Head of CBI backs Heathrow 3rd runway while CBI wants all parties to sign up to Commission’s recommendations in advance

Sir Mike Rake, the new president of the CBI, thinks building a 3rd runway at Heathrow is a “no-brainer” and that the Government should get on with increasing aviation capacity immediately. The CBI has always backed massive aviation expansion, rather predictably. He said: “Despite the fact I live near there, I think we should have started a third runway several years ago and I think other projects should follow from that.”  He admitted that Heathrow is not the only option and also called for a 2nd runway to be built at Gatwick. “We need to decide quickly and get on with it,” he said.  His personal views appear to be slightly at odds with the CBI itself.  On Thursday, the CBI released its response to the Airports Commission into airport capacity, stressing that it was open to whatever solution could gain cross-party support and lead to speedy growth. They said all three major parties must sign up to Commission’s recommendations in advance, to avoid going back to square one in 2015. The CBI remains the only business group that does not unequivocally back an enlarged Heathrow as the way to deliver the alleged economic growth.

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CBI head backs third runway for Heathrow

Sir Mike Rake, the new president of the CBI, has said that building a third runway at Heathrow is a “no-brainer” and that the Government should get on with increasing aviation capacity immediately.

Sir Mike Rake said work on a third runway should have started years ago Photo: PA
By   (Telegraph)

20 Jul 2013

In a wide ranging interview, Sir Mike said politicians had spent too long talking about new runways but had failed to take any decisions.

“I’m not sure how much longer we can delay aviation capacity decisions, because we could have built a third runway the amount of time we’ve spent discussing it,” Sir Mike said. “It’s been going on, what, five, six years? But from my personal perspective, it’s a no-brainer

“Despite the fact I live near there, I think we should have started a third runway several years ago and I think other projects should follow from that.”

Sir Mike admitted that Heathrow is not the only option and also called for a second runway to be built at Gatwick.“We need to decide quickly and get on with it,” he said.

Sir Mike’s comments come three days after Heathrow outlined plans for a super-airport with a total of four runways.

However, his personal views appear to be slightly at odds with the CBI itself.

Last Thursday, the CBI released its response to the Howard Davies-led review into airport capacity, stressing that it was open to whatever solution could gain cross-party support and lead to speedy growth. The CBI remains the only business group that does not unequivocally back an enlarged Heathrow as the way to deliver such growth.

Sir Mike also warned of the dangers to the UK economy of the increasingly negative rhetoric on immigration.

In his first interview since taking the helm of Britain’s biggest business organisation last month, Sir Mike said that economic migration had provided real benefits to the UK, but that the “language used in some quarters” was detracting from Britain’s attractiveness to overseas students and workers.

The CBI president, who is also chairman of BT and deputy chairman of Barclays, said that business has a clear role to play in ensuring the right image is projected of the UK’s willingness to welcome skilled migrants on the world stage, in part to help fill the increasing skills gap.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10192866/CBI-head-backs-third-runway-for-Heathrow.html

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Related Telegraph Articles

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A few days earlier:

CBI comments ahead of the Airports Commission deadline

All three major parties must sign up to Davies recommendations in advance, to avoid going back to square one in 2015

The CBI has commented ahead of The Airports Commission closing its proposal deadline  tomorrow.

The independent commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is tasked with identifying and recommending options for maintaining the UK’s status as an international aviation hub.

The interim report is due later this year and the final report in 2015.

Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said:

“We cannot bury our heads in the sand. Aviation capacity in the South East could run out as early as 2025 and we’re still failing to use our regional airport network to the full.

“Every day we delay these critical decisions, we risk falling further behind our competitors. Whatever solution is found has to help UK businesses expand into emerging markets. Firms in high-growth economies are not waiting for us to make a call, before taking their business to countries with much better connections.

“Business is starting to wonder how serious the parties are about Davies. Politicians have consistently failed to agree a way forward and have been forced to outsource the decision to the Commission.

“We want a cross-party commitment now to accept its final recommendations in 2015 to stop us going back to square one yet again.”

Background

1. The CBI’s Trading Places report in March 2013 – said the UK risked missing out on billions of pounds in trade unless it boosted directed flights to the fastest growing economies in the world.

2. The CBI is calling for an urgent plan to expand and maximise airport capacity in the short, medium and long term:

Short-Term (by 2020)

Immediate improvements in surface access to UK airports, maximising efficiency for passengers and freight and boosting the catchment area of the UK’s international airports. This should include:

• Pressing ahead with delivery of announced measures such as the western rail link from Heathrow and the station upgrade at Gatwick

• Concerted efforts to address pinch-points in road access to the UK’s network of regional airports including East Midlands, Newcastle and Bristol

Maximising capacity of existing assets if commercially viable, with more flexible ‘mixed mode’ operations at Heathrow.

Medium-Term (delivering in the 2020s)

• New runway capacity in the south of the UK – at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham or elsewhere – subject to review of the most feasible option to address current constraints at Heathrow.

• A strategy to increase public transport access to UK airports from 40% to 60% by 2030, supported by new rail links to improve access to key airports such as links to Manchester through a new Northern Hub.

Long-Term (to deliver from 2030)

Explore all options for expanding hub capacity in the South East, including a new airport for London, to meet long-term demand for passenger and freight and support trade growth with new emerging markets. A successful hub must include:

• Sufficient runway and terminal capacity to accommodate future demand projections, domestic flight connections from UK ‘spokes’ and headroom to ensure resilience.

• Excellent connectivity to London and the wider UK transport network, including motorway and high-speed rail links.

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More on aviation from the CBI

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Much earlier:

CBI demands more airport capacity in southeast England

New analysis claims that every additional daily flight to key emerging markets could boost trade by £1bn a year

british airways boeing 747

A British Airways Boeing 747 takes off from Heathrow Airport. Photograph: REUTERS

The CBI has weighed in to the aviation debate to demand short-term measures for more airport capacity in the southeast, with a new analysis claiming to prove that one daily flight to key emerging markets could boost trade by £1bn a year.

Warning that the UK is missing out on billions of pounds in potential trade without direct air links to booming cities in Brazil, Russia and China, the CBI risks alienating residents of west London by also calling for a measure that would greatly increase disturbance on Heathrow flight paths.

Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director said: “Boosting exports is critical to our long-term growth. Our analysis shows that just one new daily flight to the eight fastest growing economies in the world could generate as much as £1bn a year in trade.

“Every day we delay expanding our connections, we risk falling further behind our competitors. Firms in high-growth economies are not waiting for us to make a decision before taking their business to countries with much better flight links.

While the business group does not throw its weight behind any one option for additional runways in the southeast, it calls on the Davies commission to recommend airport expansion in the long-term, and to demand instant action to improve surface links to airports and boost capacity at Heathrow.

It says rail and road routes to London and regional airports should be upgraded, and “mixed mode” flights at Heathrow should be explored – a system that allows increased landings and takeoffs. Local councils and residents groups are overwhelmingly opposed to this on noise grounds, arguing it would destroy periods of respite, and even the airport has said it will not seek to implement it.

Rhian Kelly, CBI director for business environment policy, said the new research went further than a similar, pro-expansion report produced recently by Frontier Economics in that it had tried to strip out other factors such as tourism and culture to prove the causal links between aviation and trade. She claimed the pattern showed the links were “neither chicken or egg – it’s a virtuous circle”, but highlighted an additional potential £920,000 in trade for every extra 1,000 passengers flown between EU countries and the Bric economies .

She said of the controversial proposal to back mixed mode: “We know that it’s challenging, but if it’s commercially viable we think that it’s one of the only options we’ve got.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “This government is determined to find a lasting solution to maintain the UK’s global aviation hub status and secure the kind of benefits that the CBI has identified. Our approach is to build a strong political consensus so we can plan for the future. A rushed decision is not an option.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/04/cbi-airport-capacity-southeast

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CBI and BCC call on Government to be clear over Heathrow plans

Britain’s two most powerful business groups are pressing the Government to urgently spell out its strategy on aviation amid an increasingly fractious debate over a third runway at Heathrow.

By  (Telegraph)

27 Mar 2012

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the CBI on Monday stepped into the row over airport capacity in the south-east of England after Boris Johnson vowed a third Heathrow runway “will not be built” as long as he is Mayor of London.

Mr Johnson made his position clear after suggestions that several senior members of the Cabinet were pushing for a Heathrow expansion to be put back on the negotiating table.

John Cridland, CBI director-general, called for a “firm plan” within 18 months. He said: “This is not an ‘either or'; we need to act now and across all fronts to remain a world-class business destination, and boost our trade with emerging economies.”

John Longworth, director-general of the BCC, said: “The UK will miss out on investment and jobs if the Government does not act now to improve capacity in the South East.”

A Government paper on aviation has been delayed until the summer.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/9167977/CBI-and-BCC-call-on-Government-to-be-clear-over-Heathrow-plans.html

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Read more »

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

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

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London Mayor Eyes Chinese Funds For Airport

State funds from Asia have indicated interest in funding new airport favoured by London Mayor, Sky News learns.

Proposed airport on Isle of Grain (Pic: Foster and Partners) 
Artist’s impression of proposed airport (Pic: Foster and Partners)

By Mark Kleinman, City Editor

[The Foster & Partners have submitted their scheme to the Airports Commission:                    The report is available online here. ]

State funds from China and South Korea are preparing to deliver a major boost to Boris Johnson by committing billions of pounds to the construction of a new London hub airport.

Sky News can reveal that advisers to the Mayor of London have held initial talks with wealthy foreign institutions including China Investment Corporation (CIC) and officials in Seoul about the project.

The preliminary discussions represent a boost to Mr Johnson’s hopes of promoting the Isle of Grain as the location for a new London hub airport, which in recent months has become his preferred choice for unlocking further capacity in London’s skies.

Other institutional investors including City-based pension funds and infrastructure firms are also understood to have told the Mayor’s advisers that they would consider putting long-term capital into the Isle of Grain scheme, which has been called the Thames Hub Airport.

Mr Johnson is understood to be determined to identify as much private sector funding as possible for a new airport, whereas his principal aviation adviser, Daniel Moylan, is said to be keener on the idea of government financing.

On Friday, the blueprint for the Isle of Grain airport in north Kent was published by Foster + Partners, the architectural partner for the scheme. It argues that the project would cost £24bn, less than analysts had expected.

A Government-established commission on the future of London’s airports, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, will publish its interim findings in the coming months.

Rival companies are vying to promote the expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick alongside those who believe a wholly-new airport is essential to safeguard Britain’s economic competitiveness for decades into the future.

Mr Johnson last week proposed the closure of Heathrow – which he said the Government should buy for £15bn and turn into a town housing 250,000 people.

In addition to the Isle of Grain site, the Mayor commissioned feasibility studies on a new artificial island in the Thames Estuary and on the expansion of Stansted. All of the options would require four runways, he said.

“Ambitious cities all over the world are already stealing a march on us and putting themselves in a position to eat London’s breakfast, lunch and dinner by constructing mega-airports that plug them directly into the global supply chains that we need to be part of,” he said last week.

The Mayor’s press office declined to comment on the talks with potential investors in a new airport.

The discussions will, however, come as little surprise since powerful sovereign wealth funds have become crucial sources of finance for western infrastructure developments.

Chinese backers are being courted for a number of new UK projects, including a new ‘super-sewer’ under London and the next generation of nuclear power stations.

CIC is also a minority shareholder in Heathrow Airport Holdings and may have mixed views about the relative merits of the options for expanding British aviation capacity.

http://news.sky.com/story/1118701/london-mayor-eyes-chinese-funds-for-airport
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Foster + Partners submits Thames Hub proposal to Airports Commission

19.07.2013  (Foster & Partners press release)

The report is available online here.

Foster + Partners has formally submitted plans for a new four-runway hub airport on the Isle of Grain in the Thames Estuary to the government’s Airports Commission. The Thames Hub Airport proposal has been advocated by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and has been developed with the support of a number of leading organisations.

The new hub airport can open in 2029 with capacity for 110 million passengers per year at a cost of £24bn, and has the flexibility to grow to 150 million passengers per year and beyond. The majority of flights can approach the airport over water, relieving five million Londoners of the noise, pollution and dangers of flight paths over the capital. Unlike Heathrow, the airport can operate 24-hours a day. The airport has a viable private funding model, which ensures that it will be financially sustainable and can achieve a fair price for passengers and airlines.

The proposed site capitalises on the eastward thrust of London’s development and existing investments in high-speed rail, reducing the need for additional surface access by connecting with High Speed 1, High Speed 2 and Crossrail. Journey times by rail from St Pancras would be just 26 minutes, or 40 minutes by rail from Waterloo. The Thames Hub Airport is also strategically located close to the South East’s major ports, including the new Dubai Port World’s Thames Gateway, to enable the successful economic integration of rail, sea and air freight.

Under current legislation, the planning process would be identical to a third runway at Heathrow. The Thames Hub Airport can open within 16 years. A third Heathrow runway would take the same time to build and would be full within a decade of opening, necessitating a fourth runway. Fewer homes would be relocated than at Heathrow and, without the constraints of an urban site and operational airport, it would be more cost-effective to build. Phased development can take into account evolving passenger demand and the transition carefully managed, with Heathrow transformed into a prosperous new London borough and a sustainable commercial centre to rival Canary Wharf.

Following the submission of Foster + Partners’ proposals, Lord Foster commented:
“The infrastructure of a nation can never be taken for granted. Only for so long can we trade on an inheritance from the past. Heathrow, with its military origins, is a case in point. There is a limit to how much it can be patched up and enlarged – even for the needs of today, let alone tomorrow – and would you ever choose a location which dictates flight paths over the heart of London?

We have reached a point where we must act, in the tradition of those Victorian forebears and create afresh – to invest now and safeguard future generations. Why should we fall behind when we could secure a competitive edge?

The choice is not about time or money. A new four-runway true hub airport in the Thames Estuary, at £24 billion, costs less to build than two extra runways at Heathrow and can be realised on a similar timescale. Our funding model shows that it could pay for itself within a decade of opening.

In the context of what we as architects have achieved, with our UK-based engineering colleagues, in Hong Kong and Beijing, our proposals are not even overly ambitious. They are cautiously well considered and based on a wealth of well proven experience.

But our proposal did not start as an airport – it was part of a wider remit. London, like New York and other centres of economic influence, has to face up to the threat of rising water levels triggered by global warming. An integral part of our long-term proposal is future flood protection for the nation’s capital and its eastward expansion, which is also a source of tidal energy.

The project also maximises the existing investments made in High Speed 1 by utilising its spare capacity to create fast, efficient access to the airport from London and continental Europe. By connecting the airport to Crossrail and High Speed 2, we can open up routes for the whole of the UK. The site’s close proximity to the South East’s major ports can give Britain’s manufacturing industry a vital strategic advantage in terms of freight distribution.

We are not proposing the best new international hub in the world as an alternative to the existing stock of secondary and regional airports in the UK. On the contrary, given the current pattern of the industry’s growth, it would work in parallel with them.

Heathrow may be in the worst site for an airport, but it is a perfect location for new homes and clean technology-based research facilities. The opportunities it presents as a green field site are boundless – for starters why not Britain’s answer to Silicon Valley? Its proximity to London virtually guarantees its long-term development potential, aside from the environmental and security benefits that also follow from removing its blight as an airport.”

ThamesHub website

Notes to editors:

The report is available online here.

The document comprehensively addresses the airport’s strategic fit with the government’s policy goals, surface access, environmental impact, global connectivity, economic impacts, people, operational viability, and sets out a thorough schedule of costs, funding and delivery.

Unlike Heathrow, the airport can operate 24-hours a day. The airport has a viable private funding model, which ensures that it will be financially sustainable and can achieve a fair price for passengers and airlines.

The proposed site capitalises on the eastward thrust of London’s development and existing investments in high-speed rail, reducing the need for additional surface access by connecting with High Speed 1, High Speed 2 and Crossrail. Journey times by rail from St Pancras would be just 26 minutes, or 40 minutes by rail from Waterloo. The Thames Hub Airport is also strategically located close to the South East’s major ports, including the new Dubai Port World’s Thames Gateway, to enable the successful economic integration of rail, sea and air freight.

Under current legislation, the planning process would be identical to a third runway at Heathrow. The Thames Hub Airport can open within 16 years. A third Heathrow runway would take the same time to build and would be full within a decade of opening, necessitating a fourth runway. Fewer homes would be relocated than at Heathrow and, without the constraints of an urban site and operational airport, it would be more cost-effective to build. Phased development can take into account evolving passenger demand and the transition carefully managed, with Heathrow transformed into a prosperous new London borough and a sustainable commercial centre to rival Canary Wharf.

Following the submission of Foster + Partners’ proposals, Lord Foster commented:
“The infrastructure of a nation can never be taken for granted. Only for so long can we trade on an inheritance from the past. Heathrow, with its military origins, is a case in point. There is a limit to how much it can be patched up and enlarged – even for the needs of today, let alone tomorrow – and would you ever choose a location which dictates flight paths over the heart of London?

We have reached a point where we must act, in the tradition of those Victorian forebears and create afresh – to invest now and safeguard future generations. Why should we fall behind when we could secure a competitive edge?

The choice is not about time or money. A new four-runway true hub airport in the Thames Estuary, at £24 billion, costs less to build than two extra runways at Heathrow and can be realised on a similar timescale. Our funding model shows that it

  http://www.fosterandpartners.com/news/foster-+-partners-submits-thames-hub-proposal-to-airports-commission/
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and a bit of history going back to 2010:

Airlines ‘90% against new Thames Estuary airport’ 

 3.3.2010   (BBC)

Nine out of 10 airlines using Heathrow Airport are opposed to Boris Johnson’s
plans to build a new airport in the Thames Estuary, a council has claimed.

The Mayor of London has given his backing to a scheme, thought to cost £40bn,
to use an island off the south-east coast for a six-runway airport.

But Medway Council in Kent says 90% of airlines including British Airways, Air
France and Virgin Atlantic are opposed.

A spokesman for the mayor said they would consider the findings.

The council is due to present a report to City Hall outlining their proposals.

Among concerns raised by the Board of Airline Representatives UK (BAR UK), which
represents 78 of the 90 airlines flying from the country, are:

  • A higher chance of bird strikes due to large wildlife colonies in the estuary
  • Unemployment caused at Heathrow by the arrival of a large competitor
  • The reported cost to the public purse – while another runway at Heathrow would
    be privately funded

Medway Council’s leader Rodney Chambers said: “We are meeting London’s Deputy
Mayor Kit Malthouse to tell him that not only do the people of Medway and Kent
not want this airport, neither does anyone else.

“I have continuously said that the Mayor of London’s estuary airport plan is
pie in the sky.”

Independent councillor Tony Goulden said: “It is difficult to understand Boris’
obsession with this monstrous pile of sand, cement and tarmac that he wants to
dump off the shore.

“Someone needs to tell Boris that he is only the Mayor of London – not the Lord
of Kent.”

A spokesman for the BAR UK said: “BAR UK and its members do not support such
an airport.

“The reasons are many and various.”

British Airways confirmed its opposition.

But City Hall officials have said previously an estuary airport could be built
entirely with private funding.

Medway Council leader Rodney Chambers was angered by the meeting

There has also been speculation that Chinese investors and Arab sheiks are waiting
in the wings.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor’s deputy, Kit Malthouse,
will be reviewing the representations from Medway Council as part of his work
to oversee further study on the use of the estuary.

“A holistic approach is needed when looking at any future use of the estuary.

“Issues such as the environment and ecology, regeneration, road and rail links,
shipping and ports, aviation and the effects, if any, on the local residents will
all be considered together.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8545118.stm
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More information on the various Thames Estuary airport schemes at 

Read more »

Southend Airport boss, Alistair Welch, quits – reason not disclosed

In a surprise announcement, managing director Alastair Welch, who has led Southend airport since before the Stobart Group bought it for £21 million in 2008, said he would leave at the end of July.  Paying tribute to Mr Welch Stobart Group boss, Andrew Tinkler, said a team had been put in place to ensure the smooth running of the airport and its continued success. Roger Clements, who has been working for Stobart Air for some time, will take over as managing director in August, with David Lister as airport operations director and Graham Moorhouse as chief financial officer. Andrew Tinkler said: “The transformation of the airport has been led by Alastair Welch, who has been supported by a dedicated, hard-working team. Alastair has decided that, with the redevelopment of the airport all-but complete, the time is now right for him to move on to new challenges.” Mr Welch has overseen installation of a new control tower, railway station, runway extension and terminal, attracted EasyJet to use the airport, got a massive increase in passengers and flights, and  the one millionth passenger. Mr Welch was “unavailable for comment.” Reason for his leaving not publicised nor information on his next move.

 

Southend Airport boss quits

19th July 2013

By David Trayner   (Southend Echo)

Southend Airport boss quitsSouthend Airport boss quits

THE man who helped transform Southend Airport and brought in record numbers of passengers has announced he is stepping down.

In a surprise announcement yesterday, managing director Alastair Welch, who has led the airport since before the Stobart Group bought it for £21million in 2008, said he would leave at the end of this month.

Paying tribute to Mr Welch after the announcement, Stobart Group boss, Andrew Tinkler, saida team hadbeen put in place to ensure the smooth running of the airport and its continued success.

He said: “The transformation of the airport has been led by Alastair Welch, who has been supported by a dedicated, hard-working team.

“Alastair has decided that, with the redevelopment of the airport all-but complete, the time is now right for him to move on to new challenges.

“The business has been working closely with Alastair during the course of the last year to establish a senior management team that will take London Southend Airport forward, building on the successful platform established by Alastair and the team.

Alastair will be continuing the handover process until the end of July.

“I would like to thank Alastair for the contribution he has made to the development of London Southend Airport and wish him every success for the future.”

Mr Welch, who joined the airport in 2007, has overseen installation of a new control tower, railway station, runway extension and terminal and welcomed the one millionth passenger.

The airport has just enjoyed its busiest year, with 721,661 using the airport – 30,000 more than the previous record of 692,000 in its 1967 heyday.

Roger Clements, who has been working for Stobart Air for some time, will take over as managing director in August, with David Lister as airport operations director and Graham Moorhouse as chief financial officer.

Mr Tinkler said: “Roger has in recent months been working with Alastair to achieve a seamless transition, ensuring we provide the same standard of service.”

Mr Welch was unavailable for comment. No one would comment on his next move.

 http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/10557441.Southend_Airport_boss_quits/
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Alastair Welch quits Southend

19 July 2013

Alastair Welch quits Southend

Alastair Welch, managing director of London Southend airport, is stepping down at the end of July.

The Stobart Group, which took over the gateway in December 2008, said its team at Southend airport will now be led by Roger Clements.

Clements has been working closely with Alastair in recent months to achieve a seamless transition, said Andrew Tinkler, CEO of the Stobart Group, in an official statement.

“Alastair has decided that, with the redevelopment of the airport all-but complete, the time is now right for him to move on to new challenges,” said Tinkler.

Welch has overhauled the airport, which now has a longer runway, a new railway station and hotel, a new passenger terminal and control tower, added Tinkler.

“I, together with Stobart Group CFO Ben Whawell, will be working closely with Roger and the senior management team, and with our key customers and stakeholders, on the continuing development of the airport,” he said.

http://www.routes-news.com/on-the-move/3-on-the-move/1669-alastair-welch-quits-southend
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And a bit of history:

 

Southend:  The camp, the bling and a cat called Ginger

22.3.2010   (Plane Stupid)


Last week, without any fanfare or proper consultation Southend-on-sea declared
that they would be expanding their airport. Southend is an hour up the line from
London. It used to be the East End’s top holiday destination, but like so many
British seaside towns it’s lost out to cheap flights, and the fall of tourism
has left it with an interesting growth industry: determined resistance to the
ravages of its clueless council.  For a flavour of what might be in wait for the
airport, here is the story of a cat, a king, and a camp called Bling…

Some years ago in Southend preparations for a road widening scheme uncovered
an internationally significant archaeological site: a Saxon King’s burial ground.
The council decided to raid the treasure and continue with the tarmac. In outraged
tribute to their forbears’ desecrated goldie looking chains, the locals decided
to set up Camp Bling. For 4 years they occupied the land and mounted an incredibly
inspiring grassroots campaign, that saw treehouses go up and 100 residents storm
a private council awards ceremony.

Eventually the council backed down, and last summer an agreement was made to
limit the road widening to a token gesture of 20 metres. The site carefully packed
away their defences. Then a couple of months ago the council explained that, while
they wouldn’t be taking the burial site, they would be going back on their word
and expanding 160 metres of road. So camp was set up again, at Cuckoo Corner.
Lads who had been too young to be involved in Bling sat up the beautiful beech
that was threatened.

For the last three weeks people have occupied the space 24/7, holding off the
chainsaws and building a small but sturdy activist centre. On the three Saturday
nights before possible eviction, dozens of locals lined the road in readiness.
But then the council decided to make a vicious twist with their possession order
for the land- just two days before the stated court date, they posted up a hit
list of 12 people who they demanded should appeared in conjunction with the case.

Many of the people summoned to court had never even stayed on the site, and one
of them, well, one of them was a cat (who had featured in newspaper articles about
camp Bling). But it seems that a spot of brazen incompetence doesn’t immediately
stop Southend council getting their way, and the judge demanded that everyone
who showed up to the court case pay costs for the privilege of doing so, and threatened
them with contempt of court (and the resulting loss of their assets) if they decided
to protest against the tree felling.

On Saturday, just one day after Whitehall gave the final rubber stamp to airport
expansion, the bailiffs came in early with fencing, security guards, cutting crew
and cranes. Within a few hours the mature trees that had graced the area for over
a century were decimated. 50-100 residents gathered in spontaneous protest despite
the council’s bullying. One man made a bid to lock onto the extraction vehicles
but was pulled off.

Camp Bling and Camp Cuckoo have always been clear that their stand was about
more than trees and history, however important they know both to be. Ten years
after the council tried to pointlessly widen a road, half a dozen trees have been
lost from a project that proposed to take out well over a hundred. And many hundreds
of people have seen that resistance is fertile, that stupid decisions can be fought,
and that land can be won back.

http://www.planestupid.com/

for more on Southend, see

Stop Airport Expansion Now     (SAEN)   http://saen.org.uk 

and more news and information about Southend Airport

 

and

 

Southend Airport expansion gets go-ahead from Government

Date Added: 19th March 2010

The government has approved plans for a runway extension at Southend. John Denham

claimed the right to a final say on the extension earlier this year, and could
have called for a public inquiry on the decision made by Southend Council planners.
Opponents are concerned about a rise in passenger numbers to 2m a year and the
adverse environmental effect on the Southend area. The council, as usual, were
persuaded the airport would bring much needed jobs. (BBC)

Click here to view full story…

Southend Council wins order to evict Camp Cuckoo protesters

Date Added: 18th March 2010

 

Up to 17 members of Saxon King In Priory Park and Parklife are camping out on
land by the roundabout, which the council is planning to clear to widen the road
and have called for more people to join them. Southend Council has been granted
an order to evict protesters from the camp. Many mature trees have already been
felled to make way for road expansion, part of which is to ease access to the
airport.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

West Sussex County Council gives its backing to 2nd runway plan for Gatwick

The leader of of West Sussex County Council, Mrs Louise Goldman, has welcomed the principle of creating a 2nd Gatwick runway and full airport expansion.  This is nearly 35 years after the local authority signed a legal agreement restricting the airport to one runway. She said the county could not be preserved in aspic;  and if it was to continue to provide quality jobs for its young people as well as take seriously its responsibilities to an ageing population, it had to make economic growth a priority. Somehow she manages to square that with saying she does did not mean abandoning the environment. “Quite the reverse. I have always considered myself to be an environmentalist, and protecting everything that makes West Sussex a unique place of beauty in which to live, work, and visit, remains enormously important.” And she has the naive hope that “ensuring that we mitigate environmental concerns as much as we possibly can,” will get over environmental problems.  Her forthright and unequivocal statement came as Gatwick Airport will submit its planning proposals for expansion on 23rd July. 

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West Sussex County Council leader welcomes second runway plan for Gatwick

Gatwick Airport 

Gatwick Airport

19.7.2013 (Mid Sussex Times)

The principle of creating a second runway at Gatwick Airport was today (Friday) welcomed by West Sussex County Council’s leader Louise Goldsmith in a special interview with the editor-in-chief of this newspaper group, Gary Shipton.

Nearly 35 years after the local authority signed a legal agreement restricting the airport to just one runway, Mrs Goldsmith has made clear her and her council’s support for full airport expansion following a major debate in the council chamber this morning.

She said the county could not be preserved in aspic – if it was to continue to provide quality jobs for its young people as well as take seriously its responsibilities to an ageing population, it had to make economic growth a priority.

But that did not mean abandoning the environment. Quite the reverse. “I have always considered myself to be an environmentalist, and protecting everything that makes West Sussex a unique place of beauty in which to live, work, and visit, remains enormously important,” she said.

“By making our position clear now in a positive way we have the best opportunity of ensuring that we mitigate environmental concerns as much as we possibly can,” she said.

This would be achieved by setting up one if not more special consultative Boards with partners to investigate and tackle key concerns.

She was also committed to ensuring that airport expansion brought with it the right type of infrastructure for the county – maximizing West Sussex’s ability to do business and remain a great place to live by improving roads and facilities.

Her forthright and unequivocal statement came as Gatwick Airport submitted its planning proposals for expansion. A final decision on them will be taken by central Government – and not local authorities – and there is no guarantee that Gatwick will win the argument even with the county council’s support.

But Mrs Goldsmith believes that they are best equipped to influence the outcome if they make clear their position now.

“I think there are several issues for us. Obviously people will want to see what our opinion of a second runway is. In stating our position it is very good to open up the debate because there is a big debate to be had, but it is also about stating our direction of travel. We’ve taken our time to come to this position. We recently commissioned research into residents’ and businesses’ attitudes to airport expansion and we’ve previously commissioned experts to look at the economic and employment impact for West Sussex of having a second runway at Gatwick or expansion elsewhere. We know we have got to go for growth in West Sussex. It’s the right thing. The whole country needs growth and we’ve got to play our part in that.

“Of course, with that growth comes the two elements of infrastructure and the environment; they are equally big and people are going to be impacted and they are going to be worried about that. And one of the best reasons for coming out early is not only to acknowledge and listen to their comments but also to start planning and preparing if this does happen what can we do to mitigate them.

“I think being round the table influencing is probably one of the best ways of getting the very, very best outcome for West Sussex . Loud voices on the outside have very little impact

“If we don’t come to a position and people are campaigning and the expansion goes ahead no-one’s going to listen to us really. Which is why I think it is so, so important to set up several boards to look at what this means and how to minimize the impact. And we can in that position be influencing Government. We need to put markers down about the infrastructure. We can do that far better coming from strength than from opposition.”

“When I saw George Osborne at the CBI dinner in London it was all about growth for England, growth for the UK and that is how we are going to get out of the dire economic situation. We’ve all got a part to play and we do want a vibrant economy here. This is one of the best places in the world to live, we need to make sure we have got that strong economy and it’s really important for ever person to play their part.

“Having an airport expansion is a contentious issue for any local authority so we are probably unique in being supportive of this but I don’t think this is a case of pass the parcel. This is too big for the county and it’s too big for the economy and the country.”

She said there were real potential risks for West Sussex if the expansion did not go ahead. Not only would it put in jeopardy future economic growth – but could diminish current levels of activity as Gatwick became more marginalized by expansion elsewhere.

“It’s a really serious consideration. A declining airport would be a declining economy and that is something we have to take into consideration. But that’s why it’s even more important that we have come out with the position that we have. I would rather be looking at expansion than managing contraction.

“Yes, this county is fantastic. We have got a world class airport, world class car manufacturing with Rolls Royce, we’ve got Ricardo that makes superb engines … businesses say they like to come to West Sussex it’s a beautiful place and we want them here and we want them developing and providing those jobs for our youngsters to enable them to continue to stay here.

“We have got an elderly population too, we need to grow to ensure we have got a balanced West Sussex.

“In 20 years’ time, I don’t want the county to look back on a missed opportunity. By engaging positively in this process at this time we really can secure the best economic outcome for all our residents – while mitigating the worst impacts on our environment,” she said.

http://www.midsussextimes.co.uk/news/local/county-leader-welcomes-second-runway-plan-for-gatwick-1-5303866

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County council supports ‘in principle’ second runway at Gatwick

Read more »

“Here we go again” – SSE slams opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless expansion proposals for Stansted

Proposals from the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) to develop Stansted into a 2-runway, or even a 4-runway, airport have been described by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) as “opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless”.  SSE Chairman Peter Sanders said: “It is of little consolation that MAG has framed its proposals in an unenthusiastic, half-hearted way which grudgingly admits that it would be ‘willing’ to add an extra runway or runways at Stansted, about 15 years from now, if that’s what the Airports Commission and the Government decide is best. This will be seen by many as an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for any decision to expand the airport.” The MAG proposals resurrect the expansion options for Stansted put forward by the Government in July 2002. These all came to nothing but it took an 8-year battle before BAA conceded defeat and withdrew its plans for a 2nd runway. Between 2002 to 2010 needless stress and anxiety was caused to those whose homes were threatened by the bulldozer and over a £1billion was wiped off local house prices – all for nothing. Now, just 3 years later, there is the prospect of another prolonged battle over the same issue.


 

 

HERE WE GO AGAIN – SSE SLAMS OPPORTUNISTIC, IRRESPONSIBLE AND POINTLESS EXPANSION PROPOSALS FOR STANSTED

19.7.2013 (Stop Stansted Expansion)

Proposals today from the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) to develop Stansted into a two-runway, or even a four-runway, airport have been described by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) as “opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless”.

Commenting on the submission to the Airports Commission, SSE Chairman Peter Sanders said: “It is of little consolation that MAG has framed its proposals in an unenthusiastic, half-hearted way which grudgingly admits that it would be ‘willing’ to add an extra runway or runways at Stansted, about 15 years from now, if that’s what the Airports Commission and the Government decide is best. This will be seen by many as an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for any decision to expand the airport.”

The MAG proposals resurrect the expansion options for Stansted put forward by the Government almost exactly eleven years ago, in July 2002. These all came to nothing but it took an eight-year battle before BAA, the former owner of the airport, conceded defeat and withdrew its plans for a second runway.

During that time – from 2002 to 2010 – needless stress and anxiety was caused to those whose homes were threatened by the bulldozer and over a £1billion was wiped off local house prices – all for nothing. Now, just three years later, there is the prospect of another prolonged battle over the same issue.

Peter Sanders added: “We really shouldn’t have to go through this whole argument again just three years after the last threat was lifted. We are profoundly disappointed that MAG has behaved in this opportunistic and irresponsible way.”

“We will be doing everything possible to convince the Airports Commission to reject the idea of any new runways at Stansted. With the airport currently operating at only half its permitted capacity a second runway – never mind a four-runway hub double the size of Heathrow today – is completely unnecessary on business grounds and it would be completely unacceptable on environmental grounds. Even looking 15 years down the line and beyond, there is no case for Stansted to be one of the short-listed options.”

Mr Sanders concluded: “This will once again create widespread blight and uncertainty in the local community, and once again it will prove to be a pointless exercise. As in the past, any proposals for an extra runway or runways at Stansted will be met with fierce local opposition, will be fought tooth and nail, and will ultimately be defeated.”

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS
Today’s proposals from MAG are contained in its submission to the Airports Commission, the independent body, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, which has been given the job of advising Government what, if anything, needs to be done to maintain the UK’s status as a global aviation hub.

It will now be for the Airports Commission to consider MAG’s proposals for Stansted alongside other airport expansion proposals it has received, including for Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham and for a new airport in the Thames Estuary. The Commission will produce a shortlist by the end of the year and will make its final recommendations in two years’ time, in mid-2015.

http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/press460.html

 

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See also, a few days earlier:

 

BORIS JOHNSON IGNORES COUNTRYSIDE IN FAVOUR OF POLITICS

16.7.2013 (Stop Stansted Expansion)

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has condemned Boris Johnson’s latest intervention in the debate about UK airport capacity. This follows the announcement yesterday [15 July] by the London Mayor that Stansted was still on his short-list to become a four runway mega-hub airport to replace Heathrow.

Justifying his decision to short-list Stansted, Boris Johnson said that it had the benefit of “being sited in a relatively sparsely populated region… with none of the environmental or wildlife issues that would need to be overcome in the estuary.”

The London Mayor’s dismissal of the environmental issues at Stansted is completely at odds with every independent assessment carried out in the past. Graham Eyre QC, the last planning inspector to consider the possibility of additional runways at Stansted, rejected this out of hand in the strongest possible terms, saying that even one extra runway would be an “environmental disaster”, “a catastrophe”, and “wholly unacceptable”.

These conclusions are not surprising since Uttlesford District, which is home to Stansted Airport, has more pre-1700 listed buildings than any other local authority in the country except the City of London. In addition, the historic listed buildings and villages around Stansted are embedded in what Oliver Rackham, the great historian of the English countryside, has defined as ‘Ancient Countryside’, a landscape whose fields, woods and roads date predominantly from before 1700. These points alone make this part of North West Essex and East Herts a most remarkable and valuable area of English countryside.

SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented: “Boris Johnson’s dismissal of our local heritage and landscape is an affront to all the people of North West Essex and East Herts. It seems clear that he has absolutely no knowledge of the area.”

Mr Sanders added: “As Mayor of London, of course, he has no need to involve himself in our affairs. He is responsible only for what goes on in London and he depends only on Londoners for votes. It is surely no coincidence that he rejects expanding Heathrow, which is within his constituency, and all of his options for airport expansion are well outside his constituency. It remains our view that there is no need for any extra runways in the south-east.”

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS
The Mayor of London’s press release of 15 July 2013 can be found here.

The area around Stansted Airport was characterised by John Betjeman as: “… a quiet, prosperous, agricultural area of old stone and flint churches, pargetted cottages with red tiled roofs, spreading farms and gabled manor houses, little hills, elms, oaks, willowy streams and twisty lanes leading to towns of such renowned beauty as Thaxted and Saffron Walden. The very fact that this country is so gentle, unobvious and typical of the best of England makes it all the more important that, being so near to London, it is preserved from noise and development.”

‘Ancient Countryside’ is defined as districts whose fields, woods and roads etc date predominantly from before A.D. 1700, and Oliver Rackham has described it as ‘the England of hamlets, medieval farms in hollows of the hills, lonely moats and great barns in the clay-lands, pollards and ancient trees, cavernous Holloways and many footpaths, fords, irregularly shaped groves with thick hedges colourful with maple, dogwood and spindle – an intricate land of mystery and surprise.’ [‘The History of the Countryside’, Oliver Rackham, Dent, 1986.]

http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/press459.html

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And a bit of history from 3 years earlier

 

“Yet more delay on Stansted 2nd runway – we can’t go on like this” – says SSE

8.3.2010   (STOP STANSTED EXPANSION   press release)

It could be another two years before a Public Inquiry into a second Stansted
runway is held, the Government has been told.

The news came in a letter from BAA to Communities Minister John Denham, copied
to SSE.
The airport operator told the Secretary of State that it would need 12 to 18
months to update its March 2008 planning application and that it could not realistically
begin this until there is an end to the present uncertainty about the future ownership
of the airport.   That of itself could also take well over a year, meaning a further
delay of between two and three years before any Public Inquiry could even start
to consider BAA’s second runway planning application.

The Public Inquiry to consider BAA’s March 2008 planning application for a second
runway was originally due to start in April last year.   BAA is now indicating
that it could not start until 2012 or even 2013.  

If the Public Inquiry does not start until 2013, it would be 2015 before a final
decision could be announced, meaning that local residents and businesses who received
compulsory purchase notifications from BAA in March 2008 would have endured seven years of blight and uncertainty before the final outcome was known.
In reality, the blight on local communities in East Hertfordshire and North Essex
began in July 2002 when the Government first published its proposals for making
Stansted bigger than Heathrow.

SSE has repeatedly called on BAA to withdraw its application and thereby allow
local communities to return to some form of normality.   However, BAA clearly sees
some commercial advantage in trying to keep its second runway application on life
support, pending an upturn in the market, a more favourable political climate
or simply as a possible means of obtaining a higher price for Stansted in the
event of a forced sale.

Commenting on the news, SSE Chairman Peter Sanders said:   “BAA’s response to
the Secretary of State shows an appalling disregard for the local community.
We have lived under the threat of a second runway for almost eight years now.
The only honourable course open to BAA is to withdraw its applications and to
give a clear and unequivocal statement that it will not be making new applications
for a project which creates blight without any real prospect of success.”

He added:   “With the support of our community, we will continue our campaign
to prevent the catastrophic damage that would be caused by expansion at Stansted
for as long as it takes – whoever the owner.”

ENDS

 

NOTE TO EDITORS

The letter from BAA’s Infrastructure and Sustainability Director, Mike Forster,
to John Denham, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, can be
viewed online at www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/documents/ResponsetoSofS020310.pdf.
 www.stopstanstedexpansion.com

 

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More recent news on Stansted Airport

 

Conservatives ‘will block Stansted runway’

23rd February 2010      

Uttlesford MP Sir Alan Haselhurst has confirmed that the Conservative party will keep their promise and block any plans to build a new runway at Stansted Airport.    In a statement yesterday the MP said that his party ‘will not approve the construction of a second runway.’ (UK Airport News)     Click here to view full story…

 

Make your mind up on 2nd Stansted runway, Government tells BAA

11th February 2010      

The Minister responsible for dealing with BAA’s plans for a 2nd Stansted runway
has asked the airport operator to state whether it still wants to continue with
its current planning application.   John Denham, Sec of State for Communities,
has also told BAA that if it does still want its second runway application to
be considered, then the information provided (a pile of documents almost 10 feet
high) when it submitted the application almost 2 years ago will need to be updated.
(SSE)     Click here to view full story…

 

Ryanair threaten to move from Stansted to Gatwick

3rd February 2010       Ryanair could move its flights from Stansted to Gatwick if GIP lives up to promises
to improve its facilities and keep charges down, the budget airline’s chief operating
officer, Michael Cawley, has said.    Gatwick’s chief executive Stewart Wingate
vowed to compete against London’s other 3 main airports – as did his Stansted
counterpart last week. Mr Wingate was in charge at Stansted until he was poached
by GIP two months ago. (UK Airport News)       Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Owners of Stansted, MAG, submit their plans for a 2nd runway – or to become a 4-runway hub

MAG, the owner of Stansted, are submitting their proposals for a 2nd runway to the Airports Commission.  They also believe it has the potential to become a UK future 4 runway hub airport.  MAG argues that the airport offers the cheapest and least environmentally damaging location (quite how it could do that, on a countryside location is unclear) for a 4-runway airport and estimate that it would cost £10 billion, although no detailed plans have been drawn up. Local campaign group, Stop Stansted Expansion, said that the MAG proposals were reheating plans put forward back in 2002 that were withdrawn by BAA, the former owners, in 2010. SSE’s chairman said: “We really shouldn’t have to go through this whole argument again just three years after the last threat was lifted. We are profoundly disappointed that MAG has behaved in this opportunistic and irresponsible way. With the airport currently operating at only half its permitted capacity a 2nd runway – never mind a 4-runway hub double the size of Heathrow today – is completely unnecessary on business grounds and it would be completely unacceptable on environmental grounds.” MAG has to admit that it could serve almost double the current number of passengers, without any more infrastructure for some years.
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Stansted’s submission to Airports Commission  (pdf 72 pages)


Below are the three images of possible runway locations from the Stansted airport submission

 

Stansted one north west runway

Stansted one east runway


Stansted hub airport with 4 runways

 


 

By contrast, this is an aerial view of the areas under threat of new runways at Stansted:

Stansted airport aerial view now 2013

 


 

Stansted presses for second runway

Submission to Airports Commission claims cheapest and least environmentally damaging option for four-runway super-hub

by, transport correspondent

Anti-Stansted expansion sign protesters called the plans ‘opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless’. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

The owner of Stansted is delivering a submission to the Airports Commission including two options for a second runway and pointing to its potential transformation into Britain’s biggest four-runway hub.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) will argue that the airport offers the cheapest and least environmentally damaging location if the government-appointed commission decides that a single super-hub is the answer to the country’s aviation needs.

It estimates the cost of transformation into a four-runway hub at £10bn, although no detailed plans have been drawn up. However, MAG stresses that it believes far more passengers could be served without immediately expanding its infrastructure and will present Stansted as the most flexible option to meet growing demand for flights.

Local campaigners said the proposals were “opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless”.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, said: “Our short-term priority is to make Stansted better for passengers than ever before, and we’ve made major progress in our first four months of ownership, including starting work on an £80m terminal transformation.

“Stansted is uniquely placed to meet the UK’s aviation capacity needs now and over the next 15 years. Almost overnight, Stansted could double the number of flights it handles without any need for significant investment in new infrastructure.

MAG is anxious to promote the claims of its other airports, primarily Manchester, as well as East Midlands and Bournemouth. All have spare capacity and the regional airports point to millions of passengers who travel to London rather than flying from their nearest base.

Cornish said MAG believed an approach that maintained competition between airports was the best solution. He said: “Developing new capacity at a number of airports is likely to be best for passengers. Should the commission take a different view and conclude that the UK needs an effective hub to provide international connectivity, then Stansted could certainly fulfil that role in a cost-effective way.

“The costs and the environmental impacts of building new capacity at Stansted are likely to be far lower than at alternative locations.”

MAG will say an additional runway could be built either to the north-west or the east of the existing runway, raising its capacity to between 70 and 90 million passengers a year.

An expanded Stansted’s noise impact would be a small fraction of Heathrow’s. Only 1,250 residents currently suffer noise above the 57 decibel average nuisance threshold, compared with 258,500 at Heathrow.

Local campaigners Stop Stansted Expansion said that the MAG proposals were reheating plans put forward back in 2002 that were withdrawn by BAA, the former owners, in 2010.

The campaign group’s chairman, Peter Sanders, said: “We really shouldn’t have to go through this whole argument again just three years after the last threat was lifted. We are profoundly disappointed that MAG has behaved in this opportunistic and irresponsible way.

“With the airport currently operating at only half its permitted capacity a second runway – never mind a four-runway hub double the size of Heathrow today – is completely unnecessary on business grounds and it would be completely unacceptable on environmental grounds.”

MAG bought Stansted from Heathrow early this year for £1.5bn after its former owners were forced to sell by the Competition Commission. The group has said it will invest £230m in transforming the current facilities after years of passenger decline.

The Airports Commission, led by the former Financial Services Authority chief, Sir Howard Davies, set this Friday as a deadline for submitting long-term proposals for new runways. Heathrow and Gatwick are both arguing for extra runways, while London mayor Boris Johnson has argued for new airports in the Thames estuary or Stansted expansion. A shortlist of options will be announced by the end of 2013, with final recommendations published after the 2015 general election.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jul/19/stansted-second-runway-airports-commission

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HERE WE GO AGAIN – SSE SLAMS OPPORTUNISTIC, IRRESPONSIBLE AND POINTLESS EXPANSION PROPOSALS FOR STANSTED

19.7.2013  (Stop Stansted Expansion)

Proposals today from the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) to develop Stansted into a two-runway, or even a four-runway, airport have been described by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) as “opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless”.

Commenting on the submission to the Airports Commission, SSE Chairman Peter Sanders said: “It is of little consolation that MAG has framed its proposals in an unenthusiastic, half-hearted way which grudgingly admits that it would be ‘willing’ to add an extra runway or runways at Stansted, about 15 years from now, if that’s what the Airports Commission and the Government decide is best. This will be seen by many as an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for any decision to expand the airport.”

The MAG proposals resurrect the expansion options for Stansted put forward by the Government almost exactly eleven years ago, in July 2002. These all came to nothing but it took an eight-year battle before BAA, the former owner of the airport, conceded defeat and withdrew its plans for a second runway.

During that time – from 2002 to 2010 – needless stress and anxiety was caused to those whose homes were threatened by the bulldozer and over a £1billion was wiped off local house prices – all for nothing. Now, just three years later, there is the prospect of another prolonged battle over the same issue.

Peter Sanders added: “We really shouldn’t have to go through this whole argument again just three years after the last threat was lifted. We are profoundly disappointed that MAG has behaved in this opportunistic and irresponsible way.”

“We will be doing everything possible to convince the Airports Commission to reject the idea of any new runways at Stansted. With the airport currently operating at only half its permitted capacity a second runway – never mind a four-runway hub double the size of Heathrow today – is completely unnecessary on business grounds and it would be completely unacceptable on environmental grounds. Even looking 15 years down the line and beyond, there is no case for Stansted to be one of the short-listed options.”

Mr Sanders concluded: “This will once again create widespread blight and uncertainty in the local community, and once again it will prove to be a pointless exercise. As in the past, any proposals for an extra runway or runways at Stansted will be met with fierce local opposition, will be fought tooth and nail, and will ultimately be defeated.”

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS
Today’s proposals from MAG are contained in its submission to the Airports Commission, the independent body, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, which has been given the job of advising Government what, if anything, needs to be done to maintain the UK’s status as a global aviation hub.

It will now be for the Airports Commission to consider MAG’s proposals for Stansted alongside other airport expansion proposals it has received, including for Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham and for a new airport in the Thames Estuary. The Commission will produce a shortlist by the end of the year and will make its final recommendations in two years’ time, in mid-2015.

http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/press460.html

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Capacity for Growth –Stansted’s potential to meet air capacity needs

19 July 2013   (Stansted Airport website)

http://www.stanstedairport.com/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/capacity-for-growth-%E2%80%93stansted%E2%80%99s-potential-to-meet-air-capacity-needs

New owners M.A.G have today set out London Stansted’s potential to meet air capacity demand in London and the South East in the short, medium and long-term, and presented a range of options which it believes should be on the Airports Commission’s shortlist for further study in 2014 and 2015.

M.A.G’s submission, ‘Capacity for Growth’, responds to a call for evidence from the Airports Commission which is examining options for meeting the need for additional airport capacity in the South East.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of M.A.G, said:

“Our short-term priority is to make Stansted better for passengers than ever before, and we’ve made major progress in our first four months of ownership, including starting work on an £80 million terminal transformation.

“Stansted is uniquely placed to meet the UK’s aviation capacity needs now and over the next 15 years. Almost overnight, Stansted could double the number of flights it handles without any need for significant investment in new infrastructure.

“Looking to the long-term, the interests of passengers will be best served by a pragmatic approach, focused on delivering new capacity that is cost-effective and flexible, and capable of driving competition across the aviation industry.

“Developing new capacity at a number of airports is likely to be best for passengers.  Should the Commission take a different view and conclude that the UK needs an effective hub to provide international connectivity, then Stansted could certainly fulfil that role in a cost-effective way.”
“Both options should be considered, but whichever path the Commission takes the costs and the environmental impacts of building new capacity at Stansted are likely to be far lower than at alternative locations. From the short term to the long term, Stansted ticks every box.”

The options for Stansted set out in M.A.G’s submission to the Airports Commission include:

  • Options for an additional runway, either to the north-west of the existing runway (with capacity of between 70 – 80 million passengers a year) or to the east of the existing runway (with capacity up to around 90 million passengers a year).
  • An airport with four runways (with capacity of between 140 to 160 million passengers a year) designed and operated as an effective hub airport with good resilience and easy connections for passengers between flights.

The Airports Commission has identified the criteria it will use to evaluate the options for expansion. Stansted is well placed against each of these criteria as a viable, cost competitive expansion option, with lower environmental and social costs than the alternatives.  Of particular note is the fact that even with new runway capacity, Stansted’s noise impacts will be a small fraction of those experienced around Heathrow.

Capacity development at Stansted would support London’s development to the east and along the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor, and act as a catalyst for growth and productivity in a region that will be critical to driving economic growth in the UK in the future.

Key benefits of further expansion at Stansted include:

  • Stansted is a scaleable and flexible solution to the UK’s aviation capacity needs – able to offer additional capacity and then grow incrementally to two, three or four runways in the future.
  • Fewer residents are exposed to noise at Stansted than at other major airports in the South East; 258,500 at Heathrow compared to 1,250 at Stansted.
  • The space for additional runways, terminals, roads and rail connections is more readily available at Stansted than at alternatives.
  • Stansted is likely to represent the most cost-effective solution for the country. It is estimated a on-airport cost of developing a four-runway hub at Stansted would around £10bn – much less than the cost of an Estuary Airport or expansion at Heathrow.

M.A.G Airports Commission Submissions

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Stansted: four runway expansion would cost £10bn

Stansted could be developed into a four-runway airport capable of handling up to 160 million passengers a year for £10 billlion, its owners have said.

VILLAGE OF MOLEHILL GREEN ON THE BORDERS OF STANSTED AIRPORT

Stansted currently serves around 17.5m passengers a year. Photo: Paul Grover

19 Jul 2013  (Telegraph)

Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which bought Stansted for £1.5bn in February, has set out several options for expanding the Essex airport, including transforming it into a four-runway hub which could serve between 140m and 160m passengers a year.

The group has also presented the Government-appointed Davies Commission with options on where it could build a second runway at Stansted, to the north-west of the existing runway or to the east.

Stansted has found itself at the heart of the debate over where to build new runways in the South East of England, with the Mayor of London suggesting it is one of the locations where a new four-runway airport could be built to replace Heathrow.

Gatwick has suggested Stansted could form part of a “constellation” of two-runway airports to serve London.

MAG, which bought Stansted from BAA, said “both options should be considered” although it added: “Developing new capacity at a number of airports is likely to be best for passengers.”

Stansted, which sought planning permission for a second runway in 2008, only for the proposal to be scrapped, argues fewer local residents in its vicinity are exposed to noise than at any other of the major airports in London.

A second runway to the north-west of its existing runway would allow the airport to handle 70-80m passengers a year.

A second runway to the east would boost the airport’s capacity to 90m passengers a year, according to documents released this morning.

The airport, which has been in decline since 2007, currently handles 17.5m passengers a year although it could accommodate as many as 40m-45m without building any additional runways.

MAG estimates it would cost around £10bn to transform Stansted into a four-runway “super hub”, although this doesn’t include the cost of improvements to rail and road links.

This compares to the estimated £14bn-£18bn cost of adding a third runway at Heathrow or the £50bn price tag for a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, said: “Both options should be considered, but whichever path the Commission takes the costs and the environmental impacts of building new capacity at Stansted are likely to be far lower than at alternative locations. From the short-term to the long-term, Stansted ticks every box.”

Stansted has published its proposals as the deadline closes today for submissions to the Airports Commission, which is chaired by former Financial Services Authority boss Sir Howard Davies.

Earlier this week, Boris Johnson backed a new airport on the Isle of Grain in north Kent as his preferred option for solving Britain’s aviation logjam, although he also put forward proposals for transforming Stansted.

Heathrow hit back on Wednesday with plans for a third runway at three potential sites, one at the village of Stanwell Moor in Surrey , the second at Harmondsworth in Middlesex and the third at Sipson north of the airport.

Gatwick will publicly publish its full report on Tuesday.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10190194/Stansted-four-runway-expansion-would-cost-10bn.html

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“Heathrow may have shot itself in the foot” – Blog by John Stewart on airport’s runway plans

John Stewart has written a blog about the announcement by Heathrow yesterday on its new runway proposals. The perception is that huge expansion is on the cards; that Heathrow has become a city state on the edge of London which is threatening to blight large swathes of the capital and beyond. There is considerable scepticism about Heathrow’s claims that the overall noise climate could improve with a 3rd, and even a 4th runway, given that a 3rd runway would increase flight numbers by 250,000 a year, resulting in a total of 740,000 flights using Heathrow, rising to almost a million with a 4th. Communities finding themselves under a noisy flight path for the first time, in Ham or Tooting Bec, will not just accept this.  The overall impression of the proposals is for concrete and destruction. John Stewart suspects that the sheer scale of Heathrow’s proposals have hardened and widened opposition to expansion: from local residents, the public at large, local authorities and climate activists. “The climate movement will now be limbering up for another battle of Heathrow.”  

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Heathrow may have shot itself in the foot

Blog by John Stewart

18th July 2013

Heathrow Airport may have shot themselves in the foot with the proposals they published yesterday.  http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/Heathrow-unveils-a-new-approach-to-third-runway-5e2.aspx.

The details of their arguments about each of the options have got lost in the sheer scale of what they have put forward.  It allowed the Evening Standard to splash the dramatic, but not inaccurate, headline across its front page: Super-Heathrow with 4 Runways – airport unveils plan for handling up to million flights a year.  http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/super-heathrow-airport-unveils-4runway-plan-which-would-let-it-handle-a-million-flights-per-year-8713879.html .

The perception is that huge expansion is on the cards; that Heathrow has become a city state on the edge of London which is threatening to blight large swathes of the capital and beyond.

The irony is that this is the result of probably the most transparent announcement Heathrow has ever made.  Gone are the denials of old – such as the statements of former CEO Sir John Egan in the 1990s that BAA didn’t want a third runway –http://youtu.be/K_y8182FuPY .

Colin Matthews, the amiable boss of Heathrow, has worked hard to change things.  And in recent years the concerns of residents about noise have been taken seriously in a way that didn’t happen previously.  Heathrow, for example, recognizes the importance of respite periods.

Moreover, the document issued yesterday is right to argue that some residents under the existing flight paths will experience less noise in the coming years.  Slightly less noisy planes, steeper glideslopes, together with a guarantee of no increase in flight numbers, will improve the noise climate in a number of places.  (HACAN, of course, would argue that this could be done without the need for additional runways:  http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/Heathrow_in_a_noisy_league_of_its_own.pdf )

But yesterday there was a lot of scepticism about Heathrow’s claims that the overall noise climate could improve with a third, and even a fourth runway, in place, given that a third runway would increase flight numbers by 250,000 a year, resulting in a total of 740,000 flights using Heathrow, rising to almost a million with a fourth runway. link

Heathrow’s noise reduction claims will need to be explored in more detail but I suspect they are underestimating the impact of aircraft noise on communities under a flight path for the first time.  I was struck yesterday when being interviewed in Stanwell Moor, under threat of demolition, that a community which had grown up with aircraft noise was relatively undisturbed by it.  It will not be the same in Ham or Tooting Bec if they get aircraft noise for the first time.

But the abiding memory of yesterday’s announcement for the public at large will not be about the detail of noise levels but of concrete and destruction.  Thousands more homes under threat of demolition.  Four runways. Blight.  A million planes over London and the Home Counties every year.

That may all be hard on Heathrow.  Their document was much more considered and complex than that.  But I suspect the sheer scale of its proposals have hardened and widened opposition to expansion: from local residents, the public at large, local authorities and climate activists.  The climate movement will now be limbering up for another battle of Heathrow.  Indeed, yesterday’s announcement prompted the Guardian’s Damian Carrington to pen this piece: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2013/jul/17/heathrow-third-runway-aviation-emissions?CMP=twt_gu

Heathrow put their cards on the table yesterday, with no jokers hidden in the pack.  It may not, though, turn out to be a winning hand.

http://hacan.org.uk/blog/?p=126

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

Date added: July 17, 2013

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

Click here to view full story…

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

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

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HACAN vows to fight third runway tooth and nail

17.7.2013 (HACAN – the Heathrow Association for the Control of  Aircraft Noise)

HACAN, representing residents under the Heathrow flight paths, vowed to ‘fight tooth and nail’ against the proposals for a third runway released by Heathrow Airport today (1). The campaign group welcomed the measures announced by the airport to cut noise but argued that these will be negated by the huge increase there will be in the number of planes using Heathrow if a third runway is given the go-ahead. Heathrow today confirmed that flight numbers will rise by nearly 250,000 a year to a total of 740,000 if a new runway is built.

Heathrow Airport revealed three possible sites for a new runway ( see illustrations below ).

▪ A South West option which require demolition of the 850 properties in the Stanwell Moor area

▪ A North West option in the Harmondsworth Moor involving demolition of 950 properties

▪ A North option, very similar to the previous plans for a third runway, involving demolition of Sipson and parts of Harlington

Heathrow has ruled out a fourth runway until at least 2040. It is not convinced there will be the demand for four runways. But has said that, if a fourth runway was required,  one of the options for a third runway would be used. A fourth runway would result in a total of around a million flights per year using the airport.

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “We will fight any proposal for a new runway tooth and nail. We owe it to future generations to stop a 3rd runway. While we are encouraged by Heathrow’s plans to try to reduce noise, the additional runway will put a 250,000 extra planes a year in the skies over London and the Home Counties and will negate these efforts”.

At present 725,000 people live under the Heathrow flights, according to the European Commission. That is, 28% of all people impacted by aircraft noise across Europe.

 

 

(1). The proposals have been submitted to the Airports Commission set up by the Government to look at airport capacity, particularly in London and the South East. Everybody proposing new airports or new runways is required to submit the proposals to the Commission by 19th July. The Commission will short-list the proposals it wants to examine in more detail in its Interim Report at the end of this year. Its final report will be published in summer 2015, two months after the next General Election.

[The Heathrow report is at Heathrow: A New Approach ].

 

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

Heathrow unveils a new approach to third runway

17 July, 2013 (Heathrow Airport  press release)

Third runway south west

 

  • Three outline options submitted to Airports Commission
  • Each solution is quicker and cheaper than building a new hub airport
  • All solutions have fewer people affected by noise than Heathrow today
  • Three runways enough to maintain UK’s global hub status for foreseeable future

 

Heathrow is today submitting to the Airports Commission three options for solving the lack of hub airport capacity in the UK. These see a third runway placed to the north, north west or south west of the existing airport.  [Its report is at Heathrow: A New Approach ].

All three options are quicker and cheaper than any rival hub option, delivering extra capacity by 2025-9 and for £14-18bn1. All three put millions more people within easy reach of the UK’s hub airport than non-Heathrow options and all three protect the thriving businesses and plentiful jobs that surround Heathrow.

Each option has its particular benefits, but Heathrow believes the two westerly options offer clear advantages. They deliver a full-length third runway while minimising the impact on the local community from noise and compulsory house purchases.

The north west option performs better on noise* and residential property impact than the north option whilst costing slightly more and taking slightly longer to build. The south west option further improves the situation for local residents but increases the cost, timescale and construction complexity. The north option is the quickest and cheapest, but offers the least noise benefits and has the biggest residential property impact.

Over the last year, Heathrow has looked at many different ways to solve the UK’s lack of hub airport capacity. Those have been gradually whittled down to the three options we are proposing today.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s chief executive, said, “After half a century of vigorous debate but little action, it is clear the UK desperately needs a single hub airport with the capacity to provide the links to emerging economies which can boost UK jobs, GDP and trade. It is clear that the best solution for taxpayers, passengers and business is to build on the strength we already have at Heathrow. Today we are showing how that vision can be achieved whilst keeping the impact on local residents to an absolute minimum.”

The two westerly options are radically different from the old, short third runway proposed by BAA in the last decade and have been informed by the recent proposals by Tim Leunig2. Whilst there is still more work to be done on the precise detail, we believe they show why Heathrow should be included in the Commission’s shortlist at the end of the year. Each option would raise the capacity at Heathrow to 740,000 flights a year (from the current limit of 480,000). That would cater for 130m passengers, allow the UK to compete with our international rivals and provide capacity at the UK’s hub airport for the foreseeable future.

A third runway would provide benefits to the UK worth £100bn present value, well in excess of the benefits from Crossrail or HS2. Each of the options could be turned into a four runway solution should the demand increase in future. This is a more cost effective solution than building a new four runway airport from scratch when we may never need one.

A new Heathrow would benefit from already planned public transport improvements, such as Crossrail, Western Rail Access and High Speed 2 and the charges per passenger would be likely to be much lower than at a new hub airport. And despite the increase in capacity, the total number of people affected by noise from aircraft will fall. This is due in part to the westerly options being positioned further from London than the existing runways. Each mile the runway is moved to the west puts arriving aircraft approximately 300ft higher over London. Continued improvements in aircraft and air traffic technology will also result in fewer people being disturbed. As a result, even with a third runway there will be 10-20% fewer people within Heathrow’s noise footprint in 2030 than today.

Expansion at Heathrow can also be met within EU climate change targets. This is made possible by continued improvements to aircraft efficiency which mean that air traffic could double by 2050 without a substantial increase in emissions. If carbon trading is included, emissions would be reduced. Similarly Heathrow would improve local air quality in line with EU standards because of cleaner vehicles and the increased proportion of passengers using public transport.

As part of today’s submission, we are unveiling ten key commitments. If the government supports a third runway, Heathrow will:

 

  1. Connect Britain to economic growth – by enabling airlines to add new flights to fast-growing markets
  2. Connect UK nations and regions to global markets – by working with airlines and government to deliver better air and rail links between UK regions and Heathrow
  3. Protect 114,000 existing local jobs and create tens of thousands of new jobs nationwide – by developing our local employment, apprenticeships and skills programmes and supporting a supply chain throughout the UK
  4. Build more quickly and at lower cost to taxpayers than building a new airport – by building on the strength the UK already has at Heathrow
  5. Reduce aircraft noise – by encouraging the world’s quietest aircraft to use Heathrow and routing aircraft higher over London so that fewer people are affected by noise than today
  6. Lessen noise impacts for people under flight-paths – by delivering periods of noise respite with no aircraft overhead and providing noise insulation for people in high-noise areas
  7. Treat those most affected by a third runway fairly – by ensuring compensation greater than market value is offered to anyone whose home needs to be purchased
  8. Keep CO2 emissions within UK climate change targets and play our part in meeting local air quality limits – by incentivising cleaner aircraft, supporting global carbon trading and increasing public transport use
  9. Increase the proportion of passengers using public transport to access Heathrow to more than 50% – by supporting new rail, bus and coach schemes to improve public transport to Heathrow
  10. Reduce delays and disruption – by further improving Heathrow’s resilience to severe weather and unforeseen events

[Its report is at Heathrow: A New Approach – 52 pages http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/imagelibrary/downloadmedia.ashx?MediaDetailsID=1616&SizeId=-1 ].

*Comparison of options

Heathrow today North North west South west
Passenger capacity 80m 123m 130m 130m
Maximum flights 480k 702k 740k 740k
Cost - £14bn £17bn £18bn
Length of new runway - 2,800m 3,500m 3,500m
Noise (population within the 57dBA Leq contour) 243k -10% -15% -20%
Residential properties lost - 2,700 950 850
Opening date - 2025 2026 2029
Ecology impact (hectares) 0 0 0 716
Volume of flood zone 3 storage lost (m3) - 6k 116k 1,416k
Grade I/II listed buildings lost - 0 2 0
Construction complexity - Low Medium High

 

1) Heathrow research for our report ‘Best Placed for Britain’ showed that a new hub at an expanded Stansted or in the Thames Estuary could not be delivered until at least 2032. The Mayor of London has said a Thames Estuary airport would have a probable cost of £70-80bn, £25bn of which would have to come from public money (Evidence to House of Commons Transport Committee, 11 February 2013).

2) http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/images/publications/bigger%20and%20quieter.pdf

CGI images of the options (both stills and video) can be downloaded from:

http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/ImageLibrary/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=28

The full report, ‘A New Approach’, as well as previous submissions to the Airports Commission can be downloaded from:

http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=17

http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/Heathrow-unveils-a-new-approach-to-third-runway-5e2.aspx
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Blight

AirportWatch comment:
Having announced runway proposals for a south-west location, and a north-west location (runway on the same alignment as the northern option) there will now be hundreds of thousands of Londoners who live under the new flight paths.
They will now be living in uncertainty – lasting for years, or even for decades (Heathrow has no idea if it will want a 4th runway after 2040).  People who will be affected by the flight paths of both the new northern and the southern options will now know they will be under threat, and a decision will take years.
If the south  western option is chosen for the 3rd runway, then the northern or north western option would be held in case a 4th runway is wanted. And vice versa.
If Sir Howard does decide that one of the Heathrow runway options should be taken forward, in 2015, there will be years of opposition, legal wrangling, politics, delays etc. It would take years to get through, if it could ever be achieved at all.
If a 3rd runway was built, there would definitely be more noise for those living under the new flight path than there is at present.  There might be slightly less noise for those living under the two existing flight paths across London (due to marginally less noisy planes eventually , perhaps slightly steeper approach angle, possibly slightly fewer flights per day) but there will definitely be more noise for those under the new routes.
Years or decades of blight, uncertainty, perhaps reduction in property values.
Starting from today ….
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And a bit of history:
19.2.2010   (Evening Standard)
by Sri Carmichael, Consumer Affairs Reporter
London transport bosses today attacked plans for a third runway at Heathrow as they claimed it would cause severe Tube overcrowding.

Transport for London insiders said the Piccadilly line could be thrown into chaos by demand from millions of extra passengers a year and people could also be “pushed back into their cars”.

In its first official statement on the Heathrow expansion, TfL accused ministers
of ignoring the problem.

Sources went further by saying the Government had “completely failed” to address
the issue of transport. The company will voice its concerns in a judicial review of the Government’s runway decision at the High Court starting
on Tuesday.

The action has been brought by a coalition of London councils, green groups and
residents.

The judge may force ministers to consult again on the proposals, which could
derail the project.
  TfL said: “The Government’s policy decision is likely to have adverse effects on London’s transport infrastructure.”

Edward Lister, leader of Wandsworth council which heads a group of local authorities behind the challenge, said: “No one trusts a word the Government says on the Heathrow
expansion.”

A Department for Transport official said: “We will defend our decision on Heathrow
robustly in court.”
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23807791-new-heathrow-runway-will-cause-chaos-across-london.do

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Boris Johnson ditches idea of “Boris Island” airport in favour of Lord Foster Isle of Grain plan

There are reports that Boris has ditched his idea of an island airport in the Thames Estuary (“Boris Island”) in favour of a huge hub airport on the Isle of Grain. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Boris said the Grain scheme proposed by Lord Foster would “knock the spots off” rival airports on the continent and make Britain the “global capital of aviation”. He is likely to submit 3 schemes to the Airports Commission by 19th July, for Boris Island, for the Isle of Grain and for Stansted. The Isle of Grain is his preference, with some of the new airport built on reclaimed land. There would be a new rail link to London, transferring passengers from Waterloo in under half an hour. The airport would open in 2029 handling 90 million passengers per year and expanding to 180 million passengers per year by 2050. Access to the new hub airport would be by widening most of the M25, an Airport Express rail link to Waterloo, and Crossrail linking it to Heathrow. The entire project would cost about £65 billion – or more. 

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So much for ‘Boris Island': London mayor now favours giant four-runway airport in Kent over Thames estuary development

  • Mayor Boris Johnson does a u-turn on his own plan for ‘Boris Island’ airport
  • The new airport would have been on an artificial island in the Thames
  • Now Mr Johnson favours a giant airport on the Isle of Grain in Kent

By OLIVIA WILLIAMS (Mail on Sunday)

14.7.2013

Doing an about-turn on his own pet policy London mayor Boris Johnson is now not so keen on the idea of the ‘Boris Island’ airport.

The new transport hub was going to be built in the Thames estuary on an artificial island.

Now Mr Johnson is more strongly backing a giant airport on the Isle of Grain in Kent, partly built on reclaimed land. 

New favourite idea: The Foster + Partners impression of a four-runway Thames Estuary airport capable of handling 150 million passengers a year on the Isle of Grain in Kent New favourite idea: The Foster + Partners impression of a four-runway Thames Estuary airport capable of handling 150 million passengers a year on the Isle of Grain in Kent

Elaborate plan: The Isle of Grain's proposed international railway station, which would include a service to Waterloo in 26 minutes

Elaborate plan: The Isle of Grain’s proposed international railway station, which would include a service to Waterloo in 26 minutes

Mr Johnson told The Sunday Times in an interview that it would ‘knock the spots off’ rival European airports as it would eventually serve 180 million passengers a year.

The entire project would cost about £65 billion, including a new train line taking passengers to Waterloo in 26 minutes.

The Boris Island plan, designed by Global firm Gensler, will remain one of three options that Mr Johnson will present to a government-backed commission this week.

The proposed location for Boris Island, artificially created from landfill, would be two miles north of the Isle of Sheppey.

Ferries would link the site to Kent and Essex while a railway bridge could connect it to the mainland.

The third possible idea would be expanding Stansted.

However, Mr Johnson now says that the Isle of Grain plan has the ‘greatest single potential for regeneration’.

The blueprint involves an opening scheduled for 2029, requiring infrastructure improvements such as extending Crossrail and widening the M25 an extra lane in each direction for 36 miles.

Mr Johnson insisted that Prime Minister David Cameron is ‘open to the idea’ of an estuary airport.

On top of those three suggestions, Heathrow will be revealing its own plans to expand with a thrid and maybe even fourth runway. 

Ongoing fight: A longstanding campaign has been fought to prevent a third Heathrow runway, but if airports move to the east of the London, tens of thousands will lose their jobsOngoing fight: A longstanding campaign has been fought to prevent a third Heathrow runway, but if airports move to the east of the London, tens of thousands will lose their jobs

The plans to replace Heathrow have angered many west Londoners who fear it would harm the local economy and result in huge job loses as around 76,600 people currently work there.

The [Airports Commission] listening to the various ideas, chaired by former Financial Services Authority chairman Sir Howard Davies, will not publish its final report until the summer of 2015.

In April, Mr Johnson said that he would also like to see any future airport named after the late Baroness Thatcher.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362804/So-Boris-Island-London-mayor-favours-giant-runway-airport-Kent-Thames-estuary-development.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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Boris’s plans are set out at 

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/a-new-airport-for-london-and-the-uk-shortlisting-options.pdf  (48 pages)

and

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/26458.aspx

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Also Sunday Times (££)    14.7.2013  at

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1287453.ece

Captain Boris alters London airport plans

The London mayor has ditched his own plan for a new airport to back a rival idea

 

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The Independent adds:

Mr Johnson’s plans, which rule out expansion at Heathrow airport in west London, will be submitted later this week to the Government-appointed Airport Commission headed by Sir Howard Davies.

Mr Johnson said that a new hub airport would be able to support more than 375,000 new jobs by 2050 and add £742 billion to the value of goods and services produced in the UK.

He said a new hub airport could be delivered by 2029, with a hybrid bill being passed by parliament to secure approval for the airport, the surface access and the acquisition of Heathrow.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/boris-island-or-foster-island-johnson-sets-out-airport-options-for-thames-estuary-isle-of-grain-or-stansted-8708895.html

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‘Hitler’ jibe at Boris airport as Mayor wants to close Heathrow and create new borough

Vision of the future? A view of the Isle of Grain plan favoured by the Mayor
By Matthew Beard, Transport Editor   (Evening Standard)
15 July 2013

A leading architect today attacked Boris Johnson’s “mad” plan to build a £65 billion airport on the Thames Estuary and compared it to a project that Adolf Hitler might have dreamed up.

Sir Terry Farrell, who has designed some of the world’s largest airports and rail stations, said the scale of the proposed four-runway project would be unprecedented in Britain and made the Government’s HS2 high-speed rail project “look like chicken feed”.

The Mayor today underlined his commitment to an estuary airport by naming Sir Norman Foster’s Isle of Grain plan as his first choice. Expansion at Stansted was his second choice with a “Boris island” in the outer estuary third.

He also wants to shut Heathrow at a cost of £15 billion and create a new London borough for 250,000 residents.

Sir Terry’s comments will escalate the tension between Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick  as they go public with their plans to solve London’s aviation capacity crisis this week.

Sir Terry, who is working on Gatwick’s bid to build a second runway, told the Standard: “When people say that you have got to have vision, well Hitler had vision.

“Vision can be a madness where you get so obsessed you throw everything you have got on the roulette table and hope you got it right.” He said closing Heathrow and moving the predominant London airport to the eastern extreme would be “flipping London”, adding: “In that case people say you could make Heathrow a new town. It makes HS2 look like chicken feed. It’s going to be the biggest project the UK has ever done in its history.” Sir Terry was approached by the Mayor to work on his estuary airport plan but turned the work down. The architect was the chief planner of estuary regeneration scheme the Thames Gateway and has designed South Korea’s acclaimed hub airport at Incheon and the world’s biggest rail station in Guangzhou, China. His buildings in London include the MI6 headquarters, Charing Cross station and the Home Office.

Sir Terry, who is also a member of the Mayor’s design panel, added: “The obvious political solution is that he (Boris Johnson) wants the airport to go somewhere that is not in his constituency — out of his voters’ territory.” Last week the architect was hired by Gatwick to promote its proposal to build a second runway. It is part of a grand plan to link Gatwick to two other two-runway airports, Heathrow and Stansted.

The Mayor’s aviation adviser Daniel Moylan said: “An airport in the estuary works in surface access terms not just for London but for the whole country and our proposals prove it. There are better and cheaper connections from most parts of west London than currently serve Heathrow.”

The plan envisages rail links from Old Oak Common, near Paddington, and Waterloo in 26 minutes.

Sir Terry’s “constellation” plan would require two new rail lines linking Gatwick to London but would otherwise rely on advances in traffic management to create a “network” for passengers to move between airports.

A dominant four-runway hub airport is not suited to a metropolis such as London, he said. “Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York tend to have a constellation because you are serving a whole region. In a metropolis there is no ideal place to put one airport because no matter where you put it is the wrong place for a lot of people.”

Sir Terry said there would be an enormous “carbon impact” of moving to the estuary with the relocation of 100,000 jobs and 250,000 people. He said it was on the wrong side of London for much of Britain and would create an extra 100-mile round journey for air passengers.

He added: “An extra runway at Gatwick leads you to an approach to London and the South East that is much more flexible and is part of a network rather than a four-runway hub which is the wrong answer wherever it is. They would all put their eggs in one basket and this would result in an over-engineered, highly inflexible and vulnerable system.”

The Mayor proposes that Heathrow should be transformed into a residential and commercial neighbourhood which he claims would create 40,000 new jobs. Heathrow’s owners described the blueprint as “extraordinary” and would result in the biggest job losses since coal pit closures in the 1980s. Hounslow deputy leader Colin Ellar said: “Closing Heathrow is sheer lunacy. We and many sensible commentators don’t seriously think Boris Island will ever take off.”

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‘Quick death’ might be better for Stanwell Moor in Heathrow debate

A “quick death” for Stanwell Moor is the best-case result for residents – that was the feeling after a meeting on 1st July  to discuss the blight of a potential third Heathrow runway through the village. The threat of long term blight and community death are some of the most serious concerns. Kathy Croft, chairman of Stanwell Moor Residents’ Association, said after the gathering: “I would rather a quick death for Stanwell Moor than endure the fate suffered by Sipson.”  Heathrow has yet to confirm or deny the reports of plans for a third runway to be built over the Stanwell Moor area – it will publish its submission to the Airports Commission on 17th July.   The Stanwell Moor Residents have another meeting with Heathrow scheduled for July 18. A spokesman for Heathrow said: “It is important that those who are most affected by the airport are given the opportunity to put their concerns to Heathrow first hand, and that we listen and respond to them. “We will continue to meet regularly with local communities, such as Stanwell Moor as we move forward through this process.” Mrs Croft said: “I would just like a decision, the last thing we want is to be like Sipson.”

 

‘Quick death’ might be better for Stanwell Moor in Heathrow debate

The chairman of Stanwell Moor Residents’ Association said she would rather see a “quick death” for her beloved village if Heathrow built a fourth runway

Aerial of Heathrow Airport
Aerial of Heathrow Airport

A “quick death” for Stanwell Moor is the best-case result for residents – that was the feeling after a meeting to discuss the blight of a potential third Heathrow runway through the village.

Kathy Croft, chairman of Stanwell Moor Residents’ Association, said after the gathering: “I would rather a quick death for Stanwell Moor than endure the fate suffered by Sipson.”

The meeting, held last Monday (July 1), discussed the future of the village following reports Heathrow intends to build a runway over its homes. It was also attended by Heathrow’s director of strategic communications, Cheryl Monk.

The airport has yet to confirm or deny the reports, saying it would refrain from commenting on the situation until after its presentation to the Airports Commission on July 17.

It has another meeting scheduled with Mrs Croft on July 18.

A spokesman for Heathrow said: “It is important that those who are most affected by the airport are given the opportunity to put their concerns to Heathrow first hand, and that we listen and respond to them.

“We will continue to meet regularly with local communities, such as Stanwell Moor as we move forward through this process.”

‘Surprise’

The main issue resulting from the meeting at Stanwell Moor Village Hall was the blight on the village the planned third runway would create.

Sipson – the west London village that was until recently earmarked for a third runway – had been the battleground for almost a decade and activists there have described how the constant threat of demolition had ‘killed’ the community. Concerns are now building that Stanwell Moor could be next.

Mrs Croft said: “I would just like a decision, the last thing we want is to be like Sipson.

“People would want to know if it is going to happen. It’s a ‘wait and see’, and let’s hope that by the end of the month we know something more.

“It is not going to the Commission until the end of the year and this is just Heathrow’s submission we are taking about. But at least we will have some idea about our future.

“It is has come as a surprise to the people of Stanwell Moor, we always thought the battle against expansion was taking place in Sipson.

“The first time we heard about it coming to this part of the world was in our MP’s plan for a fourth runway in Stanwell.”

‘Killed the area’

Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne, last year co-authored a report calling for Heathrow to be expanded both to the north, in Sipson and to the south, in Stanwell.

Mrs Croft added: “I would rather have a quick death of Stanwell Moor, that would be better. We certainly don’t want to be another Sipson where they have gone on and on.

“It has killed the area and now it looks like nothing is even going to happen there.

“Whether Stanwell Moor fights against these plans or not would be down to the residents to decide.

“The arguments against Heathrow expansion are well established but we don’t want the lives of those living in Stanwell Moor to be blighted in perpetuity.”

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/quick-death-might-better-stanwell-4924083

 

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 Earlier

Heathrow’s latest plan for southern 3rd runway “R3S” would be death to Stanwell Moor

June 8, 2013     Plans by Heathrow to build a third runway to the south west of the existing runways have met with dismay by those who would have their homes demolished, and their local area ruined. The new southern runway, already dubbed “R3S”, is regarded as both cheaper and more attractive than the northern option. Simon Calder says it would be used exclusively by smaller jets – the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 series – which are somewhat less noisy than wide-bodied aircraft. Also that the eastern end of the new runway would be located about a mile further west than the existing two runways. Arriving and departing aircraft would therefore be significantly higher when flying over the capital. Heathrow apparently also says there would be no need for a 6th terminal, as the runway could be accessed from Terminal 4 (Skyteam alliance) and Terminal 5 (BA). Much of the land on which the new runway would be built is currently covered by airport-related buildings, including cargo warehouses and car parks. Simon Calder thinks these could be re-located “with little fuss”. But the western end would encroach on Stanwell Moor, a post-war development less than a mile from Terminal 5, where residents have not been consulted in any way on the proposals.    Click here to view full story…

 

Standard says Heathrow planning new runway to the south-west in Stanwell Moor area

June 6, 2013      The Standard reports that Heathrow is planning a new runway south-west of the airport, in one of three options that the airport will submit to the Airports Commission. The south-west runway would destroy the village of Staines Moor, and might be just north of the two large reservoirs, the George VI and the Staines reservoir. The Standard believes that Heathrow is no longer seriously considering a northern runway, at Sipson. A south-west runway might mean the demolition of fewer properties unless Stanwell itself was destroyed. Heathrow knows it can only get another runway if it can persuade enough people that the noise burden from extra flights will not be significantly larger. Therefore the airport has been trying to hard to convince those under flight paths that there will be improvements. A new runway to the south-west would increase aircraft noise for Feltham, Twickenham, Ham, Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common – where there would be intense opposition. Daniel Moylan, the Mayor’s chief aviation adviser, said: “Even to discuss this is to add a new blight to the lives of thousands of Londoners. It is further proof Heathrow expansion is environmentally and politically impossible.”

Click here to view full story…

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which represents residents under the existing flight paths, said, “This is a clever plan which Heathrow hopes might neutralize opposition amongst some of the communities and local authorities which successfully opposed a new runway to the north of the airport [eg. Hillingdon]. It would create less noise disturbance than a northern runway but we will oppose it because a whole new runway of planes will be massively disturbing to vast swathes of people across London and the South East. Flight numbers will rise from 480,000 a year to over 700,000.”

 

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