GACC says they have fought off runway plans in 1970, 1993 and 2003 – and they’ll fight this one too

Responding to the news that a second, southern, runway is on the Airports Commission shortlist for further detailed consideration next year, the local community group GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) said the news was no surprise.  For the past year GACC has assumed that Gatwick would be included. Now it is clear the so-called ‘wide-spaced’ runway option will be examined – the one that would cause most environmental damage. Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC, said:  ‘Now the battle is for real.  The battle lines are drawn.   Now the spotlight is on Gatwick the next step will be to examine the runway plans in detail, and it will be found that Gatwick is an unsuitable site. GACC agrees with Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB, WWF and other national environmental organisations that any new runway cannot be reconciled with the UK’s obligations under the Climate Change Act.   A new runway used to full capacity would cause substantial environmental damage to all the towns and villages for many miles around Gatwick.  In addition to the usual issues of noise, pollution and climate change, one of the emerging concerns is that making Gatwick larger than Heathrow would lead to the urbanisation of much of Surrey and Sussex.  That will be fiercely opposed. GACC  has fought off plans for new runways about every 10 years, in 1970, 1993, and 2003.  And GACC say they will do it again this time.
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Gatwick wide spaced runway

Gatwick included in short-list

17.12.2013  (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

This is no surprise.  For the past year GACC has assumed that Gatwick would be included in the short-list of potential sites for a new runway.  Now we know that only the so-called ‘wide-spaced’ runway option will be examined – the one that would cause most environmental damage.

Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC, said:  ‘Now the battle is for real.  The battle lines are drawn.   Now the spotlight is on Gatwick the next step will be to examine the runway plans in detail, and it will be found that Gatwick is an unsuitable site.  It is too small, it can never be a four-runway hub, and the ‘constellation’ concept (London with three airports each with two runways) is coming unstuck.   Research shows that no other city in the world has two competing hubs.[1]

GACC agrees with Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB, WWF and other national environmental organisations that any new runway cannot be reconciled with the UK’s obligations under the Climate Change Act.[2]

We are delighted that our friends at Stansted have had the threat to their homes and environment lifted.  Over the past 10 years they have fought a good fight and won a worthy victory.  Now  we at Gatwick must do the same.  We have done it before in 1970, 1993, and 2003 and we will do it again.

Georgia Wrighton, Director of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Sussex) said:  ‘A second runway at Gatwick, together with sprawling development and urbanisation anticipated on a massive scale, would concrete over cherished open countryside. A heady cocktail of increased flights, HGVs and cars would erode the tranquillity of rural communities, and the health and quality of life of people living under its shadow.   The national obsession with expansion will land a disaster on the countryside whilst making runaway climate change unstoppable. Instead of airport expansion we need genuine support for and promotion of alternatives.’

Andy Smith, Director of CPRE Surrey:   ‘Surrey is already struggling to cope with being squeezed between Heathrow and Gatwick airports, with serious environmental impacts in terms of noise and air pollution, both from flights and from road traffic. These problems would become significantly worse with a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick, which would undoubtedly make the quality of life worse for communities across Surrey, and would lead to new pressures on the beleaguered Green Belt.’

Sewill added:  ‘A new runway used to full capacity would cause substantial environmental damage to all the towns and villages for many miles around Gatwick.[3]   In addition to the usual issues of noise, pollution and climate change, one of the emerging concerns is that making Gatwick larger than Heathrow would lead to the urbanisation of much of Surrey and Sussex.   Doubling the number of airport jobs plus an influx of new firms (as envisaged by the Gatwick Diamond business association) would mean that a large number of workers would be attracted into the area from the rest of the UK or from the EU, with a need for extra housing equivalent to a new town the size of Crawley.[4]   The resulting pressure on schools, hospitals, roads and railways, and on the countryside is beginning to worry many councils.  Once people recognise that the threat is real, and that a new runway is not just a strip of concrete, there will be tidal wave of opposition.

The Airports Commission will now require all the short-listed airports to produce an environmental impact assessment.   GACC will be watching like a hawk to ensure that Gatwick does not try to use its expensive PR consultants to gloss over the impact.[5]

 www.gacc.org.uk 


[1]   Analysis of Global Hub Airports.  JLS Consulting October 2013.

https://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/imagelibrary/downloadmedia.ashx?MediaDetailsID=1879&SizeId=-1

[2]   Aviation Environment Federation.  http://www.aef.org.uk/?p=1651

[3]   www.gacc.org.uk/the-runway-issue

[4]  According to research commissioned by West Sussex County Council and the Gatwick Diamond business association.  Implications of changes to airport capacity – slides 2013(page 17)

[5]  http://www.prweek.com/article/1169601/gatwick-brings-fishburn-hedges-lca-support-second-runway-bid#disqus_thread#disqus_thread

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Gatwick runway options Gatwick identified three options for a second runway, but the Davies Commission shortlisted Option 3, which would allow fully independent operation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19570653

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gatwick arty image of 2 runway airport

Gatwick’s proposed 2 runway airport

 


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CPRE Kent also voiced their extreme disappointment at the news:

17.12.2013

CPRE Protect Kent is disappointed with the announcement given by the Chairman of the Airports Commission today. The initial recommendation to focus the options for additional runway capacity at Heathrow or Gatwick is extremely disappointing, since we believe that there is sufficient capacity in the system.

During the consultation CPRE Protect Kent examined aviation trends throughout the UK. We found that the upward trend is diminishing, meaning that there will be fewer aircraft flying in the future. With the rise of technological innovations such as online video conferencing and increased fuel prices, we believe that passenger numbers will slowly begin to level off. This fact, combined with statistics for the current spare runway capacity of a number of airports in the south east, showed that we are unlikely to realistically need any more runway space. Stansted is only operating at around 50% capacity, whilst Gatwick also has significant runway space available. With declining aviation runway use, we believe that there is simply no requirement to build more runway space and that the countryside can be protected through more efficient use of existing capacity and the use of fewer, quieter planes.

CPRE Protect Kent welcomes the fact that the Thames Estuary airports have been dismissed from the shortlisted options. We are also pleased that the creation of an Independent Noise Authority has recommended. We hope that this authority will reduce noise, rather than simply enabling more planes to fly.

CPRE Protect Kent Director, Hilary Newport, had the following to say on the announcement:

“We are glad that Sir Howard Davies has listened to the objections to a Thames Estuary airport and not shortlisted that option. However, we are extremely disappointed that the possibility of a new hub airport at Cliffe has not been dismissed altogether and we hope that the further investigation of environmental impacts will do just that. We are also disappointed that he has failed to acknowledge the large amount of spare runway capacity currently available for use in the south east. Surely we should be making better use of existing south east airports before building any new runway capacity.”

She continued:

“Technological innovations are making frequent flying for business less necessary. The forecast of fewer aircraft flying in the future should show the Airports Commission that there simply is no need to build new aviation capacity in the south east of England.”

http://protectkent.org.uk/

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Reigate MP Crispin Blunt slammed the decision to include Gatwick on the shortlist, raising fears about the associated development devastating the surrounding environment.

“As far as the national and local interests of my constituents are concerned this report is nothing short of calamitous. The second runway at Gatwick airport would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment. My overwhelming objection remains that the level of development, associated with an airport serving three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place. The rail line is already at capacity as are the roads that serve Gatwick. This airport is simply not in the right place to serve as the UK’s hub or as a key part of it. Plans for new housing are already controversial given the existing constraints; quite where the 40,000 new houses are to go to house the new workers at an expanded Gatwick is beyond me. I suspect it has been beyond proper consideration in this disappointing report.”

http://www.blunt4reigate.com/news/crispin-blunt-responds-to-davies8217-interim/953

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Documents from the Airports Commission

Airports Commission: interim report
PDF, 4.34MB, 228 pages

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Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 1 assessment of short- and medium-term options

PDF, 157KB, 33 pages

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Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 2 assessment of long-term options

PDF, 145KB, 38 pages

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Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 3 technical appendix

PDF, 1.36MB, 116 pages

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Below are a few of the mentions of Gatwick in the Commission’s Interim Report:

A package of surface transport improvements to make airports with spare
capacity more attractive to airlines and passengers, including:
– the enhancement of Gatwick Airport Station;
– further work to develop a strategy for enhancing Gatwick’s road and rail
access;

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Gatwick Airport: At this site the Commission’s analysis will be based on a new
runway over 3,000m in length spaced sufficiently south of existing runway to
permit fully independent operation.

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In the process, the divide between ‘low-cost’ and ‘full-service’ carriers is being
eroded. In 2012, around one fifth of passengers flying low-cost from big UK airports
like Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham were business travellers.13 Low-cost
carriers also no longer operate only to secondary airports; they account for a
substantial proportion of traffic at both Schiphol and Charles de Gaulle, and even
at Heathrow and Frankfurt some low-cost services operate

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But problems are starting to emerge and are likely to get worse. Heathrow is
effectively full. Gatwick is operating at more than 85% of its maximum capacity, and
is completely full at peak times. Capacity constraints are making it more and more
difficult for airports and airlines to operate efficiently, lay on new routes, and deal with
resilience issues.

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This rapid growth has seen easyJet and Ryanair grow into two of the world’s ten
largest airlines by international passenger numbers, with major bases at Gatwick
and Stansted respectively, and routes established at a large number of airports
across the UK.

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The impact of the Gulf carriers on the UK market has also been substantial. Not
only have they established high frequency routes into Heathrow, which have seen
Dubai grow into the airport’s second largest passenger market after New York JFK,
but they have also opened new services from a number of UK regional airports.
Emirates now serves Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle, as well as
Heathrow and Gatwick. Both Etihad and Qatar offer services from Manchester and
Heathrow. The substantial onward route networks available from these airlines’
hubs, particularly to South Asian and Far Eastern destinations, have opened up
many new opportunities for long-haul travel from Manchester and other regional
airports

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Since its sale to Global Infrastructure Partners, Gatwick Airport has sought to
enhance its competitive position:
●● in 2011, the airport began a £1.2 billion pound investment programme to
improve its terminals and other facilities;
●● new long-haul routes have been introduced to emerging market destinations
including China, Vietnam and, from spring 2014, Indonesia;
●● in spring 2013, a second low-cost carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle, made the
airport into its base; and,
●● the Gatwick Connect service has been implemented to facilitate transfers for
self-connecting passengers.

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: Heathrow and Gatwick have the highest runway utilisation in the world(Gatwick the highest utilisation of a single runway airport).

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Nonetheless, the UK does not face an immediate capacity crisis. The London
aviation market continues to be amongst the most attractive and best connected in
the world. Gatwick is responding to the continuing capacity constraints at Heathrow
by opening new long-haul routes to emerging markets and to the United States.

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Gatwick
●● The Government should work with Network Rail and Gatwick Airport to
implement a significant enhancement of the airport station, with an emphasis on
making the station more accessible to users with luggage (which should also
enhance access for users with disabilities). The Government should pursue an
ambitious (circa £180 million) option for enhancing the station through the
construction of a new concourse and ticket hall with enhanced access to
platforms, subject to the airport providing an appropriate contribution to the
costs of the scheme.
●● There is a need to improve the suitability of the Gatwick Express rolling stock to
make it more suitable for airport users, for example by the provision of additional
luggage space. The Government should take opportunities to enhance it through
the franchising system.
●● The Government should work with train operators to promote the introduction of
paperless ticketing facilities for journeys to and from Gatwick Airport station.
●● The Government and Network Rail should accelerate work to produce a detailed
plan for the enhancement of the Brighton Main Line, with a particular emphasis
upon enhancing capacity and reliability, so as to accommodate growth in both
airport and commuter traffic. This could focus on the alleviation of particular
pinch points (such as East Croydon).

●● The Government should work with the Highways Agency to develop a forward
route strategy for the sections of the motorway network connecting to Gatwick
Airport, with a particular emphasis on the connections between the M25, M23
and the airport itself. That strategy should consider options for expanding the
slip-roads between the roads in question, which could become substantial
congestion pinch points.

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In the second category of options, those relating to planning and compensation
against noise, the Commission received a range of proposals suggesting that noise
compensation arrangements should be reviewed alongside consideration of the
proposals for new runway capacity. Representations were also received indicating
that there were no effective land use policies applied to the areas around Heathrow,
Gatwick and Stansted, and that whilst the aviation industry was delivering quieter
aircraft and the size of the 57LAeq contour around airports affected by noise is
reducing, new domestic dwellings are continuing to be built therefore increasing the
size of the population within the noise affected area

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The airport has attracted a number of new carriers, including airlines operating to
Far Eastern destinations (China, Vietnam and from next year Indonesia), which
might previously have been expected to operate only from a more established hub
airport. It has also introduced its Gatwick Connect service to support travellers
using the airport to self-connect between services, and from 2014 it will
accommodate the UK’s first low-cost long-haul services.

Expanding capacity at Gatwick Airport could support growth in the point-to-point
market by allowing established carriers at the airport to increase the scale of their
operations and attracting new ones. But it could also help to support and enhance
the UK’s hub status, perhaps by attracting one of the major alliances to move from
Heathrow, incentivised by greater scope for growth or the opportunity to build a
dominant position at the airport. It might equally be through the continuing growth

of self-connecting at the airport, through new partnerships between short- and
long-haul airlines operating there or through some combination of the two.
6.72 These are not mutually exclusive scenarios. Growth in point-to-point traffic, for
example, could over time provide an increasing feed market for any potential
network carrier at the airport, strengthening the incentives to move from Heathrow.
In addition, the enhanced competition for Heathrow which might be offered by an
expanded Gatwick Airport could potentially lead to further benefits for passengers
and freight users.
6.73 Gatwick’s single current runway is already operating at a high level of utilisation and
the Commission’s demand forecasts estimate that it will reach capacity within less
than ten years. This suggests that any new runway would likely be well-utilised, with
the Commission’s forecasts indicating an expanded Gatwick could operate at 70%
capacity in 2030 rising to over 95% by 2050.
6.74 Gatwick Airport Ltd has proposed that a new runway should be constructed south
of the existing one. It has identified three options: close-spaced, wide-spaced/
dependent operation and wide-spaced/independent operation. The Commission’s
assessment has focused on the last – a runway over 3,000m in length spaced
sufficiently south of the existing runway (at least 1,035m) to permit fully independent
operation. This offers the greatest increase in capacity while still having relatively low
environmental and noise impacts compared with some other potential sites. The
Commission will, however, keep this under review as it takes forward more detailed
development and appraisal. The proposal also includes related new terminal
facilities and taxiways between the new and existing runways.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/266446/airports-commission-interim-report.pdf

 


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 From GACC’s website: 

SMALL SITE

Gatwick is a small airport, and is confined by the towns of Horley and Crawley, and by the medieval village of Charlwood, and also by high ground to the west and the main London – Brighton railway line to the east. Charles de Gaulle Airport at Paris is five times as large.

Gatwick has one main runway, and one subsidiary runway which can be used when the main runway is not available. The two runways are too close together to be used simultaneously.

Gatwick Airport Ltd submitted  plans for a new runway to the Airports Commission on 19 July 2013 and published them on 23 July.  Three potential locations are identified, all the the south of the existing runway.

On 17 December 2013 the Airports Commission published their short-list of possible sites for a new runway.  See GACC press release.

The short-list includes the so-called ‘wide-spaced’ runway at Gatwick – very close to Crawley, and the Gatwick option with the worst environmental impact – see Gatwick Unzipped below.

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Gatwick Unzipped

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

Read Gatwick Unzipped. 

 

 

 

Read more »

Airports Commission publishes interim report with 2 options for a runway at Heathrow and 1 at Gatwick. Estuary still being considered

The Airports Commission’s interim report has put forward 3 options for a new runway, and have kept their options open on an estuary airport.  There would only be one runway, not two and they consider this should be in operation before 2030.  At Heathrow the choices are a north west runway, 3,500 metres long, destroying Harmondsworth; and an extension westwards of at least 3,000 metres, of the existing northern runway.  They also consider a wide spaced Gatwick runway to the south.  The Commission also says “there is likely to be a demand case for a 2nd additional runway to be operational by 2050.” They claim this is “consistent with the Committee of Climate Change’s advice to government on meeting its legislated climate change targets.”  Stansted is ruled out, and on the Thames Estuary they say: “The Commission has not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options because there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage. It will undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other short-listed options.”  The report also contains recommendations to the government for immediate action to improve the use of existing runway capacity. Among others, these include better airspace organisation and surface transport improvements such as enhancement of Gatwick station, a rail link from the south to Heathrow, and a rail link between Heathrow and Stansted. 
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Airports Commission publishes interim report

17 December 2013 (Airports Commission press release)

Airports Commission: interim repor (228 pages) 

Various associated papers are also at                        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/airports-commission-interim-report

Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 3 technical appendix    PDF, 1.41MB, 116 pages  contains a section on carbon emissions from pages 64 to 72.


 

The independent review concludes that there is a need for one additional runway to be in operation in the south east of the UK by 2030.

Aircraft in flight
Aircraft in flight
The Airports Commission’s independent review into airport capacity and connectivity in the UK has concluded that there is a need for one net additional runway to be in operation in the south east by 2030. Its analysis also indicates that there is likely to be a demand case for a second additional runway to be operational by 2050.

These conclusions are valid across a range of assumptions about future demand growth, and are consistent with the Committee of Climate Change’s advice to government on meeting its legislated climate change targets.

The Airports Commission’s interim report published today (17 December 2013) has announced that it will be taking forward for further detailed study proposals for new runways at two locations:

Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport Ltd’s proposal for a new runway to the south of the existing runway

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Heathrow Airport (two options)
Heathrow Airport Ltd’s proposal for one new 3,500m runway to the northwest
Heathrow Hub’s proposal to extend the existing northern runway to at least 6,000m, enabling the extended runway to operate as two independent runways.

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The next phase of its work will see the Commission undertaking a detailed appraisal of the three options identified before a public consultation in autumn next year.

The Commission has not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options because there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage. It will undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other short-listed options.

The Commission has not shortlisted proposals for expansion at Stansted or Birmingham, however, there is likely to be a case for considering them as potential options for any second new runway by 2050. In its final report the Commission will set out its recommendations on the process for decision making on additional capacity beyond 2030.

The report also contains recommendations to the government for immediate action to improve the use of existing runway capacity.

– an ‘optimisation strategy’ to improve the operational efficiency of UK airports and airspace, including
… airport collaborative decision making
… airspace changes supporting performance based navigation
… enhanced en-route traffic management to drive tighter adherence to schedules
… time based separation

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–  a package of surface transport improvements to make airports with spare capacity more attractive to airlines and passengers, including

… the enhancement of Gatwick Airport Station
… further work to develop a strategy for enhancing Gatwick’s road and rail access
… work on developing proposals to improve the rail link between London and Stansted
… work to provide rail access into Heathrow from the south
… the provision of smart ticketing facilities at airport stations

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– trials at Heathrow of measures to smooth the early morning arrival schedule to minimise stacking and delays and to provide more predictable respite for local people

– the establishment of an Independent Noise Authority to provide expert and impartial advice about the noise impacts of aviation and to facilitate the delivery of future improvements to airspace operations.

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Launching the report Sir Howard Davies Chair of the Commission said:

“Decisions on airport capacity are important national strategic choices and must be based upon the best evidence available. The Commission has undertaken a fresh, comprehensive and transparent study of the issues. This report is the product of extensive consultation, independent analysis and careful consideration by the commissioners.

“The UK enjoys excellent connectivity today. The capacity challenge is not yet critical but it will become so if no action is taken soon and our analysis clearly supports the provision of one net additional runway by 2030. In the meantime we encourage the government to act on our recommendations to make the best of our existing capacity.

“The Commission will now focus on the challenge of appraising the three options, further assessing the case for a new airport in the Thames Estuary, and delivering a robust final recommendation to government in summer 2015.”

The report notes the historic failure to deliver new airport capacity in the UK and the Commission’s independent approach to the challenge. It confirms that a fresh look at the UK’s aviation needs was timely and necessary, setting out how much the global economy, the aviation industry and the domestic and international policy environment has evolved since the government last considered these issues in the 2003 ‘Air transport white paper’.

The report sets out how well connected the UK is currently; how effectively the UK aviation industry has innovated and adapted to change and emerging capacity constraints to remain a world leader; and how new aircraft, new markets and the need to address climate change will present new opportunities and challenges. The report identifies that negative impacts are likely to proliferate as capacity constraints intensify, including in the areas of resilience, connectivity, economic growth and passenger experience.

To inform its assessment of need the Commission has improved how future aviation demand is forecast. It has reviewed the assumptions in the existing model, considered the impact of a carbon constraint to take account of the UK’s current environmental commitments and employed scenario testing to evaluate its key conclusions. The Commission also considered whether the UK requires additional hub or non-hub capacity. It has concluded that the UK will need an airport system that can support both hub and non-hub capacity, and cater for a range of airline business models.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/airports-commission-publishes-interim-report

Report at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271231/airports-commission-interim-report.pdf

 

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Documents from the Airports Commission

Airports Commission: interim report
PDF, 4.34MB, 228 pages

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Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 1 assessment of short- and medium-term options

PDF, 157KB, 33 pages

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Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 2 assessment of long-term options

PDF, 145KB, 38 pages

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Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 3 technical appendix

PDF, 1.36MB, 116 pages

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Responding to the Airports Commission’s interim announcement, campaigners vow to fight any expansion at Heathrow

December 17, 2013

The long-awaited interim report from the Airports Commission has now been released. After leaks that Heathrow had been the main choice for another runway, this was confirmed. The shortlist sets out 3 main options: the north west runway at Heathrow, (not demolishing Sipson, but putting it right under the flight path); the northern runway option of the Heathrow Hub concept, which had suggested two runways, built west of the existing ones; and a second runway at Gatwick. Stansted is ruled out. Most Thames estuary options are ruled out, but the Isle of Grain proposal will be given further consideration and is not yet “ruled in or ruled out”. The Commission will be deciding over the next 18 months on whether the runway should be at Gatwick or at Heathrow. There is already fury over much of west London, that people face not only uncertainty for the next year and a half, till the Commission’s final report in summer 2015, but also the nightmare of a massive increase in the number of flights. The announcement will act as the trigger to 18 months of intense campaigning against Heathrow expansion, and against Gatwick expansion. John Stewart, chair of HACAN, said that at Heathrow “The scale of the opposition will be so great that we believe that they are politically undeliverable and should have been dropped at this stage.”  Click here to view full story…

North west runway – built over M25 and moves Heathrow closer to Windsor. Cost £17 bn and demolition of 950 homes  Heathrow northwest runway option 

The westerly extension of Heathrow’s northern runway (from the “Heathrow Hub” proposal)

Heathrow hub north runway

The southern Gatwick runway option

Gatwick wide spaced runway

 

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Read more »

Responding to the Airports Commission’s interim announcement, campaigners vow to fight any expansion at Heathrow and at Gatwick

The long-awaited interim report from the Airports Commission has now been released. After leaks that Heathrow had been the main choice for another runway, this was confirmed. The shortlist sets out 3 main options: the north west runway at Heathrow, (not demolishing Sipson, but putting it right under the flight path); the northern runway option of the Heathrow Hub concept, which had suggested two runways, built west of the existing ones; and a second runway at Gatwick. Stansted is ruled out. Most Thames estuary options are ruled out, but the Isle of Grain proposal will be given further consideration and is not yet “ruled in or ruled out”. The Commission will be deciding over the next 18 months on whether the runway should be at Gatwick or at Heathrow. There is already fury over much of west London, that people face not only uncertainty for the next year and a half, till the Commission’s final report in summer 2015, but also the nightmare of a massive increase in the number of flights. The announcement will act as the trigger to 18 months of intense campaigning against Heathrow expansion, and against Gatwick expansion.  John Stewart, chair of HACAN, said that at Heathrow “The scale of the opposition will be so great that we believe that they are politically undeliverable and should have been dropped at this stage.”
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Campaigners vow to fight any expansion at Heathrow.

The Airports Commission’s interim report:

IN: Gatwick and Heathrow

OUT: Stansted;

Estuary neither in or out until the Summer


DROPPED:  Runway to the South West of Heathrow Airport

DROPPED:  Heathrow North Option (demolishing Sipson)

IN:  Heathrow North West Option

IN:  Heathrow Hub Northern Runway


 See Gatwick press release from GACC below.


 

17.12.2013 (HACAN)

Heathrow campaigners branded the Airport Commission’s Interim Report, issued today, as ‘the trigger to 18 months of intense campaigning against Heathrow expansion’. 

The Commission argues that there will be the need for one new runway in London and the South East by 2030.  Over the next 18 months the Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, will assess whether that runway should be at Gatwick or Heathrow.

The report has rejected plans to expand Stansted.  Sir Howard Davies has real doubts about the viability of an Estuary Airport.  The only Estuary option he will assess is the Isle of Grain, and he proposes to rule it in – or out – in 6 months time, when there is better information on transport links. 

Davies has said that he does not believe two new runways will be required for the foreseeable future.

At Heathrow, the Commission has dropped the option of a new runway to the south west of the airport, largely because of the difficulties posed by the reservoirs.  It has also dropped plans for a new runway to the north, demolishing Sipson.

The Commission is to look at two Heathrow options in more detail:

  • a runway to be built to the North West of the existing airport, as proposed by Heathrow Airport.  This would require significant demolition in Longford and Harmondsworth.
  • The new northern runway proposed by the promoters of the ‘Heathrow Hub’.  Their proposal is move the existing northern runway two miles further west and extend it so that a new runway is created.  One of the two runways would be used for landings; the other for take-offs.

These are shown in the illustrations below.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which represents residents under the Heathrow flights paths, said, “Although Davies’s proposals focus less on Heathrow than had been rumoured, there is little doubt they will act as the trigger to 18 months of intense campaigning against Heathrow expansion”.

He added, “The scale of the opposition will be so great that we believe that they are politically undeliverable and should have been dropped at this stage.”

Sir Howard Davies will also be recommending short-term measures which could be implemented within the next five years.

He wants to see:

  • Better use of airspace
  • Improved surface access to existing airports
  • Some experiments which allow more night flights before 6am in exchange for longer respite periods

The final report of the Airports Commission is due to be published in summer 2015, two months after the next General Election.

 www.hacan.org.uk 


 

THE PROPOSALS IN DETAIL

Demand

Davies believes that there is only demand for 1 new runway in London and the South East for the foreseeable future.  Therefore a 4 runway Heathrow has been ruled out.

Gatwick in – Davies will assess the merits of a second runway at Gatwick.

Heathrow in – Davies will assess the merits of a 3rd runway at Heathrow

-  he has ruled out the southern option and the ‘Sipson’ option

-  he will look at a new runway to the North West of the Airport, as proposed by Heathrow Airport

-  he will look at the northern runway proposed by the promoters of the Heathrow Hub: http://heathrowhub.com The existing northern runway would be extended at one or both ends.  The result is that it becomes two separate, in-line runways – one for aircraft landing and one for taking off.  The promoters argue that, because the runway is further west, it will reduce noise over West London but Heathrow Airport have rejected it because it would mean all-day flying on the northern runway, i.e. residents would get no respite.

Stansted out  – rejected.  Davies has ruled out any more runways at Stansted.  He has cited three reasons:

– New runways would create significant problems with the crowded airspace in the region (it is one of the busiest pieces of airspace in Europe)

–  Expansion of Stansted might impact adversely on Luton and London City Airports

– The regeneration benefits would be minimal in an area with one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the country

Estuary Airport – neither in nor out.   Davies recognizes it has benefits in terms of noise but has major concerns about it:

 – It may well infringe the EU Habitats Directive, particularly the clause which requires all other options for airports to be seen to fail before it can be proceeded with.

 – Surface access would be problematic and costly

 – The airlines are not at all keen on it and may be reluctant to use it. 

ENDS

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Documents from the Airports Commission

Airports Commission: interim report
PDF, 4.34MB, 228 pages

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Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 1 assessment of short- and medium-term options

PDF, 157KB, 33 pages

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Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 2 assessment of long-term options

PDF, 145KB, 38 pages

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Airports Commission: interim report – appendix 3 technical appendix

PDF, 1.36MB, 116 pages

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This is how the north west of Heathrow looks at present:

Heathrow map north west

 


 

Illustrations of the two runways on the short list:

The Heathrow north west option, from http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow/Downloads/PDF/a-new-approach_LHR.pdf

Heathrow north west runway option 31.7.2013

Heathrow northwest runway option


 

The northern runway option of the Heathrow hub plan:

Heathrow hub runways

Heathrow hub north runway

Illustrations taken from  http://heathrowhub.com/overview/

 

By contrast, in the submission to the Airports Commission from Heathrow airport, they proposed runways as shown below:

Heathrow expansion options

from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23337754

 


 

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Gatwick wide spaced runway

 

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Heathrow will be hoping that runways 1 – 3 miles further west will make a reduction to the noise suffered by those under flight paths. In reality, the reduction in noise per plane will be absolutely minimal, and the increase in their number will be huge.

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Gatwick included in short-list

17.12.2013  (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

This is no surprise.  For the past year GACC has assumed that Gatwick would be included in the short-list of potential sites for a new runway.  Now we know that only the so-called ‘wide-spaced’ runway option will be examined – the one that would cause most environmental damage.

Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC, said:  ‘Now the battle is for real.  The battle lines are drawn.   Now the spotlight is on Gatwick the next step will be to examine the runway plans in detail, and it will be found that Gatwick is an unsuitable site.  It is too small, it can never be a four-runway hub, and the ‘constellation’ concept (London with three airports each with two runways) is coming unstuck.   Research shows that no other city in the world has two competing hubs.[1]

GACC agrees with Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB, WWF and other national environmental organisations that any new runway cannot be reconciled with the UK’s obligations under the Climate Change Act.[2]

We are delighted that our friends at Stansted have had the threat to their homes and environment lifted.  Over the past 10 years they have fought a good fight and won a worthy victory.  Now  we at Gatwick must do the same.  We have done it before in 1970, 1993, and 2003 and we will do it again.

Georgia Wrighton, Director of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Sussex) said:  ‘A second runway at Gatwick, together with sprawling development and urbanisation anticipated on a massive scale, would concrete over cherished open countryside. A heady cocktail of increased flights, HGVs and cars would erode the tranquillity of rural communities, and the health and quality of life of people living under its shadow.   The national obsession with expansion will land a disaster on the countryside whilst making runaway climate change unstoppable. Instead of airport expansion we need genuine support for and promotion of alternatives.’

Andy Smith, Director of CPRE Surrey:   ‘Surrey is already struggling to cope with being squeezed between Heathrow and Gatwick airports, with serious environmental impacts in terms of noise and air pollution, both from flights and from road traffic. These problems would become significantly worse with a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick, which would undoubtedly make the quality of life worse for communities across Surrey, and would lead to new pressures on the beleaguered Green Belt.’

Sewill added:  ‘A new runway used to full capacity would cause substantial environmental damage to all the towns and villages for many miles around Gatwick.[3]   In addition to the usual issues of noise, pollution and climate change, one of the emerging concerns is that making Gatwick larger than Heathrow would lead to the urbanisation of much of Surrey and Sussex.   Doubling the number of airport jobs plus an influx of new firms (as envisaged by the Gatwick Diamond business association) would mean that a large number of workers would be attracted into the area from the rest of the UK or from the EU, with a need for extra housing equivalent to a new town the size of Crawley.[4]   The resulting pressure on schools, hospitals, roads and railways, and on the countryside is beginning to worry many councils.  Once people recognise that the threat is real, and that a new runway is not just a strip of concrete, there will be tidal wave of opposition.

The Airports Commission will now require all the short-listed airports to produce an environmental impact assessment.   GACC will be watching like a hawk to ensure that Gatwick does not try to use its expensive PR consultants to gloss over the impact.[5]

 www.gacc.org.uk 



[1]   Analysis of Global Hub Airports.  JLS Consulting October 2013.

https://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/imagelibrary/downloadmedia.ashx?MediaDetailsID=1879&SizeId=-1

[2]   Aviation Environment Federation.  http://www.aef.org.uk/?p=1651

[3]   www.gacc.org.uk/the-runway-issue

[4]  According to research commissioned by West Sussex County Council and the Gatwick Diamond business association.  Implications of changes to airport capacity – slides 2013 (page 17)

[5]  http://www.prweek.com/article/1169601/gatwick-brings-fishburn-hedges-lca-support-second-runway-bid#disqus_thread#disqus_thread

 

Read more »

“Back to the Heathrow barricades as government gets ready for an airport U-turn”

Those who fought the plans for a 3rd Heathrow runway only 3 – 4 years ago have not gone away. The young environmental campaigners, who care passionately about the world’s future climate and their future, are deeply concerned about the climate implications of another runway. They know that ensuring the UK meets its target of cutting CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 will be virtually impossible if any of the new runway options proposed by Sir Howard Davies are taken up. There really is no airport capacity crisis. An activist summed it up as: “The truth is that Heathrow has long been Europe’s biggest hub airport. Already more passengers fly in and out of London than any other city in the world, and the airport has more flights to the top business destinations than any other in Europe. A [recent] study ….showed that 9 of the 10 top destinations served by the airport are short-haul. Plenty of capacity could become available if we moved most of these journeys to alternative and less polluting methods of travel, such as rail on routes from London to Paris and Edinburgh, which are the fifth and sixth most popular Heathrow destinations.” No new runway is needed – certainly not in the short term. He adds that they are “wiping the dust off our d-Locks. Thousands of climate change protesters are on alert. Here we go again.”
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Back to the Heathrow barricades as government gets ready for an airport U-turn

Corporate lobbying has hijacked the debate, convincing the public that we are facing an aviation capacity crisis

Heathrow flights

A report tomorrow will recommend new runways at Heathrow, reigniting campaigns over noise pollution and climate change. Photograph: Susannah Ireland/Rex

Deja vu or political incompetence? The Independent on Sunday has revealed that Tuesday’s interim report on the future of the UK’s airport expansion policy, chaired by Howard Davies, will set out three options for extra capacity in the south-east, and they all involve the expansion of Heathrow. Like it or not, we’re back where we were in 2009 when the Labour government supported Heathrow expansion. But we didn’t need it then and we don’t need it now.

How have we got here? Over the last few years, since the decision of government to rule out expansion at Heathrow and at the other major airports in the south-east, we have seen a massive corporate lobbying campaign. Heathrow has spent millions of pounds on lobbying for expansion, some of which you may have seen in advertised in newspapers and on the London tube.

All this corporate lobbying has resulted in a hijacking of the debate, convincing the public that we are facing an aviation capacity crisis. This has never been true and is something that Davies is said to be pointing out in his report.

The truth is that Heathrow has long been Europe’s biggest hub airport. Already more passengers fly in and out of London than any other city in the world, and the airport has more flights to the top business destinations than any other in Europe. A study published in April this year by Hacan, which campaigns against noise at Heathrow, showed that nine of the 10 top destinations served by the airport are shorthaul. Plenty of capacity could become available if we moved most of these journeys to alternative and less polluting methods of travel, such as rail on routes from London to Paris and Edinburgh, which are the fifth and sixth most popular destinations.

Additionally, we cannot afford to forget that a third and/or fourth runway at Heathrow would have devastating implications for climate change. There was a warning in 2009 that a third runway would result in 220,000 extra flights a year; in emission terms, this is equivalent to the entire country of Kenya’s annual output.

Ensuring that the UK meets its target of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 will be impossible if any of the options proposed by Davies are taken up. The transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said on Sunday that the government “haven’t ruled anything out yet” but he must take into consideration that any U-turn will create a policy that is mutually incompatible with the Climate Change Act 2008.

There is so much at stake. Anyone living in west London can tell you about the noise pollution. There is also the issue of local communities that have been blighted by this political football for so long now. Zac Goldsmith MP still threatens to resign if there is a U-turn; Boris Johnson is going berserk. The locally embedded protest camp Grow Heathrow, in the village of Sipson in Middlesex which faces full demolition, now finds itself right at the heart of the resistance.

At Plane Stupid HQ, we have been spending the week reminiscing about occupying runways and the houses of parliament, while wiping the dust off our d-Locks. Thousands of climate change protesters are on alert.

Here we go again.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/16/heathrow-airport-runways-u-turn?CMP=twt_gu

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Heathrow protesters on alert for new runway battle

The Airports Commission is due to issue its interim report and there are claims it will recommend additional runways

Heathrow protesters on alert for new runway battle

Claims that a draft shortlist pointed to Heathrow as the most likely candidate for expansion have infuriated some Tory MPs. Photograph: David Rose/REX

Veterans of the last Heathrow protests are drawing up plans for imminent action after claims that the Airports Commission will recommend additional runways at Britain’s biggest airport.

The commission is due to issue its interim report on Tuesday with a shortlist of options for runways in the south-east, in advance of its final recommendations after the general election.

But claims that a draft shortlist pointed to Heathrow as the most likely candidate for expansion have infuriated some Tory MPs and put campaigners on high alert for a new battle, even if other options should remain on the final shortlist. Campaigners warn that Sir Howard Davies , the commission’s chair, may become a protest target.

John Stewart, who chaired the coalition of opponents that succeeded in overturning Heathrow expansion at the end of the last decade, and works closely with the airport on community measures, said: “Davies has lost credibility – possibily through no fault of his own. I think Davies and the commission will now be targeted.

“He won’t be able to hide away any longer. He will be seen by many campaigners as promoting expansion at Heathrow, and as being in the pro-Heathrow camp.”

While the timetable for the commission was widely seen as kicking the question of airport expansion into the long grass, the impending publication of the interim report has unexpectedly thrust Heathrow back into the spotlight for the reluctant Conservative hierarchy and activists.

Leo Murray of Plane Stupid said: “The campaign was mothballed when the government came in, and the commission meant it wasn’t on the agenda. Now we’re dusting off the D-locks” – a reference to the bicycle locks used by protesters to stop police moving them.

Other environmental campaigners warned that the case for building new airport capacity to meet business travel demand did not stack up. WWF said that despite an improvement in the economy, business flights have not picked up from a decline lasting more than a decade.

The green group said Civil Aviation Authority figures show business air travel down 13% since 2000, and as much as 23% down at Heathrow, despite a modest recovery since the financial crisis of 2008-09.

Jean Leston, transport policy manager of WWF-UK, said: “We’re being sold airport expansion under false pretences. Heathrow’s growth projections simply don’t match the reality.”

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the Conservatives would not be betraying voters if a third runway were built. Tory MP Zac Goldsmith said on Friday that any decision from the prime minister to back Heathrow expansion would represent an “off-the-scale betrayal”.

But McLoughlin said people were obsessing over Heathrow and should “wait and see what the commission say in the longer term”, adding that David Cameron’s pledge was not to build a third runway “in this parliament” and any decision would come after 2015.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/16/heathrow-protesters-alert-runway-battle-airports

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Read more »

Heathrow residents to demand financial compensation for impact of Airports Commission report on their house prices

People with homes near Heathrow will press for financial compensation if the Airports Commission announces on 17th that they are backing a new Heathrow runway. As the Commission is not due to report till summer 2015, at the least they face blight and an impact on their house prices over the next  18 months, while they are held in limbo. Anti-Heathrow campaigners will appeal to Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, to ensure homeowners receive financial support for the uncertainty and potential damage that the 17th December announcement may cause. The leak of the report suggests the Commission favours first one runway, and also a second runway at Heathrow. That would mean a large number of people across west London affected by one or other proposal. The issue of blight and house prices is key for thousands, let alone the threat of compulsory purchase and demolition.  Boris Johnson has accused the Prime Minister of using the Commission just “to provide cover for a U-turn on Heathrow” and he continues to fiercely oppose Heathrow expanding.
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Heathrow residents to demand compensation

People with homes near to Heathrow will press for financial compensation amid fears over how a major report from the Government’s Airports Commissioner this week will impact their house prices over the next two years.

John Stewart of the anti-Heathrow expansion campaign, HACAN, said he will demand answers from Sir Howard on how to address the issue of blight, as homeowners will be stuck in an 18-month limbo before the commission’s final recommendations are delivered after the General Election in 2015.

By  (Telegraph)

15 Dec 2013

Homeowners near Heathrow will demand compensation for two years of “blight”, as the UK’s airports commissioner prepares to short-list at least one option for expansion at the West London hub.

Anti-Heathrow campaigners will appeal to Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, to ensure homeowners receive financial support for the uncertainty and potential damage to their house prices caused by a report to be published on Tuesday.

Sir Howard has been asked by the Government to short-list bids for new runways in the South East of England.

But the report risks sparking a fierce political row as at least one, potentially two, options for expanding Heathrow are expected to be named, along with a second runway at Gatwick Airport and increased capacity at Stansted.

John Stewart of the anti-Heathrow expansion campaign, HACAN, said he will demand answers from Sir Howard on how to address the issue of blight, as homeowners will be stuck in an 18-month limbo before the commission’s final recommendations are delivered after the General Election in 2015.

“Speaking to local people, especially those whose homes are under threat of demolition, blight as well as noise is the issue that comes up time and time again,” said Mr Stewart.

Anti-Heathrow campaigners are already galvanising support for a “high profile” campaign to launch next year, which will likely receive a boost from London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, who has accused the Prime Minister of using the commission “to provide cover for a u-turn on Heathrow”.

Both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats opposed a third runway at Heathrow before the last General Election. However, Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, on Sunday refused to rule out expansion at Heathrow on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

2 of the comments:

If you buy property near one of the worlds busiest airports surely you have to expect the inconvenience of noise and possible expansion.

Even after the government clear ruled out expanding it? ‘No ifs, no buts, there will be no Heathrow expansion’- David Cameron (2010). A bit harsh if you thought that meant it was safe to buy a property under one of the proposed new flightpaths.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10519174/Heathrow-residents-to-demand-compensation.html

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No ifs No buts

Text of a Conservative election flyer for the May 2010 elections in west London.


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It’s ‘Like being on death row’: residents facing devastating impact of Heathrow runway plans

17.12.2013

Residents of a historic village that could be obliterated under today’s proposals to expand Heathrow said the plans would have a “devastating” impact on their lives.  Some 1,500 buildings would be lost in Harmondsworth and neighbouring Longworth by a north west Heathrow runway – one of the options short-listed by the Airports Commission.  People fear the prospect of being as little compensation as the airport can get away with.  Residents and business owners in Harmondsworth urged the Government to speed up their decision-making – comparing the impact to “being on death row”.  Parts of Harmondsworth are over 1,000 years old and the village contains the Tithe Barn and St Mary’s Church, both places of heritage value.   The vicar of St Mary’s Church said: “We lost one-third of our congregation due to the uncertainty over the runway. We used to have 45 on a regular Sunday; it’s come down to 25 or 30, half of whom come from outside the village.” Geraldine Nicholson, who lives in West Drayton just 100m away from one of the proposed runways, said it is not just the villages that would be affected, and 10,000 homes north of the M4 would suffer too – there would be very negative social, as well as environmental, impacts.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=18982

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and

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Philip Pank article in The Times  21.12.2013

Tories betrayed us, say locals living in Heathrow’s shadow

They may seem unlikely supporters of direct action, but the people of Harmondsworth are planning flashmob protests and demonstrations. They could scarcely be pitted against more powerful opponents than the Whitehall machine and the international investors who own Heathrow.

Full article in the Times http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3955566.ece
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Earlier:

AirportWatch calls on Airports Commission to safeguard communities under threat of blight from airport proposals

11.9.2013

AirportWatch – which includes campaign groups at a number of airports facing the threat of expansion – have joined forces in writing to Sir Howard Davies, Chairman of the Airports Commission, calling upon him to safeguard all the threatened communities against blight. The Commission is due to produce an interim report at the end of this year and, if it concludes that the UK needs more airport capacity, it will publish a shortlist of options. The Commission’s final report and recommendations won’t be published until mid-2015, after the next general election, and it will then be for the Government of the day to take any final decisions. As soon as such a list is published, every single one of the areas under threat will be hit by generalised blight and people will immediately experience not only stress and uncertainty, but difficulties in selling their homes. The campaigners’ letter asks Sir Howard “to make it a pre-condition for being shortlisted for the promoter of an airport development proposal to undertake to introduce fair and reasonable arrangements to address the problem of generalised blight arising from their proposal within three months of being shortlisted and to operate such arrangements for a minimum period of two years.”http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17320

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and

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Packed public meeting in Stanwell Moor hears of threat of 850 house demolitions, noise and blight from Heathrow runway plans

11.9.2013

Over 200 people attended a meeting in Stanwell Moor Village Hall, organised through the residents’ association, on 3rd September, with standing room only. The people of Stanwell Moor face eviction and the demolition of their houses, and those in Stanwell face blight and an uncertain future – the possibility of intense aircraft noise and air pollution if another runway is allowed. There were people queuing outside trying to get in, such was the demand to hear what the Heathrow airport operators had in mind for their area. Nigel Milton, Heathrow’s director of policy, said 850 homes in Stamwell Moor village would be demolished to make way for a 3,500 metre runway – if it was ever allowed.  Kathy Croft, chairman of the Stanwell Moor Residents’ Association, said:  “It will then be for the next government to act. Kwasi Kwarteng was invited but he gave his apologies … “. The problem of large areas of blight that will inevitably be caused if the Airports Commission put Heathrow on their short list in December is a very real one.  There will be another meeting on 18th September, organised by Spelthorne Borough Council.

Read more »

Speculation that Airports Commission interim report may say need for new runway not urgent – not before 2030

There are now suggestions that the Commission’s interim report, to be announced by Sir Howard Davies on 17th, will downplay the urgency of the alleged airport capacity problems, and may look instead at the possibility of a new runway being in place as late as 2030. The Observer reports that Government sources said that they expected Davies to say that, while extra capacity will be needed in time, there is no “crisis” yet. The Tories would be relieved if Davies were to downplay the urgency of the problem, as they are worried about their electoral chances in west London, having clearly said at the 2010 election: “No ifs, no buts, no 3rd runway”. Heathrow is not losing out on flights to key destinations, despite the propaganda that it is. Even the 2013 DfT forecasts of passenger demand show there is no shortage in capacity for years ahead, and no need for a runway before 2030. Lord Adonis, who is heading Labour’s economic growth review, has said the final report by the Airports Commission should be published earlier than 2015. – as people affected by its proposals  have a right to know. The Adonis Growth Review is meant to be setting out an agenda for change to revitalise the UK economy by innovation and growth. 

 

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/


DfT 2013 passenger number forecast. Below.

Heathrow runway decision cannot wait until after election, warns Adonis

Labour strategy chief calls for final report on airport plans before 2015 as people who live nearby have right to know

Contentious decisions on expanding airport capacity in the south-east of England cannot wait until after the 2015 general election, the man charged with devising Labour‘s strategy on economic growth has declared.

The intervention by former transport secretary Lord Adonis, who is heading Labour’s economic growth review, comes amid suggestions that Tuesday’s interim report by the airports commission chairman, Sir Howard Davies, will downplay the urgency of capacity problems and may look instead to a solution being in place as late as 2030.

Government sources said last night that they expected Davies to say that, while extra capacity will be needed in time, there is no “crisis” yet. Ministers expect Davies to list four or five options for expansion, including new capacity at both Heathrow and Gatwick, but to stress that whatever plan is adopted can wait until “the end of the next decade”.

The Conservatives would be relieved if Davies were to downplay the urgency of the problem, as they are worried about the effect that plans to expand the number of flights into Heathrow would have on key seats in west London that lie underneath the flightpaths. Under current plans Davies is not due to deliver his final report until after the 2015 election.

But in a new Fabian Society booklet on the future of London, Adonis says decisions cannot wait until 2015 and calls on Davies to deliver his final report this summer. He also calls on his own party leader, Ed Miliband, to get together with David Cameron, Nick Clegg and London mayor Boris Johnson to agree a joint approach well before the next election.

Adonis writes: “Whether they succeed or fail, they will then have to tell the voters in 2015 what they intend to do. It will be hard for them to reconcile inaction on airport capacity with any claim to be pro-growth. Equally people who live around airports have a right to know what is being proposed before, not after, the general election.”

The stance adopted by Adonis, who earlier this year appeared to favour Heathrow expansion, shows that Labour as well as the Tories are divided over the issue. Before the last election Ed Miliband, when energy and climate change secretary, made clear he was completely opposed to Heathrow expansion.

Now, however, and since the Tories have abandoned their total opposition to a third Heathrow runway, Labour has shifted too, saying it will wait for the final Davies report. While Adonis seems to favour Heathrow expansion, Jon Cruddas, who is in charge of Labour’s overall policy review, has voted against a third runway at Heathrow.

Government insiders say they still expect Boris Johnson’s plans for a new airport to the east of London to be kept in play by Davies, despite reports saying he had rejected the idea on cost grounds.

Opponents of Heathrow expansion argue that the case put forward by its supporters is based on a PR myth. AirportWatch, an umbrella movement that includes Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Campaign for Better Transport, points out that, contrary to the line pushed by pro-expansion politicians and business leaders, Heathrow is not losing out to other European airports. The airport has 990 weekly departures to the world’s key business centres, more than its two closest rivals, Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt, combined.

And London’s status is not diminished by the state of the UK’s airports. London is still the top European city in which to do business, according to surveys.

“Any suggestion that there is no need to rush into this would be welcome,” said Nic Ferriday, spokesman for AirportWatch. “We’ve been saying for years that there is no shortage of capacity in this country or in the south-east of England in particular. The only airport where there are capacity issues is Heathrow, but the idea there is a crisis is manufactured. Using the Department for Transport’s own forecasts, we can see that, even if no new runway is built up to 2030, no traffic would be lost.”

Ferriday pointed out that Luton and Stansted were operating at only half capacity, [Stansted had only 17.5 million passengers in 2012 compared to its maximum permitted of 35 million link . Luton had around 9.6 million passengers in 2012 but has a planning application now being determined to take it to 18 million per year. link   The application may not succeed though ] leaving scope for these to be used as alternatives to Heathrow and Gatwick.

[Nic Ferriday said ]”If people have to use these airports, it might be bad news for Heathrow but it is not going to damage the economy as a whole. We believe the Davies report will recommend the need to use airport capacity across the south east more fully.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/14/heathrow-runway-decision-airports-lord-adonis

 


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DfT air passenger forecasts, January 2013

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223839/aviation-forecasts.pdf

Their forecast for air passenger numbers by 2030 are 7% lower than the DfT forecast in August 2011.

The DfT says, of constrained demand: …”passenger numbers are forecast to rise from 219 million passengers in 2011, reaching 315 million passengers by 2030 and 445 million by 2050 in the central case.”

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and

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“In the central forecasts, airport capacity constrains national throughput by 5mppa in 2030 (of a total of 315 m) rising to 35mppa by 2050 (of a total of 445 m) ”

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and

DfT 2013 runway capacity forecasts

“As airports fill up and become constrained passengers either re-allocate to a less preferred airport or are deterred by the increased prices at the constrained airports from travelling altogether.”

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and

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“The central forecasts suggest that all the South East airports would be at capacity at around 2030 and the larger airports outside the South East from about 2040. At the low end of the forecast range, the South East airports in total are at capacity by 2040. The high range forecast is that the South East airports are full by 2025.”

DfT 2013 terminal pax

 


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Airport capacity crisis? What crisis?

Briefing by the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)

October 2012

http://www.aef.org.uk/uploads/Airport_capacity_crisis__what_crisis.doc 

Since the Government announced its policy of opposition to new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, the aviation industry has been working hard to put out the message that there is a crisis in airport capacity in the South East.

Perhaps as a result, much of the recent reporting and political discussion about airports has started from the assumption that we need new runways, asking “if not at Heathrow, then where?”

In fact, there is no evidence of a crisis in capacity and no urgent need for new runways. 

New forecasts of passenger demand were published by the Government in August 2011.  These forecasts show a massive reduction in expected future levels of demand compared with the heady forecasts produced in 2003.  Those forecasts led to the Government’s ‘white paper’ which supported new runways at Heathrow and Stansted as well as a new runway in the Midlands and one in Scotland.   Even in 2007 demand was predicted to be 495 million passengers per year (mppa) at 2030, but by 2011 the forecast had fallen to 343 mppa.

Even the latest forecasts are probably still too high because they assume:

  • A resumption in economic growth at around 2% pa or above and continuing indefinitely, which is very uncertain
  • No increase in oil prices (despite evidence of increasing demand and increasingly difficult and expensive approaches to extraction), and
  • A continuation of aviation’s tax exemptions (including no fuel tax and no VAT)

More detail on the forecasts is given on our website (http://www.aef.org.uk/uploads/AEF_Passenger_Forecasts_analysis_1.pdf  , where there is a link to a detailed report by AEF of 24pp).

The only airport in the entire country where there is a gap between demand and supply in terms of runway capacity, either now or any time soon, is Heathrow.   And despite the recent hysteria about constraints at Heathrow, there is sufficient runway capacity serving London and SE England to continue to meet demand.

The Government forecasts show that passenger demand could be almost entirely met with existing infrastructure until 2030.  Even if no new runways were built anywhere in the UK, less than 3% of potential air traffic would be squeezed out.  (‘Constrained demand at 2030 is 335mppa, compared with unconstrained demand of 345mppa.)

 

Do we need to cater for more business travellers?

A key question is whether business travel would be squeezed out.   The answer is almost certainly no.

CAA statistics indicate that only about 23% of air travel is for business.  The great majority of the growth in demand is for leisure.

Business travel is very ‘inelastic’.  This is entirely explicable – a highly paid business person wanting to travel to China to negotiate a multi-million pound deal is not going to be put off because he or she has to take a flight from one airport rather than another or because it is slightly more expensive.

Leisure travel is, by contrast, widely accepted as discretionary and highly ‘elastic’.  If a particular trip is not convenient or becomes more expensive, people may chose to spend their money on something else.

For these reasons, the 3% of traffic that would be squeezed out by 2030 if no runways were built would be almost entirely leisure.  There would be virtually no loss of business travel and therefore no loss of trade or loss to the UK economy.

There may well be benefit to certain airlines or airport operators if certain airports were expanded (eg Heathrow) or a new airport was built (eg Thames estuary).  However, this is a completely different matter to benefits for UK passengers or economic benefits arising from business travel.

 

Can Government forecasts be trusted?

Government forecasts have recently come in for something of a battering.  The aviation forecasts are certainly fallible and have been revised 4 times since 2003 – each time downwards. But they are rigorously produced and improvements to the assumptions have been made over time so the official figures can serve as a useful check against the often wildly exaggerated forecasts by airports, produced to support business plans and please shareholders.

AEF considers that ultimately airports policy should not be determined solely by individuals’ demand for travel but also by society’s demands both for protection from unacceptable noise and air pollution, and for political action to tackle climate change.  But even if the Government imposed no new constraints on aviation for environmental reasons, there would be sufficient airport capacity to cater for all aviation demand until nearly 2030.

 

For more information, please contact:

info@aef.org.uk    0207 248 2223

Aviation Environment Federation, Broken Wharf House, 2 Broken Wharf, London EC4V 3DT

Airport capacity crisis? What crisis?” 

http://www.aef.org.uk/uploads/Airport_capacity_crisis__what_crisis.doc

 

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Adonis:

Adonis was a key figure in the aftermath of the 2010 general election, which produced a hung parliament with the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition.  Adonis then stepped down from front line politics.  He later returned to active politics in 2012 as part of Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet reshuffle. He is currently working with Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna on crafting Labour’s industrial strategy, and has also taken up roles as Shadow Minister for Infrastructure in the House of Lords, and overseeing the Armitt Review, which is looking at future infrastructure plans for the Labour Party.

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Earlier:

Ed Miliband launches Adonis Growth Review

11 July 2013 (Labour Party website)

Ed_LOUEd Miliband launches Adonis Growth Review

“There will be less money around so we need new ideas to reform our economy and rebuild Britain.”

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, and Lord Adonis, Labour’s Shadow Infrastructure Minister, will today launch an independent growth review which is due to be published in spring 2014.

The Adonis Growth Review, which is jointly supported by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Policy Network, will set out a radical agenda for change to revitalise the British economy by supporting business innovation and growth across the country. Raising the quality and rate of job creation is crucial to enabling Britain to compete more effectively in the 21st century.

Over the next few months, Lord Adonis will be touring the country to hear the views of local businesses, colleges and communities taking into account the diverse challenges to innovation and growth faced by the different regions.

Speaking at a visit to Crossrail in London, Mr Miliband said: 

“The last Labour government rebuilt our schools and rescued our NHS so that these key services worked better for the people of Britain.

“The next Labour government will need the same level of ambition in rebuilding our economy to secure a recovery made by many which is built to last.

“That is why I am delighted that Andrew Adonis has agreed to lead this independent review on growth.

“Having played such a key role reforming our public services before, he will now be applying similar radical thinking to industrial policy so that we can rebuild our economy, equip Britain with the skills and better jobs we need to pay our way in the world.

“There will be less money around so we need new ideas. And that is where the hard work comes in to make the economic reforms needed to create a more responsible capitalism. This is one of the key ways we can make a huge difference to people’s lives while also demonstrating the discipline required to get the deficit down.

“A One Nation Labour government will work with business to deliver more youth apprenticeships and promote long term growth, work with entrepreneurs to encourage innovation, and work with local government to build the infrastructure Britain needs in the future, like Crossrail.

“But none of this will happen without new ideas, careful planning and consistency. This is an important review and I will be looking forward to reading its conclusions as part of the preparations we undertake for the next Labour government.”

Lord Adonis said: 

“We need to promote more and better jobs by radically improving skills, the national infrastructure, levels of business innovation, and the strength of key industrial sectors. Government needs to be far more engaged and hands-on to make this happen.

“The status quo is dire: youth unemployment of a million, Britain with one of the worst infrastructures in the developed world, including a massive housing shortage, pitiful levels of investment and R & D across much of the economy, and lacklustre export performance. Britain is stagnant, with 2.5 million unemployed and a squeeze on real living standards, and all this needs to change. I hope to chart a credible strategy for change in all these key areas.”

http://www.labour.org.uk/ed-miliband-launches-adonis-growth-review

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Stansted airport owners would question the integrity of Airports Commission if Stansted not on the shortlist

The Sunday Times says that the owners of Stansted airport, the Manchester Airports Group, are concerned by the leaks that have circulated in the past week, that a runway at Stansted is not on the short list. The Sunday Times says MAG will demand a full analysis of how the Airports Commission came to their decision, how independent the process has been, and they will want to see all the methodology of how the decision was reached. They would question the integrity of the process, if only Heathrow is selected as the runway location.  MAG claim a new Stansted runway could be built for £4 billion, while a new  Heathrow runway would cost £14 – 18 billion. Meanwhile, Stansted’s owners are just working to build its passenger numbers back to where they were 7 years ago. With the airport currently operating at only half its permitted capacity a 2nd runway is not commercially viable, and it would be completely unacceptable to local communities on environmental grounds. This challenge by MAG is strangely ironic considering the legal challenge by Stop Stansted Expansion, against the Commission, due to potential bias because of the involvement of MAG’s Geoff Muirhead in the process.
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Stansted threatens runway planners

Airport owner warns Davies commission expansion plans must be ‘credible’

John Collingridge (Sunday Times)
15 December 2013
££

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1352736.ece

The Sunday Times says that the owners of Stansted airport, the Manchester Airports Group, are concerned by the leaks that have circulated in the past week, that a runway at Stansted is not on the short list. The Sunday Times says MAG will demand a full analysis of how the Airports Commission came to their decision, how independent the process has been, and they will want to see all the methodology of how the decision was reached. They would question the integrity of the process, if only Heathrow is selected as the runway location.  MAG claim a new Stansted runway could be built for £4 billion, while a new  Heathrow runway would cost £14 – 18 billion. Meanwhile, Stansted’s owners are just working to build its passenger numbers back to where they were 7 years ago. With the airport currently operating at only half its permitted capacity a 2nd runway is not commercially viable, and it would be completely unacceptable to local communities on environmental grounds. This challenge by MAG is strangely ironic considering the legal challenge by Stop Stansted Expansion, against the Commission, due to potential bias because of the involvement of MAG’s Geoff Muirhead in the process.

 

Earlier:

Stansted’s submission to Airports Commission  (pdf 72 pages)


 

Owners of Stansted, MAG, submit their plans for a 2nd runway – or to become a 4-runway hub

July 19, 2013    MAG, the owner of Stansted, are submitting their proposals for a 2nd runway to the Airports Commission. They also believe it has the potential to become a UK future 4 runway hub airport. MAG argues that the airport offers the cheapest and least environmentally damaging location (quite how it could do that, on a countryside location is unclear) for a 4-runway airport and estimate that it would cost £10 billion, although no detailed plans have been drawn up. Local campaign group, Stop Stansted Expansion, said that the MAG proposals were reheating plans put forward back in 2002 that were withdrawn by BAA, the former owners, in 2010. SSE’s chairman said: “We really shouldn’t have to go through this whole argument again just three years after the last threat was lifted. We are profoundly disappointed that MAG has behaved in this opportunistic and irresponsible way. With the airport currently operating at only half its permitted capacity a 2nd runway – never mind a 4-runway hub double the size of Heathrow today – is completely unnecessary on business grounds and it would be completely unacceptable on environmental grounds.” MAG has to admit that it could serve almost double the current number of passengers, without any more infrastructure for some years.

Click here to view full story…

 

Below are the three images of possible runway locations from the Stansted airport submission

Stansted’s submission to Airports Commission  (pdf 72 pages)

Stansted one north west runway

Stansted one east runway

Stansted hub airport with 4 runways

 

 

CAA aviation statistics

Terminal Passengers

Number of passengers (thousands)
UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 10.3)  Terminal Passengers  2002 – 2012
2012    17,464,792  (down – 3.2% on 2011)
2011    18,042,400  (down – 2.8 % on 2010))
2010    18,562  (down – 7% on 2009)     
2009   19,951.7  (down -10.7% on 2008)
2008    22,340   (down -6% on 2007)
2007    23,759  (no increase)
2006    23,680
2005    21,992
2000    11,858
1996     4,808
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“Here we go again” – SSE slams opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless expansion proposals for Stansted

July 19, 2013    Proposals from the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) to develop Stansted into a 2-runway, or even a 4-runway, airport have been described by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) as “opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless”. SSE Chairman Peter Sanders said: “It is of little consolation that MAG has framed its proposals in an unenthusiastic, half-hearted way which grudgingly admits that it would be ‘willing’ to add an extra runway or runways at Stansted, about 15 years from now, if that’s what the Airports Commission and the Government decide is best. This will be seen by many as an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for any decision to expand the airport.” The MAG proposals resurrect the expansion options for Stansted put forward by the Government in July 2002. These all came to nothing but it took an 8-year battle before BAA conceded defeat and withdrew its plans for a 2nd runway. Between 2002 to 2010 needless stress and anxiety was caused to those whose homes were threatened by the bulldozer and over a £1billion was wiped off local house prices – all for nothing. Now, just 3 years later, there is the prospect of another prolonged battle over the same issue.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Zac Goldsmith warns Cameron that going back on his promise on Heathrow would never be forgiven in west London

Zac Goldsmith. the Conservative MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, has said the main party leaders should “come clean” about the expansion of Heathrow. He also questioned the independence of the Airports Commission’s interim report, to be published on 17th. The Conservative Party insisted the Commission’s report was independent – but Zac said: “It looks very much like George Osborne in particular has been knocking it about in the last few days so that what finally emerges on Tuesday will not just be about Heathrow expansion. We will have a few other synthetic options thrown in as well just to enable the government to maintain that ambiguity, cynically I believe, until after the next election.”  Zac also said that David Cameron himself has to think very carefully about what he says on Heathrow. “Politically a U-turn on this issue would be catastrophic for him. You have to remember it wasn’t just a few party speeches, David Cameron went to every single constituency affected and stood up and said ‘no ifs, no buts, there will be no Heathrow expansion’.” If Cameron went back on this promise it “would be an off-the-scale betrayal and he will never be forgiven in west London”.
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Zac Goldsmith challenges leaders over Heathrow expansion

14.12.2013 (BBC)

The main party leaders should “come clean” about the expansion of Heathrow Airport, a Conservative MP has said.

Zac Goldsmith said it would be “catastrophic” for Prime Minister David Cameron if he reversed his earlier position and supported a third runway.

Mr Goldsmith also questioned the independence of an interim report by the Airports Commission on airport expansion to be published next week.

The Conservative Party insisted the report was independent.

Its final report is due to be published after the next general election in 2015.

Mr Goldsmith, whose Richmond Park and North Kingston constituency in south-west London would be affected by Heathrow expansion, told BBC Newsnight: “This review was always supposed to be an independent, arm’s-length review. It seems very clear now that it’s nothing of the sort.

“It looks very much like [Chancellor] George Osborne in particular has been knocking it about in the last few days so that what finally emerges on Tuesday will not just be about Heathrow expansion.

“We will have a few other synthetic options thrown in as well just to enable the government to maintain that ambiguity, cynically I believe, until after the next election.”

‘Accepting expansion’

The head of the Airports Commission, Sir Howard Davies, has said the “provisional conclusion” is that extra runway capacity would be needed in the South East in the coming decades.

Includes a good 7  minute film clip, including comments from Zac  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25375563

Zac Goldsmith: “Politically, a U-turn on this issue would be catastrophic for David Cameron”

The expansion of Heathrow has been a divisive issue, with Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson proposing a new airport hub to the east of the capital and others backing an expansion of either Stansted in Essex or Gatwick in West Sussex.

Labour had approved an extra, third runway at Heathrow, but the plan was abandoned by the coalition government when it took power in May 2010.

Mr Goldsmith, who has been a leading opponent of the expansion, has promised to trigger a by-election if his party’s position changed and would stand down as a Conservative if the 2015 manifesto supported Heathrow expansion.

“I think, because of what we know was in the original first draft of this report, irrespective of what is produced on Tuesday, we know that if the parties accept this report in general they are accepting Heathrow expansion,” he said.

“I think they need to come clean about that.”

‘Never forgiven’

He continued: “David Cameron himself has to really think very carefully about this.

“Politically a U-turn on this issue would be catastrophic for him. You have to remember it wasn’t just a few party speeches, David Cameron went to every single constituency affected and stood up and said ‘no ifs, no buts, there will be no Heathrow expansion’.

Mr Goldsmith said a reversal of positions by the prime minister on the issue “would be an off-the-scale betrayal and he will never be forgiven in west London”.

The Conservative Party made no comment on Mr Goldsmith’s remarks.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has accused David Cameron of setting up the commission “to provide cover for a U-turn on Heathrow”.

Expansion of Heathrow “would be wrong for London and wrong for the country”, the London mayor told the Daily Telegraph.

Earlier this week, Slough, Ealing and Hounslow councils said the closing of Heathrow to open a new hub airport in the capital would be “devastating”, with up to 70,000 local jobs put at risk.

Map showing three possible locations for a third runway
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25375563
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2nd Gatwick runway could ‘spell the end’ for Hever Castle as a tourist attraction due to the relentless aircraft noise

A 2nd runway at Gatwick could “spell the end” for one of the area’s top tourist attractions, Hever Castle, which was the home of Anne Boleyn. The castle’s chief executive Duncan Leslie fears the increase in planes overhead could ruin the historic castle and gardens, due to the relentless, almost non-stop noise. To make the situation still worse, planes enter the airport’s ILS landing system close to Hever, and tend to come up into it from below, with extra engine  noise, especially if simultaneously making a turn.  Duncan Leslie explained that when visitors come to rural attractions they are expecting a degree of peace and tranquillity. However, with the flight path for Gatwick – just some 13 miles away – over the castle and its grounds, visitors are being deterred. Already putting on outdoor theatre is almost impossible, as the plays are interrupted every couple of minutes. A group of Chinese tour operators visiting Hever had said they were astonished that the Government allowed aircraft to fly low over Hever. A high proportion of Hever’s visitors are from overseas. Mr Leslie said: “If our internationally popular tourist attractions become noise ghettoes, it does not matter how big the airports are, we will not get more tourists coming here.”  Mr Leslie has asked his local council, Sevenoaks, to oppose Gatwick’s plans for a 2nd runway.
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Gatwick runway could ‘spell the end’ for Hever Castle tourism

 September 17, 2013


A SECOND runway at Gatwick Airport could “spell the end” for one of the area’s top tourist attractions.

Hever Castle’s chief executive Duncan Leslie fears the increase in planes overhead could ruin the historic castle and gardens with non-stop noise.

  1. Hever

     

Gatwick, the world’s busiest single-runway airport, proposed building a second runway in July to the Airport Commission, which is looking at how to increase air travel capacity around London. A second runway could almost double the number of planes taking off and landing each hour.

Duncan Leslie said: “When people come to rural attractions they are expecting a degree of peace and tranquillity. The planes increasing in number would damage the business.”

Mr Leslie has now written to Sevenoaks District Council urging them to oppose Gatwick’s plans. The letter states: “We believe that a second runway would almost certainly spell the end for Hever Castle as a visitor attraction.”

“We are one of the nation’s favourite heritage attractions,” Mr Leslie added. “People come from all over the world to see it but it’s spoilt with these aeroplanes. If they treble the amount of aeroplanes it’s not going to be very tranquil and that’s going to make it very difficult for Hever to compete.”

Hever Castle supports up to 280 jobs in season and while it is currently profitable, Mr Leslie said any increase in aircraft noise could prove fatal. He believes a second runway could mean one low-flying aircraft over Hever ever minute.

“It’s all about the last 10% – the final 10% of visitors in a good year is what makes a profit,” he said. “But that is threatened if it gets a lot noisier. It would take us from being successful to really struggling.”

The council is due to vote on their position on a second runway at Gatwick on Tuesday.

Mr Leslie said: “I hope Sevenoaks District Council will support us and hopefully the powers that be will put a greater value on our heritage – it’s not something you can replace. I think we risk losing a very important part of that history if we put the commerce of one airport ahead of that.”

A spokesman from the council said: “We have previously raised concerns about the impact of additional flights operating from Gatwick because of the potential noise and disturbance affecting our communities and businesses in the south of the district.

“Our Local Planning and Environment Advisory Committee will meet next Tuesday to discuss the (second runway) proposals before we make a formal response. The letter from Hever Castle will be presented to the committee as part of their discussions.”

Grant Payne, a Gatwick Airport spokesman, told the Courier they were undertaking studies to look at minimising the environmental impact, including noise disruption, of different runway options.

“Any new runway option, at Gatwick or elsewhere, will have some noise impacts,” he said. “However, with a second runway at Gatwick there would still be significantly fewer people affected by noise than at Heathrow, for example.”

Mr Payne added Gatwick took noise complaints seriously and was working hard to combat it through schemes such as blight compensation and domestic noise insulation.

http://www.sevenoakschronicle.co.uk/Gatwick-runway-spell-end-Hever-Castle-tourism/story-19806450-detail/story.html

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Mr Leslie said:

“We have the double whammy that apparently to enter the ILS the planes have to do so from   below and so we get the noise of the aircraft parrying up to make their turn, as well as rising  up into the ILS.  Despite the fact that we put a man on the moon over 40 years ago, they have not worked out how to get an aeroplane to drop into an ILS from above.”

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“My concern is that aircraft flying over e very minute would create a reputation for  Hever Castle as a place of noise and ugly aeroplanes. It totally goes against the whole point of having an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and the impact of the aircraft noise here is felt much more than it would be in an urban environment.  Hever Castle does not even have a “B” road within a mile of it and I would have thought that being this close to London (21 miles as the crow flies), it should be given special treatment, especially as it is within an AONB.”

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“It seems ironic to me that one of the reasons so many people are championing expansion of the airports is to increase tourism. When visiting Hever Castle, one large group of Chinese tour operators said that they were astonished that the Government allowed aircraft to fly low over Hever Castle. If our internationally popular tourist attractions become noise ghettoes,it does not matter how big the airports are, we will not get more tourists coming here. The special places  this country has, such as those in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are, by their very definition, the sort of places that tourists are most likely to visit. They should be properly protected, especially those which have tourist attractions with in them.”

 


 

Below is an image captured off Flightradar24  http://www.flightradar24.com showing a plane coming in to land at Gatwick, right over Hever. This plane is at approximately 3,500 feet  (FL 035).

Hever smaller scale

The plane shown below approaching Hever is at 4,800 feet.

Hever 2


 

Hever Parish Council says:

Aircraft Noise

Hever Parish is affected if the wind is in the wrong direction by noise of aircraft landing at Gatwick airport. In recent years this noise seems to have intensified. Some in the parish are far more affected than others due to the location of their properties, if you are affected it is important that you make Gatwick aware of it. The statistics of complaints and comments are recorded but if you don’t contact airport via the contact details below, you will not be on the list!

The Parish Council are working with the airport and local groups to try to achieve a reduction in the noise experienced in the parish. An atmosphere more conducive to change is prevailing with the election of a Conservative Government and a new noise meter has recently been fitted in the Parish by Gatwick.

To COMPLAIN about Gatwick aircraft noise, telephone 0800 393 070 (freephone) or email Noise.Line@Gatwickairport.com .

Please make sure that you include the date time and location of the incident being reported.

http://hever.org/your-society/aircraft-noise/

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Earlier:

 2007

Tranquillity of Hever destroyed by Gatwick jets

By Roland Hancock (Teleglraph)

17 Apr 2007

Anne Boleyn’s childhood home has survived Henry VIII’s wrath, centuries of neglect and two world wars.

But Hever Castle in Kent is facing a new threat from the air as peaceful family days out are shattered by the incessant roar of jets heading for Gatwick Airport, just 10 miles away.

Campaigners and management say the noise from aircraft is strangling its appeal as a tourist attraction and filming location. Its open-air theatre company is considering moving on because members are tired of having their performances ruined by overhead noise.

Robert Pullin was managing director at Hever for more than 20 years before stepping down earlier this year. He said: “There is no doubt that there has been an impact on the business, and an environmental impact on the buildings and gardens.

“If you’re out on a family picnic in the gardens, what would be a tranquil setting is totally ruined.”

He said the castle has lost lucrative business from film makers. “How can these people film out in the open with an aeroplane going over every two minutes?” he said.

Worst affected is the open-air theatre, which hosts musicals and plays throughout the summer. “What could be better than orchestral music in the peace and quiet of the countryside? But then you get to the romantic part of a recital and the music is drowned out by a 747,” said Mr Pullin.

One orchestral performance was interrupted 36 times by planes flying overhead last summer. Ron Palmer, the managing director of the Hever Lakeside Theatre, estimates that his ticket sales are 10 per cent down because of the noise.

“I’m semi-sympathetic to those who complain if they spend £20 on a performance which is completely ruined.

“We have been here for 23 years, but there is a real possibility that we would have to move if the problem gets any worse.”

The castle’s staunchest defender is David Baron, the founder of the Gatwick Anti-Noise Group. Mr Baron, who lives in Hever village, has had a noise meter installed in his garden by the British Airports Authority (BAA), which runs Gatwick. Noise levels of 70 decibels – about the same as a vacuum cleaner – are regularly recorded.

Mr Baron said: “It doesn’t sound like much, but every two minutes it is very, very annoying. The real problems started a year ago, when the flight path was narrowed. Suddenly every single plane went straight over Hever. We have been battling with BAA ever since to get it changed.”

Mr Baron has spoken to pilots, who say they use the castle as a landmark to guide in their jets.

Richard Norman, from the environment, strategy and stakeholder management department at Gatwick, said: “The minimum altitude at which National Air Traffic Services (Nats), who manage the airspace around Gatwick, are permitted to direct aircraft in the Hever area is 2,000 feet.

“In reality this is very seldom the case and the average height of arriving aircraft at Hever is around 3,200 feet.

“Hever is situated approximately 10.5 nautical miles from touchdown. The airport has no jurisdiction to change flight paths. This is set by the Civil Aviation Authority and operational management of airspace is carried out by Nats.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1548809/Tranquillity-of-Hever-destroyed-by-Gatwick-jets.html

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

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

29.11.2013  (Kent Messenger)

The new owner of Manston Airport has wasted no time in making her mark on the site she bought for £1.

Scottish businesswoman Ann Gloag, who established the Stagecoach Group, announced the appointment of Alastair Welch to the board just minutes after the official paperwork for the sale went through today.

Turnaround specialist Mr Welch will work alongside chief executive Charles Buchanan in running the airport and deciding future strategy.

Manston Airport
Manston Airport

 

Ms Gloag said: “As the new owner of Manston Airport, I am ready to work on investigating opportunities for growth at Manston.

“I have over 30 years experience in the transport industry and will use that expertise as best as I can to optimise both freight and passenger growth at Manston.

“To help me in that challenge, I am delighted to have on board Alastair Welch. He will lead our work at the airport, working alongside Charles Buchanan and the wider Manston team as we scope the future strategy of the business.

Chief executive Charles Buchanan, pictured, will work alongside turnaround specialist Alastair Welch

“Whilst this is a loss making airport, I hope that with the co-operation of our neighbours and the wider community of Kent, the airport partners and staff, we can capitalise on the opportunities available to give Kent the best chance possible of having a successful and vibrant airport.”

Last month it was annoucned Manston was to be bought from Infratil Ltd by Lothian Shelf (710) Limited, wholly owned by Ms Gloag.

Incoming board member Mr Welch joined BAA at Heathrow in 1995, taking on roles in operations, finance, corporate strategy and project management.

After working as general manager at Stansted from 2001 to 2006, he became managing director at Southend Airport from 2007 before taking on his latest role.

At Southend he oversaw the construction of a new terminal, rail station, control tower, hotel, road and runway extension, as well as the introduction of Easyjet, Tui and Aer Lingus services.

Mr Welch added: “Our focus will be on doing what we need to do to build a successful business and we are looking at all options to give us the best chance of achieving that.

“For the airport to thrive and fulfil its potential, it is vital that we create an environment where new partners are attracted to do business at Manston.

“We are already working hard exploring a number of opportunities and we greatly appreciate the positive support we have received from key stakeholders and staff so far.

“Manston’s future not only depends on Ann Gloag and our team. It also depends on a collaborative approach from everyone in Kent who wants the airport to thrive.

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders to make this happen.”

Manston Airport operates twice daily KLM flights connecting Kent to worldwide destinations via Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter said: “We are delighted that Manston Airport has ambitious new owners in Ann Gloag and her company.

“Manston Airport has massive potential to create prosperity and job opportunities in East Kent.

“We at Kent County Council are here to help facilitate the new owners in creating new and exciting opportunities at the airport.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet_extra/news/shake-up-at-airport-9614/

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Earlie

Southend Airport boss, Alistair Welch, quits – reason not disclosed

July 20, 2013     In a surprise announcement, managing director Alastair Welch, who has led Southend airport since before the Stobart Group bought it for £21 million in 2008, said he would leave at the end of July. Paying tribute to Mr Welch Stobart Group boss, Andrew Tinkler, said a team had been put in place to ensure the smooth running of the airport and its continued success. Roger Clements, who has been working for Stobart Air for some time, will take over as managing director in August, with David Lister as airport operations director and Graham Moorhouse as chief financial officer. Andrew Tinkler said: “The transformation of the airport has been led by Alastair Welch, who has been supported by a dedicated, hard-working team. Alastair has decided that, with the redevelopment of the airport all-but complete, the time is now right for him to move on to new challenges.” Mr Welch has overseen installation of a new control tower, railway station, runway extension and terminal, attracted EasyJet to use the airport, got a massive increase in passengers and flights, and the one millionth passenger. Mr Welch was “unavailable for comment.” Reason for his leaving not publicised nor information on his next move.     Click here to view full story…

 

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