Predictable arrogant shouting from business lobby – they want their runway, no matter what its impacts are

The media have been unimpressive in their coverage of the statement by the government that they are not making a runway location decision this year. They have almost entirely focused on the demands of the business lobby. While the government decision is in large part to avoid political difficulties, of Zac Goldsmith being Tory London Mayoral candidate – there are very real environmental and other problems with either runway location. The Airports Commission did a very incomplete job in its recommendation. It left key areas such as carbon emissions, local air pollution and noise impacts for the government to sort out. It largely neglected health impacts, or costs to the taxpayer, or long term social and economic costs to areas near the “chosen” airport. It was therefore inevitable that a vast amount of additional work would need to be done, before any government could – responsibly and prudently – make a runway decision. Due to the flaws in the Commission’s recommendation, the government is aware it will face forceful legal challenges, especially on air pollution.  The Environmental Audit Committee set out the extra conditions the government needs to fulfil before making any decision. By contrast the business lobby just things shouting loudly and aggressively that they want a runway, and they want it now, (regardless of its adverse effects) will win them the day. Stunningly arrogant, and without any apparent analysis of the actual facts. But the media seem to love it.
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Below are some of the gung-ho statements by various parts of the business lobby:

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry – the UK’s biggest business lobby group -said the delay was deeply disappointing. She warned that if a new runway wasn’t up and running by 2030, the cost to the UK could be as much as £5.3 billion a year in lost trade to the leading emerging markets alone.

“We cannot fall into the habit of simply commissioning new evidence, instead of the government taking the tough decisions needed at the end of the process,” she said.

Carolyn Fairbairn said delaying the decision “on an issue of critical importance to the future prosperity of the UK is deeply disappointing”.

“We urgently need to increase our runway capacity to spur trade growth, investment and job creation. Just eight new routes to emerging markets could boost our exports by up to £1bn a year,” she said.

“But by 2025 – the earliest a new runway would be built – London’s airports could already be operating at full capacity and the longer we wait the further we fall behind the likes of Amsterdam and Paris. If we don’t have a new runway up and running by 2030 the cost to the UK will be as much as £5.3bn a year in lost trade to the Brics [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] alone.”

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Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors said business leaders would be “tearing their hair out” at news of the delay. “The government has set the very ambitious target of increasing U.K. exports to £1 trillion a year by 2020. If they can’t fly to emerging markets to make deals, our members are going to find it very hard to meet this aspiration,” he said.

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Rob Gray, the campaign director of the Back Heathrow group (funded by, employed by etc by Heathrow airport), who condemned Cameron’s “dithering and delaying”.

“The government has created more uncertainty for local residents, more uncertainty for workers in the local area and the potential loss to the UK economy of more than £5bn,” he said.

“There is massive support for Heathrow expansion: from across all political parties, the majority of UK businesses, international airlines, local firms and most importantly, from local residents.

“It’s time for the government to get off the fence, commit to Heathrow expansion and seize this golden opportunity to grow the economies of west London, the Thames valley and the UK as a whole.”

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John Longworth, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses will see this as a gutless move by a government that promised a clear decision on a new runway by the end of the year.

“Business will question whether ministers are delaying critical upgrades to our national infrastructure for legitimate reasons, or to satisfy short-term political interests.

“Businesses across Britain will be asking whether there is any point in setting up an Airports Commission if political considerations are always going to trump big decisions in the national interest.”

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Gavin Hayes, Director of Let Britain Fly, said: “The Prime Minister has yet again decided to put short-term political interests before the long-term national interest and kicked the can down the road for another six months.

“This latest fudge is all about political expediency, not about doing what is right for our economy.”

 

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Terry Scuoler, the chief executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “By avoiding a tough decision, despite a well evidenced shortlist, the government has again dithered and avoided the issue. Industry is fed up and dismayed by the continued excuses and political dilly dallying.”

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Lilian Greenwood, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, was scathing about Cameron having “broken his clear promise to make a decision before the end of the year”. She said: “Tonight’s statement owes more to political calculations than genuine concern for the environment or residents who now face another year of blight and uncertainty. This shambolic announcement is an embarrassment and no-one will be convinced that the government is taking our runway capacity or environmental needs seriously.”

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A pretty typical offering – this one from the Independent:

 

Heathrow Airport expansion: UK business responds furiously as decision on third runway is delayed until summer 2016

Government defers any decision about where to build extra aviation capacity until after London Mayoral elections in May

Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent (Independent)
11.12.2015

As local politics once again supplant the national debate about international connectivity, UK business has responded furiously to a further delay in assigning a new runway for London.

The Government has deferred any decision about where to build extra aviation capacity until after the London Mayoral elections in May 2016 – by which time two-runway Heathrow will have celebrated its 70th birthday.

In 2012 David Cameron set up the Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, to recommend the best solution to South-east England’s capacity crunch.

Two years ago, Sir Howard narrowed the choice to two Heathrow options – a third runway or an extended northern runway – or a second runway at Gatwick.

Last July, the Davies Commission recommended a third runway at Heathrow, with “a comprehensive package of accompanying measures which would make the airport’s expansion more acceptable to its local community”.

On the same day, the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said: “We will come back to Parliament in the autumn to provide clear direction on the government’s plans.”

But he insisted more time was needed, saying: “It’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come. We will undertake more work on environmental impacts, including air quality, noise and carbon.”

No decision is expected for six months, by which time the new London Mayor will be known. The Tory candidate, Zak Goldsmith, had vowed to resign as MP for Richmond Park if a third runway at Heathrow goes ahead.

The CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, called the postponement “deeply disappointing”, and said: “The Airports Commission spent three years analysing impartial evidence, at a cost of £20 million. We cannot fall into the habit of simply commissioning new evidence, instead of the Government taking the tough decisions needed at the end of the process.”

Gavin Hayes, Director of Let Britain Fly, said: “The Prime Minister has yet again decided to put short-term political interests before the long-term national interest and kicked the can down the road for another six months.

“This latest fudge is all about political expediency, not about doing what is right for our economy.”

Campaigners against expansion at Heathrow claimed the move showed a third runway is undeliverable. John Stewart, chair of HACAN, said: “The Government should face up to the reality that a third runway is unlikely ever to see the light of day.”

The Transport Secretary’s announcement was welcomed by Gatwick’s chief executive. Stewart Wingate said: “There is now a clear choice facing Britain: growth with Gatwick or inertia at Heathrow with an illegal scheme that has failed time and time again. Expansion at Gatwick would give the country the economic benefit it needs at a dramatically lower environmental cost.”

This year London will set a new global record for the number of passengers flying in and out of a single city. The total will exceed 150m for the first time, way ahead of its nearest rival, New York. But no new full-length runway has been built since Heathrow opened in January 1946.

The announcement moves the airport debate back to where it was a quarter-century ago. In 1990, the Conservative Government set up a study into “Runway Capacity to Serve the South East”. Three years later, it concluded that “Benefits to passengers would justify a further runway at Heathrow or Gatwick by 2010” so long as surface access to airports and improved public transport links were properly examined.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/heathrow-airport-expansion-government-delays-decision-on-third-runway-until-summer-as-environmental-a6768601.html

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Willie Walsh threatens to move BA to develop base in Dublin or Madrid to avoid paying for “gold plated” runway plans

Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways’ parent company, IAG, has said BA might give up on Heathrow and move overseas, if Heathrow got a new “gold plated” runway and doubled its charges to airlines. He said BA could “develop our business” in Dublin or Madrid rather than pay for the expansion of Heathrow. The current landing charge of about £40 for a return trip would increase to at least £80 with the runway. That might deter passengers. “We won’t pay for it and we most certainly won’t pre-fund the construction of any new infrastructure.”  Mr Walsh said that the £17.6 billion plan to expand Heathrow represented an attempt by a “monopoly airport” to build “gold-plated facilities and fleece its airlines and their customers”. Only about 1% of the estimated cost is for the runway itself. He indicated that Heathrow remained his preferred option for a runway, but not if it cost of £17.6 billion.” …“Heathrow is not IAG’s only hub. We can develop our business via Madrid, which has spare capacity, and Dublin, where there are plans for a cost-effective and efficient second runway.”  Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, was studiously neutral, saying that Gatwick and Heathrow both remained runway options. Mr Walsh also opposes a runway at Gatwick, as “no one would move there while Heathrow remains open.”
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Heathrow expansion: British Airways threatens to move out of UK

By Kedar Grandhi (IBT – International Business Times)
December 11, 2015

British Airways could move its operations to Dublin or Madrid if the government decides to go ahead with its airport expansion plan
Reuters

British Airways has threatened to end its operations at Heathrow if the government decides to go ahead with its proposed expansion plan, which includes adding a third runway. It would move its operations to Dublin or Madrid, the carrier’s parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) has warned.

IAG’s explanation

Shortly after the government announced a further six-month delay on the decision to expand the airport, British Airways (BA) released a statement by IAG chief executive Willie Walsh who explained that the £17.6bn (€24.4bn, $26.7bn) plan to expand Heathrow would lead to an increase in charges for passengers flying in and out of UK’s busiest airport. If the plan is is implemented, passengers will end up paying double the approximate £40 they currently pay for a return trip.

The scale of airport charges will “turn Heathrow into a white elephant” and force passengers out of this airport, he said. A new runway would cost only about 1% of the entire budget, but these costs were being inflated by including a new terminal, an underground train link and an £800m car park into the proposed plan, Walsh added.

“We won’t pay for it and we most certainly won’t pre-fund the construction of any new infrastructure. Why should IAG’s customers pay today for tomorrow’s customers? Some people may say that we have no other option. Actually we do.

“Heathrow is not IAG’s only hub. We can develop our business via Madrid, which has spare capacity, and Dublin, where there are plans for a cost-effective and efficient second runway,” the chief executive said.

Response by Heathrow

The West London airport has assured that passenger charges will not double as stated by Walsh and would probably increase only by around 20%. A spokesman said that the expansion of this airport was critical to the British economy’s future and was the only way to connect the entire nation with global growth.

“The airports commission has confirmed that expansion can be financed and, with low-cost airlines such as easyJet already committing to provide routes from Heathrow, it is clear that operating costs from the airport will be competitive,” the spokesperson said.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/heathrow-expansion-british-airways-threatens-move-out-uk-1532835
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Willie Walsh said that BA could “develop our business” in Dublin or Madrid instead of Heathrow

By Graeme Paton and Francis Elliott  (The Times)
December 11 2015

The owner of British Airways has threatened to give up on Heathrow and move overseas after warning that passenger charges will double to pay for a “gold-plated” third runway.

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Addressing the Aviation Club in London yesterday, Mr Walsh said that only £182 million — about 1 per cent of the construction cost — was for the runway itself. He added that costs were being inflated by the addition of a new terminal, a 6.5km Underground train link and an £800 million car park.

Mr Walsh said that the scale of airport charges would “turn Heathrow into a white elephant” that large numbers of airlines would refuse to use.

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Full Times article (£) at

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/transport/article4638360.ece

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Earlier:

Willie Walsh tells AOA conference Heathrow’s runway is too expensive, and at that price, would fail

The Airport Operators Association is holding a two day conference on the runway issue, and Willie Walsh (CEO of IAG) was its key speaker.  He said Heathrow should not get a 3rd runway, if the Airport Commission’s calculation of the cost of building it is correct. He said: “The Commission got its figures wrong – they are over-inflated. If that is the cost [of a new runway], it won’t be a successful project.”  He described the assumption that airlines would pay for the new runway through increases in fares as “outrageous”.  British Airways is by far the biggest airline at Heathrow, with 55% of the slots. He said of the Commission’s report:  ” .. I have concerns about the level of cost associated with the main recommendation and the expectation that the industry can afford to pay for Heathrow’s expansion.”  He does not believe the cost is justified, and “If the cost of using an expanded airport significantly exceeds the costs of competitor airports, people won’t use it.”  It was not realistic for airlines: “You have to see it in terms of return on capital. ….Either the figures are inflated or you are building inefficient infrastructure. I do not endorse the findings. I definitely don’t support the costs of building a runway. If those costs are real, we should not build it.” On the cost of £8 billion to build a 6th terminal he commented: “How many chandeliers can you have in an airport terminal?

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/11/willie-walsh-tells-aoa-conference-heathrows-runway-is-too-expensive-and-at-that-price-would-fail/

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Other things Willie Walsh has said recently:

 

British Airways, in evidence to Transport Cttee, says that Heathrow runway is “unfinanceable” and a “white elephant”

British Airways has made its strongest attack yet on plans for a new Heathrow runway, saying its proposals are “unfinanceable” and a “white elephant”. The comments are in written evidence to the Commons Transport Select Cttee, dated 12th October, in its submission to its inquiry into surface access on October 27th.  BA repeats its view that the cost of transport infrastructure for the runway scheme should not be funded by airlines and their customers. BA is the biggest airline (51%) at Heathrow. It says – dangerously – that because of the alleged “up to £147 billion” of benefits of a runway to the UK, new road and rail link for the airport should, like standalone transport schemes like M4 widening, be paid for by taxpayers. [That “ up to £147 billion” benefit figure is highly dubious, and the Airports Commission’s own expert economic advisors, Mackie and Pearce, warned that it includes double counting and should be treated with caution.]  While avoiding any specific opposition in principle to expanding Heathrow, BA is not willing to pay – but it says the runway plan is is unaffordable and unfinanceable, and called into question the economic benefits. There has been speculation if Willie Walsh is just “browbeating aimed at cowing the CAA into lower charges” rather than stopping a Heathrow runway.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/11/british-airways-in-evidence-to-transport-cttee-that-heathrow-runway-is-unfinanceable-and-a-white-elephant/
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Willie Walsh says Heathrow 3rd runway is a “vanity project” with outrageous costs

British Airways boss Willie Walsh has said that the costs of Heathrow’s plans for a 3rd runway would be “outrageous”.  He said: “At the moment this is a vanity project by the management of Heathrow who are driven to build a monument to themselves.”  Walsh said that even if Heathrow gained another runway it would be lagging behind Dubai as a global hub by the time it is built.  “It is based on inefficient infrastructure which is not fit for purpose. Airlines and consumers are looking for lower costs when it comes to flying but airports only seem to be looking at higher costs.” Heathrow was already one of the most expensive airports in the world and was now “talking about raising costs by 50% to build the extra runway”. His criticism may be the start of negotiations to ensure BA is not landed with a huge bill to fund Heathrow expansion.  John Stewart, chairman of HACAN, said: “Willie Walsh is saying that a 3rd runway won’t deliver benefits for the aviation industry that are worth paying for. This could turn out to be curtains for the third runway unless this is no more than clever negotiating tactics by one of the sharpest operators in the business.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/08/willie-walsh-says-heathrow-3rd-runway-is-a-vanity-project-with-outrageous-costs/

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BA’s CEO, Willie Walsh, says post-election indecision will block building of any new south east runway

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, the parent company of British Airways, has again said that there will not be a new south east runway. He has often said this before, but this time he sees the likelihood of political indecision after the election as an additional issue. Willie Walsh thinks  that to build a runway, there would need to be “political consensus across all the parties – not just coalition partners.”  He also warned that the cost of each of the 3 runway proposals would all be prohibitive.  The expense would lead to higher landing costs, and airlines would not find that acceptable.  Willie Walsh reiterated his view that there was “no business case” for a 2nd Gatwick runway,  with not enough demand from airlines for it.   He has said in the past that Gatwick does not have the same international attraction as Heathrow.  He commented that Heathrow was already “the most expensive airport around.”  The runway decision would be a political one, and with a coalition government looking to be inevitable, there would be huge political difficulties in pushing through an unpopular runway, with dubious benefits even to the airlines.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/05/bas-ceo-willie-walsh-says-post-election-indecision-will-block-building-of-any-new-south-east-runway/

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Willie Walsh says there is no business case for a 2nd Gatwick runway – BA has Gatwick’s 2nd largest number of passengers

Willie Walsh, the head of IAG, will not support a 2nd Gatwick runway, even if it is chosen by the Airports Commission or backed by the next government. He does not believe there is a business case to support its expansion, and there is insufficient demand from airlines for extra capacity at Gatwick. Mr Walsh campaigned heavily for a 3rd Heathrow runway before 2010, but has made frequent comments indicating he does not believe UK politicians will have the “courage” to build that. Willie Walsh says British Airways would resist higher landing charges, which would be necessary to fund a runway – either at Heathrow or Gatwick. (EasyJet has also said in the past they don’t want a new runway, if it means substantially higher charges – their model is low cost). BA would want lower costs, not higher costs, from a new runway. IAG’s shares have now risen as it has now made a profit at last, and will be paying its first dividend (and maybe some UK tax). Gatwick’s main airline is EasyJet with around 37% of passengers, and British Airways 2nd largest at around 14%. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/11/willie-walsh-says-there-is-no-business-case-for-a-2nd-gatwick-runway-ba-has-gatwicks-2nd-largest-number-of-passengers/

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Government’s Heathrow indecision met with opprobrium from group of Gatwick area MPs

Speaking as Chair of the Gatwick Coordination Group of MPs (all eight MPs in the areas affected by Gatwick), Crispin Blunt MP lambasted the Government’s indecision over its response to the Airports Commission recommendation for a new runway at Heathrow Airport. Crispin said: “This is a disgraceful vacillation by the Government. They will richly deserve the opprobrium to be poured all over this shocking non-decision.”….“We were promised a decision by the end of the year. Recently we were promised a direction. What we have is neither decision, nor direction, but political cowardice, weakness and prevarication.” … “We will fight tooth and nail any attempts to resurrect Gatwick, whose flawed and costly proposal was left dead and buried by the Airports Commission. It is not the easier option. It would not survive the scrutiny of Parliament and the courts. Gatwick would deliver half the economic benefit, has wretched rail and road transport connections, and would fail to provide the hub airport which the UK needs.”
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Government’s Heathrow indecision met with MP’s opprobrium

10 December, 2015
By Crispin Blunt, MP for Reigate

Speaking as Chair of the Gatwick Coordination Group of MPs (listed below), Crispin Blunt MP has lambasted the Government’s indecision over its response to the Airports Commission recommendation for a new runway at Heathrow Airport.

Crispin Blunt said:

“This is a disgraceful vacillation by the Government. They will richly deserve the opprobrium to be poured all over this shocking non-decision.

“Sir Howard Davies’s Airports Commission undertook rigorous analysis and extensive consultations before it made a clear, unequivocal and unanimous decision for Heathrow. Sir Howard said in his final report in July:

‘The Commission urges the Government to make an early decision on its recommendations. Further delay will be increasingly costly and will be seen, nationally and internationally, as a sign that the UK is unwilling or unable to take the steps needed to maintain its position as a well-connected open trading economy in the twenty first century.’

“We were promised a decision by the end of the year. Recently we were promised a direction. What we have is neither decision, nor direction, but political cowardice, weakness and prevarication. People will see through this pathetic effort to avoid criticism in the run-up to the London mayoral election. Zac Goldsmith should not be allowed to exercise a veto over the national interest.

“We will fight tooth and nail any attempts to resurrect Gatwick, whose flawed and costly proposal was left dead and buried by the Airports Commission. It is not the easier option. It would not survive the scrutiny of Parliament and the courts. Gatwick would deliver half the economic benefit, has wretched rail and road transport connections, and would fail to provide the hub airport which the UK needs.”

 

Gatwick Coordination Group MP Members: 

Crispin Blunt MP (Reigate) (Chairman)

Sir Paul Beresford MP (Mole Valley)

Nusrat Ghani MP (Wealden)

The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP (Arundel and South Downs)

Henry Smith MP (Crawley)

The Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP (Mid Sussex)

Tom Tugendhat MP (Tonbridge and Malling)

Jeremy Quin MP (Horsham)

http://www.blunt4reigate.com/news/governments-heathrow-indecision-met-mps-opprobrium

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See also

Comment by GACC on government runway statement: Gatwick is not an easy option, especially on surface access

GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has responded to the news that the government is postponing its runway decision for at least 6 months – and therefore leaving Gatwick as a possible location. GACC is not surprised that the Government has delayed the decision, because Gatwick is not an easy option – there are substantial environmental problems at Gatwick as well as at Heathrow – for which no solution has been found. At Gatwick these include aggravating the north-south divide; 50,000 people would be affected by worse air quality; there would be a need for a new town the size of Crawley; three times as many people as at present would be affected by severe levels of aircraft noise; and the road and rail system could not cope, when the airport approached full capacity. A key issue that has no far been neglected by government, or the Commission, is the real cost of the road and rail infrastructure work that would be required for a 2nd Gatwick runway. The M23 and M25 would need major widening, the M23 would need to be extended into London, several new A roads would need to be built east and west of Gatwick, and the Brighton main rail line would need extensive work – all of which could be just as costly as anything needed at Heathrow. The reality is that the annual number of Gatwick flights is now only 5% higher than it was in 2000.

Click here to view full story…

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Long awaited Government statement on runways – decision will be delayed till summer 2016 – more work needed

After a meeting of the Cabinet Airports Sub-Committee, a statement was finally put out by Patrick Mcloughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, at 7pm. It said that the government confirms it supports the building of a new runway in the south east, to add capacity by 2030 (earlier airports claimed they could have a runway built by 2025). The decision on location is “subject to further consideration on environmental impacts and the best possible mitigation measures.” All three short listed schemes will continue to be considered – so Gatwick is still included. “The government will undertake a package of further work and we anticipate that it will conclude over the summer.” On air pollution and carbon emissions “The government faces a complex and challenging decision on delivering this capacity.” More work is needed on NO2. “The government expects the airports to put forward ambitious solutions. …The mechanism for delivering planning consents for airport expansion will be an ‘Airports national policy statement’ (NPS), following which a scheme promoter would need to apply for a development consent order.”… “At the first opportunity I will make a statement to the House to make clear our plans.”

Click here to view full story…   and for some of the many comments on the statement

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Long awaited Government statement on runways – decision will be delayed till summer 2016 – more work needed

After a meeting of the Cabinet Airports Sub-Committee, a statement was finally put out by Patrick Mcloughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, at 7pm. It said that the government confirms it supports the building of a new runway in the south east, to add capacity by 2030 (earlier airports claimed they could have a runway built by 2025). The decision on location is “subject to further consideration on environmental impacts and the best possible mitigation measures.” All three short listed schemes will continue to be considered – so Gatwick is still included.  “The government will undertake a package of further work and we anticipate that it will conclude over the summer.”  On air pollution and carbon emissions “The government faces a complex and challenging decision on delivering this capacity.” More work is needed on NO2. “The government expects the airports to put forward ambitious solutions. …The mechanism for delivering planning consents for airport expansion will be an ‘Airports national policy statement’ (NPS), following which a scheme promoter would need to apply for a development consent order.”… “At the first opportunity I will make a statement to the House to make clear our plans.”
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Government statement 7pm this evening: Delay runway decision till summer, after a package of further work. Including on CO2, air pollution and noise.

The statement by the DfT:


Government confirms support for airport expansion in the south-east

From:  Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP10 December 2015

Government statement on airport expansion in the south-east.

– location decision subject to further consideration on environmental impacts and the best possible mitigation measures

– government agrees with the Airports Commission that the south-east needs more runway capacity by 2030

– government agrees with the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options, all of which it concluded were viable
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The government has accepted the case for airport expansion in the south-east and the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options for expansion.  It has also identified the most appropriate way of delivering planning consents for new capacity, it was decided today (10 December 2015) at the Airports Sub Committee.The government will undertake a package of further work and we anticipate that it will conclude over the summer.The government will do this quickly so that the timetable for delivering capacity set out by the Airports Commission can be met.
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The Airports Commission published a large amount of very detailed analysis on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions for their 3 shortlisted schemes. The government faces a complex and challenging decision on delivering this capacity.

The Airports Commission’s air quality analysis will be tested using the latest projected future concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.

The next step is to continue to develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people and the environment. This will include a package for local communities to include compensation, maximising local economic opportunities through new jobs and apprenticeships, and measures to tackle noise.

More work will be done on environmental impacts. The government expects the airports to put forward ambitious solutions.

The mechanism for delivering planning consents for airport expansion will be an ‘Airports national policy statement’ (NPS), following which a scheme promoter would need to apply for a development consent order.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said:

“The case for aviation expansion is clear – but it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come. We will undertake more work on environmental impacts, including air quality, noise and carbon.

“We must develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people. We will continue work on all the shortlisted locations, so that the timetable for more capacity set out by Sir Howard is met.

“At the first opportunity I will make a statement to the House to make clear our plans.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-support-for-airport-expansion-in-the-south-east

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What is a Development Consent Order?

It is a fast means of getting permission for infrastructure developments of national significance

These could include transport, water, waste or energy projects

It was introduced in 2008 as a means of speeding up the planning process.


Article at  https://www.bdb-law.co.uk/blogs/planning-act-2008/669-no2-runway-decision-but-it-is-a-dco/

says:
“… – the runway(s) will be consented by means of a Development Consent Order (DCO) under the Planning Act 2008 rather than a hybrid bill, and the government will be publishing an Airports National Policy Statement as the ‘mechanism’ for delivering the DCO. The statement does not say whether the NPS will be ‘locationally specific’ as to sites suitable for new runways, which it can do but doesn’t have to. If a site is named in the NPS as suitable, then when an application is made you can’t object to the choice of site, which obviously helps an application at a named site.
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Patrick McLoughlin makes bland statement to Parliament about runway decision delay

Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, made an oral statement in the House of Commons on the government’s announcement that it is delaying a decision on a new runway. It is carefully worded, to give nothing away and be entirely non-committal. He was asked various questions by MPs after it, and his answers also give nothing away – and barely answer the questions. Some MPs wanted to know if Gatwick was now being considered. Henry Smith (MP for Crawley) asked whether, if the government decides on a Gatwick runway, he could have a “guarantee that the significant investment that will be required in housing, highways, the rail network and healthcare and all other public services will be forthcoming?” Mr McLoughlin: There are already significant commitments with regard to Gatwick; improving the infrastructure for Gatwick is already taking place and further such schemes will be coming on board over the next few years. It is vital that we get the surface access to our airports correct. That is something we are dealing with over a period of time. My hon. Friend asks whether there would be other consequences if the decision should go towards Gatwick. That will be the case for any option we choose, and of course we want to look at those options and see which ones we would want to take forward.” ie. more vague waffle.

More details at  http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/12/patrick-mcloughlin-makes-bland-statement-to-parliament-about-runway-decision-delay/


Below are some comments by various groups etc:

Comment by AEF on government runway statement: continued support for a new runway premature without environmental safeguards

Commenting on the government announcement that the government confirms its support for building a new runway, but it will be delayed, the Aviation Environment Federation said a decision in support of expansion is premature without knowing whether important environmental questions can be answered. “Heathrow is one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions in the UK and people living around the airport are already subject to aircraft noise and pollution levels that impair their health. Yet the Airports Commission failed to show, in two years of work, how a new runway could be compatible with key Government commitments on air pollution and climate change.” With key environmental challenges remaining, the Government should not commit to a new runway until and unless environmental questions relating to noise, air quality and climate can be answered. “The challenges of addressing the environmental impacts of a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick are no less significant than they were when the Coalition Government ruled out expansion for environmental reasons in 2010. The current Government should do the same.”

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Comment by TAG on government runway statement: disappointed 3rd Heathrow runway hasn’t been ruled out, once and for all.

Responding to the Secretary of State for Transport’s statement that the government has delayed its decision on future airport capacity, Paul McGuinness, spokesman for Teddington Action Group (TAG) said: “We’re very disappointed that a third Heathrow runway hasn’t been ruled out, once and for all. Heathrow is crammed between two immovable motorways, and expansion means building over the M25 and villages. It’s already the UK’s largest noise polluter and, even now, breaches air quality pollution targets. It’s situated in the middle of one of the UK’s most populated residential areas and it’s implausible that 250,000 extra plane movements won’t increase noise and pollution and make yet more dangerous the already full skies over our capital city. It’s simply in the wrong place to be growing what is already Europe’s busiest airport. The economic case has been found to be overstated, and Heathrow are refusing to accept environmental protections such as night flight bans and are refusing to rule out a fourth runway. We shouldn’t forget that the current proposal for the north west runway has been designed to occupy sufficient space to allow for the building of a fourth runway….. We believe that Heathrow expansion was only recommended because Sir Howard Davies was predisposed towards Heathrow….”

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Comment by GACC on government runway statement: Gatwick is not an easy option, especially on surface access

GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has responded to the news that the government is postponing its runway decision for at least 6 months – and therefore leaving Gatwick as a possible location. GACC is not surprised that the Government has delayed the decision, because Gatwick is not an easy option – there are substantial environmental problems at Gatwick as well as at Heathrow – for which no solution has been found. At Gatwick these include aggravating the north-south divide; 50,000 people would be affected by worse air quality; there would be a need for a new town the size of Crawley; three times as many people as at present would be affected by severe levels of aircraft noise; and the road and rail system could not cope, when the airport approached full capacity. A key issue that has no far been neglected by government, or the Commission, is the real cost of the road and rail infrastructure work that would be required for a 2nd Gatwick runway. The M23 and M25 would need major widening, the M23 would need to be extended into London, several new A roads would need to be built east and west of Gatwick, and the Brighton main rail line would need extensive work – all of which could be just as costly as anything needed at Heathrow. The reality is that the annual number of Gatwick flights is now only 5% higher than it was in 2000.

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Government’s Heathrow indecision met with opprobrium from group of Gatwick area MPs

Speaking as Chair of the Gatwick Coordination Group of MPs (all eight MPs in the areas affected by Gatwick), Crispin Blunt MP lambasted the Government’s indecision over its response to the Airports Commission recommendation for a new runway at Heathrow Airport. Crispin said: “This is a disgraceful vacillation by the Government. They will richly deserve the opprobrium to be poured all over this shocking non-decision.”….“We were promised a decision by the end of the year. Recently we were promised a direction. What we have is neither decision, nor direction, but political cowardice, weakness and prevarication.” … “We will fight tooth and nail any attempts to resurrect Gatwick, whose flawed and costly proposal was left dead and buried by the Airports Commission. It is not the easier option. It would not survive the scrutiny of Parliament and the courts. Gatwick would deliver half the economic benefit, has wretched rail and road transport connections, and would fail to provide the hub airport which the UK needs.”

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Comments by Zac Goldsmith and Boris Johnson on the government runway statement

Zac said he was “absolutely delighted” that the Government has acknowledged that the airports decision cannot be made without further environmental tests – “after much campaigning, the Government has heard the arguments, seen sense and taken this course of action.” …”We know that any airport expansion must meet our legally binding carbon, noise and air quality limits”. …”The choice has always been between an outdated model which would lead to higher costs and less choice, or investing in a network of well connected and competing airports.” Boris said: “Time to jettison the 3rd runway, chuck it overboard… it ain’t gonna happen”. He said many will think a 3rd runway at Heathrow is “pathetically unambitious”….”A lot of people will see this as just more fudge-erama to push a decision beyond the Mayoral elections.” He said Heathrow expansion has been “officially grounded” despite airport officials putting a “superhuman effort into bouncing the Government into a quick decision in their favour”….”The wheels are falling off the Heathrow fuselage” and Heathrow will realise that “due to the environmental impacts, the legal obstacles and the cost to the public purse, this bird will never fly.” He still has hopes for the Thames estuary …

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Predictable arrogant shouting from business lobby – they want their runway, no matter what its impacts are

The media have been unimpressive in their coverage of the statement by the government that they are not making a runway location decision this year. They have almost entirely focused on the demands of the business lobby. While the government decision is in large part to avoid political difficulties, of Zac Goldsmith being Tory London Mayoral candidate – there are very real environmental and other problems with either runway location. The Airports Commission did a very incomplete job in its recommendation. It left key areas such as carbon emissions, local air pollution and noise impacts for the government to sort out. It largely neglected health impacts, or costs to the taxpayer, or long term social and economic costs to areas near the “chosen” airport. It was therefore inevitable that a vast amount of additional work would need to be done, before any government could – responsibly and prudently – make a runway decision. Due to the flaws in the Commission’s recommendation, the government is aware it will face forceful legal challenges, especially on air pollution. The Environmental Audit Committee set out the extra conditions the government needs to fulfil before making any decision. By contrast the business lobby just things shouting loudly and aggressively that they want a runway, and they want it now, (regardless of its adverse effects) will win them the day. Stunningly arrogant, and without any apparent analysis of the actual facts. But the media seem to love it.

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Comment by Heathrow on government runway statement: it has “full confidence” in its runway plan “within environmental limits”

Heathrow responded to the announcement that the government will postpone a runway decision till summer with a typical example of its PR-speak: “…it has full confidence in its new expansion plan and pledged to work with Government to deliver Britain the hub capacity it needs within tough environmental limits.” There is a page full of Heathrow’s usual claims about economic benefits, jobs, “linking the regions to global growth” and the same stuff that has been trotted out again and again. This is one of the statements, as full of holes as a Swiss cheese: “The Commission confirmed that expanding Heathrow would have the biggest economic benefits for the UK and can be done while reducing noise for local communities and within EU air quality limits.” Really not a brilliantly persuasive response. It is copied below, with a few links to the actual facts and figures, other than Heathrow spin. Another gem to appreciate (avoiding mention of economic benefit at its most exaggerated, and over 60 YEARS, and jobs by 2050): the runway will “result in up to £211bn of economic growth, 180,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships spread across the whole of Britain.” Seems government has not been taken in by this stuff ….

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Comment by TAG on government runway statement: disappointed 3rd Heathrow runway hasn’t been ruled out, once and for all.

Responding to the Secretary of State for Transport’s statement that the government has delayed its decision on future airport capacity, Paul McGuinness, spokesman for Teddington Action Group (TAG) said: “We’re very disappointed that a third Heathrow runway hasn’t been ruled out, once and for all. Heathrow is crammed between two immovable motorways, and expansion means building over the M25 and villages. It’s already the UK’s largest noise polluter and, even now, breaches air quality pollution targets. It’s situated in the middle of one of the UK’s most populated residential areas and it’s implausible that 250,000 extra plane movements won’t increase noise and pollution and make yet more dangerous the already full skies over our capital city. It’s simply in the wrong place to be growing what is already Europe’s busiest airport. The economic case has been found to be overstated, and Heathrow are refusing to accept environmental protections such as night flight bans and are refusing to rule out a fourth runway. We shouldn’t forget that the current proposal for the north west runway has been designed to occupy sufficient space to allow for the building of a fourth runway….. We believe that Heathrow expansion was only recommended because Sir Howard Davies was predisposed towards Heathrow….”
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Teddington Action Group responds to Government announcement of delayed runway decision

10.12.2015

By TAG

Responding to the Secretary of State for Transport’s statement that the government has delayed its decision on future airport capacity, Paul McGuinness, spokesman for Teddington Action Group (TAG) said:

“We’re very disappointed that a third Heathrow runway hasn’t been ruled out, once and for all.

Heathrow is crammed between two immovable motorways, and expansion means building over the M25 and villages. It’s already the UK’s largest noise polluter and, even now, breaches air quality pollution targets.

It’s situated in the middle of one of the UK’s most populated residential areas and it’s implausible that 250,000 extra plane movements won’t increase noise and pollution and make yet more dangerous the already full skies over our capital city.

It’s simply in the wrong place to be growing what is already Europe’s busiest airport.

The economic case has been found to be overstated, and Heathrow are refusing to accept environmental protections such as night flight bans and are refusing to rule out a fourth runway. We shouldn’t forget that the current proposal for the north west runway has been designed to occupy sufficient space to allow for the building of a fourth runway.

If the government believes extra capacity is required, they should look elsewhere. And if the Government were serious about the sector it would be seeking to spread the business across airports, rather than undermining the future of Heathrow’s competitors such as Gatwick who, as easyjet have made clear, would necessarily lose business to an expanded Heathrow, moving Heathrow towards a monopoly position.

We believe that Heathrow expansion was only recommended because Sir Howard Davies was predisposed towards Heathrow before he chaired the Airports Commission. He only resigned from one of GIC Private Limited’s boards on being appointed to the supposedly “independent” Airports Commission. GIC Private Limited is one of Heathrow’s owners, for goodness sake.

In the longer term, the government needs to bite the bullet and construct a purpose built facility away from where people live (like they do in the rest of the world). This is just another example of the government’s short sighted and piecemeal approach towards infrastructure. This project is ill conceived and the Airports Commission was compromised from the start”.
For comment or more information, please contact: Paul McGuinness on paul.mcguinness@workingfashions.com.


 

Notes:

1. The current proposal allows for a fourth runway

In an unreported internal document (“Airports Commission: Long-term hub capacity options Heathrow Airport Limited response” – dated 17th July 2013), prepared in advance of their submission to the Airports Commission, Heathrow wrote the following:
“All of the options we are putting forward for three runways have been designed to evolve to four runways” (Page 36  – see below)

4 runway Heathrow 2013 document

 

2. Sir Howard Davies’ career at Heathrow owner GIC Private Ltd

From 2009, Sir Howard Davies was an adviser to the Investment Strategy Committee of GIC Private Limited (formerly known as the Singapore Government Investment Co).
In 2011, he was appointed to the International Advisory Board of GIC Private Ltd, on which he was still sitting on the day of his appointment to chair the “independent” Airports Commission.

He only resigned this remunerated position upon accepting the unremunerated position of Chair of the Airports Commission.

GIC Private Ltd owns 11.2 % of Heathrow.

Despite claiming to have looked at up to 50 schemes, the Airports Commissions finalised just three for consideration, weighting it very much in Heathrow’s favour: two were at Heathrow (the other being at Gatwick).

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Comment by GACC on government runway statement: Gatwick is not an easy option, especially on surface access

GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has responded to the news that the government is postponing its runway decision for at least 6 months – and therefore leaving Gatwick as a possible location.  GACC is not surprised that the Government has delayed the decision, because Gatwick is not an easy option – there are substantial environmental problems at Gatwick as well as at Heathrow – for which no solution has been found. At Gatwick these include aggravating the north-south divide; 50,000 people would be affected by worse air quality; there would be a need for a new town the size of Crawley; three times as many people as at present would be affected by severe levels of aircraft noise; and the road and rail system could not cope, when the airport approached full capacity.  A key issue that has no far been neglected by government, or the Commission, is the real cost of the road and rail infrastructure work that would be required for a 2nd Gatwick runway. The M23 and M25 would need major widening, the M23 would need to be extended into London, several new A roads would need to be built east and west of Gatwick, and the Brighton main rail line would need extensive work – all of which could be just as costly as anything needed at Heathrow. The reality is that the annual number of Gatwick flights is now only 5% higher than it was in 2000.
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Runway decision postponed

10.12.2015

By GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

GACC is not surprised that the Government has delayed the runway decision:  Gatwick is no easy option – there are substantial environmental problems at Gatwick as well as at Heathrow for which no solution has been found.

At Gatwick these include aggravating the north-south divide; 50,000 people affected by worse air quality;[1] the need for a new town the size of Crawley,[2] three times as many people as at present affected by severe noise;[3] and a road and rail system that could not cope when the airport reached full capacity.

According the GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill: ‘One issue the Government will need to examine during the next six months is the real cost of the road and rail infrastructure work required for a second Gatwick runway.’[4]

GACC research shows that when Gatwick with two runways was operating at full capacity the M23 and M25 would need major widening, the M23 would need to be extended into London, several new A roads would need to be built east and west of Gatwick, and the Brighton main rail line would need extensive work – all of which could be just as costly as anything needed at Heathrow.[5]

Brendon Sewill added: ‘The delay in reaching a decision is not serious, in terms of airport capacity.  If air travel is kept within climate change limits, Stansted will not be full until after 2040.[6]  Although the number of air passengers is increasing, the number of flights (which is what counts in terms of runway slots) is hardly rising – because airlines are using larger aircraft with fewer empty seats.  At Gatwick the number of flights has only increased by 5% since 2000, an average rate of one-third of one per cent a year.[7]

The Government is right not to be rushed into a hasty decision.’

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www.gacc.org.uk

 

Notes:

[1] Airports Commission consultation on Air Quality May 2015.

[2] Report by consultants for West Sussex County Council.  Lower figures used by the Airports Commission excluded catalytic employment (new firms attracted to the area).

[3]  Airports Commission consultation November 2014.

[4]  It is often said that the Gatwick infrastructure costs would be less than at Heathrow but that is based on calculations for the year 2030 when the forecasts show a new runway at Heathrow handling over four times as many passengers as a new runway at Gatwick.

[5] GACC response to Airports Commission consultation, February 2015. www.gacc.org.uk/the-runway-issue  

[6] Airports Commission Interim Report

[7] CAA airport statistics 2000 and GAL air traffic statistics 2015.

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Gatwick number of flights:

267,767 flights (ATMs) in 2015  (which is 6.7% higher than in 2000 and 3.4% higher than in 2007)

255,000 ATMs in 2014  (which is 1.6% higher than in 2000)

244,000 in 2013

259,000 in 2007 at the peak

241,000 in 2004

251,000 in 2000

 

Gatwick number of passengers:

40,267,900  pax in 2000   (26% more passengers than in 2000 and 14.5% higher than in 2007)

35,165,000 passengers in 2007 at its peak

31,948,000 pax in 2000

Data from the CAA

http://www.caa.co.uk/Data-and-analysis/UK-aviation-market/Airports/Datasets/UK-Airport-data/Airport-data-1990-onwards/


Government statement 7pm this evening: Delay runway decision till summer, after a package of further work. Including on CO2, air pollution and noise.

The statement by the DfT:


Government confirms support for airport expansion in the south-east

From:  Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP10 December 2015

Government statement on airport expansion in the south-east.

– location decision subject to further consideration on environmental impacts and the best possible mitigation measures

– government agrees with the Airports Commission that the south-east needs more runway capacity by 2030

– government agrees with the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options, all of which it concluded were viable
The government has accepted the case for airport expansion in the south-east and the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options for expansion. It has also identified the most appropriate way of delivering planning consents for new capacity, it was decided today (10 December 2015) at the Airports Sub Committee.The government will undertake a package of further work and we anticipate that it will conclude over the summer.

The government will do this quickly so that the timetable for delivering capacity set out by the Airports Commission can be met.

The Airports Commission published a large amount of very detailed analysis on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions for their 3 shortlisted schemes. The government faces a complex and challenging decision on delivering this capacity.

The Airports Commission’s air quality analysis will be tested using the latest projected future concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.

The next step is to continue to develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people and the environment. This will include a package for local communities to include compensation, maximising local economic opportunities through new jobs and apprenticeships, and measures to tackle noise.

More work will be done on environmental impacts. The government expects the airports to put forward ambitious solutions.

The mechanism for delivering planning consents for airport expansion will be an ‘Airports national policy statement’ (NPS), following which a scheme promoter would need to apply for a development consent order.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said:

“The case for aviation expansion is clear – but it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come. We will undertake more work on environmental impacts, including air quality, noise and carbon.

“We must develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people. We will continue work on all the shortlisted locations, so that the timetable for more capacity set out by Sir Howard is met.

“At the first opportunity I will make a statement to the House to make clear our plans.”

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-support-for-airport-expansion-in-the-south-east

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Comments by Zac Goldsmith and Boris Johnson on the government runway statement

Zac said he was “absolutely delighted” that the Government has acknowledged that the airports decision cannot be made without further environmental tests – “after much campaigning, the Government has heard the arguments, seen sense and taken this course of action.”  …”We know that any airport expansion must meet our legally binding carbon, noise and air quality limits”. …”The choice has always been between an outdated model which would lead to higher costs and less choice, or investing in a network of well connected and competing airports.”   Boris said: “Time to jettison the 3rd runway, chuck it overboard… it ain’t gonna happen”. He said many will think a 3rd runway at Heathrow is “pathetically unambitious”….”A lot of people will see this as just more fudge-erama to push a decision beyond the Mayoral elections.” He said Heathrow expansion has been “officially grounded” despite airport officials putting a “superhuman effort into bouncing the Government into a quick decision in their favour”….”The wheels are falling off the Heathrow fuselage” and Heathrow will realise that “due to the environmental impacts, the legal obstacles and the cost to the public purse, this bird will never fly.” He still has hopes for the Thames estuary …

Also Ray Puddifoot comment below.


 

Comment by Zac Goldsmith, MP and Conservative London Mayoral candidate:

10.12.2015

Today the Government has acknowledged that the airports decision cannot be made without further environmental tests.

The shortlisted options for expansion, including Heathrow and Gatwick, now have to go back to the drawing board and prove that their plans are consistent with tackling air pollution.

I am absolutely delighted that, after much campaigning, the Government has heard the arguments, seen sense and taken this course of action.

We know that any airport expansion must meet our legally binding carbon, noise and air quality limits. There can be no doubt that in a fair contest on air quality, Heathrow will not win.

That is good news for London. We have a massive opportunity now to remove the threat of Heathrow expansion once and for all, and to press for an intelligent approach to London’s connectivity.

The choice has always been between an outdated model which would lead to higher costs and less choice, or investing in a network of well connected and competing airports.

If elected Mayor I will continue to make the case for the latter and bring the same focus and discipline to getting things done for Londoners.

Today has demonstrated why it is so important that London elects a Mayor who can fight for Londoners’ interests and get results.

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Telegraph said:

The delay means that Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London who is opposed to Heathrow expansion, will not have to fulfill a pledge to resign as a Conservative MP.

It raises the prospect that Boris Johnson, the current Mayor of London, could have to resign over the issue if he joins the Cabinet next year.


 

Sky News said on Twitter:

Mayor of London Boris Johnson: “Time to jettison the third runway, chuck it overboard… it ain’t gonna happen”

Boris Johnson: “A lot of people will say this is fudgerama”

The Mayor of London has told Channel 4 news that many will think the Government’s decision is a “fudger-rama” and that a third runway at Heathrow is “pathetically unambitious”.

He said: “It might look like terminal indecision. A lot of people will see this as just more fudge-erama to push a decision beyond the Mayoral elections.”

Mr Johnson claimed that Heathrow expansion has been “officially grounded” despite airport officials putting a “superhuman effort into bouncing the Government into a quick decision in their favour”.

He said: “The Prime Minister and his colleagues have refused to allow themselves to be hustled.

“The wheels are falling off the Heathrow fuselage and I think that, now the Government has hit the pause button, they will begin to understand with ever greater clarity that, due to the environmental impacts, the legal obstacles and the cost to the public purse, this bird will never fly.”

The mayor added that the chances of his favoured project – a new airport in the Thames Estuary – going ahead have been boosted by the delay.

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Hillingdon Council leader says announcement “deeply disappointing”

Hillingdon Council Leader Ray Puddifoot said: “The government should rule out Heathrow expansion now, not in six months time. No ifs, no buts.

“It has been proven yet again that it cannot be accommodated without resulting in unacceptable levels of noise, air pollution and destroying local communities.

“It’s deeply disappointing that our residents have to live with more uncertainly and distress while this futile debate rumbles on.”


Government statement 7pm this evening: Delay runway decision till summer, after a package of further work. Including on CO2, air pollution and noise.

The statement by the DfT:


Government confirms support for airport expansion in the south-east

From:  Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP10 December 2015

Government statement on airport expansion in the south-east.

– location decision subject to further consideration on environmental impacts and the best possible mitigation measures

– government agrees with the Airports Commission that the south-east needs more runway capacity by 2030

– government agrees with the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options, all of which it concluded were viable
The government has accepted the case for airport expansion in the south-east and the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options for expansion. It has also identified the most appropriate way of delivering planning consents for new capacity, it was decided today (10 December 2015) at the Airports Sub Committee.The government will undertake a package of further work and we anticipate that it will conclude over the summer.The government will do this quickly so that the timetable for delivering capacity set out by the Airports Commission can be met.

The Airports Commission published a large amount of very detailed analysis on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions for their 3 shortlisted schemes. The government faces a complex and challenging decision on delivering this capacity.

The Airports Commission’s air quality analysis will be tested using the latest projected future concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.

The next step is to continue to develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people and the environment. This will include a package for local communities to include compensation, maximising local economic opportunities through new jobs and apprenticeships, and measures to tackle noise.

More work will be done on environmental impacts. The government expects the airports to put forward ambitious solutions.

The mechanism for delivering planning consents for airport expansion will be an ‘Airports national policy statement’ (NPS), following which a scheme promoter would need to apply for a development consent order.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said:

“The case for aviation expansion is clear – but it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come. We will undertake more work on environmental impacts, including air quality, noise and carbon.

“We must develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people. We will continue work on all the shortlisted locations, so that the timetable for more capacity set out by Sir Howard is met.

“At the first opportunity I will make a statement to the House to make clear our plans.”

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-support-for-airport-expansion-in-the-south-east

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Comment by Heathrow on government runway statement: it has “full confidence” in its runway plan “within environmental limits”

Heathrow responded to the announcement that the government will postpone a runway decision till summer with a typical example of its PR-speak: “…it has full confidence in its new expansion plan and pledged to work with Government to deliver Britain the hub capacity it needs within tough environmental limits.” There is a page full of Heathrow’s usual claims about economic benefits, jobs, “linking the regions to global growth” and the same stuff that has been trotted out again and again. This is one of the statements, as full of holes as a Swiss cheese: “The Commission confirmed that expanding Heathrow would have the biggest economic benefits for the UK and can be done while reducing noise for local communities and within EU air quality limits.”  Really not a brilliantly persuasive response. It is copied below, with a few links to the actual facts and figures, other than Heathrow spin. Another gem to appreciate (avoiding mention of economic benefit at its most exaggerated, and over 60 YEARS, and jobs by 2050): the runway will “result in up to £211bn of economic growth, 180,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships spread across the whole of Britain.”  Seems government has not been taken in by this stuff ….
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Heathrow responds to Government announcement on airport expansion

10.12.2015

Heathrow says: 

“UPDATE, 7:35pm: Heathrow said today that it has full confidence in its new expansion plan and pledged to work with Government to deliver Britain the hub capacity it needs within tough environmental limits.

Government’s announcement to progress Heathrow’s expansion [what Patrick McLoughlin actually said was: “We will continue work on all the shortlisted locations,” not only Heathrow.  AW note] and undertake further environmental research follows the unanimous and unambiguous recommendation of the Airports Commission this summer after a two and a half year, £20m study – the deepest ever into UK aviation capacity.

The Commission confirmed that expanding Heathrow would have the biggest economic benefits for the UK and can be done while reducing noise for local communities and within EU air quality limits.  [This statement is full of ambiguities and unjustifiable claims.  AW note]. 

Expanding Heathrow will give Britain up to 40 more long haul destinations, such as Wuhan, Osaka and Panama City, making it the best connected country in the world. [The Airports Commission actually said “up to 12”.  Link   AW note]. 

It will more than double the number of domestic routes served, ensuring every region and nation of the UK  [the Airports Commission report actually said there would  be fewer links to domestic airports with a new runway than now.  Link.  AW note]  can get to global markets and, increase cargo capacity, supporting Britain’s exporters. [By tonnage and by value, Heathrow imports more than it exports.  Link.  AW note]   

This will result in up to £211bn of economic growth, 180,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships spread across the whole of Britain.  [The £211 billion, over 60 years over all the UK, is the most optimistic figure produced by the Commission. Others show numbers like £11 billion over 60 years.  Link to economic critique.  The Quod report is a flimsy 4 page thing, done for Heathrow. No date, almost no references, no authorship or contact details etc.  Quod report.   AW note] 

whole-uk-regiona-benefits

[Note how this table does not mention that these optimistic numbers are by 2050.  That is over 35 years.  AW note]

Expansion of Heathrow is backed by business, trade unions, politicians and airlines as the best solution to Britain’s aviation capacity crunch. Supporters include the CBI, BCC, chambers of commerce across the country, Unite, the GMB, 37 British airports and airlines such as easyJet, which plans to operate from an expanded Heathrow. [It does not include British Airways, the main airline using Heathrow.   AW note]

Independent polling has shown that expansion has strong support in local constituencies. [Not very strong. Under 50% at the best. Survey scripts etc never published. Link to one UK poll.   Link to a Populus poll   AW note]

Heathrow is confident that its plans meet tough environmental conditions and will move into the delivery phase.  [Heathrow is always confident.  But that may be foolish, unless it can force the government into a very unwise, financially and environmentally damaging decision.  AW note]

Logistics hubs are already planned across the UK, notably in the Midlands, the Northern Powerhouse and Scotland.

The news [wot news??] will put in motion billions of pounds of contracts for British companies, including SMEs, to deliver the largest privately financed infrastructure project in the country.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye responding to the announcement..

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport said: “The Airports Commission, announced by the Prime Minister three years ago, made a unanimous and unambiguous recommendation in June for Heathrow expansion.”

“Our new plan will connect the whole nation to global growth while providing opportunities for the local community and making Heathrow the most environmentally responsible hub airport in the world. I am confident we can meet tough environmental standards.”

“We have support locally and nationally from politicians, business, trade unions and the aviation industry for Heathrow expansion. Let’s get on and build a better future for Britain.”  [Classic example of Heathrow attempting, in a series of tediously repeated sound bites, to persuade people that what is good for Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd is the same as what is good for Britain. They are two very different things.  AW note].

10 December 2015, 7.30pm: Heathrow has released the following initial statement in response to the Government announcement on airport expansion this evening. “

initial-LHR-response

[Sigh ……].

 

http://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/heathrow-responds-to-government-announcement-on-airport-expansion/

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Government statement 7pm this evening: Delay runway decision till summer, after a package of further work. Including on CO2, air pollution and noise.

The statement by the DfT:


Government confirms support for airport expansion in the south-east

From:  Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP10 December 2015

Government statement on airport expansion in the south-east.

– location decision subject to further consideration on environmental impacts and the best possible mitigation measures

– government agrees with the Airports Commission that the south-east needs more runway capacity by 2030

– government agrees with the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options, all of which it concluded were viable
The government has accepted the case for airport expansion in the south-east and the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options for expansion. It has also identified the most appropriate way of delivering planning consents for new capacity, it was decided today (10 December 2015) at the Airports Sub Committee.The government will undertake a package of further work and we anticipate that it will conclude over the summer.The government will do this quickly so that the timetable for delivering capacity set out by the Airports Commission can be met.The Airports Commission published a large amount of very detailed analysis on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions for their 3 shortlisted schemes. The government faces a complex and challenging decision on delivering this capacity.

The Airports Commission’s air quality analysis will be tested using the latest projected future concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.

The next step is to continue to develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people and the environment. This will include a package for local communities to include compensation, maximising local economic opportunities through new jobs and apprenticeships, and measures to tackle noise.

More work will be done on environmental impacts. The government expects the airports to put forward ambitious solutions.

The mechanism for delivering planning consents for airport expansion will be an ‘Airports national policy statement’ (NPS), following which a scheme promoter would need to apply for a development consent order.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said:

“The case for aviation expansion is clear – but it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come. We will undertake more work on environmental impacts, including air quality, noise and carbon.

“We must develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people. We will continue work on all the shortlisted locations, so that the timetable for more capacity set out by Sir Howard is met.

“At the first opportunity I will make a statement to the House to make clear our plans.”

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-support-for-airport-expansion-in-the-south-east

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Comment by AEF on government runway statement: continued support for a new runway premature without environmental safeguards

Commenting on the government announcement that the government confirms its support for building a new runway, but it will be delayed, the Aviation Environment Federation said a decision in support of expansion is premature without knowing whether important environmental questions can be answered. “Heathrow is one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions in the UK and people living around the airport are already subject to aircraft noise and pollution levels that impair their health. Yet the Airports Commission failed to show, in two years of work, how a new runway could be compatible with key Government commitments on air pollution and climate change.”  With key environmental challenges remaining, the Government should not commit to a new runway until and unless environmental questions relating to noise, air quality and climate can be answered. “The challenges of addressing the environmental impacts of a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick are no less significant than they were when the Coalition Government ruled out expansion for environmental reasons in 2010. The current Government should do the same.”
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Government delays runway decision, AEF reaction

The Government has today announce[“Government confirms support for airport expansion in the south-east”] that a final decision on airport expansion will be delayed until further work on environmental impacts has been undertaken, especially on air quality.

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)[1], a national NGO campaigning on the environmental impacts of flying, believes that a decision in support of expansion is premature without knowing whether important environmental questions can be answered.

Heathrow is one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions in the UK and people living around the airport are already subject to aircraft noise and pollution levels that impair their health. Yet the Airports Commission failed to show, in two years of work, how a new runway could be compatible with key Government commitments on air pollution and climate change [2].

Is history repeating itself? Ten years ago, the then Government gave its support to Heathrow expansion but said it needed to be confident that air quality laws wouldn’t be breached. But the improvements necessary to meet this condition never materialised and some roads around Heathrow still breach legal air quality limits today with just two runways.

With key environmental challenges remaining [3], the Government should not commit to a new runway until and unless environmental questions relating to noise, air quality and climate can be answered.

AEF Deputy Director Cait Hewitt said

“The Government has had to admit that there are huge environmental hurdles in the way of Heathrow expansion. The Airports Commission hasn’t presented a convincing case on either air pollution or climate change problems, both of which would be made worse by expansion.

“The challenges of addressing the environmental impacts of a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick are no less significant than they were when the Coalition Government ruled out expansion for environmental reasons in 2010. The current Government should do the same.”

—ENDS—

Contact: James Lees 020 3102 1509 / james@aef.org.uk

Notes to editor:

[1] Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) is the leading UK organisation campaigning exclusively on the environmental impacts of aviation. We represent community groups and individuals around many of the UK’s airports and airfields.

[2] The Environmental Audit Committee report published last month highlighted the sheer scale of the environmental measures that Government would need to implement to prevent a third runway becoming an environmental disaster and warned against a premature decision on airport expansion. AEF gave verbal evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee as part of its inquiry and our comments were reflected in the EAC’s report (more here: http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/12/01/cross-party-committee-of-mps-recommends-government-should-not-give-go-ahead-on-heathrow-expansion/). The report concluded that no decision should be taken unless remaining environmental questions can be answered.

[3] Despite predicting that a new runway would cause an increase in CO2 emissions from aircraft, the Airports Commission pushed the challenge of meeting CO2 limits while expanding South East airports back to Government. See our report, All Set for Take Off, here for more information.

http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/12/10/government-delays-runway-decision-aef-reaction/

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Government statement 7pm this evening: Delay runway decision till summer, after a package of further work. Including on CO2, air pollution and noise.

The statement by the DfT:


Government confirms support for airport expansion in the south-east

From:  Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP

10 December 2015

Government statement on airport expansion in the south-east.

– location decision subject to further consideration on environmental impacts and the best possible mitigation measures

– government agrees with the Airports Commission that the south-east needs more runway capacity by 2030

– government agrees with the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options, all of which it concluded were viable

The government has accepted the case for airport expansion in the south-east and the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options for expansion. It has also identified the most appropriate way of delivering planning consents for new capacity, it was decided today (10 December 2015) at the Airports Sub Committee.

The government will undertake a package of further work and we anticipate that it will conclude over the summer.

The government will do this quickly so that the timetable for delivering capacity set out by the Airports Commission can be met.

The Airports Commission published a large amount of very detailed analysis on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions for their 3 shortlisted schemes. The government faces a complex and challenging decision on delivering this capacity.

The Airports Commission’s air quality analysis will be tested using the latest projected future concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.

The next step is to continue to develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people and the environment. This will include a package for local communities to include compensation, maximising local economic opportunities through new jobs and apprenticeships, and measures to tackle noise.

More work will be done on environmental impacts. The government expects the airports to put forward ambitious solutions.

The mechanism for delivering planning consents for airport expansion will be an ‘Airports national policy statement’ (NPS), following which a scheme promoter would need to apply for a development consent order.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said:

“The case for aviation expansion is clear – but it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come. We will undertake more work on environmental impacts, including air quality, noise and carbon.

“We must develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people. We will continue work on all the shortlisted locations, so that the timetable for more capacity set out by Sir Howard is met.

“At the first opportunity I will make a statement to the House to make clear our plans.”

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-support-for-airport-expansion-in-the-south-east

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Heathrow Express, owned by Heathrow, told by ASA to drop its untrue claim it runs every 15 minutes

The Advertising Standards Authority has criticised the claim by Heathrow Express  that it runs a service every 15 minutes. A customer had complained that the frequency drops to once every 30 minutes late in the day. Heathrow Express is operated by the Heathrow Express Operating Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heathrow Airport Holdings. Heathrow Express admitted the ongoing Crossrail engineering works were affecting the service, meaning that three trains in each direction were cancelled after 10pm from Monday to Thursday, leading to a half-hourly service during this time. This was only 2.2% of the total number of trains.  However, the ASA said consumers would understand “every 15 minutes” to mean that a Heathrow Express service would be available every 15 minutes throughout the whole day, between 5am to midnight. “We therefore considered that information regarding the hours of operation and the regular reduction in service should have been made clear to consumers as part of the claim itself.”The ASA told Heathrow Express not to repeat the claim “every 15 minutes”.  Research published last year suggested that the Heathrow Express was the most expensive airport rail journey in Europe, with flights to Spain available for less. 
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Heathrow Express is an airport rail link between London Heathrow Airport and Paddington. It opened in 1998 and is operated by the Heathrow Express Operating Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heathrow Airport Holdings.

 

Heathrow Express told to drop claim it runs every 15 minutes

Advertising Standards criticises the Heathrow Express claim that it runs a service every 15 minutes

The Heathrow Express is one of Britain’s most expensive rail journeys
By Natalie Paris and PA (Telegraph)
9th Dec 2015

The Heathrow Express can no longer claim it runs “every 15 minutes” after a customer complained that the frequency drops to once every 30 minutes late in the day.

Heathrow Express said its core message of “15 minutes, every 15 minutes” was the service they offered to passengers “in line with overall airport flight patterns”.

But it said the ongoing Crossrail engineering works were affecting the service, meaning that three trains in each direction were cancelled after 10pm from Monday to Thursday, leading to a half-hourly service during this time.

This was the equivalent of 2.2 per cent of trains affected across the week, and the amendment was displayed on the timetable section of the website and on printed timetables available in stations.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said consumers would understand “every 15 minutes” to mean that a Heathrow Express service would be available every 15 minutes throughout the whole day.

It said: “We understood that the service did not operate on a 24-hour basis, but only operated between 5am and midnight, and that it therefore was not available every 15 minutes. Furthermore, we understood that the service during post-10pm operating hours during the week was reduced to a half-hourly service.

“We appreciated that the service was affected by Crossrail engineering work and acknowledged Heathrow Express’ statement that this accounted for only 2.2 per cent of their service, but noted that the reduction in service was regular and ongoing during this period of engineering work, and that it entailed the 15-minute service being unavailable during this time.

“We therefore considered that information regarding the hours of operation and the regular reduction in service should have been made clear to consumers as part of the claim itself.”

It noted that the information was available on the timetable section of the website and on printed timetables, “but we considered that this was insufficiently prominent and also served to contradict the headline claim that the service operated every 15 minutes”.

The ASA told Heathrow Express not to repeat the claim “every 15 minutes”.

A spokeswoman for the Heathrow Express said: “We respect the decision made by the ASA and are now reviewing our advertising because we want to ensure we provide the best service possible for our customers.

“We are proud to offer passengers the quickest possible journey between central London and Heathrow but occasionally there are planned engineering works that may affect our service.
“We recommend passengers check online or on Twitter before they travel.”

Research published last year suggested that the Heathrow Express was the most expensive airport rail journey in Europe, with flights to Spain available for less.

Of the 47 airports in Europe included in the survey for Flightright.com, four of the five most expensive airport trains served London. Stansted was the second costliest to reach by rail – with tickets in 2014 priced at £23.40 one-way (or £33.20 return), followed by Stockholm (£22.07), Gatwick (£17.70) and Luton (£15.50).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/12041355/Heathrow-Express-told-to-stop-claiming-to-run-every-15-minutes.html

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Earlier problems Heathrow has had with its adverts being regarded as correct, by the ASA:

 

Advertising Standards Agency rules Heathrow ads claiming “Those living around us are behind us” are misleading

Heathrow Airport has been told by the ASA that its adverts claiming that “Those living around us are behind us”.  Eight people had challenged whether the adverts were misleading and if they could be substantiated.  The ASA concluded that the claim exaggerated the level of support for expansion, had not been substantiated and was misleading. They noted that the claims “Those living around us are behind us” and “Locals support it” were not qualified.  The ASA considered that most readers would interpret the claims to mean that a clear majority of those living in close proximity to Heathrow Airport supported expansion. The evidence provided, however, showed that only 50% of those surveyed from ten constituencies close to the airport supported expansion. The ASA say the ads must not appear in their current form again. They told Heathrow Airport Ltd to ensure they held sufficient evidence to substantiate their objective marketing claims in future, and to ensure their claims were adequately qualified, without contradiction. John Stewart, chair of HACAN, said: “This judgement is not good news for Heathrow. It undermines a key plank of their campaign that they have strong local support for a third runway.” The ASA ruled against other Heathrow ads in February 2015.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/09/advertising-standards-agency-rules-heathrow-ads-claiming-those-living-around-us-are-behind-us-are-misleading/

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Advertising Standards Authority finds Heathrow advert about increased trade breaches their code and is ‘misleading’

In October 2014 about 13 people send in official complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, on claims being made by Heathrow in its adverts. The ASA looked at 7 different complaints, and considered that 6 passed their standards. However, on the claim by Heathrow in its ads headed:”Expand Heathrow and its’s the economy that takes off” the statement “Direct flights to long-haul destinations build twenty times more trade with them than indirect flights” was found to breach the ASA code. The ASA say the claim was not adequately substantiated and that the ad therefore breached the Code, both by being misleading and by not having proper substantiation. The ASA say the advert “must not appear again in its current form.” They have told Heathrow “to ensure that they held robust substantiation for absolute claims made in their future advertising.”  The ASA ruling also says the claim was presented as objective facts rather than an educated assumption and that Heathrow’s own report “One Hub or None”itself cautioned that direct flights would not automatically lead to more trade and that multiple factors could influence the amount of bilateral trade.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/02/advertising-standards-authority-finds-heathrow-advert-about-increased-trade-breaches-their-code-and-is-misleading/

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Does Heathrow advert implying a small girl needs a 3rd runway, for her future, meet Advertising Standards?

The ASA took a long time considering this one, but finally did not rule against it. Details at

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/09/does-heathrow-advert-implying-a-small-girl-needs-a-3rd-runway-for-her-future-meet-advertising-standards/

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And for Gatwick:

Gatwick adverts banned by ASA for ‘misleading public’ on comparing numbers affected by noise of new runways

Misleading adverts produced by Gatwick Airport about the noise from a new Heathrow runway have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA received five complaints about the ads.  It upheld two complaints about the posters, which compared the number of people affected by a new runway being built at Heathrow or Gatwick. It said the basis for the airport’s comparisons was unclear. The banned posters stated that “320,000 additional people will be affected by noise from a new runway at Heathrow. Compared to 18,000 at Gatwick”. The ASA said the use of the word “additional” could be misinterpreted to mean the number of people newly affected by expansion, on top of those currently affected. Two of the complainants challenged whether the comparison was verifiable, while another two challenged whether the adverts omitted material information about the flight paths. The ASA said the comparison the airport made was unclear. Details of the ASA ruling below.  Gatwick said it disagreed with the decision and may appeal, but the advert in question will not be used again  and Gatwick will take on board the ASA’s comments if it uses the Commission’s figures in a different advert.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/08/gatwick-adverts-banned-by-asa-for-misleading-public-on-comparing-numbers-affected-by-new-runways/

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