Consortium withdraws offer for threatened Manston Airport

The consortium that had been interested in taking over Manston Airport has withdrawn its offer and pulled the plug on the deal.   Thanet North MP Roger Gale had been involved in trying to broker a deal between owner Ann Gloag and the prospective buyer, but it is not known why the potential deal has not worked out.  The identity of the would-be buyer has not been revealed. The business has been damaged by the threat of closure.  Roger Gale said: “That offer has been withdrawn for legal reasons and whether a further offer will be made I don’t know.”  There are apparently still hopes that two other people have shown an interest in the site, to keep it running as an airport. The 45-day consultation with staff over possible closure will continue.
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Consortium withdraws offer for threatened Manston Airport

02 April 2014
by Paul Francis  (Kent online)
The consortium that had been interested in taking over Manston Airport has withdrawn its offer and pulled the plug on the deal.Staff at the airport were told at a meeting this morning about the development, which represents a significant blow to those hoping the airport could be kept open.The identity of the would-be buyer has not been revealed.

Thanet North MP Roger Gale had been involved in trying to broker a deal between owner Ann Gloag and the prospective buyer, but it is not known why the potential deal has not worked out.

Sir Roger originally found the potential buyer and has been spearheading the campaign to keep the site open as an airport.

He said: “This is disappointing but it’s not over yet.
“There was an offer – take my word for it. It was reasonable given the circumstances, given the business has been damaged by the threat of closure.
“I know what the asking price and the offer was and there was a considerable gap between the two.

“I know what the asking price and the offer was and there was a considerable gap between the two” – Sir Roger Gale

“That offer has been withdrawn for legal reasons and whether a further offer will be made I don’t know.”
Sir Roger added: “I get the impression Ann Gloag wants to close the airport but if someone comes along with the asking price, maybe that will not happen.”
Another glimmer of hope was offered by Sir Roger.
In a conversation he had with Ms Gloag’s spokeswoman last week, her says he was told that two other people had shown an interest in the site, to keep it running as an airport.
He said: “I’m just interested in the business running as a going concern.
“I have to be careful not to raise people’s hopes but the show isn’t over until the fat lady sings and we have to explore every possible avenue to keep the airport open.”
As a result, the airport’s owner says the 45-day consultation with staff over possible closure will continue.
A statement issued by Manston Airport today said: “It is correct that the original offer to purchase Manston as an operating airport,  made last Thursday at 12.15, was withdrawn late last night.
“Whether or not a further offer will be made I cannot, at least at this stage, say.”
Some earlier Manston news:

Buyer in contact with Sir Roger Gale MP as Manston airport in consultation over closure

24.3.2014 (Kent Online)

Interest has been shown by a buyer – backed by a consortium – to take over the running of Manston airport.  North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, a committed supporter of Manston, has outlined the latest moves to save the airport. It follows the bombshell announcement to staff last Wednesday that the airport could close following a 45day consultation period – leaving 150 staff without a job.   Already more than 11,000 people have signed a petition to keep the airport running.  Sir Roger said there had been significant developments since the announcement.  He said: “Most significantly, I am in contact with a willing buyer who has, I believe, a consortium with the resources necessary to acquire the airport as a going concern and with a view to operating it as such.  He continued: “I am in ongoing discussions with the Leader of Kent County Council, who has clarified his position and confirmed his support for Manston as an operating airfield and his continued support for the fast rail link and proposed Manston Parkway station.”  http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet_extra/news/buyer-comes-forward-as-manston-14667


Manston airport losing £10,000 per day – starts 45 day consultation with staff about closure

March 20, 2014

Up to 150 jobs – mainly part time – have been placed under threat following the announcement that Manston airport could close. Staff have been told there will be a 45 day consultation over the “possible orderly closure of the airport” , and that the airport will close in 45 days. Manston has made losses for years, and is now losing about £10,000 a day under its new owner. It was bought by Ann Gloag for £1 in 2013. Manston says “No further comment will be made until the consultation period with staff has been concluded.” KLM now has two flights per day from Manston, and will comment formally after the consultation period. Manston had been in discussions with Ryanair, to get in flights, but these did not work out when Ryanair issued its 2nd profits warning in as many months. Manston has also failed to attract more cargo flights. The airport will continue to run as normal during the consultation period. The land might be used for housing. In response to questions on this, the airport said it noted that Thanet is developing its Local Plan (for where development – industrial, commercial and residential – can take place across the district) and the airport has engaged with Thanet District Council in this process.                                                      Click here to view full story…

 


 

Manston Airport chief executive Charles Buchanan optimistic of future despite Davies Commission setback

30.12.2013

The chief executive of Manston Airport says it is “business as usual” as the new owners get to know the site.  Charles Buchanan says Scottish businesswoman Ann Gloag is “getting familiar” with the company since taking over in November.   Mr Buchanan said: “We have a lot of work going on and the new owners are getting familiar with the business.” “In the meantime we have got our KLM service continuing to operate and cargo services coming in on a regular basis.  Earlier this month, Manston was dismissed as a ‘reliever’ airport for the South East region by the Airports Commission. The Commission said while the Manston proposal “presents some potential” it did not address “the large question of London and South East capacity”.    Mr Buchanan said: “We are not going to have a four-runway hub airport on the Isle of Thanet but we are going to play an important and increasing role within satisfying demand for air travel and cargo within the local area and the regional context.  ’Manston is not a stopgap. It is an integral part of the solution.’

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentonline/news/its-business-as-usual-says-10698


Manston owner Ann Gloag brings in Alastair Welch to work with Charles Buchanan to try and turn it round

December 14, 2013

Back in July, in a surprise move, Southend’s managing director Alastair Welch, who led the airport since before the Stobart Group bought it for £21 million in 2008, left at the end of July. Now failed Manston airport, recently bought by Ann Gloag for £1, has taken Alastair Welch on to work with Charles Buchanan to try and breath some life back into it. Ms Gloag said: “As the new owner of Manston Airport, I am ready to work on investigating opportunities for growth at Manston. I have over 30 years experience in the transport industry and will use that expertise as best as I can to optimise both freight and passenger growth at Manston.” Mr Welch worked for BAA at Heathrow and Stansted before Southend. He said “For the airport to thrive and fulfil its potential, it is vital that we create an environment where new partners are attracted to do business at Manston.” However, at present all it has is a twice daily KLM flight to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.   Click here to view full story…

 


 

Infratil sells Manston Airport for £1 (well, £350,000 with adjustments) to Ann Gloag. They paid £17 million for it in 2005.

October 14, 2013

Infratil has agreed to sell Manston Airport to Lothian Shelf (710) Limited, an entity wholly owned by Ann Gloag, a co-founder of Stagecoach with her brother Brian Souter. She is a very rich woman. It was sold for cash consideration of £1, plus an adjustment for working capital variances and cash injected by Infratil between 14 October 2013 and transaction completion (which is expected to be around £350,000). Ann Gloag is an experienced investor who co-founded Stagecoach Group, the UK-listed public transport operator, along with her brother, Brian Souter. Infratil tried to look on the positive side, saying “Infratil Limited is very pleased to have found an acquiror with a vision for Manston Airport’s future development,” and “this sale will result in a more focused portfolio and improve our future cash flow position.” Ann Gloag said she believes “there is real potential for growth that has not been fully captured. Having worked in the transport industry for over 30 years, I believe I am very well placed to help maximise opportunities for both freight and passengers at Manston.” Sale completion will probably be on 29th November. Infratil bought Manston for £17 million in 2005.    Click here to view full story…

 

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Hillingdon Leader unveils vision with 2 scenarios of future Heathrow without the airport

The Leader of Hillingdon Council has set out his vision for the redevelopment of the Heathrow site should the government decide that a new hub airport ought to be built elsewhere in the south east. There has been a lot of scare mongering promoted by Heathrow, and its lobbying campaign, “Back Heathrow” to cause concern that jobs in the Heathrow area would be lost if a 3rd runway was not allowed. On the same day that Boris set out his own 4 scenarios for the area, if Heathrow closed, Hillingdon now sets out its 2 possible scenarios, in its “Heathrow Park: A Better Future for Heathrow.” These are: (1).  A smaller West London Airport similar in scale to City Airport;  with “Heathrow Park” delivering 31,000 homes for an estimated 67,000 people, and including those at the airport, around 72,000 jobs. (2). If Heathrow Airport closed completely Hillingdon anticipate the creation of “Heathrow Park” with up to 45,000 homes (30% affordable) for nearly 100,000 people, with over 66,000 jobs and a wide range of education, health, public open space and  community facilities. In the 2nd scenario, For both scenarios, the principle settlement of Heathrow Gardens and the surrounding ‘urban villages’ will be centred on existing tube and rail networks to maximise connectivity.
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Boris’s report:   Heathrow Redevelopment Scenarios

Hillingdon report:  Heathrow Park: A Better Future for Heathrow


 

Hillingdon Leader unveils vision without Heathrow

Cllr Ray Puddifoot, the Leader of Hillingdon Council, today (31 March) unveiled his vision for the redevelopment of the Heathrow site should the government decide that a new hub airport ought to be built elsewhere in the south east.

31 March 2014

Heathrow Airport Ltd has indicated that if Heathrow Airport is not allowed to expand it cannot continue to operate. (??)

Cllr Puddifoot agrees with the statement made by the local MP John McDonnell that ” we will need to counter the threat to jobs campaign that has been funded by Heathrow Airport in the Back Heathrow Campaign” and the statement of the Airports Commission in their Interim Report  that Heathrow is ” a very substantial site for redevelopment” and ” supporting the shift of London’s economic centre of gravity eastwards to allow for further expected population growth, combined with a major redevelopment opportunity of the Heathrow site, is an alluring prospect which could have a major impact on the economic geography of the South East.”

The blueprint,  Heathrow Park: A Better Future for Heathrow [2Mb] sets out two possible scenarios: one if Heathrow closes, with a smaller West London Airport similar in scale to City Airport; and the second, if there is the total closure of Heathrow Airport.

Cllr Puddifoot was joined by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who released a major report, Heathrow Redevelopment Scenarios, also examining how the site might be used in the future if a new international hub was built.

Heathrow Park offers a ‘garden city’ alternative to replace Heathrow Airport and would see the creation of tens of thousands of new homes and jobs.

The two scenarios set out in the Hillingdon masterplan are:

If Heathrow Airport closed completely 

This would see the creation of Heathrow Park containing up to 45,000 homes (of which 30 per cent would be affordable) for nearly 100,000 people, the delivery of  over 66,000 jobs and a wide range of education, health, public open space and  community facilities.  A vibrant centre, called Heathrow Gardens, would be located at the heart of Heathrow Park with larger facilities including a major  health centre and educational campus with further/higher education facilities.    Three independent villages would also be built, each with strong links to the  central Heathrow Gardens and existing adjoining facilities.

A new West London Airport established

The main features of the first option would be retained but with a regional airport established to the north west of the site employing 2,000 people and the creation of Heathrow Park delivering 31,000 homes for an estimated 67,000 people.   Including those at the airport, around 72,000 jobs would be created.

For both scenarios, the principle settlement of Heathrow Gardens and the surrounding ‘urban villages’ will be centred on existing tube and rail networks to maximise connectivity.

They would be built to the highest quality architectural and landscape design and located within a parkland setting. The environment will be at the heart of the plans with large expanses of open space, woodland and waterways.

Each home will be no more than 800 metres from a town or neighbourhood centre and few hundred metres from transport links.

Cllr Puddifoot said:  ”Whilst it is apparent that the only senior politician, of any party , with the clarity of vision to deal with this issue is Boris Johnson the decision on where to build the new airport is not, at this time, his to make. However what is abundantly clear is the need to start preparing now for the future of the site.  Our document, Heathrow Park, begins the debate and outlines a future without the airport or with a smaller airport. It shows the real potential of the site and presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to create tens of thousands of jobs and homes.”

http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/28263/Leader-unveils-vision-without-Heathrow

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Boris and Hillingdon’s leader unite to unveil “Heathrow city” visions

31.1.2014 Get West London

Boris Johnson optimistic about Heathrow’s development potential should the airport close

Mayor of London Boris Johnson with Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council
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Mayor of London Boris Johnson was in Uxbridge (today) to reveal his plans for a future without Heathrow Airport.

Mr Johnson invited the media to the civic centre, in High Street, to a “behind closed doors” briefing on his “Heathrow redevelopment scenarios” report, which posits three potential outcomes for the vast Heathrow site should the Airports Commission decide against expansion and it go into decline and close as a result.

1.  The first is for a new “education and technology quarter”, with two large campus universities supporting an estimated 100,000 jobs.

2.  The report also suggests that it could be turned into a new town, delivering 48,000 homes for 112,000 people and generating up to £6billion for the economy each year.

3.  The third scenario is to build a vast residential area on the land, which is similar in size to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and become a commuter belt travelling into central London and Thames Valley, for a population of around 200,000.

The Mayor, who has long advocated a brand new hub airport to the east of London, said: “There is no question that Heathrow would present a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to create a new town within the capital.

“My vision offers the capital world-class air links combined with thousands of new homes and jobs. An expanded Heathrow just offers more misery.”

By his side for the announcement was Conservative Party compatriot and Leader of Hillingdon Council, Councillor Ray Puddifoot, who also unveiled the borough’s blueprint for Heathrow in the long-term.

The Hillingdon report, entitled “Heathrow Park: A Better Future for Heathrow”, also imagines the idea of the Airport closing and the creation of Heathrow Park, a cluster of purpose-built villages.

It also puts forward the notion of a new regional airport – a smaller-scale Heathrow – to the north-west of the site and coexisting with the new homes.

Mr Puddifoot said: “Whilst it is apparent that the only senior politician of any party with the clarity of vision to deal with this issue is Boris Johnson, the decision on where to build the new airport is not, at this time, his to make.

“However, what is abundantly clear is the need to start preparing now for the future of the site.”

The proposals have been criticised from Dr Onkar Sahota, Labour London Assembly Member for Ealing and Hillingdon, who said: “The Mayor is today wasting yet more taxpayers money pushing his unworkable, unrealistic and unaffordable plan to close Heathrow in favour of a new airport in the Thames Estuary. His plan would wreck west London’s economy and create economic chaos for my constituents. He must be the only person left in London who thinks this is a good idea.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/mayor-london-boris-johnson-leader-6898030

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See also

Boris sets out his 4 ideas for future of Heathrow site if airport is closed

March 31, 2014

Boris has produced a report on what might happen to Heathrow and its surrounding area, if the airport was shut (and a massive airport built on the Thames estuary). The report sets out 4 schemes. Boris says he is “prompting a genuine, honest discussion about what London could achieve in a world post Heathrow.” He said: “The money seems to be going on Gatwick, but I do not think that is the long-term solution that London needs – in having a dual hub solution.” The 4 schemes are for a new education and technology quarter, with 2 new large campus universities; a new town, with over 48,000 homes for 112,000 people and 76,000 jobs created in total; a new residential quarter, on the scale of Hammersmith and Fulham, with 82,000 new homes supporting a population of 200,000, and 54,000 jobs; or a Heathrow City, with education and commercial research, high value manufacturing,knowledge parks and office development – with 80,000 homes and 90,000 jobs created.  The report says many of the jobs currently provided at Heathrow would “move to the new airport and be easily accessible via the world class transport links proposed.” There is a separate report by Hillingdon.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Boris sets out his 4 ideas for future of Heathrow site if airport is closed

Boris has produced a report on what might happen to Heathrow and its surrounding area, if the airport was shut (and a massive airport built on the Thames estuary). The report sets out 4 schemes.  Boris says he is “prompting a genuine, honest discussion about what London could achieve in a world post Heathrow.” He said: “The money seems to be going on Gatwick, but I do not think that is the long-term solution that London needs – in having a dual hub solution.”  The 4 schemes are for a new education and technology quarter, with 2 new large campus universities; a new town, with over 48,000 homes for 112,000 people and 76,000 jobs created in total ; a new residential quarter, on the scale of Hammersmith and Fulham, with 82,000 new homes supporting a population of 200,000, and 54,000 jobs; or a Heathrow City, with education and commercial research,  high value manufacturing,knowledge parks and office development – with 80,000 homes and 90,000 jobs created.  The report says many of the jobs currently provided at Heathrow would “move to the new airport and be easily accessible via the world class transport links proposed.” There is a separate report by Hillingdon.
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Mayor wants honest discussion of how Heathrow site can best serve London in the 21st century

31 March 2014  (GLA – Mayor of London press release)

The Mayor of London has released a major new report that sets out several options for redevelopment of the Heathrow airport site if a new hub airport in the south east is eventually agreed by the Government and Heathrow airport relocates. It concludes that redeveloping the site could potentially support 90,000 new jobs and provide homes for 190,000 people.

The Mayor wants his report to kickstart an open, honest and evidence based debate on the potential of the Heathrow site to provide homes and jobs, in the face of the immense challenge posed by an increase in population for the capital, which is forecast to be equivalent to adding the population of Glasgow and Birmingham combined by 2030. In a sign of the seriousness with which the potential relocation of the airport is now being taken today (31 March) the London Borough of Hillingdon, the home of Heathrow Airport, have also released a report examining how the site might be used in the future.

Global Real Estate Advisers, Jones Lang LaSalle with PBA were responsible for the Mayor’s report. In it they tested three viable options for the Heathrow site. They worked to a theory that a new hub airport to the east of London had already been approved and that Heathrow airport would potentially relocate by 2030. They projected that many of the jobs currently provided at Heathrow would move to the new airport and be easily accessible via the world class transport links proposed. Meanwhile three scenarios for the redevelopment of the Heathrow site would create thousands of new jobs. Those scenarios are:

A new education and technology quarter: This would recognise the important role that the higher education sector and its research capabilities have in supporting the London economy. A new education quarter based around two new large campus universities could support 100,000 jobs. It would deliver 30,000 homes and 10,000 student housing units. When fully developed the quarter would generate an extra £7.8bn a year for the London economy. Similar types of education quarters can be found at Paris Saclay and in Boston.

A new town: This would take the form of an entirely new town that would look to provide over 48,000 homes for 112,000 people. The report anticipates that some commuting in and out of the town would occur but it should be possible to achieve a broad balance of jobs and workers living in the town with 76,000 jobs created in total. When fully developed this option would generate around £6bn every year.

A new residential quarter: This would create a new London residential quarter on the scale of Hammersmith and Fulham or Kensington and Chelsea. Many of the population would commute for work to central London or out to the Thames Valley. Nearly 82,000 new homes would support a population of 200,000. The report estimates 54,000 jobs would be created with 46,000 of those jobs in activities supporting the local population. When fully developed this option would generate around £3.9bn a year.

The report concludes that the most likely scenario for redeveloping the airport will likely be a combination of the three options considered, which would provide the opportunity for strong levels of job creation and housing growth. A further fourth “Heathrow City” scenario would be of such quality that its potential is unlikely to be matched by any other site in the foreseeable future.

Heathrow City: would develop a new residential quarter around existing transport facilities. Some terminal buildings would remain for retail, town and convention centre use. There would likely be a focus on education and commercial research such as high value manufacturing spinning off into knowledge parks and office development. Altogether 80,000 homes and 90,000 jobs would be created. This option would generate around £7.5bn a year for the London economy and UK plc.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “My job as Mayor is to consider how best to face the incredible challenges posed by the unparalleled increase in population taking place in our city over the first half of this century. I believe there is no question that the best option for increasing our aviation capacity is now to the east of London, just as there is no question that Heathrow would then present a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to create a new town within the capital that would supply thousands more homes and jobs. Relocating Heathrow would bring benefits to both east and west London and it is impossible to get one without the other. This report is about clearing away the smoke screen put up by people whose loyalty is to their shareholders, not to Londoners; and prompting a genuine, honest discussion about what London could achieve in a world post Heathrow airport.

“Londoners should be in no doubt: if Heathrow is allowed a third runway, it will be rapidly followed by a fourth, as airlines move out of Gatwick to take up the new capacity. My vision offers the capital world-class air links combined with thousands of new homes and jobs. An expanded Heathrow just offers more misery.”

Transport for London will be working with a number of organisations to put on a series of events and workshops over coming months with a brief to consider the practicalities of redeveloping the Heathrow site with greater honesty and accuracy than ever before.

The argument that the only way to satisfy the need for extra aviation capacity would be to expand to a four runway hub airport was further strengthened last week. Supporters of a new runway at Gatwick Airport claim that Heathrow is inaccessible for low-cost airlines due to its higher landing charges. But the Chief Executive of EasyJet has now categorically rejected that assertion, citing the airline’s operations at other European hub airports, and being undeterred by their higher landing fees. Once and for all, this should put paid to the idea that expansion of hub airport capacity is incompatible with continued growth of low-cost carriers. A London hub airport which can offer sufficient capacity and resilient, efficient operations on an unconstrained site will be able to cater for increased low-cost carrier activity – realistically, this can only be delivered with a new four runway hub airport to the east of London.

Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said:  “Whilst it is apparent that the only senior politician, of any party, with the clarity of vision to deal with this issue is Boris Johnson the decision on where to build the new airport is not, at this time, his to make.  However, what is abundantly clear is the need to start preparing now for the future of the site.  Our document, Heathrow Park, begins the debate and outlines a future without the airport or with a smaller airport. It shows the real potential of  the site and presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to create tens of thousands  of jobs and homes.”

Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council agrees with the statement made by the local MP John McDonnell that “we will need to counter the threat to jobs campaign that has been funded  by Heathrow Airport in the Back Heathrow Campaign” and the statement of the  Airports Commission in their Interim Report  that Heathrow is “a very substantial site for redevelopment” and “supporting the shift of London’s economic centre of gravity eastwards to allow for further expected population growth, combined with a major redevelopment opportunity of the Heathrow site, is an alluring prospect which could have a major impact on the economic geography of the South East.”

 http://www.london.gov.uk/media/mayor-press-releases/2014/03/mayor-wants-honest-discussion-of-how-heathrow-site-can-best

 


Boris’s report:   Heathrow Redevelopment Scenarios

Hillingdon report:  Heathrow Park: A Better Future for Heathrow


 

BORIS JOHNSON OUTLINES VISION IF HEATHROW WAS CLOSED AND NEW ESTUARY AIRPORT BUILT

by  

Monday, 31 March 2014  (Airport World)
The report by Hillingdon Council is at  “Heathrow Park: A Better Future for Heathrow”

Boris Johnson outlines vision if Heathrow was closed and new Estuary Airport built

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, outlined his vision today of a future without Heathrow Airport and development of a state-of-the-art new Estuary Airport.

Flanked by his aviation advisor, Daniel Moylan, he presented a report at Hillingdon Council, entitled Heathrow: Redevelopment Scenarios.

Johnson says he wants an ‘open, honest, and evidence based debate’ on how the Heathrow site can ‘best serve London in the 21st century’.

The report was based on closure of the world’s third busiest airport in 2030, a new town being built on the site, and a four-runway Estuary Airport constructed on the Isle of Grain in Kent.

Johnson says: “This report is about clearing away the smoke screen put up by people whose loyalty is to their shareholders, not to Londoners, and prompting a genuine, honest discussion about what London could achieve in a world post Heathrow.”

Options he says for the Heathrow site, post closure, include the creation of a new education and technology quarter creating 100,000 jobs.

The second is a new town providing 48,000 homes for 112,000 people, and creating 76,000 jobs.

The third is a residential quarter, on the scale of Hammersmith or Fulham or Kensington and Chelsea, with 82,000 homes for 200,000 people.

The mayor’s report says the most likely scenario for redevelopment of the site, which is nearly the size of Kensington and Chelsea, will be a combination of all three options, to provide the ‘opportunity for strong levels of job creation and housing growth’.

A further fourth ’Heathrow City’ scenario was also detailed, and the report claims 80,000 homes and 90,000 jobs could be created.

The report concludes that if Heathrow Airport is closed, and redeveloped into a town, it could potentially support 90,000 jobs and provide homes for 190,000 people by 2030.

heath

Johnson told media and Hillingdon Council councillors, he is backing closure of Heathrow and the building of a new hub, as there are two barriers to economic growth and prosperity in London – a rising population and the lack of aviation capacity in the South East.

Johnson explains in his view, as Heathrow is limited by development due to capacity, the UK is losing out on business and passenger traffic to Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt, and Paris CDG airports.

“UK business is losing the ability to compete with the growth markets in Asia and Latin America. It is a long-term problem and we need to solve it now,” he adds.

And Johnson says building a new runway at Heathrow is not the ‘right answer’ and in his opinion it would also lead to a fourth runway being built sometime in the future.

“In my judgement, it is not going to happen anyway (a runway at Heathrow) as it is not politically deliverable.

“People will stop it when they realise the impact, and the answer is to be bold and look at what other countries have done (like Hong Kong) and move the hub airport.

“We could build a 24-hour, four-runway airport on one of the Estuary sites, that would allow us to get on with competing with Schiphol and Paris CDG, and galvanise the Thames Gateway area, and allow our businesses to compete,” Johnson adds.

estuary

Commission chairman, Sir Howard Davies, previously explained in his view, the ambitious Thames Estuary Airport development would cost from £20-100 billion (€24-120 billion, but the mayor says the £100 billion mark suggested was way off the mark.

The commission is set to make a decision in the autumn, on whether to add the airport proposal on the Isle of Grain to the short-list.

The list currently includes three options, two for new runway suggestions at Heathrow, and a second runway at Gatwick.

The mayor says he will be speaking to the Airports Commission soon, about what option is in the best interests of London.

And he was positive the Estuary plan may make the short-list, as Sir Howard, ‘recognises the huge regeneration possibilities’ that exist with moving the hub.

And the mayor says irrespective of the commission’s decision, he will be continuing ‘the fight’ for a new hub airport in the South East, and it will always be his solution to expanding capacity.

The mayor also explains he is against a new runway being built at Gatwick, as thinks London needs one main hub, as opposed to a two-hub system.

Johnson says: “The money seems to be going on Gatwick, but I do not think that is the long-term solution that London needs – in having a dual hub solution.

“Me and my TFL team are sceptical, as we think another runway at Gatwick does not solve the capacity issue.

gatty

“What it would not deliver is a long-term hub capacity. And we are not ever going to have three or four runways at Gatwick.

“The advantage of the four-runway Estuary Airport, is that we would have the space to expand further, to five or six runways.”

Johnson and his aviation advisor also gave their assurances that airlines and passengers would be happy to move from Heathrow to the Estuary Airport in Kent, as say it will improve facilities and give them more space and opportunities.

His advisor Moylan, also says there is no reason why the owner of Heathrow, Heathrow Airport Holdings cannot simply relocate, and be part of the Estuary Airport development project.

Mayor Johnson concluded by declaring ‘no to a third runway at Heathrow’ and that London needs to expand capacity in the South East where the highest ‘economic growth yield’ is.

Hillingdon Council, which is against a new runway being built at Heathrow, also released a report at the briefing based on similar ideas to the mayor, and outlined two possible options if it is closed.

There option A assumes the airport is closed completely, and a ‘Heathrow Park’ town, with 45,000 new homes for 98,483 people is built.

Option B features construction of a new West London Airport on the site, operating as a regional airport, and the building of a Heathrow Park town alongside it.

The Airports Commission are set to give a response shortly on the three options it has short-listed to expand airport capacity in the South East, before give its final recommendations to the UK government after next year’s general election.

A Heathrow spokesperson says the mayor’s plans would be ‘devastating’ and adds: “The Mayor of London is proposing to spend billions of pounds of public money to forcibly buy and then close Heathrow, immediately putting 114,000 people out of work.

“He would do this to build an expensive new hub airport at a further cost of £112 billion to the taxpayer.  The economic impacts of this at both a national and regional level would be devastating.”

http://www.airport-world.com/home/general-news/item/3831-boris-johnson-outlines-his-vision-if-heathrow-is-closed-and-estuary-airport-is-built?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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Hillingdon Leader unveils vision with 2 scenarios of future Heathrow without the airport

April 1, 2014

The Leader of Hillingdon Council has set out his vision for the redevelopment of the Heathrow site should the government decide that a new hub airport ought to be built elsewhere in the south east. There has been a lot of scare mongering promoted by Heathrow, and its lobbying campaign, “Back Heathrow” to cause concern that jobs in the Heathrow area would be lost if a 3rd runway was not allowed. On the same day that Boris set out his own 4 scenarios for the area, if Heathrow closed, Hillingdon now sets out its 2 possible scenarios, in its “Heathrow Park: A Better Future for Heathrow.” These are: (1). A smaller West London Airport similar in scale to City Airport; with “Heathrow Park” delivering 31,000 homes for an estimated 67,000 people, and including those at the airport, around 72,000 jobs. (2). If Heathrow Airport closed completely Hillingdon anticipate the creation of “Heathrow Park” with up to 45,000 homes (30% affordable) for nearly 100,000 people, with over 66,000 jobs and a wide range of education, health, public open space and community facilities. In the 2nd scenario, For both scenarios, the principle settlement of Heathrow Gardens and the surrounding ‘urban villages’ will be centred on existing tube and rail networks to maximise connectivity.

Click here to view full story…


 

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Hillingdon Leader unveils vision without Heathrow

Cllr Ray Puddifoot, the Leader of Hillingdon Council, today (31 March) unveiled his vision for the redevelopment of the Heathrow site should the government decide that a new hub airport ought to be built elsewhere in the south east.

31 March 2014

Heathrow Airport Ltd has indicated that if Heathrow Airport is not allowed to expand it cannot continue to operate. (??)

Cllr Puddifoot agrees with the statement made by the local MP John McDonnell that ” we will need to counter the threat to jobs campaign that has been funded by Heathrow Airport in the Back Heathrow Campaign” and the statement of the Airports Commission in their Interim Report  that Heathrow is ” a very substantial site for redevelopment” and ” supporting the shift of London’s economic centre of gravity eastwards to allow for further expected population growth, combined with a major redevelopment opportunity of the Heathrow site, is an alluring prospect which could have a major impact on the economic geography of the South East.”

The blueprint,  Heathrow Park: A Better Future for Heathrow [2Mb] sets out two possible scenarios: one if Heathrow closes, with a smaller West London Airport similar in scale to City Airport; and the second, if there is the total closure of Heathrow Airport.

Cllr Puddifoot was joined by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who released a major report, Heathrow Redevelopment Scenarios, also examining how the site might be used in the future if a new international hub was built.

Heathrow Park offers a ‘garden city’ alternative to replace Heathrow Airport and would see the creation of tens of thousands of new homes and jobs.

The two scenarios set out in the Hillingdon masterplan are:

If Heathrow Airport closed completely 

This would see the creation of Heathrow Park containing up to 45,000 homes (of which 30 per cent would be affordable) for nearly 100,000 people, the delivery of  over 66,000 jobs and a wide range of education, health, public open space and  community facilities.  A vibrant centre, called Heathrow Gardens, would be located at the heart of Heathrow Park with larger facilities including a major  health centre and educational campus with further/higher education facilities.    Three independent villages would also be built, each with strong links to the  central Heathrow Gardens and existing adjoining facilities.

A new West London Airport established

The main features of the first option would be retained but with a regional airport established to the north west of the site employing 2,000 people and the creation of Heathrow Park delivering 31,000 homes for an estimated 67,000 people.   Including those at the airport, around 72,000 jobs would be created.

For both scenarios, the principle settlement of Heathrow Gardens and the surrounding ‘urban villages’ will be centred on existing tube and rail networks to maximise connectivity.

They would be built to the highest quality architectural and landscape design and located within a parkland setting. The environment will be at the heart of the plans with large expanses of open space, woodland and waterways.

Each home will be no more than 800 metres from a town or neighbourhood centre and few hundred metres from transport links.

Cllr Puddifoot said:  “Whilst it is apparent that the only senior politician, of any party , with the clarity of vision to deal with this issue is Boris Johnson the decision on where to build the new airport is not, at this time, his to make. However what is abundantly clear is the need to start preparing now for the future of the site.  Our document, Heathrow Park, begins the debate and outlines a future without the airport or with a smaller airport. It shows the real potential of the site and presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to create tens of thousands of jobs and homes.”

http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/28263/Leader-unveils-vision-without-Heathrow

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EasyJet 10 year deal with Luton airport to increase passengers from 4 to 9 million per year

easyJet has announced the signing of a new 10-year price deal with Luton which could lead to easyJet expanding from 4 million to 9 million passengers per year.  EasyJet started off its life at Lution, in 1995. There are, of course, the usual claims about the large number of jobs that would be created – some 2,500 job, they suggest. Luton has a small proportion of business passengers (around 19% in 2010) and 80% of its customers are charter airlines for cheap beach etc “bucket and spade” holidays abroad.  The airport also boasts that it is “the biggest airport in the UK for private jets.” Commenting on the easyJet deal, the local opposition group, HALE said they were very concerned about the extra noise that would be caused by this huge rise in number of flights, and they want a commitment from easyJet to a clear timetable for introduction of quieter airframes and engines.   EasyJet are currently switching from A319s to the larger, heavier and currently noisier A320, which won’t help. HALE are also worried that the expansion of easyJet will mean even earlier departure slots and even later arrivals slots.  At present Luton’s expansion plans at Luton, which involve extending the airport’s terminal and improving road access, are currently on hold pending a decision by the Secretary of State whether to “call in” the application or not.
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EasyJet to help put Luton airport back on the map

The low cost carrier has entered into a 10-year deal with Luton, the airport where easyJet was founded.

Nine of the vehicles involved were interfered with while they were parked at Luton Airport

Luton airport wants to grow from 10m to 18m passengers a year and is awaiting planning approval for its expansion proposals. Photo: Alamy
By , Leisure & Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)

31 Mar 2014

Low-cost giant easyJet has struck a 10-year price deal with Luton Airport to help put the base, where it started life in 1995, back on the map.

The airline, which was founded in a small office at Luton by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and is now the UK’s biggest carrier by passenger numbers, said the deal could see it more than double its traffic at its “home” airport from four to nine million passengers a year. The expansion could also see as many as 2,500 jobs created at the airport and in the local area, easyJet said.

The agreement will come as a significant boost for Luton as the airport’s operator awaits approval for £100m investment plans to expand its capacity to 18m passengers a year and shake off its dowdy image.

The plans, which involve extending the airport’s terminal and improving road access, are currently being assessed by Eric Pickles’ Department for Communities and Local Government.

Glyn Jones, managing director of the airport, said 19pc of Luton’s passenger traffic comes from business travellers yet it is still associated in many people’s minds with charter airlines and as the starting point for cheap beach holidays abroad.

The airport, which expects to see around 10m passengers pass through its doors this year, is planning a major re-brand to encourage further business passengers and to overhaul the airport’s image. Mr Jones pointed out that Luton is already the biggest airport in the UK for private jets.

The deal with Luton is the second in less than a week for easyJet, which last week announced a seven-year agreement with Gatwick.

Progress at Luton has been delayed by the sale last year of the rights to operate the airport, which were acquired by Spanish infrastructure group Aena and Axa’s private equity arm in a deal valued at £433m.

Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, said the rate of expansion at Luton, which is on the doorstep of the airline’s headquarters, would be “in part reliant” on planning approval for “much-needed improvements” at the airport.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10733133/EasyJet-to-help-put-Luton-airport-back-on-the-map.html


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Comment from HALE (Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion):

“People living close to airports are affected by increased noise if expansion plans such as this go ahead, and airlines must factor them into their thinking. Before adding yet more flights, we’d like to hear easyJet commit to a clear timetable for introduction of quieter airframes and engines at Luton Airport – particularly since we already know they plan to switch from Airbus A319s to the larger, heavier and currently noisier A320s in any case.
Will easyJet also commit to avoiding even earlier departure slots and even later arrivals slots? The night-time has already been eroded to just 6 hours by aircraft noise, and people have to sleep.
Extra jobs, and benefits to passengers, have to be balanced by effective actions to reverse the increasing noise trend at Luton Airport. Noise is a form of pollution, and businesses which create noise need to invest in mitigation for its effects, as well as being prepared to constrain the hours during which noise is made. These are not unreasonable demands, and we look forward to some specific proposals from easyJet to balance its announcement today.”

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EasyJet’s Luton deal set to boost jobs and passenger numbers

Budget airline plans to add new business and leisure routes and increase frequency of flights on some of its 39 routes
  •  Press Association)

EasyJet plane landing at Luton airport

An easyJet plane landing at Luton airport. Easyjet has 15 aircraft based at the site, its second largest base in the London area, and employs 1,600 staff locally. Photograph: ATM / Barcroft Media

Low-cost airline easyJet has secured a 10-year deal with Luton airport which could see it more than double passenger numbers at the site from 4 million to 9 million a year.

It said the expansion would also lead to the creation of 2,500 jobs at the airport and in the surrounding region.

But the chief executive, Carolyn McCall, said the pace of the growth depended on site improvements being approved, adding that Luton could make a “real and immediate” contribution to the need for more airport capacity.

EasyJet has 15 aircraft based at Luton, its second largest base in the London area, and employs 1,600 staff locally.

It said it planned to increase capacity by 20% over the next year by adding new business and leisure routes and increasing the frequency of flights on some of its 39 routes.

McCall said: “This is a substantial, long-term deal with London Luton airport – our first base and the airline’s home – which will enable us to double our size at London Luton in the next decade and add an even greater range of business and leisure destinations.”

Last week the airline signed a deal with Gatwick airport, which will give it certainty over user charges for the next seven years. The plan is for easyJet, which already flies 45% of the passengers from Gatwick, to be housed entirely in the larger north terminal, where it will become the dominant operator.

EasyJet revealed last week that it was set for a smaller-than-expected loss over winter, after it benefited from improved revenue trends and benign weather.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/mar/31/easjet-luton-deal-jobs-passengers

 

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EasyJet has also done a deal with Gatwick:

EASYJET AND GATWICK AIRPORT AGREE NEW SEVEN YEAR GROWTH AND SERVICE IMPROVEMENT DEAL

27.3.2014 (EasyJet press release)

easyJet today announced that it has agreed a new seven year deal with Gatwick Airport(GAL) from April 2014 which will incentivise the airline to grow at the airport and provide the framework for easyJet and GAL to further improve customer experience for easyJet’s passengers.

Carolyn McCall, easyJet CEO commented on the deal:

“Gatwick is our largest base so it is of strategic importance to secure this new agreement with Gatwick Airport.  easyJet shares the CAA’s view that Gatwick has market power but also supports the move towards a more commercial arrangement with the airport within a regulatory framework.

“This agreement gives easyJet certainty on passenger charges over the next seven years and a clear incentive to continue to grow. More importantly, it will create a framework for easyJet and Gatwick to plan and deliver an improved experience for our passengers.

“Our shared ambition is for Gatwick to be both our biggest and best airport.”

Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said:

“This partnership with easyJet is a landmark deal in London Gatwick’s history. Four years after the end of the BAA monopoly at the airport, this partnership highlights how far we have come to be able to operate within a new framework of commitments and contracts. Forpassengers travelling with easyJet, they will have more choice, competitive fares and an even better experience. It is positive news for both business and leisure passengers travelling with easyJet from Gatwick.”

easyJet plans to continue to grow at Gatwick through increasing our slots and by deploying larger aircraft as easyJet replaces 156 seat A319s with 180 seat A320s and, from 2017, A320Neos. In the next year (end March 2015) alone the airline will increase capacity and passenger numbers by around 10% compared to the previous year.

The agreement has been reached within the new ‘commitments’ framework which will replace the current regulatory regime as confirmed by the CAA last year‎.

easyJet started flying from London Gatwick Airport in 1999 and now has 57 aircraft based there, operating on 108 routes. The airline has around 1400 cabin crew and 700 pilots operating from the airport.

http://corporate.easyjet.com/media/latest-news/news-year-2014/27-03-2014-en.aspx?sc_lang=en

 

 

 

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New campaign group – CAGNE – formed to protest against Gatwick Airport noise

A new campaign group has formed in the Gatwick area, protesting against aircraft noise. Gatwick airport has been attempting to get good PR by claiming to do more than other airports to manage its aircraft noise.  However, infuriated residents living under a newly created departures flight path have formed the new group, called Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE).  It already has more than 300 frustrated members across Sussex, who are particularly angry at new flightpaths, of which the airport deliberately gave no prior notice. People at the villages of Rusper and Warnham, west of Crawley – which used to be quiet – have been horrified to find themselves subjected to relentless aircraft noise. Sally Pavey, a CAGNE member, said: “This is bringing misery to thousands of people and destroying the tranquility of parts of Sussex. It is wrong that all we can do is telephone the answer phone at Gatwick Airport to complain. ….we do not know if each complaint will be logged separately or if our address is only logged once.”  CAGNE has launched an online petition  calling on the DfT to stop the new flightpaths. The usual blandishment from the airport was that they “continue to take a responsible approach to noise reduction and mitigation.”
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New campaign group forms to protest against Gatwick Airport noise

March 31, 2014

By Chris Ballinger (East Grinstead Courier)

PROTEST GROUP:  Some of the members of Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions

PROTEST GROUP: Some of the members of Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions


In the same month that Gatwick has been praised as an “industry leader” in alleviating noise, a new campaign group has formed protesting that aircraft are too loud.An independent investigation into the airport’s noise management schemes to limit public impact has found it is a “force to be reckoned with”, compared to others in the South East and Europe.However, this is not a universally-held view – with a new pressure group being launched to fight noise and emission levels.The Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) was created earlier this month and already has more than 300 frustrated members across Sussex, who are particularly angry at new flightpaths.

On February 17, a six-month trial started, with planes being sent over different areas, including Rusper and Warnham to the west of Crawley.

The purpose is to allow planes to climb more quickly after take off, with the aim of reducing the number of people affected by aircraft noise.

But this also means some residents never before affected by aircraft noise now are.

Sally Pavey, a CAGNE member, said: “This is bringing misery to thousands of people and destroying the tranquility of parts of Sussex.

“It is wrong that all we can do is telephone the answer phone at Gatwick Airport to complain.

“We are assured our calls will be logged but it’s like asking a child to mark their own homework, we do not know if each complaint will be logged separately or if our address is only logged once.

“God knows what it is going to be like for the residents of Ifield and Langley Green if Gatwick gets its wish of placing a second runway in their back gardens.”

As the new flightpaths are running on a trial basis, no public consultation needed to take place.

The Civil Aviation Authority has also given the trial its backing.

Undeterred, CAGNE launched an online petition last week, calling on the Department for Transport to stop the new flightpaths.

While the affected residents have their fingers in their ears, Gatwick’s efforts to reduce noise impact have been praised in a report published last Wednesday.

Compiled by Noise Communications Solutions (NCS), it was commissioned to provide an independent assessment comparing Gatwick’s standards to Heathrow, Stansted and European airports Frankfurt and Schipol, in Amsterdam.

Gatwick was praised for offering residents money to insulate their homesfrom noise and for providing a tracking system where residents can see which flightpaths are being used at particular times.

The report states: “There is evident investment in both short and longer-term linked initiatives to improve the noise performance at Gatwick Airport. We often see laudable efforts in one or the other, but to see co-ordinated initiatives in both is rare. The impact of all these initiatives will ensure that Gatwick Airport remains a force to be reckoned with in the management of noise.

“We have found Gatwick Airport’s noise management function to be robust and resilient and it has invested a significant amount of time and effort in its noise management.”

NCS found there had been just four noise infringements, an incident where an airport can be fined if an aircraft is too loud, at Gatwick Airport between 2010 and 2013.

In comparison, there had been 272 at Heathrow over the same period.

Vicki Hughes, NCS managing director, said: “It is clear that through the implementation of several innovative measures, the impact will ensure Gatwick maintains its position as an industry leader in the management of airport noise.”

NCS did advise the airport to consult more with the community.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport CEO, said: “We take noise management very seriously.

“However, even as we try to remove hundreds of thousands of people out of the flightpaths, in line with Government policy, we recognise that there will always be some communities affected by aircraft noise.

“We will therefore continue to take a responsible approach to noise reduction and mitigation.”

http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Gatwick-Airport-gets-praise-managing-noise-new/story-20850845-detail/story.html

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Earlier news about the flight path trial:

 

38 Degrees petition against new flight paths trial

18.3.2014.

Campaigners at the village of Warnham near Gatwick have started a petition on 38 Degrees, to ask the DfT to put a stop to the new flight path trials sponsored by Gatwick Airport and NATS that are bringing misery to thousands of people – who are now being overflown, many times per hour, by take-offs. The area was quiet in the past, and the flight path trial was not announced before it started.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-new-flight-paths-out-of-gatwick-airport

 


 

Warnham continues to suffer amid speculation about why the trial flight path was inflicted on them

March 12, 2014

The upset continues over the trial flight path from Gatwick, for take-offs, over the village of Warnham. The issue had been very badly handled by the airport, in its unsuccessful attempts to reduce the amount of complaint. Residents of Warnham feel they are just seen as “collateral damage” for the airport’s ambitions of increased profit. There is the suggestion from people in the area that the reason for the trial is that Gatwick has quietly committed to the airlines an increased number of flights over the next year. They have oversold capacity at peak travel times/dates and they cannot operationally cope if they take off using the three legally permitted take-off routes. This would mean take off delays at peak-times, which would be financially damaging to the airlines and the airport. They therefore instituted this “trial’ route to increase take-off capacity, especially at peak times, by one-third. The aim is to make this permanent. Gatwick airport is eager to show the Airports Commission that it has rising numbers of passengers and flights, to get its runway. So it has to get as much growth as it can this year. In reality, the number of flights in 2013 was lower in 2013 than in 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2009.    Click here to view full story…

 


 

Villages up in arms as new Gatwick flight path shatters their peace and quiet

March 9, 2014

The Sunday Times has featured the story of the misery and upset being caused over villages in Sussex by a new trial flight path from Gatwick. The village of Warnham is particularly affected. It is a quiet village, but now has planes taking off from Gatwick thundering overhead. Some of the affected residents are the mother-in-law of Boris Johnson, who said who say the noise is so loud that it sets off baby monitors and drowns out the sound of local church bells. Also Caroline Lucas, whose family owns the 215-acre Warnham Park, with a large herd of red deer, said: “How long will future generations stay here? That’s the question you have to ask.” The 6 month trial, of which there was no notice given to local residents, is of a new departure route for planes mainly bound for southern Europe, which are now turning south earlier than they normally do. The airport says the trial is to find out if a new aircraft navigation system will allow air traffic controllers to reduce the interval between flights taking off from two minutes to one, potentially allowing more flights to take off at peak times. ie. make Gatwick even busier than now.                                           Click here to view full story…

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recent meeting of the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM) said, discussing whether residents should be warned of the trial in advance.                             GATCOM minutes of 30th January 2014:

“It was felt that parish councils in particular should be advised of trial to enable them to respond to their constituents if problems arose. Mr. Denton would consider this but emphasised the need to obtain genuine feedback from those affected. If people were aware of the trial it was possible that they would be more alert to changes and feel obliged to comment.”     ie. don’t warn them, because they might complain.

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Francis Maude: Noise misery foreshadows Gatwick second runway

March 8, 2014

Francis Maude, MP for Horsham, has received a great number of letters and emails from distressed residents in Warnham and Rusper, in recent weeks, about the new flight path trial over them. They are saying they are being plagued by a constant stream of noisy aircraft taking off from Gatwick towards the west starting at 6am. Many people have complained directly to Gatwick Airport, the CAA and NATS – but have yet to be satisfied on a number of points. Most residents were not aware of any minimal consultation about the changes before they started. Francis Maude is asking for much more detail about the trials. These include on what criteria will the trial be assessed? Why does it need to continue for six months? and How is it being monitored? He says the misery currently being experienced by local residents foreshadows what would be a permanent feature of life in the area if a 2nd Gatwick runway were to be built. The amount of opposition to this trial suggests it is not being successful. Francis Maude says: “I have made my opposition to a second Gatwick runway many times in public and private, and am happy to reiterate this now.”        Click here to view full story…

 


 

GACC calls for flight path trial to stop due to anger and outrage in the village of Warnham

March 5, 2014

The Argus: Angry Warnham residents

A new flight path for take-offs from Gatwick airport has caused outrage in the parish of Warnham, near Horsham. Designed as a 6-month trial to enable more aircraft to take-off from the Gatwick runway it has already caused a wave of protest. A member of the GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign), Sally Pavey, who lives in Warnham, says: ‘The tranquillity of our 14th century, conservation village has been lost and we seem powerless to do anything about it. Everyone is up in arms as we are woken at 6.00 am with an aircraft overhead every few minutes. Living in Warnham has turned into a nightmare!’ GACC has called for the trial to be stopped. The new route is causing an unacceptable degree of upset and maximum anger. It is just a small foretaste of what is to come if a new runway were to be built. “With a new runway the new flight paths would bring anger and misery to perhaps 30 or more towns and villages. And that would be permanent, not just for 6 months. Warnham is a wake-up call for why we should all oppose a new runway.’          Click here to view full story…

 

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Cardiff to Anglesey air link continues to get large government subsidy as bus grants are slashed

The Welsh Government has defended a big increase in subsidy for the North-South Wales air service while it cuts funding for lifeline bus services. From 2010-11 to 2012-13, subsidy for the flights between Anglesey and Cardiff increased by 37.2%. Subsidy was £184 for each passenger who used the service in 2012-13. Over the same 2-year period, the Welsh government reduced its grant to councils for unprofitable bus services by 29.2%. At least 94 bus routes have been withdrawn since 2011. Other services are under review because subsidy per passenger exceeds £2 or £3. The Welsh Government has been reviewing bus funding since early 2012 – but has not evaluated the air service’s costs and benefits since the global financial problems and major reductions in public-sector budgets. The route from Cardiff to Anglesey has 2 flights each way, each weekday, and there were almost 15,000 passenger journeys in 2008-09, but only 8,406 passenger journeys in 2012-13. Subsidy for the air operator and the civilian air terminal at RAF Valley on Anglesey increased from £1.08m in 2008-09 to £1.55m in 2012-13.
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North to South Wales air link enjoys subsidies as bus grants are slashed

Questions asked over Welsh Government transport priorities as figures show that the air link between Anglesey and Cardiff continues to enjoy public funding

Citywing operates flights to Anglesey

The Welsh Government has defended a big increase in subsidy for the North-South Wales air service while it cuts funding for lifeline bus services.

From 2010-11 to 2012-13, subsidy for the flights between Anglesey and the Vale of Glamorgan increased by 37.2%. Subsidy was £184 for each passenger who used the service in 2012-13.

Over the same two-year period, the Labour government in Cardiff Bay reduced its grant to councils for unprofitable bus services by 29.2%.

A recent BBC investigation revealed that Welsh councils have withdrawn at least 94 bus routes since 2011.

Other services are under review because subsidy per passenger exceeds £2 or £3.

The Welsh Government has been reviewing bus funding since early 2012 – but has not evaluated the air service’s costs and benefits since the global financial crash and major reductions in public-sector budgets.

The air service’s figures can be studied because a National Assembly committee asked the Wales Audit Office to investigate. Similar analysis of the subsidised first-class rail facility between Holyhead and Cardiff is impossible, because the government has declined to disclose how many passengers used it last year.

The air service, linking Cardiff airport to RAF Valley (on Angelsey) twice each way per working weekday, was launched in 2007. It carried almost 15,000 passenger journeys in 2008-09, and an appraisal in 2008 concluded that the service had a positive impact on many sectors of the Welsh economy.

The service carried only 8,406 passenger journeys in 2012-13. Subsidy for the air operator and the civilian air terminal at RAF Valley increased from £1.08m in 2008-09 to £1.55m in 2012-13.

Despite these significant changes, no cost-benefit analysis has been undertaken since 2008.

Conservative AM Mark Isherwood, who represents North Wales, said: “It seems that once again the Welsh Government has been caught with its corporate-governance pants down. They invested public money without putting controls in place.”

North Wales Liberal Democrat AM Aled Roberts contrasted the detailed evaluation of bus services by councils with the Welsh Government’s policy of increasing air subsidy without assessing value for money.

“If the [air] service has always been heavily reliant on people from the public sector to make use of it, clearly the financial constraints on the public sector suggest that there isn’t going to be as much usage going forward,” he said.

The Welsh Government says passenger numbers have been increasing, with 8,536 passenger journeys carried in the 2013 calendar year.

Asked why it had reduced subsidy for buses while increasing air subsidy, a Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are committed to delivering a range of public transport to support the social and economic needs of Wales.

“A full appraisal of the North-South air service is already underway. We are looking for innovative solutions to deliver an efficient, sustainable bus service across Wales and have established a new Bus Advisory Group to review policies and look at new approaches to funding. Local authorities are responsible for determining how they spend the funding we provide and identify which services should be supported and at what level.”

Mr Isherwood said bus services were being cut despite all parties in the Assembly agreeing that they provided an important service, especially in rural and deprived areas. Arriva had told him recently it would take on some threatened bus routes.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/north-south-wales-air-link-6895633

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Taxpayer has paid some £86 in subsidy for every one of the 65,073 passengers who used Cardiff-Anglesey service between May 2007 April 2013.   Passenger numbers on a publicly-subsidised air route between Cardiff and Anglesey have fallen 35% since it was first introduced in 2007.  Load factor now on Cardiff-Anglesey planes now at about 46%-47%.

‘Ieuan Air’ Cardiff-Anglesey link passenger numbers plunged by 35% since it was introduced, Assembly committee hears

Welsh Government say passenger numbers fell due to economic downturn and decline of Cardiff Airport

Passenger numbers on a publicly-subsidised air route between Cardiff and Anglesey have plunged by 35% since it was first introduced, it has been revealed.

The north-south service – dubbed “Ieuan Air” after then-Deputy First Minister and Ynys Mon AM Ieuan Wyn Jones – has cost the taxpayer around £86 in subsidy for every one of the 65,073 passengers which used the service between May 2007 and April 2013, the Wales Audit Office (WAO) said in written evidence to the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday.

The WAO also said the government should “revisit” the business case for the service and undertake a “full options appraisal and cost-benefit analysis”, which includes alternative investments to the service.

Questioning Welsh Government officials, chair of the committee Darren Millar said passenger numbers using the service had “plummeted”, with planes now running at an average “load” of less than half, at around 46%-47%.

Director General of the Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science department James Price said passenger numbers were down 35% on “the highs of when it was first introduced”.

But he insisted the Welsh Government did believe the service delivered value-for-money.

He said: “Passenger numbers are down by about 35% on the highs when they were introduced.

“There was a time.. .when load factors [how full planes are] were up around 85%-86%. hey were above 80% and they are now between 40%-50%. That’s a significant fall, I would absolutely agree.”

Mr Price said the general economic downturn had contributed to around 10% of fall in passengers, while the decline in Cardiff Airport had also contributed to the decline.

He also said the operator, Citywing, had reported it was “positive” a passenger numbers were “picking up significantly” recently.

He said he “couldn’t second-guess” whether ministers would renew the service when the contract expires, but he said the department would consider options to expand the service to include flights to Hawarden, Flintshire, during a “seven-hour downtime” after planes arrive in Cardiff.

Auditor General for Wales Huw Vaughan Thomas also said in a briefing to AMs: “During the first two years of the Highland Airways contract – May 2007 to April 2009 – nearly 29,000 passengers used the service with an average reported load factor of 82%. This load factor performance compared favourably with an industry average load factor over the same period of around 76%.

“However, passenger numbers have been markedly lower in recent years and fell by 12.5% between 2011-12 and 2012-13.”

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/ieuan-air-cardiff-anglesey-link-passenger-6876767

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BBC Video clip:

North-south air link subsidy rises to £1.2m

3 December 2010

The north-south air link between Anglesey and Cardiff is to continue for the next four years. But with the assembly government subsidy for the service rising by 50%, opposition parties have condemned the decision. Tomos Dafydd reports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11904955

Opposition parties have condemned the decision to raise the subsidy by 50%

The air service linking north and south Wales will continue for another four years as its annual assembly government subsidy rises from £800,000 to £1.2m.

The current operator Manx2.com has secured the Cardiff-Anglesey contract along with its partner FLM Aviation.

But Liberal Democrats say it is an “environmental and financial outrage”.

Anglesey AM and Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said the decision reflected the assembly government’s determination to maintain the link.

“This air link joining north and south Wales has proved itself to be an efficient, reliable and popular service,” said Mr Jones.

“This service is well used, it is well utilised, and it’s a wide range of people – there are business people, people visiting friends and families, people going for tourism opportunities, as well as of course as people from the public sector.

“I think it is justified, simply because we need to maintain good communications between north and south of our country.”

Clive McGregor, leader of Anglesey council, welcomed the subsidy, saying it was “good news and brings us certainty for another four years”.

He added that Manx2’s record has been “excellent so far”.

“The hope is that together we can develop the service from Maes Awyr Môn and that destinations such as Dublin and the Isle of Man will be offered in the future,” Mr McGregor said.

Isle of Man-based Manx2.com took over running of the route in May after the airline Highland Airways went into administration in March.

It was awarded the new contract after the assembly government out the service out to tender in July.

Manx2.com chairman Noel Hayes said: “As a Celtic neighbour, Manx2.com is delighted to have been chosen to continue the connection between Cardiff and Anglesey.

“With our home base just 50 miles away across the Irish Sea, we’re excited about continuing our award-winning Manx service into the future.”

The decision was criticised by Welsh Liberal Democrats, who have long opposed the service, which has been dubbed “Ieuan Air” by some after the Anglesey AM and Plaid Cymru leader.

The party’s transport spokesperson, Jenny Randerson said: “At a time when families and business are cutting back, it beggars belief that the Labour-Plaid government can waste another £4.8m of taxpayers’ money subsidising the Ieuan Air airlink.

“It is an environmental and financial outrage.”

The party said it was “simply scandalous” that the new deal also tied in any future assembly government to the service for the next four years.

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will now look to see what can be done to ensure a future government is free to scrap this wasteful and polluting subsidy,” added Ms Randerson.

However, the assembly government has defended the increase in subsidy for the service, which jumps by 50% to £1.2m a year.

A spokesperson said it reflected changes since the first north-south airlink agreement in 2007.

“Since then the costs of operating the service has increased, for example increases in fuel, salary costs, landing charges, etc, the current budget limit reflects these increased costs,” added the spokesperson.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11904955

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Nearly 100 subsidised bus routes cut in Wales in 2011-14

20.2.2014 (BBC)

Age Cymru says older people could become increasingly isolated

Nearly 100 subsidised bus routes have been scrapped by councils in Wales in the past three years, with further cuts expected as authorities make savings.

The figures obtained by BBC Wales reveal that nearly one in seven routes across 19 council areas have been axed.

The charity Age Cymru warned of the impact this could have on older people saying they could become increasingly isolated and cut off from services.

The Welsh government said it was reviewing ways of funding services.

But a spokesperson also added that decisions on support for local service remained with councils.

Responses to a Freedom of Information request show 93 services have been cut from 656 subsidised routes between 2011 and 2014.

Some councils warned they were continuing to review bus services following cuts to transport budgets after a 25% reduction in Welsh government funding

…… and it continues

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-26262972

 

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Welsh Economy Minister says Cardiff Airport likely to return to profit only in ‘long-term’

March 21, 2014

The Welsh Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, has said that Cardiff Airport – now in public ownership – is likely to return to profit eventually, but not in the short term. She said its downward spiral is no longer continuing. The airport finally becoming profitable is a “long-term” strategy. She was giving evidence to the National Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee on the airport, which was bought by the Welsh Government for £52m at the end of 2012. Ms Hart suggested there wouldn’t be a quick sale of the airport back into the private sector, which the Scottish Government is seeking for the newly-nationalised Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire. Pressed by the Plaid Cymru economy spokesman on when the government expected the taxpayer to recoup its investment. She said the Budget announcement for support for regional airports to set up new routes would apply to Wales and that they would “wait for the detail of it”, but confirmed the Welsh Government is likely to bid in for funding. Chancellor George Osborne announced a £20m annual fund will be used to encourage new routes from regional hubs like Cardiff.

Click here to view full story…

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Swiss plane engine ‘blew up’ on runway just before take-off at London City airport

It has been reported that an engine blew up on a Swiss International Airlines plane waiting to take off from London City airport, while it was powering up its engines seconds before it was due to leave start its take off.  The airport said that 4 people needed treatment for minor injuries after Geneva-bound LX437 (an Avro RJ100) with 74 passengers and 4 crew on board suffered an engine problem.  The pilot aborted the take off. A passenger reported that “There was a large bang and flames which grew and grew and large chunks of what looked like chunks of red-hot metal started flying up. People started freaking out…..In about 20 seconds we would have been in the air.” The runway at the east London airport was closed for more than an hour after the incident at 3pm on Thursday.  Three people were treated at the scene for minor injuries by the London ambulance service. It is not the first incident to feature an RJ100 at the airport. In February 2009, a BA flight from Amsterdam crash-landed when one of its wheels failed.

London City airport runway closed after plane engine ‘blew up’

Four people needed treatment for minor injuries after Geneva-bound LX437 suffered an engine problem
  • 7 March 2014 (Guardian)

The Swiss International Airlines Avro RJ100 at London City airport

The Swiss International Airlines Avro RJ100 at London City airport. Photograph: Twitter user

An engine blew up on an airliner seconds before it was due to leaveLondon City airport, a passenger has said.

Four people needed treatment for minor injuries after Geneva-bound LX437 with 74 passengers and four crew on board suffered an engine problem, airport authorities said.

Mike Mompi, 28, who was flying to Switzerland for a skiing holiday, said the Swiss International Airlines Avro RJ100 was revving up on the runway for take-off when it happened.

He said: “There was a large bang and flames which grew and grew and large chunks of what looked like chunks of red-hot metal started flying up. People started freaking out.”

He added: “In about 20 seconds we would have been in the air.”

The runway at the east London airport was closed for more than an hour after the incident at 3pm on Thursday.

Mompi, who is originally from California but lives in Shoreditch, east London, said there had been “a bit of a panic” before the captain ordered everyone to evacuate. He said he didn’t think anyone had been injured by the engine, but thought it was more likely they were hurt trying to get off the aircraft.

Swiss International confirmed that the RJ100 aircraft suffered an engine problem and the pilot aborted take-off.

A spokeswoman said: “The pilot aborted take-off at low speed due to an engine problem. Passengers and crew have been safely evacuated.”

She added that the company had launched an investigation into the cause of the incident.

An LCA spokeswoman said the plane had suffered a technical issue and three people were treated at the scene for minor injuries by the London ambulance service.

The runway reopened at 4.15pm but passengers were warned they faced disruption.

It is not the first incident to feature an RJ100 at the airport. In February 2009, a British Airways flight from Amsterdam crash-landed when one of its wheels failed.

The 67 passengers and four crew on the flight were evacuated and paramedics treated four people for minor injuries.

The aircraft derives from the old British Aerospace 146, which effectively “made” London City airport.

When the hub in Docklands opened in 1987, the BAe 146 was for a time the only aircraft able to use the airport.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/27/london-city-airport-plane-engine-blew-up

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Stansted Managing Director tells London that Stansted is “solution” to aviation capacity demand

Stansted boss, Andrew Harrison, says the airport can meet London’s growing aviation needs over the next 15 years.  He was speaking at the inaugural London Infrastructure Summit on March 27th. He said Stansted could more than double the amount of flights it handles and that improving rail links into London would be key to unlocking its full potential.  The  Summit  focused on the importance of infrastructure to London’s overall competitiveness. Andrew Harrison said Stansted has the infrastructure and planning permission to handle 35 million passengers (up from 17.8 million in 2013) per year, and the ability to handle a further 10 million passengers beyond that. That is around the capacity of one runway, fully used, especially with larger planes than at present. Stansted intends to “grasp the opportunity” in the period before any new runway (if one is ever agreed) could be built, to “make the best possible use of Stansted.” Some rail improvements, which could be implemented quickly, might cut the train journey time to London by 10 minutes.

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Airport boss tells London that Stansted is solution to aviation capacity crisis

(Herts & Essex Observer)

27 March 2014

by SINEAD HOLLAND

STANSTED boss Andrew Harrison has been driving home the message that the airport can meet the capital’s growing aviation needs over the next 15 years, at the inaugural London Infrastructure Summit today (Thursday, March 27).

He told delegates the Uttlesford hub could more than double the amount of flights it handles and that improving rail links into the city would be key to unlocking its full potential.

The summit, at Kings Place in London, was supported by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and focused on the importance of infrastructure to London’s overall competitiveness.

“Stansted is an important asset for London, and making the best possible use of its capacity should be an urgent priority for Government. The airport already has the infrastructure and planning permission to handle 35m passengers a year, and the ability to handle a further 10m passengers beyond that,” said Mr Harrison, pictured.

“Wherever the Airports Commission recommends a new runway, it is critical for Londoners that we grasp the opportunity in the intervening period to make the best possible use of Stansted. That is why the commission saw rail improvements as an immediate priority for the Government to address. We believe there are practical solutions that could be implemented quickly to reduce journey times to London by more than 10 minutes. These would make a big difference to passengers, airlines, commuters and the wider region,” he added.

The theme for the event was Infrastructure fit for a world city and the programme included panel sessions on key themes across London’s main infrastructure sectors, including: the overall vision and plan for London; funding and financing; lessons learned from major projects like Crossrail; the aviation debate; and how to build long-term consensus on future priorities for London.

http://www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk/News/Uttlesford/Airport-boss-tells-London-that-Stansted-is-solution-to-aviation-capacity-crisis-20140327145057.htm

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It Gatwick got a new runway, would the necessarily higher landing costs drive travellers to Stansted instead?

GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has produced a report suggesting that if Gatwick was allowed to build a new runway, plus a new terminal, the cost of doing so (the Airports Commission  think that might be £10 – 13 billion) would mean Gatwick landing charges   would have to rise so steeply that the low cost airlines would be likely to prefer to move flights to – cheaper (and with spare space) Luton and Stansted.  See below:

A new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick would mean big increases in passenger fees – New report

March 10, 2014

Who pays

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has submitted a new report to the Airports Commission which casts doubt on the feasibility of building a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow. So far there has been little realistic discussion about who will actually pay for the proposed runways. The new study,Who Would Pay for a New Runway” by Brendon Sewill, shows that a new runway at Heathrow would be likely to mean an increase in landing fees and other airport charges from £19 per passenger now, up to £31. At Gatwick there would be a larger increase, up from £8 now to £33.60. The study points out that with all the London airports separately owned, unlike in the days of BAA, the cost will have to fall only on the passengers using that airport. If an expensive runway (and terminal) is built, the options are either that the passengers pay for it – or that it has to have public subsidy. A report for the Airports Commission, by KPMG, concluded that a new Heathrow runway would need a subsidy of around £11 billion, and a new Gatwick runway a subsidy of nearly £18 billion. However, the Government is reluctant to commit public funds, and new EU guidelines ruling out subsidies to major airports. That leaves landing charges – will passengers put up with that, or vote with their feet by using cheaper airports?                  Click here to view full story…

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The Airports Commission said, in its Interim Report, on the subject  of improving rail links to Stansted in the short term:

Page 160

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271231/airports-commission-interim-report.pdf

 

Stansted
●● The Government should work with Network Rail and Transport for London on a
detailed study of the route between London and Stansted Airport and serious
consideration should be given to 4-tracking the line as far as Broxbourne
Junction, subject to a robust business case being developed. This study should
consider how enhancements to the route might benefit airport traffic, London
commuters and Cambridge traffic, recognising that any steps to enhance the
Stansted Express service through regularising or reducing journey times and
improving reliability will help the airport to play an enhanced role in supporting
London and the UK’s international connectivity. The study should take full
account of the Mayor’s London Growth Strategy.

●● The Government, Network Rail and Train Operators should work together on
options to connect Stansted Airport to a wider range of London destinations,
with a particular emphasis on making better use of the connection facilities
available at Stratford domestic station.

●● The Government should work with train operators to promote the introduction
of paperless ticketing facilities for journeys to and from Stansted Airport station.

●● The Government and the Highways Agency should monitor road congestion
around Stansted Airport, with a view to making interventions should substantial
congestion arise as traffic at the airport grows

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and in the Commission’s Airports Commission: Interim Report. Appendix 1: Assessment of Short- and Medium-Term Options – December 2013

it states:

“The Commission is recommending a study into enhancing the rail line between London and Stansted as part of its Interim Report. It is also recommending that congestion
levels on roads around Stansted be kept under review.”

 


 

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Hogan Lovells advises Stansted Airport in securing the end of economic regulation

27 March 2014 (The Lawyer)

Hogan Lovells has announced that it has achieved an important victory for Stansted Airport in securing the end of economic regulation at the airport.

The Civil Airport Authority (CAA) published a decision on 25 March 2014 confirming that Stansted does not have substantial market power in relation to its cargo services, and therefore will not be subject to an economic regulation licence from April 2014. This follows a decision on 10 January 2014, in which the CAA confirmed that Stansted’s passenger business would not be subject to economic regulation.

The CAA’s decisions in relation to Stansted’s passenger and cargo businesses follow a two-year review and mean that Stansted now has the freedom and opportunity to drive competition in the market. Both Heathrow and Gatwick will continue to be subject to regulation until at least 2019.

As one of the first market power assessments to be made under the Civil Aviation Act 2012, the case involved complex competition and public law issues. A cross-discipline team at Hogan Lovells, incorporating individuals within Hogan Lovells’ specialist competition law and public law and policy teams, worked closely with Stansted’s legal and regulatory teams to achieve this outcome.

The team at Hogan Lovells was led by Susan Bright and included competition partner Christopher Hutton (assisted by senior associate Thomas Smith) and partner Charles Brasted (assisted by associate Julia Marlow) from the public law and policy team. The team at Stansted included Tim Hawkins, Graeme Ferguson and Heidi Smith.

http://www.thelawyer.com/firms-and-the-bar/hogan-lovells-advises-stansted-airport-in-securing-the-end-of-economic-regulation/3018291.article

 

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easyJet says it would fly from Heathrow, “if it was right for us” debunking Gatwick’s Heathrow myth

Gatwick airport, in its bid to try to pursuade the powers-that-be of its suitability as the site of a new runway, has often said that the low cost airlines would not fly from Heathrow. However, easyJet has now said that it would consider flying from an expanded Heathrow.  Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of easyJet, said it would look at flying from Heathrow in future “if it was right for us”, and it if wasn’t too expensive. Gatwick claims that the increase in demand for air travel will be for short haul flights, mainly to Europe or countries adjacent to Europe. Heathrow claims the demand for air travel in future will be long haul.  According to Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, Heathrow is inaccessible for low-cost airlines and charter carriers due to its high landing charges. But Ms McCall points out that easyJet already flies to and from other hub airports in Europe, such as Schiphol, Rome Fiumicino and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Though Heathrow has high landing charges, so do the other European  hub airports. Ms McCall made her comments shortly after easyJet announced a 7-year pricing deal with Gatwick and revealed it is in discussions to take over the airport’s north terminal, potentially forcing out British Airways. It made no mention of a 2nd Gatwick runway.
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easyJet debunks Gatwick’s Heathrow myth

Chief executive of budget carrier dismisses Gatwick’s view that Heathrow prices out low-cost airlines

EasyJet      plane
easyJet announced a seven-year pricing deal with Gatwick and revealed it is in discussions to take over the airport’s north terminal Photo: PA
By Nathalie Thomas (Telegraph)
27 Mar 2014

easyJet, the UK’s biggest airline, would consider flying from an expanded Heathrow, blowing a hole in one of rival airport Gatwick’s main arguments for why it should have the right to build Britain’s next runway.

Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of easyJet, said the budget carrier would look at flying from Heathrow in future “if it was right for us”, debunking the myth that the west London hub prices out low-cost airlines.

Setting its case for a second runway earlier this week, Gatwick insisted it offered the best location for the next runway in the south-east of England as it caters for low-cost carriers, which are expanding at a much faster rate than legacy airlines, and meet overwhelming demand for short-haul flights to Europe.

Although businesses in the UK are keen to establish better air links with destinations in far-flung emerging markets, the bulk of demand in future will continue to be for short-haul to Europe, the West Sussex airport insisted.

According to Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, Heathrow is inaccessible for low-cost airlines and charter carriers due to its high landing charges.

However, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ms McCall contested Gatwick’s assertions, pointing out that easyJet already flies to and from other hub airports in Europe, such as Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

“We fly out of Charles de Gaulle, we fly out of [Rome] Fiumicino, which is Alitalia’s hub, we are the number two airline out of Schiphol, which is a hub,” Ms McCall said. “If it was right for us to fly out of Heathrow…we would consider flying out of Heathrow.”

She added: “I don’t think they [Heathrow] keep out low-cost airlines, they are highly priced but so is Frankfurt, so is Charles de Gaulle, so is Schiphol.”

Heathrow is currently operating close to capacity but is in a head-to-head battle with rival Gatwick to persuade Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission that it offers the better solution to meet aviation capacity needs in the South East up to 2030.

Ms McCall made her comments shortly after easyJet announced a seven-year pricing deal with Gatwick and revealed it is in discussions to take over the airport’s north terminal, potentially forcing out British Airways.

A new runway, either at Heathrow or Gatwick, will not open for more than a decade, forcing airlines to make best use of the existing capacity.   easyJet, which is the UK’s largest airline by passenger numbers, is already Gatwick’s biggest customer. The airport accounts for about a quarter of easyJet’s entire network – the equivalent of 14m-15m passengers a year – and Ms McCall said consolidating its operations in one terminal would help it to introduce more technology and improve efficiency. However, the move could result in British Airways, which occupies Terminal 5 at Heathrow, having to transfer to Gatwick’s smaller south terminal. easyJet plans to further increase its passenger numbers at Gatwick by around 10% in the year to March 2015 alone, Ms McCall said.

easyJet has also opened its latest European base at Naples airport, as it attempts to win passengers from Italian flag carrier Alitalia.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10728483/easyJet-debunks-Gatwicks-Heathrow-myth.html

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British Airways offers cheaper ‘day trip’ fares

Cut-price fares launched for those wanting to spend just a day overseas. But is six hours in Rome really worth it?

The longest that BA’s flight schedule would allow anyone in Rome for example, would be a rather short six hours 

By Natalie Paris and Oliver Smith (Telegraph)

5 Mar 2014

British Airways is offering what it claims to be “affordable day trip” tickets for anyone wanting to fly to popular city break destinations and back on the same day

The airline is offering the return fares, from Heathrow Airport only, to Dublin (from £79); Edinburgh (from £89); Geneva (from £79); Vienna (from £99); Munich (from £99) and Rome (from £89).

The flights are for those travelling with hand luggage only and are for departures on Saturdays or Sundays.

At first glance, these seem like fairly good prices, when compared to the cost of adding together two single tickets through BA. But low-cost rivals still outflank the carrier. A quick look at Ryanair’s website reveals that a day return to Dublin on a typical April weekend, for example, can be found for as little £43.78 (also hand luggage only).

Prices aside, would a day trip to Europe be worth it? The longest that BA’s flight schedule would allow anyone in Rome for example, would be around nine hours – six if you take an earlier flight home – including time spent at the airports at each end. Dublin would be a better bet. A day tripper to the Irish capital could spend up to 12 hours exploring the city, including time to get to and from the airport.

Telegraph Travel ran a quick spot check on the BA website (www.ba.com) when the news was announced today to see what sort of prices we could find.

The day return tickets are not labelled as such, so took a little tracking down.

Day returns for Dublin were available for the advertised price of £79 for some weekends in March and throughout April and May. Same-day flights into and out of Edinburgh could be found for £89 during weekends in April, and return fares to Geneva were available for £79.

But the advertised prices for day returns to Munich and Rome were much harder to come by.

Taking Rome as an example, we only managed to find one available return fare between now and May 24 for £89. The price of a return on the first flight into Rome and last back to Heathrow on other weekend dates in March, April and May, variously cost from £169 up to £801 (on March 15).

BA said it could not reveal how many day trip tickets were set aside for each destination, due to the information being “commercially sensitive”, but admitted that availability changes depending on the route.

The fares are only available on flights departing at the start and the end of the day but travellers have a choice between two early or two late flights in some destinations.

Encouraging travellers to fly twice in a day might anger environmentalists. When asked to comment on the effect of such short trips, a spokesman said: “It’s the customer’s choice and they can offset their carbon emissions on the BA website if they wish to.”

The airline said it intends to roll out the fares to other European cities from Heathrow in future, where its flight schedules allow it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/10678385/British-Airways-offers-cheaper-day-trip-fares.html

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Gatwick Airport’s PR  campaign, which they call “Gatwick Obviously says, under the heading, “The Future” :

“As the popularity of low cost airlines has boomed, Gatwick has made more low cost flights available. EasyJet is now one of our largest and best known airlines. As short-haul and medium-haul flights have increased, Gatwick has offered more of these routes to its passengers, now providing 45 of the top 50 European routes for example”

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EASYJET AND GATWICK AIRPORT AGREE NEW SEVEN YEAR GROWTH AND SERVICE IMPROVEMENT DEAL

27.3.2014 (EasyJet press release)

easyJet today announced that it has agreed a new seven year deal with Gatwick Airport (GAL) from April 2014 which will incentivise the airline to grow at the airport and provide the framework for easyJet and GAL to further improve customer experience for easyJet’s passengers.

Carolyn McCall, easyJet CEO commented on the deal:

“Gatwick is our largest base so it is of strategic importance to secure this new agreement with Gatwick Airport.  easyJet shares the CAA’s view that Gatwick has market power but also supports the move towards a more commercial arrangement with the airport within a regulatory framework.

“This agreement gives easyJet certainty on passenger charges over the next seven years and a clear incentive to continue to grow. More importantly, it will create a framework for easyJet and Gatwick to plan and deliver an improved experience for our passengers.

“Our shared ambition is for Gatwick to be both our biggest and best airport.”

Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said:

“This partnership with easyJet is a landmark deal in London Gatwick’s history. Four years after the end of the BAA monopoly at the airport, this partnership highlights how far we have come to be able to operate within a new framework of commitments and contracts. For passengers travelling with easyJet, they will have more choice, competitive fares and an even better experience. It is positive news for both business and leisure passengers travelling with easyJet from Gatwick.”

easyJet plans to continue to grow at Gatwick through increasing our slots and by deploying larger aircraft as easyJet replaces 156 seat A319s with 180 seat A320s and, from 2017, A320Neos. In the next year (end March 2015) alone the airline will increase capacity and passenger numbers by around 10% compared to the previous year.

The agreement has been reached within the new ‘commitments’ framework which will replace the current regulatory regime as confirmed by the CAA last year‎.

easyJet started flying from London Gatwick Airport in 1999 and now has 57 aircraft based there, operating on 108 routes. The airline has around 1400 cabin crew and 700 pilots operating from the airport.

http://corporate.easyjet.com/media/latest-news/news-year-2014/27-03-2014-en.aspx?sc_lang=en

 

 

 

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Gatwick hopes noise compensation pledge will help it win battle for a new runway

As competition hots up to persuade the Airports Commission, and ultimately Parliament, on their own cases for building a new runway, Gatwick and Heathrow have both stressed the importance of dealing with the aircraft noise issue, or at least hoping people believe they are dealing with it. Gatwick has committed to pay annual compensation of around £1,000 to local households most affected by aircraft noise should it receive approval for a 2nd runway. Heathrow, meanwhile, has pointed to a [dubious] survey it commissioned from Populus that aircraft noise is only the 7th most important aspect of a London airport for Londoners. The Gatwick scheme would only pay up when a new runway starts to be used, and might affect  around 4,100 households inside the 57 db(A) Leq noise contour. The compensation would not be paid to new residents choosing to relocate to the area once the runway is built.  Earlier Gatwick announced plans to offer hundreds of local homes up to £3,000 towards double glazing and loft insulation to mitigate aircraft noise. This level of payment if offered at  Heathrow would be vastly more expensive, by several orders of magnitude.
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Gatwick goes on the noise offensive with compensation pledge to help win battle for a new London runway

Gatwick goes on the noise offensive with compensation pledge to help win battle for a new London runway | Gatwick Airport,Heathrow Airport,GACC,NCS
Possible layout of a two-runway Gatwick Airport (image: GAL)
27 Mar 2014 (GreenAir Online)

As competition hots up to persuade the UK government-appointed Airports Commission, and ultimately Parliament, on their own cases for building a new runway, London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports have stressed the importance of winning the aircraft noise debate. Believed to be the first airport in the world to make such an offer, Gatwick has committed to pay annual compensation of around £1,000 ($1,600) to local households most affected by aircraft noise should it receive approval for a new second runway. It has also released a supportive noise management report that benchmarks its approach with other leading UK and European airports. Heathrow, meanwhile, has pointed to a survey it commissioned from pollsters Populus that aircraft noise is only the seventh most important aspect of a London airport for Londoners.

Under the Gatwick compensation scheme, which would only come into effect if and when a second runway comes into operation, around 4,100 households situated within the 57 db(A) Leq noise contour would each receive an annual payment equivalent to the Band A Council Tax – the lowest band of property tax charged by the local authority. The compensation would not be paid to new residents choosing to relocate to the area once the runway is built.

“Expansion at Gatwick would, without doubt, deliver many upsides for our local community in terms of jobs and investment. But we must also recognise the negative noise impacts on local people from more flights,” said Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport. “How we best compensate communities affected by major infrastructure projects is an issue facing a growing number of sectors – from aviation to energy.

“Environmental issues are at the centre of the debate about runway capacity in the South-East [of England] and noise reduction, mitigation and compensation are therefore at the heart of our expansion plans. This scheme will be a cornerstone of our planned package of measures for local residents.”

Earlier this year, Gatwick announced plans to offer hundreds of local homes up to £3,000 ($5,000) towards double glazing and loft insulation to mitigate aircraft noise, which will add 40% more homes to those covered already by the old scheme.

Last week, Gatwick published a report it had commissioned from aviation noise consultancy Noise Communications Solutions (NCS) that looked at the airport’s noise initiatives and benchmarked its approach to noise management against leading European airports including Heathrow, Stansted, Frankfurt and Schiphol.

Vicki Hughes, Managing Director of NCS, said the airport had implemented several innovative measures that would help ensure its position as an industry leader in the management of airport noise. Such measures include being the first UK airport to introduce Precision Navigation on all its departure routes which, claims Gatwick, allows aircraft to fly on more precise routes and therefore reduce the number of people impacted by noise.

“We take noise management very seriously and it is great that our approach has been independently validated by renowned noise experts,” commented Wingate. “However, even as we try to remove hundreds of thousands of people out of the flight path in line with government policy, we recognise that there will always be some communities affected by aircraft noise.”

As it steps up its case for expansion, the airport unveiled a new campaign this week, ‘Gatwick Obviously’, to promote the economic, connectivity and regenerative benefits of a second runway. The independent Airports Commission is due to recommend its solution to the London and South East England capacity debate after the next general election in May 2015. Subject to government approval and quick decision-making, Gatwick believes it can start construction of a new runway before the end of the next parliament in 2020, with the first flights taking off in 2025.

Next week, Gatwick is starting a six-week consultation with local residents and businesses over three options it is looking at for the proposed new runway. The airport’s own preferred option is a 1,045m runway south of the existing runway, with both being used for landings and take-offs. The airport will hold a series of 16 public exhibitions during the consultation period.

“The views of the local community are an essential element in shaping Gatwick’s second runway options,” said Wingate. “Therefore it is important we hear from as many people as possible through our consultation so that we can consider local opinions fully in our refined runway proposals.”

However, GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign), which includes local environmental groups and councillors and is fighting the runway proposal, said the consultation was a bogus exercise as it provided no provision for the public to vote against the runway. GACC Chairman Brendon Sewill said the outcome of the consultation was already pre-ordained, particularly over the three options. “Whichever option the public choose, the decision has already been taken,” he said. “And a vote for any option will be counted as a vote in favour of a new runway.”

GACC also criticises the more precise routes now being taken by aircraft departing the airport. “Concentrating flight paths may mean fewer people affected but at the cost of misery for those under the narrow flight path,” it said.

Sewill described the compensation payment offer as a “small bribe” and said the amount would be tiny compared to the loss of house values and the deterioration in the quality of life “of hundreds of thousands of people”.

Meanwhile, Heathrow Airport has published a report it commissioned from independent polling company Populus that shows aircraft noise was less important overall to a majority of Londoners compared to the economic benefits. The poll of just over 1,000 participants found noise ranked as only the seventh most important aspect of an airport, with only 8% ranking it the highest, and fewer than a quarter or respondents rated noise as among their top three issues.

Issues such as the number of destinations an airport flies to directly (35%), its proximity to central London (18%) and the economic benefits it delivers (10%) were all seen as more important considerations.

Commenting on the findings, Heathrow’s Chief Executive, Colin Matthews, said: “Noise is a vital issue for many people. This survey puts the spotlight on other aspects which are vitally important for Londoners when considering an airport.”

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1841

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Links:

Gatwick Airport – Aircraft Noise

Noise Communications Solutions

GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Heathrow Airport

Populus

 

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The Heathrow poll saying noise is 7th most important aspect of a London airport:  [It is hardly surprising if Londoners, living far from the airport and nowhere near a flight path, say noise is not important to them.  It is the opinion of those who live in the noise-affected areas that matters on the issue of noise.  It is like asking the population of a town their opinion of the provision of local veterinary services, when most of them don’t have a pet]. 

 

Noise less important than economic benefits when considering airports say Londoners

24 March, 2014 (Heathrow airport press release)

  • New poll shows noise ranks as only the seventh most important aspect of an airport
  • Fewer than a quarter of people (23%) rate noise as among their top three issues
  • Most important factors about a London airport are the number of destinations it flies to (35%) proximity to central London (18%) and economic benefits (10%)

 

A new London-wide survey shows that aircraft noise is only the seventh most important aspect of a London airport for voters, according to new research from independent polling company Populus.

8% of those surveyed ranked noise from flights as their most important issue. Issues such as the number of destinations an airport flies to directly (35%), its proximity to central London (18%) and the economic benefits it delivers (10%) were all seen as more important considerations. Fewer than a quarter of those polled said noise from flights was among their top three issues.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s Chief Executive said:

“Noise is a vital issue for many people. This survey puts the spotlight on other aspects which are vitally important for Londoners when considering an airport: For most people, the number of destinations an airport serves, the economic benefits it delivers and its proximity to central London are more important than noise.

A 3rd runway would enable Heathrow to serve more destinations and deliver greater economic benefits while continuing to reduce the number of people exposed to noise.”

Three quarters of those asked (75%) also believe that London needs a world class airport if it is to be a world class city.

Notes to editors

Populus interviewed a representative sample of 1,039 participants in March 2014.

http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/Noise-less-important-than-economic-benefits-when-considering-airports-say-Londoners-86f.aspx

[Needless to say, the results of the survey and the raw data, are not published]. 

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Earlier:

Gatwick hopes that by giving another 1,000 homes double-glazing it will defuse opposition to a 2nd runway

February 3, 2014

Gatwick airport continues to spend a lot of money in attempting to get backing for its 2nd runway and soften up opposition. It has now set up a new scheme – starting on 1st April – to give people overflown more double glazing and house insulation, to attempt to cut some of the noise. That, of course, does not work when the windows are open, or when people are outside – in a garden, or elsewhere. Gatwick says it is expanding its noise insulation scheme, to cover over 1,000 more homes across Surrey, Sussex and Kent. People will be able to apply for up to £3,000 towards double glazing for their windows and doors as well as loft insulation; ie the scheme could cost Gatwick some £3 million in total. They are now taking the 60 Leq contour, rather than the 66 Leq contour, as in the past – hence increasing the catchment area. They are also extending the area covered by 15km to both west and east of the airport. Stewart Wingate said “We understand that the public’s tolerance to noise is much lower than it was”… Gatwick is pushing hard to compare the noise problem it causes with the much larger noise problem caused by Heathrow, where flight paths go over many more densely populated areas. They ignore the issue of the low level of background noise around Gatwick, compared to background noise in a city or large town.   Click here to view full story…

 

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Zac Goldsmith challenges Heathrow to take a leaf out of Gatwick’s book

Friday 7th February 2014

Zac Goldsmith has challenged Heathrow to match Gatwick’s pledge to reduce the impact of aircraft noise for people living under the flight path. In a recent expansion of its noise insulation scheme, to be rolled out from April, homes around Gatwick can apply for up to £3,000 towards double glazing, while loft insulation has increased by up to 40%.   If Heathrow was to adopt a similar scheme up to 70,000 homes would be eligible to apply for funds – nearly double the current number.  The Conservative MP for Richmond Park said Gatwick’s move was a bold and responsible one by an airport willing to adapt to aircraft noise in line with the latest scientific evidence.  He said: “Heathrow continually downplays the effects of aircraft on the community in its bid to expand its airport, and is using wildly outdated formula for its own insulation scheme. Even without expansion, the airport already impacts more people than all other major European airports combined, and it’s time for the management to tackle the issue responsibly and seriously.” There are currently about 40,000 homes around Heathrow eligible for noise insulation.      http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/10993513.Goldsmith_challenges_Heathrow_to_take_a_leaf_out_of_Gatwick_s_book/

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