Flybe accuses Gatwick of ignoring UK regions

Saad Hammad, the chief executive of Flybe, has criticised Gatwick for failing to address the needs of Britain’s regions, in its attempt to win support for its second runway. The head of  the UK’s biggest regional airline said that Heathrow had been “more specific about what they are going to do” on take-off and landing slots and on charges for domestic flights and “I don’t think Gatwick has been as sensitive as we would like…. Heathrow has one up on Gatwick in terms of listening to regional needs and requirements.”  Heathrow has said it would look at cutting charges for regional flights as part of a regular review of fees, though no binding commitment has been made. These cuts are largely to deter passengers flying via Schiphol or other European hubs, rather than concern for the regional airports. Flybe has no flights into Heathrow and only one from Gatwick to Newquay. It sold 25 pairs of slots to easyJet in 2013. A spokesman for Gatwick said that it had the “best” regional links of any London airport and would remain significantly cheaper than Heathrow, even if Heathrow reduced their domestic fees. Gatwick said it is planning to give details of its proposals on fees further later this month. It has claimed its landing charges would not rise above £15 per passenger, but only it gets a 2nd runway and Government agrees a contract not to allow any other runway in the south east for 30 years ….
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Flybe accuses Gatwick of ignoring UK regions

By Phil Davies (Travel Weekly)
8.4.2015

Gatwick has been accused by the boss of Flybe of failing to address the needs of UK regions in its fight with rival Heathrow to win support for expansion.

The regional carrier’s chief executive, Saad Hammad, said that Heathrow had been “more specific about what they are going to do” on take-off and landing slots and on charges for domestic flights.

“I don’t think Gatwick has been as sensitive as we would like,” he told the Financial Times. “Right now, Heathrow has one up on Gatwick in terms of listening to regional needs and requirements.”

Heathrow has pledged to cut charges for regional flights as part of a regular review of fees, though no binding commitment has been made.

Flybe has no flights into Heathrow and just one from Gatwick to Newquay, having sold 25 pairs of slots to easyJet in 2013.

A Gatwick spokesman said that the airport had the “best” regional links of any London airport and would remain significantly cheaper than Heathrow, even domestic fees were reduced.

It is planning to set out its own proposals on how to improve fees further later this month.

“UK plc needs a network of long-haul airports that provide direct services around the world, rather than forcing all flights through a single-hub airport in the capital,” the Gatwick spokesman said.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2015/04/08/53749/flybe+accuses+gatwick+of+ignoring+uk+regions.html

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 See earlier: 

Heathrow to reduce charges on domestic flights from £29.59 to £19.59 from Ist Jan 2016 – to deter passengers flying via Schiphol etc

Heathrow plans to cut the fees it charges airlines for domestic passengers. It says that from 1st January 2016 it will reduce the minimum departure charge for all flights (currently £1,406) to £1,268.40 per domestic flight. It will also cut the charge from £29.59 to £19.59 per passenger, in a bid to increase the number of passengers flying between UK regional airports and Heathrow. Heathrow serves just 7 regional destinations, down from 18 in 1990. It hopes the lower charges on domestic routes would encourage fuller planes and make more efficient use of the limited number of slots for regional flights, which are less profitable for airlines than long haul flights. Heathrow also says it will reduce minimum charges per plane to £1,592.15 for EU flights and £2,689.82 for non-EU destinations. It will also cut the per passenger charge for passengers flying to European destinations by £5 to £24.59. They plan instead to charge more for the noisiest planes, and those that emit more NOx – with the overall changes revenue neutral. The aim is discouraging passengers flying via European airports like Schiphol, and using Heathrow instead. The environmental fees would rise from being 21% to being 28% of total airport charges. Heathrow also say that, if they get a 3rd runway, they would open 5 new domestic routes, including Humberside, Newquay and Liverpool.

Click here to view full story…

Gatwick “promises” to cap landing charges to £15 + inflation for 30 years (if it gets an unspecified 30 year “contract” from Government)

Gatwick airport, in frenetic publicity in the months before the Airports Commission runway recommendation (expected late June) has made various pledges – in the hope of currying favour. It says it will “bear all the main risks” of a new runway. Sir Roy McNulty, chairman of Gatwick, has written to Sir Howard Davies saying – among other things – that the landing charge will be kept at £15 (plus inflation) for 30 years. As long as there is no new Heathrow runway. (It is currently £9). Sir Roy said it is “in return for Government agreeing a 30 year contract” though exactly what that means is not explained. Presumably a contract that there will be no other runway? Gatwick also says it will “bear all the main risks of the expansion programme . . . including long-term risks related to traffic levels, market pricing, construction and operating costs”. How exactly? Gatwick’s main airline, EasyJet, is not happy with charges rising to £15. The Airports Commission consultation documents considered Gatwick’s estimate of £15 to be too low, and instead considered “average charges rising to between £15 and £18, with peak charges of up to £23.” These higher levels were due to lower estimated levels of air passenger demand than Gatwick’s optimistic figures, and higher infrastructure costs. [ Airports Commission’s consultation document Page 47].

Click here to view full story…

 

The “30 year contract”

Asked what this contact says, or whether it exists, below is what Gatwick senior management have said:

“The exact nature of the thirty year contract has yet to be finalised – its purpose would be to clarify the commercial and regulatory environment in which we would be operating, including the anticipated timing of any new runways beyond that granted to Gatwick. Whilst we understand that one government cannot bind a future government irreversibly, if there was a legal contract in place and the future proved different from that which had been committed to, the contract could also govern what might happen in those circumstances.”

Make of that what you can !

GACC says Gatwick’s rash promise to cap landing charge at £15 puts its runway plan in doubt

Gatwick airport have made a very rash promise not to raise their landing charges above £15 (plus inflation) for 30 years, if they get a 30 contract from the government (details not specified). Brendon Sewill, of GACC said: “The whole runway project is in doubt…. Gatwick’s rash promise not to raise airport charges above £15 per head …. seriously puts in question whether building a new runway at Gatwick is a viable business proposal – either for the present owners or for the new owners if Gatwick is sold.” The Airports Commission calculate that Gatwick charges would need to rise to ‘between £15 and £18, with peak charges of up to £23. GACC points out that Gatwick’s promises are meaningless unless they are put into a legal agreement binding on the present airport owners – and future owners. If so, the £15 would become a legal maximum – rather than the current £9. Even at £15, some airlines, and passengers might well decide instead to use much cheaper airports such as Stansted or Luton. GACC has pointed out to the Airports Commission the risk that Gatwick may have fewer passengers than forecast, in which case the cap of £15 may not be sufficient to cover the costs of a new runway and new terminal. Brendon Sewill asks: “What would happen if the money runs out when the new runway is only half built?”

Click here to view full story…

 

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Campaigners at London City Airport demand true noise measurement – combining Heathrow + London City flight noise

Campaigners at London City Airport are calling for a change in the way aircraft noise is measured, and more needs to be done to protect people living under noisy flight paths. The group’s chair, John Stewart, says the problem is partly down to a lack of measurement of the cumulative noise produced by flight paths from several airports (Heathrow and London City here) which both affect one area.  He believes separate measurements of just each airport’s noise fail to give a true picture of the impact on residents, resulting in official statistics that underestimate aircraft noise levels. Both need to be combined in order to get a figure for the total noise in order to get an accurate assessment of the real noise levels experienced by residents.  John said: “In the areas of east and south east London, where people get planes from both London City and Heathrow, noise levels will be a lot higher than official statistics show.” The concerns remain despite mayor of London Boris Johnson’s blocking of London City Airport’s proposed expansion. HACAN East says the Greater London Assembly backed cumulative noise readings, from both airports combined, two years ago, and that the airport should recognise this.  It suits the aviation industry to deliberately keep the noise figures separate. 
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Campaigners demand true aircraft noise measurement

6.4.2015  (Newham Recorder)

By Sebastian Murphy-Bates

Campaigners are calling for a change to the way aircraft noise is measured.

Noise pollution activist group HACAN East, which opposed the expansion of London City Airport over aircraft noise fears, says more needs to be done to protect people living under noisy flight paths.

For the group’s chair, John Stewart, the problem is partly down to a lack of measurement of the cumulative noise produced by airports whose flights cross neighbouring areas.

He believes separate measurements of each airport’s noise fail to give a true picture of the impact on residents, resulting in official statistics that underestimate aircraft noise levels.

“We need to get a figure for the total noise if we are to get a picture of the real noise levels experienced by residents,” he said. “In the areas of east and south east London, where people get planes from both London City and Heathrow, noise levels will be a lot higher than official statistics show.”

The concerns remain despite mayor of London Boris Johnson’s blocking of London City Airport’s proposed expansion.

Declan Collier, CEO at London City Airport, told the Recorder that his airport has the strictest noise policiy in the UK.

He cited the airport’s noise mitigation plans in pursuit of the expansion, its adherence to a cap on air movements, commitment to try and reduce noise contour areas, incentives for quieter aircraft and funding for sound-proofing in homes affected by any expansion.

But John Stewart claims the Greater London Assembly backed cumulative noise readings two years ago, and that the airport should recognise this.

And he says that not only are Collier’s measures insufficient – but the industry is intentionally providing the seperate, misleading figures to suit itself.

“It is not rocket science to assess the cumulative noise,” he said. “The suspicion remains that it suits the aviation industry not to paint the full picture.”

http://www.hacaneast.org.uk/

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See also:

Would London City Airport be so cavalier in dealing with its residents if they were richer?

by John Stewart

Last week the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, turned down City Airport’s application to expand on noise grounds.  Although the decision caught people by surprise, there was a widespread feeling that the airport had it coming because of the cavalier way it has dealt with residents, local authorities and elected politicians over the years.  I spelt this out in an opinion piece for the Newham Recorder:http://www.hacaneast.org.uk/?p=643

 The question must arise:  would City Airport’s attitude have been different if it was dealing with a wealthier population?  We will never know for sure it certainly impacts on some of the poorest communities in the UK.

According to the latest Indices of Deprivation (2010), Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest are among 15 most deprived local authorities in the country. And Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Lewisham and Lambeth make it into the top 50.  Moreover, Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets have highest percentage of deprived people in the UK (1).

They will also be the communities which fly the least.  They are the victims of what Les Blomberg, the executive director of the US-based Noise Pollution Clearing House called ‘second-hand noise’:  “noise that is experienced by people who did not produce it.  Like second-hand smoke, it’s put into the environment without people’s consent and then has effects on them that they don’t have any control over.”

A good neighbour would tailor its strategy, and particularly its communications, to the needs of its communities.  In areas of real deprivation, variable online skills and limited access to technology, a good neighbour would ensure it provided plenty of leaflets and regular face-to-face meetings with the public.  It would make sure its materials were written in clear, simple language.

London City simply does not do this.  The recent consultation on its plans to concentrate its flight paths over particular communities was a prime example.  The consultation took the form of putting a technical document on its website and of informing its supine consultative committee.  Nothing more.  No leafleting of the areas that would be affected.  And by only consulting online, City Airport effectively disenfranchised a huge number of people.  Across the UK, 21% of people can’t operate online, but amongst C2, D and E classes it is 72%; and for those in 65+ bracket it is 52% (2).

 It is hard to avoid the conclusion that London City Airport, rather than trying to tailor its work to meet the needs of the area it impacts, is using the demographics of the area to get away with doing as little as possible.

 References:

(1). http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/mar/29/indices-multiple-deprivation-poverty-england).

 (2). Media Literacy: Understanding Digital Capabilities follow-up; Ipsos Mori, 2014

 

 

 

 

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Historic village of Harmondsworth, threatened by Heathrow 3rd runway, opens its doors on Sunday 12th April

The ancient village of Harmondsworth, which originated as a Saxon manor and is now facing demolition if a 3rd Heathrow runway is built to the north-west of the airport. It is staging an Open Day on Sunday 12th April to give the media and members of the public a chance to see what would be destroyed.  The focus of the event is the re-opening of the celebrated 15th-century Great Barn for the first time since the completion of major repairs by English Heritage.  The Barn, described by poet Sir John Betjeman as “the cathedral of Middlesex”, was saved from developers by the intervention of a group of determined villagers. There will also be the unveiling (1.30pm) of a huge mural, especially created for the occasion, illustrating the proposed airport boundary cutting through the heart of picturesque Harmondsworth.  There will be a visit to the newly-planted trees on the Recreation Ground which demonstrates that the community intends to fight to preserve its historic roots for future generations to enjoy, rather than watch it obliterated by further expansion of the airport.  And there will be Morris dancing at various times throughout the day, as well as walking tours. Organisers, SHE (Stop Heathrow Expansion) say this is a great opportunity to see the unique village of Harmondsworth, and “also to show to the world that we are utterly determined to fight for our homes and our community.  We will not be going anywhere else.” 
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Great Barn

Historic village threatened by 3rd runway opens its doors to the press and public on Sunday 12th April

The ancient village of Harmondsworth, which originated as a Saxon manor and is now facing demolition if a third Heathrow runway goes ahead, will be staging an Open Day on Sunday 12th April to give the media and members of the public a chance to see what would be destroyed.   Download the flyer here.   From 12 noon onwards. 

The focus of the event is the re-opening of the celebrated 15th-century Great Barn for the first time since the completion of major repairs by English Heritage.  The Barn, described by poet Sir John Betjeman as “the cathedral of Middlesex”, was saved from developers by the intervention of a group of determined villagers, who will be available to talk to visitors. It will be open from 11am until 4pm.  

[The Barn is a Grade I listed building. It is essentially unaltered since it was built in 1426 and over 95% of its structural timbers are original. It is owned by English Heritage who bought it in 2011 to add to the National Heritage Collection, and is managed for them by the Friends of the Great Barn. For more details ]

A huge mural, especially created for the occasion, will illustrate the proposed airport boundary cutting through the heart of picturesque Harmondsworth.  It will be unveiled at 1.30pm providing a photo-opportunity on the village green outside the historic Five Bells pub.

This will be followed by a visit to the newly-planted trees on the Recreation Ground which demonstrates that the community intends to fight to preserve its historic roots for future generations to enjoy, rather than watch it obliterated by further expansion of the airport.

[The tree-planting is part of a council-backed project to re-forest the villages threatened by a third runway.  It is a collaborative project between SHE, Transition Heathrow and Harts, the arts network based in the villages:  http://www.communityharts.org/ ]

There will be Morris dancing at various times throughout the day. Datchet Border Morris will be at the Great Barn at 12.00pm; outside the Crown pub at 12.45pm; outside the Five Bells pub at 14.00; and back to the Barn at 14.30pm.

SHE (Stop Heathrow Expansion) worked with the Friends of the Great Barn to organise the Open Day. Neil Keveren, the chair of SHE, said, “This is a great opportunity to see the unique village of Harmondsworth.  But it is also a chance for us to show to the world that we are utterly determined to fight for our homes and our community.  We will not be going anywhere else.”

He added, “We are thankful for the backing we have received from Hillingdon Council and from Harts, the community arts project”.

The Airports Commission has been examining potential sites for new runways in the South East and is expected to publish its final report in June.  It will recommend either a separate third runway at Heathrow, a third runway at Heathrow added to the existing northern runway (This runway would not require the destruction of Harmondsworth), or a second runway at Gatwick.  It would mean the demolition of properties in Poyle, west of the airport. The next Government will consider the recommendation but is not required to endorse it.

SHE  http://www.stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/

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More information:

Neil Keveren, 07850904677

Christine Taylor 0208 564 8345; 07960490831

Justine Bayley (for info on the Barn), 020 8759 1874

 

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Schiphol airport unfazed by prospect of new London runway – many UK passengers prefer transferring from Schiphol

Schiphol Group president and chief executive Jos Nijhuis, described Amsterdam as “London’s second hub”. Schiphol now handles up to 8 million UK passengers a year, 60% of whom connect to onward flights. Schiphol believes passengers from UK regional airports will continue to choose Amsterdam rather than Heathrow to connect to long‑haul flights, even if Heathrow gets a 3rd runway. 13 UK airports have services to Amsterdam and this will rise to 14 next month, with the addition of Belfast.  The loss of UK regional traffic to Amsterdam because of capacity constraints at Heathrow has featured heavily in Heathrow’s lobbying for a new runway, wanting to prevent the loss of customers to Schiphol. And wanting to keep on being the biggest international airport, by far, in Europe.  Jos Nijhuis said: “We are London’s second hub and doing very well. …I tell [Heathrow chief executive] John Holland-Kaye: ‘Consider our most western runway as yours. We can rename it Heathrow Runway Three….We are a much better transfer airport [than our rivals]. We designed the airport for transfers.” KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers said: “I don’t think additional capacity in London would make Heathrow more attractive than Schiphol to passengers in Newcastle or Humberside.” He felt higher charges needed by Heathrow to pay for a new runway would mean the runway would not reduce the traffic going via Schiphol.
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Schiphol unfazed by London airport expansion

Dutch aviation bosses talk in bullish terms about being London’s second hub and how a new runway in the UK’s southeast will fail to challenge that. Ian Taylor reportsPassengers from UK regional airports will continue to choose Amsterdam rather than Heathrow to connect to long‑haul flights, even if Heathrow gets a third runway.That is the view of Schiphol airport and of Dutch carrier KLM, which serves 13 UK airports from Amsterdam and will add a route from Belfast next month.The loss of UK regional traffic to Amsterdam because of capacity constraints at Heathrow has featured heavily in discussions about the need for expanded hub airport capacity for London.The government-appointed Airports Commission is due to report immediately after the May 7 general election, making recommendations on whether to add a runway at Heathrow or Gatwick.

Schiphol Group president and chief executive Jos Nijhuis described Amsterdam as “London’s second hub”.

The airport handles up to eight million UK passengers a year, 60% of whom connect to onward flights.

Nijhuis said: “We have flights to 26 destinations in the UK; Heathrow has six. We are London’s second hub and doing very well.

“I tell [Heathrow chief executive] John Holland-Kaye: ‘Consider our most western runway as yours. We can rename it Heathrow Runway Three.’”

KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers (pictured) said: “I don’t think additional capacity in London would make Heathrow more attractive than Schiphol to passengers in Newcastle or Humberside. Amsterdam is an attractive alternative to Heathrow because everything is under one roof.

“In Amsterdam, we have an airport that handles 55 million passengers a year in a country with a population of 17 million. Logistics is an integral part of the Netherlands economy.”

Nijhuis said: “We are a much better transfer airport [than our rivals]. We designed the airport for transfers. Our competitive strength is the combination of hub and carrier [KLM]. It’s only possible to have a high proportion of transfer traffic if you make transfers as easy as possible. The airport has been designed to the specifications of KLM.”

Elbers conceded: “A third runway at Heathrow would impact our business.” But he put this down to the potential impact of increased charges at Heathrow to pay for runway construction.

“Heathrow is already not a cheap airport,” said Elbers. “We have discussions about the potential impact on the cost of operations. We will follow closely what happens.”

However, Elbers does not foresee a reduction in KLM’s operations at Heathrow even if KLM passengers have to pay higher charges to finance the airport’s expansion. He said: “We would be keen to have more slots at Heathrow. People will always go to London.”

Elbers pointed out that Schiphol could not expand unrestrictedly. “We have five runways and we are happy with that, but it does not mean we can do what we want,” he said.

“There are restrictions on the hours of the day we can operate, on the runways we can use at certain times and in certain weather.

“We have our challenges, mainly with the reduction of environmental impacts. There are potential limitations on the growth of Schiphol. They are political and environmental limitations, not physical, based on noise and pollution.”

Elbers was speaking this week as KLM launched a three-times-a-week service from Amsterdam to Bogota and Cali in Colombia.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2015/04/02/53719/big-interview-schiphol-unfazed-by-london-airport-expansion.html

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See also

Heathrow to reduce charges on domestic flights from £29.59 to £19.59 from Ist Jan 2016 – to reduce number flying via Schiphol etc

Heathrow plans to cut the fees it charges airlines for domestic passengers. It says that from 1st January 2016 it will reduce the minimum departure charge for all flights (currently £1,406) to £1,268.40 per domestic flight. It will also cut the charge from £29.59 to £19.59 per passenger, in a bid to increase the number of passengers flying between UK regional airports and Heathrow. Heathrow serves just 7 regional destinations, down from 18 in 1990. It hopes the lower charges on domestic routes would encourage fuller planes and make more efficient use of the limited number of slots for regional flights, which are less profitable for airlines than long haul flights. Heathrow also says it will reduce minimum charges per plane to £1,592.15 for EU flights and £2,689.82 for non-EU destinations. It will also cut the per passenger charge for passengers flying to European destinations by £5 to £24.59.  They plan instead to charge more for the noisiest planes, and those that emit more NOx – with the overall changes revenue neutral.  The aim is discouraging passengers flying via European airports like Schiphol, and using Heathrow instead.  The environmental fees would rise from being 21% to being 28% of total airport charges.  Heathrow also say that, if they get a 3rd runway, they would open 5 new domestic routes, including Humberside, Newquay and Liverpool.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Heathrow to reduce charges on domestic flights from £29.59 to £19.59 from 1st Jan 2016 – to deter passengers flying via Schiphol etc

Heathrow plans to cut the fees it charges airlines for domestic passengers. It says that from 1st January 2016 it will reduce the minimum departure charge for all flights (currently £1,406) to £1,268.40 per domestic flight. It will also cut the charge from £29.59 to £19.59 per passenger, in a bid to increase the number of passengers flying between UK regional airports and Heathrow. Heathrow serves just 7 regional destinations, down from 18 in 1990. It hopes the lower charges on domestic routes would encourage fuller planes and make more efficient use of the limited number of slots for regional flights, which are less profitable for airlines than long haul flights. Heathrow also says it will reduce minimum charges per plane to £1,592.15 for EU flights and £2,689.82 for non-EU destinations. It will also cut the per passenger charge for passengers flying to European destinations by £5 to £24.59.  They plan instead to charge more for the noisiest planes, and those that emit more NOx – with the overall changes revenue neutral.  The aim is discouraging passengers flying via European airports like Schiphol, and using Heathrow instead.  The environmental fees would rise from being 21% to being 28% of total airport charges.  Heathrow also say that, if they get a 3rd runway, they would open 5 new domestic routes, including Humberside, Newquay and Liverpool.
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Heathrow to cut domestic charges by a third

2 April 2015 (BBC)

Heathrow plans to cut the fees it charges airlines for domestic and European passengers

Heathrow airport plans to cut the fee it charges airlines for passengers travelling to other UK destinations by a third from next year.

The move would reduce the charge from £29.59 to £19.59 in a bid to boost regional connections to Britain’s busiest airport.

The airport is also proposing raising environmental charges to encourage cleaner, quieter planes.

Heathrow serves just seven regional destinations, down from 18 in 1990.

Charges for passengers flying to European destinations will also be cut by £5 to £24.59.

The airport hoped the reductions, which would take effect on 1 January 2016, would encourage fuller planes and make more efficient use of limited capacity.

Airlines are not obliged to pass on the savings to passengers but it is expected that many would.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow, said: “Our proposal to cut passenger charges by a third for domestic services will help us continue to drive the tourism, exports, inbound tourism and foreign direct investment that supports economic growth across the whole of the UK.”

New domestic destinations

The review of charges is part of the airport’s attempt to keep existing domestic routes commercially attractive to airlines and meet the recommendations of the National Connectivity Taskforce [a body set up by Heathrow, paid for by it, and recommending changes that benefit Heathrow. AW note].

Last month, the airport pledged to open more routes to domestic destinations if it is allowed to expand and build a third runway. New routes could include Humberside, Newquay and Liverpool.

Edinburgh is one of the few regional airports to remain connected with Heathrow.

According to Heathrow, 1.7 million passengers connecting with long-haul flights in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris or Dubai could potentially be persuaded do so through the London airport if charges were reduced.

It also plans to alter the minimum departure charge for all flights, which currently stands at £1,406.

The proposals mean that airlines would have to pay a minimum of £1,268.40 per flight, £1,592.15 for EU flights and £2,689.82 for non-EU destinations.

Heathrow reviews its charging structure every five years. The final schedule will be announced in August.

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Analysis: Douglas Fraser, BBC Scotland business and economy editor

Heathrow’s bosses concede that they’ve lost ground in short-haul UK and European flights, while the scarcity of landing slots has pushed airlines to use them for more lucrative long-haul flights.

In the past 25 years, Heathrow’s UK and Crown Dependency links are down from 18 destinations to only seven. Other London airports and rail offer alternatives, but that can be inconvenient for outbound passengers, and a blockage for inbound travellers who might otherwise visit other parts of the UK.

While Northern Irish links with London are almost all by plane, 69% of travellers between Scotland and London go by air. Yet there is no Heathrow link to Inverness.

Only BA links Heathrow to Glasgow, and Little Red, part of Virgin Atlantic, is to ground its links to Edinburgh and Aberdeen in September, leaving British Airways without competition. Meanwhile, smaller airports are closing or need government support without London links, including Blackpool, Newquay, Plymouth, Prestwick and Dundee.

The new charging regime, if implemented, would provide a financial signal to help maintain the shorter spokes in to the Heathrow hub. It would also help Heathrow’s argument that it is good for the UK as a whole, as it fights for permission to build another runway.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32163676.


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Also Telegraph article

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11512187/Heathrow-plans-to-cut-passenger-charges-to-boost-Britain.html


 

Heathrow airport to increase charges for noisy, polluting aircraft

Some fares should fall in move to boost domestic traffic and provide incentives for airlines to fly cleaner and quieter planes

2.4.2014 (Guardian)

Heathrow is planning to cut charges for airlines flying domestic routes from the London hub airport by a third and will make up the shortfall by increasing the charges attached to noise and pollution.

The airport hopes the move will provide more incentive for airlines to fly cleaner and quieter planes.

Some fares should fall as Heathrow is proposing to give a £10 discount to the average £29.59 per passenger charge for domestic flights, although the charges are levied on airlines rather than customers so are not necessarily passed on.

Only seven domestic routes now operate out of Heathrow, compared with 18 in 1990, and the airport hopes to reverse the decline and prove its worth as a national hub airport with domestic connections as it seeks to win approval for a third runway. About 7% of its 73.2 million passengers each year fly on domestic routes.

Environmental charges on the dirtiest, noisiest aircraft will increase, with a doubling of the tariff attached to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The noisiest planes will face a trebling in charges to £9,000 per landing, although fewer than 1% of flights fall into this category.

Overall airport charges are capped by the regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, so the changes, to take effect in January 2016 after consultation with airlines, will be revenue-neutral.

The discount for UK flights will help Heathrow avoid losing more traffic to other EU hub airports, with increasing numbers of passengers now flying from UK regional airports to places such as Schiphol for long-haul connections. Heathrow will also cut charges by £5 for passengers departing to European destinations.

Heathrow’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “We’re serious when we say Heathrow is committed to making sure that businesses across Britain can benefit from the connections to growth markets that only the UK’s hub can provide, while incentivising only the quietest and cleanest planes to operate from Heathrow.

“Our proposal to cut passenger charges by a third for domestic services will help us continue to drive the tourism, exports, inbound tourism and foreign direct investment that supports economic growth across the whole of the UK.”

The Airports Commission will give its recommendation on whether an extra runway should be built at either Heathrow or Gatwick shortly after the general election.

A Gatwick spokesperson said: “Gatwick has the best regional links of any Londonairport and still remains significantly cheaper than Heathrow.”

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/02/heathrow-airport-to-increase-charges-for-noisy-polluting-aircraft

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Heathrow Airport Cutting Fees for Domestic Passengers

2.4.2015 (Travel Pulse)

Heathrow Airport in London has a vision and has a plan, and unlike other companies with visions and plans that end up costing the public, this one might actually save some Brits some money.

The airport plans to cut the passenger fee from 30 euros to 20 euros for anyone who flies domestically in a bid to boost more flights within the U.K, not to mention some homegrown tourism, according to the London Telegraph.

According to the paper, the airport believes more affordable domestic flights are not only good for passengers, but will make the seven routes being offered – Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle – more viable for regional airports that find themselves in a quandary between choosing an overseas flight or a domestic flight for their limited takeoff slots.

Even better, to make up the difference, Heathrow has no plans to pass the costs on to international travelers. Instead, the paper noted, Heathrow will raise fees on the noisiest and most polluting airlines, which it hopes will encourage companies to use more environmentally friendly planes.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow chief executive, told the Telegraph that the airport is “serious when we say Heathrow is committed to making sure that businesses across Britain can benefit from the connections to growth markets that only the U.K.’s hub can provide, while incentivizing only the quietest and cleanest planes to operate from Heathrow. Our proposal to cut passenger charges by a third for domestic services will help us continue to drive the tourism, exports, inbound tourism and foreign direct investment that supports economic growth across the whole of the U.K.”

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See also:

Why Schiphol will never become ‘Heathrow’s 3rd runway’ – it has tight noise and ATM limits

We are routinely told that, if Heathrow doesn’t expand, people from other UK airports like Newcastle, Edinburgh and Liverpool will choose to fly to Schiphol (Amsterdam) to interchange onto long-distance flights. The CEO of Schiphol Airport has even rather cheekily called it ‘Heathrow’s third runway’ or referred to Amsterdam as “London’s 2nd hub.” However, John Stewart explains that this is not a situation that can continue indefinitely. Though Schiphol has 5 runways, in reality only two can be used at one time. And unlike airports in the UK, Schiphol has strict noise regulations about which runways can be used, and when. The use of the two runways which go over densely-populated areas is avoided whenever possible. Schiphol has almost reached its permissible noise limits, with around 425,565 flights last year – and a limit of 510,000 per year (cf. 480,000 at Heathrow). When the noise from planes using one runway reaches a certain point, no more is allowed in that year, and traffic should be diverted to alternative runways. The system in use at Schiphol to protect residents from aircraft noise is more rigorous than in the UK, and the Dutch take their noise responsibilities on aircraft noise too seriously to allow Schiphol to become effectively a UK hub.

Click here to view full story…


See earlier:

Schiphol airport unfazed by prospect of new London runway – many UK passengers prefer transferring from Schiphol

Schiphol Group president and chief executive Jos Nijhuis, described Amsterdam as “London’s second hub”. Schiphol now handles up to 8 million UK passengers a year, 60% of whom connect to onward flights. Schiphol believes passengers from UK regional airports will continue to choose Amsterdam rather than Heathrow to connect to long‑haul flights, even if Heathrow gets a 3rd runway. 13 UK airports have services to Amsterdam and this will rise to 14 next month, with the addition of Belfast.  The loss of UK regional traffic to Amsterdam because of capacity constraints at Heathrow has featured heavily in Heathrow’s lobbying for a new runway, wanting to prevent the loss of customers to Schiphol. And wanting to keep on being the biggest international airport, by far, in Europe.  Jos Nijhuis said: “We are London’s second hub and doing very well. …I tell [Heathrow chief executive] John Holland-Kaye: ‘Consider our most western runway as yours. We can rename it Heathrow Runway Three….We are a much better transfer airport [than our rivals]. We designed the airport for transfers.” KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers said: “I don’t think additional capacity in London would make Heathrow more attractive than Schiphol to passengers in Newcastle or Humberside.” He felt higher charges needed by Heathrow to pay for a new runway would mean the runway would not reduce the traffic going via Schiphol.

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow would spend £10 million to increase some domestic flights, only if granted a 3rd runway, to get backing from regions

Heathrow has increasingly cut the number of flights to UK regional airports, as it has become more uneconomic for the airlines to run them – and long haul international routes are more profitable. But Heathrow is aware that it needs to get the backing of regional airports, in order to lobby to be allowed a 3rd runway. Heathrow therefore suggested the setting up of a National Connectivity Task Force. In order to boost flights to the regions, Heathrow now says that – only IF it gets a new runway – it will spend £10 million on for the development of 5 new domestic routes, for 3 years. These would include Newquay, Humberside and Liverpool. That would be in addition to the 4 extra routes that easyJet has said it wants to operate if there is a Heathrow runway, to Inverness, Belfast International, the Isle of Man and Jersey. There are currently 6 domestic routes from Heathrow (Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle). Heathrow also said it would launch a review of its airport charges in the coming weeks to focus on making domestic flights more commercially attractive (cheaper) to airlines. The results of this consultation, which is not dependent upon getting a new runway, will be effective from January 2016.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Flybe to start “up to 3 flights per day” between Liverpool and Schiphol for links to destinations across the world

Regional airline Flybe will be starting flights between Liverpool and Schiphol (Amsterdam) from September 7th 2015. From Schiphol, passengers can transfer to a range of long haul destinations, avoiding having to fly to Heathrow in order to transfer. There will be up to three flights per day.  The airport says: “Details of which airlines passengers will be able to connect onwards with will be announced shortly, but flights are expected to coincide with onward connections at Amsterdam to destinations such as New York, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai and Toronto.”  Interlining is crucial to the route’s success.  Re-establishing the link to Amsterdam is a cause for celebration for the airport, which was dismayed when KLM, withdrew its Schiphol connection in 2012 following a cull of its route network. Liverpool airport hopes the Schiphol link would benefit Merseyside and North Wales travellers who want to connect with the rest of the world, for business. As well as making it easier for Brits to fly abroad on leisure trips, it might encourage inwards tourism too. Heathrow has offered to spend money getting links with Liverpool, and now Gatwick is trying to as well.… to avoid the business going to Schiphol.

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Liverpool John Lennon Airport secures new flight link to destinations across the world

31.3.2015 (Liverpool Echo)
By Tony McDonough

Regional airline Flybe will connect Liverpool to global hub at Amsterdam Schiphol from September 7th.

….Liverpool airport press release here …..

Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) last night revealed it is re-establishing its hub link with Amsterdam – connecting it to destinations across the world.

From September 7, regional airline Flybe will offer up to three flights a day from LJLA to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, departing early morning, lunchtime and late afternoon.

Details of which airlines passengers will be able to connect onwards with will be announced shortly, but flights are expected to coincide with onward connections at Amsterdam to destinations such as New York, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai and Toronto.

The new service will add to Flybe’s existing Liverpool departures to the Isle of Man and Belfast City, with the airline operating 120 weekly flights to and from Liverpool. Re-establishing the link to Amsterdam is a cause for celebration for bosses at LJLA who were dismayed when Dutch airline, KLM, withdrew its Schiphol hub connection in 2012 following a cull of its route network.
The airport believed that, at the time, the route was just starting to gather momentum.

A hub connection not only benefits Merseyside and North Wales travellers who want to connect with the rest of the world, but also gives a huge boost to the Liverpool city region’s visitor economy, making easier for tourists from across the world to come here.

It will also mean Merseyside is a more attractive option to companies looking to invest in or relocate to the region.

The announcement was last night welcomed by Liverpool’s elected Mayor, Joe Anderson, who said: “Our ambition is to make Liverpool a national and international destination for visitors and investors alike.

“The route to future markets depends on our connectivity, so re-establishing the connection to Amsterdam opens up a vital gateway to our future prosperity.”

Crucial to the success of the route is what is called “interlining”. This is where passengers can simply walk onto their connecting onward flight without having to check in their luggage a second time.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport chief executive Andrew Cornish.Liverpool John Lennon Airport chief executive Andrew Cornish.
Andrew Cornish, chief executive of LJLA, said: “The importance of this route should not be underestimated and this is a big commitment by Flybe. Their decision to connect with flights at Amsterdam will open up global access to and from the Liverpool city region.

“As well as giving business and leisure passengers the convenience of being able to their start long-haul journeys from their home airport, it will also bring a further boost for the region’s tourism offer and inward investment opportunities.”

Exeter-based Flybe operates 180 routes to 65 European airports, carrying more than 7m passengers a year, and is Europe’s largest regional airline. Launched in 1979, it was once owned by steel tycoon, Jack Walker, who also owned Blackburn Rovers FC.

The carrier’s chief commercial officer, Paul Simmons, added: “Flybe is delighted to play a part in making it possible for Liverpool customers to access the world through Amsterdam and, just as importantly, make it easier for the rest of the world to come to Liverpool.

“The airline already has a number of codeshare and interline arrangements with long haul carriers that in the future has the potential to benefit passengers even further.”

The news was also welcomed by Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce chief executive, Jenny Stewart, who said: “This announcement will open up excellent opportunities for business travel to new export markets.”

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/liverpool-john-lennon-airport-secures-8950377

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Earlier:

Flybe accuses Gatwick of ignoring UK regions

Saad Hammad, the chief executive of Flybe, has criticised Gatwick for failing to address the needs of Britain’s regions, in its attempt to win support for its second runway. The head of the UK’s biggest regional airline said that Heathrow had been “more specific about what they are going to do” on take-off and landing slots and on charges for domestic flights and “I don’t think Gatwick has been as sensitive as we would like…. Heathrow has one up on Gatwick in terms of listening to regional needs and requirements.” Heathrow has said it would look at cutting charges for regional flights as part of a regular review of fees, though no binding commitment has been made. These cuts are largely to deter passengers flying via Schiphol or other European hubs, rather than concern for the regional airports. Flybe has no flights into Heathrow and only one from Gatwick to Newquay. It sold 25 pairs of slots to easyJet in 2013. A spokesman for Gatwick said that it had the “best” regional links of any London airport and would remain significantly cheaper than Heathrow, even if Heathrow reduced their domestic fees. Gatwick said it is planning to give details of its proposals on fees further later this month. It has claimed its landing charges would not rise above £15 per passenger, but only it gets a 2nd runway and Government agrees a contract not to allow any other runway in the south east for 30 years ….

Click here to view full story…

Gatwick rushes to offer money – if it gets a 2nd runway – to support and incentivise new domestic air services

After Heathrow got itself some good publicity in its runway campaign, by saying it would spend £10 million to set up some new regional routes, Gatwick has been panicked into doing the same. It appears to have had to rush out a paper, stating it will spend £20 million over 10 years to strengthen domestic air services. Only if it gets a second runway. The paper setting out its plan contains little text, and gives no references or sources for the figures it uses. Gatwick says it already serves 11 destinations within the UK compared with 7 at Heathrow. Gatwick says its plans for a 2nd runway will “encourage the growth of regional airports and the development of international services outside London and the South East” though it does not explain how. It probably means that if there are more long haul flights from an expanded Heathrow, there would be less market demand for these flights from regional airports, and they would thus suffer (which is true). Following what Heathrow has already offered, Gatwick says it will consult on reducing landing charges for regional flights. If Gatwick wasn’t so busy lobbying around Heathrow, and with negative campaigning about Heathrow, it might have thought of some of these ideas for itself, rather than just being a pastiche of Heathrow.

Click here to view full story…

Schiphol airport unfazed by prospect of new London runway – many UK passengers prefer transferring from Schiphol

Schiphol Group president and chief executive Jos Nijhuis, described Amsterdam as “London’s second hub”. Schiphol now handles up to 8 million UK passengers a year, 60% of whom connect to onward flights. Schiphol believes passengers from UK regional airports will continue to choose Amsterdam rather than Heathrow to connect to long‑haul flights, even if Heathrow gets a 3rd runway. 13 UK airports have services to Amsterdam and this will rise to 14 next month, with the addition of Belfast.  The loss of UK regional traffic to Amsterdam because of capacity constraints at Heathrow has featured heavily in Heathrow’s lobbying for a new runway, wanting to prevent the loss of customers to Schiphol. And wanting to keep on being the biggest international airport, by far, in Europe.  Jos Nijhuis said: “We are London’s second hub and doing very well. …I tell [Heathrow chief executive] John Holland-Kaye: ‘Consider our most western runway as yours. We can rename it Heathrow Runway Three….We are a much better transfer airport [than our rivals]. We designed the airport for transfers.” KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers said: “I don’t think additional capacity in London would make Heathrow more attractive than Schiphol to passengers in Newcastle or Humberside.” He felt higher charges needed by Heathrow to pay for a new runway would mean the runway would not reduce the traffic going via Schiphol.

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow to reduce charges on domestic flights from £29.59 to £19.59 from Ist Jan 2016 – to deter passengers flying via Schiphol etc

Heathrow plans to cut the fees it charges airlines for domestic passengers. It says that from 1st January 2016 it will reduce the minimum departure charge for all flights (currently £1,406) to £1,268.40 per domestic flight. It will also cut the charge from £29.59 to £19.59 per passenger, in a bid to increase the number of passengers flying between UK regional airports and Heathrow. Heathrow serves just 7 regional destinations, down from 18 in 1990. It hopes the lower charges on domestic routes would encourage fuller planes and make more efficient use of the limited number of slots for regional flights, which are less profitable for airlines than long haul flights. Heathrow also says it will reduce minimum charges per plane to £1,592.15 for EU flights and £2,689.82 for non-EU destinations. It will also cut the per passenger charge for passengers flying to European destinations by £5 to £24.59. They plan instead to charge more for the noisiest planes, and those that emit more NOx – with the overall changes revenue neutral. The aim is discouraging passengers flying via European airports like Schiphol, and using Heathrow instead. The environmental fees would rise from being 21% to being 28% of total airport charges. Heathrow also say that, if they get a 3rd runway, they would open 5 new domestic routes, including Humberside, Newquay and Liverpool.

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow would spend £10 million to increase some domestic flights, only if granted a 3rd runway, to get backing from regions

Heathrow has increasingly cut the number of flights to UK regional airports, as it has become more uneconomic for the airlines to run them – and long haul international routes are more profitable. But Heathrow is aware that it needs to get the backing of regional airports, in order to lobby to be allowed a 3rd runway. Heathrow therefore suggested the setting up of a National Connectivity Task Force. In order to boost flights to the regions, Heathrow now says that – only IF it gets a new runway – it will spend £10 million on for the development of 5 new domestic routes, for 3 years. These would include Newquay, Humberside and Liverpool. That would be in addition to the 4 extra routes that easyJet has said it wants to operate if there is a Heathrow runway, to Inverness, Belfast International, the Isle of Man and Jersey. There are currently 6 domestic routes from Heathrow (Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle). Heathrow also said it would launch a review of its airport charges in the coming weeks to focus on making domestic flights more commercially attractive (cheaper) to airlines. The results of this consultation, which is not dependent upon getting a new runway, will be effective from January 2016.

Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »

Access to expanded Heathrow could cost £20 billion, TfL warns – maybe £15 billion more from the taxpayer than Commission estimate

Transport for London (TfL) has raised “serious concerns” about congestion and the costs of expansion at Heathrow just weeks before the Airports Commission’s final recommendation is due (end of June?). TFL Response to APPG on Surface Access Feb 2015  In response to questions by Zac Goldsmith, TfL said both Heathrow and Commission had “significantly underestimated” the challenge of improving transport access to the site, with the Airports Commission estimating £5 billion would be enough to make the improvements. TfL believes to provide an optimal level of service, the figure would be nearer to £20 billion, raising questions about who would pay the additional costs. TfL said population growth of 37% by 2050 has also not been taken into account, with regards to the increased pressure on London’s roads and public transport infrastructure, Zac said: “TfL is better placed than any other organisation to understand the effects Heathrow expansion will have on London’s transport network, and it is extraordinary therefore that the Commission never bothered to ask for its assessment. This raises serious questions about the thoroughness and reliability of the Commission’s work. If TfL is right, the taxpayer may end up having to cough up an additional £15 billion to help Heathrow secure its monopoly, in addition to all the associated problems of gridlock, noise and air pollution.”
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Access to new Heathrow would cost £20 billion, Transport for London warns

1.4.2015 (Richmond – Your Local Guardian)

By Laura Proto

Transport for London (TfL) has raised “serious concerns” about congestion and the costs of expansion at Heathrow just weeks before the Airports Commission’s final recommendation is due. [ TFL Response to APPG on Surface Access Feb 2015 ]

TfL said both the airport and Commission HAD “significantly underestimated” the challenge of improving transport access to the site, with the Airports Commission estimating £5bn would be enough to make the improvements.

But TfL believes to provide an optimal level of service, the figure would be nearer to £20bn, raising questions about who would pay the additional costs.

The commission said building a third runway and its related assets would cost £18.5bn, excluding surface access.

A population growth of 37 per cent by 2050 has also not been taken into account in regards to the increased pressure on London’s roads and public transport infrastructure, TfL said.

The Airports Commission acknowledges that if the west London airport did expand, passengers would experience “very crowded conditions during peak times”, but TfL said it had underestimated the demand for surface access in 2030 by 25 per cent.

Daniel Moylan, Mayor of London’s chief adviser of aviation, said: “The Airports Commission’s assessment of the surface access impacts for an expanded Heathrow does not extend beyond 2030 and assumes a third runway to be barely a quarter full, which is not credible for an airport currently operating at over 98 per cent capacity.

“With that in mind it is hardly surprising that the commission has woefully underestimated the associated surface access cost by more than £10bn.”

TfL’s concerns were aired in a letter to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Heathrow and the wider economy.

Zac Goldsmith, Conservative prospective parliamentary for Richmond Park and north Kingston, MP and chairman of the APPG, said: “TfL is better placed than any other organisation to understand the effects Heathrow expansion will have on London’s transport network, and it is extraordinary therefore that the commission never bothered to ask for its assessment.

“This raises serious questions about the thoroughness and reliability of the commission’s work. If TfL is right, the taxpayer may end up having to cough up an additional £15bn to help Heathrow secure its monopoly, in addition to all the associated problems of gridlock, noise and air pollution.”

Heathrow Appg website http://www.heathrowappg.com/tfl-response-to-appg-on-surface-access/

The TFL report is here TFL Response to APPG on Surface Access Feb 2015

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http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/local/richmondnews/12716544.Access_to_new_Heathrow_would_cost___20bn__Transport_for_London_warns/

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Relevant paragraph from the TfL response:  Page 6

TfL costs of surface access Heathrow


 

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As it is, the economic benefit of a new Heathrow runway is hotly debated and highly uncertain.  The possible economic benefit of a new runway is calculated over a 60 year period, 2026 to 2086.

Sixty years.  . ie. not a huge amount of benefit per year, (£2 – 3 billion maximum, on a generous estimate) bearing in mind the huge tourism deficit (perhaps £10 – £13 billion per year; or the loss to the Treasury as air travel pays no VAT and no fuel duty, amounting to perhaps £10 billion per year).

But the Airports Commission estimate of £211 billion economic benefit from a new NW Heathrow runway comes with many caveats – by the Commission itself. They say the “results should be interpreted with caution.”

Heathrow up to £211 billion

So that benefit needs at least another £20 billion knocked off it for transport infrastructure – without even starting to consider the cost of social infrastructure required to support all the extra development in the area, and the influx of people.


 

See earlier

Heathrow display 2 versions of their “economic benefit” poster – one saying £100 billion, the other “up to £211 billion” …. (Over 60 years)

Heathrow airport has two different versions of its massive poster near Terminal 5. They have the same text, with claims of the alleged economic benefits to the UK of a new runway. One poster says “Expand Heathrow and you grow the economy by £100 billion.” And other nearby says “Expand Heathrow and you grow the economy by up to £211 billion.” They cannot both be right. Is this merely a matter of picking wildly different figures out of the air? Heathrow airport responded that: “£100bn was our conservative estimate. When the Airports Commission analysed it they estimated up to £211bn across UK.” What the massive posters fail to say it these purported benefit are not for one year. They are over a 60 year period, 2026 to 2086. ie. not a huge amount per year, (£2 – 3 billion maximum, on a generous estimate) bearing in mind the huge tourism deficit (perhaps £10 – £13 billion per year); or the loss to the Treasury as air travel pays no VAT and no fuel duty, (amounting to perhaps £10 billion per year). But the Airports Commission estimate of £211 billion economic benefit from a new NW Heathrow runway comes with many caveats – by the Commission itself. They say the “results should be interpreted with caution, given the innovative methodology used…” So more that are difficult to substantiate.

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

1st April. “Heathrow in secret plan to compulsory purchase Sunbury Golf Course for housing”

Unfortunately the story below was an April Fools joke.

Howewer, the number of homes to be demolished (783), the number of homes Heathrow has had to offer to buy (3,750), the shortage of land to build houses in areas around Heathrow, are all accurate and true.  So is the absence of any plan to move those who will have their homes compulsorily purchased to alternative sites, let alone to move people as a community.

Harmondsworth and Longford residents, who are facing the bulldozers if Heathrow’s north-west runway goes ahead, could be offered new homes on Sunbury Golf Course. Heathrow Airport Ltd are understood to have been in negotiation for the compulsory purchase of the golf centre site, that includes a popular 6,000-yard course. MPs and local authorities around Heathrow have expressed concern about the housing crisis in London and the South East, and the necessity to re-house those currently living in the 783 homes that will be destroyed. In addition Heathrow has offered to buy up 3,750 houses that will become almost uninhabitable due to the noise and air pollution. These people also need to be found new homes.  Heathrow bosses have been looking at possible solutions, wishing to be fair to local communities and foster community cohesion.They have therefore been in covert discussions with neighbouring councils during the past 6 months, to find suitable sites for the relocation of the villagers. Spelthorne Council, a strong supporter of a Heathrow 3rd runway, has played an important behind-the-scenes role in this search. Sunbury Golf Course site provides the ideal location.  The planning process for this major project is expected to be fast-tracked so that initial work can begin this autumn.

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Heathrow in secret plan to compulsory purchase Sunbury Golf Course for housing

1.4.2015  (SHE  – Stop Heathrow Expansion)

April Fools joke …. sadly Heathrow is not being this proactive … nor is there any such attractive solution …

Harmondsworth and Longford residents facing the Heathrow bulldozers could be offered new homes on Sunbury Golf Course if a secret plan goes ahead. Heathrow Airport Ltd are understood to have held negotiations with the Secretary of State, on compulsory purchase of the golf centre site that includes a popular 6,000-yard course.

MPs and local authorities around Heathrow have expressed concern that the housing crisis in London and the South East has become a major election issue and could mean that expansion at Heathrow in undeliverable.

The Airports Commission, which has been given the task of assessing the rival runway plans of Heathrow and Gatwick airports, will make its recommendation this summer on where a new south east runway should be built. The announcement is expected by the end of June., The Commission considers that a minimum of 783 homes would be destroyed if Heathrow builds the proposed north west runway, although anti-expansion campaigners claim that the initial figure will be 289 higher.

Harmondsworth village centre

In December 2014,  immediately prior to Sir Howard Davies holding a consultation event in Sipson, Heathrow announced that it would offer to buy up to 3,750 properties in villages to the north of airport, which are likely to be severely affected by aircraft noise and pollution.  The village of Longford would be completely destroyed, while Harmondsworth would be reduced to a few homes, a church and an historical barn.

The remaining villages of Sipson and Harlington would be severely affected by noise and pollution.  Heathrow says it will buy these homes from current residents and fit soundproofing before, before renting them out to airport workers at market value.  This happened, but without the soundproofing, to 238 homes in Sipson and Harmondsworth that were purchased by the airport in 2010.

Discussions are now taking place to see if the occupants of the homes to be compulsorily purchased could be re-housed within the M25.

Fearing that the Airports Commission has concerns about the impact on community cohesion of the mass demolitions and the lack of suitable affordable housing in the area for those displaced, Heathrow bosses have been looking at possible solutions.  Heathrow has expressed its wish to be fair to local communities,and have raised the issue of community cohesion.

The impact on community cohesion, caused by the mass demolitions and the lack of suitable affordable housing in the areas for those displaced, were raised in submissions to the Airports Commission consultation, that ended on 3rd February. Heathrow bosses have been looking at possible solutions and now acknowledge it will be necessary to create entirely new villages within nearby boroughs, to accommodate those displaced.

April Fools joke …. sadly Heathrow is not being this proactive … nor is there any such attractive solution …

Heathrow has been in covert discussions with neighbouring councils during the past 6 months, to find suitable sites for the relocation of the villagers. While some areas south of Heathrow have been ruled out due to planned changes in the road network to accommodate the increased traffic from the extended coach station and freight depot, Laleham, Ashford and Shepperton are thought to be still under consideration.  Surrey Future, a group that brings together Surrey’s local authorities and business leaders, has already revealed that it has been working with the Airports Commission to find solutions that will lead to a recommendation favouring Heathrow expansion.

Spelthorne Council, a strong supporter of a Heathrow 3rd runway, has played an important behind-the-scenes role in this search.  It is believed that council officials suggested Heathrow’s current publicity slogan, “Those living around us are behind us” as a means of countering any resistance to development plans.

Spelthorne is currently consulting on the borough’s housing strategy, which includes a warning that in a borough that because it is 17% water and 65% Green Belt, no site is totally safe from housing development. The borough needs to build at least 160 homes a year until 2026, even without the need to rehouse those displaced by building another Heathrow runway.  The Airports Commission states that the lure of new airport-related jobs will bring 70,000 people into the area, who Spelthorne hopes to welcome.

After deciding that Sunbury Golf Course site provides the ideal location to satisfy angry residents forced to relocate from the Heathrow Villages, Spelthorne Conservative Councillors have formed a partnership with designers employed by the Chinese Sovereign Wealth Fund, co-owners of Heathrow.  They have been working in secret to build a replica copy of Harmondsworth and Longford to illustrate to the Secretary of State the feasibility and desirability of the plans. And to make the new residents feel more at home.

A source working within the partnership, who asked not be named, said “Heathrow will be making a substantial profit for its shareholders once a third runway is built so spending £5 billion on housing in Spelthorne is no problem. We aim to focus on the positives like more jobs in hospitality and construction, faster roads and more flights to India and China.  Everyone will be a winner, even those losing their communities and old buildings will get a new purpose-built estate.  There could be funding from the EU Infrastructure Asset Investment Trust to help with the cost, so that will reduce the cost to British taxpayers”.

The planning process for this major project is expected to be fast-tracked so that initial work can begin this autumn.  The Sunbury Golf Clubhouse will be commandeered to house some of the senior project management team who will also oversee the brick by brick dismantling and rebuilding of key buildings from Harmondsworth and Longford.  This could include St Mary the Virgin church in Harmondsworth, where the Great Tithe Barn has just undergone adaptations to enable it to be moved to the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum if necessary.

Sunbury Golf Course Clubhouse

 

April Fools joke …. sadly Heathrow is not being this proactive … nor is there any such attractive solution …

Recruitment teams will travel to Eastern Europe to recruit some of the 10,000 construction workers who will be needed for the first phase of demolition and redevelopment.  They will be housed in 2,000 Portacabins at Laleham Cricket Club, which will be renamed Heathrow Workers’ City.  This will provide a welcome boost for the local economy, especially Staines Shopping Centre.

An anonymous source at Spelthorne Borough Council said, “We feel privileged to be paving the way for a fourth runway to make Heathrow better AND bigger.  Frankly, when Heathrow turns up with wheelbarrows full of cash from its Chinese and Qatari owners it’s impossible to say no. In a few years time everyone will have forgotten the golf course and the old duffers who used it, they’ll have a whole new development, that’s progress.   Heathrow is promising to end youth unemployment with apprenticeships to teach them how to serve food, sell duty-free goods and make hotel beds.  Kevin Harman, speaking on behalf of the Heathrow Hub option, told us that there will be plenty of work in security because there is a lot of money in terrorism.  Honestly, I’m not joking. He said that at a public meeting when he said there’d be more jobs.”

A golfer, Conservative voter and retired airline worker who is close to the Sunbury Golf Club Committee stated that he’d been persuaded to wave goodbye to the club by the promise of jobs, jobs and more jobs.  He quipped “Heathrow replacing beauty with concrete is par for the course.”

Sidney Sciurus, who considers himself a typical Back Heathrow supporter said, “If you build blocks of flats you could solve the housing problem and make way for even more runways. I love the new quiet planes.  People who complain about being woken up at 4am should get double glazing. It’s nuts to stand in the way of Heathrow’s foreign owners just because they don’t have to live here with the extra pollution.

He continued, “I live far enough away that it doesn’t affect me so the sooner they dig up Sunbury Golf Club the better.  No ifs, no buts, bring on the bulldozers!

Stop-Heathrow-Expansion-SHE-logo http://www.stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/

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April Fools joke …. sadly Heathrow is not being this proactive … nor is there any such attractive solution …

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Stobart have applied for part of the £56 million government funding for three domestic flight routes

Stobart Air, the aviation subsidiary of airport-owner Stobart Group, has applied for start-up aid from the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund.  It has asked for funding support for daily services from Carlisle to Southend, Belfast and Dublin to begin in April 2016.  In January the Government announced that small airports, that handle fewer than 5 million passengers a year, were encouraged to bid for a share of the £56 million over 3 years to subsidise new routes. The three routes from Carlisle are among 19 under consideration for the latest tranche of aid. Others wanting the aid include Norwich to Paris and Southampton to Lyon with Flybe, and Oxford to Edinburgh with Links Air. Stobart should find out in May if its bids have cleared the first hurdle, and by July if they have been successful. A £12 million redevelopment of Carlisle Airport is under way and should be complete by this September. Stobart is building a freight distribution centre and resurfacing the runway. Previous attempts over many decades to launch scheduled flights from Carlisle have ended in failure. Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The range and ambition of the bids shows how smaller airports can transform their local areas with new connections and trade links.”
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Passenger services may start from Carlisle Airport next April

31.3.2015 (News & Star)

by Julian Whittle

Scheduled passenger flights from Carlisle Airport could take off in a year’s time.

Carlisle Airport photo
Carlisle Airport

Stobart Air, the aviation subsidiary of airport-owner Stobart Group, has applied for start-up aid from the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

It is asking for support for daily services from Carlisle to London Southend, Belfast and Dublin to begin in April 2016.

Funding of £56 million is available over three years to subsidise new routes from regional airports that handle fewer than 5m passengers a year.[More details below].

The three routes from Carlisle are among 19 under consideration for the latest tranche of aid.

Others include Norwich to Paris and Southampton to Lyon with Flybe, and Oxford to Edinburgh with Links Air.

Stobart should find out in May if its bids have cleared the first hurdle, and by July if they have been successful.

Nobody from the company was prepared to comment.

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The range and ambition of the bids shows how smaller airports can transform their local areas with new connections and trade links.

“This announcement builds on the Government’s commitment to ensuring smaller airports grow, boosting both local and national economies.”

The Regional Air Connectivity Fund was launched in June 2013 and has already supported routes from Dundee and Newquay into London.

Stobart proposed daily flights to Dublin and twice-daily flights to London Southend as part of its planning application for the redevelopment of Carlisle Airport.

The Belfast route is an addition to those plans.

A £12m redevelopment of Carlisle Airport is underway and should be complete by September. Stobart is building a freight distribution centre and resurfacing the runway.

Previous attempts to launch scheduled flights from Carlisle have ended in failure.

Air Ecosse started flights to Scotland and London in 1982 and, the following year, to the Isle of Man.

The Manx route was axed after one year and in 1985 Air Ecosse pulled out altogether.

Its daily flights to Heathrow were transferred to EuroAir, which withdrew two years later.

Viking began flights to Jersey in 1985 but went into receivership in 1987.

That same year, Air Furness briefly revived Isle of Man flights.

Nothing then happened until 1993 when New Air restarted a London service with flights to Stansted – only for the firm to go into receivership within two months.

Almost immediately Lakeside Northwest started a London service.

It ran up huge losses and collapsed by the end of the year.

Geordie Air Travel announced a service to London Docklands in 1994, only to call it off – blaming lack of custom – before the first flight departed.

The following year Lewis Holidays, which had promised flights to Jersey, pulled out a week before the service was due to begin.

http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/business/passenger-services-may-start-from-carlisle-airport-next-april-1.1202491

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Government receives 19 bids for regional airport funding

30.3.2015
By Tom Newcombe

The government has published the details of 19 bids it received during the first application stage for funding from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

The funding is available for brand new routes for regional airports which handle fewer than 5 million passengers a year.

The Regional Air Connectivity Fund was announced by the government in June 2013. The fund is used to maintain regional air connections. The government doubled the size of the fund to £20 million per year in the 2014 Budget.

Among the 19 bids which have been received during the initial application stage include:

Daily Flybe route between Norwich and Paris Charles de Gaulle (proposed to start April 1, 2016)

Double daily Flybe route between Norwich and Dublin (proposed to start April 1, 2016)

Daily Stobart Air route between Carlisle and Belfast (proposed to start April 1, 2016)

Daily weekday Bmi Regional route between Doncaster Sheffield and Frankfurt (proposed to start April 1, 2016)

The final short-list of airports that have met the criteria will be made in early May. Those successful routes will then move forward to the “strategic and economic appraisal stage”, with successful bids being announced in July 2015.

The Regional Air Connectivity Fund has a total of £56 million available to cover 3 years of financial support for start-up aid.

Previous beneficiaries of the funding include Flybe’s Newquay to Gatwick airport route, which chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander referred to as being “vital for Cornwall’s businesses, tourist industry and residents”.

http://buyingbusinesstravel.com/news/3023989-government-receives-19-bids-regional-airport-funding


 

Earlier:

Regional airports asked to bid for up to £56 million funding for new routes over next 3 years

By Department for Transport and Robert Goodwill

22 January 2015

Airports and airlines are being urged to bid for government funding of up to £17.5 million in the next year to help launch new routes.

This ‘start up aid’ will be made available from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which was announced by the government in June 2013 and is open to airports with fewer than 5 million passengers per year. This fund has already been partly distributed to support strategic routes to London from Newquay and Dundee but is now being extended to bids for more routes.

The £56 million is available to cover 3 years of financial support for start-up aid, with £17.5 million being made available to bids in 2015/16 and around £20 million a year for each of the remaining years. The aid will create new routes, boosting connectivity, increasing trade and supporting jobs in the regions.  [Not to mention boosting outbound tourism. AW note].

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said:

Smaller airports are vital to local economies and ensuring they thrive is a key part of our long term economic plan.

I want to encourage the industry to apply to expand their routes, to generate UK growth and jobs, as well as boosting our trade links with countries all over the world.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

I created the Regional Air Connectivity Fund because, as a Highlander, I appreciate the immense value of regional air routes to people living in remote communities across the UK.

This fund has already supported valuable services like Newquay’s London route, which has a return of 2.5 for every pound invested, making it great value for taxpayers too. I hope this further funding will help other areas sustain economically important connections too.

To apply for the funding, airports and airlines will have to provide evidence to show their proposed route will generate local benefits and represents value for money. See the guidance for airports on how to apply.

The initial application stage will run for five weeks, closing on Wednesday 25 February. Ministers will announce a shortlist of bids in March 2015. A list of successful bidders will then be published in June.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/regional-airports-asked-to-bid-for-up-to-56-million-funding-for-new-routes-over-next-3-years

 

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CAGNE sends complaint to Airports Commission on poor level of local engagement by Gatwick

CAGNE, the local group set up in 2014 at Gatwick, in response to the trial of new, concentrated flight paths, has written to the Airports Commission, to complain about the activities of Gatwick Airport.  Local groups have persistently complained that senior airport staff have declined invitations to attend meetings of communities around the airport. The airport is aware of the huge amount of local opposition. Instead, Gatwick has focused its advertising money and its PR on the London area. It has also contacted a large number of councils, in areas closer to Heathrow (where a Heathrow runway would be opposed) to try to get them to support a Gatwick runway instead. CAGNE points out that the Airports Commission’s own work, in its Appraisal  Framework, expects runway scheme promoters will show “evidence of sustained and meaningful engagement with local and community stakeholders including highlighting any changes of features of scheme designs arising as a result of this engagement.”  The Commission also expects the runway promoters to work on managing their “engagement with communities throughout the lifespan of the proposed project, including the period after any new infrastructure is delivered.”  CAGNE has little confidence, considering the poor record of Gatwick airport so far, in its future engagement with local people. 
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CAGNE has made an official complaint to the Airports Commission

30.3.2015 (CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, has made an official complaint to the Airports Commission about the “unethical” actions of Gatwick’s PR team.

Email exchanges between representatives of Gatwick’s PR team and local parish councils in the Heathrow area expose Gatwick’s efforts to encourage local authorities around Heathrow to campaign for Gatwick.

Commenting on the complaint, Pavey explained:

“Gatwick has deliberately avoided open consultation with its most important stakeholders – local residents. 

“We’ve now discovered that all this time they’ve actively encouraged Heathrow’s local authorities to support a second runway. It’s unethical and must be challenged.

“The fact remains that 12 local authorities and 8  local area MPs around Gatwick do not support their plans. It’s no wonder, given  that a second runway would destroy the tranquillity of Sussex, not to mention Gatwick’s complete disregard of local concerns.”

Given the deliberate lack of consultation by Gatwick executives with its own neighbours in Sussex, CAGNE believe the resourcing of a number of full time staff to consult with Heathrow locals is unethical and is in open defiance of the Commission’s appraisal framework.

CAGNE’s letter to the Commission states that: “The Commission believes that it is important for local communities most affected by airport development to be properly engaged and consulted. The Commission wishes to examine how scheme promoters intend to manage their engagement with communities throughout the lifespan of the proposed project, including the period after any new infrastructure is delivered.”  [Section 16.3 Airports Commission Appraisal Framework. April 2014. Page 119. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/300223/airports-commission-appraisal-framework.pdf ]

The first time concerned residents in Sussex were able to ask questions of executives from Gatwick was at the Airports Commission public consultation day on 16th December.

The issue of the resourcing of Gatwick staff to consult with Heathrow communities was raised at the last GATCOM (Gatwick’s consultative committee) meeting.  Gatwick executive, Charles Kirwan-Taylor, suggested this is standard practice and that Heathrow would have done the same.

However, none of the Gatwick area councils at that meeting have received such a communication from Heathrow executives encouraging them to vote for expansion at Heathrow instead of Gatwick.

The fact that Gatwick is spending millions of pounds in advertising and posters in London and around Heathrow, but none locally, reinforces the view Gatwick have not consulted or engaged properly with local residents or councils.  They are not providing any of the facts such as how a 2nd runway would cost the Government billions of ££s of taxpayers’ money for social, as well as transport,  infrastructure. The issue of the cost to the taxpayer is a key factor that the local authorities and MPs have recognised.  However, Gatwick is selective with its figures and avoided the issue of cost to the public purse.

www.cagne.org

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The Airports Commission  Appraisal Framework also said one of the expected outputs of the assessment was:

“Evidence of sustained and meaningful engagement with local and community stakeholders including highlighting any changes of features of scheme designs arising as a result of this engagement.”   Page 122 on Appraisal Framework 


 

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Letter from CAGNE to the Airports Commission

18th March 2015

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Sir Howard Davies

Airports Commission

Sanctuary Buildings

20 Great Smith Street

London SW1P 3BT

 

Dear Sir Howard

CAGNE would like to make a formal complaint about the actions of Gatwick Airport’s Public Relations executive relating to the attached email sent to residents and councils around Heathrow. It is now quite clear that many Commission submissions made from councils in West London have been led and worded by Gatwick.

Given the deliberate lack of consultation by Gatwick executives with its own neighbours in Sussex and Kent, the resourcing of a number of full time staff to consult with Heathrow locals is unethical and is in open defiance of your Commission’s appraisal framework.

It states that “The Commission believes that it is important for local communities most affected by airport development to be properly engaged and consulted. The Commission wishes to examine how scheme promoters intend to manage their engagement with communities throughout the lifespan of the proposed project, including the period after any new infrastructure is delivered.”                                           [Section 16.3 Airports Commission Appraisal Framework. April 2014. Page 119. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/300223/airports-commission-appraisal-framework.pdf ]

As you are aware, the first time concerned residents in Sussex and Kent were able to ask questions of executives from Gatwick was at the Airports Commission public consultation. Since that time, Gatwick have resumed their policy of obfuscation relating to the expansion plans of the airport and the effect on our communities.

The resourcing of Gatwick staff to consult with Heathrow communities was raised at the last GATCOM meeting and Gatwick executive, Charles Kirwan Taylor, suggested this is standard practice and that Heathrow would have done the same.

None of the councils at that meeting have received such a communication from Heathrow executives encouraging them to vote for expansion at Heathrow instead of Gatwick.

The fact that Gatwick is spending millions of pounds in advertising and posters around Heathrow and none locally, reinforces the fact Gatwick have not consulted or engaged with local residents or councils.

By ignoring this key part of the appraisal framework, it is no surprise that 12 local authorities, 8 MPs, airlines, big business and residents groups that surround Gatwick all oppose expansion would suggest we have been totally ignored by Gatwick management.

On this basis alone, the submission by Gatwick as a short-listed option for the Airports Commission should be withdrawn.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully

Sally Pavey

Chair of CAGNE

www.cagne.org

Email cagnegatwick@gmail.com

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cc Prime Minister David Cameron

Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin

Rt Hon Francis Maude MP

Crispin Blunt MP

Nick Herbert MP

Sir Nicholas Soames MP

Charles Hendry MP

Sam Gyimah MP

Sir John Stanley MP

Sir Paul Beresford MP

Henry Smith MP

George Osborne MP

 

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Text of email from Gatwick airport to local councils around Heathrow to get them to back a Gatwick runway.

From: Russell Guthrie [mailto:Russell.Guthrie@gatwickairport.com]

Sent: 15 January 2015 14:12

To:  ………….. X   Y  Z

Subject:  Supporting Gatwick

 

Dear parish council and residents association

I hope you don’t mind the unsolicited email, but I have been prompted to write to you after being contacted by several other parish councils and residents associations in the Heathrow area recently.   All of them expressed concern about the effect of Heathrow’s third runway plan and asked whether there was anything their members could do to support a new runway at Gatwick.

The simple answer is yes – there are two things your members could do if they choose.  I have highlighted both methods below and, assuming you think the cause is worthwhile, I wondered if you would be willing to ‘cascade’ this information to all your members via email or any other method at your disposal?

The first way to support Gatwick is by responding to the Airports Commission’s consultation telling them why you oppose a third runway at Heathrow. The consultation closes on Tuesday 3 February so there is not a great deal of time left to do this.  I have set out how to respond online, via email and by post below, and have also attached a summary of why we think Gatwick has the stronger case to build a new runway. These may help people fill out the consultation form more quickly and easily, although respondents do not have to answer every question on the form.

The second way to support Gatwick is to register your support.  The Airports Commission will be made aware of total number of people supporting Gatwick, so it is important that as many people as possible register their support.

Should you wish to respond to the consultation, please make your voice heard before 3 February by emailing the Airports Commission at airports.consultation@systra.com, by filling in their online survey or by writing to:  …. address given …)

How do I register my support for Gatwick? Simply fill in your name and email address on the website linked to below: http://www.gatwickobviously.com/mailing-list-sign-up/standard

Why is Gatwick the right location for a new runway?  See attached document.  (not attached here).

My Colleague Hannah Staunton, Head of Community Engagement at Gatwick Airport can answer any questions you might have & can be contacted on community@gatwickairport.com

Kindest Regards,

Russell Guthrie

Senior Media Campaigns Manager

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