Alan Andrews, lawyer at ClientEarth, finds Heathrow offers on air quality “underwhelming” and vague

In an excellent article in Environment Journal, ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews says John Holland-Kaye’s two offers by Heathrow to try to get NO2 levels down are, in his words, “underwhelming.”  Alan says the first offer to “create an ultra-low emissions zone [ULEZ] for airport vehicles by 2025” is vague, as we are not told what conditions this zone will have. It is also only airport vehicles, which are a tiny proportion of the total. Alan says this is also five years behind the tardy ULEZ which is currently slated to come into force in the congestion charging zone in central London. On the second offer, to “develop plans for an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport….” Alan comments that there is no deadline given for delivery, and it is far from the radical action needed to get air pollution down to legal levels quickly. Heathrow has also talked of extending a low emissions zone to the airport, but there is no detail of when this would happen or what standards would apply. ClientEarth believes that as the area around the airport breaks legal limits, all these measures should be happening regardless of expansion, in order to satisfy the Supreme Court order and achieve legal limits as soon as possible.
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Heathrow is in an area that already has illegal levels of NO2 air pollution, so the government would be on shaky legal ground if it sanctioned any expansion which went against the Supreme Court order to bring pollution down as soon as possible.

Will Heathrow plans be grounded by air pollution?

Economic arguments have long been at the forefront of the debate over airport expansion in the UK but another topic has fast become vital to the debate.

Air quality was a central theme in the response from Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye to the Airports Commission report.

Airport expansion has been a political hot topic in the UK for years. Successive governments have avoided taking the decision about which of the country’s airports should be allowed to build extra capacity.

The Airports Commission’s report last July came down in favour of Heathrow but this did not stop further delays. It is anybody’s guess whether the government will stick to its current commitment to make a decision in July this year.

ClientEarth’s interest in all of this is based primarily on the increased air pollution that airport expansion, wherever it happens, is likely to cause.

As readers may know, we won our case against the government in the UK Supreme Court last year over its failure to uphold our right to clean air. The government was ordered to come up with new plans to bring air pollution (specifically nitrogen dioxide – NO2) within legal limits as soon as possible. The plans it produced in December will do nothing of the sort, so we’re taking them back to court.

How does this relate to airport expansion?

Well, any increase in air traffic at an airport is likely to lead to an increase in road traffic. One of the main causes of NO2 in our towns and cities is diesel vehicles. Heathrow is in an area that already has illegal levels of NO2 air pollution, so the government would be on shaky legal ground if it sanctioned any expansion which went against the Supreme Court order to bring pollution down as soon as possible.

Mr Holland-Kaye’s assurances on air quality, and the evidence he provides for them, are underwhelming.

He claims that there will be an ‘ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) for airport vehicles by 2025’. We don’t know what conditions this zone will have. Regardless, it would be five years behind the tardy ULEZ which is currently slated to come into force in the congestion charging zone in central London. although London’s new mayor is already proposing significantly expanding this zone, and bringing it in earlier.

The Heathrow chief executive promises to ‘develop plans’ for an emissions charging scheme for vehicles accessing the airport. Developing plans (with no deadline for delivery that we have seen) is far from the radical action needed to get air pollution down to legal levels as soon as possible.

He also talks of extending a low emissions zone to Heathrow but again we haven’t seen the detail of when this would happen or what standards would apply.

A more fundamental problem for Heathrow is that as the area around the airport breaks legal limits, all these measures should be happening regardless of expansion, in order to satisfy the Supreme Court order and achieve legal limits as soon as possible.

It is worth bearing in mind that there are huge problems with the ultra low emissions zone that Boris Johnson planned for London in 2020. The zone relies on EU emissions standards – known as the ‘Euro standards‘ – allowing only vehicles that meet the Euro 6 emissions standards to access the zone free of charge. The problem is that, by the government’s own admission, the Euro 6 diesel cars on our roads emit on average six times the legal limits.

All of this makes it difficult to believe that the expansion could go ahead without a significant increase in ambition from Heathrow when it comes to reducing air pollution.

http://environmentjournal.online/articles/will-heathrow-plans-grounded-air-pollution/

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What Heathrow offered, on air quality (Heathrow press release,11th May):

Airports Commission conditions Heathrow proposal
AIR QUALITY:“Additional operations at an expanded Heathrow must be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality. New capacity will be released when it is clear that air quality at sites around the airport will not delay compliance with EU limits.” Meeting the Airports CommissionAdditional operations at an expanded Heathrow will be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality and will be in accordance with air quality rules. New capacity at an expanded airport will not be released unless we can do so without delaying UK compliance with EU air quality limits.

Exceeding the Airports Commission

We will create an ultra-low emissions zone for airport vehicles by 2025. We will develop plans for an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport to encourage low-emission technology and fund sustainable transport.To provide further confidence, we propose that the Environment Agency be given the role of an independent aviation air quality authority, to provide transparent scrutiny of our plans.

 


See also

ClientEarth wants clarity over Heathrow air quality plans

Environmental law firm ClientEarth has called for greater detail on the proposals put forward yesterday (12 May) to limit air pollution from a potential third runway at Heathrow Airport.

ClientEarth, which is behind the legal challenge over the government’s plans for tackling air pollution across the UK, has called for ‘detailed analysis’ of the proposals put forward by Heathrow, and how they would help to meet air quality limits.

The organisation also claimed that pollution levels around the airport must be cut ‘drastically’ before expansion can be considered.

Yesterday, a series of measures were outlined as to how the airport would aim to meet air quality limits were it to go-ahead with a third runway (see airqualitynews.com story).

These go further than those proposed by the Airports Commission and include the creation of an ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) for airport vehicles by 2025 and an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport.

Low emission zone

The proposals also indicate that Heathrow would work with the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to extend the existing low emission zone to address areas of current non-compliance along the M4 motorway near Heathrow, and to “tighten standards” throughout the entire zone.

According to ClientEarth, the proposals put forward by Heathrow go further than the ‘pathetic’ plans outlined by the government to tackle air quality in the area.

ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews said: “Last year the UK Supreme Court ordered the government to draw up new plans that would bring air pollution in London within legal limits as soon as possible. Even without expansion, under those new plans the area around Heathrow will continue to be in breach of legal pollution limits until 2025.

“Heathrow has gone further than the government in proposing it be brought within the ultra low emissions zone. That’s definitely an improvement on the Government’s pathetic plans, but it doesn’t get around two fundamental problems.”

Mr Andrews claimed that the steps outlined by Heathrow would likely be necessary to meet emissions limits regardless of whether the third runway proposals go ahead, and he claimed that this should be carried out in conjunction with steps to reduce emissions from diesel cars more widely.

He added: “We need to see detailed analysis on what these proposals would achieve, but air pollution around the airport needs to be cut drastically before we can think about expansion. It’s difficult to see how that would happen without something far more radical than what’s currently on the table.”

http://www.airqualitynews.com/2016/05/12/clientearth-wants-clarity-heathrow-air-quality-plans/

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Plans for new low emission zone around Heathrow

29 APR 2015
BY ROBERT CUMBER (Get West London)

Airport bosses want to ban all but the cleanest buses and coaches from serving the airport
Bosses at Heathrow want to introduce a central London style ultra low emission zone for coaches and buses serving the airport.

The move is part of a new 10-point plan to help reduce air pollution around the airport, which currently exceeds EU limits.
The airport also plans to further increase landing fees for the most polluting planes and make its entire fleet of vehicles electric or hybrid, among other measures set out in its blueprint to reduce emissions.

It says the commitments will help cut ground-based nitrous oxide emissions at the airport by 5% by 2020, compared with 2009 levels.

Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Having spoken to the local community and looked at what we could do to address noise, set out in our 10-point noise action plan published last November, we wanted to work on air quality.

“We’ve reduced emissions by 16% in the last five years but we need to go further. Having made the easier changes we need to start doing the less easy things.”

There are currently two air monitoring points north of Heathrow on the M4, in Hillingdon and Hayes, which exceed the legally-binding EU limit of 40 microgrammes of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre.

Heathrow claims airport-related emissions, including those from vehicles carrying passengers and staff to the airport, account for just 16% and 6% respectively of pollution at those sites.

However, Mr Holland-Kaye said he recognised Heathrow had a role to play in reducing pollution around its perimeter.

That stretch of the M4 is currently excluded from the low emission zone, prohibiting the dirtiest vehicles, which covers the majority of London.

Mr Holland-Kaye said this was to allow non-compliant vehicles which had accidentally entered the zone to exit before being penalised.

However, he said Heathrow was in talks with Transport for London (TfL) about ending this exemption, as well as introducing an ultra low emission zone for buses and coaches travelling to the airport.

He told getwestlondon TfL had been very receptive to the idea but he was reluctant to put a time frame on the move as it was not within the airport’s power.

He added that Heathrow was also working with TfL to get more cleaner hybrid buses serving routes around the airport.

Heathrow has previously raised the prospect of a congestion zone for passengers and staff travelling by car to the airport. However, this is unlikely to be introduced for many years, if at all.

Heathrow’s 10-point plan to manage and reduce emissions:

  1. Reduce emissions from aircraft at the gate
  2. Phase out the oldest and dirtiest aircraft
  3. Improve aircraft taxiing efficiency
  4. Provide more and better electric vehicle charging points
  5. Incentivise low-emission vehicles
  6. Work with partners to set up emissions zones and standards
  7. Reduce emissions from Heathrow’s own fleet
  8. Pool ground support vehicles to reduce numbers and emissions
  9. Lead the move to electric vehicles airside
  10. Modernise Heathrow’s heating supply

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/plans-new-low-emission-zone-9131580

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Read more »

Gatwick groups and MPs hand in new report to Downing Street: “What about our air quality?”

Community groups and MPs have delivered a copy of a new report, “What about our air quality?” to 10 Downing Street. The report raises the fact that an expanded Gatwick could present worst air quality for a much wider area than Heathrow currently – due to the lack of sufficient transport infrastructure. Air quality targets close to Gatwick Airport have been broken despite the airport’s public denial. Data from Jacobs, for the Airports Commission, show breaches of NO2 levels already. It is inevitable they will be broken again, especially with a 2nd runway, because the rail infrastructure is already inadequate, and more passengers (and possibly freight in future) will mean additional road vehicles. The report contains a letter from 10 MPs who wrote to the Secretary for State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin on 18th March, demanding that Gatwick’s misleading advertising over air quality be stopped. Gatwick has often said words to the effect that  “Gatwick Airport has never and will never breach air quality limits” and instead its expansion campaign has been focused on the air pollution problems at Heathrow, ignoring their own. Gatwick is served by a rail line that is already near capacity, and it cannot be much improved due to physical restrictions. It could not handle not only more passengers, but also extra staff and traffic from more businesses.
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Gatwick groups and MPs hand in new report to  Downing Street:  “What about our air quality?”

16.5.2016

CAGNE – (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

The report “What about our air quality?”

Community groups and MPs have delivered a copy of a new report, “What about our air quality?” to 10 Downing Street.

Handing in air pollution report 16.5.2016

The report raises the fact that an expanded Gatwick could present worst air quality for a much wider area than Heathrow currently – due to the lack of sufficient transport infrastructure.

Air quality targets close to Gatwick Airport have been broken despite the airport’s public denial.

It is inevitable that this will happen again.   Why?

  • Because even today, we have inadequate infrastructure in the surrounding area, and… 
  • Because road traffic (and traffic congestion) is an additional major cause of air pollution on top of that caused by aircraft.

The report contains a letter from 10 MPs who wrote to the Secretary for State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin on 18th March, demanding that Gatwick’s misleading advertising over air quality be stopped.  [Data from Jacobs Page 9  Link  show where the NO2 levels are already too high]

The CEO of Gatwick Airport is renowned for his comments about air quality at Gatwick. He has said: “Gatwick Airport has never and will never breach air quality limits” link  Gatwick’s airport expansion campaign has been focused on the negatives about air quality at Heathrow.

However the new air quality report reveals how Gatwick can’t hide the facts – Gatwick Airport is positioned on one of the worst railway lines in the country and it can’t be expanded due to physical restrictions. Passengers will be travelling to and from the airport largely by road.

Gatwick hopes to double its tonnage of air freight, if it gets a 2nd runway. This would result more road trips by cargo vehicles, and the cargo would not arrive by rail.

Gatwick only has one major access road, the M23, that will be full before Gatwick’s 2nd runway is finished. The other feeder roads  ‘B”, “A’ roads or country lanes are also filling up.

Gatwick Airport has no alternative but to force passengers and workers, as well as supporting airport vehicles, on to these roads.  Gatwick say no Government funding is required for extra road infrastructure. Gatwick suggests that it will now stagger development of the airport and so will not immediately fund the new link road to access Gatwick, with a 2nd runway, from the M23  – which was promised to reduce emissions.

Jeremy Quin MP for Horsham said:

“Infrastructure in our area is already facing severe challenges.  An extra runway at Gatwick would place an impossible strain on public transport, which was never designed to accommodate an airport, which would be busier than Heathrow.   Public Transport is incapable of coping with all the extra employees that would need to commute in long distances, let alone the extra passengers. This in turn would result in a huge increase in car traffic with all that that implies.”

Sir Nicholas Soames MP said:

“My constituency of Mid Sussex is already under the greatest pressure to meet its own existing housing needs today, even without Gatwick expansion.  This is also the case with Crawley, Horsham, Brighton, Lewes and Adur all of whom share many of the same problems.  The Airports Commission detailed that a town the size of Reigate, some 18,400 new homes, would be required for Gatwick expansion.  With an already substandard and inefficient highway network and railway lines that are physically restricted and constantly broken, it is relevant to enquire how are the 95m passengers and workers meant to access Gatwick and London?  This will represent huge infrastructure challenges as well as serious air quality concerns for our many towns and villages since growth in the region is way beyond the current infrastructure capacity and yet we are expected to accommodate an airport bigger than Heathrow with no Government funding.”

 

As a local GP of some 30 years, Dr Paul Stillman details the concerns that are already present in the neighbouring town of Crawley, “A major clinical problem throughout that time has been the high levels of respiratory disorders, including asthma in children and young adults. Stress related illnesses, including high blood pressure with all its consequences, have also been apparent in this community more than elsewhere. I do not believe this is related to social deprivation or employment issues, simply because we don’t have them. It is however certainly in part the result of poor air quality from both aero fuels and road vehicles, and traffic congestion with the loss of open spaces for us to enjoy.”

Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, which presented the report to  Downing Street, said:  “We are fed up of being ignored and dismissed by Gatwick management and have produced documents that detail exactly why Gatwick should not be expanded. We also have an ad van going around London today, informing people of the truth about Gatwick expansion.”

Handing in the report for the Prime Minister’s office, GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) enclosed the booklet “Gatwick Grounded: Why a second runway will never fly.”  

The arguments in this document have now been amplified in several important research studies published by GACC (with more to come).  The list of the GACC studies and links to them are below.

Those handing in the report to Number 10 Downing Street on Monday 16th May were four members of the Gatwick Coordination Group of MPs – Sir Nicholas Soames MP for Mid Sussex, Jeremy Quin MP for Horsham, Tom Tugendhat MP for Tonbridge, Edenbridge and Malling, and Nick Herbert MP for Arundel and South Downs.

Community groups include Derek Meakings from One’s Enough, a Crawley based group; Doug Cox of GACC, a conservation group that has been established since 1968 presenting all areas that surround Gatwick; Kia Trainor of CPRE Sussex (Campaign to Protect Rural England), and Sally Pavey Chair of CAGNE, a West Sussex and Surrey group that seeks a fair and equitable distribution of the currently level of flights in and out of Gatwick and are vehemently opposed to Gatwick expansion joined by CAGNE committee members Bill Sorrell and Gareth Hayton.

The report:  “What about our air quality?”

www.cagne.org

Representing residents of West Sussex and parts of Surrey cagnegatwick@gmail.com

 

Twitter @cagne_gatwick

CAGNE


Background notes from CAGNE:

Ø  Gatwick’s expansion case relies on additional seat capacity brought about by £2bn in improvements scheduled for the overcrowded and un-reliable Brighton Mainline before 2019, to support new airline passengers. But those improvements were designed to address current issues, and not intended to absorb the trebling of airport passenger numbers that could come from an expanded Gatwick. (p.73, ‘A Second Runway for Gatwick’, Appendix 6 – Surface Access).

Ø  That means additional passengers brought about by the expansion at Gatwick would consume all of the additional seats from the £2bn improvements, whilst Gatwick won’t contribute a penny.

Ø  Meanwhile, every day commuters will be left standing and fairs will have to increase as since 2000 the number of passengers has increased three times the number of Gatwick travellers.

Ø  After 2019, no further rail improvement programmes have been confirmed by network rail even though additional rail improvements would be needed in the future to accommodate background growth, even without expansion.

Ø  Network Rail has identified possible future work to address this background growth, but Gatwick argues it would help support new airport passengers, if indeed the programmes go ahead at all.

Ø  If the work goes ahead – and expansion wouldn’t be feasible without it – the public subsidy to improve Gatwick’s rail links with expansion would rise to £4billion, £2billion of which is currently unfunded.

Ø  If the work doesn’t go ahead, then up to 40% of passengers would be standing before they reach Gatwick from the south, and 80% plus will be standing to London Bridge.

Ø  Gatwick is surrounded by a failing network of roads with pollution monitors already in place.  New roads would be needed for Crawley, East Grinstead and a Croydon underpass or major road expansion, as this is the heavily congested direct route from Gatwick to London.

Ø  The only access road to Gatwick is the M23 that will be full before Gatwick is finished and leads to a congested four lane M25.


Information from Jacobs, for the Airports Commission, showing areas near Gatwick where NO2 levelsl are above the 40 µg/m 3  legal limit

Jacobs on Gatwick air pollution 2009

Larger image on Page 9 of  link


 

GACC Research Studies

  1. Ambient Noise.  Shows that background noise needs to be taken into account, and that therefore comparisons of the number of people affected by noise from a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick are invalid.
  2. Paying for a New Runway. Demonstrates that airport charges at Gatwick would need to rise by 100%.
  3. Gatwick and Tax. Explains how Gatwick Airport avoids paying corporation tax.
  4. Climate Change.  Shows that a new runway would be counter to the 2015 Paris agreement by all nations to limit climate change damage.
  5. Crawley Urbanisation.  Discusses the impact of a new runway on Crawley.
  6. Gatwick Landscape.  Illustrates the valuable countryside that would be destroyed.
  7. Rail Infrastructure (to be published soon).  Shows that the rail line from Gatwick to London could not cope with Gatwick with two runways, and that new infrastructure would be prohibitively costly.

 

All available on www.gacc.org.uk/research-studies

 


See earlier:

Gatwick MPs call on Transport Secretary: “Gatwick Airport must end misleading air quality claims”

Gatwick is misleading local residents about the environmental impact of their plans to build a 2nd runway, a group of South East MPs warned today. The MPs expressed their concerns about air quality claims and night flights in a letter to the Transport Secretary,Patrick McLoughlin. The Gatwick Coordination Group (GCG) – the MPs in areas close to and affected by Gatwick – is asking Mr Mcloughlin to stop Gatwick from running advertising campaigns which contradict expert environmental evidence, and mislead their constituents. Gatwick has repeatedly claimed the area around the airport “has never and will never breach legal air quality limits” and that it is the “greener” option for expansion. But the MPs as well as councillors and local representatives say the airport’s claims ignore significant evidence in the Airports Commission’s report. The GCG are demanding Gatwick makes clear the real impact of a 2nd runway on the local environment to nearby residents. The GCG also object to the DfT “drawing up plans for night flights at an expanded Gatwick, which would subject over 60,000 people in the Gatwick area to over 20 hours of continuous aircraft noise. It is incredible to think that the DfT is contemplating this when the Airports Commission made a stronger case for Heathrow which included a clear and viable recommendation for a ban on night flights”.

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow senior executives would get large bonuses if they manage to get 3rd runway

The Guardian has revealed that Heathrow’s annual report (December 2015) show that its top executives would benefit personally if the airport gets a 3rd runway. This is despite past denials that there were any financial incentives, not least when senior executives at Gatwick were found in February to have huge financial incentives if they manage to get a 2nd runway. Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd states: “During the year a new bonus scheme was launched based on EBITDA, passenger service (as measured by independent ASQ – Airport Service Quality – scores) and airport expansion over the Q6 period….” [Q6 is the 5 year regulatory period 2014 – 2019].  A Heathrow spokesman said the runway bonus would only be a small part of a payout for meeting the strategic requirements of the business, hitting the profit targets etc. CEO John Holland-Kaye earned £2.06m last year, more than doubling his basic salary of £885,000. However, he could add even more to that should a 3rd runway be approved. The annual report states that while a bonus scheme linked to expansion was launched in 2015, “as the performance in respect of this scheme is so uncertain at this stage, no value in relation to these awards is included” in his 2015 earnings package. The Guardian says John Holland-Kaye is believed to be the architect of the new bonus scheme. The airport cut its wider wage bill by cutting 300 jobs last year (6,714 compared to 7,047 in 2014) but directors’ pay rose. Directors’ remuneration rose by £366,000 in 2015, to £3,555,000 from £3,189,000 in 2014.
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Heathrow Airport bosses to net bonus if third runway awarded

Owner’s annual report shows executives would benefit personally from any expansion despite past denials

Heathrow bosses will stand to gain from bonus payouts if the airport gets permission to build a £17.6bn third runway, it has emerged.

Although  the west London airport has previously denied the existence of any such financial incentives – not least when senior executives at rival Gatwick were found to have incentives to win a second runway – the annual report of Heathrow Airport Holdings states that during 2015 “a new bonus scheme was launched based on EBITDA, passenger service and airport expansion over the Q6 period”(pdf), which runs from 2014 to 2020.

A Heathrow spokesman said the runway bonus would only be a small part of a payout for meeting the strategic requirements of the business, and rests on first hitting the profit targets and independently monitored customer satisfaction scores.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye earned £2.06m last year, more than doubling his basic salary of £885,000. However, he could add even more to that should a third runway be approved. The annual report states that while a bonus scheme linked to expansion was launched in 2015, “as the performance in respect of this scheme is so uncertain at this stage, no value in relation to these awards is included” in his 2015 earnings package.

Holland-Kaye, who refused to confirm any such bonus existed in a Guardian interview earlier this year, is believed to be the architect of the new scheme.

The airport cut its wider wage bill by cutting 300 jobs last year.

Owned by a consortium of foreign interests, including Qatar and China’s sovereign wealth funds, Heathrow would hope to become Europe’s predominant hub with an extra runway, raising landing charges significantly to fund its expansion.

Heathrow last week abandoned its opposition to conditions laid down by the Airports Commission when it recommended a third runway. The airport agreed to a ban on night flights for a six-and-a-half-hour period and said it would abide by any government decision to rule out a fourth runway.

A decision on whether to grant permission for the airport’s expansion plan is expected from the government in the summer, although Holland-Kaye last week conceded that the definition of summer was likely to be stretched.

Further work into air quality problems in west London, one ostensible reason given for the delay, is expected to be concluded in the coming months by the Department for Transport.

Sixty-five MPs have signed an early-day motion urging the government to make a decision before the recess, while the transport select committee recently demanded a clear timetable be set out by transport secretary.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/may/15/heathrow-airport-chiefs-bonus-third-runway?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

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and

“Even now, though, the disclosure is minimal. The accounts don’t reveal how much Holland-Kaye and colleagues could receive if a third runway is approved. This is a poor show. Bonuses for building a new runway on time and on budget would be easy to understand. But payments for successful lobbying of government feel very different, especially if their size is not revealed in advance. The principle here ought to be simple: if you are going to talk rousingly about the national interest, tell us how much you stand to gain directly.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2016/may/16/heathrow-airport-executives-bonuses-third-runway


The Annual report and financial statements for the year ended  31 December 2015 states:

Page 52:

Employee numbers

The average number of employees of the Group was 6,714 (2014: 7,047 for continuing operations).

At Heathrow

Year ended 31 December 2015 – 6,104

Year ended 31 December 2014  – 6,441

Other operations

Year ended 31 December 2015  – 610

Year ended 31 December 2014  – 606

Totals

Year ended 31 December 2015  –  6,714

Year ended 31 December 2014   – 7,047


But during that time, the amount of  Management and Directors’ remuneration increased:

Year ended 31 December 2015  – £10,130,000

Year ended 31 December 2014 –  £ 9,252,000


During that time, the amount spent on Directors’ remuneration increased:

Year ended 31 December 2015  – £ 5,330,000 (£3,555,000 as “aggregate emoluments 1 & 2*”)

Year ended 31 December 2014 –  £ 4,269,000 (£3,189,000 as “aggregate emoluments”)

* 1. For the year ended 31 December 2014 aggregate emoluments includes salaries, allowances, director fees, accrued bonuses and amounts payable under long term incentive plans (‘LTIP’).
2. £1,252,000 of bonus was paid in cash in 2015 (2014: £1,354,000).

 

That means the increase on Director’s remuneration between 2014 and 2015 was £366,000. That is well over 10% more.


Annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2015

states (P 53):

“During the year a new bonus scheme was launched based on EBITDA, passenger service (as measured by independent ASQ scores) and airport expansion over the Q6 period, as the performance in respect of this scheme is so uncertain at this stage, no value in relation to these awards is included above.  [ASQ means Airport Service Quality.  EBITDA means Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization].

“The highest paid director participates in various Long Term Incentive Performance Cash Plans. In respect of the Plans, a cash amount is granted which could vest in future periods contingent on achieving or surpassing EBITDA, Return on Equity and other operational targets over a three year period. The highest paid director‟s remuneration includes £476,000 payable in 2016 (2014: nil paid in 2015) in respect of the 2013 LTIP Plan after certain targets were met over the three year period from 2013 to 2015. As the financial performance in respect of the 2014 and 2015 Plans is so uncertain at this stage, no value in relation to these awards is included above.”

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See earlier:

Top Gatwick bosses stand to make personal fortunes if airport price raised by 2nd runway

The Sunday Times has found that several of Gatwick’s senior bosses are signed up to a bonus scheme that should pay out handsomely if the airport is sold.  In small print in Gatwick’s 2011 accounts the bonuses of “certain members” of its board are directly linked to the amount GIP gets from sale of the airport.  It has long been suspected that Stewart Wingate, Nick Dunn (and others?) would stand to gain significantly, themselves, if they could raise the value of the airport by getting a 2nd runway.  Now the disclosure has proved it.  The cap on how much they could make is not revealed. Gatwick lent the executives £2.8m to buy into the share scheme, with the interest-free loans repayable once they sell their shares.  GIP owns 42% of the airport, with much of the rest held by investors from Abu Dhabi, California, Korea and Australia. Gatwick have been doing all they can to block a Heathrow runway, to get their own.  They are also doing all they can to increase the maximum number of flights per hour through flight path changes – again to raise the airport’s price. GIP bought Gatwick for £1.5 billion in 2009, and has just sold London City airport for almost x3 what they paid for it – and almost x32 its annual underlying profits.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/02/top-gatwick-bosses-stand-to-make-person-fortunes-if-airport-price-raised-by-2nd-runway/

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Anger at revelation that Gatwick bosses to personally profit (millions of £s) if 2nd runway allowed

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) has expressed anger at the revelation in the Sunday Times that Gatwick bosses are set to benefit personally by several million pounds if permission is given for a 2nd runway. GACC says a 2nd runway would bring misery to tens of thousands of people. There would be three times as many people affected by serious amounts of aircraft noise, and new flight paths over peaceful areas. About 50,000 people would suffer from worse air quality. A new runway would mean traffic jams on motorways and local roads, overcrowding on the trains and an influx of new workers with a need to build 40,000 new houses on green fields. But with all these negative impacts on ordinary people, Gatwick bosses would walk away with huge bonuses. GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill, commented: “Until now Gatwick Airport Ltd have tried to persuade the public that a 2nd runway would be in the national interest. Now the cat is out of the bag!  There is no real need for a new runway at Gatwick.” GACC will be investigating how far these new bonus payments will be subject to the normal full 45% rate of income tax.  Despite making large profits, Gatwick Airport has paid no corporation tax since being bought by GIP due to tax fiddles similar to those operated by Starbucks or Google.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/02/anger-at-revelation-that-gatwick-bosses-to-personally-profit-millions-of-s-if-2nd-runway-allowed/

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Heathrow’s vague proposal on air pollution – what is Heathrow really saying?

Heathrow has made some guarded offers to government, attempting to persuade them that environmental problems should not be allowed to block their 3rd runway plans. The offer on air pollution, a key issue meaning Heathrow expansion is likely to be very damaging to health, is vague. Heathrow says (as rather improbably required by the Airports Commission) “New capacity at an expanded airport will not be released unless we can do so without delaying UK compliance with EU air quality limits”. That means, if somewhere else has a worse level. Heathrow says it will “create an ultra-low emissions zone for airport vehicles by 2025.”  Airport vehicles only.  And Heathrow says “We will develop plans for an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport.”  The new Chair of the Environment Audit Cttee, Mary Creagh said the air pollution proposals need “to go much further much faster.”  ClientEarth said “We need to see detailed analysis on what these proposals would achieve, but air pollution around the airport needs to be cut drastically before we can think about expansion. It’s difficult to see how that would happen without something far more radical than what’s currently on the table.”  AEF said permission for a new runway should only be given if it can be proven that this is compatible with bringing air pollution in the Heathrow area within legal limits.


What Heathrow offered, on air quality

(Heathrow press release,11th May):

Airports Commission conditions   Heathrow proposal
AIR QUALITY:

“Additional operations at an expanded Heathrow must be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality. New capacity will be released when it is clear that air quality at sites around the airport will not delay compliance with EU limits.”

Meeting the Airports Commission

Additional operations at an expanded Heathrow will be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality and will be in accordance with air quality rules. New capacity at an expanded airport will not be released unless we can do so without delaying UK compliance with EU air quality limits.

Exceeding the Airports Commission

We will create an ultra-low emissions zone for airport vehicles by 2025. We will develop plans for an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport to encourage low-emission technology and fund sustainable transport.To provide further confidence, we propose that the Environment Agency be given the role of an independent aviation air quality authority, to provide transparent scrutiny of our plans.


Heathrow pledges to meet air quality rules for third runway

Heathrow has announced plans for new measures to tackle noise and air pollution in its push towards building a third runway.

…….

Among the ideas put forward by Heathrow today (11 May) is the creation of an ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) for airport vehicles by 2025 and an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport.

Air quality rules

Heathrow also suggests that the Environment Agency be given a new role as an “independent aviation air quality authority”. This said the airport, will “provide transparent scrutiny of the measures Heathrow will introduce to enable it to expand only in accordance with air quality rules.”  [This merely means the EA could scrutinise the activities of Heathrow. It does not imply they would have any powers to require Heathrow to do anything.  Toothless?  AW comment]

……

Last year the Airports Commission had set air quality conditions for a new runway at Heathrow, outlining that “additional operations at an expanded Heathrow will be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality and will be in accordance with air quality rules.”

The Airports Commission said:  “New capacity at an expanded airport will not be released unless we can do so without delaying UK compliance with EU air quality limits”

The details of today’s Heathrow announcement were sent in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron from Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye.

……..

Mary Creagh MP

However, the Heathrow package drew a lukewarm response from Mary Creagh MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, who argued that the air pollution proposals need “to go much further much faster”.

Ms Creagh said: “Promises on future rail links and air pollution charges are 7-10 years away. People living near the airport need action on air quality much sooner and one quick win would be slashing fares on Heathrow Express to encourage more people to use it.”

The Committee chair added: “Whatever the government decides on airport expansion, it needs a strategy for reducing carbon emissions from aviation. We will scrutinise the government’s plans to limit the noise, air quality, and climate change impacts of a third runway carefully.”

http://www.airqualitynews.com/2016/05/11/heathrow-pledges-meet-air-quality-rules-third-runway/


ClientEarth wants clarity over Heathrow air quality plans

Environmental law firm ClientEarth has called for greater detail on the proposals put forward yesterday (12 May) to limit air pollution from a potential third runway at Heathrow Airport.

ClientEarth, which is behind the legal challenge over the government’s plans for tackling air pollution across the UK, has called for ‘detailed analysis’ of the proposals put forward by Heathrow, and how they would help to meet air quality limits.

The organisation also claimed that pollution levels around the airport must be cut ‘drastically’ before expansion can be considered.

Yesterday, a series of measures were outlined as to how the airport would aim to meet air quality limits were it to go-ahead with a third runway (see airqualitynews.com story).

These go further than those proposed by the Airports Commission and include the creation of an ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) for airport vehicles by 2025 and an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport.

Low emission zone

The proposals also indicate that Heathrow would work with the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to extend the existing low emission zone to address areas of current non-compliance along the M4 motorway near Heathrow, and to “tighten standards” throughout the entire zone.

According to ClientEarth, the proposals put forward by Heathrow go further than the ‘pathetic’ plans outlined by the government to tackle air quality in the area.

ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews said: “Last year the UK Supreme Court ordered the government to draw up new plans that would bring air pollution in London within legal limits as soon as possible. Even without expansion, under those new plans the area around Heathrow will continue to be in breach of legal pollution limits until 2025.

“Heathrow has gone further than the government in proposing it be brought within the ultra low emissions zone. That’s definitely an improvement on the Government’s pathetic plans, but it doesn’t get around two fundamental problems.”

Mr Andrews claimed that the steps outlined by Heathrow would likely be necessary to meet emissions limits regardless of whether the third runway proposals go ahead, and he claimed that this should be carried out in conjunction with steps to reduce emissions from diesel cars more widely.

He added: “We need to see detailed analysis on what these proposals would achieve, but air pollution around the airport needs to be cut drastically before we can think about expansion. It’s difficult to see how that would happen without something far more radical than what’s currently on the table.”

http://www.airqualitynews.com/2016/05/12/clientearth-wants-clarity-heathrow-air-quality-plans/


Are Heathrow’s concessions enough to address the impacts of a third runway?

Heathrow has announced a series of environmental concessions, based on those proposed by the Airports Commission, which it hopes will persuade the Government to give it permission to build a third runway. Heathrow claims to go beyond the Airports Commission’s recommendations in some cases.

In this article, we look at the key commitments, reflecting what impact they would have on the environmental impacts of a third runway, which the Airports Commission described as ranging from adverse to significantly adverse. We highlighted in our blog following the Airports Commission’s final report that many of the proposed concessions failed to adequately deal with the environmental challenges of a new runway.

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….. just the section on air quality below  ……

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Air quality

  • Airports Commission recommendation: Additional operations at an expanded Heathrow must be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality. New capacity will be released when it is clear that air quality at sites around the airport will not delay compliance with EU limits.
  • Heathrow: Agree to this recommendation and state that the airport is taking further steps through an ultra-low emissions zone for airport vehicles, developing plans for an emissions charging scheme, and support the Environment Agency scrutinising their plans

AEF has argued that the Airports Commission’s recommendation that expansion should not be allowed to “delay compliance” with the legislation was as a result of an inability to demonstrate that the Heathrow area – which has exceeded air quality limits for many years – could in fact be brought into compliance with legal air quality law if a third runway was built.

Rather than accepting the condition proposed by the Airports Commission, AEF believes permission for a new runway should only be given if it can be proven that this is compatible with bringing air pollution in the Heathrow area within legal limits. The issue of whether other locations in London are forecast to breach legal limits should not be used as an excuse for failing to bring the Heathrow area into compliance with the law.

………

http://www.aef.org.uk/2016/05/11/are-heathrows-concessions-enough-to-address-the-impacts-of-a-third-runway/


See also

Alan Andrews, lawyer at ClientEarth, finds Heathrow offers on air quality “underwhelming” and vague

In an excellent article in Environment Journal, ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews says John Holland-Kaye’s two offers by Heathrow to try to get NO2 levels down are, in his words, “underwhelming.” Alan says the first offer to “create an ultra-low emissions zone [ULEZ] for airport vehicles by 2025” is vague, as we are not told what conditions this zone will have. It is also only airport vehicles, which are a tiny proportion of the total. Alan says this is also five years behind the tardy ULEZ which is currently slated to come into force in the congestion charging zone in central London. On the second offer, to “develop plans for an emissions charging scheme for all vehicles accessing the airport….” Alan comments that there is no deadline given for delivery, and it is far from the radical action needed to get air pollution down to legal levels quickly. Heathrow has also talked of extending a low emissions zone to the airport, but there is no detail of when this would happen or what standards would apply. ClientEarth believes that as the area around the airport breaks legal limits, all these measures should be happening regardless of expansion, in order to satisfy the Supreme Court order and achieve legal limits as soon as possible.

Click here to view full story…

Lord True, Richmond Council leader and Conservative peer, describes Heathrow promises as ‘worthless’ and asks David Cameron to deny expansion immediately

The leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, has called Heathrow’s pledge to ban night flights a “feeble attempt to bribe London.” He described Heathrow’s promises as “worthless” and said on the ending of night flights: “This so-called pledge falls short of what the Davies Commission requests and the Heathrow PR men simply cannot be believed. If they can stop pre-5.30am flights, why don’t they do it now? Rather than spending billions of pounds doing it?” On Heathrow’s claims about air quality improvements, Lord True commented:: “They cannot comply with EU air quality limits and their ‘jam’ promises are worthless…..if people’s health comes first – big Heathrow is dead in the water.” He said Heathrow had just made some token alterations to their original proposals. Richmond Council, along with Wandsworth, Hillingdon and Windsor & Maidenhead councils, have already made it clear that should the Government give a 3rd Heathrow runway the go-ahead – they would together launch legal action opposing the plans. Lord True: “I say to Mr Cameron – hundreds of thousands of Londoners remember your promise – “no ifs, no buts,” ….We expect our Prime Minister to keep his promise….”

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow’s vague proposal on no night flights – what is Heathrow really saying?

Heathrow currently, under current night flight controls that are due to be re-considered in 2017, is allowed 5,800 night flights per year. That’s an average of 16 arriving each morning, typically between 4.30am and 6am. The latest flights should leave by 11.30pm but there are many that are later, almost up to midnight. Heathrow has been very reluctant to agree to a ban between 11.30pm and 6am, which was the condition imposed by the Airports Commission. Heathrow claims the early arrivals are vital for businessmen catching early flights – especially those from the UK regions. But now, desperate to be allowed a 3rd runway, Heathrow mentions [very careful, rather odd wording]: “The introduction of a legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.” and “We will support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.” Heathrow only mentions scheduled flights. Not late ones. It is widely recognised that for health, people need 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night. Not 6.5 hours. Heathrow makes no mention of the inevitable concentrated landings and take offs at the shoulder periods, in order to keep 6.5 hours quiet. Apart from insomniacs and shift workers, who else regards the end of the night as 5.30am?

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow’s commitment on 4th runway – what is Heathrow really saying?

The Airports Commission said, in giving its recommendation that a 3rd Heathrow runway should be built, that a firm condition was that no 4th runway should ever be built there. The Commission’s wording in its Final Report (1.7.2015) was: “A fourth runway should be firmly ruled out. The government should make a commitment in Parliament not to expand the airport further. There is no sound operational or environmental case for a four runway Heathrow.” And “This may be as part of a National Policy Statement or through legislation.” What Heathrow has now said is that it will: “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway.” This does not say this ban on a 4th runway would be in legislation. It merely says there would be a commitment. But the coalition government made a commitment not to build a 3rd runway, in 2010. That commitment was then overturned in the next Parliament. It scarcely encourages trust. A commentator in the Huffington Post says (as well as the long history of Heathrow’s broken promises) that allowing the 3rd Heathrow runway would effectively say Heathrow is now and ever will be the UK’s hub airport. Hub airports actually “need at least four runways and preferably room to expand further.”

Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »

Heathrow hoping to woo air freight companies with plans to give air freight more priority

There was a small decline (0.2%) in 2015 in cargo volumes at Heathrow compared with 2014 levels. The tonnage of freight (1.496 million tonnes, more imports than exports) is barely changed from the amount in 2011. Heathrow has tried to sell its 3rd runway plans partly on the grounds that it is vital for UK companies that export things needing air freight. Many non-perishable, not especially high value items are air freighted (books and brochures, raincoats and overcoats). Almost all air freight at Heathrow is belly hold, in passenger planes. DHL is the only freight airline there.  Heathrow has plans (nothing started) to try to develop itself as a European cargo hub through the investment of around £180m, including a specialist pharmaceutical storage area — to support airlines to move highly valuable and temperature sensitive medicines. There would be a huge impact on local roads of all the freight vehicles, which would be diesel powered, and the NO2 pollution.  IAG has a large freight hub in Madrid, shipping air cargo into Heathrow and Gatwick. Heathrow says it has restricted air freight capacity on some routes, but overall load factors were only about 60-65%. ie. there is plenty of space for more. Air freight companies would like Heathrow to allocate slots for them.
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See also  Air Freight for figures on tonnage etc at UK airports


Airlines eye scheduled freighter operations as Heathrow pushes cargo up priority list

By Alex Lennane (the LoadStar)
12/05/2016

Heathrow is in talks with at least two freighter airlines looking to launch operations at the UK’s slot-constricted airport.

The airport, which, along with the CAA has a newfound interest in freight as it lobbies for a third runway, has very restricted cargo capacity on 19 routes, including to the US west coast, Tokyo and parts of China.

But Nick Platts, head of cargo, said there was a possibility of launching some regular freighter operations in slots that were available.

This was revealed at the Multimodal event yesterday, after Larry Coyne, CEO of Coyne Airways, called on Heathrow to improve its mix of operations.

“I’d like to see a better balance between freighters and passenger capacity,” he said. “All-cargo airports fall flat on their faces – you need a connection between bellies and freighters.

“Get some freighters in, and you’ll have a better mix.”

Mr Coyne admitted that his airline had left the UK for Amsterdam. Coyne had been using IAG’s 747s at Stansted, but “BA couldn’t connect up with its own flights at Heathrow”, he explained.

Currently only one freighter operator, DHL, has “grandfather” slot rights at Heathrow, but the airport made some £5m from ad hoc freighter operations last year.

Mr Platts, while welcoming freighters, added that Heathrow was primarily a belly cargo airport: “We will always be a passenger hub.”

He added that there was still cargo capacity on many routes, as airport load factors were only about 60-65%, and once efficiencies were implemented, more capacity would be available.

“I think we can do a better job of utilising the capacity – our strength is using bellies and it’s a cheaper and more efficient use of resources. We need to get airlines to upgrade their aircraft to get more belly capacity. And expansion would alleviate the capacity constraints on some routes.”

A third runway would add 40 destinations to the 185 already served from Heathrow.

Mr Platts said the airport was trying to determine the value of cargo and the consequent investment.

Heathrow is heavily regulated, with price-capped fees set by the CAA and a “single till”, meaning that all revenues went into the same pot.

“We need evidence that cargo is a good investment for the airport,” he said.

The UK CAA, which represents the needs of airport users, is currently reviewing the price controls at Heathrow, before the current contract expires in 2019. For the first time it is considering cargo owners and forwarders as users, where previously it had only taken passengers into account.

“It wants to ensure that shippers’ needs are being met,” said Mr Platts.

“We need to do more for our exporters. We import more than we export, which is a bad state of affairs and we need to encourage exports. There is an export role at all airports in the UK, but without expansion we can’t ship as much. And so cargo won’t go to Manchester or Stansted, it will go to the continent.”

While Coyne moved its operations from the UK to Amsterdam, Air Canada did the opposite, said Mark Olney, general manager cargo for Europe, Middle East and India.

“We bring in freight from the continent as we struggle with capacity there. Our passenger aircraft at Heathrow are 777s, and they are like freighters.”

He added that the airline was investing in terminal facilities at Heathrow. “It’s an area where we recognise we have to contribute.”

The Multimodal session was held just after Heathrow had announced that it would accept, and in some cases exceed, all the environmental targets set out in the Airports Commission report. It also said it would extend a night flight ban by an hour and a half (from 11pm until 5.30 am) sooner than required if it won consent for the third runway.

Mr Platts said he had been considering low-emission onward transport for freight, including using barges on the nearby Grand Union Canal, which links central London with Birmingham, and by rail.

The airport is investing £8m in cargo facilities, including airside transhipment, and reducing truck congestion.

https://theloadstar.co.uk/airlines-eye-scheduled-freighter-operations-heathrow-pushes-cargo-priority-list/

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Heathrow air freight in recent years:

2002 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
1,234,940 1,310,987 1,397,054 1,277,650 1,472,988 1,484,351 1,464,390 1,422,939

 

2014 2015
1 498 906  1 496 551

See earlier:

 

Heathrow plans to double its volume of air freight, necessitating more trips by diesel powered HGVs and goods vehicles

Heathrow plans to double its  air freight volumes in its aspiration to become one of the leading airports for cargo in Europe. CEO John Holland-Kaye announced at the British Chambers of Commerce that Heathrow will invest £180 million in the project and has its blueprint ready. Investment will be made to enhance air to air transit by building a facility on the airport for faster handling of transit cargo that arrives by air and is due to fly out again by air, reducing the times. The improvements to air freight is meant to be “essential for the growth and success of the UK economy.” (Where have we heard that  before?)  There will need to be a new truck parking facility for over 100 vehicles, with waiting arenas for drivers. There will be a special pharmaceutical storage area to move temperature-sensitive medicines and provide better infrastructure for faster freight movement. Holland-Kaye wants the UK “reach its £1 trillion export target by 2020.” Heathrow dealt with 1.50 million metric tonnes of cargo in 2014. This can only increase the number of HGVs in the Heathrow area. HGVs are all powered by diesel, not petrol – with its attendant higher NO2 emissions.  Meanwhile Mr Holland-Kaye was at the EAC saying there would be no extra car journeys to/from Heathrow with a 3rd runway.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/11/heathrow-plans-to-double-its-volume-of-air-freight-necessitating-more-trips-by-diesel-powered-hgvs/

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Heathrow records 2015 demand decline

11.1.2016 (~Air Cargo News)

The UK’s busiest cargo airport, Heathrow, ended last year with a slight decline in cargo volumes compared with 2014 levels.

The west London airport, which is hoping to add an extra runway, recorded total cargo volumes of 1.5m tonnes in 2015, a 0.2% decline compared with a year earlier.

However, it was not all bad news for the airport as it managed to record a 0.8% year-on-year demand increase in December to 127,153 tonnes.

It said the December increase was down to growth from emerging markets; Nigeria was up 50%, China 20% and Turkey 20%.

In mid-December the Government announced another delay on whether, and how, to expand runway capacity in the south-east of England.

The airport has, however, unveiled plans to develop itself as a European cargo hub through the investment of around £180m.

This includes proposals for a specialist pharmaceutical storage area — to support airlines to move highly valuable and temperature sensitive medicines — as well as better infrastructure to reduce congestion and smoother processes, all enabling freight to flow better through the airport and halving process time from 8-9 hours, to four hours.

http://www.aircargonews.net/news/single-view/news/heathrow-recordes-2015-demand-decline.html

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IAG Cargo extends reach to tap South African perishables

To capture some of the booming perishables market in Africa, IAG Cargo has added three-times-a-week, London Gatwick to Cape Town service to its winter schedule, using a 777-200 aircraft, beginning Nov. 24.The new seasonal frequencies will supplement IAG’s thrice-weekly A330-300 Madrid-Johannesburg service, which is set to begin Aug. 1, and its existing London Heathrow-Cape Town-Johannesburg service. By the end of 2016, this new Cape Town route brings total IAG Cargo flights to 27 per week to South Africa from both the London and Madrid hubs, offering a weekly lift of up to 440 tonnes.

Over the past 12 months, IAG Cargo said it has seen volumes of mangoes, avocadoes, pineapples and flowers “perform extremely well” out of South Africa, via IAG’s Constant Fresh service. “We now offer an outstanding proposition into and out of South Africa, providing businesses with enhanced flexibility over where and when they ship their goods,” said David Shepherd, head of commercial at IAG Cargo. “The forthcoming Johannesburg route will help to better link Africa with strategic markets, such as Latin America, while the new Cape Town-Gatwick route offers unrivalled access to Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.”

According to the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB), the Middle East, European Union and United States were major importers of perishables from South Africa last year. Year-over-year African export volumes of avocados increased by 26 percent in 2015, while citrus experienced 2 percent growth, PPECB said.  Also, 55 percent of South Africa’s subtropical fruit, including avocados, mangoes, pineapples, and passion fruit, was exported to the EU last year.

http://aircargoworld.com/iag-cargo-extends-reach-to-tap-south-african-perishables/

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It seems avocadoes from Kenya can be exported by sea freight, as well as by air freight Link and a lot of detail on the options of air freight or sea freight for avocadoes  Link 

Sea shipping of mangoes is possible, and cheaper than by air  Link


Extract from

Exports from Heathrow top £48 billion

11.11.2015 (Air Cargo Week)
………….

The top five UK export commodities by value via Heathrow were precious metals (£26 billion), aircraft turbojets (£3.3 billion), jewellery (£3 billion), medicaments (£2.8 billion) and paintings and drawings (£2.4 billion).

….

Fresh salmon is the UK’s number one export by weight via Heathrow, with 46,000 tonnes exported in the most recent 12-month period.

Books and brochures are the UK’s second largest export by weight via Heathrow with over 20,000 tonnes exported in the 12 months leading up to July 2015.

Overcoats and raincoats are one of the biggest growth exports by weight via Heathrow, with a 60 per cent growth on 2014 figures, highlighting the continued growth of the British fashion and design sector.

Earlier today, Heathrow reports its cargo volumes for January to October 2015 are up 0.1 per cent, and on a rolling 12-month basis volumes are up 0.8 per cent. Cargo to and from emerging markets has risen 3.4 per cent over the past 12 months – notably to Turkey by 26 per cent.

…….

Full article at  http://www.aircargoweek.com/exports-from-heathrow-top-48-billion/

Read more »

Scottish Green Party calls for Sturgeon to abandon plans to halve APD

The Scottish Green party say that Nicola Sturgeon should abandon her plans to slash air passenger duty (APD). Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Green Party, said it was clear that there is no longer a majority at Holyrood in favour of halving APD, which would add to pollution and do nothing to tackle social inequality. The SNP manifesto said it would reduce air passenger duty by 50% over the next parliament (to 2020 or 2021). However, no other party in Scotland supported the move, with even the Scottish Conservatives, traditionally in favour of tax cuts, saying it could not be justified “at a time of constrained fiscal conditions.”  The Scottish Green party have suggested models of taxing aviation, such as the Frequent Flyer Levy, which would ensure the cost is shifted onto the minority of mostly wealthy individuals who fly most often. Cutting the rate of APD would have the effect of increasing CO2 emissions from Scottish aviation, by encouraging more  flights. A better way to tax air travel (which pays no VAT, and on which there is no fuel duty) would be to recognise the environmental costs of flying. Communities that are badly affected by the noise from flight paths at Edinburgh and Glasgow airports would suffer more noise. The additional noise – especially at night – is known to have adverse health impacts, which have a cost to society.
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Greens call for Sturgeon to axe plans to cut airline tax

By Daniel Sanderson, Scottish Political Correspondent (Herald Scotland)

13.5.2016

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NICOLA Sturgeon should abandon her plans to slash air passenger duty and instead consider a tax on wealthy frequent fliers, the Scottish Greens have said.

Patrick Harvie, writing in The Herald today, said it was clear that there is no longer a majority at Holyrood in favour of the move, which he said would add to pollution and do nothing to tackle social inequality.

The SNP leader has insisted she intends to deliver her manifesto in full, despite falling short of a majority. In the document, the SNP said it would reduce air passenger duty by 50 per cent over the next parliament.

However, no other party supported the move, with even the Scottish Conservatives, traditionally in favour of tax cuts, saying it could not be justified “at a time of constrained fiscal conditions.”

Mr Harvie said: “Let’s look at this as an opportunity to resolve what is a complex issue. In the past Greens have suggested models such as the Frequent Flyer Levy. This would ensure the cost is shifted onto the minority of mostly wealthy individuals who fly most often.

“The SNP’s proposal would add to climate change emissions and do nothing to tackle social inequality. Instead we could create a new way forward that recognises the environmental impact of aviation and ensures the right people pay the lion’s share.”

Ms Sturgeon has said that there remains a possibility that a referendum could take place in the next parliament, citing six Green MSPs, in addition to the 63 SNP members, meaning there remains a pro-independence majority at Holyrood.

Addressing the issue, Mr Harvie urged caution. He added: “We believe the timing of when Scotland asks itself the question again should be for the Scottish people to decide. Parliament retains a pro-independence majority but our case must be strengthened to address some of the weaknesses evident in 2014 such as those around currency. Yet while that work remains to be done, it may suit the Tories in particular to keep the constitution uppermost in everyone’s mind, while simultaneously demanding that everybody else “move beyond” it.”

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14490171.Greens_call_for_Sturgeon_to_axe_plans_to_cut_airline_tax/?ref=twtrec

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See earlier: 

Edinburgh campaign, SEAT, shows why cutting Scottish APD risks harming people’s health and the environment

The community campaign, SEAT (Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial) has set out why it is opposed to the Scottish Government intention to cut APD by 50%. Edinburgh airport is delighted that APD might be reduced, so increasing demand for more flights (= more profit). But those badly affected by aircraft noise are very concerned about the increase in the problems they suffer. Air Passenger Duty is needed, to at least partly make up for the tax breaks the aviation industry benefits from by paying no VAT, and no fuel duty. There is no VAT on purchase or servicing of aircraft. Many airports are owned by off-shore corporations, that pay minimal (or no) UK company taxed. Flying is already artificially cheap, and even cheaper, if the only tax is halved. While the Scottish government supports high speed rail links to London, which would cut carbon emissions if rail is used instead of air, they also aim to increase the number of flights, by cutting APD. That means significantly higher Scottish CO2 emissions. SEAT speaks up for people negatively impacted by aviation. The impacts on health from plane noise are now well known, and they are a cost to society. SEAT says cutting APD is unwise, and means putting profit for big business before people’s health, or the environment.

Click here to view full story…

 

SNP to launch consultation on plan to cut Scottish air passenger duty by 50%, starting April 2018

The Scottish National Party (SNP) say they will cut Air Passenger Duty (APD) by 50% between April 2018 and 2021, if they win the Holyrood election on 5th May 2016. There is now a public consultation on this proposal. Control of APD is due to be devolved to Holyrood when the Scotland Bill becomes law, so it is no longer administered by the UK government. The Scottish Labour party has said a reduction would most benefit wealthier people, and should not go ahead. The majority of flights are taken by more affluent people, who can afford multiple short breaks as well as long haul holidays. Details of the APD consultation were announced by Finance Secretary John Swinney during a visit to Edinburgh Airport. The 50% cut in APD would start in April 2018, and be done in stages till 2021. The industry would like cutting APD to increase the amount of profitable high spending tourists to Scotland. They hope this would boost jobs and bring economic benefits. The amount of Scottish money taken out of the country on even cheaper flights is not counted, nor the jobs lost as Scots spend their holiday money abroad. Climate campaigners fear the net effect will be higher carbon emissions from Scottish aviation, if the ticket price is cut.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/03/snp-to-launch-consultation-on-plan-to-cut-scottish-air-passenger-duty-by-50-starting-april-2018/

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Scottish Government to consult on impact of halving, and then removing, APD

The Scottish government intends to remove Air Passenger Duty (APD) from flights departing from Scottish airports, in the hope of attracting more flights. Scottish ministers hope cutting APD would encourage more direct flights from Scotland and reduce the need for connecting flights via Heathrow and Amsterdam. Air travel is already very under-taxed, paying no VAT and no fuel duty.  The Scottish Government says it will halve APD during the Scottish Parliament’s next term, which will run until around 2020. That will mean about £200 million in lost tax to the government, and the Scottish government has to reimburse the UK Treasury. Scottish ministers want APD cut completely “when public finances permit.”  There is to be a new policy forum to look into the implications of removing or reducing APD, and a policy consultation this autumn. The forum will include some environmental groups, as well as aviation lobbies. There would be increased CO2 emissions from Scottish aviation if there was a 50% cut in APD, and even more so with no APD.  The Scottish government will have to explain “which other sectors of society will pick up the shortfall and at what cost.” More cheap holiday flights for Scottish people is likely to increase the tourism deficit, with more money flowing out than is brought in by in-bound tourists. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/08/27367/

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Heathrow’s vague proposal on no night flights – what is Heathrow really saying?

Heathrow currently, under current night flight controls that are due to be re-considered in 2017,  is allowed 5,800 night flights per year. That’s an average of 16 arriving each morning, typically between 4.30am and 6am. The latest flights should leave by 11.30pm but there are many that are later, almost up to midnight. Heathrow has been very reluctant to agree to a ban between 11.30pm and 6am, which was the condition imposed by the Airports Commission. Heathrow claims the early arrivals are vital for businessmen catching early flights – especially those from the UK regions. But now, desperate to be allowed a 3rd runway, Heathrow proposal [very careful, rather odd wording]: “The introduction of a legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.” and “We will support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.” Heathrow only mentions scheduled flights. Not late ones.  It is widely recognised that for health, people need 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night.  Not 6.5 hours. Heathrow makes no mention of the inevitable concentrated landings and take offs at the shoulder periods, in order to keep 6.5 hours quiet.  Apart from insomniacs and shift workers, who else regards the end of the night as 5.30am?  

There are actually currently no scheduled flights at Heathrow from 11:00 to 11:30 – so the extra half hour claimed by JHK is a bit disingenuous to say the least. Instead of the time with no scheduled flights being the same 6.5 hours the Airports Commission stated, the effective new period without flights is half an hour less than Heathrow’s offer appears to be.

Heathrow do not promise to reduce, or even keep to the same level, overall numbers of night flights at Heathrow. With a 3rd runway it will be possible to re-time the 8 or so arrivals that currently occur between 04:30 and 05:30 into the post 5:30 to 7:00 period.

The change in the night fight regime would be imposed by the DfT under the night flying Regulations which are made under the Civil Aviation Act 1982 section 78. The ban would therefore have the force of law. Airports have to account monthly to DfT on how the regulations have been implemented.

Heathrow would have no option by to accept the law.  They would have no choice, whether or not Heathrow says they will “support” its introduction.

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This is what Heathrow has said on night flights:

Airports Commission

conditions

Heathrow proposal
NIGHT FLIGHTS.

“Following construction of a third runway there should be a ban on all scheduled night flights in the period 11:30 pm to 6 am”

Meeting the Airports Commission

*The introduction of a legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.

Exceeding the Airports Commission

We will support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.

* Every other one of the proposals contains a verb – what Heathrow is going to do. This one contains no verb.  

http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Expansion-News-23/6296

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Lord True, Richmond Council leader and Conservative peer, describes Heathrow promises as ‘worthless’ and asks David Cameron to deny expansion immediately

The leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, has called Heathrow’s pledge to ban night flights a “feeble attempt to bribe London.” He described Heathrow’s promises as “worthless” and said on the ending of night flights: “This so-called pledge falls short of what the Davies Commission requests and the Heathrow PR men simply cannot be believed. If they can stop pre-5.30am flights, why don’t they do it now? Rather than spending billions of pounds doing it?” On Heathrow’s claims about air quality improvements, Lord True commented:: “They cannot comply with EU air quality limits and their ‘jam’ promises are worthless…..if people’s health comes first – big Heathrow is dead in the water.” He said Heathrow had just made some token alterations to their original proposals. Richmond Council, along with Wandsworth, Hillingdon and Windsor & Maidenhead councils, have already made it clear that should the Government give a 3rd Heathrow runway the go-ahead – they would together launch legal action opposing the plans. Lord True: “I say to Mr Cameron – hundreds of thousands of Londoners remember your promise – “no ifs, no buts,” ….We expect our Prime Minister to keep his promise….”

Click here to view full story…


The current “DfT NIGHT FLYING RESTRICTIONS AT HEATHROW, GATWICK AND STANSTED”  –  June 2014

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/330354/night-noise-decision.pdf


Heathrow makes guarded, carefully worded, offers to meet Airports Commission conditions for 3rd runway

Heathrow knows it has a difficult task in persuading the government that it can actually meet the (unchallenging) conditions put on its runway plans by the Airports Commission. Now John Holland-Kaye has written to David Cameron, setting out how Heathrow hopes to meet some conditions. They make out they will even exceed the conditions, in some cases. On Night flights, they say they will introduce a “legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.” [Note, scheduled – not late arrivals etc]. And they will “support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.” [ie. full of caveats]. They dodge the issue of agreeing not to build a 4th runway, saying it they government makes a commitment in Parliament not to expand Heathrow further, then Heathrow will “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway..” [Words carefully chosen]. On noise and respite, Heathrow say “We will ensure there will be some respite for everyone living under the final flight path by using advances in navigational technology. We will consult and provide options on our proposals to alternate use of the runways.” [ie carefully chosen words, avoiding giving much away].

Click here to view full story…


This is what the Airports Commission Final Report said on night flights and a 3rd Heathrow runway:

P 10.

“Following construction of a third runway at the airport there should be a ban on all scheduled night flights in the period 11:30pm to 6:00am. This is only possible with expansion.”

and

P. 31

“Following construction of a third runway at Heathrow there should be a ban on all scheduled night flights between 11:30pm and 06:00am. This is only possible with expansion. Night flights are very unpopular with local residents, and the additional capacity from a third runway would enable airlines to re-time very early morning arrivals, limiting the commercial impact. ”

and

P. 170

[Taking night as an 8 hour period, as does the WHO – World Health Authority].  “The full range of metrics included in the noise scorecard is: • day noise (LAeq16h 7:00am-11:00pm) and night noise (LAeq8h 11:00pm-7:00am), looking not only at the 57 decibel level used by the government as its key metric, but also down to the lower 54 decibel level during the day and the 48 decibel level at night, and up to 72 decibels in both cases;…”

P 184.

9.42   Night flights are considered particularly disruptive by local residents around both Heathrow and Gatwick. They can contribute to sleep disturbance, which may lead to both health impacts (such as an increased risk of hypertension) and lost productivity for people who have suffered from lack of sleep. As a result of responses to its consultation, a review of the health impacts of aviation noise, including night noise, was commissioned from a member of the Commission’s Expert Advisory Panel, which has been published alongside this report. In addition, health and sleep disturbance effects were included in the monetisation of noise impacts used in the Commission’s economic analysis set out in detail in the Business Case.

9.43   A number of consultation responses called for greater restrictions or a ban on night flights whilst others highlighted the economic value of such flights and argued for their continuation. The Commission has conducted further work to understand the value of night flights at each airport; and the impacts of a ban on the airport’s business model.”

….

9.46   At Heathrow, under current arrangements, the quota system heavily restricts the number of flights that use can use the airport and the noise levels that they may create during the core night period from 11:30pm to 6:00am. In addition, the airlines using Heathrow have signed up to a voluntary agreement that no flights should land before 4:30am. This has led to an average of 16 arrivals from long-haul destinations between 4:30am and 6:00am each day and no departures. Chapter 14 discusses in detail the Commission’s conclusion that further restrictions on core night flights at an enlarged Heathrow would be credible and its recommendation that following construction of any new runway at Heathrow there should be a ban on all scheduled night flights between 11:30pm and 6:00am.

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Heathrow not willing to accept a ban on night flights, saying it constrains links to regional airports

John Holland-Kaye is hugely confident that he will get a new runway, saying he was now “80%” sure that David Cameron’s decision would be for Heathrow.  The Airports Commission suggested a condition that there would be a complete ban on flights between 11.30pm and 6am due to the unacceptable noise of night flights. Mr Holland-Kaye says night flights were not something to “throw away lightly”. Heathrow currently is allowed 5,800 night flights per year, meaning an average of 16 arriving each morning, typically between 4.30am and 6am. British Airways wants to keep night flights, and is Heathrow’s largest airline. Last week Mr Holland-Kaye said shifting night flights to later slots would damage connections to the rest of the UK. “If I talk to regional airports, they all want to see early morning arrivals into Heathrow. They want a flight that comes in from their airport before 8 o’clock in the morning so people can do a full day’s work, can do business in London or can connect to the first wave of long-haul flights going out. You are very quickly going to use up all of the first two hours of the morning if we have a curfew before 6 o’clock, particularly as we then have to move the 16 flights. That really constrains the ability of UK regions to get the benefits from an expanded hub. So it is not something we should throw away lightly.”  Heathrow’s links to regional airport would actually fall, with a 3rd runway, according to the Airports Commission.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/11/heathrow-not-willing-to-accept-a-ban-on-night-flights-saying-it-constrains-links-to-regional-airport/

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Studies show that at least 7 hours of sleep are needed, each night, by adults

Living under a flight path, along which aircraft fly at below – say 7,000 feet – is noisy. It is all the more noisy now that the aviation industry is introducing narrow, concentrated flight paths. These are replacing the older more dispersed routes, as aircraft have new “PBN” technology (like car satnav) and can fly far more accurately than in the past. And it suits the air traffic controllers to keep flight paths narrow. But if airports allow flights at night, or if the “night” period when flights are not allowed is short, this has consequences for people living near, or under, routes. Studies carried out scientifically show adults need at least 7 hours of sleep, each night to be at their healthiest. Children and teenagers need more.There are some people who need more than 7 hours per night, and some need less. It is not good enough to get less one night, and more the next – the brain does not process the day’s memories adequately. Studies show adverse effects of not getting enough sleep, which are not only related to concentration, speed of thinking or reacting etc, but also medical effects. The concentrated flight paths, and airports allowed to have flights all night, are causing very real problems. A study into noise and sleep by the CAA in 2009 looked at the issue, and said a large and comprehensive study is needed, but it is “likely to be expensive.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/06/studies-show-that-at-least-7-hours-of-sleep-are-needed-each-night-by-adults/ 

amount of sleep needed

How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

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What the World Health Organisation says on noise levels at night:

Extracts from WHO Night Noise Guidelines for Europe (2009)

http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/43316/E92845.pdf

Sleep is an essential part of healthy life and is recognized as a fundamental right under the
European Convention on Human Rights. (European Court of Human Rights, 2003).

 

[The WHO consider “night” to be an 8 hour period.  All the noise measurement metrics assume an 8 hour night.  Most people like to sleep for 8 hours, or at least 7 hours.]

…..
(Table 5.4)
Average night noise level over a year Lnight    outside
Health effects observed in the population
40 to 55 dB .   Adverse health effects are observed among the exposed population. Many people have to adapt their lives to cope with the noise at night. Vulnerable groups are more severely affected.

Above 55 dB .   The situation is considered increasingly dangerous for public health. Adverse health effects occur frequently, a sizeable proportion of the population is highly annoyed and sleep-disturbed. There is evidence that the risk of cardiovascular
disease increases.
Lnight,outside in Table 5.4 and 5.5 is the night-time noise indicator (Lnight) of Directive 2002/49/EC of 25 June 2002: the A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-2: 1987, determined over all the night periods of a year; in which: the night is eight hours (usually 23.00 – 07.00 local time), a year is a relevant year as regards the emission of sound and an average year as regards the meteorological circumstances, the incident sound is considered, the assessment point is the same as for Lden. See Communities, 18.7.2002, for more details.
……
Below the level of 30 dB Lnight,outside, no effects on sleep are observed except for a
slight increase in the frequency of body movements during sleep due to night noise.
There is no sufficient evidence that the biological effects observed at the level below
40 dB Lnight,outside are harmful to health. However, adverse health effects are
observed at the level above 40 dBLnight,outside, such as self-reported sleep disturbance,
environmental insomnia, and increased use of somnifacient drugs and sedatives.
Therefore, 40 dB Lnight,outside is equivalent to the LOAEL  [LOAEL is the lowest observed adverse effectlevel (LOAEL) for night noise] for night noise.

Above 55 dB the cardiovascular effects become the major public health concern,
which are likely to be less dependent on the nature of the noise. Closer examination
of the precise impact will be necessary in the range between 30 dB and 55 dB as
much will depend on the detailed circumstances of each case.

A number of instantaneous effects are connected to threshold levels expressed in
LAmax (Table 5.1). The health relevance of these effects cannot be easily established.
It can be safely assumed, however, that an increase in the number of such events over
the baseline may constitute a subclinical adverse health effect by itself leading to significant clinical health outcomes.

http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/43316/E92845.pdf

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Heathrow’s commitment on 4th runway – what is Heathrow really saying?

The Airports Commission said, in giving its recommendation that a 3rd Heathrow runway should be built, that a firm condition was that no 4th runway should ever be built there. The Commission’s wording in its Final Report (1.7.2015) was: “A fourth runway should be firmly ruled out. The government should make a commitment in Parliament not to expand the airport further. There is no sound operational or environmental case for a four runway Heathrow.” And  “This may be as part of a National Policy Statement or through legislation.” What Heathrow has now said is that it will: “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway.”  This does not say this ban on a 4th runway would be in legislation. It merely says there would be a commitment. But the coalition government made a commitment not to build a 3rd runway, in 2010. That commitment was then overturned in the next Parliament.  It scarcely encourages trust.  A commentator in the Huffington Post says (as well as the long history of Heathrow’s broken promises)  that allowing the 3rd Heathrow runway would effectively say Heathrow is now and ever will be the UK’s hub airport.  Hub airports actually “need at least four runways and preferably room to expand further.
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What the Airports Commission’s Final Report said (P 11):

“A fourth runway should be firmly ruled out. The government should make a commitment in Parliament not to expand the airport further. There is no sound operational or environmental case for a four runway Heathrow.”

and

(Page 32)

“Government should make a firm commitment in Parliament to rule out any fourth runway at Heathrow, for which there is no operational or environmental case. This may be as part of a National Policy Statement or through legislation.”

and

(Page 309)

“14.117   In addition, the physical geography challenge of fitting a fourth runway in at Heathrow would be increasingly great. The Commission considered the extent to which the shortlisted schemes might be able to accommodate further significant expansion, but it was not possible to identify any option for a fourth runway at the Heathrow site that could be delivered without incurring both reduced benefits and substantially increased financial and environmental costs.

14.118   Moreover, while there is a potential demand case for a second additional runway in the South East by 2050, it does not follow that there would necessarily be an economic or environmental case for such a development.

14.119   Nonetheless, given the history of development at Heathrow, the Commission recognises that the local communities may be mistrustful of such statements, particularly if coming from the airport itself. That is why the Commission recommends that the Government make a firm ruling in Parliament on the matter. A statement that there should be no fourth runway at Heathrow made as part of a National Policy Statement or through legislation would be the best way to give lasting reassurance to communities.”

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The wording of what Heathrow now proposes:

FOURTH RUNWAY:

“Ruling out any fourth runway. The government should make a commitment in Parliament not to expand the airport further.”

Heathrow’s proposal

Meeting the Airports Commission

Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway.

 

On 11th May:

Heathrow makes guarded, carefully worded, offers to meet Airports Commission conditions for 3rd runway

Heathrow knows it has a difficult task in persuading the government that it can actually meet the (unchallenging) conditions put on its runway plans by the Airports Commission. Now John Holland-Kaye has written to David Cameron, setting out how Heathrow hopes to meet some conditions. They make out they will even exceed the conditions, in some cases. On Night flights, they say they will introduce a “legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.” [Note, scheduled – not late arrivals etc]. And they will “support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.” [ie. full of caveats]. They dodge the issue of agreeing not to build a 4th runway, saying it they government makes a commitment in Parliament not to expand Heathrow further, then Heathrow will “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway..” [Words carefully chosen]. On noise and respite, Heathrow say “We will ensure there will be some respite for everyone living under the final flight path by using advances in navigational technology. We will consult and provide options on our proposals to alternate use of the runways.” [ie carefully chosen words, avoiding giving much away].

Click here to view full story…


Comment in the Huffington Post:

Heathrow Concessions Fail to Hide Stark Flaws in Expansion Proposal

11.5.2016

By Keith Prince, who is Conservative London Assembly Member for Havering & Redbridge

This morning Heathrow Airport announced a number of suggested concessions that they believe should enable them to build a third runway. Some of these, such as a reduction in night flights, would be welcome, but the list was striking for its significant flaws.

Heathrow has promised that it would not seek to build a fourth runway should it be allowed to build a third. However this is a highly dubious promise for two reasons:

First, Heathrow has a long history of promising (see below) that its next expansion will be its last expansion. Over the years Londoners have been told that the fourth terminal would be the last time Heathrow expanded. We were told the same thing when Heathrow gained permission to build a fifth terminal. There is no reason to believe that a third runway would mean the end of the line for Heathrow expansion.

Secondly, is what a third runway at Heathrow would mean for London’s hub capacity. Allowing a third runway would effectively be a statement saying that Heathrow is now and ever will be London’s and the UK’s hub airport. Hub airports, as we have seen around the world, need to have at least four runways and preferably room to expand further. At the moment there is the opportunity to recognise that Heathrow was built in the wrong place and that we should build a new airport, ideally in the Thames Estuary. If a third runway is approved then the Government will be almost closing the door on the most sensible alternative to an ever-expanding Heathrow.

Nevertheless the dubious promise of an end to expansion if the third runway could just be granted was not the most extraordinary suggestion this morning.

The idea that extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone – which is currently due to be introduced with the same boundaries as the Congestion Charge Zone in 2020 – to the M25 would enable the expansion of Heathrow is truly ridiculous. What they are effectively saying is that every single car, van or black cab driver in London would need to buy a new low-emission vehicle in order to make the Heathrow expansion conceivable.

Heathrow is facing air quality issues that simply cannot be overcome. If the best they can offer is a ham-fisted proposal that would severely impact small businesses and drivers across London then today should be the day that the idea of a Heathrow expansion is knocked on the head for good.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/keith-prince/heathrow-expansion_b_9905442.html

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That 1999 Sir John Egan “Dear Neighbour” letter

The “Dear Neighbour” letter dated April 1999, from Sir John Egan (then Chairman of BAA, the owner of Heathrow) setting out a range of claims about how Terminal 5 would not make the situation worse for residents. This included the promise there would be no new runway.

Sir John Egan Dear Neighbour April 1999

See the letter, saved on the HACAN website:

http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/BAA-1999-letter-to-residents.pdf

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The History of broken promises over Heathrow’s 3rd runway 

In 1995 Heathrow denied it would want a 3rd runway. It persisted in denying this until 2003, when it came out as lobbying for one.
This Friends of the Earth briefing gives the history, up to 2008, of the broken promises.   http://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/heathrow_broken_promises.pdf
FoE says that in 2001 “BAA echoes BA’s denial and says it is not pushing for a third runway at Heathrow. “It is the company’s view that the local communities around Heathrow should be give (sic) assurances. BAA would urge the government to rule out any additional runway at Heathrow.”
In November 2001, having sat on the Terminal 5 Inquiry Inspector Vandermeer’s report for almost a year, the Government announces its decision on T5 and releases the inspector’s report. The inspector says that a 3rd runway could have “unacceptable environmental consequences”. He recommends a cap on the number of flights at 480,000 a year in order to prevent the need for a third runway.
Then FoE says: “On 13 May 2003, BAA plc admits publicly that it wants third runway at Heathrow.  In its response to the Government’s airport consultation BAA short-lists a third runway at Heathrow and claims that this is part of the company’s approach of ‘responsible growth’. “
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During the 2010 election, local election campaign material in west London said:

No ifs No buts

 

Actual text from Conservative election leaflet for the May 2010 election.   Full leaflet at  http://www.electionleaflets.org/leaflets/full/b58fa8c95aec5d810bfe2ebb16bcbf91/

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The  Coalition’s “Programme for Government” written in May 2010 states:

• “We will cancel the third runway at Heathrow.   • We will refuse permission for additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted.”

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100919110641/http://programmeforgovernment.hmg.gov.uk/files/2010/05/coalition-programme.pdf

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Beryl Wilkins, a retired teacher, questioned why past promises were allowed to be broken, including an inspector who had said in a consultation meeting that Terminal 4 would be the last.

Nigel Milton, director of policy and political relations for Heathrow, said: “The people who made those promises weren’t in a position to make these promises.”

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/pollution-concerns-raised-heathrow-expansion-7778746

John Holland-Kaye also made a similar comment at an Airports Commission public meeting on 3.12.2014 :

Heathrow Airport boss apologises for ruling out Third Runway in 1990s, saying: ‘We got it wrong’

3 DEC 2014

Heathrow’s CEO has apologised for broken promises that he said have ‘hung over the airport’s relationship with local communities’.

John Holland-Kaye made the apology at the Airports Commission’s consultation conference today (Wednesday, December 3), where options for expanding either Heathrow or Gatwick are being discussed.

He said he was sorry for the airport’s past commitment, made almost 20 years ago, to permanently rule out building a third runway.

He said: “I am shocked by that commitment. It should never have been made. And it could never be kept. That is not an excuse. It is an apology. I am sorry Heathrow made that commitment. It has hung over the relationship with local communities, and has led to a deficit of trust that can only be repaired by demonstrating we are a different company from the past.”

Details at  http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/heathrow-airport-boss-apologises-ruling-8219853

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Willie Walsh reiterates that he will fight Heathrow runway, due to cost; content with 3 hub system for IAG instead

Willie Walsh has reiterated his determination not to pay the exorbitant costs of a new Heathrow runway (and that’s without the costs that the taxpayer would have to pick up for surface access improvements – which could be £20 billion).  He said the current proposal to build a 3rd Heathrow runway is “indefensible” from a cost point of view and he will fight it.  BA holds over 50% of Heathrow’s slots. Walsh said he was worried about the current Heathrow proposal because there was now “desperation by the airport to get a third runway and they are willing to do anything to get it.”  He commented: “So the airport is incentivised to spend money while I am incentivised to save money.”  Because the coalition government blocked a 3rd runway in 2010, in January 2011 BA and Iberia were merged to form IAG.  Then IAG bought UK airline BMI, to get hold of its Heathrow slots, gaining an extra 42 pairs.  That  ensured IAG  had enough Heathrow slots to secure its ability to compete from its hub base.  Since then Walsh has made his plans to use  a 3 hub strategy – with Madrid and Dublin as its two others, not depending so much on Heathrow.  IAG also owns Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus. Dublin will be adding a new runway – probably by 2020.
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IAG’s Walsh: ‘I will fight’ current Heathrow third runway plan

By Karen Walker (Air Transport World)
May 11, 2016

The current proposal to build a third runway at London Heathrow Airport is “indefensible” from a cost point of view and the head of British Airways’ parent company will fight it.

International Airlines Group (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh, speaking as a panelist  on May 11 at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Aviation Symposium, said he was worried about the current Heathrow proposal because there was now “desperation by the airport to get a third runway and they are willing to do anything to get it.”

Walsh said that has led to a proposal that would cost £18 billion ($26 billion), but just 1% of that would go to building the runway. The rest of the money, he said, would go to all other things at the airport.

“So the airport is incentivized to spend money while I am incentivized to save money,” Walsh said. “I will not support what would be the world’s most expensive runway. I will fight against it and I refuse to pay for it because the cost will be passed on to me and my customers.”

Walsh added, “The proposal that’s on the table now is completely indefensible from a cost point of view.”

Building a third runway at Heathrow was declared the best option for extra runway capacity in the crowded southeast of England after a two-year investigation by a government-backed commission.

Walsh explained that when he first joined British Airways in 2005, the company campaigned for an additional runway at Heathrow, but the new UK government that came into power in 2010 had made denying permission for the third runway a platform of its election campaign.

As a result, IAG acquired UK airline BMI so that it could secure that airline’s Heathrow’s slots and ensure its ability to compete from its hub base.

“Since then, there has been a realization by politicians that there was no magic solution [as an alternative to a third runway] and when they asked me what we were going to do, I said the alternative was to grow somewhere else,” Walsh said.

IAG, which owns Spanish carriers Iberia and Vueling and Irish airline Aer Lingus, operates a three-hub strategy—Heathrow, Dublin and Madrid.

http://m.atwonline.com/airports-routes/iag-s-walsh-i-will-fight-current-heathrow-third-runway-plan

 


“Alternatively, there is a respectable case for deferring this difficult political decision, to see how a very competitive aviation sector copes with the growth of demand for air travel.

“As I have suggested previously, market forces could mean that priority would be given to business travellers at Heathrow, displacing leisure travellers to other airports – such as Stansted – which have plenty of spare capacity.”

David Metz,  honorary professor of Transport Studies at UCL


See also

 

2nd runway at Dublin airport threatens Heathrow’s position as main IAG hub

Heathrow may face more competition for hub traffic from Dublin, if there is a 2nd runway in 2020 – and airlines prefer using Dublin rather than Heathrow.  This might mean Heathrow being partly sidelined.  In May 2015 Aer Lingus, the Irish flag carrier, was bought by IAG (International Airlines Group) – which owns British Airways.  As part of IAG’s takeover there was the benefit of new routes and more long-haul flights from Dublin, where Aer Lingus is one of the two main airline customers, along with Ryanair. Willie Walsh, IAG’s CEO, said in 2015 that owning Aer Lingus would allow IAG “to develop our network using Dublin as a hub between the UK, continental Europe and North America, generating additional financial value for our shareholders”. Willie Walsh believed that buying Aer Lingus was a wise move, as it was “inevitable” that Dublin would get a 2nd runway in the next few years.  IAG believes that it can expand the group’s flights via Dublin or Madrid – especially if there is no new runway at Heathrow.  It could have the impact of removing business from Heathrow – British Airways is the largest airline there with around 50% of the slots.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/04/2nd-runway-at-dublin-airport-threatens-heathrows-position-as-main-iag-hub/

 

 

 

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Lord True, Richmond Council leader and Conservative peer, describes Heathrow promises as ‘worthless’ and asks David Cameron to deny expansion immediately

The leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, has called Heathrow’s pledge to ban night flights a “feeble attempt to bribe London.”  He described Heathrow’s promises as “worthless” and said on the ending of night flights:  “This so-called pledge falls short of what the Davies Commission requests and the Heathrow PR men simply cannot be believed. If they can stop pre-5.30am flights, why don’t they do it now? Rather than spending billions of pounds doing it?”  On Heathrow’s claims about air quality improvements, Lord True commented:: “They cannot comply with EU air quality limits and their ‘jam’ promises are worthless…..if people’s health comes first – big Heathrow is dead in the water.”  He said Heathrow had just made some token alterations to their original proposals.  Richmond Council, along with Wandsworth, Hillingdon and Windsor & Maidenhead councils, have already made it clear that should the Government give a 3rd Heathrow runway the go-ahead – they would together launch legal action opposing the plans. Lord True: “I say to Mr Cameron – hundreds of thousands of Londoners remember your promise – “no ifs, no buts,” ….We expect our Prime Minister to keep his promise….”
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Lord True, Richmond Council leader and Conservative peer, describes Heathrow promises as ‘worthless’ and asks David Cameron to deny expansion immediately

By George Odling, (Senior Reporter – Richmond & Twickenham Times)
The leader of Richmond Council has called Heathrow’s pledge to ban night flights a “feeble attempt to bribe London.”

The airport’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, announced measures that would “exceed Airports Commission conditions”, including banning night flights from 11pm to 5.30am once a proposed third runway opens.

Heathrow agrees no fourth runway [only with rather odd wording: “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway.”] in attempt to secure third as it “meets or exceeds” Airports Commission conditions

But Richmond’s Lord True described the airport’s promises as “worthless.”

The Conservative peer said: “This so-called pledge falls short of what the Davies Commission requests and the Heathrow PR men simply cannot be believed.

 

“If they can stop pre-5.30am flights, why don’t they do it now? Rather than spending billions of pounds doing it?”

Among Heathrow’s responses to the Airport Commission report, which recommended the airport for expansion over Gatwick in July last year, included creating an ultra-low emissions zone for airport vehicles by 2025 and not releasing new capacity until it can do so without delaying the UK’s compliance with EU air quality limits.

Lord True disputed these claims, however, and said: “They cannot comply with EU air quality limits and their ‘jam’ promises are worthless.

“The recent Volkswagen scandal has only highlighted public concern about the issue and if people’s health comes first – big Heathrow is dead in the water.”

The council leader has previously made it clear that should the Government give expansion the go-ahead – a decision that was expected to be made earlier this year but delayed – the council would launch legal action opposing the plans.

 

He said: “Put plain and simply, this is a feeble emotional bribe from Heathrow. They have cherry-picked one of the many valid reasons against expansion and made token alterations to their original proposals.”

Lord True added: “We have now waited long enough for this decision. We have already made our feelings clear to the Government. Should they rule in favour of a Heathrow expansion – we will fight it in the courts.

“I say to Mr Cameron – hundreds of thousands of Londoners remember your promise – “no ifs, no buts,” and your personal commitment to our air quality.

“We expect our Prime Minister to keep his promise, listen to the people of London and say no to any expansion of the airport today.”

http://m.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/14485548.Richmond_Council_s_Conservative_peer_leader_describes_Heathrow_promises_as__worthless__and_asks_David_Cameron_to_deny_expansion_immediately/?ref=twtrec

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See also

Heathrow makes guarded, carefully worded, offers to meet Airports Commission conditions for 3rd runway

Heathrow knows it has a difficult task in persuading the government that it can actually meet the (unchallenging) conditions put on its runway plans by the Airports Commission. Now John Holland-Kaye has written to David Cameron, setting out how Heathrow hopes to meet some conditions. They make out they will even exceed the conditions, in some cases. On Night flights, they say they will introduce a “legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.” [Note, scheduled – not late arrivals etc]. And they will “support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.” [ie. full of caveats]. They dodge the issue of agreeing not to build a 4th runway, saying it they government makes a commitment in Parliament not to expand Heathrow further, then Heathrow will “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway..” [Words carefully chosen]. On noise and respite, Heathrow say “We will ensure there will be some respite for everyone living under the final flight path by using advances in navigational technology. We will consult and provide options on our proposals to alternate use of the runways.” [ie carefully chosen words, avoiding giving much away].

Click here to view full story…

eathrow’s vague proposal on no night flights – what is Heathrow really saying?

Heathrow currently, under current night flight controls that are due to be re-considered in 2017, is allowed 5,800 night flights per year. That’s an average of 16 arriving each morning, typically between 4.30am and 6am. The latest flights should leave by 11.30pm but there are many that are later, almost up to midnight. Heathrow has been very reluctant to agree to a ban between 11.30pm and 6am, which was the condition imposed by the Airports Commission. Heathrow claims the early arrivals are vital for businessmen catching early flights – especially those from the UK regions. But now, desperate to be allowed a 3rd runway, Heathrow mentions [very careful, rather odd wording]: “The introduction of a legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.” and “We will support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.” Heathrow only mentions scheduled flights. Not late ones. It is widely recognised that for health, people need 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night. Not 6.5 hours. Heathrow makes no mention of the inevitable concentrated landings and take offs at the shoulder periods, in order to keep 6.5 hours quiet. Apart from insomniacs and shift workers, who else regards the end of the night as 5.30am?

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow’s commitment on 4th runway – what is Heathrow really saying?

The Airports Commission said, in giving its recommendation that a 3rd Heathrow runway should be built, that a firm condition was that no 4th runway should ever be built there. The Commission’s wording in its Final Report (1.7.2015) was: “A fourth runway should be firmly ruled out. The government should make a commitment in Parliament not to expand the airport further. There is no sound operational or environmental case for a four runway Heathrow.” And “This may be as part of a National Policy Statement or through legislation.” What Heathrow has now said is that it will: “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway.” This does not say this ban on a 4th runway would be in legislation. It merely says there would be a commitment. But the coalition government made a commitment not to build a 3rd runway, in 2010. That commitment was then overturned in the next Parliament. It scarcely encourages trust. A commentator in the Huffington Post says (as well as the long history of Heathrow’s broken promises) that allowing the 3rd Heathrow runway would effectively say Heathrow is now and ever will be the UK’s hub airport. Hub airports actually “need at least four runways and preferably room to expand further.”

Click here to view full story.


See earlier:

 

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

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

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/03/four-councils-affected-by-heathrow-threaten-to-take-legal-action-against-government-if-it-backs-heathrow-runway/
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