Heathrow seeks 20-year landing charge deal with CAA so investors will fund 3rd runway

For many years, Heathrow has been in dispute with the CAA about the level of charges to airlines using the airport.  It is now reported to be demanding a 20-year deal on landing charges in return for building a 3rd runway. Heathrow says it needs a fundamental review of the regulatory regime, where prices are reviewed every five years, if it is to bear the risk of the £15 billion capital outlay that a new runway would require. The request, part of its 400-page submission to the Airports Commission, is likely to infuriate airline customers, who have been complaining bitterly about its high passenger charges. Assessment of the financial viability, and possibility, of the runway proposals is part of the task of the Airports Commission. Heathrow said a deal on regulation needs to cover a period “from the point of committing the first significant investment, for at least 15 years” and it wants the government to guarantee that all “efficiently incurred” expenditure is included in the company’s regulated asset base (means a proxy for an airport’s value – which rises in line with investment in new facilities, such as terminals and runways) in future — with safeguards to prevent write-downs. 
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Heathrow seeks 20-year landing charge deal

Heathrow is reported to be demanding a 20-year deal on landing charges from the Civil Aviation Authority in return for building a third runway.The airport has argued that it needs a fundamental review of the regulatory regime, where prices are reviewed every five years, if it is to bear the risk of the £15 billion capital outlay that a new runway would require.

The request, part of its 400-page submission to the Airports Commission, is likely to infuriate airline customers, who have been complaining bitterly about its high passenger charges, The Sunday Times reported.

The commission will begin to assess the three shortlisted proposals to build a new runway in south-east England next month, after deciding that the plan for a Thames Estuary airport was too costly and too difficult to carry out. Its recommendations will be given to the government next summer.

Heathrow said a deal on regulation needs to cover a period “from the point of committing the first significant investment, for at least 15 years,” the newspaper reported.

It wants the government to guarantee that all “efficiently incurred” expenditure is included in the company’s regulated asset base (means a proxy for an airport’s value – which rises in line with investment in new facilities, such as terminals and runways) in future — with safeguards to prevent write-downs. The larger a company’s asset base, the more money it can make when price controls are set by the regulator [the CAA].

Any deal should also include “a longer visibility horizon” for Heathrow’s cost of capital, which is usually set by the regulator and can go up or down every five years depending on the likely cost of borrowing money for construction.

Emma Gilthorpe, director of strategy at Heathrow, conceded that charges for airlines would go up for a period but said the question of how long “depends on when we start the investment cycle”.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2014/09/15/49329/heathrow-seeks-20-year-landing-charge-deal.html

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Heathrow has said the cost of its runway plan would be £16.8 billion, inclusive of a £1.2 billion bill for the government for new road and rail access costs. The balance would be met by debt and equity investment from its investors.


 

Heathrow Airport Plans to Raise Landing Fees by 20% to Cover Costs of Proposed £16.8bn Third Runway

By Jerin Mathew  (International Business Times)

July 1, 2014

UK Airports Commission

Reuters

John Holland-Kaye, the new CEO of Heathrow Airport Holdings, has said the UK’s largest airport will raise landing fees for airlines.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Holland-Kaye said Heathrow will raise landing charges for airlines by as much as 20% as part of its draft funding plan for a proposed third runway at the airport.

Holland-Kaye takes over as the CEO of Heathrow Airport Holdings on 1 July. In addition to Heathrow airport, Heathrow Airport Holdings owns and runs a number of other UK airports – Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton.

The plan for the third runway costing about £16.8bn ($28.6bn, €21bn) was submitted to the UK’s Airports Commission. Holland-Kaye intends to open the runway in 2025.

He told the FT that he was confident about obtaining government approval for the plan.

“I am confident, I think [a third runway is] absolutely deliverable,” he said.

Heathrow, the busiest airport in Europe, has been overrunning its capacity and facing problems such as flight delays and lengthy immigration queues.

Holland-Kaye is proposing a third runway at the airport to solve the issues. He claimed that Britain is starting to lose the “race for [economic] growth” because Heathrow airport cannot expand.

Dubai International airport is set to replace Heathrow this year as the world’s largest hub by numbers of international passengers.

He noted that his plan has the backing of people in six out of seven nearby boroughs, saying “local politics are changing.”

“Jobs and growth allied to marginal seats makes [the third runway] politically deliverable,” he added.

Nevertheless, the proposed hike in landing fees is likely to be opposed by airlines, the FT reported.

Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited is co-owned by Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial, Qatar Holding, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, Alinda Capital Partners, China Investment Corporation and Universities Superannuation Scheme.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/heathrow-airport-plans-raise-landing-fees-by-20-cover-costs-proposed-16-8bn-third-runway-1454800

 


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Earlier:

CAA proposes Heathrow charges rise in line with inflation over next 5 years

3.10.2013The airport regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, has proposed that Heathrow should cap its landing charges so that they rise in line with inflation for the 5 years 2014 – 2019. Heathrow is complaining about this, as it wants a much larger increase in its charges and says this price cap would have “serious and far-reaching consequences” for passengers. Heathrow had submitted its request to the CAA for charges to be allowed to rise by 4.6% above the Retail Price Index (RPI), which is a measure of UK inflation. The CAA had initially proposed that the annual increase at Heathrow should be RPI minus 1.3% but said a key reason for its proposal to allow rises in line with inflation was “due to an increase in the cost of capital driven by higher debt costs”. If the proposals are accepted it will put an end to over a decade of prices rising faster than inflation at Heathrow. Airlines like BA at Heathrow had asked for a 9.8% a year cut in landing charges over the 5 years. The CAA propose allowing charges at Gatwick to rise by 0.5% above RPI for 5 years, and is yet to decide on charges at Stansted.  The CAA’s final proposals for all 3 airports would take effect if the CAA makes a final decision in January.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17722.


 

CAA proposals to limit airport charges at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted over next 5 years

30.4.2013Proposals by the CAA on changes to the regulatory regime for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are the most significant reform of airport regulation since the 1987. Heathrow is likely to be prevented from raising its charges to airlines as much as it had hoped.  The CAA plans could mean cheaper air fares from Heathrow, though the airport had wanted to be allowed to raise charges by 5.9% per year in real terms between 2014 and 2019  – to pay back to shareholders. The CAA wants a rise only in line with inflation, at the most.  The CAA will be consulting on its proposals and make its final decision in October. Heathrow’s charges are higher than those of Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, because airlines like to fly there and there is little spare capacity – hence the market would allow the cost to rise. In the past, the CAA allowed Heathrow to rise its charges, to pay for infrastructure like T5. The CAA is now considering removing caps on aeronautical charges at Gatwick and Stansted from next year. They would then be able to agree aeronautical charges with the airlines, but the CAA would retain the right to intervene if it regards the agreements as unacceptable.  The civil aviation act in 2012 gave the CAA  new powers over airport regulation.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1783 

 


 

 Regulated Asset Base (RAB)

Regulatory asset base (RAB) is a measure of the asset value of Heathrow used in Heathrow’s regulatory dealings with the CAA and in its financing arrangements

Great Britain developed the RAB to provide comfort to investors in privatised network utilities such as electricity, natural gas, railways, telecoms, transport and water that their investments would not be treated unfairly. RABs were initially developed in the early 1990s for UK infrastructure industries by Ofwat (the economic regulator of the water industry in England and Wales). Ofwat created the first infrastructure RAB for the purpose of setting its five-year price limits in 1994.

In the UK, RAB protection has become the de facto major perceived underpinning of investor expectations for UK infrastructure industries, particularly against retrospective ‘asset-taking’ and prospective asset-stranding. RABs exist in a number of other countries for both privately and publicly owned utility infrastructure industries.

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 Heathrow Airport Limited Regulatory Accounts Year ended 31 March 2014  states:

Regulatory Asset Base (‘RAB’)
The Closing RAB at 31 March 2014 was £14.8bn, an increase of £1.1bn against the closing RAB at 31 March 2013. Capital expenditure of £1.36bn was £0.9bn higher than the expenditure forecast in the CAA decision on extending the current price regulation in Heathrow and Gatwick airports in out-turn prices. This is the result of significant changes to the phasing of expenditure during Q5 and recovers the underspend in
cumulative Q5 capital expenditure reported at 31 March 2013. The actual 2013/14 expenditure was within £10m of the forecast included in the CAA’s Q6 decision (in March 2014 prices).

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowAboutUs/Downloads/PDF/Heathrow_2013-14_Regulatory_Accounts.pdf

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Prices of long-haul flights from Scottish airports slashed as Middle East airlines compete – cheaper than going via Heathrow

Air passengers from Scotland, travelling to the Middle East and Australia are benefitting from a price war between the major airlines. Emirates and Qatar Airways are bitter rivals, founded less than 10 years apart in 1985 and 1993 respectively, and then the arrival of Etihad in 2003 put both under pressure.  Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad now compete for long haul passengers from Scottish airports, to Dubai, Thailand and Australia. The price of a ticked on Etihad from Edinburgh to Sydney for next summer is about £790, cheaper than the cost of an Etihad flight from Heathrow. Emirates has slashed its return fare from Glasgow to a low of £771 for the same dates. The same flight with Qatar Airways comes in at £995 return. Industry experts predict fierce competition between the 3 carriers, undercutting each other.  Due to the 3 Middle East airlines competing, fares to Australia are cheaper from Scotland than from Heathrow or Amsterdam. So one less reason to need to expand Heathrow, or worry about losing traffic to Schiphol. 
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Prices of long-haul flights slashed as airlines compete

By Helen McArdle (Herald Scotland)

16 September 2014

AIRLINE passengers heading from Scotland to the Middle East and Australia are benefitting from a price war between major airlines.

Etihad yesterday cut the cost of a round-trip, economy-class ticket from Edinburgh to Sydney for next summer to as little as £790, cheaper than the cost of flying with it on the route from London’s Heathrow.

The fare battle came as the arrival of a third United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier puts ­pressure on operators flying from the Central Belt.  Rival Emirates has slashed its return fare from Glasgow to a low of £771 for the same dates. The same flight with Qatar Airways comes in at £995 return.

Consumers have been spoilt for choice for long-haul flights since Doha-based Qatar launched its service from Edinburgh in May, with Etihad announcing in July that it would also begin flying from the capital via its Abu Dhabi hub next summer. Its first flights, which went on sale yesterday, will start on June 8.

The move marked the first ­serious competition in Scotland for Dubai giant Emirates, which has operated from Glasgow Airport since 2004.

Industry experts predict fierce competition between the three carriers, which will not only try to undercut one another on the Scotland-to-UAE corridor but on popular holiday destinations in the Far East and Australia.

Kevin Thom of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association said: “We’re definitely seeing strong competition now with all three Middle Eastern carriers operating from Scotland. You’ve got the double daily flights with Emirates from Glasgow, Qatar from Edinburgh and now Etihad on the way.

“So I do suspect you will see them cutting fares. [£771] is a very competitive price for Australia and hopefully a sign of things to come.

“Before the competition was KLM via Amsterdam, maybe Lufthansa or even British Airways through Heathrow, and you might be able to get a return flight in the region of £800 to 900 on offer, but these were very restricted. Looking at KLM for next month, a return flight to Sydney would cost you £1600.”

Fares to Bangkok, another popular destination for Scots, have also benefitted from the competition, with Etihad squeezing an economy ticket to £505 return next June, ahead of £560 for Qatar Airways or £562 for Emirates.

By comparison, the cheapest direct flight currently available for Glasgow to New York on June 8 next year comes in at £680 return.

Emirates and Qatar Airways are bitter rivals, founded less than 10 years apart in 1985 and 1993 respectively, and both former ­holders of the prestigious “World’s Best Airline” crown – Emirates in 2013 and Qatar Airways in 2011 and 2012.

The arrival of Etihad in 2003 put both under pressure, though Emirates bosses at Glasgow airport are said to be confident exclusive facilities like their newly opened executive lounge will give them an edge over their Edinburgh airport competitors.

Douglas McNeill, aviation industry analyst at London-based Charles Stanley, said the prices were “excellent”, though he questioned whether all three could survive in the relatively small Scottish market long-term.

He added: “They are all efficient operations in comparison to their European-based counterparts.”

l Lufthansa has puts its first premium economy seats from Scotland up for sale. Passengers from Edinburgh and Aberdeen can sample the new seats, which offer 130° recline – the biggest in the industry – and 50 per cent more space on routes to destinations including Hong Kong and Singapore from December.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/transport/prices-of-long-haul-flights-slashed-as-airlines-compete.25336019?utm_source=www.heraldscotland.com&utm_medium=RSS%20Feed&utm_campaign=Scottish%20News

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See also:

Etihad to launch daily nonstop Edinburgh-Abu Dhabi service

July 21, 2014 (eturbo news)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will next year launch its first service from Scotland with the start of a nonstop daily flight from Edinburgh to its home base of Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital city.

The new route, which will commence on 8 June 2015, will be operated with a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft, offering a total of 22 seats in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy Class.

In addition to providing a direct connection between Edinburgh and Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub, the forthcoming service will enable passengers and cargo from Scotland to connect conveniently to Etihad Airways’ destinations across the Gulf region, Asia, Australia and Africa.

Edinburgh is Etihad Airways’ first Scottish destination, and its third departure point from the UK. It currently offers triple-daily flights from London, and double-daily flights from Manchester.

From the Gulf region Etihad will face Edinburgh competition from Qatar Airways who fly daily into Doha, and at Glasgow Etihad with its Dubai services. All connect at their hub airports to numerous destinations east and south

Source: etihad.com

http://www.eturbonews.com/48199/etihad-launch-daily-nonstop-edinburgh-abu-dhabi-service


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See earlier:

Qatar Airways makes Edinburgh its latest city in Europe

4.6.2014 (Anna Aero)

Qatar Airways, now operating all flights from Hamad International Airport, began operating a new route to the UK on 28 May.
Edinburgh (EDI) became the airline’s third destination in the UK (after London Heathrow and Manchester), with five weekly 787 flights on the 5,550-kilometre route from Doha (DOH).
The airline faces no direct competition on the route, and neither Emirates nor Etihad Airways serves the Scottish capital as yet.
Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport, said: “This truly is a historic day, not just for our airport, but for the city of Edinburgh and for Scotland. Today’s inaugural flight to Doha marks the first direct link from Edinburgh to the Middle East and means Scotland’s capital is finally connected with Asia, Australia and China. We’re absolutely delighted to celebrate this occasion with our city partners and the Scottish Government, whose hard work has helped us reach this milestone. A direct link to Doha will not only enhance trade and culture links but will truly reaffirm Edinburgh Airport as where Scotland meets the world.”
Humza Yousaf, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, said: “Scotland and Qatar are both strong oil and gas producing countries and the relationship between our two countries has continued to strengthen over recent years. This service will help build on this important link and promote Scotland as a great place to do business.
“By removing the need for extra connecting flights, it will also make Scotland a more attractive destination for tourists. We want to improve Scotland’s international connectivity and we could attract more direct flights like this by cutting rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD), something that we don’t currently have the power to do but which has wide support in the aviation industry.
“2014 is an exciting time for Scotland and we look forward to welcoming friends from around the world for our exciting programme of events that includes the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and a second Year of Homecoming.”
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Heathrow flight path trials branded an “omnishambles” by councillors, given no prior warning (and then asked to back 3rd runway)

During a full Bracknell Forest Council meeting on 17th a motion put forward by Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker to ensure the borough’s residents views are considered by the airport was unanimously carried. The motion came after councillors received complaints from people in Winkfield, Warfield, Binfield and Ascot who noticed a large amount of planes flying over their homes in July.  Local MP Adam Afriye, who himself lives in Old Windsor, knows the problem. He has said he will continue  his 10-year campaign to fight any changes in flights which expose residents to higher levels of aircraft noise. He has received extensive correspondence from distressed residents who feel the aircraft noise pattern has changed and is now unbearable. Bracknell councillors are very angry they were not consulted by Heathrow in advance of the trials. One councillor said he was disgusted to receive no information about the trial, but at the same time get a letter asking him to back Heathrow’s campaign for a 3rd runway. He said: “This has been an own goal in PR terms, the only way to describe it is an omnishambles….The irony of neighbours receiving this letter should not escape any of us.”

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Heathrow Airport flight path trials branded an “omnishambles”

A trial of flight paths by Heathrow Airport which has increased air traffic over Bracknell Forest has been branded an “omnishambles”.

During a full council meeting last night a motion put forward by Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker to ensure the borough’s residents views are considered by the airport was unanimously carried.

The motion came after councillors received complaints from people in Winkfield, Warfield, Binfield and Ascot who noticed a large amount of planes flying over their homes in July.

Adam Afriyie: I know only too well how intrusive low-flying aircraft can be

Cllr Brunel-Walker’s motion also demanded Heathrow Airport admit it should have consulted Bracknell Forest Council about the trials which are expected to last until January.

Cllr Rob McLean, who represents Warfield Harvest Ride, said he was disgusted to receive no information about the trial at the same time as receiving a letter to back Heathrow’s campaign for a third runway.

He said: “This has been an own goal in PR terms, the only way to describe it is an omnishambles.

“The irony of neighbours receiving this letter should not escape any of us.

“The purpose of this is to make it perfectly clear they have screwed up because they didn’t tell us about this trial.

“Our residents were given no warning of this, they didn’t even know it was a trial period and have struggled to find any information about what is happening and why.”

Councillors, who asked to be kept up-to-date with discussions, also used the debate to encourage as many people as possible to attend a meeting next month with representative from Heathrow Airport, the National Air Traffic Control Service (NACS) and the Civil Aviation Authority to voice their concerns.

The meeting, at Ascot Racecourse in High Street, will begin at 7pm on Monday, October 13.

Cllr Brunel-Walker’s motion stated: “Bracknell Forest Council supports the continued success of Heathrow but regrets it was not consulted about the current trial of new flight paths over the parishes of our borough.

“Members have received approaches from many residents and the council is resolute in making sure their voices are heard as part of any consultation.

“Therefore, the council asks Heathrow Airport and NATS to confirm they are taking fully into account the views of our residents in this trial and will in future ensure this council is informed of all such changes to flight paths, timings etc. that have the potential to cause concern to our residents.”

Issues can also be raised about the trials by contacting the airport on 0800 344 844 [goes through to answerphone, as the airport is swamped by complaints] or noise_complaints@heathrow.com.

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/heathrow-airport-flight-path-trials-7791497

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Adam Afriyie: I know only too well how intrusive low-flying aircraft can be

“I will continue my 10-year campaign to fight against any [changes] in flights which expose residents to higher levels of aircraft noise.”

As we are all aware, Heathrow is trialling new flight paths over the constituency, with the current phase due to last until January 2015.

As a resident of Old Windsor, I know all too well how intrusive low-flying aircraft can be; not only does it disrupt our sleep late at night and in the early hours of the morning, but it has an impact on our work and social lives, too.

It is disturbing, therefore, to have received so much correspondence from distressed residents who tell me that the aircraft noise pattern has changed and is now unbearable.

Having already contacted Heathrow Airport to request more information about the current trials and to address the concerns of those who have contacted me directly, they will now be carrying out a more in-depth analysis of flight patterns in the area, the results of which it plans to share with residents.

I know our hard-working councillors have also been receiving lots of calls and emails and, as always, they are being incredibly proactive in responding to the issues affecting our local area.

Bracknell Forest Councillor Tony Virgo is doing a fantastic job at representing constituents’ concerns to Heathrow and the Civil Aviation Authority, and liaising with Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to arrange a public meeting at which Heathrow can answer some key questions.

The meeting will give residents a chance to voice their concerns, and allow Heathrow to share its analysis and clarify the reasons for these trials. Heathrow Airport Ltd must take local concerns seriously, and I urge them to find a solution that is acceptable to the community.

A third runway will affect one million people within the crucial 55 decibel noise zone and hundreds of thousands are likely to be exposed to aircraft noise for the first time.

I will continue my 10-year campaign to fight against any [changes] in flights which expose residents to higher levels of aircraft noise.

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local-news/adam-afriyie-know-only-well-7790711

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Anger as Heathrow’s latest flight path trials subject thousands to unacceptable noise levels

Heathrow is conducting trials of new flight paths, both to the west and to the east of the airport. Since the easterly trial started (28th July) and the westerly trial started (25th August) the airport has been swamped with complaints.  The complaints line can no longer cope. For many people, there has been a sudden and unacceptable increase in noise. The changed, concentrated, routes have been blamed for the “unacceptable and intolerable” noise above a number of Surrey villages.  Some of the worse affected areas to the west are Englefield Green, Egham, Thorpe, Virginia Water, Windlesham, Bagshot, Lightwater, Sunninghill and Ascot. Petitions to the airport have been set up in Ascot, Lightwater and now in Englefield Green, asking that the trials be stopped. People feel that even after the end of the trials that ended in June, the increased noise from them has continued. People living under the new, concentrated, routes are now subjected to more, louder, aircraft noise as late as 11.50pm and as early as 6am. The purpose of all this is to get more flights off Heathrow’s runways, so the airport can be more profitable for its foreign owners.

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Heathrow map from 

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowNoise2/Downloads/PDFs/Westerly_departure_trial%202_updated.pdf

Heathrow map of westerly operations trial routes Sept 2014

 


Anger as Heathrow’s latest flight trials fill skies over Surrey villages

New trial Heathrow flight paths have been blamed for the “unacceptable and intolerable” noise above a number of Surrey villages

Heathrow’s first trial period

 

Villagers in Surrey are set for a showdown with bosses from Heathrow Airport after an “unacceptable” increase in aircraft noise.

Heathrow is trying out new flight paths over Surrey and Berkshire, which are reportedly affecting households in Englefield Green, Egham, Thorpe, Virginia Water, Windlesham, Bagshot, Lightwater, Sunninghill and Ascot.

Complaints have poured in from Windlesham, Bagshot and Lightwater – as well as from further afield – all speaking of a sudden spike in noise levels.

Hundreds of residents have signed a petition, launched by Lightwater resident Rosalie James, who has also set up a website and helped arrange a meeting with Heathrow officials after becoming sick of the racket.

She explained how, earlier this year, Heathrow trialled a number of routes directly above the three villages.

This came to an end in June, but Miss James said plane activity had not returned to pre-trial levels.

A new trial, split into two phases and more directly affecting the Ascot and Sunningdale area, has since got under way, but Miss James said it was this “sustained increase” in activity that had riled people.

“Flights are passing overhead lower, louder and later than ever before, disturbing all aspects of everyday life,” she said. “They continue as late as 11.50pm and as early as 6am.

“There has been no consultation and this latest trial seems to be forcing traffic down narrower paths, which means there is greater disparity between who is and isn’t affected.

“It is unacceptable and intolerable. We all accept we live 20 miles from Heathrow. But none of us bought our houses in the knowledge we would find ourselves beneath a formal flight path.”

Miss James has written to MP for Surrey Heath Michael Gove, who has referred the matter to Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin, and has also received the backing of the Windlesham Society.

The latest trials will continue until late January, although there are no plans for formal consultation by Heathrow until 2016.

A tentative date of October 15 has been set for a public meeting, to be held in the Ascot area.

Intolerable

A similar petition, launched in Englefield Green, has attracted more than 1,000 supporters and founder, Jane Snell, said residents were aiming to gain the support of local councilors and Runnymede and Weybridge MP Philip Hammond in showing local animosity towards the airport.

“Last weekend they were hammering over Englefield Green, from Friday to Monday,” said Mrs Snell, of Cooper’s Hill. “Some of the flight paths have been changed, on a personal level it has been fairly intolerable, it’s really difficult to hear other people speaking and makes the garden virtually unusable – it becomes a no-go area at the moment when they take off.

“In June we noticed a big increase and there was another trial from the end of August, it’s the current trial that’s bringing them over Englefield Green,” she said.

“It’s a really nice residential area and we moved in 12 years ago from Datchet and friends moved from Windsor to get away from plane noise, now it’s coming over us.”

Mrs Snell said there has been no communication from Heathrow with residents regarding the new flight paths and branded the proposed new routes as “the destruction of a lovely Surrey village.”

“Many of the surrounding villages have had meetings about public consultations but absolutely nothing in Englefield Green,” she said.

Wendy Richardson, from Harvest Road, is a full-time home worker and said the trial made working in the garden over the summer impossible.

“You either have to raise your voice or wait for (the plane) to go past,” she said. “To change something that’s going to have such a big impact on people’s lives and not have any consultation at all, I think is appalling.

Mrs Richardson described the planes as flying over in a “three-pronged” direction over her garden.

“Some people have been commenting because they are at the top of the hill and their house is physically shaking,” she said.

An exhibition event to showcase Heathrow’s third runway proposals will take place in Egham on October 7 from 2pm to 9pm in St Paul’s Church Hythe Centre.

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/anger-heathrows-latest-flight-trials-7785619

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The Heathrow website says:

Heathrow’s airspace trials

When and where will the trials take place?

Between now and 2016, we’re running a series of trials as part of the government’s plan to modernise UK airspace. Our aim is to improve the airspace around Heathrow for the good of everyone: passengers, airlines and neighbouring communities.

During the trials some people will experience more noise, others will experience less. The important point to note is that what you experience during the trials is not indicative of how Heathrow’s final airspace will look or sound. The final decision is several years away and will be taken by the government, not Heathrow.

As the trials progress, we’ll be sharing results on our website and through public briefings.

Trials timeline and schedules

To help you find out if and when you’re likely to be affected, we’ve produced a trial timeline and a series of schedules describing what we’ll be doing in each set of trials.

Download our indicative trials timeline (148KB PDF)


 

Westerly departure trial 2: 25 August 2014 – 26 January 2015

Our second westerly departure trial tests:

  1. Satellite-based navigation / Performance-based navigation
  2. Resilience
  3. Noise respite.

Download the Westerly departure trial 2 (1MB PDF)


 

Easterly departure trial 2: 28 July 2014 – 26 January 2015

Our second easterly departure trial tests:

  1. Satellite-based navigation / Performance-based navigation
  2. Resilience on 3 easterly departure routes

Download the Easterly departure trial 2 (611KB PDF)


 

Easterly and westerly departure trial 1: 16 December 2013 – 15 June 2014

Our first two trials tested:

  1. Satellite-based navigation / Performance-based navigation
  2. Our ability to provide predictable noise respite on aircraft departures.

Download the Departures trial 1 (2.02MB PDF)


 

Comments and feedback

When the trials are over, we’ll be submitting options for public consultation in 2016. But you don’t have to wait till then. If you have any thoughts or feedback on our trials or on any aspect of airspace modernisation, call our Community Relations team on 0800 344844.

http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/future-plans/modernising-uk-airspace/heathrow%E2%80%99s-airspace-trials

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Some recent news stories about Heathrow noise:

Teddington petition to Heathrow to stop the easterly departures trial and not allow it to become permanent

Finding themselves now affected by a newly concentrated flight path for Heathrow easterly departures, people in Teddington are now up in arms about the intensified noise. The trial started on 28th July and is due to last till 15th January 2015. They have set up a petition, to Heathrow, to ask that the current noise level does not continue. The flight path trials are part of the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) with the aim of getting ever more planes using Heathrow, more efficiently. People in Teddington are angry that Heathrow have stated that: “Before the trials started in December last year we briefed local authorities; residents groups; campaign groups and MPs around Heathrow” yet Heathrow will not provide any details on who was contacted and when. In reality most people were not informed or warned. They would have liked to have been informed (so much for airports stating how much better they are getting at communication with communities ….). The affected residents are calling on Heathrow to halt these trials as soon as possible due to the negative impact on the quality of life they are causing for many people. They also call on Heathrow to recommend that the flight path changes are not made permanent.

Click here to view full story…


Formula 1 boss’s fury over new Heathrow aircraft noise – at least with Formula 1 people know where the noise is

A significant Formula One car racing engineer, who lives in Sunninghill under a Heathrow flight path test route, has joined an increasing band of residents complaining about the new flight paths over Bracknell and Ascot. He describes them as “intolerable”. The chief technical officer at Formula One team Red Bull Racing has hit out at Heathrow after its new trial flight paths started last Thursday, for 5 months. The aims of the trials are to try to reduce ‘stacking’, speeding up departure times to cut departure intervals, so increasing airport profits. He said though having lived in Sunninghill since 1997 and the noise has never been an issue before. “It is pretty intolerable because currently we have planes flying over our heads at 11pm at night …. it’s very antisocial really. ….I can’t even sit in my garden and socialise with my friends because it is just too noisy. There has been no proper consultation…” Realising he himself works in a very noisy industry, he said “… with Formula One is that there are no new race tracks being built anywhere, so people who buy houses next to race tracks know what they are getting.” There is an active petition in the Ascot area against the flight path trials, with around 2,400 signatures today.

Click here to view full story…



Aircraft Noise petition from  Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot

Stop the Flight Path trials

In the 3 Villages area (Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot) residents have been impacted both by the latest trials – that started on 28th August 2014 – as well as those which ended on 15th June.

With local feelings running high, people in this began a campaign and now also have an online petition with links from their website at  www.aircraftnoiselightwater.co.uk

Following contact with John Holland-Kaye in early August, the campaign has secured a meeting with Cheryl Monk, (Head of Community Relations and Policy)  to which residents of all affected areas are invited (both 3 Villages and Ascot will attend) – to be held on 15th October (time and venue to be confirmed).

There is a  Change.org petition to the Heathrow complaints team, here   They say: 

“Flights are passing overhead, lower, louder and later than ever before disturbing all aspects of everyday life.   Flights continue as late as 11.30pm and as early as 6am – a period when a reasonable person expects the right to peace and quiet.

“Local residents are now opposed to any more expansion at Heathrow and call for an IMMEDIATE end to the flight path trial!”

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Ascot area residents’ petition to end new Heathrow flight path trial

1.9.2014

Residents in the area in and around Ascot (not far from Heathrow) have a Change.org petition asking that the new Heathrow flight path trial, which started in the last few days, should immediately be ended. It is causing considerable noise nuisance, and making life there unpleasant.
Residents can see the planes very clearly from their gardens, and the noise is so loud now it disturbs any conversation they have outside.

Petition to end the flight path trial


Heathrow flight path changes / trial inflict more noise misery on Ascot area

Heathrow airport and NATS are experimenting with flight path changes and new technology systems for Heathrow flights. The aim is to reduce ‘stacking’ of aircraft waiting to land, and to speed up departure times, getting more planes in the air per hour – in order make the airport more efficient (or more profitable). There is a series of trials, over a period of years from 2012 to 2017, advertised on Heathrow’s website. They are to inform the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) consultation. One trial, for departures to the west, started on 28th August and will last till January 2015. It will test how sharply aircraft are able to turn on take-off and how fast they can climb. The results will be factored into Heathrow’s revision of flight paths that are required under the European ‘SESAR’ programme. The reality for people being over-flown is that there are now more aircraft passing over Ascot, Sunningdale and Sunninghill, and these planes are low (around 3,000 feet) and climbing. The gaps between planes are also shorter than before. A petition has been set up by people in the Ascot area, to get the trial ended immediately. The new noise barrage has created new fears in those areas of the impact of a 3rd runway.

Click here to view full story…

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Heatwave blamed for record number of complaints about Heathrow noise

Heathrow anti-noise group, HACAN, says nearly 300 people contacted it during July to complain about aircraft noise, more than three times the monthly average. The weather was warm in the south east in July, with a good summer. That means people spent more time outside, and they slept with windows open. That led to even more awareness of aircraft noise than there is in cooler weather. The record number of noise complaints was due to a combination of warm temperatures and a record 6.97 million passengers using Heathrow during July. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN said: “It puts into perspective Heathrow’s current consultation on compensation if a 3rd runway is ever built. You simply can’t compensate people for the disturbance of planes thundering over as they sit in their gardens trying to enjoy the summer sunshine….. Just imagine how much worse the noise could be with a third runway and at least 250,000 more flights each year using Heathrow.” Heathrow itself received 603 complaints about noise in July, only a slight rise on the 578 made during July 2013. They acknowledge that: …”an airport of the size and importance of Heathrow can have downsides for people living nearby.”

Click here to view full story…

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Dubai to expand Al Maktoum airport to overtake Dubai International and handle 240 million passengers per year

Dubai already has a huge airport, Dubai International, which overtook Heathrow as the busiest airport in the world for international passenger traffic. Now Dubai is to build an every larger airport,  expanding Al Maktoum International, which might cost some £19.8 billion and would be the largest airport in the world.  It will cover an area of over 200 square kilometres (not a problem with lots of spare desert). It would be built in the desert, not affecting many people. Dubai wants the airport to handle 240 million passengers per year, compared to around 70 million at Heathrow now, and about 230 million for all UK airports.  The plan is to build it is two phases. The first would take 6 – 8 years,up to 120 million passengers  per year. The British government, and people like Boris, have a macho horror of some other country having an airport larger than we have. There is a dread of confronting reality, that Heathrow will need to decline, comparatively, against the Middle East. The UK is no longer in the right geographical location to remain the world’s largest hub. The world is moving on.  Trying to out-do Dubai, where everything is entirely different, and to the great detriment of people living in the crowded south east of England, is a mug’s game.
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Dubai to Expand Al Maktoum International Airport

September 9, 2014
Courtesy of Dubai Airports.

US$32 billion project will create biggest hub in the world, Dubai Airports says

Dubai will spend US$32 billion to expand its Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Center. The announcement was made by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

Emirates Airline will move its international hub from Dubai International to the new facility by the mid-2020s.

“With limited options for further  growth at Dubai International, we are taking that next step to securing our future by building a brand new airport that will not only create the capacity we will need in the coming decades but also provide state of the art facilities that revolutionise the airport experience on an unprecedented scale,” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports and operator of Al Maktoum International, said in a statement.

The facility should become the biggest hub in the world, Griffiths said. When completed, the facility will be able to accommodate 200 million passengers each year.

The project will be built in two phases and cover an area of 56 square kilometers.

The first phase of construction will include two new terminals to handle 120 million passengers per year and runways large enough for 100 Airbus A380 planes at any one time.

Work on the project is expected to start soon and the first phase is scheduled to be completed in six to eight years.

 http://www.breakbulk.com/breakbulk-news/industry-sector/epcs-project-owners/dubai-to-expand-al-maktoum-international-airport/

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Wikipedia says:

Dubai’s government has announced the construction of a new airport in Jebel Ali, named Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International Airport. It is expected to be the second largest airport in the world by physical size, though not by passenger metrics. It opened 27 June 2010,  however construction is not expected to finish until 2017. The airport is expected to be able to accommodate up to 160 million passengers. There has been an official plan to build the Dubai Metro Purple Line to connect Al Maktoum International Airport to Dubai International Airport; construction is set to begin in 2012. There have been rumours that the Purple Line is on hold, or even cancelled.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubai_International_Airport

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 and

Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International Airport ) is the official name of a major international airport in Jebel Ali,  23 miles south west of Dubai, (UAE) that opened on 27 June 2010.

….. It has been named after the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the former ruler of Dubai. It will be the main part of Dubai World Central, a planned residential, commercial and logistics complex scheme. World Central is the world’s first truly integrated logistics platform, with most transport modes, logistics and value-added services, including manufacturing and assembly, in a singlefree economic zone.

The new airport will cover an area of 55,000 acres (220 km squ). The airport is referred to as “the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis“, with a projected annual capacity of 12 million tonnes of freight and between 160 million and 260 million passengers, an ambitious goal that is twice the capacity of any other planned development worldwide.  Currently, however, only a handful of airlines operate out of Al Maktoum International Airport in terms of passenger services, which just recently began in late 2013.

…The project was originally expected to be fully operational by 2017, although the 2007–2012 global financial crisis subsequently postponed the completion of the complex to 2027.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubai_World_Central_-_Al_Maktoum_International_Airport

 


 

 

Dubai threatens Britain’s supremacy with $32bn mega-hub airport

Dubai, which is already stealing Britain’s crown as a global aviation hub, has announced plans to plough $32bn into its second airport which will become the largest in the world

By , Leisure and Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)

The threat to Britain’s status as a leader in global aviation from expanding airports in the Middle East has been lifted to another level, as Dubai on Monday announced plans to invest $32bn (£19.8bn) in creating a mega-hub in the desert.

The funds will be ploughed into Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International, and could potentially see it expand to accommodate 240m passengers a year, 100,000 more than the number of travellers who used all of London’s airports put together last year.

Al Maktoum will become the biggest airport in the world following the expansion, which will take place in two phases. The first, which will take between six and eight years to complete, will boost capacity to 120m passengers a year – 40m more than Heathrow’s current maximum. However it is eventually envisioned that mega-hub will cater for 240m passengers a year.

The gulf state’s current main airport, Dubai International, is already threatening Britain’s supremacy as a centre for aviation. In the first three months of this year it overtook Heathrow as the busiest airport in the world for international passenger traffic.

Dubai’s ambitious plans will inject extra urgency to the airports debate in Britain. Boris Johnson and business leaders such as Lord Norman Foster argue that Britain also needs to be bold and build its own new hub. Heathrow also stresses that the UK needs extra hub capacity in order to remain competitive. However, opponents to Heathrow expansion argue that the Gulf airports are already snatching away transfer passengers from European hubs and a second runway at Gatwick would meet the country’s needs for additional runway capacity in the short-term.

“This advantage is now ending as competitor hubs abroad such as Paris, Frankfurt and Dubai overtake us as the busiest airport for international passengers. Heathrow can’t keep up with them. It is full, with no spare capacity. Unless we expand, Heathrow’s comparative decline will make the whole of the UK a less attractive place to do business as we fail to offer the range of destinations businesses need.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11082965/Dubai-threatens-Britains-supremacy-with-32bn-mega-hub-airport.html

 


 

Some comments below the Telegraph story:

Dubai is expanding an airport located 20 or 30 miles into the desert from Dubai city. It has almost no impact on anyone other than a few camels. The Heathrow expansion, however, will subject millions of London residents to more noise and pollution. The Dubai airport can operate 24 hours per day whereas Heathrow cannot.

It’ll threaten nothing if ISIS gets hold of it.

I can’t see how Heathrow can be a hub – the geography is all wrong. If you are coming from north or south America, you can fly direct to Paris, Amsterdam or Frankfurt, you don’t need to go to Heathrow. If you are coming from Asia then you have to overfly Europe to get to Heathrow, so what is the point of that? A hub is in the centre of the wheel, not way out on the rim of it. Heathrow doesn’t make any sense. It did when London was the centre of the universe and aircraft could not fly non stop long hauls, but those days ended a long, long time ago and things are different now.

t’s 3,400 miles from Heathrow to Dubai. I’m willing to admit I’m a bit slow but can someone explain to me how airport capacity in Dubai has any relevance whatsoever to our need, if we have one, for a hub airport? Is someone going to stop off in Dubai because he couldn’t stop off at Heathrow?

 

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Gatwick gets 3 YouGov polls done, which it interprets as rising support for its runway

Gatwick airport has commissioned 3 surveys, by YouGov. One was of 1009 people living near Gatwick, another of 1008 people living near Heathrow, and  then 1037 people living in Greater London, the “Omnibus” survey. As with all these surveys, we are not told the exact structure of the questions, or if there was leading text. There are also, of course, no options for anyone to say No to any new runway, so the surveys are of limited value. The main question was: “If there was a straight choice between expanding Gatwick or Heathrow, with whichever airport didn’t expand staying the same size as it is today, which would you chose?” [It is an oddly worded question, as both Heathrow and Gatwick can expand, and are expanding, their number of passengers.]. The response from the Gatwick area was that 25% preferred Gatwick, 36% preferred Heathrow and 11% did not know.  The response from the Heathrow area was 51% in favour of Gatwick getting a runway, 40% in favour of a Heathrow runway, and 9% did not know. For for the Omnibus London survey, 46% preferred Gatwick runway, 35% Heathrow, and 18% did not know. Gatwick is interpreting these as huge support for its runway.  Heathrow says its figures are entirely different. The reality indicates that polls, with an intended outcome, can prove almost anything. .


 

Heathrow Area poll: 

http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/brgfnr1les/Results-for-Gatwick-Airport-HeathrowArea-04092014.pdf

Gatwick Area poll:  http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/2pufa6flfe/Results-for-Gatwick-Airport-GatwickArea-04092014.pdf

London Omnibus poll:  http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/iu0stzop90/Results-for-Gatwick-Airport-London-04092014.pdf


 

Nimbyism

Gatwick airport did a large consultation about its runway options earlier this year. This came out with the embarrassing, and inconvenient result for them, of huge local opposition. About 85% of respondents were against a runway (66% if some from the Woodland Trust are excluded from the total). Details 

The YouGov surveys in September only really indicate that nimbyism is alive and well.  People near Heathrow know what living close to a massive airport is like – so fewer are keen to have it expanded. Therefore, in a survey with no “none of the above” option, they voted for the misery to be inflicted on the Gatwick area.

Not a lot proved really!


 

GATWICK area poll

Gatwick YouGov poll Sept 2014

 


Heathrow area poll

Guardian YouGov poll  Sept 2014 Heathrow area

 

 


Omnibus London area poll (in which it appears this question was asked last, not first as in the two above)

Gatwick YouGov poll Sept 2014 Omnibus

 


Gatwick airport says:

Public choose Gatwick expansion over Heathrow

17 September 2014 (Gatwick Airport website)

  • Over half of Heathrow residents say Gatwick should be expanded
  • Majority of Gatwick’s local community supports a second runway
  • Londoners prefer expansion at Gatwick over Heathrow

In the first public polls since the London Mayor’s Estuarial option was taken off the table by the Airports Commission, three separate groups – Londoners, Gatwick residents and people living near Heathrow – have all come out in favour of building a new runway at Gatwick rather than Heathrow, according to three YouGov surveys published today.

Given a straight choice of building a new runway at Gatwick or Heathrow, 46% of Londoners think Gatwick should be expanded, compared to 35% choosing Heathrow. [The question text as printed was “If there was a straight choice between expanding Gatwick or Heathrow, with whichever airport didn’t expand staying the same size as it is today, which would you chose?” [It is an oddly worded question, as both Heathrow and Gatwick can expand, and are expanding, their number of passengers.].

When residents living near both airports were asked, 52% of Gatwick residents said their local airport should be expanded compared to only 36% selecting Heathrow. More than half (51%) of Heathrow residents thought Gatwick was the best choice for expansion, with 40% choosing their local airport.

All three groups said expanding Gatwick would be the best option in terms of delivering greater competition between airports and generating more choice for passengers. They also opted for expansion at Gatwick based on the speed and ease a new runway can be delivered, and because fewer additional planes would fly over and impact the people of central London. [Note - the question about more people being over-flown by Gatwick flight paths was not asked].

The three polls have been published on the day that Gatwick outlines to London Assembly members why the airport’s plans for a second runway are the best and most deliverable solution to meet London and the UK’s future aviation needs. All three groups also said the impact on the local area was the most important consideration when choosing where a new runway should be built. Nearly half of both Gatwick (46%) and Heathrow (49%) residents said expanding Gatwick would be the best choice in this respect, with 32% in both areas selecting Heathrow.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said: “These polls show that Gatwick’s campaign is gaining momentum. “Aviation is changing fast and there is increasing recognition that expansion at Gatwick is best suited to current market trends and can help deliver the economic benefits the UK needs at an environmental cost we can afford. An expanded Gatwick will give London a system of competitive airports that will help keep fares low for all passengers at the same time as freeing up sufficient hub capacity at Heathrow.”

Notes to Editors

More competition and choice between airports Half of Londoners (50%) said expanding Gatwick would be best for giving the UK a balanced airport system so there is better competition and choice between airports, with only 21% thinking a third runway at Heathrow would deliver this. 58% of Gatwick residents and 60% of those living near Heathrow also thought Gatwick was best to deliver this, compared to 15% and 17% respectively.

Speed and ease that a new runway can be delivered 34% of Londoners think a second runway at Gatwick would be built more quickly and easily than at Heathrow, compared to 31% Heathrow. Among Gatwick and Heathrow residents this rises to 40%, with 25% and 30% respectively saying a third runway could be delivered more quickly and easily at Heathrow.

Number of additional flights over central London Among Londoners, 38% said Gatwick would be best in terms of the number of additional planes that would fly over central London, with 33% suggesting Heathrow would be best in this respect. Similarly 40% of Gatwick residents and over half (51%) of those living around Heathrow think Gatwick would best, compared to 34% and 29% respectively. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.

London Omnibus Total sample size was 1,037 adults across the 32 boroughs of Greater London. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd and 4th September. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of London adults (aged 18+).

Gatwick area Total sample size was 1,009 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st September and the 10th September 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted by population size, age, social grade and gender across the local authorities included (Croydon, Crawley, Mid Sussex, Horsham, Mole Valley, Tandridge, and Reigate and Banstead).

Heathrow area Total sample size was 1,008 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st September and the 10th September 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted by population size, age, social grade and gender across the local authorities included (Hounslow, Spelthorne, Richmond upon Thames, Kingston upon Thames, Ealing, Hillingdon and Windsor and Maidenhead). Results are available on the YouGov website.

For more information contact:

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Gatwick claims it is ‘public’s choice’ for next runway

West Sussex airport publishes YouGov polls showing that Londoners, Gatwick residents and people living near Heathrow favour its second runway proposals

A Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet comes into land at London Gatwick airport

Gatwick Airport is campaigning for a second runway Photo: Alamy
Gatwick Airport is seeking to brand itself as the people’s choice for the location of Britain’s next runway, as it published three YouGov polls in support of its expansion campaign.
The West Sussex airport claims three YouGov polls – of Londoners; people living near Gatwick; and residents in Heathrow’s surrounding boroughs – show it is a clear favourite with the public. But its rival, Heathrow, immediately hit back, claiming that its own YouGov surveys show it has the edge in the eyes of the general public.
Both Heathrow and Gatwick are upping the ante in the increasingly bitter battle to persuade the Airports Commission that they should be awarded the right to build the next runway in the London area.
Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the commission, will begin a public consultation this autumn based on an appraisal of three options, which were short-listed late last year. These include two options for runway expansion at Heathrow, plus Gatwick’s second runway proposals.
YouGov surveyed more than 1,000 Londoners at the start of September and asked them, in a straight choice between Heathrow and Gatwick, which one would they choose, if the airport that is not expanded stayed the same size. Out of 1,037 adults polled, 46pc responded Gatwick, 35pc Heathrow and 18pc said they were not sure.
The same question was asked of 1,008 residents spread across Hounslow, Spelthorne, Richmond, Kingston, Ealing, Hillingdon, Windsor and Maidenhead – all in the vicinity of Heathrow – and 51pc responded in favour of Gatwick. Two fifths supported Heathrow and 9pc said they were not sure. Slough, which borders Heathrow and is perceived as the most supportive of the airport’s controversial third runway campaign, was omitted. People questioned in areas close to Gatwick, including Croydon, Crawley and Reigate, were in favour of their local airport being expanded. Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said the results showed the airport’s second runway campaign is “gaining momentum”.
He added: “Aviation is changing fast and there is increasingly recognition that expansion at Gatwick is best suited to current market trends and can deliver the economic benefits the UK needs at an environmental cost we can afford.” However Heathrow released some statistics from YouGov research conducted in the middle of August showing that out of 3,728 UK residents polled, 52pc favoured its third runway campaign, compared to 28pc who believed Gatwick was the best location for expansion. A smaller sample of Londoners – 653 – were also asked which location would be their first choice for expansion and 44pc replied Heathrow, 34pc Gatwick and 22pc the Isle of Grain, Boris Johnson’s preferred choice which was ruled out by the Airports Commission earlier this month.
A Heathrow spokesman said: “Our polling shows clear support for expanding Heathrow. But that doesn’t mean we are opposed to a second runway at Gatwick. Londoners need more of the long-haul business flights to destinations like China that Heathrow provides and in future will also need more short-haul flights to European destinations that airports like Gatwick and Stansted provide. There’s no need to force people to choose between one or the other.”
Gatwick pointed out that its YouGov survey was conducted after the Isle of Grain was rejected by the commission, suggesting supporters of that project had switched allegiances to Gatwick. Heathrow’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, will on Thursday appeal to American businesses to intervene in the UK’s aviation capacity debate. Heathrow has 228 flights a day crossing the Atlantic and the airport believes that, with a third runway, it can generate a further 10 routes to the world’s biggest economy.
Mr Holland-Kaye will point out that many American travellers use Heathrow as a hub to connect to flights to Asia. “If you value the regular direct flights to North America and believe we need to do more to connect London to the mega-cities of tomorrow, we need your help to make the case,” Mr Holland-Kaye will say at an event organised by the British-American Business group.

Some of the comments below the Telegraph article:

Why all the moaning, the public want to go on holiday the public must have what they want it’s the way of the world, sardines packed into the roads airports, trains, the ever increasing population must get what it wants, build more airports roads the population if this country will be 75 million by 2030 mainly immigrants so who cares, country is the most densely populated in Europe what do you expect.
Public’s choice…? Not if you’ve ever stayed in a farmhouse near Edenbridge under one of its flight paths, it isn’t. Terribly badly located for a major airport.
Having spent around an hour and a half in various traffic jams around M23 and M25 junction over last weekend it is obvious to any sane person that neither Heathrow nor Gatwick should expand. I live not far from Gatwick and there is a huge problem with noise in the area already. Most local people do not want Gatwick to expand and have far more sense than to take any notice at all of the Gatwick public relations machine. I have not met anyone yet living locally who supports another runway at Gatwick.
Love it. People living near HR want Gatwick to grow and no doubt people living near Gatwick want HR to grow. Bottom line is anyone who makes money out of air travel wants growth and get a meaningful say but the rest of us who have to suffer the noise, air pollution and road traffic density increase near airports want it to shrink but don’t get a binding vote. — Gatwick’s recent consultation exercise initially didn’t include a non of the above box for the various runway options. If this represents a known example of naked gerrymandering, how many unknown examples riddle this survey? Greed makes for thieves, knaves and bare faced liars and there are non greedier than the sort of private equity chancers that own Gatwick. .

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Earlier

 

Gatwick’s consultation shows some 85% of respondents oppose a 2nd Gatwick runway

Gatwick Airport held a consultation over April and May 2014, to try to get backing for its plans for a 2nd runway, and the option the airport wants – the wide spaced option with the runway used for both arrivals and departures. This has always been what the airport wanted, and the proposal the Airports Commission short listed. The consultation gave two options, that the airport did not want and has no interest in. The consultation also initially had no means for any respondent to express their opposition to any new Gatwick runway, but eventually a “none of these options” box was added – difficult to locate, far into the document. The survey results are now out. They are deeply irritating to the airport, as they show huge opposition to any runway. Of about 7,700 respondents, well over 80% said NO. Of the 7,700 or so, only 733 backed Option 3 ( the runway option Gatwick wants) and 2,165 did not want a runway at all. 4,003 responses came through the Woodland Trust and these are being discounted, unjustifiably, as though part of an e-campaign, many contained specific comments made by the respondents. Taking all the responses for no runway, they amount to some 85% of the total. Even discounting the Woodland Trust responses, 66% opposed a new runway.

Click here to view full story… 

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and the discredited Heathrow survey recently:

Heathrow claim 60% of MPs back 3rd runway. Survey actually reveals it was only 55 MPs out of 95 interviewed. Not 650.

Heathrow airport has commissioned a survey by highly respected polling company, Ipsos Mori. They wanted to see how many MPs back a 3rd Heathrow runway. There are 650 MPs in the House of Commons. Heathrow is proudly claiming that “58% of MPs back a third runway at Heathrow”. So that means the survey found that 390 MPs thought that ? Really? Amazing! But that is NOT the case at all. The Ipsos Mori survey only in fact interviewed 95 MPs. They say they interviewed 143, but then cut the number back to 95. These were, in theory, “interviewed to closely represent the profile of the House of Commons” – quite how is not explained. What the survey actually found was that just 55 MPs (58% of 95 MPs) said they backed a 3rd Heathrow runway. And when only these 55 MPs – not the whole 95 – were asked if they thought a 3rd Heathrow runway would get parliamentary approval, only 44 thought it was likely (of these only 18 thought it was very likely). This really is taking liberties with polling. Heathrow’s rather extravagantly claim that the poll “explodes the myth that Heathrow is politically undeliverable” looks frankly threadbare … and a bit desperate?

Click here to view full story…

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Plymouth airport is dead, says Sutton Harbour Holdings boss – Arup report says site should be safeguarded

Jason Schofield, chief executive of Sutton Harbour Holdings, has said that Plymouth airport is “dead” and mothballing the site will prevent regeneration of a strategic city asset for at least 20 years.  He said there is no prospect of the airport, which closed in December 2011, ever reopening. The last commercial flight left more than 3 years ago. His comments are in response to a report from independent consultants Arup, which was released last week and concluded the land should remain protected for possible aviation uses. Council leader Tudor Evans said the report, commissioned as part of work being carried out on the Plymouth Plan, backs the local authority’s position that the land should be preserved for possible aviation uses. Sutton Harbour Holdings is now looking to sell the long-lease on the 113-acre site, said: “In calling for the former airport site to be safeguarded for aviation, the council is, therefore, proposing that one of the most important strategic development sites in the region, let alone the city, be mothballed for at least two decades, stymieing investment and job creation. ….The former airport site simply can’t work as a commercial airport.”

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Plymouth airport is dead, says Sutton Harbour Holdings boss

Plymouth Herald

17.9.2014

PLYMOUTH airport is “dead” and mothballing the site will prevent regeneration of a strategic city asset for at least 20 years, the boss of Sutton Harbour Holdings says.

In a strongly-worded letter to The Herald, Jason Schofield, SHH’s chief executive, says there is no prospect of the airport, which closed in December 2011, ever reopening.

“Let’s face facts, the airport is dead,2 Mr Schofield writes. “The last commercial flight left more than three years ago and any notion of it re-opening has become a minority debate.”

The letter was written in response to a report from independent consultants Arup, which was released last week and concluded the land should remain protected for possible aviation uses.

Council leader Tudor Evans said the report, commissioned as part of work being carried out on the Plymouth Plan, backs the local authority’s position that the land should be preserved for possible aviation uses.

However, Mr Schofield, whose firm is now looking to sell the long-lease on the 113-acre site, said in his letter: “In calling for the former airport site to be safeguarded for aviation, the council is, therefore, proposing that one of the most important strategic development sites in the region, let alone the city, be mothballed for at least two decades, stymieing investment and job creation.”

He goes on to say: “The business community has moved on, as has the vast majority of the local population, who let’s be honest, did not use the airport in sufficient numbers to sustain commercial services in the first place. If they had it would still be open.”

He adds: “The former airport site simply can’t work as a commercial airport.

“So it is time to move on and look at what the site can provide in terms of jobs and new homes, both of which the city is crying out for.”

Mr Schofield said Plymouth has a choice of three other South West airports, including Exeter which connects to London, Newcastle and Manchester.

Earlier this month, SHH’s annual meeting heard the waterfront regeneration company would be happy to sell the former airport site – but only at the right price.

Mr Schofield stresses in his letter that the “lion’s share” of proceeds from developing the land would go to the council, a windfall of “potentially tens of millions of pounds” that could be ploughed into boosting the city economy.

SHH would reinvest its slice of any lease sale cash into developing its waterfront assets.

Viable, the campaign group which wants to reopen the airport for commercial flights, has welcomed the Arup report saying there is a need for Plymouth to protect its strategic transport infrastructure.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-airport-dead-says-Sutton-Harbour/story-22938012-detail/story.html

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Plymouth airport campaigners welcome consultants’ report

By Plymouth Herald

September 10, 2014

By SAM BLACKLEDGE Herald reporter

A CAMPAIGN group has welcomed a report recommending that Plymouth’s airport site should be protected for possible aviation use in the future.

Consultant group Arup concluded that the land should remain safeguarded, warning that if it is given over to development the city would lose its only airport infrastructure.

Raoul Witherall, chairman of campaign group Viable which wants to reopen the airport for commercial flights, said: “This is good news in that there is now a growing recognition of the need for Plymouth to protect its strategic transport infrastructure.

“Our city’s future economic potential will rely on high-quality connectivity with the UK and the rest of the world which road and rail will struggle to deliver. Viable submitted high-quality evidence that we are pleased was taken into account.”

Mr Witherall says the group is determined to ensure the airport site is protected, and believes planes will one day be welcome there once more.

“Protecting the land is a vital first step and we continue to work hard on our plans to resume flying from Plymouth again,” he said.

The Arup reports found that some form of airport operations could regain a licence from the Civil Aviation Authority, but that alone would not lead to ‘a straightforward route to reinstating flights’.

“Safeguarding the airport site while work on a business case is prepared and thoroughly investigated may be an option the Council would wish to set out in the Plymouth Plan,’ the consultants say.

The council cabinet will now make a final decision on the planning position with the airport land when it considers the draft of the Plymouth Plan in December this year.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-airport-campaigners-welcome-consultants/story-22905029-detail/story.html


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Some earlier stories about the closure of Plymouth airport:

 

Dec 23, 2011  Plymouth Airport closed today. No aircraft will be able to use the site from this evening. The site has been used for flying since the mid-1920s.
www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=577
Feb 28, 2014  Sutton Harbour Holdings, the leaseholder, closed Plymouth airport in December 2011 and has plans to build homes, shops and offices on the …
www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20164
Plymouth airport closed in December 2011, as it was no longer viable. Now a petition – organised by the Viable Group – calling for the airport to be saved has …
www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=740
Sep 25, 2012  Flights from Plymouth airport stopped in July 2011. Councillors have pledged to protect Plymouth’s former airport from future development by …
www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=507
May 10, 2012  Viable Group, which is an American investment advisor located in Texas, hopes to reopen Plymouth City Airport, and wants Plymouth City …
www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1877
Apr 28, 2011  Plymouth City Airport is to close in December. Its owner, Sutton Harbour Group, blamed the economic downturn and.
www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1901

 

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Concerns raised at Stanwell meeting on Heathrow expansion plans for incinerator, flood pit and car park

Proposals for a new flood pit, car park and incinerator in Stanwell as part of Heathrow’s expansion plans were lambasted by over 60 residents at a public meeting on 15th September.  The meeting focused on issues surrounding a car park dominating the biodiversity area north of the village hall and west of Oaks Road, an incinerator in the Bedfont Road area and a flood pit in Stanwell Moor. The feeling was that residents are not against progress, not against air travel, but they do not want unsuitable developments in the borough. Spelthorne already has one of the highest rates of deaths attributable to air pollution in the South East. Residents fear the effects of the polluted water from Heathrow being stored in the flood pit, especially after the problems with flooding this spring. Jonathan Deegan, chief planner at Heathrow, said: “All this has to go somewhere.”  A resident asked why past promises were allowed to be broken, including an inspector who had said in a consultation meeting that Terminal 4 would be the last terminal. Nigel Milton, director of policy and political relations for Heathrow, said: “The people who made those promises weren’t in a position to make these promises.”  So any promises could be broken again then?

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Pollution concerns raised at Heathrow expansion plans meeting

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  • More than 60 Stanwell residents attended a meeting on Monday to hear what representatives from Heathrow had to say about their expansion plans

Nigel Milton (head of Heathrow PR), county councillor Robert Evans, resident Andrew McLuskey and Jonathan Deegan (Heathrow planning chief) at the meeting on September 15th

 

Proposals for a new flood pit, car park and incinerator in Stanwell as part of Heathrow Airport‘s expansion plans were lambasted by residents at a public meeting on Monday (September 15).

More than 60 Stanwell and Stanwell Moor residents gathered in St David’s Church Hall, in Everest Road, to hear from two Heathrow representatives and to have their say on plans relating to the proposed expansion of the airport.

Surrey county councillor Robert Evans said: “I think Heathrow’s got to be better, not bigger.”

The meeting focused on issues surrounding a car park dominating the biodiversity area north of the village hall and west of Oaks Road, an incinerator in the Bedfont Road area and a flood pit in Stanwell Moor.

Andrew McLuskey, a Stanwell resident of Diamedes Avenue, spoke to open the meeting, outlining concerns shared by him and other residents.

He said: “It won’t be conducive to a better life here. We are not against progress, we are not against air travel and we don’t simply want a flood pit shafted to someone else because we are putting up so much trouble.

“We do want these plans to be looked at carefully and the objectionable ones removed.”

Jonathan Deegan, planning chief at Heathrow, said: “These are people’s lives we are dealing with and we have to understand the nitty gritty.”

‘It has to go somewhere’

Citing a Public Health England report, Mr McLuskey said Spelthorne had the third highest rate of deaths attributable to air pollution in the South East already.

Addressing concerns particularly related to the potential incinerator at the old gravel extraction site, Mr McLuskey added: “We can’t have our people and our children polluted anymore.”

However, Mr Deegan said that there may not need to be an incinerator there at all as the plans continue to evolve.

Regarding the flood pit, Mr McLuskey said Stanwell Moor was “plagued” with water and flooding already and that it would be even worse if the water was toxic from the plane fuel.

Mr Deegan said any compensation scheme for the proposals would be announced as soon as possible so that people can “plan their lives and their futures”.

Residents were concerned that the car park would be built on greenbelt land but Mr Deegan said: “All this has to go somewhere.”

Locals also posed questions over access to the new car park, to which Mr Deegan said there would be an upgrading of the local roads.

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

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

He also argued that the proposals had already been altered in consultation withSpelthorne Borough Council over the summer.

He said: “The timeline for this is a long one. Construction won’t start until 2020.

“We know that our changes aren’t going to be to everyone’s taste. We have been consulting over the last few years and we will continue that process.”

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

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Teddington petition to Heathrow to stop the easterly departures trial and not allow it to become permanent

Finding themselves now affected by a newly concentrated flight path for Heathrow easterly departures, people in Teddington are now up in arms about the intensified noise. The trial started on 28th July and is due to last till 15th January 2015. They have set up a petition, to Heathrow, to ask that the current noise level does not continue.  The flight path trials are part of the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) with the aim of getting ever more planes using Heathrow, more efficiently.  People in Teddington are angry that Heathrow have stated that: “Before the trials started in December last year we briefed local authorities; residents groups; campaign groups and MPs around Heathrow” yet Heathrow will not provide any details on who was contacted and when. In reality most people were not informed or warned. They would have liked to have been informed (so much for airports stating how much better they are getting at communication with communities ….).  The affected residents are calling on Heathrow to halt these trials as soon as possible due to the negative impact on the quality of life they are causing for many people. They also call on Heathrow to recommend that the flight path changes are not made permanent.
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The petition text says:

To:   Heathrow airport
Residents affected by the easterly trials are calling on Heathrow to halt them as soon as possible due to the negative impact on the quality of life that many are experiencing as a result. We also call for Heathrow to recommend that these changes are not made permanent.

Sincerely,
[Your name]


 

The Heathrow document  “Easterly departure trial 2 28 July 2014 – 15 January 2015″  gives details of the trial, and maps showing how the flights are concentrated, in order to allow Heathrow to get more flights per hour.

Map below shows the concentrated flight path during the trial.
Heathrow SAM concentrated route

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map below shows the original flight paths before the trial:

Heathrow original pre-trial flight paths August 2014

 

 

  • Petitioning Heathrow airport to:

Stop the Heathrow Airport easterly departure routes trial and do not make the changes permanent

TeddingtonTown

Petition by TeddingtonTown

Residents to the east of LHR [Heathrow] have been surprised and dismayed to learn that since the start of 2014, Heathrow has been undertaking trials for the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) that alter flightpaths over the area.

The second of these (starting July 2014) has led to massively increased plane frequency in concentrated paths and therefore noise levels over certain areas when planes are taking off to the east.

Heathrow have stated that they “Before the trials started in December last year we briefed local authorities; residents groups; campaign groups and MPs around Heathrow” yet will not provide any details on who was contacted and when, the vast majority of residents in some areas seem to not know about the trials until very recently.

Locals feel that Heathrow should have themselves contacted those affected underneath the flightpaths so they were properly informed and could also quantify a before & after comparison.

Yes we live near Heathrow, a major international airport and plane noise is both expected and accepted, but these trial changes are a major shift in areas blighted by much more extreme noise.

The second trial is due to end on the 26th January 2015 but we, the residents affected are calling on Heathrow to halt these trials as soon as possible due to the negative impact on the quality of life that many are experiencing as a result. We also call for Heathrow to recommend that these changes are not made permanent.

For more detail concerning Teddington flight paths in particular see teddingtontown.co.uk


The petition text says:

To:   Heathrow airport
Residents affected by the easterly trials are calling on Heathrow to halt them as soon as possible due to the negative impact on the quality of life that many are experiencing as a result. We also call for Heathrow to recommend that these changes are not made permanent.

Sincerely,
[Your name]


 

 

Heathrow easterly departure routes trial – update

15.9.2014 (Teddington, Middlesex website)

NewsAfter details of Heathrow’s easterly departure trials were posted here, it has become increasingly obvious that very few local residents knew anything about the changes to flightpaths before noticing changes themselves. Heathrow have again stated that local groups, councils etc were informed but not provided any further detail than this.

Heathrow’s Community Communications Officer stated that: “Instead of spreading tracks over a wide area, aircraft following more precise routes. The height or number of aircraft using each route is not affected. For people living under these routes it’s likely you’ll experience a concentration of aircraft during periods that these particular routes are being used. They’ll also be people that have less aircraft over them.

Example maps of one day before & during the trial were also supplied that make the changes more clear: it appears as though the MID and SAM routes are now combined in a concentrated corridor over the west of Teddington.

Heathrow correspondence has confirmed that complaints from residents have been massively higher than expected – perhaps the flightpath changes had more of an effect than even the airport had anticipated. If you feel that the noise continues to be unacceptable, then it’s advisable to continue logging this by emailing
noise_complaints@heathrow.com including your name, address, postcode and phone number.

The trials are driven by the Governments Future Airspace Strategy to simplify and modernise UK airspace by 2020 by making more efficient ways of routing planes, whilst reducing delays for passengers – all made possible by modern navigation systems. What works and doesn’t will be determined by feedback during the trials and via public consultations (likely in 2016) with final decisions to be made by the Government.

 

It’s still not clear why areas that should in theory be experiencing less plane noise are seeing complaints lodged – feedback has been added to the map  after a Twitter survey, with many negative comments from areas between the centre of Teddington and the river, where it should now be quieter. One local resident using a phone app recorded a noise level of 100 decibels near Teddington Memorial Hospital at 11pm on Sunday night!

If you do feel that noise has remained the same, or improved then post your road/postcode in the comments section below and it will be added as a positive (green) marker on the map.

Following complaints and petitions such as City Airport and this one from Ascot residents to cease trials for Westerly departures, a petition has been created to create awareness of the noise created by these trials and to persuade Heathrow to cease them and not make the changes permanent. You can sign the petition here if you agree. Complaints are being lodged from Teddington, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Hampton Hill, Molesey and Ham.

http://teddingtontown.co.uk/2014/09/15/heathrow-easterly-departure-routes-trial-update/

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See also

Aircraft Noise petition from  Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot

Stop the Flight Path trials

In the 3 Villages area (Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot) residents have been impacted both by the latest trials – that started on 28th August 2014 – as well as those which ended on 15th June.

With local feelings running high, people in this began a campaign and now also have an online petition with links from their website at  www.aircraftnoiselightwater.co.uk

Following contact with John Holland-Kaye in early August, the campaign has secured a meeting with Cheryl Monk, (Head of Community Relations and Policy)  to which residents of all affected areas are invited (both 3 Villages and Ascot will attend) – to be held on 15th October (time and venue to be confirmed).

There is a  Change.org petition to the Heathrow complaints team, here   They say: 

“Flights are passing overhead, lower, louder and later than ever before disturbing all aspects of everyday life.   Flights continue as late as 11.30pm and as early as 6am – a period when a reasonable person expects the right to peace and quiet.

“Local residents are now opposed to any more expansion at Heathrow and call for an IMMEDIATE end to the flight path trial!”

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Ascot area residents’ petition to end new Heathrow flight path trial

1.9.2014

Residents in the area in and around Ascot (not far from Heathrow) have a Change.org petition asking that the new Heathrow flight path trial, which started in the last few days, should immediately be ended. It is causing considerable noise nuisance, and making life there unpleasant.
Residents can see the planes very clearly from their gardens, and the noise is so loud now it disturbs any conversation they have outside.

Petition to end the flight path trial


Heathrow flight path changes / trial inflict more noise misery on Ascot area

Heathrow airport and NATS are experimenting with flight path changes and new technology systems for Heathrow flights. The aim is to reduce ‘stacking’ of aircraft waiting to land, and to speed up departure times, getting more planes in the air per hour – in order make the airport more efficient (or more profitable). There is a series of trials, over a period of years from 2012 to 2017, advertised on Heathrow’s website. They are to inform the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) consultation. One trial, for departures to the west, started on 28th August and will last till January 2015. It will test how sharply aircraft are able to turn on take-off and how fast they can climb. The results will be factored into Heathrow’s revision of flight paths that are required under the European ‘SESAR’ programme. The reality for people being over-flown is that there are now more aircraft passing over Ascot, Sunningdale and Sunninghill, and these planes are low (around 3,000 feet) and climbing. The gaps between planes are also shorter than before. A petition has been set up by people in the Ascot area, to get the trial ended immediately. The new noise barrage has created new fears in those areas of the impact of a 3rd runway.

Click here to view full story…

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BackHeathrow postal survey described as of the “do you support expansion of Heathrow or the boiling of puppies” variety

There is a good blog post by Matt Ballantine, a resident of Twickenham, on the latest survey which is being circulated by the campaign lobby, “BackHeathrow”. The organisation was set up with money from Heathrow, to lobby on its behalf. How much funding comes from other sources is not clear. Twickenham is an area now suffering from altered, concentrated Heathrow flight paths. The BackHeathrow survey came through the post, and Matt describes it as of the “do you support the expansion of Heathrow or the boiling of puppies” variety, that he says seem to be so popular amongst political lobby groups. The survey is worded in such a way as to give highly leading questions, and give the impression that Heathrow is likely to close if it does not build a 3rd runway. That was never a realistic threat, and especially as the chance of a Thames estuary airport has significantly receded. The BackHeathrow survey aims to instil fear of losing their jobs into people who work at the airport, or in connected jobs. Matt comments that “This is no way to have an important debate …. In an age when information is so easily disseminated (and checked), organisations that think that it’s enough to gather false data to present their case are on very thin ice.”
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LEADING QUESTIONS

I’m very lucky to live in the stereotypical leafy South West London suburb of Teddington. Close to the open spaces of Richmond and Bushy Parks, with a thriving local independent shopping centre, great schools and other amenities.

The best way to illustrate what sort of a place Teddington is is when I saw dog poo on the pavement nearby recently how someone had taken the effort to scrawl in chalk next to it the words “Shame on you!”. My initial reaction was that we must now be teaching the dogs to read around here.

Teddington really is a lovely place. Sometimes a little over-competitive, but really lovely. And with great transport links – a sedate 35 minutes into London Waterloo, and with Heathrow Airport on our doorstep.

Ah. Heathrow. The cause of much current consternation.

Generally aeroplanes take off over Berkshire, into the prevailing westerly winds that keep this country so warm for its latitude. But about 30% of the time the winds come from the East and so planes take off over London.

In the past few weeks there has been a lot of easterly wind, and that, combined with some new flight path routes that Heathrow are trialling, has resulted in a lot more aircraft nose than we are used to hearing. The people of Teddington aren’t happy.

But there is more afoot at Heathrow. Having knocked back Boris’s plans for a large pontoon in the Thames Estuary, planning decisions are coming to a conclusion in the next few months as to whether to build a new runway at Heathrow or London’s second airport at Gatwick. A once in a lifetime decision, apparently.

Yesterday in the post I received a mail from an organisation calling itself Back Heathrow. Slightly shady to it’s origins and funding (although the website does admit to it having been initially started by the airport itself) the group is a lobby organisation to support Heathrow expansion. Included within the envelope was a “survey”. The structure of the survey was of the “do you support the expansion of Heathrow or the boiling of puppies” variety that seem to be so popular amongst political lobby groups.

Doing a bit more searching, it looks like providing surprising results in support of Heathrow expansion where before there was dissent might be a specific modus operandi for Heathrow. (see article below).

This is no way to have an important debate.

I don’t know if Heathrow should be expanded or not. It appears that the “do we really need more airport capacity?” question has been put to bed. I can see pros and cons to both Heathrow and Gatwick growing (I spent a couple of years working on the Gatwick site a few years back and so know that area a bit too). But I also know that this leading question, PR-driven data gathering approach being used by the Back Heathrow campaign makes me not trust them. Nor the data that Heathrow produce to support their case. How much rigour has gone in to any of it, or have “find us the right answer” methods been used throughout?

In an age when information is so easily disseminated (and checked), organisations that think that it’s enough to gather false data to present their case are on very thin ice. Whilst the journalism trade might be increasingly naïve and under-resourced to print the stuff, concerned citizens can lobby back with increasing force

http://mmitii.mattballantine.com/2014/09/16/leading-questions/

 


 

Back Heathrow says it is:

“… a group of people, businesses and organisations who have come together to defend the jobs that rely on Heathrow and to campaign for its secure future. Contact us at: hello@backheathrow.org “

http://www.backheathrow.org/howyoucanhelp


 

 

Heathrow easterly departure routes trial – update

15.9.2014 (Teddington, Middlesex website)

NewsAfter details of Heathrow’s easterly departure trials were posted here, it has become increasingly obvious that very few local residents knew anything about the changes to flightpaths before noticing changes themselves. Heathrow have again stated that local groups, councils etc were informed but not provided any further detail than this.

Heathrow’s Community Communications Officer stated that: “Instead of spreading tracks over a wide area, aircraft following more precise routes. The height or number of aircraft using each route is not affected. For people living under these routes it’s likely you’ll experience a concentration of aircraft during periods that these particular routes are being used. They’ll also be people that have less aircraft over them.

Example maps of one day before & during the trial were also supplied that make the changes more clear: it appears as though the MID and SAM routes are now combined in a concentrated corridor over the west of Teddington.

Heathrow correspondence has confirmed that complaints from residents have been massively higher than expected – perhaps the flightpath changes had more of an effect than even the airport had anticipated. If you feel that the noise continues to be unacceptable, then it’s advisable to continue logging this by emailing
noise_complaints@heathrow.com including your name, address, postcode and phone number.

The trials are driven by the Governments Future Airspace Strategy to simplify and modernise UK airspace by 2020 by making more efficient ways of routing planes, whilst reducing delays for passengers – all made possible by modern navigation systems. What works and doesn’t will be determined by feedback during the trials and via public consultations (likely in 2016) with final decisions to be made by the Government.

 

It’s still not clear why areas that should in theory be experiencing less plane noise are seeing complaints lodged – feedback has been added to the map  after a Twitter survey, with many negative comments from areas between the centre of Teddington and the river, where it should now be quieter. One local resident using a phone app recorded a noise level of 100 decibels near Teddington Memorial Hospital at 11pm on Sunday night!

If you do feel that noise has remained the same, or improved then post your road/postcode in the comments section below and it will be added as a positive (green) marker on the map.

Following complaints and petitions such as City Airport and this one from Ascot residents to cease trials for Westerly departures, a petition has been created to create awareness of the noise created by these trials and to persuade Heathrow to cease them and not make the changes permanent. You can sign the petition here if you agree. Complaints are being lodged from Teddington, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Hampton Hill, Molesey and Ham.

http://teddingtontown.co.uk/2014/09/15/heathrow-easterly-departure-routes-trial-update/

 


 

Hit or Miss? Back Heathrow “grassroots” campaign attempts to gather public support for the airport’s expansion

November 15, 2013

Back Heathrow joined the debate on airport capacity, describing itself as a grassroots campaign to defend jobs that rely on the airport.

It was accused by local residents of biasing its survey questions in favour of the airport’s expansion and by MP John McDonnell of being “a con” funded by Heathrow. Campaign co-ordinator Rob Gray retorted that he had disclosed the funding from launch and called on the MP to apologise. Gray also claimed to have received more than 10,000 positive survey responses after four weeks.

How I see it

Paul Wheeler, corporate affairs director, Kellogg’s UK

Let’s separate the campaign from the controversy for a moment.

Should there be a platform that allows people with an interest in the future of the airport to express their views? Yes. After all, Mayor Boris has had plenty to say on Heathrow, so why shouldn’t people who actually earn their livings from it also have some airtime?

In my view, Back Heathrow has fallen foul of an aversion to corporate-backed issue campaigns. After all, we’d think nothing of charities coming together to lobby on something, so why do we have a problem when it’s a business that does it?

Heathrow Airport wants to survive, so it should be perfectly acceptable for it to fund a campaign to achieve that end.

As to those critics who say Back Heathrow is presenting a one-sided view, I’d say: who’s ever heard of a two-sided lobbying campaign? Whether it’s too little, too late is another debate.

http://www.prweek.com/article/1221165/hit-miss-back-heathrow-grassroots-campaign-attempts-gather-public-support-airports-expansion

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