Luton plans light rail link to speed transport, making it a stronger competitor against Gatwick

Luton plans to replace its much-maligned bus transfer service, from the station to the airport, and instead build a light rail link, costing £200 million. The 1.3 mile rail link could cut the journey time from London St Pancras to the Luton airport terminal to less than 30 minutes, which is faster than the time to Gatwick.  It would connect to the terminal from within the Luton Airport Parkway railway station, one level above the platforms.  A normal rail link has not been possible due to the steepness of the climb uphill to the terminal. The automated light rail service will be funded by Luton Borough Council, which owns the airport freehold and owns the necessary land. The role of the council will be controversial and the scheme will need to be scrutinised for conflict of interest.  The airport is spending a further £110 million on redeveloping its terminals and layout to expand capacity from 9 million to 18 million passengers per year by 2020. EasyJet, the biggest airline using Luton, said the redevelopment was a key factor in its pledge to double the size of its operations there over the next decade. A planning application would be made in autumn for work to begin in 2017. The DfT is also working to enable travel between London and Luton by Oyster card or contactless payment by 2018.
.

 

Luton airport to replace bus transfers with £200m light rail link

Link between airport and local train station set to make transfers to London faster than those from Gatwick to capital

By Gwyn Topham, Transport correspondent (Guardian)

Friday 15 April 2016

Luton airport plans to park its much-maligned bus transfer service once and for all and build a £200m light rail link to the nearest railway station.

The fast-track service would make journey times between the capital and Luton airport faster than for those flying via Gatwick, the airport claimed.

The 24-hour, automated light-rail link would replace the buses currently used to transfer travellers between the station and the terminal, making the fastest complete journey from Luton airport to London St Pancras less than 30 minutes.

The 1.3-mile link will be funded by Luton borough council, which owns the airport freehold. While the station is almost adjacent to the airport perimeter, it is around 40 metres downhill from it, making a fixed rail link difficult to build.

Luton airport is spending a further £110m on redeveloping its terminals and layout to expand capacity to 18 million passengers a year by 2020.

The chief executive, Nick Barton, said: “We’re delighted Luton borough council is making the investment. It’s perfect for us: we’ve been on a journey but there’s always been that fundamental gap between the terminal and the very good train service – served by a bus, which just isn’t good enough.”

The rail link would connect to the terminal from within the railway station, one level above the platforms.

Barton said: “It’s raising the game and raising our standard. When you get to Luton Airport Parkway you will think that you’re actually at the terminal.”

EasyJet, the biggest carrier at the airport, welcomed the news, saying the redevelopment was a key factor in its pledge to double the size of its operations there over the next decade.

A planning application would be made in autumn for work to begin in 2017.

While Barton cautioned that it would need to “be scrutinised more closely than a normal application” because of any perceived conflict in the council’s ownership of the airport, which is let as a long-term concession, all of the land required is already owned by the council.

He said Luton was working closely with the Department for Transport to remove barriers to rail travel to the airport, including tackling any ticketing confusion, and allowing passengers to travel between the airport and London using Oyster card or contactless payment by 2018.

Luton would also benefit from the upgrade of Thameslink trains, as well as being served by St Pancras, Barton said.

“The whole train story is just transforming and this is the next big – but very big step – to making that journey superb.”

The news is likely to prompt further chagrin at the rival Stansted airport, where hopes of a fast rail connection to central London have been dampened by Network Rail concluding that upgrades would only shave 2-5 minutes from the current 45-53 minute train journey.

Passenger numbers grew 17% to 12.3 million in 2015 at Luton, which indirectly employs more than 8,600 staff. The airport serves 123 destinations, mainly operated by low-cost and charter airlines.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/15/luton-airport-ends-bus-transfers-fast-track-rail-link

.


Luton Airport’s £200m light rail link proposals could see it vying with Gatwick for passengers

15.4.2016 (Business Daily)

New proposals for a £200m light rail link from Luton Airport Parkway train station to London Luton Airport could significantly cut journey times to the airport from central London.

The plans, which have been put together by Luton Borough Council, would see the introduction of driverless trains to ferry air passengers from the train station, replacing the current shuttle service which takes 15 minutes.

Running 24 hours a day, the proposed 1.4 mile rail link would also connect with the airport’s parking facilities and, if approved, could cut journey times from London St Pancras to below 30 minutes according to the airport.

This would make journey times quicker from the middle of the capital than the comparable journey to Gatwick.

The proposals have been designed by developers Arup and are pencilled in for a 2020 completion date, pending planning approval which is due to be submitted in the Autumn.

Nick Barton, chief executive, said: “We’re delighted Luton borough council is making the investment. It’s perfect for us: we’ve been on a journey but there’s always been that fundamental gap between the terminal and the very good train service – served by a bus, which just isn’t good enough.“

“It’s raising the game and raising our standard. When you get to Luton Airport Parkway you will think that you’re actually at the terminal.“

The airport is currently carrying out a £110 million redevelopment of its main terminal and is looking to introduce Oyster ticketing to Luton Airport Parkway by 2018.

https://bdaily.co.uk/industrials/15-04-2016/luton-airports-200m-light-rail-link-proposals-could-see-it-vying-with-gatwick-for-passengers/

.

.

.

 

Read more »

London City Airport gets new PR manager – fresh from 10 months as press officer at the DfT

London City Airport has strengthened its comms team with the appointment of the Department for Transport’s Andrew Scott as PR Manager, “as the airport develops plans for expansion and prepares to mark its 30th anniversary in 2017.”  Andrew Scott joins City Airport’s four-strong comms team and will be responsible for campaigns “which promote the airport’s time saving and convenience proposition to customers.”  His role will also include oversight of the UK and 6 key European markets, which are supported by PR agency Grayling.   Scott was a press officer at the DfT for 9 -10 months since July 2015, before that a media officer at the Museum of London, and before that at WPP (a huge advertising and PR company).  Barclaycard’s Kimberley Hayden has also joined City Airport’s comms team as internal comms executive, and will be “responsible for employee engagement, including production of Airport Life magazine, 500 free copies of which are circulated internally each month.”  The head of comms has been Charlotte Beeching, since December 2014. The airport now has new owners – Canadian pension funds – and is hoping to be allowed expansion “which would enable up to 6.5 million passengers by 2025.”
.

London City Airport enhances comms team

April 12, 2016

by Richard O’Donnell (Gorkana)

London City Airport has strengthened its comms team with the appointment of the Department for Transport’s Andrew Scott as PR Manager, as the airport develops plans for expansion and prepares to mark its 30th anniversary in 2017.

Scott joins City Airport’s four-strong comms team and will be responsible for campaigns which promote the airport’s time saving and convenience proposition to customers.

His role will also include oversight of the UK and six key European markets, which are supported by PR agency Grayling.

Scott was previously a press officer at the Department for Transport and, before that, a media officer at the Museum of London.

Alongside his appointment, Barclaycard’s Kimberley Hayden has also joined City Airport’s comms team as internal comms executive.

Hayden, a former copywriter at Barclaycard, will be responsible for employee engagement, including production of Airport Life magazine, 500 free copies of which are circulated internally each month.

The enhanced comms team comes as the airport develops further plans for expansion, prepares to mark its 30th anniversary in 2017, and adds to its 48 destinations. This summer the airport will begin new routes to Berlin, Bergerac and Alicante.

Charlotte Beeching, head of comms at City Airport, said: “With record growth, new ownership, millions being invested and major expansion plans in the pipeline, we have an important story to tell. By strengthening the comms team, we will ensure that story is heard loud and clear, to support the future growth of the business.”

The airport is also awaiting the outcome of a public inquiry into its proposed City Airport Development Programme (CADP), which was blocked by the Mayor of London in March 2015.

If approved, the airport plans to add seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway and terminal extensions, which would enable up to 6.5 million passengers by 2025 and open up new routes to the US, Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe.

http://www.gorkana.com/2016/04/london-city-airport-enhances-comms-team/

.


 

See also – on the issue of “revolving door” between government and the aviation industry:

Revolving door revolves again: Vickie Sheriff (used to work at 10 Downing Street) to be Heathrow head of comms

There have for a long time been concerns about the “revolving door”, by which people switch between working high up in the aviation industry, and working high up in Government. The concern is that they may bring too much influence, from their earlier employer. Now it is announced that Vickie Sheriff it to become head of communications for Heathrow airport. Earlier she had worked for the Prime Minister, in 2013, with a dual role as official deputy spokesperson for the Prime Minister and head of news at Number 10. She went to the DfT and then Diageo in 2014.  Heathrow’s director of PR, Simon Baugh, left earlier this year to work at the Department for Transport to take the role of head of communications. This is the job that was previously held by Vickie Sheriff. (Simon Baugh was not actually meant to be advising ministers on the new runway issue till 1st September, when he had been at the DfT for 6 months).  Heathrow also appointed a new consumer PR agency in the summer. There have been several other high profile examples of the “revolving door” in the past, including Tom Kelly in 2009, who had worked for Tony Blair and then went to BAA as head of comms.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/09/revolving-door-revolves-again-vickie-sheriff-used-to-work-at-10-downing-street-to-be-heathrow-head-of-comms/

.


 


London City Airport hires Grayling to target European market

May 29, 2012
by John Owens (PR Week)

London City Airport is set to launch a major comms effort aimed at the European market, amid ambitious growth plans.

The airport has brought in Grayling to help promote its services in Germany, Spain and Ireland, as it seeks to expand from three to eight million passengers a year. The appointment follows a competitive pitch process.

The agency has been handed a retained corporate brief to enhance the airport’s reputation with potential corporate clients.

Grayling’s work takes place against a backdrop of concerns over the need for increased air travel capacity in London. There have been fears around access during the Olympics, following passport control problems at Heathrow.

London City Airport corporate comms director Jeremy Probert said the brief followed a new commercial strategy drawn up to accelerate growth.

‘Part of our commercial strategy is to add new routes and attract airlines – this brief supports that. By enhancing London City Airport’s reputation abroad and communicating the benefits of flying into the airport, we aim to increase passenger numbers, leading to increased frequency, larger aircraft and new airlines.’

He added: ‘It’s now reached the point where outside assistance is needed – specifically outside assistance with a knowledge of the markets in which our key end-of-route targets are located – to support and enhance the work of the in-house comms team and the sales team.’

Ursula Colgan, director of international client services at Grayling, said that the work would emphasise the airport’s convenient proximity to the capital. She explained that the brief would involve teams working in the three countries, with London acting as a hub for the work.

A £4m roster review by BAA, the owner of Heathrow and Stansted airports, is currently under way, in which agencies have been asked to pay around £1,000 to be considered for the work.

http://www.prweek.com/article/1134324/london-city-airport-hires-grayling-target-european-market
.
Charlotte Beeching –
Head of Communications, London City Airport since December 2014 – Present (1 year 5 months)
Was External Communications Manager, London City Airport from October 2012 – December 2014 (2 years 3 months)

.


Andrew Scott
PR Manager, London City Airport. March 2016 – Present (2 months)
Press Officer, Department for Transport (DfT), July 2015 – Present (10 months)

Senior Account Executive, Burson-Marsteller. October 2010 – August 2012 (1 year 11 months) “My role was as a senior account executive in be more…, the consumer brand marketing arm of Burson-Marsteller, the global public relations firm part of WPP.” (sic)
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/andrew-scott-7b673b2a

Read more »

Gatwick promises to reduce plane noise (how?) as Forge Wood residents complain it is worse than expected

Forge Wood is a housing development just north east of Crawley and south east of Gatwick airport. They are in an area less than 2 kilometres from the end of the runway.  The development was permitted by a decision of the High Court partly based on a statement by Gatwick Airport Ltd in 2010 that they ‘had not a shred of interest in a new runway.’ (That comment had been made by Sir David Rowlands, former Chairman GAL in a speech to Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee in January 2010.)  The houses would be right under then flight path, if the 2nd runway was built. The noise is already bad, and one new resident who moved there in October 2015 said the planes are a lot noisier than she anticipated and she wants measures to improve the quality of life for locals. Another resident said: “When we bought our house here we didn’t think the noise would be as bad as it is. If we have the window open the noise of the planes stops us from getting to sleep at night and I’ve been woken up at 4, 5 and 6am. We have a problem with planes both taking off and landing.” Strangely the 5,000 or so people who will live in Forge Wood were not included in the Airports Commission’s numbers of those to be badly affected by plane noise from a 2nd runway. Or some other new housing developments.
.

 

 

Gatwick promises to reduce plane noise as Forge Wood residents complain it is worse than expected

April 10, 2016

By Chris Ballinger (Crawley News)

Forge Wood noisy

….. there is more general stuff about the Arrivals Review …. the section of the article on Forge Wood states:

Liz Bowie, who has lived in Forge Wood since October, says the planes are a lot noisier than she anticipated and she wants the measures to improve the quality of life for locals.

The 55-year-old, from Somerley Drive, said: “When we bought our house here we didn’t think the noise would be as bad as it is.

“If we have the window open the noise of the planes stops us from getting to sleep at night and I’ve been woken up at 4, 5 and 6am.

“We have a problem with planes both taking off and landing. If these measures reduce the amount of noise we have to put up with, then it will make life a lot better for everyone living at Forge Wood.”

.
http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Gatwick-commits-wide-ranging-measures-reduce/story-29055354-detail/story.html

.

From “Gatwick Unwrapped – A critical examination of the plans for a second runway at Gatwick.” January 2015

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Gatwick-Unwrapped-Jan-2015.pdf

An extract, relating to Forge Wood:

19. Noise contours. The Commission estimates that the number of people affected by noise (within the 54 Leq contour – moderate community annoyance) could increase from just under 10,000 to just over 30,000. (Ref: Airports Commission Consultation Document November 2014 paragraph 3.31. 54 leq). A wide range of noise impacts is shown in the Commission’s consultation document, depending on the type of metric used and on the future use of the airport, but they all show that the number of people affected by noise with a new runway would be two or three times as many as at present. (Ref: Permission to build these houses was granted by the High Court, against the wishes of Crawley Borough Council: the judge based his decision partly on assurances given in 2010 by GAL that they had no interest in building a new runway).

20. We will tell the Commission that these figures, however, do not include the 5,000 people who will be moving into the new houses currently being built at Forge Wood, on the north east of Crawley. (These houses were permitted by a decision of the High Court partly based on a statement by Gatwick Airport Ltd in 2010 that they ‘had not a shred of interest in a new runway.’) (Ref: Sir David Rowlands, former Chairman GAL. Speech to Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee January 2010 ). Nor do the figures include the inhabitants of the 500 houses recently given planning permission in Copthorne; nor the inhabitants of the village of Warnham  despite that village being clearly shown under a new flight path from the new runway. (Ref: Airports Commission. Noise: Local Assessment. Chapter 3.2).


 

More  details about Forge Wood

http://www.persimmonhomes.com/forge-wood-10324

Forge Wood off Steers Lane, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 3NH

Forge Wood – an exciting new community

Forge Wood is a new collection of one and two bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five bedroom homes located in the popular town of Crawley. After a great launch we have reserved all of our initially released plots, and have now just released the next plots for sale.

  • A mix of 1 and 2 bed apartments and 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes
  • Brand new health centre, shops, community building and primary school
  • Convenient links to M23 and M25
  • Close to Gatwick airport
  • Surrounded by woodland
  • Good choice of leisure facilities and amenities nearby

Located on the northern edge of Crawley in West Sussex, Forge Wood is part of an exciting new community which, when complete, will offer its residents a primary school, shops, central parkland, a community building and a health centre. Whether you’re a first time buyer, looking to move up the ladder or searching for your perfect family home, Forge Wood is sure to have what you need.

Latest News

ALL plots now reserved!

As well as eventually having its own neighbourhood amenities, Forge Wood is also conveniently close to Crawley’s vibrant and established town centre.

Surrounded by beautiful countryside, the town offers a pleasant environment in which to live and work and is proving to be a popular place to call home. Its historic High Street and County Mall shopping centre, together with convenient transport and parking, draws shoppers from all over the area.

Enjoy the leisure facilities close to Forge Wood

Forge Wood is close to a host of great leisure facilities for all ages. Crawley is renowned for its parks and green open spaces which are all linked by the Crawley Millennium Greenway, a circular route around the town for walkers, runners and cyclists. The popular Tilgate Park boasts just over 400 acres of lakes, gardens and woodland, a par 72 golf course and nature centre. There’s also plenty of entertainment to be found nearby: the Hawth Theatre offers a huge programme of events and is set in woodland with an outside amphitheatre, and Crawley Leisure Park, has a 15-screen cinema, bowling, a wide choice of restaurants and a health club.

Close to Gatwick Airport and a wealth of multinational businesses, Crawley has a thriving job market which makes use of the area’s excellent air, rail and road links.

Read more »

CAA gives approval to new PBN flight path from Birmingham airport to the south

At the start of April, the CAA approved changes to flight paths at Birmingham Airport, that were deemed necessary because of the runway extension. There were trials of new flight paths to the south in 2014, which generated a lot of anxiety and anger. The opposition was especially strong in the Balsall Common area, where a lot of people were newly overflown.  Planes were taking off further south on the longer runway than before the extension, and also landing further south – so were lower on the approach. The CAA considered 2 route options using Performance-based Navigation (PBN) technology, creating narrow, accurately flown paths. The CAA has gone through a long process, and has now approved Option 6, rather than Option 5, and say this has noise impact on fewer residents. The village of Balsall Green will be less impacted by this choice and they campaigned very effectively against the route being over them. But the smaller village of Barston, nearer to the end of the runway, will get relentless noise.  The CAA has also instructed the airport to trial the use of Option 5, which is not quite as bad for Barston, for turbo-prop aeroplanes, which are less noisy than jets. Birmingham will do more work on the departure routes to the north, and then formally submit them for approval to the CAA.
.

 

 

Civil Aviation Authority approves Birmingham Airport flight path changes

6.4.2016 (ITV)

The Civil Aviation Authority has approved changes to flight paths at Birmingham Airport in response to its £33 million runway extension.

It comes despite protests by residents in 2014 when trials began seeing planes passing over residential areas like Balsall Common instead of open countryside.

At the time there were complaints by residents that incoming aircraft from the south were lower and noisier – and because of the longer runway the planes were touching down sooner.

The Option 6 flight pathThe Option 6 flight path Credit: ITV News Central/Birmingham Airport
Many claimed the noise was so bad it was difficult to have a conversation.

A number of options known as 5 and 6 were tried at the time, with the airport settling on option 6, which it has been using for some time.

Today the CAA said:
“Detailed analysis and modelling of live trials conducted in 2014-15 revealed that the aircraft noise generated by Option 6 impacts fewer residents. This is also endorsed by feedback from Birmingham’s Airport’s consultation.

However, as part of this decision, the CAA has also instructed the airport to trial the use of Option 5 for turbo-prop aeroplanes which should move aircraft away from being directly overhead Barston.

The airport is currently undertaking further design work on a northbound departure route, known as Option 4. Once this work has been completed the airport can formally submit the route for approval to the CAA.”

ITV News Central has spoken to residents in Balsall Heath who say they’re pleased with the ruling by the CAA and that their concerns have been considered.

Speaking earlier this week a spokesperson for Birmingham Airport said it’s been working closely with affected residents, particularly in Balsall Common, and say it’s been really useful for both parties to reach a compromise and introduce some measures which benefit everyone including a 4000ft ‘noise corridor’ to minimum noise disruption.

The new longer runway can now accommodate larger aircraft, like the Airbus A380 which started carrying passengers to Dubai for the first time last month.

http://www.itv.com/news/central/2016-04-06/civil-aviation-authority-approves-birmingham-airport-flight-path-changes/

.


Outline details about the route change.

Sponsor: Birmingham Airport Limited.    The proposal seeks to establish revised departure routes from runway 15 utilising Performance-based Navigation (PBN) technology, following the extension to the airport’s instrument runway.

Details at

http://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-industry/Airspace/Airspace-change/Decisions/Birmingham-Airport-Runway-15-departure-routes/

It states:

“The differences between Options 5 and Option 6 environmentally are broadly marginal when compared with each other, or indeed when compared to what is flown by aircraft today. In summary, Option 5 has been selected as the preferred option for the following reasons;

 The greater support from the formal consultees

 Marginally better environmental outcome, as the area closest to the Airport, which has the potential to be directly overflown is the village of Barston. Option 5 offers marginally greater relief to Barston than Option 6.”

 

 

 

Birmingham International Airport Standard Instrument Departures from Runway 15: CAA decision CAP 1398

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%201398%20APR16%20amended.pdf

It states: 

The CAA has decided to approve Option 6 (for the reasons set out in this decision) : Southbound Option 6 – this proposal requires aircraft departing aircraft from runway 15 to turn right at the first allowable position using RNAV-1 design criteria to a common waypoint (coded as BBS06) from where the SIDs split to each of the four waypoints Daventry (DTY), Westcott (WCO), Compton (CPT) and COWLY; these SIDS were designated ‘2Yankee (2Y)’.

Birmingham Barston affected new SIDs

Birmingham International Airport Standard Instrument Departures from Runway 15: 

Residents living in Barston – shown in the map above, just where the flight path bends slightly, are not happy about the decision. The village appears to be a clear loser in the CAA decision.  Campaigners at another larger village, Balsall Common, a little further away have – by contrast – successfully campaigned for the route to be kept away from them.
Barston Parish Council feels there were numerous failings in the conduct of the trials and in the environmental monitoring work that was done.

.


Earlier news about the history of this flight path change at  Birmingham Airport News

Read more »

2nd runway at Dublin airport threatens Heathrow’s position as main IAG hub

Heathrow may face more competition for hub traffic from Dublin, if there is a 2nd runway in 2020 – and airlines prefer using Dublin rather than Heathrow.  This might mean Heathrow being partly sidelined.  In May 2015 Aer Lingus, the Irish flag carrier, was bought by IAG (International Airlines Group) – which owns British Airways.  As part of IAG’s takeover there was the benefit of new routes and more long-haul flights from Dublin, where Aer Lingus is one of the two main airline customers, along with Ryanair. Willie Walsh, IAG’s CEO, said in 2015 that owning Aer Lingus would allow IAG “to develop our network using Dublin as a hub between the UK, continental Europe and North America, generating additional financial value for our shareholders”. Willie Walsh believed that buying Aer Lingus was a wise move, as it was “inevitable” that Dublin would get a 2nd runway in the next few years.  IAG believes that it can expand the group’s flights via Dublin or Madrid – especially if there is no new runway at Heathrow.  It could have the impact of removing business from Heathrow – British Airways is the largest airline there with around 50% of the slots. 
.

Heathrow faces competition from Dublin

By Vincent Boland in Dublin (Financial Times)
7.4.2016

London Heathrow is to face more competition in the battle among Europe’s hub airports after Dublin said it would build a second runway by 2020.

As the UK government continues to postpone a decision on whether to build a third runway at Heathrow, the announcement on Thursday by the Dublin Airport Authority will fuel the debate over whether London’s hub risks being further sidelined by the delay as rival airports move ahead with expansion plans.

The announcement comes a year after Aer Lingus, the Irish flag carrier, was bought by International Airlines Group.  IAG owns British Airways, and as part of its takeover proposal it promised new routes and more long-haul flights from Dublin, where Aer Lingus is one of the two main airline customers, along with Ryanair.

………

Full FT article at

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0de6dd58-fcd3-11e5-b3f6-11d5706b613b.html#axzz45SyYMNWg

.

The significance of a second runway at Dublin is that it gives Willie Walsh even more of an alternative to a 3rd runway at Heathrow.  After the Dublin runway plans were dropped in 2010, Walsh set in train his alternative:  link up with Madrid and the new routes that offered (particularly to South America, the one continent not well served by Heathrow); buying Heathrow slots of other airlines (which he could convert to long-haul should the market be there) and expanding his base in Dublin.


Earlier:

IAG given clearance by Irish government to buy its 25% shares in Aer Lingus takeover

International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, is set to take over Aer Lingus in a deal that values the airline at €1.4bn after the Irish government agreed to sell them its 25% stake.  The Dublin government’s agreement to sell their stake was critical for the deal to progress. Donohue said: “IAG has provided additional information and certain commitments in relation to its proposal.” IAG has further extended guarantees about routes to Ireland from Heathrow, from five to seven years, although they remain some way short of the decade-long commitment Dublin had sought. The guarantees also are dependent on airport charges being limited to inflation.  The government has secured important guarantees on the maintenance of Aer Lingus’ iconic brand, and its head office staying in Ireland. There are also some assurances over protecting existing Irish jobs at Aer Lingus, which wants to continue to use Irish crew bases. Ryanair still owns 29% of Aer Lingus shares.  About 46% is owned by Aer Lingus. The 24 landing slots Aer Lingus controls at Heathrow are among the most lucrative for BA. The Heathrow-Dublin link is one of the busiest in Europe, and highly profitable.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/05/iag-given-clearance-by-irish-government-to-buy-its-25-shares-in-aer-lingus-takeover/

.


Dublin Airport may buy 40 homes, already badly affected by noise, in bid to step up 2nd runway plans

Dublin airport was given consent for a 2nd runway in 2007, but due to the recession it was not started. There are now plans to start work in 2017, for completion in 2020, though as much has changed in the years since 2007 on the aviation market, questions are asked about whether the original consent should still be valid. Due to the inevitably increased noise from the 2nd runway, it is likely that around 40 houses (mainly in the St Margaret’s area 2-3km from the airport) would be bought by the airport, and negotiations are planned. Triple glazed window insulation will probably also be suggested for hundreds of other properties including schools. A spokeswoman for the St Margaret’s Concerned Residents Group said the affected 30 home owners in her association are devastated but have no choice. The airport has assessed the level of noise necessitating house purchase based on 90 days of the airport’s busiest months from June to September. Residents, some of whom have been in the area for three generations, fear that a 2nd runway, with increasing frequency, growth in long haul services and more larger aircraft Dublin would compound the noise problem. The 40 homes are those affected now.  (There would be a whole lot more with a 2nd runway).

Click here to view full story…

See also

Heathrow rules out IAG using Dublin as a third runway

By Joel Lewin and Peggy Hollinger in London (Financial Times)

23.2.2015

Heathrow has dismissed suggestions that Dublin could act as a so-called third runway for International Airlines Group, a key argument in IAG’s contentious €1.4bn bid for Aer Lingus.

Advisers to the UK-based airline group have argued that it can expand Aer Lingus by redirecting some transatlantic passengers through Dublin airport, which would free up capacity at London’s congested hub for other routes.

But such arrangements would not relieve the pressure on Heathrow, said John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of the UK’s largest airport, which is campaigning to build a third runway.

“Dublin is a great airport, but if you look at what London needs — more long-haul connections to growing global markets, more export capacity — there is only one solution. To expand Heathrow. Dublin won’t do it, Gatwick won’t do it.”

British Airways, IAG’s flagship airline, is the largest carrier at Heathrow, which is operating at near full capacity on its two runways.

Aer Lingus is based at Dublin airport, which has one runway and, unlike Heathrow, some spare capacity. Gatwick, the UK’s second-largest airport, also has one runway, but wants permission to expand because it is busy at peak periods.

……..

full FT article at

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/17aec442-bb41-11e4-a31f-00144feab7de.html#axzz45SyYMNWg

.


 

Work to build Dublin 2nd runway could start in 2017 for completion in 2020

Dublin airport is to press ahead with building a 2nd main runway, resurrecting plans that were approved in August 2007 but then put on hold when Ireland was plunged into financial crisis after 2008. The 2 mile runway will be cost about €320 million (£258m) with work starting in 2017. It may be ready by 2020, to meet rising demand. Passenger numbers at Dublin are now back up to where they were before the recession, and although the airport is not yet at full capacity, it is congested at peak hours. There were around 25 million passengers in 2015. Passenger numbers are expected to rise further. Dublin to London is one of the world’s busiest international air routes, while the facility to pre-clear US immigration in Ireland has made Dublin popular with transatlantic travellers. Ireland cut is small charge of €3 on air tickets in 2013, while Northern Ireland continued to charge £13 in APD. Many people therefore travelled from Northern Ireland to Dublin, to save money. Ryanair has over 40% of the flights at Dublin backs the runway, as does IAG. Willie Walsh has said he might consider using Dublin more if Heathrow got a 3rd runway, and raised charges sharply. There are some conditions restricting night flights very slightly, (65 per night 11pm to 7am) with the 2nd runway.

Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »

Government decision expected soon, to allow Heathrow planning consent on ending Cranford agreement

Heathrow submitted a planning application in May 2013 for various additions to taxiways and other runway-associated infrastructure, to enable flights to take off towards the east, from the northern runway – after the ending of the Cranford Agreement in 2009. This was rejected in March 2014, and since then Heathrow appealed, and a planning enquiry took place in June 2015. The outcome should be announced imminently, maybe within weeks, with the Planning Inspector making his recommendation to the Government. Full runway alternation could halve the number of flights over Colnbrook during easterly operations, so this is welcomed by some. Those under the final approaches to the northern runway in areas such as Windsor, Datchet, Colnbrook and Poyle would see overflights reduce in total by 302, from 630 to 328 movements per day. However, there would be roughly 35,000 extra flights a year over Cranford, rather than from the southern runway. The Inspector recommended that, if the planning application is approved, there should be an insulation scheme for households that would otherwise only be entitled to relocation assistance.
.

 

Decision on Cranford Agreement appeal expected soon!

 6 APRIL, 2016 (Colnbrook Views)

 

Residents could soon see a significant reduction in the number of flights over Colnbrook and Poyle if the Government, as expected, finds in favour of Heathrow in its long-running attempt to take advantage of the scrapping of the Cranford Agreement in 2009.

Full runway alternation could halve the number of flights over Colnbrook during easterly operations.

It may have taken a staggering SEVEN YEARS to get to this point, but a decision on the ‘practical ending’ of the Cranford Agreement that heavily distorts the balance of departures between east and west of the airport, to the distinct disadvantage of Colnbrook residents, could be imminent.

While a decision was originally expected as early as August 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government has been seeking comments from affected groups requesting comments on the Inspector’s key recommendation that, supposing the Secretary of State was minded to allow the appeal, that an additional condition would be necessary to ensure that an insulation scheme is made available to those households who would otherwise only be entitled to relocation assistance.

The Parish Council was contacted to this end and councillors discussed the matter at  a meeting a fortnight ago.  Cllr Hood proposed that the parish write to reinforce the points made in a previous letter to the Inspector in November 2014 – namely that the Parish is happy for the appeal to be allowed subject to mitigation measures for properties that would be affected. This was seconded by Cllr Smith and agreed unanimously by the nine councillors present. Clerk Katy Jones was instructed to respond to the Robert Putnam from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The latest development follows a separate round of consultation between the main stakeholders in February on compensation proposals advanced by the Department.  It suggests that a final decision could now be just weeks away.

The Cranford Agreement. A verbal agreement made 60 years ago that restricted planes from taking off towards the east, from the northern runway, over Cranford village. On easterly operations, planes are therefore forced to take off on the southern runway, and all planes land on the northern runway.  The agreement was scrapped in 2009 but the lack of infrastructure to enable take offs from the northern runway has meant no real change in practice.  Hillingdon Council, as expected, refused planning permission for new taxiways in 2014 and a long-running appeal by Heathrow (APP/R5510/A/14/2225774) was launched in September that year.  The appeal was heard by way of a three week Public Inquiry in June 2015.

In January there were reports that the delay in a decision was due to debate over compensation, including relocation assistance.  The Government was understood to favour offering alternatives to those households affected to allow those who want to remain the option of having noise insulation installed rather than being forced to leave.

The ending of the Cranford agreement would mean less noise for some areas, but more for others, as Hillingdon itself noted in its consideration of the impact of ending Cranford:  

“For some communities (such as Windsor, Colnbrook and Hatton) during prolonged periods of easterly operations this results in several days of overflight without any respite and for others (such as Old Windsor, Stanwell Moor and Cranford) unexpected periods of relief.”

While neither Slough Borough Council nor Colnbrook Parish Council chose to participate directly in the inquiry the impact of ending the Cranford Agreement would be substantial for Colnbrook.

During easterly operations, areas under the final approaches to the northern runway such as Windsor, Datchet, Colnbrook and Poyle, would see overflights reduce in total by 302, from 630 to 328 movements per day.

Specifically the appeal relates to the creation of a new hold area at the western end of the northern runway, the construction of new access and exit taxiways and the construction of a five metre high acoustic noise barrier to the south of Longford Village.

It Heathrow wins the appeal, and the work is done, there could be roughly 35,000 extra flights a year over Cranford (but no increase in the overall 480,000 flights per year at Heathrow).

In spite of its inherent unfairness HACAN has campaigned against scrapping Cranford on the basis that it makes dual operations possible.

http://www.colnbrook.info/decision-on-cranford-agreement-appeal-expected-soon/

.

.


Public inquiry into the ending of the “Cranford Agreement” to start on 2nd June and last 3 weeks

The Cranford Agreement was made in the 1950s, to ensure planes cannot take off from Heathrow’s northern runway, to the east, except in exceptional circumstances. That protected Cranford when there are easterly winds. However, it has meant that on easterly operations all take offs are from the southern runway, and all landings on the northern – hitting Windsor hard. Ending the Cranford Agreement would give Windsor residents more respite from the noise. Though the Agreement was formally ended in 2010, Heathrow needed to make changes in access and exit taxiways off the northern runway and consent is needed from Hillingdon Council. They have refused permission (on noise and air quality grounds), but the issue is now going to a public inquiry that starts on 2nd June.  It is likely to last for 3 weeks. The Heathrow plans needing planning consent are also the creation of a new ‘hold area’ at the western end of the northern runway, and the construction of a 5 metre high acoustic noise barrier to the south of Longford Village.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/05/public-inquiry-into-the-ending-of-the-cranford-agreement-to-start-on-2nd-june-and-last-3-weeks/

.


Compensation debate delays government decision on taxiway works to allow end to Cranford agreement

The Government is still considering Heathrow’s appeal over taxiway works needed to enable more departures over Cranford.  The taxiway works are needed to enable scheduled easterly take-offs from the northern runway, which were previously banned under the Cranford Agreement. This verbal agreement was made 60 years ago, that planes would not take off towards the east, from the northern runway. On easterly operations, planes all therefore take off on the southern runway, and all planes land on the northern runway. The Cranford Agreement was ended by the government in 2009. But though Heathrow can have a small number of take offs from the northern runway, it needs to do taxiway work, in order to use it fully. Hillingdon Council has refused permission for this work, partly due to air pollution fears, and hence the Heathrow appeal.  It Heathrow wins the appeal, and the work is done, there could be roughly 35,000 extra flights a year over Cranford (but no increase in the overall 480,000 flights per year at Heathrow). The ending of the Cranford agreement would mean less noise for some areas, but more for others. The delay is due to debate over compensation, help with relocation, or insulation for affected householders.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/01/compensation-debate-delays-government-decision-on-taxiway-works-to-allow-end-to-cranford-agreement/

 

Read more »

Dublin Airport may buy 40 homes, already badly affected by noise, in bid to step up 2nd runway plans

Dublin airport was given consent for a 2nd runway in 2007, but due to the recession it was not started. There are now plans to start work in 2017, for completion in 2020, though as much has changed in the years since 2007 on the aviation market, questions are asked about whether the original consent should still be valid. Due to the inevitably increased noise from the 2nd runway, it is likely that around 40 houses (mainly in the St Margaret’s area 2-3km from the airport) would be bought by the airport, and negotiations are planned. Triple glazed window insulation will probably also be suggested for hundreds of other properties including schools.  A spokeswoman for the St Margaret’s Concerned Residents Group said the affected 30 home owners in her association are devastated but have no choice. The airport has assessed the level of noise necessitating house purchase based on 90 days of the airport’s busiest months from June to September.  Residents, some of whom have been in the area for three generations, fear that a 2nd runway, with increasing frequency, growth in long haul services and more larger aircraft Dublin would compound the noise problem. 
.

 

 

Comments from a resident affected by Dublin airport noise:

“The residents can’t listen to the news (on the TV). They have to turn
the volume up … Nobody is outside walking or just out. That was a
vibrant community. Previously, people would be out with the dog or
in their garden. That does not happen. …. It is very negative … If you
are having a conversation with someone at the gate you have to stop.
You are talking about every couple of minutes, but it’s particularly in
the summer time.”

 

Dublin flight path residents tell of noise exposure as second runway talks due

8.4.2016 (Belfast Telegraph)

Dublin airport and cottages

Talks are planned on limiting the noise impact of a second runway at Dublin Airport. 

People living under flight paths at Dublin Airport have revealed their daily nightmare as negotiations are planned on limiting the noise impact of a second runway.

Aviation chiefs have offered to buy 40 homes, believed to be in the St Margaret’s area 2-3km from the airport, ahead of the planned 320 million euro expansion in 2020.

While that deal is expected to stay on the table for a year, insulation, potentially involving triple glazed windows, will also be suggested for hundreds of other properties including schools. [This, of course, is not effective if you want to have windows open, or if you want to use your garden, or  be outside.  AW comment].

Helena Merriman, spokeswoman with the St Margaret’s Concerned Residents Group who has lived in the area for 40 years, said the 30 home owners in her association are devastated but have no choice.

“We are devastated that our homes are affected but we have to work with the airport and the planning authorities to come to an agreement,” she said.

“You can’t stop progress.”

Aviation chiefs identified houses for purchase by assessing exposure to noise from planes over 90 days of the airport’s busiest months from June to September.

Some of the homes worst affected by current flight paths are the Newtown Cottages in St Margaret’s.

“Under the existing runway and flight path, if you stand there you can’t have a conversation in your garden,” she said.

“The residents can’t listen to the news. They have to turn the volume up.

“Nobody is outside walking or just out. That was a vibrant community. Previously, people would be out with the dog or in their garden. That does not happen.

“It is very negative.

“If you are having a conversation with someone at the gate you have to stop. You are talking about every couple of minutes, but it’s particularly in the summer time.”

Residents, some of whom have been in the area for three generations, fear that a second flight path, increasing frequency, growth in long haul services and the number of larger aircraft flying in and out of Dublin would compound the problem.

“We are not 100% sure of that at the moment,” Ms Merriman said.

Dublin Airport wants to challenge two conditions from the original planning permission.

They include a ban on take-offs or landings on the new runway from 11pm to 7am, affecting two of the busiest hours of the day, and restricting the average number of flights during those night time hours to 65, even though the airport is already operating 99.

On the coastal side of the airport, Portmarnock and its population of nearly 9,000 people are also deeply affected by the existing flight path.

Pat Suttle, chairman of the local community association, said the biggest problem was agreeing when flights should be allowed to operate when the second runway is built.

“Reasoned discussions bring agreements. I’m more into reasoned discussion than guerilla warfare,” he said.

Mr Suttle described the impact of being so close to planes on their final approach to Dublin – about 6km from the airport and a minute and a half from touchdown.

“You can nearly see the scrapes on the tyres of the landing wheels,” he said.

“The noise is very, very intrusive.”

Mr Suttle warned that questions may be asked about using a planning permission that is nine years old in an industry that changes rapidly.

“More than likely we are going to have flights from Beijing, New Delhi, Singapore, South America – the whole scene has changed. What time do the people on those flights want to land?” he said.

“Noise that is turning on and turning off every three minutes, that type of noise is extremely disruptive, extremely disruptive to sleep. During the day it is probably tolerable but at night it is not.

“There is also how this will affect schools.”

The Portmarnock Community Association meets airport chiefs on Monday and the St Margaret’s group will meet them separately to open negotiations on the buying of homes, insulation proposals and limiting flights.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/republic-of-ireland/dublin-flight-path-residents-tell-of-noise-exposure-as-second-runway-talks-due-34610572.html


Dublin airport plan layout

Dublin Airport bosses offer to buy homes in bid to step up second runway plans

7.4.2016  (Belfast Telegraph)

Dublin Airport chiefs have offered to buy at least 40 homes as they push ahead with plans for a second runway by 2020.
Aviation bosses said the deal for homeowners worst affected by noise and flight paths will be kept on the table for at least one year.

The €320 million runway project was first given the green light in 2007 and management is now examining options to reverse tough planning restrictions on take-offs and landings between 11pm and 7am.

Forty homes suffering the greatest noise disruption have already been identified and another set of homes close to the airport will be offered specialist insulation.

Meetings have been arranged with residents’ associations from Portmarnock and St Margaret’s to assess demand.

“We are going to work very closely with the residents,” a spokeswoman for the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said.

“There is a number of mitigating measures which we put forward as part of the planning application back in 2007. We will be honouring that.”

The cost for the home buy-up scheme has not been estimated but the DAA said it would pay “full market value” based on independent assessments.

The 3,110 metre runway will be built 1.6km north of the existing main runway and airport bosses estimate it will help create 31,000 jobs over two decades.

The DAA said compulsory purchase orders will not be used in the expansion as the airport secured the necessary land bank in the 1970s when the idea was first floated.

Aviation chiefs identified houses for purchase by assessing exposure to noise from planes in homes and schools.

Tests were carried out during the day and night along places at the same height over 90 days of the airport’s busiest months from June to September.

They were recorded on contours on a map and took into account the types of aircraft, the flight paths and other factors.

Areas hit by noise of 63 decibels will be offered insulation and people in homes affected by 69 decibels will be offered relocation.

The DAA said the scheme was in line with international practice.

The Portmarnock Residents’ Association is meeting airport bosses on Monday for talks on the expansion plans and the potential buy-outs and insulation offers.

Kevin Toland, DAA chief executive, said the airport’s runway infrastructure is currently at capacity during peak hours.

“We are very conscious of balancing the national and business needs with those of our local communities and we will continue to work closely with our neighbours in relation to this project,” Mr Toland said.

Conditions three and five of the original planning permission would severely reduce future operational capacity of the airport at key periods.

They include a ban on take-offs or landings on the new runway from 11pm to 7am, which would affect two of the busiest hours of the day – 6am-7am for departures and 11pm to midnight for arrivals.

The second condition restricted the average number of take-offs and landings at the airport between 11pm and 7am to 65.

At the time the average was already 72 and it is now 99, meaning flights would be cut by one third during the eight night-time hours if the runway is built under the current planning order.

“It’d be akin to putting a lane on the M50 and not being allowed to use it,” the spokeswoman said.

The entire project was put on hold in 2008 because of the recession.

Construction is now scheduled to start in 2017 and about 1,200 people will work on the building project.

It is billed as the key expansion needed to cement Dublin as a North Atlantic hub for long-haul operations, an idea repeatedly floated by International Airlines Group when it was buying Aer Lingus.

Passenger numbers recovered significantly as the economy has begun to improve and last year was the busiest in the airport’s history, with 25 million people passing through.

The DAA said passenger numbers continue to grow strongly this year, with double-digit growth recorded in January and February.

It said almost 50 new routes and services have been added to schedules in the last two years, along with significant increases in capacity on a number of existing routes and nine new airlines operating at Dublin.

Mr Toland said a second operating runway has the potential to open up connections to a range of long-haul destinations, particularly Asia, Africa and South America.

“The north runway will significantly improve Ireland’s connectivity, which plays a critical role in growing passenger numbers and sustaining the future economic development of Ireland,” he said.

Paschal Donohoe, acting Transport Minister, said the runway was a vital piece of infrastructure that would support Ireland’s continuing economic recovery.

“It has the potential to create thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly, over the coming years,” he said.

“In recent years, Dublin Airport has experienced a strong and sustainable return to growth. However, in order to capitalise on this growth and sustain it into the future, we need to put in place the appropriate airport infrastructure.”

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions warned the runway project must not become a vehicle for bogus self-employment and tax evasion in the construction sector.

Trade union official Fergus Whelan said: “Forcing individual workers to pretend they are independent contractors only benefits bad construction employers. Workers lose their rights and entitlements and the state loses tax revenue.”

The congress also called for adequate apprentice numbers to be employed.

Elsewhere, the Green Party said people in Portmarnock and St Margaret’s who live below flight paths will be adversely affected.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/republic-of-ireland/dublin-airport-bosses-offer-to-buy-homes-in-bid-to-step-up-second-runway-plans-34606883.html

.


Work to build Dublin 2nd runway could start in 2017 for completion in 2020

Dublin airport is to press ahead with building a 2nd main runway, resurrecting plans that were approved in August 2007 but then put on hold when Ireland was plunged into financial crisis after 2008. The 2 mile runway will be cost about €320 million (£258m) with work starting in 2017. It may be ready by 2020, to meet rising demand. Passenger numbers at Dublin are now back up to where they were before the recession, and although the airport is not yet at full capacity, it is congested at peak hours. There were around 25 million passengers in 2015. Passenger numbers are expected to rise further. Dublin to London is one of the world’s busiest international air routes, while the facility to pre-clear US immigration in Ireland has made Dublin popular with transatlantic travellers. Ireland cut is small charge of €3 on air tickets in 2013, while Northern Ireland continued to charge £13 in APD. Many people therefore travelled from Northern Ireland to Dublin, to save money. Ryanair has over 40% of the flights at Dublin backs the runway, as does IAG. Willie Walsh has said he might consider using Dublin more if Heathrow got a 3rd runway, and raised charges sharply. There are some conditions restricting night flights very slightly, (65 per night 11pm to 7am) with the 2nd runway.

Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »

Work to build Dublin 2nd runway could start in 2017 for completion in 2020

.

An artist's impression of Dublin airport with a new north runway
An artist’s impression of Dublin airport, which was used by 25 million passengers last year, with the new £258m north runway. Photograph: DAA/PA

.

By , Transport correspondent – Guardian

A 3.1km (2 mile) runway will be constructed at a cost of €320m (£258m) by 2020 to meet rising demand. The Irish government said the new runway would create thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly, over the coming years.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2017, with about 1,200 people set to be directly employed.

Passenger numbers at the airport rose by 15% last year to surpass the level reached in 2008, before the economic downturn saw air travel fall away.

Dublin airport was awarded planning permission in August 2007, but the runway was later delayed. Ireland’s improving fortunes, as the fastest growing economy in the EU in the past two years, allied with cuts to Irish taxes on air travel in 2014, have seen demand surge again in Dublin.

A record 25 million passengers travelled in 2015 and the airport said numbers have grown by 17% in the first few months of 2016, compared with the same period last year.

Although the airport is not yet at full capacity, it is congested at peak hours and passenger numbers are expected to rise further. Dublin to London is one of the world’s busiest international air routes, while the facility to pre-clear US immigration in Ireland has made Dublin an increasingly attractive choice of departure for transatlantic travellers.

Ryanair, the largest airline in Ireland by passenger numbers, has its headquarters in Dublin and has ordered a new fleet of Boeing 737s with a view to further expansion. While Ryanair, which has a market share of more than 40% at Dublin, has been at loggerheads with the airport for years over its new terminal, T2, the airline is backing the new runway.

British Airways owner IAG, which acquired Aer Lingus last year, sees Dublin as having the potential to expand as a hub and has said it is “very much in favour” of the runway. However, with airlines potentially facing higher charges for new infrastructure, the IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh, has warned against allowing costs to rise.

Kevin Toland, the chief executive of the Dublin Airport Authority, said the north runway would “significantly improve Ireland’s connectivity, which plays a critical role in growing passenger numbers and sustaining the future economic development of Ireland”.

The airport is pressing ahead with the project despite conditions in its planning permission from 2007 that would reduce the current level of operations during night hours, from 11pm to 7am.  Planes would be banned from the north runway and total flights would be capped at 65 movements – less than two thirds of the current night-time traffic, on which no restrictions are presently imposed. The airport has described the conditions as “onerous” and Toland said he would look at how they could be addressed.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/07/dublin-airport-second-runway?CMP=twt_gu

.


 

Irish Republic to scrap air travel tax – which was only €3 (had been €2 and €10 till 2010)

The Irish government has announced that it will be scrapping its tax on air travel. At present there is a tax of just €3 per flight, and this will end in April 2014.  This has led to concerns about the potential impact on Northern Ireland’s airports, where there is still Air Passenger duty of £13 per passenger (€26 per return flight) for short haul flights (not for long haul flights).  Ryanair has immediately said it will increase its traffic at Irish airports by one million passengers a year – which is rather surprising, if the difference in tax from what it is now is just €3.  It is not thought likely that many people will travel from Northern Ireland to Dublin to save €20 – the trip there and back might cost more.  George Best Belfast City Airport said the move was “very unlikely to cause a stampede to Dublin for cheap flights”.  Stormont Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton, said the move by the Republic was “not really a surprise” and that it would be prohibitively expensive for Northern Ireland to match the cut. “The cost to the NI block grant and other public services would be significant – between £60 – £90 million a year,” he said.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2013/10/irish-republic-to-scrap-air-travel-tax-which-was-only-e3-had-been-e2-and-e10-till-2010/


 

[Feb 2014. Willie Walsh “said about a million people a year drive from Northern Ireland to Dublin to avoid the charge. The Republic charges €3 a passenger, a flight, but is abolishing the charge from April. In Northern Ireland, the APD charge is £13 for short haul, while the charge for long haul has been abolished.”

.

See also:

Willie Walsh keen to get 2nd Dublin runway, which has planning consent

Planning permission for a new east-west runway, 1.6 kilometres to the north and parallel to the existing main runway at Dublin airport was granted  in 2007 and remains valid till 2017.  However a new planning application may have to be lodged because the original permission contained 31 restrictive conditions including a requirement that no flights operate from the 2nd runway between 11pm and 7am. The airport’s busiest time is the hour between 6am and 7am so airlines say a ban before flights taking off then is “impractical.”  The runway cost has been estimated at  €300m.  The likelihood of it being built is considered higher now after the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus which includes plans to use Dublin airport to feed traffic from Europe to North America.  IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh wants the runway, saying (predictably) Dublin airport is currently at full capacity during peak hours, leading to “congestion and delays”. Mr Walsh says he was open to an agreement with Ryanair that would see it feed passengers to the Aer Lingus long-haul network, and an agreement could be reached by summer 2016.  The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is re-examining its proposals for a second runway as passenger numbers have risen to more than 21 million in 2014 and it expects a rise of 15% this year.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/11/willie-walsh-keen-to-get-2nd-dublin-runway-which-has-planning-consent/


 

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

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

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/12/willie-walsh-threatens-to-move-british-airways-to-form-a-base-in-dublin-to-avoid-paying-for-gold-plated-runway-plans/

.


 

More Northern Ireland residents using Dublin Airport

New figures from the Dublin Airport Authority show more than 500,000 Northern Ireland residents used Dublin Airport last year, a 15% increase on 2011. The number of Northern Ireland-based passengers using Dublin Airport has almost doubled since 2010 – the vast majority (70%) for holidays or leisure trips – and only 20% for business. The effect of Air Passenger Duty is not mentioned, as it is only £13 for short haul journeys, and has been removed from longer journeys from Northern Ireland.  The Irish flight tax is only €3 per flight (it was higher till 2011). Dublin airport says the new road network has made travelling from Northern Ireland to Dublin faster and easier. In 2011 Dublin airport had around 18.7 million passengers, Belfast International had about 4.1 million and Belfast City airport around 2.4 million.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2013/03/dublin/


 

Read more »

Teddington Action Group find evidence of slower rates of climb of large planes from Heathrow

The Teddington Action Group, formed by communities in the area affected by the noise of Heathrow take-offs towards the east, have been suffering from planes that climb particularly slowly.  TAG have done research to show that many planes taking off from Heathrow have some of the lowest lowest climbing rates of any airport in the world. (For example, at 12km from “start of roll,” an A380 at 2,200 feet, while at Dubai at 3,900 feet. Or a 777 at 1,600 ft at Heathrow and 3,100 feet at Chicago). The result is more noise from those under Heathrow flight paths. There are required minimum rates of take-off set out in the Heathrow Airport (Noise Abatement Requirements) Notice 2010. The requirements are that planes climb to 1,000 feet by 6.5 kilometres from the “start of roll”. Once they reach 6.5 kilometres from start of roll, planes are required to climb at a rate of not less than 4% or 1 in 25. But these rates of climb are so low and out of date that even a World War II Lancaster Bomber fully loaded could make that. TAG wants the regulations to be changed so that all aircraft must attain at least 2,500’ [up from 1,000’] by 6.5 kilometres from start of roll; and that thereafter all aircraft must keep climbing at a rate of at least 12% [up from 4%] until 6,000’ [up from 4,000’]
.

 

Teddington TAG ask:  Are Low Flying Planes at Heathrow Causing Us Harm?

http://www.teddingtonactiongroup.com/  10 page report – below is just the first section ….

4.4.2016 (Teddington Action Group)
The answer is a resounding YES!

Planes using Heathrow have some of the lowest flying and lowest climbing rates of any airport in the world and as a result cause more noise pollution and more damaging climate changing gases than are necessary. Complaints have soared by over 1,500%1 and numerous
protest groups have sprung up. This is nothing to do with “NIMBYism”. The impetus for protest is because Heathrow flight path usage changes have put people in a completely different position than before, without any discussion, compensation or indeed any explanation.

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) have described it as “One day, you wake up and overnight bulldozers have turned your road into a motorway with car after car rushing past your house”.

There are required minimum rates of take-off at Heathrow set out in the Heathrow Airport London (Noise Abatement Requirements) Notice 2010. The requirements are that planes climb to 1,000 feet by 6.5 kilometres from the point at which they start their take off run or “start of roll”. Once they reach 6.5 kilometres from start of roll, aeroplanes are required to climb at a rate of not less than 4% or 1 in 25. The trouble is that these rates of climb are so low and out of date that even a World War II Lancaster Bomber fully loaded could make that.

We in the Teddington Action Group have taken details from both WebTrak and Flight Aware. WebTrak is preferred by Heathrow and, following an audit from NLR Netherland Aerospace Centre, is stated to be 99% accurate. However, WebTrak is not available at all airports. We have therefore used both sources. 

According to Flight Aware, Heathrow is right at the bottom of the league table in getting its planes up into the air and on to an altitude that gives residents on the ground an acceptable level of noise. WebTrak shows measurements as aircraft climb. Taking heights of planes measured through Web Trak ateither 12 kms from start of roll or 9 kms from point of take-off, the results again show Heathrow occupying the bottom position of international airports for rates of climb.

Prior to May 2014, flights of heavier aircraft were much higher. We have recorded various planes at heights substantially greater than after early June 2014. Heathrow conducted its own investigation by a company called PA Knowledge, which concluded that heights of planes on departure had reduced and showed one plane flying recently as low as 1,423’ by Swan Island (TW1 4RP), which is exactly 12 kilometres from start of roll. Even large planes can climb to 4,500’ by that point, making a fraction of the noise on the ground.

…………. and there is a lot more detail at

Are Low Flying Planes causing us harm_longer version TAG April 2016

.


 

 

See earlier:

Teddington Action Group show – from Heathrow report – that they are now suffering more aircraft noise

Residents in Twickenham and Teddington have been aware of greatly increased aircraft noise from Heathrow, over the past year. However, Heathrow have for months insisted that the noise has not increased. Now an independent report commissioned and paid for by Heathrow, by PA Consulting has shown that the residents are right.  Examining data between November 2011 and May 2015, the report confirms that planes – especially the heavier, noisier types – are flying lower than previously over the area, in greater numbers and concentrated within flight paths. Also that the periods of greatest disruption are increasingly late at night and early in the morning. Rather than being associated with the 2014 Flight Path Trials, which saw record numbers of noise complaints from residents, the report states that these developments merely reflect the general trend of fleet development and air traffic movements. TAG say they have more of the noisiest long haul planes flying over lower than before, sometimes at little more than 2,000 feet in Teddington and 1,400 feet in Twickenham.  Worryingly, if this disruption stems from new flight trends, it is only likely to get worse, and for many other areas overflown by Heathrow planes.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/teddington-action-group-show-from-heathrow-report-that-they-are-now-suffering-more-aircraft-noise/

.

.

.

 

Read more »

On final day of public inquiry, HACAN East wins concession on noise insulation for residents, if expansion allowed

On the last day – 5th April – of the Public Inquiry into London City Airport’s expansion plan, local residents group HACAN East won an important concession. This requires Newham Council to hold a council meeting each year to explain how it is overseeing City Airport’s commitment to provide sound insulation for local residents, if the expansion plans are approved. In the past Newham Council has not ensured done this. The result of the Inquiry is expected to be known in the summer. The Planning Inspector will make a recommendation to the Government, which will make a final decision on permission. If the airport does expand, it will build a new taxiway to accommodate larger planes. HACAN East is opposed to the expansion, but relieved that Newham Council will be held publicly accountable for enforcing the airport’s commitments. In its closing statement, HACAN East repeated its concerns about the insufficient noise mitigation measures promised to communities living within the 66db, 63db and 57db LAeq contours; the lack of any new measures to assist those outside the 57db LAeq contour; and the the absence of any work to assess the cumulative impact of London City and Heathrow aircraft on the many communities overflown by both airports. 
.

 

 

RESIDENTS GROUP WINS CONCESSION AT CITY AIRPORT EXPANSION PUBLIC INQUIRY

5.4.2016 (HACAN East press release)

On the last day of the Public Inquiry into London City Airport’s expansion plan, local residents group HACAN East won an important concession, requiring Newham Council to hold a council meeting each year to explain how it is overseeing City Airport’s commitment to provide sound insulation for local residents, if the plans are approved.

John Stewart, Chair of HACAN East, said: ”This is an important concession. In the past, Newham Council has not ensured that City Airport fulfilled all its promises to provide agreed insulation for local people.”

The Inquiry closed on 5 April and the result is expected to be known in the summer [1]. The Planning Inspector will make a recommendation to the Government, who will make a final decision to either grant or refuse permission for the Airport to expand.

If City Airport is allowed to expand, it will build a new taxiway to allow larger planes to use the airport. HACAN East is opposed to the expansion, but welcomed the decision that, if approval is granted, Newham Council will be held publicly accountable for enforcing City Airports commitments to provide better sound insulation for residents.

Ends.

Notes:

HACAN East’s closing statement to the Inquiry. http://static1.squarespace.com/static/56507de4e4b018da2a5ce870/t/5703a618ab48deec980d1034/1459856921310/HACAN+East+Closing+Statement.pdf

For more information

Rob Barnstone: robert.barnstone@outlook.com; 07806 947050

John Stewart: johnstewart2@btconnect.com; 020 7737 6641


 

HACAN East’s Closing Statement:

In our closing statement we address six relevant considerations for the Secretaries of State and the Inspector:

• The insufficient noise mitigation measures promised to those communities living within the 66db, 63db and 57db LAeq contours, as set down in the Section 106
• The lack of any new measures in this application to directly assist those outside the 57db LAeq.
• The absence of any work done to assess the cumulative impact of London City and Heathrow aircraft on the many communities overflown by both airports.
• The real doubts that still remain about the size of the Public Safety Zone that would result from expansion.
• The impact of expansion on the Blue Ribbon Network
• The inadequacy of the consultation processes including Newham Council’s oversight of it.

The document then goes into each of those in detail. …….

……..
Overall Conclusion

7.1 In conclusion, we believe the evidence has not been put forward which would allow the Secretaries of State to approve this application. Indeed, we would argue that parts of the application are contrary to both the Government’s aviation policy and the London Plan and thus it should be rejected. But, if this application is approved, it should be accompanied by
full-proof conditions to ensure all the planning agreements and section 106 planning agreements are fully implemented.

.


See earlier:

At London City Airport Inquiry, HACAN East calls for noise insulation to match the best in Europe

HACAN East, the resident-led group opposing expansion of London City Airport called for insulation offered by City Airport to match the best in Europe. The call came during the opening week of the Public Inquiry into the airport’s expansion plans. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN East, said: “If expansion goes ahead the number of people overflown by City Airport planes will be higher than that of any airport in the UK, other than Heathrow and Manchester. Airports like Frankfurt or Charles de Gaulle in Paris are twice as generous with the insulation schemes offered to residents as London City.” City Airport wants to enlarge its infrastructure to allow use by larger aircraft. Newham Council gave permission for the airport to expand in February 2015, but this was overturned by Boris Johnson on noise grounds the following month. The airport appealed against his decision. The result is this public inquiry. Lawyers for the Mayor argued in the opening week of the Inquiry that City Airport should compensate more people than it is prepared to do, if its expansion is allowed. HACAN East said they are concerned about the residents and communities outside the 57LAeq 16hr contour. Many of these people experience significant aircraft noise, but there is nothing in the airport’s application to deal with those impacts

Click here to view full story…

London City Airport appeal on expansion starts 15th March – blog by Alan on why Hacan East are fighting for the local communities

Newham Council granted planning approval in February for London City Airport’s plans for expansion, allowing an increase in the number of flights from 70,000 per year to 111,000 and almost double the number of passengers, up to 6 million a year by 2023. In March 2015 Boris Johnson refused the plans, on noise grounds. The airport appealed, and the hearing starts on 15th March. Alan Haughton, from the local campaign group Hacan East will be speaking at the appeal, against the airport’s plans, representing the interests of the local community. Alan has worked for many years, to oppose the high handed manner in which the airport (owned till very recently by GIP, as a means to make quick, huge, profit) rides roughshod over the interests of local people. In a blog, Alan explains why he and Hacan East have worked so hard, unpaid, to give their community a voice. Alan says: “What we see happening at London City Airport is happening across London. Developers and businesses, working closely with Local Councils, are forcing their will on Communities for profit. … We attend the Planning Enquiry with no QC, no legal representation, no ‘experts’. We can’t afford those. … For me though, it’s about justice, about community, about local residents and community groups standing together to defend our local environment.”

Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »