Defra condemned by Clean Air in London for proposals scrapping local air pollution monitoring

Air pollution is a key problem for Heathrow, making the addition of a 3rd runway very hard to justify – or to fit within legal air quality limits. The main pollutant with which Heathrow has problems is NOX – nitrogen oxides, the  majority of which comes from road traffic. The actual proportion from aircraft, airport vehicles and other road vehicles is very difficult to establish. The other key air pollutants are PM10 and PM2.5 – tiny particles which lodge in the lungs and can cause long term health problems. DEFRA has responsibility for air quality monitoring. It put out a consultation on streamlining some air pollution  monitoring, on 19th December (finishes 30th January). The aim is to no longer require local authorities to monitor 4 pollutants, and to combine monitoring of PM10s with PM2.5s. The group, Clean in London says “DEFRA’s plans would result inevitably in the scrapping of thousands of local monitoring sites that have taken a decade to put in place and probably all of them within a few months or years.”  Also that “Alarmingly, local authorities are being told to make use of Defra’s tiny national monitoring network (i.e. 137 monitors, few of which measure two or more of NO2, PM2.5 and PM10).”
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Details of the DEFRA consultation below

The main consultation document is  https://consult.defra.gov.uk/communications/laqm-review-next-steps/supporting_documents/LAQM%20consultation.pdf

 


Defra condemned for proposals scrapping local air pollution monitoring

by   (Clean Air For London)

Consultation on proposals to improve local air quality management (LAQM) in England

Defra is proposing modified Option 3 from its 2013 consultation on LAQM (now Option 1), that was rejected by over 18,000 people and organisations, and to scrap ‘Further assessments’ under ‘Business as usual’.  It is unclear whether Defra also intends (catastrophically) to scrap the duty on local authorities to review the need for continued assessment and reporting on objectives that have been met e.g. PM10

Defra’s plans would result inevitably in the scrapping of thousands of local monitoring sites that have taken a decade to put in place and probably all of them within a few months or years

Buried in the fine print, Defra admits that 38 of the UK’s 43 air quality zones will not be compliant with EU limit values for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) by 2015 with three zones (Birmingham, Leeds and London) unlikely to be able to comply with these limits until after 2030.  Meanwhile scientists are highlighting new and much larger mortality risks for NO2  

‘Clean Air in London’ rejects Defra’s proposed Option 1 and condemns the Consultation as the latest example in a string of systemic failures from a Government Department that is doing more to worsen air pollution than reduce it

– See more at: http://cleanair.london/legal/defra-condemned-for-proposals-scrapping-local-air-pollution-monitoring/#sthash.fBHuMrij.dpuf


Would be good if DEFRA can explain quite how councils will know where action is necessary on air pollution, unless there’s monitoring in place to show where quality is poor?


 

Clean Air in London says:

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Alarmingly, local authorities are being told to make use of Defra’s tiny national monitoring network (i.e. 137 monitors, few of which measure two or more of NO2, PM2.5 and PM10) and computer modelling that have been manipulated and used often by Defra to hide smog warnings and breaches of air pollution laws.

Only Defra’s 137 automatic monitoring stations across the UK would remain for NOx/NO2, PM2.5 and PM10 (with not many monitoring two or more pollutants) (together with a few other specialist monitors for other forms of air pollution) together with its computer modelling which is undertaken up to nine months after a calendar year end. Defra says LAs would be ‘encouraged to make use of national monitoring [and modelling]’.
2. Adding guidance on a PM5 role for local authorities (in pursuance of the Public Health Outcomes Framework air quality indicator to reduce fine particulate pollution) to reflect the public health impact of this pollutant

i. Defra says that most anthropogenic sources of PM2.5 derive from road transport (including tyre and break wear) and industrial processes and that up to half of PM2.5 is transboundary.

ii. Defra proposes two options (a) and (b). (a) would be to add a general role into LAQM guidance for LAs to have regard to PM2.5 when carrying out their air quality activities. (b) would be to add a role on PM2.5 to LAQM Regulations, for example the Stage 2 limit value of 20 micrograms per cubic metre annual mean to be achieved by 2020. Defra dismisses (b) in its own consultation. Laughably, Defra says “[Under] this modification LAs would not be tasked with reviewing and assessing PM2.5 at the local level, but implement or strengthen existing measures that can target PM2.5”.

iii. the Consultation states: “There is a degree of uncertainty regarding the extent to which LAs will add additional actions which have not already been prioritised by Directors of Public Health”. CAL is aware of only one local authority (City of London Corporation) that has prioritised PM2.5 in its Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Defra does however, helpfully list measures that LAs can take to reduce mobile and non-mobile sources of PM2.5.

iv. feebly, Defra states “Not only is it uncertain whether incorporating PM2.5 would lead to any additional action by LAs, it is also uncertain what actions they would decide to take”. It seems Defra has done no work on this issue since the previous consultation.

v. CAL’s only comment is that PM2.5 must be put at the heart of LAQM regulations, alongside NO2 and PM10 i.e. the opposite of Defra’s stated intention to reject even its limited inclusion in the Regulations or guidance.

– See more at: http://cleanair.london/legal/defra-condemned-for-proposals-scrapping-local-air-pollution-monitoring/#sthash.fBHuMrij.dpuf
Selective statements in Defra’s Impact Assessment include:
6. “As was proposed in the 2013 consultation, we would not expect local authorities to conduct their own monitoring/modelling of PM2.5 (which would represent a disproportionate cost for many) but instead make use of the data available via the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN), which is freely available via the UK-Air website.” AND “Currently there are approx. 75 AURN stations monitoring PM2.5 across the UK” (page 9, IA).

7. PM2.5 | “With the introduction of the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) and the move of public health responsibilities onto local authorities, those authorities responsible for Public Health will have need to investigate what measures are available to reduce this pollutant so as to reduce local health burdens where this has been identified as a priority.” (Page 11, IA).

– See more at: http://cleanair.london/legal/defra-condemned-for-proposals-scrapping-local-air-pollution-monitoring/#sthash.fBHuMrij.dpuf


Information on PM2.5 from Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Air Quality Strategy
2011–2020

Air quality management is a key priority for HAL [Heathrow Airport Ltd] and local air quality is one of the issues of concern to local residents and national stakeholders. The main pollutants of concern in the Heathrow area are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particles (measured as PM10 and PM2.5). The EU has specified concentration limits for these pollutants due to their impact on human health. Only NO2 exceeds the EU limit value in some local areas which requires HAL and other stakeholders to reduce emissions of
its precursor – oxides of nitrogen (NOX).

Particles (PM10 and PM2.5) are categorised in terms of their size. PM10 refers to particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 microns (µm) and PM2.5 is a sub-set of this, referring to particles of less than 2.5µm. PM10 and PM2.5 are produced from a wide range of materials and from many sources including vehicles, aircraft and boilers, brake and tyre wear, fires and construction.

As well as PM10, HAL also monitors the finer fraction PM2.5 at all four of its monitoring sites. Fig. 6 shows annual mean concentrations of PM2.5 measured at Green Gates, Oaks Road, Harlington and LHR2 in 2010 were less than half of the EU target of 25 µg/m3.

Review PM2.5 monitoring – We completed the review in 2009 and all HAL financed monitoring sites now measure PM2.5 as well as PM10.

Heathrow air pollution monitoring sites from Air Quality Strategy 2011 - 2020

More at
http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow/Downloads/PDF/air-quality-strategy_LHR.pdf


 

Information from DEFRA on PM2.5

What is Particulate Matter? What is PM2.5?

Particulate matter (PM) is a term used to describe the mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air.  It can be either human-made or naturally occurring. Some examples include dust, ash and sea-spray. Particulate matter (including soot) is emitted during the combustion of solid and liquid fuels, such as for power generation, domestic heating and in vehicle engines. Particulate matter varies in size (i.e. the diameter or width of the particle). PM2.5means the mass per cubic metre of air of particles with a size (diameter) generally less than 2.5 micrometres (µm). PM2.5 is also known as fine particulate matter  (2.5 micrometres is one 400th of a millimetre).

Health Effects of PM:

Inhalation of particulate pollution can have adverse health impacts, and there is understood to be no safe threshold below which no adverse effects would be anticipated [1].  The biggest impact of particulate air pollution on public health is understood to be from long-term exposure to PM2.5, which increases the age-specific mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular causes. Several plausible mechanisms for this effect on mortality have been proposed, although it is not yet clear which is the most important.  Exposure to high concentrations of PM (e.g. during short-term pollution episodes) can also exacerbate lung and heart conditions, significantly affecting quality of life, and increase deaths and hospital admissions. Children, the elderly and those with predisposed respiratory and cardiovascular disease, are known to be more susceptible to the health impacts from air pollution [2].  Potential mechanisms by which air pollution could cause cardiovascular effects are described in the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution (COMEAP) report“Cardiovascular Disease and Air Pollution” (2006) (PDF, 1.75MB, 215 pages).

Sources of PM2.5:

Human-made sources of PM2.5 are more important than natural sources, which make only a small contribution to the total concentration. Within UK towns and cities, emissions of PM2.5 from road vehicles are an important source. Consequently, levels of PM2.5 (and population exposure) close to roadsides are often much higher than those in background locations. In some places, industrial emissions can also be important, as can the use of non-smokeless fuels for heating and other domestic sources of smoke such as bonfires. Under some meteorological conditions, air polluted with PM2.5 from the continent may circulate over the UK – a condition known as the long range transportation of air pollution. Long range transport, together with pollution from local sources, can result in short term episodes of high pollution which might have an impact on the health on those sensitive to high pollution.

In addition to these direct (i.e. primary) emissions of particles, PM2.5 can also be formed from the chemical reactions of gases such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx: nitric oxide, NO plus nitrogen dioxide, NO2); these are called secondary particles. Measures to reduce the emissions of these precursor gases are therefore often beneficial in reducing overall levels of PM2.5.

Primary emissions of PM, the formation of secondary PM within the UK and long range transport of pollution from outside the UK all contribute to regional PM levels across the UK. Local primary emissions are also important in urban areas.

…. and there is more on PM2.5 from DEFRA at http://laqm.defra.gov.uk/public-health/pm25.html

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Toxic air monitors may be scrapped

Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor

28 December 2014 (Sunday Times)

Environmental groups accused the government of seeking to hide details of poor air quality.  Environmental groups accused the government of seeking to hide details of poor air quality

BRITAIN’S air pollution monitoring network could be dismantled under government plans to remove the obligation on councils to produce detailed reports on local air quality.

The proposal is contained in a consultation paper slipped out by Defra, the environment ministry, before Christmas.  [See below].  The main consultation document is  https://consult.defra.gov.uk/communications/laqm-review-next-steps/supporting_documents/LAQM%20consultation.pdf

Its stated intention is to reduce the regulatory burden but environmental groups and Labour accused the government of seeking to hide details of poor air quality in many cities.

“Sadly, the government’s response is that it doesn’t like the evidence so it wants to stop collecting data,” said Barry Gardiner, Labour’s environment spokesman.

Under the proposal, councils will no longer have to produce detailed assessments, especially those showing pollution hotspots, using a network of 10,500 monitors.

These monitors have helped to find more than 470 “air quality management areas” where nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or particulate pollution threaten people’s health.

If the use of council monitoring drops, as the paper predicts, more emphasis will be placed on Defra’s much smaller network of just 100 machines measuring NO2.

Defra said: “We are consulting on changes to reduce the administrative burden and allow councils to focus on taking action to improve air quality.”

@jonathan__leake

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/Environment/article1500722.ece

 


 

The DEFRA consultation

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/communications/laqm-review-next-steps/consult_view

 

Review of Local Air Quality Management (England) – regulatory and guidance changes

Overview

The purpose of this consultation is to invite views on our proposals to improve Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) delivery in England.  This is a follow-up consultation to one issued in July 2013.

This latest consultation contains a number of proposals to reduce regulatory and administrative burdens in line with commitments made under the Red Tape Challenge, and to improve the overall effectiveness of LAQM in dealing with current air quality  challenges.

The Consultation Document  is split into two parts:

(1) regulatory consultation on a statutory instrument to enable the removal of four redundant pollutants (Benzene; 1,3 Butadiene; Carbon Monoxide; and Lead) for local authority reporting purposes;

and (2) part two which provides an overview of non-regulatory changes such as streamlining of reporting processes and providing local authorities with a role to tackle PM2.5 (fine particulates) to be set out in statutory guidance.

Part two will be subject to a further, more detailed consultation in late 2015
A summary of  responses will be compiled based on comments submitted during the 6 week consultation period.   The consultation is aimed principally at air quality practitioners in England, but we want to hear views from as wide a range of interested parties as possible.

For more information, please scroll down to the ‘Related Documents’ section [below] for the latest consultation, impact assessment and statutory instrument.

More at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/communications/laqm-review-next-steps/consult_view

Consultation is Open

Runs from 19 Dec 2014 to 30 Jan 2015


DEFRA

“Preferred Option: The following objectives will be removed, for local authority reporting purposes, from the 2000 (2002 as amended) Air Quality (England) Regulations:

  • 1,3 Butadiene
  • Benzene
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Lead “

….”The aim being to reduce reporting burdens on local authorities to help focus  on those areas that required action without reducing levels of protection to human health or the environment. Monitoring at the national level would remain, enabling Government to take action if necessary…..”

and DEFRA say:

“…Many of the measures to tackle PM2.5 are measures that are already available to tackle PM10 or NOx – therefore the introduction of PM2.5 to LAQM [Local Air Quality Management]  may not result in different action being taken just to address that particulate, but from a strategic perspective, can support and strengthen the local authority business case for taking action overall and in making decisions on what specific measures to use.”

 

and DEFRA say:

….” Following the consultation in 2013 and further workshop in September 2014, Defra’s preferred approach to including PM2.5 in LAQM is through adding a requirement in statutory guidance to have regard to PM2.5 in carrying out their air quality functions. In doing so they will not be required, though they may choose, to carry out local monitoring and modelling but will be able to use national modelling and monitoring. ….”

Related Information

Links:

Consultations:

Related Documents

Audience:

  • Environmental campaigners ,
  • Government Departments,
  • Government Agencies,
  • Devolved Administrations,
  • Energy sector,
  • Ports and Harbour Authorities and Estuaries,
  • Environmental professional services ,
  • Local Authorities,
  • Walkers,
  • Environmental Health Officers

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Contact

Sean O’Byrne(Policy Advisor – Local Air Quality Management)Atmosphere & Noise0207 238 1674air.quality@defra.gsi.gov.uk

 

 

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Cardiff Airport consultation on planned concentrated RNAV flight paths

Cardiff Airport is now holding a consultation for all those potentially affected by changes to its flight paths. As with all other airports and airspace across the UK, RNAV ( aRea NAVigation ) is to be introduced, so planes can fly more accurate tracks, resulting in more concentrated flight paths. The existing Cardiff routes used by aircraft (termed “conventional” routes) rely on 1950s technology of ground based radio beacons. Now RNAV uses a combination of satellite and ground-based navigation technology which enables pilots to fly pre-determined, predictable arrival profiles.  Processes are underway at a European level to make modernisation of the route system a legal requirement for the UK and other European states by 2020. The CAA is planning to mandate that all operators will have to be RNAV 1 approved by November 2017, and then require RNAV routes to be introduced by winter 2019. The Cardiff consultation started on 15th December 2014 and ends on 20th March 2015 (another part of the document says 27th).  Email responses should be sent to: consultation@cwl.aero
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Cardiff Airport consultation on new routes using RNAV

Cardiff consultation document
In March 2013, Cardiff Airport was bought by the Welsh Government and a strategy has been implemented which addressed every aspect of the business
including a number of improvements to enhance the customer experience.

This consultation is part of our commitment to keep the local community informed of advances in technology which could impact on how aircraft navigate at Cardiff and other airports across the World.

Area Navigation (RNAV) is at the heart of new technology with the potential to streamline air traffic procedures, ultimately delivering fuel savings, reduced emissions and an improved noise environment for people on the ground.

While its full utilisation may be some years in the future we believe that RNAV, which uses satellite based navigation systems to ensure more reliable, repeatable and predictable flight paths, is worth investing in today. This document provides further details on the case for doing so, and explains the procedures involved.

This document describes the Cardiff Airport proposal to replicate, implement and eventually replace the current final approach routes into Cardiff Airport with more accurately defined routes utilising the improved capabilities of modern aircraft.

Section 2 explains what Area Navigation (RNAV) is, how it will be used, and its potential benefits. It also clarifies the scope of the consultation.

Section 3 explains why this consultation is required and lists the stakeholders with whom we are consulting.

Section 4 provides an overview of current operations at Cardiff Airport including diagrams illustrating the tracks taken by aircraft approaching the airfield.

Section 5 sets out the proposed RNAV routes, which are designed to replicate the current tracks as closely as possible.

Section 6 sets out environmental considerations.

Section 7 sets out how stakeholders should respond to the consultation and explains what will happen next.

The existing routes used by aircraft (termed “conventional” routes) rely on 1950s technology of ground based radio beacons. A well established and much more accurate form of navigation is aRea NAVigation (RNAV) which uses a combination of satellite and ground-based navigation technology to permit aircraft to follow a precisely defined path over the ground with far greater accuracy than is possible with conventional routes. This in turn enables pilots to fly pre-determined, predictable arrival profiles.

Aircraft today already use RNAV extensively to fly in our airspace, even though the existing conventional routes have not been specifically designed for its use. Processes are underway at a European level to make modernisation of the route system a legal requirement for the UK and other European states by 2020. This will require all member states, including the UK, to upgrade routes to the RNAV standards. This legislation will be enacted by UK mandates to be introduced by the Civil
Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA is planning to mandate that all operators will have to be RNAV 1 approved by November 2017, and then require RNAV routes to be introduced by winter 2019. Modernising our conventional routes is therefore mandatory and inevitable; this consultation concerns how we intend to achieve this at Cardiff Airport with minimal impact to our stakeholders.

By giving pilots a defined flight path from beginning to end they can plan a descent which avoids level segments, optimises power settings and speed in the descent, configures the aircraft for minimum noise, reduces fuel burn and keeps the aircraft higher over the ground for longer. Such operations are known as Continuous Descent Operations involving unbroken descent from cruising altitude to the runway.

The introduction of RNAV replications of the current procedures will enable more effective and reliable use of Continuous Descent Operations.

The aim of this proposed change is to build on these UK and European initiatives, utilising the latest navigation technology to enable modern aircraft to achieve the benefits mentioned above.

The proposal does not influence or change the number of aircraft able to use the airport and traffic numbers are not expected to increase as a consequence of the change.

Consultation

The purpose of this consultation is to obtain feedback from stakeholders who may be affected by or have an interest in this proposal. Cardiff Airport has spoken with the CAA on the consultation process and they have agreed that provided this airspace change proposal replicates the existing patterns of aircraft arriving at Cardiff Airport today and does not introduce any additional residents to aircraft noise or introduce new volumes of traffic, it is appropriate for the consultation process to include:

– The Cardiff Airport Consultative Committee which includes representatives of the local community and other organisations that have expressed an interest in the activities of the Airport;

– Local authorities in the neighbourhood of the airport or whose area of responsibility is overflown by the routes which are to be affected but who are not already represented on the Cardiff Airport Consultative Committee;  [The two local authorities being consulted are
Bristol City Council and Rhondda Cynon Taff County Council]

– Bristol City Council

– The Ministry of Defence;

– The airlines operating at Cardiff Airport; and

– Principal airspace users and stakeholders as represented on the National Air Traffic Management Advisory Committee (NATMAC).

[The only environmental group being consulted is the AEF  (Aviation Environment Federation].

The consultation follows the procedures set out in CAP 725 and the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Consultation. This consultation document has been prepared by Cardiff International Airport Limited with assistance from NATS.

The consultation period begins on 15th December 2014 and will run until 20 th March 2015. Details of how to respond and the next steps can be found in Section 7.

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Proposed RNAV Routes

The proposed RNAV approaches have been designed to replicate the current aircraft tracks as closely as possible in order to reduce additional impact to local residents. The proposed approaches are shown in broad context in Figure 8 [not copied here – but the black line] and then overlaid on the existing aircraft tracks in Figure 9. These approaches are defined by a series of waypoints; those identified as the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) and the Intermediate Fix (IF) being ‘fly-by’ points and the Final Approach Fix (FAF) being ‘fly-over’ points.

Aircraft will fly directly overhead a ‘fly-over’ point but will generally turn inside a fly-by way point, using it as a reference about which to make a turn.

Figure 9: Proposed RNAV Routes Overlaid on Existing Aircraft Tracks
cardiff RNAV proposed routes Jan 2015
And more details at

Cardiff airport consultation document

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How to respond

Email is the preferred response mechanism, although postal responses will be accepted and processed in the same way.

All responses should be titled RNAV Consultation and should state clearly in the first line on whose behalf the response is being made.

Responses must also state whether or not the respondent agrees to personal details being passed to the CAA, by amending the following text as appropriate:

I/We agree/do not agree that personal details contained within this response may be sent to the CAA as part of the Airspace Change Proposal.

 

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Responses should also include one of the three statements below:

–  I/We support the proposal for implementation of RNAV replications of approach routes at Cardiff Airport.

or
–  I/We object to the proposal for implementation of RNAV replications of approach routes at Cardiff Airport.

or
–  I/We have no objection to the proposal for implementation of RNAV replications of approach routes at Cardiff Airport.
Subsequent text should then substantiate the reasons for support or objection.
Please include contact details for use in the event of any queries relating to your response. The CAA requires all consultation material to be included in any formal submission. If you do not want your name and address details to be passed to the CAA, please ensure you opt out using the wording provided above.

Apart from providing details to the CAA, Cardiff Airport undertakes that personal details or content of responses and submission will not be disclosed to any third parties without prior permission.
This document can be viewed online
http://www.cardiff-airport.com/cardiff-airport-rnav-consultation-document/

Email responses should be sent to:
consultation@cwl.aero
Postal responses should be sent to:
RNAV consultation
Head of Airfield Ops
Cardiff AirportCF62 3BD

 

A report summarising responses to this consultation will be published on the Cardiff Airport web site shortly after the closing date. Respondents will be sent a link to a copy of this report using the contact details provided.

Taking all responses into consideration, Cardiff Airport will then submit a formal proposal for the implementation of RNAV approach replications including full details of all consultation responses and any related correspondence. The CAA will then review the proposal (which can take up to 17 weeks) and reach a regulatory decision.

If the proposal is approved, the implementation process could take a further 12 weeks.

This consultation is being conducted by Cardiff Airport but is overseen by the CAA’s Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG) to ensure compliance with the process set out in CAP 725 (see section 3).

 

If you have any comments on the way in which this consultation is being conducted, please contact:
Head of Business Management
Safety & Airspace Regulation Group
CAA House
45-49 Kingsway
London
WC2B 6TE

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Gatwick flight paths comment deadline to CAA by 5th Jan 2015 on PIR (Post Implementation Review)

Gatwick airport carried out a consultation on changes to its airspace at the end of 2013, finishing in January 2014. They then carried out another consultation in May 2014. Gatwick is required to allow time for people to comment and give their feedback on the impacts of proposed airspace changes. This is called a PIR (Post Implementation Review). The deadline is 5th January 2015. After that date, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) will review the comments – and the degree to which changes to flight paths have affected the public being overflown. The airspace changes are due to PRNAV (precision navigation) and PBN (performance based navigation) – meaning aircraft fly much more accurate routes than was possible before, and routes are also concentrated to be more narrow than before. People who have been adversely affected by flight path changes from aircraft using Gatwick are recommended to send in their comments again. (The CAA has not confirmed that they would consider earlier emails or letters). There is no specific consultation document or form to fill in. The address to email is  mark.swan.GatwickPIR@caa.co.uk  People need to not only write to the CAA, but copy this to their MP and to the DfT.
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Gatwick airport Airspace Change Consultation

Changes to how airspace is used at Gatwick are being considered by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Any information which members of the public have on the impact of the specifics of the Gatwick RNAV3 airspace change implemented in 2013 will be considered together with all the data collected for the purpose of carrying out the review. A PIR (Post Implementation Review) process begins 12 months after an airspace change has been implemented and in this case Gatwick is just commencing the phase of the process under which it must gather together all the relevant data to enable the CAA to review whether the airspace change has had the expected impact and benefits.

The CAA has confirmed therefore that if any information that GATCOM/the public have relevant to the impact of this airspace change is submitted to the CAA on or before Monday 5 January 2015 it will form part of the data that is considered as a whole under the PIR.

The CAA has set up a specific e-mail address as follows:
mark.swan.GatwickPIR@caa.co.uk

Emails sent to that address will receive an automated response confirming that the included information will be considered.  That e-mail address will not be able to receive e-mails after 5 January 2015.


CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) suggest people write something similar to –

‘I strongly urge you to action the permanent withdrawal of the P-RNAV routes and for air traffic to be reverted back to the previous system of NPRs. This is as a direct result of the significant detrimental impact that the P-RNAV has had on our quality of life and upon our community by concentrating the noise rather dispersing.’


 

Changes to how airspace is used at Gatwick are being considered by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Gatwick Airspace Consultation

The Gatwick Airspace consultation is part of a wider programme by the Government to deliver the UK’s future airspace strategy. The strategy aims to make use of modern aircraft technology, navigation systems and integration of airspace control across Europe to deliver improved efficiency and resilience for the aviation sector.

Performance Based Navigation

Performance based navigation (PBN, also referred to as P-RNAV and RNAV1) was introduced at Gatwick airport in November 2013 and became mandatory for all flights in May 2014.

The greater accuracy of performance based navigation has had the effect of concentrating flights along much narrower routes than has been the case in the past.

Additional airspace changes were consulted on earlier in 2014, but have now been deferred by Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) and the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) pending detailed work on final route options and the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise.


 

Take action now:

Write / email Mark Swan at the CAA and copy to the Department for Transport and your MP.

Complain to Gatwick Airport about specific flights that cause an unacceptable level of disturbance.

• Make sure to include your post code and/or address.

 • Ask that your comments be included as part of the CAA’s Post Implementation Review.

 • Clarify that you are referring to Gatwick air traffic.

 • Give reasons why you think these changes are a bad idea.

The group Plane Wrong say:

http://www.planewrong.co.uk/write-again/4587483221

Due to the strength of protest and opposition, Gatwick have now cancelled some of the proposed new flight paths, but not all of them, and crucially NOT the one over Brockham – pressure must be maintained on Gatwick airport and the CAA so please email and write to make your voice heard using the links below. ALthough the current noise levels are lower than they were in the summer, that is because Gatwick are now operating the winter timetable and the number of flights is therefore considerably lower. If we don’t complain, noise levels and get these routes changes, noise levels will revert in the Spring to the same level as they have been during this year.

Gatwick is currently analysing phase 2 consultation responses so additional local support at this stage is crucial.

Our local MP, Sir Paul Beresford has asked for community support as follows:

“It would be very helpful if you would personally write to the CAA. Please succinctly explain the effect of the noise pollution and ask that the flight path be returned to previous. The name and address of the CAA contact is

Mr Mark Swan, Director of Airspace Policy, External Information Services,

Civil Aviation Authority,

Gatwick Airport South,

West Sussex

RH6 0YR

or email   mark.swan.GatwickPIR@caa.co.uk


 

Please also copy your letter to the

Mrs Anne Weston (UK Airspace Policy, DfT)

Department for Transport,

Zone 1/26,

Great Minster House,

33 Horseferry Road,

London SW1P 4DR

or email: contactdft@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Plane Wrong says:

Both the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) maintain that these [the flight path changes during 2014] changes are insignificant, as highlighted in the 2012 consultation documentation, the CAA determination letter, and subsequent correspondence by Mark Swan and Stewart Wingate.
However, this is in direct contrast to the very significant impact of the changes to people and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Fundamentally, there appears to be a disconnect between the theoretical impact, plotted in maps, bar charts and tables, that has informed the CAA decision process, and the reality of what is being experienced on a human scale.
1. More people are exposed to aircraft noise by this change
2. Legacy arrangements have been disregarded with high levels of newly affected people
3. Over-flight over the Surrey Hills AONB at low altitude should be avoided, not discouraged. There has, however, been a considerable increase in over-flight of the Surrey Hills AONB at low altitude
4. No account has been taken of the topography of the land
5. The importance of preserving tranquil areas has been ignored
6. The noise impact is unacceptably high in a rural area
7. No assessment of the ecological impact of concentrated routes on the AONB, Leith Hill SSSI and other rural areas has been undertaken
8. New concentrated routes have been introduced with little consultation and little research
9. There are fundamental flaws in the Airspace Change Proposal Environmental Assessment –
January 2013
10. GAL failed to explain correctly the impacts of the R26LAM change to the CAA
11. The reasons given for allowing the Route 4 change in the decision letter of the Director of Airspace Policy, reveal the extent to which GAL have sought to play down the impact of the change
12. The objective of achieving Continuous Climb by the introduction of RNAV technology is not being met on Routes 3 and 4
13. A redistribution of flight departures across all the westerly departure routes should be considered
14. It is clear that the series of consultations undertaken since 2012 have been inadequate and may have failed to satisfy the requirements of both UK and EU law.
15. Plane Wrong has disproved GAL’s assertion that it was not possible to come up with a design that enabled the SID to be safely contained within the existing NPR swathe
16. There is evidence that the impact of the R26LAM change is significantly greater than that anticipated by GAL and CAA

 

We, therefore, make the following requests:

 The impact of the changes to the flight paths are of ‘such detrimental effect’ to local
communities that they should be withdrawn immediately and traffic reverted back to the
conventional procedure. This follows the promise made by GAL in the consultation document in July 2012, PRNAV Departure SID Implementation at LGW.

 The Post Implementation Review (PIR) should not confirm routes 3 & 4 and should require GAL to make a new application for any revised changes they want.

 Flights should move back further south on both routes to avoid more densely populated areas to the north, namely parts of Dorking, Reigate and Redhill.

 All flights, therefore, should move back within the existing NPR corridor on R26DVR/BIG/CLN/LAM (Route 4).

 That the CAA considers evidence from airspace designers, To70, suggesting that RNAV technology is capable of matching conventional routes in both directions. contrary to claims by Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL).

 That a new NPR corridor on Route 4 is not created.

 Flight paths below 4,000 ft amsl [above mean sea level] should be dispersed within the existing NPR corridors. RNAV is capable of achieving this.

 Departure routes in both westerly (Route 4) and easterly (Route 3) directions should not overlap to such a degree that there is no respite for those affected on the ground.
 GAL should explore further design options using RNAV to mirror the conventional departure routes more closely.

 The general public as well as stakeholders should be consulted regarding any further changes to these routes and there should be a comprehensive assessment of the associated environmental and social impacts.

 There should be a more even distribution of aircraft using all westerly departure routes. The high percentage share of departures on Route 4, the concentration of flight paths and the increased number of aircraft per hour is seriously affecting people’s quality of life.

 The cut-off date of 5th January 2015 for public contributions to the PIR should not apply if only because of delays by the CAA and GAL in providing critical data, and the need for that data to be considered in detail.

For more information on the Plane Wrong comments on the PIR (December 2014)

see  http://www.planewrong.co.uk/download/i/mark_dl/u/4012870117/4617060142/Gatwick%20Flight%20Paths%20Post%20Implementation%20Review%20%20-%20final.pdf

 


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Gatwick Obviously NOT says:

(more detail here http://www.gatwickobviouslynot.org/)

The CAA need to hear from you by 5th January …

The CAA’s ‘Post Implementation Review’ of Departures from Gatwick Airport

You’ve probably not heard about this.

(This is not about the Airports Commission and their report about where to put the next runway. The deadline for responding to that Consultation is 3rd February and we will come back to you before then about it).

This ‘Post Implementation Review’ is a last-chance to comment on a ‘Consultation’ that took place in 2013 about new departure routes from Gatwick that have already been approved by the CAA (subject to the review).

If you live anywhere near the arrivals flight paths from the East (i.e. between East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells), or north of Gatwick, this is for you.

We have spent considerable time wading through the aviation-industry jargon (they love an acronym) and defining exactly what is proposed.

It’s really not nice.

There are two main issues:

  1. Those living to the East of Gatwick may get hit by a double-whammy; when given some respite from the arrivals (due to wind direction – about 30% of the time) Gatwick then intend to send the departures down a considerable part of exactly the same route, on a narrow superhighway to the East. This will mean zero respite for thousands below, whichever way the wind chooses to blow.
  2. Those living to the North will experience flights taking off on Easterly days then turning West (for Westerly destinations) and for those days the take-offs are Westerly then turning East for Easterly destinations.
    So, again, zero respite for those overflown.
    This is compounded by the fact (admitted by the CAA) that all the planes will not keep within the Noise Preferential Routes (which they should) hence overflying areas not previously overflown – which is very much not Government policy.

You can read the Gatwick Obviously NOT  response in full here

Please email Mark Swan at the CAA – mark.swan.GatwickPIR@caa.co.uk – cc’ing Mrs Anne Weston of the DfT – contactdft@dft.gsi.gov.uk – outlining your objections.

Feel free to copy any of our letter for your own emails.

Or, just click on the link at   http://www.gatwickobviouslynot.org/  for a one-stop response:

Or you can cut and paste the text below into your email:

Dear Mr Swan (Director, Airspace Policy,CAA)
(cc Mrs Anne Weston (UK Airspace Policy, DfT)

Regarding proposals to change the departure routes from Gatwick, I formally object to the:

– cancelling of the LAM Noise Preferential Route
– changes to the BGN/CLN/DVR Noise Preferential Route
– Route 4 changes to the north of airport
– effectiveness of the Consultation process
– statement that ‘There is no change to existing controlled airspace’
– freedom given to Gatwick to be both Judge and Jury

I also add my full support to the detailed response sent to you on the 30th December 2014 by Martin Barraud, leader of GatwickObviouslyNot.org.

You can view a copy of that response here:
http://www.GatwickObviouslyNot.org/docs/GON_to_Gatwick_PIR.pdf

Yours sincerely

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For people affected by the flight path changes to the north of Gatwick:

 

A sample letter, from Brockham Council:

Sample letter for complaining to CAA

Dear Sir/Madam

Objection to the P-RNAV based Gatwick departure route 26LAM/CLN/DVR known as ‘Route4’

I wish to register my objection to the new departure route currently being trialled by Gatwick Airport Ltd. I would like to request that the flight path be returned to its previous NPR location south of Leigh, Surrey where it has been successfully established for almost 50 years.

As you will be aware, the historical departure route from Gatwick Airport was changed to follow new PBN routes in November 2013. The noise levels in the local environment have increased significantly since July 2014 which is having a devastating effect on rural communities such as Brockham, which was a quiet, rural country parish not previously blighted by excessive air noise. However, planes now fly low overhead every few minutes commencing before 6am and continuing late into the night,  occasionally even overnight. The significant increase in noise pollution is seriously disturbing residents’ sleep, health and quality of life.

The number of people affected by aircraft noise has also increased and more importantly the trial flight path now newly affects at least 7,200 people who never chose to live under a flight path, as opposed to those people previously affected who voluntarily decided to live and work under the 50-year-old, historical NPR. According to Mr Wingate, the CEO of Gatwick Airport, no public meetings on the initial consultation in October 2013 – 14 January 2014 leading to the re-routing of planes were conducted in our area, yet we currently have one of the busiest flight paths in Europe overhead. In our neighbouring area of Leigh, only two responses were received, despite huge public opposition to the proposed changes, bringing the fairness and accuracy of the entire consultation process into question. In fact, most residents only learned about the changes when the planes started to cause excessive air noise disturbance overhead.

In summary, the new trial departure route has had a significant detrimental effect on the local environment and community with regards to sleep, health and life quality. It will also have a significant financial impact on the local area with regards to desirability of the area and house prices should the changes be made permanent.

For these considerations, I strongly object to the new departure route and request that the flight path be returned to its previous location as a matter of urgency.

Yours faithfully,

Name

Address

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Residents from Plane Wrong submit a petition to the CAA, opposing Gatwick flight path changes

A petition signed by more than 2,000 Mole Valley residents has been delivered to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) by members of the PlaneWrong campaign group. The petition was presented on Monday 22nd December, along with a submission opposing the recent flight path changes implemented by Gatwick Airport last year, which campaigners claim was carried out without direct consultation with those affected by noise pollution. PlaneWrong was formed in September by a group of Mole Valley residents to campaign against the permanent flight path changes to the areas south and east of Dorking, which were previously unaffected by aircraft noise. A spokesman for the group said: “By organising public meetings, door-to-door leaflet distribution, a full social media campaign and engaging with local media, PlaneWrong has united communities, including villages from Coldharbour to South Nutfield, and the towns of Dorking, Reigate and Redhill. PlaneWrong presented its powerful 44-page submission for inclusion in the CAA’s Post Implementation Review (PIR) process.  The objective of the PIR is to assess whether Gatwick implemented the change correctly.
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Residents submit a petition opposing Gatwick flight path changes

Dec 27th, 2014

By Mark Edwards  (Get Surrey)

Campaign group PlaneWrong claim changes to flight paths by Gatwick Airport were implemented without direct consultation with those affected by noise pollution

PlaneWrong members hand over submission and petition to Phil Roberts of the CAA

A petition signed by more than 2,000 Mole Valley residents has been delivered to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) by members of the PlaneWrong campaign group.

The petition was presented on Monday (December 22) along with a submission opposing the recent flight path changes implemented by Gatwick Airport last year, which campaigners claim was carried out without direct consultation with those affected by noise pollution.

PlaneWrong was formed in September by a group of Mole Valley residents to campaign against the permanent flight path changes to the areas south and east of Dorking, which were previously unaffected by aircraft noise.

A spokesman for the group said: “By organising public meetings, door-to-door leaflet distribution, a full social media campaign and engaging with local media, PlaneWrong has united communities, including villages from Coldharbour to South Nutfield, and the towns of Dorking, Reigate and Redhill.

“PlaneWrong presented its powerful 44-page submission for inclusion in the CAA’s Post Implementation Review (PIR) process. The PIR is a review 12 months after the implementation of an airspace change. The objective of the PIR is to assess whether Gatwick implemented the change correctly.”

The PlaneWrong submission was the culmination of two months’ work, which was researched by the group, with advice sought from aviation experts and environmental lawyers.

Contributions from the general public and Surrey Hills AONB were also included in the document, which was presented to Phil Roberts, CAA assistant director of airspace policy.

The spokesman added: “Residents and local businesses alike are, and will, suffer from the long-term impact of these changes. In particular Leith Hill, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year, is now subject to the continuous noise of low- flying aircraft. Visitors from out of the area will simply stop coming or not return.

“PlaneWrong has the full support of local MPs, Sir Paul Beresford and Crispin Blunt, who both attended public meetings held in October.”

Mr Blunt, MP for Reigate, said: “Thanks to PlaneWrong for organising this 2,000 strong petition. Noise disturbance brought on by PR-NAV has unhappily been a top issue for constituents in 2014. Letters and emails continue to grow in number, and the anger expressed in these, and at the PlaneWrong public meeting I attended in October, is palpable.

“When people are reduced to tears over an incessant racket over their homes, I am acutely conscious we must work to address this as soon as possible.”

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/residents-submit-petition-opposing-gatwick-8349802#ICID=sharebar_twitter

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See also

Gatwick flight paths comment deadline to CAA by 5th Jan 2015 on PIR (Post Implementation Review)

Gatwick airport carried out a consultation on changes to its airspace at the end of 2013, finishing in January 2014. They then carried out another consultation in May 2014. Gatwick is required to allow time for people to comment and give their feedback on the impacts of proposed airspace changes. This is called a PIR (Post Implementation Review). The deadline is 5th January 2015. After that date, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) will review the comments – and the degree to which changes to flight paths have affected the public being overflown. The airspace changes are due to PRNAV (precision navigation) and PBN (performance based navigation) – meaning aircraft fly much more accurate routes than was possible before, and routes are also concentrated to be more narrow than before. People who have been adversely affected by flight path changes from aircraft using Gatwick are recommended to send in their comments again. (The CAA has not confirmed that they would consider earlier emails or letters). There is no specific consultation document or form to fill in. The address to email is  mark.swan.GatwickPIR@caa.co.uk  People need to not only write to the CAA, but copy this to their MP and to the DfT.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/01/gatwick-flight-paths-comment-deadline-to-caa-by-5th-jan-2015-on-pir-post-implementation-review/

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Briefing by AEF asks whether a new runway would breach legal limits for air quality

The AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) has published a short, easy to read, briefing on air pollution in relation to a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick. It considers the importance of air pollution and how far the Airports Commission has gone to address the issue to date. The Commission says a full assessment and modelling of the local air quality impacts has yet to be undertaken. AEF says because air quality is a key issue for a new Heathrow runway, as the area already breaches legal air quality limits, the Commission should publish the modelling it will carry out of the local air quality impacts, including damage to human health. AEF says the future Government should assess the Commission’s recommendations in terms of their impact on human health. They should assess the risks to air quality legal limits from runway plans, and only permit a runway if it can be shown that legal limits on pollutants can already be met consistently, and are falling. The Commission is aware that improvements in aircraft engine emissions may take a very long time to happen; that reducing the amount of air  pollution from road transport around Heathrow may take a very long time; and EU air quality standards may be tightened. 

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The briefing is at  

AIRPORT EXPANSION AND AIR POLLUTION
Would a new runway breach legal limits for air quality?


 

Briefing: airport expansion and air pollution

no2_2010_CleanAirLondon

Image credit: Annual nitrogen dioxide levels across London 2010 – Cleaner Air for London

Local air pollution 2010 in Heathrow areaHeathrow NO2  in ug/m3 per year

In the image above, yellow is above 40 ug/m3  and red is above 70 ug/m3

See Legal European limits for air pollution


 

AEF’s new briefing sets out the issue of air pollution around Heathrow and Gatwick, the work done so far by the Airports Commissions and the remaining gaps.

Key points of the briefing:

  1. Air pollution is described by the World Health Organisation as the world’s biggest environmental health risk.
  2. The European Court of Justice has ruled that the UK must take action to ensure air pollution is reduced to legal limits within the shortest time possible.
  3. Sites around Heathrow and Gatwick have breached legal air quality limits in recent years with at least one site around Heathrow having breached the limit for nitrogen dioxide annually over the past 10 years.
  4. The Airports Commission’s appraisal found that all short-listed expansion options would have an adverse impact on local air quality unless significant mitigation measures are put in place.
  5. A full assessment and modelling of the local air quality impacts, however, has yet to be undertaken. This includes estimates of the size of the population that would be adversely affected.
  6. A runway should not be built in a location already breaching air quality limits or where there is a risk of it happening.

The Airports Commission’s analysis so far indicates that expansion at Heathrow could have a significantly adverse impact on local air quality.


 

The briefing is at  

AIRPORT EXPANSION AND AIR POLLUTION
Would a new runway breach legal limits for air quality?
One of the Airports Commission’s appraisal objectives is that runway schemes must “improve air quality consistent with EU standards and local planning policy requirements”. This AEF briefing considers the importance of air pollution in the airport expansion debate and how far the Airports Commission has gone to addressthe issue to date.

 

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

The Airports Commission should:

• publish the modelling it will carry out of the local air quality impacts, including damage to human health

The future Government should:

• Assess the Airports Commission’s final recommendations in terms of their impact on human health, and the risks to air quality legal limits

• Only permit expansion if legal limits are already met consistently to avoid contradicting the requirement to reduce air pollution as soon as possible

• Aim to improve air quality around airports to WHO guidelines levels in order to protect public health

http://www.aef.org.uk/uploads/Airport-Expansion-and-Air-Pollution-Briefing.pdf

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Letter: “Quality of life will be destroyed” if Gatwick is allowed to build a 2nd runway

A letter in the local West Sussex press, in the lady’s own heart-felt words, expresses far better than any number of lengthy consultant reports, the impact of a 2nd Gatwick runway on people.  She says: “We live in the village of Warnham and recently suffered the six month trial of the new proposed flight path – it was horrendous. It was unbearable being woken every morning before 6am with the continuous drones of these low flying aircraft. We did not move to a small village to be made to suffer this life changing nuisance. We have now received a letter from the CEO of Gatwick Airport which was a grovelling explanation of why Gatwick needs this extra runway and what advantages it will offer, also offering compensation in the way of money off council tax fees for the worst affected! How insulting is this! As if any amount of money could compensate for the misery caused by the noise of the aircraft. The impact on our health was huge, my husband was recovering from a double heart bypass and I have had several years of illness. What we need is for our lives to NOT be destroyed by this proposal, and make no mistake, it will destroy our quality of life and our mental health.”
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Letter:

Quality of life will be destroyed

21.12.2014  (West Sussex County TImes)

I welcome this opportunity to express my views about the proposed second runway at Gatwick Airport.

We live in the village of Warnham and recently suffered the six month trial of the new proposed flight path – it was horrendous.

It was unbearable being woken every morning before 6am with the continuous drones of these low flying aircraft. We did not move to a small village to be made to suffer this life changing nuisance.

We have now received a letter from the CEO of Gatwick Airport which was a grovelling explanation of why Gatwick needs this extra runway and what advantages it will offer, also offering compensation in the way of money off council tax fees for the worst affected!

How insulting is this! As if any amount of money could compensate for the misery caused by the noise of the aircraft.

The impact on our health was huge, my husband was recovering from a double heart bypass and I have had several years of illness. What we need is for our lives to NOT be destroyed by this proposal, and make no mistake, it will destroy our quality of life and our mental health.

Mrs  R.

(Name and address supplied)

Warnham

http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/letters/letter-quality-of-life-will-be-destroyed-1-6479311

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Stewart Wingate and senior Gatwick staff refuse to appear before group of local area MPs in Parliament

Sir Paul Beresford, MP for Mole Valley, has complained that Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has refused to appear publicly before MPs at the House of Commons to answer questions on their 2nd runway proposal.  The Chairman of the “Gatwick Coordination Group”, Crispin Blunt MP, invited Stewart Wingate, and Gatwick senior management to appear before the group in a Select Committee-style hearing in January 2015. But GAL has declined the invitation, saying GAL directors “do not think that a further public meeting is necessary”. Commenting on GAL’s decision, Sir Paul said “The MPs on the Gatwick Coordination Group collectively represent over half a million people whose lives stands to be affected by the airport’s expansion. …. Gatwick have failed to answer key points on the resilience of their surface access plan. If a second runway was to be built at Gatwick access both to and from the airport would become extraordinarily difficult.  …. Gatwick’s refusal to participate in an extended public scrutiny ….is an abdication of their responsibility as a corporate citizen in both Surrey and Mole Valley. However, given GAL’s inability to answer key questions on “show stopping” issues it is perhaps unsurprising they do not welcome further scrutiny.”
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Gatwick Refuse Public Questioning By Local MPs

18.12.2014 (By Sir Paul Beresford, sent to constituents on his mailing list)

 

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has refused to appear publicly before MPs at the House of Commons to answer questions on their second runway proposal, it was confirmed yesterday.

The Chairman of the Gatwick Coordination Group, Crispin Blunt MP, invited the Airport’s CEO, Stewart Wingate, and its senior management team to appear before the other local MPs on the group in a Select Committee-style hearing in January 2015.

However, GAL yesterday declined the invitation, claiming that given the Airports Commission’s own public discussion session, and private meetings with MPs, had been held, the company’s directors “do not think that a further public meeting is necessary”.

Commenting on GAL’s decision, Sir Paul Beresford said “The MPs on the Gatwick Coordination Group collectively represent over half a million people whose lives stands to be affected by the airport’s expansion.

Enlargement of Gatwick as proposed will give London two ½ hub airports linked by the frequently crowded M25.

Gatwick have failed to answer key points on the resilience of their surface access plan. If a second runway was to be built at Gatwick access both to and from the airport would become extraordinarily difficult. The M23 is not a viable answer to these problems, stopping as it does just south of Croydon and more locally, roads are already at near peak capacity and simply cannot handle the enormous increase in traffic a second runway would bring. Gatwick has made token commitments towards modernising the surrounding road network but these empty gestures are precisely that and would be a drop in the required financial ocean.

There is also no answer forthcoming to the point that Gatwick is now estimated to be £100 billion behind Heathrow in terms of national economic benefit, and that there is no available labour force to staff this vast new business and scores of thousands of extra homes will be required in the area, when all local planning authorities are really struggling to work out how to meet existing housing demand.

On the question of housing, it is quite plain whatever Gatwick may say, that the vast majority of any new housing required would have to be built on precious and irrecoverable Green Belt land. This is an unacceptable loss – I strongly believe that we must not throw away our idyllic Surrey surroundings for the knock on building and enlarged infrastructure requirements for Gatwick’s second runway.
There is also a serious democratic issue here. They have declined to publish the financial assumptions on which they have made their case to the Davies Commission. This meeting was the last chance for us on behalf of the people we represent to publicly challenge why their numbers and assumptions remain secret.

Gatwick’s refusal to participate in an extended public scrutiny of their proposals by their local elected national representatives in a select committee type hearing is an abdication of their responsibility as a corporate citizen in both Surrey and Mole Valley. However, given GAL’s inability to answer key questions on “show stopping” issues it is perhaps unsurprising they do not welcome further scrutiny.

They do have some things to hide: They rely on one very busy rail line, while Heathrow will have a choice of five rail routes. When that stops, Gatwick largely stops. They rely on one slow arterial route out of central London, the A23, or routes via the M25. No strategic improvement is planned or would be funded by GAL.

They cannot guarantee that their shareholders will put up the finance, and their largest will be looking to disinvest before the money is required. There is no existing labour force to make this proposal work. The Commission rate them £100 billion behind Heathrow expansion in terms of national economic benefit, and they can’t challenge this when they won’t publish their numbers.

This refusal will only further damage the opinion of our constituents have of a company which has already had a catastrophic year of local relations owing to the misery inflicted upon tens of thousands of them by PR-NAV.

From Christmas Eve 2013 until now Gatwick have had an awful year. Flooding, baggage handler shortage, air traffic control, rail disruption, and new flight paths creating massive pain for their neighbours. Burying their head in the sand won’t make it go away. A vast advertising budget funded by a company domiciled abroad does not make the case for second runway. Openness to scrutiny might. Then again, I think they know it probably wouldn’t help. So this decision comes as no surprise.”

https://www.conservatives.com/OurTeam/Members_of_Parliament/Beresford_Sir_Paul.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

A paper prepared by the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
with help from local businessmen

(Only 6 pages – easy to read)
An important objective set out by the Airports Commission is: ‘To maximise economic
benefits…..To promote employment and economic growth in the local area….To
produce positive outcomes for local communities and the local economy’. (1) This paper
challenges the assertion by Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) that a second runway would be
supportive of this objective.

By engaging with opinion from local business communities, and taking a less selective
view of the evidence, GACC concludes that the proposal would be detrimental for local
businesses, the local economy and the community as a whole.

Background

According to the Office of National Statistics there are over 30,000 businesses in West
Sussex.(2)  The majority are located in the north of the county, in the vicinity of Gatwick
Airport. Surrey has 61,900 businesses but with less concentration around Gatwick. (3)

It would be a fair guess to say that there must be around 30,000 businesses in the
Gatwick area.

Business Opinion

West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council commissioned a survey of
West Sussex businesses in May 2013. (4)  It showed that only 31% of firms had employees
who ever took a flight for business reasons. Only 4% felt air travel was important ‘for
bringing overseas customers to your organisation.’

51% of firms agreed that there is a need for new runway capacity in the South East, and
52% favoured a new runway at Gatwick. Those were the ‘headline results’ that were
used to influence the vote by West Sussex County Council to support a second runway.
But the survey (and the vote) was before the full scale and implications of making
Gatwick bigger than Heathrow were generally recognised.

Nevertheless 24% of businessmen considered that Gatwick expansion ‘would
dramatically affect local home (sic) and countryside’ and 23% felt it would ‘cause too
much air and noise pollution’.

That is confirmed in a letter to GACC from a Director of a leading Sussex company:

“Established for over 150 years, we are a major international business that owns
three of the world’s leading brands and employs over 100 people locally.

“Many of our employees have already complained of the increase in aircraft noise,
particularly at night and at weekends and we are most concerned at the impact in
future of a second runway at Gatwick on this. Worsening aircraft noise is not only
affecting them personally and potentially the value of their houses but also their
leisure time; whereby some of their favourite spots for peaceful relaxation are now
blighted by aircraft noise. I suspect this will also have a negative impact on the
leisure industry in the area.”

Shortage of labour.

According to Gatwick Airport (May 2014) a new runway would create 122,000 new jobs in the South East. The Airports Commission (November 2014) puts the figure at up to 90,000 by 2060. Although it is said that these new jobs would be spread across the South East, inevitably most would be concentrated in or around the Gatwick area.

A report by Optimal Economics commissioned by Gatwick Airport points out that:
‘Within the Gatwick Diamond, there is a projected excess of employment over resident
labour supply throughout the forecast period. (6)  Gatwick Airport, however, blithely
ignore the labour shortage warnings highlighted by their own economists; it is
inevitable, that as unemployment across the area remains low, the result will be a
chronic shortage of labour. That situation is likely to put many local firms at a serious
disadvantage.

Bernard Treanor, a former manager for Royal Mail, writes:

“My experience showed that there was a constant recruitment problem for what is
now referred to as the Gatwick Diamond. Not only did the churn effect of staff
turnover lead to inefficiencies, but a constant high vacancy level led to increased
costs through overtime pay, as well as poor quality of service. It was only through
offering high overtime levels, and a variety of bonus payments, that the business
could attempt to compete on pay with the airport – but effectively fail in doing so.

The [Airports Commission consultation document] recognises that there is no local
pool of unemployment to draw on, but … does not admit that the Gatwick
Diamond has a history of being an “employment hotspot” (albeit disguised by the
recent recession), and is already dependent on … an immigrant workforce. It is
arguable that the current reliance on an EU migrant workforce will be put under
further strain given the current political situation.’ (7)”

Higher costs.

Shortage of labour would tend to push up rates of pay, again causing difficulties for local firms. The Managing Director of an advanced technology company located close to Gatwick has written to say:

“Such a shortage of labour will inevitably create a price war and wages will sky
rocket in an already very expensive area. Companies operating in a very
competitive global market will be substantially disadvantaged. (8)
Bernard Treanor makes a similar point:

“The most probable outcomes – and track records should demonstrate this – is that
labour intensive small businesses will need to compete on wage price, which will
impact their profitability and may threaten their commercial viability. For labour
intensive Public Service infrastructure, in addition to the Royal Mail, we should also
look at local government, health service, some transport and other government
agency organisations, who will not be able to compete for wages, and therefore
experience churn and vacancy levels which will impact on the quality of service
they provide to the local social and business communities.”

Inward migration.

The main effect of the creation of so many new jobs would be to draw in people from other parts of the UK and from the EU. That is welcomed by some firms because it would mean a bigger market for local shops, hotels, guest houses, taxis etc. They may, however, not have realised that it would also cause an influx of new shops, new hotels, new taxi firms etc.; meaning in turn more competition, and could result in local firms being put out of business.

More houses.

Consultants commissioned by the Gatwick Diamond Initiative and the
West Sussex County Council estimated that there would be a need for around 40,000
new houses. The Airports Commission use a lower figure and GACC is currently
investigating the difference.

A large number of new houses would be good business for house building firms, but
how many new building firms would move into the area? Would it mean better jobs for
local building workers or would most of the new jobs be filled by transient labour from
elsewhere?

Road and rail congestion.

A separate paper by GACC has shown that a second runway would mean around 136,000 extra road journeys a day in the vicinity of Gatwick. That is just for air passengers, and travel to work by airport employees and journeys to work of employees of new firms. In addition there would be all the extra commercial traffic generated by the larger airport and all the new firms.

The result would be delays at many road junctions. Longer journey times both for staff
and for deliveries would have an adverse effect on local firms.

For rail services no improvements are planned other than those already in hand to cope
with the forecast growth in demand without a new runway. Result – serious overcrowding.

Peter Suchy, the owner of a small business near Gatwick, has written to say:

“I am very concerned that a second runway would create intolerable pressure on our
local roads as there has been no definitive plan for the expansion of the road
network that will be needed for at least a ten mile radius of Gatwick. If the planned
passenger traffic (oh, and allied traffic such as people going to work) is achieved
then there is simply no way that the current one motorway (and that is fed by the
M25 from one end and that can’t cope at the moment so God only knows how it
will cope with not only the increase in Gatwick traffic but the annual increase that
we see year on year) and single carriageway A roads such as the A272, A25, A29,
A264 from East Grinstead and A22 will be able to cope, it’s bad enough now. The
other dual carriageway roads such as the A24/A264 and A21 will also be clogged
with traffic. If the powers that be seriously believe that they are going to fit the
traffic that currently surrounds Heathrow and duplicate it into the roads that
surround Gatwick then someone needs their head examining. It is a joke and the
amount of destruction of the green belt to accommodate this expansion and all the
add-ons such as housing and industrial estates is bordering on criminal.”

Loss of business premises.

The construction of the new runway would involve the demolition of 286 business premises, including City Place (head office of Nestlé) and part of Manor Royal. 286 firms would have all the expense and hassle of having to relocate.

Gatwick Airport have suggested that some firms might be accommodated on land that they would acquire between the airport and the M23 – but that to make sufficient space available, the airport car parks would need to be double decked. So the land would not come cheap. And many firms would not wish to become tenants of Gatwick Airport Ltd.
If firms wished to move elsewhere, there might be problems getting planning permission.

The managing director of the advanced technology company again:

“Some businesses will need to be relocated. Mine for instance could be a prime
candidate. The disruption will be immense. The land proposed for a new facility is
rather inappropriate, being directly under the flight path with all that entails. No
discussion of time scale or compensation has been started so we are in horrible
‘planners blight limbo’ with no apparent end in sight. With current planning rules
any new building would likely be seriously affected by lack of parking space making 
it less attractive for people to work here. We own our current site, the ownership
status of the new place is unknown.

In short the expanded airport will be bad for the majority of pre-existing businesses
and people that are already established here. The big winners will be the Airport
itself, owned by a conglomeration of overseas investment companies who have
only been in situ since 2009 and I understand are likely to sell out soon after the
decision re the new runway. We have been here since 1963 and intend to remain.”

Impact on rural businesses.

Many rural businesses depend for their success on peace and tranquillity. A prime example is Hever Castle, birthplace of Anne Boleyn.

Hever Castle supports up to 280 jobs in season. The castle’s chief executive Duncan
Leslie:

‘When people come to rural attractions they are expecting a degree of peace and
tranquillity. We believe that a second runway would almost certainly spell the end for
Hever Castle as a visitor attraction.’ (9)
The same is true for many rural businesses, for example quiet country hotels, film
making enterprises, country parks and other outdoor visitor attractions.

Worse environment – worse for business

Surrey, Sussex and Kent are pleasant places to live. But if the environment is worsened
by aircraft noise, by urbanisation, and by traffic congestion, it will become harder to
recruit and keep high quality staff.

A professional communications expert based at Haywards Heath, has written to say:

“The opening of the new headquarters and warehouse for a global component
service provider to the aviation industry in Sayers Common 20 miles from the 6
airport is perhaps a portent of what is to come, especially should a second runway
be approved for Gatwick.

The immediate Crawley catchment area is now bursting at the seams as it tries to
accommodate the burgeoning airline businesses that Gatwick needs to support it.
Some companies have become well established across East Sussex, West Sussex
and Surrey and provide welcome local employment. But increasingly they are being
forced further and further from the airport.

These remoter locations are inevitably less convenient operationally. Company
round-the-clock activities and staff movements significantly add to the traffic on
the local roads that were never designed to take it. Sadly many businesses are
guilty of further infilling and concreting of our green and pleasant counties.

When considering the environmental damage that a second runway will bring – we
must look well beyond the immediate Gatwick perimeters. The damage on the
fringes of the airport will be just a small fraction of the total impact.

Consider the housing estates and rambling industrial development, roads and other
infrastructure that Gatwick has led to in the last 50 years in the surrounding 30
miles – now double it for the proposed second runway. Do we really need it here?
Isn’t it time for another area to take the strain and enjoy the economic benefit that
a major airport can bring?”

The national picture.

There is no significant national pressure from business for a second Gatwick runway. The CBI favours expansion at Heathrow rather than at Gatwick. Recently 23 Chambers of Commerce that represent more than 40,000 UK businesses have written an open letter to the Airports Commission about the benefits of Heathrow Airport expansion.

Many people believe that a second runway anywhere in the South East would take
business away from other regions of the UK that need employment and thus be
damaging to the UK’s economic recovery and the rebalancing of the economy.

December 2014

————————————–

Notes:

(1) Airports Commission. Consultation Document Table2.1
(2)  ONS UK Business 2012
(3) Surrey County Council
(4)  Attitudes to Air Travel in West Sussex. QA Research July 2013. The survey oversampled larger businesses, and businesses in Crawley.
(5) Email 6 November 2014
(6) Optimal Economics Report. Paragraph 3.46
(7) Email from Bernard Treanor ACMA, CGMA. 27 November 2014
(8)  Email to GACC 11 June 2014
(9) http://www.sevenoakschronicle.co.uk/Gatwick-runway-spell-end-Hever-Castle-tourism/story-19806450-detail/story.html#ixzz3Kk8pufMN
December 2014

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Speech by Major Richard Streatfeild at the Airports Commission day on Gatwick

Major Richard Streatfeild spoke very effectively at the Airports Commission evidence session on Gatwick. He represents some 18,000 people who live in 11 parish councils on the High Weald, and the High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group. Concern was first alerted earlier this year, when Gatwick changed some flight paths and started to concentrate others, causing much more aircraft noise nuisance than there had been previously. Thousands of people who had not been much over-flown in the past woke up to the new noise nuisance, and in particular, the threat of the situation deteriorating dramatically if Gatwick was allowed another runway. Richard spoke of the loss of trust and confidence in the airport, after repeatedly being told half truths, or lies. He also spoke of the torture, akin to sleep deprivation, of night flights – and gave both Sir Howard and Stewart a present of an alarm clock, set to go off once an hour – to try out for two nights …. to experience a taste of sleep deprivation. He said if Gatwick is selected, people know they will be “in a fight for our lives” and the extent of the battle will be unprecedented, through every means available. He ended by saying: “The solution is simple: Disperse the aircraft and make them fly as high as is safe, stop the night flights and do not build an additional runway.”


Sir Howard,

Thank you for the invitation to be a witness for the Airports Commission.

I am here because I have a mandate from 11 councils in the High Weald representing 18 thousand people. (High Weald Parish Councils).

I am confident that by the time this consultation period finishes the policy that started as the construct of 4 Parish Councils will be adopted either in name or in practice by all of the councils across the High Weald and further afield representing at least 200,000 people.

A year ago we did not exist, I can honestly say that we did not think believe or expect that Gatwick would make your shortlist,  We are growing exponentially and that in itself should challenge your assumptions about deliverability at Gatwick.

I speak for them and we endorse what has been said before by Crispin Blunt and Brendon Sewil. The funding risk and minimal economic benefit of Gatwick expansion is key to not meeting your stated objectives.

The environmental case is none existent.

Perhaps you think it might be socially, politically or legally more acceptable to put new capacity at Gatwick.

I am here to bear witness to the fact that it will not. Not because of the quantity of the effect but the quality. But before that I must bear witness that there has been a catastrophic breach of trust by the airport in assisting the commission in this process.

Yesterday invitations went out to local individuals and Parish Councils to give their views on the scheme. Too late – it will be white paint on the grave.

We all wish to see Gatwick as a successful regional airport so it gives me no pleasure to say they routinely lie to us. As routine business they are prepared to obfuscate, mislead and evade. They even lie about the lie.

As one of my Company Serjeant Majors was prone to say about the more errant Riflemen in my former life, they can’t even lie straight in bed.

For those in the High Weald this is the one that hurts the most. In 2012 Gatwick began to change the way they used the airspace to get more planes into Gatwick taking a longer route and flying over many more people far more often below 4000 feet.

As people began to notice, Gatwick consistently said nothing had changed. That is still their public position. It wasn’t until we got the maps from the CAA under Freedom of Information that proved the change that the chief executive of the CAA told us last week “air traffic controllers had been trying out new vectoring choices” .

We had also discovered that the head of NATS at Gatwick put on a blog in 2013 that there was a trial and the shortened flight path had been removed – Gatwick told us there was no trial and no change. Why did you lie?

They ran a consultation on new flight paths. IPSOS MORI said they would publish the results in September. GATWICK have made liars of IPSOS MORI on their behalf.

And we believe they did so in order that they didn’t have to tell you the results before you put out the consultation. Mr Wingate, why did you get IPSOS MORI to withhold the results from us and the commission?

They continue to mislead us and you – the latest one is that that a new concentrated arrivals and the second runway are not linked. We know it is not possible to get the quantity of planes into Gatwick without those new flightpaths. They are linked – why won’t you be straight with us or the commission?

So trust is gone and so will our economy.

A notable omission from the proposal and consultation documents are the 2 million tourists who come to the high Weald.

300,000 come to Hever Castle alone, to get on the Tudor trail to see the family residence of the mother of the virgin queen. What they get is Virgin Atlantic overshadowing their experience.

250,000 planes a year will kill it dead. Why won’t you release the data at the noise meter at Hever Castle that proves the extent of the intrusion and makes a lie of the noise data in the consultation documents?

Furthermore the new route goes over 6 schools. We know it will damage children’s concentration at school and expose them to high levels of pollution. The heritage, the tranquillity, the quintessential character of the English countryside of the garden of England are about to be lost to the bucket and spade airport, the returning Sunday afternoon boozy boys weekend to Prague and the 1 am flight from Geneva so the Biltons can get a little more chalet time.

Then there is the killer argument. You may have noticed the Senate intelligence committee report into the torture carried out by the CIA in so called black sites across the globe.

Second on their list of abhorrent practices was Sleep deprivation.

Long term sleep deprivation will kill you.

Our quality of life will be diminished and most importantly our life expectancy will shorten, not according to me but the World Health Organisation. It is a key difference between a good neighbour and a bad one.

Heathrow accepts a quota of 3500 night flights not campaigns to maintain 11800. That number is not sleep disturbance it is sleep deprivation.

Heathrow puts the majority of night flights before 11 30 and after 630 but Gatwick,  the bad neighbour, flies in all through the night. The better one – Heathrow – definitely puts all their flights after 0430. The bad, makes night flying as cheap as possible and won’t even acknowledge that there is anything wrong.

This is why Gatwick is such a bad neighbour right now and a will be a worse one in future.

This being the festive season, I have brought you both a Christmas present [to Sir Howard and to Stewart Wingate]. An alarm clock set for 01 something and the snooze button set for an hour. Just time to get into a deep sleep before being woken up. I challenge you to do two nights of it.

I say again and I know something of this for real -Sleep deprivation is physical torture.
So my questions are:

Do either the Commission or the airport really want to facilitate the torture and ultimately the early demise of innocent people? Why is this not costed in?

I also wish to bear witness to our determination to prevent a second runway at Gatwick. If you think the anti-Heathrow campaign is well organised and well-funded by the time 2015 is out you have my word we will make them look like the mad hatters tea party.

We know now that if Gatwick were to be chosen we would be in a fight for our lives. It would be a fight to protect some of the most vulnerable in our communities from dying before they have to, a fight to defend our quality of life from the uncaring and unscrupulous. To protect some of our most precious green and pleasant land from being desecrated for personal and corporate gain.

Sir Howard I hope you really understand what you will ignite.

We will campaign in the newspapers, in the courts, at the ballot box and in parliament. We will fight those battles in Kent, in Sussex and Surrey, in Westminster, Brussels and in Strasbourg. We will call you out in the town halls and the council chambers, in the Treasury, at Revenue and Customs, in the Channel Islands, in the boardrooms in Korea in Australia Abu Dhabi and California; we will take this fight to city, the stock exchange and the old Bailey.

Trustees will be made answerable for your actions. You will find us protesting on the runway and on the airwaves, on your way to work and on your way home. Day and night.

We will not stop and we will not give in until we have a mutually acceptable solution.

The solution is simple: Disperse the aircraft and make them fly as high as is safe, stop the night flights and do not build an additional runway.

Gatwick is big enough already.

.

.


See also two other excellent speeches delivered during the day:

Speech by Sally Pavey at the Airports Commission evidence day on Gatwick

Sally Pavey, a resident of Warnham (close to Horsham, in Sussex) set up a local group – CAGNE – in March 2014, to oppose the “ADNID” flight path trial that Gatwick airport had instigated. The new route for the ADNID flight path was concentrated, with Warnham – which had never before suffered over flight by planes from Gatwick – getting some of the worst of it. CAGNE stands for Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, and it has blossomed over the past months, as more and more people objected to being guineapigs, without warning or consultation from Gatwick – to a level of noise that made life hell for thousands. Sally spoke passionately, and effectively and among the many points she raised is the lack of trust by local communities in the airport, from repeated instances of being given wrong or partial information, or being ignored. For many, trust in the airport will never be regained. Gatwick submitted their runway plans to the Commission without even waiting for the end of its consultation with the public. Sally: “We will stand in the way of this off shore owned company. We will show them they have made a bad investment in Gatwick. We will use with every means at our disposal to stop a 2nd runway … we will not stop opposing a 2nd runway at Gatwick Airport.”

Click here to view full story…

 

Great speech by Crispin Blunt MP at the Airports Commission Gatwick evidence day

The Airports Commission held their second evidence day, this time on Gatwick (the Heathrow day was on 3rd December). The format of the day was to give Stewart Wingate time to set out his runway plans and promote them. There were then speeches by Henry Smith MP and Crisipin Blunt MP, as well as others from Brendon Sewill (GACC), Sally Pavey (CAGNE), and Major Richard Streatfeild (HWPCAAG) for community groups. A range of councillors then spoke, as well as three people from the business organisations. Crispin Blunt spoke very strongly against the runway proposals, and the text of his speech is copied below. Interestingly, to pick out just two comments, he said – on the financing of the project – the claimed need for commercial confidence is in error because redactions in Gatwick published documents on tax, financing, profit and loss, cash flow etc and the assumptions that underlie these figures are critical to enable MPs, the public etc to evaluate the airport’s proposal. Also that Gatwick is served only by a single rail and motorway connection. The airport, its passengers and its airlines is already dangerously vulnerable to disruption. It’s worth reading the speech.

Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »

Speech by Sally Pavey at the Airports Commission evidence day on Gatwick

Sally Pavey, a resident of Warnham (close to Horsham, in Sussex) set up a local group – CAGNE – in March 2014, to oppose the “ADNID” flight path trial that Gatwick airport had instigated. The new route for the ADNID flight path was concentrated, with Warnham – which had never before suffered over flight by planes from Gatwick – getting some of the worst of it. CAGNE stands for Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, and it has blossomed over the past months, as more and more people objected to being guineapigs, without warning or consultation from Gatwick – to a level of noise that made life hell for thousands.  CAGNE now represents people over a wide area. Sally spoke passionately, and effectively and among the many points she raised is the lack of trust by local communities in the airport, from repeated instances of being given wrong or partial information, or being ignored. For many, trust in the airport will never be regained. Gatwick submitted their runway plans to the Commission without even waiting for the end of its consultation with the public.  Sally: “We will stand in the way of this off shore owned company. We will show them they have made a bad investment in Gatwick. We will use with every means at our disposal to stop a 2nd runway … we will not stop opposing a 2nd runway at Gatwick Airport.”
.

 

Speech by Sally Pavey (Chair of CAGNE):

A year ago I would never of thought I would be here today, talking about Gatwick Airport.

Thank you for asking me to speak on behalf of CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions.

Let me start by saying that we are not opposed to aviation.
And we are not opposed to Gatwick.

But we are opposed to what Gatwick is proposing; an expansion of the airport that will devastate our communities and this whole region of England.
Gatwick’s proposals will impact our lives in three main areas:

• Firstly, local towns, services and amenities will be pushed far beyond their limits in ways that can only spell disaster for the precious countryside we have an obligation to protect

• Secondly, local infrastructure and roads will be swamped as airport workers and holidaymakers attempt to navigate a single motorway and single railway line that reaches Gatwick from London.
It spells disaster for local roads on a daily basis let alone if there was an accident or closure

• Thirdly, our quiet rural areas will be hit by unprecedented levels of new and increased noise.
Many of our communities will be exposed to the impact of aircraft noise for the very first time.

The recent flightpath trial is the very reason so many people, hardworking Mums and Dads, have come together to form CAGNE

Estimates say up to 90,000 more workers would be needed for an expanded Gatwick – an airport bigger than Heathrow planted right in the middle of this community.

Only 26,000 people currently claim jobseekers’ allowance in this region.
* Where will the remaining 64,000 people come from?
* Where will they live as 1 in 5 that work at Heathrow live next to Heathrow?
* How will they travel to the airport?
By train? Or will they drive?

Without this unnecessary expansion, we already have a shortfall of almost 5,000 homes every year in Gatwick’s six local councils.

If we accept, on face value, Gatwick’s ‘guesstimate’ that only another 9,300 homes would be needed, where will they come from if we can’t keep up with existing demand?

And where will they be built? What parts of our countryside in West Sussex will we be forced to lose to make way for bricks and concrete? Not forgetting the ancient woodlands the runway will remove

What schools for children, what health services, what hospitals and GPs will be provided and who will pay for them?

In all of the documentation published by the Commission, many of these issues have been forgotten.

The enormous knock-on affect and strain on an area un-equipped to absorb an expansion of this size and magnitude.

An airport bigger than Heathrow will be airlifted into the English countryside, a countryside we know and love – the reason why many of us moved to the area.

Rural areas are priced on tranquillity and the surrounding beauty of its countryside. It does not benefit from inflated London prices that are not affected by aircraft noise. This is not London, nor do we want it to be.

By 2030, we can expect 60 million passengers to be using local transport to get to and from a 2 runway Gatwick.
For those of us locals, we know that ‘public transport’ can only mean one of two routes – one road and one rail.

Even with improvements currently in the pipeline, the M23 will reach capacity by 2030 and exceed it by 2040 – this is without any expansion at Gatwick.

Similarly on the rail network, planned changes will only create enough additional capacity to meet around half of new passenger demand. Commuters already paying a premium will have to endure slow, crowded services in to London- something that the Commission’s own report clearly illustrates.

Our commuter already endure the Brighton to London mainline which is already pushed to the brink. It is the second most crowded in the country adding around 90,000 extra travellers to the area is not going to help.
What a welcome for tourists and what a great way to get to and from work for the rest of us!

With all due respect, I would like to ask the Airport’s Commission how you have arrived at the conclusion that one road and one rail line can accommodate 60 million passengers – and that’s without the local people who live here and rely on the roads to go about their daily lives.

Moreover, what will happen when there is an accident on the M23 and M25 and passengers are forced onto local roads to catch their flights?

Or similarly, when there is inevitable disruption on the trains?

It would seem Plan B is to heap more misery on local people, we already have volunteers answering 999 calls.

Gatwick’s proposals also ignore the fact that aircraft noise in rural areas is far more intrusive than in an urban environment. In fact, can Mr Wingate even tell us how many people will be affected by noise under his new proposals? Every time he is asked, he seems to give a different figure but of course it only ever be within the magical 57leq.

Gatwick have created a moving feast for all their neighbours by continually changing the story.

That is why so many opponents are here today.

The views of those affected have been ignored. Those trying to call Gatwick’s noise complaint line today receive a message that Gatwick “will not repeatedly reply or continually discuss the same subject”.

They omitted to publish the 6,300 that said “NO” to a new runway from their earlier consultation. As Gatwick’s neighbour we have a right to be heard about what happens to our community.

Lots of people are making the same points and it should not be systematically ignored.

It is with this that I thank the Commission for holding this very important meeting with Gatwick’s management present to hear the community voice.

Gatwick’s new runway consultation was instigated in May – by which time Gatwick’s proposals had already been submitted to the Airport Commission.

It demonstrates a disregard for the views of local people. Indeed, the proposals they consulted on were not even accurate – for instance they stated passenger numbers would be 87 million when the true figure is more than 10 per cent higher at 97 million.

I recently asked Mr Wingate why Gatwick would not attend local meetings, and he commented that they would not. Now as the Commission arrives in town, Mr Wingate offers to meet protest groups about aircraft noise.

For Gatwick this may be about business, but for our communities, it is about the quality of peoples’ lives

Forge Wood, a new residential, primary school with recreational areas will be 1 mile from the end of the new runway but it is not shown on any maps.

Gatwick would have many believe that it has great local support, but if it took the time to engage with the communities, it would soon appreciate the full weight of concern and opposition – the thousands of people and different organisations that we represent today being a clear demonstration of that.

With the full endorsement of many West Sussex parish councils, representing thousands of people, I can firmly say we strongly oppose a 2ndrunway at Gatwick.

Not because of the secrecy, or the lack of consultation. Not because it takes a Commission to force Mr Wingate to speak to the community, but because this is an ill-considered proposal that does not work on so many levels.

It has no consideration of the blight on our community, the strain on our local services, the explosion of new noise on villages and the transport and housing required.

Expansion at Gatwick will leave a permanent mark on yet another part of the British countryside, something that all of us in the room will fight to protect for future generations.

Gatwick is not the easy option.

Gatwick is Big Enough.

We will fight this all the way to stop Gatwick expansion.

We will stand in the way of this off shore owned company. We will show them they have made a bad investment in Gatwick.
We will use with every means at our disposal to stop a second runway being built at Gatwick.

Let me be clear – if you approve this scheme, we will not stop opposing a 2nd runway at Gatwick Airport.

Thank you.

.


.

See also

Great speech by Crispin Blunt MP at the Airports Commission Gatwick evidence day

The Airports Commission held their second evidence day, this time on Gatwick (the Heathrow day was on 3rd December). The format of the day was to give Stewart Wingate time to set out his runway plans and promote them. There were then speeches by Henry Smith MP and Crisipin Blunt MP, as well as others from Brendon Sewill (GACC), Sally Pavey (CAGNE), and Major Richard Streatfeild (HWPCAAG) for community groups. A range of councillors then spoke, as well as three people from the business organisations. Crispin Blunt spoke very strongly against the runway proposals, and the text of his speech is copied below. Interestingly, to pick out just two comments, he said – on the financing of the project – the claimed need for commercial confidence is in error because redactions in Gatwick published documents on tax, financing, profit and loss, cash flow etc and the assumptions that underlie these figures are critical to enable MPs, the public etc to evaluate the airport’s proposal. Also that Gatwick is served only by a single rail and motorway connection. The airport, its passengers and its airlines is already dangerously vulnerable to disruption. It’s worth reading the speech.

Click here to view full story…

 

Read more »