In initial response to Airports Commission, Gatwick says report wasn’t sufficiently balanced, fair or well evidenced

Gatwick Airport has produced a short (14 page) initial response to the Airports Commission recommendation of a Heathrow runway. The Commission rejected the Gatwick scheme as falling far behind Heathrow, with much lower economic benefits or benefits to the UK as a whole.  Now Gatwick say: “We believe that the Commission’s report falls short of [being thorough, balanced, fair and well evidenced] in a number of very important respects. As a result, the many strengths of Gatwick and the many challenges of Heathrow are both underplayed, leading to a conclusion which we believe is wrong.” Responding to this, the local community group GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) said the flaws in Gatwick’s case include the fact it caters largely for low-cost leisure flights, and will continue to do so; Gatwick likes to give the impression that the extra noise from a 2nd runway would not be a serious problem, but the anger of those on whom changed flight paths have been inflicted in the past 2 years shows that is not the case; and Gatwick ignore the huge social and infrastructure problems that would be caused by inwards migration, housing and urbanisation.  GACC said: “It is time for Gatwick to give up flogging their dead runway horse and concentrate instead on being a better neighbour.”
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Gatwick Airport has produced a response to the Airports Commission report.  It is at 

A Second Runway for Gatwick 

Initial response to the Airports Commission’s recommendation report

Gatwick says, in their summary:

….”Our view has always been that the assessments on which the Commission’s conclusions are based must be thorough, balanced, fair and well evidenced. We believe that the Commission’s report falls short of this standard in a number of very important respects. As a result, the many strengths of Gatwick and the many challenges of Heathrow are both underplayed, leading to a conclusion which we believe is wrong.”

This is the airport’s initial response, and they say they will “complete a more in-depth analysis after a thorough review of the extensive documentation published by the Commission.”


 

Gatwick’s red card –  “Gatwick was given a red card and they should stop arguing with the referee”

14.7.2015 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Commenting on Gatwick Airport’s response to the Airports Commission, GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill, said:  ‘Gatwick was given a red card and they should stop arguing with the referee.’

GACC will be studying the response carefully but some flaws in Gatwick’s case are immediately apparent.

  • They cannot deny that a new runway at Gatwick would provide less economic benefit for the nation than one at Heathrow.
  • They draw attention to the growth in short haul flights to Europe. Many of these are bucket-and-spade holidays which have always been Gatwick’s main forte but which these days many people find more convenient from other airports closer to their homes.
  • It is rubbish for Gatwick to talk about a ‘monopoly’ at Heathrow when Heathrow will always face tough competition from Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and many European airports.
  • On noise, Gatwick imply that the noise problem at Gatwick would not be serious. That will infuriate the thousands of people who are at present suffering from new flight paths introduced by Gatwick in the past two years.  The Commission showed that, even with a third runway, noise levels at Heathrow would fall below present levels whereas at Gatwick the number of people affected would treble.
  • Gatwick suggest that passenger numbers on a new runway would grow more rapidly than the Commission forecast. Yet the cost of the runway would mean airport charges rising from £9 to £16-18, which would mean passengers and airlines would switch to Stansted instead.
  • Gatwick ignore the problems of inwards migration, housing and urbanisation.

Gatwick seems to be counting on political opposition to the Heathrow runway but according to Sewill: ‘They are underestimating the pressure from the majority of MPs in all Parties to get on with implementing the recommendation of the Airports Commission without delay.  They are also underestimating the opposition to their plans from all ten MPs in the Gatwick area. No major airline supports a Gatwick runway, and nor does a single county, borough, district or parish council within 20 miles of Gatwick.’

‘It is time for Gatwick to give up flogging their dead runway horse and concentrate instead on being a better neighbour.’

www.gacc.org.uk

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The Gatwick airport report summary states:

Summary

Traffic

The Commission bases its analysis on future air traffic projections. Gatwick is disadvantaged by their methodology which is flawed. For example, the Commission forecasts that Gatwick will reach passenger volumes of 40m in 2024. The airport will actually reach that number in 2015.

Economic Case

Even with the flawed traffic forecasts, the Commission’s own analysis based on Treasury guidelines shows relatively modest differences in economic benefit between Heathrow and Gatwick (£33.6 – 54.8bn versus £27.2 – 47.1bn). These figures are not highlighted in the Commission’s conclusion which gives the impression of a big differential in favour of Heathrow.

Passenger Benefits

The Commission acknowledges that the vast majority of new traffic over the coming period will be to European markets but recommends a solution that is focused almost entirely on long haul. They also fail to consider sufficiently the part that Gatwick could play in the long haul market.

Competition

Expanding Gatwick would enhance competition and build on the success of airport liberalisation. The Commission recommends turning the clock back and effectively re-establishing a monopoly at Heathrow. This would inevitably mean passengers paying higher fares.

Noise

The huge differential in noise impact between the two airports is largely glossed over – for example, relatively little emphasis is given to the 320,000 people ‘newly affected’ by Heathrow expansion compared to 18,000 at Gatwick.

Air Quality

The Commission states that air quality is a problem but then largely ignores the fact that the levels at Heathrow today breach legal limits even without a third runway. Gatwick has never exceeded legal air quality limits and would not do so with a second runway.

Deliverability

The Commission downplays the very considerable delivery risks and financial challenges at Heathrow compared to the Gatwick scheme which is relatively straightforward. This means the Commission underplays the biggest risk of all – that after years of delay, once again nothing happens.

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Airports Commission ‘glossed over’ noise from Heathrow, claims Gatwick

14.7.2015  (Evening Standard)

By Nicholas Cecil

Gatwick today accused the Airports Commission of “largely glossing over” noise blight from a third runway at Heathrow after it backed the development at the west London airport.

Sir Roy McNulty, Gatwick’s chairman, is writing to David Cameron to voice his concerns about the Commission’s final report. “Our view has always been that the assessments on which the Commission’s conclusions are based must be thorough, balanced, fair and well-evidenced,” he said.

“We believe that the Commission’s report falls short of this standard in a number of very important respects.”

The Sussex airport alleges that:

The “huge differential” in noise impact between the two airports is largely glossed over, arguing that 320,000 people will be newly affected by Heathrow expansion compared with 18,000 at Gatwick.

The Commission largely ignored that Heathrow already breaches legal EU limits on air pollution even without a third runway.

It under-forecast future traffic at an expanded Gatwick.

It downplayed the “very considerable delivery risks and financial challenges” of Heathrow expansion.

It accepted most new traffic over coming decades will be to European markets but recommended a solution almost entirely focused on long-haul.

Gatwick also challenged the panel’s conclusion that the economic benefits of Heathrow expansion would be greater than a second runway at its rival, claiming that the latter option would have enhanced competition.

The Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, decided that another runway could be built at Heathrow even if it did not meet EU limits on air pollution, provided that it did not delay London complying with them.

The panel also believes that fewer people would be affected by noise from a three-runway Heathrow than currently, because of quieter planes.

Gatwick is seeking to persuade the Government to reject the panel’s recommendation and opt for expansion in Sussex. It has so far stopped short of challenging the findings in the courts. The Government has pledged to make a decision on airport expansion in the South-East this year.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/airports-commission-glossed-over-noise-from-heathrow-claims-gatwick-10387578.html

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Earlier:

Gatwick Airport mulls response to Airports Commission Heathrow runway recommendation

10.7.2015

Gatwick is considering its response to the Airports Commission’s recommendation of Heathrow for a runway, and questions some of the methodology used. Gatwick is on record as having “deep concerns” about some of the modelling used by the Commission, and twice wrote to the Commission late last year highlighting these concerns. In October, Gatwick told Commission Secretariat Head Philip Graham it did not receive “a clear explanation of the Commission’s approach” or “a reasoned response” to points raised “repeatedly” with the Commission. Gatwick took issue with the Commission on the DfT air traffic projections, which it believes are inaccurate and biased toward “allocating forecast traffic to Heathrow instead of Gatwick.” They complained that Gatwick is increasing its annual passenger number faster than the Commission predicted, and the traffic predictions feed into many of the Commission’s final conclusions, including the economic benefits generated by Gatwick.” Gatwick complains that the Commission presumes long haul routes will go to Heathrow, while it is possible more will go to Gatwick in future – changing the economics. Gatwick is expected to make a decision shortly over what action it may take. Legal action?

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/07/26948/

 

Read more »

Many thousands of determined opponents of new Nantes airport gather before final court decision

Over the weekend of 11th and 12th July there was a massive gathering at Notre Dame des Landes, in western France, to show the strong opposition to the building of a new runway there, to replace the current Nantes airport. This “mobilisation” is the 15th that the organisers, ACIPA, have put on over the years.  It was estimated that perhaps 15,000 people attended over the two days. People at Nantes are very aware of the carbon and climate implications of a new airport, as well as serious local environmental destruction. They also link the Nantes campaign with other huge infrastructure projects across Europe, that would be damaging in terms of carbon emissions – such as a new runway in the UK. There is a desire to link up campaigns against such developments.  The gathering combined a lot of workshops and education sessions with fun, with music, dancing and food -but with a very serious message. On Friday 17th July the Nantes Administrative Court will rule on the last 17 appeals by opponents of the airport project, on several environmental issues in contention with EU law, such as on water law and destruction of protected species. It is thought the court will rule against the opponents,but they will appeal. These legal issues are all that is holding up building of the airport. 
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Several thousand opponents of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes met before the final court decision

11.7.2015

(Le Monde, France)

Several thousand people attended, Saturday, July 11, to mobilize weekend against the airport project at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, about fifteen kilometers north of Nantes. The stakes are high: if this form of summer gathering takes place every year – this is the fifteenth edition – the 2015 meeting takes place just days before the (near) final court round about the proposed move of the Current Nantes Atlantique airport to the small town of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

By late afternoon, the organizers met a peak at the height of their hopes when many other large projects were contested in the heart of the debate.

The government, through the voice of the Prime Minister in particular, has already indicated that the work of the future airport, told the Great West Airport, a subsidiary of Vinci Airports, could begin once all legal remedies exhausted.

Last resort

Friday, July 17, the Nantes administrative court must give judgment on the last seventeen appeals by opponents. On June 18, the public rapporteur had rejected them , arguing that the decrees issued by the prefecture, the Law on water and protected species, were consistent with national and European regulations. If the President of the 8 th house, Patrick Chupin had stated that the court would decide “independently” in most cases, the recommendation of the rapporteur public is followed by the judges.

Nothing precludes, in fact, the early start of work, both for the construction of the new airport platform (the terminal and the two tracks) that bar the road which should allow the service of the site.

Obstacles could still nevertheless complicate or delay construction sites. We must move protected species which for some of them, can not be done any time, especially in summer. Opponents, in case of defeat (expected) Friday, intend to appeal, which is not suspensive of a possible start of work.

Embedded image permalink

Finally, the shovel into action in Nantes grove, it will then dislodge tens of zadistes, who occupy the ZAD, zone defense (originally holding zone). It will not be easy, especially as this site, ZAD ancestor that emerged throughout the country, Sivens (Tarn) against a dam in Roybon (Isère) against a Center Park, many reinforcements will come lend a hand strong permanent occupants, as soon as the start of any movement of construction site equipment, escorted by police. An important network of support committees is Woven throughout the country for many years.

The fiasco of “Caesar”

In October and November 2012, the operation “Caesar” that was intended to dislodge the occupants and resume huts and occupied farms had resulted in violent clashes in the peaceful countryside Nantes … and a fiasco. The offensive led by the gendarmes had caused a major demonstration of some 30,000 people, from all over France, with the presence of many political leaders (Europe Ecology-The Greens, the Left Front, Modem, far left, libertarian, etc.) on 17 November.

In May 2013, they were still tens of thousands have made a human chain around the site slated to host the future airport. Will they be as numerous 11th and 12th of July? This is not safe, but mobilization may nevertheless be significant.

Representatives of other strengths to projects like the landfill of nuclear waste in Bure (Meuse) will be there. On this issue, the integration by the Senate of an amendment to the law Macron not put to a vote by resorting to 49-3 Thursday night endorsing the creation of the landfill of nuclear waste, has rankled opponents , environmentalists in mind.

See the picture on Twitter

The militants hostile to the construction of the Center Park of Roybon are the guests of honor at the 2015 Notre-Dame-des-Landes. They will know, them, the decision of the Grenoble Administrative Court on their appeals, Thursday, July 16.

Read also: The future of Center Parcs Roybon again suspended from a court decision

“Heater fight! “

Suffice to say that the reasons to prepare future events will not fail and that the coming week is important. After the judicial phase, decisions will be highly political.

At five months of the climate conference that will host delegations from all member countries of the United Nations in Paris, François Hollande he will take the risk of clashes in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, or elsewhere? Environmentalists and anti-capitalist activists, opposed to what they call “big useless projects” have understood the dilemma.

They placed the gathering of the weekend under the sign of planetary rendezvous of the end of November. “heater control, not the climate! “ profess organizers gathered in the opponents to the project Coordination of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, adding, “There is no planet B! Stopping global warming! “ .

The original French at:

http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2015/07/11/mobilisation-a-notre-dame-des-landes-en-attendant-l-ultime-decision-judicaire_4679363_3244.html

 


See also

Notre-Dame-des-Landes 2015 : Une détermination renforcée par le succès du 15ème rassemblement.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes 2015: A determination reinforced by the success of the 15th gathering.

14.7.2015 (ACIPA)

 

Bad Google translate English version below (but you can get the gist !):

The resounding success of the fifteenth annual gathering Notre-Dame-des-Landes, 2015, organized by opponents of Coordination for the airport project, leash, as one of our members said, ” there is little doubt about the inability of the Power go back to the act of destruction  . ” If the struggle of Notre-Dame-des-Landes has become the “flagship” of European struggles, we have, after this weekend more than warm, accumulated enough energy to help inform other struggles for much longer.

Congratulations and thank you to the committee members who worked for 6 months around those who have become over gatherings of real pros of the organization, support committees and to the many volunteers who helped them to the end, as well as ‘producers who gave products or loaned equipment.

Congratulations and thank you to the 15,000 participants of this great event to have answered our call again! The relaxed but determined atmosphere that settled – under a generous sun this year – has earned us numerous enthusiastic congratulations.

Congratulations and thank you to organizations from all over France – Bure, Roybon, Sivens and even Great Britain and Germany – to provide information on a stand or / and debate through the quarantine proposed forums. The quality of trade increases every year and allows us to say that our traditional appointment has become a festive rendezvous militant of the highest level meet the high expectations of citizens.

Congratulations and thank you to the artists we came to dance and volunteers occupation of heaven to those magical moments.

We were very honored by the presence of Mr. Tognoni, General Secretary of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal and thank him for being with us at this important stage of our struggle.

Tributes to Rémi Fraisse opening rally and political meeting were the highlights, filled with emotion and respect. Everyone was aware that such a tragedy does not happen again.

There is no intention of abandoning the project.  We must continue to work on the three pillars of our action:

– We confidently expect the rendering judgment expected Friday, July 17 on the 17 appeals filed notably under the Water Law and Protected Species. It is “a first round in a match in 3 sets” according to another activist.

– On the political side, we must prepare for the month of December in preparation for regional elections (especially in PDL and Brittany, funders Potential of Our Lady of the project-des-Landes) and

-COP 21 which one can say that the debate has already started this weekend at Notre Dame des Landes.

– On the ground, we will remain vigilant, all united components to discourage the slightest hint of the beginning of work on the airport, confident that our civil disobedience is legitimate. All components of the fight work on a common future without airport rich exchange of new agricultural practices and respect for living together in harmony after the abandonment of the project.

We wish everyone a nice summer!

Wear the badge of the struggle of Notre-Dame-des-Landes wherever you go this summer to strengthen it!

Think of other struggles whose representatives came to Notre-Dame-des-Landes weekend that need us to support them!  [Heathrow for one].

See you in mid-August to actively resume our actions in non-violence – ie coherent actions with the world we want to help build – with respect for people and property and with a determination not only completely intact but strengthened by what has happened around Notre-Dame-des-Landes in 2015.

The ACIPA

The event’s photo album is online here: https://picasaweb.google.com/114351998387816929013/2015071112_NotreDameDesLandes2015#slideshowAnd the videos will be collected there: http://www.scoop.it/t/videos-ndl/?tag=NDL2015

Press Book dedicated: http://www.scoop.it/t/acipa/?tag=NDL2015

https://www.acipa-ndl.fr/actualites/divers/item/569-notre-dame-des-landes-2015-une-determination-renforcee


Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Une mobilisation studieuse et festive

13.7.2015
 Les débats ont fait le plein
http://www.ouest-france.fr/notre-dame-des-landes-une-mobilisation-studieuse-et-festive-3556860
And this includes some short video clips
In rather poor English translation:

Notre-Dame-des-Landes. A studious and festive mobilization

13.7.2015
Vigneux-de-Bretagne
The anti-airport passed their traditional summer mobilization. It was the 15th time this has been held and it was held in Vigneux-de-Bretagne.
A spokesman of project opponents Notre-Dame-des-Landes, Julien Durand had Sunday smile, the day of reckoning. “The mobilization was excellent. The participants were happy to be back. The crowd shows that resistance is installed , “noted the peasant.
A portrait of the environmental activist Rémi Fraisse had been deployed to the big top
This year, there was no headliners, but opponents came in numbers affirm their determination to prevent the transfer of the Nantes airport. Julien Durand estimated up to 20,000 people were on the site over the two days.
The 15th rally against the transfer of the Nantes airport to Notre-Dame-des-Landes was studious. A wide audience, in search of information, followed quarantine forums and debates. That of Sunday noon, in particular, who made the link between anti-airport fight and the fight against global warming.
Many people also exposed to legal action, and reflection on the future of the area “after the abandonment of the project.”
The gathering was festive. After the success of the great popular dance Résist’danse Saturday night, other music took the relay on Sunday, as “bagad Notre-Dame-des-Landes, an increase training for the occasion with musicians who play in training industry and fans.
Friday, July 17, it will again issue of airport project. The administrative court will tell if the invalid or prefectural water law and destruction of protected species. The judgment, written, shall be communicated directly to the parties. Opponents have not planned a gathering near the administrative court.
http://www.ouest-france.fr/notre-dame-des-landes-une-mobilisation-studieuse-et-festive-3556860
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The public rapporteur dismisses the actions of opponents of the airport project of Notre-Dame-des-Landes

Le rapporteur public rejette les recours des opposants au projet d’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes

18.6.2015   (Le Monde, France)

Not very good translation into English below:

The decision was expected. The rapporteur has rejected public, Thursday, June 18, the 17 appeals filed by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, announced about fifteen kilometers north of Nantes (Loire-Atlantique). The Nantes Administrative Court will deliver its judgment on 17 July.

From the findings of the known public rapporteur, President (PS) of the Pays de la Loire, Jacques Auxiette, released its satisfaction. “These conclusions are logical , he says.  They are in line with a validation of the important and unprecedented environmental measures that accompany the transfer of the existing Nantes Atlantique airport to the grove of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. They show that the years of dialogue were useful because they helped improve the environmental aspect and the necessary compensations. “ It is quite likely that the court follow, as is the case most of the time, the conclusions of the public rapporteur.

For opponents who had filed appeals against prefectural orders “Water Law” and “protected species” – associations (the elected Collective doubting the relevance of the airport [CEDPA], the intermunicipal citizen Association populations affected by the airport project [ACIPA], France Nature Environnement, etc.) and individuals like Julien Durand, a longtime opponent farmer and spokesman of ACIPA -, this conclusion is nonetheless carrier risks.

Indeed, on several occasions, the Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, said that the future airport work would start as early as the ultimate recourse judged. Nothing therefore should stand in the runway of the airport project proponents, government, the region and the city of Nantes in particular, and Vinci Airports and Airport Grand Ouest subsidiary (AGO ) that was assigned the concession of the future airport platform.

“The battle is not over”

For their part, opponents have expressed their intention to appeal against any decision of the court which would be unfavorable to them. “The battle is not over, we will appeal if necessary because it is completely abnormal that justice follow the advice of Vinci, and government, as we have motivated scientific expert opinion “ , said Françoise Verchère, CEDPA spokesman. “We hope that nothing will be done on the ground before all remedies are exhausted, as Head of State promised, therefore before any appeal “ , she adds.

He cited the example of East Donges, in the 2000s, one of the Autonomous Port of Nantes expansion project that wanted to build new docks by destroying a reed bed in the estuary of the Loire. “The court rejected the opponents but finally we won on appeal “ , she recalls. The Minister of the Environment the time, Jean-Louis Borloo, announced the abandonment of the project on 19 June 2009. After twenty years of fighting.

Read also: Notre-Dame-des-Landes: Valls irritates environmentalists

“Strength of arguments”

The only glimmer of hope for opponents, the president of the 6 th Chamber of the Administrative Court, Patrick Chupin, has insisted that the conclusions of public rapporteur pledged that he and the court would decide in “complete independence” .

“Our goal is to achieve the cancellation of prefectural orders, given the strength of our arguments” , told the World counsel for the opponents, Thomas Dubreuil. In support of their applications, the associations hostile to the project indeed cited the findings of two expert reports that criticize, in particular, compensation systems provided due to the destruction of wetlands where several dozen flourish protected species.

In April 2013, a panel of scientific experts appointed by the government of Jean-Marc Ayrault, then Prime Minister, former mayor of Nantes and always strong supporter of the airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, felt that could not “validate the method as is” scheduled compensation and that he formulated reservations should be lifted so that “the project can be continued.” These criticisms of the Committee related in particular to “insufficient initial characterization of biodiversity “ , “insufficient analysis of quantitative hydrological functioning” , “non-relevant analysis of water quality” or “lack of explicit method for long-term monitoring of compensation measures” .

More recently, in February, it was the turn of the Scientific Council of the natural heritage and biodiversity to convey his reservations to the Minister for Ecology, Segolene Royal. He saw then that “this project would have a major impact on agro-ecosystems of relict wetlands, endangered throughout western Europe, with their valuable ecological functions and biodiversity richness, which offset opportunities alike appear very limited “ . The Board had issued “an opinion that the destruction of this very original set by the realization of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes” .

New setback

The record of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, open for nearly fifty years, is not yet completed. In 2010, the joint association of airport studies foresaw the arrival of the first aircraft in 2017. It will not happen. The battle is not over, especially since the opponents have developed an alternative project, defended a long time: the renovation of the Nantes airport. Friday night, they will present to the press and the public the findings of the “citizen workshop” which, with many architects, worked in particular on the expansion of the existing terminal.

Just a week before the decision of the Administrative Court of Nantes, on 11 and 12 July, the Nantes Bocage and farms occupied by farmers and activists ZAD (zone defending) welcome from supporters of the country to a mobilization weekend. “This will give us the opportunity to re-engage everyone in case it is needed” , says Françoise Verchère. Zadistes, farmers and environmental protection activists have the opportunity to discuss strategies for opposing the start of construction. And the most skeptical about the usefulness of legal battle are sure to then emphasize the need for other means of control.
See the original French below

http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2015/06/18/derniere-passe-d-armes-judiciaire-autour-du-projet-d-aeroport-a-notre-dame-des-landes_4656591_3244.html

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Lors d'une manifestation contre le projet d'aéroport à Notre-Dame-des-Landes le 18 juin.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes : pour les opposants, le projet d’aéroport est contraire aux objectifs de la COP21

13.7.2015
(Le Monde, France)

In rather poor English translation below:

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: for opponents, the airport project is contrary to the goals of COP21

13.7.2015 (Le Monde, France)

On one airport to another. From Notre-Dame-des-Landes, where the state, region and Vinci Airports Nantes Atlantique want to transfer the existing airport until Bourget, north of Paris, where the UN Conference will be held climate, COP21, a single combat.

For thousands of opponents (about 15,000 according to the organizers) to the draft new Nantes airport, gathered Saturday 11 and Sunday July 12 in Vigneux-de-Bretagne (Loire-Atlantique), south of the future airport area, there a major contradiction between the declarations in favor of the fight against global warming policies and industrial managers, and the reality of economic policies and infrastructure projects, particularly transport.

“Stowaways”

“Air transport is stowaways in the fight against global warming, it exempts of all, recalled Lorelei Limousin, Climate Action Network (RAC) at the central meeting on Sunday morning. The absence of tax diesel for the Air lost 550 million euros a year to the government, to which one can add the reduced VAT on airline tickets, € 600 million, more than one billion shortfall. “ She continued, to the applause of hundreds of activists present in a large tent: “Air France is one of the sponsors of the COP21, it boggles. “

Read also: Climate: air transport promises a blue sky

These politicians, Europe Ecology-The Greens (EELV), the Left Party (PG) and the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA), were hit hard. ” The fight against climate change, it is in our advertising, in our communication, say the large groups, Air France, BNP Paribas, which invest in fossil fuels in the world, EDF, GDF-Suez, etc., but in reality, they oppose any proposed saving energy , explained Yannick Jadot, MEP EELV. They say yes, butnot here, not now, not like this. “

Martine Billard (PG) mocked those who “want to sell green airports” . “We are sold the same sustainable nuclear; to be sustainable, nuclear is truly sustainable “ , she threw to the conquered militants. According to her, the planet can not travel, unfortunately, to the discovery of all countries of the world. “There are limits, our planet has limits, and we must make choices, what is at stake the COP21 “ , she has said. For the representative of the NPA, Christine Poupin, the question of “expropriation of the big capitalist groups” is asked.

Beyond political statements, facilitated by the full support of the public, the weekend of mobilization against the planned Notre-Dame-des-Landes – and all the “useless major projects”  : rail tunnel between Lyon and Turin The Center Parc Roybon (Isère), the dam Sivens (Tarn) … not to mention the “factory” of a thousand cows or landfill of nuclear waste in Lorraine, in Bure … – was the occasion of an intense work on arguments.

Judicial appointments

“An Airbus A 320 engulf as much energy in one hour at takeoff than me in twenty years on my farm, summarized Daniel Durand of the Confederation Paysanne. To get to New York, it would take 150 ha rapeseed, 300 if we want him back. So useless to think of biofuels for aviation. “

One after another, all stakeholders dozens of forums organized under the six capitals of the site have expressed opposition to current projects. The link with the fight against global warming, five months of COP21, is permanent, highlighted by the presence of officials of the Climate Coalition and 21 of Alternatiba activists who are trying to achieve, by bike, turn, France militant. “heater control, not the climate! “ was the central slogan of the weekend.

And then there was the news of the record of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Friday, July 17, the Nantes administrative court must rule on the last seventeen appeals by opponents of the airport project. The day before, the Grenoble Administrative Court will judge appeals opponents of the Center Parc Roybon.

Read also: Several thousand opponents of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes met before the final court decision

Political agreement

“If the opinion is unfavorable we, as public rapporteur has suggested, then we will appeal. And according to the political agreement sealed with the president and prime ministers that have succeeded, no construction will not start before the exhaustion of all legal proceedings “ , recalls serene but determined, Julien Durand, farmer and is emblematic of the ACIPA (inter citizen Association of populations affected by the airport project of Notre-Dame-des-Landes).

Around the vast grasslands of La Paquelais, where opponents have installed the rally, dozens of occupants of the “zone defense” (ZAD), distributed between farms and the many huts scattered around the countryside, are also waiting later with the firm intention not to leave the place one day construction machinery.

See the original in French here:

En savoir plus sur http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2015/07/12/pour-les-opposants-a-notre-dame-des-landes-le-projet-d-aeroport-est-contraire-aux-objectifs-de-la-cop21_4680552_3244.html#6f0P5FYPPmU0tASu.99

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FT says after government statement on runway in late autumn, there will be a public consultation

It seems likely that the government will indicate its preference for the location of a new runway before Christmas (could be in November).  A Whitehall source has indicated to the Financial Times that Patrick McLoughlin is then expected to set out a “clear direction” — rather than a hard and fast decision. That will then require a public consultation by the DfT. The DfT said:  “The government is now carefully considering the evidence before making a decision and the secretary of state for transport plans to make a statement in the autumn to provide clear direction on the government’s plans ….Further consultation will be required as part of any decision-making process and to secure planning consents.”   George Osborne indicated recently that there would be a consultation before the government made any final decision.  He said:   “Now we’ve got to consult people, let Londoners have their say as well and not prejudge that.”   Maybe that’s a way for the Cabinet to try to resolve their internal split on Heathrow.   A Treasury spokesperson later said consulting widely with residents would be expected:  “You would criticise us if we didn’t consult on a decision this big.”
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Heathrow wants talks over expansion conditions

13.7.2015 (Financial Times)
By Peggy Hollinger and Jim Pickard

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Heathrow is seeking discussions with government over the conditions laid down by the independent airports commission as a prerequisite to the controversial expansion of the UK’s biggest airport.

……..

“The government is now carefully considering the evidence before making a decision and the secretary of state for transport plans to make a statement in the autumn to provide clear direction on the government’s plans,” a transport ministry official said. “Further consultation will be required as part of any decision-making process and to secure planning consents.”

George Osborne raised the hopes of protesters last week when he promised that there would be a consultation before the government made any final decision.

………

Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, will decide between Heathrow and Gatwick by the end of the year — widely expected to be around November.

…………………………..

See full FT article at

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/45489482-2978-11e5-8613-e7aedbb7bdb7.html#axzz3fokxrzQf

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DCLG and DfT face 40% spending cuts

22.7.2015 (The Planner)
[It is thought that the Aviation section of the DfT will not be cut, while they deal with the runway issue, and their budget may be doubled].

Chancellor George Osborne has launched his spending review, with Whitehall departments including the Department for Communities and Local Government having to bear spending cuts of up to 40 per cent.

Government departments that are not protected, including the Departments for Communities and Local Government, Transport, Energy and Climate Change, and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, are expected to find £3 billion in savings in the current financial year.

Set to be published on 25 November 2015, the review will set out, according to the government, how it will invest in “priority public services” and “deliver £20 billion further savings required to eliminate Britain’s deficit by 2019/2020”.

… and it continues

http://www.theplanner.co.uk/news/dclg-and-dft-face-40-spending-cuts

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and

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DfT faces 40% cut – at same time as delivering infrastructure “vital to growth”

21.7.2015 (Transport Extra)

The DfT is in line for a 40% cut in its budget within four years – something the Treasury says can be achieved whilst prioritising transport investment that “drives growth”.

The demand came as the Treasury formally started its Spending Review 2015 process, in which the Conservatives will seek to deliver a budget surplus by 2019/20 by cutting annual departmental expenditure by £20bn within four years. The Chancellor acknowledges that these are “big savings” but points to how Whitehall costs were cut by 40% in the last Parliament whilst satisfaction with public services improved.

The DfT and other non-protected departments have therefore been tasked with modelling savings of both 25% and 40% by September, in time for cabinet decisions on how the cuts will be shared out in time for the Chancellor unveiling the final Spending Review on the 25th November.

https://www.transportxtra.com/magazines/local_transport_today/news/?id=46042

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See also:

Heathrow wants “discussions with government” to negotiate runway conditions set by Airports Commission

The Airports Commission recommended a 3rd runway at Heathrow, subject to a number of conditions (noise, compensation, local consultation, air quality etc). But Heathrow is not keen on these conditions, and now says it is “seeking discussions with government ” on them. John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow chief executive, said Heathrow “would have to consider” the demand from the Commission that there should not be night flights, and that there should be a legal prohibition on a 4th runway. The point of conditions is that they are, well as they say, conditions. But Heathrow says: “We will work with the government to make sure we have a solution that can be delivered. I am not saying today that we will accept all the conditions that have been put down.” Airlines would not like night flights, as they make long haul routes less profitable and problematic. Heathrow’s hope of getting conditions, all recommended for good reasons, removed or reduced will only increase the level of hostility towards the airport by its opponents. Whitehall sources say the government will state its preference for the location of a new runway before Christmas (could be November?) — but will then launch a fresh consultation.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Heathrow wants “discussions with government” to negotiate runway conditions set by Airports Commission

The Airports Commission recommended a 3rd runway at Heathrow, subject to a number of conditions (noise, compensation, local consultation, air quality etc). But Heathrow is not keen on these conditions, and now says it is “seeking discussions with government ” on them.  John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow chief executive, said Heathrow “would have to consider” the demand from the Commission that there should not be night flights, and that there should be a legal  prohibition on a 4th runway. The point of conditions is that they are, well as they say, conditions. But Heathrow says: “We will work with the government to make sure we have a solution that can be delivered.  I am not saying today that we will accept all the conditions that have been put down.” Airlines would not like night flights, as they make long haul routes less profitable and problematic. Heathrow’s hope of getting conditions, all recommended for good reasons, removed or reduced will only increase the level of hostility towards the airport by its opponents.  Whitehall sources say the government  will state its preference for the location of a new runway before Christmas (could be November?) — but will then launch a fresh consultation.
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Heathrow wants talks over expansion conditions

13.7.2015 (Financial Times)
By Peggy Hollinger and Jim Pickard
Heathrow is seeking discussions with government over the conditions laid down by the independent airports commission as a prerequisite to the controversial expansion of the UK’s biggest airport.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow chief executive, said the airport would have to consider the demand from the commission, led by economist Sir Howard Davies, for an end to night flights and for a law prohibiting any new runway in future.

“We will work with the government to make sure we have a solution that can be delivered,” he said, adding: “I am not saying today that we will accept all the conditions that have been put down. Night flights and the fourth runway — we will have to assess those a little more carefully.”

…………………………..

See full FT article at

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/45489482-2978-11e5-8613-e7aedbb7bdb7.html#axzz3fokxrzQf

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See also:

 

John Holland-Kaye reluctant to accept conditions on Heathrow runway set by Airports Commission

The Airports Commission, in recommending a 3rd runway at Heathrow, set out a short set of conditions Heathrow would have to meet, to be allowed to build the runway. These conditions are not very onerous. These included a ban on all flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am, better air quality, a legally-enforced “noise envelope”, and that Heathrow should be held to its pledge to spend over £1bn on community compensation. And no 4th runway ever. But now, just days after the Commission’s report, John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, says the airport is “still assessing” the conditions, and “We’ll have to see how it fits into all the other things we’re doing,” and “I’m sure there is a package in there that we can agree with our local communities, with the airlines and with Government.” Quite why conditions to be imposed on a runway to protect the public need to be agreed by the airport itself, not just imposed on it, is a mystery. Lord Adonis said the noise envelope, which the commission said might stipulate that there should be “no overall increase above current levels”, was one of the “weaknesses” of the Commission’s report. It is not even clear what it even means – “total incidence of noise, high levels of noise, noise in particular communities”. when manifestly adding another 50% more planes will increase the overall amount of noise.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Hounslow Council leader says 9,000-home “Garden City” could happen even without Heathrow runway

The Leader of Hounslow City Council says a 9,000-home garden city could happen even without another Heathrow runway.  He said a new Heathrow ‘Garden City’ in Hounslow is not dependant on a 3rd runway, and Hounslow Council remains opposed to the airport’s expansion, with its official line being that it wants “a better not bigger Heathrow.”  There are fears, however, in some quarters that if a runway was approved, Hounslow (Labour led – since May 2014 Labour 49 seats, Conservative 11 seats) would support it and aim to obtain the maximum possible benefits.  Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye has implied that Heathrow would develop the “garden city” or at least be its cause – regenerating area of West London.  Hounslow Council has been working with Heathrow on proposals for the new development, though details of where it might be built have yet to be released and council leader Steve Curran said it was “very early days”. Hounslow Council has to build 3,000 new affordable homes in the borough by 2018. That’s before a new runway increases housing demand. Hounslow says the scheme is critically dependant on better public transport infrastructure.
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Heathrow garden city ‘could be built without third runway’

10.7.2015

By Robert Cumber (Get West London)

Hounslow Council leader says 9,000-home garden city could happen even without expansion at the airport

A new ‘Heathrow Garden City’ in Hounslow is not dependant on a third runway being built, the Hounslow Council leader has insisted.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye this week claimed expansion could pave the way for regeneration around the airport, including the creation of a garden city with 9,000 new homes in Hounslow.

Addressing the Runways UK conference on Monday (July 6), he said: “West London needs regeneration just as much as east London – our neighbours in Southall and Feltham are aspirational and want a better life for themselves and their children.

“Expansion will support the regeneration of west London, and tomorrow you will see an example, with the new Heathrow Garden City in Hounslow, including 9,000 new homes.”

Hounslow Council has been working with Heathrow on proposals for the new development, though details of where it might be built have yet to be released and council leader Steve Curran said it was “very early days”.

The Airports Commission last week recommended a third runway at Heathrow as the best option to increase the UK’s aviation capacity.

However, the Government, which must make the final decision, has yet to respond to the commission’s report, and several senior Conservative MPs are opposed to expansion of Heathrow.

Hounslow Council also remains opposed to the airport’s expansion, with its official line being that it wants “a better not bigger Heathrow”.

But the pair’s previously frosty relationship has thawed in recent years and the promise of 9,000 new homes would help the Labour administration fulfil its pledge to secure 3,000 new affordable homes in the borough by 2018.

Mr Curran said: “The [garden city] plan is extremely conceptual at this stage and includes ideas for better transport links to the airport, as well as significant new commercial and residential development that could be facilitated by this infrastructure. It would bring massive regeneration benefits to the west of the borough.

“It is not dependant on a third runway, and could work with the existing set up or with three runways. However, it is critically dependant on better public transport infrastructure.

“Heathrow and Hounslow Council are both supportive of the Southern Rail Access and this new infrastructure needs to be on an alignment that connects Heathrow with Feltham andBedfont Lakes with two new stations that allows increased development density.”

He added that the next step would be to work with residents, stakeholders, neighbours and the Greater London Authority on the ideas within its “masterplan”.

In his first speech since the publication of the Airports Commission’s final report, Mr Holland-Kaye also called for an early decision from the Government so it could get “shovels in the ground” by 2020 and have the third runway in operation in 2025.

He said Heathrow would start working to secure planning consent, “continue to engage” with local communities and take “practical steps” like starting traffic surveys over the summer.

He also unveiled the airport’s new blueprint to increase public transport by more than 10% over the next four years, which includes pushing for a western rail link to the airport and a 24-hour tube and bus service between Heathrow and central London.

He said when the third runway opens in 2025, Heathrow would be served by five railways and five motorways and would have the country’s biggest bus and coach station.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/heathrow-garden-city-could-built-9606850

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Earlier:

Heathrow hopes to make a monster 3-runway airport acceptable by building a 9,000 home “garden city”

At the RunwaysUK conference, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye spoke of his plans to create a 3-runway “aerotropolis” around the airport, with a 9,000-home Heathrow Garden City.  He said: “When you are relocating hotels and offices, why not put them next to the rail interchange, so that we can have fewer cars on the road — an aerotropolis, if you like …. If you are re-landscaping the airport boundary, why not link up the open spaces to create a green ribbon round the airport, with better local amenities …. and …. improve local flood defences? Why not improve the local road network and cycle paths?”  He said west London needs regeneration just as much as east London, and the airport would do that. The development is understood to be planned for the Hounslow area. Heathrow hopes to get public transport up by over 10% in 4 years, to try and get the air pollution problem  down low enough to be allowed a runway. And then: “We should get shovels in the ground by 2020 and the benefits of an expanded Heathrow in 2025.” Work was starting on gaining the planning consents needed for the development.  Holland-Kaye said the airport may not agree to all the conditions for expansion proposed by the Airports Commission, but believes “an agreement could be struck on them.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/07/heathrow-hopes-to-make-a-monster-3-runway-airport-acceptable-by-building-a-9000-home-garden-city/

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Queen could get £ millions to soundproof Windsor Castle from noise hotspot due to a 3rd Heathrow runway

Windsor Castle would suffer increased noise from a 3rd Heathrow runway and the Queen could be given £ millions to soundproof the 900-year-old landmark, according to Whitehall sources.  The Queen could be the single biggest beneficiary of a compensation scheme aimed at mitigating the noise from a new runway.  Heathrow Airport has agreed to pay £700 million towards a £1 billion compensation scheme to provide nearby residents with soundproofing. An official said: “…if they do need to insulate the Windsor’s against noise it will cost a fortune — potentially millions….They will end up spending more on compensation to the Queen than they spent in the past 10 years on noise compensation.” And the taxpayer may have to foot much of the bill. A report by the DfT showed that Windsor Castle sits in a potential ‘island of noise’ which would be created by the 3rd runway. There would be an intersection of flight paths near Windsor, causing an extra noisy “hotspot” in the area. Heathrow’s noise compensation scheme would pay for double glazing, loft insulation and acoustic boarding, for homes near the airport and under flight paths. Heathrow said more than 160,000 households could be eligible for noise insulation “including in Windsor”.
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Queen could get millions to soundproof Windsor Castle from third runway

Windsor Castle would suffer increased noise from a third runway and the Queen could be given millions to soundproof the 900-year-old landmark, according to Whitehall sources

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor (Telegraph)

12 July 2015

The Queen could be the single biggest beneficiary of a compensation scheme aimed at mitigating the effects of a third runway, it has emerged.

Heathrow Airport has agreed to pay £700 million towards a £1 billion compensation scheme which to provide nearby residents with soundproofing. [Details of the Heathrow scheme offer – not legally binding. Heathrow said in Feb 2015 : “This offer is subject to government policy support and regulatory approval by the CAA.”].

But as Windsor Castle is likely to be affected by increased noise the Royal Family could qualify for millions, Whitehall sources claim.

“Windsor is comparable to parliament, potentially bigger, and if they do need to insulate the Windsor’s against noise it will cost a fortune — potentially millions,” an official told The Sunday Times.

“They will end up spending more on compensation to the Queen than they spent in the past 10 years on noise compensation. Planes can fly pretty low over Windsor.”

A report by the Department of Transport showed that Windsor Castle sits in a potential ‘island of noise’ which would be created by the third runway.

Earlier this month an independent commission backed plans for expansion at Heathrow and David Cameron is now considering whether to give the green light to the scheme.
The prime minister is under pressure from business leaders to approve the plan but is battling opposition from London mayor Boris Johnson and Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith.
The compensation scheme, which his designed to pay for double glazing, loft insulation and acoustic boarding, will be provided for residents who live near the airport and those under flight paths.

Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, attracts 1.1 million visitors each year, who between them spend more than £17 million, which is used by the Royal Collection Trust charity for the upkeep of the royal palaces and their contents.
However soundproofing the castle could prove tricky and costly. The castle has around 1,000 rooms and its oldest glazed window dates back to approximately 1236. It is thought to have been a wedding gift from King Henry III to his wife Eleanor of Provence.

Heathrow said more than 160,000 households could be eligible for noise insulation “including in Windsor”.

“Residents would be eligible regardless of whether they experience noise under existing flight paths or will be newly affected by noise from a new runway,” the spokesman said.

A palace spokesman said: “The royal household was not consulted regarding the Davies commission [on airport expansion], and therefore has offered no view on it.

“The royal household would not speculate on any matter relating to a proposed third runway before any formal decision has been taken by those responsible for this.”
A commission led by Sir Howard Davies concluded that a third runway was the ‘best answer’ to solving Britain’s aviation capacity crisis but said it should only be built it accompanied by strict meaures on noise and air pollution.

These included a ban on all flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am and a wide compensation scheme.

The commission also recommended last week that a congestion charge at Heathrow “should” be considered as part of the mitigating measures .

Last week Heathrow began laying the groundwork for the third runway even though the Government has not officially sanctioned the £17.6bn project.

John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of the West London hub, announced that the airport will immediately begin drawing up a strategy to secure materials and services. The airport is hoping to begin building in 2020.

A final decision is expected at the end of the year.

Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, attracts 1.1 million visitors each year, who between them spend more than £17 million, which is used by the Royal Collection Trust charity for the upkeep of the royal palaces and their contents.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: ‘We understand concerns local communities have about noise from aircraft.

‘That is why we will carefully examine all of the evidence provided by the Airports Commission, including environmental mitigation measures, and we will work closely with industry and communities on how best to mitigate the impact of noise when considering the options for expansion.

‘The Airports Commission has made clear it expects the highest standards on noise performance and has made further specific recommendations to strengthen the proposals already made by Heathrow.’

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/11734652/Queen-could-get-millions-to-soundproof-Windsor-Castle-from-third-runway.html

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Queen in line for jet noise millions

By Marie Woolf, Whitehall Editor (Sunday Times)
12.7.2015
Some extracts ….

THE Queen could qualify for “millions” of pounds of compensation to noiseproof Windsor Castle if a third runway at Heathrow goes ahead. The monarch — who spends most weekends at Windsor — could be the single biggest beneficiary of a £700m compensation scheme aimed at mitigating the effects of noise from a third runway, with extra money provided by the government.

…….

Heathrow has promised to invest £700m in noise insulation, as part of a £1bn compensation scheme if a third runway goes ahead. Although much of the money is expected to be spent on residents near the airport, properties under the flight paths will also qualify, with those where the noise is greatest expected to gain the most to soundproof their homes. …….

A spokesman added that “the final number and location would be dependent on the design of routes . . . and the actual level of the noise measured”. Whitehall sources said the taxpayer could end up topping up the noiseproofing of the Queen’s home because the castle was so huge.

The Department for Transport modelled the impact of a third runway in August 2006, including the effect on noise. The government report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, expressed surprise at the noise impact on Windsor.

“The shape of the noise contour looked odd,” the analysis said, “with a potential noise ‘hot spot’ near Windsor where the southern departures crossed over the path of the northern, which produced an island of noise near Windsor (or possibly just to the west).”

…….

Any upgrade of Windsor would be subject to restrictions, and any double glazing or noiseproofing would have to be formally approved and carried out in materials in keeping with the building’s historic nature. Refurbishment after the 1992 fire cost £36.5m and took five years.

Full article at:

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/article1580350.ece

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A comment:  “And what about other historic buildings in Middlesex, Bucks & Berks?”

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See earlier:

 

Heathrow’s improved offer of £700 million for noise compensation, if there was a 3rd runway, wouldn’t help residents in many areas

On the last day of the Airports Commission consultation about its 3 short-listed runway schemes, Heathrow Airport came up with a new, more widespread and more generous offer of compensation against aircraft noise, IF it got a new runway. However, this offer is not to be offered to residents in many affected areas, including Bracknell, Ascot or Wokingham. The £700 million that Heathrow says it would spend on noise insulation etc would only be for homes judged the worst affected by noise – with no homes south of Wraysbury included. The number of homes eligible for offered compensation will depend on the final design of flight paths from an expanded Heathrow, and those are not yet known. Residents in Bracknell and Ascot, who have been incensed by the aircraft noise to which they have been subjected this year, say that even if they were offered compensation it still would not be enough, and it would not solve the problem. Heathrow claims that flight paths and use of airspace in the area has reverted to its pre-trail state, but residents believe it has not. People are now much more aware of aircraft noise, and their tolerance for it has declined – and they know that no amount of money would be enough to keep the level of noise outside the house down, in gardens, parks, playgrounds and streets. Many believe the increased Heathrow offer, and its timing, is merely a PR stunt. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/02/heathrows-improved-offer-of-700-million-for-noise-compensation-if-there-was-a-3rd-runway-wouldnt-help-residents-in-many-areas/

 

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and

See also

On final day of Commission consultation, Heathrow raises extent of its noise insulation offer, if it gets a 3rd runway

As part of its attempt to get acceptance for a 3rd runway, Heathrow has had to raise its offer on noise insulation. On the last day of the Airports Commission consultation, it has made a significantly better offer, saying it “could” (sic) pay around £700 million – which is £450 million more than its previous offer in May 2014. This would cover parts of the 55 Lden noise contour area. The number of people within that contour was725,500 in 2006  and over 314,000 dwellings. Heathrow says their offer now covers about 160,000 homes, and they have included two new areas, not previously covered by their scheme (no map is published).Heathrow has now raised the quality of its noise insulation offer to match those already used in Europe – its current noise insulation offers are far below these. In its new scheme, Heathrow says homes in designated zones “stand to have” (not “will”) the ” full costs of their noise insulation covered by the airport. In addition, up to £3,000 in noise insulation would be offered to homes further away from the airport.” This would be acoustic double glazing; ceiling over-boarding in bedrooms; loft insulation and ventilation. Many noise affected homes already have double glazing and loft insulation … and still suffer noise. Gardens and parks cannot be insulated.  Campaigners said the improved offer was welcome, and should be carried out even if no runway is built, as it illustrates how poor and miserly the insulation schemes have been in the past.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/02/25000/

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Plane Stupid activists set up protest, locking themselves together, on Heathrow northern runway

At around 3.30am a group of 13 climate change activists from the group Plane Stupid cut a hole in the perimeter fence at Heathrow, and set up a protest  on the northern runway. They set up a tripod of metal poles, and metal fencing panels, and locked themselves onto these. Some were attached by D locks around their necks, onto the fence.  Others used arm locks (two people link arms, linked together with carabinas, inside a hard tube) to make it difficult for police to remove them. Police arrived on the scene shortly after the protest was set up. The first flights arrive at Heathrow from around 4.30am. Flights were delayed while the airport needed to shift runways.  Six protesters were removed quite quickly.  The protest was due to the recommendation of the Airports Commission that a 3rd runway should be built at Heathrow.  Besides the serious negative impacts of the runway on noise, air pollution, destruction of Harmondsworth, huge costs to the taxpayer and considerable social disruption for miles around, the issue which has been glossed over is the CO2 emissions that the runway would create from greatly increased flights, many long-haul. The Commission itself was aware that a new runway would mean the UK could not achieve its aviation carbon cap, and make it less likely the UK could meet its legally binding carbon target for 2050.
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BBC  for many more photos:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-33503167

Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/aviation/11735306/Heathrow-airport-protest-live.html

including a short video of the protesters arriving and setting up and many more photos.

Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/13/heathrow-disruption-climate-change-activists-claim-chained-runway  with other video clips

Direct action group Plane Stupid said 13 demonstrators opposed to the airport’s expansion plans got on to the northern runway at 03:30 BST.   The runway was closed for nearly three hours and 13 flights were cancelled. All the protesters were removed from the runway by 10:00 BST.


Armlocks

Two of the protesters arm-locked together on the northern runway


Protester: “We don’t have resources at our disposal other than our bodies”

13.7.2015

Protesters from the Plane Stupid group have been further explaining their action this morning – and have denied they are putting aircraft in danger.

Sarah Shoraka, a member of the group, told the Guardian: “We thought we’d won this fight, because David Cameron said ‘no ifs, no buts’ there would be no runway at Heathrow.

“We thought it was off the table and then the report came through and we thought ‘we’re going to have to fight this all over again’.

““We picked the spot so we wouldn’t endanger flights trying to land. But we are not big corporations, we are not Boris Johnson, we don’t have resources at our disposal other than our bodies.”

“We need to insert climate change into the narrative, it’s been absent from the whole debate ever since the report came out.”

Plane Stupid would stage more demonstrations on the issue, she added. “There is a huge coalition of groups against this and we have to stop this again.”  Link

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/heathrow-runway-protest-recap-passengers-6055538


And a delightful bit of unintended irony:

Retired couple Jean and Ray Leonard, who were travelling to Munich for a river cruise, said they had mixed feelings about the protest, though they had not been delayed. “We saw the police at the roundabout when we came in and wondered what was happening,” Mrs Leonard said. “It’s very difficult when you’re personally affected and losing your house [because of the new runway].”

“It seems to be young people, not the people affected. They’ve got nothing better to do,” her husband interjected.


Some extracts from early reports below:

• Climate change activists stage protest on Heathrow northern runway
• Dozen Plane Stupid demonstrators cut hole in fence at 3.30am
• Police arrest six after cutting locks from protesters chained to ‘tripod’
• But Heathrow warns passengers face delays and cancellations

 

Direct action group Plane Stupid said 12 demonstrators opposed to the airport’s expansion plans got on to the northern runway at 03:30 BST.

The runway was closed for nearly three hours. The airport said there would be some delays to flights.

Heathrow Airport said the protesters were still at one of the runways.

Passengers have been told to check with their airlines before they travel.

 

The airport said its southern runway had remained open throughout the protest.

“We are working closely with the police who are dealing with the incident.

“Both runways are open although there will still be delays – we are sorry for the disruption to passengers. Our priority remains to ensure the safe running of the airport,” said the airport in a statement.

 

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The airport said the first flight was meant to take off from the northern runway at about 06:00 BST.

A video posted online appeared to show several activists chained together and being spoken to by police officers.

In the footage, an officer told them: “As a consequence of you being here, you are causing severe disruption and it will be in the millions of pounds because it will take us a while to remove you.

“The cost will be in the couple of millions. The airport will attempt to make a civil recovery.”

The Met Police said the protesters had chained themselves together using a tripod which they had assembled themselves.

 

 

Ella Gilbert, one of the activists on the runway, said: “Building more runways goes against everything we’re being told by scientists and experts on climate change.

“This would massively increase carbon emissions exactly when we need to massively reduce them, that’s why we’re here.

“We want to say sorry to anyone whose day we’ve ruined, and we’re not saying that everybody who wants to fly is a bad person.

“It’s those who fly frequently and unnecessarily who are driving the need for expansion, and we cannot keep ignoring the terrifying consequences of flying like there’s no tomorrow.

“No ifs, no buts, no third runway. And we mean it.”

After three years of investigation, the Airports Commission said Heathrow was best placed to provide “urgently required” capacity, but environmentalists warned that building a new runway there will make it harder to reduce air pollution and climate change emissions.

On 1 July a report recommended a new runway should be built at Heathrow rather than Gatwick.

The Airports Commission said Heathrow was best placed to provide “urgently required” capacity, but environmentalists warned building a new runway there would make it harder to reduce air pollution and climate change emissions.

 

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The protest has raised questions about security at the airport’s perimeter fence.

Afzal Ashraf, a consultant fellow at defence and security think-tank the Royal United Services Institute, said the security breach is a “concern”.

“If they did manage to get to a runway before being apprehended then there is a bit of an issue,” he said. “If a terrorist group came up to the fence it would take a few minutes to cut through.

“It’s very easy to get to a fence before the police are able to react.”

“I think we need to look at the details, it’s worth asking questions. I don’t think there is a straightforward comparison between protesters and terrorists,” he added.

“It’s one thing to get in and chain yourself to a railing, it’s another to get near an aircraft. I’m sure there will be a security review.”

08.36

Scotland Yard has just confirmed that six of the protesters have been arrested on suspicion of Aviation Act offences.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “At approximately 3.45am on Monday, 13 July, officers were alerted to a number of protesters who had unlawfully made their way airside at Heathrow Airport.

“There were 13 protestors in total on the North runway. Six have so far been arrested on suspicion of Aviation Act offences and taken into custody.

“Officers remain at the scene and are continuing to work to remove the remaining protestors.”

 

 

08.20

Heathrow has just released an update explaining that both runways remain open despite the protest, but delays will continue. Passengers are advised to check flight times with their airline.

 

06.20

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that some of the demonstrators had chained themselves together using a so-called tripod.

A spokesman said: “At approximately 3.45am officers were alerted to a number of protesters who had made their way airside at Heathrow Airport.

“A small number of these protesters are believed to have chained themselves to a ‘tripod’.

“Officers are in attendance.”

06.10

A Heathrow Airport spokesman said: “A group of people have breached the airport perimeter fence and are currently staging a protest on the northern runway.

“We are working closely with the police who are dealing with the incident. The southern runway remains open. Our priority remains to ensure the safety of the airport community, including passengers, employees and protesters”

The spokesman was unable to yet confirm whether the protest has caused delays for travellers.

 

06.00

Climate change activists are staging a protest on the north runway at Heathrow Airport.

A supporter of direct action group Plane Stupid said a dozen demonstrators entered the runway at 3.30am after cutting a hole in a fence.

He said the protesters were campaigning against airport expansion and would stay there for as long as possible.



Heathrow protest: This is why I broke onto the runway yesterday morning at Heathrow Airport

Over the last few years, the aviation industry has managed to convince the general public that we have an airport capacity crisis. This is a myth

 

As you’re reading this I am sitting in a police cell. I was one of the 12 people from Plane Stupid who were responsible for breaking onto the runway yesterday morning at Heathrow Airport and holding up flights.

The reason we decided to take what might seem like such extreme action is quite simple: we cannot build anymore new airport runways if we are serious about averting climate catastrophe. This action was a message to the Government who now have to make a decision based on a public debate that until now has virtually ignored the climate change implications. Heathrow versus Gatwick? We can’t expand either if we still remain serious about stopping climate change.

We apologise to those passengers who have been inconvenienced today and we know the action we took this morning won’t be popular with everyone. However, the long-term climate change consequences of building another runway is surely of greater concern here. Aviation remains the fasting growing source of emissions, so at exactly the time when we need to be reducing our carbon emissions – building another runway is clearly the wrong way to go.

Some people flying out of Heathrow today will have been taking their only flight this year or their first flight in a long time. However, the statistics are clear –  15 per cent of the population take 70 per cent of all flights which means that it’s rich frequent flyers who are taking the majority of the flights and burning the planet. What this also does is push up the demand for expansion. To address this we must begin talking again about the need to fly less – in a country that already flies more than nearly any other country per head.

Over the last few years, the aviation industry has managed to convince the general public that we have an airport capacity crisis. This is a myth. Most airports are underused and business flights are declining. The only journeys on the increase are leisure flights which clearly need to be taxed properly so that the environmental cost of flying is factored into the price of the ticket. One way of doing this could be to introduce a ‘frequent flyer tax’.

Furthermore, nine of the ten most popular destinations out of Heathrow are short-haul flights, including to destinations such as Paris and Manchester. If these flights were moved over to existing rail alternatives then Heathrow’s capacity problems would disappear overnight.

I would prefer not to have been arrested today and I’m all too aware that I could end up being sent to prison for this action, but when the aviation industry can splash £3million on advertising to argue for unnecessary runways, sometimes we have to take bold actions to make our voices heard.

Building new runways isn’t for the masses and it will only benefit rich frequent flyers and the aviation industry who continue to enjoy huge tax exemptions and pay no VAT. This represents an  estimated an €27 billion shortfall to Europe each year. In times of austerity, we must ask ourselves – why are we propping up a highly polluting industry in a time of looming climate crisis?

The protest today isn’t about saying we can never go on holiday by plane – it’s about what’s necessary and unnecessary in a world threatened by climate change.

Lastly, a direct message to the Government and the aviation industry: we want to be clear that the anti-airport expansion movement is back and we’re here to stay. “No, ifs, no buts, no third runway”. We mean it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/heathrow-protest-this-is-why-i-broke-onto-the-runway-yesterday-morning-at-heathrow-airport-10388631.html

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The 13 activists will appear at Uxbridge Magistrate’s Court on 19th August, charged with aggravated trespass and entering a security restricted area of an aerodrome.

 

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Gatwick now says it will “carry out a fresh review of the whole situation” on Gatwick westerly arrivals

The group opposing Gatwick’s altered flight paths, “Gatwick Obviously NOT” wrote to Global Infrastructure Partners, (GIP), the main owner of Gatwick, on 9th May.  Now a reply has been received from Sir Roy McNulty, who is the Chairman of Gatwick Airport Ltd.  [Sir John Major, former Prime Minister, is Chairman of the Senior Advisor Panel at GIP]  The letter says: “Sir John Major has shared with me your letter of 9th May. Sir John has asked me to look into this matter and reply to you direct.  Having reviewed the issues… I have concluded that the best course is to carry out a fresh review of the whole situation as regards westerly arrivals into Gatwick …  Yours sincerely.”   Westerly arrivals are those coming in from the east to Gatwick – in other words the narrowed swathe the people in west Kent, and much of Sussex  have all been suffering from.  The airport and its owners are aware of the extent of the opposition and anger that their flight paths have caused, from the literally thousands of complaints and letters that have been sent.  Many people are not only angry about the aircraft ” super-highways” in the sky over their heads, but deeply stressed by having their tranquillity removed, with no consultation or warning.  Extracts from one (of many) furious and determined letter are copied here, illustrating the problem.
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Discussions cleared for take-off?

Dear Mr Hazell-Smith,

Sir John Major has shared with me your letter of 9th May. Sir John has asked me to look into this matter and reply to you direct.

Having reviewed the issues… I have concluded that the best course is to carry out a fresh review of the whole situation as regards westerly arrivals into Gatwick …

Yours sincerely

Roy McNulty”


Sir Roy McNulty is the Chairman of Gatwick Airport Ltd.

Sir John Major, former Prime Minister, is Chairman of the Senior Advisor Panel at Global Infrastructure Partners, (GIP) which is the largest shareholder in Gatwick.

Stephen Hazell-Smith is one of my Strategic Team of 12 and the de-facto MD of Gatwick Obviously Not. (He also jointly founded AIM 20 years ago as it happens)

westerly arrivals are those coming in from the east to Gatwick – in other words the narrowed swathe we have all been suffering from.


Gatwick Obviously NOT (GON) says:

This opportunity for tranquillity is entirely as a direct result of your tireless campaigning and your thousands of emails, calls and letters to Gatwick, the DfT, the CAA, NATS and the media, as well as the work of several dedicated Campaign Groups, including this one.

http://www.gatwickobviouslynot.org/


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The Gatwick arrivals problem over west Kent

People affected by recently changed arrivals into Gatwick airport, coming from the east (when there are easterly winds) are incensed about the serious aircraft noise nuisance to which they are now exposed.

Many people who rarely even saw an aircraft before a few years ago, now find they are subjected to aircraft overhead, below 4,000 or 5,000 feet  (ie. noisy) every two minutes or less.  And this goes on all day, and with many flights throughout the night too.

Thousands of people not prepared to put up with this. And they are letting Gatwick airport, the CAA, NATS and the DfT know how they feel.

A huge number of letters have been sent.  Below is shortened and edited version (to maintain anonymity etc) of one sent recently to Stewart Wingate, Charles Kirwan-Taylor and Tom Denton – all of Gatwick airport:

The letter:   10.7.2015

“I have had another day wiped out because of the illegal behaviour of your … [company].

As I write, yet another whining, no doubt EasyJet is building in the distance.

This is enough.

I see that Sir John Major has strong armed Roy McNulty into breaking cover and promising a ‘review’ – despite all of the community/green/fluffy tacks.  Unsurprisingly the only one that gets any traction goes for the wallet.  [Referring to the comment above: “Having reviewed the issues… I have concluded that the best course is to carry out a fresh review of the whole situation as regards westerly arrivals into Gatwick … “]

We don’t need a review, we need a few people to tell the truth – you wouldn’t live under the hell you have created here and we will not rest until you reinstate the broad swathe.

That does not take months or years, and it requires neither consultation nor planning,nor EU approval.

It is a minimum requirement – we did not move near to an airport, you shunted it over our heads and continue to lie about it. You can switch the use of the airspace as quickly as you do when the wind veers to the east.  Do it.

…. I accuse each of you – Stewart, Tom, Charles – of lying to me, to my family, to the public, to parish, borough and county councillors, to the CAA to the DfT and to MPs.

If shunting the minimum joining point to the ILS to 10nm was genuinely done on the grounds of ‘safety’ I hope you will sue me for defamation. I can’t wait to see you in court.

[Gatwick has …..carried out trials on grounds of safety ]…. “on the grounds of stabilising approaches so that even though, for obvious reasons, Gatwick will never get a second runway, they’ve added value to GIP and hopefully they will express their gratitude in the traditional way when they flog the airport’.

Your lies are destroying my family life – if you do not respond it will confirm what the tens of thousands of people that have now come together already know – you do not give a hoot about being a good neighbour, you are happy to destroy the High Weald to ship money to your …. owners.

I say this is purely about throughput and profit – sue me if you can prove I’m wrong.

…….Mr McNulty will not be able to conduct a review and there can be no meaningful dialogue until someone at GAL finally admits what has changed – the unbelievable noise outside my window is a massive change from anything that we have ever experienced.

 

There is absolutely no justification for what is being done to us and the fact there has been no consultation, no permission and not even any acknowledgement that there has been a massive change in the use of the airspace is scandalous.

Someone [needs to] sort this out because there is absolute fury down here.”

High Weald resident.

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A resident of Hever, who has been suffering increased aircraft noise from Gatwick for many years, writes:

[Commenting on a meeting on 20th May with Gatwick airport] Mr. Kirwan-Taylor is obviously not fully conversant with the TRUE FACTS of the matter.

[We] moved to Hever in 1999. At that time, there was VERY LITTLE aircraft noise over Hever as the majority of arrivals looped round OVER COWDEN  and joined the ILS near Lingfield. A few incoming ‘planes came in on the “Dover Route” and passed over Hever but they were few and far between.

In those days, I could SEE the incoming aircraft, well to the South, but could not HEAR them.

The increase in flights over Hever started a few years later and prompted the formation of the Gatwick Anti-Noise Group.

Somehow, Cowden managed to get the noise shifted North, directly over Hever, and they obviously don’t want it back!!

Fear of reversion back to the old, long established, authorised route is why Cowden refuse to participate in the activities of the High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group.

NOW, ‘planes zoom in at low altitude on the concentrated flight path directly over my house every minute or so making any leisure time in the garden impossible to enjoy.

For Mr. Kirwan-Taylor to say that nothing has changed over Hever IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE.

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Surrey County Council leader says Heathrow runway would require 70,800 new homes and 56 new schools

Surrey County Council leader, David Hodge, says Surrey will require investment in infrastructure if there is a 3rd Heathrow runway. Speaking at the RunwaysUK conference David Hodge said that before a new runway is built 70,800 new homes need to be built in the local area surrounding Heathrow over the next 15 years. This area includes 14 boroughs surrounding Heathrow, including Spelthorne and Runnymede. This would also mean an additional 50 new primary schools and 6 secondary schools would be essential. He said:  “We are not against expansion of either Gatwick or Heathrow… but we can only support expansion if the necessary investment in local infrastructure is put in place first.” There need to be significant transport improvements in the area for a Heathrow runway, including adding a 4th lane to the M25 between junctions 10 to 16. Also a new rail service to Waterloo from Heathrow, and more coach and bus links to Camberley, Woking and Guildford would be needed.  He added that is not the only priority if there is expansion:  “investment will need to go well beyond improving transport links.”  [All this comes at a cost to the taxpayer – and would not be paid for by Heathrow.]  TfL has said the cost could be as much as £20 billion. See below. 
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Seventy thousand new homes and fifty-six schools needed if Heathrow expands

11th July 2015 (Eagle Radio)

Surrey County Council leader, David Hodge, says Surrey will require investment in infrastructure.

This comes after the Airports Commission approved the plans for a new runway to be built at Heathrow Airport.

Hodge told a Runways UK conference (7th and 8th July)  that before a new runway is built at Heathrow 70,800 new homes need to be built in the local area surrounding Heathrow over the next fifteen years.

This would also mean an additional fifty new primary schools and six secondary schools would be essential.

Speaking in front of aviation experts, the Council leader said “We are not against expansion of either Gatwick or Heathrow… but we can only support expansion if the necessary investment in local infrastructure is put in place first.”

To support the expansion of the UK’s largest and busiest airport, there will also need to be significant transport improvements in the area.

This will include a fourth lane being added to the M25 between junctions 10 to 16. A new rail service to Waterloo from the airport and more coach and bus links to Camberley, Woking and Guildford will also be needed.

However Hodge says that is not the only priority if there is expansion adding “investment will need to go well beyond improving transport links.”

http://www.964eagle.co.uk/news/local-news/1667497/seventy-thousand-new-homes-and-fifty-six-schools-needed-if-heathrow-expands/

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Heathrow expansion means more than 70,000 new homes and 56 schools

More than 70,000 new homes and 56 new schools will be needed if Heathrow is expanded, aviation experts have heard.

Surrey County Council leader David Hodge told a Runways UK conference:

  • Expanding the airport could require up to 70,800 homes to be built in the local area* over the next 15 years
  • That would mean a need for 50 more primary schools and six new secondary schools.

He discussed the figures contained in last week’s Airports Commission report after giving a speech in which he stressed that before any new runway is built at Heathrow or Gatwick there needs to be investment in local infrastructure.

Mr Hodge said: “We are not against expansion of either Gatwick or Heathrow. There are national and local benefits – especially economic – from both but we can only support expansion if the necessary investment in local infrastructure is put in place first.

“As a starting point for Heathrow, we need a fourth lane on the M25 from junctions 10 to 16, widening work at junction 11, a new rail service to Waterloo from the airport via Staines and more coaches and buses to link it to places like Camberley, Woking and Guildford.

“And if we are to be certain that our residents will see the benefit of the extra schools, homes and environmental measures that expansion requires, investment will need to go well beyond improving transport links.”

* The 14 boroughs surrounding Heathrow, including Spelthorne and Runnymede.

http://news.surreycc.gov.uk/2015/07/07/heathrow-expansion-means-more-than-70000-new-homes-and-56-schools/

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See also

 

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

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

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/04/access-to-new-heathrow-would-cost-20-billion-tfl-warns-maybe-15-billion-from-the-taxpayer/

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Gatwick Airport mulls response to Airports Commission Heathrow runway recommendation

Gatwick is considering its response to the Airports Commission’s recommendation of Heathrow for a runway, and questions some of the methodology used.  Gatwick is on record as having “deep concerns” about some of the modelling used by the Commission, and twice wrote to the Commission late last year highlighting these concerns. In October, Gatwick told Commission Secretariat Head Philip Graham it did not receive “a clear explanation of the Commission’s approach” or “a reasoned response” to points raised “repeatedly” with the Commission.  Gatwick took issue with the Commission on the DfT air traffic projections, which it believes are inaccurate and biased toward “allocating forecast traffic to Heathrow instead of Gatwick.” They complained that Gatwick is increasing its annual passenger number faster than the Commission predicted, and the traffic predictions feed into many of the Commission’s final conclusions, including the economic benefits generated by Gatwick.”  Gatwick complains that the Commission presumes long haul routes will go to Heathrow, while it is possible more will go to Gatwick in future – changing the economics. Gatwick is expected to make a decision shortly over what action it may take.  Legal action?

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Gatwick Airport mulls response to Heathrow third runway report

9.7.2015  (ATW online)

London’s Gatwick Airport is considering its response to the Airports Commission’s final report, which endorsed a third runway for Heathrow Airport. Gatwick takes issue with some of the methodology used and declined to participate in this week’s Runways UK conference in London.A Gatwick spokesperson said: “Gatwick requested the opportunity to speak on the opening day of the conference; Runways UK did not accommodate this. No senior Gatwick representative was available to speak on the following day.”The Gatwick proposal for a second runway was one of three proposals shortlisted by the Commission’s interim report in 2013. However, the Commission’s final recommendation, published last week, was for a third runway at Heathrow.

Gatwick is on record as having “deep concerns” about some of the modeling used by the Commission in reaching its final recommendation, and twice wrote to the Commission late last year highlighting these concerns.

In October, Gatwick told Commission Secretariat Head Philip Graham it did not receive “a clear explanation of the Commission’s approach” or “a reasoned response” to points raised “repeatedly” with the Commission.

Gatwick’s key concern was over the Commission’s use of Department for Transport’s (DfT) traffic projections, which it believes are not only inaccurate but also biased toward “allocating forecast traffic to Heathrow instead of Gatwick, without regard to any factors that could influence the allocation of such traffic in the future.”

The Gatwick spokesperson pointed out the DfT figures forecast traffic at Gatwick growing to 40 million passengers a year by 2024, whereas the reality is the airport will reach this milestone later this year—nearly 10 years earlier than forecast.

The spokesperson said Gatwick “pointed this issue out to the Commission right from the start of the process, and in numerous other correspondences over the course of the process. The traffic predictions feed into many of the Commission’s final conclusions, including the economic benefits generated by Gatwick—one of the key areas why the Commission chose Heathrow over Gatwick.”

Gatwick acknowledged that, when used as originally intended to model the existing UK-wide aviation market, the DfT’s modeling was fit-for-purpose. “However, the Airports Commission has taken the DfT’s modeling out of this intended context and has instead applied it to model the future growth forecasts of individual airports. When used in this context, the DfT’s model presents an inaccurate view,” the Gatwick spokesperson said.

Gatwick argues that, “since the DfT’s modeling is based on backwards-looking demand, it assumes that any new long-haul routes would automatically defer to those airports that already serve them. In the context used by the Airports Commission, this assumption is flawed as it assumes any new long-haul routes in the UK would automatically defer to Heathrow. In the last 12 months alone, Gatwick has attracted a series of long-haul routes [in North America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia] that disprove this assumption,” the spokesperson said.

In the October letter, Gatwick concluded: “We remain of the view that your forecasts do not present a realistic picture of how passenger traffic is likely to develop across the London system, and we are very concerned that this will prejudice the consultation exercise if they are seen as serving this purpose.”

The airport is expected to make a decision shortly over what action to take in response to the Airports Commission final report, but it could further delay the already lengthy process of adding runway capacity in the UK South East.

http://atwonline.com/airports-routes/gatwick-airport-mulls-response-heathrow-third-runway-report

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On 1st July, Gatwick’s press release said:

Gatwick expansion remains only deliverable option

1.7.2015

Responding to the Airports Commission Final Report today, Gatwick Airport said it remained confident that it will still be chosen for expansion as it is the only deliverable option.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said:

“Gatwick is still very much in the race. The Commission’s report makes clear that expansion at Gatwick is deliverable. 

“It is for the Commission to make a recommendation but it is of course for the Government to decide. So we now enter the most important stage of the process.

We are confident that when the Government makes their decision they will choose Gatwick as the only deliverable option. 

“The report underplays the massive environmental challenges of air quality and noise at Heathrow. They are huge.  For example it states ‘additional operations at an expanded Heathrow must be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality’ and must not ‘delay compliance with EU limits.’  

“Heathrow breaches these limits today. Air quality readings in Hillingdon at 6.00am this morning – and available on its website – showed NO2 at 87 micro grams, well over twice the annual legal limit.  It is hard to see how a third runway with all the additional road traffic will improve the position. It will simply make it worse. 

“It also cannot be right that effectively creating a monopoly at Heathrow will be better for competition than expansion at Gatwick. It goes against everything that we all know about the success of airport liberalisation in recent years. 

“Of course the UK needs the economic benefits of expansion. But the country cannot fly to new markets from a runway that can never be built. Expansion at Gatwick will be quicker simpler and quieter. It will promote greater competition benefitting all passengers whilst limiting the environmental impact. 

“The choice ahead is clear. Choose Gatwick and – after decades of delay – something can actually happen. Choose Heathrow and nothing will happen. It will simply be Groundhog Day.”

Gatwick footage can be downloaded here, which contains:

  • New Gatwick aerial footage showing the existing airport and the site of a second runway – a short one minute clip plus a longer five minute clip
  • CGI animation of Gatwick’s expansion plans, and
  • Timelapse footage of Gatwick’s existing runway and terminals.

The following images can also be downloaded here:

  • Three new CGI design images of Gatwick expansion by Sir Terry Farrell. and
  • A selection of images of the existing airport runway, terminals and airfield.

For more information about Gatwick’s case, please access the Gatwick website here.

Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/press-releases/2015/15-07-01gatwick-expansion-remains-only-deliverable-option.aspx

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