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

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

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

Sincerely,
[Your name]


 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map below shows the original flight paths before the trial:

Heathrow original pre-trial flight paths August 2014

 

 

  • Petitioning Heathrow airport to:

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

TeddingtonTown

Petition by TeddingtonTown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The petition text says:

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

Sincerely,
[Your name]


 

 

Heathrow easterly departure routes trial – update

15.9.2014 (Teddington, Middlesex website)

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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See also

Aircraft Noise petition from  Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot

Stop the Flight Path trials

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.9.2014

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

Petition to end the flight path trial


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

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

Click here to view full story…

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

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

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

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

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

Ah. Heathrow. The cause of much current consternation.

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

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

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

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

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

This is no way to have an important debate.

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

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

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

 


 

Back Heathrow says it is:

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

http://www.backheathrow.org/howyoucanhelp


 

 

Heathrow easterly departure routes trial – update

15.9.2014 (Teddington, Middlesex website)

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 


 

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

November 15, 2013

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

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

How I see it

Paul Wheeler, corporate affairs director, Kellogg’s UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Planning system ‘too democratic’ says City Airport chief Declan Collier

The CEO of London City Airport, Declan Collier, has said that because so many groups are consulted during the planning process in the UK, it takes twice as long to get a decision than it does in Europe. He said: “We are all frustrated by the delays. In the UK, the problem is that the planning system is too democratic, it takes too long to consult and to make a decision.” Mr Collier is paid to make the most profit he can for his airport, and so he promotes the usual opinions about allegedly huge costs to the UK if it delays building more runways etc. The aviation industry has never been shy about making extravagant claims about the supposed benefits it brings the country, while being coy about the difference between profits for the industry, and benefits to the UK as a whole. On the democracy issue, in December 2013 David Cameron said:  “It is frustrating sometimes that we can’t do things faster in Britain but we have a planning system, we have democratic accountability for that planning system, we have a need for everyone to have their say and make their point. That’s very important in the British system.” In a country as crowded as the south of England, planning decisions need to be democratic, and to be seen to be so.
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Planning system ‘too democratic’ says City Airport chief Declan Collier

LONDON City Airport chief executive Declan Collier has blamed the UK’s planning system as being “too democratic”, thus causing the delays in deciding whether Heathrow or Gatwick will be expanded.

By: Geoff Ho (Express)
September 14, 2014
The Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, is currently undertaking a review of airport capacity. Davies and his team have shortlisted three proposals, either a new runway at Gatwick or Heathrow, or extending the latter’s North runway and then dividing it in two.

The commission was established in September 2012 and is not due to release its final recommendations until the summer of 2015.Collier said that because so many groups are consulted during the planning process, it takes twice as long to get a decision than it does in Europe. He also warned that while Britain delays its airport expansion, it is in danger of missing out on the economic benefits, due to the growth of rival hubs. “We are all frustrated by the delays. In the UK, the problem is that the planning system is too democratic, it takes too long to consult and to make a decision,” he said.

[He claims (with no reference for the source) that Sir Howard Davies has said: "Even Europe takes half the time that we do. It is a frustration for everybody. We would like things to go faster, but it is what it is." ]According to the commission, London will need another runway by 2030 but Collier warned that the growth of the economy and the need to add new trade routes means that more runways will need to be built.

“We need to look beyond 2030 as we will need more runway capacity, this is not an issue that is going to go away,” he said.

Collier’s views mirror those of billionaire Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson, who earlier this year called for Heathrow and Gatwick to each get two new runways.

London City Airport, which is controlled by private equity group Global Infrastructure Partners, is looking to expand its terminals, build a new taxi lane and stands. According to Collier, the expansion would boost the London economy by £750 million annually. He added that London City is holding talks with airlines about operating more transatlantic routes.

At the moment, its only flights to the US are on British Airways’ New York service.

http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/510871/System-too-democratic-says-City-Airport-chief

 

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Earlier:

 

PM admits UK process ‘frustrating’

4th December 2013 (York Press)

© Press Association 2014

David Cameron has admitted finding the process for infrastructure development in the UK “frustrating”, as the Government said the value of projects in the pipeline was now worth £375 billion.

The Prime Minister, on a high-profile trade visit to China, acknowledged that the “important” systems of accountability in the UK meant projects took longer than in the fast-developing Asian superpower.

But Mr Cameron said he believed the British process could be accelerated and the Government had already implemented reforms to make decisions faster.

His comments came as the Treasury published its latest National Infrastructure Plan (Nip), which saw the value of projects announced increase from £309 billion to £375 billion.

Mr Cameron was asked whether he found the slow pace of decision-making on projects like the HS2 rail link frustrating when compared to the rapid construction in China.

He told Sky News: “It is frustrating sometimes that we can’t do things faster in Britain but we have a planning system, we have democratic accountability for that planning system, we have a need for everyone to have their say and make their point.

“That’s very important in the British system.

“I think we can keep that system and that democracy but at the same time accelerate things and make them go faster.

“If you look at what this Government’s done in terms of planning policy, decisions are now being taken faster, including on major infrastructure projects.”

Launching the Nip, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander confirmed that plans for the country’s first road tolling scheme in a decade on the A14 had been dropped and there were no further plans to charge motorists on other schemes.

Setting out the roads projects in the Nip, Mr Alexander said: “We don’t have proposals for tolls on any of the other projects that we have set out.

“In June, I set out a £100 billion plan for investment in infrastructure, tens of billions of which was funding the roads programme we have set out.

“So that is not part of our plans going forward.”

The Government is poised to sell its 40% stake in Eurostar as part of a plan to privatise £20 billion of financial and corporate assets by 2020, Mr Alexander said.

Other measures announced included:

:: A further £50 million to be allocated to redevelop the railway station at Gatwick Airport;

:: An in principle agreement for a Government guarantee to support finance for the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey;

:: £30 million to support the construction of a new garden bridge across the Thames in London;

:: The £1 billion Northern Line extension to Battersea in south-west London to be given a Government guarantee;

:: Funding for improvements to the A50 around Uttoxeter in Staffordshire to start no later than 2015/16;

:: A £10 million competitive fund to open in early 2014 to test ways to deliver superfast broadband to remote areas of the UK.

Mr Alexander set out a £5 million plan to help the public sector adopt electric vehicles and also promised to put the UK at the forefront of developing “driverless” car technology.

At the launch of the Nip in Westminster, the Liberal Democrat minister said: “This plan is a blueprint for Britain from which we will literally build the foundations of our future prosperity.”

The Nip identifies the “top 40″ most important projects, which will benefit from special consideration in the planning system and the UK guarantee scheme.

The judicial review system will be reformed to tackle the problem of legal hold-ups for infrastructure projects.

Ministers were given a boost after leading insurers announced plans to invest £25 billion in UK infrastructure over the next five years, although the projects they back may not include only those earmarked by the Government.

The decision by insurers Legal and General, Prudential, Aviva, Standard Life, Friends Life and Scottish Widows to invest in infrastructure follows changes in European rules pushed for by the UK which incentivise investment in a wider range of assets.

But the plan does not address one of the key infrastructure problems facing the country – the squeeze on aviation capacity in the South East of England.

The interim results of Sir Howard Davies’ review on the issue will be published later this month but the final report will not be produced until after the 2015 election.

Mr Alexander said: “There have been differences of opinion on airport expansion.

“That’s why we asked Howard Davies to produce his report.

“I’m not going to get into what he might say because he will have to produce his own interim report in due course and then his final report.

“But it comes from a recognition that there is a clear issue here for developing the infrastructure of our country in future – all parties recognise that – but having Howard Davies as an independent expert to consider all the issues is the right way to go about that.”

On the issue of whether a new runway should be built at Heathrow, Mr Cameron said: “I’m confident on aviation that the Howard Davies process will lead to an answer which I hope all parties can take up and we can take this issue out of party politics.”

The Institute of Directors’ chief economist Graeme Leach said: ” It’s unfortunate that while all political parties recognise the importance of renewing our creaking infrastructure, it often takes too long for businesses to see the benefit of these plans on the ground.

“The projects that do go ahead are too often slowed down by bureaucracy, and questions remain over the level of political will to see them through.

“The Government has made useful progress in some areas and is right to make the best use of its assets in the short-term. Sensible investment in transport and energy can bring returns which justify the spending. In the long-term, government should shift funds from everyday spending to productive infrastructure.”

He said the issue of airport capacity was a “case study in political short-termism” and the access improvements announced ” aren’t going to solve Britain’s urgent capacity crunch”.

As well as the £50 million for Gatwick’s railway station, which Mr Alexander acknowledged “hardly provides the best first impression of Britain” currently, studies would be commissioned to explore rail and road improvements for Heathrow and Stansted following a recommendation from Sir Howard about improving access.

In the Commons shadow chief secretary Chris Leslie described the announcement as “the return of omnishambles” and told MPs the capital infrastructure budget for 2015 was being cut in real terms by 1.7%.

He claimed the Government had wasted three years and £200 million “faffing around” on the A14 project before announcing it would not be a toll road.

He said the coalition had cut flood defences and had investors “tearing their hair out” over the stop-start approach to green policy.

“This is a Treasury who have neglected the fundamentals we need for an economic recovery that’s built to last. For all the hype, for all the hot air, and for all those press releases, we’re left with a shambolic infrastructure programme and cuts in their infrastructure plans,” he said.

http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/archive/2013/12/04/10854200.print/

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Gatwick’s runway plans would mean labour shortage, considerable local house building and traffic congestion

If Heathrow or Gatwick got permission to build a new runway, both would struggle to find enough workers locally.  Both are in areas of high employment. Workers would have to either be drawn in from elsewhere, commuting in each day – or a lot of extra housing would have to be built to house them. Both areas already have substantial problems in providing sufficient housing, even at present. More jobs are needed outside the south east. Gatwick claims 122,000 new jobs would be created by a new runway, with 22,000 in the immediate vicinity of the airport.  The airport’s labour shortage was underlined this summer when delays at baggage reclaim forced Gatwick to bus in extra staff from Southampton. Crispin Blunt, MP for Reigate, said the shortage was a “deal breaker” and “Gatwick are proposing an airport busier than Heathrow….which has 43,100 more people on-site today. Therefore the on-site job forecast is probably an underestimate by a factor of two. Gatwick can’t man this airport without a massive increase in local house building.”  A study by independent consultants jointly commissioned by the West Sussex County Council and the Gatwick Diamond, in early 2013, found that 30,000 – 45,000 new houses would be needed if Gatwick got a 2nd runway.

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Gatwick’s new push for expansion despite fears of labour shortage

By Matthew Beard (Evening Standard)

Gatwick airport has stepped up its challenge against Heathrow to build a new runway amid claims from opponents they will struggle to attract enough workers if they expand.

The Sussex airport, which received a boost last week after the “Boris Island” option was eliminated, claims 122,000 new jobs will be created with 22,000 in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

But the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign said the plan was unsustainable given that the area has one of the UK’s highest levels of employment and barriers to building homes.

They said the labour shortage was underlined this summer when delays at baggage reclaim forced Gatwick to bus in extra staff from Southampton.

Crispin Blunt, MP for Reigate, said the shortage was a “deal breaker”. He told the Standard: “Gatwick are proposing an airport busier than Heathrow yet Heathrow has 43,100 more people on-site today. Therefore the on-site job forecast is probably an underestimate by a factor of two. They can’t man this airport without a massive increase in local house building.”

A Gatwick spokesman said there was “every confidence” the local jobs could be filled, and that homes would be built at a rate of 400 per year, which is just five per cent of regional demand.  [See the consultants' report below, saying 3,000 to 5,000 units would be needed per year in the period 2025 to 2030.  Gap??] 

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/gatwicks-new-push-for-expansion-despite-fears-of-labour-shortage-9723106.html

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Below is the press release from GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign):

 

A new town the size of Crawley ?

2.9.2013 (GACC)

30,000 – 45,000 new houses would be needed if a new runway is built at Gatwick.  That is the conclusion of a study by independent consultants jointly commissioned by the West Sussex County Council and the Gatwick Diamond.  The total number of houses in Crawley at present is around 40,000.

The study, carried out by Berkeley Hanover Consulting, predicts that the number of jobs created by a new runway plus the number of jobs created in firms attracted to the area by doubling the size of Gatwick would be far in excess of any available labour.   It would require a substantial influx of workers from other parts of the UK or from the EU.

Much of Surrey is designated as Green Belt but this is already under threat where planning policies are under review.   In Sussex, Crawley and Horsham are already having difficulty finding sites for a few thousand houses to meet current demand.  Local councils would need to decide whether to build a whole new town or whether to add hundreds of new houses to every town and village – perhaps a thousand houses added to forty villages!

According to Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC:  ‘This independent study, if correct, shows that a new runway would lead to widespread urbanisation, serious pressure on schools and hospitals, and the loss of much dearly-loved countryside.   The more we find out, the more we doubt if the implications of the study were taken on board by Members of the West Sussex County Council before they took their surprise decision in July to support a new runway.’  (Details below).

Sewill added:  ‘The Gatwick Diamond businessmen, who have been lobbying so hard to promote a new runway, also have some explaining to do.  They sponsored this study so they can’t now disown it.  Yet it shows that their dream of making Gatwick bigger than Heathrow could turn into a nightmare.

 

Note

The study can be found on the WSCC (West Sussex County Council) website at  Implications of changes to airport capacity – slides 2013  The housing figures are on page 17.

These state:

“2 runways at Gatwick (with catalytic) could generate demand for increased housing:-

»2015-2020: 500/1,000 units pa
»2020-2025: 2,500/3,000 units pa
»2025-2030: 3,000/5,000 units pa “

The West Sussex County Council vote on 19 July to support a new runway was suspect because:

  • The ‘headline’ results of the study were presented to Members in the form of a PowerPoint presentation in February;
  • The presentation meeting was held at short notice and not all Members were able to attend;
  • Members who were unable to attend, and all new Members elected in May, only received a (fairly unintelligible) print-out of the PowerPoint presentation;
  • No full written report of the study was produced;
  • The vote on 19 July was called at two days notice on a spurious excuse of urgency;
  • The vote took place before Gatwick announced their plans;
  • No briefing was provided by council officers;
  • In the debate only two councillors (Bill Acraman and Brenda Smith) out of seventy expressed concern about the housing impact;
  • The vote was pushed through by senior Councillors who live in the Chichester area – the part of the county least affected by Gatwick;
  • Their explanation that expressing support ‘in principle’ puts the Council in a better position to negotiate with the airport is unconvincing.

 

http://www.gacc.org.uk/resources/New%20Town%20the%20Size%20of%20Crawley.doc

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Mexico’s plans for 6-runway airport revive resistance from neighbouring farmers

Mexico’s President recently unveiled details for a new Mexico City airport that will quadruple existing capacity, from about 30 million to 120 million annual passengers, and potentially become Latin America’s biggest transit airport. But a group of farmers living near the planned site is fiercely opposed to the project – and they have already taken down one airport project before. There have been plans for this huge airport – with 6 runways – for some 15 years. There are the usual claims, that we are so used to in the UK, of huge economic benefits, thousands of jobs, and a fear that not building it will cost vast sums of money ….. familiar? In 2001 farmers around the nearby town of Atenco protested fiercely, as they were threatened with land expropriation for very small financial sums. They had armed with machetes and Molotov cocktails, blocked roads and clashed with police, and eventually the project was cancelled.The President says this time the airport will only be built on federal owned land, with no expropriations. However, there are doubts about the legality of land sales, when people thought the land would be used for an environmental project, not an airport. Intense opposition remains, and farmers say they “will defend our land with our lives.”
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Mexico’s Plans For A $9.2 Billion Airport Revive Resistance From Neighboring Farmers

By Brianna Lee   (International Business Times)

@briannaclee

b.lee@ibtimes.com

6.9.2014

Mexico Airport Plan
Journalists and guests stand next to a mock-up of the new international airport after a ceremony in Mexico City, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. Reuters/Tomas Bravo
Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto unveiled this week details for a new Mexico City airport that will quadruple existing capacity and potentially become Latin America’s biggest transit hub. But a group of farmers living near the planned site is fiercely opposed to the project – and they have already taken down one airport project before.

The government has dreamed of overhauling the existing Benito Juarez International Airport for at least 15 years to ease oversaturation of the country’s second-busiest airport. Analysts say the existing infrastructure can handle up to 32 million passengers per year; last year, it saw 31.5 million passengers, and traffic is expected to keep growing.

The economic stakes are high: The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a Mexico City-based think tank, projects a new airport could contribute 1.4 percent to 2.5 percent of GDP, excluding the impact of tourism. That kind of a boost would surely be a boon to Peña Nieto’s legacy as he faces waning approval for his economic policies. Meanwhile, the think tank argues that not building the airport could reduce GDP by as much as 3 percent.

The new airport, according to the government’s plans laid out Wednesday, would cost $9.2 billion, cover 11,400 acres, include six runways and have the capacity to handle 120 million passengers. The first phase of the project, which includes the completion of three runways, would be finished by 2018. British architect Norman Foster and Fernando Romero, the son-in-law of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, were tapped as the project’s designers.

Peña Nieto has been careful to avoid the mistakes of former President Vicente Fox, who proposed a new Mexico City airport in 2001. Fox was forced to scrap those plans after farmers from the nearby town of San Salvador Atenco – 20 miles outside Mexico City – launched a fierce campaign against the government’s plan to expropriate their land for a scant 70 cents per square meter. Armed with machetes and Molotov cocktails, the protesters blocked roads and clashed with police, and eventually Fox canceled the project.

This time, Peña Nieto says the airport will be built entirely on federally owned land adjacent to the site of the 2001 proposed airport, emphasizing that no expropriations would be necessary. But members of the People’s Front in Defense of Land – the same group that led the 2001 demonstrations – jumped back into protest mode just hours after the president’s announcement.

“We continue to battle and are ready to fight,” said Ignacio del Valle Medina, leader of the front, at a press conference Wednesday. “We will not give up, and we send a message to Vicente Fox and Enrique Peña Nieto that is the same, that we will defend our land with our lives.”

Del Valle Medina said that the July 1 assembly of core communal landowners, which approved the government’s use of the land, was not held transparently or fairly, making the sale illegal. He also said that the airport’s proximity to Atenco would disrupt the residents’ way of life.

For now, it’s not yet clear if the front will be able to mobilize residents to the same degree as the 2001 protests, but it has called for its first widespread demonstration on Monday.

http://www.ibtimes.com/mexicos-plans-92-billion-airport-revive-resistance-neighboring-farmers-1680162

 

 


 

Atenco Farmers Demand Judges Grant Injunction Against New Airport

Editorial Board, Proceso,(dorset chiapas solidarity)

8th September, 2014

Atenco2Mexico City - Campesinos from Atenco began demonstrating today in rejection of construction of the new Mexico City International Airport (AICM) in the Texcoco region. The project was announced by President Enrique Peña Nieto as a trigger for substantial social investments.

The Atenquenses. headed by Ignacio del Valle, leader of the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT), arrived this afternoon at the Superior Agrarian Court (TSA) of the Federal District [Mexico City] to ask the judges to award the petition for amparo [protection, similar to injunction] filed by ejidatarios against the change of ejido structure to full [not collective] ownership.

Machetes Crossed before Photo of Emiliano Zapata: "Fatherland or Death: We Will Conquer" Photo: Miguel Dimayuga

The people’s distress, he pointed out, is because ejido lands were acquired arguing that they would be used for environmental projects and denying that they would be part of the new airport project.Ignacio del Valle and a group of representatives from eight communities in San Salvador Atenco were received by the judges. At press time, no additional information was available.

At an early hour, the group of campesinos gathered in the main square of San Salvador Atenco, where four buses were waiting to take them in convoy to the Federal District. Another committee left for the Unitary Agrarian Tribunal in Texcoco.

At exactly 9:20 AM, some villagers set out marching toward the Angel of Independence [in Mexico City] and then on to the TSA, in order to confirm their position to defend their land and oppose construction of the airport announced by Peña Nieto.

For Ignacio del Valle, who led the rebellion of San Salvador Atenco between 2001 and 2006, the new airport project will affect residents and ejidatarios in the area, because he said it is about a “future city” rather than a “green project,” as the government argued when it acquired the lands, and he emphasized: “They are projecting the airport in the same place (as in 2001); of course, it affects us.”

In an interview with Milenio [newspaper], Del Valle stated:

“Our resistance is not for greater payment; we are not saying that it wasn’t adequate. We do not want the airport project. In Atenco and other communities they have implemented the same system, the same deception. “(They said), ‘It isn’t the airport. These lands are to be used for another project, having to do with an ecological project. There won’t be projects like the future city. It’s certain: you are going to remain ejidatarios‘.”

FPDT’s leader explained that lands were purchased in two ejidos, one in Ixtapa, where the government bought the land “starting in 2001-2002 through CONAGUA (National Water Commision).” The rest, he added, were acquired when he and other Atenco leaders were prisoners, “on the pretext that they wanted the lands for an ecological project. We’re talking about 2008 and 2009, during the time we were imprisoned. They took advantage of that situation.”

Del Valle admitted that during construction of the first phase of the terminal the intent is to use federal and not ejido lands, but he fears that the reality might be something else. In the interview, he stated: “They are initially managing two runways. One apparent location has to do with land located on federal land, but I think that the reality has been hidden.

“We have to warn that the effect of dispossession is the same, because at this early stage they are not talking about the future city. They limit themselves to saying that it is the airport, and they say ‘we do not need another centimetre’, but that’s not true.”

Ignacio del Valle also accused the government of having “scared the ejido nuclei, the ejido representatives,” and of having purchased the land “in a concealed and fraudulent way.”

Translated by Jane Brundage

http://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/more-about-the-new-airport/

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New Airport Will Bring More Urban Sprawl and Water Scarcity: Expert

César Arellano

La Jornada,

September 8th, 2014

Photo: Clayton Conn

 

Construction of the airport east of Mexico City, as announced by the federal government, will exacerbate problems of urban sprawl, over-development and water supply affecting the Valley of Mexico,* said Manuel Frías, civil engineer and graduate from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), who has been a consultant and adviser for public works and basic infrastructure projects in past federal administrations.

“The project does not take into account the environmental–both ecological and urban–impact that it will have on the region of ancient Lake Texcoco, where every winter thousands of migratory birds arrive, including endangered species.”

Frías also said that not only are the physical hydro-geology and groundwater characteristics ignored [in the proposal] but, at the same time, [the proposal] compromises the future destiny of the entire Valley of Mexico.

“The only thing that an airport in that area will promote, in addition to real estate speculation, is that the time frame for the collapse of the Valley of Mexico is shortened, because fostering uncontrollable territorial expansion and urban sprawl throughout its 2,000 square kilometres and will create difficulties regarding the availability of groundwater.

“Today 50,000 litres of water are extracted per second from the impaired [existing] aquifer; [the airport construction is] a disturbance that will give rise to foreseeable conflicts due to the reduction and scarcity of water.”

Frías added that “it isn’t just a question of architectural models, presentations and exhibits in order to support the technical and economic feasibility of a necessary and forward-looking airport, but of vision, imagination, responsibility and comprehensive knowledge of the conditions, characteristics, regional variations and hydro-geological transformations.”

10612722_716107958465999_5560720856566547028_nFor Óscar Terrazas, a specialist in urban studies at the Autonomous Metropolitan University at Atzcapotzalco, the basin of former Lake Texcoco offers a number of advantages, “but the issue of land tenure and environmental impact studies in the area must take place in a responsible manner.

“It’s an asset to any city, above all, for great metropolitan cities like Mexico City, that they can count on a space to accommodate a large infrastructure.”

“The location’s proximity to Mexico City and to the existing airport seems to me to be convenient. It has advantages in terms of accessibility, services already available in the area, such that constructing an airport there is going to be less arduous than extending it to Tizayuca [state of Hidalgo; Tizayuca is 43 kilometers [27 miles], or 53 minutes by car from Mexico City].”

Translated by Jane Brundage

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/09/08/index.php?section=politica&article=010n3pol

*An old problem, still unresolved, is the gradual settling of the old lake bed on which the city is built and the steady sinking of many buildings.

 

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New Mexico City Airport Proposal Developed Under Government Secrecy

5.9.2014

airportThe initiative was introduced on September 3 by President Enrique Peña Nieto, who assured that the work will be done with transparency. The federal government launched the web page aeropuerto.gob.mx to provide information about the project. Although the web page has a section on transparency, there are no documents about the selection process.Aristegui Noticias

The project to construct the new airport in Mexico City is marked by a lack of information about the process by which the design proposal submitted by architects Norman Foster and Fernando Romero was chosen. Fernando Romero is a son-in-law of Carlos Slim, considered the world’s richest man, owner of Telmex and numerous contractors specializing in public works.

Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Secretary of Communications and Transport, stated that selection of the design by Romero and Foster was the result of an analysis by a committee of experts, without either giving details of the process or specifying who was involved.

The decision, said the Secretary, took place last September 2, exactly two hours before President Peña Nieto delivered the message for his second year in office: “It is the product of a complete analysis conducted by a committee of experts, with specialists in this highly technical issue, at a high technical level, in order that the committee would act in favour of the proposal that met all the requirements. Yesterday at 9:50 AM, the committee voted unanimously in favour of the design submitted by architects Norman Foster and Fernando Romero.”

In an interview with CNN’s Carmen Aristegui, Manuel Ángel Núñez Soto, director of the Airport Group of Mexico City, said that the process was done under confidentiality, in order that it might be viable: “What in this case allows undertaking a market investigation by invitation and under the law of reserve to keep a project confidential.”

However, Núñez did not specify the criteria used to choose the design submitted by Foster and Rosemary, before adding: “Whoever won, won for a reason of principle … a committee was formed. We provided instruction that it was a very important project for the country. Here friendships, relationships, or situations of any nature other than the project that was in Mexico’s interest did not matter.”

Other participating firms were Gómez Pimienta Magar, Legorreta, Hernández Rogers, López Guerra, Javier Sordo Madaleno and Bringas, among others.

On its website, Norman Foster announced that it had won the “international competition,” without elaborating. Fernando Romero also noted that the proposal was selected after a nearly six-month long competition, without delving into the competition, the process or the decision.

Secretary Ruiz Esparza expressed gratitude for the participation of Mitre, an aeronautical research agency; of the organization of international civil aviation; the International Air Transport Association; as well as specialists, government agencies, the UNAM [National Autonomous University of Mexico] and the National Polytechnic Institute, but did not specify their level of responsibility.

10255221_869672333050660_7612974179916576039_nThe only information available about the selection process is a direct award made in October 2013 of 3 million pesos [$229,420 USD] to the company ADHOC Consultores Asociados. This contract, signed by the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, was for “an external consulting expertise to support selectively and strategically new projects for the realization of the airport in the centre of the country.”

The names of the experts are not made public. Nor if they were responsible for selecting the winning proposal.

The lack of information is also reflected among those involved. In his speech, Secretary Ruiz Esparza said that the airport will need 4,600 hectares however, on his website, architect Fernando Romero reported that it will occupy 4,700 hectares while Norman Foster’s website indicates 5,555 hectares.

Furthermore, President Enrique Peña Nieto said that the first phase of the airport includes three runways, while Secretary Ruiz Esparza maintains that there will be two.

Translated by Jane Brundage

http://aristeguinoticias.com/0509/mexico/el-nuevo-aeropuerto-nace-entre-el-secretismo-del-gobierno/

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http://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/more-about-the-new-airport/

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Boris gives evidence to Env Audit Committee – Heathrow 3rd runway would make meeting air quality targets impossible

Boris Johnson has appeared before the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) to answer questions on air quality issues, which have resulted in the UK facing legal action from Brussels.  Boris has been accused of trying to mislead MPs over the success of his efforts to reduce air pollution, as he again urged the government to adopt his proposals for a diesel scrappage scheme to help drivers move towards cleaner vehicles. The UK has have failed to meet legal NO2 limits and now faces legal action and potential fines from the European Commission for failing to comply. Johnson argued that a scrappage scheme was only fair to the “punters” that had been “seduced” into buying a diesel car. On Heathrow, he said a 3rd runway would be a “nightmare” for meeting the EU air quality directive, and make it impossible to meet the air quality targets for London.  He said expanding Heathrow would increase vehicular pollution, despite earlier claiming building new roads elsewhere would reduce it.  There have been suggestions that Heathrow air pollution, with a new runway, could only be reduced by a local congestion charge near the airport. 
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Mayor Boris accused of misleading MPs over London’s pollution

Johnson appears before Environmental Audit Committee, as Labour confirms plan for national network of low emissions zones

By Jessica Shankleman

11 Sept 2014

Boris Johnson appears before Environmental Audit Committee

The Mayor of London has been accused of trying to mislead MPs over the success of his efforts to reduce air pollution, as he again urged the government to adopt his proposals for a diesel scrappage scheme to help drivers move towards cleaner vehicles.

Boris Johnson yesterday appeared before the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) to answer questions on air quality issues, which have resulted in the UK facing legal action from Brussels.

Johnson submitted figures to the EAC ahead of the session yesterday afternoon, showing absolute reductions for air pollution in the capital of 20 per cent. But Baroness Jenny Jones, Green Party London Assembly Member, accused him of using predictions rather than actual roadside readings to get the results.

Readings from Kings College London revealed that some parts of London had seen Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions fall by just three per cent, she said.

In a standoff with Jones at City Hall, Johnson told the Green Party member that she should be congratulating him on any reductions achieved, rather than criticising him. However, he failed to explain the reason for the apparent discrepancy in the figures.

When confronted later in the day by Green MP Caroline Lucas during the EAC hearing, Johnson argued the roadside monitoring stations did not provide a full picture of London’s air pollution.

“We are punctilious to a fault… in observing EU laws,” he said. “We stick our sensors and devices right by where the tailpipe of the most polluting vehicles would expect to be found and I’m far from convinced that is the technique adopted by every country in the EU. You have to rely on modelling and you cannot form a judgement about air quality simply by sticking your face as close as possible to the tailpipe of a double decker on Oxford Street.”

He also reiterated a call for the government to launch a £300m incentive scheme, to encourage drivers to trade in their old polluting diesel cars that have been charged with pushing levels of NO2 in London well beyond legal limits.

He suggested the government should offer drivers £1,000 to £2,000 for each vehicle that is more than 12 months old if owners agree to switch to cleaner vehicles. Diesel cars have been promoted by the government as an efficient and low carbon alternative to petrol vehicles, but a loophole in the current Euro V standard for cars means that they can emit high levels of NO2.

As a result, many parts of the UK have failed to meet legal NO2 limits and the UK now faces legal action and potential fines from the European Commission for failing to comply. Johnson argued that a scrappage scheme was only fair to the “punters” that had been “seduced” into buying a diesel car.

Johnson’s latest intervention came as the Labour Party yesterday pledged to crack down on air pollution if elected next year, accusing the current government of failing to understand the scale of the crisis. Speaking in London, Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle said a Labour government would introduce a new network of low emissions zones to tackle the problem.

“Local Authorities in London and across the UK want to implement low emission zones but are being discouraged because there is no support from Number 10 or the Mayor,” she said. “Labour will devolve the power, not just the responsibility, and support local authorities that want to tackle this public health crisis.”

It looks as if both Labour and the Green Party are keen to ensure air pollution ends up as an election issue next year – and Mayor Boris might just be willing to oblige.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/analysis/2364573/mayor-boris-accused-of-misleading-mps-over-londons-pollution

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Mayor of London gives evidence on tackling air pollution

10 September 2014

The Environmental Audit Committee will take evidence from Boris Johnson, Mayor of London on air quality on Wednesday 10 September at 2.15pm

Witnesses

Wednesday 10 September at 2.15pm, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House


 

Read more »

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

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

The tables are at http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Polls/MPs-survey-2014-airport-capacity-tables.pdf

Only 95 MPs were interviewed on this questions, not 143.

Answering the question:

“Thinking once more about hub airport capacity. Of these options, which ONE do you think is the BEST option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK?”

Ipsos Mori poll of 95 MPs

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for the question about how many MPs think a 3rd Heathrow runway could get parliamentary approval, only the MPs who had said Yes to Heathrow (in the table above) were questioned. Just 55 MPs.

Ipsos Mori poll of 55 MPs


This is the Heathrow airport press release:

9 in 10 MPs who back a third runway at Heathrow think it would get parliamentary approval

  • 58% of MPs back a third runway at Heathrow, 13% support a second runway at Gatwick to solve the issue of hub airport capacity
  • 88% of MPs think a successful hub airport is critical to UK economic success
  • 91% of those MPs who back a third runway at Heathrow think it would get parliamentary approval

A new survey of MPs by independent polling company Ipsos MORI explodes the myth that Heathrow is politically undeliverable. The poll shows 91% of those MPs who back a third runway at Heathrow think it would get parliamentary approval.

The poll also shows that a third runway at Heathrow is the overwhelming choice of MPs from the options left on the Airports Commission’s shortlist. 58% of MPs think that a third runway at Heathrow is the best option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity, compared to 13% for a second runway at Gatwick. Just 13% think the best option would be to do nothing.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said:

“More and more people are backing Heathrow as the best solution for the UK hub capacity crisis. The countries Britain needs to trade with are changing fast and only a hub airport can provide direct access to these markets.

“There is growing momentum and support for a third runway at Heathrow. This week alone, Britain’s biggest business organisation – the CBI – has come out in support of a hub airport; the Airports Commission has said that it recognises the need for a hub airport but has ruled out a new airport in the Thames Estuary; and now this poll shows MPs back a third runway at Heathrow as the best solution for the UK.”

On Monday, the CBI described the UK’s lack of hub capacity as a “ticking time bomb” and said that UK business wants action and politicians to commit to spades in the ground by the end of the next Parliament. They published research showing that while all airports have a role to play in growing the UK’s connectivity, not all airports play the same role. The track record shows that it tends to be hub airports that deliver the new connections to emerging markets that we desperately need.

Notes to editors

Detail of polling questions

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Having a successful hub airport is critical to the UK’s future economic success

Agree

88%

Disagree

7%

Base: All MPs asked (95), summer 2014

Thinking once more about hub airport capacity. Of these options, which ONE do you think is the BEST option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK?

A third runway at Heathrow

58%

A new Thames Estuary airport

8%

A second runway at Gatwick

13%

Lengthening one of the runways at Heathrow

4%

Do nothing / Use existing airports

13%

Don’t know

4%

Base: All MPs asked (95), summer 2014

And in your opinion, how likely or unlikely would each of the following options be to get parliamentary approval?

Likely

Unlikely

A third runway at Heathrow

91%

9%

Base: All MPs who think a third runway at Heathrow would be the best option for solving hub airport capacity (55), summer 2014

Methodology details:

  • Fieldwork dates: 9 June – 6 August, 2014.
  • 143 MPs were interviewed (58 Conservatives, 66 Labour, 15 Liberal Democrats and 4 from other parties).
  • An initial sample of 421 MPs were contacted to ensure that those interviewed closely represent the profile of the House of Commons.
  • Interviews were conducted face-to-face.
  • The total sample interviewed is closely representative of the House. Based on those asked each question, data have been individually weighted where necessary to reflect the true balance by party and ministerial or spokesperson position.
  • Sometimes the percentage result for “Total MPs” may be greater than the sum of the percentage results for Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, as it also includes results from other parties. Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories.
  • All answers are in % format. Data is weighted.

http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3442/MPs-attitudes-to-Heathrow-Airport-expansion.aspx

http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/9-in-10-MPs-who-back-a-third-runway-at-Heathrow-think-it-would-get-parliamentary-approval-9b8.aspx


Some papers enthusiastically reported this story, without looking very carefully at the Ipsos Mori survey itself. For example:

 

Three in five MPs back third runway at Heathrow, new poll suggests

Heathrow hails Ipsos MORI survey but protest group HACAN says the shortage of politicians responding means it counts for little

Nearly three in five MPs back a third runway at Heathrow, according to the results of a new poll.

Of the MPs responding to Ipsos MORI’s summer survey, published yesterday (Sunday, September 8), 58 per cent said they supported a new landing strip at Heathrow.

That was more than four times as many as the 13 per cent who said a second runway at Gatwick was the best option for solving the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK.

Of the remainder, eight per cent supported a Thames estuary airport, which waslast week ruled out by the Airports Commission , four per cent wanted a longer northern runway at Heathrow and 13 per cent said no action was needed. The other four per cent said they didn’t know.

Of those backing a third runway, 91 per cent said they thought it would get parliamentary approval.

Heathrow today hailed the findings of the summer survey, which sought MPs’ views on a wide range of issues, claiming it ‘exploded the myth’ a third runway was politically undeliverable.

The airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye, said: “There is growing momentum and support for a third runway at Heathrow. This week alone, Britain’s biggest business organisation – the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) – has come out in support of a hub airport; the Airports Commission has said it recognises the need for a hub airport but has ruled out a new airport in the Thames Estuary; and now this poll shows MPs back a third runway at Heathrow as the best solution for the UK.”

However, anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group HACAN said the poll counted for little as only 143 MPs, or just over a fifth of the 650 sitting in parliament, had responded.

HACAN chairman John Stewart said: “Very little can be read into this poll.  Only 143 out of 650 MPs were polled.  Of those that were asked just 84 supported Heathrow expansion.  That is far from a groundswell of support for a third runway.”

The group said people had been queuing up to show their support for the protest group at yesterday’s Brentford Festival , where it had a stall. A map at the stall showed the predicted flight path for a third runway passing over the centre of Brentford.

Hounslow’s two MPs, Seema Malhotra and Mary Macleod, have both said they are opposed to a third runway at Heathrow.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/three-five-mps-back-third-7735845

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Lib Dem Pre-Manifesto 2014 – definite opposition to any new south east runway, taking account of climate impact

The Liberal Democrats have launched their Pre-Manifesto 2014, and it contains an emphatic statement against any new runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted – and no estuary airport. Their policy: “Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK as a whole by prohibiting the opening of any new runways unless others are closed elsewhere.”  It is thought that this position will not be popular with big business, which wants expanded airport, and ever increasing aviation – with little consideration for the climate impacts.
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This is the text, relating to runways, from the Lib Dem Pre-Manifesto 2014:

(Page 22  link )

“Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern
and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation
to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will
carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway
capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of
the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from
the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any
expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport
in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise
pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK
as a whole by prohibiting the opening of any new runways unless
others are closed elsewhere.”


 

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Nick Clegg rules out London air expansion plans

Kate McCann (City AM)
9th September  2014

LIBERAL Democrat leader Nick Clegg has ruled out airport expansion in London if his party is elected in 2015.

Launching the party’s draft manifesto yesterday, Clegg vowed to oppose any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick, as well as a new airport in the Thames Estuary because of air and noise pollution. The party is also against any net increase in the number of runways across the UK. The plans will cause concern among business leaders, who have been calling for airport expansion in London for years. On Monday, the Confederation of British Industry called the lack of capacity a “ticking time bomb”.

“We’ve learnt our lesson from tuition fees – and we’ve learnt it the hard way. There will be no repeat of that mistake,” the Lib Dem leader promised, adding that 75 per cent of his party’s previous manifesto pledges were successfully negotiated into the coalition agreement.

The manifesto includes around 300 pledges, some more controversial than others. Plans to move towards the legalisation of some drugs for personal use is a key proposal, as well as a plan to build 300,000 new homes a year and 10 new garden cities.

http://www.cityam.com/1410224208/nick-clegg-rules-out-london-air-expansion-plans


 

This manifesto commitment means, in effect, the LibDems would veto the expansion of any airport – whether Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted – during the next parliament if the Lib Dems formed part of another coalition government.

The Lib Dems have arrived at their position after a lengthy debate, on the basis of the impact of aviation on climate change and the effect of Heathrow’s expansion on voters in southwest London. The party has several seats in the area including Twickenham and Kingston & Surbiton and has previously held Richmond.

Before the 2010 election Nick Clegg warned: “A 3rd runway at Heathrow would be a disaster for the local area as well as a disaster for the whole country.”

There is thought to be some opposition to the no-runways position, within the party, from MPs who believe (rightly or wrongly) that planes will become “cleaner and quieter”.  The reality is that planes will become very slightly more fuel efficient, and very slightly less noisy, but not enough to make much difference, and these improvements will be cancelled out by growth in air traffic.

Many LibDems are stuck between a desire to be environmentally responsible, and the ever-present push for economic growth, regardless of its consequences.  One said: “I believe Lib Dem’s ambitions for a greener future must also fit with our vision for a stronger economy and a fairer society – and that means looking for opportunities for growth across the whole country. …. We don’t yet know how technology will improve air travel: carbon emissions may fall faster or slower than currently predicted, and our policy response must be flexible to accommodate the evidence as it emerges. . . There is a real chance we risk prejudicing decades of growth by nailing down excessively restrictive plans for airport growth now.”

The Lib Dems said at the time of the interim report from the Airports Commission in December 2013 that they were “not opposed in principle” to new runways in the south east.

But they are now back to opposing runways, in the so-called “pre-manifesto.”

 

 


 

Earlier:

 

Lib Dem MP Lorely Burt defies party over runway extensions

Member for Solihull says she wants to leave the door open for expansion of sites such as Birmingham Airport

Lorely Burt

 

A Midland MP has put herself on collision course with her own party by rejecting calls for a ban on new airport runways.

Lorely Burt, Liberal Democrat MP for Solihull, has defied the party by saying she wants to leave the door open for the expansion of airports such as Birmingham Airport, which published proposals for a second runway last year.

She is to take on activists who want future governments to allow “no net growth” in runways, in a debate at the party’s conference in October.

The runway ban is to be included in the party’s pre-manifesto, launched by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

This is an early draft of the General Election manifesto for next year’s poll.

It is due to be debated at the conference, to be held in Glasgow, where policy proposals will be put to a vote.

Ms Burt, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, is to propose an amendment to strike out the ban and highlight the importance of airports outside London for regional jobs and growth.

However, she is likely to face opposition from activists who argue that preventing new runways will protect the environment.

Writing for the Birmingham Post, Ms Burt said the Lib Dems’ ambitions for a greener future “must also fit with our vision for a stronger economy and a fairer society”.

“It would be short-sighted of us to rule out new routes for airlines offering a chance to explore new markets and encourage investment,” she added.

“There is a real chance we risk prejudicing decades of growth by nailing down excessively restrictive plans for airport growth now.”

Birmingham Airport last year published plans to build a second runway, allowing it to expand into a truly global airport capable of dealing with 70 million passengers each year – as many as Heathrow handles now.

The proposals were submitted to the Airports Commission addressing a shortage of capacity in the UK.

The commission last year decided not to shortlist proposals for expanding Birmingham but said there was likely to be a case for considering the airport as a potential option for expansion by 2050.

Under the plans submitted to the commission, the airport would also have an additional terminal and see up to 500,000 take-offs and landings annually.

The plan has a heavyweight coalition behind it, with business leaders, local councils and MPs all firmly on board including MP Mark Garnier (Con Wyre Forest), Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group.

An Aviation Commission set up by the Government is considering whether to allow a new runway at Heathrow or at Gatwick Airport.

Birmingham Airport has urged the commission to give a greater role to airports in other parts of the country.

http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/regional-affairs/lib-dem-mp-lorely-burt-7715790

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

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

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To view and sign the Ascot are petition visit :  Change.org – Ascot flight path petition

A TOP Formula One engineer has joined an increasing band of residents complaining of Heathrow Airport’s new flightpaths over Bracknell and Ascot, describing them as “intolerable”.

Photo owned by Rex Features

Adrian Newey, the chief technical officer at Formula One team Red Bull Racing, who lives in Sunninghill, has hit out at the airport’s bosses after its new trial flight paths started last Thursday.

Over the next five months, airport bosses and air traffic controllers are experimenting with flight path changes and new technology systems in a bid to reduce ‘stacking’ in the air and speed up departure times, putting more planes in the air at a faster rate.

Mr Newey, speaking exclusively to the News, said: “I have lived in Sunninghill since 1997 and it has never been an issue before.

“It is pretty intolerable because currently we have planes flying over our heads at 11pm at night, which is not ideal when I am in bed early due to an early start – it’s very antisocial really.

“It is just not pleasant. I can’t even sit in my garden and socialise with my friends because it is just too noisy. There has been no proper consultation with us either.”

Referring to the fact that he himself is involved in a noisy sport, Mr Newey said “I am involved in a noisy sport but the thing with Formula One is that there are no new race tracks being built anywhere, so people who buy houses next to race tracks know what they are getting.”

Mr Newey’s partner Amanda Smerczak has started a petition against the changes, asking the Government to stop them. It has so far attracted nearly 900 signatures.

Passenger jets have started passing over residents’ homes as low as 3,000ft.

There are six different trial routes for aircraft taking off from Heathrow, of which three affect our area. Some aircraft pass over Ascot and parts of Bracknell – including Martin’s Heron, Great Hollands, Birch Hill and Crown Wood.

Another to the north passes over North Ascot and the racecourse, while a further one to the south goes over Sunningdale and Lightwater.

The trial will last until January 26.

There will be a public consultation in 2016 and Heathrow’s ‘noise team’ has been briefed to deal with complaints.

Martin’s Heron resident Nigel Dumbrell, vice-chairman of the Harmans Water & The Parks, Martin’s Heron & The Warren Neighbourhood Action Group, said he was in his garden on Sunday and that the noise was ‘unbelievable’.

He said: “This is a new experience for us and is just not on. There must have been at least 20 planes flying low on Sunday.

“The aircraft were so low you could see their undercarriages.”

He added: “The airport did not warn us about these new flightpaths. We are happy to work closely with other NAG [Neighbourhood Action Group] and community groups in the area about this issue.”

Despite residents accusing the airport of a lack of consultation, a Heathrow spokesman said its proposals had not been kept under wraps and were accessible online.

There is a petition ready to sign aiming to stop the flight path trial immediately.

To view and sign this petition visit :  Change.org – Ascot flight path petition

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http://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/bracknell/articles/2014/09/08/103481-formula-1-bosss-fury-over-heathrow-aircraft-noise/

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Earlier:

Heathrow flight path changes / trial inflict more noise misery on Ascot area and 3 villages area

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

Click here to view full story…

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And

Conservative Councillors urge residents to speak up against noisy flight plan changes

10 SEPTEMBER 2014

Conservative Councillors in Ascot and the surrounding areas have urged residents to speak up against Heathrow’s trialled changes to their flight plans which have resulted in increased noise levels.

On the day the Davies Airport Commission reported interim findings that keep Heathrow expansion firmly on the table, Councillors in Ascot have urged residents to make their views about the airport’s flightpath trials affecting their area known.

Cllr Lynda Yong (Con, Sunninghill & South Ascot) said: “These changes came unannounced by Heathrow. The number of complaints I have received over the last few days as a result of the noise has been more than I have received in the entire twelve years I have been elected.

“Residents are extremely upset and my advice to them is to let Heathrow know directly about their concerns. I will be working with fellow councillors to see what the Council can also do in response to Heathrow’s actions.”

Cllr David Hilton (Con, Ascot & Cheapside) added: “Many people in the area depend on Heathrow, but Heathrow has to be reasonable. I urge those affected by the noise in this trial to write to  noise_complaints@heathrow.com. The more complaints they receive, the lower the probability that the trials will become permanent.”

The Conservative Authority has a good track record of standing up for residents who suffer the consequences of noise caused by Heathrow through innovative projects to monitor excessive aircraft noise, including the mobile phone app “WideNoise” throughout last year.

Cllr Carwyn Cox (Con, Hurley & the Walthams) Lead Member for Environmental Services commented: “Ascot residents should make their voice known to Heathrow Airport and highlight the disruption the aircraft noise creates. The Council will also collate any representations received in order to incorporate important resident concerns into its ongoing consultation with both Heathrow and the independent Airports Commission, as this is a worrying development for the residents who are being affected by the changed flightpaths.”

http://www.rbwmconservatives.com/conservative-councillors-urge-residents-to-speak-up-against-noisy-flight-plan-changes/

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Campaigners call on CAA to suspend consultation on City Airport flight paths

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Campaigners call on CAA to suspect consultation on City Airport flight paths

Campaign group HACAN East has written to the Civil Aviation Authority to ask it to suspend the current consultation being carried out by London City Airport into flight path changes in East London (letter copied below).  

HACAN East argues that the tens of thousands of residents who are in line to get more planes if the flight path changes go ahead are not being told about them.  London City is proposing to concentrate the flights taking off from the airport in a narrow corridor. 

Areas directly under the favored flight path will be Bow, Hackney Wick, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone, Barkingside and Colliers Row.   City Airport is currently consulting on the proposed changes but is not leafleting the areas that will be worst affected.

The changes are part of a wider reorganization of the airspace across London and the South East which is been overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).  New computer technology can now guide aircraft much more accurately when they are landing and taking off.  It gives airports the option of varying the routes the planes use in order to give all residents some respite from the noise or of concentrating all the planes on one route. 

London City has chosen to concentrate the aircraft.

HACAN East chair John Stewart said, “Quite simply, London City is creating a noise ghetto.  No wonder they are afraid to spell out to the residents what is in store for them. Nobody is telling the residents what will be in store for them.”

Stewart added, “We have written an official letter to the CAA, which oversees the consultation, calling for it to be suspended.

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The City Airport consultation documents can be found at  http://www.londoncityairport.com/londonairspacemanagement 

The consultation started on 4th September and runs until 27th November 2014.

Responses to the consultation should be emailed to lamp@londoncityairport.com


Letter to the CAA

Dear Sir/Madam,

 I am writing to you to express our concerns about the shortcomings in the current LAMP  [London Airspace Management Programme] consultation being carried out by London City Airport.

 We believe they are serious.  The consultation makes it clear that the future flight paths will be concentrated over particular areas yet there is no guarantee in this consultation that the residents who will be impacted will be made aware of this fact and offered the opportunity to respond.

 London City identifies the key stakeholders who are being consulted as “The London City Airport Consultative Committee (ACC) which includes representatives of Local Authorities, community representatives and other organisations that have expressed an interest in the activities of the airport; members of the National Air Traffic Management Committee (NATMAC) which includes representatives of all types of airspace users; airlines that operate from London City Airport”.

 As far as we are aware neither the consultative committee nor the local authorities have plans for a door-to-door leaflet drop to the tens of thousands of residents who will find themselves living under the concentrated flight paths.  We are not even certain it is their job to do so.  It is probably the role of the airport.  We are also not aware of any public meetings being organized in the affected areas.  For example, we believe parts of Leytonstone will be badly affected.  Who has told the residents?

 If your powers allow you to do so, we would urge you to order all stakeholders to be fully consulted during this consultation or to suspend it and require a fresh consultation to take place.

 Yours sincerely,

 John Stewart

Chair HACAN East

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See also:

London City Airport accused of creating a “noise ghetto” with proposed concentrated flight paths

London City Airport have started a consultation on airspace changes (4th September to 27th November) as it wishes to alter flight paths. The change will be because instead of less accurate navigation by aircraft, they now can fly using a very accurate form of satnav for planes. This is referred to as RNAV, meaning precision navigation, by which aircraft can all fly a course accurate to within a few hundred metres. The effect is concentration of flight paths, so most fly the exact same route, and anyone living under that route gets all the planes, and all the noise. Campaign group HACAN East has accused London City Airport of failing to spell out to tens of thousands of residents in East London that they are in line to get many more planes overhead if proposed flight path changes go ahead. The consultation does not make this clear. Areas directly under the favored flight path – and the concentration -will be Bow, Hackney Wick, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone, Barkingside and Colliers Row. The effect will be to create a noise ghetto. Air traffic controllers like concentration of flight paths. However, it is often better – less unfair – to share out the noise burden, so many people get some flights, rather than a few getting them all.

Click here to view full story…

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More news about the airport at 

 London City Airport News.

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