More psychological torture from Heathrow – with its leaflet for local people on compulsory purchase

Heathrow has posted, First Class, a leaflet (Heathrow Community Matters Bulletin, March 2016) to all the homes in the area threatened with compulsory purchase for a runway – and to an unknown number of other homes where the runway would make life virtually un-liveable. This has not caused reassurance to many, but increased anger and resentment. Heathrow will keep people, who have already lived with blight and uncertainty for years, in a state of anxiety and uncertainty for yet longer.  Heathrow’s Nigel Milton wrote the leaflet, and uses the most evasive and emollient language he can for the unpleasant reality of people being evicted from their homes, against their will. He says Heathrow has been holding sessions for local residents to discuss “issues associated with Heathrow expansion.”  …” the first point at which you will be able to ask Heathrow to buy your house will be after the Government designate their National Policy Statement for expansion at Heathrow… We would expect this to be somewhere between summer 2017 and summer 2018.”….”If people wait until a third runway planning consent is received to sell us their home, they will be eligible for the terms of our offer i.e. unblighted market price plus 25%, stamp duty, legal and moving costs. We currently expect to receive planning consent in 2020.”  More stressful waiting …. more anxiety …. more years unable to make any future plans. It is cruel.
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More psychological torture from Heathrow Airport Limited

Residents around Heathrow received this item of mail from Heathrow airport on 11th March.

When will - full leaflet

The Heathrow leaflet uses the most bland imaginable language to puss-foot around the issue of compulsory purchase of people’s homes, and their forced eviction, in order to build a 3rd Heathrow runway.

Local residents understand it went to all 783 homes that could be in the 3rd runway footprint – and some more on the perimeter. It is known that a property some 25 metres from the boundary in Harmondsworth received one.  The mailings came First Class.

Their arrival has caused a lot of stress among those who continue to live in the highly anxiety-provoking state of uncertainty about their future. This has been going on for years, and it deeply unfair and unkind to those affected.

Heathrow says:

When will - dear resident

Nigel Milton (Director of External Affairs, Heathrow Airport) says: “We appreciate that this has been a period of considerable uncertainty for those who live close to the airport and that you may have questions regarding the process. We have been holding a series of one to one “surgery sessions” for local residents who want to discuss issues associated with Heathrow expansion.”

This is remarkably evasive language.  It manages to entirely omit any indication of eviction, compulsory purchase, and people being forced out of their homes – and away from the area. Nigel describes these (irritatingly awkward for Heathrow) as “issues associated with Heathrow expansion.”   This treatment of residents is causing considerable anger and resentment.

Nigel continues, in his leaflet:

When will - Heathrow next steps handout

More choice use of language, designed to be as oblique as possible.  Instead of actually coming out straight and talking about compulsory purchase of homes, and eviction – Nigel describes the problems as “the impacts of expansion on local people and the environment.”

He goes on to talk about, for those whose houses will be compulsorily purchased (and he managed to actually admit here that their homes will be demolished), how long people will have to wait for any indication of their future.

When will I be able to approach Heathrow about selling my property

Nigel says, for those to be evicted:

…” the first point at which you will be able to ask Heathrow to buy your house will be after the Government designate their National Policy Statement for expansion at Heathrow. This means the point at which the Government’s policy of airport expansion would become agreed by Parliament. We would expect this to be somewhere between summer 2017 and summer 2018.”

Then he goes on to say (leaving the situation even more uncertain and worrying for those left in limbo, in continuing blight):

“If people wait until a third runway planning consent is received to sell us their home, they will be eligible for the terms of our offer i.e. unblighted market price plus 25%, stamp duty, legal and moving costs. We currently expect to receive planning consent in 2020.”

For those concerned about the process, Heathrow says they will provide “reasonable” legal and moving costs. But there is no indication of what “reasonable” means. Under the section dealing with valuation, note that if there is disagreement on the value of a house, after two valuations, a 3rd valuer appointed by Heathrow will be used to judge the value. Fair?

When will - I am worried that I will not be

 

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Justine Greening believes Cameron and Cabinet will abandon Heathrow 3rd runway plans

Justine Greening, MP for Putney, long standing opponent of a 3rd Heathrow runway, and International Development Secretary, has said that David Cameron will abandon plans to build a 3rd Heathrow runway. She predicted that the Cabinet would conclude that Heathrow should not be expanded. Instead a new “long term” strategy should be drawn up to decide on a “sensible” future airport policy for the UK.  The Telegraph says this risks a backlash and potential legal challenge from pro airport campaigners. Those wanting a new runway claim that it is needed to prevent flights and businesses going to other countries in Europe in the decades ahead. Last autumn Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary and Britain’s most senior civil servant, warned ministers not to comment on the runway issue before an announcement due to concerns that the final decision could be vulnerable to legal challenge by the losing side or its backers. Justine Greening said she did not think the Cabinet would back Heathrow as it was not a smart decision. “Trying to expand Heathrow is like trying to build an eight bedroom mansion on the site of a terraced house. It is a hub airport that is just simply in the wrong place.”  She had said earlier that she might resign if Heathrow was granted a runway, but she my have changed her mind.
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David Cameron will abandon Heathrow third runway plans, Cabinet minister declares

Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, predicts that the Cabinet will conclude that the west London airport should not be expanded

 

David Cameron will abandon plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport, a senior Cabinet minister has declared.

Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, predicted that the Cabinet would conclude that the west London airport should not be expanded.

She called for a new “long term” strategy to be drawn up to decide on a “sensible” future airport policy for the UK.

Her intervention, in an interview with The Telegraph ahead of this week’s Budget, risked a furious backlash and potential legal challenge from airport campaigners.

It came as 30 Tory MPs demanded George Osborne use his Budget to protect airports in England from higher rates of passenger tax than could apply in Wales.

Britain is running out of airport capacity in the south of England. There are fears that without a new runway serving London, flights and businesses will go to other countries in Europe in the decades ahead.

The Cabinet is still considering whether to proceed with a third runway at Heathrow, or approve a rival development at Gatwick instead.

Downing Street has banned ministers from making any statements on the question of where a new runway could be built, amid fears that such remarks could be used in legal action by the losing side.

But Miss Greening – a London MP and known opponent of Heathrow expansion – said she was confident that her colleagues in the Cabinet would reject the third runway plan.

“I don’t believe that this government will proceed with a third runway decision,” she told The Telegraph. “I just don’t think it is a smart decision.

“Trying to expand Heathrow is like trying to build an eight bedroom mansion on the site of a terraced house. It is a hub airport that is just simply in the wrong place.”

Miss Greening, the MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields, said she believed her fellow ministers would “reach the same conclusion”.

“The sooner that we can move onto working out a long term airport strategy for Britain the better,” she said.

Last autumn Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary and Britain’s most senior civil servant, warned ministers not to comment on Heathrow before an announcement amid concerns that the final decision could be vulnerable to legal challenge.

Sir Jeremy Heywood warned Cabinet ministers not to speak out on Heathrow before an announcement is made 

When she was Transport Secretary in the last parliament, Miss Greening said she would find it “very difficult” not to resign from the Cabinet if plans to expand Heathrow went ahead.

She has made campaigning against the third runway a key local issue in her constituency.

But she suggested that she could stay on in the Cabinet now that she no longer holds the transport brief, even if the eventual decision overHeathrow went against her wishes.

“There is no decision,” she said. “I do believe in Cabinet collective responsibility but I am in the Cabinet and I am absolutely continuing to represent my constituents’ concerns.”

Her comments came as a group of 30 Conservative MPs wrote to the Chancellor urging him to guarantee that airports in England will not be undercut by rivals in Wales.

Mr Osborne is said to be considering plans to devolve setting air passenger duty to the Welsh government.

But the group of MPs, all of whom represent constituencies in south-west England, warned that airports such as Bristol would lose business if the duty was cut at Cardiff Airport but remained unchanged in England.

In the letter to the Chancellor, the MPs, led by Liam Fox, warned that devolving APD to Wales could have an “extremely severe” impact on passengers and businesses in the region.

They predicted “more expensive travel for people in the South West when going on a hard-earned family holiday” and called on him to rule out devolving APD to Wales in the Budget on Wednesday.

Billions of pounds of investment and future income are at stake but but a final decision has been delayed and is not now expected until after the EU referendum in June.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/aviation/12192276/David-Cameron-will-abandon-Heathrow-third-runway-plans-Cabinet-minister-declares.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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Heathrow proposal

A third runway OR an expansion of the airport’s existing northern runway
Led by: Heathrow Airport Ltd,  or Heathrow Hub Ltd
Completion date: 2029
Cost: £13bn – £18bn
Capacity: Up to 260,000 additional flights per year
Supporters; Business leaders broadly favour Heathrow, given its existing globally-recognised status as a major airport. Some locals who believe an expanded Heathrow will bring thousands of jobs to the area;
Opponents: In 2009, David Cameron said a Conservative government would not build a third runway at Heathrow – “no ifs, no buts”. Locals worried about increased traffic, noise and pollution under the flight path. Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith
Rival bid: A second runway at Gatwick Airport

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Earlier:

Heathrow: Cameron ‘preparing to drop opposition to third runway’

The government is preparing to announce the next phase for airport expansion within weeks, ahead of a new public consultation on increasing aviation capacity

By Tim Ross, Senior Political Correspondent (Telegraph)
7 Nov 2015

David Cameron has decided it would be politically safe to back a third runway at Heathrow, despite previously promising to block the expansion of Britain’s busiest airport, Whitehall sources have said.
The government is preparing to announce the next phase for airport expansion within weeks, ahead of a new public consultation on increasing aviation capacity.
The Prime Minister has been wrestling with a “difficult decision” over whether to approve a third runway at Heathrow because he promised before the 2010 election that he would oppose such a plan.

However, Whitehall figures said Mr Cameron has been offered a way out by the independent Davies Commission, which decisively recommended expanding Heathrow while leaving the door ajar to potentially extending Gatwick.
Government insiders say that the Prime Minister believes that the Davies Commission’s strong recommendation in favour of the new Heathrow plan would make it politically acceptable for him to reverse his opposition to the earlier third runway proposal.

Officials are preparing for an announcement before Christmas on how the aviation plans will progress.

Increasing aviation capacity in the South East represents one of the most expensive and controversial infrastructure decisions facing the new Conservative government.

A number of MPs including Cabinet minister and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, have vocally opposed a third runway at Heathrow, while others oppose expanding Gatwick.

However, Sir Howard Davies, who chaired the commission examining the future of aviation capacity in the South East, recommended decisively that the government should allow Heathrow to expand because this would lead to more jobs, and wider economic benefits than extending Gatwick.

One Whitehall source said: “There will be some sort of announcement next month. Officials are still analysing data. The decision will be for the Prime Minister but it is difficult for him because he made this ‘no ifs, no buts’ promise not to build a third runway.”

The Davies Commission was so clearly in favour of Heathrow over Gatwick that “in the Prime Minister’s mind” it would be safe to choose a third runway at Heathrow. It’s not yet clear whether the public would agree, the source said.

The Chancellor is likely to want a decision as soon as possible, given how he has sought to brand the Conservatives as the champions of new building schemes.

“It would be difficult for the Chancellor to stand up and say ‘we are the builders’ and then when he has been given a really clear direction to build Heathrow, to say, ‘actually, we’re the pragmatists,’” one government insider said.

Mr Cameron is understood to want all the analysis to be completed before he comes to a verdict. It has been suggested that the Chancellor will take control over the issue, making the crucial announcement about the government’s preferred option. This would potentially save the Prime Minister from awkward questions over a policy reversal.

Government sources suggested that an announcement formally responding to the Davies Commission may not be part of Mr Osborne’s Autumn Statement on November 25 but could be made separately in December.

Justine Greening, the Tory MP for Putney and International Development Secretary, has promised to continue fighting against expansion at Heathrow.

She has told her constituents that she has been assured by Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, that there will be a new public consultation on plans before a final decision is taken.

The high costs of expanding Heathrow and the impact on the environment, including noise and air pollution, remain the subjects of considerable argument.

Heathrow has promised to charge airlines higher fees for landing noisier and more polluting aircraft at the airport in future. “We will encourage the world’s quietest aircraft to use Heathrow, charging more for noisier aircraft to land and quieter aircraft less and introduce “green slots” so that only the quietest and cleanest aircraft can use the capacity provided by a new runway,” the group said in a new report to MPs.

“We are clear – Heathrow expansion should only go ahead within strict environmental limits on noise, local air quality and in line with the UK’s climate change targets.”

Changes to road networks and new train links direct to Reading and Waterloo, as well as Crossrail, will help discourage travellers from driving to Heathrow, the airport said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/11981863/Heathrow-Cameron-preparing-to-drop-opposition-to-third-runway.html

 

Read more »

AEF analysis of the ITC report: its “conclusion that environmental impacts should be no barrier to expansion is unfounded”

A new report published by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC), a think tank supported by Heathrow and Gatwick, has argued that environmental concerns should not prevent a new runway being built. Now the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)has come out with a damning assessment. The report argues that “it is foreseeable that a range of solutions will enable forecasts of future growth to be delivered within acceptable environmental boundaries even without a “step-change” in technology”. AEF points out that what “acceptable environmental boundaries” are not clearly defined. On CO2 emissions AEF says the ITC has put too much faith in future market based measures to trade emissions, and used unjustifiably optimistic forecasts of fuel efficiency improvements (1.6% per year, when others expect 0.8% at best). On noise AEF says the ITC does not even consider health impacts, uses implausibly optimistic assumptions and some unclear use of noise measurements. On air pollution, the ITC argues this is largely not the airports’ responsibility and hopes levels will improve soon.  AEF concludes: “Without clearer definitions of what constitutes “acceptable environmental boundaries”, and evidence that these can be achieved, the report’s conclusion that environmental impacts should be no barrier to expansion is unfounded.”
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The AEF view: ITC report on the sustainability of UK aviation

A new report published this week (7th March) by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC), a think tank supported by Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, has argued that environmental concerns should not prevent a new runway being built.

In this blog, AEF takes a look at the report,The sustainability of UK aviation: trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions, and considers its merits on noise, CO2 emissions and local air pollution.

The report argues that “it is foreseeable that a range of solutions will enable forecasts of future growth to be delivered within acceptable environmental boundaries even without a “step-change” in technology” and that “aviation can meet almost all of its targets for sustainability by following the current trend (in improvements), helped by pragmatic engagement with communities and some regulatory intervention.”

A starting question then for assessing whether environmental concerns about a new runway can be addressed is: what exactly are “acceptable environmental boundaries which enable UK aviation to meet all of its “targets for sustainability”?

The ITC unfortunately doesn’t clearly define these “acceptable environmental boundaries”, so below we’ve used AEF’s definitions, many of which were used by the Airports Commission to assess the likely impact of airport expansion.

We then take a look at the ITC’s proposals for how the challenges could be addressed.

Climate change

AEF considers the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation that UK aviation emissions should be no higher in 2050 than they were in 2005 to be a minimum requirement for compatibility with the wider Climate Change Act.

The Airports Commission also considered any new runway within this framework. The ITC report acknowledged the Climate Change Act and the need for CO2 targets for the sector but stayed silent on whether the CCC’s recommended level should be regarded a “target for sustainability”. This could be because a new runway would make meeting these emissions levels much more challenging.

While acknowledging the limitations to take-up of biofuels and the fact that growth in aviation globally is forecast to outstrip efficiency improvements, the report argues that the issue of aviation CO2 emissions is “not an impossible problem to solve” due to market based measures combined with airframe technology and operating procedure improvements.

The report predicts annual efficiency gains of 1.6%, even without operational improvements or the use of alternative fuels, based on an analysis of fleet changes leading up to 2050. It’s a figure exceeding the UK aviation industry’s own forecast [“Sustainable Aviation’s CO2 Road-Map] of a 1.21% per annum improvement from the deployment of more fuel-efficient aircraft, and double the rate anticipated by official forecasts.

The Committee on Climate Change’s 2009 report recommended that Government should assume no more than a 0.8% annual average efficiency improvement, even allowing for an assumption that biofuel could comprise 10% of aviation fuel by 2050.

The Government’s own forecasts are similarly based on an assumed 0.8% annual average fuel efficiency assumption.  A recent academic paper questioned whether the industry’s 1.5% annual efficiency gains goal could be maintained up to 2020 or beyond.

Sustainable Aviation have suggested that they have achieved average annual efficiency improvements between 2009 and 2014 of 1.9% but this is largely down to the baseline year used, and using 2010 as the baseline year leaves an average efficiency improvement of around 1% [source: AEF working based on Sustainable Aviation figures on page 19 here].

The ITC’s forecasts on efficiency improvements, the central component of its proposal for addressing CO2 emissions, appear highly optimistic.

Aircraft noise

AEF believes a sustainable limit would be for noise to reduce towards WHO recommended levels in the long-term. This reflects evidence that long-term exposure is associated with health impacts including increased risks of cardiovascular disease, an issue not considered in the report.

The Government, we believe, needs to set a clearer noise policy framework for airlines and airports to operate within, and against which the noise impacts of a new runway would need to be considered.

While technology can undoubtedly play a role towards reducing aircraft noise, as highlighted by ITC, annoyance from aircraft noise has been increasing even while individual aircraft have become quieter and noise exposure across the EU has been forecast to increase.

The ITC’s anticipated rate of take-up of quieter aircraft also needs scrutiny. The report argues that the introduction of new aircraft and retro-fitting of existing models will lead to the average aircraft being 9dB quieter by 2050, while changing operations in order to prioritise noise reductions could cut noise by an additional 9dB.

The driving force behind continued noise improvements is unclear, with ITC calling for clearer policy from Government and the use of limits based on ICAO standards for aircraft.

However, the most recent ICAO noise standard, which doesn’t take effect until next year, requires aircraft to be 7 dB quieter than its predecessor and represents an improvement of only 17dB since 1978.

These improvements are cumulative. In other words, they are the sum of the improvements at each of  three tests points – approach, take-off, and sideline – meaning that the latest standard could permit aircraft to be as little as 1 dB quieter on landing (anything less than 3 dB is imperceptible to the human ear) and still pass the test.

Whether the technology improvements the report envisages will materialise without additional forcing is unclear, given the future trade-off the report acknowledges about fuel burn and noise.

Air pollution

Air quality limits designed to protect public health are laid down by law, but have been breached for many years in the Heathrow area.

The Airports Commission argued that although a new Heathrow runway would increase emissions further above the legal limit, it would not strictly ‘delay compliance’ with the legislation as long as other London roads are more polluted.

The ITC report argues that air pollution around airports is largely not the airports’ responsibility and, despite presenting no new modelling, that NOx levels are likely to reduce over time even without any new action. A new runway should therefore not be delayed, the report argues, even if the surrounding area is in breach of local air quality limits.

Conclusion

AEF’s view is that the report makes implausible assumptions on technology development to cut CO2 emissions, fails to acknowledge the scale and nature of the noise problem, and dismisses air pollution as something that is bound to resolve itself over time despite the UK Government currently facing the prospect of further legal action for failure to tackle a problem costing some 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

Without clearer definitions of what constitutes “acceptable environmental boundaries”, and evidence that these can be achieved, the report’s conclusion that environmental impacts should be no barrier to expansion is unfounded.  

http://www.aef.org.uk/2016/03/11/the-aef-view-itc-report-on-the-sustainability-of-uk-aviation/


See also, by AEF:

First EU-wide report on aviation’s environmental impacts shows growing challenges

“Technology myths” are stalling aviation climate policy

Cross party committee of MPs recommends Government should not give go ahead on Heathrow expansion


See also

 

“Independent” transport think tank, pro-runway, finds the environmental challenges can all (honestly…) be overcome …

Heathrow is well aware that it has an almost insurmountable set of environmental obstacles that, in any logical system, would make a 3rd runway out of the question. However, it keeps hoping that it can persuade enough key people that all is well, and all environmental problems will just melt away. Now, in a slightly desperate attempt to get politicians etc to ignore the evidence, a report has been done by an organisation called the “Independent Transport Commission.” This is a body partly funded by Heathrow, by Gatwick, by NATS and many others. The report “The sustainability of UK Aviation: Trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions”, written by RDC Aviation Ltd, sets out to show that the aviation industry can soon overcome problems of noise, air pollution and carbon emissions – and adding a new runway will be problem-free. The report is thin on good detail to back up these claims. It is high on hopes, aspirations and what could be termed “mindless optimism” that new technologies will work out well, and everything that could help the aviation industry will do so. None of the real problems of an expanding industry, with additional problems from the sheer increase in plane numbers are dealt with. A report, which is hard to describe as “independent” in any meaningful sense of the word, advocates sacrificing the environment if holds the industry’s growth back.

Click here to view full story…


Read more »

HACAN East starts crowdfunding appeal for campaign to fight altered London City Airport flight paths

Local resident-led group HACAN East has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fight the new, concentrated flight paths for planes to and from London City Airport. HACAN East is seeking to raise £25,000, in order to campaign to reverse these changes – which they describe as Noise Ghettos – within 12 months, when the CAA will review airspace changes. In February, new concentrated flight paths began operating over many parts of east & south-east London, leaving parts of many boroughs with levels of aircraft noise not previously experienced. HACAN East know that taking on the might of the aviation industry is not easy. It is only by the local community coming together that residents can win, to get the flight paths changed – and the noise reduced. People in the noise affected areas feel these “noise ghettos” are completely unacceptable. City Airport did not consult residents about the flight path changes. The levels of aircraft noise and pollution have increased to unacceptable levels – reducing people’s quality of life.  At busy time of the day, planes can be coming over one every minute or so. They also suffer from Heathrow flights. Crowdfunding details here,if you are able to help.
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ANTI-NOISE GHETTOS RESIDENTS GROUP SEEKS FUNDING FOR “CAMPAIGN OF A LIFETIME”

March 9th 2016 (Hacan East)

Short video at https://vimeo.com/158250476 explaining why the fundraising in necessary

Hacan East £25,000

Local resident-led group HACAN East today launches a crowdfunding campaign to fight the new, concentrated flight paths for planes to and from London City Airport.

HACAN East is seeking to raise £25,000 through crowdfunding, in order to campaign to reverse these changes within 12 months, when the Civil Aviation Authority reviews airspace changes. [1] This will help re-establish the local quality of life in the affected communities.

In February, new concentrated flight paths began operating over many parts of east & south-east London, leaving parts of the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Havering, Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth with levels of aircraft noise not previously experienced. [2]

John Stewart, Chair of HACAN East, said: “We are today launching this crowdfunding campaign to get these changes reversed. Taking on the might of the aviation industry is not easy and only by the local community coming together can we win this fight.”

Stewart added: “Local residents have chosen the title Noise Ghetto for the campaign because this is how they feel living under these flight paths. We think these noise ghettos are completely unacceptable. City Airport did not consult residents about these changes and have aircraft noise and pollution has gradually increased to unacceptable levels.”

Julie Evans, HACAN East supporter, said: “I am supporting this campaign, because me and my family live in a residential area – we’ve already been blighted by extra flights, particularly those late at night. Our quality of life is impacted both mentally and physically because we can’t enjoy being in our gardens due to noise of the planes. The prospect of even more noise is something I just can’t bear; it needs to decrease.”

London City Airport’s new concentrated flight paths have caused uproar across many communities in east London.

· HACAN East has been representing residents for a number of years now, giving a voice to people under the flight paths

· City Airport has gradually increased the number of flights and noise over particular communities in recent years.

· At busy time of the day, planes can be coming over one every minute or so. This is constant noise for many communities.

Notes

[1] The Crowdfunding page can be accessed at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hacaneast

[2] A full breakdown of which communities are impacted by these flight paths changes http://static1.squarespace.com/static/56507de4e4b018da2a5ce870/t/56b1e6a620c64715707cd43c/1454499505450/HACAN+East+February+Newsletter.pdf

http://hacaneast.org.uk/press-releases/2016/3/9/wqn2gw8m15wxl4gp6i005vwad5asw7

.How will this affect you 4.2.2016.


HACAN East’s Campaign of a Lifetime.

These new concentrated flight paths were introduced on 4th February, 2016. Immediately after the changes commenced, HACAN East received HUNDREDS of complaints. We decided now is the time to act.

We are going to be mounting the ‘Campaign of a Lifetime’, which will aim to reverse these changes within 12 months, when the Civil Aviation Authority must review airspace changes. This will help re-establish the quality of life for people in the affected communities.

By concerted effort to mount ever-increasing pressure on the Civil Aviation Authority and on London City Airport itself, we know that we can make change happen. Bringing the fight to the authorities will elicit change.

It is only through the community working together that can we can effectively take on these authorities, reverse these concentrated flight paths and stop City Airport Expansion.

Though in order to help make this happen, we do need your help.


 

HACAN East says: “We need to raise £25,000 in order to make this campaign happen”

Campaigns cost money, and to make our work as effective as possible we need to attain MAXIMUM exposure. This can be achieved through activities such as leafletting, cost-effective advertising and spending on resident and volunteer organisation. Below are some examples of how we would be planning to spend donations:

  • £5 will print 100 HACAN East campaign posters for supporters to display in their windows
  • £25 enables us to undertake an online social media campaign, targeted at people living in affected communities
  • £100 pays for a large round of leaflets
  • £250 allows us to effectively leaflet for, advertise and pay for the costs of a public meeting to inform residents about the campaign
  • £5,000 would fund a large public rally, which we would like to hold in the summer

Earlier: 

Changes brought in by NATS on February 4th mean new noise ghettos in east London due to London City flights

On 4th February, NATS implemented the first phase of its LAMP (London Airspace Management Programme). It says this was approved by the CAA in November 2015. It means that routes into and out of London City airport will be altered, and routes will be concentrated – using PR-NAV (precision navigation). The changes involve use of a “point merge” system for arrivals, with the joining points to the ILS out at sea. They will mean all the planes from Westerly departures will be routed over for Bow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Redbridge, Barkingside, Collier Row and Harold Hill. For Easterly departures, all the planes will be routed over Barking Riverside, Dagenham, Elm park and Hornchurch. And for Easterly arrivals, all the planes will be routed over Bexley, Sidcup, New Eltham, Mottingham, Catford, Dulwich Village, Herne Hill, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall. The changes are described by NATS in glowing terms – about “more efficient flights, saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions, reducing noise, keeping aircraft higher for longer and minimising areas regularly overflown.” And, of course, enabling more flights to be crammed into crowded airspace – to enable the aviation industry to increase the number of flights. HACAN East is talking to its lawyers about a JR against the CAA for failure to consult.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

“Independent” transport think tank, pro-runway, finds the environmental challenges can all (honestly…) be overcome …

Heathrow is well aware that it has an almost insurmountable set of environmental obstacles that, in any logical system, would make a 3rd runway out of the question. However, it keeps hoping that it can persuade enough key people that all is well, and all environmental problems will just melt away. Now, in a slightly desperate attempt to get politicians etc to ignore the evidence, a report has been done by an organisation called the “Independent Transport Commission.” This is a body partly funded by Heathrow, by Gatwick, by NATS and many others. The report “The sustainability of UK Aviation: Trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions“, written by RDC Aviation Ltd, sets out to show that the aviation industry can soon overcome problems of noise, air pollution and carbon emissions – and adding a new runway will be problem-free. The report is thin on good detail to back up these claims. It is high on hopes, aspirations and what could be termed “mindless optimism” that new technologies will work out well, and everything that could help the aviation industry will do so. None of the real problems of an expanding industry, with additional problems from the sheer increase in plane numbers are dealt with. A report, which is hard to describe as “independent” in any meaningful sense of the word, advocates sacrificing the environment if holds the industry’s growth back. 
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The ITC (Independent Transport Commission) press release is at http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/ITC-Aviation-Sustainability-PN-070316.pdf

The ITC press release 

“UK aviation sustainability challenges can be overcome, finds transport think tank”

Part copied here:

The findings indicate that technological improvements will mitigate any future increases in noise, CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions arising from airport expansion. Improvements in these areas have been rapid over the past 30 years and the evidence suggests that progress is likely to continue.

Aircraft noise – significant progress has been made in reducing noise, with evidence that advances will continue from a combination of technological and aircraft design improvements as well as alterations to airport operations (e.g. the use of continuous descent approaches and displaced runway thresholds).

Carbon emissions – are likely to be mitigated by progress in aircraft efficiency (e.g. new technology will drive a 1.6% per year improvement in fuel efficiency) and operations. The research reveals that this is a global issue and cannot be addressed by the UK unilaterally restricting its own connectivity. They also identify that due to the use of larger aircraft, hub operations emit up to 24% fewer carbon emissions than if that same connectivity were provided through point-to-point services; however, the research notes that there is a trade-off because hub operations increase the noise burden on local residents.

NOx and particulate emissions – the contribution of these pollutants to poor air quality is caused principally by surface transport. The issue transcends the aviation industry and requires separate measures from Government that have been shown to alter land-based travel patterns (e.g. modal shift from car to rail) and reduce the NOx and particulate emissions surrounding an airport.

“Having reviewed these important sustainability issues in-depth, [!!] it is clear that the environmental challenges of limiting the carbon emissions, noise and local air quality impacts are not insurmountable”, commented Dr Stephen Hickey, Chair of the ITC’s aviation working group and ITC Commissioner. [ Dr Stephen Hickey is a former Director General at the Department for Transport. AW comment]

He added: “Whether the Government pursues the proposal to expand Gatwick or Heathrow, the ITC research demonstrates that sustainability concerns should not stop the UK realising the great additional benefits that increased connectivity can provide.  [This is, frankly, shocking. The report’s claims are little more than aspirations of future problems being solved, and this as much as says – don’t bother with the environmental problems – just get on with it …. and hope.  AW comment]

“The findings suggest that noise and local air quality impacts can be managed downwards given the right mix of operational, policy and technological development, while incremental improvements in carbon Independent Transport Commission Registered Charity: 1080134 2 emission output are being delivered on an annual basis. Building public confidence and trust is essential. By arming an independent regulator with powers to monitor and control sensitive issues such as noise, the Government could play its part in delivering improvements for those affected by airport operations once a decision is made.”


 

The report is at

http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ITC-Aviation-Sustainability-March-2016-complete.pdf


 

Heathrow third runway: Environmental concerns ‘should not stop expansion’

7.3.2016 (BBC)

Concerns over the environmental impact of expanding Gatwick or Heathrow should not lead to aviation plans being rejected, according to a think tank.

The Independent Transport Commission (ITC) report said research showed there had been “rapid” progress on aircraft noise and emissions over the past 30 years. [The industry always says this, when intending to mislead. Progress was indeed rapid many years ago. The “low hanging fruit” has been picked, and improvements are now much slower. AW note].

In July, the Airports Commission (AC) said the expansion of Heathrow was preferable to expanding Gatwick.

Anti-expansion campaigners said the ITC “was not living in the real world”.

The ITC researches the economic, social and environmental aspects of travel and recommends possible solutions to transport problems.

Its report said the reduction of CO2 emissions was “not an impossible problem to solve” and restricting aviation expansion in the UK would just push the carbon output to other countries.
It also said the rollout of Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 aircraft could deliver noise improvements too.

‘Carbon emission improvements’

“Whether the government pursues the proposal to expand Gatwick or Heathrow, the ITC research demonstrates that sustainability concerns should not stop the UK realising the great additional benefits that increased connectivity can provide,” said the ITC’s Dr Stephen Hickey.

“The findings suggest that noise and local air quality impacts can be managed downwards given the right mix of operational, policy and technological development, while incremental improvements in carbon emission output are being delivered on an annual basis.”  [This is misinformation. The aviation industry manages around 1.5% annual improvements on aircraft fuel efficiency. But the industry plans to grow at least 4% per year. That means whatever small gains are achieved per plane are wiped out by the growth in numbers of planes. Not making this clear is concealing an important problem. AW note].

‘250,000 extra flights’

John Stewart, chairman of ant-Heathrow group Hacan, dismissed the report, saying it repeated “the myth that the noise climate” around major airports had improved.

“The report is right to say that individual aircraft have become less noisy but for most residents this is offset by the sheer rise in the number of planes,” he added. “This report really does skate too easily over the impact of another 250,000 flights a year at Heathrow if a third runway is built.”

Heathrow welcomed the report’s “unequivocal” conclusions, saying it confirmed that road vehicles were the principal contributors of air pollution around the airport.  [Not surprising, as Heathrow is one of the funders of the “Independent Transport Commission” and it was carried out by an organisation that is very strongly in favour of airport expansion. AW comment].

The airport’s Director of Sustainability, Matt Gorman, said: “This report adds to the evidence presented by the Airports Commission that road traffic is the main contributor to poor air quality and it is a national problem which needs government action.

“Heathrow has worked to maintain airport-related traffic broadly static since the 1990’s and is taking action to reduce emissions further by switching to electric vehicles and increasing public transport options for passengers and colleagues.” [And that really is not going to solve the problem of unacceptable, illegal levels of NOx around the airport, with another 50% more passengers – and plans to double the volume of air freight, carried in diesel lorries. A few electric vehicles are not going to make more than a tiny impact.  AW comment].

The AC has recommended building a new runway at Heathrow rather than providing a second runway at Gatwick.

But it did not completely rule out another runway at Gatwick or doubling an existing runway at Heathrow.

The government has said more work needs to be done on the environmental impact and his delayed its decision to the summer at the earliest.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35742913

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John Stewart commented, on the hopes that Heathrow has for this rather weak little report, that:

“I suspect that it is also indicative of the fact that over the next few months – with Europe and the Mayoral elections dominating and Heathrow not news again until nearer the time a decision will be made – the industry will struggle to get significant coverage for many months.”

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The “Independent Transport Commission” http://www.theitc.org.uk/

It says of itself:

“The Independent Transport Commission (ITC) is Britain’s foremost independent land use and transport think tank. We are research charity committed to providing insight and analysis of the most pressing long-term strategic issues in the fields of transport and land use. We explore the long-term consequences of current policy, we consider new approaches and we make recommendations on the way forward.

“The ITC was launched in 1999 in response to HM Government’s transport white paper, and quickly established itself as a leading research voice in the fields of land use and transport. The current Director is Dr Matthew Niblett and the Chairman is Simon Linnett, Executive Vice-Chairman of Rothschild.”

The ITC’s 4 Patrons are:   http://www.theitc.org.uk/about-us/patrons/

The Rt Hon Lord Andrew Adonis PC

The Rt Hon The Lord Freeman PC

Sir Patrick Brown, KCB

Sir Terry Farrell, CBE, RIBA, FRSA, FCSD

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The ITC says its Mission is: 

The Independent Transport Commission is committed to providing insight and analysis of long-term strategic issues facing the fields of transport and land use. Our mission is to explore the long-term consequences of current policy, consider new approaches and make recommendations on the way forward.

We pride ourselves on our independence and the strength this gives to our research. Our distinguished Patrons and Commissioners are drawn from the widest range of expertise in the United Kingdom.

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ITC past reports

The ITC has produced a number of reports on aviation in the past.  http://www.theitc.org.uk/our-research/research-reports-2/

These include:

Time to Act: The economic consequences of failing to expand airport capacity

Dr Rebecca Driver (June 2015) 

http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ITC-Economics-airport-inaction-Dr-R-Driver-June-2015.pdf  (The conclusions of this report are totally in favour of getting on and building a runway soon, with an uncritical belief that it is vital for the UK economy).

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Delivering improved airport capacity: The cost and impact of the Airports Commission’s shortlisted options

Peter Hind (February 2015)

http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ITC_Delivering_improved_aiport_capacity-Feb-15.pdf

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Surface Connectivity: assessing the merits of the Airports Commission’s options for UK aviation

Dr T Ryley and Dr A Zanni (October 2014)

http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ITC-Airport-surface-connectivity-Oct-14.pdf

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Aviation: the optimal size of a UK Hub airport

Peter Hind (February 2014)

http://www.theitc.org.uk/docs/113.pdf (Which advocates planning for the really long term and having two new runways…)


 

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The ITC says its main funders are:   http://www.theitc.org.uk/funding/

Addison Lee,

Alstom,

Arriva,

Arup Group Limited,

Associated British Ports,

Birmingham Airport,

British Land,

Cubic Transportation Systems,

DHL,

Gatwick Airport,

Go Ahead Group,

Heathrow Airport,

High Speed 2 Ltd

NATS,

Network Rail,

Peter Brett Associates,

Shell,

Siemens,

SNCF,

and Transport for London,

 

Campaigners dismiss ITC aviation report as ‘ivory tower research’

7.3.2016 (HACAN – Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise – statement)

Campaigners have dismissed a new report published today which claims the environmental problems of airport expansion can be overcome as ‘ivory tower research’. The report by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) argues that “concerns around noise, carbon emissions (CO2) and local air quality that arise from aviation operations do not need to be a show-stopper for the UK’s pursuit of airport capacity enhancements at either Gatwick or Heathrow”.

HACAN, which opposes a third runway at Heathrow, said the researchers ‘were not living in the real world’.

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “The report repeats the myth that the noise climate around major airports has improved. But this is not living in the real world. You can only argue the climate is better if you ignore the significant rise in the number of planes passing over people’s homes. The report is right to say that individual aircraft have become less noisy but for most residents this is off-set by the sheer rise in the number of planes. I fear this is ivory tower research.”

The report argues that technological and operational improvements will deal satisfactorily with the noise, air pollution and climate problems caused by a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick.

Stewart said, “We welcome any advances in technology and any operational improvements but this report really does skate too easily over the impact of another 250,000 flights a year at Heathrow if a third runway is built.”

HACAN did welcome report’s endorsement of the setting up of an Independent Noise Authority and its recommendation that, if a new runway is built at Heathrow or Gatwick, the Government should ‘mandate the use of certain routing pathways to ensure airline flight plans are optimised for the needs of communities rather than to simply reduce fuel burn’.

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Earlier, by contrast to the mindless optimism of the ITC paper: 

New academic paper shows how “Technology myths” are unduly influencing aviation climate policy

A new research study by a group of academics from a range of countries has looked at claims made by the aviation industry that it will achieve substantial carbon savings in future. They conclude that many of these claims could be described as “myths” as they have often just been used to give favourable publicity to the industry, before rapidly being proven to be over-hyped. Some of these technologies are alternative fuels, such as animal fats or jatropha; also solar power planes; or new forms of aircraft. None of these hoped-for technologies have any likelihood of making more than small contributions to future fuel efficiency. At best, they will be small improvements per plane – set against far larger growth of the industry – resulting in a large overall increase in carbon emissions. The authors make the point that the hype and the positive media coverage that the “myth” technologies permit are damaging. The unrealistic hopes for low carbon flying in future convinces politicians (who maybe happy to be so persuaded) to give the industry the benefit of the doubt, and permit its continuing growth – ever hoping for a marvellous new technology, just around the corner, which will lead to “sustainable” flying. The unjustifiably optimistic PR of the industry has implications for decisions such as that of a new runway in the south east.

Click here to view full story…


RDC Aviation

http://www.rdcaviation.com/WhatWeDo/Consultancy/

They are an adamantly pro-aviation, pro-aviation expansion company, very eager to see a new runway at Heathrow.

Its customers are (almost) all airlines and airports http://www.rdcaviation.com/Customers/

Aviation Economics is the consultancy branch of RDC –http://www.aviationeconomics.com/Team.aspx

 

In the table below is a timeline going back to 1963 on successive UK Government’s procrastination on the runway issue.

From RDC Aviation

Heathrow decisions table

 

Read more »

Local firms dispute Gatwick’s claims that a 2nd runway would be good for business or for the area

Backers of a 2nd Gatwick runway (few as they are) such as the Gatwick Diamond are keen to promote the view that it would greatly help local business. However, many businesses in the area would, in reality, be harmed by it. Employers fear the airport’s expansion would mean higher wage expectations and wage inflation. As there is almost no local unemployment, it would become hard to employ local staff. There would also be much more road and rail congestion, from all the extra travel demand generated – with a negative impact on local companies. The pressure on office space and business locations would increase, pricing some firms out of the area. Where are they to relocate to? Gatwick is meant to have an “Engagement Charter” (written in 2014) through which it keeps in contact with local “landowners and occupiers” but some say they have had no contact from Gatwick. There is meant to be one to one support from the airport – especially on compulsory purchase. Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE, commented: “At last local businesses are starting to realise what a second runway at Gatwick will mean for them. It’s not going to be all good news for them.” Local campaign GACC produced an excellent, easy-to-read 6-page paper in December 2014, “Bad for Business” setting out a range of topics, illustrating how negative the runway’s impacts would be.

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Local employers take fight to Gatwick over second runway plan

Local firms dispute airport’s claims that expansion would be good for the area
By Mark Leftly – Associate Business Editor (Independent)
7.3.2016

Gatwick airport’s claims that a £7.8bn second runway would boost business and create 120,000 jobs have been challenged by owners of local companies who fear expansion could damage them badly.

The West Sussex airport is duking it out with Heathrow for an extra runway, but the Government has delayed choosing a winner until after the EU referendum in June.

Although the Airports Commission last year recommended expanding Heathrow, ministers have prevaricated in the wake of opposition from MPs in their own party, while Gatwick has been pushing its economic case. Executives have argued that a second runway would boost the local economy by £1.73bn and provide a proper competitor to Heathrow. They have also been boosted by the support of a coalition of businesses known as the “Gatwick diamond”.

But, in what anti-expansion campaigners are hailing as a breakthrough, local employers told The Independent that the construction of the runway would hurt them.

Tony Read, who employs 55 people at his local firm, Business Car Contracts, fears new jobs will raise wage expectations. He said: “This is not a part of England that needs extra jobs and a second runway will create more wage inflation, because the airport tends to pay more for unskilled and semi-skilled workers. It’s unhelpful for local businesses and rail and roads are already at full capacity.”

Gevin White is managing director at a neighbour to the proposed runway, Co-ordination Catering Hire, which employs 25 people at peak times. He said: “If the second runway goes through, where will my business relocate to? So far the management of Gatwick… has not contacted me.”

Sally Pavey, chairman of the Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions campaign group, said: “At last local businesses are starting to realise what a second runway at Gatwick will mean for them. It’s not going to be all good news for them.”

Although the arguments have centred on a second runway at Gatwick and a third for Heathrow, another, relatively disregarded, option is now thought to be receiving serious consideration. Under the “Heathrow Hub” proposal, the airport’s northern runway would be lengthened, allowing aircraft to land and take off from the strip at the same time.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/local-employers-take-fight-to-gatwick-over-second-runway-plan-a6915786.html

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Gatwick paper questioning extent of benefits to local businesses from 2nd runway

An important objective set out by the Airports Commission is: “To maximise economic
benefits…..To promote employment and economic growth in the local area….To
produce positive outcomes for local communities and the local economy”. A new paper by GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) challenges the assertion by Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) that a 2nd runway would be supportive of this objective. By engaging with opinion from local business communities, and taking a less selective view of the evidence, GACC concludes that the proposal would be detrimental for local businesses, the local economy and the community as a whole. The GACC paper (6 pages, easy to read) deals with a range of topics (shortage of labour, higher costs, inward migration, need for more houses, road and rail congestion and worse local environment  ) and includes comments from local businesses. Two examples are the problems of wages rising due to fierce competition for labour locally, where there is very low current unemployment. Also the cost to local businesses of road and rail congestion, wasting time – as well as losses to rural businesses from a deterioration in the local environment.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/12/new-gatwick-paper-questioning-extent-of-benefits-to-local-businesses-from-2nd-runway/

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Gatwick’s Engagement Charter

Gatwick’s “Engagement Charter, for Local Landowners and Occupiers” (very out of date – written probably in June 2014)

This states:

“GAL [Gatwick Airport Ltd] acknowledges that the uncertainty surrounding if, and when, a new runway is to be built at Gatwick is having an impact on existing owners and occupiers of property. The purpose of this Engagement Charter is twofold. First, to provide clarification on the extent of communication and engagement that will be provided to try and mitigate any negative impact of uncertainty in the short term. Second, to set out the basis and timing of compensation to be paid if a second runway is to be built at Gatwick, and ensure that engagement is undertaken in a fair and consistent manner.”

“For the purpose of this Charter, the timetable for the second runway proposal is split into two periods, the Early Engagement Period and the Period after notice of intentionto apply for planning permission.

“These are considered separately below. The final section of this Charter, dealing with Complaints Procedure, applies during both periods.”

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The Early Engagement period is until a 2nd Gatwick is recommended by the Government “through adoption of a National Policy Statement or other procedure.”

During the Early Engagement Period, GAL will:

• Operate a helpline number that is dedicated to responding to queries from local landowners and occupiers.

• Maintain a website that provides relevant updates on progress being made by GAL and the Commission.

• Periodically issue a “newsletter” that provides information on progress that GAL is making with its proposal for a second runway at Gatwick.

• Provide a clear and timely response to relevant issues raised in correspondence received by or on behalf of affected parties. GAL will respond to all written correspondence as soon as possible and in any event within ten working days.

• If, and as, required allocate each affected party a named “case manager” at GAL who will offer to meet with the affected party to understand their concerns and the potential implications for the property concerned. The case manager will provide their full contact details and will be available for ongoing dialogue as reasonably necessary.

• Continue to operate the Property Market Support Bond and Home Owner Support Scheme, in either their existing or an updated form. Details of these schemes, which apply to residential, agricultural and small commercial premises, will be available on the GAL website and can also be provided by the GAL case manager on request.

• Ensure all correspondence is treated confidentially.

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“NOTE: Under current legislation, GAL is likely to apply for a DCO to achieve the necessary planning (and other) consents necessary to build a second runway including planning permission and any compulsory purchase powers that are required. The DCO process applies to applications for projects that qualify as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and is set out in the Planning Act 2008.

“The first step in the DCO process is when the promoter (in this case, GAL) notifies the Planning Inspectorate that it intends to submit an application for a DCO at some future date. This notification of intention is likely to be made soon after the date on which the GAL Board confirms its intention to proceed with a planning application.”

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“Ater the date on which GAL confirms it’s Board has resolved to proceed with a planning application, it will:

• Work together in a spirit of co-operation with owners and occupiers of property which GAL requires to purchase or in respect of which it has granted options to sell with a view to reaching an early form of agreement.

• Provide every directly affected landowner and occupier with a “case manager”. (In some cases, a case manager will have already been appointed during the Early Engagement Period.)

• Advise land owners as early as possible of any survey requirements that will require entry to their land before the applications are submitted. We will seek to agree terms of entry that will minimize inconvenience and disruption and will pay compensation for any damage or crop loss.

• Seek to understand the key risks, issues and concerns identified by affected landowners and occupiers and consider an appropriate strategy to deal with these. For commercial occupiers this will include understanding of replacement property type, size and geographical requirements.

• Provide every directly affected landowner and occupier with details of the “Compulsory Purchase Helpline” operated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and provide an undertaking on the basis on which reasonably incurred professional fees will be reimbursed.

• Seek to agree at an early stage, the basis on which it is (or will be) appropriate for GAL to pay compensation.

• Provide a clear and timely response to all relevant issues raised in correspondence received by or on behalf of affected parties. GAL will respond to all written correspondence as soon as possible and in any event within ten working days.

• Provide all relevant qualifying owners and occupiers of property which GAL requires to purchase or in respect of which it has granted options to sell with a financial offer to acquire their interest within one month of having been provided with an opportunity to inspect the property and relevant additional supporting information. This offer may be on an outright purchase or option basis.

• Ensure all correspondence is treated confidentially.

Complaints Procedure

If GAL fails to meet any of its commitments set out herein, any affected landowner or occupier should follow the complaints procedure, which is set out below;

• In the first instance, the complainant should inform their GAL case manager of the specific nature of their complaint and seek a resolution. It is hoped that the majority of complaints can be resolved in this manner.

• If it is not appropriate to contact the GAL case manager, or the complainant is not happy with the response received, a formal written complaint should be submitted to the CEO of GAL.

• Any complaint will be acknowledged within five working days and responded to as soon as possible and in any event within fifteen working days.

• If the complainant remains unsatisfied with the written response received, it may refer its concern in writing to an appointed independent person appointed by GAL.

• Any complaints will be monitored to ensure that GAL maintains a high standard of service delivery in its engagement with affected landowners and occupiers.

 

 

 

Read more »

Heathrow Villagers welcome legal warning to Cameron, by 4 councils, of legal threat if 3rd runway is approved

Four Conservative-run local authorities have appointed a legal team, (Harrison Grant Solicitors) warning that if the Government did not rule out a 3rd Heathrow runway, then legal action will be launched. The four are the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. All are long-standing opponents of a 3rd runway. The solicitors have written to the Prime Minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”.  Local campaign group in the Heathrow Villages, “Stop Heathrow Expansion” representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by the runway, welcomed the letter. Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: “Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years. We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.”  Rob Gray, the voice of the “Back Heathrow” group, complains residents will be furious that councils are spending  money. He ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans.
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Heathrow Airport third runway: Campaigners react to legal threat from councils

5.3.2016
BY KATHERINE CLEMENTINE (Get West London)

Heathrow villagers say the threat will provide a reminder to David Cameron’s ‘no third runway’ pledge, but a waste of money say pro-expansion group

Christine Taylor, from Harlington, and the Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) group. And Rob Gray, [the (only?) employee of “Back Heathrow” with a model taxi. Certainly taxi drivers who work at Heathrow back expansion, and other airport workers and their families. But how many others locally?] 

Heathrow Airport campaigners have spoken out after councils threatened David Cameron with legal action , should the third runway go ahead.

Four Conservative-run local authorities appointed a legal team, warning that if the Government did not rule out expansion at Heathrow Airport, then legal action will be launched.

The four local authorities are made up of the London Boroughs of Hillingdon , Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

All these authorities are long-standing opponents of a third runway at Heathrow.

Harrison Grant Solicitors has written to the prime minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”.

Heathrow villagers have ‘had enough’

Stop Heathrow Expansion was founded in 2014 as a successor group to NoTrag, representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by Heathrow expansion, and welcomed the letter.

Robert Barnstone, Campaign Co-ordinator, said: “We welcome this timely letter to David Cameron. It serves as an important reminder that he must not break his pledge that a third runway will not go ahead, no ifs or buts”.

Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: ” This is no idle threat.

“Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years.

“We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.”

‘Squandered’ taxpayers’ money

But Pro-Heathrow expansion group, Back Heathrow, say residents will be “furious” at the threat from councils.

Robert Gray, Back Heathrow Campaign Director, said: “Thousands of taxpayers living in these four boroughs will be furious that councils are spending their money on preparing to sue the Government, rather than on providing vital local services.

“Many residents work at Heathrow and local businesses have strong links with the UK’s largest single site employer; they will wonder why taxpayers’ money is being squandered in this way.

“Heathrow is a vital national asset and the government should not be held to ransom by four councils when there is enormous support for expansion from local residents, businesses, communities and MPs across the UK.”

[Rob Gray ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans – which would have hugely negative impacts on the areas the councils look after.  AW comment]

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/heathrow-airport-third-runway-campaigners-10993225

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See also:

Four councils affected by Heathrow threaten to take legal action against Government if it backs Heathrow runway

Four Conservative controlled councils – Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead councils – are preparing to sue the government over a proposed 3rd Heathrow runway. The four councils are near Heathrow, and affected adversely by it. The warning to David Cameron, from their lawyers, says an escalation in the number of flights would be “irrational and unlawful”. The legal letter to No 10 says court proceedings will be launched unless the Prime Minister categorically rules out expansion of Heathrow. It says “insurmountable environmental problems” around the airport mean it can never be expanded without subjecting residents to excessive pollution and noise. The councils have believed, since the launch of the (government appointed) Airports Commission’s final report, that it made a “flawed assessment” of Heathrow’s ability to deal with environmental issues (noise, NO2, and carbon emissions among them). The councils also say David Cameron’s previous promise – “No ifs, No buts, no 3rd runway” – had created a “legitimate expectation” among residents that there would be no runway. The authorities have appointed Harrison Grant, the solicitors that led a successful High Court challenge in 2010 against the former Labour government’s attempt to expand Heathrow.

Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »

Heathrow holding “Business Summits” in Leeds and Manchester, attracting SMEs with hopes of lucrative runway supply deals

Heathrow is hoping to get backing from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the regions, by tempting them with the prospect of lucrative contracts to supply the construction of the 3rd runway (which it presumes it will be getting). It also hopes it can persuade companies that another Heathrow runway will boost their businesses. Heathrow says it will “need more SMEs from the Northern Powerhouse in Heathrow’s supply chain to deliver an expanded Heathrow.” To help get more SMEs on board, there will be “Business Summits in Manchester  (7th June) and Leeds (29th September). The days “will consist of speed-dating style sessions of interviews with procurement managers representing businesses based at the airport. By forging connections and winning new business, SMEs have the opportunity to enter Heathrow’s supply chain before development work kicks off as well as using the airport’s international presence to project their brand globally.”  There is also an annual Heathrow’s flagship Summit which takes place at the airport each November. Heathrow is hoping to lure them, saying: “with the airport spending over £1.5 billion annually with over 1,200 suppliers from around the UK….[the role of SMEs] will grow with the airport’s expansion.”
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Heathrow says:

Calling all SMEs – Heathrow’s Business Summit hits the road

3.3.2016 (Heathrow airport press release)

”  “We’ll need more SMEs from the Northern Powerhouse in Heathrow’s supply chain to deliver an expanded Heathrow” declared Phil Wilbraham, Heathrow’s Development Director at the BCC’s  [British Chambers of Commerce] annual conference as he announced Business Summits in Manchester and Leeds.

With strengths in complex manufacturing, science and innovation, SMEs in the Northern Powerhouse will be integral to Heathrow’s ability to deliver an expanded hub airport for the UK on-time and on-budget.

SME involvement in Heathrow’s supply chain is thriving, driven by massive increases over the past three years. Today, almost half of Heathrow’s Tier 1 suppliers are SMEs compared to just over a third three years ago.

Heathrow is looking to actively engage even more SMEs at all levels of the supply chain with the launch of Business Summits in Manchester and Leeds following a successful trial with Business Summit North last year. The Northern Business Summits will complement Heathrow’s flagship Summit which takes place at the airport each November.

Now entering its 20th year, Heathrow’s annual Business Summit gives SMEs a unique opportunity to engage directly with each other and the airport’s supply chain – enabling the face-to-face interactions that are key to cementing relationships and connecting SMEs to growth opportunities at the airport and around the world.

SMEs already play a key role in Heathrow’s supply chain – with the airport spending over £1.5 billion annually with over 1,200 suppliers from around the UK – and their role will grow with the airport’s expansion.

Overnight Heathrow expansion will become the UK’s largest infrastructure project and a diverse supply chain will be required to deliver it. The first wave of new jobs from the £15.6 billion project will come from the planning and development of an additional runway and new terminals, offering significant opportunities for SMEs across the UK.

Phil Wilbraham, Heathrow’s Development Director said:

“SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and have played an indispensable role in helping us transform Heathrow into a world-class airport Britain can be proud of.

We started the Heathrow Business Summit 20 years ago and we’ve seen the proportion of SMEs in our supply chain grow ever since. I’m proud that this year we’re able to host Business Summits across the Northern Powerhouse – enabling us to do our part to encourage their continued growth.”

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Policy Director Chris Fletcher said:

“Greater Manchester Chamber is really pleased to work with Heathrow in putting forward business opportunities to our members and other local businesses. This is proof that major organisations have real openings to work and trade with other businesses irrespective of their size or location. The UK economy can only get stronger by all businesses taking advantage of such opportunities and we encourage as many companies as possible to get involved.”

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Graham Cooper said:

“The event last year was a great example of how the Chamber can work with organisations like Heathrow to highlight national supply chain opportunities for businesses in our region. It also demonstrated that Heathrow has a genuine appetite to create and build long term relationships with companies who operate within a variety of sectors .The length and breadth of Heathrow’s supply chain provides a massive opportunity, one which I would encourage businesses to take advantage of at the event in 2016.”  ”

http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Corporate-operational-24/6029

and

The Northern Powerhouse Heathrow Business Summits will take place in Manchester on 7th June and Leeds 29th September. SMEs wishing to register for the Manchester Business Summit should contact events@gmchamber.co.uk and events@wnychamber.co.uk for the Leeds event. More information is also available on the Heathrow Business Summit webpage: www.heathrow.com/businesssummit

The day will consist of speed-dating style sessions of interviews with procurement managers representing businesses based at the airport. By forging connections and winning new business, SMEs have the opportunity to enter Heathrow’s supply chain before development work kicks off as well as using the airport’s international presence to project their brand globally.

…. and more at  ….http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Corporate-operational-24/6029


 

Heathrow highlights importance of ‘Northern Powerhouse SMEs’ to expansion plans

3.3.2016  (B Daily)

By Billy Wood

Heathrow Airport has outlined the importance role SMEs from across the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will play in delivering the airport’s expansion plans.

Ahead of the government’s decision in the summer on any potential third runway, Heathrow’s Development Director, Phil Wilbraham has been talking up the key role the North’s SMEs will play were the hub to expand.

The airport already spends over £1.5bn a year with over 1,200 SMEs across the UK as part of its supply chain, and it claims there will be significant opportunities in planning and developing an additional runway and new terminals if the £15.6bn project is to go ahead.

The claims come as the airport announces its Heathrow Business Summits for 2016, in Manchester on 7 June and Leeds on 29th September, which give SMEs the chance to come face-to-face with the airport’s suppliers.

Talking up the input of SMEs in the continued development of the airport, Wilbraham said: “SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and have played an indispensable role in helping us transform Heathrow into a world-class airport Britain can be proud of.

“We started the Heathrow Business Summit 20 years ago and we’ve seen the proportion of SMEs in our supply chain grow ever since. I’m proud that this year we’re able to host Business Summits across the Northern Powerhouse – enabling us to do our part to encourage their continued growth.”

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Policy Director Chris Fletcher, commenting on Heathrow’s Business Summits, believes the benefits of a third runway will be felt right across the country.

He said: “Greater Manchester Chamber is really pleased to work with Heathrow in putting forward business opportunities to our members and other local businesses.”

“This is proof that major organisations have real openings to work and trade with other businesses irrespective of their size or location. The UK economy can only get stronger by all businesses taking advantage of such opportunities and we encourage as many companies as possible to get involved.”

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Graham Cooper added: “The event last year was a great example of how the Chamber can work with organisations like Heathrow to highlight national supply chain opportunities for businesses in our region.

“It also demonstrated that Heathrow has a genuine appetite to create and build long term relationships with companies who operate within a variety of sectors. The length and breadth of Heathrow’s supply chain provides a massive opportunity, one which I would encourage businesses to take advantage of at the event in 2016.”

https://bdaily.co.uk/industrials/03-03-2016/heathrow-highlights-importance-of-northern-powerhouse-smes-to-expansion-plans/

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Earlier:

 

Heathrow to work on research into impact of runway on SMEs and their exports (imports?)

February 2, 2016

Heathrow Airport is to commission a report to look into the impact of a potential 3rd runway on the UK’s SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) community across the country. It will be a consultation by Heathrow itself and a small business support group called Enterprise Nation. The study starts in February, will seek the views of Enterprise Nation’s community of over 65,000 small businesses to gauge how they feel the airport’s development plans will impact them. The aim is for Heathrow to try to prove that its runway will help the UK to export more. (It does not mention imports – which are actually larger by tonnage and by value than exports.) Heathrow says that once completed, the findings will be used to develop an SME growth strategy within Heathrow’s expansion plans, focusing on what can be done to drive SME export growth in line with the Government target of over £1 trillion of UK exports by 2020. John Holland-Kaye made the usual comments including the runway providing “up 40 new trading links and improve domestic connectivity; making it cheaper and more efficient for SMEs to sell their products in fast growing markets around the world,” The findings of the report are due in April. Earlier Heathrow said the value of its air freight in 2014 was £101 billion. But the value of its exports was £48 billion.  That is 47.5% of the total – a bit under half. The rest is imports.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/02/heathrow-to-work-on-research-into-impact-of-runway-on-smes-and-their-exports-imports/


 

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Manchester airport granted planning consent for huge programme of building works on terminals etc

Manchester airport has huge expansion plans.  The City Council’s planning committee has approved part of a £1bn building plan. The Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP) will expand and reconfigure Terminal 2, as a “super terminal” with a new elevated road, and a 7-storey car park and also reconfigure Terminal 3.  It wants to demolish Terminal One and its car park. The airport hopes over the next decade the project “will see the airport continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK, directly to and from the North.” The airport sees itself as a key part of the Northern Powerhouse idea. The expansion will also create space for 50 food and retail businesses – (airports need to boost profits.) Local Ringway Parish Council are deeply opposed to the planned developments, and say the airport is “our worse enemy.” They have been fighting the airport’s plans for decades.  Ringway PC says the impact on the environment will be ‘massive’.  “They build on farmland, knock down old houses and they just don’t care. They don’t care about the environment, about small villages being decimated …It’s a one-sided exercise, because planning applications from the airport will always be waved through.”  The building will overshadow local houses, make the roads busier and worsen noise pollution. 
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Smallest parish council in the country to take on Manchester Airport’s plans for £1bn makeover

3.3.2016  (Manchester Evening News)
BY CHARLOTTE COX

“The airport is our worst enemy”, says Ringway parish council chairman

The smallest parish council in the country is preparing to do battle with aviation giant Manchester Airport .

The David and Goliath stand-off will take place on Thursday 3rd as bosses at Manchester Airports Group seek planning approval for their £1bn transformation.

The only civil parish in the city of Manchester, Ringway is home to less than 100 residents who live close to Ashley in Cheshire and the surrounding area near the airport.

Its Parish Council, which has five members, has lodged an objection to the plan to build a ‘Super Terminal’.

READ MORE: Manchester Airport’s £1bm transformation plans (with pictures)

To be built on the hub’s existing footprint, the “Super Terminal” includes an 82,395m sq upward extension to Terminal Two, a new elevated road, a seven-storey car park extension and a new seven-storey car park. They also want to demolish Terminal One and its car park.

But Ringway Parish Council says the impact on the environment will be ‘massive’. The building will overshadow local houses, make the roads busier and worsen noise pollution, they claim.

Audrey O’Donovan, chairman of the council, whose home on Mill Lane overlooks both runways, told the M.E.N: “They say they listen to their neighbours but they don’t.

“Soon we feel like there will be nobody left living in Ringway parish because the airport will just keep building and building.

“It impacts on everyone – the air pollution, we can smell kerosene whenever the wind blows, and the noise.”

Audrey and husband Christopher, a fellow parish councillor, have lived in their home for 37 years.

She added: “The airport is our worst enemy – they are on our doorstep and we can’t let them run riot all over us. That’s why we’ve objected.

“They build on farmland, knock down old houses and they just don’t care. They don’t care about the environment, about small villages being decimated.

“The Government has given all airports carte blanche to do what they like and expand where they want.”

But she doesn’t hold out much hope for success.

She added: “It’s a one-sided exercise, because planning applications from the airport will always be waved through.

The parish council has objected to ‘at least 20’ planning applications made by Manchester Airports Group.

In a report, a planning officer has even written: “This development, as with all other Airport-related developments, is being objected to by Ringway Parish Council.”

But John Twigg, planning director for Manchester Airport, said the plans were inside the existing footprint to provide state of the art facilities and drive economic growth.

He added: “Manchester Airport has carried out a full consultation with key stakeholders and local residents as part of the planning application process. We have also conducted a wide range of independent environmental studies to assess the impact of the project.

“We support the view taken by Manchester City Council ’s planning officer in his report on the scale of this impact.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-plans-ringway-council-10975280

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Manchester Airport’s £1bn transformation moves forward

3.3.2016 (B Daily)

Manchester City Council’s planning committee has approved part of a transformative £1bn plan to improve services at Manchester Airport.

With consent secured, the Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP) will expand and reconfigure Terminal 2, strengthening the airport’s offer for passengers and cementing its position as a key driver of the government’s Northern Powerhouse vision.

The programme’s director, Brad Miller, said of the decision: “Everyone at Manchester Airport is delighted that a significant piece of our £1bn transformation programme has been given planning consent.

“This means work can truly begin on the project, which over the next decade will see the airport continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK, directly to and from the North.“

He continued: “The enhancements the project will make will enable us to further adapt, modernise and transform the customer service experience we are able to offer passengers and airlines.

“It will also allow Manchester Airport to continue in its role as job creator and economic provider for Greater Manchester and the wider region.“

In addition to making Terminal 2 the airport’s primary terminal building, key aspects of the Transformation Programme include improvements to Terminal 3, new enlarged airside transfer facilities and a new security hall.

The expansion will also create space for 50 food and retail businesses.

Last month, Manchester Airport saw its route network expand with the introduction of three new services to Europe and another connecting the North West with Pakistan.


Earlier:

£1bn Manchester Airport transformation: Super-sized terminal, faster security, more passengers, more routes

2 JUNE 2015 (Manchester Evening News)
BY CHARLOTTE COX

Airlines and politicians welcome ‘biggest single construction project Greater Manchester has seen’

Manchester Airport is to get a dramatic £1bn transformation, the M.E.N. can reveal – with a super-sized terminal and faster high-tech security lanes.

Said to be the biggest single construction project ever to take place in Greater Manchester, the 10-year scheme will more than double the size of Terminal Two and link it to an improved Terminal Three.

Ageing Terminal One will be demolished.

Meanwhile bosses aim to slash off-peak security queues to just five minutes.

Doubling the number of airport jobs to 40,000 within 30 years and adding 10m annual passengers in just a decade, the move bolsters Manchester’s battle for the government to recognise the true worth of regional airports and underlines Manchester Airport’s place at the heart of George Osborne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

Among a range of high-tech changes will be a scheme to pre-clear American immigration in Manchester.

The latest technology will help passengers ‘flow’ through the airport, speeding up peak-time security from 15 to 10 minutes.

Passengers will have automatic bag-drops, and access to instant information on their phones.

There will be at least 50 food and drink outlets, more stands for aircraft and better links for connecting passengers.

The project is also aimed at attracting airlines and adding new long-haul routes to Asia and the east and west coasts of America.

Plans are now in the final stages and work is due to start next April, with a goal of Terminal Two completion by 2023.

By 2022, Terminal One, which was built in 1962, will be phased out.

By 2050, its hoped 55m passengers will use the hub every year, more than doubling the current 23m.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, said: “Without doubt, with this level of investment Manchester will become one of the most modern and customer focused airports in Europe, demonstrating the importance of Manchester as a global gateway. It demonstrates that it’s more that just being about Heathrow or Gatwick.”

He described the revamp as a ‘modern facility geared around a high level of customer service, stress-free, hassle-free with modern technology and communication’.

He said HS2 and the east-west rail connections of HS3 were central to the scheme, adding: “We’re setting out how the airport will contribute to the development of a Northern Powerhouse and demonstrating the dynamic, can-do spirit that sums up the region.”

As M.A.G is part-owned by Manchester taxpayers, return from the investment will go directly into services.

Mr Cornish added: “In the long-term, the development not only creates jobs and therefore economic development for the region but in the longer term will lead to enhanced dividends falling down to shareholders.”

The £1bn project, funded by fast-tracking investment plans alongside borrowing, will include more than 60 changes all on the airport’s current footprint.

Mr Cornish promised ‘minimal disruption’ to passengers by working around terminal activity and only ‘knocking through’ at the 11th hour.

He vowed to work with the local community to mitigate disruption.

He said creating more car parking space was integral to the plans.

Manchester Airport, which already serves more than 70 airlines and 210 destinations, brings £1.8bn to the regional economy every year, employing 20,000 people and supporting a further 25,000 jobs.

It is already the only airport outside London with direct routes to Miami, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Singapore, Atlanta, Washington and Boston.

With current runway capacity, Manchester Airport has the potential to serve 55m passengers a year – at a time when capacity in the UK is at a premium.

Christian Seymour, from IFM Investors, 35.5pc shareholders in M.A.G, said: “As one of the largest airport operators in the UK, M.A.G has an outstanding track record of successful airport management.

“Since acquiring our stake just over two years ago, we have been delighted with the progress the Group has made in terms of implementing its capital investment plan and growing passengers and revenues. Of particular note is the turnaround M.A.G has achieved at London Stansted, transforming it into the fastest growing major airport in the country in just two years.

“M.A.G’s airports across the UK have a key role to play in meeting the country’s aviation capacity needs and today’s announcement is a strong signal of the company’s commitment and ambition to deliver on that.”

In summary: What the transformation will mean to Manchester Airport

A transformed Terminal 2 expanded by 140 per cent with a direct link to a revamped Terminal 3 – taking potential passenger capacity from around 25m to 50m.

New airside transfer facilities so passengers can walk directly from aircraft to terminal.

Links so connecting passengers don’t have to leave the buildings.

Improved and automated bag check-in and faster security.

A new US pre-clearance facility so passengers can get through immigration, customs and agricultural inspection before boarding their flight.

Around 50 food and drink outlets.

More stands and piers for aircraft.

Improved infrastructure around the airport with good links to the £800m Airport City.

……… and it continues  ………….   http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-expansion-plan-security-9370929

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For more news about Manchester airport, see

Manchester Airport News.

 

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Local people in Chiswick get more crowd-funded air pollution monitors

Air pollution in London is a growing problem, and people are justifiably very concerned about its health impacts. The local campaign group in Chiswick, CHATR, has been involved with moves to get more air pollution monitors installed. With the help of Chiswick Brentford and Isleworth neighbours, the Hounslow Green Party has installed the 3rd round of air pollution monitors targeting the A4/M4 corridor. This follows from monitoring results in summer 2015 that showed pollutants over EU limits. The proposed development schemes presented for the “Golden Mile” – that extends from Chiswick to Osterley- and also a 3rd runway, are expected to have significant adverse effects on already bad quality air. Scientific studies are showing increasing ill health, particularly caused by NO2 and particulates. This ill health is expensive not only in human terms, but in the costs to the NHS and to society. Chiswick would be directly below the arrivals flight path for a 3rd Heathrow runway, so it could suffer from far higher pollution from so many aircraft – emitting NO2 – only perhaps 2,000 feet overhead. The Green Party stresses how changes to transport are urgently needed. The air pollution monitors has been sourced from Mapping for Change, a citizen’s science project.
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Chiswick Locals Help Crowdfunded Air Pollution Monitors

By Paul Williams  (Chiswick Herald)
Fri, Mar 04, 2016

With the help of Chiswick Brentford and Isleworth neighbours, the Hounslow Green Party has installed the third round of air pollution monitors targeting the A4/M4 corridor, following-up on last summer monitoring results above EU limits. The proposed development schemes presented for the Golden Mile – that extends from Chiswick to Osterley- and a third runway are expected to have significant adverse effects on already bad quality air.

This week a joint report published by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health demands urgent action on air pollution in the United Kingdom. The report called Every breath we take reads: “Vulnerable people are prisoners of air pollution, having to stay indoors and limit their activity when pollution levels are high. This is not only unjust; it carries a cost to these individuals and the community from missed work and school, from more health problems due to lack of exercise, and from social isolation. Taking action will reduce pain, suffering and demands on the NHS, while getting people back to work, learning, and an active life. The value of these benefits far exceeds the cost of reducing emissions”.

Watch a video about air pollution monitoring in Brentford and Chiswick:

Andree Frieze, candidate to the London Assembly for South West London said at the launch: “Hounslow has been a car friendly borough for years, it is on Heathrow’s flight path, it is compulsively giving away parks and green spaces to development and lacks investment on rail and cycling. It is no surprise the air quality is so bad on traffic saturated roads to central London and Heathrow”. Frieze continued: “Most European capitals have cleaned their public transport fleets and London is lagging behind, we need action now, and only the Green Party can clean up London’s public transport by 2020”.

Shahrar Ali, deputy leader of the Green Party and also candidate to the London Assembly, was also at the launch and said: “Kids, commuters and residents in London are breathing terrible air. London needs to stop ignoring World Health Organisation’s guidelines and act now. We do not need another Mayor and Assembly that prioritises cars. Instead, we need to prioritise public transport, greenscapes and cycling”.

The House of Commons identifies NHS and environmental costs as major effects of air pollution in the UK and have established the annual price tag somewhere between £8-20 billion, including EU fines for constant breaches in London. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) believes these figures are underestimates and that not enough policy is in place to quantify the positive effects of more policy and better air quality.

The air pollution monitors has been sourced from Mapping for Change, a citizen’s science project that works with groups and organisations who want to understand, improve and produce information about the places that matter to them. More at mappingforchange.org.uk

http://chiswickherald.co.uk/chiswick-locals-help-crowdfunded-air-pollution-monitors-p4986-203.htm

Heathrow Airwatch is an initiative run with Heathrow airport, with air quality monitors situated around the airport

The Heathrow Airwatch website says it: 

“provides you with information about where air quality is measured around Heathrow and what the air quality levels are right now, and over the past week. There’s also more general information about air quality, including an explanation of the terms used.

“This site has been funded by a joint working partnership consisting of the Heathrow Airport Ltd, London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Hounslow, Slough and Spelthorne Borough Councils and British Airways. The contact page provides contact information for the Heathrow Airwatch partners. “

Heathrow Airwatch produce  figures each day of the levels of air pollution, at their various monitors.   See map for monitors

There are two monitors in the Chiswick area – one at Gunnersbury and one on Chiswick High Road, near Turnham Green.

You can locate a monitor on the map, or using its latitude and longitude coordinates, at  http://www.latlong.net/    Daily data are produced for several pollutants, including NO2 and particulates.

The Heathrow Airwatch website says it “is funded by a joint working partnership. If you need further information about air quality in the Heathrow area, or have a specific enquiry about the Heathrow Airwatch website, then please contact us via one or more of the e-mail addresses below.

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