Heathrow investors snub Chris Grayling’s request for their funding of Heathrow Hub scheme

Some of Heathrow’s leading shareholders have snubbed a request from the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to back the Heathrow Hub scheme, that involves adding another runway at the western end of the northern runway.  Sky News understands that big investors in FGP Topco, Heathrow’s parent company, are refusing to give a written commitment to funding the rival scheme.  Heathrow argues that it has not done sufficient due diligence to justify giving its backing to Heathrow Hub.  Mr Grayling made the request at a meeting with the two runway promoters last month, since when further talks have been held between executives at Heathrow and Heathrow Hub. While it is understood John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO, would accept the Hub plan if he cannot get his north-west runway,  the airport’s leading shareholders are refusing to back it.  They believe future financial returns would be lower with the Hub scheme than the NW runway scheme. Sky News has been told that Mr Holland-Kaye had been told by his shareholders that acknowledging any support for the Hub scheme would be a tactical error, at a time they believe is so close to an announcement by the Government. Both Heathrow schemes have offered cut-price versions of their proposals in a bid to convince ministers of their merits.  FGP Topco’s shareholders are Ferrovial (25% stake), and sovereign wealth and pension funds from Australia, Canada, China, Qatar and Singapore.
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Heathrow investors snub Grayling call for Hub commitment

Leading Heathrow shareholders are refusing to back a rival proposal following talks with Chris Grayling, Sky News learns.

By Mark Kleinman, City Editor  (Sky News)

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Some of Heathrow Airport’s leading shareholders have snubbed a request from the Transport Secretary to back a scheme that would involve extending its northern runway.

Sky News understands that big investors in FGP Topco, the airport’s parent company, are refusing to back Chris Grayling’s suggestion that Heathrow gives a written commitment to implementing a proposal from Heathrow Hub, a rival.

Mr Grayling made the request at a meeting with the two runway promoters last month, since when further talks have been held between executives at Heathrow and Heathrow Hub.

Sources said that John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, was “constructive” about the idea of backing the cheaper Heathrow Hub plan if ministers recommend it in the coming weeks.

However, insiders said on Tuesday that Mr Holland-Kaye had been told by his shareholders that acknowledging any support for the rival scheme would be a tactical error so close to an announcement by the Government.

Expansion at Gatwick Airport remains another option under consideration by ministers as they seek to resolve the long-running debate about Britain’s aviation capacity crunch.

FGP Topco’s shareholders are led by Ferrovial, the Spanish infrastructure group, which has a 25% stake.

Sovereign wealth and pension funds from Australia, Canada, China, Qatar and Singapore own the bulk of Heathrow’s shares.

Heathrow argues that it has not done sufficient due diligence to justify giving its backing to Heathrow Hub, whose controlling investor has pledged to hand to charity any profit he makes from licensing the idea to the airport’s owner.

Sources said, though, that the objection of some of Heathrow’s shareholders to Mr Grayling’s request stemmed from the fact that future financial returns would be lower if a cheaper expansion scheme was given the go-ahead.

The charges that airports are allowed to impose on customers are dictated by the Civil Aviation Authority’s calculation of their Regulated Asset Base, a figure which would be significantly higher if Heathrow builds a new third runway.

A Heathrow Hub spokesman said: “We have always enjoyed cordial relations with Heathrow and its management.

“We think it is inconceivable that if the Government recommended our cheaper and simpler proposal, that Heathrow’s shareholders would refuse to implement it.”

Sky News revealed during the summer that Anthony Clake, who oversees roughly $10bn at Marshall Wace Asset Management, is the majority shareholder in Heathrow Hub.

Mr Clake has pledged to cap the cost of licensing the scheme at £5m-a-year, removing a potential objection from the owner of the site.

The Government is expected to announce its preferred location for a new runway in mid-October, paving the way for a giant infrastructure project which the private sector has argued is essential to demonstrating that Britain is “open for business”.

Heathrow Hub had been viewed as the rank outsider following Sir Howard Davies’ recommendation last year that the airport should be able to build a third runway.

Gatwick, which has prominent backers in the form of the new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is also lobbying furiously on the grounds that a new runway there would cost less, cause less environmental and noise pollution, and deliver many of the same economic benefits as its larger rival.

In recent weeks, however, support has begun to build for the Heathrow Hub scheme, with the parent company of British Airways recently arguing that it should be given serious consideration.

Lord Maude, the former trade minister, has also given his support to Heathrow Hub.

Mr Clake previously said: “The Heathrow Hub scheme is cheaper, simpler and quieter than Heathrow Airport Ltd’s third runway.

“It can also be phased, so the introduction of new slots will be gradual.

“An extended runway will deliver all the economic benefits and new capacity of a third runway but at lower environmental, social and financial cost.”

A decision about a new runway was expected to be taken by David Cameron shortly after the EU referendum, if the Remain campaign had won.

Mr Lowe wrote to George Osborne, Mr Hammond’s predecessor, in June, warning that a new third runway proposed by Heathrow Airport Holdings “could require a Government guarantee from HM Treasury”.

He argued that Heathrow Hub would cost less than £10bn, which would be at least £6bn cheaper than a new third runway.

Both Heathrow schemes have offered cut-price versions of their proposals in a bid to convince ministers of their merits.

http://news.sky.com/story/heathrow-investors-snub-chris-grayling-hub-plea-10596395

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Blog: The case against Heathrow is not the case for Gatwick

In a blog for The London Economic, Jack Peat writes that just because there are strong arguments against a 3rd Heathrow runway is not a good enough reason to opt for a Gatwick runway. He says: “The easiest way to spot a failing campaign is to seek out the one that argues the shortcomings of its opponent rather than championing its own merits.” Gatwick has spent a lot of time and effort putting out negative messaging about Heathrow. There are rumours about that Theresa May might tell both airports they can have a new runway – with a lot of conditions. It Gatwick is allowed a runway, it will be for all the wrong reasons. The Richmond Heathrow Campaign has shown that a high proportion of the added capacity from a 3rd Heathrow runway would only be for more international-to-international transfers. These deliver almost no benefit to the UK economy, other than filling up planes that fly many times per day to the most popular (=profitable) destinations, like New York. Jack Peat says: “If expanding airport capacity in the south east is about catering for more transit passengers, I would happily hand that responsibility to Schiphol or Frankfurt.” Heathrow does not need to expand for that. Unless there is more demand for regular domestic and short-haul flights to Europe there won’t be the demand from the airlines to run more flights through Gatwick. “End of.”
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The Case Against Heathrow Is Not The Case For Gatwick

By Jack Peat (The London Economic)  @jacknpeat
23 Sep 2016

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It’s Either a Third Runway or No Runway, But Theresa May is on course to do both.

The easiest way to spot a failing campaign is to seek out the one that argues the shortcomings of its opponent rather than championing its own merits.

After years of deliberation, costly enquiries and even costlier marketing ploys the decision on airport capacity in southeast England, or so I’m reliably informed, is nigh. Rumours are that Theresa May will go ahead with expansion at Heathrow and appease the Gatwick campaigners by clearing the way for a second runway in Sussex too, which may be a politically safe manoeuvre but it does little to solve the problem at hand.

It appears that above the environmental protests and lobbying from Conservative peers such as Greening and Goldsmith et al, the party with the most sway has been those on the payroll at Gatwick, and they are campaigning for all the wrong reasons. But let’s start with the case against Heathrow in the shape of a “factsheet” compiled by Richmond Heathrow Campaign.

The Richmond Heathrow Campaign argues that Heathrow expansion diverts growth from the rest of the UK and reduces competition, yet to suggest the imbalance of growth in the southeast is uniformly an aviation thing is absurd. They say that new connections to long-haul destinations adds little value to the economy, yet last I heard we had pinned our hopes on being ‘open to the World’ following our decision to leave the EU.

They say that Heathrow reduces the number of inbound tourists to Britain, yet well over half the people that land in southwest London are destined for the capital and no one is suggesting blowing up the other five London airports that cater almost exclusively to this purpose. And they argue that there will be a negligible economic impact or that people won’t use Heathrow because it’s expensive, which clearly is not true. I can sympathise with their point that expansion may not be financially deliverable without substantial State aid, but Crossrail, the biggest infrastructure project to date in Britain, is being delivered on time and on budget, so let’s not kill the girl before she has had chance to live.

They do, however, raise a good point in questioning the value of International-to-International (I-to-I) passengers. According to the fact sheet running just two runways at Heathrow means a reduction in I-to-I transfer passengers which produces a 65 per cent growth in terminating passengers when combined with a 33 per cent increase in passenger capacity. There is little offsetting economic loss to the UK from reduced I-to-I transfer passengers, yet the case to expand airport capacity largely centres around that issue.

If expanding airport capacity in the south east is about catering for more transit passengers, I would happily hand that responsibility to Schiphol or Frankfurt. But cutting the need to expand Heathrow doesn’t make the case for expanding Gatwick. Of course there is more space for expansion an hour outside of London, of course there will be less noise pollution and fewer residential complaints, but the last I heard Gatwick is not full, and without regular domestic and short-haul flights to Europe there won’t be the demand from the airlines to run more flights through it. End of.

As I have said many times before, Heathrow is by far the worst option for airport expansion in London except for all the others. The logical course of action would be to build a third run way or not build at all. Theresa May is on course to do both.

http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/tle-pick/the-case-against-heathrow-is-not-the-case-for-gatwick/23/09/

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Emirates postpones its 4th daily Gatwick flight to Dubai – there are 6 per day from Heathrow

Emirates has confirmed it is postponing the launch of its fourth daily service from Dubai into Gatwick. Emirates had been due to start the 4th daily flight in October, which would have been the airline’s 10th daily service into London. An Emirates spokesperson said:  “Emirates can confirm that we are delaying the launch of our fourth daily service to London Gatwick. This decision was made as part of our routine operational review, to ensure that our capacity is deployed to best serve customer demand across our global network. We remain committed to London and will continue to serve our customers on this route with a total of 63 weekly flights from Heathrow and Gatwick.”  Back in March, Emirates has announced it would add its 10th daily flight to Dubai. It would have been a new B777-300ER  (eight first class suites, 42 in business class, and 310 in economy) and would have meant 4 from Gatwick and 6 from Heathrow per day. There were plans to change to an A380 from Heathrow from June.
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Emirates postpones fourth daily flight to Gatwick

22.9.2016

Emirates has confirmed it is postponing the launch of its fourth daily service into London’s Gatwick airport.

The carrier had been due to start the additional frequency on October, which would have been the airline’s 10th daily service into London.

But a post on routesonline.com today stated that the flights had been removed from the carrier’s inventory.

Business Traveller contacted Emirates for confirmation, and received the following statement from a spokesperson:

“Emirates can confirm that we are delaying the launch of our fourth daily service to London Gatwick. This decision was made as part of our routine operational review, to ensure that our capacity is deployed to best serve customer demand across our global network.

“We remain committed to London and will continue to serve our customers on this route with a total of 63 weekly flights from Heathrow and Gatwick.”

emirates.com

https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2016/09/22/emirates-delays-fourth-daily-flight-gatwick/ 


and earlier:

Emirates to add tenth daily London service

March 31, 2016
by BusinessTraveller

Emirates is to add a tenth daily service between Dubai and London from October.

The new B777-300ER flight to Gatwick will be the fourth daily service to the south London airport, and the tenth in total to the capital, complementing the Gulf carrier’s six daily flights to Heathrow.

The new service will launch on October 1, with EK023 departing Dubai at 0950, landing into Gatwick at 1430. The return leg EK024 will leave London at 1650, landing back into Dubai at 0240 the following day.

The B777-300ER serving the route will be configured for eight first class suites, 42 in business class, and 310 in economy.

The news comes just days after Emirates started its sixth daily frequency to Heathrow, initially operating the route with B777-300ER aircraft but with plans to upgrade flights to the carrier’s Airbus A380 superjumbo from June (see news February 12).

https://www.businesstraveller.com/news/2016/03/31/emirates-to-add-tenth-daily-london-service/

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UK’s smaller airports want proper government policy to boost their expansion

An article in Airport Technology makes the case for better UK aviation policy, to boost the regional airports and the smaller London airports – rather than focus only on Heathrow and Gatwick.  Airports like Luton, Stansted, Birmingham and London City do not want their interests overlooked, in the ill-advised focus just on “which of two sites to put a new runway.” Speaking on this at the Airport Design, Development and Engineering conference, representatives from the 4 airports reinforced their call on the government to support their expansion. They agreed that a better civil aviation policy is needed in order to build infrastructure, improve connectivity to and from the airports and “stay competitive in the fast growing, ultra-connected global aviation market.” But a lot of the usual PR and spin were trotted out, and the article repeats so many of the standard claims – that airports are vital for business growth; ignoring the tourism deficit caused by ever more UK residents taking cheap overseas leisure trips; ignoring the recent growth which is largely just making up the huge declines during the recession years; making unsound comparison with China; and entirely ignoring any adverse impacts of aviation on the populations overflown, or negatively affected by the industry.  There is, of course, no mention of carbon emissions. The industry is great at self-promotion, and only seeing one side of an argument. [Comments by AW on the text below, showing up some of these bits of spin].
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Forget Gatwick and Heathrow: UK’s smaller airports seek expansion

6 June 2016

By Eva Grey (Airport Technology)

 

Beyond the Heathrow versus Gatwick debate, UK’s other airports are experiencing unforeseen growth in their passenger numbers and are struggling to keep up with demand. During a panel discussion at the Airport Design, Development and Engineering conference, representatives from Birmingham, Stansted, Luton and City airports reinforced their call on the government to support their expansion.

While the country is growing increasingly impatient with the government’s hesitation on whether to deliver a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick, [because what the country has been told, probably wrongly, is the issue – for the benefit of the owners of these two airports.  AW comment]  the rest of the UK’s airports are feeling left out in dealing with an unprecedented level of growth. [That level of growth, recovering after the recession back to levels of around 2008 – scarcely above it. See 2005 – 2015 Air Transport Movements (= commercial flights) AW comment]. 

Dealing with interim passenger capacity is “a nice problem to have”, as chief executive officer at London City Airport Declan Collier put it, but it’s nonetheless a problem that has perplexed the government for the past fifty years.

Speaking on this issue at the Airports conference organised by New Civil Engineer, a panel of representatives of four of UK’s biggest airports agreed that a better civil aviation policy is desperately needed in order to build infrastructure, improve connectivity to and from the airports and stay competitive in the fast growing, ultra-connected global aviation market.

UK business demands extra airport capacity

“The UK economy and UK business wants this capacity tomorrow morning,” said chief executive office at Birmingham Airport Paul Kehoe. “It needs to connect the world blooming out there and we need to connect to that now, not wait 14 years.”  [What the UK economy wants first is more successful companies that can export.  They do not need an airport first. Airports don’t create successful businesses in the wider economy.  Causation and correlation are not the same thing. Lots of demand fills airports. There is quite enough airport capacity for any current business needs.  AW comment].

“That’s a disgrace, an absolute disgrace for the UK and we should be ashamed of ourselves.” [Airports, naturally, will believe that their existence is vital for the wider economy – but the reality may be different. Politicians need to consider very carefully the spin put out by the aviation industry. They are great self promoters. AW comment]

Birmingham Airport is just one of the hubs [it is not a hub, in the technical sense – lazy journalists often use this word, in their attempt not to use the word “airport” twice in the same sentence. AW comment]  that have seen great growth. Over the past two years, it has added five new long-haul routes to reach today’s total of eight, and “that growth is just continuing as people want to connect eastwards,” Kehoe says.

By the time the new runway will be operational at either Heathrow or Gatwick, around 2030 or 2035, other major infrastructure project such as HS2 and Hinkley Point will be here.

“The UK economy and UK business wants this capacity tomorrow morning.”  [The reality is the UK’s tourism deficit was about £16.9 billion in 2015, and likely to be higher this year, from ONS July figures. This is the excess of the money spent by UK residents taking trips abroad, over the amount spent by overseas residents taking trips to the UK.  It is largely due to air travel, as most trips are taken by air, other than those to places nearby in Europe. AW comment].

“When we get to 2030, Birmingham airport will have taken advantage of the market, making significant investments and rewards for our shareholders, but more importantly, for the local community we live in, the Midlands engine which is so desperate to connect with the world.”

Echoing Kehoe’s views, engineering services director for Manchester Airports Group Paul Willis reiterated that there are other airports in the UK that are delivering demand both Heathrow and Gatwick can’t constrain.

For example, London Stansted has 50% spare capacity that could be used and Willis approximates that around 40% of the possible demand that could be achieved in the London area could come through Stansted.

“We’ve got spare capacity and we want to introduce more long-haul flights to Stansted,” he says.

Better airport connectivity as a necessity for growth

Addressing the government’s aviation policy, Willis argues that everyone’s looking long term but missing short term fixes that need to be done, such as rail connectivity.

“The thing that frustrates us with the government [is that] they’re all focused on runways and concrete, whether that’s at Heathrow or Gatwick – and that’s not the only way that we can enlarge the catchment area and also drive capacity through our airports.”

Willis also called on the government to impose a tax break on Air Passenger Duty, an element that is “holding back” the airport from adding extra long-haul routes and expanding.

Possibly the best example of how airports were caught off guard by increased demand came from London Luton, which now has a physical capacity of 12.6 million passengers.

But back in August 2014, when Luton received planning permission to grow their capacity to 18 million, the airport expected to reach that level of demand no sooner than 2027. But the reality is that Luton will “be full” in 2019, nearly seven years before their prognosis. [Well, it might. And then again, it might not….]

“You can take two things from that: firstly, our forecasting skills are crap,” chief executive officer Nick Barton jokes. “The other thing is that London as a destination is probably the best global prospect in the world at the moment and tragically, we don’t have the physical capacity to support the growth of this great city”.

UK’s big infrastructure projects hinged on indecision

Luton is taking steps towards accommodating its future passengers by introducing a rail link which will be fully operational in 2020.

London City Airport has also embarked on a £340 million expansion plan ahead of it turning 30 years old next year. It is currently handling 5 million passengers out of a terminal originally built to handle only 3 million.  [And being in a totally inappropriate location for a busy airport, so close to the centre of London, it is causing huge unhappiness and unacceptable noise for thousands of residents.  AW comment]

Referencing a £200 million expansion turned down by former mayor Boris Johnson in 2015, London City’s Collier said: “The tragedy is that there is a huge demand for passengers to come to London, we have the ability to deliver more capacity and yet we struggle to get the permission to do it for the past two years.”  [And can you wonder why that is?  Looking at its location?  The industry loves to ignore inconvenient facts, like impact on communities.  AW comment]

He pointed out that in the time it will take to have the new runway in London, the major cities around the world will deliver 50 new runways, facilitating capacity for an extra 1 billion passengers. China alone, Collier says, will deliver 17 new airports over the next ten years.  [The reason for that is China is a newly rich country, that has only joined the top ranks of the aviation sector relatively recently.  Its aviation is growing hugely, and there is a massive population. By contrast, the UK has a very mature aviation industry. We have been flying, in huge numbers, for decades. We have a large number of airports already. AW comment].

“It’s a struggle that as a country we have to address. Just imagine how great Great Britain would be if we weren’t struggling with our inability to deliver major infrastructure projects and facilitate a planning system that would deliver those projects,” he said.

http://www.airport-technology.com/features/featureforget-gatwick-and-heathrow-uks-smaller-airports-seek-expansion-4914398/

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Edinburgh flight path consultation ends, with the second part due early in 2017

The consultation by Edinburgh airport on changes to flight paths that started in June has now ended. The airport says the results were mixed, with some people not expressing opposition.  This may be because the area that was covered by the consultation included places that have not seen increased plane noise, and have not been affected by the changes. There were around 5,000 responses, and the airport’s consultation website was viewed about 80,000 times.  Edinburgh airport say no changes could be made to existing flight paths until a further stage of consultation, proposing specific routes, was completed and the plans approved by the CAA. A detailed report on the airport’s consultation is due to be finished in January, and the second stage of the consultation will begin early in 2017. Some residents are already affected by noise pollution from changes in the flight paths and have accused the airport of pushing ahead with airspace expansion without considering other ways to increase capacity.  Edinburgh Airport Watch said that although the airport is ‘consulting’, they have already changed the pattern of use of the airspace – people have been robbed of their peace and quiet.  The airport wants the change flight paths, in order to get more planes taking off and landing at peak times of day, in order to make more money for the airport.

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Edinburgh Airport flight path consultation out next year

21.9.2016  (BBC)

Flight areas being looked at in the consultation

Image copyrightEDINBURGH AIRPORT

Flight areas being looked at in the consultation

Image caption Flight areas being looked at in the consultation

A detailed report on Edinburgh Airport’s initial consultation on altering flight paths is due to be finished in January.

Thousands of responses will help guide proposals that officials will put forward for the second stage of the consultation, set to begin early in 2017.

Scotland’s busiest airport received more than 5,000 responses.

The first phase in the consultation closed on Monday 19th September.

It ended a week later than planned after the airport was forced to apologise for losing almost 200 responses.

Edinburgh Airport asked for views on its “airspace change programme” in June this year.

Airport bosses have revealed the consultation website has been viewed about 80,000 times.

However, they said no changes could be made to existing flight paths until a further stage of consultation, proposing specific routes, was completed and the plans approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Some residents said they were already affected by noise pollution from changes in the flight paths and have accused the airport of pushing ahead with airspace expansion without considering other ways to increase capacity.

Peace and quiet

An Edinburgh Airport Watch spokeswoman said: “Although the airport is ‘consulting’, they have already changed the pattern of use of the airspace.

“We want them to change it back and restore to residents the peace and quiet we value so highly and believe that the airport has robbed from us.”

Gordon Robertson, the airport’s director of communications, described the level of feedback as “excellent” and said he acknowledged some people had “real concerns” about flight path changes.

He said: “Our data analysis team are working on delivering a detailed report on the first stage of our public consultation which will show detail on sentiment and the geographical spread of the feedback responses.

“Crucially, the responses we received will also help us map the design of the proposals that we put forward for the second stage of the consultation – set to begin early in 2017.

“We recognise that some people have very real concerns. The aim of the consultation process is to allow us to grow to meet the ever-increasing demand on our runway at peak times while minimising disruption on the ground.”

The proposed implementation of new flight paths would also coincide with the use of RNAV navigation technology, which will allow the airport to increase the number of aircraft which can take off and land.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-37428548

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Edinburgh Airport flightpath consultation reveals public divided over plans

21.9.2016 (Herald, Scotland)

By Helen McArdle, News Reporter

Edinburgh Airport says it needs a new flightpath amid a surge in passenger traffic

MORE than 5000 people have responded to a public consultation by Edinburgh Airport on plans to introduce a new flightpath over the capital.

A full analysis of the feedback is expected to be published at the end of October but it is understood that the responses are divided fairly evenly between those who are opposed to or concerned about the proposals and those who are either neutral to or in favour of the changes.

The ‘Let’s Go Further’ survey, which closed at midnight on Monday, asked people what “local factors” should be taken into account in designing the potential route.

Today, the airport’s director of communications, Gordon Robertson, confirmed that the consultation website had been viewed 80,000 times and attracted 5000 responses.

Mr Robertson said a full analysis would reveal “detail on sentiment and the geographical spread of the feedback responses” and “help us map the design of the proposals that we put forward”.

He added: “We recognise that some people have very real concerns. The aim of the consultation process is to allow us to grow to meet the ever increasing demand on our runway at peak times while minimising disruption on the ground.”

In January, the airport will set out potential routes as “lines on the map” before launching the second phase of the public consultation.

Mr Robertson added: “As we did in the first stage of our Airspace Change Programme we will be open, transparent and upfront with everyone as to why we are putting these flightpath proposals forward.”

Airport bosses say a third flightpath is needed to handle “strong levels of growth” in operations since 2013. Edinburgh Airport is currently the busiest in Scotland but its airspace has not been modernised since the 1970s. In July it recorded the busiest ever month at a Scottish airport with passenger traffic of more than 1.3 million.

However, a trial of a new flightpath over West Lothian was cut short in October 2015 after thousands of noise complaints from residents in communities including Uphall and Dechmont who claimed that they had been “brought to tears” by sound from low-flying planes.

Nonetheless, airport bosses later insisted that the trial had been a success, claiming that 40 per cent of the complaints had been lodged by the same five individuals while 57 per cent actually related to planes using the existing flightpaths – not the trial route.

When the airport launched its public consultation in June, bosses said they would “do all that we reasonably can to ensure that everyone has their say”. A publicity drive saw 640,000 leaflets to local households and businesses, with an advertising campaign via television, local newspapers and social media.

However, they were left red-faced after a highly-publicised data loss which saw nearly 200 people’s submissions accidentally erased during an upgrade of the consultation website between August 29 and September 2.

The consultation period was extended by one month with organisers appealing to anyone affected to re-submit their views. It is understood that the publicity surrounding the computer blunder sparked a surge in responses to the consultation, but campaigners said the error “invalidates the entire consultation process” and have appealed to the Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates flightpaths, to discount the results.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14754486.display/?utm_content=buffer96923&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

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Heathrow Hub says, to match Heathrow’s offer, it would cut price of its runway scheme by £2 billion

The backers of the Heathrow Hub scheme, to lengthen Heathrow’s northern runway towards the west, have now said they could cut the price of their scheme by £2 million. This offer comes just days after Heathrow’s Chairman, Lord Deighton, said their north west runway scheme could be cut by up to £3 billion. The Heathrow north-west runway scheme is expected to cost £17.5 billion (or £14.5 billion with the cheaper scheme) – and the Heathrow Hub scheme is expected to cost £12 billion according to their website (or £10 billion with the cheaper scheme). But Heathrow Hub are now telling the press that their scheme could cost £7.5 million. Their Factsheet of November 2014 said the cost of the runway itself would be £9.2 billion, with £2.8 billion for surface access improvements.  In November 2013 they anticipated the cost of diverting the M25 for the runway would be £0.7 billion. Heathrow Hub also proudly say there would be no cost to the public.  In reality, Transport for London said (February 2015) of a larger Heathrow, not differentiating between the two schemes: “Our assessment estimated that in order for a fully developed Heathrow (149 mppa) to achieve all of the above surface access objectives in the long term (2040-50), costs would be around £15-20 billion*. The Heathrow Hub scheme is privately funded, and hopes to license its scheme to Heathrow airport for up to £5m a year for 20 years, if successful.
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The Heathrow Hub website says: 

Cost

“Minimising the cost of airport expansion and protecting the UK’s economic competitiveness are key.  Heathrow Hub is largely privately funded with a significantly lower capital cost than other options. We estimate that the cost of extending the northern runway and completing the road and rail infrastructure and terminal construction (including land and compensation) to be around £12bn. Our proposals would be phased, allowing capacity to be developed as demand increases.” http://www.heathrowhub.com/our-proposal.aspx

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There is a page for Heathrow Hub past documents  http://www.heathrowhub.com/documents.aspx

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Heathrow Hub’s “revised” brochure August 2016 does not give an overall figure for the cost of their scheme, but states:

“Quicker, and easier to construct    The first phase, costing £3.7bn and providing
approximately 70,000 additional movements, could be completed as soon as 2023.

Cheaper  We estimate that our scheme is up to £6bn cheaper than Heathrow Airport’s 3rd runway.  This leaves financial headroom to pay for  surface access upgrades, potentially saving  the taxpayer some £5bn.”

They say (without giving any figure for the amount of compensation) that:

“HHL are able to offer a similar extended voluntary purchase area to the west of Heathrow , encompassing 4,200 households (source CACI), 24% less than NWR.”  [Same offer at Heathrow NW runway, of 25% over market value, though whether blighted or non-blighted is not mentioned by Heathrow Hub, and legal fees and stamp duty. No mention of reasonable moving expenses. AW note]

Heathrow 2 schems home compensation area 

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The Heathrow Hub response to the Airports Commission  on 10.9.2015    said:

“The Airports Commission estimates that LHR‐ENR is c £3bn cheaper than LHR‐NWR, whilst our assessment shows the difference is likely to be more than £6bn.”

and

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in their Factsheet of November 2014 they say: 

Cost of the runway extension is £9.2 billion. Cost of all surface access improvements £2.8 billion.

Our solution minimises impact on local communities and enables generous compensation packages as a result of its lower overall cost.  [So it is not clear if they see this compensation as included in the £12 billion, or an additional expense on top of it.  It is not included in the above breakdown. ?  AW comment].

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The Heathrow Hub submission to the Airports Commission in July 2013 contained this table (compensation does not appear to be included):

Heathrow Hub costs July 2013


TfL Planning TfL response to questions from Zac Goldsmith MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heathrow and the Wider Economy.

Heathrow airport expansion proposal – surface access.   February 2015 :

“Our assessment estimated that in order for a fully developed Heathrow (149mppa) to achieve all of the above surface access objectives in the long term (2040-50), costs would be around £15-20bn*. This represents delivering a long-term surface access proposition with an ‘optimal’ level of service, maximum sustainable mode share and little impact on future non-airport users of the transport network. It included a number of new rail connections to key airport trip generators in SE England, including southwest and central London, as well as some highway access enhancement (*cost estimates 2014 prices, did not include maintenance and OPEX).”  Link  


 

‘Heathrow Hub’ backers cut costs at eleventh hour

The group behind a scheme to lengthen one of Heathrow’s runways are reported to have offered to slash the cost by £2 billion in a final effort to win approval from the government.

Heathrow Hub has proposed stretching the northern run­way to 4.2 miles and splitting it in two so that aircraft can take off and land simultaneously. [ie. making two runways, and planes landing on one, taking off from the other].  The project could be delivered for £7.5 billion, the privately funded group now says.

It is vying with two other plans to boost airport capacity in south-east England – a third runway at Heathrow and a second runway at Gatwick.

Last weekend Heathrow offered to cut £3 billion from its £16.8 billion plan for a third runway.

The airport’s chairman Lord Deighton suggested it could scrap proposals to divert the M25 through a tunnel beneath the runway, build cheaper terminal buildings and axe a passenger rail system.

Deighton’s eleventh-hour offer reflected repeated criticism from Heathrow’s biggest customer, British Airways.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA owner International Airlines Group, has described the scheme as “gold-plated facilities to fleece airlines and their customers”.

Heathrow Hub, conceived by former BA Concorde pilot Jock Lowe and backed by the Marshall Wace hedge fund manager Anthony Clake, hopes to license its scheme to Heathrow for up to £5m a year for 20 years.

It estimates it will have spent up to £10 million on the project, largely on employing consultants.  Clake has pledged to hand any profit to charity.

Lowe said the cost-cutting modifications would also entail a more basic terminal and scrapping a rail system, the Sunday Times reported.

He admitted they would “lower the quality” of the Hub project for passengers, but said it would be “simpler, cheaper, quicker and easier” than building a third runway.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/63145/heathrow-hub-backers-cut-costs-at-eleventh-hour


See earlier:

Times reports that Heathrow plans to offer to cut costs and build runway scheme faster

The Times reports that it has learned how Heathrow is planning to cut up to £3 billion (out of about £17.6 billion) from its plans for a 3rd runway, in order to persuade Theresa May and the Cabinet that the runway could be delivered – and delivered a year earlier. Revised plans include potentially scrapping plans to tunnel the M25 under the 3rd runway, not building a transit system to carry passengers around the airport (using buses instead) and smaller terminal buildings. The aim is not only to get the runway working by 2024 but also -with reduced costs – keeping charges for passengers a bit lower. The Airports Commission estimated the cost per passenger would need to rise from £20 now to £29. Airlines like British Airways are not prepared to pay such high costs, and especially not before the runway opens. BA’s Willie Walsh has described Heathrow’s runway plans as “gold-plated”. The Times expects that Heathrow will announce its new “cheaper, faster” plans by the end of September. There is no mention of the “Heathrow Hub” option of extending the northern runway – a slightly cheaper scheme than the airport’s preferred new north west runway. There is no clarity on quite what Heathrow plans for the M25, if they cannot afford to tunnel all 14 lanes (at least £ 5 billion). Lord Deighton said it might be “diverted” or have “some form of bridge.”

Click here to view full story…

Tania Mathias MP calls for Grayling to step in over proposed £3 billion cuts to Heathrow plan – re-consultation necessary?

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has been asked by Dr Tania Mathias MP to intervene on Heathrow’s £3 billion cost-cutting proposals it announced last week. In order to cut costs, and perhaps get a runway built faster, Heathrow’s Chairman Lord Deighton suggested that changes to plans would be made – though nothing has been put forward yet, but they might be in the next weeks. The cuts would mean scrapping plans to (expensively) tunnel the 14 lane M25 under the runway, and a transit rail system around the airport. Conservative MP Tania Mathias, whose Twickenham constituency is under Heathrow flight paths, said the new plan had caused local people “considerable anxiety.” She has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, asking him to demand the plan goes back out to public consultation and scrutiny by the Airports Commission (though that has been disbanded). Dr Mathias also wants Chris Grayling to make public any official talks on the late changes, between the airport and government departments. Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith also wrote to Lord Deighton that the revised plan would cause Londoners “more environmental misery”. The changes to the roads are not clear, and cutting cost could lead to gridlock on the busiest stretch of the M25. The DfT just said the Government “will continue to consider the commission’s evidence.”

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

John Redwood, MP for Wokingham, says Theresa May should drop Heathrow plan

John Redwood, the Conservative MP for Wokingham about 25 km west of Heathrow and under some of its flight paths, has said that the government should drop the three very huge projects they inherited from Gordon Brown and David Cameron.  ie. Hinkley, HS2 and Heathrow.  Each is expensive, highly contentious, and has been much delayed by indecision, argument and opposition.  John Redwood was Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation, from May 2005 to December 2005, and Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, from June 1999 to February 2000.  He believes all 3Hs should be scrapped, and there are many other good local projects that should be paid for instead.  “I’m all for spending on better trains, power stations and airports, but I don’t want to throw too much money at projects that are so mired in rows and costs.”  On Heathrow noise he says: “Unfortunately Heathrow has recently with NATS changed the routes and noise corridors, annoying many more residential areas near it. There was no proper consultation. When you want to expand you need to do better at showing you are a good and considerate neighbour.” …”More capacity can be provided through Northolt, Gatwick and other London area airports.  Smaller quicker schemes could alleviate the pressures.”
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JOHN REDWOOD Hinkley Point, HS2, Heathrow expansion: Theresa May would be better off scrapping all three

Former Tory minister says inherited projects from Brown and Cameron aren’t worth holding on to – though letting go will be difficult

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BY JOHN REDWOOD, FORMER TORY CABINET MINISTER

18th September 2016  (The Sun)

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THE government inherits three large projects from Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

Each of them is expensive.

Each is highly contentious.

Each of them begins with an H.

Each of them has been much delayed by indecision, argument and opposition.

[John Redwood was a government minister in the 1990’s before challenging John Major for the Conservative Party leadership].

The boldest thing to do would be to scrap them all and do other things that are cheaper, faster to build and more popular.

I would be the first to say we need more power generation, more slots for flights and more rail and road capacity.

I also buy into the government’s wish to spread prosperity around the country as a whole and build good projects outside the very congested London and the south east.

Nor do I begrudge spending serious money on having better transport and more power.

Hinckley Point nuclear reactor

Theresa May’s government has been saddled with Hinkley Point, HS2 and the Heathrow expansion – projects which make very little sense and would be better on the scrapheap
I just don’t think these three projects make much commercial or environmental sense.

The government has just decided that it has to press on with Hinkley, after a period when it was raising good problems with the project.

It entails building a French reactor with a mixture of French and Chinese money, guaranteed by offering a very high energy price over the whole planned life of the station.

A country like ours with a big deficit on our foreign accounts does not need to have to send enormous sums of money out every year to pay for a big new power station.

We could build and finance our own electricity and save the big flow of money abroad.  Some worry about whether the technology can be brought on stream quickly and to budget.   Some are concerned about the security of the whole project.

The government clearly decided in the end the project had gone too far to stop.   It is true the Chinese would be angry about cancellation.  The French Unions and almost half the EDF Board would have been thrilled by termination of the deal, but the French government and the majority of the Board of EDF had gone to some lengths to defend the project and would have been unhappy with a UK pull out.  So the issue now turns to how we will build and finance future power stations.

I urge the government to see that we need more energy capacity here in the UK.  We should not be relying on imports through inter-connectors where all the money we pay for our electricity is paid out to foreigners.   Nor should we need to ask foreign investors to pay for the next one.

There is plenty of money around in the UK to invest.  It would be much better for the interest on the loans and the dividends on the shares to be paid to ourselves at home.

Now the issue is what we will do differently when we build more power stations – the money shouldn’t need to come from overseas.

HS2 is also difficult.

It is to some a symbol of our commitment to the North, and it has gone a long way in planning.  The problems are still there.   It will be very costly to rebuild Euston to receive HS2 trains whilst trying to keep the station open for business.   Dear tunnels are needed to try to reduce the scar it will make on our landscape and the noise it will generate for homes nearby.

It is forecast to make a big loss for taxpayers.  It will rely on taking many passengers off existing train services which in their turn will have financial problems to overcome.  It runs the risk of bringing more people and business into London from Birmingham rather than strengthening the economy out of London.

If it was such a good project as it promoters say you would expect there to be private money available to pay for it and spare the poor taxpayer at least some of the up front cost.

Clearly there is little appetite for this, so I am not the only one who thinks it is a poor investment.  There are so many more worthwhile train projects that would relieve overcrowding on commuter routes into our major cities around the UK.  There are exciting plans to link great northern and Midlands cities with new train tracks.  These could be much worthier projects.  We are not short of seats out of London to the north at 7 am in the morning.

We are short of seats into Manchester, Birmingham, London and other big cities from nearby as commuters struggle to work.  Meanwhile new technologies that offer more flexibility and even greater speed are ignored in favour of a fast train technology that has been around for many decades.

Heathrow

Heathrow is Britain’s largest airport – but smaller schemes at other London airports could alleviate pressures on Heathrow, which is bursting at the seams.  More of a commercial case can be made for Heathrow.   It is our number one airport and it is bursting at the seams.

Unfortunately Heathrow has recently with NATS changed the routes and noise corridors, annoying many more residential areas near it. There was no proper consultation. When you want to expand you need to do better at showing you are a good and considerate neighbour.

Trying to get air quality to acceptable levels and noise down is proving very difficult.  Heathrow expansion also comes at a big cost to the public purse, as there will need to be much improved road and rail links into the centre.  These will especially expensive given the high cost properties that stand in the way.

More capacity can be provided through Northolt, Gatwick and other London area airports.  Smaller quicker schemes could alleviate the pressures.

Now is the time for the government to drop its aitches. Many other good local projects could come forward.  I’m all for spending on better trains, power stations and airports, but I don’t want to throw too much money at projects that are so mired in rows and costs.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1803692/hinkley-point-hs2-heathrow-expansion-theresa-may-would-be-better-off-scrapping-all-three/

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8th October – massive gathering at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, resonating with the sound of thousands of walking sticks

After the massive mobilisations against the planned new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, of January 9th and February 27th, the French government organised a biased consultation in June. That gave a small majority in favour of the airport scheme. Opponents of the airport believe the consultation did not give a fair result, due to the choice of its geographical cover. The government plans to start work on the airport in October, though those fighting the plans say there are still some legal details that are not yet complete. There is fear that the state will send in the gendarmes, and use force to clear the ZAD – the zone à defendre – which is where building needs to start. The ZAD has been occupied for years by those trying to block the scheme, and they have now built a large shed there, which they see as a demonstration of their determination not to be moved, and a base for the future. On 8th October there will be a huge protest against the ZAD being cleared by force. People who oppose the airport plan, from all over France, will converge. All are asked to walk, bringing walking sticks. There will be the same echo of the walking sticks on the ground, as at Larzac decades ago, as the people march.  People will leave their sticks in the ZAD committing themselves together to come back for them, in the event of intervention by the authorities – to defend the farmers and their future of the land and the life on it.
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October 8th, 2016 – Notre-Dame-des-Landes –

The sound of our thousands of sticks will resonate!

Demo – Construction – Feast

2016-10-08 Displays Manif NDDL 680pix 

Driven by the massive mobilizations of January 9 and February 27, the government organized a biased consultation in June.

Believing firmly in the results of this masquerade consultation, the backers of the airport and the Prime Minister have confirmed their intention to proceed this autumn with the evacuation and destruction of the ZAD [ zone a defendre ] of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, its cultures, its fauna and flora, its habitats and activities and links between all those who are attached to this grove. These statements ignore the legal position of the case, since among other things, the work permits are still not granted.

Holders of the project seem to have not measured the determination of those who inhabit this grove of engaged militants at the side, the support the movement enjoys in the region and beyond, and the involvement of local committees.

These 2,000 hectares of farmland and those who live there today are bearers of ineradicable hope against the destruction of living, agricultural land and the commodification of the world.  It is unthinkable that they will disappear!

At the initiative of the whole opposition movement for the airport project, we will mark October 8th as our common desire to prevent any aggression against the ZAD and any start of the works.  Echoing many other peasant struggles  such as the Larzac, [ a massive campaign against a military base in France, that lasted from about 1970 – 1981 ] the ground will ring with the sounds  of thousands of our walking sticks.  [ At Larzac, the rythmic sound of the walking sticks, tapping the ground as protesters walked, became a symbol of the protest, being emulated here ].   We shall leave our walking sticks there, committing ourselves together to come and take them back, in case of intervention, and to defend the ZAD, its habitants, peasant farmers and the future that it built.

We have also put up together a shed whose components were manufactured during the summer on the ZAD by tens of carpenters.  This collective work is a manifestation of our will to organize for resistance by creating a place that will be a base of support in case of an eviction attempt, as much as a common structure for the future.

Converge towards Notre-Dame-des-Landes October 8, 2016,

Meeting at 10 am in the countryside, walking, tractor or bicycle. Let each bring a walking stick, carved, decorated and put it in the wheels of the project. All and all together, are preventing the airport!

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The original French:

Acculé par les mobilisations massives des 9 janvier et 27 février, le gouvernement a organisé en juin une consultation biaisée. Se croyant forts du résultat de cette mascarade, les pro-aéroport et le premier ministre ont confirmé leur intention de procéder cet automne à l’évacuation et à la destruction de la ZAD de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, de ses cultures, de sa faune et de sa flore, de ses habitats et activités ainsi que des liens entre toutes celles et ceux qui se sont attaché.es à ce bocage. Ces déclarations font fi de la situation juridique du dossier puisqu’entre autres les autorisations de travaux ne sont toujours pas  accordées.

Les porteurs du projet ne semblent pas avoir non plus mesuré la détermination de celles et ceux qui  habitent ce bocage, des militant.es engagé.es à leurs côtés, le soutien dont ce mouvement bénéficie dans la région et bien au-delà, ainsi que l’implication des comités locaux. Ces 2000 ha de bocage et ce qui s’y vit sont aujourd’hui porteurs d’espoirs indéracinables face au saccage du vivant, des terres agricoles et à la marchandisation du monde. Il est impensable qu’ils disparaissent !

A l’initiative de l’ensemble du mouvement d’opposition au projet d’aéroport, nous marquerons donc le 8 octobre notre volonté commune d’empêcher toute agression contre la ZAD et tout démarrage des travaux. En écho à bien d’autres luttes paysannes, comme au Larzac, nous ferons résonner le sol de milliers de bâtons. Nous les laisserons sur place, en nous engageant ensemble à venir les reprendre, en cas d’intervention, et à défendre la ZAD, ses habitant.es, paysan.nes et l’avenir qui s’y construit.

Nous monterons également ensemble un hangar dont les éléments ont été fabriqués durant l’été sur la ZAD par des dizaines de charpentier.es. Cette oeuvre collective concrétisera notre volonté de nous organiser pour la résistance en créant un lieu qui sera une base d’appui en cas de tentative d’expulsion, autant qu’une structure commune pour le futur.

Convergeons vers Notre-Dame-des-Landes le 8 octobre 2016,
Rendez-vous à 10h dans le bocage, à pied, en tracteur ou à vélo.
Que chacun-e apporte son bâton, sculpté, décoré et le mette dans les roues du projet.
Tous et toutes ensemble, empêchons l’aéroport !

 

Plus d’infos sur les sites acipa-ndl.fr et zad.nadir.org
Nous appelons les soutiens et comités de partout à s’organiser dès aujourd’hui pour le succès de cette mobilisation, en rediffusant cette information et en se coordonnant pour faciliter des moyens de transports collectifs.

Notamment via le site http://annonces-ndl.org

Evènement Facebook à partager : https://www.facebook.com/events/1579541885674902/

https://www.acipa-ndl.fr/actualites/divers/item/686-8-octobre-2016-nddl-que-resonnent-les-chants-de-nos-batons

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Vigilance and determination of opponents

Press Release CEDPA – ACIPA – Monday, September 12, 2016

After biased consultation deliberately limited to the department of Loire-Atlantique  in June, the ACIPA and CEDPA [two organisations fighting the new airport] are determined to obtain the cancellation of the declaration of public utility of 9 February 2008, which is the founding act for the work of building a new airport. They want it go back to the Council of State again.

Based on the findings of CGEDD, which recognizes the feasibility of optimizing Nantes-Atlantique (the existing airport that the new one at Notre Dame des Landes would replace) and the over-sizing of the proposed Notre-Dame-des-Landes, our two associations want to give this report the scope that Ségolène ROYAL undertook to confer upon its release last March. We also wish to highlight the incompatibility of the airport project with the legislative and the latest developments in case law.

In parallel, we remain vigilant on the infringement proceedings brought by the European Union, the French state is trying to regulate the rapid adoption of Scot Nantes-Saint-Nazaire,  [Le Schéma de cohérence territoriale (SCoT) de la métropole Nantes Saint-Nazaire]  including the public inquiry is organized from 19 September. The numerous reservations made by the Environmental Authority in its opinion of 20 July yet involve the commitment of additional studies, justifying a delay in the adoption of Scot. But it is an opinion that those pro-airport obviously want to happen …

Finally, we recall that the use “water law” and “protected species” are still in evidence by the Court of Appeal in Nantes.

Despite the stubbornness of the state and AGO, vigilance and determination of opponents remain intact in this autumn.

The original French at

https://www.acipa-ndl.fr/actualites/communiques-de-presse/item/689-vigilance-et-determination-des-opposants

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Read more »

Treasury Select Committee Chairman writes to Chris Grayling and Philip Hammond to question economic benefits of runway

Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, wrote to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, on 14th September, questioning the economic case for HS2 and airport expansion. Andrew Tyrie says in his letter:  “The economic case to support the conclusions of the Davies report lacks crucial information.” On 27th November 2015, he tabled 15 parliamentary questions on details of the economic justification [all copied below]. These have yet to be answered 10 months later (they just had a standard holding reply from Robert Goodwill).  Andrew Tyrie says: “For the fifth time I am attaching these questions. Failure to answer them will lead people either to conclude that this work has not been done – in which case it would be unacceptable for a decision to be made without the evidence to support it – or that it has been done, and gives answers that do not necessarily support the conclusions of the Davies report. I do not suggest that either of these are the case. The best way to answer these concerns is to public the information immediately. As we discussed, I have written in similar terms to the Chancellor.”  “Without this information, the evidence in support of any decision that the Government takes on airport capacity will be incomplete.” His Parliamentary Questions focus, in particular, on Table 7.1 in the Airport Commission’s Final Report, of July 2015. (Table copied below). Mr Tyrie spoke to Chris Grayling on 15 August 2016.
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HS2 and airport expansion: Committee Chair writes to Transport Secretary

16.9.2016 (Treasury Select Committee website)

Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, has written to Rt. Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, about the economic case for HS2 and airport expansion. Letter from Committee Chair to Transport Secretary regarding airport expansion and HS2, 14 September 2016

The letter says: 
Inline images 1

Chair’s comments

Commenting on the correspondence, Mr Tyrie said:

On HS2

“The economic justification for High Speed 2 is not supported by the evidence so far presented by the Government.In the last Parliament, the Treasury Committee examined the proposals for HS2 and exposed the lack of rigour in the economic case. In particular, the Committee took evidence from KPMG and identified shortcomings in the statistical analysis.The question as to whether it is possible to improve capacity at lower speed and, consequently, at a lower cost, has yet to be comprehensively answered.The case for providing sufficient detail, therefore, to enable other ways of improving rail capacity to be fully assessed remains very strong.”

On airport expansion

“The economic case to support the conclusions of the Davies report lacks crucial information.This is the fifth time that I have written to require it to be provided.In November 2015, I tabled parliamentary questions to secure it. These have yet to be answered, over 10 months later. Without this information, the evidence in support of any decision that the Government takes on airport capacity will be incomplete.”

Background

HS2

Drawing on evidence taken as part of a short inquiry into the economics of HS2 in November 2013, the Treasury Select Committee concluded in its Spending Round 2013 report that ‘the Treasury should not allow HS2 to proceed until it is sure the cost-benefit analysis for HS2 has been updated to address fully the concerns raised by the National Audit Office’.

Commenting at the time, Mr Tyrie said:

“There appear to be serious shortcomings in the current cost-benefit analysis for HS2. The economic case must be looked at again.

The Bill should not proceed until this work has been done and the project has been formally reassessed by the Government.

At £42.6bn, including a large contingency reserve, the construction cost of the project has increased by 17 percent even before it has started. It is a huge infrastructure project.

A more convincing economic case for the project is needed.  We need reassurance that it can deliver the benefits intended and that these benefits are greater than those of other transport schemes – whether in the department’s project pipeline or not – which may be foregone.”

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee published its report on the ‘Economics of HS2’ (PDF 2.12 MB) on 25 March 2015.

Airport expansion

On 27 November 2015, Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, tabled a number of Parliamentary Questions, requesting more detailed information on the economic case that supports the conclusions of the Airport Commission’s final report. These questions are included in an annex in the letter.

The Parliamentary Questions focus, in particular, on Table 7.1 in theAirport Commission’s Final Report (PDF 6.08 MB), published in July 2015.

Over the period 25 January 2015 to 13 June 2016, the Chairman had three exchanges of letters with Rt Hon. George Osborne MP, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, in an effort to get him to back up the government’s economic case for an expansion of the UK’s airport capacity. Each time, Mr Osborne responded with a request for Mr Tyrie to speak to the Transport Secretary before the questions would be answered.

On 21 July 2016, Mr Tyrie wrote to Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to urge him to respond to the same request put to his predecessor.

Mr Tyrie spoke to Rt Hon. Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, on 15 August 2016.

 


Table 7.1 of financial benefits of runway


See also

Questions asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie,

Chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee

 

See link

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

 

Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 30 November 2015

Department for Transport Airports: South East  Question 18147

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his timetable is for reaching a decision on plans to increase airport capacity in the South East.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 08 December 2015

The Government is currently considering the large amount of very detailed analysis contained in the Airports Commission’s final report before taking any decisions on next steps. A decision on airport capacity will be made in due course.

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for Transport London Airports  Question 18078

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the probability that the net present value of each of the three shortlisted schemes examined by the Airports Commission is zero or negative.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

The Government is currently considering the large amount of very detailed analysis contained in the Airports Commission’s final report before taking any decisions on next steps.

The Government will carefully consider all the evidence set out, including that on costs, when making a decision on additional runway capacity.

 

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for Transport London Airports Question 18066

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will instruct the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to reproduce Table 7.1 of the Final Report of the Airports Commission, published in July 2015, using the Commission’s (a) global growth, (b) relative decline of Europe, (c) low-cost is king and (d) global fragmentation scenarios.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

The Government is currently considering the large amount of very detailed analysis contained in the Airports Commission’s final report before taking any decisions on next steps.
The Government will carefully consider all the evidence set out, including that on costs, when making a decision on additional runway capacity.

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports Question 18067

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will instruct the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to reproduce Table 7.1 of the Final Report of the Airports Commission, published in July 2015, using an appraisal period of (a) 10, (b) 20 and (c) 30 years.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

The Government is currently considering the large amount of very detailed analysis contained in the Airports Commission’s final report before taking any decisions on next steps.

The Government will carefully consider all the evidence set out, including that on costs, when making a decision on additional runway capacity.

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports  Question 18068

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will instruct the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to provide 90 per cent confidence intervals for each of the figures in Table 7.1 of the Final Report of the Airports Commission, published in July 2015.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports  Question 18076

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the economic impacts of the recommendations of the Airports Commission’s Final Report, published in July 2015.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for Transport Airports: South East  Question 18077

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Infrastructure and Projects Authority will assume responsibility for future projects to increase airport capacity in the South East.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports  Question 18072

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to Table 7.1 of the Final Report of the Airports Commission, published in July 2015, if he will commission an assessment of the effect on the data in that table under the Commission’s (a) global growth, (b) relative decline of Europe, (c) low-cost is king and (d) global fragmentation scenarios.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

 

Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports  Question 18073

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to Table 7.1 of the Final Report of the Airports Commission, published in July 2015, if his Department will make an assessment of the effect on the data in that table under an appraisal period of (a) 10, (b) 20 and (c) 30 years.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports18074

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will make an assessment of the effect on (a) the cost of passenger fares and (b) passenger demand of each of the Airports Commission’s three shortlisted schemes and the effect of that cost.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

The Government is currently considering the large amount of very detailed analysis contained in the Airports Commission’s final report before taking any decisions on next steps.

The Government will carefully consider all the evidence set out, including that on costs, when making a decision on additional runway capacity.

 

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Q  Asked by  Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports  Question 18075

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the effect on the conclusions of the Airports Commission’s Final Report, published in July 2015, of the Commission’s decision not to take account of high value-added international sectors in measuring the agglomeration benefits of the three shortlisted projects.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports  Question 18070

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Airports Commission estimate of net present value of the three shortlisted schemes took account of the (a) extent to which the cost of each such scheme would be passed to passengers in higher fares and (b) effect of such higher fares on passenger demand.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

 

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Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports  Question 18069

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Airports Commission estimated the probability that the net present value of the three shortlisted schemes would be zero or negative; and what that probability was for each shortlisted scheme under the carbon capped and carbon traded policy frameworks.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

 

Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for TransportLondon Airports  Question 18071

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons the Airports Commission used his Department’s National Air Passenger Demand Model and National Air Passenger Allocation model in its work; whether the assumption of homogenous capacity in those models affected the net present value figures in Table 7.1 of the Commission’s Final Report, published in July 2015, compared with a model that distinguished between long and short-haul, business and leisure, and domestic and international capacity; and what assessment he has made of whether the use of a model that distinguishes between such different types of capacity would increase or decrease the net present value of each of those shortlisted schemes.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

 

Q Asked by Mr Andrew Tyrie(Chichester)Asked on: 27 November 2015

Department for Transport London Airports Question 18065

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what account the Airports Commission took of the concern raised by its expert advisors that the failure to account for high value-added international sectors in measuring the agglomeration benefits of the three shortlisted projects was a significant limitation.

A Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill Answered on: 04 December 2015

[Same standard reply as all those above]

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See earlier:

Andrew Tyrie says economic case for a new runway unclear and based on “opaque” information

Andrew Tyrie is the chairman of the influential Commons Treasury Select Committee. He has now said parliament and the public had been left partly in the dark on the case for a new runway, because the Airports Commission’s analysis is not good enough. He said the decision on airport expansion is being taken on the basis of information that was “opaque in a number of important respects.” Mr Tyrie said the robustness of the Airports commission’s conclusions could not be determined from the information in its report. “Parliament has demanded more transparency over the environmental case. At least as important is the economic case.”  Mr Tyrie said it was impossible to tell if the potential economic benefits for the UK of the proposals by Heathrow or Gatwick differed significantly from one another, or even if the benefits of building either are significantly different from not building any new runways. “A decision as controversial as this — one that has bedevilled past governments for decades — requires as much transparency as reasonably possible.”  Andrew Tyrie has written to George Osborne calling for more details of the calculations that led to the Commission recommending a Heathrow runway. He also called for the process to be moved from the DfT to the Treasury.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/02/andrew-tyrie-says-economic-case-for-a-new-runway-unclear-and-based-on-opaque-information/

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CAA’s Andrew Haines says UK airspace ‘needs to be modernised’ in order to add a SE runway

In a blog by Civil Aviation Authority chief executive Andrew Haines, he says unless UK airspace is modernised, and around London in particular,  “then we will not be able to use that additional runway wherever it is because the levels of congestion we have are very severe.”… “Effectively the airspace structures have not been redesigned since the 1960s and 1970s. We’re not using modern technology, we’re using an incremental approach to flight paths which means it’s not the most efficient.”  He admitted that flight paths and noise are a problem for communities.  People living 30 or more miles from an airport can now be very negatively impacted by plane noise, due to the way flight paths are now concentrated – as part of the drive for modernisation. Airspace is more “efficient” for the aviation industry if flights follow set routes, rather than being more dispersed. Andrew Haines says the ability to “massively concentrate traffic” would be “brilliant” if that could be done over an unpopulated area (but we have no unpopulated areas in the densely populated south east). He adds that although the CAA approves modifications to airspace design, this is ultimately down to government policy, because “who should suffer most and least from noise is a political decision”.  But the DfT said: “We are currently reviewing existing airspace and noise policies and will consult on proposals in due course.” Meaning after a runway decision. Not before.
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LAMP (London Airspace Management Programme)

There is detail on the CAA website about LAMP Phase 1A. https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-industry/Airspace/Airspace-change/Decisions/London-Airspace-Management-Programme-Phase-1A/

All the changes came into effect on 4th February 2016. There are details on that CAA webpage about LAMP Phase 1A:
Module A – Stansted SID switch
Module B – London City RNAV-1
Module C – London City network
Module D – Luton and Northolt SID changes
Module E – changes to airspace over the Solent and Isle of Wight

It is understood that, because of the extent of anger, upset, opposition and despair expressed by tens of thousands of people, exposed to flight path changes, that the CAA had to put further stages of LAMP on hold, in 2014.  Dave Curtis from the NATS said this at a CAGNE meeting on 25th April 2016.  The plan is for LAMP  to return by 2023 / 2024.

Mr Curtis said LAMP was put on hold because it pitched communities against each other with proposed new routes outside of the NPRs (Noise Preferential Routes). ie. over people who had not previously been over-flown.


London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) Phase 1A

LAMP 1A is a major airspace change proposal affecting airspace arrangements in south-east England, from Stansted to the Isle of Wight. The package has been developed over the last three years and was submitted to the CAA in February 2015.

It is intended to modernise airspace structure, improve operational efficiency and environmental performance, minimise delays and deliver safety benefits. It includes five separate airspace change proposals (ACPs) some of which are inter-related and cannot occur unless other of the airspace changes also take place. The overall fuel and CO2 savings, which are an important factor when considering these ACPs, are only delivered if all the modules are implemented.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-industry/Airspace/Airspace-change/Decisions/London-Airspace-Management-Programme-Phase-1A/

 


UK airspace ‘needs to be modernised’ ahead of expansion

13 September 2016 (Hayling Insider)

Airlines will not be able to utilise new airport capacity in south-east England unless airspace is modernised, the head of the UK’s aviation regulator has said.

Civil Aviation Authority chief executive Andrew Haines claimed that expanding Heathrow or Gatwick without redesigning airspace would be “like building a brand new car park and forgetting to build the access road to it”.

In an interview with the Press Association, Mr Haines said: “Unless we modernise our airspace, in London in particular but the UK as a whole, then we will not be able to use that additional runway wherever it is because the levels of congestion we have are very severe.

“Effectively the airspace structures have not been redesigned since the 1960s and 1970s. We’re not using modern technology, we’re using an incremental approach to flight paths which means it’s not the most efficient.”

Mr Haines went on to say that flight paths have more impact on noise levels for local communities than the location of runways.

“How you configure the airspace probably has more noise impact on the local community than anything else,” he said. “It’s not an issue that has got anything like the same level of political or media attention as runways.” [Some might question that statement ….]

Stack holdings are used by the UK’s national air traffic service (Nats) for arriving aircraft when they cannot land immediately. Flights enter at the top of the stack at around 11,000 feet and spiral down to 7,000 feet before being cleared to land.

But advancements in navigation technology mean it is possible for aircraft to queue in straight lines and make their final approach at the right moment. This system, known as linear holding, can be done at 20,000 feet, cutting noise levels for those living under the aircraft, reducing fuel efficiency and maximising the use of airport capacity.

Mr Haines said new technology allows air traffic controllers to “massively concentrate traffic” and it would be “brilliant” if that could be done over an unpopulated area.  [Mr Haines may be aware that in the densely populated south east of England, there are no unpopulated areas.  And hardly any lightly populated areas.  AW note]

But he insisted the impact on communities must be considered when making changes to flight paths, which he described as “highly contentious”.

He added that although the CAA approves modifications to airspace design, these must match Government policy because “who should suffer most and least from noise is a political decision”.

A DfT spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing existing airspace and noise policies and will consult on proposals in due course.”  [ie. after a runway decision has been made by government, in the absence of clear policy on noise. AW comment].

The Davies Commission recommended in July last year that a third runway should be built at Heathrow. Other shortlisted options are extending the airport’s existing northern runway or building a second runway at Gatwick.

Mr Haines claimed it would be wrong to think that expanding either Heathrow or Gatwick would be “materially easier than the other” in terms of managing the impact on communities.

He said that from a noise perspective Gatwick “obviously has fewer people affected” but those residents have lower ambient noise and “tend to react much more strongly to increases”.

http://www.haylingtoday.co.uk/news/regional/uk-airspace-needs-to-be-modernised-ahead-of-expansion-1-7574234

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See earlier:

 

Martin Rolfe NATS blogs illustrate the irreconcilable conflict between increased plane noise and community tolerance

Martin Rolfe, the CEO of NATS, writes blogs – putting the NATS points of view. He talks largely to an industry audience, but has to try to avoid irritating members of the public who find being noisily overflown unacceptable.  A couple of these blogs are below, and a response sent to some complainants.  The thing that stands out is the language used by the airspace management industry. They like to hide behind the complexity of the process, hoping this will obscure details and make it difficult for the public to understand. Both NATS and the CAA have the difficulty that they get their money from the airlines, and it is not in their interests to do anything other than benefit them. Both realise they have a real problem with the amount of anger, upset, misery and opposition there now is to exposure to high levels of aircraft noise. Both have a real problem in attempting to cram ever more flights, ever more flight paths – and concentrated flight paths – into the skies over crowded areas. Unfortunately for them, most of the UK – the south east in particular – is densely populated. There ARE no empty areas for flight paths to over fly in the south east. So the only thing on offer is to try and tweak the noise a bit, shift it slightly from one place to another, and make communities fight it out  between themselves as to who is to be worst affected. The concept of “enough is enough” is not in the mindset of the CAA or of NATS.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/06/martin-rolfe-nats-blogs-illustrate-the-irreconcilable-conflict-between-increased-plane-noise-and-community-tolerance/

 


Airspace change to go live

3 February 2016  (NATS press release)
This is what NATS says:

NATS has today (3 February) announced that its Airspace Change Proposal for the first phase of the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) will be implemented tomorrow (4 February), following approval by the CAA in November 2015.

The changes pave the way for wider modernisation of airspace to deliver more efficient flights, saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions, and reducing noise, keeping aircraft higher for longer and minimising areas regularly overflown.

The changes include:

  • A Point Merge arrival system [see image below] for London City Airport. This is over the sea and will replace conventional routes which are over land
  • New alignments for London City departure routes that pass over Essex and Kent. Other existing routes at the airport are being replicated to RNAV standard, which will enable aircraft to climb to higher altitudes more quickly
  • Daytime traffic departing Stansted [see image below] that today heads towards the south will move onto the existing eastbound routes to allow aircraft to climb higher more quickly

High level changes, at 7,000ft and above, will also be implemented along the south coast affecting Bournemouth, Southampton and TAG Farnborough airports. This will mean fewer flights over land.

The changes support the delivery of the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) and ensure that this critical but invisible infrastructure, on which an industry that contributes nearly £50bn to the GDP and employs almost one million people relies, is able to keep pace with the Government’s growth forecasts of 40% by 2030.

The decision by the CAA followed a series of public consultations by NATS, London City and TAG Farnborough airports as part of the Airspace Change Proposal.

This project has benefitted from European Union funding under the Innovation and Networks Agency (INEA) / Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

http://www.nats.aero/news/airspace-change-to-go-live/

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FAS – Future  Airspace Strategy

Why is an airspace strategy needed?

Aviation relies on the scarce resource that is airspace to ensure that passengers, businesses, the military and leisure flyers enjoy the many benefits aviation brings.

The basic structure of the UK’s airspace was developed over forty years ago. Since then there have been huge changes, including a hundred fold increase in demand for aviation.

Throughout Europe there is a move to simplify and harmonise the way airspace and air traffic control is used through the Single European Sky project. In the UK and Ireland we’re meeting those and other issues through the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) which sets out a plan to modernise airspace by 2020.

UK and Irish airspace is run as a combined Functional Airspace Block to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

More information is available in Future Airspace Strategy for the United Kingdom 2011 to 2030.

https://www.caa.co.uk/fas/

The “Future Airspace Strategy for the United Kingdom 2011 to 2030″ by the CAA makes no mention at all of communities overflown, or of the problem of noise – or any mention at all of the problems aviation and plane noise has outside the industry. It appears, in 2011, that this was not even considered.  At all.

https://www.caa.co.uk/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=4294978317

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