SSE has served formal notice on the Secretary of State for Transport requiring the removal of Geoff Muirhead from Airports Commission

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has served formal notice on the Secretary of State for Transport requiring the removal of Mr Geoff Muirhead from the Airports Commission on the grounds of apparent bias. This is the first formal legal step towards judicial review proceedings which will commence with an application to the High Court in early September if Mr Muirhead continues to serve on the Commission. Mr Muirhead is the former Chief Executive of the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) the company which now owns Stansted Airport, from which he retired in October 2010, after 22 years with the Group. After retiring, and even when he had been appointed to the Airports Commission, Mr Muirhead continued to work for MAG in a highly paid role until January 2013. He was paid £82,000 by MAG during the six months from October 2010 to March 2011 inclusive for acting as an ‘ambassador’ to the Group. As he has not voluntarily stood down, SSE is now seeking legal redress. SSE believes there is far too much at stake to allow Mr Muirhead’s role as a Commissioner to go unchallenged.

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A fight for fairness

19.8.2013 (Stop Stansted Expansion)

 
Earlier today, lawyers acting for Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) served formal notice on the Secretary of State for Transport requiring the removal of Mr Geoff Muirhead from the Airports Commission on the grounds of apparent bias.

This is the first formal legal step towards judicial review proceedings which will commence with an application to the High Court in early September if Mr Muirhead continues to serve on the Airports Commission.

Mr Muirhead is the former Chief Executive of the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) the company which now owns Stansted Airport. His biography as published by the Airports Commission states that he retired from his role as Chief Executive of MAG in October 2010, after 22 years with the Group. However, it fails to point out that, after retiring as Group Chief Executive, and indeed, after being appointed to the Airports Commission, Mr Muirhead continued to work for MAG in a highly paid role until January 2013.

SSE discovered these facts only after its own investigations, including a review of the MAG financial accounts for the year ending 31 March 2011, which showed that Mr Muirhead was paid £82,000 by MAG during the six months from October 2010 to March 2011 inclusive for acting as an ‘ambassador’ to the Group. [see notes below] The accounts also show that, as at 31 March 2011, Mr Muirhead had accumulated a pension lump sum of £450,000 and had an accrued MAG pension of £95,000.

Up until last month, SSE was pursuing this matter quietly, behind the scenes, with Sir Howard Davies, the Chairman of the Airports Commission, and the Secretary of State for Transport. We had hoped that Mr Muirhead would have by now voluntarily stood down from the Commission so as to avoid bringing into question the Commission’s independence and impartiality. However, that has not been the case and so we are now seeking legal redress.

SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented: “Now that MAG is directly lobbying the Airports Commission for major expansion at Stansted, we believe there is far too much at stake to allow Mr Muirhead’s role as a Commissioner to go unchallenged.”

Mr Sanders continued: “It is only after the most careful consideration that we have decided to initiate legal proceedings but we believe we have a duty to the community that we represent to ensure that the issues regarding potential airport expansion are examined fairly, impartially and independently – and that this is seen to be the case.”

Mr Sanders concluded: “Legal proceedings are, of course, very expensive and we need to fund this from donations from our members and the general public. However, the initial response has been very encouraging, indicating that the community shares our concern about Mr Muirhead’s role and agrees that this needs to be challenged.”

ENDS

 

NOTE TO EDITORS
The solicitors acting for SSE are Leigh Day & Co of 25 St John’s Lane, London and SSE’s barristers are from ‘Thirtynine Essex Street’ chambers, 39 Essex Street, London, led by senior counsel Paul Stinchcombe QC.

The formal legal document served today on the Secretary of State and Airports Commission is a Pre-Action Protocol Letter (‘PAPL’), which is a pre-requisite before an application for judicial review can be considered by the High Court.

We have so far been unable to establish the level of remuneration/fees paid to Mr Muirhead during the years ending 31 March 2012 and 31 March 2013 because this is not disclosed in the MAG financial accounts. There is in fact no legal obligation to disclose during these two years because the Companies Act only requires disclosure in respect of directors. Mr Muirhead ceased to be a director of MAG during the financial year ending 31 March 2011.

http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/press461.html

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Earlier:

Stop Stansted Expansion calls for resignation of Geoff Muirhead from Airports Commission due to bias

July 28, 2013

Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion SSE have highlighted the problem of a conflict of interest concerning Geoff Muirhead, who is a member of the government-appointed Airports Commission. Mr Muirhead retired as chief executive of MAG in 2010, and he represented MAG in an “ambassadorial role” until January 2013, several months after he was appointed to the Airports Commission. MAG bought Stansted from BAA in February 2013. Earlier this month MAG published options on where to build a second runway at Stansted and potentially even expand it into a four-runway hub. SSE are calling for Mr Muirhead’s resignation. SSE has written to Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Commission and Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, warning it will mount a legal challenge if Mr Muirhead refuses to step down. The group claims in the letter, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, that there is an issue of “apparent bias”. The letter (26th July) says: “In the circumstances we consider it unacceptable for Mr Muirhead to continue to serve on the Airports Commission and the longer he continues to serve, the more the process risks being tainted.” SSE will start taking legal advice within 14 days if they receive no satisfactory commitment on the matter.

Click here to view full story…

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Berlin Brandenburg airport may be able to open for 10 flights per day by April 2014

A board overseeing the completion of Berlin’s new Brandenburg airport – subject to a string of delays – has backed a plan for its opening early next year. However, initial operations would be limited to just 10 flights, and some 1,500 passengers, per day. Airlines Air Germania and Condor set to be the first to operate there, and even that needs work on the northern wing of the airport to be completed. This might happen by March or April 2014.  An exact timetable would need to be confirmed in the next few months.The new airport has been a costly embarrassment, subject to a series of cost overruns and delays to its opening, chiefly because of a faulty fire safety system. It was originally due to open October 2011. That date was changed to June 2012, and subsequently to March 2013 and later to October 2013. It was planned to replace Berlin’s 3 smaller airports, Tegel, Schönfeld and the already-closed Tempelhof. The airport’s cost  has risen from €2.4 billion to €4.3 billion. In July there was further controversy as flight paths were found not to have been checked for their environmental impact, and will endanger wildlife and even Berlin’s water supply.

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Airport board approves partial take-off plan for Berlin-Brandenburg

A board overseeing the completion of Berlin’s new airport – subject to a string of delays – has backed a plan for its opening early next year. However, initial operations would be limited to ten flights a day.

17.8.2013 (dw.de)

The main terminal building of the still-unopened Berlin Brandenburg International (BER) airport (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

The airport’s oversight board on Friday evening invited airport boss Hartmut Mehdorn to push ahead with a plan that would initially see the airport cater for some 1,500 passengers per day.

A maximum of ten flights would take off and land at the airport, with the airlines Air Germania and Condor set to be the first to operate there.

Although operations would be limited, they would require work on the northern wing of the airport to be completed. Mehdorn told the board that the opening could be in March or April, but said that an exact timetable would need to be confirmed in the next few months.

“It must be a date that we accomplish without risk (of delay),” said Mehdorn. “Quality is more important than speed,” he added.

The session was led by Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, after outgoing Brandenburg state premier Matthias Platzeck stood down as board chairman. Platzeck last month announced his retirement from that role, and the state premiership, on health grounds.

A costly embarrassment

The new airport has been subject to a series of cost overruns and embarrassing delays to its opening, chiefly because of a faulty fire safety system. It was originally due to open October 2011. That date was changed to June 2012, and subsequently to March 2013 and later to October 2013.

Berlin-Brandenburg, also known by the initials BER, is set to replace the city’s three smaller hubs, Tegel, Schönfeld and the already-closed Tempelhof.

According to figures from the German public broadcaster ARD, the cost of the Brandenburg hub has risen from at least 2.4 billion euros ($3.1 billion) to 4.3 billion euros over the course of the project.

http://www.dw.de/planned-flight-paths-taint-berlins-new-airport/a-16955827

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Planned flight paths taint Berlin’s new airport

New flight paths are causing further controversy for Berlin’s new airport. Critics say the routes, which were apparently not checked for environmental impact, will endanger wildlife and even Berlin’s water supply.

22.7.2013  (dw.de)

An artist's impression of a plane taking off at the planned Berlin Brandenburg airport (Copyright: Alexander Obst / Marion Schmieding / Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg)

Every Monday for the past two years, Andrea Timm has attended anti-airport rallies in the Berlin suburb of Friedrichshagen. The 45 year old has been a resident here on the eastern side of Berlin for five years. She’s angry that a change to flight routes for Berlin’s new airport, BER, could mean hundreds of planes will be flying in low over suburb every day.

“The real estate agent showed us a map that said this area would not be affected by the airport,” Timm said. “People bought houses here, and then the flight routes were changed.”

She says new routes would mean increased carbon dioxide emissions and noise pollution in the area in which she lives. She’s also worried about plans to add a third runway to the airport.

“This airport doesn’t have a future,” Timm said. “It will only be useful for the city if a third runway is added. And when you think about what this will cost, and the impact it will have on the environment, I think it makes sense to look for some other alternative.”

Sudden shift

At the end of May 2013 the European Union started an investigation into the flight paths of the new, still unfinished, airport BER. The bloc’s environment commissioner said that complaints had been made that planners had set new flight paths without carrying out the necessary environmental impact studies. Brussels requested a formal explanation from the German government.

Residents near Berlin's planned airport hold signs of protest. (Photo: Michael Scaturro, July 2013)Protesters living near Berlin Brandenburg Airport gather every Monday in Friedrichshagen

Germany has until the end of July to respond, otherwise the case could end up in the European Court of Justice and Germany would face hefty fines.

“The flight routes were assessed already under the planning arrangements of 2004, but these flight routes have been significantly changed recently,” said Reinhard Honighaus from the European Commission’s offices in Berlin in discussions with DW.

Honighaus said that German legislation doesn’t guarantee a proper assessment of the environmental impact when a new airport is built or when an airport is modified. This is where the EU stepped in.

“We don’t know whether this impact assessment on the environment has been done properly in the case of Berlin airport,” said Honighaus. “What we do see however is that German legislation doesn’t guarantee that it’s being done.”

BER has been plagued by extra costs and technical difficulties since its beginnings in 2006. Its opening has already been delayed a number of times.

Water and wildlife affected

Some of the new planned flight path routes go out over lakes in Berlin and the bordering state of Brandenburg, like the Müggelsee.

The lake, a favorite place for Berliners to cool off each summer, is – in winter – an important nesting ground for thousands of Siberian geese. Scores of planes flying over the lake each day could force them to settle elsewhere, or affect survival rates, experts say. The lake is also one of Berlin’s largest sources of drinking water.

Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit takes part in the debate in Berlin city hall on the city's new airport, BER. (Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa)
Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit says the flight path issue won’t delay BER’s opening

Stefan Richter, of German environmental NGO, Grüne Liga, says one plane crash or just a small oil spill here could seriously affect Berlin’s water supply. His group is suing local authorities to force them to carry out the environmental impact assessment.

“We expect the whole legal process that guides the building of airports in Germany to be changed not just for the new airport but also for any other airports that might be built,” Richter said.

Stefan Richter says that the choice of the airport site in the Berlin suburb of Schönefeld should have been avoided completely.

“Berlin’s environmental ministry vetoed this new airport years ago,” Richter said. “They said you can’t fly over Müggelsee. If authorities had been required to listen to their environmental assessment, Schönefeld would never have been chosen.”

Compensation, but no change

Germany’s air traffic control authority, DFS, were responsible for determining the new routes in conjunction with local communities. When contacted by DW they declined to comment on the proposed flight paths however. Instead, the company in charge of building the new airport, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH, provided a written statement.

According to the company, “the airport plans to pay compensation to those subject to considerable noise levels during the day. Residents who live particularly close to the airport also have the right to sell their property to the airport operating company.”

A construction worker stands on scaffolding at BER airport in Berlin. (Photo: Patrick Pleul dpa/lbn)
The opening date of Berlin’s airport BER has been pushed back repeatedly

Despite the offers of reimbursement, protesters here in Friedrichshagen are still pressing for the environmental impact study of the new flight paths. It’s something which, Andrea Timm and her neighbors admit, will hopefully further delay the opening of Berlin’s BER airport.

Still, one thing is for sure: the airport is coming, whether locals want it or not. Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit has already said that the problems surrounding the flight paths will not hold up construction.

http://www.dw.de/planned-flight-paths-taint-berlins-new-airport/a-16955827

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Low flying Boeing 737 taking off full of fuel for Jeddah terrifies household in Southend

A family near Southend airport were left terrified after a plane loaded with enough aviation fuel to fly to the Middle East took off from the airport and narrowly missed roof tops. The white Boeing 737 jet took off for Jeddah at 3.20pm on Thursday 8th, and passed very close to two homes in Prince Avenue, Westcliff.  Rresidents were very alarmed, and one reported that the plane appeared to be at an altitude of only some 250 feet, rather than the usual 450 feet. The plane had been at the airport for maintenance and was not carrying passengers. An elderly lady with heart problems was left very scared and alarmed, and continues to be anxious whenever planes come overhead (which easyJet planes do many times every day now). The airport said: “There were no safety concerns raised by air traffic regarding this flight and its routing complied with the airport’s noise requirements.”

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Low flying Boeing 737 taking off full of fuel for Jeddah terrifies household in Southend

13th August 2013 (Southend Echo)

A FAMILY were left terrified after a plane loaded with enough aviation fuel to fly to the
Middle East took off from Southend Airport and narrowly missed roof tops.

The white Boeing 737 jet took off for Jeddah at 3.20pm last Thursday, and passed very close
to two homes in Prince Avenue, Westcliff.

A 51-year-old resident, who asked not to be identified, was in his garden when the jet roared
above him at 250ft – instead of the usual 450ft.

The resident, whose elderly parents live with him, said: “I live directly on the flight path so I
am used to planes going over, but this was extremely low. “I have never experienced
anything like it.

“It wasn’t an easyJet plane. It was flying about half what they normally do. I thought it was
going to take my aerial off at least! “I have lived here all my life and have never seen any
plane fly so low.”

The resident’s 82-year-old father and 75-year-old mother were left in a state of shock.
His mum said: “It really frightened me so much. “I have angina and had to take my
medication. I thought the roof was coming off it was so low. I’ve never heard anything like it.
It was like a bomb coming down. It was really like during the war.

“I couldn’t stop shaking and every time I hear a plane now I think it’s going to happen
again.” The plane had been at the airport for maintenance and was not carrying passengers.

David Lister, operations director at the airport, said: “The aircraft was a 737 that had been
undergoing maintenance was flying out to the Middle East. Given the distance the aircraft
was flying it had a full fuel load.

“The 737 has different performance characteristics to the A319’s regularly seen flying in and
out of London Southend Airport, so therefore it used more of the runway length and would
have appeared lower than the majority of scheduled flights to people living in houses close to
the end of the runway.”

Mr Lister added: “There were no safety concerns raised by air traffic regarding this flight and
its routing complied with the airport’s noise requirements.”

http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/10607200.Low_flying_Boeing_terrifies_household/

 

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Full list of airport schemes to increase airport capacity, including some weird & wonderful – eg. 7 runways at Heathrow

The full list of airport proposals for consideration by the Airports Commission, to solve the alleged shortage of airport capacity, has been published. As well as those for the expected airports, (Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, the Thames Estuary,  Birmingham etc) there are some weird and wonderful suggestions. Some are for sites such as rural Oxfordshire, or for RAF bases; there are plans for Fairoaks airport, Manston airport, Cardiff airport, Luton airport,  the Severn estuary and the Goodwin sands. There are also proposals for surface transport improvements, and several from enthusiastic private individuals. One of the more bizarre is for no less than 7 runways at Heathrow. Anyone wishing to make specific comments on the detail contained within any of the proposals published is welcome to do so, to the Commission, before 27th September 2013 at the latest to airport.proposals@airports.gsi.gov.uk.

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Four unusual blue-sky ideas to solve airport capacity

By Tom de Castella

BBC News Magazine   8th August 2013

A British Airways plane taking off from Heathrow

There’s controversy over plans for new runways in south-east England. But how would the public solve the problem of overcrowding at Heathrow and elsewhere?

Various experts have contributed to the debate on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow or at one of the other London airports. Some want an airport further along the Thames or even built in the middle of the estuary.

But here are four ideas submitted by ordinary people to the government’s Airports Commission, critiqued by industry experts. The submitters’ names have been redacted.

Seven runways at Heathrow

There is a long running struggle over the future of Heathrow and a third runway. One proposal says that is defeatist talk. Try seven.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has six, the submission points out. Paris and Frankfurt have four. London’s biggest airport only two. “Heathrow needs seven runways to compete directly with Schiphol,” the author writes.

The UK’s rivals are capitalising on the delays over Heathrow. Our European neighbours are expanding connections to the Bric economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China while Heathrow has run out of capacity. A map displays where the seven runways could fit.

Runway plan

In a handwritten PS, the author urges the government to “grab the bull by the horns otherwise it will be too late”.

But experts are sceptical. “You could certainly have three runways at Heathrow,” says transport expert Prof David Begg. In the future this can be expanded to four runways if necessary for the main hub.

There is also Gatwick, Stansted, City and Luton which offer business, charter, budget and non-connecting flights. There’s no need to close any of these if you open a third Heathrow runway. But seven?

“It’s like building an extension to your house when you don’t need it,” Begg argues.

Severn Estuary Airport

A headland juts out into the Severn EstuaryThe Severn Estuary could become a plane connection hub in south-west England

Why should most of the airport capacity be in the south-east England? What about those in the west of Britain?

This proposal places a new two-runway international airport on an island in the Severn Estuary. The island can be shaped to help fish pass and work with the estuary’s strong tidal pull, the author says. The 12,000 hectare airport will be linked into the M4 motorway and cost about £5bn.

It will help rebalance the national economy. The south-west of England, Midlands and Wales have a population of 13 million people and an aggregated GDP of about £270bn, asserts the author. And yet unlike Greater London they do not have the economic benefit of three major airports on their doorstep. Why should people in the West have to travel to London for most international flights?

Then there’s noise. Over time noise restrictions may get stricter. The location, away from major cities, means that Severn24s – the working title – need not worry about future night flight restrictions.

Putting airports in the South East because that’s where the demand is creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, the proposal argues. If you allocate the right resources to the regions with long enough runways, then people will use them.

There would be no need to scale back Cardiff or Bristol airports, the proposal contends. Instead the new airport would reinvigorate the West’s economy.

Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, says the economic case for the Severn airport is “challenging” but not impossible. Heathrow has many strengths. But the UK shouldn’t put all its eggs in one south eastern basket.

“There will be 20,000 extra new planes flying by 2030 according to a briefing I’ve just had from Boeing,” Kehoe notes.

Most won’t be super-jumbo size but still it’s a lot of extra aeroplanes if you accept the Boeing figures. The UK should look outside south-east England to deliver the extra capacity, Kehoe says.

But others argue that what the UK needs is a bigger hub airport where flights can connect. Somewhere like Heathrow.

Aviation consultant Laurie Price says the Severn airport wouldn’t work. “Unless you compulsorily close Bristol and Cardiff and direct airlines to the Severn Estuary airport how are you going to deliver it?”

China can tell airlines where to go but that is a command economy, he argues. “We like to think we’re a little more democratic.”

Maglev train around the M25

Map

Many experts agree that London has enough airport capacity. The problem is it is spread over five airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Luton and Stansted.

What London needs is a bigger hub capable of letting passengers change planes easily. This proposal says it has the answer. Create a high speed Maglev link following the route of the M25.

Maglev trains avoid the friction of wheels by using a magnetic field. Wheel-less journeys are smooth and speeds of over 300mph can be reached. China and Japan have them and other Asian nations are following suit. This proposal says the Maglev could put London’s airports within 20 minutes of another rendering the five airports one giant hub.

But experts are unimpressed. “It’s a crackpot idea,” says Prof Begg. People want to spend a maximum of 40 minutes in an airport transferring from one flight to another. “It doesn’t matter how fast the Maglev is, it’s not going to be quick enough for people changing planes. You’re back to the idea of split hubs again.”

Third Heathrow runway, no night flights, and a Universal Hub

A plane crosses in front of a full moon. The plane is red from the setting sun

This proposal argues that Heathrow should get a third runway. But that it should only allow flights during daylight hours to protect local residents.

Night flights can be moved to other airports with fewer local residents, such as Stansted.

And there will be a universal hub to allow easier transport between London’s airports.

The answer is to build a central London rail terminal with fast, dedicated links to each airport, this proposal suggests.

Potential sites for this are Farringdon or Waterloo, the author argues. Fast links would allow passengers to get to Heathrow in 15 minutes and Stansted in 25 minutes.

But Laurie Price is sceptical of both elements of the plan. Banning night flights at Heathrow would cut down by half when long haul flights from Asia or the US could arrive. The jet stream can mean that flights arrive an hour or so early. Would they have to remain in the air for an hour or two over outer London waiting until dawn before they can land?

The universal hub sounds nice. But in practice you can’t compete with Schiphol by offering quick train journeys, Price says. At the moment most connecting flights are available at Heathrow. Capacity is running out but this should be replaced at Heathrow with another runway not with fast train services to other airports. “Having to take a train makes it less attractive than a single hub like Amsterdam.”

Prof Begg agrees. The magic number is 40, he says. “You have to get people off one plane and on to another in 40 minutes. That is what Schiphol and Dubai do.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23612511

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Severn airport plan would see Cardiff and Bristol Airports close

proposed by John Borkowski 

Cardiff airport
Cardiff and Bristol Airports would close under the proposals

Plans to replace Cardiff and Bristol airports with a £5bn airport on the Severn Estuary have been criticised as unrealistic.

A new airport between Newport and Chepstow has been proposed as part of a review of the UK’s airport capacity.

It would open in 2029 and would be able to handle 20m passengers initially.

But Bristol Airport called the plans “somewhat far-fetched” while the man brought in to run Cardiff Airport said his focus was on the immediate future.

Previous proposals for a “Severnside” airport were rejected more than a decade go by the UK government under an aviation White Paper’s 30-year plan for air travel.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “The Airports Commission has received many proposals for different airport schemes right across the UK.

“It is important that these are deliverable solutions not somewhat far-fetched proposals reliant on the forced closure of a successful, privately owned airport which supports thousands of jobs.

“The idea of a new Severnside airport was dismissed by the Future of Air Transport White Paper back in 2003 on the basis that it would “struggle to attract sufficient traffic to be financially viable and would not generate sufficient economic or regeneration benefits to merit support.

“Given that the long-term demand forecasts on which this decision was based have since been revised downwards, it is difficult to see how a different conclusion could be drawn today.”

The previous plan, put at £2bn, was for an airport near Newport with runways on a man-made island and capable of handling up to 30m passengers a year.

The new proposals are for an airport that would be “capable of serving the market for the rest of the century”.

They envisage taking 16 years to plan and build an airport with a 4,000m main runway and with road links to the M4 and rail links to the main London-Wales mainline.

Air pollution

It would employ 1,000 staff directly and up to another 10,000 indirectly.

With the majority of flights taking off and landing over water, the noise and air pollution for nearby residents would be minimised, they claim.

The scheme was put forward by the consultancy MSP Solutions and is based on a paper prepared for the think-tank the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA).

IWA chair Geraint Talfan Davies said the former Severnside plans were rejected on a “completely false premise” in that the aviation white paper was only looking at airports from a regional perspective.

The current proposals fed into the Airports Commission’s wider aims and underlined how Wales and the south west of England should been seen as one when considering the future of air travel growth, he said.

He said: “However you play this, there are limitations on how far Cardiff and Bristol can develop their airports.”

Cardiff Airport was bought recently for £52m by the Welsh government over concerns about falling passenger numbers and a lack of investment.

First Minister Carwyn Jones had been critical of the airport’s previous owners after a slump in passenger numbers from a peak of two million in 2007 to just over one million in 2012.

The Welsh government has already installed a new senior management team and stepped in with an express bus service to improve transport links for passengers.

Mr Jones also wants a commercial operator to become involved in the airport to help run it.

Cardiff Airport chief executive Jon Horne said he was focusing on improving the existing airport rather than any potential new Severn airport.

“The long-term schemes that have been proposed will be decided on the the basis of far-reaching UK government policy,” he said.

“The focus here is the now and near future and doing the best job we can for the benefit of the people of Wales.

“The one thing we can say is that, operationally, it (Cardiff Airport) is capable of doing very much more.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23612511

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see also BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-23988550

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Documents from the Airports Commission 

PDF, 30.9KB, 1 page

Anyone wishing to make specific comments on the detail contained within any of the proposals published here is welcome to do so. To enable us to take them into account we will need to receive comments by 27 September 2013 at the latest.

Those who have already written to us with comments need not resend them, these will be considered alongside other comments received.

All detailed comments on specific proposals should include for ease of reference, the name of the proposer and site in question and should be sent to   airport.proposals@airports.gsi.gov.uk.

Long term options: proposals submitted to the Airports Commission

ZIP, 181MB (This is a very large document, in Zip format, which may be difficult for older computers to open).

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Plan for huge airport in the Severn Estuary, “Severnside Airport”, submitted to Airports Commission

Plans for a new £5 billion Severnside airport which would serve 40 million passengers every year have been put submitted to the Airports Commission. The plan by MSP Solutions, is for a new airport constructed on a reclaimed island in the Severn Estuary, between Chepstow and Newport in South Wales, which would replace Bristol and Cardiff airports (which would have to close), and would be the biggest regional airport in the country – (in the perhaps unlikely event it is ever built). The aim is to build the new airport alongside the M4 and the First Great Western rail link to London. Not surprisingly Bristol Airport believes that efforts at dealing with expected growth in air travel should be concentrated on the existing airports.  The CEO of Bristol airport says “The idea of a new Severnside Airport was dismissed by the Aviation White Paper in 2003 on the basis that it would ‘struggle to attract sufficient traffic to be financially viable and would not generate sufficient economic or regeneration benefits to merit support’. The Commission will continue to consider the submissions received and decide in December which merit further detailed study, for final decision after the summer 2015 election.

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“SSevernside airport concept original photo at http://www.origin3studio.co.uk/blog/?post_type=portfolio&p=223 Severnside airport aerial concept  original photo at http://www.origin3studio.co.uk/blog/?post_type=portfolio&p=223

Plans for £5 billion Severnside airport put forward as part of a major study

08-August-2013  (South West Business)
by Mike Ribbeck, Business editor, The Bristol Post

Plans for a new £5 billion Severnside airport which would serve 40 million passengers every year have been put forward as part of a major study into the UK’s aviation industry.

Plans submitted by John Borkowski .

Plans for a new £5 billion Severnside airport which would serve 40 million passengers every year have been put forward as part of a major study into the UK’s aviation industry.

The new airport would replace Bristol and its rival Cardiff and would be the biggest regional airport in the country – in the perhaps unlikely event it is ever built.

Industry players, pressure groups and regional airports have all been asked to stake their various claims as part of a government-appointed Airport Commission.

The scores of submissions and proposals from across the UK were published yesterday and the commission will announce its final findings in 12 months time.

And as part of the process various organisations have been putting forward their plans and ideas for how best to serve the needs of people living in the Bristol area and the whole of the South West.

MSP Solutions, the consortium which is also behind plans to build a new airport on the Thames Estuary, has drawn up a detailed business case for the ambitious scheme to build the new airport between Chepstow and Newport in South Wales.

If the scheme did go ahead it would mean that both Bristol and Cardiff airports would close down but MSP argues that much of the work would transfer from the two airports.

The aim is to build the new airport alongside the M4 and the First Great Western rail link to London.

Cardiff and Bristol have enjoyed contrasting fortunes in recent years. Bristol has been one of the best performing regional airports while passenger numbers have plummeted at Cardiff and major airlines have also pulled out of the ailing airfield.

The Welsh Regional Assembly stepped in and bought the airport earlier this year for £52 million with passenger numbers dipping below 1.2 million.

Not surprisingly Bristol Airport believes that efforts at dealing with expected growth in air travel should be concentrated on the existing airports.

This year the airport dealt with just under six million passengers but has a £150 million expansion plan in place which will see passenger numbers increase to ten million a year.

Bristol Airport has long argued that rather than concentrating efforts on airports in the South East regional airports should be allowed to expand and deal with more passengers.

Opponents have said that poor transport links and the hills surrounding Lulsgate have hindered the airport.

But bosses at Bristol argue that the new generation of fuel efficient planes such as the A350 and Boeings Dreamliner will mean people will be able to fly to long-haul destinations direct from the South West including America and the Middle East.

Robert Sinclair, chief executive at Bristol Airport, said: “As the leading airport serving South West England and South Wales, Bristol Airport already handles nearly six million passengers a year travelling to more than 100 direct destinations.

“With planning permission in place for facilities to handle 10 million passengers per year, and new aircraft technology opening up access to long haul destinations, the airport is well positioned to meet the connectivity requirements of both regions in the medium and long term.”

He added: “The Airports Commission has received many proposals for different airport schemes right across the UK. It is important that these are deliverable solutions not somewhat far-fetched proposals reliant on the forced closure of a successful, privately owned airport which supports thousands of jobs.

“The idea of a new Severnside Airport was dismissed by the Future of Air Transport White Paper back in 2003 on the basis that it would ‘struggle to attract sufficient traffic to be financially viable and would not generate sufficient economic or regeneration benefits to merit support’.

“Given that the long-term demand forecasts on which this decision was based have since been revised downwards, it is difficult to see how a different conclusion could be drawn today.”

Cardiff Airport has also come out fighting and has bizarrely claimed it could transform itself into Heathrow Airport’s sixth terminal.

The Airports Commission has received more than 120 plans or proposals and said many have been “imaginative and thoughtful”.

Chairman Sir Howard Davies added that the responses “show clearly the wide spectrum of views that exist”.

Plans supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson for a new four-runway airport to the east of London and proposals for the expansion of Gatwick and Stansted have also been put forward.

Sir Howard, a former head of the Financial Services Authority, is due to present an interim report on UK airport needs by the end of this year and a full report in summer 2015.

He said: “The proposals that we have received and that we have published today demonstrate imaginative and thoughtful responses to the challenges that the Airports Commission has been set, but also show clearly the wide spectrum of views that exist on these issues.

“The timetable to comment is tight, as we need to move quickly to winnow down the options and reduce uncertainty for potentially affected communities.

“I encourage everyone with an interest to make their views known, to help inform our recommendations on these complex and important questions.”

Pictured: Computer generated image from Severnside Airport of the proposed international airport which will serve Wales and the West of England.

Comments

Jeremy Birch

What an insane idea. This is put forward by people keen on pouring a lot of concrete, but has no basis in economic reality. Bristol airport has less passengers today than it did in 2007, Cardiff has considerably less than at that time. There is no evidence that a huge airport here would ever attract enough people to justify this huge expenditure. 40 million passengers is almost 6 times what Bristol and Cardiff currently serve, and two thirds of what Heathrow serves. The Department for Transport projections for passenger numbers fall every time they are revised. We currently have far more runway capacity than is needed to serve those projections, and this would be extra capacity in the wrong place (ie not next to London, where most of the demand is). And on top of all this – we need to radically reduce carbon emissions and that means not increasing the number of flights, yet this would release around 2.4 million tonnes of carbon every year – or 15% more than the whole of the city of Bristol. Is that the right way to go?   http://southwestbusiness-co-uk.mysmartercms.co.uk/news/08082013090137-plans-for–5-billion-severnside-airport-put-forward-as-part-of-a-major-study-/ .

 

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see also BBC

Welsh ‘Gatwick’ airport plan for Severnside defended

9.9.2013
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. Much earlier, back in 2003 – ten years ago:

16.12.2003  (BBC)

New £2bn airport plan dropped – 2003 Aviation White Paper

Cardiff International Airport

The terminal at Cardiff International Airport is set to expand

Plans for a new £2bn airport in the Severn Estuary have been rejected by the UK Government. The proposal for the Severnside airport plan was submitted earlier this year, and could have been ready to serve Wales and the west of England by 2012. The decision to drop the scheme emerged in the government’s 30-year plan for UK air travel unveiled in the aviation white paper on Thursday. It said Cardiff International Airport needs a bigger terminal and easier access, and suggested the Welsh assembly should set up “a route development fund” to boost Welsh air links. Similar schemes exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and could lure transcontinental airlines to south Wales. The white paper also revealed expansion at Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham airports but, speaking to BBC Wales, Transport Minister Kim Howells strongly denied claims that Cardiff had been downgraded. “This is a nonsense – Cardiff is set to grow from 1.5m passengers to 5m a year,” said Mr Howells.

Plane

There will be no new airport in the Severn Estuary

He said when access links were improved, Cardiff would be a much more attractive proposition for airlines, but the Severnside plan had not “stacked up commercially”. “We did not see a future or even a start-up for the proposals we were presented with on Severnside,” he said. The Severnside airport would have been built near Newport, south Wales, with runways on a man-made island in the Severn Estuary. Supporters had said the airport could have handled 30m passengers a year by 2030 and helped create 13,000 jobs. Last year, Transport Minister Alistair Darling said the proposal would only have been likely to go ahead if airports at Cardiff or Bristol closed.   Centre of excellence Michael Stephen, head of the Severnside proposal, said the Department for Transport had held “a blinkered attitude to solving the problem of future air transport demand in the south east of England”. He said the white paper “failed to take a strategic view” and allowed London business interests to “prevail over the legitimate concerns of people in south east England and South Wales”. Welsh Assembly Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies said he would “look closely” at introducing a special fund to support services from Cardiff. He also said he would be consulting on proposals for intra-Wales air services early next year as he was especially “keen to develop better transport links with north Wales”. Mr Davies also agreed that south Wales had the potential to develop a centre of excellence for aircraft maintenance and training. Proposals for Severnside had been fully examined, but he said establishing a new airport was “very risky”. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/3325353.stm   .

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Welsh Government should begin planning for Severnside Airport to replace Cardiff – report

March 16, 2013

South Wales Evening Post

THE Welsh Government should go ahead with the purchase of Cardiff Airport, but plan long term for a new Severnside Airport to replace Cardiff and Bristol, according to a new study carried out for the Institute of Welsh Affairs. Co-operate The study, by aviation consultants MSP Solutions, says that Wales and the West of England should co-operate to promote a state-of-the-art, 24-hour Severnside passenger and cargo airport that would serve the whole of southwest Britain. The proposal will be submitted to the UK Government’s Airports Commission, which is looking at the issue of airport capacity in London.

But it has also been asked “to take account of the national, regional and local implications of any proposals”.

The report says there is a danger that decisions on airport provision in London could result in what it describes as “a serious worsening of air connectivity for Wales and the West of England.”

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Welsh-Government-begin-planning-Severnside/story-18433445-detail/story.html#axzz2dajguj5t

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 More details – and images – of the Severnside airport proposal:
At Origin3 Studio we consider the current debate regarding airport capacity to be too focused on London and the South East and in peril of not embracing the bigger picture. It is a key priority of any strategic assessment to look at the regional and national impact of any proposal and this set our minds working on an alternative view that asked the question; Could an international airport run as a regional hub based in the South West provide a better long term solution to the capacity issues facing the UK? The CEO of National Air Traffic Control has previously said that the crowded air space over the South East of England would “simply not support the introduction of new arrival and departure routes for a major new airport without serious implications. It would be impossible to open a fourth airport in the South East without closing or severely limiting flights from one of the existing airports”. Our thesis is that an entirely new airport for the West of Britain located in the Severn Estuary between the cities of Cardiff and Bristol presents a viable solution that creates a range of exciting infrastructure possibilities and compliments rather than challenges the existing major commercial airports in the UK. An airport in this location can bring together energy generation, regional economic development and the joining up of passenger and freight logistics by road, rail, air and sea. Already very successful regional airport operations can grow and expand routes and capacity well beyond existing site limitations. The Severn Estuary Airport is presented as an alternative to the proposal to close Heathrow and move the United Kingdom’s main hub to the East of London. The project is a new two runway airport capably of expanding to four runways. http://www.origin3studio.co.uk/blog/?post_type=portfolio&p=223
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Read more »

Airports Commission publishes full list of long term proposals to increase UK airport capacity

The Airports Commission has put together the long list of airport proposals, and other proposals including many on surface access, that have been submitted. The majority are for the main contender airports, (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Thames estuary options, Birmingham etc) but with several from small airports or airfields and some in areas not currently airports, such as rural Oxfordshire and the Severn Estuary.  The Commission will now consider all of these, and publish “a shortlist of the most credible long term options, taking into account the Commission’s assessment of the need for additional capacity” in December 2013.  It is possible for anyone to send in further comments on any of the schemes submitted, until 27th September.  The Commission has also published an information note, considering its work programme for Phase 2 – which is after December 2013.  It says:  “If the Commission reaches a view in its interim report that a significant increase in aviation capacity is needed, the second phase of our work will develop the list of credible long term options into detailed schemes, and subject them to a thorough appraisal process.”

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Publication of long term options 

7.8.2013 (Airports Commission)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/long-term-options-proposals-received-by-the-airports-commission
As set out in the Airports Commission’s Guidance Document 01, the date for submitting long term proposals (19 July 2013) has now passed.

We received a number of submissions and items of correspondence, some of which offered detailed proposals for long term options whilst others offered commentary and analysis. This commentary and analysis will be taken into account alongside the detailed proposals. The purpose of this note is to inform you that we are now publishing the detailed proposals that we have received.

We have published proposals as they were presented to us, only redacting personal information or as requested by the authors e.g. to protect commercially sensitive information. Where the proposal had previously been published on a sponsor’s website we have only included the link to that web site.

Anyone wishing to make specific comments on the detail contained within any of the proposals published here is welcome to do so. To enable us to take them into account we will need to receive comments by 27 September 2013 at the latest.

Those who have already written to us with comments need not resend them, these will be considered alongside other comments received.

All detailed comments on specific proposals should include for ease of reference, the name of the proposer and site in question and should be sent to airport.proposals@airports.gsi.gov.uk.

In exceptional circumstances we will accept them in hard copy, which can be sent to: Airports Commission                                                                                                                           6th Floor Sanctuary Buildings                                                                                                            20 Great Smith Street                                                                                                                        London SW1P 3BT

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If you wish to make further comments of a general nature not related to the detail of these proposals, and to view all our discussion papers so far as well as responses to those where the deadline has passed, please refer to our website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/airports-commission

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Please also note that we will be publishing a shortlist of the most credible long term options, taking into account the Commission’s assessment of the need for additional capacity, in December 2013.

There will be further opportunities to comment and submit views on these shortlisted options in 2014

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/226825/cover-note.pdf

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This is the spreadsheet of all the long term airport proposals that have been submitted to the Airports Commission, for their consideration.

Long term options: spreadsheet listing the organisations that have submitted proposals to the Airports Commission

MS Excel Spreadsheet, 30.5KB   (with links to the actual documents in some cases – others are in zip format on the very large document to which there is a link below)

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Proposer Location
Aras Global Heathrow Airport
Avery Water Schabas Surface Access Options
Beckett Rankine Goodwin Sands
Birmingham Airport Bimingham Airport
Buro fur MEHR Various
Exhaustless Various
Fairoaks Airport Fairoaks Airport
First Class Partnership Stansted Airport
Flagship Concepts Foulness
Foster and Partners Isle of Grain
Gatwick Airport Gatwick Airport
Greengauge 21 Surface Access Options
Grimshaw London Hub City
Heathow Hub Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport Ltd Heathrow Airport
Imperial College Dispersed London Hub
Infratil Airports Europe Manston Airport
Interlinking Transit Solution Ltd Surface Access Options
International Aviation Advisory Group (IAAG) Cliffe
Kent County Council Dispersed London Hub
London Medway Airport Cliffe
MAKE Architects Stansted Airport
Manchester Airport Group Stansted Airport and Manchester Airport
Metrotidal Tunnel and Thames Reach Airport Isle of Grain
MSP Solutions Severn Estuary
MSP Solutions Stansted Airport
Pleiade Associates Oxfordshire
Policy Exchange Heathrow Airport
Private Individual Gatwick & Lydd
Private Individual Heathrow
Private Individual Heathrow & Stansted
Private Individual Hub Airports
Private Individual Maplin Sands
Private Individual MERLIN -Surface Access
Private Individual Severn Estuary
Private Individual Surface Access Options
Private Individual Thurrock
Private Individual Twyford
Private Individual Universal Hub – Surface Access
Private Individual Walland Marsh
Private Individual2 Heathrow
Private Individual2 Surface Access Options
Progressive Aviation Group RAF Croughton & Steventon
Quaestus(Poppleton) Ltd Surface Access Options
Richmond Heathrow Campaign Various
Thames Esturay Research and Development Company (TESTRAD) Outer Thames Estuary
Transport for London Inner Thames Estuary
Transport for London Outer Thames Estuary
Transport for London Stansted Airport
Western Gateway Group Cardiff Airport
WestonWilliamson and Partners Luton Airport

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https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/long-term-options-proposals-received-by-the-airports-commission

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Long term options: proposals submitted to the Airports Commission

ZIP, 181MB

This is a very large document, in Zip format, which some older computers cannot open.


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See also

 

Full list of airport schemes to increase airport capacity, including some weird & wonderful – eg. 7 runways at Heathrow

8th August 2013      The full list of airport proposals for consideration by the Airports Commission, to solve the alleged shortage of airport capacity, has been published. As well as those for the expected airports, (Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, the Thames Estuary,  Birmingham etc) there are some weird and wonderful suggestions. Some are for sites such as rural Oxfordshire, or for RAF bases; there are plans for Fairoaks airport, Manston airport, Cardiff airport, Luton airport,  the Severn estuary and the Goodwin sands. There are also proposals for surface transport improvements, and several from enthusiastic private individuals. One of the more bizarre is for no less than 7 runways at Heathrow.Anyone wishing to make specific comments on the detail contained within any of the proposals published is welcome to do so, to the Commission, before 27th September 2013 at the latest to      airport.proposals@airports.gsi.gov.uk.

 

Read more »

Durham Tees Valley Airport bid for Regional Growth Fund money rejected again

Durham Tees Valley airport has been wanting £4.6m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to help create an overall investment of £46.5m for the airport. But now for the second time, their bid has been refused by government.  If approved, it would have meant a new access road on the south side of the airport and might – the airport claims – have led to the creation of “1,400 new jobs over the next ten years.”  Hartlepool councillors are not happy, and it was agreed at a meeting of the full council to write to Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Innovation and Skills, to express their “disgust” over the decision.  Labour councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the council’s regeneration committee, said: “The decision has not only put our region at a disadvantage but makes Durham Tees Valley more unsustainable.”  The RGFofficials did not include the bid among their 102 successful projects, including 6 in the Tees Valley. In October 2012 their bid for funding for a freight terminal was rejected by the RGF.
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Outrage over airport snub

3rd August 2013  ( Hartlepool Mail)

Durham Tees Valley airport wanted £4.6m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to help create an overall investment of £46.5m.

If approved, it would have meant a new access road on the south side of the airport and could also have led to 1,400 new jobs over the next ten years.

But for the second time their multi-million pound bid was recently rejected, sparking anger from Hartlepool councillors at a recent meeting.

It was agreed at the meeting of full council to write to Mr Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, about the funding blow.

Labour councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the council’s regeneration committee, asked for council backing to write a letter.

Coun Payne said: “We should be writing to Vince Cable about Durham Tees Valley missing out again.

“The decision has not only put our region at a disadvantage but makes Durham Tees Valley more unsustainable.

“We should write and express our disgust.”

Members agreed to send a letter to Government.

Airport chiefs have also expressed their disappointment after the funding bid was rejected last month.

The Southside development would bring other benefits, including new facilities for the on-site SERCO International Fire Training Centre, possible expansion for the aircraft recycling facility, and provision of up to two million sq ft of high-quality business and logistics space.

But RGF officials did not include the bid among their 102 successful projects.

Speaking last month, Peter Nears, strategic planning director with the Peel Group which owns the airport, said: “We believe that we made a very strong case for a project which could be of enormous benefit to both the airport and the area as a whole.”

Despite the blow to the airport’s funding bid, there was good news for Hartlepool company JDR Cables, which was one of only six Tees Valley winners. As previously reported, overall, the Tees Valley award will create nearly 300 jobs and £146m of private investment.

 

http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/local/outrage-over-airport-snub-1-5918339

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Some earlier news  about  Durham Tees  Valley airport:

Airport bids to turn car park into caravan storage site

12.3.2013   As the airport has had such a large drop in numbers in recent  years, it has applied to turn part of its long-stay car park into a storage area for caravans in a bid to generate income.  The decline means that a large part of the airport’s long stay car park has become surplus to requirements, with a large section cordoned off and left unused. The airport’s owner, Peel Holdings, has now applied to Darlington Borough Council to change a 1.7 hectare section of the car park – more than 900 spaces – into a storage area for caravans, motorhomes and other vehicles for the next three years.  Click here to view full story ….

 

Plan revealed to dismantle planes at Durham Tees Valley Airport

February 20, 2013     Durham Tees Valley Airport is set to become a centre for the storage and dismantling of unused planes, and recycling parts. Sycamore Aviation has set up its base at the struggling airport and has already begun work on taking apart a number of airliners. The airport has a long runway, enabling it to handle larger planes, and plenty of hangar space. There are apparently “huge numbers” of aircraft retiring across Europe. A Sycamore Aviation spokesman said one airline alone is likely to need to dispose of 20 jumbo jets and 20 Boeing 737 aircraft in the next 3 -4 years – an illustration of the potential scale of demand. They say that across Europe between 500 to 700 aircraft a year need to be decommissioned and currently there are just not enough facilities to meet the demand. The number of passengers using Durham Tees Valley airport has fallen steadily from around 912,000 in 2006 to 165,000 in 2012.     Click here to view full story…

 

Bosses at Durham Tees Valley Airport express “acute disappointment” at bid failure

19.10.2012     AIRPORT bosses  expressed their “acute disappointment” at the Government’s decision to reject a bid for regeneration cash. However, Durham they said they remained committed to the Southside freight terminal development – despite the failure of the £5.9m Regional Growth Fund (RGF) application. DTVA chairman Robert Hough said the company would be demanding an explanation from ministers after the RGF bid was turned down. “It was hoped the £5.9m scheme, which would take ten years to complete and create up to 1,500 jobs, could breathe new life into the airport, which was close to going out of business last year amid falling passenger numbers.”   Click here to view full story …

 

Government orders research into regional rate for air passenger duty

June 20, 2012    Chloe Smith, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, has said – at a meeting with the Sedgefield MP and Newcastle airport and Durham Tees Valley airport – that the Government has commissioned research into varying APD on a regional basis. The research, planned to be published this summer, will consider the potential impact of a regional APD rate as well as devolving the power to set the tax north of the border to the Scottish Government. There has been a campaign in the region, by the Journal newspaper, to get APD changed, claiming it has adverse economic consequences. Newcastle Airport wants APD to be charged at a higher rate at the biggest, most congested airports (south east), and a lower rate from uncongested regional airports.    Click here to view full story…

 

Durham Tees Valley airport applying to Regional Growth Fund for freight distribution centre

May 26, 2012     An expansion plan is being drawn up for loss-making Durham Tees Valley Airport and will be handed to the Government within weeks. The airport is preparing a bid to the regional growth fund to develop a 250-acre south side of the airport, for freight services/distribution (does not say whether any air freight is included). The application will include a new internal road, installing gas, electricity and drainage connection, and perhaps new buildings. Peel Holdings Ltd, the airport’s owner (owns 80%), has to submit the bid to the £1bn fund by the deadline of June 13th. There has been an 80% fall in the number of passengers since 2006, from 912,000 down to 190,000 in 2011. The focus on freight confirms the expectation the airport will find it difficult to increase passenger numbers. However, their airport’s air freight tonnage has plummeted to almost nothing in the past two years      Click here to view full story…

 

Durham Tees Valley campaign to ship travellers over to Amsterdam for connections

5.5.2012   Durham Tees Valley airport is running a publicity campaign with KLM, to let people know “The World’s on Your Doorstep”. The local authority, Hartlepool Borough Council is also backing it. The aim is to promote the KLM flights (3 per day) to Amsterdam, and then all the other destinations that can be reached from Amsterdam. The Air France/KLM group operates flights from 14 cities in the UK to their hubs in Paris and Amsterdam.  There are flights each day to Heathrow from Newcastle airport, which is only about 35 miles from Durham Tees Valley airport.    http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/local/airport-campaign-1-4518265

 

Durham Tees Valley airport lobby to get Public Service Obligation route to London

March 15, 2012    Phil Wilson, the Labour MP for Sedgefield, will table an amendment to legislation currently before MPs to require airlines to maintain routes if investment and jobs depend on it. He wants to revive air links to London from regional airports such as struggling Durham Tees Valley. The idea will also be put to Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers when a delegation, led by Mr Wilson, meets her on April 24, to discuss the Durham Tees Valley Airport problems. He wants the committee considering the Civil Aviation Bill to examine the possibility of a clause, which would require an obligation to continue to fly because of the impact on the Tees Valley of withdrawing flights to London.    Click here to view full story…

 

Owner of airport seeks help from MPs

17th February 2012   (Northern Echo)   The new owner of Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has sought the help of politicians to secure a long-term future for the business. The Peel Group has lobbied Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle and Louise Ellman MP, chairwoman of the Commons Transport Select Committee, about the importance of the airport to the local economy. Peter Nears, Peel’s strategic planning director, has also begun a round of meetings with the area’s MPs.  Six Tees Valley councils own a minority share in the airport.  Mrs Ellman said it was important that the role of regional airports in promoting employment was recognised.   Click here to view full story ….

 

Durham Tees Valley Airport’s future secured by takeover by Peel Investments

February 12, 2012    Previous owners Peel Airports has sold its 75% majority share-holding in the airport to Peel Investments (DTVA). So the airport can continue in business and get over its current crisis. Peel Airports is 65% owned by Vantage Airport Group (formerly Vancouver Airport Services) and 35% by The Peel Group. Peel Investments is now the majority shareholder in the airport, with the rest of the shareholding (25%) continuing to be owned by the six local authorities, including Hartlepool Borough Council. Peel Airports Limited, (as different part of the Peel Group) continues to be a major shareholder in Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster. Durham Tees Valley airport had less than 22% the number of passengers in 2011 as it had in 2006.   Click here to view full story…

 

Buyer sought for nose-diving Durham Tees Valley Airport

December 16, 2011   Peel Airports has put their 75% stake of the airport up for sale, as it is losing money had too few passengers. Most airports have seen a drop in traffic, but for Durham Tees Valley it’s been more of a nose-dive than a controlled descent. In 2006, more than 900,000 passengers passed through its doors. This year that will have come down to 200,000. The recession has hit and airlines have also increasingly deserted Durham Tees Valley for the safety of bigger airports.    Click here to view full story…

 

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Read more »

Proposals to Airports Commission of airport or runway plans – that have been publicised (+ maps)

The 19th July was the deadline for submissions to the Airports Commission of proposals for plans for new airport capacity. The Commission has said these will all be published on its website in August or September. So far only those publicised by their proponents are publicly available. We have put together a list of those of which we are aware. The main sites for planned new airport capacity are Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Thames Estuary and Birmingham – though there will be others, perhaps in the west country?  The Commission asked for no more than 40 pages, and for a specific list of criteria to be taken into account in submissions, including noise, air quality, and climate including “overall compatibility of growth in air travel with the national and global climate change targets” and “the relative climate change impacts of different options for providing additional capacity.” Proposals did not need to be made by the airport owner, but could be made by other interested parties. In December the Commission will publish their list “of the most plausible options for delivering any additional capacity required in the longer term.” We give indicative maps showing possible locations of new runways.

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 1. Heathrow

The Heathrow press release is at  http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/Heathrow-unveils-a-new-approach-to-third-runway-5e2.aspx

Third runway south west

The Heathrow proposal document is  “A New Approach” 

Images of Heathrow’s 3 proposals:

Heathrow’s south west runway option (Stanwell Moor)

Heathrow south west runway proposal Stanwell Moor gone 17.7.2013

Heathrow’s north west runway option

Heathrow north west runway option 31.7.2013

Heathrow northern runway option

Heathrow north (shorter)  runway option 17.7.2013

 

 


 

2. Gatwick

The Gatwick airport webpage about their proposals is at  http://www.gatwickairport.com/bettersolution/

The Gatwick airport proposal is at  “Proposals for providing Additional Runway Capacity in the Longer Term”

http://www.gatwickairport.com/Documents/business_and_community/R2/Gatwick_Airport_Proposals_for_additional_longterm_runway_capacity19Jul2013.pdf

 Images of Gatwick’s 3 proposals

1.  This is the close spaced option for the 2nd runway, some 600 – 700 metres south of the existing runway. “Dependent Segregated Mode”

Gatwick close spaced runway about 600m 66 mppa

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2This is the medium spaced option for the 2nd runway, some over 750 metres, but under 1,000 metres or so , south of the existing runway. “Independent Segregated Mode”

Gatwick medium spaced runway under 1035 metres 82mppa

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3. This is the wide spaced option for the 2nd runway, over 1,035 metres south of the existing runway.  ”Independent Mixed Mode”

Gatwick wide spaced runway over 1035 metres 87 mppa

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3. Stansted

Stansted Airport’s website about their proposals is at http://www.magworld.co.uk/magweb.nsf/Content/AirportsCommissionSubmissions

The Stansted Airport proposal is at

Stansted’s submission to Airports Commission  (pdf 72 pages)

Images of 2 possible runway locations  – or another 3 runways

Stansted one north west runway

Stansted one east runway


Stansted hub airport with 4 runways


 

4.  Thames Estuary, Isle of Grain “Thames Hub”

Press release at http://www.fosterandpartners.com/news/foster-+-partners-submits-thames-hub-proposal-to-airports-commission/

 Report at http://www.fosterandpartners.com/ThamesHub/

 Images of the Thames hub proposal

Thames hub aerial view

Thames hub surface access proposal

Thames hub surface access


 

5. Birmingham 

 The Birmingham proposal is at  

” Proposals for providing additional airport capacity in the longer term”

Image of 2nd runway proposal

nd runway

The proposed location for the expanded Airport would be located in a predominantly rural area to the east of the M42, with a second runway forming the eastern boundary of the site.

Birmingham indicative map of proposed 2nd runway

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6. Severnside

An airport in the Severn Estuary, between Chepshow and Newport.

\More details at  http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17177

Severnside airport concept

and

Severnside airport aerial concept



 

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There is a bit more information on each submission in the following articles:

1.  Heathrow

HACAN will fight tooth and nail against Heathrow’s plans for a 3rd runway

July 17, 2013          HACAN, representing residents under the Heathrow flight paths, has vowed to ‘fight tooth and nail’ against the proposals for a 3rd runway released by Heathrow Airport. HACAN welcomed the measures announced by Heathrow to cut noise but argued that these will be negated by the huge increase there will be in the number of planes using the airport if a 3rd runway is given the go-ahead. Heathrow has confirmed that flight numbers will rise by nearly 250,000 a year to a total of 740,000 (from the current 480,000) if a new runway is built. Heathrow’s 3 options are for: (1). A south west option which requires demolition of the 850 properties in the Stanwell Moor area. (2). A north west option in the Harmondsworth Moor area involving demolition of 950 properties. (3). A northern option, very similar to the previous plans for a 3rd runway, involving demolition of Sipson and parts of Harlington. Heathrow has ruled out a 4th runway until at least 2040 as it is not convinced there will be the demand. But it has said that, if a 4th runway was required, one of the options for a 3rd runway would be used. A fourth runway would result in a total of around a million flights per year using the airport.    http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2042


2. Gatwick

Gatwick publishes its 3 options for a southern 2nd runway enabling up to 87 mppa. Strongly opposed by GACC

July 23, 2013     Gatwick Airport has announced its preferred location for a 2nd runway and submitted its plans to the Airports Commission. There are 3 slightly different plans, all for a runway to the south of the existing runway – close, medium or wide spaced. The close runway could not work independently of the existing runway, while the others (at least 750 metres south) could. With the wide spaced runway, over 1,035 metres south, Gatwick could have 95 movements per hour, enabling it to have some 87 million passengers per year (compared to 66 mppa for the close option, and 82 mppa for the medium). Gatwick has managed to get support from the local business lobbies in the area for its plans, and some local council support. Gatwick’s CEO, Stewart Wingate said a 2nd Gatwick runway would cost between £5bn and £9bn and could be open by 2025. Gatwick is selling its plans to the Airports Commission on how many fewer people would be affected by noise than at Heathrow, and that it would be cheaper than some other options. Gatwick wants London to have a “constellation” system, with 3 airports each with two runways, at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.  http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=16794


3. Stansted

Owners of Stansted, MAG, submit their plans for a 2nd runway – or to become a 4-runway hub. Stop Stansted Expansion say the proposals are opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless

July 19, 2013      MAG, the owner of Stansted, are submitting their proposals for a 2nd runway to the Airports Commission. They also believe it has the potential to become a UK future 4 runway hub airport. MAG argues that the airport offers the cheapest and least environmentally damaging location (quite how it could do that, on a countryside location is unclear) for a 4-runway airport and estimate that it would cost £10 billion, although no detailed plans have been drawn up. Local campaign group, Stop Stansted Expansion, said that the MAG proposals were reheating plans put forward back in 2002 that were withdrawn by BAA, the former owners, in 2010. SSE’s chairman said: “We really shouldn’t have to go through this whole argument again just three years after the last threat was lifted. We are profoundly disappointed that MAG has behaved in this opportunistic and irresponsible way. With the airport currently operating at only half its permitted capacity a 2nd runway – never mind a 4-runway hub double the size of Heathrow today – is completely unnecessary on business grounds and it would be completely unacceptable on environmental grounds.” MAG has to admit that it could serve almost double the current number of passengers, without any more infrastructure for some years  http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2254

 


 

4. Thames Hub

Foster & Partners submit their Isle of Grain airport scheme and Boris courts Chinese and South Korean backers

July 21, 2013      Sky News says advisers to Boris have held initial talks with wealthy foreign institutions including China Investment Corporation (CIC) and officials in South Korea about the Isle of Grain, Thames Estuary hub airport project. Boris now prefers the Isle of Grain as the location site for an airport, rather than “Boris island”. Other institutional investors including City-based pension funds and infrastructure firms are also understood to have told the Mayor’s advisers that they would consider putting long-term capital into the Isle of Grain scheme, which has been called the Thames Hub Airport. Boris is understood to be determined to identify as much private sector funding as possible for a new airport, whereas his principal aviation adviser, Daniel Moylan, is said to be keener on the idea of government financing. On 19th Foster & Partners submitted the Isle of Grain airport scheme to the Airports Commission. Chinese backers are being courted for a number of new UK projects, including a new ‘super-sewer’ under London.     http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2165

 


 

5. Birmingham

Birmingham Airport publishes proposals for its future growth – including 2nd runway – to the Airports Commission

July 26, 2013      Birmingham Airport has made a submission to the Airports Commission on its future growth plans. It hopes to grow from 9m passengers a year now to 70m, (the size of Heathrow currently) while allegedly reducing the number of people affected by night noise. They are aware that the Commission is looking at the number affected by noise in the proposals submitted. Birmingham airport says its current runway extension will allow it to handle 27m passengers a year and it has the potential for a 2nd runway to be built some time after 2030 – if the demand required it – costing under £7 billion. The airport estimates that by using the new runway for night flights, it would remove over 13,000 people from the 57dB night noise contour. Birmingham airport say they have support from a large number of businesses in the area, and are well placed for business travellers who are keen to avoid Heathrow and get direct flights to Birmingham. “We have recommended to the commission a network of great long-haul airports to serve Britain’s great cities. Our proposals show that Birmingham Airport is in a position to sit at the heart of this network, serving a valuable catchment area and relieving pressure on congested airports in the South East.”      http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3917

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Details of how proposers of new capacity should submit their plans were given in the Airports Commission paper :

Guidance document 01: submitting evidence and proposals to the Airports Commission” 

How the Airports Commission will take forward its programme of work.  (25 pages) 

with details of what needs to be included in its section 3 “Proposals for providing additional airport capacity in the longer term”

The Commission stated (page 15) :

” 3.7   Following the submission of expressions of intent in February, the next deadline for submissions will be 19 July 2013. By this date, we will need to receive outline proposals. These should give an overview of the level of additional capacity that would be provided, along with some of the key economic, social and environmental considerations. As stated above, we do not require detailed design and assessment materials at this stage; we are envisaging submissions of no longer than 40 pages. They may not need to include detailed designs for new runways and terminals, though in some cases those bringing proposals may wish to include them where they are fundamental to other areas of their analysis.

3.8 Those bringing proposals may wish to link them to forecast future aviation growth. We intend to look in detail at forecasts for future growth in demand for air transport and will be publishing a paper for consideration on forecasting. At present, however, parties making submissions may wish to refer to the Department for Transport’s existing high, medium and low demand forecasts.

3.9 We are particularly interested in proposals which bring an integrated approach to the issue, taking into account a broad range of factors, including possible problems raised by the proposal and means of resolving or mitigating them. Those preparing proposals may wish to consider whether they could draw upon expert advice from outside their own organisation. We are also interested in receiving proposals that might have implications for more than one site, which might involve growth at a number of airports, or enhanced surface transport links between them.”

and

For the time being, we have identified six broad categories of factors which we would encourage scheme promoters to consider in developing their proposals:

● economic factors;
● social factors;
● climate change impacts;
● local environmental factors;
● accessibility;
● feasibility considerations.

- (and there is more detail within those, including noise, air quality, climate etc).  Details

Also (page 23):

4.2   In December 2013, we will publish our interim report, which will include our recommendations on options for the short and medium terms and will include our list of the most plausible options for delivering any additional capacity required in the longer term.

4.3 Following this, we intend to work with the sponsors of credible proposals to carry out further work on developing and assessing them. Where a proposal deemed to be credible does not have a sponsor, the Commission will itself initiate work to develop it further.

4.4 We have not yet finalised the programme of work that will lead to our final report. However, it is likely that each of the listed proposals will be developed into a draft proposal (which will include draft impact assessments) by the summer of 2014, which will then be subject to public scrutiny, as well as expert analysis. This will allow draft proposals to be developed into final proposals, submitted to us during the first quarter of 2015, allowing time for them to be assessed and compared ahead of our final report in the summer of 2015.

Details

 

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Greater Manchester town halls share in £48m bonanza from MAG’s extra large dividend

The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) owns Manchester Airport, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, and now Stansted. MAG is owned by the 10 councils of Greater Manchester. Manchester City Council owns 35.5%, and 9 authorities, the Metropolitan Boroughs of Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, together with Salford City Council, collectively own 29%. Australian investment fund Industry Funds Management owns 35.5%. MAG has made a greatly enlarged dividend to its shareholders, through buying Stansted and the large investment from IFM.  MAG has agreed to increase its dividend from £20m in 2012 to £72m, which includes an  additional one-off dividend of £30m. From this £48m will be shared between Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities, with Manchester getting some £26 million of it and the remaining 9 sharing some £22 million, in proportion to their shares. In contrast the dividend has been £20m for the past 4 years.  Manchester Airport has been in public ownership since 1938, and public money has been invested in it. The councils benefiting say they do not spend the money on specific projects, but subtract it from the total amount they must save after government cuts. It may be used partly to invest in the local economy, to raise skills and create jobs.

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Greater Manchester town halls share in jumbo £48m bonanza from airport’s bumper year

By  (Manchester Evening News.  M.E.N.)

The M.E.N. can reveal the dividend paid to the cash-strapped councils as a result of their stakes in the airport’s parent company has more than doubled.

24.5m passengers passed through MAG airports, up 500,000 on the year before

24.5m passengers passed through MAG airports, up 500,000 on the year before

Greater Manchester’s 10 town halls were today given a £48m boost thanks to the flying fortunes of Manchester Airport.

The M.E.N. can reveal the dividend paid to the cash-strapped councils as a result of their stakes in the airport’s parent company has more than doubled.

Manchester Airports Group today released its annual report for the 12 months to the end of March, in which it reveals details of the bumper windfall.

The huge hike is linked to MAG’s £1.47bn swoop for Stansted Airport, which also saw an Australian investor buy a 35 per cent shareholding in the group for £900m.

As a result of those two deals – and MAG renegotiating £1.2bn-worth of debt with its lenders – it has agreed to increase its dividend from £20m in 2012 to a whopping £72m this time around.

And the bulk of that – £48m – will be shared between Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities, with Manchester getting 35 per cent of it and the remaining nine sharing 30 per cent.

The remainder goes to Industry Funds Management, the company that invested in MAG to help pay for its Stansted deal.

This £72m dividend is made up of an increase to the normal payment, which has risen from £20m in 2012 to £42m, and special one-off bonus of £30m.

In 2002, the dividend was just £5m and has been £20m for the past four years.

Chief financial officer Neil Thompson said: “Two years ago, we set ourselves some tough targets to grow the business against a tough economic backdrop.

“The last year in particular has been a transformational one, in which we have seen strong passenger growth, improved commercial performance and have completed the deals to welcome on board a new investor, buy Stansted and carry out a refinancing.

“That is why we are delighted to announce that, as a result of that performance, we are doubling the dividend and paying an additional one-off dividend of £30m.”

 

Emirates A380 viewed from the new Manchester Airport control tower

Sean Hansford

The announcement comes as MAG revealed 24.5m passengers passed through its airports – Manchester, East Midlands, Bournemouth and now Stansted – during the year covered by the annual report.

That was up 500,000 on the year before and is set to rise even more over the next year.

Since January, Manchester Airport itself has handled more than 20m passengers and is hopeful of growing that to close to 25m in the next two or three years.The group also posted a 10.3 per cent increase in its turnover, up from £373.2m in 2012 to £411.5m this year.

Its underlying profits grew 9.2 per cent from £131m to £143m. Stripping out the one month contribution Stansted made to MAG’s financial figures, revenues stood at £393.1m and profits were £137.9m.

And it was Manchester Airport that made by far the biggest contribution to the group’s soaring fortunes.

Its revenues rose 9.1 per cent from £282m to £307.8m, with its profits increasing 6.1 per cent from £126.9 to £134.6m.

Across the group, £185.8m was received from airlines that pay for landing slots. That rose from £169.6m in 2012, with airport chiefs having encouraged airlines to launch new routes, such as the easyJet service to Moscow and United Airlines’ Washington DC flight.

And Mr Thompson said MAG was working hard to secure a direct flight to China, as well as pursuing opportunities in places like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and other parts of the States, such as Miami, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

MAG raked in £56.4m in car parking charges, up from £52m, with 2,900 new spaces added at Manchester alone. Retail revenues grew from £74.6m to £75.1m, with new shops including The Lonely Planet and Zoodle opening in Manchester’s terminals during the year.

The annual report also reveals MAG’s executive team – chief executive Charlie Cornish, Mr Thompson and commercial director Ken O’Toole – shared salaries and bonuses worth £1.65m, which was up from £795,000 in 2012.

Mr Cornish received £694,000, which includes his basic salary, bonuses, car allowances and other benefits. His 2012 package was £480,000.

How taxpayers’ cash aided airport lift-off

The taxpayers of Manchester have been in business with the airport since its birth in 1938, when it opened thanks to funding from the city council.

It has remained in public ownership ever since.

The M56 motorway was built to serve the airport in 1972, a new rail station opened in 1993 and a second runway was completed in 1997.

In 2000, the group bought East Midlands and Bournemouth airports for £241m. Manchester Airports Group (MAG) was formed in 2001, following the acquisition of East Midlands Airport, to own and operate Manchester Airport and the other smaller acquisitions.

MAG is owned by the 10 councils of Greater Manchester and Australian investment fund Industry Funds Management.

Of the 10 councils, Manchester council holds the largest stake, at 35.5 per cent. The remaining nine councils hold a total of 29 per cent. Industry Funds Management own a 35.5 per cent stake in MAG.

The group bought London Stansted Airport this year.

Windfall will help us create jobs and ease cuts misery, say

Manchester’s cash-strapped councils are celebrating the windfall to  come courtesy of the city’s flourishing airport.

Most councils do not spend the money on specific projects – instead subtracting it from the total amount they must save after government cuts.

But Bolton bosses say they will invest it in the local economy, specifically teaching skills and job creation.

Lord Peter Smith, chairman of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which governs economic development over the 10 authorities, said the money helps to reduce service and council job cuts across the region. He said: “We are pleased that Manchester and our new acquisition Stansted are doing well, so it’s good news for the local authorities and good news for hard-pressed local communities who can have the money to help support much needed local services.

“We’ll put our money into the general pot and makes sure we use it wisely to reduce the affect of the cuts over time.

“It will be available for us next year and it will mitigate the impact of cuts. Whatever figure the government is throwing at us next year, this income will help to reduce the number of services that have to be cut and so the impact on jobs.”

He said the profits show that the councils’ decision to invest in the airport – and to acquire Stansted – was a wise one.

He added: “It was a good investment all those years ago to build the airport at Ringway and for us to support it over the years. It also shows what a wise investment we made last year in acquiring Stansted. Some people said it wasn’t but now local people are benefiting from the acquisition.” Coun Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton council, said: “We are pleased that we will be receiving this dividend from our stake in the airport.

“One of the council’s key priorities is driving economic prosperity and regenerating the town centre and local economy. We will therefore be investing this money into supporting the local economy, raising skills and creating new jobs.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester council, said: “Although this significantly increased dividend from Manchester Airports Group is a one-off windfall, it is excellent news for the council taxpayers of Manchester, and Greater Manchester, and vindicates the Group’s investment strategy, including the acquisition of Stansted. As well as generating jobs and attracting investment, a strong Manchester Airports Group makes a substantial and ongoing contribution to council income which helps protect our residents against the impact of future spending reductions.

“We would hope and expect that it will deliver even greater benefits in the years ahead.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/greater-manchester-town-halls-share-5386964

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 From Wikipedia:

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

The Manchester Airports Group plc (commonly abbreviated to MAG) is a holding company which is owned by the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester, in North West England, and Australian investment fund Industry Funds Management. Founded in 2001 following the acquisition of East Midlands Airport, MAG is the largest UK-owned airport operator, following the purchase of BAA by Spain’s Ferrovial Group in 2006. The Group owns four British airports, Bournemouth, East Midlands andManchester Airport which is the busiest airport outside the London region, as well as London Stansted Airport.

Of the ten metropolitan boroughs of Greater Manchester, Manchester City Council holds the largest stake, at 35.5%. The remaining nine councils hold a total of 29%.

Industry Funds Management own a 35.5% stake in MAG. The Group has its registered office at Manchester Town Hall.[5] MAG operates on a commercial basis at arms length from its public owners who only take a dividend from profits. This was £20 million in 2010 while MAG retained £80 million from the £100 million profit.[6] The Group are focused on delivering the £659 million Manchester Airport City.[7]

Planning permission for the Airport City development was confirmed on 17 January 2013 and construction work is due to begin in February 2013.[8] On 18 January 2013, it was announced that MAG would purchase Stansted Airport from Heathrow Airport Holdings for £1.5bn.[9] Industry Funds Management purchased a 35.5% stake in MAG to help fund the takeover.[10] The sale was completed on 28 February 2013.[11]

Manchester Airports Group is majority owned by the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester, with Manchester City Council owning 35.5%. The remaining nine authorities, the Metropolitan Boroughs of BoltonBuryOldhamRochdaleStockportTamesideTraffordWigan, together with Salford City Council, collectively own 29%. In 2012, it was decided that rules on shareholding would be changed to allow external, private investors to purchase stakes in order to provide extra capital for future investment and takeovers of airports. Manchester City Council would retain a controlling stake over the organisation.[21] To raise funds for the purchase of Stansted Airport, Industry Funds Management purchased a 35.5% share in the group.
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The axe falls: Fury as town hall backs £80 million cuts

Shouts of ‘Shame on you’ in the council chamber as budget passed. Angry protestors say the city is being decimated. Manchester City Council.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/axe-falls-fury-manchester-city-1731084

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Former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell to head Frontier Economics, which is pushing for Heathrow growth

Lord Gus O’Donnell, the former Cabinet Secretary, has been announced as the new chair of the economics consultancy, Frontier Economics. He will work one day a week, starting towards the end of this year. His role will involve seeking to change government policies on the behalf of Frontier’s corporate clients, which include Heathrow airport.  Frontier has been advising Heathrow on its plans for a 3rd runway and expansion.  Frontier Economics produced a report for Heathrow, backing its case as the key hub airport for the UK and its expansion, in September 2011. The Frontier report claimed that London would become only Europe’s 3rd busiest airport (behind Paris and Frankfurt) unless the Government freed up more capacity and enabled more direct flights to emerging markets.  The Times comments on how Sir Gus is not the first senior civil servant who has been able to get a very well paid and influential job in consultancy because of their experience in Government, and their contacts there. 

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Lord O’Donnell to advise corporates on economic policy

Former cabinet secretary will take on chair role at Frontier Economics, which advised Heathrow on the third runway

by 

Gus O'Donnell 
Gus O’Donnell is the new chair of consultancy Frontline Economics Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Lord Gus O’Donnell has been announced as the new chair of an economics consultancy.

The former cabinet secretary will take up the one-day-a-week role at Frontier Economics in late 2013, when his predecessor Baroness Sarah Hogg retires after 14 years.

According to the Financial Times (£), O’Donnell’s new role will involve seeking to change policies on the behalf of Frontier’s corporate clients. Most recently, the consultancy has advised Heathrow airport on its proposal for a third runway.

O’Donnell first joined Frontier as a senior adviser in October 2012. His non-executive colleagues on the board will include fellow former cabinet secretary and chief secretary to the Treasury Lord Andrew Turnbull and George Adams, CEO of the Kingfisher trade division.

On his appointment, O’Donnell praised the business for its role in applying economics to “tough public and private sector issues” and said its internal culture was “second to none”.

Hogg, who has chaired Frontier since its creation in 1999, said she was confident that the company – which has reported steady growth even through the economic downturn – had been left in good hands.

O’Donnell has a background in economic policy, having held roles at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, as well as being head of the Government Economic Service. He retired from the civil service in 2011 and was made a life peer in early 2012.

http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2013/jul/30/lord-gus-odonnell-frontier-economics

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Frontier Economics produced a report on expanding Heathrow in September  2011:

Connecting for growth: the role of Britain’s hub airport in economic recovery
by  Frontier Economics Ltd, London.   A REPORT PREPARED FOR HEATHROW

The report concluded:

“This report demonstrates that Heathrow is a highly successful hub airport, but it could offer far more than it does at present, with the UK missing out as a result. The gap between what Heathrow is able to deliver and what it could deliver is growing, with important consequences for the UK economy.
The Government has ruled out an increase in airport capacity in London and the South East, but for the foreseeable future, Heathrow is the only airport in the UK that has the scale and capability as a global hub. Some have suggested building a new hub airport in the South East, but estimates suggest that that may take as long as 25 years to build at a cost of £40 billion. By then it may be too late.
This report demonstrates the importance of a hub in providing the connectivity to global markets upon which growth and recovery depends. Safeguarding and strengthening that connectivity means promoting and protecting the comparative advantage Britain enjoys from having a hub airport. And in the near term, Heathrow is the only airport that can perform that function.
Heathrow’s position as the leading international hub airport in Europe gives the UK direct choice of access to the global markets upon which strong economic growth depends. If the UK is not to lose out and fall behind its international competitors, it needs an aviation policy and strategy that recognises this.”

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Wikipedia says of Sir Gus O’Donnell:

Augustine Thomas O’Donnell, Baron O’Donnell, GCB (born 1 October 1952), is a former British senior civil servant and economist, who between 2005 and 2011 (under three Prime Ministers) served as the Cabinet Secretary, the highest official in the British Civil Service.

O’Donnell announced after the 2010 General Election that he would step down within that Parliament,[1] and did so at the end of the year 2011.[2] His post was then split into three positions: he was succeeded as Cabinet Secretary by Sir Jeremy Heywood, as Head of the Home Civil Service by Sir Bob Kerslake (in a part-time role), and as Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office by Ian Watmore.[3][4] Whilst Cabinet Secretary, O’Donnell was regularly referred to within the Civil Service, and subsequently in the popular press, as GOD; this was mainly because of his initials.[5] In 2012, O’Donnell joined Frontier Economics as a Senior Advisor.[6]

…… and a lot more at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gus_O’Donnell,_Baron_O’Donnell

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See also

 

O’Donnell faces flak as he lands Heathrow role: Former Cabinet Secretary accused of ‘cashing in’ by accepting job

  • Gus O’Donnell has accepted top role with a private consultancy
  • Former Cabinet Secretary accused of ‘cashing in’ on connections
  • Critics say there is conflict in interest in new role with Frontier Economics

By TAMARA COHEN

31.7.2013 (Daily Mail)

Former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell has been accused of ‘cashing in’ by accepting the job of chairman of Frontier Economics, which has been working on Heathrow Airport’s third runway bid

Former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell has been accused of ‘cashing in’ on his Government connections by accepting a top role with a private consultancy.

Critics say there is a conflict of interest in his new job as chairman of Frontier Economics, which has been working on Heathrow Airport’s third runway bid.

The leading financial consultancy lobbies ministers on behalf of its high-profile clients, mainly blue chip companies.

Lord O’Donnell, who received a peerage when his reign as Britain’s top civil servant ended, takes over from former Downing Street policy advisor Sarah Hogg, who is stepping down after 14 years at the company.

It comes at a crucial time for the controversial third runway bid, for which the firm has highlighted the potential economic benefits. 

A report published by Frontier this month says the UK could miss out on £14billion of trade in the next decade without it.

Steve Reed, a Labour member of the House of Commons public administrations select committee, said: ‘There are far too many cases of civil servants taking well-paid jobs in the private sector so they can cash in on their contacts in government.’

During his time as Cabinet Secretary, between 2005 and 2011, Lord O’Donnell presided over a large increase in the number of consultants employed by Whitehall departments.

He joined Frontier in 2012 as a senior advisor and was promoted yesterday to chairman.

A spokesman for Frontier said he had not been involved in its work with Heathrow, and said: ‘Gus acts in full accordance with the Civil Service rules and his primary focus is to work with the team at Frontier to build the company into an even stronger European economics advisory business.’

Lord O’Donnell, an economist, said he was looking forward to his new role, saying: ‘Not only is Frontier at the forefront of applying economics to tough public and private sector issues, it has an internal culture that is second to none.’ 

Non-executive board members include Lord Turnbull, Lord O’Donnell’s predecessor as Cabinet Secretary.

 

 


 

Gus O’Donnell to head group pushing Heathrow growth

Times ££

30.7.2013    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3829038.ece

The Times says:

Lord O’Donnell, the former Cabinet Secretary, is to head a consultancy advising Heathrow airport on its bid for extra runways.

Gus O’Donnell, known at Whitehall by his initials GOD, is taking over from Sarah Hogg, a former Downing Street policy adviser, to chair Frontier Economics, a leading consultancy.

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