“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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Read more »

“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.

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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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Gatwick Airport appoints MI6 HQ architect Sir Terry Farrell to promote its 2nd runway plans

Gatwick Airport has appointed a leading architect, Sir Terry Farrell, to help in its plans to build a 2nd runway. Sir Terry will help Gatwick in its proposals for a “constellation of 3 London airports” with 2 runways each – 2+2+2. Gatwick hopes competition between it, Heathrow and Stansted was “the best solution for London”.  Sir Terry’s previous projects include the MI6 building and Home Office headquarters in London and Incheon Airport in South Korea.  Sir Terry’s firm, Farrells, will look at the impact on London of having competing airports of equal size compared to a single “mega-hub” airport.  He said: “The world city of London, with the largest aviation market in the world, is the hub and its airport infrastructure needs to evolve and grow around the city” and that “a single mega-hub airport is at significant odds with what London needs.”

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8 July 2013 (BBC)

Gatwick Airport appoints MI6 HQ architect Sir Terry Farrell

Gatwick control tower 
Gatwick says it serves half of the world’s fastest-growing economies

 

Gatwick Airport has appointed a world-leading architect to help in its plans for runway expansion.

Sir Terry Farrell will help in its proposals for a “constellation of three London airports” with two runways each.

Gatwick said competition between it, Heathrow and Stansted was “the best solution for London”.

Sir Terry’s previous projects include the MI6 building and Home Office headquarters in London and Incheon Airport in South Korea.Stewart Wingate, chief executive at the West Sussex airport, said: “Having designed major transport infrastructure around the world, including the hub airport in South Korea, he will bring to the airport a track record of delivering major transport projects whilst ensuring London and the UK gets the right solution.”

In September, the government announced an Airports Commission to look at aviation in the UK, including how to deal with the South East’s congested airports.

Sir Terry’s firm, Farrells, will look at the impact on London of having competing airports of equal size compared to a single “mega-hub” airport.

He said: “The world city of London, with the largest aviation market in the world, is the hub and its airport infrastructure needs to evolve and grow around the city.

“The concept of building a single mega-hub airport is at significant odds with what London needs.”

In June Heathrow bosses claimed a third runway would be “cheaper, quicker and better for the economy” than building a new airport.

London Mayor Boris Johnson backs a Thames Estuary airport, calling the third runway idea a “giant step back”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23224428

 

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‘Hitler’ jibe (by Sir Terry Farrell) 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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Earlier

Gatwick airport employs PR agencies to help sway opinion in favour of 2nd runway

February 5, 2013    Gatwick Airport has brought in Fishburn Hedges (a corporate PR agency) and the London Communications Agency on an integrated PR and public affairs brief, in order to try to drum up support for building a 2nd runway. Both agencies will work directly with the airport’s communications staff. They will be aiming to work at the local and regional level to “engage key stakeholders in London and West Sussex.” Gatwick is currently developing detailed expansion plans that could double the airport’s annual capacity to around 70 million passengers and will submit its case to the Airports Commission shortly.  Local campaigners have fought the threat of a second runway for years, as it would have seriously negative environmental and quality of life impacts for the area. Gatwick is legally prevented from starting a 2nd runway before 2019.    Click here to view full story…

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Birmingham Airport launches ad campaign on its long haul network for manufacturers

Birmingham Airport has put together a series of political adverts on the importance of aviation to the UK manufacturing sector. This is to influence the Airports Commission. Paul Kehoe at Birmingham Airport has been very vocal in his opposition to the idea of a hub airport in London and these adverts – which will run until July 19th which is the deadline date for airport proposals to the Commission – reflect this.  The campaign features a number of high-profile figures from across the manufacturing industry, including managing director of MG Motor who reiterates the point that some of Britain’s most important companies are based in the Midlands, south-west and north of the country. Birmingham is submitting its plans for massive growth and a new runway to the Airports Commission. Birmingham Airport’s Paul Kehoe said: “These adverts make a serious point – our aviation sector is currently failing to adequately serve the majority of UK businesses that are located outside of the south-east.”
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Birmingham Airport enlists leading manufacturers for its long-haul network campaign

8th July 2013  (The Business Desk)

By Duncan Tift – Deputy Editor, West Midlands

One of the posters supporting the Birmingham Airport campaignOne of the posters supporting the Birmingham Airport campaign

BIRMINGHAM Airport has mounted a hard-hitting campaign backed by leading manufacturers, aimed at persuading policy-makers that the UK needs a network of long-haul airports to cater for business demand across the whole of the country.

Supporting the campaign is a series of adverts which focus on the importance of Birmingham Airport for UK manufacturing. They feature high profile manufacturers from the region including William Wang, managing director of MG Motor UK, who asks: “The UK’s manufacturing base is not near Heathrow. So why do I have to fly from there?”

Another advert stresses that a third runway at Heathrow is not a long-term national aviation strategy and that the UK needs a network of long-haul airports across the country. It states: “A third runway won’t solve our aviation problems. Four airports will.”

The advertising has been run in response to the Airports Commission’s inquiry and is aimed at the Commission and policy-makers. The ad campaign will run up until July 19 – the deadline set by the Airports Commission for long-term proposals from airports and project sponsors.

Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, Paul Kehoe, said: “These adverts make a serious point – our aviation sector is currently failing to adequately serve the majority of UK businesses that are located outside of the South East.

“We can talk about the importance of additional hub capacity in the South East for the UK economy until we are blue in the face, but unless we listen to businesses across the UK we are failing to meet the needs of our national economy.

“It is not just me saying this. These are serious business people who want to grow their businesses, create more jobs and contribute more to UK GDP. It is not good enough that our sector doesn’t serve these people and it is time for this to change.”

Backing the campaign, Mr Wang said: “The UK manufacturing base is outside of the South East and, as a result, it suffers from a lack of direct air links with crucial long-haul markets like China. A Birmingham to Shanghai route alone would enable hundreds of business flights a year to operate, boosting the growth of British manufacturing and encouraging inward investment.”

http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/488645-airport-enlists-leading-manufacturers-for-its-long-haul-network-campaign.html?news_section=273986

 

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Earlier

 

Birmingham Airport unveils vision for growth, up to 70 million passengers per year, new business park etc

June 10, 2013      Birmingham Airport has unveiled long-term growth plans to challenge Heathrow’s supremacy and help to what they say will ‘rebalance the UK economy’. The plan would see Birmingham catering for 70m air passengers a year and 500,000 flights a year – both slightly more than Heathrow now. A business park for the Midland’s manufacturing sector is also proposed alongside the expanded airport site and has the backing of some business leaders and local councils. It, of course, predictably, promises huge numbers of jobs – no less than a quarter of a million. Paul Kehoe, the airport’s CEO, expects that in 20 years’ time British air travel will double – though there is no evidence for this, and it is utterly at variance with the advice of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change that UK air passengers could perhaps increase by 60% on 2005 levels by 2050. For the whole of the UK. Birmingham airport thinks transport infrastructure acts as an economic enabler, “a pathway to a virtuous cycle of growth”, and “each major regional economy cannot succeed without its own meaningful international gateway.” They believe “the UK economy is large enough to support at least four major ‘national’ airports – London, Midlands, North West, Scotland”.   Click here to view full story…

Birmingham Airport expected to announce plans for 2nd runway and new terminal to the Airports Commission

June 8, 2013      Birmingham Airport is expected to announce shortly that it is considering building a 2nd runway, and submit its plan to the Airports Commission. The airport wants to be considered as a major part of Britain’s aviation plans for the future, and could be a hub for European airports. Back in 2007 the airport’s plans for a second runway, in its Master Plans, were dropped in favour of the runway extension – due to open in 2014. If HS2 is built, Birmingham airport intends to benefit from it. Proposals include another terminal, incorporating HS2, as well as the runway. It is thought that the airport will say, in its submission, that the runway may not be needed for a long time, even decades as it currently caters for some 9 million passengers and could take over 25 million on its one runway. The airport’s plans are reported to be supported by the West Midlands Economic Forum which will release a report expected to say that there is plenty more potential growth for Birmingham Airport as the world economy grows. MP Mark Garnier said the airport needed to capitalise on being at the heart of the motorway and potential high-speed rail networks.      Click here to view full story…

 

 

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Local Enterprise Partnerships and their lobbying for expansion of their airports

There are Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the areas of influence of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports (and others). These LEPs were set up to lead economic growth and job creation within its local areas. So not surprisingly, they all back expansion of the airport within their area.  In June a large number of people from the public and private sectors met at the Gatwick Diamond Economic Growth Forum  on the subject of aviation growth. The Coast to Capital” LEP urged those attending to” find their voice and speak out in support of capacity expansion at Gatwick Airport, as they will benefit from the resulting economic growth.” At Heathrow the Enterprise M3 LEP, including a number of local business leaders, has had a meeting to hear about Heathrow’s current position on aviation capacity in the UK. They concluded that maintaining and developing Heathrow’s position as an international airport hub was vital to the economic success of the Enterprise M3 area – and that any change in hub status would result in a loss of jobs from the area.  Stansted’s LEP is also very supportive of its expansion.

 

 

Map showing location of LEPs in the UK

In England, a local enterprise partnership (LEP) is a voluntary partnership between local authorities and businesses formed in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to help determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth and job creation within its local area. They carry out some of the functions previously carried out by the regional development agencies which were abolished in March 2012.


 

MAKING A CASE FOR A HEATHROW HUB

2 July 2013 (Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership press release)

Maintaining and developing Heathrow’s position as an international airport hub is vital to the economic success of the Enterprise M3 area. This was the key message that came out of a recent meeting in Woking of the area’s business leaders.
Over 25 key business leaders, including senior managers from Skanska, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Carillion, attended the meeting, organised by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, to hear about Heathrow’s current position on aviation capacity in the UK.
Speaking at the meeting, Nigel Milton, Director of Policy & Political Relations, said: “We, at Heathrow, have really valued this opportunity today to meet with business leaders from the Enterprise M3 area and put forward our case for Heathrow as the hub airport for the UK.
“Our belief is that if the UK Government wants to expand its airport capacity, the fastest and most cost effective way to do this is to expand Heathrow. By doing this, they will be building from a position of strength; boosting airport capacity that is already there and, thus, connecting our country to the growth we need.”
Businesses attended also had the opportunity to discuss their views on the importance of Heathrow to their businesses. They voiced concerns that included:
  • That many of the big businesses in the area are here because of its proximity to Heathrow. There is genuine concern that if Heathrow is no longer the UK’s hub airport, many businesses may move out the area.
  • That the current debate is creating “a generation of uncertainty” over the future of Heathrow resulting in business opting to locate to other global centres whose long-term future is known.
  • That any change in hub status would result in a loss of jobs from the area. It is estimated that up to 63,200 could lose their jobs should Heathrow lose its hub status[1]. In Spelthorne, 3,900 residents who currently work at Heathrow could lose their jobs which would lead to a rise in unemployment from 5% to 12%. There are also 3,500 other jobs in related industries located in Spelthorne which could be lost.[2]
  • Businesses recognised that the area had real economic advantage through close proximity to both Heathrow and Gatwick and pressed for infrastructure improvements to enable easier access for all residents and business.
Geoff French, Chair of the Enterprise M3, said: “Today was an incredibly important meeting of minds. Business leaders from across the Enterprise M3 area got the opportunity to hear, from Heathrow directly, why it is proposing that it should be the only hub airport in the UK. At the same time, they were able to tell Heathrow what issues regarding aviation capacity are important to their business.
“Business has been repeatedly telling us how critical the access and the status of Heathrow is to their success. We will be continuing to champion the need for aviation capacity and I would encourage all companies whose business is impacted by this issue to make your voice heard to Government, either individually, using business organisations or through the LEP.”
End notes
[1] Heathrow – Best Placed for Britain: “In total, the potential loss of employment due to the closure of LHR could amount to up to 33,500 residents’ jobs and 29,700 other jobs in the area. With the potential to have over 13% unemployment, Hounslow, Hillingdon , Slough and Ealing could be amongst the 10 boroughs with the highest unemployment rates in the country.
[2] Heathrow – Best Placed for Britain.
Notes to the Editor 
  1. Heathrow’s report, “Heathrow – Best Placed for Britain” can be downloaded at www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowAboutUs/Downloads/PDF/best-placed-for-britain_LHR.pdf
  2. Enterprise M3 is the Local Enterprise Partnership for an area which covers the New Forest through Hampshire up to the M25 including major centres such as Aldershot, Winchester, Basingstoke, Woking and Guildford, an area which encompasses over 1,600,000 residents and 81,500 businesses; accounting for nearly 20% of the South East’s economic prosperity.
  3. Local Enterprise Partnerships are business–led and work with other public sector organisations such as local authorities, in partnership, across natural economic areas. They provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area.
  4. Enterprise M3 drives prosperity in the M3 Corridor and champions the needs of businesses, actively listening to and engaging with them. Enterprise M3 recognises the importance of the environment and the quality of life for those who live and work in the area.
  5. Enterprise M3 can be contacted via www.enterprisem3.org.uk or by emailinginfo@enterprisem3.org.uk.

http://www.enterprisem3.org.uk/news/making-a-case-for-a-heathrow-hub/

 

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BUSINESS COMMUNITY URGED TO SUPPORT GATWICK AIRPORT EXPANSION FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH

3 June 2013  (Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership – press release)

29 May 2013: Business leaders from across the Gatwick Diamond have been urged to find their voice and speak out in support of capacity expansion at Gatwick Airport, as they will benefit from the resulting economic growth.

Almost 200 people from the public and private sectors gathered to listen and discuss issues around aviation growth at the Gatwick Diamond Economic Growth Forum on 23 May at the Arora International Hotel, Crawley. The event was sponsored by the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, ASBlaw, and supported by many business organisations including Gatwick Diamond Business, the Surrey and Sussex Chambers of Commerce, and the Coast to Capital LEP.

As well as the impact of aviation growth on the local economy, panel discussions were held recognising that investment in infrastructure, housing and transport will all be critical. Following the opening of the Forum by Henry Smith MP and Paul Gresham, the Chair of the Gatwick Diamond, Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport was interviewed by Greg Burgess of ASB Law about his short and long term plans for the airport. Then, local business leaders from Elekta, Canon UK, RBS, Nestle, ILG, and Metrobus voiced their views.

Henry Smith MP said: “The Gatwick Diamond is a region important for driving economic performance for the UK as well as the local economy.” He said “everyone has an important role to play to ensure its future success”.

Stewart Wingate summarised Gatwick Airport’s contribution to the local economy (including its employment of more than 25,000 people) and underlined the benefits of its billion pound investment plans. He also spoke of the airport’s commitment to doing business with local companies to support the area’s general economic vibrancy and his desire to deregulate the airport to enable better competition. He said that the Gatwick submission to the Airports Commission in July would include a second runway, although no decisions would be made by government until 2015.

All speakers agreed that an independent and impartial consideration of the economic benefits of aviation growth must be formalised in order to provide an informed and robust response to the Davies Commission. There were also calls for further investment into the area’s surface access transport connections – a key factor in companies relocating and remaining in the area.

Rosemary French, Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative said: “The Gatwick Diamond is a £19 billion economy of national importance, and is widely recognised as a key area of future investment and growth. We are now at a crossroads which will determine the local economy of the future. On the question of aviation capacity, it is vital that the views of the business community are voiced loud and clear and taken into account. This Forum has helped focus minds on the issues, opportunities and threats to economic growth in our region.”

http://www.coast2capital.org.uk/news/562-business-community-urged-to-support-gatwick-airport-expansion-for-economic-growth.html

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Stansted

At Stansted also, the Local Enterprise Partnership (The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP)) is very enthusiastic about the airport’s future expansion.

http://www.yourlocalenterprisepartnership.co.uk/major-figures-to-speak-at-london-stanstead-cambridge-corridor-launch-conference/

The 11th June sees the launch of the London-Stansted-Cambridge Corridor Consortium (LSCC) at a major conference in Kings Cross.

“This corridor links the world’s leading university (Cambridge) with the world’s leading city (London).  They are connect by extensive rail and road links that shape commuter journeys and supply chains, and provide a positive platform for smart and green growth. In the middle of this corridor is Stansted International Airport that has the required infrastructure and existing planning agreement to double its size of activity without any expansion – its current un-used capacity representing a quarter of that of the whole of Heathrow.”

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Rigby Group (owns Coventry airport) having bought Exeter airport also buys a large aviation management company

Sir Peter Rigby’s Patriot Aerospace Group bought the controlling interest in Exeter Airport from Balfour Beatty very recently. They have now concluded another deal buy RCAM (Regional and City Airport Management Ltd) which is a specialist airport management company responsible for the overall operation of Blackpool and City of Derry Airports. RCAM deals with up to 3m passengers a year and also a range of cargo, freight, corporate and general aviation services. Sir Peter has owned Coventry Airport since 2010 and has always made it clear that he intends to resume passenger flights when he can. Patriot Aerospace says it will be possible now to “leverage synergies” between Exeter and Coventry, making a return of passenger flights from Coventry Airport more likely.  Patriot Aerospace also owns British International Helicopters (BIH) which is the UK’s largest British helicopter operating business. Sir Peter wants to capitalise on the opportunity to grow regional airports, due to the alleged airport capacity shortage in the south east.

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Rigby Group moves to be major player in aviation sector with second big deal

5.7.2013 (The Business Desk)

Sir Peter Rigby’s Patriot Aerospace Group has moved to support its purchase of a 60% stake in Exeter Airport with its second major aviation acquisition in the space of a week.

The Coventry-based group, which acquired the controlling interest in Exeter Airport from Balfour Beatty in a deal announced on Monday, has now concluded a fresh deal with the construction firm to acquire RCAM (Regional and City Airport Management Ltd) for an undisclosed fee.

RCAM is a specialist airport management company responsible for the overall operation of Blackpool and City of Derry Airports.

Led by John Spooner, a former managing director of Manchester Airport, the business accommodates up to 3m passengers a year and supports a range of cargo, freight, corporate and general aviation services.

The deal sees RCAM take over the management of Patriot Aerospace’s airport assets, which comprise Exeter and Coventry Airports and Cardiff Heliport. The acquisition could also spark fresh hopes of a return to passenger flights from Coventry Airport.

The airport operations sit alongside the group’s flying activities – now trading as British International Helicopters following its acquisition of BIH in May. BIH is now the largest British helicopter operating business with specialist divisions covering offshore and defence, utility, engineering, charter and flight training.

The group is currently integrating both its newly-acquired interest in Exeter Airport and BIH into its overall operations. It said the acquisitions demonstrated the group’s intention to become a leading player both in the regional airport sector and helicopter operations. Today the aviation arm of the business employs more than 450 people.

Sir Peter said: “The Rigby Group has invested in RCAM as we believe regional airports have a significant role to play in the future of the British aerospace sector and there is definite potential for growth in terms of both freight and passenger capacity.

“With major hub airports currently working to near or over capacity and questions of how to meet the demand being debated as part of the Davies Commission, we see a clear opportunity for regional airports to ease the strain, partly through effective management and operation.”

John Spooner said the RCAM business was based on the belief that regional airports are local transport facilities, operated locally for the benefit of local communities.

“Regional airports are vitally important to the economic development of regions, not just in the UK but also overseas. Obviously smaller airports do not have the benefits of scale enjoyed by the larger hub airports: to survive and prosper, smaller regional airports need to cooperate and collaborate and this is exactly what RCAM can do – bring regional airports together to enable them to operate safely, sensitively and increasingly efficiently.

“The passionate belief of the Rigby Group in the importance of the regions to the national economy makes Patriot Aerospace an ideal owner of RCAM.” he said.

http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/488266-rigby-group-moves-to-be-major-player-in-aviation-sector-with-second-bid-deal.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=_5th_Jul_2013_-_Daily_E-mail

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Coventry Airport growth plan fuels Midland aviation debate

Passenger flights close to resuming for first time since 2008

By: 
July 5, 2013  (The Chamberlain files)

cov

 

The debate about the future of aviation has naturally focused in the West Midlands on Birmingham Airport’s plan to become a viable alternative to Heathrow and the other London terminals by building a second runway and tripling the number of passengers it handles.

But while Birmingham is honing its expansion proposals for the Davies Commission on increasing airport capacity, a neighbouring minnow operating very much under the radar has quietly signalled its own rather smaller, yet significant, growth plan.

Coventry Airport moved a big step closer to re-starting passenger flights for the first time since 2008 after its owner, Birmingham businessman Sir Peter Rigby, signed a deal to buy a 60% stake in Exeter International Airport from Balfour Beatty.

Sir Peter’s company Patriot Aerospace now owns a controlling interest in Exeter and Coventry airports as well as British International Helicopters, and the clear intention is to share the Exeter and Coventry facilities.

Sir Peter, who also chairs the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said he aimed to boost the local economy by becoming a “leading group in the regional airports sector”.

He has owned Coventry Airport since 2010 and has always made it clear that he intends to resume passenger flights when the time is right. It will be possible now to “leverage synergies” between Exeter and Coventry, a spokesman for Patriot Aerospace explained.

Budget airline Flybe is based at Exeter. The West Country airport also operates Thomson, Thomas Cook and Skybus flights and handles 750,000 passengers a year.

Coventry’s experience in the early 2000s with passenger flights under Thomsonfly caused some controversy locally. The airport fought a bitter battle with Warwick Council planners over proposals to build a new passenger terminal which was eventually resolved with a compromise, but worsening economic conditions saw package deal holiday flights cease permanently five years ago.

Birmingham Airport’s official stance has always been one of friendly rivalry and that it does not regard Coventry as a competitor, although that position would surely change if the smaller airport ever became a significant player in the holiday flights market.

Sir Peter told the Coventry Telegraph: “We believe in the importance of regional airports and of their value to the local and regional communities and of their important contribution and place in the local economies.

“We are intent on developing our aviation business within the Rigby Group and we have made a significant acquisition here and recently with the acquisition of British International Helicopters.

“We now intend to consolidate both of these opportunities with a view to being a leading group in the sectors of regional airports and helicopter operations. Approximately 450 jobs are now sustained by our aerospace activities.”

http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/coventry-airport-growth-plan-fuels-midland-aviation-debate/9490#more-9490

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Comment from an AirportWatch member:
Sir peter Rigby is building a network of these smaller regional airports – no doubt with a view to using private jets and or helicopters for “very important people” like him to avoid crowded roads and trains.  He had an application to Birmingham City council a number of years ago for a helipad at his specialist computer holdings base in Tyseley , in East Birmingham whereby he would use the River Cole as his route in from Birmingham airport.

 

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