and Thanet in particular.

“As he knows, my honourable friends at the Department for Transport are well aware of the issue, and in addition to what he said about the desirability of a debate in the House, I know that they will want to keep in touch with him and with the owners and operators out of Manston airport, recognising all the while that it is a commercial matter, but that the importance they attach to regional airports is undiminished.

Public support for Manston Airport continues to grow, with feeling running high.  In 12 days an online petition for the airport has gained more than 13,500 signatures while the Facebook closed group Save Manston Airport has more than 12,100 members.

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/thanet-mps-fight-for-manston-15349/

 


 

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Earlier news about Manston:

Consortium withdraws offer for threatened Manston Airport

April 2, 2014

The consortium that had been interested in taking over Manston Airport has withdrawn its offer and pulled the plug on the deal. Thanet North MP Roger Gale had been involved in trying to broker a deal between owner Ann Gloag and the prospective buyer, but it is not known why the potential deal has not worked out. The identity of the would-be buyer has not been revealed. The business has been damaged by the threat of closure. Roger Gale said: “That offer has been withdrawn for legal reasons and whether a further offer will be made I don’t know.” There are apparently still hopes that two other people have shown an interest in the site, to keep it running as an airport. The 45-day consultation with staff over possible closure will continue.       Click here to view full story…

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Buyer in contact with Sir Roger Gale MP as Manston airport in consultation over closure

24.3.2014 (Kent Online)

Interest has been shown by a buyer – backed by a consortium – to take over the running of Manston airport.  North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, a committed supporter of Manston, has outlined the latest moves to save the airport. It follows the bombshell announcement to staff last Wednesday that the airport could close following a 45day consultation period – leaving 150 staff without a job.   Already more than 11,000 people have signed a petition to keep the airport running.  Sir Roger said there had been significant developments since the announcement.  He said: “Most significantly, I am in contact with a willing buyer who has, I believe, a consortium with the resources necessary to acquire the airport as a going concern and with a view to operating it as such.  He continued: “I am in ongoing discussions with the Leader of Kent County Council, who has clarified his position and confirmed his support for Manston as an operating airfield and his continued support for the fast rail link and proposed Manston Parkway station.” 

 http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet_extra/news/buyer-comes-forward-as-manston-14667

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Manston airport losing £10,000 per day – starts 45 day consultation with staff about closure

March 20, 2014

Up to 150 jobs – mainly part time – have been placed under threat following the announcement that Manston airport could close. Staff have been told there will be a 45 day consultation over the “possible orderly closure of the airport” , and that the airport will close in 45 days. Manston has made losses for years, and is now losing about £10,000 a day under its new owner. It was bought by Ann Gloag for £1 in 2013. Manston says “No further comment will be made until the consultation period with staff has been concluded.” KLM now has two flights per day from Manston, and will comment formally after the consultation period. Manston had been in discussions with Ryanair, to get in flights, but these did not work out when Ryanair issued its 2nd profits warning in as many months. Manston has also failed to attract more cargo flights. The airport will continue to run as normal during the consultation period. The land might be used for housing. In response to questions on this, the airport said it noted that Thanet is developing its Local Plan (for where development – industrial, commercial and residential – can take place across the district) and the airport has engaged with Thanet District Council in this process.                                                      Click here to view full story…

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Manston Airport chief executive Charles Buchanan optimistic of future despite Davies Commission setback

30.12.2013

The chief executive of Manston Airport says it is “business as usual” as the new owners get to know the site.  Charles Buchanan says Scottish businesswoman Ann Gloag is “getting familiar” with the company since taking over in November.   Mr Buchanan said: “We have a lot of work going on and the new owners are getting familiar with the business.” “In the meantime we have got our KLM service continuing to operate and cargo services coming in on a regular basis.  Earlier this month, Manston was dismissed as a ‘reliever’ airport for the South East region by the Airports Commission. The Commission said while the Manston proposal “presents some potential” it did not address “the large question of London and South East capacity”.    Mr Buchanan said: “We are not going to have a four-runway hub airport on the Isle of Thanet but we are going to play an important and increasing role within satisfying demand for air travel and cargo within the local area and the regional context.  ’Manston is not a stopgap. It is an integral part of the solution.’

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentonline/news/its-business-as-usual-says-10698

Manston owner Ann Gloag brings in Alastair Welch to work with Charles Buchanan to try and turn it round

December 14, 2013

Back in July, in a surprise move, Southend’s managing director Alastair Welch, who led the airport since before the Stobart Group bought it for £21 million in 2008, left at the end of July. Now failed Manston airport, recently bought by Ann Gloag for £1, has taken Alastair Welch on to work with Charles Buchanan to try and breath some life back into it. Ms Gloag said: “As the new owner of Manston Airport, I am ready to work on investigating opportunities for growth at Manston. I have over 30 years experience in the transport industry and will use that expertise as best as I can to optimise both freight and passenger growth at Manston.” Mr Welch worked for BAA at Heathrow and Stansted before Southend. He said “For the airport to thrive and fulfil its potential, it is vital that we create an environment where new partners are attracted to do business at Manston.” However, at present all it has is a twice daily KLM flight to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.   Click here to view full story…

 

Infratil sells Manston Airport for £1 (well, £350,000 with adjustments) to Ann Gloag. They paid £17 million for it in 2005.

October 14, 2013

Infratil has agreed to sell Manston Airport to Lothian Shelf (710) Limited, an entity wholly owned by Ann Gloag, a co-founder of Stagecoach with her brother Brian Souter. She is a very rich woman. It was sold for cash consideration of £1, plus an adjustment for working capital variances and cash injected by Infratil between 14 October 2013 and transaction completion (which is expected to be around £350,000). Ann Gloag is an experienced investor who co-founded Stagecoach Group, the UK-listed public transport operator, along with her brother, Brian Souter. Infratil tried to look on the positive side, saying “Infratil Limited is very pleased to have found an acquiror with a vision for Manston Airport’s future development,” and “this sale will result in a more focused portfolio and improve our future cash flow position.” Ann Gloag said she believes “there is real potential for growth that has not been fully captured. Having worked in the transport industry for over 30 years, I believe I am very well placed to help maximise opportunities for both freight and passengers at Manston.” Sale completion will probably be on 29th November. Infratil bought Manston for £17 million in 2005.    Click here to view full story…

 

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Gatwick consultation published: A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has put forward 3 options for a 2nd runway at Gatwick and is now asking for comment from the public to its consultation. They key omission in their consultation is a proper option to say NO to any new runway. A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’ at the start of the response form.  As it is, there is a small box buried in section D with the option of “None of these options”.  Gatwick is asking people to choose between a narrow spaced runway (something the airport does not want, as it would not be practical – so it cannot be considered a serious option) and whether a wide spaced runway (1045 metres south of the existing runway) should be used for both  landings and take offs, or for just landings or take offs, at one time.  The Airports Commission  has effectively already ruled out the narrow spaced runway, so its inclusion in the consultation seems to be a bit of a PR exercise.  The purpose of the consultation is to help Gatwick get their runway  plans approved, and if possible, keep public opposition to a minimum.  Consultation ends 16th May (which is the date all runway proposals must be submitted to the Airports Commission).
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Gatwick airport says, of its consultation:

https://research.ipsosinteractive.com/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll

This consultation will run from 4th April to 16th May 2014

Gatwick Airport Limited has put forward three options for a second runway at Gatwick Airport and is keen to receive your feedback on these options. Before answering any of the consultation questions, please read the consultation document entitled “A Second Runway for Gatwick” which is available at www.gatwickairport.com/consultation

As part of this consultation, we are asking stakeholders, the local community and any other interested parties to give us their views and complete this response form.

Please note that the character limit for each open ended question response is 4,000 characters. If you want to provide a longer answer than this for any of the questions, please email it to the following email address: gatwickrunwayconsultation@ipsos.com, or post it to the address below.

Please ensure you include your name and address so we can include any additional comments you make with your original response.

If you are unable to complete this response form online, please e-mail your response to   gatwickrunwayconsultation@ipsos.com

or send in a paper version of your response to the address below:

Freepost RSLG ATKL LBAE
Gatwick Runway Consultation
Ipsos MORI
Research Services House
Elmgrove Road
Harrow
HA1 2QG

If you would like a paper copy of the response form, please call 0800 2600 538 or send an email to consultationqueries@gatwickairport.com

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The consultation response form is at

http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/New-runway/Second-runway-consultation/

Click on the “Have Your Say” option.

online response form


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No proper NO option

There is no proper way in which anyone filling in the form can say they do not support any new runway. The only place on the response form where this is possible is a box buried in Section D which gives the option of “None of these options” to the three schemes proposed.

Gatwick consultation NO option

The local community group opposed to a new runway, GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) says this is “difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’. “  Brendon Sewill, Chairman of GACC, commented: “They’re frightened too many people would vote ‘No new runway.’ ”

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GACC describes Gatwick consultation as “plush and bogus” – it gives no proper chance to say “no” to a new runway

April 4, 2014

The consultation published by Gatwick Airport today is described by GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) as ‘plush but bogus.’ It is plush because no expense has been spared in an attempt to make a new Gatwick runway look inevitable. But it makes no economic or environmental sense to build a new Gatwick runway when Stansted is not forecast to be full until around 2040. It is bogus because the Airports Commission has already ruled out Option 1, the close-parallel runway. GACC’s objections remain as strong as ever. They will campaign vigorously against any new runway. The consultation document contains no maps showing future flight paths – which is an issue of huge significance to local people. It also ignores the inconvenient issue of necessary increases in landing fees, to pay for a runway + terminal. The consultation is deeply flawed, as it gives no proper option to oppose any new runway. There is merely one small option of “None of these options” buried in its section D. That is difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’.

Click here to view full story…

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The main consultation questions 

A. Questions about the development

A1 To what extent, if at all, would you say you are personally concerned about each of the following potential impacts of a second runway development at Gatwick Airport?

They ask for ” Very concerned; Fairly concerned; Not very concerned; Not at all concerned; No views either way; Don’t know” on the following topics:

Air quality
Flood risk
Impact on business premises
Impact on ecology/wildlife
Impact on community facilities
Impact on homes
Impact on open space
Noise
A2 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about the potential impacts of a second runway development at Gatwick Airport?
There is a text box for key comments.

A3 Thinking about a second runway development at Gatwick Airport, to what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

They ask for “Strongly agree; Tend to agree; Neither agree nor disagree; Tend to disagree; Strongly disagree; Don’t know” on the following topics:

It will benefit the local economy (Section 2.5)
It will benefit the regional economy (Section 2.5)
It will benefit the national economy (Section 2.5)
It will create jobs related to Gatwick Airport (Section 2.5)
It will create other jobs in the local area (Section 2.5)
It will improve public transport for people in the local area (Section 2.3)

A4 Thinking about a second runway at Gatwick Airport, to what extent, if at all, do you think the following would benefit you personally?

They ask for comments on “A great deal; A fair amount; Not very much; Not at all; Don’t know” on the following topics:

Benefits to the local economy (Section 2.5)
Benefits to the national economy (Section 2.5)
Creation of jobs related to Gatwick Airport (Section 2.5)
Creation of other jobs in the local area (Section 2.5)
Improved bus services in the local area (Section 2.3)
Improved rail services to and from Gatwick Airport (Section 2.3)
Improved road connections (Section 2.3)
Wider range of flight destinations from Gatwick Airport (Section 2.5

A5 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about the potential benefits of a second runway development at Gatwick Airport?
There is a text box for key comments.

A6 To what extent do you support or oppose Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals

They ask for “Strongly support; Tend to support; No views either way; Tend to oppose; Strongly oppose; Don’t know” on the following topics:

Providing noise bunds and noise walls to limit ground noise (Section 2.1 and 2.2)
Providing embankments / planting to screen airport development (Section 2.1 and 2.2)
Diverting the River Mole to the west of Gatwick Airport (Section 2.1 and 2.2)
Measures to limit the risk of flooding on the airport and in the local area (Section 2.1)
Seeking to replace lost open space and community facilities (Section 2.1 and 2.4)

A7 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals to mitigate the impacts of the development?

There is a text box for key comments.

B. Questions about surface transport

B1 To what extent do you support or oppose Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals.
They ask for “Strongly support; Tend to support; No views either way; Tend to oppose; Strongly oppose; Don’t know” on the following topics:

The route of the A23 to the east of Gatwick Airport
Reconnection of local roads, cycle paths, footpaths, bridleways
The M23 at Junction 9
The M23 airport spur road
The local buses and coach services
Gatwick rail station including improved access for local residents to local rail and bus interchange facilities

B2 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposed Surface Access Strategy for a second runway development at Gatwick Airport?

There is a text box for key comments.

C. Questions about airport related development

C1 To what extent do you support or oppose Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals

They ask for “Strongly support; Tend to support; No views either way; Tend to oppose; Strongly oppose; Don’t know” on the following topics:

Accommodating all airport related development within the boundary of Gatwick Airport
Protecting existing woodland where possible
Locating all cargo and aircraft maintenance facilities in a single location on the northern apron of Gatwick Airport
Identifying land for replacement of lost industrial and commercial premises

C2 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have about Gatwick Airport Limited’s proposals for airport related development?

There is a text box for key comments.

C3 What, if any, comments or suggestions do you have on the subject of runway crossings?

There is a text box for key comments.

Gatwick consultation NO option

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There will be a series of exhibitions:

Exhibition dates

Crawley, Sat 5 April
Rusper, Mon 7 April
Smallfield, Tues 8 April
Ifield, Weds 9 April
Lingfield, Fri 11 April
Felbridge, Sat 12 April
Epsom, Tues 15 April
Crowborough, Thurs 17 Apr
East Grinstead, Tues 22 April
Reigate, Weds 23 April
Crawley Down, Fri 25 April
Horley, Sat 26 April
Charlwood, Mon 28 April
Dorking, Thurs 1 May
Edenbridge, Fri 2 May
Horsham, Sat 3 May

 

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Related documents

These are the documents Gatwick airport has published, along with its consultation:

Our main consultation document ‘A Second Runway for Gatwick – Our 2014 Runway Options Consultation’ gives full details of our runway options and contains all the information you will need to respond to the consultation. We also produced a summary document ‘Consultation Summary – An introduction to our Runway Options Consultation’.

Consultation Summary: ‘An introduction to our Runway Options Consultation’
Consultation Document: ‘A Second Runway for Gatwick – Our 2014 Runway Options Consultation’
Consultation Document layout plans and noise contour plans
High resolution noise contour plan for Option 1
High resolution noise contour plan for Option 2
High resolution noise contour plan for Option 3

Other documents

Other documents, which do not form part of the consultation, are provided here for information purposes only:

Property market support bond summary document
Home owner support scheme summary document
Noise insulation scheme summary
Report by David McMillan – December 2013 flooding
Access Gatwick (airport surface access strategy)
Decade of Change (main document)
Decade of Change (latest annual report document)
Gatwick 2012 Masterplan

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GACC describes Gatwick consultation as “plush and bogus” – it gives no proper chance to say “no” to a new runway

The consultation published by Gatwick Airport today is described by GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) as ‘plush but bogus.’  It is plush because no expense has been spared in an attempt to make a new Gatwick runway look inevitable.  But it makes no economic or environmental sense to build a new Gatwick runway when Stansted is not forecast to be full until around 2040.  It is bogus because the Airports Commission has already ruled out Option 1, the close-parallel runway.  GACC’s objections remain as strong as ever.  They will campaign vigorously against any new runway. The consultation document contains no maps showing future flight paths  – which is an issue of huge significance to local people.  It also ignores the inconvenient issue of necessary increases in landing fees, to  pay for a runway + terminal. The consultation is deeply flawed, as it gives no proper option to oppose any new runway. There is merely one small option of “None of these options” buried in its section D. That is difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’.  
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Plush but bogus

4.4.2014 (press release from GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

The consultation published by Gatwick Airport today is described by GACC as ‘plush but bogus.’

Plush because no expense has been spared in an attempt to make a new Gatwick runway look inevitable.  But it makes no economic or environmental sense to build a new Gatwick runway when Stansted is not forecast to be full until 2040[Forecast published by Airports Commission.  January 2014]

Bogus because the Airports Commission has already ruled out Option 1, the close-parallel runway.  As GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill, said: ‘Gatwick is inviting the public to bet on a horse that has been declared a non‑runner – something that no honest bookmaker would ever do!’

GACC’s objections remain as strong as ever.  We will campaign vigorously against any new runway because we believe that making Gatwick larger than Heathrow today would alter the character of Surrey, Sussex and west Kent for ever.

We will be examining the documents in detail and will point out any defects in the design.  We note already two serious omissions –

–  no maps showing future flight paths; and

–  no indication of how much landing fees would need to rise to cover the cost.[ see below – study by Brendon  Sewill ]

Originally Gatwick Airport said that there would be no box for people to tick if they wished to vote for no new runway.  GACC protested strongly and the airport have half relented.

There is now a box labelled ‘None of the above’.  But it is difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’.  As Sewill commented: ‘They’re frightened too many people would vote ‘No new runway.’

 www.gacc.org.uk

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The consultation is at http://www.gatwickairport.com/consultation/  and the form can be filled in online.

Respondents may wish to go through all the options in all the sections, giving their opinion about what effect a  new runway would have. They map prefer to simple put a comment in the first comment box that is available (most is must multiple choice) to say they oppose a new runway, and then tick the NO option in section D.

People can also contact the consultation team at Gatwick to say they oppose any of the three options, at:

Tel: 0800 2600 538
Email: consultationqueries@gatwickairport.com and/or  at gatwickrunwayconsultation@ipsos.com


 

Consultation contains no proper NO option:

In the consultation, the ONLY option through which someone can express their opposition to any new runway is a tiny option in section D.  As copied below:

Gatwick consultation NO option

 


Study into ticket price rise

A research study by Brendon Sewill, published by the Aviation Environment, March 2014 found that the cost of a new Gatwick runway would require airport charges (landing fees etc) per passenger to rise by £50 per return flight.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20374


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The Airports Commission produced air passenger forecasts for 4 scenarios, in January 2014. Two of these are for there being no new runway in the 2020s (ie. their “constrained” forecasts). These have higher passenger numbers at Stansted – understandably – than forecasts with a new Heathrow / Gatwick runway.
Even these forecasts only show Stansted up to 35 million passengers (at which it would be at capacity) by 2039.

See Airports Commission forecasts 2014  and their spreadsheets showing passenger forecasts at :

 

Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon traded, capacity unconstrained    Download CSV 9.26KB

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Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon traded, capacity constrained     Download CSV 4.03KB

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Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon capped, capacity unconstrained    Download CSV 4.05KB

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Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon capped, capacity constrained Download CSV 4.06KB

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Details of the consultation:

Gatwick consultation published: A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’

Date added: April 4, 2014

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has put forward 3 options for a 2nd runway at Gatwick and is now asking for comment from the public to its consultation. They key omission in their consultation is a proper option to say NO to any new runway. A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’ at the start of the response form. As it is, there is a small box buried in section D with the option of “None of these options”. Gatwick is asking people to choose between a narrow spaced runway (something the airport does not want, as it would not be practical – so it cannot be considered a serious option) and whether a wide spaced runway(1045 metres south of the existing runway) should be used for both landings and take offs, or for just landings or take offs, at one time. The Airports Commission has effectively already ruled out the narrow spaced runway, so its inclusion in the consultation seems to be a bit of a PR exercise. The purpose of the consultation is to help Gatwick get their runway plans approved, and if possible, keep public opposition to a minimum. Consultation ends 16th May (which is the date all runway proposals must be submitted to the Airports Commission).

Click here to view full story…

 

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A new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick would mean big increases in passenger fees – New report

March 10, 2014

Who pays

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has submitted a new report to the Airports Commission which casts doubt on the feasibility of building a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow. So far there has been little realistic discussion about who will actually pay for the proposed runways. The new study,Who Would Pay for a New Runway” by Brendon Sewill, shows that a new runway at Heathrow would be likely to mean an increase in landing fees and other airport charges from £19 per passenger now, up to £31. At Gatwick there would be a larger increase, up from £8 now to £33.60. The study points out that with all the London airports separately owned, unlike in the days of BAA, the cost will have to fall only on the passengers using that airport. If an expensive runway (and terminal) is built, the options are either that the passengers pay for it – or that it has to have public subsidy. A report for the Airports Commission, by KPMG, concluded that a new Heathrow runway would need a subsidy of around £11 billion, and a new Gatwick runway a subsidy of nearly £18 billion. However, the Government is reluctant to commit public funds, and new EU guidelines ruling out subsidies to major airports. That leaves landing charges – will passengers put up with that, or vote with their feet by using cheaper airports?

Click here to view full story…

 

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Heathrow business case looks shaky if it had to give £100 million + per year noise compensation to households

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia says Heathrow’s business case is beginning to look very shaky. Heathrow’s owners would have to spend £100 million every year to households around the airport if it is to match Gatwick’s new noise compensation offer.  In its PR efforts to win over local opposition, Gatwick has offered to pay £1,000 each to existing homes inside a 57 decibel catchment around the airport, once (if) a 2nd runway is built. This would include 4,100 homes, and the cost would be £4.1 million per year. Wandsworth calculates payments on this scale would cost Heathrow about £100 million per year.  Gatwick has also offered to pay up to 2,000 qualifying local households a one-off grant of up to £3,000 towards noise insulation. If Heathrow was to match the terms of this scheme it could cost the airport a further £210 million per year. Mr Govindia said the Airports Commission must give proper consideration to the “real noise impact of an airport set in the most densely populated part of the country. ….Once you weigh the real environmental costs – and those for improved surface access – against the claimed benefits of an additional runway, Heathrow’s business case begins to look very shaky.”

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Heathrow airport would have to fork out £100m to homeowners if it matches Gatwick’s compensation offer

2nd April 2014 (Local Guardian)

By Sophia Sleigh, Chief Reporter

Your Local Guardian: Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia says Heathrow’s business case is beginning to look very shaky
Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia says Heathrow’s business case is beginning to look very shaky

Heathrow owners would have to shell out £100m every year to households around the airport if it is to match Gatwick’s new noise compensation offer.

Wandsworth Council is fighting plans by the Airports Commission to increase the number of night flights over London because landing additional planes between 5am and 6am would affect people living under the flight paths in Battersea and Putney.

Council officers have calculated Heathrow would have to shell out a staggering £100m every year to households around the airport if it is to match Gatwick’s noise compensation offer.

Gatwick has pledged to pay £1,000 each to existing homes inside a 57 decibel catchment around the airport and a two runway Gatwick is expected to cover up to 4,100 homes, costing £4.1mn per annum.

Wandsworth residents would not fall under the 57dB catchment area and would therefore not benefit from compensation if it was matched.

The Government uses 57dB metric as the noise threshold for serious community annoyance.

Wandsworth Council argues this is inadequate and fails to recognise the severe impacts on people living further away from the airport.

Gatwick is also offering up to 2,000 qualifying local households a one-off grant of up to £3,000 towards noise insulation. If Heathrow was to match the terms of this scheme it could cost the airport a further £210m.

Councillor Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “Sir Howard Davies and his aviation commission made a serious mistake in shortlisting Heathrow as a potential new runway site without considering these costs.

“It is their job to make fair comparisons between competing airports.

“Davies can’t do this if he continues to dismiss the real noise impact of an airport set in the most densely populated part of the country.

“Once you weigh the real environmental costs – and those for improved surface access – against the claimed benefits of an additional runway, Heathrow’s business case begins to look very shaky.”

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/11119807.display/?ref=twtrec

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The number of people affected by Heathrow noise now:

There are about 725,000 people currently affected by Heathrow noise, above the 55 decibel level.

“an estimated 725,000 people were within the 55dBALden”   (Heathrow airport data)

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow_Noise/Downloads/PDF/NAP_exec_summary.pdf

and some 245,000 in the 57 db LAeq contour.

£1,000 x 245,000 = £245 million

This number would increase by at least another 150,000 if there was a new, north west runway at Heathrow, within a 55 dB contour.  link

ie. a total of 875,000 people in total would probably be within a 55 dB contour with a 3rd runway.

 

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Earlier:

Gatwick hopes noise compensation pledge will help it win battle for a new runway

March 28, 2014

As competition hots up to persuade the Airports Commission, and ultimately Parliament, on their own cases for building a new runway, Gatwick and Heathrow have both stressed the importance of dealing with the aircraft noise issue, or at least hoping people believe they are dealing with it. Gatwick has committed to pay annual compensation of around £1,000 to local households most affected by aircraft noise should it receive approval for a 2nd runway. Heathrow, meanwhile, has pointed to a [dubious] survey it commissioned from Populus that aircraft noise is only the 7th most important aspect of a London airport for Londoners. The Gatwick scheme would only pay up when a new runway starts to be used, and might affect around 4,100 households inside the 57 db(A) Leq noise contour. The compensation would not be paid to new residents choosing to relocate to the area once the runway is built. Earlier Gatwick announced plans to offer hundreds of local homes up to £3,000 towards double glazing and loft insulation to mitigate aircraft noise. This level of payment if offered at Heathrow would be vastly more expensive, by several orders of magnitude.

Click here to view full story..

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Gatwick offers to pay households for noise of 2nd runway – dismissed by opponents as a “very small bribe”

March 10, 2014

Gatwick airport is on a PR and charm offensive to try to get support for a 2nd runway. This has been somewhat upset over the past two weeks by the impact on the village of Warnham of an unannounced flight path trial. Now Gatwick airport may have been rushed into making the offer of £1,000 per year to “all households most affected” by noise from a 2nd runway. The airport says would be equivalent to Band A Council Tax (currently £1000). Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said the cash would help negate some of the impact. The airport estimate that 4,100 households would qualify for the money by 2040, using the discredited 57 decibel contour. In reality, the 57dB contour does not accurately reflect the areas where noise is annoying or causes disturbance – even the 54dB contour, as used in Europe, is an inaccurate measure. Many thousands more people – perhaps 48,000 – would need to be compensated if the 54dB contour was used. The £1,000 is a derisory figure, not even slightly compensating for loss of house value, or for loss of local amenity and quality of life. This is a very small bribe.                                Click here to view full story…

 


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Gatwick hopes that by giving another 1,000 homes double-glazing it will defuse opposition to a 2nd runway

February 3, 2014

Gatwick airport continues to spend a lot of money in attempting to get backing for its 2nd runway and soften up opposition. It has now set up a new scheme – starting on 1st April – to give people overflown more double glazing and house insulation, to attempt to cut some of the noise. That, of course, does not work when the windows are open, or when people are outside – in a garden, or elsewhere. Gatwick says it is expanding its noise insulation scheme, to cover over 1,000 more homes across Surrey, Sussex and Kent. People will be able to apply for up to £3,000 towards double glazing for their windows and doors as well as loft insulation; ie the scheme could cost Gatwick some £3 million in total. They are now taking the 60 Leq contour, rather than the 66 Leq contour, as in the past – hence increasing the catchment area. They are also extending the area covered by 15km to both west and east of the airport. Stewart Wingate said “We understand that the public’s tolerance to noise is much lower than it was”… Gatwick is pushing hard to compare the noise problem it causes with the much larger noise problem caused by Heathrow, where flight paths go over many more densely populated areas. They ignore the issue of the low level of background noise around Gatwick, compared to background noise in a city or large town.   Click here to view full story…

 

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Even if only 10% of those newly overflown by a 3rd Heathrow runway are deeply disturbed by the noise, that is 15,000 more people

Date added: February 11, 2014

In a recent blog, John Stewart considers the issue that is key for Heathrow airport – noise – and how it can affect people differently. Some people are much more bothered and distressed by it than others. The airport is currently carrying out focus group research in an attempt to find more about these differences. Currently there are over 725,000 people under Heathrow flight paths; a 3rd north-west runway would add around another 150,000 = total 875,000. What is much less clear is how many of these people are, or will be, deeply disturbed by aircraft noise. Research from Germany indicates that about 10% of people are much more noise sensitive than others. It is know that people will be more annoyed by noise if they believe it is not good for them. Also if they feel they have no control over the noise or cannot stop it getting worse. Noise is less disturbing when people believe the authorities are doing everything they can to reduce the problem. Heathrow believes around 10% of those who would be newly over-flown by a new runway’s flight paths would be deeply disturbed. The numbers are huge. 10% means an extra 15,000 people. Considering those under flight paths for all 3 runways, 10% means 87,000 people (out of the 875,000 overflown). Even 5% is 43,000 people seriously upset by the noise. That is a pretty terrifying statistic.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Heathrow airport boss Colin Matthews to leave some time after June – replacement later this year

Heathrow has started the search for a new chief executive after announcing that Colin Matthews is to stand down after 6 years in charge. Colin Matthews took up the job in March 2008 after the shambolic Terminal 5 opening.  As well as operating Britain’s main international hub airport, his successor faces a tough political challenge of trying to persuade the 3 main parties to back a 3rd Heathrow runway.  Matthews said that “once Terminal 2 has opened later this year (due 4th June), I have decided the time is right to pass on the baton. “He said he would be 70 by 2026, when a new runway (if it ever got built) would open, and it would not be possible for him to see it through till then. The Guardian considers the most prominent internal candidate to be the development director, John Holland-Kaye, who is charged with the Terminal 2 revamp. However previous appointments have come from outside the airport group. Matthews will remain in place until his successor is in place to ensure a smooth transition.
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Colin Matthews to stand down as Heathrow CEO

1 April, 2014  ( Heathrow airport press release)

Colin Matthews will be standing down as Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow later this year.

Colin joined Heathrow in March 2008. Under his leadership the proportion of passengers rating their journey through Heathrow as good or excellent has increased from less than 50% to more than 75%. Terminal 5 has been voted by passengers as the world’s best airport terminal for the past three years. Heathrow has constructed a brand new Terminal 2, which is set to open to passengers in June. The airport successfully welcomed the world to Britain as the official gateway for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In December, Heathrow’s option for a third runway was shortlisted by Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission.

Colin Matthews said:

“It has been a privilege to serve as CEO of Heathrow for the last six years. With a strong leadership team, the company continues to raise standards of passenger service, improve efficiency and reduce costs. The opening of Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal in June this year is a further important step in the transformation of Heathrow and long term prospects are bright following the decision of the Airports Commission to shortlist our proposal for a new runway. So once Terminal 2 has opened later this year, I have decided the time is right to pass on the baton.”

Sir Nigel Rudd, Chairman of Heathrow, said:

“Heathrow has commenced a search for a successor for Colin Matthews with the aim of having a new Chief Executive in place later this year and after Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal has opened. Colin has done a fantastic job of improving Heathrow for passengers and will remain as Chief Executive until his successor is in place to ensure a smooth transition.”

 http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/Colin-Matthews-to-stand-down-as-Heathrow-CEO-884.aspx

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Heathrow airport boss Colin Matthews resigns after six years

Former BAA chief stands down after rehabilitating reputation of airport tarnished by chaotic Terminal 5 opening in 2008

Colin Matthews

Taking wing: Colin Matthews Photograph: Martin Godwin

 

Heathrow has started the search for a new chief executive after announcing that Colin Matthews is to stand down after six years running Britain’s largest arport.

Matthews joined in March 2008 in the wake of the shambolic Terminal 5 opening and has overseen a gradual restoration of Heathrow’s reputation, although he presided over one public relations disaster in December 2010 when a snow flurry paralysed the airport.

As well as operating Britain’s main international gateway, his successor faces a tough political challenge in persuading the three main parties to back a new runway – an option being considered by the independent airports commission.

Matthews said he had decided the time was right to “pass on the baton” and will leave after the new Terminal 2 is opened in June.

“I’ll be 70 by the time the thing [a new runway] opens. It’s impossible to see through to the absolute end. It’s not going to be over any time soon. It’s been a great six years and it’s appropriate that someone takes it on to the next phase,” he told the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference. The most prominent internal candidate is the development director, John Holland-Kaye, who is charged with the Terminal 2 revamp, but previous appointments have come from outside the airport group, which dropped its former title of BAA when Heathrow sold its otherLondon airports Stansted and Gatwick.

Under Matthews customer satisfaction has increased markedly at Heathrow. According to the airport’s statistics, the proportion of passengers rating their journey through Heathrow as good or excellent went up from less than 50% to more than 75%. After its opening day fiasco, when undertrained staff grappled with a new baggage system leading to hundreds of flight cancellations, Terminal 5 has established itself as one of the world’s finest airport terminals.

Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of Heathrow, said: “Colin has done a fantastic job of improving Heathrow for passengers and will remain as chief executive until his successor is in place to ensure a smooth transition.”

While Heathrow’s performance was not blemish-free in the first half of Matthews’ tenure – notably over Christmas 2010 when five inches of snow caused chaos  – it avoided a potential pitfall with a smooth operation during the Olympics.

Matthews, 57, who joined from utility group Severn Trent, has seen his tenure dominated by the debate over expansion. The airport had plans for a third runway finally approved by Labour in 2009, before they were scrapped the following year by the coalition. Matthews has since overseen a discreetly judged lobbying effort that culminated in the government setting up the Airports Commission, which next year will recommend building additional runways at either Heathrow or Gatwick.

News of Matthewss departure came as Heathrow decided not to fight the cap on landing charges set by the Civil Aviation Authority for the next five years, a ruling the airport had described as a draconian position that could curb investment. Heathrow’s biggest shareholder remains Ferrovial, the Spanish construction firm, although it has cut its stake substantially to a third since it led a consortium that bought BAA in 2006. The sovereign wealth funds of Qatar, Singapore and China snapped up Ferrovial’s shares controlling a combined shareholding of more than 40%. The remainder is owned by the Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the private equity firm Alinda Capital Partners.

Heathrow claims that its shareholders could be put off investing in expanding and improving the airport after the CAA announced a cut in charges by 1.5% below the rate of inflation each year from 2014-19, to £19.10 per passenger. Airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, who had complained that charges would remain excessively high and drive up fares, have also accepted the decision for the next five-year period, known as Q6.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, the airport said: “Heathrow has not exercised its right to appeal [against] the CAA’s final Q6 regulatory decision. We understand that other parties have chosen not to appeal [against] the CAA’s decision. We are focused on delivering our business plan for 2014-18 and further improving Heathrow for passengers.”

Challenges facing the new chief executive

1 Build a new runway

The big task facing Matthews’ successor. Heathrow’s detailed expansion plans for a third runway should be submitted to the independent airports commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, before the new boss is in place. But experience suggests that winning the competition with Gatwick for a new London runway will be only the start of the battle. The airport will still have to convince ministers and local politicians – let alone neighbouring communities and environmentalists – to accept the case for a runway. There is plenty more lobbying, consultation and wooing of public opinion ahead.

2 Avoid disruption

Even if Heathrow eventually gets a new runway, it is going to be operating at the limit of landings and take-offs for the next decade or so, making it vulnerable to severe disruption. A mild winter has kept cancellations to a minimum, but the flooding debacle at Gatwick in January is a reminder of how the weather can test the best-laid plans. At least passengers stranded in the new Terminal 2 will have a nicer place to sleep if floods, snow, wind or fog strikes.

3 Keep airlines, staff, passengers and shareholders happy

Matthews has departed as the curtain fell on the public pantomime of airlines demanding a cut in landing charges. Heathrow has called for higher returns to keep sweet its array of foreign shareholders (which include the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar and China). The next settlement will likely come towards the end of Matthews’ successor’s time, but for now the regulator has decided to trim the fees, rejecting Heathrow’s arguments that lower income could mean cuts in investment. The well-rehearsed argument is that multi-billion-pound investments such as Terminals 2 and 5 need a stable regulatory environment, while Heathrow’s detractors argue that the business is a monopolistic cash and profit machine that owns Britain’s only international airport. Airlines – led by the cost-conscious Willie Walsh of British Airways’s parent International Airlines Group – say it is time for the airport to cut costs. That could mean fewer staff, but no airport boss will want to risk jeopardising Heathrow’s hard-won turnaround of its dismal reputation among the travelling public.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/01/heathrow-airport-colin-matthews-resigns-terminal-5

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Consortium withdraws offer for threatened Manston Airport

The consortium that had been interested in taking over Manston Airport has withdrawn its offer and pulled the plug on the deal.   Thanet North MP Roger Gale had been involved in trying to broker a deal between owner Ann Gloag and the prospective buyer, but it is not known why the potential deal has not worked out.  The identity of the would-be buyer has not been revealed. The business has been damaged by the threat of closure.  Roger Gale said: “That offer has been withdrawn for legal reasons and whether a further offer will be made I don’t know.”  There are apparently still hopes that two other people have shown an interest in the site, to keep it running as an airport. The 45-day consultation with staff over possible closure will continue.
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Consortium withdraws offer for threatened Manston Airport

02 April 2014
by Paul Francis  (Kent online)
The consortium that had been interested in taking over Manston Airport has withdrawn its offer and pulled the plug on the deal.Staff at the airport were told at a meeting this morning about the development, which represents a significant blow to those hoping the airport could be kept open.The identity of the would-be buyer has not been revealed.

Thanet North MP Roger Gale had been involved in trying to broker a deal between owner Ann Gloag and the prospective buyer, but it is not known why the potential deal has not worked out.

Sir Roger originally found the potential buyer and has been spearheading the campaign to keep the site open as an airport.

He said: “This is disappointing but it’s not over yet.
“There was an offer – take my word for it. It was reasonable given the circumstances, given the business has been damaged by the threat of closure.
“I know what the asking price and the offer was and there was a considerable gap between the two.

“I know what the asking price and the offer was and there was a considerable gap between the two” – Sir Roger Gale

“That offer has been withdrawn for legal reasons and whether a further offer will be made I don’t know.”
Sir Roger added: “I get the impression Ann Gloag wants to close the airport but if someone comes along with the asking price, maybe that will not happen.”
Another glimmer of hope was offered by Sir Roger.
In a conversation he had with Ms Gloag’s spokeswoman last week, her says he was told that two other people had shown an interest in the site, to keep it running as an airport.
He said: “I’m just interested in the business running as a going concern.
“I have to be careful not to raise people’s hopes but the show isn’t over until the fat lady sings and we have to explore every possible avenue to keep the airport open.”
As a result, the airport’s owner says the 45-day consultation with staff over possible closure will continue.
A statement issued by Manston Airport today said: “It is correct that the original offer to purchase Manston as an operating airport,  made last Thursday at 12.15, was withdrawn late last night.
“Whether or not a further offer will be made I cannot, at least at this stage, say.”
Some earlier Manston news:

Buyer in contact with Sir Roger Gale MP as Manston airport in consultation over closure

24.3.2014 (Kent Online)

Interest has been shown by a buyer – backed by a consortium – to take over the running of Manston airport.  North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, a committed supporter of Manston, has outlined the latest moves to save the airport. It follows the bombshell announcement to staff last Wednesday that the airport could close following a 45day consultation period – leaving 150 staff without a job.   Already more than 11,000 people have signed a petition to keep the airport running.  Sir Roger said there had been significant developments since the announcement.  He said: “Most significantly, I am in contact with a willing buyer who has, I believe, a consortium with the resources necessary to acquire the airport as a going concern and with a view to operating it as such.  He continued: “I am in ongoing discussions with the Leader of Kent County Council, who has clarified his position and confirmed his support for Manston as an operating airfield and his continued support for the fast rail link and proposed Manston Parkway station.”  http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet_extra/news/buyer-comes-forward-as-manston-14667


Manston airport losing £10,000 per day – starts 45 day consultation with staff about closure

March 20, 2014

Up to 150 jobs – mainly part time – have been placed under threat following the announcement that Manston airport could close. Staff have been told there will be a 45 day consultation over the “possible orderly closure of the airport” , and that the airport will close in 45 days. Manston has made losses for years, and is now losing about £10,000 a day under its new owner. It was bought by Ann Gloag for £1 in 2013. Manston says “No further comment will be made until the consultation period with staff has been concluded.” KLM now has two flights per day from Manston, and will comment formally after the consultation period. Manston had been in discussions with Ryanair, to get in flights, but these did not work out when Ryanair issued its 2nd profits warning in as many months. Manston has also failed to attract more cargo flights. The airport will continue to run as normal during the consultation period. The land might be used for housing. In response to questions on this, the airport said it noted that Thanet is developing its Local Plan (for where development – industrial, commercial and residential – can take place across the district) and the airport has engaged with Thanet District Council in this process.                                                      Click here to view full story…

 


 

Manston Airport chief executive Charles Buchanan optimistic of future despite Davies Commission setback

30.12.2013

The chief executive of Manston Airport says it is “business as usual” as the new owners get to know the site.  Charles Buchanan says Scottish businesswoman Ann Gloag is “getting familiar” with the company since taking over in November.   Mr Buchanan said: “We have a lot of work going on and the new owners are getting familiar with the business.” “In the meantime we have got our KLM service continuing to operate and cargo services coming in on a regular basis.  Earlier this month, Manston was dismissed as a ‘reliever’ airport for the South East region by the Airports Commission. The Commission said while the Manston proposal “presents some potential” it did not address “the large question of London and South East capacity”.    Mr Buchanan said: “We are not going to have a four-runway hub airport on the Isle of Thanet but we are going to play an important and increasing role within satisfying demand for air travel and cargo within the local area and the regional context.  ’Manston is not a stopgap. It is an integral part of the solution.’

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentonline/news/its-business-as-usual-says-10698


Manston owner Ann Gloag brings in Alastair Welch to work with Charles Buchanan to try and turn it round

December 14, 2013

Back in July, in a surprise move, Southend’s managing director Alastair Welch, who led the airport since before the Stobart Group bought it for £21 million in 2008, left at the end of July. Now failed Manston airport, recently bought by Ann Gloag for £1, has taken Alastair Welch on to work with Charles Buchanan to try and breath some life back into it. Ms Gloag said: “As the new owner of Manston Airport, I am ready to work on investigating opportunities for growth at Manston. I have over 30 years experience in the transport industry and will use that expertise as best as I can to optimise both freight and passenger growth at Manston.” Mr Welch worked for BAA at Heathrow and Stansted before Southend. He said “For the airport to thrive and fulfil its potential, it is vital that we create an environment where new partners are attracted to do business at Manston.” However, at present all it has is a twice daily KLM flight to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.   Click here to view full story…

 


 

Infratil sells Manston Airport for £1 (well, £350,000 with adjustments) to Ann Gloag. They paid £17 million for it in 2005.

October 14, 2013

Infratil has agreed to sell Manston Airport to Lothian Shelf (710) Limited, an entity wholly owned by Ann Gloag, a co-founder of Stagecoach with her brother Brian Souter. She is a very rich woman. It was sold for cash consideration of £1, plus an adjustment for working capital variances and cash injected by Infratil between 14 October 2013 and transaction completion (which is expected to be around £350,000). Ann Gloag is an experienced investor who co-founded Stagecoach Group, the UK-listed public transport operator, along with her brother, Brian Souter. Infratil tried to look on the positive side, saying “Infratil Limited is very pleased to have found an acquiror with a vision for Manston Airport’s future development,” and “this sale will result in a more focused portfolio and improve our future cash flow position.” Ann Gloag said she believes “there is real potential for growth that has not been fully captured. Having worked in the transport industry for over 30 years, I believe I am very well placed to help maximise opportunities for both freight and passengers at Manston.” Sale completion will probably be on 29th November. Infratil bought Manston for £17 million in 2005.    Click here to view full story…

 

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