Vince Cable: Gatwick runway is “a preferable alternative” and “less problematic” than Heathrow runway

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat business secretary, is reported as saying, at the LIb Dem party conference, that he backs the expansion of Gatwick over Heathrow. His speech on Monday did not mention airports, but he is reported by the BBC as saying expansion at Gatwick was “a preferable alternative” and “less problematic” than a third runway at Heathrow. His constituency of Twickenham is close to Heathrow, and badly overflown. So it unsurprising that he has previously voiced his opposition to a new Heathrow runway. In December 2013 Mr Cable said: “The Davies Commission interim report has put Heathrow at the front of its thinking which is questionable economically, damaging environmentally and probably undeliverable politically…. I fully support the need to improve UK business links with airports in the emerging markets of Asia which is important for jobs, but this could be achieved more quickly by reforming and reallocating airport slots; by building up point to point services; and by strengthening the capacity of UK regional airports.” He wants the UK economy to be “knowledge based, outward looking, and green.”
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Vince Cable said airport expansion at Gatwick is “a preferable alternative” and “less problematic” than expansion at Heathrow – which is near his Twickenham constituency.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29496477

“The next generation would certainly not thank us for a legacy of under-investment, over stretched infrastructure, and unaffordable homes

“We’ve also got to communicate to the country our long term vision of what we want the economy to look like.  It’s got to be knowledge based, outward looking, and green. And a key step is the industrial strategy ….”   … and so it continues …..

http://www.libdems.org.uk/vince_cable_s_keynote_speech_to_autumn_conference


 

Vince Cable backs Gatwick expansion

Vince Cable backs Gatwick expansionLiberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable is backing the expansion of Gatwick over Heathrow.

The government coalition partner party is due to unveil its policy on airports at its party conference in Glasgow tomorrow (Tuesday).

But Cable is reported by the BBC as saying expansion at Gatwick was “a preferable alternative” and “less problematic” than a third runway at Heathrow.

The MP for Twickenham has previously voiced his opposition to expansion of Heathrow – one of three options shortlisted by the Airport Commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies.

Cable said last December: “The Davies Commission interim report has put Heathrow at the front of its thinking which is questionable economically, damaging environmentally and probably undeliverable politically.

“My strong view is that the Davies review should not decide to press ahead with Heathrow options and I will be making that view known in the strongest terms.

“I fully support the need to improve UK business links with airports in the emerging markets of Asia which is important for jobs, but this could be achieved more quickly by reforming and reallocating airport slots; by building up point to point services; and by strengthening the capacity of UK regional airports.

“Such is the impact of noise on hundreds of thousands of people in London that pushing ahead with Heathrow expansion is almost certainly the worst option for expanding airport capacity.”

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2014/10/06/49604/vince-cable-backs-gatwick-expansion.html

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A comment below the article says:

The whole basis of the Davies Commission is political, to sweep the hard issues under the carpet until after the next election. With the Lib Dems looking at electoral annihilation next May it is hardly surprising that one of the few that might survive, and whose constituency is below the LHR flight path is going to argue for LGW. A turkey doesn’t vote for Christmas. Willie Walsh of BA has made it clear that he does not expect to see a third runway at LHR during his tenure leading BA and politicians hate taking hard decisions. I expect it will be another 20 years before there is another runway at LHR by which time I, and those taking the decisions now, won’t care any more.

and

This decision is already firmly in the political arena. The Davies Commission is merely a shameful political device to postpone a critical decision beyond the next election to avoid electoral disadvantage in key marginal seats. It is the triumph of political cynicism over the needs of the country.

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2013

LibLink: Vince Cable opposes Heathrow expansion

Vince Cable’s constituency of Twickenham is already under the Heathrow flightpath, and he is strongly opposed to any further expansion of the airport.He writes:

The Davies Commission interim report has put Heathrow at the front of its thinking which is questionable economically, damaging environmentally and probably undeliverable politically.

My strong view is that the Davies review should not decide to press ahead with Heathrow options and I will be making that view known in the strongest terms.

I fully support the need to improve UK business links with airports in the emerging markets of Asia which is important for jobs, but this could be achieved more quickly by reforming and reallocating airport slots; by building up point to point services; and by strengthening the capacity of UK regional airports.

Such is the impact of noise on hundreds of thousands of people in London that pushing ahead with Heathrow expansion is almost certainly the worst option for expanding airport capacity.

There is a petition to sign as well.

* Mary Reid is the Tuesday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.

http://www.libdemvoice.org/liblink-vince-cable-opposes-heathrow-expansion-37533.html

 

 

 

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Lib Dems hoping to get more votes by dropping opposition to Gatwick runway

The Liberal Democrats voted at the 2012 conference, exactly two years ago, against any new runway at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted or the Thames estuary.  But just a short time later, they have apparently abandoned their environmental principles, and decided to change policy, in the hope of saving some of their declining vote. Their pre-manifesto put out only on 9th September, reiterated the No New Runways message, though by June there were indications that they were wavering. Not there will be an amendment at the conference for a change to this policy, and for the Lib Dems to only oppose a runway at Heathrow. They are thus effectively discussing backing a Gatwick runway.  Looking at the map showing location of Lib Dem constituencies, this is quite a cynical move. It seems the party has been led to believe that planes will become substantially “quieter” and “cleaner” and so a new runway would be environmentally acceptable. The problem is that there are no step changes in either aircraft carbon emissions or noise expected for decades. There will be a debate at the Lib Dem conference on Tuesday, and the industry will be there in force, lobbying hard. 
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Clegg backs new airport runways

Nick Clegg has set himself on a potential collision course with party activists at the start of the Liberal Democrat autumn conference by backing new airport runways in Britain.

The Deputy Prime Minister said technological advances would help to negate the environmental impact of flying and pave the way for airport expansion.

As Lib Dems gather in Glasgow, Mr Clegg also attacked his party’s Coalition partners, declaring “compassionate conservatism is dead”.

He will attempt to energise activists at a rally in the Scottish city tonight amid gloomy poll ratings, with some research putting the party’s support as low as 6%.

The Lib Dems have previously insisted there would be no airport expansion in the South East ” because of local issues of air and noise pollution” but the position on Gatwick may be softening, according to The Times

In an interview for the newspaper, Mr Clegg said : “I do happen to think the environmental impact can … be consistent with some form of airport expansion given the rapid improvement in environmental performance of modern aircraft.”

….. and the article continues on other topics ……….

Meanwhile, a poll of 735 party members for the website Liberal Democrat Voice showed 80% continue to support the coalition, but that two-thirds expect the party to slip below 40 MPs at the next election.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/clegg-backs-airport-runways-083950128.html#928Rc9V

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Vince Cable: Gatwick runway is “a preferable alternative” and “less problematic” than Heathrow runway

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat business secretary, is reported as saying, at the LIb Dem party conference, that he backs the expansion of Gatwick over Heathrow. His speech on Monday did not mention airports, but he is reported by the BBC as saying expansion at Gatwick was “a preferable alternative” and “less problematic” than a third runway at Heathrow. His constituency of Twickenham is close to Heathrow, and badly overflown. So it unsurprising that he has previously voiced his opposition to a new Heathrow runway. In December 2013 Mr Cable said: “The Davies Commission interim report has put Heathrow at the front of its thinking which is questionable economically, damaging environmentally and probably undeliverable politically…. I fully support the need to improve UK business links with airports in the emerging markets of Asia which is important for jobs, but this could be achieved more quickly by reforming and reallocating airport slots; by building up point to point services; and by strengthening the capacity of UK regional airports.” He wants the UK economy to be “knowledge based, outward looking, and green.”

Click here to view full story…


 

Lib Dems and their Zero Carbon Britain aspiration

[now to include a new runway !]

This says:

“The environment has always been a top priority for the Liberal Democrats and while we have achieved a huge amount on our green agenda in the Coalition, it’s hardly a secret that this has been one of the biggest areas of tension.

“Liberal Democrats see our duty to protect our environment for future generations as a central political and moral challenge. This is not something we can, or should, try and sidestep. In this Parliament, we’ve made a big step forward particularly on green energy, but other areas have not seen such progress. So we want to use the next Parliament to make a major leap forward on the environmental agenda across the board.”

and

“So the choice is clear: if you care about the environment and want to see a greener, cleaner Britain then only the Liberal Democrats can deliver this in Government for you.”​

 

[For their early September pre-manifesto. But now within a month they appear to be trying to go back on their aviation manifesto, so could anyone take the Zero Carbon Britain aspiration any more seriously?  AW note]. 

http://www.libdems.org.uk/five_new_laws_for_a_greener_britain

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Among the other aviation industry lobbying at the Lib Dem conference, which starts on 5th October, there are these fringe events:

Monday 6th. 13.00    CILT Vision for the future of aviation
Monday 6th  17.30   AOA / ABTA dinner Aviation and tourism. A conference discussion     [cost of that??]
Tuesday 7th 13.00   AOA / ABTA Trade, tourism, aviation – is Britain winning the Global Race?


 

Opinion: You can allow airport expansion and protect the environment

By Christine Jardine  (the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Gordon, in Scotland)

Airport expansion equals controversy.

It sparks inevitable tensions between the demand for larger airports to fuel our economic growth, and concerns about the impact on the environment.

For those living closest to our major airports, especially Heathrow, those fears can be particularly acute as they endure current noise levels and view the prospect of increased traffic with dread.

And for Liberal Democrats it can often feel that our drive to create a stronger economy is being placed in direct opposition to our desire to protect our environment for future generations.

But I believe the two do not have to be mutually exclusive.

It’s because of our cherished commitment to a creating a greener future that our pre-manifesto – includes a commitment to no net increase in runways across the UK.

But if we are to be equally true to our visions for a stronger economy and fairer society we must also look for opportunities for growth across the whole of the UK.

For those of us – like me – who live in areas where our air links will be vital to that economic expansion the current proposal seems short sighted, particularly when you take into account the fact that our concerns about pollution and noise from today’s aeroplanes may be less relevant to the next generation of cleaner and quieter aircraft in twenty, thirty and forty years’ time.

We don’t yet know how technology will improve air travel: carbon emissions may fall faster or slower than currently predicted, and our policy response must be flexible to accommodate the evidence as it emerges.

To rule out new routes now for airlines offering a chance to explore new markets and encourage investment may risk vital missed opportunities and prejudice decades of growth.

Take my own airport for example in Aberdeen. The energy capital of Europe.

It provides a link between our energy industry base onshore and its production facilities offshore, as well as providing connections with others centres in the northern isles and the foreign markets with which trade and the export of our technology is vital to future growth.

But Aberdeen is also a growing hub for alternative energy.

It is no exaggeration to say that limiting the prospects expansion of Aberdeen airport risks strangling growth in our energy industry – traditional and alternative.

And when the high speed rail links which will boost growth in the south become a reality regional airports in those areas which don’t directly benefit can look to exploit the slots at Heathrow which will inevitably become available to ensure they too can see some economic dividend.

None of this means I do not hold our target of Zero Carbon Britain to be sacred.

I think our airports strategy must be evidence based and designed to limit carbon and noise emissions from aviation.

But within these limits we must seek to target economic opportunities across the UK, as well as helping rebalance the economy.

There is no doubt we need an economy where growth is better shared across the country, not purely around the capital.

And in the future we should be able to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, as well as reap the benefits of growth in investment and jobs thanks to sustainable airport expansion.

For these reasons I will be supporting an amendment to our pre-manifesto at conference in October.  [Not brave enough to say which one. She is probably referring to the amendment by Lorely Burt to drop opposition to Gatwick and Stansted runways].

I want to stress the enemy is the carbon and the noise, not the aeroplane or the travel.

I do not want to commit to a policy that, with the best of intentions, could sacrifice tomorrow’s economic growth on the altar of today’s carbon and noise emissions.

Do we really want to commit to a policy which, with the best of intentions, has the potential to sacrifice tomorrow’s economic growth for the same of carbon targets that wouldn’t actually be jeopardised

http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-you-can-allow-airport-expansion-and-protect-the-environment-42697.html

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Clegg backs more airport runways in defiance of his own party policy

Nick Clegg: cares about environmental impact [in theory]

  (Times)

Nick Clegg is risking the wrath of Liberal Democrat activists by supporting the construction of more airport runways.

Speaking before the party’s conference in Glasgow, the deputy prime minister said that airport expansion was “a hot topic in Lib Dem land”, with a debate expected on Tuesday.

He said that he cared about the environmental impact of new runways but that the issue could be solved with improvements in aircraft technology. “I do happen to think the environmental impact can . . . be consistent with some form of airport expansion given the rapid improvement in environmental performance of modern aircraft,” he said.

This is at odds with the Liberal Democrats’ pre-manifesto, which says: “We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick or any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution.” The policy would ban any new runway unless others were closed elsewhere.

Mr Clegg accepted that the policy recommendation was that there should be “absolutely no expansion anywhere” but he added: “There’s a very strong body of opinion elsewhere in the party, people like — various MPs elsewhere in the country — who’ve written some letters and tabled amendments to the conference and so on saying, ‘No hang on, look. We can’ .”

Aware that his comments might provoke a row, he then said: “So that’s one of the open debates we will have and I will not try and say too much.”

The party’s opposition to expansion at Heathrow was never likely to change, a source said, amid some hints that they could adopt a softer stance on Gatwick.

In an interview with The Times,

…. and the full article is at

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4226664.ece

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Earlier:

Standard reports that “Lib-Dems ready to drop Gatwick runway ban from election plans”

19.6.2014

The Evening Standard reports that the LibDems are set to use their election manifesto to open the door to a 2nd runway at Gatwick while still opposing a 3rd runway at Heathrow. The Standard says the party is moving towards scrapping its blanket ban on airport expansion in the South-East. “It could be replaced with a series of tests on climate change and local pollution, as well as on levels of noise suffered by communities around airports.”  (Whatever that is meant to mean). The process of writing their election manifesto is being overseen by MP David Laws. It is still at the committee stage of drawing up key policies to be put to members for approval at the LibDem conference in the autumn. A “senior LibDem” is quoted as saying: “We will not endorse an expansion in airport capacity which would increase current noise pollution for the hundreds of thousands of residents living beneath the flight path, or which would break the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations on aviation, which are needed to meet our carbon reduction targets.” (The CCC targets are rather weak and permit a new runway, with various provisos).

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=21929


 

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Lib Dems resolute on no 3rd Heathrow runway and no Gatwick or Stansted runways

23.9.2012At the Liberal Democrats’ autumn conference in Brighton, they have voted against new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. They also voted against a Thames estuary airport. Dr Julian Huppert told members it was time for the party to set out an aviation policy which “balances the need for growth with the clear environmental threat that we face”. He said we simply must not build airport capacity which would force us to miss carbon reduction targets, and that there is space at existing airports with existing infrastructure for growth in passenger numbers. Many have spare capacity, including Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester and Birmingham. We  need to use existing capacity better. The would like a new hub airport however, but only if  other runways are closed to make up for it, so there’s no net increase in runways or total capacity. However, Nick Clegg has said he will wait to see the outcome of the Davies commission.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=390 

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Willie Walsh of BA: Heathrow expansion is a ‘lost cause’

Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA owner, IAG, has said again that there will not be a 3rd Heathrow runway, as it is too controversial. He says UK politicians “lack the character” to get it built. “Historically, politicians have not been brave enough and I don’t think they will be brave enough going forward. You need a big shift in the politics of the country,” he said. However, Walsh warned a Conservative or Labour-led government against choosing Gatwick for an extra runway, adding that the case for growing the capital’s second-largest airport is “significantly weaker.”  Gatwick did not have the same international attraction. He said: “You won’t find many airlines that say ‘God I’d love to be able to fly to Gatwick’. That’s why this isn’t a business issue, an economic argument. It’s a political argument and the politics of expanding Heathrow are significantly more difficult than the politics of expanding Gatwick.”

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British Airways: Heathrow expansion is a ‘lost cause’

Willie Walsh says UK’s political class lacks character to push for third runway at airport

 

Heathrow expansion is a “lost cause”, according to the airport’s largest airline, despite a cross-party pledge to make a quick decision on new runways in the next parliament.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways, said Britain’s political class lacks the character required to push through a policy as controversial as a third Heathrow runway.

“Historically, politicians have not been brave enough and I don’t think they will be brave enough going forward. You need a big shift in the politics of the country,” he said. However, Walsh warned a Conservative or Labour-led government against choosing Gatwick for an extra runway, adding that the case for growing the capital’s second-largest airport is “significantly weaker.”

He said: “The airport does have capacity. You could make a case to build a second runway. The case is significantly weaker – and I don’t care what scale you want to use – than the case you can make to expand Heathrow.” He added that Gatwick did not have the same international attraction. “You won’t find many airlines that say ‘God I’d love to be able to fly to Gatwick’. That’s why this isn’t a business issue, an economic argument. It’s a political argument and the politics of expanding Heathrow are significantly more difficult than the politics of expanding Gatwick.”

Walsh also warned about uncertainty caused by the Conservative “fixation” with Europe and the promise of an in-out referendum. “The UK pulling out of the EU would be a blow to business, certainly. Withdrawing would be a mistake for the UK. When I travel around the world, people ask me – the UK isn’t going to pull out of Europe, surely? I think there is great surprise outside when people look at the debate that’s going on within the UK.”

British Airways will continue to look to expand in Asia, including a return to Kuala Lumpur in May 2015, and will look at other routes as more of its 787 Dreamliners on order are delivered. But Walsh admitted that its expansion in China had been slow. He said the latest Chinese route to the growing city of Chengdu, launched in late 2013, had disappointed and was slower to develop than hoped. “In terms of passenger demand, we are struggling as a result of Chinese visas. That’s a perfect example of where UK government policy is working against the UK interests of developing more business with China.”

Walsh also claimed that Sir Richard Branson has handed over control of his Virgin Atlantic airline to its “more rational” American minority partner Delta Air Lines. A 49% stake in Virgin owned by Singapore Airlines was sold last year to Delta. Virgin and Delta have since confirmed a transatlantic partnership and codeshare on routes from Heathrow to the US. Branson’s carrier has meanwhile rowed back from a range of destinations around the world, announcing withdrawals from Mumbai, Tokyo and Nairobi.

Walsh said: “Virgin is controlled by Delta. Decisions are taken in Atlanta by the Delta management team who are one of the best in the business. They are much more rational in terms of their behaviour.” He added: “Virgin has almost disappeared… Delta control Virgin, without any doubt, without any question. We just call it Delta now. “

Walsh said that he believed foreign ownership rules, which prevent non-European companies from running EU airlines, should be scrapped, but said he expected them to be applied to Delta. He said: “You could argue that if the rules are there they should be applied. The US is stronger on this… Europe is weak. Europe has lots of rules that they don’t necessarily abide by.”

A spokesman for Virgin said: “We agree Delta are the best airline partner in the marketplace and are glad Willie Walsh feels the same. We’ve clearly rattled his cage by how strong a competitor we now are on the US route.”

Walsh took a further swipe at his rival, whose domestic service to Scotland and Manchester from Heathrow, Little Red, has been operating with a large proportion of empty seats. Its Heathrow slots, owned by BA, were awarded to Virgin by competition authorities after BA bought BMI from Lufthansa. Walsh said: “It’s looking terrible. The fact is that they are struggling – you cannot make money flying planes that are less than half-full. I said it would be a mistake and am delighted to be proven correct.”

Walsh was speaking on the first flight from London to Washington of BA’s A380 aircraft, the first time the two nations’ capitals have been connected by the two superjumbos. BA has now received 7 of the 12 doubledecker Airbus aircraft, which can carry up to 469 passengers.

Walsh said the plane was a “beautiful machine” for Heathrow. “The business case for the A380 was based on high-volume routes when frequency was not in a critical issue in a slot constrained airport like Heathrow, and it’s absolutely perfect in that environment.”

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/02/british-airways-heathrow-third-runway-lost-cause-willie-walsh

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And below are some of the comments to the article, on the Guardian website:

To put it a different way, the UK political class lacks the will and ruthlessness to screw up the lives of several thousands of UK citizens so that Willie Walsh’s company can make more money. This is possibly because those people have the vote.
BA has a privileged position with landing slots at Heathrow. The UK government should put a 5 year limit on all the Heathrow slots and then put them up for auction. (a bit like the mobile phone frequencies) and let BA and the others bid for them.

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Actually it will be a brave politician who withstands the pressure from Walsh and his ilk to build a 3rd runway that that will be a white elephant before it’s even completed. Building more capacity for flying when global warming is finally beginning to climb the political agenda would be financial folly as well as several other kinds of folly.

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…a 3rd runway that that will be a white elephant before it’s even completed….
This point needs to be made time and time again.
There is less and less ‘easy/cheap-to-produce’ oil coming forth. Supplies contracting at 6% per year means that its availability halves in a dozen years.
We are going to be short of fuel for food trucks, never mind holiday-maker aeroplanes.

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Never mind a lost cause. It should not be a cause at all.

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The real problem with UK Politicians and others in the global economy is the failure to tax aviation fuel at a rate similar to that paid by other forms of transport.
Many politicians and members of the public appear to think that it is some form of legal right to foul the atmosphere and not pay.
I do not know if motor vehicle fuel bears a proper rate of tax in relation to the damage caused to the environment but it does look as if aviation fuel is under taxed.
I strongly suggest each individual is allocated a carbon allowance annually (tradable) and then make a choice to go to Florida say for a holiday or be cold in winter unless more carbon allowance is bought.
I doubt it will happen!

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“Heathrow expansion is a “lost cause”, according to the airport’s largest airline”
I hope he is right.
However, people should not rely on this hope. People should continue to hammer stakes into the heart of this threat, to make sure it stays dead.

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Let’s hope he’s right, it would be madness to expand Heathrow further, it’s too close to London and it’s big enough. Maybe the last resort if plans proceed would be a boycott by affected (most) Londoners. For a month at first would make the point?

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You need a big shift in the politics of the country,”
Too right, Willie. We need a politics where governments listen to ordinary people instead of self-interested twats like you.

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Heathrow has already outgrown its current location – and in any case – if it can’t make money out of 70 million customers a year – people like Mr Walsh should step down and let professional people take over. We need a better Heathrow not a bigger Heathrow.

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Earlier:

BA chief Willie Walsh comes out against a third Heathrow runway

2.12.2012John Stewart writes, in a blog for HACAN, that at at conference on 30th November Willie Walsh said he did not believe a 3rd runway at Heathrow would ever be built and that British Airways was basing its future plans on that belief by buying slots from other airlines at Heathrow and expanding its operations in Madrid.  This has important implications for the future of UK aviation policy, and leaves Heathrow Airport without a critical ally.  Walsh said BA is planning for life without a new Heathrow runway, and it appears that BA no longer sees the runway as in its commercial interesst.  He also said  he was opposed to mixed-mode at Heathrow.  BA’s newly-acquired Heathrow slots could in due course be used to serve the emerging markets of Asia and Africa and Madrid had good connections to South America.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1884


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Willie Walsh tells AOA that a Heathrow 3rd runway will never be built – it is too politically difficult

22.10.2013Willie Walsh has said – at the Airport Operators Association in London – that a 3rd runway at Heathrow will “never” be built  – as he claims politicians will always put their election campaigns over national interests. He said nimbyism will stop politicians from doing anything with the findings of Sir Howard Davies’s Airports Commission – and a new  Heathrow runway is just politically too difficult.”  He claims, rather bitterly, that “This is politics with a small ‘p’. The national interest gets lost as the individual politicians look to understand how this will impact on them getting elected.” Perhaps he is also considering self interest. Sir Howard Davies, also speaking at the AOA conference, said of the airport capacity/new runway decision:  “Realistically this is the sort of decision that gets made early in a Parliament if it gets made at all,” as it is too contentious to be dealt with by politicians in the run-up to an election.  The Airports Commission know any new runway would take “a decade or more to come into effect” and the process will likely be delayed by legal challenges. The commission already faces the threat of a judicial review after campaign group, Stop Stansted Expansion, initiated legal proceedings earlier this month.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=18046


Willie Walsh still wants 3rd runway – but “Heathrow is always going to be a 2-runway airport

25.5.2014

Interview in the Independent on Sunday with Willie Walsh. He wants a 3rd Heathrow runway, though he unwillingly accepts it will not happen. He says he stopped campaigning when “the Conservatives said they were not going to support it.” … “I accept it…. I’ve not done anything since.” Now, he says, there is “not sufficient political will – it’s seen as too risky to support a 3rd Heathrow runway. Even Labour, which did back the idea when in government, has changed. “Ed Miliband was the only member of the Labour Cabinet against the 3rd runway. Now he’s the leader”…. “It’s highly unlikely we will see a 3rd runway. Heathrow is always going to be a 2-runway airport.”  We can, Walsh says, dismiss Boris Island for a start. “There’s no support for Boris island other than from Boris.” As for Sir Howard, it does not matter what he concludes, because “whatever he does will be handed over to politicians, none of whom are bound by his recommendations”.  So with no new runways we just reach south east airport capacity and UK aviation stops growing? Yes, says Walsh.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=21595

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British Airways adds more Heathrow leisure routes – Olbia, Kos, Corfu – to the existing list

Heathrow airport makes a lot of how important its flights to emerging economies are, and how limited its slots are for this. So it would be logical to imagine that spare slots would be used for just this sort of flight. Heathrow is keen on making statements like: “The UK will fall behind in the global race if it cannot connect to growing economies.” And “Global air transport provides access for our key industries to established and emerging new markets, which will help deliver economic growth across the UK.” So one might expect that, if spare slots come up, they would immediately be used for these long haul destination, to emerging economies.  However, Heathrow will now be getting new British Airways flights to … guess where?  Olbia in Sardinia; Kos and Corfu in Greece and Split in Croatia from summer 2015. And these will use Airbus A319s and A320s. To be fair, it is moving its Las Palmas flights to Gatwick. Other purely holiday destinations Heathrow offers in the Med are Mykonos and Santorini, which started earlier this year. There are also Pisa and Porto. And the Heathrow destination map includes many, many more … Ibiza, Nice, Tunis, Malta, Malaga….
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Heathrow’s destination map (interactive) is at                                      http://www.heathrowairport.com/flight-information/route-map

European part of Heathrow destination map

British Airways adds more Heathrow leisure routes

More Mediterranean leisure routes are being added from Heathrow by British Airways next summer.The airline is introducing Olbia in Sardinia, Kos and Corfu in Greece and Split in Croatia to its network from May 1.

The new routes follow last week’s announcement that the airline will also start serving Seville, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and Funchal in Madeira from Gatwick.

Weekend day-trip tickets and cheaper hand baggage-only fares starting at £39 each-way are being introduced

Flights to all four new destinations will be on Airbus A319s and A320s from Heathrow.

The airline is also installing new cabins in 95 of its Airbus short-haul aircraft, which includes leather seats and mood lighting.

BA strategy director Lynne Embleton said: “It’s great to be able to offer an increasing number of Mediterranean destinations for customers flying from Heathrow for that weekend break in the sun or for longer holidays.

“We know these new short-haul routes are going to prove very popular after launching services to Mykonos and Santorini earlier in the year.”

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2014/10/01/49559/british-airways-adds-more-heathrow-leisure-routes.html

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Heathrow says, in its publication  “Heathrow best placed for Britain ”  – June 2013

“The Global Race.   The UK will fall behind in the global race if it cannot connect to growing economies.”

and

“Keeping a successful hub in the UK means British passengers will have a greater choice of air links — particularly to long-haul emerging market destinations that are important for economic growth.”

and

“Global air transport provides access for our key industries to established and emerging new markets, which will help deliver economic growth across the UK.”

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowAboutUs/Downloads/PDF/best-placed-for-britain_LHR.pdf

 


 Heathrow’s new routes page

at http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/flights-and-holidays/flights/new-routes

states:

New routes [Just the Heathrow ones copied below].


Changes to our routes

 


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British Airways Adds London Gatwick – Seville / Las Palmas Service from late-March 2015

30 SEPT 2014


British Airways from 29 MAR 15 is introducing London Gatwick – Seville service, which sees Airbus A319 operating 5 weekly flights.

Also, the oneWorld member will transfer London Heathrow – Las Palmas service to London Gatwick, where it’ll operate 2 weekly flights.

http://airlineroute.net/2014/09/30/ba-svqlpa-s15/

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See earlier:

 

BA uses its new BMI slots at Heathrow, not for emerging economies, but largely leisure destinations. As usual.

27.6.2014BA got 42 daily Heathrow slots from taking over BMI. And it said very publicly, in March, that it would be using these to fly to the emerging economies – in  Asia, Africa and Latin America - which is part of the myth that the aviation industry is peddling at present. So what are the slots actually being used for?  One flight per day to  Seoul. The rest are domestic UK (Aberdeen Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Leeds Bradford), or Zagreb, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Marseilles, Phoenix, Zurich and Bologna – with more flights to some.  So that is where the money is.  So much for the allegedly desperate need for slots to fly to second tier Chinese cities. This really proves what a lot of misleading PR is being put out by BAA and the airlines at Heathrow.· British Airways returns to the Isle of Man
· New routes from London Heathrow to Seoul and Zagreb
· New routes from London Gatwick to Las Vegas and Barcelona
· Bologna and Marseille flights move from Gatwick to Heathrow
· Increased frequency on numerous routeshttp://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2401.


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More BA routes from Heathrow …. to key business destinations …. Palma and Ibiza

17.1.2013Anyone reading the statements from Heathrow about the capacity crisis and how there is a need for more flights to the emerging markets might be puzzled by recent news from British Airways. Back in February 2012 Willie Walsh said he planned to expand IAG  into lucrative emerging markets, such as Latin America and he hoped to use the extra Heathrow take-off and landing-slots from BMI to accelerate growth into emerging markets. But BA has now announced that it is putting on new flights from Heathrow to Palma (Majorca) from March, and to Ibiza. These are in addition to Mexico and Alicante, as well as  Bologna and Marseilles announced earlier.  There are also new flights to Leeds Bradford (and a mention of links for business connnections) and a new flight to Chengdu in China, announced earlier, as well as Almaty (Kazakhstan), Dublin, and Seoul among others, where there is likely to be a business component.  It is hard to believe there is much business benefit from weekend flights to Alicante or Palma or Ibiza.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=749..Contrast this with Willie Walsh’s statement last year:

IAG’s Willie Walsh targets emerging markets

Willie Walsh’s plans to expand International Airlines Group (IAG) into lucrative emerging markets, such as Latin America, will dominate the carrier’s annual results this week as it announces a doubling of operating profits.

The group, owner of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, hopes to use the extra Heathrow take-off and landing-slots that will be gained through its proposed BMI takeover to accelerate growth into emerging markets.

……. and so on …. (Telegraph 25.2.2012) at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/9105918/IAGs-Willie-Walsh-targets-emerging-markets.html

 

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Heathrow bows to extent of flight path fury by bringing end of trails forward to 12th November

On 28th August Heathrow started flight path trials, testing if flight paths could be concentrated, over flying slightly fewer people – but creating far more noise for those now under the narrow flight paths, used by more planes. As soon as the trials began people were upset, disturbed and annoyed at the noise misery that had been perpetrated upon them. Protests rapidly sprang up in the Ascot, Windlesham, Lightwater, Bagshot, Teddington, Twickenham and other areas. Heathrow has been stunned by, and swamped by, the number of complaints, and has not been able to cope. Now, as a damage-limitation exercise, Heathrow has announced it will cut its trials short, ending on 12th November, rather than the original end date of 26th January 2015. In addition, trials due to start on 28th October will be postponed till autumn 2015. This is good news for those who have been suffering. However, it is not a decision to stop growth in Heathrow flights – or noise.  Cynics might say that these decisions are to ensure there is less protest about flight paths between now and the May 2015 election, and the Airports Commission decision on a new runway, expected after the election, next summer.

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Heathrow Shortens Current Future Airspace Strategy Trials

2 October, 2014 (Heathrow airport press release)

Heathrow Airport today announced that it will be ending the current airspace trials on 12th November, instead of its original scheduled end date of January 26th 2015.   
Heathrow will also be postponing trials scheduled to commence later this month.

These trials being run in conjunction with NATS, are being driven by Government’s Future Airspace Strategy, which requires that all airports implement changes to modernise airspace by 2020.

Heathrow’s current easterly and westerly trials affect departing aircraft, and began on July 26th and August 25th respectively. The trials have been testing concepts and techniques necessary to inform how airspace can be better managed in the future. The routes are not indicative of future flight paths.  [But they indicate what living  under one would be like. AirportWatch comment]. 

To date, the trials have been successful in collecting large amounts of data and have provided valuable insight into the design and feasibility of operating precision routes and how Heathrow could maximise noise respite for local residents with new airspace design.

In light of residents’ feedback and after meetings with local authorities and Members of Parliament, Heathrow asked NATS to consider shortening the trials. It is the view of NATS and Heathrow that sufficient data will have been collected by 12 November to confirm the findings of these trial. Given that is the case, the trials will stop on that date.

Additional trials scheduled to start on 20 October are being postponed until Autumn 2015

Heathrow, like other airports throughout the country, is still required to provide the necessary data to inform the Civil Aviation Authority’s plans for future airspace modernisation and will be required to run other trials in the future. The reaction to the current trials has been much stronger than previous trials held earlier this year. Heathrow will therefore review how any trials are carried out in future and will ensure the details of future trials are fully publicised to residents in advance.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability and Environment said:

“These trials are crucial in helping us develop ways to manage our airspace more effectively and to reduce noise from Heathrow. We do, however, appreciate that some residents will have experienced a temporary increase in noise as a result of these trials. The feedback we have received during the trials is very important to this process. We are always looking to minimise the disturbance residents may experience as a result of flights around Heathrow, and so we are pleased to have been able to work with NATS to bring an early end to the trials.”

Any permanent changes to airspace require Government approval and will be subject to full public consultation.

Notes to editors

For more information, please visit:  http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise

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The Heathrow noise page states:

Quote:

“Working towards a quieter Heathrow

Airspace Trials update – 2 October 2014

Today we have announced we will be ending the current airspace trials on 12 November, instead of its original scheduled end date of 26 January 2015. We will also be postponing the trial that was scheduled to commence later this month. For more information click here

Welcome to our Aircraft noise website. We know that as well as bringing huge benefits to the UK, an airport the size and importance of Heathrow has downsides for people living nearby, in particular the challenge of aircraft noise.

Heathrow is at the forefront of international efforts to tackle noise. As a result, even though the number of planes has gone up, Heathrow’s noise footprint ** has shrunk considerably over the past few decades. But despite these efforts we know that noise remains an issue. We are committed to addressing it and to reduce the impact of noise on residents.

This site explains Heathrow’s operations including information on flights paths and the rules governing the airport. You can track flights on maps, make a noise complaint and find out what we’re doing to make Heathrow quieter. You’ll also find information on future plans including potential airspace changes.

You can talk to the Community Relations team on 0800 344844 or email us at noise@heathrow.com ”

**  AirportWatch note.  What this means is the area within the 57 dB Leq noise contour may have shrunk. So the number of people living in areas with that level of noise may be lower. But the whole area exposed to more Heathrow noise, at a slightly lower level, will have risen. The number has only fallen, if judged by this somewhat arbitrary measure.

 More Heathrow information at:

 Modernising UK airspace 

Read more »

“We didn’t think you’d notice”: Heathrow ‘apologises’ for not informing residents of new flight paths

Matt Gorman, the sustainability director of Heathrow airport, has told people in the Bracknell and Ascot areas why they were not given notice of the flight path trials overhead. He said: “We didn’t go as far as sending letters out to all the people that would be affected as we did not feel people would notice any change.” This is scarcely credible, unless Heathrow does not follow the news about rival Gatwick at all. The flight path trials at Gatwick have provoked massive opposition, with thousands highly angry and upset. Gatwick also decided not to give the public prior warning of their trial. At a Gatwick Consultative Committee meeting in January 2014, Gatwick’s Head of Corporate Responsibility, said: “If people were aware of the trial it was possible that they would be more alert to changes and feel obliged to comment.”  That backfired spectacularly. Another classic Heathrow comment recently, from Nigel Milton, to a meeting in Stanwell on 15th September, when asked why past Heathrow promises were allowed to be broken said: “The people who made those promises weren’t in a position to make these promises.” But the comment was made by the then BAA chairman, Sir John Egan. So Heathrow chairmen’s promises should not be taken seriously?
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PR disaster?  Especially as airports always hope that more “dialogue with residents” will stop them being so upset about the noise …..

 

RESIDENTS in the Bracknell area were not warned there would be noisy aircraft roaring over their homes because it was thought they would not notice, a Heathrow Airport boss has said.

The airport introduced new flighpaths over our area as part of a controversial five-month trial last month, without informing either residents or Bracknell Forest Council.

Since then, Heathrow has been swamped with complaints from people living in the Bracknell and Ascot area about the sudden noise invasion.

More than 4,700 have so far signed a petition and a public meeting, attended by airport bosses, will be held next month.

Matthew Gorman, sustainability director [sic]  at the airport, said: “We didn’t go as far as sending letters out to all the people that would be affected as we did not feel people would notice any change.”

Heathrow is experimenting with path changes and new technology systems in a bid to reduce ‘stacking’ in the air and speed up departure times.

It has admitted that the strength of feeling across Bracknell and Ascot had been stronger than it expected and also greater than other areas where it had previously carried out trial flighpaths.

Heathrow is trying out trial flightpaths in different areas in a bid to spread the noise disturbance to residents in South East England.

It is also hoped that reducing stacking would result in a reduction in noise pollution.

Mr Gorman explained: “We’ve been told by the Government to plan how the airspace will be used in the future in order to help coordinate travel. Not just in the UK but across Europe.

“We will take stock of the feedback as we start to redesign before 2016.”

Warfield resident Judy Martin said: “I am not at all happy about it. I have lived in Warfield for over 20 years and it’s never been like this.

“Siting in the garden today the flights are continous and much lower that they ever have been. We are never without the noise of one passing over and the next arriving.

“Sometimes you have to stop your conversation as you can’t hear each other speak.”

Annoyed at not being told in advance of the changes, Bracknell Forest councillors passed a motion last Wednesday demanding Heathrow inform the council of future changes and to consider the views of the borough’s residents.

Heathrow has now apologised to the council.

However, the council has stopped short of calling for the trials to end. Cllr Chris Turrell, Bracknell Forest’s main representative on the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC), said:

“Heathrow clearly did not understand the impact these trials would have.

“They are Heathrow’s trials and it’s important for residents to inform them what the implications are. Residents should have hard facts provided to them.”

Mr Gorman says that the airport has received some positive feedback on the trials from elsewhere and said: “We have received a significant number of complaints, but it should be said that some people say they have noticed the noise has improved in their area. Some people have more noise above but others have got less planes flying overhead.

“That’s the challenge of running these trials, I apologise that some people are unhappy with the trials but they will not last forever.” [The trials, by definition, will not last for ever. Of course. But the intention is that these flight paths, once introduced formally, would last for a very long time indeed. This comment from Matt really would not  be acceptable, from an honest company. AirportWatch comment]. 

http://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/bracknell/articles/2014/10/01/104111-we-didnt-think-youd-notice-heathrow-apologises-for-not-informing-residents-of-new-flight-paths/

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PR disaster No 2:

Another of Heathrow’s memorable statements:

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.”

[The comment had been made by the Chairman of BAA a the time, Sir John Egan. He was CEO of BAA from 1990 to 1999

In a ‘Dear Neighbour’ letter to residents (April 1999) Sir John Egan writes: “We have since repeated often that we do not want, nor shall we seek, an additional runway. I can now report that we went even further at the Inquiry and called on the Inspector to recommend that, subject to permission being given for T5, an additional Heathrow runway should be ruled out forever. ” ]   see link  

So we cannot trust anything Heathrow says, if we are later told we cannot believe any statement by the Chairman of the company?

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=23036

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PR disaster No 3:

A similar statement by Gatwick airport, which indicates Heathrow knew only too well that people would notice their flight path change:

A recent meeting of the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM) said, discussing whether residents should be warned of the trial in advance 30th January 2014:

“It was felt that parish councils in particular should be advised of trial to enable them to respond to their constituents if problems arose. Mr. Denton [Head of Corporate Responsibility at Gatwick] would consider this but emphasised the need to obtain genuine feedback from those affected. If people were aware of the trial it was possible that they would be more alert to changes and feel obliged to comment.”  

ie. don’t warn them, because they might complain.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20366

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Residents of west Kent pleased that Gatwick will delay decision on controversial airspace consultation

Gatwick will be delaying the decision on their very controversial flight path changes, to the delight of campaign groups across west Kent, and their local MPs. People have been experiencing, and complaining vociferously about, an increase in night flights, plane noise and low-flying aircraft. The Gatwick noise complaint lines have been swamped, and people have not been given satisfactory responses by the airport. Gatwick is postponing their plans till next year, but it is believed this is only being done in order to prevent further bad publicity during the Airports Commission consultation, starting this autumn.  Opponents of the airport’s 2nd runway say that if Gatwick are truly serious about “being a good neighbour they would publish what people really think to help the Commission decide.” Gatwick said in a statement that they would “Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations,” “Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options,” “Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise,” and “Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options.” But just talking to people about noise does not reduce it. They want they want less noise, not more “engagement.”
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Residents of west Kent pleased by Gatwick Airport revealing it will delay decision on controversial airspace consultation

1 October 2014

by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas  (Kent Online)

Gatwick Airport has revealed it will be delaying the decision on a controversial consultation – to the delight of campaign groups across west Kent and local MPs.

Residents have been complaining about an increase in night flights, plane noise and low-flying aircraft and have, until now, not received a satisfying response from the airport.

However, it has been revealed today that Gatwick Airport will delay a decision about whether to go forward with new flight paths until next year.

Residents of west Kent raised questions over Kent County Council’s view on a second runway at Gatwick

At a Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group (NATMAG) meeting, Gatwick said the changes to flight paths will be delayed until a better understanding of the available options and steps was acquired.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is an extension of the timeline – not a cancellation of the process altogether.

Gatwick said this additional time will allow it to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

In a statement it said it will use the time to:

Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark is delighted by Gatwick’s decision to postpone the consultation after he sent a letter in August expressing the concerns of local residents. He said: “I am very pleased that both Gatwick and NATS have agreed with my call to go back to the drawing board with these proposals as they have caused immense worry to my constituents in the west of Tunbridge Wells.

“Both organisations have confirmed that there will be no change to the flight path until further work, including adequate consultation with the community, has taken place. This is a good outcome and I am grateful to Gatwick and NATS for responding to my request and that of the community.”

Gatwick officials have said the local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, head of corporate responsibility at Gatwick said: “We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals.”It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

A spokesman for Gatwick environmental campaign froups, including the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group (HWCAAG) , Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE)  and GatwickObviouslynot.org said:”We wish to engage with the management at Gatwick as they reflect on the feedback that has led to this delay – but the results of the public consultation by IPSOS MORI should be published.

“We do not believe that GATCOM has played any part in delivering this delay and we are suspicious that this is only being stopped in order to prevent further bad publicity during the Airports Commission consultation on an additional runway. If they are truly serious about being a good neighbour they would publish what people really think to help the Commission decide.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful.

“GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tonbridge/news/gatwick-delays-controversial-consultation-24325/

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The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group is against a second runway at Gatwick

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See also:

Gatwick admits defeat and is postponing new flight paths in the face of vocal opposition

Gatwick is postponing the planned introduction of new flight paths, as a result of massive opposition. A proposed new departure flight path to the west, outlined in a recent consultation, has been postponed. This will set an important precedent for similar new flight paths proposed at Heathrow and at Birmingham. A new procedure for arriving aircraft – the point-merge system – proposed by NATS has also been postponed, in the face of widespread concern expressed across East and West Sussex, and Kent. A new flight path recently introduced over Beare Green, Holmwood, Reigate and Redhill is currently under review by the CAA. But other new concentrated departure tracks – which have resulted in a wave of agonised complaints, and vocal new anti-noise groups, up to 20 miles around the airport – remain in position. Brendon Sewill, chairman of the GACC Gatwick’s Big Enough campaign, wants not only a postponement, but all new routes cancelled. It is thought that Gatwick may have ordered the postponement as they realise the protests were undermining their case for a new runway. A new runway, with twice as many aircraft as now, would be far worse than the present situation. Determined opposition will continue, for as long as it takes.

Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick Airport Ltd press release

Gatwick to delay changes to local airspace

30 September 2014

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is a deferral or an extension of the timeline, not a cancelation of the process altogether.

Gatwick Airport approached NATS with the suggestion to defer any proposals following consultation with GATCOM and NATMAG – the noise and track monitoring advisory group that brings together representatives from the Department of Transport, NATS, airlines, Gatwick Airport and local authorities.

The additional time will allow Gatwick to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents. Gatwick Airport proposes using the longer timeframe to:

  • Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
  • Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
  • Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
  • Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

When any changes to airspace operation are eventually identified, Gatwick Airport believes it would be preferable for both Gatwick and NATS to submit their proposed changes to the Civil Aviation Authority for review at the same time, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion in the community or any period of prolonged uncertainty. The local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Gatwick Airport, said:

“We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals. It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful. GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

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Gatwick admits defeat and is postponing new flight paths in the face of vocal opposition

Gatwick is postponing the planned introduction of new flight paths, as a result of massive opposition. A proposed new departure flight path to the west, outlined in a recent consultation, has been postponed.  This will set an important precedent for similar new flight paths proposed at Heathrow and at Birmingham. A new procedure for arriving aircraft – the point-merge system – proposed by NATS has also been postponed, in the face of widespread concern expressed across East and West Sussex, and Kent. A new flight path recently introduced over Beare Green, Holmwood, Reigate and Redhill is currently under review by the CAA.  But other new concentrated departure tracks – which have resulted in a wave of agonised complaints, and vocal new anti-noise groups, up to 20 miles around the airport – remain in position. Brendon Sewill, chairman of the GACC Gatwick’s Big Enough campaign, wants not only a postponement, but all new routes cancelled. It is thought that Gatwick may have ordered the postponement as they realise the protests were undermining their case for a new runway.  A new runway, with twice as many aircraft as now, would be far worse than the present situation. Determined opposition will continue, for as long as it takes.
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Gatwick admits defeat on flight paths

1.10.2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Gatwick Airport has announced that it is postponing the planned introduction of new flight paths (copied below – original on Gatwick website).

As a result of massive opposition, the introduction of a new departure flight path to the west, outlined in a recent consultation, has been postponed.  This will set an important precedent for similar new flight paths proposed at Heathrow and at Birmingham.

A new procedure for arriving aircraft – the point-merge system – proposed by NATS (National Air Traffic Services) has also been postponed in the face of widespread concern expressed across East and West Sussex.

A new flight path recently introduced over Beare Green, Holmwood, Reigate and Redhill is currently under review by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).

However the other new concentrated departure tracks – which have resulted in a wave of agonised complaints up to 20 miles around the airport, and the formation of several new and vocal anti-noise groups  – remain in position.

Brendon Sewill, chairman of the GACC Gatwick’s Big Enough campaign, said ‘This is a victory, but only a partial victory so far.  It’s not all routes, and it’s only a postponement. We want to see all new routes cancelled.’

Sally Pavey, GACC committee member and leader of CAGNE which has campaigned –powerfully and now successfully – against the trial of a new flight path over Warnham and other villages, added: ‘The fight must go on.’

It is thought that Gatwick Airport bosses may have ordered the postponement because they realised that the protests were undermining their case for a new runway.  But GACC will continue the protests, pointing out that a new runway, with twice as many aircraft, would be far worse than the present situation.

 http://www.gacc.org.uk


 

 Gatwick Airport Ltd press release

Gatwick to delay changes to local airspace

30 September 2014

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is a deferral or an extension of the timeline, not a cancelation of the process altogether.

Gatwick Airport approached NATS with the suggestion to defer any proposals following consultation with GATCOM and NATMAG – the noise and track monitoring advisory group that brings together representatives from the Department of Transport, NATS, airlines, Gatwick Airport and local authorities.

The additional time will allow Gatwick to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents. Gatwick Airport proposes using the longer timeframe to:

  • Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
  • Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
  • Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
  • Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

When any changes to airspace operation are eventually identified, Gatwick Airport believes it would be preferable for both Gatwick and NATS to submit their proposed changes to the Civil Aviation Authority for review at the same time, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion in the community or any period of prolonged uncertainty. The local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Gatwick Airport, said:

“We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals. It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful. GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

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NATS postpones network changes relating to Gatwick

1.10.2014  (NATS press release)

NATS postpones network changes relating to Gatwick

NATS has decided to postpone the submission of proposed high level network changes (above 4,000ft) relating to Gatwick Airport, which was part of Phase 1 of the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP).

This postponement follows the airport’s decision to undertake additional analysis in order to better understand their options and next steps for the low level airspace that they are responsible for (primarily routes below 4,000ft).

NATS remains confident that the proposals being developed for the higher level airspace network over the whole of the south east, including those for aircraft using Gatwick Airport, are robust and in line with CAA/DfT requirements.

NATS is still committed to delivering changes to the high level network, in phases, out to 2020; this programme of change will meet CAA requirements and is part of the Government’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS).  The FAS constitutes the biggest change ever undertaken to UK airspace structures and modernising the airspace system is essential for the UK and Europe to remain competitive in the global market.

The FAS related changes to the route network will significantly reduce fuel and CO2 from aviation however, the delivery of these benefits for the network serving Gatwick will now be delayed.

http://www.nats.aero/news/nats-postpones-network-changes-relating-gatwick/


 

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Residents of west Kent pleased by Gatwick Airport revealing it will delay decision on controversial airspace consultation

1 October 2014

by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas  (Kent Online)

Gatwick Airport has revealed it will be delaying the decision on a controversial consultation – to the delight of campaign groups across west Kent and local MPs.

Residents have been complaining about an increase in night flights, plane noise and low-flying aircraft and have, until now, not received a satisfying response from the airport.

However, it has been revealed today that Gatwick Airport will delay a decision about whether to go forward with new flight paths until next year.

Residents of west Kent raised questions over Kent County Council’s view on a second runway at Gatwick

At a Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group (NATMAG) meeting, Gatwick said the changes to flight paths will be delayed until a better understanding of the available options and steps was acquired.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is an extension of the timeline – not a cancellation of the process altogether.

Gatwick said this additional time will allow it to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

In a statement it said it will use the time to:

Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark is delighted by Gatwick’s decision to postpone the consultation after he sent a letter in August expressing the concerns of local residents. He said: “I am very pleased that both Gatwick and NATS have agreed with my call to go back to the drawing board with these proposals as they have caused immense worry to my constituents in the west of Tunbridge Wells.

“Both organisations have confirmed that there will be no change to the flight path until further work, including adequate consultation with the community, has taken place. This is a good outcome and I am grateful to Gatwick and NATS for responding to my request and that of the community.”

Gatwick officials have said the local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, head of corporate responsibility at Gatwick said: “We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals.”It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

A spokesman for Gatwick environmental campaign froups, including the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group (HWCAAG) , Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE)  and GatwickObviouslynot.org said:”We wish to engage with the management at Gatwick as they reflect on the feedback that has led to this delay – but the results of the public consultation by IPSOS MORI should be published.

“We do not believe that GATCOM has played any part in delivering this delay and we are suspicious that this is only being stopped in order to prevent further bad publicity during the Airports Commission consultation on an additional runway. If they are truly serious about being a good neighbour they would publish what people really think to help the Commission decide.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful.

“GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tonbridge/news/gatwick-delays-controversial-consultation-24325/

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The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group is against a second runway at Gatwick

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Heathrow lodges appeal with Planning Inspectorate over protection of Cranford against take-offs

Heathrow has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate over the London Borough of Hillingdon’s refusal, in March, to grant permission for taxiway infrastructure. If the government inspector approves the appeal, it would allow Heathrow to alternate the use of both its runways, regardless of wind direction. At present, due to the “Cranford Agreement”, made in the 1950s, planes cannot take off from the northern runway, to the east, except in exceptional circumstances. When there are easterly winds, planes therefore have to land from the west, on the northern runway, but take off from the southern runway. Ending the Cranford Agreement would give Windsor residents more respite, with up to 50% cut in the number of planes currently landing from the west of Windsor. The Cranford Agreement was formally ended in 2010, but to operate on easterly operations, Heathrow says the taxiways are required. But ending the Cranford Agreement will mean more noise, on easterly operations, for those in Old Windsor, Horton and Wraysbury, while residents in Windsor would get a better deal. People can submit comments – by 19th November. Details below.
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Cranford agreement map

NEWS that Heathrow is appealing a decision which will hugely and widely affect Royal Borough residents has received a mixed reaction.

The airport has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate over the London Borough of Hillingdon’s refusal, in March, to grant permission for taxiway infrastructure.

Appeal approval would allow Heathrow to alternate the use of both its runways regardless of wind direction.

This would grant Windsor residents more respite, with a predicted 50% cut in the amount of planes currently landing from the west of Windsor.

The application relates to the legacy of the 1950s Cranford Agreement in which aircraft were prevented from taking off over Cranford from Heathrow’s northern runway when the wind blows from the east – or easterly operations.

The agreement was formally ended in 2010, but to operate on easterly operations, the taxiways are required.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow sustainability and environment director, said: “Through this planning application, Heathrow aims to provide a fairer system of noise sharing, and bring greater relief for those living in Windsor from the noise of descending flights which is as the Government intended.”

The Royal Borough supported the planning application with a series of caveats over noise insulation as it could mean added misery for those in Old Windsor, Horton and Wraysbury, while residents in Windsor would get a better deal.

Cllr Malcolm Beer, who sits on the council’s Aviation Forum, said: “RBWM has sought the discontinuation of the agreement for many years because it caused nearly all easterly landings to use that runway after flying directly over Windsor.

“Unlike the Heathrow publicity, it is very much aware that if the appeal is allowed – hopefully with better noise mitigation – the halving of that burden will mean that far more landings will now fly far closer to Old Windsor, Wraysbury and Horton. Use of both flight paths will alternate on a weekly basis.

“RBWM qualified its letter of support of the planning application by stating that it was conditional upon the provision of sound proofing to meet EU standards for houses in our villages most affected by increased noise.

“It is anticipated that the borough will reiterate that to the planning inspector as the planning refusal was mainly on the grounds of inadequate noise mitigation.”

http://www.windsorobserver.co.uk/news/windsor/articles/2014/09/29/103996-royal-borough-backs-heathrow-over-taxiways-appeal/

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Notification of Appeal on Planning Application/ Enforcement Reference 41573/APP/2013/1288

Please ask for :
Stephen Volley
01895 250230
Residents Services
Tel 01895 250230
London Borough of Hillingdon
3 North, Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW
TOWN & COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990

SITE: NORTHERN RUNWAY, HEATHROW AIRPORT, HOUNSLOW,

DEVELOPMENT: Enabling works to allow implementation of full runway alternation during easterly operations at Heathrow Airport including the creation of a new ‘hold area’ at the western end of the northern runway, the construction of new access and exit taxiways, and the construction of a 5 metre high acoustic noise barrier to the south of Longford Village.

Appeal Ref : 7364   Our Ref : 41573/APP/2013/1288

PLANNING INSPECTORATE REFERENCE NO: APP/R5510/A/14/2225774

Appeal Starting Date: 8th October 2014

Appellant’s Name: Heathrow Airport Ltd.

An appeal has been made to the Secretary of State in respect of the above site. The appeal follows the refusal of this Council to grant  planning permission for the above application.

The appeal is to be decided on the basis of an inquiry.

Any comments already made following the original application will be forwarded to the Inspectorate and copied to the appelant and will be taken into account by the Inspector in deciding the appeal.

Should people wish to withdraw or modify their earlier comments in any way or request a copy of the appeal decision letter, they should write direct to:

The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/26b TQ House, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN

within 6 weeks of the starting date above, quoting their reference number.

People need to send 3 copies to the Inspectorate and ensure they are all received by 19th November 2014, otherwise they will not normally be seen by the Inspector and will be returned.

“The Planning Inspectorate have introduced an online appeals service which you can use to comment on this appeal. You can find the service through the Appeals area of the Planning Portal -see www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs. Please be aware that the Planning Inspectorate may publish details of your comments, on the Internet on the Appeals area of the Planning Portal. This may include your name,address, email address or phone number. Please ensure that you only provide information that you are happy will be made available in this way. If you supply information belonging to a third party, please ensure you have their permission to do so. More detailed information about data protection and privacy matters is available on the planning portal.

“The application documents, including plans and any decision notice, may be inspected on the Council’s website www.Hillingdon.gov.uk , alternatively they may be viewed together with any appeal documents at the Residents Services Reception, Level 3, Civic Centre, Uxbridge during office hours. A copy of the Inspectorate’s booklet “Guide to Taking Part in Planning Appeals” is available from this office, free of charge.”

 


 

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Earlier:

Heathrow bid to end Cranford Agreement is rejected

Councillors unanimously refuse planning permission for work needed to enable regular departures over Cranford

Heathrow has been refused planning permission for the works needed to enable regular departures over Cranford .

In a major set-back for the airport, councillors on Hillingdon Council’s major applications planning committee last night unanimously rejected its application.

It means people living in Cranford will not have to put up with planes taking off overhead for now , preserving in practice at least a 60-year-old gentlemen’s agreement protecting them from the noise.

However, the decision will dismay people to the west of the northern runway, in Windsor and Maidenhead, who have to endure more landings because regular take-offs over Cranford are not possible.

The airport had applied to Hillingdon Council for permission to create new taxi-ways and carry out other ground work needed so planes could depart regularly over Cranford.

Only a relatively small number of planes have taken off over the village since a 60-year-old gentlemen’s agreement was ended in 2009, but this work would have enabled about 35,000 planes a year to do so. However, it would have not allowed an increase in annual flights above the current cap of 480,000.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “We know noise is an issue for communities under Heathrow’s flight path which is why we encourage airlines to fly their quietest aircraft into Heathrow by charging airlines more for noisier aircraft and have schemes to insulate local schools and homes.

“We are disappointed Hillingdon Council has chosen to reject our planning proposal which would mean noise being more evenly distributed between our neighbours. We will be looking into this decision in more detail before deciding whether to appeal.”

Councillors were partly swayed by a letter from Judy Matthews, chair of governors at Cranford Primary School, which lies under the flight path and is already affected by the noise of planes arriving at the airport.

She wrote: “With the Cranford Agreement coming to an end we are extremely concerned about the detrimental effect that the change in the alterations of the northern runway will have on our pupils.

“The proposed changes mean that in future the school will be exposed to the noise from departing aircraft. When this is happening the noise will be worse than currently experienced.”

They were also concerned about recent statistics highlighted at the meeting, showing the borough of Hillingdon has seen the highest increase in England in the percentage of deaths attributable to air pollution.

Labour councillor Janet Duncan said: “I was concerned to read the letter from the school. Children’s concentration at school is negatively affected by air craft noise.

“We know that deaths caused by air pollution here is the worst in the country, so we cannot in all consciousness do anything to increase that.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/heathrow-bid-end-cranford-agreement-6698885

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HACAN briefing including the Cranford Agreement:

http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/alternation.cranford.agreement.explained.pdf

The briefing covers the context of runway alternation etc, but the section on the Cranford Agreement states:
What is the Cranford Agreement?

The Cranford Agreement prevents planes taking off over Cranford, which is at the eastern end (the London side) of the northern runway. It came into force in the early 1950s. It was
argued that, because Cranford was so close to the runway, take-offs would be unbearably
noisy for is inhabitants.

What is the effect of the Cranford Agreement?

Planes land and take off into the wind. It means that the Cranford Agreement is only relevant
when planes are taking off to the east (i.e. on the days that the wind is blowing from the east,
about 30% of the time in a typical year). On those days, all planes are required to take off
from the southern runway. That, in turn, means all planes must land on the northern runway
(as, at present, at Heathrow planes don’t land and take-off from the same runway).

This means that, on east wind days, places like Windsor under the flight path to the west of
Heathrow get planes all day long. Clearly, they would benefit if the Cranford Agreement was
to go.

Why does the Government want to get rid of it?

Simply, mixed-mode would not be possible if the Cranford Agreement remained in place
because mixed-mode requires planes to land and take-off from both runways at the same time.

The Government is not interested in weighing up any potential benefit to Windsor weighed
against the increased noise levels in Cranford. It simply sees the Cranford Agreement as an
obstacle to brining in more planes.

At present when an east wind is blowing planes land on the northern runway all day long.
With mixed-mode in place, they would land on both the northern and southern runway. This
would reduce the number of aircraft landing over areas like Windsor, but areas under the
southern approach paths, such as Old Windsor and Wraysbury, would experience a significant
increase.

for more see http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/alternation.cranford.agreement.explained.pdf

 


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From Wikipedia:

The Cranford Protocol or Cranford Agreement was an oral undertaking given in 1952 by the British Government to the residents of Cranford in London regarding the usage of the runways at London Heathrow Airport to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

Under normal operations the agreement prohibited take-off on the northern runway towards the east (towards London) because of the proximity of Cranford to the east end of this runway; however this runway could be used in exceptional cases, for example when the southern runway was not available for departures or when departure delays are excessive.

Although no formal written agreement exists, the Government acknowledges that an oral undertaking was given by a senior government official at a meeting of the Cranford Residents’ and District Amenities Association on 31 July 1952.The protocol is included in the Heathrow Manual of Air Traffic Services and the airport’s noise abatement notification, and thus is a part of the airport’s operating rules.

On 15 January 2009, the Labour Government announced that it was ending the Cranford Agreement as part of the controversial expansion of London Heathrow Airport. Although in May 2010 the Coalition Government cancelled the Heathrow expansion plans, in September 2010 it reaffirmed the decision to end the Cranford Agreement. It was welcomed by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, to the west.

To the east, the London Borough of Hounslow has called for mitigation or compensation to be offered by BAA to those affected by ending the Cranford Agreement.

However the decision has not been implemented yet because BAA has not applied for planning permission for the taxiway works which would be needed. The delay is because BAA wants to wait until the end of trials in 2012 of new operating procedures for the runways.

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

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And there is more detail at:

Heathrow bid to end Cranford Agreement – allowing easterly take-offs from northern runway – is rejected by Hillingdon Council

12.2.2014The Cranford Agreement was a binding commitment the UK government made in 1952 to the residents of Cranford to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on residents. It prohibits, under normal Heathrow Airport operations, easterly take-offs (i.e. towards central London) on the northern runway.  In January 2009, the government announced it was ending the Agreement (as part of consultations on a proposed Third Runway). In  September 2010 the current UK government reaffirmed the decision to end the Cranford Agreement.  A planning application by Heathrow airport in June 2013 concerns the creation of taxiways on the Northern Runway, required  to enable the practical implementation of the ending of the Agreement  as well as consideration of the associated environmental impacts. It also included the erection of a 5m high noise barrier around parts of the village of Longford. This application has now been unanimously rejected by Hillingdon Council – which means Heathrow will not be able to have regular departures to the east from the northern runway. This preserves the 60-year-old gentlemen’s agreement protecting Cranford residents from the noise. The downside is that people living in Windsor and Maidenhead continue to endure more landings. Heathrow is considering whether to appeal. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=19889

 

There is information on the Heathrow website at     http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/what-we-do-about-it/measures-already-in-place/runway-use/cranford-agreement

 

about the Cranford agreement. This includes this paragraph:

The ending of the Cranford Agreement – what happens next?

Aircraft technology has moved on since the Cranford Agreement was drawn up in the 1950s. During take-off, modern aircraft climb higher more quickly. The noise they make is less disruptive to the residents of Cranford than it would have been 60 years ago.

In 2008, the previous government asked residents whether the Cranford Agreement should stay or be abolished.In response to feedback, it announced that the Cranford Agreement would end in 2009. The decision was confirmed by the current government in September 2010.

With the Cranford Agreement gone, we can apply runway alternation throughout the year, no matter which direction the wind blows. But we can’t do it straight away. Because Heathrow has developed within the context of the Cranford Agreement, it’s not yet geared up to full-time runway alternation. There are too few access taxiways to the northern runway and too few exit taxiways from the southern runway.

To operate runway alternation efficiently, we first have to make changes to Heathrow’s taxiways. The building of these taxiways requires planning approval from the London Borough of Hillingdon. We submitted our planning application in May 2013.

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The Cranford Agreement – June 2013 update (554 KB)
Contour map (2MB)

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Public meeting to be held in Ascot on Monday 13th October on Heathrow flight path trials

28.9.2014   (Local Berkshire)

THE time and location of a public meeting where residents can grill officials about trial flightpaths over Ascot and the surrounding villages has been decided.

The meeting will take place on Monday, October 13, at 7pm at the Pavilion in Ascot Racecourse.

Royal Borough councillor David Hilton has taken on responsibility for organising the meeting and said: “It’s hard to say how many people will turn up, however there have been more complaints on this issue than any other issue raised, even more than the complaints I received about Heatherwood Hospital.

“I don’t have the answers. Everyone has important questions to ask, but for them to be effective they need to be answered by Heathrow.”

Representatives from National Air Traffic Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority will be at the meeting to answer residents’ questions, and Nigel Milton from Heathrow will make a presentation before also answering any queries.

Doors will open at 7pm on October 13, ready for the meeting to start at 7.30pm. It is expected to finish at about 9pm.

Meanwhile, about 70 crammed into a meeting of Sunninghill and Ascot Parish Council in The Courtyard, off Ascot High Street, last Tuesday, the first chance people from the area have had to address officials about Heathrow’s trial flightpaths.

Afterwards, Ascot resident Lori McNeil said: “It could have got quite heated but people held back because the councilors are on our side. It’s not their fault. People are really concerned about this, there are so many of us that are so frustrated with the situation.”

Cllr Hilton, who represents Ascot and Cheapside, will be putting forward a motion calling for an immediate end to the trials.

“It’s such a big issue, my advice is don’t leave it and complain once do it every time you are disturbed by noise,” he said.

“It’s more like a trial of the local people’s patience and resistance to noise.”

http://www.localberkshire.co.uk/news/bracknell/articles/2014/09/28/104070-cllr-hilton-speaks-up-about-heathrow-public-meeting/

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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.

Click here to view full story…


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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…


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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) –  this meeting will take place on Monday, October 13, at 7pm at the Pavilion in Ascot Racecourse.

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

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