An article in the Telegraph takes at face value the blurb put out by Heathrow on its air freight exports. As Heathrow and its backers never ever mention imports, people may be led to believe there are only exports and no imports going through Heathrow. The reality is very different. Heathrow’s figures show the total tonnage of exports in 2014 was 345,575 tonnes, out of the total of 1,501,906 tonnes. That is 23%. The other 77% by weight was imports. The value of exports via Heathrow in 2014 was £48 billion, out of a total for air freight of £101 billion. So the value of exports was 47.5%. Never mentioned by Heathrow. The Telegraph focuses on the exports of Scottish salmon by Heathrow. It is deeply odd, not to mention highly unsustainable, that Scottish fish are not exported from Scottish airports – and why they are flown to London, for their onward journey. It is also ironic because Scottish farmed salmon not only cause serious problems for the few remaining wild salmon, but also for the waters where the farms are located. And the farms are largely owned by foreign companies, so not British at all. The largest grower is the massive Marine Harvest Scotland, based in Norway. So Norwegian company damages Scottish environment, to ship fish by air to London, and then across the world. And Heathrow wants another runway so it can do more of this sort of thing. Weird world …
“New Customs and Excise data breaking down exports through the London airport give a revealing insight into the composition of the 345,575 tonnes of British goods worth more than £48bn that took off from Heathrow last year.”
That just proves how much smaller Heathrow air freight exports are than its imports.
The CAA data for 2014 show the total air freight at Heathrow was 1,501,906 tonnes. The 345,575 tonnes was just 23% of the total weight of air cargo. The other 77% of air freight was imports. Odd that Heathrow never mentions them.
Heathrow says the value of its air freight in 2014 was £101 billion. But it says the value of its exports was £48 billion. That is 47.5% of the total – a bit under half.
The rest is imports. (But the value per tonne of the exports is higher than the value per tonne for the imports.)
Flying fish: why fresh salmon are a crucial cargo for Heathrow
Salmon have taken off as a key UK export being shipped through Heathrow, along with gold, jet engines – and raincoats
Tens of thousands of tonnes of salmon is exported via Heathrow every yearPhoto: Reuters
Almost 50,000 tonnes of fresh salmon for sale in other countries is shipped through Heathrow a year, making fish by far the airport’s biggest export by weight. [Heathrow’s press releasesays: “Fresh Salmon is the UK’s number one export by weight via Heathrow, with 46,000 tonnes exported in the most recent 12 month period, the same weight as 230 blue whales.”]
New Customs and Excise data breaking down exports through the London airport give a revealing insight into the composition of the 345,575 tonnes of British goods worth more than £48bn that took off from Heathrow last year.
The country is now the second-biggest destination for exports by value, behind only the US at £14bn, and if the current trend continues it looks set to take the top spot within two years.
The growing importance of Asian trade is further shown by the fact that countries from the region hold four of the top five places when it comes to exports by value.
Cyprus has agreed to sell gold reserves to raise around ?400m Photo: Alamy
Massively ahead of anything else when it comes to value being exported through the airport were precious metals, with £26bn-worth of them being despatched from Heathrow during the year.
Also putting in a strong showing was jewellery, at £3bn a year, and diamonds, at £800m.
Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce was a major contributoir to exports of jet engines
Britain’s standing in the global aerospace industry is shown by the amount of aircraft engines and components that travelled through Heathrow.
The UK’s aerospace industry is worth £29bn a year, making it the world’s second largest, and £3.5bn of aircraft engines were exported via Heathrow last year, along with a further £1.9bn in aircraft engine parts and £1.6bn-worth of other aircraft components.
Health crises such as ebola mean that the value of human vaccines exported through the airport is rising fast, hitting £1.8bn last year, an increase of 97pc on the same period a year earlier.
When it comes to weight, the 46,343 tonnes of salmon exported through Heathrow last year was the biggest single commodity and the equivalent of 105 full-laden 747 jumbo jets.
Britain’s fashion industry also gets a look in with 3,640 tonnes of clothes being exported, and one of the fastest growing sub-sectors is overcoats and raincoats, rising at a rate of 60pc a year.
“Why are Salmon flown out via Heathrow instead of Glasgow, Prestwick or Newcastle? Why are aircraft parts made in Derby flown out by Heathrow instead of Ringway (Manchester) or Birmingham? How much of Heathrow’s traffic is “hub transfers” for people and goods where other less congested UK airports could better compete with Schiphol or Frankfurt? How much is essential business traffic for London?”
“As usual, what’s good for Heathrow is at odds with what’s best for the country:
“Salmon farming in Scotland is 95% owned by overseas companies and pays a negligible amount of tax to the UK Exchequer” (See Scotsman link) . 3 out of the top exports by value are aircraft engines & parts !! Talk about the irony and a self-serving industry, that really sums it up”
It is ironic that Heathrow exports farmed salmon, from Scotland.
First, why on earth can the salmon – if indeed it must be exported ? – be freighted from a Scottish airport? Why travel all the way down to London, to travel via Heathrow?
Second, farmed salmon is a very environmentally unfriendly industry – doing huge harm not only to wild salmon, but to the waters in which it is practised. It is also relatively high in chemicals that are not very good for human health.
6 March 2015 (Scotsman – Have Your Say)Can someone explain the significance of the headline, “Salmon is favourite for exports” (23 March)?
To me this headline infers that the salmon farming industry is of economic benefit to Scotland and the UK and that would be a misleading conclusion. Salmon farming in Scotland is 95 per cent owned by overseas companies and pays a negligible amount of tax to the UK Exchequer, so there is not much benefit here.
Is there, then, any benefit to Scotland in employment and jobs?
Again the answer is no: the salmon farming industry is highly automated, equipment and feed is largely imported and its operations have destroyed more jobs in the traditional wild fisheries than it has created.
Salmon farming is a polluting, eco-unfriendly and unsustainable industry and one that produces a food which contains artificial growth hormones, antibiotics and a host of other chemicals dangerous to human health – a very different food product to the nutritious wild salmon, which the salmon farming industry represents as being the same.
The final irony, and indignity, in this article is the misleading picture of a leaping wild salmon, a species, along with its cousin the sea trout, threatened with extinction due to the activities of the salmon farmers.
Perhaps the picture accompanying the article should have been of a prison cage containing 50,000 other salmon being drenched by tons of chemicals to eradicate sea lice.
The salmon is one of the great symbols of the wild, known to swim thousands of miles across the oceans to spawn in specific rivers of Britain. It is a much prized animal, both by fishermen and by cooks. However, the salmon population is in crisis. Overfishing and pollution have taken their toll to the point that many salmon populations are in extreme decline.
To reverse this the Environment Agency has been pumping money into hatcheries and river management schemes to preserve this fish. However, in Scotland the government is supporting an industry which is having a destructive effect on the remaining wild salmon, and threatens to cause their extinction in many rivers.
As the numbers of wild salmon have declined, salmon farms have been established in Scottish river estuaries. In 2003 there were 81 companies running fish farms at 326 sites in Scotland. Overall production was dominated by 19 companies accounting for over 77% of the salmon production in Scotland. Fish farming in Scotland accounts for 2,000 direct jobs and between 4,000 and 5,000 in supporting sectors. Around 75% of these jobs are in the Highlands and Islands.
Marine Harvest Scotland
A large proportion of Scotland’s fish farms is now owned by the massive multinational corporation Marine Harvest, the world’s largest aquaculture company. Now part of the Norwegian-Dutch multinational Nutreco, it specialises in fish farming and other animal foodstuffs. Marine Harvest Scotland produces up to 35,000 tonnes of salmon each year. Half of this goes to UK customers, and the remainder goes to the EU, US and Asia
Marine Harvest was founded in Scotland in the mid-1960s. In 1994, it was bought by Booker which merged it with its subsidiary, McConnell Salmon. It was acquired in 1999 by Nutreco, which changed its name to Marine Harvest Scotland. Its headquarters are now in Bergen, Norway.
A British Airways pilot has reportedly been left with significant damage to his eyesight after a “military-strength” laser was shone into the cockpit of his plane landing at Heathrow, in what appears to be the most serious laser attack to date in the UK. The pilot suffered a burned retina in his right eye and has not worked since, according to the head of BALPA. The incident has escalated concerns over the problem of laser attacks, as this was a military weaponry type laser. BALPA claims that 50% of pilots has been in a plane targeted with lasers in the last 12 months. The risk to safety of a pilot having his vision disturbed by a laser, while coming in to land, is obvious. Many incidents appear to have come from a particular block of flats in Glasgow. Lasers have become easy to buy on the internet, and though those usually available are not strong enough to cause eye damage, they cause distraction. “When it comes into the flight deck, it bounces around the walls of the cockpit” and with the effects intensified as light is dispersed by the cockpit windows. Now military strength lasers can be obtained on the black market. There are around 4 – 5 laser attacks on planes every day in the UK, with 400 this year. The highest number of laser incidents in the UK are at Heathrow, though other airports have a higher frequency per number of planes. There have been 3,700 incidents in the USA this year.
BA pilot’s eye damaged by ‘military’ laser shone into cockpit at Heathrow
Half of all pilots targeted in past year but latest incident involved laser used in weaponry, says pilots’ association
The Civil Aviation Authority said there have been four or five laser incidents a day in the UK since 2011.
By Gwyn Topham (Guardian)
A British Airways pilot has reportedly been left with significant damage to his eyesight after a “military-strength” laser was shone into the cockpit of his plane landing at Heathrow, in what appears to be the most serious laser attack to date in the UK.
The pilot suffered a burned retina in his right eye and has not worked since, according to the head of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa).
The incident has escalated concerns over the problem of laser attacks. Balpa claims that one in two pilots has been in a plane targeted with lasers in the last 12 months.
The unnamed BA pilot was in the co-pilot’s seat as the plane was landing at the London airport in the spring, and was later treated for eye injuries at a hospital in Sheffield, Balpa’s general secretary, Jim McAuslan, said.
British Airways said it was investigating the claims: “The safety of our crew and our customers is always our main concern. We urge our pilots to report such incidents so we can make the authorities aware.”
McAuslan said the incident showed the dangers that pilots now faced from lasers, which have become easy to buy on the internet. He said that one tenement block in Glasgow was now known as “laser block” to pilots and police from the number of planes targeted from there while landing at the city’s airport.
Less severe incidents have often been ascribed to children or youthful delinquency. McAuslan said the “kids’ ones” were not powerful enough to cause physical harm, but he said lasers used in weaponry had now become available on the black market.
He said: “We’re very concerned about it. When something as strong as this comes on the scene it starts to worry us.”
According to figures compiled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the number of reports of laser incidents in the UK has remained relatively constant at about four to five a day on average over the last four years.
But McAuslan said that in a poll conducted for Balpa, half of all the pilots in his union had reported a laser attack in the last 12 months, and warned that even weaker lasers could have serious consequences if pilots were distracted by the beams when landing planes: “It’s a critical point in flight, you have to have complete concentration. When it comes into the flight deck, it bounces around the walls of the cockpit.”
A spokesperson for Balpa added: “Lasers are one of the growing threats to flight safety faced by pilots along with fatigue, weakening regulation and security.
“We are also aware of concern around the ease of access to lasers, the increasing power of the technology and the potential they have to cause injury.”
More than 400 incidents were reported in the UK in the first six months of this year, according to the CAA, with the highest number of incidents around Heathrow – although in proportion to air traffic, regional airports including Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle and East Midlands have a far higher frequency.
In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration said the number of incidents had grown steadily since it started collating information on laser attacks in 2005. More than 3,700 incidents have been reported in the US this year.
The FBI has released public information films to warn about the effects of laser pointers, explaining how beams can blind pilots at night, with their effects intensified as light is dispersed by the cockpit windows. A Californian man was sentenced to 14 years in prison in March this year for pointing a laser at a police helicopter.
Man jailed for pointing laser pen at three passenger planes and a helicopter
A man has been jailed for endangering three passenger planes and a police helicopter with a laser pen he bought for just £1.
By DAN TOWNEND (Express)
The aircraft had to be diverted after a Ryanair pilot spotted the green laser beam near the South Wales coast.
Liam Chadwick, 28, pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court to recklessly acting in a manner likely to endanger aircraft but claimed he did not know he was breaking the law.
Prosecutor Tracey Lloyd-Nesling told the court: “The Ryanair flight was 10 miles out of Bristol when it reported the laser. Six minutes later a second flight turned to avoid it and one minute after that a Thomson plane was also turned. All said they saw the same thing coming from the east of Cardiff.”
The police helicopter was sent to investigate.
Judge Rhys Rowlands said the consequences to those travelling on those aircraft and to others on the ground could have been catastrophic
Ms Lloyd-Nesling said: “Its pilot was very well aware of the dangers having previously been subjected to an attack when a laser hit him in the eye. He had to see an optician to find out if he was fit to fly again.”
The pilot pinpointed the beam to a top-floor flat in St Mellons.
When police arrived they found Chadwick and his girlfriend and parts of a laser pen which had been dismantled.
Chadwick at first denied knowing anything about it but later admitted he had been “trying it out”.
His barrister Ruth Smith said: “He accepts he was reckless in playing with it but he didn’t see the aircraft high in the night sky. He would never have played with a laser if he had known it was a criminal act.” She described Chadwick, who has a history of depression, as “a vulnerable young man”.
Jailing him for six months, Judge Rhys Rowlands told him: “The consequences to those travelling on those aircraft and to others on the ground could have been catastrophic.”
Laser pen attacks on aircraft continue to cause safety concerns
October 12, 2015
There has been an issue for some years, of highly irresponsible use of laser pointers, with them being shone at planes approaching airports. This can have the effect of temporarily damaging the vision of the pilots, which is highly unsafe, and could even cause a crash – especially if the plane is below 1,000 feet and the pilot’s vision is damaged for over a minute. The guidance from BALPA etc is perhaps to switch to autopilot, maybe if necessary do a go-around, or even switch to a different runway or different airport. Recent figures from the Civil Aviation Authority show there were 284 incidents in the 3 months from February to March 2015. The highest number of laser incidents during this time was at Heathrow, with 34. Then London City airport 21, Birmingham 18, Leeds-Bradford 15, Manchester 12, and Newcastle 10, Glasgow and Gatwick. The total number of laser attacks in the UK in 2014 was 1,400 that were reported to the CAA in 2014 – up by 3.5% from 2013. There were also another 312 attacks involved British aircraft landing at or taking off from airports overseas. Shining a laser at an aircraft in flight is a criminal offence under UK law and if convicted, offenders can face a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. BALPA wants mandatory prison terms for all offenders. The sale of powerful lasers is restricted in Britain but they can be bought online.
Man who shone laser pen at police helicopter avoids jail ‘by a whisker’
Stuart Bowering given 12-month community order after court told he nearly caused pilot to stray into Bristol airport airspace
Tuesday 10 April 2012 ( Guardian) Last modified on Thursday 19 June 2014
A father of five who accidentally shone a laser pen at a police helicopter, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing, has been told by a judge that he had avoided jail “by a whisker”.
Stuart Bowering was facing a possible prison sentence after a court was told the laser had impaired the crew’s vision.
Bristol crown court heard that the 31-year-old’s actions in December last year had almost caused the helicopter to stray into Bristol airport’s airspace, which could have resulted in the diversion of a commercial flight that was coming in to land.
During the period of time the laser was shone into the cockpit – approximately three seconds – the pilot, Paul Maddox, said it put “temporary black spots” in his vision.
Bowering – who pleaded guilty to a charge of recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft – told the court he had not realised the power of the laser pen.
The self-employed builder was walking his two dogs with his 10-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son near his home in Hartcliffe at about 9.10pm on 3 December, when he directed the laser he was using to make his dogs run around into the sky.
Asked if he was aware of the helicopter, Bowering said: “I heard it, but I didn’t realise it was that close. I was moving the pen in a figure of eight on the ground and then flung it up in the air to confuse the dogs.
“I’ve seen the CCTV and my reaction was that I was shocked from the power of the pen. I didn’t realise it would go that far up in the sky.”
Bowering told the court he had been trying to wear his dogs out and despite the CCTV showing the laser passing through the cockpit and back again he had not meant to direct it at the helicopter.
Following the incident Bowering was traced to his address and immediately admitted he owned the pen.
Nigel Fryer, defending, said: “This isn’t a man who had deliberately gone out to target the helicopter.
“He is extremely sorry for his actions. He did not realise the gravity of his actions, he did not realise the law and he certainly did not realise the power of the pen.”
Bowering was handed a 12-month community order, including attendance at a Thinking and Skills course, a three-month curfew between the hours of 9pm and 6.30am and was told he would have to repay £200 in court costs.
Passing sentence, the judge, Recorder Harry Martineau, said: “It is clear from the video recording I have seen that you were out with your children and two dogs when you were playing around with this laser pen.
“You have said the contact between the pen and the helicopter was an accident. I accept the initial point was an accident but it does seem to be something you repeated.
“I hope you have taken on board what is in the pilot’s statement that what you did almost caused him to trespass on the airspace of Bristol airport and cause a diversion of a commercial flight.
“People who attempt to target helicopters in this stupid and idiotic way should expect to go to prison.
“It is only by a whisker that I find you did not do this on purpose. I should have sent you to prison but as it is, I didn’t.
“It is clear you need some help thinking through the consequences of your actions.”
The incident was one of a growing number of attacks on aircraft with laser pointers, which emit a beam of light and are designed for indoor use to highlight items during presentations.
Green laser pens, the latest craze sweeping around the world. You have probably never heard of them before? Surely every one knows about RED laser pens? Shining it about and seeing how far it will go, reaching the top of building and over fields.
Well now Green Laser pens are now available. They used to be out of the reach of the general public due to the high cost and bulky weight. But due to advances in technology and developments, Green laser pens have come down in price, and size to be easily accessible to all.
There are a few things you need to know about Green laser pens
Firstly, they come in different power ratings. The power rating is in mW which stands for milliWatts. The minimum is 1mW. Most start with 5mW though. They can go all the way upto 500mW although 100mW is more the norm as after that the Price is just spot on. The more powerful the unit is, the further the green laser beam can be projected. A 5mW can be seen for 2 miles!!!
……….. and it goes on ……..
Green laser pointers have been around for a few years but what are they? We have all seen the red laser pointer \ pen but green is completely different. The most common type are DPSS, ( diode pumped solid state). They are also 50 times brighter than red. With green laser’s, you can see the beam as well as the very bright dot. Green laser pointers are the preferred laser pointer because green is the most visible laser pointer color. The reason why green is more visible is the human eye is most sensitive to green light. Class 3B lasers may have an output power of up to 500 mW (half a watt) and a laser with an output power of around 100mW and above is capable of melting black plastic (Bin bags), making holes in bin liners and popping black coloured balloons or balloons marked with a black marker pen. To give you an idea of what to expect, if you were to enter a room that is pitch black and used the laser on the ceiling, you would be able to see everything in the room. It lights the room up in a green aura.
Heathrow is very fond of saying how vital its air freight is to the UK economy. It is also always very keen to stress how important it is for the UK’s exports. Strangely, it never mentions imports (which are not so good for the UK economy). A detailed document by the DfT in 2009 set out the figures for UK air freight exports and imports. Newer data is not readily available. The 2007 figures (by HMRC) showed that the tonnage of UK exports by air freight was 414 thousand tonnes. And the tonnage of imports was 1,663 tonnes. That means, in terms of just weight, the imports were 4 times larger. The 2007 figures show that the value of UK exports by air freight was about £31.1 billion. And the value of imports was £51.1 billion. That means the value of UK air freight exports was only 61% of the value of UK imports. The CAA data for 2014 show the total air freight at Heathrow was 1,501,906 tonnes. The 345,575 tonnes of exports was just 23% of the total weight of air cargo. The other 77% of air freight was imports. Heathrow says the value of its air freight in 2014 was £101 billion. But it says the value of its exports was £48 billion. That is 47.5% of the total – a bit under half. Strange then that in any document put out by Heathrow, or any of its supporters, imports and their value are never mentioned. It was as if they barely existed. This is comparable to the way in which the benefits of inbound tourism are stressed repeatedly – but rarely the greater numbers of outbound Brits taking their holiday cash to spend abroad. Odd, isn’t it?
“New Customs and Excise data breaking down exports through the London airport give a revealing insight into the composition of the 345,575 tonnes of British goods worth more than £48bn that took off from Heathrow last year.”
That just proves how much smaller Heathrow air freight exports are than its imports.
The CAA data for 2014 show the total air freight at Heathrow was 1,501,906 tonnes. The 345,575 tonnes was just 23% of the total weight of air cargo. The other 77% of air freight was imports. Odd that Heathrow never mentions them.
Heathrow says the value of its air freight in 2014 was £101 billion. But it says the value of its exports was £48 billion. That is 47.5% of the total – a bit under half. The rest is imports. (But the value per tonne of the exports is higher than the value per tonne for the imports.)
UK air freight exports in 2007 to outside the EU were 414 thousand tonnes.
UK air freight imports in 2007 from outside the EU were 1,663 tonnes.
[UK domestic air freight in 2007 was 106,106 tonnes making a total of about 2,183,106 tonnes (so the data does not quite add up the figure given by the CAA of 2,325,772 tonnes Link ) ]
The DfT said the value of UK air freight exports in 2007 by value was £31.3 billion.
The value of UK air freight imports in 2007 by value was £51.1 billion.
(Source Overseas Trade Statistics 2007. HMRC)
The DfT said:
“The UK imports (57%) more air freight than it exports (43%) by weight. This adds up to over 1,280,000 tonnes of imports (1,230,000 tonnes excluding domestic air freight) and 960,000 tonnes of exports. The primary routes for air freight in and out of the UK are the transatlantic routes to and from the United States for both imports and exports, and also routes bringing imports from the major Asian economies.” (Page 9).
Heathrow airport says: “Air freight accounts for 40 per cent of total UK imports and exports [by value] and most of it passes through Heathrow.” They also say in the same document that “33% of UK long-haul export goods by value travel through Heathrow.”
Heathrow says 65% of the volume of UK air freight travels via Heathrow. (See infographic)
For the UK as a whole, about 16% of air freight (imports and exports) is with the EU and the other 84% is long haul. In 2014 the total long haul non-EU air freight was about 1,820,012 tonnes.
The top 5 exports by value through Heathrow are:
Jewellery and precious metals (£4.37bn)
Machinery including engines, generators and boilers (£2.13bn)
Medicines and pharmaceuticals (£1.24bn)
Electrical machinery and equipment (£0.88bn)
Photographic, cinematographic equipment (£0.83bn)
There is an interesting article about Heathrow and its air freight – and its EXPORTS.
But where in it, (or for that matter in any article put out by the airport or its supporters) of the IMPORTS that actually come through the airport in larger volumes than the exports.
IMPORTS are never mentioned in any of this public relations, advertising stuff. (In the same way that INBOUND VISITORS to the UK are mentioned at length, but OUTBOUND BRITISH PEOPLE TAKING THEIR HOLIDAYS ABROAD are also ignored.
Very convenient. And presenting a very biased, and one sided view – which is what the industry wants. ….
UK exports via Heathrow rise 9.7%
Annual value tops £48bn as vaccine market expands and Chinese demand booms
By Will Waters (Lloyds Loading List)
11 November 2015
The value of UK exports shipped by air via Heathrow has increased 9.7% over a 12-month period as vaccines for medicine experienced almost 100% growth and Chinese demand for UK products continued to grow strongly.
New data has revealed over £7 billion worth of British exports travelled to China via Heathrow between August 2014 and July 2015, representing a 117% increase on the previous 12 months and over 15% of total UK export goods via Heathrow by value. [The data will have come from Heathrow itself].
The research has been shared by Heathrow to celebrate British Export Week this week. The airport claimed that the figures indicate that if Heathrow had unconstrained capacity, the value of Britain’s exports to China via the airport would overtake the US as the biggest destination within two years. Asian nations already make up four of the top five UK export destinations by value. [And the value of the imports??]
Making up the top five, the US leads by value at £14 billion, with China £7.6 billion, Hong Kong – £4.5 billion, United Arab Emirates £4 billion, and India £1.9 billion. [Value of what? Badly written to be ambiguous].
Although vaccines for human medicine are the UK’s sixth most valuable export via Heathrow, they have risen by 97% and 87%, respectively, over the previous two years – partly as a result of recent world health crises.
As the biggest port in the UK by value of goods, Heathrow stressed it had played an important role in exports and recently announced a proposed blueprint plan to develop its cargo facilities and overhaul its processes and people and grow UK cargo volumes via a £180 million investment over 15 years. “This will support the UK government’s drive to hit £1 trillion worth of UK exports by 2020,” the company said. [What Heathrow was not saying was that its tonnage of air freight has barely increased for years. It was only 1.76% higher in 2014 than in 2010. Link ]
It listed the top five UK Export commodities by value via Heathrow as: Precious metals (£26 billion); Aircraft turbojets (£3.3 billion); Jewellery (£3 billion); Medicaments (£2.8 billion); Paintings and Drawings (£2.4 billion).
Other highlights of the research include: That over 345,000 tonnes of British produce was exported through Heathrow from August 2014 to September 2015. Precious metals (£26 billion) are the UK’s most valuable export travelling via Heathrow, followed by aircraft turbojets (£3.5 billion) and jewellery (£3 billion) – “demonstrating the UK’s reputation for quality manufacturing and engineering”. [Again, no mention of how much was imported].
The value of Jewellery exported via Heathrow has increased 18% over the past two years, while paintings and drawings have also registered growth of 60% in the last year alone.
Fresh Salmon is the UK’s number one export by weight via Heathrow, with 46,000 tonnes exported in the most recent 12-month period, the same weight as 230 blue whales. Books and Brochures are the UK’s second-largest export by weight via Heathrow with over 20,000 tonnes exported in the 12 months leading up to July 2015; the equivalent to around 1,600 double-decker buses. [Why do books and brochures need to be air freighted? They are not perishable. They are not specially high value. They could go by sea].
Overcoats and raincoats are one of the biggest growth exports by weight via Heathrow, with a 60% growth on 2014 figures, highlighting the continued growth of the British fashion and design sector. [Why do overcoats and raincoats need to be air freighted? They are not perishable. They are not specially high value. They could go by sea. Yet another example of the highly environmentally damaging impacts of the fashion industry].
To further celebrate Export Week, Heathrow has partnered with UK Trade and Investment and its ‘Exporting is Great’ campaign to create a unique Export Café. The installation is on site at Heathrow Terminal 5 departures until Tuesday 17 November and showcases 25 of the UK’s best exports – including a tasting menu comprised of produce exported through Heathrow, showcasing the best of UK food and drink that Britain shares with the world.
Responding to the figures, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) repeated its calls for the UK government to make a decision regarding the expansion of the UK’s biggest airport. In July 2015, the long-awaited final report from the Davies Commission concluded that Heathrow was the best option for expansion because of the economic benefits for the whole country, which included £147 billion in economic growth over the next 60 years [they always omit that the Commission, using its untested and highly controversial – much criticised – economic model, which exaggerates benefits, said “up to £147 billion – other figures show a benefit over 60 years of just £1.4 billion.]and the creation of 70,000 new jobs by 2050. In response to the report’s findings FTA urged government to make a quick decision on airport expansion in the southeast of England, but as yet no announcement has been made.
In support of a third runway at Heathrow, and echoing FTA’s call for progress at the Airport, CBI president Paul Drechsler has said that “decisive action” is needed and that ministers should “get on” with it.
Chris Welsh – FTA Director of Global and European Policy said: “FTA is once again calling on government to make a decision as quickly as possible regarding the expansion of Heathrow. Despite the clear recommendation made four months ago in the Davies Commission Report for a third runway, a government decision has yet to be made.
“It is clear that other business leaders recognise the urgency of expansion at the airport. Air freight is essential to the future success of the UK economy, and additional capacity with a third runway is critical to allow importers and exporters to access new emerging markets in Asia, South America and the Indian sub-continent. Heathrow is a world-class air cargo hub, and it is vital that is it able to expand to meet the demands of UK importers and exporters to enhance connectivity to emerging overseas markets.” [At last a mention of the importers! But naturally, no figures.]
In 2014 FTA commissioned a report undertaken by York Aviation – focusing on the importance of air freight to the UK economy and airport capacity in the south east. [York Aviation can always be relied up on to produce studies which show Heathrow expansion to be necessary. They have done many]. The findings of the report both confirmed Heathrow as a vital hub for air cargo and underlined that a failure to invest in new runway capacity would result in UK exporters and importers losing competitive edge to continental competitors with the real possibility of services transferring to airports on the continent.
Around 95% of air cargo is carried in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft; air freight accounts for nearly 40% of UK imports and exports by value and employs 39,000 people, most clustered around Heathrow – the UK’s main airport hub. It is critical for important sectors such as pharmaceuticals, high-end manufacturing and retailers, FTA said.
The Airport Operators Association is holding a two day conference on the runway issue, and Willie Walsh (CEO of IAG) was its key speaker. He said Heathrow should not get a 3rd runway, if the Airport Commission’s calculation of the cost of building it is correct. He said: “The Commission got its figures wrong – they are over-inflated. If that is the cost [of a new runway], it won’t be a successful project.” He described the assumption that airlines would pay for the new runway through increases in fares as “outrageous”. British Airways is by far the biggest airline at Heathrow, with 55% of the slots. He said of the Commission’s report: ” .. I have concerns about the level of cost associated with the main recommendation and the expectation that the industry can afford to pay for Heathrow’s expansion.” He does not believe the cost is justified, and “If the cost of using an expanded airport significantly exceeds the costs of competitor airports, people won’t use it.” It was not realistic for airlines: “You have to see it in terms of return on capital. ….Either the figures are inflated or you are building inefficient infrastructure. I do not endorse the findings. I definitely don’t support the costs of building a runway. If those costs are real, we should not build it.” On the cost of £8 billion to build a 6th terminal he commented: “How many chandeliers can you have in an airport terminal?
‘No new runway for Heathrow if costs too high’ says Walsh
By Ian Taylor (Travel Weekly)
Nov 23, 2015
Heathrow should not get a third runway if the Airport Commission’s calculation of the cost of building it is correct, says Willie Walsh.
Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent IAG, told the Airport Operators’ Association in London: “The commission got its figures wrong – they are over-inflated. If that is the cost [of a new runway], it won’t be a successful project.”
He described the assumption that airlines would pay for the new runway through increases in fares as “outrageous”.
The government is poised to announce its decision on whether to accept the conclusion of the Airport Commission, published this summer, which was that Heathrow should get a third runway.
BA is by far the biggest carrier at Heathrow, with 55% of the airport’s take-off and landing slots.
Walsh told the AOA: “The Commission produced an excellent report. Its recommendations were the obvious ones. But I have concerns about the level of cost associated with the main recommendation and the expectation that the industry can afford to pay for Heathrow’s expansion.
“We believe it’s outrageous and can’t believe it is justified. If the cost of using an expanded airport significantly exceeds the costs of competitor airports, people won’t use it.”
He insisted: “I don’t believe the figures in the Commission’s report are realistic. If the industry is to spend this money, it will want to see a return. You have to see it in terms of return on capital.”
Walsh pointed out Heathrow ‘s Terminal 5 cost about £5.2 billion to build and the Commission put the bill for a new Terminal 6 “at over £8 billion”. “The cost has gone up by almost £3 billion,” he said. “How many chandeliers can you have in an airport terminal?
“Either the figures are inflated or you are building inefficient infrastructure. I do not endorse the findings. I definitely don’t support the costs of building a runway. If those costs are real, we should not build it.”
He dismissed the idea of building new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick, saying: “There is a case for one new runway.
“The economic argument for Heathrow is much stronger than for Gatwick, but only if the the runway is built in an efficient manner. If you build runways at Heathrow and at Gatwick you will have wasted capacity.”
Walsh added: “There is a long way to go [on this].
“The economic argument is very much in favour of Heathrow. The political argument favours Gatwick, and I don’t believe we have brave politicians.
“Boris Johnson [who opposes Heathrow expansion] is a very influential figure in the Conservative Party. There is a lot to play out.”
Walsh said IAG would be expanding it’s transatlantic flights from Dublin following its takeover of Aer Lingus in July, arguing: “The Irish government has a progressive attitude to aviation tax and to developing infrastructure.”
He described UK Air Passenger Duty as “a disgrace”.
If Walsh does not believe that he will be able to control and use all the extra capacity then he must think that he would be effectively subsidising his competitors to use his home airport – and that would not make a lot of sense for him.
Since the Airport Commission figures were way adrift (what about the surface access costs?) can we assume that R3 is now a dead duck according to the gospel of St. Willie? I don’t think it’ll be as simple as that: a bit of Walsh posturing?.
Other things Willie Walsh has said recently:
British Airways, in evidence to Transport Cttee, says that Heathrow runway is “unfinanceable” and a “white elephant”
November 9, 2015
British Airways has made its strongest attack yet on plans for a new Heathrow runway, saying its proposals are “unfinanceable” and a “white elephant”. The comments are in written evidence to the Commons Transport Select Cttee, dated 12th October, in its submission to its inquiry into surface access on October 27th. BA repeats its view that the cost of transport infrastructure for the runway scheme should not be funded by airlines and their customers. BA is the biggest airline (51%) at Heathrow. It says – dangerously – that because of the alleged “up to £147 billion” of benefits of a runway to the UK, new road and rail link for the airport should, like standalone transport schemes like M4 widening, be paid for by taxpayers. [That “ up to £147 billion” benefit figure is highly dubious, and the Airports Commission’s own expert economic advisors, Mackie and Pearce, warned that it includes double counting and should be treated with caution.] While avoiding any specific opposition in principle to expanding Heathrow, BA is not willing to pay – but it says the runway plan is is unaffordable and unfinanceable, and called into question the economic benefits. There has been speculation if Willie Walsh is just “browbeating aimed at cowing the CAA into lower charges” rather than stopping a Heathrow runway.
Willie Walsh says Heathrow 3rd runway is a “vanity project” with outrageous costs
August 1, 2015
British Airways boss Willie Walsh has said that the costs of Heathrow’s plans for a 3rd runway would be “outrageous”. He said: “At the moment this is a vanity project by the management of Heathrow who are driven to build a monument to themselves.” Walsh said that even if Heathrow gained another runway it would be lagging behind Dubai as a global hub by the time it is built. “It is based on inefficient infrastructure which is not fit for purpose. Airlines and consumers are looking for lower costs when it comes to flying but airports only seem to be looking at higher costs.” Heathrow was already one of the most expensive airports in the world and was now “talking about raising costs by 50% to build the extra runway”. His criticism may be the start of negotiations to ensure BA is not landed with a huge bill to fund Heathrow expansion. John Stewart, chairman of HACAN, said: “Willie Walsh is saying that a 3rd runway won’t deliver benefits for the aviation industry that are worth paying for. This could turn out to be curtains for the third runway unless this is no more than clever negotiating tactics by one of the sharpest operators in the business.”
BA’s CEO, Willie Walsh, says post-election indecision will block building of any new south east runway
May 1, 2015
Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, the parent company of British Airways, has again said that there will not be a new south east runway. He has often said this before, but this time he sees the likelihood of political indecision after the election as an additional issue. Willie Walsh thinks that to build a runway, there would need to be “political consensus across all the parties – not just coalition partners.” He also warned that the cost of each of the 3 runway proposals would all be prohibitive. The expense would lead to higher landing costs, and airlines would not find that acceptable. Willie Walsh reiterated his view that there was “no business case” for a 2nd Gatwick runway, with not enough demand from airlines for it. He has said in the past that Gatwick does not have the same international attraction as Heathrow. He commented that Heathrow was already “the most expensive airport around.” The runway decision would be a political one, and with a coalition government looking to be inevitable, there would be huge political difficulties in pushing through an unpopular runway, with dubious benefits even to the airlines.
Willie Walsh says there is no business case for a 2nd Gatwick runway – BA has Gatwick’s 2nd largest number of passengers
November 1, 2014
Willie Walsh, the head of IAG, will not support a 2nd Gatwick runway, even if it is chosen by the Airports Commission or backed by the next government. He does not believe there is a business case to support its expansion, and there is insufficient demand from airlines for extra capacity at Gatwick. Mr Walsh campaigned heavily for a 3rd Heathrow runway before 2010, but has made frequent comments indicating he does not believe UK politicians will have the “courage” to build that. Willie Walsh says British Airways would resist higher landing charges, which would be necessary to fund a runway – either at Heathrow or Gatwick. (EasyJet has also said in the past they don’t want a new runway, if it means substantially higher charges – their model is low cost). BA would want lower costs, not higher costs, from a new runway. IAG’s shares have now risen as it has now made a profit at last, and will be paying its first dividend (and maybe some UK tax). Gatwick’s main airline is EasyJet with around 37% of passengers, and British Airways 2nd largest at around 14%.
Air pollution around Heathrow has been in breach of legal limits for many years and could prove a significant barrier to a 3rd runway. At the time of the Airports Commission’s recommendation this summer, the Government’s modelling indicated that breaches of the NO2 limit in London would continue until and perhaps beyond 2030. Under the Commission’s plan a new Heathrow runway could be operational by 2025, and would be likely to further worsen air quality in the Heathrow area. AEF reports that Defra has now published an updated air quality ‘plan’, in response to the Supreme Court ruling in April that the Government’s strategy would fail to achieve EU legal limits in the ‘shortest time possible’ and must be improved. Under the revised plan, NO2 would be within legal limits by 2025 throughout London. But the improvements compared with the earlier plan appear to relate almost entirely to new, more optimistic assumptions being made about emissions from diesel vehicles rather than to any new policies or strategies at a national level. The only significant new proposal relates to the formation of Clean Air Zones in order to restrict high emissions vehicles. The AEF does not consider that the measures can deal adequately with air pollution around Heathrow, with a new runway.
Updated air quality plan insufficient to address Heathrow challenge
Nov 12th 2015
(News from the AEF, Aviation Environment Federation)
Air pollution around Heathrow has been in breach of legal limits for many years and could prove a significant barrier to expansion. At the time of the Airports Commission’s recommendation this summer, the Government’s modelling indicated that breaches of the NO2 limit in London would continue until and perhaps beyond 2030. Under the Airports Commission’s plan a new runway could be operational by 2025, and would be likely to further worsen air quality in the Heathrow area.
Defra has, however, now published an updated air quality ‘plan’, drawn up in response to the Supreme Court ruling in April that the Government’s strategy would fail to achieve EU legal limits in the ‘shortest time possible’ and must be improved. Under the revised plan, NO2 would be within legal limits by 2025 throughout London.
But the difference compared with the earlier plan appears to relate almost entirely to new, more optimistic assumptions being made about emissions from diesel vehicles rather than to any new policies or strategies at a national level. The only significant new proposal relates to the formation by local authorities of Clean Air Zones, similar to the London Ultra Low Emission Zone, in which access to the most polluting vehicles could be restricted.
AEF considers both that the plan fails to demonstrate convincingly that the UK is taking sufficient action to meet legal limits, and that they will in any case need to be redrawn to take account of the emissions associated with Heathrow expansion, should Government give the project a green light. A decision on this is expected by the end of the year. We recently signed a joint letter to the Government about Heathrow expansion and air pollution.
We have submitted comments (some by way of the online form and some, given the limitations of this format, directly to the Environment Minister) arguing that Defra should:
Set out in detail why its previous forecasts for emissions from diesel vans were wrong and what gives it confidence that the new, much more optimistic, figures are accurate
Commit to redrawing the air quality plan to take account of the impact of Heathrow expansion should the Government give the project its approval.
Make clear that planning consent should not be granted to a project (a) that will worsen air quality in an area where breaches to either current or likely future air quality limits are already anticipated or (b) where there is a significant risk of it causing breaches to either current or likely future limits.
Defra air quality plan ‘in breach’ of court ruling
17.11.2015 (Air Quality News)
By MICHAEL HOLDER
ClientEarth says it will have “no choice” but to take the government back to the Supreme Court unless “drastic and fundamental changes” are made to proposed air quality plans for the UK.
ClientEarth is threatening to take the UK government back to the Supreme Court over the air quality plan.
The environmental NGO yesterday (November 16) reiterated its threat of further court action in response to Defra’s draft plans to meet the EU’s legal nitrogen dioxide limits, on which a consultation closed earlier this month (November 6).
ClientEarth said that in “failing to come up with a proper plan to clean up air pollution” Defra was in breach of the Supreme Court’s order in April 2015, and it would therefore likely seek to take the government back to court once again.
Responding, a spokeswoman for Defra said today (November 17): “Tackling air pollution is a priority for this government, which is why we have invested heavily in green transport, committing £2 billion since 2011. We are reviewing submissions to our recent consultation and will report back in December.”
The culmination of the previous legal battle saw the Supreme Court order Defra to produce a new national air quality plan for submission to the European Commission by the end of 2015 that showed how the UK would reach compliance with NO2 limits “in the shortest possible time” (see AirQualityNews.com story).
Clean air lawyer at ClientEarth, Alan Andrews, said: “The government’s response is a shambles. They were ordered to produce a final plan by the end of the year and they haven’t. What they have produced is a series of half measures and vague ideas which constitute no plan at all.”
Clean Air Zones
One of the key measures set out in the draft proposals are for a national network of local Clean Air Zones, which would see drivers of higher polluting vehicles being banned or forced to pay a charge to enter areas with high pollution.
However, echoing the strong criticism it made after the launch of the draft air quality plan consultation in September (see AirQualityNews.com story), ClientEarth described Defra’s proposals as “a shambles”.
Furthermore, ClientEarth said that the government had also “failed to react” to the Volkswagen emissions fixing scandal which erupted in September by appointing the Vehicles Certification Agency to investigate – an agency “that gets funding from the motor industry”.
Mr Andrews said: “This is sadly typical of the government’s response to this public health crisis. Tens of thousands of people are dying early because of air pollution in this country and countless more are being made seriously ill.
“Without drastic and fundamental changes to these plans, we will have no choice but to take the government back to court.”
Respondents cool on ‘unambitious’ Defra air quality plans
By Michael Holder (Air Quality News)
Defra has been urged to overhaul its draft strategy for improving the UK’s air quality as it “lacks ambition” according to respondents to a government consultation.
The London Assembly, London Councils and environmental professionals’ organisations IAQM and CIWEM have published responses to the government’s consultation on updated plans to meet EU nitrogen dioxide limits throughout the UK.
The responses vary in the strength of their criticism of the plans, but all four largely agree that more measures need to be set out by the government in its air quality plans to tackle emissions from road transport at national, rather than just local authority, level.
Measures such as introducing a scrappage scheme to encourage drivers away from older diesel cars, as well as changes to vehicle excise duty to include air pollution as well as carbon incentives, are called for in several responses, while Defra is also criticised for the lack of technical information supporting the draft plans.
The London Assembly said the draft plan “requires considerable revision” as the proposals “lack ambition and initiative and seem unlikely to fulfil the statutory requirements”.
It is estimated in the draft plan that London will reach compliance with EU nitrogen dioxide limits by 2025, but the Assembly believes the aim should be to achieve compliance around five years earlier than this in 2020.
And, the Assembly said Defra’s proposals “fail to question the real emissions of Euro 6 diesel vehicles”, despite widespread concern that many car models certified as compliant are emitting “several times” the amount of nitrogen oxides permitted on UK roads.
According to its response, London has more than 1,000km of road which exceeds the EU legal nitrogen dioxide limit, which is 43% of the entire UK total.
In addition, the draft plan is not supportive enough for local authorities, the Assembly states, and “unless it shows how local authorities can and why they would, implement the measures envisaged, the plan lacks credibility”.
More specifically, the Assembly makes the following recommendations:
a diesel scrappage scheme and further incentives for ultra-low emission vehicles
reform to fiscal incentives including Vehicle Excise Duty and fuel tax and a new system of road pricing taking into account vehicle emissions and local pollution levels
a central zone incentivising near-zero emission vehicles.
The Assembly’s consultation response was compiled by its environment committee and “is the view of a majority of the committee”, which is chaired by Green Party AM Darren Johnson.
Commenting on Defra’s draft plans, Mr Johnson said the 2025 compliance date for London was “too long to wait when we know that 9,500 people a year are dying due to the dangerously high levels of pollution in London alone”.
CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management)
Also publishing its response this week (November 11), the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management – a professional body for environment and water professionals – criticised the government for “lacking ambition on air quality”.
According to CIWEM, Defra’s draft plans to cut NO2 rely too heavily on “unfunded” clean air zones and “unproven” vehicle emissions standards.
It also slams Defra for the publication of the consultation – which it says was “buried” during the announcement of the Labour leadership election on September 12 – “without the supporting technical information needed to scrutinise the draft plans”.
“Without this evidence it is not possible to assess how the wish-list of emission reductions has been quantified and accounted for in the modelling,” CIWEM adds.
According to CIWEM, the many current uncertainties around vehicle emissions mean it is “extremely difficult to judge is the measures will be enough to achieve limit values”, while Defra’s own analysis shows that if Euro emissions standards do not perform as modelled, it could results in up to 22 additional UK zones failing to comply with EU limits.
Chief executive of CIWEM, Nigel Hendley, commented: “It is imperative that Defra recognise that the EU limit values for all pollutants are limits and not targets. There is no minimum concentration below which exposure to nitrogen dioxide is considered safe and every reduction in exposure will be beneficial in terms of health benefits. The final plans must go further to control air pollution, not only to achieve compliance with the Directive, but to protect human health and the environment.”
IAQM (Institute for Air Quality Management)
The Institute for Air Quality Management (IAQM), which represents around 200 air quality professionals in the UK, said that
IAQM said it was “very obvious” that new and additional measures would be required to satisfy the European Commission and the Supreme Court, so it was therefore a “puzzle” that Defra’s draft plans “appear to contain no new commitments” beyond Clean Air Zones.
The UK’s air quality problem, IAQM argues, is “largely one arising from road transport emissions and from diesel engines in particular”, but Defra’s plans do not contain enough measures for addressing this.
It’s response concluded that “in summary, the draft plans proposed by Defra are unpersuasive as a means of achieving compliance with NO2 limit value in the shortest time possible”.
London Councils, which represents all 33 local authorities in the UK capital, also criticised the draft plan for its “reliance” on local government action to tackle air pollution, while containing “very few” national-level proposals and policies.
The organisation’s response describes Defra’s plans as “disappointing”, adding that it is “vital that all levels of government tackle this issue as quickly as possible to remove this substantial public health risk”.
It calls for the government to undertake a full review across departments for ways to drive improvements in air quality, suggesting a number of national policies, such as a car scrappage scheme, changes to fuel duty, increased low emissions vehicles funding and a call for any decision on new airport capacity to avoid negatively impacting on the UK’s ability to comply with EU limit values.
Councillor Julian Bell, chair of London Councils’ transport and environment committee, said: “The government’s lack of consideration of what solutions it can contribute at a national level means that Londoners will be exposed to a further decade of poor air quality, resulting in unnecessary deaths.”
Study on air quality impacts of UK airport capacity expansion
13.10.2012 (MIT – Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment)
According to the U.K.’s Department for Transport, demand for air travel in the country will more than double by 2030, from 127 million to 300 million passengers per year.
The study, [by MIT] published this week in the journal Atmospheric Environment, has found that by 2030, an expanded Heathrow would add 100 early deaths from air pollution annually in the U.K.
Steven Barrett, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, says the numbers make sense from a geographic perspective.
“Heathrow is almost in the worst possible place because it’s in the middle of this populated area, and upwind of it,” says Barrett, the study’s lead author and director of the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment at MIT.”
The findings are part of a wider assessment the team conducted on the health impacts of the U.K.’s 20 busiest airports. To determine the number of premature deaths from airport-related emissions, the team first tracked the number of flights coming in and out of each airport, using 2005 to represent the present day. The researchers also obtained projections from the Department for Transport of the number of flights expected in 2030 under scenarios where Heathrow is and is not expanded.
For each scenario, the team developed a model, detailed in a previous paper, to estimate emissions from aircraft, as well as ground support vehicles such as trolleys and tractors. The team then used a model called Weather Research and Forecasting to simulate wind patterns and other atmospheric conditions throughout the country. They plugged the aircraft emissions data into the model to see where the winds carried the pollution, and then used a simulation of chemical reactions in the atmosphere to understand conversion of emissions into fine particles. Finally, the group superimposed the fine-particulate data over population-density maps in the country.
Previous epidemiological studies have determined the health risk associated with long-term exposure to given concentrations of fine particulate matter. Barrett and his colleagues applied the health-risk data to their fine-particulate map to determine the number of premature deaths caused by a given airport scenario.
In a present-day scenario in which Heathrow operates under current demands, the researchers found the airport-related emissions cause 50 premature deaths throughout the UK.
If Heathrow undergoes no expansion, the number of early deaths would increase to 110 by the year 2030, possibly as a result of other UK. airports expanding to meet growing demand.
If officials decide to expand Heathrow, adding a third runway, the study projected, the resulting air pollution would cause 150 early deaths annually.
The team also found that the number of early deaths in all scenarios would decrease if airports adopted several key mitigation measures: removing sulfur from jet fuel, using one engine instead of two to taxi, converting ground transportation to electric power, and using preconditioned air from the airport terminal to cool aircraft cabins when their engines are off.
Full article (which finds air pollution far lower from an estuary airport) at
A convoy of 200 bicycles and five tractors has left Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) going to Paris for the COP21 talks, to demand the abandonment of the proposed new Nantes airport. The protesters, most wearing yellow vests proclaiming “No Airport” straddled their bikes in mid morning for a “tracto-vélo” that should arrive in Paris on November 28, two days before the opening of the international climate conference. They will “denounce the blatant hypocrisy between the will of the government to fight against global warming and the destruction of more than 1,600 hectares of farmland and wetlands in order to build a new airport.” During the week the convoy entitled “Cap sur la COP” will make the trip in stages of 40-70 km, and its stop in various towns and cities, to stay with local supporters and hold meetings and discussions with their many local support committees, that oppose the planned new airport. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, the organisers had been unsure about proceeding, but say they will not confront the police in any way, and are just attending in order to put across their message. The convoy plans to meet up with other convoys outside Paris before the COP. Though the convoy is mainly cyclists, there will be some vehicles to transport people who can not make a long journey by bike, and for logistics.
Short briefing on the planned Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport
The group against the new airport, ACIPA, has put together a concise document, setting out 10 key reasons why no new airport is needed at Nantes. It is in French, but quite easy to read the main headings. “Nantes-Atlantique 10 vérités qui dérangent”
COP21: 200 bicycles leave from Notre-Dame-des-Landes to cycle to the talks in Paris
21.11.2015 (Le Parisien)
An AFP (Agence France Presse) journalist reports that a convoy of 200 bicycles and five tractors left on Saturday morning from Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) heading for Paris to demand “abandonment” of the proposed new Nantes airport, on the occasion of COP21.
The protesters, most wearing a helmet and armed with yellow vests proclaiming “No Airport” straddled their bikes in mid morning for a “tractor-bike” that should lead them to the gates Paris November 28, two days before the opening of the international climate conference.
They will “denounce the blatant hypocrisy between the will of the government to fight against global warming and the destruction of more than 1,600 hectares of farmland and wetlands in order to build a new airport, “the organizers explained. They are the occupants of the” Zad “- the “area to defend”- and associations opposed to the airport.
During this week, the convoy entitled “Down to the COP” (“Cap sur la COP”) will make the trip in several stages of 40-70 km, and its members will participate in Angers, Le Mans or in Chartres in discussions with local support committees. Demonstrators will be “staying with local hosts,” said “Camille”, generic name that will give the opponents.
After the attacks of November 13 and the proclamation of a state of emergency, “we were not entirely sure about leaving but this convoy has been prepared for months and what happens on the Zad brings hope to many people,” he
“We are going because we had reasons to organize this convoy still remain the same. The COP21 will be held, we have no reason not to go. And regarding the airport project, it may be delayed, but it is not abandoned. And what we want is for it to be abandoned,” added Genevieve Coiffard, a longtime opponent of the airport project.
For Philippe, another participant, with the ban on demonstrations taken by the Government, there is “no question of going to confront the police, but to carry a message.”
Opponents of the airport should meet up with other convoys on 27 November in Saclay (Essonne) including those from Bure and Roybon, where are created “Zad” before organizing the next “great banquet” at the gates of Paris.
The airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, about twenty kilometers north of Nantes, was originally scheduled to open in 2017.
Original French below:
COP21: départ de 200 bicyclettes de Notre-Dame-des-Landes à destination de Paris
21 Nov. 2015
Un convoi de 200 bicyclettes et cinq tracteurs est parti samedi matin de Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) à destination de Paris pour réclamer “l’abandon” du projet de nouvel aéroport nantais, à l’occasion de la COP21, a constaté une journaliste de l’AFP.
Les manifestants, coiffés pour la plupart d’un casque et munis de gilets jaunes proclamant “Aéroport non”, ont enfourché leurs bicyclettes en milieu de matinée pour une “tracto-vélo” qui doit les mener aux portes de Paris le 28 novembre, deux jours avant l’ouverture de la conférence internationale sur le climat.
Ils entendent y “dénoncer l’hypocrisie criante entre la volonté du gouvernement de lutter contre le réchauffement climatique et la destruction de plus de 1.600 hectares de terres agricoles et de zones humides pour y construire un nouvel aéroport”, ont expliqué les organisateurs, des occupants de la “Zad” – la “zone à défendre” – et des associations opposées à l’aéroport.
Pendant cette semaine, le convoi intitulé “Cap sur la COP” fera plusieurs étapes de 40 à 70 km, et ses membres participeront à Angers, au Mans ou encore à Chartres à des débats avec des comités locaux de soutien. Les manifestants seront “logés chez l’habitant”, a indiqué “Camille”, nom générique que se donnent les opposants.
Après les attentats du 13 novembre et la proclamation de l’état d’urgence, “on n’était pas tout à fait certain de partir mais ce convoi est préparé depuis des mois et ce qui se passe sur la Zad est porteur d’espoir pour beaucoup de gens”, a-t-il affirmé.
“On part parce que les raisons qu’on avait d’organiser ce convoi sont intactes. La COP21 va se tenir, nous n’avons aucune raison de ne pas partir. Et en ce qui concerne le projet d’aéroport, il est peut-être retardé, mais il n’est pas abandonné. Et nous ce qu’on demande, c’est l’abandon”, a renchéri Geneviève Coiffard, opposante de longue date au projet d’aéroport.
Pour Philippe, un autre participant, avec l’interdiction de manifester prise par le gouvernement, il n’est “pas question d’aller affronter la police, mais de porter un message”.
Les opposants à l’aéroport doivent rejoindre le 27 novembre à Saclay (Essonne) d’autres convois venus notamment de Bure et de Roybon, où se sont créées des “Zad”, avant d’organiser le lendemain “un grand banquet” aux portes de Paris.
L’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, à une vingtaine de kilomètres au nord de Nantes, devait initialement être inauguré en 2017.
Heathrow airport is keen to stress that it deals with more air freight than any other UK airport, and imply that without its air cargo exports (ignoring the imports) the economy of the UK would flounder. However, in recent years, the volume of Heathrow air cargo has been pretty much static. There was 1.76% more air cargo (tonnes) in 2014 than in 2010. In September 2010 Heathrow handled 123,680 tonnes, and in September 2015 it handled 119.092 tonnes. In October 2010 it handled 138,301 tonnes and 132,575 tonnes in October 2015. Tonnage has been down compared to 2014 every month since May. Earlier in November, John Holland-Kaye said: “Cargo is essential for UK PLC and Heathrow is its global freight connector, with 26% of all UK goods by value going through the airport.” In early November Heathrow announced £180m investment in inprove air cargo facilities and double the volume passing through Heathrow. The aspiration is that faster more efficient cargo movements will encourage airlines to increase freight capacity, boosting the UK’s global export competitiveness. And imports ?? Holland-Kays says this will “support British businesses to keep the economy moving, connecting exporters to the world and helping the government reach its £1 trillion export target by 2020.” Air cargo has been declining at Frankfurt too.
October air cargo tonnage declines for Frankfurt and Heathrow
The German hub saw volumes fall by 1.5% to 185,222 tonnes, the eighth month in a row that Frankfurt has seen red ink for its monthly throughputs versus like period 2014. For the year so far, Frankfurt’s volume are down 2.5% to just over 1.7m tonnes.
Meanwhile, Heathrow’s October throughput declined 1.4% to 132,575 tonnes, the sixth month in a row that the UK’s top air cargo gateway has registered a fall. For the first ten months of 2015, Heathrow’s overall volumes are near static at 1.2m tonnes, seeing an increase of just 0.1%.
In a statement, Heathrow – which is pushing for government approval to build a third runway — said that its emerging market cargo volumes increased 3.4% over the past 12 months – “notably to Turkey up 26% and Brazil up 7% – underlining the export growth potential an expanded Heathrow with up to 40 new long-haul connections would deliver”.
Heathrow is also beginning engagement with the freight industry on a cargo blueprint that will “double Heathrow’s cargo capacity and boost the UK’s global export competitiveness by enabling faster, more efficient cargo movements”.
£180m investment into revolutionising cargo announced at today’s BCC (British Chambers of Commerce) conference Faster more efficient cargo movements will encourage airlines to increase freight capacity, boosting the UK’s global export competitiveness
UK exporters are set to benefit from the doubling of cargo volumes at Heathrow, the UK’s biggest port for goods by value.
Faster and more efficient cargo movements are vital in improving the UK’s export competiveness and maximising economic benefits. As Britain’s global gateway, Heathrow connects British exporters to global markets and makes it easier for investors to come to the UK. With four out of five of all long haul flights coming from Heathrow, the airport is critical to the UK’s position as a hub for international trade.
The blueprint plans were developed with key stakeholders and announced by CEO John Holland-Kaye at today’s BCC conference, as part of a 15 year vision to invest around £180million in revolutionising its cargo facilities, processes and people. The blueprint includes proposals for a specialist pharmaceutical storage area – to support airlines to move highly valuable and temperature sensitive medicines – as well as better infrastructure to reduce congestion and smoother processes, all enabling freight to flow better through the airport and halving process time from 8-9 hours, to four hours.
In addition, freight forwarders using Heathrow will benefit from:
Air to air transit – a facility located on the airfield which will enable smoother handling of transit cargo that arrives by air and is due to fly out by air. This will shorten connection times from a current average of 6+ hours
Becoming 100% ‘e-freight ready – working with businesses, airlines, IATA, HMRC and the DfT to fully implement e-Freight at Heathrow. This reduces the need for lengthy paper work and will be one of the first airports to become 100% digital.
A new truck parking facility – a waiting area for drivers which will cater for over 100 vehicles and offer secure parking, access control, toilets/showers and dining facilities
Heathrow has developed its vision to overhaul the cargo facilities after working closely with stakeholders including freight forwarders, Government, exporters and British businesses, forming an ambition to become one of the leading European airports for cargo. These improvements will also encourage airlines to bring cargo friendly aircraft with greater freight capacity to Heathrow, which are typically more modern, greener and quieter.
Chris Welsh – FTA Director of Global and European Policy said:
“Heathrow’s planned investment and increased freight capacity is excellent news, and exactly the type of commitment that FTA has long been asking for. The significance of air freight is often overlooked, but today’s announcement illustrates that Heathrow Airport has listened very carefully to ourselves and the freight industry. The improvements it is proposing are essential to the growth and success of the UK economy.”
Addressing the BCC conference, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“Cargo is essential for UK PLC and Heathrow is its global freight connector, with 26% of all UK goods by value going through the airport. This investment plan will significantly improve our cargo facilities and support British businesses to keep the economy moving, connecting exporters to the world and helping the government reach its £1 trillion export target by 2020.”
John Holland-Kaye’s full speech to the BCC’s annual conference is available in full in the downloads section.
London Heathrow Airport recorded cargo growth of 2.2 per cent in April to 122,879 tonnes versus same month of 2014, and a 3.9 per cent increase to 493,816 tonnes for the January to April 2015 period versus last year.
The UK hub saw on-year cargo increases in April of 61.5 per cent to Mexico, 27.5 per cent to Turkey, 18.5 per cent to Brazil and 9.9 per cent to India.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Expanding Heathrow delivers exactly what the UK economy needs – creating up to 180,000 new jobs and £211bn of economic benefit right across the country, growing exports by increasing trade routes to fast-growing markets, rebalancing growth across the whole of the UK.
“Heathrow expansion isn’t about a runway, it’s about the future we want for Britain. Let’s be ambitious about our place in the world, let’s keep Britain at the heart of the global economy and let’s get on with expanding Heathrow.”
Strikes and snow failed to dampen 2014 cargo volumes at Frankfurt airport, with Germany’s premier freight hub recording a 1.7 per cent rise in full year throughputs to 2.2m tonnes.
However, in December 2014, cargo volumes for the final month slipped 1.4 per cent year-on-year, reaching 176,241 tonnes.
Frankfurt’s full year 2014 passenger numbers rose 2.6 percent to 59.6m, although the increase would have been 3.9 per cent when taking into account “the high number of mainly strike-related flight cancellations and all other extraordinary cancellations, including due to adverse weather,” said airport authority Fraport.
Aircraft movements in 2014 edged down by 0.8 per cent to about 469,000 take-offs and landings, “reflecting the ongoing trend towards larger aircraft and better capacity utilisation along with higher passenger and cargo volumes”.
Frankfurt continues to push for a new passenger terminal that would also add to bellyhold cargo capacity.
Fraport’s executive board chairman, Stefan Schulte, said: “The growth trend experienced in 2014 confirms our forecasts for the coming years. This further underscores why we need a third new passenger terminal here at Frankfurt Airport.
“If the current trend continues, with growth rates ranging from two to three percent, in the coming years, the existing terminals will reach their capacity limits by 2021 at the latest. We will need the new Terminal 3 to ensure that we can continue delivering excellent service quality to our passengers, also with modern and trendsetting ambiance in the future.”
Members of W4 CHATR (CHiswick Against Third Runway) joined protestors from across London outside Portcullis House in peaceful demonstration in the hours before the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee met with Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye and Sir Howard Davies, Chairman of the Airports Commission Report.
One of the conditions of Heathrow expansion by the Airport Commission was a ban on night flights between 11.30pm -6.00am. But during the committee proceedings John Holland Kaye, Heathrow Chief Executive, repeatedly declined to commit to a no-flights-before-6.00am rule. Nor would he endorse the Airport’s Commission’s recommendation that a fourth runway be ruled out, saying that was ‘a matter for the government’.
According to City Hall, he also ‘waved away concerns about deteriorations in air quality by insisting that a third runway, with 50% more flights at the airport, would not lead to any more cars on the roads.’ For Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, ‘the Airports Commission is falling apart…Mr Holland Kaye’s flat refusal to commit to conditions to limit air pollution, night flights and noise shows he simply does not understand that the recommendation of a third runway is crucially tied to these conditions.’
Asked to comment for the Herald on Heathrow’s refusal to commit before the Audit Committee to the ban on night flights a Heathrow spokesperson said: “It is something that we are looking at. We will make a comment on it in due course. There are huge benefits to local communities for getting rid of the early morning scheduled arrivals between 4.30 and 6.00 am. Equally there is a big cost to that for the UK economy because those are very valuable trading routes to the Far East, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It is not easy to resolve that. We are working on it. I am confident that we will be able to find a way through that. With expansion there is a real opportunity to significantly reduce night flying at Heathrow.”
A spokesperson for CHATR said, ‘Heathrow’s position is very worrying for Londoners. Are we really being asked to believe that a huge increase in the number of flights with a third runway will not come with the inevitable increase in pollution and noise? That’s simply not credible. We already know that new flightpaths are proposed over areas of London that have not been previously overflown. How do people in these areas experience ‘huge benefits’ from these negotiations? Hundreds of thousands of Londoners in these areas will clearly be worse off, with noise, pollution and financial losses to house prices for which there is no compensation’
Matt Gorman, Heathrow Environmental Director added: “We are confident that we can agree a package that will significantly reduce night flying. Put that another way: significantly increase the period without night flights at Heathrow. This is a significant change. This is really reiterating what Howard Davies said. Heathrow can get better, because as it gets bigger we can reduce night flying at Heathrow.” )
Around 60 protesters staged a flashmob in Heathrow’s Terminal 2, expressing their opposition to plans for a 3rd runway. With red “No 3rd runway” T-shirts and chanting “No ifs, no buts, no third runway!” There are already hugely more people affected by disturbing levels of plane noise at Heathrow than at any other airport in Europe. People who suffer from plane noise do not want more of it, and those who get some periods of “respite” during the day do not want to see this decrease. If there was a new runway there would be around 250,000 more flights per year using Heathrow – making a 50% increase compared with the existing number now. The level of noise, the new areas affected, and the hundreds of thousands more people to be newly affected would make the addition of a new runway unacceptable. And that is not to mention the increase in air pollution, the road congestion, the rail congestion, the huge cost to the taxpayer over many years. There is also the not inconsiderable matter of the demolition of 780 homes, making their occupants homeless. For all these reasons, a large number of groups and organisations from a wide area oppose the runway. People at the flashmob came from Hammersmith, Ealing, Chiswick, the Heathrow villages, and areas west of Heathrow affected by flight paths. They are adamant that protest at a runway will not go away.
Flash mob protests against third runway at Heathrow Terminal 2
Campaigners opposed to a 3rd runway protest at Heathrow today Credit: ITV Meridian
Protesters arrived at around 11am on Saturday, November 21, and could be seen and heard by passengers throughout the terminal.
John Stewart of Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) represented one of the many groups.
He said: “The timings were to send a strong message to Heathrow Airport and to David Cameron, that if the green light was given for a third runway, there will be continual protests from the community.
“Whatever decision the Government make about the third runway, the local community is not going to go way and believes that it can defeat the proposals, as it did 10 years ago.”
Other groups showing their support for the cause included: Plane Stupid, Chiswick Against the Third Runway, Communities Against Increased Aircraft Noise (CAIAN), west London Friends of the Earth and residents from all boroughs surrounding the aiport.
Christine Taylor, a Stop Heathrow Expansion campaigner whose home in Harlington will be lost under a third runway, said: “From all aspects it was a successful flash mob.
“It was simply to remind people that, with everything else that’s in the news, we are still fighting to prevent the airport from expanding and we’ll continue to fight until the Government sees sense and rules out a third runway at Heathrow.
Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan (MP for Tooting) had decided he will back a 2nd Gatwick runway, knowing he would have no chance of being elected mayor if he did anything other than oppose a Heathrow runway. He has done a publicity stunt, charm offensive, visit to Gatwick, being given the celebrity treatment. His view is to prevent the noise, air pollution, congestion etc problems caused by expanding Heathrow, and instead make “Heathrow better, not bigger”. Previously he backed a Heathrow runway, until realising he could not maintain that line and have any chance of being London Mayor. He has also recently said he would consider allowing the expansion of London City Airport if he took over at City Hall. Boris had blocked expansion earlier this year, on noise grounds. The London City scheme, if approved, would increase the number of flights from 70,000 to 111,000 per year, doubling the annual number of passengers by 2023, as well as extending the terminal and building a parallel taxiing lane. He said London City Airport was “a special case because of its size and economic impact.” Bearing in mind his support for Gatwick, he appeared oblivious of the irony of this statement: “I think what you can’t do is play politics with decisions about people’s jobs and business.”
London airport expansion: Sadiq Khan ramps up support for second Gatwick runway over Heathrow
20 November 2015 by Lauren Fedor (City AM)
Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan will today up the ante in the London airports row by coming out stronger than ever in making the case for a second runway at Gatwick.
The Tooting MP will meet with senior executives at the Sussex airport to conduct a charm offensive aimed at laying out his pro-Gatwick position.
Khan is expected to reiterate views made in City A.M. in June, when he said that the answer to the capital’s airport capacity conundrum lies in “expanding Gatwick and making Heathrow better, not bigger”.
Critics accused Khan of a U-turn as he had previously backed a third runway at Heathrow. However, Khan is expected to say that competition between the two airports will benefit businesses and outline his vision for a rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick.
Zac Goldsmith, his Tory mayoral rival, is also a staunch opponent of Heathrow expansion.
Labour’s mayoral candidate is against expansion at Heathrow but says the Docklands hub is an exception because of its size and economic impact
Labour mayoral candidate – and former transport minister – Sadiq Khan has said that he would consider allowing the expansion of London City Airport if he took over at City Hall.
The £200million expansion was approved by Labour-run Newham Borough Council earlier this year but Mayor Boris Johnson stepped in to veto the work. He said the increased number of flights would create a noise nuisance.
The City Airport Development Programme would lift the ceiling on the number of flights from 70,000 to 111,000 a year, doubling the number of passengers by 2023 a year, as well as make major adaptations to the airport to extend the terminal and build a parallel taxi lane.
The changes, the airport says, are necessary to accommodate a new generation of aircraft which is more fuel efficient and will add £750million a year to the economy. The airport, which predominantly serves Canary Wharf and the City, is currently accepting bids to buy the business from its US owners which could generate £2billion.
Mr Khan, who has previously come out against Heathrow expansion, worried about air quality, said that the Docklands hub was a special case because of its size and economic impact.
“What I would do if I was mayor of London is reconsider the decision by the mayor of London to oppose the plans.”
“City Airport is very small in comparison to major airports like Heathrow and Gatwick and would remain so even after this expansion.
His view is in contrast to that of his main rival for City Hall. Conservative candidate and environmental campaigner Zac Goldsmith said he was “very strongly inclined” to follow the Johnson line.
London City Airport is appealing against the overrule and Mayor Boris Johnson has set aside £525,000 to defend his decision. The appeal will be heard in March.
“We need to make sure that key environmental and noise tests are met, but the proposals would provide the City with a capacity boost and I’m willing to look again at this.”
Labour mayor contender Sadiq Khan rejects building third runway at Heathrow
JOE MURPHY, POLITICAL EDITOR (Evening Standard)
No to Heathrow: Sadiq Khan opposes a third runway because of the effect on noise and air pollution
Labour mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan today came out against a third runway at Heathrow, saying that London’s premier airport should be made “better but not bigger”.
His move opened clear air between him and Labour rivals Dame Tessa Jowell and David Lammy. He branded the pair “ultra-Blairites” for backing the extra runway pushed a decade ago by former Labour premier Tony Blair.
“Tessa and David will argue Heathrow’s case, but I am arguing London’s case against its expansion,” he said. “People must ask themselves who best represents London’s interests.”
Announcing his stance in an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Khan said he believed a bigger Heathrow should be ruled out on the grounds of “awful air quality”, noise and inadequate infrastructure.
His move comes a week after Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith entered the mayoral race with a vow to halt the third runway.
Mr Khan suggested that voters would focus more on Mr Goldsmith’s other policies and wealthy background if they were opponents, because they agreed over Heathrow.
“I like Zac,” said Mr Khan. “But Londoners will have to ask who is best to understand their aspirations. Who best understands the housing crisis, or the need for affordable transport? I cannot wait for battle to commence.”
Mr Khan’s interview also pre-empted the looming report by Sir Howard Davies’s Airports Commission. Mr Khan said he could think of nothing the commission might say to change his mind.
“I’ve seen independent evidence that up to 4,300 people are dying prematurely because of air quality,” he said. “I’ve spoken to experts who have told me that children’s lungs are under developed because of air quality. I’ve spoken to residents in the parts of London affected who have told me about the consequences of noise pollution.
“I cannot agree with Tessa and David that the benefits of expanding Heathrow exceed the costs to Londoners.” Of the other Labour would-be mayors, both Diane Abbott and Christian Wolmar are against a third runway at Heathrow.
Mr Khan’s said he had “thought long and hard” about the aviation capacity crisis. He stressed he was “not anti-aviation”, but thought jobs and an economic boost could be achieved best through a second runway at Gatwick and a high-speed rail link between the two airports. It would allow more flights and passengers could check in at either airport and transfer between them quickly.
“I’m not saying we should expand Gatwick at the expense of Heathrow – it’s really important to make Heathrow better,” he said.
Asked how he would respond if Davies recommended Heathrow expansion, he declared: “I’m a fighter. I would fight to make the government rejects it.”
Asked about the rumoured proposal for an independent noise monitor, he said: “I’m not sure how that can address the issue of teachers in West London having to stop teaching when an aircraft takes off.”
Mr Khan was a Transport Minister under Gordon Brown when the third runway was Labour policy but he said things had moved on with the recent Supreme Court ruling that the UK was breaching air quality limits.
He agreed that Heathrow expansion was a “Blairite policy”, saying: “I suspect that’s why Tessa and David are in favour of it. As ultra-Blairites they will have to argue why they think Runway Three should go forward.”
… and though the number of passengers was UP 8.3% in 2014 compared to the earlier pre-recession peak in 2007, the number of flights was actually DOWN by – 1.5% in that time. The number of flights may only this year reach the earlier peak in 2007.
The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) says that use of larger planes, and with fewer empty seats, explained how Gatwick has a record-breaking 40 million passengers per year. Gatwick has been expanding its passenger numbers as fast as possible, in its bid to get another runway. The Airports Commission estimated, based on past trends, that it would not reach 40 million passengers per year for many more years. But Gatwick has not increased the number of air transport movements (flights) by much. While the number of passengers ( link ) in the 12 months to October 2015 is 5.7% higher than the previous 12 months, the number of flights was only 2.6% more. GACC said it is the number of landings and take-offs (ATMs) which create a need for a new runway, not just the number of passengers. The load factor (how full the plane is) is higher, with the figure is October 2015 being 85.3% compared to 82.2% in October 2012 or 81.7% in October 2013. GACC chairman Brendon Sewill said: “At this rate of growth Gatwick and Stansted and Luton won’t be full for at least fifty years!” In fact, Gatwick had more flights in 2007 than in 2014. There were about 256,000 ATMs in 2008, 259,000 in 2007 and 255,000 in 2014. The average number of seats per plane was about 180 in 2014 and about 174 in 2013. The average number of passengers per plane was about 151 in 2014 and about 145 in 2013.
Anti-Gatwick expansion group plays down passenger record
18 November 2015 (Crawley Observer)
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) said larger planes and fewer empty seats explained the airport reaching a record-breaking 40 million passengers per year.
A Gatwick spokesman said it hit the milestone for the first time this weekend ten years earlier than predicted by The Airports Commission.
The commission recommended expanding Heathrow Airport instead of Gatwick in its final report which it published in July.
A GACC statement said: “It is the number of landings and take-offs which create a need for a new runway.”
Larger planes and fewer empty seats explained statistics which stated passenger numbers were up 25 per cent while flights were up only five.
GACC chairman Brendon Sewill said: “At this rate of growth Gatwick and Stansted and Luton won’t be full for at least fifty years!”
A Gatwick spokesman said the Government was due to make a decision on airport expansion in weeks.
Gatwick CEO Steward Wingate said: “To reach 40 million passengers a year is a tremendous achievement and sets a global benchmark for a single runway airport. We have grown rapidly under new ownership and the benefits of competition are clear for passengers – more choice, higher standards and lower fares. It will not be long however before we are full. That is why Gatwick needs a second runway.
“We have reached this milestone ten years ahead of the Airport Commission’s prediction that we would do so in 2024. The Commission’s Report has unravelled in recent months and we now know beyond doubt that there is a fundamental error at the heart of the Report. Whether the Report is flawed is no longer a matter of debate, it is a statement of fact. Traffic forecasts obviously underpin the economic figures in the Report so people will make their own judgement on the economic credibility of the Commission’s work.
“Illegal air quality has prevented Heathrow expansion twice in the past and it is worse today than it was then. A third runway at Heathrow would fail again as it would be illegal. So the choice is clear – expansion grounded at Heathrow once again with Britain losing out, or expansion taking off at Gatwick with Britain reaping the benefits.”
The number of Air Transport Movements for the year, up to October 2015 (ie. Oct 2014 to Oct 2015, compared to Oct 2013 to Oct 2014) was only up by 2.6% – while the number of passengers was up by 5.7%. Link
Load factor Oct 2012 – 82.2%
Load factor Oct 2013 – 81.7%
Load factor Oct 2014 – not given
Load factor Oct 2015 – 85.3%
Gatwick’s Performance monitoring report for 2014/15 stated that:
– increased number of flights: the number of air traffic movements in 2014/15 increased by 3.2% on 2013/14, as a result of a small increase in the number of peak slots made available from the summer 2013 season, to a total of 55, and greater use of off-peak slots in the winter season, which Gatwick has incentivised through reducing tariff charges for aircraft movements in this period to zero; and
– increased load per flight: airlines have increased the average number of seats per flight by 3.6% from 173.9 to 180.1, and load factors increased by 0.7 percentage points from 83.2% to 83.9%.
Table 1: Traffic data
Seats per ATM 180.1 (Year to 31.3.2015)
Seats per ATM 173.9 (Year to 31.3 2014)
Passengers per ATM 151.1 (Year to 31.3.2015)
Passengers per ATM 144.7 (Year to 31.3 2014)
Load Factor (%) 83.9% (Year to 31.3.2015)
Load Factor (%) 83.2% (Year to 31.3 2014)