Cross-party MPs form new APPG group to question the case for Heathrow 3rd runway

A new cross-party group of MPs against the expansion of Heathrow Airport has been launched in Westminster. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has been set up to bring together politicians opposing a 3rd runway and scrutinise the issues related to proposed expansion.  Reflecting the cross-party opposition, the group is co-chaired by Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park – and Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth, with Vince Cable MP for Twickenham as treasurer and Baroness Jenny Jones as vice chair.  Zac Goldsmith says the group will “question the case for a 3rd runway at Heathrow.”  He added: “The political support for the campaign against expansion is growing and the delay to the vote on the National Policy Statement (NPS) reflects the concern the government has about the possibility of defeat.”  Ruth Cadbury does not believe expansion is “deliverable” and there are “… far too many unanswered questions on key issues that affect our communities including the complete absence of information about flight paths, the questionable quality of the noise mitigation offer, the costs of the surface access improvements and the financial liabilities that will ultimately be picked up by taxpayers.”  The vote in the House of Commons on the Heathrow NPS will not be until about June 2018. 
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Cross-party MPs form new group to question the case for Heathrow third runway

MPs claim there is a growing number of political support against the expansion of Heathrow Airport

BY SALINA PATEL (Get West London)
20 JUL 2017

A new cross-party MP group against the expansion of Heathrow Airport has been launched in Westminster.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has been set up to bring together politicians opposing a third runway and scrutinise the issues related to proposed expansion.

The group is co-chaired by Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth, with Vince Cable MP for Twickenham as treasurer and Baroness Jenny Jones as vice chair.  Mr Goldsmith says the group will “question the case for a third runway at Heathrow.”

He added: “The political support for the campaign against expansion is growing and the delay to the vote on the National Policy Statement (NPS) reflects the concern the government has about the possibility of defeat.”

Meanwhile, Ms Cadbury highlighted she doesn’t believe expansion is “deliverable” and there are “many unanswered questions.”

She added: “There are far too many unanswered questions on key issues that affect our communities including the complete absence of information about flight paths, the questionable quality of the noise mitigation offer, the costs of the surface access improvements and the financial liabilities that will ultimately be picked up by taxpayers.”

Last week, transport secretary Chris Grayling stated the publication of the final Airport’s National Policy Statement (NPS) setting out the position of the government and the ensuing House of Commons vote will not take place until the first half of next year, blaming the snap General Election for the delay.

He said: “ This government is fully committed to realising the benefits that a new northwest runway at Heathrow would bring, in terms of economic growth, boosting jobs and skills, strengthening domestic links and – critically – increasing and developing our international connectivity as we prepare to leave the European Union.

“The timing of the election, in particular the need to re-start a select committee inquiry into the draft Airports NPS means we now expect to lay any final NPS in Parliament in the first half of 2018, for a vote in the House of Commons.”

He added that a further update would be provided following the House of Commons summer recess.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/cross-party-mps-form-new-13354300

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19 July 2017  (No 3rd Runway Coalition)

New cross-party MP group to oppose Heathrow Expansion

A new All Party Parliamentary Group was launched in Westminster yesterday. The APPG on Heathrow Expansion was set up to bring together MPs opposed to a third runway and examine issues related to the proposed expansion. A very well attended AGM took place with parliamentarians from across the political spectrum present and additional numbers unable to attend expressing their interest in the work of the group.

Reflecting the cross-party opposition to expansion at Heathrow the APPG elected Zac Goldsmith MP (Con) and Ruth Cadbury MP (Lab) as co-Chairs, Vince Cable (Lib Dem) as Treasurer and Baroness Jenny Jones (Green) as Vice Chair.

Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park said, “This APPG will bring together parliamentarians to question the case for a third runway at Heathrow. The political support for the campaign against expansion is growing and the delay to the vote on the National Policy Statement (NPS) reflects the concern the Government has about the possibility of defeat.”

 Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth said, “I look forward to working with colleagues to highlight that expansion at Heathrow is simply not deliverable. There are far too many unanswered questions on key issues that affect our communities including the complete absence of information about flight paths, the questionable quality of the noise mitigation offer, the costs of the surface access improvements and the financial liabilities that will ultimately be picked up by taxpayers.” 

 

For more information

Rob Barnstone  robert.barnstone@outlook.com

 

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The vote in the House of Commons on the Heathrow NPS will not be until about June 2018, due to the setback for the Tories of the June general election.

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DfT launches consultation on its Aviation Strategy, out to 2050 – closes 13th October

The DfT has launched – for consultation – its plans to develop a new UK Aviation Strategy, “to help shape the future of the aviation industry to 2050 and beyond.”  The DfT strategy is to support future growth in the aviation industry (which it claims “directly supports 240,000 jobs and contributes at least £22 billion to the UK economy each year.” With no mention of the money it takes out of the UK too …]  One issue is possible new forms of compensation for noise or designing targets for noise reduction. The document looks at how all airports across the country can make best use of existing capacity, and expand the industry. Chris Grayling said: “Our new aviation strategy will look beyond the new runway at Heathrow and sets out a comprehensive long-term plan for UK aviation. …. [it] also recognises the need to address the impacts of aviation on communities and the environment.”  The consultation closes on 13th October.  ie. a large part of it is over the summer holiday period. On environment it just says the strategy “will look at how to achieve the right balance between more flights and ensuring action is taken to tackle carbon emissions, noise and air quality.” Consultations on various aspects of the strategy will run throughout 2017 and 2018 and will be followed by the publication of the final aviation strategy by the end of 2018.
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This is the consultation document 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/631036/aviation-strategy-call-for-evidence.pdf

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AEF calls for halt to Heathrow expansion as Government launches call for evidence on aviation strategy

21.7.2017

AEF (the Aviation Environment Federation) has responded with disbelief that the Government still plans to ask parliament to give its approval to a new runway before the strategy has been developed.

 
AEF Director, Tim Johnson, said
 
“Heathrow expansion presents huge environmental challenges, and would mean lower passenger growth at regional airports as more demand gets concentrated in the South East. Why is the Government only just starting to consider a national strategy for the UK’s airports, and for tackling the sector’s impact on climate change and the local environment?
 
“It’s a classic case of the ‘cart before the horse’. How can MPs take a view on whether or not to support the Government’s plan for a new runway before there’s any plan in place to ensure that it won’t compromise our ability to get to grips with London’s air quality problem, or to deliver on legal climate change targets?”   
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There will be further consultations on climate and other issues. This consultation is on scope of the strategy and the questions they should be asking – including whether to set noise limits (that allow for growth). It closes 13th October. There will then be two phases of mini thematic consultations over the next year including climate change.

Government sets out vision for future of UK aviation

21.7.2017 (DfT press release)

Launch of plans to develop a new UK Aviation Strategy to help shape the future of the aviation industry to 2050 and beyond.

Shaping aviation to help boost economic growth, connectivity and skills will be at the centre of a new strategy to prepare the industry for the next 3 decades and beyond, the government announced today (21 July 2017).

The public are being asked to have their say on how this vital sector should respond to a range of technological, security, environmental and customer service challenges.

It also looks at how the government can support future growth in an industry which directly supports 240,000 jobs and contributes at least £22 billion to the UK economy each year.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will today launch a public discussion to help shape and promote the future of the aviation industry both up to 2050 and beyond.

Airport bag check-ins in town centres and a ‘luggage portering’ service are among a series of innovative ideas the public is being asked for views on.

Other issues include possible new forms of compensation for noise or designing targets for noise reduction.

The government is also keen for views on how it should support and regulate emerging technologies around personal travel.

The document also discusses how we can make best use of existing capacity at all airports around the country.

The Secretary of State announced the strategy at the launch of a £1 billion programme to double the size of Manchester Airport’s Terminal 2.

The project will create 1,500 jobs, allow for more international destinations, and grow passenger numbers from 27 million to 45 million a year.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

Aviation is central to our future prosperity as we leave the European Union. As a global, trading nation we want to build on the great industry we have today and create opportunities for people up and down the country

Our new aviation strategy will look beyond the new runway at Heathrow and sets out a comprehensive long-term plan for UK aviation. It will support jobs and economic growth across the whole of the UK.

Our vision puts the passenger at the heart of what we do, but also recognises the need to address the impacts of aviation on communities and the environment.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group, said:

Today, work will begin at Manchester Airport on a £1 billion investment programme that will provide passengers and airlines with world-class airport facilities, and deliver a major boost to the UK’s growth prospects and international competitiveness.

We welcome the Secretary of State’s recognition of the important role that airports across the UK will play in driving economic growth, and commitment to looking at how airports like Manchester and London Stansted can make best use of their existing capacity.

The government is today setting out 6 important themes that it will consult on over the coming months:

1) Customer service. Which will look at:

how to ensure the industry is accessible for all and caters for an ageing population and passengers with restricted mobility
the consumer protection arrangements that should be in place when things go wrong
how to deal with disruptive passengers
It also highlights new ways of working in other countries such as check-in facilities in town centres or luggage portering services, where bags are picked up from passengers before they reach the airport.

2) Safety and security. Which will look at the technology that could be introduced at UK airports to counter the threat from terrorism; what more could be done to raise security standards; and whether current safety standards are acceptable.

3) Global connectivity. Which will look at how the UK can improve our global connectivity for passengers and freight as we leave the EU; and how we can remove barriers to trade.

4) Competitive markets. Which will look at whether existing regulation produces the best outcome for consumers; how to encourage connectivity across UK nations and regions and how to stimulate competition to ensure the consumers have a wide choice of airports, airlines and destinations.

5) Supporting growth while tackling environmental impacts. Which will look at how to achieve the right balance between more flights and ensuring action is taken to tackle carbon emissions, noise and air quality.

6) Innovation, technology and skills. Which will look at which emerging technologies could significantly change the aviation market or bring benefits to passengers; and how the industry should address skills shortages and improve its diversity.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

It is crucial that the government’s future aviation strategy supports the continued growth and development of our airports, and frees them to make the best use of their capacity to link British businesses to markets all across the world.

Stronger airports help our cities and counties attract more investment and visitors, and connect our firms to trading opportunities overseas – so we must enable them to grow and change to meet the demands of the future.

Consultations on each of these areas will run throughout 2017 and 2018 and will be followed by the publication of the final aviation strategy by the end of 2018.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-vision-for-future-of-uk-aviation

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This is the rather bland statement by the DfT about it:

https://aviationstrategy.campaign.gov.uk/

 

Beyond the horizon: the future of aviation in the UK
A call for evidence on a new aviation strategy

The aviation industry contributes billions to our economy, supports thousands of jobs, strengthens the union and develops skills. The Department for Transport is looking at how the government, working with our partners across the sector, can help airports and the industry to grow in a way that:

  • is sustainable
  • increases competition
  • offers consumers greater choice and a quality experience

We are seeking views from across industry, business, consumers, environmental groups and anyone with an interest in aviation.

Read and respond to our call for evidence

This call for evidence begins the consultation process. We have set out our overall aims and approach, but we want to be steered and guided by you. This is your opportunity to shape the future of aviation.

The call for evidence period will be followed by a series of consultations that will run throughout 2017 and 2018, culminating in the launch of the aviation strategy at the end of 2018.

Our 6 objectives for a new aviation strategy

Aviation matters – it drives economic growth across the whole United Kingdom, connects us with the world, removes barriers to trade and supports jobs and skills. We have an aviation history to be proud of and we’re building on a track record of success.

But we also recognise the challenges that our aviation sector faces in maintaining this leading position. So the time is now right to develop a new aviation strategy that will set out the long-term vision for aviation taking us to 2050 and beyond.

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These are our 6 objectives for a new aviation strategy.

Help the aviation industry work for its customers

Enhancing the consumer experience through improved accessibility, better information and support when things go wrong.

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Ensure a safe and secure way to travel

Championing the UK’s aviation security and safety record and ensuring our approaches remain cutting edge and responsive to new challenges.

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Build a global and connected Britain

The importance of aviation to building a global Britain that is outward looking, with a strong economy that benefits the whole of the UK.

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Encourage competitive markets

Examining the sector to see whether market failures exist and how government can encourage more competition.

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Support growth while tackling environmental impacts

Building capacity and promoting regional growth and connectivity whilst balancing this with the need to tackle environmental impacts.  [No details given…]

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Develop innovation, technology and skills

How we can make best use of new technology and build on the aviation sector’s track record of success in encouraging innovation.

https://aviationstrategy.campaign.gov.uk/

 


The consultation document is at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/631036/aviation-strategy-call-for-evidence.pdf

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This is what it says on carbon emissions:

 

Carbon emissions

7.14 On climate change, which is a global
rather than a local environmental
issue, the government’s position is that
action to address these emissions is
best taken at the international level.
Global action allows for progress in
reducing aviation’s climate change
impacts whilst minimising the risks
of competitive disadvantage to the
UK aviation industry. This position is
shared internationally. Emissions from
international aviation are tackled at the
sectoral level through ICAO, which has
been working for a number of years on
measures to achieve its goal of carbonneutral
growth for the sector from 2020.

7.15 Measures include technological
improvements, operational measures,
sustainable alternative fuels and marketbased
measures. The government
agrees that a combination of measures
and approaches are needed to tackle
this issue. The government is also
looking to make progress at a domestic
level, including by encouraging the
production and use of new aviation
fuels in the UK. It has consulted on
a proposal to extend the Renewable
Transport Fuels Obligation35 eligibility
to aviation fuels, and has announced
capital support for UK-based
sustainable aviation fuel plants.

7.16 Emissions from international aviation
(along with international shipping
emissions) are currently excluded from
the legally-binding 2050 target which
was set by the Climate Change Act
2008 and from the five carbon budgets
which have been set to date (covering
the period up to 2032). However, the
UK’s carbon budgets have been set at
a level that accounts for international
aviation and shipping emissions, so
that the UK is on a trajectory that could
be consistent with a 2050 target that
includes these emissions.

[Note – the vaguest language – it COULD be consistent.  Not would, or will.   The DfT knows perfectly well that this much aviation growth will NOT be consistent.  AW note]

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Comments by two AirportWatch members: 

It seems to me wholly irrational for the DfT – at the stage of merely calling for evidence – to signal its support for “all airports who wish to make best use of their existing runways”.

That could result in the provision of capacity for up to 7 million ATMs p.a. – more than three time the current number and twice as many as have ever been shown could be needed by 2050, in the last (2013) set of DfT demand forecasts.

This isn’t a policy  – this is the replacement of a national aviation strategy with an anarchic policy of letting a thousand flowers bloom.

The DfT hasn’t published any new demand forecast to support such a policy; nor has it published any assessment of carbon emissions that could ensue from such a policy; nor does there seem to be any  consideration of the local environmental impacts, including needless destruction of landscape and habitats to support maximum use of runways all over the country – much of which additional capacity would lie idle.  And would DfT be prepared to fund the road and rail infrastructure to support all this excess capacity?

None of this makes any sense to me.

……

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The DfT is in a World of its own. Why as a society do we pay a statutory committee on climate change to give us the benefit of its paid expertise and then the DfT either ignores it or states that it will conduct its own research?

The CCC 2017 Report to Parliament summary states that “Set stretching targets to limit emissions per kilometre for new cars and vans beyond 2020; and ensure aviation and shipping policy is consistent with carbon budgets. This will require continued support for the roll-out of electric vehicles through time-limited support to buy them and effective roll-out of new charging infrastructure; as well as a new aviation strategy. Fiscal incentives could also support these ambitions”.

Under “Fiscal incentives” you can list the abolition of the VAT exemption on aviation fuel. Transport must be one area, if the not the one area, where market forces should not be left to their own devices. If they are, then anti-climate change protection goes out of the window.

We are being warned time and time again from the highest and most respected sources  – yet the civil servants in the DfT take no notice.

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Stop Stansted Expansion says the new night flight rules are a missed opportunity

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) says the new night flight rules, set out by the DfT, do not go far enough to tackle the impact at Stansted on sleep disturbance for residents. They say the night flight restrictions, which are set to be introduced in October, and last for 5 years, are a missed opportunity to bring relief to thousands who suffer from broken sleep due to overflying aircraft.  Martin Peachey, SSE’s noise adviser, said the new rules will not lessen the impacts of aircraft noise at night for residents. Though the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is well aware of the impact of night flight noise on health and well-being, the new rules won’t actually lessen the impacts that people will experience, or improve the quality of their sleep between 11.30pm and 6am. The DfT has chosen to prioritise the economic benefits of night flights over quality of life for those affected by the noise. One small improvement is that some 1,700 previously “exempt” aircraft will now be recognised and added into the overall night time quota. The movement limit for Stansted up to 2017 was 5,000 in winter (the dates as for British summer Time) and 7,000 for summer. Now up to 2022 the movement limit will be 5,600 and 8,100 – both much higher. The Quota Count till 2017 was 3,310 in winter and 4,540 in summer. Up to 2022 this will be the same, unchanged.
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New night flight rules at Stansted Airport are a missed opportunity, says campaign group

By Michael Steward (East Anglian Daily TImes)

17.7.2017

New night flight rules at Stansted Airport do not go far enough to tackle the impact on sleep disturbance for residents, according to a campaign group.

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has described the night flight restrictions, which are set to be introduced in October, as a missed opportunity to bring relief to thousands who suffer from broken sleep due to overflying aircraft.

The announcement of the new night flights regime at Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick – which will cover the next five years – followed a government consultation earlier this year.

Martin Peachey, SSE’s noise adviser, said the new rules will not lessen the impacts of aircraft noise at night for residents.

He said: “Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that he is ‘fully aware that noise is a major concern for those living near Stansted Airport and that night noise is widely regarded as the most disturbing impact of aviation’, but the new rules won’t actually lessen the impacts that people will experience, or improve the quality of their sleep between 11.30pm and 6am.”

The group says the secretary of state has chosen to prioritise the economic benefits of night flights with his actions, but did welcome one aspect of the new rules.

Some 1,700 previously “exempt” aircraft will now be recognised and added into the overall night time quota.

Mr Grayling said: “The new rules we are publishing will encourage the use of quieter aircraft by reducing the amount of noise these airports are legally allowed to make, and will give local residents a five-year guarantee about the level of noise they will be exposed to.

“This decision strikes a balance between managing the impacts on local communities by locking in benefits offered by technological developments, with the economic benefits of night flights.”

A spokesman for Stansted said: “Stansted plays a critical role in supporting economic growth and jobs and we welcome the reassurance the statement provides for communities around our airport.

“Over several years Stansted has worked with our airline partners to significantly reduce the effects of noise through the introduction of the latest generation of greener, quieter, more efficient aircraft.

“Night flights remain vital in the movement of time sensitive cargo, while passenger airline schedules rely on early and late flights to keep fares as low as possible.”

http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/new-night-flight-rules-at-stansted-airport-are-a-missed-opportunity-says-campaign-group-1-5110224 

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SSE press release at

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/press500.html 

NO RELIEF FOR SLEEPLESS NIGHTS UNDER NEW FLIGHT RULES
New night flight rules covering the next five years have been described as a missed opportunity to bring relief to the tens of thousands of people under Stansted flight paths who regularly suffer from broken sleep because of overflying aircraft.

According to Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE), the Night Flight Restrictions at Stansted Airport, set to be introduced in October, don’t go nearly far enough to tackle the very serious impacts of night flights in terms of sleep disturbance and adverse health impacts.

The announcement of the new night flights regime followed a government consultation earlier this year during which more than 90 percent of all responses were made by individuals, communities and environmental groups, with many seeking an outright ban on night flights. In spite of this, more weight has been given to industry demands than community concerns.

SSE’s noise adviser Martin Peachey expressed disappointment at the new rules, saying that it could have been the opportunity to reduce the harmful impacts of aircraft noise at night: “Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that he is ‘fully aware that noise is a major concern for those living near Stansted Airport and that night noise is widely regarded as the most disturbing impact of aviation’, but the new rules won’t actually lessen the impacts that people will experience, or improve the quality of their sleep between 11.30pm and 6am.”

SSE maintains that local communities around Stansted and under related flight paths should have been provided with a more equitable balance of environmental protection. Instead, the Secretary of State has simply paid lip service to local concerns with his words, choosing to prioritise the economic benefits of night flights with his actions.

One aspect of the new rules, however, has been welcomed by SSE. While the Government has decided to maintain the present 12,000 annual night time movements at Stansted, some 1,700 hitherto ‘exempt’ aircraft will also be added to the numbers. The use of ‘less noisy’ aircraft at night has grown rapidly in recent years but no account had been taken of their cumulative impact in terms of creating noise nuisance and impacting on sleep. Under the new arrangements, these previously ‘exempt’ aircraft will now be recognised and controlled within the overall allowable aircraft movements.

SSE will continue to work to raise awareness of its four key demands to improve conditions for those who are currently overflown at night in future night flight rules, gathering evidence to press the case for:

* An unequivocal Government commitment to phase out all night flights at Stansted by 2030, except in the case of genuine emergencies;
* The annual limit on Stansted night flights to apply, not just from 11.30pm to 6.00am, but from 11.00pm to 7.00am, so that ‘night’ truly means ‘night’, as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Guidelines on Community Noise;
* A radical overhaul of the current ‘averaging’ method for measuring aircraft noise so that the official Government noise statistics start to represent what people actually have to endure;
* An immediate ban on all night time aircraft landings at Stansted from using reverse thrust, except in the case of genuine emergencies.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS
The publication of the new Night Flight Restrictions was announced in a written statement to Parliament: ‘Update on the Airports NPS and a decision on night flights’, is available here.

The Government decision document – ‘Night flight restrictions at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted’ – can be accessed here.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT
Martin Peachey, SSE noise adviser: 01279 870374; (M) 07803 603999 mfpeachey1@gmail.com
Carol Barbone, Campaign Director, SSE, M 0777 552 3091, cbarbone@mxc.co.uk
SSE Campaign Office, T 01279 870558; info@stopstanstedexpansion.com

 


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15. The rules for next regime are summarised in the table below.

….. and it goes on …..

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627890/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-decision-document.pdf

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By contrast, this is the document about the consultation on night flights in 2013. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/256237/night-flying.pdf 

they said then:

and

 



See also

 

Heathrow night flights to continue unchanged despite protests from Richmond & Wandsworth Councils

The government has announced that night flights will continue at Heathrow airport until the airport is expanded, with a 3rd runway. The DfT document says there will be no change to the number of flights allowed between 11.30pm and 6am, until October 2022.  The current regime ends in October 2017. Richmond and Wandsworth councils say the government has chosen to gamble with the health of Londoners, rather than challenge the airline industry to change. Richmond Council leader, councillor Paul Hodgins said: “Put plain and simply, the Government consultation was pointless. They were proposing virtually no changes to begin with and it looks like they haven’t listened to people’s feedback at all.”  There is increasing scientific evidence that night flights impact adversely on human health, leading to a variety of conditions. Cllr Hodgins says “Heathrow already steps over the [WHO guidance] line when it comes to night noise …. The number of planes that depart and arrive from the airport at night is unacceptable, to protect people’s ears and sleep we need an all-out ban.” Wandsworth Council leader, Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “The Government’s consultation on night flights has been exposed as a sham. Heathrow’s vested interests have been protected while the health and well-being of Londoners living under the flights paths has been sacrificed.”

Click here to view full story…

DfT confirms numbers of night flights – till 2022 – at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted will not be cut

Changes to the night flights regime, at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted have been delayed for several years. The DfT has now produced its Decision Document on the issue. Anyone expecting meaningful cuts in night flights, or noise from night flights will be disappointed. There is no change in numbers, and just some tinkering with noise categories.  The DfT says night flights from Heathrow will continue until (if) the airport is expanded, and it just hopes airlines will be using slightly less noisy planes. Pretty much, effectively, “business as usual.” Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, said he had to “strike a balance between the economic benefits of flying and the impact on local residents.” The DfT objective is to: “encourage the use of quieter aircraft to limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night, while maintaining the existing benefits of night flights”. But it says: “Many industry responses welcomed the recognition by government of the benefits night flights offer and highlighted the importance of night flights to the business models of airlines, for instance by allowing low-cost airlines to operate the necessary minimum amount of rotations a day, or the benefits to the time-sensitive freight sector through enabling next day deliveries. ”

Click here to view full story…

GACC finds the DfT’s night flight decision – to make no cuts in Gatwick flights – disappointing

The Government’s long-delayed decision on the night flight rules for the next 5 years – to 2022 – has at last been published. The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) finds it disappointing that there is to be no reduction in the number of night flights. Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman, commented: ‘Many of our members want to see a total ban on all night flights at Gatwick, as has been promised for Heathrow, and we proposed that at least there should be a gradual reduction towards that target. It is alarming that there is to be no change in the number (at Gatwick) permitted in winter [winter/summer is based on when the clocks change] which (since the current quota is not fully used) could permit a 60% increase in the actual number of night flights in winter.” GACC welcomes the reduction in the summer noise quotas which will ensure no increase in noise during summer months. GACC had been hoping for a gradual year-by-year reduction in noise quotas. That would put pressure on airlines to buy and use quieter (= slightly less noisy) aircraft. But this has been abandoned – as a result of lobbying by the airlines.  GACC says it is “wicked” that the noise quota for the winter will also permit a 60% increase in noise levels at night in the winter. That appears to contradict the Government claim that the aim is to “’Limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night…”

Click here to view full story…

 

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easyJet setting up a separate airline, based in Vienna, so it can continue to fly in EU after Brexit

Britain’s biggest budget airline, easyJet, has announced its post-Brexit EU base: Vienna. Although the airline has always been UK based, it has a vast network of international and domestic flights on the continent.  With the shape of a future UK-EU aviation agreement still uncertain, it is setting up a separate company, easyJet Europe, in Austria. Around 100 planes will be assigned to the subsidiary, which will allow the airline to continue to fly as at present. None of the Airbus jets will be based in Vienna. The new subsidiary will be owned by easyJet plc, which already owns the UK-based airline and the Swiss operation, easyJet Switzerland. The majority of easyJet aircraft will remain as part of the UK operation. They say no jobs at Luton will be lost, but there will be some new jobs in Austria.  European rules are that airlines must be majority-owned by EU shareholders. EasyJet is already almost 50%, and can get over the 50% in the next couple of years. From a passenger’s perspective, there should be no discernible difference in booking flights or the travelling after the split. Michael O’Leary recently said Brexit is “going to be one of the greatest suicide notes in history. It’s a shambles.” He warned Ryanair planes would start moving to other EU countries from September 2018 unless an aviation agreement is in place.
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EASYJET IS SETTING UP A SEPARATE EUROPEAN AIRLINE IN VIENNA READY FOR BREXIT

One hundred planes will be assigned to airline’s Euro subsidiary, but no jobs will be lost at current Luton airport base

By SIMON CALDER (TRAVEL CORRESPONDENT, Independent)

14.7.2017

Britain’s biggest budget airline has announced its post-Brexit EU base: Vienna. Although easyJet has always been UK based, it has a vast network of international and domestic flights on the continent.

With the shape of a future UK-EU aviation agreement still uncertain, the airline is setting up a separate company, easyJet Europe, in the Austrian capital. Around 100 planes will be assigned to the subsidiary, which will allow the airline to continue to fly as at present.

None of the Airbus jets will be based in Vienna; easyJet serves a range of Austrian cities, including the capital, but only on flights from outside the country.

The new subsidiary will be owned by easyJet plc, which already owns the UK-based airline and the Swiss operation, easyJet Switzerland. The majority of easyJet aircraft will remain as part of the UK operation.

European rules require airlines to be majority-owned by EU shareholders. Because the largest shareholders in easyJet plc are Stelios Haji-Ioannou and members of his family, the current ratio is only slightly below 50 per cent. The airline does not envisage any obstacle to reaching the target by the time of Brexit.While around 100 new jobs will be created in Austria, no posts will be lost in the UK.

From a passenger’s perspective, there should be no discernible difference in booking flights or the travelling after the split.

While easyJet’s new subsidiary could have been located in any European country, it is understood that the aviation safety regime in Austria is regarded as a good match for UK regulation.

Earlier this week, the chief executive of easyJet’s big rival, Ryanair, slammed the UK Government for its handling of aviation after Brexit. Michael O’Leary said “I think Brexit is going to be one of the greatest suicide notes in history. It’s a shambles.” He warned Ryanair planes would start moving to other EU countries from September 2018 unless an aviation agreement is in place.

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/easyjet-europe-headquarters-vienna-brexit-luton-london-stelios-budget-airline-uk-leave-eu-a7840461.html

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Ryanair boss: ‘No flights’ between UK and EU after Brexit

By James Crisp (Telegraph)
11 JULY 2017

Flights between the UK and the European Union will be cancelled for months after Brexit, unless replacements for EU airline agreements are struck before Britain leaves the bloc, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary told the European Parliament yesterday.

Heathrow will be deserted, summer holidays cancelled and Ryanair aircraft moved to Europe, Mr O’Leary, who insisted the sensible decision would be to ignore the referendum result, said.

The Open Skies agreement allows EU airlines, including those registered in the UK, to operate in each other’s countries. Unlike other sectors, aviation cannot fall back on World Trade Organisation rules. That made sealing a new deal vital, the CEO of Europe’s largest airline said.

But Mr O’Leary warned that such a deal was “an impossibility” and that the “only sensible option” was for the British government to overturn the plebiscite and remain in the EU.

Brexit will be one of the great economic suicide notes in history

He told the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee in Brussels, “There is a real prospect, and we need to deal with this, that there are going to be no flights between the UK and Europe for a period of weeks, months beyond March 2019.

“There is not going to be an interim agreement, there is not going to be a legal basis, we will be cancelling flights, we will be cancelling people’s holidays for summer of 2019.”

March 2019 is the deadline for Britain to exit the EU. If a Brexit deal has not been finalised by that point, Britain will leave without an agreement – the so-called “hard Brexit”.

The European Commission, which is handling the Brexit negotiations on behalf of the EU, has refused to discuss anything until a settlement on citizens’ rights and the Brexit bill is reached. The second round of talks will be held in Brussels next week.

Aviation will not wait until March 2019, Mr O’Leary said. A clear legal framework was needed by September 2018.

Speaking at the same session, Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group and former British Airways chief, said the EU and UK should sign comprehensive air transport agreements at the same session.

“With policy support it ought to be relatively straightforward to agree a deal on aviation that will be ready when the UK leaves the EU,” he said.

Mr O’Leary said, “I think that’s an impossibility because there is no goodwill in Europe towards Britain.

“The French and the Germans, when they have the opportunity to stick one into the British, they like nothing better.”

“This is going to be a real mess,” Mr O’Leary said, before adding, “Brexit will be one of the great economic suicide notes in history.”

“By September 2018 when your average British voter is sitting down to work out where he is going on his holidays in 2019, the two options he will have are to drive to Scotland or get a ferry to Ireland,” he told MEPs.

There’s nobody in the UK government that has a clue how to do a deal
The outspoken airline boss, who campaigned for Remain, added, “The sensible outcome here is to ignore the plebiscite of 12 months ago, stay in Europe and continue to benefit from Open Skies.”

Mr O’Leary said, “We’ll be taking a lot of aircraft out of the UK in the April of 2019 and reallocating them to European regional airports and they’ll be seeing a lot more growth than they’ll know how to handle.

“Although Heathrow, thankfully, will be empty probably for a period of months.”

Mr O’Leary attacked the British government for not having a “Plan B” and for sticking to its red lines on the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and EU rules of free movement on people.

“There’s nobody in the UK government that has a clue how to do a deal. They don’t even know what the hell it is they want other than they want to leave the ECJ’s jurisdiction.”

He claimed one senior Brexit minister had told him the lost European airline traffic could be made up through a bilateral agreement with Pakistan.

The low-cost airline boss warned that although Britain would suffer “much more”, jobs would also be lost in the European airport and tourism sectors.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/11/ryanair-chief-michael-oleary-discuss-brexit-effect-aviation/#

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Heathrow night flights to continue unchanged despite protests from Richmond & Wandsworth Councils

The government has announced that night flights will continue at Heathrow airport until the airport is expanded, with a 3rd runway. The DfT document says there will be no change to the number of flights allowed between 11.30pm and 6am, until October 2022.  The current regime ends in October 2017. Richmond and Wandsworth councils say the government has chosen to gamble with the health of Londoners, rather than challenge the airline industry to change. Richmond Council leader, councillor Paul Hodgins said: “Put plain and simply, the Government consultation was pointless. They were proposing virtually no changes to begin with and it looks like they haven’t listened to people’s feedback at all.”  There is increasing scientific evidence that night flights impact adversely on human health, leading to a variety of conditions. Cllr Hodgins says “Heathrow already steps over the [WHO guidance] line when it comes to night noise …. The number of planes that depart and arrive from the airport at night is unacceptable, to protect people’s ears and sleep we need an all-out ban.” Wandsworth Council leader, Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “The Government’s consultation on night flights has been exposed as a sham. Heathrow’s vested interests have been protected while the health and well-being of Londoners living under the flights paths has been sacrificed.”
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Night flights to continue at Heathrow despite protests from Richmond Council

According to the government night flights will continue unless the expansion goes ahead

14.7.2017 (Local Guardian)

The government has announced that night flights will continue at Heathrow airport until the airport is expanded.

Following a consultation, the government announced yesterday (July 13) that there will be no change to the number of flights allowed between 11.30pm and 6am, until October 2022.

Richmond and Wandsworth councils have been fighting to reduce night flights, arguing that the government has chosen to gamble with the health of Londoners, rather than challenge the airline industry to change.

Richmond Council leader, councillor Paul Hodgins said: “Put plain and simply, the Government consultation was pointless.

“They were proposing virtually no changes to begin with and it looks like they haven’t listened to people’s feedback at all.”

According to the councils, there is increasing scientific evidence which shows that night flights impact adversely on human health, leading to a variety of conditions.

“The World Health Organisation guidance is clear -it states that Heathrow already steps over the line when it comes to night noise,” added Cllr Hodgins.

“The number of planes that depart and arrive from the airport at night is unacceptable, to protect people’s ears and sleep we need an all-out ban.”

The current regime for night flight restrictions is due to expire in October 2017 and despite objections raised at a consultation held earlier this year, the new five-year plan the new proposals did not include any changes.

Wandsworth Council leader, cllr Ravi Govindia said: “The Government’s consultation on night flights has been exposed as a sham.

“Heathrow’s vested interests have been protected while the health and well-being of Londoners living under the flights paths has been sacrificed.”

According to the proposed plans there will be around 16 flights per night during the summer and 18 in the winter and changes to the “noise quota” regime which the government says will encourage the use of new quieter aircraft.

A Back Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow is listening to local people who are concerned over noise by, for example, this week launching the Quieter Homes Scheme which will help hundreds of residents and their families.

“But the government should not forget that most residents support Heathrow expansion because of the huge benefits that will come to local communities such as 10,000 apprenticeships and 77,000 new local jobs.”

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/wandsworthnews/15411951.Night_flights_to_continue_at_Heathrow_despite_protests_from_Richmond_and_Wandsworth_councils/

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See also:

 

DfT confirms numbers of night flights – till 2022 – at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted will not be cut

Changes to the night flights regime, at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted have been delayed for several years. The DfT has now produced its Decision Document on the issue. Anyone expecting meaningful cuts in night flights, or noise from night flights will be disappointed. There is no change in numbers, and just some tinkering with noise categories.  The DfT says night flights from Heathrow will continue until (if) the airport is expanded, and it just hopes airlines will be using slightly less noisy planes. Pretty much, effectively, “business as usual.” Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, said he had to “strike a balance between the economic benefits of flying and the impact on local residents.” The DfT objective is to: “encourage the use of quieter aircraft to limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night, while maintaining the existing benefits of night flights”. But it says: “Many industry responses welcomed the recognition by government of the benefits night flights offer and highlighted the importance of night flights to the business models of airlines, for instance by allowing low-cost airlines to operate the necessary minimum amount of rotations a day, or the benefits to the time-sensitive freight sector through enabling next day deliveries. ”

Click here to view full story…

GACC finds the DfT’s night flight decision – to make no cuts in Gatwick flights – disappointing

The Government’s long-delayed decision on the night flight rules for the next 5 years – to 2022 – has at last been published. The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) finds it disappointing that there is to be no reduction in the number of night flights. Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman, commented: ‘Many of our members want to see a total ban on all night flights at Gatwick, as has been promised for Heathrow, and we proposed that at least there should be a gradual reduction towards that target. It is alarming that there is to be no change in the number (at Gatwick) permitted in winter [winter/summer is based on when the clocks change] which (since the current quota is not fully used) could permit a 60% increase in the actual number of night flights in winter.” GACC welcomes the reduction in the summer noise quotas which will ensure no increase in noise during summer months. GACC had been hoping for a gradual year-by-year reduction in noise quotas. That would put pressure on airlines to buy and use quieter (= slightly less noisy) aircraft. But this has been abandoned – as a result of lobbying by the airlines.  GACC says it is “wicked” that the noise quota for the winter will also permit a 60% increase in noise levels at night in the winter. That appears to contradict the Government claim that the aim is to “’Limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night…”

Click here to view full story…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/05/heathrows-vague-proposal-on-no-night-flights-what-is-heathrow-really-saying/

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DfT confirms numbers of night flights – till 2022 – at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted will not be cut

Changes to the night flights regime, at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted have been delayed for several years. The DfT has now produced its Decision Document on the issue. Anyone expecting meaningful cuts in night flights, or noise from night flights will be disappointed. There is no change in numbers, and just some tinkering with noise categories.  The DfT says night flights from Heathrow will continue until (if) the airport is expanded, and it just hopes airlines will be using slightly less noisy planes. Pretty much, effectively, “business as usual.” Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, said he had to “strike a balance between the economic benefits of flying and the impact on local residents.” The DfT objective is to: “encourage the use of quieter aircraft to limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night, while maintaining the existing benefits of night flights”. But it says: “Many industry responses welcomed the recognition by government of the benefits night flights offer and highlighted the importance of night flights to the business models of airlines, for instance by allowing low-cost airlines to operate the necessary minimum amount of rotations a day, or the benefits to the time-sensitive freight sector through enabling next day deliveries. ” 
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Heathrow night flights to continue until third runway is built

Transport secretary says new rules on noise show government is tackling issue, but campaigners lament ‘business as usual’

By Gwyn Topham and Jessica Elgot (Guardian)

Thursday 13 July 2017

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Night flights from Heathrow will continue until the airport is expanded, the government has confirmed, as it published new rules to encourage quieter aircraft across London’s three biggest airports.

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, said efforts to reduce the total noise permitted from flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted showed the government was taking the issue very seriously, but residents’ groups said the proposals were “business as usual”.

Grayling said that although he supported a six-and-a-half hour nightly window without flights once Heathrow’s third runway was built, he had to strike a balance between the economic benefits of flying and the impact on local residents.

He confirmed that a parliamentary vote on Heathrow expansion would not be held until at least 2018, rather than the winter of 2017-18, as previously stated.

The measures will ensure that all flights, including smaller and quieter planes, are counted within quotas on movements and lower overall noise limits. However, the rules reflect a trend towards much quieter, more modern planes and are unlikely to affect airlines’ operations significantly.

In a written statement to parliament, Grayling said caps had not kept pace with technology, but the new measures would “lock in the benefits”.

“I am fully aware that noise is a major concern for those living near these airports and that night noise is widely regarded as the most disturbing impact of aviation,” he said.

The five-year caps on noise come after a consultation launched in January on the night flight regime, with the government rejecting calls from campaigners for a clampdown on night noise. Grayling said: “This decision strikes a balance between managing the impacts on local communities by locking in the benefits offered by recent technological developments, with the economic benefits of night flights.”

Residents remained sceptical. John Stewart, the chair of campaigning group Hacan, said: “Today’s statement shows that the government recognises how important night flights are to local communities, but essentially they are proposing business as usual.”

Campaigners for communities around Gatwick said the government’s response was disappointing and warned that the quotas allowed for more night flights in winter than currently operated by the airport.

A spokesperson for Heathrow said the airport welcomed the government’s efforts, adding: “We know this is an issue that is particularly important to our local communities and we have already been working with our airlines to reduce the number of late-running flights.”

In the statement, Grayling acknowledged that the general election last month would lead to further delays on the parliamentary vote on expansion, which would now take place in the “first half of 2018”. The transport select committee will also need to restart its inquiry into the policy, which is unlikely to begin until after the parliamentary summer and conference recesses.

Theresa May’s loss of her majority is unlikely to significantly affect the chances of the vote passing through the House of Commons. Although the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, whose constituency borders the airport, are personally opposed to third runway expansion, a majority of the party’s MPs are in favour. Labour’s manifesto says it “recognises the need for additional airport capacity in the south-east”.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/13/heathrow-night-flights-to-continue-until-third-runway-is-built?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Night flights to continue at Heathrow despite protests from Richmond Council

14.7.2017

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/wandsworthnews/15411951.Night_flights_to_continue_at_Heathrow_despite_protests_from_Richmond_and_Wandsworth_councils/

 


Night flight restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted
Decision Document

Moving Britain Ahead (by DfT)

DfT document at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627890/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-decision-document.pdf

Below is just the introduction:

Introduction

1. This government response follows the consultation launched on 12 January on
options to replace the existing night flight restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and
Stansted Airports, which expire in October 20171
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2. In our consultation we proposed a five year regime, lasting until October 2022, which
would maintain the status quo in terms of movements while encouraging the use of
quieter aircraft at all three airports.

3. To achieve this we proposed to introduce changes to the quota count system to
ensure communities living around airports were protected from a potentially unlimited
number of aircraft that would otherwise be exempt from the restrictions. We also
proposed to adjust Stansted’s movement limits to reflect the fact that a large number
of these exempt aircraft are already operating there.

4. In order to incentivise the use of quieter aircraft at each airport we also proposed that
as a minimum noise quota limits at Heathrow and Gatwick should be reduced to
prevent the average amount of noise produced by an aircraft from becoming any
higher than is currently the case. At Stansted we proposed the noise quota limit
should not rise so that if the adjusted movement limit was to be fully utilised, the
average noise quota of an aircraft will have to reduce compared to the current level.
We also stated we would look to make further reductions to noise quotas if these
would be feasible and could be done without reducing the existing benefits of night
flights at these airports.

5. While we have amended some of our original proposals following consideration of
the numerous consultation responses that were received, we do not consider there to
be any new evidence or arguments put forward that would justify moving
fundamentally away from the approach proposed within our consultation.

6.  Our final environmental objective for the next regime is therefore to ‘Limit or reduce
the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night, including
through encouraging the use of quieter aircraft, while maintaining the existing
benefits of night flights’

7.  Our achievement against this objective will be measured by:

 The area of and number of people in the 48dB LAeq 6.5hr night contour
 Sleep disturbance impacts associated with night flights, assessed using webTAG
methodologies. (2 – see note below)
 The average noise on an aircraft (as measured by the average noise Quota Count
per aircraft movement over the course of a season).

[Note 2:  As measured down to 45dbB LAeq 6.5hr using the Department for Transport’s webTAG methodology. It is not currently possible to robustly value health and annoyance impacts associated with night noise. WebTAG is regularly assessed to ensure the evidence base and methodologies are up to date. We will monitor this area to ensure any changes in webTAG are reflected in this indicator.]

 Number of movements in the night quota period

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8. The next night flights regime, which will last until October 2022, will maintain the
status quo in terms of movements. A new QC/0.125 category will be introduced to
capture the bulk of aircraft which are currently exempt, and any aircraft that are
quieter than this will also count towards an airport’s movement limits though they will
remain exempt from the noise quota limits. Stansted’s movement limits will be
adjusted to reflect these changes while the movement limits at Heathrow and
Gatwick will remain the same.

9.  We will reduce noise quota limits at Heathrow and Gatwick to a value based on their
current usage, though the final limits differ slightly from those proposed within our
consultation due to adapting our methodology for calculating these as a result of
feedback received from consultation responses. These final limits represent
significant reductions in noise quota limits that will mean if an airport is to make
maximum use of its movement allowance then the average noise produced by an
aircraft cannot increase. This will further incentivise the use of quieter aircraft by
encouraging industry to plan its operations with sufficient headroom to ensure the
limits can still be complied with in the event of unplanned disruption or changes to
their schedules.

10.  At Stansted, the current noise quota limits will remain in place. Coupled with the
adjustment to the airports movement limits, this will mean that the noise produced on
average by an aircraft will have to reduce compared to today’s level if the airport is to
fully utilise its new allowance. Overall, our changes at Stansted will benefit
communities by meaning fewer movements will be allowed to take place and less
noise will be able to be produced than if the existing rules remained in place.

11. In our consultation we proposed to consider options for further noise quota
reductions beyond these limits. However, we did not receive sufficient information
through our consultation that would allow us to set further reduced noise limits with
any certainty that they would be achievable and would allow the existing benefits of
night flights to be maintained.

12. Following feedback received through our consultation about the timing of our
proposals on night flights coming later than airlines would usually begin planning their
changes for the winter 2017/18 and summer 18 seasons by, we have decided to
defer some of these changes for the first year of the regime.

13.  Therefore, from October 2017:

 All aircraft movements will now count towards an airport’s movement limit. No
aircraft will be exempt from the movement limits but aircraft that currently fall
below the QC/0.25 threshold will remain QC/0 (i.e. exempt from the noise quota
limits).
 Stansted’s movement limits will be adjusted to 5,600 in the winter and 8,100 in the
summer

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14.  Then, from October 2018:
 A new QC/0.125 category will be introduced for aircraft from 81 to 83.9 EPNdB
 Aircraft quieter than this will continue to count towards the airports’ movement
limits and remain QC/0
 Noise quota limits at Heathrow will be reduced to 2415 in the winter and 2735 in
the summer and at Gatwick to 1785 in the winter and 5150 in the summer.

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15. The rules for next regime are summarised in the table below.

….. and it goes on …..

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627890/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-decision-document.pdf

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By contrast, this is the document about the consultation on night flights in 2013. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/256237/night-flying.pdf 

they said then:

and

 


One of the questions in the DfT night flights consultation was about their “objective” to:

..”encourage the use of quieter aircraft to limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night, while maintaining the existing benefits of night flights”.

The document then says this:

2.11 Industry were generally supportive of the objective but asked that in measuring it consideration was given to take account of new homes that are built within the relevant contours. Some airlines also felt the new objective penalised those who had already invested in quieter aircraft. Many industry responses welcomed the recognition by government of the benefits night flights offer and highlighted the importance of night flights to the business models of airlines, for instance by allowing low-cost airlines to operate the necessary minimum amount of rotations a day, or the benefits to the time-sensitive freight sector through enabling next day deliveries. There were some calls to consider other measurements to determine whether the element of the environmental objective relating to the benefits of night flights was being met.

….

People overflown will not be pleased to hear their sleep is to continue to be disrupted, in order that low cost airlines can fly very cheap flights, and some companies depend on next-day deliveries, to save the inconvenience of having to store products.  [Mad, mad world.  AW comment]

 

Read more »

GACC finds the DfT’s night flight decision – to make no cuts in Gatwick flights – disappointing

The Government’s long-delayed decision on the night flight rules for the next 5 years – to 2022 – has at last been published. The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) finds it disappointing that there is to be no reduction in the number of night flights. Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman, commented: ‘Many of our members want to see a total ban on all night flights at Gatwick, as has been promised for Heathrow, and we proposed that at least there should be a gradual reduction towards that target. It is alarming that there is to be no change in the number (at Gatwick) permitted in winter [winter/summer is based on when the clocks change] which (since the current quota is not fully used) could permit a 60% increase in the actual number of night flights in winter.” GACC welcomes the reduction in the summer noise quotas which will ensure no increase in noise during summer months. GACC had been hoping for a gradual year-by-year reduction in noise quotas. That would put pressure on airlines to buy and use quieter (= slightly less noisy) aircraft. But this has been abandoned – as a result of lobbying by the airlines.  GACC says it is “wicked” that the noise quota for the winter will also permit a 60% increase in noise levels at night in the winter. That appears to contradict the Government claim that the aim is to “’Limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night…”
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Night flight decision disappointing

14.7.2017  (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

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The Government’s long-delayed decision on the night flight rules for the next five years has at last been published.

It is at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627890/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-decision-document.pdf

GACC finds it disappointing that there is to be no reduction in the number of night flights. Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman, commented: ‘Many of our members want to see a total ban on all night flights at Gatwick, as has been promised for Heathrow, and we proposed that at least there should be a gradual reduction towards that target.

“It is alarming that there is to be no change in the number permitted in winter which (since the current quota is not fully used) could permit a 60% increase in the actual number of night flights in winter.”

GACC welcomes the reduction in the summer noise quotas which will ensure no increase in noise during summer months.

The environmental group had hoped for a reduction in noise levels at night, and is disappointed that the idea, floated by the Transport Department, of a gradual year-by-year reduction in noise quotas to put pressure on airlines to buy and use quieter aircraft has been abandoned – as a result of lobbying by the airlines.

Sewill again: ‘ It is wicked that the noise quota for the winter will also permit a 60% increase in noise levels at night in the winter. That appears to contradict the Government claim that the aim is to “’Limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night…”

It is noted that Gatwick has over twice as many night flights, and more noise than Heathrow, despite the low ambient noise levels at night in many rural areas around Gatwick – meaning that each night flight causes more disturbance than in an urban area.

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For more information, contact Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman. 01293 863 or 01293 862373

www.gacc.org.uk

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See also:

Heathrow night flights to continue until third runway is built

Transport secretary says new rules on noise show government is tackling issue, but campaigners lament ‘business as usual’

By Gwyn Topham and Jessica Elgot (Guardian)

Thursday 13 July 2017

.
Night flights from Heathrow will continue until the airport is expanded, the government has confirmed, as it published new rules to encourage quieter aircraft across London’s three biggest airports.

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, said efforts to reduce the total noise permitted from flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted showed the government was taking the issue very seriously, but residents’ groups said the proposals were “business as usual”.

Grayling said that although he supported a six-and-a-half hour nightly window without flights once Heathrow’s third runway was built, he had to strike a balance between the economic benefits of flying and the impact on local residents.

He confirmed that a parliamentary vote on Heathrow expansion would not be held until at least 2018, rather than the winter of 2017-18, as previously stated.

The measures will ensure that all flights, including smaller and quieter planes, are counted within quotas on movements and lower overall noise limits. However, the rules reflect a trend towards much quieter, more modern planes and are unlikely to affect airlines’ operations significantly.

In a written statement to parliament, Grayling said caps had not kept pace with technology, but the new measures would “lock in the benefits”.

“I am fully aware that noise is a major concern for those living near these airports and that night noise is widely regarded as the most disturbing impact of aviation,” he said.

The five-year caps on noise come after a consultation launched in January on the night flight regime, with the government rejecting calls from campaigners for a clampdown on night noise. Grayling said: “This decision strikes a balance between managing the impacts on local communities by locking in the benefits offered by recent technological developments, with the economic benefits of night flights.”

Residents remained sceptical. John Stewart, the chair of campaigning group Hacan, said: “Today’s statement shows that the government recognises how important night flights are to local communities, but essentially they are proposing business as usual.”

Campaigners for communities around Gatwick said the government’s response was disappointing and warned that the quotas allowed for more night flights in winter than currently operated by the airport.

A spokesperson for Heathrow said the airport welcomed the government’s efforts, adding: “We know this is an issue that is particularly important to our local communities and we have already been working with our airlines to reduce the number of late-running flights.”

In the statement, Grayling acknowledged that the general election last month would lead to further delays on the parliamentary vote on expansion, which would now take place in the “first half of 2018”. The transport select committee will also need to restart its inquiry into the policy, which is unlikely to begin until after the parliamentary summer and conference recesses.

Theresa May’s loss of her majority is unlikely to significantly affect the chances of the vote passing through the House of Commons. Although the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, whose constituency borders the airport, are personally opposed to third runway expansion, a majority of the party’s MPs are in favour. Labour’s manifesto says it “recognises the need for additional airport capacity in the south-east”.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/13/heathrow-night-flights-to-continue-until-third-runway-is-built?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Night flight restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted
Decision Document

Moving Britain Ahead

DfT document at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627890/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-decision-document.pdf

Below is just the introduction:

Introduction

1. This government response follows the consultation launched on 12 January on
options to replace the existing night flight restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and
Stansted Airports, which expire in October 20171
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2. In our consultation we proposed a five year regime, lasting until October 2022, which
would maintain the status quo in terms of movements while encouraging the use of
quieter aircraft at all three airports.

3. To achieve this we proposed to introduce changes to the quota count system to
ensure communities living around airports were protected from a potentially unlimited
number of aircraft that would otherwise be exempt from the restrictions. We also
proposed to adjust Stansted’s movement limits to reflect the fact that a large number
of these exempt aircraft are already operating there.

4. In order to incentivise the use of quieter aircraft at each airport we also proposed that
as a minimum noise quota limits at Heathrow and Gatwick should be reduced to
prevent the average amount of noise produced by an aircraft from becoming any
higher than is currently the case. At Stansted we proposed the noise quota limit
should not rise so that if the adjusted movement limit was to be fully utilised, the
average noise quota of an aircraft will have to reduce compared to the current level.
We also stated we would look to make further reductions to noise quotas if these
would be feasible and could be done without reducing the existing benefits of night
flights at these airports.

5. While we have amended some of our original proposals following consideration of
the numerous consultation responses that were received, we do not consider there to
be any new evidence or arguments put forward that would justify moving
fundamentally away from the approach proposed within our consultation.

6.  Our final environmental objective for the next regime is therefore to ‘Limit or reduce
the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night, including
through encouraging the use of quieter aircraft, while maintaining the existing
benefits of night flights’

7.  Our achievement against this objective will be measured by:

 The area of and number of people in the 48dB LAeq 6.5hr night contour
 Sleep disturbance impacts associated with night flights, assessed using webTAG
methodologies. (2 – see note below)
 The average noise on an aircraft (as measured by the average noise Quota Count
per aircraft movement over the course of a season).

[Note 2:  As measured down to 45dbB LAeq 6.5hr using the Department for Transport’s webTAG methodology. It is not currently possible to robustly value health and annoyance impacts associated with night noise. WebTAG is regularly assessed to ensure the evidence base and methodologies are up to date. We will monitor this area to ensure any changes in webTAG are reflected in this indicator.]

 Number of movements in the night quota period

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8. The next night flights regime, which will last until October 2022, will maintain the
status quo in terms of movements. A new QC/0.125 category will be introduced to
capture the bulk of aircraft which are currently exempt, and any aircraft that are
quieter than this will also count towards an airport’s movement limits though they will
remain exempt from the noise quota limits. Stansted’s movement limits will be
adjusted to reflect these changes while the movement limits at Heathrow and
Gatwick will remain the same.

9.  We will reduce noise quota limits at Heathrow and Gatwick to a value based on their
current usage, though the final limits differ slightly from those proposed within our
consultation due to adapting our methodology for calculating these as a result of
feedback received from consultation responses. These final limits represent
significant reductions in noise quota limits that will mean if an airport is to make
maximum use of its movement allowance then the average noise produced by an
aircraft cannot increase. This will further incentivise the use of quieter aircraft by
encouraging industry to plan its operations with sufficient headroom to ensure the
limits can still be complied with in the event of unplanned disruption or changes to
their schedules.

10.  At Stansted, the current noise quota limits will remain in place. Coupled with the
adjustment to the airports movement limits, this will mean that the noise produced on
average by an aircraft will have to reduce compared to today’s level if the airport is to
fully utilise its new allowance. Overall, our changes at Stansted will benefit
communities by meaning fewer movements will be allowed to take place and less
noise will be able to be produced than if the existing rules remained in place.

11. In our consultation we proposed to consider options for further noise quota
reductions beyond these limits. However, we did not receive sufficient information
through our consultation that would allow us to set further reduced noise limits with
any certainty that they would be achievable and would allow the existing benefits of
night flights to be maintained.

12. Following feedback received through our consultation about the timing of our
proposals on night flights coming later than airlines would usually begin planning their
changes for the winter 2017/18 and summer 18 seasons by, we have decided to
defer some of these changes for the first year of the regime.

13.  Therefore, from October 2017:

 All aircraft movements will now count towards an airport’s movement limit. No
aircraft will be exempt from the movement limits but aircraft that currently fall
below the QC/0.25 threshold will remain QC/0 (i.e. exempt from the noise quota
limits).
 Stansted’s movement limits will be adjusted to 5,600 in the winter and 8,100 in the
summer

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14.  Then, from October 2018:
 A new QC/0.125 category will be introduced for aircraft from 81 to 83.9 EPNdB
 Aircraft quieter than this will continue to count towards the airports’ movement
limits and remain QC/0
 Noise quota limits at Heathrow will be reduced to 2415 in the winter and 2735 in
the summer and at Gatwick to 1785 in the winter and 5150 in the summer.

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15. The rules for next regime are summarised in the table below.

….. and it goes on …..

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627890/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-decision-document.pdf

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Vote on Heathrow 3rd runway delayed (due to election that went so wrong for the Tories) till probably June 2018 – not end of 2017

A vote by MPs on the 3rd Heathrow runway has been postponed until 2018, due to the disruption caused by the snap General Election in June. Transport secretary Chris Grayling said the publication of the final Airport’s National Policy Statement (NPS) setting out the position of the government and the ensuing House of Commons vote will not take place until 2018.  The original intention had been to get the vote in December, or perhaps January 2018. Grayling said:  “The timing of the election, in particular the need to re-start a select committee inquiry into the draft Airports NPS means we now expect to lay any final NPS in Parliament in the first half of 2018, for a vote in the House of Commons.” He added that a further update would be provided following the House of Commons summer recess.  The Co-ordinator of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, Rob Barnstone, representing MPs, local authorities and campaign groups opposed to Heathrow expansion said: “Postponing this decision once again shows that the government are worried not only about losing a parliamentary vote, but also that their aviation strategy will simply be in tatters. As the weeks and months go on, we’re seeing even greater support for our campaign against Heathrow expansion. By the time this vote comes before Parliament, if at all, we are confident that MPs will vote it down. Heathrow expansion is not deliverable.”
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FLIGHT DELAY Heathrow runway is kicked into the long grass AGAIN as Commons vote is delayed until next year

Theresa May fears she could succumb to a backbench rebellion from anti-Heathrow Tories

By Hugo Gye  (The Sun)
13th July 2017,

THE FUTURE of Heathrow has been kicked into the long grass yet again after the Government announced that MPs won’t vote on a third runway until next year.

Because of the snap election, the Tories will not officially announce their support for the airport expansion until as late as June 2018.

The final decision on expanding Heathrow will not be made for another year

The Sun was first to reveal that Theresa May was keen to shelve the issue because she feared a rebellion by backbench MPs.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed today that the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) will be published in a year’s time.

He said in a statement: “The timing of the election, in particular the need to re-start a select committee inquiry into the draft Airports NPS means we now expect to lay any final NPS in Parliament in the first half of 2018, for a vote in the House of Commons.”

Mrs May has previously said she supports the building of a third runway at Heathrow, and the Tories committed to the policy in their election manifesto.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today announced the latest delay to Heathrow expansion plans
But with the PM reliant on the DUP for her majority, she could lose a vote if just seven backbenchers turn against her.

Several Conservatives – including ministers Boris Johnson and Justine Greening – are passionately opposed to Heathrow expansion.

Zac Goldsmith resigned his seat last year in protest at the plan for a third runway, although he has since returned to the Commons.

Anti-expansion campaigner Rob Barnstone said today: “Postponing this decision once again shows that the Government are worried not only about losing a parliamentary vote, but also that their aviation strategy will simply be in tatters.

Zac Goldsmith is one of several Tory MPs who is set to rebel against a third runway
“As the weeks and months go on, we’re seeing even greater support for our campaign against Heathrow expansion.

“By the time this vote comes before Parliament, if at all, we are confident that MPs will vote it down.”

But a spokesman for the airport said: “Our plans for an expanded Heathrow will secure Britain’s export-led future, boosting our trading links and making Britain the best-connected country in the world. That’s why we are backed by the Government.”

Critics claim that a third runway would create an intolerable amount of noise for local residents and ramp up noise pollution.

The debate over whether to expand Heathrow has been going on for more than a decade, with no government willing to make a final call on the issue.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4012072/heathrow-runway-is-kicked-into-the-long-grass-again-as-commons-vote-is-delayed-until-next-year/amp/

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Statement by Chris Grayling on the DfT website

13.7.2017

In October 2016, the government selected a new north-west runway at Heathrow as its preferred scheme for delivering new airport capacity in the south-east.

In February a consultation on a draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) was launched, which set out the reasons for this preference, along with the mitigation and compensation measures the government expects the promoter to put in place if planning permission is to be granted.

The consultation closed on 25 May and the work to analyse the over 70,000 responses is progressing well. I would like to thank all of those who contributed their views.

This government is fully committed to realising the benefits that a new north-west runway at Heathrow would bring, in terms of economic growth, boosting jobs and skills, strengthening domestic links and – critically – increasing and developing our international connectivity as we prepare to leave the European Union.

The timing of the election, in particular the need to re-start a Select Committee inquiry into the draft Airports NPS means we now expect to lay any final NPS in Parliament in the first half of 2018, for a vote in the House of Commons.

I will provide a further update to the House after the summer recess on our next steps following analysis of the consultation responses.

…. then a section on night flights …

Then:
Strong international links are critical to the future prosperity of our country, with a world-class hub airport and thriving aviation sector central to this. We are committed to realising the economic and social benefits aviation has to offer, while taking seriously the need to balance this with managing the local and environmental impacts of aviation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/update-on-the-airports-nps-and-a-decision-on-night-flights

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Snap General Election blamed as final vote on Heathrow Airport third runway postponed until 2018

Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said the Commons vote would not take place until the first half of next year

BY LOIS Swinnerton (Get West London)
13.7.2017

A final decision on the third runway at Heathrow Airport has been postponed until 2018.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling stated the publication of the final Airport’s National Policy Statement (NPS) setting out the position of the government and the ensuing House of Commons vote will not take place until the first half of next year, blaming the snap General Election for the delay.

He said: “ This government is fully committed to realising the benefits that a new northwest runway at Heathrow would bring, in terms of economic growth, boosting jobs and skills, strengthening domestic links and – critically – increasing and developing our international connectivity as we prepare to leave the European Union.

“The timing of the election, in particular the need to re-start a select committee inquiry into the draft Airports NPS means we now expect to lay any final NPS in Parliament in the first half of 2018, for a vote in the House of Commons.”

He added that a further update would be provided following the House of Commons summer recess.

The Department for Transport previously announced in October last year that steps towards a final decision would be made in late 2017 or early 2018.

Coordinator of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, Rob Barnstone, representing MPs, local authorities and campaign groups opposed to expansion said: “Postponing this decision once again shows that the government are worried not only about losing a parliamentary vote, but also that their aviation strategy will simply be in tatters.

“As the weeks and months go on, we’re seeing even greater support for our campaign against Heathrow expansion.

“By the time this vote comes before Parliament, if at all, we are confident that MPs will vote it down. Heathrow expansion is not deliverable.”

“A new runway at the UK’s biggest port is crucial”

Executive director of Back Heathrow, Parmjit Dhanda, said: “It’s great news that the government has reaffirmed its support for expanding Heathrow.

“A new runway at the UK’s biggest port is crucial as we look to navigate Brexit and create a bright, prosperous future outside of the European Union.”

Heathrow Airport says it is able to expand whilst reducing the noise impact in the local area
He claimed the expansion will create 10,000 apprenticeships, 77,000 new jobs in the local area and 180,000 across the country.

He said: “This is a huge opportunity and we are confident that when parliament votes on it next year, it will not fail to take it.”

Heathrow Airport said it is able to expand while reducing the noise impact on people living under the flight paths.

It currently has a number of schemes in operation providing both local houses and schools with forms of noise insulation.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/snap-general-election-blamed-final-13327275

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Birmingham flights to New York scrapped as United Airlines pulls out … Brexit to blame

Birmingham Airport flights to New York with United Airlines have been scrapped, from 5th October, as they do not make money.  United will no longer operate flights from Birmingham to New York.  Last year, American Airlines also discontinued its service to John F Kennedy Airport, New York. A spokesperson for United said it was down to poor take up on the flights. But it is also understood that the fall of the pound against the dollar after Brexit has played a part.  Talks have begun with 3 United staff working out of Birmingham Airport, on severance payments and opportunities for redeployment.  Anyone from the Midlands who wants to fly United to the US would now have to travel to Manchester or London.  There still seems to be a flight to New York from Birmingham, with Lufthansa.
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Birmingham flights to New York scrapped as United Airlines pulls out … Brexit to blame…

BY GRAEME BROWN and JAMES RODGER
13 JUL 2017

Birmingham Airport flights to New York with United Airlines have been scrapped after the carrier announced it was pulling out.

United will no longer operate flights from Birmingham to the iconic city in the US after October 5th.   Last year, American Airlines discontinued its service to John F Kennedy Airport in New York.

A spokesperson for United said it was down to poor take up on the flights. But it is also understood that the fall of the pound against the dollar after Brexit has played a part. Consultation has begun with three United staff working out of Birmingham Airport.

The spokesperson said: “United will discontinue its service between Birmingham and New York/Newark. “The last service will be on October 5, 2017, westbound. We have regretfully taken this decision because of the route’s poor financial performance. We will contact customers with bookings for flights beyond those dates to provide refunds and re-accommodate where possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Talks have begun with the staff about severance payments and opportunities for redeployment.

Anyone from the Midlands who wants to fly United to the US would now have to travel to Manchester or London.

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/united-airlines-birmingham-new-york-13325376

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see earlier:

American Airlines to launch direct flights to New York from Birmingham

Birmingham Airport says it will have a daily service to JFK New York, by American Airlines, from next spring. It hopes to have nearly 100,000 seats on the route, per year. There is already a route from Birmingham to Newark, by United Airlines. The route is likely to be used by more people on leisure trips, than business, though some American tourists may come to places like Stratford and further afield. But the airport CEO Paul Kehoe said: “Last year, the West Midlands exported £4.5 billion worth of goods to North America and has the largest trade surplus with North America of any UK region… etc etc.” This is seen as the first test of the business model of the runway extension. The route will be operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft with 22 Business Class seats and 160 Main Cabin seats. Whether or not this new service actually needs the new runway extension, or could have managed on the old runway, is a moot point. 757s can use Luton’s runway (2160 metres), and Birmingham’s was 2,650 metres before the recent 400 metre extension, to now be 3,050 metres long. So justifying the extension?

Click here to view full story…

 

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Edinburgh airport unveils plan for major new home and business complex

Edinburgh Airport has unveiled plans for a massive (over 100 acres) business, industrial and housing complex to be built on part of the airport. They are describing it as “one of the best-connected developments in Scotland.”  The buildings would extend from south-east of the passenger terminal to nearly as far as the Gogar roundabout. Chief executive Gordon Dewar said an adjacent development area south of the airport which had sought to attract major companies had failed to get off the ground because of the lack of such key infrastructure. He agreed the airport’s plans would provide “a degree of competition” with the proposed International Business Gateway scheme, where he said “nothing has happened” for years. The site will occupy much of the crosswind runway, which the airport said was rarely used. It runs south-east to north-west and cannot be used at the same time as the adjacent main south-west to north-east runway.  However, the crosswind runway is used during runway maintenance and resurfacing. Mr Dewar admitted: “It will make it harder to avoid disruption, but we believe we have solutions that will address it.” Land for a planned 2nd runway, which the airport hopes would be needed around 2050, has already been reserved to the north of and parallel with the main runway.
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Edinburgh airport unveils plan for major new home and business complex

By ALASTAIR DALTON (Scotsman)

10 July 2017

Edinburgh Airport is to sacrifice its secondary runway to build a massive business and housing complex. 

It has unveiled plans for a site that could stretch to more than 100 acres which is claimed would be one of the best-connected developments in Scotland.

Designs for housing and offices as part of the development scheme.  Offices, homes and industrial buildings would stretch from south-east of the passenger terminal to nearly as far as the Gogar roundabout.

The airport said it was too early to say how much the development would cost. It said a planned new terminal access road – which it would fund – would be the catalyst for the plans to take off.

Designs for housing and offices as part of the development scheme.  Chief executive Gordon Dewar said an adjacent development area south of the airport which had sought to attract major companies had failed to get off the ground because of the lack of such key infrastructure.

He agreed the airport’s plans would provide “a degree of competition” with the proposed International Business Gateway scheme, where he said “nothing has happened” for years.

Mr Dewar said there had been early discussions with the city council over its own proposals, and hoped construction would start next year, if planning permission was granted.

The site will occupy much of the crosswind runway, which the airport said was rarely used. It runs south-east to north-west and cannot be used at the same time as the adjacent main south-west to north-east runway.  However, the crosswind runway is used during runway maintenance and resurfacing.

Mr Dewar admitted: “It will make it harder to avoid disruption, but we believe we have solutions that will address it.”

Land for a planned second runway, which is expected to be needed around 2050, has already been reserved to the north of and parallel with the main runway, Former airport chief commercial officer John Watson will spearhead the building scheme as chief executive of newly-formed offshoot Crosswind Developments.

Mr Dewar said details of the 86-acre plan, which could be extended to 111 acres, were still being devised. He expected it to include “high-end” offices at the southern end of the site, with light industrial units and warehouses at the north end, such as for use by companies flying goods in and out.

He said a “relatively modest” amount of housing would be included to complement a major residential development just to the east of the site, around Turnhouse Road.

Mr Dewar said the scheme’s green credentials would be “way above” planning standards and that traffic growth generated by the development would be minimised by the use of the nearby Edinburgh Gateway Station, the tram-train interchange which opened in December with direct links to Fife and the north as well as the city centre.

City council leader Adam McVey declined to comment specifically on the Crosswind proposals, but said: “The west of Edinburgh, which includes the International Business Gateway development site adjacent to the airport, is a key priority zone for the council in terms of attracting inward investment and creating jobs.

“Edinburgh Airport is a major stakeholder in this and we are committed to working closely with them.” Edinburgh Airport Watch, which campaigns against increased aircraft noise, said: “Without seeing the full proposals and what it will mean to the area, we welcome any initiative which creates real and sustainable jobs while avoiding further ground pollution and traffic problems.”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/edinburgh-airport-unveils-plan-for-major-new-home-and-business-complex-1-4499259

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